Cindy Lou

Dear Friends,
Today I feel a little like Cindy Lou Who in the Grinch - the words of “Where Are You Christmas” running through my head.  I am not sure where my Christmas spirit went, but I know for sure I have misplaced it.  I love this time of year, and I am normally Ms. Christmas.  I started listening to Christmas music in October and my tree was up before Thanksgiving. But this year has been different for me.  I don’t know if it was the feeling of everything being rushed or for the first time I felt the pressure to buy the perfect gift for everyone.  We have been surrounded by parties and people, and I not saying those are bad things.  I just feel like I missed Christmas while I was supposed to be celebrating Christmas.  I tried so hard to get it back, but here it is December 26th and I missed Christmas.  

I missed the magic of the lights.
I missed the feeling I get when we sit down and open presents.
I missed my Mamaw something fierce.

I think the problem is not that those things were not there, but that I wasn’t present for them.  I have been so worried about Christmas - I forgot to enjoy it.  I am sorry I know this post may be a little sad for the day after Christmas, but I had to get these feelings out.  Now that I have - I feel a lot better.  I think I shall celebrate Christmas now.  


nerd life

So this summer, I am working part-time in an office with my Mom which means a little extra money and squeezing all of my favorite summer-time activities into the four days that I don't work.  You know all of the summer-time activities that are particularly thrilling to nerds like me.  For example, cleaning and reorganizing closets, catching up on my summer reading list (which would rival that of Rory Gilmore), spending as much time in the sun without resembling a lobster, and possibly disappearing into some form of inexpensive adventure.

So far this summer, I have started four books but finished 3.  The only one that I have yet to finish is The Book Thief, and I am looking forward to finishing it. Its intense and sad, but I will finish it. The 3 I have read to completion are The Fault in Our Stars, Beautiful Disaster, and Walking Disaster.  I absolutely loved all 3, and I love that the books we read throughout our lives shape who we are for better or worse.  Books allow you to escape to worlds and experience emotions without the commitment of living through them even though I often find myself entrenched in the worlds created long after the book is finished.  I can't completely separate myself from both the love and darkness Hazel Grace feels in Fault, and to say that I identify with Pigeon who is both attracted to and afraid to fall for the Disaster of a man in both Beautiful and Walking Disaster is the understatement of the century.

Now I am not going to say that you need to read these books because your taste may be completely different from mine.  I am just going to encourage you to read - read whatever it is that you find appealing.  It will enrich your life and your view of the world.  I thought, in the interest of inspiration and in hopes you will share yours with me,  I would share my summer reading list with you.

The Book Thief
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl 
To Kill a Mockingbird
Wuthering Heights
The Giver
The Secret Life of Bees
The Hiding Place
Number the Stars

If I read all of those, I have some classics that I would like to read at some point.  So as I said, I would love to hear about the books you are reading or planning to read.  Also for those of you who have children, Scholastic has a summer reading challenge you can learn more about here.

So nerds, go read a book.


remind me

So it has been a while since my last post - life has been incredibly busy lately. I have missed this as it is my favorite/only outlet for all of the thoughts that are often jumbled up inside my head. I hate pulling the busyness card because it will inevitably sound like the worst excuse known to man, but it is the truth.  I have no other reason, no other excuse to offer other than busyness.  It is during these times when I forget things and must be reminded of those ideas that are of vital importance to my life.

1.  I have to remember who God is and just how big He is.  In the busyness, I get caught up in my own petty problems and forget that He is Almighty God.  I like the idea that He wants to be my friend, but I love that He is my fortress, my strong tower, and the place from which I gain strength.  You know that I LOVE Nehemiah, and I often go there when I am discouraged or grumpy from being discouraged.  So I thought I would share Nehemiah 4:14-16 with you again.
"When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: 'Do not be afraid of them(those people who were trying to discourage them from building the wall); remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.'"

2.  This verse also reminds me of who I am - not some weak, little pipsqueak!  I, we are called to be warriors - to fight.  The war belongs to God, but we are certainly soldiers in the battles.  I have two verses for you on this one.  Galatians 4:6 says that,
"Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'"
And 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us about this Spirit.  
"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, and love, and discipline."
I don't know about you, but I just love the idea that God sends His Spirit into our hearts.  Through Christ, we have access to God and His abundance - grace, mercy, comfort, strength, power, the list could go on forever.  There are days, and today is one of those when I have to pray, as Nehemiah did, "O God, strengthen my hands."

3.  Nehemiah 4 also reminds me why - why I get up every day and go to work, why I work with children.  We are fighting those battles for them, for those people God has entrusted to us.  I fight for the 20+ darlings that climb the stairs to Extended Care every day.  I fight for the 100+ boys and girls that darken the doors of the CrossPointe Kids building.  I fight for the ladies that work with me every day, and most importantly I fight for George, Joyce, Candace, Brittany, Jonathan, Madison, Wyatt, Daisy Claire, Papaw, David, Brittany, Aunt Debbie, Ben, Mallorie, the boys, and many other family members.

Maybe you are like me and need someone to say, "Remind me, who do you fight for?"


Valentine's Day

The Single Girl's Top 4 Reasons to celebrate Valentine's Day

1.  Tulips and Truffles!  Why waste an opportunity to celebrate with fresh flowers and chocolate?  Come on people, you have an excuse to take that cheat day on your diet.  And believe me, you are completely capable of buying these things for yourself.  I do every other time I want flowers and candy!
2.  Ryan Gosling, Paul Newman, Ryan Reynolds.  So many great movies - Breakfast at Tiffany's, You've Got Mail, Crazy, Stupid Love, The Proposal, etc  Yeah, I don't mind so much spending V-Day looking at them in a sweet. sappy, albeit unrealisitc display of life and love!
3.  V-Day is fun.  Around the preschool, we paint pink and red hearts on anything that will stand still!  Did you know that you make a fish and a penguin using only hearts?  Bet ya didn't?!  Then you get to have a party with enough various forms of sugar to provide energy for the entire state of California.  Okay, so maybe there was a teensy bit of sarcasm in that last bit, but it is fun to see the children so excited to pass out their valentines!
4.  "All you need is love."  Whether you want to admit it or not, chances are you are loved by the people in your life.  This love does not have to be from a spouse or significant other, love comes in many forms.  So take time to celebrate the love you do have instead of focusing on what you do not have.  

I know some of you will read this and continue to whine about how Valentine's Day sucks if you are alone, and I really hate that for you.  Some of us face every day without a significant other and sometimes that really sucks. But if you focus on the bad days, you will miss all of the great days! 

Here's hoping you have an awesome Valentine's Day!



Fun Friday!

Okay I have another confession!  I know, I know you are tired of hearing my confessions - especially when they contain no juicy gossip for you to pass on in the form of a prayer request!  I hate it for ya!  Anyways... my confession!  If you had asked me ten years ago where I would be in ten years, never would I have said working in a preschool and living with #littlegirl!  I am pretty sure at that point, I was not particularly fond of the small version of people nor was I close to my middle sister!  Neither one of us was very nice back in the day!   But God (yeah we have those moments in our lives, too!) had another plan, and here I am.  I work with three and four year old babies every day, and Candace and I have shared the same living quarters for almost 5 years! The confession is that I am VERY happy with my life!  It's not what I had planned nor what I expected, but I love it.  I love my job, and as much as it pains me to admit it, #littlegirl is my best friend!  I am not saying that all days have been good days or that I have not chased her around the apartment beating her up with the frying pan (yes, Mom I did that last week!), but I am saying that for right now I am pretty pleased with life!

Okay confession time over!  Because I find myself in such a good mood, I thought I would share with you some of the things that have made me smile this week in hopes that maybe you smile!

Daisies remind me of "You've Got Mail" and my Mamaw! 
Come on, isn't he beautiful?  Like manly, ruggedly, beautiful!!
So many great quotes - I promise half of the things I say come from this show!

Okay, so have a beautiful weekend!  Smile!  Laugh!  Go on an adventure!  


new year

Confession - I have not made a new year's resolution, and I have not even made a list of things that I want for this year.  If I am completely honest, I have not been entirely retrospective concerning 2013 because it was a tough year!  There were  times when my heart hurt as though someone had torn it out of my chest with their bare hands.  There were times when I was so exhausted, I found myself doing the minimum and going through the motions of life.  I have longed for heaven and the peace and relief it will bring.  I got so very frustrated with myself and my foolish pride, my wandering heart.  I think I learn every day a little more about the value of His grace and patience.

Do not get me wrong, there have been some wonderful times this year, but struggle seems to be theme we focused on this year.  I began this year striving for balance and quickly realized that it only takes one stumble for all those things you thought were balanced to come crashing down!  Have you ever been there?  Have you ever just needed a break from the world?   I think that is where I found myself this past year - I think I found myself going through the motions because caring meant hurting, and I didn't have time to deal with all of that.  So I kept going and going until I could not get up any more, so for most of the holidays, I did very little besides lay on the couch and be a bum.  

I think it was the best thing I could have done - you see all of the resolutions and goals don't mean anything when you can't remember why you are doing those things.  So for me, 2014 is a chance to remember why I fight, a pause to get my bearings, and an opportunity to move forward past the struggle.  I don't think I will make a resolution or a list this year, I just want to be present.