Monday, November 29, 2010


Transitions are difficult. I think, for me, it is the fear of the unknown. Why change when right now is so wonderful? I think that is why I approach my wedding day different than most giddy, over-the-top excited girls. I have been dating Anthony for almost four years, and it has been wonderful! He loves taking care of me and showing me how much he loves me. And I LOVE being the recipient of his affection. He knows when I need space and is very supportive of my time that I spend with my girlfriends because he knows I need it desperately! He has spoiled me rotten. For years he has been telling me that he does this because he likes to see me happy. I think, finally, I am starting to believe him.

My old youth pastor once said that the only reason the first year of marriage is hard is if one or both of the people are being selfish. As I think about our wedding day, it really is just the start of a commitment that is to be lived out daily. And that is where I am going to have to start working on myself. It is never fun to really delve deep inside yourself and really figure out what your true motivations are. It's not fun because usually our motivations are selfish. In order for Anthony to fulfill his God-given role in marriage as the leader, I need to be pursuing my role as a submissive, respectful wife. Men crave respect. Women need love. That's why God commanded men to love their wives. He didn't command women to love their husbands because He knew it would come naturally to the woman if the man was loving her. However, God did command wives to submit to their husbands. Because if the husband is feeling respected, he will in turn love his wife. It is an endless cycle for good or for bad depending on how the "players" choose to "play." If the wife does not respect the husband, he will not show her love, if the wife is not loved, she will not show her husband respect. MMMMMM.....Isn't it great that God created us each with specific desires and roles, and that they fit so perfectly together if we just obey??

Anyway, back to transitions, me and Anthony's relationship will be changing greatly. And a lot of the change needs to happen internally before it can happen externally. So, as I approach marriage, I am humbled by the great responsibility I will soon have as a wife. Selfishly, it would be easier to stay dating because than I wouldn't have to do a self-analysis. However, I love Anthony very much, and he deserves all the respect I can show and give him. But more importantly, I love God. More than anything I would love for our marriage to be a picture of Christ redeeming His church, the bride. A picture that points others to Christ. I just want to be a tool that brings shows others the love of Christ.

PS We are starting a new book called Love and Respect. That is where I stole the love and respect stuff, but good stuff, right? More to come with that latter...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pitch the Tent

Every summer when I was younger my family and I used to go camping. Sometimes we would go more than once, but we always made sure we made it to Lake Murray, Oklahoma, every year. The day before we went camping, my dad and brothers would load the station wagon and the trailer. We didn't always have the trailer. Before that, we would have to stuff everything into the back of the station wagon and stuff the six of us in the front half of the station wagon. Getting the trailer was definitely a good thing. It gave us a lot more space and saved my poor mother from hearing, "Mom, he's touching me!" My mom was very organized in the packing. She had a very long list of camping must haves that she saved from year to year. I think that one year we forgot something critical like tent stakes or something, hence the list. We were authentic campers, so we brought all of our food. I think I helped my mom get all of this stuff ready.

On the way to Lake Murray, we would play car bingo. You know, the little board with pictures of a tractor or a railroad crossing sign and once you found it you got to cover it up. Sometimes my mom would have taped books for us to listen to, like Hank the Cow dog. It was only a two and half hour drive, but that was like an eternity for us because we were used to flying everywhere.

We usually went to the same campsite every year. It was on a little peninsula, jetting out into the lake. It was right across from a large dock where we went fishing occasionally. Most importantly, however, it was a good distance from the bathrooms.

We would spend our days swimming in front of our campsite or making clay figurines that we always would want to take back home with us, but my mom wisely refused because they just turned back into dirt. Sometimes it would be just so hot that we would just lay in the water all day.

One of my favorite memories of camping was the meals. We had the best dinners around the campfire. We made pizzas and fruit pies in cast iron skillets. We made hobo dinners--take meatballs, potatoes, and corn, put in tin foil, set on the coals. My dad would popcorn. We would make s'mores. O, breakfast was always really good, too. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, mmmm boy!

I hope that when I have a family we will take fun camping trips like this. Even though it was super hot most of the time, the parts I remember the most was spending time with my siblings, playing games, and being together. Toward the end of high school it became a lot harder for us to schedule trips because everyone had a job, but more recently we have been able to go camping in Tyler with Eric, Sheryl, and Emily. We usually spend a lot of time reminiscing about old camp trips or poking fun of my dad and his very specific ways. I hope I never forget the fun times we have had camping:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Run like the Wind

Sometimes it is just so hard for me to get up in the morning. It is not because I am tired. I don't hit the snooze on my alarm. I am actually awake enough to reset my alarm accurately. Maybe it has something to do with the cold and my amazing electric blanket. I like going to work, so I am not trying to hide from that obligation. I can only imagine that getting up is going to be ten times worse when I get married.

But I have been really trying to get up in the morning to spend some uninterrupted time with the Lord. Usually I can manage to come up with some excuse and justify that I can do it later in the day, but, for me, that never really happens. I also have always thought in my head that, "Oh, I am just in an inbetween stage. Once I get all settled, I can get on a schedule." But that is such a lazy attitude. I could define any part of my life as the inbetween stage. No more inbetween stage! I am going to take advantage of every stage of my life.

I also have started running again. A friend of mine from school roped me into running a 5k a month or so ago, and I just did it spur of the moment, no training. Since then, I have started running. (The 5k that I ran felt like death because I was so not ready.) Running really makes me feel better. Sometimes I really, and I mean really, have to convince myself to go running, but after I run, I am always glad I did. Exercise is also something I have also excused because I keep thinking that need to have my life organized completely and have nothing out of whack.

Spending time with the Lord and exercise are two things that don't require one's life to be completely in order. If that was the case, they probably would feel like that didn't need either one of these. I need both desperately. Both make me feel drastically better about myself and my life. Both take effort that is abundantly rewarded in the end. Happy Wednesday:)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Clean Room

My room has been so incredibly messy lately. Growing up, I shared a room with my sister, and I was always the cleaner one. Maybe I was just trying to prove that I was better. Now that I am not rooming with anyone, it has become quite the disaster. Come to think of it...I AM a lot cleaner when I share a room with someone. I also shared a room with a roommate, and I kept it relatively clean. Well, maybe there is hope for Anthony. Haha:) It will be better in an apartment though because currently my entire life is in one room. Anyway, I didn't have anything to do tonight (which is such an amazing feeling), so I decided to tackle my room. I usually have to do this big major cleaning like once a week. The amount of clothes that I try on, take off, or actually wear is amazing. And all over my floor ever week.
I also wanted to start throwing away stuff that I haven't used before I have to move to the apartment. I like doing this. If I haven't used it since the last time I threw stuff away, then it gets tossed. I only got threw my makeup, and jewelry, and medicine, and purses, but I already have two big bags of trash. I know that I have clothes to get rid of. This will give me a lot more room in my drawers...woohooo no more stuffing clothes in tiny places. This is my project for Thanksgiving week.

My floor is clean. There is still gobs to be done, but at least I can sleep tonight.