God rescues// Happy Birthday Joshua Grady Shave

God rescues//and he brought me Joshua. Happy Birthday, my love.

1998 SMCC when Josh and I met

Today is my sweet sweet love’s birthday. He is 29, strong, healthy, blessed, and wonderful. I wanted to spend today bragging on him and thanking God for blessing me with such a wonderful, loving, selfless, consistent husband.    Seriously.   I do not just spout off these adjectives like I am writing a greeting card. He REALLY is ALL  these things. Over the years I have become more aware of just how considerate he is. So many people, including myself, tend to take advantage of his kindness. At first I thought it just came naturally to him and he didn’t even have to think about it. But realistically, he does. He is the kind of person who makes a daily effort to build others up, to NOT always say what he is thinking, to go out of his way to help you with what you want, to think the best of people, to forgive, to put his plans aside when he knows you want him or need him for something. And all these things are not just for me.  They are for everyone: our families, his co-workers, his friends, my friends…

It is almost bad for other people because I see him sacrificing all the time and it just accentuates how selfish the rest of us are.

I love him for so many reasons, but the first one would have to be that he loves God so much and wants to live his life (our life) to please HIM. This is the most admirable trait in a man. It brings a constant comfort because I know where his priorities lie and I can trust him to LEAD us in the right direction.

I love him because he likes what I like…and even when he doesn’t he sacrifices and compromises.  I love that we can sing and dance and scream out the window in the car together. I love that when he is in front of me at a stop light, he opens his back window and says, I love you.

I love that we can laugh together.

Our 1st Dave Matthews Concert together

I love Josh for all these things and more. He is so strong. So athletic. So funny. So freaking talented at everything he tries; it might be a little sickening, but adorable at the same time.

I did find something I am better at than him……… and that is ice skating. :)

Pathetic for me I know, but seriously. He is good at EVERYTHING. And humble about it too. How lucky am I?

I love him because he makes me coffee in the mornings.

I love him because when I am tired and do not want to wake up and go to work, he walks around the bed, throws my arms around his neck, and walks me into the bathroom.

I love him because he always opens my door.

I love him because I know he prays for me every day.

I love him because when he travels I do not worry about his integrity. (but I pray about it nontheless to keep him strong and holy)

I love him because he thinks it’s cute when I look up new words.

Lol….. like the house we are buying is on Avocet. I didn’t know what that was and I didn’t want to live on a road that meant like “hoochie momma” so I looked it up :)
and this made him smile.

It means a long legged shorebird, by the way. How fitting.

I love that he can make so many people laugh and that he is not afraid to be silly.

I love him because he is passionate about so many things… our love, surfing, basketball, family, snowboarding, his work, his prayer life, God, wakeboarding…

I love him because he is not boring.

I love him because keeps me sane and eases my fears. He reminds me where my focus should be. He holds me accountable and teaches me love.

I love him because I want to. Should all these awesome things fade away. I will love him.

God rescues.

When I looked up his name last night that is what I found.  And its so true; God did rescue me. In the same way he rescued Josh and all of us who allow him to be our Savior. What  wonderful life we live, abiding in him and seeking his face.

Thank you for all of it, God.

And thank you for being a wonderful husband, Josh. I love you. Happy Birthday.

100% true.

“Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? “

-C.S. Lewis; The Problem of Pain
Upon reading this, I instantly think of my future husband.
…followed immediately by my best and closest friends.
I love them.

I said YES

Okay okay okay, I know it’s been awhile, but I am finally going to put our proposal story (and pictures!) on here :)

It is a difficult story to start—only because there are so many details that are too funny and too “us” to leave out. First of all, for all of you who don’t know, Josh and I have been friends since we were 14. We met at church camp in 1998 and have not lost touch since; literally. We used to write letters snail mail, talk over IM, meet up when he came to Knoxville, and I even called him up in 2006 when I was down in Tampa, FL to meet.  We remained friends throughout the years and finally started dating a year ago when he moved back to Tennessee. I can honestly say I have never been happier. He is, indeed, a dream come true.

Josh and I had been talking about marriage for a little while and I hoped it was coming soon. He had been telling his friends and family for months that I was the one :) and he was not ashamed to admit he was just as head over heels for me, as I was for him. So, when we started talking about getting married, I of course was very VERY EXCITED. I swore up and down he had no chance of surprising me with the proposal since I already knew it was coming. After all, it’s awfully hard to surprise a girl when she is waiting every second of every day for you to ask her to be your wife :) (the poor man couldn’t bend down to tie his shoe, for crying out loud, without getting my hopes up!)

When he went to talk to my dad (which was way sooner than I thought—the day he proposed I still didn’t think he had—) Dad pretty much told him it would be impossible to surprise me. “I’ve been married to her mother for nearly thirty years”, he said “…and I’ve surprise her twice.”

So Josh was doomed… or should have been, but he is abnormally awesome at surprising me and still pulled it off. :)

He proposed May 7th 2010 and took me completely by surprise! I thought he was going to propose at church camp, where we met, in July of this year (and at one time this was his plan, but both my dad and his dad said not to wait, so he didn’t and that is a good thing.) As I mentioned, he said originally he was planning on July at church camp, then June for our anniversary, then he got the ring in his possession May 6th and lasted about 36 hours :)

Josh and I had plans with Kyle and Christin to go downtown to first Friday. We were going to eat at Oodles (one of our favorite places) and then walk the town. Godmom called me after school that day and asked if I wanted to get my nails done. I said sure. I also invited another friend of mine out with us, Sara, to meet me at the salon. Normally, this would have been fine, but I was slowly putting kinks in Josh’s plan. After getting my nails done a worker volunteered to freshen up my hair, and as soon as she finished, Josh walked in to pick me up.

When he saw me he thought for sure I knew. My hair was down and blown out very pretty and of course my nails looked great. (I really had no idea) Josh, Sara and I got in the car to head downtown and Josh handed me a book.  Now there is a lot of background to this proposal so bear with me… I had written to Josh in a journal like notebook about how much he meant to me and MY SIDE of the Florida visit in 2006. To me, Josh  was stunningly good looking , muscular, college basketball player that I did not think I stood a chance with, so I spent the whole weekend thinking we would hang out and never talk again…but Josh swears he was already in love with me, so I asked him to write his side of the story [months ago…]

I get in the car and he is like, “guess what!” and hands me the book. I am very excited he has written and I want to read it, but Sara is in the car, so I don’t want to be rude, and I toss it in the back seat! He is thinking at this point, “you’ve got to be kidding me…”

One good thing is, before I threw it in the backseat I turned to the last page he had written on, and saw the message:

“July 26, 1998” is the best day of my life so far because that is the day I met you.

Awww… I thought that was so sweet but still didn’t think anything of it. Josh is always sweet. He told me he got a hold of Doug, who was the Dean of that week of camp and both of our youth ministers, and researched the date.

Well after dinner downtown with Sara, Kyle and Christin, Josh wanted to go for a walk. We started walking out of Market Square and into the gardens and I was confused…. These people don’t walk to talk around here, I thought we were going to window shop” I am thinking to myself…

At that point the three, who are in on his plan, say they want to look at this dress shop and miraculously disappear… Josh and I start walking down this path and I am still clueless for several minutes until I realize neither one of us is talking, we are kind of jogging, and I am officially sweating…

About the time I started to ask Josh why we were running, he is taking my stuff from me and sitting in on a bench under a tree.

At that point, I knew————————— but was in totally disbelief.

I think I might have gotten my name out and I was like “no way!”

Hahaha I said that about 5 times he says :)

I’m pretty sure I blacked out, but I do remember him telling me how much he loved me, that he had given me his whole heart and that he wanted to take care of me and take me as his wife.
He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him :)

I, of course, said yes.

He put the ring on and I instantly hugged him. I couldn’t think straight. My face hurt from smiling but somehow I was crying. When I realized this was REALLY happening I screamed at the top of my lungs and my friends came running. This is the first picture Sara took when she rounded the corner:

Confession

I’m scared to wander outside major keys
So I sing a song
that I wrote just to please
The fools and the fakes
afraid just like me to be…honest

So I play pretend with my smile painted on
At best I’m a clown and at worst I’m a con
Convincing the crowd and myself nothing’s wrong to be…honest

My soul is trembling
Knowing they’re listening
But all that I need to be
Is all that You’re making me

I’m leaving the stage
You can turn my lights down
The curtains are closed
And I’m taking my bow
Lord help me remember
Cause I forget how to be honest
Honest

And I rewrote my story without tragedy
Left out the lines that reveal I am weak
Erased every reason for You to save me
To be…honest

My soul is trembling
Knowing they’re listening
But all that I need to be
Is all that You’re making me

Shaun Groves

This is how I feel sometimes. I am terrified to mess up… or look a wreck. I am scared to admit my mistakes or be seen as imperfect… I like this song so much because he says, hey, if you don’t admit to your mistakes… if I could just hide them or pretend they aren’t there… then what would the point of God’s grace and forgiveness be?
Why would we have NEEDED God to die on the cross?
That takes a big load off my shoulders.
At Winterjam one of the speakers said, “we all hate confessions and it’s the last thing we want to do because we don’t want to admit how screwed up we are.”
I feel like that is me. I am always terrified to admit my mistakes, no matter how small. Maybe it is my pride, or maybe it is that i am still growing and understanding just how big God’s grace is. I hope it rains down on the people of earth so they can have mercy on my soul too. Because it is official:

I am not perfect
to be…honest.

Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree

By far my favorite song right now. I listen to it on repeat daily. I am lucky to keep my eyes open and hands on the wheel :)

The Video

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way He loves us

sweet misery

 

Very very excited! :)

Very very excited! :)

I never got around to blogging about my eyes because I was enjoying them too much! I had LASIK 2 months ago and am so impressed! For local readers, my surgery was done at the Tennessee Eye institute by Dr. Froula. He was a great considerate doctor and I have no complaints. I mean, it hurt a little, but I think that’s normal.

This is a picture of my eyes when I woke up from my nap, even before I went back that night for my follow up consultation. You can see the red spots that are either busted vessels or where they cut my eye open (sorry, not for those with weak stomachs).

My poor [but perfect] peepers!

It was totally worth it. It was definitely more uncomfortable that I expected though, everyone I knew said the surgery was nothing…but mine was definitely something, not so much painful, but awful! I think they just sent me in there before my valium had enough time to kick in so I was super nervous. I am (err was) legally blind, one I was -10 and the other was -12 WITH an astigmatism. The doctor said since my eyes were so bad the surgery was going to take longer. 6x longer! The actual LASIK procedure normally takes 10 seconds per eye, but took 60 per eye for me. SOoOoo I had to stare (scared to death I was going to mess up) at this tiny little light I could hardly even make out in the first place!  for what seemed like eternity! Ahhhh the agony!!

I think I was more stressed out than anything.

But, I have never been happier about a decision in my life. Well I mean, besides the whole giving my life to Jesus thing.

I went into surgery at almost 11:00 a.m. I sat up to look at (and see!) the clock at 11:15!!! — I immediately started crying.

These are the beautiful glasses I wore to bed every night for 5 days. I am not sure how useful they were seeing how I caught my self sliding them up to my forehead in the middle of the night to rub my eye balls. (Very bad of me!) I was alseeeeeeep!!!

SoooOOOoo HAPPY!

SoooOOOoo HAPPY!

Every morning when I wake up and all I have to do it open my eyes, I smile. Literally two month later and I am just as happy as the moment I walked out of there. Happier actually.

And every night when I am ready for bed, I sigh a sigh of relief when I remember I do not have to take my contacts out.

No regrets.

(but don’t watch the videos online…)

I beg

This is one of my favorite song right now. It actually has been my favorite for quite a while but seeing them last weekend brought it even closer to my heart. After beating Shane Evertt in PaperRockScissors (and losing to Shane Barnard twice) I went into the auditorium to worship our Holy Father with them. It was amazing. Up front, crying like a baby all by myself, I took off my shoes and worshiped.  I begged him to move no doubt. I want Him to move. To move me and you; this town and this world. I am tired of sitting still.
I love loving God and having friends to do it with.

It’s nothing like it is live but have a listen.

(click the pop out player and it is the first song.)

Get a playlist!
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I beg
Shane & Shane

Here I am
One more day of not
Loving Him the way He asks
In fact my heart is singing praises to the things
that make me feel alright

So I’m sinking fast like a stone heart should
And on the way down
I’ve done what I could
To try and try to turn this stone to flesh

I’m haunted by my God
Who has the right to ask me
What by the nature of my rebellion
I cannot give.

So I beg for you to move
I beg for you to move
I beg for you to break through

So here I am
Got my deeds for the day
All my cute little words about
How I am saved
Am I saved?

Could I love you with my mouth like a church kid should
At the end of the day
My words get burned as wood
Oh, but I was good.

I’m haunted by my God
Who has the right to ask me
What by the nature of my rebellion
I cannot give.

These songs are noise
In your ears
A clanging drum
You want my love

catching up and bragging on my great friends!

I have been busy with school preparation (grad school finals and I just found out I am student teaching at Oak Ridge High school starting in January!), party planning, paperwork, cleaning and nannying. I did have an excellent Christmas party last week with many of favorite friends from Knoxville. I always stress out before any gathering because I am trying to cook, clean, shop and shower all while making and receiving phone calls regarding last minute details and normally with never enough time because I work so late! Yikes! It’s exhausting.

I must also thank Jaime Ketchen because she always comes to my rescue at least once during every party and I am so greatful. She brought over Christmas mugs, CD’s, food, drinks, wine glasses, games and her helping hands to aid in the kitchen! What a great friend! I am very thankful for all of you who helped and just showed up! I love spending time and catching up with all of you. Thank you for helping me clean up and prepare. I love my friends!

More pictures from the party to come!


It’s the little things

Do you ever have a moment in a normal day when you are doing normal things and all of a sudden something hits you, out of the ordinary, and you take a deep sigh and smile as you think, gaa, life is good.

It happens more than I can account for but most recently it happened Sunday and today.

Today I was walking out to my car headed to work and the wind picked and send my hair and clothes soaring and caused my entire body to step back a little.

I just stopped and smiled. It was as if that burst of wind was a reminder of how good God is to me. How no matter what I can rest in the comfort of knowing He is taking care of me. He loves me and is working for my good whether I always see it or not.

It was breath of fresh air.

And it really just makes me smile.

This week has been great weather so far and it is often underestimated.

God gives us so much that we take for granted. We don’t seem to give Him the time of day until he takes one of them away.

But as the Job says we must praise him for the good and the bad, we must not accuse him of wrongdoing. The Lord gives and takes away. How blessed am I to have been given and trusted with so many things.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

And praise Him for the breeze!