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29 April 2009

...One a time....

"As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I originally posted this quote last year.
Please read the original entry here:

Today this quote has a different meaning to me. Over the last couple of weeks all of the plans made over the last three years were shattered. With that being the case the last week and a half have looked like this:

~7:15am - Wake up (if ever went to sleep)
7:45am- Cup of hot tea
8:00am- Begin phone calls (lenders, banks, collection agencies, credit bureaus......)
~2:00pm- Take a break for pb crackers with or without marshmallows...
2:15pm- Back to the phone.....
3:45pm- Stop phone calls.....Jump in shower
4:00pm- Leave for work
......Work, come home, go to bed......

In between each phone call is the falling of tears (if I can hold it until I get off of the phone). The phone calls are filled with rejections, disappointments, and people who couldn't care less. I've been screamed at, cussed at, called trash, and told that I deserve what I get.

Let me explain here that the debt on my credit is from MEDICAL bills. I did NOT buy a flat screen TV, a fancy car, a house I can't afford, or name brand clothes... I was involved in a car accident three years ago. A college kid came around the curve cutting it and hit me head on doing about 45mph. He walked away with no problems and I couldn't move the next day and it became progressively worse. The next months included visits to the ER, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors, and a neurosurgeon. Hours and months of therapy, tons of x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and injections into my spine and hips. THESE are the bills that are there... a consequence of his choice and my inability to afford a private insurance plan.

The sobs rack through my body at night as I wake up from dreams of my apartment, classes, classmates, cadavers, and Boston....

I don't tell you this so you feel sorry for me. I tell you this to be be be vulnerable... and to show you how different my life has become over the last week and a half.
Eleanor said "I did what I had to do as things come along." I have looked at this quote a lot over the last week. A reminder that the only thing I can do is take it step by step. Each phone call holds possibility of school.

Whatever you are facing...take it one step at a time.... and remember you are NOT alone...

27 April 2009

Did I Mention...

...that I have the sweetest dad in the world? I know you think yours is better... but I'm here to tell you.... "Sorry! Mine's the BEST!!!"

After crying and falling apart for dad was really worried... He even offered to take me to Cracker Barrel (but it would be too late when he got to Greensboro)... I blubbered...and bawled into the phone with all of the passion deserving of the heart ache I felt.... I finally hung up, went into my apartment.... shoved everything off of my bed...and cried (in the dark...almost alone... --Lucy won't leave me alone when I cry) phone began to ring...and my mom's voice is on the other end... we are talking.. I'm not such an absolute mess... the doorbell rings.... [keep in mind I had asked my mom "Is daddy in bed?" her response, "Not quite yet." When the doorbell rang I asked, "Is Daddy at home?" her answer..."Well, I'm not sure?"]

and when I opened the door my dad was standing there with a Wendy's bag and the biggest diet coke I've ever seen (I swallowed every single drop!)... I tried not to cry and was even more touch when he declared he was spending the night. It was an unexpected surprise but a nice one... My apartment was a wreck. He didn't care. I had nothing to offer him for breakfast. He didn't care. He was there because if it were him he wouldn't want to be alone. Did you know he and I are a lot alike. I was unable to put into words the need for companionship...but he knew without me asking.....

Did I mention I have the best Daddy?

I love you Daddy!!!!!

This Weekend....

....I ran away! I ran away from:
  • the apartment I should be packing...
  • the reminders of a Boston trip that raised hopes so they could be crushed....
  • the stupid waterbug in my kitchen (yeah I know...GROSS!)...
  • the constant phone calls to credit bureaus and lenders...
  • the rejection letters.....
  • the letters and info from MGH I that should be making me excited...
  • the laundry that needs to be done...
  • the dishes that need to be washed....
  • the empty fridge...
  • the quiet apartment
  • my lonely existence...
  • and the intense sorrow I can't seem to shake...
I ran away... the first plan was to the beach house at Topsail. Then with the weather being so beautiful and the possibility of family using the house and the fire raging in Myrtle Beach...that idea was scratched..... Instead I ran away.... my parents' house....with Lucy in tow... (her first trip to China Grove) It was a nice escape... Time with Mama... moments with Daddy... Five Guys... and a day full of Hallmark movies.... ....Now it's back to reality and the realization that it's real and I will not be going to school.... takes my breath away!!!!! The pic above was taken this weekend... One of Mama's purple irises...

21 April 2009

An Apology

This is an apology to the four people who read this blog. It hasn't been updated in a while and it may still be a few days or week before I can write something not on the depressing side...and I don't want my blog to take on a depressing tone.

It has been a LONG week. A roller coaster of which I can't seem to get off! The Boston trip had it's ups and downs and the time since then has also had it's ups and downs.

I'm struggling. I'm struggling bad. Last ditch efforts to keep my dream afloat are disappearing before my eyes and I'm tired. No... exhausted. I don't eat, I don't sleep, I don't laugh....

I'm tired of getting up just to be knocked down again. I'm tired of the storm that's raging inside. I'm tired of being unsure of myself. I'm tired of people being unsure about me. I'm tired of having to fight for an education that I have worked hard for. I'm tired of trying to convince people that I'm a worthy investment. I'm tired of medical bills pulling me under...and I'm tired of paying for someone else's stupid mistakes.... I'm tired...

Sad to say that even the hours in the Word that usually bring me peace aren't touching this sorrow....Another layer was added last night when I found out a friend from high school lost her battle against cancer.... It's been a LONG week....and I'm tired....

14 April 2009

Prayer Requests for THIS WEEK!!!

Hi! This week is going to be busy and so I thought I'd post some prayer requests. If you aren't a person who prays...a thought would be nice too :) I'm seeking clarity, peace, assurance, and financial stability...

TUESDAY: (Today since it's 5:11am and I never went to bed) I will be flying to Boston. Flight leaves at 11:20 am...through NY..and then to Boston around 4pm. The goal tomorrow is just to spend some time in the city and relax.... Please pray for safety/smoothness in traveling and no glitches along the way...

WEDNESDAY: At noon I meet with a broker to go and look at apartments. (In Boston approx. 98 % of apartments are held by brokers---lucky me :)) I have seen one online (with this firm) that I like...although cheaper would be better...and a fourth floor walk-up is NOT my first choice. Please pray that "the" apartment for me will be one of those the broker has chosen to show me. Please pray that the paperwork works out and that what I have is enough.

THURSDAY: At 11am I meet with a realtor to look at apartments she has picked out from multiple brokers... The problem with this is I have to pay a broker fee + a realtor fee = 2 month's rent! And just to give you a ballpark for Boston... for a 1 bdrm the size of a tic tac box it is $1500-$2000/mo. Now add in my need to be near public transportation and have easy access to hospitals and I have just been placed in the more expensive city...rather than the "burbs." This I think goes without saying...but... a major prayer request for the finances. This is both for the money upfront (4-5 month's rent) and for the cost of tuition and living in the city for the next three years. My credit is not good (due to no insurance and a massive medical debt). I just need to get into ONE apartment that I can call mine for the next three years....It's a dream... a dream I'm willing to pay for in the future... and a dream that I am trying to trust God to work out. At this point the entire thing is terrifying... Please pray for the realtor that she may show me "the" apartment if I haven't found it by now... patience of me..and calming of nerves.

FRIDAY: The morning is free... free for for viewing more apartments... free for fun :) I fly out of Boston at around 8:30pm and arrive in Greensboro around midnight. A long week but an interesting one....

Obviously I would love to find a diamond in the rough. Great neighborhood... or close. Price below market value. More space than a tic-tac box :) and to add one more (for Laurie).. an apartment on the fourth floor or below....

God Bless!

13 April 2009

Quotes Updated...

Hi! The quotes over on the right side have been updated. I'm planning to be better about adding to them consistantly :) Enjoy!

12 April 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!

Today Mama, Amy, David, and myself went to my dad's new church (near) in Trinity. I always like going home to my dad's churches. I miss the old hymns and the use of a hymn book. It allows me to stumble through the alto part :) It was a good service and we were able to eat lunch together (sort of) before Amy and David hit the road for High Point. I was really excited when an older gentleman picked up the mike for the restaurant and asked everyone to please bow their heads for a moment of silence in honor of the day. I was further surprised when he began to pray and included specifics on what this day means..... Wow! It was nice to be somewhere where being a Christian isn't a bad thing. I remember being in elementary school and having a moment of silence before lunch. Even then it was iffy but at least student led prayer was still allowed.....Sad... What will it be like when my children are in school? my grandchildren?

Mama and I were talking about the Easter story last night and it hit me..... it's been a long time since I had read the Easter story. Today after a half nap on the loveseat I began to read. Below are my observations. They are few but meaningful to me:
  • God is gracious! I love the thief hanging beside Jesus. He doesn't kiss up to Jesus. He doesn't pull any punches. He doesn't beg for special privileges. He is straight forward and ask for very little. He asks Jesus to "remember" him. Jesus goes above and beyond by telling him "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Jesus was innocent. The thief was not. Jesus was in agony at this moment. He was truly struggling and He took the time to offer words of comfort to a "thief." How often do we dismiss the needs of others because we are unable to look past our own problems? Jesus forgave and took his penitence to heart. He knew that the thief was honestly sorry and seeking forgiveness. He gave it. Who are we to withhold forgiveness from one who requests it?

  • The crucifixion was GRUESOME! The details of His death make me physically sick. The pain, the torture, the enjoyment of the torturers, the cries of the crowd, the tears and sorrow of the followers, the anguish of his mother, the heartbreak of Jesus and what He had to bear.... How can we read this without weeping? He did all of this for us! I'm not worthy... I could give you a mile long list of reasons right this second and you and I know I will add more reasons tomorrow and the coming weeks. It is our human nature. What love He must feel for us in order to do this! He could have taken Himself off of the cross at any time. He could have told God He refused.... instead He hung there, He bled, He bled more.... He listened to the chants, He listened to the ridicule of the soldiers, He hurt, He was stabbed in the side.... He died..... for ME! He did all of this for me. What have I done to make Him proud?

  • God can (and does) perform Miracles! Jesus rose from the dead. How can we doubt that a Father who has the ability to raise Jesus from the dead is not listening to our prayers? Why do we question His ability to perform miracles? I am guilty of this. I've seen it many times and yet I am slow to fully trust Him to take care of all of my needs. I try to remind myself that when the need seems too large to fulfill .... it is still "very small" and very "do-able" to God!

"At the cross at the cross..where I first saw the light. And the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith, I received my sight... and now I am happy all the days..."

"Up from the grave He arose... with a mighty triumph o'er His foes...."

"Christ the Lord is risen today. Hallelujah...."

"He risen Hallelujah! He risen Hallelujah! Death where is your sting? Behold the King of Kings..."

(These are just a few of the MANY hymns.... What are your favorites? What are the words? What do they mean to you?)


08 April 2009

Good Day... Odd People

The title describes my day!

I began the day by heading to campus for my cardio class and worrying about how to fit in a shower between class and an appointment. Due to a phone interview my class was cancelled and only a signature was needed for attendance. I left there a little lighter in my shoes and excited about my appointment with Lorraine (Brit PT) for a manual therapy session. The session was GREAT as usual. My hips actually work now and my shoulders are a little less likely to be called earrings :) It was also a lot of fun to talk to Lorraine (PT) about Boston and starting school. She has been a real support along the way; acting as a sounding board and offering advice.

I decided I needed some "me time" before work. So I left PT and went to the park to spend some time with plants, flowers, trees, and my camera. The original plan was to spend thirty to forty minutes in the park. Almost two hours later I was exiting with a smile on my face and lots of pictures in my camera.

Now for the odd people! I like meeting people in unusual places like a park. I am not however fond of organized meetings. (just a random piece of information about me :) ) Today I first met a lady that I will describe as "wacky" "odd" and a bit "crazy." She was walking along with a stroller and a dog "on a leash." Let me elaborate.... the leash was connected to the dog's collar but the leash was just dragging on the ground. No person (woman) held the handle on the other end. Upon further inspection I found the stroller to be empty and realized the anticipated occupant was the dog! After going about my business and increasing my picture count, I turned to discover the lady pulling out a quilt to place on a bench. Guess who the quilt was for....the dog. She then explained that the dog was less comfortable and complained more without the quilt. All I can say is...... WOW!

Now to the second person! I met a really cute old man with two small dogs. After talking to the man and loving on the dogs I was given the full story. The gentleman's wife died two years and thirty-three days ago. The pain and anguish from the loss of his wife was almost unbearable. Thus leading to his choice to adopt a dog. Since he was once a professional runner he decided that a rescued/retired greyhound would be the proper choice. He fell in love with one of the dogs and found that the two were inseparable. So what did he do? Came home with both of them... He was a really nice gentleman with a beautiful smile and a great laugh. I only wish I had asked his name!

The stress has been high lately. All of my nails are gone....due to my teeth! (I don't bite my nails... ever!) God knew I needed a laugh today and he provided them in abundance. First with an unexpected run in with a friend, then with a hilarious care bear story from Lorraine. As if this wasn't enough.... I then was gifted with run-ins with the "interesting" lady and a kind gentleman with a great laugh.

It never ceases to amaze me when God delivers exactly what I need! Is it "coincidence" or "a plan"? What do you need? He says "Ask and ye shall receive..."

03 April 2009

A Foggy Morning

I like the picture above. (I can't remember the name of the flower) It was taken at my parents house at the end of the day. The light is coming in a window and the plant was pretty large. The only flowers that you can see are the ones flooded in the light.... Ponder that for a moment. Without being flooded by His light... Are we really showing our true beauty? This is a reprimand for myself as well as a question of you. I have been slacking on my time in Bible study and I feel it down to my core. It's something I'm working on....

Saturday I helped my dad with a photo shoot in Troy, NC. I enjoy helping him, it's like "our time." We've been taking pictures of some of these kids for about many years now. It's been fun watching them grow up. There are a few who are little brothers and sisters of children I used to keep in afterschool. That always makes me feel old :)

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a morning person. Some of my favorite morning memories are from growing up. Mama or Daddy would wake me up. I would slowly move after the fourth time or the "this is the last time I'm telling you" that always began my day. (No that's not my favorite part!) My favorite was walking into my kitchen where Daddy would be leaning against the kitchen sink. His comment "Good Morning" and response "(grunt)." Then I went to lean on him for a really good hug....for you see- He and I are alike in the morning department. We're both fine once we wake up but it's a little slow moving until then. My mom is a morning person and Amy.... well we will just say- Don't speak to her in the morning until she speaks to you. From me you get a grunt and from Amy you get a glare....

So anyway, I am sleep deprived and I digress. Saturday morning we had a photo shoot... it was a little different than usual because it wasn't classical music playing on the radio or npr. As we traveled down the country roads at 6:30am it was an interesting view. (Of course I didn't have MY camera....on the way to a photo shoot.) It was foggy that morning and as we would come around curves you could only see small portions of lengthy roads usually in clear view.

I was already a little out of sorts. Times of quiet and my mind don't really get along these days. I keep running schooling issues through my mind. This morning was no different. Daddy of course asked "So what's new with the school situation." My reply "nothing... I can't do anything without money. I'm just waiting....and praying." We rounded another curve....more foggy roads...and then it hit me. The reason I was able to find such comfort in the foggy roads is because it's where I am. My life at this point is a foggy country road with twists and turns. I know what is on the other side. I know what is at the end. I know where it began and where I am now. What I don't know is the in between.

Right now there are things stuck in the fog. How do I get past the issue of getting my loans two weeks after classes begin? How do I pay the broker fees, realter fees, first month, last month, security deposit on an apartment...especially with apartments costing $1500/mo. That rent alone is what I pay in three months now!!!!! WOW! But somehow in the fog there is peace. I haven't looked at the apartment listings online because I'm tired of watching them decline. There were 8 available for June 1, 2009. Now there are two. What can I do? Does looking make it better? NO! How do you actually move from an apartment in Greensboro, NC to a fourth floor walk up (did I mention I found one I LOVE?) in Boston, MA? How do you rent a U-Haul for that far? How do you get the furniture up the stairs? How do I get my cat, Lucy, to Boston? How do I squeeze time with all my family and friends into 7 weeks?

Yep--that's right folks... A little over 7 weeks!! and then I need to be moving. Two months from Wednesday my first class at MGH (well Harvard) begins. Think of all the things I need to do.... aarrrrggghhh (did I mention I'm going to school to be a pirate?- j/k)

All of that to say... Life is stressful. I'm worried. I'm trusting God but some days are more weakly trusted than others. I'm hopeful...while being cautiously optimistic!

So now allow me to tell you a God Story:

My dad is currently an interim minister at a church in Trinity, NC.
There is a man there ( well several really :))
One man in particular has decided to gift me the use of a moving truck
and two men to help with loading, driving the truck (to Boston) and unloading!!!
Boxes are also taken care of and my dad and I will ride up in his car.
(I'm not taking one-- No point right now.)
So right now up to me for moving is packing tape and gas for the car!!!
God is amazing!
The best part was watching my dad's face as he told me on Sunday evening...
I think this path has been a rough one for my family but also a blessing.
It's so neat to see God work in ways that are so perfect it blows your mind.
To help even more...
My friend Christy (will be flying up for the move) has volunteered
to take Lucy on the plane with her :) He he he!!!
(medicated of course... Lucy... not Christy!)

So things are working out little by little. I'm trusting that the rest will although I'll admit that sooner would be better than later :) For now I'm heading to Wilmington for the weekend.. my last azalea festival for a while (see I'm being hopeful!) and a chance to spend time with my family.

I hope each of you has an amazing weekend with a chance to enjoy the little things. They are often the most important and have the greatest impact. Enjoy your friends...enjoy your family and realize that each day is a gift... one we may not be given tomorrow. Enjoy each moment :)

A Boston street. I love that streets like this exist a couple of blocks from sky scrapers!

New and old exist together!

They sign on my school building. It's located in the naval yard in Charlestown.