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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Love Letters

Dear Hunter,

We were just stating the other day how fast time has flown. We've experienced 6 years of life together and despite some of the harder times, we cannot wait to see what God has in store for us in the coming years. We can honestly say that our marriage has endured some ups and downs, some turns and twists, but through it all we've kept our focus narrowly on God and on each other.

I love that we can sense the other's feelings or thoughts without ever having to say a word. It's like we're connected in some spiritual sense, a tether attached to both our hearts, creating a link between our emotions. When one is hurting, the other knows almost immediately and is able to respond in such a way that no other person could do so perfectly. Our eyes provide a window into our souls for each other and we use those as guiding lights to assess the other person in various situations. It's amazing how God has created that for us.
 
{circa 2016 - take me back!}

I know I say it daily to you, sometimes multiple times throughout the day, but I truly love you. I love the way you snuggle so sweetly and sleepily in the mornings. I love the way we pick at each other and how it's like we're old friends. I love that cute little toosh of yours. I love the way you can make a friend no matter where you are - you are my social butterfly. I love that kids are instantly drawn to your spirit and truly find you fascinating, personable, and funny (maybe the fact that you're like a giant has them fascinated too). I love your quiet way of taking in things and how you can so easily control your emotions. I love that you're mine.

We try to plan for the future whether it be bills or growing our family, and sometimes things don't work out in the way we would like. But I'm so grateful to be making plans alongside you. The complex and harsh details of being an adult are softened and eased because we navigate them together. I wholeheartedly believe that each morning our feet touch the ground, the devil is saying something along the lines of, "Crap, they're awake." We've been told that the devil doesn't like marriage and will do what he can to destroy it. He's tried, I'll give him credit for that. But his attempts to undermine the beauty of all that our marriage reflects and stands for are futile and laughable.

We're a team, boyfriend. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Always yours,

Kel
 


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Adventure {AWAITS}

Happy Tuesday! Hopefully everybody had a wonderful weekend and were ready to face this new week head on. We've had some pretty rainy weather these last several days and I'll be honest, it makes getting out of bed in the mornings pretty dern tough. I just want to stay in bed and snuggle all day long. But duty calls...
 
Have you ever had an ah-ha moment? A moment where it seemed that clarity settled in and you decided to change your ways? Yea, no?
 
Hunter and I had an ah-ha moment this past weekend where we decided to get out of routine and into adventure. Hear me out for a sec - we have somewhat of a routine each week and weekend. Now there's nothing wrong with a little bit of routine; I love a good schedule. But when your routine tends to undermine the chance for adventure, it can get a little, well, boring. So we've decided to start adventuring!
 

We have so many great things close to us - the Gulf coast, adorable towns, hiking trails, and so much more. Panhandle Florida really is a neat place and we totally take it for granted! Of course we'll have to be reasonable because #brokerthanbroke, but we decided we shouldn't wait until "we have the means" to go and do and see and live and be. We're not guaranteed tomorrow so why wait to live until then when you can live today?
 
With that said, we've got a few ideas and plans up our sleeves.  But if you have any ideas of fun things that you've done in the past, we're open ears to any and all suggestions! As I've mentioned before, 2017 has been a growing year for us and we don't want to waste any moment of life that wasn't lived to the max. Seek adventure, my friends!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sweet Memories

There's just something about memories that always does a soul some good. Being able to reflect on periods of time in your life that brought happiness, joy, laughter, and learning curves. Memories can mold us into who we are today, shape us as the person that God intends us to be. It's even sweeter when memories have family and friends involved, life that was shared together.
 
Just the other day, I was able to catch up with a sweet friend of mine that I have known since birth. No lie. Our mothers were friends {and still are} while they were pregnant with us and she was born just 2 months before me. 29 years of life lived together in different parts of the world, in different life situations, and we find our way back to each other. You know it's a true sisterhood when you can see each other after months apart and pick up right where you left off.
 
 
As my friend and I reminisced over life and the adventures we've had together and individually, I couldn't help but to thank God for her. Lapoo {as I call her} is a true woman of God - strong, independent, fiercely loyal, and above all, loving. She loves without end and fights for the good. I've always admired my sweet sister in her adoration of her Father, the way she finds joy in all things. She IS Proverbs 31:29-31.
 
To all the women in the world - let's cherish each other, build each other up, and root for each other.
To my sisters in Christ - let's love each other and represent to the world what God's love looks like. Can you imagine the change that could come about?

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Monday, June 12, 2017

It's been awhile since I first {SAW} you

My goodness folks! It's been about 1.5 months since I've even logged into this place and I'm blown away by the sheer fact that it's June already. As in summertime. As in OMG IT'S BEACH WEATHER. And we have plenty of beautiful beaches in the Panhandle of my home state.
 
Enough ramblings... What in the hay have ya'll been up to??
 
Life sort of took over in mine and Hunter's world. God has really been stretching and growing us (it's been painful, not gonna lie), we've experienced firsts and lasts, had our hearts broken and on the rebound, and just really have endured some of our wildest days yet.
 
we clean up pretty good...
Let's catch up...
 
- Hunter got a new job! He's still doing the same line of work {forestry} but he's now with the State so that means a little bit more normal hours. Hunter is currently working hard to become certified to fight wildfires (yes, it makes me nervous, but I'm super proud of him) so he'll be one of those guys that will be deployed when wildfires break out. Be sure to hug a forester today!
 
I seriously swoon over him every.dang.day (And this is during a burn)
 
- I survived sessions here in the Florida Legislature and I honestly learn something new every day. Hunter and I are very fortunate and thankful to have our careers and the ability to have a roof over our heads, food on our table, and a little extra spending money. We live simply but wouldn't have it any other way.
 
- Hunter and I have also been veeerrrrryyyy busy with Young Life in Tallahassee.  Don't know what Young Life is? CHECK IT OUT. I seriously wish I was a teenager or college student again JUST so I could do Young Life and the summer camps. We're actually in our down time right now since school is out but we're super excited for everything to kick back up come Fall. God has some really big plans with Young Life and we're excited to see where it grows to (we're looking at you Quincy, Florida).
 
- We've been dealing with some family illnesses in the last few months. This is where faith comes into play, people. Not knowing what is going to happen, not really understanding why someone you love so much has to get so sick, and not being able to heal them has really forced us to trust solely in God and His purpose. Yes, we don't understand things that happen but HE DOES. And His ways are always good (even when it totally sucks). Faith is having that hope and belief that everything is going to be okay regardless of the outcome.
 
My FIL is literally the best.
For you non-southerners... Sug (n): a term of endearment (pronounced "shoog")
 
- We recently had to put one of our pups down. I won't go into reasons and I'm not quite ready to dive into that topic {and probably won't on the interwebs}, but I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done (Hunter will agree with me). I would not wish that decision on my worst enemy. Our hearts are still healing but we know we made the right decision. As bad as that hurt, we survived it and are learning from it. Don't want a pity party, just ask that ya'll continue to pray for us.

- My baby sister graduated high school!! I officially feel old as dirt, thank you very much. Fun fact for all you local folks - she's a photographer. And a dadgum good one at that. Feel free to check out her page on FB and contact her should you want any pictures done.
 
 
All in all, I feel like we've lived a lot of life in the last 6 months. We've rejoiced and jumped around wildly; other days, we've hit our knees begging God to take the pain away. But that's life and we wouldn't have it any other way. It's beautiful, ugly, wild, calm, and above all, it's ours to live. No matter what our circumstances are in that moment, we thank God and give Him all the glory for allowing us to experience those moments.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

First day of SPRING

I do believe today is the first official day of Spring... And I could not be more excited! Spring signifies such a beautiful time for me - it's the time where things come back to life, out of hibernation, and bring forth such beauty. I love the memories that are associated with Spring. It was the time of year where Hunter and I rededicated our lives to Christ years back. It was the time when we got engaged.
 
circa 4.20.2014
 
I spent yesterday at the beach with my MIL and it was such a beautiful day on our Gulf Coast. As we were driving back home (we literally only live about 1.5 hours from the coast), we commented on how lucky we are to be able to live close to such a pretty place. Not many folks can say that they live within a days' drive to white, sandy beaches. We're truly fortunate!
 
this does not have a filter... it's just that pretty!
 
I truly hope this Spring season brings each of you a sense of renewed life and beautiful days that are to be cherished. Regardless of where you are in life, the events that are happening in your life, just take each day as it comes. There are many times where Hunter and I literally take each minute as it comes, each second as it comes.
 
Lastly, I want to dedicate this post to my father-in-law. He faithfully reads my blog and shares with me his thoughts - and I LOVE it! Ros, here's to praying that on this first official day of Spring, God will continue to bring healing to your body. His ways are always good and I'm so thankful for His mercies. Love you bunches!

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Losing Control

photo courtesy of my sister
 
I'm not sure if I've said it before but 2016 and 2017, hands down, take the gold in life lesson teachings. Between last year and the last couple of months, we've really been forced to reconcile with the cards that have been dealt to us and our families. We've also been forced to surrender all of our control to the One that controls everything.
 
Can I just admit for a quick second how painful this has been?
 
Over the last several months, God has slowly but surely chiseled away at everything that I held high above Him. And a lot of that was because of the control issues I had. I fully believed that I could control many situations; I may not have said it out loud, but I certainly told God to take a back seat because I'm driving. What a joke.
 
God has so lovingly held me (and us, for that matter) through this process as He has chipped away our hard, exterior selves and this in turn has forced us to willingly surrender everything we have to Him. I'm talking about the wants and idols we had placed above and before Him. For me (let's be honest for a minute here), I had placed before Him my idolatry of wanting things done on my time, my way. I had placed Him behind those things because I felt that I could control those very things on my own.
 
If you can just imagine the wake up call that He gave me, times it by about 100. God showed me very quickly, and lovingly, how I had decided to take those reins back from Him and drive that buggy. I was in control of the very train that was wrecking my life. Comparison stole my joy, and the devil laughed at his accomplishment. The beauty of all of that though? God never left me. He never quit on me. He stood with me when I realized with utter embarrassment that I had allowed myself to become another pawn for the devil to undermine all of His work.
 
And that was when I lost control, giving it all over to Him. The weight of the world I was carrying left my shoulders in an instant and I could breathe deeper. Now I'm no fool and I know those temptations to regain control will creep back in (and it's already happening), but I also know my God is stronger than that. He will have His way with me, and my life, however He sees fit for His glory.
 
I've lost control. And I don't want it back.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Home {SWEET} Home


Hunter and I realized the other day that we've been in our new (to us) home for about 6 months now and we just couldn't help but thank God for His timing and mercies. Our home is small, quaint, but full of so much love. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else than where we are now.
 
The mornings are my most favorite time to watch the woods around us come to life. The fresh morning dew across the pasture, how the sunlight filtrates itself through the pine trees, and the birds chirping as loudly as they can. It kind of gives me a glimpse into what heaven will be like. I love the stillness that surrounds our home, the escape it provides to us after a long day.

We've always thrived on making our home available to any and all who need a place to come and rest. Whether it's to rest in the friendship we have over a good meal, or to literally rest in our guest room for a weekend - we just want to be available to whoever may need a place to just be.

The irony doesn't pass me that our home has become a sanctuary these last several weeks. We've had some joyous moments where celebrations were had and memories were made but we've also shed several tears in the last several weeks in our home. Through it all, God has stood by us, wrapped His arms around us, and held us close. God is reminding us each day of His goodness, His faithfulness, His love no matter what the circumstances may be.

In this home, our knees have hit the ground as we cry out in prayer. In this home, the floor has been danced on as we karaoke'd in the kitchen. In this home, we've loved deeply and disagreed lovingly over things in life. In this home, our marriage has endured some of the hardest days and some of our best days.

In this home, God has been glorified.

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