Friday, February 27, 2009

a lazy, rainy morning...

...and I am still in bed.

Yes, this morning is a lazy, rainy morning. I have been awake for a while now, but my lights are still off as I lay stretched out amidst the rumpled covers. I got up to open the blinds so I could watch the rain. It falls slow and steady. I must have rained all night long, because I can see part of a little river that seems to have formed behind my apartment building. I really need to get some things done this morning... but really, none of it is that urgent. So I will savor the laziness a little while longer...

I've got a rather exciting weekend ahead of me. Let's be honest here, my calendar reveals that pretty much every weekend of 2009 has been filled with events and excitement, and it doesn't end with this weekend. I think it is going to be this way through July and into August {and by this time, weekends will have turned into weeks}... What a life I lead! haha

What's on the agenda for this weekend?

Coffee & conversation with a couple of people, a Ladies Retreat, lunch with an out-of-town visitor, and an overnight trip to Murfreesboro to spend some time with a couple old & a few new friends {and see a very talented artist perform at a coffeehouse fundraiser @ the RFC}. Twill be fun for sure!

I hope you all have a delightful weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

signs of spring...

a lovely morning indeed
revealing the signs of spring

Yes, it has been quite the pleasant morning. 
I woke up at the crack of dawn, but pulled myself out of bed 45 minutes later. {I just couldn't wake up.} I was out the door at about fifteen till seven, and it was already 53 degrees and sunny. I knew it was going to be a good day. The air was cool and apparently it had rained in the night. A little after eight {after Coffee & Prayer w/my Madison Academy kids}, I pulled into my parking spot, and took in the view. A valley, scattered with cows... the mountains not too far in the distance. I opened my car door, listened to the music of the birds, and sat as I enjoyed my breakfast. I lingered for another moment, knowing I have no windows in my office, and then headed inside.


Nothing too eventful, but oh so delightful.

Good morning.

{by the way...  in case you were wondering... this is my favorite flower}

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

i need help...

it has happened.
i have lost control.
it all started the day the competition ended...
i endulged.
way too much.
and now it has come to this...

It has been a week and a half. I have no more excuses. I have got to regain control or else all the good that was done will be for nothing.... sigh... At least I am still exercising in the mornings... for the most part... It does not help that the office workroom is overflowing with cakes and cookies this week. It did not help that I was on a trip with the youth group this weekend, complete with all the snacks a kid could want. It did not help that the girls in my room had brought their own snacks as well, and bonding with 8th grade girls sometimes takes place when combining oreos, peanut butter, and bananas.. It did not help that the girls wanted to get something from the cute ice cream parlor... and I mean.. I had to buy something too... like I said, all for the sake of bonding, right?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

to inspire...

... means "to fill with an animating, a quickening, or exalting influence".

Yesterday I spent a little time (and by little, I mean merely an hour... ha) exploring various blogs. The list of those that I follow grew in leaps and bounds. I have accepted the fact that I AM that blogging girl now. But you know what-- there are a lot of us out there, and based on what I see on their blogs (since remember, I don't actually know a lot of them), they are pretty awesome people, so I am not going to feel creepy for this. 

As I wandered through the posts and pages, I came across this blog. Again, I don't know this woman, but her short post titled "Who Inspires You?" really, well, inspired me. Even the simple definition of "inspire" sparks something within me. (Again with the epiphanies, Jenna...) GOD moves and inspires me in so many ways through so many people. In the ways these people & I interact, in conversations, in things they write... HE leaves impressions upon me with these individuals. HE not only works through various persons, but also in so many of the smallest events or things around me. As I thought about all the simple things that absolutely delight me in a day, I recognized how GOD is in pursuit of me. 

I've thought about the different ways GOD seems to flirt with me at times. (I really enjoy seeing it as HIM flirting with me, fighting for my attention..) But for some reason, it resonated differently yesterday. I was filled with an animated, a quickened awareness of HIS presence and pursuit. 

Praise the God who can constantly delight us with the traces of Himself that He leaves scattered throughout our lives!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

stir it up...

Lately, I’ve had a lot on my mind. I’ve been feeling really restless; I’m itching for springtime, a road trip, even to run (!!). The weather’s inconsistencies don’t help, teasing us with spring, then freezing us! It is like my entire being is aching to break free.

It’s like I’ve been still for too long; I’ve been sleeping or something, and I am ready to be awakened! Do you ever feel like this?

I used to go to camp every summer. It was absolutely my favorite thing in the world, and having to sit through church the Sunday morning before we would take the drive through the woods and then get me settled in my cabin was torture! I would try my best to pay attention and be still, but I felt like my head would explode if I didn’t move around and release the building pressure from within! I was just THAT excited. The anticipation for what was to come was just too much to bear for this 8 year old! (Confession: I was still feeling this way at 18.) 

As I sit here and compare these restless feelings I am currently experiencing and that antsy feeling from the old days before camp, I have a bit of an epiphany. And yes, I realize I have those often. 

Maybe this stirring within me points to what is to come...

 Sure, we keep hearing about how times are hard, but maybe God is getting ready to move in some incredible ways through these hard times in our country. Maybe He is preparing me for something that is to come in my personal life. Maybe it is something that is to come in this youth group that I am pouring my life into. There are some awesome things coming up for MYM: Winterfest, Spring Break Mystery Trip, Girls Retreat, and the summer with its new interns, and trips -- I mean, I am so pumped about the City of Children. 

God is moving. He is stirring. 

And I am craving Him with passion, ready to see His mighty works.

Friday, February 13, 2009

a little interview...

... by my sbf,Katie! I saw the post where she was interviewed and decided that I would join in on the fun (even though I usually these things... I still haven't written a facebook note on 25 random things about me. I may be the only individual on facebook that has not..). Below are the questions she sent me and my answers. Enjoy!

1.  What is your biggest goal for 2009?

My biggest goal for 2009 can pretty much be summed up by one word:surrender. At the end of '08, I was very convicted about the things I had been pursing. When I moved to Huntsville to work at Mayfair, I put a lot of pressure on myself in my ministry. Because of this, I started pursuing my "ministry" WAY more than I was pursuing GOD. I was really feeling the effects of this by the end of the year. I also found myself pursing relationships with other people over HIM. My goal for this year is to surrender all of these things, and everything else, to HIM, and pursue HIM above all else. 

Let me just say, this is not easy.


2.  What would you call your perfect Saturday afternoon?

Hmm... my perfect Saturday afternoon... I have trouble with these type questions, because I can dream up all kinds of wonderful scenarios, and I have no idea which of these delightful ideas I might call "perfect." Even though this may make me sound like a silly little dreamer of a girl, I think the perfect Saturday won't be composed of a series of perfect events, but it will include a certain special individual... this individual will be my love... and I don't know who this man will be, but I look forward to some lovely, lazy (or adventurous) Saturdays with him.


3.  If I were to come visit your hometown, where would you take me and why?


Oh my hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee. I'm not going to lie, there's not much happening in Cleveland. (Katie, it is NO WHERE NEAR as cool as Greenville.) However, there are still some special places I would take you. 1)My home - my favorite place in Cleveland. We would hang out with the fam.. sit in the dining room chatting with Mom, go out into the field to look for golfballs with Dad and the dog, and chill with the sisters in the basement. & 2) Tinsley Park. The courts I played high school tennis on are there, as well as an AMAZING playground w/ walking trails. I like spending time there; I don't do it nearly enough...

4. What is your most embarrassing moment?


When this question comes up, I have my one go-to answer. But honestly, I don't think it is my life's MOST embarrassing moment. But I can never seem to think of these moments when the questions are asked... maybe I've blocked them from my memory for some reason... Since I can't think of a really good one, I will use my go-to answer. It was the 4th grade. Gym class. We were doing volleyball drills... practicing our serves or something, and the boy I had SUCH a crush on was in my group. (So of course I was really excited about this fact.) Short version of the story - there was a HUGE hole in the back of my pants & somehow I hadn't noticed. Couldn't get in touch with Mom to bring me new pants, so I walked around with my principal's sweatshirt wrapped around my waste. It was a Wednesday, so I had church that night. Because I was SO cool (ha) I decided to wear this navy sweatshirt with bold golden yellow letters to church. With bold golden yellow leggings. What did the sweatshirt say?

Cause I'm the Principal - That's Why.

(ha!!!) That part of the story may be the most embarrassing thing..

5. If you were a cookie, what kind would you be and why?

Oh dear, another one of these type questions. If I were a cookie... hmm... Because I have been on an extreme diet for this stupid weight loss contest (can you tell I am tired of this ban on sweets?), I have a very strong craving right now... And I don't know if I would be this cookie and why or why not.. but right now I really want a big, thick, warm & gooey, chocolate chip cookie. And some milk. And I want it to be really big... like.. never-ending. So there you go. This question was torture.

If you would like to play along here are the directions:
1. Leave me a comment & your e-mail address saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (You get to choose the questions.) The first five 'askers' get the interview (if I even have that many out there reading)!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

cravin' a roadtrip...

For real...

What I would give for
 just a carload of friends
 & the open road...

I want blue skies

I want flip flops

I long to be free from all responsibilities... 
(I mean, just for a week or something.) 

I want unknown destinations
& hole-in-the-wall eateries.

I want the beach...
And the mountains...
I want the West Coast...
And Maine...
And I want to stop at home...


Instead, I suppose I will get back to work and keep my eyes open for some open space on my Google calendar.
(Can you tell that I am suffering from some insane spring fever?)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

i need your imput...

I want a better title for my blog. 
This one is too long and just not all that catchy. 
Do any of you few wonderful, faithful readers 
have any suggestions for me?! 

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

fun times with numbers...

I was never a huge fan of math.
I made my 1st B in the 5th grade. Honors math was not my friend that year.
(Thank you to Michelle King for helping me. By help, she sometimes let me copy her homework answers. I know. That is cheating. I have always felt bad for it. I felt worse that it didn't help any. I still got a B.)
I despised the complicated theories that mathematics always seemed to bring with it; however, I loved numbers. 

I know. 

This is strange. 

I think it has something to do with the somewhat obsessive compulsive aspect of my personality. I like patterns. I like order. I like when things fit together. I like for things to balance. Sure, I am just now really getting the hang of a budget, and I've not fully mastered the art of balancing my checkbook, but I am making progress. 

When I was in elementary school and I had math homework that I did not feel like doing, I would sometimes pretend that I was a business woman at work in my office. I would sit at my desk with a lamp pointed at my homework or "accounting papers" and think/talk to myself in a British accent, pausing pensively for dramatic effect. Yes. I was alone in my room. 

This afternoon I:
- checked the status of my financial loan, figuring out how much of my last payment went towards the principle & how much towards interest. I was giddy when I realized what a chunk of principle I paid off.
- while trying to figure out the prospective expensive for my upcoming Girls Retreat, I was, with much delight, adding numbers and dividing them and doing all that wonderful simple math. The best part was catching an error on the hotel's part that would have cost us almost $2,000. 
- I also checked my bank account online to see what checks had cleared and how much money I actually had in my account. 

It was then that I realized -- as an adult (cough cough), I am living the dream... 

It is no longer pretend. 

It's real life. 

But maybe, at times, I still use a British accent.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

this was no protein bar...

Dear Denny's,

Thank you for the invitation to dine with you today! You added much excitement to my day. It was nice of you to hand out rain-check coupons for those of us that did not have time to wait around. Even though I didn't take one, my friends and I were up for the wait, I still appreciate the gesture. The pancakes were really good, and I didn't even run out of syrup! I was surprised that I cleaned my plate-- I even enjoyed the sausage. (I'm sorry that I was kinda scared of it at first. You proved me wrong.) 

I may get in trouble for hanging out with you today, (nothing against you, you've just got a lot more calories than my Special K meal bar) , but I am willing to suffer the consequences. I've probably got a date with a certain treadmill later this evening.... misery, but today, and only today, you were worth it! 

Thanks again! Next time you host such a big event, let me know! I'll be there!

(as well as Cody, Brock, & Autumn)

feeling a bit nostalgic...

I looked through old pictures
found these
they made me smile
& so I decided to share them

sweet memories...