Sep 30, 2011

Once Again...

I always have these random markers throughout the year, partially because of a season or holiday (Christmas and New Years always require a solid look back), but then some of the time it is just because something memorable took place this day, week, month or period last year. Then, as I look back I sorta begin to glance over (mentally) the time that has passed since then, and the things I have done, gone, been through, and survived.

So, today I am looking back for a few reasons.. One, because two years ago today I met a guy who has since become such a solid friend, and it is his birthday! When we met I was completely amused by his antics and perspective on pretty much everything.. mostly due to the way he expressed his thoughts. I have since watched him become such an amazing and faithful friend, who of course still brings a hysterical perspective into my life (even from the other side of the world). I know I can always count on him to give it to me straight, and in a classic guy way, which always amuses me. So, happy birthday my dear friend, I am thankful to our savior all the time for your friendship, and I pray for you often.

This time period last year I was mid my first grad class, looking for a new job, interviewed for a job in DC, and in about a week or so I would have gotten offered a new job which sent me spiraling into mass amounts of packing, hanging out, and moving everything I knew and loved somewhere else... I was not happy, not excited, and not really sure how I felt about this new adventure.

I moved, and restarted my life.. and have somehow managed to survive the last year. Which is a mixture of joy that it has been a year, and serious sorrow that I have that perspective about the last year of my life. However, at the same time I have an overwhelming sense of peace about what I have just walked through. I never once doubted God had me exactly where He wanted me, I just also did not like the journey. Now I find that I have (praise the Lord) found my contentment again, which sadly has been missing for a very long time. For some reason there was just too much going on for me to stop and breathe, instead I just kept going forward knowing I needed to move or I would drown. So, that is exactly what I did, I filled my life and time... literally every moment. I never found time to refresh, never stayed still long enough to realize how much I was allowing myself to shrivel up and die on the inside. Ironically, I never stopped praying about others, but I virtually completely stopped praying for myself, except that is to complain about how much I did not like what was going on in my life.

No wonder I was lacking contentment.

A few weeks ago I felt like my fog was beginning to lift, like the fog was slowly getting burned away by the sun, and little by little I would be able to breathe and sigh with contentment again. It was not like a flip of a switch, it was no large emotional change, and it was not even with an understanding of what was happening. I just knew that something was slowly shifting, the tide was turning, the fog was burning away, and soon enough I would be left with perfect sight into what had just happened, and a greater love and appreciation to my Savior for faithfully walking me through it all. It was then that I began asking for a reboot/reset button, I had no idea what it was or even how to look for it, but I knew I needed something way down deep in my core to be switched that would let the years worth of pressure go.. in a peaceful not atomic bomb kinda way.

I still have no idea what is coming next, or really how to plan (can that ever really happen) for it, but, I do know that I no longer feel like I am constantly on the edge of exploding. I am really thankful for this...

So, while nothing really externally has changed, the tides are shifting, and I know that God is getting ready once again for change. Thankfully I am totally content with wherever (please don't make me pack my stuff up and move again!) it takes me........ (yes, even if I have to move again.)

Several of the things I am at peace with currently:
The direction my job is (or likely is not) heading... which subsequently means there are changes coming again soon... But, I know that God will clue me in as always exactly when I need to move.
The state of (or really lack there of) my relationship status. Thankfully I no longer feel an overwhelming sense of panic at the thought of trying to fit someone in my life that would require a lot of time I didn't feel I had.
The living situation, lots of changes are coming in the next month, and stresses are getting resolved.. and thankfully (somehow) I have no bad feelings about any of it... but I will be glad to close that chapter of my life.
The very core of my heart and soul feel rested, peaceful, and content.. something that has not happened in a very long time. I am so thankful to know that while so many crazy things are still happening around me, that God is blessing me (not even kidding) with inner peace.

This last year added the the previous year of crap.. to create a solid two years of crapfest... But, I also am confident that God has used them to burn away the chaff, and to make me new ("...and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind..." Ephesians 4:23).

Today, for however long it lasts (hopefully a while) I am new once again, content once again, peace-filled once again, and hopeful once again.

Sep 29, 2011

Lighthearted Moments...

I am sure the last few posts have given away how much better my demeanor is, and how much less stressed I am now. I am so thankful for the 4 or so days that I escaped normal life and headed to Cali for some much needed beach time, and quality time with my beautiful cousin!

So, while I did a few posts and comments over the time away, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite moments throughout the course of the few days.

Shortly after arriving my cousin informed me that she was going to make me hit on and flirt with all the guys... Which lead to so many fits of giggles as she would not so subtly hint that she thought this guy or that guy was appropriate or attractive. The look on her face as she would hint would send us both into fits of laughter.

Every night we snuggled on the couch and watched a movie with some sort of desert or refreshment. To highlight our uniqueness, the first night was none other than Step up 3... But, but then we watched Unknown, and on the last night The Eagle.. all great movies!... But totally different haha

We walked the pier a couple times and ran it once.. Two of those times were at night, and included us standing mesmerized at the end of the pier by the bio luminescent plankton and the flickering jellyfish. It was truly amazing.

We walked.. and walked.. and walk.. everywhere! A couple miles on the beach (thank you sun for kissing my skin!), up and down the hills to and from her little beach flat to dinner, pedicures, tea, frozen yogurt, farmers market, breakfast etc..

We laid in the sand and soaked up the sunshine.. played and were overcome by waves and freezing cold salt water. We attempted body boarding... which we claimed to have dominated.. but really the waves dominated us. But, we laughed and made fun of each other the whole time.. and my ankle incurred but survived an attack from the rocks and sand.

We made DELICIOUS food... and when we did not feel like cooking ate out at some pretty spectacular places.

We got pedicures, and I picked the brightest pink (yes I said PINK!) color I could find.. it just embodied the feelings of Cali I had. Then we got ice teas with "texture" meaning some sort of flavored gelatin (sounds weird, but was really good).

We took paddle boarding lessons, and laid on the paddle boards in the middle of the basin laughing and talking about random memories from holidays, summers, family, and just normal childhood things we remember.

We stopped by the cliff/place my cousin got married and took a few anniversary shots to commemorate her anniversary since her husband is currently on the other side of the world... We talked about their wedding and the first couple weeks of their marriage.

We joked, danced... well really we made up a ridiculous funny-crazy-dance that really was just us bouncing our arms, shaking our bodies, and convulsing our legs.... But it made us laugh hysterically every time.

But mostly.. we just talked and enjoyed each others company over cups of coffee in the morning or while laying on the beach in silence listening to the rhythm of the waves. I adore being adults together, supporting each other, laughing together, talking through thoughts about life, God, and family. I love that she is my cousin, and that from opposite sides of the country (literally) and four years separating us that we are still so close.

These moments are when I am refreshed and reminded that I am special, I am loved, and I am seen by my God who knows when I am about to have a meltdown. God is so faithful.

Sep 27, 2011

3 Years Ago..

My beautiful cousin and I went to where she got married in La Jolla, CA. Since he is currently deployed but coming home in a few weeks, we took a few anniversary shots. She is so stunning to me!

Happy anniversary my dear cousin!

Paddle Boarding...

After our lesson heading out to the basin. It was awesome, weird getting used to the balance.. But way cool. Definitely doing this again!

Sep 21, 2011

Contingency Plans...

Last night I found myself engaged in a conversation that boiled down to the illusion of marriage. It all started because a guy I had literally just met a few minutes prior barged in, sat down, introduced himself to the people he did not know in the room, and joined in the tail end of a birthday party for my friend. A couple minutes into general conversation he asked a couple girls and I since we are "modern, cosmopolitan women..." would we agree to a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Somewhat surprising to myself, all of us instantly said some form of "no way." Which, slightly to my enjoyment seemed to baffle the guy, but instantly catapult us into a fairly aggravating conversation about marriage, the business and economical impact of marriage, the disillusionment and romanticism of marriage, and sadly what were clearly his understanding of marriage... Which was even more disheartening due to the fact that he was sitting on the couch of his fiance, who feigned a lack of interest and began cleaning up after the part.

Throughout the entire conversation he insisted that marriage was just a different form of a business, that it was the smartest decision someone could make economically, and therefore a prenuptial agreement was the most logical and common sense steps on the way to marriage. Because, after-all, what if years down the road life takes a dramatic turn and both parties realize it is no longer working, it only makes sense to have that set up.

And, while I understand his points, I get the "wise" thought process included in his train of thought, I also believe it is pure and simple a contingency plan in case things do not go the way they are supposed to. I understand, and get the pains of divorce while doing my best to support my friends who have experienced it, I know that life rarely turns out the way we plan it, and I am no stranger to people suddenly being different and deciding they know longer want you... My view of a prenuptial agreement is not based on a disillusionment about marriage, and is not based on the romanticism of what love is like. My view of a prenuptial agreement is that it already provides a crack that can be later used to decide to walk away, it allows the idea of "just in case this doesn't work out, I will still be financially stable.." thought process to be firmly planted in the back of our minds. It creates a false sense of security, and sets the stage for money to be a focus of the marriage.

If one day I get married, my husband turns out to be a complete jerk, and eventually walks out on me, either fairly quickly into the marriage, or after years upon years of marriage, family, and children. I am well aware of the risk I would be taken, I have watched it happen to numerous people around me. I have watched as loved ones were abused, cheated on, and walked out on... I purposefully choose to take my hands off the control involved in marriage, that is God's job, I am not foolishly walking into this blinded, especially since as it stands currently there is no romance, love or plans of marriage, so I can confidently say nothing is clouding my perspective.

Then, like now, as in the past, God is going to be in control. I have no need for a contingency plan, my faith and belief is that my God will work it all out to glorify himself, and regardless of whether I get my fairytale or I end up in what feels like a cruel version of punk'd, I will trust that God is still God, and I am not. I knowingly am choosing to walk into the potentially hazardous waters without the false sense of security a prenuptial agreement would offer.

Sep 19, 2011


One of my very dear friends found out this weekend that something was terribly wrong with her dad, he was taken to the emergency room, and seemed to deteriorate rapidly, with seemingly no reason... So much so that they began calling family to come because they had no idea what to expect moment to moment.

So, we began praying for healing, guidance and wisdom for the doctors; but mostly we prayed that God would find Him and he would become saved before his time here was over.

Shortly after I began texting family and friends asking for prayers we found out he likely has viral meningitis, which is not comforting, except for the fact that it is treatable. Highly contagious, but treatable. They began the long battery of tests, most of which have not come back yet, and in the meantime began the meds.

So we have commenced the waiting game..

I went to visit them at the hospital tonight after work since it was only in Baltimore. He is better from yesterday they said, but he is still so shockingly ill that it took me a few minutes to realize that the symptoms I was seeing were actually due to nerve issues and not because of seizures or anything of the like.. The good signs were that he was restless, and while he had very little control of his limbs, breathing and talking were difficult, he was trying to move, get out of bed, re-adjust etc.. almost constantly... All good things. But, he is not better yet, and he definitely has a ways to go.

My biggest prayers are still for his salvation in Christ Jesus. My God is bigger than this, of this I am sure.

Sep 17, 2011


Today's to-do list is brought to you by too much summer travel...

The usual laundry is on the to-do list, but included in that is bedding since I realized I am not real sure the last time I washed my bedding.. Which normally would be gross.. except I have on average not slept in my bed 2-4 nights every week for almost 6 weeks... Maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better over my lapse of memory haha...

Homework, work conference call, and all the typicals that I somehow never manage to get done throughout the week are must to-dos today. With any luck I will be able to give myself a pedi, get a good amount of my homework and laundry complete.. and still have time to hang out with a couple friends.

ps. I made homemade pancakes with berries this morning, along with Guatemalan coffee.. Feeling quite accomplished!

Sep 16, 2011

New Experiences..

My roomie, and a couple of her co-workers came out salsa dancing with a couple of my friends and I. I am so proud of her for stepping out to try something new that she is not naturally comfortable with, and especially for not just trying it, but keeping an open mind.. and finding out she could have fun AND feel graceful.

Successful night for sure :)

Sep 15, 2011

Flower Coated Week..

What my friend sent via my roomie to help brighten my week. I honestly don't know what I would do without her!.. Flowers make everything better!

Sep 14, 2011

Phone Conversations...

Last night a good friend of mine left me a voicemail that rambled on and on giving me quick updates, a schedule for the remainder of the week, and a hidden "call me asap" in their voice... So, once I had a moment I called, and could not help but smile as we began our marathon conversation... You see, our conversations are never short because both of us value getting the entire story and talking through what God is doing in our lives, there's never any candy coating going on, and there is always honesty and humor included in everything we talk about.

It never ceases to amaze me how God just knows when to send certain people into or back into your life...

I spent roughly two hours talking with my friend and near the end of our conversation I was asked if it was ok for them to pray for me.. Which makes me laugh because I am pretty sure we pray every time we are done talking. But, this friend has long, authentic, all encompassing prayers that touch my soul in very profound ways. Thankfully the conversation ended with laughter (although it was throughout it too) and a discussion about dates that would work for a visit.

I am so thankful for my friends, and their support in my life. They make life better every day.

Sep 12, 2011

My Year in Hair...

This is the last year or so of my hair... I cut my hair a year ago, and have had to salvage my haircut with 5 additional cuts since then.. It's been fun haha :)

Sep 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago...

Ten years ago today I was a Junior in high school, sitting in my 2nd period art class when my teacher who always had the radio or some sort of music on announce "Oh my God, a plane just hit the world trade center!" I was shocked, but not really aware of what it meant, because really the only thing that came to mind was that it was a terrible accident. The idea of a terrorist attack did not even cross my mind.

I left the class soon after, entered my 3rd period English 3 Honors class, and discovered that it was a bigger deal than everyone initially thought.. So, we did what any normal teenage would do.. we begged and pleaded our teacher to let us go to the only classroom we knew had a tv, and watch the news. By the time we got there the second plane had hit, and there were easily 100 kids and teachers crammed into the classroom. I sat on the floor only a couple feet from the entirely too small for all of us tv, and watch the first... I was horrified when the news showed people jumping... I could not fathom fear enough that would motivate me to jump out of a building hundreds of stories to the ground. Then the second building collapse.

I remember just being in a state of shock because we knew it was on purpose now.

I have never been overly emotional, and I remember classmates and teachers crying, but for some reason, I did not. I was scared for our country, and the unknown... How many planes did they have?... Where are they heading next?.. Are any of us safe?.. Especially as the news unfolded and there were two more plane crashes. The Pentagon (which weirdly is the city I live in now), and a field in Pennsylvania.

Yet, all at the same time, I operated under a confidence knowing that even if I was not going to be "ok".. I was safe because my God still had it and was still under control.

The rest of the day was really a blur. I remember my 6th period Biology teacher giving us some time at the beginning of class to talk about what we were thinking, feeling, and allowed us to ask questions.. Not that she had any answers, but it was certainly a lot better than being told we had to pretend none of it mattered or worse that it didn't actually happen and our lives were not going to be different.

As soon as my dad picked me up that day (like every other day) I remember blurting out "DID YOU HEAR?!.. The World Trade Centers were hit by planes today!" He of course had heard.. and we talked about it the whole way home.. and I remember turning the HUGE tv (5 foot ginormous box of a tv we had) on and standing just a couple feet from it and watching the replays of the buildings collapse over and over... I remember just letting it sink in that this was incredible evil, and I tried envisioning the emotions every person on those planes, and in those buildings would have felt. The confusion, fear, chaos... all of it.

I remember it just being overwhelming, and that for the next several weeks I was consumed with the rescue and recovery of the people in the buildings and at the Pentagon.

So, as cliche as it sounds.. 10 years later, our lives are still moving forward.. but everyone is right, I will never be the same either. 9/11 is always a moment in time that I remember how small and fragile we all are, how evil the devil is, and how glorious my God is.

Sep 10, 2011

Perfect Saturday...

Today has been a perfect Saturday.. It has been so long since I have had one, that I almost forgot what they even felt like... looked like.. and more importantly how precious they are. I woke up gloriously late (11am) and was greeted by a text inviting me to join my friend for a run.. Not exactly my favorite, but since it was beautiful outside for the first time in a solid week, and I really have to begin training for my 10k in less than two months, I agreed, and even was ok glad to work off the energy and stress. Although, to be fair, I am terribly out of shape, but glad to get back into it. Then I took my time showering and getting ready for my day, including making myself an amazing omelet. Afterwards I took off to the Metro to take a ridiculously long ride into the city, although it was faster than trying to drive once I passed the expressway!... Slowly I made my way to Ebenezers coffee shop (The coffee shop owned by my church) to spend hours upon hours reading and doing homework. I typically have very little drive to accomplish any of it on the weekend, but since I had a gift card from my roomie (thank you!) I decided it was the perfect excuse to head in, get a change of scenery, and get some things accomplished since I am once again in a class I do not understand much about (Stats AGAIN?!). It feels awesome to be in a familiar setting of coffee and people wafting in and out while I people watch and read incredibly boring articles... It is a nice familiar welcome change of pace.

Later the plan is to meet up with some friends to show them a tri-level jazz club here in the city.. Doing whatever I want, at whatever pace I choose... This is like an old friend I forgot how enjoyable their company is!...

Plus the sun has been out all day!

Sep 9, 2011

Take it Easy...

Why is it that living, reacting, and genuinely being authentic is so foreign to most people?.. Especially Christians?

I do know that it gets tiring hearing people tell me to "take it easy.." or "you're too blunt and straight forward..."

I have yet to figure out why telling someone the truth is something that is not commonplace anymore, and why honesty is something others think should not be said out-loud.

Why would I avoid confrontation, skirt the question, or worse flat out lie to those I care about instead of telling you the truth?
Why is mincing words seen as the better more appropriate way to handle loved ones?

Now, do not misunderstand me... I am not advocating for sticking my (or anyone's) nose where it does not belong. I am not the morals police, and I certainly have enough trouble and drama of my own before caring to add yours to my mix.. However, when approached by someone, giving them a real answer seems to be the only right thing to do. There is definitely wisdom that always need to be taken into account, but regardless, why would I not at the very least answer them truthfully (when given the green light to speak into their life)?

I guess I assume that if you bring something to me, ask my thoughts and opinions, you are expecting a real answer regardless of the comfort level it takes to say it or receive it.

And, to be fair, don't ask me questions and then expect me to give a false/fake/avoidance answer... If you ask me, know without any doubts I will answer truthfully. Whether you want to hear it, I want to say it, or it is the most uncomfortable thing in the world, you will get honesty from me.

This does not mean I have a perpetual "get out of jail free card" to be a jerk (although being a jerk comes naturally, it is not ok, God has been working on for the last 26 years of my life). I do not view my straight forward, blunt, tell it like it is (whatever you want to call it) perspective as free reign to be hurtful/spiteful/revengeful jerk... There is tact, wisdom, and love that must be involved in every situation... but that does not mean avoiding the truth. The reality is, honesty IS the best policy, especially when it is backed by love.

So, while I understand that being given straight forward answers is not common, and is DEFINITELY uncomfortable (I hate being called out in the moment too), unless you can show me where the Bible says "take it easy.." or "no need to tell them what you really think.." is part of "love your neighbor.." or really how it translates to being loving at all.. I'll take my honesty and authenticity over fake, half-hearted, avoidance any day.

You cannot grow if your life is based off of fake feedback.


I have been a Shawn McDonald fan since the beginning.. He is easily one of my favorite artists. This song struck me on my drive to work this morning, it just seems so fitting right now, so I thought I would share...

Sep 8, 2011


"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." - John Homer Mille

My roomie sent that to me this morning... I thanked her.. then promptly called her a jerk for sending it too haha...

Sep 7, 2011


The last couple years has been a serious growing stage. I feel as though there is no breaking... and no real hint at an end. However, I have been thinking lately about all the ways I have been growing. I certainly feel much more established and comfortable with who I am and who I am not.

However, having said that, I do not think I have ever "made" it.. There always feels like more to learn, and things I need to get better at. I have no idea what the message and lessons are right now, but I am hoping to get more clarity soon.

I definitely am feeling a stirring inside of me, it is still faint and I have no clear picture as to what it is..

I am reading The Scent of Water by my new sweet friend Naomi Zacharias. She is a sweet joyful woman, that clearly has been through some rough things in her life, not just in her own walk, but due to willingly and purposefully stepping into the lives of others to help them shoulder their burdens.

Reading her book is becoming a neat way for me to almost sit in and dwell on the pain and grief. In this case it is very unique because I am reading her stories of traveling with Wellspring International, and how these stories and situations have impacted her. It has been unique partly because I typically do not read these types of books, but also because in this case I am taking time to allow the feelings and thoughts to sit on my heart and speak to me. At one point in the book she is talking about how sometimes the circumstances going on in your life just make you feel like God has forgotten you, when in reality, He is really the only one who has not... As I read that portion, I felt a welcome and familiar pang of emotion deep down reminding me of the truth that no matter my situation, frustration, irritation, stress level, annoyance, exasperation.. or just straight up pain and grief over things going on in my life, God has not left me to wander alone. It is proving interesting and a good chance of pace in my heart.

Sep 6, 2011

He Sees Me...

I find that I keep reminding myself lately that God sees me, and He intimately cares about what is going on in my life. That no matter how I am feeling in this moment, He knows, is here, and cares... I have to remind myself that He understands, gets it, and is here walking this as of late craptastic journey with me. One day this will all make beautiful sense, and I will be thankful for these lessons I am learning, but not completely aware of right now.

"The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." - Psalm 145:18

"...I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right." Isaiah 45:19b

Sep 4, 2011


There are times that I just do not feel like I fit. Life has changed and is different than it has been (ever, but that sounds way more dramatic than it actually is). I feel almost as if there is no where that I fit right now, no where that is home, and no where that feels like "my place." I was thinking about it last night, and I am wondering if God is doing this so that He can close the doors and move me forward.. I hope so because I would gladly close these doors and move forward to what God has planned.

There is a part of me that is content to stop looking back and move forward, and a part of me that is frustrated at the same time. I am finding the typical responses that people try to use to "help" or "comfort" me to be trite and shallow, which has been leaving me incredibly frustrated instead. I have spent a decent amount of time praying about it, and feeling like maybe I needed to just change my attitude, but really I think it has more to do with the fact that the things people are using to encourage me are not authentic, they do not spur me forward or towards Christ, and instead tend to be a typical fake response.. or worse, encouragement or advice originating from a selfish place.. like "you should just move here/home" or "I can't wait to see who God has planned for you.." (which at this point seems more like a comment to make them feel better about being my single friend now having a significant other)..

Last weekend I was able to spend some time talking with my bff, and she brought up all the possible responses she could say that essentially "could be" true and authentic, but ultimately are not helpful or appropriate. Sometimes people say them from a perspective aimed at helping and encouraging, but instead they are said from a place of not understanding the heart of the issue is coming from so ultimately not helpful, but make the person feel better. Other times the comments are full of understanding and truth. My bff did an amazing job (as always) of understanding my heart behind what I was saying, and responding to what I meant deep down instead of what I was actually saying (one of many reasons I love and cherish her friendship in my life).

So, right now I am at a place of not really being sure what is up. I have no words to describe, and just find most common place "encouragement" frustrating and annoying because of the lack of understanding... Which, to be fair, how can they if I cannot put into words what I am feeling and what is going on... However, soon, things will be different and better.

Sep 3, 2011

The Lake...

Having a blast tubing, jet skiing, and just hanging out at the lake. There is just something about it that puts me at peace.

Sep 1, 2011

Done Yet?...

I would like to be done with my job now... I would like to switch to something I actually care and am passionate about.