Liz Turner… hmm, I like it!

What a summer it’s been! This poor blog hasn’t seen any attention in a year, besides 3 drafts that probably aren’t ever going to be published. Oh well.

As many of you may know already, I got engaged to a funny, sweet, red-bearded man almost 3 weeks ago! Clif and I are ecstatic to be getting married in 10 months. We’ve set a date, 5/30/15, in my hometown back in good ol’ West Texas.

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Our good friend Lisa took this picture for us at the engagement party Clif surprised me with 🙂

Being engaged is fun, crazy, and weird. It hasn’t been what pop culture predicted: glamorous, fancy, or like I’m suddenly a wedding-planning machine. Instead, it’s been a settled feeling. Settled into our destination and content to be aboard this engagement train until we arrive. It’s also been hectic and tiring, as an introverted people-pleaser (how does that even work?!)… no doubt my biggest challenge in putting a wedding together will be my tendency to want everyone to feel loved and entertained at all times!

So: the proposal story.

Clif and I have been dating for a long time. It’ll be 3 years in September. We’ve been talking about getting married for half of that, postulating at first, and more seriously after those conversations began. I knew the general time frame that Clif would be asking from a long way off; we thought for several months that we would get hitched in December 2014, when I was going to graduate. But, because of a really stressful spring 2014 semester for me and some financial aid hiccups, I dropped my summer classes before they began. That pushed me to graduating Texas State in May 2015, and we were looking at each other like: “So I’ll have one more semester of college… and Aaron and Kara might get married the same time as us… and Rebekah is graduating from Baylor on the only Saturday that works in December… May it is, then!” The venue we really wanted was unavailable in December, but open 2 weekends after my graduation in May. Perfect!

I told Clif, as a way of shutting down my over-worked imagination, that I would expect a proposal anytime from my birthday until sometime in June. He said, “Fair enough.” April passed, May passed, June passed… I felt unsure and confused of the timing of everything. I knew he was working on how to ask and when, but I didn’t realize that my customized ring was taking longer to make than the jewelry store had quoted… he was anxious to ask, but had no ring to present!

My ring was finally done being forged (as I like to think, in the fires of Mordor… my preciouussss) while we were out of state for a week with my brother at Vidcon 2014 in California-which deserves its own blog post that I’ll never get to- but we wouldn’t be back home until after Greg and Lindsay got married in Arlington, which was another week. So we got back to San Marcos on Sunday, July 6th. He had mentioned something about the ring being done while we were gone (we’re bad at keeping secrets. That’s a good thing, right?) so I honestly expected him to drop on his knee within 24 hours of crossing into Hays county. Each weekday I made sure I was picture-perfect every time I left the house, but I got tired of that and realized he was waiting for a specific day. It didn’t happen Friday, so going into Saturday I was 97.3% sure it was the day. Between my mom calling and mentioning I deserved a manicure, and my confused friend Kara texting me about something going on that night that her fiance Aaron wasn’t telling her about (major lulz), I was even more sure.

On Saturday night, July 12th, Clif picked me up for dinner at Chili’s. He would grin or giggle every 5 minutes (no joke). At some point on the drive over I asked, “What’s so funny??” And he would just smile to himself. You can hear it straight from Clif, he has the worst poker face.

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Mom wanted a picture of my very first french manicure. I had a shiny gold ring on one of those fingers an hour later!

Because I had squeezed a manicure in before our date, we postponed going out until 6 pm instead of 3 pm. What I didn’t know is that Clif’s reason for the delay was totally bogus, and gave him more time to plan out the night’s events, plus an excuse to cut out occasionally to the restroom while were at Chili’s. Not to actually use the facilities, but to text everyone arranging a surprise engagement party at his house after the proposal! Well played, Turner… well played.

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I totally fell for it. In my defense, it helped his case that he’d consumed Taco Bueno topped off with a bit of Fireball whiskey the night before.

After we finished up at Chili’s, we walked to the car. Clif did a weird turn in the back lot and parked. I looked at him, genuinely confused, and asked “Are you proposing to me in a parking lot?” He wasn’t, thankfully 😉 Instead, we dropped by my house so I could put my leftovers in the fridge and then we rode over to Rio Vista. For those of you who are not familiar with San Marcos, Rio Vista is a popular park downriver from Sewell Park which belongs to the Texas State main campus. We got out and walked hand-in-hand toward Sewell, not saying much along the way. When we got to the crowded main park, we split off to the right.

As we got closer, I realized he was taking me towards some benches that I recognized. I asked him to remind me what happened there- and remembered as he told me that we had sat there the end of our first date, when he asked for a second (I didn’t realize until later that we’d eaten at Chili’s that night too!). We sat down, and I could see sweat pouring down his face. He had his arm around me really tight and kept pausing to glare at these little kids who kept running too close to us. I was laughing at him and said “Clif, it doesn’t matter.” (Get on with it!) He starting reminiscing about our progression as a couple, and how he feels about me, and I actually didn’t hear him say ‘Will you marry me?’ because as soon as he moved down off the park bench, tears just burst out of me (ugh) and I choked out a yes. I just saw a sparkly thing appear out of his wallet and we hugged/cried it out (okay, maybe I was the only one crying) 🙂

We called our families on the way back to Clif’s car, feeling elated and relieved that it was finally official! We headed over to his house, I assumed to tell his roommates Andrew and Will, but as we pulled up I saw what I thought was Kara standing in the driveway, and Aaron diving behind a trailer. I tried to pretend like I didn’t see anything and assumed that Clif had texted them to secretly come over and welcome us, but really it was our friends Marshall and Christina arriving late, haha! We got out, walked through the front door (I totally didn’t notice the pile of shoes), and saw Andrew and Will sitting nonchalantly on the couch. At that point I had totally written off any more surprises, so when Clif asked “Hey, can you get me a cup of water..?” I was just like “Okay…?” I walked toward the kitchen, and 20 of our lovely friends burst out behind the counter, the couch, and the curtains at the same time!! It was the best kind of jump-scare, and it made my night. So our first few hours as fiance and fiancee were spent surrounded by love, laughter, and Mario Kart. Clif spent many hours picking a ring he knew I would love, and crafting an amazing evening all around! If you don’t know him, let it suffice to say that he’s a stellar guy.

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Nicole snapped this right after everyone jumped out! Can you see all the shoes in the background?

Whew! That was a lot to tell. In summation, would you be praying for us and/or thinking of us? Much needs to get done over the next 2 short semesters. Please pray that we will rely on God’s love more fully and that we will be wise in our planning. I know I am weak in the areas of organization and finances, so please also pray that I will have courage instead of anxiety as I finish my challenging Nutrition courses and gather resources to create a beautiful, but simple, celebration in May!

Love,

Elizabeth (soon-to-be-Turner) Dycus

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P.S. Isn’t it gorgeous?

 

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A Third Set of Seven

My thoughts are a whirlwind as I write this post– as they always are. It’s hard to focus on just one blog-sized topic when my ambitious brain desires to condense all my visions, passions, musings, etc. into an eloquent chunk of inspiration. At the moment, I happen to be sitting in my new favorite coffee shop (since I, and quite literally hundreds of others, were forced to find a new study spot after the Coffee Pot closed) after a long day of work at Textbook Solutions and doing some car maintenance in day that was way too hot for human life… thanks, Texas. I retreated to Wake the Dead for AC, iced Jasmine tea, and some much-needed time to think and relax.

Looking back on this summer as it nears closing, I am amazed at the things God is teaching me and doing in me.

Psalm 51 has been on my mind for a several months now. At first God impressed it to me as a way to comfort me deeply in a tough time. He wrapped me up in the truth of what David was feeling in this Psalm; that recognizing the complete depth and severity of his sins was the only way to fully feel the love and rescuing power of God. A couple months ago, I felt commanded to do a few different things from verses that seemed highlighted to me as I was reading:

1) v. 3 “For I recognize my shameful deeds– they haunt me day and night.” I feel commanded to cultivate a habit of confessing my sin both to Him and to others. I have struggled with shame for most of my life. I feel that in my my mind I can alternate between prideful arrogance when I am being self-sufficient and can pretend my sorrows and flaws don’t exist (or at least aren’t that bad), and when I am faced with pain from unresolved sin I often listen to the enemy’s lies, feel sorry for myself, and hold resentment and bitterness towards others.

2) v. 6 “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.” I feel commanded to desire inner goodness, not outer perfection. I have always cared more about what people think of me than I should and usually end up hyper-focusing on how I present myself to the world. I am so much like the Pharisees, and I deeply desire to break away from that dead way of living and cleave back to thirsting after Jesus’ heavenly wisdom, never being satisfied with my measly earthly wisdom.

3) v 10, 12-15 “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me… Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you.”

I feel commanded to treat my brokenness not as something to get rid of, but as means for a stronger relationship with Christ and to begin evangelizing as a part of my daily life. I’m learning that God can use a broken, messy person for his purposes more readily than someone who thinks they have it all together. I heard the Lord telling me that it’s time to start loving the Texas State campus on purpose and without holding back. That idea is scary for me… but God is serious about me getting myself out there into the world and focusing on other people’s lives. I desire my spirit to be righted by daily pursuing my connection to Jesus. I desire for my joy to be restored from within, and I desire to be unfrozen from fear, carelessness, and inaction toward God’s ordinances and enabled to serve His purposes for my life!

I am so happy to say that I’ve made progress in these areas since first setting these goals for myself in May. Just in being obedient in these first few steps, I have felt peace and security more deeply than I’ve experienced before. I’m excited to finally be in a healthy place to pour love out to strangers and friends alike as I act as president for 2.42 again this next year and as I continue to grow in all of these areas.

My prayer is that I would get to know (and subsequently love) Jesus better and better every day. Fun fact- 14 years ago this month, when I was 7 years old, I was baptized by my uncle in a community pool. When I was 14, I was baptized more formally as a young adult in front of my friends and family, also in July. This July, as a 21-year-old woman, I may not be getting baptized a third time (that would be plain heretical) but I do feel a sweetness with Jesus at my side! I’m so grateful that a third set of 7 years has passed, this time ending in a victorious place as a more whole and flourishing person than I could have ever hoped. The best part? This is only the beginning!

Here’s to 7 more years. Who knows what they hold?