Friday, April 30, 2010

good-bye april, hello may

April was a good month.
i completed my 30 day project which was mildly successful. i feel that it got me moving in the right direction as far as a better lifestyle goes.
i made new friends.
i got a job.
i visited old friends.
i feel like i have finished this month better than i started it. That seems like a good way to live. i had some rough moments, but i am better now. i feel like i am back to being more "me" if that makes sense. But i am still making my way.

May is going to be a busy month. i will be balancing two part-time jobs, attending a wedding, seeing my sister graduate, visiting my brother for his birthday, and hopefully spending time with friends. (especially my long lost accountant friend who is getting married in June!)

i completed my first day of training at Michaels. i learned how to use the cash register in about five minutes, but it will probably take me about five years to learn the store, so it will balance out. It will be a trying job probably, but i am sure that there will be a lot of opportunities for me to learn things from it. (and i am not talking about learning about different types of yarn either)

God give me grace.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


-this week i am training for my new job at Michaels. i am oh so grateful to have a job, but i am not super excited about it. hopefully it will be fun and i will become a craftier person. hopefully

-i have yet to receive one paycheck and i am already fighting the materialistic, selfish me that wants a new purse, a new dress, a certain movie, and a haircut. it is so much easier to deny myself when there is no money to spend. come on self-control!

-i have started watching Biggest Loser. Erika is killing me with all these shows she has me watching! But i love this show so much! it is so inspirational and it usually makes me cry (and i am not really a crier). tonight though i learned a valuable lesson that for some reason they split one episode into two parts, so when i went to record it before i went to Bible study, i did not realize that i only recorded the first part. i started to get suspicious when the contestants were in the middle of herding cattle and there was only 2 minutes left in the recording. Bummer. good thing i know that they show it again on saturday!

-i have reached a new level of dorkiness by adding the reading of a book on grammar to my bedtime routine of a sudoku puzzle. That is right people, i get into bed, read a chapter in my grammar book and do a sudoku puzzle. i am not ashamed.

-i have been sleeping better. ok, that is not really a confession as much as a thankfulness. i posted this verse beside my bed and read it before i go to sleep (after the grammar and puzzle)

Lift up the light of Your countenance upon me O LORD! You have put gladness in my heart. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone O LORD make me dwell in safety
Psalm 4:6-8

Monday, April 26, 2010


have you ever noticed that one of the first questions you hear when you meet someone is "so, what do you do?"
So much of our identity and how we are perceived comes from what we do and not who we are. That is why when we find ourselves in situations where what we are doing is not necessarily reflective of who we are, an identity crisis ensues.
Those who are unemployed or working in jobs that they dislike struggle in figuring out just who they are.

Even though i thought that i had such a firm grasp on my identity, i find myself dreading that question "what are you doing?" It makes me doubt myself and what i am doing.

In my Bible study this past week we started reading Titus. This short book in the New Testament is a letter from Paul to, you guessed it, Titus. In this letter, Paul is giving Titus advice for establishing leadership in the local churches on the island of Crete. Paul lays out in the first chapter the qualifications of elders for the church. Some of the qualities that Paul lists are being above reproach, patient, hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, and self-controlled. Something that our leader pointed out was that these qualifications for leadership had nothing to do with what they did, their talents, or gifts, but it had everything to do with their character.

In other words, according to the Lord, the question is not necessarily "what do you do?" but,

"who are you?"

What if that became our question when we met someone?

What would you say?

beloved disciple.
a child of the living God.

who just happens to be working a job in retail. (did i mention i got a job?)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

i love free things.

i mean, who doesn't?
enjoyable things are even better when they are free and this has been a great weekend of free things.

There is a guy who is in my cell group who plays baseball, in fact he is a pitcher for the Braves (way cool). He is still in the minors, but probably not for long because he is awesome. AND he loves Jesus and is evangelizing to the guys on his team (again, very cool). ANYWAYS, he was scheduled to start on Friday night so some of us drove up to Rome to watch him pitch.
Reasons why it was a good night:
1. Chris got us free tickets, so i walked right up to the will call window and told the lady my name and she handed me my ticket like i am a vip or something.
2. Our seats were right behind the dugout
3. Chris did a great job pitching and we were able to encourage him by being there
4. He also stayed behind to chat for a little while and we got to watch all the little kids line up to get his autograph. One kid even had Chris's baseball card. I actually know someone who has a baseball card! crazy.
5. i got a chance to spend time with people from my cell group and make friends. yay!

while i was at the game, i got a text from a friend of mine asking me if i wanted to go see Beth Moore on Saturday. i didn't have any plans, so i said, "sure!"
so first thing this morning, i got up and drove to Woodstock. Now, i knew that Beth Moore was popular, but i had no idea that this conference was such a big deal. First i sat in traffic like i was going to a major sporting event, then i drive through a maze of a parking lot (where they had trolleys like at six flags to take you to the church). Finally i made it into the building where there were TONS of people, i met up with my friends and they handed me my ticket to get in (which by the way was a $50 ticket) and we headed up to the balcony for general seating. i wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a fantastic conference. Apparently they were broadcasting to over 800 other places at the same time so that there were around 300,000 women watching. Beth talked about her new book "So Long, Insecurity" i haven't read this book or even heard anything about it, but let me tell you, it is probably amazing because her talk certainly was. Basically, the main idea is that if we really know that we are loved and place our security in God then we could live a truly extraordinary life. i highly recommend it!

a great weekend of free stuff, now if only i had free gas!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

blemishes and decisions

so, the other day, i rubbed my nose and it hurt. i thought to myself, wow, i guess i bruised my nose somehow, and i could not for the life of my figure out how. i decided it was a mystery and did not worry about it. But then the next day i got up and looked in the mirror and there was this HUGE zit on my nose. My whole nose was bright red and it really hurt. What am i now, 16? i feel like i am in a Beverly Cleary book or something. Yuck. Thank God for make-up.

In other news, i have been distracted lately with home stuff, which is why the blogging has decreased. My mom and i have been cleaning and organizing the basement and garage and i have been grocery shopping for the family, which is an ordeal because i have to find out what is on sale where and go through all my coupons that i have stock-piled.

My Bible study group had a coffee house on Tuesday with live music and snacks and fellowship. I brought my new friend Katie with me and we had a lot of fun. Katie is a little more talkative than i am, so she helped me relax and meet more people.

A friend of mine wants me to babysit for her on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which is great because it is income and because i love this family. The problem is that they live an hour and a half away, so i would have to commute and i would have to miss my Bible study that i have started going to. i am not sure what i am going to do yet. i need to pray about it some, but at this point, i don't know that i have the luxury of turning down income. we will see.

well, i got myself thinking about Beverly Cleary now, so i am going to go do some reminiscing over her books. Ramona is my absolute favorite!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

things of note.

while my weekend was not as great as Erika's (of whose weekend i am envious), it was a pretty decent weekend with two notable occurrences.

First, as i have before mentioned, i have been running a lot lately, and while i have a natural propensity toward athleticism, i certainly am not a natural runner. Because of this, i was pretty proud of myself when i was finally able to run a full mile (without stopping). In all my life i have never really been able to do that. My ultimate goal is to be able to run a 5k straight through. i still have a long way to go, but because i have been running everyday, i have improved more quickly than i thought i would be able to. Yesterday while i was running on the treadmill, i pushed myself to run 2 miles. 2 miles! That is just crazy to me. Now, that might not seem like a lot to you, and it is probably true that you could keep up with me if you were walking, but you can't take away how excited i was about that. Now i can't go back to just running one mile. Today at the park i did a mile and a half with Jude, now i just have to get him on board. i think he has gotten a little lazy.

The second exciting thing that i did this weekend was see my wonderful friend Monica. She took me to a magical heaven called The Container Store. i wandered, awe-struck down each glorious aisle, gazing at the neat rows of boxes, hangers, shelves, and hooks. i delighted in each sample closet, each tool shed example, each novel idea for organization. Everything is straight, everything is organized, everything is put where it belongs, and for a minute, i can pretend like life can do the same.

"forgetting was lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, i press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" Philippians 3:13-14

Friday, April 9, 2010

and so on

i know that i have been slack in posting. i honestly didn't know what to say. The days are passing quickly by and i do my best to keep them occupied.

i am re-reading one of my favorite books, and running, and meeting friends at the park, and spending time with my sister who is on spring break (as much as she allows), and somehow organizing a coffee house, and mailing my scholarship applications.

i received no word about the job that i interviewed for, but i am not worried. i did everything i know to do and it is out of my hands. i have an interview on monday to work at an arts and crafts store, which i imagine could be fun. we shall see.

i am staying optimistic. i have stopped applying for a job a day because i found myself applying for jobs that i did not care for, and i was not putting forth my best effort on the application and cover letters. I have decided that my time would be better spent looking for a job that i would care enough about to put forth a respectable application because otherwise i am wasting my time.

on a completely unrelated note, i was riding with a friend the other day and the new Mil*y Cyr*s song came on the radio. i wasn't really paying much attention except to notice that it was the one that is from her new movie. But my friend apparently was paying a little more attention and asked "is she singing about Jesus?" I couldn't tell enough to respond and quite forgot about it until i heard it another time and realized that it did, in fact seem that she was singing about Jesus. Check out the Lyrics.

Monday, April 5, 2010

a great week.

last week (palm Sunday to Easter Sunday) was one of the best weeks that i have had in a while. lets recap, shall we? just for fun.

Palm Sunday is seriously my favorite Sunday of the year. Something about the kids coming in waving the palm fronds, it always gets me. And i was delighted to sing the song Hosanna by Hillsong while they walked around the sanctuary. i loved it.
To top off a great experience with the Lord, i had a strong sense that things were turning around and i would see fruit the following day.

Sure enough, Monday morning when i checked my email there was the message about a phone interview, which i had Tuesday. She called back on Wednesday to ask me if i could come in for a formal interview on Friday, which i did. And i got a new cardigan out of the deal. (my mom's Easter gift to me- she is probably REALLY wanting me to have a job!)

The weather was GORGEOUS all of last week and Jude and i went to the park several times (including Easter)

i got to hang out with some homeless guys

i completed the work for my class

i had some great time with the Lord

i got to see some people that i love and meet a few new people

AND i got Baptized on Easter Sunday (after like 10 years of putting it off)

like i said, it was an amazing week, but even in the midst of all the things that God is doing, it is so easy to let my thoughts go astray. i used to read about the mistakes of the Israelites and i wondered how a people in the midst of God's miracles could doubt His power. But i know that i do the very same thing! Saturday evening, i was sitting on my computer looking up my car insurance bill that is due this week, and i felt panic and anxiety overcome me. i have no idea how i am going to pay my bills, i have no idea how i am going to put gas in my car. But i do know that i follow a God who will meet every one of my needs. i know that He holds me in the palm of His hands, and He will make a way for everything. i had to stop myself and think back on all the hopeful things that were happening in my life, and remember how the goodness and the mercy of the Lord will follow me all the days of my life. i don't know if i will get the job that i interviewed for. if i do get it, i will worship God and thank Him for His provision. if i don't get it, i will worship God and thank Him that He has another means of provision for me. He is good, no matter what circumstances come. And i am grateful that He has brought me this far.

today i am back on track with my project. i slacked a little last week because of my school work and i figured preparing for an interview could count as applying for jobs.

on Saturday, i was telling a friend that i went to a Good Friday service and she (always one to hold me accountable) said "Did you talk to anyone?" and she said that i gave her a look like a kid who hadn't done what they were supposed to. Of course i did not talk to anyone, because i am a chicken. Oh well, there is always next time i suppose. at least i am hanging out with people.

this week is shaping up to be a good week, just like last week. i am truly excited about what the Lord is doing!

"Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days- you would not believe if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5

Friday, April 2, 2010

it is good.

what is so good about today?

it is kind of morbid if you think about it.

we celebrate the day when the one who loved and created us was brutally beaten beyond recognition, scorned and ridiculed, nailed to wood and raised up on a cross to die in agony before a crowd of people.

it is heart wrenching. it is gruesome. it is good?

if we look at the act of the crucifixion and the suffering that Jesus endured (on our behalf) in and of itself, it is a terrible, bleak Friday.

but if we see Friday in its context, if we know that this was the Friday before the most glorious Sunday there ever was, we can look back on the cross and call it good.

this evening i went to a prayer meeting, and we watched clips of the Passion of the Christ. as i looked up at images of Jesus bearing the consequences of my sin i realized that i have no right to anything. how can i complain about my life? how can i withhold ANYTHING from the God who gave me EVERYTHING. even His life.

just like that Friday so many years ago, i can look back at pain and suffering and know that in context, it is good. because the resurrection is coming. and Sunday, we will celebrate.

then on my way home, i heard a song on the radio that had this verse:

So when the whole world turns against me
And i'm all by myself
And i can't hear You answer my cries for help
i'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And i will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

it is good. it is really really good.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

a tribute

remember oliver? He was hanging in there pretty well until this week when he went downhill really quickly and my mom took him to the vet this morning. They took him to a field where lots of kitties live and run free and the sun shines on them all the time and there is lots of grass for them to eat and mice to chase. He is happy now and no longer in pain, and i am glad for that. But i am sad for my mom who really loved this cat.

Oliver was one of the most talkative and annoying cats there ever was. He was an inside cat who had a taste of the outdoors and was always jonesin’ to get out again. He would pace around the kitchen and wait for the door to open meowing the whole time. He loved to be held, and would wind his way around your feet (meowing of course) until you picked him up. He was nice to hold too because of his thick, soft fur. He had a big fluffy tail that i loved to play with. He had some strange habits too. He loved when my mom when put on lotion in the mornings and he would sit there and lick her legs. If that isn’t one of the strangest things I have ever heard, i don’t know what is.

Anyways, he was a great cat. And we will miss him.

also, i want to give a shout out to a wonderful woman whose life got turned upside down a while back when her daughter had an AVM rupture. Her blog is amazing and it totally rocked my world this evening. If only i could learn to live like this.

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