Monday, May 17, 2010

Two Sweet Years

I married my best friend two short years ago today. I cannot believe how fast it has flown by! It feels like yesterday that we were just engaged and planning the whole wedding! And yet, here we are… two years later.

I would love to say it that everyday has been the best, but as most of you know, it has been a stressful two years. Nathan has been through two of the hardest years of school that you can imagine! There has hardly been a moment in two years that Nathan has felt comfortable just relaxing. In the back of his mind, he is constantly thinking of what he should be studying or what schoolwork he should be doing. During these two years, I have been the financial provider of our family. Knowing that all of our financial needs rest on my shoulders has not been very fun for me (especially on a teacher’s salary! Haha!) I have also completely changed career paths and have changed jobs (will be) three times in two and a half years. We have lived in Hernando, Flowood (right outside of Jackson), and are about to move to Memphis. Three places in two years… STRESS!!!

The bright side to all of this is that I got to spend two very stressful years of my life with the best person I know. And I wouldn't change a thing!

I could write a book on reasons why I love my husband, and I still couldn’t express how I truly feel. To start though…

  • He is the most loving person I know. How easy is it to love someone that you know fully and completely loves you back!
  • He is quick to forgive--and I am daily thankful for that.
  • He is slow to anger- most of the time J
  • He does not hold records of alllll my wrongs--Praise the Lord!
  • And he is so very kind--he makes my lunch EVERYDAY before he goes to bed so I will not have to rush and do it in the morning. He takes Bella out 90% of the time. I have never-ever taken the trash out in two years. He still opens my car door. He always packs up the car on the weekends we go home without making me carry a thing. And after a grocery trip- all he asks of me is that I get the door for him while he carries up all the groceries and makes many trips back to the car (he insists on this- even though I am more than willing to help). Most days, he has my snack ready and waiting for me when I walk in the door from work (washed and cut up celery and a small bowl of Ranch). He does the dishes probably more than me. He has listened to me daily complain about hardships at work, and he has been extremely supportive of me this year. I could seriously go on and on and on with all the sweet things he does for me. I will stop here though. J
  • His love is not self-seeking--out of everything he does for me, he never asks for anything in return--which makes me fully enjoy doing things for him!
  • Most importantly, he follows after God’s heart and God’s desires for our family. Before I married, someone (whose opinion I greatly value) told me to marry the man that is the protector of my soul. Without a doubt, Nathan is that man! Every morning, he is on the couch, reading his Bible and praying for me. I know this because I see him and he has shown me a paper with the specific prayers he prays for me everyday. That is just dear to my heart. I have a man who loves me but loves God first and foremost and trusts me to Him.
  • Also, I think he is just adorable! AND… he makes me laugh. He is so so so funny! There is hardly a serious moment in our household! I love the fun he brings to our little family.
  • Last one for today…. He adores Bella. He is so good with her. I know dogs cannot compare to people, but I do get a small glimpse of how wonderful he will be with our kids someday. If he is that crazy over a dog- he will amazing with our real babies J

Even though parts of these two years have been stressful, that is not to say they haven’t been wonderful. Every day I have spent with Nathan has been better than any day I have ever spent without him. I always say, the room is better when he is in it. Always.

Over the past two years, our relationship has become stronger and our faith and trust in the Lord has grown so much. And as stressful as it has been, being with Nathan has just been fun!

Thank you Lord for blessing our marriage and bringing me a life partner perfectly matched for me!

Happy Anniversary Love!!!

I love my wedding pictures... can you tell? :)

This picture is from our weekend trip to a BnB in Natchez for our anniversary

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moses and Mommyhood

As I write this blog, I am sitting on my couch and relaxing after a wonderful Mother's Day. I woke up to yummy breakfast, a bracelet, and cards from my sweet husband and two beautiful daughters. Then I went to church and followed that with the best brunch ever...celebrating with my awesome mom and dad. I am now simply enjoying the solitude (Patrick is at the grocery store for me because it would just be wrong to have to go on Mother's Day) and reflecting on the joys of motherhood.

This past week, Lily and I were talking and reading about Moses. We were standing over the "river" (our bathtub), with our homemade baby basket, acting out the scene. Lily was Miriam, Hello Kitty played Moses, and I was Jochebed (the mom). I started to read the scripture to her, and all of the sudden, I was literally so overcome with emotion that I had to stop. I have probably heard and read the story of Moses a hundred times, but there was something about reading it there with my sweet daughter and looking at it through the eyes of a mom that moved me in a way it never has before. I kept thinking about Moses' mommy. I don't think there is a bond more instant and intense on this Earth than when a mom embraces her baby for the first time. And here was this baby she loved more than she probably ever imagined she could, and his little life was in mortal danger. She knew she had to act to save him. Her faith in the Lord to care for her precious child is amazing. She put that baby in a the river. I don't know about you, but the thought of that gives me a slight heart attack. And then she had to sit and listen to him cry...all the while trusting in the Lord to care for him. I've never had to put my children in any situation that even comes close to that, but how often do I fail to completely trust God with their lives!

The most touching part of the story is what happens next. Pharaoh's daughter hears the cries of this baby and "draws him out of the water"-(hence, "Moses"). I think if the story ended there...with Moses being saved by the very family that wanted him dead...then we would have reason enough to be amazed by the sovereignty of God. I mean, a Hebrew baby growing up in an Egyptian palace...and then eventually leading God's people out of their captivity. Wow. But God demonstrated his loving-kindness and graciousness yet again. Pharaoh's daughter needed someone to nurse and care for the baby. And who does she get? Moses' mommy. I know you all know the story, so I'm sorry for the recap. But I just love it!! Exodus 2:9 says "And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So Jochebed completely trusted God to save her son and He did! But He went a step further and basically gave her baby back to her for a time. How tenderly and completely our Father loves us! I sat in the bathroom trying to explain this to Lily...barely able to stop crying to get my words out. He knew that mommy's heart. And He granted her the desire of her heart. Her baby lived, and she had the privilege of caring for him. God used Moses in mighty ways, but before Moses followed God, his mom did.

By the way, did you catch that she was PAID for this?? You almost have to laugh at that. Only God!! I love it!! If I got paid to nurse my babies, I would be one rich woman.

This Mother's Day, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for choosing me to be Lily and Evie's mom. When I think about the story of Moses, I am reminded of the goodness of our Father and how He loves us. He could've chosen any way He wanted to populate the Earth, but He chose the unique way of a mom and dad. He is the one who created motherhood. He is the one who gives us the love we have for our children. And I am so very thankful for it. I am thankful to be a chosen child of God. I am thankful that He chose me to bring two little lives into the world-two lives that I pray will love Him and trust Him completely. I am thankful that He gave me a perfect partner to share my life and raise our children. And last but not least, I am thankful for my own mom. I don't know where I would be without her love, guidance, prayers, support, and sacrifice. I am thankful for the first glimpse as a child of what God's unfailing love for me looks like through the unconditional love of my mom. Happy Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

When the bee stings...

Favorite Things, part 2! Like Corrie mentioned, reading about people's favorite things is the best. I love to know what people like, and I hope you will enjoy seeing some of the things I love. We have had so much fun writing these two posts, I feel certain there will be more favorites to come! In fact, I am already making another "oh my word, I just love this ______" list now! I just have too many to put all in one blog post! They are my Life's Little Pleasures- and I do mean little pleasures.

On to my list...
Like Corrie, I love coffee. But, I have a new love. Hot tea. When we were younger, my mom would often host tea parties for Corrie and me, so I have fond memories of the taste of hot tea. This fall at The Merry Marketplace, we stumbled across this precious tea themed booth. All those sweet memories came back. To my excitement, mom gave Corrie and me one of these cute little Japanese teapots with an infuser inside. We also got the Pomegranate flavored black (loose) tea... YUM! And I bought Georgia Sunshine (a peach tea) that I love as well. I hardly go a day without my tea fix. It is so relaxing. You can find these products here.

My mom recently bought me a happy that I love. It is a crossbody purse. I call it my shopping purse, and it is perfect for such an occasion! The zipper part in the front is a built-in wallet! It holds my sunglasses, phone, and lip gloss. Don't get me wrong, I still love my big purses, but they are too big when I'm out-and-about going in and out of stores, etc..
If you are not sleeping under a duvet, you are missing out. I feel like I am snuggled up to clouds every night. It is insanely comfortable, warm (but not hot), and wonderful. Our comforter would always fall off the bed -but not this one! I highly recommend it.
I wear my Pandora bracelet everyday. I wanted one for so long (long before they were popular), and I finally got one! Two Christmases ago, my parents got me the bracelet and my family has helped fill it up. It is still a work in progress, but it is close! Every charm means something significant to me (tells a story in a sense), and even though there are cheaper imitations out there now, I still love it. It is still authentically Pandora, and I can picture my granddaughter wearing it someday.
I could not live without my steamer. I have even named him, as he is now a special part of the Rucker family, Stan. Stan the Steamer. What did I do with my life before I had a steamer? How did I get the wrinkles out of clothes that cannot be ironed? How often did I iron? I despise ironing. Now, the only thing I ever iron are khakis pants (and those are rarely worn for the very fact that I have to iron them). My steamer is a Conair. It is light-weight, and it folds down small for easy storing.
So now you know a few of my favorite things that I would not like to live without. Continue to share yours and stay tuned for more of our favorite things!