Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'll Be Home for Christmas

I was thinking today about the song, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." When I moved away from home to attend college and later to relocate to Atlanta this song became one of my favorites. I connected it with going home to that familiar place that I called home. It was a combination of the people and the place. For some reason, I always expected home to be a constant. I don't know why because when you grow-up as a PK (Preacher's Kid), you know changes and moves are inevitable. When my parents moved to south Florida in 2002, home changed for me. That same year my sister and brother-in-law relocated to Atlanta and, bonus for me, they were expecting my first niece. Kids change things and this one definitely changed Christmas for us. My sister would now become the Christmas hostess. I lost a little love for the song during this time because I thought, "I have no home to go home to for Christmas."

We had begun new traditions with the first niece 7 years ago. Then 4 years ago we began even more new traditions with the addition of another niece. My sister had taken on the tradition that my parents had of us inviting the entire family to spend Christmas with us. This wasn't just Christmas extended to days leading up to and following. That's a lot of family in 1 house!!!!

As I was beginning to settle into the idea of our new traditions, things changed again. My brother-in-law accepted a job in frigid Indiana the beginning of this year, so this meant our Christmas traditions would change again. Now, I will be travelling to Indiana for Christmas.

Even though there have been so many changes, I've rekindled my love for "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Home for me is family. We may be celebrating in a different place this year, but it's the faces of those that I'll be celebrating with that are home for me. I couldn't imagine not spending Christmas with my family. I've been passing down my Christmas traditions to my nieces. The best of all is getting up at 6 to open presents. I try to be kind to adults by getting up earlier to have the coffee made and ready to go...hoping they won't hate me for passing down this tradition, but this is what being home for Christmas means to me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Refine Me

Proverbs 27:21 "The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, and each is tested by the praise accorded him."

Proverbs 17:3 "The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts."

Refining is the purification process of a substance or form. During the refining process of metals, like gold or silver, heat is used to release the dross (impurities). The purifier will skim these impurities off the top of the pot. The refining process is complete when the refiner looks into the pot and sees his reflection. The final product is identical to the original form.

Trials are the refining process God uses to remove impurities in our lives and make us more like Him. James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of you faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." I don't know about you, but I've never been in the midst of a trial and thought, "This is GREAT!!!!!" We usually don't view these trials as joyful experiences when we are going through them, but we have to remember that God promises to work all things for good (Romans 8:28). Malachi 3:3 says, "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness." In the refining process of gold and silver, the fire has to reach a certain temperature to release the impurities. However, if the temperature is one degree higher it can damage the metal, so the purifier sits with the fire. God doesn't leave us in the middle of a trial because His ultimate goal with trials isn't to destroy us, but to strengthen us and deepen our faith in Him.

The more pure the gold or silver, the more it is worth. We are worthy & valuable to God, and He uses this refining process to show us how much values us. I've experienced trials in my own life and I haven't enjoyed them when going through them, but I have experienced the benefits that can come from them. THAT gives me hope to endure my current trial! It explains why David prayed in Psalm 26:2, "Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and heart."

I have adopted the song, Refine Me, by Jennifer Knapp as my prayer to God. The lyrics are:
I come into this place
Burning to receive your peace
I come with my own chains
From wars I've fought for my own selfish gain
You're my God and my Father
I've accepted Your Son
But my soul feels so empty now
What have I become?
Lord, come with Your fire
Burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Refine me
My heart can't see
When I only look at me
My soul can't hear
When I only think of my own fears
They are gone in a moment
You're forever the same
Why did I look away from You
How can I speak Your name
Lord, come with Your fire
Burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Come rescue this child
For I long to be reconciled to You
It's all I can do
To give my heart and soul to You
And pray, and pray, oh I will pray
Lord, come with Your fire
Burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Come rescue this child
For I long to be reconciled to You
Refine Me, Refine Me
Refine Me

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shining Like the Moon

I'm a mix between a city & country girl. I love the city lights. However, I love to be away from all the lights and have the only light be from the light of the moon. Lots of people talk about watching the sun rise over the ocean. While I enjoy the beauty of the sunrise, I'm a little opposite of most people. I like to watch the moon dance on the ocean.

There's a line from the song, "Shine," by Salvador that says, "I want to shine like the moon a reflection of You." As I sat and pondered this line, I realized what a beautiful symbol the moon is of what our lives, as Christians, should look like. The moon is merely reflecting the light from the sun. Just like we should be reflecting The Son!

Proverbs 27:19 "As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man."

Break Is Over

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I had several months where I was moving and allowing God to do some work in my own heart and life. I'm back now; and hopefully, I will be posting a lot more frequently.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Did You Just Need a Doughnut Reaallll Bad?!?!

It's taken me some time to be able to write about this incident, but here goes...

They say most accidents happen less than a mile from home. Well, this was true for me. I had left home stopped at QT to get gas before making my long trek from my home (north of Atlanta) to my office (south of Atlanta). After leaving QT I made my way back out onto the road. I was first in line at the traffic light. I saw the police cruiser pull up to the U-turn lane on the opposite side of the road. The thought popped in my head, "He is going to flip his lights on just as the light turns green, so he can go without waiting on the line of traffic behind me." Now, I thought this, but I didn't think it would really happen! Well, the light turned green and sure enough he flipped on his lights to make his u-turn. So, what's a girl to do? She has to yield to the flashing blue lights!!!! Just as sure as I stopped to allow this police officer to make his u-turn, I was rear-ended by the car behind me!

The nice little police officer that just HAD to make that u-turn saw the accident happen, so he stopped to write up the police report. It took everything within me not to say to him, "So, you really weren't turning your lights on to go on a call?! What?! You just couldn't wait another second longer to get to the Dunkin D0nuts?!" I refrained and was on my merry little way in no time...just with a dent in the back bumper!

So, here's my life lesson: When a police cruiser pulls up to a traffic light be prepared for the lights to go on. You may think he's got a call to answer, but it's really just the call of the doughnut! I'm just sayin...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Am Clay

Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; and all we are the work of Your hand."

Several months ago, I went to a pottery shop for an introductory class. As I began to mold my clay, I was reminded that we are clay that is constantly being molded and shaped by our Father's hands.

I will be honest, my first piece didn't look so good. One would think that it wouldn't be THAT hard to make a bowl-like structure when you have something to form it around...YEAH, RIGHT! When I looked at my first piece of work, I saw every imperfection and flaw. I really wanted to just throw it away and say, "Forget it!" The instructor told me not to look at it that way because when it was glazed and fired, it could come out looking really great.

What a great reminder of how God looks at us! Sure, we all have flaws and imperfections, but God doesn't toss us because of them. I put a lot of pressure on myself to not allow my flaws or imperfections show. I view them as weaknesses and I don't want anyone to view me as weak. However, I'm quickly learning that in my weaknesses He is made strong. What I see as horrible imperfections, He sees as areas of my life that, if I choose to live in truth and grace, He can use to bring ultimate glory to Himself! When we allow Him to continue to work on those flaws and imperfections, our lives become a beautiful testimony of His mercy and grace. God doesn't toss us because of our imperfections because He sees the final result and IT is a beautiful piece of work.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Guard your heart, girl!

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

Our hearts house who we are...our desires. As John Eldredge says in his book, Desire, "Everything that makes life worth living flows from the heart. Intimacy, romance, love. Adventure and meaning and purpose. Courage and sacrifice and joy." No wonder we're told to guard our hearts!

I can't count the number of times that I've been told as a Christian single to "guard my heart" in regards to relationships with the opposite sex. I fully agree that girls do need to guard their hearts in those relationships, but I also think it extends beyond those relationships and beyond applying only to girls!

I think we overlook guarding our hearts with friends because we think we need to share everything with every friend. I had to learn the hard way that every friend can't be trusted with my entire heart. I'm sure that I'm not the only person that has experienced the hurt and pain that comes from a friend when you realize you've trusted them with a part of you/your heart that they couldn't handle. I will admit that it's hard to determine who to share what with without being fake! I finally learned that there are degrees of truth. This has allowed me to be the real me with all my friends, but each friendship has its own level of truth. I have friends who are, what I call, my heart friends. These are the friends that I can bare my soul to and know they can be trusted with that information. Those heart friends were determined over time because character had to be revealed.

It's hard to know to what extent to guard your heart in relationships, but I've found that it's good to land somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of too open and too guarded. I've been both extremes. We all know that when we're too open, pain is inevitable! Being too guarded can be painful, too. It causes us to close ourselves off to what could be really great relationships. I don't think God wants us to live life this way. We were built for relationship with Him and others. Some of my greatest learning lessons have come out of situations where I let the guard down. Those lessons haven't always been painless; but, as someone once told me, "Stretching and growing is always painful." I don't want to be so guarded that I miss out on something that could be really great!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's time to come clean

Hello, my name is Angela AND I am a Starbucks addict.

Readers of I'm Just Sayin: "Hello, Angela."

Really???? What's not to love about Starbucks?! I guess for some it is as Tom Hanks' character in You've Got Mail says, "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision making ability, whatsoever, to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short. Tall. Light. Dark. Caff. Decaf. Low fat. Nonfat. So people who don't know who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee, but absolutely a defining sense of self!"

I've been drinking coffee most of my life, but Starbucks allowed me to take that coffee addiction to a whole new level! It opened a whole new world of coffee opportunities for me! I could couple two of my favorite things in one and caramel. What more could a girl want?! Well, lots, but that's an entirely different blog!

For me, Starbucks is more than just is an experience!

When you walk in, you are greeted by the rich coffee aroma! That smell soon gets into your clothes and hair, which I must say is like taking a little piece of heaven with you when you go! I wish I could figure out how to bottle that smell!

I love meeting friends at, as I affectionately call it, The Bucks! You don't have to worry about them kicking you out because you've been there for hours chatting away, reading a book, or working on your computer. You can settle in to one of their deep, comfy chairs and let the stresses of the day just melt away and enjoy your cup of coffee.

It's my happy place! SIGHHHHHHHH :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Are you content?

Philippians 4: 11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who give me strength."

Do you ever wish that you could learn the secret of contentment that Paul learned? What is it that causes us to become discontent? I think we struggle with contentment because we are always looking for the next best thing to make us happy, which we equate with being content. That next best thing comes in many forms: more money, more power, cars, houses, jobs, and the one I've dealt with the most...getting married.

Being a 30 something single, I can relate to this one! We are taught from the time we are little girls that we are princesses. Well, we all know what happens when you're a princess...a prince on a white horse will com in to rescue you & whisk you away to live happily ever after. This isn't what God intended for us at all! He wants to be our Prince that comes in to rescue us! If we aren't content in Him, then nothing else will bring us true contentment...not even marriage!

I, like most other single women, desire to be married and have a family. Those aren't bad desires, and I fully believe they are God given desires. I think we can make the mistake of looking at those desires as the point in which our lives can start. I've heard it said that if you are aren't content before you get married, marriage isn't going to make you content.

There is a much deeper desire within me to pursue Christ and the purpose He has for me. I have a desire within me to work with young girls and women. I have no clue where God is going to lead me in this area, but He is continually opening doors and I'm walking through them. I've found that when I pursue Christ and His calling, the other desires fade into the background. It doesn't mean that I've abandoned those desires...they just aren't the most important to me. A man was never meant to complete me. That's God's job!!!! If I'm doing my thing and pursuing God, then if/when God brings the guy, he'll just be the icing on the cake.

I think this was the secret Paul learned: if you pursue Christ and the desires he places within you, your striving for all those other desires ceases. It's easy to be content when you aren't trying to seek out the next best thing to bring you contentment.

A Smile on this face...

I've decided that somewhere within me is a magnet that attracts the most bizarre men...I call them my crazies! Just like any single, available girl, I do want some interest from the opposite sex. However, there are some that I wish would not pay me any attention at all! In the last few weeks, I've had a string of them. My favorite to date happened yesterday morning.

Picture it....

I'm driving down the interstate in my exit only lane prepared to merge onto yet another interstate while singing "Defying Gravity" from the Wicked soundtrack at the top of my lungs. Suddenly, a crew cab F350 truck in the lane next to me gets a little ahead of me and there is a man leaning half of his body out the back wind of the truck waving wildly at me. Well, of course I look because he could be trying to tell me something important like, "Hey, you have a flat tire!" This was not the case! When he knew he had my attention he gave me a cheesy grin and then did the Joey backward head nod, as if to say, "How you doin'?"

I was shocked!!!!! I mean, seriously?!?! What did he think I was gonna do???? Did he think I was gonna gesture with my thumb & pinky next to my face as if to say, "Call me," then hold up a poster board with my number plastered on it?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Insecurities: We all have them, so what do we do with them?

We all have insecurities...that's just part of life! What we do with those insecurities is a different story. The way I see it, there are two ways to handle our insecurities: we can live out of them or we can find freedom from them in Christ.

Living out of Insecurities

Insecurities present themselves in different ways for each of us. If we are insecure about friendships, we spend all our time trying to fit in with the people we want to be accepted by. When we are insecure in our ability to do something, we tend to go above and beyond what's required in an effort to prove ourselves to gain acceptance and approval. When we are insecure about our looks or personal appearances, we try to wear the right make-up, have the right hairstyle, dress like those we want to impress, or workout and diet tirelessly. When we are insecure about our singleness or relationships, we tend to become over eager in trying to make someone interested in us. When we try to arrange our lives to overcompensate for our own insecurities, we neglect God and we exhaust ourselves and those around us.

Freedom in Christ

When we bring our insecurities before God and allow Him to heal those insecurities, we find freedom. In Him, we are greatly loved and accepted. We are beautiful in His sight (Ps 45:11). He has called us His beloved (Song of Solomon). He is the greatest Friend we will ever have (Job 16:20-21). One of the greatest compliments I have received is being told that I'm the same no matter who I'm around and I'm not afraid to say what I think. That is one of the benefits that come when we take our insecurities to God. When we relinquish our insecurities to The Father, we are able to be ourselves without worrying about others around us because we are only concerned about Him and what He says about us. Beth Moore said, "Our callings can be at stake if we are not willing to allow Him to deal with our insecurities." Allowing Him to heal our insecurities frees us up to live the life He has called us to live. I don't know about you, but I don't want my insecurities to hold me back from what He has planned for me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Valuable Lesson

I have just returned from a little trip to the beach. Since this was my first extended period of time in the sun for the season, I thought it best to be well equipped with sunscreen. I usually use SPF of 10 or less, but decided to bump it up to a 15 for this beach trip. I love the spray sunscreen because it is less of a mess and much easier to get those hard to reach places when there is no one there to rub the suntan lotion on your back! I finally had the perfect beach day, so off I go with my book, iPod, Blackberry, and sunscreen. I wasn't prepared for the massive wind that was present, but I really thought that I had done a good job of getting every part of exposed skin covered with sunscreen.

Not so much! They should put a warning label on those spray sunscreens...Don't use in windy conditions! I didn't realize until I was home and showered that there were different areas on my body that were varied between tan and lobster red! A nice splotchy look going on...oh, so attractive!

I learned a valuable lesson, though...wind and spray sunscreen don't play well together. Let this be a lesson to us all!

The Birds...2009 Edition

While at DisneyWorld this past week I was assaulted by a bird! I had just finished eating at a lovely little restaurant next to It's a Small World and was making my way to Peter Pan's Flight when I felt something cold and wet hit my cheek. I quickly put my finger to my cheek to wipe the wet spot away only to discover that a bird had just pooped on my face! I look up, to see my attacker flying if he had done no harm. I was horrified and disgusted! However, my family thought this was the funniest thing ever! My sister came up with a little poem for the occasion, "Birdie, birdie in the sky...why you poo poo in my eye?!"

I must say that I wasn't really amused, but was completely shocked that this had happened to me! So what do I do? I post it on Facebook of course! My philosophy is: Better to tell on yourself than to allow others to tell on you! My status post sparked a ton of comments and laughter! My friend, Melissa, compared me to Ouisser from Steel Magnolias. Another friend, Lisa, informed me that it was good luck to be pooped on by a bird. Seriously?!?! If being pooped on by a bird is good luck, I sure don't want any bad luck! I must say, however, that I think it does greatly help the complexion.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Desperately seeking a bathing suit

I am desperately seeking the perfect bathing suit. Any woman will understand my situation. There are so many components to finding that perfect bathing suit color, fit, size...the list is endless! I am coming to the realization that no matter what size you are, searching for the perfect bathing suit is sure to deflate any illusions of grandeur that you may have had about your body! I'm so glad that the bathing suit industry finally caught on that we are not all the same size on top and bottom. However, that doesn't solve all the problems! I finally found a suit that I actually loved! I grabbed it off the rack, marched myself to the dressing room, and proceeded to try it on. Looking in the mirror, I felt my body image drop about 3 notches or more! In any ordinary outfit or piece of clothing, I'm content with my body. Put me in a bathing suit and it is a different story! I think this has got to be the case for all women. Seriously, is this some evil plot against women????

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Can't Believe I Ate THAT Much!

Today, I set out to explore the great city of Atlanta with a friend. We had no set plan because the day was just about exploring and seeing where we ended up! We get into the car and set off. First topic of conversation was where we were going to eat lunch...we had only just begun, but that is where our minds (and our stomachs) were taking us! We decided to drive around a bit before eating. We were able to stop and take some beautiful pictures of the skyline of Atlanta. Then we visited St. Phillip's Cathedral in Atlanta. We were there for quite some time snapping photos, and we hadn't even thought about food UNTIL the wind blew and we got a whiff of something cooking and that was all she wrote.

We quickly packed up our camera equipment and set off to find food! After driving up and down Peachtree Street we decided to eat at the Pharr Out Cafe. We find a parking space on a side street, park the car, and get out to walk to the restaurant...only to find it was no longer in existence. What were a couple of starving girls to do? We decided to walk up 1 block and eat at a nice little restaurant near The Fabulous Fox Theater. We walked in, got a table on the patio, and promptly began glancing over the menu! We both decided to get a calzone. We both ate said calzones that came to us oozing mozarella and ricotta cheeses. It was, in the words of Willy Wonka, "Scrumdidilyumptious!"

After eating such a heavy lunch, we knew we needed to walk around to "exercise" that off. What do we do? We get in the car and begin to journey all over the rest of Atlanta. We made one more photographic stop, then decided to go in search of a beverage as we were 99.9% parched! Where are two girls to go to find such refreshment? Why Steak and Shake, of course! We go in with the mindset of milkshake. However, we walked in and were greeted by the smell of burgers on the grill and decided we MUST have some burgers, too! Since it had only been a couple of hours since our last "feeding", we decided to split 3 of the new Burger Shooters (mini burgers). This was in addition to the milkshake and Mr. Pibb that we had each ordered. As we sat there eating all this food, we just kept saying, "I can't believe I've eaten this much today!" So, yes, it was a lot of food to consume in only a few short hours, but I think it all balances out since neither of us will be eating for the remainder of the day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Healing Rain

I love the smell of rain! Some may not know what I'm talking about, but it's a distinctive smell, indicative of the oncoming cleansing. When the pollen counts are high, I'm extremely grateful for the rain. More often than not, I'm not too thrilled with the rain. It can be a hassle and inconvenience. Sometimes it causes me more problems than I'd really care to deal with in my day!

I was thinking today how sometimes there are storm clouds in my soul. When it does rain in my soul, I respond in many of the same ways that I do when I see physical rain. I want the cleansing to come; but when God brings it, I'm less than thrilled with the pain it sometimes produces. I've prayed and said to God, "Whatever it takes to bring You glory, I'm ready to deal with it!" What I'm starting to realize is that I really want God to bring the cleansing rain when it is convenient for me. That isn't really how He works, is it? However, it is the right time for the cleansing to come! As I allow myself to be immersed in His rain, I find that it brings cleansing and healing...much like physical rain.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hellloooooo, Mr. Airline Man...

Ummmmm, Hellloooooo Mr. Airline Man...have you forgotten that your job is to provide me with a service? A service for which I pay you to carry me and my belongings from Point A to Point B and back. In case you have forgotten, this service does require me to have a seat aboard your aircraft. Gone are the days where I could purchase a ticket aboard your aircraft and pick my seat with no additional charges. Now, you have decided to charge me to pick a seat aboard your aircraft! Are you kidding me???? Shouldn't this price already be included with your initial ticket price? It seems to me that you are just looking for any way to make an extra buck. I realize times are tough, but come on! I'm willing to pay your little seat fee, so that I can fly comfortably and not be squished for an entire 2 hours between to total strangers! And, I'm not the only one! You have us consumers right where you want us.

As if this weren't enough, you now want to charge me to check a bag! Really????!!! I'm wise to how you operate! The checked bag fee has increased the amount of carry-ons, so now you catch people at the gate with their carry-on and tell them they now have to check it and pay your "little" fee! Well, I've got news for you, Mr. Airline Man...I can ship my belongings via FedEx cheaper than I can check them with you! AND, an added bonus, it will arrive when I do and if it doesn't I can track it down! No more lost luggage for me in the airports of America! So, you think you're pretty smart, but you are not as wise as this girl! I may pay your seat fee, but I refuse to pay your checked bag fee again!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

All Skate, Couple's Skate...

For my birthday this year I thought it would be fun to have a skating party. Many things have changed in the world of skating since I was a kid!

First of all, the kids aren't as nice as I remember us being when we were growing up! I had little 4 year olds that almost took me out! Seriously?! I wanted to say, "Kid, I'm bigger than you. You knock me over and I fall on you, it will hurt you way more than it will hurt me!"

Second, there are these dance teams out there on the floor. OK, that is just bizarre on so many levels! I don't really like to be skating around the rink with two guys who are synchronized skating. Whatever happened to just skating for the fun of it?

Third, it is a lot scarier to skate as an adult than as a child. Maybe it's because you aren't as close to the ground or that the bones break a lot easier now!

Lastly, the music isn't even stuff that I know, except for the few mainstream songs they played. Seriously, why can't they just bring back the days of a couple's skate to Prince's "Purple Rain" or something slow from back in the day? These kids today need to know what it's like to kick it old style!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Opossum Whisperer

Last night, as I rounded the corner of my apartment building, I was greeted by two beety, little eyes staring me down from the top of the stairs. I jumped because it scared the bejeezus out of me! I quickly realized this wasn't a cat I was dealing was a opossum!

My initial thought was to turn back around and get back in my car; however, as I turned to walk away, I thought, "This is STUPID! I'm not gonna let some stupid opossum keep me from going down the other set of stairs to my apartment!" I promptly turned back around, pepper spray in hand and ready to fire! It was then that I began to reason with the opossum. "OK, little opossum, you stay right there and don't come after me. You come after me, and I'm gonna spray you with this pepper spray!" I talked to that thing the whole time I was walking down the other stairs. My fear was that it was going to jump from the flight of staris above me and onto my head! He didn't move an inch!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Game of Life

I have always compared life to a game of chess. I know nothing about chess except that each player is trying to block the planned moves of his opponent...well, that and checkmate, but I don't even know what that means or when to use it! :) So many times I find myself laying out my plan for my life only to have my plan blocked by God, or so I think! When disappointment comes because the path I had envisioned hits a snare, roadblock, detour, or dead end, it's easy to lose hope. In the process of losing hope, the desires are lost, too. The enemy wants me to lose hope and desires because the moment I do, I lose sight of God. John Eldredge sums it up in one sentence, "When we abandon desire, we no longer hear or understand what He is saying." For me, I try to abandon desire because I want to self protect. If I don't desire anything, nothing can be taken from me and I won't be disappointed in God, myself, or others. This isn't the life that God envisioned for me or any of us. God created us to have desires. Ps. 37:4 says, "Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart." There's more to it than just that verse. When you read the verse before and after, you see God's vision for our desires. Ps 37:3-5 "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." I've realized that I need to be vulnerable, admit my desires, ask for God's help in obtaining those desires, and trust Him.

There are a couple of problems with my chess scenario...1) God isn't always responsible for blocking my plan. We are all broken and we live in a broken world. We block our own plan and occasionally we block the plans of others. 2) God doesn't block or detour my plan because He is a mean God who doesn't want me to have the desires of my heart fulfilled. I don't think I really understood why God would want to detour a plan that would allow me to realize a desire until I was reading in Deut. 8 about the children of Israel. "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert those forty years to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart...He humbled you, causing you to hunger." Deut. 8:2-3

I find it amazing that God led the children of Israel through the wilderness 40 years to find out what was truly in their hearts. They had been so close to The Promised Land, but what kept them from seeing it sooner was a heart problem. It's not that God doesn't want us to have desires, He just wants us to desire Him above everything else.


Isaiah 55:8-9 "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"

Do you ever think you've got the plan for your life all figured out only to realize that the plan you've determined isn't God's plan? I've been there many times! I'm so sure of where God is leading me and think I know the end result that He has in store, only to find that God has a different end result in store. Why is it that I still try to figure out what God's plan is when He's told me that His ways aren't my ways? When I try to determine how things are going to turn out, I'm putting God in a box. When I give up the need to understand, I allow God to be God and I can rest in who He is. Eventhough it is a little unsettling at times to just sit back and enjoy the journey, I think I would much rather not get caught up in my own plans that I miss out on God's!

Ode to the Flip Flops

Flip flops, flip flops I adore you! How do I love you? Let me count the ways.

First, you are THIS shoeaholics dream. You come in a variety of shades and styles and you are so affordable. Why settle for just one pair of shoes, when you can have multiple pairs of flip flops?

Second, you give freedom to my feet! You offer protection for the soles of my feet while allowing my little toes to feel the sun and wind. It's like going barefooted with shoes on! Sheer bliss!!!!!!

Third, but most importantly, you make me happy! I will wear you anytime of year as long as the temps are warm enough for my little toes to brave the elements.

So, yes, my dear flip flops, I do love you!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I have been looking for a title for this blog for a while now. Music is a big part of my life, and God often uses music to speak to me; so it is really no surprise that this blog title would come from a song. My hope for this blog is that it will encourage others on their individual journeys as I share things that God is teaching me on my own journey. Below are the lyrics to Shadowfeet:

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
Toward home, a land I've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began
And I have sensed it all along
Fast approaching is the day

When the world is falling out from under me
I'll be found in You, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in You

There's distraction buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
But I've heard rumors of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way

When the world is falling out from under me
I'll be found in You, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in You

You make all things new

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in You, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I'll be found in You

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Let's Bowl...Let's Bowl...Let's Rock and Roll...

I am not the greatest of bowlers. It's more like gutterballs all the way, with the occasional pin here and there. I don't really take myself seriously! I would just like to know where are the stunt balls that they used in Grease 2? They made it look so easy...they swing their arm, ball in hand, all the way around and then throw it down the lane and a strike soon follows. And, to top it all off, they are singing and dancing down the lane! Bowling in real life isn't that easy.

First, the balls are not stunts! It should be an easy task to find the perfect ball, but it is more difficult than it appears! I had a list of qualifications for my ball: 1) It had to be pretty. 2) It needed to be as light as possible. 3) It needed to have holes that my fingers didn't get stuck in! I thought I had found such a ball, so I proceed to go to my lane and send the ball down toward the pins, or the gutter in my case. :) After about three or four frames, my thumb was killing me! I have been injured, injured bad!!!! Bowling should not leave you with bruises. It is NOT a contact sport! What is up with that?! Needless to say, I gave up on putting my fingers in the holes and proceeded to granny bowl, sit on the floor and kick it down with my feet, and any other way I could think of. Surprisingly, I got more pins down when I sat on the floor and kicked it than I did any other way!

Second, you and those around you do not break out into a musical number while bowling! Seriously, if I had started walking toward the lane and started in with, "Let's Bowl, let's bowl, let's rock and roll...hey, c'mon let's get this show on the road..." the people in the place would have looked at me like I had lost my mind! I think I would have done a much better job if I had been singing while bowling! I'm just sayin!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fat Girl in a Little Coat

In Georgia, snow doesn't come in massive quantities. OK, it rarely comes at all! SO, when you get the opportunity to go snow tubing on real snow AND you don't have to leave the state to do it, you should jump on that opportunity! That is exactly what I did! They have turned Stone Mountain into Snow Mountain for the next 12 weeks, so my friends and I decide that we will partake in the fun! Yeah, so we pick the coldest night of the year to head out and brave the "slopes"! What were we thinking???? All we knew was layer, layer, layer!

So, me being me, I'm concerned about being fashion conscious while being warm. As I began planning my outfit, I realized that my little knit gloves weren't going to cut it and I needed a hat and earwarmers! What does a girl in my situation do, she goes to the closest sporting goods store to find these fine necessities of life. Keep in mind, that I needed these items to compliment the rest of the outfit! Not an easy task, I must say! After 30 minutes of wandering through the local sporting goods store, I had items checked off my list! Gloves, check; cute hat, check; earwarmes, check; thermals, check check. For the lower half of my body, I had thermals, jeans, and two pairs of thick socks. For the upper portion, I was donning a lovely cami, the thermal shirt, my Bon Jovi longsleeved pink tee- a girl hittin' the snow needs a little Jon Bon for the ride ;-), a mossy green GAP hoodie with GAP stitched in a deep Eggplant purple and outlined in pink (the perfect compliment to my pink tee underneath), a brown and pink hat, and cream earwarmers and scarf. I was I thought!

Then a friend called, and began telling me about her experience snow tubing and said I may need to rethink my layers. She said I needed waterproof pants and a ski jacket. Ski jacket, I had and it (shock of all shocks) complimented the outfit quite nicely. Waterproof pants???? Seriously, that was gonna kill the whole look I had going! Unfortunately, I had none and time was short, so that was not an option for me. I then come up with the brilliant plan of rain boots! OK, maybe not the best plan, but I've been wanting some for a while and what better reason than this to purchase them??? So, after layering up and heading out, I stop by Target to check out these rain boots. As luck would have it, there were none in my size...all 9s and 10s. It was a sad day. However, as I was exiting the shoe section, I saw fleece pullovers on clearance! SCORE!!!!! I promptly found a pink fleece and dashed to the checkout lane. Now, I was ready to hit the snow!

When we make it to Stone Mountain, the sun had set and it was getting colder...nearing 20 degrees. Thankfully, one of my friends brought extra ski gear and had some waterproof pants I could put over my jeans! Yeah so they didn't go with the out fit, but when I describe to you how I looked, you will see why I suddenly didn't care. As we sat there preparing to hit the snow, I realized that I needed to add another layer to the upper body. Here is how it went: cami, thermal, longsleeved BonJovi tee, pink fleece (the one I just purchased at Target), GAP hoodie, cream ski jacket, cream coat, cream scarf, the earwarmers, and hat. Picture all of this on one girl...that's all I'm sayin'! Once the coat was on, you couldn't see anything I had on under it!

I felt like, "fat man in a little coat." NO LIE!!!! I wasn't cold, though! The snow tubing was great and I was very thankful for all layers, even if they didn't all coordinate with my original outfit!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If 2008 was supposed to be the year of change, what does that make 2009?

When we entered 2008, people kept telling me it was the year of change. So, I anxiously awaited these BIG changes that were said to be headed my way in the year to come. To me, big changes meant life-altering changes. As the year came to an end, I reflected back and there were no life-altering changes, just normal every day life changes...I moved to a new apartment, began dating someone...heartache soon followed, tried new things like hanggliding (so gonna go again) and Morroccan food (yeah, once was enough for me on this one!), and changed my hair color (numerous times)...nothing BIG! So, here I was at the end of 2008 thinking, "If 2008 was supposed to be the year of change and nothing happened, what did that make 2009 the year of?"

After much thought, I came to the conclusion that I'm not making any BIG predictions for this year. I want to continue to live life to the fullest, taking advantage of every opportunity presented to me, and maybe taking a few more risks along the way. I learned some valuable lessons in 2008, and I can honestly say that I have no regrets! There's a scene from 13 Going on 30 that I just love...Jennifer Garner's character is sitting across the table from her mom and she asks her if she could have one do-over in her life what would it be, and her mom replies nothing...I have no regrets. Jennifer Garner's character is shocked that she has no regrets and the mom says that if she didn't make the mistakes along the way she wouldn't know how to make things right. So, in 2009, I'm going to continue to live with no regrets!

A goddess is born...

I was given a nickname many years ago...The Bovine Goddess. How did that name come to be? Well, here's the story...

During my younger years (AND I'm NOT old), I became a fan of the word "heiffer". It became a descriptive word for most any moment...someone wronged was really was hotter than a heiffer in get the picture! The use of this word was amusing to most around me, so they wanted to nickname me "Queen Heiffer". I'm not a heiffer, so I quickly nipped that in the bud and told them they could call me Bovine Goddess. And THAT, my friends, is how The Bovine Goddess came to be.

I decided that for this venture, I would tweak that nickname just a bit...I've always had the gift of gab, so why not be a Gabbing Goddess??? I'm just sayin'!