Marriage Mondays: Strong Foundation

Every other day it seems like someone is getting engaged, married, or having a baby. Of course I know that it is not an epidemic and that it truly is just the season of life that many of us are in right now. In all the excitement of starting something new, moving to new levels, and adding to families I cannot help but think about the importance of a strong foundation.

Psalm 127:1 reads, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” I personally, never want anything that I do to be in vain especially when it comes to my marriage and family so the foundation piece has always been super important for Joe and I.

We have definitely been through some things in these past few years and I know that the reason we are still happily married is because of that foundation in Christ. It is our goal to continuously work to ensure that Jesus is the center of all that we do. When we first got married we quickly learned that our love was not going to get us through the difficult times. But isn’t that such a cute thought? Our love will see us through! Hmmmph… yea right!

When I am upset with Joe, when I am offended, or hurt my love for him does not always overpower my emotions. Many times my emotions temporarily win that battle and things get worse before they get better. Then I remember that my marriage is a covenant between God, Joe, and myself and my perspective almost always shifts immediately. I am blessed to be married to a man that understands that same concept and it has made things a bit easier to handle. When we found out that we lost Nia the first thing that we did was grab hands and pray together. It was in those moments that I realized how crucial having Christ at the center of our marriage was. Things for sure are not always perfect, but I know that our foundation is set firmly in Christ and that makes everything better.

Family Date Night: Suwannee Town Center

We recently went on a little family dinner date to Suwannee Town Center. Joe knows that I have been somewhat obsessed with food trucks lately. So when he came across an advertisement for the food trucks nearby he jumped at the opportunity to take us. I was super excited to go, although I had no idea what trucks would be there and if I would even like any of them.

After sitting in some pretty heavy traffic due to a horrific accident, we arrived and ventured out to see what all was available.

IMG_3412
I must admit that I was a tad bit disappointed by the selection and number of trucks. I fully expected the parking lot to be full of trucks, loaded with so many options that I would have a difficult time choosing. What we found was a decent number of trucks but not the variety and quality that I was looking for. It was still super cute and a great date night idea for the whole family. They even had live music and tons of people eating on the lawn.
IMG_3418
The food was decent but I do wish I would have gotten something different. I had fried catfish and jambalya and Joe had fish tacos.
IMG_3417
All in all, it was fun and just nice to be out and about with the family. I would go again and consider eating from a different food truck or even just getting something from one of the local restaurants there.

What have you been up to lately? Any special dates with your family?

Mom #2

So my brother is turning 23 in just a few days!!! Whoa! It is hard for me to see him as that old even though he is not my child. He commonly jokes around with our family and his friends that I am Mom #2. At first I heard that and thought to myself what is that supposed to mean?
image           image
Those close to me know that I take my role as big sister very seriously. Maybe too serious sometimes, and over the years I have really worked hard on backing off. We were raised that we are each other’s keepers and for both of us that comes out in different ways. For my brother, when we were younger he thought he had to protect me from boys and he tried to intimidate them when they would come to the house. It was actually super funny because he is definitely younger than me and would be half the boy’s size trying to be intimidating. He would put on a sleeveless tank top to show his little muscles and break pencils in front of them with glaring eyes. At that time, it was so annoying and embarrassing to me! I never considered how he felt about the way that I treated him! Until he started to tell people that I was like his second mom!

image

We are adults now and I was questioning if I was being too motherly towards him. To be honest, I still do not know! What I do know is that I love my brother and I want him to be comfortable enough to come to me for anything. We do have a pretty healthy relationship so I am going to accept my title as Mom #2 for now. I have decided to think about it as a term of endearment and as a sign that he respects me and my role in his life. So as he prepares to turn another year older, I am also preparing for him to turn another year older. I am realizing that he is getting closer to getting married and starting a family and sometimes that thought is crazy to me! At the same time, I see him growing in so many ways and I am excited! I am excited to have a sister in law on that side and to be an auntie (TiTi) sometime in the future.

       image 

So from Mom #2/your favorite sister… Happy Early Birthday to my BABY brother!

 

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!!!

These past few days I have been extremely reflective on this past year. Like many of you my family has been through so many trials and tribulations from losing loved ones to dealing with surgeries and illnesses and more. It is so easy to dwell on those moments and think of how hard this year has been. As I was sitting there dwelling on the difficult and sad times I realized that it would be very remiss of me not to dwell on how good God has been instead. I would have never thought that eight months ago I would feel how I feel now. That I would be living how I am living now and able to see God’s work in my life. I do not know if I am just getting old or what, but lately I have been thinking about all of those old hymns that I used to sing in church growing up and now I actually understand what they mean. Songs like “At the Cross”, “Blessed Assurance”, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”, etc have really ministered to me over these past few months. I had moments where I was like wow… this is what they were singing about. The song that is most on my heart today is, “Your grace and mercy brought me through, I’m living this moment because of you…”

I am so excited today because I have the opportunity to thank God for this year. I no longer have the desire to lament over all that was lost this year. Instead, I want to say Thank You Father for your grace and mercy!!! Thank you Father for my husband! Thank you Father for my parents, my brother (and hopefully my future sister-in-love… she has been such a blessing to my brother and I love seeing them grow!), my mother-in-law, and sister-in-laws, my cousins (especially my BFFC- we had our daughters less than a week apart and our relationship has grown so much over this year), my grandmother (this little lady keeps me laughing), my aunts, uncles, and all of my other extended relatives. Thank you Father for the family that I have gained this year in my church community. It is amazing to see how God works and is able to show you love through others. Thank you Father for my friends!

I do not know what this new year holds for us but I am excited for it to start because I believe that the best is yet to come! I will never forget what we have been through this year or forget the pain that we experienced across the board, but moving forward feels so good. Whenever I feel like I am about to go back to that place I read Isaiah 43: 18-19,

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

We are moving forward into a New Year and we are excited about bringing home Baby J and celebrating that with you all as well. Thank you so much for your support and for reading my blog! I hope that you will continue stopping by in the New Year and that we will all grow in Christ!

We love you all!

Joseph, Stacie, and Baby J