In this edition of the newly renovated Mr. & Mrs. Grover Chronicles”, you can look forward to:
1. Catching Up with what’s new in life, (including the pics to prove it) as well as some prayer requests.
2. Grover’s Unword of the Month! (You don’t want to miss this!)
3. Life’s Beautiful Realities: The Better Whole (rather than my better half) encouraging devotional that God has laid on Jared’s heart.
4. Super Links: Find some highly reccomended links below including an excellent video message series by Pastor Andy Stanley called “I” Marriage.
Hello my friends….It’s great to connect with you after a long time,
I know it’s been such a long time, to which I am sorry, but consequently I am blessed and excited to share a lot of exciting recent news, pictures, and encouragement with you. First of all..How have you been? What’s new? Even as busy as the past several months have been, many of you have still been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. I have certainly felt them, and can’t thank you enough!
SO…right off the bat….If you haven’t figured it out, or just in case I haven’t told you fifteen thousand times already…I’M
A MARRIED MAN! Please feel free to take a look at our wedding website at http://www.sarahandjared.weddingwindow.com to find out a lot more. Praise God for his love and direction in our lives. On July 11, 2009 I married my best friend, Sarah Jill Roberts from Ottawa, Ontario where I am now currently a “visitor” as far as Canada is concerned, until my permanent residency application is approved. That in and of itself is a huge matter for prayer. If you have ever experienced the immigration process you know it can be a big pain in the gluteous maximus; but on a more positive note, just recently Sarah was approved for spousal sponsorship. Now it’s just a waiting game.
After seeing an immigration lawyer we were informed that the process of permanent residency can take up to 6 months. We’re praying that it will be quicker than that, but we’re not getting our hopes up. Under the rules of Canadian immigration, I am not allowed to legally work until I am fully approved. That in and of itself is a huge disappointment to me, because Sarah will be working and I will only be allowed to volunteer. I am thankful to say that I have been approved to volunteer for the school district that Sarah works in, and plan to do a lot of volunteering there. Sarah is now working in two different schools. She is teaching one AM kindergarten class, and one third grade English class. It is my desire and plan to try to keep myself busy volunteering in the school district so that when I am able to start working, I will have some good references, as well as some contacts for positions of employment. I also plan to do some volunteering at a rescue mission in Ottawa. We have a man that attends our church who happens to be one of the pastors at the Capital City Mission in downtown Ottawa and has told me that I am welcome to come down and volunteer.
For nearly 9 years, Sarah has been the leader the childrens ministries at our home church. She coordinates all of the Sunday School (called Kidz Zone) classes, leads the open session, and started a “Kid’s Nite” program every Wednesday night at the church. In Kidz Zone we are currently doing a program that is taking us through the whole Bible. Now that we are married, I am blessed to be able to take a more active role in these ministries. When Kid’s Nite starts the week after next, we will be beginning to practice our annual kid’s choir presentation. I am so looking forward to working along side Sarah in these ministries. Sarah is finding it nice to be able to share the load with me.
After a beautiful honeymoon at a Couples all inclusive resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (check out photo links at bottom of
At Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.see the Sax player in the background
page), we came back to Ottawa for a couple of days before we took off to Maine for a 2 week visit. During our time in Maine we had a beautiful 2nd wedding reception that my mother and a friend of mine put on for Sarah and I. We were thankful and blessed to have been able to invite a lot of family and friends that weren’t able to get to our wedding in Ottawa, to this reception in Howland, Maine at my former home church.
Well, we are now settled into our apartment here in Ottawa and are looking forward to a great future together. The apartment is slowly but surely getting organized. We are very happy with our little apartment. When we looked initially, all of the apartments that we saw were quite small in comparison to this one that we are in now. It has a good size living room, a good size kitchen (which I’m happy about) and is in what seems to be a very nice neighborhood. If you ever need a vacation, or just want to pay us a visit, please don’t hesistate to give us a call or drop us an email. We’d love to have you. Well…I guess we’d have to give you our bed and sleep on the couch because I just remembered that it’s only a one bedroom. That’s ok. The couch is good enough for me, but I guess it’s Sarah that I would have to talk into that situation first. HA, HA!
An official Potsdam, NY EMT Rescue Squad suit
In the last installment of Grover Chronicles I believe that I forgot to share that I had graduated from an EMT course that I took through State University of New York in Canton, NY. It was a great learning experience for me and challenged me in so many ways. If it were not for the help of God, the patience and help of Sarah, and the countless hours of studying I never would have made it. I am now a certified EMT. On top of all the medical knowledge that I gained through this course, I also learned how to operate the jaws of life. That was a great experience. I even got to wear full rescue squad gear. I had the opportunity to ride on an ambulance for a number of months, as well as work for an ambulance service for a number of months. The funny thing about it, was in the total of 3 or 4 months that I was involved with the ambulance service, I had no opportunity to see any real “emergencies”. The purpose for taking this course was in hopes that if I needed to, I could use the certification to possibly work on a squad in Canada if need be, as well just the satisfaction of knowing that I accomplished a worthy ambition.
So that’s the scoop on our life where it stands right now. Now that I’m married I am learning that are a lot of new adjustments that I am having to make in my life. I’m sure that all of you married friends of mine completely understand and most can agree that those adjustments are necessary and often helpful in our lives. I just want to take a few moments to share with you a little bit about the how those adjustments have affected my life so far, and more importantly, what the Lord has put on my heart about “life’s beautiful realities”, and how my wife is not just my better half, but rather she is part of “the better whole”. Even if you don’t have time right now, please take some time to read the little devotional if you are able.
Until Next time,
We love you,
Jared & Sarah
Grover’s Unword of the Month
1. (n.) A dentist known for making mistakes.
Example: My accidentist decided to drill my good molars at my appointment today.
Life’s Beautiful Realities: The Better Whole (rather than my “better half”)
One of my good friends asked me a few weeks ago what I liked about marraige the most so far. Although I know that I have a long way to go, and a whole lot more to learn, I told her that one of the things that I enjoyed the most about being married was being able to wake up every morning beside my wife. Not just the fact that she is beautiful and all mine (eat your heart out men..lol), but also for the encouraging fact that she can experience “a new day” with me. Our goal and aim as a couple is to remember that each day is a new day, and a new opportunity to have a fresh start, as well as an even more important opportunity to bridge that gap in our relationship that makes us “whole”. To me..this is one of many beautiful realities in life.
My desire in sharing these devotional thoughts, is that the Lord may really allow me to share my heart, through His Word, and encourage those of you who might need some enlivening (it’s a word…I promise), or at the very least, give you something to think about. I really try to wait on God to inspire me, and give me something that would speak to the hearts of people. Although I may never have any awe inspiring words to share, I am so thankful that I can use this venue to communicate my love and care for those that I care about. If your reading this….thanks for being you!
(Just a disclaimer: although this devotional is largely geared toward married people…it has a lot of points that largely apply and carry over to single people as well.)
If you think about it, referring to your husband/wife as “my better half” is really an unhealthy title to give away. I am very much aware that often it is just a “joke” or a “nickname”, but never-the-less, it really has a negative conotation towards who you are in the eyes of God, and even who you are suppose to be in the eyes of your loved one. I would prefer to call Sarah “the better WHOLE”, if I were going to use that term at all, but most women prefer sweetheart or beautiful, so I’ll just stick to that. It is amazing, and I mean AMAZING how much I have already learned in the very short time I have been married about the husband/wife relationship. Regardless of my lack of experience in this area, I am determined, and encouraged by God and others to see the beautiful realities of my new found love and commitment. Again, a lot of these realities can be seen in light of many different kinds of relationships.
Lately I’ve had to reexamine some ways that I can become “the better whole”, rather than just “the better half” in Sarah and I’s marraige. Recently I was brought to this very familiar scripture in Psalm 37:23-24 which reminded me that: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.”
As a believer, and as a husband, in order for me to focus on becoming the better whole in my relationship with my wife, I must allow my steps to be “ordered” or directed by the Lord. As much as I would like to figure everything out, and make everything right, the truth of the matter, according to experience, and His Word, I am not responsible to “figure it out”, but rather am responsible to follow in His steps (that by the way, He directs).
Becoming that “whole” mate that God wants me to be is something that I have to realize is not about perfection, but instead it’s about desiring, striving and seeking out opportunities to be the best mate that I can possibly be with the help of God. At a men’s get together that my church had for me just before I was married, one of the men stood up and said something that I will never forget. He said something like this, “…in and of myself I can’t be the perfect husband, but by the grace and help of God, I can strive to be the perfect husband for my wife…”. This is my prayer as well. Take a moment to think about some things that I have learned recently about my role in the “whole” relationship:
1. I learned that I had to realize that it would not come naturally.
It goes against our nature many times to give of ourselves, and to give up our own desires and “needs” in order to bless, encourage, and show love to our spouse. Everything that I have read recently, as well as all the advice that I have receieved from godly counsel has reminded me that in marriage it is not largely about me…but rather it is about what I can do for my wife. It doesn’t seem natural, but I am slowly finding out that what I perceive to be natural, is not always the way it works. My God is the God of the supernatural. He works in ways that I never could understand, and yet, His way is the only right way. Always remember that despite how “unnatural” it may seem…GOD WILL ENPOWER YOU to be able to do it. Philippians 2:13 says “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
2. I learned that my head knowledge is no good until it becomes heart knowledge:
I have read and listened to so much advice and opinions on how to respond and act in different relationships in my life. I have been very open and receptive to that advice. I have weighed and considered it. I KNOW (for the most part) a lot of what I am suppose to do. The problem is that sometimes it has a hard time making it’s way to my heart. I may even have times where I’m aware of what I need to do, but I don’t allow my heart to be in it, or I don’t allow God to take control of that area of my life that I struggle with. Maybe I’m afraid that it will be too hard, or that it won’t help. Please, let God decide that. Let God give you the strength to do what you know you need to do. If you are confused and/or frustrated….stop, look, and listen for what He might be trying to show you. Always remember that “Where your treasure is, THERE your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
3. Let God reveal a “turning point”.
I know that I have been guilty many times of wanting something to change, or get better so badly, that I spend too much time focusing on looking for a turning point in a situation, rather than allowing God to move and mold in His way, and in His time. Never forget that there may be big changes, and there may be turning points taking place beyond your scope of human sight.
Another very familiar portion of scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE”. Be encouraged by the fact that even though we can not always see every important turning point, we have the complete assurance and blessing of knowing that our Father is paving the way for us. That is certainly a road that I want to travel on.
4. Allow Him to mold your heart.
It is so important to remember that it should always be our hearts desire and ambition to allow God to mold our own hearts. It’s not enough to just say we want it, or think we want it, but to really, with everything we have, plead with God to give us the desires of HIS heart. No situation can be overcome without the sustaining power of Jesus Christ. I have been asking God to keep me open to His leading, and His work in my heart and life. Regardless of how difficult and hopeless the situation may seem, will you agree with me that we need to allow Him to mold our hearts.
5. You will be more happy and peaceful when you simply obey God and leave the results to Him.
To some this might sound harsh, but I can not mince words. There is no greater understanding of love then to understand what our Lord has done for us. The least that we can do is surrender our situations and circumstances to Him, and know, as He has proved to us time and time again, that He is in complete control, He has complete compassion, and nothing takes Him by surprise.
I once read something that said, “we are His servants, not His adviser’s.” Stop and think about that for a second.
Everything that I have read about relationships, both marital or not, tells me that it is my job to be a servant, regardless of my position in life or in that relationship. I had to realize that even though I may not have a “mental” understanding of all that perplexes me, I am confident in the fact that I a son to a Father who has the “Godly” understanding that I need.
I have tried to the best of my ability to outline some encouraging thoughts that I have felt led to share. Whether you are a married individual or not, my prayer for you is that you can embrace the opportunity that you have to be a servant for an awesome Lord and Savior. If you are married, even if you have to remind yourself daily, your mate is your better “whole”, rather than just your “better half”. This, I believe, will serve us much better than all too often expecting that the answer is the responsibility of the other person in your relationship.
In conclusion, my prayer is that I will always remember and appreciate that fact that I am part of a relationship where my position is not just “the better half”, but that I would take my rightful place, with the help of God, and be the “better whole”. I am reminded that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church. May our love reflect His in all was say and do.
I often come across excellent links that I believe would benefit others as much as they have myself. Each installment of Grover Chronicles I will post some links for your viewing pleasure.
1. “I” Marriage video message series by Pastor Andy Stanley. (click on the links below)
“I” Marriage Intro 1
“I” Marriage Part 1a
“I” Marriage Part 1b
“I” Marriage Intro 2
“I” Marriage Part 2a
2. Professional wedding photos.