June 24, 2013

6.3 // Good ole days

//Confession: I miss the good ole days

You'd think at 27 it wouldn't be possible to have homesickness. I do. There's something about this month that has made me miss my family more than ever. Being a Virginia transplant hasn't been very difficult until these last few weeks. Work is in a summer lull, life hasn't been all that easy, and my heart has just felt off... the culmination of that and a few other family things has made me wish I could wake up in my house. I want to walk down the stairs to the smell of coffee and sit across from daddy on the couch while he reads. I  would like to relax in the sunshine with my mom, walk around target, and get pizza gallery together. I would love to watch wheel of fortune and jeopardy next to grandma and do her nails for her. I wish I could walk on the beach and get breakfast with Diana. I miss laughing and dance parties with my nieces and nephews. I miss home. 

In one of the final Office episodes, Andy says "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good ole days before you leave them". There has been so many times in my life where I have been in those and just forgot to live in them--to really live in them, to be joyful and thankful for them. Instead, I have spent time trying to get to the next place. Looking to just keep going.

In spite of my current  homesickness, I haven't let that keep me from living. I've come to realize that it's okay to remember the good ole days, to wish for simplicity in the midst of chaos, to see change as challenging, but I refuse to spend my time wanting out of these days. Or waiting for the next best thing... because the next best thing is today. It's in these moments...just enjoy these moments.

On that note here's life lately:

I have spent many weekends at the Roanoke River. This spot is about 10 minutes from where I live. It may not offer sandy shores, or waves but it's a different kind of peaceful.

Grady likes the river too.

My herb garden has gone crazy. This is just before a second trimming. I have made pizza, pasta, and salads with the my homegrown mint, oregano, and basil. I have also enjoyed a fresh mojito with my mint.
There is something about froyo on a hard day that sort of just makes things better. A beautiful sunset is nice too.

I am currently obsessed with my mason jars. I prep food for the week in them doing overnight oats, parfaits or my favorite, cole slaw. This one was broccoli slaw with pepitas and sprouts. I do a homemade vinaigrette dressing on the bottom, when ready, just shake and eat. 

I'm obsessed with pass the pigs. It's sort of like a dice game, but with pigs. I can't get enough, and it fits in my purse. 

Trail running. Instead of going to the stuffy gym, I get to be back in nature running before work. It's fantastic. This morning I ran passed a group of wild horses.

Chase and I found a new breakfast spot in Salem that has buckwheat pancakes. If you know anything about me, you know I can't have wheat or gluten HOWEVER I can eat buckwheat. And breakfast being my absolute favorite, I was gitty with excitement. There's something irresistible about diners to me, a nostalgia that cannot be surpassed.  

Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
Accept the way God does things,
    for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
enjoy prosperity while you can,
    but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.
    Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
- -Eccleciastes 7:10, 13&14

There are days when I just want to go back to the "good ole days"... but then I realize these are those days. Living in this moment is the only certainty we can depend on; live with joy. 

Remember to cherish today.//


Linking up with:

Wild & Precious for life lately  &

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June 20, 2013

6.2 // Sometimes I forget to breathe

//Confession: Sometimes I forget to breathe.

Without even knowing it I prayed myself into a coma. It's this feeling of not consciously spending time with God. My prayers feel muffled. It's like I'm lying there trying to wake up, trying to speak up, but its all in my head... Like no one can hear me.

It's an unfulfilling way to spend my time with God. I want Him to hear me, I want to be able to open my eyes and see His face. But instead I am lying there in the dark, with thoughts cycling in my head. And like trying to hold a conversation with a coma patient, it feels one sided and sad. 

The frustration built in my heart and it lead to a couple days of pure sadness. This overwhelming feeling that I am alone, and no one, and certainly no God, is even listening. I felt stuck in this state of stagnancy unable to get up, be heard, or move forward.

Thankfully, God has placed unbelievably amazing people in my life who encourage me and remind me of truth. As I shared my concern about my inability to feel conscious, my best friend said something very profound: "I don't want to tell you not to pray, but maybe you just need to take a deep breathe. You are in His presence without talking to Him, He hears your every thought." 

In that very moment, I closed my eyes and before my exhale was finished, I felt a grip tighten on my hand. He is in this very room. Holding my hand, He sat next to me telling me how much I mean to Him.
God is better than any doctor or family member because even in my coma-like unconsciousness, He hears my every mumble, my every overwhelming worry, my every overanalyzed thought. 

When life pushes me to my emotional limit its easy to slip into a coma. To cope and lose hope and check out. All to easy to feel like I can't seem to wake up and get out of my own head. To sink into a place that leaves me feeling blind and lonely. 

"Wake up oh sleeper. Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." -Ephesians 5:14 
Prayer isn't always about being heard, sometimes it's just remembering the preciousness of God's presence.//

June 14, 2013

6.1 // Occasionally I fall off the planet

//Confession: Occasionally I fall off the planet

Maybe not in literal terms but in the writing world. Writer's block has a tendency to overwhelm me. And sometimes confessing my ups, downs, good, and bad just makes me feel exposed. Insecurity can creep in without an invitation.

I think as life moves forward, lives change, people change, and as this whirlwind happens around me, it's easy to get caught up in the feeling that I am the only one standing still. That everyone else is getting somewhere but not me. Though the thought isn't valid--everyday is an opportunity for growth if we allow it--it still can be difficult to avoid feelings of inadequacy.

Comparison kills joy.

When I find myself looking around me, noticing all the of the good going on in others lives, I lose sight of the greatness in mine. I lose that feeling of gratitude and sink into feelings of self-loathing. All that does is turn me into a hermit and causes me to question everything. That's the thing about giving into feelings of insecurity... it is a slippery slope straight into doubt.

I doubt that I am a good writer.
I doubt that people care about me.
I doubt that I am loved.
I doubt that I am good enough.
I doubt that I have worth.
I doubt that I am going to have success in my life.
I doubt that God is good.
I doubt that I am beautiful inside or out.
I doubt myself.

I can't say I'm alone. If you read the gospels, many Biblical friends had the same problem I do. Doubt arose in their hearts, pushing them into reality checks before they regained faith; Peter began to sink into the sea, Thomas put his hand in Jesus' wounds, Mary & Martha's brother died.

There's something about things being unstable in my life that cause me to be unstable in my thoughts. Rather than remembering the promises of God, and the solid ground He offers, I choose to wobble in doubt or to run away in fear.

James 1:5-8 says, "If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who 'worry their prayers' are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."

That's what doubt does, it just keeps the mind open to all of these false ideas about life, yourself, and others. It redefines and twists truth. It makes security disappear, turning me into a worryful, self-reliant, doubting, lost heart. After each doubtful time in my and those Biblical friend's lives, Jesus always restores faith and hope. He never just lets me keep getting whipped around in my whirlwind of doubt.. he calms the storm and reminds me of how much He cares for me.

If only you would prepare your heart
and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
Get rid of your sins,
and leave all iniquity behind you.
Then your face will brighten with innocence.
You will be strong and free of fear.
You will forget your misery;
it will be like water flowing away.
Your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Even darkness will be as bright as morning.
Having hope will give you courage.
You will be protected and will rest in safety."
-Job 11:13-18

I'm back. Hopeful. Courageous. Safe. //