sweet treats.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

my week has been kinda hectic. we came back from committee leader weekend refreshed and rested. i am learning to constantly be aware of the presence of God in my life. and i have some sweet treats to share this week. gifts from friends and notes from the love of my life.

first: one of my best friends came back from israel last week. what a wonderful experience. she brought us back a couple little gifts.

its a little elephant chain and i looks so god in our bedroom next to our little chair. she also got us a tea light candle holder- and it is so beautiful. unfortunately my photography skills weren't good enough to take a decent picture. perhaps one day.

another sweet friend elizabeth- i know her because friends did summer staff with her last summer. we all know my obsession with drew holcomb and the neighbors (ellie....) and saw on her blog her drew and ellie poster. i LOVED it.... so she sent me an extra copy she had. how sweet is that?!! she even sent me a little card with it. thanks so much!

we also all know about my love affair with donuts.... whelp. i was in a baking mode and wanted josh to come home to some treats because he seriously works so hard and still manages to juggle it all and love me so well.
(this is the last one... they looked so much prettier the other day. but hey- it tastes so good!)

and found this note from josh this week:

its crazy how close you can be to someone- never in a million years would i suspect i could be best friends with a boy. but its true. 

although I'm in a bit of a funk today, i am looking back to this week and how much i am learning. its crazy how much you learn when your constantly seeking the face of god. i am loved. not only by the friends above, but by the creator of the universe. i need to remind myself that always. i am only just beginning to truly know the depths of Gods love for me.

off to FXBG with mirmir and abbey to visit katie carr. really excited for my time with them.


our first valentines.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

okay so first let me say that valentines day is a hoax holiday. lets all just be real on that one. 

i was not expecting anything. really i was not. i really do not care about valentines day that much. we had not talked about it. i just figured wed do dinner at home and do the usual. he had school. i had class from 4-7. normal day for us.

but josh went above and beyond. its was honestly so sweet. its even sweeter because there are those guys who know all the cheesy things to do, and are good with words and show their love in the usual lovey-dovey ways. thats not bad. thats not josh. (i feel like this sounds mean, but i mean it to be complete opposite) josh expresses his love in other ways. he wakes me up gently, he gets ready in the dark in the mornings so i don't wake up. he lets me be a little kid most of the time. he always makes some extra sips of coffee for me upon request even though i hardly ever drink it. he works so so hard for us and makes sure i am getting the things i really want, like the nice shampoo and a pair of earrings here and there. and he always does the dishes- even my messes.

he does all that for me and i am insanely loved. but he is not the give chocolate and flowers and write poetry kinda man. (for the record... i hate chocolates anyways) so when he does something out of the ordinary, its that much more special to me because i know how much effort went into it. and i was a giddy girl on tuesday night when i came home from class.

first i woke up to a little message on our note white-board in the kitchen. (a gift made by a dear friend)

i smiled really big when i saw this as i made my breakfast.

i left a card and some baked goods out for josh before i left for school. and was really excited to come home after class. i raced home and texted josh i was on my way.

as i walked up the hallway and to our door, i heard music coming from 10B and i noticed on our new door knocker a little post-it note:
"Bienvenue รก Restaurant Henderson... je t'aime Ally" translation: "welcome to restaurant Henderson... i love ally."

i opened the doors and saw our little expandable table in the middle of our living room all set up for dinner for two. frank sinatra's moon river playing (in case you didn't know, most any song with the word "moon" in it is the absolute best) josh came out of the kitchen all dressed up and i saw a dress and shoes out for me to wear.

he made chicken parmesan all by himself. we ate. we danced. we toasted.

i loved it. so much. i danced around like a giddy teenager and slipped on my dress and ate dinner with the love of my life. it honestly was so so sweet.

there are no words to describe how loved i felt. how hard he worked. how good the dinner was. it was wonderful. thanks babe.... i hope you know at least a little how much this all means to me.



Friday, February 10, 2012

so i have this problem. its called fear and we all have it. i heard on NPR the other day (yes... i listen to that station always) and there was a man talking about human emotions. and he was saying that fear is perhaps the greatest human emotion there is. i don't necessarily agree with that but he is right, no one ever wakes up in the middle of the night because they are happy. you wake up at 3am because you're afraid. and lately I've realized how much my fear drives me, and how much i let my emotions contain me.

and its reflected in all aspects of my life. my fear is stopping me from doing something or making me do outrageous things. but mostly my fear is keeping me from joy. 

there are lots of different kinds of fears. and i think most often its shaped by your past. no one has any easy past. no ones testimony of their life is "well I've had it pretty easy, I've always been happy." were not living in barbies dream house here. instead in a broken sinful world. we all have dealt with tough stuff and hard emotions. and everything causes us to fear about the present and future and what could happen.

my fear is messy. i think one of my greatest fears though is abandonment. so instead of allowing this abandonment to happen, i withdraw. i hold back from people. i numb myself. i callous my heart and allow myself to feel nothing. 

i've pretty much been seeing lately just how far away I've distanced myself from people- and most especially distanced myself from christ. i feel pretty much alone and I'm the only person putting myself there. but jesus has shown me lately that no matter how hard i fight and run, He never gives up.

God has shown up in really big ways and proven to me that i cannot escape his love.
- i got this computer- totally unexpected and needed.
-and then when my tuition bill came in MUCH higher than expected and when i went to talk to odu there was nothing but some loan to apply for which would have a high interest rate and just be super complicated. but then i spoke with a fin aid rep, she gave me a grant for the full amount. yes a grant of x amount of money which ill never have to pay off. that doesn't happen everyday.
- i had so much anxiety about this semester. and its tough but i am actually enjoying most of my classes. i have great professors and am feeling really passionate about the sped class I'm in.

i have been blessed in so many ways and i have nothing to do but thank jesus for his sovereignty and love and grace. I'm married to the most compassionate man who loves me and takes me as i am (sass and all), i have parents and in-laws who support us and offer us so much, i live in a beautiful home, my ministry is blossoming. the list could go on and on to become the longest blog post ever.

point is the Lord is showing me that despite my fear and outrageous emotions, he is here and is going to love and provide for me no matter what. 

so slowly i am peeling back the scars I've left on my heart. i am learning not to hide in my emotions but deal with them. and I'm crawling to the foot of the cross. because thats where i belong and that is where i will find comfort and realize that i have nothing to fear. i only have to experience gut-wrenching joy that jesus offers. 

ill take that any day.

** as posted on facebook, josh went to a teacher fair yesterday, but no places are hiring quite yet because its too early in the year to see how many openings there are. so instead we will continue to pray a position opens up for next year, and pray that the Lord will guide us wherever he desires to put us.


letting go.

Friday, February 3, 2012

this week has been big. on a number of different levels. hard and good. really good.

first some marriage stuff. this blog started to keep people informed about our wedding, to share my heart, and to document what its like to transition from dating to engaged and to married. so I'm gonna go ahead and update on that.

marriage is not easy. seriously. you don't marry yourself- therefore its hard. because we are all self-pleasers. and we don't marry perfection either. you marry someone completely different than you on so many levels and occasionally have the same interests.  thats josh and i. we are seriously so different its funny. but we do have some common interests, which makes for fun dates. both like cities, the beach, funny non raunchy movies, whales and a long list of other sea creatures. seriously thats all nice and dandy but what about when it becomes real and you move past the surface onto the deeper levels of your heart? ah... thats where it hits and things can get complicated.

but one common strand always brings josh and i back... jesus.

seriously i do not know where we would be without him. without constantly centering our lives on him. we would be lost and broken souls with hearts full of hatred. but we are not, jesus has restored our souls and given us new hearts. and that is the sole reason why josh and i work.

and we sometimes have to work harder than other times. and sometimes we forget that christ needs to be at the center. so this past week was hard. but we are learning and essentially being brought to the foot of the cross.

its still hard because we are both sinners and often forget that we live above the american standard of living- that is living for yourself.
sometimes two people get married and live the rest of their lives together. but a lot of times it doesn't work like that. divorce rates are really high. and people say things like "I'm not in love anymore" or "i got married too young when i was too naive"

but i promise if you let go of yourself and give yourself completely to jesus- then it can work. because you realize love isn't a fairy tale or an 80s teenage love movie - its real life and in so many ways so much sweeter because of that.

our love story in a nutshell: jesus came and died for us on the cross. we accepted the truth that we were sinners, we believe he is God showing the ultimate grace, and we committed our lives to him. and because of that josh and i met and are together this day.

i love my husband so much and am so excited that God chose us to be with each other and do life together and fight together and love like crazy with each other.

oh and ps.
big news: remember that time i complained about my laptop? well i must say i may have the best parents ever. seriously. my parents told me they wanted to get me a new one because they love me and are proud. so we've been on the lookout for a good deal. went to office max for their PC blowout event we saw in the a paper with the hopes of getting a new toshiba portage... and they had hardly anything left. because the little guy I'm typing on now.

my macbook pro was more than my parents wanted to spend but it was a STEAL. seriously no joke. i had no idea i would get one, and no one was really planning on it. but we found this deal and my parents went for it. thank you so much mom and dad- what a blessing.

here are some thank you pictures courtesy of photobooth.


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