Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Animal Adventures in St. Louis!

We spent a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend with Jason's parents, and had quite the adventure!

Pictures from The Butterfly House

Take a close look at our adventures at the Zoo... The animals put on quite a show for us!

Here are more of our pictures from the weekend, including pictures from Grant's Farm, and a few more pictures of the zoo and The Butterfly House. We had a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Jason and I took a weekend trip to Chicago at the beginning of this month to interview with a church there. We have decided to remove ourselves from candidacy with this church. While we decided that this wasn't the church for us, we had a great time exploring the city and the lakefront. We will be visiting another church there in a couple of weeks, and can't wait to go back! We are excited about what God is doing, and fully trust His leading!

Our Wedding! March 8, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

November 23, 2007: We're Engaged!

Jason and I went to Kansas City to visit my family for Thanksgiving. We had been talking about the possibility of getting married, and I was really hoping to someday be married in my brother's church in Liberty, Missouri. The church is beautiful, built in the 1800s, and the perfect setting for a wedding. While we were staying at my brother's house that weekend, all of us girls decided it would be fun to go look at the church, "just to see," with an eye for a "someday" wedding there. Little did I know that Jason had been working behind the scenes with all of my siblings for weeks to set up a perfect surprise...

The morning after Thanksgiving, my sister, my sister-in-law and I set out to the church, which was just around the corner. We chit-chatted all the way there, and went in through a back door that led us into the fellowship hall on the lower level of the church. I noticed a candle burning on a table when we walked in, which I thought was a little odd, but just continued looking around the fellowship hall to see what we would have to work with. It wasn't until my sister stepped in front of me and whipped out her camera that I took a second look at the table with the burning candle, and I then noticed a large sign that said, "Betsy, Welcome to Our Story..." On the table with the candle was a large hand-printed card that read "When We Met..." This was the first of four cards I would find, taking me on a narrative journey through pivotal moments in our relationship. Each was set up like the first, with a candle, leading me to through the church, and through a beautiful archway, to the exterior doors of the sanctuary where I found the last card titled "When He Proposed..." This card talked about a love story that would continue forever, and invited me to enter the doors of the sanctuary to see what would happen next. When I walked through the doors, I was in the back of the sanctuary, looking towards the altar, beautifully lit with candles, where Jason was waiting for me. I couldn't help but run down the aisle to him! At that altar, in the very place where we were united in marriage on March 8, 2008, Jason asked me to be his wife.

The Beginning of Us: How We Met

I began attending church at The Assembly at Broken Arrow, where Jason was on staff as the Campus Pastor. The night I became a member of the church, Jason came over and introduced himself for the first time to my mom, and sister and I. I had attended the church for several months by this time, but had never even seen him before. After he walked away, I received multiple bruises to my sides from the incessant poking of my mom and sister while they whispered with giddy schoolgirl voices, "Oooooh! He's cute!" I calmly maintained that Jason was "just doing his job and being friendly," all the while unable to force the grin from my face. That evening a reception was held for the new members of the church. When we sat down to eat, I secretly hoped Jason would join us at our table... He did. We all had a great time talking and laughing- and the next thing I knew, the reception was being torn down around us. We were the last ones there, and I hadn't even noticed. I was completely wrapped up in the joy of "connection." Jason piped up and suggested some of us go get something to eat (despite the fact that we had JUST eaten!), and off we went to Cheddars. Again Jason and I sat and talked- about everything from our jobs to pets to trapper keepers- and again we shut down the place. Being forced out into the parking lot, we stood again, talking. This time, with no one else around, we managed to stumble upon more serious matters- things of the heart- the type of conversation we both so deeply value. That night, I drove away, both of us about to go on vacation, with no other person on my mind. It was the beginning of a friendship that would change my life forever, the beginning of life with my very best friend.

I had been serving as an Associate Pastor at The Assembly at Broken Arrow for 1 ½ years when we were preparing for the reception service of new members to the church. Before this reception the pastoral staff received a booklet with photos of new members. A friend of mine on staff, David Lermy, pointed out a woman named Betsy Whitsitt. Immediately I thought she was captivating. In fact, David and I both pointed that out in conversation with each other. So, that Sunday evening, before the service began, as was customary, I was greeting new members welcoming them into membership. I was stage right when I scanned the other side of the sanctuary for new members, and that’s when I saw Betsy. I went back to the picture that I had seen, and without realizing it, as if it were fate, I was already on my way over to greet her. I had never before even seen her at church, which is crazy. So, I approached, and as our eyes met, she smiled at me. If I remember rightly, I said, “Hello, Betsy!” I think I surprised her and caught her off guard. She was sitting next to her mother, Nancy, and her sister, Allison. I spent five minutes or so in casual and extremely enjoyable conversation. I walked back to my seat and when service ended, we had a reception for the new members. A few of our ministry’s leaders sat with Betsy, along with her mother and sister. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed being in the presence of someone more than simply sitting next to Betsy. It was unlike anything I had ever encountered. She was remarkable. She went with a group of us to Cheddar’s afterwards, as if we hadn’t eaten enough already, and got to know each other in a more laid back setting. When everyone had dispersed, we found ourselves in the parking lot, just the two of us, and I can remember not wanting to go home. I, from the first day of meeting her, could identify that there was something about her that I didn’t want to go without. It turns out that I was right; I don’t ever want to be without her.


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