October 27, 2015

5 things I'm learning in marriage...

Blessed beyond measure. These are the words that come to mind when I think of my husband and our relationship. Getting to wake up with my best friend, going through our days together, laughing, questioning, struggling and learning. 

I know so many people who have had rough first years of marriage and it makes me wonder why God has blessed us so. And just so you don't think we think life is perfect, there have been other very hard struggles and lessons, both personally and externally.

These are a few of the things I'm learning along the way.

1 // It's okay to be amateur.
Neither of us were ever married before. So that makes two of us on a new adventure. We both have a lot to learn, grow and be redeemed in. But the cool thing is that's okay. We are in this together. We don't have to be perfect (well, I'm learning that too...). We don't even have to know how to do it all right.

2 // Marriage is so much better than you think it will be.
"Be ready for the honeymoon to end" or "make sure you don't have expectations for they will for sure crash" and "it's going to be rough" were the many responses I received over and over when we announced our engagement. That stinks. Why do we have to make marriage sound so depressing? I wanted to ask, "why did you ever get married in the first place?" Sharing dreams, lessons, friendships, food, laughter, adventure and every day life is just good.

3  // Marriage is harder than you think it's going to be.
For me the rough thing hasn't been living so much with another person but rather having the reality of who I am be seen! There are times when you realize just how much you and your husband stink at life, love and grace.

4 // Cooking failures are not the greatest disaster.
I don't have many of these but when I do it is about the worse thing in the world! There are still tears when the occasional mistake happens (thankfully most things are edible :) ) but slowly I'm realizing that my husband's approach to seeing reason for  laughter in the disaster is good.

5 // Dating is even more fun when married.
Seriously. Mostly because there's no goodbye at the end. Though it does take more intentional time now in married life, but that's good. In the business of life it can be easy to forget to take the time to just listen and enjoy each other.

all photos credited to the fabulous Amelia Protiva

and this week I'm linking up with several great places:
Intentional Tuesdays, #TellHisStory,

October 19, 2015

our {new} life

Earlier this year, we saw God begin to open up tiny steps towards the big dream He has given us. It seemed like a million things needed to fall into place to even start on the first part but He has been faithful. It's exciting to see my husband light up as God has opened doors for his vision.

We dream of living in another country as disciples of Jesus. And that means actually working as an every day person. It has been a vision slowly coming together in the past few years as we desire to live in everyday life with people showing them the life of Jesus.

Part of starting towards that is schooling. My handsome man is pursuing a business degree (& some other exciting adventures) while I get to take a few classes here and there while trying to pursue some other interest.

Enter school life...a long road that feels a little overwhelming. Our first few years are going to be a small school in NW PA with continued college education after that. For now we are learning to explore, appreciate and learn in a rural area of Pennsylvania. We have hopes of where we want to keep going believing that God is leading our dreams.

Life in the eastern part of the US is sure a change for this Midwestern girl!

But it's good and full of adventures. 

October 14, 2015

glimpses of grace: {to thrive}

God is love. Three simple words that mean so much. How does one even begin to describe it? The age haunting question...what does it mean love?

Recently for a journaling assignment as part of a group I am in at school this year we were asked to write a picture of what we see when we say, "God is love."  The Bible tells us that God is love. But what is? and what is love? My analytic mind can go round and round. It seems like a definition way too large.

As I searched through definitions, this one caught my eye: love - to thrive in {example: the rose loves to be in the sunlight} and while we're at it thrive - to grow or develop successfully, to flourish or succeed. 

When we reach toward His face and let His grace, love, faithfulness, patience and pursuit fall onto us we can flourish. When we delight in the relationship He pursues with us, we can grow.

To thrive in. To flourish. Isn't that just a beautiful picture of God as love? When we let his love into our life, we will thrive. Become fully alive. We weren't called to survive this life, we are called to THRIVE in this life. A journey I have a lot to learn in. "I have come that you might have light and have it more abundantly."

October 10, 2015

Currently {October}

 October already?! This year keeps flying by. Crazy that one of my most favorite times of the year is here. (Right up there with winter, spring and summer lake days, of course)

Fall - the colors, the weather, the clothes, the events.

Trees showing forth a their hues of yellows, oranges and reds. Being in NW PA this year means a gorgeous display.

It's just a great time of year to be alive. Snuggles under blankets around cozy campfires. Hot drinks outside in air with the perfect chill. A hint of winter just around the corner.

Now that life is starting settle down a bit, I'm excited to get back into blogging. To start things off, I'm linking up with Anne & Jenna to say a few things that are currently going on in my life.

eating // apples, pumpkin, soups - hello fall! I feel like there are so many of recipes to try.

exploring // our new area! The little towns around us have lots of old history. Discovering new coffee shops, lovely walks, old churches and unique restaurants is our thing so there's plenty to do. Between studying, classes and house projects, I mean.

wearing // #allthefalls - Scarves, plaids, sweaters, leggings and boots. Fall and winter clothing are some of my favorites!

admiring // Settling into our new home - what is there I don't want?! but the biggest thing right now is all the gorgeous fall photo shoots. I mean seriously isn't this shoot so cute?! My husband and I really wanted a 1st anniversary shoot but couldn't get it to work this summer. Plus we aren't really a "summer" couple. Anybody else identify their moods by the weather?

collecting // ideas for beautifying yet simplifying our home. 

What's your favorite thing about fall? I'd love to hear!

October 2, 2015

an unexpected event

Endless to-do lists. Homework assignments. Classes. 

House projects. Unpacking. A new area.

These are the things filling our lives these days. Busyness all around.

Then the unexpected. 

A stomach ache. My husband thought it was the result of low sleep (due to canoe trip with took with fellow students last weekend and other guests we had for a night) and figured it'd soon pass. But as Tuesday went on it continued to get worse with the addition of fever. Shortly after lunch, he about passed out when standing up. Not good. And then we began to think of appendicitis. Was this it? 

A few hours later we decided it would be best to at least check it out. It was getting very severe and seemed to have passed beyond a normal virus. 

The to-dos were forgotten. I was suddenly in the ER with a very sick and hurting man. Oh how hard it was to see my dear husband so worn, so hurting. Now I had to make decisions and choose what was best. Finally after a few hours we got the verdict: acute appendicitis. 

After a heart wrenching, long, night by my husband's side watching him suffer, he went safely through surgery. So many emotions raced through my mind. It was relief when he was finally able to go in, knowing that the chances of it bursting were high.

God's grace has been so good through this time. Grace sustaining us through the fear, the questions, the decisions. The grace to go ahead and go in. And now the grace for us to trust for the twists this has made in the school semester.

{the next day at home}

With a much more grateful heart, I made coffee at home. Savoring being with my husband. Even though he was groggy and in pain, he was with me. He is okay. I can kiss him. I can be with him. And today I can hug him. I know in reality it was minor compared to what so many go through but it still causes you to stop and take a breath.

Then this month we've seen new friends have to walk through the death of two loved ones. It's painful. Don't take life for granted. Kiss the one you love. Give those hugs, that time and love.