Falling Backwards…

Last night I spent a lot of time in prayer. I just really wanted to talk to my Jesus, and I really needed Him to talk back. I did not hear any resounding voice from heaven, but I did have a great time communicating while journaling to Him. I realized last night that sometimes even without realizing it, I attempt to control or manipulate a situation so I am more comfortable in it, less scared, whatever… and really I just want to be in control enough to feel like my life is not out of control.

I hate that about myself. I hate that I have this almost never ending desire to control and know what to expect next. I decided today I am going to let go, and just let God control my life.. and I will forget tomorrow… or worse, I will forget in 2 seconds when I see a shiny object haha… it’s really obnoxious, even to myself.

However, in my never ending pursuit of perfection I try and try again… Or maybe it is because I am insane… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, last night I realized once again another area in my life that I really am trying desperately to hold onto, although, it is less of an “area” as much as a trait I realized that is connected to several areas in my life, and that trait has been cultivated out of fear. So, I spent a lot of time praying last night and I journaled just explaining to God (as if I have to.. but I like knowing I have taken the time to talk out my thoughts and feelings with my creator) that I am really just tired of the struggle to have control. I desire to be freed and let go, to just let go, take a step backwards and fall off the cliff knowing He will be there. Obviously I am really into word pictures… And, the reason I have described it this way is when you fall backwards, you REALLY have no control, you cannot even prepare for what is coming. You just have to go with it. So, this is me, once again voluntarily losing control of my life and knowing that my sweet Savior, my Creator, my always present help has already caught me and taken care of what is going on in my life.

Now, on to the listening to Him part…

When God is What I Need…

So, for a whole lot of reasons I just really do not feel like going into I have been extremely frustrated lately.. And, by lately I mean the last 6 months or so…

Today, also for a lot of reasons I am aggravated deep down inside. I am frustrated at my lack of ability to solve the issues and problems going on in my life, and I am feeling helpless or stuck. I hate when I cannot fix or solve issues or problems in my own life.. but also in someone else’s. I know it sounds ridiculous, I mean why would I care or why would it ache in my heart when I am helpless to help someone I care about?… The simple answer? I do not know.. I do not know why it drives and stakes itself in my heart or why I am so deeply effected when someone I care about is going through rough times. Sometimes I wish I was not like that, or just did not care quite so much.. but then I realized.. I like that I care so deeply. It happens to be one of the things that I try and cultivate, even if it does end up adding stress to my life. I would rather care deeply and passionately every single day, experiencing pain, hurt, frustration, and stress that I would not otherwise have to go through then to simply not care about what others are going through.

So, this morning a friend and I both had the same feeling of just discontentment deep down inside, for a lot of the same reasons, even though what is causing the feelings are not the same. Our solution was to spit scripture back and forth for a while… Here’s a little of what we sent, I hope this brings you as much comfort and reassurance as it brought me today…

“How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
       How long will you hide your face from me?

 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
       and every day have sorrow in my heart?
       How long will my enemy triumph over me?

 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
       Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

 my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
       and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

 But I trust in your unfailing love;
       my heart rejoices in your salvation.

 I will sing to the LORD,
       for he has been good to me.” – Psalm 13

“Also this I came to see as wisdom under the sun, and it impressed me.
 There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it.
 But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom Yet no one remembered that poor man.
 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.
 The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” – Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” – James 2:5

“Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” – Proverbs 25:15

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
   “He who is coming will come and will not delay.
    But my righteous one will live by faith.
   And if he shrinks back,
      I will not be pleased with him.” – Hebrews 10:36-38

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 As the rain and the snow
       come down from heaven,
       and do not return to it
       without watering the earth
       and making it bud and flourish,
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
       It will not return to me empty,
       but will accomplish what I desire
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:8-11

“Why are you in despair, O my soul?
         And why have you become disturbed within me?
         Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
         For the help of His presence.” – Psalm 43:5,8

“The LORD will protect you from all evil;
         He will keep your soul.
    The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth and forever.” – Psalm 121:7-8

“So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously” – Colossians 1:10-11

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
         Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
         My God, in whom I trust!” – Psalm 91:1-2

“Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live;
         And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.” – Psalm 119:116

God is what I need.


I have spent more time in my car recently then I think is healthy for anyone.. ever…

Memorial weekend I drove to OH for a wedding… And, they went through with it πŸ˜‰ So, worth the drive!

Last weekend, I drove with two of my best friends to New Hampshire.. About a 12 hour drive with stops.. which quickly turned into about 13 1/2 cause of traffic… It was fairly cold and rainy the whole time, but we absolutely love our friends, and they had a great wedding.. and got married in the end, so it was totally worth going πŸ˜‰ … PLUS we got to stay in a castle (or a hotel that looked like one)! Then we drove the arduous drive home..

I work an hour from home.. so I drove to and from work Tuesday-Thursday…

Then Friday my friends and I left again for Glens Falls NY for another 10 hour drive for another set of friend’s wedding… Which was great, and they also got married (YAY!) So, once again it was worth it and lots of fun… And, I might add, we are becoming experts at marrying friends off πŸ˜‰

However, my back has been hurting like crazy for the last while (more so than normal) and the doctor finally discovered that my spine is all sorts of messed up… So, they are beginning the process of fixing me, but until I am fixed I have discovered a lot of pain in the process.. which does not mix well with sitting still in a car… or anywhere..

So, praise Jesus I have a couple weeks of normal driving ahead of me instead of marathon car rides!

Before I die…

I originally posted this on another blog my cousin Rach and I are doing together.. but I thought I would share it here too..

Once a long time ago made a list of things I would like to do before I die…  Then my computer’s hard drive crashed and I lost it.. Then I made another, and my new computer’s hard drive crashed too… So, this is a newly revised, new list that is hardly complete, but it is slowly getting there.. The list is in no particular order… at all, and I have tagged the ones I have accomplished.. but I left them on here because it is kind of a cool thing to see what you have accomplished πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoy my list, and steal from it to start your own!

Watch the sunset or sunrise from each side of every ocean: **Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, Southern | Go dog sledding | **Go on a Safari in Africa | **Scuba dive | Ride a camel in the desert | Pyramids at sunset | Tango in a milonga | Build a house start to finish | **Cross the Canadian border | See Cuba | Have a croissant at a French cafe | Take a road trip across the U.S. | Have an exceptional time in Greece | Whiskey at a pub in Ireland | Stay in the ice hotel | Visit that church made entirely of bones | Make butterscotch from scratch | Go on a multi-day biking trip | Get art in a gallery | Attend a Black and White Ball | Grow vegetables in my own garden | Learn to roll in a kayak | Write a novel | Be conversational in six languages: **1. English **2. Spanish 3. Sign-Language 4. Greek 5. German 6. Arabic 7. | Set foot on all seven continents | Set foot in all fifty states | Help someone get into or through college | **Visit ancient ruins | Stand atop the Great Wall of China | Get my second degree black belt | **Get a tattoo (I have two) | Learn to snowboard, and ski| **Learn to wakeboard and water ski| Drive a sports car over 100mph| Stand inside the Taj Mahal | Do something for someone they can never repay| **Do two pull ups | Go berry picking and make completely homemade pies | Have a large dog again | Ride through the Panama Canal | Go Sky diving | **Horseback ride through a coffee plantation| Make my own perfume | Tithe my whole life | Go to the Kentucky Derby | **Go white water rafting | Taste 1,000 Fruits | Get in the habit of grand loving gestures | Live in a house with a window seat and wrap around porch | Go parasailing | Go paragliding | Swim with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico | **Climb a volcano | **Climb a glacier | Go rock climbing | Watch the sunrise or sunset over the Grand Canyon | Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand | Ring a church bell | **Move somewhere new alone | Organize a retreat | Rewire a lamp | Learn and be good at all the Latin ballroom dances: Argentine Tango, **Salsa, **Cumbia, **Merengue, **Cha cha, **Bachata, Rumba, Mambo, Bolero, Samba | Go on a cruise | Use my work to improve lives | Form a workplace with people I love | Participate in a giant food fight | Make my own list of the hundred best things to eat | **Climb a mountain| Choose fifty favorite places to relax and connect with God | Go a day without speaking | Plant a tiny orchard | Own a lot of land and create a β€œmiddle of no where” feel| Throw a block party | Remove money as a concern |  Take a month long vacation without computers | Zip line through a canopy | Lemonade on the front porch swing on warm summer night | Buy a stock on my own| Have a big wedding celebration with everyone I love | Christen a boat | Attend La Tomatina in Spain | Shoot every major gun: **Pistol, Shotgun, **Rifle, Muzzleloader, Revolver | Learn to surf | Be in Spain for running of the Bulls (but not participate) | See a glacier in Antarctica | Live in another country for a year | Dive with Manta Rays in Hawaii | **Start a fire without a match | Live in a converted barn with an ocean view | Hike the Inca Trail. | Spend the night in a treehouse | See a space shuttle launch | Swim with a whale

I hope you had a blast and got some ideas seeing the start of the fun things I want to try to do in my life!


So, yesterday was not a good day for me. I started out the day feeling emotional, and I quickly realized I had no real reason to feel that way, but also realized I could easily find a thought to back up any emotional reaction I wanted to have… Not a good way to start your day. Thank you Jesus for the hour drive to work to gather my thoughts and talk to Jesus a bit.

The day did not really improve, in fact, it got worse. I chose the emotional state of nothingness to get me through the day. I needed to not have an emotional reaction to things or I would naturally fall into over reaction. I did a great job, except I was informed by a co-worker that I acted and sounded fine, but my eyes portrayed a different story… ahh well, can’t control everything I guess… 
After work I went for a couple mile run in my neighborhood.. I love how I feel after I run, but I hate running. But, running is more bearable when you run with someone, so thankfully a friend came with me. Besides, everyone knows running and working out gives you endorphins… I am still uncertain of the reality of the affect they have on you.. but sometimes you just need all the help you can get!
Once the run was over and I got some stuff done, a friend called and I was able to just talk out what was rolling around in my head.. not really in any coherent order, but it for the most part all came out. The problem is when I am frustrated it does not make much sense, and I tend towards being a huge pessimist about whatever is going on. I know life could be worse.. but I have a way of concocting all the worst scenarios and then convincing myself they are true.. or will come true. I know I sound like a crazy person, and most of what I say in this state I do not mean, it tends to be passing frustrations.. Which is why it is crucial that I talk to the right people when I am feeling this way! My friend was fantastic, gave me logic and straight facts, nothing got the sugary “aww you poor thing” type attitude, it was just straight forward. Caring, and compassionate, they listened, and did not jump on me for my frustrations, but reminded me in a straight forward way that it boils down to patience and leaning on the knowledge that Jesus has a plan. I know this, they know this, but being patient and waiting for God to move is what we are required to do. 
As frustrating as it is to be told patience again… for anything.. patience.. for everything.. patience.. It is very frustrating, but also completely and totally accurate. I know this, but I forget it way too often. 
So, here begins what I am sure will be a mix of sporadic postings of the fruits of the spirit and how I am journeying along learning these things…. Patience… I must and will learn this if it kills me.. Lord Jesus help me cause I am really bad at this patience thing!
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-control.

The Same But Opposite…

Last night I got the chance to talk to my little brother… He is AWESOME. If you do not know him I am sorry… because you really should. He is going to be 19 in a couple weeks (yes, all three of my siblings AND sister in law have June birthdays.. and yes it makes me bitter haha), and sometimes I am amazed at his maturity and heart.. his thought process or opinions on things. He has such great insight so much of the time, and it helps that we are basically the exact same.. only I am extroverted (and a girl) and he’s introverted (and a boy). Haha.. please do not get me wrong.. he is definitely the typical 18 year old boy sometimes doing things that makes you wonder what in the world he was thinking… but those moments are thankfully getting fewer and farther between (my poor mother needs the reprieve!).

Anyway, we talked and caught up about basic day to day things as I drove home from work, and then, we always get to a point where we pause and one of us says “soo…. what’s going on? what’s new?..” and the other starts into whatever happens to be on their mind.

So, this time he started, and went into this story of an AMAZING opportunity to go to Haiti for a month (depending on the funds he can raise) by himself and help a missionary couple. He is SO excited… and I am bitter I am not going with him! But, he is going to get to help the Haitian people find work, that’s his main task with the missionaries. Which, will be a great thing for him!.. I am so excited to see all the things that God is going to do and change in him… I just can’t wait!

I got to tell him all about the things God has been teaching me the last couple weeks and how hard it is to learn things like patience, grace, unconditional love, kindness, gentleness etc..etc.. We got a good laugh knowing and talking about how much my responses are perfect examples of Jesus working in and through my life.. because he knows FULL well how much I am not naturally any of those things πŸ™‚ He has experienced the opposite worst for sure. We had such a great conversation about all of the random things going on.. and then our conversation at one point touched on a new pet-peve I have discovered…

I absolutely hate when people tell me I am a “good person” or I “deserve” something because of who I am or how great I am. I H.A.T.E. that. I really dislike it for oh so many reasons.. but partially because I know what kind of person I am, how impatient I am, how easily my first response is anger, how many times I have messed up… and messed up doing the same thing OVER AND OVER.. I am so incredibly broken and flawed. I have so many problems and thoughts that are terrible.. and I am so undeserving of the grace, love, and mercy that I get from my Savior.. I do not deserve that.. and I CERTAINLY do not deserve it more than anyone else. I am just as flawed and just as terrible as the next person… So, my little brother and I talked about this concept for a long time and he let me vent about how much I struggle with this statement.. and how many people have been saying that I am such a great person lately.. and how much it has been seriously grating at my nerves.

The good you see in me… Jesus. That is it, there is no other explanation I promise, it is not me, it is not on my own accord… It is just Jesus.

So, I just had to talk for a bit about how much I love my little brother. How awesome he is, and how much I appreciate him and the fact that we are so incredibly similar, but opposites in a couple regards πŸ™‚

Flashes of Life…

My beautiful baby sister turned 13 yesterday. Gosh she is getting so big! Let me just take a moment to explain that, my sister is pretty much the most amazing person ever πŸ™‚ She is brilliant, witty, obviously beautiful, and just so naturally charming and graceful. Yes, we are aware we look alike, although we do not think we look as similar as people claim πŸ™‚ But, as with all of my siblings, we are CLEARLY related haha. However, my sister is just amazing haha She sends me letters and emails sometimes just to tell me that I am treasured, and Jesus loves me, and I have no idea how much I mean to those around me… I mean really?!… I know adults that do not even think about saying those kind of things πŸ™‚ She is very deliberate and thought out in everything she does, and she is so founded in her principles that one time she had to tell me all about when a few adults were saying sometimes it is ok to lie as long as there is a “greater good” haha she spouted about that for a long time! πŸ™‚ She has none of the “childish” or annoying “girlie” traits that most 13 year old girls have, and when you sit and talk with her you always end up carrying on conversations as though she was your own age.. She just amazes me, and I am so incredibly blessed that she is MY sister. I am so ridiculously excited to see who she grows up to be, and all the different ways God is going to use her.. because lets be honest, He is already doing some pretty amazing and precious things through her at 13 πŸ™‚

Yesterday was mass chaos day at work. We had meetings galore and an awards ceremony that lasts roughly 3-4 hours. Plus, we hired our new Executive Director who officially started today… And, praise Jesus it was the one I liked because when he came for his in-person interview he talked TO me instead of at me. So, while life is still chaotic and uncertain in regards to work… Jesus has put a man in place to lead us that I can respect and know that regardless of what happens he has the best in mind and will work hard to do what is right. I appreciate knowing that… even if I have no idea what that means in a practical sense.
Life has begun to take a turn for hinting that the dust and chaos of the last 6 months will begin to settle. Recently I have had to schedule time with various friends a couple weeks out knowing that I would be insanely busy or too tired to be much fun.. But, while life never really slows down for me, I am discovering my need… AND desire for relaxing “do nothing” time. haha Does this mean I have become an actual adult now?! So, in an attempt to make everyone happy I have been thinking a lot recently about what it looks like for ME to take time to relax, because lets be honest, I do not need alone time like other people… and usually being in the same room not talking counts as alone time for me haha Yet, at the same time I do not want to become lax in caring for those around me… for pouring into their lives in whatever way that I can. I have just begun to realize how there truly is a time for everything… and sometimes it is not convenient nor easy, but it is always essential. 
This past week it has become so crystal clear to me how blessed I am to have my friends. I would not have made it through the last couple weeks without these amazing people.. some of them just texting to say they were thinking of me and they love me. I am blown away by how selfless their love for me is.. and how much they stick by me even when I am being a spaz about stupid things or when I have been so stressed out that I just pulled away and shut down to function… The ways several of my friends reached out to me was just wonderful and such a wonderful reminder of how much I am truly loved and cared for. Not to mention all the practical things my friends have done for me… And, I do not know how much I convey this.. but I am a huge fan of practical… I love when things make sense and avoid any needlessness. Haha.. which I realize can sometimes shoot me in the foot when someone is trying to do something so incredibly nice for me and I cannot see the purpose because of its lack of practicality. (whoopsie!) But, I also am a huge fan of hugs.. of which I have been getting a lot lately, and lets be honest, it just makes life better πŸ™‚
Another friend told me today they had overheard a conversation about me where the people talking were commenting on how pretty much everything I do is for those around me.. whether driving an insane amount or going out of my way to do something or spend time with someone. When my friend told me that, I had to fight my instinctive reaction to explain away all my reasonings and thoughts behind my actions. Then I realized, none of that mattered. What did matter was that the very thing God laid on my heart YEARS ago, to truly, honestly, practically (and impractically) love people for His glory, this is an example of me having done it right for once!…. How awesome is that?… *big sigh of relief!* 
My God is awesome. If you do not know Jesus, you should.. it is a crazy roller coaster, but totally worth it all, and unlike anything else you will ever experience. I promise.