One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty One Days

 

Year four.

I have so many swarming thoughts about marrying “young” – Josh was 22, I was 21.
We met when I was 18.

What I didn’t know at 18 was that there’s a whole lot of growing up that’s done between 20 and 30.

But, ultimately, I’m thankful for a partner to walk through life with.
Even though we are growing up together.
Finding our values – together and separately.
Asking questions.
Getting angry sometimes.
Crying sometimes.
Holding hands.
Apologizing.
Again and again and again.

We’ve walked together through some really hard seasons.
Year three was like the sky was falling and the pain and worry seemed relentless.

This year we’ve celebrated some really sweet moments.
We became grateful for all the good news.
Grateful for the people that are around us.
Grateful for opportunities to find joy and value in our work.
Even if that meant quitting one job and starting another.
Or two.

We’ve also done a lot of really normal, every day things.
Like eating dinner.
Staying up too late with our friends.
Walking Millie.
And watching The Office over and over again.

Josh Morris,

I am grateful for you.
Your grace to let me stumble.
The way you approach situations with a completely different perspective.
(Which, while frustrating at times, is a wonderful gift.)

Your calmness when I’m spinning with worry.
The way you chase your passions.
And make shelves for me when I ask.

I’m eager for year five with you.

 

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TWENTY SIXTEEN

 

This year I want to look back and remember that throughout all the sweet moments, new territory, chaos, and challenges, Jesus was near.

 

2016

This year there was a lot less writing for public and a lot more writing in a Word document.

So there aren’t as many links to site.

And that’s ok.

We spent several weekends with family. Here’s just one to St. Louis.

And having all of our family together in Springfield for Josh’s graduation was a forever favorite moment.

Both of us transitioned into new jobs and then back into new jobs again.
Discovering and rediscovering where our talents and passions connect.
Floundering is ok.

Friends are a sweet gift.
Laughing with them late into the night or standing around humbling asking God to do big things is such a treasure.

Being outside.
Bike riding, camping, taking naps in the park.
Bike riding on the Katy Trail with my parents and bike riding through Springfield with friends.

We took a crash course in public transportation in Chicago.
And learned the balance of planning and spontaneity.

We celebrated three years of marriage in June.

And somehow read 11 books this year.

The most important lesson of this year is one that I’m sure I will continue to learn year after year.

That it’s ok to ask big things from God.
That it’s ok to tell him when it doesn’t go our way.
And that trusting God doesn’t mean that the chaos goes away.

But that I can rest knowing that His love is deep.

Worry is fruitless.

And that times of anxiousness can be redirected to times of worship.

There was so much change that came in 2016 for the Morrises.

Too much to write down.
And honestly, some just too personal for this space.
The older I get and the more “life” just happens the more protective I become on this space.

But looking back the one thing I want to remember is that Jesus was near.
And, of course, for your viewing pleasure…

2012
2013
2014
2015

I’m kind of fond of these year end posts.

A Weekend in St. Louis

Josh and I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend in St. Louis with my sister and her husband.  They have the coziest apartment downtown with windows displaying the spectacular (and breathtaking if you are from small town Springfield, MO) city scape views.

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04.10.16

Saturday my parents arrived on the train and after enjoying a small snack we headed out for the zoo.

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We celebrated mom’s birthday all weekend – but mostly with Sunday brunch.

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I’ve been dreaming of this french toast ever since.

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On Sunday night the boys went out to a concert leaving the original Vaughts to dinner and Netflix the night away.

Goodness, I love them so.

TWENTY FIFTEEN | A LONG LOOK BACK

I am straining for ways to introduce this post.

The past three year-end posts have filled me with warm thoughts and excitement as I scrolled through compiling travel pictures, engagement, wedding, and our first year as newlyweds and “adults”.

This year’s was a bit different.

2015 was a good, beautiful, sweet, adventurous, and hard year.

The photo compilation doesn’t include the funerals we attended or the numerous doctor’s offices we sat in or the painful tears that poured from our eyes. But it also doesn’t quite show the way that the Lord has held us. The quiet moments where we just sat on the couch holding hands in silence saying, “God is good.” because there were literally no other words.

I wanted so badly to just take this new calendar year and run away with new goals and a clear slate. To forget all the hard times and just think of all the exciting unknowns (blinding myself to the scary unknowns this year will bring, of course) and all the adventures J and I would embark on.

But to do that, I need to take a long look back.

To see the sweet and the suffering as part of God’s purpose for our lives.

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This year Millie was brought into our lives.  And what a joy filled grace she is!

We went on our first camping adventure this spring and have made a few preparations to go again this year.  Bike riding, hammocking, and just going for walks and enjoying the world around us has been a big part of this year.  I am not “outdoorsy” by any means but I do enjoy being outside.  Especially if the weather is mild and the book is long.

We celebrated many birthdays – and one very special birth day of my good friend Victoria’s daughter, Elizabeth.  I will always remember the joy and sweetness her new life brought.

In July we took a trip to Nashville with J’s brother and sister-in-law. We loved just walking around the city and eating so much good food.

We spent quite a few weekends visiting my family and on one of those trips I had the pleasure of joining my mom to see her hometown and the farm house where she was raised.

Thanking the Lord for his sweet graces and for a new year.

He has not let our feet slip.

“Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into he net;
you have laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”

Psalm 66:9-12

Bonus!

2012
2013
2014

 

Jesus, Give Me You Always

2015-5-2

My sweet mom ran to the grocery store for me while she was here last weekend and came back with these. She knows just how to brighten a dreary room. Love you always, mom.

Here is what I am really wanting to write:

“This year really sucked.”

Instead, I am pressing in.

That post may come.

Because really, this year was one for the books.
A year of change in many ways.

But today, well, tonight.
Because that’s when the fears always strike —

“Jesus, give me you always.”

After Jesus fed the 5,000 (and walked on water) he was talking with his disciples, irked with misguided motives. (John 6:22-40)

They wanted the sustainment, he wanted to give them the Sustainer.

His disciples ask, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?”
(Side note:  Recently, this has been my exact question.)

Jesus’ response?

“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Then?

They said, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus, give me you always.

And guys, his gifts are good!

I think of my husband, family, friends, house.
His constant provision for our daily needs.

But let me not be enthralled with his gifts, but with his presence.
With his nearness.

Jesus, give me you always.

Going Home

I’ve always loved going home.
I love the just-long-enough drive.
The familiar small towns along Highway 65.
And the miles of farm land scattered with livestock.

Before the era of the iPhone (in my world anyways…circa 2011) I would burn podcasts and music onto a disc and would listen the whole way there and the whole way back.
Just me and my thoughts in the car.

At the end of a long day, knowing that in two hours I would be sitting around the kitchen table talking with my mom waiting for my dad to come home from work was enough to get me through some pretty rough weeks.

Last week my mom took me on her drive.
The drive home.

She grew up on a sweet, simple farm in the epitome of rural life in middle America.
Her mom made a lot of her clothes.
Every birthday cake.
And her dad could catch some pretty big fish.

I never had the joy of meeting either of them, but I could listen to stories about them for days.
And I can see so much of my mom in her dad’s eyes and her mom’s heart.

I think a lot about legacy.
And memories.

Maybe too much.

I hope that one day our children will be able to see the home where I grew up.
And I hope even more for them to be loved, snuggled, read to, and pushed on the swings by their grandparents.