W-day!!

Yeah, so, I’ve been pretty busy.

In the past month, I became a wife, left the country, came back, moved into my first home with my husband, had my first day of work at my first full-time job, and spent four days at Kids Camp.

Phew.

In all honesty, I can’t tell you (everyone) who was at my wedding…or even what it looked like. I remember walking out at the top of the hill (I walked down a hill instead of an aisle), looking down, and seeing over 250 people who care about me. In fact, many were standing for me. Not because I was the bride (though they did all eventually stand for that reason), but because there were not enough seats, and that didn’t matter.

And I can’t tell you what it looked like because flowers, decorations, food, and tables, etc., were all taken care of by an amazing group of people I get to call my family. Talk about love. Thank you to all of you for being so helpful, loving, and supportive through it all. All weekend I was shown over and over how much my friends and family love me. And then Saturday morning I got to show Trigg how much I love him! Yay!

Trigg managed to keep our honeymoon destination a surprise to me. Sunday morning, Trigg and I had our first flight at 6 am. By around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, we landed on the beautiful island of St. Lucia, in the West Indies! All week I saw some of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in my life.

The first resort we stayed at, Ladera, only had 3 walls. You heard me right– 3 walls! And the room wasn’t shaped like a triangle. The fourth wall was open to a spectacular view of St. Lucia’s twin mountains, the Pitons. Check out this picture I took of the view:

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Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.

We stayed at Ladera for two nights. While we were in the vicinity, we took in the beautiful views, explored a drive-in volcano, and visited a warm-water waterfall!

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We spent the rest of our stay at the Sandals Halcyon of Castries. There, we swam in the Caribbean, sailed our own Hobie Catamaran sailboat, snorkeled, made our own chocolate bars, had a mud bath, read a book together, and drank lots of coffee. Overall, the week was beautiful, restful, and an absolute blast with my husband.

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We left St. Lucia on Sunday, flew to Atlanta, and stayed the night in an airport hotel. The next day was super great, as we woke up leisurely, headed to the airport for a fantastic breakfast of bagels and coffee at Einstein’s, and boarded the plane for home.

After a sweet week away, it was so exciting to finally be together in our very own place. I started my job the next day (and I LOVE it!), and we’ve been busy ever since.

Just in my first four weeks of marriage, Jesus has been speaking to me in so many ways. He’s spoken to me through the love and selflessness of my husband. He’s spoken to me through all of the staff at Cross Church Fayetteville. He even spoke to me a couple of weeks ago at Kids Camp! Trigg and I both were counselors, Trigg for second grade boys and myself for second grade girls, and we both agree that Kids Camp was an amazing opportunity to invest in the lives of some precious children.

I’m so thankful that God chooses to work through me, and I praise Him for His unfailing love and continuing grace.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.            2 Peter 1:2

-Cari

Hey guys!! If you weren’t able to attend the wedding, check out our wedding video here!

**UPDATE** Our wedding pictures are in! To see our gallery, click here!

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 🙂 ) 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, 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. 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. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it 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