Shine

Andy planned the majority of our date on Thursday. We went to our favorite spot on the beach and picnic-ed, eating way too much of some of our favorite foods. We walked down to the water, and I squealed as the cold water hit my toes and he tried to convince me to walk in deeper. He had to do a lot of convincing that night, convincing me to walk in the water, convincing me to climb to the top of the dune, convincing me that it’d be worth it.

There was one thing he didn’t have convince me to do.

Say yes.

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Along with celebrating with our families and friends over the weekend, we began researching venues and I promptly realized that this whole wedding planning is not going to be super easy. There wasn’t a place that I fell in love with, and some of the places I refrained from falling in love with because my parents would not fall in love with the price tag. I’m 100% NOT a decision maker, and the endless lists of decisions that have to be made in the next year threaten to pull me down. An officiant? A photographer? A dress? Flowers? Cake? Food? Decor? Yikes. I have a color scheme and and fiance who cares for me so well, who reminds me to shut the laptop and take a break to play Ticket to Ride and go for a walk. I’m telling myself that that’s all I need at the moment.

Everyone wants to see my ring, dainty and fairylike and a bit too big, and every time I stare at its sparkle and shine, I know that the wedding doesn’t really matter. Not in the long run. Andy matters. Serving and loving him matters. Honoring God with our marriage matters. My ring is a symbol of our dedication to each other and to Christ, of our desire to be one, to worship Christ with our lives, to raise our family to be His. This bit of earthly shine reminds me that I’m also the bride of Christ, that His kingdom will last forever, and it’s living for eternity, not for our wedding, that really matters.

I can’t wait to be Mrs. Sivils. Our wedding day will be wonderful, but it’s the life afterwards that really matters. May I live those days, these days, and every day for His shining glory, and His glory alone.

Adventure & Vacuums

“God designed us for adventure because He knew following Him would be one.” – Jennie Allen


I had settled into the big, pink, 90’s lazyboy that dwells in our loft, the one that’s become “mine” through the hours of homework and reading and writing and texting and internet browsing and thinking I’ve done there. Jess Connolly’s “Wild and Free” was less than two weeks old, and as I sat with it in my hands, the doubts and misgivings filled my heart.

“Do you really want to be wild?”
“Free sounds nice, but will this just be crazy? I don’t like crazy. I don’t want to be crazy. At all.”

Doubts and all, I opened it.


While driving home earlier in the day, my sister said something like “Doesn’t hiking through the mountains sound like so much fun?!” I didn’t have to think about my response. No. No, that sounds exhausting and hard and buggy and how would you wash your hair? I don’t want to do anything that difficult. She’s always been the more adventurous one, the go-getter, the roller coaster fan, and 50* water swimmer. Me? I’m more likely to tell you “Look at this freshly vacuumed room! Isn’t it delightful? Lets just sit here with a new book and enjoy it.”

Adventurous to me is ordering a different soup at Panera or parting my hair on the right instead of the left. It’s parking in a different row at school or sending the Facebook friend request or wearing grey capris instead of denim skinny jeans.


I opened the book to the foreword by Jennie Allen and only got a few paragraphs in before that quote made me stop. “God designed us for adventure because he knew following Him would be one.”

How much of His adventure do I miss because I’m too busy looking at my pretty, clean carpet? I don’t want to miss His plans for me because I’m too scared to say “yes”.

Being adventurous scares me. Being wild and free scares me. But life isn’t about staying in our comfort spots with our vacuums and our wifi. We have to leave what’s familiar, to pursue Him everywhere we are, to let the experiences He draws us into bring us closer to Him, even when it’s not a “church thing” or a “mission opportunity”. The world is our mission field! Let’s find Him in the every day, in the view from the new restaurant as you watch the sun go down, in the vastness of the waves at the new beach you visit, in the face of every person you see on the day trip to Chicago. Let’s go on adventures and find Him there, even if it’s terrifying, even if you don’t want to leave your house, even if you have to be wild and free to get there. Life with Him is a big ol’ adventure. The day may start with your heart pounding and your eyes wide, but ending it with peace and thankfulness and the whisper of “I’m so glad I did that.” will make it all worth it.

Sign me up for the next adventure, Lord. You might have to tell me to open my eyes and unclench my hands, but I want to see you.