Ben is making his debut on da blog!!! Woohoo!!! One of our favorite things to do together is to go to coffee shops, especially our new fave, Restoration Roasters, so I thought it would be fitting for that to be our first post together. It also goes perfectly with these cute engraved spoons from William and Georgia. Dominique makes the cutest engraved antique silverware. You can choose to engrave to it with whatever you want (like I did) or pick from her ones she already has done. Psst. It would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Follow her on Instagram to keep up with her latest creations and all things coffee. P.S. Be sure to check Instagram to find out how you can win that “I Love You a Latte” spoon. And now for a sappy story, please keep reading.
When I had the opportunity to do a collaboration with William and Georgia, I knew exactly what I wanted engraved on my spoon. “I won’t give up”. I’m pretty sure every couple everywhere in all of world has a song that they call “our song”. And the second it comes on, they text their significant other and think all things sappy and get all emotional. Whelp. We do too. And it’s “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. It took us a while to settle on that as being ‘our song’. There were others along the way. For me, in the beginning, it was Carrie Underwood’s “Mama’s Song” because I knew I had finally found a man my mama would love and that would “treat your little girl like a real man should”. (P.S. Ladies. Listen to that song. And don’t settle until you can sing those words with confidence.) In fact, I still tear up when I hear that song because it’s truer still today than it was in those beginning months. I’m sure Ben had songs of his own that made him think of me.
But it took a certain time in our life together for us to settle on “I Won’t Give Up” as being “our song”, the song we would dance our first dance to at our wedding, the song whose sheet music would be hung in our room, the song we stop whatever we’re doing whenever it comes on to dance to, the song whose title I wanted engraved on my coffee spoon.
About two years into our relationship, Ben joined the Marine Reserves. We had talked a lot about getting married, and that’s what I thought the next step would be. Not his joining the military. I was reluctant to have him leave but I could see the passion in his heart about it, and I knew it was what he had to do. And even more so, contrary to his fears, I loved him too much to even think about letting him go. Even though he joined as a reservist, the beginning of his time in service was just as painful and long as for anyone who joins active duty. The first 13 weeks, we didn’t talk once, save for a two minute phone call filled with tears on both ends. I wrote him letters. Every. Single. Day. I wrote about my life. I wrote about how much I loved him. I wrote about how hard being apart was. And when it was too painful to send, I wrote in my journal so that I could process. I received some letters too when he was given time to write but not as many as I though I would and not enough to satiate the longing I had inside for us to just be together.(This was no fault of Ben’s just a result of their limited time for anything remotely personal.) I daily questioned why God was having us go through this. I’ve learned now that some things just are part of life and as long as you draw closer to God and press into Him, you’ll be ok. I stayed busy as much as I could during that time we were apart. I went to Colombia on a missions trip. I visited my brother and his wife in South Carolina. I ran two marathons. And then I worked and hung out with friends. When he finally finished boot camp, I thought the worst would be over, but it wasn’t. The next seven months while he went through various other forms of training were just as hard if not harder. I would be hopeful that I would get to see him for a few hours on the weekends, only to find out hours before I was supposed to see him, that he wouldn’t be released for the weekend. And then the home stretch was four months of his being in Texas where I didn’t see him once, and phone calls were always short because he was tired or had to study. But guess what? We NEVER once thought about giving up. Even when I felt so alone. Even when my heart hurt from missing him. Even when I cried myself to sleep. Why? Because I knew he was worth it. I knew I had found the man I wanted to be my forever. I knew that God was in this. And I knew He was holding both of us in His hands even though we were apart. And so it was in that time that we would hear that song and think, “That’s us. That’s us. We won’t give up.” So when he finally returned from all of his training (in April of 2013) and we got engaged (July 2013) and started planning our wedding (October 2013, yup you read that right. After being apart that long, a 3 1/2 month engagement was LONG ENOUGH for us! 😛 ), we knew from the beginning that would be our song. I still remember that moment at our wedding. Looking into my HUSBAND’S eyes and knowing that I would never ever give up. That no matter what, he was worth it.
^^^There it is. For more about the wedding, go here
Funnily enough, we are about to embark on another one of those “I won’t give up” seasons. Ben is starting the fire academy in just two weeks. It’s 13 weeks of Monday through Friday training from 5am to 7pm. I’m not sure what we’re in for but it’s going to be hard. We’ll be living off of one income, and our time together will be very limited. But once again, I know it’s going to be worth it. And that God is going to be with us every step of the way. I hope you all in reading this can see my heart. And mostly that you know that whenever you feel like giving up, the most important thing is that you hold on to Jesus. Because at the end of the day, He’s the only thing that will get you through. And I know it’s because of Him that “I Won’t Give Up.”
Love you all. If this was written by hand, there would be tear stains on the pages. The emotions are still so real. I hope you take a moment this week to be real with someone. We all need each other. I hope this touched your heart in some way.
Thank you for reading. xoxox, Christine