Pursuing Love

We’ve been given nineteen years of love days together. This Valentines day was our best. one. yet. We had a wonderful date of adoration and conversation… No, this date was not filled with fancy clothes, flowers, jewelry or a lavish dinner… none of those things, really. We did not give each other gifts… we gave each other ourselves. We knew ahead of time we would not exchange gifts, we rarely do. Our expectations of each other were met, not by wants of material things we do not need, but the ease of an evening simply being together.

Our kids were well taken care of, unbound by any time frame, thankful money was no worry. We set out for a hole-in-the-wall middle eastern restaurant… Adam had a coupon for, of course. I love my thrifty man 😉 We prefer our own home cooked food to most restaurants, and enjoy cooking together, so we typically have low expectations of food when we eat out… yet we always hold high expectations of the coffee shops we frequent. We’re weirdos, I know.

We meandered our way thru downtown Portland, enjoying moments, even those we spent in traffic. Parking spot scored, with coupon in hand, we strolled on over to the restaurant. The owners greeted us and we settled in at our table. Their place is tiny, with only 5 tables, bustling with local customers coming and going. After we ordered, we observed everyone in the space was speaking Arabic, and greeting the husband and wife owners as if they were their own parents. Even though we were the only Caucasians in the restaurant, and I was the only female, besides the owners wife, we felt at home.

As we waited on our food, we were both in awe of what God was orchestrating. We were in the middle of another country, in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we were on our mission field. After we finished our food, the owner asked us how everything was. We told him the truth – they were the best gyros we’ve ever had. He began sharing about the restaurant and how he has been running the business. As we talked more, he came and sat down with us and we talked more. He was hilarious, sharing stories of how he took over the restaurant a few years ago, and made many changes, including not accepting coupons anymore – darn! 😉 But we didn’t care about the coupon, we only cared about the fact that our Valentines date was now being spent with an old Arabic man sharing his life story…

As we continued the conversation, we asked him, “How can we pray for you? How can we pray for your business?” He opened up, and we began to share with him our walk with Jesus. Adam told him he was a Pastor. Their response – “A priest? You’re too young to be a priest!” He hears that a lot from people, and he’s been serving in ministry for 20 years. He shared his own convictions and how he sees his relationship God… how he honors Jesus, Moses and Allah. I asked him more about Jesus… “How do you see Jesus?” He did not see him as equal to God or as Lord, but a prophet. We agreed to disagree, and after talking more, Adam shared with him John 14:6 and Jesus’ claim to be the only way to the Father. We talked with him for an hour, He kept saying, “I love talking to you about religion. It makes me feel good!” Their business began to pick up again, and he had to start cooking again. We thanked him for the wonderful food, said our good-byes and practically floated out of the restaurant.

Our date was spent sharing the pursuing love of Jesus with this precious man. Afterwards, we went to a coffee shop and had the honor to meet and pray for 2 more people the Holy Spirit connected us with. Throughout the whole evening, as Adam and I worshipped and talked about God’s furious love for us, His love could not be contained within us. The overflow of His love poured out of us and onto those we came in touch with.

We had the best Valentines date… in fact, the best date of all time. The evening ended with a deeper understanding and revelation of God’s love for us and His love for others. We were rested, refreshed and renewed from the amazing moments we shared with each other and others we met. We are honored to be used by God and look forward to the next person Holy Spirit leads us to!

For Valentines and every day, I am a girl who longs for the presence of God in every moment. Flowers will die, clothing will become outdated, jewelry will fade, fancy dinners will go down the toilet… but God’s furious love is everlasting and is the only treasure worthy of my pursuing. 

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Do you know God’s love? His love changes everything. The pages are open to share your story… feel free to comment, ask for prayer, ask questions and share this blog. Our stories rage on… In Him, Leslie

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Birthday Boy

Yesterday we celebrated Adam’s Birthday. Born April 29th, 1975 we celebrated him turning 39 years old. Thirty. Nine. He’s practically a dinosaur. Although… he has a baby face. So he’s more like a baby dinosaur…? Nah. He’s really an amazing husband, father and friend. He is all this and so. much. more. He’s also a Pastor. Sometimes I like to call him Mr. Pastor Pants. He loves hates when I call him that. As I gush and write about this baby dinosaur, who I also like to call Mr. Pastor Pants, I want to tell you how I really feel about this Birthday Boy. . .

Grateful.

I’m so grateful to be Adam’s wife. I’m grateful to know him. Really know him. More than anyone else does. Being in the ministry, Adam is a transparent Pastor, but no one truly knows him like I do. So… lemme tell ya what I know… 😉 He’s transparent and authentic. He’s motivated and passionate. He’s intense and focused. He’s wholeheartedly in love with me, our kids and most importantly, Jesus Christ. And he lives his life committed to serving Jesus and Shepherding people into relationship with Him. Buuut… B.U.T…T, before you get any ideas about his near angelic qualities… let me emphasize, he’s not perfect. However, he is amazing… And, I am grateful.

“When I see him, my heart skips a beat. There’s love in his eyes for me, for our kids, driven by his relentless dedication to our family. There’s truth on his tongue, fire in his soul and conviction in his veins to serve the One he loves wholeheartedly, the only One he loves more than me. We laugh, we cry, we fight, we love. Happy Birthday to an amazing husband, father and friend, full of passion, honor, and strength. I love you Adam… always and forever.”

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I wrote this and posted this picture on our shared Facebook page for his birthday.

There are moments we don’t see thru the same lens. There are times we are anxious stressed and fight. There are hours we waste arguing grumbling complaining. There are days we grow discontent prideful and arrogant. There are seasons we lose sight of GRATE. FULL. NESS. 

But God. . .

He keeps us together when were falling apart. He whispers our names when we have a dear ear. He softens our hearts when they grow hard.  He pours out His love when our well is dry. In His kindness, His mercy, His grace ~ He makes us grateful. Grateful for one another. Grateful for our marriage. Grateful for our family. Grateful for our lives. Grateful for Him as our Shepherd Savior and Friend.

Our marriage is a gift and I am grateful to God for Adam. I am grateful he was born thirty-nine years ago… I am grateful he is not a dinosaur. I wouldn’t marry a dinosaur. I am grateful he is my amazing husband, Mr. Pastor Pants 😉

Overflowing with thankfulness for this Birthday Boy today… Thanks for reading and sharing in our story! In Him, Leslie

New Years Eve

 New. Years. Eve.

so…what’s the big fuss about this day, anyway?
it’s like, December 31st. 
*surprise*. it comes every year.
staying up until midnight? 
i already do that like 337 days out of the year.
getting plastered and kissing someone?
welp. that can be done any day – although i don’t recommend it.
watching other people party at the ball dropping countdown in times square? 
boring.
we lived in NYC for four NYE’s and never attended that silly shindig.
listing your new years resolutions that you have every intention of keeping?
you will probably fail.
there can be a lot of pressure for people on the eve of ringing in a new year.
you must stay up late.
you must have lots of alcohol and kiss someone.
you must have your list of resolutions prepped and ready to attack on January 1st.
you must be tuned into the television watching the times square ball dropping party hopping slobber kissing commercial driven countdown…
otherwise…
you suck. 
for us… the eve of the new year is special for a few different reasons other than the ones traditionally celebrated.
it is a celebration of our past, present and future
all wrapped up into one crazy day.
***

Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our past ~ December 31st, 1996 we got engaged.
here’s our super cheesy engagement pictures.
be kind.



Adam proposed to me on new years eve 1996. 
and this wasn’t a simple ‘get down on the knee and ask. sweating. hoping i’d say yes.’ proposal. 
this was an all day affair.
he made me breakfast and then took me on a scavenger hunt throughout the Oklahoma City area and left notes with clues and meaningful gifts at each location. 
he even ‘popped the question’ in the newspaper. but that wasn’t the real proposal… yet.
Adam is a romantic. 
he has always been extremely affectionate and thoughtful.
i am thankful to know how loved i am.

part of the scavenger hunt in front of the dorms at University of Oklahoma, the announcement Adam put in the paper on 12.31.96 and my wedding ring
our engagement announcement in the Edmond, OK newspaper-June 1997
personal fav 🙂 

  

so after our fun day and scavenger hunt ~ we went to Opening Night in Oklahoma City. 
it’s a big nye celebration on a similar scale of times square ball drop. 
well not really… 
but it is a lot of fun.
there are activities, festivities and performances happening throughout the evening.
i thought we were going to see the “Sound of Music”, but he surprised me *yet again* and took me to the Edgar Cruz concert happening a few venues over.
i was onto him when i saw our parents and siblings (previously trying to hide from me) show up at the concert.
so in front of 300-400 people, Edgar Cruz announced ‘there’s a young man in the audience i would like to invite down to the stage’. Adam took me with him and i was freaking out knowing this was ‘the moment’ he would really ask me to marry him.
i said yes. obviously.
after the proposal our families joined us on stage and next we were whisked off in a golf cart to the Fox Channel 25 news area covering the nye opening night action.
we were interviewed and there was a clip on t.v. highlighting our engagement. 
it was super fun and exciting.
similar to our lives now 🙂 …we are never bored.

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love birds + goof balls = us.


and there is something you should know about *my wedding ring*.
it didn’t come from a fancy jewelry store – it came from a pawn/antique shop.
it wasn’t expensive.
it was used – but it shines – and i love it!
my ring reminds me everyday of Adam’s great love for me.
when i see it shine and sparkle, i am reminded of our love increasing thru the years, not fading.
God’s love for us is the same ~ 

it never fades.

we were bought by Him, not at a fancy store, but he paid the highest price with his life and death on the cross. 
*we are used, but shine, for His glory*

Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our present ~ December 31st, 2009 Selah was born.
she just turned three years old!
there will be more to her story later…
in her own birth story blog.
*aaaand… i can sense the anticipation as you wait for this forthcoming blog*
Every New Years Eve, we celebrate our future ~ we dream of what will the next year will look like…
we list our goals and resolutions…
we talk about our dreams, hopes, passions…
we pray for continued wisdom, direction and humility…

i already know i’m gonna fail miserably at many of the new years resolutions i set…
i am perfectly comfortable with my gifts and talents of procrastination, running late and forgetfulness.

but in spite of ourselves, the plans we make and what happens in 2013…
this year we will continue to *surrender *trust and *obey the Lord.
as we do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God 
{Micah 6:8}.

***


i love that in any community, even a blog, we can learn from one another ~ 
What are your New Years Resolutions? 
please share.
and thanks for reading! 

Model ~ Size 8

I’m not a model…
But that doesn’t matter…
My hubby thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world.



Most of the time, I wear a size 8. 

Sometimes, I can wear a size 6.
I’m only 5’3″, so I’ll never be a model.
You’ll never see my face on the cover of People, Cover Girl or Vogue magazine.
Oh, and add the fact that I’ll most likely never wear a size 2 again either.

Usually, Models are super skinny… super tall…and for some reason they always look super sulky, serious or sad.
These things I am not.
However, I am perfectly comfortable in my size 8 jeans.
And… my hubby thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world.

When we went on our 15th Anniversary trip to the coast a few weeks ago, we were goofing around with Adam’s camera on his new phone which does rapid shooting.
I absolutely LOVE laughing, making silly faces and having fun.
This is our photo shoot 🙂

Adam and I have known each other for 17 years…
In that time, we haven’t changed that much. 
We have a few more wrinkles and silver lining in our hair.
There are times when we feel strong and times we feel more like jello.
We’ve had times when we both put on weight and lost it.
There are times when we feel comfortable in our own skin and times when we don’t.
Now we make it a priority to work out, eat healthy and take care of ourselves…
For ourselves, for each other and for our family.
I think Adam is the most handsome and amazing man in the world.
Here is a little photo shoot I took with his camera when we went to Smith Rock in Oregon.
He wasn’t a fan of my taking his picture with his rapid shoot camera phone, but I did it anyway 🙂
I LOVE THIS MAN!


Take time to take pictures.
Take time to take care of yourself.
Thankfully, we are all unique.
I know that God sees me as His beautiful child.
I know that God loves me more than Adam does!
Take time to Know God’s love for you.
Take time to Know how God sees you.
He sees you as beautiful!


Celebrating 15 years of Marriage!

8.9.97 ~ 8.9.12

*We have been Married for 15 Years*

If you are just getting to know us / our blog ~ you can read here about how we met and fell in love, and read here about how our friendship with each other and our relationships with God are the foundation of our marriage.

We had a wonderful date on our anniversary, eating at one of our favorite restaurants (Northstar Cafe), drinking our favorite beverages (mochas) and walking thru a beautiful metro park (Inniswood Metro Gardens).  We were caught in the rain, but that didn’t stop our fun.  By the evenings’ end, we were completely soaked with rain ~ fully enjoying our life, laughter together and love for each other.

To celebrate our Anniversary early, we took a lil trip to the Pacific Coast and left the wee Babs with the Grand Babs, while we were visiting Adam’s family there a few weeks ago…

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport, OR

Of course, there’s nothing like hiking rocks in skinny jeans and converse 🙂

Adam at the edge of the rocks – such a daredevil 🙂

The “Devil’s Punchbowl”

Exploring Tide Pools

The next morning, we went running 4 miles along the coast.  We ended up with blisters and completely soaked, but it was SO FUN!  In case you don’t already know this about the Pacific Northwest… the weather can be unpredictable. The Oregon coast leans more on the side of being a sweatshirt beach, not a swimsuit beach. It was cloudy and rainy most of the time we were there, but we didn’t care.  We simply enjoyed God’s beautiful creation and each others’ company.  

We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years together holds ~ with God and each other…
We praise God for each day, for the opportunity to love each other, love others and fully live the life He has called us to. 
Thankful. 
There’s nothing better.