Friday, August 28, 2009

A Weakness

I have recently put words to one of my weaknesses, or "opportunities for growth" (as a wise mentor used to say):


It's an ugly word, especially when wedding planning.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm not there

RA Training started yesterday, and I'm not there

Facebook albums of this year's Res Lifers are already surfacing

and I ache a little bit.

It's hard not to be there and it's easy to think something is wrong with this picture...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crazy in Love

When Paul asked me to marry him two months ago (to the day), my "YES!" was said without any reservations. June 5th was the first time we shared "I Love You" and I am so glad we waited. I remember telling Paul that I hoped sharing "I love yous" with one another would always feel that good. He assured me it would just get better, but I think I was a little skeptical.
How could it possibly get better than this?!

One of our prayers when we first started dating was that love wouldn't be awakened until it so desired (Song of Solomon 2:7). My NIV study note says "love is not to be artifically stimulated;
utter spontaneity is essential to its genuine truth and beauty." Let me tell you, our love has been awakened. :)
And it's beautiful.
Because our love was based around a commitment to spend the rest of our lives together, it has grown immensly and I am so much more in love now than I was when he popped the question. I honestly didn't know I could feel this way about anyone and I don't think I've ever understood love in this light before.

When I was in Chile, I had committed to writing a letter to Paul each evening. Although I had hoped Paul would do the same, I didn't mention it. When I was able to check my email for the first time, I had a few emails waiting for me. Paul had written out our "would-be-phone-conversations" and sent them each day. The first night I was gone, he felt like the Lord asked him to commit to me in a new way. Instead of relaxing in front of the tv, he typed pages to me
about his daily adventures and thoughts, exploring new ways to learn how to love me better. It
was so special to read my letters aloud to him upon my return.

Since we've been in the same place (give or take a week here and there), Paul and I have enjoyed serving one another, finding pleasure in making the other person happy. Cooking dinner, doing dishes, offering to let the dog out when we're in the middle of watching a movie, etc. There are not adequate words to describe how it feels to GET to do these small things for him.

And the things he does for me... WOW.
The last night at camp, Paul came to my cabin and woke me up at 1am, took my hand, and led me to the dining hall where we got out choclate dip and strawberries - a delicacy anywhere, and especially after exhausting days of being dust-covered and sleep-deprived.

Paul pulled me up on stage twice in front of 300+ people and encouraged the campers to wait for the right one. Tears welled in his eyes as he told them about me.
This man loves me, honors me, and esteems me. I am so humbled...

As we drove home from camp together, we finally got a chance to debrief the conversations we had with campers. He told me had led a camper to Christ a few hours prior, right before he got on the bus to go home. I grabbed his hand and turned to him, saying "I did too!" With windows down and Hillsong playing in the cd player, we sat in silence for a few minutes, laughing and delighting in our perfect match and the way God has already chosen to use us as a team to
further His kingdom. It was our goal from the beginning to disciple people together, and we're evangelizing, too. And we're not even married, yet!

Last week, as we were pulling out of the church parking lot after a meeting with our wedding coordinator, we ended up at the Guler's home because he had a surprise for me. Remembering my dream to someday ride in a convertible, Paul had arranged to borrow their 40 year-old shiny red Datsun and chauffered me around the lake and through the hills of Longview. It was a hot summer evening and we cranked the tunes and rode around carefree.
I melted.

He often looks at me and says "I am so lucky." We both know it's a testament of God's faithfulness and our patience to hold out for each other.

As September 19th draws nearer, and the harder it is to leave each other each night (or for a week here and there) we are mindful that love is patient. :)

I am in awe of Paul's passion for Christ and people.
I am so moved by his thoughtfulness and creativity.

I am so crazy in love!

View our wedding website:
Photos courtesy of Jordan & Lianne Philips

Next Month

I'm getting married NEXT MONTH!
45 days to be exact.

I was supposed to help out at Kids Camp this week, but I'm practicing the art of saying "no" and so I stayed home instead.

(Home: the house I'm staying in until I get married, but really living out of my car, the garage, and my suitcase. Only 45 more days of this!)

Thankfully, my decision to stay home has brought on some immense feelings of discipline and motivation.

For example, I've been saying for a month that I want to go jogging around the lake, and that I want to spend this 'preparation before marriage' buried in the word so I can have the Armor of God on in the midst of trying times. Have I done either of these things?

Until yesterday, that is.

I'm on day two of a successful jog around the lake as well as spending time in the Word. The lake is only 2 1/2 blocks away from my soon-to-be-house, and it's my job this week to take care of Morgan while Paul is at camp. Right now, I'm showing Morgan who is boss by making her run with me - I literaly have to pull her along because she can't keep up (and I assure you, I'm not fast). This dog needs more exercise! I have also been warned that Morgan may eat my stuff and my mail - one of Paul's former roommates lost a phone charger to her mouth, and she tends to eat Paul's mail if she has been deprived of attention for too long. When I first moved up here, I also had a good-sized mark on my hand from where her mouth latched on while she was playing. Ohhhh Morgan. We have a lot to work on! :)

My push for digging in to the Bible has come from several wise women who have warned me that the time leading up to the wedding has potential to be quite difficult and trying. "The enemy still wants a foothold," they admonish me. It's true. I've felt up and down and easily overwhelmed, which isn't me. I LOVE planning things like this, but it's certainly more difficult than I thought it would be and it's taking a toll on my energy level. I want to enjoy this process!

Today I am working on invitations, getting pre-marital counseling arranged, tightening up our registry page, and thinking about a zillion other things.

After all, I'm getting married NEXT MONTH! :)