Friday, August 24, 2012

Signing off for the wedding

I think I'm going to sign off here.

At least for a few weeks.

I can't wait to have an escape from reality for just a few weeks. First, it's going to be unreal getting ready all the last minute details for my wedding. It's a day that I have looked forward to since I was a little girl. I remember sketching out my dream wedding dress when I was just a little girl, planning out all my flowers and my colors.
Honestly, it hasn't changed much either.

I can't really talk about my wedding dress, because Nate doesn't know what it looks like but I can say some details of it are what I have wanted for years. I always wanted lilies, although I went from stargazer lilies to just white lilies. I also used to want turquoise and pink for my colors, although now we ended up with teal and silver.

I have to say though, my dream was always about falling in love and finding that perfect man that I would walk down the aisle to. I am so excited to see his face the moment that our eyes meet as I walk down that aisle. I love him so much, and I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect relationship with someone.

Then, we have an escape from reality as we get to go have some fun and celebrate our relationship, just the two of us. A week and a half off from work and off from stress and daily life.

It's time to concentrate solely on us, and so I say good-bye for a little while. Remember to cherish those everyday moments in the meantime, and don't forget to look for God in those little things along the way.

Don't forget about me! I'll be back soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Submitting to authority

For a lot of women, submission is a huge issue when they get married.

They hate the thought of their husband being "in charge" of them and not being able to be "independent."

That ideal has never been a problem for me. Maybe it's because I'm bad a decision-making anyway, so I would rather someone else be in charge most of the time. Maybe it's because I was raised to see the husband be the head of the household like Christ is the head of the church.

In my devotion today, it was talking about authority. It said that a lot of people have a hard time submitting to authority, whether local law enforcement or parents, or husbands.

However, it pointed out that Jesus submitted to authority, something I hadn't really considered.

The "Woman of God" devotional by Diane Graham and Julie Norris said, "...consider that Jesus submitted to the Father's will, becoming a true human being, obeying the entire will of God on our behalf, and then dying on a cruel cross, absorbing into himself the punishment for our rebellion."

I usually think Christ's dying was his choice, and it ultimately was. He could have come down off the cross, but he chose to submit to his father's will and die for us in that horrible way.

Christ is an example of perfection in all things and he truly did face all things, even the need to submit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Take pride in each other

I think it's important to tell people that you're proud of them.

I have a friend who has been through a lot, relationship-wise. He was engaged but had the courage to break it off when it wasn't right. And he saw what happened and has been trying hard to find the right woman this time, a Christian woman who is worth it and thinks he's worth it. He even said that he is taking this time to try to get closer to God and do what's right this time.

I think it's hard to keep trying to do the right thing without any encouragement, so Nate and I have tried to tell him that we're proud of him. Sometimes doing the right thing doesn't seem worth it time after time when it seems like no one notices or is there to help you. We know that God sees us doing the right thing, but it's nice to know that others are proud of us too.

It's really special when Nate says that he's proud of me and it makes me want to not only continue what I'm doing, but to do even better to make sure that he stays proud of who I am and what I do.

What do you enjoy in the people around you? Have you told them you're proud of those things?

Monday, August 20, 2012

A little time with God

It's kind of been bugging me all weekend. I was watching an episode of "Chopped," and this woman chef was a Buddhist. She said that she spends an hour every day meditating.

My first reaction was, who has that much extra time? My second reaction was, there's not very many Christians who spend an hour a day with God, but here is this woman spending that much time "not thinking" or whatever meditating is.

Then today, I was talking to a woman who was a missionary, translating the Bible in a remote village in Papua New Guinea for 24 years. She said that one thing she wants people to remember from her speeches at venues around the country is that she thinks we should read the Bible every day. She said that she reads the Bible before she leaves the house each day, even if it's going to make her late.

I really need to work on that. If God is as powerful and majestic as I know that he is, I should be acting like it much more than I do.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sermon notes

"Are you excited?"

Well it's a Sunday morning, pastor, and I think half the people here are probably half-asleep. I doubt too many people are really excited.

When no one answered, he said we should be excited. How many people over time have had ready access to the Word of God and a place to congregate and worship without fear? Not many. So I guess when you put it that way, we should be overjoyed to be in church!

The sermon this morning is on the next passage in John, John 4:44-54. Jesus is going to his hometown of Galilee. Jesus said that a prophet has no honor in his hometown, although people were excited about seeing him because they want to see the miracles. They're connecting them to his place as the Son of God though.

"And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was I'll. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death."

This is a powerful official in the region's capital, but he still can't save his son. Jesus said that unless the man sees signs and wonders he will not believe, but the "you" used is a collective you. "Y'all won't believe."

However, Jesus wouldn't do miracles to make people believe. He said he would do miracles because people believe.

Jesus said, "Go; your son will live." The man left and heard his son was healed, at the moment when Jesus said the boy would live.

A simple story, but the pastor made four observations as to what happened.

1. Miracles do not create our faith, they happen because of our faith. Some people try to barter that they'll believe if God only would do a miracle. We see that a lot on TV shows: "God heal my husband and I'll serve you." That would make for a problematic world where love has to be proven through gifts.

2. True faith in Jesus is coupled to obedience. Belief turns into obedience which turns to waiting which turns to seeing.

3. God tests our faith to grow our faith. Taking something away may just be the way he gives us something, more and deeper faith.

4. Familiarity with Christ may mean there's false faith in Christ. For those who grew up in the church, like me, it almost keeps us from seeing him for who he is. I agree that I sometimes do take him for granted. It's a book familiarity though, not a best-friend familiarity. I need that intimate familiarity instead of being satisfied with knowing theology and what the Bible says.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Holy cow, it's 16 days until our wedding.

I cannot believe that it is coming up so quickly. I hope that I don't forget to do anything. We actually forgot to send an invitation to some close friends of Nate's family, and his mom said that was our one snafu so that nothing else will go wrong. I hope that's true.

I was saying yesterday that I'm a little nervous to get everything done, concerned that I'll forget something but Nate is so sweet and said it didn't matter. He said we're getting married and that's all that matters.

I need him in my life. I need him there to bring my down to earth sometimes.

Like yesterday, I've been putting off a few chores that need done as time winds down, but we went boating instead last night. Nate told me he would come home and help me get stuff done. But when I decided to go boating instead, and he was happy that I did that. I like that he encourages me to loosen up. Stuff will get done; it will all come together and I'll be less stressed if I relax instead of worrying about details.

I love this man. He's been my only love and he'll be my only love. I'm so excited to be his wife for the rest of my life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A week about me

I had a bridal shower/bachelorette party this weekend, hosted by my best friends from college and attended also by my sister-in-law.

I have waited for my turn to have this shower, because I have attended one for my four friends. At each one, I couldn't wait until it was my turn, and finally it was this weekend!

I have to say, I think the thing that made the most impact on me was the thought that my friends put into this shower. The shower had all of the normalcy that the others did - with a devotion, quotes from my fiance, a questionnaire about my fiance and gifts. However, they also did things that were obviously especially for me.

At a local burger joint, we ordered items that screamed 'me.' I had a yellow cake vanilla shake as well as this burger that had a bun that was fried macaroni and cheese and was topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon. It was amazing!

Then we went to a pub to listen to music and finally ended the night at a dance club. Most of my friends won't even dance at weddings let alone go to a bar and go dancing, but they all went out with me and were dancing to the music. It was so sweet.

The next morning the girls took me to Wal-Mart and gave me and others challenges there, like create a meal for Nate with less than $15. Of course, they let me win too. You see, I am known for my love of Wal-Mart and my tendency to find the best deals.

It was not only wonderful to celebrate my upcoming marriage and to be with my friends who I don't see anywhere near often enough, but it was so special to know that they really thought about me and tried to create an experience that would make me feel special.

It did.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sermon notes

We're back to our series on the Gospel of John as my pastor is back from vacation.

We're studying this week John 4:27-42 when Jesus is just finishing up his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well.

"Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, 'What do you seek?' or 'Why are you talking with her?'"

Men at that time were not supposed to talk to women in public, because leaders thought it would lead to lust. They weren't even supposed to tell women about God, but Jesus doesn't care about the culture. He was a non-conformist. We should honor God instead of our culture. We should care more about what God thinks of us than what people think of us.

"So the woman left her water jar and wet away into town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?' They went out of town and were coming to him."

This woman has gone probably a day without water and walked miles to get it, but she doesn't even think about bringing water back. The news she has heard about spiritual water from Jesus is more important.

This woman's life is screwed up, and people see that God can help her, so Jesus must be able to help them too. It's not always celebrities or important people who can be used by God.

Back at the well, Jesus' disciples were encouraging him to eat, but food wasn't what he was concerned about at that point.

"My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest?' Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes and se that the fields are white for harvest."

Jesus is saying it's harvest season, not a time to sit back and eat lunch.

The Samaritans first came to Jesus because of the woman-at-the-well's testimony. Then they got to hear the word of God for themselves.

"They said to the woman, 'It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."

Overall, the pastor's lesson is: "It is in the most unlikely times, with the most unlikely people, in the most unlikely places that God is most likely to work through in my life."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Making memories

I hope to create memories for my family, like my mom did a great job of doing with me.

Last night, I was out boating with Nate and our friend Brent, and I laid down to watch for shooting stars in the black night sky. It was something that my mom and I did pretty much every year about this time. She loves to see meteors, and we would put a blanket down on the porch and watch for them to shoot across the sky.

Every time I see one night, I think of those times with my mom. I saw five of them flare across the sky last night, and I wished that she was there with me. When I shriek in excitement at seeing them, I don't think that anyone else really understands why.

I have a lot of fun memories from childhood, and I credit a lot of those to my mom. She really loved being a mom and loved to spend time with us. I think she was the only mom who was disappointed when school came back around each year, because she liked it when we were around during the summer.

I don't think we'll have children for a while, but even when I'm married I want to create memories with Nate. I want to make his life as fun and exciting as one woman can. I hope that someday we can do that for our kids as well!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Twenty-six days.

There's only 26 days until Nate and I get married. It seems like I have been looking forward to this moment forever, and I can almost hardly believe that it's really coming up this quickly.

I sometimes wonder what I think about this time when I am older. Will I look back with nostalgia like many people say I will? Or will, like high school, I never wish for this time again because I'm so content in where I am?

I don't know, because I have such high hopes for the future. Every day it seems like it's confirmed to me that Nate and I are right for each other, and the little things keep making me fall even more in love with him. I figure that's what the rest of life will be like.

I'm not naive. I know there will be hard times, but my greatest dream is that we will only continue to fall even more in love through the years. I want to look back and say that I had no idea what love was when I married him, because I will love him so fully and completely down the road.

I never could have guessed I would be where I am today, so who knows where we will be in the future. However, wherever it is, I am so glad that we will be there together - Lord willing. I am just so content in my love for him, and I am so happy that we get to be together forever.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sermon notes

"Also, he (God) has put eternity into man's heart..." Ecclesiastes 3:11

I decided that maybe I should just write during the sermon this morning so I don't forget what I hear.

The pastor is focusing on Ecclesiastes 3, and starts off by talking about how we are eternal beings. When we die, we don't cease to exist, thankfully. Oh how sad the outlook would be if this imperfect world were it.

However, we get busy and so concerned with the things of this world that sometimes it becomes all we think about.

Taking communion and during worship, I realized that not only has work and wedding planning taken over my life but also my heart. I haven't been talking to God very much, and even while singing I realized my mind was wandering to what still needed attention outside of these church doors.

The pastor gave examples of eternal amnesiacs, people who have forgotten that this life is not all there is.

Life is futile, he said. Life breaks down. This is not how it is supposed to be.

Eternity is not even comparable to this life. We can compare a lot, small houses and skyscrapers or the looks of different people. Our eternal home for Christians in heaven is so different from life here that it is not even comparable.

Then the pastor talks about the rich man from Matthew 19 who asked what he needed to do to be saved. Jesus said keep the 10 Commandments, the told the man to give away everything he had and follow Jesus. It showed the young man his heart because his stuff was more important than salvation.

It is not just stuff we put in front of God. It is activities, people, savings accounts. We idolize a lot.

Whether nothing is going my way or everything is going my way, it makes it easy to think it is all about this life.

This life will not last forever.

It is like the mass we build up in this life has built so large it has a gravitational pull as draws us constantly in.

But we can't compare this to eternity, which will never end.

Just don't put all your eggs in the basket of this world, because it will be taken away.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's the simplest things in life

Sometimes I'm not sure that I've really grown up, but I'm not sure that I ever want to completely get rid of my inner child.

That's because my inner child is pleased by some of the simplest things in life. Here are some things that made me smile recently.

1. "The Wizard of Oz" clips playing in the background at the miniature golf course.
2. The big, round blue raspberry lollipop I had last night.
3. Sitting on the edge of the boat so that my toes were in the water as we drove along.
4. Having a drink in a pineapple.
5. Seeing Novie slide tackle Nate in the grass.

What are some simple things that have made you happy lately?