Saturday, December 26, 2009

Getting Situated

While catching up on SNL episodes I am evaluating my life and how I feel about its current state. Earlier I described my mood as invisible. There was no one available to do anything with and I have spent all day at home. Again God is telling me to let go and let him. So simple in theory, but oh so hard to do. So tonight I resumed the search for a Nashville apartment. More than Appalachian, I think I'm truly moving away from the time since October 2008. That month was the end of my comfortable, well-oiled life. It is almost as though I am still waiting for life to resume, like its been on pause for a year.
God is also teaching me about waiting on Him. Mentally, I have a set of backup plans should God's go wrong. In my heart, I am terrified of never getting married and having children. I have to learn to live without the dreams I have held onto for fifteen years. I need to become satisfied by God alone. He is everything I need. He comforts me. He even knows the number of tears I have cried. He has watched me when I was doing things wrong and tossed those very sights into the sea of forgetfulness. He loves me unconditionally. He is both a parent and a lover because he is "I Am". Immanuel. My favorite name for God is "Prince of Peace" because I usually lack that quality most. For a while now I have settled in my relationship with God. I've stopped actively pursuing more. Tonight God reminded me that he is at work everywhere even when I don't see it. He is working in people around me. Again I am on my knees Lord. Show me, please, how to be me while following you. Help me make those decisions that are staring me in the face and to leave behind the nightmares of the past and the dread of the future.

Lord Move or Move Me

I can't find the words to pray
I'm a little down today
Can you help me?
Can you hold me?
I feel like a million miles away
And I don't know what to say
Can you hear me anyway?
What I need is for you to reach out your hand
You have taught me
No matter what you'd understand

Lord move in a way, that I've never seen before
Cause there's a mountain in the way and a lock on the door
I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore
So Lord move (move), or move me.

I've look every where to find
A simple peace of mind
I can't find nothing on my own
So I got to leave myself behind
Take up this cross of mine
Give away everything I hold onto

Lord I know the only way is through this
Lord I know I need you to help me do this

Lord move in a way, that I've never seen before
Cause there's a mountain in the way and a lock on the door
I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore
So Lord move (move), or move me.

Out of this place of complacency
To a place of fellowship with thee
Cause I am weak but Lord you are so strong
And you know it's been way too long (been way too long)

Lord move in the way, that I've never seen before
Cause there's a mountain in the way and I'll knock on the door
I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore
So Lord move (move)...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Will Find Me

As I was getting ready for bed I started thinking about God choosing to come to Earth as a man. My mom and I were just saying how tired we were from cooking. And, let's be honest from family (they can wear you out!). God stepped into this. He stepped into pain and disappointment. He stepped into stress and panic. He descended into a world of temptation and chaos. All for me. All for us. I know I complain all the time about being tired or about traffic. About my pants not fitting right. About my latte being wrong. In the last 18 months I have found myself thinking, "why am I here? why this town? why couldn't you drop me in plantation days?" The truth is I didn't have a choice. God saw what was best and what he wanted my life to be and he set it up for me. He set me up for success. Everything he knew that I would face in life, he also knew that Jesus would face. Yet, Jesus came. My savior came and slept on hay, calmed storms, obeyed his parents, faced temptation, died, and rose again. I've heard Mark Lowry talk about what it must have been like raising Jesus. For instance if he didn't shut a door, "were you born in a barn?" Jesus Christ has been there, done that, got the scars. And thank you Lord for saving my life.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Between

I got an email the other day from a wonderful friend. She reminded me that God has not left me behind and that what he really wants is to be "the one". I know this, but I don't like to admit it or even acknowledge the truth behind it. It's Christmas and I want to enjoy being with my family. I want to enjoy the friends I have near and far. Here it is. This weird in-between stage again. Again, I have to decide what to do with it. I'm going with be happy this time. Be optimistic. Soak it in. I don't know what is in store for the next semester or year or the rest of my life. But I don't have to. I just have to trust God and enjoy his presence. He is the ultimate friend, lover, guardian, and father.

Friday, December 4, 2009

(in the words of my sister-in-law) I'm just Gonna Lay It All Out There

The semester is coming to an end. Aside from exams, you'd think that would be a relief. My life remains complicated and out of whack no matter the season. Thanks to my slacker advisor and top secret registrar's office, I missed early registration. Thus I can't register for Spring until January 7th. I have to go to traffic court on the 15th. I'm seriously considering paying the ticket. The court date and time is right in the middle of an exam which just adds more conflicting madness. If I could pay off my professor instead, believe me I'd do it. My exams really aren't going to be hard. It's just once again a combination of all kinds of things. I'm still not happy with where my life is right now. I don't feel like I'm walking around with a crappy attitude all the time. Actually it'd been several weeks since I had an "I hate ASU" session. My emotions, or should i say, serotonin levels, are a different story. I've taken anti-depressants for over a year now. They haven't failed me yet...until now. I can't stop eating. I realize it's not the most glorious thing to post on the web for all to see, but if you saw my waist and how it expanded you would know anyway. In high school, Christmas of freshman year, I saw a picture of myself and had a life changing epiphany. I saw I was fat and did something about it. I've kept it off ever since. I'm finding it where I left it now. In midnight cookies and extra helpings. For some reason, apparently a biological one, I see food as a comfort. Food doesn't reject me and it always fits, not too mention tastes good. Oh my Lord, I'm becoming my mother! Worse still, I just got switched from Lexapro to Prozac. I am now the ultimate psychological cliche.
Adding to that is the season of Christmas. Only the second without my dad. My mom has taken a turn for the best. She seems to truly be accepting the concept of moving on. The problem is that her idea of moving on directly conflicts with my idea of remembering. I stood in the kitchen tonight getting something to drink. I looked at the white Christmas tree with blue ornaments, the new couch, the empty left side of the carport. I thought about the bookshelf now in place of my dad's desk and I thought "it's like he was never here". Nothing is the same as it was 15 months ago. I'm not the same and I never will be. I've always thought of a house as a permanent physical structure that only changes every fifty years. Suddenly this is not the house I grew up in. The last place I saw Daddy alive was on the end of the couch. He always sat there watching tv and dozing off at night. Before I went to bed I told him goodnight. The couch he was sitting on isn't there anymore. It's in my apartment, yes, but it's not "where he left it".
Wow. I sound ridiculously pathetic. But wait! There's more. I like a guy who is most likely severely wrong for me at best and sees me as a sister at worst. Maybe not. Maybe I imagine these things. I can honestly say that I have reached the age of commitment. I'm craving "the one" and all that comes with him. The support. The love. The affection. The house. The dog and 2.5 children... I'm only twenty years old, but I'm a junior in college. What happens after that? What if I'm in the same spot I am now? I don't know. I don't understand why God couldn't send him last year. In the moments when I was truly more alone than I've ever been. Why not let him be there to help me through. Sometimes I think maybe he was, but that's a whole other blog.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade

Tomorrow I am officially starting the Lemonade Diet. It's supposed to be a great ten day cleanse used by all of the Hollywood starlets of course. Do I believe this? NO. Do I think it will do miracles? NO. What I do believe it will do for me is allow me to get all the nutrients my body needs while giving my stomach time to shrink to normal size. It is a MUST for me to be in control of my food consumption before Christmas. Thus for at least the next five days I will consume a LOT of lemonade. Not just any lemonade mind you. These lemons are mixed with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. That'll wake you up in the morning!
Thanksgiving was great with my family. Filled with amazingly good food from everyone, everywhere. I am ready to go back to independent life for a bit until Christmas.
I'd really love to submit a couple of my songs to someone, but a songwriter is so out of date now. Must we all be performers?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stepping Stones

It's been over a month since I've posted. As much as I rely on writing to keep me sane, this should worry you. The good news is I've tackled another obstacle and won the battle. My last post was from a period of extreme confusion. I have yet to figure it all out, but I'm making some progress. The more I examine my own heart, God's word, and listen to his voice, I'm finding that I may have made a few wrong turns. My choice to go to Appalachian was me saying, "hey God, I know you're all powerful and everything, but I'm just going to hang around here to keep an eye on the homestead." Luckily, God IS all powerful. Powerful enough to take care of the homestead I swore to protect and it's fallen hero. That leaves me in the wrong place at the wrong time and again listening for God's direction.
My savior amazes me. I ignored his promises, his commands. I made my own decisions based on my measly bit of wisdom. Still my savior is ready and willing to take me back. I can feel him holding out his arms for me and asking me softly, "listen to me okay?" For some reason I had decided that all the things I felt God had given me in the past were no longer meant for me. A college experience that fulfilled me and pushed me. A solid family and group of friends. This is a rather juvenile discovery, but he didn't take anything away. I ran away from it all. At some point, something in my brain said, "this is it, this is how it's going to be." I can't explain how thankful I am that that is not at all the case. I am twenty years old. No one said that if you lose a parent at an early age that your life should stop. No one said that because you left your dream school to deal with the overwhelming situations of life that you can't go back.
Here's the plan: Belmont is it. Belmont has always been it. Will always be it. Belmont is much more than a school. It's an accomplishment, a growing experience, and a platform to reach my dreams. Those dreams are changing all the time, but the platform never sinks. I don't want to be sitting at home when I'm fifty years old thinking of all the things I would have liked to try. I don't want to regret never going for something that I truly desire. I don't want to regret not following God's directions. I have personally experienced my life planning and his. His is hands down the best, of course. The past week has been the happiest of my time at Appalachian. I am beginning to see things move. The mountains are slowly crumbling. The plan is to be ready to run to Nashville the minute God says go. It's 9pm, but I'd go now if he'd let me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Present is the Future

Here I am. Somewhere between a sophomore or junior in college. Not even that part of my life is clear. I am still in a stage of loneliness. This too shall pass. The waiting is easier said then done however. I feel unsteady. Like I'm standing on the ledge and rocks are breaking and sliding down the cliff. The hole I sometimes find myself in isn't the Grand Canyon, thank goodness. I've been there and would rather not go back. I'd say I spend at least one day a week half way there though. There is a large difference between halfway down and the bottom. On the other hand, there is a large gap between halfway down and the top too. I know what the problem is. I rely too heavily on people to make me happy. People change. People forget. People aren't reliable. Our best friends aren't always going to be able to fix us. They aren't always going to be there when we need them, in the way we need them. Most importantly, people only know what we tell them. When we don't open up and share the real issue they have even less of a chance of helping. God knows what I'm thinking. He knows what I'm feeling. He never leaves me. He always loves me no matter what I look like, sound like, act like. He never forgets me.
I still miss Daddy. I know I always will, but it still hurts. It's still fresh. I can feel the 24th creeping up on me, but I spend the majority of my time away from my family and closest friends and that is making it much harder. At least when I miss him I know where the sadness comes from. I know the cause of it. I know there is no fix for it but time. A big part of me wants to crawl in a hole and wait until Christmas. Possibly even for a few years. It seems easier just to lay in bed and cry rather than try to reach out to somebody. There is no one who truly understands. Sure some come close, but they don't really understand. I want to quit life for the next twenty days. I want to stay in bed and pretend I'm dead. But I can't. I won't.
The future is so much brighter than this. I know it is. It has to be. The things I see fulfilling my life are in the future. God is amazing. I have blessings now. But oh those of the future. How beautiful it will be. The best present I've ever gotten is the future.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Skype vs. Real World

Skype is a wonderful invention. Last night it allowed me to talk to a soldier in Iraq for over an hour. I saw his bed and a slice of how he lives. Plus it was cool to actually see each other while talking. After awhile the phone gets old! However, today my goal is to think as little as possible about the conversation. Appreciate the moment. Thank God for my "best" and not beg God for more or something different. In Skype world life is lovely. Nothing matters except the conversation you're having with whomever you're seeing. In the real world life is crazy. There are emotions that we often feel when we aren't meant to or some we don't that we should be feeling. Not to even mention the schoolwork and work and service projects and making up work from last week...well, you get the picture. Point being, "yay" for skype. "Ugh" for life. Luckily peace is only a few mouse clicks away.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Less Than An Hour or It's Free!

I am ashamed to say that I long ago fell off the bandwagon of spiritual growth. It's a grave disappointment considering my unwavering commitment in that lone week of accomplishment. I did learn some things, but they aren't habits as I had hoped they would be. The past week I've been sick and at home with my mother. That sounds kind of negative now that I look at it, but there were many good points. My mom was there to clean up my throw up and really, no matter your age, who wants to clean up anyone's throw up, even their own? I wasn't just lying around in my silent apartment. I am certain that would have lead me straight to the asylum. I know App has a lot to offer. I know I need to dive deeper. This week my first goal is to keep my head above the rushing tide of make-up work, tests, and meetings with less than agreeable professors. (I have one who is willing to fight for his students. I may send him in against my psychology professor. A girl has to do what a girl has to do.) I've made and remade life decisions this week. Most of them as a solution to a problem that didn't exist. The outcome: I need a life!! There are the makings of one in my hands. I have friends in classes and I know where to go for christian fellowship. This week I'm going to get off my lazy butt and go out and do something. Even if I only go to the library to study. If I was a Sim that alone would feel my social meter! I'm done with my pity party. I'm a firm believer in self pity. Everyone needs a moment of it now and then. You just can't build a house there. The schools are no good and the pizza delivery man is always slow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 7: Week One Accomplished

I've spent a whole week and overall maintained the goals I set out to. I'm still learning to manage food and water intake as well as physical activity, but the truly important elements I have handled much better. I have blogged everyday and what I have written is an accurate portrait of the day it represents. I don't want to hide the hard parts and or the joyful parts from my self at the end of this journey. I had a pleasant day with my mom today. We ate good food, unhealthy, but American! I spent time doing some reading for school. I took care of emailing professors about questions I had. And tomorrow I'm going to nanny!!!! I saw Reagan Saturday night and she reached for me. Actually, she nearly jumped off Karley's lap :D Our kinship survived the distance.
A day of nannying also provides some peaceful personal reflection time. Which I've slacked in the past couple days. I want to continue to be open to what God has for me to hear and see in this 30 Days. There is more in my mind that I'd like to express, but the sleeping pill I just took is winning the battle for coherency. Hopefully a new revelation of wisdom or strength or patience will come tomorrow in the peaceful sounds of toys banging and music playing and through games of patticake. Consider this my white flag.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 6

I have a headache. I've done nothing that I vowed to do today. I've prayed and I've studied, but not like I should have. All I want to do is read or watch mindless television. I feel tired and empty. It's not like all the amazing things I've learned the past five days have vanished, it's just I've allowed them to be covered by life today. Today wasn't a bad day. It was actually really satisfying. I slept late. I had my mom's macaroni and cheese for lunch. I got to see my adopted parents. We even went out to eat with them. My mom went out into public! I went to visit Reagan and spend time with Tonja and Karley. It was at the point in the evening that my mom called me upset because she found a knot on her back that my emotions took a nose dive. I flew home begging God not to take the first hope of healing in months away. After talking to the surgeon on call it was determined that is most likely a small bit of fluid that should go away on its own. I didn't realize how on edge I am until that happened. One moment of panic took me down. I was no match for impending disappointment. I'm not supposed to be. God is. That's His department. I'm currently debating whether or not I'm going to church tomorrow. I enjoy being there, but I'm also lonely. I sit on the pew where my whole family once sat, alone. I'm surrounded by people who love me and who want nothing but the best for me. They hug me and pray for me. They all ask about my mom. But they don't fill the void of my dad and my mom. I was beginning to be able to handle being there with just my mom. But just me I still struggle with. At supper we talked about how Jamie and his family don't come to church and how my dad desired him to do so. Jamie told me and my mom and the pastor that it was still too hard because of Daddy. Part of me thinks its a cop out. But in reality I do the same. I don't go to church when I have a bad night on Saturday. I can't cry for Daddy and then go to the place he loved most to be. I am beginning to understand that a large part of my desire for a relationship is trying to fill the void of my father. It never made sense to me before. I heard doctors say and watched tv specials about people grieving over losing their dad and trying to fill that need for love with a boyfriend. I thought "that's gross. it's a different love. how could that work?" The truth is that it really happens. In someways, when a girl gets married she trades her dad for her husband. Her spouse becomes her provider and protector, the roles the father played first. I know I should turn to God to meet those needs. And I'm trying desperately. But there's something about being able to physically touch someone. To physically be able to put your head on someone's shoulder. God here I am. Tell me how to do this. I'm lost.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 5

Again a night of few words. It's good to be home among friends and family....and free food. My exercise and water drinking, as predicted, have suffered. I shall improve tomorrow! I'm beginning to see some more things that I need to give God total control over. I want him to prepare my heart for my future husband. I don't want to hold him responsible for the mistakes and hurts of others. So tonight I asked God to wipe my heart and emotions clean. Somewhere there is a man who is preparing for me just as I'm preparing for him. He deserves the best woman I can be. That process is long and it starts now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 4

My words for tonight will be short at best. I am incredibly tired physically and increasingly tired mentally. Despite the fatigue I found an unusual peace on my mile walk to the Hill St. parking lot. I felt happy to be here. Happy to be progressing. Happy to have a future. Peace is a big enough accomplishment for the month much less today as far as I'm concerned. All in all, the last 4 days have taught me great things which will only grow in the days to come. The challenge will be doing the exercise tomorrow and Monday and drinking the 3 bottles of water at home. Whew! Believe in yourself :D

Sidenote: While I'm home this weekend I'm going to drive down to the litterbox and have a come to Jesus meeting with the Panthers. Jake will back me up. Together we can change the world!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 3

My first observation of the day is that consuming 3 bottles of water a day is my biggest challenge. While its good that only one part is giving me a problem, it is sad that it is consuming a beverage. I'm almost to the bottom of my second bottle. The issue is that its 9:30pm and if I down this and another whole bottle in the next hour I'm not going to spend the night sleeping if you know what I mean. Secondly, the weather today was gorgeous. It was a perfect taste of fall on the second day of September. Light, wispy clouds and bright sunshine with just enough breeze to relax you.
Last night before I could go to sleep I poured out my heart to God. There is praying and then there is pouring out your soul. Occasional pouring is healthy. Last night was my turn. I finally admitted one of the things bothering me most is my lack of social life. I am blessed with two of my closest friends being only 45 minutes away, but schedules and class work make week night meetings hard. Not to mention the expense of gas. I can also go home on the weekends should I desire to do so. Lately I have and I will probably continue until my mom is back out and about. That should only be a few more weeks. God has worked out the student loan problems. He has given me peace about certain relationships that have been strained. I know He is also in control of the new friends I will find here. My weekend is beginning to fill up with social gatherings which makes me feel good. Sometimes I think really its best like this. I'm completely focused on school during the week and I can hang out with friends care free on the weekends. But it'd be nice to add some social interaction to the week also. I've met several people that I sit near in class and can chat with, but so far no one who has just automatically written themselves into my schedule.
Then again, this 30 days particularly is about me and God. I vowed not to worry about friendships or dating. To give God my all and allow him to direct my life. I've contacted a couple daycares and Sugar Mountain ski resort for job opportunities so we'll see where those go. I'm making some very important personal changes right now. It would be unfair to bring someone into the middle of that. So for now here I sit. Me and my cat. Reading and texting and facebook-ing. What did we do for social networking before these amazing tools were invented?

PS-the "young attractive male" upstairs is getting a little too comfortable with his sound system. control yourself man.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 2

I can't breathe out of my nose and have spent half the day battling excited phlegm. Noting Karley's sickness, much worse than mine, I am confident that we are on to something big. Ever since this 30 day plan has even been under consideration things have come hard and fast at all three of us. My student loans aren't coming through as they should. Leaving me no choice but to write a check for $550 that I don't have for this month's rent. The parts of the day that I spend with God though are enough to boost my spirits until the next "meeting". I sat in the lobby for ten minutes before my last class and pondered my needs and desires. I wrote some major things down. It was like passing notes with Jesus. I wrote something and He read it and responded. It kept me focused on Him amid the bustling crowd. Today I especially have had to make an effort not to worry about making friends and finding my place here at Appalachian. I'm meeting people everyday and I'm not lonely in class or off in a corner. When I come home though its easy to get discouraged. But "wanna come over tonight" friendships don't develop instantaneously. It seems like it has been forever since I was alone in the world, but even then I don't really remember life before my chance meeting with Kindall Duke on the sidewalk. I keep reminding myself that this is a 30 day plan. And not even 30 days is long enough to accomplish each and every goal. Growing in Christ is a lifelong process. So I will trek on. I will climb my Everest and proudly display my flag at the top before moving on to the next tallest peak.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 1

As of 6:41pm, I have accomplished 45 minutes of exercise, 30 minutes of prayer, and am fairly sure only 2 bottles of water will be consumed today. However, two is better than none! I spent a third of my drive back to Boone talking to God. I prayed for the next 30 days and my family and my friends. Even the leadership of the nation. I also asked God to reveal to me what He would have me to do with the desire that are developing in my heart. I am more and more moved to speak to young girls who have trouble with self-esteem. I don't know what God has in store for me in terms of ministry. I've never felt that being a speaker was anywhere close to my calling in life. But I feel God leading me to do something for the girls that are living in fear of others' opinions. We will see where Day 2 leads.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Supersize Me: The Spiritual Edition

The other night while I was praying I felt God saying that I needed to focus more on Him. I have been very distracted in the past few weeks. Social stuff, moving, getting back in school. God wasn't in the spot He should be, number one. I have composed a plan that I have titled "Supersize Me: The Spiritual Edition". God has blessed me with friends who have the same heart for God that I do. I won't have to do this alone or try to keep myself accountable. I want to blog everyday, hopefully, if not every few days. I want to be able to look back and see where I started and the progress I'm making each day. We are starting tomorrow. For 30 days we will focus on God. Eliminate the distractions. Allow God to take control and bring peace. I also want to start healthier habits. My body is the temple of God and I haven't done a great job of taking care of it. The following are my personal goals for the next month:

30 minutes of prayer/Bible reading daily
45 minutes of exercise 3x a week
only 1 serving of junk food (if any) a day (even if that means 2 Hershey's Kisses instead of a handful)
No worrying about dating or friendships
Be at peace where God has put me
3 bottles of water a day
blog everyday
Ask God to show me my purpose and how to pursue it
Starve any bad habits (21 days to change a habit)
Ask God to show me gifts I didn't know I had and how to use them for His glory
Reset my priorities

Here goes everything!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time Heals All Wounds

I have yet to live long enough to prove the above statement true. All of the major hurts I have experienced are still there buried deep under new life experiences and God-fearing mercy. Nine months ago I experienced the deepest sadness in my life to date. This weekend I was reminded of just how short a time its been and how inefficient this period has been for proper healing. Saturday night I went with my then boyfriend, a friend, and my uncle and his family to see The Time Traveler's Wife. Before I continue I will say that aside from my own experience I thought the movie was good and I will refrain from spoiling anything if at all possible. At some point near the end of the film someone dies. For whatever reason they are tended to on the floor in a fashion very similar to what I witnessed the morning of my father's death. In ten seconds I was rushed away from a family outing to October 24th with my mom's cries in the background and my own heartbeat pounding in my ears. My aunt knew immediately that the scene would affect me and as she was sitting beside my boyfriend mentioned to him to try and comfort me. Sure he held my hand, but he didn't know. He had no idea what was going through my mind over and over. It's not his fault I know. The only other person on Earth who knows exactly is my mother and she wasn't even there. He was thoughtful at the moment of transgression, but as soon as the movie was over he was over it. I wasn't. I couldn't be. We got in the car to go home and his mood was instantly restored. I was silent the whole way home as soon as we walked in the door I went to talk to my mom. After crying and listening to her encouragement I walked back into the living room. I found Meet The Parents on television and decided that would be a sufficient replacement to the scenes in my head. When the boyfriend came in he turned off the TV and demanded that I tell him what was wrong. I couldn't. Not at that moment. I have no desire to discuss the events of that morning on any given Sunday, much less after an ordeal like that night had been.
On several previous occasions this guy had brought up the fact that I take anti-depressants. He's not happy with it and wanted a promise that I would "give it to Jesus" and come off of them. I have a newsflash. Occasionally God uses medication and earthly means to heal. I will not put God in a box and say that I demand a miraculous and instantaneous healing. In the end, this discussion and Saturday's events lead to the demise of that relationship. I am not at all heartbroken though. I will not subject myself to someone who demands to know all my secrets in a mere two weeks of dating. Some things are mine and I will not share them until I choose to. Who are you to judge my situation when you have no idea what it was like? You weren't even around for it!
This afternoon I am off to ASU to begin the pursuit of a BS in elementary education. Finally, I am advancing in life. For the first time in 10 months I can stand on my own, declare what I want, and trust God and my family to support me in my endeavors.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hearing God

Part of growing up is letting go of some of the ideas you held as a child. For instance, you learn that parents aren't perfect and neither is any relationship you will ever have. My current situation is not at all one that I ever saw myself being in. I am pursuing a relationship that puts me at odds with my best friend. I have two reasons to justify my actions. The lesser one is that I would never have done this if she had feelings for this guy. The most important reason is that God is leading me in this direction. I have always struggled with allowing God to direct me before I moved. This time I have done my best to do just that. I've done nothing but pray since there was even a shadow of impending confusion on the horizon. And I feel that God is leading me to pursue this relationship whatever it may turn into. My relationship with my best friend is hugely important to me, but I like to think that relationship is not based on others' opinion of my ability to hear and follow God. I am not perfect, but neither is anyone else. We are incapable of being perfect because we are human. The first two humans screwed that up for the rest of us and the result was conflict. Sometimes I feel bad because I don't feel bad. I regret that I have hurt a friend, but I don't doubt my hearing God. Therefore I can rest assured that if this is God everything will work out and fall into place. So while I'm not enjoying my best friend and I's troubled relationship I still believe I am doing what God would have me to do.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Still Live at Home

I'm quite comfortable with the above phrase. Of course, when I moved to college I liked calling Nashville home. It wasn't the house I was born in, the only one I've ever lived in. My mail still went there and collected on my mom's desk. Beginning Friday, I don't live at home anymore. I'll still be in Dirty Mo most of the time until my nanny duties are complete. But come August 14th I am free to live in my blessed little retro apartment. When I first signed the lease for it I was more relieved at having a place to live than excited about living there. Boone is a college town. The University is the town basically. That means a lot to do and a lot of people to meet. And now that I think about it a free bus service all over town. Consequently, apartments are small and very scarce. At the eleventh hour, however, God shone a light on this little two story complex. Overly dramatic? I think not. I called tons of management companies and complex offices only to be told there was no "room in the inn". Now here I am. My belongings are mostly packed minus clothing and sitting in cardboard boxes all around my *mom's house*. Understandably this is hard for her. This makes two people that have been thrust out of her home in the last year. Given, I will return. This weekend some of the wonderful, giving men from our church are going to drive a U-Haul up and load and unload all my crap. Lord, Bless them. If not for them my move would be incredibly slow and rather painful for the Mini. I'm excited to have a new start. Beginning college is a new start. It takes you away from home and for most people out of your comfort zone. I grew a lot as a person and as an individual in my time at Belmont. I truly believe that I probably wouldn't be prepared to set out on my own if I hadn't gone to school 7 hours from home the first time around. I have the kind of parents that if you asked enough, at the right time, in the right voice (either all together or any individual circumstance) whatever you needed or wanted would be taken care of. When in Nashville, I made the car repair appointments. I decided when and what to buy. When I came home it was easy to fall back into the child role. The dependent. I'm sure there will be many times in the next year or so that I try to crawl back into that safe box. But life won't let me now and that is a good thing. So look at me go. I'm on my own. I even have my own home phone number. (It's the little things.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Game of Life

I am going in so many directions right now that I actually recorded a voice memo of what I wanted to say in this blog. The moment the need to blog hit me I was driving through town and I knew 500 more things would fly through my brain before I made it to my computer.
In dealing with Daddy's death I have discovered that there are many stages to grief. They don't go in any particular order or come the same way for any two people. Right now I'm at a stage where I don't cry much, but I miss him. There are places and activities that hold a lot of memories with him. It feels like an empty spot in my chest at those times. In 30 seconds, I go from a happy memory, to missing him, to the realization that he is dead (as there is no nice way to say it), and finally back to stability. When the moment has passed I feel relieved and proud of myself that I can have a period of grief and move on. I know that this is not a permanent stage. I will, no doubt, regress into intense weeping, but I will also once again rise to a stage of happy memories and thankfulness for the time I had. In ten days I will be handed the keys to my very own apartment. The bills are in my name. The lease is in my name. I selected the cable and internet bundle and set up the installation. It is my responsibility to pay the bills, the rent, and most horrifically to clean. I wish Daddy could see it. I know he does. I know he would be proud. I know that after "existing on your own" comes the so-called "love story that leads to marriage". I'm excited for all of these things. The days ahead will be filled with both happy and sad tears. Bittersweet growing pains. I have to learn to let go of my mom as much as she has to learn to let go of me. (Just don't tell her I said that.) So here I go Daddy...on my own. I can't call you to fix the toilet, change my oil, or buy my groceries. But it's ok. You and mom raised me well. I can do this.
On to Alexx. The story of our friendship is a soap opera. I heard of his existence and immediately decided I didn't like him. He met me and decided he liked me. Boy meets girl. Girl falls for boy. You know how it goes. We've had a few extra twists and turns in there. For instance, we ended up cousins. Cool trick, huh? Months ago we ended anything beyond friendship and the hope there of. There are infinite reasons why we would never work, although that could be said for any relationship. In a matter of days he will be in Iraq. I would go as far as to say that I would rather relive the lies than see him go to war. War is out of my control. Out of his control. He can't come running when something happens. In a lot of ways he has taken up some of the "dad" jobs. He fixes my lame drawer every time it breaks. He buys me things I don't deserve. More importantly he has been here through it all. As cheesy as it sounds, he was the only one that could make me smile when I first withdrew from school for depression. He was the first to mention withdrawing as a possibility. It turned out to be the right decision. The morning Daddy died he was the first one here. He took care of things. I don't even know what all he did. I don't remember many of those details. But I know he was here. And I know that if another crisis were to strike he'd be here again. I don't want him to have the chance to prove it though! Now here I am with another emotional hole to crawl out of and where is he, but the sandbox. I am thankful for the sacrifices our soldiers make. This is the closest I've ever been to someone in the military. I'm proud of him and all he has accomplished. My dad would have loved to see all that he has become and is going to be. Daddy wanted so badly to be a father figure to Alexx when he needed one. Just to hang out and do "boy" things. They went fishing and horseback riding and hiking and all that when we went to Gatlinburg. Daddy really enjoyed the company. Alexx may never know how much of an impact him saluting my Daddy at the graveside means to me. To see him cry and honor my father will forever endear him to me no matter what the future brings. Selfishly, I am thankful that we are only friends. I can't imagine having your partner, boyfriend, fiancee what have you, gone into danger. At the same time it doesn't change how much I care. I guess just the way I care. It's hard to ignore his absence when I spend 40 hours a week at his house, surrounded by his face. There are many times that Reagan acts just like him, minus the ability to walk and talk of course. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't like it. I'd rather him be here and safe and hate his guts every now and then, than him be in Iraq. God is good and mighty. My God is mighty to save. And save and protect His child he will. Lord please give him strength, wisdom, and of course protection.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"I'll Think About That Tomorra"

Tomorrow is the day my mom has surgery to finally correct her back issues. She was convinced it was going to be a long drawn out process to be healed. She planned for a month to get an appointment to see the doctor. A month to schedule the surgery. And judging from previous experience, two months to recover. Low and behold, she saw the surgeon last Wednesday and surgery is tomorrow. Estimated recovery time: 2 weeks. Hooray! She is so deserving of a miracle. She has waited and wondered why and why not. She has pondered why God let her husband die young and her lay for months and suffer. I truly believe tomorrow is the answer to her prayers. Her son and daughter will be there to hold her hand and her pastor there to pray for her. And her husband looking down on her.
Something changes when you loose a parent. Whether they admit it or not I think everyone becomes more attached to the surviving parent. It sounds horrible, but before you loose one there is a safety net. Like maybe that is why God gives parents in twos. There is a backup plan in case of emergency. But when you are down to one there is no plan b. Only the here and now. I worry about my mom more now. If something happens, she is all I have. The first week after my dad died I didn't want her to leave my sight. It was like being in preschool again. I told her I was worried about something happening to her. She said, "God's not going to take both of us from you". We both know he didn't "take" Daddy, but I understood her point. I have to believe that is still the case. God knows what I can bear. He knows what she can bear. For us He keeps her safe and for her He keeps Jamie and I safe.
Please say a prayer for my mom tomorrow and in the coming weeks. This is a new start for her, for me, for our family. One more hurdle crossed. One more crisis conquered. One more praise to offer.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Mountain

The past few months have been hard. As noted in previous blogs, I've been under a lot of pressure to provide for a lot of people, the least of which is myself. I haven't been to church in months except for one service and that wasn't even my own church. Until today.
Last night in the early evening I felt relieved to be going back. From out of nowhere, which I have found is the way it always happens, I was struck with grief over my dad. If you don't let it go it builds up and finds you when you least expect it. Even the physical part came back. I slept until noon yesterday then took a nap from two to four. I was NOT that tired. At ten o'clock, don't ask why, I was cutting up a watermelon and a cantaloupe. I had my computer open, talking to Jada on facebook, iTunes cranked up with Kate Voegle, and enjoying myself despite my lack of hefty fruit cutting ability. I went from carefree to sad and completely missed the transition. As strange as it may sound it is refreshing to know exactly where your depression comes from. Crying for no reason is much more upsetting than crying over your late father. I should know, I've done both. The point of the story is I started to doubt my desire to go to church or even my ability to deal with going by myself. It's a harder thing to be there without my mom there. Although I love my church family and I know they love me, they can't take a parent's place and thankfully they haven't tried to. I went to bed last night, still crying and overwhelmed, having decided I wasn't going. I didn't get settled down and go to sleep until after two. But God had a plan for me today. I woke up at 9:30. It just so happens that I can get ready in 45 minutes and church starts at 10:30. I knew the instant I looked at the clock that God was speaking to me and He wanted me to go to church. He was ready to move in my life, but I had to show my willingness to follow him and take the steps. I arrived at church and slipped in as inconspicuously as possible just as Pastor Danny (also known as P. Danny haha) was opening in prayer. Mrs. Betty was already praising God several rows ahead of me.
*Mrs. Betty was the coordinator of Missionettes from the time I started when I was three to the time I earned my gold medal when I was eighteen. She worked a lot with my dad at church since they ministered to the same age range only different genders. They spent a lot of time praying for more workers. Neither ministry seems to ever have enough. Mrs. Betty is one of those people that has watched me grow up. One of those that tells me over and over how beautiful I am and how she sees God in my life. Both of which I usually have a hard time accepting. I don't feel like I do a very good job of glorifying God most of the time. She watched me and Jada sing together when we were little. She knows my passion for music and my love for children. And she knows a lot of my hopes and fears.*
As I said, Mrs. Betty was already there when I slipped in. Jada wasn't there yet so I stood there by myself and centered on God. It has been so long since I was in God's presence like that. I had nothing else to do except thank Jesus for my life and ask for His strength. After worship we got the direction to greet those around us. This is my least favorite part of Church. I feel like I'm flogged by people who are increasingly friendly. Basically, its my last remaining social phobia. Anyway, I was drying my eyes. I had sat down to pray and Jada prayed with me, which made me cry even more (in a good way). Mrs. Betty was there when I looked up. She said, "God told me to come back here and tell you that He is going to move that mountain. You're going to find more pleasure than you can imagine". I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. This is beyond hearing the pastor say something and it speaking to you along with twenty other people. My Savior chose a single person to bring me a personal message. I could feel God's arms around me telling me "it's going to be okay. I'm still taking care of you."
Mrs. Betty who is also on the prayer team prayed with me during the altar call. Once again, I felt safe and happy. It's not that I thought God had forgotten me or that He couldn't handle this. I've never doubted that He is in control. What I have wondered is where He is in my personal needs. I love the poem "Footprints". That is exactly what God is doing in my life. I'm looking down and I only see one set of footprints in the sand. Until this morning, I thought they were mine and I was left to wander aimlessly through the desert. In reality, I am on Jesus' shoulders. We are walking along the beach. To Him this is just a wrinkle, an error on the page that can be erased. God still walks on water. God still moves mountains. God is still in control. He still carries us. He still speaks to us. He loves us. He loves me. He carries me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

21st Century Darlings

I've heard two stories that have deeply affected me in the past 24 hours. One hits close to home and the other not so much. First, yesterday my aunt told me that one of my cousin's (who is my age) classmates overdosed. Then, first thing this morning one of my best friends from childhood called to tell me she is pregnant.
It is easy to be consumed in a fortress of peace and grace. The people I spend most of my time with are well grounded young adults. Their faith is in Christ and their eyes on His path. Every once and a while something from the real world manages to penetrate my bubble of ignorance. First the young man who took his own life is a cry for help from our generation. There are far too many of us left to find our own way with little to no guidance from anyone, much less God. I often forget that not everyone is blessed with a happy and peaceful home with loving Christian parents and a supportive home church. These things have and continue to shape my life, but where would I be without them? Would I be jumping from guy to guy hoping to find the love I never received at home?
These young people ARE at fault for their actions. I firmly believe that society and Christians also play a part. I know that I don't reach out to the people around me as I should. I know that I don't wear my faith on my sleeve. Don't get me wrong I don't think "turn or burn" is the right approach or shoving a Bible in their face.
As much as I think about prevention I think the same is true after the fact. My parents are conservative and they aren't completely tolerant. Tolerance is a whole other blog. Where are the open doors for the drug addicts and young mothers? Where are the open doors for the gay community and Muslims? If we expect these people to believe as we do they must first see it in action. It begins with an individual saying "hello, how are you?". Conversation leads to action.
If I feel so strongly why don't I do something? I think God may be leading me in that direction. All I can do is wait and see.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Higher Ground

I cried out to God several weeks ago. Begging Him to tell me why my life is the way it is. He didn't answer that prayer exactly as I had hoped. Actually, it was better than I could have asked for. He knew that. The past two weeks He has strengthened me. Each day I find more than one thing to be thankful for. I know that death and despair were not part of God's hopes for the human race. We brought this on ourselves. Even so, God can take any situation and make it into a miracle. No matter what. My mom has not improved. It looks as if surgery will be the method of healing this time. But I don't care. God is in control. This is time for my mom and I to spend together. It is time for me to learn responsibility and how to be an adult. I was not thrust into maturity as some children are at ten or twelve. I am twenty years old. I have the authority and ability to take care of the things that need to be done. When I can't do it myself, the family God has blessed me with steps in. I finally got Hershey to the vet this afternoon. Kayla helped me (another Godsend). Come to find out he has heartworms. It doesn't make sense to spend $700 dollars on a ten year old lab so now we wait. For now he is happy and unaffected, but the time will come when we will have to put him down. At first I felt like this was just another part of my dad that I was losing. Taking care of Hershey, buying him five different treats at once, rubbing his belly, and calling him a "handsome fella" all make me feel close to Daddy. Also today my mom sold the truck and hopes to soon sell the Lumina. Daddy drove both of them on his mail route. Neither run, but in true Cooke fashion Daddy wouldn't give them up. I cursed this decision this evening as I pulled all the junk out of both of them that could have been discarded long ago. Really I liked it. My mom will never know that of course. It was more time with my dad. That sounds weird, but I find Daddy in the strangest places. I'm dreading Father's Day already. I'm torn between crying my eyes out and just letting it all go or pretending the holiday never existed. The latter will be difficult at church where, ironically, I really want to be on June 21. There is no place I feel closer to Daddy than that building. He spent so much time there, helping so many young boys that were nearly as crushed as I was to lose him. I'm not necessarily a fan of Walmart setting up the holiday so soon, but I don't want to avoid it all together. I had the best father in the world. He gave everything for me and my mom. He took care of us even after he was gone. Most importantly he left a legacy that I will strive to at least meet halfway. To touch so many lives in so many places that even your coworkers need counseling after your death! Daddy deserves to be honored and that is just what I hope to do. My recent spell of loneliness could probably also be attributed to the insane desire I have developed to have a family. Keeping Reagan has given me "baby fever" as my mom says. She wanted a family and kids at 15. I at least made it to college. I think its sinking in that people I graduated with are getting married. I wasn't prepared for that. I forgot how old I was. At any rate, God knows the desires of my heart because He put them there. At the right time, in the right place, with the right person I will fall in love and our story will begin. I hate sounding so "girlish". I still hate cheesy romance novels and movies, don't lose hope Kindall ;)

Monday, May 11, 2009


For some reason I cannot explain I feel lonely. I feel left behind, although by whom I cannot say. Mother's Day was good. I spent lots of time with family and tried to do all I could to show my mom how thankful I am to have her. I have learned that it is not a given that you will have two parents until well into adulthood. Mimi finished the evening in tears as she did even before her son died, but now its harder to ignore. She was the last one to take home and as I was walking out the door she broke down again. I know her hurt is deeper than mine. I know that Daddy was her life and blood and he was all she had. But it was one statement, the one I hear over and over from everyone, that was the breaking point. She said, "I know you lost your Daddy, but you don't understand. Jimmy was my right arm." Yes! I am aware that he was your son and my mom's best friend. I know this is the hardest thing they have done. I know they knew him, depended on him longer than I did. But for once I need someone to say "You lost your Daddy. I'm so sorry." Don't follow it with a if and or but. This is my hurt too. I feel like I'm not allowed to hurt because I didn't lose my child or my husband. But I did lose my father. He won't be here to see me graduate college, to walk me down the aisle, or to hold my children. There were so many things he was supposed to see. And I feel alone today. My mom is depending on me to take care of the house and support her through her back pain. I want to be there for her. My grandmothers are depending on me for groceries and to take them to the doctor. But I'm collapsing and theres no one here to catch me. I'm taking care of Reagan during the day and when I come home I play mom to my mom. This is real life. I can't drop out of life like I did school. All I could think of last night was to ask God why he was taking people away from me and not giving me anyone. Why am I being left behind?

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Want God To Move His Furniture

I have to admit I like the feeling of getting up early. I have extra time to do things like blog and also eat breakfast (first things first). What I do not care for is the actual waking up part. Therefore the only reason I am in such a laid back state today is I just randomly woke up.
They have been calling for rain and storms for two days now. I wish it would storm especially. I don't enjoy damaging winds and flash flooding mind you, but for some reason thunder makes me feel closer to God. It's like He is putting on a show just for me. More importantly, it causes me stop what I'm doing and listen to what He is saying. When I was little and I was afraid of thunder my mom told me it was just God moving His furniture. In some ways, I still see it that way now. To some it may feel like the sky is falling, but thats just the feeling I want. To feel that God has lowered the ceiling in this room we call Earth so that we could better hear what is going on upstairs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jesus, Take The Wheel

I found an apartment that is very convenient to campus and in my price range and even has air conditioning. I get to see the inside on Wednesday and probably sign a lease. Why am I not happy? Oh yeah, because I'm so stressed and tired from doing everything. I love my job and I love my family of course! But I feel like I'm the only one doing anything to help. My mom did so much and now that she can't for a while it has all fallen to me. I feel guilty because she doesn't complain or fall apart when she does it. I know that she will be healed. I'm just ready for that miracle.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baby Steps

Wow! I have gone from zero to sixty in what feels like five seconds. I am running all the time it seems like. I leave the house at 7:45am and tonight I got home for good at 9:30pm! Given, part of that was playing tennis which was a chosen activity. After months of nothingness I'm having a hard time readjusting to a schedule, much less having to tweak that schedule to fit extracurricular activities in. Although my balance isn't perfect there is more solid ground these days. Some days I even feel like I am standing up straight and sturdy from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. This doesn't usually last for more than a day, but I'll take what I can get. This weekend is a major stepping stone in planning the near future. I am going (with nearly my entire family of course) to Boone to see some apartments and hopefully make a deposit on my own place. A place I pay for (eventually). I clean. I stock. Boone is becoming more and more right, I guess would be how I would describe it. Since Daddy died I have reconnected with my high school friends. Those of us who said we hated Mooresville and would never come back are back. And that is actually okay with me. However, I will never tell my children not to leave. I want them to go and experience the world. I'm not finished doing that myself, but Mooresville feels like home again. Our little Main Street where nothing ever happens. The traffic jams on the west side of town where I live. The fizzling racing industry. I have come to realize that not everyone is lucky enough to live where they were born, much less to have their whole family right there with them. As ridiculous as it feels sometimes, such as carting the whole gang to Boone to look at apartments, I love them and all their weirdness and they love mine. I miss my Belmont friends everyday. Belmont was a once in a lifetime experience and I met two of the best friends I'll ever have there. Two friends that helped me through one of the hardest times I'll ever experience. Jesus knew I'd need them then so He sent them to me a year early :D

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Time for Change Has Come

Since my junior year of high school I have known no other dream than Belmont and Nashville. My freshman year of college confirmed that I had heard from God. I have never felt more at peace and secure. I had never been more sure that God had spoken and I had listened. I still have no doubt in my heart or mind that Belmont was the place for me to begin my independent life. Kindall and Rebecca have changed my life forever. I know that we will remain friends despite our separation. The last few weeks God has been telling me what my next move should be. That is in fact to leave my beloved city and Belmont. I have this overwhelming desire to write about music. Belmont established the knowledge and love for the industry. It showed me that I could follow my dreams and succeed. Blogger has given me the platform to write about the thing I am most passionate about...MUSIC. (You should check out Musicality) God is showing me how to combine my talents in a way that will fulfill me as a whole person and completely follow Him. I have loved kids for as long as I can remember. When I was younger teaching was all I could see myself doing. It has become so again. Thus I will be taking classes this summer to make up some Gen Ed requirements and then transferring to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC or NC State in Raleigh. ASU is my first choice, but we will see what doors God opens up. Through everything I have experienced and down all the roads I have traveled to get to where I am I see God working and crafting me into his servant.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3/11/08 12:11AM

I am writing this on Tuesday night. I’ll have to post it later because of my lack of internet access. I am enjoying a week at the beach that has not been without its downfalls. I am currently waiting for my saturated shoulders to soak up all the lidocaine infused aloe I just smeared all over them. Yes, there is pain.
Overall, this week has been amazing. The miracles started on Sunday morning at church. Pastor Danny spoke what he was moved by the Lord to say. It was to me. On multiple occasions I have heard God speak and thought part of that was for me or I could get something from that. Not this time. Jesus was talking to me. There may have been others that also needed to hear, but I had to hear it. Thus my heart has been calmed by these (paraphrased) words:
I have seen the tears you have cried when no one was watching. I have bottled them all...I love you and accept you despite your fears and failures. I know you are hurt. You have had time to do things on your own. Come back to me. I have missed you. I desire you. I want to be close to you the way I used to be. I know the desires and wishes of your heart and if you follow me, when the time is right, I will give them to you.

Such simple concepts can do so much when they are taken to heart. I never know how far I have gotten from God until He reminds me what we had together. There was a time that I saw God as my best friend. Through all of my mistakes I have run from him. Every sin adds a brick to the wall between us. We all sin everyday, but when you loose the honest repentance of your heart, you loose your chance for righteousness. Once again I want to say that I tell God everything. My favorite prayer times aren’t at church surrounded by people, but instead just me, sitting on my bed, talking to my Savior. Not because He won’t know what happened or what I need if I don’t tell him, but because I desire communion with the Most High.

I will give my utmost for his Highest.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Post Atlanta

My marvelous Atlanta trip has passed. It was, thankfully, better than I had anticipated. Much better. It was a much needed break from the craziness that is our life. For me it also had a deeper meaning. It felt like God telling me "I don't mean for you to hate this guy. I just mean that romance is not meant ya'll". Yes, God says "ya'll". We are close friends and He accepts my poor southern excuse for grammar. Speaking of God and I's relationship I feel that this crash and burn romantic life is a much needed opportunity to become closer to my Savior. If only I could remember that at all times of the day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Titanic Aquatic

I am going to Atlanta on Thursday with a guy. A guy that I used to like even though I shouldn't have. This guy very recently, as in Sunday, told me that he just saw me as a friend (a family friend which some how makes it worse). Now I am torn between excitement and dread about the trip. I feel like we have a lot to say to each other. I feel like we both owe each other some explanations. The situation is further complicated by the fact he is leaving for Iraq on the 15th of this month. As long as I'm not face to face with him my feelings are that I hate he's going to war but we need the time apart. "This town is just too small for us to really say goodbye". I need him to leave me alone, let me be mad, let me be hurt, let me move on. Let me make it clear that I haven't just been following this guy around with puppy dog eyes while he told he was "just not that into me". For the past three months everything he has done has signaled to me I love you as more than a friend, but that wasn't the case. I know without a doubt that the relationship was never meant to be and God has been telling me to let it go for some time. I didn't listen so he had to do it for me. Overall I'm not going to let a friend go to war with any doubt that I care for him or with any doubt that I will move on now. If for some reason we don't return Thursday night send a search party. We are probably on the side of the road clawing each other's eyes out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blizzard 09

I admit the word blizzard is used in a very loose, southern way. There is a good 4 or 5 inches of snow on the ground and it continues to fall. Snow feels pure and secure. It doesn't clank on the roof or bounce off cars. It falls peacefully to the ground wherever God wills it. I want to be like snow. I want to freefall into God's will with total trust in his power to catch me before I hit bottom. This snow in particular is special to me and my mom. While it is the first snowstorm without Daddy, she and I both wanted one good snow before spring. Here it is. A silent fortress is being built by angels around our house. As Daddy would have me do, I pulled out the flashlights. I feel more than prepared for darkness with my dad's law enforcement sized Maglite. Snow makes night feel like day. God's nightlight. Over the past couple days, I have admittedly lost focus on God's will and provision. I have allowed myself to become caught up in the turmoil of this life. Complications which are so temporary they mean nothing in the long term. The snow falling outside brings my focus back to God. No one can make it snow but Him. He has renewed my dedication to draw closer to Him. For many years I have longed to be completely lost in God. Completely satisfied with Him; confident that I could lose everything and still have all I need. The older I get, the more I realize that this desire was kindled in my heart to prepare me for when I meet who I am supposed to marry. I cannot unite in the Lord with someone when I can't unite with my Savior myself. I cannot love someone if I cannot love myself as God's creation, perfect and planned. I am not on a "manhunt". I am not driven to succeed on worldly terms. I want God. I need God. I have God. He is within me and I am covered under his mercy and grace. There is nothing He can't do. Nothing He will not forgive. No distance too great for him to rescue me.

I need you Jesus
To come to my rescue
Where else can I go
There is no other name
By which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I will follow you
I will follow you
This world has nothing for me

Monday, February 23, 2009

Death, Alcohol, and Music

Yesterday I got a call that my friend's aunt died. It was a shock on multiple levels. First, she is my friend's aunt and her dad is now the only living sibling. Her uncle died when we were in high school from injuries he sustained in a car accident. Second, she took pictures of three friends and I for Kayla's (her niece) graduation gift. One of them is us on the hood of an old Mooresville school bus. It really captures our friendship. Jada was my best friend before life basically, but Cassie and Kayla I met in school and they are all some of my closest friends. They are the group I plan to travel cross country with! Third, and perhaps most devastating is that she died suddenly. Someone walked in on her, just like I walked in on my dad. She struggled with migraines which makes aneurysm a fairly good guess...what Daddy died of. This may seem like a cheap and irreverent metaphor, but when you buy a new car you notice all of those on the road around you and you feel like everyone copied you. In reality these people did not decide to make a huge purchase because of your uncontrollable influence on their life (Kindall couldn't even make me buy a car and I don't think I could talk her into one). I am suddenly quite aware of every death due to brain hemorrage and it is overwhelming. Come to find out my mom's great grandmothers on her mother's side both died of them. My message to everyone on earth: HAVE AN MRI!!!

Moving on to Alcohol, a friend of mine took the weekend and got trashed. This does not move me to tears or anger, but it weighs heavy on my mind. It didn't happen accidentally. He drove from Raleigh to Western Carolina with the intention of becoming incoherent at some point during the weekend. What does this accomplish? I am not opposed to having a couple drinks every now and then. If you can't pee on your own (he couldn't so he says) there is a problem. Furthermore, why would you tell anyone? Does this make you proud? Do you earn a purple heart for drunkeness? I think not. I have recently experienced alcohol for the first time. I did it for the thrill I guess. Keep in mind, my "experience" was several sips of a mixed drink, but still. Eventually, I had to confess to Jada haha. But you never know what will happen when me and Kayla "go out"...

Finally, the happiest of all the subjects. Music is my passion. I have said many times that I eat, sleep, and breathe music and I do. I have a lot of qualms with the music industry and the many divisions that exist within it. I'm toying with the idea of starting a separate blog to release my angst. Blogging is the least I can do until I can get there to fix it. That is if Belmont will ever ACCEPT ME! (Pray for an acceptance letter in the mail...I'm dying here)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day of Solitude

I am enjoying a day of rest and peace trying to recover from the birthday festivities. Although the effects of mass food consumption tend to linger quite a while. That would probably explain my clothing choice of overalls. God bless'em they never feel snug ;)
My last entry hit quite a low note. Today I am thankful to say that God is blessing me with pleasant memories. My dad and the events surrounding his death are still on my mind, but on a pleasanter (if that is possible) note. I've been thinking about all the people who were there with me through it all. The ones I called and they cried with me. The ones who drove ridiculously far to be at his funeral. The ones who prayed more than I will ever know. The ones who stayed with me at night when I didn't want to be alone. They are all special to me. I realized that these same people were also there for me on my birthday, to celebrate with me. They got in their car and took off again just because they care. For any 20 year old that would mean a lot. But for me it means everything.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I'll start out by saying I had an amazing day yesterday with friends. I could not have dreamed it any better. Today was good too. Lots of family and friends. Even a surprise visitor from Raleigh. What I really want though is my Daddy. After an amazing weekend here I am falling apart, alone in my room. My mom knows I was upset but she doesn't know how much. And she just blames it on me being tired. She is allowed to fall apart for no reason, but there is always an excuse for me. I just want to go to bed and stay there. I couldn't even handle brushing my teeth. I keep seeing him lying there. I just keep reliving it. I just want it to go away. I feel hopeless and I'm scared. What if I can't move on? What if I just stay trapped in this hole for the rest of my life. That's what it feels like. The more I claw at the walls, the deeper I go. I can't do this. It's not fair. Everyone focuses so much on my mom at church. I know she lost her best friend and I know she needs help too. But can't they see both of us hurt? Am I that good at hiding it? I don't feel like it. I want to go back to being numb like when I left school. That was easier. Lord, please bring sunshine soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Desire for Accomplishment-Dedication-Me

Today I officially became a registered Independent Business Owner. I work with Amway Global. I have heard different stories from different people about their experiences with the corporation. It has come a long way in 30 or so years. This region of the South was saturated with IBOs during that time. Some people I graduated with and I are working together to make some money on the side. Mostly to save, but to also pay for everyday expenses while going through school. I prayed about it and I feel that this is an opportunity that God wants me to take. If for no other reason then to teach me some dedication and the value of a dollar. At this point I am not using Blogger to plug my business, but if I see that this works out well, I'm not above it. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ups & Downs

Just needed to clear my head a little. This weekend has been both great and horrible. I spent a night with Jada at Montreat and had a blast. I was sad to leave the college atmosphere. I learned that I would suffocate at Montreat. The rooms are microscopic and so is the campus and the dining hall and the class size and the road leading to the campus, etc. It's perfect for Jada, not for me. Still, I had fun. Sunday I came home and spent the afternoon at "the baby's" house. My mom requested that I pick her up something for supper. She called ahead, but when I arrived they hadn't yet made the pizza. As I sat and waited a feeling of deep sorrow and loss swept over me. I have become especially susceptible to these spells when I am tired. We stayed up late Saturday night and got up early for church, so I guess I was asking for it. My mom has been in a haze for the past few days and her mood was easily spread when I walked in the door crying. For those few more hours that we were awake that night we were lost in a world all our own. In our world there are bittersweet memories at every turn and nearly everything is reason enough to cry, good or bad. These visits to the land of loss are becoming fewer slowly, but they tend to sneak up at the most random times. As we talked today I think we touched on some of the reasons for my sudden outburst. First and foremost, I miss my Daddy more than I can say. There are things I wish to ask him all the time, things I want him to fix, but everyday I just need a hug. Last Sunday, I longed to hear him ask "Is that new?" to my outfit. He often asked even when the clothing was years old, but it meant he noticed. He took everything in and that is what I am trying to do. I want to soak in the months I have here with my mom and the moments we share together. I know all too well that one day, any day, she will not be there. Second, I miss my friends. My high school friends are back in school after Christmas break and it leaves a lonely after taste. Last week I had plans. This week I don't. The weekends are better. Alexx comes back to town and we usually see a movie or something, but sometimes he is busy with his high school buddies. I have several friends who still live at home, but they work and go to school and its hard to coordinate plans. The black mood is slowly lifting, but I still hear sniffling coming from my mom's room. Such an occurrence is not uncommon these days. She does very well for weeks and then it all hits her again, but she gets back up and goes on. For that, I am very proud of her. After all, life knocks you down and you get back up again. I guess thats just the way it works.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

Today, along with the rest of the world, I watched Barack Obama be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. I didn't vote for him. I don't agree with all his policies. However, this morning he became our commander in chief. Sure all us McCain supporters were disappointed. But that was November! There are many people from earlier generations with much different mindsets than mine. For instance, my grandmother is completely against a Black man in office. Why? There is no difference between us, not on the inside. I believe that Obama has our best interests at heart and I think he will implement the tough policies that are needed to save our nation. There are a lot of people in my southern town who are republican and white down to the core. I've heard a lot of comments from a lot of people that I didn't expect. Barack Obama is our president. He deserves our respect and desperately needs our support and prayers. I'm so happy to have a president and first lady who are not afraid to hug and kiss their children and kiss each other in public. They are much more openly loving and supportive of each other than previous presidents. I find that very refreshing. This is a day I will tell my grandchildren about and I hope and pray that they will find it hard to believe that this was such a big deal. I hope their world is much improved, inside and out.
I pray that God will protect President Obama each and every minute. Give him the wisdom to make the tough decisions and the courage to stand up for what is right. Lead America in the way that you would have her go. We are "one nation under [you]". Help us to remember that. Help us to also remember September 11, 2001 and all everything those in uniform are fighting for. Be with each soldier at home and abroad and their families. Bless them for their dedication to America.

Hail to the Chief

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Patience is a Virtue...dang it

Waiting drives me crazy. Having to sit around waiting for things to happen that are beyond my control is especially hard. I went to a special youth event at church tonight. As all the girls were sitting around talking about all things love and romance I felt God tugging at my heart. I have a nasty habit of trying to produce my own reality show. After so long, sitting at home or carting around grandmas gets old. So why not throw in a love connection. I'm not saying that I didn't really like the guys I have been interested in recently, but I do try too hard to make something out of nothing. What do I have? Friendship. What did I call it? Romance/Love/What have you. The outside world would never believe this coming from a nineteen year old, but the past three months of doing nothing with my life have been incredibly educational. I've never had more time to think about what I would like to accomplish in life. None of the decisions I have made recently have been forced by time constraints. Heck, I just applied for the summer semester in mid-January. Given, this allows plenty of time to worry that maybe Belmont won't want me back, but I'm trying to have patience.
On another more random note, I'm trying to lose 20 pounds, exercise, and eat better. This takes just as much patience as waiting for prince charming, but more effort on my part. So far, so good. My thinking is that if I establish better habits now it will be second nature come Nashville time when I'm buying my own groceries again...We shall see.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Short...

I need a job. I miss school. I miss having a purpose. I like sleeping late. I don't want to see my best friend go back to school unless she agrees to let me live in her dorm until summer. The process of reapplying to Belmont has begun and that is MUCHO exciting. I miss Kindall. I miss Rebecca. I miss Liz. The Panthers blew it, BIG time. I refuse to blame Jake SOLELY. What does accomplishment feel like again? I like writing songs. I just wrote a decent one (I think) called "The Other Me". I might post it. But I might not.

The scary thing is that I haven't had any grand amount of caffeine. This is just a collection of all the thoughts in my head all at once. It feels good to have them on "paper".