Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Haunted by a Question

I wrote this post a while back but never felt like I could post it.  Im not sure why so I have decided to share this with all of you.  I hope it speaks to you as much as it spoke to me
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I have been reading "Capt.ivat.ing" by Jo.hn and St.asi Elde.red.ge for my quiet time lately and came across a chapter that really radiated through me.  It gave clarity that I think every woman longs for under the surface so I wanted to share some of the key points with you.


(All ideas are taken from the book "Capti.vating.".  I do not take any credit)


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We have been surrounded since birth by fairy tales.  Cinderella. Beauty and the Beast.  Sleeping Beauty.  Stories in which a beautiful woman is fought for and rescued by their Prince from the perils of evil.  We have seen their romance.  We have seen the beauty that got them there. And then... we see that we are not them.




All women are haunted by a question...




Am I lovely?




Do I matter?


Am I worth it?


Do you see me?




Do I captivate you?




Our deepest doubt is that we do not have any genuine beauty to unveil. We try.  Oh! Do we try! New diets, new outfits, new hair color, new exercise regimes.




But still, we are haunted. 


Haunted at the core of our beings because we know, that if we only pass a mirror, we will see that we are not what we were intended to be.


Then the shield rises. We retreat. We hide. Hide in our busyness.  Hide in activities.  Hide in our depression. We begin to believe, "there is nothing captivating about me."




When the world was new and we were innocent, there was nothing to hide.  Adam and Eve lived in a shameless glory.  Until....


Until that serpent convinced Eve that God was holding out on her. Satan convinced Eve that in order to have the best possible life, she must take matters into her own hands.


Sound familiar?


That fall cursed us for life.


"To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'" (Genesis 3:16)


This curse cannot only be limited to babies and marriage.  It encompasses so much more.  Woman is cursed with loneliness (relational heartache), with the urge to control (especially her man), and with the dominance of men (which is not how things were meant to be).


Is that not true?


Arent your deepest worries and heartaches relational?  Arent they linked to someone? Are you ever filled?  Or are you always longing for more intimacy? More control? Less vulnerability?


 Women are not inviting beings.  We are guarded. Most of our energy is spent tryng to hide our true selves and control our worlds to have some sense of security.


Women dominate and control because they fear their vulnerability.  Far from God, this way of life seems perfectly reasonable. However, we must see that this self-protective way of relating to others has nothing to do with real loving, and nothing to do with deeply trusting God.  It is our gut level response to a dangerous world.


This does not mean a woman cannot be strong. However, too many women forfeit their femininity in order to feel safe and in control.  Like Eve, we hide.  We hide because we are afraid.  To hide means to remain safe, to hurt less.  At least that is what we think.  And so by hiding, we take matters into our own hands.  We don't return to our God offering our broken hearts.  We hide.... Afraid that our question will never be answered.


We are notorious for finding substitutes in an attempt to fill our emptiness.  We buy ourselves nice things when we feel unappreciated.  We indulge in romance novels, gossip, women's magazines.  None of these things really satisfy.  They are simply what we give our hearts away to instead of giving them to the heart of God.


Why cant we see.....?


"God has not deserted us in our bondage?"  (Ezra 9:9)


Rather than turning back to God, we continue down this path of destruction by doing what we can to secure ourselves in a dangerous and unpredictable world.


And our question still remains.




Unanswered.




Or at least we think it is.



I want to be beautiful
And make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart
And be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
I just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful.

- Bethany Dillon, "Beautiful

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene,


You are no fun.

 Please go away.


Love,
 A

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seriously?! Thursday


I havent blogged much about this yet (dont worry, I will) but now I at least need to give you some insight into this so that this story makes sense.

I am choosing to go full time with my nannying this fall (As in Monday) so that in the next year, I can open my own nannying agency to help connect families and babysitters/nannies here in my area.  It is exciting and scary all at the same time but I am confident that this is where the Lord is leading me.

Anyways- because I am moving into full time nannying, I chose to purchase my own toddler car seat so that I will not have to switch car seats every time I have a certain child, etc.  I refuse to pay $300 on a car seat but am adamant about making sure that the seat is top of the line and completely safe for these babies/children.

So I turned to Eb.ay and searched for only NEW and FACTORY SEALED car seats by Britax to purchase.  I finally found the one that had great reviews and a cute, neutral print but didnt want to go through a bidding war or wait the 5 days until the listing was over SOOO I contacted the seller and negotiated a "Buy It Now" price with him.

No biggie- we came to an agreement, I paid him through secure PayPal and then waited for him to send me a tracking number.

He shipped the car seat SUPER FAST (as in, sent it the very next morning after payment went through and I received it the next day).

Wahooo!.... Right?!




Nope.



I got the package today and.....




He sent me the WRONG CARSEAT and THE WRONG PRINT!

Seriously!?  What is up with people? I will not accept this and refuse to pay return shipping for the problem to be corrected.  So I VERY politely sent him an email with the issue and told him I assumed he would correct this problem.  I haven't heard back yet (I mean I only sent the message an hour ago) but I am almost preparing myself for a not so fun conversation with this guy when he comes up with some excuse as to why he wont pay for the mistake and that he is not responsible somehow.  I am going to hope and pray for the best but am also preparing myself for a confrontation- ha!

Hows that for my 2nd downer Seriously?! Thursday in a row? ;-)

SERIOUUUSSSSLLYYYY!!!!


*** I chose the Bri.ta.x Bo.ulev.ard CS Convertible Car Seat (retails at $339.99). I would have been just as comfortable with the Mar.ath.on but this guy negotiated a reasonable price.


Monday, August 22, 2011

2/18/2011

I found this post in my draft box.  Apparently I forgot to post it back in February.  I smiled when I read it because I still have days like this sometimes-- I think I (along with tons of moms) will always have days like this.  But it made me smile because it is so true that even when you are in emotional limbo, you can realize just how much you love someone or some thing and find yourself raising your eyes to the heavens thanking God for giving you these little realizations in the midst of all the chaos.


Today 

...has not been good.

...has not been bad.

Nothing bad happened.

But nothing good happened either.

Today has just left feeling very.... uneasy... about life.


The weather was gorgeous today. 70 degrees. Sunny. With a cool breeze. Pretty close to perfection. I went down to the beach to take a walk with my dad, little sister, and niece to soak it all in.

It was good.

I was able to love on my niece and hear her amazing giggles and goos and oh my gosh, I could have just died realizing how much I love that little girl.

It was so good.

I showered after the beach. Folded some laundry. Cleaned up my room. Went to feed my older sisters' dogs while she was at work then headed to babysit.

The kids were awesome tonight. We have had some really tough weeks lately. My patience has been close to nothing. Ive had to discipline a lot. I have not taken advantage of story times. Snuggle times. Meal times to talk about days. I have literally left my job many many times in the last week disappointed in myself for not utilizing the time I have with these kids more.

Teaching them.

Listening to them.

Loving on them.

Snuggling with them.

Reading to them.

Sometimes I just get SO tired.

I know that moms get that way sometimes... but I am not a mom. I just play one 30 hours a week.

But sometimes I do.... I do just get tired.

Tired of saying the same things OVER and OVER and OVER just to have them be disobedient ANYWAYS

Tired of wiping butts and finding poop in their pants AGAIN even though they have pooped on the potty since January.

Tired of hearing screaming and crying because one hit their sibling even though they know not to.

Tired of having to answer the same question again and again because for some reason they think the answer is going to change if they keep asking.

I just get tired.

But I love those kids.

I love them so much that I am overwhelmed just thinking about how much I will actually love my OWN child one day if I can love someone else's children this much.

TODAY... I felt refreshed even though emotionally I am in limbo.  I felt refreshed because of the beautiful, wonderful, incredible, love I feel when I think about the little things (or ones) in my life.


Thank you Lord for that reminder.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Half to Whole

My half Marathon is November 6th but I think I am just going to use that as a midpoint and keep running and do a Marathon 5-8 weeks after that. That way I can cross another thing off my bucket list. :) Anyone anywhere near North Carolina and know of any good Marathons around then?!  I just finished week 3 of training and am feeling fairly good... Nothing outside of the usual aches and pains that go along with running I guess. Its really hard to make myself get up in the morning but once I do, its great to know that my run is complete for the day.

Heres to beating up my body for my bucket list :)

Cheers

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SERIOUSLY!!!!!!??? Thursday


I got rear-ended in my brand new car yesterday....

SERIOUSLY?!

yeah-- by an idiot who watched the light turn green and decided to go without checking if the cars in front of her had gone.

Luckily I was on the way to a nannying job and didn't have any kids in the car (THANK GOD!)

This girl acted like it was no big deal, saying "Are you okay? These things happen."  What the heck! You hit me honey, it wouldn't have happened had you been paying attention.  She is in NC on business so she was in a rental car paid for by her company.  She had no registration obviously.  Dispatch said they couldnt get an officer out to do a report for 2 HOURS!  Seriously!?  So I opted to get her information

When I looked yesterday, I didnt see anything but a few scratches but this morning I realized that my bumper looked off.  Luckily I had my first service appointment at Hyundai today and asked the guys to take a look.  They replaced the bumper clips that got snapped by the impact for $22 (!!).

The scratches on the bumper are almost unnoticeable but I want to have them fixed anyways.  This sucks for her (or her company) because repainting my bumper is going to be at least $300 but it is a new car and it was not my fault that she hit me.  Obviously I am thinking about the resale value of the car if I leave the scratches so that is just not an option.

My fear is that although she seemed like an honest person, that she will not answer my calls when I call her to speak with her about how much it's going to cost to fix it.

Seriously, people?!  PAYYY ATTENNNTIIOOONNNNN!!!

UGH.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bucket List

Everyone has one.

A bucket list, that is.

A list of all the things you hope to do before you die.

Over the years, mine has gotten longer and longer but it's always fun to see what my goals are, however silly they become.  When my computer crashed last year, I lost the whole list and have been slowly remembering things and creating a new one. So here it is, the infamous bucket list that probably doesnt include all the things I want to do in life but may one day come close.
  1. Do a zipline in the jungle
  2. Be on TV
  3. Attend a UNC vs Duke game at the DEAN DOME!
  4. Go to an Atlanta Braves Baseball Game
  5. Run a Half Marathon
  6. Run a Marathon
  7. Go to Europe
  8. Go to Kenya
  9. Buy an SUV before age 25
  10. Buy a Home
  11. Get Married
  12. Be a Mommy
  13. Send Mom & Dad on a crazy nice vacay without any kids or grandkids
  14. Adopt a baby internationally
  15. See my baby sister become a mom
  16. Take a Spontaneous trip (as in decide today, gone tomorrow)
  17. Run a 5k with my dad
  18. Run a 5k with mt Older Sister
  19. Start own Nannying Agency
  20. Do a mud-run

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Piece of Crap.

Sorry for the harshness of the title.

However, that is exactly how Im viewing my former friend right now.....


K and I have been really good friends since 2007.  She graduated with her accounting degree and moved to Raleigh about a year ago.  Since then she has fallen off the wagon.  She has begun doing things that I would never expect (drinking, guys, etc) and has progressively become a really unreliable friend.  I love her and really value our friendship so I have continued to keep in contact with her, reach out to her, pray for her, and hang out with her when she comes to town. On more than on occasion she has bailed last minute or been a complete bitty when we hang out.

There have been many times where I was just ready to throw in the towel on our friendship because of how awful she has been to me.  If you know me at all, you will notice that I am way too forgiving and tend to justify people's actions to give them the benefit of the doubt... I always give people more chances than they deserve. 

Welp, this time it came back to bite me in the butt.

K asked me to come up to Raleigh for the weekend to hang out and do some runs (she is running the same half marathon as I am) so about 3 weeks ago, I put in my days off at work, rescheduled some babysitting jobs, and set everything into motion for my weekend trip.  Throughout this process I double and triple checked with K to make sure that the plan was still good and that I wasnt taking off work for a trip that wasnt going to happen.  She assured me that yes, it was totally fine and she couldnt wait to see me.

Considering I was supposed to head up Friday night, I started calling her the previous Sunday to touch base.  I called Sunday- no answer, no call back.  I called Monday- no answer, no call back.  Tuesday K texts me around 6:30pm saying "I'll call you later tonight" - I received no call or additional texts.  Wednesday I get another text around 6:30pm that says, "sorry, I suck. Moving to Charlotte this weekend. My parents are coming to help me.  Call me later tonight and we can try to work something out."

WHAT THE F!

What is there to work out?  You are clearly bailing out. There are a few things that just piss me off about that text.

1) There is absolutely NO way that you randomly found out on a Wednesday afternoon that you were going to move to another city that weekend. Especially considering that you rent an apartment with a lease that isnt up and have a salary job that you cannot break contract with for another 2 months.
2) If you are really moving to Charlotte and knew it was a potential, then why did you not call me and give me a heads up weeks ago to tell me that it could affect our weekend?
3) Why the heck are you texting me to discuss this instead of calling me.
4) Why do you not sound sorry AT ALL that you've screwed me over once again (This is not the first time I have taken off work to hang out with her and had her bail.)

I called her that night around 9pm when I got off babysitting- no answer, no call back, no text.

At that point I was so over it.  I did not even try to call her after that night and NEVER FREAKIN HEARD FROM HER!!

I dont understand how people like that sleep at night.

I am done with she and I's friendship. She is selfish and demeaning and only cares about herself.  She made that very very clear this time around.  She KNEW that I had taken off work.  She KNEW that I had switched Babysitting jobs around.

I actually feel like an idiot for entertaining her BS for so long.

It is now Saturday and I have not heard one single thing from her.  No apology.  No explanation. Nothing.  I do believe that she is either lying to me because she found something she thought was better to do for the weekend OR she isnt lying and knew about the move all along but decided that it wasnt going to benefit her to let me know ahead of time.  I'm not sure if I will ever hear from her again because Im sure she knows she screwed up.  Or maybe, she is such a jerk that she doesnt realize shes done anything wrong.  Whatever, regardless I will not be answering her calls anymore.

I have decided that I am not even going to try to discuss this with her.  Whats the point when it clearly doesnt matter to her?

Whats that saying?

Fool me once, shame on you.  
Fool me twice, shame on me.


Yeah.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Seriously?! Thursday

I love linking up to Becky's Seriously?! Thursday posts! She is so funny and such a great mama and I love being able to depend on her posting every single day :)  I LOVE reliable people!! And she gives great insight into life and mommyhood!  Head on over and say hello!



 SERIOUSLY? How is it already August 11th?  I turn 24 in just over a month. I totally thought I had more time until I hit that milestone....

Seriously? Is it just me or are there a whole lot of people in this world that suck big time?  I am realizing more and more just how crappy my long time "friends" are and how it's time to find better friends. (Post coming...)

SERIOUSLYY!? How is my niece ONE already?  She was just born last week- Im serious. :( Im in trouble when I have my own kids because Im already crying by how fast shes growing up and she isnt even mine!

Seriously? Running = acne.  Well... for me anyways.  SO annoying that Im 23 years old and in order to do one of the things I love, I have to deal with this teenager crap.  Any advice?! SERIOUSLY! I dont want to stop running but I refuse to have a pizza face.  Yes, I have tried just about everything you can think of.

Seriously? How in the world is this Tuscaloosa trip actually working out?  I have clearance from all of my jobs to take the time off and I am turning in my deposit and application today. WHOA! Now, all I have to do is wait for them to call to let me know whether I have been accepted or not!

Seriously? Ive been thinking about doing my own "blog thing" on Mondays and asking everyone to join in.  I thought my idea was a great one until I googled and realized that about a million bloggers have already done this... with buttons and schedules and all.  Sad times.  Seriously? How it is that all my cool ideas are already taken?  I think I'll do it anyways.  Anyone know how to make my own personal Button?! :) 

Seriously, its about time. Ive been trying to make sure that I blog about the things I want to blog about instead of just making a draft with the idea and then never taking the time to write about it.  I think Im doing a lot better considering that I could easily go weeks just reading and not writing. 

On 2nd thought, Im not even sure I have readers left so I guess this is just my own person public journal.  Awesome.


:)

What made you go seriously!? this week?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tuscaloosa

My church is sending a group of 50 singles (aka non-married people) to Tuscaloosa at the end of September for just a few days to help rebuild the destruction caused by the Tornadoes back in April.  I think I am going to pray about applying to be part of the team.  I have already cleared the dates with both families I babysit for and signed up for Spiritual Preparation Training that is required by my church to go on any short term missions.  Now I need to run it by my boss at work and figure out where I am going to get the funds from.

I want to make sure that I am going on this trip for the right reasons.  I don't want to be selfish or self fulfilling or go for any other reason than to share the love of Christ with others and use my hands to do his good works.  I want to impact Tuscaloosa, Alabama however I can.

I am going to finish filling out the application tomorrow and turn it in to the church on Wednesday. But for right now, my booty needs some sleep.  6am is going to comefast.

:)

Totally exhausted

I feel like I havent sat down in weeks.  From working to babysitting to running, I seriously feel like Im moving a mile a minute.

I'll be back when I get a second to breathe

Friday, August 5, 2011

FinFin

My niece, Finley, turns 1 year old on Tuesday and we are having her party tomorrow afternoon.  I cannot believe she is already a year old!  I love that little girl soooo much!  Just thought I'd share :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's that time again....


Yup. I'm officially INSANE. I started training for my 2nd half marathon yesterday and plan to continue training after the race to complete a Marathon (I really wanna cross this one off my bucket list).

Im going to be honest.  I REALLY have NO motivation this time around. Especially at 6am when my alarm goes off but I LOVE running (Just not the whole getting back into shape thing) and I feel so much less stressed and anxious when Im active on a daily basis.  I am a goal oriented person so I really need a goal to work towards.  Ive tried just running on my own (aka without a race to train for) and I tend to come up with every excuse in the book as to why I shouldnt run that day.

For example...

Its too hot.

Its too early.

My knees hurt.

I need to catch up on sleep.

It looks like rain.

I might get stolen (HAHA!)

I get too bored with no one to run with.

I could seriously go on for days with my excuses but the bottom line is that I will make excuses and then one rest day will become 50 rest days and then I will be right back at square one before I know it.

This is a good thing. I am choosing to put on my big girl panties and just do it. 

So yes, I am going to regain my craziness from last year and start this 12-14 week training session ALL OVER AGAIN.  

Wish me luck :)

*** I create my own training plan normally.  This time around, I merges three 10-12 week half marathon training plans into one 14 week training plan that I knew would work with my pace and needs.  Lets hope I know myself as well as I think I know myself :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

I miss my girl, J!

I decided I needed to officially post something for my friend, J, who just brought her little girl home! 

There are a few reasons I decided that it was time. 

For starters, J disabled comments a long time ago but still, to this day, after I read her posts, I still get all excited to tell her whatever it is that I wanna tell her because I have forgotten she doesnt have comments.... :) Then I see that I cant leave a comment and get super bummed..... Come on, J! You are cramping my commenting style :) Just messing- I totally understand why you did it but now that this is my only way to officially communicate with you, you will be getting individual posts on my blog! :) You are one lucky lucky lady!

Secondly, let me tell you friends, her baby girl is SO STINKIN CUTE I would squeeze her precious little cheeks if I could see her in person.  J and G have been waiting for this little girl for a long long time and it just makes me SO happy that she finally has the little family she has been dreaming about! So a big Congratulations to this wonderful Mama and Daddy!

Lastly, this woman is so loving her time with her baby that she hasnt been posting as often as she usually does.  Now I'm selfish (and nosey haha) and am bummed that I havent "heard" from her in a little while. :)

So J! You are officially killing me! I wanna see some more pictures and hear more about your first couple weeks with that beautiful child of yours! :)


LOVEEE YOUUUUU!!!  ;)