Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I've moved!

Come visit me at my new blog:

See you there! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why what seems like the worst thing is actually the best thing

5 months ago, I left my job at GEICO and started a job with another company. The night I accepted the job offer I had 2 other offers with comparable or higher salaries that I turned down to go to this company. Why? Because in my heart of hearts I knew that I was supposed to. My husband confirmed it, my heart confirmed it- so I did it. I took a recruiting job in an industry I knew little about on a leap of faith. A few weeks in, I knew I was in way over my head. I didn't understand the terminology, the industry or what my role in all of it really was. I felt sad, frustrated and confused...why had the Lord lead me here when I was putting in 100% effort and literally failing completely?

But I pressed on. 'It will get better,' I told myself. 'Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get your head out of the clouds!' So on I worked. With up to an hour commute each way, I worked from 8am to 6pm, usually through lunch, then drove home another hour. I was exhausted. But I was doing my best and giving 100% and then some. I started to feel a stirring in my heart- the job didn't sit quite right with me and everything I loved (photography, cooking, spending time with my husband/friends/family, etc) was being shoved into a corner. 'I'm no quitter!' I told myself. 'March on!' So I shoved the nagging feeling that the Lord had something different in mind and kept pushing on.

Then I lost my job...and I felt so relieved. So grateful. So fully of joy....and ready for what the Lord had next for me.

...and I'm still waiting. I'm working until February 15th and then after that have no plans to find another corporate position. After a lot of seeking and praying and asking those close to me to pray and seek God's will with me, I feel really affirmed that this is to be a season where I'm at home. Of course I will not be lying around eating bon bons and watching soaps all day. :) I'm going to be focusing on my photography, continuing my novel (2 chapters down, 50 to go!), blogging and working on getting items together for a craft booth in Canton. I really believe that God has made me uniquely different in the sense that my mind works completely differently then most people and He's given me a gift of creativity that would be a literal sin to waste. He has made me want to decorate and explore and create- and I am SO GRATEFUL.

I've always lamented that I have "frou frou" gifts that aren't practical and aren't useful. It couldn't be further from the truth! God Himself is the Grand Creator- if you don't believe me take a look around you! Look at colors and rainbows and oceans and stars and babies! God delights in creating beauty, and gave me the same heart for it. So where it will take me, I don't know...but I hope to look back in 6 months and be able to giggle at it say so THIS is why the thing that felt like the worst thing is actually the best thing. He always gives exceedingly abundantly more then we can ask or I am excited to see what He has for me. :)

So get ready....some cool things are about to happen for me. Hey God! :)

A Church- Planted.

I'm really honored to be a part of an AWESOME community of believers here in Dallas. We've been walking in community with them several years and really could have not asked God for a better group of friends who are real, kind, and genuine. :) We have been working towards opening a church for awhile- and finally this past weekend we had our first service!! It was AWESOME!! I had goosebumps almost the whole time. We met outdoors for our first service, but will be meeting at 10am at Criswell college downtown Dallas for the next 3 months at least. :) Come join us!! Here are a few pictures I took...nothing fancy.

My friend Sang, me and my sister.

This is where we met- it is in the Lake Highlands area. It was in the 30s but honestly I was hot by the end of it and had my jacket off. This is a big deal if you know my distaste for winter. :)

Scott and our friend Jason putting together the children's ministry area a 12 person tent. :)

Beautiful ladies :)

We had 2 baptisms- a mother and her son. It was really awesome to be a part of and I was really proud of all 4 of these guys for being brave enough to be in the fountain!!

So why another church in Dallas? Isn't there a church on every corner? Good questions. DFW is projected to grow over 60% by 2040. People are pouring in to this area at a crazy fast pace and the people coming include people who are lost, lonely, hurt, broken and in need of the Gospel. Luckily it is not our job to save anyone- it's God's deal, but we get invited to be a part of it. So our job is to be obedient and do our part to make sure every person has a chance to encounter the love of me, you will never be the same. :)

For more info check out:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

An Art Project

Wow...time has flown by...I can't believe it's almost been a year. To summarize the past year:

-Had a depths of despair, horrible, no good work situation that I did a horrible, no good, terrible job handling. On the other side I regret that I wasn't more mature and wise of how I handled things, but in the midst of it I did the best I could.
-I got a new job. Yay! I have a great job with a great employer- still in Recruiting. Learning so much these days about recruiting, and the similarities of all jobs at corporate America. BTW God totally gave me this miracle job in a huge way...I'll have to share the story at some point in the near future.
-My marriage went from 1 year to 2 years old. Yay! It's literally getting better daily.
-I joined Weight Watchers, lost 15 pounds in 2 months, got cocky, then got stressed and gained it all back. Now I'm back on it. Yikes.
-My community that I run with is planting a church! It's going to be amazing. I can't wait until January when it arrives, but until then it's a fun season of preparation. Yay! :)
-We completely redid our living room. It looks pretty cool :)
-We started training for a half marathon, but then things with the church plant became a little more time intensive, and we backed off a bit. Looking forward to retraining starting next week.
So I feel like there's so much more that's been going on, but that's all I got for now.

In other news, I had a fun art project yesterday. I have become super enthralled with Pinterest (you can follow me here btw) and I found the cutest idea on there. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but it just wouldn't be true. I can't find the original pin where I saw this idea, but someone basically found some cheap, not so pretty artwork at a garage sale or salvation army or something, cut out letters to spell out a phrase, glued them on and spray painted the rest of the board. Then you remove the letters and viola! Art.

We had this cheap ($5 to be exact) art canvas from IKEA that had been hanging in our craft room/office as a placebo art piece, so I thought it would be the perfect time to spruce it up. I have a Cricut machine, so I cut out my letters from the Songbird font cartridge. If you don't have a Cricut you can print letters off your computer, then trace them out and cut them. Same idea. :) I chose the phrase "exceedingly, abundantly" which is from Ephesians 3:20 (&21)- "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." It's such a great reminder of God's heart and character for us. Love it. Here's the canvas and my letters:

Then I headed outside with a can of spray paint and did my first coat:

Then I asked my technological best friend/assistant/robot/whatever, Siri, to set me a timer for 5 minutes. She's just fun to talk to.

Wait your five minutes patiently...or you can be like me and tap your foot and will time to speed along. :P Then do your second coat:

Looking better- but then I did another 5 minutes and one more coat, just to be safe. As soon as I had sprayed the 3rd coat I immediately began peeling letters off. I would reccomend doing this while the paint is wet so it doesn't dry and crack when you try to take them off. Here's what I ended up with:

I am really happy with how it came out. It was just so cheery and colorful and vintage-y, which I love. (I went back and sprayed the bottom left corner for more coverage, btw). I liked it so much I decided to do another in fact.

This comes from Matthew 6:25-27: "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"

This verse is such a great reminder not to get caught up in the day to day worries of life and to instead focus on the big picture and the goal at the end. I also was able to use the Cricut to cut a bird for the bottom right, which I thought was very appropriate. :) Same steps- here's my result.

And here they are, side by side:

Not bad for one hour and about $15, right?


PS: Don't have an IKEA? Try garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, craig's list, etc. Or, if you are feeling really crafty- get yourself a blank artist's canvas, and paint yourself a backdrop! Here's a time to experiment, go crazy and bold and see what you can come up with. You may like it so much you don't end up spray painting it after all!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Insane Texas Weather

ACK! The weather here has been crazy! Where is my 105 degree, sunny, sweltering state that I love so much?  Driving in to work and home from work the last 2 days has been really scary- there is ice everywhere and us Texans have no clue what we are doing. LOL. Unfortunately it seems like my path from home to work has been mostly neglected by the city workers.  Probably because everyone in our neighborhood is retired and aren't leaving their houses anyways and because we aren't close enough to the Super Bowl to be important ;-) I haven't experienced the negative wind chill feel in a while- since my Iceland days, in fact, but it is NOT something I miss! Boo you Old Man Winter!

I felt really off today. My throat is burning and my stomach is cramping. :( I also feel bloaty and gross.  It's days like today that I wish my jeans were Jeggings or Pajama Jeans (lol) but instead they are stiff denim and they are cutting into my stomach a little bit.  Thankfully they weren't even able to be buttoned 2 weeks ago so tight with bloating is an okay start!  I was supposed to go to a preview Weight Watchers at Work meeting yesterday but they cancelled it. I'm thinking about joining.  It will be nice to have the accountability and the plan.  I'm also really intrigued by their new Points Plus plan.

Anyways, I hope you all are having an amazing day! : ) Stay warm wherever you are!



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sleet Day!

The "historic winter storm of 2011" has officially hit Texas. I woke up this morning to my cell phone at 6:15am buzzing with texts and phone calls from friends, family and co-workers. We were all wondering the same thing- "what do we do??!?!" You see, around this area we actually don't get storms too often. Well, snow storms that is. We get plenty of "Texas Thunderstorms" which are beautiful, fearful light and sound shows that set in between April and May (then the drought season from June through like November, hahah!!).

Luckily, the weather people made the decision pretty easy for me and my crew. Little quips like "If you do not absolutely have to get out and drive we urge you not to" and "driving conditions are treacherous if not impossible" as well as scary numbers like 21 degrees (feels like 9!!) had us all calling in to stay home. My boss was extremely gracious and wished me and my husband a wonderful day off. (My husband is a teacher- so of course he didn't have to go in either!). If we had to have a surprise snow vacation day- this is the best day to have it since it's our 3 year anniversary of our first date. :) who would've known where we'd be 3 years later!

So we are going to make the most out of this little midweek vacation day. I'm on my second cup of French Roast coffee topped with Almond Milk, my husband is finishing up some grade book work and our two dogs are contently sleeping at our feet. The snow has stopped but the wind is awful so we can hear it howling over our rooftops. Our heat is running as much as possible since many heat lines are bursting due to freezing and it would be awful to not have feet in the 21 degree (feels like 9) weather!

Journaling and whole grain banana pancakes are a necessity on snow days. I think they should come pre-made in those fun emergency survival kits they sell online. We love this brand of mix (found at Costco):

Plus a really well aged banana :)

We had a mini "toppings bar" so we could each pick our preference...

As you can see, the pancakes look almost as incredible as they taste. Mine are topped with a very thin smear of peanut butter, a drizzle of agave and a sprinkle of cinnamon- well...just YUM.

During breakfast we talked about spending some time organizing and cleaning my favorite room in our house- my craft room (slash computer room slash photography studio slash Scott's classroom away from classroom slash coupon cutting center etc etc etc). This is the most colorful, fun, artistic room we have and where I go when I get my creative urges (which is a lot!) Sadly, it's kind of crazy looking right now.

See...we are plagued with stacks

and stacks

and stacks

of paper. What kind of paper? Let's see- magazines, items that need to be scanned, receipts to file, Scott's school work for his Master's degree, Scott's school work for his job, coupons, bills that need to be shredded (we paid them first of course!:)), cards, the Dissertation I am editing, Photography contracts, etc. A LOT OF FREAKING PAPER!! LOL.

The funny thing is I'm normally a pretty organized person. Unfortunately when I was in the depths of despair, cleaning was not my priority (although a lot of times I love to clean when upset. Go figure!) So, note for next time- don't do this. Double note- don't go into the depths! LOL.

So, after some sorting and organizing I was left with these piles.
-Items to be shredded
-Items to recycle
-Magazines to read
-Items to be scanned and categorized into Evernote.
-my editing work for job numero 2

Do you all have Evernote? it's amazing. I'm totally going to do a totally separate post just on that one day. But for now, trust me on this one- it rocks!

Either way it feels good to have my craft room clean and ready to be crafty! ;-) Now i just need a simple way to organize and keep up with my coupons- anyone have tips?

Now that I've done my daily chore (Scott did dishes), I'm going to get to work on editing. Boo. Fake vacation. But at least I'm still in my pajamas! Haha. :) Afterwards I am going to read something for fun, have some sort of lunch and play some FIFA with mi amore.

You all have a wonderful day- sleet, snow or shine!


Tania (and Bella :))

Monday, January 31, 2011

Life- the heights, the depths.

It's an interesting balance.


Sometimes you are on the up and up and there is nothing that you feel can hold you back- you are soaring, flying, free and well!

Sometimes you are in (as one of my personal hero's Anne of Green Gables would say) the depths of despair.  

Lately, it's been high and then deep.  

But through it all- there is hope.  Hope that I am not alone, hope that there is better to be had, hope that I can succeed and hope that even if my worst fears do come true, in the end it really will all be alright.

Since blogging last a lot has happened.  I've started my own photography business.  I've gotten a part time job editing dissertations. I enjoyed the holiday season with my family.  I almost lost my full time job (I didn't).  I was set free from unnecessary guilt. I almost was offered an amazing opportunity and in the last few moments I lost it.

Some things haven't changed at all.  I still have an incredible husband.  I still have a faithful, merciful God. I still have the most wonderful friends and a loving family.

My circumstances haven't really changed, but my heart has.  Where there was a shallow, 2 dimensional, surface level beliefs in basic concepts there is now a deep, abiding, 3 dimensional, raw, real faith that only suffering could etch and pull out.  If you have ever had any really crummy time period in your life, whether it lasts 2 days or 2 years you have the choice to choose how you will let it affect you.

Will you become embittered and hard, or will you allow the experience to shape and mold you into something even lovelier, even warmer, even more empathetic towards man kind? Will you eventually look back and be grateful for that time frame, or will you curse those days over and over.  Forgiveness towards others is an important healing step- but even more so is healing towards yourself.  

As you have been forgiven- forgive others, forgive yourself.  Love others, love yourself, love your past, love your current, love your future. Love your body, love your mind, love your God, love your neighbor with every ounce of your being.  

So here I am again. Back on this journey.  I guess I was never really off path in the first place! :)