Once Again…

I always have these random markers throughout the year, partially because of a season or holiday (Christmas and New Years always require a solid look back), but then some of the time it is just because something memorable took place this day, week, month or period last year. Then, as I look back I sorta begin to glance over (mentally) the time that has passed since then, and the things I have done, gone, been through, and survived.

So, today I am looking back for a few reasons.. One, because two years ago today I met a guy who has since become such a solid friend, and it is his birthday! When we met I was completely amused by his antics and perspective on pretty much everything.. mostly due to the way he expressed his thoughts. I have since watched him become such an amazing and faithful friend, who of course still brings a hysterical perspective into my life (even from the other side of the world). I know I can always count on him to give it to me straight, and in a classic guy way, which always amuses me. So, happy birthday my dear friend, I am thankful to our savior all the time for your friendship, and I pray for you often.

This time period last year I was mid my first grad class, looking for a new job, interviewed for a job in DC, and in about a week or so I would have gotten offered a new job which sent me spiraling into mass amounts of packing, hanging out, and moving everything I knew and loved somewhere else… I was not happy, not excited, and not really sure how I felt about this new adventure.

I moved, and restarted my life.. and have somehow managed to survive the last year. Which is a mixture of joy that it has been a year, and serious sorrow that I have that perspective about the last year of my life. However, at the same time I have an overwhelming sense of peace about what I have just walked through. I never once doubted God had me exactly where He wanted me, I just also did not like the journey. Now I find that I have (praise the Lord) found my contentment again, which sadly has been missing for a very long time. For some reason there was just too much going on for me to stop and breathe, instead I just kept going forward knowing I needed to move or I would drown. So, that is exactly what I did, I filled my life and time… literally every moment. I never found time to refresh, never stayed still long enough to realize how much I was allowing myself to shrivel up and die on the inside. Ironically, I never stopped praying about others, but I virtually completely stopped praying for myself, except that is to complain about how much I did not like what was going on in my life.

No wonder I was lacking contentment.

A few weeks ago I felt like my fog was beginning to lift, like the fog was slowly getting burned away by the sun, and little by little I would be able to breathe and sigh with contentment again. It was not like a flip of a switch, it was no large emotional change, and it was not even with an understanding of what was happening. I just knew that something was slowly shifting, the tide was turning, the fog was burning away, and soon enough I would be left with perfect sight into what had just happened, and a greater love and appreciation to my Savior for faithfully walking me through it all. It was then that I began asking for a reboot/reset button, I had no idea what it was or even how to look for it, but I knew I needed something way down deep in my core to be switched that would let the years worth of pressure go.. in a peaceful not atomic bomb kinda way.

I still have no idea what is coming next, or really how to plan (can that ever really happen) for it, but, I do know that I no longer feel like I am constantly on the edge of exploding. I am really thankful for this…

So, while nothing really externally has changed, the tides are shifting, and I know that God is getting ready once again for change. Thankfully I am totally content with wherever (please don’t make me pack my stuff up and move again!) it takes me…….. (yes, even if I have to move again.)

Several of the things I am at peace with currently:
The direction my job is (or likely is not) heading… which subsequently means there are changes coming again soon… But, I know that God will clue me in as always exactly when I need to move.
The state of (or really lack there of) my relationship status. Thankfully I no longer feel an overwhelming sense of panic at the thought of trying to fit someone in my life that would require a lot of time I didn’t feel I had.
The living situation, lots of changes are coming in the next month, and stresses are getting resolved.. and thankfully (somehow) I have no bad feelings about any of it… but I will be glad to close that chapter of my life.
The very core of my heart and soul feel rested, peaceful, and content.. something that has not happened in a very long time. I am so thankful to know that while so many crazy things are still happening around me, that God is blessing me (not even kidding) with inner peace.

This last year added the the previous year of crap.. to create a solid two years of crapfest… But, I also am confident that God has used them to burn away the chaff, and to make me new (“…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind…” Ephesians 4:23).

Today, for however long it lasts (hopefully a while) I am new once again, content once again, peace-filled once again, and hopeful once again.

Lighthearted Moments…

I am sure the last few posts have given away how much better my demeanor is, and how much less stressed I am now. I am so thankful for the 4 or so days that I escaped normal life and headed to Cali for some much needed beach time, and quality time with my beautiful cousin!

So, while I did a few posts and comments over the time away, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite moments throughout the course of the few days.

Shortly after arriving my cousin informed me that she was going to make me hit on and flirt with all the guys… Which lead to so many fits of giggles as she would not so subtly hint that she thought this guy or that guy was appropriate or attractive. The look on her face as she would hint would send us both into fits of laughter.

Every night we snuggled on the couch and watched a movie with some sort of desert or refreshment. To highlight our uniqueness, the first night was none other than Step up 3… But, but then we watched Unknown, and on the last night The Eagle.. all great movies!… But totally different haha

We walked the pier a couple times and ran it once.. Two of those times were at night, and included us standing mesmerized at the end of the pier by the bio luminescent plankton and the flickering jellyfish. It was truly amazing.

We walked.. and walked.. and walk.. everywhere! A couple miles on the beach (thank you sun for kissing my skin!), up and down the hills to and from her little beach flat to dinner, pedicures, tea, frozen yogurt, farmers market, breakfast etc..

We laid in the sand and soaked up the sunshine.. played and were overcome by waves and freezing cold salt water. We attempted body boarding… which we claimed to have dominated.. but really the waves dominated us. But, we laughed and made fun of each other the whole time.. and my ankle incurred but survived an attack from the rocks and sand.

We made DELICIOUS food… and when we did not feel like cooking ate out at some pretty spectacular places.

We got pedicures, and I picked the brightest pink (yes I said PINK!) color I could find.. it just embodied the feelings of Cali I had. Then we got ice teas with “texture” meaning some sort of flavored gelatin (sounds weird, but was really good).

We took paddle boarding lessons, and laid on the paddle boards in the middle of the basin laughing and talking about random memories from holidays, summers, family, and just normal childhood things we remember.

We stopped by the cliff/place my cousin got married and took a few anniversary shots to commemorate her anniversary since her husband is currently on the other side of the world… We talked about their wedding and the first couple weeks of their marriage.

We joked, danced… well really we made up a ridiculous funny-crazy-dance that really was just us bouncing our arms, shaking our bodies, and convulsing our legs…. But it made us laugh hysterically every time.

But mostly.. we just talked and enjoyed each others company over cups of coffee in the morning or while laying on the beach in silence listening to the rhythm of the waves. I adore being adults together, supporting each other, laughing together, talking through thoughts about life, God, and family. I love that she is my cousin, and that from opposite sides of the country (literally) and four years separating us that we are still so close.

These moments are when I am refreshed and reminded that I am special, I am loved, and I am seen by my God who knows when I am about to have a meltdown. God is so faithful.

3 Years Ago..

My beautiful cousin and I went to where she got married in La Jolla, CA. Since he is currently deployed but coming home in a few weeks, we took a few anniversary shots. She is so stunning to me!

Happy anniversary my dear cousin!

Contingency Plans…

Last night I found myself engaged in a conversation that boiled down to the illusion of marriage. It all started because a guy I had literally just met a few minutes prior barged in, sat down, introduced himself to the people he did not know in the room, and joined in the tail end of a birthday party for my friend. A couple minutes into general conversation he asked a couple girls and I since we are “modern, cosmopolitan women…” would we agree to a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Somewhat surprising to myself, all of us instantly said some form of “no way.” Which, slightly to my enjoyment seemed to baffle the guy, but instantly catapult us into a fairly aggravating conversation about marriage, the business and economical impact of marriage, the disillusionment and romanticism of marriage, and sadly what were clearly his understanding of marriage… Which was even more disheartening due to the fact that he was sitting on the couch of his fiance, who feigned a lack of interest and began cleaning up after the part.

Throughout the entire conversation he insisted that marriage was just a different form of a business, that it was the smartest decision someone could make economically, and therefore a prenuptial agreement was the most logical and common sense steps on the way to marriage. Because, after-all, what if years down the road life takes a dramatic turn and both parties realize it is no longer working, it only makes sense to have that set up.

And, while I understand his points, I get the “wise” thought process included in his train of thought, I also believe it is pure and simple a contingency plan in case things do not go the way they are supposed to. I understand, and get the pains of divorce while doing my best to support my friends who have experienced it, I know that life rarely turns out the way we plan it, and I am no stranger to people suddenly being different and deciding they know longer want you… My view of a prenuptial agreement is not based on a disillusionment about marriage, and is not based on the romanticism of what love is like. My view of a prenuptial agreement is that it already provides a crack that can be later used to decide to walk away, it allows the idea of “just in case this doesn’t work out, I will still be financially stable..” thought process to be firmly planted in the back of our minds. It creates a false sense of security, and sets the stage for money to be a focus of the marriage.

If one day I get married, my husband turns out to be a complete jerk, and eventually walks out on me, either fairly quickly into the marriage, or after years upon years of marriage, family, and children. I am well aware of the risk I would be taken, I have watched it happen to numerous people around me. I have watched as loved ones were abused, cheated on, and walked out on… I purposefully choose to take my hands off the control involved in marriage, that is God’s job, I am not foolishly walking into this blinded, especially since as it stands currently there is no romance, love or plans of marriage, so I can confidently say nothing is clouding my perspective.

Then, like now, as in the past, God is going to be in control. I have no need for a contingency plan, my faith and belief is that my God will work it all out to glorify himself, and regardless of whether I get my fairytale or I end up in what feels like a cruel version of punk’d, I will trust that God is still God, and I am not. I knowingly am choosing to walk into the potentially hazardous waters without the false sense of security a prenuptial agreement would offer.