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Monday, November 23, 2015

Let's Talk Life

Almost four long months have gone by without even so much of a hint of a blog post...
That might be a new record for radio silence around here.

Have no fear, friends, I'm still alive and well! I have missed my blog and my bloggy friends, but I haven't really felt inspired to write about much lately. A million things have happened in my world that have caused me to draft a post, but the words just never seemed to come out right to match how I felt. I hate that too because blogging has always been such a positive outlet for me. I thought I would just try again today. I need a release!

Life always hit me the hardest around the holidays. The past three holidays seasons have been especially hard for me. I've been in a place of trying to heal a broken heart for a while now. And while I do feel like I'm finally healed up from that breakup 3 Novembers ago, the holiday season just always triggers this major anxiety within my heart. I should be excited because it will be my first holiday season with my boyfriend. We have been dating for 7 months now (CRAZY, right??) and there's so much to celebrate there, but sadly I think we are not going to end up together for Thanksgiving and it's really bothering me. I'm feeling Debbie Downer-ish. There are so many reasons why. My family is messy - both sides of it. I don't really feel like I belong within my biological family, for the most part. That's really hard to say - even harder to feel, but it's true. I have always searched for a "family" to adopt me outside of the people who are blood related to me. I have always imagined marrying a guy whose family just takes me in and never makes me feel like an outsider. I desire that so much!

This will be my family's first holiday season without my mom. Some days that makes me feel sad, some days it makes me feel numb, but most days it just makes me feel anxious about how it will be. Last Thanksgiving, I struggled internally with whether or not to even participate in my family's Thanksgiving get together. I ended up going for maybe an hour and it was a complete disaster. My mom had just finished a round of chemo and she was so skinny and sickly. But she was also hurting and not dealing with everything well so she was drinking heavily to mask her pain. She was hammered drunk when I got there and things just went downhill from there. It was a painful time. The holidays are typically a time reserved for celebrating time spent with your family, and it's honestly just a harsh reminder for me that I don't have that. The negatives are weighing me down.

I looked back to my post last year for Thanksgiving, and now I'm sitting here crying as I read these words again this year:
(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."

I am reminded that hope is never in vain. Even when it feels useless, it's not. Even if you have to tell yourself that every second of the day just to make it through. Hope in Jesus is always the only way to survive anything. I might be struggling with the heaviness in my heart right now, but hope is the only way to overcome. I truly believe that! When I focus on the family situation I currently have, the family I want, or the shortcomings with either - I am completely heartbroken. I become overwhelmed when I focus on the things that weigh me down, but I am lifted when I fix my eyes on Jesus and his promises. I cannot even tell you how reassuring of a thought that is to me today.

I went back to SheReadsTruth today for a little inspiration and wanted to share with you what I found. "His promises hold fast, even when your world is crumbling. In everything, He is good. In everything give thanks." Sweeter words have never been spoken. When I feel like I don't have anyone to count on, I have the Lord. When I feel let down by everyone's conditional love and empty promises, I have Jesus who will never leave me and never stop showing me how faithful He is.


I stole this from SRT too because I thought it was a good exercise in thanksgiving. Maybe someone else needs this reminder today just as much as I did.

Let’s actively thank our good God today.
I will give thanks in…
  1. this joyful thing:
  2. this suffering:
  3. this certainty:
  4. this stress:
  5. this injustice:
  6. this sorrow:
  7. this plenty:
  8. this want:
  9. this wandering:
  10. this waiting:

Wishing you all a truly Happy Thanksgiving, filled with warm hearts and full bellies! XOXO


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What Means The World To You

"Cause money mean the world to me, Imma shine for the world to see..."
I sincerely hope the title of this post has taken you back to your younger days and you are singing Cam'ron in your head as we speak. That was MY JAM when I first started driving! If you don't know who Cam'ron is then I don't even know what to tell you... Apparently my life revolves around song lyrics so I need all my friends to cooperate.

So I've been thinking a lot lately about funny life can be - about how quickly things can change, how ironically things can play out, about how worrying about the future does us absolutely zero good. (Even so, I'm pretty sure we are all guilty of worrying from time to time anyhow.) I'm at this place in my life right now where I feel like I'm teetering on the cusp on great change - and when these feelings hit me I'm always compelled to look back on how things have progressed.

I read this post today from my friend Annie Downs on turning 35 and what that means. I say she's my friend, but really we haven't met in real life. I just love her and I can relate to her story. This was my favorite part:
"It means all day today, I will celebrate the life I have. Not the one I’m missing out on or the one I’m waiting for, but the one I have. It means I wouldn’t trade what I do have for what I wished for. And I will celebrate how God made me. Not who I wish I was or the things I would change, but who I am. Today."

Perfectly said, RIGHT?!?!! My 31st birthday is quickly approaching in September. That statement is scary as crap to write and say out loud. 31????? When did I get old enough to be an almost 31 year old!!!! You know birthdays always make me feel some kinda way - 2013, 2014. Getting older tends to make me feel antsy. 

BUT My 30th year goal was to be in love with my life, every minute of it, and I think I'm finally starting to get a grip on that. I'm slowly learning at the ripe old age of 367 months old how to celebrate the life that I have TODAY and not worry about the one I thought I was missing out on.

I say that I feel like I'm on the edge of change for a lot of reasons. Talks of engagement, marriage, babies, traveling more for work, future life plans and lots of big girl things are happening these days. All of which are HUGE life changes, well worth celebrating. I'd be a lying dog if I told you I wasn't tickled pink with how things are going right now. I'm in such a strong place emotionally, for the first time probably since Skye and I broke up back in 2012. Being in a good place emotionally doesn't mean that I have it all together or that I don't cry when I have PMS. But it does mean I am better equipped for handling the challenges that inevitably come my way. The death of my mama back in April taught me so much about my emotional state and my ROCK that is my relationship with God. He has offered me a fresh start at everything. Not without struggle, and not with the promise of no future struggles, but with the faithful TRUTH that He will sustain all struggles. It's taken some time to cleanse my heart of hateful things and  to learn the glory of true grace. I hope I never stop learning this lesson and never stop extending it to others because it's been radically life changing for me. I'm not perfect at it, (not even close) but the Lord has brought my heart such a long way in these past three years. It just feels good to feel at peace with where I am. I'm thankful beyond words!
He is always beside me. I think this is a great verse (reminder) for the hurting people who are in extremely difficult times! If you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, He is always there for you! Be encouraged! Especially for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines! HE knows your struggles, each and every one! He will be there through your dark and trying times! He WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU!!!

So what means the world to me? Loving my life fully. Being surrounded by people who love me and support me. Embracing changes when they come. Getting on my knees to thank God for His blessings - in good times and bad. Celebrating what I have and who I am. Grace, grace & more grace.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

These Are My Confessions...

"Just when I thought I said all I could say..."
(if you aren't singing that right now then clearly you are too young to be reading my blog. Gotta love some throwback Usher!)
I just feel the need to get some recent confessions off my chest. I miss the Confessions link ups (they are probably still around...I'm just out of the bloggy loop).
I confess...
It annoys me that there are always haters in life.
I haven't been drinking hardly any wine at all lately, who am I? Summer brings out my inner beer lover.
Humidity is the devil. You'd think living in the South my whole life I'd be used it to... but you never get used to frizzy hair and sticky sweat.

You know Lebron is my boo... but I really can't be mad about the Warriors winning it all last night. If you don't have love for Steph Curry then you ain't living right because that boy is incredible. This whole playoff series was so fun to watch them battle back and forth.
And now that basketball is over...
80 days until College Football is back! Can I get an AMEN??

This guy has truly stolen my heart, y'all. He's just everything that is precious and I pretty much spend all my time with him these days. I'm completely that annoying girl who is newly in love. I apologize for blowing up your Instagram, Twitter & Facebook feeds with my heart eyed emojis for him. #sorrynotsorry
PS - NO I'm not naked :)
I have an obsession with neon bathing suit pieces. (Just a quick poll - does anybody even wear matchy bikini sets anymore? I am all about that mix & match life.)

Speaking of obsessions... The Weeknd and Meek Mill are high on my list right now. And little miss Kelsea Ballerini and her "Love Me Like You Mean It" jam. FYI - she's from Knoxville!

Again with neons & obsessions, I got a new pair of running shoes. You know, because all that running I've been doing??? (jokes) I'm a slacker and I've only used them once, but I love them. this is the 2nd pair of neon yellow and pink Asics I've had so I guess you could say I'm a big fan.

I'm finally reading The Andy Cohen Diaries. I love that man and all his Bravo magic - especially those crazy housewives. Can he be my spirit animal? The book is really good, so far.
Y'all heard of Firmoo yet? If not then you need to hop on over there and check out their selection of glasses! This is the 2nd pair that I've gotten from them to review, and I doubt I'll ever get glasses anywhere else again. They are GREAT - easy to deal with, easy to order, great follow up to make sure you're happy with the glasses. Plus, they have a ton of new styles, frames and colors to choose from. A girl needs choices in her life! Plus - as a new customer you can get 15% off instantly just for trying them out.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

This & That

Long time, no see guys! I have to admit that life has been pretty hectic lately. Between work, church things, the boyfriend and friends - I barely have time to get enough sleep these days. But don't let me fool you into thinking I'm not ridiculously happy right now! Life is pretty great.

Mother's Day has come and gone and honestly I'm glad it's over. It was difficult for me and I wrestled with the anxiety for about two weeks leading up to it. It's just a part of what comes after losing your mama - the holidays, birthdays, family occasions, etc. will be difficult, especially the first time around. Now that people have moved on with their own lives and aren't constantly checking on me, I'm left not really knowing how to feel sometimes or how to act with how I'm feeling about not having my mama around. My heart has been a little heavy throughout the process trying to cope, but yet still trying to look for the positive that can come from this situation. I am so thankful for bloggers (Katie, Jennifer) who, unfortunately, have gone through this loss before me and have helped me to know what to expect through their writing. The Lord has been SO GOOD to surround me with people who are nurturing and supportive of me, some of them in the smallest ways they probably don't even realize.

One thing that's been convicting me so much since Mother's Day is that I am my mother's legacy. I was her first born child, her only daughter and probably the child that was the least close to her ultimately, but I am still her legacy. I want to talk more about that soon, but not right now. (Heavy Topic Alert!)

Let's get caught up!

Two weeks ago I saw NEEDTOBREATHE, Drew Holcomb & Ben Rector in concert - so so good!

You like how I drop the BOYFRIEND bomb and then just peace out? A little suspense never killed nobody!! Announcing your relationship is official on the blog can feel like the kiss of death. But so far...boyfriend and I are good. So amazingly crazy good. (Pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, so I could literally gush about him for days, but I'll spare you.) You should just rest assured that I have not felt like this in a long, long time, years. Like since the Skye era. Knowing that it could all blow up in my face tomorrow is scary, but remembering what it feels like to be a smitten little kitten is worth it. Insert ALL of the heart eye emojis.

I apparently cannot get enough of TSwift and all the things she does. Anybody else completely in love with this song??

Finished Amy Poehler's Book Yes Please. I knew she wouldn't disappoint, but I was laughing out loud most of the time. My favorite part?

I've been partaking in quite a few happy hours lately. When spring rolls around and work days get long I really have to admit that I love to unwind on a patio with a cold adult beverage. Judge me, if you must.

Speaking of The Countess... I am so obsessed with the current RHONY season. I'm a little behind since life has kept me from DVR binging as much as I'd like to, but I just can't get enough of this cast. I think it's the best cast they've had in a long time! (Maybe minus Dorinda, not crazy about her.)

I can't promise that I will be posting very regularly throughout the summer, but you know I won't be able to keep my mouth shut for too long. In the mean time, I'm always available for stalking on Instagram & Twitter if you need more frequent life updates.