Monday, November 29, 2010

There will come a time

What do a priest, a gas man, and a cop over the age of thirty have in common? They are the only potential dates I seem to be offered in this sad, sweet little town I now live in. (Okay, maybe the cop is only 28 but since the priest was around 40, I think my point stands.)

The accounts of the priest and gas man are especially comical. Summaries are necessary.

The priest was a regular at the Chick. Although (hopefully) he was not a Catholic priest, he did frequently wear the black 'clerics' and white collar. What a way to pick up girls... which is exactly what he tried to do when he pulled Katherine aside one night and asked her if he could ask me out. Ahh! This whole mess was just that- a mess, but it has to be one of my fondest memories of Katherine to date. I can still vividly see Katherine running back to the office where I hid, flushed and breathless, because she didn't know what to say to get ride of this suitor (??) and felt somewhat guilty at the thought of lying to a priest. But when he wouldn't be swayed (and I directly quote, "I'm going to go home, pray about it, and come back tomorrow") she was left with no other option than to lie and tell the poor man that I was in fact seeing someone. (But don't you worry, Jay's businessman concerns were unnecessary and my rejection did not cause us to lose the priest, Jeff's, business and he still visits us often. Chick-fil-A sandwich, large fruit cup, diet lemonade, and lemon pie anyone??)

The gas man is a slightly creepier tale. I waited until the middle of November to decide I needed to set up the heat in my apartment. Honestly I just hadn't gotten that cold- I had my trusty space heater and the neighbors heat rising through my floor boards to thank. But when it became apparent that winter was right around the corner, thoughts of last year's crazy snow started haunting me and I decided it was time. So I set up an appointment with the gas man. Since I do in fact have a full time job and am unable to just sit at home and twiddle my thumbs until it's my turn, I had to give the gas company my phone number so they could give me a call to let me know when they were on their way. 8am Thursday morning, my phone rang. The gas man came, turned on my gas, and left. I thought that was the end of that. I was wrong. Later that day I was at work when I received a text message from a number that looked vaguely familiar. The text asked me if I had found someone to light my pilot light (it is against their policy to light it themselves- stupid I know, isn't that your job?). I politely told him I would get it taken care of. He then told me he didn't want me to get cold. Uhh...?? I finally told him I would call my landlord right then and he left it at that. But that was not the last I heard from him. Later that night I got another message that read, "ok, it's killing me... how old are you?" Um.. What?! I told him I was 22 thinking surely that would allay his interests. But no- he proceeded to ask me then if I had a "limit." (You should know that I do actually... 7 years! Haha!) I told him this and then asked how old he was (I'd seen the man and I wasn't blind... he was WAY older than 29)- his answer: 35. Yuck.

Old(er) men, I'm not interested. Sorry.

Thankfully the priest and I have avoided one another's company in the store and I didn't hear from the gas man after that evening (a fact I'm especially thankful for since he not only had my number, but knew where I lived!!).

This Thanksgiving, it was truly incredible how many times I was asked if I'd met anyone "special." One of my aunts even said, "you should go on a blind date," since that is how she met my uncle. Um.. last time I checked you had to be set up on one of those. I mean I'm game if someone would like to arrange that! No?? Oh... okay. I guess once you graduate college the next big milestone is finding a man. HA! (Okay I just made myself laugh out loud on that one!)

I found myself a little squeamish the other day when facebook graciously informed me that the 84th person I graduated high school with had gotten engaged/married (okay that may be a slight exaggeration... but only slight!).

What the heck, man?! Since when are people my age ready to be husbands and wives? And yet something in me right now longs greatly for that exact thing! We all want to be known and loved.

I want to be known and loved.

I want someone to know every single bit of me and only love me more for it.

I don't tell you these stories and these feelings to elicit pity... no, not at all. In fact, I hope you laugh as hard as I did while all of this unfolded. As much as I desire 'true love,' I also know the truth that I'm not ready. God made me for himself first and until I am completely and totally his, he will not give me the one he made for me. And after the choices I've made and the paths I've walked over the years, I trust him a lot more than I trust myself! The sweetest part is that he is on my side! I believe that God made marriage so that we might know his love here on earth through that person. He isn't keeping anything good from me; he is just waiting for his own timing to give it to me the way he designed. Because his design is perfect.

"There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears

and love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears

get over your hill and see what you find there

with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."

-'After the Storm,' Mumford & Sons

"Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."

Song of Solomon 8:4

There will come a time. And I will wait.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

be thou my vision

The lyrics of this song (especially the first 4 words- "Be Thou my vision") have been on my heart tonight as I fight with myself for the truth that God's love is "better than life" and nothing can compare.
Nothing will ever compare.
Lie: In this life, the best is yet to come.
Truth: I am his and he is mine. So the best is right now.
There is a version of the song on the playlist below- by Rebecca St. James (it may even be playing now)-
it is beautiful!
(The lyrics are slightly different.)
Enjoy and be blessed.

"Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, and I, Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not nor man's emptly praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art

High King of heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun
Heart of my own heart whatever befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all"

"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you."
Psalm 73:25

"What is more, I consider everything a loss
compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him..."
Philippians 3:8-9a

"Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands."
Psalm 63:3-4

"You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."
Psalm 145:16

You are my all-in-all. Satisfy me, Lord.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

the love that let us share our name

When I graduated college, it didn't hit me right away that I wouldn't have weeks at home for Thanksgiving and months off for Christmas anymore. But now I am finding myself tired and worn out and ready for a much needed break. The past few months have flown by- and I've kept so busy that I only become aware now and then that I haven't seen my family in a while. (We haven't all been together since August! Wow!) Because Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, it has worked out that I get to go "home" to Roanoke Wednesday night and then enjoy four beautiful days away from the Chick catching up with these two-

Aren't they stunning?

It has (sadly) taken me years and years to appreciate the beautiful gifts I've been given in these two. But this Thanksgiving I am so excited to get to hang out with them. I get to hear about Sophie's most recent major change at Longwood and her latest heartbreak; I get to hear about Rachel's college choices and college applications and hear her rumble up the driveway in her (very loud) truck.

The three of us are completely different and no one would have ever referred to us as "three peas in a pod," but we were given to each other for a reason and I feel blessed and encouraged by our unique personalities.

For those of you who haven't gotten the privilege of meeting them, I'll share a bit about my little sisters-

Sophie: 19 years old, a sophomore at Longwood University-
Sophie is emotional and she feels much and loves hard. I have learned over the years that Sophie is incredibly loyal. She has had the same group of friends since middle school (something that I am regularly jealous of), but she still has a personality that is warm and welcoming and continues to invite new people to join her life. Sophie decided to be an RA this year at Longwood and I think it has been both a blessing and challenge. She gets to play the role of friend and comforter for so many freshmen getting acclimated to college living, but she is also given the task of disciplinarian, which is never fun. My continued hope for this sweet, sweet girl is that she would lean not on herself, but on everything that she knows about the one who made her and that that knowledge would grow every day.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Rachel: 17 years old, a senior in high school,
5'4'' and the tallest gal in our family despite being the "baby"-
Rachel certainly marches to her own beat. You know how people can tell a funny occurrence and it's often one of those "you had to be there" scenarios? That never happens with Rachel. When my mom retells the most recent 'Rachel-ism' or shares her latest foolishness I crack up. Every time. Rachel is a character and one of the funniest kids I've met. She has such a unique style and it is a rarity to see her influenced by what everyone else is doing. Next year she is going off to college and I can't believe it! When did she grow up? Once she's on her own, who will she choose to be? And more importantly: whose? It is my prayer that this precious, one of a kind young lady will fall madly, passionately in love with the one who created her. And that in that love she will find who she was designed to be and rest in the knowledge that she is loved beyond measure.

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19

It is incredibly hard to sum up all that a person is in a single paragraph. And my words don't do them justice- but I am delighted at the idea of knowing these two as adults. I've had friends come and go from my life, but my sisters are my sisters for life and I can't wait to share what is to come with them.

(Us in Winston-Salem last year for Thanksgiving)

"Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing
like the love that let us share our name"
-'Murder in the City,' The Avett Brothers


Saturday, November 20, 2010

True or False?

"Good things come to those who wait."

Maybe this familiar phrase is true... and maybe it is only a half truth.
I am becoming so aware of the truth that our God is a God who not only asks us to wait on him, but invites us-
no begs us- to seek him.

"Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always."
1 Chronicles 16:11

"My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!'
Your face, Lord, I will seek."
Psalm 27:8

"But if from there you seek the Lord your God,
you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Deuteronomy 4:29

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

It comes up so often in scripture that it must be heavy on God's heart for his people to seek him and the relationship we were created to have with him. It has been so easy lately for me to appreciate and enjoy what God has placed right in front of me- but I am realizing that with his beauty so obvious all around me, it is also very easy for me to forget to actively seek him out. God is not running from us, so to talk about pursuing him can seem a little strange- but in a relationship don't we all want to be pursued? And we are called to be in a real relationship with Jesus, so naturally he would want us to pursue him the way he pursues and chases after us. How much are we missing out on by failing to search out what more God has for us? We are lazy and we want things to be handed to us- so we get comfortable with the idea of "good things" coming to those who "wait." I find myself thinking, "if it is what God wants for my life, it will fall into my lap" or "this is what is in front of me now, so it must be the best that there is." Lies! The truth is that I am settling (so often because I'm scared) and he wants so much more for me.

Look at the beauty we found when we went searching-

That is not a view that will just fall into your lap!
(More from that adventure later!)

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13

I want to seek... and find,

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Day Off

After some debate and many conversations about my working on Saturdays (Jay wanted me to and obviously I was opposed), we decided that I would try taking Mondays off instead (that way I'd have Sunday and Monday off back-to-back and feel the relief of an actual break). Today is the second of these Mondays off and it feels wonderful! Last monday was a great day, very productive and full of new experiences, but it was full to the brim and I wouldn't really call it a relaxing day. So today my plan was to stay in and bond with my apartment. (:

My mama bought me this mirror as a "house warming gift"- I love it!

I thought I'd share some of the thoughts that are running through my head and shaping my day off:

1. I love the food channel.
The one and only thing I miss about having tv is not having access to the food network.
So hallelujah for the internet and the next best thing-!!
Today has been filled with Giada and Ina (yes, we are on a first name basis!).
It is truly inspirational and I might have to actually make dinner this week (any takers?).

2. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I have found my 'style icon' for life-
Diane Keaton
Here are some ideas of what I hope to exemplify stylistically in my adult life-

Thoughts? I'm excited about this discovery! (:

3. I love fresh flowers!
Kroger had these little "manager special- $1.99" at the check out yesterday so I grabbed a few bunches; my mantle changes on a regular basis-

4. The gray day outside was repeating one word to me over and over: SNOW. I got a little nervous about the fact that I hadn't set up my heat yet- so I finally called Columbia Gas and they'll be here Thursday. So far my trusty little space heater (and my neighbors heat) has kept me toasty- but better safe than sorry I suppose.

5. My apartment is kind of a mess and I am totally not done moving in.
The other day someone said, 'you were an interior design major- you need to do more than this with your place.'
Yes, thanks you very much, I'm quite aware of this fact! Give me some free time and finances and I'd love to make my place as snazzy as it is in my mind!! Here is my inspiration- I.Want.This.Couch. It's from the movie 'Because I Said So'- what is with me and Diane Keaton these days? (If you see anything that resembles it- call me immediately! Ha!)

Until then... baby steps, and my attempts for now will be directed at keeping it clean!
All in all, it's been a good day off, a fun day in, a very peaceful day by myself. I'm excited to see what these Mondays off look like over the next few months!

We are called to enjoy a sabbath and until today I am not sure I have ever experienced one!

"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his."
Hebrews 4:9-10

"All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing."
Isaiah 14:7

We can't break into singing without the peaceful rest!
Take a break and enjoy!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010


(Please pause the music at the bottom before watching.)

I watched this 4 times last night... in a row. Hilarious.
Enjoy and share with others if you want to increase the amount of joy and laughter in their lives.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Lately I have been painfully aware of regret in my life.
There are a lot of times that it threatens to overwhelm me;
I get to this scary place where I start to feel 'too far gone'
and I almost believe the lie that I'm close to breaking one too many rules and being deemed hopeless.

One of my favorite worship songs comes from Psalm 130;

here are a few of the lyrics that hit me hard and lightened my burden tonight as we worshipped at leadership-

"Though great our sins and sore our woes

His grace much more aboundeth;

His helping love no limit knows,

Our upmost need it soundeth."

-'Psalm 130'

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life,

neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future,

nor any powers, neither height nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God

that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:38-39

It is a glorious impossibility that I will ever be too broken,

too messed up, or too far gone for God's abounding grace and helping love!

"How fickle my heart

and how woozy my eyes

I struggle to find any truth in your lies

and now my heart stumbles on things I don't know

this weakness I feel I must finally show."

-'Awake My Soul,' Mumford & Sons

Sometimes it becomes hard to decipher the truth from the lies, but I think that the haziness-

the doubt and wondering- comes in part from life's changing seasons.

We travel through seasons in our lives, and God not only allows them,

but he recognizes them and their purpose.

"There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven."

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have walked through some really beautiful seasons, and I have trudged through some really gross ones-

and although those dry seasons are absolutely not the full life God intends for us,

I don't believe for one minute that he will use them any less for his glory.

And God. Is. Good.

"And we know that in all things

God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose."

Romans 8:28

I think that 'fickle' is the perfect word to describe us.

We bring upon ourselves so many of these 'seasons' with our "fickle hearts,"

and yet I had the most incredible experience with the seasons a few weekends ago

and it gives me great hope for what the Lord is capable of doing in and in spite of me.

We got back from Fall Weekend at Rockbridge and instead of curling up on my couch

and crashing for the rest of the day like my body was begging me to do-

Taylor and I decided to pack a lunch and drive up on the parkway to take advantage of the beautiful fall afternoon.

It felt like we drove forever (way past the overlooks I found on my last drive on the parkway),

but the discoveries along the way were so worth it.

The scenery was breathtaking. The hours were adventurous.
The friendship and laughter was such a picture of the fullness that love brings to life.

And then we drove further- and found 'Love Gap' and apple trees!!

I am learning left and right that there will be glorious days like this one-
warm, full, and wonderful with adventures and pretty scenery-
and there will be awful, gray, rainy ones that seem to last for years (and sometimes literally do)-
but the truth is that God never changes and I am his.
His love knows no limit and his grace aboundeth!

"I, the Lord, do not change..."
Malachi 3:6

He is steady and oh, how he loves us!