-Life is Simple, it's Just Not Easy!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Finding Delight.

One of the cool things about blogs is that they are very easy to change. Modifications are so simple. Altering the face of a blog is uncomplicated.
When I decided to change the name of this blog, I just went into settings & deleted the old name & started to type a new one. It's as if the old one never existed.

I should probably start by explaining why I wanted to change the name in the first place.
Over the past few months, my heart cry has come from Psalm 37:4: "Take delight in The Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
There has been a recurring theme in my life. When I think that I have it all figured out, PLOT TWIST: I don't. One of the worst things about social media is that I can announce to almost two thousand people that I am stoked about something... & then that something doesn't come together, so I look absolutely crazy. (oh, the joys of technology)
Due to the ever-changing nature of events in my life, I often seek refuge in the words of Psalm 37:4.
At first, I believed that this verse meant that if I just did what I was supposed to do, God would give me what I wanted. If I went to church, served, sang all the songs, read the Good Book, and all the things in between, God would deliver a diploma. A rent payment. A diamond ring. If I was a follower, He would give me my dreams.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am no theologian. But over the past few weeks, Psalm 37:4 has evolved into something much more meaningful to me. I have learned that I was using the verse for the wrong reason. "Take delight in The Lord" means that I should change MY expectations and MY heart to match His. If I am truly finding delight in His presence, in His Name, in His plan, then His hopes & dreams & future for me will flow out from Him & into my heart. I kept wanting God to change His intentions, but it's about ME changing. What greater delight is there than living the life that the creator of the universe hand wrote?

So I decided to change the blog name.

& you know, it's funny. As I deleted the old name & entered the new one, I thought about how cool it would be if life worked like that.
If every time we learned something monumental or found an error in our thinking, we could just erase it. No trace would be left behind.
But life is not like that. Even though I can sit here & talk about being delighted in God's meaning for me, I will still have days when "delight" is the opposite of what I feel. Days when I look at houses listed on zillow for sale and find myself getting impatient. Or days when I tearfully fantasize over Pinterest wedding dresses or shred four different variations of my imperfect resume. It is really possible that tomorrow could be one of those days. Who knows?
The most important thing to remember is that we are not defined by our futures. We are not defined by our shortcomings. Or insecurities. We are not defined by the broken moments. The moments when we lose control. Or the moments when we lose our way. We are defined by the love and acceptance of the creator.
I have to wake up every morning & praise my Father for continually working on my heart. I will praise Him for being with me in the darkness. And for meeting me in the questions. The OVERWHELMING amount of questions.
Sometimes I allow my lack of patience to be a stronghold. I am so worried that things are going to fall apart that I try to hold them together singlehandedly. I find myself in bondage. & I know I'm not the only one!
"For you are called to freedom, brothers." Galatians 5:13. What joy, right? We are called to absolute freedom, peeps! Freedom from our smart phones. Freedom from emails. Freedom from relationship woes. Freedom from worry. Fear. Impatience. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, "God is not a God of disorder but of peace."
& I'm thankful.
I'm humbled.
I'm delighted.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What I Know Now...

I recently read a book called “What I Know Now, Letters to My Younger Self.” It is a collection of thoughts written by powerful women in our society to themselves years before. In this book, I found letters written by Madeleine Albright, Macy Gray, Trisha Yearwood, Maya Angelou, Nora Roberts, Queen Noor, Vanna White, and many other powerful, well-known women.
The amount of beauty and wisdom written in the pages have been nothing short of inspiring. So inspiring that I have been moved to write a letter of my own. Although I do not have the life experience that many of these women have, I do look back on my years and see a pivotal time that I wish I knew then what I know now.
When I was 18, I thought I had a plan. I was holding my heart together by myself, and I was failing to let a God so much bigger than me guide my life. I was in a relationship that was holding my spirit captive, unable to truly live the life my God created me for. I was a prisoner to irrational expectations for my future that only I reinforced. This is my letter to me… Nearly four years ago.

You’ve just graduated from high school. Valedictorian of your class. Senior class president. State board member of the National Honor Society. You’ve starred in the musicals in your high school, and you just accepted a nice scholarship to Mercer University in Macon. You want to be a pharmacist, and even though you try to convince yourself that it is because you love to help people, we both know it is because that is the future you believe that a girl with your track record needs to have. Because of your academic success and lucrative upbringing, you believe that everyone expects you to enter into a big, high-paying job that seems complicated and important.
Well, stop. Nobody thinks that. If you would really listen to your heart for more than the few minutes you’ve allowed yourself, you could have saved your parents some hard-earned dollars as well as yourself some drama and wasted time.
Let me tell you this though, Mercer has given you a few things. It gave you Stephanie. She will become one of the most incredible people that you have in your life. She will be a powerful force that you secretly wish you could be like. The more assertive ying to your passive yang.
Mercer gave you your independence. Don’t get me wrong, you are still learning to say “no” and to pick your battles, but it gave you the distance you needed to let go of the reigns that you held so tightly to. In those moments that you knew no one, God spoke to you, and you know that. You felt His presence, and when you return back home, you will find His love breaking every chain you once held. You will even experience baptism with your sister! It’s awesome, and I can’t wait for you to see it.
Mercer also gave you the push you needed to let go of a painful relationship. It gave you the will power to take control of your life and truly realize that you deserve greatness. It takes hitting rock bottom, but you find love. You find the most incredible love that rocks you to your core. As I write you this letter, your love is in the next room playing video games with Grayson. Just hearing his voice will make every heartbreak worth it. As I sit here and write, I can hear his laugh, and tears spring to my eyes. You have no idea what is coming to you… & it is beautiful, girl. It moves you. It changes you. He loves you in the most perfect way. More than you expected. More than you deserve. And my goodness, he's good looking. Piercingly good looking. Makes you weak in the knees good looking. Oh, and that day that you're shopping at Forever 21, and you debate over whether or not to buy that white, lace shirt... Go back & buy it. He likes it & he remembers it even nine months later. 
So my advice to you is to just hold on. Even as you sit in the hallway of your dorm building and sob to your mom about how you want to come home, just keep holding on. You are so unsure if it’s the right decision for you. IT IS!
Come home, Macy. Life is good here.

I rarely ask you to respond to these blogs. But today, I do.
I ask that you reflect on a time in your life that you would write a letter to yourself. If you feel so inclined, send it to me. I would love to redistribute the wisdom so that everyone can see it. Pass this on, and write your own letters.
I love you all. & I pray that you realize the power you hold.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lessons. From a Dog.

As many of you know, we recently lost our dog, Ozzie.
Ozzie was just a good dog. The closest thing to human I have ever seen.
He was almost 14 years old. In our lives almost as long as Mackenzie has been!
He was absolutely a part of our family and a piece of us.
Ozzie was a miracle dog. He underwent a few very serious surgeries, had his spleen removed, had cancer and still managed to run up and down the driveway when unidentified people drove by.
A couple months ago, the vet told us that his cancer was back, and because he was 13 years old, chemotherapy seemed useless. It was kind of a waiting game.

Ozzie was one of those dogs that had to be right in the center of everything. He would follow us around the house when we went from room to room and just lay there & hang out regardless of what we were doing. If we had people over, he wanted to be in the middle of everyone. The life of the party! He had a way of waiting right until you got in bed and then standing on his hind legs to scratch the side of the bed. He wanted in. He wanted to snuggle. The past year or so, he couldn't jump anymore, so he would just wait until you got OUT of bed to pick him up & put him on the bed with you.

I learned something really important through all of this.
With Ozzie, we knew that his life was coming to an end. I know for me, it influenced the way I related to him. The way I treated him. The attention I gave him.
I think that knowing that we will soon lose something causes us to look at it in a new way.

If we know our significant other is going out of town for a prolonged time, the little things fall away. Arguments are easier to avoid. We just focus on soaking up their presence. We focus on loving them as hard as we can for the amount of time that we can.
If we know that we're about to graduate (from whatever program, school, etc) we are able to embrace the goodness in that period of our lives. I know that a lot of my friends are graduating from college soon. From places that they've grown to love. When you know you're about to leave somewhere or something, things that would normally irritate you suddenly become less important than the things that you'll miss.
If we're struggling with our health or if we're worried about the health of someone that we love. If we experience loss, whether it is sudden or expected, our value of life skyrockets.

But what if we lived like that regardless?
Regardless of whether we knew the end were coming or if we didn't know.
What if we let traffic bother us less and rolled down the windows to experience the gift of free time and good radio?
What if we allowed snide comments from the people we love to roll off our back, and we instead gave a word of love to them in response?
What if we stopped focusing on the fact that our bank accounts aren't where we want them to be, and we gave what we do have to people that aren't sure if they'll pay rent this month. Or if they'll feed their families tonight?
What if we truly left work at work, and we came home to invest in our families? In our parents? In our spouses? In our loved ones?
What if we stopped complaining about the rain and were thankful for God's provision, no matter what form it comes in?
What if we stopped waiting for what was going to happen after we graduated? After we got married? After we moved out?
What if we lived right NOW! In this moment.

We knew we were going to lose Ozzie. We knew, so we were able to pay attention to him when we may have walked past because we were busy. We were able to love on him no matter how many times he clawed our comforters apart. Or barked at the doors. Or waited to be picked up and taken downstairs.

But the truth is, we could lose anything. At anytime. There is no guarantee for anything in our world. The only thing that is forever is our relationship with Christ. He has given us so many gifts that we simply take for granted. Joy that we miss because we're focused on our misfortunes. Laughter that we miss because we're focused on pain. Love that we miss because we're focused on loss. Relationships that we miss because we're focused on the past.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss it. I don't want to invest my heart in worry or anger or fear when the things available to me are fulfillment and joy and happiness.

Who would you treat differently if you knew you were going to lose them?
How would that change how you live?
I know for me, it would change a lot of things.
I pray that we're both able to embrace those changes.
& I hope we're both able to learn such an incredible lesson.

...from a dog.

Friday, September 6, 2013

You Don't Get It Back

First of all, understand that this is only my humble opinion.
It's not my style to step on toes or be offensive. I would never purposefully call anyone out to criticize their choices or their attitude. People live differently, and I respect that.
With that being said, going to high school football games the past few weeks has really inspired me to open up this blog that I thought I would never return to.

I hope that my observations and my opinions can strike a chord with high schoolers, pre-high schoolers and post-high schoolers alike. If not, it at least feels good to be on the blog again!

I have done a lot of research on adolescent development. The brain is constantly changing along with the body from infancy to adulthood. Age 12 to 14 is a critical period for social development, and as we enter high school, our identities are shaping. It hurts. We learn so much about the world, but we don't realize it. That's why so many of us rebel. We learn the hard way, and we miss so many important things. The saddest part is that we don't recognize that we missed them until they're gone.


I've been thinking.

There are so many things that we just can't get back. We have to embrace them and find the kind of joy in those things that will last us a lifetime. Even after they're gone.

Here's my list. Do with it what you will.

1. Cheer for your team... You don't get it back.
This may sound cheesy. For some of you, school spirit is overrated. Yelling at a football game or sitting still to watch the band is lame, right? "Friday Night Football" is just a time for you to come out with your friends and gossip or act cool. Oh, man... You're missing it. Look, I didn't go to many high school football games, so I'm not hating. But I wish I had. If you are "too cool for school" and you refuse to wear your school colors to a game... Stop it!

2. Thank your parents for being there for you... You don't get that time back.
You know all of that time they spend taking you from place to place. Or sitting through YOUR game. Or all that money they spend while your "twentying" them to death every time you leave the house. But when they try to have a real give-and-take conversation with you, you don't have time. Or maybe you really don't have time? If that's true, then you should at least say, "thanks." You have friends in your classes that don't have a mom or dad to come home to. Or their parents aren't around. Their parents don't care. But man, if their parents would come around, I bet they'd be more appreciative than you are of your parents that are always there. Quit ignoring yours. Quit making fun of them or taking advantage of them. Again... Stop it!

3. Respect your high school relationship... You don't get that back.
Love them. Respect them. Invest in them. Whether it works out or not is not the point. This love that you have right now is the deepest thing you've ever experienced. I know that high school can be overwhelming because there seem to be so many CHOICES. My sister comes home every week talking about how somebody cheated on somebody else... Is that what relationships mean to you? Well, let me warn you... That's not going to work out for you in the long run. Nobody's going to take you seriously. Nobody wants to treat you the way that you want to be treated because you've set your own standard by sleeping around. Just stop it!

4. Get over your high school relationship... You don't get that back.
I might be contradicting my last point. Confusing, huh? Listen. If your relationship does end, stop trying to put it back together. ESPECIALLY if you were partnered up with one of "those" that couldn't handle all the choices that I talked about above. I know that there are always exceptions to the rule. Sometimes you break up, take a little time, then you get back together and stay together forever & ever... but most of the time, you just don't. Once you break it once, it's never going to fit back together again in the same way. Stop crying. Stop picking fights. Stop creating drama. && I'll say it again... Stop it!

5. Stop doing drugs. Stop getting wasted. Stop sleeping around... You don't get this back.
High school is the biggest time of mistakes. If you haven't made one yet, give it a little time... You will. You're going to mess up at school. You're going to argue with your family. You're going to stay out too late. You're going to say something to someone or about someone that you KNOW that you shouldn't. I get that. I did that. But stop acting a fool. Do you have any idea how many cells in your body you are killing with all of those chemicals? Do you have any idea what you're doing to your psyche while you're adding all of these sexual partners to your track record? I know that you don't. & to be honest, I know that you don't care right now. But you will. When your body starts deteriorating at 23. When those pictures of you in a bikini funneling beers you thought was cute on Facebook keeps you from getting the job that you've worked so hard for. When you FINALLY find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and they don't think it's so "cool" that you slept with more people than a MARTA bus can hold. So. Once again. Please listen to me. Stop it.

6. Have Fun! You don't get it back.
Life after high school looks enticing. & don't get me wrong, it has been a complete blessing in every form to me personally. But it's not easy. Whether you're headed to college or you're headed into the workforce, it's hard. Haha. I don't know any other word to describe it. Your days of sleeping in are numbered. Your days of "points just for being here" are numbered. Your days of seeing your best friend in class every day are numbered. Your days of only needing a part-time job are SOOOO numbered. When I was in high school, I thought I was so grown up. Especially when I could drive. I thought I was so cool. I thought I really had it together, and nobody could tell me different. & I see that so many of you feel similarly. Your confidence is great! I applaud you, and I hope that your future is what you think it will be. But along with your confidence, I hope you have resilience. Because your plan is GOING to change. & those setbacks hurt. They are not fun. So start having fun! Stop evading it because you're too "grown-up!" Stop it. Stop it. Stop it!!

All of this sounds really grim, right? "Macy, you're just a mean old lady that wants to pick on high schoolers now that you're not one." I hope that's not your thought. Because that is NEVER my intent. I was there almost four years ago. & I remember. Woah, there are so many things I wish I had handled differently. So maybe that's why I'm so passionate about other people figuring it out before they've missed it.
Embrace every single day. Every single person. Every single moment.
Trust me, you don't get it back.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Good Girls & Good Intentions

First, you must know that this post was inspired by a book called "Graceful" by Emily P. Freeman.
This book has literally been sitting on my desk, staring at me, for at least 6 months now.
I actually picked it up tonight as a means to distract myself from the crazy homework load ahead of me this week. How guilty can you feel about not writing a paper about domestic violence when you're reading a book about Jesus? I know, I know... That's a sad way to use my spirituality.
Anyway, this book hit me. It answered so many questions that I had regarding where I was going. Where I am supposed to go from here? Where does GOD want me to go from here? Before I started "Graceful" I prayed about God answering me in a way that my small, tiny mind would understand. That the answer would resonate within me. & He answered me. Hugely.

I'm a "good girl." Always have been. Will always be.
The author of this book is so me, I can't even explain it without taking words right from her.
She described her "good-girl-ness" as follows:

"I have exactly one piercing in each ear. And only my ears. I don't have any tattoos. Needles.
I didn't sneak into rated-R movies, I didn't skip class except on senior skip day, and even though I did cheat on a few tests in biology, I felt super guilty about it. I didn't drink in high school because it was illegal and because I watched people throw up when they drank too much. But I liked having friends too much to skip the parties altogether, so I was the designated driver for my girlfriends. That got real old really fast."

She goes on to talk about her experiences in middle & high school. Yes, me. To the letter. But, so what? There's another girl out there that's kind of like me? Why should you care about this?
Because I think a lot of us are hiding behind this "good girl" (or "good boy") facade that she explained. Being a Christian, we know the stories about boundless, beautiful grace that God gives to those that come out of the pit. Past drug addicts. Abusive people. Those struggling with all kinds of disorders and illnesses and backgrounds. We know that God embraces those people. When we tell others about Jesus, we tell them that He died for "the least of these." We know the scriptures that detail how Jesus reaches out to the sick. "Healthy people don't need a hospital; sick people do."
So what about those of us that are somewhere in the middle? Those of us that grew up in a Christian home. We learned the Bible stories. We know God's grace through Jesus Christ. We pray (maybe not as often as we should). Of course, we sin, but we haven't committed any "big" sins. (As if they're all different?) We know what the Christian life is supposed to look like, so we stress about measuring up to it. We know that God is actively searching to love and heal the weak. The wicked. The jaded. Those that are so far from Him. We actually start to believe that if He is looking so hard for those people, then He might miss us? We feel a little closer to the source of His mercy. We know enough to want more, but we keep our distance. That distance isn't quite as far as someone else's distance, so will God look over us to find them?
We try to "be good" so God will notice us. We want God to see us acting like "good Christian folk" and we miss the point. We treat God like He is a distant, blurry shadow watching us from afar. He is an active participant in our lives. He is so close. We are not acting FOR God. We should be interacting WITH God.
Think about original sin for a second. Eve did not cheat on Adam. She wasn't doing drugs in the bushes. They weren't in an abusive relationship. Sin entered the world because Eve believed a lie about a piece of FRUIT. Fruit. It wasn't even chocolate covered. There was no caramel sauce involved here. It was healthy. It was good. It was the perfect "good-girl-temptation."

Many people hide behind their insecurities. But a lot of us are hiding behind our securities. I'm guilty of this. When my faith gets tied up and my heart is bruised, I go back to what I know. I hide behind my intelligence. I hide behind music. I hide behind the faith of my family. I hide behind the things that I feel that I'm good at. I feel confident in those things, so I stay there. I don't venture out.
I hide behind the rules because I feel that I am closer to God by checking them off one by one.
I hide behind my good reputation, and I struggle to follow an unpredictable God in fear that people won't understand why.
I hide behind positive emotions and a plastic smile because I fear that people will see that I am a neurotic mess.
But I'm not alone. We all do this.
We're hiding. But the best part of hiding is being found.
God is seeking me. My heart. You. Your heart.
We can only hide for so long.

Us hiders spend a lot of time asking questions. We think just because we spend so much time hiding that God is hiding the answers from us. But really... The answers are all there. Right in front of us. We're inadvertently hiding from the life that God has meant for us to live.
Maybe you're worrying about what kind of job you'll end up with. Maybe you hate your current job. Maybe you're praying about a relationship. An almost-relationship. Maybe you don't know what school you're supposed to go to. You're unsure of your next steps. But you're way too good to let them see you sweat... You keep up the facade. Then when the fear, anxiety and uncertainty sets in, you lift your head to the sky and ask, "What am I supposed to do?"
You're asking the wrong questions. You should ask yourself, "What am I going to believe?"

If you believe in God, then you can find confidence in His perfect plan. His perfect grace. It seems too good to be true, I know. I get caught up in the grace effect daily. But living the Christian life is not at all about the things that you do. The rituals. The rules. It's about who you are. It's about reflecting Jesus, and letting Him completely wreck you. Letting Him define you.
We have to stop hiding behind the "good" stuff so that we can experience the GREAT stuff. Sure, comfortable is good. But there is nothing comfortable about living out loud for Jesus.
We can continue striving for "good" all on our own... Or we can reach for His greatness. His righteousness. & He'll reach back.
Every time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fear & Pain

I love The Biggest Loser. 
It has a little to do with the fact that I have an embarrassingly large crush on Bob Harper... But it mostly has to do with the fact that I love life change. These people lose hundreds of pounds. Their lives are altered forever, and I think it's awesome! 
Another thing: I have an overwhelming fear of needles. Or maybe it's blood? I don't really know? All I do know is that the last time I got my finger pricked... I passed out on the floor and Stephanie had to come babysit me. Listening to someone TALK about having surgery tonight made me light leaded. 
Ok, back to the point.
Tonight, a theme that has presented itself to me over & over during the past couple weeks was presented on The Biggest Loser. They faced their fears. One of them sang in front of an audience, another one swam in the open ocean, etc. Facing fears is never a fun thing... It hurts. It's not necessarily something that we look forward to doing. I never look forward to going to the doctor. The thought of having a baby makes me instantly dizzy... and I am not even DATING anyone... It's not even a pertinent worry, but it makes me nauseous. 
I was talking to a research assistant at the lab that I work at just the other day, and he was talking about how fear and pain are feelings that are completely relevant. They come, and they go, and there is little we can do to stop them. They're like impulses. The thing that is important to remember about them is that they don't last forever. If fear or pain is prolonged... then we're making a choice to allow them to persist in our lives. Suffering or worry is just pain & fear that we choose to allow in our hearts.
I have been reading Romans over and over again through the past couple of weeks. 
This verse has stuck out to me, and I have it written on several index cards strategically placed... well, everywhere. (Maybe there is little strategy involved?) 
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ""Abba," Father." Romans 8:15. 
We should never be slaves to fear. God has released us from those chains.
So, as you can see, the idea of fear has been on my mind a lot lately. It has been all over the place, so, of course, I find it necessary to type it out.
Back to The Biggest Loser. I don't know how staged the show is? It is reality television, so all of the "emotional breakthroughs" could have no real emotional merit. I don't know? It's not up to me to know. I try not to be a skeptic. What I do know is that losing weight or becoming healthy or dropping a habit or getting out of an abusive relationship or giving your life to Christ... all of those things are life change. & life change happens when you face fear. 
Losing a couple pounds because you started a new weight loss program and then gaining it back when your body acclimates to a couple miles on a treadmill once or twice a week is not life change. 
The Biggest Loser people are changing the in's and out's of what they do on a daily basis. They are learning how to tackle real life problems. They are renewing their minds so that they can make a lifestyle change instead of just a temporary body change. It's scary. I mean, if you've ever watched the show, you see the fear in their eyes when Jillian tells them to run at a 7.0 for 5 minutes when they're like 400 pounds... That's fear! No doubt! 
We have to renew our minds... Change our thinking... Make choices that impact our lives for the better every day. 
Not everyone struggles with weight. These people on TV were afraid that obesity would claim their lives. You may not have that struggle. 
Your fear may be something else entirely. 
Maybe you fear that your health will fail you. 
Maybe you fear that someone's health that you love with fail them.
Maybe you fear being alone. 
Maybe you fear failure.
Maybe you fear losing your husband or your children or your parents. 
Maybe you fear change in general. 
I have no idea what it is that scares you. 
But I do know that you have a choice to either let that fear overpower you or let that fear go. 
I have no idea what the real point of this post is? 
It's hard to post a blog telling people to do something that I so clearly do not have control over myself. 
We're all works in progress. :)
& we're doing it together! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Perks of Being an Insomniac

Someone once told me that all great works of literature either come from very positive experiences or very negative ones.
You rarely hear hit songs about a love life that's just... blah. It's either overwhelmingly incredible or it's over and the worst pain the writer's ever felt. Books are similar. Nobody writes about a topic that just interests them slightly. They're either deeply moved, deeply touched or deeply upset by the topic they approach.
A few weeks ago, I updated this blog with all of this amazing news that I was doing cartwheels over. & I have read over that post many times since. I knew that the pressure would get to me, but I had no idea that it would come so soon.
It's a lot of pressure. Haha. It's a lot of deadlines. Many more than I expected. Speaking of expectations, it's a lot of those, too. Expectations are dangerous. Pressure is dangerous.
I have a lot to get done, and to be honest, I manage, by the grace of God, to find enough hours in the day to get it all completed. But that built up stress and anxiety leads me to not sleep. Sure, I fall asleep for a little while. Sometimes, like tonight, I fall asleep by 8:30. But I always wake up. With a pinch in my chest. This nagging sensation that things are falling apart. There's always more to do. && this is clearly not healthy. Haha.
How is this a perk, you ask?
I am being humbled.
It's always good if someone describes you as "humble." At least in my opinion, I think humility is a great trait. Before I end every conversation with God, I always ask Him to grant me with joy, peace and humility.
But "being humbled"... This is not really all that great. It normally involves being broken down. Yes, I am always working toward being a humble person, but I am always a little apprehensive about how God's going to get me there.
I know that this period of my life is just a stepping stone. It is incredible. There are so many opportunities. So many loose ends to tie up. So much excitement. So much going on... But it is still just a stepping stone. I am learning to be careful about getting wrapped up in the journey to the point of missing completely the destination.
I was talking to a woman that I met between classes at school last week. She was older. She had a wedding ring on, and she spoke of children. She was beautiful and graceful. She told me, "Honey, enjoy these years. Stay out too late, explore beyond the place you feel comfortable and go on as many dates as you can. Don't settle down too early." I know she was mostly kidding. It was clear that she adored her husband and children, but there was still something in her eyes that stuck with me as I drove home. She was a little bit envious.
To be honest, I was a little bit envious of her. I want to know where I end up.
I want to have a ring on my finger. I want to put a ring on some super lucky guy's finger... Haha.
I want to have a stable income and live in my own house.
I want one of the dogs that I look at every week on the internet from the humane society.
I want to stop commuting.
But maybe that's the point. The grass always seems greener on the other side.
We start to let ourselves believe that if we can just get to the other side, everything's going to fall together. It's going to fall into place.

On another note. But still something that January 2013 has taught me. I have a small confession.
If you know anything about me, you know that I am a hopeless romantic. I fight like mad to be independent... or at least to appear that way, but I think about who I am going to end up with probably more than the normal girl. Since I was about 15, I have written letters to my husband. This person that may or may not exist. Haha. So there's the back story.
A couple days ago, I decided that I wanted to part with the dozens of letters. I threw them out. It's not really a sad thing. It's not that I've given up on finding somebody to share life with. I'm just done waiting around for it to happen.
I am over the moon happy for my friends that have found people. Those that are engaged and those that aren't. Either way, I am so happy for them. I will be a bridesmaid. I will plan the showers. I will make toasts. I will support them. I will calm them down when they get angry & I will help them work through issues even when they want to set their partner on fire. I will babysit babies that they have. I will be Aunt Macy. I will do it all. & I will love every second. I am not jealous. I am truly & wholeheartedly happy.
But it's also a lot of pressure. It's kind of stressful. In one of my classes, my professor was telling me about how a woman's physical ability peaks at like 25... First of all, I want to know where she got these statistics... & secondly, I'm like, "Snap. That's kind of unfortunate."
Feelings can be extremely haphazard. They are extremely confusing. They are draining.
So. I'm done imagining some elusive man that probably doesn't exist.
No more letters. Which is probably more sad to me than it should be. Haha. Almost six years of something is gone.
But it's kind of liberating.
Ok, I'm definitely rambling.
I haven't had a full night's sleep in three weeks... Give me a break.
2013 will bring on the biggest decisions that I have ever had to make. It's the most difficult coursework I've ever experienced. The busiest schedule I've ever had. The most...lonely, I guess? That sounds a little more dramatic than I want it to, but words are failing me right now. I can't lie... the grass does seem greener on the other side.
But I'm staying right where I am. I'm going to make this grass, my grass, the greenest it's ever been.