33 / 52 – Fifteen Years
Aug
19

33 / 52 – Fifteen Years

Last week was Branden’s and my fifteenth wedding anniversary!  Branden and I got married 8 days after I turned 18, and I didn’t even have my driver’s license yet!  We were really young and had A LOT to learn.  The last decade and a half has brought a lot of life our way – marriage, ministry, kids, moving, and now missions.  It’s strange to feel like our life together has been so full and also that we’re standing at another new beginning!

And I am incredibly grateful – for God’s grace and faithfulness to us, and for a man who follows Christ’s example in how to love and serve, not only us, but everyone around him.  Branden is sweet, funny, smart, talented, and passionate about teaching kids about Jesus.  He’s a man of great character and integrity, and he looks like a movie star!  Branden says he got the better end of the bargain, but I know the truth – I’m the blessed one, truly.

This is one of my favorite pictures from our wedding day.  Ceremony and reception were all over.  We were getting ready to leave the church, and he picked me up to carry me through the door.  Seriously, we were so young!

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And this was us, almost a year ago.  Still making me smile :)  I can honestly say I love him more now than ever before!  Or maybe that I know more about love than I did before :)

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Last week I shared my new tattoos.  Well Branden got one too :)  They were anniversary tattoos!

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The artist did an awesome job!  His tattoo is of little red riding hood and the big bad wolf (in the trees, do you see it?)  Branden collects books of fables and fairy tales and uses them a lot in teaching kids about Biblical principles.  Red riding hood represents us as believers, sent to serve and covered in the blood of Jesus.  The things that cause us fear or keep us from following the Lord can’t harm us.  We can walk in faith and freedom and follow Jesus wholeheartedly!

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Thanks for being mine Babe!  I love living this life adventure alongside you!  The best truly is yet to come!

32 / 52 – Though It Linger
Aug
11

32 / 52 – Though It Linger

For those of you who have heard our story before, you know that the Lord told me we were going to be missionaries to Ireland before He told Branden.  In fact, God said He would withhold His word from Branden for a season.  When I asked God WHY?  He said it was to teach us (sounds like Jesus, right?).  Apparently I needed to learn how to BE QUIET! and to see that the Lord is faithful, able to do everything He says.  Branden needed to learn to trust Jesus in a different way too, to believe God would take care of our family and to be open to new and seemingly impossible things He would call us to.  The Lord would take us through and teach us, but the season that came was incredibly hard on our marriage and family.

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I remember days, weeks, months of discouragement, tension and confusion.  I knew the Lord had told me we were going to Ireland, but my husband was completely against it.  The season was lonely.  Jesus would continue to tell me things, precious promises about our future.  But I couldn’t share them with my husband.  I would have to wait.  God was doing a good, hard work, and that would take time.  That loneliness was from Him, which meant I could trust it, but it was still incredibly painful.

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God was teaching me that being the wife He was calling me to be, that helping my husband was accomplished in prayer and respect rather than always demanding telling him what I thought we should do, even if it was God’s will (surprise!)  I needed to give Branden room to hear the Lord, which also meant giving him room to make mistakes.  But if Jesus had said something to me, and Jesus is faithful, then I had to believe He would accomplish it, His way.  In His perfect time, God told Branden for Himself, that He was calling us to the mission field.  And He showed me that He was completely faithful and good.

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In that long season of learning to trust and wait on the Lord, God gave me this verse:

“Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 
 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  – Habakkuk 2:2-3
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In a season of great heartache, God was growing my faith.  And He was pulling me closer to Himself, showing me what real fellowship with Him meant.  He gave me a gift in loneliness, taking me deeper into His love and showing me that He is much more than enough for me.  I could trust Him, and I can trust Him now, to do all He has promised He would do.
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While I was in the tattoo artist’s chair, I matched my other arm with symbols for our two boys, arrows in the hands of a warrior. (Psalm 127)
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The boys were impressed to find out I had endured the pain and that they were etched onto my arm with drawings of weapons!  I’ve traded photography for a lot of great, really useful things, but tattoos are probably the coolest :)
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Daily reminders of what the Lord is calling us to, and that He is faithful to His Word and His character.  He will not leave us or forsake our hearts!
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31 / 52 – Me + 33
Aug
04

31 / 52 – Me + 33

So I had a birthday this week – the big 33!  #iknowitsnotamilestone

As much as I love taking pictures, I had almost no real pictures of myself.  So, Silas came to my rescue!  The boys and I went on a little hike and I taught Silas how to freelens!  I think he did a pretty good job for his first time :)
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It’s weird to post about yourself, but I did want to include some reference to my birthday in the Project 52!  So, here are ten facts about me :)

  1. I grew up in a house full of music, love, criticism, and food!
  2. I have six siblings.
  3. Branden and I got married eight days after I turned 18, and I didn’t even have my driver’s license yet!
  4. I never thought I’d be a homeschooler, but am now so grateful that’s part of Jesus’ plan for us.
  5. Photography is a big part of my life – documentation & expression.
  6. I love beautiful, old things.
  7. I have at one time or another played guitar, piano, cello, and flute.  I wish I was better at all of them (well, not flute really).
  8. I love octopuses for their underwater ninja skills.
  9. I hate moths and squirrels.
  10. My family and I are about to move internationally and become missionaries in Ireland!
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