Monday, June 30, 2008


I am thankful for:

My Savior
Hot showers
My Apartment
My roommate
My Car (even if it is a piece of crap)
Young Life
My Church
Target ( i just love that store)
Panera Bread
The Gym
Cell Phones
The Beach
Cream Cheese
Old Movies
Rainy Days
Sweet Tea
Lunches paid for by Dad
Mexican dinners with Peyton B.
Days at the lake
Little brothers who are taller than me
Being born in the south
Cannon Rebel xTi
BFF's in LaGrange
People who read this
Plane trips
Picture frames
Long lunches
Late night chats
Texas Grandmothers
Job interviews

I'm sure there's more...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Faith and Contentment

Have you ever been in that place where you know what you want to do and just can't do it? I am not talking about wanting to do something like go for a swim but the pool is closed or wanting a hot Krispy Cream Doughnut and the sign is just not on. I am talking about life goals. I'm talking about knowing what you want to do with your life and knowing that that door has not yet been opened.

Over the past few weeks, I have been dealing with the subjects of faith, contentment, and godly zeal over and over again. It has come before me in conversations, in bible studies, in church sermons, and in my everyday activities. In my head, I can tell myself all day long that I know that I am where I am supposed to be right now and that the doors I want opened haven't been opened for a reason. But even though I know that that is right, I still struggle with discontentment, disbelief, lack of faith, and no patience. I know that everything happens in His timing and not mine. I know that He has control over my life, whether or not I willingly give over those reigns or not. And that should be a freeing thought. I know, without a doubt, that what He wants for me is ten million times better than what I want for me. And yet, I still struggle. I still have moments (more like days and weeks) of disbelief and lackluster faith. I still wonder why and I still doubt my loving Father.

This weekend, in Sunday school and church, I was completely convicted of my lack of faith. Tom Johnson taught Sunday school and talked about contentment and what it means. Contentment, for me, means accepting that you are in a situation for a reason. It means being happy despite the circumstances. It means pressing forward. Now, I think there is a difference between contentment and complacency, but I am talking about contentment. I have struggled with various decisions that I have made and whether or not I was acting on discontentment alone or really doing what was right for me. After a lot of prayer and multiple conversations with trusted friends, I have a peace about my decisions.

Scott Barber's sermon also talked about faith and contentment. His daughter, Caroline, was baptized on Sunday morning and he expressed a desire to speak to what Caroline's life would become as a daughter of the King. He talked about running the race that has been marked for us by our heavenly Father. We often doubt and second guess the road we have been given because we are unsure of what's ahead. He used the example of a 1980 Georgia Football game and how he was anxious and unnerved throughout the game, but how he can watch, with enjoyment, the re-runs since he knows what is going to happen. I think that is how I live my life, to a certain degree. I worry and bite my nails (literally) and fail to enjoy the scenery because I don't know what's ahead. I often lack the faith needed to enjoy the ride.

I also do this thing where I am unhappy if God doesn't give me what I think I want or need. It is as if I am saying that I believe that His son dying on the cross was enough for me, but His plan for my life is not. I don't want to think that way. I want to be content with His plan for me. I want to be able to say with total conviction "You are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after your will." I want that peace. So, I asked for it and He gave it to me.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

Friday, June 27, 2008

Proverb of the Day

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

-Proverbs 17:28


"Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

-Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Second Amendment

Very rarely do I make political statements, vocally or here on the blog. But when it comes to the Constitutional Rights of every American, I feel like it's pretty safe to say what I think. I mean, it's in the Constitution, people. This should be extremely simple, right?

The Second Amendment was upheld today in the Supreme Court. Citizens of Washington, D.C. can now have a firearm in their home. You can read more about it here.

It is amazing to me that this is going to result in further opposition and uproar from those who find themselves to be of the more liberal nature. We all believe in the Constitution, folks. It's why you are able to raise you-know-what about firearms. It is incredible that we will take full advantage of the Constitution and the rights it affords us, but only when it benefits us. Freedom of Speech? By all means! But don't say anything against me. Freedom of religion? Yes! But only if I understand it and it is the same as mine. Powers granted to the States? Of course! But only if we think the state can handle it. The right to bear arms was afforded to us by the Constitution. Why would we want to take rights away from ourselves? I have no idea. Yet, it is cases like District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) that hit me like a slap in the face and make me increasingly aware of the astounding rate at which we are giving away our constitutional rights as citizens of the United States of America. Yes, it was the lifiting of a ban and not taking a right that was already in place, but it was a ban that needed to be lifted.

Wake up, folks. Educate yourselves. Read the Constitution. There will be more cases like this one and the majority may not rule in favor of the people next time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Favorite Hymn

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord! Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Habitat for Humanity

I have always been an advocate for Habitat for Humanity. I think that it is worthy cause and I enjoy the type of work that you do when you work on a Habitat House. However, when I agreed to help out this past Saturday, I was a little less than thrilled at the thought of getting up early and working all morning in the hot sun. But, I got up and set out to a part of town that I rarely frequent. And I got lost. Very lost. And then I was late. Not very late, just late. I was not a happy camper.

My whole attitude changed once I arrived, though. There were highschool students, young adults, older adults, and uh...much older adults. There were even one or two younger kiddies there. After a bit of instruction from Diez, the man in charge, we hit the yard and started raking. We were laying sod that day and the ground has to be as free from large and medium sized rocks as possible. After a bit, I stood up straight to take a small breather and as I did, I took a moment to look around a bit. Everyone was working and laughing. There were people raking and people shoveling. There were already people laying the grass down. There were groups coming in with snacks and drinks. It was a refreshing view of my fellow man. No one was complaining and everyone was working towards a common cause and goal. I smiled a bit and got back to work.

As we came closer and closer to finishing, my next observation was not just the age range of the folks present, but the type of people present. There were kids there. This always strikes me because kids don't often think of this type of thing on their own. Most were there because of service projects for school, but there were a few who were truly there to serve and that struck a chord with me. There were only two or three others there that were close to my age. There were people from AFLAC, there were attorneys, doctors, accountants, moms, church members, real estate agents, and others.

I love feeling like I am a part of something that is bigger than me. Something that will affect others. Something that really has nothing to do with me, but I helped.

The only down part of the day was when I realized that a) I forgot my camera and b) I left my car lights on. Yeah. Perrin Trotter is my car jump-er off-er hero.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Election Coverage

The news is out! Terry Yarbrough is running for City Council, District Eight. Born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, Terry Yarbrough exercises strong family values. A devoted husband and father, Terry supports community growth and the values that Columbus embodies. A community servant for many years, Terry now desires to serve and support the city of Columbus in a greater capacity; as your Councilor for District Eight.

This is exciting on a number of different levels. The first being that there is change in the air. I believe, with all my heart, that we can win this election. I think that Uncle Terry can help Columbus become more prepared for BRAC re-alignment and the changes it will bring. I think that he can help with the revitalization of Mid-Town Columbus. And I think that he can push Columbus towards more repsonsible managment of the tax payer's money.

The second level of excitement is for me. Sounds selfish, I know, but I am really enjoying the experience as a whole. I love the politics, the management, the people, the planning. I love it all. It makes me all giddy and happy. Silly, I know, but so very true.

If you want to contact Mr. Yarbrough, click here.

Looking ahead

This weekend was a busy one for me. Friday night, I had dinner with my cousin and did laundry. Supper exciting, I know. Saturday, I worked with Habitat (more on this later) and then worked with my Uncle Terry in his yard, laying sod. How I got roped into that, I'll never know. After a shower, we went and ran some errands and ended up in the ER with my cousin, Haley, who broke her foot again. Yes, I said again. Then it was off to dinner and then my pastor's house. Sunday, I went to church, my parents house, Uncle Terry's house, Target, dinner with Nick, running with Sam, and then collapsed into my bed. Somebody tell me to slow down, please.

Monday was the big day though. Uncle Terry announced that he was running for City Council. As his right hand man, I was on hand to take pictures, keep him calm, and get paper towels to blot his sweaty face. My job is so glamorous. There was an interview with WRBL, which went really well, and I have a couple of other interviews lined up. More on the campaign later.

As big as Monday was, today is a little bigger for me. After a lot of thought, tons of prayer, and long conversations with the 'rents, I decided to give my two weeks notice at my current job. As much as I would love for it to work out, its just not. It's not fair to them or me for it to keep going like it is. I have learned so much and will carry these lessons with me for a long time, but it's time to find something else. I know you are all thinking "What the heck is she thinking? Does she have anything else lined up?" I do. More on that later, as well.

So, as you can tell, this weekend/week has been busy and full. I don't think it's slowing down any time soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alone time

Last night after work , I went went to gym, per usual, and went home and showered. I went to Starbucks, grabbed some coffee and was going to head home, but changed my mind. I decided to take myself on a date. Sounds kinda crazy, I know, but I needed some down time and some time where I just pampered myself. Now, those of you who know me well might be shocked that I went somewhere, by myself, by choice. I know, it's craziness. And I do have this thing about being alone. I much prefer the company of friends and family to being by myself, but I decided to go to Barnes and Noble "just to look around." Yeah right. I got in there and caught the book bug. I am not even going to talk about the ungodly amount of money that I spent, but I had such a nice time browsing and perusing the aisles. It was nice to not have to talk to anyone or worry about whether or not someone else was having a good time or not, or whether they were ready to leave.

After I spent way too much money on books that I just had to have (I mean, life or death here, people. Seriously.), I was, once again, going to head home, but decided to take myself to a movie. I have never in my life gone to a movie alone. I like to talk to the person next to me during the movie. Annoying, I know, but so much fun. And I was worried about not having someone there. But, it wasn't half bad. I actually enjoyed it. What is the world coming to?

Alone time is good for me every once in awhile. Really. I laughed. I cried. It was better than "Cats."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Market

Last night, I went out with some of my girlfriends. We wanted something nice, with a good atmosphere, and great food. My friend, Erin, suggested we try The Market, a local seafood restaurant that recently relocated to the downtown area. I was already a huge fan of The Market and was quick to agree. However, I had no idea what a pleasant surprise it would be when I walked through the door.

To fully appreciate what I am about to describe to you, you have to understand the state of the previous location that The Market occupied. It was a bit dark and dingy. The bathrooms weren't very nice. The space was crowded and cramped. It was a hole in the wall kind of place with incredible food. Now, imagine brick walls, a great bar area, great lighting, huge windows, four different little areas with tables, and, of course, great food.

I arrived a few minutes late and was a bit taken aback by the very chic feel of the room. When I arrived at the table there were already water glasses on the table. The menus were similar to the old ones, as far as style goes, and the food was exactly the same. We were given a wine list and this was the second surprise of the evening.

The Market didn't have a liquor licence before and people brought their own. It was a part of the uniqueness that is The Market. However, they now have a liquor license, thus the wine list. We were told that they painstakingly went over the list to make sure that they had a good variety, not only in wine, but in price as well. It makes sense seeing as people have been able to spend as little or as much as they wanted on a wine that they specifically chose. A great wine list is somewhat vital. The wine list was divided into three categories; The Pontoon Boat List, The Sailboat List, and Your First Yacht List. I thought this was an exceptionally clever way to provide a pricing list.

Appetizers were next on the agenda. We had the "Crispy Okra", which is just a fancy way to say "fried okra." It's served uncut and fried and is absolutely divine. We split this between six of us and it was just enough. After appetizers, we ordered our main courses. I had the grilled salmon and it was delicious. I ordered two sides of salad and cheese grits and both were delectable. The other girls ordered halibut, crab, and The Market Special, which is a stuffed something or another. I wish I had paid more attention to that.

Dessert consisted of Key Lime Pie and Bread Pudding. The Bread Pudding is my personal favorite. It's Bread Pudding (obviously) and it is huge! Erin and I split it and it was more than enough. It is served with Bourbon sauce that has been heated. To die for, let me tell you!

As we sat there, the lights were lowered and the mood was set. I should have mentioned earlier that the music was fantastic, as well. We sat and chatted for a long time, but it seemed not very long at all. The service was excellent and everything was so tastefully done.

All in all, a wonderful experience and I can't wait to go back.


I thought about a great topic to write on last night as I was falling asleep and I can't remember it now. Shoot a wild monkey.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Too much

After seven months, I still can't listen to Jack Johnson, Carla Bruni, The Decemberists, or the Garden State soundtrack. I can't watch Garden State, Jeopardy, or the new Pride and Prejudice. Playing golf is hard and going to Atlanta is possible, but painful. There's a little black dress that I won't put on and a sweatshirt that I packed away in the back corner of my closet. There are no pictures and every card, letter, and most of the jewelry has been put away. Writing out the story, like I swore I would, is a slow process, mostly because it just brings back too many memories. I don't eat at Speakeasy and I never drive by HHS. The Market is off limits and I don't go to the Riverwalk much. I've grown my hair long, mostly out of spite. I still love my college football team and baseball team, but it's hard to cheer for the white and gold. And though all of this is not the main reason by any means, it certainly plays a part in the finding of a new church. A blue Altima still makes me do a double take and I'm not the biggest fan of facial hair anymore. Going to LaGrange is difficult. I can still hear your voice and your laugh. Being called "Sweetheart" makes me cringe a bit. There are even certain bible passages that make my mind travel to a different time. I still have to answer questions and I still encounter awkward moments of brief explanations with little detail. I am rarely, if ever, vocally negative and if I am, it is only to a privileged, and very specific, three. There are friends I can't see and phrases I can't forget.

In all that I have seemingly lost, I have gained so much more. I found new music, new movies, new restaurants, and locations. I've learned to be independent. I've got priorities and goals that are healthy and ambitious. I've learned to lean on the One and Only and to place my trust in Him rather than men. I've regained relationships that were once strained and have had my eyes opened to a whole new world.

There are days when I still think it could have worked and days when I know it wouldn't have. There are days when I want to hate you and it's everyday that I know that I cannot. There are days when it's too much, but more often there are days when I know that I am just fine. There are seldom days where tears are present and they are mostly over work, a bad hair day, or my car.

I'm just fine. Even when it's too much, even when I want to cry, even when I am reminded, I am just fine.

"...and you learn that love doesn't mean possession and company doesn't mean security...and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build your roads today because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight... And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong, and you really do have worth ,and you learn, and you learn..."-Veronica A. Shoffstall

That Girl

How do you experience me? This question is one that my pastor encourages the congregation to ask of those closest to them.

I've started thinking about how I experience me. Inasmuch as I would love to be the girl that has the patience of a saint, never says a hateful word towards others, goes to the gym EVERY SINGLE DAY, eats healthy all the time, never sounds arrogant, isn't a hypocrite, has time to read five different newspapers, has read all the important classics, runs a 6 minute mile consistently, has a written portfolio that far exceeds her peers, sells her photography for outrageous prices, is a friend at all times, works hard, still dates her high school sweetheart, never complains, is always positive, is a neat freak (or at least neat), can cook like your mother, plays tennis like a pro, keeps up her golf game, and pays all of her bills on time, I'm just not that girl.

I have little patience, although it is getting much better. I can be very hateful towards others(Caroline, don't attest to this). I go to the gym most days, but there are some days when I just can't do it. I try to eat healthy all the time, but I love fatty foods. I am arrogant at times and being a hypocrite comes naturally. I read The Times when I have time (pun intended) and I skim the Ledger Enquirer. I don't have time to read as much as I would like and when I do, I usually do an easy read or I like to re-read a favorite. (Pride and Prejudice, anyone? Seven times, people. Seriously.) I run about an 8 minute mile. My written portfolio is poor at best. My photography doesn't sell...yet. I stink as a friend a lot of the time. I goof off at work when I should be productive. I'm not very good at dating. I do complain. I'm not always positive. I am far from a neat freak and my roommate would say I am far from neat. Period. I am not a great cook and it's definitely not like your mother's. I stink at tennis and my golf game is just OK. Who am I kidding? I stink at that too. My bills get paid on time, except for that one time when I forgot.

So, that's me. I admit it openly and honestly. Do I try my best? Most of the time, but not always. Am I working on me? Yes! Always.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Road to Frontier Ranch

I arrived at the Target parking lot a few minutes before seven this morning to see my Young Life kids and fellow leaders off as they head to Buena Vista, Colorado to spend the week at Frontier Ranch. I am never so much encouraged as when I am with the Young Life family; kids, leaders, parents, and committee.

As the kids packed their bags and said goodbyes to parents and as leaders loaded their gear and an incredible amount of food, I felt a twinge of sadness that I wasn't loading up my bags and getting on the bus as well. However, I have complete and total confidence that the people on that bus are the ones that God wanted there.

James Rockwell, our fearless leader and area director, gathered all the leaders, parents, and committee members together and Claude led us in prayer. He committed the trip, the kids, and the leaders to God and prayed for their protection as they travel. As the kids got on the bus, followed shortly thereafter by the leaders, I joined Susanne McClusky and Cheryl Carrol and we prayed yet again as the bus pulled out of the parking lot.

I write about this and share with you because this morning, with all the disappointment and sadness that I felt not being on that bus, was simply wonderful. To be surrounded by the body of believers and to be able to join together in prayer for people that we love dearly and care so much about was powerful. I wish I could start every morning out like that.

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." -James 5:16b

"I sought the Lord and he answered me..." -Psalm 34:4

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours."-Mark 11:24

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you..."-Colossians 1:9

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Bucket List

I personally did not see the movie that I am stealing the title to this post from, but I heard it was good. It was about these two old guys who had a list of things that they wanted to do before they "kicked the bucket" and how they went about completing this list. My mom likes to give me extremely detailed accounts of the movies that she and Dad go see, even if I say that I am going to go see it too. Then, I figure why spend the almost ten bucks to see something that I already know the ending to? But, I digress. My point is that I have a list of things that I must do before I die and I want to share them with you. This list is ever growing, changing, and I am sure there will be things that I forget about. There is no particular order to this list. Just go with it.

  • Jump out of a plane
  • Go overseas.
  • Plant a flower garden
  • Adopt a baby
  • Get a puppy
  • Keep a goldfish alive for longer than a month
  • Write a book
  • Get married(this should probably be above the have a baby/adopt one...)
  • Go on a long term mission trip
  • Be "Millie" in Thoroughly Modern Millie"
  • Have a white picket fence
  • Go on a cross country road trip
  • Be the Artistic Director of a regional theatre
  • Be a professional photographer
  • Be on staff with Young Life
  • Buy a car
  • Create a foundation for underprivileged kids to go to college
  • Win lottery or be famous author to have money to create foundation
  • Live in New England
  • Sing in a night club (When I say night club, I mean a jazz club that's smokey and dark...specifics are important here, people.)
  • Graduate from college. (this one should probably be further up on the list.)
  • Work at a job I love
  • Read as many books as I can
  • Be known for my extensive library
  • Have season tickets to the symphony, the theatre, GT football and basketball games, and the Braves

As I think of more I'll add them in parts 2, 3, and so on. Now, to start checking it off...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

After a while

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn
that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...
-Veronica A. Shoffstall


This weekend I am planning on going to the hardware store and picking out some paint and wood to take out to my parents house and decorate for my apartment. If you've seen my lovely three bedroom apartment, you know that the walls are a lovely beige with some cream tones. So cheerful and light, no? Well, being the brilliant girl that I am, I decided to take wood, paint it in bright, cheerful colors, take some white paint and write words like "Faith", "Love", "Joy", etc. I know, I'm brilliant.

I'm also thinking that making this a Father-Daughter project is perfect for Fathers day. I know...brilliance.

Monday, June 09, 2008

So, what's the plan?

This is probably a bad time to write a post. Mostly because it has been one of those days. I think you know what I mean when I say that. We all have those days when it just seems like the day couldn't get much worse. And I had one of those days.

As much as I believe that there is a plan for me and my life, I still struggle with doubt and fear. I was talking to my mom earlier about contentment. My definition of contentment is accepting the situation, doing what you have to do to make it work, and not complaining about it. When I think of discontentment, I think of being depressed, complaining all the time, and being generally unhappy. I don't consider myself discontent in that way. Yes, there are things that I would like to change about my situation, but I don't dwell on them. I am generally a happy person, in my opinion. My mom really wants me to see the lessons in my situation and I am looking. I try and take each situation and look at the good that came out of it. Let's look at what I have found.

  1. Leaving LaGrange College. Leaving LC was difficult and, in the beginning, I did not handle it well. I was depressed for several weeks and although I didn't blame anyone for the fact that I was home, I was bitter. However, I can see now that had I not come home I would not have become involved with Young Life, I wouldn't be living with the greatest roommate ever, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to have the greatest job ever, and I might not have found the incredible group of people that I hang out with on a regular basis. Faith is definitely the lesson here. Not knowing why God thought it was a good idea to empty my savings account and then only be at LaGrange for a semester and a JanTerm, lose a semester, have a really crappy first job, and go to CSU most certainly tried my faith and I failed miserably in that department. It wasn't until 10 months later that I was able to fully appreciate and say in all honesty that I was grateful for where God had put me.
  2. Ken Henson retiring. After a year of working for Ken, he decided to stop practicing law and let me and his paralegal go. It was difficult to leave. I loved my job and the people that I worked with. It was the perfect job and I gained so much experience. I found it fairly easy to find another job with the same pay and more hours. Contentment and patience are the lessons I am learning here.
  3. Being at CSU. This was a hard one for me. Even when talking to my mom today, I paused and had to think. Thinking back to the the conversation, I am kind of giggling. There are good things about CSU. I have made some great friends and experienced some fabulous professors. Contentment is probably what I am supposed to learn here. And how to glorify God in every situation.
  4. My current job. Not really on my top ten list of best jobs ever. However, it pays the bills and I have made some great contacts. I go in, do my job, and go home. Endurance is the lesson here. And Contentment.
  5. My car. Definitely one part of my life that I identify as the bane of my existence. This car breaks down at least once a week. BUT, it does get me from point A to point B when it decides to run. When it does decide not to crank, I tell myself that there is a reason that God wants me to be late to wherever it is I am going. So, I am working on my faith and there is the good in that situation.
  6. Relationships. I am not going to go into detail here, but God has most certainly been teaching me lessons. He has been teaching me to lean on Him fully, to have faith in His plan and not my own, to let go of my timeline and live in His, to give up control, to commit all of my worries, fears, cares, and pain to Him, and to find contentment in His love. God has most certainly taught me about faith and shown me my lack of it and His overabundance of it.

There are a lot of lessons. I see them, I really do. And I think that I am doing an OK job of learning them. My prayer for myself and the one that I request of those who pray for me is that I would grow in love, grace, mercy, contentment, peace, patience, and faith. That His will would become my will. That God would mold me into the woman that He desires me to be and that I would serve Him with joyfulness always.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

God tells us, in a very obvious manner, what His will for our life is. It's not always easy to be joyful, or thankful, or even to pray, but this is what God calls us to do. This goes back to what I said in the beginning of this post about knowing full well that He is going to take care of me and still struggling with doubt and fear. He does have a plan, His will for me is obvious, and everything He wants for me is ten million times better than what I want for me.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Quote of the Day

"If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and Earth will have to pause and say, Here lived a great sweeper, who swept his job well."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


You no longer have to be registered with google or blogger to comment on the blog. I changed the setting this morning. So comment away. I want to know what you think!!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Beautiful Mind

Last night, I was having dinner with my friend, Peyton, and we were having a discussion about the office she works in. It's downtown and in a rather old building. My mind conjured up an old southern building with large windows and white columns (don't ask why...). Then, she made the comment that the building was kinda crappy (Sorry, Mom. I know you don't like that word). My mind downgraded the building and I saw a dilapidated room that was dark, musty, and in need of some repairs. However, the picture changed once again when Peyton remarked that it was a neat building and pretty in that the floor she works on has brick walls and exposed beams. My mind went to lofts and a classy downtown building like what you see on TV.

Isn't it funny how the human brain works? That we have the ability to create pictures in our mind? Maybe what is more amazing to me than the ability to create the picture, is the types of pictures we create. The pictures are intricate and full of detail or maybe that's just my pictures. Still, the fact that that is the way my mind works intrigues me and fills me with wonder and awe towards the Creator of such a beautiful mind.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Home Education

I was home educated. From kindergarten through 12th grade my parents made the sacrifice to teach my siblings and I at home. There were parts I hated and there were parts I loved. There were times when I hated being home every day and there are days now when I am sitting at work, in a desk (not so different from school, eh?), and I wish that I could be home reading or writing. I loved being able to travel with my family and take off to Callaway Gardens for the day and have what Mom called "Domestic School Day." I went to prom junior and senior year with friends that went to public school. I was on the yearbook staff. I went to classes with other home educated students where we learned about chemistry, the art of writing a good paper, Spanish, and various other subjects that can be difficult to learn on your own. I will admit that there was a time when I begged my parents to send me to "real school", but in the end and looking back now, I am ever so grateful to my parents for their wisdom and decision to home educate me.

As I watch our government strive to take away the right of parents to educate their child(ren) at home, I wonder how many more rights will they start taking away? The same men and women that we have elected to protect and implement those sacred rights we have as citizens of a free nation, are the same people who seem to want more and more control over our lives.

In an article published by Parade Magazine (, experts speculated that the number of families in the U.S. who are choosing to educate their children at home is increasing 7%-12% a year. That is an incredible number. The article is mainly focused on the case going on in California where home education is in danger of becoming illegal, a move which would place over 166,000 children who are currently being home educated into the public and private school systems of California. The state wants parents who home educate to have teaching certificates. The vast majority of parents teaching their children do not.

There are arguments galore when it comes to home education. My personal favorite is "socialization" and how home educated children are deprived of being able to socialize with children with children of the same age, or how they are unable to learn conflict resolution by staying at home. I don't know about you, but living with ten other people who had ten varying personalities taught me conflict resolution. And there are many ways to give your children social outlets. Another argument is that the education received at home does not prepare you for the college experience.

As a home educated graduate that attends a university in the state of Georgia, I can say that my home education experience, while not perfect, prepared me for the college experience. My dad is a dentist in our hometown and my mom is a stay at home mother who has home educated for the past 15 years. While my father obviously went as far as he could in the academic world, my mother only attended two years of college. Yet, she was the one who stayed at home and taught my siblings and I. I have seven younger brothers and sisters, all of whom are or were home educated. One sister is a full time student the university that I attend and two of my sisters, though still in high school, are a part of the joint enrollment program at the university that allows high school students to attend classes and attain college credit that goes toward their college degree. I am a journalism/photography major, one sister is a Theatre Education major, another was a nursing major and recently switched to pre-engineering. The other sister wants to declare pre-med. We each have GPA's that range from a 3.5 to a 4.0. As you can see, our education was far from lacking and our primary teacher did not have "certification."

The lack of support for home education in our nation is incredible. All you have to do is look at the number of home educated students in our country, then see how they have gotten along in colleges and universities across the nation, and you can see quite clearly that home education is a legitimate educational option. Most of our founding fathers were home educated. Not only were they home educated, but their mothers were the ones who taught them and women were not welcome in the world of academia, yet were the ones trusted with the job of educating the children in the family. These same men, who were by today's standards given a less than adequate education, created the most powerful document in the world. What does that say to you about home education?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Thoughts on the Homeland

Sundays are probably my favorite day of the week. I absolutely adore getting up, going to church, having lunch, and then spending the afternoon at my parents home with my siblings (and Mama and Daddy, of course).

Today, as I sat at the table with the rest of the family, Dad asked what the kids thought about the sermon this morning. Each person put in their two cents about Boyd's sermon. It seemed that it was on love verses knowledge. The need for knowledge, the love of knowledge, how the Psalmist says that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord. This turned the conversation to the love of God, the simplicity of His love, and how our love for Him affects our love for others. I have no idea how, but this progressed to the discussion of race. If you know me well, you have probably heard me talk about how grateful I am for the way that my parents have raised my siblings and I in a way that is oblivious, in a way, to race. For all my joking about being "Mexican" and things being better because of it, I never even thought about the fact that it was a part of my background until a friend made a comment when I was in highschool. It has become a joke amongst my siblings and I, but it is still just a joke. My parents laugh and joke about it as well, but it is not something that they ever initiated. In fact, it took my dad awhile to find it funny at all.

I don't know that I have talked much about my parents, where they are from, and how they were raised. Let's start with Daddy. Born Pablo Manuel Garcia to Jesse and Manuela Garcia in Malakoff, Texas, my dad is not your stereotypical Hispanic. In our conversation today, he admitted that he made a personal choice years ago that he would never strive to be seen differently because of his Hispanic heritage. Growing up with his six brothers in a town where they were the only Spanish speaking family, Dad's family was separated from the Hispanic culture at a young age. He remarked today that he was especially grateful for God's grace in this matter, as the Hispanic culture is full of witchcraft, as well as a sense of entitlement of late. Because of my father's decision to integrate himself into the the culture of which he was a part, it is rare that he ever hears anything related to his heritage unless someone calls his office expecting a Spanish speaking dentist because of his name. He chooses to go by "Paul" rather than "Pablo" and is about as "East Texas" as they come. My dad is about 5'4", but stands with the stature of John Wayne. He is a man to be admired. He is wise, compassionate, funny, incredibly intelligent, and truly a man after God's own heart. I adore my father.

My mother was born Elizabeth Ann Yarbrough to Jerry and Bashie Yarbrough. She is the only girl with three older brothers and one younger. Raised during the sixties (in the south), my mom admits to struggling with prejudices and the stereotypes that go with that time period. Her dad was a fire fighter and she remembers being on family vacation in Florida when the call came asking her dad to come home because there were riots going on in their hometown. For three long days and nights, Mom and her family had no idea if her dad was OK or not. She remembers going to Matthew Elementary School and being in the first group of white kids to ever go there. My mother is superwoman. She has/is homeschooling eight children, helps my dad run his business, and is active in the homeschool group in our community. She is my best friend and I love her dearly.

You are probably wondering what my point is in all of this. Well, the discussion at lunch today got my thoughts racing. I was reminded again of my parents wisdom in their raising of us kids. Words cannot do justice in expressing the appreciation that I feel towards my parents because they have instilled in me a sense of respect and compassion for all people, regardless of color or ethnicity. I am grateful that they exposed me to an environment (the theatre) that, as Mary Lou so elegantly phrased it, was a sort of "Utopia for Equality." It was there, in addition to the teachings of my parents, that I actively embraced the idea of equality of all humans. It was during this time in my life, when I was completely immersed in the world of theatre, that I made a conscious decision to never identify a person according to their race when telling a story or talking about the guy or girl that walked up to me in Wal-mart or whatever the case may be. Instead, I chose to live by the example that my parents set for me. I am, by no means, perfect and there are, of course, prejudices in my heart. However, it is my desire to be open minded and free of prejudices against my fellow man. A lofty goal, I know, but one that is pressing on my heart.

"...When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God..."-Genisis 5:3

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..." -Declaration of Independence