Hilltops and Valleys

I am SOOOOOO excited to be back to blogging. For today I just want to catch everyone up on what we did:

Amplify. For those of you who didn’t read JRB’s post about Port St. Joe, you should! I was completely blown away by how amazing he did. Really. For those of you wondering, his post is a display of the reasons I’m marrying him: loves Jesus, quirky/funny, manly. What else does a girl need??

This was my third (Josh’s SIXTH) Amplify, but each year is special and different and the Lord works is awesome ways! This year we got to see several people come to know Christ and the gospel was spread like crazy. I was on a construction crew, and we worked on a trailer that had caught on fire. It’s an extremely sad story, and now the family is left with no insurance money to get a new trailer. Thus, we were given the task to make a charred trailer into a livable trailer. Quite. Difficult. And EXTREMELY frustrating at times. We moved every piece of furniture, food, clothing, decor, etc. out of the house, ripped up the carpet, tore down some sheetrock and the ceiling, washed ash off the walls and cleaned it all up. I learned a lot about myself, relying on the Lord for strength/motivation and about home repairs!

Josh was a construction LEADER (Yea, that’s right. He’s the bomb) His team was a demolition team aka they got to knock down, tear up and demolish houses. If this wasn’t the perfect job for JRB, I don’t know what would’ve been. This is the point where I start bragging on him so get ready: HE IS SOOOO COOL. Y’all, I had people from my team, his team, people I don’t know telling me how he was taking sledge hammers and knocking down beams and kicking down walls. Literally, girls told me,” Your fiance is so manly! And he loves Jesus. I see why you’re marrying him.” My response, “You’re dang right! You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.” If there was ever any doubt about my safety next year (which there wasn’t), I’m definitely not worried now. His team (comprised of some of the finest, if I do say so myself) took down TWO houses in only two days. That’s absolutely remarkable! Each day he’d come back to the houses we stayed at and be completely covered with dirt and soot. Even the inner lining of his lips were black, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been prouder. What girl doesn’t like other people recognizing how incredible her fiance is?? This girl sure does! In other words, Amplify was definitely a high point of Spring Break. Major hilltop!

Josh with pals Jeffery, Austin and little boy that I don't know. This isn't even the dirtiest Josh got.

Before.

Going... Yes, this is Josh knocking down boards with his feet.

Going.. Yes, Trace connected his truck to the house to pull down the roof.

Gone.

These pictures were taken by the incredible Maggie Smith. Thank you, Maggie, for letting me use them and for being diligent to actually take pictures, something I am dreadfully bad at.

After Amplify, I went home because I had some wedding stuff to do and Josh watched NCAA Div. 1 wrestling finals. Those of you who follow him (You should if you don’t. He’s funny/informative.) on Twitter are probably well aware of this. I also went home because my mom had a doctor’s appointment in Birmingham. She got her yearly checkup/mammogram about a month ago, and the doctors called her back. We were all very nervous about her getting called back, but obviously none of us wanted to freak each other out so we kept it together. So Friday my mom, her friend Mrs. Jan and I went to Birmingham for her appointment and some much needed retail therapy. PRAISE REPORT: EVERYTHING IS FINE. MY MOM IS CANCER FREE!! You never realized how special it is to say that until you’ve either overcome cancer (thankfully we didn’t have to go through that) or you’ve come close. For all of you out there with moms battling/overcoming cancer, bless you souls! I cannot imagine how hard/scary that must be. If you are like me then it’s like, “Mess with me, but don’t mess with my mom.” Really. I just can’t imagine what it must be like to have a sick mom or to not have a mom. All I can say is the Lord is so good and so sweet, and this valley can be a hilltop!

Friday (same day as my mom’s appointment), the wedding invitations were supposed to be finished. Guys, I was SOOO excited. These invitations really aren’t that intricate or extremely artsy. If anything, going into wedding planning the invitations were the things I cared least about. Well, boy has that changed! I started working with some people on them in November and they are just now getting finished. Friday when they were supposed to be printed, the print shop messed them up and then didn’t have enough paper to fix them. So they had to order more paper and postponed them until Monday. Then, yesterday I didn’t like the way the envelope was so I was corresponding with my mom and the man at the print shop through email and phone calls. At one point I knelt my head down on my kitchen counter and just cried. Definite. Valley. But the good news is they are printed. They are going to be mailed asap. And JRB and I are still getting married. So…. Hilltop!

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