Life is Good

Sleepy Bear

I am a morning person, in every sense of the term. I’m the up-at-4am-to-workout type. The half-my-day-is-complete by 8am person. I love mornings. I thrive in the morning. I am productive, alert and awake as a large portion of the world still lies sleeping. And I love it.

But lately, for whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to get up that early. Recently, I’ve found myself sleeping until 8, 9, 10…even 11am. WHO AM I?

I am worn down. I am depressed. I am heartbroken.

And those things make you sleepy. Those things make you want to stay in bed until 11am, if not all day. Those things make sleeping in later more acceptable, more excusable.

I don’t like it, but it’s the reality of where I am at in my life right now. This season that I’m in is the most painful I’ve ever experienced, but I can only hold onto the hope that that means whatever is coming, is going to be so beautiful that it makes everything I am going through more than worthwhile.

I am holding onto the promises that Jesus will never leave my side, no matter what. And I am asking him to reveal the beauty of this season in my life.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Keep Holding On

So I’m holding onto those things. And while I am, I’m making the best of everyday and everything that comes my way. It isn’t easy, but it’s what I have to do.

Life isn’t bad. Life is really, REALLY good. It just isn’t always easy to see the good when you are drowning in the bad, when the negative has you so overwhelmed that you can’t remember the wonderfulness that your days normally are.

Thankfully, I have the most supportive family and friends that I can count on no matter what. They encourage, uplift and inspire me every single day, and I cannot thank them enough for not allowing me to wallow in myself during this hard time.

Yesterday, as I shuffled into the kitchen at 9am, dad asked how I was. I replied, “Well, I slept much later than I wanted to.” He looked at me and said, “That’s okay, it happens.” In that moment, something hit me. I realized that…IT’S OKAY. It’s all okay. It may be hard and it may be a daily struggle that I am dealing with, but it truly is okay. What a freeing realization.

Right Here, Right Now

Just because one day is bad doesn’t mean that they all will be. So I stopped and I brought myself into the moment. I reminded myself that I won’t always be able to sleep until 9am on a Monday or spend the day talking to my parents, so I vowed to be appreciative of where I was in that moment and thankful for what I was able to do.

I started the coffee pot, went back to my room, put on my workout clothes and made myself go for a short run. It was hot and humid, my legs were slightly sore from running the day before and I didn’t go as far as I used to run, but I did it. I took the first steps to getting back to who I was before all of this took me down a few months ago. When I got back to the house, I made breakfast and settled onto the front porch with my journal and devotions. I laid in the pool, packed my things and headed to the gym for a workout before I met a friend for coffee and made my way downtown to watch the FIFA World Cup match with other friends.

As I sat on the floor in Lauren’s room last night, reminiscing and laughing, I was reminded of how beautiful life and friendship truly is. I was overwhelmed by the blessing of being able to have days such as this one and I was reminded that life is good; Life is really, REALLY good.

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Waiting as I Wander

“But I trust in you, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands…” – Psalms 31:14-15a (NIV)”

“There is an appoint time for everything. And there is a time for everything under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NASB)

“All the different periods of life:
The times of prosperity and the times of adversity,
The times of advance and the times of retreat,
The times of activity and the times of waiting,
They are all in your hand.” – Steve Gallagher

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” -Psalms 27:14 (NIV)

     I have never been very good at waiting. It’s a character flaw, I suppose. I live in an impatient society. My generation is one of instant gratifications, a phenomenon studied by many psychologists, some of whom I would imagine were not raised in an era where that was even a thing. I live in a world where smart phones get more attention than our friends and family, Netflix is chosen over a good book, and looks are all that matter. It’s heartbreaking, but you can’t help but get caught up in it all.

     Yet, when I do, I not only reduce my ability to wait on the things I want, but I also lose my ability to wait on the things of God. I want an “instant God.” I want my prayers to be answered and my desires to be delivers right away. I don’t want a mediated “No.” because something isn’t meant for me. I want everything to be a “Yes, of course you can have that, Anna.” I want the wages without the work, so to speak.

     The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert searching for the Promise Land, even though the journey should have only taken days. They grumbled and complained, they were not instantly satisfied, even though God provided for their every need. And Moses failed to enter the Promise Land because of his disobedience to God. WOAH, what?? Fast forward a few thousand years and let’s apply that to my life.

    How often do I feel “lost” and like I’m wandering without a purpose? DAILY! How often do I complain or question that? More times than I care to admit! And if God is telling me to wait on Him and I am being disobedient, is He going to withhold His promises from me? YOU BETCHA!

     Praise the Lord that a story of searching that happened so many years ago can relate and reflect my life today. To me, things like that teach me lessons, they bring the Bible to life and they guide me in the ways I should go (as the Word is meant to). So, while I may be wandering in my own little desert right now, I need to PRAISE GOD in the midst of my journey for all He has provided me. My obedience to Him should be of the utmost importance, and if I follow Him, He will lead me into a land overflowing with the abundance of His promises.

God is something else, something that may not be instant, but He sure is eternal. Amen!

Acceptance

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 10.00.52 PMA Call to Go

As I’ve wrote before, I’ve been called to go. God is sending me on a mission to spread His love and His name. To serve the least of these for His glory. I am honored, blessed and humbled…and I haven’t even left yet.

The Process

From what I’ve heard, the application process for mission trips takes some work – lots of paperwork and phone calls and interview. Sometimes the entire process can take months. So when I began looking into mission trips last week, I had no idea that within a week, I would be interviewed and asked to join the Experience Mission 3M Costa Rica team for Fall 2014. God works in crazy ways, and sometimes, He works very quickly! I have yet to wrap my mind around the fact that in four short months, I WILL BE IN COSTA RICA!!

WOW.

I was drawn to the Immersion program because rather than focusing on completing tasks, they are focused on building authentic relationships. You live with host families, interact in daily, local life and work alongside the tribes to make their community a better place. It isn’t a trip based just on doing, but on living and loving. And I really like that.

Here’s a video for the Immersion program that shows scenes from Costa Rica. I cannot watch it without tearing up and smiling. I cannot wait for August.

If you would like to know more, or to make a monetary donation, feel free to take a look at my prayer and support letter — A Call to Go.

Oh July, where did you go?

July? What am I talking about, where did the other six months of this year go?

Life in General

I’ve been back from Europe for nearly five months now. I’m still jobless (though to be completely honest, my hunt has been lacking – there’s not much in St. Louis that I feel competent enough to do, and I haven’t heard back from any of the jobs I have applied for, therefore, the search just leads to being depressed and wanting to binge on gluten-free cacao chip cookies while taking breaks between sob sessions).

So I’ve been spending my days working out, laying out and trying to figure out my life. I have no real direction, and while that slightly scares me, I have an incredible peace about it. I know that peace only comes from the Lord, and I’m incredibly thankful to know that He is the one directing my life and that He has a plan for me, though I still have no idea what that may be.

Living at home has proven to be just as stressful as I assumed it would be, as there are way too many people under this roof. On top of that, my mother thinks I’m just out to make her miserable. I don’t smile enough or talk enough (and when I do, she says it’s sarcastic or disrespectful), I don’t wipe down the counters sufficiently (but, let’s not forget the fact that I do all the cooking, dish-washing and I do wipe down the counters), I don’t do this or that when I should or shouldn’t. Aren’t our relationship with our parents supposed to get better as we get older? Somewhere between high school and college we started losing the close relationship we had, and we’ve yet to be able to figure out how to get it back. I don’t know how to change any of this. I work on it and it seems like things are going well, then she goes off on me again. I’m not saying it’s completely her mood swings, but it can’t always be me (which she seems to think it is, though everyone else in the house can attest to it being her, as she gets this way with nearly everyone). Sorry for the rant, it just happened again, so it’s fresh on my mind. I love my mom, I honestly do. She has always provided for me, even when she had to go without to do it. I just wish I knew how to “fix” this. Any advice?

Workouts and Diet

My workouts have been intense lately. I was lifting heavy with less reps for quite awhile, but have joined a group of girls on Facebook who are creating workouts that are both challenging and really switching it up with the lighter lifts and higher reps. I love it though, and can already tell a huge difference just in the first week.

My diet is pretty much the same from day-to-day: protein, veggies, fruit, healthy fats. I eat a lot of the same things, but try to switch it up here and there, since I don’t want my body getting used to any one things. It’s hard when you’ve cut nearly everything out of your diet (I’ve been eating gluten, dairy, egg, corn and shrimp free). It’s actually been going really well. For those of you who think you could never cut all that out, I assure you that it gets easier with practice. When you feel so miserable whenever you eat any of that stuff, cutting it out is the most rewarding option. Plus, all that clean eating really helps with the cutting weight and healthy lifestyle.

I’ve also signed up to be a Beachbody Coach. I’m loving it so far! Although I’m still trying to get my follower count up. So if you’re interested, follow along on my journey through Facebook, Instagram and WordPress! Oops, nothing like a little self-advertising on my own blog, right? Haha.

Love Life

….what’s that?

I attempted this chat app. Which I suppose is a lot like online dating. And it sucks. One guy pretty much catfished me (really funny, now that I look back on it — I didn’t even know what that was until I started talking to a person on that app and they told me to Google it). I went to the Blake Shelton with another guy on Friday night. Talk about awkward. The drunk older women in front of us made a big deal about this “first date”, but by the end of it, two of them pulled me aside at separate times to advise me not to go on a second date with him. I had already planned not doing so before we even got to the concert, as I had “friend-zoned” him about three weeks ago. This probably makes me sound like a douche, but I really just wanted to see Blake Shelton, and figured it was as good of time as any to give this guy a chance. Thank goodness for the concert and the hilarious entertainment around me, otherwise I would have been miserable. After the concert, I met up with another guy I met on the app (who happened to know people I know, so it wasn’t quite as awkward). We sat outside by a fire for a few hours just chatting, and I thought it went fairly well, but I haven’t really heard from him since. So, guess that’s already finished.

I realize now why I have never liked the concept of dating. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and disappointing. But, at least now I can say I gave it a go, right?

Adios

I’m fairly sure that’s all the news I have at the moment. I’m sure there’s more that I will think of as soon as I post this, but oh well. I’m going to try to post more frequently, as every few months really isn’t enough.

I’m off to finish grilling dinner (we ran out of propane, so dad had to run to the gas station) and then stuff my face. When all else fails, my love of food does not.

Happy Sunday, loves! xx

Hey there, Fall Semester.

…how not nice to see you.

Thoughts for the day.

Life has been a beautiful mess lately. I’m so incredibly happy with how things are going (despite the fact that I’m super busy, but still super broke!).

I LOVE my internship. I started interning at Anchor Digital last week, and I’ve already learned a lot. I’m looking forward to what the next three and a half months have to teach me. My classes are all lined up for the fall, I’m signed up for December graduation, and I’m ready to kick some butt.

This semester is going to be crazy busy, much like the last two have been, but I’m so ready for it. I’m taking 18 credit hours, working 18-20 hours a week at my internship and giving Victoria’s Secret all my free time (which will be easier once I transfer to Mid River’s this next week!). I plan on focusing my extra energy on working out and continuing my healthy diet, simplifying my apartment (and life), and staying caught up on homework (yeah, easier said than done, right?). I’m also looking really forward to my final semester as the president of Alpha Chi. My hope for the next six months is to drop some weight, stay focused and learn as much as I can.

I’m considering staying in St. Charles after graduation. As many people know, it’s not my first choice. At least, it wasn’t. However, if I get a job in the area (or stay on where I’m interning at!), I would consider it. If I choose to stay, I will most likely pursue my Master’s degree at Lindenwood. There are GA positions that would give me a free ride through grad school, which I’m interested in looking into. I have no idea where my life is heading at the moment, and I’m okay with just having a tentative plan. Life is too crazy to be planned. Who knows, I could be in a completely different country by the time I’m 23. I’m just living and seeing where God leads me.

I finally feel alive again.

I have been off of my meds for almost a month now and I feel AMAZING. Sure, I’ve had to really focus on my moods when I get overtired stressed, but I would much rather have to gauge my moods like a normal person than have crazy side effects from medicine that obviously wasn’t helping.

Everything is better now.

I’m way more positive than I had been. I don’t feel as bloated and I’m nowhere near as hungry as I was the last few months. It’s crazy the habits that you fall into without even realizing it, I had to actually remind myself that I didn’t have to eat every 1-2 hours but instead could go meal-to-meal and be fine!

Vacation was amazing. Two weeks driving out west with my mom and sister really did me some good. It was incredible to see things like Pike’s Peak and the Grand Canyon, and I had the best time with my girlfriends in San Diego celebrating their graduation. It really helped me to realize what I wanted in life, what I needed and what I was able to let go of. I’m working on doing just that.

Liana is “living” with me for a few months, and I’m pretty stoked about it. We’ve been eating healthy and working out, I really want to lose the weight that I’ve packed on since the car accidents. My first goal is 180, then I’d really like to be down to 165-170. But I’m not setting a time frame for my goal, because sometimes, goals take time. They take healing and strengthening. I’m not limiting myself anyone, but instead, I’m pushing myself. I don’t know where this motivation and determination has come from, but I’ll take it.

I am finally starting to feel better about myself again, and I’m so glad. The negativity was really bringing me down.

I was updating my LinkedIn profile today and began skimming other classmates. I realize how much some people do compared to how little I feel like I’ve done. But I know that I am a well-rounded person who is talented in my own way, and I try to remember that. I’m really hoping for a job with Pioneer after I graduate, but I need to get ahold of my cousin to talk about a position/opportunity there. I’d also love to work at KSDK (yes, I’d even be willing to stay in the STL area!). I’m going to apply for an internship there for the fall (crossed fingers and prayers are appreciated!)…I would really love to work there. Plus it would keep me close to home, which is even better. Although, I long to get away. If I don’t get a job right out of college, I’ve already decided that I will spend a few months in Philadelphia with Sara, just working and saving money.

Which is a lot of what I’m planning on doing this summer. Eating healthy, working out, spending time with family and friends, going to Six Flags and the pool, working and enjoying life. I need this.

Let’s do this, Summer 2012 ❤

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