their life together

It’s almost been a year since his proposal, her last post, and 6 months since they wed. A combination of writer’s block and processing overload, alongside of a new last name, snowballing transition and a home free from internet has left her beloved blog on the back burner. However, a new adventure has spurred on curiosity about how to make this space, theirs.

The following is a brief update on their life together, and their what abouts to come:

Two became one.

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She had her dream wedding party in a barn.

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He didn’t dance.

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They spun around and around in circles.

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Beachin’ on the ‘moon, they were chillin’, breezin’, sippin’ and singin’.

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She moved to Houston, where she vowed she’d never live. It grew on her.

They ate as many meals as possible for free,

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played, ventured and explored on a dime.

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Life as they knew before, became simplified with board games every night,

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and laundromat dating every week.

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Lessons were learned a many traveling with a group of youth.

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Moving from one small little home to another small little home,

they aspired to become repurposing gurus.

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She started seminary, practiced life with babies,

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and landed a pro-fesh part time job at a counseling center.

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He ga-ga’d ball,

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Hunted varmints and continued to woot and toot.

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They laughed, cried, pouted and partied, argued, dreamt, prayed and planned.

And just when they began to get comfortable with their idea of the next five years, a phone call, a fall to the knees, long late nights of talking and praying, a few trips to New Braunfels, dreams of mission and ministry and leaps into the unknown kept them surrendered and trusting the One in control.

He revealed, made a way, and obedience beckoned their next step. To follow was to say goodbye, to entrust the Shepherd with His flock, to pack up their home, load up a trailer, and move.

In obedience, they followed, in following, they moved.

They moved to the place where sixteen years ago, she met Jesus… where each summer He wooed her, reminded her and rescued her… where He revealed in her the depravity within she didn’t dare imagine was there… and where He redeemed her with the lavishness of His grace abounding.

They moved to the place where God met him after his darkest hours… where He gave him a second chance… among relationships extending the greatest grace, to those who believed in the man he could become… where the gospel became real to them both.

In following, they returned to a place they call home, to a place where they met, fell in love and got engaged.

They returned to camp.

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They’ve joined an adventure, and can’t wait to see how He keeps them uncomfortable.

Check out their what-a-bouts prepping for T Bar M Camps’ Discover 252 in Summer 2015!

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beyond the finish line

[They were there. They saw it all, every step, every fall. Pummeling along dirty trails, rocky roads and sidewalks sales, the two traversed in stride laying every weight of entanglement aside. Supporting the weight of her restless heart, they gave her an outlet to completely fall apart. From tears, giggles, glee and cheers, to grunts, groans and singing in off tones- fit in them, she was fully known. Free from judgment and full of grace, with weary souls and loosely laced, the two matched tone and submitted to pace. Her faithful companions for 500 miles, they carried her through the most tumultuous trials. The eight-month journey to twenty-six point two could only be credited as experienced in her running shoes.]

20130828-160746.jpgFour months ago to the date, her running shoes carried her 26.2 miles across a finish line. This finish line was symbolic of many thoughts, ideas and experiences. It was the end of an adventure, the reward of discipline, the anticipation of glory, the completion of a goal, but most feared, the turning point into the unknown. With arms high, and heart abandoned, the step that followed four hours and twenty five minutes of running marked the step of surrender; a letting go of dreams, of plans, of expectations, a trust that her way isn’t best, and a longing to know His way as better. The life she’d imagined, she’d dreamt of it, she’d planned it and she was living it. But it wasn’t good enough. She was disappointed. Her expectations weren’t met. She was unsatisfied. Even in the best of what her futile mind could create in wonder and zeal, even in the full exertion of every fiber in her body, it wasn’t enough. The adventure incomplete, the reward too little, the glory fallen short, the goal too small, and the unknown so great. Her plans, her dreams, her imagination, done. Eight months of rigorous training, done. The career she once dreamt of, done. The expectation of his engagement, done. This finish line marked the end of her arrogant attempts to rule the life she’d imagined, and the beginning of what control couldn’t manage. Here, crossing this finish line, the life she’d never imagined, began.

20130828-160820.jpgThe attempt to articulate this life recently begun overwhelms her. Eight half written blog posts lit up in her doc are her efforts to do so. Their appearance on the screen reflect off of the partially consumed cup of coffee in her hand that meets with the lips of her semi-smile of smite as she sits, contentedly at rest, and irresponsibly unemployed. “This is it.” is what she ponders, staring at the screen, “This is life beyond the finish line, life surrendered, life beyond my wildest dreams. This is it. This is grace. This is what I do not deserve. This is it. This is the gospel. This is Your delight in me. This is it. This is redemption. This is it. This is glory. This. is. it.” Maybe she doesn’t know what ‘this’ or ‘is’ or ‘it’ really is, and, maybe her testament of the past three months beyond the finish line could never fully paint a picture that this is it, but she knows this is better; better than what she could have planned, better than what she has dreamt, better than what she asked for, and better than what she imagined.

Because pictures paint a thousand words, and because a thousand words couldn’t articulate this life beyond the finish line, I’ve chosen a few to take you where I’ve been since then.

20130828-160911.jpgShe let go,

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cleared her inbox and to-dos, quit her job, prepped her last clean eat

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moved to camp,

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remembered His covenant,

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honked, ran fast and free, met beyonce, became known as ‘momma’, loved like crazy,

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waved her flag,

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played in the mud,

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 made eye contact, drank alot of coffee, caught the bouquet,

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got ‘er done,

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burnt some bacon, flushed a fork, ate a chop, met some gems,

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shared her story, experienced grace, tasted the gospel,

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dominated the dam(n) slide,

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and at the end of it all, she came home.

This. is. it.

It. is. better.

Beyond her wildest dreams, the life she’d never imagined.

her ode to 2012

Last New Years, I was privileged to travel to the mountains of Colorado with a dear friend’s family. Lori, her mother, challenged us to write and present a poem reflecting on the year’s past— What initially was throw up in my mouth at the thought of exposing my soul became a worshipful response to God’s faithfulness over the year. Thanks to Lori, my very first n.y.e tradition continues.

her ode to 2012

january

she could have never anticipated

what 2012 had in store,

a year beyond what she imagined

and so much more.

He exhorted her to go and tell

of how He saved her soul,

to those tormented similarly

and desperate to be made whole.

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february

she trembled at this call

for her story was one she shamed,

but He had greater plans

for His glory and His fame.

in faith she followed,

and He lead the way.

yet, in weakness she fell

on her skinned knees, she prayed.

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march

total dependence

He would require,

for only His strength was enough

to relent from this works’ tire

grieving her limitations,

she cursed the thorn in her flesh.

then sweetly remembered

what free life results in death.

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april

anchors in hand

she engaged the climb,

the view so much bigger

trusting in His time.

heart beating faster,

she began to share,

and to life he brought her

up and out of despair

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may

identity proved destined

in her belovedness unfold

cultivating hope and grace

with each story told

no remnant of shame

His blood left remain

the chosen set free,

whitewashed from dark stain

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june

from bud to blossom

His radiance, her face

she gleaned securely

in His warm embrace

a summer in soul city

this sunflower thrives,

as a fitnessing foodie

on hill country drives.

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july

celebrating her independence

in red white and blue

wedding two heart friends

and traveling to peru.

her unceased ventures

were met with a frown

by the long sufferings of a parasite

slowing her way down

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august

a call to the stage

beckoned her step so bold

with spotlights and speakers

and a harvest tenfold

in faith and obedience

to quiet commands

surprised by joy

and awestruck she stands

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september

moving into a cottage crooked

with heart ‘n soul friends

and starting a dream job

with some pressure to pretend

humbled by heartache,

and sin exposed,

ignited a season to fight

nasty lies imposed.

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october

detoxing from sugar

and training for 26.2

revealed cobwebbed corners

and undisciplined residue

yet, relentlessly met with

a Father’s word worthy

she celebrated year 25

in His severe mercy

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november

He brought her to breaking

then took her to greece

her eyes saw and ears heard

heart longing for restored peace

her city greeted her return

in a season of gratitude

and just a few days later

with a baby boy boston dude

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december

He’s beckoned her to the nations

disciples to go and make

yet the call to come and die

leaves her life here at stake

would she lay it down

to follow His voice

dreams, plans, desires

making Him alone her choice?

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New Year

Length of days does not profit me

  except the days are passed in they presence.

  in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,

  sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,

  that I may not be one moment apart from thee,

  but may rely on thy Spirit to supply every thought,

     speak in every word,

     direct every step,

      prosper every work,

      build up every mote of faith,

  and give me a desire to show forth thy praise;

     testify thy love,

     advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,

  with thee, O Father, as my harbor,

  thee, O Son, at my helm,

  thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,

  my lamp burning,

  my ear open to thy calls,

  my heart full of love,

  my soul free.

Give me the grace to sanctify me,

    thy comforts to cheer,

    thy wisdom to teach,

    thy right hand to guide,

    thy counsel to instruct,

    thy law to judge,

    thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe,

    thy triumphs my joy.

[Valley of Vision, New Year p. 112]