Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh, Emotions...

When will I learn to quit begging for Kyle's work schedule every month! I set myself up every time... hopeful for all days and no weekends... and more times than not, my hope for the ideal schedule is crushed as the words "nights" "weekends" and , worst of all, "TDYs" slap me in the face. Last night was no different... Kyle sheepishly walked into the bed room and proceeded to rub my back, so I knew it wasn't good. I quit listening after the words "Out of town for a month."

Nope, Kyle will be out of town for a month...Grrrrreat. Well, at least the Grrrr part is accurate.

Yes, I cry just about every time he has to go. It doesn't seem to get any easier no matter how many times he goes out of town. Yes, it could be worse... he could be gone for months or even a year. But my emotions still get the best of me.

A lady at work shared something with our department during our prayer time last week... it was about choosing to respond to situations based on God's truth and not based on our emotions. A sign of spiritual maturity is responding based on what is true and not based on how I feel.

Not responding based on how I feel...This has been a hard lesson for me. It's something I struggle with, and I think probably something I will always have to fight. When I am mad, I respond in anger, when I am sad, I want pity, when I feel like I deserve better, I seek out to get what I want... "What I deserve."

I deserve to be sad and wallow in self pity because Kyle has a crazy work schedule and goes out of town on short notice, right... Right?

The truth is that when things don't go my way, it is an opportunity to respond in a way that glorifies God... it's an opportunity to be an example of Christ. I want to live my life in such a way that I look for opportunities to grow in my walk with the Lord and to let Christ shine through me. I've learned that this is not easy! That's why it's so important to respond based on God's Word and not on my emotions. I guarantee you, I will choose myself every time if I make decisions off of how I feel. It's why so many couples can't communicate, why so many people are scarred by hurtful words...why so many marriages end in divorce. We choose to make decisions based off of how we feel and not based off of God's Word... not based off of what is true.

I know I will still get sad when Kyle has to go out of town... still cry here and there... it's not the emotion that's wrong.. it's what we choose to do with that emotion.

Before I finish, I would like to add as small disclaimer: a little retail therapy never hurt anyone. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let's try this blog thing again...

So, I officially wrote one blog for the entire 2011 year! That's pitiful! I do actually enjoy blogging when I sit down and do it, but that is the problem! Actually sitting down to do it! I have found that it is definitely a discipline.

I started a new job back in June of last year with FamilyLife, a marriage and family ministry that seeks to strengthen marriages and families and build them on the foundation of Christ. It has been the greatest blessing for me to work there! The work environment is so encouraging and motivating! On the downside of work things right now, my boss has decide to take another job. While I am so happy for him and excited for him to see how God uses him in hi new role, I am so sad to see him go! He has been such a blessing to work for. For me, this does mean change as far as who my new boss will be and probably some changes in my administrative duties. Admittedly, change is hard for me... I am a planner... I like things to go according to my plan... this was not in my plan! But I know God is good and will provide. Fortunately, my new boss is a really great guy! I know that I will enjoy working with him, but you know, change, even when it's not necessarily bad change, can still take some getting used to. I know God's hand is definitely in all of this!

Rewind back to October Of last year... I ran my first half marathon! It was so rewarding to set a challenging goal and meet it! I am planning to do another sometime this year, but I think the half marathon is a far a distance as I will ever shoot for! I just don't think the marathon is for me... actually it boggles my mind that that long of a distance is really for anybody! The time commitment for the half was plenty!

Now back to, well, now...

Kyle and I have deemed 2012 the "Year of FUN." We are seeing what we can get ourselves into! Not that having kids won't be fun, but we are really wanting to enjoy time together and make the most of it while it's just us! (DISCLAIMER: And it will still be just us for a while!!)

We went to St. Louis back in January, and had the best time! We visited the Arch, a beautiful cathedral, had some amazing BBQ, went to the CITY MUSEUM (like being in an adult playgroud created by Dr. Seuss!!!), annnnd had our first experience with Airbnb!

Airbnb is a site that you can book on to stay with other people in their homes. Crazy. I know. But it's the year of fun! What a neat experience! We stayed with a couple about our age. Getting to know them was so neat! (We even went to lunch with them one day!)Now, I am not suggesting anyone stay with creepers... the website is very reputable and the people had lots of good reviews! I am saying, let's step out of our little bubbles and be opened minded! I mean, Jesus didn't book a room at the Holiday Inn. He stayed with others. In their homes. And impacted a lot of people with the Gospel that way. Not that there is anything wrong with getting hotels! It just felt so real to chose to engage with other people we didn't know (even just for a few days)and hear about their life. So rewarding!

Check out Airbnb...

Annnd check out the City Museum: the coolest, most unique place I've ever been!...

I can't believe it's already March! The year is already flying by!

Kyle's 25th birthday is March 31st. We are looking forward to celebrating and cooking out with friends and then can't wait for our family to come up the weekend of his birthday!

I am set to run a 10K in April and then Kyle and I are doing a Warrior Dash in May! The Warrior Dash ...( is a 3.4 mile run with different obstacles sprinkled in throughout the route! Kyle and I are super pumped about it!

Let's see if I can double my blog posts this year!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm a terrible blogger!

I should really keep up with this better! I get side tracked!

Kyle and I went on a little adventure last week... we drove to Mt. Magazine, about 2 hours from Little Rock, to hike one of the trails there and camp overnight.

After first starting out...Let's just say I'm glad the hike got better. We started the trail at the top of the mountain, so our first couple of miles were made up of slow, careful step down, slippery, snowy rocks. FUN right?

A bit farther down the mountain, the good Lord must have heard my prayers, because the terrain straightened out and the snow cleared.

The next few miles were better, but I was ready to stop for the night. We found a camp sight on the trail about 4.5 miles in. Since eating tends to be a hobby of mine, making smores,sausage dogs, and baked potatoes was fun. Snuggling by the warm fire with Kyle? FUN! Sleeping in the cold on the ground? EHhhh, not so much. We called it a night at a rousing 7:30 p.m. and toughed out the cold until morning.

We heard rumors of bears being in the woods, but, luckily, we managed to avoid seeing any. We hiked the 5.5 miles out the next morning. Boy, was I glad to see that car.

As uncomfortable as these kinds of trips can sometimes be, I am thankful for them. It's good for me to live outside of comfort zone for a bit to both be thankful for how I do live and more to experience the greatness of God's creation... to get away from the world and just be in the presence of the Lord.

The time Kyle and I spend together is precious. I am thankful for a husband who desires to get away with me, and who wants to experience adventures with me. Yeah, it was cold, but my soul was warmed on this trip. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Roman's 8: 28

My friend Angela was taken into surgery last Tuesday night to take her organs. She saved seven people’s lives. That’s seven families that were able to see the love and glory of God. I just know that others will come to know Him through this. Romans 8:28 says “… we can be so sure that EVERY DETAIL in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

DJ and family are doing quite well. The peace and comfort of God are CLEARLY covering them right now. I was able to speak with her mom yesterday and give her some verses to look at when she wanted. She is definitely clinging to God and His promises right now. It is SO encouraging for me to see her faith in action at a tragic time such as this. Her hope in Christ gives me hope and I know it will give others hope too. She is the light of Jesus right now, and encourages me to be the same.

I also talked with DJ the other day. He was just asking if it was OK to ask “WHY GOD??” I shared the verse and thoughts that you gave to me the other day, Chris, and I think it was a comfort to him knowing that it was OK to run to God with ALL of his emotions. His attitude in light of everything that has happened to him is truly from God. Jesus’ light is shining through him right now. Everyone who comes to visit this family is getting to see the light of Christ, and I am truly thankful and in awe of this.

PLEASE continue to pray for this family as they take care of details and then begin the long, hard journey of healing. If the past few days are any indication, God is going to carry this family and continue to cover them in peace and comfort. They will see better days, praise the LORD!

Hard to Understand, but I know God is Good

This past week has been one of much pain and heartache. It has also been one full of God's grace, love, peace, and comfort.

Angela Johnson, a good friend of mine and Kyle's, died Monday after being injured in a motorcycle accident. Angela and her husband, DJ were riding together on their motorcycle when a deer jumped in front of them causing them to wreck. Thankfully, DJ was not seriously hurt. He broke his right arm, and has painful road rash on the left arm. Angela's helmet came off during the wreck causing serious brain damage. She was pronounced brain dead Monday night, and was taken off life support shortly after.

I know what is hurting DJ most right now is his broken heart. I have no words to express to him how much my heart aches for him. I know DJ has a hard road ahead, but I know God's love and grace will be with DJ the whole time. I don't know why these things happen... why life can be taken away when it's so young and new. My heart crys out "WHY, LORD??!!?" To be honest, I even get angry. Why is this part of His plan? How will he use this for good? Why now, Lord? So many questions run through my mind...

I must lean on what I know is true: That God ways are not my own, and that my thoughts are not his thoughts. That God DOES use ALL things for good. That is grace and mercy are abounding and never ceasing.

I know that God showed up last week at the hospital. He was shining through DJ, and through Angela's family.

DJ, I know this is the hardest thing you've ever had to go through. But I have seen your faith in Christ, and it makes you strong! I know that you will see better days ahead. Jesus is shining through you right now!

It all seems so unreal.... So unbelievable. I never even knew I had that many tears to cry. While all this is so hard for any of us to understand, I know God is good. I know He is faithful. I know He will bring DJ through the valley and use this time in all of our lives as well.

Angela, my funny funny, friend. You will be missed greatly. You were a light to everyone you were around. You were always making me laugh, and you DEFINITELY kept me on my toes. You were my first friend in Little Rock. I am so glad I got to know you, even for a short time. Thanks for being my friend and partner when we were both new to Little Rock. You have begun a new journey, and eternal journey. I can't wait to see you again n Our Father's House.

Thankful for the Heat

Some thoughts of mine a week or so ago...

Thankful for the heat

I don’t know what got into me today, but as I was driving home from work, I thought today might be a good day to go on a run. Now to some of you, this may not seem like a crazy thought to have. But after a movie watching, ice cream eating, “Facebooking” week, this was definitely a wild thought for me.
I got home from work, dressed quickly for fear of changing my mind (trust me I’ve done it before) and headed out the door. The heat hit me instantly. In spite of it, I began the trek up the first hill by my apartment. The sweat instantly started to pour. About 2 miles into my run I thought “Man! If it weren’t so hot out here, this would be so much better! I would have a much better run!” I longed for some cool water. I passed a nasty puddle on the way back home and actually thought it would feel good it stick my face in it. That’s how hot I was. No wonder people do crazy things when they are stranded in the desert heat! After 3.3 miles, (this is a feat for me so I will tack on whatever I can!) I made it back to my apartment. I headed straight for the apartment work- out room where the water fountain was. The air conditioned room was instant relief. I gulped what seemed like the best, coolest water I’d had in my life from the water fountain. Let me tell you, Dasani had nothing on this water! I walked in the weight room, sprawled out on the floor (don’t worry, the room was empty!) and let the cool air dry the sweat on my face. In spite of being in what seemed like paradise for a few minutes, do you know what thought came to my head? I thought, “I am so thankful for the heat!”
Surprised I thought this, I began to think. I was so thankful for the heat because of how much it made me appreciate the coolness of the air and water once I finished my run. Had my run not been hard, I would not have had nearly the appreciation for the reward. Without the adversity we face in our life, we would have nothing to compare the blessings to. Would we really feel blessed for the good things in our life without the adversity to measure up to it?
Suddenly, thanksgiving overflowed from me. James 1:2-3, 12 says “2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” I thought about all the things in my life going on that I thought of as an inconvenience or hardship. I could be joyful that Kyle has been away from home so much because I can be sure that God is using it to grow me in Him, and because I could better appreciate the time Kyle and I did have together. I recalled how joyous our weekend together was a few weeks ago after he’d been away. I appreciated that my family lived far away because if they lived closer, our time together would not be as sweet, and we would not appreciate seeing each other as much. The times I have experienced true joy and growth in my life have almost always followed the times I have experienced hardship in my life.
God quickly refined the lesson he’d taught me the very next day. I went out again for another run. This time, my motivation was not necessarily to do something good for my body, or to thank God for the healthy body he’d given me by taking care of it. Today, my motivation was enduring the heat purely to get the reward I’d experienced the day before. I finished my run, and bee lined straight for the work- out room door. This time, I could not seem to get the code to work. I tried and tried until finally I decided to just head for my apartment. I saw that God does not always promise to immediately reward us the way we think we should be. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to the reward, but if our motivation is solely on the reward and not on persevering to honor and glorify God, we are missing out.
Finally, as a believer, I can appreciate the times in my life that produce perseverance because of a reward greater than any found here on earth: “the crown of life God has promised to those who loved him.”
I hope not another hot summer day will go by that I am not thankful for the heat.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Time Flies!

And just like that... another month is GONE! Time doesn't stop for anything does it?! Considering we have to work 40 hour weeks and don't always have the same days off, Kyle and I have still had an enjoyable summer so far!

We love our community group! God really blessed us when He put us in this group! We have made some great friends so far. We are thankful for the time we get to spend with them, and are lucky to have the opportunity to get to know some great people! The group has moved into what we call "Casual Summer." We were able to all go to the Arkansas Traveler's Baseball game a couple of weeks ago. It was HOT, but it was a lot of fun! We are looking forward to the other fun activities planned for the rest of the summer!

Two very good friends of mine recently were engaged! Amanda McLendon will be getting married to "Mr. Wright" (LOL) on March 5, 2011, and Amanda Beck will marry Drew May on March 26, 2011. TWO weddings in one month! I am honored to be the Matron of Honor in Amanda McLendon's wedding!

The Fourth of July is coming up! Unfortunately, Kyle has to be out of town for a whole week, which means no 4th of July plans with him! On a positive note, my parents are driving up to see me! Now, if only Jennifer would come too!