Sunday, June 24, 2012

They Say Its My Birthday

Happy Birthday, Joy!

It's been a wild year full of memories and family and friends and fun and sadness all mingled in together to create a beautiful tapestry of life.

I hope you remember this year. All of it. Well, at least the highlights. Your sadness in the loss of someone dear to you, your joy in time spent with the ones you love. I know you're not exactly where you thought you'd be in life at 32, but remember... this is God's perfect for you. He is changing you and growing you and moving you forward to become who He ultimately wants you to be. You will always be changing and growing; and with everything He is showing you, you know that change will be happening again sooner than you thought. Where will you be in 6 months? I mean probably TN, but otherwise... where will God make a place for you?

I know you have all kinds of questions in all of these things, but you should know that no matter what happens God is still in control (if you let Him be! Stop trying to take the reigns!). He knows that while you have two "homes" here on Earth, your real Home is in Heaven with Him and that means that all of this prodding and changing is worth it. even the uncomfortable things.

This past year you've seen another cousin have a beautiful wedding and you went to the Nashville Zoo with your nephew. You watched your SIL J drink sweet tea like a pro and had a sleepover with CG. Your friends, near and far, showed you how much they support you no matter where you are. You got to go with your parents to see one of the battlefields where your Great Great Grandpa fought in the Civil War. You starting having good conversations with your brothers who you love even though you don't really say it enough and got countless hugs and kisses from your niece and nephews.

You taught 2/3's in Life Group at church with PC and loved every minute. Even when you had a migraine you loved hearing those little voices praise God and love their friends, LOUDLY! Your future there might still be a little unknown, but you know that Third Baptist Church was the first place you felt at home in TN. For certain, you know that you will miss those sweet little faces that get so excited to see you on Sunday mornings. You don't see all of your TN friends very often, your work schedule is a little crazy compared to theirs, but that has made the times spent together all the more precious.

You had an awesome conversation about fellowship and community and hardships in your life, how God is moving you, with "the guys" at G's and felt refreshed for the first time in months. You were reminded what true community and fellowship looked like around a blazing fire in the beginning of June.

You started being proactive for the first time in a very long time about your health and you started losing weight. You joined a boot camp at 5:40 in the morning! Who does that! It's SO early!! But you love it. You like having a trainer to ask questions of and to push you. You like the motivation of competition and seeing others around you do better than you because you want to do better too. You like that people notice when you're not there and call you or text you or email you or facebook you to keep you accountable; it's good to know that you're noticed and cared about.

Oh, Joy... what does the future hold? I know you don't know, but I do know that you're excited about it... that you're looking forward to seeing where God takes you in the future and to see what He holds in store.

Happy Birthday, Joy, this year is going to be AWESOME!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Figured

I figured.

Two very small words that don't often mean very much. Just a mini figure of speech. Really… I wonder how many times I've uttered that statement; even out of disgust.

This week. This week it was a phrase that made me smile. It gave me joy. This week it was used as an affirmation towards me and I really appreciated it… appreciate it.

I'm house sitting this week in a house that's for sale (it brings back memories). Sunday it had a showing. I had to be out so they could be in. No big deal really. I got a text from the realtor and confirmed right before I went in to church that morning. When I left church I had a voicemail; my coworker making sure I had gotten the text from their realtor. I responded something like this:

Hey! Sorry I was at church when you called and my phone was off… (blah blah blah).

The response?

figured you would be (…)

She figured…

I like that I'm known for being a Christ follower.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Today I Work

Outside the weather is beautiful. About 85 degrees, a few clouds in the sky. Maybe a little more humidity than we like, but from the inside looking out, it's fantastic.

I'm at work.

Just down the street from my office, there's a Saturday Farmer's Market open and, by the number of cars around, thriving. It's so fun to be there and people watch and smell the fresh produce in the air. You can get heirloom tomatoes and peppers, organic freshly ground wheat flour ground in a few different ways depending on your baking needs. Flowers and baked goods.

It's a community event and its so fun to be at and people watch and take photos at... I can't wait to go this year! It's only been open for two weeks, but I haven't yet been able to be there.

Instead I work. Thinking about walking around our cute little square and looking at the pretty things all in a row.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Real Vacation

Yesterday I returned to my TN home from a trip to my IL home. A trip in which pretty much only my family  knew I would be home... a week. A whole week to recharge and rest. The week before I left I had several friends and coworkers here in TN tell me "don't overschedule yourself", "try to relax", and "make sure you take time for yourself"! They know me well.

It's not uncommon for me to go home and plan my days and nights away seeing as many people as I can for lunches and dinners and coffees and in betweens; I miss friends that I haven't been able to see in years because of my own craziness and busy-ness. But this trip, I tried to not let that bother me. I tried to relax. I did relax (mostly!).

I went to my cousin's wedding in MI. I spent time with my brothers and their kids. I saw my brothers new digs. I washed and waxed my car with my dad. I went to Caribou multiple times. I went to Blicks for some new art supplies. I had Chipotle with my parents. I went to church twice at Harvest Bible Chapel. I grilled out and fellowshipped with the 5 people who aren't family that knew I was coming (but really they're like family...).

That's it. I vacationed for 9 days and that was all. I spent a couple of days doing almost nothing for a long time... I came home to TN relaxed and laughing in my head at things said and done, but mostly feeling truly rested and restored for the first time in as long as I can remember.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul."
Psalm 23:2-3a