some of my favorite photos of the wedding this am. i hadn't planned to get up and watch it live...but i naturally woke up at 4:48 pm (pregnancy) and decided i'd just get up and watch it! it was fun! loved how Harry was turning around to see Kate and eventually William did too to catch a quick glance of his bride-to-be. i thought she looked so pretty! also like how he told her she was beautiful at the alter and joked to her and her dad that they'd planned it to be a small affair... Also loved the Bishop's sermon and how he said every wedding is a royal wedding in a sense, because we are all subjects of the King of Creation.
another thing i thought was so cool, was that we'd just been back to London last november and got to go to an Evensong service at Westminister Abbey and got to sit just above the choral seats, close to the front. we got to walk down the center aisle and also got to stand at the door where they stood upon departure...
then at the Buckingham Palace, we got to see the changing of the guards and stand at the Queen Victoria Memorial and walk down the Mall...
just reflecting on how i've been encouraged by Jesus' name being brought up!
first just Easter. i think it's encouraged me and matt to step out of our comfort zones a little. we've each invited couples to church (they couldn't come but maybe at later dates)
we've tried to engage others out in the community and tell them about church (it's a start!)
we've intentionally focused on the intensity of Christ's physical suffering on the cross, me particularly more this year than in years past. i am not sure if it's due to the fact that currently i am intensely focusing my mind on the subject of pain, b/c i'm preparing for natural childbirth?
i'm not sure but the not-even-graphic graphics, at church on Easter just stood out to me, the way Jesus HUNG there... His hands were nailed but nothing else kept his body up, so his head and shoulders slumped and to breath, matt reminded me of how He'd have to lift himself up b/c his lungs were collapsing. oh my gosh, I just marvel at the strength He found in His Father and am reminded of how i can do ALL THINGS through that same strength! Phillippians 4:13
the next thing that stuck out to me was when watching Survivor this season, matt and i are so encouraged by this one contestant Matt. He's proclaimed his faith in the Lord since day one and we thought that was cool. Matt's had to play the game harder than anyone else so far getting voted off the very first, but having to stay in the game, due to a new twist called Redemption Island. there he spent 3 weeks by himself and competed in duels, to stay in the game successfully, over 7 times. not easy. but the whole time, he'd verbalize how he was relying on the Lord, his Savior for strength and how God was carrying him! amazing. then it got tough. mentally he was fading and called out to God, crying for answers of why he was still in the game. last wed it almost seemed like he was giving up when he came to the duel. he said he'd prayed and felt and overwhelming peace about if he was to stay and keep competing or to go... he won the duel and said he guessed God wanted him to stay, that God wasn't done with him there yet. Julie pictured here...
was kicked off and said as she left that she was so encouraged by matt that she was going to go home and find a church to get involved with. earlier she'd commented that she believed in Karma!!! wow! that's awesome! matt might not know that cause he was never in the game with his, since he was on redemption, but he wondered why God still had him there. well, if for nothing else, for Julie. to minister to her. and this is NATIONAL tv. so you know the Holy Spirit is using him to get a message across to so many people! i think that is just AWESOME and all it took was a FAITHFUL SERVENT LIKE MATT to verbalize what he believes!!!!!!!!
then jeff the host, even commented on how God wasn't done with him here yet...and then asked him how long jesus fasted and matt said 40 days and jeff said funny that our game is 39 days long... i believe jeff used to be a minister of some kind.
ok so the next thing i loved was how the Gospel was so truthfully portrayed in the sermon of the Royal Wedding!!! and HOW many people watched that???? so many! awesome!
things i loved were that the bishop commented about the reliance we are to place on Christ and how as we unite as one in marriage, we are to aim to make the other a better person for Christ.
He also started by saying that every wedding is a royal wedding b/c we are all subjects of the King of Creation. amazing! so cool!
i hope this is encouraging. i am encouraged to continue to place my faith in the Holy Spirit to guide me to engage with people more. it is my sole responsibility while i am here on earth...and to be PROUD TO DO IT!
notes from the Sunday before last...powerful message we can all learn from:
-there is an illusion of strength through financial security
-outsiders can think faith is just a 'crutch' for the weak
-you'll find one doesn't tend to make a big deal out of "grace" unless they think they need that grace that is readily available to them.
-do you really want to change? Are you at the end of yourself? or are you just coming to church b/c of pressure from others, out of fear? if that is the case you'll most likely not stick with the transformation. you have to have real repentance. you have to do the things that will help you change, you can't just want to change.
-THE AGE OF GROWING STILL EXISTS BECAUSE THE AGE OF GRACE STILL EXISTS. WE HAVE TO MOVE ON THE TRUTH WHILE WE STILL CAN.
"we create problems and then we have to fix them." -Blakely
Blakely was in grad school when i was in undergrad and we became friends. this is a long video but it so worth watching. he is a crazy talented artist and it's cool to hear his explanations and perspectives on stuff.
oh my goodness, we had such a nice first baby shower! so many of our friends joined us to celebrate the arrival of baby boy Hawthorne, and showered us with wonderful gifts!
here are some photos of the decorations i did and of all our friends and opening gifts!
i thought this one was funny. my sister in law suggested i take a photo with ellie so she could have a picture with her 'cousin'! she did this with her niece at one of her baby showers! I thought, oh that'd be a great idea, but ellie had another agenda! i love the look on both our faces!
too cute! hattiebelle and ellah
ellah and ellie - checking eachother out
micah with the girls!
aina and i - both pregnant!
the beginning of opening presents!
cool Happy Birthday Banner the Clemon's had made for us!!! we love it!
awesome Speedster from Susanne
jen had a custom Hawthorne board made for baby H! matt freaked!!!
my parents lovingly gave us our UppaBaby Stroller! we were so thankful and excited about it!
smiths, kati, me and the clemons
the next door neighbors, Van Kirk's and the carruths
our community group friends, jon, cassie, angie and jeremy
kelly, our gracious hostess (and my mom, not pictured)