29 November 2011

Saying Thank You

All of the Thank You notes for our September wedding are now done. Shame on me for taking so long to get them out. Yes, I know that there's approximately a two-month grace period for newlyweds. Yes, I know, I exceeded that. Shame on me.

I've discovered that writing wedding thank you notes is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. Not that the WRITING of the thank you notes was all that hard, in and of itself, but that saying "Thank you" to such people was incredibly difficult.

How do you thank the people who have made you who you are? How do you say "thank you" for a gift, knowing that what you're really thanking them for is their very presence in your life?

Here are some examples.

My parents: How do you thank them for a whole wedding (which, oh yeah, my dad officiated, as well as giving me away, organizing, and paying), plus all that they instilled in me to make me the person who was ready to get married?

My godparents: How do you thank them for coming halfway across the country, helping with all of the decorating and tearing down, helping to officiate (as my dad was giving me away), and a sizeable wedding gift?

My Matron of Honor: How do I thank her for being a thousand miles (plus plus) away from her husband for TEN days to help me get ready, a massive bash (requiring an extra plus-sized suitcase which she had to check both directions for flights) of a bachelorette party, a thousand gifts and thoughtful gestures, the hundreds of pictures she took, oh, yeah, and the fact that she knows me so well and still likes me?

And those are just a few of the incredible people in my life.

While I know that one little note is incapable of expressing that of which my heart is so full, I tried. Probably pathetically. But, I tried. I handwrote notes to people who deserve so much more, and then regretted that those who had given so much would get so little in return. I belong to the school of thought that would say that saying thank you is the important part, and that saying it in my own handwriting, in as thoughtful a manner as I could is the goal (which I did); it all still feels inadequate somehow.

I suppose that, when it's all said and done, I need to make sure that I live my life in such a way that those who have poured into it will be honored. Still working on that. Will be for a very long time, I believe.

Much love.

06 October 2011

Why Do I Want a Clean Home?

I have recently downloaded and begun working through a book called "31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way" by Sarah Mae. I'm not a "dirty" person, but I'm not a neat freak, and trying to keep things neat and straight when my best efforts are thwarted by me is intensely frustrating for this Maximizer. As I start married life, there are things I want to do from the beginning, so I don't have to backtrack later (for instance, when I'm having kids, or company arrives, or whatever) to try to incorporate good habits that are much easier to just do all the time. One of those things is getting the house organized and put away, NOW.

For those who don't know, my handsome husband and I are remodeling his/our house. All my stuff has come to live here, with me (since September 10th) and in varying degrees since I moved to Greenville in March. The crowning moment was when we got married and I moved completely out of the apartment. We had a commitment not to sleep together or live together until marriage, but moving my THINGS over the course of 6 months was MUCH easier than trying to fit a move in between the wedding and honeymoon. Well, we're up to our ears in stuff, mine, his, ours, wedding, presents, honeymoon, and to top it all off, the remodeling isn't done. So we're preparing to start redoing the master bedroom and bath, while the whole house is in upheaval. Smart, eh?

Anyway, it is the dream in my heart to have a home that is welcoming, and piles of stuff are NOT welcoming. I want to be able to have the widow down the street over for coffee, our community group in for the weekly meeting, or a party, or simply have our friend's daughter come bake with me. I don't feel like I can do those things right now.

So, I got this book, and I'm beginning to read. Now. Before my heart breaks with the mess. The first day's reading asks, "Why clean?" and I thought that it would be wise to put my answer in writing, so I'd remember. So I'd have a place to go where I can be reminded, when it's tough and there's construction dust everywhere and my clothes STILL don't have a home, and our bed is in the living room.

So. Why do I want a clean home?

I want a clean home so that when my husband comes home from work, he wants to be here. I want a clean home so that when we or others enter this place we see Jesus and not a mess. I want a clean home so that I can create an environment like the one in which I was raised-- one that is welcoming and comfortable and safe. I want a clean home so that I can be at rest and be inviting to others who may need rest and blessing. I want a clean home so that I don't feel frantic inside. I want to be able to engage myself with my husband, our family and friends, whenever needed, and not feel torn between what I "have" to do and what I ought to do. I want a clean home so that I can more adequately be as I am created to be-- an Image Bearer of the God of the universe.

I think that about sums it up.

Much love.

03 October 2011


Over the last month, I have been humbled, time and time again, by the amazing people in my life. I'm hoping to get some posts up here in coming days about the events of the wedding and honeymoon, post pictures, etc. Some of what I want to show is how incredible my friends and family are. Truly my friends ARE family, as much as (and in many cases) more than some of the blood relatives. That was showcased beautifully in the times I shared with these loved ones in this last month.

The scads of thank you notes I'm penning aside, how do you begin to thank the people who have built you? I'm so honored and humbled to be part of this family, extended with people we've chosen and have chosen us, and hope to some day be the kind of person who is worthy of such grace.

Much love.

19 August 2011


OK, so my hormones are out of control crazy, and this week has been something less than (significantly so) smooth.. Have you ever just wanted to rip someone else's hair out and scream maniacally? If so, then you can relate to how I've been feeling this week.

Lest I be accused of bridezillism, I must say that the wedding/planning isn't stressing me out. (My fiance's boss informing us a mere week in advance of our travel date that he's changed his mind about when Mark can leave for the wedding-- by a FULL WEEK? Why, yes, that is inflaming my crazy. Thank you for asking.) I really am still enjoying all the wedding preparations, and loving being engaged, too.

Sometimes you just have to vent. All done. Now, I'm going to try to sleep for a full night, then keep trying to tamp down the hormones. Wish me luck.

Much love.

02 August 2011

So Loved T-shirt Giveaway from Wild Olive Tees!

Pulled from the Wild Olive Tees blog:

We are excited to announce an extraordinary giveaway for our newest tee, So

Wild Olive

Loved was created to help bring Esther home from China to her forever family.
Two months before coming home, Esther passed away from a virus that was
complicated by her heart defect. We are proud to carry “So Loved” in our store
in honor of Esther, and orphans around the world, so that God’s love will be

100% of the proceeds of the sale of each So Loved tee will be
used to fund a future heart surgery for an orphan in China.

remembrance of Esther, and as a celebration of her birthday today, we are giving
away 15 So Loved tees!

Since Esther is SO LOVED by us at Wild
Olive, we wanted to make this giveaway extra special. Here is what you need to
do to enter:
■Do a spontaneous act of kindness for someone in Jesus’ name.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life,
by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13-14 Post a
comment here, telling us about it. (5 entries)
■Post about our So Loved
charity tee on your blog including our So Loved button and spread the word
about our Giveaway to Remember. (1 entry)
■Tweet about our giveaway and our
So Loved charity tee. (1 entry)
■Post about our giveaway AND our So Loved
tee on your facebook page. Please leave a comment on our fan page as well. (1
■DO ALL OF THE ABOVE ( 10 entries!!)

Don’t forget to come
back here and post comments, telling us about all of your entries(even if you
left a comment on our facebook page)! Entry deadline is August 14th. Winners
will be announced on the 15th.

We at Wild Olive look forward to seeing
what God does with our efforts, it is our prayer that Esther’s short life would
be honored, and that His love for Esther – and for orphans everywhere – would be

01 July 2011

Just as I am

So much has been happening that I just haven't gotten on here to post. My intention is to post regularly, or at least semi-regularly. Sigh.
I just thought I'd take a few minutes (spurred on to a Five Minute Friday post by reading the blog of someone I knew in college) and check in.
I have been thinking, "I need to write a blog post." Then I think of how long it's been since the last one, and I decide there's too much to try to fill in the blanks. Reminds me of Princess Bride. "Let me splain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up..."
About 2 years ago, I met the man who will be my husband in 71 days. Back in November, on my birthday, he proposed. In March, I moved from my pretty little house in Vero Beach, FL to Greenville, SC to allow us to prepare for marriage. Now, the time is ticking away, and my wedding is coming faster and faster, like a hurricane gathering speed over open water.
I'm learning that now that it's down to the wire, planning my ACTUAL wedding, not assisting someone else, not planning a theoretical wedding that won't happen, that it's not what I thought it would be. (For those who may not know, I was a wedding planner/coordinator in days gone by.) Little is turning out as I had planned. Most of my decisions are overridden by factors outside my control. Many of the things that I would find meaningful simply won't happen. This has caused me to learn to focus on the marriage, instead of the wedding.
The wedding will be fine, I'm sure. It'll happen. Weddings usually do. They're rarely, in practice, identical to the theory, some adjustments get made last minute, some are made in planning, and some just seem to happen. I think I'll end up being surprised by how it turns out, because nothing is going as I planned for it to. I'm sure it will be lovely. It just won't be my doing, as I had hoped for the better part of my life that it would.
As I check things off the list, I've begun to prepare for the marriage. I'm thinking a lot about who I am and what I bring with me. I'm thinking a lot about what I desire to give, when I give myself to my husband--who I desire to be, so that he may have my best. As many years as I've had to prepare, I should be more. Better, somehow. My physical looks should be closer to how I always imagined looking for him. My life processes should be better organized. The one thing I feel is on track is my spiritual life. I'm just longing to be able to present him with, well, everything. Not just a piece.
The saving grace in these somewhat dismal thoughts about myself is the knowledge that he knows me as I am and loves me, exactly as I am. In our good-night prayer last night, he prayed that God would help me with my quest to be in better physical shape (a subject for another post). He said, "Father, she looks phenomenal. Of course she does. She looks like You." He doesn't want to marry me 15 pounds lighter, with flawless complexion, manicured nails, and clothes that don't make me look like I just fell out of a dryer. He wants to marry ME. Just as I am. Do you see why I want to give him my very best???
One of the rules of the Five Minute Friday post is that it not be edited. Just type for five minutes. REALLY?? Can people do that? Pretty sure I didn't completely follow the rules, but linked back to her, anyway.