Category Archives: Adventurers

But Mostly, for Help.

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Tonight i journaled for the first time in what feels like months. And it was with a rawness that has been avoided for even longer. I processed a hard conversation I had tonight and got embarrassingly ugly on the pages of my new, pretty, gold and white hard-covered journal.

My immediate thought after journalling tonight was regarding my Ugly. I wish we could decide on the degree of Ugly we wrestle with. I’m not talking about the Ugly we all love to hate and occasionally brag about; the crooked smile, being a clean-freak, being too loyal of a friend, etc.

Crooked smiles and cleaning habits are pretend uglies that we use to try to disguise our deeper issues. Either that, or they’re our lame attempts at small talk. There is Ugly in us that we don’t even want to admit in our own quiet thoughts. Jealousy, anger, incredible impatience, insecurities, comparison, a lack of care for the needy, etc. These are the Uglies that keep us up at night. Maybe I’m only one of a few, so I’ll speak for myself.

Tonight I let some of my Ugly come out as I processed this hard conversation. I’ve always feared admitting such deep Ugly, even inside a private journal because somehow I felt giving it shape would also give it breath to come alive and start taking over my every thought and word and sooner or later it would be some self-fulfilling prophesy that I unleashed. So, I’ve usually only penned the essence of it, never truly letting it out of its dark cage. It’s been more like holding vomit in my mouth, just waiting for the urge to subside until I decide to swallow it again, ignoring the fact that it will burn and rage internally, causing deeper sickness and destruction, prolonging the inevitable purge that comes before peace while attempting to convince myself I never had the vomit so close to the edge of my lips in the first place.

But tonight I thought about shining light on the dark Ugly. Holding it inside has only gotten me stuck and stressed and it tastes bad, so why not try the exact opposite. Before I could change my mind, I admitted all of it. Ugly thoughts, Ugly feelings, Ugly admissions and Ugly accusations. I felt incredibly raw and frighteningly vulnerable. Like, walking-down-a-dark-alley-yelling-loudly-to-scare-away-potential-threats-and-running-faster-than-I-thought-possible vulnerable. But I made it through unscathed. And not only did the honesty NOT give breath to this Ugly, it actually seemed to suffocate it.

I prayed it all out, really. I trust the God who says to cast all my cares upon Him. So casting I did. In my written prayer I yelled, I didn’t hold back the emotional cocktail of anger and sadness, of disappointment and surrender. I wept and I left nothing unsaid. I opened the vaults and went down the list of scary things I always thought were not okay to admit. I remembered the saying,

if you can’t say it out loud, it owns you.

I will not be owned anymore. I laid every bit of it at the feet of Jesus and asked for His wisdom. I asked hard questions. I voiced disappointments and fears, and I acknowledged his goodness, more as a declaration of faith, if I’m keeping things honest.

My brother has clung to the hope: Beauty for the Ugly. And tonight I am clinging to it as well. I asked God to show me the beauty for all this ugly. Asking, in part, to fuel my faith that there actually will be beauty in exchange. I asked for redemption and restoration. I asked for peace in the midst of chaos, confusion and brokenness. I asked for humility where I’m prideful. I asked for breakthrough, for promises, for joy, for triumph and mostly, for help.

So, tonight I lay bare. Slightly embarrassed of the Ugly I unleashed. It’s not the brag-worthy kind of ugly people love to hate about themselves. It’s a train-wreck-why haven’t-you-gone-to-counseling-yet Ugly. But, I’m very ready to sift through it all for the sake of Beauty. My heart feels a mixture of relief and anticipation. Relief for the freedom this admission has granted, knowing I am in trustworthy and productive, kind hands, and anticipation for God to respond.

He can handle my Ugly. He isn’t shocked by it, He isn’t surprised by it and He isn’t shaken by it. I am so thankful that I, too, am not shaken like I thought I’d be. Turns out, this rock on which I stand is very solid.

Cheers to unleashing the Ugly and not letting it own us. To the beauty and hope that lies ahead, and to all the crooked smiles and clean freaks.

-Bee

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matt. 11:28

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” 
Romans 8:26

“Cast your cares on on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

“He will give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” Isaiah 61:3

“Call to me and I will answer you, showing you great and mighty things which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

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A Public Display of Gush

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This was originally going to be a short instagram post, this public gush. However, in the days leading up to this November 16th, something was aching in my heart to take it to the blog. I can be louder here. More detailed. Something I feel is necessary today.

So as a pathetic intro, forgive me for my silence as of late; I understand its been quite some time. I do hope, however, that today will spark a new routine that includes this here forum. I sure have missed it.

You may remember our story (here) of our journey together. I love reminiscing in this way. It brings me back to the simplicity of things when life seems to tack on lots of complex nonsense to sift through. The last few days I’ve been lead into this simplicity again. I feel grounded more than before. More sure than before. More aware. That’s what simplicity and truth can do. They ground me. They blow away the muck and I see clearly again. I see not only what had once been seen and became blurry, although yes, that too. I see new things. The next layer deep. The layer that I couldn’t see before because I was busy seeing the previous layer. His timing is so perfect and He brings revelation from such a patient heart. I’m so grateful and humbled.

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This summer when we lived in LA, I distinctly remember an especially difficult day. Well, a bit of a backstory first: we were working alongside each other leading a school of foreign teenagers who had come for weeks at a time to study English and explore California. Long story short, it was a 24/7 gig.

So, this was a difficult day. I felt stretched thin and deflated. Oz and I had spoken and we both found some courage to give each other and made a game plan for the afternoon. I was walking down the hall away from him and onto my destination when clear as day my whole self felt what I had always longed to be true in my own life,

I wish I could go back to find him sooner so I could love him longer…

Except the quote in all of it’s order and execution didn’t come to me quite so clearly.

The longing did.

And don’t be thrown off…this isn’t the first time I felt love for my husband. Not in the slightest. Love seems to be a multifaceted Rubik’s cube of some sort that with each day you learn more how to navigate and experience. There are multiple surfaces to be lead into and explore.

I felt the ache that time together hadn’t started soon enough and my heart was and is full of so much love for him. Sometimes it feels like too much for only now and onwards. Perhaps borrowing from the past, placing our starting marker back a few years would suffice so I could unleash this love sooner and be in this bliss longer with the man who stole my heart in the most courageous way. I couldn’t muster up this quote in the moment, and my flustered state made me laugh. I thought, here it is! Here is what this feels like! And I can’t put my finger on it. It was deeply romantic and not romantic at the same time. Oz wasn’t even in the room anymore. No dim lighting, no candles, no bold heroic movement on my behalf. Except, maybe the latter.

When life is hard and people are mean it is the heroic thing to be present with each other. To know someone so deeply that you know exactly what they need to hear. You know exactly what to do. The kick in the pants, or the extra-long hug. You can read between the lines and call out the brave in each other. Call out the victory and triumph. Even if you can’t fix it or you don’t know how, the effort of holding up each others arms calms many storms. In moments like this one, on that difficult day, I felt our hearts align as one. Functioning together as two individuals who chose to submit to something greater than themselves. To walk together as a unit through it all. This is an inspiring dynamic.

I realize more and more with each married day how incredible it is to live life together. Although we are not perfect at it, we are getting better at being there for each other. And may I remind us all that it has never been just the two of us. Lord knows I’m blind as a bat sometimes with seeing what my husband needs or understanding what he’s really trying to say. Neither of us are mind-readers and we both have thrown our own emotions as darts at the most inappropriate times. Without the humility to go before our Father and pray for wisdom in our marriage, for discernment as we handle each other with care, or being honest enough to go to trusted people in our community when we need a third party to sort through something messy, we would be nowhere near where we are today.

In the midst of my stress and the chaos and fear of our work lives that day, I laughed with relief and joy and resolve that love is much bigger than our circumstances and even our selves. I’d rather go through life as a warrior with this man by my side than to sit in the lap of luxury, ignorant to the beauty that courageous and bold love brings. This love changes us. It transforms us. It gives us a beautiful picture of our Father and how big His love is for us. If I can desire for time to stretch in both directions, forward and backward, simply to love my husband longer and make him mine sooner, how much more is His longing toward us? Afterall, He IS love. And he displayed the greatest of loves when he humbly laid down his life for us. All for the non-complicated fact that He is wanting to spend life together, with us. How much deeper is joy when in we are in alignment with the heart of our Savior. The one who knows us and first loved us. Even when we kicked and screamed and doubted his authenticity. His bravery astounds me and inspires me. He painted us a very clear and simple picture of what love is.

It is with this picture of love, coupled with my own heart’s journey with my husband, that I reminisce on November 16th. Our fifth anniversary of being a thing. We weren’t yet Oz & Bee when we went to breakfast that Monday morning. We were two individuals with a hope of becoming something amazing. There was so much mystery ahead of us. We were a mystery to each other. What’s cool is that there is still mystery. Our first handful of years together isn’t going to look like the next handful. But we are going to enter into it as different people. We’ve got a few tools on our belt now. We have a rhythm together. Still shaky at times, but its there.

In all honesty, I don’t think I need the years we didn’t have together. We weren’t ready yet. We were being primed for a great adventure neither of us knew how to dream about. And although at times I wish I knew then what I know now, I don’t wish that upon me today. I like not having all the answers. I am enjoying learning as we go. I enjoy being present.

And I know I said I’d rather be a warrior than have luxury, but Lord knows I’d never turn down a chance to lounge poolside with a white robe and a cocktail. I could also be very present in that moment. Happily.

Happy High-five years to the making of Oz & Bee. Although November 16th is not our wedding anniversary, I still celebrate it as the incredible first day to the rest of our lives.

You are my favorite human, Oz.

I love you in all of time’s directions,

Bee, your wife.

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A wedding in the summer

Love like there is no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.  -Max Lucado


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I just can’t get over the beautiful photos of Jenny and Dave on their wedding day.

 

They were married at Rancho Guajome Adobe Park in Southern California; the same place Oz and I had our wedding. It was so much fun being back there, reminiscing over our own special day. Now it’s their turn. Its a day of calm and nerves all wrapped in one emotion. It’s a day to say goodbye to singlehood and hello to a forever of us. Jenny and Dave are a we now.  I could not be more thrilled for them. Diving into the mysterious and thrilling union of marriage is something quite adventurous.  The depth of what you discover is immeasurable; you discover things about yourself, your spouse, God, love, selfishness, servanthood, family, patience, preference, honor, respect, tidiness, the good, the bad, the ugly and the absolutely beautiful. Never a dull moment and always something to learn.  They are simply gorgeous…inside and out.

Marriage is looking mighty fine on them so far.

Enjoy the photos here and leave a little note for the handsome photographer while you’re there 😉  Here’s a few teasers and some of my favorites.

 

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All photos and editing done by the amazing Aussch Photos.

For contact information, visit his site (link above).

Love always,

Bee

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I used a Word document instead.

 

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I love to write. I know I can’t be the only one who discovers how I actually feel only after reading what I write. I pour out my messy heart to my journal or my, in this case, Word document. Then I read it. Then I hear myself. Then I understand a little bit more whats been making all that racket inside. I don’t start with it all figured out. But I don’t finish with it figured out either. But I do, in the process figure something out. Even if its how to get some relief. Writing is a kind of unique balm that soothes wounds until they can get some proper attention. It even helps show me where the proper attention should come from. It helps me make sense of my mess. It helps me understand how to label my emotions instead of letting them run wild, nameless and unguided. And I can’t say I’m alone in my writing. It’s always been the clearest way I’ve heard God speak to me. I think that’s why I adore keeping journals. Its like a getaway with me and God.

Writing is also a place where I can be brave. I’m learning to be brave, really. I’m not fully there yet. Here’s some background on that…

I used to keep negative things out of my journal and go straight to the hope and a prayer. If I was blaming anyone in my journaling it was probably myself. But even then, I knew that how I was seeing myself in that low moment was not in alignment with the perfect love my God had and still has for me and that my identity was in Him and not in my mistakes and falling short. So self-hatred never had a chance to shine for too long before my Defender came to my rescue and reminded me who I was and even still, who I am. This fear of writing negativity down didn’t come from a fear you may assume…I didn’t fear that someone would find the gossip between my pages and me, read it and be offended or mad at me…I feared that if I let a negative comment be confessed even in the privacy of my locked pages, that I would start to believe it and give a nasty life and power to its existence. And existence that I allowed. Lies are woven in and out of negativity. Lies about people’s worth, about their strengths and gifts.  Lies about their own hurt and their motives behind their actions that cause me pain. Those are lies I am not willing to believe. About myself or others I do life with. At least, I try not to believe. Sometimes I am deceived.

I have known the power of the tongue since a young age. I have clung tightly to writing kindness and truth and declaring God’s promises that are true instead of hashing out gossip and hatred in my secret written confessions. I’ve not done this perfectly, but since I was young I have been convicted to be cautious with what I write down. I have certainly spoken negatively about others….I will be the first to plead guilty of not thinking before I speak and hurting others in the process. But to me, as irrational as it may seem, there has been something more forever about documenting harshness in a journal. It seems more decided. Like an engraving on a stone. I don’t want to record any kind of bashing of another person whom I should be uplifting and praying for. What if archeologists find my journal hundreds of years from now and all I offer them about the identity of so-and-so is how they always failed me and were incompetent and immature and mean or ________?? I see the double-standard here. I see the inconsistency. Writing vs. Speaking…whats the difference. really? I still don’t have it figured out.

But about bravery. I see that in my habit of not writing negatively, I’ve confused it with not writing honestly. And when I don’t write honestly, I don’t get better. And I want to get better at handling hardship and struggle. I’m talking about the hard stuff. Not just the hard stuff within myself, but with others. I am starting to confess the emotions I’ve always been scared to admit in fear that I’d become some kind of anger-monster that only survives off of entitlement and bitterness. But the ironic thing is that I still have the negative things in my head and they have been eating me alive! They are still working to destroy me. I’m still somehow feeding them and they are growing. They’ve gatta go.

I’ve started to be more raw and real in my writing. They outcome is odd. I don’t always feel better about it; whatever the it is at the time. But I do feel like I take steps forward. I start realizing which aches are from which hurts and the pride I have inside wreaking chaos. And in writing honestly about the hurts caused by other people, I’m challenged with loving them in spite of their behavior…I’m confronted with loving them in the midst of their own chaos and it’s manifestations. Yikes. That gets hard. This is my starting point to healing and to abundant relationships. It’s my starting point to understanding more deeply how the Love of the Father stretched out to me when I too was guilty and offensive and in great need of grace. I need grace everyday. I need to realize these things in order to get better. In order to really love someone else from the purest, healthiest place I can. Being brave and admitting the ugly stuff is hard sometimes. I have to submit my emotions to my God and allow Him to discipline me to not dive into a rant-session, but to surrender my aches and frustrations so I don’t have to be weighed down by them anymore. It’s a fine line in journaling between being upset about something and still move towards health and crushing somebody for their responsibility or involvement in an offense which would be a big step backwards. Crushing people is never a step forward. For anyone.

In all of this I am finding more and more that I am in desperate need of my Jesus. He proves himself faithful again and again and again and again and dares me to draw nearer. I can’t figure out life in the big or the small without his guidance and patience and kindness that pulls me into a safe place; without His mighty love that turns my ashes into beauty and my defeated heart into a something strong and courageous. And whole.

 

Perhaps this post is just as messy as my at times nameless and unguided emotions, but perhaps that’s the appropriate layout.

Messy.

  Austin&Britnie-81{{photos via}}

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28, NIV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” -James 1:2-5, NIV

bee

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Flashback F r i d a y

We have been home for 8 months. C h i n a still feels like yesterday, but at the same time feels like a dream from years ago. In honor of Flashback Friday, here are some snaps from our last days in the beautiful country.

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We had a sweet lunch with these two beauties. It was a bitter-sweet meal knowing that it was our last one together.

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Duo Duo. This silly girl brought us so much laughter. She was a sweet blessing to adopt for the summer. She still has a piece of our hearts. ❤

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All packed and ready to train to Beijing. This is the last shot I took of Oz in our room.

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The overnight train was something like 12 hours. I was so happy to have gotten the bottom bunk this time…those beds stack three high!

IMG_2005Our last meal in Beijing with our buddy. This dish is T H E best food in the whole world. My mouth is literally watering right now.

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Travel in China just wouldn’t be complete without a little mafan. Oz’s bag was “randomly selected” to be searched. Later we were told it had something suspicious in it. There was nothing random about their selection. This is Oz’s expression in response to the love/hate relationship with mafan. [[suspicious item? the camera tripod.]]

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At our gate! Ready to fly to Japan! Behind me is the vending machine full of water and beer. Something we knew we would not be seeing in the States any time soon.

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Our bird. We sat in the wing seats and tried to realize that this was it. Homeward bound. That was a weird day. Lots of excitement to look forward to. Lots of sorrow of leaving our home we grew to love and belong to. Here‘s a flashback to before we left and one here for the first update being home. I can’t begin to tell you how much is still hidden in between the two.

On this flashback Friday I’m grateful for our many memories and thousands of pictures from three months in China. Perhaps I’m ready to start unloading the stories I’ve been keeping in my treasure box. There are so many gems to unpack. Even though its a bit daunting of a task, I feel so honored to have the gems in the first place. We have a lifetime of stories and experiences that I will cherish over and over and over again. It would be wrong to keep them locked away. Hmm…time to figure out where to start?!

Grateful,

Bee

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Sneaking up on the Desert at night

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Oz and I are really close. So, when we realized a year (ish) ago that our only tent was a “two-person” tent (how small do they think people are?) we didn’t mind having to shimmy into our tent feet first and spooning all night. We aren’t large people, so the tight space had always provided a cozy sleeping environment. However, this size tent wasn’t as practical for two people going camping as other tents would have been. My parents knew of our cocoon-home and last Christmas gifted us with a beautiful four-person tent with windows and everything! Deluxe!

All that to say, last weekend was our first excuse to use our new mansion and my did we enjoy it. It was glorious to have the option of standing, to walk a few paces if we so desired and to have enough room to change without being horizontal! My favorite feature? The mesh ceiling. It allowed me this experience:

This by far was my favorite part. In the middle of the night the desert chill interrupted my sleep and I couldn’t settle back into warmth, even with my bear of a husband next to me. With no sounds around me besides nature’s whisper of a breeze and the trees cracking in their own slumber, I suddenly felt so aware of the stillness around me. I bravely opened my eyes, risking not being able to fall asleep again and was taken aback by the sight. Looking straight up into the night, the stars were my mobile and I was a child mesmerized and captured by their endless glow and patient movement. Take this in, Bee. Breathe. I closed my eyes to feel my body experiencing this moment. I was so aware. The snaps of the tent walls being pushed by the wind, the dry air poking my tired yet grateful eyes and cheeks, icing my nose, the absence of voices that had muffled this beauty. The beauty of being there, being still, being an audience of the desert in the seat of each of my senses. This is when the desert is awakens. So uninterrupted by visitors and sounds. I opened my eyes one last time to see how far the Big Dipper had moved. How far I had moved. Its a new moment. I breathe in deep the cold air. It is drenched with the scent of earth; dirt and Jojoba leaves, but this is clean and fresh. I drew my head under the thin blankets and tried to find sleep again. I was rid of the bitter cold and the tense muscles that fought it. I was calm and giddy to rediscover slumber, this time with the inspiration of the desert night ready to invade my dreams.

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With enough consumption of hot dogs, whiskey’n’coke, and vegan franks to last me till next time, thank you J-Tree for showing us a good time.

Love always,

Bee

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When being wrong is better

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I thought today was Thursday instead of Wednesday. Literally all day. I based my decisions off of the “fact” that it was Thursday and yesterday was Wednesday and tomorrow is Friday. But this worked out in my favor, HA! Now, I am well-prepared for Friday’s events AND I still have Real Thursday to finish what I couldn’t finish in Fake Thursday! Bonus!

Today {Wednesday}, I picked up Oz from work early because he has been feeling sick the past couple of days. Sick enough to feel like he can’t teach his class. This is not the norm. The flu is double-gnarly this season so when he said he felt achy I cancelled my afternoon agenda, headed straight for the store and stocked up on anything fresh, filled with vitamin C, green, red and orange, along with some ginger, meds and Airborne. No flu for this house, nuh-uh!

Something I’m learning in all of this? I love taking care of my husband. Not just because it feels good to take care of someone else, its deeper than that. There has been something in me today that has a drive to care for him and tend to his needs. I’ve been working in a gear I didn’t know I had access to. There has been a new layer of thinking to plan out what he needs tomorrow, to think to draw him a bath filled with Epsom salt, to watch what he eats, to remember when I last gave him his cold & flu pills, his airborne, to make sure he doesn’t take his NyQuil to late. And I am not exhausted from it.

I am energized and refreshed. And no, my husband is not incapable of taking care of himself. And I know I’m not the controlling type to have to do everything for him…trust me. No, today I sensed the grace of God to give me a compassion beyond my depths and ability to nurture my husband in the way he needed me today. Beyond my natural selfish ways, something clicked in me and my goal was to be available to him and go out of my way, although it was no inconvenience, to love him.  Now, my heart is full. Not as in a pat on my own back, but in the giving today, I received the blessing. I got to invest in his life in the unique way it called for today. It was also the grace of God that allowed Oz to receive it. And because of that, there has been a great, intimate and fulfilling exchange. Sometimes its hard to receive help, or care from people. But really that’s just our pride. It’s also our pride that keeps us from sacrificing for others. But we miss out. Pride cheats us of blessing. From intimacy. Relationship. Experience**. It is a stagnant and stinky place to be.

Today I thought about what it must be like to care for my children one day. How much more they need to be nurtured… And although I won’t understand the exhaustion that I hear comes with motherhood until I myself am there, I bet that same motivation and without-question kind of response to care for them will kick in by the grace of God.

Today is a great day to appreciate my husband. Without him and without our marriage, albeit difficult at times, I would definitely be missing out on some amazing revelations and blessings. God is amazing the way he works in all things. He is ever-present and always active in our lives. I suppose this post is my way of pausing to recognize Him and the sweet way he weaves through my daily little happenings in quite profound ways. His love is great, mighty and unfathomably deep.

I am so grateful for where we are in life. It is nowhere near perfect, but that is not our goal. We are where He wants us to be and He is with us. In Him there is peace, refuge and rest.

Heres to another day, my second Thursday. May it be as lively and satisfying as the first.

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Zulu.

*Oz wasn’t smoking while sick…that would be a giant no-no. Nor was I knitting tonight…although that would be acceptable. Both photos were taken at an earlier time.

**Please check out Beth Moore’s poem My Name is Pride, It has been ministering to me for years. Here is a link for you to read it for yourself.

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Tee Gee Eye Eff

Cheers to the weekend! Oz just left to his parents house to make something quite amazing for our still-bare apartment! I am so thrilled to have the new piece in our living room by next week! Pictures to come…I hear they are worth a thousand words.

This weekend we are going to celebrate two dear friends at their wedding! I love, love, love weddings. And thankfully, being a quarter of a century in age means we get to attend lots of weddings. I mean, a lot.

I’ve been getting more work lately which is such a blessing! I love working as an American Sign Language interpreter and its a bonus that I get to work with kids! Two of my greatest passions all in one job. However, today is a day off and I’ve been quite slow with getting out the door. It’s half passed three and I’m almost ready to “start” my errands. As I leave, I’m keeping the following in mind to remember what is actually important.

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I am trying to cultivate a mindset that keeps things simple. I tend to over-analyze, over-think, over-decorate, save, store and hoard things I don’t need, haven’t used and won’t used. This week I am working on my closet. Having just moved, we see how much stuff we have. Clothes, shoes, bags, doilies (i know, odd…), rugs, art supplies, chotskies & other trinkets, picture frames, etc. I could honestly go on.

And on.

And on.

And on.

But by simplifying our belongings it really cleans out our thoughts and frees us from whatever hold those extras had on us, however they had it. And with all that clutter gone, my heart breathes again and I see again the many many many blessings Oz and I have in our sweet life. There is room again to appreciate the amazing gifts from our Father instead of be consumed with the unnecessary and not actually beneficial add-ons that at some point I thought I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) live without.

So here’s to an amazing weekend, glorious in all its simplicity.

 

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Excited & Blessed

Happy 2013! I love celebrating the new year. Especially the last 2…This year has already proved to be an incredible one. There is just a sense in the air that this is a good year. Lots of favor, blessing, joy and peace. There is a happy rest in my heart. One that I have been longing for for some time now. There is already a fresh squeeze of creativity and motivation to dive into projects, independently and collectively with Oz and friends. I am beyond excited for this year. Beyond. We are settling into our new apartment in the community that we adore. What a sweet gift to live next to great friends.

Here’s how we closed out twenty-twelve:

Oz & Movember met again. However, they stay together pretty much all year long. And I support it.

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We kissed at a friends wedding:

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He finally got his tattoo that goes with mine. One year-ish later.  And best part, my brother got to do the honors. This all went down in this fabulous shop.

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My first Black Friday experience with these gems:

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Sunday Fundays with #ghlg:

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Seaport Village is always stocked with beautiful views, sunsets, people watching and great chai lattes from Upstart Crow

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Christmas sailing with my family!

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Seems San Diego’s great weather is also her greatest fault…no wind in our sails. However it was quite a great day. And we all counted our blessings that we could be together out on the water for Christmas.

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Oz serenading us with some Yann Tiersen on Christmas Eve:IMG_2155

Our New years and 2 years at midnight!

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Oz and I have a goal for this year (well, we have a few goals for this year, but I’m not talking about those right now). Each month we want to venture out as local tourists in southern California. I hope to document our local travels so if you one day find your self in this sunny corner of the country, you get some good ideas of where to go and what to do. This year is going to be such a blast. I will say it again and again. I am greatly looking forward to it and am ready to embrace each season and everyday.

Excited & blessed,

Zulu

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1, 2, 3…

Today is November 16th, 2012.
Three years and two days ago Oz and I went to a mutual friends celebration of one year sober. A glorious and worthy celebration it was. That night Oz and I finally had the chance after a handful of years of just missing each other to actually sit down and talk.

catch up.

reminisce.

learn.

chat.

laugh.

You see, we first met when we were 17. Don’t ask us how…neither of us can actually remember our first exchange.

he liked me.

I liked a boy. A different boy.

Or so that’s what I told him.

(I know…I’m such a brat!)

Graduate.

College.

Me, New Zealand.

Me,Home.

Him, China.

Him, Home

My boyfriend.

My Break-up.

His girlfriend.

No break-up.

My boyfriend.

See what I mean? Just barely missing each other.

His break-up.

My break-up.

Finally…both single. both 22. five years of quick email chats and updates, but nothing more. Until November 14th, 2009.

We came back into the house after playing ukulele on the porch with a couple other people. He was the only person, besides the gal we were there to celebrate, that I actually knew. I made myself look busy at the food table as he effortlessly made small talk with two older British women. I thought to myself, Man, he has really grown into a great guy. I’m glad we’re friends again.

It was cold that night. Peacoat weather. But it was toasty inside. Hence his next move. He -without breaking the flow of conversation with his two new friends – takes off his Peacoat and hangs it on the chair just inches away from me.

That. Exact. Moment.

It was like a veil was lifted and 5 years of acquaintanceship suddenly was this overwhelming gush of feelings. Gushy, heart-throbbing feelings.

Holy crap! It was my mission in life the rest of the night to not make an absolute fool out of myself by accidentally flirting with him. Play. It. Cool. I seemed to hide it well though because I later found out Oz didn’t know I liked him for a while. Too well, Bee…too well.

The next morning I spilled to my mom the story of my surprise and unexpected feelings for “the guy from high school…remember? He’s the one who really likes China…”

Just as we were talking I get a text from said boy. After giddy and witty exchanges and me having paced every square foot of my living room it was set.

“So, Monday it is then. Let’s do Swami’s at 9.”

“Rad, sounds great! See you then!”

We were going to on a breakfast date. Well, wait…does he think this is a date? Does he think I don’t think it’s a date? Is he just wanting to catch up still with “his good’ol friend”? Okay, okay. calm down. It’s fine.

November 16th, 2009. Breakfast at Swami’s.

He paid. For his. I paid. For mine. 

I take the blame for that one. I didn’t want him to think I assumed this was a date if he didn’t want it to be a date – how awkward would that be?! So, I offered a ten to cover my food. Come to find out, when I offered the money, he thought that meant I wanted to make sure he knew this wasn’t a date, but he wanted it to be a date. He thought it was a date. I thought it was a date. Until I didn’t think it was a date. That’s when I paid for myself.

We then moved over to his ’89 pick-up truck to jam on the ukuleles. This moment set our dating soundtrack in stone. The sounds of Beirut, Jake Shimabukuro, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s and Sigur Ros will forever bring me back to our adventures in early love.

The rest is history. We could hardly stand going a day without seeing each other. And we rarely did. I’m sure our family and friends thought we were so pathetic, but we didn’t care. I had never ever felt such deep love for someone until Oz. After 8 months of togetherness, hiking adventures, banana creme pie eating, movie watching, sunrises and sunsets, beach picnics and trespassing, monthiversary breakfast dates and music playing, he asked me to join him in the craziest adventure we’ve ever embarked on : Marriage.

The next season of engagement of five and a half months was quite the roller coaster. And now, 1 year, 10 months and 15 days into our marriage, we are still adventuring and growing and learning what it truly means to commit and promise, love and cherish and enjoy and edify and honor and respect and support and relax and embrace each other in every season we enter. We are daily in need of our Father’s grace for ourselves and for each other. Who isn’t?

We have had a diverse, lively and unpredictable 3 years. This morning it really settled in that we have the rest of our lives together to figure this thing out and I found such peace in that. We’re just beginning on this journey. It’s still fresh and new and mysterious.

May we continue to surrender our will and mind and hearts to J-sus so that He can continue to shape us into the absolute best for Him, for each other, for our family and everyone else we share life with.

Today we celebrate three years together. Here’s to three more. (and then some…)

There were hardly times when we’d venture out somewhere, anywhere without at least one uke.

With all of our friends getting married, we always had fancy dates planned 🙂

Dating at weddings…

Austin spent 6 weeks in Shanghai getting TEFL certified…upon his return he asked me one mighty big question…

I said yes!!

He saw me for the first time and wept…

We were overjoyed…

Humbled and blessed.

First dance to Devendra Banhart’s “Baby”

H o n e y m o o n i n g up the Californian coast!

Our first cooked meal in our new abode.

Our real honeymoon to Spain and Portugal.

Celebrating birthdays and facial hair.

Our amazing trip to Haiti with with our church.

The Golden hour in our sweet abode.

Luke & Kate work wonders with the camera Check out He and She !

{{all wedding ceremony photography was done by our amazing friends Willy & Meghan}}

Thanks for reading and celebrating with us. We hope your adventures in love also bring you to a place of gratitude, humility, grace and joy. Cheers to Love!

XO – Bee

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