Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Myrtle Beach....WEEEEEEEEE!!

SOOOO I have been a little MIA...life started happening and I just didn't feel like putting my vibes out there for the cyber world, but life is life and a big part of this blog is me documenting and remembering life moments.
Cause Lord knows I won't remember half of them in 10 years. Oy Vey...

First recap! 
Back in June, my family took a trip to Myrtle Beach!
It's been a couple years since we've all gone a trip together and we decided to do the VRBO home rental.
It was awesome! Best decision for this trip.
We all had our own rooms, extra beds for the kids and space to do our own things; if necessary.
We were less than a half a mile away from the beach and rented a golf cart to lug all our crap back and forth.

The boys loved the beach and Chels and I pretty much spent everyday working on our boogie boarding skills because we are awesome like that!

Even Luke got out there and boarded a little with us!

We played games, made dinner, went mini golfing, walked the boardwalk, shopped, went parasailing, and drank away the days.

It was a perfect mix of relaxation and fun!
The weather was perfect and only rained the afternoon on the last day we were there.



The drive there!! My dad being his normal self LOL 


It's possible my mom and I brought a bit too much wine, but believe me, it did not go wasted!!!

First night roadie for a beach walk! 


Sweet boys walking to the beach!! 







Got us a golf cart for the week to get us to the beach with all our crap!!
















Friday, May 26, 2017

Choices and Faith

Choices. 
We all have to make them. 
It's kind of what life is all about. 
We have thousands of choices every single day. 
What time do we wake up?
What will we wear today?
Will we choose joy or anger?

Will we listen to our bosses?
Will we practice patience and kindness to everyone we come in contact with?
Latte or cappuccino? 
I really could go on and on here, but you get my point.

That whole idea of free will.
Are we really in control?
We seem to choose what we think we want and the path we want to make for ourselves.
Or we can choose to follow the will and path of God.
I read this book my boss recommended to me a while ago, called Redeeming Love.
It's emotional, heartbreaking, maddening, frustrating, joyful and hopeful and in one.
Seriously. Trust me on this one.
Read it.
It's set in the 1800's and is about a woman who was sold into prostitution at 8 years old.
Eight.
And it tests her faith, her humility, and her self worth.
No this is not just for women.
It's an amazing read and puts things in a perspective you never knew.
In a way it's a cheesy love story, but it's so much more than that.
I found myself enthralled wanting to finish in a day, but don't rush it.
I might even read it again because I went so fast just wanting to know more.
She has choices that put struggles she never needed in life.
She chose to hurt others, herself, and walk away from people who wanted to help her.

It was happening in the 1800's and it's still happening now.
We know what our lives should be. Or at least we think we do.
Have you ever tried so hard to go down one road and all you get are trees falling in your path?
One thing after the next and it's more struggle than it's worth?
Now don't get me wrong, without struggle we wouldn't know accomplishment, but some things aren't meant to be that difficult and when you follow the right path, everything seems to open up and smooth out.
Am I right?
God puts us through what He knows we can handle.
We may not always understand the why, while it is happening, but when we do, it's an amazing revelation.

Image result for redeeming love

Take my life for example.
I thought that a certain man was what I wanted.
I thought we'd get married, start a family and live, happily ever after.
I knew there would be struggle. I was more than willing to choose some struggle,
with the faith that we'd get through it together and be better for it.
And maybe that's the path God wanted me on as well, to teach me a lesson, but it was not the path he wants me on for my life.
He gave me signs, I'm sure of it. I just didn't want to listen.
I thought I knew what was best for me and what I wanted.
Wrong!
And I am grateful he pushed me out faster than I would have thought.
I don't want to know what my life would have been had I decided to stay.
I wouldn't have had one.

So, I let life settle down and I gave myself some time to heal. 
And worked through my faith in understanding what I'd done so wrong that God thought this is what I deserved.
Again; wrong.
It may be exactly what God wanted for me, but not to hurt me and not to hurt my ex.
It was a lesson we both probably needed in life.
And I learned a lot from that entire experience and am better for it.

Image result for redeeming love
And after I stopped feeling sorry for myself and putting myself down for what had happened, I decided to pick up and move away from something so incredibly familiar to me because I felt I was being led.
I know this is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.
Through all the transition I never once hesitated if this was right.
And that brings me comfort. 
It makes it easy that I have family and a small network here, but it's more than that.
I was meant for more than what I was doing.
I have more to offer that someone else is going to notice and embrace and challenge me in a whole new way.
Who knows if Nashville is my forever home.
I'm not sure if I want it to be; to be honest.
I'm up for a life of adventure.
Something to remind me I'm alive and able and capable.
But right now, I think God wants me here to settle myself.
Reminding me that I am worthy.
That this is just another turn on my path and it may be a really long turn or He might straighten me out towards something even more incredible.
I just have to remember, regardless of how my life turns out, that I need to follow my heart and my faith.
Image result for redeeming loveI have to remind myself that my choices and the consequences are mine and I can choose joy or I can choose struggle.
I mess up every day.
But when it all comes down to it, I want joy.
I want to believe that I'm choosing God's path rather than trying to control my own.
But man I'm having a hard time being patient with it all.
I am constantly struggling, but He humbles me and is working on me all the time.
Even when I think He's left me alone, I am reminded by all I'm surrounded with, that He is way more powerful than I could ever imagine and that power is only for good.
And I know He has more for me than where I am and I can't wait to do what I am called for my Him.

I will continue to love on those who are dear to me.
Practice patience and empathy, support and encouragement.
And work to be humble and not so ungrateful for not having what I want when I want it.
Without life's struggles, I'd never know how blessed I am with the family and friends and 'things' I have in this life. They've carried me when I've been weak and never walked away from me when I was at my worst.
That is God's love shining through these amazing souls I love with all my heart.
And I want to be better and live better in His eyes.

So seriously, go get this book and read it slow. Soak up every word.
You will not regret it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Your Hands


I'm imperfect.
I can be selfish. 
My moods can change sometimes by the hour. (Makes you want to be friends with me, huh??)
I struggle with wanting more than I have.
Thinking something can make me happy if I just had it.
If I just made more money.
If I could just land that job I want.
If I could have a better car.
If I had more skills one way or another.
If I could just run a few seconds faster.
If I could travel more.
Get that purse, shirt, pair of jeans; thinking it'll make me look better. 

I compare myself to others. Who doesn't, honestly?
I've gotten better over the years.
Not letting it get me down
But I still struggle wishing I was something more or different.
Sometimes believing I'm not good enough. 
And as I've gotten older and become more self aware, I've also learned how to curb those desires or insecurities.
To remind myself that I'm an individual and I am proud of who I am, where I've come from and where I am going.
I am good enough.
I'm worthy of being happy and achieving the things that I want.
I have to work at them though.
Nothing will be handed to me.
I've been blessed with a heck of a lot more than I ever deserve and I never want to take advantage of that. 

But I still get caught up in my own emotions.
My feelings seem to dominate my moods and can draw me away from friends and family.
They can take over to make me doubt myself and who I am and what I am able to accomplish.
And I have to tell myself to snap out of it.
You're good. You have a roof over your head, money in your pocket, food in the fridge, family, friends, a job...
And sometimes, I have to let myself feel.
I have to let every emotion I've been holding inside out.
Because if I don't?
Well, it doesn't end well.
And again, it's take me time to learn what I need and when.
And I can't expect everyone to always know what I need.

I'm lucky to be humbled often at work.
I work on a program helping low income families upgrade their homes to reduce energy bills.
Doesn't sound like much, but when you only make a few hundred dollars a month; every little bit matters and people are grateful for it.
And I try to remember that there are so many people in this world that have a third of what I do and they wake up everyday grateful for that. 

I try to be strong.
To not let my struggles be a burden to others, so I don't always talk about it.
I hold it in, let it process and 90% of the time I can do that and move on.
I know when I need to tell myself I'm being crazy, overthinking, being irrational, whatever.

And the point of all this is that I'm human.
And so are you.
And we all have our struggles.
Our daily battles.
Our hearts break, we want to scream or cry and we can't always do that.
We are taught to be strong, to push forward, to let go and not care.
But we still do.
We all do.
It's hard to pretend you're feelings aren't there.
We can't always go on every day acting like everything is OK.
And that is OK. 

Sometimes we feel so much that we forget God's there to hold us.
We forget that He's watching out for us.
Even when our prayers go unanswered, because looking back, those prayers were answered, just not in the way you wanted and you realize that it was for the better.
Some days I want to scream at God.
I want to beg him to give me what I want and it's almost embarrassing.
I try to control the things I cannot and I have to remember that I am not in control.
Lately, I haven't been a big fan of God.
He's heard many a words from me and they haven't exactly been grateful, but I know He's already forgiven me and I know He's is doing what's best for me.
I have to remember to believe that even when I'm hurting, He's got his arms around me and is leading me down a positive path. 
I just have to keep the faith.
And give up some control.  

On the way home from work today, this song came on.
And it's one I've turned to many a times in my life.
I don't know exactly what it is.
The words are powerful, the music seems to speak to me and her voice is absolutely beautiful.
It's one of those songs I can tear up almost every time I listen to it.
I had it on repeat and listened to it 4 times this afternoon.

It was exactly what I needed. 

JJ Heller has been one of my favorite Christian artists for a while now.
She has a beautiful family with two little girls and the cutest puppy.
She is an inspiration and is truly using all the gifts God's given her. 

Take a listen. You will not be disappointed.
And because I am usually drawn to song lyrics first, I've written them out below.
In case you just need to read them instead.

Click here to watch the video: https://youtu.be/JXiABtv1emk

YOUR HANDS
JJ Heller 

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still
Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave you
When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave
I never leave your hands

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Food for Thought

I fell upon this article on Facebook and it gives some good insight! Seeing as I'm in my early thirties, I guess I should be aware of what I might regret once I'm out! 

1. The Shoulds - This had to go out the window a few year's ago. Yes, I wish I was in a different place, but I can't spend life wishing. I can only embrace the opportunities presented to me and make the best of my life.

2. Not spending time with parents - I adore my parents. They are my best friends! I see them at least once a month and talk to them almost everyday. I'm good here. I will always work hard to make sure they know I not only love them, but love spending time with them and appreciate all they've done and do. 
 
3. Putting work first - Yeah, no. Work is a necessity. It's not life. I have such a strong view on work/life balance and I would never sacrifice time with those I love for work... 
 
4. Spending time on negativity - I can struggle here. I have days where I want to shut the world out or wallow in self pity, but I work hard to remind myself that I have so much more than I deserve and if I'm not using what God gave me, what's the point? I'd rather choose happy. 
 
5. Thinking your 30s was old - Well some days I feel old, but I have to remember that I have so much life left and I have to embrace it and enjoy all the moments I can! 
 
6. Not putting yourself first - I thought I was doing a pretty good job here, but it's a daily routine and something to always work on. The more you love yourself and who you are fully, the better you'll be all around. 
 
7. Not taking better care of your body - I may drink too much at times and eat like crap, but I balance it out with daily workouts and some good nutrition in there when I feel like it. 
 
8. Not taking chances - I've always been a bit cautious in life, but in the last couple years I've taken chances, put myself out there and tried to live with no regrets. It hasn't always had the outcome I've wanted, but at least I can learn and grow from it. 
 
9. Not saving and investing enough - Yeah, I'm the spender, so this one's more of a challenge for me, but it'll all work out and I know I'll be just fine. 
 
10. Not traveling enough - My parents blessed us with so many vacations growing up that some days I feel like I've traveled so much, but I know there is ten times more to see in this world, so it's something I hope to do someday.
 
11. Caring too much about what others think - I used to care so much. I got caught up in what should be or what people might judge me for and at the end of the day, I realized that those that love me, are still here. Are still supporting me and those are the ones that matter. They're still here after my mistakes, failures, successes and celebrations. They are my people.