Monday, July 18, 2011


I was once overheard saying that the only way to get me to run was by chasing me from behind with a knife. I think I was traumatized by the "Friday Fun Run" in high school and I never looked back. It was NOT fun. But I found myself trying to figure out how to lose weight, and not ever quite getting there. And then my brother posted this video.

I thought to myself, "If this man could do it, so can I." So, I looked up ways to ease into running. I found the Couch to 5k program. It is now week 3. It's amazing how sometimes it is quite easy. It's like my body is celebrating the fact that I am making it do things it is not used to doing. And other days it's harder, and I have to press through to finish what I started. I have started out with walking and jogging. Each week adds a new challenge, and it seems that even though it gets harder, I am ready for it when it comes. I am most proud that I have stuck to this. I can't say that I like running. But I don't hate it. In fact, it is teaching me about pushing through and persevering in a very practical way.

It's funny to me that the pounds aren't just melting fact, sometimes I feel like I am gaining weight. However, my body is changing, firming up, slimming down. I am excited to see this through. In the past, I have not wanted to say out loud what I want to accomplish for fear of not following through. But I can't waste time worrying about that.

Instead, I am taking the one two approach and hitting it hard by re-joining weight watchers at the same time. There is a fight within me that wants to get there. To lose the weight I need to be healthy.

There are a lot of fears...and of course, they are irrational. Fear of failing. Fear of accomplishing and what that would mean for my life. Fear that I'd get there and then somehow end up back where I started...which would almost be worse than failing in the first place. I am looking fear in the face and moving...jogging forward.

As I meet some markers, I'll share. But really so far I consider it a great accomplishment to have not only started it and not missed a day, but to have taken being active much more seriously in the last 4 months. I know it will pay off.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

dear twenties

As I wind down through the last few days of my twenties, I thought I'd reflect on all the adventures each year brought me. My twenties overall were pretty good to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Age 20- Celebrated in New Orleans! (Not what you are thinking though. I was a chaperone for a youth group...) Moved out on my own and started school at Cal Poly. I cried after my dad moved me in. It was bittersweet. After trying to live life my way, I gave my life fully to the Lord and found an amazing church that I am still a part of today. Got hired at the company that eventually gave me a grown-up job!

Age 21- Really started to develop deeper friendships here in San Luis Obispo. Began to learn how to play the guitar. Began to dream of being a leader in ministry, reaching out to people and seeing them saved. Saw some major financial miracles, especially related to car issues, and began to learn about God's provision.

Age 22- Went to Hawaii as an early graduation gift with my mom, which was an amazing gift both in the time we spent together as well as the fun we had! I moved out with my choice of roommate (instead of them being assigned like at Mustang Village), and we bought our first bbq. That was a great year. I also dyed my hair red for the first time. Joined the worship team at church.

Age 23- Got promoted to House Supervisor at work, which equated to a 40 hour work week of supervisory duties plus a full school schedule co-mingled. Somehow I managed to get good grades, still stay highly involved at church, and get decent sleep. It was a miracle. I graduated from Cal Poly! I spent a lot of time with a boy who turned out only to be interested in friendship. God healed my acne through loving and financial support of church family after I had prayed for healing. Before that help came through a great dermatologist, God asked me to fast from makeup for a month. That was hard...and quite a story. I learned how to swing dance!

Age 24- Moved into a big house with 4 other girls, and God began to show me even more how to have sisters in my life. I started leading a cell group, and learned much about being a leader for the Lord. I got promoted to Manager and really started to be invested in the company. I bought a newer car, which was great because my old one was not reliable anymore! I also learned in this year that I love being a host to people and having people in my home.

Age 25- I found out my mom had cancer, and watched her pass away. This was probably one of the most difficult years of my life. Things at work were especially tough this year as well. I learned much about leaning on God, and walking through grief. But some good things happened too! I found my long lost childhood best friend Jami, and that was a great joy to me. I also realized what a blessing some of my friends are, as they helped me walk through my grief.

Age 26- The travel bug began to bite and I took a train trip to Colorado to see Jami. It was incredible. I continued to learn how to handle grief through birthdays, anniversaries and Mother's Day. I moved out of the household I had been living with into a house with one of my best friends, Stacy. Due to stress at work, I was sick more often that year than any year I've known before. By May that year, I transferred to a new department, and miraculously stopped being so sick! I also sprained my ankle for the first time in my adult years. Haha. God also brought amazing brotherly friends into my life during this year, after spending some time at a distance.

Age 27- I was a bridesmaid for the first time. I fell in love with NEEDTOBREATHE for the first time. I was shocked by the arrival of my 10 year high school reunion. I started another friendship with a guy that ultimately ended in disappointment. I am pretty sure that this finally sent the message home that God wants me to be pursued, not to pursue. I re-started my cell group and grew in faith that God wanted to use me to lead women. I had my first Christmas away from my family, thanks to on-call for work. I ended my 27th year by leading worship for the first time!

Age 28- For some reason, my desire to get married kicked into full speed in this year. Maybe it was because I ended up being a bridesmaid in TWO weddings during this year?! Probably not quite the full reason, but perhaps they helped. This is also the year I became a full fledged NEEDTOBREATHE fan and joined their Street Team. This quickly progressed into me becoming a Respirator and then traveling to the Carolinas to see a home show. Thanks to them I have fully re-discovered my love for travel! I discovered a love for photography, expanded my music collection...all thanks to my new favorite band. I got a trial run at being a mom when I took on the full care of two young ones when their parents were in the hospital giving birth to the newest addition to their family. I want to be a mom SO badly. Just saying. My 28th year ended with an overwhelming financial gift, which was needed to fix my car.

Age 29- the last of the 20s. I set 29 goals for the year and accomplished quite a few of them. I wrote a song and posted it here on my blog...something I've never done before. I bought the nicest car I've ever owned, and in it, God worked some miracles, including getting me to finally pay off all of that credit card debt! I bought a really nice camera so I can take awesome pictures! I traveled again to the south and enjoyed every minute of it. I bought a queen sized worth it! Saw many concerts, including several of the top faves that I had not seen yet. Volunteer my Saturday mornings to Adopt-a-block and love connecting with people in my community. I preached for the first time, and realized that God can do so much more through me than I let Him. Finishing my 29th year with a road trip to Seattle. Started running. That's something I never thought I'd do.

Hopes for the 30s: Get married, have some kids, sing in a greater capacity than I am currently, lead my friends to Jesus and learn what it really means to disciple, travel to Europe, get completely out of debt (car & student loan), and maybe even own a house.

13 days left of my 20s!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Being a woman on the verge of turning 30...still single despite a deep desire to be HARD.

It has made me think a lot lately about the reason why. I look around and see plenty of handsome, Godly single men around, and yet many of them are not pursuing anyone. I've heard arguments of them wanting their lives to be lined up so they can be the provider. I've heard that church dynamics make it intimidating to make a move. I understand...but it breaks my heart. I wondered if this delay in pursuit was just a prevalent thing in my area OR if as suspected, it's a bigger issue making its way through our society that just so happens to be affecting the men around me.

I stumbled across this blog by Pastor Mark Driscoll today which said, "The mainstream media has also picked up the gender issue in a cultural context. In recent months The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal have run major stories chronicling the fact that young, single men are not growing up as quickly, attending college as frequently, or assuming responsibility as maturely as their female counterparts. As a result, many women simply expect to not marry and are preparing to become mothers and live life on their own because they struggle to find men stable and dependable enough to share life and its responsibilities." The included links, though explored through a worldly viewpoint, expose a pattern long woven into the fabric of our lives. It is now reaping the results. And this pattern is wreaking havoc on my love life.

Of course, this is not the sole blame for me being single still. I am not blaming anything. I trust that God has a plan, and that plan clearly is not within the design of MY timing. If it were, I wouldn't be here, now, writing this post. But my purpose, I guess, in writing this is to bring awareness of the attitudes and thoughts that are permeating the world around us. And maybe, just maybe, some men will read this and ask themselves why they wait.

You see, while there is delay, we women are waiting. We are left to protect ourselves, which we were not born to do. We are left to provide for ourselves, which is not what we want but do out of necessity. We can do these things, and do them well. However, we are trading in the roles we desire to fulfill in order to take care of ourselves. I love how Stasi Eldredge states what women desire- “to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a grand adventure, and to unveil beauty”, to which I would simply add “to be protected and provided for” as well. While we are left to our own devices, we end up misusing the gifts we’ve been given because we feel like we have no other choice.

I am praying about what I can do while I wait. I pray for my husband...a lot. Not just that he would find me soon, but about his relationship with God, his future, his heart, his protection. I pray that he would be the kind of man who breaks through the hesitancy in our generation to be the man God created him to be.

I want to see the men around me rise up in confidence, see themselves how God sees them, and not fear any success the women around them have obtained. I re-read Proverbs 31 the other day, and I realized that God has made women for success and honor. Men should not be intimidated by it, but rather be seeking these kinds of partners. I am wholly convinced that two are better than one, though everything around me cheers independence on. How much more beautiful are the two when their foundation is built on Christ, and yet for somewhat petty reasons, people my age delay marriage...sometimes not even on purpose. I pray that we would begin to see how the patterns of the world have affected our lives and take a stand, fighting for marriage with guidance from the Holy Spirit. That is key.

I'd love to hear any thoughts...from singles, those dating/engaged, and married folks! Obviously this is an issue weighing on my heart!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

checking in

Last year, I made a list of things I wanted to do before my 30th birthday, and we are counting down the days (20!) before that date! I thought I'd give an update on what I accomplished. It's funny some of the things I wrote down...some of them are not that important to me anymore. The point of the list was to accomplish a few things in the name of fun, as well as a few more serious ones. I got about half of them done, which makes me happy. I might do another one for this next year. :)

1. Pay off all of my credit card debt (accomplished January 2011!!!)
2. Go wine tasting (went in Temecula in August 2010, even joined a wine club!)
3. Bake a pie from scratch (a must do in the next week or two, not done yet...)
4. Take a train trip to Seattle (well, I'll be driving. I am counting that. And it will be in two weeks!)
5. Slow dance in the rain (yeah...need a person to slow dance with...didn't happen)
6. Write a new song (yes! one of them was a joke, but it counts!)
7. Own a gorgeous green dress that goes well with cowboy boots (yes and no. It looks better with my black boots...)
8. Get a facial (just got a deal, plan on doing it before my birthday!)
9. See the redwoods (on my way back from Seattle, I will be driving through them!)
10. Go to Disneyland (played hooky and went in August 2010)
11. Camp at the beach (I probably won't get this done before the b-day, but maybe after...?)
12. Hike all of Bishop's Peak (nope, but I am training for a 5k. I'm okay with this.)
13. Go see a show at a theater (saw a ballet. I plan on seeing a broadway show in NY in the fall.)
14. Stay up late and watch shooting stars (a great idea in theory. I like sleep.)
15. Walk/bike through Bob Jones Trail (did it with two friends on a beautiful day!)
16. Get my passport (this is a MUST in the next year. I plan on traveling more...)
17. Volunteer at least once for something new (technically, I started volunteering my Saturday mornings to adopt-a-block, bringing food and love to a neighborhood in need. I love it!)
18. Go to a local festival and fully enjoy whatever its theme is (I still would like to do this.)
19. Make it to at least 2 NEEDTOBREATHE shows (I made it to THREE.)
20. Re-read the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy (almost done!)
21. Watch "The Godfather" (I need to borrow it from a friend. We'll see if I get it done before the deadline.)
22. Try donating blood again at least once (um...yeah. I should do this, but still haven't)
23. Go out and have tea with friends (shortly after this list, a friend invited me and a few others to her house for tea and dessert. I am willing to count this. But now that I have taken out my mom's china, I want to host a tea party!)
24. Read the bible in the year (again) (in progress.)
25. Lead women through a cell group and see their lives changed by God (still a goal. But I have been making strides toward this.)
26. Eat a meal on my mom's fancy china (just did! Last week! Thanks to the encouragement of my roommate.)
27. Visit my brother (did in December!)
28. Make up a hip hop routine (not really a priority anymore.)
29. Go on a date ( can hope that it will happen before my birthday, but it's not looking like it.)

By my birthday, I will have about 17 out of the 29 things done. Not too shabby. I'm excited that I got to do so much over the last year! What a great way to end my twenties! :)