Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On being Type A, Passionate, and Comfortable

Feeling the need to be transparent tonight. I guess I could just write in my journal, but that seems boring to me right now. I have been following a few awesome blogs recently (more on my favorites later....)

I feel kind of loserish for admitting that I follow these blogs, but I really do get a lot out them (except when their creativity inspires me attempt projects that I don’t have the time, money, or skills for.) I think I love these blogs so much because these women are so incredibly honest! Their transparency makes me feel a little better about myselfJ Most of the blogs I follow have something to do with motherhood, interior design, childhood cancer, simplifying, organizing, or sewing. All of which are not quite relevant to my current stage of life, but whatever….I was following a few wedding blogs, but they stressed me out to much. I like a good dose of Jesus in my blog life, and that’s hard to come by in the wedding industry. I still check them out every now and then to get some good ideas.

With all of this blog following, I felt that I should do a little bit of writing and not be such a consumer. So…. I’ve learned a few things about myself the past few weeks. One being, that I definitely have a huge “comfort idol.” Most people have one of these four main idols: comfort, power, control, and approval. I am a nice ugly combination of comfort and control. Maybe a little bit of approval, depending on the day and the person I am trying to find approval from. I don’t really feel like going into a discussion about idols, I just want to say that I have one and now I know what it is. My comfort idol causes me to avoid stress as much as possible. Doesn’t sound so bad, but it can lead to laziness. But I also know that I totally a Type A. So, I find a lot of fulfillment in accomplishing things. Checking things off a list makes me feel really good about myself. Oh, and my lists are ridiculous. I have all of these things that I am so passionate about doing. Each morning I wake up excited about what I can accomplish that day, only to go to bed feeling disappointed that I couldn’t do it all. So back to the comfort idol…. I try to avoid stress by avoiding the things I need/want to do that day, because, usually, the things that I most passionate about are the very things that give me stress. I desperately need Jesus to rescue me from it all! I find that I need him in new ways every day. I’ve become more and more dependent on Him, but for some reason I still insist on going through my life without Him. Those days are usually difficult, laced with pain, suffering, and confusion, with little joy to overcome. I really am dying a slow death. In other words, with every passing day, I have less of an ability to control my own life; I need Jesus to keep on saving me. I need Him to help me make sense of it all. When I go about life on my own, it is more painful than before, because He makes up more of my identity now. “Less of me and more of You” used to seem like a pious prayer, but now it’s taking on a whole new meaning. Less of me controlling my own life and more of You holding my hand, showing me where to go and what to do. And that sounds pretty good….

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Made in His Image

I've been feeling really great the past couple of weeks! I think it is a combination of lots of things. Eating better (more veggies, fruit, fiber, water), exercising a lot more, keeping up with my daily reading plan, catching up with old friends, keeping myself on a schedule, blah blah.... Anyways, I'm learning that I thrive on a schedule. I think everyone does, but man i REALLY NEED a schedule to function well at all. I have been thinking a lot about how God is very orderly Himself. He knows when everything is going to happen; He makes timelines for billions of people all over the world. He definitely knows what He's doing, when He's doing it for billions of people. My soul longs to bring order to the chaos ...to make sense of things, to gracefully navigate through my day with intentionality in my actions and words. I want to have it all together. I use to think it was wrong of me to desire that. I don't know why..but the more orderly I am, the more I see God working in my life, using me, teaching me, and guiding me along. I guess it's arrogant to think I can keep everything together on my own. It is God who holds my life together and sustains me. BUT he needs my cooperation! He needs for me to be on my toes. there are so many things that ARE out of my control, but I don't think that means I should allow my life to be out of control to recognize that God sustains me.

God says in Genesis 1, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

God is a careful and dilegent manager, and wants for me to be this way in the work He gives me to do. My longing for things to be orderly and organized doesn't come from my Type A personality, but from a God who invites me to imitate Him in all things while I'm on earth. Realizing this has given me so much freedom and helped me to thrive where God has placed me inthis season. So many of these truths have become twisted in my mind.

I guess I've been contemplating these lifestyle issues, i guess you could call them, because I am going to be joining/creating a new lifestyle with another person soon. I've been thinking about what kind of home I want to create with Tom. trying to weigh the improtance of things like cleaning, cooking, organizing, etc. How important will maintaining those things be to us? what kind of schedule will we have? What kind of environment do I want him to come home to everyday? Will our children one day thrive in that environment once we've made a habit of doing things a "certain way" and being unable to break out of them. I love thinking about these things. I feel honored that God is giving me more things to manage in my life. I guess being a Human Development and Family Science major helps me to think of these lifestyle choices in a more systematic way.

Images like the one above make me one happy girl.Props to Container Store:) Have a beautiful, orderly day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thought I would share one of my favorite inspiration boards on Snippet and Ink's blog.

a general update on life

Wow, it has been a while! I had plans to blog over the break but that obviously didn't happen. Now that I am into a routine for the semester, I'm feeling super ready to balance all of the things that I want to do throughout my day.

A little update on life... Over the break Tom and I got to spend a lot of time together, which was MUCH needed. We were lazy bums most of the break. We saw more movies than I care to admit, but hey, we had gift cards to the movies! How could we resist? I went to Auburn to see some family there. My cousin, Kaylie, came along last minute and we were able to spend some much needed time together with my other cousins, Darby and Madison. My Aunt Angela is a great hostess, so we had a weekend of fun and relaxation. I always cherish the moments I get to spend with these girls, and I take great comfort in knowing that we will continue to be a part of each other's lives no matter where we are (or how old). I love being totally girly, and let me tell you, my cousins know how to bring out that GIRLY girl in me :)

We've made definite progress on the wedding plans. I've ordered linens, the cakes, save the dates are FINALLY out, invitations are about to be ordered today, Lou Mandy is going to be our calligrapher, moving forward on a rehearsal dinner location, meeting the florist next week, figured out a theme for numbering tables, bought lots of picture frames on sale at Aaron's Brothers, doing some artsy craftsy details in my spare time at home, room blocks are set up, shower dates are almost set, and we registered! Registering was a little overwhelming. We are loving that we can edit everything online, though. I will probably spend WAY too much time doing that in the next couple of months. We registered at Crate and Barrel, Macy's, and BB&B. I can't wait to start decorating a home. The rent houses we had in college were fun, but we never felt like we had much ownership in those places. Being long distance, we travel a lot on the weekends. Tom practically lives out of his truck, and I am gone at least every other weekend, if not more. We are very much looking forward to have a place where we can both relax..together..whenever we want, however we want! I have a stash of decorating books on my shelf that are itching to be put to good use. I am very much excited to obey God's call to women to be "busy at home" :) I dream of creating a welcoming, safe, organized place for Tom to come home to. It kills me that I can't give that to him right now...

This semester has been one of my favorites so far. The HDFS (Human Development and Family Science) department requires students to do a practicum during their last semester. I am doing mine at the Center for Child Protection for 20hrs/week. In my role as a Family Support Specialist, I greet children and families and interact with children and siblings before and after the interview process. The children coming in have been either sexually or physically abused, or witnessed a violent act of crime. They take children up to 18 years old and also see adults with developmental delays. Everyone at the center is VERY nice. CCP relies heavily on volunteers and interns. The work I do feels very meaningful. There is quite a bit of down time, as well. But no one complains about that...having children in for interviews is not something to really celebrate anyways. The interview is the first step for a child to tell what happened. they visit the Center accompanied by a parent or guardian. All of the participating agencies including law enforcement officers, CPS, the Center's forensic interviewers, and onsite Assistant District Attorney collaborate so that the child can have a safe, non-threatening environment for their statements to be recorded in. There is follow-up care for children and parents via therapy and protective parenting classes.

In addition to that, I am taking my last class, Infant Development and Attachment Relationships. I am loving this class as well. If you know anything about me, you know I have always been fascinated by attachment and anything to do with birth/babies/pregnancy. I feel blessed to be taking the class. There is SO much information out there concerning this topic, but it's nice to know what the research actually says. We had a parent panel last night during class. A couple of first time parents came in to speak about their struggles with getting pregnant. The women were both in their early forties, and were 22 and 28 weeks along. It was surprisingly very informative! There are so many decisions involved with having a baby. From picking the name to banking umbilical cord blood, I could see their anxiety about "picking the right choice."

Speaking of babies...when Tom and I first started dating we both expressed a desire to adopt children. Over the past few years, that desire has grown. God has brought people and experiences into our lives to re-affirm our longing to care for orphans in their distress. My church, Austin Stone Community Church, has been raising awareness about adoption, urging Christians to live out the gospel through horizontal adoption. I don't know a lot of things in my life right now, but I do know that God is shaping my heart in such a way that I will feel unsatisfied if we don't at least pursue adoption at some point in our lives. So... I heard about this adoption conference that Grace Covenant Church is holding on Feb. 20th. Tom and I signed up. Hopefully it will be informative. From what we've heard, adoption is a VERY long and hard process. We aren't adopting anytime soon, of course, but we really want to be educated about ithe financial, emotional, and spiritual aspects of it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brad and Nikki's Engagement Session

Nikki is a good friend of mine and asked if I would take their engagement pictures for them. I was surprised that she asked and a little nervous about doing them. But we got some great shots and it was SO much FUN!!! I'm hooked!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


"As I sit her in the window of this cottage I can see a sailboat skimming silently along the horizon. It is a beautiful image of freedom. But the freeom of the sailboat to move so swiftly and beautifully is the result of obedience to laws. The builder of the boat had to know the proper ratio of beam to keel and mast. The one one sails the boat obeys the rule of sailing. A ship tacking against the wind moves deviously, but when she runs with a strong tide or a following wind she takes to herself the power of tide and wind and they become her own. She is doing the thing she was made for. She is free not by disobeying the rules but by obeying them." - Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman

I have struggled for so long with what it means for a Christian to have freedom. Obeying laws never seemed very free to me. But I found that not obeying them left me feeling burdened and even more enslaved. This analogy nailed it for me!

Wish I could write more, but I am going to be late for class. I have been working with 5 year-olds in a classroom at the UT Child Laboratory. This is one of my last weeks to be with them. I am going to miss these little people!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I sat in my chair for 30 minutes before I could write anything. I have so much to say, but I don't know how to interpret or communicate most of it. I am truly a mess. some are trying to convince me I'm a beautiful one. I might sort of kind of believe them.. sometimes. I am listening to Explosions In The Sky. ah..music with no words. It's so good, it doesn't need words. I generally like music for the meaning that's found in the lyrics, but I'm not good with words lately. Tears, grunts, screams and laughter work better. Prayer. maybe no words need to be spoken. I continually give God my frustrations, anger, sadness, rebellion, tears, and regretfully slim, moments of gratitude. no words are needed. he knows. maybe we aren't so far apart after all. maybe we are closer than ever. My honesty scares me. when I'm honest, it's messy, hurtful, ugly, discouraging and overwhelming. I am so tired. tired of living between light and darkness, beauty and chaos, truth and lies, sin and purity...just tired. But my hands are open. they're open to what You can give. My mind is confused and my heart is aching, but my hands are open. Jesus, take them, love them, heal them, and show me life again.

Come to find out... I didn't know this, but the song I have on repeat is called "Your Hand in Mine." Album: "The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place." Coincidence? I think not...