Sunday, September 16, 2012

I See London, I See France...

Because things like this (and this) don't happen to me enough...

Today, after a great service, I said goodbye to some friends, and stopped into the restroom on my way out of church.

I left the restroom, and bumped into a woman who was standing near the drinking fountain.  We chuckled, apologized, and she stepped aside so I could pass by her.  

Suddenly, I felt someone grab my arm and yank me backwards, back into the corridor near the drinking fountain.  Confused, I looked and saw that it was the woman I had just passed, and she was saying:  "Miss, miss, come here."  I knew immediately, by the look on her face, what the problem was.

My skirt was tucked into my underwear.  

(TMI, but I at least had on a super cute pair of polka dot undies, but that's beside the point).  
I thanked her profusely, and she 'cleared' me for a safe departure from the corridor.  

I am so glad I didn't continue on into the foyer of the church in such a fashion.  

So, regarding church, I have already fallen, and nearly showed off my undies to an unsuspecting crowd.  

Seriously.  What next?

Well, I do suppose it could have been worse.  
Thank God for the nice lady who noticed!  

Happy Sunday, folks!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just Listen.

Hello, readers!  Yes, it's been a long time since I've posted anything...deep?  I guess we can go with that word...
I've been mulling over some stuff lately...a continuation of this post...and this post...or, rather, a follow-up.  
First, I must be honest...I am walking a fine line between keeping this blog open, or finally bidding farewell...I am just not certain that it is something I can invest my time, or myself into...I don't have an answer, but want to give my faithful readers (you!) a heads up...


It has been 6 months since I wrote those posts, and let me tell you something:  it has been the best 6 months.  As I began to allow God back into my heart, and let Him be at the center of it, I discovered that He was always there.  Isn't that a humbling thought?  The God of the entire universe NEVER left me in that place of desolation that I created.  I turned my back on Him, but He never turned His back on me...quite the contrary...He was there, speaking to me, wooing me, moving me...I just couldn't (or, wouldn't) listen to Him.

In 6 months, God has been speaking to me loudly.  The difference is that I am willing to take the time to listen to Him.  Every day, I come before Him, expecting to hear His voice.  Please know, I do not say this as a form of boasting.  Rather, I say it because it is proof that God can move in the most dire of circumstances, situations, and heart conditions.  A year ago, God could have literally appeared to me, sat across from me, poured us some coffee, and said:  'Angela, we have some things to deal with.'  I would have walked away.  It wouldn't have mattered what He had to say.  Because I didn't care to listen.

Now, I crave the communication with Him...I feel utterly lost without it.  Do you know how much He loves it when we come to Him, and seek Him, and talk to Him?  Do you know that it doesn't matter what we say or how we feel when we are talking to Him?  He just wants us?  

And, the amazing part is...He wants to speak to us, too.  He has things to say.  To you.  To me.    

So, I want to challenge you to something...perhaps, it is something completely out of your comfort zone.  Commit to a week of seeking Him, in open communication...expect to hear Him.  Bring to Him whatever is on your heart and mind.  If you can't find the words, it's okay.  He knows.  Just be willing to sit in silence, in His presence, and let Him talk to you.  Open your Bible, grab a journal.  

Just listen.  

Maybe you want to take this challenge, but maybe you are in the midst of trials that are burdening you, and you don't know how to go before Him.  It's okay...I've been there, and the greatest lesson I've learned is that God wants me, no matter what I'm going through, or feeling.  He'd rather have me angry, sad, discouraged, or broken than not at all.  

And, if it makes you feel any better, I have gone to Him many, MANY times, like a child throwing a full-fledged tantrum.  I'll 'hash it out', and will then sit in expectation to hear what He has to say...and you know something?  In those awful, foot-stamping, sobbing moments, He simply tells me that He is God, and I am me, and I am not God.  In the midst of my fit, I will find peace, and He helps me know that He has everything under control.  And, I find comfort in knowing that, being the good Father that He is, I am not going to take away His love, or His communication, because of my emotions.  

Will you take this challenge?  Go to Him, as you are.  Open your heart, and your ears to what He is telling you.  That trial you are in?  Maybe He has been waiting to give you an answer all along...

Will you listen?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Letter for Kelly.

Dear Kelly,

Sweet friend, you are the first among our little gang to tie the knot (yeah, yeah, Andrea, you were technically first, followed by Kelly D., but we didn't all know each other then...).  
I am so happy for you, and cannot wait to see the amazing things God is going to do for you in this new phase of life.

I am incredibly thankful and blessed that God crossed our paths so many years ago, and our friendship was formed.  I am honored to be a guest at your wedding, a witness to such a beautiful union as marriage, and I know I will surely cry tears of happiness for you.

There are so many great memories I could mention here, but I'd rather leave them between us, and simply say this:  
we have had the best of times, and there are many more to come in the future.  Our friendship will remain, and continue to grow, though our lives may take us down different paths at different times.  
It's simply the sifting of the sands of time.

I am so excited for you, and am praying for you and the Mr.  
May God bless you and keep you and guide you on the road ahead.

I love you lots, 'friendly'.  Congratulations!



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Day at the Beach...OR, Why I Laugh at Me.

Last Saturday, I finally made it to the beach, for some solitude and time with God.
I had been feeling tired, stressed, and busy, and thought the best down time I could ask for was at the edge of the beautiful sea, with my journal, and my Bible.

When I got there, I began the long trek down to the shore from my parking spot.  I had a shoulder bag, carrying my phone, Bible, journals, and a large towel.

Upon reaching the beach, I realized that it was carpeted with pebbles.  No sand anywhere in sight.  I wandered along, trying not to trip over the piles of pebbles (we all know I have that capability), and kept walking, looking for a decent place to create my own Bible study world.

The only area I found where there was sand was beneath the cliffs (and near the warning sign for the cliffs:  warning, unstable cliffs, falling rocks, etc.).  I decided that if God was going to end my life on that day, at the beach, then He would ensure that the rocks falling from the cliffs would be swift and accurate.  I took the risk to sit there.
I spread my towel out, kicked off my shoes, smiled at a fisherman who was standing nearby, and sat down.  I pulled my phone out to check my messages, and laid it on the towel beside me.  I took a deep breath, and watched the waves rolling in and out...

And in...
Um...that wave is still coming....

Yep.  A wave broke at the shore, speeding directly at me.  I kid you not, it did not go anywhere else.  I jumped up, and thought:  PHONE!!  Right as the water hit my beach towel, I scooped up my phone and ran.
I stood beneath the cliff and surveyed the ruins:  a sopping wet, heavy beach towel, wet shoes, and a wet shoulder bag (thankfully, waterproof, so nothing was destroyed). 
I glanced awkwardly at the nearby fisherman, who was laughing at me.
And, I shrugged my shoulders at the passing beach goers who pointed out to me that I got caught by a wave.

Duh.  I'm fully aware of that.

I stood for a moment, surveying the beach, looking for a safer place to go.  As I looked, I realized that I was standing near the carcass of a very large bird.  Disgusted, I scooped up my things and trudged along until I found a rock to sit on.

Then, the hot sun burst through the fog, and I found myself beginning to bake. 
I opened my Bible, and tried to focus, but found myself distracted and bored.  I text messaged a couple of people, and decided my beach day with the Lord was over.

I told this story to a friend, and she laughed, telling me I should try to avoid situations to the best of my least those situations where people may laugh at me.

But, I laugh at me.

Apparently, I am that girl...that girl who will trip and fall in public, run out in the middle of a busy street and hesitate halfway across, find the one spot on the beach where the wave is going to chase me away, burn my hand on the stove because I wanted to check and make sure it was hot (it was), run right into a closed door because I forgot I closed it, and end up standing beside dead animals.
I'm not exactly clumsy...
I'm not exactly spacey...
I just seem to attract a level of randomness in my life.

But, at the end of the day, I've got some pretty silly stories to tell.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

(500) Days...

Recently, a friend and I were chatting, about relationships and vulnerability, and the like, and the movie (500) Days of Summer was brought up.
People, this movie is so wonderful.  It is the anti-love story, but the hopeful love story at once.  I adore this film, and highly recommend it.  However, this blog post will be full of spoilers.  You have been warned.
In (500) Days of Summer, Tom (average dude) meets Summer (average gal).  They hit it off, date, build a relationship, and so forth.  Then, Summer tells Tom they should break up.  The movie goes back and forth over a period of 500 days:  happy days, sad days, when they were together, when they were apart.  Tom, saddened by Summer ending their relationship, embarks on a journey of self-discovery…so to speak.  He spends countless days analyzing their relationship, what went wrong, what he did, what she did.  His friends come along side him, and try to help him, in essence, mourn the loss of Summer, and what he thought she represented for him. 
There is a poignant scene towards the end of the movie, where Tom and Summer run into each other, post breakup.  She invites him to a party at her place.  The scene splits into a side by side montage of his ‘expectations’ (he and Summer meet up at the party and rekindle their lost love), and the ‘reality’ (Summer is engaged to another man).  This scene?  Always breaks my heart.
In the end, Summer (married), finds Tom (single).  They sit and talk, and ultimately find closure with each other.  In the last scene, Tom meets another girl.
Her name is Autumn.
The movie ends on this note:  hopeful Tom, and Autumn.  Perhaps, just perhaps, love is not finished for him yet.
So.  God has been working in my heart, in my life.  Bringing me back to Him.  He has taken me by the hand and pulled me out of a place of darkness.  He began tearing down my walls, and His glorious light is what came streaming through. 
Over the last few months, I feel like God has been allowing me to remember, like Tom.  He has shed light on memories that I have been keeping buried.  And, in bringing them back, He is allowing me to confront them, and release them. 
My heart was broken onceAnd, like Tom, I embarked on a journey of 500 (or many more) days trying desperately to retrace my steps.  To figure out what I did.  To put the pieces together, in a puzzle that never went together to begin with.  I had faith that things would work.  I had hope.  I had the tenacity to keep trying. 
And, one day, I learned that he had moved on, like Summer.  And I was left depleted.  Exhausted.  Alone.  I mourned the loss of that friendship, of that man.  I mourned the loss of what I thought could have, or should have been.  I hung my star on a crumbling pedestal. 
I found, to my horror, that I had grown accustomed to the pain.  As time separated me from him, I found that even the feeling of missing him was leaving.  And, finally, one day, I discovered that I didn’t miss him at all.  Instead of feeling relieved, I was met with emptiness.  I almost didn’t know how to exist outside of that place of longing, hoping, believing, and even heartache. 
Again, like Tom, I found myself waiting for my own Autumn.  For a man who would come along side me, and be what the other man wasn’t.  And, I found myself frightened at the thought.  For many reasons.  But, mostly, because I was (and still am) afraid of reliving my 500 days of summer. 
God has been faithful, continues to be faithful to me.  I have finally allowed Him to truly heal my heart.  To take my broken pieces, and mend them, and make me whole.  I have finally given Him the pain I kept so close.  I have severed all ties to him, the man who illuminated my life for such a short season.  I can look back with complete clarity, though it took me awhile to see through the fog.  I firmly believe that God allowed me to walk that road, because He knew where it would lead:  back to His arms.
I have not met my autumn yet, but I know he is out there. 
And, for the first time in a very, very long time, I am ecstatic over the thought. 
Sure, fear creeps in, trying to set up camp occasionally, but God has been helping me look past it. 
To hope again. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

So Much More.

I want to be in control...
of everything in my life.

God comes along...
always there,
asking me to trust Him.

Have Faith, daughter, He tells me.
Seek Him. 
He whispers promises to me.
He hears my heart.
He knows my words, before I ever speak them.

I find myself looking for Him, longing to feel His presence.
He's always there.  Always, always.
It is me who is distant...
I run to His mighty arms, and He restores my weary soul.
He holds me.
He sees the me I keep hidden.
And loves me more than I can ever fathom.

He loves me.
Even standing in the midst of my sin and shame.
He forgives me.

More than my mind can ever know, or understand,
He sees me and still,
He loves me.
More than I will ever comprehend.
More than I would ever dream.
More than I will ever know, this side of Heaven.

So much more.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Today, I longed to go to the beach, to sit with my journal, to read my Bible there.  To hear the unending song of the sea.  To watch the sun setting behind vast waters.
I long for moments of solitude.  I always leave the beach feeling like I’ve found clarity, and my muddled thoughts are washed away into the abyss. 
I feel God’s power there, and stand in awe of His sheer greatness. 
I feel so small, like a speck when I look out over the horizon, which seems without end.  Yet, I also feel God reaching right to my heart, as if He sees only me.
Today, I found myself with a typical sickness.  The kind that took me from my bed, as far as the couch.  I’m quite certain that the salty air would have rejuvenated my spirit and body, but, alas, I couldn’t quite muster the energy to go anywhere. 
Not today, but soon, I want to find a solitary place, where the waves call and echo.  Where the breeze will kiss my cheeks.  Where I can find simplicity.
For today, this image will do.    

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How Far I've Come {Weight Loss}

{This post was supposed to go up yesterday!  Happy Easter everyone!  Easter post coming up later!}
Howdy folks!  It’s April!  Um, where did March go?  Seriously.  Easter is already here!  Before we know it, it will be summer!  Time is flying!
Anywho, I’ve been thinking about my weight loss, and the long (ever so long) journey I appear to be on regarding it.
I joined a gym last Fall, and love it.  Well, love it and hate it, but mostly I feel affectionately towards it.  Working out has really helped me manage stress, stay balanced, keep my focus, and maintain energy. 
And yet…
Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.  I want to quit.  There I days where I see the progress.  I days where I look in the mirror and criticize my appearance. 
But, then I remember something.  I often forget about it, because this has been such a long, winding, rough road. 
I’ve come farther than I realized.

I’m so grossed out by this photograph.  I hate it.  I’m embarrassed to share it.
But, it reminds me:  I’ve lost 50 pounds since it was taken.  50 pounds. 
I really forget sometimes that I was that much heavier.  That going to the gym really would have been humiliating, and painfully difficult.  Now?  I am aware of how I look, but don’t care.  I’m there to get fit, to get healthy, just like everyone else. 
Some days, I feel stuck in the rut of the weight loss sojourn.  I went to my meeting yesterday, and lost 3.4 pounds (not in one week, rather 3 weeks.  See?  I could have done better), but I still felt down about it.  That it wasn’t enough. 
But every pound lost is a pound that separates me from that girl. 
Yes, I am aware that it is not a full body photo.  However, I have spent years and 50 pounds perfecting 2 things:  1.  Posing for the camera to look my absolute best (hiding my double chin, finding my ‘good’ side, angling my neck to give it the appearance of length, and positioning my shoulders to accent my shoulder blades, because the slightest appearance of bones instantly gives the impression of thinness).  2.  Refusing to have full body photos taken unless absolutely necessary (as in, out of my control).
I will post a full body photo eventually.  I will search for one from that time as well, for a fair comparison.
Here’s the point of this post (at least, the epiphany I had regarding it):  Sometimes, we HAVE to look back, in order to move forward.  This is a cringe-worthy photograph, and I’d rather not see it.  And yet, in looking at it, I can see how far I’ve really come, and exactly where I am going.
I can only hope that this simple little blog spot will encourage you to look back on something, see where you have been, embrace it, and move forward.
Until next time, have a blessed day!

Monday, March 19, 2012



Fourteen days, chocolate free, has officially come to an end!

I did it! It wasn't easy at first, but it got easier as the second week moved along.

I'm pleased with myself, for sticking to it.

Now, what should I try next...hhhhmmmmm....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chocolate Free: Update.

I have officially completed one week without chocolate!

As it just so happened, I planned my chocolate break during 1. PMS 2. Daylight savings.

I know, I know, daylight savings has nothing to do with it, but maybe it does a teeny tiny bit.

As in, I'm exhausted from my hormonal issues, and now they've taken away an hour? I'm getting up at (what feels like) 5 a.m. instead of 6? Seriously, where's a chocolate granola bar for breakfast?

You know how it is. When you're already pooped, the last thing you want to do is be creative. About anything. I didn't want to be creative regarding chocolate. I just wanted it. Period. (Ha! No pun intended, but that was a good one)!

Alas, I was strong. I turned away from a piece of Ghiradelli mint chocolate (it was mocking me, by the way). I stared Easter themed Whoppers square in the face (cooking activity at school). I politely declined the M&Ms that managed to make their way to the staff table.

I did it.

Week 2? That will be a piece of cake. Chocolate free, of course.

Just wanted to share an update!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

14 Days Chocolate Free.





I have a slight addiction to chocolate. I admit it. All chocolate (except white, because...well, it's just pretending to be chocolate, and makes a mockery of the real thing.): brownies, candy, cookies...all that junk food that we know is so wrong, but tastes so.darn.RIGHT.

As many of you know, I am a member of Weight Watchers, and it's all about tracking points, moderation, and no restriction. Cool.


I will gladly swap my WW points for chocolate anything, any day. I've noticed it has become more than just something I enjoy. The cravings are out of control. I'll use it to reward myself for good things, like working out for 45 minutes at the gym. Awesome logic there: Work your hiney off, sweat like a beast, change your body, and in return, you get...junk food? Um...maybe not the greatest strategy in the world...

More importantly, I have realized that I am choosing it over what I really want, and often crave: fruits, veggies, lean proteins. You know, the good stuff. By doing so, I find my WW tracking journal is rather unbalanced. More junk than healthy options fill my journal pages. If my leader ever asked to see my journal, I'd be embarrassed.

Someone should make a sign: Will Cheat for Chocolate.

Because that's what has been happening.

I'm not just cheating...I'm cheating myself.

So, I've decided, albeit rather begrudgingly, to cut out chocolate for 14 days. Two weeks, chocolate free. Really, just to prove to myself that I can do it, and beat it, and hopefully extend the cut.

Why 14 days? Because a month sounded too daunting. Two weeks sounds doable. I want to succeed, not set myself up for failure. Please, if you are doing something similar for a month, awesome!! I don't want it to sound like I'm bashing you. I originally wanted to start with a month, but for me, 2 weeks is the best starting point. For me.

So, tomorrow (yes, tomorrow. Tonight, I have a date with Hershey. We are going to have a fabulous time), as in Monday the 5th of March, I will begin my 14 day fast from chocolate. I have 2 exceptions: my whey protein powder and my calcium supplement. I use my protein shake for workouts, and it is naturally flavored and low in sugar. It's very expensive, and I'm not willing to give it up. Besides, though I love it, it does not compare to chocolate milk or shakes. At all. And my calcium chew is taken once a day, and tastes like a chalky tootsie roll. I'm pretty certain that it won't be my downfall. But everything else is going.

Anyone want to join in? Perhaps for you it is not chocolate, but something else? Leave a comment here, and let me know! You can do it!

I'll check back in with my progress in a week!

Let's do it together!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

La Petite Chienne.

So, my friend donated some craft magazines to me (so kind!) and I was reading one of them just the other day, called Mollie Makes. Soooo fabulous! It is from the UK, and it consists mostly of knitting/sewing crafts, but includes a few other forms of craftiness as well.

I am not a knitter and have never tried my hand at sewing anything beyond a loose button, but in the magazine they had the most darling patterns for miniature felt dogs. And by miniature, I mean 2-4".


Right away, I tell my friend that one of the projects on my 'to-do' list is to create one of these felted canines. We discussed having a time to craft together (Um, D: I know you are reading this, and we must pick a time for tea and crafting!), we bid each other a great weekend, and we went along our merry ways.

On Monday morning, at work, she nonchalantly hands me a tiny giftbag and said she made one of the dogs.

BAM. Just like that, like some sort of genie! She is so talented, and let me tell you, I am dying to collect all of the pups!!

Allow me to introduce: La Petite Chienne (The Little Dog):

I know, right? Absolute cuteness!

Thank you, D! I love the little pup!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just One of Those Days.

Have you ever had 'one of those days'?

It's a silly question, I realize. Everyone has had those days.

Today was one of mine.

Let me elaborate (I'm pretty sure you'll find it amusing):

I have started attending a new church (the Rock) in Point Loma. It's such an amazing, large, ecclectic, friendly group of people. And by large, I'm talking thousands of church goers.

With 5 Sunday services to choose from to boot. I have been going to the 10:00 service, which is generally the busiest. As in, overflowing outside from a sanctuary that seats (roughly) 3,000 people in one service (don't quote me on that, I got the stats from a 3rd party website). Regardless of the number of people inside the church, there is typically 60 + people milling around outside the church: going in for the service, leaving the previous service, talking, drinking coffee, praying, etc. It is one busy, bustling place. I have to give you all of this information for you to truly appreciate this story. Just saying.

Anywho, I planned to go to the first service, but stayed up to late and opted to go to the 10:00 service again. I got up and decided to take a quick shower. It was cold this morning; foggy, and overcast. And, the ongoing water heater issue at my place is still in full force. I get blazing hot water, or freezing cold. This morning = freezing. It was rather dreadful.

I dressed, got ready, and totally spaced out on the time frame I needed to travel to the church.

I left late. I arrived late.

I was so flustered, because I hate being late, and naturally the volume of people at the church also meant traffic, and having to park really far from the building.

I began the trek, cursing the shoes I had chosen (cute, semi-high heeled wedges with a buckle back strap). They were pinching my toes, and for every 10-15 steps, I had to stop and fix the strap that kept slipping off my heel. I finally made it to the front of the sanctuary, and decided to remedy the shoe situation before proceeding into the church, where I was already about 10 minutes late. I moved out of the way of the surging crowds of other late comers, removed my shoe, and tightened the strap.

I began to replace my shoe, while balancing my purse and Bible in one arm. In my rush, I failed to notice that my balancing foot wasn't on the sidewalk, as much as it was in the outlying, uneven mulch. You see where this is going?


My foot teetered, my ankle twisted, and down I went. Like a big, clumsy bafoon.

I went straight down on my rear (thankfully it is well padded) in the middle of a huge crowd of people.

In a dress. Wearing one shoe.

Sure enough, I heard a resounding gasp, and I was surrounded by very kind, concerned strangers.

I blubbered out "I'm fine, it was my shoe!" and began laughing, and feeling my face burn with embarrassment. I quickly put on my shoe, and a gentlemen offered me his hand. He helped me up and a girl scooped up my purse and Bible for me, declaring that she has done that quite often. Everyone asked again if I was alright, and we walked into the church.

If the ground could have opened up and swallowed me, I would have been relieved.

Additionally, thanks to my tardiness, I had to go up to one of the balconies, nearly in the nosebleed section.

It was alright. I prayed and asked God to help me focus, and stop being so flustered. I enjoyed the worship and the sermon, took deep breaths, hoped that nobody remembered the fall, and was extra cautious on my sojourn back to my car.

Lessons learned:

1. Leave early.

2. Where cute, yet sensible shoes if I have to park far away.

3. Wear underwear that blends in with your clothes (check! I had a black dress on, with black undergarments!) Why? While not always eliminating the possible panty-gate exposure, it will lessen the shock value if it all blends together.

4. Don't fix a shoe in a crowd when it clearly can wait until you've made it to your destination.

5. Just laugh. Nothing was hurt (though I can feel my sprained ankle now), and it was pretty hilarious.

Today was just 'one of those days'. In a randomly funny way.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I don't know what is up with Blogger today, but it has been driving me nuts.

I finally added my custom header, after uploading it over and over, to get it not to look pixelated.

(I painted the sparrow image in acrylic on illustration board. The lettering was added in Photoshop).

Then, I had to switch my post editor to the old editor option just to type a post.


Regardless, I had fun creating the header, and really like the new blog look!

I'm slowly getting back into the blogging routine, hurrah! I've realized I kind of missed it.

Do you blog? Follow me here! Comment and let me know what your blog is, too!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Forgotten? No.

Oh, hello lovely readers.  May I share my heart with you?  I’m trying to be real, and honest.  It’s harder than I would have thought, but I want this blog to be a place of openness. 
Because, this past week, I’ve never felt more small.
More lonely.
More single.
It started with the birthday.  Oh, friends, how I was dreading it.  In absolute anxiety over it.  Because, this birthday was to be my first, alone.  My dad had to work, my mom was getting over a heinous ear infection (she still took me out for coffee for 30 minutes after work, which was so kind, considering how poorly she was feeling), my friends were busy.  My coworkers cheered me up with some yummy homemade cupcakes, and lots of well wishes.
After coffee, I bought myself some take-out for dinner.  I had no appetite, so I tossed it into the fridge when I came home.  I wrote this blog post.  I had a cupcake.  And I went to bed.  I wanted to sleep, and be blissfully unaware of the day, or my longing to have been with people, or my childish wish of a surprise celebration. 
I felt like Alice, falling down the dark rabbit hole.  Only at the end of it, there was no Wonderland.
I felt so alone.  Heartsick.
As the days have gone by, I’ve been crying out to my Savior for strength and healing.  I have been leaning on Him for comfort.  Asking Him to help me remember that I am not alone. 
And then (cue the ghastly ‘dum, dum, dum, dum’ music notes here):  Valentines Day.
The single girls nemesis.  Oh, why, why must my birthday fall so close to this day?!? 
The day was busy, with Valentine parties for the kids in my class.  I was showered with cards, flowers, and candy.  They had such fun passing out their treats to each other. 
I didn’t think much about it.  Then the day ended, and I went to the gym.  I went home, cooked some dinner, and checked in on Facebook.  And then, it hit me.  How happy I am for all the people sharing their Valentine excitement:  the dates, dinners, balloons, flowers, love notes, and romance.  And yet...How much I long to celebrate this day with someone special.  To be showered with attention.  To feel like a princess.
Rather, I simply ate dinner, ate some chocolate, and went to bed.
I felt so alone.  Heartsick.  Forgotten.
Would this week.never.end?  I woke up every day in a funk.  I would lay in bed and just say ‘Jesus help me.  Give me strength.  Forgive me for feeling...funky.’
I would go to work, and enjoy the mental break.  I laughed with the kids, with the staff, and went to the gym regularly.  But, driving home, the sadness and anxiety would creep back up.  I couldn’t shake it.  I would just cry out to Him.  'Help me not feel alone.' 
At last, the week has come to its end.  I feel raw, and exhausted.  Emotionally exhausted.  Because, all week, I’ve fought  the autopilot need to masquerade.  To smile through the loneliness, to keep my heart protected.  I’ve walked the fine line of wanting desperately to share with people how I felt, so that I wouldn’t feel like my head would explode with my thoughts, and wanting to push it away and press on.  Remember here, where I mentioned the me that fights anxiety?  Yeah, did I mention occasional depression?  No?  Oops...
Regardless, this week it wasn’t a fight.  It was a battle. 
And Team God and I?  We kind of kicked the 'funk's' booty.  I'm taking it one day at a time. 
Regardless of how I felt, I know this truth:  with Christ, I am not alone.  I am not forgotten.  And He will heal my heartsickness. 
And for you:  you are not alone (Jesus is always with you).
You are not forgotten (Jesus holds you closer than you could ever know).
Heartsick?  Do not be down trodden.  (Jesus will lift you up).
Please, readers, I want to close with this thought:  this blog is my place to share my life experiences.  This weighed on my heart all week.  I am not seeking sympathy, or trying to diminish the serious issues that others are facing.  I just know that I, personally, feel like I am quite often the only one in the world who feels the way I feel.  But I know that’s not true.  I want to share these small stories, such as a lonely birthday, or a sad holiday,  because I have a sneaking suspicion that somewhere, someone has felt the same way, or had a similar experience.  I want to be the voice that is willing to speak on behalf of the person who may not want to share.  That’s what this post is about.  Helping someone, anyone, who felt alone this week, or any other time.   
Also, I am not 'dissing' single-ness.  This is the stage that I am at, where God has me.  Generally, I am okay with it.  But, sometimes, it hits harder than others.  This week was a prime example of one of the tough times.
And, lastly, I'm anticipating my next post to be more cheerful. 
Thanks for sticking around to read my posts! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Heart Flow: The Real Me.

Folks. Blog readers. Friends. This is going to be a tough post, I’m telling you up front. But, I’ve been mulling over this post for…oh, I’d say, less than a week. And I really want to share it. But it's hard, because I'm going to let myself be vulnerable. So, I’m taking a cue from one of my favorite Bloggists (that’s not a real word, awesome as it may be) Summer. She is so honest and open. She seriously inspires me to share my thoughts, my heart, in a more honest, and real way.

Allow me to begin...

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to go to an amazing church (The Rock), and hear an amazing word.

And, can I just tell you? God was there. You could just feel an energy, a vibrancy, a presence.

The sermon was about worship, and how we can worship God wholly...uninhibited.

Pastor Miles M. eloquently stated that worship is akin to your heart flowing directly to God.

All emotion, fear, joy, love, worry, thoughts. We need to break free from the things that hinder us from worshipping our God, and have an open heart flow. Like a river of water, from us, to Him.

Personally, I take worship to mean more than singing praise to Him. It is prayer, attitude, thoughts, words. It is every part of every day. It's our relationship to God. This is what this post is about. Not just the act of worship in church, with music, and song, as important as those things are. It's about me, and my daily worship, and my heart.

Here’s where it gets real.

For well over a year, I’ve struggled immensely with my relationship with God. I mean, I have NO words to describe how deep the struggle and the pain has been. Anger, bitterness, frustration. It was Bad, with a fat capital B. I kid you not. As in, church was something I went to, to avoid feeling quilty, my Bible was MIA, I had no motivation for any spiritual growth. I could care less. Period.

And, as I listened to this sermon, and pondered his words, I felt my heart start to beat faster. I felt uncomfortable. We were led into closing worship. I stood. I raised my hands. I sang.

And suddenly, my heart began to break.

It broke for all that I’d missed. For all of my sin. For all of my anger that I refused to give to Him.

I closed my eyes. I imagined a brick wall. The bricks were made, one by one, from my own hand:

Anger, fear of being alone, resentment, jealousy, sorrow, disappointment, and on, and on, and on. Neverending. Disgusting. And as the music carried on, I kept imaging this wall.

Until, a beam of light shot through.

I opened my eyes, singing, amazed. I knew.

He was tearing down my wall.

Friends, I have to admit something. I am terrified of people seeing the real me. The me that I sometimes wish I wouldn’t be. The me that is vulnerable, raw, and broken. The me that I tell to ‘go away, you are worthless.’ The me that is frightened of being abandoned by those I love. The me that feels too deeply, fights anxiety, gets depressed, gets hurt too easily.

Oh, dear friends, I know I must not be the only one. The only one who hides behind humor. Who tries to be the best at everything (because God forbid anyone sees me fail). Who smiles when I want to cry. Who wants to make others happy, even when I can’t seem to be. Who gets tired of the great pretend.

I want to tell you, I have a blessed, wonderful life. I need to make that perfectly clear. A huge percentage of my days are filled with joy and happiness. But these feelings and thoughts sometimes linger under the surface. And when I peel back the layers and find them, I, myself, am often shocked to discover them.

However, I had convinced myself, somehow, that this wall I built around my heart, was my ultimate protection. That, if God were Superman, my heart could be his Kryptonite. He could never reach me. I could love Him on my own terms.

And now I see. I’ve been so lost, because I wandered away. I’ve been in the dark, because I turned off the light. I’ve been afraid, because I refused to be comforted. I’ve been walking through the motions, because I didn’t want to feel. I’ve been so weary, because I didn’t want to seek rest. I hid behind this wall, only to find myself in a war zone.

Yet...slowly, over this week, I’ve been allowing Him to tear down the wall, brick by brick. To change my heart. To romance me. To bring me back to Him.

The remnants are still there. There is loads of work to be done. Yet, I am so encouraged. I’ve thought all week about my heart flow, and how I can be right with my Savior again.

He wants the real me. That me that I sometimes hate. He doesn’t want the fake smile, or the flippant prayers and attitudes. He wants the raw, bruised, honest me.

"I've been wicked and wild and wrong, and I've wondered the price of my shame

I've been hiding my face for so long, it's a wonder that You know my name." {Saving Jane}

He knows my name. He knows the real me. And loves me the same.

My heart is beginning to flow again. To Him. To my faithful, loving, forgiving God.

I want to leave you with this, the greatest revelation, and sweetest encouragement I can offer:

After imagining that brick wall, and the realization that He was trying to reach my heart, I fought it. I opened my eyes, got distracted, and refused to focus on the worship. But, as hard as I resisted, I was pulled back.

I closed my eyes again. I felt the tears stinging, and the lump in my throat.

And instead of that wall, I saw Jesus.

Clearly, beautifully. Smiling.

You know what else?

He was dancing with me.

And my heart was happy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Right Now.

Right now, I have the heater cranked up, my warmest jammies on, a blanket draped over my lap, and one draped around my head, a la little baboushka:

I am also, right now, nursing a fever, a cough, and some uncomfortable chest congestion.
(Please read that last part carefully:  chest con-gest-ion.  If you are like me, and quickly skim blog posts, and accidently read a work, mistaking it for another, note that says congestionNot constipation.  Because...well, ew.  This is not that kind of blog).

Oy vey.

Nothing some medicine, liquid, and Anne of Green Gables marathon can't help, I suppose.

I hope you, rad readers, are enjoying your MLK Jr. day in a much more pleasant fashion. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

What?  I have a blog??

A blog that has been sitting here, unattended to, since October?? 

Well, I've had every intention of wandering back into my corner of the web, but, you know, life sometimes gets in the way of intentions...

How about this?  A recap!

A lot of holidays sure have gone by since I was here! 2011 finally ended!  Yippee!  I'm so glad!  It was...different.  Not bad, but not neccassarily great. 
I am looking forward to this new year, and what it will bring.

I'll pick up where I left off:

1.  I finally joined a gym, and am slightly obsessed with it.  I love knowing I have a place to go and workout, and unwind, and relieve the days stress.  It's simply fabulous!

2.  I signed up for my first 5k!  I'm super excited about it, but nervous as well.  I opted for the timed run, and have started training.  I have until March, so I'm feeling pretty confidant so far.

3.  I paid a professional logo/marketing designer to create my new logo at the photography blog.  I love it.

4.  My grandmother fell ill at the end of the year, and is currently living in a full care facility.  Many of my readers don't know the whole story behind my relationship with her.  It's pretty strange, and not great.  I feel sad for my mom, who has to work through the inevitable:  losing a parent, regardless of the relationship.  Maybe someday I will share the condensed version.  But, for now, she is under excellent care.

5.  Christmas was very simple.  I spent Christmas Eve with my parents, and we all ended up sick, which pretty much derailed all of our plans.  At least the illness hit while I was on break from work, right?

6.  New Years Eve was spent with the friendlies, and we had a blast as usual.  We participated in a random Egg Nog drinking contest, because none of like it, and we thought it'd be funny.  It was, in fact, rather disgusting to chug a cup of nog. 

7.  My dear friends nephew, Simon, who is 18 months old, slipped while getting out of his bathtub on December 29th.  He hit his head and suffered a brain injury, and is currently at Children's Hospital.  My group of friends and I have been praying for his full recovery.  God is good, and Simon is in His Hands.  Will you please pray, too?

That should catch us up!  I am itching to change the look of the blog, and maybe paint my own 'header', so that will be in the works! 

I hope you had a great time celebrating the arrival of 2012! 

I promise, I will be back soon... :)