Tuesday, September 24, 2013

unlucky 13

The other day I talked to a friend on the phone for the first time in a long time and she made a comment about how fun my life seemed. & I laughed. Not that my life isn't fun, but I think instagram gives a great facade. In reality, my day-to-day life sometimes seems so mundane it brings me to tears. Literally. 

There are days when I am certain that God has me here for a purpose. I think He gives me little glimpses of His plan to encourage me. But, most days, I struggle. 

This year has been hard. Isn't 13 supposed to be lucky? I think they might be wrong. I buried four people I love this year. After my grandpa passed away this summer, I prayed, "if someone else passes please let it be me because my heart couldn't possibly survive another loss." 

Last night I went to fall asleep and randomly thought about our beloved family dog, Blake, who passed away in 2011. I don't know what sparked the memory, but my heavy eyelids couldn't fight the flood of tears that came when I remembered her final days. I could still hear the loud thumps of her head hitting the hardwood floor with every seizure. I practically flew as I rushed down the stairs to get to her as fast as my legs would carry me. I could still feel her sitting atop of my crisscross legs as I held her tight until her body stopped seizing. I remember being late to my first day of work because I couldn't bare to leave her, with her foam covered mouth and tired eyes, until another family member came home to keep close watch on her. I left her surrounded in pillows and towels to protect her sweet face should she have another seizure. When I came home from work that night, she greeted me just like she had done almost everyday since she was a puppy. She waited for me. And a few hours later, she had a seizure so bad we knew it was time to let her go. My eyes well up with tears as I type it. And last night... I sobbed myself to sleep. 

I thought, oh God, has this year completely broken me?  

I think the older I get, the more sensitive I get. For a while, I thought this was a weakness. Something you tried to fix, you know? However, I've found great encouragement in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

But he said to me. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

The same sensitivity that lead me to tears at two in the morning also makes me a caring and compassionate friend. The descriptive details of my dog's final day is the same memory that recalls my friend's birthdays and favorite candy. The pillow/towel fort I built for my dog is the same thoughtfulness I put into gifts and letters. The love I had for my family pet is the same love I have for my family and friends.

Maybe broken wasn't the right word. Humbled. Humbled is how I really feel. 

I love that God can use my "weakness" for His glory. Just proof that He is always at work in our lives. And even though I may not love my zip code or my job or my current situation, I can say that I am starting to love the person God made me to be. 

And when the world weighs heavy on my heart and starts to make me feel like a failure, God is quick to remind me of His call to love. And that is something I can stand before Him and say that I have done. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why I'm ashamed to be a Christian on Sundays

Before I worked in the service industry I had heard the rumors - Christians were notoriously known in the restaurant world as pushy, unforgiving, impatient, rude, and worst of all...terrible tippers. And at first I couldn't possibly buy it. Christians weren't like that! Christians were kind, caring, loving people who extended grace and forgiveness.

Then I worked my first Sunday lunch shift. A fluke, I thought. A coincidence. An unusual Sunday. A gloomy day, maybe? I had to give Christians the benefit of the doubt. They were my people. They carried the name of Christ, the same title I had so proudly carried myself. And who's to say that the guests that come in on Sunday afternoons were Christians anyways? Some people get dressed up on Sundays just to dress up, right? Those large hats? We've all been warned about the risks of skin cancer. But the usher name tags...the volunteer shirts...the Sunday service pamphlets with the church name adorned in bold letters...those were the things I had a harder time dismissing. I didn't want to believe it.

Sunday after Sunday only proved the rumors to be true and it wasn't long before I found myself dreading those Sunday shifts just as much my co-workers. I quickly came to realize exactly why no one was allowed to request off on Sundays. But it wasn't until this Sunday, Easter Sunday, that I found myself almost ashamed to call myself a Christian. To associate myself with the people who treated my co-workers so poorly only to reward their hard work and service with a tract and a tip less than 10%? I couldn't.

Any Christian in the service industry knows what a different world it is. To minister to my co-workers 6 days a week by loving them, encouraging them, and helping them was being completely destroyed on Sunday afternoons when the church crowd came in and showed them a different picture of Christianity.

Not to cast stones, (because I too struggle with the pressure of living a life that honors Christ) but we have got to step it up as Christians. Tipping generously (20%) and being kind, forgiving, and understanding to the people that are serving us is just one practical way we can prove the rumors to be exactly what they should be - rumors.

Can I get an amen?

Monday, January 21, 2013

i'm obsessed.


MOCHI - (as in the frozen yogurt topping) This has quickly become my "go to" topping for frozen yogurt. I don't know what makes them so good, but those tiny japanese rice cakes are delicious and addicting. 

WOOL SOCKS - I have worn them all winter and I can't get enough of them! They keep my toes warm and they are so soft and comfortable to wear.

DESIGNER LINES FOR TARGET - I try to get at least one piece from every line that comes to Target. The Neiman Marcus line was a major win for me this holiday season and I can't wait until the Prabal Gurung line hits shelves on Feb. 10!

WASHI TAPE - I discovered washi tape a year or so ago when I got my first smash book and my collection of tape has slowly grown ever since. The uses for this tape is endless. 

LOCKETS - I love the versatility, sweetness, and nostalgia of lockets. There are so many uses and creative ways to decorate the inside of lockets. I've had so much fun designing ones for my friends!

AVOCADOS - I eat them whole. With a spoon. Plain. Or sometimes with a pinch of salt. They are SO delicious!

HUMIDIFIER - I started using a humidifier last winter when I got really sick and now I can't sleep without it. The one I have is the exact one pictured. The white noise helps put me to sleep and when I wake up in the morning my skin, throat, and nose feel great. Clearly a win-win.

ELASTIC HAIR TIES - these are the best hair ties ever!!!!! They keep my hair out of my face, don't leave dents in my hair, and don't rip my hair when I pull them off (everyone with curly hair understands this well). 

What are your current obsessions?

((all pictures are from pinterest))

Sunday, December 30, 2012

arrivederci 2012

I am guilty of being a negligent blog writer.

Before, I had plenty of words but not enough time. Lately, I have found myself at a little bit of a loss for words.

Christmas was amazing. I got more gifts than I deserved but my favorite gift was having my sister and brother home for Christmas. Isn't time truly the most priceless gift of all?

Right before Christmas I went up to NYC with my best friend, my aunt, and my aunt's best friend. We stopped into Times Square to sneak a peek at the 2013 new years ball, where we scribbled down wishes on scrapes of paper in hopes that they will come true when they fall from the sky at midnight on the 1st. It might seem taboo to share my wish, but this year I wrote...

"more time with my friends and family"

I honestly couldn't think of a better wish. Having my best friends (and now my sister and brother) scattered across the US has made time the most coveted thing I can think of. I have been truly blessed this year to be able to travel and spend as much time as I did with friends and family and I hope to make that even more of a priority next year.

I am excited and hopeful for great things in 2013. I saw a quote (on Pinterest, of all places) the other day that said, "Please hold onto your hope. It is in such limited supply around the world these days. Hold onto it and be proud that you are one of the ones that does."

It certainly has been a year of ups and downs, but I feel very loved when I think of all the heartache that the Lord has spared me of. I will never know a day without love and I'm praying the same for everyone  close to my heart.

Happy New Year friends.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


It's election day and I'm quite convinced that today has been scarier than Halloween this year. I'm not crazy about either candidate and yet I find myself so passionately taking a side and so personally offended at the ignorance (on both sides) and lack of care about such an important election. Living in a swing state has just heightened the tension for the past few weeks. I have genuinely feared the outcome of this election. I have feared for the safety of this country, the security of jobs for my family (my parents work and own small businesses and my brother and sister work in healthcare), my future...

And I was reminded this morning of the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 - "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind."

I take great comfort in knowing that He will take care of us regardless of who wins tonight and that even though my immediate future here in the US may seem a little cloudy, that my eternity in heaven is still secure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

autumn bucket list


1. go apple picking & bake up something delicious!
2. have a bonfire with s'mores
3. pick out a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch & carve it
4. drink fancy fall-flavored drinks
5. have a photoshoot in a leaf pile
6. go to a football game
7. go on a hay ride & through a corn maze
8. drive to see leaves 
9. run a race
10. make my own halloween costume
11. attend a festival/fair
12. have a halloween movie marathon

Monday, September 3, 2012

prayer & praise

Sorry for abandoning you all summer blog. It certainly wasn't for a lack of words... but I got a little distracted with twitter and tumblr and instagram and PINTEREST!!! So much has happened this summer it would take me all night to write about it so I'll try to keep it short...

First, I'd like to celebrate making it through a summer without a single broken bone. It is just a little past the one year mark and I'm happy to report that my foot is back to normal for the most part. I still have aches right before it rains (perhaps I should pursue a job at the weather channel?) and when I run for a long time (I ran my first half marathon in Nashville this April!). Pray for me during the rest of hurricane season.

On a sad note, I had to say goodbye to my sister when we dropped her off in Chicago this past weekend. We've been far away from each other before, but never for this long. I'm really happy for her and Matt, but I already miss her so much. This has been a summer of goodbyes. It is hard to have your best friends live so far away. And now my sister is 864 miles away...

In the midst of everything, I have to praise God for His sovereignty. I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions trying to seek out God's will for my life. Even when I doubt His love or His goodness, He chooses to shower me with blessings. I still sometimes have a hard time wrapping my mind around a love like that.

Not too long ago I was blog stalking a friend of a friend (this isn't as creepy as it sounds) and she wrote about the Bible story of Paul and Silas' imprisonment. You can find the entire story in Acts 16, but basically Paul and Silas were in prison simply praying and singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were sitting around listening when the prison doors flew open and their chains came loose. Faithfulness.

Paul and Silas didn't sit around questioning why they were in jail. They didn't doubt God's love because of their circumstance. They prayed and praised God!

It took over a year for me to finally start piecing together the bigger picture of God's plan for what I originally felt like was "wasted time". I know God hears my prayers and knows the desires of my heart, but I don't want my desires to get in the way of what He is doing through me right now. Sometimes it is the simplest things - like daily living out a Christian walk - to accomplish God's work. I am making a conscious effort to be more faithful, especially during the trying times.