Tuesday, September 28, 2010
So, unfortunately our internet is in and out, seems like each time I try to do anything it fails on me and then I lose everything I just wrote. Hopefully we'll get it worked out soon and I'll be able to do a real post. Until then, God bless and be patient with me... and pray that I will be patient with computers and tech stuff in general. :-D
Monday, September 20, 2010
Okay so we're finally starting to wind down from our crazy, big weekend. I'll be posting more details on how everything went soon, right now I really just want to take a long nap.
The photographer put a few photos on her blog, here's a link so you can get a little glimpse of things.
Monday, September 13, 2010
My apologies for the lack of posts these past few days, things have been rather busy around the Carstensen household. On Saturday we moved all of my sister's things into her and Roman's apartment, went really quickly because we're all so organised. =) No! it's true, my mother is one of the most organised, efficient people I know and she has trained us to be the same way. But I guess we had some pretty good helper's too, especially when it came to moving the bigger stuff.
Things will probably be pretty quiet on my blog this week as well, today starts the really getting into finishing up any last details that couldn't be done beforehand, as well as having guests arriving from out of town and showers, rehearsal and all that fun stuff!
So, cheers to ya'll and I will see you after the wedding!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
"Ephesians 5:18 says, "...be filled with the Spirit." To be filled something must first be empty. To be filled by the Spirit you must be empty of yourself and full of God. You give the Holy Spirit complete and total control of your life. When you became a Christian you received all of the Holy Spirit. To be a virtuous woman,you must let the Holy Spirit have all of you." -Lady In Waiting: Lady of Virtue
Virtuous womanhood is something that our mother sought to instruct us in from the time we were very little, the Proverb's 31 woman has been our standard and example as long as I can remember. The idea of being focused on our inward character and walk with the Lord rather than being consumed with outward beauty and vanity. It is not something we can ever just arrive at, and then rest with the assurance that we are there, rather it is a daily struggle, and constant growing process. We are formed by the events and circumstances of our day to day lives, whether they be times of joy or sorrow.
I believe that often the sorrow has more to do with the forming than the joy, for how can we experience true without first having had the sorrow. It may have been because of my age and just where I was in the growing process, but I found that the last year and half has made up the most significant growth in my life. Over the past year and a half I went through several different therapy programs because of multiple injuries, was in and out of the doctor's office and emergency room and spent a lot of time off my feet trying to deal with the pain that I was in. I had lot of anger because of what was happening to me, I was angry with myself for not being able to heal and angry with God because I didn't understand why He was having me go through this time. I enjoy having a certain sense of independence and was frustrated because I had to rely on others to help me with things. Even now I struggle with the fact that there are certain things I just cannot physically do. I'm learning to deal with this more each day, and am learning how to do things in a different way so that I don't re-injure something.
The time of being out of it and being in constant pain was a huge blessing to me, I definitely would not have said that while in the midst of it, but it has grown me and given me a new perspective on the idea of wanting to control my own life. I see now that it really is best to not have control, what a mess I would make of things if I did!
"A virtuous woman who can find? For her worth is far above rubys." How apt to compare her to a gem, something that is created by the harsh environment around it, and so made to withstand the elements it is in. Something beautiful and rock hard, that is set in what it is and cannot be moved by any other power than that of it's Creator. O, Lord, may I be such a woman, a woman who fears the Lord.
Monday, September 6, 2010
My family typically has at least one or two people over on Sunday evening, often it's up in the twenty's. But as we have only a couple Sunday's left with our family all together we decided to be inhospitable and have a family night. It was really a lot of fun, because of all the business going our family really hasn't spent much sit down time together, unless sitting in the car on our way somewhere counts. On week nights we're typically each off doing our own thing even if every one is at home.
So last night we went out and did a little impromptu shopping for dinner, came home and prepared it together, then settled in for a cozy, relaxed evening.
After spending the afternoon outside in the rain it was lovely to curl up by the crackling fire...
Work on a 1000 piece puzzle all together, it's something I remember doing quite a bit when we were younger. On gray days, we build the fire, turn the lights down and work on puzzles for a couple of hours. We have some of the strangest conversations while doing it too, last night there was some talk of "butterfly sneezes"...
My mother, sisters and myself also spent some time drooling over houses, with us it's not shoes or clothes(well, maybe occasionally) but for the most part we all love looking at houses. Caitlin and I were most excited about this charming cottage...
And we also made Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches a favorite of our family, thanks Caitlin!
A little update on how wedding things are going. I finally finished everything on all the dresses, and am doing a final fitting with the Mallery girls today, to make sure everything is just right. We ordered the flowers and cake last week ( it's feels so good to get things checked off!). This week we are going to be baking lots o' cupcakes, probably somewhere around 300. :-}
We'll be moving all the furniture into their apartment this next weekend. (Yeah! We'll have space in our basement again!) And there's probably a lot of little things as well. Less then 2 weeks now!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
"If Jesus wants you to be married, He will orchestrate the encounter. You have nothing to fear except getting in His way and trying to "write the script" rather than following His. Jesus does have your best interest at heart. He desire to bless you by giving you the best. Sometimes what you perceive as the best is nothing more than a generic version. Consider His wisdom and love in comparison to your own wisdom and self-love. In whom are you going to trust - all Wisdom and Everlasting Love or little ol' finite you? Ever since the Garden of Eden, women have often felt they could and should know as much as God. Much pain in our world has resulted from dependence on our wisdom rather than on our Father's." - Lady in Waiting: Lady of Faith
When we first started attending the church that we are at now, there was a lot of uncertainty, and wondering if it was the best place for us to be. One of the reasons that we had was that many other people assumed the only reason we were interested in going there was to find husbands. As a family of four girls that had simply been gathering in their own home for some time listening to sermons on tapes, then deciding to go to a church that had a abundance of young men(comparatively speaking) I suppose it was only natural for them to come to that conclusion. But it was one that annoyed us to no end, we did not want to be known as "husband hunters". and our reasons for deciding to attend this church had nothing to do with our marital concerns.
Now anyone that assumed that could still think so, after all my older sister did end up finding one there. But as we, and she, is perfectly willing to tell anybody, it was the farthest thing from her mind for a very long time, she didn't even like him! At least not in that way. And once told us all that she felt very sorry for his future wife, because of the crazy character he can be.
My mother is especially bothered by this because people are assuming something of her that is completely opposite from how she really is, she has never feared that somehow we might "miss our chance" if we don't actively go out and pursue husbands. And when she see's others doing so, finds it rather aggravating. Truly it is a lack of faith on their part, if they feel that they have to search out and snatch up whoever they can find, they are obviously not trusting the Lord to bring about the right person at the right time.
I know that if the Lord would have me get married He will then provide the means to do so, I don't have to do anything but have faith in Him. I am not worried that I may "miss out"because I don't hang out with other young people and don't have that many opportunities to meet young men. I know that when I am ready and he is ready God will bring us together. I could worry very easily, most of the young men I know are engaged or younger than myself. My mother often teases that I was born a year too soon, all the guys are a month to several months younger than I am.
But there is nothing for me to worry about, it is possible that I will not marry, I understand that and while right now it is a difficult thought for me to face, I know that if that is what the Lord has called me to He will give me the grace to joyfully serve in that state. My life is not about getting married, it is about serving the Lord, I pray that I may one day find someone who I can serve the Lord alongside with, doing more together than I could ever do one my own. But if not, my life will not be something stale and lacking, it will be just as much to His glory!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
"Singleness is an enviable condition. An unmarried woman has something that a married woman gives up on her wedding day: extra time for Jesus. Too many young women waste valuable years as they wait for life to begin- after marriage. They rarely realize the priceless free time they waste, until it is gone." - Lady in Waiting: Lady of Diligence
My single years are not a time of waiting. It is not a momentary lapse of purposefulness between finishing school and getting married. I am not sitting in a tower waiting for my husband to fight his way through the guards and rescue me. No "damsel in distress" role for me.
I would strive to be actively pursuing whatever the Lord may place before me. Right now it is things at home, but it has not always been that way nor will it continue to be. I started working while in my senior year of high school, and continued to do so for another year afterwards. I attended a midwife seminar with the purpose of possibly pursuing being a midwife assistant, the Lord has not put that into place at this time, but that doesn't mean that taking that class was a waste of time, I learned things that will help when I, Lord willing, bear my own children and things that can help serve those around me who do have children. The things that I am pursuing now(nanny position, cello, studies in Scripture, etc.) are not just fillers for my time till I really start "living". My goal in life is to serve and bring glory to God, this is something that can be done just as well, if not better, during my time of singleness as during marriage.
"Undistracted and unrelenting describe different facets of the word diligence. "
Focusing on the tasks at hand rather than dreaming about the future, diligently pursuing a life of excellence, using all of my abilities to serve those around me, praying that the Lord might use me as a channel of His grace to someone else, that they too might come to love and serve Him.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The other day I was in the living room staring at the bookshelf trying to figure out what to read next, not that I have lack of books, rather there are so many I want to read I was trying to figure out where to start. My mother came in and gave me one that wasn't even on my list(guess all those others will have to wait a bit). Because of the season of life that I am in right now she felt that reading Lady In Waiting would be appropriate. With my sister's marriage, and the emotional ups and downs that come with helping her on to this next stage of her life, this book has proved to be very helpful for me. And as I await my own time to "graduate" in life.
I've read it through already but am now going through it a little slower, taking time to really think about each chapter and how it might apply to my own life. Some areas are easier than others as my situation varies from the those spoken about in the book, but there is something I can learn from each and seek to use for my Lord everyday of my life, whether I be married or single. I'm hoping to do a post on what I'm learning from each chapter, we'll have to see just how well it goes.
A lady of reckless abandonment... sounds a little, well...reckless. Which is typically not a good thing. But as with all things you really have to put it in it's proper context to really see the whole picture and get a true understanding of what is being said. Ruth is the main example used in this part of the book, her reckless abandonment involved leaving everything that she knew and as far as could be seen abandoning all hope of getting married again and being able to raise her own family in a comfortable, familiar environment. She gave everything to Naomi and a God she had just barely begun to know about, having been raised with a completely different world-view.
As I consider reckless abandonment in my own life, I see as being an abandonment of self and of what I might want for my own life. Abandoning all things that do serve to glorify my Lord, things that may not be wrong in and of themselves, but that can distract me from the most precious thing in my life. Abandoning myself completely to Christ, with Him being the all in all in my life.
"When two "incomplete" singles get married their union will not make them complete. Their marriage will simple be two "incomplete" people trying to find completeness in one another. Only when they understand that their fullness is found in a relationship with Jesus will they ever begin to complement one another. They can never complete one another. You were not created to complete another, but to complement." -Lady in Waiting: Lady of Reckless Abandonment
The quote above I found very helpful. Very often I have been told that it is my role when I become a wife to complete my husband and that his is to do the same for me. But this throws a whole, and I believe more Biblical, perspective on it. How could two fallen, sinful human being possibly complete one another, only in the Lord can we be complete and it must come before marriage. Otherwise we are not able to come together with someone else and complement them. My relationship with my husband will be a very special, beautiful thing, but it is not what is first in my life. Before I can properly love and serve any man, I must be loving and serving my Lord, Jesus Christ, recklessly abandoning myself to this love and service, as it is what my life was created for, my high calling as His handmaiden.