Friday, September 28

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

Each time Jon and I sit down to watch a movie together it somehow ends up to be a movie where someone dies or something really tragic happens! Considering some of my favorite movies are A Walk to Remember, Titanic, and The Vow...well you can see sometimes these movies happen by choice. And others just look good (and they are good) but something happens and they are just super sad! We've been really contemplating the value of life and how important it is that we make the most of every moment cause you never know which will be your last.
Lately we've been challenging each other to make the most of everything and to do things we don't normally do because sometimes we need a little extra sugar and spice in our everyday lives. We are trying to save up money to move into an actual apartment but Jon likes to buy me Chai Tea sometimes in the morning before work and instead of fret that we just spent money, I choose to savor the moment. And even without spending money we can all do something a little out of the ordinary. Go for a walk, read a nice book, dance in the kitchen to a couple of your favorite songs, ride a bike, have coffee or tea with someone, play a game, have a pillow fight, eat the candy you've been saving all year, take pictures, or whatever else you can think of!
The point is to make memories out of moments. Don't let life pass by and leave you wondering what the heck you ever did!

"There are only two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstein

Oh, and here's a sugar and spice recipe to get you started. ;) We made this yesterday!

Spiced Tea
2 cups Tang (orange powdered drink mix)
1 cup Lipton Instant Lemon Tea mix
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Stir or shake all together. Add desired amount of powder to hot water for a nice cup of tea.

Friday, September 21

A Whole New World

     It was 3 o'clock when a knock on the bridal door brought in a dozen roses and a satin bridal robe. The note said it was from my Love, but I already knew that. :) Sweet words full of promise, passion, and future washed over me with a tenderness I had never known.
     We hurried to take pictures, do hair, and drink Starbucks as 4 o'clock came and went. Peacock colored dresses were zipped and tied, and a peek out the window told of all the tiny white lights being hung in perfect harmony. I slipped my lace dress on, the one I had searched for and found within an hour. It was perfect. My sister laced me up and practiced laying out the train. Then came the jewelry. Pearl earrings from my dad, necklace from mom and grandma, bracelet from my mother-in-law.
     5 o'clock I was ready and waiting with my dad as my bridal party slowly rounded the corner to the song, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Then it was my turn. Pachelbels Canon in D began and I walked down the grassy aisle to my hero, my best friend.

     Nothing could have prepared me for the excitement of marrying my Jon! I admit I was one of those girls that dreamed of her wedding til the day it actually came about. I was the one that fancied over all the satin and lace gowns, the one that had her bridesmaid dresses picked out four years ago, the one that dreamed about a green garden with tiny white lights lit up against a perfect evening sky. That was me...and I got everything I always hoped for! (It was definitely kinda weirdly-awesome to see it all come about in real life though.) :)
     But what I wasn't expecting was the perfect man. Oh, don't get me wrong I knew he'd be great, admirable, even desirable, but a fairytale? For me? I was always so tempted to settle, you know what I mean? I would meet a guy and evaluate him: good with kids, nice hair, same favorite ice cream flavor, wears matching socks, loves Jesus...that type of thing. I remember always thinking, "I could probably make it work with this one, I mean how hard can it be." But wow things do change when you are married. Not necessarily in a bad way, but both of you just become real people and its a little shocking to find out that indeed your perfect boyfriend does not always think about how many coffee cups he's leaving around the house or that sarcastic jokes aren't always the best idea when you're on your cycle.

     There were times in my life when I thought I would never be good enough to marry or nobody would want me. I wanted to give up on the whole "spend-my-life-with-someone-forever" train and either become a nun or marry the next guy that said "Hey". But I didn't. I stuck with it. I kept to my standards and my requirements list and kept preparing to be a great wife. I had to learn to trust that God would one day bring me someone if I was supposed to marry and until then I was going to live my life to the fullest and keep preparing to be a helpmeet.
     If you're single I want to encourage you to do the same. Stick to your guns and don't let any dirtbag come and kiss away your precautions. Don't let them steal your heart. You are worth far more than rubies and I need you to live like it! I promise, there is someone out there for you. Just be patient and he will come. Make it worth a man's while to pursue you and, if he thinks you're worth it, he will scale mountains.
     If you're married, ladies, I suggest we remember that we are now taken. We are not a free show and we love our husbands by honoring and respecting them. I know my husband really appreciates it when I give him a listening ear and we have deep, meaningful conversations together and when his clothes are clean. He loves when I make him dinner and let him play a quick round of video games to get out of the work zone in his head. He loves it when I appreciate something he does or buys for me and when I sit next to him in the truck. It's my goal to be encouraging and to gush over him (and his bright blue eyes) just like when we were dating. We each have a great gift in our husbands and they need cherishing.
     My life is not perfect, but I did choose to wait for God's perfect timing and I want the same for each of you. Let's go love a little harder today. Make it count. ;)

All photos compliments of and copyrighted to Cassie Lee Imagery (c) 2012

Saturday, September 8

To Be or Not To Be...

I grew up with the strict Baptist policy "No Credit Cards", because credit and debt would obviously result in eternal damnation. Well, now that I'm older and married and trying to buy a first car with my husband, I have learned that you need at least 5 lines of credit! Who knew that plastic could actually save you from having to ride the train everyday to work?!
About a week ago my husband's car broke down after we hit a pothole the size of the Grand Canyon. Since then he has diligently replaced spark plugs, gas thingie-ma-bobbies, and shindiggs. But all to no avail! So we went car shopping until the salesman told us we had great credit!, just not enough of it... He also suggested maybe he come over and look at our car. *shrug*
So because I've never owed anybody money and since my husband hasn't financed five laptops, we can't buy a car. Instead, we are reduced to considering how long of a walk five miles would actually be while waiting on a family member's car to be available to borrow.

In life it sometimes seems as if everything hits you at once. Occasionally I get discouraged and cry and don't want to do anything except eat Mandarin oranges and watch Psych. But something that really encourages me is Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Sometimes things just happen. And you know what, thats o.k. It's ok to be discouraged or have a bad day or cry when you're paycheck isn't as big as you were expecting. But it is also your choice to remember that God is on your side and the way you live out each and every day is a reflection of how much trust you have in Him and His promises. So... make it count. And make today a great one!