Serenity

Serenity
© 2008-2015 Southern Simplicity All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 2010 -- 25 Things about Me

This is just a mindless post tonight to occupy my sleepy brain!



1. ...love to watch CSI: Miami & NY, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice!

2. ...do not have cable TV; haven't in almost 3 years.

3. ...has stayed in a hotel a total of 3 times in my life

4. ...am dying to get debt paid off! but still have a hard time getting on /sticking to a budget!

5. ...love, love, love saxophone and guitar music!

6. ... went Black friday shopping for the first time this year and LOVED it!!!!

7. ...was born in Fairbanks, AK...dont' believe me? ask my parents!!

8. ...absolutely love the smell of fresh clean sheets!

9. ...loves late fall and early spring, but loves it even more when i can spend it in the mountains!

10. ...would sit and read for hours if I could.

11. .. lived in the same neighborhood for 18+ years.

12. ... is so amazed at how far God has brought me and what he is doing in my life on a daily basis!!

13. ..hate to get out of bed in the mornings but love being up early!

14. ...absolutely loves my hair when its cut shorter and completely straight!

15. ...cannot stand backyard breeders or people who wont get their animals fixed!! Maybe they should go look at the shelters and see where their puppies end up! There should be strict, mandatory tests to pass for anyone to breed & there should be a nationwide LAW that any dog/cat not for breeding is to be fixed!! (ok stepping off the soapbox now!)

16. ...am a poet and an author...and have more books in my head!

17. ...had braces twice; had first hole in ears pierced twice; just recently got my 2nd holes pierced!

18. ...have never broken a bone in my body or had measles/chicken pox, etc (and pray I never do!).

19. ...love cucumbers but hate pickles!

20. ...absolutely love CAMPING!!  120 days left til camp 2011!!!

21. ...love playing the piano but can sing better than i can play!!

22. ...do not and have never had any wisdom teeth!

23. ...love, love, love Eeyore, GRITS (Girl Raised in the South); anything with the Palmetto emblem; monogrammed initials....anything girly!

24. ...would love to go to Florida to see white sand and clear water; Montana/Colorado to see rolling green meadows in the mountains; Kentucky to see the bluegrass and the Kentucky Derby; Maine to see the tip top of the East Coast; Chincoteague to see the Chincoteague ponies; Alaska to see my family and re-experience it; Disney World because, well, its Disney World!!

25. ...would love to  my creative juices flowing again and write like I used to!

Friday, November 26, 2010

BLACK Friday ............... BEAUTIFUL Friday!!!!!!!!!

So today was my first ever Black Friday shopping trip!!! I went with 3 of my best girls and we met up about 330 AM!!! Mind you I finally fell asleep about 11 and got up at 230!! We hit Kohls first, then started at Target but left b/c the line was so long! On to Lowe's, then Walmart, Belk's, Cracker Barrel for FOOD, and down to Tanger Outlets where we hit Old Navy, Bath & Body, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic.....from there we went to the mall and did J C Penny, Yankee Candle and ended at Chic Fil A!!!


I really wasn't too sure about all this crazy shopping I'd heard about but I had the best time and it has now become an annual trip for me!! This will be the first of many!! The crowds really weren't that bad and though the lines were long, because there were four of us, we took turns standing in line while the others kept shopping!! It was awesome!!!

The rest of my Friday was spent with my family after cleaning up the house! Tomorrow will be another great day with family and some misc errands!!

Now that it is 11pm FRIDAY I am going to crash now for hopefully the next 8 hours!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Praise

I'm praising God this morning for a great time with a good friend last night; an awesome paycheck; Catalyst tonight; walk on the beach with friends & the dogs tomorrow; my peaceful apartment; this beautiful weather; no alarms this morning!! :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Odds and Ends

As I sit here at 12:15am on a Friday night, er, Saturday morning, knowing I have to be up at 6a, my mind is working overtime (again) on all the things I need or want to get done before moving day in (drumroll please....) TWO WEEKS!!! I can't believe its coming up so fast!!

I have TONS of boxes all over the place!! It's driving me absolute batty! I've let school sit on the back burner too although I'm still completing work as needed....but I have a paper due Monday and I haven't even started on it. It's not hard, I just have to use MLA format and write about something to do with technology today. I thought about writing about the Ipods and how far they've come in such a short time. Still haven't decided.

Tomorrow, er, later this morning, our neighborhood is doing a yard sale. I'm just going to put stuff out front and if it sells great. If not, oh well. My main focus tomorrow is getting my plants dug up and repotted to move. Also, going to set many aside for friends. I've worked too hard the last 4.5 years to let my flower bed be taken over by weeds again!!

So the many things that I need/want to get done before moving day, besides to finish packing...care if I share? Hope not, since it's my blog! Haha!

These are in no particular order by the way :
Bleach all the trash cans and the cat boxes.
Finish going through old cards and letters.
Figure out how to put a post-bound scrapbook together which will eliminate a box of stuff!
Balance my checkbook and pay all bills to current date.
Set up my new insurance.
Clean out fridge (its for sale by the way!!)
Put Thompson's waterseal on my swing (tomorrow).
Pack last box of fragile's  & pictures
Have piano moved to a friend's house
Finish packing kitchen.
Finish linens and clear out the extra closet.
Pay off CSU.
Pay off Vet bill.
Schedule utilities to be turned off.
Make final decision on internet for new place and schedule it to be set up.
Buy two baby gates for new place to make "dog-free" cat area.
Change of address to PO.
Change address everywhere else!!! LOL!!
While changing address, change email address.
Put flea stuff on my cats.


Thats a good list to get started by!! Now its off to sleep !

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1st, 2010

So today would've been my 5 year anniversary if I was still married .... instead, I'm celebrating 2 months of freedom, a new job, a new place to live, and all A's in school!! And I'm praising God for walking me through all that crap for many reasons!! God is amazing!!

 

And this time next year I'll be celebrating the wedding of two of my closest friends!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beautiful Weekend!!

This has been an absolute, amazingly beautiful weekend!!! Jenn & Lee tied the knot Saturday at Edisto Beach and are now Mr & Mrs Barkley!!! :)! Pictures are posted to my facebook if you want to see them but here is the happy couple:
It was a beautiful ceremony on Edisto Beach with many of their close friends and family!! The day couldn't have been more perfect!! Joey officiated a beautiful service! I loved the "Holy ground" part where he asked everyone to take off their shoes before he prayed because we were standing on Holy ground. How is the beach Holy ground you ask?? Well, because everywhere God is present, it's Holy ground...and God was definitely present at this wonderful joining of man and wife!
The reception was held closer to home and we all partied til almost midnight!! Great food, awesome dance moves, wonderful mix of music, very sweet bartender, beautiful decorations, great friends, and tons of laughs!! There were so many inside jokes I don't think I could list them all if I tried!! I vote this wedding the best of 2010!!! :)

After the wedding festivities were over I came home and literally crashed! Slept off the drinks I had (new favorite, but only had two over the course of the night!) til about 930 Sunday morning!! My Sunday was filled with selling stuff off craigslist, errands, and homework! (Saturday morning was filled with packing packing and more packing!!) 

My new job is going great!! I do miss the girls' I worked with but I'm really enjoying this new phase of my life. It is a long and tiring drive to and from work and I can no longer get up 20 min before and be there on time, but the perks of the job are worth it! My boss has been out of town this last week so it's been a bit hectic but that's okay. I'm grateful I can wear jeans and a top every day and not necessarily a "uniform" per say. I'm very grateful for the hours I get each week and most days the hours fly by so I'm grateful for that too (because the days don't drag by!). 

I have less than 3 weeks til I move into my new apartment!! I am so far behind packing stuff its not even funny!! I get keys in two weeks and intend to start moving little things like clothes and groceries and such so that there wont be so much "little" stuff to move on moving day! I'm super grateful for the people who are going to be helping me move! Hopefully we can all get it done in a couple hours and it won't take all day!

This week I need to officially change my address and get that paperwork rolling. Then I need to decide what I'm going to do for internet (ugh) and I have to call my utility companies and set a date to have the utilities shut off in this house. I need to find out if I can cancel my house insurance once the foreclosure process officially starts or if I have to keep it for a while! So much to do and so little time!! And have to accomplish it in between work and classes and packing!!

Classes are going well!! Maintaining an A so far which is a sigh of relief!! Started a debate in English class which can be read under "Notes" on my facebook page. Aced my first computer test and B'd my first Art test! Getting ready to pay off CSU from my stupid summer course that I took and then I'll officially be withdrawn from there.

That about catches you up on the Life of Jess right now. I'm gonna head on in to bed here in a few and get ready to start another week!! God is so good and I'm so thankful for my Catalyst family!! I can't believe its been almost 2 years since He brought us together!!! Here we are in the very beginning:
 And here's part of us today:
God has been doing amazing work in each of our lives individually and has done some amazing things for us as a group!! I'm so thankful that He put me in the right place at the right time! I wouldn't be who I am today without the wisdom, encouragement, love, and support from this wonderful group of people!! :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tribute to 9/11


My Thoughts and Feelings of September 11, 2001

“Where were you when the world stopped turning…?” by Alan Jackson is a song that will never let us forget September 11, 2001. I, for one, will never forget where I was when I heard that awful news. Sitting in Mrs. Jenkins’ 3rd period English class at Summerville High School, the principal came over the PA system, told us what was going on, and asked for a moment of silence.
Some took the time to pray, while others just showed respect by indeed staying quiet. Life took on a different meaning for America. Red, white, and blue burst out all across the US. Song artists almost immediately began to write, sing, and record songs meant to commemorate this day. Flags went up on cars, houses, and poles. Stores were even selling out of flags because so many people were showing their pride and support for America.
Life took on a different meaning for myself, too. Though I did not lose any friends or family, my heart went out to those who did. I watched the plane that crashed into the towers and the Pentagon. Then there was the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives that day and watching, hearing, feeling their pain, my heart just broke in two.
I thought of the kids whose parents were not going to be home to tuck them into bed. Of the wives whose husbands were fighting to save others, and yet lost their lives in the line of duty. I thought of the husbands whose wives would not return from work that night and of the people who called family and friends for one last goodbye. The babies and young children who would never know one, or perhaps both, of their parents never left my mind.
As I watched the news coverage on nearly every channel, my heart went out to EVERYONE as they dealt with the horror of this and came to the reality that it really was happening. Tears fell down my cheeks as I listened to the many stories of the survivors and read the many emails that were circulated. The pictures that were all over made me gasp in shock. I thanked God that my family was not among those who lost loved ones; that my friends and people I know were not there when the planes crashed. I thanked God for the fact that I would go home to my parents and my sisters that evening, while many would not.
Showing my love and respect for my country has become even more important now than before. When family or friends are flying, I literally hold my breath until I know for sure that they are safely at their destination. Security measures have increased drastically all over America since 9-11, but it does not ensure America’s safety. All the security measures in the world will never make me feel 100% safe. A terrorist, a bomb; anything like this can slip by security, at anytime.
September 11 has caused me to rethink life. I feel that I have a higher respect for my family, my friends, and myself. Also, for the authorities that risk their lives everyday for me, and for people in general. My faith in God has become stronger. Without Him I, and many, many others would never have made it through this tragedy. No one is granted life and for each of us it will end one day. No one can or should take life for granted and 9-11 has definitely caused more and more people to cherish every single moment they have.
Like Pearl Harbor, Attack on America 9-11 is the one day that will never be forgotten by any American across the nation. The memories, the fright and the terror of this day will be passed down from generation to generation for centuries to come.
Things have changed in America, and this attack will go down in the history books. But for now, and forever,
May God Bless America!!



-->
Written on 9-11-02


Underneath It All





As we watched the flag fly high in the sky


And heard the bells in church steeples chime,


We felt the earth tremble with fear,


As planes crashed into buildings


And people screamed with terror





There were people above and people below


Many with no place to go


With phones they called loved ones


For one last goodbye


They knew they’d never see again


The faces of their family and friends.





Firefighters, policemen, and emergency crew


All trying to save one, even two.


Hundreds of strangers who had the courage


To surrender their lives that day, 9-11.





Red, white, and blue burst forth all over,


Flags with stars and stripes sold out,


Strangers joined hands in prayer


And volunteers came together


To help America out


In her chaotic time of despair.






God Bless the USA!!!!


 


  

-->
Written on 3-26-03


Let Freedom Ring





Red, white, and blue


To America we will stay true.


The flag flys proud


Against the clouds


So let freedom ring,


Let freedom ring.





The eagle soars above the trees


Against the glittering sun.


The Statue of Liberty stands guard at the harbor


Reflective of the job already done


So let freedom ring,



Let freedom ring.
  Copyright 2001-2010 Dance of Thoughts

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Love Dare

While I'm Waiting

This was one of the many songs I felt like was my "theme song" during my divorce while I waited for God to work. I chose to cling to Him and allow him to move in my life. I continued to praise Him and ask Him for His guidance even when it seemed that all hope was lost. No it wasn't that my marriage would work out, it was asking Him to take care of me and walk me through the valley, while making me a stronger person. It was a very low valley many many times. But God is faithful! He not only walked with me through that valley, but He has brought me to the mountain-top in so many areas of my life ! I am truly thankful for everything I had to go through to get to where I am today. I pray that if you are having trouble in your marriage that you would seek guidance, counseling, and truly search your heart before giving up. God gives us many tools to do so, but He is also faithful to give us peace when we've truly and wholeheartedly done everything possible to save our marriage.Cling to Him, He will not fail you!

The Love Dare

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Seasons are Changing

This is not going to be a long blog but I wanted to share a few things before I fall asleep! I'm moving into my 2nd week at the new job, which is going wonderfully well. Also moving into my 3rd week of classes at Trident Tech (more in a bit). I'm continuously packing and decluttering in preparation for my move in just over 5 weeks!! Life has been absolutely crazy here lately!!

JOB
Monday August 30th I started a new job as an Inside Sales Rep for a tool supply company. Even though I dont know hardly anything about these tools/nuts/bolts/etc I am really enjoying the job. I work with 4 guys who are great and very understanding that I will ask them the same question a million times over ( I just want to get it right :)). The hours seem to fly by and although I dont care for the longer drive or the traffic, so far its been okay. Getting up early still proves to be a challenge, especially since I'm a night owl and it takes forever for me to settle into bed at night. But God willing it will become a habit and come easier as the days go by.

SCHOOL
This fall I transferred to Trident Tech College (TTC) in order to take more classes for less money. CSU was just getting too expensive and I really wasn't digging the business degree classes. So I changed my major to Associate of Arts which seems to suit me much better. I'm hoping to get into the Journalism & Creative Writing classes by next fall after getting some core credits out of the way. I am still doing the online classes so I'm basically at my own pace and just have to make the due dates. So far so good. I"m taking English 101; CPT 102 (computer); and Western Art History 108. The art history isn't exactly interesting as I care nothing about art from those time periods, but it is a fairy easy and enjoyable class so I can't complain. English is fairly easy too...basically just reading stories and giving your opinion. Later on I think we have a paper to write (like a big paper). Just got the assignment for the first paper---500 words. Not too bad just time consuming. And computer of course is pretty much a piece of cake, just takes a lot of time getting stuff done. So Lord willing I will maintain my high GPA again this fall. The business finance class at CSU over the summer I finally finished after a lot of torture and stress and ended up with a B somehow (Thank YOU GOD!!). Still brought my GPA down to a 3.8 but at least I passed with fairly flying colors!

CATALYST
Catalyst is wonderful! I am so thankful every one of my church family is in my life!! Daily I am thankful for what God has done for us and for me through them! It is a beautiful thing to be a part of something so incredibly real!! Words are hard to describe what I have found in my church!! Honestly the best way to know is to come see for yourself!! We're crazy people who love the Lord and strive to do His will!!

HOME
As said above I am in the final weeks of being in my neighborhood of 18 years and my home of almost 5 years. It is a bittersweet moment and it has hit me a few times that everything I know as "home" is going to change very soon!! Sooner than I'm ready I think. I will miss the simple things, like my crepe myrtle trees, my azalea bushes, my flower bed I've worked so hard on, being able to watch my neighbors come and go, being able to walk across the yard to Nana's or down the street to Mom & Dad's, having the room to dog sit for friends, letting my dog run the space of 2 full front yards after his tennis ball... I grew up here and I know the majority of the people that live in the close vicinity of my house. I will miss surprise visits from my family when they're out walking the dog or something and just stop by. It's amazing how much we take for granted!

On the other hand I am excited and looking forward to moving into my own little apartment and having that chance to start over with a clean slate. I am trying to declutter like a mad woman so I dont have to move so much of this stuff but I'm afraid its still going to be a lot to move. I'm kind of embarrassed that as one person I have so much to move!!! I have packed a ton of boxes and you can't really tell. Although I will say parts of my house are starting to look empty as I pack some things away.

I have been picking out colors and such for my new place. Of course I can't (or won't) paint, but I have picked out colors for my bathroom, "theme" for my living room, colors for my kitchen, and in my head I've been arranging furniture and stuff. I'm so excited that I get to take my porch swing with me! I was seriously going to cry if I wouldn't have been able to put it up at the apartment. Its just a simple one bedroom one bath but there is a lot of storage space and big windows that let in a lot of light and a screened in patio too. I'm on the second floor so although it is a bit of a hike to move stuff in (or out one day), it will be well worth it. I'm looking forward to the pool and the fitness center too.

Well, guess I wrote a bit more than intended tonight huh? Ah well hope you enjoyed catching up with me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"And joy comes in the morning.."

I reference the 2nd part of the verse from Psalm 30:5 because that is where I feel I am right now. The verse says: "Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." and I have, in a sense, been "weeping" for a long time. Now, I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Joy has exploded in my life and although there is still a lot going on I haven't been this happy or this at peace in a very long time! 

If you've kept up with my blog, you know that my divorce was final the end of July! It was as if as soon as the judge ruled, the clouds open and the heavens poured down upon me! I had a wonderful lunch with my Mom and my Nana and then while browsing through a gift shop I got a phone call which led me to a job interview! That job fell through, but the day after that first interview I landed one at a shop about five minutes from where my Dad works. I was called back the next day for a second interview and three days later I was hired!! I start that job on the 30th of this month! I am excited because it will be more hours which lead to a better paycheck, plus there are benefits after three months, and it will be a whole new experience! The downfall is that it means getting up 2 hours earlier than what I'm used to! 

On top of the divorce being final, the new job practically falling in my lap (all praise goes to GOD for that!!), and finally feeling like I'm "free" again.....I am losing the house. It's okay though. I've done everything possible and maybe far more than most people would, to attempt to save it. But even if I kept it, I wouldn't be able to make payments AND do the repair work that's needed. So...I've signed a lease on a cute one bedroom apartment across town. I'm excited but anxious/nervous about moving away from "home"! Haha...25 and just now "moving away from home". Sounds kinda funny but its true! I've practically been in this neighborhood for all of the last 18 1/2 years (save for 7 months) ! I know the majority of the people here, if not by name, then at least by face or what car they drive. I'm at the front of the neighborhood so I feel like the "monitor" for everyone...who's coming/who's going and when! LOL!! I will miss not being right next door to my Nana, or able to literally walk down the street to my parents. I'll miss not being able to have my family walk by and 'drop' in to see me at random times!! And vice versa. I'll miss my yard (as cruddy as it can be at times); I'll miss my crepe myrtle trees, my azalea bushes, and my front flowerbed I've worked so hard on for the last 4 years!! This is silly but I'll miss my monkey grass!! I love cutting that back in the spring and watching it come back full and green!!  Right now I'm not sure if I'll be able to take my porch swing with me and if I can't I'm probably for sure going to cry because that is the one place I love to be in my house when the weather is perfect. I am hoping to take it with me, though and be able to use it! I guess the majority of my emotions just goes back to the feeling of safety -- although in recent months my n'hood isn't so safe! -And on that same note I feel like it's my job to watch out for my family too and if I'm not here I won't know what's going on.....and it also goes back to being moved out of my comfort zone into uncharted territory. But as a good friend put it for me... it's a step of faith. This whole journey has been one step of faith after another. God hasn't failed me yet..why would He start now? He provided many ways for me to stay in the house as long as I have, He provided the money for bills and groceries, He provided the "tools" He knew I would need against Satan when Satan tried to pull me down into the pit of despair, He put the right people in the right place at the right time to encourage, inspire, love, and carry me through. He has been so good!! I'm so thankful that I chose to cling to Him through the rough times of the last year and half or so!! I can't imagine turning my back on God in something as awful as what I've been through.  I think it's important to stop and share some verses from Romans with you. These are from Romans 8 and it starts in verse 31 (this is from the NIV version): " 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:  "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I am on the verge of starting three new classes at Trident Tech this week too. I'll be taking English, Art History, and a computer course this semester!! I just finished a crappy class from CSU that I almost failed! In fact, the final grades aren't anywhere close to being in so I really don't know what I have in it!! Anyway, three classes on top of a new job and moving is going to be quite the stress but I hope I can handle it and keep my GPA up! I'm hoping to be able to take the journalism and creative writing courses that are offered at tech. I want to get back to writing. I have a ton of unfinished "work" that I want to finalize and then I want to look into getting a book "really" published! And I especially want to get my kids book's written!!

This is going to be a very crazy semester for me!! What a great time in my life though!! Life is finally starting to look up and I can "look back and see how far I've come"! God has been working wonders in my life and I'm so thrilled that I can see that!! He has allowed me to through hell (and yes, I consider what I've been through to be "hell" for me!) and come out stronger on the other side so that I can minister to others who are in the shoes I've walked through. Whether its because they are going through a divorce or because they are lacking in faith or scared that people won't love them when they know the "real stuff", God has already used me several times to minister to them! I am so thankful that our God is a God who brings healing to the sick and brokenhearted and who is able to bring something wonderful out of the worst of our pain. Although there were times when it just didn't seem like it was ever going to get any better, I don't think I ever doubted God. I felt hopeless and ready to give up over and over, but I don't think I could say I doubted Him. He had me surrounded by guardian angels who refused to give up on me! Even if they had to repeat the same thing over and over to me!! He is SOO GOOD!! 

This has been a journey of ups and downs, mountains and valleys, joys and trials. Yet at every turn God met me there. He met me and has taught me to better rely on Him ! He has given me the joy of tithing, He has given me the joy of being real with the people I care most about! He has given me the opportunity to be an instrument of healing in someone else's life -- that is all through Him, I take NO credit for it! He has given me peace about the things I've had to give up....yes that started with my marriage, and has now moved to my house. Like I said , though, it's okay. It's the step of faith that will make me stronger. God is opening the doors wide for me right now and I am ready to walk through them....backed by the support of family and friends who believe in me and will support me through anything.

I leave you with this verse, which also happens to be a beautiful song:

Isaiah 40:30-31
" Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD  will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"This Classy & Sassy Carolina girl...."

So yesterday, July 30, 2010 will forever be marked in my book as the day I became a MS.!!! (It's also my Mom's birthday!!)

Yes, July 30, 2010 "this Classy & Sassy Carolina girl declared her independence! By state of SC she is no longer a 'Mrs.'"!! The last 5 years of my life finally came to a triumphant close! I can't tell you how freeing that day felt!! I really thought I'd be a little sad but I was on Cloud 9 ALL day!! I was a little nervous at first but it was because of having to see my ex rather than the actual court hearing! It really seemed at times that that day would never come!! I went through hell to get there (yes, I said hell) but God held on to me and pulled me through every trial, even when I couldn't see Him working! He surrounded me with awesome people the last almost 2 years specifically because he knew just how much I would need those people in my life through this journey! I am so thankful for Catalyst--my church--who have picked me up and carried me through more times than I can count when I didn't think I could make it; when I wanted to give up and quit!! The love, encouragement, hope, laughs, tears, and joy that we've shared have been more than I ever imagined!! 

There is are still many loose ends right now and the journey is far from over, but the divorce is final and that is a huge chapter that needed to close! Yes, my marriage ended in divorce but that's okay! I am a much better and happier person because of that! God has taught me a lot and truly I would do it all over again to become the person I am today.

I am excited, nervous, scared, and completely unsure of my next few steps in life. Right now I am still trying for that better/2nd job, and I'm in the process of transferring stuff to TTC and changing my major to Associate in Arts instead of business. I am probably, no, not probably, I AM going to lose the house one way or another. Whether I sell it, short sale it, or let it go to foreclosure, on my income I cannot afford it. I have kept it as long as possible, and now I have to be graceful as I let it go. Granted there are still a few things that could work out that would make it possible to keep it another few months but ultimately I have to get out. I just don't know exactly where to go or what to do. Rent is not cheap around here nor are there very many "good" places to rent at. I've been looking at other possibilities too but nothing has come as of yet.

I know exactly what I would like to happen, but right now it almost seems impossible. Well it does seem impossible! I keep saying I'd like to move out of town and experience something new. But I think I'm afraid that I would do that and then it wouldn't work out and I'd be stuck.  But on the other hand, I don't want to get 5 or 10 years down the road wishing I would've done this and regretting that I didn't!!!! Argh!! Decisions!!

We'll see what pans out I guess. I'd like to pick up my writing career again too! Hoping to take some creative writing/journalism courses when I transfer to tech and get my cores out of the way!

I have found a new verse that has beautiful meaning to my life. Psalm 18:19 says, "He delivered me because He delighted in me."  And an old favorite is Psalm 121: 1-2, " I will lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and earth."

My new "life" quote is as follows:



"Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening. Live like it's heaven on earth. Dance. Live. Laugh. Love. Sing."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Absolute Frustration

Why does it seem like the harder I try to keep my head above water the deeper I sink? I just feel like the harder I try to work , and the harder I try to better my life I keep hitting roadblocks!! I'm so frustrated with it and so freakin' tired of it! I'm really, really at a loss as to what to do with my house, with my job situation, with not making enough money to pay the bills, with knowing I can't afford my house....with knowing that there are tons of job opportunities making decent money but that would require a move out of town for me. Trust me, I've considered it. I have GOT to find SOMETHING that will enable me to get back on my feet. Frankly, I'm sick of living paycheck to paycheck and then not even making it with that. Some people have said in the past that I shouldn't live beyond my means. Well, excuse me, but I am most certainly not. I do not have cable TV, I do not have a gym membership, I don't go on fancy vacations, I hardly buy name brand items unless it is on sale, with a coupon and at a really good deal. I have my nails done once a month for ME because it is something for ME and makes me feel pretty, and because everyone has to have something that you do for yourself. I can't help it that I have a rip off of a mortgage payment, and utilities and such on top of that.
Argh!! Sorry for venting!! I'm just at a total loss right now. I feel so useless and I feel like no matter how hard I try it isn't enough. What's a girl to do!???!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On my mind..

There is so much heartache surrounding the ones I love! It seems that every day I hear of something else happening to one of my dear ones! I am praying hard for all them and praying God can use me to comfort and encourage them!

Why does it seem like as soon as things have picked up and the pieces have started to be put back together that the whole thing falls apart again??

There's a spot in my life in which I have been extremely on cloud nine for more than a month now! That one chapter of my life..? Yeah its almost over and done with!! But the next chapter has already opened and unfolded some! That part of my life is amazing! It's an adventure I've enjoyed exploring and hope and pray there are more exciting adventures ahead on this journey! Monkey wrenches keep getting thrown in but I pray they are overcome! More about it to come in a future post!

However most of the rest of it....(not all!!) seems to keep dragging me under!! I am now in frantic search for better/more income. I keep trying to pick up hours at work, as stressed out as that place makes me (no offense to anyone I work with who might be reading this), and I keep sending my resume in to job postings. Now a good portion of this could have been prevented or fixed early on if I hadn't been so lazy and gotten a 2nd job last summer. But thats just the bottom line, I've been lazy about it. Hoping it would work out but not completely willing to rearrange my schedule to do so. (Not that I have a strict schedule or anything!). So now I'm busting my booty trying to figure out income.

I will admit although I am happy for them, I do get a bit jealous of my friends who seem to have it all working out for them. Seems like everyone but me is finding that perfect job, or that perfect house, or managing vacations to cool places or whatnot. I guess I just haven't been 'after it" enough. Maybe I haven't looked in the right places yet. But what are those places? I'll be putting out resumes and applications tomorrow. Maybe something will happen!

Catalyst continues to be awesome! We have a beach baptism coming up the end of the month and that will be exciting and fun! I can't wait!! The youth go to camp next week and I will be helping to chaperone them home that last day of camp! Its been a long time since I've set foot on Look Up Lodge ground! Sure do wish I could go for the whole week!! Maybe one day I'll be able to go as a leader again!

I'm dog sitting this weekend for my neighbors. A young, hyper, yellow lab!! He is very sweet but he is lacking in some manners and he licks everything (ME! EWW!)!! He has to be right behind you no matter where you are and he is the only dog I know that isn't interested in a kong!! So we walk and we throw the tennis ball and we hope to wear him out each day!!  A tired dog is a good dog!!

In just less than a month it will be a year since my Papa died. It doesn't seem like it should be here already. I can still see that day like it was yesterday. And I still tear up and sob, too. I miss him so much!! He was such a huge part of my life for my entire life!! I keep wishing I could share things with him. I miss him more every day!

I've got to get back on track with eating right and Zumba again! I did well there for several months and have lost a total of 20 +/- pounds in the last year and half +/-! Still have a little ways to go though to be where I want to be. Even though I haven't been as active lately nor have I been eating well lately I haven't gained any weight back so I'm happy about that!! It was exciting to go through clothes I've held on to and find that a good many of them fit and some of them almost fit!! Its so hot out now that its miserable to do anything outside but I am going to try to get up a little earlier on my days off and walk in the early morning, and also try to walk right before it gets dark ! If not, then my 2nd attempt is to keep doing work outs inside in the AC!! :)

I have been reading the Baxter family series by Karen Kingsbury! If you haven't read it and you enjoy fiction, you may want to pick up the first book and keep reading on!! It is amazing and you will feel like you are right there in the midst of the Baxter family, through all their smiles, their tears, worries, fears, happiness, and sad times. They are amazing books! :0)

Speaking of, its off to find a glass of wine and pick up my book again!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How I started Writing....

This was written probably back in 2005/2006. I've had it stashed in a bunch of papers and decided I should probably type it up so I don't forget!! Back then, things were different! Oh how my life has changed since this was written.  This is in the original format, has not been edited so please excuse any English errors!!

So, going back in time a little bit.....

"I began writing right before I began 9th grade. Justin was my influence to write after he shared the poem he wrote at camp with me. One day the words began to flow and my first official poem, "Friends", was formed. 
As I continued my writing, most of which is poetry, many things in my life inspired me. The majority of my inspiration was from the people I knew. Overall, Christ has been my bigge3st inspiration. Other things in life, such as nature, life events: graduation, love, marriage, 9/11, births, deaths. All those and more spoke volumes to my heart and before I knew it, I had a ton of writings done!

I am not an artist--at least not a drawing artist, even though I did take an art class!! Poetry is my art--it is how I draw, how I paint; it is the art of my heart! Through my poetry, my life, love, life experiences, and feelings are captured. 

My love for writing stems from my love of reading. i've read almost every book I could get my hands on--everything from Nancy Drew & The Saddle Club, to Nicholas Sparks, Janette Oke, and even more recently, Karen Kingsbury!

In addition to my poetry, I've also written short stories, drama's, and even a children's book! "

Easter Post

This should've been posted at Easter time......

Easter weekend was perhaps the greatest weekend I've had in a while. Saturday was work and I helped Dad load the trailer for camping. Then I took a catnap, we went to a birthday party for a friend and then Lauren and I went off to church. A surprise awaited us in the form of a T-shirt with our church's "phrase" on it! It was so cool to watch everyone put theirs on as they bought them!!

Preaching was awesome and it amazes me every week how much the message reaches far and wide.
Being that it was the first Saturday, it was Famulari's night and boy did we have a crowd! In fact, there were so many of us that we ended up gathering outside for the majority of the night. As the restaurant cleared out some of us moved inside. There were lots of good times and good laughs had that night!!

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day!! I got up early to see my parents and my sisters off to camp and I got so much done that morning while waiting for them to be ready to go!!

I had a huge surprise up my sleeve for my Nana that Sunday morning. I decided to surprisse her and go to their church's Easter Cantata!! I really surprised her!! It was great to see a bunch of people I used to go to church with. Also saw one of my youth that was all grown up!! Now that will make you feel old!!
After another great preaching service, we went to the Pastor's house for Easter dinner. The food was wonderful and the company was fantastic!! It was great and so awesome to spend some time with old friends and catch up! I had a song in my heart and on my lips the entire day!! Many good laughs were shared and it was just a wonderful time shared by all!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Faded Love

Amazing how things we wrote years ago in our lives fit our life today. I wrote this back in 2002. Can't even remember what inspired it back then. But as I read through it recently I realized that it applies directly to my life over the course of the last year or so!! Wow!!

10-17-02

Like cooling breezes on humid summer days,
And feathers lifting in a hurricane,
I knew your love was quickly fading away,
Surprisingly, your image left my brain.

My heart was shattered and broken in two,
I remember clearly from way back then
It felt like I never would forget you,
How could I know that’s where it all began?

Crossing my fingers and holding my breath,
I waited for that awful time to pass.
Slipping away into what felt like death
Nothing could hold me, not even glass.

Your love faded and my life went on,
Everything felt right, once you were gone.

~~J Garner 2002~~

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rambles

This was supposed to be posted back in April....oops!!

Here I sit on a Wednesday night----one week ago, this time last week I was sitting around the campfire having a good time with extended family up on the mountain! Great times, good food, and amazing people! I miss them all incredibly!! Can't wait for the next camping trip!

I have 2 weeks left of class for this school year. This current class that I'm taking is on principles of management and has been the most interesting and most fun class of all 6 that I've taken. The teacher really knows how to get her students involved and how to engage them into the lessons!

Looking forward to Saturday night to get here!! I've missed my church family incredibly while I was gone and now I've had to wait another week to see most of them! We had ladies Bible study Monday night and I ended up having lunch with one of my great friends today but I still miss the rest of them!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Amazing

God is so amazing! He is allowing one chapter of my life to come to a close but He is already showing me glimpses of the next chapter that awaits to be written and lived!! I have to say that I am excited!! He has done so many amazing things in my life in just the last year! I feel like I know Him better now than I have ever before! I am incredibly grateful for everyone He has put into my life to make me a stronger person! I have been richly blessed and I am forever grateful!
I am finally feeling happy again and lovin' life and ready to live it! FOR ME! Not for anyone else, but FOR ME! I don't feel like I've really lived life for myself, but for others, or what others have expected. Its time I followed MY dreams, etc.....and this year is a new beginning! New things are happening and I'm ready to walk that road! I'm ready for that journey! I'm so ready to find out all the things that are awaiting me!
My cup runneth over....................

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Updated: 25 Random Things about ME! :)

***This is from my facebook page a while back!~! I thought I update it some repost!!****



1. ...love to watch CSI: Miami & NY, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice!

2. ...do not have cable TV; do not even truly have TV! I watch my shows on the internet!!

3. ...have given up sodas and almost given up french fries!~

4. ...am dying to get debt paid off! GO DAVE RAMSEY!

5. ...love, love, love saxophone and guitar music!

6. ...wish I had a bigger house and lots of land!

7. ...was born in Fairbanks, AK...dont' believe me? ask my parents!!

8. ...absolutely love the smell of fresh clean sheets!

9. ...am 25 (almost) and went back to school last fall!

10. ...would sit and read for hours if I could.

11. ..have lived in the same neighborhood for almost 18 years.

12. ...live next door to my Nana and 4 doors down from my parents.

13. ..hate to get out of bed in the mornings but love being up early!

14. ...hate to be out in the dark alone...even on my front porch!

15. ...cannot stand backyard breeders or people who wont get their animals fixed!! Maybe they should go look at the shelters and see where their puppies end up! There should be strict, mandatory tests to pass for anyone to breed & there should be a nationwide LAW that any dog/cat not for breeding is to be fixed!! (ok stepping off the soapbox now!)

16. ...am a poet and an author...and have 3 more books in my head!

17. ...cannot stand my house to be dirty or unorganized!

18. ...have never broken a bone in my body or had measles/chicken pox, etc (and pray I never do!).

19. ...love cucumbers but hate pickles!

20. ...absolutely love CAMPING!!

21. ...love playing the piano but really can't play very well!

22. ...do not and have never had any wisdom teeth!

23. ...love, love, love Eeyore, GRITS (Girl Raised in the South); anything with the Palmetto emblem; monogrammed initials....anything girly!

24. ...would love to go to Florida to see white sand and clear water; Montana/Colorado to see rolling green meadows in the mountains; Kentucky to see the bluegrass and the Kentucky Derby; Maine to see the tip top of the East Coast; Chincoteague to see the Chincoteague ponies; Alaska to see my family and re-experience it; Disney World because, well, its Disney World!!

25. ...would love to have my own bookstore someday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rambles

Here I sit on a Wednesday night----one week ago, this time last week I was sitting around the campfire having a good time with extended family up on the mountain! Great times, good food, and amazing people! I miss them all incredibly!! Can't wait for the next camping trip!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Remembering

Sitting here thinking again. Enjoying the gentle breeze as I sit in my front porch swing. Oh how I love this swing! I love hearing the crickets sing, the birds chirp, got the radio on in the background...fresh spring air-oh how I love it! The sky is beautiful as it turns all shades of orange and red and fades into the night sky. I feel a change coming and its times like this one that I finally feel hope again. It seems to fade during the day but there's something about finding that special spot that brings back the feeling that everything will be okay.

Spring is definitely here. Flowers and trees are blooming, the days are getting warmer, uh, hotter...birds are everywhere, and the bugs are finding their way out (ugh)! The geese fly over head and honk their greeting. I know most of them are headed north to stay cool. The air smells fresh and clean, and though its pollen-filled right now, I can't get enough of it. I am such a nature girl. Though I hate the heat and the bugs, I truly love to be out in God's creation! There is something about it that brings you closer to Him! 

It is April now. OH and the whippoorwills are out, which means the bob-whites will be out soon. It brings back tons of memories of Papa. We used to sit on the porch and listen to the birds and try to mimic them.  He was pretty good at it. I miss him so much. I can't believe its been nine months since he's been gone. It doesn't take much for me to break down in tears when I think of him. Oh I know I'll see him again but he was such a huge part of my entire life!! 

I have been thinking too about this last year of my life and how much it has changed. This time last year...although we fought like crazy, my husband was still at home. He left a few weeks later. So its been just about a year since that happened. So much has happened to me since then. I know I have become a stronger person because of it and I pray I've become a better Christian because of it. I have learned a lot about myself since last April and I have done a lot of things that I may have not otherwise done. I went back to school for one thing, I started attending Zumba classes, I traveled to GA to see family, I started and have nearly finished my t-shirt quilt, I have made new friends and made stronger relationships with the ones I've always had. I have decluttered a lot of stuff in the house and re-organized the rest. I started couponing and getting more for my money. I started tithing again on a regular basis. I've watched friends get engaged, married, and have babies. I've spent more time with family and friends and less time worrying about getting "things" done. Although I still get in my moods! LOL! I watched my sisters grow up another year older. 

As memories were made, many more memories weren't that in a normal course of a year would have been. There were no holidays trips to see my in-laws, no "vacation" weekends in Greenville, no joyous moments as we paid yet another debt off, no midnight trips to get ice cream just for the heck of it (we did that once and it was so much fun!), no dinner and movie dates, no dancing in the middle of the living room to our own music.........oh the list could go on. It is a bittersweet time for me....this whole "divorce" thing is almost over, and yet, a chapter of my life is on the last page. I am moving on as best I can right now, but there are still many times when I just want to rewind or wake up and find that it was all a bad dream. That's normal I guess, but it doesn't make it easier. When he left, he took more than his stuff. He took a part of me; he took a piece of my heart. God is healing it, one piece at a time.

My church family has grown by leaps and bounds (not necessarily in numbers) and I am daily amazed at how connected we are and forever grateful for those awful awful events that led to the birth of Catalyst. It is hard to believe we've only been together a little over a year. It is hard to describe the amazing-ness of Catalyst. It is so real, so refreshing! Our pastor preaches the truth at any cost and we are so thankful. We are not a "huge" church in numbers but that doesn't matter to us. What matters is that we keep building the foundation on the Rock, and that we reach out to the community and share that foundation. I am very excited for our Easter service tomorrow evening! 

Some nights I sit here and hate the fact that I'm alone. That there is no one to come home and no one coming home to me. No one to share dinner with and no one to cuddle up next to in bed. No one to text me all day and say "I love you" or share some silly thought. It's life though and it's okay. I'm just reflecting, so please don't feel sorry for me. 

As I said earlier there is a change coming and I can feel it. I don't know what it is but I pray its good! I've had enough "bad" lately! I am determined to change my income level this year! I'm determined to finish my quilt and I'm determined to get some scrap book pages done. Not to mention to continue to get rid of stuff that I don't need or don't use. I am praying for more income so that I can afford my bills. I hate not being to pay anything!! I am getting better at my "budgeting"....though I'm not yet curbed my "un-necessary" spending habit. It's not as bad as some and I certainly do not use credit cards but I need to be better at it. 

A change is coming for me physically too. I am determined to get back into shape (besides round) and to continue to learn how to eat better. Okay so I don't really want to be pencil thing but I want to cut the flab and trim down!! I have lots of favorite "summer" dresses that I haven't worn in a few years because they truly make me look prego, which would be fine if I was, but I'm NOT!! Anyway---the point is that this year I will not sit on my butt and wish! I'm going to DO !! And please feel free to keep me on my toes and accountable!

I suppose that's all my thoughts for now. Time to plug the laptop back in and get a shower. My book and my bed are calling to me...more packing follows work tomorrow. Hopefully will get around to vacuuming tomorrow and I'll finish the laundry and such Sunday/Monday. I hate coming home to a dirty house after vacation so I have to clean it some beforehand! Sure wish I had tomorrow off! Will be incredibly thankful if I can find a job that is M-F and no weekends!!

~~

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Misc Murmurings

What a flippin week! Here I am 5 days away from vacation and I'm so stressed out!! Forgive me if all I do is vent in this blog!! It has just been one of those weeks. I truly to do not know what I'm going to do. It seems like my "year" from hell wont' end. Please do understand that most of this is just because I'm stressed and I need to vent!! I do recognize that I have come far and I do know that there are great things ahead of me. And while most of the time I'm fine and dandy...it doesn't take much to pull that out from under me and then I fall back into the "stressed out" mood! I will be the first to admit that my days off are my favorite days! What I wouldn't do to be able to have my own schedule and be my own boss!!

For the longest time I have not been terribly stressed about money but now its weighing heavily! It is so hard to trust my God above with this area even though He has not failed me yet! I have been searching for employment that will better pay the bills and hopefully have some medical benefits, and everything I apply for seems to fall through. I cannot continue as I am. I fear that I am going to have to totally rearrange my schedule and find a night job somewhere...probably in a restaurant even though I hate the thought of that. Seems like the harder I look the less I find. There have been several jobs I've seen that look real good but they are out in Mt P and Charleston! Doesn't seem hardly worth the drive because of the cost of gas and the time spent driving!  I feel like I have been looking high and low and there is nothing out there! I'm so tired of being poor and not being able to pay my bills!!

Backtracking....last Friday was another good day! I ran errands Friday morning, got my hair cut (SHORT) and then walked the Flowertown Festival with my friend. We had a great time and enjoyed good conversation and good laughs. I worked Saturday but had Catalyst Sat night! Woo Hoo!! Sunday I dont remember doing much and Monday was good too for the most part. Met a friend for breakfast and we worked on a couple projects we have going, then ran a few errands and went back home. Started packing for my camping trip and ended up just not having the motivation. But ended the evening with a Bible study with my peeps which was really great!

Right now I'm tired and grumpy so I think I'll sign off and get some sleep! Such an incredibly busy day tomorrow! Thinking about walking 3 miles with my dog in the morning, shower, more packing and cleaning, nails done at 12 (so I dont totally destroy them at camp), and then more packing and cleaning and maybe Zumba class in the evening! I'm really enjoying the Zumba classes!! Fun and definitely cardio packed!