My Greatest Comforts

  • A hug from Hayley and Jake
  • A warm blanket on a cold day
  • The sound of a room full of people singing together
  • The kind of prayer when you listen more than you talk
  • The peace that only comes from Him
  • Macaroni and cheese warm from the oven
  • Accomplishing my to-do list
  • Finishing a scrapbooking page
  • Competing a project that is overdue
  • Sleep after a long day
  • Singing along with my favorite songs in the car
  • Christmas tree lights in a dark room
  • Getting my hair done
  • A great manicure
  • Curling up with a great movie on the couch
  • An empty house

 

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Words That Touch My Soul

  • Create
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Inspire
  • Jesus
  • Family
  • Friend
  • Satisfy
  • Hope
  • Believe
  • Music
  • Together
  • Art
  • Wonder
  • Awe
  • Beauty
  • Process
  • Communion
  • Community
  • Life
  • Pure
  • Touch
  • Journey
  • Story
  • Funny
  • Work
  • Relax
  • Rebirth
  • New
  • Choice
  • Baptize
  • Rejoice
  • Praise
  • Compassion
  • Acceptance
  • Joy
  • Spirit
  • Passion
  • Voice
  • Opinion
  • Simple
  • Again
  • Try
  • Do
  • Be
  • Release
  • Lead
  • Follow
  • Strength
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Decisions, decisions….

In the next couple of months I will need to make a big decision about the next part of my life and I am waffling on what to do next. I know what my mom wants, I know what the choir wants, I know what work wants (even if it is just for me to make a decision).   I just don’t know what I want.

Last year, I was ready to make a big, big move. Away from what I knew to a small town where I knew no one and I was going to have to really work to meet people. I was ready for that move. I had every intention of starting over new somewhere where nobody knew me and I would be forced to seek out a new life. I knew the cons of the move – small towns can be hard to get a foothold in – especially when you work alone at home all day. There was also the lack of “stuff to do” and the very real possibility that I would not like it there. I knew all of it and I accepted it. In fact, I was kind of looking forward to it.

Then I lost the job that was going to allow the move (we closed, a fact I still mourn) and the new job required me to wait a year before I could move. This time I decided not to think about it until the year was up – no point in getting worked up over something that may not happen. Right? Well, here we are at the end of March, and I am thinking about it. I didn’t quite last a year – but almost 10 months is close.

Financially, I am in a better place than I was last year and that has put some added weight to the decision and the timing of the decision. I now have 3 options:

  1. Option 1 – move as planned to Tappahannock. I can not only afford to live there, but the cost is so much lower, that I would have plenty of disposable income to continue to save and pay off my student loans. Maybe after a year or so I would be ready to move back to NOVA – maybe not.
  2. Option 2 – move to a place in Woodbridge. I can just barely afford it. But it is doable. There will be less disposable income and there will be less money to save and pay off the student loans. But it will allow me to move and stay where I know.
  3. Option 3 – which is my last resort I think – is to stay where I am and wait another year to move out. I don’t honestly know if I can handle this option. I will if it becomes necessary – but I am not happy about it and I honestly I don’t want this.

I realize that many people think there is an option 4 – a roommate. I have thought long and hard about it and no. At this point in my life, I don’t want a roommate. I want something of my own. However small. However humble. Mine. Selfish – maybe – but it is time.

So, lots of decisions to make this summer. Pray for me if you think about it. And if God opens up a new option 5, that might work as well.

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The Reluctant Introvert

Last night was my company’s employee party and I was not really excited about it.  That probably sounds counterintuitive to those of you who know I love my job and a big part of that has been the people I have met there – but those kinds of situations…well…they are just not comfortable for me.  If I am ever going to feel awkward and out of place it is in a room full of people – friends and strangers.

I am an introvert…through and through.  I am not energized by a room full of people.  I am excited about opportunities to socialize – even with those I see on a daily basis.  I like small gatherings – dinners, lunches – on a small scale with a small group.  There I can shine.  But in a large group, I am anxious and nervous and ready to leave quickly.

But I don’t want to be that way.

I don’t want to seem dour or out of sorts when these situations happen.  I don’t want to be quiet and in a corner – holding up the wall – when everyone else is in the middle of the room laughing and telling stories.  I don’t want to be the one who can’t handle small talk and who stops the conversation awkwardly when I don’t know what to say.

I wish it were possible to be more comfortable.

But I am not.  I will never be the life of the party in those situations.  I will never be the one who stays until the music ends and everyone is looking for an after-party.  I will never lead the dancing on the floor or conversation at the table.

Now if only I could accept that.

 

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Updates on the 40 for my 40th year

Below is a quick update on my 40 for my 40th year list.   I am so not food at these kinds of things but mostly I am trying to give myself a break from feeling overwhelmed or guilty about where I am.  It is Feb.  It will be ok.

40 for my 40th year

  1. Count my blessings everyday – working on this…some days are easier than others.
  2. Be thankful for the blessings I have – again, a work in progress.
  3. Remember that every closed door is not a lost opportunity – but a sign from God to move in another direction or to just wait until the door opens
  4. Make sure that the people I love know how much they mean to me
  5. Look for opportunities to be a blessing to someone else
  6. Devote some time (even a moment) to prayer before I act in anger or frustration
  7. Be present for the moments that I am instead of looking forward or back
  8. Listen instead of just waiting to respond
  9. Make relationships a priority
  10. Take the time to notice the little things around me
  11. Karaoke with friends
  12. At least one night out each month with friends – so far so good.
  13. Photograph DC
  14. Go see an exhibit at VMFA (Hollywood Costume exhibit) – Missed it
  15. Tour the Museum of American History in DC (my favorite)
  16. Rent or see a new movie each month – yep…even have been to the movies which is something!
  17. Go on a date or two
  18. See a live play
  19. Take a road trip -planned for March (hey Penny!)
  20. Scrapbook each month — no excuses – it is not about excuses.  I am trying to get in the mood and right now I am giving myself some room away from it.
  21. Create a scrapbook to commemorate my 40th year – I don’t think I will do this one.  I am trying to live my life instead of concentrating so much on recording what is happening.  Maybe I will circle back here but right now…no.
  22. Work at home at least a couple of days a week to avoid the traffic
  23. New car
  24. Replace my iPhone
  25. Move more
  26. Quit FAST FOOD – not 100 percent but close
  27. Replace old wardrobe items
  28. Use up current scrapbook supplies before buying if at all possible
  29. Find a church
  30. Pay off debts
  31. Move to my own place
  32. Take on a bigger work challenge
  33. Come to terms with my current relationship status – find peace in it for now
  34. Be looking for what God has planned for me
  35. Experience new people instead of hiding from them
  36. Find a therapist
  37. Do a mission project
  38. Spend more time out and less time online (ironic right???)
  39. Reduce my TV time each week (I am well on my way to this) - spotty at best
  40. Acceptance of my own limitations
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Tribe-less

Does anyone else read Post Secret?  Post secret (if you don’t know) is a community art project where you write a secret on a postcard – anonymously – send it to this man in MD and he posts all of the postcards on a blog/tumbler.  He has published books of them in fact (I have all but 1 I think).

The thing about Post Secret that is so special, is that while I am sure some of these are sent for pure shock value, there is something so amazingly comforting about knowing you are not alone.  That someone else on the planet has that same thought you have/had and that no human experience or thought belongs to just 1 person.

I was reminded of this today at the North Star Women’s Conference at FBCW.  Jen Hatmaker was the speaker and there was a section where she and the worship leader Janice Gaines were answering questions that the audience had submitted on cards.  One card, while not written by me, probably could have been.  It was deeply personal and asked what someone should do when they find it hard to make friends and feel socially awkward.

I can certainly relate.

Socially awkward is my way of saying that I am not good with people.  Or more specifically – I am not good with new people.   Once you get to know me it is better – but overall, I am not comfortable with people until I spend a lot of time with them.  And there are people that no matter how much time I spend, I will always at least feel awkward with them.   This is exactly why I can get comfortable with people at work (in my office) and have a harder time in social settings (work or personal).

I felt for the question writer because I am so much like that and it hurt to hear that anyone would know the kind of loneliness that comes with that feeling of un-comfortableness with others.  I found myself looking around as if a giant arrow was pointing at me saying “Yep – me too!”.

Jen Hatmaker’s answer in the simplest of terms was that you need to find your “tribe” and that will most likely be the people who are also socially awkward.  It may mean that you have to look for people that are normally outcast.  The ones it may take YOU a while to get to know vs waiting for people to get to know you.  There was more to her answer but this really sums it up well.

I need to find my tribe.

And I should explain – it’s not that I have no friends.  I have 3 great close friends that I can count on for almost anything.  Except for being here.  Matthew is in San Diego.  Penny is in South Carolina.  Sara (God bless her) is in the Annapolis area but in 6 months they are moving (she is a military wife).  My sister (my other closest friend) is in Kentucky.  And I am here.  I have a small band of friends who I love to see and who I know if I was ever really in need, would be there to chip in.  BUT, they fall into the category of people who I don’t see enough to really get comfortable with.

So I am tribe-less for the day-to-day interactions.  Tribe-less for the “pick up the phone and plan a lunch” kind of days.  Tribe-less for things like movies and weekend day trips.   And honestly, it is lonely being tribe-less.

I have made a few movements towards finding a tribe.   And for now that is an improvement.

 

 

 

 

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Finish the sentences…rediscovering answers

I was looking at Facebook Notes recently (which I probably have no used in like 2 years or more) and found this old list of “Finish the sentences” from March 2009 and I wanted to revisit them (old answers in black and new answers in bold).  It is amazing how things change and yet stay amazingly the same.

1. I’ve come to realize that my last kiss …was too long ago and I miss him a lot when I don’t see him.   Was with someone I wasted time on.

2. I am listening to… the hum of the heat in the house and nothing else.   The silence of the office the morning after a party.

3. I talk… when I need to and sometimes just cause I can.  In fits and bursts – a lot some days and a not at all other days.

4. I love…my friends, and my family, and mostly Scott.  That I am stronger and better than I used to think I was.

5. My best friends…are those who love me anyway.  Are few and far between but that is exactly why I love them…they are special.

6. My first real kiss…was a little scary.   In retrospect, my first kiss was as they usually are – awkward.

7. Love is… a whole new world to me but one I can’t wait to see more of.   That thing you can’t quite describe but it makes you better.

8. Marriage is…hopefully in the future…someday.   Still wishful thinking.

9. Somewhere… is my destiny.   Is the me I used to be and hope to find again.

10. I’ll always…a romantic at heart.   Be pragmatic and blunt and somewhat unapologetic about it…get used to it.

11. The last time I really cried was because…I thought something was over…but it’s not.   He hurt me.

12. My cell phone…is just a texting machine.  An appendage at this point in my life.

13. When I wake up in the morning… I have to get online.   I struggle to get out of bed.

14. Right now I am thinking about… work today.   Last night’s Supplier party.

14. Before I go to bed…i watch some tv to unwind.   I watch Jimmy Fallon.

16. Babies are…are great for someone else to have..  Fun to be with and fun to give back to their mom and dad.

17. I get on Myspace…never anymore.   NEVER.

18. Today I…will be finishing some projects.   Will be leaving early for a concert tonight.

19. Tomorrow I will be…going to my brother in laws birthday party.   Crafting all day (gotta get ready for the cube decorating contest).

20. I really want to be…happy with me. (Thanks Matthew) This has not changed – happy with me.

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