Thursday, May 31, 2012

happy anniversary!

 Three years of marriage today!! What a beautiful thing God has done!!
 [If you want to know more about our story follow the link below!]

one of my favorite pictures of Shaunny

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year!

Mr. and Mrs. Shaun Hover

the proposal :)
3 years today! What a gift! I remember a when it had only been a few months of marriage and three years seemed so far away, but now that it has already come, it feels like it has flown by!

Marriage is an incredible thing. It is wonderful. Having a friend and companion, someone who treasures me, and someone to adore. Its precious. It is also painful. Marriage shows me my flaws and forces me to develop things like patience and self control. In marriage I discover that nothing in life can satisfy me... not even the man that I hoped could. I also discover that I'm not as nice as I hoped I was not, and not selfless and I want to be. Being married to Shaun has given me hours of laughter, and it has also brought deep pain as I have learned that many of my expectations about marriage were unrealistic and based more on romantic comedies than on Biblical truth.

Marriage has been one of my favorite blessings because I married my favorite friend.

Shaun made a point early in our marriage to tell me that we would never stress,worry, or argue about money because God is our provider... I have seen now, 3 years later, that he meant every word. He doesn't stress about money. That's saying a lot considering we work as full-time missionaries and don't receive an income. But Shaun trusts God and is committed to believing Him to take care of us...Shaun doesn't make me feel insecure about how I look. He isn't critical. & yet he is honest, and truthful, and gentle as he helps me work through things in my life. I remember a time when I had gained weight after an outreach to Thailand.. I was feeling yucky, and wondered if he noticed. I went over to where he was sitting and asked, "Do you think I look big now?" He smiled and hugged me. Then he said, "I'm not going to answer that, but we can pray together right now and you can ask God that question..." So we prayed & God showed me truth & once again, Shaun reminded me that I was beautiful in his eyes, but it was more important that I understand how beautiful I was in God's eyes.

Even with how amazing Shaun is, sometimes throughout marriage I find myself asking... "what if I would have married this other person? Or... what if I would have chosen this other education, or different career?" Those are painful questions, and if they spend too much time in my brain they can become destructive, but I was praying about it recently and I was reminded of something in the Bible...

God is jealous for me. 

 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:4-5)

Not jealous like I have something that God wishes he could have, like money, or great legs.

God is jealous for me in the sense that He made me, I am His, and He greatly desires my affection. Like He hates when anything in my life replaces Him. I am His unique treasure, His special possession... the Bible even says that I am His bride. (Actually you are too, "bride" is used to define all Christians as a unit)

I love knowing that God is jealous for me because it helps give me perspective about my life. God loves my life, and the events that take place in it. He orchestrates things and moves in different ways and it is awesome. But it is super important to understand that more than anything else God wants me to want Him.

Sooo... he wants my marriage, my education, my career, my location, my wealth, my work... everything... to point me to the place of being intimate with Him. Because his priority is my relationship to Him.

This is so good, because as I have been seeking Him for the last 5 years, asking Him where to go and what to do, and who to marry- I can be confident that the things that have happened have been divinely orchestrated so that at the end of the day my heart would be fully His.

This brings me back to my marriage with Shaun. If there is one thing you can know about Shaun its that He is absolutely crazy about His Savior. Its true. He is the weird guy who talks about Jesus to anybody he meets. Actually it only looks weird for a few minutes, until the person is crying, or getting healed of something, and you realize that once again God is using Shaun to change somebody's life.

No joke.... a few weeks ago a kid from the skate park died in Shaun's arms. Shaun and a friend prayed like crazy for him and after about a half minute of no pulse or breathing, the kid woke up, burst into tears and they took him to the hospital.

Shaun is passionate about Jesus.

So it makes sense that if my God is passionate about me loving Him.... He would place me into a marriage with a sexy skater man who gives me really no other option but to see Jesus at work every single day.

That's what marriage is really about anyway.
It is a beautifully messy gift that is meant to glorify God and show people the way Christ loves this world.

I'm thankful to be married to Shaun.
He helps me to learn who I am, encourages me in every way.
Watching him love me helps me to know how much God loves me.

I know of three young women who husbands that died before they were even married ten years. Seeing their journeys has helped remind me to appreciate my time with Shaun. My time with him is not guaranteed. Outside of God, nothing is guaranteed. 

Thank you Lord for my amazing husband. Bless him and strengthen him tonight. Give him everything he needs to get all of his work done this week and please help him to not feel overwhelmed. Thank you that you will help him finish all of his homework... even though its so much. Help me to be the wife you created me to be. Give me grace to be selfless and patient. Keep my heart focused on you and help me to have eyes for Shaun alone... because we both know that I am prone to wandering. I love you Jesus. Bless whoever is reading this with the sweet feeling of knowing that you see them and adore them. If they are single please help them to be content and fully embrace where you have them. Fill them with hope for their future, and use them where they are. If they are married please bless and protect their marriages and use them powerfully to impact others. If their hearts ache please heal them, if their bodies ache please heal those too. We love you. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
on the beach in Chile earlier this year.

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