June 14

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Tomorrow is June 14. It’s Flag day. Not even sure how you’re supposed to celebrate Flag day…

Ten years ago, Aaron and I decided to celebrate big by getting married. While I’m sure it isn’t the traditional way to celebrate Flag day, it was probably the most prefect day of my life. My dress was perfect. The weather was perfect. The ceremony, the reception, the horse-drawn carriage ride, everything was as perfect as it could have been.

Cake Eating

Apparently, this is the only picture of our wedding day that is on the computer…I have so many beautiful pictures that capture the perfection of the day, but I can’t locate any of them. Sorry…This will have to do. 🙂

On our wedding day, our world was full of possibilities. Our future as a couple was exciting, new and unknown. I could never imagine it would turn out like this. I mean, the past 10 years have been wonderful. We’ve moved to West Virginia, Pennsylvania and then to Kenya. We conceived and birthed 4 beautiful children. We’ve witnessed God’s hand at each and every moment. Even the past 3 months, during the most difficult part of our lives so far, our marriage has been solid and full of meaning. But still, I never thought I’d be walking through such a valley during our 10-year anniversary. When each anniversary came, it was exciting and memorable, but the 10-year mark is a big one! I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. When we first moved to Kenya, my mind was full of possibilities of where we’d celebrate. Anywhere seemed so exotic. Now, since we just had a weekend alone at the Mara, we decided to postpone the getaway celebration until the fall.

Here is a picture of our 5-year anniversary. Noah is 2 years old, Aaron is ending his second year of residency, and I’m pregnant with Jacob. Exciting times in our lives!

5th Anniversary

Our lives are still exciting, but this year will be different. As we celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss, we will also mark 3 months since Hannah’s death. Bittersweet is the go-to word once again.  We are doing well. Our new normal is taking shape. Some days are good; others are hard. When I’m doing well, I must fight the temptation of feeling guilty for not being sad. When I’m sad, I must fight the temptation to defend myself to all those who care about me. Maybe that’s the hardest part of grieving. My pride is challenged no matter how I’m feeling or coping. I feel like I’m always being analyzed. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the freedom to grieve in my own way for fear that someone will judge me. I guess that’s part of growing and maturing into the person God wants me to be. “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple,” are the words of Jesus himself. When my friends and family are asking questions, they are doing so out of concern, not out of judgment. When they cry with me and for me, they are carrying my burden, not feeling sorry for me. Through all the ups and downs of the mourning process, God is teaching me. He is gently showing me the areas in my life that need to change. Perhaps the biggest thing standing in my way of following Christ wholeheartedly is my pride. I need to die to self more and more.

Here is a picture of me and my hubbie. My how we’ve changed!!

Trying out the boys' goggles

I may not be the perfect wife…or the perfect mother…or the perfect anything. I am being perfected though. Through Christ, I am a new creation, one that is under constant construction. It’s not always pleasant to be His workmanship, but it is always worth it. God knows all things, ordains all things and created all things to bring Him glory. That’s my goal: to bring God glory. No matter the circumstances, I desire to bring Him glory.

Sometimes, that means I need to sport Levi’s Hulk goggles with Aaron wearing Noah’s Spiderman goggles just so we can laugh together. Other times, it means I need to be serious and grieve hard with him. Regardless of what the moment brings, I am so blessed to have met my husband at the age of 15. It wasn’t my plan to start this covenant relationship so early in life, but it was God’s perfect plan for us. I am so thankful for that step of obedience and submission to the Great I AM. I am so thankful for Aaron’s commitment to me, for the adventure we get to experience together, for all the ups and downs we help each other get through. As I look back over the first 10 years of our marriage, it makes me excited to see what the next 10 years will bring. God, I trust you to see us through whatever You have for us in the days and years to come!

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Amen!

Prayer Requests:

Please pray us through June 14 and the mix of emotions it will bring.

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6 responses »

  1. Happy “10th” Anniversary!! What a special, beautiful, wonderful day it was!! Love you both so very much!!! Keeping you in our prayers and thoughts!

  2. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your thoughts and feelings so freely. Pride is the original sin that infects us all, and to the core! We will fight it always. Thankfully we are on this pilgrimage together! And grief is so messy and hard.

    Have a sweet anniversary together at home with your little ones—blessings all.

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