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Marriage Preparations – Part 1

7 Jan

As I sit here on the couch, there is a Labradoodle-Irish setter (Teddi) resting on the floor to my right.  There is a Yorkie/westie (Molly) sitting to my left.  Both of the dogs are staying at my house for doggy-sitting (Teddi will be here the whole month, while Molly will be staying here until tomorrow.)  My kitchen is *mostly* clean.  There is a fresh pile of laundry sitting on my bed waiting to be put away.  The furnace is quietly rumbling while outside it’s about 20 degrees.  What a welcome presence this peaceful time is.  This is a welcome break from hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

It’s 133 Days until our wedding!!!  Engagement – how do I describe it?  It’s brings with it so many emotions.  It’s a beautiful, busy, stressful, lovely and hopeful time.  My wonderful fiancé B. and I have been planning our wedding (soo many details!)  We have been house-hunting, praying together, growing together as a couple, and learning how to soak it all in in the meantime.  It’s wonderful.  It’s beautiful.  It’s a lot of hard work.  (And yes, I’ve shed tears.)  Our engagement has been a good opportunity to work on character building (which is a nice way to say we are far from being a perfect couple, which I know being a perfect couple isn’t realistic, which is a post for another day…I digress.)

Engagement is a good time to cleanse ourselves of rust that’s accumulated in our hearts and minds and to cultivate the Spirit of God who has brought us together and who wishes us to grow together in love, joy and wisdom.

As of late, I’ve been working on patience.  Marriage planning is pretty much guaranteed to test any couple’s virtues.  For example, I thought I was pretty patient, but you know, not so much.  Case in point: B. and I have been house-hunting.  As we look at houses both online and in person, I tend to get my hopes up for each house.  “We could paint this room, put new carpet here, add a porch there” etc.  But each house is either out of our budget, too far from town, doesn’t have the open floor plan that we both like, needs an overhaul, or just doesn’t quite fit the bill overall.  I had these grandiose plans in my head that after we got engaged, we would find our first house, fix it up and have it ready to move into by the time we’re married.  *Reality check*  Realistically we may not have a house by then and probably won’t have one that’s ready to move into.  Being patient through the house-hunting process has been very challenging for me.  I can’t wait to have a house to call “ours” and to have a place of our own to decorate and to call “home.”  I’m learning to let it go and pray “Thy will, not mine” and to TRUST in God’s timing. 

B. and I are asking our family and friends to pray for us as we prepare for marriage, that we grow in virtue, and that all the house-hunting, scheduling and coordinating goes smoothly and stress-free.  Will you join us in prayer?  Thank you!  We appreciate all the prayers!

 

 

 

 

Running to Bethlehem

12 Dec

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The clock read “4:40pm.”  I was at work, working off-the-clock, closing out a full and busy day at work.  After closing down my laptop, I packed it securely into my backpack, slid into my coat, and hurried outside into the chilly air.  After gathering my workout closes from my car, I went back inside to the workout room where I walked, ran and stretched.  That felt really good!

This Advent I’ve been running a lot and in many ways.  From the moment my alarm clock goes off – to the moment my head hits the pillow at the end of the day, my mind is running in a thousand directions.  The reason?  Work and WEDDING PLANNING!!!!   It’s so amazing, crazy and awesome to think that at this time next year, I will be married to my dearest love, the man of my dreams.  With all that goes into planning a wedding, it’s no wonder that some people go into careers as wedding planners – it’s a lot of work!  But a lot of glorious work.  My world as of the past couple months has been full of meetings with the church wedding coordinator, the priest at the church, potential wedding photographers, dress shops, etc.  What colors to have, shoes to wear, flowers to carry, cake to eat, and guests to invite, not to mention house-hunting – what a wonderful time of life.  And yes, I’m also back into working out and running!

Oftentimes as I think of all the details that need planned for our wedding day, I reflect on God watching me go through my day, watching over me with his Fatherly care, and I remind myself not to get too busy to pray and to grow in holiness.  I think of Mother Mary and her betrothal to Joseph.  How her mind and feet must have been running everywhere, but how she kept peace in her heart and love in her speech.  When Mary said “yes” to God’s will for her to be the Mother of Our Savior, she never once complained about how worried she was to travel to Bethlehem for the census.  She didn’t complain about riding on the back of a donkey, and didn’t complain about sleeping on a bed of hay when her husband Joseph found no room in the inn.  Mary was kind and loving in all ways.

This Advent in the midst of all the running and planning, I need to make sure I run to Bethlehem.  I need to learn from the Holy Family who exemplified every good and beautiful virtue.  I’m planning a beautiful wedding and often remind myself that our wedding day is not just all about us – it’s about our lives that we are committing to each other for GOD’S greater honor and glory.  I need to make sure that my spiritual life is growing this season and that I share the fruit of my faith with those around me.

 

The Holy Family lived in a busy time, but they never got too busy to pray and they were never too busy to grow in their spiritual lives.  Let’s run to Bethlehem and learn from the Holy Family there!

 

 

(photo op this summer at my oldest brother’s house – this is me with all my siblings (except one who hadn’t arrived to the cookout yet) plus extended family.  (I’m in the center holding the Frisbee.  B. had to work that weekend, so he wasn’t able to make the trip.)

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           One of my favorite engagement photos of B. and I

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