Thursday, April 22, 2010


Quite recently, I was asked what my favorite number was. "6", I said. The following week, it was "5". In a couple of days I'll declare my favorite number as "4".

But today, it's 30!

Thirty days until the wedding :)

(my actual favorite number is 7 and it will resume after May 22)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

bridal shower pictures

Hope you're ready for a LOT of pictures. Here are many from yesterday, for my mother and anyone else who really wanted pictures. (Mom, a CD with detail shots and stuff is in my possession. These are to fill the time till I get home.)
My cousin-to-be, Crystal
Owl wrapping paper!
Bird platter (love it!)
My first rolling pin. Which is apparently a big deal. Everyone was SO excited over this :)
I'm just happy to use it.
With Grandma Arlene (Bay side)
With Grandma Gerre (Bradford side)
New grandmothers and new mother
Grandma Arlene and Grandma Gerre (look at those primary colors!)
With Grandpa Jack (Bay)
Ribbon bouquet, thanks to Aunt Shannon!
Aunt Shannon, Aunt Kim, new Mom and the Grandmothers (all Bradford side except Grandma Arlene)
The grandfathers - Lowell and Jack
Me with the cookie decorating competion winners - Susan, Faye, Lorinda and new Mom :)
The cookies that tied for second (mine is on the right)
Last to leave - Fern, me, Shannon and new Mom
There ya go!

deserving nothing, getting everything.

A year ago, if you were to ask me what I'd be doing in twelve short months, I would NOT have thought I'd be at my own bridal shower. I would have laughed if someone were to even suppose that. "Engaged?" I'd say, "and who's the groom?"

And yet, the day has ended with a bridal shower behind me. I am richer in things for a new home and realizations about the place God has put me. I love when days end like this!

I sat in a living room as the center of attention, opening gifts. As I ripped open carefully taped sparkly paper and admired shiny new cookie sheets, I realized that twelve months ago, I knew no one in that room. Ten months ago, I'd briefly met a few of them. Two months ago, I met more of them. This afternoon I even met some of them. And because God orchestrated life the way He did, twenty-five or so people gathered today. How's that for "God is good"?

I never really thought that it was about getting showered with gifts anyway. I knew it was that the people who loved you spent time planning and shopping and giving advice. I just didn't realize that there would be so many people who would do that in such a short period of time. Some (new family) got up early this morning just to drive here for the shower!

They showered me (us, since I am not marrying myself, after all) with gifts. They showed me so much love. And they blessed me immeasurably. The advice given was out of years of struggles and triumphs as married women. The genuine interest and care... well, it was genuine. These are ladies who love the Lord, love my new family, and as a result, love me.

I did nothing to deserve this, except finally accept a date with that frustratingly persistent Carson Bay. And that's only after refusing and ignoring him (am I a gem or what? Thank you Carson for pursuing. Thank you God for making him pursue :) ). Clearly, God is in this and I can't take an ounce of credit. Clearly, I am where I am because God has put me here. I'm surrounded by tons of people I don't have much history with but couldn't imagine not having in my life. I live with people who call me daughter though I'm not.

Isn't that just like Him though? We deserve nothing but death (Hell) and God has given us everything - life by the death of His own Son... and then continues to give us great extra stuff. Like people who give you bridal showers and offer you jobs and give you motherly advice. Deserved? Nope. Entitled? Nope.

Humbled... well actually in this case, yes. I am humbled and grateful that I am where I am, that it is not because I am who I am but because God is who He is, and that He's led me here... and that it's so obvious to me that it is Him and not me. I can't imagine my life being anything other than what it is right now. But I said that a year ago.

So there you have it... I am



absolutely not entitled

absolutely rich in the people I get to know

...O magnify the Lord with me :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Never Say Never

Conversion is a complete surrender to Jesus. It's a willingness to do what he wants you to do. - Billy Sunday
When you were younger, no doubt you said "I will never ____". Whether it was wear sequins or wash your reds with whites*, or something not quite so trivial, most of us have made a statement that goes something like that.

Have you noticed that God has a sense of humor?

Are these two questions related? Oh yes they are, you smart cookie!

God is not mean, but He is all about Himself, accomplishing His purpose, and pretty much doing what it takes for Him to get the glory. Often, this requires us being taken down a notch or two. In my life, I've often noticed that when I've said "No, I will not" about something, that same thing ends up happening.

Surrender is not a dirty word, and it's not a horrible thing. It's part of the process that God works in our lives to make us more like Him, to like Him more, and to glorify Him. Sometimes exactly what we need in order to do that is exactly what we don't want. Saying "Okay Lord, have Your way in me" can be the most difficult thing to do, but it's so worth it!

Maybe saying "never" about some things isn't bad, but please don't say it to Him. He will grow you, change you, and be more to you than you ever could imagine if you will allow Him to work!

*washing reds with whites IS a bad idea. Unless you like pink socks.

Monday, April 12, 2010

evolution of a snickerdoodle

Making my favorite cookies. Though I'll gladly take any other kind also, these ones are hard to beat (chunky peanut butter ones and mom's oatmeal cookies are also in the running here).

They ended up quite small, and I restrained myself to three, over the course of three days (which is amazing, if you know me at all). The others were consumed by a grateful fiance and future father-in-law :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

six weeks

We're getting married in six weeks! Can you believe it?

I can't.

Friday, April 9, 2010

things I've enjoyed lately:

...Carson coming for a visit

...studying Hebrews and Galatians :)

...reading the sweet messages people leave with their "RSVPs" for the wedding

...Perry Mason on DVD with my future in-laws

...spring flowers

...renewed energy (I'm not tired all the time anymore!)

...baking cookies

...reading "for fun"

...lengthy letters from wonderful friends

...the internet. how DID we communicate with overseas friends before this? planning. Nope, I don't have anyone to host it for, but if I did, it would be great. Seriously. Maybe I should invest this time into planning my wedding?

...pearl earrings


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

kindred spirits

"Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world" - Anne of Green Gables

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

oh, please come!

There are several very important things on a wedding "to do" list. Picking a location, figuring out the order of the ceremony, finding a dress... But one of the biggest things is the people who will be coming!

First of all (I couldn't get the pictures in the order I actually wanted):
Stamps. There were the stamps with rings, and stamps with cakes. But they were just a wee bit too... dare I say, ugly for my taste. So we went with the king and queen of hearts. I think they're cute.
Here are the invitation components: inserts (one for everyone, one for those we know won't be able to make it to the wedding), pictures (2 different kinds of normal ones, and then the goofy one Carson wanted. I'm glad we put pictures in because #1, I like pictures and #2, a lot of people won't know one or the other of us so now they have a visual), and the actual invitations themselves. I LOVE our invites. They're a picture of the trees and marsh behind our house, designed by my mom's uncle.
And here's me, burning the midnight oil and iPod battery life to finish stuffing invites on time.
Finally sent them out two weeks ago. That's one big thing done. Only a few weeks left!

Monday, April 5, 2010

cherry blossoms

I mentioned spring a few posts back and talked about the cherry blossoms, but I had to include more of its loveliness.

Here, we have my new mother and new aunt under the "very bridal" cherry blossoms. Shannon's trying to make the petals fall. I love this picture.
Looking up. This is so... worshipful. Almost like but much better than stained glass.
And the boots, once again. Surrounded by blossoms.

Friday, April 2, 2010


It's Good Friday.

Today we remember the day Jesus died. On the cross. Beaten beyond recognition, crown of thorns stuck on His head, crowds jeering at Him, women weeping, nails through His wrists and feet, put onto a cross and left to die. And He did. Jesus died.

Leaving it there makes it sound bad, not good. And it's already been established that today is GOOD, right?

You see, long before the cross, long before any of that, there was God. The Bible says that, actually: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth". He was there from the start. You know what happens next. God gives a command and Adam and Eve disobey. Fellowship with God is broken, sin has entered into the world.

Many generations follow, all sinful. Some of those people do walk with God. Some of those people prophesy about a Savior. They write about a figurative lamb who will take away the sins of the world. They talk about a man who will take on the sinfulness of all men. He will be born of a virgin, something pretty much impossible (but all things are possible with God). His name is Messiah. He will be God and Man.

Skipping ahead just a little more, Jesus is born of a virgin. He is the one prophesied about. He will take on the sins of the world. He spends three years, teaching, healing, and ministering to people. He claims to be equal with God, which doesn't go over very well with the religious officials. They plot to kill Him, on charges of blasphemy.

One of His very own followers betrays Him and gives Him over to those who want to take His life. He is put on trial. He doesn't defend Himself when they accuse Him but asserts that He definitely is who He claimed to be. They assume that this is reason to kill Him. He goes through the whole gamut of religious and political leaders and finally He is sentenced to die on a cross, pretty much the worst way to die.

And so He does. He dies. And since He wasn't just saying something, since He was actually who He said He was, He does what He came to earth to do. He died, sinless, taking on the sin of all mankind. He could do that because He was God and man. "It is finished", He said, taking His last breath. And then He died.

If not for that, it would be a regular Friday. And there wouldn't be hope. We'd be left to our own devices and trying to get to God and redeem our sin ourselves.

Because of Jesus' death, there IS hope.

And that's why it's Good.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Oh my, April already!

It's beginning to look a little more springy over on this side of the world. Cheery cherry blossoms are blooming over on the Capitol campus, tulips (my favorite) and daffodils are displaying their bright colorful selves on fresh green grass. I do love spring. It's so welcome after the general gloominess of winter.

Rain is just about an everyday occurance but even that isn't so bad. I just put on my bright green coat and new rain boots (a birthday gift from Carson) and make it LOOK cheerful. It really has a great impact on my mood, too.
What a wonderful thing it is that God created seasons and weather. How monotonous it would have been if every day was like the one before. I'm so glad that we have the new, damp smells in Spring, the hot humid days of Summer, the crisp, cool leafy smell in Fall, and bright white snow in Winter. I'm quite thankful that He's given us seasons and the capacity to enjoy them. EVEN the rain!

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babies and infants You have established strength
because of Your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers
the moon and the stars which You have set in place,
What is man that You are mindful of Him,
and the son of man that You care for Him?
Psalm 8:1-4
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