Friday, April 15, 2011

no one said it would be easy.

Hey! Wow, it has been a while huh? You don't even want to know about all the work that i have been doing lately. it is out of control and honestly, a little boring. so, i thought i would take some time in my pre-finals lull and tell you about a little revelation i had recently.

hopefully you aren't hoping that i did talk about psychopathology and counseling systems by the end of it. :)

Actually, my story does begin at school. you see, in my counseling theories and systems class we were learning about cognitive behavior therapy, which is a behavioral type of therapy that teaches people to change the way they think in order to change their behavior. anyways, one of the aspects of this counseling system is the fact that people create dogmas about life based on their experiences, and those dogmas impact how you interpret the world and your circumstances. For example, if you believe that you are an intelligent person, you will notice and remember all the good grades you made and the good ideas you have, but if you do something stupid, you will be less likely to attribute it to your character and more likely to say it was a mistake. If you think that you are stupid, you will notice every mistake and poor grade and discount good things you do as luck.

anyways, i was trying to think about things that i may have internalized about myself that affects how i see things, and what came to my mind was this phrase:

"nothing is ever easy"

and i knew right away that this was a predominant view that i have held about my life. i can clearly recall several times just in the past couple months (maybe in the past couple weeks) when i have said some variation of this statement. actually, it is usually something more like "why can't anything ever just be easy?" (in a frustrated tone). i know that because i had internalized this statement that i am more likely to remember every little bad thing that happens to me. every flat tire (tons), every car accident (8), every time i have gotten lost (uncountable), every time something has cost more money than i expected, took longer than i expected, or was just more complicated than i expected.

i spend so much time looking at the ease of others pursuit of God, family life, providing for school, finding a job, etc. and i just wonder why things are so difficult for me.

but now, when i think back, i wonder how many things i have taken for granted that have happened so easily for me. And more than that, how much patience and character have i been able to develop over the years because of having to do things "the hard way"

and then, the next day, i went to go see this movie:

Soul Surfer

ignore the katy perry song at the end of the video because this movie is amazing. and actually, my favorite quote from the movie is in this trailer:

"i don't need easy. i just need possible."

that is my new motto. who said that things should be easy anyways? why do i feel entitled to an easy life? and really, i know that all things are possible through Christ. i have spent this week with a new found gratefulness for all that i have been blessed with and all the grace and favor that God has poured out on me.

you would think that this revelation would be sufficient for my understanding of this subject, but the Lord decided to hammer it home even more by having a young man who was born with cerebral palsy share his testimony at church the very same weekend.
talk about overcoming the odds. he spent the first part of his life teaching himself to read at night in the bathroom because everyone assumed that he was mentally disabled as well as physically disabled. he went on to graduate in the top 5 of his class and become the first member of his family to graduate from college.

what does easy even mean?

i am erasing it from my vocabulary.

P.S. you can listen to Chris's testimony here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

28 is great!

the problem with being in grad school, working, and trying to be healthy is that any moment i have free, i feel so guilty if i am not reading or running. so that is what i have been doing for the past week. reading. running. working. i am not quite close to being caught up in my school reading and i have midterms next week. yikes. also i have not been to the gym today and i have to be at work in four hours. it might not happen. so why am i wasting time by writing a blog?
1. because it was on my to-do list
2. because i am a procrastinator at heart
3. because i just want you all to know that 2011 is one of the best years i have had in a long time and being 28 is awesome.

i don't have any ground breaking news to share. i am behind in my school payments. still living at home. feeling overwhelmed by school work and the amount that i have been working the past two weeks. i am not sure that i can pin point it down to anything specific. i guess it is just the little things.

the small, but needed provisions
joining the prayer ministry team at my church
spending time with friends (always a rare treat!)
an encouraging email from a tough professor
and i have lost 14 pounds already on my weight loss plan (6 pounds from my second goal!)

maybe it is just my attitude, but i am really excited about this year and what it holds. i am excited about the small things, i am excited about getting involved in the areas of my giftings. and i am excited about new ways to grow in the Lord. because i am even encouraged about the state of my spiritual life. even though everything is still pretty much the same, i have had some very special revelations that have helped me a lot.

anyways, this post is going to be short and sweet with no pictures because, well i am sorry but psychopathology is calling...

here are some treats for your valentines from my favorite valentine, my mom:

Karen was having some difficulty eating her soup. It was a little spicy because she put a little too much "K9 pepper" in it.

Last night we were trying to figure out cell phone usage to know if we were going over on the data plan, but she couldn't find the "mega-pickles" on her phone.

Happy love day!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

this week

this week has seemed like it has taken a long time.
i was working a good bit and using all my spare time to attempt to catch up on school reading and i am still not even close to being done. but here are a few random highlights from the rest of the week:

actually half of what i was going to share has to do with weight watchers. i love this program because it is about changing your lifestyle and creating a new, livable, relationship with food. anyways, i love eating (obviously), so part of my challenge is finding good foods that i can get excited about that are good for me. so, tell me, who wouldn't get excited about a plate that looks like this?

yes, that is a giant pile of shrimp, and only two points! with a sweet potato (my favorite!)

for those of you who don't know, weight watchers works on a point system where all foods have a point value based on fat, carbs, fiber, and protein. it is awesome, and i have already lost 5% of my starting weight (my first goal!)

anyways, so earlier this week, my mom was looking in one of her ww books and noticed that a junior frosty from wendy's is only 4 points and she wanted me to go with her to get one. being a good daughter, i tagged along to get a frosty with my mom. this is what we got:

yes. it was like three bites big. awesome.

later on in the week, my mom redeemed herself by buying me this awesome present which i proceeded to assemble at ten o'clock at night because i can't stand to leave things undone:

yay! isn't it awesome? i just love it. my only dilemma is the balance between aesthetic and functional. really i could fill every shelf with books and still have some left over, but i like the way it looks with books on their side with a nick-knack on top. so, it looks nice, but now what do i do with my left over books? sigh. this was supposed to solve problems. and what do i use the baskets for? i am going to have to re-organize my whole room. oh well, that will be something i can do when i am procrastinating.

finally, today, which was friday, i went to Chattanooga, TN for an intensive, which mean a class that completes all of it's required classroom time over the course of three full days as opposed to meeting weekly. so i sat in a classroom from 9am to 5:30 pm. it was brutal. the only thing that saved me was the subject matter, because it is right up my alley.


so, anyways, that is the gist of my week. now it is the weekend and it begins with me working. woo.

but it ends with my birthday! yay!

and saturday people i love are coming to take me to dinner, and i feel so blessed. and there is a possibility that i may be getting a gift that will make me infinitely more technologically advanced, which is a bit scary because i couldn't figure out how to work a microwave today...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

daylight is coming

this has been a long year.

there have been several times in my life so far when God has called me out of and away from the life that i was in and takes me somewhere completely different. Sometimes it was out of something that was bad for me and sometimes it was out of something that was good for me. Either way, the transition was really challenging.

this year has been a year of searching and working and feeling a lot like i am stumbling around in the dark. since God called me to leave the community that i knew and loved and asked me to move back home with my parents. it was something i did willingly because i knew that it would lead me closer to finishing school and because i knew that God would never ask me to do anything that had no purpose, even if the purpose was simply obedience.

one of my most favorite moments in the Chronicles of Narnia series takes place in the sixth book The Silver Chair. Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum (a marshwiggle-just take my word for it if you haven't read the book) are searching for the lost prince of Narnia. They find him deep underground, far from the sun, grass and sky above and far enough down in the darkness to make them forget about the world above, and to even doubt the existence of Aslan. The witch that had held the prince captive for so many years begins to plant doubts into their minds, and as much as they fought to try and remember what the grass and the sun are like, the witch's powers slowly overtaking them. But Puddleglum was able to fight it out and proclaim:

"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

-C.S. Lewis

this is what i have set my mind upon. when i feel discouraged and like i am so far from the Lord that i begin to wonder if any of it is real, then i realize that even if i waste my life looking for heaven, that is a small price to pay if this world is really all there is.

so, because my birthday is in January, a new year and a new age go hand in hand for me, and while 2010 and 27 was a year of dryness, loneliness, and perseverance. i am pretty sure that 2011 and 28 will be a year of breakthrough.

and i am seeing the fruit already.

thank you Jesus.

as a result of this many of his disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." John 6:66- 69

Sunday, January 16, 2011


today is my dad's birthday

happy birthday, dad. blow out your glade candle.

we went to Texas Roadhouse.

and now i feel sick.

otherwise, today was a pretty nice day.
church was awesome.
went to the gym.
had my scholarship interview, which turned out to be a phone interview and not really an interview at all, but just me giving more information for another part of the application. and phone interviews mean that i can look like this:

then i laid around and read my DSM

good times.

by the way, thanks for hanging in there with me, i should have some "real" blogs coming. maybe. i just don't feel much like thinking lately. we'll see though.

oh and pray for that scholarship, everything went really well today, but they still haven't received my transcript in the mail and i have not received an email that they supposedly sent me. as usual, nothing is as easy as it should be...

i missed my friends today. don't any of you want to move to kennesaw? please?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

the snow is melting and spirits are raising

well, i finally made it out of the house. the roads are actually ok to drive on. they are here anyways. this is great news because tonight i have my cell group and tomorrow i have to go to work before the sun comes up. so hopefully everything dries up and it doesn't refreeze over night.

i never thought i would be so grateful for 40 degree weather.

so, what is the occasion of this unusual two days in a row posting you ask? well, nothing special really, just some procrastinating, some indecision, and some exciting (to me) news.

First the indecision. this semester in school i am signed up for four classes. two of those classes take place on thursdays but they are both also offered on wednesdays. i am thinking about switching because i know that i would be needed at work on thursday and also my sister needs someone to take her to bowling each week. Here's the hang up, the professors that i have now, i have had before and i love them both. i know what to expect from them and they are good teachers. the wednesday teachers, not so much. one of them, i don't know who she is at all and the other class does not have an official teacher assigned to it at all, just some TA's. yikes. i don't know if it is worth the risk to switch. i am going back and forth and i just wanted to see if you guys had an opinion about that.

anyways, on to more exciting (again, exciting to me) matters. one of the places i went when i went out this morning was the gym (i was getting tired of working out with Jillian Michaels in my basement) and i was so proud of myself because i ran two miles straight without stopping. i have done it before, but it is a rare occurrence, but one that i am working hard to make less rare. i need to keep it up, but once i know that i can do something it makes it that much harder for me to quit.

the other thing that i was excited about today was my lunch. it was mostly assorted leftovers, but since i have been trying to eat healthier, it has been a struggle for me to get excited about what i am eating, but the more you get used to and appreciate different foods, the more fun it is to eat. Just so you know, i am a sandwich and crackers kind of girl. i love sandwiches and crackers of all kinds and they make my favorite lunch, but i decided to go a different route today:

that is clockwise starting at the top, a medium sized sweet potato, left over mexican style chicken meatballs with salsa on the side, and leftover quinoa pilaf from the other night. it was all delicious and they were all what weight watchers calls "power foods" meaning that they are good for you and they fill you up longer. i am just so pleased with myself. also you may notice that i have not given up my coke. i am not sure that that will happen, but i am cutting back.

now back to work!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

all dressed up with no where to go.

feeling like a sloth.

and fed up with the snow and ice.

when you live in georgia you don't expect to be snowed in for four days.
the good news is that i really needed a vacation and i have enjoyed the time to rest and get caught up on school reading, but the bad news is that i am not able to afford this vacation and i hope that USAA understands when my car payment is late...

this snow really was out of control and i am not sure that anyone could have anticipated how quickly it came on, on sunday evening, i rushed to downtown atlanta to pick up my sister from her dorm room since her classes were being canceled. on the 45 minute drive there, the roads were clear and dry. on the drive home the roads were almost unusable. my car slid out several times and i came very close to getting stranded.

otherwise i have been reading,

watching Psych,

and working on the Mammoth crossword puzzle from the Christmas newspaper.

i went out to play in the snow once and it was short lived. lets just say that the snow and i are not friends.

as far as everything else that is going on, it's not much.
i am dealing with the typical stress of how much my school costs compared to how much money i make. i had a moment (or day) of panic when i thought i might have to drop my classes again, but my wonderful parents came through with some supplementary cash. i am still a little short, i am borrowing my books, and i am probably going to be stretched to make the remaining payments, but it will be worth it to keep up the school schedule. if i continue to take classes at this rate then i will only have two more years.

in other news:
i have an interview for a scholarship this weekend, yet another reason for the snow to go away as quickly as possible as i will have to travel to get there.

i am now a receptionist at my job. this is good because i have more of a guarantee of hours, but at the same time i miss playing with all the dogs. right now is our really slow time, post holiday, but i am praying that we will be unexpectedly busy so that there will be a lot of work.

i started doing the weight watchers program. previously while on the program, i lost about 40 pounds and i have hovered around that area for the past seven years or so. I really like this program because it makes room for you to treat yourself and eat your favorite foods, you just count it. if i can keep up with it, it works really well for me and it gets me eating healthier which is just a good thing to do in general. i sure do feel a lot better anyways and i have lost about 6 pounds already. so that is exciting.

i don't have any social news to report. i love my bible study group, but they all have children and families and while i love being around all these families and their children, i still don't have people that i hang out with in my free time. i see my atlanta friends every once and a while, but it is difficult for me to travel to see my friends when i am barely making ends meet gas wise just driving around town. the thing that frustrates me is that i have been here for a year now and i am still spending my evenings watching house hunters with my parents. sigh.

well, lets wrap things up on a more upbeat note:

Falcons have home field advantage in the playoffs! Go Falcons!!!!!!!!

oh yeah and to explain the blog title, i definitely put on a dress and leggings and my boots this morning and wore them all around the house all day.
it made me feel a little better. tomorrow it is supposed to break freezing...maybe i will actually go somewhere.

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