I love this time of year. my favorite color has changed to green over the last few years because of my growing love for spring. I love how everything that's been brown and grey and drab for so many months turns to a vivid green, sometimes seemingly overnight! it speaks to me of new life and new chances and hope. I love it.
I had the most amazing weekend. Matt mentioned the marriage conference - I won't use his words, but I will say that it was amazing!! I would recommend any married couple to attend when they do it again. we learned a lot of new stuff, and hearing things for the second or third or fourth time was a great reminder! we had all kinds of wonderful speakers. LeAnn Fraley spoke on the foundations of marriage (Tommy was there, but he had just had surgery and was drugged up - it was quite entertaining hearing some of his drug-induced interjections!) then Ty & Terri Schenzel - anyone who knows them knows how much fun and inspiring it is to hear them speak on anything.
Saturday morning was a session on finances by Justin & Traci Reeves, then Craig & Jan Fischer on communication. personally, this was my favorite. Jan is hysterical - who knew? and watching them together is a blessing and encouragement. they've been married for 37 years, and they are so obviously in love. it hasn't always been easy - they were in the middle of a divorce after 6 years of marriage when they found the Lord. He redeemed their marriage and has made it into something beautiful!
the last session was Matthew & Amanda talking about the ever-elusive (at least it's elusive in most church circles) subject of S_X. I write it that way because that's how Matthew wrote it - maybe you had to be there, but we all thought that was hilarious! :) it was fun listening to Amanda and watching Matthew squirm and turn bright red. ah, good times.
the rest of my weekend was filled with family. my cousin and wife and toddler came in town, mostly to visit my very ill grandma. (the story about Grandma is for a different blog). I got to spend a lot of time with my "cousin-in-law", Amy. she went to church with me Sunday morning - I asked her to go because I heard the Lord say He had something He wanted to tell her. and He did! we talked a lot on Sunday about her relationship with the Lord, her struggles, frustrations, and how the morning had encouraged her (and what the Lord had spoken to her heart). it blessed my heart so much to talk with her about that. I'm excited to talk more about it with her, and hopefully be an encouragement! Amy, if you're reading this, I love you!! I'm so glad you married my cousin. :)
the four of us (cousin Chris, Amy, Matt & I) hung out the rest of the day. I love seeing my family bond with my husband. we had a great time eating Zio's and Coldstone (not to mention the heartburn that followed) and talking about life. I wish they lived closer!
I have so much more to say, but I'll save it for another blog. I realize that I haven't posted about my trip to Chicago - I will! it was an amazing time. I'm still processing some of the things the Lord did in me.
Until later, much love and many hugs to everyone reading.