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Showing posts from 2013
I absolutely love my Christmas tree.

Ben picked it out and I wrapped it with lights and hung all the ornaments. The needles are shorter than I usually like, but it's still soft to the touch. Our tree skirt is red with little wooden buttons sewn on it.

I turn the lights on just as soon as I can open my eyes enough to see what I'm doing and they stay on until the last second before walking out the door or heading to bed. I literally have warm, fuzzy feelings every time I see our little Christmas tree shining in its' corner.

I have a few of my favorite Christmas cards that I put out every year and some childhood craft projects that are fun to display. Ben has a beautiful nativity set that his mom painted and we got our first ornament together. God is good in this season and others.

We leave for North Dakota on Friday, so I'm savoring Christmas at our house for just a few more days. This will be my first Christmas outside the Pearcy clan. I'm excited to discover what …

2 books that have been a gift to me this week

A Million Little Ways, by Emily P. Freeman, is one that has been working on me for a few weeks now. The main premise is that we are all made to create art because we are made in God's image. This isn't necessarily art as we tend to think of it. It is more the idea that who we are and all that we do is art in the unique expression of who God has made us to be.

This book has been coaxing me into exploring art that I had previously ruled out, for various reasons. I decided to start piano lessons after a decade away so that I can finally learn how to play worship music by chords. I am starting to think that the extra time I have been finding in my schedule because I am seeing fewer clients might be a gift from God so that I can read, think and write. God seems to be offering me space to rediscover abandoned dreams and cultivate my creative interests. I'm not your typical art kid and my creativity has always felt more internal than expressive, but I'm want to allow my under…

What a difference a year makes

On December 2, 2012, I was at home at my parent's house. I know that it was a Sunday, but I don't remember exactly what I did.

What I do know is that I was still thinking about how I had finally reconnected with Ben Striker at a burn at the Rock River House of Prayer the day before. I know that I was trying not to think about him romantically and that I was feeling proud of myself for reconnecting with him like a normal person after two years of separation and the strong attraction that I had immediately felt for him.


What I didn't know is that he would have a mutual friend text me just two days later to ask if she could give him my phone number. I did not know that we would have our first date just five days later, be dating after only two weeks or be engaged by Valentine's Day. I definitely could not have imagined that we would be married by the end of September.

I have been thinking a lot about how quickly things can change and how years of unanswered prayers can s…

Transition

It's snowing outside my window. It just started to stick a little bit. I can see it on the trees and covering the leaves.

This is the first snow of the season. It means change is coming. Fall coats are no longer be sufficient. Hats, scarves and gloves become a part of my daily wardrobe. My car needs time to warm up and I should fill up with gas when it gets down to 1/4 tank.



I really like this time of year. Fall is ending and winter is coming. I like snuggling in front of a fire and wearing sweaters. I like drinking hot chocolate, apple cider and spice tea, in addition to my usual coffee consumption. I like Thanksgiving, the holiday and the practice.

While I welcome this change in season, I am so aware of how I am struggling in my own transition.

I have spent several hours contacting insurance companies to change my name now that I am doing business as Jody Striker, LCPC.

Ben is still collecting our things from the various places where we have been storing them. They are piling u…

Being ruled by love

If you have read my blog before, then you may have already guessed that I struggle with fear and control. In fact, I have wrestled with them for most of my life. Sometimes, I get discouraged because they still have power over me.

Recently, I reached a new level of frustration with them and decided that I was done. I'm done ruminating over what people think, fearing rejection and judgment and trying to control every single aspect of my life in order to protect myself from what I fear. So, I prayed one of those desperate and risky prayers:

God, I want to be ruled by your love, not fear and control. I give you my permission to do whatever it takes to set me free from fear and control. Even if I have to endure difficult circumstances or emotional pain, I don't want to live this way anymore!

Now, I prayed this with a sober mind. I understood that I was inviting God to mess with my life. But, I can't stand feeling this way anymore.

But, what happened next has been even more surpr…

How do I like being married?

People keep asking me how I like being married.
I get it. I’m adjusting to a major life transition. People are excited for me and this is an easy way for them to enter into my joy. They ask this question and I start gushing.
I say that I love it. It’s wonderful. Yes, we’re settling in well, there in the basement of my parents house. I may mention that Ben has been hanging things in our room and brought furniture out of storage to make our space more like home.
If the conversation lasts long enough and becomes more intimate, I may even tell them that some of my favorite things are when we pray together in the morning and he makes me coffee to help me wake up. I like when we fall asleep with hands and toes just barely touching; in our space, but still nearby. I like calling him my husband and hearing him say that I’m his wife.
Being married has been wonderfully different and also surprisingly the same. My life at work, for example, feels exactly like it did before I was married. I ca…

3 weeks ago today

I got married three weeks ago today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our wedding since that day. This was my first week back to work, which meant that I got to talk a lot about that day and show pictures, because everything is still fresh and new and people are anxious to know how it went.

I have missed writing. Several times during our honeymoon, I almost grabbed my laptop because I had the urge to write. I never did, but I wanted to. I think that it felt too intimate to record in some ways. And, in others, I was just enjoying being lazy and carefree.
I plan to write about what I remember from my wedding. (Maybe even some things from our honeymoon. We shall see…) I don’t know what I will share, but I want to make a record of my memories and experiences from that day. Just three weeks later, but the feelings are less vivid and the mental pictures are less crisp. Fortunately, our photographer did an amazing job and I am thankful that I have those images to remind me.


Some of my favorit…

1 day of wedding anticipation

On the last day before my wedding…

I got up early because I was awake and so excited to start my day. I straightened my hair, put on make-up, drank coffee and visited with my family and my childhood best-friend, Amy, who arrived last night.

Ben and I invited our wedding party and our parents to breakfast at Stockholm Inn so that we could say thank you to these wonderful people who have been so significant in our story. Then, we headed over to the farm to set up tables and chairs and rehearse our ceremony. I felt my heart swell as I walked down the aisle toward Ben and stood under the wedding canopy with him. I can’t wait until tomorrow when we will make our solemn vows to one another. We had a fun rehearsal dinner in the park behind my parents’ house and then wine and dessert back at home afterwards. I gave Ben one last kiss and said good-night before his groomsmen took him away. Now, I’m winding down with two close friends before I go to sleep for my last time as a single woman. This …

2 days of wedding anticipation

On the 2nd day before my wedding…
I woke up early, but stayed in bed. I nestled in more comfortably and treasured all kinds of thoughts in my heart. This has been such a wonderful wedding week and I know that the best is yet to come. I thanked God for what has been and what will be. I went out to breakfast with my mom and dad. I drank strong coffee and ate eggs benedict. And, we got to celebrate when my brother Colin texted us to say that he had been offered a job after several months of searching. God is so good! Back at home, we opened the doors and trunks of all three cars to load up flowers and other items for the wedding. Once the packing was done, we drove in a caravan to the farm, where we opened all the doors and trunks again to unload everything. Mary, wedding facilitator extraordinaire, directed our efforts as we worked into the early afternoon, transforming the front of the barn. After a delightful lunch break at Greenfire, we continued working through the afternoon. We arrang…

3 days of wedding anticipation

On the 3rd day before my wedding...

I finished my last day of work as Jody Pearcy.

Everyone in the office and even many of my clients have been anticipating this day with me. It was fun to have so many people tell me that they are praying for us to have beautiful weather. I received lots of kind words and wishes and felt very cared about.

Now, I'm cleaning off my desk and wrapping up every loose end. I won't be back until October 14 and my goal is to not think about work during that time. I want to rest and focus exclusively on my new husband. It gives me a little thrill to think that the next time I sit at this computer, I will be Jody Striker.




4 days of wedding anticipation

On the 4th day before my wedding...
I slept much better and felt like a new person when I woke up.
Matthew Bowie, my wedding photographer, called me to talk about Saturday and saved me from having to call him.

Ben came and saw me at work today. He was officially coming to see Dr. Gray about his poison ivy that keeps coming back. But, he sat with me on my couch while he finished his paperwork. And, he left Haribo gummy bears on my desk when Emily came to pick him up.

We are so close to being married. It's fun to start doing small things as though we are. I got to go in the exam room with him and I picked up his prescription during my break. I'm pretty excited about becoming a wife.

5 days of wedding anticipation

On the 5th day before my wedding...

I was awake between 2 and 3 AM, chasing thoughts around my brain. I almost got up and just got to work when I struggled to fall back asleep. I was relieved when my alarm went off at 6 AM and it was actually time for me to be awake.

I went out just before the sunrise, with the moon still fading and the mist rising above the fields in the forest preserve. Lily and I ran 3 miles and I just let my brain go. It felt good to finally match the pace of my mind with the pace of my body, although my body isn't actually as fast.

I don't feel stressed emotionally, but my body does. It's doing all kinds of funny things as I anticipate our big day this Saturday. I keep leaning into God, however I'm feeling. I bring him my racing thoughts, my physical strain and my full heart. I ask Him to help me savor every moment between now and then and to receive every gift, no matter how small. I know that this is an exquisitely special time in my life that I…

6 days of wedding anticipation

On the 6th day before my wedding...
I forgot to blog. Until right before I climbed into my new bed in my new bedroom downstairs.

Ben and I have decided to rent my parents basement for the next couple of months. We would like to buy a little house, but we won't qualify for a mortgage until I can show two years of self-employed income tax returns.

So my project for today was to clean out the guest bedroom that I have called my own for these past two years and to move all of my things to the room downstairs. This is part of the tangible change that I am experiencing in getting married. I like it and it's different.

I really liked the room upstairs. It got lots of light, had a huge closet and was right across the hall from the bathroom. But, knowing that this room downstairs is one that I will share with Ben as we start figuring out how marriage actually works makes me like it too.

Only a few more days now.

7 days of wedding anticipation

On the 7th day before my wedding… The weather is beautiful and I’m sitting outside. I close my eyes when the sun is shining and lean my head against the tall back of the Adirondack chair. Lily, our dog, is wandering around the back yard. She alternates between chasing tennis balls and lounging. As a result, I alternate between hitting tennis balls and lounging. This morning, I ate oatmeal with strawberries and drank a Nespresso latté on my way to the spa. I had a really nice lady do my manicure and pedicure. It was SO very relaxing and delightful! I read almost my whole Real Simple magazine while she made my hands and toes look beautiful. It is such a gift to be pampered like that and I really appreciated my time there. I came home for lunch and the gorgeous day called me out of doors. I only meant to stay outside for a few minutes. It was actually more for Lily than for me. After all, she’s been cooped up inside all day. But, once I got out here, I found myself wanting to stay. Just a…

8 days of wedding anticipation

On the 8th day before my wedding...

I finally posted the link to my 9th day post on my Facebook page.

I also continued to drink lots of coffee and coke. This morning, my dad brewed some of the delicious coffee beans that Ben (Chauvin) and Chris roasted. This is the only coffee that I can drink blank and enjoy how it tastes. Brewing this coffee also had our whole house smelling wonderful! I had more coffee when I got to work. It was pumpkin spice flavored from the Keurig. Then at lunch, I had not one but two cokes, from a bottle no less. So, I'm switching to water at this point. I feeling the edgy, shaky, over caffeinated feeling and my body is probably desperately in need of hydration.

I had tasty Mexican food for lunch with a friend and then went back to work to see a few clients. Soon, I will head to the R2HOP burn. I get to sing with Mackenzie and her team, which is always a treat. Tomorrow I get to go to the spa for my pre-wedding mani-pedi, I will have more time to enjoy God …

9 day of wedding anticipation

On the 9th day before my wedding…
I went to the mall. Again. I have been going to the mall once a week for about the past month. But this week, I went twice. I bought a going-away dress at Charlotte Russe and lots of shoes for the groomsmen at H&M. I have been to Macy’s to find one of those shapers that are impossible to get into, but make my curvy shape look nice and smooth under my fitted wedding dress. I literally broke out into a sweat trying these spandex suits on and it took me so long to get one off and another on that they were very hard to compare. Finally, I bought two and took them home to ask my mom for her recommendation. I have been to Charming Charlie’s to look at jewelry. Of course I couldn’t decide what to buy without my personal stylist Karyn, so I had to buy two separate sets. I figured that I would consult with Karyn and then return the set that she voted out. After all, I already knew that I would have to return with the rejected shaper. I also went to Victoria’s …

10 days of wedding anticipation

On the 10th day before my wedding… I put on my fall colors. I usually like to go a little darker in the fall and winter months, although I keep the ombre style all year long. Chrissy Tripodi, at Studio Blu, does an amazing job! We have these little chats before she does my hair. I tell her what I'm thinking and she is full of great ideas. I never know exactly what my hair will look like when she's done, but I have never been anything less than thrilled with her work. This time we even looked at pictures on pinterest and talked about what my hair would look like for the wedding. Chrissy put some extra colors in the hair around my face so that when she puts it all up, there will be lots of dimension to enjoy.  Ben came too. He wanted to get his hair trimmed. Chrissy cut his hair while my color was setting. We might make it a tradition to get our hair cut together. We went together just before my sister’s wedding too and it's been great both times. Our shared hair adventure br…

11 days of wedding anticipation

On the 11th day before my wedding...

I'm admiring my engagement ring. Ben designed the setting and the six diamonds came from a ring that belonged to my dad's mom. I love how tall it stands on my finger, the intricate detailing on the sides and how the diamonds are clustered like a flower and look a little like a shiny crown from the side. It's just the right mix of old and new and I like knowing that Ben had me in mind when he imagined it.

This is actually my second engagement ring. My official engagement ring that will also become my wedding ring after we get married. But, for the first four months that we were engaged, I had a different ring.


I still remember how it shone in the light of the flashlight that Ben was shining into the chocolate box when he proposed. I remember how shocked I felt upon seeing how large the stone was, knowing that Ben and I had intentionally planned to reuse jewelry that I already had in order to keep the cost down. I was thinking, "It&#…

12 days of wedding anticipation

On the 12th day before my wedding...

I had an idea to post something short every day in anticipation of the big day.

Today, I'm thankful to have all of my programs printed and stamped with red thumb prints. I'm thankful to my parents for joining me and Ben in our production line last night. I'm so thankful to have one more item that I can check off of my to-do list. I'm excited that the details for our honeymoon stay in Chicago and then Florida are almost all arranged. And, it feels good to have completed another day of work, leaving only 6 more before our two weeks of rest.

I'm looking forward to the day when I won't feel tired from not enough sleep at the same time that I feel jittery from too much caffeine. I'm looking forward to when I can wake up and go to sleep with Ben by my side, thereby removing the need for 30 minute-long good-bye's that last too late into the night. It will be nice to just go home instead of having to plan a visit after whate…