Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Round-up

2012 was filled with high points, low points, challenges, rewards, emotion, love, life, work, play, rest, prayer, and adventuring. So I've made a little round-up of our year :)

Favorite Picture: This One!

Favorite Month: March 2012 (obvious choice!)
Our Wedding! 11 years and 2 months after first meeting, we became husband and wife. The day was perfect - the weather was perfect - the ceremony was perfect - and our mini-moon was perfect! (Until we both came home with the flu, but we were warned - when you're married you share everything!)

Least Favorite Month: November 2012
The darkest month of our year. We lost David's Great Aunt Coleen, My Grandma Fraylick and My Grandma Young - all within a 9 day period. Seems unbelievable? Yeah, it was tough to swallow. BUT, by the Grace of God, and the LOVE He showered on us, we made it through! And we can rejoice that all three of these beautiful women are in Heaven!

Favorite Meal: Chicken Stir Fry with Peppers & Pineapple
One of David's Specialties - we discovered that adding pineapple to chicken teriyaki stir fry gives it so much more flavor. We made this meal most often this year!

Favorite Restaurant: Miyabi's Sushi Bar!
We may or may not have a standing VIP discount. And, we may or may not have received a Christmas card from them. And, Sota, our favorite sushi chef, may or may not be bringing us a present from Japan when he goes in January. :) Let's just say, it's like our second home!

Favorite TV Shows: Hart of Dixie & Revenge; Dexter & Walking Dead
I'm sure you can guess which shows belong to which of us. 

Favorite "Bucket List" Item Checked off: Recording in Studio!
I've blogged about it before, but we got to each go into Charleston Sound Recording studio to record our Life Songs for a real album! Super cool experience - and fun thing to do together with each other, and our friend Jenny!

Favorite Weekend Activity: Getaways & Mini-Vacations!
We LOVE to get out of town and spend some quality time together. Since getting married, we've been to Myrtle Beach for a quick weekend, Clemson for a Game, Camping in North Carolina, and to Greenville for a weekend.

Favorite Worship Songs: How He Loves (David), How Deep the Father's Love (Court)
We chose these two songs as our life songs this year. If you want to know the reasonings, just ask us sometime!

Favorite Accomplishment: No Wedding or Honeymoon Debt!
With the help of my parents, David and I were able to pay for the majority of our wedding, and save up enough to completely pay for our upcoming honeymoon. All without having to sell anything or open any credit cards. Apparently, wedding debt is really common. We're pretty proud of ourselves that we made it all work out beautifully!

Favorite Overall Moment of the Year: Getting Married!
By and large, in the future, when we think of 2012, we'll undoubtedly think "Our Wedding".  So it will always go down in the books as one of the best years of our lives! As our pastor Chad says, it's the second most important decision of your life (behind accepting Christ as your Savior). I think we made the right choice ;)

On the calendar for 2013? 

Honeymooning in Jamaica in March! Looking like it's going to be a great year!

Happy New Year to all of our friends and family!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gone Campin'

Married Life Adventure #3 - Camping in NC!

A few weeks ago, David and I had a long weekend so we headed up to Mills River for some much needed R & R in the Mountains! We both love camping, so we couldn't wait to go. It was SO nice to be unplugged for 4 days with just each other in God's Creation!

Happy Husband!
Our room for the weekend.
Our happy boy! Moses LOVES camping.
The creek at our site. So peaceful.
Our "Kitchen"
Not sure what this is, but it overlooks the creek.
Naturally, Moses had to check it out!
View from our site
So nice listening to that water run all day!
Moses in his chair
This year, we went on our first hike!
Climbed out on a rock in the river to have a snack!
Another Creek shot.
Daddy and his boy. Love this photo!
Exploring. My two protectors!
We ventured off the path to find this
waterfall, but we couldn't get a great
shot of it through the trees. 
My big boy smiling for the camera! 
We crossed that log to get to a great snack spot, and Moses
attempted. But he fell in. Needless to say, he got a bit chilly!
So he stayed right here for the rest of the night!
All in all, it was a perfect weekend! Hoping to get back out there soon!
C + D

Monday, December 10, 2012

Silent Night

This event happened a couple weeks ago, but I'm just now having time (aka: able to share without crying) to post it. 

Our pastor, Dr. Dillon, says there are a few times in his life where he has so clearly, almost audibly, heard the Lord speak to him. And this past Friday, my dear friend and role model Karen (LifePark Women's Ministry leader) spoke about how God can use Christmas songs to speak to us. I know that to be true. I shared this story with her that night. So, I feel I should share my Silent Night experience with everyone. 

Friday Night, November 23, will be a day I'll always remember. We had been in Columbia all week with my Gramma Fraylick, loving her, spending time with her, holding her hand, and telling her goodbye. We headed back to Charleston that day to await what was next. 

When the end of someone's life is near, as a believer, my first thought, albeit perhaps a bit morbid, is "Where will they be going". If they are a true, redeemed follower of Christ, I know it is Heaven. If they are not saved, I shudder to think how the family will accept this grief and deal with the pain. See, as believers, we grieve not as people who have no hope, but as a people with a hope. (Don't quote me word-for-word on that, see 1 Thessalonians 4:13 for the actual text). Our hope comes in that our loved one is in Heaven, and by knowing that, we may find a bit of joy and peace even in death. 

I was really wrestling with this question about my Gramma. I knew she knew the Lord, I knew she had been saved. I did ask my mom about it a few days before, just for reassurance. I think in my human nature of questioning, I just needed to hear someone audibly tell me she was saved, she's going to Heaven. But being the closest person to me who was ever in their final days on earth, I was struggling. I didn't want to see her in that state. I didn't want to go into her room. I didn't want to remember her like that. I didn't want to think about her leaving us on earth, and I needed to know that I know without a shadow of doubt she would be going to Heaven with Jesus. (I did end up going into her room and kissing her and squeezing her hand, and telling her I loved her, and telling her goodbye, and just sitting with her and my family. I will forever be thankful for those moments). 

So, struggling with the whole scenario we were in, we went home to Charleston, jumping every time the phone rang. 

I was watching a movie with David that night, and he had fallen asleep. The song Silent Night, recorded by Sinead O'Connor, began playing. I was half asleep, not really paying attention to it, but I could hear the sounds in the background. When the song came on, I was immediately awake. I had no idea what was going on in the movie, but I had this feeling that I needed to go off by myself, somewhere silent, and listen, really listen, to that song. The Lord was pushing me. So I got up, went outside and pulled it up on YouTube on my phone (Hallelujah for smartphones, lol!). I sat and listened, and wept.

Never in my life have I so clearly heard the voice of the Lord.

Silent Night, Holy Night.  All is calm, All is bright. 

The song progressed, as I kept crying and praying. 

Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

And I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, the Lord telling me "I'm ready for her. This song is for her. It's time for her to go to sleep, in Heavenly Peace." After a few more moments of crying, and praying, and laughing, (yes, laughing) I called my sister, and my mom. I HAD to tell them what I just experienced. I had to share it with them, knowing they wouldn't think I was crazy. I think also, I needed to tell someone, so that I would have an accountability of sorts, or a witness that this really happened. That someone else knew what God was speaking to me. 

The next day, she passed. I know the Lord was giving me the peace I needed, because he knew what was coming the next day. It was perfect proof of His absolute divinity and timing. Had it not happened this time of year, I would not have heard Silent Night. He perfectly ordained it all. I was, and still am, in awe of His wonder, His power, and yet His attention to little ol' ME. Please know, I'm not seeking to take any glory for this moment. I'm not trying to be selfish, or talk about MYself, or MY experience. I'm simply sharing for the GLORY of the Lord. HE perfectly used my Gramma's passing to speak peace over me, and to reveal to me HIS power, through something so simple as a Christmas song.

With love,

**I'm sure you all know, two days later, on Monday, my Grandma Young passed away as well. I'm not trying to "jip" her, or leave her out. I just knew this was for my Gramma Fraylick. Maybe God was also trying to prepare my heart for Grandma Young, and I just didn't know it at the time. Maybe that's a question I'll ask Him, when I meet Him. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

For Gramma, and Grandma, with Love.

Confession: I've been avoiding the blog. I had all these grand plans to blog about what all I was thankful for on Thanksgiving, but, life changed quickly. Because so much has happened in the last few weeks, I didn't know where to even begin. What to share, and what not to share about what we've been going through. But, writing has always been therapeutic for me, specifically prayer-writing. So, I've been relying on the old ink and paper more so than keyboard and internet. 

But, I think my prayer from Saturday morning sums up all of my family's feelings pretty well. Where we are right now. So, rather than try and figure out what else to write, I'm just going to give you an excerpt of my prayer. Maybe you could pray it along with us!

Lord, what a week. I thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Especially this morning. Yesterday was the end of our longest week. It's the first morning of peace - not having to anticipate a death, or prepare for a funeral. It is finished. Both Grandmas are laid to rest, and happily rejoicing with you, and reunited with their husbands. We praise you for their life and for their death even. I praise you for their salvation. I praise you for both beautiful services. I praise you for Dr. Dillon's clear preaching of the gospel yesterday - I pray it planted a seed in any unbelievers that were there. I praise you for the gift of worship you've given David and I - and the strength you gave us to sing it over my Grandmothers. I praise you for your promise that you will never leave us nor forsake us. I know you never left us this week. I could feel you in every minute, every action, every decision. I praise you, that I and my family can truly say - we felt your peace. That peace that passes all understanding. Despite our overwhelming sadness, there were times anyone would expect us to be crying, but we weren't. I know that was Your hope. Your joy. Your peace that you gave us to walk through this fire. I praise you, Jesus, for how much of Grandma Young fills my home. I praise you for the special time I got to tell Gramma Fraylick I love her, and got to say goodbye to her. And after this tough week, I praise you for my salvation, without which, I would never be able to offer this prayer of praise and gladness to you. 

The rest of the prayer is more personal, so I'll just leave you with that. We will miss our grandmothers tremendously, but we're really doing ok! The overwhelming support, prayer and love we've been given have been incredible! We have definitely felt the body of Christ surrounding us through the whole Journey. Thank YOU to those who have reached out and loved on us... it's kept us going! :)

Some of my favorite and most recent pictures of my Grandma's are below. Enjoy!

Gramma Fraylick a few Christmases ago. She LOVED Christmas!
At Church on Easter Sunday- in her Favorite Pink outfit!

Didn't get a picture with her on our wedding day, but I'm SO thankful my friend Kim got this shot of her and David.

Grandma Young LOVED to dance. This was at my cousin Julie's wedding a few years ago.

This is Grandma Young's sister and brother in Law Winnie and Cecil, who are both also in Heaven with her!

And this - the grand finale - is the side of Grandma Young that friends rarely saw, but we saw all the time!

With full and thankful hearts,
C + D