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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No this post is NOT about beans, although when I hear that phrase I AUTOMATICALLY sing, “Beans, Beans, the magical fruit…” but this isn’t about that type of good for the heart.  And to be honest, the nominal value of “good for the heart” is one of those lies that you hear and accept without research.  So when I am asked, why don’t I eat beans, I point them to Dallas and Melissa, who I am QUITE obsessed with.

BUT this is about my weekend, which was good for the heart.  SUCH a fun time, starting with friends at Do Di Yos and ending with Good People and a TOTALLY kickin’ concert.

May 14th, 2011 I was supposed to go to Atlanta for the Warrior Dash there.  Buuuuut instead I decided to cut my leg off.  Because, obviously, that would be a WAY better way to spend the weekend.  You know, under stronger pain medicine than morphine, used only for open heart patients, and my REALLY good attitude towards anyone who didn’t just outright say yes to me. So when I saw that it was travelling to Birmingham, I called and asked if I could use the ticket from LAST year.  And then.  I was registered for the Warrior Dash.

So “World’s Largest Running Series” with the Ultimate Obstacle Course.

PLEASE let me preface this with I had a BLAST! Before, After, in the middle…you name it and I was having a great time.  BUT I was disappointed in the “challenge” of it.  I guess I expected it to be hard things…instead of “Watch out for slippery slope” or “grab rope and climb to top”.  And to me, what was funny is if anyone had ever been backpacking, that is exactly what it was!  Hiking, moving, and getting to campsite that you had to pack in for three hours.  SO the “obstacle” portion of it wasn’t crazy hard by any means.  THE RUNNING though.  Man, the running.  I suck at running.  In fact, I feel like Andy from “Parks and Recs” like…ummm…all the time (Listen, I need you to watch this clip.  PLEASE.  It’s funny.  Please.  Look.  JUST DO IT.)

So I didn’t run.  Instead, I hung out with a new friend and we chatted the WHOLE TIME!  Somewhere around 20 minutes into the race it started to rain, and our nice 60 degree start turned into a completely FREEZING WET 55 degrees. And we could not get warm.  So we did the ONLY thing we knew how to and that was drink beer 😉  Oh, and layer EVERY BIT of clothing that we could find.  And huddle under tents and sit inappropriately close to people!  And dance 😉 Destiny’s husband kept cracking on us because we were one of the only ones dancing, but kids who have known me for 15+ years know that I will ALWAYS be the only one on the dance floor!  I mean, burns calories, whittles the waist down, and let’s be honest – who can stand still when the “Electric Slide” is playing.  NOT THIS CHICK!  and really, who wouldn’t want to dance in the mud.  How often can you say that is how you spent your Saturday!  It was very reminiscent of college days, without the insecurity.

A couple of things that this kick-started back up…

1) My love for the outdoors.  I am ABSOLUTELY a creature of habit.  So much so, for my flexible mentality, it is very nonsensical.  I forget that I like to play outside!  Especially coming from the mentality that, “oh crap – if I go biking by myself…what happens if I do something to my leg.”  Or hiking…or climbing….or whatever!  And without my sweet friends encouraging me to get outside again, I would never have gone!  I just NEEDED someone to want me to go with them and want to cheer me on.  And not let me sleep in.  And they did 😉

2) Loving getting up EARLY on Saturday.  I’ve been sleeping in until 9a most Saturdays here lately.  Which is like WOAH late.  But getting up at 5:30a, breakfast by 7a – I had a JAM-PACKED day!

3)  I will be OK walking and running longer distances.  The trails didn’t hurt one bit!  So I am hoping that I’ve found a new workout buddy that will want to hit the trails.  For like a mile.  Then we can hike 😉

4) New friends are the best.  And you find encouragement in the strangest places.  Did I walk a 5k in 59:01? Yes. Is that anything to even talk about.  Uhhh, NO.  Considering my peers are doing Half and Full Ironmans, running 100 miles in the woods, and swimming up a storm.  My outdoor fitness levels is gross.  But. FOR ME.  This was a crazy-good scary accomplishment.

Today as I showered, I STILL found mud in my toes.  Like YES I have showered – many times!  But that Alabama Red Clay just sticks to you sometimes.  As I hope does the bug of getting back outside.

Billy had a camera on the whole time.  I cannot WAIT to see the footage!

So COLD I thought we were dying.  And this was right after we got spray off!  And the fact that YES I still have lipstick on.  Whatever

The feet that NEVER got clean.

After rain shower number 1 BILLION.

Don’t think that needs much explaining…..

Josh with his chicken leg.  Yes….he can dance AND eat AND text!  NICE.  

So, half if not MORE of Birmingham was out there.  What did YOU think of the Warrior Dash?

in where i let you know what i’ve been thinking…

Lots of stuff’s been happening!

Some with the head….lots with the body, but mostly ALL with the heart.  As I try and get my thoughts together and share, I struggle with what is my drive and what is what God wants for me in my life!  BUT I promise to share, as I know most of you did NOT start reading my blog for my taste in fashion or soup!  (Although, I will say, both are EXCELLENT).

 

So, while I gather my thoughts…Here is what I’ve been reading about today:

 

GO {state of} Alabama!  Gettin’ in the insurance exchange business.  And if you haven’t ever had the pleasure of reading the (violently angry) comments on al.com, ENJOY.

What is an IPO, and why is Facebook doing it?

The {pay pal} Mafia….Who knew?

Consumerism and Christmas.  No article to site, but I am OBSESSED with how freaking OBSESSED people are.  Apparently there are lots of families out there worried about “going broke” for Christmas.  Ummm….so don’t buy as much?  Right?

Adoptions.  Adoptions.  Adoptions.

What’s Ree doing today?  (As I ask many times a day…)

And then….I think about work (but not really.   But I’m supposed to?  But not really…)

incredible sermon

based on 1 Timothy 1:1-2

As several people have pointed out – David’s sermons mirror what he writes in his book “Radical”  BUT I never seem to have time to read books any more.  I have started reading it, but its on down the list, since I just started a study on Ruth, and am reading “Learned Optimism” and “One Thousand Gifts”and and and and and…

Throughout the Old Testament, God called a people to Himself that they may worship Him and glorify Him throughout the earth. His holy character and His Word caused His people to respond with reverent awe and obedience. Worship is an expression of worship to a God who is not only worthy of worship from all peoples of the earth but who already is the object of worship by all of heaven. The Israelites’ worship of God was characterized by the centralization of the Word of God, their reverent participation and devotion, and their undivided attention to the one true God of the universe. These same characteristics carried into the New Testament Church as the new covenant made them the earthly picture of God’s kingdom. The author of Hebrews noted in Hebrews 12:18-24 that the Church worships God along with the heavenly gathering of worship that never ceases to praise God. There are patterns of worship that were consistently evident in the New Testament church’s worship of God: adoration, confession, instruction from the Word of God, communion, intercession, and commission.  Paul wrote 1 Timothy to the young pastor, Timothy, as he shepherded the church in Ephesus through  struggles. Paul named Christ as our Savior, Hope, Father, and Lord. These identities demand that God be centered in worship. Because our worship is God-centered, our community must be gospel-formed so that we are engaging in His mission and obeying His commands together as we make disciples of all nations.

And then there is this worship:

First Timothy: The Household of God audio: FIRSTTIMOTHY9_AUD
with this girl who has changed my outlook more than you know.

and then there is the heart. my heart. that slowly is changing, longing to be what I was made to be, and desperately wanting to do MORE change MORE be MORE.