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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Too Simple?

Alright, so I'm going to get a little deep here, and it might be long.  But, it's something I've been thinking about for a long time, years, even, and I've faced it often in the past few months.

In John 18:35, Pilate asks Jesus "What is truth?"  The word used for truth is Aletheia in Greek.  Literally this means: objectively, obviously, of a certain and real truth, unconcealedness of things, the state of being evident.  Pilate's question is relevant today.  So many people, especially in my generation, wonder what is true.  In fact, there are so many choices out there that some choose to believe that nothing is true because they can't find anything to be evident or up-front.  Honestly, with all of the options and arguments available, I think we can argue ourselves to a certain death.

I sometimes get flustered when people ask me what I believe to be true in those "controversial" areas.  There are the big ones: abortion, homosexuality, even sex outside-of-marriage.  There are small ones, too: dinosaurs, creation/evolution, etc.  It's not that I don't think that these are valid; in fact, I think God welcomes our questions.  I think that it's not the asking that confuses me - it's the magnitude that's placed on the answers.  Paul says not to get caught up in arguments because they make people fight, and that's not what Jesus wants for us (2 Timothy 2:23).  I feel like this should be enough, but I know that for some, it's not, or they feel like their argument is valid.  However, there is one thing that I do feel IS valid, and CAN help us in these times.  Personally, these questions have not ever rocked my faith.  Sure, they're interesting, some of them truly confusing, yet they don't seem to touch my relationship with God.  It was always hard for me to explain this until I remembered a verse that I think I memorized in middle school.  In 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul says,
"I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross."

This is truly how I feel.  I know that there are questions and concerns and controversies.  But I know one thing that is true and I know that I can focus on that to cover all of the other confusions.  Jesus Christ is real, he changes lives, and he died on the cross to give us a relationship with him and freedom from sin.  Now, people will analyze this and question this and probe this idea as well.  However, no scientific answer helps - it takes faith.  Maybe that's why it's the most effective truth.  The love that God has for us can not be figured out.  It just is.  The other things, in the light of his love, fall by the wayside.  Sure, ask questions, but it's easier to trust when you're surrounded by his loving embrace and assurance.  This is simple, but wonderful, and it's the only truth I'm really worried about.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just a Start

I have married the most perfect man for me.  When I was little all the way up to high school, I had a very specific and crazy dream.  I wanted to help people in a BIG way.  I wanted to change things and I felt (and still feel) a very personal responsibility for people in need.  What an amazing thing it was to find Billy.  He has a heart that is bigger than mine and dreams that encompass the one that I've had all of these years. Of course, I recognize that God has given all of us such different dreams and goals, and I am just so thankful to have found someone who understands mine so well and who feels as much passion as I do for this.

Anyway, I didn't want to write this about me and Billy (I can't help it, I'm in love!).  I was actually reading this awesome book by a guy named Tom Davis, called Fields of the Fatherless, and I was once again reminded of that thing.  You know, the thing that when you read about it or hear about it, your heart starts to beat really fast, and you just know that this is what your heart was supposed to beat hardest for?  This is it for me.  He talks all about injustice in the world and what we, as Christians, are responsible for.  It always takes me back to Isaiah 1 and 58 (I'm not going to quote them here because these verses are definitely somewhere else on this blog, if not a few times).  These chapters talk about what God really asks of us - to seek out the poor, help the orphans and widows, release those in bondage, feed the hungry.  Of course, it makes me want to go live and breathe for this cause, but we don't have the resources to do that right now.  I do, however, have resources that I, and you, can use to help:

  • International Justice Mission - ijm.org - This organization is Christian-based, yet it uses legal action to take care of injustices around the world.  You can financially support a specific area that you want to see justice taken in.  It's an awesome opportunity, and it really makes a consistent, real difference in the lives and future generations of people all over.

  • North Charleston Dream Center - Adopt-a-Block - We, at Genesis and Northwood Church, have been going to this awesome event for the past 6 months or so, and this month, Genesis is heading up it's own block.  This means that we have our own block of people that we can minister to specifically as we get to know them and their needs personally.  Billy is heading this up, and we are just so excited to see what God will do through our group.  We are hoping that the small spark we have can create a fire as people join us.  If you are going to be in Charleston on the first Saturday of the month, starting in December, email us and we can get you connected.  Here, you can watch a video of what the whole Dream Center is about.  It's awesome, and I'm amazed that we have a chance to be a part of it:  Dream Center Promo Video.

I'm interested to see what kind of things are on your heart.  If you have something specific and a way that others can join you in making a difference, leave a comment.  There's so much out there to be done!  Our God is so big, and it's so amazing to be a part of His body.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bliss and Busyness

Wow!  It's been a really long time since I've blogged.  However, I have been validly busy!  Since I last updated, I have gotten married (yay!), gone on a honeymoon, and been really busy with school.  I can't believe that over a month has passed, and it's almost Thanksgiving.  I guess I'll just give some updates that I can remember, and after this, start blogging regularly again!

  • Being married is wonderful, and I love watching movies and eating dinner and shopping with Billy.  I keep getting asked what the best part about being married is, and I have a hard time putting my finger on anything specific.  I just love that we get to do everything together and just experience life.

  • School is crazy and I just cannot wait to have this semester over with.  I have a huge paper to write for my American Writing class, and I am really dreading it, and I like to write.  I just think I've been so busy that I can't wait for a true break.

  • Our friends, Paul and Amy, got married 4 weeks after us, and it was such a beautiful wedding.  We are glad to add the last wedding of the year, and I'm so glad that they're married now, too.

  • The honeymoon was absolutely amazing.  We went to Riviera Maya, Mexico, and it was gorgeous.  Our resort was wonderful and we had so much fun relaxing.  One of the highlights was this contest that they had one night that was modeled after "American Idol."  It was a singing contest, and Billy entered, and he WON!  He won a bottle of Tequila, which we promptly gave away to one of Billy's newly-made fans (who ended up being a HUGE fan after the gift).

  • Living in a small apartment is so fun.  I love being a wife, and I want to just clean all of the time (okay, well, that's dramatic, but still...)!  Really, though, I do love it, and I feel so blessed to be at this point in our lives.

  • Couponing has gotten even better since we have been married.  I think I'm the only girl I've met so far who's husband helps her clip coupons!  Seriously, he's so awesome.  We actually go in two lines every Sunday night so that we can get two Mystery Penny items at Publix.  It's so fun!

  • I am looking forward to Christmas break so that I can read cheesy Christian romance novels.  I can't wait to stop reading this literary fiction.  It's only qualified as "literary" if it has a bad ending.  I like happy, sloppy, romantic endings.

I think I should end this list, but thanks to anybody who stayed long enough to read this!  I'll update sooner, next time.

Oh, and here's a wedding picture.  I'll put more on later!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Goin' to the Chapel

I can't believe that we are getting married tomorrow!  I am so excited.  I feel so blessed that all of the people we love have come around us to make our day so special.  We have had family and good friends make their way to Charleston just for us!  It's so humbling to have so many people that are here for us!  I never expected anything this wonderful.

Anyway, last night was our Rehearsal, and it was so much fun!  Today, I have a bridal luncheon and then I have my bachelorette party tonight!  I can't wait!  Billy is going to play golf during the day and then hanging out with the guys tonight!

And tomorrow is the big day!  I'll update after the honeymoon!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Goodness, Gracious!

I have heard that as women, we have a special talent for multi-tasking.  I'm not so sure that I do, personally, but I really hope so, considering all that I have to do in the next week-and- a-half!  Coming up, I have 2 midterms, one report, one huge paper, and all of the small wedding details to nail down.  I'm pretty swamped, and I shouldn't even be writing this blog, but I wanted to at least get this one in before the wedding (and hopefully one more)!

I don't really know what I am even blogging about, but I was excited to do it.

I guess I will just give an update by listing a couple of things on my mind...

  • Holy cow, there are ONLY 15 days left until I'm married!

  • Holy cow, there are STILL 15 days left until I'm married!

  • I am an official coupon-er. I just made up that word, but I think that it suits it.  I think that Southern Savers is the best thing in the world, and this week I saved almost $60 by using coupons at Publix.  It's nowhere close to where I want to be, but I'm learning!

  • Taking a senior level Bible class has kicked my behind, and it's not even my major.  Note to self:  The title "Book Study of John" does not mean "Let's get together for a Bible study and talk about how much Jesus loves us."  It really means that the professor will mention words you don't know like "Soteriology" and "Docetism" and expect you to know them already.

  • Budgeting is becoming more and more important, and we are learning a lot.  Trial and error is not always the way to go with money, though.  I'm learning that it's just better to stay safe and not play around.  You could go in the negative, or end up with a small amount in checking... I'm just saying.

Ok, so there is a lot more than that going on.  But really, I just don't have time, and anyone reading this probably thanks me for not ranting and raving any longer.  Maybe I'll squeeze in one more post before the wedding.  If not, I'll see you on the other side!  Yipee!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Month + One Week...

It's been a little while since I've really updated everything that's been happening, and I think it's because I've been so busy!

Well, today, the countdown on my dashboard (of my macbook) told me that I have one month and one week until our wedding!  I just can't believe it!  It is really coming so fast, and most of the time I feel like it.  We have been doing so much to prepare, but I'll get to that later.

School started, and I love it!  It's been somewhat stressful, but also it's been really fun!  Already, I feel like I've learned a lot, and I love my English classes.  Plus, it really has helped me to fill my time up... so much so, that I can get overwhelmed with this schedule I am keeping.  But I know it's worth it.

And, talking about a busy schedule, Billy and I have had a hard time getting away.  I mean, we do see each other all of the time, but our one-on-one time has been cut down pretty drastically.  Still, we try to make time to have fun.  Last Sunday, we had a picnic on the beach, and then we went to Marble Slab (my FAVORITE)!  It was so fun, and a good reminder of how much we love each other:Beach Picnic

Anyway, about the wedding...  We have been making such great progress!  Things are falling into place, girls are getting their dresses ready, guys are getting their tuxes measured... really, it's coming together!  Next week, we are going to meet with Phillip, Anita, and the Fergusons (all who are so graciously helping at our reception... thanks again) to go hang out and look at the Embassy Suites (where the reception is) so that we can finalize some of our plans with that.  My bridal portraits are coming soon, as well... Gosh, I can't wait.

Oh!  We have had so many weddings, that I just wanted to comment on those as well!  They were all so beautiful and unique!  I was amazed at how quickly they passed, and I'm just so glad that everyone is married now (except us, of course, and Paul & Amy).  I'm pretty sure I cried at every one!

Ok, so that's it for now... hopefully I'll get one or two more updates in before the big day!  Then I really will be Sarah Ann Rogers.... yay!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Go, and fail... kind of

Tonight, I was reading Ezekiel, and in chapter 2, I came upon this, and I was amazed (verses 7-10):
"You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won't listen, for they are completely rebellious!  Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in being a rebel. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you."

Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and it held a scroll.  He unrolled it, and I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, other words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.

What a send-off.  Ezekiel had just been told that he was going to be sent to speak to the Israelites  for God Himself, and the message was not going to be a happy one.  He was told ahead of time that they were not going to listen happily or change or receive him at all, but they in fact, would be more rebellious.  Oh, and, the last verse includes "pronouncements of doom," to top it off.

I am not sure what I would do if I were in his position.  What if God told me, "Sarah, I want you to go on the news, make sure all of the United States hears you, and then I will speak through you.  The whole country is in disarray and I'm not happy with them.  They are not really going to welcome this, and they will continue to do everything you and I tell them not to do.  Make sure that you stand out, that you don't become anything like them, and that you do everything I tell you to.  And, just so you know, there will be war, and pain, and terrible things to come.  I just thought I would give you a heads up."  I think that if God gave me this commission, I would feel the need to make some sort of contract before I jumped right in.  But not Ezekiel.  Actually, there are 46 more chapters of him doing exactly what God tells him to.

I know that God wants to use every one of us in a specific way.  For me, I know that it has something to do with communication, writing, and hopefully with outreach.  Everyone has a different calling and purpose, and different people God has for them to reach.  There are so many possibilities.  But what if we knew that we wouldn't be received, we wouldn't see any results come of our life's calling, and we were going to encounter really tough life situations the whole way.  That seems pretty heavy.

However, there is a good side.  Sometimes, it took thousands of years for God to fulfill His promises or for things that were prophesied to come to pass.  But, that is the cool part.  God does work in and through all things, and when He orchestrates something, it's just a blessing to be a part of it.  Can you really imagine the other side of what Ezekiel must have felt?  He had to be terrified and unsure, but he must have been freaking out in a good way, too!  God had just talked to him, and told him that there was a mission for his life specifically, and that God was going to use him to talk to a whole nation.  That is really amazing.

In the end, we can rest assured that Christ has ultimately won the victory, we can have peace when we are under His plan and in His will, and the joy that comes from following Him, and knowing we play an important part in His plan, will eventually heal any pain or rejection we feel in the course of our lives.  And actually, those bad things are supposed to be seen as good because it allows us to be used by God!  How backwards to us, but how much better!

Alright, so I know this was long, and for anyone who read the whole thing, thanks.  I know that sometimes I ramble, but I can't help it!  I keep learning!

Monday, August 17, 2009


So, for the 8 total months that we will have been engaged, I have had some landmarks that I have looked forward to that have had to happen before we get married in October! So far, there have been quite a few that we've hit!  I just realized it yesterday and wanted to make a list so that I could really see it.

Landmarks that have already passed:

  1. School ending in May

  2. Our birthdays in May and July

  3. Chelsie's wedding in July

  4. Baillie's wedding in August

  5. 2 of my bridal showers

  6. Leasing the apartment

  7. Painting the apartment (very cute colors, may I add!)

Landmarks I'm still waiting on:

  1. Billy moving into the apartment officially

  2. School starting

  3. Cami's wedding

  4. Starting my job in the Writing Center at CSU

  5. My last bridal shower

  6. Billy's man-party (basically a hangout for the guys while they bring gift-cards for Billy)

  7. Fall small groups for Genesis

  8. Mid-terms

  9. Rehearsal Dinner/Bachelorette Party

I can't believe there are only 2 months left!  Honestly, what I'm looking forward to most is being married!  I'm sure the wedding will be wonderful, but I can't wait to be Billy's wife!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Wives of these Men

When I was younger, say, 14 or 15, I remember reading 1 Timothy 2 and writing it all down in my journal.  I read all about what God had required of an Elder and of a Deacon in the church, and I decided to make that my checklist of characteristics that I wanted to find in my husband.  I can honestly say that, although Billy isn't perfect, he definitely has the quality of character and the integrity that was required of these men.  I definitely am blessed to have such an amazing man to marry.

However, tonight, as I was re-reading the chapter, I noticed the one verse that talks about the wives of these men.  It has four qualities that it points out, so I take that those must be very important, considering they were the only ones mentioned.  Here is the verse (11):
Similarly, the wives must be of good character, not gossips, but temperate, faithful in everything.

I decided to look at all four things and dissect them a bit.

  1. They must be of good character:  This might seem pretty straightforward, but I think it's really important.  We require and ask for integrity from our men, but we must have integrity in the same measure!  I want people to trust and know me to be a godly woman and wife, just as much as i expect that kind of a husband from Billy.

  2. They must not be gossips:  This is such a struggle for women.  As a rule, we hold more words in our mouths, just waiting to come out, than men.  Also, we are often more detailed, perceptive, and analytical... not to mention emotional.  If we do not specifically watch our words and take special care not to gossip, it can come so easily.  In fact, it's our second nature to gossip... it doesn't make it right, but it does make it something to look out for.

  3. They must be temperate:  I don't know about all of the other women out there, but I would not say that "temperate" is a word I would use to describe how I naturally am.  I am emotional, extreme, up-and-down, and I can change my mind or my feelings in 5 seconds.  However, this verse tells me that no longer is there the excuse that, "It's just that time of the month," or, "I just don't feel like it," going to cut it anymore.  Nope!  We are being called to consistency, which I know, for me, can only come through God.  I'm a pretty inconsistent lady sometimes.

  4. They must be faithful in all things:  Faithful wives, faithful mothers, faithful followers, faithful Christians, faithful prayers, faithful friends, faithful forgivers... That's right, faithful in ALL things, even the hard stuff.  I know that sometimes, I just want to give up, but not only is it a command, but it's a fruit of the Spirit.  Faithfulness, something that comes out of God inside of us.

Now, I don't really mean to say that these things only apply to women, and I'm sure that Paul didn't mean that either.  It is only that these are things that we have to watch out for, especially.  And because I'm praying for Billy to be that kind of man, I want to be this kind of a wife!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

'Tis the Season

"Love and marriage, Love and marriage... They go together like a horse and carriage..." -Frank Sinatra

That's right!  It's wedding season; just what everyone in my circle of life has been waiting for.  In just a few days, two wonderful people, Robbie and Chelsie, will be tying the knot!  And three weeks later, Baillie and Mike will follow!  I feel like I'm in a happy hurricane of ribbons, shoes, flowers, and showers!  Things have come so quickly, and I cannot wait for this Saturday to watch the first wedding come.  It will be beautiful, and not to give much away, but there will be blues and browns and a beautiful, curly haired bride (with her curly haired groom)!  I think I will cry, as I am in an emotional whirlwind right now.  And then, Baillie's wedding will be totally different, but just as beautiful!  It's going to be so fun to see, and I'm suspecting more zebra stripes than any of us have ever seen!

It's amazing that so many people have found such amazing love.  I read love stories all of the time, but I can assure you that it is so much more amazing to see and hear and feel them in real life!  So, congrats, Robbie, Chelsie, Mike, and Baillie, and I cannot wait to be involved in, and cry at, and be so happy for both weddings!  All of the weddings are such a wonderful, happy way to pass the time until my own wedding, and only make me more excited!

Three cheers for love!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer and Grandparents

So, even though I would say I definitely feel like our wedding is coming at an incredibly slow pace, I cannot believe it is already summer.  We only have a little over three months left, and I know that we will be busy enough to fill the time until October.  It will really help to pass the time with the two summer weddings I have coming up, and I am so excited for both of them!  It is so fun; I feel like we are just going to parties all year long (7 weddings total, I think, not including Bridal Showers)!

Anyway, I feel like I have definitely been a little late on posting this, but recently, Billy and I have gotten to spend time with all three sets of our Grandparents.  For me, it was the first time meeting his in May (they're from New Hampshire).  I loved them!  They were adorable, so in love, and just accepted me with open arms.  The last night of their visit, they sat across the table from us, drinking coffee, and giving us marriage advice.  It was the coolest thing in the world!  They even got teary, which made us both cry, and I had only known them for three days!  I just know that I am going to love getting to know them better.

Also, a couple of weekends ago, Billy and I went up to Columbia and stayed with my grandparents for a night.  Not only did I love having him there just because I love him, but he really did bring out a different side of my grandparents.  Billy is so calm and such a gentle listener, and he makes you feel like he really wants to hear everything you are saying.  Anyway, my grandma talked to us all about her job, and her life, and what she likes, and nutrition... it was so fun, and I felt so completed by Billy because of what he brings out in people.

Well, I know this was kind of sappy, but I really am discovering such cool things about getting closer to Billy and the awesome effects it is having in our lives and in the way I view family.  I love him, and I'm guessing it'll only get better on October 17!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hosea 6

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Hosea.  I don't know if it is because of Francine Rivers's Redeeming Love or not, but I get so much from it.

For quite some time, I have been continuously going back to Hosea 6, and getting something new out of it every time.

Tonight, I was reading it, and this is what spoke to me:
Come, let us return to the Lord!  He has torn us to pieces, and now he will heal us.  He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.  In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence.  Oh, that we might know the Lord!  Let us press on to know him.  He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn... -Hosea 6:1-3

I think that these verses seem contradictory.  God as tearing his children to peices, just to heal them?  I had to think on it, and this is what I came up with.  I know that God is justice.  In him is no darkness, no evil, no wrong.  Because of this, when we sin, the righteousness of God battles against the sin inside of us.  This causes us to be broken down, injured, torn.  His justice tears our flesh to pieces.  But in his mercy, and through his son and his desire to be in relationship with us, he comes down and heals us.  Its funny for me, because the thing that is hardest for me is the most necessary for my relationship with God.  This equation that equals healing and restoration calls for brokenness and injury and tearing up of our flesh and our nature.  It doesn't sound fun, pleasant, lovely, or joyful, and it's not.  But, in these verses, it seems to say that for God to heal us, we must be torn up.  Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy, and that is all of us.  We are all sick, sinful, fleshy.  We just don't all acknowledge it (or at least, I don't do it all of the time).  I would much rather not look at that part of myself.  But to discover God's healing and restoration and to live fully in his presence, I must become broken, show my wounds, admit my downfalls.  God doesn't ask for perfect.  In fact, it seems that here, he's specifically calling for brokenness.  Not that this should be equated to self-hatred.  That's not God.  He is all about showing us what we are and where we need him, and then responding to our cry for him, arriving when we admit our need of his healing, and reaching out to his children that long to be with him.  His desire is to pick us up, put bandaids back on us, and walk hand-in-hand with him.  I don't know if I'll ever be a mature enough Christian to depart from this stage with God.  I don't think I'll ever want to.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Excuses

Jesus called to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!  And then left their nets at once and followed him.  A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers... and he called them to come, too.  They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. -Matthew 4:19-22

As I read this tonight, I couldn't help but wonder, where are the excuses of these men?  The first ones left their nets, the second ones left their boat and father, and with no excuses, they just followed Jesus.  Nobody really even knew who Jesus was yet.  He was not a rock-star, they hadn't seen him on TV, and he wasn't on a poster on thier bedroom walls.  There was simply Jesus, a compelling man, and a reaction inside of them that propelled them to go.  I think it is pretty amazing that these men have any other response besides obedience.  They could have said, "Ok, man, let me finish this catch, and I'll be right over," or, "No thank you, I only fish for, um, fish.  People aren't really my thing."  There are all kinds of responses to what seems like a ludicrous command.  But no, these men, with very little knowledge of what they were stepping into, followed Jesus and dropped everything they had to live for.

Tonight, I felt the need to get with God.  I knew that I needed his refreshing Word and I have been really busy lately, and haven't just sat down and put everything aside for as long as I feel I should until we have spent time together.  I have some really good excuses, too!  I am putting together a gift for my fiance's birthday.  I am working on a scrapbook.  I'm working out all of the time to lose weight for my wedding day.  I'm working on planning a wedding.  I'm working, period.  My days are full.  But, man, I get it all wrong sometimes.  My excuses are not only selfish, but in themselves, they're not even worth it.  I don't give God what he deserves... definitely not my excuses.  And really, our relationship is so much better without them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Same Idea?

Two of my favorite singer/songwriter guys are Andy Davis and Jason Reeves.  Well, on Facebook, I'm a Jason Reeves fan, and I saw that he had a new video out for the song "Someone Somewhere" and I was so excited.  I love that song, and when Billy and I were writing long letters every night (before we were dating and when he lived in Florida), we both used to listen to this song by Jason Reeves, and sometimes we would even send eachother the lyrics to the song.  So, needless to say, I could not wait to see the video.  I was a little disappointed, only because it was kind of weird.  I don't know if the trash in the video is supposed to be symbolic, but I thought it ruined it.  It reminded me of the Andy Davis video for his song "Brown Eyes," which I love.  The song and the video are both awesome.  Anyway, the ideas in the video seem to be the same:  boy alone, girl alone, shots of them both in the same place but still alone, and then they find each other.  Anyway, see for yourself!  You can view both videos on my Vodpod widget in the sidebar!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Time is Moving so Fast... and Slow...

It seems like it has been forever since I have sat down to write a blog.  Even now, I feel like my words are all mixed up.  I want to say "since I have satten down" and my English mind reprimands itself for being so tired.  I have had so much going on lately, and so many exciting things happening that I feel like I have had no time to write.  I will try to update on life while waiting on Billy to call (it's so late!) and hopefully I'll fit in quite a bit.

Of course there is wedding stuff.  Today, Mom and I met with Alyona, who is doing the photography.  She is amazing and definitely who I wanted to take the pictures, so we are pretty excited about that.  Looking at my planner, wedding-related events pretty much take up my free time.  Even though school ends soon, weddings pick up, and the focus will just shift, not diminish.  Speaking of weddings, I know a couple of very awesome people who have gotten engaged (I know... more?!?) and I am so excited for them.  It is so funny how you'd think that my being engaged would make me frustrated that all of these other people are as well, but it only heightens my excitement.  I feel so blessed to have found "The One" and I love when others do too!  First, on Saturday, there was Amy T. and Paul G. who will probably get married in November.  She kept crying and it was absolutely adorable.  Their story involves cheering boyscouts, which I think they will remember forever.  Also, there is a couple that I don't know extremely well, but I have talked with her a little, and Billy just LOVES them, and they got engaged tonight, which is so awesome!  Josh D., who is going to be in our wedding, proposed to Saralynn F., and I cannot wait to meet them and hear their story.  Billy told me that it was supposed to be close to a lake (because it's in LAKEland, FL), but I don't really know any details.  I just hope to meet them sometime this summer!

Besides weddings, I have been focusing on school.  I have even taken off of work to study, which is very unlike me.  I'm almost tempted to do it again this week, but I don't know if I can handle losing that many hours.  Anyway, needless to say, I am ready for this semester to be over.  I will admit, though, that I have learned so much in at least one of my classes.  I have loved having Prof. Yarbrough.  He is also my advisor, and he is so smart.  That is such a general adjective, but it's really how I feel.  When I walk out of his class, I can't believe that it is already over, and I feel like I will never reach that level of intelligence.  When he reads things, he just gets symbolism and emotion out of them that I never ever saw.  He has actually inspired me to be reading more.  I know, I know, I read all of the time, but I have been heavily convicted about what I read.  Although it's great to read entertaining stories, I should be focusing some on literary pieces that make me think.  And that is my mission for the summer:  to read at least four, hopefully more, books of true literary merit.  I have started today with my purcase of So Big by Edna Ferber, which won a Pulitzer Prize in the 1920's.  I think it looks interesting and so far I am pretty enthralled by it.  I actually can't believe I put it down for this... but I knew it had just been so long.  The poetic wording is amazing!  I am so sad that nobody ever inspired me before this to read works of this calibur.  For example, in describing a mother and child:
"As the woman looked at the child there in the warm moist spring of the Illinois prairie land... there quivered and vibrated between them and all about them an aura, a glow, that imparted to them and their surroundings a mystery, a beauty, a radience."

How can you not be totally sucked into a story with that in its opening chapter?  I should read that to my Music Appreciation professor (who thinks he knows everything, and has snobbily critiqued my 5-page paper for him on analyzing MOVEMENTS of a peice - as if I, an English major, know anything about Musical analysis) and say, "See?!? The extra words and adjectives and descriptions really are necessary."  Not that I am bitter or anything...

Alright, I know that was long.  Last thing:  my new MacBook.  I have had to buy a new one because I somehow damaged my old one beyond repair (or practically paying to buy a new one) and so I have one that is almost exactly like the old.  I love Mac and Apple, and I would never go back now, so I had to do something.  Not to mention, it is exam week, and I desperately need to be able to study on this thing.

Ok!  Done!!  I'm off to read, and I'm still waiting on that gorgeous fiance of mine to give me a call!

PS - I have once again realized that I have the best parents in the world.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Every Day

This semester, I have been so blessed to be able to lead a small group of some really awesome girls, and they have taught me so much.  We've been going over the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  We have been talking about some pretty radical goals that we have concerning our walk and relationships with God.  The question that keeps coming up, pretty much every week is, "That sounds so good, and I want to be like that, but how do I get from where I am to where I want to be?"

I would love to be able to say that we have found that it takes a one time, radical life change where you realize what needs to be done, do it, and it becomes easy from there on out.  But that is definitely not what we've come to.  The biggest thing that we have realized is that it starts with the heart.  We can make a commitment to work on all of the things that we want to see in our lives (kindness, servanthood, unconditional love, forgiveness, sacrifice, consistency, and many more...) but we are going to either consistently fail, get overwhelmed, or forget why we are trying so hard to become something that is so unnatural to us.  But, if we have our heart in the right place (seeking to please God and be intimate with Him) then all of those other things are so much easier and can even start to become natural to us.  The next thing that we realized is that it takes every day to get to where we desire to be with God.  On Monday nights, at small group, we can all get our hearts right with God and confess our desire for Him and know that we only want to serve Him... but on Thursday, it's reallly obvious that the commitment we made on Monday definitely does not last us forever.  We have to come to God every day and have fellowship with Him so that we can be familiar with His ways and refreshed by His spirit.

I know that this is basic stuff, but I know that it is something that I forget all of the time.  God wants to be with us, and He wants us to take His word seriously.  We have focused so much on realising that God means what He says and He desires for us to live like we believe it.

I can't believe that small group ends so soon.  I feel so blessed to get to be a part of the lives of these girls, and I feel like our discussions get better every week.  I am so encouraged that they really want to do some outreach stuff this summer, and they are being proactive in their planning and getting ideas together for what is on their OWN hearts, which is exactly what I've prayed for!  We've had awesome ideas already from all of the girls... For example, so far, we are planning on going and holding terminally ill babies, having nights to come together and bring money and just go out as a group to minister to others.  My girls are so awesome!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Double Booked?!

Today when Mom and Katie and I were at Busy B's Wholesale Flowers, we got a call from Jessica at Seacoast (she's the one helping with the ceremony).  She had bad news... For some reason, they double booked our wedding date and time!  She said that the other couple had had it booked for longer, so we were going to have to move ours.  At first, I was really worried and nervous because it was a change and frankly, I am a control freak.  But, after about 2.3 minutes of needless worry, I found something really positive about this!  Even though I am going to have to bump my wedding time up to 4 o'clock pm, I am going to get something I really wanted and thought wouldn't happen!  Because Billy and I will be leaving the reception later than planned (we were going to have the wedding at 1 pm), it will be dark outside.... which means... drumroll.............. SPARKLERS!  I so badly wanted sparklers when we left the reception, because I think that they look beautiful in pictures and plus they're so fun!  It might seem like something small, but it totally made me excited, and I had to find something good about switching the wedding time to 3 hours later!

Oh, and something really funny... we had to special-request to have our Rehearsal Dinner on Thursday, October 15... The Richards wouldn't dare do anything to interrupt Friday night High School Football, not even for a wedding.  I guess that's what we get for having a close-knit family that has its roots in Texas and South Carolina.  Football is our Trump Card!  But don't get me wrong... I love it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Domain Name...

Ok... So I was inspired to do this by Chelsie who added a wordpress blog and made it into her married name.  My plan had been to make a whole new blog with my new name, but then I would have to change all of my links, update the blogroll, and I couldn't transfer the posts that I've written.  And I love wordpress, so it's not like I would change to blogger/blogspot or whatever else is out there.

So, I found this really cool thing on wordpress where you can update your domain name for a small price... So now, my old domain (sarahannrichard.wordpress.com) still works, but for all said purposes, the main domain is sarahannrogers.com.  I don't have to change a thing but that!  It's so cool.  Thanks wordpress, for making this so easy, and thanks Billy, for asking me to be your wife!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wedding... Updated!

Ok.  First off, thank you everyone for being excited that we were looking at the Extension... except that now we've changed!  We are going to be getting married at the Seacoast wedding chapel, because of where we chose the reception.  This part I'm super excited about!  We are having it at the Embassy Suites downtown in the "Atrium".  It's so beautiful and I'm so so happy with that choice.  We have chosen a date - October 17!!  I'm so glad that we have that nailed down.  Billy has gotten a job at a place called "EMA" which is connected to SPAWAR.  This really was an answer to prayer and is providing us with really good health insurance, which is definitely something we've been waiting on.

As far as more wedding related stuff goes, we've made some decisions, yet I feel like with some of the little things, I keep changing my mind.  I met with a florist, and chose the bridesmaid's bouquets.  They are going to have long-stemmed garden roses (which are HUGE).  They're really pretty and really pink.  Because the dresses are a pretty muted blue, I wanted a pop of color.  My bridal bouquet is getting there, but I haven't settled on anything yet.  I'm looking into different ways to do invitations, and haven't decided if we want to order them or print them ourselves.  Surprisingly, the prices are pretty close.

Oh!  We took engagement pictures with Alexa and are SO happy with all that we've seen so far.  She's amazing!  If you ever need pictures done, call her!  It was really fun, even though Billy was pretty sick when we took them (he had food poisoning a couple of days before...).

As far as music, Phillip McCart, whose wife is happily pregnant (yay!), has agreed to help us with music at the reception.  I didn't really want a dj, because we don't want a ton of different music, but I did want to be able to put together a playlist and have somebody be able to manage it and announce us and the different dances.  Phillip was definitely the one who came to mind, as he knows so much about technology and every thing I have ever seen him do is always so excellent.  I feel pretty blessed that he would do this for us, because I can't think of anyone that will do better!  Also, we are having Kelly Graham sing during the ceremony!  I'm really excited about this!  I'm not sharing the song, we'll try to keep that a secret (if we can!).

Anyway, I'll keep updating!  I'm so excited, and counting down the days... 210 from today!

Here's the Embassy Suites:

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

P.S. - Just to give a huge thanks to Katie, my Matron of Honor, who has been wonderful! And all of my bridesmaids that have helped out lately and have tried on dresses for me and keep being excited.. thank you!  It's been so much fun talking with Baillie (my fellow bride-to-be and my bridesmaid) at work about all of our exciting and stressful times - I'm so thankful for her, excited for her wedding, and glad that we've only gotten closer through this!  And of course, going dress shopping with Anna, Jessie, Mallory, and Renee was awesome!  Thank you ladies for being excited.  And I'm excited to be in Chelsie's wedding... she's busy, of course, planning, and I know she'll be a beautiful bride!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wedding - Just getting started!

I never knew how much planning went into a wedding.  I'm still not sure that I really know yet how involved it's going to be, but I'm so excited!

So far, I have bought my dress, and picked out a bridesmaids dress.  I also have concluded that I want sparklers when we leave the reception.  I have picked a cake, and found a cake-lady!  Today, we are going to the Redbank Club to look at a reception place.  I'll post pictures later and tell what I think about it.  We are probably going to have the ceremony at the Extension at Northwood Church.  I can't begin to express how weird it is not to have the old church building... It's just where I always wanted to get married, but now I can't.  I have considered other churches and places, but for emotional and for my family and church's sake, I'm going to get married as close to home as possible.  Many would say that it's not that pretty, but I think that it can be, and if we do it there, I'll get a lot more help decorating from the women in the church.  Plus, I just don't want to think of getting married not at Northwood.  At the end of it all, I'll be married, and I'm sure it will be worth it.

I feel like I have accomplished so much more than this... but I guess not!  I'll keep it updated, as I'm sure there is just so much more to do!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Working On It

So this week at small group, we challenged each of the girls to take one verse and commit it to life this week.  In other words, we are working on taking what God tells us to do seriously.  My verse was Philippians 4:6... I actually think that most of the girls chose this one.  At the end of our time together, we always split up into groups of 2 or 3 with an assignment... and this week's assignment was to choose your verse and try to hold each other to it throughout the week.  I went with Amy Thames, and we both chose this verse... We talked about how God commands us not to worry or even be anxious, but to take everything to Him, and we talked about how when we do worry, we are sinning against Him.  Well, I have not done a perfect job, and it's only Thursday.  I actually have a few more days to go.

Today, my mission is to commit it all to prayer.  There are so many things going on right now that I could worry about.  It's funny how getting engaged should make me float on a cloud, and, as I am excited, it has added extra "worry."  I have worried about people that have said that we are too young, because I want everyone to like us and be happy for us, even though I know we have prayed and sought God and our parents, and everyone is in accord.  I have worried about how much this wedding will cost, because I know that money is tight for everyone right now.  I have worried about bridesmaids' skirts, whether they should be long or short, full or a-line.  I have worried about mid-terms, because I don't really care about school at this moment.

But when I take a deep breath, remember who God is, and just ask Him to take care of me and give me peace, I can relax.  He is in control, He has put Billy and me together, whether we are young, or in school, or not as wealthy as we'd like to be (we never will be.. we want to be in ministry... and that never produces very much money.  But we're looking in a different place for our fulfillment and provision)... and He will lead us where He wants.  We are following Him, and I should have no shame in that.  And as far as school, God has got that in His hands, too.  If I don't make a perfect score on everything, I need to rely on the fact that He is here, and He was with me as I studied, and all I can do is my best and trust Him to help me keep this scholarship.  He will provide, He is sovereign, and I can put all of my hope in His plan.  When I hide under His wings, the weight of the world is gone, the silly gossip and judgements do not touch me, and His assurance pushes me on to do what He's calling me to.

With Him, I think I'm going to make it.. If I can just remember to keep giving it back to Him, and remember just how out of control I am and how in control He is!

Oh! And I'm doing tons of wedding planning... I'll update on it soon, show pictures and ideas and everything.  I want opinions! And comments! :

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So today I was sitting in my Western Civ class, which is a terribly boring one.  The professor pauses in  between every two words to take a breath and I think to get rid of his nervousness (not to mention that we are already 3 weeks into class..) Anyway, I stumbled upon this fun website, JacksonPollock.org and made a fun picture.  So, if you're bored in class or work, go ahead! It doesn't take anything hard and it's really fun :)

Here's mine: