Sunday, March 20, 2011

And the Beat Goes On....

Number 21

I love music. When I am just hanging out, I would rather have music on than watch a movie or television. Road trips? Forget conversation, just turn up the music. And there are some mornings when I wish my drive to work were longer just so I could get more songs in. As it is, though, on my five minute drive, I can usually get through at least three songs :) When I was a little girl, I had a cassette tape of Dolly Parton's album, White Limozeen (that's not a spelling mistake, that's just how awesome Dolly is). I loved that tape. It's a big reason why yellow roses are still my favorite flower and why "cowboy boots and painted on jeans" make me smile.

I love all kinds of music, too. Although, country music remains at the top of my preference list, my Itunes is full of some not so country music. Basically if it has a good beat, it goes on the list. Right now, as I am typing this, I am listening to Gladys Knight and the Pips "Midnight Train to Georgia". Oh man, the stories Chrissy could tell about this song :) Oh and now Bruno Mars' "Grenade" is on. I love my music selections.

Music is something that I am so thankful for in my life. There are songs that, to this day, can take me back to ninth grade and songs that bring back emotions from my junior year in college. Faces, names, and smells return with just the first couple of notes.

I love music.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Crazy People

T is for Truth

I'm going to confess something in this blog. Prepare your hearts for this now. Here it is: I am a fearful person. There I said, or wrote it actually. I know, I know. Whoa. Brand new information. But seriously, I am a fearful person. Give me a great situation, any situation, and I can probably come up with no less than ten things that could potentially go wrong. I don't purposefully seek out new situations because of this and have, in the past, missed out on some great experiences. Maybe this is why snowboarding was so exciting for me. Something new and extremely frightening and I did it. If you haven't read those blog posts yet, don't. Just know that I am an amazing snowboarder :)

I never truly recognized how much fear played a role in my life until after college. Before then, I simply considered myself a worrier and just carried on. It wasn't until a series of events after college that I became aware of how big fear is in my world.

It was a rainy Monday afternoon in July. That morning, I had just allowed another opportunity to slip away because I was afraid. I was sitting in the living room, staring out the window at the rain when my mom came in and sat down with me. She never said a word and I just began to cry. I had no idea what was wrong with me, I just knew that I was afraid. Of what I didn't know. But the fear was BIG. She held my hand and told me that after discussing it, she and my dad felt that it was best if I went to see a counselor. Looking back on this now, I know that this had to have been a hard step for my parents. To acknowledge that one of their children was going through something that they couldn't fix could not have been easy. I was a little unsure of the prospect of going to counseling. I thought, then, that counseling was for crazy people and for people getting married (and I wasn't getting married, so.... :)) But, my mom made the phone call anyway, and that Friday I experienced my first counseling session.

My dad came with me and sat in the waiting room. I remember what I wore, what we talked about, and I remember walking out of the room feeling like a little bit of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. And we had just talked about the steps involved with counseling! Over the course of the next few months, I detailed certain events in my life and examined my thoughts. Fear was a constant thread in those thoughts and that fear led to a cycle of events that were easily identified in my life. I remember one particular session when Sara, my counselor, asked me a question that changed my life. I had just finished describing an event where I experienced almost debilitating fear. When I was finished, she asked "What's the truth?" I just sat there for a moment and then said I didn't understand the question. She then repeated herself "What's the truth?" She then explained that if I believe that God is in control, then He is in control in all situations. Even the ones that scare the life out of me. I had a choice to make. To live in the fear or accept that God has given me every place I step my foot. To believe in Truth.

There is a song that I have heard a lot recently, "Forever Reign". Some of the lines in it go,
You are peace, You are peace when my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true, even in my wandering
Singing these words the first time was one of the most peaceful moments of my life. Because, for the first time, in a long time, maybe even ever, I believe them. I believe that He is Truth and Peace. I believe this because I have experienced it. I might wake up some mornings afraid to face the day but I am quickly reminded that He is Truth, simply because I have woken up.

Fear is no longer at the forefront in my life. I have the snowboarding pictures to prove it :)

Do You See What I See?

I got my first pair of glasses in the fifth grade. Red, plastic-rimmed glasses from Lens Crafters. They were special :) Since then, I have come a long way in my glasses fashion sense. I now sport, when I am not wearing my all too expensive but all too needed contact lenses, a pair of half-rimless, black and white spectacles. Needless to say, I like these a bit better. But, regardless of the style, corrected vision has been part of my life since I was 10 years old. I'm not sure what it is like to wake up in the morning and not squint to see what time it is or how not to panic when someone moves my glasses after I've taken out my contacts (you know who you are). However much a frustration as this is, I have been blessed with my glasses and contacts because they have improved my sense of sight and have given me the ability to see, clearly, some incredible things. Things that I am so thankful for....

11. Welcome to Virginia Signs- I moved to Virginia when I was about seven years old. Virginia is home. When I was a student at WCU and missing my home, there was no better sight than the sign with the red cardinal on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. On those long drives back from Beaufort, that red cardinal is there again. Virginia is for Lovers :)

12. Sunrises- I don't see a lot these :) But, seeing one means that I am probably doing something fun. Whether it is on 95 driving south or those ridiculously early morning two-a-days, I have seen some incredible sunrises.

13. Mountain View Road in the Fall- Reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. Fall is my favorite season and this road hardly ever disappoints with the colors. It makes driving the speed limit worth it...

14. Palm Springs Aerial Tram- Not to brag or anything, but this IS the world's largest aerial rotating tram and I have been on it. I might have been glued to the pole in the middle of the rotating death capsule we were stuck on but still. It took me up 8500 feet to one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We started in the desert and ended up in a snow filled forest. Incredible.

15. A Baseball Field- I love baseball fields. I'm not sure why but I think part of it is because of the infield. Clean, crisp white baselines. The infield grass. Or maybe it's the outfield with the criss-cross mowing. Don't know, don't care. I love baseball fields.

16. The Natural Bridge- I have actually been there twice and both times have been blown away. It's a bridge in the side of a mountain! I mean, wow :)

17. Blue Skies- I like rainy days, but I like blue sky days too. Those days where it seems like you can see forever and wish you could.

18. The Mediterranean- On a Monday in July, I stood on a boat that was actually on the Mediterranean Sea. Unbelievable. It was so blue and beautiful. I took some pictures but I really just stood on the side of the boat and just stared out at it. I think I was too afraid to take a lot of pictures because I didn't want to distract from the actual experience. It was something I will never forget.

19. The Ocean- Let me start by saying that I don't actually get into the ocean. But I do like looking at it. I like being on the beach, with a good book, a cold drink, and a nice big umbrella :) There is something calming and constant about watching the waves crash on the shore. I like that.

20. Snow- Snow and I have love-hate relationship. I love looking at it but hate going out in it. I love the winter wonderland feel of snow and I love the silence of it. I'm thankful that it gives me random days off in the winter, too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here Goes....

So yesterday, my sister-in-law had a birthday and blogged thirty things she is thankful for, leading up to the 1,000 things she is thankful for in her life. I was, then, inspired to come up with my own list of 1,000 things. SO.....we will see how this goes. I figure if I write 10 things on each blog then it will only take 100 blogs to finish. And they say pretty girls can't do math :).

1. Grace- I have been saved by grace and that has changed my life. Jesus Christ is my Savior and that alone could make up the whole list of 1,000 things.

2. My Mom and Dad- No two people have ever shown me the true definition of unconditional love like them. I have messed up a great deal throughout the last 27 years and yet, have never had to question being loved.

3. Jenn, Katy, Chris, and Allison- These are the people I have hung out with for most of my life. These are the people who have seen me cry, be ugly, and fall flat on my face and they still keep me around anyway. Sitting around the dinner table until late into the evening, telling stories is something I look forward to when we are all old. Or at least older :)

4. Jake and Cole- My life changed on a Monday morning in January 2008 when Jake was born. I'm sure I had an idea of what awesome was before that day but that baby boy redefined it and still does. Oh, and then there is Cole Baby. A perfect little package of sweetness. Love those boys.

5. My Small Group- Our small group exploded last fall and it has been just great. We have had so much fun studying God's word and doing life together. From passing out lunch in D.C., gingerbread house night, and countless dinners in Jenn's apartment, friends and lovers indeed :)

6. My Job- Teaching preschool was not what I imagined I would be doing with my life. But the best thing is, I love it. I have had the privilege of knowing some very special small people over the last few years. I have been challenged, hugged, and blessed by them all and I wouldn't trade that for any job in the world.

7. My Car- It's not fancy, the gas gauge doesn't move, and it makes a strange clicking sound when the A/C or heat is on but that Chevy has gotten me everywhere I have needed to go. From Friday night drive nights around West Chester to trips to Beaufort, it gets me around. I love my car.

8. West Chester University- I love the fact that I despised WCU my first semester but was in love with it by graduation. Church Street in the fall might be one of the prettiest memories I have. I learned so much during those four years and only some of it happened in a classroom.

9. Rain- It might be because it's raining right now but I'm thankful for rainy days. Mainly because it's a chance to slow down and write blogs but also because of sweatpants and ponytails.

10. Green Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream- Ice Cream might be my favorite dessert. I could eat ice cream in the middle of the coldest winter. One of my favorite memories is of eating green mint chocolate chip ice cream at a Baskin Robbins with my dad when I was like five or six. Maybe that's why green mint chocolate chip makes me happy. Or maybe it's just because it's green.