Friday, April 25, 2014

A true story {continued}

Remember that 'girl from WA' and 'boy from ID'? I wrote about it here >>> A True Story.



On April 19th, it was our 1 year anniversary of meeting! I knew Garrett had a gift for me that was coming that day, but didn't know what. As the day progressed and I didn't receive my 'mysterious gift' in the mail or otherwise, I began to wonder what could it be?!

My family wanted to take a walk around the neighborhood to get a little fresh air and exercise. Honestly, I didn't want to go. I was feeling tired and didn't want to do much. They insisted that I come and said I would feel better after I took a walk and got some fresh air. I gave in to their request and as we started walking they said, "Hey, maybe your gift will be waiting when we get back!" This made me excited to finish the walk, in hopes I would FINALLY know what that 'mysterious gift' was! 

Halfway through our walk, Kali wanted to stop by a little park on the way to take a few pictures. As we were walking down the trail, I saw someone in the bushes heading towards me with a huge smile on his face!! I ran towards my man and gave him a big hug! I couldn't believe he was here! I thought he had to work that day, but apparently not ;)

He then proceeded to get down on one knee! At that point, I knew what was coming next and couldn't believe it was finally happening! Of course, I started crying...

"I love you, Maggie. Will you marry me?!"

To which I replied...."YES!" He let out a "WOOHOO!" and threw the ring box backwards! Haha

We are so, so happy to be engaged and are looking forward to being Mr. and Mrs. Johnson!!

Btw, a late summer wedding is being planned :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

So blessed

Hello? Anyone there?! I realize I haven't been the best blogger lately. Before my own relationship, I had noticed other bloggers becoming infrequent once they met the 'the person of their dreams'. I then purposed that I would make blogging a priority once I began a serious relationship. Ha.ha.ha Obviously that hasn't been the case! It's ok though, once God brings that special person into your life it's amazing how your priorities change :) I can't promise that I will become more frequent with blogging, but I will try to update you all when I can!

With the year coming to a close, very soon might I add, I look back over the year and see how many blessings God has bestowed upon me! 

The most obvious blessing would be Garrett :) It still amazes me how God has that perfect person for you and how He knows what you need, more than what you even think you need! We are so similar in so many areas, opposites definitely didn't attract in our relationship. Garrett is such a Godly, grounded man, sweet, handsome, thoughtful, caring, hard working......I could go on and on but I'll stop there ;) I am very thankful that God's timing is perfect and he gives us blessings far beyond what we even imagine! 

God has also blessed me with a wonderful, dream come true, job! I am a nanny to two sweet boys, a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old. My 2 1/2 year old (Julian) is a live wire and busy as a bee! He is super silly, loves to be tickled, and keeps me on my toes :) I've been caring for him for over a year and it has been fun to see him grow. My little man (Jonathan) is such a sweet baby. His big smile and gut laughter keeps us smiling throughout the day. Our little sunshine! I started watching him in September, of this year, and it's been fun to see him change. He's been sitting up, army crawling (almost full on crawling), and lifting himself up on things! These boys are my joy and I'm so thankful to have a job that I love!

Josh and Liz were able to visit this year, in October! It was soooo nice to be able to see my big brother and his wife, after over a year. I am so blessed to have a wonderful sis-in-law! They are doing well, in charge of the middle school group and Josh was just voted in as a deacon in their church! God has been blessing them and it's been neat to watch. While they were here we were able to get family pictures taken, by my talented Uncle. We were so pleased with how well they turned out! 

I could go on and on with how God has blessed in my life, this year! It sure hasn't been all peaches and cream but I'm thankful that God works his perfect will in each situation. His ways are always best! I am looking forward to see what's in store for 2014 and another year to serve my Lord! 

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.   -Psalms 68:19-

Saturday, October 26, 2013

On long distance relationships

Long distance. You never know how truly hard or rewarding it is, until you are actually put into the situation.The tearful goodbyes and those joyful hello's.

Garrett and I are coming upon our 6 month anniversary of our relationship, next week. Wow, how time flies! It's amazing how much can change in your life, in just 6 short months. I have been mulling around a post in my head about long distance relationships. Honestly, I didn't know much about long distance relationship's besides knowing people who have been in one. I hope this will help some couples who are either in a long distance relationship or single adults who might be in one, in the future. I am certainly not an expert, but thought I would share a few things that we have found to be very helpful.

~Skype dates: This is something that has been a lifeline for our relationship. Nothing is worse than longing to see the other person but knowing you are miles away. If you set aside a night (or a couple nights) in the week to just sit and Skype with each other, this makes a world of a difference. Seeing each other, face to face is so, so nice! We have even watched movies together or played games, like Sudoku! Things like that can mix it up a little and make it lots of fun! 

~Day date to somewhere in the middle: This one would only work if you are about a state away. Luckily, Garrett and I are 457 miles apart and it was able to work for us. We met in the Tri-cities area and went to coffee, garage sales, shopping, more sudoku, and a picnic lunch. This is a nice way to mix it up a little! The only thing that I didn't like was the fact that it made for a really long day. It was 3-4 hours driving each way for both of us, plus one day together is just not enough! ;) 

~Communicate, communicate, communicate: This is the key to any relationship that lasts. Especially for the long distance couples, communication is all you have right now so you better learn how to communicate well with one another! Which is great practice for marriage. Long distance is usually harder on the woman's end, so it's important to relay to your man what is really important to you. For example: I really enjoy getting a "Good morning" text from Garrett and I've told him how much I enjoy it. Ever since I relayed that to him, he has made a point to text me in the morning. It's little things like that, that make you feel special and connected to the other individual. 

~Packages, letters, texts, etc..... : Sometimes, the best thing ever is getting a random text in the day from Garrett, telling me how much I mean to him. You seriously can't put a price on that! Packages/letters in the mail are a way to get back to the 'old fashioned' way of doing things and makes the other person feel so special! Garrett sent me flowers on a particularly hard day for me, it made me feel so great that I was on his mind. One time, I sent him pizza to his work and man, oh, man! He absolutely LOVED it! I knew he would love it but I literally had no idea how much! Ladies, send pizza to your man. You know what they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach :)

~Talk about plans for the next visit:  When you miss the other person so much, it can help to plan out the next time you will see one another. Each time we get together we usually have a goal of when we will be together again. It helps to keep things in perspective and know that it won't be forever. 

There are just a few things that we have learned along the way and I'm sure we will learn so much more over the next 6 months!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The past month and a half.

Despite the silence on my blog for a while, I really have been busy with so many things! Along with summer comes all the busyness of life and enjoying those many days of sunshine. Here is a little update of what I've been up to...

Kali and I were able to take our girls to Junior Camp in July. It was a fun time getting to know our girls better and many decisions were made for Christ! Including one girl accepting Christ!

We took a 2 night camping trip with another family in August. It was a good time of fellowship and nice to get away in the mountains for a little while.

While Kali and I were at camp, we realized how important it is to be involved in our girls' lives outside of church. So, we are doing a once a month fellowship for a time of devotions, games, and a place where they can share their burdens. This picture was our first ever meeting. I'm looking forward to what God will do in their lives through this new ministry.

In August, I was able to head down to Idaho for a week to visit Garrett! A sweet couple let me stay at their house for the week and it was a huge blessing. It was such a great time meeting new friends and of course spending time with my man :) They had a pastor's conference and a college/career camp that we were able to attend while I was there. It sure kept us busy but it was a good time!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A true story.

There once was a girl from Washington. 

And a boy from Idaho.

They had never met before, but little did they know God would allow them to meet in a great way.

One day, this girl and her sister took a trip to Idaho to visit a cousin and catch up with some friends.

The sisters went to their friends church one Wednesday evening, on a lovely April day. This boy from Idaho and girl from Washington caught a glimpse of each other that evening, but didn't meet. 

A few days went by and the sisters were at a friends house for a game night, the boy was there too. They were officially introduced and both came to realize how they really enjoyed the other's company. Through the next few days, they were able to spend time together, with others. They sat back watching and observing each other, but found how much they had in common.

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Idaho. The girl went back to Washington not knowing if there would be anything evolving with this handsome boy. Still. she knew God would work everything out and that His ways were best.  

A few days after returning home, the boy contacted the girls' father and asked to 'get to know her.' The father and daughter both prayed and asked God for His will. Upon receiving peace, the boy and girl started corresponding via texts and many multiple hour phone calls.

A month later, it was now time for the boy to officially meet the parents! The boy from Idaho came to meet the parents and get the official stamp of approval. The approval was met and the boy and girl realized how much fun they have together. Their zeal for serving Christ and silly sense of humor brought them together even more over the next month.

Then one day, the boy knew it was time to make it 'official'. After receiving the blessing and approval of the girls' father, they began a wonderful new chapter in their lives. Courtship.

That's right, my friends! I am courting a wonderful, Godly man and we are excited to see how God will continue to work in our relationship :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bit by the crafting bug

Have you ever had an urge {a stinging sensation in your hands, really} to craft?!



Can I get an amen?

Maybe you get it too, or maybe I'm just weird like that.

Anyways, I was bit by a crafting bug this past month. I had received the urge to get the hot glue gun, handle some scissors, shop at thrift stores, and do some painting.


Here are the products of my crafting bite.

{Spring/Summer Bird Wreath}

{Old thrift store vases spray painted to look more modern}

{Using the 'new vases' to redecorate the mantel}

Warning: The crafting bug is a serious bite and can be contracted via internet. If bit, you will need to be treated right away with some fabric, paint, and probably a glue gun or two. Consider yourself warned...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guest Post

Hey all! Here we are, in June already! Last month was filled with fun, crafting, and new beginnings. June has already started out wonderful with the promise of a busy, yet fun-filled month. God's blessing in my life are so abundant and He truly amazes me. I will try to do a little catch up soon :)

Today, is a special treat! I have Mrs. G {a long time family friend and basically a second mom to me} doing a guest post! She has a gift for words and as you will read, is great comparing everyday things to God working in our lives.

Late spring is the time to prune and fertilize rhododendrons around my area. It is a chore I often put off, because if not done correctly and exactly the right time, there will be no flowers the following year. Consequently, most of my rhodies are overgrown. In fact, the area underneath the giant shrubs is very grotto-like and mysterious. The cats often sit quietly there, peering out at unsuspecting tweety birds that might venture near. Because no light penetrates the canopy, not even weeds grow—a small side benefit. I decided this was the year I would get my rhodies under control. They have grown too large for their beds, too near the house, and the siding is suffering.

I sharpened up the pruners, donned leather gloves and surveyed the target plant. I almost lost heart and purpose as I noticed how beautiful and shiny green the leaves were. Its’ perfect symmetry almost dissuaded me from the task. However I was spurred on by the memory that this plant, always the first to bloom during the very earliest part of spring, had produced no flowers this year—always a sign that pruning is needed. Hardly knowing where to begin, I just grabbed nearest branch and started cutting and cutting…what I found was very disheartening. Underneath the lovely canopy of green was: nothing! Just an intricate skeletal system of branches, supporting leaves at the exterior ten percent of the plant. This was not a healthy shrub! It should have had layers of leaves. Because of my years of neglect, it was necessary to cut this lovely, favorite shrub back 30 percent, only saving enough leaves to continue photosynthesis so the plant could survive.
A favorite devotional book of mine is “Secrets of the Vine,” by Bruce Wilkinson. He masterfully describes how God (the vine) manages his branches (us,) how he prunes and tends us like the loving vine-dresser he is, so we are able and fit to produce fruit, or good works for him. I always thought the pruning was punishment, but through scripture have learned that it’s the “good” growth which must be correctly pruned and trained. Chastisement has a much different look. As I was pruning off the plants green growth, it appeared pretty and healthy, but not fruitful. It’s true condition? The leaves were just show, while the true fruit, flowers, had not emerged this year. Further examination exposed evidence of storm damage, most likely from the two extremely harsh winters we experienced a couple of years ago. There were quite a few dead and non-producing branches. Are we like that? Is our outside 10 percent looking pretty good, while the inside of us has life and sin-damaged branches that are not producing anything of value? Is the new growth being stunted? 

Obviously we are not plants that can prune ourselves. We would not know what to cut and when. This must be left up to the Master Gardener. I am sure if the rhodie had feelings it would complain and maybe even cry about my seeming callousness. Our response should be to accept His knowledgeable husbandry. A natural characteristic of rhododendrons is the shedding of dead and diseased leaves. Our responsibility is to shed off the sinful things in our life in a daily regeneration through prayerful confession and determination to grow His way. This makes us clean and healthy for the gardener who loves us for eternity, but who also wants us to bear precious fruit for him while we sojourn in his beautiful garden.

I am looking at my sad, denuded rhodie. Most of it now sits on the burn pile, but it will not die; it is not forgotten. I stirred up the dirt beneath, gave it a good dose of fertilizer and settled on a nice blanket of mulch. By pruning it I probably saved its life. It is a favorite, and I did what was best for it to continue to produce gorgeous flowers. I hope I am growing enough that the Gardener needs to prune me.
How true is this. If it were up to us, we probably wouldn't do any pruning in our lives. It hurts, it's sometimes scary, but always necessary. I am so thankful that even though pruning hurts, God uses it to make us into the person He wants us to be.