Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just because there are obstacles in your way doesn't mean you're on the wrong path

For the past 2 months I have been attending a group at my church called ZAO. It is for anyone between the ages of 18 and 29. ZAO means alive, to live, to have life. And I have got to say I have never met a group of people with such life in them. Everyone who attends comes from a different background and when I am with them I don't feel judged at all. We all have our struggles, but we have overcome them and through that we are able to encourage others with the same or similar problems. I started going to the church it is a part of about 3 months ago. My friend Kristal and her brother Daniel (my now boyfriend :) but that's a whole other story) encouraged me to start coming to church on Sunday morning and ZAO Thursday night. Pastor Leonce is over ZAO and he is an amazing speaker. I have never been so encouraged and challenged to be my best. Either my first or second week there PL challenged us to be nice to our enemy. It was our way of celebrating National Hater Day, I think. I knew who it was that I was supposed to be nice to and anyone who knows me well enough can probably guess who it is. I was willing to accept the challenge but I kind of shrugged off the importance of it by the end of the night and didn't think another thing about. When I returned to ZAO the next week and PL mentioned the challenge I realized that without even trying I had accomplished it. My enemy doesn't even know I was nice to them, in fact they know nothing about the whole challenge. I defended this person against someone I love dearly and there was nothing in it for me. I didn't try to be nice, I wasn't even thinking about the challenge, I was just doing what my heart told me was right, and for that I know it was sincere.

July 24th PL challenged us to get rid of the one thing or one person that was standing between us and God for one week. Now this I was not too thrilled about. I knew instantly who that person was for me. He had been my best friend for 4 years and he recently got engaged and I wasn't too happy about it. I cried most of the night, knew it would not be easy but I told God I would give it a try. I told Daniel who I was having to get rid of and I told him that maybe this guy getting engaged was the best thing that ever happened to me. I either called or text him once that week but he didn't respond and it was then that I accepted that this was what God wanted for me. From then on I didn't care that I had just given up someone I had been holding on to for so long. I was giving up the one person I had let give me my purpose, and in doing that I came to grips with the fact that God was the only one who could do that for me. It is what He thinks about me that matters most.

Accepting all of this was still very hard for me but God made it more obvious that it was in my best interest. Last Thursday PL spoke on Mark 10:17-21 where God told the rich young man that he lacked only "one thing." PL asked us to contemplate what our "one thing" was that is keeping us from fully committing to God. For me it was still this guy. For years I had listened to what he said about me and accepted it as the truth. This was a huge night of healing for me and I am thrilled to say I have finally let him go. I do not wish anything bad upon him but I realize that by being his friend I was harming myself, my spirit, and my relationship with God.

And with alot of contemplation I realized that I never would have been able to pursue a relationship with Daniel if I hadn't let go of this other guy. I have been so much happier over the past few weeks. I haven't had this guy dragging me down and I am secure in the assurance that God's opinion of me never changes, I may disappoint him but his love never fails.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Something old....something new!

My parents recently went to visit my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Marlina in AL and knowing my love of fixing up old furniture my mom jumped at the opportunity to bring me an old dresser Marlina was getting rid of. This cute little number has a textured surface and tons of potential and I couldn't wait to get out my paints and brushes and give it a face lift!

Luckily the other weekend was fairly cool and I was able to open my doors and let the air blow through the screens to keep the fumes at bay so I could paint! I pulled out my drop clothe and went to work.
2 paint brushes, 3 colors, and a few hours later and this little baby was done! I am still on the hunt for the perfect pull drawer handles but in the mean time I am quite pleased with myself!

And the results are.......

I absolutely love fixing up used furniture and would love to do it more often. Wouldn't it be nifty if I could turn this hobby into a career? Speaking of career.....

I am officially a Financial Service Representative which is a fancy name for "bank teller that doesn't get paid enough to put up with crazy people's shenanigans"! I had 8 days of in-class training and 2 days observing another teller. Now I am the one being observed. I cannot even begin to explain the amount of information that was crammed into my brain in such a short amount of time! Information overload! I have already gotten some dirty looks and a few "Aww, you must be new" smiles. I've even been been tempted to crawl under the desk and hide! Another teller was helping a woman and she began to pitch a hissy fit when she didn't get her way (because what she was asking us to do is illegal) and she began screaming and even threw the telephone at the teller after getting done talking to the manager! I sat back wide eyed trying not to hyperventilate! When I left for lunch that day I called my mom bawling my eyes out and told her I can't handle this! I still don't know if I can handle it! I don't feel like a bank teller, I don't act like a bank teller, and I sure as heck don't look like a bank teller! I am a poser! My inner hippy is seriously rebelling! I've been thinking about it and the only other job I can imagine having right now is to work at Starbucks! I love coffee! Coffee runs through my veins! If it could be administered through an IV I would be hooked up! Currently none of the Starbucks in the area are hiring but if a position opens up I don't think I would hesitate to take it!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I was tagged by Peaches and posh!

Mary-Catherine at Peaches and Posh has tagged me to list the 5 things I love the most! So here goes....

1. My family. I live within 10 minutes of my parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew and I love it! Getting to share old memories and make new ones is such an exciting time! And of course the arrival of Hannah and Elijah has been such a blessing! It is so much fun to cuddle up with them and see their personalities blossom!

2. Arts and Crafts. I love anything artistic! Painting, photography, drawing, writing, and most recently, fixing up old furniture! To be able to take something that is old and already has some history to it and give it a face lift and a new life is thrilling!

3. Thanksgiving. It is my favorite of all holidays! There's no stress of gift giving and it seems much more relaxed! We cook for days and when we finally get to enjoy the meal it only takes about 15 minutes to be stuffed beyond belief because there is so much food!

4. Reading. I love curling up with a good book, whether it be a comdey, romance, mystery, or historical.

5. Spending time outdoors. Sitting on my deck overlooking the valley while having my morning coffee. Laying in a hammock. Going for a walk/hike. Taking pictures of nature. Going to the river. Though sometimes it is just a matter of letting the outdoors in- opening the doors and letting the breeze blow in through the screens.