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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving, as an Action vs. a Holiday

Here I am, again, in this place where I have SO MUCH to say but can't find the right words. More accurately, I'm scared to speak the truth of the words that I'm feeling. I'm afraid of judgment, afraid that saying things out loud makes them real, and anxiously awaiting something amazing to happen so that I can fill my posts with that instead.
I feel myself sliding into a valley. Not a spiritual valley necessarily (thank the Lord), more like a life valley. One of those times when things are just "ehhhh" and that's honestly about the best way to describe them. Life feels a little bit messy right now. Work, family, relationships - all of it, presents me with more complicated days than easy ones.
My go-to girl Hannah Brencher apparently feels my vibe and wrote this post JUST FOR ME. I mean, come on! You know how much I love her, and her words always seem to speak truth into my given situation. Spot on. Thank you Jesus for HB and her connection to my soul!
If I'm being honest, my current valley probably has so much to do with my breakup. The boyfriend and I broke up two weeks ago. I'm not sure I can adequately describe to you the journey our relationship traveled since last March when we went on our first date. Roller coaster would be pretty close to a perfect term to use. I want so badly to believe that it was just a timing issue. I feel like we are such a great pairing on paper, but something was holding me back from riding it out to see how the story ended. I prayed...and prayed...and prayed some more but I never received that crystal clear answer that I wanted from God. Just that consistent feeling of hesitancy. I know that not all relationships are made to last, but I wanted this one to. I just don't know how much more back and forth either one of us could have handled. I have no choice but to put all my hope in the fact that if God wants to bring us back together, then He will control the path that leads us there. So there's that.
The holidays, in the past couple of years especially, have been a time of struggle for me. I can't tell you how incredibly overwhelmed I was at the thought of having to spend the holidays with my boyfriend's family. I could cry just thinking about it even still. Can we say ISSUES?? Something about all the family time and celebrations makes me feel like an outsider. I can't survive a family get together of my own without crying, resorting to drinking or daydreaming of stabbing someone (usually my mother). Loneliness is constantly lurking in the back of my mind telling me to compare my situation to everyone else's. I'm sure that's at least part of why I want my own family so urgently - to have that comfort of being an actual part of something. God has rescued me from these feelings of self pity so many times, and yet here I am entertaining the idea of them again. It's ridiculous.
I want to live a lifestyle of thanksgiving and praise God greatly for all that He has given me. I'm doing this awesome She Reads Truth bible study right now that's all about thanksgiving (the action of it, not the holiday). The other day Give Thanks in Suffering hit the nail on the head for me. I beg you to read this if you are going through any kind of suffering right now. Because I promise you, there's no way you can read these biblical truths and not feel beyond thankful to a Savior that offers HOPE. It offered me a much needed reminder that: This isn't all that there is. Our story goes on. Life gets better. God has BIGGER & BETTER things planned for you and I!

"Sisters, it’s okay to be sad. But we know Jesus who died for us in love and rose again in love, so that all that is broken can be redeemed, so that in the midst of terrible pain we can know this isn’t all there is.
Our hope is never in vain when it’s in Jesus. Our thanksgiving in times of suffering is a testament to how temporary the pain is in light of our great eternal joy and our everlasting hope."
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”- Romans 5:5
This Thanksgiving (as in the actual holiday this time), I will be surrounded by amazing friends who love me unconditionally. I might be single again, but I am not alone. I will have a full belly, a warm house, and money to go Black Friday shopping. I am thankful for this valley, and all that it will bring. I cannot imagine a better place to be than here, where God draws me close to Him and covers me with his love. What more do I need?? My heart will overflow with praise for the Lord for all the blessings I do not deserve. I will wait expectantly and hope for a season of life that comes with a view from a mountaintop instead of a valley.

(PS - this is a great one too, Giving Thanks In Sorrow). "When you think you’ll never again be able to sing a song of thanksgiving, try it anyway. Our hearts may not be comfortable praising tragedy, loss, or bad days, but our hearts were created to praise the Hope of Glory."
Happy Thanksgiving friends! I'm thankful for the friendships I still have from blogging, and for all the support you give me when I whine :) XOXO

Friday, November 7, 2014

5 on a Friday!

Hola senoritas! I'm just here today to give you a recap of what's been going on with me in the past couple of weeks. I have some really great posts (in my humble opinion haha) saved in my drafts folder, just haven't really had time to finish them out. So an update it is, in the form of my very favorite link up 5 on Friday of course.
I just got home from a week in Florida for a work conference. I'm human so of course I love the beach, but as a Southerner I get real sick of the humidity that comes with an East TN summer. I don't think I've ever visited the beach during November, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the weather we had in Sandestin. Absolutely gorgeous! I could easily be a snowbird in my future retirement life. It's never too early to dream about retirement, girls! I'll see you again in March, Sandestin, and I am counting down the days!


My new iPhone FINALLY came! It was the most perfect little welcome home gift last night on my front porch. She's a slender gold beauty too! A much needed upgrade from my 4s. I couldn't be happier with it!
Election day has come and gone and while I try not to get too political on here, I can say I am happy with the way one referendum played out. In my city & county, we will be getting wine in our grocery stores soon! I CAN'T WAIT! Does that mean I'm an alcoholic? No! That means I'm lazy and I like my convenience. I know we are probably behind the times down here, but you gotta remember this is the heart of the Bible belt.
Everybody needs a good Friday Funny and this is one of my favs this week!
Ordered these pretty thangs this week and I'm so excited to show them off!
Cross Training Couture
My girl Kim's boutique - Small Town Style
 Happy weekend loves!

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 on a Friday!

Well... it finally happened to me. One month after my 30th birthday, I found my first grey hair. You would think I was dying. I was literally in tears on my bathroom floor. Getting older is awful. I'm totally going to blame this on the darker hair that I'm rocking right now. I don't think I ever would have noticed if I was still rocking my blonde hair. Back to blonde I go the next time I get my hair done! Ignorance is bliss.
It's been an emotional week for me. (Thank you for all your amazing support yesterday, by the way!) Dealing with life, finding the grey hair, and then I watched the RHONJ finale. Talk about a tear jerker. Teresa has not always been my favorite NJ housewife. I've loved her and I've hated her at times. But I was genuinely tore up about her getting sentenced to 15 months in prison. What a sad reality for her family! OOOOOH also, did y'all hear that Bethenny is coming back to RHONY?? I can't wait for that! She is my sarcastic idol.

Remember the good old table flip days from Season 1? 
I love it when my housewives show their crazy.

Whatever you do just serve God well. In overcoming this season of clutter and the feelings it stirs within me, I have to remind myself that I am blessed to be a passionate person. Even though sometimes my passions take over and I feel pulled in a million different directions. I thrive when I am serving others and feeling productive. I just have to pray that the choices I make, I will be obedient and serve God well every step of the way. Amen to that! So thankful for these reminders that others sometimes feel this way too.

Fall things are happening. I loooooooooove fall. Fall TV, football, weather, fall beer & iced PSLs, clothes, Hocus Pocus - I want it ALL. I'm a hot natured person so I love the crisp air in the mornings & evenings. I wish I could move somewhere that it's 70-50's year round. Perfection!

The bookcase in my office has a very Harry Potter-ish vibe right now with my witch hats, sorting hat style.
Target Dollar Bins FTW!

I did a craft class last week and we painted mason jars! So easy, fun and cute decorations! I'm Southern, we do everything with mason jars.
Just a short week from tomorrow, I'll be heading to Florida for a week for a work conference. I can honestly say I'm so excited to get away from my real life. I cannot wait to unwind, disconnect and just have fun. OH, AND I'LL BE AT THE BEACH! There will be work happening, but I'll also have some free time. And when my life makes me feel like I want to run away from it, this timing could not be more perfect.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Seasons of Clutter

Have you even taken inventory of your daily life and found yourself to be stuck in a season of clutter? Not necessarily physical clutter, but life clutter. I feel lately like my schedule is full of busy. I'm glorifying the busy in my life by keeping a tight schedule that lacks intentionality. I'm not a big fan of the way this realization feels when it hits me. I feel like I'm wasting time, saying yes to all the wrong things, throwing money away and not serving the purposes that I am here for. I'm always scatterbrained because I'm running on half as much sleep as I need, feeling ragged because I'm not taking care of myself and, if I'm being honest, I actually feel relieved when someone cancels plans with me because it frees up some time between hectic running back and forth. Nobody in my life is getting the best of me. Everybody is getting broken fragments of what I have left to offer. I find myself saying "I don't have time for..." constantly. I hate this feeling.

These seasons of clutter leave me feeling empty, drained, hollow. Like I have nothing to offer the people I love, the people I work with, the people who need me. Then it also leads to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, guilt and snowballs from there... I'm hard on myself, I know that. Too hard most of the time. I struggle constantly with showing myself grace.
I am words person. You know this about me. I am good with words. I can comfort with words. I express myself through words. I can sit here all day and write a blog post that tells you exactly how I'm feeling and take myself on a journey as to why. But when it comes to real life, I feel like I don't have time for real, meaningful, gritty interactions with people. I don't have what it takes right now to put my words into action in my own life. And that disappoints me.

Then I read Stop Sleeping with Liars. Cue the tears. Stop whatever you are doing and READ that. Don't just read it, print it. Re-read it. Highlight the parts that speak to you. Send it out on social media. Memorize it. Make it the first thing you read in the morning, or the last thing you read before bed. Maybe you can't relate to this now, but one day you will. One day you will need these words to resurrect you.

"you’re human. That’s it. You’re not super human. You’re not subhuman. You’re just plain human. You make mistakes. You don’t scale walls. You hurt people without ever intending to. You get your heart ripped out of your chest. Some days the only language you can endure is tears and you’re like, “I’M SO FLUENTTT IN TEARSSSS. WHATTT ISSSS WRONNGGG WITHHH MEEE???” Like I said, you’re human. Go with it." - HB

I don't let the people in my real life comfort me. It's a lifelong struggle I have with letting people in. The hardest thing in the world for me to sit down and talk about what's on my mind and what's bothering me. I want to be a super human. And to me that means dealing with things entirely on my own, not discussing my weaknesses and not showing emotions. I have to remind myself that when I can display my weakness, it empowers Christ to work for me and through me (2 Cor 12:9). Lately, this season of clutter has left me feeling weak, full of emotions and not able to be comforted. My instinct is to retreat. But my friend Hannah Brencher can comfort me with her words like no other. Well, second to Jesus, that is.

(If you don't know Hannah, then you are missing someone who can speak life into you. I've said it before, but Hannah is my soul sister - even if she doesn't know it yet. Her words reach into the depths of my soul and inspire me to want better, do better - just be better. Her passion is contagious. I am convinced she was placed on this Earth to light a fire within me!)

"Accepting yourself will prove to be one of the biggest journeys of this lifetime. Pack the bags. Bring the toothbrush. March for the door and go. That journey is worth taking." - HB
So what can I do to remedy this?

Remember that I am human. Give ALL my insecurities, fears and anxieties to God - Embrace God's sweet grace. Offer myself the grace that He offers me daily. Accept that I am doing all that I can, and maybe some days that just doesn't look like much. Don't continue to beat myself up for mistakes I made years ago. Fall back in love with people around me. Be real and honest when I feel like I'm just not measuring up. Don't believe the lies that I have to be everything to everyone. Be passionate about making a difference in a few people's lives and that will be my change in this world. Pre-order Hannah's book that is coming out in March 2015 (she really should just hire me to work for her!).