Thursday, August 30, 2012

Last first day as a student...

I am safely back in the good 'ole state of West Virginia.  Kari and I had a long drive on Monday.  We made good time, but were most thankful for the safety the Lord provided with us.  I must confess we went utterly crazy in the car, to the point of creating make believe children in the back seat of the car.  It was hot and long!

We had orientations, meetings, and in-processing on Tuesday.  Classes all started yesterday.  All of my classes this semester are elementary education classes.  Helps get me excited for next semester.  They are all even in the same classroom!  On Mondays and Wednesdays, I even have the same professor for those three hours.  I still can hardly believe I am a senior.  Where in the world did the time go?

Two goals I have for this semester/year that I invite you to join me in...

1)  A balanced life.  I feel excitedly overwhelmed by the different phases of life I am going through between my spiritual life, academic life, relationship life (friends and family), as well as engagement.  I ask that you pray for me as I seek the Lord's help to balance these different areas of my life.  I know with His strength I will be able to work towards this goal.

2) A deepened prayer life.  I am currently doing a devotional Becoming a Woman of Prayer, and that is just what I want to be.  Prayer is such an awesome privilege we have, and I am convicted that we don't use it to its full capacity or take advantage of such a privilege.  I am nervously excited to recently have a situation arise in my life that will need lots of prayer.  In talking to Daniel about it as well as my parents, I realize how I think this situation is God's allowing me to be forced into a life of prayer and dependence on Him.  I by no means feel this will be an easy journey, but I am thankful to have this and am excited to see how He grows me through it.

Thank you to those of you who do read my blog and pray for me accordingly.  I may not know you do it, but do know that you are a blessing in my life.  I encourage you to be refreshed in Him today!

His perspective...

To hear Daniel's perspective on our engagement, I encourage you to check out his post about it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I get to marry him!

I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.  For those of you who have not yet heard....Daniel proposed to me on Friday, August 10, 2012 (8.10.12)!  I love our story and am excited to tell people when they ask (and sometimes even when they don't ask).  So for those of you not into romance, this probably isn't a post for you.

So let me begin this post by telling you a little bit about my sweet fiance! This man loves the Lord and takes the Bible more seriously then anything else in the world.  There are no exceptions to obeying the Bible, it always comes first.  I will admit that this is not always comfortable, but I appreciate his boldness in following the Bible.  Daniel continues to point me to the Lord and help me grow in my relationship with Him.  He is very sensitive too to when he falls short of what the Bible calls us to do or when he wrongs me.  To give an example the other day while getting out of the car (to come around and open my door) he said something (to which I didn't pick up as being harsh or mean or anything) and he reopened his door to apologize.  Daniel is the gentleman of gentlemen.  He protects me to the best of his ability and is so forgiving in the many times I wrong him.  He can make me laugh like no one else in the world and whenever we are together, we are guaranteed many good laughs.  This man is gentle and kind towards me as well as others around (making me burst with pride).  After we were engaged I just kept looking at him and saying "I can't believe I get to spend the rest of my life with you".

Daniel and I began dating on February 20, 2009 while I was previewing LeTourneau University.  He has challenged me in so many ways spiritually and my attitude towards things.  I am thankful for how we have been able to help encourage each other to be better people.  Our dating relationship has not always been easy, but we have learned a lot more about each other through the hard times as well as learning how to handle hardships (since we all know they are unavoidable).  Last summer (2011) we were able to work at Trail's End Ranch together.  We both worked as counselors and grew a lot.  After having a distant relationship for our whole relationship, it was wonderful to see each other in a daily setting.  I talked with Pat a lot during this time about him and our relationship.  I am so very thankful for her wisdom, insight, and most importantly her prayers.

This past weekend, we were back at Trail's End Ranch for a friend's wedding.  Aron and Mandie were dear friends of ours.  Mandie was my prayer partner, and Aron was Daniel's.  The four of us had such fun spending time together.  Our favorite memory...watching Star Wars together!  It was important to us to make it to their wedding and have the excuse of going back out to camp.

Now to the part you all have been waiting for...

It was Friday night and we decided to go out to the cliffs (where camp will take their campers for Wednesday night camp out and where they do their rappelling) for a picnic.  We ate a romantic dinner of peanut butter and jelly..classy I know.  While sitting there the cows we had passed had congregated up near us.  They continued to move closer and I was not keen on the idea of one chasing me towards the cliff (haha, unreal, I know), so we got back in the car.  Daniel was probably beginning to worry about this time that his plans were caving in.  Thankfully the cows continued to move on, so Daniel suggested we get out of the car and go over to the cliff and throw rocks off.
This is the view we had when he proposed

At camp, there are several people that will go up to the cliffs and write something on a rock to throw off.  This is a way to symbolically get rid of something in your life.  Some will write a past sin they are working to overcome, and others will write names of people they are forgiving.  Daniel had a sharpie (to which I didn't think much of at the time) and we each wrote on a rock to throw off.  He then (so ever casually) suggested that we write something on a rock for the other person.  I am not going to lie, I was a little perturbed because I was like "ugh, I don't want to talk about the bad stuff in our lives".  I agreed and wrote something down on a rock for him.  He threw it over the cliff.

I then turn my back and he writes a word on a rock.  I can still vividly hear him writing it.  My teacher ears heard two lower case "r"s being written.  I knew he was writing the word "worry".  Him and I have talked many times about how worry is something I really struggle with and need to work on.  I told him, "I think I know what word you wrote, but I will wait until after I see it to tell you if I was write or wrong".  He tells me he is all done and hands me the rock...

It says, "singleness".  I am confused so naturally, I turn around to look at him.  There he is, on one knee, holding a ring.  I was shocked and immediately began crying.  Apparently I asked him, "Is this for real?"  I now realize what a stupid question that was.  I then, through my tears, asked "Have you talked to Dad?"  After asking details of the conversation, he had to ask again, "is that a yes?"  I quickly affirmed his original question with a yes and he proceeded to ask "do you even want to see the ring?"  Haha, I had not yet looked at the ring.  We shared a few moments up there standing on the edge of the cliff and then quickly got back in the car to drive where we could get cell phone reception.  We were both way too excited to call people (and forgot to take pictures at that time)!
We came back to the cliffs on Saturday night to actually get pictures.  Where we are standing in this picture is just about the exact same spot he proposed.

 Daniel picked this ring out all by himself.  I am so proud of him, he did such a wonderful job.

The common question we keep hearing is "when?" and the answer is "we have not yet decided" and that answer remains.  We hope to know soon, but we are still working some things out on dates and trying to figure it all out.  Until then though, we thank you for sharing in the excitement of our engagement!

 This man has made me so happy.  He has taught me so much about God's love by living it out.  I can't believe I get to marry him!

To read his perspective of our engagement, check out his blog post!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Picture Post

So, I was taking some pictures off of my camera today and noticed that I have several pictures I have not yet posted.  I am going to skip the long lengthy stories of the pictures and attempt giving you an abbreviated version.  Here it goes...

 You have seen this lady before...This is my dear friend Kari (who is coming up in half a week...eek!  I can hardly wait).  During the spring we made a long list of things to do together over the summer.  We did accomplish several of the things, but sadly we both kept quite busy.  One of the things on our list was "to make a popcorn recipe every week".  It was the last week, and we had to do at least one popcorn recipe, haha.  We didn't have all the ingredients for any recipe, so we made up our own.  I won't take your time to give all the details but let me tell was an adventure!

 When I first got home, Scott was gone.  Therefore mom had taken over Scott's gardening business.  We did a ton of picking (as described in an earlier post), and on Saturday we brought it to farmer's market.

 Oh I love my mom so much!

 Isn't me nephew and sister just both the sweetest ever?  Mom "naps" while Evan does, but only since she can't keep her eyes open for pictures!

Oh how I love summer meals!  I love veggies, and I love grilled.  Here we had fresh corn on the cob, fried zucchini and grilled chicken...with homemade iced tea.  All of it was delicious!

And an exciting announcement I enjoy telling all....
I am engaged to my best friend!  I hope to post our story soon..with pictures!

Monday, August 6, 2012

WV, NJ, Philly, VT, and soon MT

So much has been happening lately, encouraging a lack of posting here. My summer finished up very well. I finished work on Friday and then on Saturday I drove to New Jersey to vacation with my grandparents for a few days. This trip was definitely a growing experience for me. I don't hate driving, but if there is someone else in the car that enjoys it, I am quick to let them drive. This has resulted in my getting very little practice in driving long distances. When I drove down to West Virginia at the beginning of the summer with Daniel, we intentionally had me drive to get some more practice in driving long distances. I drove five hours in one sitting. Driving to New Jersey though was supposed to be a eight and a half hour drive (turned into a nine and a half plus hour trip) and on the Baltimore beltway. Needless to say, I was dreading the drive. I did fine going through Baltimore, my struggle came once I crossed into New Jersey. I was thankful to pull into the driveway at the other end.

I had a wonderful few days with my grandparents at the beach. It was fun visiting with them, as well as the relaxing atmosphere of the beach. I did get some sun, but enjoyed my time so much. I left by nine on Tuesday morning and went to the Philly airport to pick Daniel up. That is when I got real experience in heavy traffic, six lanes of it! Daniel was a very welcomed site and I was eager to hand the keys over to him to get me out of Philly...aren't guys wonderful? We had about a seven hour trip from the airport and made it safely into Vermont.

We went straight to Tim and Beth's to meet that sweet nephew. I was quickly greeted by my sweet niece as she exclaimed "Bebby!!" and ran over to give me a hug. Both Annette and Evan have stolen my heart. Love those two to pieces.

The next few days involved much, much, much gardening! Wednesday was farmer's market and so Daniel, Mom, and I worked with that (because Scott was gone for the week, so mom was taking care of his business).

Thursday was a recoup day. I brought Daniel to the airport to fly back (oh how I love his flight benefits and how he can fly for free on his three day weekends), and then came back to get some things ready for dinner. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship with Daniel and Beth's parents. I also got to snuggle that sweet little man.

We dreaded Friday and the hard work we knew it involved. It was harvest day for Saturday's farmer's market. After 7.5 hours of picking, and 1.5 hours of washing, we had reaped 17 lbs of snap peas, 7 lbs of shell peas, 5 lbs of snow peas, 21 lbs of yellow beans, 37.5 lbs of green beans (31.5 of those in a single row), 8 lbs of purple beans, 41 tomatoes, 14 cucumbers, 1 egg plant, and 1 zucchini. We were sore and exhausted. All three of us had been picking got poison parsnip though. I do not have it as bad as Julia and neither of us have it near as bad as mom got it.

Saturday's market was hot and slow, but we still did alright. Scott and Sarah got home from TLC and we all just vegged out in the cool basement while snapping beans.

Today has been a catch up day. I ordered a book for this coming semester, and have been working on balancing finances and organize papers. On Wednesday, I fly to Charlotte for Daniel and I to leave on Thursday to head out to Montana for some camp friend's wedding. We are both so very eager to be back at camp. We will arrive in time to be at the last day of camp. We will leave Ekalaka Sunday evening after the wedding and fly back. I will be back home sometime on Tuesday, Lord willing. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas with my excitement for this trip. I also hope to see Uncle Dan on this trip!

Anyways, back to getting other things done. Sorry it took so long to give an update. I am doing well though and enjoying my family.

Today's challenge: Contemplate the forgiving love of is amazing and will overwhelm did me!