Wednesday, December 30, 2009

-a brief reflection on 2009


This picture depicts two things that make my heart smile=Alicia + Glee


2009 brought about many new experiences. I met a lot of new people. People who were very different from me, but people who have helped me learn, grow and become a better and more accepting person. People who have been there through my new experiences and helped me see a different side of things. I can only say that I'm very thankful for the many new friends I have made, and those friends that I've become closer to in 2009. I'm thankful for the lessons that I learned in 2009. I've had a very topsy turvy kind of year. That's the best way that I can describe it. I only hope that 2010 will bring me even closer to my new friends and bring about many more experiences to help me learn and grow and become a better person.


Bring it on 2010.



Peace and love.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

--ponderings--

Lately I've been feeling sort of blah. I've been feeling like my life is going no where. I've felt hopeless and just sort of sick of my life. Not sick of living...just sick of the monotonous life that I've been living for the past months since graduating from college. My life has no frills or excitement. I've been going through the motions every day. I wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed...the cycle continues. I have various things that I'm involved in like choir, praise team, teaching two year old Sunday school. But other than that I have no other hobbies or distractions from the 40 hour a week job I have. I don't look forward to work, in fact, I dread it. I have mixed emotions about my job. For the most part, I really don't like it. I don't like the drama, the set-up, and a couple of co-workers...and it can be super stressful [especially when you have 9, 3 year old, kids all to yourself and some of them become very defiant and do not want to listen to you] I've come close to my breaking point several times in the past few weeks when I've just wanted to scream at them and spank them. But of course if I did that, I'd be fired. I certainly do not need that. I need this job. I need the money. I need the experience. But I'm so unhappy with it. Yes, it is giving me an income, and experience. Two positive things. But my heart is not in it at all. Sometimes I enjoy the kids. They can be silly, and loving...at times. I do not know the background of most of these kids, but I know many are from very broken living environments and not so good homes. I don't know if these kids experience the kind of love that I can give them. Sure they have parent(s), but I don't know how that "love" is shown to them. I could be the one warm thing that they get every day. I just don't know. But other than thinking that might be the only reason why I'm working where I am, I don't want to be there. I want to feel like I'm doing something great. Something meaningful and extraordinary. I don't feel like I'm really living a meaningful life. My heart is not in any of the things that I do. I try. Not hard enough though I've found. This is obvious in the way my attitude is reflecting on the things that I'm doing. I'm not happy with what I'm doing. I want to do something different. I want to quit doing some things and not have those responsibilities anymore. I want to move on. I want to move away. I feel like I'm being squashed into this tiny box of a life. I feel very limited. But I get scared when new things come along. But I need something new. I want to feel something new. I hate to sound like such a pessimistic person and all, but I just don't feel like my life is full of meaning right now. Why am I where I am? Why am I doing what I'm doing? Why do I feel the way I do? I feel so far away from where I feel like I'm suppose to be. If that even makes sense. I hate that sometimes I feel like I'm completely alone when I'm surrounded by people. I hate feeling like no one else understands what I'm going through. Then I get mad at myself for feeling like my life and situation is so much worse than everyone else around me. I'm so selfish. I'm so narrow-minded. Both very true things. I can also be very two-faced. I saw one thing and do the other. Or I say..."I'd never do that" but then turn around and do it. Man have I ever changed in the last year on certain issues. I don't feel like I'm a bad person, but I do feel like there are some things that I need to keep on the down low. It's funny as I write this one of my favorite Switchfoot songs has come on and it goes like this:
I wish I had what I needed to be on my own...cause I feel so defeated and I'm feeling alone. And it all seems so easy and I have no plans...I'm on a plane in the sunset with nowhere to land. And all I see it could never make me happy..and all my sandcastles spend their time collapsing. Let me know that You hear me. Let me know Your touch. Let me know that You love me. And let that be enough.

The song matches my mood completely. These are words that I would write. I've felt very far away from God for quite a while. I've tried to get closer, but all to no avail. I've failed miserably. I'm in this state of wanting to be independent. I need to feel independent. Maybe it's because I've always done the "church" thing and I was brought up in a Christian home. I'm not bashing my upbringing, my parents, the church, or God at all. It's just something I feel like my life has always been "caught up" in but has gone through many dry periods. Maybe I'm in a rebellious phase right now. Maybe I need distance, but can't get it...so my moods and attitude have been terrible for quite a while. My last year at college was one in which I sort of rebelled from the whole church scene. At school, I had freedom. I had to make the choice to get up and go to church on Sundays and be involved in Bible Studies. Now I will say I did remain faithful to Monday Night Bible Study, although, my attitude did not reflect one of a servants heart and it was more of a chore for me to go every week. That did change though about 6 weeks from the end of the year. We changed up worship. We did worship in the stairwell. For some reason, that changed how I felt about MNBS worship. It was so incredible. And it touched my heart. But the whole church thing was very up and down. I was not happy where I was. For various reasons. It had lost the feel it had my first two years there. Then my third year I feel out of going there for a couple of reasons. Then I went back again Senior year and did not feel completely comfortable so I left again. But I really didn't ever find another permanent church to attend my last semester of college. There was a period of several weeks where I just did not go at all. This was part of my "rebellious" stage if that's what you want to call it. I just felt like I had gotten stuck in this pattern of going to church when my heart was really not it in. I was going through the motions of church and playing my part in the stain glass masquerade every week. I didn't feel like anyone really knew me or my struggles and those that might have cared...didn't take the time to really ask...or I wouldn't let on that I was struggling. I was drowning without a life raft, so I decided to get out of the church boat and try life on my own. Still kind of doing that right now. I'm floating on the broken pieces of my life raft. Just floating and not really going anywhere and not really flailing about screaming to be saved. It's more of a silent struggle where I am trying to do life on my own. Now that I'm blogging about it...it's out there. But it doesn't mean that I'm going to change. I hate asking for help. I don't want to be needy. I just want to be free. Independent. I know all the right things, and I know what I'm suppose to do. But I just don't want to. Maybe I'm waiting on something else to happen. Something big that will change me. But maybe I'm missing what that big thing is. Maybe I'm already there. Maybe I'm just living day to day and not realizing what extraordinary things that are there for me to do. To become. I want to be remembered as someone who has done things. Not great things, but extraordinary things. I want to be remembered as being good. Bold. Courageous. Kind. Loving. Honest. Loyal. Caring. Selfless. One who reflected her Creator in everything she did or said. Right now, could I be remembered as that type of person? Is my life reflective of those characteristics? Am I putting my all into what I'm doing and being the person that God has planned for me to be? I know that I'm not. It makes me sad. But I can't seem to change it. I'm in an endless, dry desert. I've come to a point where it just makes me want to just give up and get out. Start over. There are no do-overs. I wish I could go back and change some things. Undo choices that I made. That's it, I need an undo button. Or a time traveling machine. That way I could go back and undo the things I wish I hadn't done, and also see my future. I'd love to know where I'm going to be this time next year, 5 years, 10 years, and so on...

What kind of person am I going to be? Am I going to be doing something extraordinary with my life? Am I going to be a wife? Am I going to be a mother? Am I going to be someone great? I would really like to know. I hate not knowing. It's like when you watch the season finale of your favorite TV show and they leave you with this incredible cliff hanger...or you're reading a book in a series and you have to wait for the new season or the next book to come out. I also really don't like movies or books that leave you with an unresolved ending. There is nothing else to tell you what happened. You just have to imagine. That leaves me with too many options. I want to know the ending. I have to know or it just irritates me. I mean your imagination can take you in so many different directions, but which one is the best one...the one that has the most meaning to add to the end of the story. It's like my life. I want the ending of my life to have brought about the whole story of my life....to add meaning to it and be beautiful. So that when I'm remembered, my life was not one that just fizzled out and meant nothing. I want my life to be a beautiful story that someone could tell after I'm gone. To tell how my life began and all the struggles that I went through and how I overcame them and how I added something to the world. That I made a difference. That my life helped to change others lives. I want to be someone remembered like that. I want my life to make a difference. So that brings me back to where I am today. As I think about the "cons" of my life. The monotony of my life. How I feel like I have no meaning. I know this is not true, but it's just how I feel. I want to change. I want to be bolder. I want to do great things. I want to be a good person.

I want to be the ordinary person who did extraordinary things because she took what God gave her to do amazing things.

It's time to bring on the challenge of a new year. 2010, here I come.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

--venting, sort of...--

So I hate when I go to holiday parties and see people that I haven't seen in years. For one, they're all like "oh my gosh you've changed so much" and asking a gazillion questions about what I'm doing these days. I also hate it when you see people who bring up things like the guy you were in love with in high school. Yeah, I hate that. I had that experience on Sunday. I was talking to someone who is the mom of the "other" girl from my high school serious crush. The mom was like well they[her daughter and the guy] didn't stick but he's now got this great girl who he'll probably marry in a couple years. And PS he lives here in town with this guy I know[who happened to be at this same party]. Yeah, so....I've been having this problem lately of having reoccurring thoughts/memories of high school--mostly the end of my senior year when this whole boy thing happened--...this has all occurred in dreams. Makes for not so great sleep and waking up depressed. Well it certainly does not help when this happened at the party. I mean, I thought for sure I was over him. I mean I am, right? Doesn't seem like it when things like this happen and kind of mess me up. I wish it didn't. Why did I let it affect me so? It was a pretty serious crush. Never have I ever felt like that for anyone else. I mean I know that he and I were not meant to be...but that was my "first love" or whatever....and there's still a part of my heart that has his name etched on it...you know what I mean? So the old wounds get opened back up at the mention of him or what he's up to now a days. I just don't need to know. So please don't tell me...especially when I'm pretty sure this mom knew how I felt back in the day. I mean it just was known. I made it obvious, I'm pretty sure. So yeah. I know you reading this may not care and be like seriously get over it/him/the whole situation entirely. It's just one of those things. He will always be "that" guy. Thank goodness I didn't have that experience in college....never got close to liking anyone that much....although I made doozies of choices in my crushes. They all turned out to be dumb. Well not all...at least I'm still friends with a couple of them....the rest are dumb. Haha. :) Boys are complicated. They're not all dumb. Some are really nice. Some get overlooked. Especially when I'm the one looking....I think it's because, and I'll be honest, I think a little too highly of myself. I think a lot of girls do that though. We think we are so super attractive that only other super attractive guys are worthy enough to be our boyfriends. Well, I'm working on this whole I'm so super attractive needing only an attractive boyfriend. We all have narcissistic tendencies. Not saying everyone is a narcissist but we[meaning the majority of the human population] does think more about looks than other characteristics...like personality, compatibility, etc. I mean, I'm not stupid and do realize that there needs to be some attraction...but you know what I mean. Ok, so anyways. Yeah. This has been a ramble of a bunch of silly girlness. Because I am a silly girl. Yes, silly, awkward....and a host of other things. And sometimes I get a little too boy crazy. I'm just being honest.


Sheesh.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a secret

ps. sometimes things happen that you don't ever expect happening. like maybe crushing on someone you didn't think you'd ever crush on....we'll see what 2010 brings.

--falling behind and trying to catch up

how can it be that 2009 is almost over?

how is that possible? my mind is blown away by how fast this year has gone by. december always seems to sneak up on us...even though in july it seems as if december is so far away....you blink and it's december. sometimes i hate that...and other times i think of how it means that i'm not stuck in one thing for too long. i don't know if that makes sense. but to me it just equals me being that much closer to the things that i want to happen...like being done with school, getting a job...and those other things that are on the "dream" list. i have a lot of things that i want to happen. for some reason i expect all of these things to happen in a short amount of time. well as each year passes, only 1, maybe 2 things happen. i guess i can check off graduating from college and finding a job off of my list. but there were other things that i wanted to happen this year too, but they haven't. and then there are things that happen that i don't like thinking about or even dreaming about happening. that's the loss of people that you are so close to and then being forced to grow up and learning how to move on to new stages of life. sometimes my fears get in the way. ok. i'll be honest almost all of the time my fear gets in the way of what should be excitement for having moved from one stage of life to another. i wish i had a preview for the years to come, so maybe that would give me time to prepare myself for the future. but i do not have that luxury. many times i pray that God will just come back now, because i'm tired of things. it's the times that i get really down and having those constant pity parties because i'm not experiencing certain life things that others are experiencing. even though, i know, that i'm not ready completely for those life things to happen yet....even if there's more excitement about those things than actual fear over the thought of those realities coming true. for those that know me really well, you know exactly what life experiences i'm talking about. how i've tried so hard...or am still trying to learn how to be content in the place where i am now, i cannot seem to get there completely. i feel like i'm being left behind, but logic tells me it's that much closer for me. maybe not as close as i think or want it to be....but it will be here in the blink of an eye. just like life and how fast it seems to go by. the passage of time never allows me to really enjoy the time that i'm in because i'm always worrying about the future and thinking about the next thing. i need to focus more on the here and now. it's funny how things happen. how time goes by and you don't even realize it. you just live day to day...and the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months....just go by. the moments just pass you by. if you're not careful you'll miss out the special little moments. an amazing sunrise or sunset that testifies to the awesome hand of our Creator. the waves crashing on the sand at the beach. watching birds fly south. enjoying a drive with beautiful scenery. the change of the leaves. a good song on the radio that warms your heart. little things. rainshowers. snow days. day trips. playing a board game. laughing with friends. the culmination of these little things add up to make up a sweet harmony to go along with our lives. i always seem to picture myself in a movie with a song playing in the background. the music in my head always seems to mirror whatever situation i'm in. sometimes the song is sad, sometimes it is mad, sometimes it is bitter, sometimes it is frustrated, and sometimes it is happy. all these things add up to the soundtrack of our lives. it's funny how when i hear certain songs now i attribute them to a particular time in my life and how that song seemed to match whatever i was going through. sometimes those songs will make me laugh and even sometimes cry. i seem to be very emotional lately, so there might be more crying than laughing. although i tend to laugh at myself a lot. just because i'm random, awkward, and silly. so i have to laugh at myself. :) ok, so 2009. it's coming to an end. Christmas is coming. i'm nowhere near ready. i have yet to buy the first Christmas present. i seem to have no time...i really hate clocks. i swear they are going faster than time really is, just like the sun....it's playing tricks on us and setting to early. oh well. now i need to attempt to catch up to my life, live for the now, look forward [in hope] to the future. and finish my soundtrack for 2009 and start working on the one for 2010...only because i'm a procrastinator. ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

i can't quite seem to keep up with this...

So I don't even remember the last time I blogged.

It's been a few weeks for sure. I think. I didn't look at it to see. My life has been consumed by working 40 hours a week, singing in the choir, Bible study, teaching the 2 year olds on Sunday mornings, and I'll be starting to sing at the Engage service starting this week. So that leads me to about having no life. Or a life that even resembles the one I use to live. I hardly ever hang out with friends, but I am working on that one. I went to game night a couple weeks ago which I'm so glad I went to and even stayed out til midnight! Hahaha. I haven't seen midnight maybe once or twice in the past 8ish weeks. I've been so exhausted that the only thing I feel like doing when I get off of work is come home and crash. I had all these plans to do new things once I graduated and "grew up"...well those new things have yet to occur. I had every intention of learning how to play the guitar...and well...I've really been slacking. I wish I had my "teacher" closer...but he is in Buies Creek. No bueno. So my life really hasn't been that exciting. I don't really have a lot to share. I will try not to use this to complain about things that I don't really like right now. Issues that I'm having with my job, etc. I really need to decide what it is I want to do. I need to a). look into grad school and figure out what I want to study and b). be on the lookout for another job.

I've been a big slacker in so many areas of my life. I'm trying to get myself organized. I hardly ever make my bed anymore. That is not like me. I always make my bed, but I'm too tired to do it and I fall into it again around 9 every night anyways....so yeah. I gotta work on myself. Get my life under control. I sure do miss a lot of things from the "old days"....or recent days. I miss my friends terribly and I miss the independence I use to have. I miss the freedom I had and the lack of "responsibility". Being grown-up is not so fun right now. I'm still getting use to it...I know, I know it sure is taking me a while. Remember I'm not a big fan of change...so my adjusting skills are pretty slow. So yeah. That's about it. I'm so excited about Thanksgiving. I have three days off next week and my family is going to be spending it up in N. VA with my mom's sisters and their families! I am so ready to see everyone and enjoy spending time with them. This is one reason why I love the holidays so much. I get to see all my family and we are all together. It makes me happy. Although this is going to be a very difficult season because it is the first one without my Meemau. I've taken her death a lot harder than I've taken any of the other deaths I've experienced in my family. Not saying I didn't love my PaPa...I have complete peace knowing I will see him again. But I'm still uncertain about my Meemau. I've never grieved like this over a death before. I will think of the most random things and it will trigger a memory and then I just want to break down and cry. I've done a lot of that over the past two and half months. It's been really hard for me. I miss her so much and my heart still hurts a lot over the loss of her. She was so very special to me. I just hope she is safely in Heaven right now. I really wish I knew. I wish I could just get a glimpse of it and know she's there. I really hate not knowing. And I especially hate waiting.

Ok, so enough of that. I need to go try to play my part for this Sunday on the piano. Even though I don't even know how to play....haha. I also need a better attitude.

I'm a piece of work, that's for sure.

Monday, October 19, 2009

moments of insanity

Today, I thought I would go crazy. I thought I would lose my mind. I was going to pull out all of my hair. I was going to strangle someone...or something. I was going to scream. I was going to explode. Whew. It was a crazy day full of many moments of insanity. I was put in charge of the two year old class because both of the teachers were out sick. Yeah, I've only been in that class subbing for the past 3 days...now 4. Yeah, not my idea of fun. They have a super hard time listening. There is a lot of screaming, hitting, and crying, and times where I truly believe all of the children are deaf. Because they do not like to listen when I call their names to say...come go potty, clean up that center, don't hit her/him, don't eat rocks/crayons/whatever it is they may put in their mouths...and on and on. Wow, it was super crazy. Yeah, then one of my kids threw up. Yes, fun stuff. Good times. So lots of poop and the smell of throw up. Needless to say, when I went home for my break I didn't want to go back. In fact, I was ready to quit. Wow, thank goodness I got through. By a miracle from God, I made it through. I hope tomorrow is a better day. I mean it will be a new day, but I just hope no barfing kids. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

--"Meteor Shower"--

I can finally see,
That you're right there beside me,
I am my not own,
For I have been made new
Please don't let me go,
I desperately need you

I am not my own,
For I have been made new
Please don't let me go,
I desperately need you
by: Owl City



check his music out on myspace. he's super awesome and he loves Jesus! :)

www.myspace.com/owlcity

a review of my first week on the job--

I'm quite sure you are all so excited to hear all about my first week of work. So where to start. I guess the beginning. I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the pre-k 4's class. I got to know all the kids in there and had finally begun to bond when I was put in the 5's on Thursday. Yeah, not so happy about that one and I'm pretty sure my face said it all when my boss told me she was putting me in there. They had 26 kids until 3 pm then they added 3 more! YIKES! Those fives will drive you absolutely insane because they are loud, and do not like to listen. There were some that had their sweet moments, and I guess all in all kids will be kids. But there were definitely some super cuties. There's a boy in there who reminds me of Spanky from Little Rascals. He has this little southern accent and he's so grown up. He's precious, and I wanted to take him home with me! Hahaha. Then there was another little boy who reminds me of Ralphie from A Christmas Story, he was a cutie, but no takey home with me. He was a MESS! But then today[Friday] I was put in the 3's class. How precious they are. Still messes, and they can get loud, but I enjoyed it so much more than the 5's. Although, I did love my 4's....they just have the funniest personalities! So that's about it for the first week. It's definitely going to be very interesting. We'll see how working with all the people there works out. I'm typically a peacekeeper kinda person, and I don't want to mess with things or make people feel threatened. I guess in a way I feel left out because I don't know how everything works and I haven't been working with these people for a long period of time. The one person who I love to see everyday is Ashley. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get put into the same classroom...once the director figures out that the other teacher may not be right for the classroom. Idk. The 3's are probably going to be my place come January when one of the teachers leave, so yeah. But I liked them. There are some super cuties in there, and I love the fact that some of the kids are bilingual! So cool.


So yeah....that was my life this past week. I was super busy all day then I had stuff going on every night except last night and tonight. THANK GOODNESS! I need "me" time. For real. I get tired of being around people[adults, teens, kids] all day. I also enjoy talking to adults[aka my friends and my family at home] because I don't get a lot of adult-like conversations during the day. Haha. I'm really excited about this weekend. Alicia is coming to visit me tomorrow and we're gonna hang out for the day. Sunday is the launch of the new service, although, I do have some choice words, but will refrain from mentioning those words. It's going to be a busy weekend with another busy week next week. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving vacation! :) I'm also hoping I don't get the flu. I feel like I'm turning into an "older" person. I go to bed at 10, get up at 6, work out, come home and get ready for work--take my vitamins[lol], go to work from 9-6, then come home and have various activities every night. Two of my nights consist of commitments at 6:30. I have basically zero time. Weekends are going to be treasured....and ESPECIALLY sleeping in.


---sorry for the ramble of nonsense that probably doesn't even make sense...my brain is just mush!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

--the job so far...

So basically I've only been working for two days, and my body already feels completely worn out. I guess that's what you get for working with kids, and I'm still getting use to working all day. I also got up at 6 this morning to go workout before work. I'm going to be doing that at least 3 days a week, so hello to my pillow at 10 pm or earlier and goodbye pillow at 6 am.....hmmmm not gonna like that so much. Nope nope. Right now I've been put in the 4's class while one of the teachers is out. I have not had any training or my orientation yet. So we shall see how I do...until I finally get my training done. So far I think the kids like me ok, although they don't like listening to much. Hopefully once my newness wears off, they'll listen better. So yeah, not too much to say. I just don't want to get sick, or fired. lol

I'm just glad I don't have diapers to change, just beware of those that still wet "the bed" aka their cots during nap time. I had two of those today...thankfully the other teacher was still there to help clean it up...yeah, kids are messy, dirty little things. And crazy. There are some hilarious ones, especially when they start busting out in song. Michael Jackson is their favorite, but I've also heard "shut up and put your money where your mouth is..." yeah, I stopped that before it got any further. Out of the mouths of babes....you will hear any and everything.

It's Fire Safety week, so tomorrow the firemen are coming. Can I get a woot woot? ;)


Come on you know me....I might be meeting my future husband tomorrow. hahahahahahaha


Ok, it's time for bed. I'm beat. More updates to come.



PS. I have a Baby Gap model in my class. He's super cutie. For real. Toooo bad he doesn't have a 23 year old brother. Yep. Way too bad. ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

--almost ready to start!

So just a quick post to say how close I am to beginning my new job. I got my TB test, physical, fingerprints, and background check all done today. Woot woot for getting things done! I even bought scrubs to wear. I'm super excited about the Curious George one I bought today. I love Curious George. :)

If you're lucky, I might post a picture of me modeling it! haha.


It's so close. I'm so close to being a full time working woman. 4o hours a week. Every week. For the rest of my life. Ok, hopefully/maybe not the rest. I'm still banking on getting married and having kids someday. But I'm not sure how long that'll be. I've got to find myself a man first. That's kind of an important part of the equation. I need to figure out where/how to meet him.


Any suggestions?




<3 peace and love <3

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Change is good, and so is God!

It's been a while since I've written/blogged/posted....eh whatever. Haha.

So God's been up to a lot lately. He's been really hard at work...and I could have missed it had I not paid attention. Wow. First off, I have a JOB! PRAISE GOD! Wow. That in itself is so amazing and so incredibly comforting. A burden has lifted. He provided me with a full time job that will provide me with a steady[and fairly decent] income, benefits, and lots of experience with precious children! Wow. Okay, I've said that a lot. But I'm just in awe of how He worked it out! I now know how well God uses people in our lives. He did that last week. So rewind to last Tuesday. Okay...well back it up to the Sunday before...the 20th. I'd been having a hard past couple of weeks with the loss of my great grandmother. So I'd slacked off from my job hunt. I really had not gone anywhere to look since my interview back in August. I see now why things do not work out for my plan. It's because I would not be ready until last week to fully and openly receive a job offer. Only because I couldn't have dealt with the loss I experienced while newly beginning a job. Because starting a new job is going to be stressful in itself. Just because I need to learn how everything works and learn all the kiddies' names and so on and so forth. So He knew that I'd be more ready to jump back into it with [somewhat] full force. So I had decided after being asked by several people about my job situation that Sunday, that the upcoming week I was going to pursue some job openings at some local daycares/preschools. Well I had yet to do anything by last Tuesday...the 22nd. So I'd been out shopping with my mom for birthday stuff. Yes, the joys of being older and being able to pick out all your gifts and taking away the surprise. Well, I like having clothes that fit and are my style. So I had to help mom out with ideas...because I hadn't really given her any. So last Tuesday we went to the mall to first off see Mandisa and Josh Wilson who were giving a concert there during the lunch hour. It was so awesome. Being at the mall, a very secular place, and having children of God worshipping Him in public. How cool is that. I got emotional when I was singing along, so not much came out. I was just in awe of how many people were there and at the people who were worshipping in a public place. This takes boldness to a whole new level for me. Wow. So after we watched the concert we go shopping. After shopping for a bit, we head back toward home to the library so I can pick up some books I had on hold. While driving, my phone began to ring in the backseat. I missed it before it stopped ringing, so it went to voicemail. Once I finally reached my phone, I looked at a number that I did not recognize. I always getting slightly excited about getting called by unknown numbers...because you never know who it is...and it could turn out to be something exciting. Little did I know it was my friend, Ashley. She was leaving me a voicemail as I picked up my books at the library. Then I proceeded to listen to the voicemail after I got my books and was heading home. The voicemail went kind of like this..."Hey Jilene, this is Ashley...and I was calling to tell you I was talking to my director today about you and she would like you to come in. I told her you might go work at some other places, and she said to tell you no...that she wanted you! So basically I found you a job! Call me back soon...." Okay, so this is not word for word, but close enough. Man, try to imagine how excited I was to hear "I found you a job!" Yeah, I was pretty freaking excited! So to make a long story short, I called Ashley back, decided to meet her at 2:45 to go talk to her director, and then the rest is history. I went in, interviewed, and was hired on the spot! Talk about God being at work. How quickly that happened! I was not expecting that at all. I had half expected that my week would consist of me going to take my resume to some different places and maybe setting up an interview. I was definitely taken by surprise. But it was so amazing. And so perfect! God had His hand in it for sure. I'm so thankful. So now I have a few days to enjoy what's left of my freedom and get my "ducks in a row" before I start my new job this coming Monday, October 5th. I'm going to be a permanent substitute, so I'm pretty much going wherever I'm needed. I'm totally cool with that. I'm also excited about having a friend who works there! I think it'll help my transition to the "working world". So praise God for His provision of a job that comes with a lot of great things. I know my Meemau would be proud of me. That was sort of my aim...to go and find something...kind of in her honor. There it was, New Horizons Daycare....how appropriate. I'm at a new horizon in my own life. The sun is beginning to rise on a new day in my life. A new chapter. A new adventure. Change is definitely good. I'm beginning to get more use to it. Change happens so rapidly and unexpectedly. How appropriate with the change of season on the very day I got a job! It's time for a new season in so many different areas of my life. It's time to let Him use me!

PS. I auditioned for the worship team for the new Engage service that we are starting at Center Grove. I'm praying that God will use me in whatever way He decides too. I'm also very excited about the potential opportunity that I will have through this audition. We will see what happens, but I definitely know God is working and He has a great plan.


GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

Monday, September 21, 2009

--it's tough being a woman--

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to go to a Beth Moore Bible study on Monday nights. It helps me fill the void of my old Monday night routine of Monday Night Bible Study. We are studying the book of Esther and discussing how it is tough to be a woman and God's plan and purpose for our lives. Sometimes we forget that God has a plan for us. Sometimes we forget that He is there. Sometimes God takes a behind the scenes part in our lives, but He never leaves us. We just may not feel His presence. I am so excited about learning about Esther and how God used a woman like her to change a nation. What a powerful message of hope and inspiration.

I have especially felt the trials of being a "woman". The only way I feel like I am a woman is the fact that I so unwillingly receive a gift every month. Preceding that gift I became an evil version of myself. I try to mask it, but it still seems to rear its ugly head at those I love. I can get so angry at the smallest things. It makes me want to punch things and break things. I do have somewhat of a temper, I mean I am a redhead and you know what they say about redheads right? If you don't know, look it up. Haha.

Another area that I so try to avoid is the stereotypical "emotional" and "super-sensitive" part of being a woman. I hate crying and especially in front of people. But over the past week I have had my fair share of tears. My eyes have poured buckets on several occasions over the past week, but to particular circumstances which normally are met by tears. I haven't cried that much in a really long time, but I just couldn't prevent them from falling last Wednesday at my Meemau's funeral. We had the viewing and visitation beforehand. I was fine until I went up to my great aunt Kay and hugged her and she asked me how I was doing. I lost it. Then I got better for a few seconds until I went over to see my Meemau's body. I always hate looking at the lifeless bodies of loved ones. They never look like they are suppose to. But my aunt Kay was there to comfort me and talk to me and make me laugh. She told me they had put a wig on my Meemau, but she took it off the night before...because my Meemau would NOT have wanted that at all. She would have said take that d*** thing off me! I was also comforted in her words that my Meemau loved "her baby". I wasn't the baby of the family, but we did have a very special bond. I know she loved me and I loved her dearly as well. The service itself was also another very difficult time. We sung three different songs...all of which I struggled through. I maybe sung about 20 words altogether, but hearing my dad sing out clear and glancing over at my weeping aunts and cousins along with feeling my own grief...the tears just poured out of my eyes. It especially made my heart hurt and my eyes flood again when my great aunt Betty just started shaking and crying hard at the end of the service when they commended my Meemau into God's hands then following that up with "How Great Thou Art" as they rolled her casket down the aisle out of the sanctuary. That song has been sung at the last four funerals I have gone too. Three of them have been my dad singing the song, but this time it was the choir and congregation. It is such a powerful song, but now has very different connotations for me. Most times when I sing the song, my eyes well with tears. The burial was not hard for me. It was very short and sweet and a poem was read...I really can't remember what it said but then her body was committed to the ground and "ashes to ashes and dust to dust"--returning her body to the ground that man was originally formed from--was said. Then we watched as her casket was lowered into her grave. I can't really describe the feeling. It was just surreal, I guess. There was a slight breeze which was almost kind of like imagery of her spirit flowing through each person that was there and touching them. I know that's not how it is, but it felt sort of like that in a way. I don't want that day to be the last day I think about and remember my Meemau. I will always remember her. There are going to be some very hard times. Thanksgivings, Christmases, birthdays, Easter, and maybe a random day when there is something that someone will say or do that reminds me of her. I just can only hope now that she is in heaven. She is the one that planned her service and chose what songs would be sung and the scriptures that would be read. "Beautiful Savior", "Amazing Grace", and "How Great Thou Art" were sung. Psalm 23 was sung in a song by the Requiem Choir and scriptures from Romans, John, and The Lord's Prayer was also sung. Each of those talks about God's saving grace and the truth of the Gospel. I have some hope in that that she did have that relationship and that was her parting gift to her family. The peace that is left behind in knowing that she is waiting in heaven until the day that we are called home.


How I digress, but I had not shared about the funeral yet. I don't know if I conveyed all of my feelings about it. But it was a very hard day for me. One of the hardest. I was comforted to see a lot of my family there and I can only pray for a lot of the brokenness that is in some of my family members. I hope that this will only bring them together and not drive them apart.



So whew....life's tough. And it's tough being a woman. Women are the comforters...mostly. And sometimes it's hard to grieve while also trying to comfort and hold your family together during a hard time. I'm not trying to stereotype, but my mom typically has always been the comforter in my family. I feel like it's just a motherly thing. But that's just me. What do you think?


Anyways, lots of good things coming. I will talk about those later. I'm going to Campbell this coming weekend, so I'm sure I'll have lots to say about my trip after I get back. I can only imagine how much different it'll feel. Being that I'm not a student anymore. Wow. This year has gone by fast. My 22nd year has gone by fast as well. I'll be 23 in two days. Yikes. That's seven years away from being 30....for those of you not good at math. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

--speechless--

Yesterday I lost my great grandmother, my Meemau. She passed away around 10 o'clock yesterday morning as we were beginning our Big Event service yesterday. I am thankful that I did not glance back at my dad for him to give me the news during the service. I was spared that until right after it was over. He came and told me "Meem is gone" How can it be? How can she be gone. It's not possible. She was going to live forever. I mean she was 93--just turned it on Saturday. She was a glue-like substance that held part of our family together. Sure she was stubborn and had very different opinions that did not meld with my own, but I loved her. So much. She was the only real grandmother I ever knew. Both of my parents mothers died when I was one. They died two weeks apart. When my mom's mom died, I was in the hospital with croup. Then two weeks later my dad's mom had a heart attack--or some type of aortic aneurysm. Both of my grandfathers remarried, but those two women have never matched up to what I knew a grandmother was or had been told my grandmothers were like. My Meemau became my grandmother. Most people leave out the "great" part because most people do not know their great-grandmothers, but that's ok because she really was like a grandmother to me. I have so many memories of my Meemau going all the way back to my earliest memories. I have memories of my Meemau taking care of me when I was little when my parents went out to dinner or had other things going on. She and I would play. There's a story about me and Meemau playing in her kitchen. I was about 2 and Meemau was being "punished". She was sitting on the stool in her kitchen in the corner while I was sitting in my little rocking chair singing songs that I had made up. She always remembered when I would play office. I had my special place in her old coffee table where she had pens, papers, and the postcards torn out of magazines. I turned her living room into my own personal office where I would deal with all my important "paperwork". She croqueted something for everyone. Everytime a baby was born, she made afghans. I have two that she has made me. One is a very light green color that has very soft yarn. That was made for me when I was born. Then I have another one that is larger that is pink and white. I got that when I was older because my favorite color was pink. She also made me a blue scarf a few years ago. These are some things that I will never get rid of because everytime I use them I will remember her. I have so many more memories. We laughed so much and love was something I never questioned. I am going to miss her so much. I am going to miss going to her house. I'm going to miss going up to her back door and seeing her working in the kitchen waiting for us to get there so we could all eat dinner together. Dinner was always late. For some reason, that was always a homey thing for me. I will always remember her mauve colored dining room, the red carpet in the foyer leading up the rounding staircase that have the very steep and narrow steps to the upstairs. I will always remember the shag brown and orange carpet in her basement and the monkey that lived in her bathroom downstairs. [A picture of a monkey over the toilet...lol] I will never forget the smell of Meemau's laundry. I will never forget how comforting and welcoming her 10 foot long blue couch was in the living room or the toy drawer in the kitchen. So many memories of the huge Christmas trees that we thought would fall over because they were so big...or the Easter egg hunts in the backyard with the 8 bazillion cousins or the fact that people had to eat on the back porch, the living room, and with an extended table that reached into the foyer from the dining room. We will never forget how hard it was to get certain channels because Meemau didn't have cable, she only just got it a couple months ago thanks to the coaxing of my dad. Her home was a home full of love. A love that accepted you for who you were...even though there were disagreements between some. She still loved you for who you were, no matter your choice of religion, sexual preference, or political party. She loved her animals too. She use to have poodles when I was younger. I will always remember Buddy and Pepper. She would not feed them dog food. They would get different things like baby food chicken, corn flakes, green beans, and rice. I also use to tease Buddy by lifting up the mail-slot on the front door. He would always bark and I would get reprimanded. I remember spending a week with her one summer after we moved to North Carolina and her being very concerned about me wearing sunglasses when we would go outside. I didn't have a pair with me, so I had to wear a huge pair that you would wear over your glasses. Oh fashion statement. But she didn't care, she just wanted to make sure my eyes were protected. She loved me so much. I can't believe she is actually gone. The last time I saw her was about two weeks ago. She was in the hospital and we knew it would not be much longer. I didn't want to come to terms with that fact then. I hate hospitals. I really do. They feel so impersonal. I hated seeing her in a hospital bed refusing to eat and not being able to hug her or kiss her because she had contracted MRSA a year and a half ago and it had flared back up. I hated that we could not understand what she was saying most of the time. That was not the Meemau I knew. She was always able to speak what was on her mind very clearly. She was in so much pain and she was so tired. She was ready to die. Even though she seemed to fight it as hard as she could...she knew it was time. She had seen death's door so many times in the past 15ish years that she knew this was it. The fighting was over. My only hope is that her heart was softened and she came to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. Of all the things, that grieves me the most. She said she was a Christian, but saying it does not mean it is true. It is about a life change. A relationship. I just pray that in her way, she was saved. Her relationship through her praying and Bible reading...which I know would be the perfect way to have the Truth revealed to her in a very living way. But I will not know until I get to heaven if she truly did have that heart change. Oh, how I wish I knew. That would make this whole grieving process so much easier for me. It's hard to lose the people we love, but the hope that we have knowing that those who are saved will be with our Father in heaven gives us great joy and peace. But those who are not, I just don't even want to think about the eternal suffering of hell. Even though we all deserve death and hell. God gave Jesus to us to cancel the debt we all owe. He made a way to heaven. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is THE way, the ONLY way. I only hope that my heart and life will be changed to be more reflective of the peace I have in my soul. I don't want to see another loved one die without knowing where they stand. When I go to my Meemau's funeral on Wednesday, there will be no peace in my heart. My heart is so conflicted. It is tearing apart with the not knowing. I have asked God to somehow reveal to me that she was. I just need peace. I know it was never in my control, but how can I go on without knowing if she's resting safely in His arms forever? I know I have to trust in God's will. But it is so incredibly hard. I have not really felt the reality of her being gone. Because I have not seen her lifeless body or seen her casket lowered into her grave. I was upset at first when I heard she was gone. I went to my mom and cried. But since then I had not cried until now. As I write this and reflect on different things. I also had someone who I thought was a close friend do something very insensitive and I am hurt and I just want to scream at them and hit them for not being aware of the pain that I'm in and what I've been going through the past couple of weeks since seeing my Meemau alive for the last time. Everyday has been spent waiting not knowing if we were going to get the dreaded phone call letting us know that she was gone. My stomach had been in knots for the past week. Now, I'm dealing with her death and the finality that she is gone. Then my friend did this. They knew that she had been really sick. She's been in and out of the hospital over the past two years and I had constantly been asking prayer for her. They also knew that my family was unsure of her salvation. It just really hurts me that they were so insensitive. I just don't know what to think. I know that it was not meant to cause me any hurt, but it sure did strike a very raw cord in me. People are so lame. That's the only word I can think of right now. We are all stupid and insensitive beings. We only look out for number one. I don't care how unselfish someone is, they are still in the end looking out for themselves. It's how we are as people. We do not know another person's heart. We can only know what we observe and hear them testify about themselves. That does not mean it's the truth. That does not make them pretty either. We are all such low, dirty, rotten, crooked deep down to the core people. I know I am not perfect. I know my Meemau was not perfect. But somehow we can love people...even if it is not entirely unconditional in the way that true love is. I'm sorry I have rambled on. I'm just trying to somehow sort out my feelings and get out some of the things that are inside me. I'm ready for Jesus to come back now. Sometimes life just gets too hard. I'm ready now.


Some days I need a punching bag, and a very large field. The punching bag to take out my anger and aggression, and the field to scream at the top of my lungs in. Some days you just need to do those things. This is one of those days.


But I don't have those things, and I am left with my hurting and broken heart. I'm going to miss my Meemau so much. This is going to be a hard next couple of days. Please pray for me if you are reading this. Pray that God will give me the strength to get through and to have peace...even if I will not know the answer to my burning question until the day I get to heaven.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

reminiscing.

So today I decided to pull out my huge cd case full of 100's of cds I have collected over the past 13ish years. I chose to pull out one of my Chirho cds. Wow did that ever take me back! Haha. I remember them coming to sing for the youth group at Calvary one Sunday morning and I was in love. For those of you that don't know, I'm a sucker for boys in a band or that can sing and are musically inclined. It's on the list of must haves for my future husband. Anyways so back to the topic. I was listening to the amazing sounds of the a capella group that I became a huge fan of my last two years of high school. I remember going to their Big Concert the spring of my junior year and deciding there were two potential future husbands in the group. Funny how I pick out my future "husbands"...for I have quite a few. It's good to have a plentiful group to pick from! haha. Well I can't even remember their names today. But they were cute and they could sing and they loved Jesus...what more could I ask for? Yeah. Wow. Sometimes it's nice to have little things take you back to the past where things seemed simpler and easier. That was just one of those funny things that I did in high school. I have another Chirhoish moment when I decided to blast the cd in my car as loud as I could when I saw one of the Chirho members outside of the old Coldstone. He came running down as I was sitting at the stoplight waving at me and smiling...and me waving back and being like yeah I know you...not really, but we all feel connected to bands through their music and when we go to their concerts. It's like we know them when we don't really know them. I like to have that sense of "camaraderie" with band members and pretend like we're bffs or something like that. I like the connection. Especially eye contact connection, but that's another story fast forwarding to my senior year of college. Oh deary me. I can be a silly girl. But I do love me some Chirho. I really want to be in a band or a singing group. Or my newest thing I want to attempt is being in a musical. West Side Civic Theater group is a local group that I could potentially become involved in if I wanted to. We shall see. After seeing Pirates of Penzance last night, I had that feeling again...like I had after seeing the Seussical freshmen year at CU that I wanted to be in a musical. I would love to play Ariel in The Little Mermaid or Giselle in Enchanted. I do have red hair. I would just need to grow it out real long! That would be perfect for my future wedding! Haha. I do get sidetracked.



But back to Chirho. There are some pretty amazing songs on their cd. My favorite has to be "Kyrie Eleison". It means Oh Lord, have mercy. I have forgotten how much I love this song and how relevant the words are.


Kyrie Eleison down the road that I must travel

Kyrie Eleison through the darkness of the night

Kyrie Eleison where I go, will you follow

Kyrie Eleison on a highway in the light

These words from the chorus really resonate in my heart. I cannot do anything without God. I cannot get through this life without His help. I need His grace, love, and mercy everyday. The Bible even tells about how His mercies are new every morning. Look up Lamentations 3:22-23. I have no power to do anything. I chose to do things on my own, but I cannot determine the things that are going to come into my life. I cannot predict what people I will meet, what job I will get, whether or not I'll get into graduate school, when/if I'll get married, when/how I'm going to die. So many things in our lives that we want to know the outcome of, but we cannot predict the future. I could not have told you a year ago that today I would be without a job, and that my great grandmother would not be around much longer. I have so many questions that I would like answered, but I cannot know everything. Sometimes it's best to not know. That's why God's mercy is so amazing...because....I deserve nothing that He has given me. I am but a filthy rag, a broken vessel. Yet the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, because He loves me so much, gives me things that I do not deserve and keeps me from the things that I do deserve, the eternal consequences of my sins=death. Yet He saw fit to give up His only Son to pay the price that I could never pay. He gave me the gift of eternal life because He loved me so much. I have no words. Who am I, that the the Lord of all Earth would care to know my name and care to feel my hurt. Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin, would look on me with love and watch me rise again. Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done. Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are. I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow. A wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind. Still you hear me when I'm calling, Lord, you catch me when I'm falling. And You've told me who I am, I am Yours.
Praise God.
I am Yours.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

looking forward to fall.

So, I'm pretty excited about the cooling temperatures and the fact that fall will be here soon! It is my favorite season. I have this thing for fall. I love the smells, colors, temperatures, apples--in all forms, chicken stews, the fair, school supplies, and my birthday! woot woot! :) This is something to look forward too even if there are other things in my life that aren't encouraging, the fact that the seasons change and the sun rises and sets every day is pointing all to the fact that God is in total control. Of everything. Even when I cannot see the future or come close to predicting what might happen. There are three major things in my life that have the potential power to discourage me in a great way. But I'm trying to focus on the positive things and the small things that remind me every day of God's hand. I still do not know about the job I applied for a month ago. So now I feel like I need to move on to plan C. Even though...I don't know what plan B was. Hmm...


My Meemau seems to be doing a little bit better, if only she would eat to help her gain her strength. I still think God has something up His sleeve for her. He knows she's a stubborn woman and He's just not done with her yet. Her 93rd birthday is this Saturday, so maybe that will be the "magic" number for her. But I still do not know what is going to happen. I can just hope and pray.


Then there is another thing that lays heavy on my heart. It brings me a great deal of stress even though I have absolutely no control over it and can not do anything to make it go away or help it. I wish I had super powers to help make certain things go away. This is one of those things. It's not something I can openly discuss, but it is a major thing that is affecting me and my family right now. I pray that it can be resolved soon. God is in control and He has brought us this far, so I know that He only has our best in mind and He's never let us down yet.


So as summer comes to a close, I look forward to another change. I've had a lot of changes over the past several months and this is a change that I welcome with open arms.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

--my heart is heavy



I do not have a lot of words to say tonight. My Meemau[aka my great-grandmother] is dying of cancer. She is 92 almost 93 years old, and she is not saved. I have dreaded the day that I would lose her and it seems to be quickly approaching. She has always been invincible to me. She has been through many very difficult and serious illnesses in the past and has come through by the grace of God. Each time I have hoped that those experiences of near death would draw her to a saving grace in Jesus. It's a difficult subject to approach with her. She is a very stubborn, opinionated and set in her ways woman. She thinks that my family[who are Southern Baptists] believe that only Southern Baptists go to heaven. My dad has tried to explain to her[and she is Lutheran] that we do not believe that. We have tried to make it clear that anyone who acknowledges that they are a sinner, asks for forgiveness for their sins and then puts their trust in Jesus as their personal Savior is saved. I've also had a cousin who is a missionary attempt to witness to her, which only made her defensive because she was put off by the fact that he thought she was not saved and then in front of her got down on his knees and prayed for her salvation[this story coming from her] So my prayer and hope tonight and until the time that the breath leaves her body that she will come to have that saving knowledge in Jesus. That she will give her life to Him. I cannot imagine not ever seeing her again. The joy that would fill my heart knowing I would see her again in heaven would be so incredible. I cannot even explain it. So that is why my heart is so heavy right now. The end is near and it could lead to separation forever. My heart could not take that. I cannot and do not even want to think about it. It hurts my heart to think about it. I have the peace and joy in my heart knowing that I will see my parents, brother, grandparents, and other family members in friends in heaven someday. It is so hard for me to see how anyone could not believe in God. He is so evident in everything. The beauty of a sunrise or the majesty of the oceans. The intricacies of the human body. The miracle of the birth of a baby. My mind cannot grasp how any person could even come up with something so intricate and make it work for thousands of years. God is so amazing. To think the Creator of the world loved me so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, down to earth. He became man. How low he went to do something that no man could do for himself. He came to live a perfect life that led to the perfect sacrifice and payment for our sins. Because the Bible says that:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"
Romans 6:23.

We all deserve to die. To put it bluntly. We do. We are all sinners. We are not worthy to even talk to God and enter into His kingdom. Yet God in His great goodness saw fit to do something that no person on earth would ever have the power to do or the amount of love that He
has for us. He sent His only Son! Yes, I'm being redundant, but sometimes people forget who God is and what He's done for us. I forget it everyday. It's something that needs to be hammered into our heads and drilled into our hearts. God loves us. The lowly beings that we
are. The wonderful thing is that God's love is free. God's love is given freely to those who accept the gift of salvation. That is the greatest gift that anyone could ever receive. The gift that gives us full access to God. The relationship that He wants to have with us because we are His children. That relationship that will lead us to an eternal life with Him. I cannot even begin to imagine what heaven will be like. I can just picture a bunch of angelic-like beings in white robes all praising God and singing His praises forever. Hey I can live with that! I'll sing of His love forever. It just weighs on my heart so much how many people that are rejecting that gift because they do not think that they are in need of a Savior. People think that if they just do good works, that is their key to heaven. Doing good works is not going to get a person into heaven. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 No matter how many good works we do, it is not even going to get anywhere close to covering the payment of our sins. The Bible makes it very clear that we are saved only through faith in Jesus. We are, once we make that decision to live for Christ, to do things for the Lord to bring praise to His name and to use the gifts and talents that He has given us to share His love with everyone we meet. These "good works" are not earning our salvation, because Jesus already paid for that on the cross. These works are for showing our love, obedience, and honor to God for what He has done for us. "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 He wants us to give of our time and talents to help others and to show His love to the world. That is the whole purpose of evangelism. It is to share the message of the Gospel with the world. And that does not just mean sharing it with people in different countries. There are people in our own backyards, workplaces, schools, and families who need to hear the message about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. There are so many hurting people who need to hear about the Hope of a Savior who loves them and only wants their best. The peace that comes over you when you know your sins have been washed away and the God of the universe loves you and wants you as a child is so amazing. He is the only One who will never let us down. It's hard to think about that because as imperfect beings we will inevitably let one another down. But God will never let you down. He promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

So my prayer tonight is that my life will be more of an example of Christ's love, and that the words I have written are not misleading but pointing only in the direction of the cross and saving grace of Jesus Christ. I also pray for the salvation of my Meemau. I can't imagine not seeing the one's I love again in heaven. It burdens my heart for my family and friends who do not know Him. I just hope that I can be an encouragement to those who do not have that relationship to make that step...because it's the MOST important decision a person will ever make. It's not an easy road, but it's definitely the best one and the one with the greatest reward, eternal life with our Savior in heaven.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

it still has yet to hit me...

It has almost been one week since Campbell started classes, and I am not there. I am no longer required to attend 85% of my classes and complete my homework, projects, papers or study for exams. I should be jumping up and down right? Was I suppose to feel different? I don't feel anything except for a very blank--I can't really describe it--feeling. I'm not as upset or sad as I thought I was going to be. Maybe it's because I have other things to focus on now, like getting this job that I applied for. Although, I was offered a job...but I really want this other job...so that job I was offered is going to be declined. Please do not think me to be foolish, since I don't even know when I'm going to hear back about this job closer to home. I'm just leaning towards a slightly higher paying job that offers pretty awesome benefits and would allow me about a 15 minute total commute versus an hour or more[depending on traffic]. Yeah. Me with my lovely SUV--aka "The Tank" likes to average about 18 mpg. Hmmm. Cash for clunker?! I don't think so. It's paid off and runs well. So I think I'll keep it....until it falls apart. Haha Because regardless of where I'll be working, I'm still going to be pretty poor. Oh the joys of working to help spur on the youth of America to great things or helping others. Why do the jobs that really mean the most pay the least? --I get so sidetracked-- So I am still trying to patiently wait for the answer to my question. Am I going to get the job at Childcare Network? I sure hope so. I am very thankful though for the constant stream of babysitting job(s) over the past 12ish weeks. And thank goodness for free room and board. :)

I look forward to hearing all about my fellow college graduates' jobs. Two of whom begin their working journey tomorrow. Yay teachers! :) I might join the rank of teachers in a week or so...if the answer is yes. If not, I'll be back to square one. I also need to start studying for the GRE, so I can become a student once again. Whoopee!




Peace and love.

Monday, August 17, 2009

--a reflection.

So as I sit here, I think about the fact that I am no longer a part of the Campbell University student body. I am not in Buies Creek at this moment unpacking and decorating and gearing up for another year of academic bliss. I am not catching up with friends about the summer and hearing about all the adventures that were had. It hasn't exactly hit me, hit me...yet. But I do think about the fact that I have two good friends who are now teachers. I have a friend who has just left today for a year to teach in South Korea. Another friend is off to teach in Hungary. I also have another friend who will be leaving in a few months to serve our country for a year in Afghanistan. I have a few other friends who are beginning graduate school this year..or continuing in their 3/2 programs. This realization is so surreal for me. I am a college graduate. And my life will never be the same. I will never be the same. My friends will never be the same. We are growing up a little more everyday. We are all moving forward with our lives and striving to meet the goals that we have for ourselves. Each of us have chosen a different path to take, yet we are still a part of each other. I know I carry a piece of each of my friends in my heart. There are little things that I hold dear that I can have to help ease the fact that we are no longer in the same small town on the same college campus. I have stories, pictures, and songs that are all apart of my memory of my time at Campbell. All the late night talks, walks, and numerous adventures in the Harnett/Wake county area have ingrained themselves in my mind. I remember dreaming together with friends about the future, I remember late night chats and walks around campus and being up to no good--which really wasn't bad at all. I remember the ridiculous things we came up with in our heads to add comic relief to our oh so boring lives. The songs that were written or sung on many a late nights being "caught" by the security guards as we sang our hearts out to Phantom of the Opera. It's times like this that I wish I could go back to the simple insanity of college life. Oh, how I miss it. Even if there was an unnecessary amount of drama, it all helped me learn about how to deal with conflicts and learn very valuable life lessons. I just wish I didn't take it for granted. I wish that I had more so enjoyed the moments I had...rather than wish the years away. Four years came and went in the blink of an eye. Time has not slowed, rather it has picked up its pace. I can only hope to hold onto the now and not get left in the dust. I have yet to grasp the true reality of where I am now. The fact that I do not start classes on Wednesday is not fully registered. I am hoping now that I hear soon about the job I applied for. I feel like once I hear back, and especially if it's a positive thing, then reality will hit me. Hopefully it won't hurt, but hopefully be a refreshing reminder of this new stage that I am in life. I just hope it doesn't hurt too much when the reality comes. The reality that my closest friends are not close by anymore. That with time we will change. In that time we will grow older, wiser, and further apart. Not because it's a bad thing, but because that is the natural progression of life. I experienced this when I graduated from high school. It was only natural. I got over that change, but this time it's different. These people are my family. My brothers and sisters. Hindsight is always 20/20. Why can't my foresight be wiser?



Change is all around me. Job, grad school, family, life in general. It's time for me to buckle in and hold on for the ride. I only hope that my precious memories will continue to be sweet remembrances and a reflection on the goodness that was the four years I spent at Campbell. A mirror of who I was, am, and will become.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the waiting...

So yesterday I had an interview at The Childcare Network. It went really well and the director told me she was going to call me today at lunchtime. Well lunchtime came and went today without a call. Every time my phone rang today, I hoped it would be her. So I'm left waiting until tomorrow to see if she calls. I have a very hard time being patient when people tell me they are going to do something and then end up not going through with it. It makes it hard for me to feel patient and very easy for me to be anxious and become easily irritated with the little things. I have a very hard time with some things. When I get stressed out...I have a very hard time dealing with smaller issues. Those small things become major things that really make me angry. I get in this state where I'm so upset that I'm on the verge of tears. I won't let myself cry most of the time because I don't have time for it. But there are several pretty big issues going on right now that have put me in major stress mode. I wish I had a better outlet for it or my own "safe place". I need to really work on these things. It's not good for me to bottle up the emotions. If I continue to do this, then I might just "explode" one day. I don't know what form that would be in. Now I'm not trying to scare anyone. I'm just saying I need like a punching bag or a big field to just scream in. [lol here...you must be thinking..Jilene is crazy!] haha. No, I'm not, but maybe I am? So.....I'm just working on having patience. Learning how to trust. It's not easy for me. I like to have things in my time table and in my control. I just wish I had more clarity on some issues and I wish I had power to resolve others. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel...not knowing when the "good times" are going to come. I'm also having a hard time letting some things go. I've had some major flashbacks in the past couple of weeks that have really hit me hard, and I don't know why. Why is it that something I had resolved in my heart four years ago is coming back to haunt me. Literally it has haunted my dreams. Or dare I say, he? Hmmmm. That's just something else I need to work on. Will it ever end? Will I ever stop having things in my life to work on? Probably not. Sheesh. It just continues to illustrate how completely messed up and screwed up that humans are. We are just full of problems. The fleshly side of us really tries to mess up our spirits. We chose to continue in our past behaviors and sins and the fleshly side gets stronger and begins to take us over. It's a constant battle. Sometimes I wish Jesus would come back now. That would make my life SO much easier. Haha. Although I still would like to get married before that happens. We shall see, shall we?



So waiting...

and waiting....


and waiting...





and waiting...
and waiting...


and waiting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

-a glimpse of hope

So as I began this week, I began it in hopes of the future that I know God has in store for me. The sermon on Sunday was talking about confidence that we have in Christ because of our hope in Him and His complete and total care of our lives. He has His hand in every aspect of our lives and is in total control. How comforting to know that a God who created the universe and died for my sins has His hand working in my life? Wow. I certainly take that for granted way toooo much. I forget the grace and mercy that He has constantly bestowed upon me for the past 22, almost 23, years of my life. How is it that I forget that? I constantly wonder how people cannot believe in God and His power, yet I constantly forget how God has a plan for my life He seeks to have me involved. I am always planning out how I want things in my life to go, but I forget to seek God's guidance. No wonder I have so many problems. I am so screwed up, yet there is a perfect God who loves me and wants the very best for me. His best. How much better could my life get? Yes, it's not always going to be "rainbows and smiles" but how can I go wrong when I let Him rule my life? I know there will be a reward for my obedience and the blessing of God's grace, mercy, and love should be enough. I am so undeserving of it.

So, onto what I have on the front of my mind this evening. I have a job interview tomorrow at Childcare Network. It is the first interview since I have graduated from Campbell. I am anxiously excited. I do not do well with things like this and always lack the confidence. But why should I lack confidence when I have the God of the universe on my side? So I am going to try to lean on that promise and confidence that I have in that hope. I know what I'm doing and talking about. I have been as adequately prepared as possible. I have been given the gifts and talents to work with children, and I am to use those, lest they be taken away because I am not being obedient. God will bless my life according to my obedience. He will open the doors that need to be opened so I can use what He has given me. I just need to trust. That is my prayer for the next 21ish hours until my interview tomorrow. I do not know what to expect. I have no idea what is going to be asked. But I will try not to worry. God will give me the strength and confidence that I need to get through it. And if it's God's will, the doors to this job will be opened to me. Then I can begin a new adventure in my life. A full time, for real life--real world job!

Until next time focusing on His peace and love.





I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my
prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
--Philippians 1:3-6

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

some direction...

So I've decided to put some serious efforts into getting ready to apply to graduate school at UNCG. I am going to begin to study for the GRE and get everything prepared to apply...recommendations, transcripts, application, my job/professional philosophy/goals/etc, and apply for grants and scholarships. I won't be able to start until next fall, so I was unfortunate to not apply to begin this fall...but I hope the time will help to prepare me for the beginning of this next stage of schooling. But I know that I need and want to continue my education. Now I just need to focus my efforts on doing well on the GRE. Whew. I hate tests. I really do. But I can't let my hate of tests keep me from doing something that I think will be very challenging, exciting, and good for me. I know that grad school will do me a lot of good. So, I have some sense of direction. I will still continue to look for jobs, but I'm going to focus more on part time stuff or something that I could do for the next year until I would begin school. Then once school starts next fall, I plan on going full time and focus all my efforts on school. I am excited about this, and I look forward to what the next few years are going to bring to me intellectually, spiritually, personally, socially, etc....


This all thanks to the encouragement of my dear friend, Virginia. :)


Yay for some decisiveness!


until next time, peace and love.

Monday, August 3, 2009

--a job idea--

So, after a serious lack of luck in finding a job in the month or so I've been looking...and yes, I know what you are thinking...a month isn't that long...but let's just say I'm getting quite antsy. I've thought about different things I could pursue. Despite the fact that I'm nearly penniless, but thanks to my weekly babysitting job for the past 9ish weeks, I've been able to somewhat not be so stressed out or feel like I'm a total lazy loser. For real. I just wish there were more jobs out there waving at me saying..."I'm available and you're qualified!" That's only my imagination. So, maybe I could go back to what my dream jobs were growing up. Baby nurse. Negative. Teacher. negative. Basketball player. negative. Singer...hmmm? Maybe I could start a band? I know this is a very crazy dream, but I've always wanted to be a singer and be in a band. Why shouldn't I start one? Well maybe because I lack confidence in my singing abilities or the fact that I have no back up. I can barely play the guitar, so much for a band! But hey...a girl can still dream and wish...and pretend. But I could find some willing participants. I know there are gobs of starving musicians out there looking for a chance to be in a band. So, yeah. In. My. Dreams.

I just wish that something would come soon. After my three weeks stint of this babysitting job are over, I'm going to get back into being more proactive about the job search. Seeing as how, by that time, September will be right around the corner. Ew. September. Normally my favorite month seeing as how it brings my birthday and starts my favorite season of the year. I just love fall, and I use to love birthdays. But this year just signifies that I am thus growing older, and I am getting ever closer to 25, 30....jobless, healthcareless....single. I can deal with the single. Although, I won't pretend that I don't want to meet someone, and soon. The thought both excites and terrifies me. Just saying. I don't have experience in that department. The short stint in high school that lasted a total of 3 weeks....and the almost chance my sophie year of college. Thank God on both accounts it didn't work out. I have been saved from some heartache and potentially poor decisions. I'm still waiting on that one guy that God has for me. The one who will love me for me and be honest, trustworthy, caring, funny, and someone who will challenge me to be a better, stronger person. Someone who will encourage me in whatever I do. Someone I can live life with and have a family with. ---Just a few things I'm looking for.....not to mention I would like for him to be musically inclined and like dogs and be a family man. I don't think I know anyone right now that matches any of these things, but hey....I just never know. He could be right here in Clemmons. Ok, so enough of that. I do have my girly moments where I just wish my "knight in shining armor" would come to "sweep me off my feet". Yes, it might just have to be more like knocking me off my feet, literally. Because once he comes, I might not believe it. haha. Only knowing me.

Wow, I do tend to get off topic. That was clearly a huge tangent, but it's been on my heart....for a while. It tends to make itself known more whenever another person I know gets engaged or married. Or even when some close friends start dating someone seriously. It's all apart of life. I just need to be patient and wait for my turn. Though that is a very difficult thing to do. I think I spend too much time day-dreaming about it. Then dwelling on past "could have been(s)" and that only can open up old wounds and make my heart hurt...depending on the situation.

So back to the job thing...Thank God for the provision of babysitting jobs with Katherine and Kallie this summer. Those have given me more experience and great ways to keep myself busy and my mind off the fact that I'm still unemployed. I'm happy to be able to help out good friends with precious children. It just reminds me of how much I want to be a mom someday. :) So about that guy....


God knows.
He knows what job is going to be for me.
He knows which guy I'm going to meet, become best friends with--fall in love, get married....you know the deal.
He knows everything. I just have to learn how to be....PATIENT.


until next time[and as I'm learning to be patient]--peace and love.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

--just a ramble

Sometimes I just wish that I could turn back time. I wish I could go back to the place where I had the least amount of responsibilities or had freedom to be a child. The times when life seemed easiest and simple. Simplicity is key. I do not equate simplicity with the need to have things and always be available for contact. I could do without email, facebook, and my cell phone. I do not need them. Sometimes I wish I did not have them. I wish I did not feel the need to have to be attached to my cell phone all the time, or even feel the need to check my email everyday or facebook...well more than once a day. [I need to break the habit...or should I say addiction?--it can suck you in] I wish that I could wake up when I want to and not have to worry about having to work[not that I have a job yet...still waiting on that...but do not worry I have not been sitting around being idle all day, everyday since I graduated] I even wish I did not have a tv to watch. There are just way too many unnecessary distractions in the world. Most have to do with technology. And technology gets us all in to some form of trouble. Whether it takes us away from activities that are more important and helpful to our lives. Or it can take us to places that we do not need to go. Bad habits are formed all thanks to the ever so accessible technology that every American feels the need to have and be attached at the hip to. It is a problem. Is there a good solution? Well, I think there is. I have yet to find it though. I am working on not being so attached. But it does suck you in head first and you have nothing to grab onto to keep you from being caught up in the whirlwind of the latest news/gossip/crisis or the latest social crutches that make it easy to not have to talk to a person face to face. What has this done to our social skills? It sure does make it easy to talk to people because you can be whoever you want to be and you can do it in the safety of your own home. Talk about making shy people bold, ugly people pretty, stupid people smart, and real people fake---shocker. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Fake people. Although I would be calling my own bluff. I can be fake too. Although I do not wish to be, sometimes there are certain situations in which I cannot help but be fake. Situations get awkward or you really want to yell and scream profanity because you think it will make you feel better, but you MUST be the perfect and well put together lady who is always nice and always has a smile on her face. See the trap we can so easily fall into. There are so many social crutches in our society--and all those fake people are becoming more fake. Sooner or later the plastic masks we wear are going to melt or crack---then -GASP- everyone will see us as we really are. I am working on prying the mask off my own face. Because no matter how hard I pretend I am not a fake person, I see something else slap me in the face saying...well you always act like you have it all together, yet you really do not. God help us all. Because it hurts to be real. And no one likes to hurt or even allow themselves to be open up to being hurt. It is not comfortable. I want people to see me as a real, genuine person. Someone who is not perfect, but is trying hard to live a life that is full of meaning and that is pleasing to the One who made me. I am working on opening up and not being afraid to allow people to know me for me. It might not be pretty, but if everyone works together, it will be beautiful.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

blahness.

so i'm ready for something to happen.
i'm ready for something new.
i'm ready to get a job.
i'm ready to go to grad school.
i'm ready to meet the love of my life.
i'm ready to get married.
i'm ready to have kids.
i'm ready to....


wow. am i really ready? for all of that? am i ready to move on with life and to grow up. am i ready to commit my life to someone forever and ever hold your peace amen and amen. i mean....seriously? well to be honest, half of me is...and then that other half isn't ready. but i am ready for SOMETHING to happen. anything. ok, not just anything. but something good, new, different, and exciting.


because....i'm getting bored. and this just isn't gonna cut it for me now.


i need a sign.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

reasons to be thankful.



beautiful creation.
bestfriends.

the last few days--i got to taste a bit of goodness.

so this weekend i went back towards my old stomping grounds. ok they are not that old and it has not been years since i've been there. just two months. wow, two months have already passed by since i've graduated from college. it hurts my heart a little to think about it. i miss it. i never thought i would, but i do. going back down 421 felt like i was going home, and my heart was full. the whole weekend was filled with things that i did while i was at campbell. i ate at mi casita's, went to a show in raleigh, ventured to sunni skys, hiked at raven rock, and saw several precious friends. it was an AMAZING weekend. and it definitely was a breath of fresh air. i have needed the distraction.

this past weekend was a glimpse of the things that i miss dearly. some people and places and experiences.


friday night: i absolutely loved the show at the pour house and can't wait to go to another...i'm pretty sure i've been to at least 10 a clerestory shows and about 7ish martha ann motel shows. they are both amazing bands and i have enjoyed being able to go see them play and meet some of the band members. they are really cool guys! i encourage you to check them out if you don't know their music already!


http://www.myspace.com/aclerestory

http://www.myspace.com/marthaannmotel


saturday: went to bed around 2:30am and got up late. had lunch with diane and spent the rest of the afternoon with alicia, trey, and logan. good times are always had. we played our own version of "horse"--i lost, and did not so legal things like exploring the not yet completed town houses at wolf creek. i sure do miss my crazy friends at campbell. [oh and alicia and i enjoyed some sunni skys....i sure do love me some sugar cookie icecream! yum!]

sunday: i was a pagan and did not go to church. i spent the afternoon with the letrent family. which is always a treat and a hoot. i absolutely love virginia's family. they make me feel like one of their own! virginia and i had to take our "graduation" cap and gown picture because we didn't get to after graduation in may. only we know what is so incredibly funny about our pictures! hahahaha. then we went hiking at raven rock. we had fun exploring and deciding that we should go camping there sometime this fall! --i decided to spend an extra night because i was not ready to leave. so a fun dinner at cracker barrel was had with virginia, her mom, and grandma. oh, i can't even tell you how much i have laughed over the past few days. it has definitely added years to my life. :)

monday: i came home. babysat katherine--a precious little girl who will never cease to make me laugh! then i went to foothills brewing for dinner with casey and nerine. oh, what a night of good food, laughs, and great conversation--and of course we had to stop for coffee--hence why i am still up at 1 am writing this blog...although i must say it is choppy and not very well put together. hahaha. oh well. i'm hoping to get better at writing. even if it is just random happenings. i'm hoping to have some more serious posts sometime in the near future. maybe discuss some things on my heart/mind. i've got a lot of that!

soooooooooooooooo. that's enough for now. i need to get to bed. i've got to get up early to work out with mom before we have lunch with mary[my step grandmother--God give me patience!] haha. so many great things going on. and maybe i'll write about them tomorrow...or sometime this week. until next time, peace and love.



ps. piercingly blue eyes are so distracting, especially when they belong to a talented musician. and r&c is my fave. ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

pretty sweet photos





so i've been on this "creative" kick lately. i'm working on an "art" journal which will consist of drawings, random photos from magazines and my own personal photos and other great pics i find...as well as songs, poems, quotes, etc. it's just going to be a random book filled with artsy things that i love and things that inspire or things that are just me! :)
so these photos i found just randomly googling and i just thought that they were amazing. first, they show the absolute perfection of our Creator. how amazing and beautiful! second, i love pictures and photography. although i don't know that much about it, i really want to start doing it. --i just need a better camera-- and thirdly, they are very peaceful to me and they calm my heart. this is the kind of place i want to live. i want to live out in the "country" and have wide open spaces and a place where i can sit and enjoy the beauty of the land and God's creation that is surrounding me. i just love it! :) so i hope you enjoy them!
photos from: google.com by way of flickr