Friday, April 27, 2012

Blogging

I need more practice with this blogging thing.  I read all these fantastic blogs written by strong, Christian women and I want to influence others the way they are influencing me. 

This summer, my goal is to lean more about Blogger so that I can reach more people. 

On another note, my Mimi and Harry are in town TODAY!  I am so excited; they are a full 24 hours early and I can't wait to spend the weekend with them.  I'm not quite sure what we will do yet.  There is a new wine bistro open in Liberty and the grand opening is tomorrow.  I'm thinking we could do lunch there.  Other than that, I'm just going to soak in as much time as possible with them.  #blessed

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My heart smiles...

Sometimes you can let the negative things in life bog you down and you just need to remember why life is so wonderful.  I constantly try to remind myself that God is in control and that the negative things that are taking place in my life are things that He is using to test me.  Undoubtedly, each time something negative happens, something positive stems from it. 

Reasons my heart smiles:
  • Good friendships; ones that leave you feeling fulfilled and loved unconditionally
  • Sunny days
  • Pups; particularly mine because they love me more than they love themselves
  • My students; they make me feel like a queen 4.5 days out of 5.  
  • Punch and cake; today the Beta Club had their induction ceremony and I was gifted a piece of cake (or 2) after it ended
  • Reaching a goal; I ran a mile in 8:30 - my personal best
  • Time; God has gifted me time today, time to spend with my husband, doing things around the house, playing with my pups, and sewing
Are there times that you have to remind yourself of all the positives in your life?

Above all else, I am happily married, healthy, and loved by many.

Thank you, Jesus for this life You have given me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rainy Days

Sometimes Mother Nature sets the tone for your mood.  Yesterday was a dreary day for me and the weather outside was equally dreary. 

I have been so blessed to have amazing friends in my life at all stages.  Some I still keep in touch with.  Others have been in my life for a reason or a season.  All of them, I hold dearly in my heart. 

Not until I moved to the south did I ever experience a friend (a real, true, legit friend) betraying me.  I am not blaming it on moving to the south, but I do joke that it might have something to do with it.  I've experienced it twice now.  The first one stung more than this current situation does.  Maybe my heart is toughening - which I have sort of noticed happening and I must admit, I hate it.  I like being known as the sentimental, emotional, unconditionally loving one.  I don't want to have a hardened view of people. 

The first time I lost a friend, I didn't even know it had happened.  It literally felt like it occurred overnight and in some ways, I think it did.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and was so wonderful to me throughout the whole process; hosting a shower for me, giving me a beautiful basket of goodies at my bachelorette party, and loving me wholeheartedly as she walked with me on my wedding day.  When I returned from my honeymoon, it was like none of that had ever happened.  I was no longer invited to cookouts, parties, or gatherings.  I heard people saying things that had come from her mouth about my husband.  It hurt and I didn't understand and I tried to figure out what had happened or why it happened, but my non-confrontational heart wouldn't allow me to question her about it. 

How do you deal with something like that?  Furthermore, how do you deal with losing someone whom you thought was a best friend when you live so far away from your family and friends already?  I had relied on her in a big way; she was a rock for me.  I didn't deal with it the best at first.  I can honestly say that I was probably depressed throughout this period of time.  I cried a lot.  I drank a lot of wine.  I gained a lot of weight.  I stopped working out.  I fought more with my hubby.  It was dark, my heart was dark.  Then, God put an experience in my life that has changed me at my very core.  The youth pastor at my church asked me if I would like to go on the teen mission trip with them.  I was elated and honored to be invited.  This week in Toccoa, GA was probably the most meaningful week I have ever spent with our Lord.  It was extremely uplifting and strengthening.

I came back from that week realizing that I needed to go to my friend and tell her how I truly felt about the situation.  I needed to open up and communicate my hurt in order for her to understand what she was doing that was hurtful. I realized that she may have not known.  I also realized that I didn't need her to be my friend if she wasn't going to do a good job of it. 

Prior to coming back to work I felt comfortable knowing that we may never be friends again.  I was finally at peace with it.  On our first day back, I asked her if I could talk to her.  She was pleased because she had been wanting to speak to me as well and the first words out of her mouth were an apology.  She also shared an excuse, but I focused more on the apology.  I did feel as though it were genuine, but I can't say that I truly forgave her. 

Forgiveness in the bible is defined as a loving act; one not far from what Jesus has done for us.  After all, He died for us and yet He has forgiven each of our sins and we are allowed to go live with him.  Colossians 3:13 states, "...Forgive as He has forgiven you."  I still need to do that.  It's not fair of me to harbor angst or negativity toward her any longer.  I'm not sure what has affirmed this in my heart, but I feel like now is as good a time as any to let her know that I truly forgive her.  I hope its not too late to resurrect the friendship, but at least we can be at peace with another. 

As far this other friend that I've recently had trouble with; she attacked my husband.  I defended him as the bible says I should - he did nothing to warrant this attack.  Now I need to pray and decide how to address that situation.  She, too, has been a good friend to me in the past.  I just need to figure out how to best address the situation.  She is significantly less mature than my other friend and I'm not quite sure the situation can be handled in a similar way. 

Thanks for listening.  I know this was a huge vent session, but my heart needed it.  I am a melancholic and choleric mix as far as personality goes and tend to let things burden me more than others do.  My husband's advice is to let it go and not worry about it.  Easy said, not easy done.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Friendship & Marriage

Everyone told me things would change after I got married and I assured them they were wrong. I argued that if I had all these friends prior to marriage, why would that change after marriage? It's one of those moments in life when you have to admit that they were right. At least no one has said "I told you so" (yet).

Has anyone else experienced this?

I've rationalized various reasons for this. Perhaps it's me. I take my job as wife very seriously making my husband my top priority right after God. I am not going to waste my time with people that are not loving when I could be making memories with my hub. Perhaps the friends really weren't friends in the first place and I've just now analyzed the friendship enough to realize it. Maybe I'm not a good friend. Maybe I am not loving enough toward my friends, maybe I don't make enough time for them and they feel neglected.

Whatever it is. Whoever is at fault. It is hard. It's hard living far away from the people you love and who love you and feeling as though the only support system you have is the family you married into.

I can't get entirely all woe is me on you because I do have amazing friends. I guess what I need to pray for are more couple friends. I would love for Justin and I to have another couple to go to dinner with, camp with, or cookout with. We have friends like that, but they unfortunately live in other states so getting with them is not always easy.

Fact of the matter is friendships change, wane, and disintegrate with marriage. I can honestly say marriage is worth it. And the friendships that don't change are the ones that count.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Tires

There are things in our everyday lives that we consistently overlook.  Have you ever realized that?  It's like, you have to take a step back from them in order to even notice that they are there.  The first time I realized this was when I went home to the Adirondacks to visit my family after living in North Carolina for six months.  I had never recognized the beauty of the Adirondacks (at least not fully) until I had been away from them for some time.  If the opportunity arose, I would move back in a heartbeat; unfortunately the job market in upstate New York is not fabulous for myself of my husband. 

Anyway, yesterday my hubby asked me to run an errand for him; simple enough.  He had a new tube put in our lawn mower tire and I needed to pick it up.  When I got there I really started to look at the shape my own tires were in and was eerily surprised when the auto-mechanic told me that they wouldn't even pass inspection!  I had been riding around on unsafe tires for God knows how long.  (Thank God for keeping me safe!)  So, an hour and $500 later, I am safely riding around on 4 new tires.

I don't really know what the moral of the story is or if there is one, but I did realize that there are some pretty important things that I need to pay attention to now since I'm no longer living under Daddy's roof and the tires on my car are one of them. 

On a brighter note, I purchased a Kindle Touch today!  Anyone have one?  Suggestions?  I'm so excited to get it next week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Prayerful Wife

I am blessed with some amazingly Godly friends. We try to get together every 2 weeks or so to hang out, enjoy each other, eat, and talk about our love of Jesus and our love for our husbands.

We've been reading the book, The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie. It has been such a revelation to me (and to them) that we aren't the only ones!! It is a relief to know that my marriage isn't the only marriage, I'm not the first wife to feel a certain way, my husband isn't the only one. I know - I must have been living in a very sheltered world if I thought we were the only ones right?? What I mean by that is we aren't the first couple to disagree, he isn't the first husband not to understand, and I'm not the first wife to doubt or question. BUT the way we handle ours marriage is different.

Praying for my husband strengthens our bond and our love for one another. It helps me to think before I speak and to make sure that the way I feel is validated by God's word or of I'm being of the world. It is so easy to fall into the flesh when you live with someone 24/7.

God blessed is when He gave us marriage. And although it may not always be easy, it is one of the best things in my life. If you are married, ever want to get married/date, or want to be the best woman possible, I strongly urge you to read this book.

She provides anecdotal stories, relatable scripture, and valuable prayers. I believe it will stay on my nightstand for years to come.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back to Reality

Man, vacation was sweet, coming home was bitter sweet, but back to work = boo!

Just kidding. I love my job and reality is a good place to be. Lord knows I can't handle too many more meals of cracked conch and piƱa coladas before my waistband gets tight.

Here are some highlights from our trip which was AMAZING.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just what the dr ordered...

I've been in paradise all week with my hubby. Now I'm unable to sleep.

Time to go back!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Purging...

I love this time of year because it brings about every excuse to purge!  I'm not sure why, but I feel a great sense of satisfaction getting rid of clutter in my house/closet/life.  Anyone else love it?

In preparation for our trip to the Bahamas, I've decided to "spring clean" the house from top to bottom so that when we return it feels fresh.  That means, going through my sewing room and getting rid of projects that may never be completed (or started), ridding my closet of unworn/ill-fitting clothing, and even cleaning out and organizing our garage!

My hubby and I did go purchase some new items for the trip.  Not to mention, I've lost weight and have gone from a size 28 to a size 25 so I needed some pants that fit!  This motivated us to go through the clothes we have had for a while and take them to a consignment shop.  So, the plan is to go to Plato's Closet first thing in the morning on Friday and use the money on our trip!

It's great to have all this motivation, but I must admit, it's coming and going in spurts.  Unfortunately the spurts are extremely incompatible with my professional life.  For some reason I am suffering insomnia this week and have been exhausted all day, but wide away in the wee morning hours.  I will be a bump on a log at 5:00 p.m. when I should be cleaning, but scrubbing the refrigerator at 8:30 p.m. when I should be preparing for bed!

Any advice for a sleep deprived, self titled "morning person" whom has never been able to comprehend the "night owl" lifestyle?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Momma!

I am getting SOOOO excited for our trip to the Bahamas!

This weekend I went shopping at the new outlet mall in Mebane to buy some things specifically for the trip.  My main goal was to find a new bikini - no such luck.  However, it wasn't a total loss.  Since I've literally worked my butt off losing weight, I decided (as I was pulling my jeans up for the 500th time) to go into Joe's and see about a new pair of jeans.
I was extremely excited to discover that I have (*drumroll please*) gone from a size 28 to a size 25!!

To celebrate, I bought myself, not one, but 2 new pair of jeans!
I also scooped up some great bright colored shorts, capris, and tees.

My fashion goal for 2012: 
Less navy, black, and white - more bright!

Which brings me to my 5 reasons why...
You Should Brighten Your Wardrobe:

1. Bright colors bring smiles
2. Bright colors hide our sketchy areas of our body; people are more focused on the vibrance!
3. They brighten a dreary/early morning.
4. They don't make you think of death or pain
5. Spring and summer!