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Remember me? Boy, have I got a LOT to fill you in on…

Since we last spoke – almost a year ago – everything has changed. And oh, do I mean everything.

Let me just see if I can give a brief recap of this year, at least: January and February were pretty normal. There was a boy that showed up, but that was done quicker than it would take for me to type out the details. Lots of planning for my church’s move and preparing for my second trip to Haiti.

March 2nd, I left for Port-au-Prince, armed with a single duffle bag (be proud, mom and dad, even though I left an ENTIRE BAG OF TOOLS…) and an editing copy of my brave best friend’s book. Let me tell you, unless you have a duffle bag chock full of kleenex, it’s NEVER a good idea to read about someone else’s journey in Haiti, while you’re on the way to Haiti, remembering some of your fondest memories of Haiti. All. The. Tears. My heart was already a little more on edge this go ’round as we weren’t going back to the same place we’d been before; I wasn’t going to be reunited with my little Louventa and I wasn’t happy about that. But I was very fortunate to have one of my funniest friends – Jami – along for this trip. The safety of having someone who can make anything seem better or more fun or more calm or more whatever you need it to be was a gift. The trip went great. It didn’t end up being even remotely close to the same experience…it was infinitely better. We built a house for a BEAUTIFUL woman named Kazi, a single mother of 5 and a new grandmother.
55 years old and she looks younger than I do. Day 1 she takes me by the hand, leads me into her tarp house, sits me in a chair and hands me the most precious little boy – Stephen.
I told her I was taking him home. She couldn’t speak english, but I know she understood that because she shook her finger at me! Kazi welcomed us into her family as we built her a sturdy home. It was hard work, but being able to go back to my room each night with some amazing friends and read more of my brave best friend’s journey helped me lead this trip better than I could’ve on my own.

I came back from the third world to an unbelievably frantic world. We were less than two weeks away from our relocation as a church. Our normal workload, combined with all the details of moving, on top of not even being sure the building would be ready was an exhausting combination. Oh, and Easter Sunday was the very next week…no big. ::sarcasm should be noted:: It was the blind leading the blind and hoping no one would see how truly tired, drained, and ready for some sense of normalcy we all were. Sometimes, I think I’m still trying to catch up on that lack of sleep. Another boy showed up in the midst of the chaos and what a great distraction! It’s so freeing to have someone you don’t have to pretend around, someone you just enjoy.

In April, I went back to Disney World for the first time in almost 10 years. It was twice as magical as I remembered.

I really am glad that I got to go to the happiest place on earth for a little while. I had no idea that my world was going to be flipped on it’s head upon my return.

My time at Cross Point came to an end. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences I’ve had in my life and that hurt is something I’m still processing through. But everything in life is seasonal and if we quit anytime our feelings were hurt or our character misjudged, we wouldn’t be where we are today, right? So, we keep moving forward.

So what’s new?

I moved into a stunning little house in East Nashville, thanks to my good friends the Joneses. Every day, I go home and just feel at peace. This house truly is my sanctuary.

I made the tough decision to close out the chapter I’d been in with the new boy. It’s never an easy choice when you’ve invested so much in one person. But I’m holding onto truth – which told me it wasn’t going anywhere and I really didn’t want it to. Scary what taking a step back and looking at a situation with your eyes open will actually reveal.

Last week, I began a new job at a Children’s Home here in Nashville. I’m excited at what we’ll be able to accomplish for this state and for the kids we care for. Being able to be in a role where I can truly see the reward of my investment, where I get to live out Mark 9:37, is such a delight. And then finding out that my dad is on the board of a similar organization back home and we can walk through this together? So great.

Newness. All around. So thankful.


I want to go back to the importance of our words.

If I close my eyes tightly enough and really try to drown out the noise, I can almost hear my mom saying ‘baby girl, watch your words…God doesn’t want you to be a liar.’ Right now, that is repeating in my mind over and over again.

I’ve spent a good while thinking over the things that I’ve said…specifically analyzing my thoughts on a boy. What I said from the start wasn’t that I loved him, or even liked him – but that I enjoyed him and wanted to know him more. I never wanted anything more than an answer from him, one way or another, and I would be fine. Monday, I got that answer…and it wasn’t in my favor. I handled it really well. So well, actually that I thought I should try to make myself cry about it because of my all-around indifference to it. I was just what I had said I wanted to be: fine. But in this moment, deja vu struck and I realized that I had been in this situation before. I dove in to some of my old journals. As I flipped through the pages, I found myself short of breath and barely able to blink.

Here’s an excerpt:

I am a mistress.
No, not like that. Let me explain.

I will do anything to take care of the guy that I truly care about. I’ll feed him. I’ll make creative gifts for him. I’ll take him shopping to show him what looks best on him. I’ll send him little notes with gift cards. I’ll help him when he needs help at his house. I’ll take care of his friends and make sure they feel welcome when they come to town. I’ll bring him soup when he’s sick and rub his back after a bad day. I’ll show up at his work with his favorite treat for no reason at all. I’ll do everything in my power to keep a smile on his face. In doing this, I’ve found that the guy usually gets used to it and, in turn, becomes needful of my time and attention which I, of course, am more than willing to give. He starts to turn to me for advice or to call me when new things are happening in his life that he’s excited about. I start to feel comfortable with the casual flirting and the back and forth of it all when…it happens.

I get the call.
The one that brings me to my knees.
He’s in love.
But not with me.
Yet, he still wants me in his life.

I’m the mistress. I’m the woman he needs, but not the woman he wants.

This was from a previous “friendationship” and was a lot more damaging, but the situation was familiar and the sad truth is that I was completely okay with living like this. This current boy’s “no” did not break my heart. Not in the least. But it was the catalyst I needed to see the underlying truth woven in these words…and it has shattered my world.

My best friend came to the office yesterday and I told her about what’s been going on in my life…I tend to bottle up my emotions and problems and push them to the side so I don’t have to deal with them. In sharing these issues, I finally was honest with her and myself about how scared and insecure I’m feeling lately. I’m coming to terms with my childhood and the root of all of my fears…and it’s a scary little world to reside in. I’m realizing how I am so scared to let anyone too close because they’ll see me as damaged goods and run for the hills.

His “no” didn’t break my heart. My brokenness did.

I’m realizing just what it means to truly forgive. And the truth is I can’t do it on my own. Just like Eustace in ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ – when he turns into a dragon and Aslan has to tear off the layers of scales with his claws – this is a painful, painful process…but it’s necessary. This is where it stops: the anger, the hurt, the fear.

This boy’s “no” is bringing me one step closer to victory. And for that, I’m forever thankful.

There has to be a reason why I’m standing here
the water’s getting higher but I’m fighting fear
cause I can be still in the middle of a storm

There had to be a breaking for my heart to change
the winds have blown against me, but I’ve learned to stay
cause I can be still in the middle of a storm

You give me peace to rest my soul
inside this hurricane that blows
and I will anchor in the harbor of your love
Within my weakness you are strong
to stand against the rain that comes
you give me peace to be still
in the middle of a storm

I’ll sail into the gentle waters of your heart
I’ll rest within the haven of your open arms
I know where to be still in the middle of a storm
yes, I know where to be still in the middle of a storm

You give me peace to rest my soul
inside this hurricane that blows
and I will anchor in the harbor of your love
Within my weakness you are strong
to stand against the rain that comes
you give me peace to be still
in the middle of a storm

You give me peace…

You’re reading the last part of my 30 (ish) day blog challenge. Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Day 1 — Your best friend – Rachel
Day 2 — Your vices – Just Read It
Day 3 — Your parents – Barry & Carla
Day 4 — Your siblings – Barry & Daryl
Day 5 — Your dreams – I’ve got lots
Day 6 — Someone that inspires you – Stacey
Day 7 — Your job – Work in progress
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend you’ve never met – Stephanie
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet – George W. Bush
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to – Alyson
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to – Papa Jim
Day 12 — Your dream vacation – Italy
Day 13 — Something you look forward to – Sundays
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from – Marci Marie
Day 15 — The person you miss the most – Sarah Kelley
Day 16 — Someone not in your state/country – Mallory Gilbert
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from – Port Neches
Day 18 — The person you wish you could be – Erica
Day 19 — Something that makes you different – knowing who I am
Day 20 — Your favorite TV show – Criminal Minds/Law & Order/How I Met Your Mother

Don’t worry…I’m alive. I’ve decided rather than drag this series out any longer (because it’s clearly lasted way longer than 30 days), I’m just gonna power through the next 10 topics and be done. So, here goes.

Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
That would have to be my best friend Kate Carlson. It was maybe my third week attending Cross Point and she was up on stage leading worship. I knew instantly two things: 1. I’m not cool enough to go to church here. and 2. she and I will never be friends. Now, on any given day…if you need to find me, I’ll either be at work or hanging out with Kate. I hope you get the pleasure of meeting her. She’s seriously a huge light in my world and constantly challenges me to pursue Christ in a whole new way…and not by any other way than how she lives.

Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Easy. Loud chewing, mouth breathers, the metal part of the eraser on the pencil scratching a surface, obnoxious baristas, people who hide behind smiles, cats, needy people (not people in need of benevolence, people who are only looking for what they can get from you), and I’ll stop there.

Day 23 — The last person you kissed
His name is Justin. But what’s more interesting than the last person I kissed is the last 8 I’ve kissed. 7 of the last 8 married the next person they kissed. The 8th is about to get engaged. Just call me Good Luck, Chuck. I’ll be here all week.

Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
That’s a tough one. I have so many amazing memories that I can think of. But I would have to say it was being on hurrication in 2003 with my cousin Erica. For sure.

Day 25 — A life changing moment
June 4-10, 2004, I attended my first Young Life camp at Malibu in Canada. on June 9th, I finally gave my whole heart to Christ. I could take you back there and show you exactly where I was sitting. Such a special place, such a huge day!

Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
That would be Kelsi Fulton. We were both working too many jobs and didn’t have any sort of life, so we made a pinky promise to each other that we would quit our unnecessary jobs. I did…she did not. Boo.

Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
There’s a lot that I enjoy doing. My job, spending time with my friends, driving, shopping, singing (in the shower…because trust me, you don’t want to hear that), researching for the perfect dog, and so much more. But more than anything, I love getting to stand in the back and watch my friends shine. I seriously have the most talented friends and I’m so proud of all of them.

Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
That would in no doubt be my mentor, Jess. She took a very young (and obnoxious) Texas girl under her wing, showed her the ropes for the music business, gave her all sorts of opportunities, allowed her to live in her kickass house, and so much more. I’m sure that I put her through hell, but I’m so thankful for the influence that she has in my life. And now, she’s a mom! I’m so excited to see her raise up a beautiful baby girl! 🙂

Day 29 — Your talent
I’m really talented at making situations awkward and falling in love with people who are horrible at expressing their emotions.

Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror
That’s a tough one. I tend to only like my reflection on certain days. Days when my hair is just right or my eyelashes look exceptionally long. I have a horrible self-image, in all honesty. I’ve battled with eating disorders and not being healthy. It’s a hard thing to ever recover from. But for as many hard things I’ve been through that I would never wish on anyone, its the imperfections in my reflection that show the life I’ve lived so far. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

So, now that that is done, we can move on to lots of other things. I’ve got a lot to say…but I’m sure you do, too. Thanks for sticking with me through this.

little birdy told me…

Recurring Thoughts

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