Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Saw this on facebook, admit it, you can relate sometimes, can't you??? I am a runner, I have great friends, I read scripture and meditate, but sometimes I just want to sit down and have a glass of wine....

BUT I think it's more the "sitting down and relaxing" part that I need than the wine :)   Sometimes, you just need a break. So this ecard made me smile :)

I am going to a rock concert with Dave.  Now for those of you who don't know me well, I wear Navy Blue as a staple, I love J Crew, Anthro, Ann Taylor, Lilly, Tory Burch, Judith March, etc.  I love tailored clothing.  All that to say, I am about as preppy as they come, so being a rocker chick for the evening will be like wearing a costume.  I'm considering dressing up, we shall see.  Atleast jeans and a black top and maybe nails like these (I've always wanted to try, surprisingly enough....)  Anyone ever tried edgy nails before? Or has anyone worn edgy clothes and want to suggest something (not buying anything new though..)

I am currently in a crafty mood. I'm not crafty at all -- but I am a good follower, so I can do something that isn't that hard to do if I have a leader or instructions, anyone have some good craft ideas?  I like making fabric wreaths, so I may make an auburn one for football season. With orange and Blue Fabric....

Any other crafting suggestings from my snazzy friends?

Finally, I am hosting a Stella and Dot Party.  Its adorable jewelry.  For my friends in Jackson, please come! Its August 9th at my house.  For people who can't come but may want to shop, you can do so HERE on Megan's profile. Just click on my name.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I am Reading Wednesday 7-25-2012

1. When I am waiting, I often ask Why doesn't God Hurry Up?  If you are waiting, read this ;)

2.  I think most of us could benefit from learning the 7 ways to develop Humility.

3.  When we face trials in life, we can Sink or Fight.  I LOVE how the author quotes this verse:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11

Then the author says: 

“I shall again praise him” is a statement of faith. We are saying we believe God will come through for us down the road. That in the future Jesus will give us something to praise him about. That God will cause whatever we’re going through to work for good.

4.  When whining about a hardship in my life, my roomie once told me "well sanctification isn't supposed to be fun!"  Its true, when we think God is being a drill sergeant, He is actually our physician.

5.  As a lawyer and more importantly as a female, I agree with this author in her thesis that words have hurtful or helpful effects on us.

6.  I now want to read this book, A Gospel Primer, especially the portion that says:

"The gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves his gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials."

7-25 Midweek Confessions

Linking up with E, Myself and I for Midweek Confessions

- I'm still obsessed with what I get to eat after running.  This week I am going to my roomate's cabin at the Neshoba County Fair (one of the nation's only remaining political fairs complete with speakers, bands, races, pagents, a fair, people staying in cabins and LOTS of eating and drinking) and I'm not going to lie, I am almost *EXCITED* to run 17 miles saturday morning before heading to the fair for the weekend, that's like 1800 calories to eat FAIR FOOD, drink cocktails, and eat snack food in the cabin....YES, I RUN PARTLY BECAUSE I LIKE TO EAT,

- I am addicted to Awkward on MTV (the only MTV show I watch since I am well, 28)

- My biggest pet peeve right now is people who just don't say Yes or No...I know they are avoiding giving me answers I don't want, but I don't care. I just want the answer so I can move on. I literally want to hit people for avoiding an answer.

- I kindof want nails with a design on them.  But my manicurist doesn't do that because its tacky-- and well, she's right, but a very hidden tacky side of me is craving a little blinged out design or flower on my thumb.

- I have a frozen meal for lunch, but I don't like it (its one of those leftover you keep around for emergencies) so I may go buy subway OR atleast a better frozen meal at the Piggly Wiggly.

- Yes, I live in a portion of the country that has a grocery store named the Piggly Wiggly.

- We are under 40 days til football.  This may not excited y'all as much as it excites me but I'm pretty dang excited AND we have the Olympics to distract us until then. I certainly haven't written both AU and OM's schedules  next to eachother on a post it note and highlighted the most important games that I'd like to attend....certainly not.

- The hem on my dress is out but I was running so late for work that when I noticed it, I didn't change and just decided to rock the frazzled edge look.

Also, a couple pics from a fun weekend which included two of my favs meeting (one of my best buds Paige and my BF Dave), dinners at Babalus and Table 100, lunch at Keifers, running, laying around and watching TV and drinks at Fenians and Juleps....then a day recovering with Dave by watching netflix and helping my dad move furniture (ok second part wasn't relaxing ha)

Some of my favorite ladies at fennians....

 My fav. guy and me at fennians...

Also I never showed these pics from a couple weeks ago when my friend Chris came to town.  He and I went to Auburn together but got to be good friends when I was at Ole Miss and he lived 45 min away. Our other friend Chris lives in town so every now and then, the three of us get to hang out.  We went to a rock concert at Magoos, had dinner with a bunch of friends at Soulshine Pizza and saw Spider Man.  It was a fun weekend! Also, Dave and Chris got to finally meet which was great!

Chris, me and Chris (friend from Auburn) -- a Chris sandwich!!

Dave and me (I should get major gf points for going to these rock shows, although I've been to a few so I now actually recognize some of the music!!)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

411 (EDITED)

I edited this because I accidently left the last question off.  complete now!

My sister l did this and I thought I would too...

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?

I started blogging 5 years ago when I backpacked europe to update my family and friends on my travels.  I then started blogging again a few years ago but didn't start doing it seriously until recently.  I realized with an abundance of mommy blogs, we needed some more singles blogs so thats why I started blogging!

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?

I went to Auburn and loved it!! I was in the honors college and majored in political science with a minor in  philosophy.  I wrote my honors thesis on US public policy on outsourcing.  I then went to law school at Ole Miss.

3. Where have you travelled?

All over the United States, France, Spain, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Belize, Canada, Mexico, Malawi, Zambia.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?

A law school education....and by that, I mean, I'd pay off my student loans.

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?

(1) when people tell you how many cm dilated they are on their facebook status.
(2) people who are from other places, live in Mississippi, talk openly about how they hate it --- and wonder why they don't have any friends?
(3) one-upping 

6. What is your favorite movie?

The South of Music and Princess Bride.....but I also am currently in love with the 4 part BBC recent series Emma.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?

White wine or some liquors.
Soda - Diet Dr Pepper

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?

TV.  Occasionally a good book, but I read a lot so when I have a spare hour or two, i like to veg out and watch a tv show or movie.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?

hmmm...probably somewhere like Saks where I could buy some David Yurman, Tory Burch and a LV purse!

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.

Umm, probably recently, when I was doing my workout video in my shirt only and the plumber walked in me (as recently shared in midweek confessions)

11. What day would you love to relive again?

January 10, 2011 --Auburn National Championship.  hands down the best day of my life.

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?

Hmmm, Zooey Deschanel or Rachel McAdams.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?

High school -Kibbles Deli, babysitting
College- Auburn bookstore, Kanakuk Kamps, Ann Taylor loft, babysitting, congressional intern
Law School- Policy intern (Heritage Foundation), secretary for a retired lawyer/oil man, babysitting
right after school -- lawyer of course

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.

*New York City 2006, right after college graduation

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

probably China, South Africa or somewhere super exotic like Tahiti :)

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you and your family.

*from a recent family photo shoot through Blackbird Photography

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?

I see my self as 33 :) of course! Married, most of student loans paid off, working part time, with 1-2 kids (here's hoping!)  Obviously a lot of these things - namely kids and husband aren't circumstances I control but that is where I *HOPE* to see myself in 5 years

Friday, July 20, 2012

an outsider's view on.... MOTHERING

I'm not a mother, so I am not an expert on how it should be done.  Don't take this post as a reliable authority you could site in a paper....but do take it has a honest opinion from someone on the outside looking in.


I recently saw a picture on facebook of a friend's 3rd baby....the husband said something like this as the tag of the picture: "E had a successful v-back after 2 csections (although her righteousness and self worth are not based on how she delivers babies)"

I LOVED his post. I know it was partly joking but it was so true.  There is so much talk about c-sections being wrong and natural births being better or drugs during birth being a bad thing.  There is also criticism from the other side-- that natural births or home births are risky.  And, you know what? there may be some validity to some of these points...but at the end of the day, you are not a better mother because you had a drug free natural home birth or because you had a c-section in the nicest hospital in town.  I just think its funny how this becomes the end all be all of measuring your parenting decision making skills and abilities.

And that's when it begins...after that there are multiple decisions that mothers (and fathers I suppose) can make.... Do we breastfeed? How long? Cloth diapers of disposable? mom stays home and money is really tight? both parents work? (some families, this is NOT an option). Do we allow tv? public or private or home school? organic food? homemade baby food or store bought? babywise or attachment parenting? no sugar ever or sugar every now and then? etc, etc, etc.

The truth is....and again, this is from the outside looking in, not one of these decisions will likely destroy your child. And not one merits you as a good mother.

Do you love your child? Do you do whats best for them most of the time (we all fail some!)? Do you teach them about the Lord and His love for them? Do you give them opportunities to learn? Do you discipline them?

I know that some decisions are detrimental...12 hours of tv a day or nothing but sugar -- but just because you had a c section or nursed for 6 months not 12 or let your child eat candy at the movies does not make you a bad mother....and if your friends do things you disagree with like homeschool or allow tv before homework or chooses timeouts over spanking?

I just think that there are enough attacks on parents nowadays...enough challenges in raising godly kids, lets not attack eachother.

We all have the right to disagree and respect eachother. My sister uses cloth diapers. I probably won't use them with my kids...but at the end of the day, that decision won't make or break our kids.  Lets spend more time getting upset about the real problem parents-- those who or neglectful or abusive -- or spend time worrying about the single african mother trying to provide food for her babies.  Those are the real issues, whether you had a natural birth while singing at the top of your lungs or plan to homeschool and teach your 5 year old calculus, I may disagree but I don't think its the end of the world.

That facebook status was right: a woman's righteousness and self worth is not based on how she births her babies...or in the small decisions like which type of diaper to wear.  (Thankfully, her righteousness is not based in her mothering abilities at all, but thats an entirely different blog post... ) So, quit beating eachother up for small decisions and help encourage eachother in the big ones-- how to teach your child about Christ, how to encourage morality and obediance and a compassionate heart, how to appreciate your child for his or her little unique personalities.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Things I liked on FB today

When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful. -Sara Groves

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Worse before it gets better

Thanks to my sister, I NOW have a wonderfully organized closet. (way too ADD = very few organizational skills; ironically enough I get annoyed when my roomies leave bowls of cereal milk in the sink  but I can handle a pile of clothes on my bedroom chair, to each his own, right??)

Before my sister came over, I made sure that all my clothes were hanging (some had been in a pile, as I said....) and I pulled most of my mismatched shoes out and put them in a basket.  So it already started out on a fairly decent level of messiness/lack thereof...  we weren't started with piles of clothes....we were starting on a fairly solid foundation.

And you know what the first thing she did?? Pull a LOT of my clothes out and put them in piles -- suits, dresses, cocktail attire, sweaters, etc...  Piles of what I needed to get rid of, what I would put back in the closet, what I was taking home to my mom (bc it was her clothing item to begin with), clothes I did not want anymore by my sister wanted....tons of piles.

If you looked at my closet and hallway mid-organize, it was overwhelming, completely stressful.  I was thinking HOW does this look so bad, earlier I had it in a decent, much better condition?  She just made it worse! This will take us 2 whole days to finish!!!

I couldn't see the ending very well...of course all of you very organized people know the ending to this story: sometimes there has to be a bigger mess to get to the beautiful end result.  And that's what happened-- a lot of messiness THEN a lovely organized closet --color coordinated too!!.  Hmmm, sounds a lot like life!

Sometimes we think that we are doing a decent job with our lives.  Things could be worse...sure I gossip, I have mean thoughts, I place a high value on worldly things, I occasionally drink too much or have lustful thoughts, etc etc...but I could be a LOT worse.  and my relationship with God is OK...I go to church, I sometimes go to sunday school, I pray....and few things are going wrong.  Then life falls apart, and its like God takes our decent life -- the one we think we have together -- and makes it even messier for awhile.  He pulls out are fairly clean closet and throws the clothes on the floor.  And we sit there stunned...and overwhelmed, and confused at how His involvement is making things any better, instead things are worse.

Then slowly but surely, the clothes get hung up CORRECTLY.  God starts putting life back together in a more glorious way, but not without making us throw a few piles of junk away first.  Not without a few moments of looking at Him and saying I don't know what to do (which I am pretty sure I said to Marley last night...)

Sometimes Life gets a lot messier before its good again...its just God reorginizing!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dating/Relationship Series #8: Apologize

I have been doing a series on dating and relationships (how to date, where to meet guys, important things when dating) I am considering following this up with a singleness series...

I think an important part of relationships (and not just dating relationships) is the ability to apologize WELL. or for some people, just learning to apologize would be a step up. This past week I had a situation where I had to accept that someone who had wronged me was not going to apologize, just pretend nothing happened.  So, eventually I swallowed my pride and started acting like things were normal.  This frustrates me because the issue was never resolved.

One plus from this situation is that it got me thinking how horrible this would be for Dave and me if we didn't apologize.  I thought of how when he wrongs me or I wrong him, I am always so relieved for an apology and resolution.

Men, this is important to women because we hate to feel things are not okay.  Also, we place a high value on being understood.  So, when someone I am dating sees how he upset me and acknowledges that, it makes me feel immediately better because he understood what hurt me. Basically, an apology is like saying "I am sorry I did not understand or show you love by _____"

Women, men need apologies because they need respect.  I know, personally, when I am apologizing, its oftentimes for being too critical, too quick to react and get upset.  Essentially I am saying "I am sorry I was so disrespectful that I _____"

No one likes a half-a** apology. No one likes to apologize all the time while the other person doesn't make an effort.  No one likes when situations are swept under the rug with no apology.

Here are a few apology tips:

1. Acknowledge what you did wrong. Don't pin it on them.

SAY: "I am sorry that I snapped at you. I was wrong to overreact."
NOT: "I am sorry you got upset over what I said."

2.  Ask forgiveness

3.  Ask how you can make it right/offer to make it right...either now or in the future.

Example:  I know I hurt you by being overly critical about this issue, I've been grumpy lately because    
 I'm tired.  Can I take a night to rest and discuss it over coffee/ice cream/dinner tomorrow?

4. Sincerety.

5. When in doubt, apologize.  Were you grumpy or inconsiderate? Just say, "hey, I was moody with you this morning and I'm sorry."

6. Have some grace.

Obviously there is a place for grace in apologies.  Sometimes people don't know you're upset or may  know that he or she upset you but want to just move on and not address it, so you have to decide if its a big enough issue that it will be hard for you to move on without bitterness.  Sometimes its not a big deal (unkind words because he/she was tired) and sometimes it is a big deal.  Sometimes, you are gracious and move on and sometimes you lovingly bring it

Part of having grace is accepting the apology and offering forgiveness.

7. Don't make one person initiate all the time.

Often times, both parties were was inconsiderate and then the other snapped, etc.... It's frustrating if one person always initiates the apology process, so make sure that sometimes you acknowledge your sin first and seek forgiveness.  Better yet, both parties should be racing to make things right before the other one...outdo eachother in love right?

8.  Apologize....then move on.

Sometimes, an apology may require some discussion...on how things can be handled better, etc....but once you offer that forgiveness, let go of your resentment.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recovery Weekend

Ever have one of those weeks where you could do nothing right? where it felt like it was you v. the world?
That's me, this week...It seems everyone wanted to fight with me....and although, I won't deny that I had a part in these disagreements, it seemed everywhere I turned was another person irritated...This is part of why I haven't posted a lot, because well, I had nothing too encouraging to say....

and I stubbed my toe and lost part of my toe nail (don't worry, no pics!)

But, I have calmed down somewhat... I am looking forward to some space --  a weekend of dealing with no one.  I might see friends on friday night but I hope that saturday is running, cleaning, movies, and sleeping.  Sometimes you need a people break, and honestly, they might need a break from me too.

So here is how I plan to recover from this week:

1. I am making one exception of my "need space" rule to see this cutie tonight.... Mid week, sometimes one or the other of us will  make the drive and spend the night in the other person's towns (separate bedrooms folks, don't worry.... ) If I ever needed a hug and some lazy time watching tv, its tonight! Oh and did I mention that we will both be in the same city in a month, but who's counting??? (me! I am!)

2.  I also got lunchtime kisses from this little boy ...

Jack is a great little kisser but you have to share your food. 

OK so for the recovery plan that does not include boys, here goes....

3. 15-16 mile run --- actually, I am NOT looking forward to a long run in July MS heat, BUT I feel I will get some aggression out and burn some y'all all know my favorite part of the run is eating what I want for the rest of the day  :)


5. WINE ...or skinny girl margs...

6. TV


8. organizing

9. no plans.  really, someone hold me to this. 

10. getting some artwork framed....i've had artwork in my room for months without framing. I must get it done this wkd!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

136-150: Thankfulness

Continuing to count my blessings!

136. frozen meals (gross huh?, but so conveniant for the single person when you don't want to cook!)
137. knowing so many stable couples around me.  I am blessed to have friends who have been married for years and family members who have been married years. I am also blessed to know those who waited and God blessed them.  Its so easy to see the bad things about our culture like divorce, so I am glad to see some people living loving marriages.
138. My friend Paige is coming to town next weekend! She and I have been through ups and downs together so I always cherish our time together!
139. Freshly painted nails.
140.  having the house to myself
141. Sunday movies and cuddling
142. e-cards
143. a weekend with nothing planned (it used to make me so happy to see a full calendar now my heart literally leaps when I have an empty moment)
144. movies at the theater
145. cooler weather for running/biking - thank you rain!

Monday, July 9, 2012


Well, as you all know, I tend to keep my dating life fairly secretive on this blog.  I often date and don't update y'all and a couple times I have updated y'all but not used names. Most recently, I have actually dated someone and referred to him yet not identified him.....Ha, I am not HIDING anything, per se... I just try to keep my dating life fairly private -- for my sake and for the other party's sake.

But BF gave me the go ahead on revealing his identity. It's been over 6 mths so I felt it was time.
Introducing my sweet guy, Dave. So, you'll probably continue to hear me make mention of him from time to time - except I will use his name now....and actually post pics that include him.  However, as in the past, I will continue not to reveal EVERYTHING about our relationship.... you don't want to hear about every sweet thing he does (gag) and I am not a believer in publically discussing any issues we have... (also gag) But, now I will be a little more willing to share SOME things... starting with his name and a few pics.

My one cheesy moment: He's pretty stinkin' adorable isn't he?? :)

Family Beach trip

 Dallas Cowboys Stadium

 Ashley's Wedding

Charity Ball

 at the camp


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pizza Casserole

This friday night, I made my favorite guy Pizza casserole.  Guys can be picky eaters and I find myself trying out recipes that are meant for kids.  I joke with him that when we want to cook, I google "family dinner recipes" or "dinners for kids"

This was very "child-like" but pretty good, and you could add veggies to make it better.

ALSO, I WOULLD LOVE ANY GOOD RECIPES Y'ALL HAVE.  I am trying to cook more often! PARTICULARLY "kid friendly" (aka picky eater friendly) recipes. :)

1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 extra large can of Ragu sauce {or any tamato sauce you prefer}
3-ish cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or if you want, add ricotta cheese to)
1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
1 package pepperonis

  1. BOIL egg noodles and cook and drain meat
  2. begin your layers! (1) tomato sauce (2) noodles (3) hamburger meat (4) sauce (5) noodles (6)  ricotta and mozzerella cheese (7) hamburger meat (8) sauce (9) mozzerella cheese (10)Top with pepperonis! 
  3. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350
  4. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes
  5. let sit for 10-15 minutes -- to cool and to let the layers stick together
  6. ENJOY!
I think it would be good if you added some spinach or mushrooms (if you eat mushrooms, I don't) -- I bet you could add almost any pizza topping! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reeses Pieces Peanut Butter Brownies and more

Several people in my life LOVE reeses pieces including my sister and my BF.  I have been recently researching recipes involving this candy. My latest recipe is reeses brownies!

Don't they look delicious?? My next goal is to learn to make them gluten free for my baby sis, Ansley.

Here is how you make them:


  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Peanut Butter Frosting:
  • 16 oz container of vanilla frosting
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 tsp milk
  • 1 box Reese’s Pieces

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9″ baking pan with shortening or cooking spray.

2.Make brownie batter as directed on box. Spread batter in pan and with a knife, swirl peanut butter through batter.

3.Bake 25-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.

4.In a medium bowl, mix frosting ingredients and spread frosting over brownies. Place Reese’s Pieces in a plastic Ziploc bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin, breaking candies up into pieces. (NOTE: I just poured my reeses on the top in whole pieces.)

5.Sprinkle Reese’s Pieces over brownies and serve.

Second order of business today: I saw this on a friends facebook and want to start doing this every day.  I work out most days, even if its only 20-30 minutes during lunch, but usually for longer.  However, there are those occasional days when life is hectic and I don't go. This would be a perfect mini workout at home...I bet it is about 15 minutes total.

Also, I love this funny picture I saw on facebook.  SO true!! Right Ashley???

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Closed Doors

Recently, my family had a door close that seemed so much like the right door.  Doors slamming are so hard to deal with, especially when the doors were originally wide open, so certain and seemingly, so good.
With this closed door came the realization for me, atleast, that nothing in life is certain -- even things that are good and glorifying to God aren't for certain...not relationships, friendships, family, health, jobs, ministries, etc. (I know, I know, I, like most people, have been through MANY situations where I realize earthly relationships and things aren't certain, but how quickly I return to needing them)

This concept of a life of uncertainty was hard to swallow for a few days until I reminded myself of the one door that never closes, the one certainty that doesn't change. I'm 99 percent sure my family will always be by my side and vice versa, but even that is not certain.  Only my Savior is certain....and I am grateful for that and clinging even more to the certainty that is Jesus Christ.

The funny thing about closed doors is that often times the same doors are wide open until you get near. I think its a common misconception that always make is that other people are ALWAYS trying to make the closed doors work, assuming they were open. I remember after my engagement ended, people tried to tell me that I must have missed the signs, that I must have desired marriage so badly that I was working so hard to make it work (not true, as I had no desire originally to get married at a young age). I disagree -- I prayerfully sought the Lord's will in that relationship and would never have entered that engagement unless I believed I was called to that marriage. I told people I felt it was the Lord's will for me to engaged to the man, but obviously the door closed, so it was not God's will for me to marry him. It was an open door that became a closed door, but the door wasn't closed from the beginning. Just because a door is closed does not mean the person recklessly, sinfully pursued a closed door.

And, although there are plenty of times when I selfishly try to make clearly closed doors OPEN, I think I recently (and on multiple other occasions) have realized that the Lord works through closing doors after we already begin walking toward that same door opened.

Would it be easier if every closed door started that way? For sure.  I wish life was full of clear yeses and nos from the beginning.  I wish God didn't allow an open door to give you encouragement and hope, before He shuts it.

But, maybe He waits to close the door because He wants us to realize that our hope should be on Him, the opener and closer of doors, and not on the doors themselves.  Maybe He draws us to doors that suddenly close because through that process, we are shown the right door.  In some cases, maybe the door closes for a time then opens again.

All I know is that I serve a God who is certain in a world that is not.  He is an open door when other doors close.  He is the one that opens and closes doors in His timing and for His glory.  He is the One that uses dissapointments, broken dreams, heartaches to shape and grow us.  He is the one that redeems closed doors.

Sometimes, in my finite wisdom, I wish he would slam the door quicker (I sure have felt that way about boyfriends and breakups before as well as job opportunities), but the Lord shuts the doors at the right moment, for this I am grateful.

I pray my heart can be as excited about the opener of doors as I am about the doors when they finally open, and maybe it takes weeks, months and years of doors opening and closing for our hearts to finally cling to Him.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thankful #126-135 and Happy Fourth

I hope everyone had a happy 4th. I sure did! I drove to BF's hometown last night after work to spend time with his family (his sister and brother in law are in town from Georgia). I only stayed until 1 or 2 today but enjoyed my time in the country biking, going to a fish fry and having a movie night.  I then returned to Jackson for a cookout with friends including red and blue margaritas, watermelon and shooting my first fireworks!

I hope we all took a moment to remember how great our country is, how fortunate it is that we live in America. With the recent Obamacare SCOTUS decision, many people are dissapointed with America...and though we may not like certain leaders and decisions in our country, the fact remains that even with its flaws, America has the best form of government the world has ever seen. Lets remember that, fight for it, and maintain it.

One of my favorite politicians, Ronald Reagan once said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Also, continuing with my 1000 gifts thankfulness list...Today I am thankful for....

126.  Fireworks, Friends and food
127. 6 weeks until my BF moves to JXN :)
127. bike ride in the country
128. Fish fry and brownies
129. my new bike
130. America and our founding fathers
131. computers
132. having my sister home in MS for the summer
133.  sleeping in
134. my friend Chris comes to town this weekend!
135. 2 months until college football

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

RIP Nora Ephron

This week, movie screenwriter Nora Ephron passed away. If you are a female, this is a sad day for you. Nora Ephron wrote two of the best chick flicks of our time (When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail)....I mean truly entertaining girls movies, not just the cheesy "boy and girl meet, overcome some obstacle and fall in love" movie with no humor, depth, etc.

I love a movie that lets you escape. I love happy movies....but I don't necessarilly love dumb movies.  She managed to give us a few GOOD movies that were entertaining, well written and light hearted.

Some of her best quotes.....

"Look, Annie... I love you. But let's leave that out of this. I don't want to be someone that you're settling for. I don't want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn't it?" -- Walter (Sleepless in Seattle)

"You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life." -- Paul Child to Julia (Julie and Julia)

“And then the dreams break into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.”  (Heartburn)

“Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic."

(Sleepless in Seattle)

“Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while. (Sleepless in Seattle)

People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

The BEST quote....

“I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” — Billy Crystal to Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”

(Come on, ladies, who wouldn't want your man to notice all the little things about you - the silly things, the inconsequential things, the daily aspects of your life -- and make these things seem special and unique?  And you know you notice those small things in your husband, boyfriend, crush, etc!!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dating/Relationship Series #7: Move

(This post is somewhat inspired by a girl I read about on Kellys Korner here. She felt like God wanted her to move so she did and immediately met the right man in her new location --after years of waiting! )

I am not joking, some people will think what I am saying is drastic....BUT maybe if you aren't meeting any men or women in your area, you should move.

Seriously, one of my good friends is about to move to a bigger city and meeting new men is one of the reasons why.  I admire her honest approach.  She didn't quit her job immediately, but her contract is up and she does not HAVE to renew it, so why not get another job in a different city. She has been here and dated some but feels that she is not meeting anyone new, so instead of whining about no men in Jackson, she is doing something about it.  I like that.

I have another friend who told me she is giving it a year.  If she still isn't dating someone, she may move her business to a bigger different city.

I am not moving, but I will share my own experiance with this idea of relocating yourself to meet men.
I had dated but not met the right man.  I was very frustrated...but at the same time, I was happy with my life. I love my community of friends, I love being close to my family, I like my job, I love where I live, I like my church.  I didn't WANT to leave Jackson, but felt like I had already met most of the men in my circles in Jackson -- and either (1) they were married; (2) we had already dated; or (3) one or both of us didn't want to date the other one.

I did not want to leave Jackson for all the above mentioned reasons but I didn't want to wake up in 10 years single because I stayed where I was comfortable. But certainly, leaving a very good life behind is not a decision you make too quickly

I was telling my sister my problem this fall, and her advice was simple: give yourself a moving timeline and pray you meet someone before then.  SIMPLE enough, and she was able to give such good advice because she wasn't in my spot and was able to look at the situation objectively. No drastic measures, bathed in prayer.

So I decided that if I did not meet a great man to date by summertime, I would start looking up jobs in DC and sending in apps (not necessarily move, but start making the steps to move and see which doors God opeend)  That gave me 9 mths to go on dates and try to meet people.  That gave me 9 months to pray. That gave me 9 mths to seek the Lord's will.  I prayed that I would not have to leave Jackson, but that if I needed to, I asked the Lord to make it clear.

And, in late december, I met the man I am currently dating.  I'm not saying I will never move to DC, but I am not moving now.  Had I not met him, I would currently be sending my resumes and applications to various think tanks and governmental agencies.  I am glad the Lord made it clear what I should do.  I'm extremely grateful that atleast for now, I get to stay in Jackson, but had He wanted me to move, I would be grateful that He made my path clear.

I know some people will disagree with my advice to consider moving, BUT I think that if you were unhappy with your job, had no friends, had no good churches to attend in your current location, you would consider moving, wouldn't you? You would pray daily about it and seek the Lord's will on where you should be located.  Why won't you do the same regarding dating and marriage????

So, here is my advice (take it or leave it) Maybe you live in a small town or the city you grew up in and feel like you already know everyone in. Maybe you live in a place that lacks many Christians.  It is possible that the best way to meet a spouse is to move to a place where you can meet more people.. however it is possible that the Lord has the perfect man for you in your small town of 10,000...or in a different city but you meet through friends.  So jumping into a move is not the best thing to do.

(1) give yourself a timeline (1 year, 9 months, etc) to pray and expand your circles in your current location and to seek the Lord's will

(2) give some thought to where you would move -- do you want to know a few people there already? or go somewhere completely new? Is there a good job market there? Is there a good church? Are there young people? Are there Christians? It does no good to move somewhere with the same limitations as where you currently live..a lot of sacrifice for no benefit.

(3) Pray. Pray you meet soemone and don't have to move.  Pray that the Lord makes it clear to move. Pray.

(4) Expand your circles in your current city. Is your church lacking a lot of people your age? Visit another church some, atleast for a Bible study, etc.  Go to different places/restaurants/parties. Join a club. Try online dating. Blind dates. Etc. Etc.  Maybe there are lots of eligible men in your city but you just got stuck hanging out with the same ones all the time.

(5) improve yourself.  You may be moving within the year, so you should drop those extra 10 pounds and move looking your best! Or maybe while you are losing the weight or dressing cuter, etc, you will meet someone in your current location.

(6) decide if its worth it.  Some people love where they live so much that they would stay there for awhile and risk not meeting anyone. Do you love your job, friends, church more than you want to meet someone? If so, great, you may not want to move.  I love my life, but I wanted to meet someone badly enough that it was worth moving if need be.

**As I said, this is a drastic measure, although less drastic when you are young and single, but its one you might consider.  You never know....