Monday, March 27, 2006


I know it's not a word, and I have a hard time dealing with ANYTHING that is grammatically incorrect. But this is my world this week - my reality is very surreal. Five days!! Five days until the day I have been planning for 3 and a half months and dreaming of the remaining 28 years of my life. So, how is it going? Pretty well, actually. I have odds and ends to tie up, but it will come together and I will be able to enjoy it knowing that I've done the best job I can do to plan it.

I just wanted to ask any of you who will be at the wedding or reception or anywhere around that if you want to bring your digital camera and snap shots, I would love to have any candids of anything that happens that day. Our photographer will get good posed shots, but he doesn't really do much for candids. So that's an open invitation for ANYONE to just take pictures! I love them and could never have enough, especially on the wedding day. I wanted to have someone to follow me around that day, but I haven't had time to make that happen, and hopefully the bridesmaids and my Mom will snap pics while we're getting ready, etc. It will work out; I just figured I'd throw it out there since some of you have super nice cameras and like taking pics anyway!! Okay, this is likely the last time I'll blog as a single woman. Woo-hoo!! I am SOOO excited and ready for this week! YEAH!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Iron Sharpening Iron

My Life Journal really touched me today, so I thought I would take a chance to share since I have not yet done so on my blog.

"Iron Sharpening Iron"
1 Corinthinans 5:12-13 "I'm not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don't we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house."

Observation: As imperfect people, it can be difficult to attempt to hold others accountable for their sins. We know in our hearts that we are as sinful as they are and as much in need of the grace of God as they are. But God tells us as a community of believers, as people who are all committed to following God together, we have the right and responsibility to hold each other to God's standards for our lives.

Application: As a leader, this can be pretty easily understood - we must hold those in our congregation to follow the life God has set before them. I'm thinking today more as a friend, a sister, a future wife - of those personal relationships I have with other God followers. Do I hold them to the challenges God has set before us all? Do I encourage them to live selfless lives of loving and serving others? Do I model that? Do I open myself up for scrutiny so thath they would do the same for me? How honest am I about the struggles I face and enlisting the help of others to gain victory over them? If I want to live in accountable relationships, I should initiate them and ask the people I love and who love me to show that love by challenging me in the areas where I need it most.

Prayer: Father, I am convicted today that I can do a much better job of holding the people I love to the standards you have set for us, to following you not just in word but in our thoughts and our actions. I see that a good step for me in moving that direction would be to set myself up first and ask others to hold me accountable. So, Father, please give me wisdom to know what important things I can work on to be a better follower of You and who can and will hold me to those standards firmly and lovingly.

This was really good for me today; we convince ourselves into thinking we can overcome our sin on our own - "I'll do better next time" or "I hate this feeling, so I know I won't succomb to this again." If we are truly intent on winning the battles we fight, why not enlist more troops to join us? Who among us could not use the support and encouragement of others involved in the same war we are waging? I want real, honest relationships that not only make me feel the warm fuzzies inside, but are unflinchingly honest with the love of Christ and want to see me grow and change to be more like Him.

12 Days and Counting

My titles now revolve around "The Countdown." So yes, Beefy, I guess I write my titles first. The last 7 days have been insanely productive. I worked on wedding stuff every night last week (Mon-Thurs) and got the ceremony finalized; program typed, edited, and finalized; the cleaning list for Saturday typed up; vows started; lined up some help for setting up/tearing down at both receptions...and more. I can't even remember it all. I picked up a lot of things in Waterloo on Thursday. I even had time Friday to drive to Dubuque and back with Matt!

Saturday was AWESOME!! From my count, it was 8 women plus myself, and we cleaned the place from top to bottom (they even cleaned around the remodel zone as much as possible). I cannot believe how it was transformed in a matter of hours. I could not possibly say thank you enough times to express how grateful I am for all the help. Even a couple of hours made a huge difference in my state of mind leading up to the wedding. I also printed and began assembling all the programs that day. So for now, I'm feeling really great. It seems like mostly odds and ends need done; nothing too big or overwhelming on my part. Which is an incredible feeling. I'm sure I'll figure out ways to fill the time and it will go by faster than I can imagine. But I'm also grateful that I had last week to push myself and stress out; it is allowing me to enjoy the next 12 days as much as possible. This is one of those times that I am really grateful for being an organizer/planner type of person.

12 very short days to go!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

18 Days - are you KIDDING me??

I guess it's been almost a week since I posted. I don't really know what to write about, but I thought I should post something. I've been getting some wedding stuff done; Deb and the ladies at Love & Lace put all my flowers together on Thursday. They are insanely gorgeous. I'm very excited. I picked up my dress on Saturday, and we have decided not to hem it (we were able to order it in a petite), so all my Mom has to do is a French bustle. What else? I am typing list upon list of things to do and trying to call or e-mail as many people as I can think of to help out with different things. It takes time to organize all this stuff, but I am hopeful that I can get a lot done this week and next week and then have the "wedding week" to pull together last minute things and try to enjoy my last few days as a single woman. :-) (NO, silly, I'm not going to party or anything; I should try sleeping smack-dab in the middle of the bed, though.) So that's the update. I am somewhat concerned about getting all the programs put together by the end of next I may have a frantic last-minute program assembly party. We'll see how the week goes. Yeah for cleaning day on Saturday, though! That will be a wonderful occasion.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby!

July 16. That's when this picture was taken; this, the first picture of us. You were standing a few feet away from me in the first picture your mom randomly snapped, and I said, "That's not a picture of us; this is a picture of us!" And so it began.

In all my years of waiting and wondering, praying and asking God to just bring you along already, never could I have imagined what I was waiting for. How could God make someone so perfectly just for me? It was as though He fashioned each of us so intricately as to only fit with each other; the more I get to know you, the more ways I know this to be true.

I also never realized what true love was really all about - how much I would have to give in order to love you, but how much that giving would fill me with joy and deepen our bond. I didn't know the vastness of the sacrifices to be made in knowing another person so deeply; giving up my rights to myself, and knowing that our journey toward becoming one would be filled with a new understanding each day of love as God intended it to be. Love that's completely selfless and relentless in its grace and forgiveness and acceptance. I've learned to love in ways I could not comprehend before you.

So, on this your birthday, I thank God above for the day He created you. I am thankful for the lessons you have learned on your journey to meet me, lessons that have made you the man you are today. I am thankful for the love you have given to me - the depth, the honesty, the tenderness, and the patience it contains. I am amazed at the way you see me - the eyes of love that see me the way God does and just the way He made me to be. I have (on rare occasions) wondered what my life would be like without you. And 8 months after our first date, I have no point of reference for my life without you in it. You are intertwined into everything that I am.

So here's to a future of house remodeling projects, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, trips by train, NASCAR races, monkey bread, love bank points, Christmas decorations, enough Diet Pepsi to fill the earth's oceans, and gazing at the stars from our backyard. And many, many, many more birthdays.

Happy birthday, baby. I love you lots and lots.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

History Tells the Tale...

So I finished one (rather large, in my opinion) project on Friday night.

The infamous wedding slide show.

Lovely T scanned in all our pictures, and I put them in order and chose the songs, how long to play each, and all that fun stuff. We didn't really get to look through all of each other's pictures because of the time factor, so we went through our own pics and shared the ones we wanted to show each other for now. It's really fun to look at all the little kid pictures. Matt has some adorable ones, but you'll just have to wait another 25 days to see them. Well, most of them. I find it fascinating that our current interests, hobbies, whatever began to show themselves at an early age. So here's my baby and his fascination with trains (if you were not aware of this, you have missed an entire part of who Matt is). Isn't he adorable? I can't get over it - you'll see in all the rest of the pictures, too. And for me, well, suffice it to say that I remember many occasions of playing church as a kid. Who knew...? (My mom suggested that Matt PhotoShop out the large stack of papers next to me or label them "sermon notes.")

By the way, our red doors are now on the front of our house! You should drive by and check them out. Maybe you can even see them without turning onto our street. :-) They rule!! Thanks, Daddy; you're the best!