Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the ever popular 25 things...

I did this on facebook, but my darling Christina tagged me on blogger, so here it is.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note/post with 25 random things, facts, opinions, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 (or none, because I tagged people on facebook) people to be tagged.

1. I almost never purchase clothing at full price. Even my wedding dress was on sale.
2. I was recently diagnosed with Raging Awesome. Its a daily struggle, but I'm learning to live with it.
3. I want to expand on the tattoos on my back. I don't really want tats anywhere BUT my back though.
4. I hate onions, but I love onion rings. Oh, and Bloomin' Onions.
5. I have more than 100 scars on my body. Some are big and some are barely noticeable.
6. I love giraffes SO MUCH. Seriously. They make me squeal a little. One of the coolest things I have ever done was feeding one in the petting zoo at the state fair in 2007. I was more excited than the little kids!
7. I fart in my sleep. Luckily, they almost never smell. Yes, I've asked.
8. I believe that I was designed by God to be a mom.
9. Being serenaded or watching someone get serenaded makes me excruciatingly uncomfortable.
10. Denver's smile when his eyes are twinkling still gives me butterflies in my stomach. STILL.
11. I. Hate. Mustard.
12. I think Eli Manning is incredibly attractive, even when making stupid faces licking oreos.
13. I'm allergic to Benadryl. Specifically, diphenhydramine. It essentially gives me a bad trip on acid. No over the counter sleep aids for me!
14. I don't really like margaritas. Mostly, its that tequila doesn't really like me. We broke up long before I turned 21.
15. I don't eat ham if I can help it.
16. I love mushrooms. YUM.
17. I LOOOOOOOVE curling. Yea, with the rocks on ice. Its the best.
18. I didn't see legitimate snow (as in more than a half inch or flurries) until I was 18, and it was in DC.
19. Don't let my dead-on Wisconsin accent fool you. I've never been there. In fact, I've only really crossed the Mason-Dixon Line once, and it was to go to Pittsburgh.
20. On my dad's side, I'm related to Harriet Beecher Stowe. On my mom's side, my family owned slaves. Gotta love the American Melting Pot.
21. I know where in Germany most of my family (both sides) came from, over 200 years ago.
22. My last name was originally supposed to be Halle, but the "e" was dropped and my grandfather learned to speak English during WWI. Er war 8 Jahren alt.
23. Michael Jackson music makes me happy every time.
24. I think laughing is the best thing ever, after kissing. Laughing you can do with anyone, though...
25. I grew up believing in Jesus, but I wasn't saved until I was 14. I didn't fully develop my relationship with Christ until I was in my 20's. Now He is my best friend.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

what dreams may come

I'm a big believer that God can speak to you in your dreams. I also believe that not all dreams come from Him. Some come from satan, and some are just the fears and desires of your heart being manifested in your subconscious while you're asleep. Regardless of the source, I believe that dreams have a meaning, even if its just information you recently put into your brain (via movie, tv, book, etc) replaying in your brain (such as how I had some dreams about Twilight while I was reading the books.)

That being said...

I had some nightmares Tuesday night. They really messed with me. I was exhausted Wednesday morning, but I was almost afraid to go back to sleep because the visions kept coming back when I closed my eyes, and they were very upsetting. I know I was crying in my sleep. I had tears crusted on my eyes and cheeks when I woke up. I prayed about it all day, every time they would creep back up on me and make my stomach clench and turn into knots. It was a very long day, fighting these dark images. The entire thing just made me feel very much like there was evil at work trying to make me stumble from the path I'm on, because I know with tremendous certainty that I am on His chosen path for me in my life.

Last night, I had the opposite dream. Some of the same main characters from the nightmares, but in a totally different setting. This dream was very quick, not as detailed, and left me with this deeply refreshed feeling of hope and optimism about my entire life. I have to believe that it was God showing me in my dream that I am doing things in my life that bless and please Him, and that subsequently He has amazing things in store for me. It affirmed my belief that I am choosing Him in my life, that I am walking right with Him.

Two nights of dreams made a splendid little microcosm for me. It reminded me that no matter how awful things get, how painful and ugly they are, God is always with me. It showed me that when I choose God, when I trust Him, He will take care of me and bring my hopes to fruition.

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9

Monday, January 19, 2009

Honesty Scraps

Megan tagged me to do an Honesty Scraps blog. Now, this seems a touch silly to me, given how ridiculously open I am on this blog. Basically, according to her blog, you're supposed to list 10 "secrets" or little known facts about you. This is really hard for me but I'm a good sport, so here we go!

1. The first time I ever moved was when I left for college. My parents moved into their house about 6 weeks before my older brother was born in 1979. That's the house I'm back living in now. Now those are roots, people.

2. I have a hard time eating spinach. Raw spinach is fine, as are creamy spinach dips, but cooked spinach, from a can or even creamed spinach, makes me totally sick to my stomach. Why? Because when I was in 2nd grade, we had spinach for dinner (as a veggie with the meal) and that night I came down with a horrible stomach flu. Having canned spinach come back out of your nose and blown all over your bed will mess you up for the rest of your life.

3. I'm a dog person. Now, Lucie and Tilly are my heart, but they aren't normal cats. I really don't like cats in general, or the vast majority of cats anyway. I don't like pets who ignore their people. I like pets who are excited to see you, who want nothing more in life than to snuggle with their people, and who truly act like your companions. That's why I love my girls, because that's how they act. They come when I call them (except for Tilly when she's comfy, but she at least acknowledges me), they love snuggles, and they interact with their people. Its a win.

4. I hate to be alone. Hate it. I mean, everyone needs a little bit of time to themselves from time to time, but I don't like to go overboard with it. I don't like going places by myself, even just to the grocery store or Walmart. I'm getting a lot better about that, but you can put money on the fact that I will never go to a sit down restaurant by myself and eat a meal alone. I'll probably never go see a movie alone, either. I've eaten alone in fast food restaurants and in the cafeteria at Jester back in college, but it makes me SO uncomfortable. I'm a social creature, and I thrive on the human interaction. So those of you who've travelled outside of the country by yourselves, I tip my hat to you.

5. I am terrified of those little pink gecko lizards. I'll pause so you can laugh (unless your name is Kelli and you happen to be reading this and you totally feel my pain. I'm so sorry about the one in your car). Now here's why. I used to just think nothing of them like the green lizards that hang out on fences, etc. But when I was in high school, the ones that lived on our house developed a cruel, cruel little habit. They became jumpers. On multiple occasions, I would get home late after a football game, or at like 7:15 in the morning after a lock in, just exhausted, trudging up to the door when all of a sudden, there was a small thump on my head and a wiggle. Yea, it was a lizard landing on my head. That is TERROR. SERIOUSLY.

6. I could eat some form of Mexican food every day and not be sick of it. I love it that much. You do it right and there's nothing yummier out there. However, I don't like onions, bell peppers, or tomatoes. Mostly just go easy on the onions and I'm good.

7. The grossest thing in the universe to me is the noises the mouth makes. Anything involving a slurp, spittle, smack, etc just absolutely makes me throw up. It even carries over to some people's mouth breathing. There are people that I have a hard time eating around. And seriously? Why would anyone POSSIBLY think its okay to chew with their mouth open? I know people who do it and it blows my mind.

8. I have weird hands. I have extra bones in both of my thumbs as well as arthritis in my right hand. The arthritis came from when I cut my ring finger halfway off and pinkie 2/3 of the way off when I was 14. Weather changes tend to bring the most pain, but they get stiff and painful randomly a few times a month.

9. I can do a dead-on Wisconsin accent, but I've never been there. I can just imitate my family really well. As a matter of fact, my dad coached me in the exact way to say "Wisconsin" He used phrases like, "More nasal!" "Stretch it out more!" I've actually only been across the Mason-Dixon line once, not counting a layover in Chicago, and that was to Pittsburgh in November of 2006 for Noochie's wedding!

10. I'm accident prone. Fortunately, the only "bone" I have ever broken was my nose, but not for lack of trying. I've sprained and jammed my wrists, fingers, toes, and ankles more times than I can count, and I've had double digits of concussions, but apparently I have a high enough calcium intake that my bones are strong. I bruise pretty easily and am covered in scars. The night Sgt. Areola and I met, that's what really peaked his interest. We compared scars. Then we made out. He was a good boyfriend, lol! If only I was graceful and didn't fall down so much... or out of chairs... I think Katy's actually only responsible for 37% of my accidents. ;-)

Yea, those weren't that interesting, but I did what I could. Now I tag Eryn, Melodie, and Tiffany. READYSETGO.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Give me revelation! Show me the truth!

This will be a 2 part blog. I'll start with the amazingness Jesus did in me this morning and end with what the heck I've been up to for the past 8 days.

Starting part:
So, I couldn't figure out why I was having such a blogging block. I mean, yea, I totally got off track when I got sucked in to the saga (I'm only human after all) and then there was suddenly just this wall in my life. My prayer life suffered. My quiet time was suffering. And for the first time in a long time, I felt cut off from God. I started really realizing that last night, and it didn't sit well with me.

This morning after Sunday school, I got it. Seriously, God will use the most random things to show you stuff, if that's what its gonna take. Well, it took Humpty Dumpty. No, I'm serious. One of the preschool classes had been doing that this week so there were all these pictures of little cuties wearing a cardboard cut out of an egg in suspender shorts (adorable, btw). Well, that's what it took. That's how I realized that I'd let some sin in (I'm not gonna get into it, because the sin itself is not what's important here) and I'd gotten pretty wrapped up in it so I just pushed my relationship with God on the other side of my heart and built up little sin bricks. Okay, or huge sin bricks. Well, the thing is, now I know. And I've begun the process of reunifying Germany, I mean, my heart. I already did the hard part, which is realizing what's going on and asking God for forgiveness and help. And by faith, I know He's all over it.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Ending part:
Last week was probably the most action packed week I've had in months. Lunch with Kacie and the McGuires on Sunday, dinner with Kacie, Dayna, and Megan on Tuesday followed by drinks at Dayna's hotel with Megan's Travis joining us, dinner with Zack on Thursday, shower invites ALL DAY Friday, and purchasing our bridesmaid dresses with my SIL and 3 of my cousins on Saturday. I realized how much I miss social time when I don't have it. This Friday I'm headed to Austin for the night, and I'm peeing my pants with excitement about spending the night at Ross' condo with him and Jen the Puma Chola. Also on the agenda is FINALLY seeing Twilight with Alyssa on Saturday before heading back to Katy. Short trip, but good for my souuuuuuuuul.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

sorry, sorry

I've been a bad blogger. But, it's not my fault.

I was reading Twilight.

I'm available for discussion if you'd like. OBVIOUSLY I loved it. I mean, I started it Tuesday morning and I finished last night. I couldn't stop. I couldn't help it!

I've also been drinking more water. Oh, and applying for jobs and going on an interview, which will hopefully lead to more. So, hey, I'm getting into my "resolutions"! That's good, right? I thought so.

I just wanted to update real quick because I felt so lame ignoring my blog. Well, and I feel guilty because some of y'all (mostly Eryn and Christina) have been so GOOD at updating yours.

I love you!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

reflections and "resolutions"

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I started 2008 at a super fun party in Austin, surrounded by most of my favorite people. I had a good job with amazing benefits that I was having a paid holiday from and had just been given a raise at. I had a fantastic husband at home in Dallas who called me like 10 times on New Year's Day because he wanted me to come home and snuggle with him. 2008 looked like it was going to be a really wonderful year, even though I didn't eat any black eyed peas.

I was so wrong.

"We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." Romans 8:28

I started 2009 living with my parents, no job, no more amazing husband (I mean, I still have not been served with divorce papers, but he has taken a stance of callous silence towards me, and refuses to even acknowledge my holiday well wishes.), and no friends in sight. I mean, I have them, but I wasn't with them. 2009 doesn't look like its off to an amazing start, does it? Good thing I already know that your NYE absolutely does NOT determine your new year. I did eat some black eyed peas, just in case. ;-)

My first devotional for 2009 was perfect. Here's an excerpt:

Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I am so not the girl I was a year ago. I mean, you can just tell that from reading my blog; you don't even have to actually participate in my life. God took me off of the path I was on (forcibly, I admit) and has set me on a new one. I have this feeling sometimes like the airline lost my luggage, though. There are things from that path that really do need to be lost and gone forever, and I'm good with that. But then there are things from that path that I'm wishing I could've tucked safely in my carry on. BY FAITH I believe God will provide me with the essentials from that lost luggage. He's good like that.

So here's my "resolutions". Remember, I view them more as plans, so that's why the word resolutions is getting quotes. Some of them are small. Some of them are Herculean. But all of them are things that will continue to improve me and make me more like the compliments I receive from my nearest and dearest and less like the girl who lost her luggage.

1. Drink more water. I got really good at this for a while (like, drinking at least 2 liters a day!), then I ran out of drinking water (the tap water tastes funny here), didn't bother to buy more, and so I fell back into my love affair with diet coke. Yea yea, soda isn't good for you, but Diet Coke tastes yummy, and is thereby good for my mood. A can or so a day will suffice, though, not the copious amounts I love to consume. When I'm drinking more water, my skin looks better, and I know my body is happier, even though I pee more often... So bring on the H2O! There's some other stuff I'd like to do for my body, but I don't wanna get over ambitious, so I'll just keep it to myself for now, and then add it on once I get the other things in motion.

2. READ MORE. I read more books in 2008 than I had in YEARS. Literally. YEARS. And I liked it! Some of them were for pure entertainment (such as all the Ya Ya Sisterhood books) and others were for my personal enrichment (A Woman After God's Own Heart was so great. Seriously, thank you a million times for that, Eryn!) But the point is, turning off the tv and spending time in a book is good for your soul, and I'm all about that. I have 2 books set up for growth and development, and then 4 or 5 for entertainment. I intend to get all that read by June at the latest. I'm not a slow reader, and I have the free time, so why not?

3. Read the entire Bible in 1 year. My wonderful church provided us with a plan to read through the Bible in 1 year. I can so do this!! God has so much to tell me, and the easiest way for Him to do that is through His word. Its a commitment to Him and to deepening my relationship with Him. Total win-win.

4. Get more involved at church, in a non-service way. I love love love love love volunteering in KIDS Place. I don't have a heart for (or the gift of) missions, so that's a great place for me to be serving. I've gotten to know more people in the church (since it is kind of a mega-church with several thousand members) but that's service, not fellowship. I joined a small group over the summer but it no longer feels like the correct fit for me. So I'm going to start looking at the "small group menu" and find the group for me. I love the friendships my brother and SIL have formed with the members of their small group, and I know that would be a huge blessing in my life, too. I didn't really get that with the group I joined this summer, plus I don't exactly fit the criteria of the membership anymore. So new small group here I come!

5. Regain my independence. I was applying for lots of jobs and went on several interviews this fall, but then I got sick and was just getting back up to 100% when the holidays hit... well, the hunt slowed. I applied for a few jobs here and there, but not hardcore like I had been early in the fall. I'm getting back on the wagon. I don't like not having a job. I love doing the wine tastings, and I'll keep that once I find a full time job, but its not what I need to be doing. I mean, it provided me with enough money for Christmas presents and my dress for Bunny's wedding (thankfully my toast is free!), but its not enough. Once I find a job, its all about being financially responsible. I'm not a numbers person and I have never been very good with money, so this is HUGE. I made a budget and charts of how much I'll need to be making each month to be able to pay all my bills (including rent on a place all my own, not at my parents' house anymore!!), make a payment towards my debt each month, put money into savings, TITHE, and have a little left over for fun stuff and eventually a trip to Virginia to see my darling Cobbs! That trip would also include some time with my long lost friend Noochie! My ideal is to be working by the end of January and then have enough money set aside to move out the first week of April (the week after Bunny and Dave's wedding!!) I miss having my own home. I miss my things and the feeling of comfort they bring me. I miss the feelings of adultness it all brings.

This blog has been so great for me. It's therapeutic in a way to get it all out and not hide my feelings, my hurts and my joys. But it's also been amazing to see how it's renewed my relationships with some people and become something of a ministry for me. God is HUGE, y'all. He has been all over my life in the past year, in the hurts and the joys. I know that for the first time in my life (because in high school, it was always missing something) that I am actually seeking God's will. I love the Lord, and I truly desire His will for my life. That makes all the difference in the world, and that's where my lost airline luggage comes from - His abundance.

So here's to 2009 - whatever it may bring.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We all know that 2008 was not the greatest. Oh, sure, there were bright spots and God did some pretty fantastic things in me and my life, but on the whole, yea, not so much.

I've got plans for 2009. I'm not calling them resolutions, because plans feels so much more tangible to me. I've even made a spreadsheet! I fully intend to post them on here, just like I promised Christina, but not until tomorrow or the next day. I've got a few details on them I want to adjust, plus I need to pray over 1 or 2 of them a little bit more. God and I are still working on them. I do know, however, that 2009 will be a year filled with my sweet sweet savior. I spent too many years not on His path and, well, that blew up in my face. He has plans for me, plans to grow and prosper me, and well, I can't think of anything better than that!

So until then... eat your black eyed peas and cabbage, and know that I love you.