Guys. Life is seriously like trail mix.
Sometimes you stick your hand into the bag and get something you don't like - like dried banana slices or sunflower seeds...other times you stick your hand into the bag and get something amazing like dark chocolate chunks. Guess its all about how you eat your trail mix...I take one look at the dried banana slice throw it out and go in for some more trail mix options. Nothing stops me from searching for more of that chocolate.
Do you see where I am going with this? For a while there it seemed like all I was getting out of life was dried up banana slices. I was unemployed, lonely, and stuck in a slump and things just really weren't going my way. I knew that God had an amazing plan for my life, I just couldn't seem to find it. I would often find myself sitting at home bored to tears, and also covered in tears praying to God asking him for companionship, friends, and a job. I found myself repeating over and over to myself and out loud my favorite scripture Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
I found comfort in these words and kept reminding myself that God had a plan for me, and that plan was to be happy and that He would take care of me. Finally things started to turn around, and I found a job, I found community and friendship, and I found Andrew.
Andrew is the dark chocolate in my life. No really he is. I mean he is the whitest boy you have ever seen, but to me he is dark chocolate...and not just some boring dark chocolate, but dark chocolate with sea salt on it : ) He makes my soul feel calm and happy!
Everything in our relationship has had this odd natural progression feel to it. I don't really remember much about him from the first time we met at a Church BBQ, but I remember him from the second time I met him at Theology on Tap. I left that event with my siblings and as we were talking about the different people that showed up, I remember saying to them that there was something so familiar to me about Andrew and that he just seemed like such an honest, trustworthy, and reliable guy. We were friends for quite a while before we started dating, and I just always felt drawn to him. If he wasn't at an event I was sad, if I knew he would be going to something - well then I was definitely planning on going too!
We are both incredibly awkward people so needless to say our relationship has been awkward - the kind of awkward like when you are talking to someone with a uni brow and you keep looking away because you don't know where else to look. It was like this painful but happy dance of "here's my heart - can I trust you with it?" "um never mind, now I'm going to hide my heart from you" "Um, what exactly is your plan for us? "Um - I don't like that plan" "Okay, I like that plan" "Here's my heart again" We have had our fair share of fights and conflicts, but through it all we always want to fight through it together and we always seem to resolve things fairly and nicely! It is pretty great if I do say so myself. Winner winner chicken dinner!
This past week Andrew and I had been fighting - mostly because we missed each other, and he had gone out of town for some strange reason (which ended up being a good reason). We hadn't really had much alone time in the last 3 weeks - and the distance barrier was showing itself in our conversations. He called and said he was on his way back into town and wanted to take me to a fancy dinner. I knew something was up because we NEVER go to fancy dinners - Sunday brunch is more our thing. He also showed up an hour early and was suspiciously talking to my parents in the backyard...do you see where I am going here? We drove a back way to the restaurant and suddenly he pulled into our favorite park...oh boy...this was happening. I tried to play it cool even though I knew what was coming. We walked out onto a dock over the pond and in front of the sunset and he got right to the point. Said he was sorry he made me mad and he was going to get me some flowers, but he got me something else instead! He got down on both knees - he says it was one : ) - and proposed to me. WHAT!!!! I was oddly calm as this wave of peace washed over me and I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be and that I belonged by Andrew's side. All of a sudden he looked so different to me and his courage made me so confident in my "yes".
We are of course both on cloud nine...and probably cloud 12 and 15 as well! We are super excited to spend the rest of our lives together and feel so blessed to have found each other. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin our engagement process! It is so much easier to take steps forward when you have confidence in your decision, and truly feel in your heart that this is God's plan for you. I pray that you all find that courage in your hearts in whatever decisions you are facing today.
Walk with courage, and make sure you bring some of this trail mix with you. : )
Eat your heart out,
Oh...and this trail mix was inspired by something I bought at the health food store the other day. It is delicious and different - truly it is! No disappointing trail mix ingredients here : )
Coconut Maple Trail Mix
an original recipe from me!
4 Cups large flake shaved unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts
1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
4 TBS pure maple syrup
Toss these ingredients together then layer evenly on a large sheet tray. Toast in 350 degree oven for 4 minutes. Stir then toast another 4-6 minutes until golden brown. Watch this pretty diligently since coconut can burn quickly if you don't pay attention! Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool toss with the following:
1/2 cup raisins
cup chocolate chips (I like dark chips better but all we had were milk for this batch)
Combine and Eat! This is really insanely great and you will become addicted. Trust me : ) Store in well sealed container. Would taste great on top of ice cream too!