September is such a joyful month for our family. And I really wanted to make this blog post special because of that. I have so many wonderful memories associated with this month, and fall is always an exciting time of year.
Summer is without a doubt my favorite season, but fall is a very close second. Who doesn’t love apple picking, corn mazes, kettle corn, harvest festivals, and pumpkin-flavored everything? It makes me smile just thinking about all that is to come for the fall season.
(On a side note, I’m excited that I’ll be doing a fall favorites blog post very soon, so make sure to look out for that!)
“…for all who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” –Galatians 3:27
Back in 2010, after my car accident and moving six hours away from my hometown for my first teaching job, I began attending a Baptist church. The church, the people, and the love it showed towards me were unbelievable.
This was the first time I was committed to learning more about Jesus, who he is, and what he did for me.
I began researching the history of the Bible and learning the evidence behind so many stories told within its pages. Evidence for Christianity by Josh McDowell was one of my favorite resources. This book is unbelievable.
McDowell is a man who once considered himself an agnostic and thought Christianity was worthless until he was challenged to scrutinize the claims of the faith. The overwhelming evidence for Christianity changed his life, and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. You can read more about his story here.
Through going to church and living singly, I made so many connections through the Career Impact group for single working adults; I grew in faith and began to understand what it meant to be a follower of Jesus; I began attending Bible studies for the first time, and I actually read the Bible and had people willing to guide me through it.
No one made me feel stupid for not knowing where to find the Book of Job, or Esther, or Ecclesiastes.
No one made me feel inadequate for not knowing how to pray out loud.
No one judged me by my past or looked down on me for what I’d done.
No one thought my questions were dumb or that I didn’t belong.
No one left me feeling alone.
These people, the church, welcomed me, open arms, loved me, encouraged me, changed me, and guided me to a relationship with my Savior.
It was genuine.
It was real love outpouring from these people.
For me, the church was part of the evidence that proved Jesus IS real.
In September of 2011, I decided to fully commit to my faith in Jesus by being baptized. Similar to my wedding ring being a sign of my marriage and commitment to my husband, baptism is an outward sign that I acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life, and I commit to following Him all of my days. It doesn’t make me perfect by any means, but it shows my commitment to follow the Lord.
My family was able to attend my baptism, and thankfully, my now husband was also able to come down and attend as well (he was living 3 hours away at the time). I wish I had a photo from that day, but I know there’s a recording of my baptism somewhere at my parents’ house that I’ll have to to dig up at some point.
My husband and I are so glad God has provided us with such a church family in our current location. The church continues to love us, encourage us, and direct us back to Jesus.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.” –Mark 10:9
My husband was continuing to grow in his faith throughout September 2011, and he fully committed to making Jesus Lord and Savior of his life at the beginning of 2012. This was also around the same time he proposed to me, and a couple months later, he was baptized. We then planned our wedding and got married eight months after our engagement on September 2.
I can remember so many moments of the day, and yet it went by so quickly. Our original plan was to have an outdoor wedding, and then the reception would be at the same venue as the ceremony.
A BIG change in plans came when several storms were coming through our area that weekend, so we decided to move the ceremony to my church 3 days before the wedding. Yikes!
It was a little nerve-racking; we had to contact all the guests, and change the time-frame for the order of events. We also had to make several decoration changes, but thankfully our family really stepped up to help out with all these adjustments.
Despite the last minute changes, and the anxiety that came with the time adjustments, I couldn’t have asked for a better ceremony. It was truly my favorite part of the whole day. It was special for both my husband and I to be making our commitments to one another, before family, friends, and God, and to have it all happen in the church where our faith-walk was initiated.
The reception was a lot of fun as well. I loved our food. My husband is a huge buffet-style fan, and I’m a huge chocolate fan, so we ended up having both a buffet and a chocolate fountain. We had these great cupcakes that were made from a local grocery store. And I have to say, they were some of the best cupcakes I’ve had, and they were about half the price of ordering from a bakery. Big money saver for us!
About one hour into the reception, I was completely exhausted when the dancing was starting. It was such a long day, but both my husband and I were happy with the result of it, and we were so appreciative that so many friends and family could come out and support us. And thankfully, it all went smoothly despite the big change in the location for the ceremony.
But the wedding is just one day; it’s the start of a life together.
The best part of it all, is that I get to be with my best friend. It hasn’t been smooth sailing by any means; there’s been some really tough times, but we continue to grow in love for one another each day, dying-to-self, and being servant-hearted towards one another. I can truly say I’m more in love with my husband today than I was on our wedding day.
It’s never been sugar-plums, all-smiles, and butterflies, but the commitment we have to one another is one that makes our relationship stronger thanks to God.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” –Psalm 127:3
Our son was born in September as well, and he will be celebrating his 1st birthday later this month. I don’t think I could ever put into words how much I love my son or how much joy he brings to us each and every single day. It’s a lot of work and sacrifice, but it’s completely worth it. He’s taught me so many things about life without even being able to speak or express all of his thoughts or emotions.
God’s gift of having a child is beyond words. My perspective on life has completely changed, and I believe God is using my son to change me in so many ways- in being more humble, patient, and loving towards others. My son slows me down, helps me to appreciate the simple, and he helps me appreciate the things in life that I would often take for granted.
My heart has been opened to a love that only God could create and put in my heart to feel.
It’s remarkable to realize that the love God has for me, his own child, is even beyond the love I have for my own son. His love is unfathomable to me; it’s astounding to think about and try and wrap my head around.
It’s a love that I want to grow in understanding and sharing with others, so that they will know how much God loves them, and desires for them to be in relationship with Him.
I want my life to be a reflection of a love that could only occur because of a God who continues to mold and shape my heart to be more like His. I want my life to point back to Him: my thoughts, words, and actions.
I want others to see that there could be no other possible explanation for the love that I show other than the fact that God is changing me, shaping me, and making me into a woman that reflects His character.
Thank you, Jesus for so many wonderful gifts for the month of September.
Songs for the Month of September that I Love