Tuesday, August 2

Moving on

I haven't posted on my blog since 2014.

To be honest, I'm surprised that I remembered the password to my account.

Thats now long its been since I typed anything, shared anything. I'd write about everything that's been going on since then, but that'd be more of a memoir than a blog post.  Let's see... I graduated from graduate school, met a guy, started dating that guy, got engaged to that guy, married that guy, took a job, moved to Charlotte. I've made friends and lost friends. My step dad died from cancer.  I took a big step away from my faith for a while in the throes of grief. Now I'm running full tilt toward God, trying my best not to get back to where I was, but to move past that and find where I'm meant to be now.

When I stopped blogging, it was right around the time that we found out my dad was really sick. I stopped doing a lot of different things around then. I stepped away from so many things, not because I didn't want them, but because I just needed more time to process what was happening and cope with how our lives were changing. Now, I think that I'm done the grieving process. I still miss my dad every single day, and I don't think that this will ever change. Now however, when I think about him, the majority of my memories are of the good times and not thoughts about how lost I feel without him. I've learned to accept this reality and I've come to deal with the fact that I won't be seeing him again until the Lord calls me to heaven. I'm not the biggest fan of this, but I've accepted it. Plus, that reunion will totally be worth the wait.

So, I  went through a HUGE crisis of faith. I wasn't MAD at God necessarily. I just wasn't sure that I was going to make it through my dad's passing and still be able to be the person God had called me to be.  I was struggling to function at a minimum, much less be all that God called me to be.  So, quite simply, I didn't try for a while. I didn't stop believing (Journey will be glad to hear it...) and I didn't 'fall into sin' as we christians like to say. I just couldn't be active in my faith.  I stopped going to Elevation for the most part. I still watched online every week, but I needed to be alone in my struggles and pain. I just couldn't put on a smile and do the happy Christian thing. As a part of that, my blog went silent as well. I prayed and cried and my family and I got through it.  We are all still dealing with missing Dad every day, but I'm proud to say that we made it through the hardest part.

So, that brings me to now. Cory and I met right about the time my dad died. Through that time, my new relationship with Cory was such a blessing. He was a light in the dark for me.  He is so passionate about his faith, and his fire helped me keep my little spark going, even when I was so bogged down in my grief and figuring out a new way of life. Now, we are married and I've coped with the grief successfully. Its now a part of my life instead of my whole life. As a couple, Cory and I are working hard to jump into Elevation Matthews and build a faith community around us. We are going to a WONDERFUL small group, tithing, volunteering, praying and studying together and apart, and we are about to become involved as leaders in the student ministry. I think that any christian knows that we go through seasons in our faith. At times, things feel dry and barren. At other times we feel fulfilled and full of potential. Right now is a season of growth and learning for Cory and me. We are learning to be leaders and to work as a couple instead of as two individual people. We are learning how to have a Christ centered marriage and how to follow Him on our own, but also as a family.

The other day I felt this old familiar nudge in my spirit... something I haven't noticed in a while. I know that God was with me when I was going through grief and pain. He comforted me and he sent Cory into my life right when I needed him. Even so, I didn't really feel God leading me to DO a lot through that time. It was almost like the lord knew I wasn't up to ministering... he knew I needed to be ministered to. Now though, I know that Cory and I are on the cusp of falling into God's plan for us. I hope that writing is part of his plan for me. I love it, and I would love to use it to touch people.  But for now, I feel like the Lord is telling me to start writing about my experiences with him again. I'm not so arrogant to think that my blog will lead millions to salvation (though I don't question that the Lord could do that if he saw fit) but I do know that I learn more about my faith when I write about it.  I also know that someone somewhere will relate to what I'm going through.

So, I'm moving on... and part of that is coming back. Hope you are all willing to take the journey with me.

Tuesday, January 21


I haven't updated a lot lately because I've been preparing for a really big test.  Last Friday my classmates and I took the CPCE.  We commonly call the test comps (though I think the black death would be a more fitting name.) Let me tell you... that test was DIFFICULT.  It wasn't really even the questions that stumped me.  Its just the whole process.  I spent four years in undergraduate learning the basics of psychology.  Then I spent three years learning the ins and outs of mental health treatment with adolescents.  After that I've spent the last three years working on a master's degree that  tells the people around me that I know what I'm doing when it comes to counseling.  It tells people I've dedicated my professional life to work and that I worked hard learning how to help people.  I couldn't really put my finger on why comps had me so rattled until earlier today... well yesterday I suppose. I've always been a really good test taker, so it wasn't test anxiety. It was the judgement part that really got to me.  I had to demonstrate that I was a good counselor in such a specific way.  I know that I have a passion for counseling.  I know that God led me to a career in counseling.  I really don't think that I would be happy or effective doing anything else for the rest of my career.  For me (and my colleagues based on conversations I've had) counseling is such a personal thing. It really becomes more than your job.  Its a part of who I am.  The 160 questions on comps asked about theories and names and dates.  There was no space on that scantron sheet to demonstrate my heart for counseling... which in my opinion is the most important part.  My desire to help others isn't east to see on a test like that.  That just really bothered me.  They judge our skills without being able to see the most important part.

So what made me realize that?  Today in supervision at the hospital we were talking about MLK and being members of a minority.  As anyone who keeps up with my blog (all two of you) knows I am really passionate about being body positive and making sure that people aren't marginalized because of their physical characteristics. I've really come to love my plus sized body.  Even so, tons of people aren't ok with plus sized people.  Its a real thing to shame fat people.  I have just as much right to feel good about myself as anyone else does.  Usually I just look past that and do my own thing, but this incident was a little different.  Someone I really admire made comments that left me feeling quite judged. I decided to bring it up today even though I was sure the offense wasn't intentional.  The situation isn't exactly resolved, but the awareness makes me feel a little bit better. 

When I was talking about the situation I felt a familiar feeling from last week creep up again.  Thats when I realized that in both situations (the confrontation and the comps exam) I was really bothered by being judged.  Just like the test didn't reflect my knowledge in my opinion, I think my outside and others perceptions aren't always reflective of me.  People (including me) jump to conclusions and judge people.  These two incidents have really given me heightened awareness about passing judgement. I think its something that we can all get a better handle on. It legitimately hurt me when I thought that I have been the cause of that judged feeling in other people.  I didn't like feeling it myself, but even more so I didn't like thinking that i may have CAUSED that feeling at some point. 

So how to we do better at withholding judgement?  I have come up with a little list of things to keep track of, think about, and do to be the least judgmental I can be.  I read a bit and compiled them from various ideas and discussions I've had. Anyway, this is just my plan.  What are your ideas?  Here are a few of mine...

  • 1. Build your own confidence. We've all heard this since elementary school.  The kids who bully just feel insecure about themselves.  Cliche, but true to an extent.  Its easier not to judge others when you feel good about yourself.
  • 2. Cut yourself a break. We are our worst critic. When you are overly critical of yourself, you tend to be overly critical of others. When I treat myself with compassion that kindness to spills over to everyone else.
  • 3. Be open-minded. It's important to live according to your values and beliefs. Just remember to grant others that same courtesy. You don't have to agree with people's choices, but you must be willing to live and let live if you want to be less judgmental.
  • 4. Face your fears. It is human nature to fret over the unknown. That being said, prejudice thrives on the unwillingness to learn. Get out of your comfort zone and see what happens. 
  • 5. Avoid gossip. If you want to be less judgmental, then clamoring for the latest dirt won't support that goal. Skip the tabloids and all the other sources of gossip.  Learn from people firsthand instead. 
  • 6. Celebrate diversity. Differences encourage progress. Find common ground with those who are different from you.  Then use that as a springboard to learn about the aspects that you DONT have in common.  You might learn something new. 

  • So, those are a few things that I will be working on over the next little bit! Thanks for reading.  Feel free to share your experiences with judging or being judged.

  • xoxo.

  • Friday, December 13

    down time!

    Hello lovelies! As you know, its christmas break for all of us in higher education.  As such I have had time to do some fun things (and study for the NCE... blah).  Anyway, I just wanted to share something I'd been working on.  I made a cute photo edit from some pictures that were on my macbook.  I wanted to delete them, but I wanted to use them for something first.  Anyway, I made a little collage with these pictures of my favorite things.  I am using it for the background on my iPad, macbook, and the header on my Facebook page (if it will fit... haven't tried yet.  I like doing creative kinda things on the rare occasion that I have free time! Its so nice to have a little r&r before my last semester as a graduate student.  Anyway, I included my collage below.

    Oh, and since I have some time on my hands, if anyone wants a header I'd be happy to make you one.  You can either send me the pics, or a list/idea of what you want on it :)


    Monday, December 2

    mini update

    I mentioned that I blog to some colleagues today... as such I thought I should update it at least once before I give them the address.  Christmas break starts after classes tomorrow though, so hopefully I will have time to go more in depth (and maybe redo my formatting too! YAY!)

    Anyway, a few times over the last couple of weeks I've talked about art with people around me.  As I've mentioned before in blog posts I am a huge fan of art journaling.  I'm hoping to make a tutorial post over break about how/what I do and why I find it to be therapeutic.  If anyone in my small but steady stream of readers has questions or suggestions or thoughts about scrapbooking/art journaling I'd move to hear them. Comment them or email me!

    This is a picture of my bulletin board in the office area at my apartment.  I've been doing a lot of art based on lyrics lately.  I think its really fun to interpret my favorite songs on a piece of paper.  It helps me hear the metaphors in a song in a new way. As you can see these (which are mostly works in progress) are from Beatles songs.  So if you have a suggestion for great lyrics definitely leave them for me.

    I've also gotten really into taking regular drawings and copying them and adding to them.  I like taking sketches from nature and adding some comic book kinds of doodles to them.  I think the juxtaposition between a natural element (plants, waterfalls, feathers) and words or really modern looking doodles (chevron, paisley, polka dots) together.  I feel like these kinds of pictures represent my personality really well. Plus I can put something I'm good at (the doodle and designs part) into an already drawn natural sketch.  Thats really fun.

    Ok.  Done with my mini update.  Hopfully there will be lots during December!

    Thursday, October 31


    As most who know me are aware I'm not a big fan of children.  As such, holidays aren't my favorite since they center around kids and cause them to be overly annoying. Anyway, while I work hard to avoid the droves of masked, sticky fingered little monsters running around my neighborhood I thought I'd switch things up on my blog and have a holiday themed post.  And now, in honor of halloween I present a list (I love lists!) Of my all time favorite Halloween themed TV (I love tv too!) episodes! Enjoy!

    5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia "Who got Dee pregnant?"

    A classic whodunit... Differing points of view... Sweet Dee knocked up... a live ostrich.  Whats not to love???

    4. Supernatural "Its a Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"

    Its Supernatural, so obviously they know how to do scary.  Add in Sam being brilliant and Dean kicking ass and it had to be a favorite!

    3. The Big Bang Theory "The Middle Earth Paradigm"

    Ok, she's drunk.  Still, its Leonard and Penny's first kiss... an awesome moment!

    2. How I Met Your Mother "Slutty Pumpkin"

    Everyone spent seasons wondering who the slutty pumpkin was... brilliant.  Having the slutty pumpkin turn out to be Katie Holmes... even better!

    1. Friends "The One With the Halloween Party"

    "No... SPACE doody!" Best show ever, so obviously it had to be my number one choice!

    Ok, Comment and tell me your favorite halloween episodes! Happy Halloween!


    Tuesday, October 29


    In counseling we talk a lot about themes. Sessions and sessions go by and themes start to emerge. In counseling we refer to these kinds of things as schemas. A person has patterns in behavior and thought and insight into those really helps make changes.

    Sometimes we see themes in life too. I have been seeing lots of things lately in my life that all fall into line... Here's some of what I've been seeing lately...

    From a book...


    from a TV show...

    and in my own life... (Taken from a journal entry written for my hospital internship)

    "This place is really a sort of microcosm for the world at large.Things never slow down, but once in a while I find solace in small places and spaces of time. My moments of solitude are even more precious here as I see people hurry past me. The fluster serves to highlight my own stillness and I find myself wondering as I sit here why I don't look for that in life outside the hospital walls. I'm often times in such a hurry. Sometimes you have to hurry, especially here at the hospital. But the more I watch people rush, the more I see that there are some things you simply can't rush through. You can't rush through emotion. Boy do I want to sometimes. You can't rush sadness.You sometimes have to sit there in it. Let it envelope you. Even though it doesn't feel good. I've been looking for the words to put to that for weeks now. And as I sit here it has finally come together in a few sentences that make a little sense. I was reading a book the other day and a line jumped out and bit me, attached itself to me... "That's the thing about sadness, pain. It just demands to be felt" . I couldn't say why those words clung to me so tightly until right now, but I see it now. The more you deny pain the right to be felt the greater the demand becomes until there's nothing you can do about it.
    Through the semester so far I've found that my work here isn't what I thought it would be. I expected to work with or on behalf of patients here, but I am seeing that the bulk of my work here is on myself. I think that this program at winthrop has been easier for me in a lot of ways than it has for other students. I have a really easy time with the academic side of things. I've always made really good grades, and almost any subject I can grasp fairly easily. I don't say that to sound arrogant, but because it demonstrates how this year is a new experience for me. I've always been able to skate by. I could not crack a book all semester and still end up with Bs in all my classes. But this...This work that I'm doing now, this work on myself...There's no short cut. There's no way to handle this overwhelming sadness except to feel it, so sit in it, to embrace it. Because to choose not to feel it, to push it away is to deny the significance of someone or something in my life..."

    People say that things come in threes... and maybe that's true.  Stop and look around.  When things seem to be repeating maybe its because there's a lesson waiting to be learned.


    Monday, October 28


    Insomnia has struck once more.  Grey's Anatomy is keeping me company thanks to Netflix. Love this quote from the show and wanted to share...

    LOVE this, love you.