Bummer Birthdays

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Another year has concluded and another year of my life has begun. I had dreams and expectations of what that would look like and yet again they were not met. This was supposed to be the redo from my 30th. My 30th was awful. My friend bailed last minute and I honestly don’t even remember why at this point. We had even talked about how much we wanted to make sure that other people didn’t have crappy birthdays because we had both experienced it and yet she cancelled.

So what did I do? I had already taken the day off of work because I really don’t like to work on my birthday. I did the most mature thing of course. I got caught up in my feelings because my plans fell through and instead of trying to figure something else out I sulked in my house by myself. I didn’t look at my phone, didn’t do anything but cry and feel sorry for myself. I was sad because the guy that I was still hung up on at that time had forgotten my birthday and I was a miserable mess for no reason other than my own doing.

I had made up my mind that this year was going to be different. I have come a long way since a year ago. I’m not so hung up on that same guy, I’m in my own place, I know who my real friends are and I thought this was going to be the chance for me to redo last year. I even made plans to go to the same place. Washington, D.C. is my favorite place to visit so I planned to meet my friend there and catch up with an old roommate. Nothing too crazy but wanted to do something special.

It didn’t happen….of course. I found out a couple days before my birthday that my friend had ended up in the hospital and wasn’t going to be able to make it. Thankfully she is okay and is recovering from what put her there. I got in my feelings. The people again, who I thought would have acknowledged my birthday didn’t. I had expectations of people that were not met. But then I had a friend, one of my dearest friends, who made me feel special. She said I know what it’s like to have a bad birthday. She took me to the movies and dinner and we hung out for most of the day. This made me feel like I actually mattered and was important. It was a low key birthday but was absolutely wonderful.

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Time is a huge love language of mine. If I know that you are making time for me, then I feel valued. If you aren’t willing to make time for me, then I don’t feel like I matter. And it doesn’t matter how much time you make for me, as long as you make some kind of time. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top or fancy. I enjoy the simple things. And that’s what I got to do for my birthday.

I do think that birthdays are now overrated and I don’t have much of an expectation for next year. Plus next year will just be an ambiguous number, nothing important or special. I’ll just feel like I’m getting old. I still want other people to feel special on their day and will do what I can to acknowledge them and make sure that they feel special, even if they don’t do the same for me.

The Lord made me feel special that day in so many simple ways, from letting me have a lazy morning to going to the movies, spending time with my dear friend, seeing a rainbow, realizing that the my registration for my car hadn’t expired (this was a huge moment!), and so much more. While this birthday wasn’t what I had planned or expected, it was what I needed and what I loved. I’m excited for what’s in store for the next year, as I know the Lord is getting ready to do so much more.

May you all have wonderful birthdays where you feel loved and valued!

Shalom

~Lynn

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Ending a Chapter

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Have you ever realized that one chapter in your life is getting ready to end and another one is about to begin? That’s where I am at right now and I’m not entirely sure what that means or what that looks like. We talked about it in church this morning. The season of transition is over and it’s time to start new. But what does that mean and how will it look?

I really wish that I had all the answers sometimes. I wish I knew what to expect and what the answer is to the decisions that I have to make. And yet I don’t wish that I had the answers. I think it would be more terrifying sometimes if we did have the answers. Doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t mind a sneak preview sometimes. Maybe just a hint. Something to give me a clue. Sometimes we get it. Sometimes we don’t.

But that’s the whole point of faith right? We have to trust that the Lord really does have our best interest at heart, no matter what it may look like.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited. Terrified beyond belief but excited. I know it’s been a long time coming and I’m sure it would’ve arrived sooner, had I been obedient. But I get scared. I shut down and settle for the comfort of just staying in my house and doing the familiar. However, I know that I want more than familiar and I want more than settling. I want adventure. I want to see new things, experience new places, meet new people.

But what does that look like? It could be anything. I have to be ready for anything and trust that it’s the way I’m supposed to go. I have to trust that the Lord is opening up the right doors for me and that I am following him. It’s so simple and yet so complicated. I have let distractions get in the way before. I’ve said previously that I won’t let them get in the way and yet they do. Why am I expecting this time to be different? Because I am different.

I am different, as I have grown. I went through heart break and being let down by people who were the closest to me and survived. I have survived restructuring at work and come out on the other side. I have lost friends and people I care about along the way. Yet the Lord has always provided and taken care of me. This time won’t be any different. It just might not look how I thought or expected and that’s alright.

I am sad that this chapter is ending, as it has been one of much growth and learning. At the same token, I am excited for what this next chapter holds, as I know the Lord is getting ready to blow my mind like never before.

Shalom!

~Lynn

My Heart Awoken

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Woken up from this sleep that I have been in

Unsure of how this happened

Mesmerized by this passion

Walking around with my head in the clouds

Happy and truly smiling

At times for no reason

Knowing that really it’s because of you

And yet you have no idea

This influence that you have

Out of nowhere

Rather unexpectedly

You came to be

Nothing like what I thought

Not what I had pictured

And not what I had been looking for

And yet

It’s making perfect sense

This slump I had been in is ending

In part because of your presence

Feeling like a school girl

Telling my girlfriend that I have a crush

Not sure how I feel about it

I haven’t felt this way in quite some time

Unsure that I would have butterflies again

Now I hope you’ll walk by

Trying to catch a glance of you throughout the day

Look to strike up a conversation

When did this happen?

Where did this come from?

How long will this last?

Everyday hoping that something will happen

Wondering when the time could be

Trying to figure out if I am imagining

Hoping he may feel the same way

Maybe he will

One day

 

Where You Ought to Be

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It’s a question that many of us ask ourselves, “Is this where I thought I’d be?”.

If I’m truthful in my response, it’s a resounding, “Heck, no!”.

When I was younger and starting college, as with many people my age, I had a 5-10 year plan. That’s what they taught us to have right? We were supposed to be planning for our future. Get a degree, find a husband, start a career, and start a family. Settle in for at least the next 50 years of your life. If you didn’t follow that plan, you weren’t going to amount to anything.

Well, some may say then that I have amounted to nothing. I did finish my undergraduate degree but didn’t start a career. I waited tables for almost 2 years instead and then took a job in a call center. I needed steady income, health care, and didn’t want to move home. I was terrified to start my career. In that job though, I have earned a Master’s degree and moved up within the department. I’m about to start a post-graduate degree too.

I haven’t found a husband, yet and don’t have any children. I did fall in love though and I’m finding it hard to let myself feel that way again, since it didn’t work out how I had thought. I have my own apartment now with my two cats and manage to pay my own bills every month. I have the freedom to make plans and do what I want when I want. (This is something that I know my friends with families say they long for.)

I have a good job and have a great house. I really am truly blessed by everything that I have and all that I have done. It’s definitely not where I thought I would be at this age. This year hasn’t gone how I thought it would go. Part of that has to do with the fact that I put walls up and became very introverted, which is not who I am by nature. I’m slowly coming back out of that shell.

I’m about to have another birthday and I don’t want this year to be the same. I don’t want to settle into a routine of going to work and coming home, being exhausted from the long day I had. I want to go out and do things with people. I want to make a difference in my community. I want to invest in people’s lives and not just sulk away, sad that I am not where I thought that I would be. I am blessed beyond measure and have so much more than I could ever imagine. No, not everything is perfect all the time but I have all that I need with the Lord. He has been with me and provided for me each and every step of the way. I have lacked for nothing.

Is there where I thought I would be? No, it’s certainly is not. At the same time though, I wouldn’t change the path that I have been on. It has taught me so much and I have experienced so much. I have much more to learn and I believe much more to share. We all do. We don’t have to go on some pre-prescribed path that someone else has laid out for us. We can forge our own path and learn along the way. There is nothing that says that I have to be married and have a family by a certain age. There is nothing that says that I am any less of a person because I am not married. I am my own person and I am loved and valued as I am. You are loved and valued for who you are. Figure out the direction that you want to go and run as hard and fast in that direction as you can. Don’t let anyone drag you down or tell you that you should be at a different point in your life than you are. You know you and where you are is where you are supposed to be.

Shalom!

~Lynn

6 Months

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It’s been over 6 months since I have posted on here. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to or didn’t think about it. I had topics that I wanted to post about but life changed a lot over the last 6 months. Though I think if you would honestly look back at the last 6 months of your life, you would also say that a lot has changed. I’ll reflect on things in a later post.

This post, this post is my re-introduction post. I’m reviving this, as I have been revived recently. There is so much that I have experienced and done in the last 6 months. I can only imagine what the next 6 months hold. I do believe that it will be more than I imagine. What’s in your next 6 months? Excitement, adventure, or relaxation and finding yourself again? I hope it’s whatever you need!

I hate that it’s literally the start of a new year and I’m talking about reviving my blog.I don’t want to restart this blog because it’s a new year. I should have revived it long before now. I was scared. Terrified actually. So I procrastinated. Even though I knew it was supposed to be something that I had revived 6 months ago. But do you ever get so overwhelmed that you literally turn and run the other way and hope that whatever it is that is looming over you disappears and vanishes from your life? I tried to do that.

It worked for a time, pretending that I didn’t want to write. But I enjoy writing. By no means am I a word master. There are many people who are much better with words than I am. I let those people convince me that my words weren’t worthy enough to write and share. However, there opinion doesn’t matter much anymore. It’s not about them and what they want. To some extent it’s about me.

I know that words will continue to be hard for me. Vulnerable words are difficult to share and difficult to type. It exposes parts that we may not always be ready to share. At the same time, it’s cathartic and necessary to share what I have experienced and gone through. Because it’s not always just about me. Sometimes other people can relate.

I’ll try this again. This blog is going to be 100% me. There will be my creative writing attempts that you may or may not appreciate or think are good. But it’s my way of processing. I will share with you some recipes that I try. Along with that, I will share to you my experiences of being a Christian single woman, living and working somewhere surrounded by mostly married people. I’ll share my road trips and adventures that I take. And the DIY projects that I’ve completed around my townhouse. Most of all I’m going to be vulnerable and let you in so that way you can see that there are other people in this world who are going through the same thing as you.

So cheers to this revived version of me and this blog. I’m going to take some chances and post some things that I have been thinking about for a while and have been too scared to share. For now, I’ll leave you with my ridiculous self and one of the things that I do to unwind…selfies with ridiculous snap chat filters! Sometimes you gotta not take yourself so seriously!

 

Be you my friends and have a little fun. Life’s too short not to make fun of yourself. 🙂

~Lynn

Holy Boldness

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I am praying a powerful prayer in my life. I am asking for a holy boldness in my life. I am asking for a strength that is not my own. I want to be used beyond what I can do on my own. I want to do things that take me out of my comfort zone, that take me quiet literally out of my house. I want to be used by the Lord in ways that I never thought possible. I don’t want to settle or be mediocre in my life. I don’t want second best.

Quite honestly it’s a terrifying thing to ask. I like to be comfortable and not step away from what is familiar. Aren’t we all like that? We say that we want to travel the world and to take that step of faith but isn’t there usually a fear or what some consider a form of rationality that stops us from our dreams and taking that step of faith?

I know that I have written that I want more. But to start praying for it…y’all prayer is a powerful thing. When you believe and truly mean it and are expecting for something to happen. When you are completely surrendered, ready, and willing. Be ready. That’s all I got to say. His plans for you are bigger than you ever thought.

And how he can use such tiny things to get you ready for such huge things. It’s mind blowing and how he can use you for such bigger things than you thought. There is such freedom in this surrender.

Let me be honest though, this surrender is not easy. It hurts. It has meant sacrificing some things. Things that have been very important to me. People that are very important to me. But I’ve had to let go of because the Lord has called me for a very specific purpose and has brought me to a very specific point in my life, as he does with all of us. I know that he has called you, my friends, and my family to different things. These things are meant for you all, just as this is meant for me.

As I pray for this holy boldness to be in his will and follow his direction, I pray for the blood covering and protection over my life. This is because I know that the enemy is real and fights hard, especially if you are trying to follow the Lord. He has brought my depression and anxiety to the forefront of my struggles again. These are not things that I like to talk about or disclose to many people but they effect my everyday life. I know it has stopped me from things before. However, I know that the Lord has used these things before too.

I am thankful for the favor and the boldness that he has given me before and that he will continue to give me, as I take this step of faith. One step is me sharing this blog with the people that I know and I’m friends with. Those of you that have found this blog so far have stumbled upon it. And I am beyond grateful that you have. Now I have to get over my fear and let people that I know in.

My hope and prayer for each of us is that the Lord gives us the holy boldness that we need. The holy boldness in whatever area it is, whether it’s to love, forgive, step out in faith, speak up, slow down, surrender, or whatever other myriad of things you can think of. I pray that you have the holy boldness to do it, conquer it, overcome it, grown in it, share it, and be it.

May you all have a blessed night or morning! God is up to something…just you watch!

Shalom!

~Lynn

My Backyard, Charlottesville

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There isn’t much between here and the city where UVA resides. I personally love the city of Charlottesville and have gone there quite frequently. I almost stopped through there today and then to see it all over the news again. The fact that there are still anti-Semitic and racist people in this country, quite honestly blows my mind. It blows my mind because I can’t fathom thinking that someone is less than me because of their race, religion, or background. And yet, there are still people who think like that.

No one is less than another based on their race, gender, background, religion, etc. We are all created in the Lord’s image and are descendants of Adam and Eve. Jesus loves all of us. Why can we not accept this?

I honestly watched several documentaries over the last few days about what happened with the Nazis and their targets during World War II. Then I quite honestly watched a documentary called the “The Last White Knight.” I had no idea that there was a rally planned this morning or that there was a march, designed to intimidate last night on UVA’s campus. My heart was breaking to watch these documentaries and then to see it playing out in real time, in my home’s backyard. Oy….my heart breaks for my community.

My heart is scared of what road this could lead to. We cannot be okay as a society and humanity as a whole, when this is going on. Maybe because it’s not happening close to you, you can disconnect from it. That’s a problem…quite honestly, that’s what happened with Hitler and the Nazis. People were too scared to say anything and stayed quiet, for too long. I don’t want the past to be repeated. I had more hope for humanity. This is not the legacy that I want to leave.

For too long, too many of us have been silent. We think it doesn’t impact us. But it does. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr. Whether it is our community or not, it impacts us.

The response by the man in the White House, quite literally makes my blood boil. He is so ignorant. And he chooses to be that way. This is what infuriates me more. Thankfully this helps to fuel me. Education is a powerful weapon and one that I intend to use moving forward.

Please remember Nelson Mandela’s quote:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Do something. Speak up. Use the platform that you have been given. Advocate for truth and justice.

Shalom!

~Lynn

Limbo

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I feel as though I am in limbo.

I don’t know what to do

Which way to go

Or who I can turn to.

What I once thought that I knew

Hast seemingly vanished in the wind.

The dreams and plans,

That I had once followed,

Have been tossed aside.

I am at a loss.

I do not know what is next.

Things that had once made sense,

Have been washed away

By the storms of life.

The rolling in of the tide,

Has pulled my dreams out to sea.

They are lost is the great big ocean.

Where do I go now?

Who is on my side?

Can I trust what is next?

Only time will tell.

But I really want out of this hell.

Don’t Despise the Ordinary

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While I don’t remember where I heard the phrase anymore, it has stuck with me.

Don’t despise the ordinary but seek the extraordinary.”

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I think I heard it on a sermon but again I’m not sure. It is written on a sticky note that I have posted on my computer at my desk. I literally look at this simple phrase every single day. I think it is a powerful phrase and one that challenges me every day.

I honestly have to remind myself of this every day. Even when the Lord points out something extraordinary to me in a very simple moment, whether its in my quiet time, or during a simple conversation with a friend.  He catches me off guard still when he uses someone to say a simple phrase or uses them to show me his love that day.

So often we get lost in the monotony of our day to day lives. Sometimes we go through the motions, not really connecting to who or what is around us. I know that I have been guilty of it. I miss out on the little things and the big things that are happening and then often lose sight of what the Lord is doing in my life. Or I get so caught up in the future and what the next major step is that I forget to be engaged in the life that I am currently living. Sometimes I can get super focused on praying and fasting for the future or for someone else that I lose focus of what Jesus is trying to do in my own life.

There are may layers to that simple statement. “Don’t despise the ordinary.” Just because you may not have a glamorous job or be where you want to be, do not despise it. Do not miss out on where you are and who you are with. You are there for a reason and a purpose. Maybe you are to learn something, maybe you are to cross paths with someone and pour into them or they into you. You don’t know why you are where you are. Don’t miss out on it.

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Do not despise the job that you have, even if it isn’t your career aspiration.  Do not doubt the church that you are at or the community that you are in. Be engaged and be involved. Do not ignore the people that you engage with every day or ignore the interactions that you have with them. Do not despise the simple home that you may live in or the car that you may drive. Appreciate the simple things of having the clothes, running water, food, a roof over your head, etc.

My challenge to you and to myself is that you spend time praying and asking him to meet you there in the ordinary events of your life. Ask him to use you and give you the words to speak during the day. It’s something I am working on asking Jesus to do every day in my own life. It’s a challenge because he will do crazy things if you are open to being used by him.

This brings us to the second part of the statement. “Seek the extraordinary.” In those ordinary moments, seek for Jesus to meet you there in that moment with that co-worker, friend, family member, or stranger.  Seek the extraordinary to happen in your life. Don’t settle. Look for the greatness and expect to see big things. Jesus will show up and blow your mind.  He will reveal things to you.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

He wants us to experience the extraordinary things. He may call us to write or speak to large groups of people, small groups of people, or minister to someone one on one. He may have us sit in cubicle or answer phones. But if you seek Jesus, he will reveal himself to you in mighty ways.

Do not be frustrated with where you are that you miss out on the opportunities that are right in front of you. Extraordinary things can happen there. And don’t settle for less than greatness. Go after your big dreams and trust that the Lord will be with you as you pursue those, even when it doesn’t always go according to your plans and expectations. Trust him. He has you. He’s gotten you this far and he will get you even further.

Don’t despise the ordinary but seek the extraordinary.

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He can do extraordinary things in ordinary moments in your life. Remember God is always up to something.

Shalom!

~Lynn

Almost But Not Quite Right

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As I said in my last post, I wanted to share my journey with why Teach For America, while a good opportunity and a wonderful organization, was not the best fit for me. It was not something great for me, rather just an almost but not quite right opportunity.

Dad mentioned to me the possibility of looking into this when I was home back in October. I had gone home for my cousin’s wedding and we were sitting around a fire talking. He mentioned that he had come across this organization and told me to look into it. It sounded right up my ally so I took a shot and started to apply. Not even two days later, someone reached out to me to answer any questions.

As I was talking to her I was overwhelmed with a sense of excitement and “THIS IS IT.” I loved what the organization stood for and wanted to get involved. Education is a passion of mine and it’s what I went to school for. I went to help every student to know their worth and provide the best education to each student regardless of what social class or town they are born in. I remember having tears coming to my eyes as she was talking to me about it.

I decided to continue the process. I was selected to have an interview. I completed the next steps and took a trip to Richmond to have an interview. I created a lesson plan and presented it to the group, met with the recruiter and had mixed feelings. As excited as I was, I felt like I was somewhat out of place. I was interviewing with a bunch of seniors in college, I finished undergrad in December 2009. The woman I spoke to reassured me and said that there are other people my age who have made a change in their career or decided to pursue teaching.

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I thought about it and was like alright this sounds good still. I already have my teaching license so this should be a great fit. I don’t need to worry about some of the things that these other people would if I was chosen. Low and behold, I was selected to join the Corps, as it’s called. I was ecstatic. I was like, this is a sign, this is it. I thought, this is the thing that is going to get me to Washington, D.C. They have placements there and that’s where I want to be.

More flags came up, making me question this. I had to put in my top choices. Obviously, I had put Washington, D.C. at the top of my list. While I was open to other possibilities, I really felt like the Lord was calling me to D.C. The woman I spoke to, shot my dreams down hard. She told me that’s the most requested place and it’s not possible. She told me it was a pipe dream. So I talked through some other options and second best places. Nothing else felt right. So I put down choices because I had to. I kept praying and believing that the Lord would work it out to have D.C. open if this was supposed to be it but pray that he would make it clear if I was supposed to somewhere else. I was trying to follow Jesus and where he was directing me. I didn’t want to be anywhere outside that.

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I waited for a few days for the notification of where I would be placed for the next two years. I was anxious for a few days. I got my results back and they were for Baltimore to teach English. I was heartbroken. I was honestly somewhat insulted. I had told them that I already had my license in social studies, had the missed that. I had to put a second choice down so I had put down English but that doesn’t make any sense. I honestly thought I had completely missed something, as I thought that everything had fallen into place.

The guy from Teach For America Baltimore called me. I expressed my hesitation to me. He tried to convince me. We can update your placement to social studies. You’re close to D.C and you can go visit it on the weekends. It’s cheaper to live here and less crowded. It’s almost where you wanted. It’s pretty close to it. And that struck me. It was almost but not quite. It was my second choice for location and subject. Yea it seemed ok, as I would be teaching and making a difference and close to home and where I was trying to get to but it wasn’t quite it.

It didn’t sit right with me. It felt off. This was all plan B and not my first choice or what I wanted. It wasn’t my goal. I wasn’t going to leave where I was with a good job and life for something that was almost but not quite. This was not the leap of faith that I was supposed to take. This was turning into me settling for something that would have been good but not great. It wasn’t where I was supposed to go next. I was going to have to go without pay for 2 months, live in a dorm, figure out what to do with my animals, figure out how to pay my bills, including insurance, figure out where to move, etc.

While I know that the Lord could and would provide, if it was something I was supposed to do. It wasn’t the right fit. Yet I told them yes. I kept it on the back burner. It was my plan B. I wasn’t trusting the Lord for a while because I wouldn’t let it go. I had a couple more conversations with the people from the organization. More flags came up. They hadn’t changed my subject preference, there was a budget crisis and I kept missing deadlines. After months of quite honestly being disobedient and holding on to something that was almost but not quite, I finally told them no. I finally let it go. I didn’t defer to the next year. I just told them, it wasn’t right for me.

If I knew that I wanted to be in a high needs area, and I already have my license and my master’s degree, why would I not look for job opportunities myself? Why would I not look in the area that I wanted to? I knew it was just a reminder from the Lord to trust him and to not settle for good when he has the best for me. While something may look good and be almost, it’s better to wait for the exact right thing that he has for you. And if you are seeking to be in his will, he will make it evident the direction you are to go.

He had blessed me so much in the months since I made the choice to turn down this opportunity. For me it was good but not great. For someone else, this is a great opportunity. I still love what the organization stands for and think it’s great for someone fresh out of college, or someone who isn’t already licensed and making a career change. They will help you to get your master’s and help you to get your license. So I definitely recommend it for someone like that but it wasn’t the right fit for me and that’s fine. God was up to something the whole time and he has not left me disappointed or feeling like I missed out on something.

God is always up to something, and this experience taught me a lot about myself and the direction that I want to be going.

Shalom my friends!

~Lynn