Coffee Bars and Fog Machines

I came across a blog post that made me cry and also had me saying AMEN!  Kevin Swanson originally talked about it on his podcast a couple of weeks ago.  I looked it up so I could read the entire post.  Suffice it to say it is a must read and you can find it here.

I believe there are far more seeker sensitive and shallow churches now then ever before.  Churches that care more about the decor and what ‘programs’ they offer then about the hurting souls within their congregation.  Loud bands/music, fog machines and the like are such a turn off for me.  I was visiting with one of my daughter’s friends and her parents.  This friend’s ice skating coach goes to a very large and loud church and when I asked about the worship he explained that although it’s really loud they hand out headphones to drown it out for those that don’t care for it.  What a shame!  I love hearing believers sing to the Lord… an preferably not a Chris Tomlin song.

Too many churches these days are more concerned with meeting a quota then they are discipling the congregation sitting before them.  The sermons are fluff and they continue to say they’ll teach new converts the hard stuff once they get them converted.  But, Christ did not die a horrible death (read Isaiah 53 for a beautiful passage describing Christ’s suffering) for the church to teach fluff.  As a side note, I took note in Eric Metaxes book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer how Bonhoeffer visited America in the 1930s and was surprised at how shallow the American churches were…  that was almost 90 years ago!

However, despite a lack of bible believing and teaching churches, as Christians we are commanded to be part of a church.  This article details WHY we are commanded to be part of a church family.

If you call yourself a Christian you should have a new life; a changed life… not the same life with a new title… hmmm, I see another blog post on that topic!

Please click on the link in the first paragraph and take a few minutes to read the words of a young mother in mourning.

A Graduation Party

Well hello!  I know, it’s been awhile!  When you are a wife, homeschooling mom to 5 amazing gifts from God, a daughter, sister in Christ, a property manager, template builder and capsule weighing expert there really is no time to blog!  There are so many things I want to say.  In fact, almost every single day I see, read or think of something I want to blog about but alas, I just haven’t had the time.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to say HI and to share a brief note on what a wonderful afternoon we had.  We were invited to a graduation party of a young man who Phil knew of while he was in the womb.  Phil has known this family for about 25 years… maybe a couple more.  Their 2nd son graduated from high school this year and we were blessed to be a part of the celebration.

It was such a joy to be around so many like minded families.  To watch kids of all ages playing together, interacting with others and all the adults, and to see the relationships being nurtured.  To see these young adults (the world calls them teenagers) behave in such a kind, respectful way to all of those around them.  To be around teenagers who actually care about other people and take the time to talk with others and invest in relationships is so refreshing.

This young man will start college this fall after being home educated all the way through high school.  He has worked hard and earned many scholarships. Because of his grades and the Godly character his parents have instilled in him, he will have nearly a full ride.  Our society needs more young men like him.  Young men, whose number priority is his relationship with God and who seeks to follow God’s will for his life, not his own will.  Young men who put faith, family and the Gospel before video games, partying and all the other priorities this sinful world puts at the top of its list.  His parents have taught him from a very young age to be wise about what he puts in his head and his heart.  To be discerning about what he reads, listens to and watches.  To see the fruit from this young man and his family is so encouraging to me.

It’s so refreshing….  we were surrounded by teenagers who didn’t act like ‘teenagers’ but who acted as though they belonged to the Lord.

Psalm 119:9-16  
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
[e]As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
And [f]regard Your ways.
16 I shall [g]delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

We Have An 8 Year Old Again!

We celebrated Alex’s 8th birthday this month with lots of food, family and friends.  For her birthday party dinner Alex requested chicken cordon blue, butter noodles with garlic and parmesan and salad… well Grandma Joanne added the salad!  Thanks Grandma! It was such a fun day.

Alex is a smart, funny and beautiful girl.  We love having her as part of our family!  She’s really enjoying American Heritage Girls (more on that later!) and having lots of fun this summer.  She choose The Rock again for her birthday dinner; I think it’s the 3rd year in a row!  For her cake she said I could surprise her with any cake I wanted so after doing lots of research I settled on an Elsa and Anna birthday cake.  Below are just a few pictures.

Mommy and Alex at her birthday dinner.

Mommy and Alex at her birthday dinner.

Elsa and Anna doll cake

Elsa and Anna doll cake

Daddy and Alex on her birthday dinner.

Daddy and Alex on her birthday dinner.

Family Camp – LONG but stick with me!

It has been so long since I’ve shared anything on my blog but have no fear a lot has been happening around our house!  We were incredibly blessed to have most of our family able to go to family camp in Nebraska during the first week in August.  Unfortunately, Phil was unable to get the time off of work so I took our 4 oldest children and hit the road on August 3rd for Maxwell, Nebraska.

We were all set to tent camp for the week when Phil’s brother Andy and his lovely girlfriend Renee offered to let us use their RV that they had just purchased a couple of weeks before.  Check out this beauty!

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Yep, I drove that about 600 miles round trip to Nebraska!  It is a 26 foot RV that sleeps 6.  The kids LOVED taking this to camp and we were truly blessed to be given the opportunity.  THANK YOU Andy and Renee!

Once we made it to Maranatha Camp we checked in and made it to the section of the camp where the RV’s were able to plug in to full hook-ups.  Fortunately, our RV neighbor was able to help me back in the RV and he and his sons did all the hook-ups for me.  Shortly after their help we discovered that they live not too far from us here in Lakewood, CO!  I was so grateful!  Besides being a little overwhelmed with wanting to make sure I got it all hooked up correctly, I was sick and was feeling terrible.  The help was so much appreciated.

Once we got settled in to our RV spot we made the trek to the dining hall for dinner.  I say trek because the tent and RV part of the camp was .66 miles from the dining hall, chapel, gym and most other activities.  Needless to say I got my 10,000 steps in every day at camp having to walk back and forth!

After dinner on Monday I was feeling quite terrible but the girls really wanted to go to chapel with the Davidson girls (they went to Russia with them earlier this year) and I was completely comfortable with sending them half a mile away to the chapel with a walkie talkie in hand and instructions to return to the RV the minute chapel was over.  Jonathan and I stayed at the RV so that I could rest and he watched a movie.

All 3 girls wanted to sleep in the space over the cab.

All 3 girls wanted to sleep in the space over the cab.

I woke up Tuesday still feeling terrible but we made it to breakfast and the morning chapel session.  It rained all day Tuesday so for the free time after lunch Scott Davidson (camp coordinator) hung out in the gym with lots of kids for a few hours and I got to go back to the RV to rest.  The gym is set up with a large climbing wall on one end that the camp staff’s with 2 employees helping the kids with harnesses and climbing up the wall to ring the bell.  Natasha, Mikayla and Jonathan all loved the climbing wall.  They also have roller skating in the gym with free rentals of skates.  All the kids loved the designated skating times.  I met the kids at the gym after resting and then we headed to dinner.  After evening chapel we headed back to the RV to get a good nights sleep.  Tuesday was also Alex’s birthday so I brought along a small cake and we sang to her after dinner and had cake.

Tuesday, August 4th, can't even see the lake.

Tuesday, August 4th, can’t even see the lake.

Belle on the climbing wall.

Belle on the climbing wall.

Jonathan getting ready to go up the wall.

Jonathan getting ready to go up the wall.

Wednesday was such a fun day.  After breakfast the camp coordinators organized the families in teams of 12 for family olympics.  We competed in 3 races.  First, we had to blow up 12 balloons and run one by one across the field to a chair and sit on the balloon to pop it.  Second, we had to carry a plastic plate like a fancy waiter with a ping pong ball across the field and back without dropping the ball.  The third race was all of us on the team got on our knees in a row.  In front of the first person was a bucket full of water and a sponge.  She had to soak the sponge in the water and we had to pass the soaked sponge over our heads to the last person who would ring out what water was left in a bucket until that bucket it was full.  We were soaked by the end but it was so much fun!  Our team did not win but we sure had fun trying!  After those races they had 50 yard dash races based on gender and age and then they played big ball with different age groups.  It was a very fun day and the sun was out and it was very warm and humid.

After lunch there was a boat building contest that Belle wanted to be a part of.  I was able to add her to a team with the Swanson family.  I think there were 12 teams and their goal was to build a cardboard boat with 2 roles of packing tape and then their boat had to make it around the lake with 2 people in it.  It was so much fun to watch.  Belle didn’t get to rid in the boat but she was able to help build it and she really enjoyed the event.   After the boat race we had free time and since the sun was out we headed to play in the lake and pool.  Natasha and Mikayla spent much of this time in the pool but Jonathan and Alex played in the lake and had so much fun.  I sat on the beach and watched.  I was feeling much better with just a sore throat, no head ache or body aches.  It was then time to clean up and head to dinner, then the evening chapel session.  Mike Chapa spoke and he is such a wonderful, encouraging and convicting speaker.

Jonathan swimming in the lake.

Jonathan swimming in the lake.

There were these large swings all up and down the lake.

There were these large swings all up and down the lake.

Wednesday, August 5th

Wednesday, August 5th

Thursday was a bit cloudy and rainy but we sure did have fun again.  Between fun meals with other families, chapel, playing in the gym and wonderful fellowship it was another joyful day.  We were even able to hit the archery field and try hitting targets for about 30 minutes.  Friday came and we got the RV packed up, headed to breakfast, chapel and then lunch and then said goodbye.  I was ready to get home but I truly enjoyed every single minute of camp… even being sick.

Jonathan trying archery!

Jonathan trying archery!

Natasha trying archery!

Natasha trying archery!

Belle loves Archery!

Belle loves Archery!

As for chapel, you might be thinking that 7 chapel sessions in one week would seem like too much but Scott and Andie Davidson really put a lot of effort into reaching all age groups with minute-to-win-it games, musical entertainment, speech and drama and overall interaction with all of us.  The kids actually did really well with all the chapel sessions and I couldn’t be prouder of them.

I loved the people watching…. I saw families with 2 kids, families with 10 kids and everything in between.  One family in particular caught my attention.  One of their sons who was 16 invested a lot of time into his 4 year old sister.  I watched as he helped her do all kinds of things from getting her breakfast plate of pancakes and sausage to her taking a nap on his shoulders.  I watched as other families poured into each other and genuinely enjoyed being around each other.  Now, before you go thinking that this poor 16 year old boy had to raise his 4 year old sister, I also saw him playing board games with his parents and volleyball with the other teens.  I loved seeing this group of people with TEENAGERS who loved to be around their parents and siblings.  Who, although still have to deal with teenage hormones and attitudes, have parents who are teaching them to navigate all the feelings of this season of life and yet still treat their parents, siblings and others with respect, kindness and love.

The drive home wasn’t bad except hitting Denver during Friday rush hour but we still made it home without incident.

Alex and Jonathan sleeping on the drive home from camp.

Alex and Jonathan sleeping on the drive home from camp.

We are already praying about going next year but with the whole family.  I was so blessed to be able to take our kids and enjoy making memories with them.  A big thank you to my mom who paid for all of our meals so that I had a week off of cooking.  And another big thank you to my dear friend June and her 2 sons who did our paper route for us so that we didn’t have to do it when we returned Friday evening.

We missed daddy, Katherine and my mom but I know my mom took good care of them.

Thank you for hanging in there on such a long blog post!

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A New Hair Donation!

Back in October of 2013 Natasha and Mikayla cut 12 inches of their hair and donated it to Wigs 4 Kids.  Two days ago Alex asked to do the same so I cut 11 inches of her hair and will donate it to the same organization.  Alex looks so cute with short hair!  Now Natasha and Mikayla are ready to cut their hair again but it’s not quite long enough to donate yet.

Check out the new Alex!

Alex July 20, 2015, before the big hair cut!

Alex July 20, 2015, before the big hair cut!

After the big haircut!

After the big haircut!

This is the hair being donated!

This is the hair being donated!

A Last Minute Gift

Back in January I heard that my absolute favorite Christian band was going to be playing at Red Rocks in June.  It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen Third Day in concert so I desperately wanted to see them again.  Plus they were playing at Red Rocks!!!  There is no better concert venue in Colorado then Red Rocks and it had been years, like 20, since I had been to a concert at Red Rocks…  we won’t talk about what band that was… something to do with not driving 55 or something like that ;-).

Anyway, the company that Phil works for during his 2nd job occasionally gives out free tickets to various events around the Denver Metro area and in March Phil submitted a request for 2 tickets to Third Day.  After several follow ups with the company we never heard anything so we assumed that our request was not granted since the concert was Sunday, June 14th.  I was very disappointed!

Sunday turned into a very lazy day with church at home, lots of napping, playing and some work around the house.   I resigned myself to watching Third Day youtube videos with the kids.  Phil, who has been fighting a cold, took some medicine and went to bed at 6:30.  The rest of us were downstairs playing and watching music videos when I hear Phil coming down stairs at 7:30.  His company had called him and was wondering if he was going to pick up the Third Day tickets for the concert that started at 7:00!

Because I never miss an opportunity to see Third Day I grab Natasha and we run out the door to go to the concert.  There were 5 artists playing so I figured Third Day had not even started their set yet.  Because we were so late parking in the usual lots was not an option and we basically had to park at the bottom of Red Rocks and walk up.  If you’ve ever been to Red Rocks you will know that this is a very long walk UP HILL.  Because we left so quickly, I had forgotten that I had not showered that day and my hair was up in a clip.  This wasn’t a cute, sassy up do, no no no….it was a I hope no one notices I didn’t comb my hair today do.  Seriously, I looked like I was going to do manual labor somewhere, certainly not going to a concert.  By the time we reached the top to get the tickets and head to our seats I was drenched in sweat and stunk more then I had at the bottom of the hill.  I was praying that whoever was unfortunate enough to have to sit/stand next to me would have a stuffed nose.  A side note…  before we left I only had 500 more steps to meet my daily step goal of 10,000 and I figured I would finish those up on the treadmill before I went to bed.  By the time I walked in the door at 11:15pm I walked 15, 714…. a reflection of how far we had to walk to see Third Day!  It was worth every step.

We missed Brandon Heath, Phil Wickham and most of Peter Furhler’s performances.  However, we were able to hear 3 songs from Matt Maher before they started changing the stage for Third Day to come on.  Third Day started around 9:30 and Peter Furhler came out and did 2 of his songs with Third Day.  Natasha hung in there until about 10:45 and then we started down the mountain.  I’m guessing Third Day played until at least 11pm.  It was quite a show and one that Natasha and I will never forget.  Natasha was surprised at how loud it was and kept covering her ears.  I was in my early 20s before I made it to a concert at Red Rocks but Natasha’s very first concert was at the most beautiful concert venue in the state.

It was so wonderful to watch thousands and thousands of people lifting their hands up to God and singing His praises.  Thank you Lord for blessing us with this amazing opportunity.

A big shout out to my husband, Phil, for staying up with the rest of kids until their bedtime while he was sick.  Natasha and I made some pretty fun and special memories!

As Matt Maher played.

As Matt Maher played.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

Right when we first go to our seats.

Right when we first go to our seats.

My sweet concert buddy!

My sweet concert buddy!

As we were waiting for Third Day to start.  About 9:00 pm.

As we were waiting for Third Day to start. About 9:00 pm.

Rocks to the left of us.

Rocks to the left of us.

Rocks behind us.

Rocks behind us.

I Miss Them!

Can I just say that I miss my family!

Phil and the girls are doing well.  I only have a few pictures to share at the bottom of the post.  Today they spent the day in Finland doing some sort of team building stuff.  Phil shared a bit with me about how challenging the border crossing was in both directions.  They will be in Vyborg for a few more days then they will head to Vladimir.

The main conference was last Friday and Saturday and it was considered a success.  With 200 families (more then double the amount of families from last years conference) and 160 children they were busting at the seams of the hall they rented.  The group is giving 2 more conferences in Vyborg and Vladimir but those are on a much smaller scale.

Only 8 more sleeps!  Enjoy a few pictures…. not all are Russia related!

Just because... she's so stinkin cute!

Just because… she’s so stinkin cute!

Alex and I on our way to a wedding shower.

Alex and I on our way to a wedding shower.

Their first day in St. Petersburg.

Their first day in St. Petersburg.

Just me and my cutie.

Just me and my cutie.

On the train.

On the train.

After a long day on the train, a little can napping waiting for tea.

After a long day on the train, a little cat napping waiting for tea.

Waiting at the train station.

Waiting at the train station.

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Natasha, Mikayla and Davidson girls somewhere.. not sure where!

Natasha, Mikayla and Davidson girls somewhere.. not sure where!

The Angels Are Rejoicing!

The angels in heaven are rejoicing tonight because we have a new sister in Christ!  Our sweet Natasha made a public confession of Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was baptized.  We are so thankful for the friends and family that joined us and helped make this evening special.

I am so grateful to Natasha’s piano teacher, Miss Rebecca for sharing her thoughts about Natasha.  Mikayla also shared one of her favorite verses Psalm 100:4-5 Enter His gates with thankgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him, bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

During our daily bible time in the mornings before we start school we’ve all been working on memorizing Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12.  Natasha has more then half of it memorized and recited all that she could from memory.  Then Phil shared from Acts 8 about Philip and the Eunuch.  Philip explained to the Eunuch what he was reading in Isaiah was about Jesus Christ and the Eunuch asked to be baptized.  Then Phil shared about the Godly characteristics that Natasha possesses.  Then it was time for the baptism.

While I was helping Natasha get dressed afterward, the Girkins family lead the group is two hymns; Trust and Obey and I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.  Then Lane gave the closing prayer and we had some snacks.

It was a wonderful thing watching your child be baptized into Christ.  There is nothing I want more then for all of my children to walk with the Lord.

Lastly, I can’t thank my wonderful husband enough for being such an amazing father to our children.  It’s his love and example to our family that helped Natasha make the decision to follow Christ.

Enjoy some pictures from our special evening.

Phil and Natasha Phil, Mikayla, Alex, Natasha and Jonathan Natasha, Mikayla, Jonathan and Alex Katherine Natasha and Miss Rebecca Natasha with the Requist Family Natasha with Grandma Joanne and Grandpa Mark Natasha and Uncle Andy Us

The Lecture Bug

As a parent we’ve all done it haven’t we?  As I stand in our kitchen and go on and on about my frustration with the constant asking for a piece of Easter candy I see the eyes of 4 of my children (Katherine is too young to ask for candy!) glaze over and they look like zombies.  I have clearly been tuned out.  Who teaches them how to do that at such a young age?

Anyway, once I’m done ranting I head into the living room to sit down and text daddy.  I look at my phone and I see a text already started but not yet sent.  As I read the quite lengthy text, the words are very familiar to me.  I realized that as I was ranting in the kitchen about the dreaded candy question I had hit the voice text button on my smart phone on accident.  It recorded my entire rant in a text to daddy!  I had to laugh out loud and share that with my kids but I didn’t send it daddy.

As I sit here tonight reading my bible, I’m thinking about my rant and how my children were able to turn it off and just stare at me.  Sometimes I wonder if that is how God feels… however, the Lord does not lecture.  He laid out His words for my life in His bible and it is anything but a rant.  His word is filled with love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and a hope that can only come from Him.

The Lord is also showing me how my words affect those around me; for better or for worse.  My lecture bug did not, in any way, convince my children to stop asking for candy.  It only confirmed for them that they have mastered the skill of tuning mommy out.

I don’t want to tune out my Lord and Savior.  As I reflect on my words to my children today a few verses come to mind that I truly need to memorize and have ready when the lecture bug starts to crawl out of her hole and give my family an earful.

 Prov 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick tempered exalts folly.

To be honest, I’m not always slow to anger… ask my husband.  When I am short tempered, I try to step back and figure out if I’m stressed, overwhelmed or not feeling well.  Most of the time one of those 3 is the root cause of my frustration, rather then the people around me.

  Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

This one is especially helpful to teach children, but I’m amazed how much I need to be better about practicing this wise Proverb.

  Prov 19:11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

Another good one… overlook a transgression.  In other words show mercy.  I think this is especially hard for children.  Not that I’ve mastered it by any means but children are still learning to communicate their emotions and to tell them to overlook a wrong done to them is challenging.  None the less, very wise.  I’m not saying we should be doormats but discretion is important in all aspects of life.

Phil and the kids love the song “Words” by Hawk Nelson.  It’s a catchy tune but if you really look at the words there is such truth to it.  What do you think of these lyrics?

“Words”

They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
(Speak over the fear)
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear
(We need to hear)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

 

Is Courtship Arranged Marriage?

Awhile back I blogged about a wonderful evening with a young couple who are in a courtship and are actually engaged to be married in May.  Shortly after that post I was asked if courtship is the same as arranged marriage.  I actually laughed out loud at that question!   This post is to clarify courtship and this young couples story.

First, my definition of courtship is NOT arranged marriage.  I suppose someone is society somewhere might consider the 2 the same but I do not.  Basically, I see courtship as a dating process with the end in mind.  Meaning when someone is ready for marriage (spiritually, financially, emotionally, etc.) then they seek to find someone who could be a potential spouse.  Courtship can look differently to different couples.

Honestly, the rules or boundaries of the relationship that the couple puts in place is not as important as their hearts.  The couple I mentioned in the earlier post have set the boundaries for their relationship until they are married.  They set those boundaries together as a way to honor and respect each other.  They spent a lot of time building their relationship and getting to know one another in a very deep and meaningful way without getting physical.  I realize this is completely contrary to what our society thinks is normal.

How is this different than traditional dating?  Well, typically, individuals don’t enter into a courtship without the end in mind; without marriage in mind.  I can tell you that before I became a Christian I am 100% sure that the guys that I dated DID NOT have the end in mind and marriage was not on their radar… nor was it on mine.  In our society marriage comes much later, if at all.  As a Christian, I value marriage immensely.  It isn’t just a piece of paper or a legal document.  Courtship is not perfect and hearts can get broken but I would venture to say that there is much more heartache in traditional dating then in courtship.

Below is an brief explanation of this couple’s love story in their own words.  I find it refreshing and encouraging that there are young people willing to pursue God’s desire for their life rather then their own.

Our story is a fairytale of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love in our lives! The way in which Steve and I ended up together, engaged, and about to embark on happily ever after is not possible of ourselves – we serve a wonderful God!
Steve and I first met in 1996 when my family started attending Warner Avenue Baptist Church (WABC) in Huntington Beach, California. I was 4 years old, and Steve was 12 – he likes to joke that he first saw me in diapers while he was shopping in the nursery. 🙂 In actuality, we just continued on with our lives as normal, didn’t really interact at all due to the age gap between us. It wasn’t till 7 years later that we would become friends and start spending more time together.
In 2003(?) Steve’s father passed away from cancer. Their family had not been attending church for about a year prior to his death due to the cancer treatment scheduling and doctor’s visits. About a year later WABC organized a church group to help the Steve family get some house projects and clean-up done while their mom took a much-needed vacation. My mother became head organizer of this group effort, and subsequently our family started spending much more time with Steve and especially his family. It was during this time and afterwards that I became best friends with his younger sister, Sarah, and our families really started connecting. Steve’s sisters were always telling me how awesome of a guy he was, how he would make a great husband someday, but I was always like, why are you telling me this? That’s nice for someone, but not me! He was like a big brother to me – I thought he was awesome and really liked him as a person but couldn’t see us ever getting together. Apparently he felt similarly: we had a wonderful friendship but he didn’t ever see it going anywhere.
Fast forward to the year 2007 when my family relocated to Colorado. After we moved, Steve and I had literally no communication at all. Our family visited CA a couple of times, but I only spoke with him briefly those times and never thought of him as a possible romantic interest. Steve in the meantime had been pursuing a few other relationships and didn’t think he would ever date me. God had other plans, however.
In May of 2014 I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Colorado Christian University. Right around the same time GoFormz, the computer company Steve had co-founded several years earlier, really started booming in the industry. All the years I thought that there was nothing happening between us, he had been secretly admiring and hoping for a chance to pursue a relationship with me. Everything lined up perfectly that summer, and Steve called my dad in early July to ask for his permission to date me. Our first conversation as a couple was on July 5th, and he came to visit me a few weeks later. The first few weeks were wonderful though somewhat difficult as we navigated the beginnings of a long-distance relationship, and we fell in love after just about a month. There was still plenty to work through and learn about each other, but as time progressed the security we felt with each other as our possible mate for life grew by leaps and bounds.
After a couple months into the relationship, I told Steve that if he ever asked me to marry him I would say yes. He had already felt quite confident that I was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and we knew without a doubt where our relationship was heading. In October on one of his visits out here to CO, we went ring shopping together and found the perfect forever-ring. The following month, on November 27th, he proposed to me at sunset on the cliffs overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes, California. Of course I said “YES”!!!!
Throughout our whole journey, God has been clearly present and guiding us in our deepening attraction to each other with Him at the center. Both of us sought to keep pursuing Christ first as the glue to our relationship. Our goals and vision for marriage, family, and ministry lined up perfectly – and we even put the toilet paper roll on the same way! 🙂 We feel confident that the Lord brought us together for a purpose and are excited to see what the future holds!