Thursday, June 28, 2012

simple living.

Simplicity. This word has become very close to my heart in this (hopefully) short season of life where we have been stripped of jobs, friends, family, and distractions. Now, I want to make sure that I don't make that sound like a bad thing. I say that it is hopefully short because I'm praying daily that I get a full-time job in order to support us as we proceed into the school year for Harris. I say that we have been stripped of those things because in the most accurate sense of the word for this time, we do not have many distractions. We have been given a season of life where it is just me and Harris, lots of free time, not lots of money, and nobody close enough by to fill our time with.

This, I am well aware, is a blessing! I would be lying if I said that the stress of not having a steady income was not there, but we are genuinely taking this season as a time to get closer together, learn/do things we did not think we ever had time for before, and rely FULLY on our Lord.

For those of you who do not know, as a person, I lean towards worrying about the appearance of my life. I want all of it to look "pulled-together" and organized. I want to seem on top of things. I like pretty packages with a bow (figuratively and literally). Harris and I had a heart-to-heart recently where he pulled me back to a reality that I struggle to remain in. It does not matter "what it looks like". If things are not perfectly (whatever that means) aligned, looking cute and fun and always awesome, it is okay.

Originally I envisioned coming to Lynchburg, buying a cute little "starter" house, instantly finding a nice career job, and topping it all off with a white picket fence and a dog in the yard. I wish I was kidding. The Lord designed me to love beautiful things. He also set eternity in my heart, so I know that ultimately my goals in life are not to obtain "worldly" things. Where will they go? Where will that nice picture of "the good life" go when all is said and done? Harris, being the amazing leader that he is, kindly reminded me that if he and I are loving Jesus firstly, loving each other secondly, then we will be perfectly happy if we are eating ramen noodles on the floor of our apartment by candlelight.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"  - Matthew 6:25-27
 I have read this verse many times, but it is particularly special to me in this season. Living simply is turning out to be wonderful. We have had to become very creative with things, but it has personally stretched me and it has only been two weeks!

There is a part after verse 27 that goes on to say, "So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them." My favorite part is when it says, "your heavenly Father knows that you need them." It is so personal. God knows how He created me to be. He knows my weakness is in trying to obtain praise from man and in enjoying worldly things. He knows more so, however, that my soul cries out to please Him and bring glory to Him. The Lord caters to how He created me and who He is transforming me to be and combines the two to create this peace-filled season that I am in that is filled simultaneously with simplicity and fullness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

out there.

Well, now is when real-life sets in, I suppose. It's funny because having all of this free time (I'm still working on getting that full-time position) has really slowed our pace down. My pace has been slowed before; It has been slowed on vacations, but never been so slowed at home. I am getting things done that I never thought I'd have time for! I've worked hard on our "first year" scrapbook. I cooked a meal and dessert from scratch (for the first time ever, by the way!) yesterday. I have enjoyed sweet time reading the Bible, cleaning the house to an immaculate degree, and studying my new cookbooks and learning new things here and there. Harris is my best friend and we have also enjoyed sharing this free time together as well - now he's off working a part-time job.

I got to thinking about a small connection I've made here. I had the thought "you need to invite her to lunch or coffee sometime". Then that nervousness creeped in immediately. What do we talk about? What if it is completely awkward? What do I have to share? It was like my childhood shyness popped in out of nowhere to talk me out of it.

It would be easier, in some sense, to just ignore the thought and continue on relishing my personal time and not reaching out for this new connection. I then remembered a time in college where I was about to meet a girl for coffee who was new to the school. I was honestly dreading the meeting (she knows this now, and is now one of my dear friends) and, much different than my life now, simply did not want to add another thing to my schedule. I was dreading the coffee date for the same reasons as I questioned above. It turned out to be a special moment in her and my friendship where we talked and shared for a couple of hours and we connected in a big way! We ended up becoming great friends and doing life together. She helped me through some of my most difficult walks in life and was truly a blessing!

What are we missing out on when we ignore those little "thoughts" or, as they are more likely to be, "nudges" from the Holy Spirit? If I ignore that thought, yes, I could continue doing wonderful things with my time and enjoying every bit of it. I would also possibly miss out on a great new friendship that the Lord offered right to me if I would just take it! Needless to say, I'm about to step out on a limb and start making some friendship-connections in my new home.

Friday, June 22, 2012

lynchburg. fresh prince style.

This is a story all about how
our lives got flipped turned upside down,
And I'd like to take a minute don't be a Jerk,
we'll tell you how we got to this nice place called Lynchburg.

In Roswell and Rome where we were born and raised.
Doing Dance is how she spent most of her days.
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing at school,
playing sports and being outside is how he got cool.
When His little sister, she had no clue,
said "Hey, there's this girl, she lives close to you"!
They went on a date and she didn't give a smirk,
and before you knew it they're moving to a town called Lynchburg.

They called for a van and went to pick it up.
They got it back and had to fill the whole truck.
If anything you could say while packing, they worked!
Then headed out saying "see ya", new home's in Lynchburg.

They pulled up to the house about seven or eight.
And yelled real loud, "Yo ROME smell ya Later"
Looked at the house and it needed some work
But who cares we're HERE, Home in Lynchburg!

So instead of following that familiar tune with a bunch of comic episodes of our life so far,
we'll just share with you some pics of the new house!

Our Front Door

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

Master Bedroom After

Guest Bedroom Before

Guest Bedroom After

Guest Bedroom After

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

We really enjoyed the process of making this house a home 
and we are more than ready for visitors! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

God's power, high voltage! our house, NOT!

Ok, So this is not only my first post on our blog, but also our first post from Lynchburg, VA! As many of you may already know, Taylor and I have moved to Lynchburg, VA so that I can go to school this coming August.  It is a great sacrifice for Taylor as she was just settling in to life in Rome, and now here comes life in Lynchburg.
   Well just to clarify, life in Lynchburg started our amazing.  We had two great days of moving including one day of packing, and one of driving 7 hours and unpacking.  We were exhausted, but luckily we had my parents and sister here to help us, and I can tell you they were lifesavers!  As we unpacked all the stuff we had we quickly realized that we could quite possibly be on that show that is about "hoarders".  Maybe not as bad as those people, but for people our age, and just married, we have a TON of stuff.  But again, with all the help of my parents and sister, we were fully moved in and were ready to hit the ground running in Lynchburg.  THEN CAME TROUBLE!
    I had assumed that since we moved in on a Friday that we would have time to setup our utilities on Monday and everything would be fine, cause it would just transfer service over to our name. Well, little did I know that the owner of the Townhouse had told the Power and Water companies to shut off the power on Monday, and it would be our responsibility to have it turned on in our name.  So come Monday, we lost POWER AND WATER 10:00am on Monday, just minutes before I planned on calling both!  I was told by both companies that it would be the next day before they could turn it back on.
   So started our 24 hours journey back to the stone ages.  I believe that all that time of sweating in our own home, no water to drink and actually trying to figure out how to keep food cold, really brought us to a place where we clearly appreciated all we were given in life.  Little did we know that losing something so simple would frustrate us so much, but how much did we learn in knowing that there are people that go through that situation every day.  That is one situation where ignorance would be bliss, and lack of having those things would be better that knowing they existed and not having them!  All in all we found out that while being smelly was not fun, being ugly was not fun, all of these things in the long run are not essential to life!  Truth be told it might have been exactly the 24 hours that Taylor and I needed to slow down, and just sit and be together.  We hope and pray that we will learn so much more from our time in Lynchburg, and that the Lord will use these things to teach us about his grace and his all sufficient power(NOT ELECTRICITY) that will sustain us through this time!
  We are excited to be here, just never imagined the first four days would look like this!

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

This guy made me happy today! Thank you Appalachian Power!