Guest Post From Mrs. Cally Everett! (Part 1)

Long To Love readers, we are in for a treat!  Today, we get to hear from the little newlywed herself, my sweet sister Cally!

So, here I am, sitting in an apartment in New York that I now share with my husband.  Life has a way of changing, that is for sure!  The Lord has really been teaching me throughout this crazy time of preparing for marriage, moving, looking for a new job, planning a wedding, and just growing up, but I haven’t yet had the courage to blog about it.  Not everyone is as eloquent and timely about life’s current changes and struggles as Elizabeth.

But there are two specific words that I have been learning throughout this process, both of which Elizabeth has blogged about this week here and here.  And since she is preparing for move #4, I am going to turn this into 2 posts for her!

1.  Staying connected to the Lord.  (Post coming on Monday–stay tuned!!)   
2.  Having a thankful heart.

Monday, I’ll share about staying connected to the Lord, but today, I want to talk about having a thankful heart.

At the beginning of each new year, my family sits down and my parents give each of us verses for the new year.  For 2011, my dad encouraged each one of us to pray for God’s favor.  I always joke that I am my dad’s favorite, but to receive favor from the Lord is even better!

So, I began praying that the Lord would show me favor, especially through the wedding.  Marshall and I really wanted the ceremony to be a worship service that reflected the Lord’s love, so that when everyone was partying and dancing the night away at the reception, they would know that ultimately, our joy comes from the Lord.  We also prayed that the Lord would give us perfect weather (Always specific, my mom prayed for and received a mild 84 degrees as we were driving to the church), that He would be present in the details, and mostly that He would touch every single person in the church.  In short, we prayed for FAVOR.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
   and make his face shine on us—
so that your ways may be known on earth,
   your salvation among all nations. 

Psalm 67:1-2
Now, I must say that on our wedding day, Marshall and I received a great deal of favor from the Lord.  Throughout the weekend I was overwhelmed by His outpouring of love through Marshall, my family, and our friends.  Now, each time I reflect on our wedding, I realize how important it is to thank God for the many ways He blessed our wedding.  He is SO worthy, for countless reasons that stem far beyond His ability to throw a great wedding.

Yes, it’s easy for me to thank the Lord during “the happiest time” in a girl’s life,  when I have much to be thankful for and when I saw Him so perfectly and directly answer my prayers.  Much more challenging, though just as important,  is learning to thank the Lord in more difficult times.  Our God is good all of the time.  He is worthy of our thanks and praise every day–in the highs and lows, the smooth roads and the bumpier ones. 
I have a long way to go, but 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 encourages us to:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In ALL circumstances, God’s will is for us to give thanks.

In our wedding program, we included Psalm 126:2-3, a verse I just love.  It’s my heart’s desire, in ALL circumstances to to thankfully declare:

  “Our mouths were filled with laughter,
   our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
   “The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
   and we are filled with jo