The Perfect Fit

Earlier this year, I wrote about how Paul and I were trying to find our church home.  Well towards the end of May, it felt as though we had tried almost all the churches.  We decided to try one that a friend of mine from high school goes to.

So one Sunday morning, we headed in with no expectations.  During the worship, I kept thinking that I really liked the songs they were singing, and the congregation was so much more animated and less conservative than any other church I’ve attended.  For me that’s a good thing, but what worried me was Paul.  I was kind of thinking to myself, that it may be a turn off to him.

After worship, the sermon began, and the pastor was foreign.  This came as a surprise to me.  I’m not sure why I just wasn’t expecting it (we later found out he is Egyptian).  I LOVED the sermon.  I truly felt the Pastor captivated me, and he truly applies scripture to the world and your life.  He helps show how some of the older biblical verses that don’t seem very applicable anymore, most certainly still can be applied to our lives today.  He isn’t afraid to be blunt and honest about biblical beliefs, and how Christians need to be living and acting in today’s world.

That day, Paul and I left, and as we were walking back to the car I said, “So what did you think?” and Paul said he liked it, in a pretty non chalant way.  Didn’t seem too crazy about it.  So he asked me and I responded in the same way.  After I said I liked it,  Paul said, “Oh good! I really liked it and I was praying during the service that you would feel the same way!  I just feel like this is supposed to be our church!”.  I think we were both waiting to hear the other’s opinions before we came out with how we truly felt!

We continued to test the waters for the next couple of weeks, and each week we grew to love it even more.  The Pastor INSTANTLY introduced himself to us the second week we attended after we didn’t go flying out in a hurry.  We felt so incredibly welcomed by members of the congregation.  After we had only been attending for 3-4 weeks, we had Aubrey.  Without even knowing more than a few people’s name, they started a food train and brought Paul and I food and gifts, and it was just so incredibly sweet how they took the time to care for us when we were so new!

Their youth program is amazing, and you can just see the Holy Spirit at work throughout the younger generation.  It makes me so happy to have Aubrey grow up in that kind of environment.  Paul and I got involved and started the Foundations bible study which has been LIFE changing!  I honestly cannot recommend it enough, and you can find a part of the study in this book.  After our life settles down in the next couple of weeks, we will both begin volunteering in the children’s ministry, and we are both looking forward to it.

We’ve now been attending for 5 months, and I can honestly say I’ve never looked forward to church so much in my entire life.  The worship is so moving, and the sermons stick with you.  I don’t forget them when I walk out the doors on Sunday.  I remember them, and throughout the week I find myself correcting my behavior/thoughts because I remember something the Pastor said.  Paul and I have both grown spiritually.  I’ve never been good at consistently staying in the word, and it feels so important now.  My prayer life has improved, and I find myself relying more on God than I ever have before.  I am so happy to be a part of this church family, and I am so excited to continue to grow in Christ!

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” – Hebrews 10:24-25

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My First Black Eye

It’s not too abnormal for someone to get a black eye.  They can happen for all sorts of different reasons, it isn’t always brought on by a fight or abuse.  I, however, had never had one, and I never thought my first black eye would come from my husband.  Now before you panic and think we have some terrible marriage, and I’m abused let me explain.  It was a complete accident.  So much so that I couldn’t even be mad… after the hurt wore off I just had to laugh.

Now that my disclaimer is out there, let’s back up to the beginning.  Since Paul and I moved, we’ve been attending the church I grew up in.  It’s great! I love the pastors and the worship is phenomenal, but it is also HUGE.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but after leaving our church in Tallahassee, I think I am looking for something a little more intimate. Since we keep traveling back to Tallahassee for football games, work, and little niece’s birthdays we haven’t had much time to try out new churches.  Last weekend, we decided we were going to try one since we were home.  Now this whole church thing doesn’t seem relevant to a black eye, but I swear it comes into play.

Saturday night, Paul and I get ready for bed and as we are getting in bed the stars perfectly aligned for me to get a black eye.  Paul picked up his arm to put it around me, and at the same time I sat up to readjust myself on my pillow… and that’s when it happened. BOOM.  Elbow to the eye.

It hurt.  I may have started to cry… at the same time Paul started freaking out.  He felt so bad and he kept trying to talk to me, and I couldn’t say anything.  He then asks, “Should I get some ice?” and I nodded my head very slightly.   So he runs to the freezer, and doesn’t bring me ice, but brings me a bag of frozen peas.  While I’m holding the peas on my face, he just keeps apologizing over and over.  To which I keep telling him, it’s okay.  I couldn’t really be mad at him, he truly did not mean to.  It was just a series of bad timing.

When I took the peas off, I asked him if I was going to get a bruise.  He looked at it, made a face and said, “Put the ice back on… and we aren’t going to a new church tomorrow.  They’re going to think I beat you.” In reality I did have a lump on my eye, but by the morning, it was barely noticeable and once I put makeup on you couldn’t see it.  That didn’t matter though, Paul still wouldn’t let us go to church for fear that someone would think he wasn’t treating me right.

I didn’t take a picture of it, but I should have.  The whole situation was just funny, and now we get to look back and laugh.  I’m so thankful for a husband who treats me so well, and feels awful for hurting me even if it is an accident.  I think I take that for granted, some women do not have that luxury and live in fear everyday.

Bittersweet #3

Two weeks from today, Paul and I will be heading down to Orlando for our official move.  The thing we’ve been discussing for weeks now is getting closer, and it’s finally starting to feel real.  We’ve gradually started packing, and our living room is slowly being overtaken with boxes.  In case you didn’t know, packing sucks.

BITTER

Over my last 5 years in Tallahassee,  I have met some amazing friends.  Many of them I’ve met through my jobs, but they have made me love living here even more.  Many of us are in the same spot in life, or somewhere close: young, married, no kids.  It’s so nice having friends in the same place in life.  We don’t all have to hang out everyday, but when we get together it is an amazing time.  I have truly been blessed by some amazing people.  People who give me advice, who care about me, who support me, who share my beliefs, who respect and encourage me.  Leaving these people will not be easy.  Thankfully for me, I will be back in Tallahassee often, and they all know our home is open to them anytime they are in Orlando!

SWEET

One of the more exciting parts of moving is that Paul and I will be able to meet people together.  My hope is that we will get plugged in to a church, and we will meet people that way.  The hard part about this is that we will both be working from home.  Not being in an office will make it a little more challenging for us to me people.  I am thankful that Paul and I do have some friends in the area already, and we are looking forward to being able to spend time with them.

Moving to a new city is an adventure.  It’s scary and exciting all at the same time, and it’s only 13 days away…

That’s What I Love About Sundays

Growing up my parents always made sure we went to church.  It was a non-negotiable in our house, and it often drove me crazy.  I was NOT a morning person growing up (I’m still not, but the requirement to be at work by 8am Monday -Friday has really helped force me to adjust), and I would miss out on fun things my friends were doing.  Needless to say, my parents waking me up to be at church by 8:30 on a Sunday, one of the only days I got to sleep in, was not high on my list of things that made me happy.  Then add that I missed out on sleepovers, beach days, etc. with my friends, which to a teenage girl is pure torture not to be involved in activities all your friends are doing.

Eventually, our parents actually changed our church schedule to Saturday nights for a few reasons, and I was so excited!  It helped my whole sleeping in issue, and I got to have sleepovers and go to the movies, etc after church on Saturday night.  As time passed though, even that wasn’t a good enough compromise.  Once I had a car and my own freedom, my Saturday night plans really filled up quickly only to be reminded by my lovely mom that we had church.

Fast forward to college when I transferred to FSU.  Church became something I attended very sporadically for a year or so.  I guess after a while, a part of me realized I needed to be going so I started meeting my sister and her husband at church on Sundays.

Fast forward even further to the present.   I have grown more in my faith in the last two and a half years then I have my entire life.  My parents laid the foundation of my beliefs for me, but I never really grasped the importance of applying it to my daily life.  I don’t know what exactly made it click for me, but I know exactly when it started.

Now I look forward to church on Sundays.  Paul and I plan our day around attending church.  I feel refreshed after we go and I started volunteering in Sunday School to get more involved.  It’s the best place for me to go when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious.  It is one of my favorite ways to spend time with my Husband, even though we aren’t talking with each other.  Nothing makes me feel closer to God then a great worship and spending time in His Word.

My outlook on Sundays have forever changed, and I have my parents to thank for providing a strong Christian household for us to grow up in.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6