Friday, February 28, 2014

When Things Don't Go as Planned

2014. It began with so many wonderful adventures, plans, goals, dreams…. I distinctly remember telling Cory how happy and excited I was about many of the possibilities unfolding in our lives. I was full of hope.

Since then most of those possibilities which I was so eager for have crashed and burned. In the throes of some of my little disappointments (which always seem so great in the moment) my dad told me something that his dad told him once, “if this is as hard as it is going to get, you are going to cruise through life.” There’s some perspective for you.

The weird part about it all is that Cory and I lead an AMAZING life. Seriously, I don’t know why more people aren’t jealous of us… I kid, I kid. But really, it is great. I just suppose it is that yearning inside to learn, to grow, to mature, and yes… to see progress.

I remember feeling this way so many times in my life. You know when you have your heart set on something and then it falls apart and you feel devastated with the disappointment. And you know…. All of those things (with the exception of a couple I am still waiting on) have miraculously turned around for the better. By miraculously, I mean literally God-orchestrated.

When making plans and dreams it is sometimes difficult to see things the way God sees them, the big picture. God has truly saved me from some things in my life which I have had my heart set on. And at some point without fail, I have looked back and thought, “Thank you, God.” I might be near sighted, but He never is.

These are the moments I have to remind myself of… sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in my plans, my ideas, MY stuff… when God’s plan is always better.

And so, I will close this little midnight rant with one of my favorite scriptures of all time that I feel is quite apropos. This is what I go to when I need hope or reassurance.

Jeremiah 29:11

“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.”


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ode to Marriage

Today I am linking up with Danielle at Admissions of aSuperhero to jot down a few thoughts regarding marriage.

Since the marriage retreat we attended a few weeks ago, I have been inspired to find our marriage vows. I wanted to peruse them with a new understanding of what we were actually saying when we said, “in good times and in hard times…for richer or for poorer.” Prior to marriage, the whole, “till death do I part” thing does not seem to carry the weight that it should.

So today I dug up my marriage vows and leafed through the notes from both of the pastors on my wedding day. It is funny to look back on the vows now and realize how they cover the inevitable circumstances in marriage, and yet you don’t seem to think about it until you are actually married.

All the romance, excitement, and butterflies are overpowering on that wonderful day in which you commit to one another for life. I am not saying you don’t understand the commitment you are making. I am merely stating that after three years of marriage when you go back over your vows you think, “oh yeah… this is part of marriage.”

Prior to my wedding day my dad (who married us) had us each privately jot down when we fell in love. He made our wedding so perfect and personal by reading those thoughts at our ceremony. I read them today for the first time since then (over three years now!). It is a good thing for your relationship to remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place.

All of the things that I said about Cory then are just as true about him today. I fell in love with him and married him for those same attributes that he possesses and which he demonstrates on a daily basis.

If you did something like that before you got married, you should reread it. And if you didn’t, you should take a moment to recall and then jot down those reasons why you fell in love in the beginning. As you continue to move forward in marriage, it will prove invaluable to recall those moments which led you to “I do”.

Prior to announcing us Mr. and Mrs. For the first time, my dad closed with a beautiful representation of marriage, and I think a good reminder of how wonderful married life should be. He said, “Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be a companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth. Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness, and kindness that your relationship deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right and good and always keep your relationship with God a priority.”

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thank Goodness For a Clean Slate

First off…. Let’s start this week off right with a little confession and therefore a clean slate. Yesterday I consumed an ENTIRE box of girl scout cookies (caramel delights are so dangerous) AND (what seemed like) half a pie!!! What skinny fit girl does that??? But, I do not believe in having regrets, therefore I don’t.

Now that I have that off my chest, moving on.

Yet another week under my belt in this journey called life. I wish I could say that my week was packed full of inspiration and profundity. No such luck. It was one of those weeks….. you know the kind where you feel a little low and you are not sure why? However I dealt with it very maturely in the form of this post (and perhaps some extra cookies and pie). You would never have known. Right?

Anyway, I was very studious with Photoshop last week. Yay me! spent a lot of time reading, learning functions and tools, and watching you tube videos. So, though I don’t have many photos that I feel I did I good job with, I am developing a fraction of understanding of the system. And a few weeks ago, I had no idea when that was going to come to pass!

My goals for this week are:

- Throw away two pairs of shoes… I definitely don’t wear them all

- Clean out and organize my dresser.

- Make the starter so I can start baking my own sourdough (I did this once and it didn’t turn out so well… so here is to try number 2).

- Fifty squats a day. Finished the challenge last week woohoo, so this week I am going to take a little challenge break and do squat maintenance. 

- Do one photo shoot. I am supposed to be working on my photography portfolio and it has been going very slow!

As I bonus I am going to work on having a good attitude and being thankful for all of the blessings that I have. This is not usually a struggle, but I can always be better.

What extra things do you want to accomplish this week? Jot down a few ideas and make it a good week!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Better Than Happily Ever After???

Marriage. What an amazing and crazy and challenging and wonderful and difficult union it is. I feel like I have been writing about marriage a lot. As well I should. It is a big deal in general, and a particularly big deal in my life.

My sister over at Admissions of a Superhero decided to do a link up in which the topic of marriage is to be pondered. I am not exactly sure what it is I want to write about tonight… but as I feel very strongly on this subject I will just let my fingers tap away on the keyboard while my mind wanders the expanse that is the topic of marriage.

A few weeks ago I said to that hubby of mine how amazing it was that sometime I feel like marriage is the easiest and most wonderful thing, and then a moment later he is driving me crazy and I feel like marriage is the most challenging thing in the world. I looked at him with expectation that he would confirm how drastic the emotional ups and downs were. But instead of a response such as that he said, “I have never felt that way, I always just feel like it’s good. Pretty easy.” I kind of tilted my head to the right as if to say, “huh? I don’t understand.” I mean we are in this thing together, how can we feel so differently? And yet, this is a perfect example of how different we, as man and woman, are from one another, and how those differences impact everything in our relationship. Our perspective, our feelings, our behavior. I wonder if anyone fully understands this going in.

Somehow I doubt it.

The “Happily ever after” that you are expecting is nothing like the real thing. The real thing possesses challenges, irritations, difficulties, battles, disappointments, and tears that you may never have anticipated. And yet, somehow the real thing is better than you could have imagined.. It is the best. Sometimes even the fairytale doesn’t hold a candle to the joy that comes with the pride of building a happy life together because you have poured your heart and soul into it.

Would we appreciate the comfort of a good marriage if we did not work for it? Would we understand it’s success if we did not know the sacrifices we have made to earn that success?

Maybe. But somehow I doubt it. We can look to James for the answer here. We must persevere through the trials that marriage will inevitably bring in order to be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Feeling Nostalgic

Last night Cory and I took a little trip down memory lane to visit one of our old dating haunts. Coffee and pie at one of the local diners.

As we were driving there Cory said, “maybe our usual table will be open.” It wasn’t. But the thought was nice nonetheless.

I know we are young and so full of life, and potential, and future…. But there is something sobering in looking at all the wonderful memories that have been made. Because that is all they are, memories of a different time. Sometimes it seems more than that; A different life.

We sat across from each other last night and held hands like we used to. We were both a bit nostalgic as we discussed the various memories or conversations that took place in that very diner over the years. Sometimes I would even catch him looking at me with a hint of teenage boy in his eyes.

I recalled an evening we spent very early in our dating. He went to pay and realized that he forgot his wallet. Man, was the boy mortified when I picked up the ten dollar check. I told him he could pay next time. I distinctly remember him saying to me, “and every time.” We were just kids.

It wasn’t long later that we sat at our usual table as he tried (successfully obviously) to convince me that we should go for it. Have a relationship, be a couple, make a commitment to see where things went. I remember telling him we were friends. I didn’t want to hurt that. But he thought that we could be good together. Better together. He didn’t know where it would go, but he thought we should at least see.

And now look at us. He was right. We have had our fair share of ups and downs. Heartaches and breakups. But what would this life be if we didn’t have each other?

This life is truly wonderful. But with every day that we put behind us, I can’t help feeling that we lose something valuable. A moment. A memory. But that is life. We give each moment up in the hopes that the next moment will prove we have gained something of greater value.

Oh life. Through all of the sweet times it is hard to ignore the little bit of bitter that comes with the inevitable passing of time.

We were just kids once. We took a chance on each other. It has been the most wonderful and rewarding decision we could possibly have made. I will endeavor to savor the moment we have now because I know there will come a time when we will have the “remember when” conversation in regards to this sweet time in our life.

Though I know it will come, I know it will come at a time when I cannot imagine going back because of all of the precious things that we will have gained between now and then. I don’t want to say “I can’t wait” because I certainly can. But I am looking forward to seeing what we will have accomplished that merits pride. 

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