It is still good.

Last week I was blessed enough to spend some time in NYC for work. It was a nightmare getting there and home but the in between was great. I am, admittedly, a bad traveler with a group. I get easily frustrated with delays and I like my space at times. I went into this trip with some different goals. I am really working on enjoying everyday for what it is. Finding those tiny moments that make up life. I got up early on the last day to walk around Central Park for a little quiet time. I’ve been to NYC a couple times and never took the time to walk around the park. This small space in the middle of city was so quiet and beautiful. The tall skylines that surround this little paradise in middle of the island were such a beautiful reminder of all the facets of my life. I spend most of my time in that frantic, skyline, city area of my life. Running from project to project. Moment to moment without as much of a thought to slow down. I want to develop the habit of spending more time in that quiet, peaceful place. The center of my life. The soul of it.

 CP

Because when I stop and appreciate what a day has brought instead of focusing on what I lost or am missing life gets better. When I step out of the way and let God do his work, there’s more peace. Why is it so hard for us to let go of clenched fist and control of relationships when we know patience is sometimes how God works? His planning is much better than I could dream. If I’m honest, please don’t judge, I’ve found myself with angry clenched fist. Angry that life has changed in such a way that was unexpected. Angry that I’m doing the supposed “right” things and what feels correct, what feels like what God would want me to do but I find myself depressed. Angry at God for giving me a desire, but I sit by and watch friend after friend have that desire fulfilled for them. In that anger I realized I let the dangerous thoughts of my worthiness be questioned. This does no good and only pushes further into a dark place, its a well worn path that I’m changing. I’m thankful to be able to recognize those moments now. I’m grateful to have (amazing) mentors that reinforce the positive. Thankful that I understand the Daniel 3:18 & even if not, God is still good. Just because a promise isn’t kept in our timing doesn’t mean the promise isn’t kept. I have to believe the positive. There’s a reason these people and this place are in my life. So maybe if loosen up my grip, let the anger go of what was supposed to be and appreciate what is I can see what I have. I can live a lot more in love and kindness, without conditions.

There’s a PURPOSE and just because I do not understand doesn’t mean the purpose isn’t good. So I am being more resolute in just being who I am. Not trying to be more or less for people. Accepting what is, and being thankful for that time.

ifNot

2014, thank you.

We are less than a week away from 2015. Seems a little crazy to me but as I tweeted yesterday 2014 has been been good to me, my heart is full. It’s been a year that started with a broken heart and is ending with a heart that has so much to appreciate, love and is getting used to being vulnerable.

2014 In Review:

-Highlights: One best friend got married, and the other got engaged. I hit a point in April-May where I started to settle in who I was dating because I truly didn’t believe love was going to happen. I was 27 and cynical. Thankfully I was smart enough to let it go and someone so great came into my life. I bravely went to counseling and have started living life vulnerably with walls down. (Along with counseling I witnessed some ugly ugly parts of myself. I’m working on those. Good thing life is a learning adventure.)
-Game Changers: Joining a Lifegroup. Hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In short these girls are my home team. They understand me and never make me feel less than. Meeting my boyfriend. I won’t say much more about that other than he’s changed my life. Lastly, I finally said goodbye to some toxic people in my life. It was by choice finally, I typically try to make every relationship work. Wayyyy beyond when it’s over. This year I’d had enough of being torn down. Walking away from that friendship might be the best thing I’ve done for myself.
-Things I Focused On: Bettering myself. For the first time in a long time I focused on taking care of my heart, making sure I cleared out the lies I’ve believed. I’ve gone into my struggles. Lately, I’ve focused on forgiving. Whoa let me tell you bitterness is hard to let go of but it’s beautiful freedom when you do. I’ve focused on being a good girlfriend, not perfect but I’m actively making myself better in life. I also realized we aren’t in a competition with each other. I want to be known for building people up, not tearing people down.
-Reflection: In the end 2014 might have been one of the best years I’ve ever had. Personal growth, the friends that have come into my life and this relationship. I’ve changed, I’m more aware, and I’m living in freedom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who have made my life so great.
-The future: I’ve talked about what I want to focus on in the next year. I want to work more on understanding and listening. There’s so much to hear when you aren’t speaking or worrying about responding. Just listening. I want to detox from Social Media. That’s necessary. I really, really just want to build on what I started in 2014. I want my heart to stay full and open and to continue to love.

Coming Home.

I have 3 full days left in Indianapolis. I am hoping that people do not take my smile and happiness to be moving home as a sign of me not being sad. I cried on Sunday night saying goodbye to one of people I grew close to in recent months. It was sad even knowing I am going to see her again. Today I said goodbye to one of my best friends for the past 6 years.

I even feel this great swelling cry coming on later this week. I just don’t want to start that on Tuesday. I want to celebrate my time here and think about the impact I made on people. It’s hard to be sad when I am moving on to something that I fully believe is big and good for me! I have big plans, bigger than I’ve even let on here. I fully believe that good things are coming. My heart isn’t scared anymore, there is always the unknown. But I’m tired of worrying about if it will happen or won’t. I can’t control if people like me or not. All I can do is continue to love and be me and accept the love people give me. Home to me isn’t about a structure, bricks, and mortar. It’s about a feeling, a love, a safeguard, a kindness, a forgiveness, an acceptance. It’s a place where no matter what I look like, what I’m wearing, or what I’ve done I’m loved. It’s a place where I can clear my mind and heart. A place where I can cry my tears and get back up and stand. A place where support is unwavering. A place where my ideas can grow, where my dreams are supported, and my faith is rebuilt. It’s a place where I feel arms wrapped around me all the time telling me I’m going to be ok and that they are proud of me. A place where I do not have to have life figured out fully, a place where I can take a journey and be told that’s a great idea. Its a place I know I’m welcome and a place where I know I’m wanted. And that’s a good thing to feel.

I started thinking about some of my favorite songs about home. Here are a couple:

Coming Home- Country Strong.

“It’s a four letter word. A place you go to heal your hurt. It’s an altar, it’s a shelter. One place you’re always welcome. A pink flamingo, double wide. One bedroom in a high rise. A mansion on a hill. Where the memories always will. Keep you company whenever you’re alone. After all of my running. I’m finally coming Home – the world tried to break me. I found a road to take me. Home – there ain’t nothing but a blue sky now. After all of my running, I’m finally coming… Home.”

Miranda Lambert- The House that Built Me

Blake Shelton/Michael Buble- Home

JohnnySwim- Home

Adele- Hometown Glory

Jake Owen- Every Reason I Go Back

What are some other suggestions?

10 things for the weekend!

1. This week was the end of One Tree Hill. I’ve probably never followed a series as close as I have this one … ever. Well maybe Criminal Minds but watching the end of One Tree Hill was good. I was happy with the way they tied every thing up…also I was introduced to this song by Gavin DeGraw, which I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of before. I like this new cd of his though.

2. I was introduced to this band Fun. by one of my favorite writers Shauna Niequist. I have been listening to them quite a bit this week and I am quickly becoming a fan. Not my usual type of music but I can’t stop listening.

3. I have had a very up and down week. For various reasons I found myself experiencing multiple emotions at the same time. It has its good and bad because it’s good to grow and learn but I hate the pain. But in the end I know it’s worth it. I know that God wants to create a wonderful life if I just let Him.

4. I also found in the past two months to catch up with some people from my past. It has been a very rewarding thing and I’m so appreciative of it.

To Ashley M. in the past we’ve known each other because of Casey but it’s been really good to see you and talk to you, quite a bit over this past month. Casey is lucky to have you in her life!

I also caught up with my former youth pastor Chris. I was reading his blog and came across this post. God looks good on you. I can honestly say it touched me so much. It had the wheels in my brain going a mile a minute and something clicked. All this time I’ve been focusing on the bad in me. What I need to change and I get so overwhelmed. What I should be focusing on is living in the same manner at Jesus did. To have a grace and love filled spirit. To show people through my actions. I think it is the greatest compliment to have someone say that God looks good on you. And it was good to have a new mindset for a change.

5. My goal for this weekend is to work on 501 project. I have 16 books to do a bibliography for…which does not sounds fun at all and it’s not but it’s got to get done.

6. Also, this week I realized I believe in Love more than ever. It’s a constant theme in my life. I had a pretty in-depth conversation with a friend about everything going on in my life and how I am finally just letting some things happen and not trying to control them.

7. Since the GRE is over I’ve been very much wasting some time, which is not good, on pinterest and finding the most exciting things to cook/bake! Like this, oh this, and this. The last one will be cupcakes for my friends birthday…this is always my birthday treat to her but this year they will be from scratch!

8. This week is my mother’s birthday, Tuesday to be exact, I got her a pretty sweet card I might say.

9. And I’m not really sure how I haven’t written about this yet BUT my wildcats, yes those Kentucky Wildcats are National Champions! It was probably one of the best nights of my life. I cried. I was happy. I was so proud of those boys. I can’t imagine how they feel. To have accomplished so much with a lot of people rooting against you because you are the favorite. AND to go through 3 teams they had already played this year was pretty fantastic. Now I’m just sad because there is no UK football or basketball to keep up with…and I live in Indiana (for 27 more days) so no horse racing…what to do with myself.

10. Well I don’t really have a 10th thing. So just have a wonderful weekend! Happy Easter to everyone!