Monday, October 31, 2011


from Ozzie C today in My Utmost for His highest....I love how he ALWAYS hits the nail on the head.

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, it may be so in the initial stages; but we do not earn anything by faith, faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity. God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings. Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sun-spot of experience that had as much of sense as of faith in it, full of light and sweetness; then God withdrew His conscious blessings in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him – I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” – this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What would you choose?

I'll continue with my blog challenge next week. I've been busy this week and sick and am taking my favorite youngest sister and a girl from my youth group to Auburn this weekend for the game and to tour the campus. I am so ready to be back on the plains!

However, a picture for your enjoyment...a girl after my own heart. Insert the words "Auburn National Championship Tickets" for "World Series Tickets" and this would have been me.

My motto has always been: men have let me down and leave, but Auburn football (although sometimes dissapointed) has always been there. Sounds like this lady knows that as well :)

And, I think it would be a safe bet to say he still proposes sometime soon. If he didn't already love her, the fact that she values sports so much probably won him over!

Not a huge baseball fan, not in the same way I love college football, BUT it must be said, Go Cardinals!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 3-Your first love

I don't really want to tackle this topic, but I'm forging through. My first love broke my heart, but truth is, most people's first loves break their hearts or vice versa right? Because most of us don't marry the first man or woman we cared for...

So, I don't want to claim to have the upper hand on pain and losing a love. But, I will claim my loss was different than most people's... most people dont lose their first love and their fiance all at once. They don't mourn a broken heart and a broken engagement. But, I did. And God had plans for that in my life, plans to use it to grow me, to strengthen me, and to prepare me for His purposes... I am not glad I went through this, but I am glad I have a Father who got me through it and who redeemed (redeems) it.

So, how do I talk about my first love? How about I just mention the good? Because there were definitely some good qualities I loved and would look for again: intelligent, educated, similar interests, christian, moderate, loves the south, goal oriented.

Also, there were all the fun things about the first love and what was even more fun for us is that we were eachother's first first kisses, first "i love you's", first important discussions were all new to both of us. That part was very fun!

However, the most important part...

What I learned from my First Love is that I already had a First Love that would never leave me.

Do I live my life this way? Not Always, in fact, most of the time, No. But the truth remains, I was loved long before my ex-fiance loved me and I was loved in the moments it ended and even now. I was loved through months of screaming and crying and doubting. I'm loved every day, the days I am dating someone, the days I am not. And if I never fall in love again, I will still have been loved far more than anyone else could love me and infinitely more than I deserve.

Sometimes I would put my earthly "first love" ahead of the Lord, sometimes I will put the next love above the Lord, sometimes I put my friends first and I know there will be sometimes I put my children first. But even when I fail to love the Lord as I should, he does not fail to love me the way I shouldn't be loved. As painful as my engagement ending was, I realize that I have abandoned my Lord time and time again. I have done what my ex did to me, and I do it continuously.

And although I would never repeat my first love or the hard lessons it taught me, I know that in some ways, being pointed back to my REAL FIRST LOVE is the biggest blessing a relationship could have given me.

Hosea 2:19

And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

20somethingjacksonian ---Well, I'm a Twenty something....and I live in Jackson. That was easy.

Seriously though, I love what is going on in Jackson right now, the unity and revitalization. Its a fun time to live here.

"whatever is lovely....think of such things." - That can be explained in this blog post. We should think of noble, honorablel things, but the Lord also tells us to focus on the lovely -- small blessings, beautiful flowers, perfect weather, a great cup of coffee. So much good to think of and I love that the Lord tells us to not only think of what is right, but to also think of what is lovely.

I may even start doing a week whatever is lovely post on small blessings in my life :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

My name is Katy. I live in Jackson, MS and I LOVE: family, good friends, sushi, bbq, shag dancing, costume parties, christmas, good movies, how i met your mother, J Crew, froyo, margaritas, white wine, front porches, all things southern, SEC football, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Oxford MS, travelling, good sermons, my roomates, my NEPHEW JACK, first kisses, fall, Mississippi, pizza, learning to cook, cupcakes, weddings, fancy restaurants, hole in the wall restaurants, CS Lewis, Anthropologie, NAVY BLUE, anything preppy, monnograms, plans, long conversations, working out, adoption, Washington DC, musicals, chocolate, key lime pie.

BASICS- 27 years old, Auburn Alum, Ole Miss Law School Alum, Presbyterian, family oriented, practicing attorney, incredible friends, amazing family, outgoing, honest to a fault at times, fiercely loyal, oldest of 4, most adorable nephew in the world, great brother in law, athletic, encouraging, sometimes glass half empty regarding my own life, learning to trust God with my whole life because I am a planner and surrendering is hard, party planner, peppy, mostly cheerful, GROWING, preppy, SOUTHERN, conservative but openminded.

Literally, one of my most recent pictures because this was from our Halloween party this past weekend. I was Jackie, my roomate was Marilyn and our friend Steven was JFK. This is us fighting over steven, he must have loved it! :)

15 facts:

1. I have been to 15 countries other than the US.

2. I ran a half marathon in summer 2010.

3. My dad and I are training for a mini triathlon.

4. I love hosting parties. I love parties. I love themes. I love holidays. I love costumes. I generally love having a reason to celebrate, so if you want someone to help you celebrate your 100th book read or a random european holiday, call me, I am so in!

5. I like to bake more than I like to cook.

6. I have the best group of seriously, I doubt you could top me. I have always had good friends, but I have never had a group as amazing (individual amazing friends for sure, but not a whole group) as I do now.

7. My nephew is going to be football star, I'm brainwashing him to love SEC football -- it began with me making marley put the phone on her belly when she was preggers and saying things like war eagle and hotty toddy.

8. Navy is my black. I wear it as my basic color the same way other women wear black or bown.

9. I went to the National Championship game in January 2011. My sweet daddy took me and it was the happiest day of my life.

10. My heart is adoption. I would love to start working in adoption one day and adopt beautiful babies from all over the world!

11. I love country music.

12. I look the exact same as I did as an infant. I'm not lying. To me, my nephew has already changed so much, most children do...they don't grow up to look the way you think they will when they are babies. If you look at my baby pictures, you will see that I am exactly the same, only older.

13. Speaking of looks, I am the only dark eyed, dark haired, dark skinned kid in my family...I look like my grandmother, grandfather and uncles. My mom thought that all her babies would be dark haired like me (since the dark genes won out on me) but it turns out that they are all blond hair blue/green eyed. I'm kindof the odd ball.

14. My mom made Christmas the best time for us -- lots of traditions, lots of memories, etc. My sister and I have discussed how we could never compete with what we have experianced when raising our kids. This is why I love Christmas so much....thank you Mamma K.

15. I wouldn't be sad if the NBA never reconciled and settled and we were without basketball for a season.

Blog Challenge

I am going to be starting this blog challenge, I think some of y'all should do it too :)

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite TV shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-a picture

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Good Article

I really needed to read this article..... hope you enjoy it.

And have a good day watching football, war eagle and hotty toddy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not what I expected....

**NOTE: this was not written by me. It was written by Christian Author, Leigh McElroy. I just loved it enough to pass it along....

I'd arranged to meet a friend for dinner and was looking forward to our visit at
a small cafe a few blocks from home. But her last minute message said she was under
the weather, and couldn't make it. So instead of hurrying back from an afternoon
of errands, I stopped in at a favorite flower market and spent nearly an hour fingering
and smelling luscious autumn-colored blooms. Then I wandered through a half acre
of pumpkins in a city church yard, taking in the sprawling sea of orange on the
coolest day of the year so far. It wasn't the evening I expected, but it was lovely,
just the same.

Expectations are tricky things. As soon as we get our minds or hearts firmly fixed
on something--whether it's a tantalizing menu item that's no longer available, or
a choice work opportunity that fails to materialize--we set ourselves up for disappointment.
When we decide what is best, we judge anything other than that to be less-than-desirable.
But the answer is not to avoid longing, to abandon striving, or to become numb and
indifferent to loss. The answer is to hold our expectations loosely, believing that
God's surprises--even the most confusing ones--have the deep capacity to delight...and
that maybe, just maybe, we don't know best what it is we need most.

Joseph probably didn't think a stint in an Egyptian prison was a good career move.
But it was. There is no way Mary and Martha believed that a three day delay by Jesus
when their brother was gravely ill could end gloriously. But it did. And when the
wandering Israelites' mouths watered for meat and fruit and honey cakes, they must
have looked at the heaps of morning manna surrounding them and said, "Really God?
Really?" Because if I expect freedom, I chafe at limits--even constructive ones.
If I believe death is the final word, I'll be deaf to the Savior's compelling promise
of life. And if I expect meat, I am destined to be forever unhappy with the mercy
that is manna.

In truth, the blessing of God is that He gives us what He knows we need, even when
we've told him in no uncertain terms what it is we'd rather have. He's so very good
that way.

So here's to God's next confounding turn of events. It will not be His last. May
I have the grace to trust Him all the way to joy when what I get is not what I

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable
his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! For from him and through him and
to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.(Romans 11: 23, 36 NIV)

Waiting Wednesday...

I loved Jonn Acuff's article today on waiting -- and how it also requires boldness from us. Such a hard concept from me because I feel like acting boldly is not waiting...but sometimes the two go hand in hand.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

God's Shield

Tim Keller is one of my favorite preachers/writers. You used to have to pay for his sermons but can now get several of them (maybe 30 or 40?) through itunes podcast for free. I highly suggest you download some, especially the pocast "Praying our Fears"

Anxiety is fear, its a general fear. Few things really cause me to fear. Very few specifics, but I do have a general anxiety of things not working out, of bad things happening. What if I never get married? What if I can't have children? What if my parents get sick? I don't think of these in a very fearful way, but I do always feel anxious about if something awful happened, how would I make it through? Ironically enough, bad things have happened and God has gotten me through, so that should be enough to remind me of His grace, faithfulness and provision...but the human memory (or maybe just my memory) for God's goodness seems to be short.

Keller talked about Psalm 3 in his sermon. Verse 3 says that God is a shield AROUND David, not in front of, AROUND. There are two types of shields - the small ones that you wear on your arm in hand to hand combat. This is when you are fighting and you might need to move the shield in front of your face to defend yourself. Then, there is the type of shield that is the size of a door and curves around you. This kind of shield is used only in the most dangerous you follow your general into harm's way.

The way the second shield works (and I don't know if this is by design to keep men from fleeing, or it just so happens to be this way...) is that as you move forward, the shield can serve to protect, no matter how scary, tragic, dangerous, you have a shield in front and on your sides (AROUND) you. There is still danger as you proceed forward...BUT it is far more dangerous to retreat...because then you would have NO protection. your exposed unprotected back would be to the danger. You only thought it was dangerous moving forward, its almost lethal fleeing.

So, the shield only protects if you obey, move forward and trust...if you follow your general into harms way, into whatever scary path lie in front of you. Same's true with God, His protection is there when we OBEY and FOLLOW him into the scary parts of life, the parts where we could get hurt, family members could die or leave us, friends could abandon, we could end up single or barren or sick, but choosing to go the path God has chosen TRUSTING and OBEYING Him is what provides a shield around us....Fleeing, choosing to make things happen on our own or refusing to trust Him is what leaves our back exposed.

I am someone who does well with pictures. After all, every time I see a Lion, I think of Aslan and thus, I think of Jesus. So, this picture sticks with me. I sometimes see friends take dating into their own hands - try to date nonbelievers, compromise their morals, settle for the wrong man or woman...God's protection is most directly on us when we go forward in obediance to Him. I see men and women give up hope when trials come -- choosing an affair over fixing their marriage or seeking other means of happiness than the Lord because life, work, friends have failed. As dangerous and scary as walking in the Lord may seem when walking in the Lord may mean troubles, walking without the Lord and without His protection is scarier. An open unprotected back, no shield, plenty of dangers.

Keller states that the Lord is a shield around us, protecting us DURING the battles, trials, and hurts, not FROM them. He also states that sometimes God allows small hurts because this pain, this warning or even this growth keeps us from even worse hurts. Ever think of it that way? I sure don't. We don't see how much worse things could be so we don't know what we were protected from. A failed relationship is easier than a failed marriage. A job offer that falls through could be keeping us from a bad job situation or opening the door for a better one.

I was so encouraged by this sermon and hope everyone downloads it. I am choosing to walk through today TRUSTING that the Lord is a shield around me in every good and bad moment, that nothing happens to me that doesn't first pass through His hand...and that although following Him certainly is scary, fleeing from Him and losing that protection is scarier.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Some encouraging quotes I thought I would share.

"God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn't do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages. When things are going bad that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him."

John Piper

“When we were small children, we had a little plot of garden-ground, and we put our seeds into it. I well recollect how, the day after I had put in my seed, I went and scraped the soil away to see if it was not growing, as I expected it would have been after a day or so at the very longest, and I thought the time amazingly long before the seed would be able to make it appearance above the ground. ‘That was childish,’ you say. I know it was, but I wish you were as childish with regard to your prayers, that you would, when you have put them in the ground, go and see if they have sprung up; and if not at once – be not childish in refusing to wait till the appointed time comes – always go back and see if they have begun to sprout. If you believe in prayer at all, expect God to hear you. If you do not expect, you will not have. God will not hear you unless you believe He will hear you; but if you believe He will, He will be as good as your faith. He will never allow you to think better of Him than He is; He will come up to the mark of your thoughts, and according to your faith so shall it be done unto you.”


"Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry wihtin oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts."

Elizabeth Elliot

Friday, October 14, 2011

Whatever is lovely....

I love this verse: 'Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." Phil. 4:8

We talked about that verse in my small group the other night (we are studying esther...) We were talking about when negative thoughts take over and how Satan uses that to control our thoughts. I am a worrier by nature. I spend a LOT of time reading devotionals and scripture to remind myself of the truths that God is good and in control.

But, recently, I started thinking (and forgive me if I am wrong, I am certainly NOT a theologian...), thinking of what is good, true, etc doesn't just include scripture, praise songs, etc. All of life is filled with blessings and thinking of what is good can include thinking of these blessings. Most of my life, I imagined this verse meant to meditate, to think of the Lord and read scripture...but certainly, since all of our blessings are from him, gratefulness and excitement over blessings, over joyful moments, anticipation for good things to come, is included in this verse. In fact, the verse includes the word LOVELY..think of LOVELY things. Lovely? you mean, like flowers, the ocean, nights of laughing with friends, football games, a good glass of wine or cupcakes? yes lovely, not just noble, right, pure -- not just lofty holy righteous thoughts, but thoughts on things that are lovely, things we enjoy.

And, let's be honest, most days aren't bad or good (by the way we characterize them) - most days are just days that we make it through, with good moments and bad. I rarely have horrible days, nor do I have days so amazing you could make a movie about them...but every day, in the moments I have time to think, time to worry or praise, time to think of fights and drama or disspointment or think of blessings, friends, etc., I should be arming my thoughts with truth and good and LOVELY things. (It reminds me of Tinker Bell saying "Think Happy Thoughts")

So, on days like today, that are average "nothing special" but nothing horrific days, where does my mind go? I could dwell on things going wrong -- a secretary with an attitude, a rude text message, bills, etc. Or I could think of good wonderful lovely verse, God's promises, good food and football :)

Some of my **lovely** thoughts for today.

1. I love this Bible Study. This week, the focus is on what we as women value - beauty, and also how we get so used to our easy life that we do not know how to handle adversity. Adversity makes our "muscles" stronger to deal with hard times.

2. AUBURN IS CLEARED. I love my school, I love my friends, I love that football team. And I hate people attacking them. It is good to know that the truth prevailed (although there will still be haters) It is also good to know I will be back on the plains in 2 weeks!

3. I LOVE dressing up and I LOVE the holiday season -- the mistletoe ball is in 3 weeks and it kicks off this time of year. Such a fun occassion celebrating with friends! I need to figure out what I am wearing!

4. Oxford this weekend. Only my second time this season. I love this town, I love the grove, I love the memories I have there. Here is a fune picture of my mom, sister and me last season and a picture of my friend Claire and me at the EggBowl. I get to enjoy the grove with both my family and Claire this weekend.

5. JACK ATTACK is in town. He (although not in this picture) is ALL SMILES. He is in a really fun age where he giggles and smiles constantly and is always aware. When he saw me at the airport, he burst into a smile! I am excited to show him the grove.

6. This story makes me happy -- a local school voted a special ed student as homecoming queen. Sometimes, high schoolers surprise you :) There is a disabled girl on my high school's homecoming court, I hope she wins tonight, but even if not, I am glad she is on court.

What are lovely things you think about?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trust My Instincts.

Don't worry, I don't have much more to say about dating (after all, I am no dating expert, OR maybe I am since I have done it for many more years than some people ha!) Last night I heard from E, but I have no interest in responding (other than maybe a polite hope your're doing well type of message) or communicating with him. It seems that he wants me to fight back, try to argue why I'm right. I don't care what you think, the end result is the same - we don't need to be together, no reason to namecall. More things keep coming to light regarding his character and I am glad to dodge the bullet, even if this has been dramatic (I am fairly drama free, I HATE when someone adds unecessary drama to my life!)

So the last thing I learned is 4. Trust my instincts.

I had worries which is why I asked the Lord to close the door if need be. And, now that even more has come to light, my instincts and concerns were dead on. After things ended with my engagement years ago, I doubted my instincts. After all, how did I miss it? How did we all miss it?

Not this time. I was concerned from day one. Everyone else was really supportive of me giving him a chance - despite some flaws, and I felt I should (and I still stand by that decision bc you need to see if God has changed a person before slamming a door on them). After all, I am self righteous and elitist at times and I didn't want to write of the right guy because of some ridiculous standards or because I look at who he was in the past, not now. And, I HATE how everyone makes me sound as if I am too picky... so part of me wanted to proove them wrong.

but as my mom said, if you had told us the whole story, we would not have been encouraging you to date him.

And thats why I am comforted by the fact that I saw the issues and I had begun addressing them with him...differences in religious/moral/family beliefs, etc. I didn't miss "major" signs. I always assume I do, that I lack discernment. No, I saw it, and I prayed about it, and I cautiously got to know someone.

I had the wool pulled over my eyes once, but not all the time. I can proceed into life a little freer now knowing that I am not about to be tricked or fooled by every boy I date, that sometimes my instincts are right and concerns do develop.

And you know what? Sometimes, even with good instincts, my instincts still will fail. Sometimes I will believe a friend to be true, or a boy to be interested or even believe something about myself thats false....

and, when that happens, its okay. Because I trust my instincts, but even more, I trust my God. What a comfort to know that even when I trust those I shouldn't (including myself), he steps in and He prooves to be trustworthy, every time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This time I will praise the Lord

3. "This Time I will praise the Lord."

Do you remember the story of Jacob and Leah and Rachel? He loved Rachel and did not love Leah. And this tore Leah apart. Every time Leah had a child, she thought "This time my husband will love me." and finally, on the last time, she quit thinking it would end in the result she wanted and she would earn his favor. Instead, she boldly proclaimed "this time I will praise the Lord"

I heard a sermon by Tim Keller on that a few months ago, and I realized that every time I quit dating someone (especially if he ended it), I get upset and start stressing about no prospects left. I automatically assume the Lord is not looking out for me, that no good things will ever happen again....

And to be fair, I have a track record of bad things happening...but you know what? I also have a track record of some pretty big blessings, some which come during hard times. And, even if the situation appears only bad, my God is working for me.

(sidenote: I do this in all of life- every time there is a job that falls through or a friend that betrays or a failure in school, work, etc. I always think, "well why was I hopeful or content in my circumstances? things ALWAYS fall apart...)

So, when I heard this sermon, I promised myself that I would make a committed effort to praising the Lord when circumstances fail -- particularly in dating. I told myself that instead of getting negative like the past, instead of trying to fix everything on my own, I would try to remember Leah and how she finally quit trying to make the situation perfect and finally surrendered, saying "This time I will praise the Lord"

And, its good that I was scheduled to write about this too, because the past couple days I have been a little mopey. Not because I think this was the right guy for me, but because now I am alone and there seems to be no one on the horizon that I can see... I have been dating a few different guys since march and after each one, I never really had time to think, "Well is there someone else out there for me?" because I immediately met someone new. I never had to stop and worry if I would ever meet the right guy. Now, I have to. Now, after all the laughter and relief that this last guy is out of my life, I have time to stop and worry.

And, a little time to bounce back is fine, its natural, but falling into a pattern of negativity is not. So, right now, I am fighting with everything in me to say "This time I will praise the Lord" I committed to saying that a few months ago and now the Lord has allowed me the opportunity. All circumstances -- singleness, barreness, sickness, heartache, loneliness, disability, etc come from our Father - and all can be used for our good.

So, I choose to believe that this too is an opportunity to praise the Lord-- for his protection, for his provision, for his soverign control of my current, very single, circumstances. It takes reminding myself of this a few times daily, BUT if Leah can praise the Lord in a loveless marriage where her sister was adored, I can praise the Lord in singleness.

So, this time, I will praise the Lord. I will be dissapointed, I will be frustrated, BUT I will not quit praising and trusting.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Answered Prayers

Yesterday, I wrote about how I felt I had a chance at Redemption as one of the several things I have learned from a recent dating "relationship". There were several other things I learned last week (I suppose I should send him a thank you note!).

2. Answered Prayers

I very rarely really like someone - I have only dated 3-4 guys that I actually was crazy about. I get along with a lot of people and I go on many dates and sometimes I will even date a guy for awhile because I care for him and I think more chemistry might develop (I am a big believer that "LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT" is a bunch of crap....many times you get to know someone's personality and then you like them a lot more than at first)

I actually met the guy I was dating (E) while on a date with someone else 6 months ago. THAT date went nowhere partially because he was dumb enough to invite his friend (E) along with us and it was clear that E and I hit it off better than my date and I did (boys: dont bring competition to your date, also as a girl, its kindof insulting that you didnt think you could be alone with me for 2 hrs without other company). A casual flirtation persisted for months, off and on, suggestions of a date, but never a date until beginning of September (as one could expect, its awkward to ask a girl out whom you met through your friend who was on a date with her). There was the illusive chemistry from day one (back last March) -- which is wonderful, except when you are practical like me and trying to decide if this is a boy you want to date seriously.

As I got to know E, I had some reservations, many of them cleared up through discussion and getting to know him, but unlike others I have had such an immediate connection with, I still felt concern based on some of the differences we had. However, sometimes differences are good and grace is required. I didn't want to make a hasty decision and I really liked him. I am the type of person who picks people apart, so I did not know if my concerns came from real issues or from me looking to find a flaw, like I often do. So, I decided that the best thing to do was to pray....

Not to just pray that he was the one I should be with (as I think EVERY girl does before every first date , haha - please Lord let this be my last first date!), but to pray that if he wasn't the one, God would slam the door and do it quickly, before more feelings were involved for both of us. For good measure, I also specifically prayed that it would end in a way where I was so irritated that I didn't sit around still pining for the boy.

And...after a couple weeks of prayers, thats exactly what happened...a clear shut door, complete with a personal attack prior to giving his real reason. I'm glad he attacked me. Had things just ended because he wanted to put work before relationships again, then I would probably have still wanted to be with him. But, being attacked and lied to made me furious, eager to shut the door myself.....In fact, I believe after speaking my peace, my exact words were I'm tired of this, I am going to bed now, goodnight. I had no desire to sit there and try to convince him we should keep dating. God answered me-- even down to the smallest details (let it be in a way that irritates me...)

A solid and firm NO makes things easier to move on from. I wish all relationships ended so clearly. True, this is not the answer I wanted. After all, I always HOPE the guy and the relationship is as good as it seems at first. But, if you ask God to answer your prayers and believe He can, you must accept the NO answers too, and you must accept that your answers may come in ways you don't want. (sidenote: last year, in a dating situation, I had a "wait" answer which I truthfully believe is far harder than a NO...because you don't know if and when to move on or if and when to hope)

God heard me....and he responded, even down to the last detail. And, strangely enough, my NO makes me even more confident that God is working to provide blessings in my life. Because if He heard my request to end it quickly and clearly, He is also hearing my daily petitions for a spouse and may even be working to provide as I type this sentence.

And, what is more is He is hearing my prayers for friends' salvation, prayers for family members, prayers for healing, etc. If He can answer a prayer request so trivial in the grand scheme of things (if things end, let him irritate me so the breakup will be easier...) then certainly He is even more concerned with the larger prayer requests...the broken hearts, the failing marriages, the lonely singles, the childless women, the sick family members. It may seem impossible to you that God could save your child or heal your suffering. Like me, you may be waiting for a spouse or a child and based on the past dissapointments, you believe it would take a miracle for that to happen.

Luckilly, our prayers are heard by someone who can orchestrate circumstances far better than we could imagine.... who can answer small and big requests. And I needed to be reminded of that.

So, strangely enough, I learned to believe in God's provision through his NO. I am excited to see how much more He teaches me when the answer is YES.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I am very hesitant about writing about relationships, dating and breakups when they occur (for my own privacy AND the privacy of those involved)....but last week I had a dating situation that ended - and in such a ridiculous way that my sister informed me I had to write about it.

It was the first time ever that I had a breakup (can you even call it that after a month?) in which I ONLY felt angry and annoyed immediately, not sad. In fact, it was downright funny that I woke up the next morning, called my sister and said, "Did that just happen?" Anyways, I was going to write a very funny post on it, but I don't know how to tell all the details in a post without revealing some of his experiances and stories that aren't mine to tell...but SMALL SUMMARY: before giving me his real reason to end things (not willing to quit working late hours to include a girl in his life, which is a totally fair decisions), he first started by attacking me with some accusations that just made me laugh. And, sorry Marley, although I can't sit tell the entire story publically, I do have some thoughts to share on this situation. I decided that I would spend the week writing on a few topics this situation provided me to think about in my life (is that good enough Marley??) It made me think of 2nd chances/redemption, answered prayers, a bible verse, living in the present, and maybe one other topic, although I don't know how to phrase it in a couple words :) I can't talk about this all at once but today I will talk about Redemption.

1. Redemption

Not to get into an entire dramatic saga, my previous engagement ended and when ending, my ex attacked me with a lot of accusations (some were real sins I had that I was working on, and some were completely false and silly). While I acknowledged my flaws and even sat there and let him attack me with crazy accusations, he never once was willing to admit a single flaw. I was trying to save my relationship and trying to see where I was wrong that I let him blame me. I've always regretted that. I am a fairly outspoken and confident person so I hated myself for not sticking up for myself enough during the end of our relationship.

It's a hard line to tow -- being willing to see your flaws and admit them and not being blamed for a situation. Its easy to try so hard to see "how you contributed to a fight, breakup, disagreement with a friend," that you end up being blamed for and taking responsibility for someone else's decisions or sin. (I guess the same is true, sometimes we focus on the other person's flaws so much we miss our own contribution to the problem!) My mom raised my siblings and I to always look at what we did first when conflict arises...and so I do, and if I don't, she is MORE THAN WILLING to point it out for me...

Anyways, since my engagement ended, my biggest pet peeve in friendships, dating, family, etc is when people don't take responsibility for their decisions, blaming others or making up reasons that the other person is to blame. So, as this current dating situation ended, I had the chance to actually say "No, that's not true." I informed him that it was fine he wanted to quit seeing me, but blaming me for his decision was just not going to be okay with me.

I need to do that more...I need to stick up for myself with friends, family and boys. I especially needed the chance to redeem my passivity from college. This time, a man flat out lied to me, claiming I did things I had not and I said, "No, not taking your responsibility and blame." And when the conversation ended, all I could feel was proud. (not to mention calling him out on the lies drew out the truth...)

Life is about balance, and I learned that last week. Examining your life for sin and flaws is the best thing you can do, but everytime conflict occurs doesnt mean you are to blame. Its a balance between having enough humility to see your weaknesses and enough self-respect to not accept blame and accusations that aren't true. Even my mom, great advocate of the "examine what you did wrong" movement told me, "Honey, you know how I always tell you to look at what you did wrong in a relationship, well, this time you didn't do a darn thing wrong."

Funny what a difference five years makes -- this time I had enough self-esteem and life experiance to fight back. And, I had the opportunity to do so - to fight back, to see the flaw of blaming others (sometimes I worry that I miss that one when dating) and to redeem my passivity from the past.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Looking for a good cookie recipe!!!!
Something other than basic chocolate chip BUT lets be honest, I'm no martha stewart (although a pretty good baker) SO something somewhat easy....

what are your favorite cookie and fall treat (pumpkin bars, etc. recipes?? I'd LOVE some new ones.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm with you.

Its no secret that I love the story of Ruth (and Naomi and Boaz) I love the romance which seems incredible and rare and yet basic everyday care and concern for another. I love the story of redemption...after all, we all have pain in our pasts-- failures, dissapointments, deaths -- that can't be fixed, and maybe can't be restored, but can be redeemed. I love that her tragedy was used to show God's glory. I love her reckless abandon to follow her mother in law and more importantly, to follow her NEW God....afterall, she has one of the most radical conversions in scriptures and in a matter of minutes, chooses to follow the God of Isreal and trust HIM alone. I've been a Christian most of my life and still struggle to trust the one true God with my life and I have always been in awe of Ruth.

Thats probably why I LOVE this song by Nichole Nordeman and Amy Grant -- because I just found out it's about RUTH! (and Naomi) No wonder I related, no wonder I understood. It's about two women holding eachother through life's hard parts. So many songs focus only on how a significant other is there during ups and downs....but this song focuses on how women embrace eachother and literally walk through bad times together... specifically, in the case of Ruth and Naomi, where they lost their spouses, their families, their livelihood. They literally provided companionship for eachother. Naomi provided spiritual encouragement and guidance in a motherly role to a new believer and Ruth provided - literally provided - so that they would not starve.

I don't know about you, but I want to have friends like that (and thankfully I do) AND I want to be a friend like that. This song made me so grateful for the women in my life - my sisters and my friends. My favorite line is: Till your heart finds a home, I won't let you feel alone.
I would go further than the author of this song says and state that when you feel you have no home, true friends make you part of their home...when boys leave or family dissapoints or failures come.

Love is a hurricaine in a blue sky,

I didn't see it coming, never know why.

All the laughter and teh dreams,

ALl the memories in between,

Washed away in a steady stream.

Love is a hunger, a famine in your soul.

I thought I planted beauty, but it would never grow.

Now I'm on my hands and knees,

Trying to gather up my dreams,

Trying to hold on to anything.

We could shake a fist in times like this

When we don't understand or we could just hold hands.

You and me, me and you,

Where you go, I'll go too,

I'm with you, I'm with you.

Till your heart finds a home,

I won't let you feel alone,

I'm with you, I'm with you.

You do your best to build a higher wall.

To keep love safe from any wrecking ball.

When the dust has cleared, we will

See the house that love rebuilds,

Guarding beauty that lives here still.

You and me, me and you,

Where you go, I'll go too,

I'm with you, I'm with you.

Till your heart finds a home,

I won't let you be alone,

I'm with you, I'm with you.

Who can say I'm left with nothing?

When I have all of you, all of you.

In the way you've always loved me.

I remember, He does too.

It's you and me, me and you,

Where you go, I'll go too,

I'm with you, I'm with you.

Until your heart finds a home,

I won't let you feel alone,

I'm with you, I'm with you.