Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ramblings from the heart

you know that saying you probably grew up hearing your mom say? "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all?" i think that's been my excuse for not blogging consistently. because everything i have wanted to say lately isn't exactly wrapped up in positivity and kindness. honestly, sometimes blogging scares me. putting my words out there to be etched permanently into this crazy world wide web? to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any given time? makes me shudder sometimes to think about it. not to mention the fact that i'm in full time ministry (with a church and non-profit) and often share about my expeditions on here so i have friends all over the world who read here to keep up with my life. God forbid they find out i'm a normal human being like everyone else. kidding. sort of.

so i do my best to refrain from posting the awful thoughts that go through my mind during the day (and oh they come) but i guess i see how that could also give people the wrong perspective of me. yes, i love jesus and i try to be mindful of my tongue but i still curse... maybe not on my blog, but in real life? yeah it happens. is it something i'm aware of and trying to control? sure. same as how i try not to gossip but still fall into it at times. or how i'm working at being better at confronting people in love instead of avoiding and getting bitter. and no, i don't judge you when you do any of those things (on your blog or in real life). after all, who am i to judge? i can relate to paul when he wrote in 1 timothy 1:15b- "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." some days i do feel like the chief sinner but it ultimately always leads me back into the arms of my savior- right where i belong.

where am i going with this? not sure.

so yeah... lately i've been struggling with some anger... i admit, often times i don't understand why people do or don't do certain things. i realize we all have learned behavior but seriously? i feel like some things are obvious. like, if you make a mess- you clean it up. you don't walk away and think, "if i ignore it long enough it will just go away." newsflash! it doesn't! things don't just disappear, no matter how much you ignore them. why do we prolong the inevitable? if something is broken you make every effort to fix it... or at least you should... especially if you're the one who broke it in the first place. we all need to own up to our own responsibilities and actions. is it hard? yes. it's hard as crap. but life is hard. dealing with our pain and hurt is hard. admitting we were wrong is hard. asking for help is hard. it's all hard! but if it was easy it wouldn't mean as much, would it? when we can actually acknowlege those things to others we gain so much respect from them. why? because they know it took guts to do that. it took humility. it took placing someone elses needs and desires above your own. and that? well, that's love people.

oh lord, help me to be that kind of person who can quickly admit when i am wrong... give me a teachable heart and an attitude that desires to put others above myself. i have so much to learn here... and i can't do it without you.

wow. it felt really good to get that out. thanks for reading. :)


Monday, June 13, 2011

recap and swap reveal

today's been a tough day for me... not sure why... just having a down day i suppose. so in an effort to lift my spirit i'm gonna reflect back on my busy, but enjoyable weekend.

friday night i got to chill with my niece emeline so her mommy and daddy could enjoy a much needed date night. i took her to my parents where she played on the trampoline, enjoyed the swings and pointed at every bird and bug and tree. it's so fun watching her discover new things all the time.

saturday i got to join lyryn and celebrate her son ian's 1st birthday. it was so nice catching up with old friends and just being social again. i've kind of cocooned myself for the last few months within my little community so it was nice to get out and engage with different people.

after the party my sister and i got some much needed pampering (a la mani & pedi) and then we went to a kids festival that my dad's fire company puts on every year. my aunt and uncle were in town from out of state so they came and we got to catch up with them which was so nice!

then it was dinner with some of the family and ice cream at a new local place. it was delicious. emekay enjoyed sampling everyone's ice cream. it was adorable. yay for summer!

then i headed off with my parents to watch fireworks at the park. my other 2 nieces were there with my brother and sil so we found them just as the show was about to start. poor kylie didn't like the noise. she kept her ears covered the whole time and just kept saying, "it's too yowd." haha. i love her.

kyra didn't mind the noise at all and in fact she was very disappointed when the show was over. good thing the 4th of july is right around the corner where she can hopefully see more fireworks. can't wait to get that kid to disney to see a real fireworks show! when my family went to disney in 2006, kate and i went back to magic kingdom almost every night just to watch the fireworks. we love them. :)

kyra was adorable and was rubbing pop pop's head during the fireworks show. such a precious kid. love making memories with my family and i am so looking forward to our family vacation at the end of the month. it will be lovely to spend time with them and i am so excited because my little brother will be coming in from san diego to go with us and i miss him so much!

lastly, i got my flip flops from my swap partner melanee this weekend. she got me these super comfy black nike's which is perfect because i didn't have a pair of casual black flip flops. the last pair i had got ruined when i was in africa and i hadn't replaced them yet. thanks melanee and thanks to lyryn for hosting this fun swap! go to her blog to see what everyone else got!

hope the rest of you all had an enjoyable weekend!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

enjoy the ride

i spent this past weekend in the allegheny mountains in central pa alongside the other leaders at my church. it was a really refreshing time to get away and disconnect from our cell phones, internet and pretty much every other distraction we have here in the city where we live. my heart literally overflowed all weekend as we learned from each other and reaffirmed each others gifts and callings. i truly feel like i've entered into this new season in my life and i'm beginning to get excited about the future again.

one of the most special things we did this past weekend was give each person a turn in the "hot seat." they sat in the center of the room and everyone gave them a word of encouragement, or a verse they felt led to share... anything to speak life to the person and remind them of who they are. when it was my turn i found myself sitting there just ready to soak it in. normally i'd retreat inside myself because of the attention or because i didn't believe the things they were saying about me were true. not this time though... which really is HUGE for me. it just shows what a work God has been doing in my heart and for that i rejoice.

so many wonderful things were spoken over me. one in particular really stood out. one of our pastors read proverbs 31 to me. if you're unfamiliar with that passage it's a series of verses that describe a wife of noble character. it probably accurately depicts the kind of woman most of us desire to be. so as he's reading this the tears just start streaming down my face. he proceeds to tell me that although i am not married yet, i already am a wife of noble character. that just hit me like a ton of bricks. it was like God was redeeming those verses for me... honestly i haven't been able to read them or think about them since my engagement ended... mostly because he used to refer to me as his "proverbs 31 girl" and he had this song about it that he would play/sing to me and i loved that. so yeah, i think God knew exactly what he was doing when he had one of my pastors share that passage with me. i needed to be reminded of that and i think i was in a place where i was ready to hear it again.

i might not be married yet, but i can still exemplify those characteristics in my relationships with others and more importantly, my relationship with the Lord. i'm finally starting to realize what a treasure i am... i am valuable... i do have a lot to offer to people... i am worth loving! and i don't say that in a prideful or arrogant way, but it's rooted in a confidence in who God has created me to be and the unique gifting and calling that he has on my life.

life is full of unexpected twists and turns and boy do i know that firsthand. i like to compare it to a roller coaster ride. i don't know about you but my first reaction on a coaster is to hold on as tight as possible. as if by white-knuckling the bar somehow i will prevent myself from feeling the drops or the sharp turns. but then there are those moments... you know when you work up the nerve to let go of the bar... to raise your arms high in the air as you descend... to let yourself be tossed around like a rag doll... and those times? those times are when i smile real big. because it's freeing and exhilarating and you're not letting the fear keep you from fully experiencing all the ride has to offer. so that's what i'm trying to do. i'm letting go of the bar. and that means embracing who i am and who God has created me to be.

yes, there are still hard days. yes, i still cry and look back and wonder why. yes, i still have so many unanswered questions. but no longer are they ruling my life. they come and i give them the space they require to process and then i do my best to go about my day. by no means do i have any of this figured out completely yet and that's okay. this is the part where i throw my hands up, tilt my head back and  do my best to just enjoy the ride. who wants to sit next to me?  :)