Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Patience, Prayer and a Pickle Jar….

Ryan and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary on June 1st. It is so crazy how time goes by so fast. We have known each other for 5 years and been married for 4. Yet, it still seems as though we have known each other forever but that it was just yesterday that we met and fell in love instantly(well that’s how it was for me, Ryan might have took some more persuading=)  but here is a little of the story of “Us”.

Our Love Story:
Hmm...where to start…how about the pickle jar? Strange, I know. When I was about 21 I had gotten tired of the whole dating scene… I had always had a boyfriend growing up and had always just wanted to get married and be a wife and mommy… I was the girl that would go to every youth function thinking, “Well maybe I’ll find my husband at this one.” It was during this season of growth and maturity in my life that I decided I was going to give up looking for my husband and give it all over to the Lord and trust in His timing and His PERFECT will on who He wanted me to be with. Around this time I started talking about it with a preacher named Mark Dunning (who is now pastor of the church I grew up in); and he started to tell me about this pastor that he knew. The pastor had a bunch of girls in his congregation that were always complaining about not being married and not having any good Christian boys that they knew. So the pastor told these girls to make a list of the qualities that they wanted in a husband, like values, beliefs, personality and even small things like hair color and height. So all the girls wrote down what was important to them and the things that they liked and gave the list to the pastor. The pastor stuck all there list in a jar and would pray about the lists and the women and their future husbands and also encouraged the girls to pray for their husbands as well.  So the pastor and the women began to pray and submit the list and their hearts to Christ and it wasn’t a year later that all the girls were either married or engaged. Being the romantic that I am I thought this was a fabulous story and so I decided to take it on myself to write out a list of all the qualities I thought were important in a husband and to start praying over them. (I was a little more specific though, I wrote down 100 things that I liked or found important in a man) And I of course found a jar (an old pickle jar to be exact) to put them in and marched right over to give it to Mark D. I think he was a little surprised. But I was dead serious, if I was going to give this desperate search over to God I wanted to have my heart fully in submission to His desires and to give all of mine over to Him=) so I did and we both started praying. And it was not 6 months later I met my love; and I can tell you with all my heart that I knew the very minute I laid eyes on him, I knew that He was the man that God had for me. I even went home and woke up my parents to tell them that I had met my husband! I give the Glory all to Jesus and I am so glad that I submitted my greatest dream to the Lord so that He could write our love story; I know that HE did a much better job than I ever could have imagined.
Ok so this is how we met… my brother in law Nathan met this guy in college and became really good friends. I remember Nathan telling me for several months that he knew this guy that he thought I would really like and that he thinks we would hit it off. Well, what was I supposed to do? Call the guy up and say, “I hear I might like you and might be your future wife.” Lol. But apparently Nathan had mentioned me a few times among his friends at college; and I later found out that for some reason Ryan felt led to start praying for me. So as it turns out Ryan had been praying for me (this girl whom he’d never met before) at the same time I was praying for him…funny how God is so amazing and fits together everything in perfect timing and order. Finally, a few months later we met; and I can tell you exactly the moment and where Ryan was standing the minute the Lord spoke and His Spirit inside me said this is the one. It’s a beautiful moment and personal testament of His Glory and Beauty. God really does care; and He is Good all the time! Our lives are not perfect because we are not perfect; and we live in a fallen world; but we are sons and daughters to the One that is Perfect.
Oh and about that pickle jar, out of the 100 things on that list, Ryan fit 99 of them perfectly. The only one left was “plays the guitar”. I bought Ryan a guitar for our first Christmas. And even though he still can’t play, he’s going to learn eventually=)
Ryan is my very best friend, my brother, my love, and my soul mate! He makes me laugh when I’m crying or when I’m trying to be mad and just want to be mad=). I love his honesty and devotion to shepherd our family. I know that I would not be who I am or as strong as I am without him. God knew I needed someone special to keep me in line and he made someone just for me. We are partners together for the kingdom of God! Ryan is my brother first and husband second and I adore him with all my heart and I know he adores me too!

This year was a little different because we just had Eli so didn’t get to go on a trip or anything overnight; but Ryan did the most amazing job of making it special for his high maintenance post-partum wife. We celebrated twice, once on Wednesday and then on Saturday when my sister and mommy came up to babysit!)

He had a dozen beautiful roses delivered during the day!


He had planned a special dinner date at home. We put the kids to bed early and had a romantic candlelight dinner. It was quite and peaceful and I am so in love with my sexy husband. He got us Red Lobster to go (my fave!) and made me go to the room and rest while he set everything up!
lobster was mine!

He bought me some beautiful diamond earrings! They match the necklace he bought me our first Christmas together (the same Christmas I bought him his guitar ;) so special! He said that he’d been looking for some that’d match for a long time and finally found them. I know he put a lot of thought into it and that’s what makes it special. He is my super star and my hero and I love him.
All I got him was a “coupon book” and an unfinished memory book that’s all about “us”. Lol. But that’s ok; I just gave him a son so he loves me anyway!)

Since Ryan planned our Wednesday date for me, I planned the Saturday date for him! He got to pick everything that we did….

We went to go see a movie in an actual theater!! Ryan chose the new X-men movie. It was good but I was sad that it ended with division and the beginning of war between friends… I only like movies with good endings and that are not depressing. I like to live in fairytale land when I’m watching movies!)  But this was Ryan’s day and he loved it!

Then we went to go eat at a new (to us) pizza place in Wichita called Knollas pizza. To those who don’t know, my husbands 2nd love is pizza. I’m almost certain he has some sort of ninja turtle blood in his genes…anyways Ryan was devastated that it has taken us 3 years of living in Kansas before we have ever tried this place. Apparently it was that good! Go check it out
Knolla's Pizza East
7732 E Central Ste 123
Wichita, KS 67206

 I love you Ryan Allen Vandenberg, you absolutely Rock my world! xoxo

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