Wednesday, September 26, 2012

J & J say I Do

Last weekend, Zach and I loaded up the car and headed to south Georgia to be a part of Justin and Jenny's wedding. Zach and Justin met via CraigsList (lol) when Justin was 15 and Zach was in search of some local musicians. Now 7 years later, these 2 guys are still pals and partners in ministry at FHC. That's right, after finishing up college this summer, Justin and Jenny have moved to Charlotte to be a part of our church family and worship ministry (Justin plays electric guitar and Jenny sings).

Zach and I had never been to Fitzgerald, GA and with the closest Starbucks and Chick-fil-a over 30 miles away, it was definitely an experience. Ha!

The trip from Charlotte was long, but very scenic through the countryside of this southern state.

Zach was one of 10 groomsmen in the wedding (and he was also playing/singing one song during the ceremony) so naturally we were there for the rehearsal.
I was just toolin' around in the pew with my polka dots and purse.

The rehearsal dinner hosted by Justin's family was lovely. I particularly loved the table centerpieces, which were bouquets picked from their family farm.
Zach and I also had the incredible fortune of getting to stay with a local couple instead of hotelin' it. We had no idea what an amazing treat this would be. :) The P's are the loveliest of southern couples with a rich history in Fitzgerald. Mr. P is a retired Army General, inventor, and successful business man. Mrs. P is also a successful business lady and fabulous interior decorator. Above their many accomplishments, they are so fun to hang out with and make incredible hosts. Their hospitality is virtually palpable. Because of this, their home is the most welcoming, relaxing place ever and Zach and I truly enjoyed ourselves and our new friends. They have since agreed to adopt us as grandchildren and we consider it an honor. :)

The P's recently built a new home and they find great pride in it's ability to meet their needs (even as they change with age) and their guests. They spent one year planning this house and two building it. And it shows. Every tiny thing has been thought of and planned for. They plan to spend the rest of their life here no matter what their needs may be. The house is also a standing memoir of their life. Almost every piece of furniture and accessory has a story and place in their past. It's truly beautiful and inspiring. Here are a few shots of their inviting abode.
One of 4 seating areas in their main living area. I love the concept of having multiple groupings in one open space.
Southern class

Such a cool buffet. They seriously had some of the most unique pieces of furniture ever.

In honor of Mr. P's time served in the military, this eagle is over the mantle.
Kitchen
Gorgeous spiral staircase.
Another seating area upstairs. We love this sofa.

 History through decor
And history behind these cabinet doors. These display cabinets are such a beautiful way they've chosen to share their story and their life with anyone who walks into their home. It truly is an outward example of their open hearts.
An example of one of their guest suites

Zach and I had our own suite for the weekend and it was perfect. It was almost as though we had our own little house!
My bedside tray table
And bedside lamp. I love this little, dimming lamp! So cozy.
Oh, and I must mention that they have chocolates sitting out in practically every room. It's awesome. Ha! They thought of everything.
Even in the bathroom... a beautiful display of soaps, fragrances, new tooth brushes, and more. Did I mention they thought of everything and are the world's best hosts?
We love Mr. and Mrs. P and treasure our new found friendship with them! I hope sometime in the future we can go back and pay them a visit, but I'm not sure when we'll be headed back to Fitzgerald. Lol.

Ok... back to the wedding coverage...

A wedding wouldn't be a wedding without some shenanigans and of course my husband is often in the center of it. :)

Zach found this giant cage ball in a closet prior to the ceremony and entertained some of the groomsmen.

Boys being boys, watching football and playing football.
Ceremony time!
Sound check for Zach (he's at the keyboard)
His boutonniere  and my yellow dress
Game time
Waiting for his bride
 Arrival of his bride
It is finished! They are Mr. and Mrs.!
Having some pics taken in the sunlight.
Reception
Our glasses (labels are the jar lids painted with chalkboard paint)
The happy couple
We are so excited for you Justin and Jenny and look forward to doing life with you as a married couple in the Queen City! Love ya!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chronological

This past week, I started leading a women's discipleship group that is part of Tara Leigh Cobble's network of groups. We are reading through the Gospels chronologically, which I have never done before, but I am loving! It is such a great way to study the Bible.

If you are someone new to reading God's word, I highly recommend starting here and reading this way. Here's the daily reading list (it takes 6 weeks):

Week 1
Day 1 - Luke 1, John 1
Day 2 - Matthew 1, Luke 2
Day 3 - Matthew 2
Day 4 - Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3
Day 5 - Matthew 4, Luke 4, Luke 5
Day 6 - John 2, John 3, John 4
Day 7 - Matthew 8, Mark 2, John 5

Week 2
Day 1 - Matthew 12, Mark 3, Luke 6
Day 2 - Matthew 5, Matthew 6, Matthew 7
Day 3 - Matthew 9, Luke 7
Day 4 - Matthew 11, Luke 11
Day 5 - Matthew 13, Luke 8
Day 6 - Mark 4, Mark 5
Day 7 - Matthew 10

Week 3
Day 1 - Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9
Day 2 - John 6
Day 3 - Matthew 15, Mark 7
Day 4 - Matthew 16, Mark 8
Day 5 - Matthew 17, Mark 9
Day 6 - Matthew 18
Day 7 - John 7, John 8

Week 4
Day 1 - John 9, John 10
Day 2 - Luke 10
Day 3 - Luke 12, Luke 13
Day 4 - Luke 14, Luke 15
Day 5 - Luke 16, Luke 17
Day 6 - John 11, Luke 18
Day 7 - Matthew 19, Mark 10

Week 5
Day 1 - Matthew 20, Matthew 21
Day 2 - Luke 19
Day 3 - Mark 11, John 12
Day 4 - Matthew 22, Mark 12
Day 5 - Matthew 23, Luke 20, Luke 21
Day 6 - Mark 13
Day 7 - Matthew 24, Matthew 25

Week 6
Day 1 - Matthew 26, Mark 14
Day 2 - Luke 22, John 13
Day 3 - John 14, John 15, John 16, John 17
Day 4 - Matthew 27, Mark 15
Day 5 - Luke 23, John 18, John 19
Day 6 - Matthew 28, Mark 16
Day 7 - Luke 24, John 20, John 21

I also highly recommend journaling through this as well and writing down observations, questions, and what the application of each day's passages are. That's what we're doing in group and it's so helpful. It's helped me see things and realize things (and ponder things) I've never noticed before.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Honesty is the best policy

Lately, a lot of thoughts about parenting have been running through my mind. Part of my job at FHC is focused on parents - helping them be the best spiritual leaders of their family, helping them know how to bring God's word into their home, helping them know how to relate to their children, and equipping them to do so. For me personally, this has also been a big part of my life as we are now parents of a little girl who is all of a sudden a tween and beginning to look for her own identity.

One of the big issues in my mind over the last week has been about honesty. You know, being fair, upright, sincere, and genuine. It's an attribute we all want to see in our children, but do they see honesty modeled in us?

Since I'm a perfectionist, I often want to appear as the perfect parent. To everyone. And this includes Allie. I want her to think I have it all together. I want her to think Zach and I have it all together in our marriage. Although we get a lot of things right, we definitely mess up and I find myself wanting to always shield Allie from it.

If I am upset or feel like crying, I want to do it in private. I don't want her to see me broken.
If I am mad or frustrated, I compress my anger and frustration to the depths of my heart so Allie doesn't see me failing at being Christ-centered.
If Zach and I are having a conversation and disagree, I don't want her to see us disunited. I give him the look that means "We'll talk about it later when Allie isn't around".

Although I've had the best of intentions, I've realized that these behaviors of mine to "create the perfect home" or rather, the perfect facade, only hurt Allie in the long run.

How will she learn to manage her own feelings and sadness if she never sees me do it?
How will she learn to manage her anger and frustration if she doesn't watch me do it?
How will she learn to have a healthy marriage relationship, including conflict resolution, if she doesn't observe us doing it?
How will she learn to embrace the grace available through Jesus if all I've done is unintentionally model you can be perfect in your own strength?

Now I'm not suggesting you tell your children your every thought or share every conversation and topic, but there is a ton of value to being honest in front of your kids.

Share your hurts. Share your struggles. Share your mistakes and what you've learned from them. Share your heart. Share your personal need for grace and Jesus' sacrifice. Even in the last week, I've been reaffirmed that kids don't need perfect parents, they need real people in their life that want them to grow up to be real, people too that are spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy. If you don't, they will likely grow up to be someone who has unrealistic expectations of others and themselves. This only leaves them crushed and discouraged when life turns out to be less than perfect.

In our case, it's even more important that Allie sees honesty in us and embraces it for herself. Like me, she can tend to be a people pleaser which is all about concealing your own wishes for the benefit of others (basically being dishonest and hiding your heart). This is a very unhealthy behavior and we want to help her break free of it's chains, chains that have lingered around my ankles for most of my life too. We want her to learn how to express love while expressing her wishes. We want Allie to feel the freedom to be herself and not pretend to be anyone else. And to be the same person no matter where she lives of who she is with.

Even though I have just recently started to intentionally live this way, I can say it is already paying off. Being honest with Allie about some of my struggles has opened the door for her to share some of hers. It's provided me with some really important teaching moments as she begins to see people and the world through new eyes. I hope and pray that this openness and honesty can continue throughout the years. Even though I know her questions will just get harder and I'm sure I won't always have an answer, I hope I get the opportunity to look for the answers with her while guiding her towards the love of Christ and his hope for our broken world.

Friday, September 14, 2012

P Day Mash Up

I totally forgot to mention in my last post that I made Allie a P Day Mash Up jar as well. "What's a P Day Mash Up jar?" you ask? It's a jar filled with all our P Day ideas and trust me, there's a ton. :) It enables us to have a random, spontaneous, quirky adventure instead of a planned P Day every so often.


I made the jar, but Allie makes the rules and decides how we implement this new twist on our P Days. I'm excited to use it next time she is here!

If you have no idea what a P Day is, check out our past P Days.

P Day #1
P Day #2
P Day #3
P Day #4

I'm super excited about our upcoming P Day in October. It involves a Polaroid camera and a pinata and will truly be a one-of-a-kind experience. Ha!

P is for Pamper Party

Allie and I had another P Day last weekend. This time, it was a Polish and Parrafin Pamper Party. In addition to the obvious nail painting and parrafin wax, we also did clay masks (to clean our pores!) and wore perfume while watching a movie and enjoying a new Himalayan Honeysuckle candle. It was quite a lovely afternoon/evening!

The setting :)

Clay masks
The before clay mask pic
Silly ones

Masks applied
We are terrified of ourselves! Hahaha!
 Our skin is getting stiff
We can barely smile. HAHA

The rinse
So fresh and so clean!
The paraffin wax is melting
Relaxin' in the mits while her hands get oh so soft.
Polish (Allie picked out the "Let's Meet" (mustard color) and "Mint Apple" for this P Day.)



Gosh I love quality time with this girl, especially since she seems to be growing up so fast. Quality time is definitely Allie's love language and I'm so glad we speak it to her every time we are together. Our time together is always quality, relationship-building focused and for that I am very grateful.

Stay tuned for our next crazy P Day happening in October! It's gonna be a good one. :)