Saturday, September 25, 2010

I never want to forget this... Part II

In the previous post I told you that Joel's grandfather passed away. It has been 2 weeks since his death and still my mind flashes back to that day as one that I never want to forget. I told you about the first reason. Here is the second.

The night before the funeral I sat in my mother-in-law's kitchen late into the night sipping drinks and eating peach crisp. I, accompanied by my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my husband, and Pete.

We sat listening to the life stories of two friends.

Dean, Joel's grandfather, had a friend named Pete Lombardi.

Pete was from Brooklyn, New York. Dean grew up in small town Iowa. They met and became great friends while serving in WWII together, probably enlisting in their late teens. Pete recounted their first meeting as Dean saying, "Well, if you aren't from Brooklyn, I ain't fron Iowa." And boy was he right.

After serving together they each went their separate ways, but stayed close through the communication that they had. Each man married and started having children. Pete described it as a competition. When Dean had one child, Pete had one child. I guess this went on until each had 4 children. Pete's family would come out to see Dean's family on their farm in small town Iowa for vacation in the summer months and when Dean's family could, they went and saw Pete's family that now lived in Maryland and Florida. Pete and Dean were very different men. Pete was a business man, having many achievements and making some good money throughout his life. Dean was a farmer and painter, never having too much or an abundance of money.

Pete was schedule to come and visit Dean in the month to follow, but instead changed his ticket to attend his funeral. Pete was asked to share a tribute at the funeral and he did. He mentioned much of what I have written above, but also told us, in his east coast accent, that Dean talked to him often about Jesus. Dean emphasized the importance of family, the importance of Christ and being involved in your local church. Pete said that Dean had the largest impact on his life of anyone he knew.

These men were very different, separated by so much, but remained close friends for 65 years. Can you imagine being someone's friend for 65 years?

I never want to forget this clear picture of friendship. Through thick and then, good times and bad, they remained great friends. I don't know if I have remained friends with anyone for more than 5-6 years, let alone 65! Wow! What this means for my life, I don't know, but it remains a picture in my head. A picture of faithfulness, the joy found in knowing the in's and out's of someone else and they knowing the same about you. A picture of loving people when you don't want to and someone else loving you when it is equally as difficult. A picture of faithfulness.

I never want to forget these two reminders of faithfulness. The faithfulness of a wife and of a friend. I never want to forget these two pictures because they are rare. You don't go to every funeral and see this. These two relationships, not even kept together by the will's of two people, but of God.

Oh Lord, that I would remain faithful, for great is your faithfulness!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I never want to forget this... Part I

On Friday, September 10, 2010 Joel's grandfather, Dean Vint (age 84), passed away. We had the privilege of attending his visitation and funeral this past week.

I was slightly anxious going into the funeral. One weird part of being newly married is that you don't know your spouse's life before you entered it. That sounds weird and maybe dumb, but it is an odd reality. I haven't known Joel's grandfather like he did. I didn't grow up with him like he did. I didn't paint with him or ride in his truck. I didn't know him without oxygen assistance or without a wheelchair. I hate that. I wish I did. I really wanted to be able to grieve with and to have deep compassion, but it is hard when you don't know. You don't have the same memories and it just doesn't feel the same.

Because of the prayers of my dear friends. If a funeral can be good, this was the best funeral I have ever been to. Good for me for two main reasons. I will start with Part I.

My throat hit my stomach as I sat from a distance looking on as Melva, Joel's grandmother, stood touching the hand of her deceased man. The man who had protected her, comforted her, romanced her, wrapped her in his arms, fathered her children, laughed with her, gone through good times and bad with her, provided for her every need... her husband of 62 years. Standing there for minutes that seemed like years, she said her last goodbye.. kissing his head and hesitantly walking away with tears pounding from her eyes. At that moment I felt my own face, tears reaming from my own eyes, and my own heart ripping in half. The reality of separation.

When you giddily stand at the altar on your first day of marriage, your wedding day, you don't think about the last day, the day your marriage ends and you are desperately separated by the inevitable... death. At that moment, as a girl hardly married, I thought about that last day.

Melva is such a dear woman. The Spirit of God is incredibly evident in her life through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. She is my real life definition of Proverbs 31. I want to be her. I want it to that faithful when my husband is sick for 10+ years. In sickness and in health, right? Isn't that what I promised on my wedding day? Yes, yes it is. For richer, for poorer? Yes, yes it is. Till' death do we part? Yes, yes it is. God, please! My marriage is awesome, but please keep it that way! Please help me to think about that daily! Remind me of Melva and Dean. I never want to forget this.

Now Joel and I have already decided that I am going to die first or that we will die together (haha... because we have so much control... right?). If Joel does die first or without me I will be one heck of a W-R-E-C-K! But what if it does happen, what if Joel does die first? I guess what else would I want... would I want to NOT be a wreck? No, I want to be a HUGE WRECK actually.

Why? Because of love, because marriage is the way the gospel is most clearly portrayed in real life. It is meant to be a representation of Christ (husband) and the church (wife). Christ died for the church. He gave his life, he sacrificed it ALL. No, Joel is not God, but besides Christ, he is the ONE and ONLY person who I have committed my life on this earth to. Committed. I have vowed. And if it isn't hard if he dies before I do and if I am not a wreck, I have not loved him like the church is to love Christ. That is what I saw in Melva. A woman who followed a man that led her well, who took her vows seriously, and who has lived a life of love.

And death, well, because of our sinfulness and our need for Christ. We are separated. I can't wait for the day described below, when the church is reunited with Christ and there is no more pain, crying, or mourning.

Revelation 21:1-4 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Thank you Melva for your faithfulness and your great example. Thank you for being a wreck and letting me see a very real picture of marriage on the last day. I will never forget this. I love you so much!

Matt & Jessica's Wedding

Joel's brother, Matt, got married to his wonderful new bride, Jessica, on August 28.

Joel officiated the wedding and I got to help with decorating and other fun things like doing my the hair of my two nieces and sister-in-law (this is such a fun thing when you've never had a sister until recently)!

At the Groom's Supper in our finest (I REALLY do LOVE it when Joel dresses up. He has great style anyways, but I guess it is just not his normal work apparel and so I get excited)!

Joel and Carrie trying to love on Matt. I can't even imagine them as children.... I have a feeling Matt got the bad end of the stick all too often (a middle child thing right?...) too funny!

I like this picture not because it is actually a great picture but because of the meaning. I am doing exactly what my mother would do in a picture with her sisters. Sticking out her face and smiling really big! Weird! It is also fun because we are clearly having a great time. One great thing is that none of us new sisters had a sister while growing up! We have a lot to catch up on!

My beautiful nieces Sydney and Addison!

Giving the bride away. Joel got to officiate the wedding. He did such a great job!

Ever since we got married we have been horrible at taking pictures of ourselves together. So we decided to do it when we got home (notice our home in the background). Dorks!



I clearly didn't take these pictures, but LOVE them, so I thought I'd share!

The In-Laws. Enough Said! =) Haha... just kidding! I love this. The photographer took pictures of people at the reception with these frames. What a FUN idea!

Jessica had the most beautiful flowers! And notice the bling... TOO FUN!

We LOVE YOU Matt & Jessica Vint!

Visiting my brothers

Last weekend Joel and I got to go visit my brothers (and my parents). Brian was home visiting from the Navy. Together we attended Matthew's football game at his new home, Hamline University!

Joel and I with Matthew. Yes, it was quite wInDy!

Brian and Matthew.

Matthew and my parents, Brad & Sue.

Brian and my mom, Sue.

Joel and I with Brian.
Matthew, #18, standing on the sidelines.

My parents and Joel and I are now in the same life stage (no kids), they're just on the other end! I hope they pick up some new hobbies and really enjoy their time together!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Tomorrow is the big ISU v. Iowa game.

If you didn't already know, Joel and I are ISU fans (we even have a room in our house that happens to sport the clones). As a non-native Iowan, my blood doesn't bleed cardinal and gold like Joel's, but lets just say I spent a great deal of energy, time (and we all know a lot of $$$$) at our beloved institution that they've happened to convert me.

Here are some pictures from The Salt Company Tailgate. This event was a lot of fun to coordinate. Have I told you that I LOVE my job? It rocks and is such a blessing!

We had around 300-400 students attend the tailgate. SO FUN!

After the game The Salt Company does a little something called Stadium Cleanup. We do this as a fundraiser each year. We had to have broken some kind of record. 300 students cleaned the stadium in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Talk about some serious awesomeness! Oh my gosh!

Jill's daughter Jaida, learning the ropes of tailgating early. Isn't she just THE CUTEST little thing you've EVER seen? I want one!

Some of my FAVORITE PEOPLE (the girls I get to work with)! With me are (the other) Sarah, Kendra, and Jill (and some college dude goofin' in the background).

Oh we will fight, fight, fight for Iowa State and may her colors ever fly.... (ok, there is a reason I don't sing... I'll spare you the rest)!

Game on dark side (that other black and gold team)!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Article about Salt Company in Iowa City

I can't wait to see what God does in Iowa City through Salt. It gave me chills reading this article below and watching the video. God used Salt Company to rescue a lost, arrogant soul like me. I can't wait to see that happen over and over again in Iowa City!