Stories

Have you ever started something and thought–“why am I doing this?”  I mean, how did I get here? What lead me to agree to, listen to, participate in this?  Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? It’s boring. Hard. Frustrating. Draining.

Sure–we’ve all had our fair share of moments when we find ourselves doing something–be it career related, family related, home related, self-improvement related–that we would rather not be doing.

Or maybe we reflect back on something we’ve done and wished so desperately that we could erase that from not just our memory, but our reality. “Why did I make that comment that was so cutting to my spouse this morning?” ” Why did I commit to being apart of ____?” ” Why didn’t I wait an hour to cool down before sending that email to my coworker?”

Whether in the moment or reflecting back, these moments–the ones we don’t necessarily like and aren’t so proud they’re apart of us–are such meaningful pieces to the story our life is writing. It’s just as it is in your favorite book or movie. There’s this climax and you know that it’s so important to the overall message, but sometimes it’s still kind of painful to watch or read. However, you are so committed to knowing how this affects the characters and the plot, you plow through, sometimes not even getting the full scope of the difficulty, struggle or pain.  But in the end, you do recall how you got there. Every ounce of difficulty, struggle and painful moment.

story

Today’s a new day. This moment is more new than the one that just passed. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are in this very moment–take a few seconds to breathe that in. Be present. Think about the effects to your story this very moment is having.  And if you have a desired end to your story, then make sure your plot has the proper twists and turns to get you to that end. After all, we only have one story. One life. One message.

What is the message your story is telling?

Advertisements

It’s good to be loved.

Sometimes I think life has a funny way of teaching us those valuable lessons that could very easily go “unnoticed” if we weren’t  being open to listening to what life (and God) is trying to say to us through the seemingly mundane.

I also have realized that sometimes the “mundane” lessons in life come through the people God places in our lives.  Now, I know this isn’t rocket science, but just hear me out for a second.

I’m confident that there is an interweaving of paths that cross your life–some of those paths are more prominent at differing times, others have a consistent presence.  If you think about what that would look like as a woven fabric, some colors will be very dominant.  Your family.  Mom and Dad.  The life-long friends that you can go months without REAL communication, but the minute you pick up the phone, or walk into your favorite restaurant for lunch, nothing has changed.

There are also those folks who are in life for a season.  Good Lord, how I hated hearing about this growing up.  “Now those friends may not last.”  “Your college friends, they’ll be the ones that you have good memories with, but don’t count on keeping in touch.” Ugh.  How my heart ached at those statements.  Partially because I just wanted to beat the odds and prove someone wrong (is that a red-head tendency I see rearing it’s head?) but moreover, because my heart has always longed for that true lasting connection with others (and that tendency, I believe we all share).  Now sure, it’s a little impossible to think that you’ll keep in touch with all your friends throughout the years.  But chalk it up to being an only child or what have you, I’ve always taken friendships seriously, invested a lot in them, and often have had my heart broken by them.

God has designed us to crave connection, community, and communion with others.  We aren’t meant to live this life alone.  The next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some stories of how community and people have rocked my world lately. As I mentioned, we have had a lot of exciting things happening, but also, honestly, the past month has been hard. I have had more than a few breakdowns (thankfully I have a wonderful hubs who calms me instantly just by being near). I’ve needed people.  I’ve seen what it does to walk into a hospital room with someone by your side, versus alone.  I’ve also had the fortune of being able to bless others lives with that community. That is an even greater feeling–to know you are standing in the gap when someone needs it.  What a beautiful way to be used by our Creator.

I hope that you’ll share some of your own stories of how people have changed you, your circumstances and what your fabric is looking like these days.  Mine is a beautiful mixed tapestry with lots of colors and honestly, it looks a little disheveled, but it is beautiful nonetheless (my affinity for the disheveled is not a new thing).  My prayer today is that you have someone to walk with into the dark rooms of your life.

Best,

The safety of a dear friend

It’s been a great start to 2009.  Yes, it’s had it’s hiccups, but I’ve felt a fresh perspective each day, have been intentional about doing everything I can to meet my goals, but gracious enough with  myself to realize that sometimes, things happen–LIFE happens–and they don’t get met.  Just let it be that way for that day, and tomorrow, pick yourself up, give a little dusting and get back on the wagon.

I had such a refreshing time with a dear friend last night at Starbucks trying out their new Tea Lattes and sharing some time together.  I asked the barista what the newest drinks were all about and she started describing the London Fog.  At the words “Earl Grey” I was sold.  Picking up my hot cup of the flavor that takes me back to my sophomore year in college (along with Harry Connick’s Come By Me Cd and You’ve Got Mail) and getting in some good conversation was just what the doctor ordered.

I am thankful for those people in life who know how to challenge you in a supportive way, can relate to the work that I do and give you the perspective of life a few years ahead of where I’m currently sitting.  I’ve always been hesitant to be super involved in “singles groups” because I know REALLY well how to be single–I don’t want to stay this way forever. Give me a space I can learn how to be in another stage of life.

I want to learn about your marriage, the challenges and joys.  See into the things that have worked for your in keeping your date nights, or making an element of each day a “date.”  I want to be able to peer into how you parent your 2 year old and how YOU parent your 6 year old.  What led you to make the decision of this pre-school over that one or lead YOU to home-school.

Even before I was dating I wanted to know these things.  Now that I AM dating and am looking toward a bright future with the beau, I am even more interested in knowing all I can NOW.

Updates…

Many of you have been updated on Mom’s status over the holiday via my twitter/facebook updates.  I haven’t formally mentioned it over the blog or in an email because, well, it was just tough to deal with to be honest.


The long and short of it is that Mom went to the Doctor in early December with head congestion/sinus/yuckyness that had affected her hearing.  After a week, everything was gone–including her hearing.  It never reappeared.  Back to the doctor she went and was diagnosed with having fluid behind her ears.  After a few days of the condition worsening and being incredibly off-balanced, she went to the ER on the 21st.  I jetted home to VA the next day to find my mom having “one of the worst cases of inner ear infection” the ER doctor had ever seen.


We muddled through the holidays humorously for the first few days, as Mom was having trouble hearing what I said and her interpretations had to make you laugh.  When her condition continued to worsen though, it lost it’s humor.  We called the ENT and got an appointment.  His diagnosis was that her hearing loss was not due to fluid or infection, but nerve damage.  What? Yep—my Mom who was a beautician for 21 years and then not working for the past 10 or so due to her health conditions has nerve damage in her ears?  Where in the world could she have gotten nerve damage?  It just didn’t make sense and to see your ENT just as puzzled, well, that wasn’t so comforting either.


After 4 doctors, we headed to get an MRI for answers.  We tried to make it fun.  Made the trip to Roanoke our annual “Mom/Daughter Date” with stops at Barnes and Noble and Olive Garden (Mom’s favorite and always default choice for our dates).  We did have fun.  We shared the chocolate caramel gelatto for dessert.  We love our ice cream.  🙂


I was challenged as to what to do.  Do I come home to Kentucky?  Do I stick around until she gets the results of the MRI just in case it’s bad news?  What about the wintery weather that’s supposed to hit Virginia on Friday?  I have to be back at work on Monday.  The questions didn’t end.  After much wise counsel from friends and the Beau, I knew that I’d know what to do when the time came to make the call.  And I did.  I loaded up the car on New Year’s Eve and then early New Year’s Day made the trek back to Georgetown.


Thinking she’d hear on Friday, Mom diligently called the Doctor’s office on Friday right as they were closing up shop at noon.  A weekend of waiting for the both of us.  I had a “re-new years” planned with the Beau for Friday night and Saturday, but I know the weekend had to be torture for Mom.  One day at a time we both kept encouraging.


Yesterday was the day.  She called the office and finally got a response a little after 5pm last night.


“Good news!  There were no signs of a tumor anywhere.  But the bad news is that we don’t know what is causing your hearing loss.”


It really is the little things, you know?  Those were the words I was completely avoiding saying out loud to myself or Mom, but were constantly lingering in my mind.  She’s revisiting the ENT in 6 weeks to see how permanent the hearing loss is and what can be done about it (say “Hello, hearing aids!”).  Still no answers for the unsteadiness, but we’re hoping her family doc and Rheumatologist will give her some answers.


Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the long and short of it.  Maybe it was the long of it.  But thanks a million to everyone out there who has offered up thoughts, prayers and well wishes toward Mom and I during this.  Continue to remember her as she’s got 6 weeks of this before she’ll get more answers.  Pray for her emotional health as well–the loss of her independence has been a big thing to process.  Pray for her and her neighbors as they all deal with the volume of her TV. 🙂 And while you’re at it, if you don’t mind, say one for me, that I’ll remember daily that she is in God’s hands and that’s the best place for her to be.

Finally Addressing the Update

Well, friends, for you faithful readers out there, if you are reading this you have discovered a new home for my blog. A few reasons prompted this change, including being mesmerized by the lovely photo you see now gracing my page (no–I didn’t take it, it was apart of the template).

This summer has brought a lot of change into my life–a new job in June, moving into a new space with a roommate at the end of June, some injuries, travels and overall some fairly major adjustments to almost every area of life. In looking back at all these things, I became rather frustrated a few weeks ago when after a look in the mirror, I realized my life was nothing close to the description of my blog: Pliable: adjective: 1. susceptible to being led or directed; 2.capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out; 3.able to adjust readily to different conditions; “an adaptable person”; “a flexible personality”; 4.capable of being bent or flexed or twisted without breaking;

I kept asking myself every time I would look at my blog (which hadn’t been updated in months) “why in the WORLD did you title your blog that? You have been the furthest thing from an “adaptable person, able to adjust readily to differnt conditions.”

But then I remembered that I wasn’t broken. I might be a little bruised, beat up, but I wasn’t falling apart (I actually exclaimed this one night in tears to the beau after a second accident ensued on my feet in a month–“I feel like I’m falling apart!!!” through the tears of course).

So the past few weeks I’ve been able to clean off my lenses and see life in a much clearer way; realizing I am not falling apart and my “pliable” name was simply a reminder that is what I am striving for and this is a way to document that process. My “fresh coat of paint” for life includes a little update to the blog with a few more features and updates about some other “fresh coats” that are going on in my world.

Thanks to those of you who have showed me some extra doses of love and patience this summer. And thanks for being along for the ride in this journey. I’m reminded that the ride won’t always be smooth, but I’m thankful to have some great people by my side and that is what makes it so sweet.

Perfect Timing…


Since I moved to Georgetown closing in on three years ago, I knew my position as an Area Coordinator was a short-term, stepping stone position that most people would spend 2-4 years in. As an entry level position with not a lot of room for upward growth, this is an expectation that is set forth when AC’s join the team.

Upon moving here, I dove into getting involved at Crossroads, experienced an amazing community, really loved the students I was working with. After year 2, the thought of leaving was a grim reality I was faced with. It took quite a bit of time to discern what my next move was going to be–more education, move closer to family in Virginia, stay in the area?

I knew one thing for certain, my time serving as a live-in professional in a Residence Hall–those days were done. I have loved the experiences I’ve had these past 5 years living in, but there comes a time when you know it is time to have your own space, not have to enforce quiet hours and this introvert was craving that in a MAD way.

Knowing in my heart that this had to be my last year in this position has been a scary place to be–especially with the economy, hiring freezes on all public universities and trying to figure out how to afford living expenses on my own, since for the past 5 years that has been a benefit.

Patience is one of those things I’m learning. I have felt like Verucca Salt more times than I care to admit in the last year: “I want it NOW!” I want to know I’ll have an income. Know I’ll have a place to live. But as we all know, that isn’t the way that things work out. They come at the absolute last second.

Oh, but how sweet it is to wait until the last second.

I not only have a job, but it is at Georgetown, so I’ll still be around to see students I’ve worked with for the past 3 years. AND it’s much more 9-5. No on-duty crises to manage. Ahhhh…

I not only have a place to live that I can afford, but it’s a house. With a backyard. And a two car garage. And a roommate that’s super cool. After 5 years of dorm life–this is SWEEEEET!

Just a reminder that even though being patient totally sucks at times, it is so worth it.

What a week…

I mean, I knew that when the Giants won the Superbowl on Sunday I was in for a doosey of a week. That sentiment couldn’t have been more true. It’s just been a crazy week for work, personal life etc. However, there have also been some great highlights:

-Superbowl Party @ Xroads on Sunday–we had about 60 folks show up and 12 pots of chili AND some gumbo (thanks Rhett!) It was so fun AND the best part was getting to snuggle with little Jackson Stephan after wearing him out dancing to Tom Petty. He was OUT!

-A fabulous lunch with my RA’s on Tuesday (FAT Tuesday) and talking about lent, what people were giving up etc. One who was giving up french fries was trying to figure out if tater tots would be allowed. I think she decided no.

-Date night in Paris with Lewie last night. We were able to catch up our week so far over a cup of tea at Starbucks before heading to Campbell’s in Paris for dinner. GREAT spot. We were the only folks in the restaurant other than our waitress/cook/everything and her dad who was in his 80’s. They were so cute.

-RALEIGH WEEKEND!!!! We (me, Chris, Cher and Kelly) leave in 18 hours (apprx.) to visit our dear friends Fred and Jen who have recently relocated to Raleigh, NC. Chris has to announce for the GymCats tomorrow night, so we won’t be hitting the road until around 10pm and we’ll be roadtripping it college style by driving through the night. We’ll be stopping at my aunts about an hour north of Cary to nap and shower and then spend Saturday and Sunday before making our way back to Lexington (and stopping to say hi to mom on the way).

I’m glad this crazy weekend will end on a high note!

I’m back!


Well friends, I’m back. After a long week of an amazing trip to Greece (which felt like a month, we packed so much in), I’m back in Georgetown soaking in the end of the first day of classes. Walking back from the Mulberry this morning, I heard a senior walking into one of our buildings saying “this is my last first day ever.” What a statement. Her last first day.

One thing I’ve learned in the past few weeks is that aren’t guaranteed tomorrow–who knows when your last first day will be. Not to be morbid, but realistic…each day we are given is a gift and I hope to make the most of each one I am blessed with.

If you visited the Greece blog at all last week, you realize that there were no updates. First, there were no computers (key in updating ones’ blog) and secondly, there was no time. Our last full day there, our wake up call was at 4:45 because we were flying back from Thessaloníki to Athens and then the day we left Athens: wake up call was at 2:30. Needless to say, many of us did not get that “wake up” call, as you must “go down” to get the “wake up call.”

It was definitely the trip of a life time and I’ve learned so much. The students I traveled with were great; the history that was awakened in me was so great–I have many books to re-read. It also really made me want to visit Greece again and all of Europe actually. Definitely adding that to my “Bucket List.” 😉

The Greece blog will be updated with each day’s events PLUS photos–they’ll just be a week behind. My computer is still scanning in the 360 photos taken on the trip–what can I say…I love photography. I’m just making the most of each day…

(pic is of me in Corinth on our first day–01/07)

Holiday Revue

It’s December 30th and although my last post was a mere 10 days ago, it seems as if that were a month ago. Here’s a quick holiday recap:

-Finished out the year with students on December 20th
-Had a fantastic Christmas gathering with the patio crew on the 21st–what a great, memorable year it has been with that crew (more on that to come)
-Was able to participate in the Christmas weekend services at Crossroads on Saturday and Sunday (22/23)
-Had a great Christmas date with my friend Kelly to our favorite restaurant and then to see “PS, I Love You.” Beautiful film, but horrible in that I was SOBBING and honestly could have gone through a 1/2 box of Kleenex.

The week in Virginia was amazing as well, but just as busy:

-Drove to Virginia on Christmas Eve and hung out that day with Mom
-Christmas Day was spent at my grandparents–we got there early and it was nice and quiet then in the afternoon everyone rolled in. We had a great time sharing the charitable organizations we donated to (in lieu of gifts this year)–very memorable. I think this will be a new family tradition.
-Watched movies with mom on the 26th and hung out with my dear friends from HS Kristi and Joe at our annual Barnes and Noble date and then saw Kandia and Jeremy (friends from HS who now live in Boston)
-Back to Grandma’s on the 27th to see family from Raleigh and for my annual date with friend Sarah (and now her husband Chase) in Roanoke. It was great catching up with my “college cousins” also–Sarah is a junior at NYU, and Zach is a freshman at UNC.
-Stayed overnight there and took my mom on her Christmas date on Friday–shopping, Olive Garden and Starbucks for a Carmel Apple Cider (to which mom asked if she could get a refill). Later that afternoon, the Stinson crew came in and then we headed home (in the POURING rain)
-Saturday was an early morning even though I was leaving as I had breakfast with Jena at Panera. It was great to see her (and the trip to TJMAxx was great too!)

So, needless to say, I’m renewed, yet exhausted. It’s now Sunday; I’ve arrived back in KY to an eventful night with the crew as we went to see Sweeny Todd at the Kentucky Theater. Bloodiest film I’ve ever seen. Not much more I can say about it. (Well, Johnny Depp was in it…)

My life is so full and I am so grateful for all the blessings. Stayed tuned as there will be more updates this week….

(PS–a week from today, I’ll be in GREECE!!! YEA!!!)

Just like the new Moleskin…

Disclaimer: the purpose of my blog is to gain a little insight into my life, happenings, etc., especially for those family and friends not getting to experience it as it happens with me here in KY. It was never intended to be an online “journal” of sorts–the type that bears my soul. This post however, is taken from my journal for a reason…You’ll get the parallel…just keep reading…

It is so amazing to me the journey ones’ life can take in 18 short months. That’s where I find myself looking back at the beginning of this journal–or journey perhaps. Midway through my first year as an Area Coordinator. Oh, what a different world I live in now. SO different.

I’m nearing the end of the journey I’ve taken with this journal. 2 trips to Mission Arlington, New England, no friends, friends, confidence, doubt, worry, anger, confusion, pain. All in this one book.

With about 10 pages left and a week or so of writing, I find my introspective, reflective self weighing in.

My new Moleskin journal (#3) sits at the bottom of the bookshelf/nightstand combo next to my bed. It’s still wrapped in celephane. Prices went up. A $2 increase since my last Moleskin purchase. Hmmm…

Where will the next journey take us? Definitely into a world with a new job, new colleagues, a new boss. New challenges. New frustration. New Opportunity.

My life feels a bit like my new Moleskin. Blank pages, ready to be filled. Journeys yet to be taken. The unknown is scary, yet beautiful. There’s something nice about a new journal. The pages are fresh, untainted (which—that IS the purpose of purchasing such an item), crisp. It is purchased knowing that it will change. Dramatically.

I know it’s gonna change. Not exactly sure when. Things will be a bit different at first. The tightness of the spine. No coffee stains on any pages. Eventually I’ll ease into it and wonder when the change even happened. It won’t feel new anymore. The Moleskin will become dated and I’ll realize one day I’m halfway through the journal. We’ll travel to new places, have new coffee stains and a plethora of pens to grace the pages. We’ll get caught in the rain and the ink will bleed. It will possess the character it was created to–the unknown character that each owner is also unaware.

The canvas may change, but the story remains the same.