Monday, May 24, 2010

j + b = love...

I was 15, and I climbed onto the big yellow bus bound for summer camp with my two close girlfriends. We were headed to Camp Crestview for a week of sunshine and fun and really had no idea what to expect since none of us had been there before. We didn't get too far before our bus pulled into the parking lot of another church to pick up a TON of other campers. It turned out that their camp bus had broken down and we'd be adding this insane amount of campers to our bus. :) They put us 3 to a hot, sticky seat, with our pillows and sleeping bags at our feet. But we girls got lucky because 3 cute boys happened to sit right in front of us. They were all wearing khaki shorts, white t-shirts, neck ties, hats and flip-flops. Of course when you're 15 and going to camp this is "really cute" matching attire. :)

This boy, Josh, sat right in front of me. We got to talking and finding out where each other lived, etc. and I seriously felt like I'd met a new (hot) best friend. It was crazy how in just a couple hours of driving to camp I could see that we TOTALLY saw life the same! And it turned out that we had a lot of friends in common and didn't realize it. We were both from the Corvallis area and I went to school with a lot of kids that went to Josh's church youth group.

Well, we got to camp and I saw a boy from my school that I'd had a crush on all school year long. So I said goodbye to Josh and went and got in the check-in line by this boy who we will just call "Mr. Funny". I found ways to hang out with/by Mr. Funny all week long, but always kept an eye on where Josh was... typically hanging around a girl named Stacy. :) Oh my goodness, does this all sound so 15 or what?! ANYWAY, the amazing camp week came to an end, my girlfriends and I ended up sitting by Josh and his friends again on the bus ride home. We had a lot of fun talking about the cartoons we watched as kids and making up stupid, pointless poems. When Josh got off the bus he gave me a hug goodbye and gave me his phone number. :)

We girls got home and stayed the night at one of our houses and the next day we decided to go see the new movie, Clueless, at the theater. As we were waiting in line for tickets, who did we bump into?? Josh and his guy friends! It was so crazy! Totally different town from where we'd said goodbye at the camp bus. So we decided to sit next to one another at the movie. I was starting to like this guy a little! We said goodbye after the movie and I didn't see him again for months.

Christmas came and the private, Christian high school I went to was having their Christmas banquet. (We had banquets instead of things like Homecoming and Prom.) It was Sadie Hawkins and I had to ask a boy to the banquet. I was looking for a neutral date because I didn't want to give any boy at school the impression that I liked them. Josh came to mind! I found his number and told him I was looking for a friend to go with me and wanted to see if he'd like to go. He told me that he'd need to ask his girlfriend first if it was ok and he'd get back to me. His girlfriend said it was fine, so we made a date! (Crazy side story... the day I tried on my wedding dress with my mom and best friend, who was one of those girls on the bus with me the day I met Josh, I happened to be sharing a mirror at the bridal shop with another bride... guess who that bride was?! She was the girl who WAS Josh's girlfriend all those years earlier who he had asked permission from to go to the banquet with me. Isn't that so funny?) Josh picked me up at my house the night of the banquet looking so cute and we had a fun night.

(This photo was from another Christmas banquet a year or two later, but it clearly proves that someone as white as me should never where a white dress in the dead of winter!) :)

After that a girl from Josh's youth group started inviting me to group events and hang outs (Josh was asking her to invite me, unbeknown to me) and anytime I didn't have a ride, Josh would so kindly volunteer to pick me up. :) Six months later, when I was 16 he asked me to be his girlfriend! He's the only boy I've ever seriously dated, or even held hands with. He's the husband I always prayed for, my best best friend, and the love of my life!

(We use to take these pointless silly photos all the time, because I was always looking for excuses to take more pictures. I loved photography...)

(This is one of my favorite photos. It was taken the summer before we got engaged, when we were on a short-term mission trip to Brazil with our church.)

Today we've been married 8 years, and it has just flown by! We've packed a lot into those 8 years so far. We've known fun times, heart aching losses, the rewards of partnering in things and working hard together, unexpected disappointments, and unfathomable joys. You know... life! :) Josh has taught me, through simply watching his amazing example, how to love more selflessly and to try to be more aware of other's needs more than my own. I'm always growing in that one. He cares so well for me, Jude & Selah, loves unconditionally, makes me feel so safe, he gives me the confidence to be whoever God has created me to be, and he has my absolute utmost respect. The man just blows me away and often brings me to tears whenever I try to write him a birthday, valentine, or father's day card telling him how incredibly wonderful he is. :)

Thank you Love, for loving me so well! I adore you and I love you more each day!
Happy Anniversary!

Fly, by Sara Groves:

Speak in a summer tone
Pause in the after glow
Tenderly whisper my name
Tell me once again why
I am your bride
So I can fly
So I can fly

Pause in your busy day
Look extra long my way
Wink at me across the room
Kiss me longer
Touch my arm when I
am by your side
So I can fly
So I can fly

Oh how the little things
Strengthen my tiny wings
Help me to take on the world
When you love me
there's nothing I
wouldn't try
I might even fly
I might even fly
I might even fly


Kimberly Stone said...

I love this post and I love that last photo of the two of you -- B, you are beautiful! I would love a copy of the photo for our home...
You and Josh are amazing people -- I respect both of you so much! Thank you for shining the love of Jesus through your marriage! Happy Anniversary!

The Springer's said...

Wow, what a great post Bethany! Happy Anniversary...

JAZ said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! What a FUN post. May God richly bless your next 8 years, and the next 8 after that, and lots and lots more after that!

laura said...

Happy Anniversary to two of the neatest people!!! I love reading your heartfelt posts Bethany, and I'm delighted for you and Josh to have found each other!!! :)

Leticia said...

What a great post and story. Thank you for sharing! I've known and dated Chad since I was 15 and he was 16, so I can relate :)

Erica said...

Okay that was really precious and made me all teary!! Happy Anniversary you two!

Kimberly said...

I don't know where I initally came across your blog, but like you, I love photography and family and God's mercy and grace! Somehow, your link has stayed as one of my favorites. Aside from checking this occasionally, I don't know you, but I always feel touched by your writing, your pictures and your honesty. In life, I've not run across more than a few dozen "real" people and I somehow know that in this world, you are one of those kind of people. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day! May you continue to seek God's blessings and glorify His kingdom.

Christy. said...

I LOVE your story!! Here's to many more years!!

Cornelius Photoworks said...

I love you guys so dearly! Even though I've heard the story before, it's just so so touching it's gets me every time! You guys are often times marriage role-models for Matt & I, even if you may not know it. We look up to you!

Chris Fegles said...

I'm so proud of you both, and love you both so deeply!!! Chris mom

John and Natalee Warren said...

I loved reading yall's story. SO fun! I wish we would have hung out more when we lived in pdx...anyhow, thanks for sharing. And I love Sara Groves- her lyrics are incredible!

Amber G. said...

LOVE IT!! Peter and I fell in love when we were 15 (we realized a few days ago that with both of us turning 30 this year, we've been in love for half of our lives... pretty cool.) It's an amazing gift to grow up in love with your best friend.
Congratulations on your anniversary!! May God continue to bless your family and your marriage in ways you can't even imagine.

Sasha Cornelius Eggli said...

Bethany, I loved reading about how you two got together. It was very sweet and funny. I love you both and are so happy you have one another!