here.

Hi.

I’ve been a stranger.  Like. TOTALLY a stranger.  Like. WOAH WHERE DID YOU GO stranger.  And it’s not that I didn’t want to visit.  In fact, I would have been here more often if I could get Siri to write my posts for me while I am driving.  Because I write LOTS in my head then.  Like at LEAST a post a day.  And then somehow, I start to work or hit the gym or text or SOMETHING and then I forget.  But please note.  I totally feel guilty.

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So. I applied for graduation and as of today – this moment – I have 234 days until I am finished. (I have a countdown on my phone that have to talk myself out of checking because I obsessively want to look at it every day. And I totally can’t help myself and I look again.) Two classes this summer, and two classes this fall. Pray. This semester I have taken three classes – Chemistry, Macroeconomics and Business Communications. And it utterly kicked my ass – not all the time, but definitely in waves. And I think that I have learned a little more grace for myself and for other people. In college (like real college when i didn’t have two jobs, a social life, a mortgage, rent, car, insurance…you get the picture!), I never understood how people could forget something so simple as HOMEWORK. I mean, just WRITE IT DOWN for crying out loud. And then now – twice I have gone to two different professors and explained that I forgot homework. Just forgot. Not that I didn’t want to do it. Not that I couldn’t have found time (something that I have this crazy talent for). Just plain ole’ brain-fart forgot. Neither one of them would allow me to turn it in late. But hey, oh well.
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So I find myself planning EVERY second of every day Monday through Friday. To the nano second. When I get home at 8 or 9p, I usually have an hour’s worth of stuff to do (laundry, dishes, prepare food, get my bag together for the next day, try to remember how MANY pairs of shoes, panties, and workout outfits I will need for the next day). And it becomes my power hour. I cannot sit down, I cannot stop moving until everything including washing my face and brushing my teeth is done. If I do, I cannot get back up. But with this regimented schedule during the week, I find my weekends EXTRA carefree. I have always been a fairly free spirit when it comes to playing. If I have the gas in my car, I will go do it. And for the past 3 months, my weekends have been super fun. Boo moved to Atlanta in March, I’ve been to Denver, the beach, dinner, railroad park, Regions stadium, bars I haven’t been to in years, random nights where I stay out later than I am used to, on blind dates and have just been happy. My poor roomates have remarked that I have the strangest schedule. Truth.

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Speaking of roommates, I moved into a house in February with some really awesome girls. Super sweet, super easy, and they handle my weirdness well. Nothing like roommates to make you realize how not normal you are. Or is that just me? I love having the company – and the ease of good roommates. I can only hope they say the same thing about me! I try…

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I’ve made some new friends lately. They are my age, single, and love to sweat it up. And I am starting to feel like me again. It only took me 6 years to get back to this point. But I know the journey from 24 to 31 has made me into SUCH a better version of myself. Kinder. Softer. Hopefully a little more knowledgeable and definitely more forgiving.

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March 6th was the 2 year anniversary of my divorce – and I can truly attest that divorce has a half life. It was some time in the last few months that I just felt, well, NORMAL. Not damaged, not angry, not blaming others, just normal. Praise God from whom all blessing flows, because without His Mercies, I would be in a ditch. I went to a Capitavating conference in Denver in March and it reminded me (as I need reminding EVERY DAY) that only God can put my broken heart back together. There are STILL times – few. FAR BETWEEN. But times that I get overwhelmed with the feeling of how damaged I am which leads me down the path of no one will ever love me into I’ll be single for the rest of my life and right back to how irreparable damaged I am. And don’t get me wrong. This heart has been shattered by SEVERAL men in my life and it is ugly and black and lifeless on its own. But God promises to repair it. to make it whole. And He assures me that I am beautiful. That He DOES see me, that HE is and will be everything to me that I’ve seen fail in the past.

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I also turned 31 in March. Don’t worry, I still continue to tell people that I am 30. I think that is a mix of not feeling 31 and how crazy packed life has been. My sweet loves took me to the beach for what was the best Birthday in a long while. It was FREEZING cold. But we drank wine, played Maajong, shopped (of course I was the ONLY ONE who bought anything), slept, watched Downton Abby, jammed to good tunes, cooked, and laughed. It was SO good for my heart. And there was this ONE cheese plate – I can’t stop thinking about it! Best meats, best olive oil, best cheese, best nuts…I mean. To. Die. For. And we drank more red wine than most people drink in a year. Not really. Well, yes really. Whatever. It was good.

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I’m trying not obsess about next steps. Here I am about to get my degree. Finally. Something that has kind of held me back. But not really. But kind of. And all my jobs in the past have been to push the ceiling on how far I could go without a degree. Like, DUH I don’t need one. But now? What do I want to do? I’ve utterly downgraded my life. And I wish I could downgrade it even more! So I don’t NEED to make money like I used to (staying in a job just to pay bills for stuff I don’t want. What I want is out of that cycle!!) You know that question? What would you do if money was no object? Yeah, I don’t know the answer yet. It’s mulling in my brain. And it looks REALLY different than what I thought it would be. I had planned on going to nursing school. Full. Speed. Ahead. Not that I won’t do that – I am not scared of it – that I won’t be able to finish or I am not smart enough. But as I pray desperately for God to help me see my path, what I DO hear is “wait”. Like, just get through this ONE step. Get to December. Get through 234 days. Just that. So. That’s what I am doing. Pray for that? Pray that I can figure out next steps. Or that I would be able to wait. How ever you want to pray for me – I will take it!

So here I am, friends. Back.

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falling down seven times…

get up eight.

That is how I feel about last year…and the year before.  I feel CERTAIN that this year will be one of staying upright and steady.

I have LOTS of posts mulling around in my head.  Thank you for all you patient people who have stood by me this year and STILL continued to read this place of sparse posts!

I have goals.  Just not sure if I am certain about them.

I have resolutions, but they started before 1/1/2013.

I have things happening that will be life changing…for me.  But they are in the planning phases.  And that is just where I will be hanging out for a while.  Sewing pieces of my life and waiting for a harvest that I am CONFIDENT that will be coming.

Ecclesiastes 3  A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.
2012-10-31 18.28.56 2012-11-09 06.34.05 2012-11-09 07.02.52 2012-11-23 20.58.33 2012-11-23 21.59.10 2012-12-08 22.30.43 2012-12-14 16.22.48 2012-12-16 11.53.27 2012-12-22 19.06.48 2012-12-23 20.03.21 2012-12-25 16.33.06 2012-12-25 18.06.55 2012-12-26 14.25.16 2012-12-31 18.29.54 2012-12-31 19.25.58 2013-01-01 00.55.56 2013-01-01 02.08.32 2013-01-01 03.21.05 2013-01-01 04.34.30

reading

sometimes i read.  Like. Ah-Lot.  And then there are other times when I read nothing at all and the thought of a word coming across my eyes is tiresome.  Like all things for Ruth, its all or nothing (is there a pill for that?!)

What I am reading NOW:

Why Be Useful?  Athleticism & Sex Appeal  – Best line? ” I’d venture to guess that most women could care less about how much you bench or squat. They’re not interested in your ego-repleting power lifts.  However, a display of athleticism like walking around on your hands or a back-flip really seems to get the hormones flowing.  Or so I’ve been told.  Just food for thought for those looking to impress the fairer sex.” –  True Alex.  So dang TRUE.

The Oil Cleansing Method – I started last week with Caster Oil and Grapeseed oil (purchased off of Amazon, of COURSE).  And so far, I LOVE it.  It gets all my mascara off and I swear I am prettier already!

No ‘Poo! – yeah, Yall know I hardly like to shower or wash my hair.  And now I am contemplating moving to baking soda.  I care DEEPLY about what I eat….and your skin covers your ENTIRE BODY!  Why shouldn’t I care what goes on it!  I haven’t made the jump yet.  Trying to keep it to ONE major change a month.  (right?!)

5 “FUN” things that are NOT that fun – I really DON’T mind going someplace where I don’t know people, but the other four – Spot. On.

Hater’s guide to William Sonoma – Notes from Drew: Where else am I supposed to put my dirty cheese?

and on the other end of the spectrum…

At Last – get out a tissue, please.

The difference between asking how I can pray for you and praying for you – Funny thing is I ran across this article on Monday – no more than 30 minutes after I had texted my roommate how I could pray for her this week.  This kinda has been sitting on my heart all week.  Much like the SAME roommate who asked me about my {bad} attitude this week, and could it possibly be related to time spent in the Word. (I did tell her to ignore my snide and off-handed response.  She said it didn’t bother her.)

The Christmas Party that Almost Wasn’t – and then best words, “Let’s make ourselves available and then watch how this whole wonderful thing unfolds, OK?”  Ok.

 

Just thoughts from an extremely all OVER the place chick.

broken…

C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  And oh how He shouts.

About three months ago, I realized that I have come back full circle to the person I was 5 years ago. Most people would call that a set-back, but after four hard years of marriage, divorce, deaths, broken friendships, broken family, untrue gossip, and black-holeness, I would say I am just aiming for better.  But what I do know is that God has put these INCREDIBLE people in my life to get me to this point!

I was having beers with some friends on Friday night and this entire point came up.  Now, don’t think for one second that I thought I was healthy last year.  I was managing.  Allowing myself to be numb, not feel, and just be.  And for a tornado like myself, that is a TERRIBLE thing.  But cope I did and just allowed things to happen.  But I don’t think that I can ever realize how much my friends and sister got me through last year.  So sitting outside at Avondale Brewery, my friend James tells me about how beautiful I am, how funny I am, and how pretty my hair is and how skinny I am (you get the point).

 

And then he goes in for the kill:

“You know, we didn’t think you were going to make it through the year last year.”

 

Boom.  Really?  Like, people NOTICED? And then he says the most profound thing, that only my sister has said to me before.  “You were so broken we weren’t sure that the pieces could be put back together.”  Wow.  So very broken.  And I just sat there.  You see, my mind started to flow back to last year…and most of the time I don’t think about it.  But there was those random times that Matt and James came and picked me up and took me to the Farmer’s Market.  And that one time my girls took me with crutches to an outside wedding.  And that one time that my sister spent the night with me to make sure all my medicines were taken.  And that one time that people brought me food for WEEKS on end.  And that one time that a friend picked me up so I could spend the night with her and her family.  And that one time that these girls from the gym sent me their love DAILY. and prayed DAILY for me.  And as broken as I was, not one person left my side.  And “they” say God doesn’t “do” miracles in this day in age.  But honey, I beg to differ.  Without the unending love and grace of true friendships God put in my life, I would not have made it out the other side.

So I just want to say THANK YOU for my teamsters of too many people to name.  Thank you for the prayers, the hand holding, the texts, the SMALL things that just got me through the next day to the next week past the next 30 minutes into a place where I don’t have to count down the seconds any more!

John 12: 24, 25  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

What a beautiful reassurance.

the book and THE BOOK

The Facebook, that is.  TOTAL love and hate for the social medium.  I mean, how many other websites can make as MANY changes as they have in the past 10 years, their users continue to HATE it, and yet, they still make millions, and are continuing to grow.  It is almost disgusting, right??

I swear I get off it, then get back on, then get off it again and hate it and then love it!  I ADORE it for my work at the gym – for reminding people of upcoming events, for asking friends on referrals of cleaning ladies and recipes and the newest movie out.  But I hate how obsessive I get over it!  And the FEELINGS hurt.  I swear.   I know I am not the only woman, because I have talked to other about it.  No, it’s not like I have to be invited to everything.  But it is ummmmm….I don’t think hurtful is the right word.  Unnerving? Bothersome? Catty??  When people check in and didn’t invite you.  And TRUST ME I am the queen of having parties and dinners and such things, so I GET intimate gatherings.  My thing is, why tag someone in it.  I KNOW I am guilty of it, and I hope I have never been so careless to hurt someone’s feelings, but do you see how I just spent 5 minutes writing about the emotions that a CHECK-IN on FACEBOOK CREATES??  yeah, so.  I am off it for now.

HOW I KNOW FACEBOOK HAS TAKEN OVER THE WORLD, or the annoyance of deactivating my account:
  • I no longer can sign into Spotify (You are REQUIRED to have the book)
  • I continue to miss events that are posted….sales, specials, lunches….ok ok ok.  So maybe being off of Facebook will help me save money!
  • My “discount” sites are COMPLETELY linked to the book.  So I had to email customer service to have it “unlinked”
  • I truly feel like people won’t know that I am teaching classes.  Even though I have taught for six years at the SAME GYM and 90% of my participants text me to let me know if they are or aren’t coming, etc.  And lo-and-behold I’ve taught 6 classes this week and had people at EVERY SINGLE ONE.

SO what is this chick doing with her spare time you ask?

  • Spending time in the Word – THE BOOK
  • Praying
  • Texting ALL of her friends (ok, so maybe that hasn’t changes)
  • Trying to get a better life plan together.  I am DYING to go to Nursing School.  Could you PU-LEASE buy my house so that I can make this happen?  K Thanks.
  • Cooked More
  • Trying to shake off the emotional habit of CARING about what everyone is doing at every single time.
  • Eating EXTRODINARY AMOUNTS OF WATERMELON.  Which probably has nothing to do with being off of Facebook, but it would REALLY help me if I could figure out a reason WHY I am eating so much of it.  Its.  Amazing.

doode

SO.

We are moving buildings at work.  DO YOU KNOW HOW CRAY-CRAY that is?  Yalls DO know that I work at a Print Shop right.  SO as in THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS and  THOUSANDS of pounds of equipment is being moved.  And people’s attitudes are lacking.  More than usually.  Which probably means that attitudes are at an all time LOW for the human race.  #TrueStory  So I am desperately seeking positivity right now! (which is totally NOT a word, says Google.  But who REALLY gets to decide if something is a word or not!!)

I get obsessive pretty easily….as seen by my “addiction” to eating clean (except for that brownie I had this morning.  Whoops) and the gym.  BUT as you can see too, its not something that I just leave and let go!  My obsession with Christ has been 30 years and counting.  My love for my sisters has been the same.  And there there is my love for music.  Cool Music.  Something that means something.  And that sounds like.  OH HEY.  MUSIC.

SO.  LIKE I SAID.

Happy-ness

My cousin and I went to an awesome show at WorkPlay with these kids:

Fitz and the Tantrums

AND THEY ARE SOOOO FLIPPING GOOD.  I mean, yes I am highly excitable.  But they were super good.  I’ve been listening to them all morning long.  AND THEY GIVE YOU FREE MUSIC.  

LAWDY.  I do like fuzzy pictures.  I really honestly do!

freaking sweet tea.

For the LIFE of me I am having a hard time writing for yall.  Or really, its more about writing for my self.  Let me assure you there are plenty of things a-happening.  Really.  Like LIFE is happening and its sweet, precious, and really good right now.

Been contemplating a revelation pointed out to me a few weeks ago.  I complain all the time about not being where I *THINK* I should be.  Not in a job that I love.  Not in the house I should be and sometimes it feels like I am wearing a life that is just not that comfortable.  Is that strange??  Hell yes it is.  REALLY strange!  But what was pointed out to me was totally incredible:

Life is NOT about you, Ruth (obviously, as I desperately try and die to myself daily and inevitably fail without the grace of God).  It is about other people.  And sometimes you just are in a holding pattern because the pieces to your puzzle are just not quite ready.  And God is still working on things with THEM so that your life is the design he intended.

I can’t pray for patience any more 😉  I just think that I might fall apart if I have to wait again.

So instead.

I will tell you a story about Sweet Tea.

Sweet tea isn’t one of those things you just “fall into”.  Its a taste that is acquired, but somehow really represents the south.  Right?  I mean, isn’t that what people think of when you cross the Mason-Dixon line?  Yes.  Let’s just go with that.

So….back in 2001, I went on a Summer Beach Project in North Myrtle Beach, SC.  Long story short is that you have to get a job for the summer while you learn to witness to people on the beach, living together, and loving the Lord.  Wellllllllllll I have ALWAYS been one to get up early.  So we had like MAYBE two choices for jobs:  6a-2p or like a 8-6p shift.  And those of yall who know me know that I like the early shift.  Always.  SO I worked at McDonald’s.  In that summer I learned a LOT about myself, about my rebellious spirit, created some freaking ridiculously long-lasting friendships and ate 2 out of three meals at McDonald’s.  And Learned To LOVE Sweet Tea.  Came back to Tri-Delta’s Sorority Rush and to a bunch of wide-eyed friends who never commented but I am SURE noticed that I went from a normal size to a size 12-14 over the course of 2+ months.  Needless to say, I don’t cherrish those pictures very much!

BUT I LIVED HERE ——–>

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Sweet Tea.  So I cut out the sweet tea.  And changed to unsweetened with two lemons.  And over the course of the last 10 years, have learned to LOVE IT.  Fast-Foward to the last 6 months.  And here is where I get irritated.  There is a new Chick-Fil-A down close to where I work, and there is probably NOTHING I like better to drink than unsweet tea in the summer.  That is besides COLD Sauve Blanc.  BUT normally that is frowned upon when you work during the day.  Go Figure.

So this ONE LADY at CFA is TOTALLY insistant that she NOT give me Unsweet tea.  I swear it is like 5 times in a row, and I am to the point that I will allow someone else to “cut” just so this lady can’t take my order, which usually is “Chicken and Fruit Salad, hold the cheese, extra sunflower seeds.  Large water with two lemons and a Large UNSWEET, NOT SWEET, Tea with Two Lemons.)  and yes I say all of that.  And yes I have her repeat it back to me.  And then YES I take a sip of that “unsweetened tea” and I want to just die in a pile.  Because it is sweet.  And I just cannot explain to you “sweet” people how much that hurts my feelings.

So all this to say I swear the cashier lady at Chick-Fil-A in 5-points is out to kill me.  NOT with kindness.  With sugar.  And she just might yet!