Love bringing us Together

So my wonderful husband gave me the book Soul Cravings by Erwin Mcmanus for Christmas, and it is pretty amazing!  So far I've read about half of the entries on Intimacy.  He talks about every human being's desperation for love.  It is incredible to realize the truth that we are all made for love...made to give love, to receive love, to pursue love, to live for love.  And we are made by a God who IS love.  Mcmanus explores the concept of unconditional love.  The only love humans can really give is conditional...our best love may be close to unconditional, but we are imperfect and we love imperfect people.  But God loves us without hesitation and without requirement.  One of the greatest failings of religion is to assume that we must earn the love of God.  God is a true lover, a perfect love-giver.  He does not need a reason to love us.  He pursues us because He can do no other thing, and He doesn't want to do anything else.  He desires to be in relationship with us.  How amazing!  And the even more amazing thing is that His kind of love can explode in our lives.  True love is insatiable.  I believe Erwin Mcmanus says it best when he writes, "Love can never be simply between you and God.  It can never be limited to that relationship.  Jesus makes that clear.  Love is ever expanding.  Love always grows, not just deeper, but wider.  Love always loves people more and always loves more people.  Love calls us to community; love calls us to humanity; love calls us to each other."

So let's stop being afraid of love!  Let's work together in our mutual imperfections to rid ourselves of abandonment issues and self-doubt.  Let's join in community, leaving no outcasts, no person unloved or uninvited into our home.  Because God is that home.  And with Him, with true Love, everyone is welcome.


Celebrating Half a Year of Marriage

So Mikey and I celebrated our 6 month-aversary today, and it's been wonderful so far!  We got to sleep in a little bit until Mikey's band practice.  Then, all afternoon we just hung out together...going to Barnes, finishing some Christmas shopping, watching a movie...it was so wonderful! We've both been so busy lately that it felt amazing to get to take a break out of our busy schedules to devote purely to one another. 
 After a restful afternoon, we went downtown for dinner, planning on going to Meritage, one of our favorites, but it was closed. So we headed to Southend Brewery and parked on the battery.  It was gorgeous! The sun was finishing setting, and we snagged a picture before heading off to dinner.  The restaurant kept the doors along its entire front side open, so we could see and hear downtown.  It was so fun!  

After dinner, we walked back along the battery and then went for some ice cream.  It has been such a fabulous day so far, and it has helped to remind me even more than usual of what an amazing husband I have.  I have been so blessed and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us!  But there's still plenty of 6 month-aversary left to celebrate, so that's all for now!

We Finally Got our Wedding Video!!


Merry Christmas!!

Watch this!! If you do not laugh out loud for real, I am amazed!



Consuming God

With all of the business and inherent work of this time of year, it can be hard to keep working for the right reasons.  So many of us become satisfied with just getting by in life.  I do not mean that we do just enough to get by, although that can often be the case.  I'm talking about when we work and strive for the bare necessities.  We concern ourselves with food and clothes, with relationships and accomplishments, and I find at least, that sometimes I forget what life is really about.  In John 6, Jesus is talking to a crowd that follows him across a river to where and he and his disciples have gone, and he tells him that they aren't really seeking Him or the Truth He offers.  Instead, He says that they're following Him because He just gave them food and filled up their bellies.  I believe we do that too often.  We ask God to satisfy us with things that won't last, and sometimes those things are important, like food or relationships.  But no matter how important some things may be, no matter how much we need them, our need for God must be greater than our necessities.  He is even more vital to our life, even more essential to our happiness, even more crucially fixed to our survival!  We need to stop making God the dispenser of what we need, and instead, make Him what we need!  Jesus tells the people who have followed Him seeking more fulfillment, "do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you" (John 6:27).  When our life becomes about getting by, about obtaining what we need for a comfortable life, we have lost the REAL life that Jesus offers us!  What we really and truly need, what we cannot live without, what is essential to everlasting life and eternal joy in heaven, is Jesus.  God Himself.  Not what He offers us, but what He is.  May we start seeking God instead of stuff, understanding of His will instead of what faithfulness will get us.  May we stop living to consume what God gives us, and instead, consume Him and savor the True Bread of Life.  The Giver of All Good Things because He is All Good, All Perfect, Righteousness, Love.  He is what I need.  May He be what I live for and what I seek daily.


The Final Stretch...Can I Make It?

Life is SO crazy right now.  Mikey is always busy with the church for Genesis or the Link or the Christmas Eve service, plus his other job.  And my work suddenly decided to schedule a million birthdays for me to do on Sundays when we haven't had any in forever!!  Besides that, I feel like all I've been doing is studying or thinking "I should be studying instead of..." haha.  But it will all be worth it when finals are done in the next week and a half.  I've adopted the strategy of studying as I go because most of my exams are pretty spread out, so when I finish my first two on Wednesday (Organic Chem and Western Civ on the same day! eek!), then I'll worry about my next two on Saturday, etc.  I'm trying not to stress because I know my stuff pretty well and have done alright all year, but I've accepted by now that it is simply in my nature to worry and to work REALLY REALLY hard.  So here I am, taking a brief break from studying to blog out my frustrations, and soon I'll be hitting the books again.  All in all, I am MUCH calmer than I've ever been with so much to do...plus trying to figure out my future.  I think I've decided to get EMT certified this summer and put off med school for another year.  I'll still graduate early, but just a semester, not a whole year, so I can keep my scholarships and take random classes like biochem and anatomy/physiology that are supposed to be good before med school...we'll see.  And besides all of these plans, I've got work and an awesome husband, family, and friends that I want and need to spend time with!  So I'll get back to studying for now, and try to live in the moment later and not worry about the tests looming over my head until Christmas break finally arrives.


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....

So in between studying and band practices, Mikey and I have found the time for some Christmas cheer!!  Sunday night we made cinnamon ornaments, which are very sentimentally dear to me because I had them on my tree when I was a little girl and my favorite cat used to rub against them and smell like cinnamon every Christmas!  So Mikey and I got our hands a little dirty and made them!
Then, we went Monday night to get our tree, but sadly, they were closed! I was so upset, but Mikey made cinnamon rolls and we ended up having a great night anways...and then we got our tree this afternoon.  Now don't think I'm weird, but my family has this tradition of naming our trees every year...so I wanted to carry that on in my new family with Mikey, so our tree has been dubbed Edwardo!  He is a really cute little fat tree.  Mikey met me on a break from work, and we picked him out and brought him home.  We just got done decorating good ole Edwardo with all our new, slightly cheap, but very sparkly decorations, and adding some festive lights to our porch! :) haha  And now, we're watching Elf, Mikey's favorite Christmas movie! 
I've had such a great time preparing for Christmas, especially because I'm loving making new traditions with my wonderful husband!  Our first tree is a beauty, and I'm sure we'll remember Edwardo for years to come :)

--sorry the videos are sideways...we're still working on our video skills!