Thursday, March 29, 2012

thursday thanks

You just gotta give thanks on a thursday. It sounds too good not to. So here are 5 reasons I am thankful today..

1. Today is thursday. That makes tomorrow friday. And fridays means Brian. These field weeks are long. Im thankful for the end. And for new red dresses that ease the pain. And iphone mirror pics. Always thankful for those.

2. I'm thankful for the women I get to do life with. Like really, do life. Like spend the night with them, make meals with them, drink morning coffee with them, study the bible with them. With our husbands gone and our families far away, we are family to each other. I really feel like the Lord handpicked these women specifically for me. I've learned so much and grown so much from my time with them. (a full blog post coming soon on this topic...)

3. Our little tiny apartment. It's so cozy and is the first place Brian and I called home as a family. It will always remind me of this sweet season of life where we learned that hospitality and ministry does not have to be luxurious. A home cooked meal and good conversation speaks louder than matching furniture and lots of rooms. And the brown chair, we love the brown chair.

4. My mom. The greatest mom in the world (don't try to fight me on this). Her birthday was last week and she turned 52, but looks like she is 25 and is the cutest little lady in the world. I could easily write a whole list on why I am thankful for her alone. I am able to love and serve Brian better from watching her love and serve my dad. She is the ultimate role model and loves her kids like crazy.

5. My little basil plant. Sometimes I dream up these dreams in my head that seem too lofty and unattainable and out of my league that I don't know where to start. Like my huge herb garden dream. A good friend started me small.

Whatchall (translation: what are ya'll) thankful for?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the week in pictures

Birthdays, picnics, spontaneous dinner making with friends, sunsets, and lots of time with Brian home; it was a great week. Not all of our weeks are this fun and full, so you know, I gotta document it while I can.

This guy turned 23! We celebrated with tacos, banana pudding (because those two go together right?), and a few close friends.

Brian's fire team (unit of 5 Marines) came over for dinner and it was so nice outside (80s in March!!) we ended up eating outside. Love these guys.

Brian's TBS roomates. We have really grown to love these guys and will miss them a ton when we leave VA.

Our new favorite place in Quantico, Lake Lunga. Two nights in a row last week we packed up dinner and took it out here to watch the sunset.

We brought these two along with us the second night at the lake. Luke and Kate, our best friends here. We can't really think about leaving them in a couple months without getting a little teary eyed. The Lord answered our prayer for community here in Virginia tenfold when He gave us this friendship.

Love this man.

Nathan and Ellie came too! Nathan also received Ground Supply as his job, so we are excited to be near these two and get to know them better.

Handsome boys.

Friday night came around and about 6:00 I realized I had nothing to make for dinner. About that time I got a text from my sweet friend Zipporah that said, "We've got chicken. Wanna combine forces?" The night ended with curry chicken and rice, sweet potato fries, salad, chips and salsa, and a lot of laughing.

Our biggest prayer in moving here to Virginia was to find good community and lasting friendships. We are continually blown away and amazed at the relationships God has given us in the short 5 months we have been here. We are trying really hard to enjoy these friendships for the next 1 1/2 months we are here and are praying hard that we run into them again down the road.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

we're getting there

Seems outrageous to already be talking about what's next for us considering we've only been in Virginia for 4 1/2 months. Somedays it feels like we just left North Carolina to embark on this journey, and somedays I feel like we've been in it for years.

We found out a week ago that after Brian's May TBS (the Basic School) graduation, our time here in Virginia will be over and we will be headed to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. You may ask, are you excited about this? And I would answer you by saying: We are getting there. It's not at all what we expected, but the Lord is doing a major work in both of our hearts, and we are getting there. So here we go... (Sidenote: forgive the excessive military acronyms. I swore I would never give in and start using them.. but alas, I now speak in letters instead of words...)

Brian has been doing very well all throughout TBS, ranking high in his platoon and company, and we thought we were sitting pretty when it came time for MOS (his job/specialty) selections. We didn't say it out loud, but we pretty much had the next phase of life planned out; thought we knew exactly where we would be, what Brian's job was going to be, etc. But you know, like the good Christians we are, all along we were praying Proverbs 16:19 "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." So we were praying it, but remember, we already "knew" where we were headed.

And then, BOOM, humbled. We find out Brian has been assigned the job of Ground Supply Officer. Not even on the radar of jobs he was thinking about. Not at ALL what we thought he would get. And in that moment, God clearly spoke to both of our hearts, "Do you still trust Me? Do you still believe My way is the good way? Even when it isn't what you wanted?" And to be honest, my first reaction was to say WHAT? This isn't FAIR. Brian worked HARD. We DESERVE what we want. And my husbands response without batting an eye, "This is God's will for our lives. It's going to be a good thing." (And that right there is why I married him.)

You see the more we think about the situation, the less and less we understand it. Why would someone ranked so well in the company receive a job ranked so low on their list? In the way of the world, it doesn't make sense. But then again, we are not living for this world. So in all the confusion and the lack of understanding in our small human minds, we realized something: this could only be the Lord. Romans 11:33 says "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" I, for one, am thankful to serve a God who's wisdom and knowledge is beyond my comprehension.

So our time in the Marine Corps is going to look a lot different than we expected, but how sweet to know that we are walking down the path that God has paved for us and not one that we laid for ourselves. And we are believing Him for big things down the road ahead. And one thing I know for certain is that I will follow this man anywhere...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

remembering it all

There is so much about this sweet season of life that I want to have in writing forever. I know I think right now I will never forget this time, but just as I say that-- the memories are gone; replaced by new ones. The new ones are great, welcome memories; but the old ones, oh the the old ones are the ones I want to hold on to forever.

I don't want to forget this time; our first year of marriage, our teeny tiny apartment, experiencing the real world, forming new friendships, learning how to maintain the old friendships, the hard times, and the really really good times. I don't want to forget the promises from the Lord that we have already seen come to fruition, and the promises that we are believing for our future. I don't want to forget seeing my husband handle hard situations with so much grace and setting the precedent in our marriage for how we respond to difficulties. I don't want to forget the faces and names of the people that come and go from our tiny apartment as we pray that we can in some small way make an impact on their lives forever.

I don't want to forget staying up late at night watching Brian study or write an order with a smile on his face (because the guy is the most joyful person I know) after he has been awake for far too long. I don't want to forget how much I miss him when he is gone for weeks at a time; and how I hope I always miss him this much. I don't want to forget the brown chair, where we sit and talk about life and laugh and watch the shows we love together.

I want to remember it all; the insignificant and the important. And so: a blog has been born.