Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 2: Thump Thump Thump...

Thump thump, thump thump… the sound of my heart. My world starts to spin as I feel unable to suck enough air into my lungs. I fell first for your good looks and then your charm, but I was completely taken by the way you handled yourself with people. This way that drew people in and made them feel comfortable; a sense of challenge combined with what seemed like a secret knowledge that only you possessed believing I could do it. These were the things that drew me to you.
As I think back on all those years ago, I knew nothing. I thought I understood your handsome face, but I hadn’t even skimmed the surface of the beauty that you possess. I was taken by your charm and, but who would have guessed I would be captured by it.
Now some eight years later, you still make my heart beat fast. I long to be near you and to be forever yours.
Some would say that there are a plethora of men that one could find to be good husband… but I have always known that for me, there was only one. You were hand-picked. You fit with me, and I with you. My hand fits in yours, my heart fits with yours. Thump thump, thump thump… do you hear that? This is my bridegroom, this is my friend.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 8: The Glory belongs to our God...

Over the past 22 days, I've told you stories about Steven and all the fun we've had together. Today I'd like to tell you about what a good God we have and how he has taken care of us.
As most girls, I've been planning my wedding for much longer than I've actually been PLANNING my wedding. But when it became a reality, I started freaking out. How in the world was I going to pull this off?
I remember laying in my bed one Saturday morning trying to scheme my way into an answer when I cried out to the Lord and told him it wasn't possible. As clear as was possible, I heard the Lord ask me, "What do you want?" And to be honest, I felt a little selfish asking for my wedding. I should ask for world peace or something. With all the details swirling in my mind I told him that I wanted Him to receive glory through our wedding. He asked again, "What else do you want?" And again, I felt selfish, but I told him all the majors... photography, place, flowers, dress.
Over the next 6 months, the Lord answered all of my requests. And when I say ALL, I mean ALL. If I were to tell you EVERY detail, it would last all day, so I'll give you one example. My mom and I had tried on dresses and I found the perfect one, but it was outside of my budget. Three days after I got engaged, it went on sale, half the price of the original! That is just one of a million ways the Lord has provided for us.
"Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." - Psalm 40:5
In 8 days, when you step into the church, our prayer is that you would not notice the flowers, the decorations, or even the dress, but that you would sense the prescence of the Lord in that place. May He receive all the praise, honor and glory for our relationship, our wedding and our marriage.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 3124 or Day 9... depending on how you look at it

It has been 3124 days since I met Steven and thought it would be fun to tell you a little about that event. I had just finished my second year in college and had come to the big city of Dallas for my first internship at Prince of Peace. I was invited to go to a college pool party at the King's home. Since I knew no one, I figured it was good way to meet people in Dallas. I met a ton of people that night... very few that I could actually remember their names. But I meet one guy who caught my attention. I will never forget a hispanic-looking guys in bright red lifeguard shorts. I remember thinking that this tanned mexican was very attractive until I asked him what school he went to. His answer: The Colony High School.
Oh my goodness, I thought a High School boy was CUTE! I was supposed to be there to WORK with the youth, not to date them! As I explained that I was the new intern and that I was in my second year of college, he said he ALSO was in his second year of college. After a little confusing moment, I realized that he had told me what school he WENT to.
What a sigh of relief... everything was right in the world again.
The weeks following that one, Steven and I began to hang out more and more. One day we were talking and he said that a bunch of us should get together and see a movie. Since I knew very few people, I thought that sounded like a great idea. Later that week he called me and asked if I wanted to see a movie. I made the connection with the conversation before and said sure! That Friday he pulled up to my house and knocked on my door. As I opened the door, I was suprised to find just him standing there. I asked, "Is everyone else going to meet us there?" And he said, "Who else is coming?"
To this day, I say that Steven had it planned all along and he says that he had told me from the beginning it was just us. Eh, it doesn't matter who is right... just that we're getting married 3133 days later :).
9 days and counting...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 11: Peru - Take 2!

At a recent shower, we did one of those "How well do you know your man?" type of quizes. One of the questions they asked him was "What was your favorite day with Jamie?" I asked them for a hint: Give me the country. They all laughed and said, "Only the two of you could ask a question like that!"
His answer was our trip to Peru. In August of last year, my two roommates, Nicole and Britney, friend Paula, Steven and I all made a trek to Peru to visit the beach. It really was a TREK to get there! Seven hours into Peru, weird layover/finding a new bus station, a couple more hours and we finally arrived on the beaches of Peru. We had a blast laying in the sand, eating seafood, playing in the crazy waves and making big bonfires.
In Steven's first 8 months on the field, he had acquired some stress... between the rooster, living with a family, teaching and some other crazy happenings, he was ready for a vacation. After the first day or so, he was a new man. His stress had melted away and gave way to a crazy kid. He was determined to build a huge sand castle, which everyone pitched in to make. Then we walked up and down the shore counting all the dead things we found... I think we counted 35+ seagulls, 2 sea lions and 1 blue-footed boobie.
Yet one more thing I love about Steven: he's a little boy at heart - jumping around, building things and poking at stuff. He sure does keep my life fun!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 12: Turkey Time!

Last Thanksgiving, Steven and I decided that we wanted to do something for all those in Loja who were missing in the good ol' US of A. So we invited all the English teachers, all the peace corp peps and every American missionary we could find that didn't have somewhere else to be over for lunch. Then we proceeded to buy the biggest turkey I have ever seen. I believe it was 12 kilos (translation: 26.5 pounds!).
I had never cooked a turkey before, so to say the least, I was a bit nervous. One of our friends informed us that we should lather it in butter and herbs, so the night before Steven came over to help me pull all the skin away from the turkey in order to smear butter and garlic all over it. We almost dropped it once, it slide into the sink a couple times, but we did it!
I was so stressed that it wouldn't cook that I woke up at 5:00 on Thanksgiving morning to put it in the oven.
Several hours later, we pulled out that beautiful turkey and it was ready to feed the 25 people we had invited. It was such a fun time of sharing Jesus with people in a way that was real. Steven blessed the meal and thanked the Lord for each person he had brought to us that day. We ate together, laughed together and were Jesus' hands and feet to people who wouldn't otherwise darken the door of a church.
One more thing I love about this man I'm going to marry: He's real with people... he meets real needs and loves people where they are.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 15: I'm with him...

The countdown continues. As I’ve counted down the days, I have also been reading the Psalms. Today is Psalm 15…

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

As I read this psalm, I thought of Steven. Yesterday his tire on his truck popped in the middle of Preston. As he relayed the story how people kept honking at him, how two cops passed him and how he had to use a screwdriver to pry off the lock on his spare, I felt so much empathy for him and told him how sorry I was. His next words reminded me how lucky I am to be marrying this man: “The whole time I was just thanking the Lord that the weather was nice, that no one had gotten hurt and that it had happened so close to home.” I was amazed at his positive attitude.
I think of the many times he has stopped to help people on the side of the road when it was inconvenient for him. I remember the times that he has kept his word despite others not holding up to their end of the bargain. I see his love for those who are lost and his deep hatred of those who take advantage of people when they are in need. “He who does these things will never be shaken.” I’m with him…

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 16: The List...

Every girl has a list of the "must haves" in a future husband... I was no exception. After a few years of not dating, my list went out the window because I realized how futile it was to MAKE someone fit in a mold. Its funny, however that Steven fits the
bill in so many ways.
Here's what I SAID wanted in a man before I would marry him...
1. Speak Spanish
2. A man's man... not afraid to get dirty and can fix stuff
3. Has been on the mission field with me
4. Sings and plays the guitar
5. Loves Jesus

Check, check, check... but he doesn't play the guitar... (Well, I guess that one is negotiable!) and check!
I remember very vividly the first time I saw him after he had moved to Loja. It was a rush of emotion: happy to see him and afraid at what this would mean for my live and ministry in Ecuador. I remember telling my best friend Allison, "If it doesn't work, I'll lose my friend!" And she reminded me, "Yes, but if it does, you'll get to marry your best friend." Those were wise words.
The next year brought lots of laughter but also lots of frustration. My favorite memory is of The Rooster. He came into the cafe one afternoon looking haggard and tired. I tried to remain straight-faced as he told his tale of The Rooster.
Steven had a rooster that lived 5 feet from his window. It did not crow like a normal rooster, but more like one that was dying. It also did not crow at normal times, but at 2 in the morning.
Finally, Steven had had it. He had already tried yelling at it, whistling at it and ignoring it. That night he decided to drag himself out of bed and get a pot. He filled it with water and walked into the back yard. He waited until the rooster was about to crow and then threw the pot of water on its head. After a flutter of wings, Steven breathed a sigh of relief as the rooster settled into his spot. He gathered up his pot, walked back in the house, but the moment he laid back down, the rooster started again.
Maybe #6 on the list should be: Can come up with creative ways to kill annoying roosters. :)