Triggered Memories

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tonight I am blogging from what used to be my bedroom for 3 months, at my sister's place. We decided that it has been awhile since we had a sleepover, and a random Wednesday night was what we picked. My sister and I have a really special relationship. She is not just my sister, she's my best friend. She knows me inside and out, makes me laugh when I'm cranky, let's me share her clothes, pretty much everything you could want in a sister.

For the past 3 years, I had been living on my own. I had a cute 1-bedroom apartment, in a brick story-book apartment building, that had great character, and a perfect location- just a block from the nearest Alterra. I loved it! I had never lived alone prior to this and I absolutely loved it. It gave me a great opportunity to really get to know myself, and experience what living on your own is like. You can make messes wherever you want, when you want, you can move your bedroom around just so your bed is in the perfect spot to watch Avatar on the TV in the living room while falling asleep (yup I did that), heck- you can even walk around naked if you want. :) Overall, living alone was great.

This past August, life turned into a whirlwind of change, and my time of living alone was up. My position at work was eliminated and I was preparing to get married. I personally did not believe in living with my fiancé before getting married, so I knew that I was going to figure something else out. As this was all happening with me, my sister was in the process of moving out of her old place into her own super cute, 2-bedroom apartment. So what ended up happening worked out PERFECTLY. In the process of ending a lease and starting a new lease, my sister ended up in my joint for a month. Picture this: two queen beds and two dressers in a one-bedroom apartment. May sound cramped, but thankfully I had a big bedroom and really it was great. It was like a sleepover with your best friend for a month- we had a blast. At the end of that month she moved into her place, and 2 weeks later my lease ended and over I came to her house. Unlike my place she had two bedrooms- so I had a separate space to call my own.

Living with my sister for the 3 months prior to getting married was one of the biggest blessings that I experienced in preparing for the next stage of my life. As I was sitting here tonight, with my sister having already fallen asleep I walked around the apartment and the familiar scent filled my nose. I stood there for a moment in the darkness of her living room and let the memories flood back in. So much happened in this place in the 3 months that I spent here. Putting together wedding invites, wrapping bridesmaid gifts, putting together seating charts, fabulous dinner and sleepover for my bachelorette party, what had to have been the best bridal shower on earth (really I must tell you about that another time- I had a cake with the most adorable shoes on it, as a gift from my bridesmaids), and primping and putting on my wedding gown, all took place in this space.

I look back on those 3 months with the fondest of memories. I could not have had the best experience in preparing for my wedding. Besides all the fun that happened in this apartment, the ultimate reason that these memories are so great is because of the blessing of being able to spend so much time with my ever-so-loving sister. I am thankful for a wonderful sister who even though we don't live under the same roof anymore, welcomes me into her home no matter what the hour, who runs over to my house when I'm having a hard day, who buys me a bottle of wine and bubble bath after a stressful interview, and who still wants to have sleepovers even in the middle of the week.

I am thankful that the simple moment of breathing in the aromas that fill this space triggered such fond memories and reminders of how blessed I am.

Interview attire- is it really necessary?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Here I sit- watching all my favorite Monday shows (It is such a good TV night!! Gossip Girl *i'll admit it*, Dancing with the Stars, Castle) and thinking how all I should be doing is prepping for the interview I have tomorrow. I don't know who decided that interviews should be intense, but I am pretty sure that I am not a fan of such person. I must be honest and say that I have not had an interview in 4 years. I was blessed to find a job straight out of college, so I have not had an interview since my first job out of college! And now here I am 4 years later... with an interview tomorrow- and feeling like a fish out of water. Unfortunately I realized that not only is my brain a bit out of it's element- but so is my wardrobe!! I worked in a church for 3 years- in a laid back environment, working with the college ministry. So my college wardrobe, rolled right into my working wardrobe. I'm talking jeans, nice looking t-shirts, mixed with leggings- long t-shirt dresses- you know, college attire. It was great!! But... now, as I am trying to put together an appropriate outfit for an interview tomorrow- I realized that my closet was seriously lacking. I found out I own 1 pair of pants that fit right and could be appropriate for the occasion, and maybe 2 shirts. Yikes. Needless to say I had to make a trip to my teacher, much more mature dressing, sister who was gracious enough to provide me with a full outfit with several options. I am so thankful for her! If it weren't for her- I would have been at Gap scrounging the sale racks to find something that would make me presentable and a desirable candidate. With all that said, as you can tell- it definitely took me 2 plus hours to figure out what I was going to wear to my interview. I really would like to know who decided that you needed to be all fancied up for an interview. Think about it. Teachers are required to wear a full pant-suit sort of thing when they go for an interview, and then if they get hired, do they wear them? no no- they dress nice of course, but a full pant suit- no way! That's how I am feeling- if I get this position, working again with a college ministry- am I going to wear fancy pants and a fancy shirt all the time? Not unless I am seriously required.

Overall, I have decided that interviews are a pretty frightening experience. (This all said before the interview- i'll keep you posted after tomorrow). I'm not quite sure how to prepare- just hoping that the prep I am doing will allow me to be myself as much as possible and keep me from freezing up. That's the best I can hope for right?

I still think my theory - that we should just be born into the position we were designed for, like the good ole family businesses, is a better idea, but who am I to say. Guess I'll just go to my interview, pray for God's guidance- and do the best I can!

just a thought

It has been a bit since I have last blogged.  I have been somewhat busy, but really my brain has been overloaded.  I will take time in the next few days to expand on what's been going on- but for today I just want to share a scripture passage that spoke to my heart.  A lot of what's been on my mind has to do with the struggle between fear and faith.  It's basically the story of our lives fighting between allowing the fears we have to dominate our thinking, or allowing our faith to be the ruler that guides our life.  Without expanding much more right now- this verse in Deuteronomy put me in my place this morning as I think about the fears that plague me.  
"Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies.  Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.  For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."
Good words that I need to let penetrate my heart today.   

Practicing Thankfulness

Monday, April 2, 2012

In my Bible reading this morning, Moses is talking to the Israelites about Passover, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of the Tabernacles. Several times he mentions that they must give a "freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you." What an interesting statement. It jumped out at me the first time I read it, but then I continued reading in the passage and he says it again..."Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you" (Deuteronomy 16:17). This verse has got me thinking this afternoon, wondering how bad am I at keeping track of or being really aware of the blessings God has given me?

The last time I got together with my old bible study group, we talked about the positive impact practicing thankfulness or positive thinking can have on your outlook on life. When I was in college, I took a one credit, once a week course called Positive Psychology. The purpose of the class was to explore the effect of thinking positively. It was a really interesting, laid back class. One of the assignments for the week was to, for every day of the week, write down 25 positive things that happened that day. It could be anything. "The sun is shining." "I had lucky charms for breakfast." Anything that you viewed as positive. The purpose was to help us think about all the positive things that filled each day- emphasizing that although we sometimes find it hard to believe, there is much positive in each of our daily lives. If I remember correctly, the professor who taught the class had written a book or done a big study about Positive Psychology and the class was an experiment because it was the first time he had studied it in class-format. I honestly don't remember what the goal of the class was, or what projects we had to do or anything like that, other than the overall emphasis on the idea that thinking positively can in fact positively affect you. Go figure. Sounds so simple.

But I remember LOVING that class, and LOVING those activities that we had to do because it really made me appreciate the little things that God had been blessing me with throughout each day. Maybe I appreciated it a little more as a believer because I was able to use it almost as a journal/prayer time where I took the opportunity to really thank God for even the little things he blessed me with? I don't know. Either way, it was a good experience.

With all of that said, going back to my bible study get-together... most of us decided that we too wanted to join the others in thinking more positively, being proactive about being thankful basically. The verses that I read this morning really convicted me of the fact that I have not been very good at this lately. Think about the verse. It says, "Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you." I think that verse is incredibly convicting because it makes me ask myself the question, have I been aware of all the blessings God has given me, taken good note of them, been thankful for them- kept track of them enough to know what kind of goodwill offering would be in proportion? Maybe I am reading into the verse too much, and maybe he didn't mean literally bring a gift that matches in one way or another the blessings you have been given. But regardless, I know that I need to be way more aware and way more thankful for the daily blessings that the Lord has given me. Sometimes I realize that I have not expressed thanks for what He has given me and I become ashamed because it's such a selfish, human thing to do. We are blessed in SO many ways. I am in a really good place in life- I have food on the table, I have a warm home, a loving family, and friends. And this just scratches the surface of what I have to be thankful for. Perhaps it's about time I got out a notebook and went back to the daily assignment I had from Positive Psychology. I know that there are definitely so many blessings to be thankful for.

Craft time

Today, as my husband was doing some work in his dining room turned temporary office, I decided that I was in the mood to be a bit crafty.  I am a big crochet fan and so I thought perhaps I would do a little crocheting this afternoon.  We have quite a few weddings to go to this summer which means bridal showers, gifts- all that jazz.  One of the gifts that I received from my mother-in-law was a pack of crocheted dishcloths.  I had never used them before, and now I must say I AM A HUGE FAN.  They are my "go-to" rags; I love them!  This Christmas I made my sister a blanket (it was quite a project, that I was very proud of- perhaps I'll post a pic sometime in the future) and have a fair amount of leftover yarn, so I thought why not make some crocheted dishcloths for the bridal showers I have coming up!? That way not only do I get to share my love for these great cloths, but I also get to give them something from the heart (I mean I'm making them with my own hands!).  So here's what I did this afternoon.  

Final Product Version #1: no edging

Final Product Version #2: with edging

There we have it! I am still debating whether I like the edging?  I might do an edging in the same color as the rag versus the different color just because it would make it a bit more uniform.  Not quite sure yet.  Overall, such a great, easy project for a crafty feeling afternoon.  
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