The Twelve Day Mark

As I am 12 days away from being a wife, God has been working in my life tremendously. It’s still not real to me that I’m getting married next Saturday. But, as I have been talking about marriage with Trigg and a few married couples in our lives, God has been working on my heart, and I am forever thankful.

As I mentioned in my About Me¬†section (check it out if you haven’t already!), this summer I will be working full-time as the children’s ministry summer intern at Cross Church Fayetteville. This means I get to help prepare for and attend Kids Camp and VBX, and I get to be a part of the preparations and planning for Awana in the fall. I get to make sure classrooms are ready for Sunday during the week, and I get to spend lots of time with the little ones at the end of the week. I couldn’t be more excited about this door God has opened in my life!

This past Thursday, I met with Jill, the Director of Children’s and Preschool Ministries at Cross Church Fayetteville. I’ll be working under Jill all summer, and since I’m going to miss the intern orientation (for my honeymoon ūüôā ) I wanted to meet to talk more about my job. And may I just say I am so glad I did!

It was amazing to hear Jill’s heart for the kiddos and to spend time talking about tentative plans and ideas for this summer. But, I didn’t realize going into this meeting that God would use Jill¬†not only to prepare me for my upcoming internship, but also to prepare me for my upcoming marriage.

Jill and I talked a little about the wedding and honeymoon, and I shared a lot of our plans. We moved into conversation about her own marriage, and I learned that she and her husband have been married for 15 years. As a sister in Christ, she told me that her marriage has been sanctifying.

Sanctifying.

And I think about all of the conversations I’ve had lately about the struggles of marriage and the imperfections. The hardships and the arguments. Don’t get me wrong– I know marriage will be the best experience of my life. I know that through Jesus we will overcome every obstacle. And Trigg will always be by my side!

But I’ve also had lies in my heart telling me that I will never be good enough. I’ve been worried about how I will treat Trigg in our marriage, after the wedding…even on our honeymoon. Just in the short three years and four months that we’ve been together, I’ve seen myself say nasty things to tear him down. I’ve seen myself be selfish and self-serving. And I know that’s my flesh. That’s me. Without Jesus, I am nasty, selfish, and self-serving. I am dust.

But Jesus makes beautiful things out of the dust.

And that was my reminder from God through Jill. I am not perfect, and marrying Trigg will not make me perfect. I will still make mistakes. But I don’t have to be worried about my imperfections because¬†I have faith that my marriage will be sanctifying. Jesus will use my marriage to teach me about my imperfections and make me more like Him. I will experience the most spiritual growth in the valleys of life, and ultimately I will be made more holy.

Ephesians 2:1-5¬† ¬†As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,¬†2¬†in which you used to live¬†when you followed the ways of this world¬†and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,¬†the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.¬†3¬†All of us also lived among them at one time,¬†gratifying the cravings of our flesh¬†and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.¬†4¬†But because of his great love for us,¬†God, who is rich in mercy,¬†5¬†made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions‚ÄĒit is by grace you have been saved.

Though I have given in to¬†the cravings of my flesh and followed its desires, Jesus has saved me from the wrath I deserve–¬†because of His great love for me.¬†I am learning to be confident in my identify in Christ,¬†and I am also learning through faith and God’s Word that my upcoming marriage will bring me ever closer to the¬†King of Kings.

And that’s something to be excited about!

Cari

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The Craziest Two Weeks of my Life (Part 2)

The craziest two weeks of my life took place in 2015¬†from May 11th to May 26th. If you haven’t read my previous blog, The Craziest Two Weeks of my Life (Part 1)¬†tells about May 11th and the morning of May 12th. In this post I’ll start with May 12th.

As I mentioned in Part 1, the second reason Trigg and his siblings came to visit was to attend my high school graduation. I had graduation practice on the morning of May 12th, and the ceremony took place on the evening of May 14th.

Before the ceremony, I got to take pictures with my family and with Trigg!

 

I sang a song at the ceremony, and I got my diploma.

Yay! All of that was super fun. After the ceremony, I got to eat dinner with my friends and family at my FAVORITE restaurant: Atchafalaya!

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And this is where everything starts moving pretty fast. After dinner, Trigg drove me home to change clothes. I spent the entire night (from 10 or 11pm to 5am) at the Berwick Civic Center for Project Graduation! Project Graduation is like a huge party for all of the new alumni of Berwick High School. I spent all night with my class, playing games, winning prizes, and eating lots of food. Trigg picked me up the next morning at around 5, and I hurried home to get as much sleep as possible…which for that night was about an hour. Why so little, you may ask? Because on the morning of May 15th, the day after my high school graduation, at around 6:30am, I left with Trigg’s family to drive to the New Orleans International Airport. Final Destination: HAWAII!

I got to go to Maui with Trigg’s family for vacation and a friend’s wedding!! It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life.¬†We made it to the airport on time, and everyone was so excited!

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We traveled all day and made it to Maui after dark. We rented two minivans to seat the 13 people in our crew. We stayed in a beautiful condo near Napili Bay, where we were a five minute walk from the beach!! And can I just say, Maui. Is. Gorgeous. So gorgeous.

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Here are just a few beautiful sunsets from our time on the island. You may have seen these pictures elsewhere on my website!

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Every sunrise and sunset took my breath away. We spent the span of about a week and a half exploring the island and enjoying God’s beautiful creation.

May 26th (the last day of my crazy two weeks) marked the last full day we spent in Hawaii.

A little back story: in 2015, part of my Valentine’s Day gift to Trigg was a handful of IOU’s (“I owe you’s”). Each one promised a different kind of date, such as, IOU… a stargazing date, or IOU… a hammocking date.

Leading up to May 26th, Trigg used each of the IOU’s I had given him. And, at the end of almost every date, he shared Reese’s cups and glass-bottled Cokes with me! It was a fantastically sweet ordeal, but May 26th topped it all.

On May 26th, Trigg asked me to put on a dress, and we explored downtown Lahaina together. We collected some last-minute souvenirs and gifts, and he bought¬†me a pair of beautiful genuine coral earrings! Before leaving Lahaina, we shared a huge, authentic, mango-black cherry Hawaiian cup of “shave ice”. I will compare it to a snowball for your understanding, but it was like no snowball I’ve ever tasted!

Next, Trigg and I got in the car, but he wouldn’t tell me where we were going. About 30 minutes and a lot of questions later…we pulled into the Ritz Carlton! Trigg said we had dinner reservations for 6:00pm, but at that time it was only 5:15. With the beauty of God’s creation around us, we didn’t get bored! We walked around an adjacent golf course and down to the beach, and upon turing around to ascend, I discovered the sweetest little set up on a beautiful sea-side cliff.

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And of course, inside of the ice bucket:

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And there were Reese’s cups, too ūüôā

Trigg and I sat down and had a really great time talking and drinking our Cokes while we took in the gorgeous view. When I only had one Reese’s cup left, Trigg asked me if I could save it. I was a little confused, but he said he needed to talk to me and¬†pulled out his wallet.

Inside of his wallet was the very last IOU. An IOU I had forgotten about! It was a “create-your-own” IOU. But, when he unfolded the IOU and handed it to me, I saw that he had re-written the create-your-own to read, “IOU… an answer”. He took my hand and led me closer to the water. He poured out his heart, knelt down on one knee, and asked me to be the girl with whom he spends the rest of his days.

I said yes, and the artistry of the sky matched the beauty of the moment.

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Twenty-five days until I’m Mrs. La Tour.

Cari

 

Timeline of Events:

May 11: final band concert; Trigg’s wreck

May 12: graduation practice

May 14: graduation; Project Graduation

May 15: Project Graduation; traveling day

May 16-25: HAWAII

May 26: engagement.