Thursday, June 30, 2011

Etsy Finds

I love Etsy!

I'm sure you've heard of it before, but if not, get on there!
I have a long list of items I want to get, and I'm always amazed at the creativity of people and the things they come up with.

My most recent purchase is from Wesley Asher.

There are so many cute things, and I had a really hard time picking one out. I ended up with this:

It's a really cute Turks Knot necklace, and I love it. It's different from basically any other jewelry I have. 

Mihow is another shop I love, even though I've never bought from them.

They make the craziest kinds of lollipops, such as a lavender and lemon kind named the "Grandma." haha

Toybreaker is also a favorite of mine.

I always look here first when a gift-giving day comes around for Robert. One day I'm going to get him one of these amazing ties. 

The best part about etsy is that new shops and items come up every day. There's always something amazing and unique to find. It may take some digging and poking around, but it's definitely worth it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Honeymoon Phase

My marriage is awesome.
Yes, there are moments that we don't really like each other and we disagree. There are times I wish he would put down the video game controller and stop talking to his friends across the country and talk to me. There are times he wishes I would stop asking for a cat and overreacting at his playful jabs. Overall, though, our marriage is really awesome. He's my best friend in the world, he's the funniest person I know, and he is incredibly patient and loving.

We've been married a short six months, and we find that we run into the same reactions over and over whenever we talk about our brand-new adventure of a marriage.

If we talk about how our marriage has been challenging and stretching and at times difficult, people tell us about how we haven't seen difficult yet. They tell us how we haven't been together long enough to even know what a fight can be like. Add our short marriage to our young age, and people basically assume we have never been through rough times.

If we talk about how our marriage has been wonderful, encouraging, inspiring and lovely, people laugh at us and tell us we're still in the "honeymoon phase" and we haven't even had time to have problems yet. They tell basically tell us that within a certain time frame, we will lose interest in each other, come to a place where things naturally decline and get a reality check

I'm pretty positive that the majority of these people don't mean any harm, but as a young newlywed, it's really hard to hear that things are going to get worse. Or that our struggles and hardships are not justified, not enough. Not enough bad. Not enough good. That's what we hear: that our marriage is not good enough.

The part that gets me the most is when people say we haven't been together long enough to say that we are truly happy. People have this assumption that the first couple months are supposed to be magical and the rest is just average. But as my beautiful friend Lauren pointed out to me (I love her wisdom), "God doesn't refer to the Church as the wife of Christ but the bride, implying that they are in the honeymoon stage FOREVER."

And I like that imagery. I like knowing that my honeymoon phase never has to end. God intended marriage to be a beautiful, wonderful, life-giving thing. He created me to share my life with Robert. He created my personality with Robert's personality in mind.

God didn't create marriage so that we would have a great first year together and then fall into a slump. He wants our marriage to always be the best relationship we experience on this earth. I'm so thankful to know that He desires for us to have an amazing, full of love, intimate bond that won't fizzle out just because we have a rough day.

If you're married, whether it's been for 6 months or 60 years, please be encouraged that the honeymoon phase never has to end.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Late Father's Day

So it's a couple days late, BUT there's no reason not to honor my dad when the opportunity is given.

I am extremely blessed.
I think my dad is one of the greatest men I have ever met.

He's funny, kind, and insanely generous. He makes me laugh harder than anyone (except for my husband). He always encourages me and lets me know that he loves being my dad. I have no doubt in my mind that he is delighted that I am his daughter. He has always taken care of me, and he has always been a strong presence in my life, even after my parents divorce.

I can tear up just thinking about how much I love my dad. I'm so thankful that God specifically chose him to be mine. It makes me sad to hear of people who have estranged or difficult relationships with their fathers because it's so clear that the relationship we have with our dads is meant to be special.

I wish I had more time to go home and get some older pictures of my dad when we were younger, but these will have to do.

I love my dad and can't imagine life without him.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Enlightened

"i pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. that power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."
-ephesians 1.18-21

I've read this verse plenty of times before. It's even underlined in my bible. But it's one of those verses that I never fully grasped until I read it for the millionth time.

I think one of the things I struggle with the most is knowing the hope He has given me. Sometimes I'm so closed off from Him that I'm not allowing the "eyes of my heart" to really be opened to the wonderful things God has done for me.

If I'm being honest, sometimes I don't believe God likes me.

I mean, sometimes, I don't like me. So why should anyone else?

But today I'm praying that the eyes of my heart will be enlightened and opened up and I will truly see the hope that God has placed in front of me and filled my life with.

Because alongside hope there are riches and power. Not the kind used to run the world but the kind used to raise Christ from the dead. These things, this power, these riches, this hope--these are in me. 

I am able to overcome my fears and insecurities because His power is in me.
I am able to use my talent and my voice as an offering to Him because He has already given me His power and riches.
I am able to reach across boundaries and offer words of encouragement and advice from my heart because His hope is in me.

I love that Paul's prayer is that our eyes would be opened to see what is already there. He is not telling us to find these things or make them happen. He is only asking that we truly see the beauty of God before us. 

God's power is in me. The same power that raised Christ from the dead exists in my heart, in my spirit. My life is rich with His hope and His love, and there is nothing more I could ask for.