Tag Archives: Love

Completion

 

In the last month or two, Edgar and I have made significant shifts in our lives. The biggest of which, perhaps, was the Edgar’s senior recital. I was waiting to post about it because I was waiting on better photos, which I have yet to get, so instead of waiting any longer, I will share the limited photos I took with my own camera (or others took for me on my camera).

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Edgar said that he messed up a few times, but that was to be expected. We were/are all so proud of him, and the very experience of being present for his senior recital was such a heartwarming experience in our lives!

After the recital family and friends ventured back to our house to fellowship and prepare for the (unpictured, sorry.) cookout we shared that evening.

My mom gave Ed a graduation gift that was really for the both of us.

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It was all of our wedding photos arranged into two giant albums! My mom arranged and printed them all herself! We are so thankful! Even though my major was in art and photography is a hobby of mine, I’m terrible about not getting my photos printed. I have all my wedding photos on disc but the only time I printed any of them was for Christmas gifts a month after we got married. We only have one wedding photo on display in our house. I’m glad to finally have something to share!

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After this point I was busy preparing tons of food (burgers donated from a rancher friend of Ed’s parents, whole wheat buns—which I never tasted because I had my own frozen GF buns, various sides, and Dr Pepper Chocolate Cupcakes!) and loving on family and friends, so I didn’t take many pictures at all, but here the select few I snapped while the sun was setting.

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I believe that every so often, one experiences or event fills your heart so much that in leaves a permanent imprint on it. These are events that you can look back on and immediately feel the same overwhelming love you experienced at that moment. This evening was one of those times. Was it “perfect” as far as events go? No. Absolutely not. But then again, I don’t believe perfection has any place in the act of entertaining! What matters is that our loved ones came together in our home, shared stories, shared love, and celebrated a milestone in someone’s life.

 

Edgar, I’m so proud of you! I’m thrilled to be traveling this life with you!

The family you adopt along the way

 

Today I was able to spend a pleasant evening with a dear friend and her sweet family.

 

I haven’t seen Sarah since my wedding—almost two years ago. She was one of my very first friends when I came to college, and she became one of the closest and dearest friends I’ve ever had.

Sarah has spent the last two and a half years living in South Carolina with her husband and in that time she gave birth to Abbie, who is a sweet little miracle in so many ways. Her husband, Sean, received orders to be stationed in California, so the three of them packed up and embarked on a long trip through the southern United States, visiting family and friends along the way.

Tonight we met at a restaurant we absolutely loved during our college days—Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse. For most of us, this is our first (and for some—only!) experience with a hibachi-style Japanese restaurant!

 

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But the real experience is in the time shared with old friends.

We spent several hours reflecting on how much Plainview has changed since we each moved here years back, as well as sharing our new adventures in marriage, kids, careers, and health diagnoses.

I remember discussing marriage with Sarah in our dorm suite in 2007. She used to predict that she would be the last in our group of friends to marry. She is now a military wife and stay-at-home mom to little Abbie. She was the second in our group to marry!

Sarah and JennyBeth. 2007

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Sarah and JennyBeth. 2011

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Sarah and me. 2007

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Sarah and me. 2011

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I honestly really love the changes we have all experienced. Four years ago our biggest concerns were petty interpersonal drama, insecurity, grades, college finances, homework, annoyances with school rules.

 

Mariah, Edgar, me, Greg, and JennyBeth. 2006

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Today we have things more… beautiful and eternal on our minds.

 

Mariah. 2011

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This is the true test of friendship, I think. This is what I looked forward to when I came to college—the times I would be able to spend with my college friends years after we graduated.

It goes to show how no matter how far away we travel, how long we have to go between visits, we are always in each other’s minds and hearts, mourning together in our sorrows, and rejoicing together in each other’s lives, loving every change along the way, as family.

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Accent Vlog! Plus, my faith.

 

Hey everyone! Peeps just left and I’ve finally got my accent video done!

I don’t really have a lisp, so I don’t know what that was about. But now that I hear myself, I do kinda have a Southern accent. I blame Plainview. I sound like a hick every time I visit my family in Fort Worth.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQeidM8gRJQ]


Background:
I am from Fort Worth, Texas, and my parents are from Missouri/North Carolina and Texas. I was raised in Texas all my life.

Edgar is from a small country town (Canadian, TX) barely on this side of the Texas line. His dad grew up in El Paso and his mom is from Oklahoma. He has also lived in Texas all his life.

Kris was born in Fort Worth, lived his first few years there, moved to Florida for a few years in grade school, then came back to the Promised Land Texas. He has spent most his life since then in a small town just outside Houston. His parents are both Texans.

Justin’s dad is a pastor and he has traveled all over the country, including New Mexico and Oregon, and has family in Missouri. He doesn’t claim a state.

Aubrey has lived in California and Wyoming. She also doesn’t claim a state.

By the way, I looked it up and the other word for roly poly I was trying to think of was pill bug!

Kris says we should start a morning talk show.

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30 Day Challenge 
Day 4-
My views on religion.

Well, I certainly don’t try to hide my faith.

I grew up in a Christian home. I’ve been going to Baptist churches all my life. When I was homeschooled I was a part of several different Christian homeschool groups. I graduated from a Baptist University and now work there.

But none of this makes me a Christian.

While I’ve believed in God for as long as I can remember, I didn’t make my faith my own until I was 14. I didn’t experience an actual relationship with God until 2003 when I participated in my first mission trip and saw God’s hand working so perfectly and obviously. I had spent the year prior in darkness as I struggled with interpersonal issues with a depressed/self-mutilating friend with whom I was toxically codependent. I boarded the bus numb to the world, but just a few days later found myself standing the middle of a dirty street in Mexico in awesome realization that God had always been there through all my struggles, and He was so much bigger than any burden I carried. I realized the incredible feeling of being small, and it was beautiful. His greater plan for me was so much better than anything I could dream up in my shortsighted, feeble mind.

I look back at my perspective of life the day I left for that trip. It was dark and gray. Just 8 days later, the days permanently switched to light. It’s been almost eight years and even thought I’ve struggled with heartbreak and uncertainty, I have never felt as hopeless as I did before meeting God face to face on that mission trip.

I know it’s not typical for people to change overnight. But I’m living proof that it’s possible. Letting go of my plans and allowing God to move them was was set the entire rest of my life into motion. It was easily the most pivotal week of my entire life.

If I hadn’t gone on that mission trip, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post today.

On that trip, I met someone who would be my very best friend for the next three years. Through him I learned what it meant to know God, to delight in Him, to be in communion with Him, and to see others the way that God saw them. I learned what it meant to love, which is what God is all about. I learned what it meant to trust God, which is something I’ve always struggled with. I still do, but I do have a hope that I cling to:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)

That verse is the hope on which I have gripped for the past 8 years. That hope has led me to Wayland, to Edgar, to this job which has led me to get healthy, this confidence, the love and friendship I have in my life. I know peace because I’ve actively trusted God. I know hope because I’ve seen my life fall to ruin and be resurrected so much better than before, on every occasion. I know love because I’ve hurt and been hurt. I’ve opened up my flaws and accepted them in others. I’ve given up my own good and have others sacrifice for me.

God delivered me from more than my sin. He delivered me from more than an eternity of hell. He gave me my earthly life back in spades. He never promised me I wouldn’t struggle, but He promised that I would have a way through it. He never promised I would get everything I wanted, but He promised I would get everything I needed. Where there is darkness, there is now light. Where there was uncertainty, there is now trust. Where there was fear, there is now peace. Where there was dread, there is now hope. Where there was heartbreak, there is now fullness of heart. Where there was brokenness, there is now healing. Where there was selfishness, I now know, see, and experience love on every good and perfect level.

I didn’t get there by going to church, or by reading the Bible, or believing in a “higher power.” I got there because He who is so much bigger than me brought Himself down to my level so that He and I could see face to face. He took me in His arms and I opened my eyes for the first time. I saw His face and wept tears of joy. I gave Him all I had and He gave me riches, and I’ve done nothing to deserve it. 

My religion is hardly about religion at all.
It’s about relationship.
It’s about love.
It’s about hope, peace, and faith.
It’s about forgiveness.
It’s seeing how small we are compared to how big He is.
Wanting what He wants and seeing as He sees.
Choosing to live in His world instead of the trivial one we’ve created for ourselves.
It’s about sacrifice. “He died for me, so I will live for Him.”
It’s about realizing how depraved we are, how we’ve spit in His face, but He still forgives us when we ask, loves us even when we don’t, and offers us a role in his magnificent plan if we choose. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us.
It’s about wanting, seeking, and loving Him back.

 

So, do I have a funny accent???

The Night Before Christmas

Hello, everyone! I know everyone is a-bustle with the holidays, and I certainly am! I’m writing this in advance on Thursday morning so we can hit the road. We’re leaving for the 5 1/2 hour drive to Fort Worth to spend the next week and a half with my family! So exciting! We spent Christmas day with just each other last year, so it will be fun to spend Christmas day with my parents and sisters for the first time in two years. Oh, and I get to meet my new fur-baby! Yes, we have adopted a toy Australian Shepherd. He’s about 3 months old and last my mom told me, he was 8 pounds of fluff. We adopted him from some family friends in Fort Worth, so my parents have been puppy-sitting until we get down there for Christmas! So excited! His name is Casper! Short for “Caspian.” We are such NERDS! Winking smile

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Personally, my Christmas Eve will be spent baking (St Lucia bread, cookie dough balls, Alton Brown’s Pumpkin Pie in Gingersnap Crust…), eating at Pizza Hut and out looking at Christmas lights. Later we’ll each open one gift, and maybe we’ll watch “Santa” on the NBC 10 o’clock news weather forecast. That is, if we’re not drowning in the plethora of Christmas movies we’ve yet to watch this season.

For now, I leave you with this…

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May your holiday be filled with all peace, joy, and love, and may you not forget what the season is really about. God bless you all. Smile

 

Now go spend time with your loved ones! Winking smile

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