thanksgiving throwback

I can’t get seem to get that perfect fall day in the heart of Mississippi with some of my favorite people this side of heaven out of my head.

Here’s a short recap.

 

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tree trimmin’ and hall deckin’

I couldn’t let the occasion of trimming our teeny, tiny Charlie Brown Christmas tree go by without getting a few clips. There’s also a whole lot of Christian + Clive love in there. I’m pretty darn sure he loves that pup more than me. 😉

A huge shoutout to my wonderful far-away-living sister who stopped in Charlotte during her short stay in the states and washed dishes, let me talk her ear off, helped hang garland and lights, and was just an all-around good-for-the-soul/gospel light kind of presence in this tiny apartment.

 

one year

 

Two years ago today, Christian got down on one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my days with him. And one year ago today, we said our vows in a little brick church in New Albany, Mississippi surrounded by the people we love most in the world. We vowed to be loving and faithful in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

It was the most beautiful day, but it was only the beginning. Life with Christian has been nothing short of a gift. There have been days when I have taken that gift for granted, begrudged it, and mistreated it. But marriage to this man has been the most glorious, wonderful, delightful, and thrilling adventure I have ever embarked on. Christian has shown me, day in and day out, what it means for Christ to love, cherish, and delight in His Bride.
Here’s to 100 more years by his side.

P.S. this date was royal before Meghan and Harry.

goodbye and hello in the same quick breath

“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.” ―Wendell Berry

I drive home to Mississippi and watch iridescent green Tennessee hills rise and fall around me. Everything is covered in a lush layer of greenery. Bright yellow dandelions and Queen Anne’s lace bloom along the sides of the Natchez Trace. It’s all familiar. I am going Home. 

Tennessee with Christian has become Home. But Tupelo, Mississippi will always be Home, too. Can you have two homes? Can you have more than two?

I wonder how I can bear leaving another home behind. Many kind people have asked about our move. “How’s packing coming? Have you found a place to live yet?” But how do you put into words the fears, the anxieties, and the sorrow of leaving perhaps forever the place you have learned to call home? I can’t, so I usually settle for an abrupt, “It’s going.”

When I first moved to Tennessee for school, I was given the gift of a gradual goodbye. Every summer I came home and in the fall I said my goodbyes again. But they were only temporary. This move, however, seems entirely too soon, too harsh, and far too permanent. Franklin is the first place I lived outside of my parents roof. It’s the home of my dear little college that shaped and formed me. It’s the place where I have been welcomed and embraced by a wonderful church family. Franklin is the place where I fell in love. It’s the place where Christian and I made our first home together.

What if we never again live in community with these dear people who have loved us, taught us, invested in us, and pointed us to Jesus?

But we will. Perhaps not in this life. I am wonderfully sure and certain that we will meet again in glory and together sing forever to our Heavenly Father.

For now, we can only accept the unchangeable fact that all of this feels so deeply wrong and wait patiently for our heavenly home. Christian and I will go where the Lord leads–even if it means leaving the comfortable and familiar behind. The Lord is calling us both into a life of ministry. Christian will begin his studies at Reformed Theological Seminary. We’ll move at this end of this month and we know this is where God would have us be.

And so I pray:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.


*We had Jenna take photos of us in our home so that we could always remember it. And I definitely didn’t stuff everything in the closet before she got here.

cram fam vacation

This was months ago, y’all. But I finally got around to putting some of the footage together from vacation. My whole, crazy family stayed in a gorgeous log cabin tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina, where the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains meet. We were snug as a bug in a rug. And it was wonderful. We ate well, played Charades until we collapsed, read, hiked, ate some more, sang, and laughed. A lot.

The clips are mostly of Baby Peter, because he’s stinkin’ cute. And because celebrated his first birthday that week.

18 little things

I’m stealing from my old blog what I stole from Thoughtcatalog.

18 things you should consider making time for:

  1. Writing things by hand. Letters to friends, lists for the store, goals for the week, notes for lovers, thank you cards and memos to coworkers. Digital communication is easy and convenient but ask anybody: there’s a huge difference between texting someone to say that you love them and hope they have a great day and writing it on a note and leaving it next to their bed.
  2. Savoring time to do nothing. Taking a cue from pre-industrialized society and cultures that enjoy siestas and long, drawn-out, sit-down teas that serve no other purpose than to spend time enjoying the time you have.
  3. Thinking before responding. We’ve become too conditioned to require things immediately. Someone asks a question, and we have to respond that second. Such was not the case before instant messaging and comment threads. A sign of true intelligence and confidence, I think, is someone who takes time to consider the question at hand in a little more depth, and then offers a response.
  4. Cooking a nice meal just for the sake of doing so. It really trains you to defy your need for instant gratification and of course puts you in touch with something that’s very human and can be lovely if done right.
  5. Getting really dressed up for no other reason than just wanting to.
  6. Books. Actual hard copy books that you can scribble notes in and mark off sections of and smell ink through and hear the sound of turning pages and bending spines while you read.
  7. Making phone calls to relatives for no other reason than to just say hi, and to ask how they’re doing.
  8. Disconnecting from technology frequently enough that we won’t be anxious and feeling like we’re missing something when we try to do so for an extended period of time.
  9. Celebrating things with long, multiple course dinners that we hold for people as opposed to just drinking ourselves into an oblivion and being belligerent (that has it’s time and place, of course, but having thoughtful, celebratory dinners is a dying art).
  10. Cleaning because it’s satisfying and doing things like painting walls or getting fresh flowers just because it’s therapeutic.
  11. Spending time with kids, and doing kid things with them. They just know what’s up.
  12. Answering things in a timely fashion, not putting off invitations and requests just because we can.
  13. Making sure relationships are actually based on time spent with one another. People seem to be sustaining them through only digital means with increasing frequency and I can understand how that’s important if it’s temporarily long distance but in general, physically being with people is the only thing that will give you that sense of human connectedness.
  14. Just sitting and listening to music. We’ve made music background noise in our everyday lives, but now and again we should just sit and enjoy it like people used to.
  15. Traveling by train, or if that’s not possible, at least exploring places that you pass everyday. Especially if you live in a big city, there are always little hidden gems around that you won’t believe you lived without seeing while they were a block away from you all along.
  16. Putting personal health and well-being first, as it often falls to the wayside in importance. This means, aside from the obvious, taking those personal days and using them to just relax. We’ve made such a quirky commodity out of enjoying napping and relaxing, as though doing so makes us boring and old. It doesn’t, it’s healthy.
  17. Planning something, especially with someone else, as simple as dinner or as grandiose as a long vacation next year. You always need something to look forward to.
  18. Stopping to talk to people throughout the day. Connecting with them genuinely, as such interaction is really important but is becoming increasingly less common. Turning our phones off when out to dinner (who even turns them off anymore?) and learning to not spend all of our time documenting whatever we’re doing for social media. It often takes away from the experience itself.

18 little things

nostalgia

I’m feeling that bittersweet ache right about now. It’s strange. For the first time in a lot of years, I won’t be going back to school this month.

So I thought I’d share a few happy memories from the fall/winter of my senior year. You know, way back when I was a young, naive college student.

Here you go. Home video/shaky camera style. (It’s slightly less bad if you watch it in HD.)