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Live It Well

One of my favorite bands of all time is Switchfoot. My whole family loves them – my older sister and Dad saw them in Chico… a very long time ago… and we have been avid fans ever since. Their lead singer, Jon Foreman, seems to have a good grasp on life and how to live life well as a Christian in this current day in age. The words he writes in his songs truly speaks to my soul and for awhile, I’ve wanted to write about some lyrics in Switchfoot’s newest album: Where the Light Shines Through.

The song I constantly have playing through my mind and the lyrics I just can’t get out of my head is called “Live It Well”…. here are some of the lines that resonate most with me:

“Take the burden from my arms
Take the anchors off my lungs
Take me broken and make me one
Break the silence and make it a song

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you’re the one I’m living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle

I wanna sing with all my heart a lifelong song
Even if some notes come out right and some come out wrong
Cause I can’t take none of that through the door
Yeah, I’m living for more than just a funeral
I wanna burn brighter than the dawn

I got one life and one love
I got one voice, but maybe that’s enough
Cause with one heartbeat and two hands to give
I got one shot and one life to live
One life to live, yeah
And every breath you take is a miracle”

When I sing this song, my heart longs for a life of meaning and a life of purpose, a life worth living for. I don’t just want a life where I work, come home, make dinner, worry about losing weight, go to sleep and repeat. I want to chose to live a life full of people I love, full of happiness and full of adventure. I want to see all the world has to offer and I want to love the people around me deeply. I realize I can’t just live in a happy bubble and the things of this world will eventually weigh on me. But like Jon says in his song, ” I got one life and one love, I got one voice but maybe that’s enough. Cause with one heartbeat and two hands to give, I got one shot and one live to life. ”

What an experience it would be to truly use the two hands and two legs God gave me to live the best possible life, to influence those around me, to pursue relationships, to love without fail, to explore all corners of the world and to live my life with the kind of purpose God created me to have.

I don’t want a normal life. I don’t want to feel stuck in a cycle. And I don’t have to. It’s my life, I have ONE life and I can CHOSE to “live for more than just a funeral”. I can chose to affect those around me in a positive way, to cheer people up instead of putting people down. I can chose to love my husband and pursue him through marriage. I can chose to test my body’s limit.. to run further than I have, to see more than I thought possible. I can chose to love the broken, the rich and everyone in between.

I would love to look back on my life and KNOW that I have lived a life of purpose. I’m not talking about making sure people miss me when I’m gone, but between me and my Maker, knowing that I have taken everything life has thrown at me and truly LIVED LIFE WELL.

How easy is it to just sit back and cruise through life? I think about it on the daily. Is watching the latest and greatest show really important? Is sitting around in my house in order to “relax” instead of pursuing dreams and passions really worth it? Why do we hide from our neighbors? Why do we look at the ground when walking past a stranger instead of saying hi? I’ll be the first to admit that’s it’s not always easy to live a life of passion that “burns brighter than the dawn”… nor I have done 100 % (or even 50%) up to this point in my life. But I want to shrug off the coat I wear of anxiety and worry and I want to put on something that breathes and allows me to embrace all life has to offer.

Life could be a grand adventure and it’s up to you to make it that way. I want to use my life to impact others in a way that is glorifying to God because I believe God calls me to this. This is a challenge to you and me both, let’s live our lives WELL. Every moment counts, there is no better time to start a new, meaningful life than now.

Forever Adventuring,

– C & R

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Becoming Portlandians: Life Update

We have officially lived in Portland for 4 and a half months and I figured I should give a life update! I have not been the best at blogging this year – I swear next year won’t be as crazy! Okay, here we go. Job update: I absolutely LOVE my job at the University of Portland. I am the Office Manager in the University Events department – I love what I do in my position, I love my coworkers, I love my boss and I love the campus (it’s beautiful, see below!)

We have joined a church called Westside – A Jesus Church and jumped into a community group right away. God has really blessed us with 5 amazing couples (and two single gals, Mollie & Bethany, you da bomb) to be in deep community with and live out our daily life. We all felt an instant connection the first night we all met and our friendships with each of  them has only gotten better since that first night. They say the hardest part of moving is finding community, butGod just really knew what he was doing when He nudged us into this specific group. Love to all my Mandamus people!

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We went on some amazing hikes this month – Dog Mountain and Silver Falls State Park. Dog Mountain is on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge (*sidenote: the”Gorge” was ravaged by fire in late August and over 40,000 acres were burned. A lot of the trails are shut down to be fixed at this point in time) and I did this hike solo (with Frankie). I had heard from my coworkers that Dog Mountain was amazing due to the views of the Columbia River but it was a “dog” (haha) to hike. It was 7 miles round trip and the first 3.5 miles are literally all up hill… it was SO hard. Here are some pictures at the top though, as you can see, totally worth the hard work!

 

The second hike we did was with a couple from our community group and we hiked an 8 mile route that passed 10 waterfalls. This was, without a doubt, the best hike I have ever done. We went to Silver Falls State Park which is SE of Portland by about an hour and a half (between Portland and Bend). I don’t have much to say about this place, I’ll let the pictures do the talking!

Also in October –

Ryan quit his job at Allstate Insurance. He was making way too many cold calls a day and we found out, a sales job is just not what Ryan would like to do.

Ryan’s brother, Paul, married the love of his life, Brooke in Los Angeles. Ryan was the best man and I was a bridesmaid – it was a fun weekend of celebrating!

After the wedding, I went to a conference for work in Atlanta, GA. Of course, I found some time to sight see with my coworker while I was there. We visited a few Martin Luther King Jr. famous spots (his church, the firehouse he used to play out and his childhood home) and a few other fun, famous sights in Atlanta (see pics below!).

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We flew to Chico for my little sister’s (Erin) baby shower. We had a great time showering her and Baby Callen with love and it was great to catch up with my family. It was a quick weekend and it felt like every hour we met up with different friends from Chico.

Towards the middle of November, our friend Kylie came to visit and we got to do some exploring with her while she was here. We went to Pittock Mansion -an amazing old house at the top of Forest Park – walked around downtown, took her to a famous breakfast spot called Screen Door (see picture with chicken & waffles), went to Breakside Brewery (one of our faves) and wandered the towering shelves at Powell’s.

For Thanksgiving – we traveled back to Chico to spend time with my family. I really do miss them! My family has been pretty diligent about setting up Facetime dates and texting often but it’s still not the same as seeing them in person. We did the Run for Food as it is our family tradition! (we all walked this year because we had a pregnant lady, two sick parents and me with my knee injury). Oh, and I got a tattoo during this vacation as well – three mountain peaks for the 3 sisters and a pine tree for the lone brother.

The end of November was a little boring for us – we tried some new spots to eat (Cheese and Crack is a new favorite date night spot of ours) and Ryan finished an amazing coffee table for our house. He built the table all on his own and didn’t use a model (it was all in his head). Needless to say, I’m pretty impressed with my husband!

 

D E C E M E R – 2 0 1 7

I’ll keep this section short and simple. On Friday ( 12/15/17) we received a text from our brother in law (Sam) saying Erin, my little sister, was officially in labor!! We packed in a hurry and rushed down to Chico to meet our sweet nephew – Callen James Harvey – 7 lbs, 5 oz and 21 inches long. Mom and Baby are doing well and Ryan and I are SO stoked to be an Auntie and Uncle to this sweet human! We arrived in Chico just in time to be among the first to be introduced to this new baby! We are in Chico until the 22nd where we will then be traveling to visit with Ryan’s family for Christmas and we’ll be back in Chico on the 27th through the 30th.

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WOW – these past few months have been very very busy but we are just so happy. We have wonderful friends in Portland, I love my job and oh ya, Ryan will start his new job at Columbia Bank on January 3, 2018! We are looking forward to what the New Year holds but for now, we are looking back at all our blessings from 2017.

Always Adventuring,

– C & R

 

Portland or Bust

Hi Friends,

You may have noticed via social media that my husband, our dog, and I have moved to the great Pacific North West! Portland…. to be more specific. We packed our things, rented a Uhaul, drove 10 hours, and settled in a little condo in SW Portland. We’ve only been here two weeks but we are so in love with this city.

I have always been one for adventure and I will always believe marriage is my biggest adventure, but moving away from everything I’ve known for the past 26 years has been a hard, fun, nerve-wracking, and exciting adventure. With the exception of living in Redding for 4 months, I have never moved away from home.. I have enjoyed the comfort of Chico, CA but my little adventurous heart (along with my husband’s) kept pulling us to move away and start a new adventure in a new city… so we did!

It was perfect timing: Ryan graduated at the end of May and we knew for awhile that we wanted to move away once he graduated with his Business/Finance degree. So, we decided to take a leap of faith after we returned home from our Europe trip (middle of June)  and we both quit our jobs in anticipation of finding new ones in Portland. We had to move out of our home by June 30th and by that time, we still hadn’t found jobs or a home in Portland yet… so we begged some friends of friends to let us move into their home for a month. Now we really had a time frame… 30 days to find new jobs and a new home in a new city. We spent those 30 days driving to Portland at least once a week to interview for jobs and look for a place to live.

Around the middle of July, I was contacted by the University of Portland for an interview in which they would pay for my flight and lodging to go to them for the interview process… of course I said yes! I went through a few interviews and then I went home… and wasn’t contacted for the remainder of our time in Chico (which was pretty disheartening). We decided that once we signed a rental agreement that we would just move to Portland- whether or not we had jobs (unemployed in Chico or unemployed in Portland… might as well be in the city we want to be in!). So, on July 31st, we packed up and drove to Portland and much to my surprise, about two hours in to the drive, I was called by the University of Portland and offered the job! Fully giving the credit to Jesus for His perfect timing in our lives. It was a crazy happy moment. I started on Tuesday, August 15th and you’re looking at the new Office Manager for Events at the University of Portland… a job that is just perfect for me! Ryan is still on the hunt and we are hoping that he finds the perfect job for him soon:)

(a few pic of our home below):

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So now we are here.. in Portland… for who knows how long. It’s weird and exciting and scary. Some of you might ask, why Portland? I’ve got a few reasons for you.

  1. FOOD CARTS
  2. Amazing outdoor adventures to be had (Forest Park, Columbia Gorge, etc.)
  3. The weather.. why endure 100 degrees for 3 months straight when you can have the cold?!
  4. To try something new
  5. Powell’s Book Store
  6. Did I mention the food?!
  7. CCCOOOOFFFFFFEEEEEEEEE
  8. Why not?

We just wanted something new, to challenge and to stretch ourselves as human beings. I don’t expect this transition to be easy, but at least I have my husband, my best friend, by my side to endure and adventure together! And all of this is very fun for us, but trust me, I miss my family so so much. I am the first of my siblings to move away and there will definitely be an adjustment period for my whole fam. Regular Facetime dates will become a thing!

We are excited to find a church and connect within a small group, to join an adult sports league to meet new friends, and to make friends with co-workers. And as much as we’re excited to put forth the effort to make new friends, we miss our friends from home already. With that said… please visit us! We have a spare room and would love to have people come visit us:)

 

Always Adventuring,

-C & R

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The Beginning of our Europe Adventure!

Holy smokes friends, we made it to Europe! It took a 10 hour flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam, a 3 hour layover and then a 1.5 hour flight from Amsterdam to Prague to make it to the actual start of our journey. This was Monday into Tuesday’s. Most of Europe is 9 hours ahead of the United States and our bodies were so darn confused! We arrived at our hotel and we tried to make ourselves stay up until a normal bedtime (9:00pm) which is 12 noon in the US to make our bodies adjust quickly to the time change.

We are traveling with Ryan’s mom (Karen), Paul and Brooke (Ryan’s brother and future sister in law) and family friend Phyllis. We will be joined by many more friends when we actually get on our river cruise. We are traveling with Viking River cruise from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. After the cruise portion ends, Ryan, Karen and I will be traveling to Rome and Paris as well (yay!). 

Like I said, our first stop was Prague, Czech Republic and wow, I am just amazed at the beauty and history of this country. There are building built in 920 a.d next to buildings that were made in the 1990’s. They still have hundreds of old buildings that survived both World Wars(somehow!) and we found out that Prague was only bombed once and it was by mistake from US pilots.  There are also so many statues all around the city and so many old churches, I couldn’t stop gazing in awe of these amazing places! 

Our first day of sight seeing was a roaring success. Ryan and I set off alone in the morning (after having coffee of course!) and headed towards the Charles Bridge…a famous walking bridge in the city. I had read about the towers on either side of the bridge and that you can pay a small fee to climb to the top.. so we did. The views were worth the many steps! 


We got a bird’s eye view of the river and surrounding city areas… it was gorgeous! We then set up a giant hill to find Prague Castle– a sight to behold! We couldn’t figure out how to buy tickets but we were invited to join a free city tour from a man named Scott. We learned a little about the castle and wandered around for a good while. We learned half the castle was built a long time ago and the other half was finished in the 1920’s. There is also an indoor jousting arena in the palace that surrounds the Prague Castle.. how cool is that?! Another interesting fact we learned from our super cool guide, Scott, was that several times throughout Czech history there was an event that happened… czech’s throwing people out of windows… they did this so often that they had to make up a word for it, and that word is defenestration. Here is the castle: 


That about sums up our first day.. other than LOTS of stops in different cafes for coffee:) 

The second day we were in Prague, we decided to take another tour from Scott, but not before we caught a glimpse of the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square(which was under construction, but still worth it!). 


With Scott, we wondered around the “new” parts of Prague (built anywhere from the 1400’s to the 1800’s). We saw an interesting building towards the end of our tour called the dancing house. It was finished in 1998 and the solid, stone part represents the unchanging communism and the glass part represents the rigid but flowing capitalism. 


After the tour, we set our sights on finding a cafe that was a recommendation from a friend. It’s called Cafe Savoy and let me tell you, they had the best mocha I have ever tasted! Cafe Savoy had everything you would think of when you think about an old European cafe… strong marble table tops, extravagant building details, fashionable waiters and waitresses and food and coffee to die for! 

We ended our time of wandering in Prague by indulging in the local cuisine.. TRDELNIK! Cinnamon sugar dough cooked with a hollow inside and filled with chocolate, caramel, or ice cream. Ryan and I enjoyed this treat immensely! 


The very last thing we did in Prague was travel to a tiny village to experience the Czech history. We dined in what used to be a barn and were serenaded by old men playing old instruments. We watched people dance like they would “back in the day”. It was quite the experience and so ended our time in Prague. 


Next up, Germany! 

-C 

Ashland, Oregon to Table Mountain, Oroville

Have you ever had that itch where you’ve just had to get away? The feeling that you need a moment to breathe and some new place to explore? Ryan and I felt that a few weekends ago… so we picked Ashland, Oregon to explore! Did you know that the southern end of Oregon is a mere 3 1/4 hours from Chico?  AND because it’s north, not south like the Bay Area, there’s basically NO traffic (what a win!). We packed up our car with our stuff and our pup (Frankie the red Queensland Heeler) and journeyed north.

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Ashland is known for it’s funky, hipster feels and Shakespearian atmosphere… they have Shakespeare plays continuing for 8 months out of the year. Many people travel here to see these famous plays. And while that’s cool and all…. Ryan and I spent our time sipping wine and lattes, eating the local cuisine, and roaming the great outdoors. We left Chico about noon and we didn’t get into Ashland until about 4:00 and where did we head straight to? Weisinger’s, a fantastic local winery. We were half the people there (which isn’t a bad thing when you visit somewhere in their “off season”) so we had the outdoor deck all to ourselves which overlooked the rolling hills beyond the highway. We ended up with a bottle of their Syrah to share with my parents.

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We stayed at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites which definitely fit the funky feel of Ashland and they allowed dogs, yay! After we settled into our hotel room, we ventured to the small downtown of Ashland. I’m from a small town, so I have grown to love other small town downtown areas. They have so much culture and you can get a feel for the locals with all the different stores. We ate at a restaurant called Harvey’s Place the first night where we dined on tater tots and mac and cheese (I know, I know, we eat like 12 year olds) but we highly recommend this place for fellow Ashland adventurers.

On Sunday, we headed to a coffee spot called Noble Coffee Roasting that at least 5 people told us we HAD to go while we were here and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I have a confession… I’ll drink any kind of coffee as long as it has sugar in it (I’m partial to Dutch Bros… keep your comments to yourself) so the vanilla latte I had was superb as I can’t tell the difference between amazing coffee and average coffee. I count heavily on Ryan to tell me if a coffee shop is good or not as he normally drinks straight espresso. I just love the vibes in a coffee shop and I love to people watch.

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We ate lunch in a very hip restaurant called the Brick Room that my sister and brother in law recommended to us. Ryan and I are definitely foodies (which is why I have to run otherwise I would weigh 500 pounds) and we LOVED the food here. Check out their menu here if you ever visit Ashland. After eating, we meandered through the shops in the downtown area (which is super dog friendly, fyi) and made our way to Rogue Valley Runners which is my second favorite running store (second to Fleet Feet, obvi!). Rogue Valley Runners is owned by a phenomenal ultra marathoner by the name of Hal Koerner and his store is a runner’s paradise!

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Our last stop was at Emigrant Lake to get some energy out of our crazy dog before we headed back to Chico. It was foggy, windy, rainy and gorgeous. We just walked the levee but I wish we could have stayed longer. Check this place out in the summertime, I hope to go back!

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The next weekend: Table Mountain in Oroville.

I have been here a lot… basically every spring since my freshmen year in college. It’s definitely up there on my favorite places in the world. You haven’t been there and you live in the Chico area… SHAME ON YOU. Get your butt to table mountain, right now.

Directions: Take 99 south and exit on the Butte College ramp, turn left onto Durham/Dayton Rd and follow it past Butte College. You’ll come to a four way stop, continue straight through that and at the second stop sign, you’ll turn right (which is Pentz Rd). Once on Pentz, it’ll dead end into Highway 70- take a left here. Once you take the left onto HWY 70, look for the first right you can make onto Cherokee Rd (there aren’t any signs for Table Mountain). Follow Cherokee rd until you see a small parking lot with port-o-potties and you’ve reached the beginning point of Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.

Pictured below: Phantom Falls

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It’s privately owned property that they open to the public (and cows) year round, but the only time it’s worth visiting is from the middle of March to the end of April. This flat “table” area explodes with wildflowers and it’s a sight to behold! There are several water falls in the area, the most common to hike to is called Phantom Falls and I’ve never hiked to it before until this past weekend.  It’s not very far, it was only about a 3.5 mile hike round trip and people of all ages and stages of life can definitely make it to at least the first water fall (Phantom Fall is the furthest water fall from the parking area). Take your time on this hike and enjoy the scenery. All I can say is that God’s creation is glorious.

Fun thing that happened at the end of our hike — we saw someone trying to back their car out of spot and realized it was our neighbor… so Ryan helped her back out of the spot and we thought that was it. Once we got home, she came over and gave us a book to say thank you. Guys, she’s a botanist and she WROTE THE BOOK and it’s all about the wildflowers on Table Mountain. How random and cool is that? The book is called the Wildflowers of Table Mountain and it’s pretty nifty.

Gaze upon the beauty that is Table Mountain… and keep in mind… these pictures don’t do it justice.

Happy Adventuring,

-C

To Be A Teammate

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This is just the ramblings of a woman in love trying to figure out what takes to make a great marriage so great. As many of you know, I am married to an amazing, loving, caring and patient man whose name is Ryan. He is the love of my life and I can’t imagine living out this crazy adventure with anyone but him. Our love story isn’t oozing with romance (I’m more practical than romantic), but Ryan won me over with his well written love letters and through his encouragement of my adventurous spirit. He knows what makes me tick, he loves me despite my quirks, he showers me with love on the daily, and I know he works hard everyday to be a good teammate.13902565_10208631507899410_2532684277615855276_n

Love Story Background: We knew each other through high school, but trust me, we did NOT like each other in high school. Our graduating class was only 25 people so everyone in our class knew each other pretty well. I was annoying and Ryan was stern and we both liked different people during high school. Now… three years after high school… I had stayed in Chico and Ryan had moved to Sacramento to go to school. Sacramento was quite the experience for Ryan but once he decided to actually focus on school, back to Chico he went (lucky for me!). Ryan contacted me once he moved back as I was one of the only high school friends left in Chico and asked to get connected to people I knew. I was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ at Chico State (now known as CRU) and living in the Girl’s CRU House and I plugged him into our Junior Year bible study which was at my house. We hung out a lot with people in my friend group during this time and Ryan was able to make some connections with the men in this group. He told me once I saved his life by connecting him to these people.

During this time, my friends often told me that they thought he was cute and I should date him and all I could say was, “Ew gross, we’re just friends!”.  To add confusion to our love story, I started dating someone from out of town just about the time Ryan moved back to Chico(which worked in my favor)… Ryan realized he had feelings beyond friendship when he found out I was dating someone…. and he decided that he actually liked me! Lucky for Ryan,it only took a month for me to figure out this person I was dating from out of town was NOT the person for me. Just a month after breaking up with this person, Ryan and I were dating! Ryan asked me to go on a walk, late one night, and told me about his feelings towards me. He asked me if I could risk our amazing friendship for an actual relationship. I told him I was willing to take that risk and I am SO glad I did! I knew within 6 weeks of dating Ryan that he would be my husband (it’s true, I have it written in my journal!).

We dated for 10 months, were engaged for 5 months and now we’ve been married over 2 and a half years! I do have to say, our wedding was my favorite event of my whole life thus far. We had a blast (I tell Ryan I wish we could have that wedding again every summer and he always says no). And marriage, let me tell you, is so so sweet. We have so much fun and I can’t believe we still get a life time together. I tell you our love story so now I can focus on what happens after marriage.10475449_10203323734048381_3288373374377075673_n

 

Why I care about being a teammate: Many people told us that marriage is HARD and it was just a little disheartening to hear as we were in the “honeymoon” stage and planning our wedding. I think they forgot to tell us how amazing marriage could be too! We decided that this wasn’t a phrase we wanted to tell other newly engaged or newly married people… that’s a scary phrase! Marriage can be so fun and so rewarding.. we highly recommend it:) Yes, marriage requires a bit of work, but God put you together for a reason and you can accomplish so much together when  you chose to focus on your mission together. An aspect Ryan and I like to focus on in our marriage is being on the same team and working hard to be a good teammate. Ryan and I grew up playing sports, so this terminology is something we understand. When we work together as a team, we get to win as a team. Being on the same team for us means communicating well in all aspects of life such as: asking your husband if he wants eggs in the morning while you’re making some for yourself, giving a run down of your agenda for the day, sharing prayer requests together, or it could be divide and conquer with chores and errands. The list goes on and on but for me, it’s naturally so easy to act as an individual and not as a team.

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While I understand what it means to be on a team, I can be selfish and act completely independent of Ryan. Ask anyone… my best skill is planning and organizing. Heck, it was my job for the first two years after graduating from college. It’s easy for me to schedule hangouts, vacations, family time, etc. without the consent or thought of my husband. Lucky for me, one of Ryan’s best qualities is his easy going nature and he gives me plenty of grace in this area. I know normally it won’t bug him if I plan a few friend events without asking him first, but I know after awhile the introvert in him doesn’t want to be around people anymore. I can also be a bit bossy (whoops) and controlling which is also not a good behavior to have when trying to act as a team. It’s something we’re working on… as a team. Ryan has permission to call me out and I’m working on my attitude on how I respond to that.

Some things we’ve come up with to be a good teammate are:

  1. Spending less time on social media and watching less television.  We also turn off all media to simply BE with each other. This is something that’s much harder for me than Ryan… I don’t listen to music when doing chores, I like to pop on a tv show to play in the background. For Ryan, it’s really distracting and we end up watching tv or scrolling through Facebook more than we end up talking to each other (what?!).
  2. Doing things that are “side by side” as opposed to always “face to face”. This is something we learned in our pre-marital counseling from Will Wilson. Ryan, like most men, prefer to do things side by side such as: building something together, walking together, etc. I like to have “face to face” time (like most women) and I want Ryan to talk to me for hours straight while we sip coffee at a local coffee shop. We have to be willing to change it up and do something something different than the norm.
  3. Do things with just the two of us. As you can tell, I love adventuring! I also love being around people… but sometimes it’s just nice to have a 4-5 hours car ride with just your own thoughts (and music preferences, duh!).
  4. Praying together. It still is something that’s not quite routine for us, but it’s something we decided to commit to about a year ago. When we pray together, we get to hear what’s on each other’s hearts and how Jesus is pushing us in our mission in life. It’s a sweet time and intimate for us. It helps strengthen our marriage when we pray together.
  5. Laugh a little. Golly gee, sometimes people are SO serious. What attracted me most to Ryan was his care free and jolly nature. Ryan is a goofball and so am I (sometimes I still wonder how I didn’t scare him away!) and we just love to HAVE FUN with each other.

Ryan and I are only 2.5 years into this whole together for a lifetime thing and obviously we’re still figuring out how to be good teammates. But with a little elbow grease and some laughs, I’m sure we’ll figure it out:) I hope that reading this brought you some peace about being on a team with your spouse or significant other and just know that it’s on my heart to be praying for newly wed couples while they’re figuring life out together (just like we still are!). We love this adventure of a life we have together and I hope this mission God has sent us on can bless someone else.

 

Ryan’s Note: The way you treat marriage defines the nature of it.  If you decide that your marriage is “hard” that’s how you will play it out.  I like to think of it as something I enjoy.  To play off Carly’s sports analogies, playing a sport can be difficult, but it’s your love of the game that drives you to be better both for yourself and your teammates.  Marriage is fun, marriage to Carly is funner. Falling in love was not hard, it was fun.  Prepare for hard times, they will come.  Serve each other, work for each other, hold each other, push each other, and listen to each other.  Maybe check out Galatians 5:22-23, there is some good wisdom in there.  Practice good things and you’ll do well in the games.  Don’t skip the basics and refer to them often.  Mostly, life is short so have some fun and make an impact.   You’re amazing, and if you don’t believe me, ask your best friend.

 

Praying for happy marriages,

-C (and R)

Agape

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply , because love covers a multitude of sins.”

Did you guys know I have a tattoo? Yup.. I do! It’s the word agape written across the back of my neck. No… not a grape like the fruit.. and no.. not a gape as in a door is open. Agape. I would love to tell you WHY I chose to have this tattoo. Let’s start with what it means:

Agape (greek):“Unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It devotes total commitment to seek your highest best no matter how anyone may respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change whether the love given is returned or not.”

The basics of it… love. But there are several times of love within the greek language: philia which is brotherly love, eros which is sexual love, storge which is family love, and agape which is sacrificial love. More specifically.. the type of love that God has shown us. It is an extremely hard kind of love because it is one that is difficult for humans to duplicate. Guys, God loved us SO much that he sent his son to die for US. That’s agape love. How can we possibly display such love? It’s hard, it really really is. We can TRY though and that’s what counts. For me, agape means: loving those who persecute you, loving your neighbor who drives you crazy, loving the stranger at the gym who shows off, loving the person who swiped your parking, loving the coworker that cooks fish in the microwave and loving your enemies BUT without expecting anything in return. It’s loving EVERYONE, no matter what. And the agape type of love is a conscious decision, it normally doesn’t happen naturally.

I feel as though love is an important subject right now. I don’t always understand what’s going on with politics or what the latest company or group of people is that we’re told to hate, but I do know that if there was more love in this world (no, trust me, I’m not a hippie), it would be a much better place. And I know that as a Christian, I am commanded to love. My love for God should inspire my love of his people as well. And I should love others because I am inspired by God’s love for me. See the cycle? It’s pretty cool. All this political hate that’s going on hurts my heart and I know it hurts God’s heart. I wish all everyone could get along and stop arguing so dang much, especially on social media platforms. Just LOVE! Love the person you see on Facebook who posts a view opposite of yours and show love to the person you see picketing in the streets. I wish that my words could make some sort of difference, but, I know that they most likely won’t. So instead I’ll use my actions in my day to day life to make a difference. This kind of love will go unnoticed by human kind but I know my heavenly Father sees this and is pleased. I am living in view of eternity as my pastor says. And it’s a good view to have.

So, people, go out as God has commanded and love others (more than yourself!). And if you don’t believe in God, just do something good for this hurting country and world, and love your neighbor. Remember agape in your day to day life and maybe, just maybe the world will become a better place.