Friday, October 30, 2009

"For I Know The Plans I Have For You..."

I'm inspired to write today for rather sad reasons. I've been reflecting on how much myself and the people I love have been going through recently and it makes my heart heavy. I have friends who have lost their jobs, lost their loved ones, fallen ill and needed surgery, suffered broken many things that are extremely trying and painful. I add myself into the mix when I think of losing Tom and there is just a weight on my heart that seems to pull and tug on me in really exhausting ways. In times like this, I normally would have turned to a variety of different things to find 'healing', if you will, all of them being completely "substanceless" and temporary. So, in efforts to maintain an 'attitude of change', I am going to choose to focus on the words spoken in Jeremiah that have so often lifted me up from super dark places:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

For years, I could never grasp the idea that god had plans for me, for my family, for my friends. I often thought there is no way I am that significant that god would give a crap what happens to me. I would pray empty prayers for my friends and family, all the while not really believing that any of them could come true. I would go to god in the same way I would someone whose opinion didn't really matter to me and I always felt worse after doing so. In thinking of my precious friends and family who are enduring so much alongside me now, I can't help but feel overwhelmed with hope in the place I am presently. These words spoken in Jeremiah are so very powerful. The lord DOES have plans for us! He DOES have hope and a future outlined for each and every one of us if we can choose to believe it! Our human minds simply cannot grasp the "whys" of any situation here on earth but that's just it...we're not supposed to! We are but temporary beings here and it's up to us to pay attention to the truth of the word. We must never lose sight of why we're called to be here and what we're called to do. We can only love one another, lift each other up, and walk together through life reminding one another of what god promises us.

So, I hope to always do that for all of these sweet people in my life who are suffering. Together, I really believe we can all get closer to the amazing plans that god absolutely does have in store.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Last year, Allison and I started a pumpkin carving tradition together. We had gone on an amazing hike in the Catskills with friends and stopped at a roadside farmer's stand on the drive home. We picked out perfect pumpkins and got delicious homemade cider doughnuts. It was so great:
I had never carved a pumpkin before and we thought it would be so fun to do so together. I also thought it would be great to cook some sort of pumpkin dish for dinner, thus beginning our pumpkin tradition! So, the following weekend, I made pasta with pumpkin-gorgonzola sauce and mushrooms which was so delicious and we got to carving! Our little guy turned out awesome too, as you can see:
This year was round two and we had so much fun! I cooked pumpkin pasta with shallots, sage, and sausage (so good!) and we went to town on our pumpkins, yet again. These were store bought pumpkins, sadly, but they were just as good:
Mine's on the left. I swear, it really is the little things in life that make it so worthwhile. I'm so blessed by having my sister here in this city with me and all these little things we do together makes life just so fun. Is it wrong that I already look forward to picking out next year's pumpkin recipe...?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Been A While...

This time last year I was so excited about starting a blog and beginning something for myself that I thought would be a healthy outlet. It seems as though the past year I have been, um, rather distracted. I've been journaling so much recently that I thought I would take another stab at this and hopefully I'll be able to look back on it and be glad that I've captured bits and pieces of my life.

Things have been quite interesting lately. After nearly two years with my boyfriend, Tom, we decided to go our separate ways. This happened on September 17th, just over a month ago. I could never get into all the detail I'd like here, but I can say that the relationship has taught me more than I could have ever hoped for. I believe fully that Tom was placed in my life for a very specific reason and I know we both did incredible things for one another. There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not thankful for certain things from Tom...but I am very aware that the relationship was not right. I felt that way at times as we went along but I never fully realized it until we broke up. Am I sad? Yes. Do I miss him everyday? Of course. But, I have such a deep longing to have a life and love completely governed by the lord. I always have wanted this, I just never had the balls to take a stand and follow down the 'straight and narrow' path. This breakup, while extremely sad and painful, has finally allowed me to see things about myself that I have desperately needed to AND it's allowed me the freedom I need just for me. I love Tom dearly and there is a place in my heart that will always be his...but I have said my "goodbyes" and I have shut the door on a two year chapter that has been joyful, loving, painful, adventurous, trying and so many other equally amazing and hard things for me. Tom might never know the person that he has 'awakened' by this breakup but I will forever be grateful for how he has helped me open my eyes.

Presently, I have been going to counseling for five weeks now. I have been extremely dedicated to the work that's involved in digging deep inside myself and my past. It has been one of the most enlightening and painful experiences of my life. At times, I'm completely overwhelmed but it's the most incredible time of refinement for me. I have absolutely reconnected with the lord in a way I never knew possible and I'm truly rebuilding my life from scratch, if you will. I have faced enormous challenges over the past ten years, all of which have shaped me, and I have no regrets. However, I have sadness, anxiety, fear and worry that stems from so many poor choices and decisions. It was these things that led to mine and Tom's demise, ultimately, and I decided to begin counseling because I have such a deep desire to know the lord in a way that redeems every bad choice I've ever made.

My counselor, Cori, is so wise. She has a gentle spirit that is comforting and inviting. I feel like I can be 'me' with her. I feel like I can speak from a place of pain and heartache and it's not judged nor is it looked down on. I can say things like I feel as though god will never forgive me and not feel stupid or silly. I can talk to her about feelings of worthlessness and fear and she simply smiles and reminds me of god's everlasting grace, mercy and love. We are getting into the meat of things in my life now at the start of six weeks and it's very intense for me. Yes, it's difficult to balance a breakup with the start of therapy but it's also incredibly liberating. I mentioned that I have reconnected with god in amazing ways and that has been awesome. One of the most important parts of my therapy at this point is learning how to trust. I have never really been able to do that, therefore I have never been able to commit my life fully to god and his plan. So, it's like each week that goes by is a new step forward and hopefully one day I will look back at all the 'miles' I have traveled to a place where I feel loved and totally accepted by god. Only then will I ever be able to receive the man that I am meant to be with for the rest of my life because only then will I have god as the true center of my life.

I love being ME, totally and completely, for the first time in my whole life. I have absolutely nobody to please but god and nobody that I WANT to please but god. It is just wonderful. So, at this point, I've done a 180 from where I was this time last year. I re-read my posts from before and, while I felt a sense of peace in ways then, I never felt settled. Presently, I feel hope, passion, motivation and desire like never before to chase after the amazing plan that I know god has for my life. I'm letting go and letting the wind pick me up and swirl me all around like a leaf in the breeze and I say Lord, take my life, all that I am, and do with me what you will.