Friday, July 16, 2010

registry=biggest blessing ever!

We finished registering this week! Yay! As I sit and write this blog, I laugh at my little moments of panic--"Ahh! The bedroom has to match the bathroom and that dictates the rest of the house, or does it?" "Do I love these dishes? Will I love them five years from now?" silly things...but overall, Jon and I really enjoyed it and had fun together.

What I love about blogging is this: as I sit and type, the Lord opens up my heart and eyes to even more...for instance, just now. A gift registry is a wish list. Jon and I are placing our lists before people and asking them to provide for us as we begin life together. We are beyond blessed to be loved so dearly by so many. Thank you, Lord. And thank you, you, who are reading this blog, and want to bless us.

We started at Bed, Bath & Beyond in College Station,

**Side note--I love my future husband and how he speaks to me. His words to me when I was almost to the point of stressing out about which shower curtain to choose: "I trust you. As the future caretaker of our home, I empower you to make this decision. I love everything you choose."--those three sentences are powerful.

Then we made it to Target, I love Target and have finally corrected the online registry so it no longer shows that we want q-tips or three vacuum cleaners. I'm not that much of a clean freak!

Then Jon gave me his blessing to continue registering without him at Henderson's Gift Gallery. I love the Gift Gallery. It was my favorite place to register. "Just pick whatever you like and set it on the table." Small towns are the best!

And we finished at Dillard's,

After I made sure we had registered for everything Real Simple said we needed, we were done. (Jon would appreciate my Beaver-ness.)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

senior year review

Some may compare this year of my (Allison's) life to a rollercoaster--extreme high to extreme low--but for me the whole idea of being on a rollercoaster is frightening. For me, riding a rollercoaster is my biggest fear. I'm serious! I've tried to conquer it but everytime I slide into the seat and pull down the bar (of which I always slip out of and have to crawl back under to get in my seat), I begin crying and praying and even got blisters once from digging my heels into the ride. So, no, I wouldn't compare my year to a rollercoaster.

I think I would describe it more like climbing a mountain...

Texas A&M graduate
dating Jon...Bub moved to CA
sweet community of festivities
move in to the Bonsai...great semester in ASC...trips to Lubbock/CO
great summer as a mama ruth at camp...forge family...DADDY DIED

My senior year at A&M was definitely an enjoyable uphill climb that PEAKED with the HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE (so far). It all started with another incredible summer at camp. The Lord shook me and my aspirations of becoming a doctor. What had been a life-long desire to practice medicine was instantly gone once I understood the power behind the word "Mom." I moved into the Bonsai (our home in College Station) with incredible girls who encouraged and challenged me with the sweet love of Jesus. Jon and I began dating and with Jon, came the company of the Forge. I was blessed to be the 23 1/2 member, if I may claim that title. I got to travel to Lubbock to meet my future family and then to Colorado to meet more family, so to speak...all of whom I fell in love with. Aggie Sisters for Christ was wonderful as I ended my term as president and enjoyed a final semester as a member with my sisters. Wedding festivities began for me and I also got to stand beside two of my greatest friends as they tied the knot. I graduated from college, which was a literal miracle, and the highlight of it all was that Jon and I got engaged--a dream come true.

Overall, life this year was sweet. Please ask me for details if you're interested because with every moment came extraordinary lessons.

As with every mountain, the uphill slope reaches a peak and then the downward slope begins ending in a VALLEY. It was difficult for me to tell my brother goodbye. We had never been apart for more than a year when he left for A&M but even then we saw each other regularly. This time he moved 1500 miles away and I was losing my protector and confidant and best friend. The Lord, however, gently encouraged me to begin finding these qualities in Jon as he was the man God had created for me in the very beginning. Pretty sweet. Thanks Lord. Hard? Yes, but good? Totally. (more details on that too if you want it!)

I would say I've been through many trials in life, but in every hardship, the Lord has been faithful to walk through the flames with me as He promised He would (Deut 31:6...he will never leave you nor forsake you).

I know God is good (Psalm 52:1...the goodness of God endureth continually) and I rest in His peace because I know that my God is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3...the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort).

Then Daddy died. In the middle of such an intimate time in our personal relationships with Jesus, my family loses our precious father, my mother loses her lover and best friend, my grandparents lose their son, my aunts lose their brother...Daddy died.

For those who do not know, Daddy battled cancer for seven years. He was given 6-12 months, so literally every day was precious and every new day was a gift. From the time he was diagnosed until the day he died, my family treasured every day. We grew so close. We made memories and left no word unspoken. We were so blessed by the Lord through cancer as funny as it is to say.

For seven years, the Lord has encouraged me to pray for Dad's perfect healing. I knew that could come in two ways: here on earth or perfectly in heaven. I waited and hoped and prayed for a miracle--for perfect healing while he was still on earth. I prayed even at his funeral--look at Lazarus! It could've happened. I know my God is big enough, but this was not his plan for my father.
It has been a month today (7/12). I am officially deep into the grieving process, but that in itself is another blog post, as this one is way too long already. This summer I am home--home with my mom and baby sister, and there is no place I'd rather be.
I guess this completes my year in review. I have been the both the happiest and the saddest I have ever been in life. Right now, though, I'll spend some time in this valley because I feel the Refiner's fire and want to come out of these flames, not broken, but stronger and with a much deeper faith than ever before.