To Live and to Love

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

A New Year January 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsschrage @ 11:24 pm
I’m with Megan, these “year in review” blog posts seem obligatory, and perhaps cliche, but I’m in the mood for a little review. It’s been a challenging year with a lot of changes, and somehow I feel 2009 won’t be much different.


  • Travelled to Denver with my new fiance to meet his family
  • Attended my cousin’s wedding in Greeley
  • Got Mono, left my teaching position at Taylor University, spent three weeks in bed


  • Gained quick recovery from Mono 
  • Visited Jeff in Charlotte to help him move to Lancaster, SC.
  • Attended Alicia Hemphill’s wedding in Pittsburgh, PA.
Michelle and I with the new Hemphills
Michelle and I with the new Hemphills


  • Busy month of wedding planning, thesis cramming
  • Jeff spent spring break and Easter in Indy
  • Went with the family on a weekend getaway to Madison, IN
The Family at Easter
The Family at Easter


  • More wedding planning and thesis cramming
  • Three wedding showers
  • Quit working at Williams-Sonoma (after 6 1/2 years)
  • Ended my teaching career at Butler Community Arts School (after 4 years)
Megan, Grandma, and I at the Spiehler Bridal Shower
Megan, Grandma, and I at the Spiehler Bridal Shower


  • Got married on May 3, 2008
  • Spent the honeymoon in Savannah, GA
  • Arrived in Lancaster, SC to apartment #1
  • Discovered unhealthy amounts of mold in apartment #1
  • Spent a week homeless
  • Moved to apartment #2
  • Travelled to Indianapolis to open wedding gifts and my parents helped move my personal belongings to SC
  • Jeff went to Banner of Truth Conference in Pennsylvania
  • Experienced true Unemployment for the first time in my life
Married Feet
Married Feet


  • Got a job working at a bread bakery
  • Drove 80 minutes every day to come home coated in flour
  • Jeff continued to search for a job
  • Spent a lot of evenings watching movies and playing Scrabble
Our First Apartment - Adjusting and Settling
Our First Apartment – Adjusting and Settling


  • Jeff started working at a golf course
  • Celebrated my first Southern Fourth of July
  • Toured Historic Brattonsville in SC with Jeff
  • Took advantage of the free concerts in the park series in Charlotte
free golf!
Jeff enjoying the benefits of working at a golf course: free golf!


  • Went on an overnight camping trip with Jeff to Anderson, SC and toured some of Jeff’s old haunts
  • Helped Jeff host two church outdoor movie events
  • Discovered that fire ants are indeed, a pain
At Skins, the famous hot dog joint in Anderson, SC.
At Skins, the famous hot dog joint in Anderson, SC.


  • Jeff turned 30
  • Hosted a dinner party and overnight guests for Jeff’s birthday
  • Met up with Kevin and Amy in Burlington, NC.
  • Quit working at Breadsmith Bakery
  • Started teaching piano two days a week in Charlotte, NC.
  • Started working at Caribou Coffee in Charlotte, NC.
  • Jeff returned to Reformed Theological Seminary for fall classes
  • Football Season became a permanent feature in my formerly Princess life
You know you're in South Carolina when you see Clemson and USC signs
You know you’re in South Carolina when you see Clemson and USC signs


  • I turned 26
  • Visited Hendersonville, NC with the First ARP Church on a weekend retreat
  • Took Julie Dix (from youth group) on a college visit to Western Carolina
  • Nearly ran out of gas on the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Jeff accepted a part-time youth ministry position in Asheville, NC.
On the Blue Ridge Parkway
On the Blue Ridge Parkway


  • Celebrated our six month anniversary at McDonald’s on our drive to Asheville
  • Moved into apartment #3 located in the mountains on a sheep farm
  • Quickly remembered forgotten allergies and moved to apartment #4 in the city
  • Mom and Dad visited Asheville to help us move
  • Witnessed my mother in a football jersey
  • Started working at Williams-Sonoma in Asheville’s Biltmore Village
  • Went on a last minute trip to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving
  • Sold my birthday present from Jeff to two teens who desperately wanted to see Iron and Wine more than we did
  • Took the money and went to dinner and saw James Bond
The colors of Fall from our Asheville apartment
The colors of Fall from our Asheville apartment


  • Went to the Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread house competition
  • Settled into a routine of hosting the youth group
  • Spent Christmas in Indianapolis with family
  • Rang in the new year with my man, this time as my hubby

I’m not going to lie… it has been a tough year. Adjusting to marriage in difficult financial situations has not been easy. But I have seen God be faithful and that is encouraging. I have learned a lot about myself, my selfishness, and my dependency on a church rather on Christ. I’m looking forward to 2009 – I hope it has just as many challenges, but I hope I can learn from the hardships of the past year and that I can accept whatever we face with more confidence. 



4 Responses to “A New Year”

  1. Jen Mayes Says:

    So exciting to see how God has grown you over the past year and the exciting things that have happened.

    Two things:

    -I HATE fire ants. I cannot begin to fill pages of how much I hate them 🙂

    – YOU GAVE UP IRON & WINE TICKETS?!?!? Have you seen them in concert?? They are amazing! But a very, very selfless act. 🙂 I am not sure I could have done that.

  2. Megan Says:

    Love you. You seriously are the best.

  3. Heather L. Says:

    What a great review! Loved all the pictures.

    Am praying for God’s continued blessing on you both in the year(s too) ahead!

  4. Patty Spiehler Says:

    What a full and wonderful year for you and Jeff. Can 2009 top 2008? Love you…………

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