4.13.2015

Count What Counts

Counting the things that count. People. Time. Love. Things that can escape us in a moment without even glancing back. We live in a society that looks for worth in the space of 140 characters or less. When did that become the norm? When did we start seeing each other as summaries of who we could or should be rather than human beings?

When did murder and death become water cooler talk? Have we all become so jaded and used to this backwards world that we read stories of lives taken the way we read the weather report?

I am tired of media pushing along the racial tension that has once again seized this country. Anger and hurt don't need assistance to make their mark. In my opinion, there is literally no reason to differentiate race when referencing the death brought on by another human being. All lives matter, and gender, race, professions should not cause any life to be weighed differently when taken. Life and people, of all types and stages, are worth counting.

We should all be bothered when someone's life is taken.

We should all take a stand in love rather than flounder in hate.

Are there bad {insert whatever you'd like here} in this world? Absolutely. Are there good {insert the same here} in this world? Without a shadow of doubt, yes.

I am one of those obnoxious people that believe, despite what Twitter and Yahoo! has to say, good outweighs bad. I have to. The moment I don't believe it is the moment I start actively praying the Lord takes me home.

I am exhausted from reading headline after headline about the evil trying to make its home in this world. Here in the United States, the Middle East, Africa. All over. Senseless murders happen every day and I realize, there is no reason in evil. Evil does evil for the sake of evil.

My heart aches, physically aches, for those who lose someone they love. It's heavy for those whose reality becomes a nightmare in the blink of an eye. We all live our lives, to some degree, with a level of invincibility. However, this year, already, I've been reminded life, as we know it in this moment, is fleeting.

I also tend to believe I have some control of what happens to me and those I love. Again, reality has come knocking at my door in the loudest of ways to tell me I'm wrong. Do moments like that suck? Yes. Do I still trust God is good in those moments? Even when I don't know how to, yes.

Rambling aside, I realize this post is vastly different than any I have ever published. Writing has been hard for me as of late, but writing in truth is always easier than writing something passion can't find. I also realize, before I even hit "publish," there will be some, maybe many, bothered by what I've said. That's okay. I will never say anything with malicious intent, however, in the midst of my rambling, are my true feelings and thoughts.

I want this country and this world to stop seeking out things to be angry about. People, by nature, are messy and will mess up. Love, mercy, grace...forgiveness. Four things none of us are worthy of receiving, but do on a daily basis.

How different would the day look if we gave it away the same way it was given to us?    
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3.30.2015

What I've Learned Along the Way

Life, and the manner in which it is lived, lends itself for us to learn. A lot. Some lessons, as we all know, are harder than others. But regardless of the level of difficulty, all lessons are worth learning.

Everyday, I'm faced with the somewhat harsh truth that I don't know nearly as much as I think I do. Everyday, I realize the amount I have left to learn is startling compared to the amount I know. Or at least the amount I think I know.

Some lessons I learn over and over. Others I have been taught, often times the hard way. Regardless of how I have come upon these lessons, I am reminded the best way to approach this classroom we call life, is with a spirit of humbleness, mercy, and a little bit of grace.

God uses the moments that make up the day and the people that make those moments count to teach us, but more importantly, to love us. What I've learned along the way is a fraction of what I have left to learn, but nonetheless, they are invaluable and irreplaceable.

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Silence is under appreciated

Deep breaths have the power to change things

Perspective is everything

Everyone is fighting a harder battle

Patience and a sense of humor are powerful ingredients

Not everyone is going to like you...and that's okay

A smile and a kind word will get you far

Dancing, no matter how badly, is good for the soul

Memories are meant to be made

Size does not determine victories

Books are magical

Productivity and relaxing are not enemies, but balancing acts

Life doesn't wait for you. Show up. Every. Single. Day.




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3.13.2015

13 Thoughts & Randoms {Cut in Half}

So, it's March 13th. More specifically, it's Friday, March 13. Now, I am not a superstitious person, so I associate "13" with a person rather than bad luck.
"Basically whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing." - Taylor Swift
If you didn't know, I can bring Ms. Swift up naturally in pretty much any conversation. It's either a gift or a sickness. I'm going to go with gift which I am more than happy to share with you.

I don't have a lucky or unlucky number, but anytime I can work in a list naturally, I'm a happy blogger. So, for your reading pleasure,13 thoughts and other bits of randomness from the week cut in half.

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one//I am absolutely loving this weather! Since the "big" snow they were calling for at the end of February turned out to be mediocre at best, I've been ready for spring days. Also, it gives me a chance to work on my supervising skills while blogging. Multitasking at it's finest!



two//I got to see my "little sister" this past week and our time together was pretty fantastic. She saw me stress out about not having enough time to finish a puzzle and we built a house of cards! I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up to be a mentor/big sister, but I'm not sure I expected to meet someone that would change my life in the way this young lady has. She is truly a breath of fresh air and I can only hope I am blessing her half as much as she is me



three//Story of my life.



four//Carolina basketball in March has me like...



five//...and sometimes, Sam can't even deal and Dani is just ready for it to be over. Mostly, though, they just don't care.



six//Me and my 30 before 30 have got to get back on speaking terms, but more importantly, doing terms. That's all. No more questions or excuses. We're almost 3 months through this year which means I have a little over 7 months to do, like, 28 things. And some of those individual things have multiple aspects.

I knew this list would stretch me. Not because of the items, but I am not the best at keeping goals, and I'm not really giving myself a choice when it comes to this. Prayers and words of encouragement are probably more than needed.



{and a half}//The contents of my tote bag on a typical day. My often neglected planner, the notebook that houses world class ideas, and two books that could not be more different.




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Happy Friday all!

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2.20.2015

Avoiding the Challenge

Earlier this week, I discovered a foolproof formula. If one combines homemade French Toast, chai tea and an episode or two of Gilmore Girls, one can achieve a near perfect morning.  I'm sure when I was younger, I thought there was no way adults could enjoy snow (or ice in this case) days nearly as much as kids. Well, news to my younger self, one could argue adult snow days are not only more enjoyable, but far more necessary.

I often joke, with serious undertones, I could teach a course in how to relax. For some reason, many of my friends and coworkers find this a difficult feat. Don't get me wrong. I am very supportive of a productive days at home, and this ice day is no different.  Laundry was done and the kitchen was cleaned, and before the day was over, the Dyson made an appearance. However, I also believe if you have the opportunity to watch Gilmore Girls and to force a blog post, you should take it sans any sort of guilt.

Oh, you're wondering about the "force a blog post" bit? (For the sake of this post, pretend you were.) I don't want to use the overly used term of "writers block" because that would insinuate I was at least trying to write. The truth of the matter is, I've gotten into the habit of actively avoiding it all together. Sure, some of it is the crazed days at work, and the more often than not rushed evenings at home. But more than anything, it's because sometimes I don't feel up to the challenge. If words aren't coming easily, than why force it? If witty, thought provoking posts are no where to be found, why should I go looking for them? Why in the world, do I think this should be a piece of cake? My guess is the great wordsmiths of the world didn't become great in the waiting. They became great by writing.

Sometimes, life is loud and uncomfortable. Chaos is prevalent and words seem scarce, but the thing about writing is it doesn't ask for perfect circumstances. 

Dean Smith once said "There is a point in every contest when sitting on the sidelines is not an option." Now, what I know about this legendary coach is a fraction of what is left learn, but what I do know is this; he left a legacy that exceeds the four corners of the court. If I want to ever be considered a writer, in the most liberal of ways, I need to realize the desire to write grows from actually writing. Beauty can be found in the waiting, however, words may be harder to find. 

In short, this post is nothing more than my jumbled up thoughts somewhat coherently put into writing. If you made it this far, bravo. I leave you with this encouragement...

be more than you are.

be more than someone teaching defensive sets and offensive transitions.

be someone that invests in those around you.

be more than what you do.

via


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2.02.2015

January Thoughts

New years are great. They can symbolize bright and shiny things and fresh starts. Who doesn't want that? I support it just as much as the next person, but here's the thing; the fresh start you're wanting? You can get it every day, week and month. You don't have to wait to toss an entire calendar into the recycling bin before getting that newness you are craving.

As I write this it's the first Monday of a new month (I feel the need to clarify this as it may not be by the time in hit the "Publish" button). A month waiting for your effort and desire. I want to approach every day and month with the same hope and dedication January gets. I mean, a lot of pressure gets put on to the first month of the year. Resolutions to change years worth of habits in four weeks. Four weeks of short, dreary winter days. If you can find motivation in those conditions, I applaud you. However, as the saying goes, if you're waiting for the perfect moment, you'll spend your whole life waiting.
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." - Isaiah 43:18-19
Fresh starts and new beginnings are not dictated by the calendar or your current situation. God does not demand a certain amount of time to past before making all things new. He asks only that you forget the things that could weigh you down, recognize what He's giving you and trust. The last one? By far the hardest for me.

Sometimes, fresh starts begin in the desert and wasteland, and though this does not diminish where you're going, trust in the trial is almost never my first instinct. I may say I have faith and I'm trusting in the path the Lord has laid in front of me, but more often than not, my spirit is looking for every other available option.

January was an odd month for me at work, with a lot of unexpected news and unanticipated transitions.  I'll lay partial blame for my lack of presence on that (sounds better than writers block or laziness), but with a pretty spectacular to do list to work on and finalize, I'm excited to start this fresh month of February.

And while odd at work, January was pretty great in every other way. My iPhone has the evidence to prove it!

left: waiting for Eric Church//babysitting the cutest boy in the world
center:celebrating Alisha's 30th with a mellow mushroom man//girls night out//a great book and pretty cup of coffee
right: spontaneous road trip resulting in a visit from the aforementioned cutest boy//Eric Church in Nashville!

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1.13.2015

30 Before 30 {Part One}

This year, in place of a resolution or two, I decided to create a list.  I'm all for a good list and accomplishing things, and since I currently find myself wishing for more time, I figured I should make the most of the time I have. That said, I want to be ambitious and have purposeful fun in 2015...the year I turn 30.

Scary.

My "30 before 30" will not change the world, but it may change me in the fleeting days and months I have left in my 20's. Though reality very rarely makes itself known in my world, I had to keep it close by while constructing this list. However, should any of you find yourself with a lot of extra money and you're unsure what to do with it, I can loosen my grip on reality and adjust this list accordingly.

Each item on this list will stretch me in some capacity and I will have to push  myself to do some items more than others. These are not in any sort of order, other than when they popped in my head and seemed worthy enough to make the cut.

So without further adieu, part one of my 30 before 30...

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1. Pop a champagne bottle DONE! - December 31, 2014


2. Shoot a gun

3. Take a ballet class

4. Paint a picture

5. Sing in public

6. Cook something new/complex

7. Do 10 random acts of kindness

8. Go somewhere in North Carolina I've never been (suggestions welcomed!)

9. Go camping

10. Learn a Taylor Swift and Christmas song on guitar

11. Play paintball

12. Go four-wheeling

13. Write a letter each month

14. Read 10 books off the Rory Gilmore book list

15. Pay off half of our debt

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In addition to reality, I had to keep myself in mind when deciding each of the items on this list. None of these things can be deemed as difficult and some may even view them as boring. To me, however, they're things I have a desire to do. Things I've thought about and never followed through in doing. Some are purely self indulgent. Others are meant to glorify God and encourage others. This is a life "to-do" list, and I am so excited about marking each of these items off.

I'm currently finalizing the second part of my "30 before 30," so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to share!

Wish me luck :)





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1.02.2015

Happy 2015 {Five on Friday}!


Happy 2015 indeed! While we're only on the second day of this year, it's off to a pretty good start. Andrew and I spent New Year's Day cleaning and organizing, eating, and watching football and Friends (thank you, Netflix!). I had a fleeting thought to go to the gym, but was distracted by cheese and crackers.
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one. We spent time and had a delicious dinner with some awesome friends on New Years Eve. I had to get at least one picture of me in real clothes because after this, we went home and the pj's came on.


two. I'm currently working on my 30 before 30 list and I am happy to report one thing has already been crossed off...popping a champagne bottle! New Years Eve seemed like the perfect time to do this, especially while wearing a Taylor Swift shirt and cardboard top hat. Sophistication personified right here, folks.




three. I've always been under the impression confetti is a pretty common thing. So imagine my dismay and disappointment when both Target and Michael's shattered that illusion. Thankfully, I married the sweetest man ever and he spent his New Years Eve afternoon making a box of confetti for me. I later repaid him by throwing it in the air and vacuuming it up. If that doesn't say "thank you," I don't know what does.


four. All seasons of Friends on Netflix. That's all.


five. Above all, the best part of New Years Eve was ringing it in with the loves of my life!


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