Why we washed each other’s feet at our wedding

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”  John 13:14-15

Feet are kinda gross. A pedicure helps a lot with making them pretty though. When I go to a nail salon I always wonder what kind of feet the woman who is giving me a pedicure has seen and touched that day. I’m sure she’s had to smell and clean some clammy, grimy, and let’s just say, unpleasant feet. And those feet are coming from people who wear closed shoes, walk on paved roads, and drive cars.

Imagine the disciple’s feet. Probably prettyyyy gnarly with a prominent sandal tan. Only servants and slaves washed feet in those times. To think that the King of Kings would get on his knees and wash his followers feet is one of the most beautiful demonstrations of self-sacrificing love.

When planning for our wedding, Brycen and I wanted to keep the focus on Jesus. He is the one who first loved us and brought us to each other. All of the honor and glory belongs to Him. As a way of recognizing Jesus during our ceremony and following in his footsteps, we decided to wash each other’s feet. Jesus is the model of how we are to love each other; and the washing of feet is such a powerful and symbolic act of that kind of love.

As I was washing Brycen’s feet during our wedding ceremony, I didn’t fully understand what all of it meant. Today is our 6 month anniversary and as I look back at the past half year I understand a lot better of what that love looks like.

It’s not always easy. It can be hard work. It’s daily choosing to play the role of the servant. It’s choosing to put the other person above yourself. Even when you’re tired, and hungry, and in a bad mood. I see it in the little things like when Brycen eats the yellow and green sour patch kids so that I can eat the blue ones. Or when he replaces my glass with cold water in the morning before I wake up. Or when he cooks me breakfast on the weekends and doesn’t let me help because I cooked the meals during the week. And also in the big things like when he works so many hours overtime so that he can provide for us and keep our home comfortable – and so that he can buy me that cute dress at target he saw me look at. Or when he makes sure to pray with me as I’m running out the door on my first day of work. Or when he’s falling asleep in bed but is trying his hardest to respond and listen to me talk about how great my small group went that night.

I have been blessed with such a loving husband with a heart of gold. He puts my needs above his own and shows me a glimpse of Jesus’ love for me.

We haven’t been married for very long and I know I’m far from being an expert at this marriage stuff. But what I do know is that marriage rocks and it’s the second best decision I’ve ever made other than following Jesus. And I know that if we continue to have the same desire to walk in humility and to truly love and serve each other, to daily “wash each other’s feet”, then it’ll last forever.

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Amazing photography by Rachel Jane Photo

Also here is our wedding video recap by Aaron Wagoner Films :

xoxo,

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Oh, Hello!

The last time I posted on here was June 15, 2014. And in 10 days from now that will be exactly one year. Sorry for those who followed my blog and wished to see more posts, but I’m pretty sure no one was on the edge of their seat refreshing this page and hoping for an update this whole time.  Well, at least I hope not.

Anyway, whether you’ve been wanting to see a new post or have never seen this blog before: WELCOME! Glad you’re reading this!

I’m not really sure what I’m going to be posting about (that way you’ll have to stay on the edge of your seat). But I just wanted to get back into this blogging world and here I am.

A lot can happen in a year. This past year has definitely been the most life-changing, exciting, and adventurous one yet. Here are some updates since my last post about getting engaged:

1. Turned 22

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2. Had an engagement party

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3. Went to a 6am astronomy class and attended my last semester at OCC

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4. Planned a wedding

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5. Worked at a children’s center

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6. Got majorly pooped on by a bird

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7. Made a sweet little family Christmas card

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8. Got really excited to see Santa

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9. Visited my friend Nardeen in Berkeley

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10. Was a cabin leader at winter camp

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11. Took engagement photos

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12. Had a bachelorette party

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13. Had a bridal shower

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14. Cuddled with my family on my last night as a single girlScreen Shot 2015-06-05 at 4.25.09 PM

15. Got married to my best friend

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16. Went on a honeymoon

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17. Moved in to our little home and decorated

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18. Became a small group co-leader

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19. Started a real relationship with the kitchen

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As you can see, I’ve been incredibly blessed (except for the bird poop) and I’m happier than ever. Excited to share more about my crazy beautiful life with you!

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I Said Yes. [May 28th, 2014]

I always dreamt about this day. Who would be the man that would ask me in marriage? Would I cry? Would there be any doubt in my mind that I wanted to spend forever with him? Where would he do it? Would he get on his knee? What would he say? What would the ring look like? What would it feel like to know I found my future husband? It seems like it was just the other day that my future was filled with so many question marks. And now, I rest assured that I’m engaged to marry the one God set apart for me. This is what I’ve always prayed for.

On May 28th 2014, I woke up ready for another fun day at my home in Machava, Mozambique. The day before, my mom had told me that the Marcolinos, another missionary family, were taking family photos to send back to Brazil, and that we should take some photos of our family too just for fun. Since I’m usually away from my parents and we don’t get to take photos together often, I was totally down. My boyfriend Brycen and his sister Courtney were here in Mozambique visiting and doing missions for a couple of weeks. I told Brycen to pick out some nice clothes so that he could take some pictures with us as well and he was like, “Oh, I’m not gonna be in these. It’s just for your family. But alright then, if I were to be in any, what should I wear?” That sneaky Brycen. He knew very well that he was going to be greatly featured in this “photo shoot”.

Everyone had been talking about a cake they were making for children’s day in Mozambique, which was going to be in 2 days. At one point in the day I start walking towards the bakery and I see the door close and everyone start to walk away. By the time I reach the bakery and ask to look at the cake they said to me, “Oh the door is locked and the person with the key is already far away… Sorry.”

Courtney was gone most of the day supposedly decorating for children’s day. I knew where the party would be and I walk over to help with the decorating, but no one was there. I figured she was making decorations somewhere else and that they would be hung up later on. Then I see all of the kids from the orphanage super clean like they had just gotten out of the shower wearing their best Sunday clothes. I asked them why they were so clean at 3 in the afternoon since shower time is only at 5. “I don’t know. Mano Jessé told us to,” they answered. Mano Jessé is my dad. He was close by so I asked him and he paused for a while then said, “Oh, someone is filming the children for a video, so that’s why they’re dressed up.” Nice save, Dad.

At this point I realized Brycen had also been gone for a while but I didn’t have time to go look for him cause it was time for me to get ready for the photo shoot. I washed my dirty “African feet” and changed my clothes. While I was doing my makeup with my mom she started stressing out cause Isaac, our friend who was gonna be the photographer was late and we were gonna miss the sunset. Finally, Isaac arrives and we all go outside to take pictures. We took a few in our front yard by some bamboos until Courtney said, “Hey there are some really pretty trees back there and the sun looks really pretty.” So off we go walking towards the pretty fields behind our house when I realize that my Dad and Brycen aren’t with us. I start walking back to go find them and everyone is telling me to forget about it. “But Brycen brought clothes for this! And how are we gonna have a family photoshoot without my dad?!” I asked. Once someone said that they were already at the place ready for the pictures, I settled down and kept on walking. Little Ester came up to me to say hi and I picked her up. She is the cutest little girl and so as I was walking I was focused just on her. Finally, when we get closer to the designated photo shoot area, I look up and see two rows of kids all holding beautiful yellow flowers and I think to myself “Wow, the Marcolinos are gonna take some super cute pictures with all the kids to send to Brazil this time. They’re getting so creative; I love this!”

I walk through the kids and see them holding some paper signs all upside down. I didn’t even try to read what they said, but I assumed it said “OBRIGADO” which means “thank you” to show the missionary supporters in Brazil. Then I see a white antique cabinet with some cute décor and a beautiful cake. “Oh cute, we’re gonna give the kids some cake and have a mini party before the actual children’s day!” I naively thought to myself. I turn around back towards everyone and see Isaac taking photos directed at me and I start hugging and smiling with Ester for a picture. Everyone was kinda quiet but nothing was clicking in my head, until finally Courtney grabs my arm and says, “Hey come here I want to show you something.” I walk through the kids again and this time I’m able to read the letters that they’re holding, which are now in order and the right side up, spelling the four words that ask one of the most important questions I’ll ever have to answer: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

My heart started beating so fast and my hands started to shake. “This has got to be for me… No one else would be getting engaged right now, right? Is this really happening? IS THIS REAL LIFE?” A million thoughts ran through my mind. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that all I could do was laugh and cry at the same time. Everyone started cheering and someone shouted out “We need an answer!”

“What do I do? Where do I go? Where is he?!” I asked. That’s when Brycen, in his tan-golden denim pants and polka-dot chambray shirt, walks out from behind the cabinet holding a single red rose. All I could do was run to him and fall in his arms.

The next moments were a blur of bursts of joy and love. He gave me the rose to hold, and said the sweetest words with teary eyes that completely melted my heart. He got on his knee and opened that little black box revealing the most sparkly and most perfect ring as he asked me to marry him. “YES! YES!” I said without a doubt in my mind as I reached down to hug him and he got up and twirled me around. “Oh, I guess I should put this on your finger,” he said as he got down on his knee again and placed the diamond solitaire on my left ring finger, where it would stay forever.

It was more perfect than I could ever have dreamed. He waited to ask me at my home in Africa, out in the fields as the tall grassland swaying in the breeze was being outlined by the golden sunset. He made sure that my family and the kids from the orphanage were a part of such a special moment for us. He completely surprised and spoiled me.

It’s so much love; I don’t deserve it. I know it’s all because of God’s love for me. My Father in heaven knows the desires of my heart. “We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19. One of the most tangible ways I see that God loves me is through Brycen’s life. God chose him to be my husband and me to be his wife. We are in awe of God’s favor and blessings over our lives and all we can do is thank Him.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

P.S. Thank you so much to everyone who helped in making this day so unforgettable and perfect! Obrigada Mãe, por fazer um bolo lindo e delicioso pra gente e também por fazer as bandeirinhas lindas! Obrigada Pai por filmar tudo para que agente nunca esqueça esse momento tão especial. Obrigada Mano Didi por filmar também. Obrigada Mana Dri por comprar as flores e fingir que a padaria estava trancada pra eu não ver o bolo rsrs. Brigada Carol pelos cupcakes deliciosos! Obrigada Isaac e Ruthinha pelas fotos maravilhosas que capturaram os melhores momentos desse dia tão lindo. Thank you Courtney for writing the cute signs with your beautiful handwriting and taking the time to decorate and help make it all so cute and special! Eu amo vocês muito!

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Photography by: Isaac Williams and Ruth Blazejuk

 

 

calendar diy

Half of 2013 is gone, guys. Let that sink in. Crazy!

I have a slight obsession with pinterest. (You can see my boards by clicking here.) Today I decided to do one of the crafty things I found on there: a calendar made out of paint samples. It’s cute, creative and useful.
Click here for the inspiration, and check out my final result:

July DIY

In the calendar online they used monochromatic colors, but I wanted as many pretty colors as possible! Also, they used a picture frame which I would have done if I could find one. Since I am in Mozambique right now, I don’t have the best access to supplies. (I snatched the paint samples in a shop when I was in South Africa). So unfortunately I won’t be able to put the calendar in a picture frame, use a dry erase marker to write things over the glass of the frame for the month of July, then simply erase and use it again for next month. I really liked the result though, so I will definitely do another one in the future with a picture frame.

What you will need:                                                                                                                                                                                             
– 7 paint samples (I love the names of the colors such as grecian spa, ruby fountain, himalayan musk, californian sands)
– white paper                                                                 
– black pen                                                                                          
– picture frame (optional and recommended)

What to do:                                                                                                                                                                      
– Organize the paint samples in a order that you like, then glue them side-by-side on white paper. I had to glue together two pieces of normal sized white paper because I didn’t have a bigger one.             
– Use a black pen to write the days of the week on the first little boxes. The paint samples have 6 little boxes each, which is just the right amount for 5 weeks of the month and to label the days of the week.                                                                   
(The following directions can be done with a dry erase marker after you have framed your creation, or if you only want to do it for this month you can go ahead and write it down on the paper like I did.)      
– Write down the numbers for the days of the month on the top right corners of the boxes.          
– Leave some of the white paper on the top blank, then write down the month and year in whatever creative way your heart desires!

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I really enjoyed making and sharing this diy calendar with you! Hope you liked it:)

Let’s make July a good one.

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home sweet Africa

hearing birds chirping when i wake up, sleeping in, walking barefoot in the sand, playing with children all day long, watching the most beautiful sunsets, eating my mom’s food, speaking my native language, watching brazilian soccer games with my dad, going to sleep under the most starry night sky.. yep, i’m home.

lately i keep catching myself thinking “how did God bless me so much?” i’m able to go to college, work, and have incredible friends in California, and on top of that i get to spend the summer home with my family in Mozambique. i am so thankful.

so many exciting things have happened in the past 2 and a half weeks that i’ve been back ! June 1st we celebrated children’s day with about 1000 kids at our church. all of the different classes from the school had prepared something to perform including songs, dances, and sharing Bible verses. those kids love having the spotlight, and they definitely know how to work it! some of the youth (including me) and workers of the church all dressed up in crazy costumes to entertain the kids. i fully embraced being a clown and was able to get lots of laughs from the kids – especially with my Miranda Sings dance moves. if you don’t know who i’m talking about.. please watch this (ps. your life is about to change)

you’re welcome.

anyway, after the festivities we sent the kids off with a small toy and some candy. it was a beautiful celebration 🙂

home sweet Africa

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the next Saturday we celebrated the same holiday with the children of the island of Katembe. click here to watch a video of my sister explaining a bit more about the outreach ministry.

i absolutely love going to Katembe. the children are so hungry for Jesus and it’s such an honor to be able to love on them.

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sorry for the extensive post.. i have a slight passion for photos and for these precious faces.

thanks so much for reading and i hope you are having an equally amazing summer so far:)

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!

This has been such a great week! I moved to a new apartment (a blog post with my room decor and some diy will be up sometime soon) last Saturday and it’s been fun getting settled into the new place. I have the most amazing roommates I could ask for. Seriously, they’re great. I’ve lived with Christine and Brian (the coolest married couple ever) for 9 months now and they have been so incredibly wonderful to me. I call them my “parents” but they’re in their twenties.. So they’re really more just like cousins or something.. But we truly have become a family and I’m so blessed that I get to share an apartment and many memories with them!

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Me with my ridiculously good looking American/Norwegian/Filipino parents.

We have a new addition to our little family now. One of our best friends moved in with us! Welcome Vilma:)

On a side note, Christine is an amazing writer. She’s actually an editor for a cool crafts magazine! Yeah, be impressed. You should follow her blog: http://delightful-findings.blogspot.com/

Here are a few of my favorite things this week:

Favorite Snack:

choc

Oh my goodness.. I’m addicted.

Favorite Facts:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-happiest-facts-of-all-time

Favorite Outfit:

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Dress: Forever 21. Flats: Target. Flower: snatched outside Yogurtland.. shhh

Favorite Book:

caaaa

Every woman needs to read this. So good!

Buy here: http://www.amazon.com/Captivating-Revised-Updated-Unveiling-Mystery/dp/1400200385

Favorite Fruit: Watermelon

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I rediscovered how delicious watermelons are when Jimmy (my coworker) got 2 buckets of them.

Favorite Night:

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Wednesday night on a date with the love of my life at Portola Coffee Lab. 

Favorite Song: Flower in Your Hair by The Lumineers

I’ve loved the Lumineers ever since Brycen (my boyfriend) showed me “Ho Hey”.  This week I heard some more of their music and now I can’t stop listening to this cute little song.

Favorite Bible Verse: Hosea 2:19-20

This week I have tried to set apart more time to read the Word, pray, and just spend quality time with God. I feel so encouraged and ready to take on the day when I take some time resting in my Father’s presence. I love the story in the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet commanded to take a prostitute for a wife as an example of God’s relationship with Israel. There is a clear theme in this book: God’s immense love for his people. Obviously there is judgment, but His unfailing and redeeming love shines through the darkness of their sin. We are like Israel, who sinned and turned away from God. But because God’s grace and mercy is so great, restoration and forgiveness is available to all of us! All we need to do is receive it and live in it.

“I will betroth you to me forever;

I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,

in love and compassion.

 I will betroth you in faithfulness,

and you will acknowledge the Lord.”

Thanks for reading:). Have an amazing weekend!

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Sarah’s Sweet Shower

My little sister is married. Crazy.

Okay okay, not little.. She’s 4 years older and also taller than me, but she’s still little in my eyes. I guess it’s kind of weird to think that the girl I shared a room and a last name with for my whole life is someone’s wife now.

She will be an incredible wife. She is honestly one of the most serving, godliest, sweetest, and loving women I know. When I watch old home videos I see how I was a little brat sometimes, but still she was so kind, patient, and sweet to me! She never changed. She’s always been the greatest sister and friend I could ask for. No one knows me like her. She knows exactly how to make me mad and how to make me smile.. And she usually makes me smile – unless she purposefully turns off the light in the room before she walks out when I’m reading a book (yeah she did that one time but then I hit her then she hit me back and it all sorted itself out haha)

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I’m so blessed that God chose me to be your sister, Sarah! I love you Sissy:)

And I’m also very honored that she chose me to be her maid of honor! Of course maid of honor duties include throwing a bridal shower. This was kind of tricky considering I was in California and would only arrive in Mozambique a week before the wedding. I tried planning with my mom and the other bridesmaids via Facebook, and bought most of the decorations and supplies here in the US. With lots of last minute running around, little sleep the night before, creative adjustments, and lots of help from some wonderful ladies, I think we were able to pull off a beautiful shower for a beautiful bride-to-be.

DECOR

It was a tea party theme with some fun and bright colors. The bunting was made out of paper and burlap and spelled out “Sarah”. I got these great paper poofs (I have no idea what their technical names are) from Party City. On the morning of the shower, a couple of other bridesmaids and I were walking around with big knives and scissors searching for flowers while hiding from my Dad. You see, he has a thing for his garden. At the end we found some pretty flowers and he didn’t get mad:)

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FOOD

It was brunch. The cute cherry blossom plates, “i do” napkins, and wedding dress cups were also from Party City. I love that place! We made mini sandwiches: some with chicken and cucumber, others with tuna mayo. We had greek salad, a veggie tray and caprese sticks (mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomato on a toothpick and drizzled with balsamic vinegar…amazing!) For the sweet sides there were delicious chocolate chip cookies and carrot cake. We also made fruit kebabs which could be accompanied with yogurt and honey and almonds.  Oh, and of course we had tea! They were in little jars with ribbons and chalkboard labels.  We also added some adorable baby bunting to decorate the food which I am obsessed with – it’s so cute!

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ACTIVITIES

First off the bride needed her accessories: a sparkly tiara with a veil, a light up ring, and a button.

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(these are the wedding dress cups I mentioned earlier)
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Sarah with 3 of her 5 bridesmaids: Me, Crysty, and Emily

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One of the games we played was bridal charades and we had lots of fun:

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We were able to bless Sarah and shower her with gifts! Oh, and there’s more bunting of course:

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I asked Bruno (the groom and also my new brother) some questions and recorded his answers, and then played them after Sarah replied to the same ones. They got pretty much every single one right.. it was ridiculous:

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We wrote single words (except Crysty the rebel who wrote two haha) that we wished for their marriage on little pieces of paper and then put them inside balloons for Sarah to pop and discover. She could keep them for a scrapbook or something. And these cute little panty bags were favors for the guests:

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We ended the party by praying over Sarah and Bruno and their new chapter as a married couple:

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When it was time to leave we were joined by these little princesses:

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I hope you enjoyed and hopefully got some new ideas if you ever need to throw a bridal shower or any other party really:)

Thanks for reading!
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