In the Beginning….

Girl meets boy. Boy meets girl. They both fall in love and live happily ever after.

OK, so it didn’t quite play itself out like that. I’m a sucker for fairy tales to this day. I just love the happily ever after part. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the fairy tale ending. But that’s a post for another day.

This is about the beginning…

My best friend, Luke*, asked me to be the girls’ leader for a Disciple Now weekend in Palacios, TX. I grew up attending camp there so of course I said yes. It’s the Texas Baptist Encampment and it’s beautiful. It’s where I asked Jesus into my heart. Where I talked to God for hours sitting on the pier watching the sunset. Conversations that  literally changed my life. Anyway, the weekend was really great and on the last day a musician came in to give a concert. Luke had hired him from a demo tape (yes, I’m that old) he had received. The musician’s name was Justin*. His voice was amazing but more importantly, his testimony touched my heart. I was 21 at the time; just out of Baylor with a degree in teaching, living on my own for the first time.

After the concert the youth leaders were hanging out in a cabin and Justin and his friend, Ken*, (who did the sound) came in. Justin asked if anyone wanted to walk along the bay. No one responded (although I really, really wanted to but didn’t want to appear obvious) so he and his friend walked out. A few minutes later I made an excuse to leave and caught up with Justin and his friend. We talked about all kinds of things into the night. At some point Ken left but I don’t remember that part (lol). During our conversation I found out that he led worship for a class at Second Baptist Church. I had visited several times but at the time was attending Tallowood Baptist Church. (If you haven’t realized it by now, I was raised Baptist.)

After the weekend was over everyone went back to their “regularly scheduled lives” – except I knew that I had met the man I wanted to marry. He was handsome with gorgeous eyes, a man seeking God (which turned me on more than anything), and he made me laugh. I told a friend at my apartment complex that I was going to marry him. She thought I was crazy.

Later, I got up the nerve to ask Luke how old Justin was and to my dismay he said 18. Eeek! I was 21 and when you’re in your “twenties” you really don’t want to date a teenager.

But down deep inside I didn’t really care. I thought he was amazing and I had dated a lot. A whole lot. I knew what I wanted and was willing to wait for it. And *Justin was who I wanted.

There was an issue I thought my parents would be concerned about, though, if it ever got serious enough for them to meet. (See? I was already planning ahead.) Remember I said I was raised Baptist? Well, think conservative Baptist. In a small town. At the time Justin had long hair.

(I’ll have several other posts about my story so hang with me.)

*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Five Minute Friday – Cherished

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. (OK, I have to edit, I just do.)
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Then visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

Please give me your best five minutes on:

Cherished…

Such a big word. A word I often use in my scrapbooking (although I have not scrapbooked for at least a year… or more). A word that I can attach to a picture to indicate that there is something unusually special about that person or moment. It normally involves a strong feeling and cherished is usually the only word that can describe it. The word “love” is not big enough for that kind of emotion.

I’ve used cherished when describing specific family members, my kids, the first time I walked the Avon Walk, how my Heavenly Father sees me, and for some of the “firsts” like my kids’ first words or first smile.

But I also cherish memories. Sweet memories of my Nanny handing me candy at church or letting me sleep in her recliner because I needed a break from being at home (Or maybe it’s my parents needed a break from me? Hmmm…. I’m going with the story that I needed a break. 😉 ) Memories of my wedding day. It was the first time I remember looking in the mirror and feeling beautiful. Memories of my dad rescuing me from a crazy English teacher. The stress just about put me over the edge but his strong arms hugged me and I knew everything would be OK. Memories of late nights with friends… giggling and doing what little girls do – dream. Memories of cards my Mom sent me in college every single week without fail to let me know she was praying for me. Memories of becoming a Mom and gazing in those tiny little eyes for the first time. And then again. And again.

OK, so I could go on but my time is up. I will say that I always loved the verse that said, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 NIV

I’m pretty sure treasured and cherished could go hand and hand. There’s just something about a woman who treasures what she’s been given.

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday – Opportunity

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Then visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

Please give me your best five minutes on:

Opportunity…

A new year. A new day. Each day brings with it an opportunity. An opportunity to make better choices.

To show kindness to the sandpaper people in your life. (Are you wondering if this is you? LOL… remember not everything is about you :) )

To forgive someone. (And yes, it’s completely worth the freedom you’ll have on the other side. Been there, done that. Enjoying the freedom that comes with forgiveness. Do it for YOU. It doesn’t matter what the other person does… this is YOUR life.)

To improve your character. Changing old habits that need to go.

To live in the moment… not in the past or future. (Finally learned that in 2012 and believe me, it’s worth the effort.)

To love a neighbor that in all truthfulness, you don’t like. (OK, so now all my neighbors are wondering, lol. No worries. Not all these were about me 😉 )

To try something new.

We all have the opportunity but not all of us will take action. Decide today to sacrifice the little things now for the bigger things later. You’ll look back over the day as your head hits the pillow and be proud of your choices. And next year at this time you’ll be able to smile and say, “Yes, 2013 was a good year for me”. A good year because you made the choice to do something different.

So… get up and do something! Change the things you don’t like about yourself. Not on your own, because we all know that doesn’t work. But ask God to help you change – give up your will in those areas and ask him for help. He can do it… and will… he promised.