Midway Mark

Javier and I have been engaged for three months now and I feel that since we are at our midway mark, I can share a few details and plans.

Wedding Planning:

We have planned to have a small and intimate wedding in September with our ceremony taking place at our Kingdom Hall and a small dinner with family afterwards.
My family has been a very big help with everything and Javier and I cannot thank them enough.

Yes, I have my dress and no, no one has seen it.

I have already had my first bridal shower that my Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid hosted for me and it was beautiful!

Just about everything has been paid for or almost paid off, hand picked, ordered, delivered or being custom made.

We have registered at Target and Walmart.

I am so fortunate to have a partner who has been so supportive throughout this planning process and who has taken the initiative to pay things in full on his own.

Time has been requested off for our honeymoon which if you follow here you will know that Javier and I plan to road trip all around Texas in my camper. Yes, I know it’s not ideal for everyone but I am living out my dream of being on the road, even if it’s only for a few weeks.

We sent out Save the Dates to our family and friends out of town, actual invitations will be sent out in July. Again, it will be a small wedding and only our family and closest friends will be invited and we hope and pray that everyone respects our decision.

Home Life:

For awhile now, Javier and I had discussed our living situation in regards to our financials and spiritual goals. We prayed, studied these articles and started to look at different properties and homes. While it was fun actually looking at homes and imagining the possibilities, it was also stressful talking with realtors and looking at our budget.

We came to the conclusion that if we invested into a home right now, that we would more than likely have to pick up a side job along with both of our full time jobs in order for us to pay a mortgage, renters insurance, pay our utilities, maintenance work, groceries, our vehicles, full coverage insurance, etc.
While we both have held down two jobs before, we realized that not only would it take us away from each other but more importantly it would take us away from Jehovah.

A home for now is on the back burner and while I still would love to own one someday, “I am trying to make sure of the more important things.”

We then discussed apartments but I have never really liked the idea of living in an apartment.
I was very fortunate to grow up in the house my parents still live in and I was privileged to have my own room, my own bed, my own things, even a yard to run around in so the idea of leaving my home for an apartment, did not really sit well with me.
I know it works for other people and I’m sure apartment living is not terrible, it just scares me.

In case you didn’t know, I live in my own little house on my parents property. It’s a little bigger than a Tiny House but still small. It is completely separate from the main house and tucked away on the side and towards the back of the property.
It has a small porch, living room, a bathroom, a small dining area, kitchenette, an A-Frame bedroom and now a storage room.

I’ve been renting the house since 2011 and it’s been perfect for me all these years.
When discussing our living situation after marriage, I mentioned staying in my little house to help us save money since rent would be affordable and we would not need to work two jobs each, that it would still be close to his current job and his family and above all, that we would be able to reach our spiritual goals together.

We are so blessed that my parents have not only provided us somewhere to live but that they have gone above and beyond and have built an additional room which is now a storage room for all of mine and Javier’s things.

My home has been furnished for years now but with Javier moving in soon, I wanted to make the home ours.
Our first big purchase together was a couch which is now set up thanks to Javier!
We have bought several other pieces since then and since our storage room is now finished, we have been building, cleaning, and unpacking in our casita.
Slowly but surely everything has been coming together and we are so happy and excited!

Thank you for reading,

– R. Vargas

My Vows

 

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I have been dreading this post for a very long time now. Even though things worked out, some of the memories and hurt are still raw.

I wish I could say this was love at first sight.
I wish I could say this was from a fairy tale.
I wish I could say that this has been the most happiest experience in my life.
But I can’t say any of those things and once you finish reading, you’ll understand why.

Javier and I have always known of each other from meetings at our Kingdom Hall but we did not actually befriend one another until seven years ago. We instantly became best friends and spent so many good times together.
As best friends, I saw the good, the bad, the ugly, the heartbreak and disappointments Javier faced. I remained by his side through it all.
Whether it was personal, girl problems, or just needing to vent, I fondly remember staying up and sacrificing my sleep just to assure him things would be okay and that I was proud of him no matter what obstacle came.

As the years passed by, I grew close to his family to the point of where I felt like a sister. Sometimes people even mistook me for being a Garcia and not a Vargas.
As the years went by, our bond grew closer and our foundation for friendship was never stronger. In my eyes, we were strictly platonic and there was never anything more.

I had been asked, questioned and even teased about Javier having a crush on me but I never suspected anything because he was just a good friend. The way he treated me, he treated all his female friends. At least that’s how I viewed it until it was brought to my attention that Javier placed me on a pedal stool in comparison to his other female friends.

I started really paying attention to him and how he treated me, how he talked to me, how he introduced me to his friends and coworkers the few times I stopped by and I didn’t really notice any significant changes but after meditating on things and really dissecting previous actions Javier took, I started questioning things too. I put those thoughts in the back of my mind and ignored them.

Then one day everything changed.

I prayed because I didn’t want our friendship to change.
I prayed because I didn’t want our friendship to end.
I prayed because I didn’t feel the same way for Javier initially.
I prayed because I wasn’t in the right place in my life to even think about dating.
I prayed because I was scared and I knew that no matter what happened, nothing would ever be the same again.

Even though Javier initially tried to deny his feelings for me, he also felt he could no longer bear them in.
I felt very overwhelmed and dropped my phone and didn’t know what to do.
I snapped out of it and assured him it was just a crush and that since he was at a crucial age, things would change rapidly and so would emotions.
I guaranteed him what you want at 18 is not what you want at 21 and what you want at 25 is not what you want at 30.

From the beginning he was persistent that what he felt wasn’t temporary and that even though the timing wasn’t right and my feelings for him were not there, that maybe some day they would be.

We prayed together, we prayed individually and we came to the conclusion that we would speak to our parents to let them know that our friendship would come to a halt and why we no longer would be spending time together anymore.
We ended our friendship with the note that if Jehovah wanted this, wanted us together someday, that HE would make it happen down the road.

We agreed we would no longer hang out, text, call, take pictures, study together, or plan any future things and we didn’t have a designated date of when we would.
We even decided to not hug at meetings anymore and that if we happened to see each other, we would look the other way.

While I won’t go into too many details, know that after we expressed everything to our family, we had opposition on both sides. We even faced strong opposition from “friends.”

I was not baptized at the time, I was only an unbaptized publisher and had been for some time but was a few steps away from baptism. I was older than Javier. I was not the ideal candidate to date for my place spiritually and also emotionally. (I am not the most affectionate, expressive or loving type of woman.)

I had to face multiple people, very harsh words and abusive speech, judgment, ridicule and that’s not to mention the cold shoulders, silent treatments, ugly looks and disassociation I endured.
It was as if I was shunned.
Things got so bad that the very conversation of me getting baptized at the next assembly was pushed back and it was over a year before I could even bring up the subject again.

I went to meetings and carried on in life and felt like an outsider. I no longer was the bold, confident, strong Rocio I once was.
I was no longer wanted or welcomed with certain people anymore.
I was so discouraged spiritually, I even considered not studying anymore.
I got to the point where I really asked myself if I should leave the truth all together. (Keep in mind I am the only member in my family who is in the truth.)
I felt so alone and heartbroken.
I felt I had lost everything.

As if things weren’t difficult enough, I watched and heard through mutual friends that Javier was going on with his life. Partying, meeting other young women, growing as a young man and living a life without me and though it hurt, I had to let it.

I never wanted a relationship with anyone. I built my life revolved around me and my service to Jehovah. I never wanted to rely on any man for anything. It was not my desire to date or to be in love.

But why did I feel this way?

I cried nearly every day in 2015.
It was as if the tears I had saved up from all my years in life had finally been released.
I can’t say I’ve had a very hard life but I have gone through some very difficult hardships and even with those trials, my life had never been more of a mess with all that went on with Javier.
I was completely unstable and I didn’t know how to fix anything.

Even though Javier would try and speak with me at meetings, leave me little hints that he still cared, I felt I could no longer fight this fight.
I felt defeated.

Because of everything going on and the absence of everyone, I truly learned how to rely on God.
Never in my life had I talked to Jehovah so much.
From the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep, I talked to Jehovah.
In 2015, I really learned what it meant to feel Jehovah as my father, to be his child and to know that he felt every single emotion I felt and why I felt it.
I did not question why everything was happening, I just prayed for better days ahead.

2016

Not only did I publicly declare my life to Jehovah and get baptized in 2016, I was able to auxiliary pioneer and Javier and I were able to mend our friendship once again.
We did not rush into a relationship.
We had to yet again take more time to work on our friendship and make up for all the missed time.

The days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years and it was evident to everyone who opposed that this was not a simple “crush,” they initially thought it was.

In 2017, Javier asked me to be his girlfriend the day after he turned 20.
In 2018, Javier asked me to share my life with him and finally asked me to marry him.

We have loved, we have lost, we have cried together, we have cried apart, we have dealt with negativity, we have overcame and we have had to do all of that and more to get to this point in our life.
Javier is my loyal love.
Just as much as I could have given up on him, he could have given up on me.
True love waits.

Seven years of being best friends, three years of being in love, over a year of courtship and one hundred days until we say, “I do.”

The lesson I can share with you all is that sometimes Jehovah gives us things we never knew we wanted. Things we could have never imagined in life if it wasn’t for him.
I fell in love with someone younger than me who has treated me better than anyone I knew my same age, younger and older.
I never wanted to settle for anything less than I deserved with anything in life and after years of cherishing my solitude, at 26 I live confidently knowing I did not have to settle with a partner for the rest of my life. Never settle.

While we will not read our vows at our ceremony, I wanted to share them here.

My Vows

“Javier,

We have come a very long way and Jehovah knows if I wasn’t serving him with a full heart, I would have never reached this day.
You are everything I never knew I wanted.
You have cherished me and accepted me for years and you saw my true potential when everyone else passed me by or never gave me a chance.
I will never know what you saw in me but I am so grateful that you did.
Life is very hard and this world is very cruel but you make my life bearable.
Our love is just that, o u r love. Just you and I.
I vow to not ever let anyone come in between it.
I vow to not give up or give in with things get difficult.
I vow to never forget our past and to keep enduring.
I vow to remain loyal to you.
I vow to give up my freedom and independence for you.
I vow to be your companion eternally.
I vow to never violate you or lose your trust.
I vow to serve my life to Jehovah with you.
I vow to love you for the rest of my days.
I vow to be your wife, not until your last day but until my very last day.
I vow to forevermore be crazy, stupid, and hopelessly in love with you.”

Wholeheartedly,

Future Mrs. Garcia

Four Generations

The engagement ring that I now wear has been passed down from generation to generation in my family.
It belonged to my great grandmother and a few months before Javier and I got engaged, the ring was passed down to me.

This ring is from the early 1940’s so when it was given to me, it was not in the best condition. It needed to be repaired and adjusted in more than one way but to know that I was trusted with this ring meant everything to me.
A ring is just a ring but to know that the generation of women who wore it before me stayed with their husbands until death, it’s very heavy.

When I received this ring, I knew this was the ring I wanted to wear throughout my marriage.
Prior to the engagement, Javier had the engagement ring and wedding band repaired, resized, added diamonds, polished and cleaned for the proposal.
I had only saw the rings in the original state so when Javier proposed, I was mesmerized at how beautiful the rings turned out to be.

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I look down at my ring and think of the dedication and hard work the women who wore it before me put into their marriage and how their examples have shown me the  capable wife I can and will become.

“Who can find a capable wife?
Her value is far more than that of corals.
Her husband trusts her from his heart,
And
he lacks nothing of value.
She rewards him with good, not bad,
All the days of her life.”

– Proverbs 31:10-12

With love,

– R. Vargas

Our One Year Anniversary

Earlier this month, Javier and I celebrated our one year anniversary and it was the most thoughtful and considerate date Javier has ever planned for us.

Once I walked inside his house, he had me close my eyes and led me outside where a candlelit table was waiting for us.

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Once I sat down, Javier served me steak and asparagus that he cooked specifically for this occasion.

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We talked and enjoyed each others company and ate our delicious meal and then Javier excused himself to go to the bathroom.
When he came back he brought out a card and told me that what it contained came from a letter he wrote three years ago but was not able to share it with me at the time because the time was not right. (I will continue this story in another post.)

I reached out for the card to read but he told me he would like to read it to me. It was the loveliest card he had ever wrote to me and even though I would like to keep what it said private, the words were strong enough to make someone cry.

When he was finished reading, I stood up to give him a hug and as we embraced I felt Javier shift and reach in his pocket and watched as he kneeled down and said, “Rocio, will you marry me?”

I smiled but was in shock as I looked at the ring in the box. When he stood up to place the ring on my finger, I said very loudly, “FINALLY!”
It has taken so long to get to this point in our lives but we are here.
We are engaged!

As we embraced, we heard loud screaming from behind the fence that startled us both and all at once we saw someone fall over the fence and two others walk through the gate. Once they got closer to the light, I realized it was Javier’s brother and two best friends.

Apparently Javier had planned for our best friends to celebrate with us after he proposed. He made a huge dinner and invited them over to sneak in the house while him and I had dinner in his backyard. His best friends apparently couldn’t wait and snuck outside behind the fence and recorded Javier reading that card to me and proposing.
After we all went inside, I was greeted by my best friends with balloons, cake, bottles, gifts and bouquets.

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We all celebrated together before we made our announcement public and it was very nice to live in the moment and be surrounded by our loving and supportive best friends.
We received so much love and kind words after we finally announced our engagement and Javier and I are both so very fortunate and thankful for everyone who has taken time to congratulate us.

While I am a very private person, I will share a few posts in the next few weeks about our relationship and how far we have come together, how special my ring is, our wedding plan and how my life will be changing as I prepare to become a wife.

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We are beyond thankful for all the family, friends and even strangers that have been so kind and supportive of us as we plan for our future together.

Thank you for reading,

R. Vargas

Roses & Marriage

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Roses don’t grow overnight, they take time to mature and reach their full potential.
Relationships don’t grow overnight, they take time to mature and reach the potential of becoming a marriage.

A rose is beautiful but along with it’s beauty, it contains thorns.
Thorns are not as beautiful, they can bring pain, and even though you can get rid of them, you still know that they once were there.

No matter the amount of time shared together, marriages are beautiful.
The union of two imperfect people who come from different lifestyles and backgrounds to become one is beautiful.
But with that beauty comes the thorns of imperfections.

You take a rose and remove the thorns.
You take a marriage and remove the mistakes you made within the relationship.
Though they are gone, you know that they were once there and they serve as a reminder to look at how far you’ve come.

With or without the thorns, a rose is still beautiful.
But what if the rose gets weighed down and the petals slowly fall off one by one?

In a marriage, you can start off so strong but over a period of time the anxieties of life can weigh you down and take a toll on your relationship.
Do you let your relationship wither or do you work hard to maintain its beauty?

Tomorrow will make my parents 36th Anniversary together and when I think of their relationship, the highs and lows, the many trials and tribulations, I can’t help but to think of a rose.
Beautiful but it can hurt.
It takes time and patience to cultivate something so wonderful.

Xoxo,

– R. Vargas