Friday, November 21, 2014

Just Thankful...

  Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Erin and I both love this time of year! The leaf change, the heavy frosts, the warmth of the home, reminiscing of past Thanksgivings with family, hot tea and rich coffee (I just had to throw the coffee in there..=), and so many more blessings, make this season so special.
As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking about the different things that I was grateful for. It's easy and natural for most to remember the difficult or painful experiences of life, but it takes a willful effort to remember all that God has done and blessed us with. My mind drifted back to different events that have taken place this past year. As I remembered and thought
upon God's goodness to Erin and I, I realize how blessed I am. Just in the small things, like the clothes I wear, the warmth and shelter of our home, the car I drive, the job I have, the cup of coffee that I hold in my hand...(sorry...I really like coffee =)...these things I take for granted so often, when so many people are in need! All to often I get weighed down thinking about how I wished I had more time, more money, more this or that, and I miss the joy that comes from simply being content with what I have. So today, I am counting my blessings and sharing them with you.
  One of the biggest blessings of my life is my dear and precious wife, Erin Elise. I don't know what I would do without her. She is my encouragement when I get discouraged, she points me in the right direction when I am headed the wrong way, she shares wonderful insights of wisdom for decision-making when I am uncertain what I should decide, she helps me count my blessings when I focus on the things going wrong...she is truly my helpmeet, the sweetest and closest friend I have. I love her so much. We recently celebrated our first anniversary, and we were able to slip away to a little, mountain cabin down in Gatlinburg and spend some wonderful time together. It was very special! We got to see some of the Christmas lights there as well as visit several small shops in Pigeon Forge. I am grateful to the Lord for bringing us together! Erin has truly been the most wonderful person in the whole wide world to me. God is truly good.







  Another thing that I am so grateful for is a wonderful family! Erin and I are both so grateful for our families. It is really exciting to see how God is using them in so many different ways. We are especially excited for my brother Thomas and his new bride, Dakota. They were married September 20th of this year. We were so happy to be there and witness this special day! I know God will use them in a mighty way!
  I am thankful for my brother Nate. This past week he graduated from Seminary School in Texas. He will soon be moving to Florida where he will begin serving in a chaplaincy in a prison. This has been his heart for a long time and it's so awesome to see how God has directed his steps! I am thankful for him as a brother and as a friend. He has been a great encouragement to Erin and I!
I could go on and on about each family member and how they have blessed my life, but I want to say how grateful I am for my in-laws. Gil and Kelly have been such a blessing to us. They have given such wise counsel, lots of encouragement, and so much support. I am so grateful for the whole Bates family and for the testimony that they have! I am excited for their opportunity to be an encouragement and testimony through UPtv. Episodes will begin January 1st!
The list of things that I am thankful for would be endless. Just in writing this small post has helped put my focus and attention on all that there is to be thankful for! I know that I have said this many times, but God is truly good. Regardless of the trials or hardships we face and regardless of the blessings that He pours out upon our lives, God is so good and He is worthy of our praise.
May Thanksgiving season be full of thankfulness to Him for His goodness to us! 

Psalm 136:1 ~ "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."

...just thankful...

Chad & Erin...Psalm 121:1-2 
 PS...If you want to keep up with some more of our pictures, You can follow our Instagram @chad_erinpaine 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Anniversary to the Love of my Life...

   
  I think every girl dreams and imagines what her future husband will be like, and I was definitely no exception. I vividly remember daydreaming, wondering what my special man would look like, would act like, and would treat me like…and as I grew older, I realized I had this “perfect” image in my mind of what my marriage would be, and how my future husband would be. The more marriages and relationships I saw, I realized a godly, faithful, kind, gentle, and selfless husband is a rarity in this day and age. I prayed often that God would protect and direct my future spouse. And little did I know that at 19 years old, God would bring that “special someone” into my life, who would forever change my future, and who would help me realize what a big God I serve: a God that answers prayer, cares about me, and loves to bring joy into my life…far beyond my wildest hopes.

     For me, it was most certainly “love at first sight”! I was literally blown away by his character, his love and care for his little siblings, and yes… (Grin)…His amazing good looks! I know looks aren’t everything, as everyone says, but you do need a lot of chemistry to fall in love! After becoming friends and learning more about each other, our love began to blossom, and I realized what a true gem I had in my fella’! He wasn’t just an ordinary guy, but he was the kind of guy every girl dreams of calling her own. The more time we spent together, even in texts, letters, emails, and phone calls, I quickly realized he was my best friend…he knew me for who I was; I could relax and be myself around him, and he loved me just the same. I knew I could not live one day without him. We laughed the hardest when we were together. We had the most fun. We made the best memories; we were completely captivated with each other. Life had a total new meaning when Chad came into it. He became my hero, the person I could trust with all my heart, the one I could confide in, the one I could share my life goals with, the one I knew loved Jesus with all his heart and loved me. Our fairy tale love story did not take long to start unfolding.

      There are some really tender and special things my mind always goes back to when I think of our courtship and engagement. Even as a girl, I wondered if my boyfriend would write me love letters- the kind you read about in princess stories…and little did I know, I would soon have boxes of well thought out letters that had Chad spent hours writing and putting all his heart into…tied with ribbons and sealed with love. As you can imagine, getting the mail became the new highlight and thrill of my day. Another thing that made me feel so loved and important is Chad’s selflessness. He would find out what I enjoyed doing most, what made me smile- whether it was an activity, a gift, or a special act of kindness- and he would always put me first and himself last. After being married to him for a year, I realize that is who he is. He constantly strives to please me and make me happy, never giving a thought to himself or his desires. He continues to amaze me. He never gets frustrated or annoyed with me, although I know he has plenty of reason to many times. He is always patient with me, and talks through our problems or differences of opinions. I am learning from his example that true love is selfless! It is not about how I can make myself happier or more successful, but rather it is about putting someone before myself and loving them unconditionally.

 
     Our wedding and honeymoon could not have been more enjoyable or beautiful. It was the most wonderful week of my life, with the most precious person on this earth to me. Our love for each other has only grown over the past year… we have experienced hard times, and many happy times, but what matters is, we are going through life together… hand in hand. We are still learning so much about love, marriage, and each other, and although it’s been a year since we pledged our lives together, it almost seems like we are still on our honeymoon. I know I am the most blessed girl in the whole world, because I am married to the most wonderful man, and I can’t thank the Lord enough for bringing such a priceless treasure into my life. I pray God will continue to draw us closer to Himself and closer to each other. I can hardly wait to begin another year with the man of my dreams … the man who has my heart forever!

~Erin

“…I found him whom my soul loveth…”  ­-Song of Solomon 3:4

 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cade's Cove

About a week ago, Erin and I took a small drive on the Cade's Cove loop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The unparalleled beauty of the Smokies in the fall is just breathtaking! The leaves were just beginning to turn color and are now really beginning to change.
I have always LOVED fall. Since I got married in November, I love it even more! =) Last fall, Erin and I enjoyed driving this loop at Cade's Cove, and it was special revisiting this place of the past and adding new memories to old ones. It's hard to believe that we will have been married a year next week! God is so good; I am so blessed! Can't wait to share more!









Friday, October 3, 2014

11 Months

Photo by Carlin
To My Dearest Friend, and Love of my Life...


The past 11 months that we have shared together have been the best moments of my life. I find that the more I get to know you, the more I love you! Even though it's been only 11 months, I feel like you have always been there and I can't imagine life without you! You are definitely the BETTER part of me. Erin, you are my biggest encouragement! You make me smile and laugh so hard! Even through the hard times of tears or times of disappointment, you always know how to point me in the direction of the Lord. I just wanted to tell you how much you mean to me and yet words really do fail me. I love you so very dearly! Thank you for making this journey in life the best that it has ever been. I love you!

~ yf...for always...for forever...for only you!
           ....Psalm 121:1-2....

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Time Alone

    Time is the most valuable asset that we have, and it always seems to be so scarce. We realize that we have to "make" time for the things that are of greatest priority, and let the things that are of less importance fade away. Erin and I have been waiting for a time where we could get away and be free from the busyness of everyday life. The Lord worked it out that we could spend some time in the sunny state of Florida. Erin knew of a place in the panhandle that was private, little known, and absolutely gorgeous...and she was right! We have been enjoying our time to the fullest by just being together.
Talking is one of our highlight's. Though it may sound super simple, we have found that communication is a key in staying close in our relationship. It's amazes me how the little things in life can distract us from having meaningful communication with each other.
   This place is truly beautiful. One of our favorite things has been to sit along the beach and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico...to smell the fragrant salty air, and watch as the last traces of sunlight reflect off of the surf, slipping into twilight. The sounds of the waves rolling onto the white, sandy beaches and the cries of the seagulls, create a very peaceful atmosphere. We could't be happier sitting there together.
This time alone has given us a renewed love for each other, taught us more about each other, given us a vision for the months to come.
Psalm 105:4 "Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face evermore."