A Tribute to a Godly Man (Part 1 of our Wedding Story)

Wow!! I can’t believe November is finally here!! Two years and counting! Yeah, My hubs and I would have said “I do”, yesterday, two years ago! Hard to believe!  You may ask… we may have said I do yesterday two years ago? Yeah, well, long story…Oh? You have time? You sure? Oh, well, ok… where to begin?!

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Well after we got engaged then came the loooooong 4 months of waiting for the big day to arrive! (And of course a lil wedding planning, duh?!) 😉 (I know, I know, four months isn’t long at all… but it is for someone who has been waiting since she was 5 for this big day to happen and you are 28… yeah, sounds like a long time now, doesn’t it? heehee). 😉

Okay so we did our wedding planning and I got my GORGEOUS dream (Kate Middleton) wedding gown! Yes, it was indeed a wedding gown patterned after Princess Kate’s gown, but I did have some alterations done to make it… well… more… modest?! 🙂

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Spencer and I even got to take a trip during those 4 months of our long waiting… it was great! Some of the awesome guys in our church were doing a Ragnar Relay Race in Nashville, well actually they ran from Chattanooga to Nashville.  It was kinda a big deal, I mean, 200 miles of running… how could it not be? Well, we went to cheer them back to the finish line but the problem we had was finding the finish line and by the time we found it, everyone had skedaddled on home! Well, silly us for missing it… Well, maybe it wasn’t such a horrible disappointment I mean after all we were together and in love and thankful we had this sweet time together.  Ahnd my dad had basically given Spencer and I more time to spend together now that life was official for us!  No turning back!

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I’m glad we had that entire day together! One of my favorite engagement memories. Some of the other great memories were our walks we had in the neighborhood I lived in at the time. We walked down to my Pawpaw’s house and visited him often, for he was actually doing very poorly at the time of our engagement. But I am so thankful he got to meet Spencer, my sweet man before he passed on to Glory!

Yes, that is why we had to postpone our wedding date to a later date, my sweet Grandfather, or Pawpaw as we called him, went home to be with his Father in Heaven and to be reunited with his beloved wife, Sweet Nanny! So thankful for them and love and miss them dearly!

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It was really hard loosing my sweet Pawpaw. Hard.  But I believe even in the midst of trials good things come out of them.  I’m so thankful Spencer was there during that loss. Yes, we had to push our wedding date to a later date, and yes, many were bothered by that decision, but I have no regrets. Yes, I had to wait an additional 3 extra weeks before I said I do, but oh, my! How God blessed us that day, I will never forget it!

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I believe there is a time to listen to your friends and there is a time to listen to those who are in authority over you. But listening to God is always better. We thank the Lord for the friends and family that were so encouraging during that time. There were some confused friends who didn’t understand why we needed to wait.

Well, I don’t blame them for not understanding. It was hard to wait, I didn’t understand myself why we had to wait. But God made it so beautifully clear later on, when we exchanged our vows… the day of our wedding…Wow! I cannot tell any of you what a blessed day that was… Everything about that day was beautiful. That legacy of love i was talking about… who couldn’t feel the peace and love he shared with us that day? It was more than I could have ever imagined. Yeah, it was cold that day…okay, so it was REALLY cold that day… but I don’t see how anyone could not see the blessings I saw and felt by others that day.  God gave me a sense of peace and warmth that even through the chilliness of the day, I was warmed in my heart that day.  He gave me a sense of peace those three weeks, knowing this was the right and honorable thing we were doing for my Grandfather.  I don’t expect anyone to truly understand that until they too have experienced something similar.  It was hard loosing a loved one, one that lived just down the street from you, one you grew up with and set such a Godly example, a leader, a role model. No, I wasn’t as close to Pawpaw as I was to my Nanny, but that didn’t make me love him any less. I loved him with my whole heart cause we shared a common love, for Jesus. Its amazing, that love, that passeth all understanding. That peace, too. So thankful for this man, and the legacy he gave to us all. His testimony is incredible. And I loved hearing him tell it. It never grew old, because it was real and genuine!

He was real and genuine, and enjoyed life! He waited for the day when he could go play golf again! He was excited to live, but ready to go home. You ask me why we decided to wait? Well. Because, we all wanted to honor him, he was a big man and made a huge impact on peoples lives. Was it hard? Yeah, it was hard, but not nearly as hard as it was loosing a friend, a grandfather, a loved one, who loved the Lord, and still does, a story teller, the one who always read the Bible story at Christmas every year, the one who told jokes and amazing stories of when we was a boy growing up in the great depression years. The man who fought for our country in WWII, the man who couldn’t watch war pictures because it reminded him of the real days. the man who sat praying on the couch while life was going on, the one who baptized me when i was seven, the man who preached every sunday he got the chance, the man that knew scripture from front to back and could quote chapters at a time. The man who preached Christ crucified and risen again! The man who kept notes from all his sermons, the man that never used a computer, but used an old typewriter to write out all his sermons.  The man that Loved God with everything that was in him, who said, “Amen” more than ten times daily. Who was an amazing father to his children and husband to his beloved wife. A Grandfather, Great-Grandfather.  Who was a southerner through and through, I could tell you more, but would end up being a 20 parter.

I am so thankful for this man, more than any words can express. I’m thankful for the love; that contagious love he had for his Saviour.

Thank you, Pawpaw. Thank you for shining Christ’ love on us all! I miss you and love you forever!

Katie

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Joe Hoover

July 31st, 1921-November 1st, 2012

Painted Pumpkins: Think Outside the Orange

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Yeah, so I had planned on posting another dessert/snack recipe but figured two in one week was a bit much and this project got done this week so I figured I would go ahead and share.  It was actually inspired by my nieces and nephews when I had seen a photo their mother took of them on Instagram. Yes, these youngsters were painting pumpkins and since I’m not a carver (or never have carved a pumpkin, yeah, I know, sad!) But figured since painting is my expertise, why not?

Ok, so you want to learn? Well its pretty easy.  You will need:

Brushes: (Honestly, even as an artist I buy the cheapest brushes I can find at Hobby Lobby (My favorite place!). But seriously, if you are a starving artist the cheapest brushes or rather the packet of cheap brushes (not the nylon, kids brushes), but the packet of brown haired, yeah, they are just AMAZING as the ones you buy individually.  But then again, I do have one of the more expensive round brushes and have had it since I was 12… so its up to you how much you want to spend, but cheap is just as good:

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Also, of course you need Pumpkins, small, medium or large. I had some small baby pumpkins on hand that were on the verge of going bad and so, yeah, I needed to do something with them, and fast! So I figured sealing them with acrylic paint ought to do the trick! And booya! It did!

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You will also need paint. Again, I am cheap, I don’t like to spend oodles on paint unless I am working on a paid painting.  I mean, why pay full price on one tube of paint (normal expensive price for watercolor paints can be anywhere from $3-$30!! FOR ONE TUBE!! The more expensive paints can be, size-wise, smaller than my pinky! Yes, that’s what people pay. But not I… unless its for a painting that is going to be sold. Then I have to up the price… but not always… I like my cheap $3 paints and they seem to work just as well as the so called nicer paints.  I always recommend to my students, go cheap, cause who knows, you may hate what you are doing and you just wasted a bunch of money on stuff you will never go back and use.  I’m not a huge Acrylic fan, but I will do it if I absolutely need too, but the paints I used for this project I had on hand, so what better time to use them?! 🙂

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And if you don’t know how to mix colors, I would recommend looking up a color wheel online.  Or maybe you have one on hand? You can find them at my favorite store (Hobby Lobby), for pretty cheap to get the colors you really want.  They aren’t 100% accurate all the time but close enough.

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Don’t forget your bowl of water and after you have the desired color start painting those pumpkies and if you do what I did, paint the entire pumpkin and place on a plate and let dry, later go back and touch up if desired on the bottom. (I didn’t stress too much on the bottoms, they weren’t going to be seen.)

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When you have all the pumpkins painted, you will need stencils or very creative handwriting skills (something I muchly lack!)

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I went for a Martha Steward set of stencils set I got from a random out of the blue shopping outing I went on. I love going into new stores that open up, and try to make an effort to go soon after the newness wears off. And this was one made for pottery, and since I love doing pottery, I figured someday I would use them!

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You may mess up on your first try but it will be okay! Just paint over it and start over! 🙂

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Trust me, you will get the hang of it.

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And then viola! You are done! Great job! Now arrange those pumpkins to spell the desired name(s) or word(s)!  Happy Decorating!  What’s your favorite Fall Decoration you have done this year? Tell me about it! Would love to hear from you! 🙂

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Happy Fall Y’all!

Not Your Typical Chip…

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I mean who doesn’t like a good potato chip? I am a big tater chip fan but it has to be a good one, and I mean a REALLY good one.  I love Apple Chips and have had a few from various health food stores but these are TOPS on my list for a healthy yet easy snack to make.  You don’t even have to have a fancy dehydrator so it won’t break the bank to make. As long as you have a working oven, then you are set to go!

Preheat your oven to 225 Degrees Fahrenheit (Yep, I had to look that word up on google.. heehee!)

Ok you will find my ingredients a bit off… I am not one to follow ingredient measurements.. they are just a guideline to me, nothing more than a guide on a map… but I can cross a few lines or barriers to get to the finish when it comes to cooking.

Ok… but you WILL need, to make this work, is either a really steady hand and sharp knife or a mandolin.  No, not the instrument. But the kitchen tool.

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You will also need, Your choice of Apples: I used Honey Crisp, and Gala:

ApplesYou will need your choice of sugar and your choice of cinnamon.  Everyone has their preference, so go for the choice you enjoy using.  I have also used Coconut Sugar. 🙂

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Now, slice your apples of choice (and however many you would like to eat, one per person, they aren’t that great the second day unless you wrap them up good.) You’ll want them thin but not see through thin. Preferably, a lil less than 1/8 of an inch.

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You’ll want to grease a baking sheet well with choice of cooking spray or grease. Or line it with wax paper. Place your Apple slices on the sheet and sprinkle with desired amounts of cinnamon and sugar of choice.  They don’t have to be far apart, they will shrink some.

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Place in the oven and bake for one hour.  Turn them over and if desire sprinkle more sugar and cinnamon on other side, place back into the oven and bake for an additional, 40min to and hour.

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They will look brownish, but they aren’t burnt.  They might also appear soft but when you let them cool they will become crispy and/or crunchy.

Let them cool for a few minutes (5-8 min.)

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Viola! Enjoy! 🙂

There’s A First Time For Everything! (Part 3, And Continued from “Me and Mister Right”).

I must apologize for my “forgetfulness”.  Like I mentioned on the Facebook Page, I didn’t forget to post like I said I would on Friday.  Its just that I had SO much going on, on Friday that I simply didn’t have time to get out and do my normal routinely things. 😦 Oh well, at least I am getting it up today, Lord willing). 😉

Ok… so I left off at…. let me check…Oh yes,…  Every year my church gets involved with the War of Decatur, Civil War Reenactment, you dress up like a southern belle and gentleman or a solider and fight in the battle, if you choose too. So I was dressed up in this pale baby blue gingham Southern Belle dress complete with hoop and my man hadn’t gotten there, and no he wasn’t one to dress up for these things but he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see me in my hoop dress…he was late getting there and of course I was worried.. he got there and I had already started soaking wet with sweat for it was fearfully hot outside and my curls were beginning to stick to my face and neck. I am sure I looked dreadful. But he didn’t seem to mind it. He kinda chuckled when he saw me but it was a cute chuckle. 😉 At least we got a photo together.

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Well, the next week he came over and used up two of his days and I was lil distraught cause I wanted to be there for his birthday which was Saturday and he wanted to take me out on Thursday evening for our last night for the week. He said he would talk to my dad and ask for an additional day.  Well, he was able to get permission to get that extra day.  My dad is so sweet, I am telling ya!

Well, I will say I had my suspicions that Spencer was going to ask me to marry him that night (Thursday). I even texted one of my good friends and told her, I thought it was going to be that night.  She told me to keep her updated… I mean really he had two months to “Look me over”. How much more time do you need? Three months? I mean people in the Bible just said, he took him a wife and viola!  We already knew him for years and years and my brothers all liked him even after the 4th of 5th meeting. 😉 And that’s more than I can say for any of the other guys I went out with.

Well Thursday evening my man came up in his very loud obnoxious red Chevy truck! 🙂 As always.. I greeted him at the door… no flowers… red roses… nothing…ok maybe he’s not going to pop the question tonight.  We get to the truck and I get in… no… not any red roses stashed away in here… Well, that is the norm for when you are to ask a girl to marry you? Isn’t it?

Well, we get to the restaurant….Ok, let me pause here for a minute… this is a BIG deal for us… we NEVER ate out together by OURSELVES, EVER! We were courting, courtships don’t allow for you to be alone unless there are people around you… yeah there are people at restaurants just as much as Starbucks, but my dad only allowed Starbucks, maybe he wanted our first alone outing to be special like this one.

Ok so we get to the restaurant and order our food…Spencer doesn’t say much while waiting for the food…nervous perhaps? 😉 Ok so we get our food and he eats all of it…that’s right… ALL OF IT!! Not even left a crumb… Maybe I was being overly suspicious… maybe he’s not going to ask me to marry him. Most people can’t eat like that when they are nervous.

Well we go and get our regulars at Starbucks, his Tall Mocha and my Tall Chai Latte.  And instead of going in to get it he takes us to the Park…but which one? We drive past Wilson Morgan…good.. I mean its ok, but nothing like my favorite… we drive past Delano… yay! And then he drives to my ALL TIME FAVORITE! The River Park! How did he know that was my favorite park, ever?! I have so, so many memories playing there as a kid and watching the barges go from one end of the river to the next.  So many memories of seeing gorgeous sunsets on the TN river at dusk. Love it! We walked over to the railroad tracks to the porch like thing they made for us romantics or photographers could take pictures of their models with a beautiful backdrop overlooking the Marina in one corner, the 565 Bridge in one and the Train Bridge in another view.

We watched a small tug boat go across the water and then a barge and then wouldn’t you know it… I started to get one of those pesky migraines… I got them quite a bit back then. I let out “Oh man! I’m getting a migraine”.   Just as Spencer was turning towards me to say something… but silenced himself when I said, “Can I go back to your truck and get my medicine?” So we walked back and as we walked back I stepped into a large mud puddle and got squishy mud all over my “Bob’s” (Kinda like Toms but an Academy Brand, same idea though, for every pair sold they give a pair of shoes to a needy child).  I get all upset over it cause I couldn’t see the puddle, the migraines I get are rather blinding.

Spencer kinda grinned and told me not to worry about it, that we would get me another pair… “We?” Hm…. So after I got the medicine in me, we walked over to one of the beautiful red benches along a winding walkway. We sat down and as we were sitting a couple passed us on the side walk, they were an older couple and were quite sweet and affectionate.  Well I look out across the water and then Spencer cleared his throat as if he had something to say, he asked me some questions… three to be exact and we talked about the different questions and then as I was still talking or blabbing on he started to get up from his chair and move to a kneeling down on one knee position and pulled out a ring from his blue jean pocket…. And said, “I have one more question to ask, Will you marry me, Katie Frank?” (Was my head spinning or was that the side effects from the migraine medication?) I was so stunned but yet, so excited, I thought surely my jaw had dropped down to my lap!! Something in me wanted to get up and shout “FINALLY!!” but I calmed myself with a sweet silent but excited, “Yes!”

He did it!! We are actually engaged!! I wanted to cry and laugh and do it all over again all at the same time! He then got back on the chair and instead of sitting what seemed like a mile away from me he moved in closer and put his arm around me (EEEHHHH!!!! Yeah, first time he has done this!!) And placed his hand in mine.  Again, a first and then, wait for it…. He said, “I love you” in my ear with a calm whisper, the very first time I heard those words utter from his lips.  And then, wait for it… yes, I returned to him, an, “I love you, too!” Awwwwweeee!!!!! I know, right??!! FIRST TIME EVER!!  I know what you are thinking… y’all kissed right, your first time?? NO…. we didn’t kiss… though I know he wanted to very much, but it would have been spoiled… well, maybe not spoiled but you have no idea how long I have waited to kiss, my mister right! I had never given my kiss away to ANYONE, including him, except on our wedding day.  Yep, you read that right, I gave my first kiss away after 27 LONG years of waiting for my man, I waited and saved my kiss for him!  So very glad I did… the first kiss was AMAZING!!! It was way better than I could have ever imagined!!

But enough about the first kiss… Remember that sweet older couple we saw at the park?! They came over after Spencer popped the question and congratulated us!! Sooooo sweet!!! They even were nice enough to take our picture!

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We were so excited we went and called a couple of our friends and I texted my sweet friend Lacey again, to keep her updated and we went back to my house.

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And that was the very beginning of our Love Story that God amazingly orchestrated for us. 🙂 Look forward to telling you many more stories in the future. God be glorified!

Thanks for reading,

Katie

P.S. The reason Spencer was late for the reenactment was because he had just gone to buy the ring and went and spent an hour taking out his excitement at the shooting range… I guess kinda didn’t want to show that he was excited about something… like a ring that was stashed under the seat of his truck!! 🙂

Mister Right and Me (Part 2, Continued from The Day I Met Mister Right)

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Oh I love this time of year, don’t you? Fall is seriously the best season there is! The air just seems so crisp and fresh and full of spices, as it should be! 🙂 I love the sound of the leaves, crunch beneath my feet. Sweaters and turtlenecks, pumpkin spice lattes and of course turkey and an ooberant amount of Thanksgiving to the Great God of Wonders! 🙂

Ok, so where did I leave off, Oh yes, the Starbucks date. Imagine that, I am in Starbucks at this very moment. Not the exact spot we sat at in the back of the store but I am in the building. 🙂 Makes me smile big to think about.

I forgot to bring my calendar so I may or may not get it right, my calendar from that year I saved especially for remembrance.  And if ever I needed to type it out. Spencer, has the better memory of this family unit, than I do. SO, anyhoo. I believe before we met at Starbucks, we did meet at my brothers for supper, they were having a lil shin ding at their house. They do those quite a bit have a bunch of families from church to come over and visit and eat good food. 🙂 Spencer, was invited by my brother especially for my benefit, and since he had helped fix his car, it was only the courtesy thing to do. 😉

Ok so we saw each other at this event get together.  And my, did he seem tall… yeah, I know seems silly, but I have ALWAYS wanted to marry a tall guy. It seemed at the time I knew only petite guys, or smaller, short, or rather, just not tall guys. It was really frustrating to a girl who was always considered by everyone around her as “the tall girl”.  Yeah, gets annoying after hearing it 20 times a day. So I had prayed for years and years, “Please God, I don’t care what he looks like, just send me a tall guy!” I figured if the guy was ugly in appearance he would become handsome to me later on as I grew fondly in love with him. But Spencer had both good looks AND great height!! So thankful! Not that it would have been a horrible thing if he hadn’t been so amazingly good looking, in time he would be.  And I think his good looks have increased, I am so madly in love with this guy that I can honestly say the men I used to moon over, are no comparison to my good lookin’ man! Even actors that I was attracted too, cause really they all look a lot like my man, in a way! (Zac Efron, Liam Hemsworth) yeah, you get the idea.

Well as we were sitting at my brothers’ house eating delicious food, my Pastor came and sat right in between Spencer and I. lol! Cracks me up every time.  Not sure if Pastor knew we were both interested in each other or if this was just one of those crazy awkward moments? Spencer and I were actually sitting across from each other, when he sat down he sat right in front as if he wanted to watch me as I ate, sloppily, no doubt, (yeah, I was a nervous wreck, I wanted to make a good impression, but I was failing miserably).  But as we sat, Pastor started asking Spencer questions about his church, and asked him what he was up to, where he worked and how old he was….23….wait what?!! He was 23?? I was 27 at the time… I thought… this could be a problem.  I thought I better let him know. It didn’t bother me, for in fact I had had a previous relationship with a guy earlier that year with a guy 4 years younger and we basically seemed pretty good for each other at the time.  Or rather got along well. It might would have been weird to just anyone at the time but I was fine with it.  In fact growing up I always got along better with guys younger than me. In fact older guys frightened me. 😛

We later met at my churches 4th of July picnic and I asked him about the age difference was 5 years, he smiled a me as if he knew and seemed to not mind. He even said, “No, I don’t mind, I have actually never dated anyone younger than me.” (WHEW!!! Glad that went well).  I told him I was actually shocked at hearing his age. He seemed so much older than I.  He told me everyone says the same thing.

The Starbucks “Date” went well. We had notebooks with questions of things we wanted to know about each other.. It was really sweet.  I totally recommend doing this if its your  first outing. After that outing it was seriously so awesome. But my first recollection of “falling for him” was the trip we took, the white water rafting trip. (I can’t remember where this falls in place, sorry I am so bad with dates).

Well, after our Starbucks date Spencer either called or came over and asked my dad if he could start a relationship with his daughter (me!).  Of course my dad, liked Spencer and trusted  him and knew he would take care of me and wouldn’t do anything to hurt me or my reputation.  He was genuine. Truly.  So my dad gave his consent and we started a full-fledged courtship right before I went on a week-long trip to Pen State to be a counselor at a church camp I went to every summer.  Talk about ROUGH! I just started a relationship with this good looking man and had to be away from him for an entire week!  I had made a commitment to serve these girls in my cabin I just got into a relationship with a guy, I wanted to get to know better but couldn’t due to being 500+ miles away for an entire week and two days! 😉

It wasn’t easy and one of the ladies in my church advised I cut communication with him for the week because I had made a commitment to these girls, so yeah, that was rough to.  But as the Scriptures teach us, “I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord!” So I did just that. I survived the week and it was really kinda sad, cause this was my very last year to not only be a counselor, but also it would probably be the last year to come, unless my man would be willing to take off a whole week to go too.  I kinda had a feeling that the above was true cause, with Spencer, I truly thought he might very well be the one.  I even told my boss the week before I went to camp, “You might want to start looking for someone to replace me, because I truly believed this guy was the one.” She kinda just laughed, she had seen the other relationship not work out, so she had no excuse but to believe this one wouldn’t either. Heehee!

As soon as I came home from Camp we began seeing each other three days a week. Mainly cause that was what my dad had said we could do.  Yes, we were courting… not dating.  Dating is a free bird to do as you please kinda relationship, no strings attached. But courtship is a bit different, usually involving  a parent or two or spiritual leader to make rules and regulations on how things would work each week.  We didn’t always have to have a chaperone, Thankfully, so we usually either did things with friends, or family.  Like the Tractor Pull we went to with family and friends.  Or Starbucks trips by ourselves.

I think the first time I “noticed” or “fell in love” with Spencer was when he did the most heroic thing I have encountered in quite some time! I was so thankful! At the White Water Rafting Trip my sister was there to chaperone us, since it was a water sport, we kinda needed that extra chaperoning.  Though, Spencer was the perfect gentleman and gave us each a bar of Rich Dark Chocolate Bark, it was yummy and so sweet he thought of my lil sister, too.  Melted my heart! But that wasn’t the moment that I experienced Cupid’s sharpest arrow.  All the guys that were at the white water rafting trip with us, the group we went with, the guys of course all took off their shirts to put their life vests on… RIGHT IN FRONT OF US GIRLS… I’m sorry, but that just turns me off… I know it’s a water sport, but I don’t know these guys very well and there are younger girls and older girls there around my sisters age, that really, don’t need to see stuff like that.  It really ticks me off.  Cause I know, what it does to us girls when we see that.  I mean, I am of the mindset, if it’s not ok for girls to take their shirts off, then why is ok for a guy too? I mean, seriously, think about it? Why is it ok for them too?  I’m not saying this as an “It’s not fair” issue but rather, “it’s indecent” issue for both male and female.  If guys get all hyped up when they see a girl in a low cut shirt, then what do you think us girls do with his shirt off?? I means seriously??… you think we are so dumbed down to  thinking, oh it doesn’t bother us to see a guy with his shirt off. Well, it bothers me and it should bother other girls, too.  Please go to the restroom and take your shirt off and put your life vest on in there if it has to be done.  But not in front of young innocent little girls that don’t need to even be thinking of things like that right now, or even have someone boost her chance of entertaining such thoughts.  Sorry, pet peeve.  I say all that to say, Spencer, my knight in shining armor didn’t take his shirt off in front of Liz and I and left it on to put his life vest on.  Whoo hoo!! I love this guy already! He totally passed the test in my mind for that heroic act!  Yeah, guys, if you want to play the hero in your woman’s eyes, truly, don’t take your shirt off in front of her, unless you are married.

Well, our courtship was a fast one, 2 months to be exact and it was full of flowers and reading the book, “Boy Meets Girl” By Joshua Harris,  a mixture of different stories of courtship and dating stories.  Very sweet… though we only got to the third chapter.   Spencer was convinced I was the one after two months… for me it was like after the first month.  I just had one question to ask him to finalize my ideas of completely giving my life and heart away in marriage to this man.  Yes, you read that right, in marriage, it’s not right to give your heart away in a courtship/dating or even in an engagement relationship, but rather in marriage at the alter before God and witnesses..  I knew he was the one, because it wasn’t a jittery feeling I had, it wasn’t even a feeling, but rather a knowing in my heart, I WANTED to spend the rest of my days with him.  My question was basically if he would be willing to go to our church, since his was having some issues and he seemed to rather enjoy attending mine.  It was hard for me to imagine going to any other church than the one I had been attending a great majority of my life.

I know that sounds selfish, but, I admit I am selfish even with things I so enjoy, I just want to share them with the people I love most and care about deeply.  In fact, I wish I could share this blessing of my church with a great many people I love and cherish, but I can’t exactly just go up to people and twist their arms in a literal sense and make them come, if they really, really want to enjoy the joys I experience every Sunday when I attend, then they will come, and I will know that my prayers were answered.  Yes, I pray that God would bring those I love very much into our church, because honestly I have been to other churches but nowhere have I had the most love and joy in any church I have been other than those in our denomination! But mostly what I have experienced at Trinity Pres. I am so thankful for my sweet church family!  We are all so close and I hope and pray this church family grows with other sweet people and families.

Ok… sorry bunny trail…  You will find I am good at those. Well, this is getting lengthy so I will cut this short and save my favorite part for next time, so be looking for Part 3 on Friday!

The Day I Met Mister Right! (Part 1)

 

Telling this story always makes me smile big! I just LOVE telling it and it gets better every time I do! 🙂  Some of you have heard it a million times and are probably tired of hearing it but not me! Not, I! 😉  It’s such a fun story because God made it up! And that excites me all the more! 🙂

Ok, so I first met the man of my dreams back when I was in my early 20’s I just didn’t know at the time this 17-18 year old would end up being my husband some day! I thought as I watched him play basketball with my brothers on our homeschool basketball team, from the bleachers that I would actually end up with this awesome, handsome (Zac Efron, look-alike!). Yeah, everyone used to call him that when he was younger, he looked just like him! Still kinda sorta does, but I think he’s WAY more attractive than any good lookin’ movie star ever was or ever will be. Just sayin’. 😉

I came home from work one day and my parking spot was taken up with my brothers car (who was married and living in his own home at the time), so yeah, kinda weird.  SO I went in the house asking why was my parking spot taken up.  My brother’s car was broken down and needed to be fixed and since my dad has more car tools than you can shake a stick at he decided to leave his car in MY parking spot overnight, or rather until it got fixed. (Not that I’m bitter about it… lol! J/K, just telling how the story was in my own words. 😉 )

A few days later I came home from work and noticed a BIG red truck parked outside our house (Gives me shivers down my spine every time I think about it!!). I thought nothing of it and drove on back behind the house where the garage is and parked behind my brothers car and I see, two of my brothers in the garage and one other head I didn’t recognize sticking up behind the hood of my brothers’ car.  Hmmm… Then I recognized him as soon as I got out of my car! “Is this even for real??!!” It was Spencer Miller in my parents garage working on my brother’s car!!

I went inside quickly, hoping he didn’t notice my appearance. I was greasy and smelled like cooking grease.  I was working at Curry’s at the time and worked with the deep fryer among many other things.  Working with food gets messy at times. All I can remember is thinking what can I do? What can I do to go outside and “work” on something (After I have freshened up a bit)?  So I thought! AH! I know! (You have to understand my car, if you don’t own a Dodge Neon, then congratulations! You are doing great! Neon’s have been known to burn oil…. that’s right, you read that right. BURN. So instead of changing your oil you just refill it every so often. 😉

So I quickly looked for some oil and a funnel.  I asked the guys, if they had seen a funnel? All the while trying not to make eye contact with this good lookin’ man! Ha! Only looking at him, mooningly-like. (Mooningly=Dreamily). Hoping he didn’t notice.

I “fixed” the problem with some oil and then get done and then remember the interior in my car which has been falling apart decide to fix that too! 🙂 So I go quickly in the house looking for some glue and the only kind I find is Shoe Goo, yeah, I used shoe goo on my door interior! (Hey, it worked!). As I am finishing up, Spencer and my brothers get done on the car. Or at least for the night and as I get out of my car, my older brother Jacob, asks what I was doing and I told them, I can remember seeing a huge grin and chuckle coming from Spencer.  Talk about making my day!!

Well a few days passed and my sweet friend Hannah and I went to eat out at our usual Chinese lunch date.  I confided in her about my infatuation with Spencer.  I told her how much I was developing feelings for him and that I didn’t know what to do about the guy I was in a relationship with at the time.  Yes, I know, I was in a relationship with a young man at the time. It had been going on for about a year and nothing fruitful seemed to be coming out of it.  I had known the guy for a few years before, met him at the Deaf camp I work at in Tn, a few summers back.   The relationship was going really slow and I was beginning to think this was not what the Lord wanted for me.   There was just too many things in the relationship to make me think this was not what God wanted for me.  I didn’t have peace. Even my co-workers who had never met the guy knew I was unhappy with the situation I was in.   Which,  I never took my troubles with me to work.   Or tried very hard not to.

I later confided in my mom as well about the situation.  My mom said, “I’ve always wondered about, Spencer Miller.”  Meaning, she thought he might would be a great match for me!  I later found out a few other people in our church were thinking the EXACT same thing and were even praying about it!! 🙂

So just because you are in a relationship with someone right now, doesn’t mean you will end up with that person, so be careful, that is why it’s best to make sure you don’t give yourself away (physically and emotionally).  I know it’s so hard not to.

After Spencer and my brothers fixed his car, Spencer of course stopped coming over, but the last night he came over he came in our house! I was there and he knocked on the door, I awkwardly opened the back door and he came in and I remember being so awkward and just kind of quickly went into the kitchen.  I wondered, he must have thought I was a dork!  He came in the kitchen behind me and helped Jacob order a part for his car and then came in and talked to my parents about his church and how it was having some issues there.   (I thought, what great opportunity to invite him to come to ours… I know I would be happy for that to happen!).

He left and that was the last time he came over to help fix the car.   I was a bit sad, especially since I had to go do something I was dreading.  I had to end the relationship I was having and that was hard.  Cause he was a sweet guy and I liked him a lot, but not like that.  It was funny though, that night, I was a bit discouraged and so I got on Facebook, “The Happy Place” I call it.  And as soon as I got on that night, a few minutes may have gone by but my fb chat popped up and Spencer wanted to chat with me!! WHAT??!! Was this REALLY happening??!  Of course I asked my parents who were in the room with me, and I told them, they encouraged me to chat with him… obviously they both approved of this! Wow!! So, so happy!

I remember looking forward to each day after that and getting on that happy place and waiting for him to speak, I didn’t once initiate the conversation, I never asked to chat with him, I mean, it wasn’t like we were in a relationship or anything.  So, duh, I’m not going to initiate it, I had already gone down that road more times than I wish to declare and all who know me well, knows how that all went for me.  SO I simply got on and waited for HIM to ask to talk to me.

A few days of chatting with me he asked if he could meet me sometime at Starbucks and just talk, a get to know me better kinda thing.  Of course I wanted to scream out YES!! But I calmly told him I needed to ask my dad if he would be ok with that.  (I wasn’t about to ruin my chances with this one, so if he really respected and/or liked me at all he would be ok with me asking my dad for permission).  He seemed ok with it.  So I talked to my dad and he of course said yes!  He said I was old enough now to go out with young men without a chap, unless it was a very secluded place.  Since Starbucks was a place where many came in and out every day, that that would be the perfect location to meet.  So we did….

Stay tuned for Part 2… next week…

A No Strings Attached Salvation. . .

I know a funny name for a title to a blog post.  But this is so true, our Salvation in Christ doesn’t require anything of us, but only that of Trust! He saved us, therefore we trust His gospel is truth! What an awesome thing that we don’t have to “do” anything to gain our salvation! 🙂 It’s rich and FREE! 🙂

I want to take a moment and reflect on who gave me this Free Salvation.

His Name is Jesus! Jesus Christ. He’s the One who holds the keys to my heart, who has given me life, and a wonderful husband and holds my sweet John Spencer in His arms.  Who gave me a wonderful family and in laws, two wonderful sisters in laws and beautiful nieces and nephews! Cousins, Aunts and Uncles, and wonderful Grandparents some who have gone on before me. And a wonderful Church family and the best circle of friends a person could ask for! Also access to Facebook with a whole ‘nother world of friends! He has given me tangible people in my life, people that I can receive hugs and handshakes from. I am so indebted to my Saviour for all the blessings He has graciously given to me. But really none of them are compared to what He has done on the cross for me.

Yes, He saved me from my sins. My filthy rags have been washed clean like freshly fallen snow.

Before I delve into other matters of my life and those things going on in my life, I first must reflect the soul purpose of why I do these things, why I do anything. I want to first give all my attention on how the Lord brought me to this state of Salvation, for those of you that have never heard my story, and may not possess one of your own.  Here’s the story, how the Lord rescued me from myself.

“Salvation? Sure I want to be saved!”

Those were my thoughts when I was asked by my mother back when I was 7 years of age.  But of course like most youngsters I had no idea what Salvation was really all about. I just knew it was a good thing and my parents got excited about it.  Never did I realize it would take me on a journey to find out what I was truly made of and what it would require of me.

Yes, I said a prayer, I walked an aisle and got baptized as all normal Christians did, or were expected to do. I made a profession of faith, but that faith I never really understood.  I wanted to know, what that really meant but I was too afraid to ask questions. I remember asking questions once in school (1st Grade, maybe?), it must have been something very simple minded, for I remember being laughed at by my other peers.  So from then on, I didn’t want to ask questions I would basically cave in and never again ask questions about the things that really bothered me, for fear of being laughed at again. If it was really that important I would look it up for myself.

I remember back when I was a teen really searching and listening in on a conversation that I guess I was involved in but wasn’t talking, just listening… the first time I ever heard words like, Predestination, the Doctrines of Grace, and T.U.L.I.P. acrostic… what was this all about? What did it all mean, what did that have to do with the Bible! I wanted to know. By then, we had changed our Church going from the Southern Baptist Church to trying out a Free Presbyterian Church.  I remember coming to the church because we had been pretty good friends with the Pastor and his family.  And some of the church goers at the time.  I will never forget the first sermon or one of the first that began to break my heart and it actually frightened me. I hadn’t ever heard one like it.  It was almost as though my heart had been dead to preaching until I heard the sermon on Heaven and Hell and the realness of the two.

The sermon was very clear in my mind and when I normally listen to people talk, I paint pictures in my mind, and I can see things in color, bright vivid colors. I was painting pictures of how beautiful Heaven is according to Pastor’s description and the ugliness and the frightening images of hell and what it must be like there.  It scared me so bad that I burst into tears….and couldn’t stop crying. I knew if I died that night I would be in hell.  But I refused still not to ask questions.

I remember another time, when my parents decided to join the church Pastor asked my older brother and I to give a brief account of our Salvation so that we were not taking communion unworthily as Scriptures teach. When I was asked the question, “Why do you believe you are saved?” It almost made me angry, because no one had ever asked me if I was saved, almost as though there was disbelief in their hearts. But there wasn’t, it was just a question, I merely took it the wrong way in my mind. After my brother gave an eloquent description of why he believed him to be saved, I foolishly thought of something nice to say, “Because, I believe my name is written in the book of life”.

You may ask. Why do you believe you were not saved, then? Because I know my heart better than anyone and there is no way that I could have been saved, truly.  A good majority of people in America go through the motions when they are young but if they were truly honest with themselves then maybe they would realize their need of a Saviour just as I knew I was.  Yes, I was still holding onto that “I prayed a prayer, I did this, I did that, I made that commitment, I, I, I.”   There was no room for what Christ did for me, it was all me.  I saved me. Not Christ saved me.

Salvation is REAL?!

I remember finally being frustrated play acting the role of a Christian and finally breaking the wall of that cave and going to my mom asking her questions! YES!! I asked questions, questions that had been on my mind and heart off and on for several years, finally after a year of college and filling my mind with these Presbyterian thoughts, yes, that’s what I call them.  Being around so many Free Pres. peeps helped me open my eyes to things I never knew before.

I asked my mom, what Predestination was, what was the Doctrines of Grace and what is this acrostic, T.U.L.I.P. all about??? I wanted to know, and I wanted to know NOW!  I was over with unanswered questions and I needed to know.  My mother sat down so gently with me, (Yes, without laughing at me!), and explained everything I wanted to know.  She even gave me a book to read to help open my eyes to these things.  It was an easy read, a novel so it made it more enjoyable than most more in depth books that made no sense to me or just too over the top, boring if you will.

It was almost as if a light bulb clicked on in my head… like something clicked.  No, I didn’t pray a prayer, I didn’t walk down the aisle, I didn’t do anything but sit there in my thoughts… it was a knowing that Salvation isn’t about me! It’s not about what I did to save me.  It was Christ, all I had to “do” was rely on Him, to “trust” Him! That’s it! To trust fully on my Saviour that He IS telling the truth. I didn’t have to rely on things I did, actions I accomplished, even reading the scripture or praying, it wasn’t a check list for brownie points with Christ, if I got this done, God would give me yada, yada, yada… No! Jesus saved me and doesn’t need me to help make that happen! He did it for me because HE LOVES ME!! Yes, Jesus. Loves. Me!!!

I felt as though I had experienced Christians’ burden lifted from my shoulders. All I had to do was trust, to let go, and let God.  I was holding onto so many things to base my trust on and it wasn’t about how many things I could hold onto, but that I needed to let go of everything and just take a tight hold on Christ.  WOW! I am still so amazed and often times still hang onto things that don’t need so tight a hold onto.  I’m definitely not perfect in letting go of things. But Salvation is REAL!  13 years of being in the dark because I didn’t ask questions!

Now, I ask questions!

Don’t ever stop asking questions even if people laugh at you.  I can’t help but ask questions now, and sometimes I am so full of questions those around me wish I would close my mouth! 🙂

What about you, have you ever had a fear of asking questions? Did you ever struggle wondering if you were saved? Are you saved? Truly? Tell me about some of your fears and anxieties. How do you shut those fears up? Would love to hear feedback!

Thank you for reading and next time I hope to tell you more of the great things God has graciously done for this poor sinner who’s been saved by Grace!! God is good ALL the time, ALL the time God is Good!! 🙂

Welcome to My Blog!

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Welcome to my Blog! This is the first official post! I’ve only had one blog in my lifetime so I don’t know how well this is going to go for me. But I have made a commitment to post at least once a week, there is always something going on in my life so surely I will have something to write about.  I hope you will bear with me, its been quite sometime since I have kept up with the fashion of how things are done.  So hopefully I will have what it takes to do well in this.

First off, I will let you know a little bit about me. I’m a homesteader, yes, that’s an old term for someone who has land to claim for their homestead. Where we are it’s technically not our own land but it belongs in the family and that’s almost the same thing.

I’m also as you see a Wife and Homemaker. I am so in love with the man of my dreams and can’t wait to share with you our love story to those who haven’t read it!   Maybe that will be my next post, but it will most likely be in parts cause I’m not good at being short winded (normally). 🙂  I’m also technically a mother but we lost our little one last month, and there will be more on John Spencer’s little life later.

The profile picture you see is a photo of me and my awesome man! He is the lover of my life and I am so thankful for him! But Jesus is the ultimate love of my life! Yes, I am a Christian and thankful the Lord saved me! 🙂

Sorry this seems rushed but I am running out of time and hopefully will get a post up sometime next week.  I am so looking forward to telling you more about my favorite things! Hope y’all have a great Saturday Everyone! 🙂