Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Howdy! (This is B...) So this is my first attempt at blogging of my own free-will. I had to do I it a couple of times at A&M for business classes. This time, however, I just wanted to tell you all about our Christmas adventures, because when you get married and move accross the country in the same summer, the dynamics of Christmas change dramatically.

Ashley and I had our first Christmass together this past Saturday in Pensacola. Ashley got me some pretty cool stuff. Then on Sunday morning we packed up for the long drive to Texas. We spent Sunday night in Houston with my family before waking up and driving to San Antonio to see her family. Last night we had dinner at the Norville household and my Dad and his parents drove down from Marble Falls to join us...and we're not even half-way done with Christmas stuff yet.

And by the way. My wife is amazing. She is the best helper I have ever met. She is encouraging and joyful. She is my best friend. And she is Hott!

Friday, December 19, 2008

revisiting what i'm learning.

Hey all!

Thanks so much for all the comments and words of truth and encouragement with what I shared a couple of weeks ago. I am so thankful for you. I wanted to revisit that subject with just an update on a little more of what I am learning.

After that week of uncovering some of those thought patterns, I was able to read some encouraging words from mentors and friend and got to talk through some of it with a couple of other dear friends.

One of the ladies I was talking to has actually been dealing through some of the same things, but in a different stage in life, as a mommy. Even my mom, a pro at parenting and being a wife, shared that she has dealt with the same thoughts recently in her new stage of life! Its amazing what common threads we all have as women. With so many of us desiring to feel purposeful and do valuable things, its pretty safe to say that God made us to desire purpose and value.
(if you have no idea what i am talking about and are completely confused read a couple of entries down, titled "what i'm learning.)

Our value and our purpose, our worth and joy can only come from Him though and being in His presence.

I like to have all the answers and to have everything figured out. I have been very blessed to have so many wonderful ladies pour into my life over the years, starting from birth w/ my mom and extending throughout the church body, especially during those teenage years when it wasn't cool to tell your mom all your secrets/thoughts and during college when I was away from my family. I have gained a wealth of wisdom from all the older women in my life who have poured their hearts out to me and covered me with prayers and truth.

And I always think when I am with them, man, I am going to remember what they are telling me so that I don't have to struggle with this sin or with that sin.

In my simple mind I start to think, wow, I am going to be an awesome wife, mom, etc...because these great women are telling me everything I need to know!

ha if only that were true :)

but when I don't do things right, I often feel like I am disappointing the Lord. I think, I know how I am supposed to do this! why can't I do it perfectly now!

however I am coming to learn (through the wisdom of a dear friend) that God is not about me doing things perfectly, especially not the first time. A lot of times I want Him to be about that, because I feel like I can do something to earn His love. I get frustrated when I am not His perfect daughter. But the fact is that He loves me, and He loves you, regardless of how awesome (or not awesome- as is often the case) I am.

And more than that, He wants to refine me, to train me in godliness-- and that takes time.

So even though I may know that being a wife to B and loving him daily are very valuable to God, and that I am valuable simply because God says I am, it is going to be part of the journey. It is going to take time to really believe God when He says those things.

He is taking me on a journey, and I believe that it is a delight for Him to do so. He wants to help me and walk with me or carry me through this. He doesn't want me to have all the answers (darn :) )

but thats ok. because the journey is much sweeter, training is much better than an instant superhero mix. sometimes I want that mix--but that's not what God wants. He wants me to fellowship with Him, to need Him and to spend time with Him in His word, to love Him.

So, I am still on the journey, but I think I will be on one all my life! I am just glad to know that He wants to do it w/ me :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Time in Florida

We are home again, home again in Pensacola, FL. We got back on Friday afternoon after B's graduation. We had the whole weekend to spend with each other because he didn't have to report back to the base in Pensacola until Monday.

In our excitement to finally come home, we decided to spend the afternoon at the beach (its about a 10 minute drive from our apartment- i know you're jealous). There was hardly anyone on the beach in the middle of December, even though it was still sunny and just a little on the cool side. ( I don't think we'll be seeing snow in Florida this year)

Here's some documentation of our day!

We recruited the one girl on the beach to take our picture :)

the water was cold on my feetsies

ben found a sand dollar!

ben found a bigger sand dollar!

ben's face anytime he sees a flying object :)

He's my handsome flyer!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We are officially counting down our last week in Alabama. It really has been a fun six weeks and I am so glad that we have gotten to do it together. Some wives don't get to come to this training with their husbands, so we are very blessed in that.

B just finished up his last test (even outside of college station he couldn't evade finals!) and passed! He is so smarty! and we had some great prayer warriors praying for him this morning :)

So on Friday, B is going to Gradutate himself (no typo, thats just what we call it) and we will head back to Florida, for good! well, sort of.

We will actually only be in Florida for a week before we head home to do a tour of Texas for Christmas break :) San Antonio, College Station and Houston are on our hit list. We only have about 10 days so we are having breeze thru them all quickly, but it will be so worth it to spend Christmas with our families. And we get to see J-Rog and Keri get married!! That will be fantastic!
It kind of feels weird to be going "home" to Florida. We have been there so on and off now that it is hard for our brains to really comprehend that we will really be living there the next year and a half or two. I think we are both excited about it, but there is also a sense of wonder as to what our time there will really have in store for us. What will we be involved in? where will the Lord use us? and who will He have us surround ourselves? Questions like that fill our minds, knowing that we really are going to live there for a while. We are learning to seek the Lord together for the future; B is learning to lead in that and I am learning to follow while we communicate to each other what we are sensing from the Lord.
It will be neat to look back on this time in a year or two and see a clearer and perhaps bigger picture of what the Lord is training us for right now and the circumstances, places and people He will surround us with. But for now, only He knows!

Friday, December 5, 2008

what i'm learning.

In my time with the Lord this morning I was just so struck by the lies we believe, and how destructive they can be in our daily walks.

I was telling/crying to B yesterday some of the things I had been feeling lately, that I knew just weren't good at all. I was telling him that I have just felt really purposeless lately- and am struggling to see the worth and the value of what I do. Its hard for me to put value on doing the dishes and the laundry, balancing the check book and cooking our meals. Its not something I am used to equating much worth to. Before I was married, I didn't do any of those things very often because I had things to do outside the house that I saw to be of greater value. I was hanging out w/ my little girls in Bryan or meeting someone for coffee to talk or pray. So as I hope you can see, its been kind of difficult for me to readjust my mind in this area. I have a husband now. And I never have had one of those before. I'm not used to equating a lot of purpose to loving and serving a husband. Yet, the highest calling I have on this earth in serving my God is to serve and to love him....so why are all these things floating around in my mind? Why I am doubting the significance of all that I do? As I thought about this and shared it with B, I realized what an effect these thoughts had on my daily walk. Its easy to sulk around or feel worthless when you are letting yourself believe that the things you are doing aren't of any value!
So why have these thoughts come up lately? Well one, as I said earlier-these just aren't the things I have ever put any stock in; and two- these are exactly the things I am supposed to be doing! Of course the enemy would want me doubting my value in this area!

Titus 2 instructs older women to "train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled,pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled"

Two of the very areas that we are to be trained in so that the God's Word is not reviled, are the very things that I was having such a hard time seeing worth in. Don't get me wrong, I love loving my husband, and I love being at home for him and taking care of things at home while he is gone, but I just don't naturally attribute much value to them. But they really are a HUGE deal. God wants us to do these things so that His word is not reviled, or despised! Thats a big deal. These are areas that I do not want to take lightly or to disregard as being enjoyable, but unimportant areas of my life. They are essential parts of the woman God is training me to be! I am not saying that a woman must stay at home all day and never leave or do anything else, but it is definitely an area to be regarded much as far as the Word of God goes.

B of course, is wonderful and is constantly reminding me of how important I am to him...I think he tells me 200 times a day that he loves me (and I wouldn't want it any other way). I love serving him and being his best friend. He serves me a lot too.

These are my musings for the day. friends, you can pray that I would really take hold of the purpose I have in being B's wife- that I would see through clear lenses God's great design and not let myself think on those lies.

Monday, December 1, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

While our family was in for the holiday, B and I decided to chop down our first Christmas tree. It wasn't as extreme as it may sound because THE Christmas Forest of Pensacola is located just a mile down the street from us. Who knew that Florida had its own Christmas Forest! The trees are actually grown in the sand, one is called the sand pine and the other is the Leeland cedar. We scoped out the best tree and with a hacksaw and B's muscles, took it home to our little apartment! The tree looks HUGE in our apartment, when we were in the tree forest, it really didn't look all that big. But its perfect! We were so excited about our first tree that we enlisted all of B's family to help us deck it out with lights and ornaments.

We actually made our own ornaments, with a little help from the inspiration of Starbucks :)

We took styrofoam balls of all sizes and wrapped them in different colors of yarn. We even found a styrofoam star to put on top! It looks sooo cute and was really fun to do with the whole family!

We even have a baby sitter for our tree while we are in Alabama this week (we are very good at giving Christmas trees a nice home). B is finishing up his last two weeks of training in Montgomery so we should be going home for good around dec. 12th. Here are some pictures of the tree and ornaments.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

el dia de gracias

B and I have already started one new tradition for our family. In God's divine providence, He knew exactly that B and I needed to spend the rest of our lives together because we both dislike two things: Thanksgiving food and casseroles.

So, upon discovery of this very rare similarity in our taste buds, we decided to do Thanksgiving a little different and made MeXiCaN food!! After two days of having left over enchiladas, rice and beans we have determined that it was well worth it to change Thanksgiving.

Our menu included:

Appetizers- queso, guacamole, salsa and shrimp cocktail

Entrees- Fiesta chicken enchiladas & turkey cruncy tacos

Sides- green chile rice, black beans and spinach salad

And for dessert we had- Sopapilla cheesecake, mini chocolate ice box pies, healthy bakies, and pumpkin bread (can't break some traditions)
It was really fun to host our first married Thanksgiving with our family. Ben's parents and brother and sister are sooo fun and so helpful. They had to leave this morning, but they were such good sports, staying in our little apartment with us. They were probably getting stir crazy by the time they had to leave. While they were here w=e got to give them the tour of Pensacola- We took them to all the local spots ;)
More pictures and stories of our merry little Thanksgiving weekend to come.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

so much to be thankful for...

Yay! we are going home to Pensacola today for a long weekend! B's parents and brother and sister are all driving over to Pensacola today to visit us for Thanksgiving. I have been grocery shopping and getting yummy foods ready all week! We are soo excited and thankful that they can come see us.

We live in a two bedroom apartment (which we just cleaned, so I will post pictures of our REAL apartment soon) and the fam will be sleeping on our blow up air mattresses! Its like staying at a five star hotel in the Carter household ;)

Please pray that we have a wonderful time together and that our focus remains on the Lord. We are so excited to see family and to get to spend a nice long weekend in our home. There is so much to be thankful for.

Happy thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the *temporary* humble abode

some pictures of our little hotel room on base in Alabama. Its quite cozy. :) we have a walkin closet that leads straight into the bathroom! I am also making our first Christmas stockings so here is a picture of them in the workings!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hemmed In

I just had the sweetest conversation with a junior in high school. It just melted my heart thinking of how much the Lord loves us and pursues us. He has such wonderful plans for this beautiful girl (for all of us really!). She and I have been playing phone tag for a couple of weeks now and finally were able to talk! Her name is Julian and she wanted to tell me about what the Lord has been setting in her heart and calling her to. Since this summer, He has been really calling her to purity. What a beautiful and holy thing that only He can do in us! He makes us pure.

He has taken her through scripture and books and even used our wedding to show her that He was calling her to a life of purity, and not just that but to tell other girls about the FREEDOM of waiting on the Lord. She has thrown away the idea of dating and wants to wait for the man she will marry! How precious! I am so amazed and thankful that the Lord is giving her wisdom as a junior in high school to see that He is what she needs to pursue, not men.

She is so confident that in the Lord's timing, He will bring the one He has for her, but until the day they say "I do". She is set on choosing the Lord and His affection only, and desires to stay wholly pure until the Lord opens those sacred doors of intimacy thru marriage!

My heart is rejoicing to see that just as the Lord's desire is for her, her desire is for Him! I am so encouraged and thankful that He has opened this beautiful, young girls eyes. I am also so challenged by her- as she is already giving testimony to other girls about what the Lord has shown her!! He has mighty plans for her.

I just had to share this. It is so encouraging to me to see people doing what is countercultural, even by the church's standards, and following the Lord. His word truly does not return void. He is accomplishing His purposes in this young girl- what a precious picture of how He hems us in, behind and before us.

I listened to this girl share testimony and saw how much He is using this sweet girl for His glory. My heart just cried, use me too, Jesus! and open my heart to be used by you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

blog makeovers

I am trying to learn how to make my blog pretty so I can compete with all the really cool blogs out there. But I am kind of slow when it comes to computer design and such...

Please note the pretty picture of the fall leaves- that took me like 15 minutes to do....ridiculous.

have a lovely afternoon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the past three months...in a nutshell

We are now in week two of our stay in Montgomery, AL.  At first we were kind of disappointed to have to leave Pensacola once again. It is a really good feeling to get settled somewhere and to feel like you are digging roots and plugging into a specific place, but the Lord has had a different plan for us during our first 3-4 months of marriage. And even in the midst of all the changes, we can still say confidently that He is faithful- He knows the plans He has for us, and they are good.

A short timeline of the last three months to update some of you:

July 19th- B and I are married! About 4 days later we went back up to College Station to finish up school. We had our first home there, for about two weeks, in Redstone Apts.

August 8th- We graduated TAMU and B commissioned

August 12th- B hit the road for Pensacola, FL, and my mom and I packed up the movers in College Station and headed up to FL.

August 24th- B left by plane for Pueblo, CO and I started the long drive to Colorado Springs, where I would stay with a family for 6 weeks during his training.

October 2- Be finished school & we headed up to Estes Park, CO for a few days of relaxing and mountain hiking.

October 6-we made the long drive back to our "still in boxes" new home in Pensacola.

At this point we joked, because we thought that finally, we would be in one place for more than 3-6 weeks at a time. We were planning to spend the next two years in Pensacola ANNND now we are in Alabama.

This time has already been a blessing though, and we know that it is from the Lord. There are several wives here with their husbands and most all of them are believers. It has been neat to connect with them. There is also a couple here from Puerto Rico. The wife, Francis is just learning English. She is actually really good- but you know how I love those Spanish speakers! She and I have had some great times together already. I don't know exactly where she stands with the Lord, she was raised Catholic, but seems to have a really open and genuine heart toward the Lord. I am praying He will use this friendship however he desires!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama and Bama

Nov. 4th- What a HUGE day!

On the same day Barak Obama was declared the new President of the US, B and I set off for Montgomery, Alabama!

On Tuesday evening we were notified that we would need to leave the next day for Alabama.

The military may try to pull some quick ones on us, but praise the Lord- He is good and sovereign!
B and I left for Alabama, not knowing if they would let me stay- just packing our bags and going out on faith. Amazingly, they were able to put us up in one of their married housing rooms! It is kind of like an extended stay hotel room with a little kitchenette and everything. Its not what we like to consider "home", but we are blessed and SO thankful that we get to spend these six weeks together!

If anyone knows anything about Montogomery, let us know!

Our New Adventure

Estes Park, CO

After only 3 months of marriage we have already traveled to and thru 5 different states and have had four different places we have called home!- we are very much so a military family

With the pace our lives are moving, I figured I would try my hand at blogging to help keep friends and family on track with our happenings and whereabouts. I can't promise I will be consistent, but I will try!

We are on a crazy adventure :)