For February in it's Fullest.

Brett and I have been off the grid lately like we do sometimes. Our hearts have been everywhere this February. We've delivered our hands and minds over to books and different creative projects and personally, my excitement for life has increased as I've been diving into the discipline of reading more and more. After reflecting on the past 16 days February has offered me, I've decided that this month has been one of the most difficult and challenging I've had this year... but one of the most rewarding I've had in my lifetime.

 

I had the best sick day I've ever needed a few weeks ago. I felt awful and chose to snot at home instead of snotting at work. I laid around all day, tired, sneezy, stuffy, and achy. And I read, from morning until night. The first day I've spent alone in a long time. To read was relaxing, peace-giving, thought-provoking, and healing. To look up from my book whenever I wanted to think, rest my eyes, or write something down. It was freeing. I wasn't pressed for time or exhausted after a long day, I was resting. And it was good. I will look back on that day with gratitude.

Woodworks went down last weekend when my dad helped me build a bar table. We repurposed a vintage ironing board my mom bought me a few months ago at a warehouse antique store that's only open on Saturdays and imports products only from Maine. We worked for hours and hours, and my dad was a strategist champ, working to convert the designs I saw in my head to the board. Brett and I still have yet to put it together fully, but I love that my parents, the ones who helped frame hospitality for me, helped me make something that will further Brett and I's endeavor to be hospitable to others. A table. to share with others. To make memories at. *And check out those cool glasses my dad had to remind me to take off before we walked into the hardware store*

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We spent hours making this stump look prettier. It was a high maintenanced stump.

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We skipped out on the end of the Super Bowl (and apparently didn't miss much) so we could toast champagne to the season finale of Sherlock as well as devour Brett's homemade sopapia Cheesecake. With the cheesecake dough Brett spelled out "Happy B-day" and I almost cried when he took it out of the oven. Every Superbowl sunday I celebrate the fact that I'm not searching for anything in this life to satisfy me. I celebrate that I'm not trying to save myself from fears or death. I celebrate that I'm not trying to prove to everyone or myself how capable I am. I celebrate that God found me, a girl who didn't have anything right, and that He gave me everything I needed- Jesus. We celebrated together, how wonderfully my life has been changed.

Brett and I dressed up for date nights out and dressed [sweats and t-shirts] down for date nights in. We miscommunicated and were frustrated with each other and I believed a lot of lies about myself and our marriage that God gently used Brett to combat. I walked in a lot of shame (and am often tempted to still), believing that I am not a good enough wife for Brett and that he is disappointed in what he got. I watched his tears fall as he watched his Bride shut down and turn off every time he assured me I was his prize and given to him by grace. I asked him if it frustrated him when he spoke truth to me and I chose not to believe it or trust it and he answered that it broke him. We hugged and talked for hours after I asked him to forgive me for being selfish and unbelieving and I remember feeling relief accepting his grace in my weakness. My self-tormented pity parties are hard work and defeating, but how humbling this marriage deal has been for me.

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We took a look at where we are and how much we love what is going on around us and said thank you. For the timing. The people. The opportunities. The dreams already made true for us because we live in a dorm and love on college students. Thank you.

We went to our friend, Taryn's wedding and I was reminded of how grateful I was that she came to our wedding. She gave us a journal to write to each other in. "To write in and leave for the other to find". And we have done that many times since we've been married. Encouraging things. Things that are hard to say. Reminders. Prayers for the other person. Gratitude for them being in our life. This is a picture of her table decorations. They were gorgeous, and I am excited for the marriage adventure she's embarked on. We might have given her and her husband a journal to return the beautiful gesture. photo-46

Brett got accepted into a week long intensive Oxford program and we got even more excited about our Europe trip this summer. England, Amsterdam, places TBD... I can't wait.

I'm praying these words a lot lately, "And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2:47

Our lives have been so full. There are so many things I haven't mentioned that have made my heart soar over the past week or two, things that cannot be made public yet but are sweet, good, and a joy to walk through. It's a Sunday night, I'm tired and grateful to reflect on this month, this season, and this beautiful Presence ever before me.