Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Actions speak louder than words

How many times in our lives have we said those cliche words, "Actions speak louder than words?" Most of us can say a multitude of times. I was perusing church websites with Brad the other night. I came across one that I was familiar with, but shall remain un-named. Right below it's name was it's short and sweet slogan..."Lives Changed Here." Being very familiar with this certain entity, I looked at Brad and said, "Little do they know how much they are changed." I can testify that from one church lives have definitely been changed, but unfortunately not always for the better. I started thinking about the damage that words can do to a person. A day or two before our church website surfing, I scrolled through my facebook live feed and found one of my friends status' to be spot on. It read "What we truly believe is what we practice daily. The rest is just religious talk." Whether you apply this saying to church and Christians today, or to every sector of people groups, this saying is true. It has been my experience that actions really do speak louder than words.

I can vouch for myself. When going through the worst time in my life a couple of years ago, I was treated the worst by my church and fellow Christian friends. The very people that preach love and forgiveness and acceptance (words) weren't the ones who showed up at my house to bring me meals, call and check on me, and weren't the ones holding my hand through my darkest times. (actions) The actions of a group of people have scarred this heart of mine and made me extremely leery of other like groups, although the words of their message is golden. How many times have we known someone going through a difficult time and say, "Let me know if I can do anything." (words) I know I've been guilty of saying that way too many times. It's the safe thing to say. But think about that for a minute. If someone is going through a difficult time, chances are they are not going to call if they need anything. However, if we called them or showed up at their house and brought them dinner or coffee, (actions) we probably wouldn't be turned away. What about can you say you are willing to work on things and want things to get better (words) and yet run away from confronting the very issues that will make it better? (actions) How can you say you love someone (words) and yet you aren't willing to do something every day to show that love? (actions) Regardless of where we apply this lesson we should have all learned as a child, actions really do speak louder than words. What kind of actions are you making? Do they match up with what you are saying?

Let me touch on the subject I mentioned up above. I am now two & 1/2 years down the road from that hard time, but I can say I am thankful for the experience I went through. God took me on a journey and I am definitely a better person because of everything. However, I was reminded, by my friends post and that church's slogan, to evaluate what my actions are saying about me. Do they portray what I believe? Do they match up with my words? Does Brad know that I love him not only because I tell him but because I show him every day? Do my girls know they are the most precious thing to me not only because I tell them but because I show them every day? Do my friends know how important they are to me not only because I remind them but because my actions reflect that belief?

Do you want to know how someone really thinks and feels? Look at their actions. Because actions really do speak louder than words.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The proposal

As most of you know by now something pretty exciting has happened in our lives. I thought this would be the best venue to share the details! By now you probably know all about how Brad and I met via the "our story" blog. I truly didn't know how my life was about to change the day Brad came up to me and asked if I was "Jenifer Christopher." I thought I was just reconnecting with an old classmate. I had no idea I was meeting my future husband at the time. I will say however, it wasn't very long until I knew something was definitely different about Brad. Being a divorced, single mother of 2 I had very high expectations for what ever guy entered our lives. I am a very strong willed, stubborn, independent woman. I knew exactly what I was looking for. As I spent more and more time with Brad, I was amazed that he possessed qualities I didnt even know I was looking for. He really was too good to be true. 9 Months later, this guy that was too good to be true has turned into my reality. We know we have a very unique, hard to find kind of love. We also know that it isn't possible for either one of us to live without the other. We have become food and water to each other's soul. Last night Brad went outside with our new dog Molly. He tied a red ribbon around her neck that held a beautiful ring on it. I was in the kitchen when the back door opened and Molly came running in. The problem was that Molly discovered this new ribbon around her neck and tugged at it with her teeth. Off came the ribbon and off came the ring. Brad grabbed the ring and took Molly into the laundry room to try round 2. Molly, being completely oblivious to the plan trying to unfold, was more interested in chewing on the ribbon than she was delivering the prize tied to the ribbon. The ring once again fell off. Brad grabbed the ring. He looked in my eyes, said the sweetest words I've ever heard, and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said YES!!!! He slipped this gorgeous ring on my hand and it was such an amazing moment. I sit here tonight knowing that I truly am the luckiest girl alive. I really am living a fairytale. Brad is my best friend. Brad is my prince. God has truly blessed our broken roads that led us to each other. Some pretty exciting changes are up ahead and I can't wait to share everything with you. In the mean time, I can only hope you each already have or find the kind of love that Brad and I share. For all of my single chickas, don't give up on your dream guy. I promise he is out there. But you will have to settle for second best. I already caught the BEST guy on earth!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Story

I absolutely have loved being a girl. From wearing tap shoes and tu-tu's as a first grader to making hair appointments before Senior prom. But my very favorite thing about being a girl is reading and watching the fairytales of the damsels in distress being rescued by a prince charming. In every situation, the prince entered the princess' life and made it better. There is nothing better to me than a happily ever after ending. Of course growing up I couldn't wait until I met my prince charming. Little did I know that would begin in Junior High. As Brad and I recall "our story" we wanted you to get a glimpse into both of our hearts as events unfolded. My memories will be in pink and Brad's will be in blue. So, once upon a time...

I have to admit, I have very little recollection of my school days. I remember being in band, eating in the Jr. High snack bar, and eating gravy, cheese fries at Sputter's after school. But to have exact memories of people, I have very little. Thank goodness for Brad's memory!

Where do I start? 7th grade, Cooper Jr. High. Junior High is such an awkward time in kids' lives, yet the memories of people and friendships stick with you forever. Football games, band trips, school plays. And seriously looking back at those things Jenifer was there. I know I was there, but I don't remember changing on the bus at the fair grounds after the Fair parade and Brad walking up the bus steps and seeing me. I remember though. Jen and I were in many classes together. We had a lot of the same friends. I remember going to the "party house" just 1 mile down the road from where Jen grew up where she and all of her friends would sneak out and meet me and my friends. If you read this and this sounds familiar, relax...that's all that will be said. Good times. I remember sneaking out of the house one time and driving to Brad's house with another friend of mine. When we left, I hit his mail box. I was never so scared! As you can see, Brad and I shared many fun times together in Jr. High. After my school days at Cooper were over, I tried to stay in touch with many of my Pirate friends, but life takes over. I've had a very interesting life with lots of highs and lots of lows. But even those highs can't match what I'm fixing to share with you.
School days were over and it was time to grow up. I went off to college, lived my life, kept in touch with only a handful of people from school. I was making new friends and creating a new life as an adult. I have definitely made more than my share of mistakes. I have disappointed people as well as disappointed myself. However, looking back at my life, every thing that has taken place has shaped me to be the person I am today. So fast forward 19 years.
Returning to Lubbock after being gone for 5 years was an unexpected event. I was living in South Dakota and needed to have hand surgery. So on September 17th I returned to Lubbock. My sister and her family had also just moved back to Lubbock after being gone for roughly 10 years. I had the opportunity to see and do things with my nieces and nephew really for the first time. Halloween was my nephews birthday. Being the sports nut he is, I took him to the Texas Tech vs. Kansas football game. I have season tickets to the Tech football games. My best friend Rod had agreed to go to the game with me on Halloween. He had to find a halloween costume before the game, so we didn't have alot of time to spare before the game. We got to the game just in time to buy a corndog and Peanut M&M's. We made our way to the stairs to walk up to our seats. As I'm sitting there with my nephew and several other friends, I noticed a familiar face walking up the stairs. After she passed by, I asked Bobby "is that Jenifer Christopher?" We discussed it for a little bit and then I knew the only way I would find out is to go up and ask her. I was sitting with Rod in our seats enjoying my corn dog. I see this guy walking up to where we are. I looked at Rod and remember asking him if he knew this guy. He of course didn't and he didn't look familiar to me. Then he came closer to me and asked, "Are you Jenifer Christopher?" I remember looking at him trying to place who he was, and I hesitantly said, "yes." I said "I know you probably don't remember me, but my name is Brad." She said "Brad Beard?" "Yes ma'am," I answered. At this point I remembered him, but it had been 19 years since I had seen or heard from him. We proceeded to play catch up a few minutes before the game started. I remembered telling him that he should call me sometime so we could catch up. I told him my number was on Facebook. He said "ok." Now it's game time. I caught myself looking up to see Jenifer when there was no action on the field hoping to not get caught. He got caught a couple of times, but that only means that I was looking at him as well! In the 3rd qtr I noticed Jenifer's friend had left and she was sitting alone. Rod had to go to his halloween event so I told him I would get a ride home from another friend that I knew was at the game. I thought her friend would probably be back soon because Tech was putting a hurtin on Kansas and I couldn't imagine anyone leaving early. I continued to watch and when I was convinced he wasn't coming back, I had to come invite her to sit with us. I remember Brad walking up to me and asking if my friend had left. I told him yes and he said I was more than welcome to go sit with his group. I told him I was fine sitting alone. After all, I didn't know who he was sitting with. Brad sat down next to me. We continued to play catch up and hollar for Tech for the remainder of the game. After the game, I had asked Jenifer if she had plans that evening. When she said she didn't have any, I asked her if she wanted to watch the Texas game. I said that would be fun and then game him my number to call me. Yes, I had to ask for her number because earlier instead of giving it to me, she informed me it was on facebook. I remember walking away thinking it was cool to run into Brad and it would be fun to reconnect with him more and watch football. I told her I would call after I took my nephew to his halloween event which took forever and a day to get him there. He took his time calling, but he finally did. It was halloween, football traffic, and you can't forget there is always construction in Lubbock, Texas. I remember I was on the corner of 82nd st and Ave P when he called. I answered the phone and we decided where we were going to meet. So I sat at Jake's, close to the door. Jenifer took her time getting there. Long story, but a missing purse and 87,000 trick or treaters at Bodyworks delayed my arrival!! But I did show up!! After cheering for Texas and realizing I was cheering alone, she pointed out that she was not a UT fan. He's lucky I overlooked that! We spend the remainder of the game not really watching the game. We caught eachother up on the past 19 years of our lives and started to get to know eachother. I remember Brad being such a gentleman that night. He was easy to talk to and he made me laugh. I was having fun. I was having a good time. Even though I couldn't cheer for Texas, a beautiful girl and football is always good. After the game we noticed there was a band playing in the back room. We kept seeing all of these people dressed in costumes going to the back room. So we decided to go check out the place. Boy was I in for a culture shock. As we were walking back there, I hear the music and realized this was so not her element. This was going to be fun. I can't really describe what was going on. There were a bunch of weird costumes, screaming on stage, and people purposely bumping into eachother on the dance floor. I later learned from Brad that was a mosh pit. Oh sweet Jesus. Where was I?? We were doing our best to talk while the costumes were screaming on stage. Jenifer stepped in the way to protect me from the Psycho clown. Well Brad did only have one good hand at the time. So we hung out for the rest of the night. Still can't believe she didn't have plans that night, but very thankful. It was the most fun I've had in a long time. I had fun too. I was exposed to alot of new things, but enjoyed laughing and being with Brad.

We could go on and on about the memories we have those first few days we hung out. Let's just say that we have been together every day since that night. Growing up, experiencing different kinds of love and relationships, you form this "prince charming" in your mind. You form what characteristics you want him to have, what values, what traits. Even if you think he doesn't exist, it's still fun to hope for a fairytale. Well, my fairytale has come true. Brad has been and continues to be the most amazing man I ever knew existed. He is better than I ever dreamed my prince charming would be. I have never known this kind of love before. He is my best friend. Since that night Jenifer has opened my eyes to a lot of new things. She is the most amazing person I know. Falling in love with her has been more fun than I ever thought possible. Little did I know the love of my life was one of my good friends from Junior High. Little did I know the love of my life would be sitting in a crowd of 47,000 people just 2 rows away from me at a Tech football game. I will end "our story" with 2 of my favorite sayings. "Cinderella was 16, Belle was 19, I was 34. Fairytales do come true." "It's never to late to live happily ever after." Life really is better than the dream.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Perfectly imperfect

I thought I would start my first post on this new blog re-introducing myself. It's been about 2 years since I last blogged. Life has definitely changed. I have changed. My family has changed. Without getting into too much detail of past events, this blog will not only be used to update my family and friends on the happenings around here, but also to share some of my view points as I see life today. I absolutely love diversity. We are all entitled to our own opinions. I would love for you to share your opinions with me, but please remember this is MY blog. If you are unhappy with some of my posts, please feel free to stop reading them. Judgment will not be allowed. Only unconditional love and respect for others. Now having said that....

This is absolutely the happiest time of my life. I thought I had lived happy before and I suppose to some degree I have. But I have never known happiness as I know it today. Details on why to come. I have definitely gone through some rough times. I have questioned God's plan on more than one occasion. I have been mad, angry, bitter, and hurt. I have questioned other people's love for me. But I am here to tell you that I am happier with who I am today than I ever have been., You see, I have been that plastic person. I have lived the life behind the white picket fence. I have been the person that could win an academy award for playing the acting role in my own life. I did all of this because it's what was expected of me by my peers. I was surrounded by people who were uncomfortable with imperfections. Then, my world collapsed. It was the best possible thing that could have happened to me. Through the darkest times in my life I realized who I really was. The masks came off. The acting lessons canceled. I became myself once again. Each day I fell a little more in love with myself. I remembered things that I liked to do but didn't do for so long for fear of non-approval. I realized that I was "perfectly imperfect" and happy with that.

Now that that's out of the way, stay tuned for details about a boy and a girl. I can't wait to tell you "Our Story".