Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Discipline, or Lack Thereof

I have a hard time with discipline… I know this all ties into the blog I posted the other day, but I’ve been talking with friends lately about this and I feel the need to blog (that’s just not uncommon, haha).

It’s not just being lazy, although I know some of it is, but partially, I think I have a fear of failing so when I don’t do some things, at least I don’t fail at them. It’s so illogical.. or maybe it’s too logical… maybe I over thought myself?

I’m really good at talking myself into and out of things. Recently I switched cell phone providers and I had myself all talked into doing it when I stopped and realized that it could actually be a terrible idea, so I stopped and e-mailed people I knew checked their e-mails regularly to ask them for prayer, I talked to my brother and I talked to my dad. It was a good decision (and one that cut my phone bill in half), but I wonder if I do the same thing when it comes to something I think I could fail at?

In May I joined a group at Fleet Feet. A beginner 5k training similar to those you may have seen called Couch to 5k. I did well, at first. Then I had to miss a couple of group runs and then I got busy over the summer. Before I knew it I stopped going and I didn’t even go and walk a 5k. I think I was able to talk myself out of walking it because it was so hot and I just wasn’t prepared to walk in that humidity.

Lame. I just needed to push myself. To trust that God could take me the whole way.. which leads me to this:


I need it. Without someone asking me how I’m doing… without that, I can easily convince myself to stop doing things. Easily. Which is why I had my hesitations when my coworker asked me to rejoin the group and retrain for a 5k (thins one in November). Who was going to push me during the week? Answer? My friend Beverly! She and I are meeting twice a week and she’s even convinced me to at least run/walk another 5k in October. Nuts? Maybe. Do-able? Yes. Because I have a Godly friend to run with and keep me going, parents who are excited for me (well, my dad’s not a fan of running, but he’s a fan of me!), a 'sister' that's going to join the run, a “life group” (aka family) at church (and formerly from church) praying for me, coworkers asking me about it, and you (my blogging friends) to tell about it.

So stay tuned… In October and in November (and who knows when else) I’m going to be telling you all about some 5k’s.

(that’s all for now… I need to go work on my homework for Bible Study tonight that I should have been working on for the last week… *ahem* I’m going to work on that discipline, too, Tiffany)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trying for Transparency: Take II

Here goes nothing… or something… or just me putting me out there. Again.

I have a hard time following through with things. Well… not everything, but definitely things that are fitness or diet based; and often time things of my faith. It seems like these are the two biggest struggles for me and two things that seem to correlate the most in my life.

I’ve started going to a Beth Moore Bible study on Revelation this week and during the video we watched, she was talking about her dog. Her dog has a favorite ball. It’s obsessed with it. To the point, Moore says, that the dog will put its ball in the middle of its food dish and eat around it. It will then move it to its water dish and drink around it. It runs, having a hard time breathing because the ball is in its mouth… it sleeps with it…  

Her point was, that ball is like us not wanting to let go of the things we want to control in our lives. The things that, if we let go of them, God could take over. He could be in charge of them and we would be able to breathe easier. If we could just let go of them. 

For me, one of the big ones is losing weight. I need to lose weight. More than that, I want to lose weight. I want to be healthy. And more than that, God wants me to be healthy. And it seems like those little times I am really able to give up the control I want over it, God gives me this ability to lose seemingly without trying. And I’m able to breathe easier and go farther because He is in charge. And then I start to take it back again… to want to control it… and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I want to give this up. Completely. Totally. But it’s hard… so pray with me, blog friends. Because this is bigger than me.

1 Corinthians 10:31 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm Hiding

I got a cold yesterday... the kind that likes to hang out in your sinuses... so I'm hiding under blankets with either: soup, tea, sprite zero or a popsicle.

I hope to see you soon when my brain starts functioning properly. Until then, enjoy the following photo of my niece (who turned FIVE today!) and nephew at the zoo. Happy Birthday, CG! Auntie Joy loves you so very much!  =o)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a quiet place to hide...

I spent an evening in Nashville with A and she introduced me to what might be my new favorite place in the city. A courtyard in the Nashville Public Library. It's open and lovely with stonework and a fountain. You can go outside with a book or a laptop and the wifi picks up.

Just remember:

A Rooftop in Nashville

The downtown Nashville office of the company I work for is fairly new. It wasn't opened for very long when the Nashville Flood filled every level of our underground parking garage. On one floor (the 7th?) there is an open outdoor area that is the start of a lovely garden . The view is lovely...

Monday, August 16, 2010

37. Start a photography blog.

I hadn't considered it so, but I have had several people mention that I've completed this task on my 101 in 1001 list. I guess when I wrote that on the list I didn't picture that being my 365 Blog. But I suppose on some level its true. The 365 Blog really is a photography blog. So, I'm sure much to the happiness of list makers like myself, it's checked off the list!

Plus, and I hope you are too, but I'm really enjoying the daily photo blog! It's been really fun! Did you know my friend Rachel is also doing a 365 blog? You should check it out. We were talking the other day about how much fun it is to take these photos everyday even when they're silly (like all of the photos of my tomato plants!). So, who knows what will happen. I'm only 53 days in, and I have a feeling it will last longer than 365...

Sunday, August 15, 2010


That's my church. Third Baptist Church. I can't  begin to tell you how blessed I am by this place of worship! Of all the things I am most thankful for in Tennessee, this wonderful church family I've been given is at the top of the list.

Today I was blessed to spend a lot of my time at church within our children's ministry. I helped as an extra pair of hands during extended session (a rotation of mostly parents that serve about 1 Sunday a quarter during service) and then I filled in to help teach the 3's for life group. We have such an AWESOME group of kids at my church! I wish more people realized it. I know that's a normal wish amongst places of worship, but its true! I wish people knew how great these kids were. I wish people were knocking down doors to be able to spend time teaching the kids about Jesus. Just hearing them answer questions about what they learned about the Bible. Today we learned about Paul and Barnabas. About how they were missionaries and excited to tell others about Jesus. I love that these kids got that! And I hope its truth they keep with them forever =o)

Tonight I was expecting to spend the two hours I was there with 'Trail Mix Jr.", teaching but was instead blessed during the first hour to be able to go to a class instead =o) We have a Titus 2 ministry at 3BC. Women mentoring women. And since I'm normally spending time with the awesome kiddos, I haven't had a chance to go. But tonight, one of the awesome ladies in our church came in to my class and said I'm here to help! It was SO exciting to hear!!! And I was SO blessed to be able to start this 6 week session with ladies of all different age groups and stages of life. I can't wait to see what God is going to do =o) I already got to meet a new 'single' and invite her to our life group on Sunday mornings... God is good.

Second hour, I went back to my kids and took them upstairs where we spent time with the older group. I can't tell you how happy it made my heart to hear my 4 and 5 year olds answering questions before their older counterparts. It's a reassurance that they're listening... if you've worked with kids, you know it's nice to get that kind of a confirmation =o)

I can't wait to see what the future holds for at least these next 6 weeks... I *heart* my church, my church family, and my church 'kids'!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Remembering the Cold

It has been HOT this summer! So when I was going through and finishing editing some photos the other night, I ran across these icy shots and it helped me remember what it was like outside when it cooled down.
Do you remember how cold it was in January?
We here in the town where I live had a HUGE ice storm on Friday the 29th.
Thick ice covering EVERYTHING. I remember having to break apart my driveway on Saturday so I could drive my roommate to work.
Shortly after I got home from driving her to work, they closed on account of the weather, so I went back out to pick her up...
But by Sunday, the streets (at least) had melted enough that I went with a friend to a local university and took some icy photos.
I cool down just thinking about it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I was driving home from work tonight seeing the beginnings of the sunset, the start of the sky changing colors and it got me thinking. Do you ever feel like the sky is just for you? Like the way you see the colors, its like God said, "I know you need this tonight".

I did. It was lovely. I took this photo of it and put it here on my 365 blog.

There's something about the color in between the dark clouds. But not just that... its the way the color was seeping into the dark. hmmm... I'll keep trying for transparency...

In this area of my life where I have been questioning why, I have also been in this place of sadness. Of missing that area of my past. And I know its easy to sometimes stretch things into ways we can show God in our lives, but this is true for my today. And it's not like this is the first time He has used the sky for promises, right?

All this to say, for the last day and a half I've been feeling the break in my clouds and it's like God matched the sky just for me...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trying for Transparency

I need a vacation from my vacation. I need to relax from being super busy for a few days. From fitting in as many things as I could while I was there; the zoo a Cubs game, a birthday party, pool with my dad, Wrigleyville, Portillos, Caribou... Places and people I *heart* and miss. Spending time with family and friends, and making new friends...so many things happened.

The hard thing, is saying goodbye. Especially to my family. To my niece and nephews. I know God has me in Tennessee for a reason, I know that this is the place I need to be. I have a good job, friends, a church that feels like home. But whenever I leave Chicago and come back to Tennessee, I can't help but feel sad. This time, especially, I have had a lot of moments of tears when I remember it all. My niece explaining to one of my nephews about how I 'live very far away'. One of my nephews telling me 'I'll see you tomorrow', not realizing  that I was going to that place far far away and he wouldn't see me again for a very long time...

Its times like these that I honestly question God. I want to know the 'why's' of life... why I live so very far away...

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I know you'll be wondering... Where is she?

I'm in the airport.

I'm on a plane.

I'm in the air.

I'm home.

I'm visiting family and friends.

I'm playing with my niece and nephews.

I'm in a place where the temperature is 15 dregrees cooler but feels like 30.

I'm enjoying time in a place and with people that I haven't seen for 7 months.

I'm sure I'm enjoying every second of it.

I'll be back agian on Monday...

Until then...

Have a great weekend, blog friends!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

54. Get my personal e-mail inbox to 0.

I'm not going to lie... My inbox has been between 4 to 10 messages for the last month in an attempt to complete #54. I don't know how long this will last, but I'm enjoying the ease of organization... =o)

New Orleans V: A Carriage Ride & Sting

Who knew there would be 5 posts? Certainly not me!! I just couldn't seem to shorten these up anymore =o) Saturday night we went for a carriage ride around the French Quarter. Listening to our driver tell us stories about the history of New Orleans, vampires, and Elvis... It was entertaining to say the least ;o)

Meet our driver... I don't remember his name...  I'll call him Jim (really I have the Office on in the background, so it's a quick name to pop in my head. ha)
Our first stop was a quick turn around to get a better view of Jackson Square. That great statue with the St Louis Cathedral in the background... It's the oldest Cathedral in the US that is still used for services! And it's absolutely beautiful on the inside!

Then we started to drive around... Now. I heard a lot of what 'Jim' said... but the photographer in me was just excited to take some photos of some awesome things around the city... see the next couple photos:
This is a view straight out of the front over the head of 'Bessie' (I don't remember the horses name either!) NOLA is a very lovely town with a beautiful old feel.
This is the garden area where scenes from Double Jeopardy starring Ashley Judd was filmed. It was probably the only movie not starring Elvis that 'Jim' mentioned =o)
A boat that apparently helped saved thousands of lives during Katrina...
After the carriage ride, we went to dinner at a great restaurant that I don't really have photos of... so we'll just say that we had a lovely dinner after which we meandered our way to the Ritz Carlton for drinks (this is what they served water from... we were fancy. haha)
My pomegranate martini that (in this photo) looked like either pac man or a huge smiley face!
While we were hanging out and chatting with each other, Greg leaned over to me telling me to look at the booth next to us... who was there? Sting! This is Aaron's photo from his phone, and hopefully I'll be able to add Patty's photo later... I couldn't find it this morning while I was posting =o) We didn't want to be 'those people'. Like the screaming crazy ladies that rushed him.

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Orleans Part IV: Audubon Park

Have you ever been to Audubon Park in New Orleans? It's a must go to as far as I'm concerned =o) A few of us decided after a lot of walking around in the heat to ride the trolley for a while and we had been told about Audubon Park by John's parents. What a lovely place to spend time! Some huge trees to shoot photos of, which you should learn now, I love to take photos of trees... and draw them and paint them... =o)
But the coolest part of these trees, was the spanish moss hanging from them.
See? Here's a close-up...
I think we all enjoyed the photo taking opportunities they provided ;o)
 There was also a small area within the huge park that boasted the fountain in my wordless Wednesday last week. Here's another shot...
 There were places for sitting...
And some crazy statues...
And bunches and bunches of flowers...
Do yourself a favor and check it out the next time you're in, around, or near New Orleans!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Orleans Part III: The French Quarter

The French Quarter is a lovely place during the day. A merge of old and new that just seems to work in a way that only New Orleans can make work. The Fleur De Leis is a very common site mixed in with all kinds of old and new. Beads everywhere from Mardi Gras past. Statues in squares surrounded by gardens and fences. Buildings built centuries ago, or maybe just a decade ago. Falling apart brick within a stones throw of glittering steel and massive stone. A gilded street performer who paused at his faux statue presence to startle children and wink at the ladies; artists painting obscurely realistic paintings or trying to catch a client in a charcoal drawing. Musicians, some of whom brought back dreams of Memphis, doing what they do best to earn some money. Small new shops, old seemingly-forever existing restaurants. Cars competing with horses pulling carriages. Cobblestone streets and pavement. Brick sidewalks and cracking concrete. Wooden signs with peeling paint near neon lights screaming out offerings of daiquiris and pizza by the slice. Small almost alleyways set up with tables and chairs. Wrought iron street posts. Pirate alleys next to ancient cathedrals.Tourists chatting with locals listening to all of the possibilities all while asking themselves, "What will we see today?"