Speak What is True

The verse Philippians 4:8, has been the current that has moved this year and the end of the last. To speak and seek truth has lead me down the most beautiful path, and happily I share God has revealed the man He made for me to marry. Jacob is every answer to all my spoken, whispered and half-dreamed prayers of my husband and I am forever grateful. 

Jacob is every embodiment of the scripture of love in 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, its is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.


Ps. Bethany Erin took our portraits and this one is my favorite 

The Lost Years

The other day I saw a trailer for the movie Pan, the story of how Peter met the Lost Boys and got to Neverland. The more I thought about it, the more I realized there was something about the Lost Boys and Neverland that resonated with me. 

I've never been afraid to grow up or tried to hide from my responsibilities, but I've been in a place where I've lost time. Its close to the place where you realize dreams have shelf lives and that God's plan is always infinitely better than yours, despite your best efforts. 

My Lost Years were the result of grief. I can't tell you much about Colorado or my first semester in England. Looking back though, I have to admit I was also disobedient to God's plan for my life and have to wonder, how, if at all, this played a part during that time. There was a decision I needed to make that I refused to in the midst of great pain that would have caused further pain. To avoid this, I dogeared it for a very long time. In my efforts to spare myself more upset, I actually endured more.

When we lose people, we also lose a part of ourselves. Who we were when we were with that loved one is someone we'll never be again when they leave. That is one of the hardest things to recognize and admit, and no one really tells you about it. It seems to happen upon you. 

Grief makes you lose many things; someone, traditions, time, but you also lose yourself for a while-those are your lost years. Some peoples are longer than others. No matter the amount of time though, its still a hard place to leave. When you do though, you my dear, have earned your wings, and may truly fly.

*image found here





The Valley is Fertile

Two years ago in October I sat on the sofa wiping my eyes of endless tears as one of the most faithful women I have ever met told me I was in the valley.

Earlier that night, I had watched as she played with her wedding ring while she shared from a biological standpoint, children for her and her husband wasn't a possibility. She had held back the lump in her throat and forced a smile when she looked around the room, but her sadness leaked from her eyes and fell down her cheeks. 

I had teared up with the rest of the members in my house church when she shared her sad news. I could only imagine the heartbreak they were experiencing, but I was also experiencing my own heartbreak, my own grief of what couldn't be. 

After several weeks of politely declining to share my story, I was the last person left. I remember feeling my voice waver and crack as I tried to rush through the details of my mom's metastatic breast cancer and best friend's car accident. Speaking aloud, those words of the past few months felt made up, like I was telling a story about someone else. Sometimes it still feels that way.

When house church was coming to a close, I moved from my chair by the record player to the sofa, near the congregation of women on the floor. It was then Mandy told me about the valley. A spiritual place where we feel separated from God. She warned me it was deep, filled with darkness and a ravaging wind, but that I shouldn't be afraid because the valley is fertile

When I left that night I felt her words on my heart, but I never imagined how I would see their promise, or how they would become the tagline of my life. Everything that has happened since that October night has been a testament of their truth. The events are too numerous to recount, but the most pivotal ones are a positive pregnancy test and later, a beautiful and healthy baby girl born in December last year for Mandy and her husband, and deeper understanding of God's love with continued exploration. It is still with heartache that I walk through the valley but, 'Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me: your rod and your staff they comfort me.'

I may never know His plans or reasoning, but I know that the valley is fertile and in the words of G. K. Chesterton, 'One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.'




An Old Soul

Growing up, every summer I spent weeks on end staying at my grandmother's. Granny took me to secondhand bookshops and always shared her magazines stacked on the stairs, and Nana rented old movies, shared the paper and played her records loud. I didn't fully understand their influence on my life until recently, when I picked up this puzzle.

An Old Soul http://www.capturingjoyblog.com/journal/category/an-old-soul

I've always known I had an affinity for things with old world charm, the English monarchy, pearls, gothic architecture, the list goes on, but I never realized where the attachment to these things came from until it dawned on me that I've become a product of my grandmothers. 

My early tea and bedtimes, one piece Marilyn Monroe-esque swimsuit, taste in literature, art, films and love of letters makes perfect sense now, I am an old soul. I only hope Nana appreciates the shortbread cookies I'm about to send her, because I'm keeping this puzzle. 


Almost Summer with Spring Weather

Almost Summer with Spring Weather http://www.capturingjoyblog.com/journal/category/almost-summer-with-spring-weather

Its surreal to me that its June, because its currently 54 F outside. I'm not complaining for one second, I love the cool temperatures and could wear scarfs forever, I'm just afraid when I get back to Texas I may not survive…The lovely thing is though, that spring has sprung in England. It seemed overnight in April that everything bloomed, now everything is a rich and vibrant green. 

Almost Summer with Spring Weather http://www.capturingjoyblog.com/journal/category/almost-summer-with-spring-weather

I have a new affinity with the UK, thanks to the spring equinox and the more natural light in the sky. Also, now that the sun is out, instead of taking the metro or bus into town, I've started walking in. (Not something I'd recommend if its raining or dark, so basically in the fall or winter).

Almost Summer with Spring Weather http://www.capturingjoyblog.com/journal/category/almost-summer-with-spring-weather

The spring in England has a way of making you appreciate every day and find beauty in the simplest and smallest of things. Maybe because you don't feel like you're in a perpetual gray bubble of dampness or darkness that is the fall & winter.