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To my dear Husband: Happy First Anniversary!


My dear husband,

Falling in love with you was quick and easy. A whirlwind romance. Our wedding day was full of joy, laughter, and love. God’s presence was so evident as we declared our vows to love and cherish one another.

And here we are, already celebrating our first year together. You have been the happiest man ever, declaring you have the most beautiful and amazing wife in the world. While I would not trade our first year of marriage for anything, for me it has been of a combination of feelings. Such joy and growth in marriage, changes and transitions, and the ups and downs that happen along the journey.

All I can say is thank you!

Thank you for showing me such grace and forgiveness. I know more of God’s grace now than I ever did in all the years of Sunday School.

Thank you for loving me so well. I am one of the luckiest women. Thank you for how very often you tell me that you love me, you find me beautiful, and speak words of affirmation into my heart and life.

Thank you for how you challenge and grow me. Two stubborn people in love. Yet we are stronger together, better together, and truly compliment one another.

Thank you for how you take care of me. Whether attending school events with me, making me dinner, or just holding me when I feel sad. You have loved and cared for me throughout this year.

Thank you for the times you are silly and make me laugh.

Thank you for all the memories we have made together this first year. Quiet Saturday mornings, buying our first Christmas tree, watching the World Cup, our first time traveling together, watching ocean storms, the Noah movie, your graduation, Easter Sunday baptisms, our picnic on the beach, and so much more.

Thank you for waiting forty years for me. For allowing God to prepare you as you trusted in His timing. Thank you for living your life fully for God while you waited.

Thank you for being you. You are beyond everything I hoped, dreamed, and prayed for during all the years of waiting. You complete me.

I love you so very much.

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Welcome to our Home!


For a girl who likes to be settled and organized, a year has been a long time to feel in transition. It took us months and months to unpack all the boxes. The first few months of marriage, our free time was spent going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We had items to return, gift cards to use, and things we still needed for our home. We had one very successful Craigslist run. Which I give all credit to God.

For our first month of marriage, we had only a few pieces of furniture. We ate dinner sitting in our two computer chairs while using boxes as our table. When I was tempted to complain about our lack of furniture, I looked to my right and saw my husband who loved me more than I could grasp. I looked out and saw the beauty of the ocean. All I could think was “Wow, I am blessed.”

Then I started work. After the first week, I came home and declared that we needed a couch. I spent a few hours on Craigslist and the next day we drove around Boston to discover some great finds. A couch, coffee table, a large chair for our study (someone gave to us for free!), and a dresser and nightstand for our guest bedroom. All God. Thanks to my husband’s prompting, we were able to bargain and get better deals.

Our home has come together in waves. Every time someone came to visit, a few more boxes were unpacked and our home became a little more organized. When we had friends over, more pictures were hung.

We had friends and family visit for Stephen’s graduation in May. That was our motivation to get the final things done in our home, like putting together our dining room table!

My husband has been super helpful. He has a great eye and we have a similar tastes in decorating. One evening during our first few months of shopping and returns, Stephen spotted a perfect accent table. We were able to use the money that a good friend gave us to purchase it for our kitchen.

We are so grateful for the many gifts we received from wedding showers and our wedding. SO very grateful! 

Below are a few of my favorite things…


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Our kitchen is full of the accent colors turquoise, teal, and aqua blue. I love the canisters. I added them to our registry as a last minute whim! I was excited to find this decoration on sale “Love builds a happy home.” The tea kettle got lots of use during our long Boston winter! What is better than using a kitchen aid mixer to make chocolate chip cookies? Using one that is aqua blue! The accent table my husband found for our kitchen. Did I mention how thankful I am for all of our wedding gifts?

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We got married in Vienna, Virginia and I love how unique this decoration is in our home. Some friends saw it in a random store window and knew they had to get it for us! The Mr. & Mrs. decoration was also a gift and full of timeless reminders for our marriage.

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This dresser is one of our great Craigslist finds! My cousin Priscilla dried my wedding flowers. They are in the pitcher Stephen used to wash my feet during our wedding ceremony. This is part of our guest bedroom…. who wants to come visit us in Boston?

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The free chair someone gave us while Craigslist shopping. Perfect for our study!

What are a few of your favorite things in your home?

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What is lurking below the surface?


 My life does not have to be completely together because my identity is not based on my performance or appearance. What freedom in those glorious truths.

Moments of insecurity often arise when I am tired and running late. Just the fact I am running late is enough for me to hear the old and familiar accusations.”You are not enough. Look you can’t even get ready on time. What is wrong with you?”

As I raced around trying to get ready, I questioned my outfit. Doubts raced through my mind. “Do I like this outfit? Do I look beautiful? Does this outfit make me look fat?”

Before dashing out the door, I realized I had almost forgotten the present we had for our friends we would see later that evening. While I had bought the gift far in advance, I had not taken time to wrap it. As I tried to quickly find a gift bag, the accusations that screamed at me were “This room is a mess. Why can’t you get organized so you can find things quickly? Why didn’t you wrap this ahead of time? You are a failure.

All of these doubts and accusations happened in a very short amount of time. They all boiled down to the deep fear of “I am not enough. I am a failure.”

If you had asked me last night if I was struggling with insecurity, my answer would have been no. I felt content and at peace with myself. Yet, all it took was one hurried morning to bring out some insecurities and lies that still lurked below the surface.

God has been incredibly faithful. He has brought me so far in this journey. A journey towards wholeness and freedom. A journey towards to my identity as His Beloved.

When I stop and take a moment to reflect on what I know to be true, the fears and accusations are silenced.

The truth sets us free. The truth that God, my Abba Father, declares over my life is that I am His beloved daughter. He says that I am enough. He loves me, delights in me, and accepts me completely. Simply because I am His child. It is not based on anything that I can do. I am free from striving. I am whole, complete, and free in Him.

May I declare and truly live in my identity as His beloved!

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Lake Tahoe: Trusting God


We just got home from an amazing vacation in Lake Tahoe. We hiked by Emerald Bay, went kayaking on Donner’s Lake, visited Yosemite National Park, saw the giant Sequoia trees, and that was just the beginning! The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunshine and in the 70s every day. We were so grateful for my aunt and uncle’s generosity as they allowed us to join their family vacation.

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Yet this vacation never would happened if I hadn’t waited upon God’s timing. Why is it so hard to wait on God? Oh yes, because I like to know what is going to happen in the future. I often want to feel a sense of control. I have been realizing that waiting on God requires me to trust Him. And when I start to worry, I remember that He is the God of the Universe. He loves me and nothing is impossible for Him. Then I can take a sigh of relief and allow myself to wait and see what He has in store.

Last spring, I had several friends tell me about their summer vacation plans. I honestly hadn’t even thought about what we were going to do this summer. But as I listened to their vacation plans, I suddenly felt the need to have a plan. Now my husband assured me that we did have a vacation plan. We were going to fly out to Washington State to visit his family. In his mind we were all set. However, in my mind this was just an idea and not a plan.  We hadn’t purchased the plane tickets. What if we waited and the prices were too high and we couldn’t afford to go? We would be stuck home without a vacation plan.

I wanted to urge my husband to find plane tickets for us, yet I realized he was incredibly busy with working full time and finishing grad school. He did not have the time. I had a choice to make. I could nag my husband, I could worry, or I could simply trust God. After a little bit of worry, I realized the best choice was to trust God. He already knew what was in store for us this summer. He knew when we would visit Washington State. I could lay my worry down and rest in Him.

Months later we found out that my aunt and uncle were looking for two more people to join them in their vacation to Lake Tahoe.  Would we be interested?

My wonderful husband knew how much I wanted to go. He spent hours researching and found a great deal on plane tickets. A month before the trip, he surprised me with the plane tickets as an early birthday present. We flew out the day after my birthday. And from Lake Tahoe we were able to travel to Washington State.

I realized that if I hadn’t trusted God, if I had insisted that we book the plane tickets to Washington months ago, we would have missed out on this incredible opportunity. Our vacation to Lake Tahoe was full of fun family memories, stunning views, and lots of adventure.

Do you ever have a hard time trusting God? What helps you to wait on Him?

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God in the details


God cares about the details of our lives. I am reminded of this truth again and again. God cares not only about the big decisions of your life, He is also interested in all the little details that make up your everyday life.

The last few days in Boston have been hot and humid. Summer is here. This evening when I stepped outside, I noticed that the temperature had dropped. I felt a cool ocean breeze. It was a perfect summer evening. My husband and I quickly decided to go for a walk and enjoy some time together. At one point early on in our walk, we passed a middle age man who was talking with a younger man as they walked. After we passed them, Stephen declared he had seen the taller gentleman before at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. The seminary that my husband graduated from is an hour away from where we live.

We walked for a few miles and made a stop at a local ice cream shop to share some ice cream. Because what is a perfect summer evening without some ice cream? Towards the end of our walk, we happened to pass the same two men again. When Stephen spoke to them, connections were discovered and introductions were made. As we talked, it quickly became apparent that God was using our conversation to encourage each one of us.

Later as we walked home, I had a huge smile on my face. Wow, how God loves us! What I thought was simply a spontaneous walk on a summer evening, had a much greater purpose. God is in the details of our life!

How have you seen God recently in the details of your everyday life?