Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our Wedding Video!

So, a couple of weeks ago, one of the groomsmen in our wedding asked if I had the video of us dancing into the reception.  After all was said and done, I ended up uploading our wedding video online and watched it for the first time in a long time.  It was such a happy day and I'm so glad I get to relive it over and over. 

Though I have a physical copy of the video, I wanted to put all the links together in my blog in case I wanted to come back and watch them again on here to enjoy all the embarrassing moments (us dancing in, the amount of times I try to clink glasses with people during the toasts only to get left hanging, some of the toasts [HAHA]...) and of course all the best parts (the mass, our first kiss, the rest of the toasts, everything!) and relive the day in general.  Remembering how special the day was makes me want to get married over and over again.

Anyways, so there are the moments if you want to catch any.  After three years of marriage I can say that this one day was just that - one day in our lives.  A great and beautiful day... but just one single day.  I'm thankful for that fun wedding day (and night!) but I am glad to have grown so much since then as a person and in our marriage as it has been tested and will continue to be tested over the many (many!) years we will be married.  I am thankful for all the milestones and special days we have had since our wedding.  And I am thankful to have a partner who is worth all of it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Praise You in the Storm.

Today's point of praise: "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) Day #6

This message - adversity - was well placed in my life again... something  that I am very thankful for today. 

Reading the passage in my devotional solidified my feelings that things happen for a reason - both good and bad things. It's easy to comprehend why great moments take place in our life and to see how we deserve all of our blessings.  Though at times we may feel undeserving of our fortunes, it is usually not a topic we complain about.   It is more difficult, however, to see why the worse moments of our life happen the way they do.  We ask God in those awful moments - why? What did I do to deserve this?  How could you allow this to happen in my life?

Eventually, I just realize there is no way God can interject in our lives to keep bad things from happening to us.  Sometimes He does work in our hearts and the hearts of others in order to keep bad things from happening, but when we stray away from Him, how can He help us then?  And maybe that is why the hurt ends up happening... So that we join Him once again once we hit the bottom. 

"Every misfortune, every failure, every loss may be transformed. God has the power to transform all misfortunes into 'God-sends.'" -Mrs. Charles E.Cowman

I haven't had a relationship with God in a very long time.  I'm not using ANY one or thing as an excuse - but I will explain my thoughts on the topic.  I remember during my pregnancy with Presley in 2011, Tony and I were newlyweds and went to mass together often. (That is, after all, the first place I felt Presley kicking!) I also remember the standing, sitting, kneeling made me feel lightheaded and like I couldn't get a deep breath ever.  So I stopped urging that we go to church.  And then we had Presley and it felt so nice to go to church as a family!  I felt so supported and loved by our church community each time we were there together.  A pinicle of those early months as a new family of three was Presley's beautiful baptism.  After that?  It got difficult to attend regularly.  It was easy to find a routine that left out mass for more downtime as a family, especially when Tony was working so many hours. (This is my current rationalization as well.) In reality?  Mass is one hour a week.  Not only that, but I feel better after being there and I don't remember a time I ever left mass thinking, "man. I really regret spending the last hour here rather than [insert place here]."

Another thing keeping me from church?  Wondering if my social views align with the Catholic Church anymore. And if I find that they don't, where does that leave me?  Am I accepted in the Church anymore?  In which case, we would need to search out new churches and much uncharted territory for me. 

Best way to get started:  head to church. If it doesn't feel right, I think I will figure that out sooner or later.  And then we will cross that bridge as we get to it. 

I promise I am saying all of this to eventually make a point.  As I said yesterday, sometimes bad shit happens. We can't keep it from happening.  Sometimes the life we envision for ourself seems to fall apart.  And that sucks.  But once you can grab ahold and take a step back, the perspective will show you that it has somehow managed to bring something beautiful back into your life.  In my case, it has reignited my desire to strengthen my faith life for myself and to share it with my family.  I'm absolutely not to the point in my life where I can say absolutely, "thank you so much for giving me these things that hurt me so that they can bring me closer to you" ...I'm just not there yet nor am I sure that I will ever be. 

But where I am on my journey?  I can see my God-friends being such amazing influences for me and leading me down paths of healing and redemption.  I can see it was God helping lead me to the right comfort in times of trouble and I can see that it is God lending them the words to guide.  I'm so sad about things that have happened in my life recently that are out of my control, but it helps to stop and praise Him in the storm for the abundance bestowed on me in other areas. I know we all bear hardships and they really do suck the life right out of you.  And I hope that after reading this, you can do the same - think of & call on your blessings - when the bad times come around. 

"Gods faithfulness and grace make the impossible possible." -Shelia Walsh

Monday, October 6, 2014

Praising God for His Peace.

Today's point of praise: "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall."  (Ephesians 2: 13-14) Day #5

Exactly three years ago today I started a daily devotional titled "100 Days of Praise for Women" and intended on blogging throughout.  Well, unfortunately, I didn't stick with it.  So I'm back to pick up where I left off and the topic at hand couldn't be more perfect to hear at this moment.

It's hard to feel peace in the midst of any chaos - especially when there is chaos inside yourself or in your personal life.  What do I mean by that?  Well, when the people we love hurt us (intentionally or unintentionally) it can be some of the worst pain imaginable.  So much so that you can get so wrapped up in the chaos that it just feels like the world is crashing down on you.  In those times you usually don't stop to seek peace.  Usually when your hurting you do what feels good - venting, lashing out your anger/frustration/hurts, etc.  And I can say I am guilty as charged!

We - ourselves - are not perfect people yet for some odd reason we often expect exactly that of others.  When they fail, we can take that personally, especially if it affects us.  It's hard to step back from a situation in which you feel no peace at all and accept the shortcomings of the people we love for what they are: mistakes, weakness, flaws, etc.  In that situation it can be easy to chastise.  But ultimately, God calls us to forgive and to remember the goodness in each other.  To find peace within ourselves (through Him) and to share it with everyone.

Corrie ten Boom said - "In the center of a hurricane there is absolute quiet and peace.  There is no safer place than in the center of the will of God."

So. Absolutely. True.

Sometimes certain things will fall apart so that different things can fall into place.  It's not apparent why this has to happen this way, it just does.  And I am finding this to be true in my life at the moment.  Usually what falls apart is YOUR plans so that GOD'S plans for your life can come together. 

I'm at a turning point in my life.  I am no longer a child nor do I find any happiness behaving like one or associating myself with those who prove time and time again that immaturity does not go away with age or becoming a parent or settling down and getting married.  I just want more for my life and better for my family and I don't want outside influences to negatively affect my life.

For the type of people who find joy in anyone else's pain - please take this moment to fully remove yourself from my life.  I can promise you whether or not you remove yourself, there isn't a place for someone like you anymore.

It might sound like I am not in a place of peace currently, and you may be right.  But I assure you, I am taking steps to get there for myself, for my marriage, and for my family.  I am not perfect and I know things like resentment and anger will continue in my life but I would much rather like to live in the light than the dark.  I've been putting off making these changes in my life and I just can't do that any longer.  I want to be someone who focuses on the good - who is an encourager rather than a critic.  And I really don't want to fill my team with people who drag me or the people I love most down because it defeats the purpose of having a team.

"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.  Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart."  Catherine Marshall

So yeah. I'm working on that. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Currently x20 {link up}

Linking up with Harvesting Kale for Currently.
The prompts this week {watching, learning, considering, needing, changing}

WATCHING:  We got to see two of our awesome friends become parents together this week and might I say I am pretty darn excited about that!  Chris & Kristen brought Baby Everett into the world on Wednesday.  It's gonna be so great to have Everett & Molly so close in proximity as well as age, too, with them being three months apart.  And then next week we get to watch two more friends get married as well.  I can't wait to see Tyler & Marsha tie the knot next weekend!!!
(It's been a long time coming to see Tony's best friends settle their crazy butts down and it is nice to see!) 

LEARNING:  Why forgiveness or just letting things go is so important.  And really, it takes too much energy to hold onto resenting someone or hating certain things.  It feels so good to move on into the light.  I love the saying that goes something like this:  

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

CONSIDERING: Writing a blog post about sexual assault and including personal anecdotes.  To do so would obviously mean I would be sharing some sensitive material - which is fine with me - but I'm not sure how it would be received.  I do think it's something important to shed some light on and doing so would show the alarming amount of women this happens to as well as the different forms of sexual assault.  I'm also considering including other folks' personal stories pertaining to the topic - if you know anyone who would like to anonymously be part of the upcoming post, please send them my way. 

NEEDING:  To save money for a new range.  Ours is just awful and I have my eye on a beautiful one at Siano Appliances (where my mother-in-law works).  I cannot wait to replace ours!!!  It's pretty old - still in working condition - but we acquired it in a state of disrepair.  Doable, but certainly not loveable. I can't wait to blog about it and share before and after photos when the time comes. 

CHANGING:  Thought I was going to be drastically changing my hair sometime soon-ish... but now I'm not sure.  I made it through the hot, hot summer with long hair - why would I want to cut it short for the coldy-cold months?  I don't know.  I still consider cutting my hair.  And my big sister is due to give hers a chop soon so maybe that will push me to cut mine after I see how cute hers is and how much she loves it.

(I really love the Jennifer Lawrence short hair cut on the top left.)

Aside from all that fun - I am really looking forward to some upcoming projects we are planning on in the next few months.  We are going to replace the faucets in our bathroom, the guest bathroom, and the kitchen along with the light fixtures in both bathrooms as well.  We really need shoe moulding along the entire house but in not sure we are ready for that project just yet.  Another fun project will include mounting a small TV in our kitchen!  It's not something we would normally do but the folks who lived here before left some pretty awful holes and marks on the wall where one was previously mounted (and hastily removed I am guessing) and this way we will be able to cover that up. It'll be nice to watch something while cooking, too!

It's so funny these projects are something fun to look forward to in addition to being something I like to talk about.  It is interesting how life changes you over time!  I'll leave you with some photos of our everyday shenanigans.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Currently x19 {link up}

Linking up for another week of sharing our current circumstances along with Harvesting Kale
The prompts for this week: {loving, craving, demanding, questioning, & worrying}

LOVING: my Lana pandora station, my children's nap time, Big Brother, trips to Target, the NFL season (go Cowboys!), photo shoots with my big girl, my kids and my husband, that old school Avril came on my iPod in the car today.

I just love great music and beautiful words and John Legend's smooth voice.

CRAVING: more family time, pretzels, sweet tea, a cool breeze, incredible stories, alone time, my best friend, the Ellen show (just a few more days!), Grey's Anatomy & Scandal (a few more weeks!), the Fault in our Stars on DVD, a long shower.

DEMANDING:  for autumn to hurry up!  I am so looking forward the the fall this year.  I can't wait until Thanksgiving and then especially for Christmas - I feel like it'll a fun one this year considering Presley's age!  I am also demanding Netflix and Sesame Street to come to an agreement - QUICKLY.  apple, I am demanding a release date for the new iPhone already.

QUESTIONING: was it our smartest decision to get a new TV rather than replace the range in our kitchen? when is this baby going to spend less time fussing?  is this the way it will always be - are we going to be forever going from purchase to purchase - or does that end eventually?

WORRYING: about my latest book choice - I've read so many fantastic books lately (most recently: the Host & the Fault in our Stars) and now I'm onto "the Help" because the movie was fantastic.  for me, the book has started out incredibly slow.  I think it has to do with the fact that my last however many books were centered around or featured a great love story whereas this one does not.  I am not one to start a book and not finish it but right now I'm too bored to keep reading and man, I miss reading.