The Altar…part two

I made it down the aisle. I didn’t fall (didn’t even trip). My fiance – VERY soon to be my husband – didn’t look me in the eye. He looked away from me. He kept it together quite nicely. I. Did. Not.

Until…

He took a small step toward me and grabbed my hand. I was shaking. He was calm. I remembered that even though I was feeling a little nutty about the day and the fact that I had no idea how to be someone’s wife (more or less how to be a good one), it wasn’t just about me. It was about us.

At the altar. 10.11.12

He finally looked me in the eye. While the pastor prayed, we kept eye contact. Calm rushed over me (although the cool breeze and general idea that 100 of our closest friends and family were watching us kept me a little jittery).

Our pastor read Ephesians 5:22-33. We exchanged vows (that we did not write ourselves). We exchanged rings. We took communion. We looked into each other’s eyes more than we ever have.

And then…

“You may kiss your bride!”

And the people cheered! They were loud! But then they got real quiet. I’m pretty sure it was just in my head. I felt arms around me. Lips on mine. And love all through my body.

I was married. I am married.

I just committed my life to another person. Committed. Made a covenant. This is no small matter. This is what God has done to us. This is what He has called me to. I’m blessed to have a partner who will make my life more productive for His Kingdom.

The altar was amazing. I’m so excited for forever.

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The Altar…part one

I made vows at the altar.

Not just a promise. A vow. A covenant. Oh my goodness.

Don’t get me wrong, I looked beautiful in my floor-length ivory gown, my man looked handsome in his charcoal gray suit, yellow shirt, and little yellow boutonniere that I made him to match my bouquet and hair flower (we’ll get into the details of my craftiness another time). The altar itself was a gray pole of some sort that my dad and helpers made with yellow, silver, and white ribbons hanging from it as a beautiful backdrop to our vow exchange. But there was quite a bit happening in that moment.

Gracefully emotional. Eyes on Darius.

As I walked toward this handsome man and fun and pretty altar, I knew what I was approaching. I was approaching the moment when I would no longer be just a “me,” but a permanent “we.” I was approaching my best friend in the world who waited for me where we would commit our lives to one another. I was approaching a new life that would hold surprises no matter how prepared we thought we were.

Overwhelmed by emotion, I had a “girl moment” or a “wedding moment” or an “emotional moment” – however you prefer to describe it – and all the excitement and anticipation of the day, of approaching forever my Darius, caused the tears to flow. Walking down the aisle, my arm in my father’s, tears rolling gracefully (or so I like to pretend) down my face, I made it. To the altar.

The beginning of my story.

It’s pumpkin time

The temperature has cooled. The leaves are changing and falling. I had a pumpkin spice latte the morning of my wedding with two of my best girls. Yesterday I introduced a friend to her first pumpkin spice latte. This year I’ve bake a pumpkin cake and pumpkin sopapilla bars.

Fall! :)

my fall motto

Mmmm….delicious.

Next time my house is full with the smell of pumpkin from my oven, I will share the recipe. I’m sure it won’t be long.

My Clutter Clearing Commitment

The clutter is taking over my life! There is stuff EVERYWHERE! It’s my stuff. It’s his stuff. It’s our wedding gifts and stuff that my family forgot while they were here. It’s too much stuff!

The spare room – clutter city capital.

My new house is in desperate need for organization. I have been working on it, but it seems like nothing is getting done! So, I will make some commitments to you (if in fact you are reading this) and to myself.

I will begin, one room at a time, organizing and decorating while sharing my progress with you. It’ll be a great time for cleaning and crafting fun! I will share any thrift store finds, crafts, and organizing ideas I find along the way! I am not the first (and certainly will not be the last) to take on this type of challenge; therefore, I will be using ideas that I find from Pinterest (follow me!) and across the web along with anything my (or Victoria’s) unique mind creates.

We have 5 rooms (in total, not bedrooms). So, one room a week for the next 5 weeks.

Will you hold me to it?

Room number one – the kitchen – will be posted next Friday. Looks like I have quite a bit of work on my hands. Feel free to join me and share your progress!

Here we go!

I’m a what?!

I’m pretty sure I’m having an identity crisis.

Allow me to explain.

Until 13 days ago (yes, I’m still counting days), I was a Johnson. That’s the name that I’ve had my whole life. All my bills, identification cards, and all important papers and files have that name. But now it is Fox.

That in and of itself does not cause me to panic. (Well, it did for a minute in David’s Bridal because I’m not sure I know how to write a capital letter F in cursive, but that’s neither here nor there). I believe that I can get used to being a Fox. (I’m actually really really excited about being one). Also not the point. This situation – you know, being married and all that – raises a question for me: who am I?

I was JaQuinn. The daughter. Sister. Friend. Girlfriend. Server. Young Life leader. Child of the King.

My mom, my sister, and me

Now, I’m still most of those things, but instead of a girlfriend I’m Darius’ wife. Mrs. Fox. It seems to hold such heavy responsibility. And it also causes my mind and heart to be confused. It makes my heart want to find my identity in it completely. It makes my heart want to cling to the love I feel with him instead of the faithful, gracious love I receive from Him.

I was given the amazing advice (I’m certain multiple times,  but this one stands out the most to me) the week before my wedding to remember to put God first and my husband second – to find my identity in my Lord.

This is one of those true things that I know, but it’s so much more difficult than I thought it would be! I don’t know why I thought it would be easy. I have to fight to keep perspective about work, money, and all kinds of things! I had to fight when I wanted to be married and I wasn’t yet! Why would this not happen now that I am married!?!?!

This is my dilemma. Or rather, my struggle. I know the answer. I know the Truth. I must remember. And obey.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” Matthew 6:33

Do you have any wisdom on this? How do you keep God first when important people and situations fight for all your attention?

Honeymoon

I went on a honeymoon. Wow.

I promise that I will not begin every post this way. But I’ve had a lot of moments like this lately. Most recently: I went on a honeymoon. Wow.

Our first flight left at 6 a.m. I don’t think it’s ever been more worth it to wake up that early. During our layover, we had brunch at Bad Daddy’s Burger’s in Charlotte. A woman in a gray sweater and glasses blessed us by buying our lunch.

Then we headed to the island. My first time out of the U.S. and our 3 hour flight took nearly 6 hours. Thanks to strong tailwinds in St. Thomas, we landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I can’t be certain (because we didn’t get off the plane), but I believe it is a beautiful place.

The view from our room

When we got to St. Thomas it was dark, but Sugar Bay Resort and Spa was fabulous. The foyer had a grand staircase and lovely chandeliers. We were upgraded to a bay view room. We could see the beach, beautiful blue water, and picturesque mountains from our patio. The food was delicious. I got to sing karaoke while enjoying tropical drinks. We fed iguanas. Played giant Jenga. Laid in a hammock. And played monopoly on the patio while it rained. But the best part?

Spending time – uninterrupted – with my new husband.

One night we sat at dinner and talked for over 3 hours. Face-to-face. Heart-to-heart. I can’t imagine it gets any better than that. They tell me that it does, but I can’t see it right now.

God is so amazing. There I was sitting in paradise. And I was in total awe of my husband.

Have you ever had a moment like that? I’d love for you to share it with me.

I’m a Wife

I am someone’s wife. Wow.

It’s been 10 days since it happened (6 years since we officially began). And here I am – his wife – sitting on the sofa watching HGTV and searching Pinterest for the meal plans and décor ideas that I’ve been saving for when they wouldn’t just be for me.

Here I am writing a blog – just because.

A little about me: I am JaQuinn (pronounced juh-queen). He is Darius. We are the Foxes.

Image

My honey and I at Country Park

We met online my freshmen year of college (almost 8 years ago). A year and a half later I moved from Iowa to North Carolina to be with my prince. It was a while until he made me his princess, but there were many reasons for that which we won’t go into on our first post. I’m talkative, upbeat, have a strong tendency to say what I’m thinking, and strive to live my life with Purpose based on Truth. Also (and most importantly outside of my new wife title), I’m a Young Life leader.

My plan is to use this space to share adventures in my new life learning to be a wife. It’s my first and only shot to get this right. I’ll be following other women like Lara at ToOverflowing.com, Stacey at 29lincolnavenue.com, and Kim at NotConsumed.com for godly inspiration and advice.

Feel free to chime in with your words of wisdom, questions, or random thoughts any time with a comment or email at jaquinn.fox@gmail.com. Can’t wait to hear from you!