Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Valentine.

I read a blog entry last night, that inspired me.  :)  Do you read blogs?  I have yet to understand what draws people into sharing personal thoughts with the cyber-world.  ...and what draws us into reading them?  I understand when it's someone I know, but how is it that I am interested by the story of a complete stranger?... moreso, by their every-day happenings?  Well, anyway, I have a few that I like to keep up with.  Some entries, I skim through while others captivate me and I read intently.  Last night, I was reading of a woman's story about how she got together with her husband.  It moved me to share a little bit of my own.  The last words of her entry were these:

If you have something in your past, in your story, in your love story, in your life that you wish hadn't "happened that way" - maybe you feel it was even wrong, ungodly. Maybe you even brought it on yourself. Maybe someone else did.

Let me encourage you!


He allowed what He did to draw YOU, His precious child to Himself in a deeper and more real way!

The imperfections in our stories, in our lives, they are what He uses to humble us. And God draws near to the humble.

He is a God who redeems. He works all things together for the good to those who LOVE HIM AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.

My thoughts???  I couldn't agree MORE!

Do you have one of "those" stories?  I have found that when we, especially in the Christian world, have an unseemly story in our past, we don't openly share it.  I'm not laying blame, because I really don't share mine either.  I'm not proud of it.  I don't broadcast it.  And let's face it, people can be judgmental and condescending.  That's the truth of the matter.

And I really don't plan to share all of mine today either.  My wonderful husband, Jason, thinks that there will come a day when my story will be used as ministry.  Maybe.  I don't know.  If that's the case, I'm not there yet.  I think that little portion of my past is where it belongs... in the past... and let's just keep it there.  :)

The GOOD part of it is, I don't have to share all of it, in order to tell of God's redemption.  I can give you the summary of my own mistakes, and give God all the glory for working His plan through my life even in spite of my own stupidity.

Jason and I did not have a fairy-tale beginning.  Oh, if I could do things over again.  You see, I KNOW and BELIEVE whole heartedly, that if I had been patient, and waited for God's timing instead of rushing my own, I could have avoided a lot of heartache... that I caused myself, AND others who loved me.  I could have chosen to listen to my family and friends who warned me against the choices I was going to make.  But I didn't.  I was young and stubborn and strong willed, and I thought I knew what was best for my life.  I ignored the little taps on my heart, that God kept giving me.  I went along with my own agenda.

Word to the wise:  Don't ignore the signs!  Trust your gut.  Don't let yourself get trapped in a hole of self-deception.  And, by all means, do NOT ignore God when deep inside, you know He is trying to tell you something. 

That being said, vague as it may be, I had made some decisions in my life that could have altered the entire course of my future for good.  But amidst my mistakes, when all was said and done, God worked things together for good.

Regardless of the beginnings, and regardless of the prices I had to pay for my mistakes, God blessed me with a husband who loves me unconditionally.  God worked His plan for my life, even when I was botching it up.  And here I stand, a picture of His grace and mercy.

My husband...  Where do I even begin?

He is logical.  I am emotional.
He is simple.  I am complicated.
He is patient.  I am... not.
He thinks things through.  I am impulsive.
He likes colors like brown and gray.  I'm more of a "RED" kind of girl.  :)
He's a homebody.  I'd rather go out.
He loves to read and study and learn.  I'd rather visit and chat with friends and family.
He didn't want to have kids.  I talked him into it (and he's an AWESOME dad, just like I knew he'd be.)
He has extreme self control.  I do everything IN extremes.
He is focused and determined.  I am completely random.
He loves quiet.  Quiet makes me feel lonely.

We are quite a pair, right?  And our beginnings were just that ... quite a beginning.  :)  I was 20.  He was 22.  We already had plenty of baggage to get over.  And we both had to pay for the mistakes of others from our pasts.  We had to do a lot of growing up together.  Some days, it was far from easy.

This is our fifteenth Valentine's Day together.  Here I am, in complete authenticity, telling you that I could not have chosen anyone who suited me better.  His love for me is unconditional.  He has seen me at my worst, and still thinks I'm wonderful!  He makes me want to be a better me, and I am so happy to be his wife.  I am blessed to be the mother of his children.  I look forward to seeing him every day, and I love watching him grow and learn and become a better husband and dad along the way.  He loves God, and he leads our family in strength and in faith.

God has blessed me abundantly.  I am eternally thankful, and I will continue to give Him all glory and praise for working HIS plan in my life!

Jason & Laura, THEN (1996):

Jason & Laura, NOW (2010):

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ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.