Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 50: Sixth Sense


I have a sixth sense. Not like that. Although the most memorable Young Life talk I heard all through high school was when they showed a clip of this movie. I tried to find the clip on YouTube but I couldn't find it. It's where the little boy is telling his secret and he says, "I see dead people. All the time. And they don't even know they're dead." Wow, that's real life! Doesn't that make you just want to go out and live out the great commission?!

Anyway... the first time I noticed this sixth sense was in 8th grade. I was in Washington D.C. on a field trip and we were seeing all these monuments and I felt like something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I started crying. When I got home, I found out about things that had happened while I was gone. I asked if they happened on a certain day around a certain time and found out they did. He asked me how I knew and I didn't have an answer. I just had a feeling. It has happened more since then at random times with no explanation. And last night was one of those times. When I was blogging last night, I felt blah! There was no other way to describe it and I didn't have a reason for it. As soon as I posted the entry, I found out the reason. I'm pretty sure this sixth sense is a spiritual gift that I don't really know how to use yet so pray about that!

So, last night I cried. I literally kicked and screamed in my bed. So frustrated- at the situation and at myself. But you know what? God is incredible! Seriously. I told my story like 2 weeks ago. Parts of my story that I hadn't told to anyone. Parts of my story that would have left me feeling totally isolated and alone last night with no one to talk to. But instead, there were people that knew. People that could pray with me and for me. People that could lament with me and encourage me. I am so thankful for the all the prayers from people that knew what was going on and from those that didn't. I was blessed by the scripture and words of encouragement that were sent. And I was reminded, once again, of the sovereignty of God!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 49: Random Musings

I don't have enough to say-or that I want to say-so I'm stealing Jamie's idea and giving bullet points of what's going on in my mind.

Christmas, Spanish for "more Christ": I didn't know how Christmas was going to be. My family did Christmas in Nashville on Christmas Eve because my sister had to work Christmas day. The joys of being a nurse... But I kind of liked it. I liked being able to do presents and family traditions on Christmas Eve and then spend that day focusing on Christ and the real reason for all the celebration. Me gusta!

Progress: At church on Christmas morning, I sat a few rows behind the Harrises. Ricky and Rosie are adorable. Seriously. I watched them hug, hold hands, dance, laugh, and smile at each other like they were so in love. (I promise I paid attention to the sermon too...) But as I was watching them I was thinking how I wanted that. And not in a jealous way! In a "that is so sweet; I want a love like that one day" kind of way. #babysteps

Lights, Camera, Action: I wish. Really just lights. The check engine light came on in my car yesterday. I called my dad. The conversation went something like this: "Dad. A light came on in my car. I work tomorrow, but if I come over after work tomorrow will you take it and get it looked at? I'll pay whatever. I just don't want to deal with it." Yep, I love my dad.

Torn: Illusion never change into something real. I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn. Okay, not the Natalie Imbruglia version (and yes, I did look up who actually sang that song) but I'm talking about New Year's. There are a few things going on that I could do. I just don't know how I feel about it. Part of me wants to just sleep through the whole thing- or just not remember the night at all. Another part of me wants to curl up with sweats and a movie. And another part wants to go out and have fun. And tonight my mom told me that my sister and brother-in-law are coming in town and they are going to dinner New Year's Eve if I want to come. And that I can invite someone if I want to... BLAH!

Etc.: I was going to vent. About being frustrated and upset. And hurt. Ugh! But I decided against it. I still may cry myself to sleep. And no, nothing happened. Nothing at all. Isn't life grand? So I'l just leave with this, "when it's real, it's worth it."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 48


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 46: Easy Button

If you're looking for the easy button, there isn't one! But you know what's fun? Feeling like you're being tempted. No, not actually being tempted. Being tempted sucks! But feeling tempted is a different story. Tonight I felt like a fly on the wall looking into my own life. And I could sense the temptation. But because of that I can talk to Satan. I can command him away from me. And he has to listen! I'm pretty powerful with the Holy Spirit inside me!

But everyone told me that this whole thing would get easier. Not every day. But some days would be easier. And they were right! It does get easier. Don't get me wrong, It's not easy. The temptations don't go away (wouldn't that be nice?!) There are still temptations--Every. Single. Day. But it's crazy cool when I can recognize them now. And I'm starting to see the purpose in all this. I mean, I knew I was supposed to do this. There was never any doubt in my mind that God wanted me to take a break from dating and focus on Him, but wow! Things have changed so much. And by "things" I really mean my perspective on things. Every day I get to wake up and ask "What's the plan for today, God? What do you want to teach me?"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 44: Memories

Nope, not about a boy this time. Although I have tons of memories about boys too. But this time it's about friendships. Tonight I went to dinner with friends from high school. And it was fun- but it was different. They are in very different stages in life. We talked about their marriages and raising children. And about me not dating. They talked about me telling my growth group my full story, but they lived through a lot of it.

It was good. It was fun to reminisce. There were definitely times when I listened to stories and was sad and thought that it was supposed to be my life. I was supposed to be that girl. But then they talked about my life and made a comment about how many friends I have. And it made me smile. Because it's true. And I wouldn't have said that a few months ago. Okay, I would have said it, but in my mind I would have known it wasn't true. A few months ago, I knew a lot of people. Now I have a lot of friends. Good friends. And I am so thankful. God has truly blessed me with amazing friends, especially at the time when I needed them most. Love the sweet reminders!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 42: Social Media

Well today was my second day at work and I go back tomorrow so I don't have the energy to write a long post. But there are some in the works my mind. So be looking out for posts on my family's reaction to the challenge, why I'm doing it in the first place, and "Dear John" letters to the exes.

But until then, I'll leave you with a little social media. A look at the birth of Christ:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 40: This Is My Now

I am made of more my yesterdays...
This is my now and I am breathing in the moment
I look around and can't believe the love I see
My fears behind me. Gone are the shadows and doubt.
That was then; this is my now.
I have the courage like never before. I've settled for less; now I'm ready for more!

I love me some Jordin Sparks! And this song is so true! This is now. I want to live in the moment and I think that the last 40 days have taught me that. The other day, after a wild girls' night in, I got a text that said, "Do you think when we're married we'll look back and wish we were free to do what we want and be single like this again?" Jamie wrote about it in her blog the other day. Here is an excerpt:
"One day I'll be married. One day I'll have a ring. One day there will be vows. One day there will be a kiss. And one day there will be a house that becomes a home... One day. But until that day, there will be today... It occurred to me... this is such a precious time in my life. Before I started this challenge I felt like I was just filling in time until he came along, waiting on him so my life could start. Nothing could be more further from the truth now. Instead of time being filled, I feel so full--my life is full and happy, and satisfying. I realized being single isn't shackles and woes, it's freedom. And it amazes me how in just 40 days my perspective has changed in extreme ways. When I am married, when will I have random nights out like this?... How often will I be able to just pick up and hang out with a friend? There's an element of spontaneity that fades when responsibilities come into play. Right now is the time to take advantage. Right now is the time to develop and enjoy a full life... And one day when we sit rocking on our porch..., I will think of the road I traveled long before my husband entered my life. I will think of my friends. Our nights out. Our nights in. And how much God blessed me with this [dating fast]"
So true! My favorite line from that is "I realized that being single isn't shackles and woes, it's freedom." I am learning that. I am beginning to feel that. And to really believe it! Last night, when driving to dinner and the symphony with friends I confessed that while I knew I would have a good time, I still wish I would be able to do this with a date. But honestly, I didn't! I had a blast with 16 other women celebrating Christmas and just having fun being girls! And for anyone that has ever even met me knows that this is a HUGE milestone! It was so much fun. And I got to have fun being with friends and not worrying about anything else. God is teaching me not to dwell on the past or look towards the next season, but to live in the moment and enjoy this time. This is my now!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 37: Relief

Thank you so much for all the prayers and encouragement today! I told my story this morning and was greeted with open arms and open hearts. As I was driving home, I thought about how I could have said things better or conveyed things differently, but being the over-analyzer that I am, that's pretty normal.

But it went well. It was overwhelming, but also felt as though a weight had been lifted off of me. My story is out there- and I know that I have a group of women who love me and want what's best for me. A group of women who are in my life to encourage me and hold me accountable. I am so thankful for each of them! I wish I had a picture to capture the memories of this morning. Breakfast and coffee in hand sitting around talking, but pictures like that don't happen at 5:30 in the morning! :) We serve an amazing God who knows what we need and meets us exactly where we are!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 36: My Story

No, this is not where I write out my story for the world to see! This is where I ask for prayers... Tomorrow morning at growth group, I'm sharing my story. Not the redeemed, this-was-a-sin-but-God-used-it, wrapped up and tied with a neat bow version. The messy, these-are-my-sins-and-what-I-still-struggle-with version. As I have been thinking about my story and praying about what to tell, different moments came to mind. I felt like God was nudging me to open up about different situations.

These are pages and chapters of my life that have never been shared. Thoughts and feelings that I have never voiced outloud to another person. And I wish I could say that these are things that are going on right now that I haven't opened up about, but these are years of hidden moments and secret struggles that no one knows (as I said yesterday, I've worn a mask for a long time). And it's scary. I'm scared as to how people will react. Scared that I won't be able to voice how I'm feeling. But more than that I'm excited. I'm excited about what this means for the future. I'm excited about where these relationship are going to go because of this. I'm excited to not have to bear the burdens alone.

So I'm asking for prayers. Prayers for discernment from the Holy Spirit about what to tell and how much. Prayers for strength that I will make it through the story. Prayers that God will speak through me. Prayers for open hearts of the girls hearing the story. And mostly, prayers that this isn't about me. That this is God's story and He chose to tell it through me. Pray that He will get glory!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 35: Fears

This is going to be hard to write. The past two days have been filled with some really good, intentional conversations. Conversations about our lives and our struggles and conversations about why we are so afraid to have these conversations in the first place. We talked about why this kind of community isn't happening the way it should and the common answer was fear. We are afraid that other people do have this kind of community and we are just on the outside. We are afraid of judgement. We are afraid that no one else will understand or is going through the same things as us.

So we put up walls. And put on masks. This was me for so long! And still is sometimes. Taking off the mask that has become so comfortable- so second nature- is hard.

We Wear the Mask     Paul Lawrence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies. It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts, we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be otherwise, in counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us while we wear the mask.
We smile, but, Oh great Christ our cries to Thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile beneath our feet and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise. We wear the mask!

So we don't let people into our lives because we fear that they will judge us or look at us differently. The fear of judgement... That if people knew the real me- the things that I have been through- they would judge me or turn away. But that's only part of it. That's the more accepted part. My other fear: the fear of accountability. That if people know what I'm really going through and really struggling with then they will hold me accountable for those actions and I can no longer walk in sin.

Even as I'm typing this I know how ridiculous it sounds. In my head it doesn't make sense. That's not really what I want. But in my flesh, that is what I want. Sometimes I want the anonymity to do what I want to do. But more than that, I want to be known. And that is what this challenge is all about. Not just about growing in Christ and changing habits. But about letting others into my life- into the hidden parts so that they can hold me accountable and so that I don't have to go through this alone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 32: Remembering Blessings

I haven't written in a few days and I missed my one month celebration. That's what working 3 in a row does to me. Totally cuts me off from civilization. Oops! The first month has definitely been rocky to say the least. There have been times of joy and excitement at the process and feeling as though I am growing. And then there have been times when I have failed- and failed miserably! Go big or go home, I guess. I am so thankful that His mercies are NEW every morning! And I am reminding myself that this is a process. That it takes time. That this is about changing my mind and my thoughts and my heart. It's not just about doing things differently. And hopefully it will get easier over time! Five more months...

But through this time, God has blessed me in more ways than I could have imagined. He has placed people in my life and orchestrated friendships that I didn't even know that I so desperately needed. And at the exact time when I needed them most. Today I was thinking about what I had going on this week and was reminded of some many blessings. (Stalkers, please stop reading now as I'm about to give my whereabouts for the entire week.)

Tomorrow: Church. Sardis retreat reunion lunch-God revealed things that weekend that I didn't even recognize in myself. New Rules Bible study-LOVE getting to know this group of women. They remind me that I am not alone in my struggles. Thankful God has put each one of them in my life. Excited about growing deeper with them. And then possibly a tacky sweater Christmas party.
Monday: Work. DTR Group-loved laughing with them at Christgiving last week and always look forward to relaxing Monday night growing with these ladies.
Tuesday: Playtime with Eryka before she leaves to go home for the holidays. Always a time of laughter and encouragement with her. I'm glad after being friends for a year and a half, we have finally opened up and let each other in. ;)
Wednesday: Work.
Thursday: Growth group. And no work which means sitting around drinking coffee and talking with friends at 5:30 in the morning and not having to rush anywhere. I wasn't in a community group and honestly wasn't really looking to be in a growth group until Jamie and Rachel talked to me about theirs and I said yes without really thinking. God totally had his hand in that decision and I am loving getting to know everyone better. As we are telling our stories, I am seeing pieces of me in each of them and I know that God has placed each one of us in this group for a reason- to learn from each other and to grow closer to each other and to Him.
Friday: Work. Then hanging out with friends.
Saturday: Getting dressed up. Dinner and the symphony. Celebrating the holidays and celebrating friends. Just a fun girls night out. Exactly what I need.

So that's my week. See how blessed I am? God is truly answering my prayers. And answering the things that I didn't even know how to ask for- in a Romans 8:26 kinda way. He never ceases to amaze me! What is God blessing you with right now?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 28: Let Me Let Go

I thought it was over, baby. We said our goodbyes
But I can't go a day without your face going through my mind.

In fact, not a single minute passes without you in it
Your voice, your touch, memories of your love are with me all the time.

Let me let go, baby. Let me let go.
If this is for the best why are you still in my heart- are you still in my soul.
Let me let go.

I talked to you the other day. Looks like you made your escape.
You put us behind, no matter how I try I can't do the same.

Let me let go, baby, won't you? Let me let go.
It just isn't right. I've been two thousand miles down a dead-end road.

Let me let go, darling, won't you? I just got to know
If this is for the best why are you still in my heart; you're still in my soul.
Let me let go!

This song has been going through my head for a while now. And while I feel like some of it applies to me- to us- I don't know if I want to let go. Letting go means it's over. Letting go means moving on. I know that I need to move on. You've made it clear that nothing's going to happen. But it's hard. There’s part of me that’s still holding on. Clinging to something that doesn't exist- that never existed. And it’s holding me back and I hate it! I wish I could detach my heart and my head sometimes (they hardly ever agree anyway…) I’m trusting that God is going to do big things. And I’m praying that He will change my heart. That He will allow me to let go and that I will fully rely on Him- for acceptance, for protection, for worth. I know it's time to let go...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 27: One. Two. Three.

I was going to write about friendships today. I was going to write about Saturday night and the fun of cooking a pinterest dinner together. About the adventures and dancing the night away to kinect. About laughing and opening up to each other. 
All recipes found on Pinterest
I was going to write about Sunday and lunch after church with friends. About going to dinner to celebrate a sweet friend’s birthday. About affirming who she is and how thankful each of us is to have her in our lives.
I was going to write about tonight and celebrating Christgiving with my DTR group. About laughing at ridiculous outfits and absurd dirty Santa gifts.

Snooki and The Situation Christmas ornaments. All I can think of is Katie and Will on Halloween. I love Katie Bower! 
I am so thankful for my friends and have loved the weekend we've spent together but in the back of my mind there's always that feeling... "I'm single." Everyone tells me that it will get easier. And I hope it does! I don't know if I can handle the overwhelming thoughts that are always in the back of my mind. And today was no different...

One. You are the past. You are comfortable. It's easy to fall back into old habits. But you are in the past for a reason. I don't want to look back. I don't want to go back to who I was. I'm ready to move forward.

Two. You are the future. You are exciting. You are an adventure and a challenge. But you look too much like the past. You make it too easy to go back to the old me. God is growing me everyday and there's no turning back now.

Three. You are the unknown. And yet you know me so well. You are comfort and ease. Yet you keep me on my toes. You challenge me. You encourage me. You make me want to be a better person. Yet you are still unknown. I can't fall when I don't know if you'll be there to catch me. I don't know if you are part of God's plan for my life. And so I'm stepping back. I'm taking time for me and God. I'm praying for a renewed heart and mind. Today was another reminder of why I am doing this. Why I'm taking a break from dating and focusing on my relationship with my Heavenly Father. But there's still part of me that wonders where we'll stand when the dust settles...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 25: Race Day

Ran the St. Jude Half today. Did I mention I hadn't trained for this- at all? First thought: This is miserable. Second thought: I could do this again. A little bit delirious maybe. Or just a sucker for pain. But I think every blog I've written so far has pointed to the latter... But the best part was getting to do the race with my sister and cousins (and by do the race, I mean take this picture and then go to our separate corrals because my sister is a machine.) But it was still a lot of fun!


Now I'm getting ready to go play with a few of my favorite people! Glorious! I love when I don't have anything to write about. It doesn't happen very often. And I kinda do have something to write about today but it will take too long and I'm ready to play. So, I'll save it for another time...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 24

Today was rough. (Why do I feel like I start every post that way?) But I ended up being off today so it was my second day off which means my second day of lying around the house with nothing but my thoughts! Bad. Move. And I was still upset from last night. So needless to say my mind went crazy! I spent the beginning of the afternoon lying on the couch crying. Yep, fun day. But I am so thankful for friends that really know me! Got sweet encouragement and advise from a friend. And another friend got me out of the house because she knew I didn't need to "be alone with my thoughts." I love you guys!

Tonight, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions-happy, confused, relieved, frustrated, excited, upset, giddy. Everything else melts away. Why does this happen so easily? It was depressing and somewhat encouraging all at the same time! Maybe one day will be different...


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 23

I don't even know what to write about today. I'm kinda pissed and still trying to decompress. Trying to figure out what I'm really upset about. I guess I'll write more when I figure it out...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 21: Friendship

I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately. With guys and girls. I don't want pointless friendships. I want friends that know me inside and out. Friends that will hold me accountable. Friends that will pray for me and encourage me in my walk with the Lord.

I have realized that I share different things with different friends. That I am open about different things with different groups of people. I think part of it is self protection. But I think part of it is good. I feel like there are  things in my life that I don't want to share with people just for the sake of exchanging information. When I am going through tough times, I want to talk to people that I know will intercede on my behalf. People that I know will encourage me through scripture and godly wisdom. And there are some friends that I don't feel like will do that so I withhold things from them.

But if I'm not being open with them, then what's the point? What are the friendships for? Time to reevaluate...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 20: Progress


So, today was interesting. It was his birthday. Everyone says this shouldn’t affect me anymore. And maybe it shouldn’t. Most days it doesn’t. 98% of the time I’m fine. I don’t think about him at all. Then there’s that other 2%. Those times when I see a truck that looks like his or I drive past a place that holds a lot of memories. But today wasn’t as hard as it could have been. Or as hard as it has been in past years. I thought about him. And about us. But it was more about reminiscing on the past and thinking about the good times. Yes, there was some wondering about what could have been and there was some regret. But there was no bitterness or hatred. There were no tears. Progress.

After work tonight didn’t go as I had planned- at all. But instead of beating myself up about it, I thought about how far I had come. I thought about what this night would have looked like a year ago- even a few months ago! And despite everything, I am excited and proud that things are different. Progress.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 19: Reconfirmation

I'm trying to be positive. Tonight just reconfirmed why I'm doing this. I'm frustrated and discouraged. And only at myself. This morning at church, Bryan talked about faith and how it involves both trust and risk. He also talked about how God loves us to much to just let us get by. And that God will continue to allow us to face the same storms until we can pass the test and trust in Him.

I feel like I am continually getting the same tests. And that I am failing over and over again! And I know it's my fault! So frustrating! I want to trust God with this. I want to pass this test so that I can move on, but also so that I can grow. I'm tired of feeling like I'm on a carousel that keeps going around in circles but never gets anywhere.

I'm trying to be optimistic about all of this. I'm trying to use this as a reminder as to why I'm doing a dating fast in the first place. I'm trying to think about how things are going to be different in May. But I kind of just want to move to another city and start over.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 18: Goodbye

The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 17: Placekeeper


I'm tired of being a placekeeper. I'm tired of filling in and keeping you comfortable until something better comes along. I'm tired of being jealous when you hang out with other people and I'm tired of our relationship holding me back from other friendships.

I can honestly say that I want what's best for you. I can now say that I want you to be happy. I know that's not with me. You already know what you want. Go after it! But don't drag me along with you! You’re moving on and that’s fine. But let me move on too!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 16: Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

As hard as these past 2 weeks have been, I am truly blessed. And God is teaching me to be thankful- sometimes by throwing it in my face over and over again. I have been told to read the book One Thousand Gifts for a few months now and haven't done it yet. Then I went on a retreat where we focused on the book and the fact that Eucharisto is made up of joy, grace, and thanksgiving. It was all about learning to give thanks in all circumstances. Receiving grace is a large piece of truly being thankful and experiencing Eucharisto. And then at church on Sunday, Ben preached about being thankful. Clearly sometimes God has to continue to throw things at me multiple times before I get it. Third times a charm and I am learning to give thanks continually.
So here goes the list of things for which I'm thankful (This is a real list. Not like 2 years ago at Thanksgiving dinner when we went around the table I said I was thankful for text messages):

I am so thankful for my family. Even through all our craziness, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!

I am so thankful for my sweet New Rules girls. For Katie, Lacey, Paige, Faith, Tracy, Lauren, Tabria, Roz, Angela, Lindsay, Egypt, Savannah. You girls were such an answer to prayers! And it so nice to not feel totally alone in all this.  For Danielle and Jamie and Sara who are battling singleness with me! And it is a battle- every single day.

I am so thankful for my DTR group. You guys are way better than a steak! :) For Becky and her putting up with all of us and pouring into us (even when we are a sinking ship) For Rosie and her sense of humor and wit. For Holly and her compassion. For Suzanne and her persistence and passion. She does more in 10 minutes than I do all day! For Christy and her genuine desire to follow the Lord. For Ale and her sweet spirit. For Amy and her ability to keep us on our toes.


I am so thankful for sweet friendships like Jamie and Eryka and the time we spent together yesterday. For the laughter and jokes, but also for the conversation and transparency. God has placed these women in my life at exactly the right moment!

I am so thankful for my growth group and the time we have spent together. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in the next few years!

I am so thankful for friendships, old and new. For Sara and her constant encouragement and prayer- even when I'm a horrible friend. For Sally and her honesty and new perspective that she gives me. For Megan and her ability to know the worst about me and still not judge me.

I know there are people I left out and things that I am truly blessed to have. I am thankful for all the women on the Sardis retreat and getting to know their hearts. I am thankful for the people that have encouraged me through hurt and rejoiced with me through good times. I am thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 14: Temptations

God is funny (and nice...) So, I was thinking that maybe God trusted me a little more than He should have. (Not really. He is sovereign!) But I was concerned that He had more confidence in me than I had in myself. My second thought about the whole "supersingle"* situation was that I wish God didn't trust me so much. So Monday, I get another message this time from God-through someone else. The actual words aren't as important as what God said through it, which was basically, "You can only see a finite amount into the future. I can see the whole picture. You were overwhelmed by the thought of resisting this struggle for the rest of your life. I just wanted you to rely on me in the moment- to give me the struggle for the day. I knew you could handle one day at a time. You were faithful one day at a time for three days. Well done. Now I will take the temptation away." And just like that, it was gone. It's still hard, sometimes harder than before. It still occupies my thoughts at times, but it's getting better...

I reached 2 weeks! This is like a milestone. Baby steps...

*Supersingle may or may not be my superhero name :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 13: Rollercoaster

My day started horrible. I don't want to talk about it. But by 8:30 this morning I had cried in the closet at work- twice. Yeah, bad day. But then work got busy and I got distracted/ distracted myself. At the end of the day, I'm leaving work and I get a text that says "Margaritas waiting for you!!!!" Perfection! Best way to end what started as a terrible day! Met my DTR girls at Las Delicias for great food and drink, lots stripe spotting, and even more laughs. I'm so thankful for friendships!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 11: God Trusts Me

Today I am emotional. Nothing has happened. It's been a pretty average, nothing out of the ordinary day. But, I went to bed mad and woke up mad and have been kind of in a funk all day. Let me rewind. Yesterday morning, when getting on the elevator at work, I almost literally bump into an ex-boyfriend's dad. No big deal. Not going to let it phase me. I just laughed and thought, "you're funny, God." Then I went about my day at work and it was cra.zy. Super busy and I felt like I was running around all day! After work, I was driving to dinner trying to think about what to post. I had nothing. I was really thinking that the day had been pretty uneventful and that it was going to be a short entry.

After work I went to dinner with some of the girls in my Bible study (and 2 of the other girls doing to OYC). It was just a fun tonight of fellowship and good mexican food :) At one point, I look down at my phone and notice I have 2 new notifications from facebook. I was intrigued and tried to open the app, but my phone was not cooperating so I tucked it away and went on with dinner.

After dinner, they went dancing. I went home. I was exhausted! Driving home, I decided to blog about dinner and how thankful I was for sweet friendships and encouragement and accountability through all of this. I thought it would be nice to write a happy post after crying my eyes out the night before. Then, I got to a red light and remembered my phone. So I open facebook and my mouth drops. I am speechless. Okay, technically I wasn't totally speechless. I may have said a choice word or five. I couldn't help it. I was shocked. Suspense killing you yet? Staring back at me from my screen was a facebook message from an ex that went something like, "just wanted to see how you were doing..." Back story, we dated. For a while. Broke up and he broke my heart almost 4 years ago. We haven't spoken in about a year. (If you don't know the story, don't do the math on all that...) Was never expecting to talk to him again. And then I get this. Totally out of the blue. Oh the frustrations! So I called a friend and vented to her and then almost had to laugh about it. If you've been reading a doing the math, that 3 exes that I've accidently had contact with this week. Three!

First thought: 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Second thought: God, I'm really glad that you trust me and know that I can bear this temptation, but sometimes I wish You didn't trust me quite so much...
Third thought: I kinda feel like Job. I know my family is dying and I don't have boils. But I can picture the spiritual warfare that's going on. I can imagine the conversation where Satan says, "What about this? Can I do this to her?" And then God responds, "Yes, I'll allow you to do that to her. I know that she is faithful and can handle it."
Wow! And now, I'm tearing up. Next time you're tempted, imagine that conversation in your head. It's much harder to sin when you actually picture God telling Satan that he has faith in you. And then I imagined me (I may or may not have been a little kid with a superhero cape) saying, "I can do this, Dad! You can trust me with this!" And that's what I'm going to do. Eleven days in and this is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. But I'm going to do it. I have to. It's going to be hard, but God's power is made perfect in weakness!

Doesn't this look like me?! I wish I had a monkey sidekick. Maybe a guardian angel, in the body of a monkey??

Things are already looking up. At least my perspective is changing. I went to bed mad. I woke up mad. And writing this put everything into perspective and reminded me of truths!

**I just looked over to my right and saw the most gorgeous view. I tried to take a picture but the glare from the window didn't do the image justice. And you could see my patient in it. HIPAA, anyone? So no photo. But let me just describe it... The clouds are so calm and look so serene and the sun is starting to set and so the sky has a nice orange glow to it and I can see the streaks of sunlight through the clouds. Beautiful! I'm pretty sure it was God smiling at me...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 9: Broken

The only thing worse than crying in the shower is wanting to cry, going through all the scenarios, and feeling nothing. I've had those nights. Tonight, was not one of those nights. Tonight, the floodgates opened. Tonight, I sat in the shower and let the water wash over me. Tonight, the tears came. And they just wouldn't stop. I arrogantly didn't think I would get to this point. I thought I had already grieved past relationships. I thought this was going to be a time of growing. I didn't know I would feel so broken. I didn't know I still felt so broken.

And I'm mad. I don't get mad often. It's not polite. I get frustrated. Or angry. Or disappointed. I can name off a list of more appropriate synonyms than mad. But right now I'm pissed. I'm mad at the people I've dated for treating me the way they did. I've mad at the people I haven't dated for mistreating me. And I'm mad at myself for letting it all happen!

I'm mad that I had him first. I'm mad that it was just a competition and a game for him. I'm mad that I was there when he was lonely. I'm mad at the pity apology. I'm mad that he shows up just when I'm moving on to get stuck in my head again. I'm mad for thinking he was trustworthy. I mad for letting it go on for too long. I'm mad for being the other women. I'm mad that he lied and cheated. I'm mad that he cared. I'm mad that I wasted all that time. I'm mad that he made excuses. I'm mad that he moved on so fast. I'm mad that he couldn't move on. I'm mad that he interfered. I'm mad that I opened up to him. I'm mad that he's still in my life. I'm mad that he made me cry. I'm mad that he didn't protect me. I'm mad that he broke my heart.

People always think a broken heart looks like this...

But what if it looks more like this. Smashed in a million pieces that don't all fit back together?


And so I cried. Out of anger and frustration. And I yelled. And I thought back to all the things that had happened. And then I prayed. The songs that kept running through my head while I was in the shower were Into Marvelous Light and Lead Me to the Cross:

Sin has lost its power. Death has lost its sting. From the grave You've risen- victoriously!
Into marvelous light I'm running... Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross You are the truth; You are the life; You are the way.

Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out.
Bring me to my knees. Lord, I lay me down.
Rid me of myself. I belong to you.
Lead me. Lead me to the cross.

And then I heard these words... In your presence, God, I'm completely satisfied. For You, I sing; I dance. I rejoice in this divine romance. I lift my heart and my hands to show my love!

That's what I want! A divine romance with God. A God that loves me more than I can fathom! A God that will never let me go. A God that will never disappoint me. A God that will never leave me. A God that will completely satisfy me! A God that will take all the pieces of my broken heart and not try to fit them back together, but will give me a new heart that is made complete and whole in Him!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 8: Restoration

Confession: I feel like I've been cheating. And I know that I'm only cheating myself. It all started yesterday. I was out and the first person I see is an ex-boyfriend. Seriously?! So of course, my mind goes crazy! The good news is that I'm starting to recognize my behaviors. I can catch where my mind is going to go sooner and try to rein it back. But yesterday threw me off. I was able to take some time and pray and read back over the things I had journaled from the past few days.

This weekend I wrote about the lies I believe that I'm not good enough and how it plays out in every area of my life. I feel like I've been the "but" girl. Guys like hanging out with me, BUT they don't want to date me. Or someone will want to date me, BUT when it's time to get serious and get married, I'm not that girl. Then Monday night, when we talked about the inner vows we take, I realized that I have taken a vow that I'm not going to get married. I never would have done this on my own! But I think subconsciously, I've been thinking that for a while. So now I'm working on renouncing the vows I've made and learning to believe who I really am in Christ. I want this 6 months to be a time of restoration and growth.

I want things to be different. And for that to happen, I have to change things. So as of tonight, I'm unfollowing people on twitter and defriending them on facebook. I'm deleting numbers and texts from my phone. I'm starting fresh! (Things were a lot easier before all this technology...) But I'm excited to see what happens. No distractions. It's me and God!

Day 8: Responses

I thought I would take a break from my own crazy thoughts and lighten the mood a little bit. So, here are some of the responses I've gotten from people when I tell them about the challenge:

-I hear you're not dating for 6 months. That really shortens the time for you to get married next year.

-Are you going to have like DTR withdrawls?

-Boy: So are you seeing anyone right now? Me: The exact opposite actually!

-You're like the singlest person I know!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 7: Take Every Thought Captive

Outwardly, I'm doing everything right- kind of. But inside I'm going crazy! I feel like I have been keeping myself busy and successfully distracting myself most of the time. Or facing things head on. This past weekend I was blessed to go on a mini-retreat to Sardis Lake with some women from church. It was a great time of fellowship, but we also talked about sharing our story and lamenting parts of our story in order to really heal. It was such a sweet time with God and really taking the time to hear what He wanted to say to me. And then I got back Sunday night and went to the group that started it all-the singles group. We were able to laugh together and cry together and open up about how the group had been an answer to so many of our prayers! Last night was DTR group. We talked about the inner vows that we take to feed the lies that we believe and how to renounce them. All so good, right? Great encouragement and insight!

But then the sun goes down and everything changes at night. My mind races. (Remember when I didn't sleep for 8 months?) My imagination goes crazy and I think about everything that could be happening and all the things that I could potentially be missing out on. Logically I know that this is ridiculous, but it doesn't make things any easier. So my goal for the time being is to take every thought captive!



I am so grateful for the people that have been around me this past week to encourage me and give me tough love. Like my favorite text that I've gotten... "Did you text that dumb boy?" Yep, nothing like that to bring me back to reality. :)

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

See You in Six Months

Not the blog- although this once a month posting thing isn't really what I had in mind, but sometimes life isn't! So what's happened in the past month? Way too much to catch up on. I'll try to give updates more frequently- more for myself than the 2 poeple that read this.

But... to get to the point of this blog, first i have to go through the back story. I went to the singles class at church. I didn't think I was going to go (mainly because of the name), but I decided to give it a try. The first class was good, but I felt like it was a lot of people who were new to Memphis or new to Fellowship and were trying to get plugged in and get connected. Great concept, but I already had that. So again I thought about not going back, but I did. The last week, we split the class girls and guys to talk about relatioinships. It was really good! Things in my life were kinda crazy and I felt like my mind raced 8,000 miles a minute at all times so it was nice to know that I was not alone in all that.

After the class ended, one of the girls decided to start a group to go through Andy Stanley's video series "The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating." She told us about how after seeing this series, she broke up with her boyfriend and took a year off from dating. My first thought: wow, that's awesome! My second thought: I could never do that! At the first meeting, another girl in the group had also decided to go on a dating fast. I left that night and couldn't stop thinking about it. God kept gently tugging at my heart asking me why I couldn't do it and why I wasn't trusting Him with every aspect of my life. To which I replied, that it's probably not that I couldn't do it. I just didn't want to! It would be hard. And I'm getting old and I want to get married and have kids and a year is so- long. This was my discussion with God. Yes, as I type this out I know how ridiculous it sounds and that my arguing with God sounds like a small child whining to her parents, but that's how I feel sometimes...

So... nothing happened. I went about my life and then went back the next week. And another girl announced that she had joined the fast. And then God says "''what are you waiting on?" and I proceed on with a long list of excuses. (Do you see a pattern yet?) But I had been thinking about it more and more. God kept putting situations in my path and He kept whispering to me, "Give this to me." Thankfully, he is a persistant God that puts up with all my stubbornness and loves me through it! So last night something happened. And I guess it was the final straw. It was just bad. And sad all at the same time. So I went home and prayed/ fought with God for a while.

And now... I'm here! Taking a 6-month fast from dating. Day 1 of 183! Now that I finally committed to it, I'm excited, and relieved, and a little nervous. But mostly excited! I'm excited to not worry about things, to fully trust in God, and to see what journey He's going to take me on in the next few months. I'm excited to learn and to grow and to continue to appreciate the wonderful women that God has put in my life. And I'll try to document the journey here!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

God Speaks


So I secretly want to be best friends with Katie Bower. Okay, I guess it's not so secret anymore, but it's the truth. If anyone has any insider knowledge about how to make this happen, let me know.  Anyway, today on her blog she wrote a letter to herself. The letter was about her frustrations with not being able to get pregnant but it had so many things in it that I needed to hear. So I've reposted part of it below. You can read the letter in its entirety HERE. And then read the rest of her blog and you too can have a girl crush on her! So, here's the letter:

"...Don't you trust God's perfect timing? Don't you want to enjoy what you have right now? ...Don't you know that thinking constantly about it doesn't make it happen any sooner?

...God knows your heart. He knows what you want before you even want it. He knows what is good for you, and what is better for you. He knows what you can do, what you can manage, and why you need to experience this. His timing is perfect...not yours. He did invent time after all. And He also knows that you are pretty darn horrible at being patient. But don't you think that the God whom gave you... would also want you to stop focusing on what you don't have and start appreciating the things you do? You have so much. So so much. Don't you think that He knows it's hard? He made you. He built you. He knows exactly what makes each cell of your body tick. But you will never get today again. You will never get to repeat now. So do this moment. Do your heart out in this moment.

...It's okay to dream about it. It's okay to make plans. Just remember that you are in a plan right now. It's just one you don't have all the details to yet..."

Isn't that so good?! I know it was what I needed to hear today. Hope it blesses someone else as much as it did me. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Insomnia: Take 2

I know I already wrote a post about insomnia in February, but obviously it's still an issue. A. I didn't realize that the last time I wrote about this was in February and B. In that post I wrote that it had been going on for a few months. Rediculous! This post is more about the effects of what has now been months of insomnia. Effects that I should have known and should have picked up on much earlier- you know like being tired. I have always been a morning person. In college, I used to wake up at 4am and do my homework because I thought I was more productive in the morning (clearly, I was much of a party girl in college) But now it is harder and harder to wake up in the mornings. I blamed it on the fact that I was working 12 hours a day and had to be at work at 6:30. But then today I finally had that lightbulb-over-the-head moment. I set my alarm for 5--which I always do for work, but have gotten into the habit of pushing snooze until 5:45 or so. Horrible, I know! But today, I woke up at 5 and got right out of bed and realized how much energy I had. Then I thought about the last time I stayed at my parents' house and how much energy I had when I woke up the next morning. Seriously, I felt like a different person!

Let me just give you a preview of Thursday night. I got in bed around 10. Finally fell asleep about 11. Woke up at 12:30, 2, 3, and 4:30. Then my alarm went off at 5 on Friday morning. Yeah, it's no wonder I push snooze! But last night... I went to bed around midnight and woke up at 5am. Now usually I require more than 5 hours of sleep, but I don't remember the last time I got 5 uninterupted hours.

 So, the first question I get when I tell anyone about this is "why?" The simple answer: my mind races. I wake up with approximately 7523 thoughts running through my head, give or take and I can't stop thinking and worrying about things until I finally fall back asleep only to wake up and do it all over again in an hour or so. (Yes, DTR group, I have done a break-in on this and yes, I know what the stronghold lie is. The problem, as usual, is breaking out.) But I have definitely noticed that these racing thoughts are consuming my attention more and more at night and are now starting to intrude into my day as well. I'm afraid that all the thoughts, and worry, and stress are becoming idols in my life. I have never understood the phrase "Peace of Mind" more than I do now. So I am publically asking for prayers (privately, I will give more details...) Prayers for rest and for energy. Prayers for peace and comfort. Prayers for faith and dependence. Below is the verse that I put at the end of the last insomnia post. Clearly I need to continue to meditate on this...

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall

Today is the first official day of fall! The exclamation point may have been a slight exaggeration since I am not looking forward to sweaters and cold weather and all that jazz. But I am excited about something I found online--okay who am I kidding, I found it on pinterest. It's a Fall 2011 Bucket List... so fun!
So here's the list:
- Apple picking
- Make leaf art
- Go on a hay-ride
- Have a photoshoot in a leaf pile
- Enjoy a bonfire with s'mores!
- Make caramel apples
- Corn maze!
- Go to a pumpkin patch
- Go on 2 dates!
- Make fall cookies
- Take a nature walk (bring the camera!)
- Trick-or-treat
- Bake pies
- Decorate (carve/paint) a pumpkin
- Drink fancy coffee drinks
- Picnic

Doesn't that sound like fall gloriousness? The cold weather will be a lot easier to take now knowing I have a to-do list. Have I mentioned that I love a good to-do list? We'll see how it goes. All except the going on 2 dates which I may be skipping out on for reasons that would take way too long to post. But ask me about it. Maybe I'll tell you. Maybe I'll give you the real reason... :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ansley Louise McGruder

My sister was induced on Wednesday. My parents and I drove up on Tuesday night to be there for the birth. Jessica and Jeff went into the hospital about 7am Wednesday morning to start the Pitocin (If you read I’m Bringing Blogging Back and watch 16 and pregnant, you are now laughing. Feel free to take a shot). The rest of us stayed home on Marlee duty. We played with her and got her ready for the day before taking her over to a friend’s house to play. Then my mom and I went to the hospital—first stopping by the liquor store to pick up some celebratory champagne! When we got to the hospital, we waited, and waited, talked, slept, watched a movie, and waited some more. Her doctor finally came in at about 5:30 or 6 to check her and decided to break her water. After that, things sped up. She progressed quickly and was ready to start pushing.

Ansley was born at 7:53 pm. She is perfect! And just the opposite of Marlee. I can already tell she is going to be way more laid back. She didn’t really cry when she was born (I mean she made some noises. The doctors weren’t concerned or anything, but she just doesn’t really cry.) Then when the nurse swaddled her, she felt right to sleep. From day one, Marlee hated being swaddled! She would kick and punch until her arms and legs were free. Ansley just layed there peacefully like it was the best thing on earth. Ansley also looked so much smaller than Marlee! Marlee weighed 9’8 when she was born; Ansley: 9’2. Not that much difference, but for some reason Ansley seemed a lot smaller.





My sister did great-of course. Aside from the Pitocin, she did it with no drugs. And made it look easy!

After Ansley was born and I got to hold her some and then I drove back to their house to get my dad and bring him back to the hospital. He was in love and got to hold her and take some pictures, but then it was time to get on the road.


We left Nashville about 11. I slept the whole time in the car while my dad drove. When we got to Memphis (at about 2) I went and slept in my parents’ bed while my dad finished packing. He had to be at the airport at 4:30 to fly to Honduras! He woke me up around 4 so I could drive him to the airport and then I went home to get ready for work. Needless to say, it was an exciting 24 hours! Ansley is wonderful and I’m so glad that I got to be there to see her. The only thing I missed out on was seeing Marlee’s reaction when she sees her baby sister for the first time. But I know there will be many trips to Nashville in the future!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Splat!

Well I was in a car accident on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I'll spare all the details since I feel like I've told them enough that most people have already heard about it. But my car currently looks like this:



So, needless to say, it got towed. And the last 2 days have been spent on the phone with insurance companies- mine and the other driver's. But today I finally got a rental car! Thanks to the friends that have driven me around for the past few days!

Things I learned from all of this: Lesson #1- Life is short. I didn't have one of those "life flash before my eyes" kind of moments but I think I was just in too much shock and the impact of the airbag didn't really help. I immediately got out of my car and walked to the corner (because my car was smoking and I was sure it was going to blow up or something) so I walked to the corner and called my friend because I knew he could get there fast. Then I called the police and reported it and then my dad because it doesn't matter how old I get, I still want my dad there. (Side note: MPD's non-emergency number is 545-COPS. Go ahead, put in your phone. You may thank me later). My first thought was to get out of the car and get away from it. As people were driving by, they would pull over and ask me if I was okay. I thought they were being nice. Then I walked back over to my car and saw the damage for the first time. Yeah, I probably shouldn't have been okay. Lesson #2- God is merciful- like infinitely more than I deserve. Such a sweet reminder. And any time I need another reminder, I can look at the pictures of my car and thank God for his mercy and for life! Lesson #3- Material possessions are just that... things. It's just a car and there are so many more important things to focus on and care about. It definitely helped to put things into perspective for me.

So I walked away from the crash with seatbelt burn, a bruised nose, and a whole new perspective on life... Now off to get a rental!

**August 27 Update: I got a call from Enterprise on Thursday that my sweet Chevy Aveo rental car had been sold so today I had to return it and trade it out for another rental... a Hyundai Accent. His name is Miguel. He is from Florida and he recently quit smoking. Still no power locks or windows...


**September 2 Update: Another call today. From Farm Bureau's Insurance that they are going to total my car. So now I guess it's time to start looking for a new car...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How I Heard from God Through Pinterest

Thanks to Becky Morgan and my Monday Night Group (more on them later) I am learning to hear from God. And not just hear from Him in those times when you are supposed to hear from Him-like when you having your quiet time or praying-but looking for Him all the time. In everything. Just like this little kid. This is me, going through my day overturning rocks trying to find God in each moment.

Photo courtesy of: thesnailstrail.blogspot.com
But first... Pinterest! Ob.sessed. Seriously. If you're not on it, you're missing out. Or you're way more productive than me... either one. Basically it's a digital scrapbook. The days are over of going through a magazine and cutting pictures out and then collecting them in a shoebox or gluing them in a scrapbook. Now they are all online and all in one place... Pinterest. Seriously, go check it out. Now. I'll wait...


You're back? Okay so I'm sure you're in love now too! So the concept is genius! You find things you like on websites, blogs, whatev. and then pin them all in one spot. Get rid of the thousands of bookmarks you have stored. I have basically planned out my entire wedding and designed every room in my future house. Did I mention obsessed? It ties in nicely with my other obsession: blogs. I follow approximately 30 DIY/home improvement blogs and another 45 wedding blogs so pinning things from the blogs was just the icing on the cake! Katie and Sherry (yes, I am on a first name basis with them) just did a fun Pinterest challenge. You can find it here and here.

So enough with my love of Pinterest. Back to the real reason for this post... hearing from God. So I get emails anytime someone repins something that I have pinned or if someone likes one of my pins. Confession: little ego boost. It makes me happy that someone repinned something. In my mind, I'm thinking "oh, they must like it. They think I have good taste." And then the other day it hit me (and by "it" I mean I heard from God) I have nothing to do with these pins. I didn't create any of these ideas or even find an idea and turn it into my own. No, I simply saw something that I liked and moved it to a place that was convenient for me. And that's when God said, "Exactly!" God gave me all these talents and gifts to be used for His glory. I can't take credit for any of me! Nothing like a website to remind me of humility... It was my broken seashell moment ;)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

25 Years

Well, yesterday was my birthday and it was a great day! Sometimes birthdays are... emotional. (Not the whole getting older thing- I don't get emotional about that.) It all started on the first day of first grade- August 31, 1992. I walked into my classroom and there on John Trussell's desk was a cake hat for his birthday. He got to wear it all day. My birthday, obviously, is in the summer. I never got to wear the birthday hat. On my 12th birthday, my whole family was out of town--except my dad, who was at work all day. So sometimes birthdays are hard. But yesterday was a great, relaxing day.


My 6 days off of work started on Thursday so that is when my birthday celebration began. Thursday was mostly a day of relaxation after my 3 days of work. I did get up and go for a 4-mile run which was wonderful! I may have also gotten a little pre-birthday happy...


If you guessed that there was a special treat of "Pucker Up" inside, you would be right. Things got weird later that evening. I blame it on expectations, but I decided that I needed to get out of the house. So as soon as Big Brother ended, I packed a bag and drove to my parents. It was perfect! I got to hang out with my parents a little that night and then sleep peacefully! The next morning, my mom was going to go to her classroom to finish setting up and my dad went with her to paint some things so I had the house to myself. I walked downstairs to this:


...a sweet note from my mom and another little happy. Inside was a coffee mug!


a. I LOVE coffee mugs! I love the size of this one and the oversized handle.
b. It says "Trust Your Journey" Seriously, my mom knows me so well! It's a little scary and very reassuring!

After that, I did some pampering


and went to the best happy hour in the country!


Then, I picked my mom up from school and took a power nap before getting ready for dinner. Dinner was perfect. I had no idea who would be coming and so I had zero expectations for how it would go. My cousin picked me up and drove me to Cafe Ole. I had given her some email addresses, but she didn't really know the people so she couldn't tell me who was coming either. I was legit walking into this blind. I had no control over anything and I loved it! I know that is a total surprise to everyone- me included- and I know it is totally a minor thing, but this is a big issue so I have to take baby steps (What About Bob style) to learn the freedom of giving up control. Because I am failing miserably at pretty much all of my new year's resolutions, I took no pictures from dinner last night. Oops! But it was a great night with sweet friends that I am so blessed are in my life!

So now for the reflection of the last 25 years of life: things are not anything like I would have imagined. If someone had asked me 5 years ago where I thought my life would be at 25 I would have guessed married, possibly with a child. Yeah, so clearly that's not happening! And I know that it's all for the best. In 25 years, I have learned that God's plan is always better and way more impressive than anything I could even imagine!

But yesterday, really reaffirmed that while I appreciate the presents, gift giving is definitely not my love language-like bottom of the list! I also realized how much I appreciate words of affirmation more than I thought I did. Don't get me wrong, quality time and physical touch will always fight for the number 1 spot, but sweet words warm my heart. See? I'm learning more about myself everyday! Thanks to everyone who made my day so special. I am truly blessed!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday

In my mind, when I went to bed last night- and when I first woke up this morning around 7- I had big hopes of having a productive day off. My body had other plans... and it won. I didn't feel great all day and was pretty exhausted and wiped. So my day pretty much consisted of cleaning my room, catching up on some DVR, and browsing pinterest (more on that later). I also read some and did some journaling. Oh yeah, and I scoured through wedding blogs for ideas and inspiration and just for fun! But those that know me, know what that means and yes, it was one of those days...

But now I'm going to work on my spiritual timeline and get to bed. My spiritual timeline is for my Monday Night Group (aka my Bible study, book club, the un-GINs, smurfettes, DTR, or anything else we choose to go by for the time being). Clearly, we are still working on a name, but expect a post on them and what a blessing they have been in my life once they have an official title...

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Day After

I worked Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week so this blog is about what working 3 days in a row looks like:

* Waking up later and later each day (Tuesday I woke up at 5. Wednesday- 5:30 and Thursday 5:50) I didn't even make my bed on Thursday morning and if you know me at all, you know that's HUGE!

* My room getting messier and messier.

* No social media for 3 days.

* Hearing about the Casey Anthony trial in parts as I would go in and out of patient's rooms.

* Getting on Google reader and having 158 blog posts to read (mostly thanks to weddingbee and young house love)

* Needing to do laundry, get groceries, and run errands. But all I want to do is lie around and catch up on the tv shows I've missed out on. I just want to be lazy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July

I'm going to get better at this, I promise. At least I'm going to try to get better at this. It's July. Wow! This year is going by so fast. July promises lots of things that excite me and some things that make me very nervous! It's my birthday month! And I will be celebrating all month long! Trying to figure out what to do/where to go for it. Thinking about Chicago! :) The things I'm nervous about, I'll keep to myself. But I'll let everyone know in about 2 weeks how things go...

Goal: Posting once a week. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Adventures of Paul and Ela

I just got back from the beach with my family (well, they are all still there. I came back for work) but being with them was so relaxing and just perfect. And it made me realize that I have the best family ever! I know everyone probably says that, but seriously, it's true. So hilarious! Sometimes I wish I could record our conversations so that other people will believe me that they happened. Other times I am glad that there is no evidence of the statements! Ha! But here are just a few of the family stories:

*Background story* My aunt Pam decided that this summer she would start going by "Pamela." She claimed that if we called her Pam, she would call my mom Paul. And so it began...

* Saturday morning, my mom and I rode down with my roommate (Nancy) and her beach crew. So after all the pickups, the caravan was finally on the way to the beach. Like an hour in, someone had to stop to go the bathroom. My mom and I didn't understand. Family story #1: The summer after 3rd grade, my family drove to Oregon to visit my cousins. It took 4 days. We stopped for gas. That's it! We had until the gas tank finished filling up to go to the bathroom and get any food that we needed-even if that meant running across the highway to get what we wanted. My dad even got a port-a-potty to put in the back in case we needed it. Like I said, we didn't stop!  

* So after a few stops,  we made it. The roommate dropped my mom and I off at our condo and then they went to her place a few miles down the road. My mom and I rented bikes and rode to the market while we were waiting on my aunt and cousin to arrive.When they got there, we hung out for a while and then went to meet Nancy and crew. Hilarity #2: We meet them at a restaurant, sit at the table close by because there wasn't room, and then ordered drinks. While we are waiting on the waitress to bring our drinks, the twins decide they want to look at the bar next door because it looks interesting. They go look and then come back out and decide they want to go there. Umm, we had JUST ordered drinks. So they, just being themselves, ask the waitress if they can take the drinks from one restaurant into another! My cousin, Meredith, and I paid the bill (and left a generous tip!) and then met the twins at the other restaurant...

* Sunday morning Meredith and I decide to go for a run (after being guilted into it by the girl that came into the coffee shop in her running clothes) so we decided we would run the 2 miles from our condo to seaside and then get drinks and take them back to the beach. Running is more fun when there's a reward. :) The run was hot! But fun. It reminded me of the half which was fun, but like I said so hot! So we made it to seaside, found the twins and talked to them for a while, and then got our drinks and started the walk back. Sunday was so relaxing! My sister and brother-in-law hadn't gotten there yet so it was just the four of us on the beach all day. We got to sleep and talk--tell crazy stories and laugh... a lot!

* That night, the McGruders arrived so we took Marlee back to the beach. She wasn't really sure how she felt about it all, but we had fun! The next day, was quite an adventure! Meredith had gotten bit by a yellow fly so we made our way to a little walk in clinic to get it looked at. (This was after multiple trips to publix for benadryl cream and hydrocortisone) So we go to the clinic, then go back to publix to hit up the pharmacy. I wish I had gotten the twins on camera at this point. My mom hurt her shoulder somehow, so she bought some icyhot and had my aunt put it on her- like every 10 minutes. They walked around smelling like icy hot the whole time so we always knew where they were. Then we decided we needed some more beer for the beach so my sister, who is 7 months pregnant at this time, goes and gets the beer. So instead of helping, we stand at the pharmacy and laugh as she brings up the alcohol.

* After that adventure, we finally went to the beach for a while and then met my roommate for lunch- or dinner- or whatever meal you eat at like 2 or 3. Delicious Mexican restaurant. Hilarious conversation- that is way too inappropriate to be posted here! I still laugh just thinking about it! That night we went back to the beach, got to watch the sunset, and take a nap on the beach. It was perfect!

* Tuesday was my last day there :( Woke up that morning and went on a 12 mile bike ride with my mom. It was fun to ride some and to have some alone time with her. Then we got ready to go. Pamela, Meredith, and I had to drive back home so I could go back to work on Wednesday. The ride back was just as much as an adventure. Classic!

* This post doesn't even begin to truly capture the hilarity that was my few days at the beach. It was perfect and relaxing and just enough of a pick-me-up to make it through a few more weeks-I hope!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sorry

New goal... shorter posts more often!
I'm not very good at this thing-clearly! But I'm going to work on it. This week I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday so I came home, ate dinner, and went to sleep every night. BUT now I have a four day weekend to be productive so more posts are coming. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mission Field

Today I shadowed in Dialysis. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. First of all, I was only there from 7-4 which made it feel pretty short. That last 3 hours is hard :) Second, after transplant, I have a special love for kidney patients and feel like I got to see the whole process from pre-transplant assessment to follow-up during my rotation in school but I had never seen dialysis. So today I really got to see the entire process.

And the nurse I was shadowing was great! He had worked everywhere--literally: on the floor, agency, MICU, trauma, CVICU, neuro ICU, and now dialysis (I left some off). So he was able to tell me about all different units and give advice and he was a great teacher. He really talked me through what he was doing at all times. He asked what I was interested in long-term so I told him all about my love for transplant and why I thought it was so great. After lunch, he takes me up to the transplant floors and transplant ICU to meet some of the nurses. He introduced me to the Patient Care Coordinator in the ICU and put in a good word for me. Yay! While we were up there, he saw the Chief Nursing Officer (pretty legit. It doesn't really get higher than her) so he goes over and gives her a hug and introduces me to her also. I'm pretty stoked!

But none of that is why I'm writing this post. I was there for 9 hours- basically a step or two behind him at all times so we were able to talk. A lot. About everything. At one point he saw a coworker walking through the unit and so he started to tell me about how this guy used to invite him to church all the time. So then he started talking about religion. His wife is a Christian and takes his children to church but he isn't. He goes into the reasons why. While he's talking, the Holy Spirit is telling me to say something to him, but my mind is going through all the reasons why I don't want to. So after he gets done telling me all this, he says "I can see your mind spinning. Go ahead and say what you want to say." Sometimes Jesus gives me the little nudge that I need! So I talked to him about the gospel... about having a real relationship with Christ... about love versus obligation and a check off list. As I was leaving for the day, I thanked him for shadowing me and told him that I learned a lot from him. He said he learned from me too and learned that he doesn't really know everything. I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm praying that no matter what I said, he heard Christ through me and that I at least planted a seed in his life (or help water one that was already planted...) Pray for him. He is one of those people that knows all the "facts," but from our conversation I feel as though Jesus is just knocking on the door to his heart trying to get his attention and waiting on him to open the door.

As I was leaving the hospital, I thought about my sweet d-group girls. On Sunday, we read some articles in Voice of the Martyrs and prayed over some of the men and women who risk their lives every day for their faith. We talked about how the worse thing we have to face is rejection. I am so thankful for the opportunity to talk to this man today. I have been praying for situations just like this one. It was also a sweet reminder that this is more than just a job. I will come in contact with so many patients, family members, and coworkers and this is my mission field!! I'm excited to work with this mindset and see who the Lord is going to put in my path. Keep me in your prayers!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go Green

Go gray. Go team all the way!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! No seriously, it is. First of all, I love St. Patrick's Day!! Secondly, it was like 80 stinkin' degrees outside today which was glorious and I may or may not have laid out in my backyard and read for a while :) I also saw the first tulips of the season which always brings a smile to my face. It's high school state time and the station is back AND March Madness has begun! Like I said- most wonderful time of the year!!

So back to St. Patrick's Day... my love for the holiday started in high school. State tournament starts this week and in high school we were always there-and always won. It was like this holiday was made for us! So little Spartans, if you are making the trip to the 'boro tomorrow to watch The Station take on Craigmont, head over to your favorite store and stock up on all the green items that will be approximately 70% off waiting on you to snatch them up!
2004: After our 3-peat performance




2008: Being a hardcore fan... You can't truly appreciate the shamrock headband I'm rocking.
St. Patrick's Day will forever be associated in my mind as a Spartan holiday. After all, THIS IS SPARTA!!


**I just went over my to-do list for tomorrow AND made out my schedule in 15 minute increments. Bring on the productivity!!