It has been exactly two months and nineteen days since I married my best friend. Our wedding day was the happiest day of our lives. Several days ago, I remembered a prayer I said years before I met my husband. I had just started more specifically praying for a God-fearing husband. One day, after asking for the Holy Spirit to grant me wisdom to know how to pray for God’s chosen spouse for me, I found myself on my knees eager to offer up one of my most earnest prayers. It was one that didn’t have any ‘specifics’ that were left up to me, but left all the results totally up to God.
Lord, I pray that you would grant me a husband and marriage that would help me have a deeper understanding of Your love for me. May he be one that not only hears the words of my mouth, but listens to the song in my heart.
That was it. Short and simple. My prayer journals began filling up with other specific prayers for my future husband, yet that prayer never ceased to leave my mind. I knew only God could help me best understand true love.
It’s been a little over two months since I became a wife. Some days, I find myself wondering what I did to deserve my husband. I often find myself in overwhelmingly grateful and happy tears. The tears come when my husband sends me a text message right before leaving work, asking if I need anything from the grocery store. It happens when he comes home with herbs, spices and other ingredients for the dinner he knew I was making but didn’t have all the ingredients for. Tears roll down my cheeks when he gladly sets up our Roland studio keyboard and recording equipment so I can get back to making music - a project I have been wanting to accomplish for years. I cry happy tears when he wakes up at 5am to help me prepare for an upcoming potluck that requires tedious food preparation…which usually means hours of varicose-forming standing at our “very purple kitchen” (as he likes to call it). When he spends hours on FaceTime with my parents and plans the details of our time together during their upcoming/next visit, my heart can’t help but feel like bursting with joy as I realize love is not something we must deserve in order to receive.
Love is a GIFT from God.
The Blessing of Answered Prayers
God’s answers to prayers never cease to blow me away! Four weeks ago today, after much prayer, I made the decision to move to San Diego. Since then I asked God to give me an apartment and a roommate. My biggest plea was for Him to provide me with a roommate I could be a blessing to…and vice versa. Someone I could pray and spiritually grow with. I began searching all over the internet. Craigslist, Trulia, Apartment.com, Rent.com…you name it. But a still small voice whispered and told me to stop with the ‘.coms’ already and to simply just trust God with my move from the east coast to the west coast. I finally stopped searching online and prayed for God to do the searching for me. He used my wonderful and supportive fiancé, Bible study friends and new church family to be my hands and feet.
One week ago today, Kerwin and I knocked on the door of what is now my new home. My new roommate and I hugged and introduced ourselves. She gave me a tour of the place, and before Kerwin left to go home, the three of us gathered in the living room and I said a short prayer to ask for God’s guidance and wisdom for us all, thanking Him for His provisions and perfect timing.
Fast forward to last night. Cheryl and I had a blast talking for hours about our life experiences and God’s remarkable answers to our prayers. We found ourselves laughing (so hard our cheeks and abs hurt) and tearfully crying all at the same time. At one point we started asking each other why we were crying! LOL! We were so overjoyed God brought us together as an answer to both our prayers. It was an exhilarating and affirming experience! It was fresh air to both our souls! And to top it all off, Kerwin came over and the three of us prepared and had dinner together. The evening ended with Kerwin’s delicious banana ice cream and a relaxing walk near the canyon (but not in the canyon due to rattle snakes…yikes!) around the neighborhood under a clear and starlit San Diego sky with the full moon beaming down at us.
This year has been full of wonderful Eureka moments. Yesterday was overflowing with many! Our Heavenly Father is not only one amazing life Author. He is also a Matchmaker, love story Director/Producer, Real Estate Agent, Life Manager, coast-to-coast Moving Conductor, Divine Premarital Counselor, Wedding Coordinator, Financial Adviser, Prayer Hearer and Wiper of happy tears.
Once again, GOD has provided countless and new ways of making my favorite Bible verse more true and real for me. Heaven is truly His Costco and when He blesses, He blesses in bulk!
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4
Oh, how much I’ve missed you! I’ve got news! Wonderful news! Since the last time I shared (and I mean really shared) about my life, I’ve fallen in love with a wonderful man of God. His name is Kerwin. I could very easily say he’s the man of my dreams. But I would rather say he’s the man of my prayers. He’s my best friend! He has a heart that is on fire for God and His work. He makes me laugh so effortlessly. Calls me his “silly beans”. Perhaps it has to do with him bringing the goof out of me. He gives of himself and his time to those in need. Loves music just as much as I do…and plays the piano, too! Most of all, he is a prayer warrior and a wonderful spiritual leader.
On June 28, at the top of Stone Mountain (where we went on one of our very first dates), he asked me to be his wife…to marry him and be his helpmeet for the rest of our God-given lives.
For years I claimed the promise in Psalm 37:4. It is my favorite verse.It says, "Delight also yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." As I look back today, I praise God for His abundant blessings. In giving me my fiancé, He has given me one of the deepest desires of my heart. The desire to serve Him with a helpmeet that loves Him first…and me second.
…because truly, a heart that loves God above anything else is a heart worth loving - with a love worth trusting. :)
On Orchids, Ice Cubes and Patient Witnessing
Meet my beautiful Hawaiian orchid plant! It is tall with gorgeous flowers that go so well with my pinkish lavender-colored room. It was a just-because-I-love-you present from my amazing and thoughtful Mom. Ahhh, yes! I am quite fond of the love language of orchids (all all sorts of flowers)! Yes, I do believe it is a love language! It is my Mom’s! :)
If you’ve ever taken care of orchids then you know it is best to water these beauties with ice, which allows the water to release in a slow drip as the ice melts. A long time ago I was watering an orchid and poured water like I usually do with my other plants, and quickly learned it wasn’t the best way to water an orchid. Mmm-mmm. As I was wiping the water off the floor I thought, “Note to self: orchids are not fond of drowning.” Lesson learned.
Prayer makes the best “Good morning” and the best “Goodnight”! This morning I’m thankful for the refreshing privilege of coming to our Heavenly Father in prayer at any time of every and any day and just say, “Good morning/afternoon/evening, Dad! Soooo wonderful to spend time with You today!” :)
“I win, I win. I lose, I win.”
Some time ago my dad and I were having a conversation about seeing the positives in life’s negatives. He shared with me a saying from a speech he once wrote while running for the leadership role of student government/body president in college.
“I win, I win. I lose, I win,” he said.
When I asked what he implied with the statement, he told me that either way, if he won or lost the election, he still considered both results as a winning situation. I admire my dad’s optimism and am thankful for the reminder that even when we lose some battles we still win with the victory of knowing we’ve fought the fight. That, I believe, is a winning (and a winner’s) attitude!
Two weeks ago I was in Panama City, FL. The sun was up, the breeze was perfect, the sky was a beeee-autiful shade of blue, the dunes were filled with greenery that swayed in the cool September breeze. The water was just the right temperature…and the sand? Oh, it felt absolutely perfect between my toes. I had gone to the beach with every intention of reading a good book that day, but I didn’t even touch the book while I was at the beach! As soon as I managed to put on some sunblock…well, I was in the water.
Looking back I vividly recall running my fingers through the sand as I carefully selected shells to take home with me. I remember the seagulls that occasionally dropped by to see if we had food with us. I also remember the sound of children’s laughter as they climbed up the sand dunes and excitedly rolled down the ‘hill’.
As I was leaving the beach a couple hours later I noticed the shadows under the beach umbrellas that lined the shore. Those who wanted to stay in the shade had to reposition themselves or their umbrellas if they were to have any shade at all.
…then a thought struck me. Allow me to share.
We know that shadows don’t stay in one place as the earth rotates and revolves around the sun. While the Earth rotates and revolves around the sun, the sun continues to stay in place. Likewise, our thoughts, emotions and circumstances change as we go through the varying seasons of life. People, roles, jobs, relationships, material possessions…these may come and go, but there is one Constant who has been, is and will be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of Righteousness. Being under His ‘shade’ (protection) means being in constant motion in our pursuit of and search for the truth. Everything from our knowledge of His word, our prayers and our faith…must be in a heavenward progressive motion.
As go and grow through life we learn an important truth: as seasons change, so do our prayers. Protection from the snares of the evil one comes from a daily committal of our ways to God. Asking for His divine guidance and wisdom at the beginning of the year doesn’t automatically mean we won’t ever need to ask for His help throughout the year. Similarly, surrendering our day to Him in the morning doesn’t negate our need to pray for divine guidance and intervention throughout the day.
As we go from one variable to another, we will continue to rediscover our constant need of a Constant Savior. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get our prayers and our faith in motion!
I can go to sleep with a smile in my heart now! Got to welcome the Sabbath on a sweet musical note. Several to be exact. Also very happy to be reunited with a really old piano book (above the yellow one near the bottom) with concert transcriptions of favorite hymns. It’s torn and the color of the pages are…so…Shakespearean. Love! :) Events that transpired while playing Joy to The World: multiple crescendos » more crescendos » excitement » torso leans forward for crescendo » head almost hits the piano. Sabbath + music = :) (Taken with Instagram)
Beach day in Panama City, FL [click on photos for captions]
My own private view of the sunrise only a few steps from the tent. My heart is singing the words of a song: “In the morning I see His face, in the evening His form I trace. In the darkness His voice I know. I see Jesus everywhere I go. Let the little sunshine in, let the little sunshine in. Open wide the windows, open wide the doors; let the little sunshine in.” Goooood morning and Happy Friday, beautiful world! :) (Taken with Instagram)
Nighttime reading, ‘Dear Diary-ing’ and gratitude journaling in the tent while also enjoying the view of the water and the silhouette of trees through the screen door. So thankful for headlamps! Might be a late night of just listening to nature’s music though. The sound of the water lapping on the shore is absolutely soothing! The sound of the breeze whistling through the trees is also the perfect goodnight wish! This evening is sooooo refreshing I’d rather stay awake, listen and not miss out on a single measure of this beautiful September evening lullaby. Oh, and did I mention I’m finally getting that cricket serenade I’ve been missing? Makes. My. Heart. Smile. Thankful for moments like this. :) (Taken with Instagram)
Things that make me smile:
- Playing Lowrey, an old and dusty, but still-so-full-of-soul piano for half an hour at an antique surplus store
- Celebrating Mother’s birthday
- Journals galore at the Barnes and Noble’s journal section. They have an entire wall full of journals!
- Going on a mental/visual vacation to Italy at the Barnes and Noble’s kiddie section…something I used to do several years ago
- A quill and a musician’s notebook for calligraphy and songwriting.
- Shopping for organic fruits to use for juicing
- Getting creative and saving money by using Lowe’s free paint palettes as white balance cards for photography. Plus! A new book purchased at Barnes, the StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
- Finally getting a candid shot of my dad laughing :)