Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anniversary day.

We worked today but thankfully our "boss" (Conrad) is also a great friend and he let us go to coffee so we were able to get our work done there. We brought a red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles with us and shared it. (Red velvet was what we had for our wedding!) Later in the day we went for Thai food. That was a fun treat too! Oh and our final fun was seeing Lily in her tutu. She and her mom, Jenny, had been gone for a couple days so the reunion was special. Also she wore the shoes I got her... SO cute (and a bit too big still). It's a happy anniversary.

project love love love



Yay!! It's time to go get some new goodies from Project Love because Hillary has done it yet again! New summer shirts!

P Love has become my favorite clothing line... (replacing Victoria's Secret's Pink collection in my heart)... this happened a while ago, but for those of you who had not been made aware, I think it is a good time now to let you in on that. :)

If you make any purchases from Project Love you can also support my ministry by typing "create" in the code box toward the end of your transaction. SO fun. 

You should also visit Hillary's blog:
www.lifeonsugarhill.blogspot.com -my favorite post recently was her sister's (Ashton- the model in white) bridal shower. Hillary and Gabi (the model in grey) hosted the whole thing and it really 
looks like it belongs in a magazine! Anyway, enjoy a new blog, 
get yourself a new shirt for summer, 
and spread some love with people who need it. 


Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6

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.

Photos from Memorial Day weekend.

Last weekend was incredible!! We had our very own mini vacation in Huntington Beach. Despite a terrifying experience Saturday night (our little brother Will Gleason had a grand mal seizure after his baseball game), everything else was like a dream. We spent time with friends we have been missing, enjoyed the sunshine, the beach, the pool, the hot tub, played a Norwegian game (sort of like "horse shoe") with the Fellers, spent lots of time with the Sumners, and realized once again how grateful we are for the Gleasons- our Huntington Beach family. Shaun and I had special time on Monday to celebrate our 3rd anniversary too. We shopped a bit, walked a lot, ate yummy food, and just enjoyed another day of being married.

Oh and I discovered a new favorite Bible verse. I love it because the idea is that no matter what "good things" we have or experience, the only thing really worth being stoked about is knowing God- because compared to Him, all of those "good things" are nothing.

"thus says the Lord, 'let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches, but let him who glories glory in this- that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight'"
Jer. 9:23-24

coffee date with Christina & Brit in Manhattan Beach
then to Huntington Beach for some In N Out before watching Will & Dakotah play little league baseball
most terrifying moment of my life, our little brother Will had a grand mal seizure... we were at the hospital til 4am.
a Sunday morning church service on the beach

LOTS of believers came to hang out

baptisms in the ocean!

sermon by the sea

the body of Christ-- skaters
my little friend Eden Sumner, playing tic tac toe in the sand
after the beach we attended a little league pool party.. Eden & her dessert :)


hot tub

pool party
dinner with Hanne & Sierra Fellers... yes... Tech-Deck made an action figure of Sierra haha

back to the Sumners.. playing in Eden's perfect little bedroom

hanging with Jude & Eden
finally we came back over to the Sumners on Monday evening for a Memorial day BBQ!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

photo from picking up the girls at LAX


If you saw my post from a week or two ago then you know the whole story of how we dressed up crazy to pick up my friends from LAX! My friend Marie just gave me this photo :) Thought you would enjoy it!

the breakfast, with photos!

Beauty Arise breakfast! 
It was wonderful!!!

Homemade cinnamon rolls.
Bananas.
Starbucks coffee.
Candles.
Beautiful ladies.
Inspiring speakers. (Featured Rowena Rodriguez of the Plain Jane Project! www.plainjaneproject.com)
Photo shoot.
Prayer.
Laughter.
Vulnerability.
Freedom.
Encouragement.
&& another one already being planned for July!! (you should come!)  Praise Jesus!!

here are a few iphone photos!












More photos to come!

Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in 
His sanctuary.
Psalm 96:6

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beauty Arise breakfast

Photo by Michael Fernandez

This is Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory. My friend Mike took the photo. Its beautiful.

Tomorrow morning we are doing our first "Beauty Arise" breakfast. From 9:30am-11:30am. Beauty Arise is the new name we are using to give my ministry a sense of identity. Until now there has not really been a name. I guess it was just the "Create Track" which is the specific ministry done through the Discipleship Training School here at YWAM, but that didn't really do it for me. I like Beauty Arise because it captures my heart better. I want to see the beauty that God places within us arise from us. Not the world's definition of beauty, but the heaven definition.

I also like it because the acronym is BA. So like tomorrow.. its our first BA breakfast.  After we eat we have a BA guest speaker. After that some BA small groups. Finally a BA photo shoot.

If you don't get it that's okay..
 if you do... its probably because you went to public school like me. :)

Anyway, I am excited for the breakfast tomorrow because we invited a bunch of girls & women to come eat homemade cinnamon rolls & hear from a new friend of mine named Rowena. She used to be a top designer for Forever 21 and then gave her life to Christ. Since then God has taken her on this awesome journey, teaching her truth about her beauty & His desire for her purity. 
He gave her a true identity. 

I love that. 

Its pretty perfect too because I want us to be able to be vulnerable with each other, and this week I had a few days where I was struggling to feel beautiful, and doubting my own abilities, so I will have some fresh battles to invite them into. 

I pray that God does something powerful tomorrow morning and shows us what He sees in us.
We need our identities to be secure in Him.
We need our beauty to be secure in Him too.
& we need His grace to help us stay pure. 

I hope that we have more BA breakfasts. 
And I hope that Jesus causes true beauty to arise from the hearts of people living in Los Angeles.
We all need it.
 


an evening in Pasadena.

So sometimes I have nights where I just feel like being alone. You too?

I had one earlier this week... I could have gone swimming with my sister & Marie... I could have gone to youth group with Shaun... but instead I did one of my most favorite things...

I had a date with Jesus in Pasadena.

Jesus dates are not that uncommon for me, but its rare that I'm able to do them in Pasadena because I don't like to spend money on gas... and parking... and of course frozen yogurt....

But this week I felt like it was a good thing.

The routine looks like this- I wait for my friends & family to go off to their evening endeavors, then I get in my car, turn on whatever music I am in the mood for, & pray to God, asking Him to meet me in a special way- like a Daddy & daughter date.

Then once I get to Pasadena I park on Colorado. (This week I didn't realize parking was free in the evenings, so I accidentally paid for parking... oops) Then I walk up and down the streets, watching the people, talking to homeless friends, and soaking up the feeling of being around fancy shops. Finally I go to 21 Flavors, get whatever amazing flavor combination they are offering up, & then walk over to Barnes & Noble and sit reading books for the next hour or 2. For me, its heaven.

I took some photos so you could be there with me... though its dark so they aren't super clear.
I was reading some things by Joyce Meyer & my froyo was "banana french toast" :) 

isn't it perfect? two of my favorite places at one intersection!
I guess its technically called "Old Pasadena"? don't know where new Pasadena is...
Well anyway, the point of me telling you this is not to make you crave frozen yogurt, or wish that you lived near Pasadena... actually I am more just wanting to share with you about my life. To let you know that we are not all that different.

One of the things I love about being alone with God is that it gives me an opportunity to be honest with Him about everything I have been wrestling with throughout the week...

like... insecurity
going to food for comfort.... haha frozen yogurt maybe??
wanting to be a better wife
feeling like my skin was broken out
comparison
wondering if i am qualified to do the things i am doing
wanting to be loved but feeling the sadness of some relationships that have ended... or seem like it
desiring to love God with my whole heart but realizing that lots of times I am distracted by other desires that seem all-consuming
hoping that i don't miss out on everything God created me for
--there's more but this is enough to give you the general idea

It's a bother that I struggle with all of this... and yet somehow God is so patient to listen to me, and teach me, and clean me up when I've gotten the 'mud' of sin on my heart.

Being alone with God fills me up, and reminds me to live in the moment. Often everything else in life feels so important, but when I sit down with Him, it all kind of dissolves... and I get my perspective back.

Its so good.

I guess I am just encouraging you tonight to get away with your Daddy, and have some time just you and Him. Go to a favorite place, enjoy a favorite treat, and let Him be the focus of your attention.

He is so satisfying.

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meredith.




I just think Meredee looks beautiful in these pictures 
so I thought you might enjoy looking at them with me :)



"As we become purer channels for God's light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. 
A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world 
that is, but toward creating the world that could be."
Marianne Williamson