21 April 2011

April Showers

"Our troubles have always brought us blessings and always will. They are dark chariots of bright grace. These clouds will empty themselves before long and every tender herb will be the gladder for the shower. Our God may drench us with grief, but He will not drown us with wrath, nay, He will refresh us with mercy. Our Lord's love letters often come to us in black-edged envelopes. His wagons rumble but they are loaded with benefits. His rod blossoms with sweet flowers and nourishing fruits. Let us not worry about the clouds, but sing because May flowers are brought about to us through the April clouds and showers." 
~ Charles Spurgeon

My older sister sent this quote in a text to me about a year, right when I was staring, or felt like I was staring, at the dark chariots. I read it, liked it, saved it and then forgot about it. I had taken it as a feel good text and so that was all it was. I didn't really believe that it could real, that what he was saying was in fact truth.  A few days ago, as I was skimming through the saved messages on my phone, I stumbled across this one.  After reading and then re-reading it, I "got" it.

This semester has been painfully joyful. People in my life have been affected by rape, death, betrayal, illness, mistreatment....More and more I've become aware of the brokenness of the world and the grief and anger that seems to be all consuming.  However, at the same time, I've also been able to experience supernatural joy and healing. I've been able to see that even the envelopes are black and burnt, they are loaded with some of the richest blessings. I am still waiting to see how somethings that have happened can possibly be good things, how a good God can use such pain and heartache for good, and turn the tears to joy. Regardless, I believe that He will.

20 April 2011

A Photo Post

Engagement-- January 2011

Spider Web -- Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 2010

Joanna, Ellie and David -- Pennslyvania, March 2010

David, James, Little James and Jake -- Sydney, Australia: June 2006

 Lacrosse -- Mississippi State: February 2011

Flannery Smith -- Brandon, MS: July 2010

Rolls Royce -- New Orleans, LA: November 2009

Ornament: Brandon, MS: December 2010

James -- Sydney, Australia: June 2009

Aussie Countryside -- Tasmania, Australia: July 2009

18 April 2011

9 Million Directions

I have a total of 7 posts, and ideas for at least 3 more. However, only 3 have been published, there are 4 drafts that goodness only knows what they will become of them. My head is spinning in about 9 million different directions and, being your typical girl, I want to talk about all the things going but I don't know how to talk about some of the things and I don't know whom with I should talk to. I guess I also feel like I should post more often because its stupid to have a blog and not post. So, this is my post; unrefined, raw, and addressing little more than the fact that my head is moving a million miles an hour in 9 million different directions.

13 April 2011

The Stupidity of Universities

In high school you perfect your resumes, takes tests, fill out applications and request recommendations so that you can get into a "good school."  At the grand old age of 18, you go to graduate from high school, pack your bags and head off to college to get a degree that will lead you to your dream jobs. 18. Who in the world knows what they want to do with their life at the age of 18? Who has any experience in any sort of field? Who knows what they're good at and knows what they hate? How are you supposed to know?

Granted, there are some people who know and always have known what they want to do and how they are going to do it. Then, they are people like me who had everything planned out to a T, including a plan B, only to realized that neither plan A,B,C,D,E or F are gonna work out. And then there are still others, like my brother, who's plans are to be a rock star and to marry some hot lawyer. 

If I remember correctly, from high school till now (then end of my sophomore year of college), I was going to be a fashion designer, a nurse, then an architect, a graphic designer, a photographer and now I'm finally at crossing over into special needs education. (Fun fact: I swore up and down I'd never do anything teacher related.)  

My solution to this problem: rather than making high school graduates go straight into a university, make them get some short term internships. Have them work with people in the fields that they are interested in. Get them experience because the reality is nothing teaches as well as that. Anyways... To the people who get to college, choose a major and stick with it, that's awesome, my hat's off to you. To the people like me, well, I'm sure in time there will be an official career of going to college. And finally, to the rock star wannabes, dream on.

11 April 2011

Hot Mess

So, Saturday was as hot and humid as a Mississippi spring is expected to be and there was nowhere to cool off..... Matthew lives in a rather big house with 3 other guys and it fits the college guy bachelor pad stereotype to a T: a big yard, a massive TV, something like 4 XBOX, PS3, Nintendo systems, and lots of dirty used dishes. Anyways, Matthew and his roommate Graves (his first name is Jonathan but no one calls him that) decided to build a pool so they could cool off. It was quite a process.....
the beams, that used to line the driveway, were "donated" to them by a church....
a little bit of rearranging....

some padding to make it comfortable :)
like I said, it was haute :)

the first tarp....

the mega tarp.....


fill her up!!

ta da!! 

 Gotta love creativity and resourcefulness. Well done, Gentlemen!!

09 April 2011

Just Like Insulin

This post was hard to write. 7 drafts later it still doesn't seem right, and I'm not even sure why I'm sharing this...to be honest, I really didn't want to.

I was 16 when I was diagnosed with depression. In a way, its not a big deal. 10mg of medication to get the amount of serotonin to reach a normal level, a level that its supposed to be at, a level that allows me to function.  It's just like being a diabetic and having to take insulin. For some reason though, I hate that about myself. I try to "make it better" by saying that I don't struggle with depression because there is something I'm not doing right, but because there is something wrong with the chemicals in my brain. This past week, I was ridiculously aware that I the chemicals were "off." I completely broke down over little things, like car malfunctions, I cried after talking with my Mum on the phone when I shouldn't have. I got stupidly upset when plans, that weren't set in stone, changed. I laid awake in bed at nights for hours, even though my exhaustion was increasing.  I lacked the energy/motivation to get anything accomplished, even though it was doing things that I could do, things that I enjoyed doing. I was angry, questioning, wondering why God made me like this. It was nuts. I was nuts.

But, there was something bigger going on. I was more emotionally vulnerable than I cared to be. I think the only person who knew I was struggling, other than my parents, was Matthew. He was dealing the tears first hand, the ridiculous sensitivity, the mood swings, the exhaustion. Admitting to him that I was this broken, this "messed up" was so hard. I felt like I had to justify it to him because I didn't want him to be upset.  His response to me acting like the nut case that I am: I love you. And a hug, a really, really big hug.

Thank you Lord for Your constant, abounding grace. Thank You for wholeness and brokenness. Thank You for tears and thank You for laughter.

"For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but Joy comes with the morning."  Ps. 30:5