Friday, July 29, 2011

Suck it up

This is going to be kind of a therapy session for myself.

An interview today was not what I thought it was going to be, but I found a suitable replacement. After putting in a few hours of overtime already this week, I was looking to the interview for the suitable replacement in the coming weeks.

They are only in the area this weekend.

I am stressed out and really was looking forward to a weekend without anything. Now I have an interview and chores and choreography to do on Sunday.

Not what I would call a weekend without nothing.

I am a big complainer, and honestly I feel like crying right now I am so stressed out. I just wanted to rejuve, and that does not seem possible.

But instead of giving in to frustrated feelings, I have to look on the bright side. I'm glad this happened on a weekend that I was here and didn't have plans. I have a job, and I can say that I am definitely putting my all into my work. I am not the only person that has to do extra work when they don't want to.

The other weekend my dad ended up working the entire weekend, giving him two weeks straight of work without a break. And those are 12 hour days. I only work 8-10 hour days.

I don't want to work this weekend, but I have to suck it up. Jobs are not perfect, because life isn't perfect. At least I have an entire weekend to get my chores done, and the interview is at 10 a.m. tomorrow so I will have the rest of the day to get something done.

Satan can't beat me. God has blessed me with so many things in my life, and I can take this one minor inconvenience in exchange for a supportive job, loving friends, health, a close family and an air-conditioned apartment. I have so much to be thankful for, and I can suck it up to deal with one stupid inconvenience of something I want to do.

At least I called my suitable backup tonight instead of putting it off for Monday! Then I would have big problems.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I think peace is one of the most important parts of life.

This past week, I have been trying to set up interviews for work - which I wrote about yesterday - and haven't really gotten anywhere. When this happens, I have an upset feeling inside until I have everything finalized.

That upset feeling, that lack of peace, is the worst feeling I can ever get.

I think that's why I don't like to get into arguments with people. When situations are not settled in life, I have an upset feeling instead of peace inside. I hate that.

When I have peace inside, it is calming and relaxing and I can go on with my day and the other places I have to go or people I need to see. When I don't have peace inside, I am stuck trying to fix that one situation and cannot move on from it until it is settled.

Jesus talks about peace a lot as well, and I think that is because we all need to strive for peace.

There's inner peace, which leads to a calming presence and someone who can help others. There's outer peace, keeping the peace with each other instead of starting quarrels. There's peacetime and wartime, and although wars are often necessary, peacetime is the best we can have.

I guess when Catholics grant each other a sign of peace instead of greeting each other with hellos, they have the right idea.

So peace to you today. May God grant you peace in whatever turmoil you might have going on in your life - from little situations like work to big situations in your health or family.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ahead or behind

I am not a procrastinator.

In fact, if I had to give one of my bad qualities in a job interview it would probably be that I like to get too far ahead and get impatient and worrisome when I'm not.

I just started the next issue of the magazine that I work for, and my articles are not due for three weeks. I have three articles left to set up, but one of them I am waiting for someone to call me.

I think I might be annoying the person who helped me get the article idea, because I can't just let this person call me (although they did say they would get in contact with me yesterday and I have yet to hear from them).

It makes me nervous when I am not ahead of schedule. If I am not ahead, I feel like I am behind.

I always think of the worst-case scenario. What if this story doesn't work out? I don't have a back-up for it, because this is already a back-up for another idea that I couldn't get ahold of anyone for.

If I had a back-up I would be a little more patient, but I really want to get ahold of these people and it makes me nervous that it is up to them to get ahold of me.

When work is on the line - and when I have a deadline that has to be met no matter what - I get a little overly cautious.

People are busy, just like me. I guess I need to sit back, relax and trust that they will do what they said they do.

It's hard to trust people you don't know though, isn't it. I've had far too many problems with that in the past.

Maybe I'm just too cynical to be a procrastinator. I can't put things off, because otherwise I don't think they will get done at all!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Simple pleasures

1. Having someone to drive for you when your eyes start to droop.
2. Candlelight dinners of steak and corn on the cob.
3. A glass of wine while watching The Bachelorette (and the one you love loving you enough to watch it with you.)
4. Splitting a Hungry Hobo lunch with your mom and bringing it to your brother and dad at work.
5. Still being able to wear a dress I wore in high school and still impressing my boyfriend in it.
6. Looking at old pictures in my scrapbooks that I haven't seen in years.
7. Being close enough to walk to the grocery store.
8. A day that was supposed to be busy turning slow when interviews get postponed.
9. Ice cream sandwiches.
10. Crawling into bed over lunch break from work.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lessons from a seemingly everyday moment

To some people this might be embarrassing, but to me it was just funny.

Nate and I were walking out of my parents house, and I was in a pair of sandals with about 2-inch heels. For a schooled heel-walker like me, no big deal.

The new porch my parents put in has a coarse texture, but since it’s some kind of faux wood, it’s still pretty slick.

I don’t know how it happened, but one of my heels caught on something on the entirely flat porch. I tried to catch myself, but my heel got hooked on the bottom of my dress. I felt myself falling forward and could do absolutely nothing to stop the tumble down the porch’s two steps.

Nate grabbed for me, but it happened so fast I was on the ground before he could reach me.

I laughed for a second, then tried not to let the tears well up in my eyes as I started to feel the couple burns and the soreness of my wrist from catching myself.

Nate grabbed me and set me upright after I had unhooked my heel from my dress.

I laughed at what a clumsy person I was, yet thankful that I’m still young so a tumble like that didn’t hurt me at all.

Dorky or not, I thought about two lessons from this situation - even though they don’t really apply to the situation itself.

One, catch each other. I’m not blaming Nate at all for not catching me. I’m glad he tried to catch me, but it was a random moment and happened quickly.

However, in other situations when you see a friend or a loved one falling down, don’t just watch. Step in and catch each other. (As I said, it doesn’t really apply, but made me think of this).

Two, be graceful.

Although I have been a dancer since I was 4 years old, I’m not a graceful person. Ask any of my friends. I trip all the time, and this is not the first time that I’ve fallen...even in the last year.

However, grace doesn’t only include gracefulness of foot. Grace is much more important when it is a quality you have on the inside. And that is something that you can control rather than how ungraceful you are on the outside.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Valuable pennies

I received this e-mail forward from a friend and wanted to pass along the story and add some of my own thoughts to it:

"Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

"The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

"As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.

"Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.

"He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

"Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at Arlene. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

"A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see.. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

"'Look at it,' he said. 'Read what it says.'

"She read the words ' United States of America .'

"'No, not that; read further.'

"'One cent?'

"'No, keep reading.'

"'In God we Trust?'


"'And... ?'

"He explained, 'And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him. Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust is in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as my response to God, that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!'"

First lesson, everywhere God's name is written is holy. We should start revering even the little things that remind us of God.

Second, God uses even the little things to remind us to trust him. You think it is a coincidence that our forefathers put "In God We Trust" on our coins? I don't think so.

Third, in the Bible, Jesus told his disciples to give what was Caesar's to Caesar, the coins with Caesar's face on them. Well, we do owe our government, but we also owe God. Whatever we have has been given to us by God, and even our money has his name on it. We should remember that we should give to God what is God's - everything!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Needs? Check!

I passed a church the other day that had a "quote from God." It said "Imagine how much air would cost if I didn't provide!"

Seriously! The most expensive things we buy are things that humans create - technology. The cheap things? Usually what is provided by God in nature.

We really need relatively few things to live - air, water, food, shelter, clothing. Think about it. All of that is provided directly from the earth by God. That is why people survived for so long without any technology.

Air? Check! We don't even have to think about that.

Water? Check! We have bodies of water all over that we can get liquid from.

Food? Check! Look around, we have trees with fruit, bushes with berries and plenty of other plants that grow from the earth. Animals are everywhere that provide food for us, even the non-domesticated kind.

Shelter? Check! It might take a little work, but we still build with natural ingredients like wood. Even bricks and concrete are made from stuff right from the earth.

Clothing? Check! Yet again, it takes a little work but our cotton clothing comes from the earth. Even leather comes from animals that God provides.

I don't think we realize just how well God takes care of us. So, thanks God for covering all our basic needs so easily!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lead your heart

In the movie "Fireproof," Michael Simmons said, "And don't just follow your heart, man; 'cause your heart can be deceived. But you gotta lead your heart."

Many people give the advice, "Follow your heart" or "Go with your gut."

I think there is a place for following your heart. Your heart can tell you your passions, your deepest desires. It can lead you to the person that you will spend all your life with.

However, your heart is only a start.

Your heart can point you in the right direction, but once you have chosen that direction, you sometimes have to lead your heart.

For instance: Let's say you fall in love with someone. You follow your heart and decide to marry them. However, you soon get used to them and see someone else intriguing in the work place.

Your sinful heart might tell you to follow that new attraction.

This is a time when you have to lead your heart. You have already chosen one path, it is time to make a decision to lead your heart down that path.

Going with your gut and following your heart can be a good place to start, if your gut and heart are in tune with God's, but it's just a starting point. Sometimes you have to lead your heart.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The right timing

Back to my reading in 1 Samuel.

In chapter 13, Saul is supposed to wait for Samuel to come and make a burnt offering. However, when Samuel doesn't show at the specified time, Saul decides to make the offering himself.

"You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command." (NIV)

That really struck me. I didn't understand why Samuel and God were so mad that Saul made a burnt offering. Samuel was the one that didn't show up on time.

I am such a timely person that when people don't meet the right schedule, I have a hard time adapting. I tend to move on quicker than I probably should, not giving people enough leeway and grace in that area.

My Zondervan NIV Study Bible note said, "The foolish and sinful aspect of Saul's act was that he thought he could strengthen Israel's chances against the Philistines while disregarding the instruction of the Lord's prophet Samuel."

Then I understood. And I understood that is exactly what I tend to do in life.

When things don't go the way I plan them out, I will go ahead and do what I think is right in my own timing. I expect my actions to work out with God's blessing too, even though I haven't waited for him.

I guess I need to wait on the Lord a little, lot, more.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just joking

"Bubba and Junior were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.

A woman walked by and asked what they were doing. "We're supposed to find the height of the flagpole," said Bubba, "but we don't have a ladder." The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole down. Then she took a tape measure from her pocket, took a measurement and announced, "Eighteen feet, six inches," and walked away.

Junior shook his head and laughed. "Ain't that just like a dumb blonde! We ask for the height, and she gives us the length!'"

"Ever wonder why you never seen the headline psychic wins the lottery?"

"What's the difference between chopped beef and pea soup? Everyone can chop beef, but not everyone can pea soup!"

"What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh."

"The fight we had last night was my fault, my wife asked me what was on the TV and i said dust."


I read today that children laugh 300-400 times per day and adults only 15. Maybe we all need to take life a little more lightly!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Solid rock

I remembered a story that my mom told me last time we were together, and I wanted to share it with you. I'll try to get it as accurately as I can remember!

A pastor stood in front of his congregation one Sunday, a large jar at his feet.

He picked up a big rock and wrangled it into the jar, seeming to take up all the space there was.

However, he then took some smaller rocks and poured them into the jar, filling up every crevice around the larger rock.

The pastor took a cup of sand and poured it over the rocks, and the smaller pieces of rock and dirt disappeared into the jar.

Just when the congregation didn't think anything else could possibly fit inside the jar, the pastor poured in a cup of water.

He then looked at his flock and asked them what they thought the meaning of this exercise was. People began to shout out answers - you can always fit in something else, you just have to keep trying.

The pastor shook his head. In order to get in all the small things, you have to put the solid rock in first.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Casey Anthony

For the past few years, the country has paid a lot of attention to Casey Anthony - a young woman who was accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

People watched the news off and on as her trial slowly came to court. This month, they paid attention as a jury in Florida listened to all the evidence in the case and decided to find Anthony not guilty of the heinous crime of killing her own offspring.

I have to admit, I followed the trial through news stories. Even without knowing all the facts, I had decided that Anthony was guilty and was convinced the jury would find her so. Everyone was saying that there was no other answer.

However, the jury found differently.

I don't know if the jury really thought Anthony was innocent or if they just didn't think the prosecution had enough evidence. However, they did what they thought was right.

I don't know if Casey Anthony killed her daughter. The only people who really know that are Casey and Caylee. And God.

We have a God of justice. Sometimes I don't like to admit that, because it means that I will also have to fess up to all I have done wrong. And sometimes it's good, because people who don't pay for their mistakes here on earth will still have to face them after they die.

God is a god of grace too. Thank goodness that he offers forgiveness for even the most heinous of crimes.

So whether Casey Anthony is guilty or not is not for us to decide right now. I just hope that through this whole situation, somehow she will find the forgiveness of God and a life of redemption through him.

Even though it's hard for some people to accept, that's all God wants for all of us - to realize our mistakes and know that he is the only one that can clean them up. No matter how bad they are.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A little red flower

Waiting for my scheduled photo shoot this morning, I was standing outside the library.

A little black and yellow bumble bee was busy buzzing around some flowers in the garden by the door, so I decided to take some shots while I was waiting.

I was snapping away when a little girl with her mother walked up, ready to head inside for story time.

The little girl asked her mom what I was taking pictures of, and the mom said "The pretty flowers."

I looked up and said there was a bumble bee there.

The little blond girl tottled over and peered down at the bush, looking at the bee.

"Pretty cool, huh?" I said.

The child agreed and then started chattering about flowers when she dug through some stuffed animals in a weaved basket she was carrying. She pulled out a little red flower and looked at me.

"I picked a flower for you," she said.

I took the offered gift and thanked her deeply as she smiled.

The woman I was going to take pictures of then drove up and asked if I was Kiley. I said yes, and the little girl must have heard, because as she walked into the library with her mom, she shouted, "Bye Kiley!"

I know that the flower she picked from her grandma's garden that morning wasn't picked for me. I don't even know who the actual intended recipient was, but the fact that she decided to give it to me for showing her something as simple as a bumble bee just made my day.

I thought that she must have some good parents to teach her how to be a sweet, giving spirit like that.

I hope we all find little ways to give to others like that, because even a little red flower can make a big impact.

(I apparently have gone a little picture crazy this week, I hope you enjoy it!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Good job God

Sitting at a red light, I admit I kind of spaced off.

However, the moment the light turned green, I noticed it, even though I wasn't looking right at it.

As I started driving to my destination, I thought about how amazing our eyes are. We can focus on one sight yet we still see so much around us. I'm sure we see even more than we realize, because something will grab our attention from the corner of our eye, and we didn't even know we saw it until then.

In my head, I told God what a good job he did on our eyes. I'm sure that God already knows how awesome our eyes are, and how awesome everything else about us and this world is, but I bet that he still appreciates it when we notice.

Even if someone is a great artist, really good at math or has a talent for cooking - and they know it - it's still nice to hear it from someone else.

So next time you notice something cool, maybe you should tell God that you've noticed what a good job he did.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Into the mists of Avalon

"The ferry slowed as it approached Catalina. Ahead of them, the crescent-shaped bay of Avalon Harbor came into view. Katie stood beside Nicole at the railing ,drinking in the quaint view of the small buildings that dotted Avalon's landing...."

I was reading "Peculiar Treasures" by Robin Jones Gunn on Monday when the main character in the book went to Catalina Island for an RA retreat.

I read this book right after Christmas, when I got it as a present, and didn't think anything of the imagery that the author painted here. However, I had no idea that soon I would know exactly what that looked like!

You may remember that in May, Nate and I took a trip to California, including a night on Catalina Island. It is an interesting little place with quaint shops, beautiful landscapes and houses built into the island's hills.

I can't tell you how much fun it is to travel, because then you get to really experience books and movies that take place in those settings.

Last year, we also took a trip to Las Vegas. Now, whenever I see Vegas on TV shows and movies, I know just where the people are. I even stayed at the Planet Hollywood hotel, where the Miss USA pageant took place this year. I recognized one of the restaurants they mentioned at that show.

Little times like that make me happy, and I enjoy getting out in the world to experience places for myself, not just through media. I can't wait to travel more so that I can someday notice tidbits in other books that I didn't notice before, because I've been there!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thankful for freedom

I realized something I don't think I have thought about before on the Fourth of July.

Not only should we be thanking our veterans and current service members for the freedom that we appreciate so much, but we should spend this holiday thanking God as well.

I was standing on the roof of my apartment complex, watching the fireworks go up in the sky on July 3 when I started to pray.

On dark nights when I sit outside, I often feel close to God. When it's storming, it makes me praise him for how huge he is. These fireworks made me want to praise him as well.

I started thinking how I could praise God on this day all about America, and I realized that we wouldn't have the freedom we enjoy in America without a gracious God to give it to us.

This might seem like a "duh" point to you, but it was something that struck me on this holiday. So thank you God for the wonderful freedom we have here - and for the smarts to think up beautiful celebratory devices like fireworks.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I had an awesome idea for a blog earlier this week but I forgot.

I am constantly thinking, and often my mind jumps from one topic to another so fast that I sometimes forget what I was supposed to be doing. I live off of lists, because otherwise I'm sure that I wouldn't get everything done.

People blame forgetfulness on getting old, but I guess I don't have an excuse there. I used to even forget things when I was a kid - going upstairs to get something but forgetting what I was after by the time that I got there.

I'm sure there's lessons in this thought - let's see:

1. We often forget what we're after in life. We start getting caught up in everydays that by the time we get where we are going we forget what we are after. Maybe the important things in life should stay more in the center of our focus.

2. What is on my list? I have to do my nails, pick up the apartment, clean. I even write down that I need to workout and blog everyday. However, I can't remember the last time I put devotionals down on my list of things to do.

3. Too many things going on. I forget what I'm doing, because my mind is always on what I have to do next. Perhaps there are just too many things in life for us to do. Maybe we need to simplify.

Are you forgetful like me? What is the reason for your forgetfulness do you think?