Monday, November 30, 2009

what i really want for christmas...

people keep asking me what i want for christmas. i usually say nothing.
but honestly, what do i REALLY want? are you ready for this??? ii'm going to tell you.
i want everyone to be happy.
i want us to stop worrying. stop hurting others. stop hurting ourselves.
i want us to start trusting. start believing. start rejoicing in what we have and forget about what we don't.
i want us to stop judging ourselves and others.
so what if you aren't like everyone else. that's a good thing. embrace who you are and love you.
so what if a friend or family member is 28 and not married. they are happy. get off their back about it. just because you are married and have children doesn't mean that that has to be someone else's destiny. leave them be. stop imposing your needs onto them. stop forcing them to defend themselves.
i want us to be kind and considerate of each other and their hearts. some people get hurt easier than others. this doesn't mean that they need to "toughen up". maybe it means you need to lighten up a bit.
i want everyone to get along.
i would love nothing more than for everyone to sit down together and eat cookies and milk and laugh and love.
i want us to enjoy what we have and let go of what we used to have or never had at all.
this world throws enough junk at us as it is, we don't need to add to it with hatefullness or envy or any of that other negative stuff.
i want us to stop thinking of God as Santa Claus; as someone who you go to only when you want something and then when you don't get it you think you are being punished or that he's not real.
i want us to realize that God loves and cares. and does listen. and has our best interest at heart. even when bad things happen, even when we are hurting. He is still there.
He is God. if we could understand Him and His will, what kind of God would He be?
i want us to be peaceful.
i want us to listen more and talk less.
i want us to love like Jesus.
my christmas wish is not something you can buy at a store.
it has no price. no monetary value.
it's worth more than is comprehendable.
but it's what i really want. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Blog

So, I have a second blog.

Life on Indiana is a book that I have been working on for some time now. I haven't worked on it in a while, so I created a blog in hopes that that would push me to finish it. It's just stories about my college years(some of the best years of my life).

I don't really think anyone, other than the people in it, will even be interested in it, but it's a goal of mine to finish what I started, so that's what I hope to do.

Check it out if you ever get bored. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

mediocrity at it's best

sometimes, i wish that i were more interesting.

i have incredibly interesting, talented friends.

two of my roommates in college were art majors. they had this creativity that just oozed out of them in every aspect of their lives. they were so interesting and honestly i was jealous of them. they were so laid back. didn't care if the house was a mess. didn't care if everything was in it's place or if stuff matched. in fact, they preferred the opposite.
they are both art teachers now and still just as stinkin' creative and awesome as ever.

i have friends that are/were in bands. musical genius' in my opinion. they can pick up any instrument and play it as if they had always known how to.

one friend of mine is a cake decorator. her talent and vision is insane. her cakes are absolutely beautiful. not only can she bake/cook ANYTHING, but she can sing and play the guitar(which she taught herself to do in a summer), she can paint and write. crazy-talented, this girl.

another friend of mine does improv comedy. she is one of the funniest people i've ever met. this one also plays the cello.
i see these people with their ability to create and i become extremely envious.

i've been mediocre at several things in my life. but never really excelled at any one thing.

i can carry a tune, but i never was the best.
i tried playing the guitar but never could quite get it.
i can't draw to save my life.
i like to cook, but i'm nothin special.

i LOVE order and rules. the more, the better i say.
i like things to match and to be clean and neat.
i'm, well, i'm boring.
let's just put it out there and call it what it is.

and i'd like to say that i've tried to be interesting, but i just don't agree with the idea of making yourself something you aren't. i'm not going to be different just for the sake of being different, you know? i mean, if i'm different, then cool, but i'm not gonna force it.
that's kinda lame.

i would rather just be one of those people who it just happens for.
one who has a cool way of wording things. like, i heard this song on npr today and the lyric was "i've got so much time on my hands and i can't wash it off." what is that?! i want to think like that! geesh.

i want to be able to pick up a pen or paintbrush and create a work of art.
not gonna happen though.

i'd like to write songs and be able to play them in a coffee shop.
nope. won't happen either.

i'm not saying that i'm not going to try to do these things, if i want to. for example, i want to take ballroom dancing lessons. so, i'm going to. but do i expect that i'll be the best dancer in the class? nah. i took dance for 16 yrs and was just okay at it. and not because i didn't want to be good. oh, i wanted to. but, i didn't have the body type.

anyway, this sounds really whiney, i know. i don't mean for it to. it's just how i feel. i've come to terms with the fact that i'm not going to be an artist, or dancer or singer or musician or chef, etc. etc. i'm not gonna be excellent at any of those things.

but hey! maybe, just maybe, i'll excel at being mediocre. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

wyatt's momma

"well, she's been through more than her share," daddy said to me during a recent phone conversation. he had called me to let me know that my new nephew had finally arrived.

i had been on pins and needles all day, monday the 9th of november. my sister was being induced that morning. the baby was 2 weeks early but, they were inducing her because he just wasn't getting enough nutrients. we were assured by the doctors that everything would be okay i knew that everything was going to be just fine with both mommy and baby, but i was still apprehensive.

ever since my sister found out she had cancer 5 years ago, i've become extremely over protective. our roles reversed a little. she is still my "big sister" and i still go to her for almost everything, but somehow, at that moment in time, i felt like i needed to be the one to protect her.
the cancer created a special bond between the two of us. i hate cancer. it's evil. it's ugly and mean and it creates havoc in the lives of those around it. it's a thief and a murderer.
but it didn't win. instead of taking a life, it helped us to see how valuable life is.
my sister is one of the strongest people i know. from the get-go she had a "can do" attitude. i remember the night she told my parents and i that she had breast cancer. she was very matter of fact about the whole thing. she said, "i've already cried, and i'm done crying. now, i'm going to go home and let you cry. and tomorrow, we will get up and we will fight. and we will beat this." and that's exactly what happened.
i waited until she left to lose it. and then i quietly ascended the stairs to my bedroom, shut the door, sat down on my bed and well, lost my mind for a bit. i screamed. i cried. i prayed that God would let me keep my sister. and He did. and through it he blessed our relationship.
i have to admit that in the beginning i was not the best sister. i couldn't stand to see her sick, so up until the first surgery i basically pretended like she wasn't. i even avoided her a little bit. but then, i realized that i couldn't do that. it was my job as her sister and friend to be there.
and i tried to be there every step of the way from that point on. now, i'm not writing any of this next part to brag on myself. no, in fact, i am bragging on my sister and her ability to handle anything.
i was there after her first round of chemo when her hair started to fall out. it started coming out, literally in clumps. we went outside so as not to make a mess in the house. we were sitting on the porch, and she was joking about it as we both pulled massive amounts of her beautiful blonde hair from her head. we had gone the week before to get her hair cut short so that it wouldn't be so traumatic. i chose then to join her in cutting mine short too. so, there we were, laughing and joking and pulling out hair and i just stopped. tears filled my eyes and i said, "amanda, i can't do this." so she said, "okay". and we immediately called her beautician to tell her that amanda needed her head shaved. the beautician, the beautician's daughter and myself were all in tears as the clippers ran across amanda's scalp. she chided us and told us that it would grow back and not to be upset.
i was there in the hospital after her second mastectomy. she apologized everytime she had to wake me up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. SHE was concerned for ME.
i was there to clean her wounds and measure the amount of fluid that was in her drains. i would get queasy if she flinched. not because of the blood or incisions, but because i knew it hurt her and that made me physically ill. several times i would have to sit down. and she always apologized. "i'm sorry you have to do this," she would say quietly.
i was there when she had her reconstructive surgery and couldn't stand upright because of the huge incision across her stomach from where they removed the tissue and fat to rebuild her breasts. and once again, she apologized that i had to take care of her.
i honestly don't remember my sister complaining. not one time.
not through 3 surgeries. not through rounds of horrible chemo and "toxic waste"(as she called it) treatments. not through the radiation that burned so badly.
she didn't even complain when the doctor's advised against having children.
nope, amanda once again decided that cancer wasn't going to run her life. she WAS going to have a baby.

and 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer, she has a wonderful husband and they have a brand new baby boy.
his name is wyatt jaxon stockton and he is the most precious wonder in this world.
he is a gift from our Father and everyone in our family understands that.

when daddy and momma called me to tell me about him, i could hear their smiles through the phones. i held it together until my sister got on.
she sounded wonderful! she didn't complain about the pain. and why in the world i would have ever thought she would, i do not know. this was a cake walk compared to what she has been through in her short life. through tears, i told her to kiss wyatt for me and that i would be there in a few days. we used to never say "i love you" but now, we say it all the time. so i told her and she told me and then we hung up.

i spoke to my daddy again later and he was telling me how beautiful wyatt is. i then told him how worried i was and how silly i am for being so overprotective of this woman who can handle anything. and that's when he said, "well, she's been through more than her share." yes, she has. and i don't why. i don't think i'll ever know why. but i truly believe that God only gives to you what He knows you can handle. and my sister is strong and can handle anything that comes her way.

she is amazing, my sister, and i'll be sure to tell wyatt everytime i see him, just how amazing his momma really is.
although, i'm sure he won't need me to tell him. he'll learn that on his own, just like his aunt carrie did.

Friday, November 6, 2009


my heart is sad today.
and to be honest, pretty angry too.
the more i think about the events of yesterday at ft. hood, the more upset i get.
i try really hard not to let things anger me. i really do. anger is such an ugly emotion. it's just not pretty.
but i'm mad right now. i can't hide that.
why on earth would anyone do that?
those poor men and women.
they were either just getting back from iraq or getting ready to go.
some had just survived a nightmare, so thrilled to be on home soil. knowing that they were going to go home and kiss their families. knowing that they were going to get to hold them in their arms for the first time in a long time.
and some were getting ready to leave. anxiety and fear of what was to come rushing through them. having just said goodbye to their loved ones, emotions running high.
both groups, coming and going, heroes. standing up for their country. for people who appreciate them and people who don't.
trusting that their brothers and sisters on the base would stand beside them; have their back.
and they were betrayed.
betrayed by one of their "own".
my family was just there a few months ago.
it terrifies me to think that these people who did this, were probably there when they were.
what if it had happened then?!
what would i have done?
i'm not a violent person. i'm really not. actually, i'm usually the peace maker/keeper.
but, had that happened to my boys, i won't lie, i would probably be tempted to drive down there and find the shooters.
i know that sounds stupid and i know that there would be nothing that i could do, but geesh, would i want to!
i just don't understand this hatred that people have in their hearts.
now, some will argue with me and say that our "guys" are doing the same thing by going over there. they think our country is intruding.
but to those people, you must not have all the facts. you must not remember the numerous attacks. you must not have ever lost a loved one.
i mean, you must obviously have some good reason for having those thoughts that i just can't comprehend.
whatever your thoughts on this war are, please don't ever tell me that these men and women got what they deserved. no seriously, NEVER tell me that.
events such as yesterday cause me to remember feelings that i had during the okc bombing and 9-11. feelings of fear, anger, hurt. it brings them back as if those were just yesterday as well. i feel them all over again.
okay, i need to breathe for a minute. i'm getting myself all worked up.
but really, sometimes i think we need to get worked up. we need to feel things. REALLY, TRULY feel things. it is so important that we don't forget those days. we need to be sad for those that have sacrificed themselves. we need to hurt for those families and survivors. and sometimes, we need to be mad.
i used to think that being mad was wrong. but really, it's what you do with your anger that's wrong. sometimes, anger can lead to really amazing changes.
like when you get mad about someone beating up on you and you decide you aren't going to take it anymore so you stand up for yourself--that's a good thing.
just because you are nice and kind doesn't mean you have to be a doormat.
now, i'm not going to drive down to ft. hood or anywhere for that matter and try to beat anyone up.
but i AM going to continue to support our troops and their families and our country.
i'm not going to hide my opinion just because it might be unpopular. i'm not going to back down just because someone disagrees with it or because it's politically incorrect.
i'm certain that i will always support our military and their efforts. i'm not afraid to say that.
i AM going to pray for them as well. i will pray that somehow, they find peace in this storm.
and i AM going to pray for those that did this terrible thing. i pray that their hearts are broken and that they see that this is NOT the right way. that killing people because of their religion or country affiliation is wrong. it just is.
and i AM going to pray, that i handle my anger and emotions in the proper manner.
i don't know what to do, other than to remember and pray. and love on those around me.
i'm thankful for the blessings i have in this life. i'm thankful that my loved ones are safe.
but i'm so sad that others are not.
i will try not to forget yesterday's events. right now, they are so fresh. but as time passes, they will fade. people will forget. emotions will settle. they will move on and continue with their lives.
however, the people directly affected by this, won't ever forget. it will always be right there with them.
i urge you, to never forget.
never forget how you feel at this moment. for in forgetting those feelings, this day, you forget them and the value of their lives.
and they deserve to be remembered.
they deserve to mourned.
they deserve your tears and your anger.
please remember.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

love notes from God

from the roof of my old farm house, it felt like i could see every star in the universe. i know that i couldn't, but that's what it felt like.
i used to climb out my window on to my roof at night and sit there for hours, just staring in wonder at the sky. awed by the greatness of our God. i felt in those moments complete joy. i felt surrounded by love.
did you know that there are 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone? that's not even counting how many there are in the other galaxies. that's amazing!
one of my all-time favorite past times, is star gazing. it always has been.
when i was little, my daddy would take my sister and i out to look at the stars and planets through the telescope. (i probably get my love of stars from him.) he knows all the planets and that good stuff. i just know i like the stars.
i can't tell you where orion is or which one is mars. i just love to look at the lights in the dark abyss.
it is just amazing to me that God put all those stars there for me to look at! it's like having a trillions of little love notes right there in front of you!
in early college my best friends paul, greg and zane and i would lay in the back of paul's pick up and look at the stars. there were times we were completely silent, but then there were times that we were overflowing with words about the greatness of our Father.
later in my college years, some friends of mine from the bible chair and myself found a field north of town that we would go lay in to star-gaze. once again, there were times of complete silence as we lay there pondering. we were all in unison in our thoughts.
i've never wondered why i like the stars.
i've always been taken aback by their beauty.
and i've been able to share my thoughts and feelings about them with others who felt much the same way. i've never really had to explain myself.
until last year.
a guy that i was dating and i were discussing our like's and dislike's one evening and i said that i loved looking at the stars. he didn't really say anything. so, i asked him if he liked looking at them. he said, and i'll never forget, "what's to look at?". i was stunned. i didn't know how to respond to this.
my normal response would be to talk about how beautiful they are and how awesome it is that God loved us so much that He would create them for us.
but, this time, that wouldn't work. you see, this man didn't believe in God. so to him, those stars were just...there.
this broke my heart. i mean, it really hurt.
i look at those twinkling lights and see a loving and powerful and wonderful God.
and he sees...nothing.
i read a beautiful love story.
he sees...darkness.
i wanted to cry. i wanted him to know the joy i felt. the love i had. but he couldn't.
everytime i look at the stars now, i think of him. we are no longer dating. in fact, we don't speak at all anymore. but, i still wish for him to be able to see what i see. to know what i know.
i want him to see more than stars. i want him to see the love story that God has for him.
i want him to have his breath taken away by the thought that someone created millions upon millions of stars JUST FOR HIM. i want him to know what a gift that is.
someday, i hope he sees them. REALLY sees them.
i hope that some still night, he turns his face to the millions of glistening pin-points of light and really, truly sees them.

i don't get to the stars much anymore where i live. and i've been missing them.
i think i'll find a place just for me and my stars, like the one i had on my roof or that old field.
i'll find somewhere that i can just be.
i'll go and i'll sit in quiet adoration.
i'll sit and i'll read my love notes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Bit of Wish and Wash

i think i might be a bit wishy-washy. but then again, i might change my mind about that as well.
people who were constantly changing their minds or ideas or paths used to really irritate me. "just pick something already," i would say. i mean, come on, how hard is it to pick one thing and just go with it.
hmmm...well, i have recently realized that...i've become that girl now. i have a hundred different "great ideas" running through my head. a thousand different directions i would like to go in this life.
millions of feelings and emotions that i can't seem to get a reign on.
how did this even happen? i used to have it together. i used to have a plan.
but now i have LOTS of plans.
i guess, in a way, that's okay. i have options, right? back-ups in case something fails.
but, the problem is, i keep involving others in these plans/ideas/emotions and then i change my mind or heart and that's where the trouble starts.
people don't like a wishy-washy girl.
heck, i don't like a wishy-washy girl.
and i am that girl.
so what to do?
i really don't know.
do i continue on with my non-commital type lifestyle; always pursuing new things.
or, do i commit to one thing and stick with it and be safe?
i'm kinda leaning towards the former. for now at least. that could change. ha!
but seriously, i don't want to be that girl that everyone rolls their eyes at when she has a new idea. (i've been the one doing the eye-rolling before.)
i want people to take me seriously. to believe that i won't let them down. to believe that i won't let myself down.
i really don't know what to do or how to figure this out.
am i wrong because i don't want to stay in one place forever and do one thing for the rest of my life?
am i terrible because the thought of committing to something long term scares the pants off of me?
sometimes, i think yes and sometimes no.
and there we go again with the wishy-washiness.

Monday, October 19, 2009

officially a texan!

well, i finally got everything done and i am now officially a texan! (but, i'm still an oklahoman in my heart!)
it took for-stinkin-ever to get everything done, but it's done! yee-haw!
aw nuts! i just remembered, i still have to register to vote. pooh. oh well, i'm still excited i got everything else taken care of!

it's weird, because i thought giving up my ok dl and license plates and all that stuff would in some way be sad, but i'm really okay with it. i feel really at home here. i'm at a place in my life where i'm just so ridiculously happy and positive!
thanks be to God for His MARVELOUS gifts!

just goes to show that if you let Him lead, things will be good. and even if they aren't, you can still find joy in those times.

i'm still learning everyday to trust and be patient, but i'm coming along slowly and loving every minute of the ride!

so, if you are ever needing to take a rode trip, come see this happy girl in texas, y'all! ha!

Friday, October 16, 2009

stop imagining and start doing

i love the beatles.
i'd say that they are in my top 5 favorite bands.
i enjoy all of their music. throughout the decades.
and i liked their solo stuff too.
i love john, paul, george and don't forget good ole ringo.
i think that they had so much beautiful talent collectively and separately.

with that being said, everyone knows the song "imagine" by john lennon.
it's a beautiful melody. and the lyrics are a nice concept, i guess.

when i was in college in my intro. to theatre class, our final project was to take the song "imagine" and design a set, costumes and act around it. it really was a fun project. as a group, we tried our best to make everything very equal and well, vague. our concept was one of unity. but, like i said, it was pretty vague.

my professor for that class was the exact opposite of me. where i am conservative and a christian, todd was extra liberal and an atheist. but, he was one of my favorite professors of my whole college career. he made me think. because our opinions differed so greatly, i had to really know why i believed what i believed so as to be able to have an educated argument, err, discussion with him.
and we had a few of those.
but never the less, we got along really well.
i learned about theatre, but i more importantly i learned about myself. he challenged me and i appreciate that.

anyway, todd had us do this project, right. i knew why he picked that song. it's so todd. "no religion, no heaven, no possessions, no war" etc, etc.
and as stated before, while those are all nice concepts, are they really that great?

here are the lyrics:

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

yes, it would be nice if their were no possessions, because then there would be no greed, right? that's ideal. but i think we would still find something to be greedy about. we're humans.

and no hell? yeah, that would be wonderful, but then like it says, there would also be no heaven. not so ideal.

nothing to kill or die for? okay. but if there is nothing worth killing or dying for, then what is there to live for? this is the lyric that got to me the most. you would think it would be the one about heaven, but no, it was actually this one.
because without having something to die for what's the point of living or even having a heaven?

it would be wonderful if we could all get along. totally agreed.
it would be fantastic if people didn't have to be hungry. i get it.
it would be super if we weren't punished for our wrongs. okay.
but without all of those things, would we really be able to appreciate what we have? would we appreciate this life? truly appreciate it, if it were completely void of hardships and trials and choices and consequences?
i would have to say no, we wouldn't.

it's okay to be a dreamer. i'm a dreamer too.
but i just have a different dream.
one of love. and joy.
love for those people in different countries, different social classes, different backgrounds and religions.
and joy. joy in the toughest of circumstances. joy in the storm. joy in our diversity.

so, mr. lennon, i will have to respectfully disagree with you and not join you in your imagining.
instead, i'm going to live here in the now and deal with the reality i've been dealt with. i'm not going to dream of a perfect world, i'm just going to do my best to make mine better.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Welcome Home

Emma was crying. I'm not sure what happened, but my 1 year old great niece was not a happy camper. I sat at the dining room table with the rest of the girls in my family, eating Sunday dinner when we heard the familiar wimper.

There is always the sound of children's laughter or crying or whining in our house on Sunday. And normally, one of the mommy's gets up from their meal and gathers the crying child in their arms, wipes their tears and makes it all better.

For the past year the mom's have been on 24 duty without a break. The daddy's have been very busy overseas. Absent from our homes, but not our hearts and minds.

This Sunday was different than the past 52, though. None of the mommy's jumped up. They just continued their meals.

But, Emma stopped crying.

I looked over to see what had happened and there was Uncle Kory with baby Emma in his arms, wiping the tears.

At that moment it hit me, they are home. All the boys are really home for good. Not just on leave, but really, truly, home.

I've felt like I couldn't breathe for the past year. And if I felt that way as an Aunt, I can't even begin to imagine what the wives, kids, parent's and grandparent's have felt like.(God bless them. They are so strong.)

I kept it all in. My head knew they were gone. I told everyone about my family that was overseas. But I never really let my heart know. I knew, if given the chance to really sit down and think about them being away, to think about where they were, I would break.
I would lose it.
So, I pretended for 52 weeks that I was strong. I told myself that everything was just fine.

And now it is. They are back. They are safe. No more pretending. Our family is complete once again. No more counting down Sundays.

Later that afternoon, I just sat in the living room and smiled. So content. To my left sat Lance and Carly and Emma. On the couch were Kory and Teri next to Dusty and Kesha. Gloria was attending to son Mason, while Chad was coming inside from chatting with some of the guys. Every single boy was in his right place. He was home.

I don't get to see them every week like I used to now that I live in Texas, but just knowing they are back is enough for me. My heart can beat again. My lungs can fully take in the breath that was held for so long.
I can imagine them all gathered around the dinner table, laughing and telling stories.
Talking about bait shops and bands.
Discussing school and work.
Telling the kids to get out of the lily pond for the hundreth time.
Holding crying babies.

They are all there and accounted for.

We are thankful for where they have been and what they have done. They were truly missed.

But now we can finally say, welcome home sweet boys.

Welcome home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Texas oh Texas

holy mr. cow! becoming a texas resident is harder than becoming a u.s. citizen, i'm pretty sure.(don't even get me started on the u.s. citizenship thing. whole other blog, right there.)
ANYWAY, to get my insurance agent's license switched from oklahoma to texas, i have to be a texas resident. duh. no problem, right? wrong. geesh, is it a process!
to become a texas resident i need my texas dl. simple? nope.
to get my texas dl, i need to have my car titled and registered in the state of texas, show evidence of my birth, have my social security card, and surrender my ok dl.
i lost my social security card so i have to apply for a new one.
to get my car titled and registered in the state of tx, i have to have my car inspected.

sooo....i'm applying for my new ssn card. then, i'm having the ole equinox inspected. next, i'll get the title and registration. THEN, i'll get my texas dl. last, i'll get my texas agent's license.

oh yeah, and i had to get fingerprinted for the agent's license!

boy, who knew moving one state down would be so much work?

anyway, it will be well worth it (i'm sure) when i finally get it all done. at least i have a game plan, right?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Success vs. Faithfullness

"God doesn't call us to be successful, God calls us to be faithful." Mother Theresa
Goodness, she was a mighty wise woman, that Mother Theresa.
Here I have been, searching for "success". What is that anyway? Who defines success?
The world see's it as wealth, possessions, social status, fame, blah, blah, blah.
But really, what is it?
We are all looking for that job that results in a large income. Or the one that gets our name out there so people will know just who Carrie Carney is. We want the car, the house, the clothes.
Some people don't think they are successful unless they have the spouse, the kids, and all that goes along with that.
I admit, I've believed that I wasn't successful because I didn't have all of the above.
But not anymore. Nope. I don't define success that way.
I believe that I'm successful because...I'm happy.
Yep, I'm happy. I don't have a 6 figure income or a sports car or designer clothes. I don't have a husband or kids. And guess what...I'm still happy. Shocking, I know.
I have been blessed beyond all comprehension. God has given me more than I will ever deserve.
The world might look at me--a 28 year old woman who is STILL SINGLE, no kids, insurance job, average automobile, known to no one other than family and friends-and think that I am extremely UNsuccessful. And that's okay. You know why?
Because, I'm not living for this world.
A good friend had told me several times that I need to stop searching for the "dream job"(who even knows what that is anyway?)and work for the Lord. I can do insurance(or whatever else) and still serve my Lord and do amazing things for His kingdom.
I don't have to be a record producer or a famous writer.
I don't have to go to Africa or India.
I can live right here and do what I do, and still serve my Father.
Now, I think it's great for those record producers, writer's, singers, over-seas missionaries, etc. to do what they do. That's where they are supposed to be.
But I don't think I should beat myself up because that's not where I am.
God gave us all different gifts. If He were to have given us all the same one, gosh, how boring would that be?
Mother Theresa lived in poverty. She didn't own a car, she wore the same clothes all the time, she didn't have a record deal. She wasn't "successful" according to this world.
She served her God to the fullest. She put herself aside for others.
So yes, she was faithful. But, who says she wasn't successful as well?
I would say that Mother Theresa and the like are more successful because they are faithful.
Look at all the lives they've touched. Look at the joy that they've brought to others and the comfort they've given. Look at the gift that they've shared. That's success right there, friends.
So, maybe God doesn't call us to be successful, just faithful. But in doing so, He blesses us, like always, and makes us successful through our faith.
He's a neat guy, that God.
So, I'm gonna live, you guys. And I'm gonna be happy. Maybe I won't be that wife or mother or author or editor that I used to dream of being. Dreams change. And that's okay. My dreams now are to be as joyful and loving and kind in all situations as possible.
I want to be a light. I want to share His gift. I want to be blessing to Him. I want to be successful in my faith.
That's enough for me.
"He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" and, I know He will. He'll continue to bless me when I least expect Him too. He'll make dreams I didn't even know that I had, come true. He'll make me successful.
I just need to be faithful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

You may think I'm crazy...

Well, for as much as I love to write and talk, I'm terrible at this whole blogging thing! Yikes. It's been a looooong time. Here's the update:

I did it! I finally moved myself to Texas. It's been a goal of mine for sometime now, but I have just been waiting on God's timing. (I have come to find in the past that His timing is WAY better than mine.)

So, here I am. For those of you who ask if I like it, the answer is...YES! I am loving it. I am having a blast with all of my friends here. There is plenty to do. And I just love being somewhere new.

Yes, I miss my friends and family back home terribly. I'm not that horrible. But, I know that they understand( and I am so thankful for their love and support!) and are happy for me.

For those of you who are wondering about my job situation...NO, I still not have found a job that I want. I am, however, currently working at a Montessori School and am enjoying it. The kids are absolutely hilarious!

There are times that I get discouraged about the job thing. I am so used to having jobs just fall into my lap and this is definately not the case here. I have been so blessed in the past to have had the job opportunities that I had and I realize now that I totally took them for granted.

I have become AMAZING at interviews though! ha! I go on them all the time and get more and more comfortable with each one. This is kind of frustrating though, because it never turns into a job. BUT, I know that God is holding the perfect job at the perfect time for me and that I need to remain patient and faithful(not my best attributes, I must admit). I know that God is teaching me patience and trust at this time and I will allow Him to do so.

Some people think that I'm crazy for moving down here without a job. I'm totally aware of this. They think that it was stupid or bad planning or whatever. And they will just have to think that. I can't change their minds. But I will say this: I have prayed and prayed about this decision for 2 years now and I found peace about it. I know that God doesn't work according to our plans but to His. I feel so good about this move. I would have been crazy not to move. I feel like I am growing and learning so much. I am learning how to be positive and thankful in the toughest/craziest situations. He continues to bless me each day, and I have no idea why.

For example, part of "the plan" was to move to Desoto to a fairly nice house and pay quite a bit in rent. I would be closer to most of my friends in Desoto so I didn't mind paying the amount. However, I now have the opportunity to live in Waxahachie in a much nicer home for less rent. Although, I am a little farther from the friends, this is still a huge blessing because I don't have to be in such a hurry to make a LOT of money! ha! Things like that keep happening. Even though I worry, God always works the situation out for the best.

I have found a church that I absolutely love! The people are so wonderful! God is truly in our midst everytime we gather. I am uplifted each new week!

God is good. He is helping me to grow in my faith more and more, which is just what I want and need.

My dad and I recently watched a movie called "Faith Like Potatoes" and I highly recommend it. It is about a farmer in South Africa and his journey in his faith. It is absolutely incredible. During the film he recites the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says "If my people, who call on my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear them and heal their land." Because of this man's faith in God and his faith in prayer, amazing things happened for him. No, it wasn't all sunny days for him, but even in the most trying of times, God blessed him. This helped me to realize that my situation isn't that bad. I am so blessed. Everything is perfect except for the job thing, and I truly believe that will work out!

So, I will just continue to call on His wonderful name and humble myself and walk in the light and know that I can't go wrong.

So yeah, maybe I am crazy, but I'm happy!

(Oh yeah, and thanks Steph for the words of encouragement! You are just another one of the blessings that God has sent my way!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ch ch ch changes!

times they are a' changin. Current mood: blessed
yikes. july is coming up quick kids. which means i'm moving soon. eesh. i'm so super stoked about moving to texas. i've always wanted to live in the dallas area. not sure why. i guess it has something to do with the fact that there's always something going on and something to do. it's completely different from what i'm used to. i know, i know, it's only four hours away, but when you've never lived more than 15 minutes away from friends and family, that's quite a change! ha! (thailand and croatia for 6 weeks are total exceptions. :))it's gonna be such an awesome job. new house. new friends. new everything. so, yeah, i'm excited.but...i'm also kinda scared out of my mind. job. new house. new friends. new EVERYTHING!!! ha! i'm kind of taking a leap of faith with this whole moving thing. this move is something that i've been thinking about and praying about for such a long time. i've felt the urge to make some changes in my life but wasn't ever sure when to make them. i wanted to know that i was changing because it was a "God thing" and not a "selfish Carrie thing". and God has blessed me with a peace that i've only known a few times before. it's just time, you know? when people ask me why i'm moving, i say, "because i can". i know that sounds like a smart-arse question but in all seriousness, that's why i'm doing it. i'm finally at a point in my life where i'm ready to jump. to just let go and do something that i've always wanted to do (and most people think i can't) and just go for it. i'm ready to believe whole-heartedly that i can do all things as long as i keep Him first. i'm working on getting a job that i love. something that allows me to use my degree. something that makes me happy. i read a quote the other day about change. "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."in a way, i agree. i agree that there is meloncholy. that there is a bit of sadness. i mean, i'm moving away from everything i've always known.but i don't believe that i have to completely leave behind(die to) everything, just to go onto this new part of my life. it's because of the people and experiences of my past that i am able to make this change. they have given me the courage, strength and desire to go. it's because of the God that i serve and that will always be with me that i can move on. yes, it's going to be so hard to be away from family that are so normally close to me. and yes, it's going to be tough to leave behind a job and co-workers that have changed my life and helped me to grow. and of course, it's going to be terribly difficult to be away from those friends that have loved me and changed my life for the better.but, i found another quote that i do agree with. one explains how i feel. "Even though we've changed and we're all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we'll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we're not all still friends.”i don't believe that there is a place in this world that i can go that i will ever be too far from my friends and family to come back to them if needed. God has blessed my life(more than i deserve) with an amazing family and friends that are like family. they are a gift that i do not take for granted and will not let go of. who knows how long i'll be gone. maybe i'll stay there for the rest of my life. maybe i'll move across the country in a few years. maybe i'll decide i want to come back to western oklahoma eventually. who knows? you see, that's the beauty of this life that we have been given. we have so many awesome options and choices to make. we can do what we want. we can be what we desire. we can adapt and change. i do know this, though. no matter where i go, what i do, who i become, i will always have that deep faith in my Father. that hunger to do His will. that love that never ends, never fails. i will always be His child, His servant. i will go when He says go. and i will stay when He says stay. God has been so amazing. He has never failed me; never let me down. so even though, i'm a little apprehensive about the near future, i'm just going to trust Him. i'm just going to leap. because i know, He'll be right there to catch me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Proud Aunty

so, i don't really consider myself a "braggert". but when it comes to my nephews, i will BRAG all day. i'm just so proud of my nephews. they are such good boys. they are kind, caring, selfless, compassionate, giving...they are just good boys!if you know me and my family, you know that two of my nephews, dusty and lance, are both in iraq along with their uncle and cousin(who are both amazing too, i must say). whatever your opinion on the war, i would certainly hope that you will not disrespect our men and women in uniform. they are doing their jobs and doing them well. they are putting themselves aside for the time being and giving all they have. please, please, respect that. i have my opinions and if you have ever had a conversation with me you know what they are. so, i'm not going to jam them down your throat in this blog. i just wanted to take this time to tell you how wonderful my boys are. instead of me continuing to ramble, i will just share with you an email that i received from dusty not too long ago. his opinion and thoughts matter much more than mine. he's a special boy.(and so is lance! can't leave him out!) i hope you can see just how special he is through this small email. it speaks volumes to me.

"Hey Aunty how are you? I'm doing fine kinda busy but not too bad. Its election time here so kinda cool to witness. Its so funny how my opinions of this war have changed. Now dont get me wrong Iraq sucks, but i have got to be apart of doing things to better this country.We as Americans are actually trying so hard to help them, they have just been corrupt for so long its gonna take a while. Elections seem to be the worst part of it. People have a hard time excepting Democracy, but they will. Other than that all is well. I was thinking the other day, could you imagine us not being able to use our imaginations to play when we were kids and be whoever we wanted. People our age here never got that, but kids like mine will. That is Gods hand i just know it Carrie. He is everywhere. Love, Dusty"

now, if you were me, wouldn't you be proud? i hope so.