thankful Thursday: work

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Today is my last day at my first real job, my first full time job, first job out of graduate school. I could hardly believe it when I got offered my perfect job almost three years ago. I've learned so incredibly much from my coworkers about evaluating and treating disorders, organization, certification, and working within and between disciplines.

The most important lessons I've learned from my coworkers deal with work/life balance. They have told me to go home on a Friday evening, that it's okay to rest when I'm sick, and that I should put family first. I'm thankful for the lessons learned.

As a young, single woman, I could work at all hours to get everything done, and done well. That's the way I work. At this time in my life, I am putting my personal life first. I'm thankful to have family, friends, and coworkers who support me.

I will miss my coworkers and my little friends I got to see each day. I am thankful to have had the chance to watch them grow. 

thankful Thursday: a visit

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I feel like I'm finally getting in a rhythm with this long distance engagement. Last weekend, I had the chance to go visit Zack for the first time in his (soon to be our) new city. Another first -- I took my first solo flight. I mean I piloted an airplane without passengers for the first time long ago, but last weekend was my first time taking a commercial flight without traveling companions. The crazy thing is that made me more nervous than flying an airplane by myself . . . 

It was so nice to spend time together planning for our future and seeing each other face to face. I may actually have some answers now for all of you who ask what it's like where I'm moving. 

After so much excitement leading up to our visit, I didn't take one single picture of us together all weekend. I did deliver many important documents to Zack from home, including this drawing. One  of my students always asks about Zack and one day pulled out of his folder a drawing he'd done of "Miss Kathryn's boyfriend" and wanted me to give it to him. Weeks later, I finally got it to him, and I had Zack send me photo proof. 

Just six months after our first date, I was heading down to research places to live with my husband to be. Wild. If there's a lesson others can take from our story, it's that your life can change so quickly. Enjoy the season you're in, and live it to the fullest. I didn't do that perfectly as a single woman, but I'm so glad that I drew boundaries and made room for my husband even though I had no idea who he'd be or if he even existed. He is the sweetest person on earth, and he deserves the best of me. 

thankful Thursday: outdoors

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Today, I'm thankful for the warmer weather. Dan and I have gotten to walk and sit on the front porch more often, and I even painted my nails outside. Warmer temperatures and sun just make me happy. 

Even when it's been a tad hot during my work day, I'm so thankful for my new car and its nice, cold air conditioning.

thankful Thursday: patience

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Patience is a virtue, and it's the one we hesitantly pray for, or don't pray for at all because we're afraid we'll have a long season of waiting and then we'll get it. 

I am so thankful for my parents' patience with me, for Zack's patience with me, and most of all, the Lord's patience. His faithfulness knows no bounds, even after I make the same mistakes time and again. One of my favorite passages is in Lamentations 3, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 

I love Priscilla Shirer's talk on Jonah, when she emphasizes the Lord coming to Jonah a second time. When Jonah disobeyed, the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. She thanks God for giving us a second, third, fiftieth chance.

How has God given you a second chance? I pray that my heart is not hardened and I take that chance while I can. 

snowy engagement photos

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

For Christmas, Zack's sister generously gave us an engagement photo session with Leslie Perkins Photography. We got snow at the perfect time when Zack was in town and Leslie was available to take these photos. Leslie was easy to work with, and I'm pleased with the photos. 

I am entertaining the thought of wedding Wednesdays. Would you be interested in reading wedding posts? What would you like to read about? Comment below or email me! 

thankful Thursday: grace

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I look out at the yard blanketed with snow and can't help but think, "He washed me white as snow." 

"Grace, grace, God's grace, 
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; 
Grace, grace, God's grace, 
Grace that is greater than all our sin." 
written by Julia H. Johnston, 1910

I get to not only live but have an abundant life through the grace of Jesus. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." I can't do anything right on my own. I could never earn my way into Heaven. Even on my best day, I'm still a sinner. Even when I do something "right," I immediately pat myself on the back for it. We are all selfishly motivated. Everyone sins (Romans 3:23); not one of us can measure up to God's standards. 

But here's the switch: though I deserve death, He gives me life. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." He loves us enough that He paid the price for our sins on the cross, going through hell for us, and He gives us the benefit of the perfect life He lived: eternal life. 

By faith, we can access his grace (Romans 5:2). Thanks be to God! For He gives us the victory (1 Corinthians 15: 56-57). 

As with most aspects of the gospel, I am learning, grace is essential in marriage. I just finished reading The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. He writes, 

How do you get the power of grace? You can't create this power; you can only reflect it to others if you have received it. If you see Jesus dying on the cross for others, forgiving the people who killed him, that can be just a crushing example of forgiving love that you will never be able to live up to. But if instead you see Jesus dying on the cross for you, forgiving you, putting away your sin, that changes everything. He saw your heart to the bottom but loved you to the skies. And the joy and freedom that comes from knowing that the Son of God did that for you enables you to do the same for your spouse. It gives you both the emotional humility and wealth to exercise the power of grace. (185-186)

Zack and I need the grace of God every day, and thereby, we give grace to each other. 

I know it is by God's grace that I have Zack in my life at all. I remember Ashley Gorman speaking about her husband and how he is a gift from God last year. She said that she doesn't deserve her husband, but God, by his grace, gave her her husband. I didn't quite understand that at the time, or maybe I just didn't believe that God would show me that same kind of grace. I did not earn Zack because I dated God's way 100% of the time or because I did good works to please God. I did not earn Zack at all. In God's infinite grace, for his glory, He gave me Zack.

God could have chosen a completely different way to work in our lives, and it still would have been his grace at work. Some things begin to make sense as time goes on, and some things we won't understand until this earthly life is over. For now, I am thankful for my salvation through God's grace and for the chance to walk through life with the one I love. I am thankful that our story doesn't end here. 

Valentine's Day 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I wasn't planning to post anything about my Valentine's Day, then one of my coworkers said she was looking forward to reading about it on my blog, and I started thinking. I always enjoyed Valentine's Day as a single gal, but I know the eye roll that goes along with the tenth bouquet of roses and chocolates and sappy post about my wonderful boyfriend/husband that you see on social media. I don't want to contribute to alienating single people, but maybe it would be helpful to see a dose of real life. 

Things aren't as fancy around here as they used to be.  Last Valentine's Day: 

I sent my gal pals a photo Valentine's Day card (who does that?! me.), and I had a few friends over for a girly dinner party, complete with a fancy and delicious chocolate cake that my SIL made. I LOVED sending Valentines and taking care of my single girl friends on V day. 

This year, I'm engaged. That means I had a grand, romantic Valentine's Day with flowers and chocolates and a whole day spent with my love, culminating with an expensive dinner out and champagne, right? No. At least not exactly. 

Zack is wonderful every day, and Valentine's Day is no exception. I still choose him if/when he is not wonderful, but I have yet to see it. We're living 388 miles apart right now, and he is working 14 days in a row. I could have gone to see him, but it was questionable whether he'd be home or have flown to Canada. 

I was home sick part of Thursday, and I answered the door to a woman with this bouquet. My fruit went great with my dad's birthday pie :)

On Valentine's Day, I sat around in sweats most of the day, running out only to go through the Chickfila drive through with Dan to get some free iced coffee and a heart shaped biscuit (worth the carbs). I baked bread to take to a girly Valentine's dinner at my friend's house. It was an awesome day of rest. 

While I was getting ready for my friend's party, my mom and Tracy came in with a beautiful hydrangea. They're my favorite flower, and I'm hoping this one will survive inside in its pot until it warms up and I can plant it at our new home. I had told Zack that I'm not into grand gestures, and this was perfect. I ate the fruit, and I'll plant the flower, and that's that. Perfect. 

What did I get him, you ask? Well, I mailed him a card and a box of "little happies" as my SIL would say. By the way, my engaged friend and I had a laugh together about the Valentine's cards available for engagement. I only found ONE card for a fiance, and it had a watermelon on it and said something about "sweet" and "delicious" ... no. I'm pretty sure what I actually sent Zack was for a husband. 

Back to Valentine's Day. My friend Kelly and I went to the party, where we enjoyed good food and games. Then, literally while the hostess was acting out The Excorcist in a game of charades, the power went out. The wind was howling, and it snowed on our way home. 

At home, I scrolled through Instagram and felt more jealous of all the happy couples than I ever did when I was single. Maybe my memory is clouded? Engagement can cause delusions. However, I truly have no room to complain. I'm so thankful to have him, even if we never spend a romantic Valentine's Day together. 
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