Our Story

As I searched my brain for inspiration on a post today it occurred to me that I've never shared our story here. I love our story. To me, it was breathed out by God with an intention to give hope. When I met Cody I was so far from seeing a story like this as a one day reality for myself but here I am.

"Two years ago I was working at the front desk of our local YMCA. They hired a new girl to work across the hall from me. I remember the day I met Nicole I went home and told my mom that the new girl was so sweet and pretty and I wanted to be her friend. Nicole worked with us for a few months before landing a job in teaching but we stayed in touch. Every few weeks we’d meet up for coffee and more often then not we’d end up talking about our mutual desire for a someday family. Nicole ended up meeting a wonderful man named Eric. When they got married last October, Nicole asked me to be her maid of honor. Her family traveled in for the wedding and it was at the rehearsal dinner that I met her brother Cody.

It must have been less than an hour after I met this quiet man that I remember thinking, “Moriah, this is a good guy. You NEVER get asked out by good guys. If he asks you for your number you’re giving it to him.” It was a startlingly decisive thought but I really believe the Lord had something to do with it. I ended up dragging Cody onto the dance floor. He was quiet and respectful and I figured I was much too bubbly and bossy for him. I must have been wrong though because as the wedding was wrapping up he pulled me aside and asked if he could talk to me. “I know this sounds crazy,” he said, “but would you like to go out with me next Sunday.” I was so ecstatic I called my mom right afterward to tell her that, “Cody Schau asked me out!”
We had only been dating three weeks when I knew I was going to marry this amazing man. He was thoughtful, kind, confident, and he loved the Lord. He was so patient with my slowly growing trust. He never pretended to understand my past hurt but he gave me all the time in the world to fully realize that this was something very different.

Five months and three days after we had first met, Cody and I went on a double date with his sister Nicole and her husband to White Pines State Park. It was a gorgeous day. Cody suggested I bring my camera to capture some of the spring gorgeousness. We spent the day hiking and passing the camera around to snap pictures of all the couple and bestie cuteness happening. After lunch and two hours of hiking, we stopped at an overlook to take some pictures. It was on that hiking path several months earlier that Cody first told me he loved me. He took me back to that spot and asked me to be his for forever. It was the best yes of my entire life."

10 months ago today that "yes" turned into vows for forever. I'm so grateful this is us.
*originally published on howtheyasked.com

How to Stop Falling for the Wrong Guy

EDIT: This is a formerly unpublished post that I wrote back in 2017, the year I would meet my now husband. We all have a journey and a story. This is part of mine. I hope it encourages you to embrace yours and keep moving forward.

Some of us fall for the wrong guy EVERY SINGLE time. It's annoying at best, heartbreaking at worst. We all have a different "wrong guy" too.

Some of us always go for the player. We see it coming from a mile away, he keeps us low profile, acts like our BFF when we're one-on-one but in a crowd, we're just someone he kinda knows. We know he is playing us but for some reason, we're convinced we'll be that girl that entices him into a committed relationship.

Some of us always go for the bad boy. What players hide, bad boys flaunt. Seven "girl friends" - he flaunts them. Drugs - he advertises it. Parties - he attends them all. Rebel - he redefines the term. We know it's all wrong but dang, he sure makes life feel exciting. Somehow his free and easy style makes us think that a new life is right around the corner just waiting for us to embrace it.

Some of us always go for the "almost good enough" guy. It's as if we're addicted to perfection with one glaring fault. We don't care what the flaw is but we can guarantee it will be destructive. Possessive, clingy, needy, immature, rebellious, violent, it might be any one of these or something different altogether. Regardless, it will destroy him or us or both.

We know who our wrong guy is but we don't know how to stop falling for him. We feel helpless like a hamster stuck on a wheel that won't stop spinning. How do we put a stop to the insanity?

1) Identify your wrong guy. When we read through that list above we all nodded a little bit and that one we know we fall for. Call yourself out. Say it out loud. Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable. The thing is, we can't call a timeout on ourselves unless we know what we're calling a timeout on. Identification is the first key to jumping off the wheel of insanity.

2) Believe the truth about yourself. A lot of times, we go for the wrong guy because we are believing a lie. - we don't deserve better. This is the only type of man we're capable of attracting. This is our only chance at romance. We have to have SOMEONE in order to be happy in life and he's a someone - lies cause us to compromise, truth causes us to grow. The truth is that you are worth standards. You are stronger than your "natural inclination" to go for the wrong guy. You can lead your heart. Your happiness in life is not dependent on a "someone".

3) Create boundaries. Don't even start that conversation with your wrong guy. Don't let that wrong guy have any part of your body or emotions. Create boundaries and then be bold enough and brave enough to believe in them and live by them.

This might be one of the hardest things you will ever do. I would be a hypocrite if I said this was easy for me or that I've even begun to implement it all in my own life. Despite how wrong the wrong guy is somehow he still gives us a sense of belonging and value. It's scary to deny ourselves that present pleasure in exchange for a better life in the long run. It's often the scary things in life, however, that are the very things worth doing. If you're still in doubt, remember this; the good things in life come from God (James 1:17) be brave enough to walk into what is good and leave behind what is not.

Impossible Dream

I don't remember how old I was when I had this dream of going to college. I remember being young. My mom was facing some huge health struggles that kept me home helping with my younger siblings. Finishing high school seemed a long way off. There was no money for when the time of attending college would roll around.

I had an impossible dream.

Four years after graduating high school I enrolled part time at a community college. I would end up working two to three part-time jobs to pay my way through those first semesters. Every semester I would be amazed that there was actually enough money to pay for that semester's classes. Every class I would be determined to get good grades.

Five semesters of community college and I transferred online. I would end up working full-time and studying at nights. I'm 10 classes from finishing my degree and it still seems like an impossible dream. The classes are harder. The time to study is more scarce. The career wants attention. Important relationships need me. This degree still seems like an impossible dream.

We all have a dream that may never seem possible until it is done. 

I know the journey gets exhausting. You start to question if this is really your dream after all. You wonder if the cost is worth the outcome.

I don't know what your dream is but I'm still working on mine. Despite doubt, set backs and frustration I'm choosing to remember that whatever the outcome, the process is what I make it. The things I learn along the way are most important. The person that this dream shapes me into is what I will walk away with in the end.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Luke 12:34

Time To Blossom

It's been quiet on here. In 2017 I had words to write. In 2018 I had lessons to learn. I remember at the beginning of 2018 telling one of my friends that I wasn't going to set many goals for myself this year. I could see that 2018 was going to create many of its own milestones without me writing them down on paper to guarantee their success. It was a whirlwind year. I never imagined meeting and marrying my husband all within 11 months. There was also the promotion to full-time Marketing Director along with moving out on my own for the first time. All the things that made my life look like mine on a day to day biases quickly changed. It was a beautiful transformation but just like cocoons are silent before butterflies emerge I needed to take a break from writing. 

2019 is here and change seems to be its anthem. This year I'm setting goals to make sure the important things don't get lost in the hustle and bustle. I'll be writing more because it's time to get back to finding the words that remind me why I'm doing what I'm doing. I've always tried to keep this an authentic space on the world wide web and that's not going to change. This will continue to be a place of inspiration, encouragement, and motivation for those seeking to get the most out of life. It will continue to be a place for dreams, purpose and hope to grow and thrive because we all need a place where that is possible.

Photography credit: www.kathryngracephotography.com

Good Men

"Guys are just jerks."

"He's so stupid. I break up with him every other weekend."

"Seriously, they're all idiots. Men are weak."

I'm pretty sure I've heard it all. I understand the comments too. I've met some pretty disappointing men. I've met men who think using you is better than choosing you. I've met men who ask for an investment without offering a return. I've met men who think words are cheap and you're cheaper.

I've met other men too. I've met men who listen before they speak. I've met men more concerned about investing in their tomorrows then satisfying their immediate desires. I've met men who understand value and treat you accordingly. There are good men and there are bad men.

Moment of truth. We don't make bad men better by bashing them. I've done it. I've nearly lost my mind with frustration over how stupid and immature this or that guy was. I might have been right (probably was right) but I didn't help him and I certainly didn't help me by spewing my opinion. There might be bad men in the world. There might not be much you or I can individually do about it. There is a lot we can do about whether or not we are going to be good women.

"A gentle tongue is a tree of life" Proverbs 15:4

Next time you or I run across a bad man let's not waste our time fuming to the gal friends about what an idiot he was. Let's choose gracious. Let's breath life.

Next time you or I run across a good man let's not let it go unnoticed. Let's celebrate. Let's appreciate.

Maybe if we have a few more good women we'll start to discover a few more good men.

Pain Redemeed

Life fascinates me. It's this treacherously cruel world highlighted with too-good-to-be-true events. We find ourselves struggling to breath through the agony only to find ourselves on fast forward to a new year and suddenly we're in a moment of grand celebration.

See that photograph? He was dying and the doctors couldn't figure it out until it was almost too late.  She lost her two best friends in one year because life took a tragic turn and sent them all on separate journeys. He got fired from a company where he worked overtime to be a good employee simply because they where downsizing.

See that photograph? He graduated high school at sixteen because he is that brilliant and determined. She was promoted to a directorship at a multi-million dollar organization before the age of 25 because sometimes crazy stuff happens. He found his life dream before finishing high school and has made more progress towards achieving it than some people will make in their entire lifetime.

How? Why? And can't we just have the good without the bad? I don't think so. That would be like eating chocolate minus the bitter coca bean and then all we would have is sugar mixed with fat and no one would call that chocolate.

"What's the point of having blood with no veins?
What's the point of having love with no pain?"

I would never condone all the evil in the world as secretly good. I would say in the words of Jonathan Brush that, "All the pain will be redeemed." I would say that somehow the bitter of life seems to brighten the sweetness that is mixed in. I would say it is a curious thing to think that in the agony of the cross, redemption for all mankind was born.  Perhaps, somehow, that truth is reflected in the debilitating pain of our lives that so harmoniously mingles itself into the beautiful melody of our reality.

How to Live with Unmet Expectations

I never yell. I was yelling. I hated to cry. I was sobbing. I felt so hurt and angry. I felt trapped by circumstances. I wanted my mom to step in with some incredibly supportive sentiments and instead she had some concerns to share. I felt so alone. It wasn't my mom or I's best moment. My first year at college coupled with constantly working plus dealing with an awkward guy relationship were taking its toll. Two years earlier though, I probably would have given a lot to be in that tense moment.

I walked around the corner and I knew. I knew that when the nurse looked up at me one shake of his head would be the answer to whether my whole world had just changed in one moment. "She's dead," I thought. In a matter of seconds, the long-term illness my mother was diagnosed with eight years earlier had rendered her deaf and blind. Did it have to take her life too? He looked up and started talking about her pulse. "She's not dead," I realized. Relief hit me but not a satisfying relief. It was more like the crack of a whip that told you the race was still going - the long days filled with worry were still stretching out in front of you. Her vision and hearing came back but it would be months before my mother came back.

Perspective and expectations can wage an ugly war. I've never forgotten the years before we found a new doctor. The years where my mother almost died six times before my eighteenth birthday. Despite living with an usual awareness of the nearness of death, I still had expectations. When she began to recover, I was growing up and moving on. I had expectations of the advice she would (and wouldn't) give. Sometimes expectations need to be tamed by perspective.

Every expectation feels reasonable to the person who has it. Lots of expectations are legitimate. Not all expectations are realistic. How do we live in a world of unmet expectations? Grace.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? 
Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 
You desire but do not have." 
James 4:1-2

Grace is the perspective that tames the war of expectations. Humility is the perspective that quiets the battle of expectations. I don't know what your unmet expectations are. Maybe your father left you feeling perpetually "not quite good enough". Maybe your friends where never really "that into you" like you had hoped. Maybe that guy just "won't commit" despite what you know you deserve. I've been there. I still like to hangout there more often than I'd like to admit. Can we join hands on a journey though, to dropping expectations in an effort to live free? Free from the war of our own desires. Free to love unconditionally. Free to let others be themselves without it dictating who we are.

My mother and I aren't perfect. Our relationship isn't perfect. It's better though. Better because I said I was sorry and she was far more understanding about everything than I originally gave her credit for. It's better because we've adjusted our expectations. It will continue to get better because despite the perspective I've always had that life is short, I am now learning that the most influential perspective is a grace filled one.

How to "Get the Guy"

I was curious to hear their conversation. We were women of all ages and the discussion was on guys and relationships. The youngest of us was in our twenties and the eldest in her fifties. As I listened, they covered the usual bases and swapped guy tales when out of the blue one of them looked right at me and said, "Now you, Moriah, need to be careful that you don't pass a good guy by." I was taken back a bit. She did not know me that well. She knew I had standards. She knew I did not date much but where was this coming from?


"He is your perfect opportunity to settle," my friend was shooting straight with me that night. I knew she was right. Mr. Charming had made an appearance with some vague gestures of interest. I was intrigued. It was a classic case of liking the cute guy but knowing he wasn't good for you.


Have standards but not too many standards. Give him a chance but not too much of a chance. Be the nice girl but not too nice. Don't play hard to get but don't play cheap. . . the rules never end and if they do the opinions of others certainly don't. How in the world is a girl to navigate the endless advice? We want to know what out of it all is actually good advice. Scratch that, we really only have time to try and remember the best advice. Maybe in the end though we do not need more advice on how to "get the guy".

I've spent far too much time worrying about how to make the perfect impression on this or that guy who didn't even notice there was an impression he was supposed to be picking up on. I've seen far too many girls completely morph into different creatures just to be with a guy who said they were pretty and that he wanted to be with them. Maybe sometimes we get the whole thing wrong. We worry and we plan and in the meantime, we completely forget that life is a beautiful thing that is meant to be lived. We forget that God doesn't need our help to make His dreams for us come true. We forget that life is so much bigger than whether or not our relationship status is accurately reflected in one of Facebook's eleven options. We forget that life isn't about finding the perfect combination of rules that will set us on the path to success. Life is about living and the only real living that ever gets done is when each moment is seen as a gift from God to be given back to Him.

Your life isn't about that guy or following Aunt Whoever's advice to get that guy. Your life is about Jesus.

When We Break

"I'm honored to be the one that hurts when they're gone." 

The words came to me from the past. Written in my journal they were now facing me in the present. I remembered the pain so well, that gentle ache hidden deep within while I worked hard at life and smiled brightly at people. I'll never forget the moment when I whispered a prayer on my way to work, "God this hurts SO much. I miss them SO much." Just as soon as I said it I was startled with the thought that I had to miss them this much if I were to have loved them that much. And isn't loving others the point?

"I want to know all my giving makes a difference." 

They were more words from another old journal entry. Maybe I had not realized it then but as I read these words now I smiled to know that difference making is something we cannot measure. Some of us will spend our whole lives planting seeds that other people will reap. We will plant a crop that we will never get to see. We will ache over dry ground hiding life beneath it.

Some of us are called to a life of aching for a broken world. Some of us are called to a season of hurting for others. Some of us will face a moment of pain on behalf of another. Wherever you are, take comfort in the fact that Jesus himself gave his very life because of a brokenness too great to be healed by any other means. If we break even a little bit, we are just beginning to catch a glimpse of the Gospel's glory.
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