Thursday, February 25, 2010

When My Mind Goes There

That foolish night in the auditorium. 
The banister at prom. 
The Christmas party.
The white dress I still have.
The parking lot full of rain puddles
The cherry tree outside of dailey.
My hometown's fairgrounds.

When my mind goes there, I don't make it stop.
I know that in about ten minutes my heart is going to be heavy.
And I know if I keep this up I am going to want to cry.
But when my mind goes there, my heart won't let it stop.

Oh, what a joyful season this has been.
God has been beyond faithful.
Nashville is everything I could have dreamed for and more.
But when my mind goes there...

It goes to the puffy paint that stained our hands.
It goes to the late night calls I'd make without my mother knowing.
It goes to the basketball games, the nightly walks, the parties, the drama, the glam, the dining hall, the coffeehouse, the old cars, the dates, the mall trips, the tears, the lonely nights, waiting for him to call, waiting for her to care. It just goes.

I feel so grown up as in I can't even try to be that person anymore
who cared for such foolish things. 
Yet, I know I am young.
I know I have plenty of mistakes to make. 
I know I have plenty of relationships to lose and gain still.
I know I have plenty of sleep to be lost for fun late nights.
I know I have much to look forward to... 

yet, there is just so much to look back at also.

One of my favorite memories from College was a simple day in class. We were all in the lab at the library and the teacher never showed. But for the mere fact of camaraderie we all hung out and spouted off 'TFLN' for over an hour ((socialworkers-admitit) it was just such an example of how close you become as a major.

Then there is the last day of my high-school career. We sat on the hood of my '93 and he gave me a guitar pick necklace. He made it. It was cheap. But I knew he cared. And I knew somewhere out there, there was :::real::: love. Unconditional love and I was going to find it.

Or basically anytime I spent with Jill gossiping and gabbing, and gossiping and gabbing. Letting our hearts be raw and filled with love because of it. Figuring out what it really meant to be able to make our own decisions in college and living with the consequences of those choices.

Marissa, oh sweet Marissa. Her nativity is still to be admired. The one who could set any of us off was the same one to instantly make us laugh. Always a good one for music, never on time, but beautiful because of it.

I often laugh at the year I lived with Emily, who acted more like my personal assistant, poor girl had to take care of me in my toughest season.. "Can I call him yet??" I did so much to fill my life that year with anything but the Lord. Yet, He won. He won my heart and it has yet to leave.

English class in highschool was awful. I remember no one ever knew what we were suppose to read or if we did read what exactly the point was. None of it made sense... how did we ever pass. Or pass Chemistry for that matter? Did we pass chemistry...

Oh gosh, haha I am so glad my two besties don't live in the house on Maxon St. anymore.. yuck. What a group of people to co-habitat. Not the best fit... nope. However, there was always plenty of food to be shared on my bi-weekly visits.

I would always get nervous to hang out with Tim. I mean we were so different, were we going to be able to think of anything to talk about? And then it would be three hours later and my stomach just couldn't take anymore laughing. I loved my times with him.

More so then the main people I loved being able to hang out with such a variety. Like my most recent roommates. All so very different. Passionate in their own way. Yet, a connection was made with each one of them. Or back in the day the randomness of the cafeteria seating. I always had new friends. Always cheering for the underdog. Always worrying about having a boyfriend. Always searching for change to buy an ice cream bar. Always making a scene to be noticed, always.

Alas, I let my mind go there. So many things happen throughout my life and this is what my heart releases to blog. My memories. My sweet sweet memories. Those moments in life that only make me more excited about the future. About the people I have yet to meet. The people I have yet in impact and better yet... the people that have yet to impact me. *smile* Well, now that's a nice thought... I'm glad I let my mind go there.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Square peg; Round hole

Somehow in this process of myself staring at this hole I don't fit into,
I am falling more in love with myself.
I know who I am and I love it.
I know who I am in Christ.
I know who I am when the lights go out.
I know who I am when the going gets tough.
I know who I am when the sun rises.
And I know who I am when all is right with the world.

I don't fit in here. 
And sometimes when it seems to be uncomfortable 
I just am so grateful my Savior is never changing. 
In all of this I could be bitter...
I mean I should be bitter.
But I love the challenge.
This is who I am.
I have nothing to strive for here.
I am not allowed to display my competence in the postion I hold. 
But in true service we learn to lead.

And this square peg was meant to lead.

"Love cannot remain by itself -- it has no meaning.
      Love has to be put into action, and that action is service"
-Mother Teresa

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Small town Gal

From one small town gal to another ((or guy- pk&ryan)) Things are different down here. I am not in a spot where I can say I like New York life or Tennessee life better. ((as in the environment-not people&circumstances))  So I thought I would work this out with you all & do somewhat of a pro and con list for Nashville life! Let me know what you think!

Every shopping center -ever- is here
Ministry down here is phenom
There is always something to do
Big things happen here like conferences, concerts, & festivals
They do food right here
Even fast food is bangin'
Everything is clean and refreshing feeling like stores and such
There are way more churches than... anything.
There is a Starbucks wherever you are
Everyone at least says they like Jesus
The restaurants are themed and fun
Grocery stores are not cramped
Customer Service most places is wonderful
People will come to visit you since you live in a cool city
Radio stations play amazing music and give away get-away trips EVERYDAY.
Gas prices are cheaper : )
There are so many people my age here
Many Non-Profit organizations are based here
Main streets actually are main streets filled with cozy stores and pastry shops
You can wear ANYTHING and still be in style

There are no hometown quaint coffeeshops
Churches are way big
Traffic is tormenting
People are fake nice
Everywhere you go, there is a line 
It is very hard to meet people
Stuff is expensive.
It is easy to get lost
There are too many shopping centers
In each neighborhood, all the houses look the same
I don't have that non-match look style going for me
There are several languages  going on at once at places
Service places (postoffice etc) are always busy and never feel "homey"
That's all I got for the list now.

Other random facts:
I have fallen in love with Chik-fil-A. yummmm!
My gym serves champagne and Mamosas everyday for free! And they can be taken into the Jacuzzi.
I am going to start volunteering at the cafe in my church. Its like the size of a Starbucks (and get a lot of business- since its a 800+ church) You work there for free but I figure it would be a great way to make small talk with people and get a feel for the church.
And since I am volunteering I get to go to the 'Catch the Fire' conference for free!!! Our church is hosting the Arnotts (they are the leaders of the Toronto airport revival!!) (google-Toronto Blessing)
I am also going to an IHOP regional in a few weekends-Yay
I get to spend Valentine's day with the Mercy girls!! We are going to a Vanderbilt Basketball game. And needless to say there are plenty of surprises for the girls today. <3 <3 
And all this just makes me remember, I am small town gal. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Told You So

I understand that you may know this song already, but do me a favor, read the lyrics again.

"Suppose I called you up tonight and told you that I loved you
And suppose I said "I wanna come back home".
And suppose I cried and said "I think I finally learned my lesson"
And I'm tired of spendin' all my time alone.

If I told you that I realized you're all I ever wanted
And it's killin' me to be so far away.
Would you tell me that you loved me too and would we cry together?
Or would you simply laugh at me and say:

I told you so, oh I told you so
I told you some day you come crawling back and asking me to take you in
I told you so, but you had to go
Now I found somebody new and you will never break my heart in two again.

If I got down on my knees and told you I was yours forever
Would you get down on yours to and take my hand?
Would we get that old time feelin', would we laugh and talk for hours
The way we did when our love first began?

Would you tell me that you'd missed me too and that you'd been so lonely
And you waited for the day that I return.
And we'd live in love forever and that I'm your one and only
Or would you say the tables finally turned?

Would you say:
I told you so, oh I told you so
I told you some day you come crawling back and asking me to take you in
I told you so, but you had to go
Now I found somebody new and you will never break my heart in two again".

Now imagine how you feel after you know you've sinned. After you've done that thing you told God countless of times you wouldn't go back to. Think of the disappoint you feel and the disappointment look you know others will give you. Think about how a little of you is still kind of happy you did it, I mean you did enjoy it. Think about the nervous wreck you become in thinking you may get caught or that since you did it again you will never break the cycle. Maybe you don't deserve to be freed from sin... maybe you will always be this way. But, but you don't want to be. You know that whatever ((it)) is leaves you empty and does not satisfy you for long. You know that somewhere deep down you are begging to be saved, to be rescued to be healed.

And on the drive home, right after you've given in.. again, tears fill your eyes as the thoughts I have just written out surface your mind and you think... if only... if only He will take me back. If only God could forgive what I've repeatability fallen into. If only God could fix the horrible mess I have gotten myself into. If only..

Then a thought hits you, a little glimpse of hope. You think back to that ober-religious girl in class who gave you a prayer card once that quoted Jesus Saves. You think back to Christmas four years ago when your family went to church and how the pastor said no sin was ever too much for God. Then finally you remember the book your Grandmother sent you when you first went off to college, a book full of promises that God loved you so much that He sent his one and only begotton son to die on a cross for you so you can live and live abundantly. In that book it says God had thought of you and your personality, and your giftings even before the earth was formed. That book promises that if you were the only person on earth Jesus still would have died for you... because He loves you. And you start to fill up with hope, little by little, God reveals his compassion and desire to and for you.

Still, you are hesitant. How could any of this be true? How could He really care? And if He did why is ((this)) so hard for me? Why is it I am in such torment most of the time?? Has He seen my life? Could He still love me? Did He know I would try crawling back to Him? Will He say 'I Told You So?' I mean what does He really care about me for? Doesn't He have hundreds of other mindless followers? They can take my place, do whatever it is He has "called me to", just like in the song.. He will find someone new... Plus, why would He want me back? I am so selfish, tainted and just all around un-Godly. You begin to believe God can and will replace you. The world is full of better people and you will never measure up. Just as you began this night in sin... you will be this way forever.. God is just ready to laugh at you, shake his head and say "I told ya so" and move on.

In these moments I offer you this:

Isaiah 43:4 "Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life."
Ephesians 1:18 "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints"
Ephesians 3:18 "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is for you"
Hosea 2:19 "I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion."
1 Corinthians 2:9 "That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."
Hebrews 13:5 "For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you."
Jeremiah 1:5  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart"
Psalm 139: 16  "your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Or perhaps one of the more popular stories about the prodigal son; Luke 15:17-24 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."
^^That sure doesn't sound like 'I Told You So' to me...

----->These scriptures are here to let you know that if you got down on your knees and told God you were His forever He would get down on His knees and take your hand. He would give you that old time feelin' and you will laugh and talk for hours just the way his  love for you first began. He would you tell you that He's missed you so and that He's been so lonely, and He's waited for the day that you returned. From then on you could live in love forever and He would tell you that your His one and only <------

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Day in the Life..

Dear Mainly Social Work Students,
I decided that I should write you all about what my internship/Nashville life actually entails and such. Although it will not be as interesting as pub crawls in Ireland it will suffice for those missing my humor : ) 

6:30 I rise without an alarm, without fail.. somehow
6:45 I really wake up and hop into the shower
7:00 I pick out the most non-matching but very Nashville looking outfit I can 
7:20 I always find myself online.. unhealth addiction to FB & Blog then remember it is much more important to spend time with my Savior <3
7:45 Leave for work and always assume I am going to be late but still manage to get there before the actual paid staff.
8:10 I walk to the corporate office & take stock of what is needed in the closest (i.e. toilet paper, multi purpose cleaner, etc.) & do some clean up stuff.
9:00- various activities including,  
- Editing Weekly, Daily and Weekend Reports
- Sitting in on a new residents orientation/counseling session 
- Spent one day following the girl's (clients) routines which is very strict and includes, bible study, praise & worship, class, details (chores), counseling, reading time, and 3 square meals & two snacks. (that's as far as I know it til 5)
- Went shopping with the nutritionist once and studied the accountability system for those struggling with Eating Disorders. Hoping to do this again. 
  Shadowing what I can of the Program Director, as she has the job I want someday... but as I like to be, she is very busy.
- I have  closed some cases of old residents which included editing and processing their paperwork (although the editing stuff does not seem significant or interesting- it really is. It is the heart of the center and it is the most social-worky thing besides counseling.
- Fill in as a receptionist, which handles the most face to face time with the girls, as they must sign out various things such as knives for cooking, scissors for scrapbooking, and sign on and off ‘couch’ (which is an accountability system for those who purge) 
- Getting familiarized with the Medical paperwork of the girls and the medication routine 
- And really just being able to befriend and have fun with these girls who have experienced so much and have carried so much hurt is really just amazing. I also have an hour lunch where I prefer to pack and eat with the girls as they are really funny.
5:00 I high-end my tail out before the Nashville traffic hits hard... SPEAKING OF! Guess who has two thumbs and a bent bumper on their Cobalt.. This guy. I got rear ended today in that crazy traffic. I was however, happy to say I totally kept my cool (lets just say I have been through this all before) It was a really great feeling to tell her where I work and what i do and be able to handle myself the way I did, seeing how she had just slammed my head into my steering wheel ten minutes prior. I have to say God has just been so good to me lately- who I am I to show anything but love? (Ps. I changed the blog alias. I just feel like with what I have been writing it fit- I know, you don't care- lol) Ok so that's it for 5pm.

5:15 A new tradition has arose ladies & gentlemen... I purchased a gym membership. Not only did I purchase a gym membership but it is a Day Spa!! Let's not talk about the price, but let's focus on the fact that they treat me like a Queen!! While my paperwork was being processed I was escorted to the Zumba Party class.. Um HELLO? They stole every ugly dance move I have ever had & made it healthy? It was hysterical!! I Loved every moment. two things I learned: one I have groove whether it be on beat or not-whatever; two: in every Latino/rap song we grooved to the chick in the song was getting her some free new shoes... I want free new shoes! Coach Gucci, whatever- get me some shoes! Okay so, I shared the class with only 6 other suburban middle aged women because the owner told me "We are not the Y, so we don't want to look like the Y, or smell like the Y" Not only do they cap membership but classes. Everyone knows everyone by name. It is three floors. Imagine the nicest Spa or Hotel you have been to... now times that by ten & put it in Nashville!!! In the pool area there is a jacuzzi, sonar, and steam room.. what a steam room is exactly for... I am not quite sure? But the pool is so romantic! The Bathroom in this place is outlandish. They give you robes, slippers, towels, shampoo, shower gel, and there is a station with vanities with makeup stuff, hair curlers, straighteners, blow dryers etc. and they open at 5:30 am!!!! We will have to see if my arise time changes : )
5:15 if not at the new gym (Sorry this is getting long) I would come home, to this gorgeous place! To a family cooking together (a balanced meal), pray, eat, sometimes play games- they are so funny when this happens, a lot of the times they watch movies on TV like Meg Ryan replays. 
6:30 by this time I am def. on my computer skyping with Kirsten.
8:00  I usually am reading. Check out the reading list i just posted (look over & up) It is all pretty much bettering myself books & dealing with your junk to then deal with other people's junk.
10:00 I am  really tired by this point, never fails. I don't think my body understands the hour difference still, if not already I talk to Ryan via phone or skype & then normally call it a night. I work Monday-Thursday & soon Fridays because the girls get to go out in the community (they call it mall- even if they go to target or something) To see them function outside Mercy is what really pumps me up. If you are interested more about their life check out this fun (short) blog I was a part of today   On the weekends, I don't do much but Wednesday are my fav. day because that is when Ashley (the 25 year old girl who also lives here, is here most often Wed-Sat) She is super cool, really hospitable just like her rents and she is the closest thing I have to a friend. I go to a great church on Sunday mornings and Monday nights (except tonight because everything is still closed because of the weather) and if you missed it before the way to explain this church is picture the five hottest metro worship leaders (now put them all on stage together); Now take the one most craziest dancer in your church worship and the person who always end up on the floor (now imagine all 800 people being one of those two people); Think of the most spiritual moment you had the Holy Spirit (and make that last for 2.5 hours every week). The chairs are stood on more than sat and the pastors are just as much the funniest people you met as anointed. It rocks!

And that's all I have for you folks. I have fallen in Love with the ministry & even more so the girls. I spend a lot of time in prayer and really trying to pamper myself as I feel like God says I deserve it (hence the gym!) Thanks for ((letting me explain))