Saturday, December 29, 2012

We've been Published!

We've been published! I was so excited when approached by CCLI to have our witness talk published in their Family Foundations magazine. I was even more excited that our talk was chosen for the wedding and marriage issue, which is highly distributed. I'm praying that God uses our words to help others in their journey to using NFP or strengthening their current practice of NFP. Both are so important. 

What is kind of fun about this is that it is entirely in our words ... except for the title, "NFP helps us see the bigger picture." I didn't provide a title when I submitted our talk, but I think it's perfect. I'm thrilled that after reading our talk the editor came to the conclusion that NFP has helped us see there is a bigger picture for us than the one we paint, God's picture.

A few weeks ago my husband and I were blessed enough to be asked to speak about Theology of the Body to a group of confirmation students. For most of them, it was the first time they had ever heard about Theology of the Body so I wanted to make sure we hit the really important parts. By the end we were giving them examples from our own lives and I concluded with, "What's really cool about all this is how quickly your will aligns with God's will when you are truly open to it." It's just so true! For years I was fighting God's will. Truly blocking it from my life and in effect from my marriage by clinging to the false promises contraception makes for a couple's future. I was so sure that I knew what was best for my marriage and my life that I told God each day I swallowed that pill that I didn't need to place my trust in him or that the freewill He gave me wasn't strong enough to follow His perfect plan.

I can't tell you the celebratory feeling I have inside of me when I think about how we are open to God's plan for us each day now compared to how closed we were in the past. I'm not saying we're perfect or that we have any real idea of God's plan for us, but I feel like we are much closer. Plus, it's been a year since we kicked the contraception habit for NFP and it has so radically changed our lives for the better  that I can't help but see God's hand everywhere! It's strengthened our marriage, our faith in one another to want the best for our marriage, our trust in God and his future plan for us, and it has opened so many doors so that we might evangelize to others about God's beautiful design of our bodies but also of his unfathomable love for each and ever living cell! It gives me goosebumps!

NFP isn't always easy and sometimes it brings about the unexpected (like how differently I view my world!), but it is so entirely worth it. Truly, as the article is titled, it has helped us get a better glimpse of the bigger picture and it's a beautiful picture.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pretty Bones: A Year in Review

A year ago today my husband and I moved into our first home. We made a total of about 10 trips and made the whole move by ourselves since we were 16 hours away from family and most of our friends had gone home for the holidays. It was hard work, but it was just the start as we got busy renovating the pretty bones of our home.

I thought I'd do a "year in review" partially so I would have a reason to go through old pictures and partially to just recap on what we've done and what we still need to do. I'm pretty proud of what we accomplished; what do you think?

Coffee table made the 16-hour trip from Illinois to Florida, was sanded, stained, resanded and restained (due to a streaky first attempt). It was a good first project and looks great in our living room!

Operation HOTEL GUEST was our next project since we had family coming to visit. We wanted a beachy theme since we live in florida. 
Operation EVEN STEP was an important renovation, but also a rather sad one because our puppy has dug the whole thing up :( But it looked good for a little while and she won't be a puppy forever, right??

Operation MAGICAL OASIS aptly named after the color of teal we put on the walls. My husband engineered a platform for me so I wouldn't have to lean over to load and unload the wash. It's been one of my favorite renos!

Operation SPLINTER SPINDLES was the result of one of my irrational urges to remove the 1985 spindles immediately. I'm so happy I was overcome with that need because I LOVE the outcome. This was the first reno that finally made our home feel like our home :)
Operation SPLINTER SPINDLES II was a direct result of the SPLINTER SPINDLES since we had to patch both sides of the wall where the spindles had once been. Then we painted our cabinets, added new hardware, painted the walls, and my dad and husband added a backsplash and under-cabinet lighting. The result is so homey. Someday I hope to tear it all out haha, but not for a few years.

Operation FALLOUT was exactly like SPLINTER SPINDLES II in that it was necessary since we had taken out the spindles and updated the kitchen. Thanks to my generous co-worker I was able to repurpose a table that has been frequently habited ever since it made it's grand entrance. We never thought we'd use it so much, but we really have.

So there you have it! That's what we did this year and we've already started on yet another project, but that's a post all of its own. We still have lots to do, but I think we've gotten a good start on it! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Merry and Bright

This is the first year we get to decorate our home for Christmas. When we first saw the house we immediately thought it would be a lot of fun to decorate for Christmas and it was! I think it will be even more fun over the years as we add to the collection. 

Angels and crystals hung from the lights.

First fireplace! I love that I can hang stockings by the fireplace!

Puppy :)

Chandelier with snowflakes.

Little tree that use to be my only tree in college.

Nativity set.

Real Christmas tree. We love our tall ceilings so we can get a large tree.

Stockings hung by the fire.
Check out some other Christmas decorations at the linked up blog site at NFPandMe. Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!