Friday, September 30, 2011

If you care to find me, look to the Western sky!

Wicked fans? Anyone? Well get ready to be jealous! Scott & I are going to see Wicked at The Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta tomorrow night! It's Scott's second time seeing it, but the first time around he had what we like to call "Turkey Elphaba." Meaning the lady who played Elphaba sang like, well...a turkey. No good. We're hoping for a better performance from this one. I have already seen Wicked twice (now you're SUPER jealous, huh?). Honestly I don't know why I keep going to see it because I don't think anything could top the first time I saw it. I was in London. Kerry Ellis played Elphaba and she took my breath away. I STILL get on youtube to hear her sing Defying Gravity. I daresay she is better than Idina Menzel herself...and that's saying something! The second time I saw it at The Fox with my sister. The cast was pretty good, and I definitely had fun, but my sister was really sick the whole time so it was a little stressful trying to monitor that and hoping that she was somehow still enjoying the show. Scott's parents are going with us and they have NOT seen it before. So it will be their first time. I hope it is magical for us all! :) Gosh, I love Wicked!

In other news, my Daddy's birthday lunch is on Sunday and a bunch of us are going out to eat to celebrate. My niece will be there which I'm most excited about. You all know, if you've been following for any length of time, how much I ADORE her! time for a bunch of Wicked stuff! :)

This is Kerry Ellis playing Elphaba. It's the whole Defying Gravity scene. And the sound doesn't match the visuals, so try to ignore that and just focus on how AMAZING she is!

Ah! So excited! :)


Friday, September 23, 2011

Good Stuff

After yesterday's really sad post, I feel the need to write a post about happy things. Because there are still happy things, and for that I am thankful.

  • I'm happy that this weekend I get to see my besties and celebrate with one of them as she prepares to move to The Netherlands to marry the love of her life. 
  • I'm happy that my house smells like autumn (via Bath & Body Works wallflowers. Currently enjoying Spiced Cinnamon Pumpkin & Autumn)...even if the weather outside has reverted back to gross heat. 
  • I'm happy that I got new glasses that I really like and actually think look good on me! 

  • Remember how a couple days ago I said I stopped weighing myself b/c I kept gaining weight? Well, I weighed myself today and in the past 2 weeks I've lost 5 pounds!!! Oh yeah! :) I'm not really sure why b/c I don't think I've worked out at all in that time! I have been trying to eat better, but I'm certainly not eating perfect. I think a lot of it is just how my body weight fluctuates throughout my cycle. BUT it still makes me happy, nonetheless! :)
I don't know how much different I look. But I felt thinner that day.
I'm back down to 151 pounds.
This is about how much I weighed after my last 10 pound loss back in April.
So now all that work hasn't been deminished, thankfully. And it's time to keep going!
  • I'm happy about new shoes. I got 2 new pair from Rack Room a couple weeks ago, and I got a new pair from a local consignment shop today. These are the only ones I have a picture of: 

  • I'm happy that my kitties are finally starting to get along a little better, and will both snuggle with me at the same time. (Forgive the unattractive sleeping picture!)

  • I'm happy that my counseling sessions are going well so far, and I actually feel like I'm benefiting people, not just meeting school requirements.
  • I'm happy that this is my 102nd blog post! I realized while writing the sad post that the one before was my 100th! If I had realized it ahead of time I would have made it a little more special. Oh, well!
  • And I'm happy that YOU are reading my blog! :) I'm excited that I have gained several new followers in the past month or so. I'm still miles behind most of you in that area, but I just have to remind myself that this blog is not about getting followers, it's about my life and my walk with God. Any who wish to share in that are more than welcome. But even still, I'm super thankful that you are willing to share in it! :)

Happy Friday, Bloggers! What are YOU happy about today? 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

When Something Horrible Happens

I have something very sad to write about today. Your prayers on this situation would be greatly appreciated.

Yesterday, while at work, I noticed I had 5 back-to-back missed calls from my sister. My immediate thought was that something happened and she would no longer be allowed to go with me this weekend to my friend's going away party and lingerie shower. She left me a voicemail, sobbing, asking me to please call her back that she didn't know what to do. I became concerned at this point, but since she is 16 I thought it could just be some teenage girl drama. This is what I hoped anyway.

Quick back story-- my sister lives near Atlanta (4 hours from me) with her dad (we have diff dads), his mom, his girlfriend, and his GF's 2 kids who are 13 and 17. The girlfriend and kids have been living with them for several months and my sister has grown very close to them, even to the point of referring to the kids as her brother and sister.

Okay, back to yesterday....

I called her back and she told me that her dad's girlfriend had killed herself that morning. She hung herself in the garage of the house, and my sister's dad found her there. Thankfully none of the kids found her like that. But still. How horrific and awful. The kids are staying with their aunt, and my sister is with her aunt & uncle right now. She had to talk to police yesterday and answer some questions. Everyone is obviously very upset. I can't even imagine what they are going through. My heart breaks for them.

When my sister told me, she said, "I don't know how I'm supposed to handle this." And I don't know either. I'm training to be a counselor. We even just talked about suicide in class last week. But it's totally different a) when it's first-response and not discussion of the past and b) when it's your little sister telling you. I didn't know what to say. I just tried to listen and let her talk, but mostly she just wanted to cry. I asked her some questions, but beyond that didn't know what to do or say. Any other situation she has called me crying about I can sympathize with her pain, but still feel confident in saying that everything will work out and it will be okay. I can't say that about this. Even though things will get better, now is not the time to say it. She needs to mourn and process and grieve.

This is shocking and horrible. I didn't want to necessarily spread the dirty laundry around, but I know I have some Christians who follow and could join me in praying, and this blog is about my life. And sometimes part of life is just figuring out what to do when something horrible happens.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Speedy Updates!!!

I have a counseling session in half an hour. Time for a super speedy post!!

  • I went to a women's conference this past Saturday and had a really great time. There were over 20 salvations! Praise, God! 
  • Prayers, please, for my neighbor/landlord. He recently had his leg amputated and has now been informed that he has an infection in the remaining part of his leg. This is really bad news b/c he has an artificial hip that goes down the length of his thigh. They pretty much cannot remove anymore leg. Not sure what will be done.
  • Super excited about this weekend! One of my besties is moving to Holland (I know, right?), and she is having her going away party and bridal shower this weekend (oh yeah, she's moving b/c she's marrying a Dutchman! True story.) I'll be spending the weekend with her, celebrating/mourning, and playing sexy games at her shower! :)
  • God has totally provided me with all my clients for my Practicum hours! I have 4 clients, and a meeting lined up with a high school counselor about getting my required "child" client. Boom! Done. Thank you, Jesus!
  • I got new glasses but, foolish me, have not uploaded pictures yet. They are on my camera. At home. I'm at work now. Boo! I'll get them up soon!!
  • I haven't been weighing myself b/c it's too depressing. No matter what I do, I seem to continue gaining weight. At the risk of my dad lecturing me again, I will admit that I ate half a donut today. Hmm...wonder why this weight-loss thing isn't working... ? On the other hand, I swear I look slimmer this week! 
  • Prayers for me as I'm learning how to be a counselor and how to listen to the hard issues of real life people and not let it get me down after the session is over. The cool thing, though, is that I can pray for them after the session is over. 
  • Umm...I think that's it! 
Happy Tuesday, bloggie friends! :) 

PS--I really want to meet bloggers! I realize it's my own fault that I'm not dedicated enough to my blog to make it fancy, to attract new followers, to make it easy for other to share my blog... But I'm super jealous of all these blates I'm reading about, people! 


Friday, September 16, 2011

My Love Story With Jesus: Part 2 (Another hard part!)

If you have not already read it, I encourage you to read Part 1 of this story first.

To pick up where I left off, it was 2006, I was turning 21, and believed I was going to Hell. Because I didn’t want to stop going to bars, getting drunk, and sleeping with my boyfriend, I dropped out of the leadership team at Bridgeway: The Church on Campus. I recognized that I couldn’t have it both ways. I didn’t want to be a negative representation of our church, which I deeply cared about. But I was having fun, or at least what I thought was fun. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I ever enjoyed doing those things.

I kept going to church. I kept praying. I kept attending Bible studies. And it was torture. I was plagued with guilt and sorrow for my sins. I was taking a few creative writing classes that year, and I constantly wrote about my double-life. I wrote about Jesus coming back to accept his bride, watching me stumble down the aisle to meet him, looking at me with sadness in his eyes, and telling me I am not his child. I wrote about the double life of my hands—praying in one moment, and groping in another. My mouth—praying to God, singing praise songs, then taking shots, making out… It was really hard to keep up. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I didn’t want my church friends to know what else I was doing. My boyfriend and other friends couldn’t understand. To them, the church was just trying to ruin my fun, to make me a boring Christian. There was no doubt that I wanted to be more devoted, but a large part of me feared that what I would be giving up was too high a cost.

I remember one church service in particular. I don’t remember what the sermon was about or what songs we sang, but I remember the pastor called any who needed prayer to come to the front, and for others to come up and lay hands on them to join them in prayer. I went up, along with several others. We ended up in a large web of people, all with hands on each other’s shoulders, all praying together and for each other. I could feel my roommate Christine and her fiancĂ© Brice’s hands on my back. I was sobbing and praying about my confusion and guilt. I walked away knowing that I had to break up with my boyfriend. This seemed impossible to me, but I felt like it was the first step in the right direction.

I wish I could say that I obeyed God right then and there, broke up with my boyfriend, and it was all downhill from there. Not the case. It took me several weeks to work up the nerve to break up with my boyfriend, who I loved very much (even though we didn’t have a healthy relationship). After we broke up, I immediately started to regret it. I was lonely and sad. I stopped thinking about God and could only think about the boyfriend I had lost. I tried to get him back, but he agreed we should take a break. This should have been a great opportunity for me to work on my relationship with God, without the distraction of a boyfriend. But he had become more of a distraction than ever before. I was so depressed and alone.

As this was going on, our church was going under. The attendance had dropped significantly after our pastor moved. We spent nearly a full year with a different guest pastor every week. People eventually got tired of the inconsistency and moved on. Eventually the church shut down all together. I had never been to a church like that one before. It was contemporary with a band, young people, and lots of fellowship. I was convinced that I would never find another church like it. And with the decline of that church, went also my excitement for God.

Eventually, after more months of partying, dating other guys, and making more stupid mistakes, I ended up back together with my old boyfriend. We decided that we were going to make it work for real this time. We each came up with conditions that the other would need to follow for it to work. Mine was that he would have to find a church with me. I made no rules about sex. I guess my hope was that after he started going to church, he would want to stop.

I have to give him credit; he did everything I asked of him. He was genuinely trying. He tried out several churches with me, none that either of us liked very much.

Amidst all of this searching for a church and a renewed relationship with God, I met Scott Curley. I don’t want to go too much into that story b/c I hope to write it in more detail later. But as things progressed, I ended up breaking up with the boyfriend and getting together with Scott. He was Catholic and occasionally went to the Catholic Church in our area. He didn’t love it though. It is not a very exciting church. Early on we determined that I did not want to be Catholic. He did not want to be Protestant. There I was again, a boyfriend standing between me and God. But I liked him so much. It was new and exciting, and he was completely unlike my previous boyfriend. So, as I seem to do, I threw myself into it, and just stopped trying to figure out the church thing. I stopped trying to figure out the God thing, too. I guess on some level I still believed I would go to Hell because while I wasn’t partying as much or being as crazy, I was still having sex. But I tried not to think about it. It was easy not to think about it because I wasn’t going to church. I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t reading The Bible. There was nothing there to remind me that what I was doing was wrong. Nothing except for that lingering feeling in my heart. But for the moment, I pushed it aside and tried not to care.

Okay, still not the happy ending you were hoping for! It’s taking me longer to write than I thought. The NEXT one should be the happy one! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Kitties helping us pack! :) 

Delicious dinner
Honey crusted chicken breast, shredded sweet carrots, edamame, and red wine

Celebrate Freedom Atlanta Concert Festival with my sister & Scott

Celebrate Freedom Atlanta

The Newsboys...notice how they're all IN THE AIR?? It was an amazing concert!
I wasn't able to capture the drummer, but his entire stand went up in the air, turned sideways,
and spun around WHILE HE PLAYED!
Went to the Braves game with my sister, Scott, and our friends April & Waring

And the Braves won! :)

Visited our adorable niece Kyli

Isn't she precious??

And this is Kyli's little sister Keirra...also adorable! :)
I had an AMAZING long weekend! 
It was great spending so much time with my sister.
And it was really fun being in Atlanta with our friends April & Waring.
They are from South GA so they think of Atlanta as a vacation spot...
whereas we think of it as a second home.
And of course I always cherish the times I get to spend with my niece. 
She is SO fabulous! :)

Hope you all had a nice, long weekend also! 
Do anything exciting??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I will write it. I promise!

First of all, I was overwhelmed with all the supportive comments I received (via blog, email, & Facebook) regarding the first part of my testimony. I was also glad to know that several people are eager to read the second half. I admit, I left you hanging. You're probably thinking...okay, now I feel awful. I've been bumming around all week feeling sorry for myself. When is the uplifting part going to come???'s coming. I'm sorry that it hasn't come sooner. To be honest, I still have to write it. It's my most important story and I don't want to just throw it together in the brief spare time that I have between work and classes during the week. I want to give it the time it deserves. Just so you know, I am going to write it. But it might not be until next weekend. I'll be out of town this weekend and my schedule is jam-packed with activities! So please bear with me, friends! I will not forget. And thank you SO much for all the support. I just hope sharing my testimony will somehow make a difference, however small, in someone's life.

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