Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Miles(tones).

Hello, friends!

Miles

I'm baaack!  Maybe you didn't think I went anywhere but let me tell you, I did. Josh and I have been driving to Pennsylvania every weekend for the last 6 weeks.  Just to give you a little picture of the amount of traveling we have done... we crossed the 200,000 mile 'milestone' on our car, aaaand bought it in August with 180,000 miles. Six months. 20,000 miles. No big deal.  (HA!)  Pandora is officially our best friend (especially the Brian Regan comedian station, fyi).

We've also made a lot of personal (Eeeee!) and professional (83% funded!) progress the last month or so.  There have been moments of wonderful, joy-filled excitement and there have been terribly weak moments full of nasty thoughts and an ugly heart.  Thankfully, the good moments outweigh the bad and even in the bad, there is grace.

Anyway, I shall leave you with a quote that has been resonating in my spirit lately and encouraging me in moments of doubt, fear, anxiety, fear, anxiety, doubt, fear, fear...feeeeeear. (Why yes, I do wrestle all three of these foes quite regularly. Surely I'm not alone, am I?)


Be brave, darlings. You have friends out there waiting to be discovered, inner battles waiting to be won, and a legacy waiting to be written.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kissy Kissy

Sometimes Josh comes to visit me at work.


Which not only entirely makes my day but also transforms the Inn's Security Camera into our very own Kiss Cam.

Friday, February 17, 2012

In another life...

Well friends, it's that special time of the year where I unload a few hilarious pictures we've taken on the iPad onto my blog for your viewing pleasure.  These were all taken with the "Oldbooth" app.  I decided to include an attractive picture of each person (except Josh and Buddy, who you are probably familiar with at this point) so that you can grasp the full hilarity of these as well.  So!  Without further adieu... we shall start with my Love.

Joshua



Kenny & Nicole




Elnur and Josh.  Elnur & the iPad.




David and Kate




Lindsay & Damien




Brian & Kyrie.





Rob & Kate



Brad



aaaand of course, Buddy


This one definitely gets the "I actually laughed as I wrote this" label.  I think the biggest takeaway we can all learn from these picture is that yes, the way you style your hair matters immensely. Hahaha I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Three Such Days.

Happy Valentine's Day, Lovelies!  

This has always been one of my favorite holidays.  My Mom made it a special day every year with scavenger hunts and candy and little gifts.  I don't think I even knew it was supposed to be a romantic holiday until I was in Middle School.  It was always just meant to be a day to celebrate all of the love in our home.  I'm thankful for that, because it meant I have enjoyed every single Valentine's Day I have ever experienced. (Not just the years I was in a relationship!)

Anyway, this is one of my very favorite love poems/letters. I hope you enjoy it and that you feel beautiful, loved, and cherished today!




Thursday, February 9, 2012

How much is that doggy in the window?


Buddy welcoming me home!
I walked home from work yesterday, and about 50 yards away I noticed Buddy sitting, staring at me, trying to decide if the pedestrian in his view was, in fact, his mom.

Then his tail started wagging.

Then he got up on his hind legs.

Then he started jumping up and down.

Then he started spinning in circles, not sure if he should keep watching my approach or get ready to greet me at the door.

(He waited til the last possible second to leave his window view, of course)

I tell ya, dogs sure know how to make a person feel loved.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dobby.

Sometimes working at the same place as your sister has its perks.  Like when you get to work at 8:00am and find this on the desktop of the office's computer.

"Dobby wanted to look pretty for Miss Leslie today!"

Best. Desktop Picture. Ever.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Thoughts on (Sacred) Marriage (and every other relationship I'll ever have)

As most of you prrrrobably know, I get pretty passionate over here about marriage. Because of this passion and the fact that I believe all marriages are either growing or dying, I do my best to find material that will challenge and inspire me to have a stronger and healthier marriage.  Which leads me to the point of this post! I recently finished the best book on marriage I have ever read.  It's called "Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy".


The title itself will either leave you wanting to understand what he is talking about or completely turn you off to the entire book.  The author, Gary Thomas, points out that we live in a culture that, quite honestly, seeks our own happiness and self actualization over anything else.  He goes on to explore the possibility that perhaps God didn't create marriage for our own fulfillment; perhaps he created marriage so that we might come to know Him better.

It took me several months to read through the entire thing because it wasn't the type of material I wanted to rush through.  I wanted to take it slow and apply what I was learning to our relationship.  Without giving too much away in hopes that you might read it yourself, I'd just like to share the most impacting "takeaway" I received and it is this:

Any sort of marital/relational disagreement or unhappiness or unpleasant experience I am faced with is an opportunity to grow closer to Christ.  

In moments of weakness, I run to Him for strength.  
In moments of frustration, I run to Him for patience.
In moments when I am faced with my shortcomings, I run to Him for grace.
In moments when I am crippled by my own selfishness, I run to Him to teach me what the true meaning of serving and loving others more than I love myself really means.
In moments of deep hurt and pain, I run to the One who can fill me like Josh can't (nor was he ever meant to in the first place.)
In moments when I am not feeling particularly happy or fulfilled, I surrender my will/wants/desires and ask that God would refine me and use them as opportunities to make me a better woman.

This change of perspective has blessed both of us immensely.  I feel equipped to be less controlled by my emotions and more able to face life's struggles as opportunities to grow and change and be more like the woman I hope to be.  I realize that maybe this is an easy concept for me to embrace because I am, quite honestly, very happily married.  We haven't experienced the "hard times" that everyone has forecasted in our marriage.  And while I'm not going to apologize for the marriage we have very intentionally built, I still want to acknowledge that for many women who already (repeatedly) taking the proverbial high road, this is a tall order to ask.  My hope is that if/when the "hard times" do come for us, I will be so well practiced in the art of seeking holiness above happiness, that I will be able to welcome them with grace and optimism; that I might better be refined into the likeness of Jesus through the challenging seasons and not crumble under the weight of my own unhappiness.  

This book has challenged and inspired both of us in a way that few things have concerning our marriage. Beyond that, it has inspired and challenged the way I perceive every difficult relational circumstance that comes my way.  I hope that you (whoever you are) will consider checking it out!