Friday, February 29, 2008


I was tagged by Rebekah to complete one of these little survey deals. Now that I am getting married maybe I can go back and complete that one that was going around for a few months about husbands. Who takes the trash out, which side of the bed we sleep on, how he proposed, etc. Isn't it funny how we are fascinated by other people's lives. I think like anything there can be a healthy interest and then it can bleed over to's a fine line!! I think that is why we are consumed with celebrity gossip...the television shows, the magazines, the websites...we are fascinated. I wonder if we actually ever stop to pray for those people...yikes, I know I forget a lot. Today I had lunch with one of my best friends from college. We lived together our senior year at Tech and one of our favorite things to do was to go get coffee at Barnes and Noble and read People and Us. We figured out today that it has been 5 years since we were in college. Now almost everyone is married (me in July and her in November) and some even expecting babies now (congrats to Summer and Kelly!!). I was supposed to be filling out a survey and suddenly it turned into my rambling. Anyway...

10 years ago:

-I was a junior in high school
-I was driving a 1988 Grand-Am
-I was recovering from my second knee surgery
-I was dating a guy named Chris Dupree (I thought I would marry him because he was a pastor, I really thought I wanted to be a pastor's I only dated guys that had that intention. ha, ha)

Things on my to-do list today:
-complete paperwork for kids in LISD and for my private clients
-go see Adam (my 26 year old down's client...we're working on increasing his length of utterence so that he can be more functional at his job at Tinsel Town)
-Decide which wedding invitations I like
-Mail my dad a card just because
-Go eat with Kent, Geoff, and Heather before Film and Theology (Luther!!)

What I would do if I suddenly became a billionaire
-Pay all of my debt and Kent's debt
-Pay my parents back for college & my wedding
-Take my mom and sister to a week long spa
-Give to someone who really needs it but wasn't expecting it
-Buy a house
-Adopt a child from Africa
-Give to someone who doesn't deserve it

Three of my bad habits:
-Picking at my nails
-Overplanning and overscheduling
-Coffee (specifically a venti 2 pump toffee nut americano from Starbucks)

Five jobs I have had:
-Waitress at Outback
-Book filer at Texas Tech Health Science Center library (yes, it was as boring as it sounds)
-Jason Clarke's assistant (ha, ha!)
-TA for my graduate advisor at UTD
-Speech Pathologist

Five things people don't know about me:
-I wake up at 4:45
-I like to read Time magazine when I have a chance
-That I smashed the screen on my brand new Apple MacBook 2 weeks after getting it (then sweet Kent helped me fix it and then we fell in love :)
-That I will spend my wedding night at The Mansion on Turtle Creek as Mrs. Rabalais
-That I would love to go skiing in Switzerland

Oh, I tag Kelly Tarro, Czarina (sorry girls, now that you're bloggers you have to play the game) and Kent

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Way out of order, and way overdue...

I know it is almost March, but I never posted any Christmas pictures...and when you have a niece as cute as mine, you have to post Christmas pictures. So, this will be short and sweet (those that know me well are laughing, because my blogs are never short). Christmas 2007/New Year's Celebration 2008. Enjoy!

Picture this. 3 adults, 1 baby, 1 dog, luggage for everyone, Christmas presents for both our family and Wes' family all in 1 car on the 7 hour drive from Dallas to Corpus. How do you get the baby to stay happy? You load up on DVDs for her to watch and feed her complete junk food. Here she is eating a gas station corny dog. Please note that my sister is an amazing mom and never feeds Addie like this. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

My mom and I LOVE Scrabble!! We played 3 times over the week I was home. This night, my brother-in-law, Wes, decided to team up with my mom and play 2 against 1. They won...barely...and they cheated, they think you can write out words on a piece of paper to help you brainstorm. Um, I think that is called CHEATING.

Christmas Morning

I received some great gifts. Cute shoes, money, perfume, etc, etc. One of my favorites were these new silk pajamas from my sister. Below, one of my not-so-favorites. Mom thought I would LOVE this jacket thing, yikes Mom...thanks for trying though.

This is Kent teaching my mom to text message. I wasn't expecting Kent to come down to my parent's house, but on Thursday night he arrived!! I now know it was to ask my parents if he could marry me. If you know my dad, you would applaud Kent for having the guts to ask him!

My sister modeling her new jacket...

Cousin's House

Finally New Year's. This was the greatest NY celebration of my life. We went to Crystal Beach (Galveston). Everyone could do whatever they wanted...sleep, read, play games, spend time alone, etc. It was great!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Story of Kentsten

You've heard of Bragelina and Bennifer, now it is time for you to meet Kentsten. Lindsey Brittain and Geoff Ashley competed to give us our celebrity name, but Lindsey's choice of Kentsten won out over Geoff's pick of Kristent. Here is a small piece of our story.

Dating Life: For the sake of this being the longest post ever, I will spare you the back story of how Kent and I met and the tons of ways he romanced and pursued me while dating. I will just say that he is creative, thoughtful, prayerful, and intentional. What made me fall for him?? Primarily the way he loves Christ and that he lives knowing that everything in this life is a means to getting more of Jesus. But, it was also the constant sweet things...for example walking out to find flowers on my doorstep on HIS birthday with an amazingly sweet note attached. It is the silly things like him performing the Souljah Boy at my niece's birthday party and our New Year's celebration. The common interests like writing and deep conversations...the not-so-common interests like The Cowboys (him) and sushi (me). Of course you can't really explain in words what it is you love, all I know is that God made my heart respond to Kent's pursual and I am going to be his wife!!

The Proposal: On February 3rd Kent cooked an amazing dinner of spinach and ricotta chicken, salad, and veggies. The table was covered with candles, rose petals, and a bouquet of flowers. After dinner we went near the lake where Kent started a fire and read me several letters that he had written over the course of our dating relationship. The first was a letter to me while he was in Israel, but it was more of a prayer he had written for our marriage. Second, he read a few pages from his journal about the little details that he loves about me, followed by some verses from Song of Solomon. Last he read this: (sorry, it may be hard to read)

Finally, he bent down on his knee, asked me to be his wife and put this beautiful ring on my finger.

He designed the ring himself, so the diamonds are all placed with symbolism.

After the proposal:
We walked a little further to a wooden cross and spent some time worshiping and praying for our marriage. We had never prayed together (other than meals or with other friends), so I loved that our first prayer together was for our marriage to be to the glory of God.

The Engagement Party:We went to my sister's where about 25 of our friends were waiting to celebrate with us. The night was complete with encouragement, champagne, chocolate fondue, and prayer. Here are some pictures from the night.

The scrapbook my sister began for us with pictures of us, a letter from my mom, and notes from everyone at the party.

The beautiful table

The Champagne Toast

Friends that celebrated with us

Sharing our story

Family Pictures

Kent and I are products of the community that surrounds us. God has used family, friends, The Village Church, and our home groups to grow and shape us. We really believe that the gospel collides with all aspects of our lives. Dates, flowers, romantic nights, delicious food, a thought provoking movie, silly moments, good conversation...etc...are not earned or deserved, they are merely an extension of His grace and shadows of God's love. I love our story mostly because it is not ending with Kensten, but instead it will end with how it began...Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What up, India!

This is a much delayed post. India was amazing, but difficult to process through and capture in words and pictures. I promise there will be engagement stuff on here soon!!!

6:28 pm 11/15/07
(flight from Chicago to Delhi, India)

"Just read Isaiah 26, and verses 11-15 became my prayer for India. Let the people see your hand lifted up, let their gods be put to shame as you capture their hearts. May all other gods fade into the stone and falsehood they were created in. Let the people become consumed with you. May the only remember you. Wipe their gods from your loved one's memory. Your nation has no boundaries and sees no color of skin. Your nation is forever expanding. Father, expand your nation and sweep up the lost souls in India."

Bob, Sara, and I settled in for our 14 hour journey from Chicago to Delhi

8:26 pm 11/17/07

"It;s the end of the first full day here. India smells similar to Mexico, and has lots of crazy traffic and street vendors. I feel very safe and no one really bothers us except to ask for money or food. The difference between the rich and poor is vast, and my heart aches for the mothers begging with their children. I wonder if it is merely society's social ranks that put them in this circumstance? More than giving them money, I wanted to hug and kiss the children. They have no clue of their lot in life or that millions of children around the world have more to eat and a warmer place to sleep. Soon enough they will grow up to learn their place that life has offered them and the type of service they must do in order to hope for a better life in their next life (after reincarnation). They're taught if they do their work well and without complaint they will be reincarnated into a higher caste. They believe this was the "gods" intentions. As we walked through the market we saw beautiful pieces of art with the Hindu gods on them. Literal idols. We learned tonight that we will be delivering the gospel by tapping into the Hindu teachings. They believe there is 1 god that does not need and idol in his image because of his supremacy, so we will be drawing the parallel and identifying who the only true god is, Jesus Christ. It reminds me of Acts 17 when Paul is in Athens. I am sure some people mocked Paul as he identified their idol to the Unknown God, but some had to have heard what he said. Father, would you call these people to yourself, save souls, and return for your flock."

9:47 pm 11/19/07

"Though the program (washing feet/ministering to "untochables") wasn't how I would have ran it, and though the haziness of the culture and language collision was huge, my prayer is that you were exalted and that people were not only touched physically, but their souls were touched by you. I want them to be enlightened to the one true God, Jesus Christ. When I washed the first woman's feet she began to weep and utter something in Hindi. Another woman tried to refuse to have her feet washed out of shame and embarrassment. When she finally relaxed and allowed me to touch her feet I could not find a towel, so I used my dupata (head covering) to dry her feet. She freaked out!!! Robin later explained that foot washing in their culture is used as a form of punishment and that it was difficult for them to see an American at their feet, and even more difficult for them to understand how someone who they consider better than they are (due to the caste system) to use their head covering on their feet. Father, I continue to plead for you to call these people to yourself. Don't let the purity of the gospel be lost in translation. When I think of you, Jesus, at my feet like you were at the disciples it is overwhelming. I cannot begin to grasp what it was like to leave constant communion with the Father and the completeness of heaven. What do I do with this picture of you washing the tiredness and filth away? I see myself refuse, but that is rooted in pride. Without me doing anything, you wash me. Am I willing as an overflow of having been washed by you serve others here and back home? God as low as I was tonight at strangers feet, I want to be low in your presence. "If I then your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13: 14-15)"

(We had Pizza 3 times during our 10 day stay in Delhi!!

10:38 pm 11/20/07

"End of day 5. The footwashing event was better than last nights. The name of Jesus was spoken clearly and it didn't seem as focused on the Americans. I washed an old man's feet today, and then was reminded of Duet. 4:9. These are memories and stores of deep significance. I get to watch the gospel be delivered and then take part in a small portion of it. The rest of the day was spent reading and relaxing. We ate Indian food, got henna tattoos, and sat in our favorite coffee shop. Today I passed hundreds of beggars and I touched people's hand that may never travel beyond the city of Delhi. God, do not let me forget all that my eyes have seen! You have a plan and a purpose in all of this. I know goodness always surrounds you and that you are somehow glorified in all of this."

8:19 pm 11/21/07

"The morning was the usual slow start-rough breakfast of white toast (we finally just stopped ordering the nasty eggs and cereal with hot milk) and coffee with buffalo's milk, a long delay in wait for transportation to the event, followed by a long drive to the actual event. I didn't feel like talking and Mack and I shared the front seat for the 2 hour drive so I listened to music the whole way. Charlie Hall's Prepare the Way spoke volumes to me. It became my prayer, that he would prepare the way in my heart for whatever he had in store and that he would prepare the way for us at the village we were traveling to, and that He would prepare the hearts for the people we would meet. In all of the areas of the city I have seen so far, the poverty we drove through today cannot be explained through words alone. Next to Mercedes and nice houses were lines of beggars, people trying to sell stuff etc. As a small girl and her baby brother banged on our car window asking for food or money. I just looked in her eyes thinking she doesn't want to be in this place begging. They wouldn't do it if they literally weren't desperate. Their lot in life is literally dirt, filth, begging, and no hope of becoming something else (because of the caste system). Though this place is friendly, there is an oppression and a deep hurt here. These thoughts were met with the Lord's voice saying, "I delight in these people and have created them for my glory, They are worshipers whether they know it or not. Salvation is an extension of my grace and for my glory alone." Once we arrived at our destination, we were again paraded through the village and met by very excited people. During our walk, I was handed a glass of milk like substance. The people gave it as a friendly gesture, so I prayed over it silently and then drank some of it. It was awful..a mix between buttermilk, sour cream, and old yogurt. Not minutes later, a large cow rushed through our crowd of people piled in a narrow street. At the moment it was really scary, but after I laughed and laughed. Who gets experiences like this?? The gospel was shared plainly and boldly today. Then an Indian woman got up from the crowd saying that God had sent her to this village to open an orphanage in His name. She was from a higher caste, but she new she was to live among these people and tell them about Jesus. We prayed that a blind man would regain his sight and even more than that we prayed that hearts were awakened. It's hard to know what to do with all of this. I sit back and think, why me? Why now? What is my response to all that I have seen? I end knowing and believing that the Lord is good. He is good when my stomach cramps from weird food. He is good when I hold an orphans face in my hands. He is good to the deformed. He is good to the poor, the old, the rich, and the young. He is good when I don't understand. He is good in worship and tears. Father, please redeem these people for your name. Let Satan be silenced and You be lifted high."

This is some of the filth that we saw entering into the village

The faithful believer in Jesus that began the orphanage in His name

The blind man we prayed for

The cutest woman in the world

Sara, Mack, and I at the orphanage


"I didn't journal at all yesterday, and I am really regretting it, there is a lot to process through. We started our day out at our usual coffee shop and then went to visit a pastor that began a bible college and seminary. It has produced a lot of strong bible believing men that have started churches around India.

After, Sara wanted to see the older parts of Delhi, so we went to the red fort area adn to visit a very famous mosque. Words don't suffice to explain the horrific sights at the mosque. From the street there was a long walkway with dried up fountains (like Katherine prophesied!) and on it stood thousands of people selling anything they could to make a little money. This sounds terrible, but my eyes saw hundreds of people deformed beyond human recognition. The children were filthy and their hair was matted together in clumps. They grabbed at our arms and clung to our clothes, begging for anything that we'd give them. The sounds were as terrible as the sights. Animal sounds mixed with clicks of begging and music. The people lined the stairs and filled every walkway. My spirit quickened and all I could do was repeat the name of Jesus over and over. The song, You are the Light, played in my head as I begged God to lift the darkness. Once we stepped out of the walkway we all began to weep and didn't stop until a few hours later. There is so much to process through and pray about. God redeem this place! Break my heart for someone not like me!! Use this all for your glory. Break! Rebuild! You ARE ON THE THRONE! YOU ARE WORTHY!"

11/25/08 2:35 am (Flight home!)

"On the flight home, and I am longing for familiarity, my bed a good shower, and to see Kent. I am thankful for this trip and I am walking away with a lot of different things and I am sure it will take me awhile to process through all I saw and all I felt. Saturday we went to the Taj Mahal. The drive was long and cramped, but it was cool to see such a famous landmark with that much history. It almost looked fake because of it's size and the amount of times I have seen it in pictures. Sara made a great point, she said it was literally a whitewashed tomb. Beautiful on the outside, but dead on the inside. The guy who built it and his wife whom he built it for have their tombs inside. The rest is empty and cold. "