Sunday, June 29, 2008

Scavenger hunt

Last night, my LIFE group had a photo scavenger hunt. It was so much fun..I haven't done one of these since high school. My team lost, but it was a lot of fun. Here are a few things that I learned:
  • Police officers do not like donuts.
  • The backseat of a police car is very UNCOMFORTABLE! NO CUSHION! (i experienced this one!)
  • You'd be surprised at how many people you can cram into a bathtub in an apartment.
  • Total strangers look at you really funny when you ask them to take a picture of you or if you can take a picture of them.
  • Toy stick horses are impossible to find.
  • A dog is considered a wild beast (especially when it gnarls its teeth at you)
  • Trying to take a picture of your team jumping in the air...not as easy as you would think.
  • You can spell the word "FUN" with your body..standing up.
  • Skateboards are a rarity.

I'm looking forward to the next two at 3:00! Then the end of the week, I'm heading home to see my family for a long weekend. I'm looking forward to it..although by Sunday, I'm sure I'll be ready to come back. I love my parents, but then I'm reminded that I kind of like living on my own! We're having a family get together and I'll get to see my Maw Maw and other family that I haven't seen in a while. Okay, off to bed!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Things that Make me smile

This was my "light" post from the other night that I somehow managed to delete. The past few posts have been kind of deep, so I thought I would share some things that make me smile or laugh. It's so easy to get bogged down in the chaos and junk of life that we forget to "smell the roses." These are in no particular order!
  1. White roses. I love any kind of flower but white roses are my absolute favorite. They're going to be in my wedding bouquet.
  2. Matthew McCaunaghey- especially when I get to see his smiling face every day. Seriously, I have an autographed photo to me in my apt. It's a really cool story how I got it. Ask and I'll tell you!
  3. Babies.
  4. The smell of rain
  5. Trips to the beach
  6. Trips home
  7. My weekly phone call to my Maw Maw
  8. Thanksgiving dinner in Franklinton
  9. Shopping the day after Thanksgiving
  10. Watching Steel Magnolias for the billlionth time
  11. How my mom falls asleep every time she and I try to watch a movie or TV together
  12. Spending time with my dad
  13. How my dad "complains" about me coming home. "So, when are you leaving?" He really does miss me, rather if he wants to admit it or not.
  14. Starbucks with Jessica
  15. Passion Iced tea lemonade and tofee almond bar from starbucks
  16. Riding with misty in the mustang with the top down
  17. Listening to my Ipod
  18. Sleeping late on Saturdays
  19. Spending the day doing absolutely nothing important
  20. Reading
  21. scrapbooking
  22. Painting
  23. When Deanna and Abram call me "Nana"
  24. People Magazine
  25. Singing
  26. Reading other people's blogs
  27. Listening to rain
  28. Pedicures
  29. dark chocolate
  30. Blind dates--okay, I need to clarify here. Not that I particulary enjoy these, but I just laugh about some of the ones that I've been on. I'm not opposed to them either, so if you know someone... :)
  31. Cleaning while listening to my Ipod (for some reason, I only like to clean while I'm listening to the Ipod
  32. Missions
  33. trips to mylos and target
  34. traveling
  35. listening to Abram sing
  36. breakfast at Franks
  37. cookies from Daily Harvest

I'm sure there's more...but that's all for now. I know that everyone likes free stuff, so head over to the Pink Potpourri Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I had a typed a nice, light post last night, then forgot to save it! Don't you hate it when that happens? I really didn't feel like typing it again...another day. Today was a good day. Busy as usual, but good. I had lunch with some dear friends, including the one who I mentioned earlier that has cancer. It was nice to just talk, even though I felt like we were all avoiding the elephant in the room..the cancer. But the purpose of today's lunch was to minister to him and not focus on it.

I had to run some errands for work and then go to a meeting, so a good chunk of time was spent in the car. As I was in the car, I realized something. I felt different. I can't really describe it, just different. Not in a bad way. Just more relaxed, focused, at peace. Then I realized it later on in the day, for the first time in a long time, I felt whole. I knew that God had been at work. Surprise, surprise!!

I guess I need to back up a bit...and this is difficult to talk about, but I feel like God has carried me through the battle to minister to others. Off and on for the past three years or so, I've battled (and I say battle, because ask anyone who has been there, it is a battle!) depression and anxiety, more anxiety the past few months. I've been on medication and to counseling, both which have helped tremendously. I have a family history of depression, so that makes me more prone. From time to time, i've struggled with why this is happened to me. I've often said, "I feel like this is a curse, rather than a blessing." I've pleaded for God to take it away. I think that Christians feel like that they are in a bubble, that they are immune to it. I've struggled with the why, the thoughts of "who in the world is going to want to marry me because of this?" Over the recent months, I've realized that this is just something that I have to surrender to Him every may not necessarily go away. But that He is thought that He gave me a while back was "This may be bigger than you, but it is not bigger than Me."

I've started trying to make a consistent effort to be in the Word (Laura, loved your post about spending time with Him- drowning out Hannah Montana!) I know that He is working in me...I'm so glad that He keeps on when we give up...I think that I had given up on being made whole. Now I'm not saying that I'm going to stop my meds or that I've been completely healed. I just feel whole- not missing pieces or feeling totally flawed. I have no idea where He is taking me next or what He will continue to do. Niole C Mullens has a great song out called "One Touch" and it talks about the woman with the issue of blood, who just wanted to touch His garment. I heard her at Women Of Faith and she sang this is so powerful and said exactly what my heart was saying, if only I could touch just a bit of Him. So wherever you are, reach out....just brush the hem of His garment.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Seizing the Moments

You know how when you hear a sermon, you feel like God is talking to only you in the room? That's how I felt today...first off, the worship was incredible! You could feel the presence of God in the room. It's like Pastor Bill always says, "If that didn't get your fire going, then your wood must be wet!" The sermon was talking about seizing the most of the opportunities that God gives us but that sometimes there are giants in our midst. Pretty much what I got out of it was that no matter what the circumstance is, no matter where He leads me, my focus has to be on Him. Satan wants to distract me by turning my attention to the giants, and then causing them to mulitply, then I get so disoriented that I just throw my hands up in frustration and give up.

I don't want to be afraid anymore. I don't want to be afraid to let go and say, "Okay. Here I am." I had a wonderful coffee time with my friend Sara the other night. We just talked, even though I felt like I was just rambling, about what God has been doing in our lives. You know, how you know that there is something going on, but you're not sure how to put it in words and then it feels like it's just jibberish when it comes out?

This morning, I felt renewed. I want to seize the moments that He gives to me....wherever He calls me to go, whatever He calls me to do. I felt hope, like this is going to be okay. I have no idea where this part of the journey will lead, but I don't have to know. I know that it will take effort on my part, but I know that God loves me too much to leave me this way. I want to be intentional in all that I is too short. I found out today about a very dear friend whose cancer has returned....its really made me think...this person has the heart of a servant, is always putting others first, who has reached out to others and to me. So often I find myself complaining about my situation or feeling sorry for myself..but then I realize that it could be a lot worse. I want to live...not just merely exist, but live to make it count. I want to seize every moment that God gives me, especially the ones where He wants to change me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I started to title this about being real, but then again, that was in an earlier post. God has been really hammering the word "real" into my head and heart lately. I've been in a place of self discovery, you know where you just kind step back and take a look at yourself...yuck! I don't like what I see. I was vulnerable and had two of my closest friends help me to see the forest in spite of the trees. I treasure the friendships with these two people more than they will ever know..(one of them is probably reading this! Love you Sara!) It's always a scary thing when you are vulnerable to have to willing to be real and not be defensive or take offense. It was a hard pill to swallow with what I was told, but in all honesty, it was truth. I realized how shallow I am at times and how I limit God by setting these unrealistic expectations and standards...that I'm not trusting Him completely, that I don't think He is enough for me.

I've neglected my relationship with the Lord and I'm paying for it dearly. You know you just feel like all areas of your life are just out of you just can't get it together, like it's just out of your grasp. The thing about it is I KNOW what I need to do...I'm just stubborn and afraid. Afraid of what I will find when I'm really honest with Him, afraid of what He'll show me or of what He will ask of me. (like going to Kenya!) I remember one time in a season of growth that I was afraid to be real with God and I felt Him whisper to me, "What are you afraid of? I'm not going to love you any less." Maybe that's what I'm afraid of. I promise i think in another life, I could be a Pharisee...i get so legalistic sometimes...that I think by just "doing" will be enough....uh, no...that misses the point completely. I know that until I am fully satisfied in Christ that no earthly relationship will do. But will I ever be there? (This question rolls around in my head alot!) I long for a husband, to be a wife and a mom....but I think that (well, more like I know) that the longing for Jesus is deeper...nothing compares. I need to focus on living loved by Him alone.

Tonight, I sang in chapel for work. I wasn't sure what I was going to sing until just a little while before it started. I sang the old hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be." I love the words of the entire song.... There is a line in there that I just absolutley love and I pray that it will become the cry of my life and heart...."Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaselss praise."

Am I ready for the pruning that needs to take place? I think of my heart compared to a wound that has difficulty healing. (Bear with me, I used to be a medical social worker!) When a person has a severe wound, debridement often has to take place. This scrapes off of the dead skin so that the fresh, new skin can surface. It's painful, very unpleasant. I feel like that this is what needs to happen to my heart...that God needs to scrape off of the junk: the pride, the shallowness, the fear, the legalism, the that I will have the heart and life that He wants me to have. I know that this may seem very random and may be, but it's my randomness and it's late! So, I want to choose to be scraped, sloughed off...laid raw before God so that He can restore that my days may flow in ceaseless praise.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Once again, on Father's Day, I'm not at home to celebrate with my dad. This is nothing unsual..I honestly don't think I've been home on Father's day since i was in high school. I was always gone to camp or summer missions, and now I'm away from home. But never fear, I always manage to get a card and a gift..and a phone call. I got my dad the cutest card that describes us so had a little girl sitting on her father's lap and said something to the effect of "I'll always remember what you used to tell me.." and then you open it up and says in big letters, "GET OFF OF THE PHONE!" That is so true...daddy used to say that I had a case of telephone ear.

Pastor Bill talked today about the man model and how men need to be in regard to their families, children, etc. I reflected on my dad. I love him to pieces, even if he can aggravate the fire out of me. (but hey, aren't dads supposed to do that?" My dad was and still is (to my mom) the provider for our family. From the time that I was about five until his recent semi retirement, he worked two jobs. Granted, this meant I didn't see him as much as I would like, but he did this for his family. His goal was to get me through college debt free...that was achieved and even grad school. I always knew that he loved me, even if I didn't always hear him say it. (my dad is a man of few words.) But he has the biggest heart of anyone that I know. It is because of his example that I have the career that I have today..he has taught me to give. I can remember he and I collecting toys and other items throughout the year to take the battered women's shelter, taking food for the food drive, buying toys for the Salvation Army. I have seen him help out two of his coworkers who are single parents by buying Christmas for their kids and helping my roomate out financially for college after her mother died. All of this without fanfare or recognition. He is a hard worker...always doing the right thing. Most importantly, he loves the Lord. I recently got to see my dad about thrilling my heart and answering a silent prayer of mine for years. He had grown up in church and was baptized really young, but just wanted to be sure that he knew the Lord. So a few months ago, my quiet, 60 year old daddy was baptized. When i found out that this was going to take place, my heart just sang (and I said it aloud a few times too!) "My daddy knows Jesus!" Ahhh...words cannot describe how that felt.

My parents have been married for 36 years. They have made it a priority to tithe and have passed that on to me. My mom told me that when my dad lost his job when I was three, she came home to find him working on the finances, and saw that tithing was at the top of the list. My mom said that she wasn't sure how they were going to make it, but knew that they would give to the Lord first. My dad is a Vietnam about sacrifice. Enough said.

I hope that one day, wherever he maybe (in the Sahara desert with sand in eyes, trying to find his way back to me!) my husband is just half the man that my daddy is. Dad, I know that you're not reading this, but I love you....thanks for being my dad!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Beauty of Being Real

Ahh..the beauty of being real. I just experienced this and well it was refreshing. I went to the gym tonight for the first time in several weeks and ran into one of my closest friends here. Brandi and I work opposite schedules so being able to spend time together often requires a great deal of planning. So imagine my surprise when I saw her at the gym tonight. After our workout, we went to the park and got on the swings. I felt like a kid again, no care in the world. I had forgotten how much I loved to swing. We talked about where God has her right now and what all she has learned from a relationship that ended. Then we drove back to get my car and we just talked some more.

We talked about where God has us and our pasts. I spoke my mind to her about how I really felt about a particular situation. Then she said something to me that floored me. "You just seem when everyone looks at you, you seem perfect." Yikes! I laughed and told her that I was far from it. I have inner scars that no one has else knows are there. I may look like I have it all together but that couldn't be farther from the truth. I have flaws, hangups. I'm impatient, I'm a clutterbug, I can be lazy at times, i'm not nearly as disciplined in my quiet time as I would like to be or need to be. I told her that I used to worry about having to be perfect or to appear perfect....that got to be so tiring and draining.

As we sat there talking, I realized that this type of honesty and being real is what I long for. It is so refreshing! God answered each of our prayers when He brought us into each other's lives...I love how we can be real with each other and not worry about hurting the other person's feelings, or afraid of how it may sound. We can be real with each other.....ahh, the beauty of being real.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's a Monday.....

Today was a typical Monday...craziness. Maybe if I had been able to relax on my little getaway this weekend, it would have been better. I had planned an escape to the lake this weekend..just needed to unwind and retreat a bit. The home has a retreat house on the lake that we can use, so free is even better. I had it all planned out. I was going to get there around noon or so, sit on the porch, read, relax. I get there only to find that the air conditioner is BROKEN!!! That's right..broken and it's 90 degrees outside and feels much hotter inside. So I throw open all of the doors and turn the fans on. I thought that I could handle it for the night if I slept with the fan on and the balcony door open, but between chasing the bird that kept flying into the kitchen and my overall feeling of stickiness, I gave up. I was home a bit after dark. But it was still nice to get away and read for a bit.

I get to work this morning to find out that something that I had mailed off two weeks ago did not get to its destination. It was needed in VA this week. So off I went to the notary and to Fed hopefully it will arrive soon. Then it just went from there. I guess it's not really that bad but it just seems that way. Major changes have been going on at work...which equals to a lot of mess and it feels like its all on my shoulders or rather I'm wading through it. Oh the joys of being a director!

I'm so tired of people not being nice. I know, not everyone is always nice. But sometimes I wish they would. I have been blamed for things that are out of my control. I feel like screaming, "I"m just trying to do my job...please do yours!" I'm so tired of the junk... I feel like I'm the one who has done something wrong, even though I know that it is the not case. I was talking to my mom earlier and she reminded me that what goes around comes around. I didn't do anything wrong. Now, granted, I could have probably handled things a little better, but can't we all? I hate how this situation has made me feel...i'm not me. I'm not positive, cheerful, happy, joyful for that matter. I feel helpless. But God knows that I'm right where He wants me to be, even if its' in the middle of junk.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Just Enough Light

Stormie Omartian wrote a book called, "Just Enough Light For the Step I'm On." I don't think that I've ever read the whole thing, just bits and pieces. The book talks about God guiding us through trials in life. So many times, I want to see the big picture. I want to know where the path is going to lead me, where exactly it is that I am going on this crazy journey. But God only shows me just enough...just enough light for the step that I need to take.

I am amazed at my God right now. I'm in a really good place in my life right now. 8 months ago, that was a totally different story. About 8 or 9 months ago, I felt like God calling me to apply for a position with the IMB in Kenya...that's right, Kenya. (As my mom said, "You mean half-way around the world Kenya?" I told my parents about it (not exactly a warm response...their only child telling them that she wanted to move to Africa), told my supervisor of my beginning steps of the process, had come up with a plan of what I needed to do...above all else I wanted to be obedient. But God had different plans. Kenya was put on the backburner for a bit because of other things that He was doing in my midst. I truly believe that God didn't intend for me to end up in Kenya right now, He wanted to see if I was going to trust Him enough to abandon everything and be obedient...I was willing to go. Who day, I may end up overseas, but for right now, I'm where I'm supposed to be. Things with my job situation changed in such a way that can only be described as the hand of God and of His favor. No other way to put it. In the months prior to the change and for a bit afterwards, I felt like I was stuck on a mountain. I knew that God was going to carry me through to the other side, but I wanted to get on the other side right away. I was tired, battered, bruised, burned out, broken, angry, frustrated, just to name a few. I had no clue where He was leading me.

To think that 8 months ago, I thought that right now, I'd be preparing to move halfway around the world. God slowly unfolded the path. He gave me just enough light for the step that I was on. No more. He wanted me to keep going forward, to keep walking by faith, even when I found it nearly impossible to believe. I felt like He had left me....and taken the light with Him. Sometimes, I can be a bit passive-agressive with God. "I'm not going to talk to You because You aren't doing things my there." But He gently scoops me up in His arms and listens to my heart...the words that I can't say or don't know how to say. He showed me that His ways are higher than mine.

He gives me just enough light for the step I'm on. "He leadeth me, He leadeth me. By His own hand, He leadeth me."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Missing Him

It's been a while and it's time for a new post, as I was told by my one faithful reader! My birthday was a lot of fun...I got to spend my actual birthday with my 2nd family the Harrimans, and the kids just loved on their Nana, which made me feel so loved. Then Memorial day, i celebrated with my LIFE group at O charley's. It was a fun night.

Work has been interesting. My "baby" that I have been birthing for the past 6 months is approaching its due date...just a few minor things to correct for licensing. Considering that the regulation manual is like 35 pages and we started from scratch, I'm happy. So is my supervisor! (that's makes me even more happier!) Work has been rather difficult the past few months and God kept telling me that everything was going to be okay. I heard Him, I just wasn't seeing anything...not seeing that things were going to be okay. I felt like yelling at Him, wanting to say, "What does okay look like?????'Cause this is not it!!" Well, this week, He answered my prayer. He showed me that things were going to be okay. I'm not about to get into it here, but it reminded me that He hasn't forgotten about me...that He sees me. He moves in ways that we least expect.

Okay about the title. Brace yourself...this may sound like I'm whining or complaining, but I'm not. I'm just being honest. I've been missing someone lately. Strange thing is, I don't know his name, nor have I met him (at least I don't think I have!) I've been missing my future husband. I get like this from time to time, where it is just this overwhelming sense that someone is missing from my life-usually around my birthday. I think about all the things that I want to tell him, that I want to share about my day, about my dreams, my passion for my job, my love for him. I love him and I don't even know what he looks like or who he is! I want to serve Him together, wherever that takes us. I want us to have couple friendships--to be able to share my best friend and her husband with him. I wonder what he is doing today, where he is working, about his family, if he is praying for me, where we will meet, all that jazz. I pray for him, I pray for his family, I pray for our family. A few months ago, I heard about something that a pastor did before he met his wife. He wrote down a list of what he wanted in a wife and then he began to pray specifically over that list. A short time later, he met his wife and she was all and beyond what he had prayed for. This challenged me. Sure, I had the "list", but this was different. I made the new list with very specific things to be praying for in a husband. This list moved beyond the shallow "tall, dark and handsome". My top two requirements: Love God more than he loves me and realize that God loves me more than he ever will. So I'm praying with eager anticipation.

Back to missing him. It's kind of crazy when I think about it. Can I really miss someone that I've never met? Can I love someone that I don't even know their name? Does he even exist? As I was thinking about this and missing him, I was reminded of something that God showed me several years ago. I was a senior in college, approaching graduation. One night during our BCM worship service, I felt God speak to my heart, " 50 years from now, it is not going to matter how many letters you have behind your name, or whether you were married or not. What matters is how you lived your life for Me." My friend Joe was speaking that night on priorities when God revealed this to me. It has stuck with me ever since. It kind of gives me a reality check when I get too far ahead of God or when I feel like I'll be single forever. Today, I met with a couple who were both in their early 30's when they married. She told me that she thought that it was best to get married when you were out of your 20's because you don't focus on the petty things and you are able to see what it is important and because you have life experience. It really got to me, I hope I get married before I'm 30, but if not it's okay!

So during my times of missing him, I need to draw closer to Him..the One who knows my name, the very number of the curls on my head, the One who has my heart....who sees me, who knows it all. But above all this, He loves me.