This past weekend was the most important week in my life. Last Sunday our youth group returned back to Jefferson with 24 inspired young people. We returned with renewed hearts, minds, but most importantly souls. And last Friday Chris and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Seeing that time has not been on my side lately I have decided to blog on both. 5 new things, 5 things to take root in my life. 5 things I have learned in 5 very short years of marriage.
All I can say is WOW! What an amazing experience we had. The Holy Spirit's presence was sooo overwhelmingly strong on Saturday night during adoration. Words just can not describe it. More difficult is choosing just 5 great things to highlight from our trip. But if I must...
1. A message from Fr. Jose... "Adios Baby!" These two very small words to describe what we do in the face of temptation when we returned from Steubenville. What do we tell our friends when they invite us to a drinking party? "Adios Baby!" Super charming, but also practical advice.
2. And then, who can forget Jackie Francois moon-walking on the stage on Friday night? She was amazing.
3. "Get Up!" Inspiring words from speaker Melanie in reference to Jesus sitting at the table with sinners. He didn't stay seated at table though. He called us to "Get up and follow him" for goodness sake!
4. I will never forget the faces of our youth as they experienced God's love for them on Saturday night during adoration. I was in awe of God's mighty power. And then again in awe on Sunday morning during the "altar call" of youth that had heard Christ calling them to discern either the priesthood or becoming a sister.
The stage was so full that it took nearly 5 minutes to bring all the young men up. The girls were of equal packed-ness. Our own Justin took the walk to the stage as well. Heart.
5. Last but not least were also words from Fr. Jose. During our youth ministry time he told us 2 very important and beautiful things about our ministry.
1. God approves of our ministry. We know that. But He may or may not approve of what we do.
2. Do not look at the numbers of people that are given to you, but rather the people that God does allow you to minister to. Awesome! I looked around that day at the people God did give to me and He is so very good!
Now, the marriage thing...
5 years has truly gone by so, so fast. I am speechless. How on earth did we get here? Some days I think, Lord if only I'd known....(hah, just kidding).
But the truth of the matter is that we didn't know and there was no possible way of getting a "heads-up" before that day. God continues to bless us and bring Glory to his name above all things.
5 things I'm surprised I learned in 5 short years of marriage...
1. Self-sacrifing is very hard and didn't seem so courageous when we dated. It was easy to give of myself while we "courted." But donation of self took on such a different meaning during our marriage.
2. I do not appreciate my husband nearly enough. He is so wonderful, really (and this is not me being humorous or sarcastic). How could he not be every so wonderful. He built our house in just 9 months after our sudden house fire (6 months into our marriage), gave me 3 beautiful critters (translation-kids :), and has walked across fire for me!
3. If I were rich (and I am not; I work for the church) I would hire someone to fold and put away my laundry. That is my one vice when it comes to being a "housewife."
4. I have enjoyed cooking way too much in the last year or so. I never would have thought so.
5. And it never ceases to amaze me how self-disciplined we are becoming by using Natural Family Planning as our method of well, "planning our family." I never ever would have guessed this one. It has taught us better communication, self-control, PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE, and self-sacrifice a hundred times over. I wish every married couple would be open to it in their marriage. I am so very thankful that Chris and I are in it together and that our marriage is truly free, total, faithful and FRUITFUL above all.
One last picture of us, cutting our cake...