Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures in...LOVE!!!'s been sooo long since I last blogged in 2011, and I won't even be able to touch the surface of all that's happened in days gone by in this post. But what I will do is inform you of an Adventure so sweet, so perfect, so fairytale, that you may not even believe me (and that's ok). The picture above perfectly depicts the euphoric state I've been in the past 3+ months and you will see why later! The past year has been marked by learning...lots of learning. Learning about myself, learning about relationships, learning about God. What a whirlwind it's been. *SPOILER ALERT* The BIGGEST lesson I learned was the truth of Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

The desires of your heart...What might that be? Well for any god-fearing, single woman (me), it's most likely a man who loves the Lord unswervingly and loves you with a servant heart!  

I've waited years people, years, to find that man that I could trust with my life. For God to bring him into my life and for him to woo and pursue me like the Holy Spirit does. And alas...28 years into this whole thing called life, he appears. Not in a spooky, ghost-like way, but for real in the flesh! We met Memorial Day Weekend at a friend's monthly devotional night. It was a hot summer night in Austin and as we sat around in a circle I distinctly remember this guy showing up late (on a bike), with the curliest brown hair and the sweetest grin I'd ever seen. Intrigued? Of course. Interested? Not sure. I had just (I mean just) gotten out of a pseudo relationship that week and was kinda over guys, if you know what I mean. I thought I was entering a season of singleness and learning to be ME again. Funny how God has other plans! Brian and I only spoke a brief few minutes (5 tops) because I was bolting out early for a birthday dinner. Brian expressed interest in continuing a conversation later, so I obliged him and got his last (and first) name and told him I'd track him down on Facebook, which I did the following day. 

Admittedly, I was both eager to talk to him again and a little hopeless that it would turn into anything other than friends, which in hindsight I think was a good thing. Brian was hosting a fundraiser for his World Race trip a few days later and invited me to join, and I obliged. I showed up for the end of the movie event and we sat and talked after with a friend (Ellie) for what seemed like all night. I 'm just couldn't get enough of this kid. Then he in his ever so charming way, offered to tune up my bike for me the following week if I'd come over early before the fundraising man. He knew the key to my heart - bikes! haha (well one of them). Well, that bike tune up turned into more invites to hangout, ride bikes, make dinners and just have so much fun. About two weeks after we met, Brian told me he liked me, as any gentleman should do. But at the time we both agreed we were going to "take it slow" for various reasons. And I'm pretty sure it was that same night or the next that I got the guts to invite him on my family vacation to Colorado! We were leaving in about 2 weeks to drive to Pagosa Springs for a week, and I secretly was hoping and praying he'd say yes! As it turns out, Brian is an adventure fanatic like me so this sort of last minute invite was oh so exciting and seeing as he was planning to quit his job around that same time, he just made provision to do so by the time we left on the trip! REALLY? IS THIS REAL? I was floored that God was going to allow us this 24/7 exposure and knew it would make or break us! 

On the way to Pagosa Springs we stopped in Amarillo to meet my family and spend the night. Before meeting my parents we drove through Palo Duro Canyon State Park, one of Brian's fave spots, and it was breathtaking (much like our relationship)! It was there that we made our relationship official, and consequently, it was there that he first told me he LOVED me, yep, that 4 letter word came out of his cute mouth as we were biking up the hardest hill I've ever attempted in my life. Needless to say, it was a breeze for him, but I was huffing and puffing all the way. In fact, I never even responded when he told me he loved me (halfway up) because a) I thought I was hallucinating and b) I was worried about breathing at the moment! Did he really say he loved me? That was the question I asked after we topped the hill. "Yep. I totally do" or something to that effect was his answer. I was beaming!!!

The next day we wake up in Colorado and Brian takes me on a surprise date outing that he had pre-planned. To by overwhelming joy and delight, it was a hot air balloon ride! This is something that had been on my bucket list for years. Is this a dream? It was high up in the sky that I felt 100% sure that I LOVED Brian too, and felt compelled to tell him. We were both over the moon (almost literally). Come to think of it, a hot air balloon ride is a great metaphor for our relationship. The balloon got blown up really fast and has taken us so far! During the trip we biked, hiked, made dinner for my family together, went to the hot springs, rode horses and hiked a 14er together! It was the most magical trip and one we both will remember forever. On this trip our love was sealed with a holy kiss and by the end of the week we were talking about MARRIAGE! How's that for taking things SLOW?

Back in Austin we literally spent every day together (he had no job and I work for myself) and it was bliss. We were prepping for his upcoming 11 month mission trip, meeting family and spending time with friends....and planning for our future. Just a few days after our 3 month anniversary of meeting, Brian took me to Butler Park, one of my favorite places in Austin, and asked me to be his WIFE!!! And of course I said yes! I can't imagine spending my life with anyone other than my best friend! He is truly the biggest blessing ever and We Are Set To Be Wed September, 29, 2013!

As you can see, it's been quite the fairytale romance, and I give God all the credit for that! He is truly the author of our lives and love stories! And ours is quite unique in the timing of it all and what it looks like now...Brian is gone on an 11 month mission trip through Adventures in Mission called The World Race. He is traveling with a team and spends 11 months in each country working with partner ministries in each country. He's already on month 2 and we've had pretty good communication, but let's be honest, long-distance is a challenge. Luckily for us we know there's an end in sight when he returns and we can be together forever. I encourage you to read his blog (he's an excellent writer) and follow him, pray for him or contribute financially to his mission!

Thank you for reading our Adventure in Love...I'm quite sure the adventures will surely continue once he's back and we are married!

*photos courtesy of Twinty Photography

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Recently I was introduced to a new word: Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. It has changed my life. Ok, ok, it is changing my life. Day by day by glorious day. I have my dear friend Anna to THANK for diligently insisting I buy and read Ann Voskamp's best seller One Thousand Gifts. I must admit, I wasn't looking for another book to add to my long list of "when i have time to reads." However, something in her voice coerced me all the way to Barnes and Noble (yes some of us still shop old school). 

If I had time here I'd probably quote the whole book, but I'll spare myself and anyone reading the effort and recommend you go buy your own copy. I do want to point out a few things I learned along the way and how God is revealing to me that adventure presents itself in many forms...often the quiet still form (oddly enough).

 Blur. Rapid movement. Whirlwind. Descriptions of my life as of late, and I'm surely not alone. Why so fast? Why such a hurry? Our lives are but a vapor. As years go by do your memories look like this picture? Do the lines blur and edges soften? Perhaps this is why our culture is so obsessed with photos? Moments in time, caught forever like a fly on tape. Memorialized somewhere other than our minds.
"Wherever You Are, Be All There."
 So simple, yet so life giving. Ann reminded me that the fullness of life can only be embraced, remembered and cherished when we stop to fully experience it. Stop visiting with a friend, checking my phone & making mental to-do lists simultaneously and engage. Be present. Doesn't said friend deserve my full attention? Why do we have to feel that we are so much more efficient when we over-multitask? I'm the worst. An efficiency nut. God is working. On a recent trip to Chicago to visit friends I vowed to put this lesson into practice. Over the course of 6 days I probably met with 20+ friends over chai, meals, and walks. Each time tempted to revert, each success a step toward Eucharisteo. Live in the Present was my motto a few years ago...wonder when that was squeezed out? "Time is only of the essence, because time is the essence of God."

"Thanksgiving - giving thanks in everything - prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ. At the Eucharist, Christ breaks His heart to heal ours. I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks every day, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life."

In light of this it is odd that we Americans take one, just one, day a year to give thanks. If I had anything to do with it, everyday would be Thanksgiving (minus the turkey, etc!). I am convinced that the path to peace, to joy and fulfillment lies in giving thanks. It's crazy hard to be negative, angry, frustrated or miserable when you are genuinely thankful. Thankfulness is a lamp that shines brightly on all the good that is often overshadowed with our dark view of bad. "For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness." (1 Thess 5:5) Thankfulness opens the blinds to light. And light warms our soul.

Empty to Fill.  
"The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring." (Is 58:10-11)

"Eucharisteo has taught me to trust that there is always enough God. He calls us to serve, and He, very God, kneels down to serve us as we serve. Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him." I love that! Wild and Beautiful life! Yes please! For most of us giving, serving, expecting nothing in return isn't just unnatural, it almost sounds mythological. The world's way of giving to get just doesn't work with God. He gives and we learn from Him how to give and the cycle continues. Joy is the reward. Glory is the goal. When we "I" becomes "He" our lives, habits, desires, change. Less of me God, more of You.

"Eucharisteo, the Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live -- this is the only way from empty to full...full of fully live."


Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's Official...I'm a triathlete!

Couples Triathlon, Decker lake

I knew it was gonna be a good day when I saw this! If that gift from heaven can't calm unwieldily nerves, I'm not sure anything can.

The swim, which I thought would be my worst sport turned out to be fairly enjoyable. Gliding past neon orange buoys, kicking people off my feet and gasping for air have taken a liking to me. And i'm not complaining! The swim was 800m.

Tracy was my partner in crime for the "Couples" Tri... We are just friends! Hah...and both being blonde and being bike twins we appropriately names our team the Blonde Bombshells! She's my training buddy and the girl who smiles the whole race...and she's fast too! So lucky to have such a rockstar pair up with a rookie!

Biking will always be my 1st love when it comes to triathlons. I just really enjoy he wind in my face, going fast and the thrill of it. It helps that this is the part I'm naturally best at ;) The bike was 11 miles and pretty hilly.

The 3.1 Mile run is documented on fb pretty well by our fans... It felt like 13.1, was pretty hilly and hot. My only relief was dumping the ice cold water on my head and rolling up my shirt! I just kept telling myself to put 1 foot in front of the other.

Transitions are the tricky part of races. You have to be quite organized and efficient so that you don't waste time in the race. I didn't mind transitioning; it was a much needed relief each time!

All in all I feel pretty great about my 1st Sprint Triathlon clocking in at 1:33! They say this sport is addictive, and I guess they are right bc I'm already planning 2 more triathlons in Sept & Oct!

Check out my Moxie Multisport Crew! Well half of us!

That's all for now...back to training with coach Adri! She beat me this time, but we'll see about the next ;-)