Thursday, December 31, 2009

Perfect wedding, perfect husband, perfect apartment :)

So, all of the hustle-and-bustle is over. The wedding was a blur - a beautiful blur. Everything went so smoothly -- and ALL OF OUR GUESTS SHOWED UP! Can you believe it? There were NO "no-shows". I am so grateful to our parents (and sweet Allan) who emotionally, mentally, physically and financially supported us on the day of our wedding. I don't really have words to describe it - but it was so beautiful.

Jeff and I wrote our own vows, without conversing about them prior to the wedding, and they said the same things (Jeff's, of course, were much more eloquent.) A main theme through our engagement and hope for our marriage was the idea of "choosing" each other. Eventually, the butterflies of being in love will subside, and we are going to have to continuously choose to love each other. This love, of 'choosing', is similar to the agape love of Jesus Christ.
In spite of our imperfections, Christ CHOOSES to love us, unconditionally - just as a husband and wife are called to love each other.

After the wedding, I immediately went to the Social Security office to change my name
- I am officially Laura Chin! Then, we headed up north to Crystal Mountain. The family I babysit for blessed us with their cottage at the resort - it was a real treat! Since I didn't have health insurance yet, skiing didn't seem like a wise decision. We spent an entire day at the spa (couples massage, sauna, outdoor hot-tub in the snow.) It was fabulous. We headed home on December 23rd (a day earlier than anticipated) because a big ice storm was supposed to hit Northern Michigan on December 24th (when we were planning on coming home for family parties.) Christmas Eve was spent with my mom's family and Christmas day was spent with my dad.

Jeff and I woke up at 4:00am on December 26th to head to our new home. It was so bittersweet. I cried ALL day on Christmas (the 25th), the 26th and the 27th. It's weird because within the past year, my brothers have become some of my best friends - and now, I'm gone. A little part of me wishes that we could stay in Detroit to live, but I know NYC is where the Lord wants us (for now!) I miss my mom (she is my best friend and closest confidante) and my dad. Nothing compares to the closeness I have with my family.

I'm trying to enjoy NYC while I'm here (don't worry, no more tears) but am looking forward to the day when Jeff and I can head back to the midwest.
Jeff has been diligently working on our apartment - building LOTS of ikea furniture :) It is officially looking like our first home :) It's in a great neighborhood, and is perfect for us. I am so grateful that Jeff desires to provide for us, and has saved money to allow us to make this teeny apartment our home (i'll post some pictures later.) One thing living in a small apartment forces you to do is DE-CLUTTER! It's fabulous. Living simply should be the only way to live ;)

Tonight, we are having Jeff's best friends over for New Years Eve (I hope they know how intimate this gathering will be!) I have cooked the past three nights - it hasn't been a TOO MUCH of a disaster :) Practice makes perfect, right?

Thanks for all of the prayers and support in regards to our wedding. Please continue to pray that I learn to embrace NYC as my home - that I would be affirmed this is where God wants me NOW - that I would not spend my time worrying about my family back home in Michigan. Ahh, yesterday I enjoyed a long run in Central Park - it makes me love NYC even more :)

Much Love.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Almost there!

Ahhh! I cannot believe we are only 5 days away from the big day! Please pray for Jeff, he is feeling a little bit under the weather and needs to drive to MI on Thursday.

I spent all day Sunday with Ashley making our wedding programs - they are so beautiful! Honestly, our wedding would have no details without that girl. We are so blessed to have her as a part of our wedding (and as one of our best friends!) I'll post some pictures of the programs soon.

So, I packed up my room this past weekend. It was a little bittersweet. I am so excited to move to New York - when I watch TV shows and movies that take place there, I get butterflies in my stomach (that's MY city!) When I tried to move away last time (to Taylor University, my first semester of college) I came home rather quickly. There's no backing out this time! Haha. Several people have told us that being away from family is the BEST thing for the first couple years of marriage. Just know - I hope and pray I can have babies (in 5 years or so) near my momma!

My brothers, Zak and Pete, have been so great during this planning process. Zak is letting all of the guys (Jeff's friends and brother from NY) stay at his condo downtown. They are also our ceremony musicians - mm m mm, so talented! I think our wedding has drawn us closer.

Jeff comes in Thursday - we will be heading to David and Heather's home with Jen and Clark to have a dinner party (celebrating the end of graduate school classes!) I'm so excited for this dinner party, but it too will be a little bittersweet. Heather and Jen have become two of my best friends over the past year and a half, and BAM! Now I'm leaving! Boo! Their friendship reminds me that it WILL be possible for me to meet new girlfriends in New York. God has been so faithful and has provided me with the most beautiful, intimate friendships with other young women.

Well, I have a couple things to do, so I need to scoot. Please pray for our wedding day and our marriage. Pray that God would use us to teach others about Him and His Son. Please also pray for safe travels (Jeff's family is coming in from New York, Florida, Boston and California!)

Our pictures will be up on our photographers website a few weeks after the wedding. Click on "proofing", then click on "Jeff & Laura". The password is: chinjl

Much love.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

praise the lord. i am grateful.

today is thanksgiving - i have so much to be grateful for.

pete and i are headed out to my dads in a few hours. he just moved to this little lake-house in howell. last december, i trusted god for my dad's sobriety on my wedding day (and leading up to it!) thu
s far, god has been faithful and my dad has been sober for over a year. praise the lord. i am grateful.

last night, pete, elise and zak practiced the songs for our wedding. they are so talented. then, we had the opportunity to go taste some yummy appetizers at the whitney with my mom, allan and pete's friend, nick. they were so delicious. it was such a good time with great company. yesterday evening, i got to hang out with jennifer and caitlin. to be honest, i always fall asleep when we hang out (i can't help it, i'm a busy girl!) it was a little bittersweet knowing this may be our last girls night before i get married. they are such great friends. praise the lord. i am grateful.

tomorrow, i am headed to new york city with a couple of bags to begin moving into our apartment. jeff has done such an excellent job keeping-up the apartment and getting our life 'organized' in new york city. he is such an excellent provider. mr. and mrs. chin are taking us to go see 'memphis' on sunday. i have such generous in-laws. praise the lord. i am grateful.

only 14 days left until i am done with classes (forever!) i have me
t two of my best girlfriend, jen and heather, while at wayne state. the lord also provided me with a scholarship this past year, which has been a huge financial blessing. even though i fought long and hard to go to NYU for graduate school, god affirmed me that staying in michigan, at wayne state, was exactly where he wanted me. praise the lord, i am grateful.

within the past year, our family and friends have been so generous. my mom (and allan) are consistently asking me, 'what else do we need to make the wedding perfect?' the chin's and my dad have also financially blessed us to help make this the wedding jeff and i want. my aunts threw us a beautiful shower in august. jennifer has been my sanity throughout this planning process. ashley has generously been the 'designer and creator' of all the wedding stationary (invitations, programs, seating assignments.) my brothers have stepped up to help plan and be a part of the rehearsal dinner and be the ceremony musicians. praise the lord. i am grateful.

thank you to our friends and family who have loved on us and provided for us this past year.

much love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

i don't want it to be THAT kind of wedding...

i hate it when brides get so caught up in the meaningless details of their weddings. honestly, is that what a bride wants her wedding to be about? details? no one remembers them, guaranteed.

i'm beginning to be a little over-stressed and annoyed by all of these details that are creeping up on me. honestly, i don't care about them! the only reason jeff and i are having a 'real' wedding is because it may be the only time all of our best friends and family will be together - and it is a great opportunity to show them who Christ is and what He claims marriage as. i promise you that marriage is not about centerpieces, the music, the drinks, the food .... or even the people who are in attendance at the wedding. marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman that represents the covenant Christ made with the church.

please pray that i would not allow these details to blur my focus on how i view our wedding and marriage.

much love.

Monday, November 9, 2009

the sweet sound of...december 10

haha - i'm supposed to be studying, again. i'm not. no big surprise.

to be honest, hearing two of our professors talk about how there 'isn't much time left' in the semester gets me overly excited. 31 days, to be exact.

god has been so good to me throughout graduate school. we were supposed to have finals scheduled through december 22 (yes, two days after the wedding) but all of our professors scheduled the finals for the week of december 7. yes, ladies, it's true - i have 10 full days of FREE TIME before the wedding (i'm sure it will be quickly filled up by appointments and 'to-do's'....

just thought i would share a little snippet of joy :)

much love.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

6 weeks

i had a pretty busy weekend....looking forward at the next 6 weeks, i'm realizing that my days are quickly filling up with "to-dos" and lists of things i need (and want) to get done before the wedding... i'm really struggling today - i feel emotionally and spiritually drained...

on friday night i had the joy of spending the night at sarah's house with eda - her and dave had a date night...i realized why parents fall asleep early and why moms never seem to have enough sleep...although sweet little eda slept through the night (almost 12 hours!) she was sick with a cough - everytime she coughed throughout the night, i thought to myself, "oh no! i hope she doesn't choke, i should go check on her..." she was always ok, but it did make me appreciate why mothers are such light sleepers!

the next morning (saturday) i went out to my dads. he had an eye doctor appointment and the doctor insisted he had a driver. it was nice to see him, but being with him is....bittersweet. i love him and his company, but it's so hard leaving his house knowing he is alone. i want to be more available to him, but i am so busy. he took me to go see his new house. it's a little cottage-style house on a lake, down several curvy, dirt roads. although his new house is awesome, i feel like i have so many emotions associated with his current house. his current house is where his sober life began, it's where he and diane started their lives together, it's where he got married, it's where we always celebrated, he's moving out, just as i move to nyc. maybe i'm uber-emotional and sensitive (okay, i admit it, i am) but his new house isn't home. with infrequent visits to michigan in the future, it will never be my home. satan has been whispering to my heart, "laura, his new house is so isolated, if he gets sick or falls, no one wil know...he is alone." i guess my exhaustion is due to several things: 1.) the constant worrying i do for my dad. when's the next time he will get sick? who will be there to get him help? 2.) this new home will never be my home...i'm getting married soon and will be 'cleaving' to jeff, in nyc.

i am having such a hard time entrusting my dad into god's care...i cannot be his sole 'worry-er' anymore. i cannot keep him from another relapse. i cannot be his caregiver. my primary concern is going to be my relationship with jeff, my husband. in order for me to fully love jeff, i need to lay this down.

on a more positive note, i went to my second dress fitting on saturday. my dress envy is officially gone :) once the dress fit, and didn't hang off of my body, i remembered why we bought it.

please pray for me. please pray that i would hand my dad over to the lord and that i would feel peace that surpasses all understanding.

much love.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

question for bloggers

does anyone know how i set up 'alerts' when people comment on my posts? do i just have to keep checking them? or is there a way to receive emails telling me when someone has commented?

much love.

ps: mom and allan are taking me to a japanese steak house tonight - yum! am i pregnant (imaculate conception?) my last 3 posts have included a lot of information on food! hahaha

my new favorite treat :)

jeff's mom bought me some Dark Chocolate Pomegranate by Brookside - they are SO good! they are like chocolate covered raisins, but MUCH better :) look for them at costco. mm mm mm.

much love.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


so, i just got word that our wedding coordinator at The Whitney no longer works for them - AHH! how stressful! trusting that God will take care of this, too.

here are a couple of pics from the NYC chocolate show - unfortunately, the one picture we got together had a bad photographer (the top of our heads are cut off!) oh well :)

the show was fabulous. jeff rocks. what a stud.

i've given up facebook until after the wedding - it consumes my life. so, please catch me @ :)

much love.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

chocolate is my love language

i'm sitting on the couch in the Chin family room with jeff, mr. chin and mrs. chin watching the yankees beat the phillys in the world series :) jeff and i have had a fabulous weekend. friday night, he picked me up from the airport and we headed straight to our new home (i love the sound of that!) i am so grateful for jeff's servant heart - he is so meticulous with the cleanliness, decoration and organization of the apartment. he frequently says, 'babe, i'm making a home for you.' i am one lucky gal. when i walked into our bedroom, i was greeted by the most beautiful lillys - my favorite flower. so thoughtful! don't worry - jeff and i headed back to long island to sleep. only 7 more weeks of sleeping alone!

saturday jeff had a surprise for me - we headed to the metropolitan pavilion for the INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE SHOW. yes, ladies - an entire day dedicated to tasting a variety of chocolate (and dessert wine) from chocolatiers. to be honest, i started to feel a little sick towards the end. too much goodness in one day :) BUT sure does know my primary love language: chocolate (i'll take any kind - milk, white, dark...) later that night, mr. and mrs. chin took us out to an uber-fancy, uber-delicious dinner to celebrate mrs. chin's 29th birthday (haha.) we are so grateful to our parents. they are so generous.

today, jeff and i went with his parents to Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Popular for their preacher, Tim Kellar, the service we attended was much more traditional than what i'm used to. maybe God will do huge things in my heart, but I still like New Life (jeff's home church, in queens) more. we'll see where we end up. jeff and i are going to really depend on our church as a place to serve and find some christ-loving folk. one major downside of leaving michigan is leaving our dearest friends. oh well, god has always been faithful.

tomorrow i head home - boo! i'm heading home to a final exam on tuesday (that i've yet to study for) and only 7 more weeks of singleness. also, only 7 more weeks of planning to do. i still need to do a lot: order the boxes for our dessert table, finish my dress fitting, get our parents gifts, organize seating, make our programs, design our centerpieces....this list is stressing me out!

much love.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

52 more days, two more anxiety-ridden flights.

jeff and i fly back and forth to each other once a month. since the fall semester has started, jeff has graciously sacrificed some of his time off because my school schedule leaves me stressed out and anxious to fly. really, i shouldn't blame my anxiety on school. since beginning graduate school, the Lord has revealed himself and 'shown up' in multiple ways.
  • my older brother, zak, stepped up and dealt with my dad's relapse within the first week of graduate school. dad has been sober over a year, now.
  • i got engaged to the man of my dreams, a man who sincerely loves the lord. it was the most wonderful and romantic experience of my life.
  • there has been an abundant amount of healing and restoration in my relationship with my dad and my brothers
  • although i thought jeff and i were going to have a uber-small, uber-cheap wedding, our parents have financially blessed us and have allowed us to have the wedding of our dreams (still small, but by choice!)
  • my school scheduled allowed jeff and i to be married in december
  • i received an internship in new york city. without knowing any speech language pathologists in new york city, the lord blessed me with some wonderful people who diligently worked to find me a placement.
  • our school finals schedule was supposed to go until December 22 (2 days after our wedding!) i prayed that the lord would somehow intervene and change this schedule and he was faithful. our finals end december 10 (ten days before our wedding!)
  • jeff and i faithfully prayed for an apartment in new york city. we found one. a great one.
  • the lord has continuously strengthened my relationship with jeff's parents. when i prayed for my husband, i would also pray that i would have a good relationship with his parents. the lord was faithful.

i feel truly blessed. why am i still 'freaking out' about things that the lord will handle? i freak out about wedding details, my classes, the marriage licsense, changing my name, getting a teaching certificate in new york.....honestly, i need to LET IT GO!

tomorrow, i fly to nyc. before flights, i am always anxious - not about the plane crashing, but it actually taking off on time. i know, bizarre. my fear is a lack of faith in the lord's plan and goodness. "do not be anxious about anything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the lord. and the peace of god, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ jesus" (phillipians 4:7.) once i let go of this anxiety, and hand it back over to the lord, THEN, and only then, can the peace of the Lord cover me.

i'll post some pics of nyc soon.
much love.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

who doesn't love a good cake?

my dear friend sarah is one of the most talented women i know. seriously - not only is she an amazing mother and wife, but she restores antique furniture, hangs moldings throughout her home, lays tile, is an excellent cook AND baker.

one of her specialties is the design of cakes. yes, cakes like Ace of Cakes (except better because they are made by a beautiful woman :) ). Recently, she designed a cake for the 80th birthday of the woman who owns Ahee Jewelers in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. somehow, she made cake look like a mahogany jewelry box filled with diamonds, emerelds and pearls (now that's my kind of cake!)

birthdays, weddings, showers, or just because, check her out if you're in the metro-detroit area and are in the market of a cake (or cupcakes!)

much love.

Monday, October 26, 2009


my mom is one of the most generous people i know. honestly, i hope that someday i can bless people the way she has blessed me. not only has she sacrificed so much for my brothers and i since high school, she never makes us feel shameful or guilty when we need a little bit of help. to be honest, we don't really ever have to ask for anything, she just gives it to us.

in the midst of planning our wedding, she continues to be generous.

thanks momma :)

much love.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

i have THE best girlfriends <3

i will not lie, i have some of the best girlfriends :) last night was my bachelorette party - it was so fun! ashley graciously allowed us to start at her parents home. her and jennifer decorated with the theme 'sex in the city' - i'm headed to that city soon! they prepared delicious appetizers (mmmm!) which was followed by a game similar to 'the newlywed game', lingerie gifts and then we went to fishbones after.

one of my favorite parts of the evening was the 'newlywed game'. ashley sent jeff some questions about me and our relationship and he recorded his responses on video. it was so funny to compare our answers - and all of his responses were so heartfelt. mm, i get to marry him.

here are some pictures - thank you jennifer, ashley, sarah, lindsay and caitlin for such a wonderful night!

sweet sarah came despite a long, exhausting week. i admire this woman.

caitlin and i :) she brought the most delicious cupcakes from The Cupcake Station. mmmm!

jennifer, caitlin and lindsay at fishbones :) so fun!

ashley and i :) thanks for the fabulous crown/veil haha

i'm not sure why we were so sad?

dinzy came all the way from battle creek - what a good friend!

much love.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the big 2-3!

it's jeff's birthday today :) the big 2-3 i don't get to see him until next friday - but i am so excited! we received our first rsvp today - ahhh! it's becoming so real! i can't believe the day has FINALLY come!

jennifer and i are going to the dress-fitting woman tomorrow. hopefully my dress still fits (kidding!) i'm so excited that she will be there - my momma has to work. hhaha - the picture below is of me in my grandma's dress - which my mom also wore. my mom didn't preserve it, so it's so yellow. don't worry, this is not my dress. hahaha

much love.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marriage Podcasts

I attend Hope Community Church in Detroit, MI. Currently, Pastor Butcher is doing a sermon series on marriage. It has been so challenging for me (good challenging.) Here's the link to the podcasts - I would encourage anyone who is interested in marriage, gender and relationships to take a listen :)

much love.

ps: 60 days!

Sunday, October 18, 2009 are cordially invited...

9 weeks until we tie the knot.

thanks to ashley, my invitations are beautiful and finished :) she put so much hard work in the designing, printing and construction of the little pieces of art .

i found the paper at once the paper arrived, we hand-stamped all of the actual invitations with the gold and black flowers ( ashley printed the RSVPs and created the hand-drawn maps of Detroit (how creative!) we sealed the invites with a verse from song of solomon, "i found the one whom my soul loves" to finish it off!

so cute, right?

i also got to sleep over at sweet sarah's this weekend. i am going to miss her, her family and the bible study so much. little eda (sarah's daughter) is growing up so fast. this morning, right before we were about to leave for church, eda found a corner to 'do her business'. she is so cute!

well, i haven't touched my notes for school ONCE this weekend - i should get on that!

much love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"without faith it is impossible to please God" (heb. 11:6)

i cannot tell you how frustrated i am with the new york state department of education. in order to work with any children (for speech pathology), i need to have a valid ny teacher certification. this process has been so frustrating and i am constantly anxious about it. this past week at bible study, we studied hebrews 11. it was so convicting. i am not trusting that the lord can handle this process. "faith is the assurance of things hoped is impossible to please the lord without faith." wow. if the lord wants me to work with children in new york city, he will have his hand in this process, right? even though it ordinarly takes months, and i have to take two additonal tests, pay a few hundred dollars and take a couple of extra courses, it is possible with him. blahhhh

on a different note, jennifer and ashley are planning my bachelorette party this month! i am pretty excited about it (excited for lingerie, especially! haha.) ugh, i am going to be so sad to leave my girlfriends. i am trusting that the lord will provide me with initmate friendships with christian women in nyc. i heard that once you get married, it's much harder to maintain solid friendships with members of the same-sex. boo. i don't want that to happen to me.

ok, i really need to study.

much love.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

stuck in the middle with you...

so, if you know me, you know that i may have two of the most handsome men as brothers (see pic below). growing up, i was always the 'goodie-two-shoes' child...we are all SO different... i'm over-sensitive, emotional, 'keep it together' kind of girl... zak is a businessman - a salesperson - who can talk you into (or out of) anything. pete (or, as i call him, retep) is by far the 'smartest' of us - i was always a little jealous of him. i would spend hours studying for a class or an exam to get an A, while pete would stay up all night without studying and still pull off a better grade them me (darn you, pete!) zak is an excellent guitarist, pete can sing his way into any young woman's heart. i tried to play piano when i was little, and failed. miserably.

i think our parents raised us 'equally', but somehow we ended up so different. god is so funny in how he creates each of us an individuals. one thing that i love and cherish is my relationship with the lord. retep and zak did both grow up in the church with me, but just aren't feeling it. if i were being honest with myself, i would say that my greatest desire is for my brothers to deeply love and know jesus christ. nothing can satisfy their (or anyones!) deepest emotional needs and their 'daddy' wounds. i'm not judging retep and zak - i love them just the way they are - but just know they could be more fulfilled. i can share the gospel with anyone on the street, in my class, friend....but for some reason it's so much harder with them - why is that? maybe it's this childhood longing to be loved by them (we weren't 'best friends' growing up). i don't know. it's pretty discouraging.

anyways, retep and zak are playing guitar/singing for our ceremony. i feel so blessed to have such talented brothers that will be singing me down the aisle :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a dear friend....a sister in the Lord

i had a really tough time deciding where to go to graduate school. sometimes i wonder how i ended up at wayne state. jeff decided to go back to nyc after graduation (in april of 2008) and i somehow got accepted in NYU's program. i think sometimes god offers us a lot of really good choices so we can learn to listen to his voice. i had a sneaky plan: go to nyu and get married really fast to jeff (living in the same city would have sped up the process, right?) well, in doing that, i would have quickly drowned myself into about $120,000 of debt (nyc is a very expensive place to live and attend graduate school.) i thought that if i decided to go to wayne state (or emu, or wmu, or msu) that my relationship with jeff would be doomed. the lord had a different plan from me.

after deciding on going to wayne state, i received every scholarship imaginable from emu. seriously!? i had just declined the offer, and THEN they started sending me scholarships?! did i make the wrong decision?! wayne state does have a better, clinical program...but school for free sounded nice. yet, i felt peace with my decision to go to wayne state. it was almost overwhelming.

at the beginning of every semester/every college i have attended (yes, i have attended 4) my prayer has been that the Lord would put women in my life that i could share christ's love with. he was always faithful - i always had a couple of women in my classes or bible study that were so damaged by unhealthy relationships with men, abuse, addictions.....little did i know what the lord had planned with my friendship with lilly (ok, i changed her name just in case she doesn't want her business all over my blog). in october of 2008 (about 1 month into school), i was walking with lilly back to our cars after a long day of class. lilly looked at me and said, 'last year, i prayed that god would bring a christian friend into my life during graduate school. look! he answered my prayer with you!" this is when i knew: lilly was the reason why the lord placed me at wayne state.

at the beginning of our friendship, i thought that i would be pouring into lilly, sharing christ with her....yet, at this point (1 year later), lilly has taught me more than i have taught her...guaranteed.

lilly understands what it means to fully forgive someone and receive forgiveness. i still cannot grasp this. i am still struggling with bitterness towards my dad as a result of his addictions. i struggle to embrace forgiveness from people i've wronged. in our daily lives at school, this understanding of forgiveness has pierced my heart with conviction. here is a beautiful young woman who lives out christ's forgiveness in her relationships with her family, friends and fiancee. i have grown up in the church, with christian parents, with only christian friends, and am still SO hesitant to forgive. what a sin! SHE GETS IT! isn't this what being a christ-follower is about?

it will be so sad to leave my dear friend, my sister in the lord, but now understand why the lord led me to wayne state.

much love.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

becoming one (cell phone bill)

is this lame? yes. but jeff and i just started a cell phone plan together - one of the first things we have done 'together' (although he did everything to organize and pay for it, thanks jeff!) it makes me so excited for unity (although i did love it when my parents paid for my cell phone bill, utilities, school, food, gas,

it seems that lately i've been burdened by this idea of 'covenant marriage'. so many people say the vows, 'for better, for sickness, and in health' -- do people REALLY know what they're getting themselves into? seriously. this is a huge commitment! no wonder why so many people get divorced now-a-days. i've had the opportunity to work with stroke patients through graduate school - some of them come in with their spouses, unable to communicate themselves, mobile through a wheelchair, 100% dependent on their spouse. when you commit to marriage with someone, the lord has called you to say, "even if you have a stroke, and can't wipe your own booty, i am still going to remain faithful to you..." OR 'even if you become a drug addict, just like my dad, i'm making convenant with you and will see you through" OR "even if you cheat on me, i'm still going to love you through this and stay with you".

WOW! this is why christ has called us to love each other the way he loves the church. as christians, we 'cheat' on christ every day - with sin. yet, he continues to gift us with grace and restore us. how beautiful is that?!?! can marriage really be possible without christ present to bridge the gap between our selfish desires and what the lord has claimed marriage to be (romans 8:2-4)? so, in the midst of all of this divorce that surrounds me, i have hope for my marriage (and the marriage of those who claim christ.) mmm, makes me love the verse I Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply. For love covers a multitude of sin..." God = love. God covers sin. amen.

jeff is so good at loving me. i am visiting him in 3 weeks (oct. 30) and he has planned a romantic surprise for my birthday. honestly, why am i so blessed? previously, he has surprised me with a beautiful engagement, a romantic boat ride around manhattan at sunset, packages in the mail, flowers, chocolate, visits to michigan.....honestly women, don't settle for less!

ok, i need to study :)

much love.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

74 more days!

Can you believe it? Jeff and I are finally getting married, in 74 days. These past few months haven't been easy - I just want to be married to him. Enough of this lame 'planning' stuff, a wedding lasts about 5 hours. I'm will not stress about it.

Jeff is still working for a music licensing agency in NYC. He just moved into our apartment on the Upper East Side. I went through a period when I was convinced that the Lord wanted us to live in Detroit, but I have been really warming up to moving to The Big City since we've had the apartment. A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Butcher talked about this 'leave and cleave' notion that comes from Genesis - what does it look like to physically and emotionally
leave your family and cleave to your spouse. After hearing this, I was affirmed that the Lord wants me in NYC (until we start to talk about kids, then we can re-assess, haha.) I need to 'woman-up' and cut the codependent ties with my dad. I will need a lot of prayer - it's going to be really rough to leave my best girlfriends (and spiritual mentors) and my family (especially my mom, who has become my best friend.) Part of my spirit feels like I'm leaving all of this 'unsettled' business in Detroit, but the Lord is forcing me to trust him - He can work in my family and in Detroit without me here. He is not dependent on me. (Praise the Lord!) Other than that, I'm just finishing up my last semester of classes in graduate school, finishing up last minute wedding plans and packing up my stuff for the big move :) Please come visit us!

much love.