Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh facebook, you smoldering temptress...

When I have a bad day, I have this draw to post some sort of negative facebook status. Something like,

"::sigh:: I'm tired of people"

or,

"...glad today is finally over"

or the wildly creative,

"did not have the greatest day today"


But I simply refuse to do it. I've done it in the past, I'm pretty sure. However, I don't want to use facebook to draw unnecessary attention to myself. I don't want to post stuff that will make me seem better than others. I don't want to post something that will make others feel bad for me. I don't want to post something that will make me look more interesting/sexy/funny/successful than anyone else. I don't want to post something that will make me get a million notifications and "hang in there!"s and encouragement.

I don't have a profound reason. I just think it's kinda lame, really. I think if I find myself getting encouragement and self worth from what random people post or 'like' on my profile, then I have some serious issues I need to work on.

But, that's just me.

and the only reason I'm even posting this is because I actually had a moderately bad day today, and I don't have those very often, so I feel the temptation to let everyone know about it. In fact, I felt tempted a few minutes ago to let all 780 of my friends know that tonight, I'm feelin' a little low. But, I shall spare them the melodramatic attempt at getting some attention.









and will instead write a blog about it. ha.




Saturday, October 24, 2009

I ran a 5K!

Yes, you read that correctly.

No, it wasn't easy.

Yes, it WAS 40 degrees and raining this morning.

No, I don't hate running anymore.

Yes, I still dislike it, but I'm working on changing that.




In July, I set a goal to run a 5K this fall. I was working hard at it, training and all of that fun stuff. Then a few things happened and we got pretty busy and in the lat 4 or 5 weeks I went running once and it was approximately 1 mile.

Needless to say, it took a lot for me to go and do it today. But I had to! I set a goal and I was afraid when I set it that I would never do it (which is part of the reason I don't like to set goals, if you never set them you never fail, right?)

So, I ran the farthest I have ever run. Pretty slow. But I did it! and I'd say I only walked maybe a total of 3 minutes the whole race, which is pretty incredible. I finished in 37 minutes, which is a pretty terrible time as far as 5K's go, but who cares? It was on a golf course with mud and mushy grass anyway, so it was pretty slow going for a lot of people haha.


Anyway, I set a goal. I finished it. I didn't quit, I didn't walk the whole way, I didn't accidently sleep in, I didn't say "maybe next year". I did it!!


and I feel awesome about it :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm stirred up... somethin' fierce!

I believe in Purity.

I believe in purity of your heart.

Of your mind.

Of your soul.

and of your body.

Usually people think Christians are all, "save sex til you're married 'cause we don't want anyone having babies or getting stds or 'livin' in sin' ya sinning sinners!"

But I wish, I so wish that the Christ Follower's passion for purity would be ... well, purified. It's so much more than not having babies. It's so much more than stds. It's so much about your heart. It's so much about your future spouse. It's so much about obedience and self discipline and holding out for something greater, holding out for something beautiful and right.

and if I'm going to go all purity crazy on you I think that I should make it clear that this girl has made some mistakes and had some experiences that I'm not super proud of.

But, I made it to the finish line. and so did Joshua. We waited until we were married to have sex. and not because we were "supposed to" but because we believe that it is a better way to live life. That God gives us guidance so that we can live life to the fullest, to carry as little baggage with us as possible. and I showed Joshua the baggage I had collected, I unpacked it for him a long time ago and he showed me his. There were tears and forgiveness for sharing some things that we wish we could have saved for each other.

and then there was purity. But not perfect purity because, well, he's pretty smokin' hot and I'm pretty crazy attracted to him and we definitely didn't preserve the level of purity we wanted.

But our wedding night was amazing. and two nights ago was amazing. and last week was amazing. and sex is amazing. and I thank him on a regular basis that it is something that he and I share alone. No one from our past is in bed with us. I know him and he knows me in a way that NO ONE else has ever known him or will ever know him.

It's beautiful. and I want it for others. It's hard. But it's so worth it.


Sunday we took a group of teens to something called "Silver Ring Thing". 10-12 teens made commitments to their future spouses to wait for them. To wait for their beloved. To put
them ahead of themselves right now, today, every day. I just found out that one of them, a 9th grade girl, is already getting made fun of at school for having her purity ring. and I think that's ridiculous. and sad. Ridiculously sad. I hate that our culture has brainwashed our youth. I
hate that sex is so casual and such a badge of honor.

Sex at 14 years old is a sign of brokenness. and I am so proud of this girl for making that commitment. I wish I could be with her every day to call out the people who are hurling insults at her because


I CAN TAKE IT.


and I know it's worth it.




and I wish, I so wish that someone would have given me a purity ring. Told me the truth. Not this "God just doesn't want you to have sex so don't" crap. I wish someone would have explained to me how beautiful it was going to be. How hard it was going to be. and how worth it it's going to be. How my husband might have been out there, praying for me and waiting for me too (Because Joshua was. He has been praying for me since he was 14 or 15 years old, can you even believe that?)



and trust me people, it is worth it.






and P.S. (and it's a h-u-g-e p.s.) I also passionately believe in 2nd chances and do-overs. I don't mean to sound like I know everything, I know only my own experiences. and I so very much desire out of very good intentions to point others in the same direction that I joyously followed. Alas, I know it's not possible, but I hope you, whoever reads this, can see my heart and intentions behind this post.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

One Year Anniversary!




Today is our one year anniversary :-) To celebrate blog-style, I found the dvd of our wedding and finally wrote down our vows. I had them written on a piece of paper for the ceremony, but at the end of reciting them I dropped my paper, so I could hold both of his hands and look him in the eye... and I never saw that paper again! Anyway, it's been such a wonderful year. I love marriage. I can't even believe it's been a year....


The words he spoke to my heart and promised me on our wedding day:

I, Joshua, take you Leslie to be my bride.
I will do all within my power to protect you and to keep you pure.
I will never leav
e you and I will always choose you fi
rst.
I promise to run hand in hand with you gaze set dead ahead towards Jesus.
I will do everything to encourage you, to discover your strengths, and to inspire you.
I promise to intimately wrestle problems with you arm and arm together as a team, always giving you the benefit of the doubt.
I promise to love you and hold you when the sun shines and when the storms rage.
I promise you wealth, not in money, but in love and in passion.

I promise to speak with tenderness and compassion to you, and to always first try to seek to understand you.

I promise to you words of love to build walls around your heart to protect you from just the onslaught of lies the world will throw at you.
I promise to make you my lifelong girlfriend, to surprise you with romance and to recklessly pursue your heart.
I promise to love you more than my body, pursuing your wants ahead of my own and putting you ahead of myself in everything we do.

Leslie, you are the girl of my dreams, you're my real life princess. You don't complete me because I've already been made whole in Christ, but you compliment me in a way that couldn't be matched by anyone else on the planet. I will never leave you. I will always love you. These things I vow to you today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.


The words I spoke to his heart and vowed to him on our wedding day:

I Leslie, take you Joshua, to be my husband.
I promise to love you always, when our love is simple and comes easily and when it takes great effort and patience.
I promise to honor and respect you in word and in action, both in and outside of our home.
I promise to stand by your side in times of sorrow and struggle and I promise to dance and laugh with you in times of joy and celebration.
I promise to serve God with you, in whatever way He asks of us.
I will always trust your leadership,
and, I will look to you for companionship and wisdom before anyone else.
I promise you total trust and complete honesty because without it our love can't be true.
I will always give you the benefit of the doubt.
You have a wild heart and I won't try to change or tame it,
but I promise to pursue you and your dreams, to help you find wh
atever it is that makes you come alive and to encourage you to follow those desires.
By Gods grace, I promise to fulfill your emotional and physical needs,
and to never ever become a source of your unhappiness.
I promise to put you and your needs ahead of my own, dying to self in hopes that I can better honor and serve you.
I promise to pursue my own relationship with God, personally, and to do my best to pour his sacrificial, unconditional love on you.
I promise to put great effort into our love, to do everything tha
t I can so that we stay deeply, and passionately, and completely in love forever, for the rest of our lives.
I will always be faithful to you. I will never give a piece of any of my heart to anyone else.

Joshua, you are the man of my dreams, you're my real life knight in shining armor. You don't complete me because I've already been made whole in Christ as well, but I believe that you compliment me in a way that nobody else could ever possibly match. I will never, ever give up on us. and I will be with you forever. This is my vow to you today and I will do it forever, the rest of my life, ok? I promise.





Sunday, October 4, 2009

Familiarity

"Oh familiarity.... how I hate thee."

I wrote this in our journal last week. I have a love/hate relationship with familiarity. It was mostly a hate relationship- until today.

I feel that familiarity is a thief, a masked desperado that comes sweeping in to steal our enjoyment of the things and people that we are around the most. Especially the people. Without even realizing it we become so used to the precious souls who surround our lives that we don't see them for how truly special they are. I think it happens a lot in marriages (I could even feel it creeping in last week, hence my hasty journal entry), it happens with friendship, it happens in our families.

and usually, those things and people who are the most familiar to us are often the things and people that we most commonly take for granted.



and life is too short to take people for granted. Too often we don't even realize it has happened until it's




....too late.....

and I confess that I do this too often.




But I realized today that I have a love relationship with familiarity as well. At our church, there is a youth space in the basement of the intern house. It's really a remarkable room. There are names of teens spray painted on the left walls, prayers written on post-it notes stuck to the right wall, also on the right wall is a spray painted Cross with the words "This message is illegal in 51 countries", and in the back corner is a "prayer closet" where teenagers have painted their hearts and their prayers and their thoughts about Jesus. It's truly beautiful. I walk down there and I see beauty. I see an area where people have actually encountered Christ and have been moved by Him.

Today, however, I walked up to a conversation involving three of my very dear friends. They were discussing how shabby the space was (and is, depending on your experiences there). The window is kicked out, there are spider webs, the couches don't match, it's not easy to see or get to, there's no natural light, only small windows, and it's pretty cold.... and I completely understood where they were coming from. I had just never seen it like that, because I'm familiar with it. I know it's true identity. I know the room and the space for what it really is. Holy Grounds! We should practically take our shoes off when we walk in the door....

....But your socks will probably get dirty.

....and the carpet is cheap so it might feel icky.




and I will strive to always see the good, to see the Holy, to see the beauty in this life and in those I cherish the most. I will fight familiarity and continue exploring the heart and mind of my husband. Of my family. Of my friends.

Especially my Joshua. I truly believe that our love (any love) can not last if we take each other for granted and forget how wonderfully and completely blessed we are to have each other. Sure, a certain kind of love will last. But not the kind I want. The kind I want is the passionate, mad, crazy for each other, slow dance in the kitchen, laugh in the dark kinda love. But it doesn't sustain itself.


May I continue to look at people (Joshua) and places (Lowell) and things (snowflakes and lightning bugs) as though I'm just seeing them for very the first time.