Fruits and Spirits, Waffles and Babies

Dear All,


I apologize for this unplanned, unanticipated hiatus from the World of Blog.

Life just happens sometimes.

But now I'm back, and I want to tell you about the weirdest thing happened last week.

Thursday night we had Paul and Peyton over for fajitas and we made two delicious pitchers of "Fruits with Spirits" (aka, Sangria!!!!!)

Then,
Get this,

At church that Sunday JD preached about the Fruit of the Spirit.

Weird right?

So clearly he had my attention...
(And don't I have all of yours now too?)

We are doing a sermon series titled "Gospel" right now in anticipation for the launch of JD's book.

His book is called, Gospel.

The sermon this week was one of those sermons that you can't stop thinking about, talking about, or (apparently) blogging about all week.

My heart was ignited.

The Fruit of the Spirit are:
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-Control

And don't each of us have one or two of these that our hearts just squirm uncomfortably at when we hear? Because we know that it is something that our life lacks. And probably longs for.

This is what JD challenged us with this week: The Bible refers to them as the "Fruit" of the Spirit. It does not refer to them as the "Fruits" of the Spirit.

(Or "Fruits with Spirits" for that matter.)

The point being, it's singular. These characteristics, they are the fruit of a life rooted deeply in Christ. A life that abides in Christ. Remains connected to Christ like the branches to the vine. And if there is even one that you do not produce at all, then you don't have the "Fruit of the Spirit". You are only as mature as your weakest fruit.

And that's about when everyone in the whole church starting squirming uncomfortably in their seats.

You are only as mature as your weakest fruit.

You may agree or disagree with this statement, but the point is that a life rooted in Christ is different. It has a different "DNA makeup." And it produces fruit accordingly. When we are rooted in Him, we have the DNA makeup to produce each of these fruits,

Even though, some take longer to develop in us.

The way a child has to grow into his big ears or feet.

But Jesus commands us to walk by the Spirit. And like JD put it, producing Fruit of the Spirit is not like using a recipe to make waffles where you follow the instructions, add the right ingredients, and out comes the right "fruit".

No, it's like making babies, not waffles people!

Babies are literally the fruit of two people getting carried away in a moment of intense love and intimacy. So it is with the Fruit of the Spirit. It is produced when we get carried away in an intense, intimate, relationship with God. Suddenly, we just produce it. Not because we followed a recipe and did the right things. But because we were swept away by God's amazing love.

And the flip side?

When we don't constantly root ourselves, deeper and deeper,
Evermore firmly,
In Christ
Then we will begin to see evidence in our lives of the Fruit of the Flesh:

Selfishness
Greed
Envy
Bitterness
Anxiety
Delighting in the downfall of others
Strife
And it continues...

Anyone really squirmy now?

This is the truth we keep coming back to: It's imperative that we truly Abide in Christ.
Live with him,
In him,
Fill ourselves with His word.
Remember just how much He loves us.
And get swept away by it.




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Happys and Sads, Home Edition.




I was home (Gig Harbor) for the past 2.5 weeks.

I got home (Durham) yesterday morning.

And, so much happened that I wasn't able to keep up with all of it here on the old blog. So it seems that this just might call for a special home edition of my favorite monthly post.

Happys:

-Free Groceries.
-Free wine.
-Free cuddles with my kitty.
-Seeing this amazing movie.

-Whiskey run on the golf course with good friends. And that one really good shot I made...
-Dinners on the deck with good friends.
-Cocktails on the deck, followed by dinner at Brix, followed by dessert at home. All with the Prossers. And all at a volume that could have--maybe should have--gotten us kicked out.

-Quality time with Mamma.

-Getting prescription Sunglasses so I can read outside.

-Jamba-ing with brother.
-Anthro-ing with Mamma.
-Running with Dad.
-Dinner with the Jones. (At 10:45 PM.)
-My every-time-I'm-home-we-must dinner date with these two. There are not words for how much I respect and adore them:



-Spending lots of time with my soon to be mother in-law.


-Getting our wedding invitations.
-Assembling our wedding invitations.
-Getting spray adhesive all over everything I own while assembling the wedding invitations.

-Getting my wedding dress, fitted and ready to go.

(Sorry, no photo)
(But it's just lovely)
(Promise)

-Looking through old baby pictures of Adam and me for a wedding project and coming across these gems:


My future husband y'all:

This one was my favorite. I could just squeeze him. Same smile.


Not a lot has changed on this front...




-Peaches. In lemonade, cobbler, and ice cream.
-Harbor Covenant.
-Getting Bridally Showered. Twice.






-Getting to play with this little cutie at one of my showers and secretly wishing he was one of the shower gifts. I'm such a sucker for King Charles Spaniels.



-Two days in Bellingham with the Morgans--M&Ms, big socks, late night chats, Arrested Development, Italian Food, Bookstores, Walks, Hugs, and Goodbyes that came entirely too soon.

-Being told by a sweet nurse that I'm just like Audrey Hepburn.
-Harley riding.


Sads:

-The blackberries have not arrived yet. This is my first blackberry-less summer.
-Not enough time to see everyone and do everything.
-2.5 more weeks without Adam.
-Allergies.
-Cleaning out the room I grew up in of all of my things.
-Doctor, Dentist, and Optometrist appointments.
-Old men that smoke in the bathroom of the chemo infusion center...
-"Summer" weather?

-Not sailing once the whole time I was there. Guess I just can't do it without Adam.
-Not going to the mountains once. Break my heart.

-Saying goodbye.


Randoms:

-Discussions with Emily about fuzzy socks and how they take up an absurd amount of room in your sock drawer.
-When I go on motorcycle rides with my dad I like to make faces in the back of his helmet. Everything looks funny in the back of a round, shiny, motorcycle helmet. Especially when your going real fast and your face is getting windblown.
-Apparently I'm still on West Coast time because it's 1:15 AM here in NC and I'm still awake. And blogging.

But now, I'm going to bed. Night!

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I Know This Girl

I know this girl.

This girl is full.
Full of life.
Full of energy.
Full of Peanut M&Ms and good glasses of wine.
Full of deep thoughts, emotions, honesty, hilarious-ness, LOVE.
Full to the brim, with confidence that God loves her and has created each new day especially for her.
And she lives them so fully.

I know this girl.

This girl is radiant.
The kind of radiance that is the result of a peace that passes all understanding.
The kind of radiant that says, "It's not ALL right. But I'm alright. I know I'm not alone.
And even now, your needs are just as important as mine."
This radiance reflects the face of the one who made her, fearfully and wonderfully.

I know this girl.

This girl is a beautiful new wife.
The kind of wife that after only two months of marriage is so wise in the ways of how to care for a husband well. And, to allow that husband to care for her.
The kind of wife that beams with pride for her best friend--who he is, what he does, and the fact that he is hers to have and hold and hug.
A wife that honors God with her new family and allows Him to be her truest Rock.

I know this girl.

This girl is quirky.
Quirky in all the right ways that make you want to giggle, squeeze her, smile from ear to ear, and tell the world how adorable she is.
The kind of quirky that just says, "There is NO one just like me and I know it. And I'm proud to be, Me."
It makes her unique and confident and absolutely irreplaceable.

i know this girl.

This girl is brave.
Brave beyond belief.
The kind of brave that knows that if God is for her, no one can be against her.
The kind of brave that acknowledges that she is afraid,
But decides to have courage anyway.
Braveness that knows that sickness, even this yucky cancer, is not bigger than the one who has overcome the worst the world, and our bodies in it, can do to us.


And even though I sit and hold her sweet hand in her moment of need, somehow it feels like she is actually holding my hand, and making me feel braver too.


I know this girl.

And,

If you can't tell.

I really love this girl too.







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Partners

I love to run. And my favorite running partner that I've ever had is my dad.


Every time I come home I get to run with him in the mornings and this makes me so happy.

Yesterday we ran on this amazing trail in Gig Harbor.
Today we ran one of my favorite 4-mile loops along the water in the Harbor.
Friday we are going to run one of his favorite 5-mile loops in Pt. Defiance Park. Gorgeous.

Tomorrow, on our day off, we are going to indulge ourselves by going on a breakfast date at THIS out-of-this-world-Clog-your-heart-but-go-out-happy diner. He's been taking me here since I was in elementary school for good Southern Food. But only on occasion of course...

Brining it back,

There are so many things that I love about running with him:

-He is always able to talk while he is running, no matter how far. So he talks to me and tells me interesting things which makes the time go by faster. And he doesn't seem to mind when my weakling lungs don't allow me to talk a whole lot in return. Like today when he shared for about 10 minutes about a passage in Isaiah that has really moved him this week and when he was finished all I could say was:

"Yeah (gasp), I really like Isaiah too (gasp)."

-He is a doctor so he can answer my strange questions like "Why do I always have to pee right when I start to run, even though I just went?" or "Why do I run so much better during phases when I'm not eating lots of ice cream and drinking lots of wine?" or "Why are my legs so much skinnier when I skip running for a month or so, and then when I run all the time they get HUGE!!!?" or "Why is it bad to clench my fists while I'm running?"

-Knowing that I have someone to go with always inspires me to get going when I'm feeling sluggish at 8 AM on my vacation.

-He doesn't care when I complain about my left knee bothering me, the fact that yesterday my nose was full of phlegm and today my throat is full of phlegm, or how bored I am of our normal routes.

-Mostly, I love it because it is time that just the two of us get to spend together. Which is hard to find. My super-athlete brother would be bored if he ran with us, my mom routinely goes walking with her friends, and so Dad and I naturally have this pocket of our lives to share with each other. And I love it.

There isn't anyone else I've run more miles with in my life.
And that just seems fitting.
After all, He is my dad.




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A Precious Two


As I began to hint at a couple of posts ago, there are many lovely and wonderful things about returning to your hometown.

And here is one more of those things:

All of the subtle reminders that it holds of how God really has prepared a way for you.
Your whole life through.
Time and time again.

One of these subtle reminders came to me tonight in the form of an evening catch up session with a dear friend from Gig Harbor, Linnea.

During my sweet (and much too short) time with Linnea tonight, I was reminded of the fact that God has always provided me with strong Christian women who could teach me how to be, well, a strong Christian woman too.

In high school these people were Linnea and Maya. Then, in college it was women like Ashley West and Amber Porter. Since I've been in Durham there has just been a flood of this type of women in my life.

It's unbelievable really, how each time, before I left one home to move to another, God prepared the hearts of wise, devoted, faithful, honest, beautiful, Christian women to disciple me, and, simply to befriend me.

But back to tonight. And back to Linnea. Linnea was a youth intern at my church when I was in high school and she and Maya led the small group that I was a part of. These were formative years in my faith, and I can still think back and remember discussions, questions, heartaches, frustrations...mission trips, camps, and retreats that I experienced with one or both of these women. I remember just adoring them and being so grateful that they were willing to invest their time into seeing me grow.

These days, the time I get to spend with them is reduced to the routine catch-up date while I'm visiting home, but I still cherish my relationship with them so much. Because, God still uses them to remind me how much he cared about me then, how much he cares about me now, and how impeccable His plans are.

AND

Now, Linnea and Maya are both mothers, times two. And wives. And I feel so blessed by my snippets of time with them, because just as they were Godly young leaders of our small group--they have learned to be Godly wives, and Godly mothers, and I get to witness it. And learn from it. And enjoy it!

Oh, and did I mention that they are also beautiful? Ok, well then, I must:









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This is Love.


Just wanted to take a moment to Shout Out

And

Say Thank You to Eric Kelley Photography,

For this special gift they surprised us with this week.

The footage was taken during our engagement session in March.

And, as if we weren't grateful enough to have them documenting our wedding, they go and make something this fun and adorable, for us!

Thank you for a little treasure we can cherish.

And cherish it we will.

Disclaimer: Despite being very afraid of PDA, this video seems to have captured an unusual amount of smooching.
I apologize for all the smooching.
Kind of.


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