|A sampling of some of the things you might bring home|
|A sampling of some of the things you might bring home|
I discovered with my summer bucket list, I initially set the bar too low. Since I crossed most of my list off in the first couple weeks, I added a couple things:
The current owners have 10 chickens in the backyard. There’s also a garden, and a fireplace, and so much more. I’m excited to share it with you soon!
What’s on your fall bucket list? Leave a comment below.
Almost three weeks ago now, I turned 24! I celebrated with lunch with my friends at work, then leaving early to play my new guitar!
This was Brian’s birthday present to me. He’s a used Fender, and I love him. It’s like they say in Harry Potter – “The wand chooses the wizard,” but in this case, “The guitar choses the girl.”
My birthday goal was to learn to play “Happy Birthday” before the end of the day, and I succeeded! But boy, I forgot how much it hurts to play until your fingers get calluses.
What’s something you’ve learned over the last year? Share it with us in the comments!
To me, summer = beach, beach = seashells. I have quite a collection – Panama City, North Myrtle Beach, Cannon Beach, several beaches in California and a beach in Mexico are represented.
Most of them have sat in my craft drawer or a jar on the bathroom counter, just waiting to a creative way to be displayed. Thank you, Pinterest.
In my summer bucket list post, I mentioned painting seashells. This is such an easy craft, it doesn’t really need a tutorial, but since I put my own spin on the Pinterest versions, and the shells turned out so well, I really just wanted an excuse to post pictures.
|Reading at the beach|
|Santee Alley in the Fashion District|
For the first time ever, I have a nickname other than abbreviations of my name, like Em or Emi. My co-workers gave it to me. It’s Bossy Sauce.
It’s completely ridiculous. Here’s how it happened: One of my female co-workers was telling about the Sheryl Sandburg initiative #banbossy, intended to empower girls by not calling them “bossy,” but instead “strong-willed,” “leaders,” etc. I pulled the website up on my computer, and at the same time, one of the IT guys remotely connected to it to fix an issue I’d been having. The #banbossy campaign had the opposite effect for me – because of it, people started calling me bossy. And “sauce,” well, I have no idea. You’d have to ask Kyle.
But the nickname has stuck. It stuck, because it fit.
I feel like my job requires me to do impossible things on a regular basis. Not exactly “impossible,” but beyond my skill set and comfort level. In order to do what needs to be done, I’ve adopted a sort of confident persona. I don’t like taking charge, but things have to get done. Bossy Sauce makes things happen.
In May, we visited family in Iowa for a week, and while there, I realized how much I’d changed. I felt a tension between wanting to act and think like my high school self, quiet, being a wallflower in conversations, and in general, blending in. But I knew that wasn’t who I was any more. Or was I?
Was the confident version of myself just a cover up, or was it always there, deep down?
Why is it that I can stand up for myself at work, but not in other contexts?
I really thought I finally knew myself well. And then I changed.
And that’s why I want to blog. Since I have a full time job, the pressure to grow a following and gain sponsors is off, and I can just blog for myself again.
It’s just difficult, when you have a full time job, that lately has required working 70ish hours a week.
Even though my work involves lots of writing, I need to blog here still. Because this is where my true voice is. Blogging here feels like being my true self.
It feels good to be back.
“A week of meditation and confession.” This how the Lent devotional series from She Reads Truth would end?
I don’t often really think about my sin. It’s uncomfortable. And I certainly don’t talk about it with anyone else, despite what it says in James:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
That’s beyond uncomfortable, to a level of vulnerability that I can only aspire to.
But praying the prayers of confession with the She Reads Truth community was exactly what I feared, and hoped for.
It felt like removing a deep, deep splinter. You know it’s going to hurt, but the only way to heal is through the pain.
This prayer in particular ached for days:
Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;
help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
they fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but thee,
no law but thy will,
no delight by thyself,
no wealth but that thou givest,
no good but that thou blessest,
no peace but that thou bestowest.
I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can do nothing but that grace adorns me.
Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
So as Lent ends, there’s nothing left for me to do but lift my empty hands, and pray:
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.
I waited for the service to start sitting at the end of my row, while people bustled around me, greeting each other, reserving their spot with their Bibles while they went to get donuts and coffee.
I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I knew I couldn’t even muster a Sunday morning smile and “fine,” today.
I closed my eyes and tried to clear my head of all the boiling emotions. Church was starting soon.
Why am I angry?
The thought caught me off guard. I wasn’t angry… just frustrated. Bitter maybe. Ok, definitely a little angry. Fine. Pretty furious, if I was honest.
I felt abandoned, because God had taken some people out of my life that I really wasn’t ok with letting go.
I was overwhelmed and feeling way over my head at work.
And I felt lost. So many things God was doing just didn’t make sense.
I funneled all my anger into one question. I wanted to scream:
God, where are you?
But I just sat there, in my pew. And fought.
Why is this happening to me? Why have you allowed these things to happen to people I love? I just don’t understand what you’re doing. WHERE ARE YOU?
I couldn’t remember the last time I felt like I’d really heard from God. Or the last time I knew I’d seen God at work. Or the last time I felt like He was actually working in me, and using me.
Church would start soon. I had to cram my thoughts into the back of mind to deal with later. To distract myself, I pulled out my phone and started scrolling through emails. I opened my daily Lent devotional from SheReadsTruth, and read:
And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
– Jonah 4:4
I stared at the screen, and let it sink in.
Do you do well to be angry?
It hurt to say it, but I knew the answer.
Of course no. Like Jonah, I’d witnessed God’s mercy. I deserved nothing, and received so much.
Besides, what good did my anger do? What did it accomplish? It didn’t keep me from feeling alone, overwhelmed, and lost. It put a barrier between me and the only One who could help.
I don’t remember the sermon. But I left feeling more hopeful than I had in a long time. I knew the timing of the email wasn’t an accident.
On Monday, before I started on the daunting tasks for the day, I read:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Joshua 1:7-9
Then the next day, a friend shared stories from their life with me that reminded me of two things:
When I took my seat the next Sunday, while none of the situations in my life had changed, everything else had. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t afraid. And I knew where God was.
Of course, He’d never left.
Relent Part 1: Failing. ReLent = Starting Lent over, and the idea of giving up, which seems to be what these 40 days have been all about.
It was sob and a prayer.
Yes. That’s the point.
It was a still small voice. Not audible, felt, more than heard.
And suddenly, the light began to dawn. That’s the point. In order for me to stop rushing and be still, I had to come to the end of myself.
Now, I was ready to listen.
But that didn’t mean I’d like what I’d hear.
ReLent, Part 2: Fighting, is coming soon.
About the name, ReLent. The prefix “re” has the idea of re-doing, starting over, starting again. In some ways, I started my Lent over at this point. I started following the She Reads Truth Lent series, and its changed everything.
“Relent” also means to give up, and give in. So far, that’s been a recurring theme for me.
Have you ever observed Lent, or are you observing it now? (If not, you might be interested in the post I wrote two years ago, 4 Reasons To Observe Lent, Even If You’re Not Catholic.)
I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments (Please tell me I’m not alone in failing at fasting… K thanks!).
“Normally, I have a very sweet disposition as a dog; in fact, more than once, James suggested I make the change permanent. The tail, I could live with, but the fleas… they’re murder.” – Sirius Black, The Order Of the Phoenix Movie
We have a baby.
Baby dog, that is.
The magnitude of this reality hasn’t fully sunk in yet. We’re actually dog owners at last!
I’ve wanted a puppy of my own ever since we said goodbye to Kopek. While Brian wanted a dog too, eventually, he insisted we couldn’t possibly get a dog until we bought a house – a goal at least a year or two down the road.
But a week ago today, a “chance” encounter changed everything.
It was raining. It never rains here, but on Saturday, the day we were supposed to take the youth group to hand out flyers for a new church and do yard work, it was raining.
I was tired. It’d been a long, busy week at work, all I really wanted to do was snuggle under the covers and read while listening to the rain drumming on the window. And I had a good excuse for not going, I thought, because I’d pinched a nerve while working out that made it painful to walk, even stand, sometimes. The day before had been agonizing, but miraculously (and unfortunately for my alibi) the pain had vanished completely.
Without a good excuse, I begrudgingly decided to go, still hoping that our service day would get rained out.
Although the forecast called for an 80-90% chance of rain all day, not a drop fell all morning.
I sleepily walked up and down driveways hanging flyers with a group of ladies from church, when a SUV pulled up to the curb and rolled down the passenger window.
“Are you missing a dog? Or would you like one for free?” the driver called. We gathered around the car.
He was left under a lawn chair in her yard with a bowl of cat food and a Harkins’ Theaters cup of water. We could see where his collar once was, but his previous owner had taken it with them when they left him.
First, Sirius Black can transform into a big shaggy black dog. Sirius is small, yes, but because he’s a terrier mix of some kind, he is shaggy. and with his little beard, he kind of reminded us of the Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies. Plus, Sirius Black was disowned by his family, our Sirius was disowned by his original family. And, he’s pretty quiet for a puppy, and has a “serious” disposition.
He has ninja toilet paper snatching skills. Seriously.
We’ve taken him to the vet, got his first round of puppy shots, and discovered that he’s about 12 weeks old. We’re crate training, housebreaking, and teaching to sit and not bite.
And so begins this new adventure of dog parenting! Wish us luck!
Have you ever had a puppy? What books/classes/websites do you recommend for us?