God Goes Before Me…

I have been “stuck” in Romans for almost a month now.. I just keep finding things that speak to me.. renew my spirit, and remind me Who’s I am. I am so blessed, even on days like today that really could not have gone worse. On days like today, I realize how much God goes before me and how in the end His will and His glory are all that matters… I find my worth and value there.

“In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don’t know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words. God, who looks into our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit. And the Spirit prays for God’s people just as God wants him to pray.” – Romans 8:26,27

I was reminded over and over today as I sat in meeting after meeting how much everything in my life is directed by God, but that all I want is to walk in a manner worthy of His calling. (Col 1:10)

27th Birthday…

Today I turn 27.

I have had one of the best birthdays, and have been reminded of how incredibly blessed and fortunate I am to have so many people in my life who love me dearly… even when I fall short.

I will write more about the weekend later… Right now, here are the top 27 things from the last year (in chronological order):

  1. Two of my best friends getting engaged 30 seconds after the the ball dropped on New Years. 
  2. My bff marrying the man of her dreams, and getting to stand up in her wedding with her.
  3. My best friends and roomie surprising me for my 26th birthday.
  4. My little brother showing up for my 26th birthday with a dozen roses from him and my older brother.
  5. Spending Easter with my best friend from college and his wife.
  6. Getting to surprise my older brother for his birthday.
  7. A friend moving to DC and becoming a close friend.
  8. A new roomie moving into the house.
  9. The wedding of a great friend.
  10. My two best friends getting married.. and spending the weekend with so many close friends.
  11. Throwing my parents a 30th anniversary party and seeing everyone.
  12. The Bachata congress here in DC with such a wonderful friend. 
  13. Lake and beach days.
  14. Helping my bff and her husband move.
  15. Visiting my cousin in California.
  16. Learning to Paddle board.
  17. Finally letting God take control of my frustrating work situation.
  18. Finding stability and peace internally for the first time in two years.
  19. Surviving the first year of Grad school.
  20. Reconnecting with an old college friend.
  21. Making Thanksgiving dinner with a my wonderful friend.
  22. Letting God use others teach me about my value and worth.
  23. Going to Philly with one of my amazing friends to dance and spend time together.
  24. Driving to MI and back to DC with my roomie.
  25. An old roomie/sister getting engaged.
  26. Christmas.
  27. Surviving 2011 officially when the ball dropped and it was 2012.

Some of these are obviously a little tongue and cheek, a few I am well aware make no sense unless you lived through those moments with me, and others are amusing, but completely true to how I feel.

26 was a really difficult year for me (as was 25), but I am incredibly hopeful about this year. I am amazed at the things God is teaching me already in this year, and I am so excited for what is to come (and filled with a little Holy trepidation if things continue to go the way they are currently).

Thank you to the friends and family:
That have stood by me, listened to me vent, ramble, cry, yell, laugh, and for the times you sat next to me in total silence because the were just no words. Thank you for the cooked foods, the movie nights, the galavanting around, the trips, and the memories we built this year. Thank you for sticking through the really difficult times, and for all the times you were more gracious than I deserved, and chose to love me despite my shortcomings and flaws. Thank you for your patience as I learned how to be patient. Thank you for your compassion as I learned what true compassion meant. Thank you for all the times you sought me out because I was unable to look beyond my own pain. Thank you for all of the hugs, dances, snuggles, running, goofing around, and for all the talking around the dinner table. Thank you for all of the phone conversations, for telling me when I was wrong, for listening to me when I needed to bounce my ideas and thoughts off of someone, and for praying for me whether I asked you to or not. Thank you for encouraging me more each day to draw closer to the Lord, and for all of the times you were on your knees on my behalf. Thank you for the unconditional love and forgiveness that I do not deserve, and for picking me up when I was unable to get up. Thank you for the faith you shared with me and for the confidence in our Savior when I was doubting. Thank you for sticking by me when it would have been much easier to walk away.

To my friends and family, I do not deserve you, but I simply cannot express how thankful and humbled I am that you are in my life. You show me Christ in new ways every day, and words simply cannot express how much each one of you mean to me. Thank you is not enough, but thank you is all I have.

The Vow…

Tonight I saw a pre-screening of the movie The Vow. I was very surprised by the movie for a few reasons.. first of which is because it is inspired by true events; so, while it seems initially that it will have all the classic elements of a typical chick flick with drama, but the perfect-man-wins-in-the-end-because-they-were-meant-to-be, it actually has more real elements, real emotions, and when all was said an done, a real picture of the couple at the end than is to be expected, and it turns out different than I was expecting (in a satisfying but not entirely predictable way).

I cannot give away too much of the movie, but I walked away inspired by true love (not the movie/hollywood/chick flick kind of love), but real, broken, hurting, confusing, and sometimes totally unfocused love. The main character (Channing Tatum) is not perfect, he loses his temper, walks away, and in one instances punches someone out.. but in other instances he forgets that his wife does not remember him at all and is just in love with his wife and nurturing towards her. The wife (Rachel McAdams) loses her memory in a car accident that is not their fault, and subsequently reverts back to who she was five years prior before several major events in her life, including marrying her husband. She does a great job of portraying the confusion, the personality differences, and the struggles someone in her place would be in… Including the torn emotions of what you remember, who you remember loving conflicting with the clear love and patience of someone who says they will love you always.

I strongly recommend the movie (a lot of girls cried, although I don’t cry at movies, so that wasn’t something I struggled with), not because it is a chick flick (although that helps) but because in the end you walk away satisfied… especially when you see a picture and are updated as to the real couple’s life now.

One of the lines that struck me was when they got married (in flashbacks), part of the vows she wrote to him were “… And I promise to always make my home in your heart.”

Two thoughts pertaining to that line…
How does that look if it is applied to Jesus making His home in our heart? And, do we make our home in His?
And, the commitment it takes to make something your home is daily in good times and bad, but even more so when it is someone’s heart, that is a profoundly difficult statement. It is one that I think makes sense and speaks of dedication and purposeful and intentional love. That type of love seeks out the other one, it is patient, it is kind, it does not want what belongs to others, it does not brag it is not proud, it is not rude, it does not look out for its own interests, it does not easily become angry, it does not keep track of other people’s wrongs, it is not happy with evil, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, it never gives up, and it never fails.

Running Cramps…

Tonight I am tired. I am gross cause I had to write a paper before I could shower after working out. I am tired. I am excited about several things going on in my life, my new business, my new workout routine, my soon to be best shape of my life, and finally feeling like home here in DC… But, tonight I am just tired.

I went to the gym tonight (which greatly added to my overwhelming sense of tiredness currently), and, I was amazed at the complete and total suckage that was my run. I literally have not had a run go this poorly ever (I think.. maybe I am lying..), I did not even make it a mile before both sides cramped up, which is weird considering that for the almost month that I have been running 3-4 times a week I have not one time had my stomach muscles cramp… But, they sure made up for it tonight. Then, I struggled to focus and pray, I struggled to breathe, I struggled to not favor my left leg over my right (my right knee is worse so I tend to baby it without thinking)… basically, I. Just. Struggled. It was so bad that by the time I made it to mile two I was actively working to not panic due to my inability to breathe. My breathing was horrible! So much so in fact, that I actually could not breathe at all. Yet, I knew what was going on, I knew physically why I was struggling as much as I was (lack of appropriate amounts of water yesterday and today likely had something to do with it)… But, even more than that, I knew I was struggling beyond the physical because this was my first run after making a commitment to God to run my entire life as long as He meets me there in my run (or walk as the case may be sometimes…). I had to walk for more than a 1/4 mile before I was able to breathe deep enough to feel like I was getting the appropriate amount of oxygen in my system… Then, I kept running, and continued to struggle through to mile three, and just as I was about to quit and say three miles is enough (it was after all the distance I was supposed to run today), it all… stopped. The cramping in my side went away, the focus suddenly came, the favoring my left quit, and I was able to run… another mile.

So bizarre.

Consulting Business Colors…

So, after a lot of discussion, a lot of creative playing and looking over paint colors, design colors, and the trending colors of 2012 I have finally decided on my new consulting business colors!


The size differences in terms of main colors, complementary colors, and accent colors.

Running for Life…

Tonight I ran once again, but this time it was different.

I have been working towards running a half marathon the first weekend in April (oye). Mind you, I am not a runner.. I do not particularly like running (ok, I actually kinda hate it), and I definitely would not choose it as my favored workout…

However, running IS a fantastic workout.. It works the appropriate stomach muscles to help me flatten my stomach (my most disliked area of my body), and while I have a lot of issues with my joints, if I wear a knee strap and work on strengthening my muscles with other workouts, I have found I CAN actually run… (Even if I do typically walk like an 85 year old man for a day or two afterwards!)

This time the run was different though, I typically listen to random music for the first couple miles, then begin praying and pray through the last mile of my run (I get that 3 miles is not that far, but it is for me), however tonight I listened to techno music without words and prayed the entire time.

I prayed for the things I am seeking, the things I desire for my life, I spilled out my desires and gave them up, the things I want more than other (insert list here) things in my life.. I prayed for salvation for a few friends, I prayed for struggles, I prayed for God to reveal Himself to various people in new ways, I prayed for the hearts and pains of others, I prayed for health, and jobs, and exhaustion for all different people I love in my life.. I prayed for wisdom, peace, patience, compassion, love, joy, understanding, knowledge, Truth.. I prayed for the various things on my 3×5 bathroom mirror cards… Basically, I prayed. For the longest, most focused and most sincere period of time than I have in quite a while…

*Pause and insert additional background information*

At my church we are mid 21 days of prayer. I love it. I love my church, I love what Jesus is doing, and I am loving this series. It is speaking to me, beckoning me to a deeper relationship and communication with my Lord and my Savior. I have been somewhat surprised that I do not feel at all like this is something else I “have” to do.. this is something that I must do because my very core is calling out for it. My favorite part is my pastor (Mark Batterson) keeps stressing that even if we have no idea what to say, it is perfect to ask the Lord to “teach me to pray.” I have been uttering that phrase so many times over the last couple weeks.. I could go on and on (and will likely do so another time) about the things I am learning about prayer these last few weeks, however this last Sunday we heard a story about a woman who made a deal with God that if He would bless her husband’s ministry, she would meet him at 9am every morning (she had several other things that were part of her deal with God as well, but this was the one that struck me).

So, I have been mulling over the idea of “making a deal” or committing to something with God. Not because I want to test Him, not because I want Him to prove something, and not because I am doubting Him or His ability to do certain things in my life… I wanted to make this commitment because I want to learn to pray through.. I want to experience my sweet savior in a new way. I want to experience a relationship and a solid faith unlike anything I have experienced before. I want to see God’s faithfulness explode.


So, while I was running, I decided, this was perfect for me. I prayed and told God that I would run as long as I am able (meaning for my entire life), if He would meet me there. Meet me while I ran, and would create space for me to meet Him. Running is not my favorite thing ever, I (really) do not particularly care for it… But, it is good for me physically, and now it will be good for me mentally and spiritually as well. So, I will run for the rest of my life… until I am unable to run, and then I will walk… And, I will begin to make that a priority so my Lord can meet me there to speak to me and hear me.

I am full of a little trepidation, but mostly I am excited to see what He does with this time, this period committed to Him. I am excited to see how this changes my life purely by encountering Him new.

I am circling this prayer.