Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Wrap-Up and June Goals

I'm going to keep this post really short and simple because I am so exhausted. (Check out my original Happiness Project post here.)

May: Faith
-Daily devotions (create a quiet time habit)
-Pray more (keep a prayer journal)
-Read some C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer
-Read the gospels (from both the NIV and MSG)
-Memorize one new scripture passage a week

May was been challenging, but in the best ways. (See here and here.) Unfortunately due to time I wasn't able to accomplish all my goals for the month, but I feel really good about where I am in my relationship with God and I am moving forward.

Daily devotions went fairly well in the beginning of the month because I didn't have a job, but as I jumped into working again it became more difficult to find a specific time every day.

I did pray more, but the journal only happened occasionally.

Reading Lewis and Bonhoeffer didn't really happen. I managed a couple pages in Letters from Prison by Bonhoeffer, but I got SO many books in from the library that had due dates, unlike my own books.

I only got through the gospel of Matthew in both NIV and MSG. I will definitely continue with the other gospels. It was insightful reading them parallel to each other.

The memorizing Scripture didn't happen.

So for June, my topic is Play! Such perfect timing with our trip to Savannah and our road trip!

June: Play
-Find more fun
-Take time to be silly
-Go off the path
-Start a collection
-Make time for friends

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Trip Update

Hi friends! As I've been learning a lot lately, life never goes how you plan. Watch the video blog, Ashlee and I made, sharing what our travel day was like yesterday. We are so gratfeful to be here in Savannah with Jenny. Praise God for providing for us!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Savannah, Georgia

Today Ashlee and I are enroute to Savannah, Georgia, via Minneapolis and Detroit. It is going to be a long travel day. Our flight left from Boise at 5:25am! I cannot wait to arrive and see my bff, Jenny! We will be staying with her until Friday, when we will take off on our epic road trip! I'm looking forward to a little down time in Savannah before we start our drive.

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So here's the deal, I have posts planned for our road trip and I am hoping that I will be able to add on as we go, but I make no promises. I would love to take you along with me, but I don't know what our days are going to be like or what it will be like where we are staying. I will do my best. You are welcome to follow along on twitter, where I am certain I will be sharing more. If I can't post as I go, I will definitely share more once we are home.

Here's to friends and adventures!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

You're a good man, Tyrone Wells!

First of all, I just have to say, my sister is AMAZING! Over a month ago she saw that Tyrone was playing a show in Boise and tweeted him to see if they needed merch help again. He said YES and we got excited. I forgot about it until earlier this week, when the sister reminded me that along with everything else we need to do to get ready for our road trip (laundry, clean house, etc.), we had to go help Tyrone last night. Such a burden! JK! haha! ;)

Being girls in debt, living at home, it was awesome to get to see his show for free in exchange for selling his cds and shirts that I love. It was great to see Tyrone and his drummer/manager, Mark, again. They are such authentic and genuine people, as are the rest of his band. We also got to meet one of Tyrone's sisters who lives in town, she was so sweet. Oh, and Nate Fowler, from Boise, opened for Tyrone. Overall, it was such a great show! Ashlee and I were glad we had our little space behind the merch table, because The Reef was totally packed. It was such a great spot to see the stage and have enough room to dance. :)


Heather. Tyrone. Ashlee. (Ash said he could be our brother!)

Awkward story, we finished merch and Mark closed us out, but we couldn't find Tyrone. I decided that I'd go to the bathroom while we waited to find him. So I walk over to the bathroom, put my hand on the door to go in, looked down the hall and Tyrone is coming out of the bathroom. I awkwardly stopped and was like, "Hey, we were looking for you!" Haha! Nothing like meeting a musician you love in the bathroom hallway. I'm sure he's had more awkward things happen to him, but I thought it was kind of funny. We had a nice little conversation before heading home for the night. Tyrone is so incredibly kind and humble. I'm looking forward to his new album! :)

Ashlee and I leave MONDAY for Savannah! We are so excited to see our Jenny-boo! Like I said earlier, there is so much to do before we leave, but I also have tons I want to share with you. So stay tuned! (Haha! That sounds funny, like I'm a tv show or something. Don't worry, no commercials.)

Coming soon: May wrap up and June goals for My Happiness Project. Reunion with Jenny. Road trip.

Follow on twitter:
Nate Fowler
Tyrone Wells
Mark Chipello

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tweet Tweet

Are you on twitter? I LOVE it! I originally didn’t want an account, but my sister kept bothering me and ended up making one for me. I guess I owe her big! I’ve been on twitter for over two years and it still amazes me how it connects people. Yes, it is a social networking sight, as are MySpace and Facebook, but twitter is unique.

I’ve tried to explain it to people who don’t understand, but it is really something you must do and participate in to grasp. You can follow people with the same interests and passions, as well as celebrities, authors, musicians, bloggers and friends and you have 140 characters in which to share your thoughts. It’s like Facebook status on a sugar high.

I love using it not only to connect with people, but also as a way of documenting my life. I even use twitter to get my news and it is always instant and up to date. It is fun to look back on previous months or favorite tweets and remember exactly what I was doing. Because of twitter I have had the opportunity to meet/connect with so many amazing people.

Without twitter:

I wouldn’t have gone to The Ting Tings Secret Paint Party in Los Angeles. (September 2009)

Amanda wouldn’t have found me and become one of my very best friends who I have never met in real life because she lives across the country in Maine.

I wouldn’t have learned about the McRae family and sweet Kate.

Justin Bieber wouldn’t be following me. ;)

I wouldn’t have connected with the lovely ladies, Rachel and Kelli and the sweet couple, Erin and Will.

I wouldn’t own a copy of Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury, that I won in a twitter giveaway.

I wouldn’t have connected with people in my own town, like Brandi and Matt.

I never would have learned about The Kind Campaign.

I wouldn’t have “watched” The Royal Wedding with my bff in Georgia, Jenny.

And one of the very coolest things:

I wouldn’t have met and had dinner with Carlos Whittaker! That’s right, earlier this month Carlos tweeted that he had the day off in Boise, so my sister and I made plans to meet up with him and take him out to dinner at The Matador. He is the real deal. We had such a fun dinner, getting to know each other better and of course talking about how awesome twitter is. ;)



Carlos is such an authentic and cool guy, not to mention he has a beautiful and cool family. We actually are going to stay with them when we stop in Nashville on our road trip. How amazing it that?! I can’t wait to meet the rest of his family.

So thank you twitter for being so awesome. I love you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fearless

A couple months ago I read 'Fearless' by Max Lucado. Yesterday I found a scrap of paper with notes and quotes I wrote down when I read it and I just had to share. There is so much wisdom in Max's words.


God's well of grace has no bottom.

Emotions don't get a vote. Go back to Scripture. God's word holds rank over self-criticism and self-doubt.

About worry-be a doer, not a stewer.

God meets daily needs daily-not weekly or annually. He will give you what you need when it is needed.

Above all the chaos reigns a divine plan.

We cannot go where God is not.

Putting your worry into words disrobes them. They look silly standing there naked.

1. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
2. His mercies never come to an end.
3. They are new every morning.
4. Great is thy faithfulness.
5. The Lord is my portion.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May Booklist

This has been a busy month, but luckily I’ve had plenty of reading time. If you haven’t gathered from my previous booklists this year, I love to read! (here, here, here, here)

Stuff Christians Like by Jonathon Acuff
This is a must read, whether you are Christian or not. In a collection of short essays, Jon says everything you are thinking, but don’t have the guts to say. He doesn’t sugar coat topics, but humorously shares his perspective on faith issues, from “bad stuff” to the Bible to church and love. I laughed out loud the entire time I read this and was constantly reading passages out loud to my family.


Bossypants by Tina Fey
This was another laugh out loud book. I had heard so many great things about this book before I picked it up from the library and it didn’t disappoint. Tina is an amazing and hilarious woman. Love her!


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
With the movie out, I’ve wanted to read the book. That being said, I had no idea what it was about. Elephants? Thirsty elephants? I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about circus life before. It was a fun and fast read. Also, now I want an elephant named Rosie.


Crazy Love by Francis Chan
This is a challenging and inspiring book about the crazy, abundant love of God and His desire for a deep and meaningful relationship with you.


Still Reading:

Royal Panoply by Carolly Erickson
This book contains brief portraits of the lives of the English Monarchs. Ever since the Royal Wedding and seeing The King’s Speech I’ve been so interested in the history of the English Monarchy. Also, I’ve started watching The Tudors, so trashy, but so fascinating.


Papers and Letters from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I have wanted to read more Bonhoeffer this month (per my goals for May), but with all the other books checked out from the library I’ve wanted to get them read before they’re due, whereas I own so many Bonhoeffer books. They’ve gotten pushed to the back of my shelf. So really, I’ve only read a few pages, but he is amazing.


Reading Next:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Leaving by Karen Kingsbury
Working it Out: A Journey of Love, Loss and Hope by Abby Rike

Monday, May 23, 2011

extraordinary faith

So this month’s topic for my happiness project is faith. Faith is a tricky thing. It’s is easy to say that we have faith, but actually living out your faith difficult is much harder. Can you have faith if it is not put to the test? Life is hard. Life hurts. And it’s in those tough moments that we have a choice. We can let life overwhelm and drown us or we can stand firm on our faith and trust that God will sustain us and bring us through. In her book ‘Extraordinary Faith,’ Shelia Walsh says, “Either we believe that God is good and He is in control of everything that happens in our lives, or we don’t. I believe He is. I believe it with all my heart.” Do you believe that?


This month has been a testing of my faith. (Actually the past two years have been, but who is counting?) ;) I always seem to learn the hard way, but sometimes I think that is better. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about plans and letting go. Often the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves fall apart and we don’t understand why. It is devastating and lonely to feel as though you’ve missed the boat and blown God’s plan for your life.

I’ve felt that many times in the past couple years. If only I had done (fill in the blank) instead of such and such, my life would be better and different. It’s a vicious cycle of regret that gets us nowhere. I constantly feel as though I’m at square one without a map. As Shelia said, “Perhaps that is the whole point of faith: that we follow God faithfully when nothing makes sense anymore.” That’s exactly the point, isn’t it? It wouldn’t be faith if we didn’t have to put our trust in what we cannot see and cannot know. That is part of the beauty of faith.


So what do we do? We trust and obey. And many times, we wait. Shelia goes on to say that if you find yourself feeling as if you have lost your way, these are the questions to ask: “Lord, where have You brought me from?” “Lord, where do you want me to go?” It is so important to seek God and He is big enough to handle all our worries and burdens. And I find it so reassuring to look at God’s track record in my life. God has never left me. God has always provided me with just what I need. God has always shown me the way I should go.

Shelia said, “Often the path that leads us to the place where God can use us most effectively is a path of suffering.” I don’t like hearing that, (I’m sure no one does) but we are reassured that whatever we are facing, whether good or bad, we are loved abundantly and unconditionally by God, who is always faithful to us. Although isn’t this true with most things in life? We learn the important lessons through mistakes we make and the hard things that happen in life.


So once again, I am not sure where I am headed or what is next in my life, but I am certain that God has it figured out. One of the most beautiful things I’ve learned (re-learned) this month is that God is ALWAYS with me. Isn’t that a duh statement? Hello, how long have I known this?! God is with ME! He will NEVER leave me! Corrie ten Boom said, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” No matter what happens in life I can depend on God. Thank God for His love and faithfulness to His children!

Shelia Walsh said, “Faith is believing that no matter how things appear on the surface, God is in control. I think that is both faith’s challenge and reward. The challenge is that humanly we want to see with our own eyes what God is doing. We are willing to give an unwavering yes to God if we know His plan and are given the opportunity to sign off on it. But the adventure and reward of faith is that He asks us to trust based on who He is, not on what we can see.”

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James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Enoch

A child’s retelling of the story of Enoch: (Genesis 5:21-24 & Hebrews 11:5-6)

“Enoch lived a long time ago and God came by every day and said to him, ‘Enoch, would you like to take a walk with Me?’ And Enoch said, ‘I’d love to.’ So they did that every day, just God and Enoch taking a walk together. But one day they had walked and talked for a long time and God said, ‘Enoch, it’s getting really late. We’re closer to where I live than where you live now. Would you like to come home with Me?’”


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Saturday, May 21, 2011

on being a girl

It's been a tough day. Hoping tomorrow is better.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

never let me go

I've been quiet on here this week. Work and such has been keeping me busy. I've been on my own at my temp job because the boss was out of town. He was back today and told me that they want me next week too! Then they will get another temp to cover me while I'm on the road trip and they want me back after my trip!

Enough of that. I watched Never Let Me go a couple days ago and I loved it. It was beautifully tragic. Definitely a must see. I picked up the book by Kazuo Ishiguro from the library and cannot wait to read it.






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Saturday, May 14, 2011

wicked

Tomorrow my mom, sister, a friend and I are going to see Wicked! This will be the second time for Ashlee and I. I cannot wait to see it again! While we will be seeing it in Boise and not Los Angeles, at least this time our tickets are on the floor and not in the back row. Actually, I could be anywhere in the building and still be happy! This is one of my favorite shows ever!

Here is to anyone who has been misunderstood or judged based on your appearance. Only you know what is in your heart and no one can take that away from you. Love and blessings!




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Friday, May 13, 2011

celebrating beauty

I don't about everyone else, but I was glad blogger was down. It made for a good reason as to why I couldn't post. That and I've been WORKING! I'm loving this temp job! It is so different from my last temp position. I'm filling in at a local college for an administrative assistant who is having surgery. After being trained Wednesday and part of yesterday, I am on my own until next Wednesday. Plus, the boss thinks that he will extend my assignment there! Yay for work!

Enough of that, below is another example of why I love Zooey Deschanel. She is one outstanding lady!

A letter from actress Zooey Deschanel to Vogue magazine.***

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Congratulations to Zooey as TV pilot, 'The New Girl,' got picked up by FOX.

Happy Friday my loves! Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Music Monday: The Honey Trees

I'm taking a page from Katie's book today. She shared this video on her blog and like her, I cannot get enough. The Honey Trees may officially be my new favorites.




On a separate note, I got a call this morning from the temp agency and I have a week long assignment starting Wednesday! I'll be filling in for the front desk person at a local college. I am thrilled beyond words at the timing of this! It's been difficult looking for jobs when I am going to be gone over a week for the road trip. This will be a perfect opportunity to make a little money to help cover expenses before we leave. Praise God for His provision and timing!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

direction

I almost didn’t go to church this morning, but I am so glad I did. This morning’s sermon was about walking with Jesus and just what I needed to hear.

The four points were as follows:
1. Things happen in life. (Luke 24:14)
2. Jesus is always present for life. (Luke 24:15-16)
3. Life isn’t over until God says so. (Luke 24:21)
4. Jesus feeds us the bread of life. (Luke 24:30-32)


Towards the end of the sermon Pastor Lee said, “In our journey it is more about relationship than direction.” Whoa. This means that if you are in relationship with God, (reading Scripture, praying, etc.) you don’t have to worry about your direction because whichever fork in the road you take or decision you make, God is with you.


I found this to be so comforting. I keep worrying about following God’s will for my life, making the right choices and choosing the correct path. This doesn't mean I won't continue to seek God's will for my life and make good choices, but instead I should focus my energies on my relationship with God.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

Wherever I go, whatever I do, God will be with me. Beautiful.

When you get to a fork in the road, take it. –Yogi Berra

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Friday, May 6, 2011

she took the midnight train goin' anywhere

This is probably the second or third time I’ve sat down to try and write a blog post this week. Everything in my head has been so scrambled that nothing I’ve started to write makes sense. And I don’t even have finals or projects to study for and complete like many of you do! (Good luck to those of you who do!) Even now I’m not sure exactly where this post is going or what my point is, but I suppose I’ll know when I get there. (Let's hope it's a good one!)

How many of you watch the television show, The Biggest Loser? I think it is safe to say this is my favorite show. Only for The Biggest Loser will I clear my Tuesday night schedule. When my sister and I moved home from California we quickly got my mom hooked on the show.

Four of my favorite contestants this season are the Aqua team: Marci and Courtney (mother and daughter) and the Purple team: Olivia and Hannah (sisters). I love their relationships with each other and how far they’ve come since they began their journeys. They started as broken people and have worked through their issues to become whole and healthy.

Marci and Courtney

Olivia and Hannah

One thing I love about this season above all previous seasons is that there seems to be less game playing and more teamwork. The contestants this season exude courage, integrity and strength, especially these four amazing women. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Each person is not only fighting for their health, but also for a better life. They are facing their fears head on and pushing through; it is beautiful and inspiring. I look up to and admire each of them.


Now, I am not on a weight loss journey, but I am on a journey to a better life (hence my Happiness Project). This show empowers me to become the best version of myself, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.


My sweet friend, Amanda, reminded me in her blog post earlier this week, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I have the power to make changes in my life. I need to think positively and take one step at a time.

From day to day I find how easy it is to get bogged down by life. (Hello, unemployed, single, 25 year old woman, living with her parents! I’m eight years out of high school and four years out of college and my future is still unclear!)


I’m tired of allowing my circumstances to define me! NO MORE! I want to be free! God is bigger than my circumstances and I am helpless without Him.


On twitter last month Rick Warren said, “God DOESN’T help those who help themselves. God HELPS those who admit they’re helpless to help themselves.” Instead of constantly telling God how big my problems are I need to start tell my problems how big my God is.

The future is scary. There are so many unknowns. But God is mighty and He is in control. All I can do is seek God and do my best.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

twenty years

I have been listening to The Civil Wars non-stop since I picked up their album. I'm a bit obsessed. Needless to say, when I heard Joy and John were going to be playing a show in Boise in June I was thrilled. I called the box office as soon as it opened and was the first person the buy tickets. Because it is assigned seating Ashlee and I ended up with tickets in the front row! I'm pretty excited! Below are lyrics to the first song on their album, Twenty Years.


There's a note underneath your front door
That I wrote twenty years ago
Yellow paper and a faded picture
And a secret in an envelope
There's no reasons, no excuses
There's no secondhand alibis
Just some black ink on some blue lines
And a shadow you won't recognize
In the meantime I'll be waiting
For twenty years, twenty more
I'll be praying for redemption
And your note underneath my door

Monday, May 2, 2011

ROAD TRIP!

Hello dears and darlings! I want to thank you for following my blog! I have so many new readers and I appreciate each one of you!

I want to share some very EXCITING news with you! My best friends (Ashlee and Jenny) and I are taking a road trip across the country! (Ashlee wrote about it here.)


At the end of the month Ashlee and I will fly to Savannah and spend a few days with Jenny while she finishes up her quarter at school. Then we will pack up her car and start our epic adventure across the country. (She will drop us off in Boise and then continue on to Seattle. I wish I could go the rest of the way, but I really need to save money.)


Our tentative schedule is:
Friday, June 3: Nashville, TN
Saturday, June 4: Springfield, MO
Sunday, June 5: Lexington, NE
Monday, June 6: Salt Lake City, UT
Tuesday, June 7: Boise, ID


We are strategically planning our stops around food and shopping. (We MUST stop at Pinkberry, Red Velvet and In N Out.) Hopefully we will be able to stay with friends and family along the way to keep our expenses down.


Jenny commented on my facebook the other day and said, "And I thought wait a second could it be, and now I know its true, I added two more to my wolfpack. Three of us wolves running around the country together looking for Pinkberry and Red Velvet...." Hahaha! Watch out for us lady wolves!


I cannot wait to see Jenny (The last time was December!) and begin our epic adventure! We are hoping to take video and I am certain there will be hundreds of pictures. I always love spending time with her and Ashlee! I have never done anything like this before and I am SO excited!

Have you ever taken a long road trip before? Any tips or must see places?

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