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18 April 2017

A Tale of Reawakening...

Come sit a spell and allow me to tell you a tale....
A tale of life...
A tale of challenges...
A tale of survival...
A tale of timid faith and haphazard quiet times...
A tale of busy...
A tale of overwhelmed...
A tale of an uncomfortable wake up call....
....a wake up call that was not the first....

A tale of how out of love for His daughter God began his chat with a gentle whisper....
A tale that has resulted in a mighty shove...
A tale of a busy young lady too busy to listen...
A tale of an invert scare to listen.....
... Scared?!....
....Yep!....
...for it is a tale of someone scared that He will ask more than she "can" give.

It's one of those times in life when you look back over the recent past and wonder how you didn't see it...
A job I needed to leave but didn't have the heart too... I loved my patients, their families, and my coworkers too much.  In my last year there.....
In February: median nerve injury resulting in significant time out of work and lasting deficits that are still present.
In August: severe concussion resulting in significant time out of work, increased stress at work near constant naps under my desk in between patients, cognitive confusion, vestibular issues, migraine, and so much more...... also lasting deficits ... still present...... Resulting in a second round of vestibular PT, cognitive therapy, lists all over my home, and a planner designed for someone with dementia :)
Did I mention October the year before was a large ovarian mass requiring surgery and significant time out of work. 
...and  yet...
...too chicken to leave.  Surely working your hardest and it never being good enough causing you to be miserable in a setting you know is better than beginning at a new location.  My decision to leave was abrupt.  I had been praying about it intensely for a week -- as well as asking friends to pray with me.  That day I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was not meant to be there longer.  I had given my skills, my talents, my gifts, and part of me.  A big part of me.  It was confirmed that evening by several friends.

Did I take time away to fully heal? No.  Money runs the world.  Just because my brain couldn't retrieve basic words from my vocabulary and vestibular deficits caused (cause) me to feel as if I am constantly on a boat......
... rent is still due...
... electricity and water are required...
... food is occasionally necessary.....

....and  so....
I went back to teaching (with major modifications) and took on a new challenge as a pediatric PT.  I have no doubt it is where I was supposed to be at that time but also have no doubt it wasn't where God planned for me to stay.  

.... this current break has resulted in....
... a consistent Quiet Time...
... blind and terrifying Faith and trust that He's got me...
... time to address the deficits that cause me to feel like a fish out of water...
... deficits that at times scare me....

A time to sleep (my body gives me no choice).... neurons require rest for restoration....
A time to reassess the dreams I have always had and not recently acknowledged. 
A time to re-evaluate my priorities.

As a young child --- for as long as I can remember --- I wanted to be a doctor.
My goal was to work for Doctors Without Borders. 

The pull of love for family/friends and need to be closer pulls me in one direction.
The deep ache and yearning in my heart pulls me toward far away lands and those less fortunate.
A dream of being able (financially and time) to do the jobs I love (PT and Education) while also participating in medical missions and philanthropic activities. 

God put part of the answer in front of me 2 years ago.  
Two years ago I was waiting on my essential oil premium starter kit to arrive.
I was excited because then my sister would quit telling me it would be good for me...
Little did I know what God had planned....

There is not a day that I don't use essential oils...emotional support, sleep support, body system support, chemical free cleaning, chemical free living, facial/skin products, and an improved sense of gratitude for the plants, herbs, fruits, and flowers that God has provided for us to use for healthier living.

2 years ago my older sister was oily and I was awaiting a kit with plans to use Thieves to support my immune system.  My parents had no interest in oils......

Present day... My sister is still oily... I am the oily lady people send their friends to for education and support.... My mom is oily and frequently telling me of new uses for oils ..... and the biggest surprise?.. my dad is now oily.  He wants the diffuser each night, has several rollers for different purposes, and recently learned how well essential oils can support the musculoskeletal system. 

I resisted in the beginning.  How could I possibly share my love for this amazing thing I had found? He reminded me that one of my gifts in Education.  I love to teach!  I love to learn new things and watch the excitement on someone else discovering their own abilities and uses for essential oils.

I don't know where it will lead but I do know that God has ordained this.  He handed it to me 2 years ago and I ignored it....  Business pages are going into my old lady planner and this girl is going to share the love!

What has he placed right in front of you?  What are you missing?




27 March 2017

A Family of Faith

Written on March 5, 2017....

I love that my family is a family of faith.  It is generational on both sides and a blessing.  A family of strong Christian women who truly understand how blessed they are.  I grew up with a Grandmama and a Grandmother who were each in the Word daily.  One taught me how important it is to use the gift of teaching and the other taught me how to help my love ones know that they are cherished.... not only by me but also by the Father in times of happiness AND trials.
(I know -- I am working on getting back to this gift.)

My Mama has carried on the tradition.  She has demonstrated the importance of showing Jesus' love to everyone you meet, continuing to learn more about the Word, mentoring kids and newer Christians -- and she is always available to answer a question because I can't remember or what I find when I dig doesn't match what I remember.  My sister is amazing and has turned her gift of teaching toward women in her community and continues to learn more daily.

Why the reminiscing about these ladies and so many more women in my family?

Yesterday I planned to leave my aunt and uncle's house but my body decided differently and so I was blessed with a great gift.  Quiet time and reminders of who we are in Christ, how much God loves us, and how ONLY we compare ourselves to others.... with my Aunt.  Another woman of faith who has led Bible Study programs and has shown God's love through her great gift of hospitality.

I found a Young Living box on my doorstep when I arrived home.... It contained an oil set I have been dreaming about for over a year.  Oils of Ancient Scriptures.  My Mama and I are going to do a study around it and as I told her it arrived became a conversation of what the oils smell like, when they were used, how they were used, and what it was like at this time.

The five minute "our Scripture oils came in" conversation became much longer and I knew for certain that God had orchestrated the entire 2 days to remind me of the legacy I come from and who I am as a woman of Christ.

I didn't make it to church today because I got off the phone with my mom and got lost in the Bible --- but I know that the messages I received were the ones He knew I needed to hear.

Who do you have speaking truth into your life? Is there someone who can pray for you at a moment's notice? Tell you when you are in the wrong?.....



14 February 2017

2 Years Later.... more grey hair..... and a tiny bit wiser.

WOW!

I can't believe it has really been 2 years since I sat with just this screen and my thoughts.... (and Lucy snoring beside me). 
So many things are different.... some things are unchanged.....

On a different day I will update on the who, the where, and the when ....
...along with the quotes on my blog homepage :)

For now.....
     the reason why I am here....

I met a young lady last month and it is a friendship that shows the handprints of God in its creation, placement, and plans.  We are but two pawns in the game --- luckily both of us is willing to listen to the still small voice.  I have been hearing it for years (although not always listening)... she is new to this amazing life and beginning to hear when He speaks. 

One day....
if she gives me permission....
I will tell the story of the last couple of weeks....

Until then....
...the thing that brought me here today... Valentine's Day.... at 1:30am (2:50am completion) when I should be sleeping...

I am a quote fanatic!
TRULY!!

Some people are addicted to drugs... or food... or sex...
I am addicted to:
caring
quotes
flowers
old Ball jars
old quilts
(old stuff in general)
Essential Oils
art/crafts/home goods made by local artists
CSAs
and
local farms/gardens....

AND....farm eggs :)

I encourage my students each semester to dig for quotes in the first week or two that can be uplifting, supportive, inspiring, and funny --- for later in the semester when life gets a bit rough. 
(No, this is not a reflection on me as a professor)

Tonight.... after being cooped up in the house since Thursday with what could be the flu.... I was in need of encouragement.... and I began looking for quotes and verses for the young lady mentioned above... and myself.

             One quote really caught my eye...
Now -- my life is my life and others have it much harder than I.  I love most parts of my life and God is helping me to learn through the others.  I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and supportive family and friends... ---> the things I need.

I make it a point to keep my pity parties down to a minimum both those spoken aloud and those in my head.

What jumped out today tonight THIS MORNING was the "finisher" portion of that verse.  Of course we could also look at it from an Alpha and Omega or  Beginning and End view.

I love that this verse encapsulates the fact that God was with me in the very beginning where He knit me in my mama's womb  (for this special package -- I required an extra month --> EXTRA special) and He will be with us at the end.

The Greatest part of that???
EVERYTHING in between!

It means He is walking with me, or carrying me, through ALL of the parts!!!
The happy days --when I am celebrating a wedding, a birth, a beautiful flower, a patient walking or rolling for the  first time....
The harder days --when a family member needs help and I can't provide it, a patient red flags for cancer, a car going into the shop for an oil change and coming out needing so so much more, or a brain that feels like mush, can't remember anything, and tricks my body into thinking it is on a boat ... even when I am sitting or standing still with my back against the wall and feet securely on the floor.

Medicine can be useful, Essential Oils are great,
but the fact that I am not alone in this journey is the BEST!






11 January 2015

Exchange Anxiety for PEACE? for Healing?

    We've all been asked the classic question --- "If you had to be without your hearing or your sight which would you choose?"  How did you answer?  How would your life change if you were to lose one of your senses?

Spending time today meditating on my life verse in a special way --
"For when anxiety was great within me Your consolation brought JOY to my soul."
Romans 94:19


     You see the last six- seven months or so have been a little rough.  They began with a real conversation with my PCP (who I fully expect to ditch me as his patient one day :) ) about my knowledge that something was not right in my body.  I didn't know what was wrong but I knew something was wrong.  The following months included a trip to the ER directly from work and 1.5 weeks of creatively maintaining my Whole 30 diet while a patient in the hospital (NOT an easy task). That lovely medical vacation was followed by more medical tests due to surprise findings on my inpatient MRI. My next vacation called FMLA included significant surgery and a longer than expected recovery.  

     I returned to work relieved that it was over and began attempting to once again accrue some PTO (paid time off).   Follow that with two illnesses, multiple IVs, hospitals, a week out of work, and we end up at today and my choice of focal verse.

    The last illness progressed from a GI issue to upper respiratory.  That I am used to -- I'll even take the steroids that dislike my body so much --- but this one has added a special challenge.

    Two weeks ago this Tuesday I awoke in the morning with no hearing.  I stumbled out of bed, bumped into walls and tripped over my feet trying to get out of my bedroom.  I slammed books on the floor.  I slammed cabinet doors.  All I could hear was my heartbeat.  When seen my the doc last week I had next to no hearing in the R ear and minimal hearing in the L.

    Work this week was interesting -- and funny for my co-workers. I was the PT who couldn't smell, couldn't taste, and could barely hear.  There was an elf who is named Tom.  I thought for sure my kiddo said "Carl."  My kiddo who described working with groups in math class and I was certain she was saying "grapes." Umm -- no.  Those are the least embarrassing mistakes made this week. My loving co-workers learned to yell and all the while I tried to keep my sanity. It was getting better bit by bit --and then

    Today I awoke with minimal hearing once again. I have never taken my hearing for granted.  I grew up in a musical home where singing, whistling, humming, piano, clarinet, and flute were common sounds.  There is always music in my home.  

    I always answered the classic question "If you had to be without your hearing or your sight which would you choose?" Neither! (obviously) but if I had to choose I would keep my hearing at all cost because I can't imagine not hearing:
  • piano music
  • a cello
  • birds chirping
  • wind in the trees
  • the crunch of fall leaves under my feet
  • the sound of the waves on the shore
  • the sound of a sinker on the end of a line cutting through the water
  • my dad calling me "Sug" and singing hymns on car rides
  • my mom telling me "I love you"
  • my sister's crafty plans and medical chats with my bro-n-law
  • the giggles of my nephews and hearing them call "Aunt Dista"
  • my Grandmother singing along with old hymns
  • smack talk during games with friends/family
  • Lucy reminding me that it's dinner time
    I have often struggled with worry and anxiety.  It is a challenge for me.  I'm good at going to the cross -- handing it over -- and then picking up part of my worry as I stand up to continue with my day.  This is different.  If I'm honest this is scary -- and for those who know the details of the last month --- this is far more concerning to me than anything else that has occurred. 

Prayers appreciated...... as I attempt to PATIENTLY wait on the ultimate Healer. 





27 July 2014

(Almost) Week 1 Whole30 Update

Soooo--- Where to begin.  It is now 10:13 and I am ending Day 6 of my first Whole 30.  I began with an afternoon of shopping with my lovely friend Christy.  We hit my favorite farmer's market, Costco, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods (in that order).  My refrigerator is now constantly stocked with multiple types of produce, raw meats, cooked meats, eggs, ghee, garlic, and herbs.  It makes it easier.  I want a snack I grab fruit and nuts.  I need a meal I have proteins, raw veggies, cooked veggies, partially cooked veggies, and spices to create quick meals. My biggest challenge is eating 3 meals each day.

Things I have Learned so Far:

1. I love dairy.  Seriously LOVE dairy.  I will be okay as long as my belly tolerates dairy when this is over.

2. When you are in the faces of patients and parents all day long it is nice to have the option to chew gum or eat a mint.  

3. It is REALLY hard to eat 3 meals a day. Seriously. I post pictures because it holds me accountable. (Confession -- today's lunch was nuts and fruit as I walked through Lowe's and the grocery store -- and the produce the lady at the farmer's market fed me)

4. My body now craves water. I woke up the first two mornings craving a Sundrop.  Now I wake up craving a glass of ice water and if it has a slice of lemon in it that is magnificent.

5. Some days I feel full.  Some days I feel like I am missing something I need. Probably craving CHEESE or YOGURT or CHEESE......

6.  When doing the Whole30 - do NOT! I repeat do NOT! walk down the aisles of the grocery store without a purpose or goal.  It is TORTURE!!!

7. Wanna make this  Whole30 lady cry ----have her accidentally turn down the Mexican food aisle -- then she is looking at tortillas, and taco shells, and dreaming of taco salads and CHEESE and SOUR CREAM and near tears.  So she quickly leaves that aisle and rushes to the next one --- what is it? NipCheese on one side (fav snack) and SunDrop on the other side of the aisle.  I might have lost a tear. Maybe. 

8. Tonight I feel like a superhero because --- I made Mayo :)

9.  You can't weigh or measure during this process. I never measured before I started but I know the weight at the beginning.  This is what I know now --- my scrub tops don't make me feel like I'm going to suffocate and my favorite green shorts are still pretty snug but I no longer feel like I am being cut in half.  I call this progress.

10. Did I mention some of my friends and family are going to join in the fun. Wanna join?

17 July 2014

Things I Learned Today

1. Both Doritos and broccoli provide you with energy.  (Apparently Miss Christa's choice should be broccoli)

2. When one of my most interesting kiddos is exhausted she looks like a drunk spinning circles and bumping into walls in the ballpit while endlessly giggling. 

3.  Kids ask you if you are married at the oddest times -- like really loudly -- in a silent room in front of fellow staff -- and parents you do not know :)

4.  I work in a place where "I have to go but I can't go, you understand?," "I gassy" "I farted" " I stanky" and " "eeew!! Oops! That me?" Are regular phrases heard (and smelled). 

5. When you are at the end of the line and you still have one more patient to go and you seriously don't know how you can muster up the energy to smile without throwing up from the pain much less treat the kiddo for an hour --- it is great to have coworkers who understand when you plop down face first on the floor for 5 minutes so you can pray for the strength to finish the day and know that they won't let you sleep through your last appointment. 

6.  Today (and over the last week especially) I have been reminded how great it is to have a medical provider who is not only knowledgable but also listens and is willing to collaborate with and refer to others when necessary.  My PCP has gone above and beyond and has actually included me in the problem solving process.  While he kept apologizing today because the problem still exists I kept thanking him for his help and his willingness to listen. It has been a good reminder of the type of medical professional I hope I am. Kindhearted, compassionate, knowledgable, listener, humble, and willing to help. 

13 July 2014

The Restart Button

It began as a kid -- I discovered after many ear infections and many rounds of antibiotics my pediatrician sent me to an allergist and testing revealed a response to oranges, oats, wheat, dairy, and raw egg white. If I ate them occassionally I was fine but if they built up in my system TaDa! rashes, hives, and ear infections.  

Fast forward many years and I am an adult who has NEVER receieved the flu vaccine because it is grown in raw egg white.  I am now an intern at Boston Children's Hospital and they are requiring that I receive the vaccine. No exception. The result -- a severe reaction -- resulting in an IV, massive amounts of fluid, benedryl, epi, terrified NP, MD, discussion of trach, and 2 days of sleeping off the effects of all of the medications. With that came documentation from the medical director stating that I should not receive this vaccine again.

Fast forward again. Current employer. Required attempt by microdose.  The problem is -- now I live in the South.  That alone requires me to be on allergy medication.  Removal of the allergy medication for 14 days to undergo the flu vaccine cause pneumonia thus requiring an extended round of steroids.  My body plus steroids is not a good thing.  The outcome this time is +40 pounds and borderline diagnoses of hypothyroid and diabetes.  Needless to say I don't want any of these.  So ---- I am going to take a challenge.  The Whole 30.  30 Days of eating following specific guidelines.

Whole 30 was created by Dallas and Melissa Harwig.  The book It Starts With Food describes the why? and the science behind the rules but I will begin by listing the rules below.  I had planned to begin tomorrow but I ended up in the hospital yesterday so my start date has been pushed back by at least a week.  Give me a shout if you want to join me.  The more the merrier :)  I will be posting along the way to hold myself acountable. 

1. No Sugar (maple, honey, agave, coconut sugar, splena, stevia, any articifical sweeteners, xylitol, etc....) it can have fruit juice as a sweetner but limited

2. No Alcohol ( even in cooking)

3. No Grains ( wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgar, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains, quinoa, gluten free pseudo grains, bran, germ, starch, etc)

4. No Legumes (all beans, black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, pb, soy, soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, lecithin, etc...)
-- You CAN have green beans, sugar snap, and snow peas

5. No Dairy (cow, goat, sheep, etc)
--You CAN have clarified butter or ghee (whole foods or Trader Joes)

6. No White Potatoes (white, red, purple, yukon gold, fingerling)
--You CAN have sweet potatoes :)

7. No MSG, Sulfites, Carrageenan (in any form) (this looks like mostly processed meats)

8. No Paleofied Baked/Junk Foods (Muffins, Ice milk, banana pancakes, etc) (you can't do anything healthy baked to make it like a baked good because the idea is to get your body out of the habit of wanting that baked item.  If you feed it a healthified version it sort of defeats the purpose)

9. No Weight or Body Measurements during 30 Days (only before and after) (because it is not about any weight lost -- that is an added benefit -- it is about a restart -- a reset for your body).

There are great resources available online for free including things you can and cannot eat, grocery lists, meal plan suggestions, rules, success stories,  and how to integrate the foods back into your diet after the 30 days.  There is also a support group and forum you can sign into.  The website is http://whole30.com

I hope you will consider joining me.  It won't be easy but I truly think it will be worth it. 


29 June 2014

A Day to -- Just Be

I try to make it a point to not just provide a description of my day. But this one is worth it.  The only things that could make it better --- 1. People to share it with 2. The ability to sleep in tomorrow morning :)

Sometimes ---- you wake up and just need a day.  A day to breathe.  A day to live. A day without judgement. A day without work.  A day without laundry.  A day without paperwork.  

A day to just.  Be. 

After a week of work followed by four full days of sitting in seminars and then straight into another work week -- Add in that today is Day 11 of the same migraine-- and I just needed a day.  To just.  Be.  I'm sure we all have those days.  Today I found my solution. 

Early service as I tried out Real Life Christian Church.  Yep.  I'm church hoppin again.  I really liked this one!  And with tears streaming down my face during "oh precious is the flow -- that makes me white as snow.  No other fount I know...." I knew it was where I was supposed to be in that moment.  (How many of you sang that in your head?)

Follow that with the racing heart that can only be inspired by driving through the curvy, no shouldered, country roads of Pungo with your tank on empty and gas light blinking. Oh wait --- add a cop car with flashing lights pulling up on your bumper.  Yep.   Heart beating at heart attack speed :)

While attempting to find a gas station I found myself 10 minutes from my favorite VA beach --- and so logically -- brunch became food from the little corner store as I listened and watched the waves try to move the world under my feet.  

How do you top that?!

You stop at the farmer's market for veggies. My favorite time of the year --- when I can buy the majority of my food from the people who grew or made it and use the grocery store to fill the gaps. 

And you pick a bouquet from a field of Zinnias.  Seriously!  




If you know me you understand my love of flowers and what a true pleasure this was. The farmer's wife gave me a tour of the colors and a cutting lesson and then said " We're open til 5.  Have fun and I will see you in a couple of hours."  With my camera and all the butterflies it could have been true. Next time. 

I ended the day with chicken, my veggies, and my grill.  My yard smelled like the NC State Fair and that is seriously one of my happy places.  



And now .... Sleep.  

I hope your day was one that allowed you some time to Just.  Be. 


25 May 2014

Mama Robin

As I lay on my backyard swing dreaming the day away a hidden nest drew my attention.  A robin.  A lady robin.  A mama robin feeding her babies with worms galore.  A working mama.  

Quite often have I listen to the robins outside my bedroom windows early in the morning. Most times annoyed by the banter  and the noise.  Annoyed as I watch them forage in my garden. 

She's a working mom.  She is providing for her family.  She is doing the best she can with the limitations the world provides.  And yet I assume.  I judge.  

How often we judge those around us.  As women it seems so easy for us to look at another woman and easily find faults -- clothing, size, kids who appear to be badly behaved, station in life, type of job, lack of job, homeschooler, nonhomeschooler -- this list could go on and on....

But we don't stop there.  We then judge ourselves by the same criteria.  Sometimes for the better and sometimes worse.  "Wow if I looked like that I wouldn't wear that outfit" or "she should not be wearing that.  (aka -- Woah - she looks rough in that outfit)  folllowed by "her stomach is smaller than mine.  Our thighs are about the same size...." Thus putting down their body and our own.  

I'm guilty of it.  More now than ever.  After 3 rounds of higher dose steroids and a 40 pound weight gain  (on a < 5 ft tall body) -- it is increasingly difficult to not judge myself in comparison to others.  

-If I worked out more like her.
-If I ate super healthy all the time like her.
-If I ran marathons like her.

Ladies --- Why do we do this? 

I was asked recently if my being single affects my self esteem in a negative way.  Ironically, it is my fellow women who assist in lowering the self esteem of others. We tend to tear each other down (to their face or behind their back)  when we should be building each other up.  

The irony is that the smaller, smarter, prettier, tanner, thinner women have the same thoughts as the taller, less brilliant, cute, less tan, thicker women.  SO why do we bother? Work to change what you can change, love what you can't, and determine that you  are the best YOU there is in this world. 

I may not be able to run right now.  I may be gaining weight despite eating mostly healthy and getting my butt beat by Jillian DVDs 5 days a week.  I may live down the road from the beach and not be able to find a bathingsuit that fits.  But I am tired of being sad, angry, or embarrassed by it.  I could be smarter, skinnier, richer, or prettier -- But Y'all --- when I am I will still be the best me that exists in this world --- and that's true now --- 

Therefore - I choose to enjoy life, appreciate what I have, and help others as much as I can. 

Care to join this journey? 

02 March 2014

Restless

It has been a good day.... a day of peace... a day of knowing I am where I am supposed to be ... doing what I am supposed to be doing.

A small example of my day: a conversation between me and a 4th grade boy ( i forgot how weird and fun that age is) I didn't realize how sore I was from my run yesterday until I attempted to do a move similar to the Twist in children's worship.  Apparently my facial expression showed my discomfort...
Boy: You okay?
Me: (chuckle) Yeah. I'm fine just really sore from running yesterday?
Boy: (dead serious) What were you running from?
Me: (trying not to laugh) Nothing, just for fun.
Boy: Like a race? It was a race?
Me: Yeah I guess. A race against myself.
Boy: looks at me through the corner of his eye with both eyebrows raised in disbelief.
No other words were spoken about running but he continued to intermittently look at me with that same curious look.


Worship at 800am with the adults; worship and small group time with the kiddos (3-5 grade) at 930; a phone chat with family -- and lunch with new friends.  It is one of the few times since I have been in VA that I felt like I could truly be a part of the community --- truly have a life --- truly feel like a part of something.

(By the way-- have you tried pickles in your chili?  How do you eat yours?)

Okay -- back to the Restlessness

Numbness has been the keyword for months --- and for those of you who are disbelieving --- just trust me. For months there was nothing -- just numb --- and over the last couple of months it has begun the transformation of being replaced with a feeling of change -- a certainty that God has a purpose and plan for me --- with certainty that it is going to be far beyond my C-zone (comfort zone).

I know that I am different from my family, my friends, and those around me (otherwise I would be married with several kids and more on the way-- I probably would have married young -- and I most likely would not have attended grad school).  This difference is no surprise to God no matter how disheartening it is to me. He has a purpose and feeling out of place is part of the preparation.  I know that some dreams that used to be important have fallen to the wayside and others are present as I sleep each night. 

I don't know what His plan is and that is scary -- I am a planner -- I like to have a plan.  God is challenging that with a simple request to "Trust me."  I am trying -- but honestly --- the wait sort of sucks :)

Beginning Monday I will be participating in this FREE online book club based on "Restless" by Jennie Allen.  The link to the information is below --- I would love for you to join me in this journey!!! (and don't feel bad if you won't be able to read all of the chapters suggested by tomorrow.  I will be in that club with you. ) It is based on that restless feeling you get when you know God has more planned for you and you just haven't discovered all of the pieces yet. 

I am going to include quotes so you can see if they hit home with you :)
Seriously Y'all I am underlining and marking with colored pens all over this book.




Quotes (chapter 1) (5 pages)

- "Was this feeling pushing me toward something bigger, or crippling me from loving the life I was given?"

-"We wonder if we are missing some mystical, great, noble purpose that was supposed to squeeze into the holds of our ordinary lives.  We feel numb.  We feel bored."

-Every single one of us is designed to fit into a unique space with unique offerings.  God's will for every one of us will look different."

-"This is a book about being brave enough to imagine a better world, and how we may be used to make it that way.  This is a book about fears and suffering and joy and gifts.  This is a book about all that lies in our control and how nothing is in our control.  This is a book about vision and obedience."

-"We will lay out the unique threads of our lives that feel random, potentially even tangling us up, but we will lay them out and dream about eternal purposes for seemingly mundane moments and consider that it is possible to waste our lives.  And then let's not."

-"Dare to believe that God has a vision for how you are to spend your life.  Finding and accomplishing this vision is quite possibly the greatest responsibility we have as a generation second only to knowing and loving God."

-"We have a call to dream." **

-"He sent his Spirit to give unique visions to unique people to reach the world in unique and beautiful ways."

-"He has given you an abundance of gifts, resources, people, and vision to accomplish His dreams for you.  If you do not feel that way yet, you will."

-"What if you get past your fears and insecurities and spend the rest of your life running your guts out after his purposes for you?"

-"..a place where no life or minute or breath ever feels small again."