the unforgiving minute

I recently read the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling with one of my classes.  Even though I taught this same poem last year, these lines caught my attention this year:

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run…”

Any time I read the word “unforgiveness,” I feel a small twinge in my heart, because I know it is one of my weaknesses.  I struggle with pride and stubbornness, two traits that make it very difficult for me to apologize and admit mistakes.

However, I realize that conflict creates a chasm between people that, if rectified, can bring them closer than they were before the divide.  I recently heard someone advise married couples to race their spouse to apologize anytime there is conflict.  I think this imagery perfectly coincides with the lines from Kipling’s poem.  What if, rather than sitting in that ominous silence after an argument and waiting for the other to speak first, we raced each other to be the first to humble ourselves and admit to wrong?

Tanner is the perfect example of this.  As soon as anything even slightly offensive escapes his lips (which happens only rarely), he immediately apologies and asks for forgiveness.   Ever since I recognized this humility in him when were dating, I was both convicted and inspired.

I aspire to continue to grow in humility so that in the unforgiving minute, I can learn to run the distance and close the chasm.

two

image

We have experienced so many adventures together in Poesy’s second year of life!

She made new puppy friends.

boog dog teacup

She celebrated the holidays.

halloween christmas-deer-costume

She graduated from her puppy class and won a third place medal in her agility competition.

training agility third-place

She gave a lot of snuggles.

sleeping-poesy poesy-kisses

And she took lots and lots of naps.

sun curled-poesy sleeping-poesy-2 yawning-poesy
Happy second birthday to our little Poesy!

SEE HER FIRST BIRTHDAY HERE!

 

timeless

portrait I am so blessed to be surrounded by talented friends and family.  This week, I was invited by my friends at Hartt Productions to share a little bit about my wedding day.  It was perfect timing, since Tanner and I just celebrated our second anniversary.  Hartt Productions is passionate about capturing weddings through film to make each special moment of the day timeless.

“We strive to make every couple feel as though their film is a representation of who they were the moment they completed their vows and there is no better medium to relive that version of yourself than through one of our films.” – Hartt Productions

Read my blog post here, and find out more about Hartt Productions and their work here!

before happily ever after

rehearsal-invitation-suite I was honored to design a rehearsal dinner invitation to go along with the wedding invitations I shared recently here.  The bride asked me to incorporate the ribbon from the RSVP postcard, as well as more floral details.  They are very sweet and simple!

rehearsal-dinner-invitation reherasal-dinner-envelope

SEE MY OTHER WEDDING INVITATION DESIGNS HERE AND HERE.
CONTACT ME HERE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A CUSTOM INVITATION DESIGN.

two years

tanner-meagan Two years of becoming one,
Of depending on each other,
Of supporting one another,
Of sacrificing for each other.

Two years of going on adventures together,
Of being silly,
Of making each other laugh.

Two years of building a life together,
Of reminiscing about the past,
Of dreaming about the future.

Two years made richer and fuller every day
because of your love.

Happy Second Anniversary, Babe!  I love you more than words could ever express.

P.S. Happy Anniversary to my parents and in-laws!
Thank you for your unconditional love for each other and for us.

PHOTO CREDIT// BRAD & REBEKAH PHOTOGRAPHY

on my bookshelf: finding jesus

finding-jesus-nabeel-qureshi I recently had the privilege of hearing Dr. Nabeel Qureshi share his story at my church, and I immediately knew I had to find out more.  I was so excited to learn that he shared many more details in his book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity, and I read it as soon as possible.

In his book, Dr. Qureshi describes his upbringing in a devout Muslim family in America.  He was raised to value integrity and peace, and he grew up learning how to defend his Muslim faith, particularly against Christianity.  He was a high-achieving student in school, was a respectful and loving son, and passionately sought to serve Allah in all that he did.  Throughout his adolescence, he was constantly seeking to share his faith with his peers and repeatedly engaged in discussions with Christians who had no answers to his criticisms of the Bible’s reliability, Jesus’ deity, and other issues of contention.

This pattern continued until Nabeel reached college and encountered the first Christian who was not rattled by questions and criticisms, but instead encouraged these questions and enjoyed discussing them.  Over the next few years, Nabeel and David developed a strong relationship that motivated Nabeel to investigate his own faith in order to prove that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad was his prophet.  The more he researched, the more he discovered that many of his beliefs were formed on misconceptions or traditions that lacked historical evidence.  And as he studied, he began to find much more evidence pointing toward the deity of Jesus and the authenticity of the Bible.

The beauty of Dr. Qureshi’s story is that he depicts the intricate relationship between logic and faith.  He refused to base his faith merely on emotion and tradition, but pursued evidence and facts to support his decision.  However, even once he determined logically that Jesus is the son of God and that he was crucified to bring salvation to humanity, he resisted Christianity.  He states, “I knew that accepting Jesus would be like dying and I would have to give up everything, because for Muslims, following the gospel is more than a call to prayer. It is a call to die.”  Ultimately, he beseeched God to show him the truth and finally accepted Jesus after God proved himself in an undeniable way.

I loved reading this book to learn more about the Muslim faith, to become informed about controversial issues between Islam and Christianity, and to study historical evidence that confirms the truths of the Bible.  Most importantly, I was inspired by a story of a passionate pursuit of God that led to a life of sacrifice and devotion that has impacted the lives of many, including my own.

Read about more books on my bookshelf here:
Faith Unraveled
A Faith of Our Own
My Lucky Life
Torn

 

moments

sunset I am reminded to be grateful for each moment…

every hug from my parents,

every kiss from my husband,

every phone call with my brother,

every laugh shared with a friend,

every opportunity to encourage one of my students,

every dream for the future,

every chance to love someone else,

every moment to live and enjoy the beauty of this finite life God has given me.

beyond cynicism

beyond-cynicism “There is a movement bubbling up that goes beyond cynicism and celebrates a new way of living,
a generation that stops complaining about the church it sees and becomes the church it dreams of.”
//Shane Claiborne

non-goals

2015-non-goals I used to dislike New Year’s resolutions.  I grew tired of seeing list after list of goals that people never accomplished, or didn’t even seem to care about two weeks later.  While I am still wary of making unattainable goals, I now appreciate people who make bold resolutions.  I admire their desire to improve and their courage to share their dreams even if they might fail.

However, I think that it is just as valuable to reflect on past growth as it is to create new goals.  I was inspired by Erin from Design for Mankind to create my list of non-goals – a list of ways that I am learning to accept myself and areas that I have already grown in.  (You can read Erin’s list here.)

1. I have learned not to take myself so seriously.

I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember.  When I colored as a little girl, I was so upset with myself if I colored out of the lines.  I would even ask my parents to finish coloring it for me, so that it would look better.  Fortunately, they always made me finish, and encouraged me along the way.

Now, when creating and teaching 20 lesson plans a week, it is impossible for each one to be perfect.  Rather than become frustrated with small setbacks, I have learned to laugh at my mistakes and even enjoy my imperfections at times.

2. I have simplified my life.

I have embraced minimalism in many areas of my life, and I am enjoying the benefits.  Rather than fill my house and my schedule with clutter, I have learned to let things go and enjoy the small things in life.

3. I have valued the relationships that make my life meaningful.

Tanner and I are so grateful to live close to all of our parents, and we have taken advantage of it.  I look forward to spending time with them each week, and I cherish all of the memories we are creating together.   I have kept in touch with out-of-town family, reconnected with old friends, and started new friendships.  I have also had the opportunity to work on a family history project with my dad that has not only taught me about my heritage, but has also inspired me to live a life that my family will be proud of for years to come.

4. I have explored and refined my beliefs.

There comes a time in life when you have to question the things you have been taught and the culture in which you have been raised.  Even though this process is a lifelong journey in some ways, I am excited about the new perspectives I have been exposed to and the things I have learned about God and His love this year.

In what areas of your life are you satisfied?  What accomplishments are you proud of?  What are your non-goals?