Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to exhale...it's almost poetic right?

It's been my lifestyle almost this whole month of May. Ok, the WHOLE month. This month has been a whirlwind that I feel like I just turned 28 April 17th, and now here it is June.

I've been holding my breath this whole month, waiting for the next big wave to come crashing down over me, to pull me under the surface, and get caught in the undertow.

The human body can hold it's breath for what, like 3 minutes, 4 if you're really disciplined in practicing? So, for a whole month, no wonder I've been living like I'm dead.

I was excited for a new month to begin as April drew to a close. I was excited to get back to a routine of going to church, going to a young adult life group, getting back to being fit and dancing. But Life had other plans. I didn't Country Line dance a darn day all month, ok, just 1 mid-month, but that wasn't enjoyable. Beginning of the month, I thought I had heartburn, and then after the second day of it I was convinced I was having a heart attack so I went to the doctor, was seen right away for chest pain. Turns out it was an ulcer. Apparently I had been struggling with holding my breath a lot longer than I thought...30 days of meds were prescribed and a no work week.

Just when that was getting under control, a lung attacking beast hit my home. My husband was down with almost pneumonia. I had an upper respiratory infection. Again, meds for 5 days, home sick for half a week.

Finally conquered that and then I catch the common cold. Out for 3 days, and still trying to kick the residual congestion and cough a week later.

Oh and need I mention the allergies? After the wet winter, brought a vegetation filled spring. My allergies were worse than they had been ever.

I joked with people during the "cold" attack, "What's next? Pneumonia?". I still feel like I'm holding my breath, like I'm waiting for the next shoe to drop, the next illness to hit.

But I need to breathe. I need to just let go of the keeping in.

God's. Got. This.

He has me in his hands, he has me right where he needs me to be and he knows the path He has for me. So why am I worried? If I hold my breath I can't catch anything right? Right, but I also wont' live.

Are you waiting to exhale? Are you waiting for the calm?

Just breathe. Literally. You've got nowhere to go but forward, so breathe while you do it. Live while you wait. Live while you're in a rough patch.

I know I will be.

PS, sorry for the lack of posts, going through this sick phase hasn't lent much time to my hobby of blogging. Afterall, you can only do so much while you're laid up trying to help your body fight viruses and bacteria.

Friday, April 28, 2017

I’m a yelper and I’ll review if I want to

Firstly, puns, oh how great. "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to..." "I'm a yelper and I'll review if I want to..." No? Ok. Moving on. 
Yelp. A great website/app that allows you to review businesses based on your personal experience. If you’re in my neighborhood and want to know if that Taco place is too hot to trot, or causes you to spend the night near a toilet/trash can, then yelp is a great resource!
So what’s the backstory? I made a yelp account I don’t even know when, but back in May 2014, my friend Justine invited me to a yelp event. I remember thinking “Yelp has events? Say what?” It was at Dorinda’s Chocolate by the River. And it was an Elite event. “What’s an elite?” I thought. We got to go behind the scenes in Dorinda’s chocolate making kitchen and get the lowdown and know how on some of the techniques behind their confection affection. I had a blast. I then furiously and meticulously took pictures of things I received at places, paid closer attention to customer service treatment I received and placed all of that information on the app. I started RSVPing to the local events that I was interested in, and then the end of 2014 rolled around. It was Elite nomination time. I nominated myself and explained why I would make a good Elite yelper.
2015 rolled around. The golden email came. I was selected to be on the Elite squad! Oh joy! What an honor to have been entrusted with a rank of truthful reviews (Some lengthier than others), to know other yelpers and general populous alike would be looking to my reviews about a location.
I’m now 3 solid years into the yelp game, 2 years into being Elite and I’m having so much fun. I now look to other yelpers reviews of places, I check the ratio of overall star review (4 of 5 stars, 2 of 5 stars etc) to the number of reviews posted. Then, I make my decision whether or not to give the business my money.
Yelp is also great because it can help you find local places, little mom and pop shops that are trying to make it, despite the big wig chain places (Dorindas vs. Sees’, Hub vs Starbucks).
Ok, we’ve heard your spiel on the awesomeness of yelp. That’s cool. How does that relate to your life as a Godfearing woman?
Wouldn’t you wanna have a resource to access truth and history and “reviews” of places you’ll go in life? Wouldn’t you want to hear the consequences of ordering from that place? The Israelites ordered up a whole bunch of false idols and selfish pride. The consequences? Disease, plague, defeat in war. We have the timeless Bible to reference as review of our history. As a testimony of trial and error, trial and success. We can go read and sympathize, “Yep, I did that too”. While we can’t add to the Bible by review or picture, we can share about, much like we share about great restaurants, poor service at a dry cleaner, or a great nail tech who absolutely kills it every time.
Be intentional. Be truthful. Be genuine.
Amen and Amen
This review of yelp.com is not sponsored; I was not asked to write this. I was not paid to write this. Opinions are solidly my own.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Scheduled and Stranded

From twice a week for sure, to maybe once a week, I’m changing how I’m blogging.
When I first resumed this blog, I was ecstatic to be inspired to pop out 2 times/week information and how God is working in my life. Then, for a week or two, I was silent, and now this past Wednesday I was able to put together another blog after I was inspired the Thursday prior. I don’t want to put pressure on myself to crank out 2 posts a week and work to queue them up so I don’t fall behind. We all know how well that worked a few years ago when I tried working 2 part time jobs and posting every day (inspiration, food, fashion etc)…it didn’t.
I desire quality over quantity. I don’t want to put half hearted efforts out. I want whole hearted worthwhile posts. I want to be inspired by others to inspire everyone else. I want whatever following is out there to be satisfied by my postings and not get one post every 6 months, or 18 at once and nothing for periods after.
I hope to have something up at least once a week, but it might be once every two weeks. Maybe there’ll be a bonus of 2 in one week. I don’t know.
Which is flat out scary to me. I am Type A, Organized, OCD. To not have a schedule? To not have consistency? I am laying my trust in Jesus that he will provide inspiration when it needs to be published. So until then, I’m just WOTLing around. (Wait On The Lord)
Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

We finish each other's...Sandwiches!

Last Thursday, in yet another Life Group/Bible study, we had our monthly potluck at the Leader/Facilitator’s parent’s house. It was Chinese food themed, and it was delicious (Ok, so my husband and I ate beforehand). We arrived just as the group was finishing up. After a few minutes of conversation, we moved from the dining room table to the living room to converse and enjoy each other’s company.
The Leader/Facilitator was recounting with his fiance their recent missions trip to Romania. I don’t know what made the transition switch, but then he started talking about the Taj Mahal. He had gone on a missions trip to India a month or so prior to this Romania one, without his fiance. She rolled her eyes as he began yet another retelling of how amazing this World Wonder was. She had heard this time and time again and I don’t know what number of retelling this was.
What amazed me most, is she was able to lip/mouth every word he said. There were a few she stumbled and guessed on, but for the most part, she hit the nail on the head.
How amazing is that. They spend a ton of time together getting to know each other in this engaged process, and so much of the time she gets to hear him tell stories of where he’s gone in the world. She knows his words so well she can repeat them word for word.
Isn’t that what God calls us to do? Joshua 1:8 says that we need to meditate on God’s word day and night. This was an eye opener to me. We should be able to recite and recount God's word and all He's done for his people accurately. Sure, we can stumble a bit, but if we're in His word daily, meditating on it, reading it, talking to our friends and family about it, we've no reason to stumble at all.

I'm working on reading through the bible in a year. Because I jumped ahead and read Joshua and Judges in lieu of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers, I'm in 1 Kings currently, thanks the Daily Walk Bible (NLT version), and I'm slowly reading bits here and there of those 3 books I've missed. It's so cool to see for myself firsthand what God has done for his people. It's also quite interesting which verses keep coming up and get repeated in my life. For example, Joshua 1:8, I've heard it 3 or 4 times now, and I'm blogging about it! God is so cool. Seriously. Go read His word and see for yourself. I know I had to.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How Sweet it is to be Loved by You

Time with my sister-in-law has been amazing. She is a beautiful soul chasing after God’s heart so differently than when I first met her. But time does that. If you’re passionate about life, you won’t stay the same. You will be looking to be the next great version of yourself, of who God created you to be.

When you’re open to change, God uses that to pour into you the next great lesson. And last night’s aha moment? Nicknames, Pet names and all the things you call your husband. (Great title for a book right?)

We were talking and then she brought up how some names she calls her husband in jest, aren’t the greatest. And I then thought of all the names I call my husband in jest when he may not make the greatest decision, but we laugh about it right after “Poop face” is one, and some probably aren’t as PG as I’d like this blog to be. She stated she and I have never done that, except for maybe once I called her that B word completely joking, we paused, looked at each other, and I think I apologized. My best friend, Robin, I’ve never called her any names beside her own. My other bestie, Whitney, she’s never been called any name but her own. God, I’ve never called Him anything but his own.

Then God used me to give a message to the both of us: “If you love and respect God, and these best friends of yours, and to show that you don’t call them names, why would you call your husbands these names? Do you not love and respect them that much more?”


Then, in a split second, God brought to mind another topic recently covered in a women’s get together I go to, to talk Jesus and learn what else He’s go for us. [Y’know that split second that it all makes sense in your head and you quickly roll with it, but when you explain it to people, it seems to take far longer than forever? Yeah that.]

So my other sister-in-law (my husband is one of eight, so seven siblings, add their spouses…) was talking about how she was counseling a woman who was bad mouthing her husband in this session, and I believe talking about how ‘I can’t believe our marriage is crap, why is my husband terrible?’. My sister-in-law realized that this woman had been tearing down her husband for their entire 30-ish years of marriage. Rather than adding bricks to her husband, encouraging him, complimenting him, she was eradicating the bricks that laid the foundation for her safe place, her comfortzone, Her. Best. Friend.

Picture from a Google search

My bit from that? Was a bit exactly.

When we call our husbands “Pooper” “Stupid Peacock” “Bad Llama” we’re pulling pebbles. We’re not yanking out bricks: “You’re lazy and just sit and play games all day”. We’re not damaging their ego with these playful pet names. We’re jesting. But the enemy has been pulling these names back to mind when my husband and I get into the small marital tiffs newlyweds face and have to hash out. And I caught myself this last time, “My husband is not a pooper. He’s a great patient man. Why can I only think of him as a poop face right now?” Because I had spoken him as poopy into existence. I pulled a pebble out of the foundation.

After I said this, I stopped, and she and I both exhaled, “Whoa”. Then I raved about how cool God was for him to say that to us because there was no way that that was from my mortal mind.

So once I got home, I recounted to my husband what I had learned. I apologized for pulling pebbles when I should be looking to add bricks. Lo and behold, he apologized too for all the pebbles he pulled that I hadn’t thought of.

So I’m starting today thinking on how to find those odd shaped pebbles to fill the nooks and crannies to fully secure our firm foundation of marriage. I’m conscious of the names I call my husband, this morning I replied to him calling me “Sexy” by calling him “Stud”, rather than not accepting his compliment and telling him he was still just waking up and his eyes weren’t focused. I want to build him up to be a great husband, as Jesus was for the church.

Amen and Amen <3

Monday, April 3, 2017

Well Watered Women

Recently I've been a huge fan of LifeLivedBeautifully. It's an amazing ministry for God's Glory. One of their mottos is to be Well Watered Women.
That's rad. We're gonna be watered by the word. Like flowers. Without the water we die. I got it.
Until today.
I was listening to Christy Nockels' podcast, Glorious in the Mundane. She and her guest Rebekah Lyons in Episode 12 were talking about wells, to go deep, be deeply rooted.  (Side note, this podcast is AMAZING and I'm sure I'll be blogging about it more)
Suddenly "well watered women" took on a new meaning for me. We are to be watered not just by the word but by a well. Wells aren't shallow. They're deep in the ground. They're full of delicious pure water. If they get tainted, you need to find a new well. (Maybe, I'm not quite sure how well water works)  Well water is free, it's not owned by the city. Well water is your own. You must go to the well to get your water. It's not just gonna appear.
So I'm just gonna soak in that today.
I'm going to the well and converse with Jesus, like the woman in the bible whom Jesus describes her lifestyle and just fyi, that's the longest recorded conversation in the bible. How amazing and poignant must that story be? How significant is a well then?
Amen and amen indeed
- - - -
Sorry for the long-ish absence. Life has been relatively busy the last few weeks. Inspiration hasn't hit as heavily as this well did today. So enjoy :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Beautiful: Worship and Bethel (Hosting weekend # 2)

My husband and I hosted the Bethel students again this past weekend. They were suppose to come up last month, but due to a predicted storm during their allocated weekend, they were forced to cancel their trip for the month. This month, they made it. We hosted just 2 girls this time, as the team coming here was a lot smaller than in the past. They had their own car, which was really cool. One of the girls was a worship leader at her church, and the other girl had a beautiful voice too.

So before they left Saturday morning, we worshipped. Acoustically. In our home.

And. It. Was. Beautiful.

God's been teaching me about worship lately it seems. And it started with my sister Alishia talking about this book she read and loved. I believe it's "Heaven's Symphony"? Or something like that, but it talks about how the Angels in heaven and God's creation of the landscape and animals are already worshipping the Creator and have been since they were created. When we sing, dance, or do anything we deem "worship" to Him, we are simply joining in in the already existing worship. We are joining thousands of musical notes already being sung to the Lord.

How. Beautiful. Is. That?

2 weeks ago at church, my husband and I got there a little late, so we were ushered to a seat by the helpful volunteers. During one of the songs, my hubby left the aisle and walked all the way to the front, he came back and said "Let's go" and led me to the front of the place. And we sat in front. It was like a concert for God. Last week, they cancelled church due to the snow that was pretty treacherous. So last night we went. And sat in front again. God moved in my heart so strongly I wanted to dance with my husband in the front, as there's some space between the front row and the stage, but I don't know if that church is open to people "going crazy for God" like that. So I held back and just kept the beat in my feet during the songs.

But. Worship. Was. Beautiful.

God is an amazing God. If you asked me in high school where I'd be in the last month of my being 27 years old, I would have probably said single, mingling, being a famous writer in New York. If you had told me I'd be married living in the country, loving on God so passionately, I would definitely have called you bonkers.

But. God. Is. Beautiful.

His ways are good and beautiful, and I can't imagine living any other way than this. I'm excited for all He's teaching me and the ways He's growing me. I'm happy to be right where He has me in all aspects of my life.

I wouldn't want it any other way.

Isn't. That. Beautiful?

Amen and Amen