Monday, October 13, 2008

i'm a mrs!!

My life has dramatically changed since I wrote last. I'm officially a Mrs.! :) The last month and a half has been a whirlwind. The end of August was my last day of work at church and from there my mom, dad, sister and even the dog packed up the moving truck and we carted my life down south to Wichita, Kansas. We bought a house and it was great to get moved in. That week and a half was such a blessing in that I was able to unpack and get my life semi-settled before the wedding. I appreciated that so much after we got home from our honeymoon. It was good to come "home" rather than just to a house. I flew home and the wedding craziness began.

That week before the wedding was crazy. I've always heard there are tons of last minute details ... they weren't kidding! It was emotional and exciting and exhausting! I think one of the emotional things I was dealing with was the expectations. My entire life I had dreamt about what my wedding would be like and the pressure to live up to those expectations was overwhelming. I wanted it all to be just like I had thought it would be and I was scared it wouldn't be. Now looking back, the whole experience was everything I had dreamed about and I am so pleased with how it all turned out. I prayed so much for that day and the Lord was just so present!

Our wedding day was amazing!! I had a bit of a breakdown right before I went to go see Pete before our pictures. My hair and makeup was done, my vail was on and my shoes and jewelry. The only thing left to put on was my dress. As I was putting it on, I was saying to myself "This is for real, this is for real..." It was surreal. I turned around and saw myself in the full length mirror as a "bride" and I broke. I couldn't even look at myself. There were so many things going through my head at that point. I had seen that picture....the bride in her wedding dress right before the wedding looking in the many movies, on tv, in magazines, everywhere. And now it was me, and it was for real. I was overwhelmed with emotion and greatfulness and excitement and unbelief that it was actually happening. I was going to meet my groom and it was actually my wedding day. For real. I cried really hard for much longer than I expected. God was faithful and my heart was so full of love for Pete. All I wanted was to see him and be comforted by him.

The rest of the day was wonderful!! Our ceremony was so fun and after I had my emotional was pure excitement!! haha...and if you were there, there's no way you wouldn't be able to tell I was excited! haha. I was basically leaping off the stage when Tim pronounced us husband and wife. God had made my heart so ready and finally it was time to be Pete's wife! Our reception was a blast. And besides the fact that the DJ ONLY played rap music (desite the specific list of songs I gave him!), everyone still danced and it was still so much fun!! We stayed till the end of the party and then left at like 10:30ish and were off for our wedding night at the Holiday Inn Express. :) It was especially fun when the fire alarm went off at 3:30 am and the entire hotel sat outside for 45 minutes in the middle of the night. It was okay though...we got half off the cost so it all worked out.

Whoever invented the honeymoon was a genius! It was exactly what I needed...just to relax and be consumed with my husband. Granted, the food was a little tiring (even though I love Mexican food) and I was ready for some good American food by the end of the week. We had a blast though and just enjoyed each other.

And I sit....unemployed still. I'm to the point where I'm starting to get bored. I've watched my fair share of House Hunters and The View and I'm ready to get back into a routine and a schedule. I'm trusting that God has something for me, I'm just trying to do my part in actively searching for it while allowing Him to give me the opportunity to trust Him. Pete has been so good in helping me learn to listen to what God has for me. He is amazing as a husband and I'm so thankful that I have him. Over and over God has just confirmed that this is where He has me and for that I rest in confidence that He will provide me with a way to make the money to pay the bills. He gave us this house and He will not leave us hanging.

Life as a Mrs. is wonderful and I'm just excited for what is still to come. How fun to think that everything I do and everywhere I now go...will be with my husband. Thank you God once again for your faithfulness in bringing me the man I've waited patiently for. He is a blessing and I'm so thankful!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

it's about that time

So I've been packing up my bedroom today. Boxes are everywhere and my life just seems quite disorganized. It's a surreal feeling that I know has not hit me yet. I have two weeks left at church and then I'm moving into our new home. Pete has been working like a mad man trying to get it ready for me. I love that about him...he wants to make me happy and does everything in his power to do so. I tangibly see the evidence of his love for me and it's so fulfilling!! I think it's going to hit me once I am getting in the car after our honeymoon to drive back "home". I'm thankful that our house will be all set up by then and Lord willing, I will have a job to go back and jump right into. As I continue to think about that new aspect of my life in Kansas, I continually hear the Lord tell me, "Julie, I'm taking you to Wichita, I'm going to provide you with a job." Seriously...I've felt that many times over which gives me confidence that He will lead me to the right people and the right ministry to be apart of. I guess the pressure's on to find a job because I know that we now have a mortgage to pay and I need to help with that.

I'm ready to begin my life with Pete on a day to day basis. Our entire relationship has been "long distance" and I'm excited for what life will be like when I wake up to him and go to sleep next to him. I've been waiting for that day my entire life and now it's just a short 5 weeks away.

I'm anxious for what ministry is going to look like in Wichita. I know what Pete has told me, but I'm excited to get into it myself. I fully trust that there are girls there that need me. And I want to go into it with that perspective. I've been praying for them already and trust that the Lord will lead me to them. I'm going to be leading the freshman girls and I can't wait to just pour my life into them.

There are so many things to think about these days....moving, packing, details of changing my address and all that comes with relocating, ending my job, wedding plans and details, leaving my friends and family, leaving my job, finding a new job, learning what marriage will be like, etc. This summer has been the busiest yet and to be honest, I'm nervous that I'll go from crazy busy to not very busy once I get there...and that will just make me miss home. I'm thankful that I have Pete and that we're doing this together. He will be a big blessing in all this transition. God is good and I'm excited for my "new life" that is coming soon!!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

5 months

This morning I feel so blessed. In 5 months from today, I'll be walking down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams. We've been engaged for 3 weeks and the planning is well underway. Being the planner that I am, I've looked forward to this process for so long and I'm finally getting to take all the ideas I've had in my head and make them a reality. It's a little overwhelming at times when I think of all the details that have to be set in place, but it's so fun.

I've been praying that God would begin to prepare my heart for the ministry that He has for me in Wichita. I never in a million years thought I would move to Kansas, but I suppose that's how God works sometimes right? As Pete and I talk and he tells me about what ministry is like there, I feel my heart being drawn there. I can't wait to visit and see what my life is going to be like. I tell Pete that I feel like he's living my life and I want to know all the details. I've begun to pray for the girls that I'll be investing in and that God would immediately show me who they are once I get there. Another thing I'm praying about is a job. I want to get a job that I love and something that God could use me in. Coming from a job that I love right now and never dread going to, I desire the same thing in Wichita. I pray that God would give me a clear picture of what it is that He wants me to do once I get there. It's going to be a bittersweet thing when I eventually leave Christ Community. So much of my life is invested there and I will definitely be leaving a good thing behind. But I guess that's what comes with change, and I am getting an even better thing in exchange - a husband!!

God's been so good and the Scripture He's given me has just confirmed over and over again that He is in the center of all this. For that reason and that reason alone, I move forward in confidence. I'm so ridiculously in love with Pete and I can't wait until the day that I call myself his wife. Thank you Jesus!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty

So it's been a few months....why am I not surprised. I'm horrible at keeping these things updated. I guess the thoughts that I really want to record, I don't necessarily want to do it on a public website. Anyways, all that to say, I do have some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for the past week or so that I thought I'd write down.

In my small group, we're going through a study called "Grasping the Greatness of God" by James McDonald. Last week when we previewed the study, I was so excited to start it because I have been feeling lately that I just want to soak in the presence of God. I want to fall on my face because of my reverent fear of who He is. I want to stand at the foot of His throne and worship along with all the angels. And this study seemed to be geared to take me there. This week we've been studying God's holiness. Along with that, I have been hit with a major sin issue in my life. I was reading in Psalm 51 the other day about David's crys to God right after he had committed a crazy sin. The verse that stuck out to me was verse 17:

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

The word contrite hit me hard. In my Bible, I have a little note written saying "A contrite heart is one that hates sin and is determined not to sin again." I think that's my problem, that I recognize my sin, but there isn't a deep desire not to go back to it. I know it's wrong, but I know deep inside that I have no plans of giving it up. This issue struck me hard when I realized the dirtiness of my heart. In relation to God's holiness, my prayer has been that God would give me a contrite heart towards my sin. That as I see Him in His glory, I would be so disguisted with my sin not because of the effects that it has on my life, but because of God's amazing greatness and holiness that I can't stand to keep it in my life anymore.

Yesterday in staff prayer, we watched a video by Jim Cymbala called "My House Shall Be Called a House of Prayer". What struck me yesterday as I sat paralyzed in my seat, is what he was saying about how can we pray and expect God to bless one area of our lives when we are living in disobedience in another area. God will not hear the prayers of the unrighteous. My heart was frozen. I knew that I had been living in disobedience in this one particular area of my life and yet I was praying for God's blessing (along with the blessing of others) in other areas. I was humbled as I entered the presence of the Lord and recognized my sin. For the first time in a long time, I desired to turn from my sin because of God's demand for holiness. From the bottom of my heart, I knew God longed for my heart and wanted to bless me, but I wasn't able to experience the wholeness of that because of what I was struggling with.

I am humbled even as I write this and recognize that I still have a lot to work through but praise the LORD God Jehovah who provides continually grace and mercy to the fallen. Thank you Jesus.