Sunday, April 29, 2012

Short Story

Birthdays have always been a big deal to me.  I'm the type of person who thinks no one should work on their birthday--that instead there should be lots of doing what you want, cake for breakfast, multiple visits to Starbucks, and a parade.  And that's only if you're keeping things low key.

I love that birthdays are a marker of time; a day to contemplate God's faithfulness over the past 12 months.  To look at the questions I started with last year and that now have answers.  To see the questions I stressed out about a year ago that are now irrelevant because God took me down a different path than I could see at that time.

Life certainly has a way of turning out differently than what we think of or plan.  Ten years ago I would have thought that I would be contentedly settled as a stay at home mom of at least 2-3 kids by the time I was 30.

Life looks different.  Dave and I often feel that we are steps behind out peers.  Most of our friends have a house or kids; a lot of them have both.  Dave is just now getting ready to be done with school at 35; and I at 30 am just getting to the point where a full time job might be a reality.  We are older than a lot of our friends who are having babies (I have known 13 women who were expecting children in a 6 month time frame; there is something in the water here)!  We greatly desire children.  But our school/work status deems it to be just not the right time.  We want to be wise and for us that means being debt free before we welcome kids so that I can stay home with them (something hard to achieve when one person is in school and the other can't find full time employment).  So for us, that means that babies are at least a couple of years out.  I confess that often that's hard for me.  I start playing the comparison game and whining to God:  Why couldn't we be where we are "supposed" to be?  We aren't even at the starting out point!  So many of our peers are way ahead--it feels unfair!

Those thoughts betray such a distrust in the goodness of my God.  At moments (and there are many) when they rear their ugly head I have to remind myself that this is our story, chosen for us by an all knowing, all powerful, faithful God who loves the mess out of us.

I pinned a quote on Pinterest a few weeks back that said, "The reason that we struggle with our insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."  So true.  It's easy to look at the Facebook page of someone else and see only the things we want, and not all that's there.

The bottom line is that God can be trusted.  He is writing my story, and it's a good one.  So here's to a new year, and starting it out with all my questions, anxious to see what God does.  It's going to be a good chapter.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Craftiness

Here's what you do to sweatpants that are too short (something you frequently come upon in your wardrobe when you are tall like me and they still make women's sweatpants based on someone whose 5'6" or so).  Cuteness no?   It took about 2 minutes and cost $1 in ribbon.  Yay fun projects!

 Before (the closest leg is all ready pinned)


 After!

**I've washed these twice now and one time the ribbon on one leg came out; no worries though as I just restrung it through the hole and retied it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The BIG One


In less than two weeks I will be 30.

30!

Even though it’s the big dreaded number, I have to say I am pretty stoked about turning 30.  My 20′s were rough; full of so many mistakes and growing pains, wrought with immaturity and a lot of self discovery (and also a lot of doing what other people expected of me.)  And though I am still light years behind my peers in this whole growing up and self awareness thing, I’m glad I have my 30′s as a fresh decade.

I started thinking about all the life lessons I’ve learned in the past 30 years–the things I wish someone had told my 20 year old self–and made a list of 30 bits of wisdom I wish my younger self would have started out knowing.  So, to commemorate my upcoming birthday, here they are: 30 bits of wisdom from a soon to be 30 year old (AKA “30 Mistakes of Mine to Learn From”)

1.  Don’t go to college just because you’re “supposed to.”  Don’t get a major or choose a job just for the money, but at the same time don’t buy into this “get a job that fills you with joy and purpose” crap.  Find something you’re good at that also is a means to providing for your family.  Your career is not who you are, it’s just what you do 5 days a week.

2.  Stay away from people who always tend to have drama going on.  Usually they are the reason why.

3.  Never, ever, ever sit around waiting for a guy to call.  “A watched pot never boils.”

4.  Exercise and eating well make you feel more energetic, rested, and confident.  Do them.

5.  Sugar and caffeine do the opposite.

6.  Seek to be pretty, not hot.  Do not model your actions, words, or dress after a Kardashian.  Find a beautiful, godly woman you admire and emulate her.

7.  Don’t search for God’s purpose for your life.  Read His word and the instructions in there.  Do them.  (This will eliminate soooo much stress in your life.)

8.  Realize that Jesus and your future husband are two different people.  The cute sayings on Pinterest about waiting for a man who “understandably stands silent when you’re mad” are lying to you.  Get over your unrealistic expectations of what a godly man is and find out for real.  Seek counsel from godly women you know.  Real men aren’t found in a Nicholas Sparks novel.

9.  Be cynical of doctors.  They treat only what they know and they know surprisingly little.

10.  Learn what it means to really work.  8-5 behind a desk isn’t hard work by the way.

11.  Talk to people from different stages, backgrounds, and demographics.  Meeting people and seeing how they live will change your mind about a lot.

12.  When it comes to clothing, if it’s not beautiful or comfortable, don’t buy it.

13.  Get over Facebook.  Each time you write a status ask yourself, “Is this in any way an attempt to gain attention?”  Normally it is.  Get off Facebook, and go take a walk.

14.  Guys who lie to you are poison.  Eat an ice cream cone and move on.

15.  Maturity is often messy.  Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

16.  Never be in a relationship of any kind with another adult where they are consistently taking more than giving.

17.  Use correct grammar.  It makes you seem smarter than you may actually be.

18.  Don’t argue with someone to try and prove your point.  Few people are actually open minded.  Share what you know and be done.  Don’t let them bait you.

19.  Be thankful.  It has the power to change perspective.

20.  If you don’t like something about yourself, change it.  “That’s just how I am” is a crap excuse.
You call is your personality.  Jesus calls it sin.

21.  Learn how to drive stick shift.  The older you are, the harder it is to learn.

22.  God is only good to us.  Write this on your body with a sharpie until you remember it even in the darkness.

23.  Never, ever look at a situation and think it’s hopeless.  God is a redeemer–of sins, of people, of pasts, of relationships.  Never forget this.

24.  Pray like your life depends on it.  Because it does.

25.  Work hard.  Don’t be that person that is surprised to actually work while at work.

26.  "Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”  Look at your group of friends.  Edit that group.  Move on.

27.  You know that part in the Bible where Jesus says to take care of widows and orphans?  He meant it.  What’s your part?

28.  Obedience should be immediate or it’s not obedience.  Remember this when following God and when parenting your children.

29.  Go outside every day.  You need air and sunshine.

30.  Do not stick a utensil in a blender while it is running.  You will be tempted to think, “I bet I can barely tap that strawberry down towards the blade and it will be fine.”  Many a wooden spoon has died this way.

Why I'm Here

I decided to start a blog because I have been craving a platform for my writing, for my thoughts, for my journey.  Before, I would just write my thoughts and ideas through notes on Facebook.  The problem with Facebook though is that all of your “friends” read what you write, and then feel compelled to argue with you.  (Not to mention that something about being on Facebook and interacting through it turns us all into 12 year olds again).
I don’t even know who will read this, or even if anyone will.  It’s cathartic to me just to write my thoughts.  My greatest wish would be that I could encourage others.  Inspire creativity.  Offer perspective.  Get some from others.  So here’s to the start of a new journey.  We’ll see what happens…