It all started in a tiny church in the middle of a neighborhood that December night in 2006. Little did I know how significant that place would be to the rest of my life. I met Joe there that night, in the seemingly out of place church in the historic Maple-Ash neighborhood in Tempe. Life changed for me that night (even if I didn’t realize it right away). God used that night, that church, that place as the birth place for our story to begin. Though it feels like eons ago, the little church in Maple-Ash holds such a sweet space in our hearts. It’s where our faith grew it’s roots. It’s where our relationship blossomed. It’s where we began to grow up. It was the beginning of us, Joe and Stacy, the couple.
Since that first night of meeting 12 years ago, God has given us more adventure, twists and turns than we could have ever imagined. It reminds me of what Joanna Gaines wrote in The Magnolia story. “Have you ever looked at the bud of a magnolia flower? It’s a tight little pod that stays closed up for a long time on the end of its branch until one day, out of nowhere, it finally bursts open into this gigantic, gorgeous, fragrant flower that’s ten times bigger than the bud itself. It’s impossible to imagine that such a big beautiful thing could pop out of that tiny little bud. But it does.” That’s what I think of when I think back on that night we first met in Maple-Ash. Neither one of us could have imagined from that seemingly insignificant “meet-cute” that it would grow into the gigantic blossom of the life we have together now. But that’s exactly how God works.
As we prepare to welcome our third baby girl, this miracle from the Lord, we want to remember how it all started. In that tiny church in Maple-Ash with a tiny bud of a relationship like a magnolia that would one day burst open into this amazing fragrant life together. We can not imagine a more perfect name for our baby girl, our sweet Maple Magnolia.