Those Precious Little Things

I’ve been occasionally posting on Facebook with comments that begin, “You know you’re married when…moment #___”, and then sharing some funny yet totally typical and relate-able moment I’ve experienced with my hubby.  So now I share with you…

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The Soldier and his Dove

 

“You know you’re married when…moment #164:”  I catch my hubby snacking on bean dip after eating the dinner I cooked and brought out to him, while dinner round 2 simmered on the stove right in front of him!  The Bottomless Pit said nothing but quietly folded up the bag of chips and while trying to smile charmingly.

Have you had sweet moments like that?  Where your spouse does something that is just so totally them, you can’t even be upset because you’re cherishing your closeness to them in that moment?  I’ve been reflecting this week on some of those special moments, and so grateful for them.  We aren’t always in a state of mind to appreciate these things.  Often, we can be under so much stress that we just get upset at the change in plans or interruption of life, rather than appreciating that special person we GET TO stand beside in those challenges.  For example…

don't STOP believingAbout a week ago, we were the victims of attempted credit card fraud.  Our bank tends to be over-zealous about these things and has been freezing our cards any time we make an online purchase over $50, (so annoying!), but this time their cry of “wolf” had legs.  My darling man called me and asked kindly – not accusingly – “Babe, did you go shopping at American Eagle yesterday?  And spend about $300 dollars?”  I was puzzled, “Noooo,” I replied slowly, what had I done yesterday?  It certainly wasn’t clothes shopping – that’s a pretty rare thing for me these days.  Plus, I would never spend that kind of money without talking to him first, we simply don’t do that.  So the fact that he was calmly asking me if my habits had suddenly changed was quite gracious on his part.  He went on to explain that the store had alerted him that someone had tried to make the online purchase using our info and something had flagged their system.  When I assured him again that I had not gone on a bender, he told me he’d “take care of it”.

Aren’t those 4 of the most beautiful words in a marriage?  “I’ll take care of it”, reads like, “Don’t worry about it my love, I care enough about you that I will completely take this off your hands, and your mind.”  As I hung up the phone, I thought about how blessed I am for several reasons.  #1.  My dear one did not call angry or assuming anything #2. Even though he brings in the majority of our finances, he never begrudges me something I truly want  #3. In general, he does not stress about money whether it’s going out or coming in. He is able to budget and take care of bills without it becoming a stressful monster that eats into our precious time together.  Which brings me back to that moment.  He called me back an hour later to explain that someone had indeed tried to go on a bender with our credit card – the Apple store was also on the list, yikes! – but none of the charges had cleared and we were ok, new cards in the mail, etc.  See?  Really, nothing to worry about.

I was listening to this great country song on the radio – my hubby likes to sing the 2 lines that he knows when he’s puttering around

Future looks Bright

Future looks Bright

the house.  It goes, “It started with a good night kiss, my lips your lips…” and that’s all he knows, hee hee!  However, here is the thought it provoked.  In my early 20’s, it seemed all my friends and I could talk about after a date was, “Where is this going?  What’s next?  Where will it end?”  We were ever hoping that the next good night kiss would be the last man we kissed.  We knew how the story started…but which story would become our fairy tale?  And in that moment of reflection I realized that I’ve found my fairy tale…I’m living it daily.  I shared my thoughts with my man, and how grateful I was to know how our dating story ended.  And then that dear man reminded me, “Baby, this is just the beginning.”  ❤

Finding Florida

Hello faithful friends!  I see that it has been way too long since I updated, I’m sorry!  My Crohn’s was not treating me kindly the last few weeks, and a dear friend took me for a much needed retreat into sunshine and quiet.  I’ve missed your feedback in my life, so I’ll briefly share some of what is going on.  Specifically, how grateful I am that we landed where we did – and only God knew how perfect it would be.

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This month I had planned for my husband to be gone at training – however, a minor injury kept him here for the time being.  Bonus – I don’t have to miss him yet!  However, I had planned an ultra busy Girl-A-Thon to keep my mind off his absence, so now he’s here in the midst of it!  First, our dear friend Michelle came down to stay for the month and help me manage the house and animals.  It’s been cool to show her our organic market, juicing, and starting garden.  I think she’s still in a bit of shock at our health-focused life-style, but that’s ok.

Next, my MOH4LIFE, (maid of honor, Lorri), came down to wisk me away to a nearby resort so that I could lay in the sun and get some R&R.  We’ve found in the past that whenever my disease gets bad, a few days of complete rest, stress free, with lots of sunshine make a huge difference.  So we hit the pool, took naps, and braved the “lazy river” for a week.  The most excitement we had was seeing a real live Alligator!  Trust me, as a new Floridian, that was a mile-stone for me.  We  got so close! And then a passing golfer offered to get even closer and took a great picture.  I feel much better – but still have a ways to go…

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Finally, we’ll finish the month with my new sister-in-law, Rachele, spending her Spring Break with us.  She’s a senior at the Air Force Academy now, so I warned her our lives are not conducive to an MTV-style vacay.  She assured me she’s looking for the rest and peace we hope she’ll find here in our little oasis.  Sigh, I feel so incredibly fortunate that we landed here.  Since we were married in November, we’ve had at least 1 Chicago visitor a month – sometimes their work brings them, sometimes it’s just for fun, but we’re always glad to see friendly faces and share life while we can!

I think back to this time one year ago….Ed was leaving Europe for good to come to the states, and we’d found out he was going to be stationed here.  When he originally put in his request, we were only a few months into dating, but he asked me to list the top 3 cities where’d I’d like to visit my boyfriend.  We put Chicago, then places in Florida and Texas, (I have other family there.)  When he got the email with his final destination, he was disappointed, and I had mixed emotions.  I’ve always loved Florida  and savored the excuse to visit…but we really had to talk about continuing to make the long-distance work.  That was a hard conversation, I felt laid bare as I humbly asked for his thoughts on the future, bracing myself for the possibility that the reality of dating a girl so far away would lose it’s appeal next to the tanned and toned bodies readily available in his new home.  He never wavered – and I was relieved.  As it turned out, I only flew south once before moving down here – most of our visits were him coming here, (I had to work weekends so it was harder for me to get away), ironic right?

Yet, now that we are here, we’ve met so many people who have made us feel welcome.  The first hair-cut I ever got, my stylist has Crohn’s that she’s healing naturally.  My massage therapist practices homeopathy and grows all her own organic food. Our church teaches taking care of the soul, and the body in natural God-given ways.  How could we ever have known that these individuals were waiting for us?  It’s true what they say, home is where the heart is, and ours is certainly happy right here.

My 2 Cents on Meditation

Feel your inner lotus...or something.

Feel your inner lotus…or something.

Well if you know me, you know I don’t meditate.  I hate Silence.   Sitting in Silence is even worse!  My best prayer times are with music, or writing out my prayers in a journal.  However, Ed enjoys meditation and yoga.  He appreciates silence on his runs and walks.

We’ve been discussing meditation lately, I have always had reservations about it’s usage in Eastern and New Age religions.  I’ve seen meditation lead to communing with not-so-good spirits, and god-complexes in individuals.  However, I’m open minded to the idea applied to Christian practices.  There is a verse in the Bible I don’t pay enough attention to, it says,

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ~ Phillippians 4:8-9

Things that are lovely and good...

Things that are lovely and good…

Doesn’t that sound nice?  To spend time thinking about things like that, and allowing God to bring us peace?  Well, I have never made much time or spent much energy exploring this idea, and whenever Ed brought up meditation or yoga (which I have tried and failed at many times), I always pushed it off with a, “yeah, we can talk about that”.  Meaning, let’s talk about it later, and not do anything about it.

All of that changed today.  I was leaving the house to meet up with a friend whom I value very much.  I had not slept well due to Crohn’s issues, and felt tense all morning as I poured over emails and caught up on Facebook.  As I got into the car I thought, this tea-date is really important to me.  I really want God to use it.  So I started thinking about that as I drove.  How could God use this time to His purpose and goodness?  How has He used other conversations with friends to His Glory?  I reflected on the impact good friends have had in my life over the years, and then one particular thought stood out.  God has blessed me with the companionship of extraordinary people my entire life.

Ed is getting ready to leave for 7 weeks of training…that may turn into 5 months.

Oh Chi-Town...

Oh Chi-Town…

 Several people said to me, “well, why don’t you come back to Chicago for awhile?  See your family and friends here?”  I see their point, however, Chicago no longer feels like home.  Isn’t that crazy?  It always will be to some extent – it’s my home-town and made me who I am. But right now, Orlando has my heart. That surprised me as I thought about it!  It’s only been 4 months since I left, but there are dedicated, kind, loving people who have embraced Ed and I as their own.  As people found out he was leaving, they’ve reached out with all kinds of offers and invitations to keep me healthy, safe, and cared about while my husband is away.

So as I pulled up to Starbucks and waved to my friend through the window, I thanked God for how carefully He has orchestrated the relationships in my life.  I was reminded that He DOES have a purpose for things that we can’t even imagine…until we have that one conversation and it all makes sense.   That 10 minutes of meditation in the car put me in a completely different mindset to meet with this dear woman, and share life, and let God do what only He can do.  And sure enough – He did.  It was the most revealing, tender, and encouraging conversation we’ve had yet in our new friendship, and I now see the purpose of letting our minds dwell.

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love my Husband

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Hey friends and followers!  Team RZ is “celebrating” it’s 2nd Valentine’s as a couple, and 1st as newlyweds.  We all know relationships – especially marriages – are tough.  But today, regardless of what our spouses do or don’t do, I choose to celebrate by remembering the best things.  I choose to convey my love the best way I know how…via blog!  So maybe some of you can relate, but set the complaints aside for a moment, and remember your beau is made in a Heavenly image…and join in the count-down with me.

10.  Reason why I love my husband – He saved a man from a burning car last summer.  To be honest, I totally forgot about this, (wait, don’t gasp, I have a horrible memory!), and he never brings it up.  But he had his review the other day, and it came up because he was in uniform when it happened.  He was driving home, saw the car in trouble, broke the the window, climbed in, and pulled the guy to safety.  Then he administered first aid and waited until the pediatrics came.  I don’t love the fact that my hubby did this crazy scary thing… I love that it’s in his nature to just help people.  He is never too busy, or cool, or sure someone else will, he just stops and does what needs to be done.  I’ve learned a lot from watching him.

9.  Reason why I love my husband – He is a life-long learner.  One of the first ways we bonded was sharing articles while he was in Germany, then reading and sharing our thoughts with each other.  He always wants to learn something new – he listens to podcasts as he bikes to work, reads books while waiting on people, prints articles he finds online, and sometimes calls me just to tell me about something interesting he learned in class that day.  I get exhausted from just a smidgen of that information – but he just hungrily eats it up, and passes it along to anyone who will listen.

8.  Reason 8 why I love my husband – he goes after what he wants.  That’s why we are together – he made up his mind that he wanted me, and we made it work from different continents, time zones, beliefs, and careers.  I find very few men that are willing to make sacrifices for relationships anymore…and he was so dedicated from the start!  As he often tells me, “you never stood a chance!”  It’s not just me by any means – when he wants to accomplish something, once it’s decided, he just does it.  Marathons, promotions, special forces, school, our home…now the trick is, he has to decide.  It doesn’t work if I just ask him to do something.  Oh wait, only good things!

7.  Reason why I love my husband – He keeps me focused on God.  It’s true, sometimes I’m a bit self-centered, or get distracted from what we were put on earth to do.  He keeps me on track, sometimes without even realizing it.  Sometimes, he’ll directly say to me, “baby, we need to pray!”, sometimes, I see something in him that reminds me he was fearfully and wonderfully made, sometimes, I get upset and don’t understand, and end up on my knees seeking wisdom from the Father.  One way or another, this man has stretched my faith more than I ever thought possible.

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6.  Reason why I love my husband – He’s hott.  Sorry ya’ll, that’s just the simple truth.  He’s a good looking man, and when he comes home at the end of the day, I think, “Wow, he’s yummy!  And he chose me!!”  And that’s all I’ll say here…  

5.  Reason why I love my husband – He supports me.  Sometimes, to a fault.  Whether it’s a business idea, a friendship, and goal, a dream, he always supports me.  He put it in the vows he wrote to me, and reminds me often that we are a team.  If it’s important to me, he’s going to help me get there.

4.  Reason why I love my husband – He’s a warrior.  He fights evil, seen or unseen every day.  We talk a lot about spiritual warfare in our house, we believe that just as God is so good and full of love, that there is an Enemy full of evil and pain.  So whatever form that evil takes, my love is ready to do battle.  On a more personal note, I worry sometimes that he will never truly feel peace.  He has been a solider for 6 years, most of his adult life.  He’s seen enough action to know that the bad guys are real, and too close for comfort sometimes. I pray often that our home would be a place where he can rest – even just for a moment before heading back into the fray.

3.  Reason why I love my husband He’s so silly!!!  Sometimes we just get the giggles and can’t stop.  I’ve never laughed so easily WITH someone.  You know how a lot of times, the laughter between people is at one person’s expense?  Or one person thinks it’s funnier than all the rest?  Not with him, when I start laughing, he’s right there with me.  And when he’s causing my laughter, I can’t stop!  We sing in the car, tickle each other, and make goofy noises and voices.  I think, (well, this is the German in me), that being silly with someone is more vulnerable than just about anything else.  It’s a form of intimacy just like the deep emotions, and physical touch.  I love his smile, and love when we laugh together.

2.  Reason why I love my husband – He is going to make a great dad.  I have not always been on the “I need a kid” band wagon – many of you know this.  However, when I see my hubby in action every day, I think, this man DESERVES to have kids.  He should have a little mini version of him that he can teach and love and train up in the world.  I see how tender he is with other peoples kids, or our dogs, I hear how deeply convicted he is about right and wrong, about caring for others, and I think, dear God, may we have children JUST SO THAT he can be their father.  Lord knows, if I’m their mother, they’ll need all the help they can get.

1.  And, the #1 Reason why I love my husband is.…because I choose to.  I figured out long before I ever met this guy that Love is a choice.  How so?  Because it’s an action.  The feelings ebb and flow with our sleep patterns and the other person’s behavior, but our actions don’t need to.  So when I first told him I loved him, I meant it.  I had fallen, and decided to stay.  Regardless of what the future held, I decided I was going to love him like Jesus as best I could – even if that meant us not being together.  But it was in God’s plan for us to be together…so on Nov. 2, I stood up in front of family and friends, and promised God that I would love this man for the rest of my life.  And so, I do.

Where my Demons Hide

If I can't see them, maybe they're gone?

If I can’t see them, maybe they’re gone?

There’s this song by Imagine Dragons (which is just such a beautiful whimsical thought to begin with), called “Where my Demons Hide”. Now, the song is not Christian based, and doesn’t make great sense, but it is haunting….

I was taking a drive while feeling perturbed by life and seeking solace in loud music, the open road, and a conversation with God when this song came on the radio. I was busily listing the things that annoyed me, then trying to count my blessings, praying for peace in the midst, and – my favorite – analyzing WHY I was so angry and trying to find the words to express it. For someone who communicates for a living, I am notoriously ill-equipped to convey why I feel what I feel. I get angry first – that’s my go-to emotion, which sometimes trickles down into sadness, fear, or loathsome insecurity.

My response to these emotions is usually to take a step back. It takes me a long time to sift through the many granules of a situation that are rubbing me the wrong way to find the one rock of truth that can’t be filtered away. That little stone is what I’m left with, and it weighs me down until I find a way to express it – to God, to those I trust, to the person who threw it into my bucket in the first place. Here’s the thing: The stone is always mine to begin with. That heavy weight I carry isn’t something someone else gave me, it is a hard truth that has been formed by the many experiences of my life that left me feeling fear, unworthiness, pain, sadness, indignation that I never cleaned out of my soul.

Now that I’m married, my little rocks seem to get thrown back into the mix much more often as our two lives swirl around together, and all the little grains of sand that make up a day, a week, a life with someone are constantly sifting through the filter and exposing these stones that I had done such a good job of keeping buried by myself.

So where do my demons hide? They hide behind my indignation – “how dare they! They don’t know, that’s not their right, I shouldn’t have to!” They hide behind my anger, “I don’t need this, I don’t have to take this, I’m out of here!”
They hide behind my weakness, “well I need this, I can’t do that, I’m just going to avoid it”
They hide behind my striving, “If I could just do this, if I could just get that, one day I’ll be at that level”.
My demons hide behind these smoke-screens which are rarely true, and convince me that I have the right to embrace emotions that isolate and discourage me, that hurt my relationships. Nothing good can come of that. So I say no.

Whether you believe demons are a metaphor, or an actual evil presence in the world and in our lives, this holds true – they cannot take the light. They “hide” because they love

Choose to be Free

Choose to be Free

darkness, they love secrets, they want us to suffer in silence. The way to break free is to shine a light. To share the pain, the angst, the fear with others. Isolation will only feed the dark feelings, let someone hear you out. Let them speak love, truth, and affirmations into your life. Let them relate with their own stories of pain, everyone has them.

Everyone is visited by demons, but it is our choice whether or not we let them stay. Today I was visited by demons, but I choose not to let them hide. I choose to let in the light! I told God about it, I told my best friend about it, and then finally, I told my husband about it. And do you know what happened? I feel peace. I feel safe. The problems aren’t gone, but they are no longer inflicting pain. That stone is smashed and the small grains of sand can be washed away by the next wave life brings. Ahhh….I am free to be me again.

Taking the Leap

It's scary to jump off that step and not have firm ground underneath..will he catch me?

It’s scary to jump off that step and not have firm ground underneath..will he catch me?

There is something specific about resting in the arms of the person who has vowed to spend the rest of their life with you.  It is so comforting, it leaves the mind free of fears, and open to dream.  What is it about marriage that makes us so united, how is it different than really super committed dating?  I think it’s the leap.

When you get married, you don’t get to watch the movie of your life together play out in front of you and then decide, “yes, I’d like to have that. ”  We can never know what life holds in store for us alone, and even less so once joined with a partner who brings their own qualities, ideas and dreams into the equation.  Yet for those who are willing, the actual act of saying those vows is taking a leap of faith together, into a new life that is unknown…. The unknown is always scary, but like skydiving, going to war, or getting through college, there are adventurers in life that bond 2 people just because they got though it together.

I think the leap of marriage is in itself a bonding experience that helps you to face the scary unknowns.  When life gets tough, or throws you a curve, the hope is that you will be strong enough to look back to your wedding day and say, “we took that leap together, we are floating through thin air with each other, together we can find firm ground again.”

What about kids?  To have, adopt, what if we can't...

What about kids? To have, adopt, what if we can’t…

There will be other leaps throughout life that continue to bond you if you let them…but they can also tear you apart.  It is our choices in these situations, our ability to put the others needs first while still expressing our own, to be slow to anger and quick to forgive, that determines whether you will be glued tighter on the other side. Leaping into having kids together – another act of faith.  Taking a jump to move to a new place that your spouse feels better about than you do.  Re-arranging your career to make room for your partner, your family.  What about that leap into a crazy vacation that seems totally impractical but is probably exactly what you both need?

Yes, experiences are what unite people, and marriage is the first of many leaps of faith that can build a life un-imagined.  Here’s to love, and here’s to leaping.

If Only Skin Showed the Heart

Gettin' a lil brown sugar...

“Beauty is only skin deep, but Love is as fathomless as the sea”

I was listening to a comedian today talking about “inter-racial couples”, how he didn’t love it when people referred to him (black), and his wife (Japanese) with that term.  To him, she was just “her, my wife, and beautiful.”  He went on to cite some other stereo-typical things people say when a couple has different racial backgrounds.  Here’s what’s hysterical…I’ve heard them all referring to us! They aren’t even all bad things, for instance, he mentioned how strangers will say, “you’ll have such beautiful babies!”  Now, I love hearing that – and people do say that often which is so kind!  However, I always think of it as just because my hubby is so good looking, and I have such awesome hair, that is just has to be true.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be willing to even consider pregnancy. I digress…

Love feels the same in every color...

Love feels the same in every color…

This post is about how I’ve found Race to be proof that Beauty is Skin Deep.  Now, I’m not an anthropologist, I grew up in a “privileged culture”, so don’t attack me with all the other implication of race, I know.  But dating and marrying a partner darker than me has taught me: until we know someone, we see race, once we know them, we see soul.  And maybe what we see on the outside isn’t what the world would typically deem “beautiful”, but my theory is that anyone can look “beautiful” by the worlds standards with a little worldly help – make up, hair product, clothes, lighting, etc.  Every reality make-over show has taught us that.  But do those people change on the inside during that process?  Enough so that they carry a new attitude or world-view into the rest of their life?  We can hope so.

Let’s talk about Love.  Love covers a multitude of sins doesn’t it?  Once you’ve fallen in love with someone, it’s hard to see their faults.  Even on the bad days, you leave the house, start to miss them, remember how great they’ve made your life, and before you know it, you’re calling to tell them all those things!  Now, sometimes, as you get to know someone, you find they are hard to love.  That’s legit, sometimes personalities just don’t mesh well, or you are working at cross-purposes in the world, I submit to you that if you kept getting to know someone, you’d like them more and more, because you would be able to walk a mile in their shoes.  The movie “Ender’s Game” sums it up really well,

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”
― Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game

What power there is in understanding….and courage in loving anyway.  In choosing not to focus on detrimental flaws, but on encouraging a individual’s strengths and making space for them in our lives.  Sigh.  Love is truly so enduring, and beauty is really so fleeting.  I will give you just a quick summation of how I see this in my marriage:   When I first started dating my hubby, a friends mother saw his picture on Facebook and asked me about the “nice African American man” I was seeing.  (Ed has not a drop of African, or Mexican which is another common mistake).  Another reminder of our difference came when a friend innocently asked about a gift for his sister, “I’ve never met her, so I don’t know what color to get…is she as dark as he is?”  I laughed so hard because I just always thought of him as having a nice tan, and when people ask him his background, his says “British” – he was born there and still carries duel citizenship.  Because we’ve both lived and traveled in Europe, I think of us as “citizens of the world”, rather than a “bi-racial couple”, and that means something to us.

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight...

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…

What brought all of this home when I heard the comedian today was this discussion with my Love the other night.  I said, “hey honey, let’s go visit this community and just check it out!”  He replied, “Babe, I don’t think we’d be welcome there.”  I laughed, not on the same page, “haha, yes, we are a little bit loud and crazy from them”, and he smiled and my mis-understanding, “no my love, I mean because of me, I don’t think they are used to people like me”, I still didn’t get it.  Because he’s so passionate?  Patriotic?  A solider?  Finally the light went on, “oh…because you’re darker than me?”  He nodded, still smiling, “it’s ok baby love, we can still go if you want to.”  I mean woah!  I am so quick to forget that he feels like he stands out, because even in the military there were fine lines of light and dark in certain rooms.  In my eyes, he is Edward, my love, my husband, a man of faith and integrity, the most kind and compassionate person I know.  How quickly that skin-deep beauty fades in the eyes of love. ❤

P.S.  If you’re still curious:  Ed’s mother’s family is from Guyana, his father’s family are from Poland.  So he’s a little bit Indian…but I’m also part Native American, so we’re both super ethnic.

Maybe Today is Enough

ImageI may or may not have had one of those emotional break-downs last night that left my poor hubby scrambling to use every positive affirmation in his vocabulary to assure me that life was fantastic and would indeed “go on”.  You always feel worse don’t you?  When the innocent bystander get’s sucked into your personal expectations about life?  It’s really not fair, and we don’t want it to happen, but there it is, and all you can do is muddle through the mud and clean your boots on the other side.

It doesn’t really matter what triggers these moments, we all have expectations of ourselves, of what we are meant to do with our lives, of what our lives “should” look like to the outside observer.  Here’s the kicker – the outside observer is the LAST thing we should be concerned about.  We should in fact be looking to the INside observer.  God looks at our heart.  Did we try to do the right thing?  Did we have honest intentions?  Did we hope and plan for the best?  Then our heart is good.  And even when it’s not, when a blemish or stain mares our well-meaning attempts at life, God has the stain-remover at the ready – and it works every time.

ImageSo after prayer and reflection this morning, here is where I landed, and maybe you can sit here with me:  

Maybe what I’m doing today is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.  Maybe leaving a little un-planned time in the schedule is exactly what God has planned.  Maybe the time I have to think, to connect with others, to be in God presence, is replenishing me to be ready at a moments notice for…anything God wants!  Maybe the work I have in front of me is exactly what I’m meant to be working, rather than chasing to down that next project or the un-gettable client.  Maybe my husband did marry me for the person I am, the size I am, the passions I have – hoping with all HIS heart that I WONT change.  Now…Wouldn’t that be something?

Psalm: 144:1-2

Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.  (2) He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my  deliverer, my shield, in who I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

Be strong and very courageous

Be strong and very courageous

This verse stopped me in my tracks.  Even while God prepares us for battle, He is our loving refuge.  We are not meant to be powerful on our own, but behind the shield and on the rock of someone much more powerful than us.  It brings me so much peace to think that as I face the small daily fights, whether I feel like I’m winning or losing in the moment, He is steadily loving me, bringing sweet moments of joy along the way, and preparing me for what is to come.  That goes for all of us. So grateful!!

Lace Up Your Boots

Intention and accuracy in everything...

Intention and accuracy in everything…

As I watched my soldier lace up his boots in the wee-hours of the morning, I caught my mind drifting to images of him lacing up those boots in a dusty tent somewhere…or on the floor of a hideout trying not to make a sound…what those boots must have seen over the years.  I wondered, what does he think about while he’s tightening the laces?  What has he thought about in the past?  How many days does he remember…or wish he could forget in those boots?

I think as Army families, it never get easier to watch our warriors lace up their boots, snap on their hat, and walk out the door.  Even once they are home and safe…we remember what it was like when they weren’t.  As I watched him tucking in his pants to regulation, I broadened my musings to include construction workers, nurses, salesmen, soccer moms…what do all of them think of as they lace up (or slide on) their shoes?

Really, none of us know what the day will bring, yet each day we set out with determination to face it.  In whom do we trust when the outcome isn’t guaranteed?  For me, my hope is in the Lord.  It its a hope that stems from knowing I am valuable and love-worthy.  I know I wouldn’t have survived my years of

Ready to march?

Ready to march?

hospitals and surgeries if it wasn’t for a purpose, if it wasn’t for all the prayers, support, and determined effort on the part of many to keep me alive.  I also firmly believe that I would never have met my solider, or been in a emotional place to begin a relationship, if it were not for a Divine Providence prompting both of our hearts to meet.

So at the end of the day, and at the start of our next one, I will pray that we will be strong and courageous, that we will lace up our boots and march into our life with Hope.  May we bring the best of ourselves as we go, the world needs it.

~  with love, Morgen

Ed’s Wife

palm-trees-2Well, this is my first full week in Florida...and as a wife…and as a full-time business owner.  Oh, and as a mother of 2 squirrel-y hounds. I still can’t quite believe that this is my “new normal”, a permanent reality rather than a temporary visit.  Without the constant cheerful re-assurance of my new husband, I don’t think I’d be adjusting very well.

Keeping warm together between photos

Keeping warm together between photos

What’s tough:  We had a “thing” last night about internet.  He can get by with a pay-as-you-go hub with a few gigs a month.  Between marketing, networking, and my addiction to Netflix, I need constant high-speed access 24/7.  As we used up the last of his gigs yesterday, it was time to re-asses, and he happily added a regular internet subscription so that I could do my work from home and not count the megabytes.  BUT – for an woman who is used to making and spending her own money and answering only to God…it is SO hard to ask for something like that.  It used to be that if I spent a little too much in one area in the budget, I was the only one who suffered, ate less, or stayed in on the weekend to compensate.  Now if we are careless, he can’t go to the chiro or afford school books.  AND…I’m no longer full-time at the church, so I’m shifting to working my business as my only line of income, and in the meantime I’m not contributing much to the house-hold.  I know this is stereo-typically a guy problem, but I’m sure other ladies encounter this now too?  Especially if you get married later in life?

What’s awesome: We have SO much fun together!  There is something so sweet about

Took a random detour and ended up at a car show. Ed found us a mini-van

Took a random detour and ended up at a car show. Ed found us a mini-van

img_5253

Someone’s going into the fountain here…

having taken a leap of faith to go from dating long-distance to married-in-person (as I call it).  I’m constantly amazed by my husbands compassion, work-ethic, and determination to love and take care of me so well.  We’re learning about each other exponentially every day, and our ability to communicate is our saving grace.  We survived our first visit to Bed Bath and Beyond together with registry and gift-cards in hand.  We are learning to share 1 car, take care of 2 dogs, and compromise on how we spend our leisure time.  On Sunday, we went to the little church that meets at the University, most of the other soldiers from the station attend as well.  Wow – Pentecostal/Baptist/African-American-Style/3hours of awesomeness. I cried, was blessed and prayed over, anointed with oil, and hugged with passion.  Can’t wait to see what happens week 2 🙂

 My favorite thing about being married is the

We're married!  Yup, that happened.

We’re married! Yup, that happened.

un-conditional attitude.  There is not point in getting mad – we may as well talk it out because neither of us is going anywhere.  The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear”.  I’m feeling that these days, and it is truly beautiful.  We constantly pray as a couple that this sweet season together will make us strong enough to pour that same kind of love out to others as we meet them in life. Wish us luck!

~ The Marry Team RZ