Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year of Restoration

Today, I say goobye to 2009. And, for the first time in 3 years, I am slightly relunctant to say goodbye. 2009 has been a good year for me...there have been tough time for friends and family and myself, but mostly, this year, I just felt the overwhelming comfort of our Lord. In 2006, I could not wait for 2007 because literally no year could be worse than '06 for me. But then '07 wasn't that much better. Nor '08...They had good momoents and I did a lot of growing, but the kind of growing that comes through pain and fighting through hard issues.

This past year, I changed nothing in my approach. I continued to study scripture and pray and wrestle with the Lord and pray He change my heart and help me trust him. And where I saw only a little growth and comfort for two whole years, this year, He did amazing things in revealing to me who He is. I still fail a lot of the time in trusting Him, but I do see how I have grown so much in His grace this year. Thus proving what I thought all along, when struggling with pain, sin, doubt, whatever, sometimes you can read the Bible, seek Godly council, read books, pray, but in the end, you can't change your heart. You have to patiently way til the Lord changes it for you.

Who knows why I spent 18 months of my life searching for comfort and finally found so much? I like to think that it is like the story of Lazarus in John 11. Jesus heard of his dear friend's death. He knew that there was mourning, and He could have stepped in immediately. But, He didn't. Although He provided comfort and even healing, it did not come right away. He waited. Who knows why? Possibly because He had other duties, possible to allow perseverance of faith from suffering like James tells us...I do not know why he waits to bring comfort, but He is the Lord, his ways are not ours. I do know that certain aspects of character are only developed through pain. And, maybe Jesus was allowing Mary and Martha to grow in character. But when Jesus arrived, before He raised Lazarus from the dead, He wept for him, for his death, for the pain others were suffering from losing him. That is my favorite part of the story....that before the Lord provides healing, he acknowledges the pain his friends were fealing and he feels that pain with him. Isn't that what we want with friends and family? Someone who sits with us and mourns before offering their advice and trying to fix it. Someone who gives validity to our good times and bad times. Possibly the Lord did that for me....he let me grow and search and struggle and beg Him for help, then He finally stepped in, but before He did provide healing, he shed tears on my behalf. He recognized my pain. What a comforting God we serve.

The sentiment of the story of Lazarus's death is also echoed in 1 Peter 5:10, on of my favorite verses, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

So 2009 was a year of restoration and hope,of struggles and blessings, but a year where I was overwhelmingly aware of God's presence and soverignty in my life. As I watch friends and family now face their own personal battles where it seems hopeless and painful and God seems far away, I only hope that as the verse says, "af they suffer a little while..." the Lord provides comfort that is beyond any comfort and peace they hoped for. And, I pray I can be the type of friend Jesus was and weep with them as they wait for His healing.

I also saw this on a friend's blog and wanted to remember this year by listing the many good and bad things the Lord has been with me through:
-I graduated law school cum laude and enjoyed a fun weekend in Oxford to celebrate with baseball, family dinner at a great restaurant, etc.
- I spent all summer studying for the bar and found out I passed it the beginning of September
- I was sworn into the Mississippi Courts.
- I saved up and went to of the most lifechanging events of my life - seeing God's work in a 3rd world country.
- My sister and brother in law returned back home from Africa.
- I struggled (like most of my class) to find a job - but God provided a temporary free place to live and a part time job,.
- I mourned the forced leave of a coach I love and respect (still do) and the misguided hiring of our current coach, but relunctantly decided to support him because I love Auburn.
- I got to witness some exciting turn around in Auburn football -- still many flaws, but a glimmer of hope for the future.
- I watched Ole Miss win the Cotton Bowl last year
- I watched Ole Miss choke in super regionals....
- I went to several fun weddings and two close friends had babies.
- The Lord provided a job that I don't love, but am grateful for. I work with nice people, have enough money and am doing something in child advocacy....
-The Lord provided a place to live with nice roomates.
-I found out I have PCOS but begin to figure out medication.
- I have started training for my half marathon!!
- I saw my friend Ann Kirk as queen of Charity Ball!
- My little sister was diagnozed with Crohns and spent some time in the hospital...quite a scare, but is beginning the long road of figuring out what she can eat and not eat.
-My little brother graduated from high school and started college.

Can't wait to see the Lord's provision in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Last night, I had mexican yet again ....with my family. Kindof an impromptu dinner since Mom Dad and Ansley were in Jackson for of the many perks of living in Jackson - seeing my family so much.

Anyways, Margaritas is not a new restaurant for me. I have been going there since I was in elementary school. It is actually some of the better mexican food in Jackson - though not as authentic as La Guadalupe. It tasted greasy after having the fresh tacos earlier. Marley, her friend Courtney, and I split the chicken fajitas for 2 and we each had some to take home for another meal. That was the biggest plus -- big enough servings to have tomorrow. Plus there guacamole is good and of course their Margaritas.

However after tacos for lunch yesterday, fajitas last night and fajitas today, I am tired of mexican food...and I am on my way to texas for more. Guess I will just have to deal with it!!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


One of my main struggles since moving back is not being adventurous. When I lived in DC or travelled abroad, I took other people's suggestions and recommendations with regards to restaurants, entertainment, etc. But, moving to Jackson (although somewheat familiar to me), visiting new churches, starting a new job, etc caused me to cling to places I already knew -- i.e., I went to my home church 3 weeks in a row instead of visiting around like I had planned, and I eat at familiar restaurants, etc...after all, I know what I like there!

So my new plan is to try one new place a week, atleast - although I doubt it is more than one place because I try to keep my eating out to a minimum since I am on a budget (thank you law school loans!!)

This week, I have already tried 2 new places....snaps to me. Today, I will write about my visit to Taqueria la Guadalupe.

This is a taco place that my brother in law, Bech suggested..and I am so glad he did. It was wonderful. This place is about as authentic mexican as you can get in Jackson, MS -- and it is pretty cheap since essentually it is an order at the counter type of place. I ordered to go and went back to the office to eat my lunch. This may become a regular since it is super cheap and delicious and not that bad for you.

I ordered the three pollo taco combo meal on the corn tortilla -- three small tortillas filled with chicken, cilantro, avacado, lettuce, tomato and onion if you like (I left these off) and a small amount of mild or hot salsa. Unlike most american mexican food which is dripping with grease, these tacos were light and filling with a good flavor, not oily and heavy. No extra sauce or cheese. I could enjoy this meal and not regret it later! This may become a regular for me!!

4.5/5 stars

Yes, I live in Jackson....

I never planned to move back to Jackson, MS (my childhood hometown) but after 7 years of higher education and a struggling job market, I find myself not in Washington DC, but instead in a town that has historically been reserved for pearl wearing junior league ladies with two plus children and tennis raquets. And although I have my moments, I find myself surprised to be enjoying this time in my life. This is not your mother's Jackson...recently, my childhood hometown has gone through a revitalization bring more people and energy to parts of town that were considered on their way out. Also, with several colleges, a seminary, medical/pharmacy/dental school, and law school ensure there are severy young 20 and 30 somethings in the city.

The old Jackson is still there - with all of its southern tradition and charm - but there seems to be a great mix of old v. new that makes this a fun time to be living here. And, thus came my idea of writing about all the changes in Jackson and what it currently is like to be a 20something here in what has never been seen as a young city.

So, enjoy!!