Our Story….as best as I can remember.

Today I read a sweet story from a “friend” of mine (we were friends when we were growing up and have reconnected on FB)….she told her engagement story on her blog. I thought it was super sweet and very romantic. So, I told her I would tell her mine.

I’ve told this story before, but I thought it was worth repeating….

As most of you know Paul and I met, dated, were engaged, and were married all within a 9 month period. (Hey, when you know, you know….no need to wait around)….

Anyway, we were both 25 when we met (I had just turned 25 two days before I met Paul) at the 1st day of Orientation at Logsdon. As we began to get to know each other we also had a few other friends at Logsdon that we hung out with often, Jack and Nathan. I remember one day, specifically, when Nathan came up to us between classes and said, “Hey, where are we going to lunch today?” The awkward moment came when Paul had to tell him that we were going over to my apartment to have lunch….alone. For some reason that story has stuck with me just because I think it’s funny…. 🙂

Our first date was on Monday, September 5th (Labor Day). We were going to go to Joe Allen’s BBQ place (because we had heard how good it was). Well, we drove around for awhile, trying to find it….we ended up having to call my boss (Chris) and ask him for directions. After about 30 minutes of looking for it, we found it, but it was closed on Mondays!! 😉 So, we went to China Star instead–we both love chinese food! After we went out to eat we went back to campus and just hung out for a little while, sitting on the front steps of his dorm (yes, he lived in the dorm as a grad. student–don’t judge), talking and just getting to know each other. Another vivid memory of that night (that I think is funny) was that at 10:00PM the front doors to the dorm locked and you had to use your ID card to get into the building. Well, Paul tried and tried to get into the building, but his card would not work. He had to call campus police to come let him in. So, our 1st date, although tripped up by getting lost, the restaurant being closed, and getting the campus police involved, was absolutely wonderful!

230708_503907719257_9065_nOur 1st picture together….

We obviously started hanging out more and more….I’m not sure when we decided that our relationship was “exclusive” or that we were “a couple” but I do know this….

We were always together. We talked for hours and hours on IM (way before texting and FB were around), on the phone, and met for lunch different places, etc. We were always together. And our little “catch phrase” was “you mean the world to me.” It was like our secret way of telling each other “I love you” without using the words because I think we were both a little afraid. (I do remember however, the day he did tell me he loved me because I said it first)!! I wrote it on his palm with my finger….so cute, huh?

221928_503907734227_8807_nUs at Java City, hanging out between classes

We went to church together at PDBC (and later ended up getting married there, as well).

224383_503907724247_7374_nUs one Sunday at PDBC

At the end of September my parents came up to Abilene to visit for a weekend. It was the infamous “meet the boyfriend” weekend.

After only being together for about a month we began to talk about marriage. And honestly we probably talked about it within the 1st month, I just don’t remember. I do remember looking at rings on my computer in my apartment (by myself) and then I remember him coming over and looking at them with me (back when the Internet was just such a new and exciting wealth of information).

Around the middle of October, October 18th or so, we went to the Abilene Mall and look at rings. I picked out my own engagement ring/wedding ring (with Paul’s input, of course), got sized for it, but we didn’t buy it that day. We were just looking….

227853_503907739217_8220_nOctober 2005

On October 22, 2005, 4 days after we had looked at rings, Paul went and bought my engagement/wedding ring set. And he brought it over to  my apartment and gave it to me. He didn’t propose; he just gave me the rings and asked me to keep them at my apartment….so funny in hindsight. (He lived in a dorm and didn’t want to keep them there). Here I was…not engaged but holding my own engagement ring (and wedding ring) in my apartment! I’ve told this story to a couple of people and they say, “Well, did you wear it around, since you had it in your possession?” But the funny thing is…I didn’t. It just sat in my jewelry box, untouched.

221788_503907729237_9615_nAnother picture from October 2005

Paul and I went to Hamilton/Waco (via Dallas) the very last weekend of October, the weekend AFTER he bought the ring. We started off in Dallas, visiting Chris and Macy, who were Paul’s friends from college. We took the ring with us on our trip (Dallas, Hamilton, Waco) because we had a plan…..so, I showed it to Macy, still in the box, and she was SO EXCITED! I had never met the girl before and yet, here I was laughing and squealing with her over a ring that was in my possession, but I wasn’t even wearing!!!  CRAZY!!

This was also the infamous “I meet his parents” weekend. We took the ring with us because the idea was this….

**side note: When we started talking about getting married, I told him….you need to ask my dad first. My brother-in-law, Scott, did NOT ask my dad before he asked my sister, Leslie, to marry him and my dad was upset by that. So, I told Paul that’s what he had to do. He pushed back a little bit and said, “I’m not asking for PERMISSION, I’m just asking for his BLESSING!” OK, that’s fine. But you have to talk to him first.

So….we took the ring with us, thinking he would talk to my dad (when we went to Waco, after Hamilton) and he could tell me about it and then ask me while we were there! (Easy, peasy and just such a brilliant idea)! We were young and naive, what can I say??

Well, that weekend was a horrible and tragic weekend in Waco. Kyle L*ke, the pastor at U.B.C., got electrocuted during the morning worship service at their church (while standing in the baptistery and touching a microphone) and died on the spot, there at church (not where we went to church, but it was tragic for the whole town). Also, my parent’s neighbor, Daniel, (who also went to MY church in Waco) died that weekend, on that Saturday….he just dropped dead at the soccer fields, while watching his son play. He left a wife and 3 young children….so that weekend was NOT an ideal weekend to be in Waco, trying to “schmooze” my parents into liking this boy that was going to take their daughter away from them, after only knowing each other for 2 months.

So, the ring was untouched. It came back to Abilene with us, still in the box.

Fast forward to November. We went to Hamilton/Waco for the weekend, for Thanksgiving. We were in Waco FIRST (the day before Thanksgiving). The ring traveled with us again, in my suitcase, in the box. We were getting ready to leave Waco (late afternoon/evening on Wednesday) to head to Hamilton. In the chaos of putting our bags in the car and saying good-bye, I THINK Paul talked to my dad in the hallway, standing next to the bathroom and asked for his BLESSING because he wanted to ask me to marry him. Well, as the story goes (because I wasn’t there), my dad said NO. And, that was that. We got in the car and left. Paul didn’t tell me (at that time) he had talked to my dad.

225773_503907744207_9905_nOur last picture together as a “dating couple”

That night I slept in the guest room (at Paul’s mom’s house), and Paul slept on the couch. He came and woke me up early, brought me into the living room and gave me a card. He had “traced” his hand on the front and turned it into a turkey….

img_2255What can I say? He’s talented….

Here is the inside….

img_2256Do you see “you mean the world to me….”? I told you that was special to us.

He told me right then what my dad had said. I don’t remember crying. I don’t remember being upset. I guess I was just disappointed. I didn’t know where to go from here. What did it mean for us? What do we do now?

Well, Paul told me to go get showered, dressed, and ready because we were going somewhere before we were leaving to go to his aunt’s house (in another town). So, off I went to get ready…it was early!! Like 7:00AM early. And I knew we weren’t leaving to go to his aunt’s til probably 9-9:30AM!

We got in the car and drove around Hamilton a little bit, early on Thanksgiving morning, 2005. I had been to Hamilton once before (back in October), but Paul drove me around, showing me his school, the football field, the store, the park, etc. We got out and walked around a little bit in this little “wooded area” near the park. After talking (and kissing) for a bit on the bridge, he told me he had something to give me. He told me reach into his pocket, so…I did. I got my own ring out of his pocket!! I know–we are so WEIRD?!! So, I got it out and gave it to him.

**side note: I had also told him, earlier in our relationship, that when he proposed he had to get down on one knee, like they do in the movies. I just think it’s so romantic!!

So, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. And, before I could answer, his phone rang!! He quickly pulled it out his pocket and put it on silent. So, he asked me again. I said “YES” quickly before the phone rang….AGAIN!! This time he answered it! So, our romantic, once in a lifetime proposal, was interrupted by his brother calling, asking where we were because it was time to go!

(When we got our engagement pictures done we re-enacted the picture)….

100_0559We laughed. We kissed. We admired my ring, and then we left. We drove back to his mom’s house, got in the car and drove to his aunt’s house. We NEVER TOLD ANYONE!! I wore that ring ALL DAY! No one asked and we didn’t tell!! This was the FIRST time I was meeting anyone outside of his immediate circle–I guess we both just decided that it wasn’t the right timing. I think Paul may have told his dad that day (just in private) but it was NEVER mentioned!!! CRAZY!!!

After a day at his aunt’s house I was going to drive over to Dallas to see my best friend from college and go “Black Friday” shopping with her. (Honestly I’m not sure what Paul did–I guess maybe he stayed in Hamilton–I have no idea)!! Anyway, I wore my ring while I was there, squealed and dreamed with Renae about plans for the wedding! After my time in Dallas on Friday I drove over to my aunt’s house to spend the night with her. While I was driving from Renae’s house to my aunt’s house I called my parents and told them Paul had asked me to marry him and I said yes! Well, they were NOT HAPPY! They told me to take that ring OFF and we would discuss it when I got back to Waco! So, I did. I took it off, put it back in the box and pretended nothing had happened.

I got back to Waco on Sunday (I think) and we talked….I don’t remember the entire conversation (and it’s really not important) but I do remember the fact that my mom asked me how I was going to plan a wedding (that was going to happen in Waco) when I was living in Abilene. Well, along with completely disappointing them and getting engaged without my dad’s blessing, I then squished my mom’s dream and told her we were going to get married in Abilene!! 😉 (How’s that for a sucker punch to the gut)!!?

And there you have it. Our whirlwind relationship of meeting, talking, dating, and getting engaged in a matter of about 2 months!

And, in case you are wondering, I put that ring BACK on and wore it back to Abilene….and I’ve never taken it off–ever, except if I roll cookie batter to make cookies! That is the ONLY TIME it has ever been off my finger!

It’s a funny story with so many strange and crazy “roll-your-eyes” kind of happenings, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

“But, can I….?”

(Sorry about the two different fonts….I can’t fix it).

I write this so I don’t forget….
I write this so I can remember….

I am a substitute at the public schools here in Giddings, as well as the private school. I enjoy public school so much more than private school. It’s hard to explain why; I just do.

Anyway, I write this so I won’t forget.

Here’s a conversation I had with one of my classes (students) this past week (at GISD, at the Middle School).

Me: “Today you will take a test. There will be no talking and no looking around. When you are done you have 2 options: read a book or work on homework. Those are your only options, so don’t ask to do something different. You may not go to the library, the restroom, or get a drink, so don’t ask. You will also be quiet and respect those who are still working.”
Student: “Man, Miss, sounds like prison.”
(Welcome to having Mrs. Tanner as a substitute)! 🙂

I am strict. I don’t deny it.

The teachers love it. The kids….not so much. But, nonetheless I continue to do it. It’s my job. It’s my ministry. And, whether they admit it or not, I think the students enjoy the order and the structure of having me as a substitute.

The reason I laugh (and want to remember the above conversation) is because they ask time and time again: “But, can I?”

“You may read when you are finished with your work.”
“But, can I draw?”

“You may do homework from another class when you finish with your work.”
“But, can I sleep?”

Over and over again I hear: “But, can I?”

And yet, don’t we do that with our Heavenly Father?

Over and over again…

He says, “My child, this is the path I want you to go down.”
“That’s great God, but can I….?”

He says, “My child, trust me.”
“I do God, but can I….?”

In God’s Word you can find His promises written over and over again….to those from over 2,000 years ago and yet they apply to us still today.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

God says He will give us rest and yet we struggle with the idea of not doing something. “But, God, can I….?”

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

God says He will supply all our needs and yet we want to be in control.
“But, God, can I….?”

Oswald Chambers said, “The things we try to avoid and fight against – Tribulation…Suffering…Persecution…are the very things that produce abundant Joy!”

We fight against all that God has called us to be. And all that God has called us to go through.

He promises us, directly from His Word, “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:4

We try to avoid the very thing that He has called us to be. He wants us to share in His divine nature and grow in excellence and glory….in order to produce abundant Joy!

There’s nothing wrong with questioning God. Asking why things happen or what is going to happen, but the real problem comes when we decide we are going to do it our way….

“But, can I….?”

Some people think asking God “why” is wrong.  I don’t believe that. I believe God has given us that right. So, instead of questioning if asking “why” is right/wrong, the real question might be, “will He answer every ‘why’?”  No.  For whatever reason He chooses— God will not answer all of our “whys” — at least not on this side of heaven.

We just have to trust and obey.  Trust He knows what’s best for us and obey the way He shows us to go.

It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. Many of us talk about wanting His will for our lives, but once it is revealed, we get scared and realize that we didn’t quite expect what He had or we don’t like what He says. We let fear take over. Or we refuse to accept it because God’s will isn’t actually what we wanted at all.

Instead we say….

“But, God, can I…?”

I can say all of this because I am there right now. For the last 8 years Paul and I have been together we have prayed over and over for God’s will to be done in our lives, individually. In our ministry. In our marriage. And in our lives, as partners and lovers.

But I never really took into consideration how I would respond to the revelation. I realize that not only should my prayer be, “Thy will be done” but also, “Let me accept Thy will.”

No more “But, God, can I…?”
Instead, “Let me accept Thy will.”


A Collection of Pictures…..

Here’s what’s been happening over the last couple of weeks!

On Thursday, August 29th we went to Walker’s first football game of the season. (He’s a freshman). It’s true love when you sit in 100+ degree weather to watch your youth!!! It was HOT!!!! (Did I mention it was H-O-T)!!!


Freshmen Football

Freshmen Football

It was H-O-T, HOT!!!

The following Friday night, the 6th, we had out 1st Home Varsity Football Game. They played an away game on the 30th and narrowly won, 22-21 against Liberty Hill. Well, we didn’t do so well on the 6th….we lost.

beautiful Giddings sunset

beautiful Giddings sunset

our "football helmet"

our “football helmet”

Varsity Football

Varsity Football

On Saturday, September 7th Paul and I went to a Baylor game (Sic’Em Bears) with Kris and Heidi!! They got 4 free tickets (and an AWESOME parking pass), so they asked us to go with them!! It was H-O-T, but fun!!!

CAM01444 CAM01445 CAM01446

Aubrey did pretty well, considering she is 12 months old and it was about 115+degrees outside (not really, but it was sweltering and we were SWEATING)!!!

CAM01448 CAM01452

Once halftime hit (and Baylor was winning, 56-13), we decided to leave and find a cooler place to hang out. So, we went to Bahama Buck’s!! Apparently Paul’s snocone was a little too sour for Miss Priss!!! 🙂

CAM01457This past Thursday night we went to the 1st Middle School football games. That’s 4 games–7B, 7A, 8B, and 8A! Again, it was HOT the first 3 hours….it finally cooled off the last hour and a half because the sun had gone down!

CAM01472 CAM01471We had another home game this past Friday night….and it was another tough loss!! (I’m praying these past 2 games have just been a “fluke”–otherwise District is going to be AWFUL for us)!!



CIA/Back to School Kick-Off

About 2 weeks ago we had our CIA (Children in Action)/Back-to-School Kick-Off. Because we had such a HUGE response to the Summer Daze Activity #1 (back in June) we decided to do it again.

Izzy playing with the hose

Izzy playing with the hose

the kids playing in the baby pools

the kids playing in the baby pools

a piece of plastic, water, and baby shampoo is all it takes....

a piece of plastic, water, and baby shampoo is all it takes….

fun on the slip n slide

fun on the slip n slide

going through each other's legs

going through each other’s legs

Sierra showing me the hula-hoop

Sierra showing me the hula-hoop

Henlee "trying" to hula-hoop

Henlee “trying” to hula-hoop



Damien trying tricks with the hula hoop

Damien trying tricks with the hula hoop

Delanie and Brae

Delanie and Brae



Joy in the Waiting….

Do you ever feel like you are waiting in anticipation for God….to speed up, to hurry up, to move along, to go faster….

I’m sure we all have…..and I’m there.

But, right now, it’s not about the journey to go forward, it’s about the journey in the waiting….

There are lessons to be learned through the blessings of waiting. Important ones that, unfortunately I’m missing because I’m so impatient.

I want to live a holy life, not a happy life. Happiness is temporary, but Joy is everlasting. Wanting what God wants (and not what I want) is a very hard place to be. I’m trying to get there….really I am. (But, honestly, I’m not sure it’s ever a place you reach–I think it’s ever evolving–you reach it, you fall back, you try again, you fail again)….that’s where Grace comes in.


In life there are certain things we want. In our selfish desires, we want what we think is best for us…NOW. We desire what we want, not necessarily what the Lord wants for us. And, sometimes I WANT to go to any lengths to make it mine. But, I can’t. By God’s grace, I have to wait. I don’t want to be anywhere where the Lord doesn’t want us to be. As a new season is upon us (in ministry it means summer is OVER and the school year has STARTED), do I hope and pray the Lord is getting ready to do great things in our lives (in regards to youth/music/children’s ministry at FBC)? Of course I do. But, it’s one of those situations where many doors could open. God could totally knock my socks off with ministry opportunities far beyond I could ever imagine.

How could we do or want anything that the Lord doesn’t want for us?

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

And so we wait. We know what the Lord desires of us.

“O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

So, we do what is right. For the 7 1/2 years that Paul and I have been in ministry (together) I have been doing, doing, doing….Now the Lord has begun to show me what waiting looks like….It’s not sitting idle just hoping something happens but it’s being active in your wait. It’s praying, reading God’s Word, and learning to depend on Him for what’s going to happen. It’s growing closer to Him so that we’re learning to hear His voice.

I am listening, Lord.

So today’s lesson.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the wait. Be grateful for it.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2

In all actuality this verse doesn’t apply 100% because we’re not in trouble…..But the principle is the same. I’ve challenged myself to get to the point where I want the kinds of trials (or troubles) that develop perseverance. A little weird, maybe? But if they produce good in us–wouldn’t we want to go through the pain for the end result?

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:3

And I leave you with…..

Hungry by Kathryn Scott

Hungry I come to You, For I know You satisfy
I am empty, But I know Your love does not run dry

So I wait for You, So I wait for You

I’m falling on my knees, Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Broken I run to You, For Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life

So I’ll wait for You, So I’ll wait for You

I’m falling on my knees, Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Oh, I’m falling on my knees, Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

And I wait for you, And I wait for you
And I wait for you, And I wait

I’m falling on my knees, Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Oh, I’m falling on my knees, Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Hungry I come to you, For I know You satisfy

A Whole Lot of Something/Nothing

Well, I guess life has gone on since my birthday (which was the last time I posted)…..

I’m not sure what we’ve done, but nonetheless, it’s now September!

These pictures are actually from August 11th, when we went to Cameron for Aubrey’s 1st Birthday Party! 🙂

Heidi and me

Heidi and me


Happy Birthday Aubrey

On August 18th, a couple of days after my birthday we had a little “Mission Trip Reunion” at Marlow Baptist in Cameron. We got together with Marlow Baptist and FBC Caldwell (the churches we went with to Tennessee)….

Paul and Aubrey

Paul and Aubrey

Aubrey is enamored

Aubrey is enamored

Heidi and me

Heidi and me

Sweet moment

Sweet moment

Last Saturday I babysat Presley for a little bit during the day and then I kept Presley and all the Hanson kids that night–4 kids under the age of 8!! It was fun, but reassuring once again that I enjoy my quiet time…..

Presley and Hanna

Presley and Hanna

Presley and our "picnic" lunch

Presley and our “picnic” lunch

Last Sunday, the 25th, I came downstairs to find these water spots on our kitchen ceiling and water running down our cabinets. (It turns out the toilet was leaking)…..

The beginning

The beginning

Rodney (our landlord) came over the cut out the water-damaged sheetrock.

Rodney cutting out the damaged sheetrock

Rodney cutting out the damaged sheetrock

He went upstairs to fix the wax ring on the toilet. It hasn’t leaked since, but for awhile we had ourselves a new “skylight”

our new "skylight"

our new “skylight”

He came back later and drilled cardboard up against the ceiling, so we wouldn’t have a hole in our ceiling. And that’s how it still looks today. 🙂 (Maybe the sheetrock guy will come soon)!

our "fixed" ceiling

our “fixed” ceiling

This past week I went to a MOPS swim party. I’ll be doing the childcare for MOPS again this year.

MOPS swim party

MOPS swim party

True love for the Buffs (and for the kids that are in our youth group). We went to Walker’s 1st Freshmen football game at Giddings Stadium. It was at 5:00PM, and it was H-O-T!!!

IMG_82956455166180Last week I tried to DECLARE IT FALL and wear black skinny jeans and an orange shirt–looking a little bit “fallish.” However, after 2 hours of sweating and having to PEEL my jeans off because I was so sweaty, I decided it was TOO HOT and skinny jeans were not to be worn when it’s 105 degrees outside!!

IMG_82964269815958Today Kris, Heidi, and Aubrey came to visit. I entertained her for a little bit by giving her Tupperware to play with….

Aubrey playing with our Tupperware

Aubrey playing with our Tupperware

After a Young at Heart S.S. class party, I went to “Meet the Buffs” (Paul opted to stay home).



beautiful sunset in Giddings

beautiful sunset in Giddings



Another picture of the sunset

Another picture of the sunset

Meet the Buffs

Meet the Buffs

Meet the Buffs

Meet the Buffs

And tomorrow I start 4 days of subbing! I subbed this past Friday, after school only being in session for 4 days and this week I’m subbing Tuesday-Friday! 🙂 Bring on the bucks!!!