Hope, Peace & Perseverance

Let me just start by saying that for the purpose of this blog post, let’s hope this is not a season defined by the latter part of that definition above, “an indefinite period of time”… goodness.

Just as the weather is characterized by the different seasons, as Christians we know our walk is also characterized by spiritual seasons we go through over and over again; fruitful seasons, darker seasons feeling isolated and alone, seasons of trials, etc.  It is a constant, life-long process of the Holy Spirit moving and working in us to make us more like Christ.

 “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

At first, immense joy erupts in me, and I hope in you too, at the thought of becoming less like my sinful self, and more like my Savior.  Then, the reality that it is not always an easy process, brings me back down to where I've been finding myself lately; feeling slightly deflated and a little discouraged.  I say only “slightly” and “a little” because at the same time, there are still these tiny bursts of hope and an eagerness to seek the Lord through it all.  Maybe you can relate.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
James 1:2-8

Where I find myself today is in a season of trial, testing my patience and true faith.  In the passage above Paul writes, “When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  …such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”   The first thing that came to mind when I read that was, “omg, I am the wave.”  I am being double-minded and unstable.  I know walking through this season just as any other is for a purpose and for me right now I feel the Lord peeling away at me to reveal the godly woman he created me to be; fearless and hopeful, patient and of genuine faith. Not an unstable, doubtful wave.  

My husband and I have been ready through John Piper’s “This Momentary Marriage” which as the website states, “Exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant as a display of Christ’s covenant-keeping love for the church. He aims to lift the church’s low view of marriage to something infinitely greater, namely, a vision of Jesus’ unswerving allegiance to and affection for his bride. And indeed it does.  We recently finished the chapter titled The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission which discusses the role of the Christian wife.  Throughout the chapter Piper is constantly referencing 1 Peter 3:

“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” 1 Peter 3:3-6

Those verses stuck with me like glue through the entire chapter.  I am loud, not gentle and quiet and I most certainly have been wavering between fear and hope which in turn can make it very hard to feel content and peaceful.  Layer, by layer, I feel God showing me the part of my old, sinful self I need to let go of and just how amazing life has a godly woman, fully dependant on my Savior could be if I just give in.  Completely let go of myself and latch on to His strength and guidance.  God has been revealing to me more and more what my true desires really are.  To let go of these worldly standards and plans and to find freedom and peace in knowing that His plan is SO much greater and SO much better than anything my little brain could ever come up with.  That even if my desires are pure (achm…babies), that it still doesn't mean I get to decide on the when or even the how for that matter.  I still must wait patiently (and faithfully) for His timing.

My prayers as of late have been filled with pleas for hope, peace and perseverance.  Prayers that I would only find hope in my Lord; not in my husband, my job, the future of our family, Bobby's career, etc, etc, etc.  How easy it is for us to become worrisome and fearful of these things when we lose hope in our almighty God?  Prayers that the Holy Spirit would strip me of my selfish, self-consumed desires to allow me to find peace in Him and in knowing that my God is so much greater than it all.  And finally prayers for perseverance; that I would trust and believe deep in my heart that this will all produced faith-building perseverance so that I may be mature and complete in my faith. That I would be fearless because of my strong hope in the Lord, and allow Him to do his work in me to mold me into the disciple He is calling me to be, for His greater glory.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:7

If you made it to the end, thanks for sticking around to read about the inner ramblings of my thoughts and my heart...they are sometimes jumbled and not the most fluid but always real and honest. 


my best friends wedding

I've been meaning to post this for over a week now, but I've been laid up in bed after having all four impacted wisdom teeth removed. Awesome.

This has to be one of the longest most painful experiences ever.  It has been 5 days now, so over it. I've looked like a mixture between the OC housewives, the joker, and a chipmunk.  For real. Everyone mentions swollen cheeks but nothing about lips...

Off topic.

To the wedding.

Two weekends ago I had the privileged of standing beside one of my very best friends on her wedding day.

Jess and I have been friends since 9th grade and through all the moves my family has gone through, she is the one friend that has stuck around.  All of us bridesmaid wrote Jess a short letter for her to read as she got ready the morning of her wedding, and I have to say, I had so much fun thinking back over the last 12 years of this friendship as I put down on paper some of my favorite moments.

Through all of my families moves, somehow Jess and I have been able to stick it out, with very little effort too.  No matter if we are talking everyday living in the same town, or living hundreds of miles apart and speaking only every couple of months, it is so easy for us to pick up right where we had left off. It's so crazy to me that we have gone from being awkward 9th grade cheerleaders to being part of each other's wedding. Where did the time go and when did we become grown ups?

Here is a recap of the Richard's amazing wedding weekend.  Thank you so much for asking me to be part of such a special day for you and Paul, Jess! I love you friend!

So after Delta delays and cancellations, we finally got to Ithaca (NY) Friday afternoon (we were scheduled to get in Thursday night)..

A few rides on the baggage carts up and down the sidewalk and we were ready to go once Tor and Tara picked us up.

We headed to a yummy lunch in the downtown Ithaca Commons and then tried to convince the hotel to let us check in early to get ready for the rehearsal dinner... no such luck. OH yeah. Did I mention we had no luggage? The good news is that Bobby and I both had our dress clothes in the garment bag we carried on, but poor Bobby had no dress shoes.. so he went to the rehearsal dinner dressed as a basketball coach. Button down, slacks, tennis shoes and all.  I thought he looked great. =)

Here is the lovely bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner.

After we all stuffed our faces with delicious food, we headed downtown to meet up with the rest of the guests who were in town for the wedding.

The bride with her MOH

All the bridesmaids with the bride!

The next morning, Jess' dad picked all of us bridesmaids up bright and early and took us to the Fontainebleau Inn where they were getting married and where Jess, Paul and their families had been staying.

The place is gorgeous.

I felt like I was in the house from the Notebook. Seriously.  We ate an amazing homemade breakfast out on the back porch overlooking the lake with Jess' family, and then spent the rest of the morning primping and just hanging out.

This was our view from the bridal suite:

I know, amazing.

 A few surprise gifts from the bridesmaids.

Koozies for mimosas, check.
Cute L-O-V-E letters under her shoes, check.
Letters from each bridesmaid, check.
A picture frame with pictures of us and Jess, check.
A blue garter sporting her new name, check!

Opening the card and beautiful bracelet Paul got her.
Gettin' beautified.


Just making sure she can still bust out her dance moves in the dress. Success.

Mom and daughter. =)

Love you!

The ceremony was held in a old chapel through the woods on the Inn's grounds.  I obviously don't have any pictures from that but here is a picture of the beautiful chapel:

Then it was off to the reception!! 

They entered..

They danced their first dance..

they modeled...

shoved cake in each others faces..

and then we all busted out some pretty sweet moves and danced the night away!
 (after being sure to get a nice picture before we got all sweaty of course..)

 Jess found a new use for her sash.

Please note the grooms reaction when he notices it. Awesome!

Then we whipped out the 'tashes of course.

Bobby wasn't too sure of this look on me..

So we swapped. Much better don't you think?

Neighborhood friend! Love you Tor!

and then a brief break from dancing for the oh-so-classic prom pose.

back to dancing..

no matter what you do, you cannot contain his moves..

yes, that is the groom.

Love you both!! Happy marriage!!

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