Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Five

1) I just finished reading Nicholas Sparks' The Longest Ride today. I started it over the summer, and being a first year teacher, had to put it on hold for a while. Over Christmas break, I picked it back up, and I'm finally done. It's such a good book! It's set in Greensboro and Asheville mainly, so that's really cool to me. I cannot wait for the movie to come out, especially since I'm an extra in it!

2) The gym has been such a great thing for me since I joined in October. I love working out - it's sort of an escape. I love the Planet Fitness I go to. Many of my friends go there, so I always have a workout buddy!

3) In love with this lotion I got at Hangups over break. It smells SO good. There are different scents by Crabtree and Evelyn, but I think this is my favorite.

4) I've had so much fun watching Disney movies with my coworkers while we've done work and planned this week. :)

5) I'm pretty obsessed with Jason Aldean's music already, but his new album is really making me happy this week!


People Think I'm Nuts...

...for being so obsessed with my dog. But how can you not be? Look at that face! When I look at how innocent she is (when sleeping, haha!) and think about how much she depends on me for EVERYTHING, my heart just melts. God put animals here both for our survival and for us to take care of. I'm in charge of this living thing's LIFE! And to me, part of caring for Emery is being literally over-the-top obsessed with her, because go big or go home, right?!

Gosh, I love her.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

God Turns My Stubbornness Into Growth

Me: "I don't like the mountains. I want to go to school there, but I'll never love the mountains. That's just not me."
God: "I will instill in you a love for the mountains so deep that you'll never get over it and your heart will swell with joy when you think about the time you spent living there, growing in ME, in the beautiful mountains I created. And you will go back as often as you can, continuing to grow in Me every time."

Me: "I hate huskies, and I don't really like labs. I'm pretty scared of both of those dogs and definitely don't want one."
God: "I will create for you a mix of both of these dogs - a puppy you won't be able to resist. This dog will be a source of comfort and companionship for you in some of your darkest days thus far, and your heart will grow to love this creation of mine in ways you never thought possible. You will tear up just thinking about how much you love her and how perfect she is."

I just read in a book that there's apparently a joke that goes
"If you wanna make God laugh, all you have to do is tell Him your plans."
I have certainly learned that over the past few years.

Last night, I was driving and I heard a song on K-Love that I really like, and one of the lines is, "Even when it hurts, You'll have Your way." And that's so true. It hurts when we plan and plan and spend so much time thinking things will be one way, and all of a sudden God disrupts our plans. It breaks our hearts and leaves us confused and scared.

But we have to trust that when He wrecks our plans, it might be because our plans are about to wreck us...
And that most times he wrecks our plans to show us that He has greater things in store for us than we could've ever planned ourselves.


59 Minutes

Well, this post is a VERY long-time-coming post, because life is crazy, and there's never enough time to write...

Anyway, back in November, my church held a walk-through drama production for the community to go through. The production was called "Judgment House (59 Minutes)" and it was the story of four people who experience their last hour of life and judgment / eventual eternity.
The people who go through follow these four lives as they go to judgment and then either heaven or hell. It sounds heavy, and it is. It's an event that really makes you think about where you will spend eternity if you haven't already thought of it. I have seen it touch many lives.

My own sister got saved at Judgment House when she was about 8 years old, so the impact of the event hits very close to home for me.
This year, Ashley was in our "scene" one night and prayed that at least 70 people would come to know Jesus that night, and about 70 got saved!

Our scene was the one where the characters passed away, so it was intense. I was a paramedic, and when I wasn't speaking, I would pray that the Lord would tug at hearts and that we would see people come to know Him.

SO many people were saved in the days that we put on the production. We performed on a Wednesday, and then every day that weekend, and that weekend did so much for eternity! So many people gained homes in heaven from seeing
"59 Minutes," and all glory is to be given to the Lord for providing us with the means to put it on.

When we were done with Judgment House, I was sad. It was a lot of fun! I enjoyed getting to know some of my church family better. We had a great time working together for the kingdom.


A Day in Boone

On Monday, I got to spend a few hours in Boone, after not having gone since the first of December. It was my friend Angela's first time in Boone (that she can remember - she went when she was really young), and we had a great time. We had some good conversation on the way up, got to see my brother and a couple friends, met my coworker/friend Julie and her mom for lunch, and went into some of the stores downtown.
It was so good to be back, even for a few hours. It calmed my soul like it always does.

Me, my mom, sister, and a family friend went to a church on Saturday night and the pastor said he loved the mountains because at a certain altitude, he feels more connected with his soul and with the Lord.
My eyes began to tear up and I thought, "This guy gets me!"

There's just something about being 3,333 feet above sea level and feeling the wellness in my soul.

"Man will move mountains for the mountains that move men."


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

I've always been "tardy to the party" for EVERYTHING, like chronically, and I try to make this resolution a reality every year, but I'm still struggling. So now is the time to make it happen before it really ruins my life! Haha

2) Spend lots of time with my puppy.
Give Emery the best and most enjoyable life possible. We're approaching the anniversary of Honeygirl's passing, and one thing I was really thankful for after she passed was the immense amount of time I'd spent with her in her later years.

3) Meet Tim Tebow.
Self- explanatory.

4) Finish my book.
I'm writing a memoir, and I want to get it published!

5) Get a good start on my book series about Emery.
She gon' be famous.

6) Go on an adventure. 
Something stimulating that's kinda spontaneous and VERY enjoyable. Last year it was driving to Disney World.

7) Blog more.
Doing a good job of that already! :)

8) Get up earlier on days I don't have to work. 
I HATE WASTED TIME!!!! Love to be productive. Make the most of life!

9) Get a six pack (and I'm not talking about drinks).

10) Be more intentional about being thankful.
Show my family and friends how much I appreciate them.
Thank God for more than I ask Him for.

11) Be in constant prayer.
I text some of my friends all day, every day. I talk to people all the time. Why shouldn't I talk to my Heavenly Father just as much, AND EVEN MORE?! He's the reason we are all here!


Friends, help hold me accountable for these!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#ootds, fish, and faith

Yesterday was my first day back at work, so I got up, put on my #teacherootd, and had a pretty good day.

But my brother went back to Boone and as the day went on, the more my heart started aching, for I wished terribly that I, too, was going to Boone.
I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I kept thinking about a sunny day in Boone, doing what I wanted to, going to a class or two, walking around downtown, just being free and enjoying the beauty of the mountains and of life.

On my way to the crowded gym I tweeted:

After work yesterday I had read in the book of Luke the story about Jesus telling Peter to let his net down in the water and Peter was a know-it-all and told the Lord that no fish would come because he had been fishing all night and hadn't caught anything. It seems very foolish to us because I'm like, "PETER, you acted like you know more than the Creator of the universe and that you don't trust that He can do anything!!!"
Peter put his net in even though he didn't have faith, and his net filled with fish.

However, I didn't realize until this morning that I am being like Peter, thinking that I know what's best for me, almost like I know more than He does. Yes, I miss Boone, and yes it would be fabulous to live there again sometime. Like I can't even imagine. But what I've been doing is saying, "Lord I NEED to be in Boone." And He keeps saying, "No, I need you to be in High Point right now."
If I keep the faith and leave my net in HP like He has been asking me to, my net will probably fill with fish, and I need to trust that.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Little Things to Be Thankful For

I haven't yet posted my New Year's resolutions, but one of them is to blog more and one is to be more intentional about being thankful each day. This post will help me start to achieve both of those. I'm going to start blogging more about little things and not just wait and blog about the big things that happen. Because after all, the little things are the big things!

Today I was thankful for a teacher workday after a nice, long Christmas break. It was a good way to ease into going back to work and get prepared for the students to come back tomorrow.

I was thankful for the coworkers that I now call dear friends and the fact that we could talk and help each other with lesson plans and have lunch together at Mi Pueblo.

I was thankful that Christmas Pandora stations never go away and took full advantage of that while I graded papers.

I was thankful for the Justin Timberlake jams I listened to on my way home and how they remind me of my amaaazing trip to Los Angeles a year and a half ago, which I'm also thankful for.

I was thankful for the sweet family and precious puppy I came home to. I was thankful for the opportunity to watch the ridiculously adorable game of hide-and-seek that my brother taught Emery to play (she doesn't hide; she's always "it," and he hides and she has to follow the sound of a squeak toy to find him).

I was thankful to get to sit in my room lit by Christmas lights and talk to Grace on the phone for about 30 minutes and catch up on life and Christmas break...

I was angry and bitter when I went outside in my workout clothes and the cold air whipped through me and I got into my car and the seats were ice cold...

But then I decided I was just thankful for the inexplicably precious time I spent in Boone and that I can pretty much go back whenever I want.

I was thankful that I waited til 10pm to go to the gym because it's January and it would've been wayyy crowded any earlier (it smelled like it had been busy all evening... EW).

I was thankful for the gym as a place to go and rage on the machines and get some stress out and the friends I texted while raging on said machines (insert 'laughing til crying' emoji).

And I was thankful for the Wendy's double stack I purchased on my way home.

As I write this, I'm thankful for worship music and the ability to write. And for the warm, comfy bed I will fall asleep in very soon.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Wherever You Would Call Me

There are some places in life that you just don't wanna be. Some places you find yourself in are very uncomfortable, painful, or even downright depressing.
We don't find ourselves in these places by chance. God allows us to end up in these places for reasons that are maybe (usually) not yet known. He doesn't ever promise that it will be easy, but that He will be with us, wherever we are.
And wherever He calls us, we are to trust Him. That's something I've really had to work on lately. It's gotten to the point that I'm blindly trusting because there's no way I can imagine what's coming next.

Lord, wherever you call me, I will be obedient in trusting You, 
even if the odds seem against me, 
even if I find myself in circumstances I never pictured myself in, 
even if NOTHING makes sense anymore, 
and I'm so disgusted with everything that I feel like giving up 
and living in my pajamas the rest of my life. 
Because the fact of the matter is, at any given time, 
I am where I am for a reason
and even when the reason isn't apparent, 
I have to trust that there's a reason 
and that You will take care of me every step of the way, 
providing for me with what YOU know is best for me.

"My feet may fail and fear surrounds me; 
You've never failed, and You won't start now."


Adoption Day

"Every once in a while, a dog enters your life and changes everything."

I posted a picture to all my social medias earlier today (Sunday, January 4th), and the caption was this:

"One year ago today, on a cloudy, misty day just like today, I went to "look at" some "husky puppies." The second this puppy was placed in my arms and her big brown helpless eyes met mine, I knew I had to keep her and care for her forever. In that moment, I decided that I was not putting her back down and that no matter what, she would have the best life possible. And ever since then, I've done my best to fulfill that. This past year has been a learning experience big time. I've had lots of stuff chewed up, had to clean up messes, had my hands gnawed up, pulled down streets while holding onto the leash for dear life, etc. I've also had a furry source of joy to look forward to seeing, missed her til I cried while I was in Boone, fought for her, loved her fiercely, spoiled her rotten, played Tooth Fairy when she lost teeth, played Santa at Christmas, taken her on adventures, and loved her with a unique love I've never felt before. Without Emery, life just wouldn't be as sweet, fun, or funny. And this is just the beginning. I can't wait for more adventures (hopefully recorded and published as a book series), cuddles, and laughs. I'll never forget January 4, 2014, because it brought this furry bundle of love into my life. The Lord made her just for me."

These puppies turned out to be husky / lab mixes. I went from going to "look at" them to leaving with one of them wrapped in a pink towel.
When she was handed to me, I held her tiny, shaking body in my arms and looked into her precious brown eyes. She looked back at me helplessly and in that moment, nothing else mattered. 
I knew that taking her with us would make an already complicated situation ten times worse...
I also knew I'd feel guilty because the sweet, perfect Beagle I'd loved for so many years was sick at home and not getting better and bringing a playful puppy home wouldn't be fair to her.
I knew she'd get to be pretty big, and I didn't know where she'd end up living or how we would work it out, but I knew I had to get her out of the cold and give her as much as I could.

After taking our first picture together (and many others in the car), we spent the day buying her things at Petsmart...

giving her her first bath...

watching her walk around in her ADORABLE ski vest...


Posting pictures on social media, so excited to share the cuteness with the world...

I named the bundle of joy Emery (short for Emerald) Anastasia, after going back and forth with a few different names. I decided things would be easier if we had the same monogram HA!

And so started the journey.
It was me and Emery against the world.

Like I said, the past year has been full of ups and downs. I've had to learn how to raise a puppy from scratch. Lots of trial and error involved. Lots of freak-outs, vet visits, chasing her down when she darts out the front door, getting up every hour of the night when she had an upset tummy, rescuing objects from her throat before they get swallowed, buying new harnesses because she literally chewed them off her body, cleaning her muddy paws, brushing her teeth after she ate a dead rat...

buying her sweaters and embroidered collars, taking her to play and run, buying her toys and treats, taking her to training classes and tearing up seeing the progress she makes, kissing her cheeks, cuddling with her, tearing up at the look in her eyes when she first saw the Christmas tree and how her eyes were all shiny and mesmerized...

taking her to Valle Crucis to run and enjoy heaven on earth, buying her a cake and having her a birthday party, showing her picture to little kids and hearing them ooh and ahh and her adorableness, taking a billion pictures of her, being lame and making her a Twitter account, taking her picture every time she turned another month old...


Emery bounced around for a few months while I lived in Boone and didn't have a stable environment for the first little bit of her life. It killed me. But no matter how rocky the start, I'm thankful for everything. I went out on faith, believing that if God had given me such a strong love and attachment to this precious creature, He would provide a way for me to provide the best life for her, and He has.

I'm so very thankful for Emery and the joy she brings to my life. I can't say that enough.


I had to put on my HPU sweatshirt to recreate the first picture we took together. Emery still doesn't like to look at the camera, so it worked out perfectly!

"Does anybody have it any better? 
Isn't it easy to see just how well we fit together?!"