Jun 30, 2011

Wedding Extravaganza!..

Today I had a fairly obnoxious day of doctors appointments that ran late/long which subsequently caused me to be late for everything else I had planned for the day!

However, I was able to get my "hair did" .. and have dinner with my sweet friend, which is always full of energy, laughter, and great conversations.. She is always like a breath of fresh air for me!

Now.. I am full swing wedding chaos/extravaganza!.. And, I love it. I am so pumped about this wedding because it is like a twofer.. Two of my best friends are marrying each other.. It will be epic!

Tomorrow is lake day!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I haven't been to the lake at all this year yet! eek!) Then the bachelorette party..

Saturday we are going for a group exercise run (only my friends plan physical activity as part of the wedding weekend).. then the girls are getting mani/pedis.. then the rehearsal shenanigans..

Sunday will be the wedding... of course.. and LOADS of fun..

I'm so excited to spend time with everyone and live through the memories and laughter.. I cannot wait!

Jun 29, 2011

Baby Brother...

Today my baby brother turns 20... TWENTY!... He has entered my family into two years of my brothers and I being in the same decade... So, in honor of my brother.. here are a few pictures, and 20 things I love about him..















As you can see we have a lot of fun together.. whether it's just Elijah and I, or our other siblings are with us... or we're hanging out with friends...  Ok, so on to my 20 list of things I love about my baby brother..

1. He makes me laugh.
2. He loves Jesus fiercely.
3. He is always willing to help those around him.
4. Even though he's MY baby brother he still is protective over me.
5. We just "get" each other when it comes to most things.
6. We pick on each other mercilessly.. and both love it.
7. He's still just as cute now as he was as a baby!
8. I can convince him to do anything!
9. He's fearless.. which usually is awesome!
10. He calls me just to say hey and see what I've been up to.
11. I can talk to him for hours.
12. He is compassionate beyond his years.
13. He always somehow is able to swoop in and be there whenever people need him.
14. He gladly totes around kids or is their jungle-gym.
15. He is open to whatever God has planned for him.
16. We team up against our older brother.. and hysterics ALWAYS ensue...
17. He is stubborn and determined.
18. He gives me backrubs and he lets me sit on him all the time.
19. We always have the best stories to share when we're together.
20. Because he was the perfect little blessing that came into my family's lives and filled a void after we lost one.

Elijah, I love you more than words can express. My heart swells with pride at who you are and who you are becoming. Thank you for all the laughter, jokes, serious conversations, and even fights! You are the absolute best little brother, and you are so much more precious and special to me than I ever thought you could be. I am amazed all the time at your heart for God and for others, and for all the times that you selflessly step in to help everyone around you. You are awesome, and I am so blessed to be your sister. Ich liebe dich! ;)

Jun 28, 2011

Nothing Serious...

There are days and people that just remind me how much fun life can be..

Even though nothing outwardly changed throughout the majority of my weekend or my day yesterday, there were little things that reminded me of the fact that life is meant to be enjoyed, not ever to be drudgery. Praise the Lord.

Over the weekend I was finally able to NOT travel... Don't get me wrong, I love to travel, but every weekend for a month, plus some week days is a lot... I was in multiple states, on a incredibly high number of airplanes, and I spent more hours in my car than I have logged in a very long time.. I acquired laugh lines (I'm sure), a cough (thank you dry airplanes and sick people), a ton of great memories, a severe lack of sleep, and a whole lot of time to think and pray (which I was really in need of). But, there is also nothing like being able to stay home and do whatever I want or need to for a weekend..

I was able to try a Krav Maga class (not real impressed) and go salsa dancing for the first time in a month (yess!).. I had a chance to lay in our hammock with my roomie and catch up on life over the course of the last month. Talk through thoughts and feelings about various things going on in each of our worlds, and laugh over random things.

I also was informed this weekend throughout the course of a conversation with a couple of friends while out dancing I that, apparently have the very muscular/athletic build, and that is a good and attractive thing. My friend told me that the girl we were all watching dance (and amazed by) reminded him of me, and which was interesting since she looked nothing like me, and was a way better dancer, but he went through the process of explaining that it was the muscular/athletic build... (I maintain that I never know how to respond to the "you look like/remind me of/sound like etc.." comments that I get all the time.) However, it caused a fairly amusing conversation to ensue about the differences between "cute, tiny, and petite" and what I would describe myself as "large, muscular, and athletic." (not in a bad way, but also not in an attractive way) It was interesting to talk about the differences between what guys and girls see as attractive, but my other friend who was there with us is the classic small, pretty mexican girl, and her perspective was that she is average and normal, but that I was more attractive one of the two of us... when my view was that she (who I happen to think is just stunningly beautiful) is the more attractive one.. and then our guy friend who thought we were both crazy haha

Last night I was reminded how much I love certain aspects of my life, mostly because of the people in it... my sister was gchatting with me while I did homework, she just updated me on life, telling me one hilarious story after another about things going on at home, and we just laughed while we talked and shared perspectives.. then, I was able to have dinner with my roomies (4 out of 5 of us is a win with our schedules!) for the first time in a month or more, and we also laughed, made fun of each other (which really was mostly them all harassing me), swapped random stories, talked about things we were wondering or thinking about, and were typical girls for the first time in a very long time. It was really nice to hang out and just laugh...

I appreciate when life is interesting, when I have no idea what to expect or how to anticipate what is coming next.

Jun 26, 2011

God is Wrath...

Today I was able to go to my church here in DC that I love so much (theaterchurch.com) for the first time in a month.. and the first time since Easter with my roomie (we have both been pretty busy and traveling quite a bit..).. Plus a friend who recently moved to the area joined us.

This summer they are in "The God Anthology" and going through 9 attributes of God.
Mystery
Holiness
Faithfulness
Wrath
Sovereignty
Mercy
Beauty
Jealousy
and Love
Along with the series the worship teams from the different campuses got together and wrote music to accompany the series which also touching on these 9 attributes of God, then later in the summer it has been set up to be recorded live with an all sites combined service.

Anyway, today Heather Zempel the Discipleship pastor spoke on God is Wrath. First, let me say she is one of my favorite speakers. She does a wonderful job blending humor, facts, explanation, and story telling to communicate her message. She blew me away today speaking on God is Wrath, even touching on the nervousness felt when describing the attributes of God we are not comfortable with, and the way in which we try to understand how the hundreds of attributes He has fit into our frame of mind. She eloquently pointed out that "The God of the Old Testament just seems angry, and a lot of Christians have this view that somewhere between Malachi and Matthew God got saved..." I, along with the entire crowd roared with laughter, but, the reality is.. that's kinda how it seems. Somewhere along the way God went from being a wrath-filled God to a loving God...

And then, she bridged the gap between the two seemingly opposing positions. She pointed out that we EXPECT God to have wrath when a child is abused, when a woman is sold into sex slavery, when people are wiped out due to the color of their skin or the region in which they were born.. That a wrath like reaction to a situation like that would only be fair. That the only thing that would be loving towards those innocents is to wreak havoc and wrath upon the ones doing the harming.. And in fact, if we do not see that wrath from God we feel almost immediately compelled to ask "How can a loving God LET THIS HAPPEN!?"......

At this point, she began unpacking the correlation between love and wrath. In order to have love, there has got to be wrath too. Wrath is the means by which love and grace are extended.

To further explain this point, she explained that in Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned, in order to extend grace and love to humans, God's wrath was first taken out on an innocent animal, but that Eve was given a name appropriate for her potential, not based on her mistakes...

"Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them." Genesis 3:20-21

This truth about wrath and love makes sense to me.. but I have never thought about it in this manner before... I am so intrigued.

She also pointed out that with almost every major natural disaster some person goes on national television and makes a statement similar to "this is God's wrath being poured out on these people because of their sin..." and then the rest of the Christian realm rebuttals with "No it's not!" To which she points out, God certainly DOES do that in the Bible.. so, it is possible. BUT.. We do not KNOW that to be the case. There is no way to say for sure what God was or was not doing in the midst of the disasters... What we DO know is that, God will use everything to be an avenue for redemption, grace, and love... And, in the end He will be glorified.

While I have never really contemplated the wrath of God, and how it plays perfectly into His love, grace, and mercy for us His children... I am very intrigued by this thought, because the wrath of God is all over the Bible... but so is love.. and grace.. and mercy.. and redemption... They swirl together in harmony in a way that I do not really understand completely, but am glad to have and be made aware of...

Jun 24, 2011

Summer Oh Summer...

I do not know about anyone else, but summer's mere presence makes me feel better.

I love having the freedom to walk outside with anything and not be blasted by bitter fridged temperatures. It  honestly makes me excited every time I do it.. (26 summers down.. who know show many left!)..

I think it is important to point out that my favorite outfit is comfy capris or shorts and a tank-top.. I love being barefoot or in flip flops and having little to no makeup on with my hair some sort of wrangled out of my face (It has been a long time since I have had to figure out how to do that with short hair..).

I always feel better and more confident tan and fit.. and summer and tan go hand in hand for me.

I love driving with my windows down, hair flowing, and music blaring. I love the smells of summer, when you can tell it is going to rain, just rained, or the scorching heat just soaks in and it feels like very bit of my body is filled with sunshine... The heat never bothers me.

There is some sort of excitement and energy about getting caught in a warm summer storm and getting SOAKED before you can make it to shelter... Which leads me to...

I would be remiss to point out that I love the water.. I am a water baby to the core, and would spend every day next to some sort of water if I could. Hence why the summer job of a boat driver was wonderful to me.. Sunshine AND water... mixed with laughing and screaming kids. Loved it!

I seriously treasure night walks in the summer with the residual heat from the day mixing with the attempted cool of the night.. Moonlight, firefly's, crickets, and frogs creating a surreal ambiance that always makes it feel slightly like a fairytale.

Besides, what would summer be without ice cream, ice drinks, slushies, and lots of fruit!... Some of my favorite things.

There is a freedom that comes with summer, even to this day, even though I work full time and am in school, I always feel more hopeful in the summer. The days are longer, the opportunities feel endless, and the energy is contagious.

I love summer, it is by far, hands down, my favorite season.

Jun 23, 2011

A Note to Those Christians...

It never ceases to amaze me how some of the most rude, condescending, judgmental, and hypocritical people are also the ones who claim to be christians. This week for some reason I have either come up against those kind of christians or I have listened to other Christians express hurt or frustration from an unpleasant encounter. So, here are a few remarks I have said or would like to say to the christians that exhibit a large amount of gracelessness and mercilessness.

First and foremost, we have been given this incredible gift of grace and mercy. One which we did NOT earn, we did not ask for, and we most certainly did not pay for. The only appropriate response is to turn around and do the same to those around us.. Giving them a glimpse of what we are completely aware of.

Second, your sins and my sins have been FORGIVEN. Which means stop freaking bringing up things from the past and running your mouth about what someone should or should not have done in any given situation. There is a distinct difference between calling someone out for actions for which they need to be called out for (mind you, just because you SEE something does not mean God has bestowed the task of taking care of it... Holy Spirit will let you know..) and berating someone or making it clear you look down on them (as though you are above them) for a mistake they have made in the past...

Which brings me to a subset.. If someone has a mistake/sin from their past, and you are merely aware of it.. you have no rights to claim emotions or feelings towards their mistake. You were not a part of it, nor was it intended towards you. That sin is between them, whoever was involved, and God.. Butt out... (I do recognize that sometimes past sins can cause pain to someone not involved.. that is something that needs to be taken to the Lord, not used against the person.)

Thirdly, please remember one crucial thing. God is God, you are not. He does not need you to fix things for Him, He is perfectly capable on His own... And, please learn the difference between your own feelings and emotions and "feeling something in the Spirit." It would make everyone's (even your) life so much better. You are not the morals police.

Cuatro, just because you feel strongly about something, does not mean everyone else should.. There is a reason we are referred to as "a body" we each have our roles, soap boxes, and fights.. But that does not mean you should make yours someone else's.. such as piercings, tattoos, owning a home, investing etc.. While all of those things could be right or wrong depending on the person and the situation, you are not tasked with making sure everyone around you believes the same way or feels beat upon for thinking something different..

Now, on to some things I honestly believe we should all practice.. Love. Do not mistake my "love' to mean the cute hearts and rainbows kind. The false love that never says no.. I am talking about genuine heartfelt "I care about you too much to let you fall" kinda love.. The love that would cause you to die for someone. It is commonly understood that the more something is mentioned in the Bible the more important it is. The word Love (in one of several versions agape, phileos, aros, etc..) is mentioned more than 900 times in the Bible (I dare you to find a page in the bible without at least one "love" in it.), meaning this is a crucially important topic to understand. Just because you have the right to say something, does not mean God gave you the green light on His behalf. Choose your words carefully, and make sure your heart is approaching it with their best in mind.

Lastly, stop pretending like you are doing God a favor, He's already paid for your sins and theirs. Live your life so that it gives glory to God, and to speak words that show you are worthy of the call of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jun 22, 2011

Stats...

Well, it happened with every other class, it only made sense it would happen with this one too... I have NO idea what I am doing. None. Thankfully I am at the end of week 5 instead of in the middle of week 1 like in Accounting. Also, thankfully so far I have a high 90's grade.. although, if I do not somehow figure out this homework I am still pretty toasted in this class :/ I don't know if it is sad or amazing that I have a couple people who have offered to help..

But, regardless, I am so unbelievably thankful to those people for even being willing to sit through my confusion and frustration to help me.

Jun 21, 2011

Homework Reminder...

While I honestly dislike being in school, especially learning about things that I (still) struggle to find relevance in learning.. which means my determination and dedication falter more than I care to admit.. One of the biggest things I am reminded of is how much people intrigue me. Numbers, theories, formulas, ideas do not appeal to me at all... just people. I love thinking and trying to figure out the reasons behind why they respond certain ways, think the way they do have the thought process or ideas that they do. I love people watching.. and I don't mean just sitting in a mall and watching people walk by, I mean actually observing people's facial expressions, body language, voice, etc.. and just trying to determine what I can learn about them from these observations.

There are SO many times that I have been watching people and before I could catch myself, literally burst out laughing from a facial expression or something they did... Then of course it is always slightly awkward trying to cover up the laughter.. but, still always something I enjoy.

Children are among my favorites, especially the way they interact with adults, and the things they bring out of adults. Sometimes funny, sometimes pathetic, sometimes sad, and other times infuriating.. But, always interesting.

I also like to play with people a little sometimes.. In meetings with people I will adopt certain hand motions or body posture just to see if the person will mimic me (because then you know they respect you haha).. Or other times I will say something completely off the wall or out of place just to see how they recover from it. It amazes me how thrown off people can get by someone being straight forward... I always learn so much about people in these interactions... and I love it..

But, instead, here I sit.. on the couch with my computer.. avoiding my stats homework.. Lameo.

You Have GOT to be Kidding...

Sometimes I look at my life and cannot help but say "You have GOT to be kidding..." sometimes because of big things, and other times it is the smallest of things, or merely the possibilities set before me. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding...

I know I am young at 26, and I still do not feel a day past 22 (ok maybe 23..). I am no where close to the place I thought I would be when I was growing up.. and I am no where in the vicinity of who I thought I would be even a couple years ago. Seriously. What blows my mind about all of this is how even in the midst of everything craptastic about the last year in a half (I was really hopeful 2011 would be less stressful and painful than 2010), I am content.. not always happy, and not always thankful.. but content because I can see where my road has taken me and where I have encountered major forks in my life that have dramatically altered who I am. I am not at all who I thought I would be, and not even close to doing what I thought I would be doing.. But, I like it.

You see, when I was 14 or 15 my uncle talked passionately about being in Communications and Public Relations.. and how awesome it would be to do that job.. I was totally sold. In part because my uncle was my hero even though I knew he was broken and flawed. He talked me into all kinds of things because I would just get swept into his excitement, passion, and stories about what could be... So at 15 I thought I would be in a high falooting (is that actually a word?) PR job, I would be "somebody" and I would be successful. Little did I know that my idea of that would change dramatically throughout the course of my life.

Then at 18 I had my first boyfriend and I was convinced I would get married by sophomore year of college and move to GA with him after college to pursue his career choices.. I would be a mother by 24, and life would be grand.. Then we broke up, and nothing I had planned went accordingly. Instead I took summer camp jobs and found jobs in my field which helped me to land a couple key positions after college.. I dated a couple guys for short periods of time, had my heart broken a couple times.. and learned so much more than I ever anticipated about the woman and wife I actually want to be. All the while, I was crying deep down about how unfair it was that I was still single when other girls were getting married...

Then I began to travel, I took jobs elsewhere and began to see the world differently. I realized that more than getting married or being a mom, I wanted and desired to change the world.. to live a life totally sold out for Christ full of passion and excitement, and I would gladly include whoever wanted to take part in that goal and dream. Since that moment a couple years ago I have finally settled into the fact that I am actually already complete, AND that includes the fact that I am single. I still would like to get married some day, I would like to be a mom, but no longer do I HAVE to have these things in order to feel complete and whole as a woman. In fact, I have watched friends so desperate for "the one" that will surely complete them, that now they are finding themselves even more broken than they ever could have imagined. My heart hurts for them more than I have words to express... I have worked to learn from them, to gain wisdom where I can, and to pray all the time for them and for wisdom for myself in the future when I am placed in a situation with a potential guy.

Even still, there are days that I look at my life and things going on and have a conversation with the Lord that consists of "God.. you have GOT to be kidding me.. seriously?.. This is what you're asking me to walk through?!? What the Hell?!" (no joke I've had that conversation with God haha)... Then eventually after a LOT of prayer and thinking I come around to "Ok, fine, but I NEED you to be here with me the whole way!"  I find myself dealing with issues and problems I never would have even comprehended several years ago. I am making choices and learning things I have never desired to make or learn. I am living places I could have cared less about, but I am excited that I have no idea what is to come if my history is any indication. I struggling with new things every day, and am dramatically different than I was even a year ago, but, God and I are talking more now than ever before. I would not trade any of my past for any of the plans I had before.


To be completely honest, I could not be more content "in" my singleness. I have spent so much time thanking God for the closed doors and for protecting my heart and mind in this area.. Recently I have begun working very hard to keep the murmurs of "when you're content is when God brings the guy into your life" comments from well meaning people from influencing my heart because I am content to not have any idea one way or another about a guy in my life at any point in the future. I have finally reached contentment enough to not assume every guy who enters my life "might be...." and instead I am so incredibly thankful for the relationship and the unique spot it fills in my life for that moment, regardless of what that means. To bring it all down to one thing, I am content to let God figure His plan out, and let me know at the appropriate time... But, man what a ride so far...

Jun 20, 2011

Lost in Thought...

I don't know if anyone else ever gets like this, but there are days.. sometimes weeks where I am constantly lost in my thoughts. Lately I have been here.. just totally absorbed in whatever I am thinking.. which usually takes place when I drive, and since I have been doing a lot of driving, I have also been doing a lot of thinking. But, what is cool in the whole thing is how much processing is getting done, how much praying I have been doing, and how much I have finally had the chance to realize why I have been responding the way I have to certain things going on in my life and the lives of those around me...

This weekend I drove down to Lynchburg again (I think I have bought stock in the roads I take..) to help throw one of my besties her bridal shower (she's getting married in 2 weeks to one of my other best friends... SO EXCITED!). And, the drive down was by far the fastest drive I think I have ever made.. only it took the typical 4 hours after work, but I was so engrossed in thought and prayer that I apparently was not really focused on driving.. although I remember the entire drive...

I am so thankful for a couple things and have been really praying about a few other things...

Mostly I am thankful that I currently do not loath my job... Just that weight alone has made a HUGE difference in the amount of laughter that has returned to my life. Thank you Jesus!

While my class is not my favorite, it is also the one that I have understood the most (sadly it's statistic too!).. and the one the professor is really working with me, offering me extra credit problems (which let's be honest, that's a win-win for everyone.. but mostly for my education!).

I am unbelievably thankful for the nice weather, and the warm temperatures. I know most people hate the heat, but I literally HATE cold.. I hate being cold.. I hate being in the cold.. It just makes me kinda grumpy... So, the extended daylight hours and warmer temperatures have done wonders for my body feeling alive again!

Sleep is not exactly my friend recently.. especially with this newly acquired cough from all the airplane rides lately.. But, somehow I have not turned into a grump with the severe lack of sleep.

I miss my church here in DC... but, I am really thankful for getting to visit my other churches from the various other places I have lived. Yesterday I was brought to tears by all the men/dads who went forward after the service... I did not realize how much I have been starved of solid Christian men recently who earnestly seek the Lord and want to be the men/dads etc.. they were created to be until I burst into tears yesterday. I mean, let's be honest, I have amazing men in my life... My dad, brothers, friends etc.. but none of them are here in the Metro DC area for me to interact with on a regular bases. There is just something about those Christ following, Y chromosome carrying beings that moves my heart... Which leads me to another thought and prayer...

I have been thinking a lot about relationships lately.. partially due to the high number of weddings, but also partially due to the nature of girl conversations.. A guy texts, fb, e-mails etc.. and it becomes the source of girly talk for a while... Needing all the details, thoughts, etc.. regardless of what the contents that were included actually were. But, in the midst of it all, I find myself totally content to be exactly where I am... Life is crazy right now, and I know that. Trying to ask a man to come and get me right now would be a horrible thing to task him with... However, even still I know that I still desire to get married and have a family, but more than that I need to serve my savior.. regardless of what that looks like. I would love for a man to come "sweep me off my feet" and for everything that goes with that.. But, my reality is, my life is not conducive for that right now.. and I am ok with that. I also chatted with a couple friends about what would I do IF a guy decided to willingly enter into my chaos.. (because we're girls and we like these types of talks).. And, I had to explain that my perspective is not due to me being against a relationship or lacking a desire for one.. but merely because I recognize the ridiculousness in asking someone to pursue me right now. I would without hesitation create time for him (which would likely mean less sleep), but that I do not have time to create opportunity for him to pursue, wait for him to pursue, then make time for him... That is just too much. However, if he (this figment of girls imagination guy) chose to pursue me anyway, knowing what is going on in my life, then I would gladly make room for him if I thought there was a chance... But until then, I will assume that every man who enters my life is there to fill a friend role.

So, all in all life is finally feeling less oppressed. A friend even commented "you laughed and giggled a lot.. is everything ok?" and it helped me to realize just how much life can become drudgery when so many factors are playing into our stress... I like when my first reaction is to laugh instead of merely fake a smile.

Thank you God that things are looking up finally!

Jun 19, 2011

Fathers Day...

This is my grandpa and dad. They are amazing men, and have amazing legacy's.

Today at church today (I was at Brentwood in Lynchburg) and John Dupin was talking about being fathers, and how their role and responsibility is not just about them being dad's to their kids, but according to the Bible their legacy carries on until their GRANDKIDS die... Meaning their children's children are influenced by who they are..

So, in honor of that, these are the men that have influenced me more than almost any other men in my life. Grandpa has such a precious place in my heart, and always has apparently, not only did he CHOOSE to be my grandpa, he chose to love me just like all the other grandkids. You see, he married my grandma when she already had two kids... Took them as his own, and raised them without ever acting like they were not his. And, due to the way he raised them, both of them actually changed their last names to his... So, I proudly carry this man's last name :) As a small child I was not afraid of him and would insist on hugs (some things never change..) I have a picture from the two of us camping when I was 3 (maybe) and we're eating breakfast, and he's making faces at me, and I'm just giggling my head off... and we're the only two at the table :) Several years later we have pictures of me "doing" his hair or my bird siting on his head as he just laughs and chats with my family. My grandma (who died when I was 16) always said that I was the one grandkid that always insisted on hugs from grandpa, and was ultimately the one that broke him into hugging all of us :) Love this man.

On to my dad, as odd as this may sound (stick with me cause I'll explain)... My dad is probably one of the single most influential reasons as to why I have stuck with the purity that I have, and have the confidence to remain pure until I am married. Because of the intentional influence my dad has had in my life, making time for me, telling me I am pretty, I am intelligent, capable etc..etc.. I am confident in who I am, who God made me to be, and I know exactly the man it will take to earn my love and respect. I have countless memories of "daddy dates" with my dad, which always included some form of food and a movie.. and sometimes included shopping.. which was always fun with dad and his two questions "Do you like it?... Will you wear it?".. haha Or the time just before Senior prom when my date flaked on me, and somehow throughout the grace of God a friend stepped in, my dad bought me a corsage... it was the first and only one I've had, and I loved it! Or the time dad bought me a puppy, or a bunny rabbit for valentines day.. I remember that valentines day still.. I was SO THRILLED that I got something I didn't even care what it was.. But!.. it was fuzzy! I remember the literally countless hours training with dad telling me "You can do this..." in the midst of learning new moves. Or the one night Dad and I sat in the car and I told him about how scared I was after college to move away and essentially start life and follow wherever God lead me.. Because what if something happened to them at home, I would not be there to help, or I would miss important time with all of them while I was away.. And, dad so graciously told me that he's known for a very long time I would be out conquering the world, God would take me all over the place, and I would always visit home, never staying for long.. But, that he would rather that than know I had missed out on my calling and what God made me to do... The freedom I felt and the weight that was lifted off my chest when I was essentially given the freedom and permission to grow and unfold my wings and fly was one I will never forget. My dad has always been the one person who can explain anything to me, and who always is my "you can do this" person.

Thank you Grandpa and Dad for being the men of God that you are! I love you lots!

Jun 17, 2011

Save the World...

I don't often do this, and I don't have a whole lot of time today... But, I have a couple organizations/companies I want to highlight..

First one is TOMS I have mentioned them before, I follow them on twitter.. and I check their website constantly for new styles. If you do not know about TOMS, you really should check them out. They are known as a "One for One" company. Meaning they are a for profit company that donates one pair of shoes for every pair that is bought. Which means when I spend $60 on a pair of shoes and shipping.. I am really paying $60 for two pairs of shoes and TWO sets of shipping because I have also bought a pair of shoes for a child in another country. TOMS just launched a new One for One with eye wear.. Meaning for every pair of sunglasses (I know they're expensive) that are bought, someone in another country gets a pair of glasses or gets their vision restored. It's pretty freakin sweet if you ask me! I have attached a couple links for ease of movement around their website to get their full story and see the videos they have posted.

Now, on to my second organization.. I just stumbled upon this one here today. And, I cannot get it out of my head.. This is a BRILLIANT idea!!... Leave it up to a resident from a third world country to realize how wasteful we are in the US and not complain at all.. but actually make a tiny switch in habits to literally save the world. I am so impressed with the simplicity, effectiveness, and goals of this organization! The general idea is to collect all the partially used soaps from thousands of hotels across the country, melt the soaps down (with the same brands/scents etc..), re-solidify them, cut them up, and send them out to people who are unable to afford soap over food. But, in this small act they are saving people from TOTALLY preventable diseases and colds. I am so impressed and excited at this concept!! To check it out, visit their website: www.globalsoap.org

Ok, that is all.. I'll get off my "soapbox" now haha :)

Hope you enjoyed a small glimpse into organizations and companies that excite me!

Jun 15, 2011

Backyard...

My little piece of normalcy in the power capital of the country..

Perturbed..

I am rather perturbed as I sit here.. (again in my hammock).. The homework that I got mostly done yesterday saved as a corrupt file. Awesome.

Thankfully it's not a super difficult assignment, just time consuming to put the formulas in... But, on a good note, my prof is giving me some extra credit! Praise the Lord!

And, just to say it, work will be interesting for the next little while.. Should be an interesting ride.

On a totally different note.. and not a perturbed one.. I'm headed down to Lynchburg again this weekend for one of my Besties bridal shower! I'm excited :)

Jun 14, 2011

Delicate Balance...

It amazes me sometimes how delicate of a balance God has everything in..

The Earth is placed EXACTLY right so we can have life.

The Seasons come and go exactly when they are needed.

Bringing bugs to a new land makes things go nuts.. which means a new predator is required.. and the cycle continues. (Lady bugs, stink bugs.. etc..)

Life is so delicate, from the very beginning. I have a couple pregnant friends, and I am absolutely in love with their stories of daily life, but I am constantly reminded of how delicate of a time the moms and baby's are in during pregnancy. They aim for "safe zones" so just in case something happens and the babies are born early they are "safe." The babies literally depend on the mother's love and nurturing from the beginning... which in turn requires the mommies to rely on the dad's for the same love and nurturing... which in turn requires the daddies to rely on God for the same love and nurturing. Delicate balance!

Which brings me to life in general. It is so delicate. Even for someone like me who "can handle anything" ... Life can change in an instant without warning or control. I tend to look at the instant changes as exciting and part of my adventure, but I am well aware and have experienced some really horrible instant changes... and I know others have faced worse ones... But, then again, in an instant a couple can fall in love, get married, etc.. There is such a beautiful delicate balance that God has set up and placed before us.

I am amazed how delicate we are.. and how delicately God treats us, but how harsh we are naturally towards each other... or maybe just I am towards others...

Homework...

I couldn't handle doing homework inside any longer.. Feeling really ADD tonight.. So I'm trying this to see if it helps cure some of my issues haha...

Jun 13, 2011

In My Head...

I have so many things to say and fill in from the last couple weeks.

There are so many things I have been reminded that I do not know recently... But...

What I do know is that people and their drama mixes with me like oil and water. I get so frustrated so quickly, and really just begin to pull inside my head more. I stop being as social and open about what is going on in my head with those people because I literally can't handle their drama. And, it is not like they are just talking or venting.. it is a perpetual state of stupid remarks, behaviors, etc..

Some people absolutely make my life better.. and I could not be more thankful for them.

Last week was intensely difficult, and only now am I actually FEELING anything regarding it.. I was in total function mode and really spent most of the time void of emotions just because I needed to get through it all and had too much to do.

I loved that I got to see different sides of people.. Mostly good things (a couple shady things).. I was reminded every day this past week how blessed I am to have my supervisor. She is amazing.

Thankfully this past week we had the only building in the resort with free wireless... Which means I got to keep up with my homework and class! Praise the Lord!.. I was a little nervous..

I am not holding my breath for anything in particular to happen.. and I am maintaining that I will be pursued... but, until then life goes on as usual. And, thankfully I am so busy and full of life and things to do, with goals for the next year, that really there is no residual feelings... It simply is what is, and will turn into whatever ends up happening..

There is a glimmer of hope at work... Maybe a couple glimmers... And, God answered my prayers this past week!

My bag traveled to Port au Prince, Haiti... without me. Which in my opinion is very rude, especially considering that my bag literally is falling apart... Time to get a new one.

I left my Ipod in my hotel room.. and realized after I was at the airport :( .. But, thankfully I spent about $100 on it several years ago, and I was thinking of getting a new one soon... Now to figure out which one to get!

I haven't danced in weeks.. I need to do some of that this week!

On average this week I got between 3-5 hours of sleep each night.. whew boy!

In the midst of some crazy things that happened this past week, I sent out a request for prayers to a couple of my best friends, and could literally feel the change inside when I started getting the "we are praying right now" responses.. I am so thankful for my friends, and my God who hears us!

I am so tired.. but surprisingly doing well!

Jun 11, 2011

The days we have...

Today was one of those days where not only was I tired and sleep deprived.. But I ran around like crazy.. Literally was starving for each meal.. Dealt with crazies.. Then two major crises.. Then something we had been working on for a long time passed the delegate vote...

I needed the lord so much.. I texted 4 of my bffs and asked for prayer for myself and my coworkers.. Instantly I knew they were praying as I received response texts..

One of those days...

Jun 8, 2011

Drama Exhaustion...

I'm in Orlando FL for the week with work. It is feeling a bit more like sleep deprivation mixed with a reality TV drama.. Or maybe I'm getting punked...

Jun 2, 2011

Tid Bits of Life..

Yesterday was my older brother Jeavon's birthday.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I thankfully got the chance to call him as I was driving (yet again) down to Lynchburg. This time to see my kids graduate and get awards from the place I used to work. It was a good time, I got more hugs than I have in a long time, and my kids along with co-workers were so pleasantly surprised that it made the 3 1/2 hour drive worth it! I miss my kids, and my co-workers a lot.. especially since while working there, even during the "this sucks" moments of my job, I always had the love for my kids driving me, and the friendships of co-workers making it better. I miss that at the job I have currently.. there is not a whole lot that balances it out.

Today is my little sister Irina's birthday! I cannot believe she's turning 14!.. I still feel like she should be 7... (Man am I behind the times eh?).. But, at the same time, I am so excited she's getting older, and we are transitioning into real friends, with moments, laughter, serious talks, heartaches, and just normal life things. I love that she is growing into this amazing woman that I get to call my sister... and who I have so much respect for! Really excited to continue to watch her grow!! :)

In TOTALLY other news, I have been "texting" with a guy. Nothing serious, and nothing to write home about (since we're talking a couple weeks of texting max), but it brings a smile to my face. I have yet to find out his affinity for the Lord.. which is pretty high on my list of things to know.. But, I am working on a couple things, mainly letting him and God figure out whatever "this" is or is supposed to be.. but also letting him lead without me either pushing him to move faster (for my own selfish reasons) or pushing him away (also for my own selfish reasons). But, so far he's been fun and entertaining to chat with, and he has a great smile. :) I am not holding my breath though until he makes it apparent what "this" is, whether just friends, or more.. We shall see.. However, I will say, sadly he will have to be very persistent and dedicated to make it through the insane schedule I have, so just looking at that alone, I am fairly certain it will deter him or any other guy from pursuing or sticking around.. Now's just not a good scheduled time in my life..

Jun 1, 2011

Central Va...

Why I love central Va... The sunsets are amazing! God's work is beautiful!