Monday, April 27, 2009

Springtime is slowing down

After a crazy busy couple of months of travel, schoolwork, work-work and the like, I am relishing the thought that I am settled for a few weeks.

Last week, upon arriving back in the office with a brand new diamond ring on my finger, I was thrown back into the work world with 4 straight days of articles to write about...Still finishing those up. I also had to study for a Theology exam and write a paper about my calling and fulfilling the Great Commission. Finishing those items, I had to unpack and re-pack for a weekend in Hilton Head for my friend Teran's bachelorette party and an afternoon in the 'Boro with my beloved.

Let's recap: Since this day in December, I have...
-Spent two weeks in Amsterdam
-Spent Adrian's birthday weekend with him in Georgia and South Carolina
-Gone to a wedding
-Gone to the 20/20 Conference for work
-Driven to Lumberton on Valentine's Day
-Ridden with my friend Erin to SC to see A
-Taken a long weekend to go to Tennessee and show my hometown to Adrian
-Ridden to South Carolina with Erin again to give Ben to Adrian
-Gone to Mexico for a week
-Visited SC/Adrian with my parents/Gotten engaged
-Driven to Hilton Head for a weekend with the girls

Whew. I am glad to be home for a while!! Praise God for vacations and sweet get-aways, and praise Him for a home to come back to and relax in. Although, I don't know how relaxing the next couple of weeks will be, with stuff going on around here most weekends, finals for school, and preparations for Teran's wedding, not to mention gearing up for summer, wedding planning of my own and waiting on the Lord for the next step of our lives.

He is faithful to sustain us, to give us perfect answers to our questions and to give us purpose and direction in serving Him. Looking back on where all I have been this spring, I can't wait to see what He does in my life this summer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The story. April 18.

Ok, the blog has been blowing up with visitors, so I'll share the story!

Friday, I was in SC visiting Adrian and his mom, who was in town for the week. My parents drove down to Charleston and we were planning on having the whole crew meet up for lunch. First, though, Adrian took me ring shopping. The jeweler let it slip that Adrian already had the diamond, but he told me we were just looking, since I had told him I really wanted to go ring shopping with him. After we left, unbeknowst to me, he took the diamond in to the jeweler and had him set it in the setting I liked.

Saturday morning, we woke up and drove to Beaufort (just the two of us) for a quiet morning walk along the riverfront and some coffee and quiet time together. As we walked, we sat down in a swing along the river and began taking pictures. He had told me he had two presents for me, so he gave me them. The first was a beautiful leather-bound, ESV Journaling Bible. The second was a small notebook he had written letters to me in, since before we were even a couple. The last letter ended the notebook, and in that one, he said he knew he wanted to spend his life with me in service to the Lord. As I finished reading it, he said there was one more thing to go along with those presents and then he gave me the ring.

I just began saying, "Oh m gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" He said, "So....will you?" to which I responded, "Will I what?" ;)

"Will you marry me?"

Of course, I said YES!

We haven't set a date yet, but we are so thrilled to embark on this next journey of life together, serving one another and serving the Lord with joy and gladness. God is so incredibly good to us - beyond all imagination. Adrian is the blessing of my life, aside from my salvation and faith in Christ. I cannot wait to be his wife!

Here are a few pictures, and here is a link to all of them on Facebook.

Right after getting engaged! I was so shocked and excited!

Yay!! So happy.

At lunch with our parents.

My gorgeous ring.

I love this man.

The beautiful sunset on the way home. God blessed us with so many good surprises that day.

Me with Adrian's Mom and my Mom.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Hello blog readers: Just wanted to let you know, really quickly, what went on in my life this weekend:


We are thrilled. It was amazing. I'll post more on the topic later, but I just wanted to share :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Health and Happiness

This week has been full of fun little surprises...(That is halfway sarcastic, and halfway serious.)

Sunday afternoon, Adrian and his mom came to town and we went to Easter dinner at Cheesecake Factory (LOVE it!). I enjoyed Chicken Madeira and some Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake, and it's a good thing I did, because Monday, el doctor put me on a special new eating plan. I think I will affectionately call this plan Torture, because it prohibits me from indulging in two of my favorites: Dr. Pepper and carbohydrates. Oh lawzy... ;) So, since Monday I have had my personal nutritionists (Adrian and his mom) helping me eat healthy so I feel better and am healthier. Thus, far, I haven't felt remarkably different, perhaps because I need a good night's sleep to help it kick in.

It's been several late nights this week since Sunday, when they came into town. Monday, as they were leaving (as scheduled to go back), they made it about a block and his truck died. It was fixed today (Wednesday) so it was a pleasant (for me) surprise having him and his Mom there for a few days with me. Even though this new diet thingy is going to be tough, his support in helping me figure out tasty things to eat and buying good food for me has been wonderful.

The added bonus is this: Tomorrow, I'm heading down to see them and meet up with my parents for a "meeting of the parentals." That translates into getting to see Adrian every day for 7 days straight. That's the longest run of our relationship! Marvelous.

For those of you who haven't done the long-distance thing, count your blessings that 8 months into the relationship isn't the first time you've spent an entire week together. Although the Lord is using the distance to challenge and grow our relationship, I will be ready for that phase to be over so every week is a week spent with my love.

So, as I head down to Charleston tomorrow, here's a little snapshot of how we rung in this week together!Snuggling with our Benny boy

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oooohhhh, Mexico!

I'm back! Here's a quick recap (with photos!) of my trip(s) across the border.

Overall, I had a great time in Mexico. It was a wonderful week in which I was able to better focus on the Lord and his plan, not just for me, but for the nations. I am so excited to get to heaven and worship alongside my Mexican, Dutch, Guatemalan, etc. brothers and sisters in Christ. I was even given the opportunity to share the Gospel with one our plane's stewards on Good Friday. It was uncomfortable, but God is faithful to provide opportunities and words.

God is so good. What a blessing my job, this trip and my salvation are.

The week in Mexico was wonderful with time spent....

with great new girl-friends,

with great new guy-friends (added bonus, they love to quote the Office and laugh!),

eating tasty food (tamales!),

playing with ADORABLE little Latino kids,

and keeping an eye on mischievous ones...

It was a wonderful week of making new friends!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Settling In and Taking Off

So, just wanted to post an update before I head out for a while.

I'll be leaving for Mexico on Saturday morning to go with a team to host a kids' baseball camp. Personally, I'll be more on the documentation side of things, and not as much hands-on, because it's a work trip (like Amsterdam was). Before I go though, I wanted to just share a little bit about what God has been teaching me the last few days...

I honestly have really struggled this week with purposelessness, discontentment and frustration, even directed at some I dearly love. However, the Lord has been showing me a few things, for which I am so grateful.

1) God is in control. Even when I don't see how the plan will work out in the end, I can trust that God makes good on his promises, both the big picture ones (like redemption, conquering of sin, salvation, et. al. SO good) and the ones that affect me on a more micro level (He'll never leave me, and he alone gives rest if I have faith in him).

2) Calling. Although ministry doesn't look as I would have it look at the moment, I know that I am involved in ministries here. It may not be as front-line in the war as I desire, but my job and my ministry to Adrian both affect the Kingdom. Those are ministries God has given me, and he has put me in those places for a purpose in this season.

3) Desire to be involved in more overt ministries is (for me) very works-based and self-focused. I struggle to find a place to plug in and serve, not because my heart cares for those people, but because I think that somehow I am "being a better Christian" or that I am more holy when other people can see my deeds and say, "Wow. Look how much she is serving."

Works-based righteousness is no righteousness at all. All I can do is give my all to the ministries God has me in right now (namely, my job, Adrian and my classes) and trust him for fruit, rather than force my way into something that is not where God would specifically call me, just for the sake of doing. Faith without works is dead, yes, but works done - not in faith but in pride - are equally as futile. Romans teaches that whatever is not done in faith is sin. Thus, even if I am trying to do "a good thing," what is my motivation? If it is pride and my desire to do something for God, then it is sin, I think. I can offer nothing but myself. God wants me to serve Him wholeheartedly, yes, but I believe he wants me to serve him in the ways/ministries/areas he has called me to and not in areas I try to push myself into so that others think better of me. I serve an audience of one, and I trust that pouring myself into those God evidently places in my life is what he asks of me - not any prideful service. So....until God opens other doors and evidently calls me to "enter those rooms" in service with Him, I will pour myself into the ministries he has already made evident in my life.

That means that as part of my job (one of my ministries) I will be going to Mexico Resurrection week. Rather than lament this trip for any number of reasons, I am giving glory to God that he has shown me that in this week and in this place, he asks for me to give me all with a joyful heart, and he will take care of everything else. Praise Him for clarity.