Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Lovelies

Today is Thursday, which is great because its almost Friday. If you're reading this, I am sitting in a 7.5 hour Customer Service that is not only ALL DAY today, but also all day tomorrow. If you don't feel bad for me, you should. I feel bad for me.

Although, a lot of things have made me happy this week, so lets talk about those.

1. Ronnie and I went on real life date Monday to one of our favorite restaurants on the Boise River, Bardenay. I had a margarita, he had a beer, we shared a Hummus Plate appetizer, and neither of us had our phones. Perfection. Just what I needed.

2. I got these little gems in the mail on Wednesday. Seriously, the only good thing best thing about planning a wedding is all the MAIL you get. I get so many packages, sometimes Ronnie text messages me when I am still at work asking what could possibly be in the packages and my answer is "I don't know!" I can't remember, so many things coming in the mail, its just wonderful.

3. Also on Wednesday I got to meet up with two of my bridesmaids/best friends for dinner and it was just a treat. I am blessed to have the  friends that I do, three of my best friends don't live in Idaho anymore, but luckily, I also have some AMAZING friends here. Stacey and Karissa get me like few people do so it was real nice to just sit down and talk about life. When I was driving home, it blew my mind that we are grownups now. In our twenties, with real jobs, and husbands/almost husbands and homes. Woah! The days are long, but the years are short, my friends.

4. Ronnie brought me home these pretties on Sunday night. I love flowers, especially Sunflowers and these  just brighten my day every time I see them. (Not that I've spent much time in the kitchen this week)

5. I've been running consistently the past two weeks-I've found the right time for me to run and its lunchtime. Theres a beautiful trail not far from my office, and its been so good for me to get out and MOVE during the day. I feel significantly less anxious, worried, stressed and irritable when I am running consistently.

6. Also this cutie came to live with me last weekend. He is Ronnie's dog, and although I think dogs are a lot of work and was apprehensive about him living with me before Ronnie moves in after the wedding, Jak is REALLY good and easy. He just follows me around the house, naps, and plays fetch whenever I give him the time of day. He doesn't chew on my shoes or pee in the house, so I guess we can keep him ;)

Tomorrow you will get to meet my last but not least Bridesmaid Sarah! She lives in Iowa, and I just got attended HER wedding this summer there, and its so special to me that she is now coming out here! This weekend I have big plans of trying to finish our master bedroom up so I can at least start our "home tour" but no promises. :-p I have three days off, but Ronnie only has one and his help is vital to many of my plans.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Praying for Lea

Hello friends! Happy Monday! I sure wasn't excited that it was Monday when I woke up, but good news is I don't work next Monday! Hooray for three day weekends.

I had a great weekend relaxing, getting some things done around the house, and getting our ceremony planned out with the pastor that is marrying us. We are really thankful for him, we both serve under him in our youth ministry, and he and his wife are doing are pre-marriage counseling and it has been such a blessing for us.

Today, I want to share some heartbreaking news with you in hopes that you might lift one sweet lady up in your prayers. I introduced you to one of my very best friends and bridesmaids, Lea last month. She is a beautiful, intelligent, charming, and sweet hearted woman who lost her fiance in a tragic accident on Tuesday last week.

Lea found out she was pregnant just one day before he passed away, and right now, I am asking you to life her up in prayer. I have been praying without ceasing for God's peace and comfort, and for God to reveal His love for Lea in a powerful, powerful way.

I also ask that if you feel led, to consider donating to the Robert Zielinski fund to help offset the costs that come with losing someone unexpectedly, and raising a baby as a single mother. If anyone has the strength, the heart, the detirmination and the grace to do this well, it is Lea. My heart aches for the pain she must be experiencing, and pray for her to feel God's love in a real way as she works through this healing process.

If you are able, your donation will be so appreciated and valuable in Lea's time of need. Please visit the Robert Zielinski Fund if you are able to help in anyway.

Praying for you, my sweet friend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wedding Wednesday

Hello my pretties!

I am basically a terrible blogger, now that I have a job where I have to work more than I can read blogs, browse twitter, and stalk people's instagram feeds. It's very sad, I feel bad for myself daily.

Just kidding, I really do love my new job. I love working in a professional office with professional people, I love wearing my own clothes, I love my hour long lunch breaks and being close to my sweet friend Karissa and handsome fiance.

Anyway, did you know I am getting married in aproximately six weeks? WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

I want to share a little bit of our wedding inspiration, via Pinterest of course. We have the major things done-venue, food, dress, bridesmaid and groomsmen attire, flower, etc. Now its last minute details. I am SO excited. Now that I am on my eight week break from school, I feel much less overwhelmed and more excited!

Decoration Inspiration

Chair Decor Inspiration

Decoration Inspiration

Scored a sweet vintage suitcase like this via craigslist for cards

Centerpieces inspiration

A sweet woman from church is making a aisle runner similar to this for us

Cake Inspiration

Flower inspiration-  pink flowers, wrapped in burlap with a sparkly broach

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meet the Maids: Stacey

Hi friends! Meet the Maids series is back today with my beautiful friend Stacey! I timed this little series hiatus perfectly, because it is Stacey's own wedding week this week!!! She gets married in TWO DAYS and I am honored to get to stand up next to her in her wedding!
Not only were Stacey and I both brides to be's together, we also both started new jobs and moved homes. We are both working on making our houses a home before we get married, and just have a significant amount of change happening in a short period. Its nice to have such a good friend who is experiencing so many of the same life events at the same time I am. We definitely get each other right now, and I am super thankful that God brought her into my life shortly after He brought Ronnie into my life!
So meet Stacey "almost" King!

How did you meet the bride? I actually met the bride through the groom - so really, we just have Ronnie to thank for being the start of a best-friendship. I worked with Ronnie at Starbucks for awhile, and I hit it off with his future Mrs.

What is your favorite memory with her?  My favorite memory with Brittany is probably the night when we had our weekly "book club" (fondue and wine), and I was throwing fits because I wasn't engaged yet. We started thinking about venues, and at 8pm with too many glasses of wine in us, we all hopped into my car and sped out to the vineyards in Marsing to look at them before the sun went down. That's when you know you have good friends!

What are you most looking forward to while planning and being in her wedding?  I am most looking forward to the unlimited supply of wine that will inevitably flow due to our stress levels.

Have you witnessed any “bridezilla” moments from the Bride yet? Yes, I have witnessed Bridezilla moments, but most of them happened before the ring was on her finger. I'm sworn to secrecy - sorry! Just heed this advice: Whatever the bride wants, the bride gets

Tell her readers one piece of marriage or relationship advice: An old couple that frequents my Starbucks told me this advice: "People say love is 50%-50%. That's not true. Love is 100%-100%, or it will never work."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Christ Centered Dating Relationships

A few months ago, I talked about how I prayed for Ronnie and a little how to prayer guide for dating gals. Ever since, the number one search that brings people to this blog is some variety of "how to pray for your boyfriend."

Now that I am engaged, I still feel like I have a lot to say to you gals that are just dating. Because I have been in some really unhealthy, not pleasing to God relationships, and then I've done it the right way (or at least made a real effort!) and I would've loved to have more resources about dating in a Godly way while I was a dating gal.

Here are some ways Ronnie and I pursued having a Godly relationship while we were dating. Many of these things are still true now that we are engaged, but these specifically were true to us while we he was my boyfriend.

1. Keep Christ at the center of your own life, in order to keep it at the center of your relationship-Ronnie and I both felt strongly on the importance of having Christ at the center of our relationship, and we still do. The only way to do this is for each of you individually having Christ the center of your own life. This means faithful time in His word, time in prayer, worship, rest, and staying connected to a group of other believers. Both parties in a relationship need to individually be pursuing a relationship with Christ and actively seeking to grow in your faith. If you both are doing this, I think it will overflow into your relationship.

"Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment."" -Matthew 22:37-38

2. Know your intentions-I personally believe that dating was created for the intent to marry. I think it is important to really ask yourself the tough questions before jumping in a relationship and investing your heart. I think the most healthy way to go about dating with the intent to marry is to spend time getting to know one another before dating, and making sure that you both are on the same page about the future. Obviously God's ways are not our ways, and sometimes relationships don't end in marriage, but what I caution girls against is dating guys that they know are not men they do not want to marry just to date and "have fun."

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." -Genesis 1:27-28

3. Set up healthy boundaries for you-I don't believe there are specific, black and white boundaries every couple needs to set up while dating. I believe each couple is different, and that you need to spend time talking about the boundaries you each feel are necessary in your own relationship. Ronnie and I chose to not kiss before marriage, but I do not think that is necessarily the route every couple needs to go. That was our personal choice. Obviously, you want to set yourself up for success and avoid putting yourself in tempting situations.

 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." -Galatians 5:22-23

"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." -1 Timothy 4:12

3. Have mentors and friends that pour into your life, and hold you accountable-When we first started dating, I was in a young women's bible study who I asked to hold me accountable to keeping our relationship pure. I gave them permission to ask me about it, and promised my honesty. It is helpful to have people in different stages of life who are willing to give you wisdom and wise counsel as you seek the Lord in your relationship.

"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." -Proverbs 19:20-21

4. Pray for each other-I think you can begin praying for your boyfriend and future husband as early as you want. Many girls pray for their future husbands, even though they haven't met him yet. I shared here how I specifically prayed for Ronnie as my boyfriend, and I think it was one of the most important things I did personally while we were dating. Ronnie and I also prayed together, but I do believe this is something that is different from every relationship. Some couples just pray together before meals, Ronnie used to pray with me at night when we said good night, etc. I don't think praying together at first is for everyone, but as your relationship grows and moves towards engagement/marriage, it may be something you want to start doing to prepare for marriage.

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." -James 5:16

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." -Philippians 4:6

Here is a list of books that I absolutely loved and taught me a lot about dating, purity, and preparing for marriage as a dating gal.

Resources for Dating Gals
1. Boundaries in Dating-Henry Cloud
2. When God Writes Your Love Story -Eric and Leslie  Ludy
3. Devotionals for Couples - Samuel Adams and Ben Young
4. Moral Revolution: The Naked Truth About Sexual Purity -Kris and Jason Valloton
5. Captivating- John and Stasi Eldredge

I hope this helps a little! Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk more about anything dating or relationship related, I am all ears and love to hear from you!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Past 10 Months

Its been about ten months now. Ten months since I first got sick, and didn't know why I was healthy for 24 years until one day, I just wasn't.

It has been a hard ten months. Life has been pretty dark for me for a lot of those months. Its been a battle, a battle for my health, my faith, a battle with doctors and insurance companies.

What amazes me the most is through this dark period, God has been fighting for me every step of the way. God brought Ronnie into my life just a few short months before I was diagnosed with rheuamotid arthritis, so most of our relationship has been during a really trying time for me. I have gone through some crazy ups and downs, have been miserable, have been angry, weepy, distraught, hopeless, anxious for so much of the last ten months, I don't know how Ronnie does it.

I still can't believe he chose me, despite it all.

Friday I opened a letter from my insurance company, saying because I switched policies, even though I stayed with the same company, I would be subject to a six month waiting period in which my RA would NOT be covered. I take enbrel which is thousands of dollars a month before insurance, so there would be no way for me to continue treatment if I wasn't covered.

All weekend I have been fighting some serious anxiety and depression. I really struggle with anxiety, and sometimes I just get so anxious I internalize it so  much that it leads to me feeling depressed and hopeless. I am so thankful for a man who loves me and walks through this with me. When I finally told him what was going on in my head and in my heart, I felt such a weight lifted off of me. Knowing I can be real with him and tell him what I am struggling with, even if it is trusting God in these moments, he loves me through them, and points me to the cross.

I spoke with the insurance company today, and they have lifted the wait period which is such a huge blessing. My next step is to get a new prior authorization approval sent from my doctor to the insurance company to approve the Enbrel. I should be relieved and thankful for the wait period being lifted, but instead I just am tired.

Tired of all the hoops I have to jump through. Tired of the phone calls after phonecalls. Tired of having to take such an expensive medicine. Tired of the side effects that come with it. Tired of all the unforseen ways this disease has affected my life. Never would've guessed that switching jobs could have such a serious effect on my health. Today, I am struggling with doubt, fear, anxiety and worry. Today, I question why I even ever had to get sick.

And you know what? Its okay for me to have these feelings. I don't have to hide them, I don't have to be ashamed of them. God wants me to share them with Him, he wants me to cast my anxieties on to Him. He wants to remind me He has been nothing but faithful to me, and He keeps His promises. He wants me to bring these feelings and fears into the light so he can heal my heart and use them for His glory.

Too often we stifle these things, thinking it is wrong to have these feelings, because it could be worse. There is some shame that comes along with admitting we are not doing well, at least in my mind. There is shame that comes from saying outloud that we are having a hard time trusting God. I feel guilt and shame that is straight from the enemy. But God wants us to admit them, to tell someone, to go before Him vulnerable and weak and trust Him to hold our world together when we can't. He doesn't want us faking it to everyone and to Him just like we wouldnt want someone we love to fake it and pretend everything is okay when it isnt.
I am making a conscious effort to be real, to acknowledge my struggles, to share them with those I love, to confess them to God and to worship His everlasting goodness even when I am questioning Him.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, Oh Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalm 94:18-19)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Quick Announcement

Hi friends!!
Today I just want to share a quick announcement with you.
I am so proud of my fiance.
He has followed the Lord's calling on his life
and today he takes his first step back into ministry
as the Hospitality Director at our church.

God called him into ministry right out of high school as a youth pastor
but since leaving Chicago and coming to Boise, Ronnie has been working at a coffee shop
while still serving in our youth ministry and oun the worship team at church.
God has put vocational ministry back on his heart over the past few months
and Ronnie has chosen to be obedient to His calling
and I could not be more proud of him!
I can't wait to see how the Lord uses Ronnie in this new role
and I am so excited to see what God has in store for our life.
As Ronnie's soon to be wife, my husband will be my main ministry,
and Gods calling on his life is also His calling on my life.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Reminders

For the sake of being real here, and not falling into the trap of pretending my life is perfect and trouble free, I want to share that lately, despite all the blessings in my life, I have felt like life is just hard. I feel guilty for even writing that, because we are blessed with so many things I truly am grateful for, but still, my struggles in this season are true to me.

Being engaged is one of the happiest times in a girls life, it is a dream come true for me to get to be able to marry my best friend and to know he chose me to be his wife. But, with the ring comes wedding planning which has been a major source of stress in my life.

On top of planning our wedding, we also just bought a house, I switched jobs (and insurance policies which is no easy feat for someone who a chronic disease), and am working on my masters. I have come to the conclusion that I do not handle change super well, infact, it overwhelms me and downright scares me at times. Usually, I just feel like a crazy person 99% of the time, because my emotions are all over the place.

I've really made an effort to slow down my life, and take a step back from things in order to focus on what is right in front of me. I've made lists and am detirmined to just check one  thing off a day. And my wonderful, sweet, wise fiance has reminded me the importance of resting, even when I feel like I literally do not have time.

Yesterday morning I was sitting at my vanity, drinking my coffee before getting ready for work. I read the Jesus Calling devotional, and it is just crazy to me how God speaks to me daily through it. Every day it feels like Jesus is speaking directly to my heart, to my specific situation and worries.

"Rest in My sufficiency, as you consider the challenges this day presents. Do not wear yourself out by worrying about whether you can cope with the pressures. Keep looking to Me and communicating with Me, as we walk through this day together."- Jesus Calling

I spefically needed to read that yesterday, I needed to be reminded that I do not have to carry my own burdens, I do not have to try and do it all, I cannot rely on my own strength to get through this season. Every day I can accomplish more, be more productive, and full of the Lord's peace if I just lean on Him and walk with Him, moment by moment.

My idoaltry of tasks, spefically completing tasks has been revealed to me. I find security and peace when I check things off my list, instead of when I spend time in rest and worship with my Father. I am praying for the Lord to break me of that and teach me how to be a productive, organized woman, wife, employee and student while not worshipping the idol of busyness and to-do lists.

Today, I feel God tapping me on the shoulder, telling me to open up my eyes to see the ways he displays his love for me. Today, on my lunch break Ronnie and I are going to one of my favorite restraunts, and after work, I am treating myself to a massage my dad bought for me over a YEAR AGO. I also opened my wallet while digging for stamps and found a fairly large check that I forgot to cash from 3 months ago, which is such an incredible blessing when it feels like we are spending more money than we are brining in. I am so thankful for all of the above, for the way He wants to love us and bless us, even when we don't deserve it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

I am SO HAPPY ITS FRIDAY. I love Fridays so much, and I love Saturdays and Sundays even more than I love fridays.

I am linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday! Lets celebrate some of the great things about this week, and look forward to two days of bliss away from the office.

1. I finally got my business cards at my new job! I am official. Now if you're crazy and want to stalk me, have a ball.
2. We celebrated my fabulous friend Stacey, and one of my bridesmaids 23rd birthday! She is getting married in TWO WEEKS and also is starting a new job, so we get each other. That cutie on her left is our sweet friend Katie, isn't she a doll?
3. I started a new book, When Sinners Say I Do and its seriously rocking my world right now. With only two months left til Ronnie and I say I do, I am prayerfully trying to prepare my heart to be the wife God has called me to be to Ronnie. If you're engaged or married, I highly recommend this book!
4. Yesterday we found the shoes for the bridesmaids!! They are adorable and had all the sizes each girl needed, so my MOH Karissa and I snatched them up yesterday. Checked that right off the mile long to-do list.
5. All my bridesmaid's dresses are IN! Lea, all the way on the East Coast picked up her dress and snapped a picture. I can't get over how much I love those dresses, how beautiful EVERY ONE of my bridesmaids are, and how much I just love them to pieces.
Those are some of the highlights of my week! I don't have a ton of set plans for the weekend which is quite a relief, but I am sure Ronnie and I will stay busy with continuing to unpack and organize our house, yard work, homework, and wedding planning.
Much love ladies! Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello August, Goodbye July

I apologize for my unplanned blogging absence the past couple of weeks. Starting a new job has rocked my world just a little bit, and I am absolutely LOVING it, but I'm still learning how to find a new normal with a new schedule and all the crazy life events I have going on lately!

I am linking up with Allison, sharing some Hello and Goodbyes over here!



Hello bridesmaid dress, goodbye junkfood and soda.
Hello last two weeks of class, goodbye freetime while I write furiously for my final paper.
Hello Stacey's wedding month, goodbye single lady!
Hello vegetables in the garden, goodbye dying plants!
Hello twice a day walks with coworkers, goodbye sitting behind a desk for 8 hours.
Hello cute work clothes, goodbye old yucky uniform.

Stole both of those pictures from my sweet friend Stacey, the first one is her birthday dinner and the last one is a picture from the Couple's Shower BBQ I hosted for her with her MOH Amber!.