Monday, March 30, 2015

we've been married for 1 year & 15 days so i wrote about it.

oh man.
as i think about what has happened in the last year, i get a little overwhelmed. it seems like i should be slap worn out..
the other day when Ben and I were talking about our first year of marriage, Ben's response was, “its only been a year?, it feels like 5!” .. i agree. 100% my love, i agree with you. this time last year, we had no clue what Our God had in store of us. We were just two clueless souls, depending 100% on the Lord, and that's what we will do for the next 100 years. Having a man like Ben Morris, fighting alongside me through this battle of life is worth it. 
Ya’ll, marrying Ben Morris has been a gift. A gift straight from Jesus. HE knew I would need Ben to share this life with. 

thinking about March 15, the day we said YES to each other, brings back so much joy and thankfulness. prepping for this day was the best. we were surrounded by our most favorite women and men of all time:  Kelli,Cami and Ali. Mr.Eugene, Josh and Hunter. Our parents and our favorite little people ever..Evie,Bella,Addie,Josie,David Patrick,June,Ruben and Deacon.
Ali,Lana,Melissa,Madeline,Jamie,Shannon,Eryn,Katie,John,Jonathan,Steve,Paul,JoJo,David,Chris, and Ron.
Kelli and David provided their home for us and we will never be able to thank them enough for the most beautiful wedding venue of all time. Kelli, thank YOU for trusting my crazy dream, my weird-o ideas and helping me bring them to life. Our parents provided the example of amazing marriages and the love and support of our marriage. They provided tables and chairs, helpers along the way, money to make this happen, lots of weekends of getting together to make the dream of an outside, wedding in the woods, available for Ben and I. Our siblings, you all made the day just right, from our pictures to the decor, to cooking loads of meat, to dancing with us under the moonlight. we could have not done it without you! Our aunts, uncles and cousins.. you blew us away. you never once complained and you dove right in and helped our day happen. we are blessed because of you. My friends, who created the signs, you took time away from your busy lives and painted. your creations made the trees look even more beautiful! 
Mrs. Becky Dupry for making my dream dress come true..thank YOU!  The “feeling” that i imagined to feel when i slipped into my dress, became so real to me on March 15th. Sweet Hope Smith, you made made feel like the prettiest gal in the room, ill never be that pretty again. Your work is a gift and I'm thankful that you shared it with me. The women that surrounded me in my sisters bedroom when i was getting ready, you all made feel like the only person in the world at that moment. it was very surreal to me. i was the girl who thought that a wedding day would never come for me. thankfulness was over flowing from my heart. BonnieKate put together the most amazing head piece that completed “the look” that i was going for. Thank You Sweet BK. Amy Martin, Chad Schoonmaker, Chris Morris and Tara Morris, Jordy Wax, Chase Smith and Adam Walters.. where do i even begin with you guys??? Your capturing of our day is something that we’ll get to share with our kids one day!! Your work will forever hang in our home and rerun on our tvs. With huge grateful hearts, we are thankful. our beautiful cousins that handed me the flowers that made my bouquet, we didn't even practice and it was like we did. I'm so thankful God made us family!! 
Cody, Eryn, Wadley, The Fotos, and Kam, thank you for sharing your voices and your talent with us and our guest. You made the trees dance that day! You made our hearts sing Praise. This time was very special to us. The ladies and men that provided the food, you fed over 600 people and still to this day, people are complimenting the food. YOU knocked it out of the woods!! Josh Causey helped us understand the Covenant we were entering together and the message that was shared with our guest, brought them to a better understanding of who Jesus is. This is what we hoped for. You nailed it Josh!!  Maggie Dawson, Debbie Kemp, Carlette Dawson, Mark Kemp, Marsha Daniel, Jesse Graves, Tonya Newstrom, Brittany Smith... your helping hands and willing heart saved the day. You took our vision and made things happen! Mrs. TeeGee at the flower farm, who provided the flowers, oh my goodness..THANK YOU! 
OUR GUEST, being surround by you on March 15th in the woods, is something that i can’t quite explain. The feeling of “bursting out of the seams” was very Real. very real. my heart was so overwhemed with thanksgiving. Jesus was so near that day. He was showing us His love through all of you. Thanks for hanging in there after the 8 minutes of rain and dancing the night away to the amazing tunes provided by: Josh Winkler!! 

so here's our year: 

-being a Step-Momma to Colby Lane Morris.  HELLO, am i ever learning how to be a boy-mom. You are the cutest strawberry blond i know. you’re teaching me how to be a better mom and i can’t thank you enough for that. God is using you in ways to teach me things about myself.  thank you for your laugh and for being patient with me.  i love how you and your dad are best buds. i love you and I'm thankful for you. 

-our Honeymoon was the absolute best. i LOVED spending this time with Ben. Our 1st night was in a tree house (well what seemed like a tree house) in St.Francisville. then to NOLA for a night where we ate ourselves sick and explored Nola.. then headed to Haiti. Who goes to Haiti on their Honeymoon?  we got this question a lot as we were planning. Honestly, Ben and i would not have wanted to go anywhere else. We wanted to be in place where it felt like home, where we loved, and wanted to invest our money. We could have gone anywhere, and we did explore other options and we always came back to Haiti. Haiti is really where Ben and I fell in Love with each other in the 1st place. We loved our time in Jacmel on the most beautiful piece of Gods creation and and we loved our time with our friends/family at Respire Haiti. #noplaceidratherbe

-1 month and 4 days after our wedding day………..i missed. and after 4 days of missing….. i took a test. BOOM. PREGNANT. holy moly. As Ben and i cried tears of joy,  WE WERE SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i always just wanted to be a momma. On our 8 week appt, after the check-up, doctor said he thinks i miscarried. i did, BUT there was a heart beat.. i conceived twins. it was a bittersweet day, knowing that i lost a baby, but, very thankful that the other baby was still living. at 12 weeks, i lost the other baby. Ben was a away at drill and i was alone. i called my sister right away and to the rescue she came. i will forever be thankful for her sweet words on this 2am morning call. Ben was able to come the next day. During the time that i was without him made be yearn for him even more. i just wanted him. the Lord taught me so much during this time. as much as i was yearning for Ben to be near to me during this time, the Lord was telling me that all i need to do it yearn for HIM all the time. Jesus was near. Jesus was holding me. I could feel Him. He was so close. I am extremely thankful. Though Ben and I were extremely sad, we turned our hearts to Jesus and knew that this was part of His plan.

-tons of memories!!!!!
Beach with family. Weekends Fishing at Black River Lake. Rodeos. Colby improving with his Rodeo skills. Friends having babies. Being a Doula for a few dear friends. Death and how it can bring so much honor to Christ. Cousins visiting from Cali, Ala and Ark. visits from Haitian Friends!  Soccer. Baseball. Concerts. Spending lots of time with our family. HOLIDAYS. Friday night Football games. trips to Haiti. Birthday parties. Cowboy Church. The Ring Community Church. Family Reunions. Remolding our house. learning how to cook. buying a lawn-mower. family Dinners. everything that involves our nieces and nephews. lots of weddings! the book, miracle on voodoo mountain. disney world. ben having drill. t-ball... i could keep going.

-the day after Thanksgiving, I left for Haiti. What i thought i was going for was quickly changed and totally blew my mind and all who was involved. I'm not going into a ton of detail but, ill try to explain.  After 6 days of being in Haiti, i called Ben and told him,"i was canceling my flight because of how super fast things were going...I THINK THAT IF WE WORK REALLY HARD, WE COULD HAVE PAPER WORK DONE AND SONSON COULD FLY HOME WITH ME!!" Ben's response was, "don't come back without him!!'... oh how i am very thankful for my man!
so.. all that to say, GOD pushed down every wall, every door, traffic, language barrier, provided very kind Haitians and Americans in authority to work with. HE DID EVERYTHING. all i was doing was running 100mph and saying YES. After all the appointments, Bernard (my life savor for the week) looked at SonSons passport and the embassy didn't issue us a medical visa but a 5 year tourist visa. OUR HEARTS ABOUT LEAPED OUT OF OUR CHEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!
so, SonSon and I hopped on a plane a few days later and were welcome by our family and friends.
Dr.Vick and staff have shown us nothing but love and we will forever be thankful. He confirmed the Hydronephrosis and after a few exams SonSon will not require surgery at this time. We will see Dr.Vick in a few months again for more exams to see how his kidneys are doing. We are blessed.
Retuning from Haiti on December 13th, we busted right into Christmas then a new year.

Y'all, i am bout in tears as i finish this up. i just can't believe how God works. While in Haiti, God reminded me that i would have been 38 weeks pregnant the week i was there. Theres no way American Airlines would have let me and my huge preggo self on a plane to another country. HE reminded me..that HE ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT BEST. He showed off in huge ways those 2 weeks i was there and continues to do so. NONE of these beautiful events of our 1st year of marriage would have been possible without HIM and i am here to testify. Jesus is so real.

We are very thankful for our 1st year and we are thankful that we didn't smother each other with our pillows in times of being really pissed off at each other. Yes, those times occur also. But, the love that runs very deep have saved us from those moments ;). we can't and don't want to life without each other. Jesus is the Remedy. He has loved, provided, and cared for us in so many ways. we are extremely thankful and want to serve Him with our lives. we always want our lives to be available.

the end. but not the end.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

its official (like we really needed a ring to make that happen)

its official.

What seemed like a normal invite over from Ben, led to the best invite EVER. oh, how i am thankful!!

It was thursday the 31st and yes, i was dressed as "weeza" from the oh so famous film Steel Magnolias. The Avery Lane staff decided to dress up as the cast for halloween and my sweet co-workers chose me as "weezza". i didn't mind. ;) 
so, i painted my hair grey and threw on some over-alls. super simple. 
I worked all day, then headed to Bens (still dressed as "weeza")…..

Once i arrived at Bens, i asked if i could jump into the shower because by that time my hair was a matted grey mess.  He gladly told me, "YES. PLEASE DO", secretly knowing that i would have probably killed him if he would have asked me to be his wife dressed as "weeza"… that my friends, would have been hysterical. 

After my shower, I threw on some pj's and my hair was thrown into a towel. I walked out into the kitchen where Ben was and he seemed a little giddy.. He handed me a blue moon as he took a sip of his modelo (left over from our friends & family that visited a few weekends ago) and then he asked me to come sit outside on the front porch to rest and visit.

As he held the door for me and lead me outside to the front porch, to my surprise, were 2 rocking chairs and a candle. It kind of reminded me of a scene straight out of Hope Floats or Sweet Home Alabama. The rain was falling on the tin roof and it was pitch black outside.  You guys feel the romance?? haha.  It was the sweetest thing. 

My 1st acknowledgement was the rocking chairs because they had never been on Ben's front porch before. But, I totally recognized the rocking chairs. For they were the same rocking chairs that Ben and I had our very 1st conversation in when we met July 2, 2012 at Judson.  In those same rocking chairs, is where I heard the words, "I just like helping people" and in those same chairs my heart did a little flitter thingy and I knew there was something super special about Ben Morris. 

AND >>>---------------> in those same rocking chairs is where Ben Morris asked me to live with him forever as his wife and serve each other and others forever. 
Ya'll, i did do a little scream because he completely caught me off guard. i mean, i had a towel wrapped around my head. goodness! 
Then, i cried…. and cried and an hour later, I was still crying. 
During this time, Ben prayed over me, for us, and for our engagement. He asked the Lord to lead us, to guide us and to make this time about HIM and others and for our marriage to increase HIS kingdom. 

It was HAPPY. it was OVERWHELMING. it was SCARY. I had a couple of "how in the world will i ever be a good enough wife" thoughts. it was joyful.  it was LOVE.
it was PEACE.  I felt kindness from Ben. I felt encouragement from Ben. I felt LOVED not only by Ben but by Christ. I felt honored and humbled. 

We made a ton of phone calls to our loved ones to let them know our news. It was so joyful to share!  Everyone was excited. We ended the night with a ride to the Dart house because my sister could not stand not being able to hug me until morning.. and honestly, I couldn't stand it either. I needed to hug her right away.  MY SISTER ya'll, has been praying a long time for my husband. A long time. My sister had a lot to do with my introduction to Ben Morris and she could not have known me better than JESUS. hahaha. 
I was greeted with lots of hugs and tears and Ben was greeted with, "YEAH,UNCLE BEN!!" Tara and Josh along with Ruben and June came over as well and we celebrated!!  We celebrated!!!  IT WAS GREAT!!! 

this was JESUS.  He is the one who did this.  He made me fall in love with Ben Morris and I am so happy He did!!  I am also super thankful that Ben responded to the call to marry me as well.  

JESUS IS THE and knows exactly what HE is doing!!!!  WE TRUST HIM. WE are believing amazing things for our marriage and our life!!  



oh the ring…. let me tell you about it. 
its 3 of his MIMI's rings melted down to make one. i am so honored by this. how special!!  i am honored to wear it and one day share it with our son or daughter. its a ripple. we are starting a ripple. goodness, Jesus is soooooo GOOD!  

Sunday, April 21, 2013


so, i have been home for almost 2 months now. Goodness, time flies.
i have been slammed since returning home.

i was greeted with lots of family and friends at my parents house the night i returned. it was the sweetest homecoming. lots of tears were shed when i saw my nieces and nephews. lots of tears were shed thinking about how extremely blessed i am.  How the Lord has blessed me with amazing family and friends. me? wow. so humbled by His love.  i got to hug my Queen and my night was made!  my sweet friend kameryn put together a banner and everyone from church signed it. i felt extremely loved bc of this.

2 days after i returned, i was honored to be apart something that the Lord used to teach me more than i could ever imagine. just bc i was home and "comfortable" didn't mean for me to stop serving. i am called to a life of service. whereEVER or whenEVER that might be.  He showed me that He will provide. He gives strength. He's there. always. honored and humbled to be apart of that day.
that day led to a couple more days and my family was able to love in a different way. it was just beautiful. they stepped up and loved. no questions asked. just loved.

i started working at Avery Lane Salon in Zachary and i have had a blast. i love the girls i work with and i am so thankful for my clients. its been fun to be back in the salon! im so thankful!

i had the opportunity to share the wedding day of Lana and Myrt. what an honor it was to stand as a bridesmaid. it was a beautiful weekend and my best gal was a beautiful bride. we had a blast and i have to say the Ben Morris danced his tail off along with the rest of my amazing family!! oh the joy! a night to remember! with pre-wedding stuff, came showers and an awesome beach trip with cool friends and even the Elton John concert!!!

another thing that has been keeping me busy is an amazing group of girls. i was asked to coach a 12 and under softball team. as much as i wanted to say NO, bc i had just gotten home, i really believe that this was apart of Gods plan for me on adjusting back. i can honestly say that these girls and their awesome parents has been a huge part of my heart being happy to be back home. i love serving as their coach. they teach me something new every time i am with them. GO MUD DIGGERS!

i made it home just in time for PROM. cami, ali and hunter went to Silliman Prom and of course were the best looking ones there!!

ive been spending lots of time with Ben and Colby and they both have completely stolen my heart.

we've gone to the Zoo in Nola, the Strawberry Festival, have had plenty of crawfish, a night of bowling, birthday celebrations and plenty of FUN!  even today (april 21), i just got home from Alabama where i got to share with the whole Morris clan the wedding of jordan and austin!! such a fun weekend and what a beautiful bride!!! on the way home from Alabama ben and i "stopped" in Lafayette to share with Meg and Josh (from Haiti) a post-wedding party!! it was sooooo awesome to see them!!

i have loved every second of this time spent with them as well as my dear family. they have made the adjustment way easier. what has also made the adjustment easier is that my family and ben got to come to Haiti and now know my heart. they know. i don't have to explain things bc now, they know. they know that even though i love being here with family and friends that a huge part of my heart is in Gressier. they get it now and they join me and my heart in that!  How thankful i am to the Lord for allowing us to be apart of something so huge. furthering the Kingdom. encouraging one another. building each other up... in Haiti, with-in our own communities, our own families. its amazing what the Lord can do through you when you say "yes". it becomes a ripple effect. HE does it. not us. HIM. i pray that this will continue through generations to come. that the Lord will be high and lifted up. always and forever. this gets me super excited about Heaven. this is what its about. share life. share your heart. share Jesus. 

NOW, let me back up 2 months ago to my last week in Haiti and tell you all what an amazing week it was!!!
the minute my darling sister heard that the plane was just minutes from landing on Haitian soil, she started to cry. i was waiting patiently outside of the doors and when she turned the corner, nothing stopped her. she ran as fast as she could to me and with her lovable arms she wrapped me up and we both sobbed. oh, the love. oh my heart. it was a dream come true to have my hero with me, by my side. she kept hugging and kissing me over and over. snot and all. it was a beautiful reunion. from then, i hugged my two precious cousins and then david dart (he was a trooper).  i really couldn't believe they were in Haiti!!!

on the 2 hour ride to Gressier, their eyes and hearts were overwhelmed by what they were seeing for the 1st time. we sat in silenced and they stared out the windows.
once in Gressier and at the RH house, it was ON!!!! they did not stop. they built tables, chairs, benches, and bunk beds. sanded. painted. cleaned. brittney led some amazing bible studies. amber went to school  and encouraged the teachers and students. kelli decorated the girls bedrooms and they all prepared the Kay Liberte house. david was building picnic tables in record timing!  they served with their whole bodies. every muscle. it was amazing!!
they loved with every ounce of the hearts.  for us as family to serve together in Gressier, alongside RH was a dream. i am very thankful that the Lord allowed us to serve together. He is so good. we were all extremely thankful.

2 days after my family arrived. Ben Morris arrived. this was honestly a nerve racking day for me. after not seeing him for 5 months, i had major butterflies (you can ask Megan). meg was with me as we were waiting for Ben to arrive. His plane was late so i had an hour to get myself together. i was so excited to see Ben but, at the same time i was sad bc i knew with him arriving i only had 1 week left in Gressier. I ran to greet Ben when i saw him walk out the double doors into the HOT haitian sun. he pick me up and hugged me so tight. i guess i can say that he was excited to see me as well. we were so very glad to see each other. his hug did my heart some good. the butterflies were gone. he was so excited to be in haiti and couldn't wait to get to gressier. i really couldnt believe he was in haiti.
once back to the RH house, he met everyone right away. he was so happy to finally put a face to everyone that i always talked about! ben loved on everyone like he had known them for years.

literally, as soon as we arrived ben got to work with david. they served with their hands the whole week together. it was awesome to see them serve together. kelli and i were so proud of them. and super proud to call them "ours".

the week with my family and ben is one that i really can't explain. to have them there was a dream come true. to serve alongside them, alongside RH, was simply a blessing that i am so very thankful for. to see my sister serve and love was very heart warming for me. she was amazing at it. her being my hero and seeing her get to do what her heart has longed to do was a miracle. i like to call it a miracle bc i really think it was.
serving alongside david and kelli and seeing them serve as husband and wife ... woah. that was amazing. they make a great team!! go team dart!!
my cousins had a blast! they stepped in and served without any questions asked. they were super easy and let God lead 100%.  my heart was completely full! im thankful. thankful. thankful. full of thanks.

we are blessed. 
the end. 

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just jessi

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so. im simple. its not about me, all the time i find that when i get in the way of what the Lord is trying to do...things get messed up. i try to love on others. i have great friends that i am very proud of and my family is the iron that sharpens me.