Hello everyone! It has been two months since Nathan and I got engaged. While I am slowly settling into this new phase of my life, each day is both a new challenge and opportunity to adjust to what the pandemic has brought us. I admit, the days are not always easy. Staying positive and finding hope amidst so much uncertainty, discord, and limitations within our current world weighs on me often as it does for so many others I know.
There are always both moments of joy and sadness interwoven into the fabric of our lives. This past week, we celebrated Nathan’s 23rd birthday, my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary, and my mother’s birthday. These were simple and sweet days spending time with his family and my family. A few days before on Memorial Day, Nathan and I took a day-trip driving to Oregon to visit the drive-thru Wildlife Safari in Winston. It was a beautiful day, the sun was warm, and we got to encounter many animals, including a ride on a camel. It was also nice just to see another area; I had nearly forgotten there was a world outside my small neighborhood as we are all not able to go many places these days.
I have good memories from anniversaries, birthdays, and outings such as these, as they are times of celebration and connection with loved ones. But as life so often reminds us, there are also moments of sadness. Just a few days after the festivities, my beloved bunny, Honey Marmalade, passed away unexpectedly. She wasn’t very old and I had only had her for a few months, so her sudden death hurt that much more. She was a beautiful bunny, with unique colors and pretty eyes and a loving personality and I was anticipating having many years with her. Animals have always had a soft place in my heart, and I was devastated at the loss. Times like this are a reminder to me to never take life for granted, and to be thankful for each moment and to know that life is a gift and can be taken from us at any time.
I am reminded also to seek my greatest fulfillment and peace in the Lord. He is the one constant and the one stronghold any of us will ever have in life. When we are frustrated at ourselves, others, or the world, God always remains. When we move from season to season in our lives, God always remains. I have been praying more often in these days, for a decrease in anxiety and an increase in love for myself and for others.
As far as wedding planning, Nathan and I have not accomplished a whole lot this month, knowing we still have many months ahead. But we have started reading a book together called “Rediscovering a Pearl of Great Price: The Surprising Sacrament of Matrimony” written by the priest we hope to have marry us next year. It is a thoughtful book with discussion questions after each chapter that look honestly and lovingly at sacramental marriage in the church, the purpose of love in general, and how married couples are examples of God’s Trinitarian love. Fr. Tom Vandenberg shares many stories throughout the chapters and I have greatly enjoyed reading through this book with Nathan; it has been a source of light and peace on dark days.
Even in turbulent times, I know in a profound way that my faith will carry me through. Throughout my life, but most strongly in these past three years, God has somehow made a way for me when it seemed like there wasn’t a way. It has been a true divine mystery that in my greatest times of need, he brings about a solution. Nathan and I recently adopted 2 baby Lionhead bunnies. They are sisters, and the most hilarious duo together. They can’t replace the one we lost, but they have brought a new kind of joy and innocence into my life with their deep reliance on us to care for their needs.
You are all in my prayers, and I hope that I will be in yours. Thank you for reading and I hope that you experience the consolation and the support of the Lord in your daily life.