Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I've been married to my handsome husband for a whole year. WOW. There has been a whole lot of joy at times and there for sure has also been some ugly crying here and there, but no one died! I've always heard that the first year of marriage is the hardest and that if you "survive'' year 1 you will be fine. Well we did "survive" and we are "fine" but to say that there isn't bumps ahead would be foolish of me. This year has been so stretching and rewarding all at the same time. What a joy it is to be Mrs. Wraith. I get the pleasure of literally living life with my best friend, my partner in crime, the man who makes me laugh the loudest and the one who cares deeply for me.

When we were engaged I remember asking married woman "how to be a wife" as if there is a list of things you do that make you into a wife. I remember reading/memorizing Proverbs 31 in hopes of being "that wife" but the reality is that every marriage is different, because we as individuals are different. If you know me at all, you know that basically, my husband and I are opposites. He is quick to listen and slow to speak, he is a logical thinker, and he is very into sports. Then there is me, who enjoys sitting in conversation for lengths of time, I'm a high achiever who loves clean spaces, and I have very little hand eye coordination which makes sports a bit challenging. The one thing we have that never changes, is our foundation in Christ. With Christ as the center our marriage stands firm. Oh yes, there days where I'm frustrated and all I can do is let out emotions, which seems to confuse my dear husband even more. But there are good days too. Really good days where we get to live out the Gospel and I just know this is what God intended when He created Marriage.

Let me fill you in on a little backstory about me. There was a time in my life when I didn't want to be married. Yeah, I'm serious. There was a time in my life where the idea of marriage felt more like being controlled by someone. There was a time, where the idea or thought of marriage sounded like torture. My twisted view of marriage was that some man got to boss me around, change me and take my voice away. I remember when Lee sat me down and explained the word submission. Not in the wordy view, but the way Christ intended for wives to submit to their husbands. I don't know if anyone had REALLY shared that with me. It was kind of life changing. I mean, It was still a new concept for me to understand. The idea Lee also shared with me that Christ was the center of our relationship, and that He was to be our foundation. That struck and softened my heart to my tarnished view of what I thought marriage was.

In learning to understand oneness, and that it takes time. Oneness doesn't just happen at the alter. It takes time and effort to know someone on a deeper more intimate level. It takes learning the other person. Deeply desiring to know how they work, what makes them happy what buttons not to push and how to serve them. Learning who they are, respecting who they are and loving them how they are with all their fun quirks. While dating, or even being engaged you think you know your soon to be spouse. I have learned so much more about Lee in this last year of marriage than I had in our dating and engaged relationship. Its a deeper understanding of someone. Seeing Lee in the way God created him and treasuring that!

We are so grateful for our friends and family - our community, who laugh with us, cry with us and cheer us on and encourage us in this covenant! We are only 1 year into our covenant, and I cannot explain the joy marriage has brought. I truly and wholeheartedly believe I was made to be a wife.

from my heart,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Playing Catch Up


I feel like it has been forever. Probably because it has been!

It has been a busy season!

1. Packing our apartment. Who knew we had so much stuff?!
2. Traveling out of the country to Costa Rica, and returning to the States while sifting through what God did in my heart! Intense!
3. Un-packing a condo. Boxes, boxes everywhere...
4. Celebrating 1 year of marriage !!!!!
5. Gearing up for a new lifegroup with a new group of ladies!

So yeah, a busy season indeed!

Lets catch up, shall we?!

1. Packing our tiny apartment seemed to be never ending. The Hubs and I made a deal that I would pack up the apartment and he would move us while I was traveling. I'M NEVER MOVING AGAIN. Ya hear me? I'll be here until I die. Or we will just hire movers next time. But seriously, half the time I was packing I would ask myself if it would just be easier to get rid of everything and buy new stuff. Of course that isn't logical. I just decided moving wasn't something I love. Or packing for that matter. Here is what our living room looked like mid chaos. Don't mind Remy being silly.

2. Traveling to Costa Rica with a team of 12 for an exposure trip was something that was definitely the highlight of my summer. While my husband was state side I had many take-aways from my time in Costa Rica. One of the take aways being how relational the locals are. I thought I would consider myself a relational person. I was wrong. They don't have time limits, in their words they don't put God on a clock. If they are having coffee and sweet bread with someone they don't immediately leave as soon as their coffee is gone or after their hour is up. They seek out relationships and are the most intentional with their time! Don't get me wrong I love sitting down with someone over coffee and having great conversations, but on a bad day coffee for an hour is simply that. It can become a routine, and it can lack intentionality.  Another take away was seeing some crazy stuff. Heartbreaking things things that were happening next door to the school I was at or things that happened directly to the children I was spending my time with. However, knowing these things happen daily right where I am in Fresno. I may not seem them daily, but what does that look like in my own life to go to the places in Fresno and see it daily? To be reminded that my sweet little life is not just about me. That God can use me in my own city in many ways, as He did in Costa Rica. God did some work in my heart, and He continues to remind me of my time in Costa Rica. while I was in Costa Rica I was a friend, a hugger, a roommate, a coffee drinker, a listener, a terrible Spanish speaker, a servant, a heartbroken mess over these children, and a leader. I'm thankful for the little reminders of my summer there! 
This is a photo of my team while I was away! I love these people so much! They have so much love to share and such servant hearts!

3. Un-packing  condo is hard. Finding new homes for everything is even harder. Our condo is much bigger than our teny-tiny apartment which means, more furniture and stuff. Its a slow process and my dear Husband is pacing me! I'm looking forward to having each room complete. Another goal for this next season of life! I'll have to share photos when its closer to completion. 

4. Celebrating 1 whole year of marriage with my amazing Hubs! We celebrated by driving to Visalia for some Tiki Snow which was a treat we grabbed after we got married. Best treat on a super hot day! We have BIGGER plans coming up! We are traveling to New York! We decided to wait until October to go. Cooler weather, and some time to settle from my return and moving! We are the most excited and I can't wait for this super fun adventure to come!

5. Life group! Life groups are what my church encourages everyone to join for intentional community. The group I am co-leading is for girls specifically. We start next month and I could not be more excited! I know I have been gifted to lead, and I am very excited to come off the bench from not leading a group this previous year. The new group I am in has a handful of ladies I already know and some faces I do not know. Regardless, I am THRILLED to get to know each and every one of them on a deeper level. I am praying for authenticity, trust and over all to invest in one another's lives while diving into the scriptures!

So thats been my life and a little glimpse as to what is to come! 

From my heart,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Watermelon Feta Salad {Recipe}

Summer is most definitely upon us and I have absolutely NO desire to want to turn on the oven. If you are in 100+  weather can you blame me?

So I've been really excited to try some summer salad recipes. My favorite fruit is watermelon. I remember as a child eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It's just a super sweet treat that I enjoy. I've also discovered feta cheese. I know, I'm super late to the party.  So when I discovered a marvelous recipe for a watermelon feta salad from Shauna Niequist book, Bread and Wine, I knew I HAD to try it.

8 cups watermelon, cubed
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

10 ounces arugula
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
2 limes
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Cube 8 cups of watermelon, and let the cubes marinate in the juice of one fresh squeezed lime for several hours.

Combine the fresh squeezed lime juice and zest from the remaining lime, white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar, and olive oil. At serving time, toss arugula with half the vinaigrette, and combine watermelon, feta, red onion, and fresh mint. Layer the watermelon mixture over the arugula, and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

Serves: 6 to 8

If you have any potluck or BBQ's coming up this salad is perfect! Let me know how you like it.
What is your favorite summer meal? Maybe I'll add it to my meal planning for August.

from my kitchen,


Monday, July 7, 2014

How to style a {tiny} patio space

Hi friends! I'm so excited to share some news with you!

Drum roll please... Alright, this summer my Hubs and I are moving to a condo. [Insert loud shout of excitement here!] We are so thankful for this awesome opportunity. We are gaining some more storage space and a much larger living room. Overall a heck of a lot more square footage. Don't worry, game nights and movie nights are totally happening! So naturally, with a move, comes the packing. [Dun, dun duuun...] Our adorable little apartment is full of half packed boxes and piles of things to toss or sell. Our sweet new condo has a sliver of a backyard, it's basically a patio/courtyard and I couldn't be more excited!

Now I've already been dreaming up what we could do with this space. (I told you I'm pretty excited!) So now, I've come up with 5 must haves for our outside space.

1. Lighting. I'm thinking of streaming cafe lights around. I've even spotted a DIY for solar lamps. Don't worry, its on my "to do" list! 

2. Seating. With any small space you must get creative when thinking about seating. Also, be mindful of cramming a tiny space with furniture, that might make it even smaller. I'm dying to try out a wrap around bench and maybe a few chairs for extra seating and store them away when not in use.

3. Decor. I would love to go for a fun friendly vibe that can easily be turned into a soft romantic vibe, when the sun goes down. I'm imagining some great dinner dates out back with my Hubs. Candles, plush comfy pillows, and a lovely table top with some pops of color

4. Table. I would love a large wood table. Something for hosting outdoor dinners. We will have to see with the limited space. Another idea that crossed through my mind was having 2 small tables pushed together for when we have larger groups over. When we have a smaller crowd we could store away the second table! Remember, its all about being creative with your space.

5. Greenery. I've always wanted a lemon tree. I have no idea why, but I've always wanted one. I hope I can get one when we move! I would love to keep my little garden, but maybe transfer some plants into the ground. One of the patio walls is cement [its hideous] I plan to grow an ivy wall to cover it up. Or maybe I'll make an herb wall? What do you think?

Its gonna need some major TLC. right now it has a few planter boxes and paver stones. This space is BEGGING for a little love. I'm looking forward to this project!

So these are just some dreams for our outdoor space. I plan to do an update after the move when things progress out there and the move settles down. What is something in your backyard or patio you love? Maybe I need it too. ;)

from my heart,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fear over Faith

This is the blog I couldn't write for years. The subject that was always the hardest and that I tend to shy away from. The biggest fear I have.

Fear can hold you back.

Fear can paralyze you.

Fear can control you.

Fear has been an idol in my life. Particularly in the area of children. When my husband and I were dating we had "that conversation". You know the conversation of "how many kids do you want". Don't act like you haven't thought about it. (I'm serious). When I told him I didn't want to have children you would have thought I told him I didn't want children to exist in the world. He was shocked and seemed disappointed that there was something we actually disagreed on. My dear husband has always dreamed of having a family he can care for, love on and ultimately teach sports too. ;) He definitely values children and has always desired a family with the idea of children. Now, I am not saying that I do not value children. But when I told him I didn't want to have them I was ultimately saying that my fear is greater than my trust in the Lord.

I can't remember when my fear started or where it stemmed from. I remember telling my roommate at the time, who also didn't understand why I wouldn't want to have children, and she just sat and prayed with me, and cried with me. A lot of woman are vocal about their desire to have children and how they desire to have them sooner than later. I'm usually shying away from those conversation or changing the subject because it would typically lead me to tears at the thought that I didn't have those same strong desires. I wrestled with this frustration, and fear for a long time. If I'm honest I still do. However now, I realize that back then when I would say I didn't want to have children it was really my fear saying I'm scared to have children. I truly desire to have a family of my own. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to those dreams and desires. But when that fear creeps in, it literally wrecks my heart and paralyzes me to even think about actually having them. So my "simple" reaction is I don't want to have them. When that is the farthest from the truth. The "what if's" creep into my mind. What if I can't have them? Will my husband and family still love me? What if i'm a terrible mother? What if I fail? To be clear, my husband is not pressuring me to have children today or tomorrow. But, sometimes, when the conversations start and the "baby" word is said, I clench up and am literally brought to tears of the idea that I may not be able to give him the children we both desire. I remember when I told my husband about these fears for the first time and he told me he would love me either way and that he was trusting in the Lord for His plan. If I'm honest, at that time I'm not sure if I believed him.

I wrestled with this fear. Pleading, and asking for answers. Shoot, I think I demanded answers as if that's the way God works. You know, throw a fit over something I cannot control and God will just let me peek into a glimpse of His plan. Yeah right. Pretty sure my mind couldn't handle a tiny glimpse of His perfect plan.

How could I truly believe the Lord to be faithful in all areas of my life EXCEPT this one? This was the little piece that I couldn't give to the Lord. This deep fear and insecurity that I kept holding onto, and bottling inside. In my case, fear ultimately became an idol. I was a slave to these thoughts and feelings. Jesus didn't die on the cross so that I could be controlled by this fear.

To set the record straight I do enjoy babies and children. Sure, I may not know every little thing about them and yes, sometimes I cry when I hold them. Okay, that happened once. (sorry baby Grey). But the reality is that my heart is so wrecked by those fears that I miss out on the JOY because I'm choosing fear. I'm choosing to not trust that no matter what happens, children or not, God is enough and if that is not in His plan for us I will embrace what He does have planned for us. I will lean into that and know its all for His glory. I need to remind myself of that truth when the fear creeps in. If I'm being honest, It happens more than I let people think. Its an internal struggle that I am bringing to light, knowing that my God is bigger than my fears and frustration. I want to chase after the Lord choosing Joy even in the unknown. I want His desires to be my own, while I fully trust in Him.

Most of all, what I'm learning with my husband right now in this season is that we want to be content where we are. Not to worry or stress on the what if's but to sit, and soak and truly enjoy where the Lord has brought us in this moment and to continue to choose Faith over fear.

from my heart,

Monday, May 26, 2014

BBQ Lemon and Garlic Kabob Recipe

This recipe is one of my recent favorites! Its super simple and feeds a lot! We had 12 people gathered for the Holiday and my husband and I barbecued Lemon and Garlic Kabob's!

What you will need:

  • 2lbs skinless and boneless chicken breasts 
  • Marinade (I used Lawrys Lemon Herb marinade.) 
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Pepper Spice
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder Spice
  • 2 Red Peppers 
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 2 Yellow Peppers
  • 1 Yellow Onion
Preparation; The day before you grill the kabobs cut up the chicken into cubes and then put all the chicken into a ziplock bag and add 1 cup of marinade and spices, coating the chicken. Leave this to refrigerate over night.

On grilling day, cube the peppers and slice the onions. Once the grill is heated up and ready to go, put these babies on the the BBQ (we put 6 on the grill at once) Keep them cooking for 4-6 minutes and then turn them over for another 4-6 minutes.
    This is them before they were grilled! 
If you are looking for something different to whip up, or when its too hot to use the oven, this recipe is perfect! Also, you can alter the recipe if you are cooking for a smaller group! 

from my kitchen,

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Nesting Place - a book review

When Lee and I moved into our apartment, I was so excited to be able to make our place cozy and inviting, while adding touches of our personalities in it. I loved being creative in this way. I'm pretty sure my ideas for our home, based off my pinterest board, changed every day. The color schemes changed, and of course I would attempt to put our couch in "just the right spot".  My dear husband didn't have a ton of input when it came to decor which was nice to have the freedom to complete this the way I wanted. We didn't have too much decor of our own so I knew I would have to be creative with our "newly wed" budget! I made a list of DIY projects and things to purchase. Some pieces are easier to just buy then to try to replicate. However, a constant battle in my head was my perfectionist. I wanted the whole home, room by room to come together and top it off with a neat and tidy bow. Yeah, I went little crazy...

When I read this book, The Nesting Place it was like Myquillyn was in my head! As a renter wanting to have freedom, but being limited to what I could do, her ideas were refreshing and helped me see what I could do by thinking outside of the box. I love her willingness to see things as they are, and not how to make them perfect but to admire the imperfections. Her examples of being in a perfect home and feeling as though you don't want to ruin anything is very relatable. Her motto of "It Doesn't have to be Perfect to be Beautiful" is so challenging and yet relieving at the same time. It challenges me to see decorating without the pressure of perfection. Our home will be beautiful to us, and my husband and I will enjoy it. We aren't afraid to live in it, or make it a little "lived in" because well, we live here!

To see more from The Nester, visit her website

from my heart,