I'm amazed at how my Savior can take any and every circumstance around me to show me more about him. My prayer has always been that this journey of life I'm on would continually bring honor and glory to him, so by using every opportunity; my mistakes, my successes, and my day-to-day adventures, he teaches me how to use it for his glory. This life he blessed me with is ALL about him! So, these are my thoughts, my heart cries, and my lessons from his glorious Word. These are the teachable moments from my Savior!

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Thankful Heart and a Sweet Soul!

I walked into that little pharmacy the other day where I have frequented every 3-4 weeks for the past six years. Instead of making a purchase for medication this visit, I carried a bag with a card and just a small token of my sincerest appreciation for the kind soul that has walked a journey with our family for these six years...

God has called me to look back over the last few weeks. To look back on a year that was full of turning points in our family. A year that tested our faith and sent us into the unknown in many areas. A year where trust in God was realized with hearts of utter abandon. A year that will always be etched with markers of spiritual growth out of the hard places. I'm thankful God reminds us of those places. Because, for me, the memory puts on display the picture of faithfulness and steadfastness in a God that loves and carries His children. Remembering where we were spurs us on to continue walking the path God has laid out for us, no matter how rough the terrain can be at times. God is so good!

Six years ago, when the doctors at Chapel Hill informed us, after years of monitoring lab work, ultrasounds, and biopsies, that Caleb was at a point where medication was needed; we began a search for a local pharmacy that could actually get this medication and to see if insurance would cover it. I called all over town and it wasn't available anywhere until one phone call with a sweet angel turned out to be the beginning of a journey together. This sweet angel made sure Caleb's meds were here every 3-4 weeks and went through countless insurance battles with us and our doctor. And just over a year on this medication, Caleb had no indications of the medical condition he was born with. The medication was doing the job and the doctors were astounded and pleased so we trekked on in praise to God! Then just three weeks ago our final insurance appeal was rejected for one form of the medication with new specialty pharmacy regulations in place and we were again at a point of pleading with God over this. Specialty pharmacies we were demanded to use were having trouble getting this form of med and Caleb still could not swallow a tablet (after countless hours of prayer, practicing with Tic-tacs and googling every maneuver possible). So we prayed and worked tirelessly as the last dose of meds were taken and the tablets were set to be in the next day. (Right before we left for vacation😳). They came in on the last delivery of the evening at 7:15 and as Caleb went to take it, we gathered and prayed. He returned to the room with a look of shock and excitement that he did it! We praised the Lord together as He always comes through right on time. (Not my time, mind you, because this momma was tired.😞 Ha!) We have graduated on and he is doing great!

So the other day I tried to express my appreciation to this sweet soul who partnered with us for six solid years and all I could do was cry and say, "Thank you" for all she had done. I won't be calling her every 3-4 weeks but she will always be a special soul to our family. To the countless friends that have prayed with us over the years in this matter, "Thank you" too!! Words could never express our appreciation for those who have continued to be our prayer partners.

God brings people in our lives for seasons and she was there as a hopeful light in a scary season in our family six years ago and continued that same blessing all along the way. We praise God for her!

You may never know the impact you may have on someone else's life. God never crosses our paths with others by coincidence. We like to call them divine appointments. People may come and go and some may stay a lifetime, but always pray to show kindness and love to all and shine the light of Christ wherever you go! Be the blessing!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sin-ectomy

A few days after his 13th birthday, Ben had his tonsils out. Yes, a tonsillectomy!  What a big word!  I had heard how painful they could be on a child, but the older the child gets , when the surgery is done, the harder the recovery.  Poor thing! He could hardly swallow, he was nauseous, and just felt crummy for days.  He could hardly eat anything and even lost about 10 pounds in a week.  It is so hard, as a parent, to see your child in pain. I wanted to take that pain and make it go away, but at the same time, I knew that was part of the process and to make his overall quality of life much better he would endure some pain.  When his doctor came out of the surgery to give us the report, his comment to us was that Ben’s tonsils were “mammoth” (enormous, huge, massive). They were some of the largest he had seen on a child. He said his life would be dramatically better now that those “mammoth size” tonsils are out.  His breathing would become better and he would have a more peaceful life, physically.  What a statement that was!  Ben had struggled for 8 years with congestion, breathing difficulties while sleeping, and overall sluggishness because of not sleeping well and then to hear that his quality of life would be dramatically better was wonderful news!  Of course, he had to go through many days of pain and discomfort before it got better but we knew there was a light at the end of that tunnel.

After sitting with Ben during his recovery one night, I decided to go out for a walk. I began to ponder that statement the doctor made with every pound of the pavement;

“Now that the mammoth size tonsils are out of the way, his quality of life will get better.”

It made me think of my walk with Christ.  There are times in my life when sin gets in the way, it becomes “mammoth size”, and hinders the quality of my Christian life.  The very breath of my soul becomes labored when sin gets in the way and there is much unrest.  There are times when the Great Physician needs to do a “sin-ectomy” so that my quality of life in Him can once again be what He designed it to be.  This “procedure” is often painful and can be uncomfortable but oh so necessary for my overall health. The end result is rest, peace, and breathing the sweet oxygen that permeates to the depths of my soul and gives me life! How sweet it is!  I began to praise God and ask Him to reveal to me the sins in my life that need to be removed.  Though I knew it could be painful, I wanted to live a clean life that was pleasing to Him and I was willing to let Him cut it out.  Forgiveness and mercy are the healing balm  applied by our Great Physician to repented sin! Only He can heal our sin-infested souls and make them beautiful for His glory! It is all about Him anyway. Any pain that I endure could not hold a candle to my sin He carried on the cross.

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:24‬

So let's get real and honest before the Lord. What areas of sin in our lives need to be “surgically” removed?  Maybe there are areas of bitterness, selfishness, envy, unforgiveness, bad attitudes, harsh words, grumbling and complaining, or pride. Whatever the sin, it hinders our relationship with God and needs to be removed. I pray that this will be a time of great healing in all our lives so that we will be able to breathe and worship the way God intended. It’s time for us to dig deep and reveal ourselves wholly to him!

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Acts 3:19

To prepare for the procedure, let's read our “surgical” instructions from God’s Word, repent and turn away from sin, and allow the Great Physician to do His work in our lives!

“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:7‬

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Concluding our story...❤

Concluding our story...❤

Can you believe I am finally concluding our story today? Though our story will continue as God has many more things to pen and there is so much life to be lived, I will end this part of our story for you. You are a champ for tagging along. 🏆

These last several years of our marriage, God seen us through some other challenges.   Especially this last year as He called us to step out in faith and into new beginnings in areas that we had been settled and comfortable for some time. It was definitely one of my hardest years taking on new adventures in a new job and seeing changes in relationships that were so dear to me. But through it all and through my many tears, God carried me. New joys, relationships, blessings, and new mercies! He is a good Father! Though it all, I gained new appreciation and awe of my husband. He loved me so well! There were many days last year that I was difficult to love but he only loved me more. He met me where I was and loved me through every part. Such a beautiful reality of what God designed marriage to be. Loving as He loves and Matt has done that so well. ❤

Through every hardship that has come up in our marriage over the years, God has been faithful. Did you get that? GOD HAS BEEN FAITHFUL! Even when we were faithless, God remained faithFUL! Praise HIM! God has been there every step of the way and continually makes something beautiful out of each hardship!

What we have discovered is that God desires us to be holy more than happy. When we seek holiness from His perfect will, there is a joy unspeakable. Times can be difficulties but peace and joy from our God can remain.

When you are down on your face and have nowhere else to look but up, you see His grace and mercy in ways that bring peace and healing. I can look back over our 25 years of marriage and, yes, I see those difficult times, but more than that now, I see the beauty that God brings from it. I see how we have fallen in love over and over again. I see the deep faith it has instilled in our marriage and family. I see the incredible strength God gave us and continues to give us. I see how our faith impacts our children and as they continue to grow, our desire is that they follow Jesus and live for HIM only. Most importantly, I see the love of a Father on His precious children and how that deep love changed our lives!

I have fallen in love with my husband deeper than I ever thought possible over these last 25 years. Our love has expanded even larger than our waistlines. 😉 When we began our marriage, I used to love the sight of our shoes side-by-side on the floor or our toothbrushes together by the bathroom sink. Twenty-five years later the bottles of our blood pressure pills are side-by-side and I still get a touchy-feely moment of togetherness. Maybe a little different perspective. Lol! 😜  Its a reminder that we aren't so young and carefree anymore but it definitely shows we've lived a lot of life together. TOGETHER! Together is always better!

When I said, “I do”, I never thought I could love him more than at that moment but God has shown me differently. The love grew and took shape into something deeper, more meaningful, just like the love for my God. The more I know my God…truly know Him, the deeper my love for Him goes.

Throughout this week, I have shared a brief part of our married life together. This may have been more information than you cared to have heard, but there is so much more than can’t fit onto these pages. Most of these treasured moments are written on the delicate places of my heart and will remain. I love the place we are in our marriage. Through the challenges of last year, God brought such a sweetness out of it that is refreshing and full of new hope in life. Our lives are rich and full of love. Our marriage is not perfect but it is OURS! We work hard at it. We show each other grace and forgiveness and we know that through every day as our relationship with God grows, so will our relationship with each other. It’s all about HIM!

That is the secret to a great marriage….God! If you do marriage any other way you will miss out on all the benefits that God makes available to you. God designed marriage and we will continue to give HIM his rightful place in ours. I pray you will do the same in yours. We can't let our guard down. Marriage is special and needs daily protection and safeguards in place to keep it honorable before God. The enemy wants nothing more than to tear marriages apart. But we will bow low before God so we can stand strong before the enemy! It is worth it!

Thanks for taking the journey with me this week! I do wish I was sitting across the table from you at the coffee house sharing this story as we sipped our frothy lattes. But I am so grateful you joined me here. (I was sipping my coffee from my own coffee bar as I was penning these words. 😉) Its been a joy to take this walk down memory lane with you. God is so faithful and He continues to amaze me every day! To HIM be ALL glory!

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬a

“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you [setting you on a firm foundation] and will protect and guard you from the evil one.”
‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:3‬ ‭(AMP‬‬)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Around the World and Back Again! Continuing Our Story!

Around the world and back again! 🌎 Continuing our story……

So now we are about 11 years into our marriage and I was thoroughly enjoying my time as a stay-at-home mom. But when Callie was two and Ben entered school at WCA, I began work at our church preschool to help out with expenses. What a blessing that was! I fell in love with all those sweet students and my coworkers. Callie was in preschool with me and Ben was in 1st grade. It really seemed as though things were smoothly moving along. But as a couple of years went by, Matt’s company was struggling to keep the doors open and we knew he needed to find work. We put our house up for sale, Matt began searching, and within 3 weeks our house sold and Matt began a new job. Wow! Things don’t usually work that quickly for us! Lol! Matt’s new job would take him to Lakeland, FL, for about a year and then from there we didn’t know where it would lead. There again, we found ourselves at a crossroads of what God would have us to do. We made plans to stay put here in Wilmington and see Matt on the weekends but after flying down there to help him find an apartment, things became a little unsettled. I boarded the plane home from Florida and cried the entire flight. I know the man beside me was ready to get off that plane and away from this lady who snubbed and snotted the entire flight to ILM. I called Matt when I landed, both of us crying, because God made it clear that we should not live apart for those long months. So, when God speaks, we listen and obey! I loaded up Ben and Callie when school was out in May and headed to Lakeland, FL, into a 650 square foot, one-bedroom apartment and began homeschooling. Oh mylanta! That was not in the plans just a few months before. 

That was an intense but beautiful time for us as a family. Ben and Callie had their own little beds and shared the one bedroom. Matt and I would blow up an air mattress every night, roll the couch out of the way, and sleep on the living room floor. Because of our cramped quarters, me early morning quiet time had to be taken in the bathroom. Thank God he met me there! But when you need alone time with Him, you'll find a way! 😬 It wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was home because we were all under one roof. Just as God intended! One of the perks of living in Lakeland, FL, was our close proximity to Orlando. We had season tickets to Disney World and got to visit quite often. We loved that! It was a huge help being away from all our family and friends. We found a great church that just so happened to be in an old mall. It was actually called First Baptist Church at the Mall. I had told Matt many times that you could worship and praise God at the mall, well here was proof! Lol! The first Sunday we visited they sang one of my favorite songs, the preaching was straight from the Word, and as we met the pastor, we knew we had found our place to worship  and plug in during this interim. 

So, there we were in a one-bedroom apartment enjoying life as a family of four and then God began to move…..again….

It was during that time that God began working on our hearts about adoption. Nothing about that made sense at the time. It was expensive, we were comfortable with our two children, and we didn’t even know where we would end up after Florida. Matt wasn't on board. So I just committed it to prayer and let God handle the rest.  And He sure did! 

When God calls you to something, He will see you through it. God had already begun putting the details together and this was a true test of our faith and trust in him.  Matt’s job moved us back to Wilmington in December of 2005. The kids and I arrived a few weeks before Matt and got the house set up. When Matt arrived on December 21, he tossed the adoption paperwork across the bed and said he filled out his part now it was my turn. So as we pushed send on the computer to submit the initial application, we looked at each other scared to death and wondered what we were getting ourselves in to. Lol! But the adoption process began! We were in and trusting God BIG!

I was able to go back to work at the preschool in January and we were enjoying the total dependence on God through it all. The next year and a half we were deep into our "paper pregnancy". I think I gained more weight during this paper pregnancy than the other two biological pregnancies. Mountain upon mountain of paperwork, fingerprints, home studies, and all manner of international adoption details with a hefty price tag. But God put a love in our hearts for a child we didn’t even know yet and it was clear we had to move forward to bring our child home. We took a huge step of faith in obedience to God and He put all the details in place!

(I will not go into all the details of our adoption here, but stay tuned in May for our adoption journey as we celebrate Caleb being home for 10 years!)

We boarded a big jet plane, all four of us, on May 3, 2007 and were China bound! All the way around the world in the town of Guangzhou, China, we welcomed our precious Caleb into our hearts on May 9, 2007! It was absolutely beautiful and God continues to amaze us with his love and grace today through that experience! Our little family of four wasn't quite complete without our Caleb. Our lives were changed forever! God was continuing to write our story and we all know that He is the Great Author! God is so good and faithful and we give Him all praise and glory!

Tomorrow I'll conclude our story and share how God has, yet again, taken us through more giant steps of faith this last year. We've reached many milestones in our family over this year and we remain completely surrendered to God and His will! That doesn't guarantee a comfortable life. Sometimes it is downright hard. But it does guarantee a life of growing and drawing closer to His heart. It means realizing the blessings through the hard and seeing God chisel away the rough edges in order to display His masterpiece. A masterpiece that He adores and will be used to further His Kingdom's work.  That's where we want to be! He is worth it!! 

So join me tomorrow as we wrap it up! Thanks for following along! ❤

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ 

“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].”
‭‭PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭(AMP‬‬)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Not Done Yet..The Story Continues!

Not done yet 😉...continuing the story.....

Well, we did tie the knot on that cold Saturday evening in February and spent the night celebrating with all our family and friends. We left our reception and traveled to our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach. As we checked in the hotel, we were easily spotted as newlyweds when Matt started to sign us in at the check in desk and rice fell out of his hair all over the counter. Lol! 

I was so happy to be Mrs. Matt Jordan and begin our lives together! A couple of days later on February 10th, Matt's birthday, we received a call that my grandfather had passed away suddenly of a heart attack. The news hit me like a ton of bricks. We packed up early on Tuesday morning and headed home to be with our family. After the visitation in Wilmington, we traveled to Virginia for the funeral and burial in the town I was born in. In an instant we went from celebrating together as a family over a new relationship to grieving together in the loss of life.

As you can see, Matt and I faced many difficulties very early into our marriage. Four months later I received a call from the hospital at 5:30 in the morning that my husband had been in a car accident. Matt had been leaving early in the mornings traveling out of town to work and returning late at night. That particular morning it was raining heavily and his truck lost control and landed in a ditch. Praise the Lord his injuries were minor but walking into the ER seeing your new husband strapped to a backboard covered in mud and blood can do a number on your nerves.

After that incident, life did calm down a bit and we could really begin to settle into married life. I loved everything about it! I was finishing college and working at the mall. I loved being at the door when Matt would come home from work (which I still do today) and having supper on the table. I loved waking up in the morning and rolling over to see that he was there beside me. I loved how he would open the Bible at night and share devotions with me. I loved hearing my name, Mrs. Jordan, called whenever I was out. I loved going on a date with him only to realize that I would not have to say "goodbye" to him at the end of the date. Everything about married life made me smile and I loved doing life with him. ❤

Now I know what you are thinking. Did we ever argue? Well, the answer is, "YES"! Of course we did! We were newlyweds. We were two people all the sudden living together bringing our own traditions, selfishness, and habits under one roof so, yes, we had arguments, or "intense moments of fellowship", as I prefer to call them. 😉

Throughout our first five years of marriage, I believe God used the many difficulties and challenges we faced to shape and strengthen our marriage. When we were ready to begin our family but things took a bit longer than anticipated, our marriage was extremely tested. I was still living my dream, and that, in no way, included infertility. But as we all know, God has a plan and His ways are not my ways.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.“ As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

Anyone that has walked the road of infertility understands the extreme sadness and difficulty that loom around every corner.  It wasn’t supposed to be that hard. Doctor visits and medication month after month and still being heartbroken all over again at the sign of another negative pregnancy test. After a couple of years of walking that road, I finally became pregnant! We were beyond excited! I believe I walked on a cloud everywhere I went. That "glow" everyone says you get with pregnancy was a neon fluorescent light around me and I couldn't wait to become a family of three. Unfortunately, that was not meant to happen as a month later I began to show signs of miscarriage and through ultrasound, discovered that our baby's heartbeat had stopped. Matt and I were heartbroken over the loss of our child and facing every day was difficult. The next several months were filled with pain and heartache. Seeing other pregnant bellies and newborn babies were like a punch in the gut and the darkness was almost more than I could bear at times.

As summer approached, Matt got news that he would be transferring to his office in Garner, NC. This news actually made me very happy. I was ready to move away, begin again, and leave all this heartache behind. That move for us, although temporary, ended up being a time of healing in our marriage and ourselves. Matt and I worked in the same office building and we were together pretty much 24 hours a day. That was an absolute blessing! We were settling into our “new normal” and getting actively involved in a new church. God was working and healing!

Right before Christmas that year, I discovered I was pregnant again!  We were shocked and excited!  Once we had moved to Garner, I kept rescheduling my doctor’s appointments with the specialist because emotionally I wasn’t quite ready to begin the infertility battleground again. But God sent us some amazing news! It was hard to get too excited as my initial blood tests weren’t as great as they hoped but with God’s divine providence and some really incredible doctors, I was able to sustain my pregnancy. My sister, Stephanie was also pregnant and it was fun sharing those pregnancy moments together. But in April of 1996 my sister's sweet baby girl Hannah was born but not with breath in her little lungs and she was ushered to the arms of Jesus. Our family grieved such tremendous loss and the reality that all the love we had for my sweet niece would never be showered on her on this earth. Those were heartbreaking days. Small little white caskets should not even exist. It's too much to bear. 

But God in His great love and grace brought days of joy again. On August 6, 1996, I gave birth to the most beautiful, BIG, baby boy! Ben came into this world at a whopping 10 lbs. and 1 oz. and honestly, the world began to look wonderful again. Skies were bluer; the grass was greener, the sun shined brighter and every detail to life gained more color. Then six months later, new life again when my sister Leslie gave birth to her first son and then again five months after that as my sister, Stephanie, held her new baby boy in her arms. What was once such times of grief, God turned to times of joy in those sweet little lives. 

God brought so much healing in my life through that difficult time and the birth of our first child. I was wife to Matt and now, mom to Ben and nothing could have made me happier. God blessed us immensely and through that time of healing, I began to draw even closer to him.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”
Psalm 127:3

Over the next eight years of our marriage, lots of things were going on. God was shaping us into a family totally dependent on him. Matt and I faced some financial hardships in Garner and moved back to Wilmington soon after Ben was born. We settled back here and into our new church home and really began focusing on God’s will in the midst of all the challenges we had faced so far. Ben kept us on our toes, as he was a very active toddler. There were many days, through his toddler years, that I really thought I wouldn’t make it through, or he wouldn’t. One or the other of us. Lol! But we both grew during that time. I enjoyed my time as a stay at home mom and wife. In 2000, we were blessed with our beautiful baby girl, Callie! We praise the Lord that we didn’t have to endure the pain and suffering of infertility again and through her birth God gave us hope that not everything we encountered would be so difficult. She brought us so much joy and her big brother was quite protective of her (and still is 😉). Our home was filled with a rambunctious toddler boy and lots of fills and pink with a baby girl. We were blessed indeed! God had transition ioned us from a couple to a family and that brought a whole new set of blessings and challenges.

“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15b

After Callie was born, we decided that we were complete in our family and we were going to enjoy life as a family of four!

Well…that was our plan. But God had a different plan for us...😉

Join me tomorrow as God takes our family on a new journey all the way across the globe!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The BIG Day!

And still continuing the story….Our BIG day!

The countdown was on to the wedding! There were bridal showers and bridesmaids luncheons and all manner of bridal activity in high gear. Three weeks before our wedding, Matt moved into our new home. What?!?? Our home! It has such a nice ring to it! I also gave up my title as WCA’s Homecoming Queen but was more than excited to replace it with a new title on February 8, 1992….Mrs. Matt Jordan! 

Our BIG day arrived and I was getting married to my Prince Charming! All those childhood memories of playing “wedding” on the playground were about come to life. This time it was with my real groom and not some elementary boy I suckered into giving up his recess to play pretend groom. Ha! Oh bless them! 

We enjoyed a wonderful rehearsal and dinner! The same teacher that made such an impact on my life through my senior year was our wedding coordinator and she did a beautiful job of corralling our very large wedding party into a organized rehearsal. Then we joined our party for dinner by the water and were sung to by Matt's Uncle Ray. We are so blessed with an amazing family! After our dinner, Matt had me at home by 11:00 (my curfew was still in effect right up until I moved out. 😉) We talked about our excitement and couldn't believe we had made it to THE day. I remember as we stood in my driveway, hand in hand, reaffirming to each other that divorce was not an option once we were married. We both reiterated that we were in it for the long haul. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Matt gripped my hands that night before we said our vows and said to me, 

"Right now we decide. It's either going to be forever or forget it."

Forever it is!

We prayed together and as we hugged our "goodbye" that night, it was surreal knowing that would be the last time he would walk me to my door and then turn to go to his own home. The next night he would carry me over the threshold to "from this day forward...."

Waking up the morning of my wedding day I  was “cool as a cucumber”. I lounged around in my cozies because it was going to be a long wait to see my groom. Our wedding wasn’t until 6:00 so I took my time getting ready. We headed to the church that afternoon and the excitement was building. My “cool as a cucumber” attitude was quickly replaced by the butterflies in my stomach eating away at those cucumbers. 😜 There were pictures being taken, and details getting finished, and I was just ready to get this show on the road. My groom was waiting! 

Finally...the moment arrived! The chimes began signaling it was 6:00! I could not believe I was getting ready to become Mrs. Matt Jordan!

Our wedding was beautiful! It was exactly as I had dreamed! The wedding party was huge and full of those most precious to us! My bridesmaids dressed in stunning purple dresses and the men so dasher in their tuxes. But nothing compared to standing in the back of the church as I heard the bridal march begin, the doors opened, and there he was! My groom was standing at the altar, so handsome in his tux, smiling in anticipation with tears of joy in his eyes, and at that moment nothing else mattered. My dad escorted me down the aisle but I don't remember much of anything because my focus was on getting to Matt, saying, "I do", and beginning our lives together as one in Christ! Our family and friends surrounded us in love and it was an honor to have both of our childhood pastors unite us in marriage that day. Rev. Wall and Pastor Herchenhahn orchestrated a beautiful ceremony. We had my brother and sister-in-law and some dear friends sing during our ceremony and then as Pastor Herchenhahn announced us as husband and wife, my heart was full.  We sealed our vows with a kiss! The first kiss as husband and wife! In the presence of God, we turned to face our family and friends as we were officially announced, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Matthew Jordan. To God be the glory!

 "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."
Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

We made a covenant together before God that day and, still today, take that covenant very seriously. We've seen marriages crumble all around us. It is a stark reminder of the fallen world we live in and that none of us are immune to sinful and selfish desires. None of us! 

We know that our individual focus and attention has to be on Almighty God! It is only then that two people, who have their own selfish ways, can be totally committed to the covenant of marriage. Do we argue and fall short at times? Absolutely! Do we get on each other’s nerves and act selfishly? You bet! But you see, when we focus our attention on God, we are both looking in the same direction and God can unite our hearts in a way that only HE can. He can take these two selfish people and make something incredible out of them. God's design for marriage is beautiful and holy! Through the good times and the bad times it is a blessing to behold.  

I am truly honored to be united in holy matrimony with my best friend and love of my life. Many days I feel so unworthy of this incredible blessing. I am blessed that Matt chose me! I am blessed that God crossed our paths that hot summer day in Chick-fil-A! I am continually blessed that God allows us to live this gift of marriage everyday! Our vows were precious then and are still today.

What we vowed on February 8, 1992, we will continue as we honor each other and our God....to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part!

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Matthew 19:6 (NASB)

Join me tomorrow as we go from the wedding to "happily ever after"...

Friday, February 3, 2017

The BIG Question!!


So back to the story.....

My senior year in high school was such a momentous year in a lot of different ways. It was definitely a turning point in my life and a year I will always cherish. Matt and I had been seriously dating now for over eight months and as my senior year was beginning, Matt was completing his last few months at UNCW. We were madly in love and both of us knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. A week into my senior year, Matt and I celebrated the one year anniversary of our first date. Matt, with the help of his parents, made me a romantic candlelit dinner down in his family room. I wasn't feeling the greatest that night because I was getting over an illness but I did not want to miss our anniversary celebration. After our dinner, Matt wanted to serve me dessert but I politely declined because I wasn't feeling well. The look on his face showed that he was disappointed so I quickly changed my mind and told him I would love some of his dessert. As he came down the stairs with a tray of delicious looking cheesecake (my favorite!!), I also noticed a small black box intricately arranged between our desserts. Matt got down on his knee and with tears in his eyes expressed his love for me. He slipped that beautiful diamond ring on my finger and asked me to marry him! 💍

Marriage proposals today have become likened to a Hollywood premiere. I've seen my fair share of all mannner of proposals and, shew, they get pretty creative! Each one setting the bar pretty high for the next endearing fella popping the question. But that night, there was no grand setup with a photographer hiding to snap pictures or a flash mob waiting to step out and sing and dance to a love song. It was just a perfect proposal from the most amazing man who was pledging his love for me. It was full of love and romance just between us and our God. As stunned as I was, I immediately said, "yes", knowing that he was the one God had chosen or me! My heart was full and I couldn’t wait to spend my life with him!❤

We continued our celebration as his parents waited in their back bedroom for us to emerge with the news! Then we rushed to my house to share the news with my family. We were so excited and also very blessed that we had wonderful parents that understood our commitment to each other and supported us every step of the way. And, yes, Matt did ask my dad for my hand in marriage and had the blessing of both sets of our parents before asking me. What a wonderful time that was!

I'm not going to lie, going to school the next week as a 17-year-old senior and engaged to be married did not receive many warm fuzzies from my teachers. 😳 And, although my classmates were happy for me, they also did not think we would stay together till our wedding much less 25 years of marriage. Lol! I can’t blame them. Nothing about our situation screamed “happily ever after”. It wasn’t the “norm”. Nonetheless, we were happy and focused on getting our diplomas and THEN beginning our lives together. All things in their proper order! 😉

As I said before, my senior year was a turning point in my life. Not just because I was engaged to be married. But because God was doing a work in my life as He was molding and shaping me more into the woman He wanted me to be.  I was blessed to grow up at a Christian school where the Bible was not only taught but also urged to live out and prayer was openly practiced. I had decided not to cheer my senior year so I could really focus on my studies. Matt was such a good student whose study habits were rubbing off on me and I really wanted to finish high school with great grades. 

Though I had many teachers who had strong influences on my life, I had one particular teacher who impacted my life in such a tremendous way. Every morning I would enter Ms. Buick's Algebra class and she would spend the first few minutes in a time of devotion in God's Word and prayer. Times were scary as we were right in the midst of the Gulf War. So, being in the Word was the best place she could take her students first thing in the morning. Ms. Buick was bold in teaching the Word! She could really preach a sermon before we opened our books! Kind of made it easier to stomach Algebra! 😜
She didn't sugar coat things or water them down. She told it like it was! She shared with us that surrendering to God and walking in him was the ONLY way that we could live the abundant life that God had promised us in His Word. 

This one particular day I felt the Holy Spirit gripping my heart in such a way that I could not focus on a thing she taught that day. All I could do was pray that this class would hurry up and get over or I was going to bust. After class, I approached Ms. Buick with tears streaming down my face and asked to talk to her. She quickly took me into an unoccupied classroom and I shared with her that something wasn't quite right in my life. I had surrendered my life to Christ when I was six years old but something was off. As she shared with me through God's Word, I realized what I was missing was that intimate relationship with Christ. Yes, He was my Savior but I was too busy "serving" Him instead of really getting to know Him. I went to church every time the doors were open, I attended a Christian school, I worked in children's church, and I lived in a Christian home but I was taking for granted my personal relationship with Christ. My sins were forgiven and I was covered but I was missing out on really getting to know the heart of my Savior. Any relationship needs nurturing and getting to know each other, but I severely lacked in getting to know my Savior and that relationship was strained. Ms. Buick prayed with me that day and I remember her telling me that this day would be one that I would never forget, a day that would be a spiritual marker in my life. She was right! December 3, 1990, I recommitted my life to Christ and began a journey to know Him more. What a beautiful day!

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30

I could hardly wait for the dismissal bell to ring at school that day! I had to share this amazing news with the two most important people in my life, my mom and Matt! I drove to Chick-fil-A and explained my day to Matt and he rejoiced with me and committed that we would grow in Christ together. I cannot tell you what a blessing that was! Then I drove home and shared the news with my mom! She was already in tears as she sat watching old home movies of my granddaddy who had gone to be with Jesus just the year before. My mom hugged me tight and told me she was so proud of me. One of the greatest days of my life and I will never forget it!

That was the day my true love affair with Jesus really began! As my love for Matt continued to grow, so did our love for God. Our desire was to begin our lives as husband and wife and know Him more, love Him more, and serve Him more!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

“Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.”
Psalm 16:5 (HCSB)

Over the next year and a half, we were very busy! Matt graduated from UNCW, left Chick-fil-A and entered the “rat race”. I was finishing my senior year with the best grades I had ever had, was honored by being crowned the 1991 WCA Homecoming Queen, graduated from high school and began pursuing an accounting degree at Miller-Motte Business College. Through it all, we were planning our wedding. Wow! There was a lot going on! But the date was set and the countdown began to the day we would become husband and wife! Our engagement was precious as we went through our premarital counseling and began putting together the foundation that would become the Jordan home. Looking back now, that year before the wedding was a whirlwind of activity! 

But the day finally came! ❤

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”
Song of Solomon 6:3

To be continued....😉