Hello, again, Stranger.

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Why, hello.  It’s been a while since I’ve been around these neck of the woods.

In fact, it’s been so long that I actually forgot my username and password. #facepalm

It has been 5 months since you’ve last heard from me.  School is out.  I survived — granted the last few weeks had lots of drama, tension, and tears — but I survived.  Now I am on 2 1/2 months of vacation and I don’t know what the heck to do with myself.  I’ve been working so hard, non-stop, that I am literally having trouble sleeping at night.  My body is exhausted, but my mind is still racing with all these ideas and thoughts about work/school, that I can’t get it to stop.  I spent 90% of the night tossing and turning and getting frustrated that sleep is eluding me.  Even Melatonin isn’t working for me.  #fml  I know working out is supposed to be helpful.  But come on.  You know that ain’t happening.

Besides getting a break from work, not much else has changed.  Except for the fact that 2 weeks ago, I turned 31.  That’s right.  I’m now living IN the 30s.  My biggest epiphany with this new age is that I literally don’t care anymore.  That seems to be the underlying theme when something comes up.  “I don’t care”.  I’m tired of caring about things that I don’t need to care about anymore.  I think that makes me even more crotchety than I already am, but it’s just where I’m at mentally.  Looking back over the last, maybe, 19 years of my life, I’ve always cared too much — about what people think, about what people will say, about what other people want me to do, be, look like, feel like, think like.   I’ve spent too much and given too much value to people’s opinions about and for me.  It’s because I listened to all the noise, that I feel like I’m in this place now, where I’m 31 and just now finding my own.  So, I don’t care anymore.  You don’t like what I’m wearing?  I don’t care.  You think I’m too fat?  I don’t care.  You think I’m too bossy?  Too old?  Too rude?  Too mean?  Too snarky?  I….don’t….care.

So…..there’s that.

I truly wish I had done a better job of blogging as things happened.  There was the “girls night out” that I should have avoided with my coworkers, where I was the designated driver as my coworkers got piss drunk.  There was the family wedding (who, if you’re a faithful reader, I did not attend the engagement of this family member) that we attended that was not as awkward and painful as I thought it would be, although it did make me sad.   There’s the fact that I deleted ALL my coworkers on Facebook.  After that hot mess of a night with the other coworkers, I quickly realized that coworkers were not meant to be friends.  They were meant to be coworkers.  I didn’t want them to know about my personal life, or lack thereof, and I really didn’t care about theirs.   I like being an enigma, sort of speak.  The less they know, the better.

So now I am left with 110 friends — all family and close friends (or people who I want to know about).  My Facebook is officially the most boring account on the planet because I get updates from said friends and family or celebrities.  It’s quite nice.  I deleted EVERYONE under the sun.  I’m sure it’s offended tons of people, but I really don’t care.  None of them were my friends in real life and if they’re upset about being deleted then I’m sad for them.  Because, what do they get from being friends with me?  It’s not like they were emotionally invested in me and my well-being.  It’s a numbers thing.

Meanwhile, summer plans consist of nothing.  Although, I do have plans to travel to Denver for a weekend, which will be nice.  My sister will be gone for 5 weeks to DC for something work-related, which I’m jealous of, but we have both agreed that it’s needed for both of our sanities.  Otherwise we’ll kill each other by August.

6 months in to 2014 and I’m still wondering and waiting for something to happen.  I’ve been told multiple times that it won’t “fall into my lap”, which I understand.  But if someone can just tell me what step I need to take next to MAKE the next thing happen, I’ll take it.  I think God and I are still on the outs, so as soon as I figure out how to fix that, I’ll get back to ya.

I hope you’ll stick around for the next couple months.  I’ll try to keep you entertained with all my wise words of wisdom.

It’s summertime, what else is a girl supposed to do?

The Waiting Place.

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I’ve gone 4 days without updating this year. That’s not a good sign, is it?

I wish I could say I’ve spent the first 4 days of the new year doing something amazing.  But, all I did was stay at home and do nothing.  I did spend a productive morning watching the new Hunger Games movie…..if that counts for world-changing?

I also spent the first couple days  of 2014 (and NYE) complaining about my life and how miserable I felt.  And then, at 3am on Thursday night, I just got SICK of feeling so MISERABLE.  The whole last year was spent complaining and filling myself with resent, anger, and hate (self + others) that I’ve turned into the worst person ever.  It’s even evident in my blog posts.  I just can’t spend another 365 days drowning in that anymore.

So, I just picked up my Kindle and found a book from some unknown author, Cherie Hill, titled “Waiting on God”. I started reading it like I was starving and couldn’t put it down!  It was speaking to me in so many ways about being in this frustrating “waiting place” (see: Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go” for reference) and why I’m here and what I should do while I’m here.  

Where was this book a year ago, right?

I’m not saying that I’ve stopped complaining and I’m the happiest person ever — but I am determined to change my mindset.  Because even though I can’t change my situation or circumstances (or my surroundings, for that matter), I can change how I look at it.   I can either see it from the perspective of my window from the waiting place or I can look up and trust that God sees everything else outside of this waiting place…….and trust that when He’s ready to open the door and let me out, He will.

Here’s hoping that in 361 days, if I’m still in the waiting place, that I’m still as hopeful as I am today.

MMXIII

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8 hours away from 2014.

I am less hopeful and less optimistic than I have ever been before.  I used to look forward to the new year so much.  I would write pages worth of inspirational, spiritual, deep thoughts in my journal about what I hoped for the new year and reflect on the last year.  This year, not so much.  I am as pessimistic as they come.  Any hopes of something better coming does not exist in my mind.

This is not to say that God hasn’t blessed me this year, because He has.  I wouldn’t be sitting in my living room, on my comfortable couch, writing this to you if He hadn’t.  He has blessed me above and beyond what I could ever ask or deserve.  This is true for EVERY year, not just this.

But, this year has been a disappointing one, to say the least.  I’ve had lots changes, difficult ones, when it comes to friendships.  I’ve had to let go of a lot of people and it wasn’t an easy decision, but a necessary one.  And, although years from now, I may wonder if I made the right decision, I can say with full confidence that, right now, I am happy that I let go. I’m sad to say goodbye, but ready to fill my life with people who want to be a part of mine.

My job, as rewarding as it is, has been challenging to say the least. I’ve been pushed to take on more than I ever thought I could and I still find myself second guessing my abilities to do it.  But, clearly, God knows more than I do about what I can and cannot handle.

My passion to sing and lead worship has wasted away, which if anything, devastates me the most.  I fear that I’ve lost the talent and ability to do it anymore and I don’t know where to begin on how to fix that. Every day I wonder if I screwed myself up when I quit the worship team at church, because work was becoming too much.

I traveled more than years before.  We went to Cali for a couple of weeks and then to DC for a weekend. I hope 2014 holds more traveling opportunities for me.

I cussed a LOT more than usual.  The F word becoming a daily staple in my life.

I lost weight and gained it all back, successfully.

I spent WAY more money then I should have.

I’ve tried new styles in clothing.  I’m trying to stop dressing myself like a lesbian lady over 40.

I’ve realized how incredibly selfish and unforgiving I can be.

All in all, 2013 is a year that I’m willing to forget.  But, I’m not going to hold my breath for 2014.  I’m too old to keep hope alive for something that has disappointed me time and time again.

BUT…for you, my faithful readers (real and BOTS), I wish you all the best in 2014.  That all you hope for and aim to be, comes to pass this new year!

Pinned and Deleted.

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So remember when I told you I had those pins about my Dream Wedding?

I took a bold step and deleted it just now.

I did keep my dream home, because come on now, it’s a house.

But my wedding?  Gone.

I don’t know what came over me.  Well, actually, I do know what came over me.  I realized that I have forgotten what my real dream is.

You know, when I was younger, and naive, I had such big dreams and aspirations.  When I would tell people about it, they’d just look at me with that head-tilt and a look of, “Oh, you poor girl.  What’s wrong with you?”.    Singing was everything to me.  I wanted to sing and lead worship — and not just in a church every Sunday.  I wanted to travel and lead worship in different places for different people.   When I got the chance to do it in Mexico, not knowing much Spanish (and only 4 Spanish songs), it was the most incredible experience.  I wanted that all the time.

But as I got older, especially closer to 30, and the opportunities to sing publicly have diminished greatly, and people my age that I’ve grown up (and younger) started to get married and have children, I started to get worried.  Like I was missing something.  I got so distracted by that, that I forgot my own dreams.  I realized today that when I keep harping about “wanting more”, I wasn’t talking about those dreams of singing and leading worship.  It was dreams of getting married, having a family, and living a Norman Rockwell-esque life.  Because clearly, singing wasn’t happening so I had to focus on the next thing.

But the truth is, that’s not my real dream or passion.  Of course that’s what I would love to happen eventually.  There’s no such thing as not having BOTH of those things.  But the question I have to ask myself is which do I want MORE?   What is that I want most of all? What is it that burns in my bones?

And it’s been singing.  Music.  Leading worship.  Writing songs.  Things that I used to loved to do, that I’ve forgotten how to do.  I get mad that people have forgotten me, because they don’t ask me to sing anymore.   But the thing is, I should be mad at myself.  Because I have forgotten how to sing and lead worship.  I’ve settled for singing in the shower because I convinced myself that’s all I would ever do.

So I need to recalibrate.  Refocus.  If singing and leading worship is my first priority, then I need to figure out how to get back on that.  How do I take my talent and put it to good use — outside of my shower.

And don’t get me wrong.  I’ll still dream and hope for love, marriage, family, and that dream home.   But, now I have to just remind myself that all that will come if it’s in God’s plan for me.  Until then, I need to focus on what I really want.

In Transition.

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“The hardest thing to put up with is transition — it takes us out of our element, our comfort zone, where we are sure — we cannot control everything when we are in transition.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

I find myself in a place of transition. A very difficult, uncomfortable place of transition. In fact, I feel like I’ve been in this place for a while now — at least since the fall of 2012.  It seems to me that it has become more obvious since I turned 30 in May.  I’m more aware that I’m right on the precipice of something — what that something is, I have no idea.

At the end of the school year, last spring, I felt like I was getting ready to jump into something else.  Usually, by the spring semester, I am prepping for the new school year — mapping out how I want my classroom to look, things I want to change.   I’m always planning what I want to buy or change.  Last spring?  Nothing.  I couldn’t even force myself to think about it.   It was really freaking me out.  I had never been so NOT invested and the thought of it made me believe that I actually wouldn’t be coming back to teaching.  I didn’t make extra copies of things to use for the next year, I didn’t do any of it.   I had believed that I had come to the end.

I didn’t resign — I refused to unless I had a 100% reason to. I took a leap of faith the year before by resigning from my previous school.   I wasn’t ready to take another leap just yet.  And since I hadn’t seen/heard anything from God, I figured I’ll wait to resign until I did.

So summer comes and goes, I get news about becoming my grade level chair/team leader, as well as taking other leadership positions with technology/web.   I didn’t understand why I had all these responsibilities when I knew I had to get out.

That’s usually how it goes right? We see what we want to see. We think what we want to think.  We believe what we want to believe.   But God’s plans are always so different — and not because we’re wrong — but because He sees so much more than we do.

I have convinced myself that I’m ready and I’ve learned what I’m supposed to learn. But as the school year has started, I’ve already experienced so many lessons and have realized so many of my own shortcomings as a person and as a leader.  Things like, I need to be able to delegate responsibilities, not act like I have to do everything, quit putting so much pressure on myself, communicate with everyone on my team, and lead by example.

Every day, I beg God to take me out of this place and change my situations.  But I can’t beg Him anymore.  I have to accept where I am right now because there has to be a purpose for it. And there is!  All those lessons I have learned (and am continuing to learn), will be lessons I carry with me when I go on to lead worship teams or ministry teams — and even my own family.

So, yes, this place of transition is hard.  It’s frustrating.  It’s a long and weary road.  But, Bishop T.D. Jakes said something the other night that has stayed with me, “We were not born to stay where we started.”  And I’m so grateful that I am not where I started and I won’t end up in the same place, either.

I’m no longer sharing the journey of turning 30.  I’m sharing the journey of being in transition to something bigger and higher.

I’m now a 30-year old in transition.

Say Hello To My Little Friend, the “F” Word.

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As of late, I have taken up a bad habit of mine that I thought I had under control for a long time.  But it’s crept back into my life and now I feel powerless to stop it.  It’s like a part of me.  Second nature.  I do it without a care in the world.  I love it, but I hate it.  It’s freeing, yet a burden.  

What is it you may ask?  

Cussing.

I have been swearing like a drunken sailor and  I can’t stop myself.  My favorite word to drop is one of the worst ones of all — the “f” word and all variations of it.   The good Christian, the wannabe praise and worship leading girl in me hates this about myself.  Hate is an understatement. But for some reason, I can’t find a better word to adequately describe situations, people, circumstances, etc., without dropping the F bomb.  I’m not going to lie and pretend I’ve got it all together.   This whole idea that Christians don’t cuss or get angry makes me even more angrier.   I know swearing is a bad thing, and quite unnecessary if you’re a good Christian, at that.  

But man, when I’m venting, that F word sure does me a lot of good.

I hate to say that it probably brings me as much joy as chocolate and rom coms/hindi movies do when Aunt comes to visit every 4 weeks.  (And, by aunt, I am assuming you’re able to piece together who THAT is).

To be honest with you, 3 things have stayed loyal to me in my life — God.  My sister. And the F word.   None of those have let me down.   Forgive me if I choose to not turn my back on it either.  

Do I want to stop?  Of course I do!  I want to be a model citizen, woman, role model, and leader.   

But does it make a horrible, terrible person if I say it?  

I mean, it’s not like I bust it out in casual conversation.   It’s not like I’m at the dinner table with my parents and say, “OMG this is so f—king good!”.   I mean, c’mon.   I’m not THAT bad.  And if you know my mom, then you know that would NEVER happen.  She freaks out when I say hell.   She’d have a heart attack if she ever heard me say the F word.   I only invite the F word when I’m really mad or when I am venting about something that makes me really upset.    I would love to hear what all these other perfect Christians say when they’re mad.  I can guarantee that none of their words can hold a candle to F.

I’m torn on whether or not I should feel bad about the fact that I’ve taken up cussing again.  I’m sure when this blog becomes public and I’m famous and leading worship in places, people will bring this up and try to haunt me with it.  But, I’m going to own up to it.   

I cuss.  I get so mad and frustrated about things that sometimes I have to cuss.   Sometimes I say it a lot.   And at the end of the day, if my cussing is the WORST that I’ve done all day, considering all the other things I have been accused of doing/being/saying, then it’s the least of my concerns.

 

I Don’t Believe in Soulmates, either!

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I am going to direct you to a blog that someone wrote which I felt was SPOT on to how I’ve lived my life concerning marriage and finding “the one” and where I am NOW and how I feel about those issues.   I so appreciate Hannah, wherever and whoever she is, because she says what I couldn’t accurately or effectively write out myself.   So please go read her blog post about soulmates.  It is fantastic, to say the least.   And I want to be her friend just because of it.

http://theartinlife.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/my-husband-is-not-my-soul-mate/

10 Questions

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Host of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” James Lipton, always asks his guests the same 10 questions.  Recently, while remembering Cory Monteith’s visit he mentioned that when he asked him the question about what God would say when he got to heaven and Cory’s cryptic response was “Uh, sorry I haven’t been around. There’s a good explanation.'”

It broke my heart to read that.  To think someone has lived his life thinking that God hasn’t been there.  And no one was there to tell him otherwise.   And now, he’s dead at 31 and he’s left a family and a girlfriend with a grief that nothing but God can fill.   It made me sad.  Then I started wondering what I hoped God would say to me when I get to heaven.   I tried to come up with these profound statements and yet the only thing I could come up with was, “You’ve made it.  You’re okay now.”

What will God say to YOU when you arrive in heaven?

My Heart Will Trust

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This was recorded almost 7 years ago.  I recorded my sister and I singing this song and posted it on youtube.  Then, our friend, Donny, whilst in South Carolina listened to it and recorded himself singing high harmony to our video.   And this is the result.   I’m melody, sister is low harmony, Donny is high harmony.  Hope you enjoy.

Hello, 30!

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It’s here. It’s finally here.  I am OH-FFICIALLY 30! I woke up excited and so happy that it was here. Like I finally am able to get away with ANYTHING now because I’m 30 (not really, but still…).  At first this weekend looked like it was going to be a bust, which would hold true to the last 3 years of my birthdays that have all been an epic fail. Plans were falling through, my day-off that I had planned for 2 months was about to be cancelled, and worst of all a sweet relative (through marriage) passed away tragically and suddenly yesterday — everything that could fail, was failing.  But, in the 11th hour things looked up.  Plans were still on, another sub swooped in and saved the day…but unfortunately, a family is still left grieving and mourning the loss of a kind uncle.

His sudden passing has reminded me, once again, how fleeting life is.   I have spent the last few months complaining about what I DON’T have and what God HASN’T done for me.  You would cringe if you heard the things I’ve said TO God and ABOUT Him…it’s a wonder I’m still around, really.   Last night I wondered why I was putting so much pressure on God and why I was so adamant that my life wasn’t working out.  The thing is, God doesn’t owe me anything.  He doesn’t owe me an explanation, or a reason nor does He have to let me in on the plan He has for my life. Life is a crapshoot and the only thing I can do is live each day and be grateful for the time I’ve been given.   Anything beyond that is in God’s hands.

People always have these goals for “by the time I’m 30”. Like, I was hoping by the time I turned 30 I would have lost the 100 pounds I so desperately need, I would be doing my dream job of traveling and leading worship, and I would be, if not happily married, at least dating “the one”.   I am 0 for 3.   And if this was last week, I would have been throwing a big pity party (I mean, read my previous posts, that’ll be enough proof).  But I woke up this morning realizing that no one else put that time-table on all those things except me.  It was like this whole time I was desperately trying to keep up in the race with everyone around me and I was failing, epically.

But, I think I’m starting to come to the realization that I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else. I have my own race to run, (clearly I’ve been called to run like Forrest — distance and all!)  And that’s okay.  I have to be happy with the fact that my life isn’t as cookie-cutter perfect and predictable like everyone else — that has to mean that something bigger and better is in store for me, right?   Why didn’t God just let me live a life that is like everyone else’s?

Because I’m not like everyone else.   And I think today I can say that I’m starting to be okay with that.