Prologue

This is hard for me to write.

But I hope to live a transparent life, genuine, and honest. What is the point of struggling if there is no story? Furthermore, what is the point of having a story if it is only tucked away, never shared?

So I’ll write.

I would imagine if Jesus was sitting across from me in this coffee shop, He would likely just stare at me; I would purse my lips and avoid eye contact. If it could not be avoided, I would stare right back with the most menacing eyes I could muster up. That’s how I feel about Jesus right now.

How could a God that claims to love me so much allow hurt in the world, hurt to me and to those I love? As a Christian, I’ve been asked this before. I’m sure I had an answer then, one that sounded really good. And I’m sure whoever I regurgitated it to had the same thought I have now when I hear it: shut up, you don’t know, and I don’t believe it.

But if I were to guess I choose not to believe it because it doesn’t validate what I DO believe, and what I believe is what Satan tells me. I know this is true for me when I’m going through pain because trusting God provides joy and joy is a fleeting thought right now. I imagine that’s true of everyone who is doubting God.

So how do I believe in something that I don’t trust? How do I hand over my sorrow to something that I blame? How do I throw up my hands in surrender when I’m shaking my fist at God?

Last night, my husband asked me what I was reading and somehow I ended up pouring out my disdain for God through gritted teeth and tears. The he said this: “This will mean nothing to you right now but it will in time. Just because you have rejected God, He has not stopped working on your behalf.”

On my behalf.
For me.
Regardless of me.

While those words were impactful, my heart is till hard towards them. But then a word creeps in. Belief. What is the purpose of belief if it’s easy. Do I only believe in the warm sun during the day? Do I only believe in the refreshment of rain when it’s raining? Is that belief or is that reasoning?

Since when is God about reason and logic? Isn’t He about redemption and love?

Since when should my belief be put on hold because hope isn’t in my grasp? Isn’t trust in God part of all of this?

So I’m brought back to my first question; what is the purpose of suffering without any story? And what is the purpose of a story if it only has an ending?

I must admit to you, I’m still avoiding eye contact with the Jesus who is sitting across from me. I’m still tempted to glare, to try to intimidate GOD and say “how dare you”. I’m still in that place.

But now maybe He is writing, scribbling away, and I’m watching His hand, shutting my mouth, as He writes down a beautiful story. Mine.

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Currently: My Life in the Moment

loving: a clean home. Our home is very rarely messy but a quiet evening with the lamps low, the Olympics, and a cup of coffee, heavens sake, perfect.

reading: A Love of Her Own by Maggie Brendan. I actually just finished it. It’s the last in Maggie’s series. I would choose these horrifically cheesy, Christian, horse, romance novels over Fifty Shades of Gray any day (even though Dillon teases me for it!)

waiting for: my sweet husband to come home. He’s helping his brother move, which is nice, but I sure would love him to be home with me.

excited about: our first dinner party. It will hopefully be in the middle of September and I can’t wait to plan it. The theme Back to School, so lot’s of apples, BBQ, and chalkboards.

missing: every one of these girls. Today is also my sister’s (second from the left) birthday, along with her heart melting son’s. Karilee turns a ripe of age of Still Gorgeous and Kaiden turns 4. Happy Birthday!

If you click on the photo, it will direct you to our photographer’s blog which will have some other photos of our wedding.

trying to: read my Bible more. be active in the word, not just monotonously living.

enjoying: the Olympics. I so badly wish I could be watching them with my mama, as I always did growing up. Gymnastics isn’t the same without her.

wearing: gray pajamas shorts and a navy shirt, it is definitely cozy time in my home right now. Although today I whipped out my trusty brown cowboy boots, which were filthy from the Flagstaff mountains.

planning: I am very lazily planning our meal plan this week. I outline all of our meals and lunches to save us from making  unnecessary purchases at the store. I typically plan it based on the weekly ad and try to use one or two ingredients for multiple meals.

learning: how to be a wife. No matter how much preparation we did, it’s a whole different ball game. I’m learning how to communicate, share a sink in the morning when we’re both late for work, how to love Dillon as his wife, so on and so forth.

singing: Home by Phillip Phillips. I have to admit, I’ve listened to it 628 times today.

needing: a good facial or at the very least, a facial mask. Any recommendations?

wishing: dinner was made for me. then served to me right where I sit. Goodness, I am lazy.

praying for: guidance. community within our church. understanding. gratefulness.

dreaming of: someday owning a house in a different state, filled with children’s laughter. A home like this:

Now, back to watch the Olympics!

Have a blessed week!

(This post idea was borrowed from Lemonade Makin’ Mama, please check out her blog!)

A Glimpse of the Pierce’s!

Today I’m sick at home. My sweet husband is at working, meeting with his business partners, and stopping by the store at the end of his day. I’m blessed and I’m loved…by him and by my lovely Jesus. Last night, Dillon and I shared with each other the Top 5 things that make us happy at the moment. One of the answers we both could relate to was that fact that we are settling into a routine, our life together, and this life together can be anything we want it to be. While scary, that brings endless amount of joy to us. I’m so excited. We are settling back into work, dinner, our friends, summer, preparing for school, and our home. Our home has become such a haven, a cozy, warm, safe, place for the both of us. I thought that today, I’d share some pictures of our home, to give you a glimpse into our home, the Pierce’s home. So here we go:

This is the wreath Cara and I made for the front door. All products are from Hobby Lobby and hot glued until they couldn’t be hot glued any more!

This is our bedroom. Our bed at 6 hidden drawers for storage, which makes our small condo fit more stuff (which is exactly what we need…). Duvet cover and throw pillow is from Target, and shams are from Pottery Barn. So cozy!

This is our bedroom for the view of the closet. It is seriously lacking furniture! We have a small red leather chair in the unseen corner but our room could use a lot of TLC. I’m not sure what to do with the open wall or the huge window space. If you have any ideas, share please!

This is our closet! It’s a big, semi-organized space. I’m really thankful for enough room to fit all of our clothes and shoes!

Here is our living room from the view of the kitchen. The wall is a dark taupe, while all the other walls in the room are cream, which gives it a little warmth. The couch is from online (Craigslist!), the white armchair from Ikea, coffee table is a chest I received from my parents and is filled with books!

Here is a closer look of our “reading corner” as I call it.

Here is our new TV (Dillon’s wedding present…to “ourselves”) and great table it rests on. We looked around Ikea for awhile, trying to find something that was tall, open, and could store the Xbox (Dillon’s other present to “ourselves”) and Wii. We found this for only $60 and it’s perfect! We will add more baskets underneath to store blankets, games, movies, etc. And obviously, I’m watching The Cosby Show on my sick day.

Here is a view of our kitchen table. We got it from my parents and it couldn’t be more perfect. The wood matches the kitchen cabinets and its the perfect size for us. Placemats are from Ikea and all centerpiece parts are from Hobby Lobby.

This is my favorite part, the kitchen. It’s small but so are we so it fits our life perfectly. All of our appliances are new and I love the oven! There isn’t a pantry but more than enough cabinet space on the opposite side of the photo (where the sink, toaster, dishwasher, and most importantly, cookie jar is). In the far right corner is a little door that opens up to our laundry area! We love, love, love, our kitchen.

This is half of the bathroom. That space is surprisingly large for the size of our condo, we love it! I intentionally didn’t get the toilet or shower in the pictures, as that’s not super aesthetically pleasing. The countertops are high so you don’t have to break your back when using the sinks. I also love the lamp in the bathroom, although Dillon has yet to grasp WHY there is a lamp in there. The little sign in the corner says “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be”. I read it every time and just love it. It was a wedding present so I’m not sure where it came from.

So that’s it! There are plenty of closets and hallways and a patio that isn’t pictured here but I truly hope that you will stop by and see it yourself. Dillon and I pray constantly that our home will not only be our safe place, but a place for others to come as well and know that they are welcomed, loved, taken care of, prayed for, fed, and safe. If you ever need a place to go or escape to or need a meal, please knock on our door. You are always welcome.

Observations: Week 1 of Marriage

In my last post, I was six days from marriage. In this post, I am a little more than six days from being married and I thought I’d share some observations made thus far; some things I’ve learned or realized. So let’s begin:

 

1. After being with D for five years, I tend to believe that I learn more about him as he grows, already knowing everything up to current time. Well, I was wrong. While on our honeymoon, I discovered that D loves infomercials. I don’t know what but when one comes on, he just CAN’T change the channel. His favorite is the Thundershirt. I’m not entirely sure what it is but Dillon could educate you if you’re interested.

2. On a more impactful spectrum, we learned a valuable and humorous lesson on communication. Before we left for the Bahamas, I intended to set up our mail for vacation forwarding. While getting ready, I had the following conversation with D, who was in another room:

Cameo: Please remind me to set up the vacation forwarding with the mail.
Dillon: I already did, knowing you would ask that.
Cameo: Oh really? Thank you! You are so sweet.

Well, on our last night of our honeymoon I began the question of “So when you set up the vacation forward did–” then noticed D’s face go completely blank. As you can probably guess, I perceived that when D said “I already did” I thought he meant HE set up the mail forward and in his mind he meant he already reminded me. Needless to say, our mailbox is probably jammed full and we lost that round.

3. The biggest lesson, and by far most important, is in regards to being a wife and what that is truly about. I read quite some time ago that being a wife is all about Jesus and this could not be more true. I cannot really place it in any other words than that. It is a lot harder than I thought, a lot deeper than I thought, and the love and strength of Christ is much more necessary than I thought. When my lofty (and totally selfish) expectations are denied, I pray. When my attitude is terrible towards Dillon, I pray. When I feel lonely or hurt or scared, I pray. This is not to say I am good at any of that, but the biggest thing is prayer. Prayer with Dillon, for Dillon, from Dillon, anything. My love will fail and my strength with fail. I cannot possibly be a wife on my own accord because I screw up so much; I must rely on Christ and his love and strength and compassion and gentleness and everything that is of Him. Being a wife is about reflecting THOSE things, not my own self.

 

I’m sure the lessons have just begun and for that, I am thankful. I love my husband, I love our marriage, I love our funny jokes, I love our home, and we love our God. This is such an adventure that is so much bigger than I thought it ever could be. It is of God and it is good.

 

P.S. Now that I’m (sort of) settled into life and back from Wedding World, I hope to bring my blog to life, share recipes, encouragement, and my semi-daily musings.

in regards to weddings

Christians love getting married, preferably at a really young age and typically with 2-3 months of dating under their belt. It usually happens after they serve in children’s church one Sunday or after a mission trip (which you come back from single or engaged, depending on the mood of the worship songs). Maybe I’m just getting older but it seems like every time I open Facebook, 92 of my friends are engaged. And don’t get me wrong, obviously I’m there and only 6 days of being “on the other side” of engagement, providing I don’t die of insanity before then. So with all the weddings coming up, I thought I’d reflect on my wedding planning and heart preparing as I approach my big day (I even broke the hiatus…)

When I was younger, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I wanted was a Christmas wedding, complete with the Phoenix Boys Choir, sugarplum fairies, fake snow, and literally…a Santa. If you know me at all, you totally get that Christmas is my thing. That remained my dream until the moment Dillon knelt down on one knee (which, for the record, was a week before Christmas. is he great or what!). As I quickly learned, the months leading up to our marriage wouldn’t be filled with candy canes, Christmas wedding dresses (seriously, I’m really into it), and thoughts of waiting until next wintertime to get married. Instead, our time became filled with preparing our hearts for the July summer wedding we would have. It wasn’t about fabrics and colors and candles and vases to me, it was about learning about Dillon, learning how to be a godly wife, not just a good girlfriend. We went through months are really difficult pre-marital counseling that forced us to work through things, pray through things, dream through things. We went through months of learning how to live life together with our money, our goals, our jobs, and everything that would mesh together.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is this: my dream went from being a wedding, to being a moment of worship. It went from being Christmas, to being what our hearts wanted. It went from being gawdy, event filled engagement, to being a special, growing Christ-filled engagement.

And as I’m six days from my wedding, and some of you are six days past being engaged, I offer you this advice (that you didn’t ask for): Slow down. This isn’t about a wedding or a moment or that “newlywed forever” feeling you just KNOW you’ll have for years and years. This isn’t about being in love, it’s about strengthening love, challenging it, growing in it. This is about actively, patiently, and intimately pursuing God’s plan for you in a really tangible and scary way. Be mentored, be poured into, pray non-stop, and do not lose sight of what this day really is.

Now back to my hiatus, see you after my honeymoon!

hiatus.

I’ve been missing for a long time, huh? It has been and I miss writing and want to show you my new home and my wedding shoes and how old my nephews and neices are but…I just cannot. Two weeks away from the wedding and it’s taking it’s toll! So I’m on a mini hiatus for the next month or so, hopefully less, until my life can calm down.

See you on the other side!

it’s a curious thing

It’s a curious thing, losing friends as an adult. When you’re a kid, or even teenager, you lose friends because Susie Flirtsalot looked at your boyfriend of three hours or because she borrowed your favorite sweater and spilled ice cream on it. But as an adult, you lose friends because they’ve damaged your soul in some way or another; a crime was committed against your heart with no resolution.

I was encouraged by this though while talking to my friend Ali last night. A true, honest, genuine woman of God. She is one of my bridesmaids because of the incredible impact she has had one heart. Last night we talked about the process of letting go and what Jesus and his friends might have looked like. Jesus has twelve disciples, twelve people He held close to His heart and trusted them to be apart of the greatest life ever lived. In comparison to who famous Christ was and how many people He came in contact with during His ministry, having only twelve close friends must mean He intended for friendship to be intimate.

As an adult, I would much rather surround myself with those who I can disciple and who can disciple me; healthy friendship in my life that can be full of challenge, encouragement, reads, laughter, and most of all, Christ.

I’m so thankful for the women who represent this in my life SO well. I’m thankful they can be there with me on my wedding day, and know what we can live our stories out here on earth together.

in regards to servanthood

I do not believe I have truly have a servant’s heart. Boy, I wish I did, but a heart like Jesus’? No. Yesterday though, I learned a lesson in serving. It was during making the brownies below. A very dear friend of mine was in a hurry, helpless when it comes to baking, and stressed to the point of talking way too fast. I sent her to get ready for her party and offered to make the brownies, totally grumpy because I had gotten off work maybe five minutes before.

Grumbling, griping, I stirred in the cocoa and eggs and then in the midst of my folding, God kicked me a bit. Why was I having such a bad attitude about something I love doing? Because there was nothing in it for me. No one to praise me, no one to tell me if they were good, and I didn’t even get a bite. God forced me to serve without anything tangible in return.

So I prayed through making the cream cheese fill in. I prayed through the marbling. I prayed that God would transform my heart into being a true servant; one that loves God and loves others, without any expectation of anything in return. Because isn’t that how Christ lived? He gave His LIFE, knowing that people would turn their backs on Him, not even acknowledge Him, and spit in His face, yet He served them.

I think that is a servants heart. 

P.S. That being said, I totally have intentions of making those brownies again and hiding them in my bed.

soar.

I was laying on my bed, trying to get a moment of rest and thought to check my e-mails (not restful). This blog post was in there and perfectly captured what I’ve been feeling…perfectly. The circumstances are a bit different but I totally get the feeling. So now I’ll rest in the strength of Jesus. Divine timing. Read and be encouraged.