24 February 2010

Psalm 138:8

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
Your love, O Lord, endures forever--
do not abandon the works of your hands."
-Psalm 138:8

Tonight I was skyping with my sister, Claire. Her roommate, Emily Reese, was sitting on her bed listening to our convo. [Not only is Emily my baby sister's roommate, but she is also one of my newest sorority sisters!] I was telling Claire about my hesitations on law school, fears of not being able to find a job, and just all of the overwhelming craziness in my life right now. Suddenly, Emily jumped into the camera's way and said, "Psalm 138:8!" I laughed and said, "What??" Emily responded, "Look it up! I have to go study," and gave me a big smile. Well, as you can see, I wrote out Psalm 138:8 above. Emily gave me a precious gift tonight. She did not just feed me scripture when I needed it most, but God used her to remind me of an extremely simple (yet huge) concept that I tend to forget on an all too regular basis: God is in control. He will fulfill His purpose for me. His love endures forever.

So, I'm reminded once again how small I am and how big He is. But I won't abandon my work, because I know He won't abandon His.

Thanks for the reminder Em:)

19 February 2010

That which daunts me: the future...

What should I do with my life?

I've been asking myself this question the last couple of days. You see, I thought I had it all figured out. Move back to Texas from New York, work at Camp Zephyr for the summer, marry Luke, go to law school, get a job, and live happily ever after, right? RIIIGGHHT?? Well, humph. I'm not so sure now:/

I haven't heard back from any law schools yet, which I guess isn't a bad thing. Is no news better than good news? I didn't do early admission because I decided to go to law school in September. So with taking the LSAT and filling out applications, I didn't actually apply until December. But all of the places I applied to say that the latest you could still hear something is in May. HELLO?? I have to make plans here people! I'm getting married in August. Would a law school like to send me an acceptance letter so that Luke and I can plan our lives?? That'd be great, kthanks.

Also, where are Luke and I going to live you ask? Great question. We don't know yet. A house is not going to magically grow itself out at camp, but they want Luke to live on the camp grounds. Well everyone, here's my (not-so) shocking reply to that: I'M NOT LIVING IN THE CONFERENCE CENTER. I'm sorry, there are a lot of things I am willing to consider and adapt to, but this is not one of them. We'll be newly weds and will have just had all these fun showers where people buy us cute stuff for our house. I WANT A HOUSE. Or an apartment. Whatever. NOT a crappy hotel room, thank you very much. Uggh. Calallen? Beeville? I don't know...Please pray for me.

What if I don't get into law school? Do I go to grad school? Do I find a full-time job? I was sort of banking on law school here people. Now all of sudden, I feel like I need to start looking into other options. Luke graduates in December, which will free us up a bit and give us more options. But until then, what am I supposed to do?? I'm also trying to decide if I should go into PR, go into law, or go into ministry. Do I combine two of the three? All three? Could someone please tell me what job THAT is? Seriously, this time of my life has given a whole new meaning to the verse 1 Thessalonians 5:17..."Pray without ceasing." That's all I do these days.

Ok, I'm done venting about my fear of the future. Now it's time to buck up and go do something. I'm going to start looking into grad school, jobs around the CC area, and keep checking the online acceptance sites for the law schools I applied to. Oh yeah, and pray. A LOT.

Seriously though, if you throwing up a prayer for your family members, kids, friends, etc. about jobs, school, or anything else related to this topic, could you add me to your list? As you can see, I'm a little stressed out.

But no worries. It's nothing a glass of wine tonight with friends can't fix:) [For a night anyways.]

My "Other" Blog

For those of you who don't know, I'm currently living in New York right now. I moved here in January for my last semester of college. I've been blogging since December 2007 and I've only ever kept one blog, this one:) However, in celebration of my new, 4 month long life in New York, I started a second blog to be focused simply on my time and adventures in New York. I'm not quite sure this was a good idea now, looking back, because I feel like I have to split my life into two different blogs. Oh well, I'm going to stick with it a little longer and see how it goes. But these blogs may end up merging before May. Here is the link to my New York blog:


Just in case you wanted to keep up with what I'm doing around this good ol' dirty city:)

14 February 2010

Goods for the soul

Recently I've been thinking a lot about the things in life that are good for my soul. When I say this, I mean the daily occurrences or life's little surprises, that give me that warm, peaceful feeling in my whole body. I believe these things are God's way of reminding us how much He is in love with His children. I know I keep saying "things" which is very vague, so here's a list of the "things" I'm talking about.

1) A cup of coffee when it isn't needed, just simply enjoyed.
2) When God reminds me that He is still in control, even in New York City.
3) Blogging. I love it. Even if no one reads it.
4) Reading the Word and praying with Luke. Even over the phone, I cherish every moment.
5) Skyping and laughing with my best friends after a long day. Truly, these girls are my soul mates.
6) Cleaning my room on Sunday. This harnesses my chi:)
7) "New York" adventures. The kinds where I live out my childhood dreams.
8) Checking things off of my long to-to list.
9) Hour and a half to two hour workouts. I hear the Hallelujah chorus singing now!
10) Luke's love. Seriously, it like none other. I'm the luckiest girl.

I've already experience a couple of these today and it's put me in such a great mood! Now, time to go work out and then the figure skating portion of the 2010 Winter Olympics starts tonight at 7 p.m.! I will hopefully being getting a little homework done while I watch, but that's wishful thinking I'm sure.

What's good for your soul? Please share! I'd love to know:)

11 February 2010

Love, the greatest possession

At the end of this week, it will have been 6 weeks since I've seen Luke. When I signed up for the Baylor in New York program for my last semester of school, Luke and I both knew what we were getting into. Being that our relationship has always been long distance, we knew we could handle it. But this whole distance thing is turning out to be a lot tougher than we originally planned. I guess our normal 300 mile distance seems a lot closer now that we're 1,862 miles apart. Luke is coming to visit for my birthday weekend, in another 6 weeks. We are half way through the longest amount of time we've ever gone without seeing each other. It's getting tough and tougher as the days go by.

Luke and I try to read the Bible and pray together as much as possible because we truly believe our relationship and life in general is just better when we do this. It's been a little harder to keep up with our daily devos together since I've been in NYC because of the time distance and our schedules, but last night Luke and I jumped back into it. Wow, I had forgotten how much this time together lift my spirits. I think Luke feels the same way; I'll explain that a little bit more later:)

Luke and I are currently working through Max Lucado's, "Fear Not, For I Am With You Always" Promise Book. I love this daily devotional book because I think that one thing Luke and I both struggle with, in different ways of course, is fear. Each time we read through this book, we read one page on the left and one on the right. Sometimes we do this twice. The left hand side usually has two or three verses. The right hand side usually has a sort devo written by Max. Yesterday was sort of a down day for both Luke and I. I'm fighting the flu. Luke is way over work and school. We both miss each other terribly. So, we read four pages instead of the normal two. Pages three and four really stood out to me. As Luke was reading the verses on page three, my eyes filled with tears. These were the verses he read:

"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17

"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord." Psalm 194:33-34

"What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord." Psalm 116:12-13

This was the devotional on page four:

"Eternal instants. You've had them. We all have.

Sharing a porch swing on a summer evening with your grandchild. Putting your arm into your husband's as you stroll through the golden leaves and breathe the brisk autumn air. Listening to your six-year-old thank God for everything from goldfish to Grandma.

Such moments are necessary because they remind us that everything is okay. The King is still on the throne and life is still worth living. Eternal instants remind us that love is still the greatest possession and the future is nothing to fear."

Wow. Great words.

After we finished reading, Luke prayed. He asked the Lord to heal me and he prayed that God would give he and I joy through these tough times. Luke is very sincere when he prays, but this one was different. As I listened to him pray, I felt like Luke was truly at the end of himself; that he was giving up his frustrations and just letting the Lord take over. He was remembering that Luke cannot do it on his own; he needs God. Even as I was hearing this confession in Luke's voice, I was feeling the same way and confessing the very same thing. Even though its tough for us to hit these low places in our lives and see our loved ones be there as well, it was refreshing to be in that place with Luke at the same time and to be able to pray to our God for strength together.

"...love is still the greatest possession and the future is nothing to fear."

I was reminded of this tonight. Max Lucado's devo reminded me. Luke's prayer and love reminded me. My God and my Savior reminded me. Luke and I will be fine and I know we will make it 6 more weeks:)

08 February 2010

Recent thoughts

In looking back at my old posts, I am realizing that my blog is turning into something that resembles a wedding blog. I did not mean for this to happen, but since it has, I'm kind of excited! Now, when I look back at my blog after the wedding is long over, I can read about my crazy experience from the proposal to the honeymoon. So, this may turn into a blog more for myself than for anyone else, but who cares right? It's my blog, after all. Thanks to all you loyal followers who don't mind listening to me gush over this incredible time in my life; I promise to keep it light! The next 6 months will fly by quickly and it's my goal to take it all in while being appreciative of the whirlwind:)

Here's something else I've been thinking about lately. I really hate driving people crazy. Despite popular belief, I don't LIKE to ask a lot of questions or call you a millions times, whoever you are. I feel like I've been doing this too much lately and I know it's a turn off to most people. The only person that let's me talk and talk, even though I know even he has a breaking point, is Luke. Sweet boy, he loves me so much so he just takes it. But it's a bad sign when even Luke is tired of me. So, to all of you who have heard from me multiple times via the phone, Facebook, my blog, whatever, I'ms sorry for driving you crazy. I know when I get caught up in wedding planning, internship issues, and life, it is that same handful of people that suffer. Know that I love you all very much and that's why I come to you seeking advice or someone to listen. It's because I care about your opinion. Sorry again; I'll try to take it down a notch:)

In recent wedding news, my mom and I talked for like 2 or 3 hours on Sunday about our newest To-Do list and there is lots to be done! Here is the list I made and also sent my momma a copy of:

1) Order save-the-dates (this is happening SOON!)
2) Talk to the florist
3) Look into a videographer
4) Look into a place for the rehearsal dinner
5) Find a band/DJ
6) Ask the ceremony musicians to sing/play instruments
7) Finalize the guest list
8) Book the hotel rooms for out of town guests

I know there is more, but I'm forgetful right now. I'm currently fighting off a cold, so my mind is going blank. Oh well, lots to be done! :) Back to my to-do list and fighting off the urge to call a million people. No more driving my loved ones up a wall. It's tough with my big, talkative mouth, but I'm practicing self-control:)


03 February 2010

I said YES to THE DRESS!!

I bought my wedding dress! Gosh, its a great story. Even now, as I replay yesterday's events leading up to the purchase of my dress in my head, I'm still a little star dazed. Here's the story of how I found my perfect dress:

Yesterday was Kleinfeld Bridal's "blow-out" sale. This sale is somewhat of an all day fiasco where brides stand in line to get a ticket and then return later to wait for their ticket number to be called. Once it's called, that bride goes into the store hoping to find her wedding dress. The greatest part part about this sale is that you don't have to have an appointment, which is a regular requirement, and all sale dresses are an extra 35% off. This is a GREAT deal on a Kleinfeld dress. Kleinfeld Bridal has been made famous through the show "Say Yes To The Dress" on TLC. I've watched episodes of this show when the blow-out sale was going on and yesterday I actually got to attend it!

Yesterday morning I woke up at what felt like the crack of dawn, thoroughly dresses myself in leggings, sweats, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a fleece, a scarf, earmuffs, and uggs. I dragged (literally, I was SO tired) myself to 110 W. 20th St. where Kleinfled is located and arrived there about 8:15 a.m. A line was already forming and I guessed that I was about 20th in line or so. It was in the high 20s (brrr!) and I waited in line for two hours. One of the ladies that works for Kleinfeld came outside and walked down the line, distributing tickets to all of the freezing brides. She came out around 10:15 a.m. which is nice, because we thought we were going to have to wait until 11 a.m. Once I had my ticket, I was #17 by the way!, I went home to get warm, shower, and get cute for trying on wedding dresses!

Silly side note: I'm never home around lunch time because I normally working on Tuesdays. I went to get in the shower, turned the faucet, and NOTHING came out! Because construction is being done on the floor beneath me, the water had been turned off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thank the good Lord that I had showered the night before and wasn't necessarily dirty. I'm just a compulsive showerer:)

So, I got dressed up at my dorm, just in case I was filmed to be on "Say Yes To The Dress." I arrived back at Kleinfeld around 3:15 p.m. Ashley, one of my friends and sorority sisters that is here in New York with my program, met me at the store. They called my number around 2:45 p.m. Ashley and I walked into the store and were given a consultant (very similar to walking into formal recruitment, ha!) My consultant's name was Debbie and I knew I had see her on SYTTD before. There were rows and rows of dresses in no particular order, but grouped by price. Ashley and I knew which designer was my favorite, Alita Graham, because we had done research a few days before. Debbie explained that we could only have 3 dresses in the dressing room at one time. And we were off!

Ashley and I dug through dresses along with Debbie as she asked me multiple questions:

Debbie: Do you know what you're looking for?
Me: No ma'am. This is my first time to go shopping for a wedding dress.
Debbie: Do you know what style of dress you're looking for?
Me: We I like a lot of styles, I just don't know what looks good on me.
Debbie: Umm...ok, well here's one I think you'll like...

I don't think I was nearly as prepared as she would have liked, but hey--at least I had a designer that I loved. And, Alita Graham designs exclusively for Kleinfeld. AND a tons of her dresses were out on the floor, so my chances were good!

We pulled three dresses and headed back to the dressing room. I felt like a princess in such a beautiful dressing room with pedastals so that the brides could admire themselves in the huge mirrors. The first dress I tried on was my #1 choice in Alita dresses from my online note taking. However, I HATED it. I mean, it was a beautiful dress, but it did absolutely nothing for my figure. It also made my hips look huge which is a big no-no for me. The second dress I tried on, pulled by Debbie, was a one-piece dress, but it looked like two pieces. NOPE. The third dress I tried on was sort-of mermaid shaped and was definitely more figure flattering, but it had way too much beading. This was a good progression though, because it was at this point I decided I didn't want a big poofy dress, but rather a more fitted gown with a small to medium-sized train. I tried on a couple other dresses. One was taupe with sheer, ivory layers on top. NOPE. Another one was cream-colored with little rosets on the front. It was pretty, but not breath-taking the way I wanted it to be. The last dress I tried on before THE dress was very pretty. It had a more fitted bodice at the top with a sweetheart neckline. Lace covered the top with three little rosets and a ribbon tied on the left side. The skirt was multiple layers of tool. I loved the top a lot, but was just OK with the skirt. I'm not the biggest fan of tool, especially for an August wedding. And then, THE dress...

I had pulled this dress myself. It was the last one I tried on. When I put it on for the first time, I completely forgot about the previous dress. This one hugged my figure in all the right places. Its just a little big up top (which doesn't surprised me) and also needs to be hemmed. Both of these are easy fixes. I felt like a princess wearing it and wore it in the store longer than any other dress. I didn't want to take it off:) Randy, yes THE Randy from SYTTD, came over to me while I was on the pedastal in the big room and showed me how the seamstress would hem the bottom and take in the top. He told me I looked BEAUTIFUL and that I shouldn't call myself short because that is the "S word." I'm supposed to say "petite." I giggled. It was SO much fun. I'd love to write so much more about my dress, but I don't want to spoil the surprise. I guess you all will just have to wait 6 more months to see pictures!

I have to give a shout-out to Ashley Baronet. For real, this girl exceeded the Tri Delta bonds of friendship when she offered to go with me to shop for wedding dresses. Looking back, I can't even begin to imagine what this day would have been like without her. This sweet girl pulled dresses off the rack, helped me in and out of all of them, snuck pictures on my iPhone to my mother when the consultant wasn't in the room, and told me I looked absolutely gorgeous when I found THE dress. Ashley--you're a doll and I'm so glad you were the one I got to make these memories with. Seriously, you're the best:)

I met Debbie, Randi, Joan, Nicole, and Mara from "Say Yes." I got pictures with a few of them and Nicole actually kissed my cheek and told me that she loves me, ha! I wasn't nearly as star struck as I thought I'd be, but it was still pretty awesome to be having the best of the best helping me choose MY wedding dress. I had to sign a wavier saying that it was ok for the show to use any footage of me. A couple of different camera guys followed me around and asked me questions. One girl even came into the dressing room to record. No worries, I was dressed during these parts! I got to walk around the store in a silky pink robe and white slippers; it really was the royal treatment, even though there were a bazillion brides in the store with me! Over 100 people were still waiting to try on dresses after I had purchased mine and this made me so glad that I fought back the urge to stay in bed. I was a little bummed that my mom couldn't be there for the whole experience, but she was even more excited than I was about my wedding dress adventure and the many memories made through this experience.

I wasn't expecting to find a dress. I really just went for the fun of it. I still can't believe I walked out of there with the perfect dress. Or that I bought my perfect dress for 65% off the original value!! Luke was shocked when I told him and he was so cute on the phone. He said, "You bought THE dress? THE dress you'll be wearing when we get married? Wow..." It was really cute:) Hey--remember that day I woke up super early, went to Kleinfled Bridal in New York, and bought my wedding dress? Yeah, this one goes down in the books for sure.

I have my wedding dress!!!