Tuesday, May 8, 2012

what matters the most

after Granddad's stint in the hospital last weekend, you'd think the last thing we would need would be someone trying to break into our house in the middle of the night. but that's what happened. 

oh, and i got food poisoning. 

and B left for san antonio for two and half months. 

i think one of the last things i said to him before he left, puke breath and all, was me promising him that if i wasn't abducted by the time i saw him next, that i'd look prettier. 

but he pulled my chin up, looked straight into my blood-shot eyes and make-up-less face and said, "you are so beautiful." and on his way to give me a kiss on the mouth, i think it dawned on him that i'd been puking for 12 straight hours, so he made a quick u-turn north to my forehead, where he planted a very sweet and adorable goodbye-for-now kiss.

he told me on the phone last night that he almost started crying when he left-- and y'all, B never cries. in all the 2+ years i've known him, i have still never seen him cry. and that makes me want to cry. but knowing that he was close to crying makes me a little bit happy. this is twisted, i know.

after the break-in, it's been frustrating for us to to figure things out. like if we're going to try to find another place to live and how we're going to get the money to do that, and if not, then trying to figure out how we're going to get the money to secure our current house so that i don't have to fear for my life while he's gone. it was frustrating finding out that my job can't guarantee that part-timers will be moved to full-time ever, even though they're hiring 40 new full-time advisors this summer. (because that obviously makes sense).
and it was really frustrating not being able to go 30 minutes without puking up pepto-bismol and buffalo wings for a whole night and day. 

but now it's time to be grateful. grateful for how B didn't get hurt or murdered by said loser who tried to break into our house, for me not being sicker than i was, for great parents, grandparents, brothers, and a wonderful sister-in-law, for the few close friends i have that pray for us, for a part-time job that i at least really love, for safe travels and amazing opportunities for B, and for a God who protects and heals and gives and takes.
and even though we're poor as dirt (according to america's standards), don't have a bed to sleep in once we're married, and might get killed or abducted anyway, we momentarily have each other. but even more importantly, we momentarily have the opportunity to live out a picture of Christ's covenant love.

we're most satisfied when He is being most glorified-- even in the midst of what we think is hard or difficult. we just have to choose to see the eternal things, trust in His ways, and believe Him for all He has done, all He is doing, and for all He will continue to do.

exes and oh's dear people,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


it's one thing talking about getting married, but it's another thing knowing that in 87 days you'll actually be married.

this evening i sat at B's desk sniffing his freshly bought toiletries: men's body wash, men's clarifying shampoo, and men's old spice deodorant. and then it dawned on me that i'm actually marrying a man. a full blown man. a man that trims his beard, doesn't wash his hands, and cooks his bacon in butter.

he is a total man.

and we'll have to share a bathroom. and a closet. and chores. and a bed. and, you know--  everything. we'll have to be patient with one another. and unselfish. understanding. loving. forgiving. and while all of that completely excites me -- it does somehow unnerve me a little. we're both entirely human, entirely sinful, and entirely different.

we can't just leave the house and return to our own apartments when we get irritated with one another.
we can't hog all the covers.
we can't make a cup of coffee without making the other person a cup of coffee.
we can't really do anything the same way we've been doing them.

we'll need to grow up.
we'll need to adjust.
we'll need to depend on Jesus.
and we'll need to laugh a lot.


and that's the best part about all of this, y'all--
it's that we'll be in this marriage thing together. for-freaking-ever.


Monday, April 30, 2012


on saturday night, my granddad was rushed into emergency surgery after having been at the hospital since 5am that morning. i spent most of the evening on the floor of my bedroom praying and crying. as much as i wanted to detach myself from the reality that i could lose my granddad at any moment, i couldn't bare to leave that floor. i felt desperate to keep praying for a miracle-- just as desperate as i was to believe God for a miracle. my sweet fiance had bid me some advice on prayer a few days before,

"pray as if [a miracle] already happened."

we got word around seven thirty that the doctors were able to find where the bleeding was coming from and that they were able to stop it. not only that, but that the doctor was "very happy" with the surgery and how everything looked.

relief washed over me like a spring rain.
i get to fall asleep tonight with my granddad alive and well.

that night, grandma walked in our door to hug us all. she whispered in my ear at how worried granddad was that he wouldn't be able to make it to my wedding. i laughed a little. only granddad would worry about such a thing before emergency surgery.

he's talked me through countless heartaches-- usually resulting in the bottom line of "focus on school and get that paper." and while he's still pushing  for my academics, lately he's been saying how proud he is of me that i chose to "keep things simple" for my wedding. he's been offering up plenty of marital wisdom-- that of "move far away from your family," to "your husband is your absolute best friend aside from Jesus...he is the most important thing."

there are only a few people in my life who actually get me-- people who don't always assume the worst of me. my granddad is one of those people. he chooses to see the best in me when i'm at the worst of me. he's also quite introverted and analytical like me, and doesn't call me out for being "anti-social" at family dinners. he knows it's just because i'm reveling in something, and instead of forcing me out of it, he asks to be apart of it. i have never felt unloved, rejected, or misunderstood by my grandfather. i have only ever felt special.

 i am thankful that i can thank God for the gift of my grandfather tonight, y'all.


Monday, April 23, 2012

satan pills

i feel like it's been a long time. has it been a long time? a month maybe?

i'm well into my new job, and it's great. i've had a few major realizations amidst the newness of the season-- the biggest and most life-altering one is that i discovered that i am indeed, an introvert. the even bigger discovery is that i am an introvert... and it's okay. 

all this time i've just thought i was crazy and un-Christian. but, nope. just introverted.

birth control pills on the other hand, now those make me crazy. enough crazy to make me contemplate running my car off the side of the road. i just don't know what it is about them, but they just make me feel completely strange and suicidal. pretty sure if i stay on them, i might not make it to my wedding -- and if i do make it to my wedding, i'll never make it to the bed. B would probably annul our marriage before we ever got the opportunity to consummate it. and thus why it's called birth control.

oh, the things a soon-to-be wife must do to keep the little kiddos at bay-- but, seriously-- there has GOT to be another way. these satan pills have got to go.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

good things

last month and the month before it, i cried every night of my life. maybe it had to do with working 64 hour weeks and not having any time to sleep, eat, shower, study, plan a wedding, or see my man. it's a theory at least.
but, OH! how the times have changed.

y'all, I GOT A JOB. and it's an absolutely wonderful job at Liberty University! i can actually work part-time and make just as much money as i was making full-time at my last job and i'll be closer to B and closer to our friends. fa-reaking praises!

 this little gap between employment has honestly been the most wonderful time of my life. He has not let me lack in anything-- not even monetarily. in fact, He's provided even more generously since i ventured into the realms of unemployment-- with both income and character. we are so blessed to have a Father who looks after His children in times of plenty and need. why, oh, why do we ever worry?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

on rings, things, and the Gospel

i used to tell B that I didn't want a typical engagement ring; that instead, i would rather have a super thin, diamond eternity band. the day he picked me up and whisked me off to an estate jewelry store was the day i tried on the ring that i currently have on my finger. although it wasn't a simple band, it was beautiful, and antique, and unique, and really, really...ahem...expensive.

totally kidding.

it really wasn't all that expensive. it was actually wayyyy less than what he had planned to spend. so affordable in fact, that he made me try on more expensive rings because he couldn't bring himself to buy his future wife a ring that cost as much as the tv he bought a month prior. although the other rings were bigger and flashier and more expensive, i fell in love with the cheapest one i tried on. i honestly just liked it the best. go me.

since being engaged, i've heard both Christian extremes on all things nuptial; one of the extremes claiming that engagement rings are merely materialistic and that people should forgo them and be more concerned with their marriage and the Gospel. excuse me, whaaa? who says you can't be focused on the real meaning of marriage and have a diamond ring on your finger? to be fair, i get where they're coming from and i think they're right about a few things. engagement rings are a materialistic thing. and people do need to be more concerned with the Gospel. but in one sense, the sense that flows from one sense right into the other, i believe they're a little misled.

owning a diamond ring does not make a person materialistic. if that were the case, then there would be a heck of a lot of Christian women in sin for donning a symbol of covenant love. materialism isn't dependent upon things owned, but upon an excessive, unhealthy desire to own them. it's a heart issue. a pauper who owns nothing can be more materialistic than a king who has it all yet thinks nothing of it. having a big diamond ring doesn't make a person any less Gospel centered, and not having a big diamond ring doesn't mean they're less materialistic or any more Gospel centered.

but yes, our culture has it's traditions and concepts of what those traditions should look like-- especially surrounding marriage. i glare every day at the average $26k price tag of what the world says my wedding "should" cost. upon my own convictions, there's no way in Sheol i'd ever spend that much just to say "i do." but i also won't sit around and insinuate that couples who have $26k weddings are less Gospel centered than those who don't.

the only thing that makes someone Gospel centered is the Gospel. the Gospel isn't constrained by our prosperity or by the lack thereof-- the Gospel is about Christ.

i think the principle that's being missed in all of this is that it is never about things. it's never about having them and it's never about not having them. it is about Christ. it is about being content in Him and counting all else as rubbish compared to Him (phil 3:8). we should hold onto things loosely, but it is OK that we hold them if given to us. they do, after all, come from Him. as long as Christ is our identity and the Spirit gives us the go-ahead, we can have a Gospel centered marriage and a ring, too-- "for from him and through him and to him are all things."

i wanna hear your thoughts on this y'all...if you're out there. how do you remain Gospel-centered in the midst of a consumerist, materialistic world? is there a "balance" we should keep or should we really turn our back on it all?

and brides or bride-to-be's: how did you or how do you keep perspective while rearing heads with the wedding industry? is there anything you forewent in order to maintain a holy perspective?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

boredom leads to dogs

well, to start things off, i'm not working anymore which has been absolutely UH-mazing! i've really enjoyed having my sanity back along with ample time to focus on college. now it's just a matter of figuring out how to make and save a little extra money for married life. not really worried about it, though.

this past thursday brandon and i realized that we've officially exhausted every movie in the known universe. we ended up driving circles around lynchburg for thirty minutes trying to find  something to do. still stumped, we stopped in at a pet store and bought a puppy.
and y'all-- oh my gosh. he. is. so. sweet. if i could squeeze him lennie style without killing him, i totes would.

after tearing myself away from our new baby, i headed off to staunton the day after to lead worship at a women's retreat where we discussed the theme of "moving on." it was my first women's retreat ever, and i absolutely fell in LOVE with everyone there. not only that, but it was the first time in a very, very, very long time that i've felt genuinely loved by anyone other than Jesus, my family and brandon. i can't even begin to tell you just how plum lonely i've been, but this weekend gave me hope for friendship and fellowship. i trust Him for it and i know that He'll bring it along in His timing...along with a heart that will receive it.

whatever season i'm moving into next, bloggies-- i anticipate it fully. i know that God isn't through with me yet. He will provide me with what He knows i need. at times it's uncomfortable and at times it's beautiful, but forever faithful, He is.