Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Steps

I tried something new today folks. Philip and I had a little date to Subway. (I think partly to celebrate our finally secure financial sitch. We've just been unnecessarily worried about big expenses and small bank accounts. Recently we've saved up a decent amount/trusted God more for money). I order the same exact thing every time I go to Subway. Let's be real, you narrow down your options when you go there anyways. You're getting a sub. Or some soup that's too small to satisfy. My usual consists of: 6 inch Turkey on wheat NOT toasted with pickles, olives, and jalapenos. It might sound weird, but it is good enough to keep me coming back again and again. But today I took a walk on the wild side. I opted for toasted! AND I traded jalapenos for peppercinis. As I contemplated this decision Phil said, "Do it! Be adventurous!" It makes me chuckle, that for me, this counts as adventurous.  I hope this gives you some insight on how I deal with change, and that you're proud of me for taking steps, no matter how small, towards growth.

It might be hard, but like Momma always says:  If it wasn't for change there would be no butterflies.
Original Photo

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love--Mixed Messages

I think love is a good theme to sum up my weekend. You might be thinking, "Duh, you're engaged. Love sums up your life right now." That's semi-accurate. Though I could think of some other words like stress, busyness, balancing-act, change (many things I don't deal with well). However, this is not completely about that. Aren't you tired of me gushing about my hot hunk-o-man-candy by now anyways? Good, I'm not either. Friday night I paid a visit to one person so much of my heart is dedicated to loving: Nicole Williams. I wish I could tell you we did something really cool. But we mostly just talked. Girls can do that. It was so good for my soul to get caught up on her life. We also ate Chinese food and watched a girlie movie called: Beauty and the Briefcase. Melt. Doesn't that sound like something I would like? It's one of those low-budget films that never makes it past the ABC family channel.
Love according to Beauty and the Briefcase:

Besides some sketchy sexual morals this actually put forward a pretty good message about love. The main character Lain played by Hilary Duff (who I love from my Lizzie Mcguire days) made up an idealized man who she called her "Magic Man." Amongst the checklist she created to find him were "has a sexy accent," "plays an instrument," and "takes me on spontaneous international vacations." This might be better than her friend's standards which only required men to be "breathing" and "cute." It takes perceived failure vocationally and socially, but by the end of the movie Lain realizes that the ways she views love is unhealthy. She ends up falling for someone that only meets one of her requirements (he plays the harmonica). A few things about them make the two a compatible couple. She is strong where he is weak and vice-versa. They encourage and challenge each other. Most of all, their relationship isn't a fantasy. It is real. Lain realizes that in the end, that is WAY better.

Saturday, after registering at Bed Bath and Beyond (you can check it out online to see some of the crazy cool, and ridiculous stuff we registered for) Philip and I went to the free movie at the Compton Student Union Building: Tangled.

Love according to Tangled:
This is a twist on the classic fairytale: Rapunzal. I noticed something about the two main characters who *spoiler alert* fell in love. They were vulnerable with one another. The moment these two began showing signs of having ushy-gushy feelings for each other was after each shared their biggest personal secret with the other person. They grew closer over talking about their less-than-pretty family backgrounds. It was vulnerability that brought Rapunzal and Eugene together.

Love according church today:

We sang this song in church today and these lyrics really struck me:
This is love:
Jesus came and died and gave His life for us.

My pastor said he gets asked a lot, "How could a loving God send people to hell?" That's a good question. But what if it's not the right question? Pastor Aaron went on "What if our loving God doesn't send people to hell. What if He bends over backwards to make it possible for everyone to know that they can choose heaven?" God gave the blood of His own child to make sure we could be reconciled to Him. God's reaching a hand down and we have to reach back and grab it. He won't force us to choose Him.

That's the kind of love I want to give Philip. I want to willingly lay my life down, daily, to help him be lifted up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I watch one show: Glee. At least, it's the only show I take watching seriously.  If you are a glee hater, you might want to move blogs. Or stick around and start a heated debate in my comments section. I get free cable in my dorm but until just recently I hadn't even plugged the cable cord into my TV (I've been there since August). I am blessed to have a huge flat screen TV. My dad shows his love through gifts, and I don't mind. I mostly watch movies on it. I've never had "a show." My friends skip workout sessions, club meetings, grandmas' funerals if they interfere with watching "their show." I've just never been THAT into something. Until now. I fought it. I remember rolling my eyes at Glee when my sister started watching it. This was my fate: 18 college students crowded around 1 hostel TV, 0-3 shows in English available, 2 Seasons of Glee on DVD.

Now I'm hooked. I'm never home to catch it air on time. But hulu helps me to never miss an episode. The 40 minute clip gives me enough time to breathe between work and school, bible study and premarital counseling. I know Glee episodes put forth some questionable morals. And yes, the gay guys kissed last week. On TV. I like to think of it as research. Glee is a representation of our culture's popular views. I buy into at least part of Glee's message. You can usually sift through the New Age-y views to find a picture of truth. I believe that the Gospel (click here to find out what the heck that is) permeates everything. The earth is filled with God's glory. So naturally, we can find bits and pieces of it in the most unlikely places. And whether I like it or not, even the iffy philosophies Glee asserts are widely believed in this country. I am going to take a closer look at this show. Keep an eye out for Gleeviews on my blog. (Get it, like REVIEW). Let's move beyond the cute outfits, good music, showy dance moves, crazy drama schemes and see what Glee is really saying about our culture. And how it relates to life, love, and the Gospel.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Said Yes To the Dress

That sign says David's Bridal. Does this mean I'm really a bride? Everything is still so surreal to me. My supportive mom, her wallet, my sister turned maid-of-honor Jordan, and freshly married friend Jenna (who's holding my hand through this whole process) walked into the bridal shop. We were met by my consultant: Terry. The sweetest, sassiest little thing I'd ever seen. If I was cast as the princess, Terry was the Fairy Godmother who dolled me up for the ball. I loved every bit of her from her short red hair, to her lip liner, to the tallest tiara in the store she was wearing.

I tried on dress #1. Smiles for miles. I'd never worn a strapless gown and not had to pull and fuss to keep it up. And there was tulle galore! My mom asked, "Do you want to try any others on?"

Dress #2. It was a satiny sweetheart neckline that was flattering, but just didn't wow me. It wasn't what I'd been dreaming about.

Dress #3 didn't fit me quite right. It was a tad big. Pretty puckers and sparkly details made it my second favorite.

Dress #4 silvery shimmer all over. Tulle, but not as much as the first dress.  This was my sister's favorite.

We decided to have me try # 1, 3, and 4 on again so I could make the final decision. I got back into 3 (with Terry's help) and narrowed it down to 1 and 4.

As soon as I was back in dress #1 I knew. My family agreed that I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as soon as I put it on. It was perfect. It was MY dress! Mom pointed out that after me two other nearby brides who saw me in it tried one on in their sizes. You can't see it yet, in case Mr. Arnold pops onto this blog. But I'll tell you this: It makes me feel like a princess. It's white. It was made by European designer Michael Angelo (probably the ninja turtle). And it doesn't have to be altered one bit! The dress fits me that perfectly! We added a tiara, and a short sparkly veil and it happened. I became a bride.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How He Loves

I just sat on my bathroom floor, crying, listening to this:

If you aren't following Christ: my God isn't just someone who wants you on His team so there are more bumpers with Jesus fish on them. He's not just a guy with a beard throwing you Philosophical advice. He's not just shaking His fist pissed because you're not following His rules. He is a living God, Creator of the Universe, whose heart is broken because He wants you--for eternity.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Priorities, People

Sometimes, while I'm gone my poor parents forget the importance of certain things. Such as: bendy straws. And whole milk. Thank goodness they've never lost the sense of value of fun shapes mac n' cheese. I don't care what your mom says, these taste way better than the regular noodle-shaped ones! When I'm stocking my own cupboards with my hubby (Coundown: in 122 days), they will never be lacking in this department:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top Ten: Ways To Save Money on a Wedding

1. Check out Costco. My parents are members and we are saving tons on plates/silverware/cupcakes/flowers. Apparently, Costco does it all!

2. Get other people involved. My cousin who works for a salon will do my hair and makeup, Philip's aunt is a professional baker who will be making our cake, and my dad (who used to be in the restaurant business) is doing the catering. They might even throw their contribution in as a wedding gift.

3. Don't include alcohol. I know, you might become less popular amongst your family and friends. But you might avoid some other undesirable incidents along the way. Picture your day without the drunken bridesmaid speech. My venue doesn't allow alcohol which provides the perfect excuse to save some cash.

4. Choose an outdoor venue. Do some deep breathing exercises and lots of praying before hand. Because, I know, a lot can go wrong outdoors. However, if you choose a season and live in a place where there isn't much chance of rain or it being too cold, you should be set. Outdoor is most likely cheaper (in our case it cut the price in half) and the best part: nature provides its own decorations. I won't need to add much to supplement the trees and landscape in beautiful Post Falls Idaho. I would recommend an indoor reception though. Food and outdoors and fancy clothes don't mix well. Unless you're at a church picnic.

5. Buy your bridesmaid dresses somewhere fun! Mine are from Forever 21. If they're too fancy your bridesmaids will never be able to wear them again, and you might wind up causing a 27 Dresses scenario. If you don't know what I'm talking about, leave my blog and go rent that movie right now!

6. Prioritize. Figure out what's important to you. Splurge on that, and be willing to sacrifice things you care less about. My top three most important things are: Venue (Ross Point Camp, where Philip and I met), Dress, and Photographs.

7. Be a decoration minimalist. You know what they say, more is less. I actually think a few classy touches beats the overdone, cluttered look of too many decorations.

8. DIY invitations and programs. First of all, does anyone care that much about these things? You send them out to your friends and then never see them again. Printing your own will save you a heap. Erin Dienst is helping me with the Graphic Design elements, and I'm printing one of mine and then using a local copying service to mass reproduce them.

9. Rent the tux. As hot as your man looks in it, he probably will never wear it again. Let's be real, after the wedding clothing won't be that necessary.

10. Use cupcakes. You really only need a small pretty cake for you to do the traditional cutting of the cake. From there, you can get a couple of sheet cakes for your guests or better yet use cupcakes. My favorite things about cupcakes: they prevent your guests from waiting while someone cuts and plates all the cake, and they are cute!

Extra Credit: My final piece of advice for you: Start being anti-social now. Because, the fact of the matter is, the number of guests you have largely contributes to the cost. (Of course I'm not being serious).

Sorry if this doesn't apply to you because: A. You're a nun. B. You're already married. C. Marriage is in the way way way distant future for you.

Share you wedding saving tips with me, or file this away for far-off-future reference!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Worth Dying For

I don't get unconditional love. I just can't grasp it. Yesterday I messed up. Surprised? You shouldn't be. It probably happens daily. But I felt like a failure. I felt worthless. This is my usual battle. Maybe it's because of my Enneagram type:


I spent time with God listening to Christian music and reading my book Sex God by Rob Bell. It's not what it sounds like. I'm honestly a little embarrassed to be seen reading that book. I can only imagine what people who aren't familiar with it are thinking. Actually, stuff like that is good for me. I need to have my reputation squandered a little. And, hey, if it WAS what you're thinking, it might come in handy soon, as I am getting married in: Countdown: 128 days. Just saying. Please don't gag. Sex God is about the countless connections between Spirituality and Sexuality. It relates our sexual nature to our innate uniquely made being. We are fallen, and therefore separate from God. We are people made for connection, but living in this world causes us to feel empty and alone. Because there is sin in it. Jesus can bridge this gap, but we will never fully understand the world we were actually created for until we get to be in heaven and in close communion with God forever. Today's chapter was called: Worth dying for. Some highlights:

Jesus reminds his disciples, "You did not choose me, but I chose you."

Love and serve the people around you placing their needs ahead of your own, out of respect and reverence for Jesus, who gave his life for us, the ultimate act of love and sacrifice. Die to yourselves, so that others can live. Like Jesus.

Ephesians 5, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Submitting is serious. Submitting is difficult. And it's the only hope a marriage has.

The woman says in Song of Songs, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." So which is it? Is his body hers or is her body his? Who has the authority in this passage? The only proper answer is yes. "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."

So the man is to love the woman, to agape her, as God agapes the world.

For God so agaped the world...

Agape is a particular kind of love. Love is often seen as a need, something we get from others. Agape is the opposite agape gives.

Agape doesn't love somebody because they're worthy. Agape makes them worthy by the strength and power of its love. Agape doesn't love somebody because they're beautiful. Agape loves in such a way that it makes them beautiful.

Do you realize that you are worth dying for?

My answer is that I frequently don't. But I'm coming face to face with this reality. I am about to enter into a covenant of agape. Philip and I will promise to love each other NO MATTER WHAT. If one of us gets fat or bald, or becomes a vegetable we are still going to love each other. Even if Philip doesn't act like the great man that I know he truly is, I will still treat him the same. And he feels the same way about me. We were talking about expectations, because we're reading  books for our premarital counselling.  Philip expects to be the provider.  It's ok if I work, but he never wants our livelihood to be dependent upon my income.  He also said he expects to do most of the housework (I object, and plan to do half of it).  But still.  He's going into this expecting to do, pretty much everything.  I asked what he expects of me.  Phil's love language is touch so he answered, "If you could like, touch my head once a day. I'd be good."  He doesn't want me for what I can do for him, he just loves me.  If an imperfect person feels this way about me, how much more does a perfect God love me?  All of that means, I can't ignore my feeling that I have to earn love. I HAVE to deal with this issue. Because soon, a huge part of my life will be about a covenant of unconditional love; giving it, and receiving it. God is giving me a tangible picture of the fact that I am worth dying for. And I can't ignore it anymore.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On My Plate

Check out this beauty from lindsayletters.com

I am doing a lot of DIY stuff for the wedding mostly for budget reasons to be honest. But when I saw this I had an "Aha" moment (excuse the Oprah jargon). I am going to make 3 versions of these for cupcake trays at my wedding. I will be scouring local thrift stores for pretty plates in my wedding palette. Add some gorilla glue and some clear glasses and voila! I will have a cute, affordable nest for my wedding cupcakes.

Oh and BTW...
There's a lot on my plate right now. Planning a wedding in 5 months (countdown: 4.5 months left) seems like a pretty big task. It's one that needed to be piled on top of doing school, work, ministry/leadership stuff with Campus Crusade for Christ, having friends, and oh yeah maintaining my relationship with my hubby-to-be. Preparing for marriage just takes time and energy--time and energy that I'm happy to spend. Blogging is one activity that helps keep me sane so I'll continue to do it.  If you're the praying type would you pray for me?  Pray that my life would still be about Jesus and not cakes, and love songs, and updos.  Pray that I would have the strength and time-management skills to do everything I need to do.  And pray that Philip and I will grow closer to each other and to God through this whole process.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...