Monday, December 31, 2012

Year End Review

Another year has come and gone. I'm pretty sure time is going by faster than it used to. I blame it on global warming! But 2012 has been a crazy busy year! There have been some definite highs and some pretty low lows. But all in all, it's been a good year. 

January I was two months into the six months of not dating. I was dealing with expectations and changing friendships. We'll call that month a low. But there was also some definite growth and learning. Because of the low, I took a break from blogging at the end of January and in February I came back. And then I celebrated a single Valentine's Day and it was fabulous! Because February was so great, March had nowhere to go but down I guess. And it sure did fall--hard--into lots of confusion. But some serious revelations were made at the end of the month! April was reminiscent (and a lot of me trying to convince myself of things if I'm really being honest...). Then May came. And the dating challenge ended and dating begun. And I haven't been very good about writing ever since. Oops! In June, I went on vacation with my family. In July, I felt stuck, but then God continued to show me things. We took a break to seek God in August and in September I realized the sovereignty of God's timing. October uncovered that I was still hiding and, in November, I celebrated  a year of starting the challenge. We also celebrated our "friendiversary" which I really thought that I had written about but I can't find it anywhere. Maybe it was just on Twitter... And that brings us to now. I only posted once in December--about control and my slight issues. But at least I'm aware of them and addressing them, right?

So before I get to New Year's resolutions (which will be a post of it's own tomorrow), here is a look at New Year's Eves past. Kinda like Christmases past without the ghost of Marley creeping everyone out...

2007

2008

2009

New Year's 2010 was celebrated at Raiford's and luckily there is no photographic evidence. But this is from that Christmas (I had to find one by myself...)  

2011

2012

Which brings me to tonight. Looking back at all the pictures makes me smile at the memories. I'm reminded about how things have changed over the years and how friendships have evolved. But I am so thankful for where I am today and the people that are around me!

And tomorrow I get to write one of my favorite posts. I might be the only one, but I love New Year's resolutions! Seriously. I'm pretty stoked about it. (Do people still say "stoked" anymore? What about "turnt up" or "ham"? #subtweet)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Control and Comparison

These two little words might be the death of me!

Guys, I'll confess. I have a slight problem with control. I may be borderline OCD. I used to joke about this. And tell people that it was just efficiency. In some areas, it is. (There is a right way to load a dishwasher and why wouldn't you fold and color-coordinate yout socks and underwear!) But tonight at work, I ran some stairs, cleaned out the medicine room, organized the medicine and IV carts, and had a lot of time to think. And I came to the conclusion that there needs to be a lot less of me in my life! A. Lot. Too much of me is overwhelming! I don't know how other people do it!

During my coffee date yesterday, I shared my fears and hesitations about the future and I was reminded that I don't know God's plans. I don't know what He has in store for my life. I don't have to sign my name in blood and commit to a future that cannot be changed. And I was able to breathe slightly more easily. It was a good reminder that no matter how much I may think I want it, I cannot control every aspect of every second of the day. I am so thankful for that!

The second death of me is comparison. Part of my obsession leads me to overthinking and overanalyzing every single little thing. Comparing myself to other people, comparing one person to another. And it never turns out well! I was talking to a friend the other day about life and how I didn't think it would have turned out like this and the response was, "well neither did I. The grass is always greener..." Which made me think about things too, of course. Comparison robs you of joy and doesn't allow you to live in the present. Pray for me as I tackle these things! And that I don't overthink things while I'm hanging out at work at midnight...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Night Shift...

...And other ramblings to keep myself awake.

So, I'm working night shift tonight and tomorrow night. I decided to pick up some shifts so that I wouldn't eat away at ALL of my PTO and they asked if I would do nights so I thought I would try it. I don't sleep that well anyway so why not just stay up and get paid for it! Usually I have no problem taking naps, but today when I actually tried to take a nap, I just hung out in bed staring up at the ceiling... Perfect! So we'll just see how this night goes. Let's play a game called "see how much coffee I can drink..."

By 11 I had charted on all my patients, given medications, and tucked everyone in for the night. So now I sit and wait. Oh yeah I also finished the rest of my chexweb, started on 2 discharges for patients that will probably go home tomorrow, caught up on blogs, and creeped on pinterest. Productive night. Halfway done!

Here's what's left on the to do list for tonight: work on a talent for the Thanksgiving talent show, send some emails, make a packing list for the weekend at the farm, and probably run some stairs.

In other news, today is our 6 month anniversary- kinda. Do you count your anniversary from your first date? Or from the day you started dating? Or when you made things "official"? Too many technicalities. But today is the 6 month anniversary of our first date. So fittingly, we are both working. At different hospitals. Because that makes it more fun... I'll pretend like we kind of, unofficially celebrated this weekend by doing absolutely nothing. We laid around and watched movies and did a whole lot of nothing. And it was perfect! I just love being with him. His epithet would be wonderful! Okay I'll stop being sappy now.

I am uber excited about Thanksgiving! For about 101 different reasons. Family. Food. Fun. The farm. Alliterations. :) Relaxation. I could go on and on. I can't wait!

Okay, the coffee has kicked in and I'm bouncing off the walls. Time to go run some laps. I'll post more later. Possibly tonight...

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9

It's November 9. It seems so surreal. One year ago today, I decided to stop dating. More than that, I made a conscious decision to let go of an idol, to relinquish control, to fall back in love with God and to trust Him with my life and my future. I had just started going through a series that Andy Stanley did on the New Rules of Love, Sex and Dating with some women and God was definitely whispering to me. At this point, three of the girls in the group had committed to a one year dating challenge and I scoffed at the idea of not dating. I liked dating. I was good at dating. Why would I stop? But God continued to speak to me. And it seems like it was just yesterday, I was riding in the car with Eryka and we found out about yet another couple to get engaged. Honestly, I was pissed. And that's when the light came on. I realized how much I depended on a relationship, how much I wanted someone there, and how freaked out I was to commit- to anyone. I knew that something had to change.

So I prayed, through the tears, and decided to take myself out of the dating scene for 6 months. As hard as it was, looking back I can say with confidence that it was one of the best things I could have done. I learned so much about myself (sometimes more than I wanted to know), grew closer to God, and reconnected with friends. It was wonderful! And in the blink of an eye, it was over (the 6 months, not the growth).

On May 9, I celebrated with friends the end of the six months. I recognized patterns in the past and was excited about what the future would hold- no matter what it would be. It's crazy to think about how much has changed in a year. I can't even put into words what all I learned. I sometimes wonder what life would look like now if I hadn't taken this break and I shudder. It would have been more of the same. Masked smiles that covered the pain. Shallow friendships. Fake, empty relationships. And now the load is lighter. The mask is off (most of the time). The friendships are deeper. No, things are not perfect, but they're real!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election

This is not a "this is who I voted for and why they should win" post. At. All. But yesterday, there was an election and I feel as though I should write about it (or at least steal what someone else wrote about it)

I met Lauren a few years ago when we worked at kamp together. And she is passionate about the presidents. She is also hilarious. Before I share her thoughts on the election, read about her President's Day celebration last year. Or if you don't want to read, just watch this video she made of all the presidents wearing polo.
Now that you understand her love for all things presidential, here is her take on the election:

"And here we are again!
"I woke up this morning feeling mostly the same as I felt yesterday. Meaning, regular. Just regular.
"Save one thing--there are a lot more people/things going to Hell today than yesterday. 
"According to my Facebook and Twitter feeds these people/things are headed straight there: the state of Florida (I'm guessing most of Miami-Dade County), the state of Ohio, the entire country, Barack Obama, the newly-elected lesbian Senator from Wisconsin (that's a hefty title to carry around--even in Hell!), anyone who lives in Florida and voted for Gary Johnson and of course, everyone in Maryland who voted FOR same-sex marriage AND FOR extending in-state tuition to undocumented students (no word on Hell for those who only voted for the tuition measure).
"(Some people would argue that Ohio is already its own version of Hell, so there's that and growing up gay in Wisconsin was probably difficult, so there's that, too.)
"You know what's interesting? Even if we sent the entire state of Ohio to Hell, Mitt Romney would still not be President. Ain't that a swift kick in the pants? (I am of course referring to Ohio's 18 electoral votes and taking them away.)
-----
"I'm all for passion. I'm for people being interested in their government. But, it seems as though America's greatest qualities are also becoming America's greatest downfalls. Those being our freedoms of speech and religion and everything else that falls under those categories.
"These Facebook and Twitter statuses are some of the most absurd things I've ever read. And, people, I've read the entire internetS three times in my life! So, I've read a lot of stuff.
"The worst ones are the people who post Bible verses and then say, "AMERICA IS RUINED!" Reminds me of the time Jesus saw those people selling shit in the temple and he got really angry and spewed hate. Oh, wait. No, that didn't happen. He drove out the people selling stuff, healed some people, hung out with some kids and then left.
"A lot of people are convinced that this great nation of ours was founded on Christian principles and values. That's not entirely true or false. Take Thomas Jefferson for example: the guy was a diest. He wrote his own version of the Bible. He liked Jesus and believed in some version of the God I believe in, but he wasn't an Evangelical. He wouldn't even be electable today because people are so fanatical.
"Some of the statuses remind me of that gaggle of people that got on a boat and sailed across the Atlantic to escape religious persecution. And you know what they did not long after their arrival here? They started persecution others for their different (or seemingly different) religious views. It was called the Salem Witch Trials, look it up.
"Listen, (listen, listen,) I love the Lord. I'm not ashamed or scared to write that (SHOUT OUT! First Amendment ), but I am ashamed to be associated with people claiming to love the Lord one moment and then spew hate in the next. Barack Obama is not the anti-Christ. He's a guy with a weak record and a strong rhetoric. (Can we take a moment to examine Jimmy Carter? Talk about a great man who loved the Lord! And what a terrible shitty President he was, too!) (Also, if you look up Mormonism, most Christians don't really agree with it, kind of the same way they don't agree with Islam.)
"Grace came down, people! Use it, give it out freely! Love somebody!
"My other favorite statuses are the people who are moving to another country to get away from this "ruined" America. Mostly, I've seen Canada and England. Oops! Fact check: they've got that healthcare system you've been berating for 2 years.
-----
"America, this country is not ruined. It's just not.
I believe that with my whole heart.
" All that to say: just calm the hell down. Go to Target, buy some American-made products, drive a car built in Detroit, drink a PBR, vacay in Gulf Shores, volunteer somewhere, give some of your money away, support a public school in your town, play some baseball and eat a piece of apple pie. Then, educate yourself on some policies you are passionate about and work for them and not against something else.
"Also, just calm the hell down."
And that, my friends is the election according to LC. Feel free to read some more, just because she's that funny...


Monday, November 5, 2012

Blah!

Yep. That's how I've been feeling today. I don't know why. I just can't put my finger on it. So I've been blaming it on the weather. When all else fails, blame the weather. That's my philosophy. That and the fact that I hate cold weather with a passion. And I don't like cold weather clothes either. Everyone talks about how they love wearing sweaters and boots and blah, blah, blah. Give me a sundress and heels any day. But this was not supposed to be a rant about winter.

Things have just been off. I think yesterday shook me. I was so sure. I am so sure. But I don't want something to happen just because I want it to. I go from feeling like "what do I do now?" to feeling like "this is supposed to happen so what does that mean in this situation?" So most of my day has been spent curled up in sweats with a cup of coffee (Yes, I've had a pretty steady flow of coffee all day. Yes, I should probably invest in some decaf. And yes, I am well aware that I will never fall asleep tonight.)
This is my favorite chair. When I saw it at the store I knew I had to get it. It's like it was made for me. It's the perfect chair to curl up in with a good book and read. It's also the perfect chair for a nap. Not that that has happened today due to the steady intake of caffeine.

Anyway, the original point of this post... The Happy Day Project! Today's assignment is to write a letter-a real letter. Not an email or a text, but a real letter that you send in the mail. I'll post later about mine, but I love mail so if you're participating feel free to send me a letter!

In other news, other people that read blogs (Sara and Sally) did it seem like every other person was talking about being tired of being pregnant (Katie and MODG). Why is it that so many of the bloggers I read are nearing the end of their pregnancy/just had a baby??

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Give Thanks

Last year, I did my "thankful" post on Thanksgiving so this time I am trying to expand it and spend the month focusing on all the things for which I'm thankful.(yes, I did end that sentence in a preposition and then go back and correct it.)

So, I'm kicking that off with The Happy Day Project 2012, 5 days of random acts of kindness, organized by Jeanett of Life Rearranged. She is amazing! I'll write more about that in an upcoming post on a few of my favorite blogs, but she is definitely in my top 10 3. Anyway, each day next week there is a task to complete to bless someone else. Check out the link and join in! In the words of Jeanett, spread happy!

life rearranged

Now since it's technically the first week of November, this week I am so thankful for my parents. My mom is hilarious. After asking me a serious question the other day, she started laughing and said, "I don't care. That just sounded like something a mom is supposed to ask." My dad is safely home from China and has started working again during the holiday season. He also drove up to Jackson yesterday to surprise my mom. I love that my parents are still so in love!

More thanks to come. What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Do Over

I cried on the way home today. Tears streamed down my face.

Okay, not really at all. ;) I kinda drove home with a cheesy perma-grin but apparently all my posts start out with me being sad and crying (actually, only 2 out of the last 5 have talked about me driving home thinking about things)

Anyway, yesterday was rough. Contrary to popular belief, the relationship is not always peaches and ice cream. As much as I wish it were sometimes. But we had some prayer and regrouping last night. And this morning when he got off work, he called and asked for a do-over. (which may or may not have been an excuse to eat breakfast at republic 2 days in a row) but we went to breakfast again this morning for a redo. And it was wonderful! We read from Luke and talked about worship and John the Baptist and being filled with the Spirit. And just generally got to start things again after a rocky start yesterday.

Sometimes, you just need a do-over. That's all I got. Time for a little #DTR!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Transparency

The word get thrown around a lot. But what does it really mean? Last night he asked me if I was transparent with him. And after thinking about it, I told him that I honestly didn't feel like I was 100% transparent with anyone.

Rachel and I talked about this and about emotional intimacy in relationships. And she gave me great advice: "Don't let your words get ahead of your commitment." And it was really good to hear, but I also think that I use it as an excuse sometimes. I tell myself and others that I'm trying to "protect my heart" and withhold a level of intimacy until the right time. But really I'm just hiding. Hiding behind the mask of strength and togetherness. I realized it last night the more we talked. Then I opened up about my worries and fears about the future. And his response was better than I could have ever imagined.


But driving home it made me sad. I realized that I hadn't shared those fears with anyone else. I could tell the whole story to someone but it wouldn't be the same. No one had known the fears before and so there was no one that could rejoice with me over his reaction.


Hiding keeps people from seeing the pain, but it also stops them from celebrating the joys...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Running on Empty

Because I don't have enough time to form a complete thought...

>> I have never been a people-pleaser. Ever. But now I am finding myself having a hard time saying no. And I guess it's not because I want to please people, but because I genuinely want to do all these things. But it's getting to me and I feel as if I'm running on empty. All. The. Time. Something has to change.

>> Example: Last week, I worked Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Sometimes I like working three in a row but it's also tiring. Then Friday night, I hung out with friends. Because I wanted to. And it was a lot of fun although I probably should have been sleeping. Saturday, I cleaned and ran (which I hadn't done in a while, but was some nice "me time") And then I went to the next house to clean all over again and run some errands. Sunday my whole family was in town so we went to church together and then back to my parents' house for lunch and to hang out. That was also a lot of fun. I'm not complaining that what I'm doing isn't fun. It's just exhausting! Then this week I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up at 4 to go to the grocery store (you would be surprised how empty Kroger is at that time of day). Then I came home, got dressed, packed, and went to growth group at 5:30. I left growth group and drove straight to Nashville to babysit my nieces for the day. I love them. They are adorable and funny. But I really just wanted to be sleeping for an entire day or so. So Thursday night I finally got in bed and then... insomnia. Yep. I think I woke up at 12, 1:30, 3:20, 5, 6:40, and then finally got out of bed at 7:45. My sister took the big one to a parent-teacher conference and I stayed with the little one. Then my sister and I went to the gym, I had lunch with a friend, and then I got on the road to drive back home. It was a busy 24 hours!
Then the plan was come home, unpack, go to downline conference, sleep, downline conference, supervise moving day, hang out with friends, sleep, church, volunteer with Fellowship kids, try to organize my life, sleep, work Monday, bible study Monday night. And then Monday night around 10, I can finally find time to breath! Whew! I'm exhausted just writing it all out!

>> I have a wonderful boyfriend who reminds me to breathe. And encourages me not to wear myself out. AKA say no to things. Which means that when I called him to tell him that I wasn't coming over tonight because I was tired and that I didn't think that I was going to go to the conference either, he showed up at my doorstep to see me- for approximately an hour before he had to go home and go to bed.

>> Tonight, I told him that I knew his schedule was crazy right now but that, in November, I wanted us to go on a real date. He (after laughing at me for a little while) said that it would be just as busy then, but that we could go on a date when his schedule changed. So... we have a date planned for January! And yes, I am creepily excited about that even though it's months away.

>> I'm awake right now and writing this post at all because insomnia makes me want to cuss. But give it a day where I have nothing to do (if that ever happens) and I'll be out like a light and sleep through the night. I didn't mean to rhyme. Being tired and not being able to sleep sucks! But I will say that the insomnia has gotten better. I have less sleepless nights so that's a blessing!
>> So on a totally random, not exhaustion related note, sometimes I want to carry around Emily Post's books andhand them out to people. I don't think some people really understand etiquette.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Random Musings

>> Sometimes I like to pretend like I'm not an introvert. I am. I can make it about 24 hours in a group of people before I reach my limit and need some space and some me time.

>> I've talked about this before, but I really like my leash. I can't help it. I just do.

Quote Wall at the Family Reunion
>> This weekend we had a family reunion of sorts. I don't know the last time that we had a real family reunion with all the family. But with a family spread out all over the country and cousins getting married and having kids of their own, it's hard. But my mom's two sisters from Seattle were in town and my cousin flew in from Alaska. So along with most of the Tennessee family we had a nice number. There was lots of rest and relaxation. And lots of laughs.

>> Sometimes water only fuels the fire. I am so thankful that God has protected me and my heart the past few days!

>> His work schedule is pretty much pure insanity right now. Which for me means that I miss him all the time, something exciting happens that I want to share with him so I text him and hope to get a response some time in the next 12 hours, and that we hang out for 4 hours every other day at most. And that's okay. I look forward to the time that we do get to spend together and cherish every moment. And I remind myself that it could be so much worse. Relationships are about sacrifice. Sometimes that sacrifice is time. But it's so worth it- because he's worth it.

Girls Night In
>> Last night, we celebrated an early "friendsiversary" and it was so needed! I love hanging out with the guys. The firepit was fun last week, but sometimes it just needs to be the girls. Sometimes we just need to let our hair down and be ourselves 100% and it was great. I haven't laughed that hard or danced that much in a long time. We had pizza and drinks and watched Bridesmaids and just caught up on each other's lives. It reminded me of the challenge times when there were no guys around. I'm so thankful for female friendships. I hope that I can use this time away from him to enjoy girl time!

"Friendly" Reminder
>> This picture just makes me laugh. It's a reminder to go deep. This is also the edited version of this photo because not everyone can know everything that happens when we hang out... But this picture is also a reminder that I am not living in the present. So many things about this picture represent me holding on to an uncertain future. And I try to balance a sense of hope and optimism about the future with being content in my current season of life. Maybe I should hang this on my mirror as a daily reminder!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Answered Prayers

Sometimes God wraps things up in a nice, little package for me. Or in this case a mangled, tear-stained package, but still. This afternoon I was reading the lesson for growth group on Thursday about the idols of our heart. The sin behind the sin. It is essentially about identifying the stronghold lies in our lives. And I know those lies. And how they manifest. And I know that I have had a tendency to look for the answers and rebuttals to the lies through relationships.

And I have prayed about it for a while. Prayed that I would seek affirmation and worth in Christ and in Christ alone. I didn't know how things would pan out. Then I got into a new relationship. A relationship that doesn't play into any of my lies. And it's frustrating and brings up all sort of insecurities. But it also forces me to turn to the Lord. It forces me not to rely on this relationship for security but to cling to the cross. And I know it's going to be hard and it will be a struggle but I asked for it. So tonight I'm thanking God for an answered prayer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Timing

First of all, let me just say that I am so lucky! Tonight, after our usual evening of dinner and Downton, he decided that I needed a little self esteem boost. So he started to tell me a story. "Once upon a time, I moved to Memphis and I met this girl..." Then he says lots of sweet nothings (that weren't nothings at all) and ended by saying that he only wished he had met me sooner. Precious! I melted a little bit. But then I responded that I wasn't ready yet.

And the more I thought about it on the drive home, the more I realized how true it is. I hadn't been ready. I hadn't been ready a year ago. I hadn't been ready with any other guy I've dated. I hadn't been ready 9 months ago when I decided to take a break from dating. I hadn't been ready on May 9 when the challenge ended. I hadn't been ready on May 11 at the wedding.

But God's timing is perfect! And May 19 I was ready, whether I knew it or not. And on June 2 I knew that I was ready. And God continues to confirm this daily. And tonight, we talked about the future and God's plans and living in the present. And I talked about Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. On the drive home, God continued to show me how true this verse is. How many of my plans have been thwarted--and I am so thankful that they were! I was reminded how much better the Lord's purpose is for my life than anything that I could ask or imagine. And how thankful I am for God's divine timing!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Someone Needs to Hear This...



Affairs don't happen because you don't love the person you're with.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Two Weeks?!

Everyone says "When you know, you know" and I never really believed them, because I didn't know and because the logical side of me thought that just didn't make sense. Until it did. Because I know. And so let me go ahead and air my dirty laundry (since the 3 people that read this already know). We are on a break. For two weeks. The short version: we are fasting from our relationship with each other to focus on our relationship with God. And how do I argue with that? Normally a situation like this would send my brain into overdrive. My imagination would run wild. But I have a overwhelming sense of peace. I'm excited about it. I'm excited to see what God wants to show me during this time. I'm excited about what God is teaching him. And I'm excited about what it looks like for our relationship.

But it's still hard. And not because I worry about what this means or what he's thinking. But because things happen every single day that I want to share with him. Someone says or does something that reminds me of him and I immediately want to call him. But I don't. And you know what I do instead? I pray and thank Jesus for the sweet blessing in my life. And shouldn't that be my initial reaction anyway? Even by us not talking, he is continually pushing me towards the cross. And I love that about him!

I am so thankful for a godly man that seeks the Lord above everything else. A man that I know will always put me second in his life. A man that will not let our relationship become a distraction--a good distraction, but still a distraction. Because even a good thing can become an idol if we make it the ultimate thing. I can't wait to sit down and talk to him next weekend about everything. To just share life with him again. But for now, I'm excited about 2 weeks of time with just me and my Father!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Try It On

I went through a couple different title ideas for this post, but I figured that the #DTR girls might be the only ones that will really appreciate this post. So this title is for them. This weekend was tricky. But it was so good. And so needed.

Let's rewind. Sometimes God speaks to me through deer. Not about dinner parties or anything. There have been a few times when things are hard and I see deer and am reminded of God's goodness and faithfulness. So Friday night I was driving to my parents' house and I turn the corner where I have seen deer a few times and I look for them and... nothing. They're not there. And I'm kind of disappointed. Okay, so God what are you trying to tell me? And I didn't get an answer. At least not right away.

Then today I'm driving home and singing and praying and I happen to look over and there is a baby deer (or fawn if you're playing along at home) and I just started laughing. Because it is a reminder of God's goodness, but it's also a reminder of new mercies. It's like God is saying, "Behold I make all things new." His mercies truly are new every morning! Such a wonderful--and timely--answer.
Then, when I was driving again I got tired of the music so I turned it off and just tried listening. The Bible app on my phone has an audio option. So I decided to ask God what I should read. And the first thing that came to mind was Romans 8. So I tried it on. :) And then I opened the app on my phone and the verse of the day was Romans 8:37. I'll take that as some confirmation. So I listened to it...

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (v 15-17)

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (v 26)

For I am sure that neither life nor death, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (v 38)


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stagnant

That's how I feel right now... stagnant. And something has to change. In March, I wrote about being calculating. Thinking through everything I say. And while that can be a good thing, it also holds me back. And I want it to change. I need it to change.

Last night I decided to take the weekend off. I needed time to figure things out. I needed a jump start. I was excited about it. Ideally, I could have spent the weekend all alone in a cabin with nothing but me and God, but since that didn't happen, I had to deal. And today didn't go exactly as I planned but I was still excited about it. And then tonight came and it got harder. I love sitting around on the patio and talking to my family, but it made it hard. It's easy to plan out future dreams and wishes and laugh with them about what could be. But I also don't want to forget what this weekend's about for me. It's about moving from this point of stagnation and moving forward.

I don't want to go through the motions. I don't want to go one more day, without that all consuming passion inside of me. I don't want to spend my whole life asking "what if I had given everything instead of going through the motions?"

800 Miles an Hour

My mind races. 24/7. I don't know how to make it stop. People think I'm quiet. I'm really trying to filter through thousands of thoughts running through my mind. Sometimes people ask me what I'm thinking. I have a hard time pushing pause to pinpoint just one thing. But here's a tiny snapshot into my head...

- Tonight was too eerily familiar. It was too much like the past. It scared me.

- I still have wounds. As much as I try and pretend otherwise, I still have walls up.

- Inadequate. It's like the sophisticated cousin of "not good enough" and the idea resonates like a siren in my mind.

- We are made to worship.

- We don't remove idols. We replace them. What am I replacing my idols with?

- You and I embrace surrender. You and I choose to believe...

- Was the 6 month challenge for nothing? I never completely understood that one story until now. Falling to the ground in a heap of shame.

- So I get it now. What does that mean? Do I need to do the 6 months again?

- I need a break. A time away from distraction. Just time with me and my Abba Father!

- I'm excited about what the next 48-72 hours (or 2 weeks) is going to look like. I'm ready for anything.

- Where are the deer? Okay. No deer. What are you trying to tell me then? I'm listening.

So that was just a small window into my mind. Except it doesn't happen one after the other like this. The thoughts overlap each other and some of them (inadequate) are on repeat. And there's hundreds more that are swirling around in the mix. Like how did this bruise get on my leg? And I have so much to do tomorrow. And what if this is it? But for now... Bedtime!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ch- ch- Changes

I know I haven't written in forever! I have thought about it a lot (while I'm in the car driving somewhere) and then by the time I get to my destination, I have 800 things on my mind. So, I haven't written. I guess life got in the way! (who sang that song?) 

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about change. Since the end of the six month challenge, I have been called confident, social, and outgoing at different times. I laughed right away. I haven't been called any of those things probably since I was 8. I would never use any of those words to describe myself. The exact opposite actually. For as long as I can remember, I would describe myself as introverted. This article about introverts was going around on twitter recently and it describes me to a tee! In high school or college, I took the Myers-Briggs test and the therapist told me that she had never seen anyone so extreme on the scale. (umm, thanks...) But I think there have also been some insecurities related to not being as extroverted or outgoing as I "needed" to be. And while those insecurities are still there, there are things that I love about my introversion. These are the things that make me uniquely me! But sometimes I have to suck up the introvert and be social. And it's something that I have prayed about. But I don't always notice the change in myself and for someone else to call it out in me makes me excited. I also am 100% certain that any change that people see in me has absolutely nothing to do with anything that I could have done. It was totally the Lord at work in me and I am so thankful. I pray that He can be glorified through me!
Another thing that I have been thinking about is how and where I invest my time. And with whom I invest my life. I know that I have written once or twice about fellowship and community. But as life changes and friendships evolve, it has been on my mind. My friendships look different today than they did 2 or 3 months ago. And I know that friendships grow and change and shouldn't look the same, but it makes me wonder if these friendship have truly grown. Does my relationship with God look different because they are in my life? Has their friendship strengthened my understanding of the Word? My prayer life? Am I closer to God because they are in my life? And then I ask myself if they wonder the same things. How am I impacting those around me? I feel as if I'm in a transitional period and trying to balance old friendships and new friendships and still trying to make time for myself and learning to rest and relax. It's hard though. There are two groups that I want to be with on Monday night and I have to choose. I'm off work Thursday and I have growth group that morning. It's really easy to plan a coffee date after that and then still have time to have lunch with a friend that afternoon. And I miss the Thursday night hangouts we used to have. And I still need some Peter, James, and John time. And the list goes on and on. There are things that I want to do and people that I want to spend time with and invest in. And I can easily fill my calendar with great events and wonderful people but not find time to just abide. And the introvert in me desperately needs time to step away and rejuvenate! So I think it's time to take a step back and reevaluate my priorities...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Smash

Got home from the beach yesterday. And it was wonderful! The beach and yesterday. And so much is going through my head. It's time for me to journal. For real.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When God Closes a Door

It stung. The heavy weight of a harsh reality. And I went to bed with tear-stained cheeks. And I prayed. And I asked for answers and clarity. And you know what happened? I got some clarity. And I got a peace. And because of that I'm excited about the future and what it holds. I know that I don't know the future and that I didn't get answers about the future. I don't know a year down the road. I don't even know two steps down the path. But I got a glimpse into how things should look right now. In the moment. And I am confident that this is where God wants me right now!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chicken or Egg

Which comes first? Moving on or getting over someone?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

UpDates

Get it? It's punny. :)

Well this was really supposed to be about house updates, but a little about the last post...

He called. We made a date for Saturday night. It went well. He wanted to go biking Sunday. I ditched him. (Friends come first!) And we have been on another date since. I don't know if there's anything there. It's new and I'm cautious. And I'm going to the beach on Saturday!!!

But for the real reason for this post. The house is coming along. Slowly, but surely. If only I had an unlimited budget. Oh well! So here is the previous to do list on the house and how it's coming along:


1. Butcher block island
2. Buy bedrails
3. Clean ceiling fans 
4. Coffee table
5. Dresser
6. Hang light fixtures
7. Mop bathroom floor
8. Mop kitchen floor
9. Move furniture
10. Paint bathtub
11. Put up blinds
12. Refinish bathtub
13. Set up internet
14. Trim bushes
15. Wash stove
16. Wipe down refrigerator

So to consolidate the list some, here's what's still on it:

1. Butcher block island
2. Coffee table that has now been changed to a tray to put on the ottoman
3. Dresser
4. Set up internet got postponed because I knew I'll be out of town for a week, but when I get back it is top priority

And there are some things that have been added to the list like hanging pictures and mirrors and stuff, and lots of organization, and maybe a new couch of some sort. It's coming together though. And it's starting to feel like home!
This...
Became this!

And a new light in the bathroom! (the shower curtain is back up now)
Estate sale find! There is an ottoman (waiting for a cool tray) and pillows and stuff now too...


Friday, May 18, 2012

First Date

Well, I was asked out again. In front of all my coworkers. And this time I said yes. Well I wasn't exactly asked out. I was asked for my number, but I gave it to him. So we'll see what happens...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Do List

I'm sick. And it sucks. I've been up pretty much all night with fever and chills and stuff. And of course I go straight to surgical reasons. What if it's a hernia and I have to get mesh put it and it will inevitably get infected and I'll get septic. Or it could be a small bowel obstruction and I have to have an ostomy. So, maybe the worst case scenario but I see it everyday. It could happen. So I have put myself on clears- which really means I've had 2 popsicles this morning.

But aside from the whole sick thing, I'm supposed to be moving today. And I still have every intention of doing that. I'm just moving a lot slower than I had planned. But thanks to the multiple DIY blogs I read, I have big plans for this place. So here's the initial to do list (and the progress being made)

1. Butcher block island
2. Buy bedrails goal for today
3. Clean ceiling fans cleaning lady came today to finish getting everything ready 
4. Coffee table
5. Dresser
6. Hang light fixtures electrician coming is coming today to hang 3 new light fixtures
7. Mop bathroom floor done this morning
8. Mop kitchen floor done this morning
9. Move furniture goal for today
10. Paint bathtub
11. Put up blinds goal for today
12. Refinish bathtub
13. Set up internet goal for today
14. Trim bushes dad came yesterday to clean up outside
15. Wash stove done this morning
16. Wipe down refrigerator done this morning


So, it's moving along. It's a work in progress and probably always will be. There are more things on my long term project list but they will get done... eventually.
Sneak peek of the bathroom- still in progress

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Ask

I was asked out today. For the first time since the challenge ended. He has asked me out before and I told him about my dating sabbatical. He said he would come back. But knowing that he was interested allowed me to watch him. His interactions with patients. And with nurses. And other doctors. And I learned that he's a good doctor. And cares about his patients. But I didn't see a light for Christ. I didn't see a passionate pursuit of the Lord.

And so it made it made me question if people can see that in me when they first meet me. But it also made it easy to say no when he asked again today. He also made it easy because he said, "So it's May. Are we gonna do this?" I asked, "Is this really how you're going to ask me?" and then I walked away laughing. But at least I got the first ask out of the way...

**May 16 Update: He called up to the floor today to apologize for his nonchalance. I appreciate the effort, but it's not going to happen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rando

Random ramblings. Ready, go.

- I am average at best in social situations. I like the comfort of my leash.

- I reread the entries from the past six months. And a flood of emotions came back to me as if I was reliving everything again. Then I thought, "why would anyone read this? It doesn't make sense to anyone."

- A few weeks ago, over lunch, I was talking to friends about Adam and Eve and first experiences. There is a certain awe factor that they must have had when they saw new things for the very first time. I think parents get to experience that with their children. I got a little glimpse of it this morning.

- I've been trying to get back to the heart of the matter, but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter. But I think it's about forgiveness. Forgiveness. Even if, even if you don't love me anymore.

- Putting your heart out there exposes it to hurt.

- Being honest with someone for the first time is empowering.

- I'm really excited about dating. The right guy. The right way.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Visiting Work

I'm an emotional wreck. So much is running through my head. But I'm not going to write about that. I'm going to post what I originally was going to write about. This morning I went to work for a meeting. Then I went up to the floor to say hi to my coworkers and decided to check in on some of my patients from this week to see how they were doing and say hi. It was such a blessing. One of the patients said that he had been looking for me this morning and asked when I worked next. Then I ended up staying in another patient's room for an hour sitting and talking. He told me about his family and his ex-wife. About his health problems and his faith. And a few things just stuck out to me. He told me not to be hardheaded because God was going to find a way. And he reminded me that God was in control and told me not to marry someone if we were unevenly yolked. So sweet! And so needed. I love my patients. And I love my job!

Writing topic runner ups: I signed a lease today. Went to my first wedding since the challenge and got to be excited for them. Cried at my first wedding of the season. And then got so frustrated that I wanted to cry and cuss all at the same time (and throw things). But God is good and I am continually reminding myself of His sovereignty- especially tonight!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 181: The End




This will be short because it's late and I have to be up in 4 and a half hours. But, it's over! And it ended exactly how I wanted it to- with friends. And mostly friends that I have gotten to know in the past six months. It was such a sweet reminder of how God takes care of His children! It started out with dinner with some friends.
And then we got to meet up with more friends for drinks and the grizz game. Because I'm an emotional sap, I wrote everyone letters. To let them know how much they have meant to me and what they have taught me throughout this challenge.

God has shown me the value of female friendships. He has blessed me with wonderful female friendships during this time! I am so thankful for each and every one of them and so thankful that God placed each of them into my life. He also gave me an awareness of how I viewed previous relationships and, because of my perceptions, how I reacted to them. He placed male figures in my life that I was truly able to see as friends and changed my heart on friendships that weren't. I was able to see people do relationships well, and those that did it not so well. I was able to see what I want in a relationship and what I want in life. And I'm excited and anxious and nervous all at the same time. I can't wait to see what's next!  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 178: Final Countdown

Cue music...
(feel free to listen while you read this)

I've been slacking on blogging. Because I have been too busy living life to sit behind a computer and write. And when I finally do get home, I'm too tired to want to write. The past two nights, I have fallen asleep within 30 minutes of getting home. I am not as young as I used to be...

Anyway, sometime last week, someone commented that the challenge was almost over and asked my how I felt about it. Honestly, there has been so much going on that it hasn't really been high on the priority list. As in, I almost forgot I was even doing it. Yep, you read that right. If you know anything about me, you know that is HUGE!

Confession time: When I first started this challenge, I thought that I would do this for six months and then when I finished there would be this man of my dreams waiting at the other end. Just waiting for me. Maybe on one knee with a ring. Okay I didn't think all that, but I did think "I'll take a six month break from dating and then when it's over there will be someone there and we'll start dating and it will all be worth it." I had some serious control issues...

But I can honestly say now that dating at the end of this is not important to me. I have learned SO much and grown a ton. The past six months I have had a blast hanging out with friends. What if dating someone changes all that? I told some friends the other day that I am more ready to get married today than I was six months ago, but I have no intentions of running off and getting married as soon as this is over.

And it's over on Wednesday night. Wednesday night the security blanket and excuses are gone. Blissful indecisiveness is gone. And I can honestly say I'm ready. I know I still have a lot of things to work on and a long way to go but I'm ready to step out in faith and see what God has in store for the next stage of my life.

So Wednesday night, we are going out to celebrate. To celebrate the friendships that have been there beside me for the past six months. The friendships that have grown and blossomed during this time. The friends that have stood beside me through the hard times and encouraged me in my growth. I am so thankful for each of you and so blessed that God placed each of you into my life at exactly the right moment. Let's go out Wednesday and celebrate friendship and God's perfect will for our lives!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 169: Heaven Has Another Angel

There's so much I want to say and don't have the words. I know that she is sitting at the feet of Jesus with Chardonnay and M&Ms :) This was the last post on her caringbridge. Visitation is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. Just pray. Pray for peace and for comfort. Pray for a celebration of her life. Pray that her passing, like her life, will draw people closer to God.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 164

A wise person once told me that women cry more than men because women have shallower tear ducts. Take that as you will, but don't believe everything you hear. :) Anyway, I'm pretty sure my tear ducts are shallower than the average person- male or female. I have cried more this week than I have in a while. I have been physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and I feel like at any moment I could just start crying. And so that's what I've done. During conversations, at home by myself, in church this morning... So thanks friends for being understanding and not thinking that I'm totally crazy!

Aside from being a basket case of emotion, this week has been amazing! It's funny because I've posted about being excited about the end of the challenge and about wanting to be present in the moment because I knew that I still had time to go and didn't want to look to the future and miss what God had for me. I wanted to make the most of the last month and not miss anything. But I have no words! I think God has done so much in me in the last week or two than I saw in the first five months. He has given me unspeakable joy and revealed so much to me about myself and about Him. He continues to pursue me daily!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 161: Anxiety

It all started on Tuesday Sunday. How it always starts. And I'm trying to be calm. I knew that I had to work Monday and that would keep me busy and honestly, I didn't think anything would come of it. There was no reason to be stressed over nothing.

Then Tuesday came and I was off work so naturally I was reading some blogs and gchatting with Megan when it came. And I'm glad I was. It allowed for immediate processing and her making me take deep breaths and not think crazy thoughts. And I have to say that I did surprisingly well! My sister came in town Tuesday night and we spent time with friends so my mind was elsewhere.

Wednesday I worked all day, went to dinner with friends, and then went back to spend time with family and friends. By the time I got home it was 11pm and I was exhausted! And I knew I had to wake up for growth group at 5:30. Which means I went straight to bed and didn't have time to think about anything.  

Last night my text conversation went something like this:
Her: I will be sending prayers in your direction! Anything you're hoping for? Or just strength and peace?
Me: I have no idea what to expect. Just pray for peace. That I'm not anxious about anything.
Her: I know what else that means! I'll be praying for some sleep tonight too! :)
So thankful for godly friendships!

Today I was praying as I was brushing my teeth (it was 4:30. my growth group should just be happy that my teeth got brushed) and God gave me Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." And with that I had an overwhelming peace. I was able to go into it with no expectations. (But let's just say that Megan and I did not win a free trip to Disney!) It was great though. Just like old times. The good old times. Even though my mind was in a few places at once and I occasionally had to remind myself to focus on the words. Sorry! But this morning was one of those moments where there was no doubt that it God was working. There was no other explanation or reason. Left to my own devices, my mind would have been racing and my anxiety level off the charts. BUT GOD calmed my heart and my mind like only He can! He never ceases to amaze!

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! Psalm 139:23

**Update: After I posted this, I realized the timeline matched up perfectly with 2 different conversations. Choose to believe this post is about whichever one you want...


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 159: Revelations

Huge revelations have been and are being made. As I talk through things out loud with other people, I am getting a whole new perspective on things. These are situations that I have played out in my head hundreds thousands of times but I am seeing everything so differently after talking through them with others. Man, imagine how far along in this process I would be if I had opened up to people a long time ago! But I am grateful for the lessons. And the journey. God never ceases to amaze me!

Tomorrow is Wednesday. In an effort to live in the present and not dwell on the future, I just needed to remind myself of that.
I'll leave with this quote that I found on Pinterest today because I love it! How many times have I compared myself to others and felt insecure? But how many of those other people had I really let into my life to see the good, the bad, and the ugly? Gentle reminders!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 156: Are You Married?

Today was the opening day of wedding season. Today marked the first wedding for me of seven. In the next twelve weeks. A little ridiculous? Yes. But it is clear that love is in the air. And it's exciting to see friends proclaim their love and to celebrate with them.
And today only one person asked me when I was getting married. I laughed it off. But wanted to respond with, "Well let me just whip out my crystal ball and tell you." Well, technically I guess two people said something about it. If you count the friend that joked that I was next in line. I'm sorry, but if you're waiting for me to be next in line, you'll be waiting a very long time.

But the "Are you married?" question is one of the most frequently asked question. Probably second only to various forms of the question "What are you?" But asking if I'm married is a close second. I get asked at work all the time. By patients, other nurses, lab, physical therapy, etc. I should probably say that 99% of the time, this question is asked by older women just being curious and not by men trying to figure out my marital status.

And the question doesn't bother me. I mean, I do wear a ring on my left hand. It's the questions that follow it that make me crazy. "Well do you have a boyfriend?" Or my favorite: "But you're so pretty. Why aren't you married yet?" I want to say something along the lines of "You're right. What am I waiting on? Why don't I just propose to the next guy that walks by?"

I am well aware of the reasons why I'm not married yet. There is no need to push my insecurities. And yes, I want to get married. It is a definitely a desire of mine. But I am perfectly content to wait for God's timing and trust in His will. I just wish everyone else would be too.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 155: Texts From Last Night

Today at work I had the back of the hall. I haven't had the back in a while, but it was kind of nice. It's sort of in its own cubby hole so I was away from everyone. I was able to hide in a corner most of the day and still see all of my patient's room. Hiding in the corner also meant some much needed worship, Pandora style. And some about 2 hours of gchat with Megan (not all at once. This was in between meds and dressing changes and checking on patients). I am so thankful for her and for our friendship! It was much needed venting and therapy and filling her in on the 33 texts that I sent her last night. Oops!
But she listened and she asked the right questions and she made me get down to the root of the emotions and the issues and she listened to me overshare most of the time. She puts up with a lot of my word vomit. Sorry, Meggie!

I also took a lunch break today. It was the first time all week that I've gone to lunch but it was very much needed. Not to eat. Just to sit. By myself. And think. And get my act together. And it worked wonders. I came back from lunch feeling so much better and was actually able to interact with my coworkers.

There was a time when I just wanted to go home and cuddle up with a movie. (It's times like that when God reminds me exactly why I'm doing this challenge) But by the time it was actually time to come home, things were so much better!

And then Megan called me on the way home to chat. Because 2 hours of talking didn't even scratch the surface. There were 33 texts full of exploits and expletives. I wish I could say that I just put that for dramatic effect, but it's 100% true. Like I said, she puts up with A. LOT. She is definitely in my life for a reason and she is a fabulous Barnabas!

Today the past 24 36 hours have been filled with lots of ups and downs, but they have also been sweet times to turn to Jesus. Nothing like sitting at a computer, listening to Tenth Avenue North, and crying at work to put things into perspective.

There really isn't a good ending to all this. I mean there is. I've learned a lot. But nothing that I'm going to write about here for multiple reasons. Just being cautious. But if you want to know, just ask. I would love to talk about what God's doing in my life!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 152: Just Friends

"You know that means that we'll never talk again." He asked why and I responded that girls and guys can't be friends.

We were silent for a split second and then we both started to laugh. Because of the irony of it all. And because we knew that it was true.

Girls and guys can't be friends. At least I can't. But maybe that's not true. This challenge has been about changing my paradigm. And that includes changing what friendships look like. And I'm okay with that. Don't get me wrong, I'm still hurt by the friendship(s) that ended as soon as I started the challenge, but I also recognize that friendships change. They evolve and that's okay.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 150: Looking Back

...on the memory of the dance we shared 'neath the stars above. For a moment all the world was right. How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye...

Garth Brooks, anyone?

So, yeah, this post has nothing to do with that song. Or with dancing. But it is about looking back and, well, that's just where my mind went. Earlier today, being sappy nostalgic, I watched Water for Elephants- just like I did a year ago. And then I sat and reminisced about how things have changed over the past year.
This time last year (as in this exact moment almost), I was "playing the Easter bunny." And the only person that would get that joke doesn't read this blog, but suffice it to say, foolish decisions were made by all.

And then Easter day came and it was full of friendship and naivety. Or maybe it was just denial. But either way, it was a simpler time. And sometimes I wish I could go back to that time. Back to a movie theater with friends where we could enjoy a show without a care in the world. Back to a time before everything changed.

But then I remind myself of the other changes that have happened since that time. Friendships that have left or changed, but also friendships that have grown and blossomed. Relationships that I have put behind me and moved on from. Relationships that have been restored. The growth and healing of my heart that has happened and is continuing to happen daily. The stretching that I'm going through. The learning and recommitment.

And so I wouldn't go back. And I wouldn't trade this past year. Because like it says in the movie, "Life is the most spectacular show on Earth."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 147: Focusing on the Present

Only 34 days to go. Wow, the end is really almost here! And I didn't think I would be at this place, but I am. I'm excited about it. Let's be honest, my life is probably going to look no different on May 9 than it will on May 8. But I'm still excited to see what the future will hold. Little things along the way have gotten me thinking about the possibilities. The changes. The differences that I've already seen and know that I'll continue to see.

But I don't want to constantly look to the future. I want to be in the now. I want to continue to focus on the present and make the most of every opportunity. I don't want to be so focused on the future that I miss out on what God has in store for me right now. I pray that I will seek God in everything and that I will rely on Him in the day to day! I know that there are many more things for me to experience before this challenge is over and I look forward to every one of them!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 145: Fighting Idols

I had a whole post written out (in my head, of course) but then something came up that caught my attention. So now I'm attempting to combine the two topics into one post that I think is going to end up being about why I'm doing this whole dating challenge in the first place. Notice I said "think," sometimes most of the time I just start writing and have no idea where I'm going to end up.

Occasionally, and a few times recently, people comment on why they think I'm doing this whole thing. I often get comments about how I must have just gotten out of a relationship or it sounds like I am getting over a breakup. Well, to clear the air from that: I hadn't been in a real relationship for about a year and a half when I started this challenge. So there is not this one person that I'm trying to move on from or get over. This 6 month challenge has been and still is about changing my paradigm on the past 10 years of relationships.

Which brings me to my next point: people that kinda know me or think they know me often try to guess who I'm writing about- which I personally think is hilarious! Funny because these people usually have no idea and are totally wrong. Or because the things I write about aren't necessarily about a specific person, but a compilation of multiple people. Different hurts. Different heartbreaks. Different struggles. All rolled into one. But for those of you that do try and guess... ha! Thanks for playing.

I'm guessing that even Megan would only be able to guess who I'm blogging about 95% of the time. That is if she were going to try to guess. Which she isn't. Because she doesn't read this. In her mind there is no point in reading it if I'm going to tell her everything anyway. And I do. Tell her. She puts up with the mundane and the dramatic. The unabridged, unedited, uncensored version of my day to day happenings. I'm pretty sure she deserves some sort of trophy for that!

Anyway, I digress. A. Lot. So with only 37 days left to go, I guess I'll write about why I'm doing this whole thing in the first place. The short version is that I don't know how I like my eggs! If you know the reference to that, then you probably know exactly what I mean and don't need to read any further. But in case you need more explanation, I'll elaborate. I know there are a lot of people that don't like dating. I was never one of those people. I like dating. I think it's fun. I like the awkward getting-to-know-you phase. I like the comfort of knowing someone well and just hanging out and being myself. So that all seems great, right? Where's the problem? Addiction. Idols. Affirmation. Worth. Pride. Control. Dating was becoming an idol in my life. Not a particular relationship, but the thought of a relationship.

And I think that has made this whole process so much harder. If it had been about a boy or a bad relationship, I could have ended the relationship, taken 6 months to move on, and be okay. But how do I separate myself from my own sinful thoughts and behaviors. The past 5 months has essentially been a time of breaking up with myself. A time of moving on from my own past. A time of remembering who I am in God. Falling in love with Him again and again. And letting Him pursue me and romance me as His bride!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 143: Games

Dating is not my problem. Dating is just a manifestation of the problem. And the past few months of "not dating" has allowed the real issues to manifest themselves in other ways. Stupid ways that I have to deal with again and again. Ugh! Every time I get to what I think is the root of the problem, it manifests itself in another way and I have to tackle that issue too.

Most of my best thinking takes place in the shower. Or while I'm driving. (Coincidentally, some of my worst thinking takes place while I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Stupid insomnia doesn't even lend itself to clear thinking!) Anyway, today I started thinking about things that have been happening over the past few months. And one thing came to mind. It happened about a month ago (I can't believe it! It seems like it's been years and just yesterday all at the same time.) But about a month ago, someone said to me, "This is all just a game to you, isn't it?" And at the time I (wrongly) thought "Challenge Accepted." And then I set out to prove that it wasn't just a game.

And later as I was thinking back on the comment, I realized that it was another one of those comments that cut me to the core. And did I really prove him wrong? Or did I just confirm exactly what he thought? Why did it bother me so much? Was it true? Was it all just a game? Did I really think that? And if so, for long? And why? Because games aren't a big deal. They are not emotional. They are fun. Or at least that's what I told myself. I couldn't have been more wrong. Have you ever seen/played a game?  
Games are emotional. And even worse- competitive.

Love is not a game!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 142: Loneliness

That is my prayer right now. For loneliness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 139: My Life is a Lifetime Movie

Last night at my DTR group I shared my story with them. Yes, it's been a year since we started meeting but this just happened to be the best time to do it. And when I think about how much I've changed in the past year, I realize how different my story would have been if I had told it at the beginning. Not because that much has changed physically, but because of how much has changed in my life. How much I've grown and opened up.

Throughout the past year, these women have gotten glimpses into my life through stories and prayer requests and break-ins, but last night they pretty much got the whole story. Which went something like this: "So you know that thing I told you about? Here's the 5 years of back story about that..." And then they began to put all the puzzles pieces together. All the little pieces I had given them over the past year came together and they were able to see the big picture of my life. Where all the multiple break-ins I've done fit in.

They also told me that my life could be a lifetime movie. Which I have been saying since college. Oh, to be a kid again! But it's frustrating. And then I told them about the mom curse. And today someone told me that they felt as if I gave up. It was like someone had stabbed me in the stomach. It was the curse all over again. And I couldn't hold back the tears. And I'm tearing up thinking about it now...

So that's where I am tonight. There's no resolution. There's no neat little story wrapped up and tied with a bow. There's no beginning, middle, and end. There's no lesson that I've learned or ways I've grown. There's just hurt.  There are tears. There is fear that it's true. Did I give up? Would I do it again? Has anything changed? Have I changed?