Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unwrapping on a Saturday

I am going to try and type this post really quickly without re-reading it 10 times and editing it 5. Should be exciting! (And i've already failed on the first two sentences. sigh.)

Every day I have a choice to make. Let the piles of laundry consume my life and time, or choose my family instead.

Now, hear me out, I am not saying that it is okay to neglect your health and let your life get completely chaotic, but on the occasion when there are (what seems like) fifty million chores calling your name and your family sitting in the living room it is okay to choose family instead. Certainly the Lord has blessed us with belongings and possessions, and we are called to take care of what He has given us... but I don't think He meant for us to be anal and let the idea of a controlled, put-together house to be our focus and to come before opportunities to spend time with people. There is a balance and we must find it.

The Lord has blessed me with amazing parents who let their 22 (almost 23) year old daughter live at home while her flow of income (and uncertainty of next year) doesn't allow the option of her having her own place.

And so every day, every moment, I have a choice to make.

Lock myself in my bedroom and sort through the piles of laundry, dust, vacuum, clean toilets, sit on the computer, etc.. or choose to gather in the living room and enjoy the company of my family. I might as well enjoy where I am right now because who knows where I will be next year. And let's face it, the laundry and all of those chores will be there tomorrow. Waiting ever so patiently!

Granted, an organized life would probably not let the chores get out of hand, but i'm not a perfect individual and would never claim to be such. So since this is me and sometimes my laundry pile becomes more like a laundry mountain.... i'm choosing daily to look at my options and then decide where my time would be better spent; Taking in the relationships and opportunities around me.

(There's a difference in going out and looking for something other to do - that would be neglecting or ingoring. I'm saying when you are given an opportunity to go spend time with friends, family, or watch your sons baseball game and you must decide chores or relationships.)

Learning to rest can be hard. But it's worth it.

Over spring break I had big plans to go through my closet and dresser to get rid of winter and bring spring/summer clothing to the front. Organizing everything in my bedroom to where it worked for me and then cleaning my overdue bathroom. Rhonda had other spontaneous plans like deciding to go to Panama City on Friday evening. When we got back to Texas I had a few more days left to clean.

What did I do?

Let's take Friday for example - this was my first morning to sleep without having any plans or a place to be so I took advantage of it and slept in a little bit. When I woke up I spent time with the Lord and ate breakfast. Next, I was going to work out, tackle my bedroom/bathroom so that it would be nice and clean when my family from Mississippi came through that evening. Two other (engaged) friends were also coming over around 5:30 to talk about wedding plans and then all the girl's from Erin's wedding were arriving that night as well. Somehow I was supposed to squeeze in a shower in there as well.

As I was finishing up my breakfast I received a text message from a friend inviting me to come over and lay out.

I chose her.... and the conversation that I knew would be there.

Sure. Every single one of these following thoughts crossed my mind -

My family is coming in and staying in the room across the hall. How important is it to me that they see my room perfectly spotless? That messy room, it proves to my family that i'm normal and my room is lived in. No need to put on a mask.

The two friends who came over around 5:30 - they ended up seeing me without eye make up and in shorts and a t-shirt. Do you think they cared for one second? Nope.

The freedom in being real instead of coming across put together all the time... it's good.

Each night this week I slowly spent time tackling the tasks in my bedroom that needed to be done. So i'm choosing... choosing to rest... to decide what's more important.

And leaving the chores (and other tasks) for moments that won't keep me from family and friends. This is where I am... I want to take it in. Sometimes I fail miserably and choose the silly internet - but i'm working on that!

(PS - dad is fishing, Casie is helping with a d-now, and mom is cleaning.... so now i'm off to clean. Hopefully you were able to gather my thoughts and point to this post [I will not edit, I will not edit, I will not edit.] haha! There is a time for everything and when we're faced with options, such as relationships or chores, we have a choice to make! You should visit Emily's blog every Tuesday as she unwraps the little moments of life!)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I AM A...

This weekend was the end of our spring break, but the beginning of Ouachita's spring break. Erin planned almost 2 months ago to have us all here this weekend so that we could spend time together and get fitted for our bridesmaid dresses. Hannah in the red scarf declared it "our day" because every other day is going to be "All About The Bride!" Ha! Yesterday evening as we were watching The Proposal we made buttons that said - I am a bridesmaid! Our names are on them so that people will know who we are when we're at any event pertaining to EY's wedding. Funny!

As we were making them I got to thinking about an event that happened over Spring Break.

Casie and I spent Monday afternoon on the beach getting some sun. We weren't concerned with anyone else on the beach or any of their intentions; we wanted to get some pictures of us on the beach, get some sun, and just relax. Never once did it cross my mind to flaunt my body, to do something for attention, or to look for any cute guys. I didn't need any of that... and I can't express to you how satisfying and complete that made me feel. He is good.

For the few hours that we were on the beach no one messed with us or even really spoke to us. Kind of shocking considering the usual stories you hear about spring break. But as we were leaving and heading back to the main street to meet my parents everything turned around.

Every single car that passed by had something obscene to say. I'll refrain from repeating their comments. Filthy language left and right. Girls standing on the streets in extremely revealing clothes doing just about anything so that a guy will notice them. One guy even walked up to us and asked us to hang out that night.

This statement will sound so cliche, but.... People need Jesus. And for the first time I felt like I could actually see it through His eyes. I felt like I was complete and I didn't need approval or anything from anyone. It was sad to sit there and watch these people trying to find satisfaction in other things that will not fill or last. On one hand I was so blessed at where the Lord had brought me the past year, and on the other I was sad for these people. I knew the answer to their problems.... I knew what they needed.... and I wanted them to taste it. Just a little sip and they won't want to ever let it go.

When we finally met up with my parents we went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. Say it with me - YUM! Mom and Dad headed in while Casie and I sat in the car finishing something. A car pulled up and parked a few spots down from us and 10 - 15 guys unloaded and headed into the restaurant. I immediately said, "There are good guys still out there."

None of them had a bible in their hands. I hadn't spoken a word to any of them. Nothing. But there was something about this group that stuck out after the beach scene we'd just experienced. Now granted, it was 6 PM and most spring breakers are not concerned with chick-fil-a at this hour, but still... they stuck out. There was something different.


For times sake, i'll cut the story short.... come to find out they were on a mission trip sort of like a beach reach. They spent their days on the beaches and their nights in the bars. How exciting! I wish I could have heard how one of their days looked or turned out.

We thanked them and let them know that it was very refreshing to see not only other believers, but a group of godly men.

So as we sat there making our bridesmaids buttons last night I wondered, Would I need a button to identify me as a Christian? Or is it evident that i'm a follower of Christ?

We are called to be salt. light. set apart.

And i'm here to tell you that it is possible to be complete, whole, and satisfied in Him. The foundation can be so solid and firm. And the joy... it abounds within your soul so much that you want to tell others about your experiences with Him. That joy, that peace, that ongoing relationship with Christ - is evident to others! That sets you apart. That makes you a light. That salt adds flavor and sustains. And I want that. I want to live there. In the place where His peace, joy, freedom, and healing abide. I have tasted it... and I don't want anything else.

Do you need a button?

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:13-15

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. John 17:15-18

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:6 is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Show and Tell

My plan was to do my Jillian workout (The Shred) and then run a mile so that I would have 30 minutes of exercise in for the day, but instead I sat down at the computer and found these quick 8 minute workouts. Just thought i'd share the ones I enjoyed. And by enjoyed I mean, felt a burn and thought it would be worth your time! Because let's face it - some workouts can be down right cheesy and worthless.

8 Minute Abs - An Aerobic Workout. My parents used to have all of these workouts on VHS. I have zero clue if they could be located in our house right now. Good thing you can find just about anything on the internet now days.

These next two videos are work outs from Professional Fitness Trainer Autumn Calabrese. Not sure who she is, but the workout was intense. My toosh was burnin!

Working Out Your Butt :) yes mam! Can we change the name to Working Your Butt Off?

Exercise To Trim Your Hips - I didn't actually do this one, but if it's anything like the bottom workout then it's great!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Language

Okay Okay. I know you've been sitting on the edge of your chair waiting to see what my love language was... so with no further a due, here we go.

My highest ranking was a tie between Words of Affirmation and Quality Time.

This came as no surprise to me! If you had asked me 3 or 4 years ago I would have told you my language was physical touch, but after analyzing how deep that ran and where it came from I realized that it was not indeed the truth. Words of Affirmation is me to a T.

Ask my family what my routine is when I get dressed every day. They'll tell you that I typically ask them how I look and if they like my outfit. Hearing their words will not determine if I choose the outfit or not because i'm confident enough to be myself, but it will make me feel that much cooler and loved!! :) ha!

Knowing this about myself explains so much about my 'acceptance' issues in high school. I wouldn't let anyone in unless I had first heard from their mouth that I was good enough to be their friend. You could hug me, give me gifts, or offer to carry my books, but until you spoke some kind of words to me that showed me that you liked who I was then I wouldn't let you in or feel safe. So interesting!

It also is interesting because if I were to tell you which act of discipline worked best for me personally, I would have to tell you the things my parents said to me was enough to get the point across to me. My heart sunk when I heard words of disappointment, disapproval, anger, etc.. No need to ground me or spank me, you can say something to me in just the right tone and you've done enough.

Your words will stick for a good while (possibly forever), but not because i'm angry or hurt. Just because that's who I am!

And on the opposite end, my lowest was Receiving Gifts. Which is pretty funny! Don't get me wrong, I like a nice gift every now and then, but really and truly they make me incredibly uncomfortable. Because I don't know how to say thank you back... especially if I don't really like the gift... because i'm a words girl and I can't lie to you. I won't say something unless I mean it; Excuse me if that's harsh. I definitely don't mean it that way.

It's also hard for me to give gifts. I do enjoy shopping for others and surprising them (every now and then), but I don't want to be around when they receive or open the gift. Totally makes sense now!

So for future reference.... don't spend your money on me, you'll speak more love to me (and save yourself a few bucks) by offering a few words of encouragement or complimenting something you've seen in me! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Language Do You Speak?

There was a post tonight on the (in)courage website about Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages. (Wow, there were a ton of links in that one sentence! Took me a good minute to get that one down.) I'm all about some love languages and figuring out who is what. I think it's the teacher in me that likes to analyze and assess every one and every situation. Details. Picking things a part. Planning. Oh yes!! :)

An old friend made me take this test a few years back and I almost had an anxiety attack in the process. I'm not good with analyzing myself.... or I wasn't at the time. I think entirely too hard and too long when trying to decide which speaks more love to me. It's probably best to go with my first instinct. When I got my results back then I sat there going, Really? Is that me? What if I lied? What if I was wrong? What if i'm more this? Do you think I really.....

And now your blood pressure probably sky rocketed and you feel anxiety rising in your chest. You're welcome!

Anywho, tonight I read the questions out loud to Casie, just for fun, to see what her love language was. It didn't take her near as long as it took me the first time I sat down to do it. Ha.

She tied for her highest score with Physical Touch and Quality Time. Which explains why she never notices when I clean the bathroom every afternoon. Because Acts of Service speak zero love to her. That was her lowest ranking language - Acts of Service. Which also explains why she never feels obligated to do the laundry or unload the dishwasher.

Do you know your love language? Maybe i'll share mine later.... :) I'm sure you're dying to know!