Category: Uncategorized

Alexandroni Family Christmas Video

After a long absence on this website we decided to share a quick Christmas video greeting with you!!!

We hope you enjoyed seeing our growing family and we hope you are encouraged by this wonderful passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17:

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,  comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

May you have a meaningful, memorable Christmas and a fruitful, blessed New Year!

With love, Stefan, Cristina, Grace, and Baby Alexandroni

Engagement Q&A, Part 2

* What were the most helpful tips to building your relationship (trust, safety, friendship, communication)?

Building trust: This is a long story that I won’t get into, but I felt that the most trust was built when Stefan shared some really hard things for anyone to share.  I could tell that he didn’t want to hide anything from me – even if that meant me ending the relationship.  Because he valued the truth even above the relationship made me realize that he wanted to listen to the Holy Spirit more than anything. He had a humble, teachable heart. I felt the freedom to ask him hard questions and I gave him permission to do the same with me. It took time and experiences to build more and more trust, but it steadily grew like a thriving plant. You water it and give it sunshine and it will surely shoot up!

Building safety: We tried to be who we really were with one another. The more we were ourselves in front of each other, the more we felt truly accepted and embraced … and not for who we were trying to be, but who we were. I mention later that as our relationship matured and progressed, the more we opened our hearts to one another. We confided in each other our pasts, struggles, ugly areas that we don’t normally show anyone but God, and we were able to love one another in those places of ugliness. It’s actually super healing and beautiful to be loved in the areas you feel most unlovable. We talked through these things with our pre-engagement counselor and he helped facilitate some of these conversations and healthy responses. Knowing that we are for one another, not against each other helped us to feel safe.  As a girl, I felt safest when I didn’t feel rushed or pressured to share or move forward. I felt respected even though I also felt pursued. At times I had higher physical and emotional boundaries and I never, ever felt that Stefan pressured me to back down from my convictions. This isn’t to say that we didn’t struggle together, but he didn’t ever say or act in a way that made me feel stupid for aiming for the conviction that I had (ie not kissing till my wedding day). I felt that he was fighting for us to uphold it as much as I was (we made it! Praise God 🙂 ).

Building friendship: My mentor would tell me that every relationship needs a childhood. She is so right! Early in the relationship we simply “played” together.  We went for walks, picnics, ice-skating, movies, coffee shops, etc. After a little while, we began to mature in our interactions and started to serve in ministry together: praying for others, dental missions in Mexico, etc.  Through that progression, our friendship blossomed as we confided in one another and grew to anticipate each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Our friendship deepened as our communities began to merge and his friends became my friends and vice versa.  The more time, experiences, and joys/sorrows we shared the more our hearts grew in friendship.  I think the 2 biggest things that helped us deepen our friendship was 1. being rooting in Christ. 2. not being physically involved. The less we were able to do physically the more we felt the urge to show one another love and affection through other means: actions, service, words, activities, etc.

Building communication:  we went through the book 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged and it was a fun way to engage in meaningful conversation.  We also stuck to the honesty policy – even when it was hard. We didn’t want to play any guessing games or be passive/aggressive so we made it a point to resolve conflicts – not avoid them.  We agreed to keep short accounts.  We agreed to share how we truly felt about something even if it didn’t seem like the other person was going to like what they heard.  When a conversation didn’t go so well we tried to remember to ask for a “do over” so that we could learn to improve our communication. I am someone who gets emotional and can’t think in the moment so I need to take a moment and calm down before trying to resolve something. Stefan had to learn that I wasn’t avoiding, I just needed about 10-20 minutes usually to gain composure otherwise, I couldn’t engage in productive, helpful conversation. Another helpful tip was that we tried not to rush anything. If we weren’t sure how to proceed, one of us would usually ask to stop and pray to ask God for wisdom on how to handle a situation. We try not to ever see the other person as an enemy, but as a teammate. This helps in communication. We also talked through the details of our days that way we had a good context for the bigger picture.  Another HUGE thing was that we talked about everything – especially in engagement. We agreed to not keep any secrets (except presents we were giving to one another).  He knows all my deep, dark secrets and I know his. We gave each other permission to ask questions and, mostly, tried to focus on being good listeners for one another. The best listening tip that helped us was to repeat back to one another what we heard the other person say. This was key to making sure we understood before we responded. That’s all of can think of for now.

* What were the most helpful tips to avoid temptation to sexual sin, or to crossing your physical/touch boundaries?

Don’t be alone in a private place.  This may sound elementary or extreme, but it was the number 1 most helpful tip that helped us through the course of our relationship. I also had this rule with previous relationships and am so grateful because I believed this was probably the most helpful boundary that keep things rated “G.”  It’s much more difficult to slip up in public than it is in private. Of course, it’s possible to fall into temptation anywhere, but this is a helpful hedge. When we got to our hotel room on our wedding night and closed the door, we were simply excited to be in an absolutely private place with each other.  We still hold on to this boundary- obviously not with one another- but with others so that we are never alone with someone of the opposite gender.  We want to live above reproach and protect ourselves from any potential temptation or even false accusations.

The second most helpful thing was to not think of sex or sexual desire as a bad, dirty thing, but to think of it as a precious gift to be guarded. You probably already hold this view, but  something that helped us a lot was to say to one another (when attraction felt almost irresistible): “This is hug (or whatever) is starting to feel too good for right now.”  This approach didn’t make the other person feel bad or condemned or like a stumbling block. It simply communicated that we needed help to stop the momentum.  It also reminded each of us what we really wanted for ourselves and one another: free expression in the context of beautiful married love.

I’m hopeful that these words will be an encouragement to you. Stay the course! Keep your eyes on Jesus. You can do it in His strength!

Fun Finds part 1

Even though this video is directed towards young men, the message is relevant to single women preparing for marriage too!

Resurgence: 8 Principles for Dating

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Reading this article will help you identify healthy guidelines and tips for your dating relationships.

Priscilla Shirer reminds us in a powerful message that God is far more patient than we are.

Tammy Trent shares her moving testimony about how she chose to believe God is good despite the tragic loss of her husband and she became a young widow.

Helpful Links

http://www.cru.org/pledge/the-5-things.htm

http://pledge.cruoncampus.org/

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http://www.gfa.org/book/?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-Ad-_-Newsfeed-_-B9

Use your talents and gifts by investing them

 

Use

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your talents and gifts by investing them

.

 

Do
you
remember
the
Sound
of
Music
and
the
character
of
Maria?
She
was
someone
who
would
completely
lose
track
of
time
and
responsibility
when
she
was
roaming
the
green
Austrian
hillsides
with
exuberance
and
joy.
That
time
away
filled
her
with
life
and
the
awe
of
God.
Do
you
feel
the
freedom
to
“let
down
your
hair”
and
be
yourself
with
God?
To
spread
out
your
arms
and
sing
at
the
top
of
your
lungs,
to
put
aside
worries
and
simply
be
with
God
in
the
beauty
of
His
presence
and
His
creation?
If
it’s
been
awhile
since
you’ve
really
loosened
up
with
God,
I
encourage
you
to
set
aside
time
for
a
“God-­‐date.”
Maybe
that
means
going
to
a
restaurant
and
ordering
a
creme
brulee
with
a
pot
of
tea
and
opening
up
your
Bible
to
listen
to
the
Holy
Spirit
speak.
Maybe
it
means
bundling
up
for
an
evening
walk
under
the
stars
alone
with
God
to

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regain
perspective.
Maybe
it
means
going
to
the
beach
or
mountains
to
remember
His
power
and
broad
scope
of
His
reach.
Just
like
we
need
to
be
creative
in
our
relationships
and
be
deliberate
to
invest
time
and
energy
for
deeper
intimacy,
so
we
need
to
be
intentional
to
guard
our
time
and
interactions
with
the
God
of
the
universe
who
loves
us
and
is
mindful
of
us.
Sending
you
love
and
friendship,
Cristina
I
run
in
the
path
of
your
commands,
for
you
have
broadened
my
understanding.
Psalm
119:32
What
you
think:
1. Describe
one
of
your
favorite
memories
that
you
“let
loose”
with
God.
2. Write out some ideas
that
you
can
be
deliberate
and
creative
to
foster
a
rich,
fun,
yummy
relationship
with
the
Lover
of
your
soul

Orange County Beautiful Bricklayers is alive and well!

I failed to mention in the last post (and I’m SO sorry if I gave the wrong impression): Bricklayers is not going dormant!

I (Cristina) may be a bit off the radar right now as I focus on my own “bricklaying” but the Beautiful Bricklayers in Orange County are actively meeting and preparing for continued involvement of the Bricklayers community.  Laura Vencill (pictured with her husband, Mike) and Cassie Robertson are leading these events.  They are particularly focused on leading a monthly prayer meeting in Irvine and hope to start up a new Bricklayers class later this year as well.  Keep an eye out for dates and times here on the blog and also on our Facebook page.

Vencills 2Cassie Robertson headshot 2

Beautiful Bricklayers’ Winter Workshop: December 28th

logo full

Come and join us for a Beautiful Bricklayers’ Winter Workshop!

Date: Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time: 9AM-noon

Place: 2700 Amalfi, Newport Beach, Ca 92660

We’ll be discussing principles of becoming “hot and holy” women of purpose, prayer, partnership, and preparation.

You’ll be equipped to start preparing now for a godly marriage, regardless of current relationship status. If you are single, dating, or engaged, join us as we grow in our understanding of what it means to lay a foundation for a Kingdom-building future.

Already a Bricklayer?  Join us for a refresher seminar and receive a discounted rate ($10 not $25 if you have already gone through a previous class)!

Invite your friends!!

Cost: $25 for new participants (includes materials and light refreshments).$10 for Bricklayers Class alumna who already have a workbook

Partial scholarships are available.

RSVP: email Cassie: bricklayersleadership@gmail.com or use the form below.

In order to save your spot, write a check made out to “Cassie Robertson” and mail it to:

Cassie Robertson
2620 Johnson Ave.
La Habra, Ca 90631

Deadline to register is DECEMBER 13th!

See you in December!!

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