Thursday, September 20, 2012

a wedding update

thank you for all the comments on my last post. so nice to know we can all relate to that struggle in some way or another. hopefully we can stay conscious about the areas we need to grow in and work towards it!

i realized that i haven't mentioned too many details about my upcoming nuptials on social media and thought it might be nice to fill you in on what jeff and i have managed to accomplish thus far!

the most important detail is done- the honeymoon! haha! just kidding. i mean choosing the date. but the honeymoon is actually booked and we are headed to a gorgeous all-inclusive in jamaica. i might have already bought myself a cute floppy beach hat on clearance at target a couple weeks ago. just sayin'.

so the date... we settled on april 14th! summer is a crazy time for jeff's job that includes a month of him being away to run young life camp and we both agreed we wanted to be married before that so i could go with him and we can enjoy the crazy summer without wedding stress. plus, i had no desire for a long engagement so that put us at almost 8 months. but now it's just under 7! time is already flying by!

april 14th does fall on a sunday and we chose that because let's face it- we can save money! those savings will allow us to invite more people, which given our completely separate social circles is a MUST! we've chosen to have our reception at a renovated barn that is owned by one of our local premiere caterers. they offered us an all-inclusive package price that was just too good to pass up! i really love the idea of the barn... it's just more me and my style. it's renovated so it's a good blend between a ballroom and a barn. here's a peek at the outside although there are more renovations happening outside including lots of landscaping and removing the sheds and stuff.

we also booked our photographer last week! we are so blessed to have been able to snag the incredible joy moody. she actually photographed my sister's wedding 5 years ago and we've all managed to stay in touch thanks to social media. after i got engaged i emailed her about the date we were looking at and she informed me that she had just had a destination wedding in mexico get canceled. that settled the date for me! we met with her last week at her studio and she is just so talented. i cannot wait for her to capture our special day! to give you an idea of just how amazing she is i'll tell you this- this past june vice president joe biden's daughter got married in delaware and joy was the wedding photographer. so yeah. not much else needs to be said after that!

that's pretty much where we are with the planning at this point. obviously i need to find my dress still... but we've got our officiants confirmed... bridal party secured... although i still need to come up with a cute way to ask them... we'll see if that happens...

honestly though, things have been coming together so smoothly. i'm seriously shocked every time something works out so easily. it's been a blessing and huge weight off my shoulders to have some of the big decisions already taken care of!

i'll try to keep the blog updated with things as they come!

let's face it... the most exciting part of this whole journey is that i get to marry jeff... a man who carefully wooed my seriously tender heart... who was patient with me as i struggled to trust again... who makes me laugh every single day... who is so quick to remind me how much he loves me... who i will one day get to start a family with... and the list goes on.  in all the details of the wedding day i don't want to lose sight that it's about he and i and what God has done in bringing us together. i hope our wedding day can be a reflection of the love we have for Him and each other and the joy we both feel in having found one another!

grace and peace,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the "c" word


does that word send chills up anyone's spine? for many it probably does. either that or a lightening bolt of energy if you're one of those who thrive on it. i find that we're often wired hard one way or the other when it comes to this phenomenon of human interaction. fight or flight if you will. it might be because of the unhealthy ways we've seen it happen to others, or even ourselves. whatever your opinion on the word is, you cannot escape it. confrontation is a natural, and necessary, part of relationships and therefore life.

i have been blessed to be in a community of people who are working towards living in emotional health. in other words, we are learning what it means to be able to remain in loving relationship with one another despite our differences and how to communicate and express ourselves in the most mature and loving way. have we perfected it? absolutely not! is it a vast improvement from the way i lived my life before? a resounding YES!

sometimes i take for granted how far we've all come and how rare these types of interactions are, especially when i deal with people from outside that learning environment. this is where i'll share my example from yesterday. i came into the building that i work in and decided to stop by the office of another woman (not associated with where i work, just the same building). i hadn't yet told her my exciting engagement news and figured it was about time since i see her several times a week. i walked into the office and gleefully exclaimed (while holding up my left hand) that i got engaged! the next thing out of her mouth was, "oh who's the lucky guy this time?" yes, emphasis on the this time. BOOM. i felt like i had the wind knocked out of me. it took everything within me to remain composed and finish my conversation with her. i was shaking as i made my way to my office. my pastor (that i work for) was in the office and i recounted what had just happened to him. he, too was shocked and surprised at the abrasiveness of the comment. i told myself that i would just "shrug it off" and "let it go." how many times do we tell ourselves that? how often does that really work? i mean come on, let's be real. it doesn't go away. it stays and it usually boils and festers and turns into bitterness, unforgiveness and sometimes an explosive rush of emotions because we bottled it up.

not too long later i had to go back into her office to use her fax machine. as i'm standing at the fax machine i can hear that still, small voice telling me that i needed to share my feelings with her. i needed to let her know that her comment hurt me. and thankfully, this time, i obeyed. i turned around and asked her if we could talk for a minute and then i proceeded, as calmly and as lovingly as i could, to tell her how her words made me feel. to let her know that the fact that i have been engaged before is a very sensitive subject for me. i told her that it was never my desire to have to end my previous engagement and i shared with her some of the pain and hurt that led to that decision. obviously her intent was never to hurt me and i knew that, but that didn't change the fact that her comment still hurt me. what ended up transpiring was, what i believe, a great conversation where she shared with me some of the things she was struggling with and i did my best to encourage her in her journey. her eyes welled up with tears and honestly my heart broke for this woman. i was able to look on her with compassion and see the struggle she was going through. i never would have been able to have that experience if i hadn't chosen to share my feelings with her.

when we minimize and ignore our feelings we hurt not only ourselves, but others as well. we deny THEM the opportunity to grow as we are! we also lose a part of ourselves by not being honest about how we really feel. our feelings are valid and real to us, even if someone tries to rationalize them and tell us otherwise. i know for many this is a difficult concept to grasp because our feelings have been ignored. we have been told that we are wrong to feel a certain way. that if the other person didn't intend to hurt us then we have no right to be hurt. that way of thinking can be so destructive and damaging to our fragile human hearts.

from the other side, i know that it can be difficult to sit there while someone tells you that you've hurt them. it's literally painful for me to sit quietly and just listen while not cutting them off or interjecting to defend myself. in fact, i still do it sometimes. but it's something that i am much more aware of and working hard to be better at because it's a much healthier form of communication and ultimately it's the most loving way to respond.

i just felt led to share this today in the hopes that it helps or encourages someone in their interactions with others. this world could use a lot more love and peace and it starts with us.

grace and peace,