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.

The Craziest Two Weeks of my Life (Part 1)

The craziest two weeks of my life took place last year in 2015, from May 11th to May 26th.

Trigg and I celebrate May 11th as the day we fell in love with each other (even though we didn’t realize it at the time). We call it “Our day”. If I remember correctly, Trigg and I have never spent Our day together since we entered a relationship with each other over three years ago, but May 11, 2015 was going to be the first time! I was a senior in high school and drum major of the Berwick High School Sound of Pride (SOP), and May 11th was also the date of the band’s spring concert– my very last band concert, and the last time I ever conducted SOP. My high school graduation was also that same week, so after Trigg finished ¬†taking his finals, he and three of his siblings planned to drive to Louisiana to see me and attend my spring concert.

They ran a little late, and though my concert started at 6:00, the last I heard before I put my phone away was that they would arrive anywhere between 5:45 and 6:00. The band filed into the gym, and I took my seat at the head of the flutes, feeling jittery about playing my last concert and seeing Trigg.¬†Time passed, 6:00 came, and the concert began…

But Trigg never got there.

In between every song (and sometimes while playing) I looked back and forth from the entrance to the place where my family was sitting, just waiting for Trigg to get there.

But Trigg never got there.

Eventually, about half-way through the concert, I saw my dad get a phone call and leave the gym. I was curious, and I began to worry. He eventually came back in, sat down, and whispered something to my mom. After the next song, while some awards were being handed out, my mom began motioning me to go to her. I was so confused. I told her no, and eventually my dad got up and came over to talk to me.

He told me that Trigg and his siblings had gotten in a wreck.

The car was totaled, and by the grace of God no one was seriously injured, but Trigg and his siblings were taken to the hospital in an ambulance. They were at a hospital 30 minutes away, being checked by the doctors. In my emotional state, all that registered was Trigg, wreck, totaled, ambulance, hospital.

And I cried. In the middle of my concert.

Shoutout to some of my best friends, the flutes and clarinets of SOP. They all comforted me and prayed with me (still in the middle of the concert, by the way), and then the concert went on. I went through the motions, playing the rest of the concert. I even gave a speech and conducted the band. But finally, the concert came to an end. I ran back to the band room, grabbed my stuff, hugged my band director goodbye, and jumped into the car. Trigg’s parents were actually in Louisiana, but my parents and I were closer to the hospital, so we left straight after the concert to go see everyone.

We drove to the hospital and found our way to the ER, and I ran straight to Trigg. What a way to spend our first Our day together. I fell into his arms and stayed there, happy to find that his only injury was a (pretty bad) brush burn from the airbag. At least the airbag went off.

It was hard to let go of Trigg, but I eventually learned that each of his siblings had also walked away from the accident with mere cuts and bruises. The couple in the other car was also fine. Everybody was okay…except for the car!

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After leaving the hospital, we drove 30 minutes farther from home to find where the car had been towed, and we saved everything salvageable. Then everyone drove back home, stopped at Walmart to pick up some supper, and stayed the night at my house. Supper was sandwiches and chips, and we ate after midnight.

The next day, everyone was a little more cheery, and I was grateful to learn that even though the doctor had warned everyone that the soreness would hit hard in the morning, Trigg and his siblings still didn’t have excess¬†pain. I also learned that¬†when the ambulance took them to the hospital, they all had to wear neck braces! Check it out!

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Personally, I think they were having fun!

Looking back, I see that God took care of me on every side, just like he took care of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32. He always does. No matter what I go through in my life, he never lets me down! 1 Peter 5:7 says,¬†“Cast all your anxiety on him¬†because he cares for you”. God wants¬†to hear all of my stresses, worries, and fears! Because he cares for me.¬†And that in itself is amazing.¬†I want to keep trusting him in all circumstances, and I have faith that my God will never fail.

But that was only one day! There were still two weeks of craziness to come. Stay tuned for The Craziest Two Weeks of my Life (Part 2).

Cari

My Very First Blog

My favorite TV show is Full House. All-time. Not gonna change. And since the name of the first episode of Full House is “Our Very First Show”, I thought the name of this blog would be fitting for My Very First Blog.

Cute name: check.

I like the idea of blogging. I like the idea of sharing our lives with each other: the fun times, the hard times. The important times. And I decided that since I’m gonna be a wife (not really sure what that actually had to do with it), now would be a great time to start. So Trigg bought me my own domain! (If you don’t know who he is, check out my About Me¬†section.)

Cute website/blogging platform: check.

So now there’s not much left to do but write. Which is hilarious because everyone I know thinks I hate writing. I’m a math major. I tested out of the only two college English classes I was going to have to take, while I was still in high school, in like,¬†three different ways. Dual Enrollment, AP tests, ACT scores, boom. I was NOT taking any more English after high school. No way.

…but I like to write.

I also like to read. Not in English class…but I like to read. Maybe some day I’ll write a blog about my favorite books. Books are so good…I have a lot!

But reading books inspires me to write. I’m so excited to be able to write about my life. And I hope that I can be a lovesome writer, like the name of my website. Lovesome. Inspiring love. Lovely. Lovable.¬†It amazes me that the word lovesome has three definitions in one. And I want to be all three!

Inspiring Love

I want to inspire love in others! Two Bible verses came to mind with this portion of the definition. One pretty well known, and one that has been at the front of my mind lately. First, from the gospels:

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)   So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The golden rule, as it’s known. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Not the way you think they deserve. Inspire love by loving others.

My next verse is from 1 Peter. I first heard this verse when I was looking to the Bible for verses about women and modesty. But this one hit me hard. Especially because it is specifically speaking to wives…and I’m going to be a wife. I’ll post the whole passage, but I just want to talk about verse 1.

1 Peter 3:1-4 (NIV)   1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

First of all, wow. Just wow. What a tall order. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead me to be this wife for Trigg.

Like I said, though, verse 1 is the one I really want to look at. That “they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives”. I think a lot of inspiring love happens not with words, but behavior.

God let my behavior inspire love.

Lovely

I have a few different lines of thought with this one.

First, the obvious, I want to be a lovely woman and a lovely writer. I want to be charmingly beautiful. And God says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)! That’s a lovely thought ūüôā

When I think about the definition of the word lovely as it applies to spiritual things, I think of praise songs about Jesus and Philippians 4:8. The worship song “Here I am to Worship” says to God,¬†You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether¬†wonderful to me. I love the truth of those words. I also think about Philippians 4:8:

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) ¬†¬†Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Just as the Bible commands us to think on lovely things, I want to write about lovely things, that my words will please God in everything.

Lovable

The last portion of the definition of lovesome is lovable. In all of my sin and shame, God says I’m lovable. His Son suffered on the cross because of me…but God says I’m lovable. In fact, Jesus died for me BECAUSE he loves me so much.

John 3:16 (NIV)   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Praise God. And I hope my blog can be lovable, too!

So, like I said, I’m so excited to open this new door in my life and become a blogger. I’m thankful for the platform I’m blessed to have. And I’m thankful that God gives me countless blessings and teaches me more about Himself every day…so I’ll have a lot to write about!¬†And at that I’ll sign off of this Very First Blog. But there will be more, and I hope you’ll be here to read them!

Cari