Saturday, December 24, 2011

put me in coach

It was twelve years ago that I was on the cusp of starting my last relationship.  It ended just a few months later.  Little did I know at the time that God was going to put me on the dating sidelines...for twelve years. 

For most of those years, especially the earlier ones, I am so grateful He did.  The “relationships” I had been in were not ones worthy of really remembering...let alone desiring repeats of.  They weren’t terrible...but the truth is, if I had it to do all over again, I would’ve just waited.

About halfway through this waiting period, God showed me a little bit of why He was having me wait.  I had just had my heart broken in a friendship where I was misled, and after bringing some healing, God asked me to write a list of traits I wanted in a husband.  What amazed me was that there were things on my list that the guy I was getting over didn’t have.  We’re not talking unreachable, high expectations...a list of things that no guy could ever achieve.  Real things.  Things that were important to me.

In the last few years, I’ve gotten to know who I am.  I am pretty confident in who God has made me to be, even though there are still lots of pieces to the puzzle for me to figure out and put together.  God knew it would take twelve years...and possibly more.

I’ve had more than a fair share of arguments with God about His timing...particularly in this area.  I had a plan...and that plan was that I would meet Mr. Right in college, graduate, and get married.  I would start having kids at age 25.  I think one of the hardest parts of letting go of that plan was the realization that when I lost my mom to cancer at age 25, I knew she would not know my husband or kids.  That was a tough one to swallow.  I like plans.  And I especially like when they work out.  There is a certain security in that.  Instead, those plans are in the wind and I have no idea where the master plan is leading me.

Part of me is afraid.  Afraid that I won’t know what to do when pursuit begins.  Afraid that it might not happen.  Afraid that I don’t know how to have a real relationship.  I’ve gotten really good at being a friend.  I don’t remember what it’s like to be anything more.

God’s got me on the sidelines.  But I also know He’s the kind of coach that knows when it is time to put me in the game.  I have to trust in His training so that when the moment comes, I’ll be ready.  I’ll be able to say, “Put me in coach.”

(I think all this came up because I read Ruth today.  It was the next part of my reading plan.  Go figure.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

merry CHRISTmas!

I just want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas...may you enjoy time with friends and family, be blessed by the gifts, food and fun, and most of all, know how much God loves you.  He sent His Son to save us! What a beautiful thing to celebrate!

Leaving you with a few favorite Christmas videos:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

quiet faith

Tonight I watched The Nativity Story with some friends, and we were asked what struck us most about the movie.  Of course, it being the story of Christ's birth, it shares a powerful moment wrapped in humble beginnings.  What spoke to me most was Mary's faith.  Her quiet, steadfast faith.  That immediately her response to the angel revealing the wondrous news that she would give birth to the Son of God was, "I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled."  To be honest, I think I'd freak out.  If not in that moment, perhaps when I faced the possibility of being stoned for being pregnant before I was married.  But Mary believed.  She trusted that God who brought her to this would walk her through it.

One of the most impacting verses is the one Elizabeth speaks about her- "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." (Luke 1:45)  We are blessed when we believe that there will be a fulfillment of what God speaks to us.  Another verse says a similar thing- "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)  It points out two things.  That we must believe that God exists AND that He wants to bless us.  That He wants to fulfill what He has spoken to us.  So, why, oh why do I doubt?

Mary spoke to me so much because I want to be like her.  It wasn't that she was fearless.  Instead, despite her fear, she stood firm in what God told her.  She trusted Him.  That is one of the biggest things I want to move forward through in 2012.  A deeper relationship with God where my trust expands and is rooted.  Where even if my circumstances place me on shaky ground, I will stand firm.  What a powerful thing.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Because there have been some great awkward/awesome situations in my life lately, I thought I'd share...

Awesome: Being one of the first few people at our office white elephant exchange party to get to pick a meant I had the potential of having my hands on several gift choices!

Awkward: Grabbing a bag because I think it has wine in it.  Instead, it had a shake weight inside.  I am instantly feeling awkward about this and turn bright red.  Everyone laughs.

Awesome: Someone steals the shake weight! I get to pick a new gift.

Awkward:  It turns out to be this gift...

Yeah, it says "expose yourself to art". Sooooo awkward!
Awesome: Someone steals it from me (yay!) and I steal a bottle of wine that has been stolen enough times that I got to keep it.  Happy.

Awkward: On my on-call shift, I had so many call outs that I worked two extra shifts...I was so exhausted that when I showed up to my work Christmas party and people asked me how I was, I started to cry.

Awesome: Because I had to work so much, I got a four day weekend out of the deal!

Awesome: Hearing two really great messages at church for two weeks in a row and it speaking to your heart so much that you decide to update your status to reflect part of the message.

Awkward: Writing the status in such a way that no one who wasn't at the same services as you got it...and wrote concerned messages.  *Note to self, explain slightly ambiguous statuses in the future.

Awkward AND awesome: The picture my roommate and I used for this year's Christmas card.

Awkward and awesome: Having such a loud voice that your pastor points at you and wants you to sing as loud as you can because you can...because the group of people you are singing with are not quite loud enough (though we sounded amazing!) and he wants us to be heard.

Awkward: Loving a band so much that you go by yourself to see them...for the second week in a row.

Awesome: Running into people you know, and one of them giving you cake that she made for the band because it was extra.  It was DELISH.  Oh and the band. History of Painters.  Check them out. :)

Awkward and awesome: Realizing that you can do your grocery shopping, finish Christmas shopping, get birthday gifts and a baby shower gift all in one Target.  It seems wrong, but it's so right!

Awesome: Going for my first run since Thanksgiving and running a mile!

Awkward: Seeing as I am running, a cat almost getting run over by a car, THEN the cat nearly running me over...not kidding. It was running so fast that it lost control and almost flew right into my path.  I had to stop and laugh for two seconds.

Share with me some of your favorite awkward and awesome moments of the's good to laugh!

Monday, December 12, 2011

holiday inn & love

So, in the spirit of Christmas, my friends and I are all about watching movies that involve Christmas!  Yesterday, the movie of choice was Holiday Inn.  If you haven't seen it, it is a lovely black and white film about love and its pursuit, all splashed with singing and dancing! Of course, watching this movie spurred on lots of "that's how to win your wife" comments...mostly aimed at my friend Estevan, since he was the only male present.  Haha.

This movie inspired the quote on my Facebook page yesterday as well, "You could melt her heart like butter, if you'd only turn on the heat!"  So, I thought it would be kind of fun to write a post about things men can do to melt a girl's heart, some from the movie, some from life least in my (humble) point of view. :)  (in no particular order)

1. Sing. Dance. Use what ever romantic talent you have (drawing, writing, etc.).   
In the movie "Holiday Inn", it opens with this song "I'll Capture Your Heart Singing".  It definitely has truth to it. Bing Crosby had the whole group of us ladies swooning with his voice, and Fred Astaire with his dancing.  Anyway, something worth noting.

2.  Walk ladies to their car when they leave, especially at night, regardless of being interested in them.
You see, not only does this make the lady friends in your life feel protected, it makes you look good.  It shows you are a gentleman interested in ensuring they are safe.  If the girl you are interested is around when you do this, they will notice.  If they are not, her friends who are there will.  It's a win-win.  Same with opening doors, offering to carry things for them, helping them down stairs or down potentially slippery surfaces, offering to check the fluids in the car before a road trip if she's driving...all things note-worthy over the years.

3.  Notice children around you.  Get down to their level, play with them, hold them, be their friends.
If you do this, most women will take note and assume that you will be a good dad.  You can't fake this though.  If kids freak you out, we will notice.  But if you really do like kids and want to have your own one day, practice now.  This makes you look really good.

4. Compliment her. 
Did she just get her hair done? Do you like her outfit that day?  Tell her!  Tell your lady friends too.  Some of my favorite compliments have come from just is a great encouragement!  My favorite was when a guy friend was writing out a name tag for me and wrote "MODEL", then asked, "Is that how it's spelled?"  And you can practice on your lady it doesn't come across as awkward when you compliment the one you have your eyes on.

5. Pay attention to her life and ask her about things (i.e. trips, important events in her life).
This is good because A) it shows you are paying attention and B) it shows you care.  It also creates more topics to talk to her about!

6. Laugh at her jokes.
Nothing is worse (for me) when I get a blank stare after telling a joke.  Even if it is a terribly cheesy joke. It just stops the flow.  Hopefully, you find her funny.

7. Pursue, pursue, pursue.
Mamie in Holiday Inn gives Bing's character quite a speech about pursuing the woman he loves, pretty much ending with the butter quote.  And it's true.  I'll say it over and over, women want to and need to be pursued.  A note of caution for guys though: make sure you are clear about your intentions.  When pursuing friendship with any woman, especially if you only want to be friends with them (!!!), make sure that somewhere along the line you let them know your intentions.  We don't expect you to know right away, nor that declaration to come too quickly, but be clear.  And don't be afraid to be clear.  When we know what to expect, we feel at peace.  (See #2 about protecting women). So, be bold and pursue!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas hymns

(The idea for this post came from my cell group leader, Kristen, who had us read out loud our favorite hymns as we meet this week.  It was really impacting...)

What is your favorite Christmas hymn?  What makes it your favorite?  Well, mine is "O Holy Night".  I've loved it for many years, and it was my first solo in choir in high school.  It's melody reflects the power of the words.  But even I, over the years, had forgotten to really read the words and take in the depth of their meaning.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
I put in bold a few of my favorite lines.  What Jesus did through His birth, and later His death, is so incredibly powerful.  He has broken every chain, every curse, and has set us free.  He is our friend.  Because of that, we can worship.

Someone else had picked "Joy to the World".  And I wanted to leave you with some of those lyrics.  These were the ones that jumped out at me as what I needed to hear...

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

So, I'd love to hear what your favorite one is...but after you go and read the lyrics.  You'll be blessed even more by its message, and I would love to hear what God shows you!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

grownup Christmas list


And the funny thing is...I am WAY more excited about buying and giving others gifts than getting them.  In fact, I am having a hard time coming up with ideas of things I want.  I just bought the lens I wanted...because my awesome friend Jess is selling hers for way cheaper than retail price...and so that left a few ideas.  Have you ever felt like that?  Like you are pretty satisfied with what you have and don't really need/want a whole lot?  I mean, sure, I probably could come up with some ridiculous list of things that would be fun to have but that I don't really need.

Most of the things on my list are things I need to buy eventually because they are dying, old, or already dead and I am borrowing a roommate's (shout out to Steph!).  Without further adieu, here is my fairly practical if-I-don't-get-these-I'll-eventually-cave-and-buy-them-for-myself list of gifts:

A Chi hair straightener. Mine died in St. Louis. No joke.

There is no good reason why I don't already own this movie.

Um, how cool is this 2-way coffee maker?!

And although my dryer is not dead yet...I'm afraid it will be soon.   
So there it is. My list.  I guess if The Help and Courageous are out (movies) before Christmas, I want those too.  The Muppets movie too but that definitely won't be out.  I haven't gotten boring in my old age, have I? ;)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

worst case scenario

Today I had to tell myself out LOUD that my life is not full of worst case scenarios.  Have you ever had those thoughts?  "Oh, that person didn't hug me today, must be mad at me."  "That person hasn't talked to me in weeks...must not like me after all."  "Why is that person calling me? Must be fill-in-whatever-negative-thought-fits..."

Oh, am I the only one who has these thoughts?  Well, today when I realized that the person who was calling me this morning was not calling because I missed choir practice this morning and am now no longer in the choir....BUT for a totally normal reason, I had to tell myself out loud that I had to stop thinking everything is a worst case scenario.

It's a revelation that shows where I am missing grace in my life.  Where I am living in fear.  "God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." 1 John 4:16-18  I need to be surrounded by God's perfect love.  Anyone else?

Monday, November 21, 2011


A new blogger friend, Megan, has recently taken to writing these sometimes/always posts, and I thought it would be fun!  Feel free to steal the idea :)

Sometimes: I try and get up early to exercise/do something productive/get to work early.
Always: I snooze till I "have" to get up.

Sometimes: I want to put all my laundry away as soon as it's done.
Always: Some/all of it waits to be put away (on my chair or in the basket) until I get tired of seeing it.

Sometimes: I wish my roommate's cat would be less needy.
Always: I give in and at least let him lay next to me...

Sometimes: I forget to read my devotional in the morning.
Always: I can tell a difference in my thoughts/attitude/feelings when I do.

Sometimes: I wish I could spend a whole year traveling the world.
Always: I realize I can only handle leaving home for short spurts. I am a homebody.

Sometimes: I want to paint my fingernails.
Always: I remember how quickly they chip/how annoying that is, and opt not to.

Sometimes: I go to coffee shops and think I'm going to try something new.
Always: I order what I know I like.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

in the fog

On the second flight on my way home from NY, we were about to land in L.A. when I noticed that we were flying blindly through the layer of fog.  For a moment, I felt my stomach turn with the realization that the pilots couldn't see a thing.  Of course, I quickly remembered the gadgets and gizmos with radar that keep the pilots not only flying in the right direction, but also keep them from crashing into other planes, much to my relief.

In that moment, I realized that faith is a lot like flying in the fog.  You can't see right in front of you, can't see for sure that you are headed in the right direction.  But you have tools to make sure you get to the destination promised to you.  You have God's word that you can lean on even if you can't see the next step in front of you.  You know that if He's promised something, He'll get you to that promise.  We have a choice to use the instruments God has given us to get there or we can just freak out.

I'm glad the pilots don't freak out when they fly into the clouds.  They remain calm and trust in the tools they've been given.  Could you imagine the havoc that would ensue if all of a sudden they got on the intercom and screamed, "We CAN'T SEE, we can't see!!! We're gonna diiiiiiiiiiieeeee!"?  And yet, sometimes, I have that kind of reaction when God removes my ability to control or see the path I am taking to the fulfillment of His promise.  Instead of letting the fog drive me to fear, it should drive me to rely what He's given me so I can arrive with grace.  A smooth landing, you could say.

I love when God uses little pictures to teach lessons, don't you?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

preach the gospel 316

Hey there friends! As you know, I am not above shamelessly promoting things I am passionate about...which up till now generally have been music related (ahem, cough NEEDTOBREATHE cough cough).  Well, today I would like to introduce you to George Azar, owner and creative mind behind Preach the Gospel 316.  I recently met him through a mutual friend, and there were three things that struck me about him: 1) this guy LOVES Jesus  2) he is probably the happiest person I have ever met  3) give him 2 minutes and he'll be your friend.  Add all these things to a God-given vision and you have a business that is inspired.

Anyway, I have never done an interview on here before, but I am happy to make George hopefully the first of many!  Here we go!

>>Tell us a little bit about yourself.

"Oh man, where do I begin! I am currently a bible college student who serves on staff part time at my church. I also work part-time at Costco as my “tent making” job.

There is nothing I love doing more on my free-time than to hang out with people. I love getting to know people and to see them grow in the Lord. I also LOVE to laugh! I enjoy clean humor and desire to see more solid, funny Christian comedy!"

>>What inspired you to start your own business?
"I always had the desire to start my own business. Since I was a little kid, I knew that hiding behind the grasp of another’s provision wasn’t my cup of tea. I desired at a very young age to start a coffee shop, but once the Lord grabbed a hold of me, He began to refine my desires as He grew me in His word. About 3 years ago, I was given the opportunity to learn about graphic design at a graphics firm. It was then I realized my love was in the arts and desired to start a shirt company. “Oh sure it will be Christian, but I want to design shirts,” was my thought. About a year later, I lost my job and was on a “graphics block.” The Lord literally stopped my creative flow as He channeled my waters elsewhere. It was in this time I came to know the Lord in a deeper way as He cultivated a heart inside of me for the gospel going forth through an internship I did with my church. About a year ago, the Lord gave me my creative streak back as I was asked to design a flier for the high school group. It was shortly after that the Lord placed the shirt business back on my heart as Preach the Gospel 316 was born March 28, 2011."

>>Tell us the heart behind Preach the Gospel 316.

"The sole purpose of Preach the Gospel 316 is to further the good news of Jesus Christ by boldly demonstrating your faith through apparel. My heart for this business is that Jesus Christ solely gets the glory as I am merely the pen in His hands. Preach the Gospel 316 is what I like to call a profit, non-profit business. Let me explain...all funds that come into the business are then turned around to fund other aspects of the business. Whether it be producing more designs or giving to gospel-centered ministries, I do not draw any personal profit from the business (hence the “tent making” job at Costco)."

>>What is your favorite part of running this business/ministry?

"I would have to say the best part of running this business is being able to attend events. I have met some extraordinary people who have such a love and passion for Jesus! Every time I get to go to a show, I become more inspired as I am given the opportunity to meet some amazing people."

>>Which is your favorite shirt and why?

"I would have to say my favorite shirt is “Preach the Gospel.” This shirt is a symbol to me in so many ways. This was the very first design I was able to produce by the Lord’s grace for this business. It also contains my utmost favorite city, San Francisco. My love and passion to see the gospel go forth in “The City” is one I cannot claim as my own, but given to me by the Lord. This shirt symbolizes the simplicity in sharing your faith by using the gifts the Lord has given you and the passion in sharing His good news!"

>>If you could pick one famous person to wear one of your shirts for a day, who would it be?

"I would love to see Lecrae wearing one of my shirts because he shares the same desire I do: to see the gospel of Jesus Christ go forth regardless of social pressures! Lecrae’s music has been a motivation for me to continue to seek the only thing worth seeking: Jesus Christ! If he was to wear one of my shirts, it would only be confirmation of our co-laboring for the gospel’s sake."

>>If time and money were no object, what would you like to do, either with this business or beyond?

"My desire is to become a pastor, but in regards to the business, I would love to see the business grow throughout the nation and world. I would love to see the good news of Jesus Christ boldly demonstrated for all to see as people are presented with the opportunity to meet their maker and lover. I have seen so many shirt companies start off with good motives, yet have sold out to the culture as the message of Jesus is drowned out by artistic expressions. I would love to see this business become larger and bolder for the glory of God!"

>>Who are some people you look up to and why?

"There are two people who come to mind: Pastor Jack Arnold and Pastor Britt Merrick

My Pastor (Jack Arnold) has been the greatest example to me as a pastor who loves his flock and desires to see people raised up. I have personally been a partaker of his pastoring as a year ago he asked me to oversee our outreach ministry. Since that time, he has poured into me as Paul poured into Timothy. Pastor Jack became our senior pastor a year and a half ago when our former senior pastor was called to London to start a fellowship there. In the short amount of time as senior pastor, I have seen Pastor Jack used phenomenally for the kingdom of Christ as he serves as a living example of Christ’s power administered through His elect. His love to see pastors raised up has been inspiring and I am completely and utterly grateful for his reckless abandonment to Jesus Christ!

Pastor Britt Merrick comes to mind as well because he was the pastor I was raised up under as a new believer. The Lord used him to set the foundation in my life and gave me a solid Biblical perspective on topical issues concerning the Christian life. To this day, I can remember the moment I approached Pastor Britt about my desire to attend Bible college and become a pastor. He confirmed my desire and built me up in guiding me in the direction to peruse a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. His unwavering love and encouragement towards me has served as a fundamental foundation in who I am today. I still listen to his podcasts to this day as the Lord ministers exactly what I need to hear through him. Thank you Pastor Britt for your example and surrender to Jesus!"

So there you have it, folks.  I love that there are so many great ways to share the gospel!  Check out his website (see button below), like it on Facebook or follow on Twitter!  More importantly, check out his shirts and buy one, or two or three and use it to start a conversation.  You never know what great life changes could happen as a result!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ain't gonna stop...

On my way home tonight, I was praying for a friend who doesn't know God the way I do, whose life hasn't yet been deeply touched by Him.  I was praying for her to encounter His heart, because I know it would change her life.  I've prayed this for a lot of people over the years, and haven't always seen the results that I hoped for.  As Christians, we are called to share Jesus with others, to serve and to love...even if we don't see the results.  I had NEEDTOBREATHE playing in the car and as I pulled up to my house, these lyrics were speaking to my heart...

"All of this work and I ain't seein' any wages,
I ain't gonna stop until I do"

Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Ministering to people is work, work that Jesus highly valued.  And sometimes when we don't see people respond the way we hoped, we get discouraged.  We forget that it's not up to us to make people respond.  I felt encouraged by those lyrics...that all Jesus wants us to do is go out there and work.  There is a harvest out there, even if we won't see the fruit of it until we are in heaven.  I have been given the greatest gift, that is salvation and forgiveness, and I don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to receive it too.  So, like the song says, I ain't gonna stop until I do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Who here has ever doubted God's promises for their lives?  Who here has ever chosen to lean on their emotions or circumstances instead of God's word?  Who here has ever made decisions that would in effect sabotage themselves so that they had something to blame when things failed?  Who here struggles to dream bigger than the things they themselves can accomplish?

Guilty, guilty, guilty, GUILTY.

Who's with me?  Yeah?  So, this Sunday, the words my pastors shared were a breath of fresh air.  The first words that stuck were JUST BELIEVE.  As Christians, we are not called to work out all of the details and make things happen.  We are to just believe that God is faithful to His promises, and the rest will begin to fall into place.  So many times I try to plan things out, and stress as I watch them often unfold differently than "the plan".  If only I'd remember what God says about that, "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9  I need to let the Lord direct me...not the other way.

And then the other word shared was STOP LIMITING GOD.  (guilty?!)  It's amazing when I step back and see how often I try and limit God.  It isn't that God is bound by what we believe...He can do anything.  But when we hold Him at a distance and don't allow Him the room to move in our lives, He is limited.  He's not going to barge in and force us to take the gifts.  That's not how relationships work.  God can place a huge gift in our hands and we can refuse to open it.  We can say that we don't deserve it.  We can think that it won't be a great gift, so we cast it aside.  

One of my favorite quotes illustrates this:  "Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it."
-George MacDonald

Oh, how often do I have to change my thinking to believe that it's okay to want the best AND to receive it?  The last two days have been eye-opening as my thoughts turn to their normal toying with doubt and God has been whispering to me to believe.  To let Him take the lead and to be open to whatever His best for me is.  

I think the thought that needs banishing from my mind is, "That's not going to happen."
Anyone else?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

sweet victory.

So, on my last post, I was coming fast upon running my first 5k ever.  I was really uncertain, but knew deep down that despite my doubts, I needed to try.  (Side note: I've realized that I don't really like to do things if I am not certain I can do them well...)

My friend Katie messaged me and asked if she could join me.  I had never run with a partner before...and even better, she is about 6 10 inches taller than me.  We had NO idea if we would make good partners, but I figured it would be nice given all of my nerves.  If anything, she could encourage me to keep going when I wanted to quit.

Day of the race:

We are READY!

So, I got up at like 6am (P.S. I only get up that early for a small handful of reasons, like Jesus, paid work and vacations...NOT exercise.) and Katie came over to carpool.  We got there with plenty of time to walk around to warm ourselves up.  Then we ran.  Not fast, but we ran.  We ran up the smaller hills, and chatted the whole time.  We cheered people on as they started coming back (putting me slightly to shame!).  The first mile or so seemed easy, and we enjoyed the beautiful day.  We were running along the ocean!  Then came the big hill.  In all my running, I had been used to slight inclines, but not this.  But I was determined to run the WHOLE time.  That and that alone was my goal!  (besides finishing...hah.)

About halfway up that blasted hill, my breathing became quite labored.  But I was still focused.  Others were walking.  Katie, so faithful, gently said, "We're halfway there.  Keep going."  I am pretty sure I said out loud several times, "COME ON, you can do this."  Haha, and we did.  I got to the top and threw my hands up over the small victory of not stopping to walk.  It took almost the whole run down the hill to regain normal breathing again, but we did it.  And in fact, we had sped up, so Katie reminded me to take it easy.  We weren't done yet.

I am pretty sure that trying to drink water was a only made me hiccup and nauseated.  One mile left.  We kept on.  And when we reached the finish line, my roommate and another friend were LOUDLY cheering.  It was so encouraging.  (that and the volunteers along the road...they were perfect for the job.  Their cheers made me smile and want to push through.)

I DID IT.  I didn't stop.  And even though I didn't have the "best" time, I did it.  (42 mins, which I argue would have been faster if it weren't for that hill...!)  I still don't *like* running, but I am going to keep going.  In fact, Katie and I are running partners now.  She's such an inspiration and she doesn't mind running at my pace.  I am bailing on her tonight due to heat exhaustion...slightly kidding...but we are doing it.  Next stop...10k!  (and maybe a few more 5k races in between)

And for those who aren't sure you can...(just like me):
"If you never try, you'll never know what you are capable of."
John Barrow

Monday, October 3, 2011

the recent haps.

Although I have been blogging every day for like the last two weeks, I feel like I haven't really said much.  You know how that goes?  Here's some random facts or some fun fashion, but nothing past the surface...well, anyway, I am back.  I figure the best way to jump back in is with a snapshot post of the recent happenings.

The Serious: 
- I have felt the desire to pray for effectiveness lately.  I have been feeling quite ineffective.  In my job, in my prayer life, in lots of areas.  I still feel a bit overwhelmed with the work load I get to carry...for who-knows-how-long-until-finances-get-better-with-the-state-or-some-other-miracle-occurs.  It's funny though.  God reminded me today that a prayer I prayed yesterday was effective.  Results came today, and I am so grateful.  It felt like a small prayer, but I am nevertheless encouraged.
- I am ONE week away from my first 5k.  Do I feel prepared? NO.  Honestly, I have not kept up on my running quite as diligently as I should have.  I can run 2 miles (which is awesome...not discounting that) BUT to run 3.2 miles...I am really, really unsure about that.  Part of me wants to back out.  But part of me wants to still try.  And if I walk part of it, I walk part of it.  There is always next time.  Sigh.  I just wish I felt ready now.
- I am praying a lot about my husband lately.  That I would know him...soon.  A dear guy friend of mine nearly brought me to tears this weekend when he sincerely shared with me his desire to see me meet my husband, knowing it's a dream of mine.  It was almost a relief to hear someone else say that they are praying along side me...believing for something I often feel alone in fighting for.  It's hard to be the girl sometimes.  We may or may not have a person of interest, but it doesn't really matter.  We still are called to wait and be pursued.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want the guys' role.  I tried that once.  It clearly didn't work out.

The Lighthearted:
-I got to go wakeboarding/tubing for the first time this past weekend! My arms feel like they are going to fall off and I have a large hideous bruise on my leg buuuuuut I had a wonderful time! I also didn't actually wakeboard...more like got pulled up only to face plant a second later...but again, so fun! It was a picturesque day, and I wish I could go more often.
-I definitely earned that dinner with NEEDTOBREATHE :) And with extra points I earned for promoting, I finally earned the sweatshirt I've wanted for two years. (You can't buy it anymore, you have to earn it.)  I have no idea when it will arrive, but I am excited.
-I got a text from a friend today who wanted to tell me I was loved.  Then later, like within the hour, I was at a meeting and we were praying for each other.  The person praying for me prayed that I would feel loved...that it would be over and beyond what is the norm.  From God, from people...  I think God is trying to tell me something.
-I found some fun grey boots!
-In just over a month...I'll be visiting NEW YORK!!!

So, what's new with you?

Friday, September 30, 2011

fall fashion. last day. :(

This is the last day....saaaaaaad.
I pretty much bought this shirt for this week.
It has birds on it.

Earrings and shirt- Target
Jeans- Old Navy
Boots- Thrifted :)

It was so fun to participate in this, now here's hoping to win! Check out the rest of the fall fashion here!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

fall fashion. day six.

I'm a little sad that all week has been so nutso that I don't get to post until 9pm.
It means less time for me to go and check out the awesome outfits...
(and for selfish reasons, I'm sad because less people end up visiting me here.)
There. I said it.

Today's outfit is more professional.  The skirt I am wearing is the very skirt that showed me that I could indeed pull off wearing a high-waisted skirt.
ONLY ONE MORE DAY....that too is sad.

This is me sad that it's almost over...

This is me being a sassy pants.

Cardigan- Target
T-shirt- Walmart
Necklace- Mervyns 
Skirt and shoes- TJ Maxx

There is a possibility of a prize AND you get new fashion ideas?! What, you say?
Then check it out here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

fall fashion. day five.

The dress I wore today was one of my favorites...
and after yesterday's "scorcher", I thought it'd be perfect.
Turns out that my logic continued to be faulty.
I love the outfit I chose...
I just wish it didn't turn out to be a 60 degree day!
Well, here you go!

Extra accessory: kittah.

Dress and cardigan- Target
Necklace- Forever 21
Boots- etsy

Two days left of awesome fall's not too late to JOIN!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

fall fashion. day four.

This day of fashion felt like somewhat of a fail.
As you will see, I went for less color (though not totally...)
but I also completely leaned on terrible logic.
You see, if it's hot where I live, it's usually cool where I work.
Today broke all those rules and busted into the mid-80s and I paid for my logic.
So, I present you the least fun fashion of the week (except that pop of color).

Yup. Barbie shoes.

P.S. I stole the hairstyle from a fellow fashion blogger...see? Ideas already being used!

Earrings- gifted from roommate
Shirt (which is technically a dress)- Styles for Less
Pants- Target
Shoes- TJ Maxx (mine, but bought in mind for roommate too)

A lot more fashion ideas can be stolen HERE!

Monday, September 26, 2011

fall fashion. day three.

I haven't said this yet...
but I LOVE this week!
I love getting ideas, encouraging other women, getting wonderful compliments...
It's wonderful.

I am kind of overwhelmed by HOW MANY are joining in this time.
I seriously spent about 2 hours looking and complimenting...
and I didn't even get to all of them.

SO. If I haven't left you a little note, I am sorry.  I truly am.
I will try and do another round later in the week.
And for those faithful in your comments, 

I didn't stray far from the color scheme of yesterday, which I think is my favorite for this season. 
Here is what I am wearing today:
Headband- made by a friend for a wedding I was in last year
Necklace- bought at a boutique at a music festival
Cardigan- same as yesterday (Target)
Shirt- Kohl's clearance
Jeans- TJ Maxx (Calvin Klein)
Shoes- also stolen from roommate's closet. We share our shoes.  These lovely wedges were purchased at Nine West Outlet, which I highly encouraged. :)

Can't wait to see more fashion...join up HERE.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

fall fashion. day two.

This is what I wore to church today. I love all the colors...browns, teal, yellow. Very fall-ish to me. :)

I'm sitting on the counter so you can see it all!

Almost everything has been acquired from Target in this outfit.
The only exceptions: the necklace and boots. Both given to me by my roommate.
For more fall fashion fun for today, go here!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ten days. one picture.

Well, I think I'll give you a flashback picture for this one...

It just seems that we are our cutest when we are oh-so-young.
I think I look a lot like my older self in this picture. :)

fall fashion 2011: day 1

This picture is of me picking apples.

Aren't these flowers gorgeous?!

As seen on (and stolen from) Katie's can see my whole outfit here though!    

So, if you stopped by Katie's blog before this one, you'll see similar shots...but you see I wore a tank top and jeans all day today, so nothing fall-ish to show.

Dress and belt- Target
Boots- roommate's closet :)
Vest/sweater- Forever 21

Happy Fall Fashion week! For lots of other great fashion today, go here. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ten days. two songs.

Really, I have to choose TWO? This should have been at the top...ten songs. I could do ten songs. Haha....okay, so here it goes?

2. Something Beautiful by NEEDTOBREATHE. Arguably my favorite song of theirs...until this new album. I chose this one because I got to be in the music video they made for it...twice! I have loved this song for two years now, and this version below added accordion...which made it even better than I ever thought it could be. I love its message, it all. 1. To Whom It May Concern by the Civil Wars. I chose this song not only because this duo is one of my top faves, but also because this song of theirs really sums up how I feel right now about being single, and my desire to meet the “one”. Enough said. (That and I mentioned them earlier when I revealed my secrets about singing.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ten days. three films.

You know you are asking the girl who has no real favorites to choose favorites, right?  Sheesh, this is getting harder...

3. Cinderella Man.  I don’t own this movie yet, but I think about buying it quite often.  It tells such a beautiful story about the importance of family and love, and a man’s willingness to do what it takes to fight for that.  It’s humble, and leaves you cheering him on and weeping with his heartache.  Such a great film.

2. Despicable Me.  I’ve told you there is a small child living inside of me, right?  I love Disney Pixar films.  I think this one is my far.  It makes me giggle, a lot.  I want a minion.  Just saying.

1. While You Were Sleeping.  This has been a consistent favorite for about 15 years now.  It never fails to make me laugh, and hope in real love.  I relate to the awkwardness of the main character and her desire to find love.  The supporting cast is a delight and it’s a movie you find me quoting on a regular basis.

(Honorable mentions...The Blind Side, The Help, Soul Surfer, To Save a Life, Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, Remember the Titans, Radio, Facing the Giants, Ever After, Penelope)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ten days. four books.

4. I know this is the generic answer that a lot of people give...but the BIBLE.  Seriously, it is the one book I can read over and over and get new and fresh insight into my life.  It is a comfort to me, a place of wisdom and advice, and an encouragement.  It keeps me grounded and connected to my Savior.  Even when I am not good at reading it all the time, I always want to.

3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yeah, I am a nerd like that.  I love this story! It is epic and points to the heart of Jesus even though it doesn’t outright say it.

2. Redeeming Love.  This book makes me cry in a good way and evaluate my heart.  I never walked even a minute in the main character’s shoes, but I know her heart.  It’s the kind of book that anyone can relate to.

1. The Ragamuffin Gospel.  I love the grace and the heart of the Father that this book unveils.  I am also reading a book called Destined to Reign that has some similar points.  I am only a few chapters into that one, so I couldn’t add it quite yet.

(This one is hard, because I love books...there are so many good ones! The Help, The Mark of the Lion Series, Pride and Prejudice....I could go on and on!)