Sunday, December 26, 2010

new year. new day. new breath.

So let me give you a little insight into my situation at this very moment:

I am apartment/cat sitting for one of the many cute married couples I am lucky enough to know. They are off doing something with mountains, tents, fire and beards. But I walk into this cute artsy apartment tonight to find an angry cat who is not happy I'm about to invade his space. But I'm going to make this cat like me. I mean really? I'm gosh darn lovable! You WILL LOVE ME.

I'm actually pretty thrilled to be able to stay at their place because they live much closer to my work. They are saving me at least a tank of gas this week. I'm tooooo the mooooon! So let's add on to me already being pumped I get to stay here...I look on the counter and to my surprise I have puppy chow, instructions on how to make this cat love me, a scarf sweet Rosie made for me, and some cash money sitting there just for me. I had to refrain from eating the entire bag of puppy chow while reading my instructions for the week. I need to space it out over the week, right? Right?

But now after seeing how many times the cat can hiss at me in one night, I'm in bed  at 1 AM. I have work at 5:30 AM. Tell when you realize that I should have been asleep 4 hours ago.

My mind won't stop. I think some has to do with a new place, though I feel at home. But I do have so much on my mind. Too much for my fingers to keep up with tonight, that's for sure.

However, I do need to say a few things. Maybe it'll help me get some shut eye.

2010 wasn't my finest year. I'm not sure what you can accredit that to. I imagine most [all] of it will point back at me, but until I realize easy on me. I had some amazing high points and some unfortunate low points. But to be really honest, I'm so glad to see 2010 go. I've found myself loooooonging for 2011. I keep saying to myself how great a year it will be. It'll be a much better year and I can officially put the bad stuff behind me. But how silly a thought! I don't need a new year. I'm not even promised all 365 days of this "great year."

I'm not even promised a new day. So I have to calm myself down and realize what a new breath can mean. There's a Needtobreathe song "Let Us Love" and it says "every breath brings a chance for redemption" and I'm in love with that concept.

I don't need a new year. I have breath...and right now I am so humbled by that.

I'm crying at the thought that each breath I am taking is a true gift. Better than a Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. I want to say thank you with each breath He gives me, but I will choose to live graciously and pray that He is pleased with the words I say.

Oh, silly me. I don't need a new year. I am given a chance to restoration and redemption more times than I can count. I'm going to start breathing...and I'm not waiting until 2011.

 The Spirit of God has made me; 
   the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 
Job 33:4

A breath is a powerful thing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

yeah. my heart?

Oh! If only I didn't fall in love everyday with the attractive bearded wonder who comes in to Starbucks every so often and bobs in head to "Jingle Bells" as it plays over the speakers for the 2709823098 time this morning. He has no idea I notice that he bobs his head and chances are good that he wouldn't know I'm alive if I didn't hand him his tall coffee. But I'm in love with him. Cute huh?

That's how my mind so easily works if I let it do what it wants.

My recent move has brought along a lot of new fellas. As a single 23 year old girl who has a tendency to be in love with love, I'm too the moon about this new development. But as a level headed Christian woman who's attempting to be more Christ like with each day, this could do a number on me and my heart.

When I was in high school I painted the phrase "Not Mine to Give" on the wall in my room. God and I were talking one night and He slapped me across the face with the harsh reality that I was giving my heart away to any boy who would show me attention and without their knowledge! In subtle ways I was losing the precious innocence that is so hard to regain once it's gone. So He so gently reminded me that it wasn't my heart to give in the first place.

For a while [as these things so often start] me, God and my heart were great. I knew He would give the right man my heart and the right time. I knew there would be a lot going on before I would even be notified that this boy had my heart and I was good with it. God would let me know when I needed to know.

I forgot to mention, the heart that I gave God...had a little string attached and as soon as some handsome somebody came around, I pulled that string and yanked my heart out of His hands. I was back in control, baby.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

So flash forward to today. I'm in love with a bearded wonder. Trying to walk in front of him as many times as possible so he'll look at me. And maybe after the 17th time, he'll realize I'm his future wife and strike up a casual conversation about how cold it's been lately and then ask for my number. We'll go on a few dates and the rest is cake. Love. All day everyday.

Can I put my heart back in my Dad's hands again? And cut that string? Yes? That would be AWESOME. I'm working on that. STAT.

Friday, December 10, 2010

update update.

I have a tendency of over thinking what I'm going to write and, I just feel like writing.

There's been, as always it seems, a lot of change lately.

In the last month I got a job at Starbucks. I know some people have a hard time with Starbucks for 230820398 reasons. But they are a great company who takes care of their employees with amazing benefits and a business model I can stand behind. I have been blessed with such a great staff at the store and LOVE our customers. I know with my college degree making coffee for a living doesn't seem like it would define "success" for me. But right now...I'm completely satisfied, fulfilled and full of joy each time I go to work.

The one down fall is working the morning shift and waking up at 4. I love the people who come in, but 4 o'clock AM is not my favorite. Nothing is perfect, right?

I'm still living in Bryant with Jessica and am loving it. We have a great Christmas tree [two actually]. It's fun. I'll post pictures later. We have a lot of fun. Late night talks and funfetti cookies are our specialty. However, I will be moving into Little Rock in the next couple of months. My drive each day is brutal and I can't seem to justify spending that much money in gas if I have the opportunity to move closer.

I know it seems life has been anything but consistent for me the last year. And really, it hasn't.

But I'm wear I'm going to stay for a while. I'm setting my feet on the ground and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. No one can take this joy away from me. God has provided so much. It's only because He's real that I'm alive...

So that's an update of sorts. For myself, really. So in a few years I won't forget to remember what a season of provision I am experiencing.

To God be all the glory.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

in & not of

I have been working at a bar and grill in Little Rock for the last 3 weeks. I am, as far as I can tell, the only Christian working there. I have never been more challenged and tempted in my life. When I first took the job, I didn't even think about it as my new "mission field" as much as I thought "I'LL BE MAKING MONEY, BABY!" But I thank a few friends who helped me realize what a gift I've been given.

I have never intentionally put myself about non-believers. Ever. Unless you count intentionally going to McDonald's instead of Chick-fil-A.. But when I look back at my life, unless I was on a mission trip [which youth really go on mission trips to sit in the back of the bus with a cute boy you never talk  to and try to get the trucker passing by to honk/toot/pull his horn], I never went out of my way to interact with someone who didn't know my Lord.

I can look back on my time in college and see how strongly God was trying to direct me to those who needed Him most. I think about that saying "Healthy people don't need doctor's. Sick people do." Well, I was just hanging out with all the healthy people of the world. What a joke.

I vividly remember having a conversation with one of the most intentional people I know, Christina Keaster [soon to be Williams. Bah!!] where she said she had joined an intermural team of girls she didn't she could try to witness to them. Are you kidding me!? She just rocked my world. [And can we note that when she said "witness to them" she didn't mean asking them "If you were to get in your car tonight and get in a wreck and die, do you know without a doubt you'd be in Heaven? Would you like to be certain of that? PUKE. She meant she wanted to build relationships with these girls. Love them like Christ loves. And allow the Holy Spirit to guide the rest.] I know it took effort to get to that point in her life, but to then BE THERE and see how much of her life was wrapped around His life...I admire so much about her heart and desire to be Jesus to the world.

She was meeting people where they were. On the intermural field.

I am walking into an environment where God is not welcomed. Unfortunately, most of the people I encounter aren't open to the idea of God, especially not a conversation about Him. At least right now. But I refuse to believe that will remain the case. I am trying to embody the saying "Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words."

Christ walks into work with me everyday. I'm truly learning what Christina learned years ago. And I couldn't be more excited. Some days I'm terrified to get into any conversation with my co-workers out of fear that they'll ask if I drink or do drugs...and what they'll say when I say no. No one is physically there to support me.

But bump that, man. When did I start needing anything other than Christ and Christ ALONE?

I realize the odds of me starting to drink heavily and do drugs don't seem very high. But can I tell you something? Some's the most appealing thing in the world. Satan, the little wiener, has mastered making the most disgusting things seem like the bees knees. Again I say, BUMP THAT.

It might not always be the most extreme struggle. But getting sucked into a negative attitude or mouthing about frustrating customers can hurt my witness just as much as smoking a joint with them after work.  I need to be strong. I don't have a choice. I gave away my horrible decision making ability to a God who made the best decision ever:

To create me out of love before 
I ever loved Him.

I hope you are encouraged to intentionally put yourself around non-believers and preach the Gospel. And also, realize how important it is to spend time with believers who encourage you and hold you accountable. Not to mention daily walking into the presence of the God who gave you life and praising, loving, thanking, worshiping, learning, asking, and simply.....being with Him.

Abba, I'm crazy about you and I ask you to use Your words through me to grow the Kingdom. I love everything about you. And am amazed you allowed me to know Your name. Thank you....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Right now...

1. I now live in Bryant with a real cute curly red head.
2. I'm waiting tables with my college degree and I couldn't be more excited about it.
3. I'm meeting people where they are and hoping I represent Christ fully.
4. I finally feel like I made the right decision.
5. I know I am leading a life that isn't so socially acceptable, but if it's eternally acceptable...I'm okay.

I'm tired of talking about the last year of my life. So those five points is all I want to say really. I want to talk about the present and what I know will be the future. I'm  not ignoring what has happened in my life by any means. But my main goal is to make my Dad proud. You don't have to approve of my choices. My worldly self really wishes you would, but at the end of the day if I'm at peace with my Maker, I know I've done the right thing.

All I graciously ask for is that judgement is kept where it belongs. Far far far away from here.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to youhe rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

5 days.

I don't know if I've had five days packed full of this much goodness ever! The last few days have been full of blessing after blessing...and I'm sitting here trying to absorb it all.

My sweet momma came up on Friday hoping to close on her house. She didn't. But we aren't letting that get us down. She will soon and that is going to have to be enough. But I'll tell you this, when I buy I house...I will not be using bank of america. It's been so hard on momma and they haven't helped her at all. It breaks my heart she's having such a hard time with this. But spending time with momma is always good for my heart. We had dinner out at my aunt & uncle's house. We ate more than we should and laughed more than we thought we could. I am so blessed by my family.

And I got to see my beautiful Samantha C. She drove up to The Hill this weekend to see some friends [me being one of them] and it was so nice to  sit around and catch up with her. She's the master of puppy chow, which I got to enjoy later in the weekend, and a master of words. I love this girl with all my being!

I have been awaiting this day for quite sometime now, ya'll. The beginning of football season marks so much more than another chance for the Hogs to redeem themselves. It's cook outs, scarves, sweaters and smores, chills in the air, hot chocolate and fire pits [we know how i feel about a good fire pit] But this was such a good Saturday.

Mom and I woke up early went to the square and got to enjoy all that the Fayetteville Farmer's Market has to offer. How I love the people there and the good foods. I got to wear my favorite sweater, drink good coffee, see the wonderful people and enjoy the chill in the air. After that we headed out to Prairie Grove for this wonderful craft fair. It was at the PG Battlefield State Park. Such a beautiful area filled with booth after booth of talented people selling the most interesting things. We walked around for hours. A few turkey legs were purchased [NOT by me] and a lot of good memories were made.

And by 6 o'clock that night I was sitting in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium calling the Hogs. I wasn't planning on going to the game, but a college friend happened to have an extra ticket and offered it to me for FREE. Yes, thank you! So I got to see old friends and enjoy a good game. Life was full that day.

The Hogs won, of course. They paid TN Tech enough to come make them look good, I'm sure. After the game, some dear friends ended up in my back yard with me and the roommate sitting around the fire. It was a late night filled with tears, scripture, walls, laughter and hugs. God is so good.

We woke up after a few hours of sleep, took showers to try and remove the smoke smell out of no avail. But made it out to New Heights for church. I am so blessed by this church and its people. The service was nice and provided me a reminder of how BIG God really is. The church is opening up a coffee house & global store. They went into detail about the plans and how it came to be. Such a neat story. Mama Carmen's will be the name. I love it.

After church, NH had a free lunch catered and boy! was it good! BBQ at it's finest. Thank you Penguin Ed's. A great time for fellowship. I enjoyed every second of it! But what kind of southern girl would I be if I didn't have a smile on my face with a plate of BBQ, baked beans, cole slaw and sweet tea sitting in front of me?

Monday & Tuesday
I'm combining these two, for the sake of a ridiculously long post. :) I should learn to post more often instead of giving you my week in review. [my reviews are never short]

Monday I went back to that craft fair and ended up buying a few things. I couldn't resist the second time around! And it was still just a good the second time. The roommate came with this time and that is always fun. This was right up her alley. Homemade soap and spoon rings!

That night I got to spend my evening with Gretchen having dinner and coffee. Some girl time was much needed and getting to know someone so great is never a bad thing! I am so blessed by her friendship and laughter. We surprised some of our boys and stopped by their apartment to find them watching a football game, which we enjoyed just as much. It was a great night.

Aaaand theeeeen...Tuesday evening was spent with the fabulous Beth. A night filled with a home cooked meal [spaghetti & chocolate chip cookies] and wonderful conversation. Again, getting to know someone so great is never a bad thing. Beth becoming a part of my life has been one of my favorite things.

I have been so encouraged by the last 5 days. I had allowed my circumstances to steal my joy and that was just plain dumb. No circumstance has changed but I finally opened my eyes and have been so blessed by what was already around me. Things that have never changed.

And that most importantly includes a God who is bigger than me. Who provides redemption and forgiveness once I let Him.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

thursday favorites.

i didn't want to wait until friday to post a few of my favorite things from this week.

1. The Flying Dog

my sweet momma made her way up here for a visit earlier this week and we found ourselves on a pretty serious search for some thrift store finds. mom's idea of a find is old pillow cases for $.56 each [which she buys 12 of them] and you love her for it. and mine is this pretty lady. if she didn't cost more than i make in a week, she would have found her way into my home. but the flying dog is by far of the most magical places i've ever seen. i've been twice this week. and it doesn't help that it's so close to my house! oh dear, someone help me!

2. soul food

last night the roomie and i made enough food to feed  the 5,000. as we were running around town we both had quite the hankerin' for some good ol' soul food. and when i say soul food i don't play around. on the menu last night was grilled chicken [the only semi healthy part of the meal], fried okra, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, corn bread and sweet tea. and my momma taught me early how to make a  good sweet tea. i truly thank my Maker for being born in the south! as we realized how much food we were going to end up with, i made a quick call to a friend of mine and 30 min later 3 hungry men come walking through my front door. with extra okra in hand, too! needless to say, it was a wonderful night of food and fellowship! and it ended with a wonderful little storm. so grateful for that!

3. a sound mind

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7

i'm putting this as one of my favorite things because sadly i've had less than a sound mind as of late. and well, i'm claiming my sound mind in the name of God. i'm not sure how it all got so bad, but it did. and this week i finally got a hold of myself and my mind and turned it back to God. it's kindof nice knowing things are on the up & up. ladies, i think we don't realize how Satan attacks us. we're emotional beings and what better way to start us on the down hill, but to make us think we are flat out crazy. Beth Moore talks about that in some of her podcasts. she speaks a lot of truth about it, in ways only she can, and it really hit home with me. 

i am sane. most days! and when i'm on the verge....just give me a sweet tea and a few minutes to recite the Lord's prayer 18 times and i should be good.

Friday, August 27, 2010

my porch.

I am not one of those girls whose life looks like something out of a magazine or HGTV. Until I moved out on my own, my room was covered in piles of clothes/books/hangers/shoes/probably food. So it's just been recently that I have become mindful of my surroundings and understand that it's alright to spend time making the place I live the place I love.

[some background on that concept: my mother has longed for a old house she can remodel and just simply fall in love with. a few years back i found this ad in a magazine that said "make the place you live, the place you love." of course it was an ad for sherwin williams or bedding from martha stewart. But none the less, I took it to heart and knew that mom would appreciate it. I took it out and framed it, nothing fancy. Just something to keep as a reminder. For her birthday this year I made a painting with the saying on there. She loved it. I love making her happy. That's so sappy. But I love my momma. Oh, and to end this on a cute note, mom is finally about to close on her cute little old house that she can fall in love with. I'm so proud of that woman. [i know you're reading this, momma.keep your head up. you will own that house soon!]

Gracious, that was quite a rabbit I chased there. My apologies. 

However, all of that is to say, on this night I have found myself enjoying a cool night on my porch. Bloggin' it up. I have been blessed to be living in the house that I am. I was given the task of painting my house a few months ago. [yes, months] The outside of my house. I gladly took the job on because I just love to paint! .....Not so much anymore. I finally finished! I don't have pictures uploaded just yet. I will get that to you soon. With the painting done, I spent yesterday cleaning off the porches and drive way. It's so satisfying to see the end result. Tomorrow I plan on mowing the yard and getting the fire pit ready.

Oh, how I love fire pit season. I'm in a significantly better mood when it's fire pit season than any other time of the year. I'm smiling now just thinking about it!

So here's to fire pits, football season [hello, arkansas razorbacks], 
citronella candles and good paint jobs.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

uncomfortably honest.

i spent time with my Dad this morning for the first time in months.

i can talk the talk all day and night. i can say exactly what someone needs to hear. and say it in a way that makes me sound so "spiritual" [not religious] and so much closer to God than you. I can use all the trendy Christian lingo. Almost like I went to a private Christian college. I can make my prayers sound so very holy and so in tune with the Holy Spirit. I will tell you I'm reading crazylove AND forgotten God, and how much God is saying to me through those books.

after a while, i learned how to sound like i wake up every morning at 5 am and read the entire Bible while praying for every lost soul in every third world country.

well that's annoying and fake. and since i was born, my momma taught me not to be annoying or fake. and Jesus didn't exactly die for me so I could be fake.

So the truth comes out. I haven't spent time with God in months. I'd say a good 5 months. [a horrible 5 months, really] If I've prayed it wasn't from the heart as much as it was fear of someone somehow finding out I didn't pray for them when I said I would. And I question why I've felt so disconnected....ridiculous.

But this morning was different. I woke up and realized how precious today was. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143: 8. Nothing has changed in my circumstances, but the morning brought me word of His unfailing love. I've been mad at God for not taking me out of this big ol' pit I've put myself in. I've been mad He hasn't come through for me or given me what I wanted. [And what I wanted was an easy life to fall into my lap as I sit on my porch swing, drink coffee and listen to Phil Wickham...aka: I do nothing and He does everything.] Well that clearly isn't working out for me. And as many blog posts as I've written about God being good, faithful and real....

I wasn't any of that.

and this morning i guess I realized I'm going to die one day and I won't get to redo the ugly days that I wasted most of the day sleeping. I'll have to try to look at my Father and explain why I wasted His gifts sleeping and being fake. [and i'm embarrassed to tell my roommate I slept until 2pm some days] I don't want to have to do that. I want to walk up to my Savior and know that I've made Him proud. I don't know why I spent so long being mad at Him. It's not like He was the one changing out of the two of us. 

I feel like God has been standing right in front of me and I'm squeezing my eyes so tight screaming "I'm not looking at you! You aren't fixing this! You did this to me!!" When in reality, He's standing there with His arms wide open, waiting for me to open my eyes so He can say "Will you come here already? You're forgiven and loved. Precious and lovely. Will you let me hold you? We will do this together. I love you. I love you. I love you."

So here's so to being good, faithful and real. And I'm asking [begging] you to keep me accountable. I don't care if I don't know you well, or at all, Ask me how I'm doing, really. Or what I've read and what God said through it. 

three cheers for honesty! 
hip hip hooray! hip hip hooray! hip hip hooray!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


i'm sitting at sweet momma's house back in Russellville watching my DVR'd episodes of Drop Dead Diva. i seriously love that show. ["why don't you marry it?!" I think I will...thank you very much.] i don't have cable at my house, so i get excited when i come to momma's and get to watch triple D. Lifetime always comes through for me.

i'm at momma's yet again looking for more than some television entertainment. this time i'm looking for consistency. i've come to realize that in the last 6 months the only consistent thing in my life in Fayetteville is the house i live in. and i'm still struggling to feel like it's my house.

so i find myself being drawn to what has been consistent in my life. that is Russellville, sweet momma, our home, Tech [it's move-in day. what memories of my move-in days], dear friends, and the christmas tree that has been standing strong in momma's living room since last christmas. [how's that for consistent]

even though i'm longing for a bit of consistency, the last week has been one full of memories that will carry my inconsistent self a long way.
[this is shane. isn't he handsome? no, really. it's him]
last saturday i attended a friend's going away party. my dear friend, shane, left this past wednesday to go to the big SK [that's cool speak for south korea] for a year. what a brave man. i admire so much about him as it is, but to add his almost reckless attempt to do something he has wanted for almost 2 years. i am so proud of you, shane, and so blessed by your friendship. i haven't cried over his absence. that's a huge deal. i cried at that cell phone commercial where the football player finds a missing dog and returns it to just the cutest little girl ever. to say i'm emotional would be the world's greatest understatement. but i like to think my over emotional self makes up for those who seem to have lost all emotion. i'm helping the world out, really.

after the party a few of us didn't want the night to end quite yet, so we drove out to a friend's family's farm. we drove a beat up old truck to the middle of a pasture sans cows. [sans = without. i just googled it. don't overestimate my vocabulary. i just wanted to make this blog have a little class] we took some blankets and laid out there all night. i'm serious, we slept in a pasture. i saw a few rear ends. [boys, of course] and shared memories with them that will always be with me. it was a good parting gift for shane. and just a big fat gift of goodness for the rest of us.

i would like to share how a bird ended up flying free in my house this week. but i feel that deserves it's own post entirely. i'll take care of that until then anticipation might have to suffice.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

well there's that.

There are a few things I need to get out of my head before I can sleep tonight. For some reason today has been mentally taxing. And...go:

1. I was good at being in college.

My sweet friend, Bekah, said that in conversation last night and it resonated in my soul. I have been trying to articulate how exactly I feel now that I am no longer a college student. A college graduate, I am. So weird. But I haven't been able to really put it in the simplest terms. [I'm long winded, I know] But man, I was good at college. I was great at staying up late and getting donuts at 3 a.m., living with best friends, going to the caf and eating mediocre food, at walking to class and saying hi to everyone, at being on time for class and occasionally having my homework. I was a good college student. It was my element. My comfort zone.

I'm not in college anymore.

2. Making friends is HARD.

 I'm experiencing this wonderful season in life right now. This season is called: elizabethisterribleatmakingfriendsinfayetteville.

I get that I don't come across as someone who has a hard time meeting new people. And I don't, usually. But I feel so out of place in Fayetteville most days. And when a girl isn't on her home's a whole new ballgame. I conveniently turn into this awkward homebody who bakes a lot, instead of the girl who faces the world head on and as I shake your hand and introduce myself I tell you some interesting fact about myself like "I was born at home!" or "I have a freckle on my lip! See!"

3. I wish most boys weren't scared of girls.
[this is a general statement]  

Boys are scared of girls when we cry, talk about emotions, want to "have a  "D.T.R" [define the relationship. which girls so often desire, while boys are completely content in the ambiguous relationship], try to talk about serious situations [whether it's about the boy or not]...or even if a girl so much as looks at him.

I don't like that at all. It makes us girls feel like we are "too much." And I refuse to believe that I am too much. I was told that once by an ex-boyfriend as he broke up with me. I occasionally think of that and still want to kick him in the goober.

When a girl wants to have a friendship with a boy, it's not laced with wedding plans.

Sometimes the girl just wants to have a guy care about her appropriately, as a friend...the way she cares for him. And on occasion, that will turn into romantic interest for the two of them. [ENTER: ambiguous relationship] Nothing needs clarification. Things just are. And can be that way for while. Until the girl gets tired of not talking to the boy all day and then receiving the "Goodnight :)" text at crazy hours of the night. No, sir. Ladies do not appreciate that, fellas. If we are important to you, let us know up front. I can speak for the girls I know, and say this: we aren't crazy. We aren't picking out our wedding colors just because we spent an hour on the phone with you. I think it's safe to say we have matured enough to stop rating our compatibility on how long we talk on the phone or how many times you ":)" in a text. Be real with us. Be a man.

[I'm going to stop myself. I am feeling a tad high school-ish for saying all that I have. But I know it's still true today, as 20 somethings, and possibly as 30 somethings. And I could go on forever about boys. boys. boys. But I also believe that I know some of the finest men this world has to offer. Friends who mow my yard, eat my cooking and enjoy my company almost as much as I enjoy theirs]

Girls are not too much. Girls are not crazy. Girls are not boys.

And all of that is okay.

I told you I was long winded....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

girls just wanna have fun.

i love having fun.

in the simplest form of that statement. i just love having fun. i like being around people who are fun. i want my life to be fun. and it's safe to say, so far, my 23 years on earth have been pretty fun. and a girl just wants to have fun. [you know i had to reference that song]

don't get be wrong. i don't want anyone to misinterpret my idea of fun. i feel like there might be this irresponsible/immature connotation to the word "fun." that's not the fun i'm talking about. i'm talking about all that comes with fun. even the hard stuff.

when i say fun...i think of family reunions, getting in food fights, making dinner for friends, crying with my mom, talking my dog for walks, getting lost with friends, going fishing, losing a job, writing letters to friends, painting my house, feeling so far away from friends, watching mediocre movies in theaters that smell like hot dogs, throwing plates off the side of a mountain, sitting in a hospital waiting room for 10 hours, and teaching a boy how to cook so he'll teach me how to change my oil.

that's fun to me. that's life to me. i would love to laugh more than i cry. but i also realize i cry when i laugh...almost every time.

i started thinking about this whole "fun" thing tonight when i was doing a little blog reading and stumbled across this wonderful woman and her husband who have been married for 5 years...and they have fun. i mean...a lot of fun.[today's letters. check it out, seriously] i love that. i started thinking about how i want my marriage to be. i want it to be fun. i know it's naive of me to think every day is going to end with a food fight at dinner and a pillow fight before bed. i know i will want to punch him in the face a few times. [whoever "him" is...he'll be a good man] but i want to have fun with him.

i started a journal to him when i was in high school. a journal to my future husband. i think all girls should do that. i've enjoyed it so much. i know he will too. i fight back feeling a little embarrassed when thinking about what he'll think when he reads how "fun" i was in high school. oh gracious. i was so awkward. but hey, when i give it to him on our wedding day...we'll be done hitched! and he'll be with me forever.

man oh man...what a day that will be.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Skype & Vegemite.

today was so unsuspecting. just an ordinary day. going to spend my day with the coolest kids this side of the Mississippi. come home make some dinner. watch glee. [do NOT judge me] and go to bed.

but by 11 o'clock tonight it was so much more than an ordinary day. what a day full of joy, encouragement, laughter and skype.

i was able to share in the excitement as my dear friend becomes a 3rd grade teacher. decorating her room and coming up with ideas to make learning fun for her kids. she'll be a phenomenal teacher. she is a gentle, loving, encouraging, patient, honest woman of God. she's taught me so much in 13 years [and counting] i can't imagine what a blessing she will be to those children.

i also got to talk to a friend of mine from college who is now in Australia pursuing God with all his might. my friend, Josh, is going to the Hillsong college in Sydney for the next year [at least]. i'm so proud of him and who he is becoming. Josh and I have quite the history. we've been friends since our sr. year in high school, i think. our friendship would fall under the "how-to-be-a-bad-friend" category. [disclaimer: he knows i'm writing this]

i would attempt putting into words what the last 6 years involved for us, but i'm not sure anyone would get it. we were immature and hateful at times. there was a span of time...maybe 6 months, where i would have said i hated him. for faults i had myself, but wasn't going to admit to anyone. hating him was easier. and of course i was still a church going, tithe giving, God fearing, daughter of God...while i justified all of it until i was blue in the face. josh hated me too, at times. i'm sure of it. we weren't the most gracious to one another. our friends will attest to that.

i'm sure i was making my Father real proud.

I'm not sure when our hearts changed. [i actually typed "I'm not sure what changed our hearts" at first. but realized what a stupid sentence that was to write. i know exactly what changed our hearts.] but when? is the real question. somewhere in between deleting him from my facebook [classy move, you don't have to tell me] and crying from joy when he out of nowhere showed up at a camp i was staffing this summer, my heart changed.

God seriously restored our friendship in ways we can't explain. our friends are still genuinely shocked that we are friends again. i think we are, too.

though i question a lot of our past, i don't at all question what a blessing our friendship is to me now. God healed and restored us. praise Him for that. and maybe someone will see our Father's glory shine through the two of us now.  with Josh being awesome in Australia and me being the nanny to 4 incredible kids...and encouraging each other in that, i pray you see God's glory. 

Josh, i've told you so many times how proud I am of you and what you are doing for the Kingdom. but our Father is even more so. you are talented. He gave you those talents and you are using them for Him. of course, you're going to find yourself in some pretty incredible, unlikely and precious situations. praise Him through it all. and know you're in my heart, prayed for daily and laughed at often. and on the real, don't eat vegemite. 

i hope someone read that and thought it wasn't a waste of time. but that's my selfish need for approval and attention. more than that though, i don't want to forget what that restoration felt like and how far God brought us. 

thanks, Dad, for working on me when i wasn't even aware you were doing anything.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

disney channel love.

can i tell you how much i love being a nanny to these kids? okay, great. thanks.

i love being a nanny to these kids.

i am in love with this family. it has been such a blessing to find myself becoming a part of this family and getting the chance to get to know what life looks like for them.

my first week was exciting and scary at the same time. scary only because who doesn't fear a 3 year old boy (who wants to marry selena gomez) hating you for knocking over his blocks? i'll be the first to admit, it takes a toll on my 23 year old pride when a child doesn't like me. even if it is for giving them juice when they wanted mt. dew. [side note: i am a little concerned with the disney channel as of late. i'm glad the jonas brothers are still sporting their purity rings, but why do 14 year old girls look like they're 27? not okay.]

the last two weeks have been so interesting. i've learned a lot about how i handle situations. the good and bad. i handled some situations better than others. what can ya do? i try not to make the same mistake twice. a girl can only do so  much. good thing God can do more.

i have tomorrow off. i'm excited about this. i am taking a trip to fort smith to see some friends i haven't seen in far too long. i think i appreciate my friendships more lately. i realize that having friends takes a lot of effort now that i'm not in college anymore. people are scattered...and it takes WORK to keep up. so i appreciate it so much when someone makes effort to see me. i hate that i'm 2-4 hours away from most of my friends. i wish i wasn't, but at the same time. i'm where i need to be and don't take the times we are together for granted anymore.

i always want someone to know how thankful i am they have allowed me to be in their life. 
in whatever capacity happens naturally. 
[sometimes it's forced...and ya gotta just "lettigo!" a little Reba quote to spice it up a little.]
Van: I've got two words for you Mrs.H: let-it go
 Reba: Van thats three words 
Van: Not the way i say it: letitgo.

i felt so scattered today. i'm pretty sure that came through in the incredibly cohesive post. but i appreciate that you read this...all 3 of you.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the nanny.

i have a job.

today God gave me a job and took away my fears and concerns about my future. i should have never had  those fears. but then again, eve should not have eaten that apple. oh eve.
i will soon be the nanny for a wonderful family in Springdale. they have 4 children. a 14 year old future pro golfer, a sassy 6 year old, but she's not a diva, a 5 year old girl with cerebral palsy, with a beautiful name [elizabeth], and a 3 year old wild man with a head full of blonde curls. 

these kids are full of life, love and a looooot of energy. and i couldn't be more excited to see what this is going to look like. God has placed this family in my life and i am so grateful. to be given the chance to become a part of this family and learn about these people is something i have to praise God for.

this is exactly what i need. and God knew that. so kudos, Dad. thanks for everything.

i'm about to have some real good stories...get ready. set go.

Friday, July 16, 2010

home is where His heart is.

my trip home has been beyond therapeutic. it's been so nice to be reminded that my world has not crumbled to the ground, my life is still good and my love is still worth giving.

being around friends has been the kick in my pants i've needed. [a not so violent kick in the pants. a love kick, if you will]

being alone in Fayetteville has given me plenty of time to believe the lies Satan was telling me. i forgot that i am and will continue to be a product of the Glory of God at work.

i got fired.

so what.

i have no idea why. i wasn't given a reason. and i only see 5 minutes in front of me. God sees it all and He had a reason for taking me out of that situation and putting me where I am. had I not lost my job, I wouldn't have been able to go to Super Summer. and i can say without a doubt, i made friendships this year that will last a lifetime, memories that i will never forget, and through camp, God began revealing to me His plan. a very small  part of His plan, but part of it none the less.

so tomorrow i go back to Fayetteville with my big girl britches on and i'm going to do this with God's help. i pray He gives me favor for the jobs i apply for and that i see where He wants to place me.

i'm really excited to see what's next. and that's so nice to say...and feel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

heading out to change a few things.

I'm going home. Not my eternal Home. That would be nice though. What a glorious day it will be when I can just with God.

I need my home though. I need some comfort. I have been so uncomfortable throughout this last month. Not sure of what to do with my life, not sure what to do with my day, not even sure what to wear [i'm embarrassed at how many times i change clothes in a day....and i'm not even leaving the house. i've never been like this]

So I'm going to figure some things out in the next couple of days. I feel like God has been standing right in front of me for quite some time and I have been looking in every direction but straight. So I'm looking so many ways.

I'm looking forward to my Father. And He'll clue me in to the big mystery that is my future. I don't expect to know where I'll be working or where I will be. And maybe it'll be a while before He tells me. But to put it simply....

it's not about me. at all.

So I'm making this about Him. What does He want from me? What does He want me to do? Where does He want me to go? If I hear an audible voice, I'll be sure to let you know.

Sorry so much of this is cryptic and vague. I feel the same way. Believe me when I say, I don't aim to be cryptic. Transparency is my specialty. Even when I don't want to be....


she packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of 
shoes and headed out to change a few things.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

water is falling from the sky.

So I could make this sound so picturesque.

I'm sitting on my porch swing as it rains...and just as I typed that a faint rumble of thunder rolled across the sky. I'm drinking coffee out of a blue and brown mug my roommate made and I'm wearing an over sized red and black plaid button up and running shorts [that i don't run in.] Oh yeah...this couldn't get any better. ...please.

Life for me has shifted so much lately. I moved to Fayetteville 5 months ago. Found a job and a house. Got fired from my job last month. That sucked. No way around it. I just got a roommate this week. A beautiful blonde with blue eyes and a nose ring who now works at a bakery and makes wonderful cupcakes.

I'm still without a job. But am about to apply to go overseas with an organization called Pure Mission. I am excited to see what needs God will meet in Malawi. Look up Pure Mission. It's pretty incredible. Along with so many other organizations God has worked through.

[second cup of coffee]

I see so many moments in the last month when I have been less than trusting of God. So many times when I just shut down. I think that's my M.O. when it comes to difficult times lately. I don't like that about myself. I used to be the girl who would fall to my knees, pray and thank God for breath before I would ever shut down. And's been months since I've sat before my God and just appreciated His Glory.

I did last night though. I did the cliche Sunday school move...turned on some worship music [some nice Phil Wickham tunes] and got on my knees at the side of my bed. I felt like I should have been a 6 year old praying for an A on a spelling test the next day at school. But I felt like a messy 23 year old woman who needed to remember what her Dad's voice sounded like.

I didn't hear anything. I'd be lying to you if I said so. But it was a huge step in the right direction. God knew I was there for Him. Nothing else had my attention. I didn't say anything and neither did He. I think for the first time in a while I was with God. Just with Him. Not asking for something or praising Him. Because honestly, I haven't had a very gracious heart lately. But just being in His presence with nothing else on my agenda. I think He appreciated that.

And now I'm still sitting on my porch, nothing has changed in my circumstances. I still have no job. Not enough money to pay my bills. No real idea of what life will look like a month from now. But there is water falling from the sky.

Water. Falling. From. The. Sky.

Shouldn't that amaze us? It amazes me.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

On paper...

God is real.

I don't know if I live my life like I know that is true some days.

I've been struggling lately. Satan has taken some blows at my confidence and sanity. And unfortunately I've not done a very good job of remembering that my confidence is found in Christ and not my job, friends, family or myself. I told a friend that little bit of truth just this week, but completely missed how relevant it was to my own restoration.

I'm going to really honest.

My life looks really put together right now.

I graduated from college in December.
Moved to Fayetteville in January.
Got a wonderful job and house in February.

That's how life goes, right? On paper my world could not have been better. But I couldn't keep that up any longer.

I hit a brick wall two days ago and realized my life isn't what it needs to be. I don't think I'm accomplishing much for the Kingdom right now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

don't forget to remember.

My life has shifted quite a bit in the last 5 months. I regret that I haven't written any of it down, really. But this is my attempt at putting my heart into words.

I graduated in December from Arkansas Tech with a degree in Journalism/PR. I wasn't looking forward to graduation my entire college career until a week before it was over. I think that's alright, too. I know so many people who don't want to leave college...and that's fine. But what good is wanting something that you simply can't have? I couldn't stay in college...I couldn't continue to live next door to my best friends and eat mediocre meals in the caf. [grad school..yeah yeah]

So I think it's a good place to be when you can say you wanted to be in college while you were there, and when it ended you wanted whatever was next.

This may be common sense to some people...and probably is. But I recently talked to a friend of mine who felt guilty for wanting to move on from college. She has one week left of school...and I think she is lucky to be ready and willing to shift with life. Not everyone gets there. Not everyone can handle such change and the unknown of what life will look like.

But this isn't about how glad I am to be out of school. I loved it. I appreciate that I was able to experience that. I learned more out of class than in...and I feel I'm not alone in that.

I threw plates off of a mountain [illegally] and would do it again if I could. I cried a lot and laughed more. I truly loved my 4 [and 1/2 :)] years in college. I don't want to forget the many times we went to Paradise Donuts at 3 am to get fresh donuts during finals week. I loved living in Caraway the first two years. All girls. All the time. It was emotional, overwhelming and the best place I could have been. Being in Hall Government. Watching movies w/ the boys of Massie Hall [RIP] and hearing the international students playing piano in the lobby...that beautiful lobby. It was a ball room.

Oh that ball room...that we turned into a dance floor for Halloween. I dressed up as a salt shaker with a white plastic bag and a paper plate. I shook it like a salt shaker, I might add. A good friend Kirby dressed as a ghost. The scariest thing there. Quite the mystery man getting attention from freshman girls wearing their underwear as a costume. [I'll never support that fad] Living with Stacy Cochran freshman year and Leslie Parker my sophomore the same room both years. It was wonderful. We were right across the hall from the bathroom. Prime real estate.

Living with Leslie was like living with sunshine...minus the sunburn. She was such an encouragement. That was the year mom got diagnosed with breast cancer. Leslie was in the right place at the right time. I couldn't have gone through that without her prayer and friendship. That goes for so many of my friends that year. Cancer shook my family to the core. But God is at the core of who I am. That won't ever change.

I'm writing all of this down so I don't forget. But truly, I have already forgotten a lot of it. But I won't forget how I felt. Who I was and who I am now. Through the messy break-ups, fights between friends and constantly looking for God...I grew a lot.

Into someone I'm proud of most days. And when I'm not too proud of always is. She's good at that.

I'm blessed...even on bad days.

[I'll cover where I am now, tomorrow...]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

job. job. job. job. job. job.

I got a job today. One of the greatest feelings I've had in a while.

I met a family last week at a bible study with Lauren Taylor's church. The wife, Jennifer, is the marketing/pr coordinator for her father's orthodontic business. And she needs an assistant.

That's where God comes in. And I follow.

Praise the One who provides for His children.

This is an incredible season in my life. One that I pray I don't forget when it ends. I am excited to see what I will learn about myself and my God. And I couldn't be more blessed to have a wonderful woman of God as a boss.

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Feb. 1, 2010

peas and carrots.

I never know what is about to come out of my finger tips when I begin to write. [figuratively, not literally, of course]

I want to sound cool, well spoken, artistic, deep, witty, original, hilarious, and intelligent with a dash of sarcasm.

Doesn't everyone? I will be the first to admit my desire to make myself look incredibly attractive over a blog. And it all started with Xanga crushes. Oh gracious...I can't tell you how many boys I would have walked down the aisle with, simply because they sounded cool on Xanga. [only if their picture was up to my standards, obviously] Back when there was no Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or blogging. Seriously...what good times. [I say this as I contemplate a better title for my blog]

I can promise you this, I won't ever have pictures of the awesome stuff I make/cook/sew/knit/bake/do. My life doesn't translate well into pictures. But I'm thankful the fullness of my life isn't judged by the pictures I am in.

So here I am. Recent college graduate. A degree in journalism [emphasis in public relations]. Moving out of my mother's house to Fayetteville. I am looking for a job and a place to live. And I don't know if I could be in a better place. That's a nice thing to say.

So whether or not I accomplished my desire of looking awesome, that is the first of many attempts. [oh dear. if that ever becomes a goal of mine, please, make me eat an onion. i hate onions.]

January 30, 2010