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2011: It’s going to be a good year!

March 7, 2011

So here we are, March 2011! I haven’t updated in a while because there was so much going on and so many unknowns. Things have changed almost as much as they possibly could since my last post. The biggest change is that we decided not to move to California (for the time being). It’s a long but interesting story. We started thinking and praying about staying, and as soon as we did, everything started falling into place (a good sign I’d say). The house we had previously lived in, in the West Midtown area was still for rent and the landlord said she’d love to have us back! So here we are, in our 3 bedroom/2 bath little home for the next two years. I haven’t lived in one place for longer than 6-9 months since 2002 so it’ll be a really nice change. We got rid of basically EVERYTHING when we decided to move to California, so slowly, but surely we are filling the house again. I have also recently developed an obsession with learning to decorate so our home will continue to be a work in progress and on going projects for the foreseeable future.

One of the biggest affirmations for us to stay was that Ian and I both felt God telling us the same thing individually about staying. We feel like this is a time of preparation for whatever the next phase of our life will be (whether that is San Diego, here, or somewhere else). We both felt like this is a time for us to grow and learn in many aspects of our lives. Although I don’t really know what’s in the future (near or far), I am SO excited! I feel like life has been on hold for a while and I’m finally starting to jump back in with both feet.

The day we signed the lease on our home, we also finally became members of the church we have gone to for the last three years. I LOVE Grace Midtown. It’s unlike any church I have ever been apart of and it is so exciting to see the things happening there. Ian and I also finally joined a house church through Grace Midtown and it’s been great developing new friendships. We hadn’t really pursued friendships because we thought we were moving across country soon. Also I FINALLY decided to reapply to college and finish my degree!!! I don’t have much left to do: one or two classes, an internship, a “cross cultural experience”, and a few odds & ends I left undone from before. I am so so excited about that! I should also be able to stretch it all out over the next year so I can keep working fulltime and finish school. I will have a BS in Counseling and Human Services and minor in Biblical Studies, although I’m looking into making the Biblical Studies minor a dual major.

So I guess that’s basically where we stand for now! Here’s to learning and growing!

When It Rains It Pours

December 6, 2010

Here we are once again, Monday. The weekends always go so fast, and it’s freezing today which doesn’t help! It has been a rough few days for me. If you’ve read my previous couple posts you know Ian and I have had a few financial set backs and I was starting to get discouraged. Well, it didn’t get any better over the weekend. Thursday night driving home from work I knew my car was going into the shop Friday morning. For lack of a better word, on my drive home I was begging God to give us a break on my car and that we wouldn’t get more bad news. I was feeling very drained and didn’t know how much more I could handle.

Well Friday comes around and we find out my car will cost another $1,000+ before we move to California. I was disappointed but kind of expected the worst. That afternoon I was eating a bowl of cereal when I suddenly felt something kind of “off” in my mouth. I looked in the mirror and saw that almost a quarter of one of my molars had broken off. We don’t have health or dental insurance so I immediately knew hundreds of more dollars just flew out the window with that bowl of cereal. That was my breaking point. Luckily the only person around was Rory (the 22-month-old I nanny) because I lost it. One of my first reactions was to get so angry with God. Why does He keep letting me fall flat on my face?! I’m really trying to get my life together and do what I feel He is wanting me to do. I was so angry and fed up and hurt. What’s the point in trying anymore? I was ready to give up. I still want to give up.

When stuff like this happens I tend to shut down and shut people out. On Sunday I begrudgingly went to church with Ian because he was running lights. I wasn’t exactly in a “sing to God” kind of mood, I was feeling totally confused and at a loss of what to do now and hurt because it seemed like God didn’t hear me or care about hearing me. I was just ready for the opening worship set to be over so I could sit down and zone out. Then basically the first thing out of the speaker’s mouth was, “When an issue or situation won’t go away, sit down and listen because God is trying to speak to you.” …uh…okay…got it… Maybe I need to shut up and listen? During the end worship set I’m still not in a “sing to God” mood and they’re singing these pretty songs about how great God is and how He’s always there for us and everyone around me is so lighthearted, but I’m just not feeling that. I feel like God has forgotten about me and I don’t feel like He’s there for me. I’m sitting there and I start reading the lyrics. I realize some of the lyrics are about who God is. He’s the Creator and He’s the God of the universe; He’s glorious and all-powerful. I slowly realize those are reasons enough to worship Him. He doesn’t owe me anything and He certainly doesn’t answer to me. While I don’t deserve anything from Him, He’s already saved me. I kind of sat there like, “oh, okay, I’m starting to get it.”

While I’m still trying to let it all sink in, I also keep wondering, “what does that mean today, and tomorrow, and in my day-to-day life?” I still feel confused and lost. Where do I go from here?

Still a lot to learn…

With Change, Come Tests…

December 2, 2010

Like clockwork it seems that when you give up control of something and give it to God you get tested. Let me tell you, the tests have already started pouring in! One of the reasons Ian and I put off moving until March was so we could save up more and get our cars in tip-top shape. We took Ian’s car in and found out it was going to cost a pretty penny more than we expected (of course). We dropped if off over Thanksgiving week(end) and while we are in Florida Ian gets a call saying something else was broken and needed to be replaced upping the cost by $500. His car alone drained $1,500 from our savings which was more than we were planning to spend on both our cars combined…mine hasn’t even been looked at yet. I am terrified about taking my car in because we thought it would be the more expensive car to fix.

Before all of that, we decided to put a part of the Christmas money we get towards a charity. It’s so tempting to change our minds sometimes, but it’s something we really want to do. I’m just trying to remind myself that God is in control.

Then last night when I was leaving work Ian tells me he finally got a hold of a previous landlord about getting our deposit back. She told Ian she wasn’t going to give us our $800 deposit back. Now Ian and I are both very clean people and take good care of things, we had left the house in better condition than we found it. We’re pretty positive she spent our deposit, but not really sure if we can do anything to get our money back. On top of that, we can’t get a hold of another previous landlord about getting the correct amount back for our deposit (she sent us a check for $200 less than what our deposit was). As of now, there goes another $1,000 that would really come in handy for saving to move and fixing cars. It’s really frustrating and I’m trying to remind myself that God is in control. He is, right?! It can be disheartening when we’re set on doing what we feel is right, and getting knocked down repeatedly. I’m praying there aren’t anymore multi-thousand dollar “tests” coming our way!

The Rich, The Poor, & The Ugly

November 30, 2010

I wanted to share my thoughts on something that is weighing heavily on my heart the last couple weeks. Lately I have been very convicted about my use and views on money. A few weekends ago Ian and I were visiting some friends in Nashville and went to church with them. The message was on money and how we put ourselves first and if there’s some left over we might give it to God. At the same time we don’t hesitate to ask God to bless our lives and finances and wonder why He doesn’t. How or why would He bless us when we hold on to every dollar so tightly and are only concerned with our selfish desires? We ask Him to bless us but we aren’t willing to give up control and put God first. On the drive home from Nashville, Ian and I talked and decided to really give God priority and control of our finances. It’s obvious to us that we aren’t doing a good job on our own, so what do we have to lose?

The next week we went to our church and the message was about how the rich in the world are responsible for taking care of the poor in the world, as far as the Bible is concerned. Matt, our pastor, covered many statistics on the status of life to different people in different parts of the world. One of the shocking stats was that in America we spend $450 BILLION on Christmas EVERY single year, while the cost to provide clean water for everyone in the world is $10 billion! Matt also covered what makes someone rich if you look at the world . If you have electricity and running water, you’re rich. If every person of driving age in your family has a car and you even have the option of going to any type of college, you’re in the top 10% richest in the world! As the top 10% richest in the world, we control 90% of the world’s resources. On the other side of that, almost 8 BILLION children die a year from starvation, that’s a child every 7 seconds! In this stat, the children are only 5 years old and under; that doesn’t include the 6, 7, 8, 9 year olds that starve to death. In light of all of this, Ian and I have decided to join in on something called Advent Conspiracy. I really urge you to check out this two-minute video:

Update

November 30, 2010

So here we are in the end of November and I obviously did not keep up with this blog. Oops! As always, things never go the way you plan for them to go, so I’ll try to give a quick overview of what’s happened in the last nine months.

Ian and I have moved twice in an attempted to save money and move to California. We moved to midtown area at the end of March for six months, and we both LOVED living in the city through the summertime. Then at the end of October we moved to Snellville to live with my in-laws our last couple months in Georgia. As far as our California plans go, we’re moving to San Diego in March! I am so excited about moving there in the next couple months and starting a life out there. We’ve also started planning our road trip across country when we move and I am stoked about it! We’re going to take our time and see a lot of people and places along the way. Ian has never seen the part of the country we’ll be traveling through and I haven’t seen it since I was a kid. We have also gotten rid of a lot of our belongings. We don’t own anymore furniture anymore and only have what will hopefully fit in our cars when we move!

There’s my update in short. I’ll be sure to keep posting regularly!

Week One of Kinetix

February 28, 2010

Our first week of Kinetix comes to an end. I’ll admit it is going better than expected in some areas and not so well in other areas. Surprisingly the food has all been really good! I haven’t felt like I am missing out on eating good food, plus we got two cheat meals so that helps. Also, Ian basically hit the ground running and never looked back. I’m really proud of him and his determination to make the most of this whole process, and it’s already paying off for him! He’s sleeping better, has more energy, he’s eaten all the right foods at the right times. The only problem he has seemed to have thus far is…me. Boo! My first week wasn’t so smooth. I have not been sleeping well at all for about two weeks which is making me grouchy and exhausted after work and wanting to bail on workouts. I think my meal plan is slightly off because I have spells of feeling light headed, my chest has hurt (sometimes I have inflammation of the cartilage on my ribs) which means I’m not really supposed to be lifting much (ie weights or a 22 pound baby!), and my new heart rate monitor isn’t monitoring my heart rate!!! At least they are relatively easy fixes, and I will say if it has to go better for one of us or the other, I’d rather it be going well for Ian, and at least we both aren’t down on it at the same time! He’s been really supportive and encouraging so I’m determined to have a better second week! I gotta get to feeling great and get my booty into shape before California in 5 WEEKS!!!

Does anyone have tips for buying running shoes if you are prone to shin splints?

Heading West for Easter

February 18, 2010

Ian and I are going to Orange County in six weeks for Easter and I am soooo ready! …well almost. I cannot wait to see the ocean and palm trees and a horizon and for “sunny & 70’s” weather! But…I have to meet a certain goal first. Last time I went out there was right before Christmas a little over a year ago and considering that I was in Southern California I was miserable! I was there almost two weeks and I was exhausted and dragging, cranky and stressed out, and in pain (I ended up having to go to Urgent Care). Who can enjoy vacation when they feel like that?! I am determined to feel the opposite this time! I want to feel great and not want to go to bed at 8pm California time! This is my short-term goal with Ian and me starting the Kinetix program on Monday. I have six weeks to feel like a new woman!

Okay, so speaking of going to California, this is where I need some help. How in the world do you beat jet lag?!?! Every time I go out there it is so hard for me to stay up past 9pm! Plus I feel gross after sitting on a plane for five hours. We may be flying in Easter morning so I have to land ready to go. What are some tips for hitting the ground running and feeling refreshed?

Ps. Tomorrow is 2 weeks of no coffee (I have allowed myself one cup a week though) and I feel great! I haven’t slept well at all this week and I actually had more energy than usual. Last night I slept great and I woke up with so much energy today! Loving it!