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.