Friday, June 29, 2012

The Infamous Stringdusters

Last night after work I drove down to Ann Arbor to meet up with my cousin Sarah. She had invited me to one of the city's free concerts that they put on in the summer. It was a really fun night. First she made a delicious dinner for me: chicken in a balsamic vinegar sauce with fresh rosemary from off her porch, a salad with cranberries, goat cheese, avocado and homemade dressing, toasted cranberry pecan bread, and she even made strawberry smoothie milkshakes for dessert to take with us. What a treat!
After dinner we gathered up our shakes, water and park blankets and headed downtown. She had invited a few of our other cousins that live either in the city or nearby and almost everyone of them came too! So that was really fun.
The band was The Infamous Stringdusters and they were great! They are a bluegrass band, who knew I like bluegrass?! It was really good. I was really glad too that it had cooled down a bit from the 100' weather and there was a nice breeze.
Some pics from the night:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Girl's Group

Some girls from church and I have started a 'girl's group'. We are going through the book Captivating and matching journal. We've been meeting a couple times a month. This last time we decided to do it over dinner. And I got to host. I was excited. Andrew and I used to have people over for dinner quite often and we'd do a game night, and I haven't felt like hosting much without him, so it was good to get back into it.
I made Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Asparagus, Beans and Tomatoes (but no olives, yuck). It was good, but I think it did miss some sort of tangy flavor that the olives would have provided.

Mixing the veggies with oil and seasonings to roast

Ta-Da all mixed!

Side of delicious crescent rolls

Brownies with icecream for dessert

And here we are (minus one) all ready to talk about how captivating God has made us :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lois's Wedding Weekend

Last weekend was my friend Lois's wedding. It was up north so we drove up Friday night. On Saturday the whole gang took the ferry to Mackinac Island. We rented bikes and rode the 8 miles around the island, stopping for a few pics along the way.

The girls along the shore.
Most of my friends knew what was going on with Andrew and I, and everyone made an effort to include me. I never felt like a third wheel or anything. There was one awkward time when a guy I hadn't seen in awhile asked me where my other half was. For some reason I was thinking he was teasing me about my best friend Liz who had just walked away, and I told him "she just went to find a frisbee". He looked at me awkwardly and then I realized what he had really meant. So I told him, but other than that, no real problems. We spent all afternoon at the island and then went over to the groom's family rental house for a bonfire and hang out.
The next day was Lois's wedding! It had rained all night, but was perfect when we woke up. In the morning, I spent some time sitting on a swing with a friend talking while our friends played frisbee on the hotel lawn. Then some of us got a quick lunch and then headed out to the wedding.
The wedding was beautiful. I cried. But it wasn't anything crazy like that first wedding. I cried as we sang some hymns. Two of my favorites:
I love this verse from Great is Thy Faithfulness: "Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!" I'm thankful I serve a God who never changes, never fails, and gives me the strength I need for the day and hope for the next.
And another all time favorite, In Christ Alone:
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
And I cried during the vows. It was hard to think about how not too long ago Andrew stood there promising those things to me. I really feel like he meant them at the time.
A couple more wedding pics:

My friend Lois had experienced the loss of someone she loved, and it has been amazing to see how God provided in His faithful lovingkindness and sovereignty. It makes me feel hopeful that there could still be joy in my future too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lessons to Learn

Well I received my first proposal already. My boss said I owe him for telling one of the attorneys in our building to lay off. Apparently he asked him to 'put in a good word' and he said he'd marry me and take care of me. Umm... kind of creepy. I'm still married dude!
Yesterday another attorney came to talk to me and share his sympathy. I appreciated that. He had been divorced and told me that of course I'll be bitter and angry, etc. I did appreciate the honesty and sharing of how it was for him. But part of me thought 'don't put your past on me', I am allowing myself to feel whatever I need to feel - but I won't let those feelings control me. In my divorce class I heard a phrase I loved, 'time doesn't heal everything - Jesus heals everything'. And I am asking Jesus to completely heal my heart and free me from fear, sadness, anger and bitterness. So yeah, I might make a stop along the path, but, by God's grace, I won't stay there!
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
I want healing. I never want to be in this place again.
This weekend I'm going up North to a friend's wedding. I am really happy for her. She's been through some trials and it has been amazing to see how God has provided for her, and brought her joy through sorrow. I'm hopeful to see what God will do in my life as well. So I hope it will be good. The last wedding I went to was right after Andrew said he wanted a divorce and I cried the entire time, and one of the events of this weekend will be going to Mackinac Island and the last time I was there Andrew and I blissfully rode around on our bicycle built for two. So it might be hard at times, but I will pack my kleenex and do my best to celebrate in the joyful new beginning for my friend. I really am happy for her.
My counselor says everytime I do something without Andrew I am making a step towards healing. Every family event I go to alone, every holiday spent without him, every time with friends, I am showing myself I can get through this. And so far he's been right.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I saw Andrew the other day when he came over to drop off some stuff. It is weird to see your husband and think the next time you'll see him will be in court when he's divorcing you and then to realize after that you will never see him again. Cannot wrap my head around that. He seems to be doing really good. Which was hard to see too- because I was just rocked. Not that I want him to be miserable forever, I don't, I hope someday he can figure himself out, but again, I just don't understand how it can be so easy for him to walk away. Does not compute. Maybe I'm jealous, because it's so terrible for me!
So yeah. Next morning I took a personal day and went to my parents. Lots of crying, walks, talks with my parents. And day by day I'm getting through this.
I do feel really lucky to have such wonderful family and friends that are so supportive. That has been so helpful.
And of course the real reason I'm not drowned in my bathtub, my true sustainer, a God who loves me more than any husband ever could and who I know will bring me through.
"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. ... Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
When I was home my mom talked to me about the story of Job. For those not familiar, God and Satan had a bet going that Job would not disown God. So Satan was allowed to do horrible things to Job. He lost everything he had, including all his livestock, his home, all his children died, he lost his health. Moral of the story: Job never blamed God. And in the end, God restored everything to him, made him far richer than before and blessed him with new children and more than he had. And my mom told me something I'd never noticed- that Job never found out why God had allowed that to happen. He never found out it had been a bet between God and Satan. Job just chose to trust God. And I thought that was really relevant to my situation. I might never get any more of a concrete reason from Andrew. I might never know why God allowed this to happen to me. My job is to just trust God.
So I'm trying.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Last weekend went really well. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers! I felt some peace and it was a really good time with my family. It was good to see too that most of the 'judgment' I feel is just in me. I judge me for being divorced. And God is still working on me. To be more gracious to others with stuff that is going on in their lives, and still working on me to not be so hard on myself. That's one thing too my counselor has been working on me with. He tells me that just because there is 'no reason', I can't just make that reason be 'me'.
Friday night we stayed with an aunt and uncle that I really love. I love their walk with God, I love their family, I love their hearts. They were sharing how they recently became involved with marriage reconciliation, hosting couples and counselors as the troubled couples do a week long intensive counseling session. These are couples in ministry and we know the devil attacks them extra hard. When they told me about that I cried because my heart too is for reconciliation, and I so want that for Andrew and I. But as I've learned- it takes two to be married, but only one to get divorced.
On Saturday my cousin Peter became ordained as a priest.
His oldest brother is also a priest and it was beautiful to see them together. Two brothers dedicating their lives to God's work.
The laying on of hands
Father Matthew kissing Father Peter's hand, such a humble image
All the priests lined up to hug Peter and welcome him into their brotherhood
I remember Peter once telling me his ministry was to reach people who have been raised in the Catholic faith but have left for some reason or other. It seems I have met so many people in that category, and I love his heart to reach people and bring them back to a God who loves them.
A blessing for a priest: "Loving God be close to your servant Father Peter, as he follows your Son. Guide him in paths that are level and smooth. May your powerful grace make him strong in faith, joyful in hope, and fervent in love, this day and every day to come. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord."

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Month Left

One month from today I will be divorced.
One month left of praying for God to intervene and heal this brokenness.
One month left of wearing my wedding rings.
One month left of saying "I'm married."
One month left of being Mrs. Anne Fowler.
One month left of being Andrew's wife.
One month left of checking the 'married' box.
One month left of praying for Andrew as his wife.
The future still seems kinda scary.
Time seems to fly by when you're praying for reconciliation, and for time for your husband to pause and reconsider. Some days I can't believe God brought me this far already. There were so many days I never thought I'd make it. It is good to see that He is faithful.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you will be rebuilt." Jeremiah 31:3-4
I love this verse and I am clinging to God's promise to rebuild me!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Family Weekend

This weekend I'm going up North for my cousin's ordination. There will be a lot of my family there that probably haven't heard about me and Andrew yet.
I'm nervous.
I know my family loves me, and most people have been super supportive. But part of me feels 'ashamed'. And maybe that's the wrong word- I know that I probably failed Andrew in certain ways to be the wife he needed, but I have to remember he was the one who chose to quit.
I don't know.
I can't help but feel I'm tarnishing our family reputation. Out of 8 of the aunt/uncle marriages there was only 1 divorce, and out of 11 of the cousin's marriages so far, I will be the only one. Not that I want anyone else to be divorced! I just can't help feeling like the black sheep.
Andrew's family was different. In their family divorce was a dime a dozen. I don't think that was better though, that kind of environment seems to only foster an idea that marriage is something 'just to try out'. And I don't think he received any real encouragement to work it out. I don't know. I remember Andrew telling me he thought marriage could and should last a lifetime. Guess not.
I'll be praying this verse for strength this weekend: "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand." Psalm 73:23.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Anne Day

After a very pathetic (but delicious) dinner on Tuesday night:
Avocado on buttery english muffin. With a side of chips I had at small group.
Last night was the only day probably in the past 2 weeks where I didn't have anything I needed to do. And even then, a friend had invited people over for a scrapbooking thing. I wanted to go, but I had just been feeling stressed and worn down lately. So stressed that at work I kind of snipped at my boss about being overworked and the next thing I know he plops this on my desk:
He told me to relax and if he wasn't stressed about stuff, I shouldn't be either. Um, yeah, you aren't stressed because you keep giving ME everything to do!
So last night I decided I needed an "Anne day". I came home. I went for a run. (second run of 2012 and it was hard!) I tidied my messy apartment. I read some of The Lucky One (good! now I want to see the movie!) and I made dinner.
I attempted to make my friend Liz's spicy thing from Monday. Mine was pretty good too. But not quite as spicy. I don't know how she does it, but everything Liz makes is just wonderful.
I stirfried red peppers (fun fact: has the most vitamin C of any fruit or veggie!), broccoli, onion and garlic. And put it over brown rice and browned ground chicken. And of course topped with this delicious sauce.
And then I decided to make dessert. I had a quart of strawberries that needed to be eaten and some dark belgian chocolates in the freezer since Christmas and so I made:
I ate every one. And no, I didn't feel bad. Strawberries = healthy, dark chocolate = sort of healthy. Plus this does not happen every day, and hey I ran 3 miles :)
More important, I also finally had time to sit down and work on a letter to Andrew that I've been wanting to write pretty much ever since he moved out. I know it won't change things, but God has been moving in my heart and changing me. I remember someone once told me if you feel the spirit prompting you do to something - you should do it. Because if you fail to, you could miss out on blessings, but even more so, your heart could grow hard towards God and his movings. And I don't want that to be me!
And a verse for today:
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Forgot

Yesterday Venus crossed the sun. And I forgot to watch it.
Way back in 2010 I first heard about this celestial appointment and I wrote it in my planner. (yes, I use a paper planner, I'm old school). Then I transferred it into the 2011/2012 planner, still not really knowing what it was. Earlier this year I found out it would be in June and so I wrote it into June's month. I even read about it yesterday online. But come 6pm, I completely forgot.
I had to stay late at work unexpectedly, and I had to then race to my counseling appointment. So at 6 pm I was probably running into his office, and I guess I didn't even notice when I came out of there and drove to small group.
It wasn't till about 9:30pm when I was driving home that I realized. And my jaw literally dropped as I realized.
It wasn't the hugest deal. I'm not some budding astronomer or anything, but it was just funny that I'd waited 3 years to see it and then completely forgot.
Oh well, here's a google picture of what I missed
And here's a link to an article with really neat pictures and a video.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dinner for One

I have not been very inspired to cook lately. With Andrew gone I'm really realizing how much I liked cooking for him. I liked making sure he had plenty of healthy food, and lunch packed, and fancy food sometimes, and I liked making his favorites for him. I just liked serving him.
With him gone it's been a lot of scrambled eggs.
I've actually had a few days recently where I've felt more like myself again. It took about 5 months, and of course I'm not even out of the woods yet, but my counselor said I should be encouraged that if I had 1 day where I felt like 'me' again - then I should be reassured that there will be more in the future. That was good to hear. But yeah, one day at a time.
Part of feeling like 'me' again does include eating healthy and exercising. And even without Andrew here to cook for, I still need to cook for me. Some eats lately:
Refried bean tostadas with roasted veggies. Super good.
Taco salad with sour cream/salsa dressing. Yum.
7 layer bean dip I made for a party (seeing a pattern of how much I love Mexican food??)
And a mini meatloaf with roasted veggies on the side.
Last night I went to a friend's to watch the Bachelorette. She is such an amazing cook. Barely follows a recipe, just everything is wonderful. Last night she made rice cooked with butternut squash, stirred in ground turkey, topped with stirfried onions, red pepper and garlic and topped with this sauce. We were practically breathing fire as we ate it, but it was so good! And who would have thought of that combo. Tasty.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Divorce Class

Last night I went to my divorce class. I've been going about a month and a half now. It's kind of hard to be there sometimes. Some of the women are really excited about their divorces, and it's hard to relate to. But learning more, many of these women have been cheated on, or even beat up - it makes a little more sense. I'm relieved I don't have either of those 'reasons', but I can't help wishing there was some reason other than "he just doesn't love me anymore."
My counselor keeps telling me, "the reason is Andrew." Sadly, that might be the only explanation I'll ever get.
Anyway last night's class was good. A few things that stuck out to me were one of the speaker guys saying, "your purpose in life is not to be someone's wife- that was just something that happened to you along the road. Your purpose is to find intimacy with God." It's hard when I feel like I have been created to be a wife, to be a mother, but to see that that's not really what I was created for. I still hope those things will be on my road further down the path, but God has purposed me for more. The speaker also reminded us, "don't let your husband take your purpose out the door with him." That really hit home. Yes Andrew left me, yes I wish it wasn't true, but God still has plans and dreams for my life. Those dreams of Andrew and I are dying, but my purpose isn't dead.
I also really liked it when one of the speakers said, "you aren't valuable because someone married you - you are valuable because Jesus values you and died so you could live." I think this whole thing has been really hard on me as a woman. I really did love being Andrew's wife. I was so quick to embrace and take pride in that role, and then to have it ripped away. Words aren't enough. I need to remember that, married or not married, my role is God's precious child, and that He loves me and will never abandon me.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Joshua 1:3-5 "I promise you what I promised Moses: "Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you ... No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you."
My favorite beautiful flowers dropped off to my office by my favorite beautiful mom :)