Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Year of Marriage

I can't believe it's been a year since I stood before Grant in a white wedding gown. SO much has happened!...the biggest thing being, of course, our baby boy who arrived just four days before our anniversary!

Sunday was our first anniversary. It was very different from what I had expected. I didn't expect to be shortly home from the hospital with a tiny little bundle in my arms. But I also didn't expect the day to be so sweet. Both Grant's Mom and my Mom fixed us a romantic dinner, took care of Nathan for us for hours, and hid themselves in the nursery while we enjoyed some time alone to reflect back on the past year. Of course, it wasn't long before we both tip-toed into the nursery to try to pull our baby away from two giddy grandmothers!

A lot can happen in one year. In one years' time, Grant and I both learned an awful lot. We had our share of ups and downs. We had some amazingly sweet and beautiful moments together! We had road trips, revivals, prison meetings, friends gatherings, a mission trip to Israel, and experienced pregnancy and the first chapter of parenthood together.

The years ahead look blurry and I can't see what's up ahead any more than he can. But we both know that the Lord can see....and He is in control. He blessed us with a glorious first year together....and I can't wait for many more up ahead in the years to come.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Year Ago

Today marks one year since I stood in a pretty white gown before a handsome fella and exchanged rings, vows, and a totally-worth-waiting-for kiss! Today is my anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, to my husband, Grant!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Heavenly Love Stories: Caleb & Anna

Caleb and Anna

July 7, 2007

As told by Anna:
Our story started when I was 3 years old and Caleb was 4 years old. My family found a little stray puppy in our yard that was starving and we took him in. He had a heart shape mark right in the middle of his forehead so we ended up calling him Valentine. I LOVED that dog. I have always been more of a cat person but this dog was mine (or so I thought). I’m not sure exactly the reason why we couldn’t keep him but I know my parents put an ad in the local paper for a “Free Puppy”. A few days after they put the ad up, a young couple with a little boy about my age came to look at Valentine. They were looking for a dog that was good with children. My parents told them how good he was with kids, so they said they would take him. I cried and cried over that dog, but my parents said that he was going to a good home with people who would love him.

Several years went by…I went through middle school and then finally made it to high school. I was absolutely terrified. Older kids everywhere and me an outcast. I watched how girls my age would change boyfriends like they would change their socks and I did not want to be like that. I never dated during my high school years, I only had a couple of crushes that I regret even wasting my time with. I remember praying that God would help me find someone He thought was right for me. Someone that He had already picked out. I thought I had in mind what I wanted him to look like or be….but the Lord had something else in store. Something MUCH better then a silly high school crush.

One of my close friends was dating this guy named Caleb. He was super funny and super nice.…and best of all, he was a Christian. He always made me smile. I just thought he was a pretty good guy and she was lucky to have him. I remember going with them to the movies or a youth outing and loving hanging out with him! I remember thinking I wish I could find someone like him! They dated a couple of years…then they broke up. I already had him on my Instant Messenger so we started to talk more after they broke up….just about life in general. This was the summer of 2003.

We talked online for about 3 months, then we started calling each other. I remember talking one night online and he said “Do you remember ever having a dog named Valentine?” I said yes. How did he know?! He said that he was the little boy that ended up getting him. I was in shock! How awesome was that?! He told me that Valentine had saved his life after they got him. Caleb was playing outside and Valentine all of a sudden bit his pants and started dragging him away from where he was. Come to find out he was dragging him away from a rattlesnake that was about to strike Caleb. If he hadn’t have had that little dog around that snake would have bit him, and no telling what would have happened to him.

After a few more months, we gradually started hanging out more. When he came over to my house for the first time, my parents absolutely LOVED him. He and my dad would get into Bible talk with each other…just for my dad to know where he stood and what exactly he believed. He would come over for 30 minutes or so and we would just talk or he would invite me out to watch a movie. We were just having a good time. I considered him to be one of my best friends. I could talk to him about anything! Plus he was a good Christian guy, which was hard to find. Most guys just said they were but never lived it. Caleb actually lived it. Plus, his family was so sweet! They would invite me over for supper or to just come over. He told me they had never done that with any of his friends before. I felt special!

On February 14, 2004, I was working in my office and the door opened and this woman came in with the most beautiful arrangement of flowers in her arms. Purple irises, red tulips, baby’s breath….it was HUGE. I had NEVER gotten anything like this before in my life! I asked in shock, “Is this for me!?” She said yes! I saw an envelope and looked inside to see a letter. It was so sweet and genuine about how much he loved being with me, how he cared about me and how he wanted to get me my favorite flowers and it went on and on. A LOVE letter for me?!?! Wow, was all I could think. I was absolutely terrified to think he wanted to be more than friends with me. I didn’t want to end up like everyone else I knew….dating then breaking up, then dating a new guy, then breaking up. I wanted to give all my love to the one guy God had picked out for me. Not share it with random guys for “a limited time only”. I had to trust God in what He was doing in our relationship. I didn’t need to trust in how I felt. If I had gone with my feelings, no telling what could have happened. Probably nothing good! No one had ever done anything like this before for me. I had no idea how I was going to respond to him. I ended up calling him…scared to death. I thanked him and thanked him for the beautiful flowers.

We talked several times after that. On March 5, 2004. He officially asked me out on a date. I was super excited and nervous! He took me out to Applebee’s and then we went to see a movie. It was so much fun! I knew he was the one for me! Then on March 9, 2004, he came over to my house for supper and he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. I was beaming and so happy! My parents were thrilled!

We had been dating for almost 2 months when he told me he loved me. What a surprise to me! I had never heard those words before (besides from family of course) and it was so natural sounding saying it back.

In July 2004 he interviewed for a job about an hour and a half away. Of course he got it. We prayed whether or not we should stay together in a long distance relationship. We decided to stick to it. God had a plan for us! We dated for 2 years like this, only seeing each other three or four times a month. It worked out though…we would call each other whenever one of us was heading to bed. We would talk until one of us got sleepy…telling each other about our day, what different Bible study groups he was going to, just everything in that day crammed in an hour or so. Every day we did this for two solid years. It was way worth it! I loved hearing more and more about him. Both of us also started our own Christian blogs during this time. It was awesome reading some of his posts. He was so inspirational to me.

One afternoon, on May 25, 2006, we were talking on the phone after he had gotten off from work. Before I knew it, he was pulling up in my driveway. I was shocked and very excited! I rushed to my room to change clothes…and while I was doing that he was asking my dad for permission to marry me. Of course my dad said yes! Caleb was like another son to him! I went into the living room and I noticed my parents acting weird. Caleb asked me to close my eyes, so I did. I was wondering what he was up too. When he had me open them, there he was on one knee asking me to marry him! I was so shocked!! My parents were beaming and poor Caleb was shaking like a leaf! I said yes while tears of joy came streaming down my face. It was the best moment.

On July 7, 2007, we were married in front of 200 plus of our friends and family. It was so beautiful! I am so glad that I saved all of myself for my one true love! I hope and pray other girls will do the same. It is so worth it! Make God the center of your relationship and marriage. Trust in Him and not on what you “feel” is the right thing to do. Waiting for the right guy is hard to do but when he finally comes it will be well worth the wait!

Have a testimony to share about how God has written
(or is writing!) your love story?

Share it with us by emailing it to:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Let Him Write

There was an 18 year old girl who was envied by many of her friends. She was popular, physically beautiful, pursued by many boys in school and at Church. She was funny, outgoing, and involved in various activities in the community. She was also mischievous, seductive, and beguiling. She used her outer beauty to entice the men around her. She used her charm to get exactly what she wanted. She used her sense of humor to glaze over and camouflage her recklessness and sin. Though she grew up in Church and professed to be a Christian, she was never seen telling anyone about Jesus, reaching out to others in need, or living a life of purity and set-apartness. What happened to this girl? She went from one boy to another. She gave all that was pure and innocent and sacred away. No strings attached. Not much concern or shame over all that she threw away. Years wasted and far too much gone forever...

There was another 18 year old girl. She, too, grew up in Church and professed Christ. She was physically gorgeous and inwardly beautiful. She was popular and regularly in the minds of many guys. She was funny and smart and down to earth, involved in as many things as she could be. She was gracious, kind, easy to get along with and viewed by all as a true and genuine friend. Along with all those attributes, she was known to be vocal about her love for Jesus, seen by many going down the streets telling people about what He had done in her life. She went on mission trips and reached out to the poor and homeless. Though plenty of men wanted her, she never used her beauty or her charm to entice them in. Her goal was to be set-apart, pure, noble, and honourable; keeping everything special and innocent sacred.

The above stories are true stories about real girls.

The first girl isn't just one person, but many friends in my past. As I went through my teenage years, one by one, far too many of my friends sank down into the common "21st Century Girl" who used everything God gave them to allure men into their beds.

The second girl, I am proud to say, is my sister. As the world turns more ungodly and the women of this generation become exceedingly crude and seductive, it appears that my sister (and many more just like her) rise higher and higher, pursuing a consecrated life with more zeal than before. And I am inspired more and more.

Purity has been my platform for years. Now that I am married and about to have a little one, I am all the more passionate about getting this message out to all who have ears to hear: Give Jesus the pen of your life. Then step back and let Him write.

There are too many like the first girl.

There are too few like my sister and those like her.

There are too many who refuse to let God have control of their love life and decide to take their high school and college years and have fun. Go out, date, experience heartbreak, toy with fire, fall into temptation, and probably lose their innocence and maybe even wind up with a pregnancy or STD. And why? All in the name of "normal."

There are too few who stand up and say, "The God who gave all for me, will now have MY love life included." Rejecting the pattern of divorce training (hooking up, breaking up, hooking up, breaking up) and refusing to toy with hearts and minds is, surprisingly, looked down upon and deemed "unrealistic." Choosing to develop real friendships that go beyond "who-likes-who," and living in such a way that other stop and watch is noted as "weird." Well.....Jesus was quite different. He was very much set-apart. He went against society. He pursued higher things and greater purposes. So I say, "bring on the weirdness!" And on a side note, it is not only possible, but VERY realistic in the eyes of God to use your single years as a gift from God, "redeeming the time" and making it count for something eternal. 

When I stood before my groom on my wedding day, almost a year ago, it was the most sobering thrill of my life to be able to say, "I have no baggage from past relationships. I have no one to compare to. I don't have a history of hooking up, breaking up, and trashing your name with my friends. No one has had what YOU now have. What God created as sacred and innocent and pure has been preserved for you, and you alone." How I wish EVERYONE could say those words!

The first girl, sadly, will not be able to say that.

The second? Most definitely! And I can already hear the angels rejoicing and see the Lord smiling down.

So what I would like to say to each girl (and guy!) is this: Give Jesus the pen, then step back and let Him write.


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