Sunday, June 30, 2013

Scripture and A Snapsot...rejoice...

May we always feel the joy of the that of a couple on their wedding day! 
As I go to worship this morning, I go with a heart ready to rejoice in the Lord!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two to go...

One week ago today, our daughter Abby married Josh. It was a very special day, filled with so much joy, lots of smiles and some tears mixed in as well. Abby glowed the whole was a day she had prayed for...the day she became Josh's wife.

My heart is full as I think of the day and how special it was. The wedding was outside on a lake in Wisconsin. Thankfully the rain held off until after the wedding, we of course were a bit nervous as we could hear thunder during the wedding! (We had an emergency umbrella up front for the bride and groom...just in case!). 

My husband performed the ceremony, I have no idea how he was able to that for a second daughter! He did a great job and made the day even more special. His object lesson for them was a violin. He told Josh how valuable a Stradivarius violin is; he then told him that Abby is far more valuable than that. He gave them a bow from a violin keep in their home as a reminder of that and he attached his four main points to the bow as well. The four points all start with the letter L which is the first letter of Josh and Abby's last name.

Lord...God is to be number one is their love to each other they raise their children they would leave a Godly legacy
Labor...that they would work for the Lord and follow His calling

The day began with prayer, the bride and groom were prayer over individually before the wedding, they were prayed over during the wedding and for us the day ended with prayer. I know Brian and I will continue to pray for them; as will Josh's family. God has big plans for these two and I feel privileged to get to uphold them in prayer!

In just a short time Abby and Josh will be having their first big adventure as husband and wife. They will be spending five weeks this summer in Haiti at an orphanage called The Ruuska Village. What an amazing opportunity for a married couple to get to spend the first summer of marriage serving God! I am excited to watch all the plans God has for these two unfold!

Following is a slide show of pictures from that day. The song playing is the song Abby walked down the aisle to; it is Beloved by Tenth Avenue North.

This video is the surprise dance that Josh and Abby did at the reception.

This is the back or our got decorated at the wedding as well! Watch out Caleb!!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lenny made me cry...

I knew it was bound to happen. I didn't know for sure when or what would trigger it; but I knew tears were inevitable today. I wondered if it would be when she carried her last suitcase out of her room or when the number of the countdown changed from 7 to 6. The thing that triggered them was not anything I expected. Lenny made me cry!

Who is Lenny you might ask? Lenny has been Abby's companion for more than 10 years, he came to her one year for Valentine's Day. Lenny has been almost everywhere Abby has traveled, he is looking well loved from years of attention. Abby left today to prepare for her wedding and this is one event Lenny will be missing. He is sitting on her bed...alone.

Both Brian and I realized the significance of this event. Seeing this simple stuffed animal left behind put tears in both of our eyes. We know how much she has loved Lenny, this seemingly small event is truly big, it is our little girl's way of showing she is grown up. She is ready for this new adventure...marriage!

She may be leaving some of the things of her childhood behind, but thankfully the one thing we prayed the most for her is going with her. Abby's faith is rock solid, Jesus is truly her number one love!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Letter to Newly Engaged Women...

In just 11 days my daughter Abby and her fiance' will be getting married. Lots of exciting things going on in my world. Today I am sharing a letter Abby wrote to any woman who is seriously thinking about marriage.

Engagement is an interesting thing, especially for the Christian woman. In my own experience I have found that everyone is eager to ask you a million and one questions about wedding plans, flowers, dresses, décor, and honeymoon location, but rarely does anyone ask how about anything deeper. People typically don’t ask about how you are doing with sticking to physical boundaries, if you are maintaining a healthy spiritual life in the midst of all the stress, or how to be praying for you as a couple. As I have ventured through my own engagement I figured it was time for someone to actually be honest about it all. Being engaged is a unique time of life and it truly is wonderful, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that it is also an extremely challenging time of life. Engagement is a season that you never fully understand until you are in the midst of it. I feel like there are some things dating and newly engaged couples would benefit from knowing as they are things that I wish I would have known that I would like to share with you.

1)    The spiritual battle intensifies. Satan’s goal is to steal kill and destroy. He will do what he can to attack Christian couples at their weakest points. This is not to scare anyone or make things over-spiritualized but we are in a battle and marriage is a high calling in life. When God brings together two people that desire to have a Christ-centered marriage and family, Satan is not going to sit idly by and let that just happen. Throughout my engagement my fiancé reminded me that the spiritual opposition that we faced was somewhat of a confirmation that we were doing things right. Although that might sound strange it is true.

2)      Prayer! The only way to deal with the spiritual opposition and the stress that you face in engagement is by bringing everything to the Lord in prayer.  My fiancé and I prayed about a lot of things because it was a very stressful time for us especially for me. We would pray on the phone together when we were apart, times when we were stressed and overwhelmed by wedding planning, and even before we went to create our wedding registry. Prayer got us through. Dedicate your fiancé, your relationship, and all the wedding planning details to the Lord and trust Him with everything, big and small.
3)      Wedding planning isn’t as important as marriage preparation. There will be so many wedding details and it is exciting and fun to plan, but don’t get so caught up in the wedding planning that you forget to prepare for your marriage. It is important to have balance. Wedding planning is important but be sure to set aside time to just be together and have fun and not talk only about wedding plans. Depending on your personality it can be very stressful to plan such a big event. However, watching wedding shows, while they are fun and entertaining, aren’t actually helpful or practical for the average bride. I found that if you’re not careful wedding shows and such actually can create discontentment. Make the day ultimately about praising God for what He has done in bringing two lives together. The centerpieces and bouquets will be forgotten quickly but the vows made that day will last for the rest of your life! Enjoy the planning and decorating but don’t get so caught up in decorating that you forget the purpose of the whole wedding day. Let it be a day of worship and praise to God. Marriage is made to glorify God! Keep Him as the focus of all the planning.

4)      Physical temptations increase. Accountability is essential. But God’s grace is sufficient.
 For Christian couples the engagement is difficult because the physical desires grow stronger as the wedding day draws closer. People told me that but I didn’t fully understand that until my wedding day got closer. It can be easier to compromise in little ways and push the boundaries. Establishing clear physical boundaries is very important and then sticking to them is even more important. This is not easy by any means, but God’s grace is sufficient. You may mess up but don’t beat yourself up. This is another big area where Satan desires to make you fall but don’t let him have that satisfaction. If you push the boundaries a bit too far communicate and talk about things with your significant other, pray about this part of your relationship and find people to keep you accountable. I wanted to be able to walk down the aisle in a white dress, proud of what I had done and knowing I had made my Heavenly Father proud. Keep eternal focus in this and remember that love truly is patient and waiting until your wedding night will definitely be worth it! 

5)      ENJOY!! The thing to remember is that you will only be engaged once (hopefully!). Make the most of this time. Enjoy being engaged. Enjoy the last few months before you are married and use it as time to prepare your heart for marriage. Continue investing in people. Continue daily spending time in God’s presence. Remember that it is only by His grace that you two were brought together to this point. The same God who brought you together in His perfect timing will sustain you through your engagement. Trust Him. Believe it to be true. As a woman, so many new emotions come up in the engagement time. There will be tears of frustration, joy, and stress but that’s ok. God is more than enough for these times. Don’t let all the stress that comes with engagement rob you of the joy that God desires for you. Yes, there will be stressful days but keep the end goal in mind. You are getting married. God has called you and your fiancé to be part of the closest picture that there is on earth to the relationship between Christ and the Church. That is a high calling and let the engagement be a time that you enjoy to the fullest as God intended.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full!” John 10:10

Monday, June 3, 2013

Thankful for the little things...

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well. 
 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16 
 This is one of my favorite portions of scripture. It speaks so beautifully about life and who the creator of life is. With God there are no accidents, before our mothers even know we are there, God is knitting us together beautifully.
Today I am praising God for the work He is doing knitting together my first grandchild! This little one is just a little bit bigger than a kumquat and growing every day. What an amazing thing for my first born to be expecting her first born. Words can't even begin to describe the emotions Brian and I have been having for the past month! 
Had to look up what a kumquat looked like.
People have told us there is nothing like being a grandparent and we are excited to find out that joy come December. It is hard to imagine anything more wonderful than becoming a parent, so it is with great anticipation that we await the arrival our little kumquat!
There is no doubt in my mind about the kind of parents Ashley and Larry will be. This little baby is going to be so loved! Ashley has been ready to be a mom since kindergarten, God wired her with this desire and we are so excited that He has answered the cry of her heart. 
Stay tuned as I am sure I will be flooding my blog and facebook page with pictures soon enough! First ultrasound should be within the next month!!