Sorry I haven't been blogging on my thirty days of thankfulness. I've been journaling about it and keeping it up, I just needed a small blog break. And lets be honest, it's a miracle I blogged a week in a row! We are going to be starting a new weekly feature called Music Monday (hence the title) Matt and I will each post one video that we're loving each Monday. My video is from Brooke Frazer. I've been hearing about her for ages, and finally about 2 months ago finally looked her up, and I totally dig her. Her music is spunky and fun and girly. My kind of thing!!
Today I've been thinking a lot about community. The past couple of years have been very up and down for me in terms of loneliness and longing for community. I think one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a new wife was that Matt is the most important and constant community I'll ever have. Over the past 2 years, I've learned to be content in the fact that I have God and I have Matt, no matter where we live. No matter how far away from my closest girl friends we are. It seems like as soon as I learned that, The Lord lead us right back to where I had always wanted to go in the first place! Now I am SO content in knowing that I have Matt with me as my most faithful friend and companion, and the fact that we are living so close to woman who I adore is the icing on the cake! At the moment, we are living in the bottom level of our friends Josh and Tyana's bi level house. Community living is such a blessing when the people you live with are intentional about being in community with you. I guess that's the key, though, right?! Josh and Ty have been a great blessing to us. They've been married a lot longer than us, and they've been through already what we're dealing with now. It feels good to have them around all the time. They hold us accountable, but in a very healthy and loving way. I've already learned a lot about what a "family discussion" looks like from them. Before we moved in, every time we were going to talk to them about the next 6 months and what it would look like, I would seriously get knots the size of New York in my stomach. And before we had our first "family meeting", I had the same thing. Not because of them, but because I've always just had kind of a negative experience with family discussions, and since that's how I saw it, I was expecting them to make me feel like I'm a failure at life. But really they just love us. And that's the most important thing in community. That you LOVE each other. I'm reading the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. *side note* Shauna is one of my very favorite writers. When I read her work, I feel like I could go to her house and hang out with her and she wouldn't think I was awkward or weird or psychotic for showing up at her house. I feel like we're friends. That's why I'm smitten with her work.*end side note : )* she talks about community in the book, and everything she says just hits home with me. Community is so important. And community with the RIGHT PEOPLE is even more important. I'm so beyond words thankful to be here right now, in the community that I love, with people who build into us and let us build into them. I am so happy I could burst. I could go on and on and on about how thankful I am for this, but I think you get the picture : )
These are our friends Seth and Kelly. It feels like we've been friends forever, but we've actually known them for less than 2 years. We lived RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from each other for a while, but never actually met until we were both in a "Love and Respect" community group through crossroads. Matt and I couple crushed on them from afar for a couple weeks, and then by God's glorious hand we were walking by their house one night when they pulled up and got out of their car. I, not being able to contain my secret love for them any longer, shouted at them. And from there it's all history. They have been great friends to us. They moved to Madison, Wisconsin last year and we miss them terribly. This picture is from when they came to visit us at Christmas time. We had a breakfast and church date. Then we discovered that someone *ahemmattahem* locked our keys in the car, so they stood out in the bitter cold with us until we could someone to drive out and break in our car for us. While doing so, we took this picture. Since I'm thinking of them and missing them today, I thought it appropriate to make it our first "embrace the camera".
p.s. Matt has a job interview today, please be in prayer for him!
this is an obvious one, but I'm pretty thankful for this beardly stud. I mean, all the time. But especially when I've had a bad day. When I have a bad day, he typically senses it before I even walk in the door. Then he gives me some extra cuddles, and usually takes me out to eat something greasy and really bad for me. But mama loves her comfort food, and my boo know what I like! This day was one of THOSE days. My full time job is being a nanny. I love being a nanny, but sometimes it can be a little stressful and frustrating. That's what happened today. So I got home, threw myself on the couch and proceeded to seek solace in half a pint of Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream. And of course my man came down and cuddled and made a few jokes to make me smile, and then took me to this place. mmmmmm... As Matt likes to say "they soak their food in glory."
and then he let me buy some curtains. And then he hung them up all by himself while I typed about his awesomeness.
Thanks for making my days better, huz. I'm thankful for you!
this is our niece, Caraline. She is so scrumptious. I could kiss those cheeks for hours! She is about 6 months old, and she is such a blessing to our family. She makes all of our days brighter just by being alive.Love Love LOVE her. She's so squeezable! I'm so thankful for Caraline today.
Today I am thankful for one simple thing. The music of Kate Nash. This girl is fly. I was totally obsessed with her about 3 or 4 years ago, then somehow sort of forgot about her for a while, and today I randomly thought of her again. Her music is so fun and upbeat. I can't listen to it without dancing and getting in a good mood. I totally bopped around to Kiss That Grrrrrl whilst putting away laundry today. She is awesome. You should love her if you don't already. There's nothing like good music to put one in a great mood. I'm thankful for that.
this is my sweet friend, Christine. I met Christine probably about 3 years ago. My huz worked with her huz, back when we were both just dating said huz's. We went out to dinner for someone's birthday and it was sort of love at first sight. Sort of. Over those 3 years, I've been in a small group with her, gone on walks with her, gone on girl dates with her, gone on double dates with her, walked with her through a very hard time in her life, and walked with her through a very hard time in my life. She was one of the people we HAD to have at our private ceremony when we got married, and I was so blessed to walk down the aisle ( with a broken zipper :D) and support her at her own wedding. I've watched Christine grow into an amazing, encouraging, and faithful woman of God. She is so gentle and loving. I'm so blessed to have been able to walk with her and even sometimes lead and advise her in her journey to this point. 3 years ago she didn't know what she believed, and now she is working full time for a church, taking on the responsibility of the entire childrens ministry. She is passionate about missions and has gone to Africa to love and build into the people of Mamelodi, SA. She is a fun, encouraging, and uplifting friend. I'm so proud of Christine (lurve you, Chris!) and I am thankful for her!
I first got the idea for 30 days of thankfulness from the lovely and super inspiring Kelli Trontell. For 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving last year, she would update her facebook status sharing one specific thing that she was thankful for. It was really inspiring to me, and I thought to myself, "Next year for Thanksgiving I am totally doing that." I kept thinking about it between then and now, and suddenly today it dawned on me that I DON'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR THANKSGIVING! Duh me!!!! So for the next 30 days, I will be facebook statusing (I just made that word up because I'm cool) and blogging one specific thing that I'm thankful for. My prayer is that 1. God will cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in me that is rooted deep and goes well beyond a 30 day challenge, and 2. That I will inspire and encourage others to be thankful!
Last night was a late night with The Waking Point. So this morning was a very slow moving, cuddly, relaxing morning. The Beard and I slept in, and then just laid in bed for at least 2 hours cuddling and talking. Of course we also cuddled with Miss Jones! At around 11 I got up, ate a little "breakfast" (for me, whenever possible, breakfast is leftovers!mmmmm!!!!) and went right back to bed to cuddle. It's been a while since we got to just laze a morning away, and today I am so so thankful for slow moving Saturday mornings that unwind like a good book. And also for a studly huz and sweet dog to share it with.
Oh, and I'm also thankful for Kelli, who inspires me in so many ways!