Tuesday, 29 March 2011

sub sandwiches and secret handshakes.

i was at kroger yesterday picking up some peanut butter for a young life club game and i saw a kid being dragged by his mom who was kicking and screaming and crying and i so badly wanted to stop him and say cut it out kid, it only gets harder as you get older. i was actually feeling pretty bummed out about current circumstances, and i longed so badly just to be a kid again where there were no worries and no fears.  lately, i have been consumed by fear and i can't really put my finger on it.  this is such a fun and exciting time of life, but i find myself worrying constantly.  i forget to eat and i have really made it easy for me to isolate myself.  luckily, i have wonderful friends who will pry and make me talk to them. it's just hard though.  to be honest, i feel like the wedding is completely out of my control.  i mean my mom lives so far away and financially i just can't really do much of anything for it.  i just had my dream wedding planned out in my mind and i feel like that just isn't happening. and i constantly worry about money, especially in the next few weeks because i have several financial burdens looming around me.  i just feel like life is rushing by all around me and i can't get a steady grip on the ground.  sometimes i feel like my heart literally hurts.  but then jake comes over, and we talk about real life. and he sweetly reminds me that i am not the only one hurting or worrying.  it's so easy for satan to make us believe that we are completely alone when we're suffering.  and then tonight i started listening to this song:
when i am alone
give me Jesus
give me Jesus, give me Jesus
you can have all this world
just give me Jesus.

i am reminded that there is only One thing worth being concerned with.. ever. Jesus IS Peace.  i am so thankful to have a fiance who the Lord uses as his vocal cords to share His love with me.  its so easy for me to forget that if this wedding isn't perfect, and if i don't have a dollar to my name.. i still have Jesus. i am rich in so many ways.  a lot of times we just need a bold reminder to be put right in front of our faces. i am reminded of love and of TRUE romance and what that really means.  i truly want our marriage to be one that is constantly seeking Christ's heart in everything we do.  even if that means having to suffer, because through our suffering we get to know Him so well. i have been so prayerful that over the next 67 i will truly learn to trust God for His provision in our marriage and His leading in wherever He wants to take us.  I want to make myself available. what is holding you back from truly seeking Jesus?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

my best friend.

this is my best friend (holding my baby :]).

 i have said that for a while now, but only now have i begun to see what those two sweet words truly mean.  this adventure is so much fun. and i have heard before that you must find your Beloved before you can find your beloved.  this is so true.  God has used jake in so many ways to pursue me and to show me His love and i am beyond words grateful for it.  i am so overwhelmed right now because life has been such a struggle lately. i have very much been only looking through my narrow lens though, and God is beginning to show me how he has beautiful woven mine and jake's stories together and designed us with each other in mind. and knowing this i am so absolutely humbled. 

ps.. i started this post so i could update everyone on the exciting fact that jake and i picked out our cakes last night and we are so excited about it!! but i got sidetracked by how wonderfully he has been in being a picture of Jesus to me. i am so blessed.

Monday, 14 March 2011

tying the knot..

by the way.. we finally have finished our wedding webpage!! please visit it for more information:

our wedding website <3

'til death do us part**

courtney here. so it's been a while since we've posted. scratch that.. it's been a LONG TIME since we've posted (over a month!!) and so much has happened. the fact that keeping a blog in this crazy time in our lives has been tough i think definitely reflects how tough being engaged and trying to merge our lives together has been. and yes, i say tough, but i also mean beautiful.  sweet, sweet jake and i are so different and i've been seeing that in full force lately.  let me give you an example: tuesdays are our date nights.  we stay busy so we don't typically get to do anything that exciting. just cook dinner, spend time together, maybe go to the gym and watch "our" tv show - V (it's really good, by the way). and one particular date night we were cooking chicken and pasta. it was one of those out-of-the box fancy flavored pastas. and jake poured the finished pasta into the pan with the cooked chicken. and it made me laugh because i would have put the chicken into the pot with the pasta. not that either of us was wrong, we just have completely different ways of doing and looking at things.  if only every situation was as obsolete as chicken and pasta, though.

i say all of that to say this: our pastor at church last night was talking about unity.  i have been thinking about this so much because he pushed the simple, yet beautiful concept that if there was unity within the body of Christ, the rest of the world would not be able to ignore the wonderful Truth that is Jesus Christ.  Pastor Brady spoke strongly on how selfishness divides unity - " we miss out on seeing Jesus when we focus on our differences."  i see this as being so crucial in the world and also in marriage.  for whoever reads this, my prayer for us as followers of Jesus Christ is that we focus on unites us (JESUS!!!) and not what divides us.  i long to apply this idea to my marriage because it is a hard truth that satan truly detests unity and he will do anything he can to divide us and the stronger it is, the harder he will attack it. Pastor Brady challenged us with these three fool-proof ways to ensure that we are not contributing to the division in the Church and also, be the hands and feet of Jesus:
forgive well
be others-centered
speak words of encouragement
i would like to share this challenge with you so that we can be part of the body of Jesus Christ that makes others unable to deny His love. in andrew peterson's song "dancing in the minefields" he says: "i do are the two most famous last words, the beginning of the end, but to lose you life for another i've heard is a good place to begin. the only was to find your life is to lay your life down. and i believe it's an easy price for the life we have found." 

so... dear jacob isaac luna,

i promise this to you: my unfailing love for you will not be moved.  i see the struggles we have had in our relationship as satan trying to cause a division between us because he is threatened at the beautiful union God has sanctioned for us and the powerful plan He has to use us a husband and wife team for His glory.  i don't care if you see the world through a different pair of eyes than i do. the only thing that matters is that we are following Christ's leading in it.  you are my perfect complement, and i know God had that planned out before we were born or before our parent's parent's parent's great grandparents were thought of.  i have two left feet, but i will dance in the minefields with you, every single day for the rest of my life because God has called us His and in that assurance, we are already victorious.  we won't be forever perfect on this side of heaven (Hebrews 10:14). but will you be my imperfect husband and join me in being made holy for the rest of our lives?

love, your terribly imperfect, but promises to try everyday to be a steward of God's love to you,  future wife.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


so i keep smelling jake everywhere. on my blanket, in my car, at work - and i look around and he's not there.  but even his scent makes me all the more excited to marry him.  i think that excitement increases every second.  it makes me dream of life with him and the things that i want us to accomplish together.

things i can't wait to do and things i will do when i'm mrs. jake luna:

1. have a candlelight dinner on the hardwood floors in our living room.
2. fall asleep wearing his t-shirt.
3. lay in bed and night and talk. about things that really matter.
4. lay on the couch and watch christmas movies when it's snowing outside.
5. have dinner waiting for him when he walks in from work.
6. wake up in the morning and have him laying next to me.
7. lay my head in his lap and listen to music and watch the sparks in the fireplace.
8. raise our children to be God-fearing children.
9. lay in bed and eat ice cream. chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
10. make cookies at christmas time.
11. take as many pictures of jake and our children as possible.
12. have a dog.
13. look up from the dinner table and catch jake looking at me.
14. wake jake up in the middle of the night, bundle ourselves up, hand him a mug of hot chocolate and go outside and watch the stars.
15. take weekend trips away.
16. hear jake introduce me as his wife.
17. feel his feet against mine in the middle of the night.
18. hear his laugh whenever i want -- or those ridiculous voices that he does. :]
19. be with him and his family on holidays.
20. travel to the grand canyon with him.
21. paint a room in the middle of the night.
22. have a marriage that brings glory to God.
23. text each other during the day to see when we're coming home for dinner.
24. see his laundry mixed in with mine.
25. go out on dates. :]
26. sing at the top of our lungs in the car together. and it be so much fun.
27. massage his feet while we're watching the news.
28. when God blesses us with a child, announcing to everyone that we're having a baby.
29. tell him how wonderful, handsome and encouraging he is every single morning.
30. let's be honest, change my relationship status to "married" and changing my name to Courtney Miller Luna.
31. go on trips for our anniversary.
32. write notes to each other.
33. spend new years eve in new york.
34. go to concerts together.
35. have Bible studies together, and pray together all the time.
36. lay in bed a read.
37. watch jake pray with and encourage others. he is so good at that.
38. nap together in the afternoons.
39. cook him breakfast. lunch. and dinner.
40. feel his heart beat when he's holding me close.
41. get really, really tickled together.
42. pick up the phone whenever his mom calls.
43. have a little boy who looks and acts just like him.
44. see his toothbrush beside mine.
45. call things "ours"
46. go shopping together.
47. steal his clothes.
48. have dinner dates with our couples friends.
49. surprising him with his favorite things.
50. wake up in the morning and catch him watching me sleep.
51. hiding the remote from him so he can't watch sports or the history channel all the time.
52. move into our first home together.
53. decorate our christmas tree together.
54. play hooky.
55. get in arguments. he yells. i cry. and then we apologize to each other and then laugh at how dumb we are.
56. clean our houses together.
57. go to a different city for dinner.
58. decorate the house for birthdays.
59. lay in the bed with the windows open listening to the rain.
60. have jazz music playing while we cook together.
61. beg him for more puppies but laugh when he says no everytime.
62. come home from a bad day and see that he has filled a bubble bath for me.
63. fall asleep while he works and wake up when he crawls into bed with me.
64. walk into the living room and find him asleep on the couch with one of our kids.
65. pretend like we're still in college and go away on "spring break"
66. cover him up with a blanket when he's cold.
67. have christmas traditions with our family.
68. work in the yard together.
69. hearing him talk to our children about God and His love for us.
70. stay at a bed and breakfast together.
71. take our kids shopping for back to school supplies.
72. naming our son Asa.
73. calling him throughout the day to laugh at funny things that happen to us.
74. leave notes for him all over the house.
75. take a spur of the moment road trip.
76. visit colleges with our kids.
77. cry together.
78. hearing him read to our children.
79. playing scrabble late at night.
80. having a fresh pot of coffee brewed for him when he wakes up.
81. pillow fights.
82. fall more and more in love with him every day.
83. playing in the snow.
84. still learning and studying him after years of marriage.
85. getting so mad at him that i can't see straight.
86. talking to his mom for hours.
87. hearing him say my name.
88. traveling with him. everywhere.
89. him letting me put my toes under his when my feet are cold.
90. cutting his hair.
91. belly time :]
92. having our house smell like him.
93. lighting candles at night.
94. seeing a wedding band on my left hand.
95. complaining about our bad days and then making each other laugh.
96. fighting over the middle of the bed and the covers at night.
97. seeing his bed-head whenever he wakes up from a nap.
98. teaching our puppy new tricks.
99. still wondering after 50 years of marriage why God blessed me with such an amazing husband.
100. being married to jake luna.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Consistently Inconsistent

One of the hardest things about having a blog is...actually taking time to update it. Readers (the six of you) may have noticed that our first post was on January 10th. The next post did not come about until yester, January 30th. I'll break it down for you: that's twenty days, almost three weeks, since we've last posted! This is a good sign of inconsistnency.

Inconsistency is one of the many struggles I have dealt with for far too long. Student teachig has challenged my consistency, and I realize more than ever how terribly inconsistent I am. This has impacted many realms of my life: my intimacy with Christ, my intimacy with Courtney, my peace, and (sometimes I feel) my sanity.

That said, I've began to pray that God would teach me what it means to be consistent. Moreover, I've asked him to teach me how to pursue consistenc with a right heart. I never want a checklist to govern my life or become my god. Rather, I want to learn to use checklists, calenders, and the like to enable myself to be intentional and worshipful with all of my activities.

Finally, I hope that Courtney and I are both consistent in posting on this blog, because that will mean that we are really putting time and effort into becoming better spouses for one another. Thank you for your prayers.

YOU have given me greater joy... Psalm 4:7

As Jake and I have begun the journey of preparing to be married, we have seen that most aspects of our relationship have grown significantly more difficult.  There is the pressure of planning the wedding, the busyness of life with Jake's student teaching and both of our commitments with Young Life, communication issues, my search for a career, physical struggles, and financial concerns.  Some times I feel as if getting married is more of a burden than a joy in life.  Compared to the big picture of life, falling in love is easy.  Recently, I have let Satan allow me to be caught in the lie that now that we are engaged, life should be so much easier and so much more fun than our crazy dating experience. And like most of Satan's lies, there is partial truth to that.  But God is revealing to me that the key to growing closer to Him and falling deeper in love with Jake is to see the struggles as a growing experience.  I long so badly to be set free from the struggles we face.  I get so consumed with just wanting to beg God to make everything easier, but He is showing me that instead of simply wanting things to change, I only need to focus on knowing Him.  I think this is the same concept as focusing on the Giver rather than the gift.  It's a very fine line to walk sometimes for me and I don't think that I am alone in that.

In his book Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs focuses on Ephesians 5:33 - "Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." My prayer for our relationship is that as we grow to learn more about each other and as we continue to seek Christ together for life, that we will not let this simple yet challenging truth be lost in the midst of our struggles.  I feel like the issue of love and respect is a barrier that Jake and I consistently struggle with.  I have a terrible habit of wanting to shut down when I feel unloved, and Jake tends to get angry when he feels disrespected.  This has caused our relationship to be so much harder than necessary.  I ask for your prayers as we dig deeper into these issues and are challenged by what the Lord has to teach us.  In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he is not asking a man to love his wife and a woman to respect her husband, he is demanding it.  Dr. Eggerichs writes that "when a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife, and when a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband."  I pray that over the next few months, Jake and I will be more intentional about showing love and respect to each other.  God has truly convicted me over this matter, and I am humbled because it is definitely an area where I struggle (even though I don't want to admit that.)  I know that God is going to use this to grow us immensely, and I trust that he is going to use this book along with our struggles to reveal to us hard yet also beautiful truths about    marriage. 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

so they are no longer two, but one. therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Matthew 19:6

You know, when I was growing up, I imagined getting married to be one of the most phenomenal and wonderful experiences of my life.  I thought that as a bride-to-be I would be pampered and treated like a princess and it would be the most luxurious experience of my life.  However, I also thought that it would be an ending.  I dreamed of getting married, but never actually imagined what it would be like to be married.  God has been teaching me lately that marriage is infinitely more than I ever believed it could be.  It is so easy to be consumed by trying to make the details of our actual wedding perfect, but there is no such thing as perfect except in Christ.  And I don't want our marriage to be about the small details and about pampering ourselves or trying to get everything right.  I want them to be about seeking God, no matter the circumstances.  And to love as He loves, because He is Love.  My prayer for our marriage is that we won't let it become about each other or we won't get bogged down by our own expectations.  God has shown me over the past year that there is nothing that can interfere with His plans and nothing can hold Him back from making Himself known.  I am very thankful for this, but also extremely scared because I am a planner and I like to know what is going to happen.  I have no idea what God has in store for Jake and me, but I hope that you will join in praying with us and for us that we may seek His will above all other things and that we may conduct ourselves always in a way that pleases Him.  There is so much beauty in the unknown and I am looking forward to seeing what God has to teach us through our engagement. 

Monday, 10 January 2011


Hello everyone! Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Courtney and I have quickly come to realize that engagement and marriage are not simply about romance and happiness. They, like all of life, are about Christ's Glory and making us dependent on him. Courtney said to me today,"Without God, marriage could never work." I'm convinced that this statement is absolutely true. The two of us have come to the agreement that our engagement will not simply be six months of wedding planning; it will be six months of training for a Christ-centered marriage and planning a wedding ceremony that will celebrate the Glory of Christ.
To that end, we've started listening to a sermon series by Tom Nelson called Love Song. It is a verse by verse study of Song of Songs. We're only two sermons in, but it's already challenging us to love eachother better. We also plan to make use of a number of other resources, including a DVD sermon series by Chip Ingram called "Marriage Built to Last" and we hope to enroll in premarital counseling asap. I say all of that to make this point: we are treating our engagement as a very serious time of preparation and reflection.
In light of that, this blog has two main purposes: (1) it gives us an outlet to reflect on the knowledge we're gaining and the training we're going through and (2) it creates a forum for us to share our experiences and hear your thoughts/advice. So, please leave a comment if you have any thoughts/advice you'd like to share.
Finally, Courtney and I pray that we are all mutually encouraged and challenged as we engage with eachother through this blog. God bless you all!