Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Cry for More

Pastor Saeed Abedini is an American citizen, but he and his wife are from Iran. Back in August, Saeed was visiting in Iran because he was working to set up a secular orphanage…he had made several trips over the past months. But on this particular trip, he was arrested and thrown in Evin Prison for violating national security. This past Monday they set his trial date, but did not allow him to attend it. They sentenced him to eight years in Evin Prison for converting to Christianity back in 2000 and for endangering Iran’s national security by poisoning the minds of Iran’s youth against Islam. Evin Prison is known as hell on earth, and from the below account you can probably see why….
Marina Nemat was just 16 in 1981 when she was arrested and thrown into Evin during the mass arrests of students. She recalls the experience vividly.

“When you clear the gates, you are immediately blindfolded and brought underground,” Nemat told “They take you for interrogation. They take you to a hallway and sit you down. You are there for a long time. If you move or say anything you are beaten. You must sit perfectly still, while still blindfolded, and you can wait for hours, days or even weeks.”

Broken captives are then taken to an interrogation room, where the goal of inquisitors has little to do with getting at the truth.

“They are not looking for information," said Nemat, now an instructor at University of Toronto and author of "Prisoner of Tehran," a 2007 book detailing her ordeal and a second memoir entitled, "After Tehran". "What they want is for you to admit that you affected the national security of Iran.”

The bare feet of troublesome prisoners are lashed with cable to loosen their tongues. They're made to walk on swollen feet before the lashings resume, said Nemat, who added that many prisoners have died during this phase of interrogation.

Nemat survived and then endured six months of solitary confinement in Evin's 209 section, where cells typically had a toilet, a sink and no bed.

“The cells were just large enough to lie down," she said. "When you lay down at night if you stretched out your arms, you could touch the walls. Every day felt like 3,000 years.”

But the most harrowing experience Nemat went through at Evin came when jailers blindfolded her and led her out of a cell and down a corridor. When the blindfold was removed, she was facing a firing squad. As she waited for the cluster of rifle reports that would end her life, a guard pulled her away.

“He brought me back to my cell,” she said. “He told me that I was sentenced to death in court. I told him that I never had a trial and he said, ‘Yes you had a trial, you just weren’t there.'”

Like many other prisoners issued a death sentence, Nemat’s was reduced to life in prison. She spent another 15 months in another section of Evin, where she shared with as many as sixty other inmates in a public cell originally designed for just five or six people.

“Food was bare minimum and we were always hungry," she said. “The prison had closed-circuit television and they showed religious propaganda all day and they also showed the recorded confessions of the leaders of opposition groups who had broken under torture. We had only religious books about the Koran to read. Visitations were extremely limited and if we showed any sign of distress during visitation to our families, we would be tortured.”

Nemat spent three years at Evin before getting a new trial, where her sentence was reduced to time served. Although she and countless other inmates at Evin never were told what their supposed crimes were, the charge of compromising national security is the typical catch-all. It is punishable by death.”  -Written by Perry Chiaramonte on If you would like to read the full article, click 

This is what Saeed has been sentenced to. For eight years. IF he even survives the eight years, which many have said is doubtful. Many of the prisoners barely make it through two years. Pastor Youcef was a prisoner at Evin for about three years and was just recently released. The American Center for Law and Justice tirelessly worked for Pastor Youcef’s release; they are actively working for Pastor Saeed’s release today. If you would like to sign a petition that they plan to send to the United Nations calling for his release, click here.
As an American, this should disgust us. As a Christian and an American, this breaks my heart. I can’t imagine going through something like that. My brain can’t comprehend that level of suffering….it refuses to.
I so easily forget that my brothers and sisters in Christ go through things like this daily across the globe. I get wrapped up in work and petty inconveniences. I don’t witness to people around me every day…even though they are just as lost as Saeed’s captors….because I am fearful. Fearful of what? Being disliked? While my brother in Christ is beaten daily? And it’s not just me. I see this in nearly every church across our country. We have the resources and the freedoms that others in the world can only dream of….yet we do not use them. We remain silent. Sure, we may donate some money to some charities and we’ll go to revival services and vow to do better. But are we really working for His kingdom? Is our main focus the Great Commission?
I’m the first to raise my hand in guilt. I want the American dream. I have an awesome job making more money than most 22 year-olds make. I have a great husband and we live in a nice house with a garage and a dishwasher. We hope to have three kids one day running around the house. Maybe one day we’ll buy the house we’re living in and drive an SUV. We have our ministries at church and our close group of friends. We live a “normal” life….not to say that any of those things are bad. But I think that sometimes, we get way too caught up in our own little worlds and we forget about everyone else. We forget that there are people dying and going to hell. We forget that sex trafficking is exploding in numbers-even in America. We forget that Christians across the globe are tortured for their faith in Christ. I forget. My husband forgets. We all forget.
Stories like Saeed’s rock my world. I couldn’t sleep last night. I prayed for him and the other persecuted Christians around the globe. And I encourage you all to do the same. But we can always do more.
My church is currently doing a 21-day fast. Everyone has picked something that they felt like they needed to fast, rather than asking everyone to do the exact same thing. The point of this fast is to get the focus off of ourselves and onto God and His plans. To make a sacrifice, not for our personal gain, but for the gain of His Kingdom. I will admit that for the first few days I really was not on board…nor I was very enthusiastic. Sure I was fasting, but I was doing it just to “do it” because I am a part of the leadership team. But this past Sunday God convicted me of that thought process, and since then He’s taken my heart all over the place. So naturally, when I started reading Saeed’s story yesterday I decided it was time for me to jump on my soap box (blame God, it’s not my fault). And so I’ve been left with an overwhelming feeling: I should do more. I need to do more. We all do. But how?
I do not have the answer to this great conflict of interest, other than to tell you to look to Christ. He’s got all the answers. I cannot tell you why Saeed is being tortured for his faith. I cannot tell you how to solve his sufferings. I cannot tell you how exactly God wants you to put your faith into action. I cannot tell you that fasting will fix your problems or give you your life purpose. But I can point you the One who sees the big picture. And I can ask you to pray fervently for people like Saeed. I can ask you to seek after God’s will whole-heartedly and to keep your heart focused on the lost rather than yourself. That’s my heart’s cry right now. And I want so badly to not be the only one with that desire to do what God has for me. Church of America: Will you join me?
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I, send me!”  ~Isaiah 6:8

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Irrational Fears and Such

Like any sheltered American, I have a few irrational fears. I’ve already shared one of them with you guys in my last post… know, the one with my crazy dream? I am deathly afraid of being on a plane and it doing a flip mid-flight. That’s a pretty stupid fear because A) I’m too afraid of planes to even go on one and B) no pilot in his right mind would flip a plane with hundreds of people on board. And if he did flip the plane it would probably be because it was crashing and then I would get to see Jesus. Ahem.
I have other irrational fears too. Another one is that someone is going to be hiding in my garage when I go to leave for work. See, it used to be that we would leave the door down whenever our cars were parked inside, and when we did that I always afraid that someone would be waiting outside the garage door to get me when I opened it up. For that reason, I would ALWAYS get in the car, lock the door, start the engine, and be ready to back up BEFORE I would hit the button to raise the door up. That way, if someone was standing there I could slam my foot down on the gas and run over them. HA! TAKE THAT, YOU STALKER!! But alas, our beloved garage door has not been very obedient lately, so we’ve started leaving it up to avoid having both our vehicles trapped inside by accident. So now I’m afraid that someone could be hiding in the garage….just waiting for me to leave the comforts of my house. Irrational? Yes. Does that made a difference? Nope. (PS: To those cruel people who know where I live and are now considering a future prank in my garage….don’t do it. I’ll hate you forever.)
And for those who are wondering: no, I do not ever ever EVER watch scary movies. Because I hate suspense. And I hate it when people pop out of nowhere. And I hate that suspenseful music they play. So I have no idea where the garage fear comes from.
One fear that I have is totally rational though, and I think I share it with every other woman in America. And that would be the fear of spiders. I really hate spiders. I want them to all simultaneously die of a heart attack (do spiders even have hearts??). And I don’t care what PETA says about that wish of mine. I’m pretty sure the women of PETA are afraid of spiders too, because all women are. (NOTE: I am not a part of PETA and am not authorized to speak on their behalf….so disregard anything I say about them.) ANYWAYS.  Yesterday I was closing the curtain and there was a spider on it. This means that I did what all women do when they are surprised by a spider: they scream and jump back. Then they demand that someone kill it because I AM NOT GOING NEAR THAT THING.
Un-luckily for me, my husband doesn’t like to kill spiders. He claims that it is because they aren’t doing anything to hurt anyone so there is no point in killing them. I believe that he truly just enjoys my reaction when I find spiders in our house, so he wants them to continue living and breeding and infesting my living space. Luckily for me though, Duke was standing there. Why would that make me lucky? Because my dog has an obsession with eating bugs. If it moves, he wants to eat it. Flies. Roaches. Spiders. Gnats. Grasshoppers. Himz wantz to eatz themz allz. So I did what any spider-fearing woman would do, I shook the curtains so that the spider fell to the ground, and then I told my dog to eat it.
Me: DUKE! Get the spider!!!!! LOOK!!!
Duke: *quickly spies spider and pounces*
Roman: What are you doing???
Me: I’m letting Duke eat this spider
Duke: *licks spider up off floor*
Roman: What if that were poisonous
Me: It wasn’t.
Roman: But what if it was? And how do you know?
Me: Because it was tiny.
Roman: That doesn’t mean anything! You could have just fed a poisonous spider to our dog!!
Me: Oops.

I’m a terrible mother, I know. But you will all be happy to know that Duke survived the spider eating incident. And I also survived the spider incident. And there wasn’t anyone hiding in the garage this morning when I left for work, so today is shaping up to be a pretty great day. NOTE: I will NOT let my flesh-and-blood children eat spiders…even if they do enjoy it. NOTE NOTE: No animals were harmed in the writing of this post…except the spider. But PETA doesn’t care about those.

Now, does anyone have any tips on how to tell when a spider is poisonous??    ;)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”  ~Matthew 6:25

Friday, January 25, 2013

Men are from Jupiter, My Cat is from Mars.....or something like that

Last night I had two dreams that were almost equally weird.
Dream #1: Roman and I were flying to somewhere on a little plane that felt like it was huge. (Side note: I am terrified of flying.) I was scared out of my mind, not necessarily because we were on a plane, but because the pilot insisted on flying the plane just ten feet away from the ground. I think he thought he was flying one of those weird ships from Star Wars and felt like he needed to hover the ground like they did. Crazy pilot.  The worst part was, he kept turning around and talking to us. And every time he did, the plane would dip towards the ground or swerve toward a light pole. He did this the. entire. flight. And for whatever reason, when it came time to land our pilot took the plane waaaaay high in the air, did a couple of flips, and then nose-dived towards the landing strip. As I’m screaming my head off thinking I was about to die, he straightened the plane up and landed it like normal. Roman and I exited the plane……and I told him we were driving home.
What’s really weird is I have dreams like that all the time…where I get on a plane and the pilot insists on flying just a few feet off the ground….or he spends his time doing all sorts of crazy flips. Weird. Maybe I’m the one who wishes I was flying those weird ships from Star Wars? Or maybe I have an unconscious phobia of the weird ships from Star Wars?
Dream #2: My dad, my younger brother, Roman and I all went to Mars. We were super awesome scientists that built a super awesome space ship that could travel to Mars in only 3.5 hours. We were going to fly there, spend two hours gathering data, and then fly back. Except when we got to Mars, it looked a lot like the jungles here on Earth. And I couldn’t find my breathing apparatus that attached to my oxygen tank. Everyone else got tired of waiting for me and left me….except my little brother didn’t close the hatch all the way and Lauren (yes, my cat….apparently she lives on Mars) opened the door to come inside. So while all the oxygen is whooshing out of our space ship, I’m trying to hold my breath long enough to find the breathing apparatus. I finally found it on top of the shelf and hooked it up to the oxygen tank. Crisis averted.
Next, I had to figure out which bathing suit I was going to wear outside.  No…I’m not kidding. The data we were gathering involved us paddling out into the ocean and drawing water samples, and I didn’t want to fly back to Earth with wet clothes and sneakers. Once I finally got my bathing suit on, my flip-flops and my beach towel, I met everyone on the cruise ship. When we got waaaay out into the ocean, we boarded a little paddle boat and the cruise ship lowered us down. We paddled and paddled and paddled and paddled and finally decided that we had reached a good part of the ocean to take water samples. (Because, you know, you have to be a certain distance away from the cruise ship before the water samples are good.) Then I turned around and noticed how far away the cruise ship was now and thought about how tired I was from paddling for so long and how I didn’t want to paddle back.
Then I woke up.
Several things can be learned from this dream:
1) The government is lying to us….Mars is actually a jungle-y place with oceans…they even have cruise ships!!
2) I need to go on vacation. (A cruise would be nice….but I’d like to stay on planet Earth, please)
3) Don’t ever forget to shut the door of your space ship…..because you never know when a rogue cat could open the door.
4) (This goes along with number three….) Don’t ever lose your breathing apparatus. Always have it handy when your space ship lands on Mars. Because you never know when a rogue cat could open the door.
5) Lauren is apparently from Mars….which explains her overall weirdness and non-cat-like characteristics.

 Also, I promise I am not crazy and I do not have a secret desire to visit Mars. Remember? I’m terrified of flying….and the space ship’s pilot would probably insist on doing at least one back-flip. I hate that.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”                                                                                                   ~Philippians 4:8

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Working in an office with five zillion cubicles everywhere can be……..interesting. It’s always interesting when you’re trying to tell people how to get to your desk. Two days ago I tried to give directions to someone on the phone…..they sounded like this:
“You come off the elevator and take a right and walk through the big double doors. Then you take another right and you keep walking until you almost get to the wall. You’ll see a tiny walkway of cubicles to your right and there are only like five or six of us back here. I’m the second on the right.”
Person on the phone: “Okay….so how far do I walk?”
“You know those two big column thingies?? Well our little walkway is two column thingies away from the wall.”
Person on the phone: *silence*
“Never mind, just come off the elevator and go through the big double doors on your right and I’ll stand there and wait for you.”
Quite obviously, big offices with hundreds of cubicles need street names. Giving directions would be so much easier if I could just say: “Take a right and walk down Main until you get to Little Main and then make another right. I’m the second mailbox on the right.”
Another interesting thing about working in cubicle-land is the um….how do I say this? Lack of privacy? A cubicle wall prevents people around you from seeing what you are doing, but seeing as how those things are made of foam and fake plastic, they can definitely HEAR everything you are doing. I have the pleasure of working on the opposite side of a man that I will call “John”.
John is a very peculiar person. He doesn’t really talk a whole lot to very many people…..except his daily call to a 1-800 number. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Oh, and did I mention that he makes these calls on speaker phone? No? Well, he does. Every. Single. Time. And because he is much older in age, he thinks that the person on the other end of the line cannot hear him, so he shouts.
I hate calling 1-800 numbers. Calling a 1-800 number is the last thing on my to-do list. Example: Roman’s college tax statement came in the mail the other day from his last semester in 2012. They listed that he received a scholarship of $450….and I can assure you that he most certainly did not. I. Am. Dreading. Calling. These. People. We’re going to have to sit down with these 1-800 people and go through all of those automated prompts before we finally get to talk to someone….and then that someone will probably have to transfer us to someone else….and then…well, you get the point. Back to the story.
For whatever reason though, John really likes to call 1-800 numbers. A lot of times the call is about his health insurance. “Will they cover this?” “Can I do this?” I suppose John has a lot of health problems. However, if I were a dishonest person, John would have a lot of other problems too….because he shouts his Social Security number and every other bit of personal information to these people every single day. Luckily for John though, he is surrounded by honest people who just sit there and snicker quietly to themselves rather than taking his personal information and stealing his identity. Lucky you, John.
Normally John’s conversations are pretty boring, but sometimes they are stinking hilarious. One of the funniest conversations happened several months ago. I will not type John’s words in all caps, but just know that every time he speaks, he shouts…..
John: Hello? Can you hear me?
Customer Service Rep (CSR): Sir, I can hear you….can you hear me?
John: I can’t hear you, can you hear me?
CSR: Sir, I can hear you…..can you hear me?
John: I can hear you, but you can’t hear me.
CSR: I hear you just fine sir.
John: I can’t hear you, but you can hear me.
CSR: Can you hear me now?
John: I can hear you, but you can’t hear me.
CSR: I hear you just fine sir.
John: I can’t hear you. Call me back at this number: XXX-XXX-XXXX   *slams phone down*

If I wasn’t laughing so hard, I would have spoken up and said “I hear the both of you just fine from here.” But alas, I was laughing so hard that I was about to fall out of my chair. I had to walk outside so I could get it out of my system. And for those of you that were wondering…the CSR didn’t call him back. And I can’t blame him….he probably thought it was a prank call or something.
Yesterday, John called another 1-800 number. This time it was about his car. (Again, he’s shouting) “I have a Mazda and the time is all messed up. Can you help me fix it?” This is when it is a good thing that I don’t work for a 1-800 number, because my sarcastic self would have said “Look in the owner’s manual or give me five dollars for wasting my time.” Two days ago, his call sounded like this: “I drove my Malibu to work today and accidently backed into my Mazda pulling out of the driveway. How much is it going to cost me to fix it??” My reply: “Well, we’d have to come assess the damage before I can tell you that. Duh.”
Oh goodness…..Lord bless the man. And Lord bless the people he calls every day for dealing with him. And please help me to laugh quiet enough to where no one else can hear me. Amen.
So here’s the lesson folks: do good in school so that one day you can grow up to work inside of a rat maze. If you’re lucky, you’ll sit next to someone entertaining. Or you’ll work with cool people like me and get involved in a cubicle prank war. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll sit next to someone who has stinky feet and never cleans his work space. And the people will be boring and mean and you’ll hate it.
Okay, totally kidding. (Mostly kidding). There isn’t really a lesson here. Just know that if you work outside and you sometimes dream of sitting in your own little cubicle inside, well….sometimes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. And sometimes, you get some really good laughs. Thank God for John.
“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:4

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ladies: Don't be a Husband Basher

The last part of this post is (in every way) intended to make you gag but to make my husband smile. Definitely read the beginning of it though, it’s important and I promise will not prompt any gagging!  ;)
Yesterday afternoon, I read something very interesting on a blog. Not sure where it was (sorry!), but the basic premise of the article was this: God created marriage to be the image of Christ’s love for His church. Satan cannot directly attack God, so Satan is going to attack the next best thing: the image of Christ and His love for the church. Therefore, Satan is constantly trying to gain a foothold in your marriage. Because if he can destroy your marriage, then he destroys the world’s view of God and His love for us.
That is profound to me. And how true it is! Today, the church has higher rates of divorce than the secular world. Not so coincidentally, the church (in America at least) seems to be falling apart as our nation spirals out of control: high divorce rates, homosexuality, abortions, ruthless murders….we live in a godless society today. Satan seems to be succeeding.
But we can still win this fight, because we have God on our side! He surely does not desire for His church (and His image) to be the laughing stock of society, and He certainly does not desire for our marriages to fail. It is time for us to take an active role and push back against the enemy’s attacks!
Last night in church, my Pastor’s sermon was about exactly what I had read earlier yesterday afternoon. So I could definitely hear God saying, “Pay attention! This is extremely important!”
I read yet again another article this morning called “Beware the Husband Basher”. (If you would like to read it, click here and scroll down until you see the title. It was posted yesterday.) This article related to me in a very big way, because I myself have been guilty of being a husband basher before…..and it usually happens when I’m out with a bunch of girlfriends. One girl will talk bad about her man, and before you know it the entire table is with the worst group of men that ever walked the earth. Then, as I drive home I begin pondering every little thing that Roman has ever done to aggravate me. By the time I get home, I’m in a bad mood and I’m snapping his head off….he just can’t do anything right. He’s not nice enough. He’s not romantic enough. He doesn’t talk to me enough. Blah blah blah. I go to bed huffing and puffing and he goes to bed wondering who peed in my cereal this morning. Sound familiar to anyone out there? I think we women probably run into this situation many times, even if we don’t realize it or won’t admit it. Our mouths get us in a lot of trouble. A LOT.
I used to think it was okay to whine a bit to your girlfriends about your husband’s vices. After all, you have to vent to somebody, right? But it didn’t take long for me to realize what this type of speech did to my marriage, and I started trying harder to keep my mouth shut when the male-bashing ensued.  I am still not perfect in this area, but after everything I’ve read and heard the past two days, I know that God is telling me to do even better. I never truly grasped what “husband-bashing” did: it gives Satan a direct foothold in my marriage. And I certainly don’t want that!!  
Now of course, there are times when you need to confide in someone you can trust when your husband is doing something wrong (for example, if he is having an affair or using porn). And even in the smaller things, you sometimes need to seek advice from someone you can trust (example: my husband watches TV too much, how do I confront him?). But in issues like that, it is more important than ever to try your best to show him respect. We wives are specifically called to respect our husbands, even when they don’t deserve it. Even when they really mess up and hurt us deeply. Even when they aren’t living a life worthy of respect. If we are to obey God, then we need to give our husbands respect in all situations….and one of the best ways we can do that is by lifting our husbands up when others are bashing their husbands. This doesn’t mean he’s perfect. This doesn’t mean he’s even living for God like he’s supposed to. But it does mean that we are honoring him with our words. After all, when do we ever see a nagging wife change her husband’s behavior? I’ll give you a hint: never. But when our husband knows he has our respect, well, that changes things. That makes it easier for them to listen when we confront them over an issue.  
After all, most of us are married to decent people. Sure, they may do gross things like pee on the toilet seat, but I’m pretty certain the vast majority of our husbands are not murderers and they do love us for who we are. And if we had to be honest with ourselves, we are not always the most pleasant people to live with either. We have our own little quirks and odd things that we do that frustrate the every-loving daylights out of our men. And how awesome would it make us feel if we heard them griping to their guy-friends over all of our bad traits? Not too great! I want my husband to gush about how wonderful I am to all of his friends, not divulge all of my faults. And so if I want to be treated that way, then I should have the decency to return the favor! After all, I did marry a really great guy, and he deserves to be bragged on!  ;)
So I will now introduce to you New Year’s Resolution #4:
Be intentional about lifting Roman up, especially when others are dragging their husbands down.
Game Plan: Pretty self explanatory….I always have good things to fall back on, even when we aren’t having a great day. Roman is incredibly kind and smart and always willing to help around the house when I ask him. And he’s a pretty sexy dude if I may say so! 
And now for the finale……Roman and I used to type love e-mails back in forth to each other way back in the early months of our relationship. I didn’t have a cell phone back then, so the only way we could communicate was either by telephone or e-mail. Yeah, I know, we had it rough. Haha. So as a tribute to those early days, and to get a jump-start on my New Year’s Resolution, here is a love letter to my better half. After all, I need to start 2013 off right! (Warning: here’s where it gets gushy…’ve been warned. Haha.)
To my Roman-face,
I remember the first time I met you. It was right after my mom had a dream about a tall, slender man with sandy blonde hair and clear blue eyes asking her if he could take me home from play practice….so I guess you could say I was on the lookout. Ha. We were pulling up at a mutual friend’s house for a surprise birthday party, and you walked across the yard in front of our car. “There goes a cute guy”, my Mom remarked. I blushed. Stephen poked fun. Dad shook his head and rolled his eyes. After all, Mom isn’t supposed to encourage Daddy’s baby girl to date! We didn’t really talk much that day. I mostly just stared at you and pretended not to stare at you when you looked my way. I didn’t see you for a long time after that, and I had all but forgotten about you when you walked into our church for a Homecoming service. I was singing a solo that day. I instantly recognized you and remembered what my Mom said about her dream several months ago. You made me ridiculously nervous. Thanks for that. Haha.
A few weeks later, you came back. Except you came because you wanted to ask another girl out. She didn’t like you. So naturally, a pretty blonde girl crossed your path and you decided you liked her better anyways (ahem, that pretty blonde girl was me….in case you didn’t know). We flirted. You chased me with a fly swatter. I was the perfect immature, smitten fifteen-year old girl, and you played the role of flirty, immature boy perfectly. When you left, one of your friends said that you wanted my phone number and asked if she could give it to you. I said no. She did it anyways. I later found out that she had told you I wanted her to give you my phone number, but was too shy to give it to you in person. You called me later that night and asked me if I liked you. I said yes and then hung up the phone real quick. I didn’t know whether you would think that was stupid or cute….but you were my first real “love interest”…..and I was clueless.
Thankfully, you decided my silly antics were cute. Over the next few months, we talked for hours on the phone. I got in lots of trouble for talking to you for hours on the phone. Ha. On New Year’s Eve, in the year of 2005, you asked me to be your girlfriend while we were standing in front of a bonfire. My heart soared. I said yes. You kissed me on the forehead when you left to go home. I think that’s why I love bonfires and kisses on my forehead so much. (Note: I only like kisses on my forehead if your name is Roman. If you’re a random guy, please don’t kiss my forehead. I will kick you where it hurts most.)
“Don’t worry Daddy, I’m sure we won’t last….after all, we’re only fifteen and he probably won’t like me for long.” I remember telling my Dad that later that night after telling him I was now your girlfriend. Little did I know, that kiss on the forehead was the first of many kisses to come….followed by the happiest day of my life on June 5, 2010 when I became your wife.
We’ve had our ups and downs, that’s for sure. Breaking up our senior year of high school was stupid of us. We did lots of stupid stuff, actually. I’m sure we will continue to make mistakes the rest of our lives. But we’ve done some pretty incredible stuff too, and I know the best is still yet to come. I know the road won’t always be easy. But I also know that God made us for each other, and that no matter what I will be yours and you will be mine….’till death do us part.
It’s exciting for me as your wife to see you grow into a man. I’ve known you since you were fifteen. I’ve watched you grow in your walk with God and become the leader of our household. I’ve watched you grow in maturity and in wisdom. I know God has something special planned for you, and that He is proud to see His son boldly take on the (sometimes difficult) task of being my husband. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished in life so far, and I am so glad that God chose me to be your help mate.
There are so many things that I could tell you! I am proud that you got a promotion at your job. Your work ethic (and your ability to get to work on time) has always made me proud. The promotion at work is just proof of how hard you work to provide for us. I’m so glad I have a husband that desires to provide for me. You are so devoted to our church as well, and it is such a peace of mind to know that in all of our decisions in life, you have asked God for wisdom and guidance. I know that no matter what decision we are facing, I can trust in your leadership and know that you are going to make the best decision for our family. You love me on my most difficult days….when I am sad or emotional or cranky…..sure, we have our moments. But you are quick to forgive, quick to ask forgiveness, and quick to move on and love me for who I am. You don’t hold my shortcomings over my head and push me to be someone I’m not. You also laugh at my jokes….even the lame ones. Which is a good thing because I’m pretty sure I’m more lame than I am funny. (This is when you say, “no honey, you’re always funny. I <3 your jokes.”) And it goes without saying…but I’m going to say it anyways…’re freakin’ sexy!!  ;)  I know that you are going to be a great father one day too!! I have no idea how I managed to score a guy like you. Actually, I do know: our marriage was ordained by God. And I owe God a super big favor (that I can never repay) for choosing me to “do life” with you!
As we enter into 2013, this will be the first New Year of our marriage without starting college courses. Yippee!! I’m so glad we’ve entered into this new season of life, and I’m excited about what our future holds. Even as we are walking through a struggle right now, I know that God is with us and God has a plan. And I also know that no matter what that plan is, I will have you by my side as my lover and my supporter. Life is so much easier knowing that I have God and that I have such a great husband who loves Him.
So thank you for choosing me to be your bride. Thank you for being a faithful husband….a man committed to making our marriage great. Thank you for being who you are, and for bringing so much joy into my life. I love you. I love you more each day. I love waking up next to you every morning….even though you let your alarm clock go off for what seems like forever before you turn it off. Haha. Actually, most mornings I wake up next to Duke. But you know what I mean. And I hope that I bring at least half as much joy to your life as you do to mine. Because I have a whole lot of happiness thanks to you.
With all my love,
Your Baby  (xoxoxo)
 PS: Wanna splurge and have steaks for dinner tonight?  ;)

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” ~Ephesians 5:33