Conversation #148: The Home Stretch

So I said I may be MIA until after April 13th, and I have held pretty true to that!  I have been studying (or attempting to, I get distracted very easily) so I haven’t been around to blog or do much of anything.  My house – disaster.  Laundry – piled high.  Kitchen sink – thankfully the hubby keeps up on that!

Anyway, I have had some realizations in just the last week that I wanted to share and jot down for my memory’s sake.  First, I realized this last week that I had to surrender this exam to God.  I didn’t really know what that meant, but anytime I felt anxious or afraid, I would pray.  I would ask that God would take this exam from me and show me how to surrender it to Him.  I would also pray that the Holy Spirit would be with me and guide me (I’m not sure if I am supposed to talk to the Holy Spirit or ask God to ask the Holy Spirit – remember, this Holy Spirit relationship is very new to me.)  Anyway, I have spent this time time trying to listen to Him and surrender.  This exam was becoming an idol (even though I didn’t want it to be) because it was consuming all of me.

My other realization really just happened last night.  We are taking a spiritual gift inventory as a church right now, and I finally got around to filling it out.  I’m not always sure how well they work, and so many of my categories were scored very closely together.  However, the one that was the number one is Faith.  This is always ironic to me, and it this is not the first time I have had that be my top spiritual gift.  The reason it is ironic is because I feel like I have tons of faith for everyone else and never doubt God in their life.  However, when it comes to myself I start to doubt.  Well, hearing that faith is my gift again made me stop and go, “hmm, I should start believing and have faith for me!”  I felt God speaking to me through that inventory.

Lastly when I look back at my husband’s journey through law, I always feel like it was so easy to me to see God’s hand but I could never see Him the same way in my career path.  Well, He revealed to me last night and today that He was there and it is easy to see.  First of all, I weirdly entered into Civil Engineering.  I was watching Father of the Bride 2 (one of my favorite movies) and this particular time it hit me that Annie was an architect and I thought that sounded fun.  However, my college didn’t have a huge architecture department so I looked for something similar and ended up in Civil Engineering – how random is that?  Well, it isn’t when God is in charge! 

Then, I had to take a previous exam 4 years ago to begin the path of professional licensure, and I was sure I failed that exam when I walked out.  Hardest test I have ever taken, but I passed.  I don’t even know how because I was still in school trying to prepare for finals and such.  It was a crazy time, and God was faithful.

Next, I had always thought working for a city would be fun and right up my alley, but I quickly learned that getting a city job was pretty difficult (why that is will be a story for another day).  Well, one day, one of my professors knew a guy at a city and recommended me for the job and I got it!  Plus, they had to do a weird work around for me since I was 3 months out from graduating and they did.  God was faithful again!

Lastly, I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to take this PE exam this April.  See, you have to submit a record of everything you have worked on for the last four years to prove to the engineering board that you have the experience to sit for this exam.  I applied as soon as was physically possible (which still was tight with the timing deadline) and worried that my experience wasn’t enough.  I kept thinking if I could just get approved to take the exam, I know I can study hard enough to pass.  Well, I was so happy when I found out I was accepted to sit for the exam, and now I realize that God was faithful again!  I don’t know how all those things lined up for it to work out, but actually I guess I do – it was/is God.

So, I’m just under two weeks away from this exam, and now I think I feel more of a peace because I realize God has been in this from the beginning and He has been so faithful along the way.  I don’t know for sure the outcome of this exam because I don’t have the gift of Prophecy, but I do have FAITH and God is faithful!!!


Conversation #147: If you want my help, you have to let go

This spiritual awakening God is blessing me with has been a long time coming.  I was spiritually dead for a while, but then the Holy Spirit, in spite of me, started stirring in my soul.  I don’t know why, but boy am I glad.  The stirring is what lead us to a different church, but then it felt like I was always on the brink of something big, but I could never quite breakthrough the barriers I was putting up.  Finally, at our church’s womens’ retreat last April, I sat crying and praying out to God to help me, to show me how to breakthrough and I know I finally am.  It has taken almost all of this last year, and I am still learning daily, but I am hearing the Spirit and knowing God and relying on Him in so many ways.  I feel like that is a lot of what I am writing about lately because He is finally starting to fully be part of all of my life, not just the areas I let Him in the past.

Ironically, the women’s retreat this year starts on the day of the dreaded exam, but I plan to head out the next morning to meet God.  However, I don’t have to wait until then to meet Him.  I just did a little bit ago because I was down and I needed Him.

It is funny, but I seem to have decided to start tackling my fears, my addictions, my barriers all at the same time, but maybe that is because I finally asked the Spirit to come into all of me, therefore into all of my struggles.  I am reading this book called Made to Crave Lysa Terkeurst, and it is mainly about food, but it is really applying to all areas of my life.  One of the the parts I read today talked about food being more important to myself than God – that I am relying on food more than God, and I that I have to see that to stop it.  That struck me today, and it also made me realize that I am relying on a lot of other things before God.  WHOA – red flag!!!!

What am I relying on: food, clothing, friends, and my own abilities.  I rely on food and clothing (shopping) to make me feel better when I am down, to reward me when I do well, and to make me happy.  I have had such sadness and longing for amazing friends to make me not feel lonely (and while that is nice and He is actually giving me so many amazing relationships lately) God is really the only one I should RELY on for relationship.  Lastly, I used to tell myself that as long as I was accepted to sit for the PE exam, I could study hard enough to pass, no problem.  Well, now that I am less than four weeks from the test and have been studying since the end of January, I realize that I am not enough to pass this exam.  My strength has to come from the Lord. 

I am going through a study of Galatians right now with some dear women that I am loving more and more each time I am around them, and today when I felt down with the studying, I turned to my weekly activity to get in the Word and near the Holy Spirit.  Part of the intro I read was about someone hanging off a cliff yelling for help, and a voice from above said, “let go, I’ll help you.”  The person didn’t want to let go, and the voice said, “I will catch you, trust me, but you have to let go.”  I knew that was the Spirit speaking to little old me.  I was feeling so low about the PE exam and so helpless, and He answered, “let go and I will help you.”

Now, I’ll be honest, I am not entirely sure what letting go looks like in this situation, so that was/is my current question with the Lord, but I know He will answer and show me.  I know I have to let go and quit trying to do all of these things on my own, and He will catch me and hold me up and redeem me – He already has so many times before. 

I just wanted to share that today.  I hope you all know that if you need help, He will be there, just let go.


Conversation #146: How about something a little lighter today?

Thanks for going on my spiritual journey with me!  I just felt like I needed to process it all and get it out there.  It has been so amazing for me and I just hope that I keep calling out to God and Holy Spirit so He can just keep revealing His truths to me. 

Okay, so here is something pretty silly, but y'all know I like (ok have an obsession) with handbags, right?  I mean I have loved them for as long as I can remember.  I used to go through them pretty quickly and just buy cheap ones often.  However, once I got into college, I really began to value the classic, leather handbag that I could keep for more than just one season.  I think all of my handbags are leather now, except for any Vera Bradley stuff I have, and I just love using them all and shopping my closet when I want a new handbag.  Let's be honest, though, it is still fun to buy a new one every once in a while.  No worries - my frugality prevails.  Every time I think I'll save up to buy a real fancy leather bag, I just decide it isn't worth it.  I can't spend $200 if I know I can get a leather bag for $60 or less.  I have splurged on just a couple of bags in the past (and that was the $60 or $70 bag) but the rest have been much cheaper.

My tip for finding good leather handbags?  ebay!  (TJ Maxx and sale websites have also contributed to my collection)  I don't know why, but I love handbags so much that I will watch home shopping channels for entertainment when they have handbags on even though I know I will never purchase one.  Well, one late night while the hubby was still in law school and I had to entertain myself in the evenings, I stumbled upon on the Dooney & Bourke hour on QVC.  I became enthralled, which is sad really, but I just love looking at purses apparently.  Plus, I love the Dooney rep on QVC - she makes you feel like you are her best friend (which is probably why she is on there because she is good at sales!)  Ever since then, I have kind of wanted to own a Dooney because I love their classic leather styles and know they last forever if well-cared for.  I knew I wanted a satchel/speedy style bag and began hunting last summer.  I thought I was successful until the handbag arrived, and I quickly knew it was a fake.  Thankfully, the seller accepted the return and I just tucked the thought in the back of mind.  Well, I decided I need a navy leather bag, and I just knew I wanted it to be my Dooney.

I hunted and hunted on ebay (and I am now pretty good at knowing what to look for in checking authenticity) and I found my Dooney!  It is exactly what I wanted, and it was in pretty great shape.  I cleaned up a bit once I got it, but here she is (deep navy, not black - kind of hard to tell in the pic):

The best part - she was only $40 shipped (new ones sell for $245)
Okay, so this was completely silly and shallow, but I love a good deal and a good leather handbag!  Hope you all have a great weekend :)


Conversation #145: Where I am now...

So on this journey I am learning to go to God and the Holy Spirit whenever I need Him - especially when I start hearing lies from satan and most of them come in some sort of fear.  I have been feeling very fearful and overwhelmed and worried about this PE exam coming up.  I want to pass so badly, and I fear that I won't.  I finally realized last week that I was feeling this anxiety because I was trying to deal with it and not give it to God.  I asked for the Holy Spirit to come in and take over, and He did!  Here is an email I sent to my Bible study gals because we are supposed to share His work with each other.  I am just going to let you read it so I don't have to try and type it all again.  This is where I am now:

Hi Ladies!  I hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

I had just a couple of things I wanted to share, and I was afraid if I waited until tomorrow night I would forget it, plus a couple of things are links to a website I wanted to share.

As you all know because I have probably shared it too much, hearing and knowing the Holy Spirit is a very new thing to me, but being around all of you and learning how to hear Him and sense Him more has already been impacting my life.  It is crazy, because I think I thought it might be a long road (and in a way I guess it has been since it has taken me so long to open my ears and eyes) but all I had to do was ask for Him and He was there. 

The last couple of days I have been feeling very panicked, anxious, and overwhelmed preparing for this stupid exam.  In fact, I would say I was sort of freaking out.  Then it hit me this morning in the shower that I hadn't been filling that middle part of me with the Holy Spirit (or pushing out the clutter to allow Him to be there) but rather was holding on tightly to my ability or lack thereof to feel better and peaceful.  I was struggling with a migraine this morning when I woke up, and I just felt like I couldn't even face the day, but somehow I made it to the shower and just prayed that God and the Holy Spirit would come in and release it, and He did!!!  I think I have been afraid to pray like that before, but I realized that I was feeling overwhelmed and panicked because I hadn't spent time with Him for the last couple of days.  I asked for Him to relieve the headache and release me of the fears in my heart because I had just read this article in my google reader before I got in the shower:

The last two paragraphs just felt like God speaking to me :

Jesus warns them that he will soon be leaving them.  But he promises that "the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26).  On this basis, he assures them: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (v. 27).

Why is your heart "troubled" or "afraid" today?  Name your fear and surrender it to the Holy Spirit living in you (1 Corinthians 3:16).  Ask him to remind you of Jesus' words and teach you what you should do.  As we begin this season of preparation which culminates in Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, claim the fact that Jesus chose to die for you, that he is alive and praying for you at this moment (Romans 8:34).  Remember that ashes on foreheads will soon wear off, but your crucified and risen Lord will be with you to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).  And claim his peace

Quick sidenote, I found this blog/website actually from the men's retreat last year.  Husband came home just really inspired by what Jim Denison had shared at the men's retreat last year, and I began reading his daily commentary.  On so many occasions I have felt blessed by it and thought that God was just speaking through it to tell me something I needed.  I am now realizing that is the power of the Holy Spirit.  Anyway, I recommend checking it out if you have minute.

In fact, I also thought his post yesterday was really great and it felt like it was so much about what we have been studying on Thursday nights about not worrying about man's approval and knowing that Christ redeemed and delivered even little ol' me, the sinner.

I really liked these parts: (you should probably read it all to get the gist, but these are the parts that spoke to me:

How different would history be if God gave up on us as quickly as we give up on each other?  Would Moses have died a fugitive in the wilderness?  Would David's adultery have ended his rule and legacy?  Would Peter have forfeited his apostleship for his Maundy Thursday cowardice?  Would Saul of Tarsus have been known as the Apostle Paul?  Would the exiled Apostle John have given us the Revelation?

Where has discouragement been at work in your soul this week?

William Shakespeare warned that "our doubts are like traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."  Thomas Edison, himself no stranger to failed experiments and personal challenges, observed that "many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Our Father is in the business of reclaiming and redeeming our failures and frustrations for his glory and our good.  His statement to Paul is his promise to us: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So don't trust the world's opinion of your aptitudes and capacities.  The only opinion that matters is that of your Maker and King.  Step out today by faith as you obey the last word you heard from him, knowing that you cannot measure the eternal significance of present faithfulness.  Edmund Burke was right: "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."  That's because a little with God endures forever.
All of this has just been what I have needed to hear from Him to stop fearing this exam and making it more than it is.  I think sometimes I have been afraid to accept or think that I might not pass this exam, but I am realizing that if I am listening to Him, that worry doesn't even matter.  Plus, He has brought me this far in this journey and He already knows the desires of my heart, and I'll do my best, but what really matters is where I am with Him.

As I was walking into work late this morning (due to the migraine) He also put this quote on my heart that I actually have hanging on my cubicle wall, "Peace is not the absence of trouble but the presence of God." - J. Oswalt Chambers

I realized my peace was gone the last few days because I had shoved too many other things and didn't let God push out.  My worry was from an absence of God (not that He left me but that I left Him).

Anyway, I apologize for this long email, but our leader encouraged us to share when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us and just felt like I had to share this and it would be too hard to share these passages tomorrow night and remember it all as I felt Him sharing with me today.

Okay, that is all.  I am horrible at finishing up conversations and emails and I could ramble on forever so I am just going to stop myself.

I hope you all get to hear from Him today.  I can't wait to see you all tomorrow evening!

The awesome thing is that the Holy Spirit keeps giving me those reassurances where I need them right now in this exam journey, and I know I couldn't make it through without Him. 

So that is basically it now.  I just really need to go back through my journey and see how God has lead me to here.  I can't wait to keep seeing how my life is while relying on God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

I pray you know His power and have a blessed day!


Conversation #144: Remember the Forgotten God?

*Disclaimer - I am not a  theologian or a seminary student.  I am just a child of God and I'm sharing my personal journey.  If you have any questions, you can always ask me, but I urge you to read the Bible to find these things out, because I may not be saying it all in the most understandable way.  Always read the Bible to know the truths of God and His word!

So I started this blog series with a title about the Forgotten God (this is a great book by Francis Chan, by the way), but I have realized I did forget this part of God.  This part is the Holy Spirit.  Again, in my background, the church would mention the Holy Spirit, but we never really talked about it or studied it, and I definitely never understood it.  In fact, it was about a year ago in a women's Bible study at church that I heard something for the first time that changed my life, "Jesus left the Holy Spirit on earth to be with us until He came back."  What?!  No one had ever told me that before.  I mean, looking back now I realize I sang songs about that, but that was it and clearly I wasn't paying attention to the words I was singing.  This was a huge revelation for me and I realized I needed to understand this Holy Spirit more, but I didn't know how to.

Well, through circumstances orchestrated by God, I found a couple of women at church who studied the word with me more which lead the husband and I to that marriage class, then me to a women's bible study with them, and now we are starting a small group with them (and their husbands) and the other marriage class participants.  Okay, that is a fast explanation, but through all of this the husband and I have started learning about the Holy Spirit.  I have started reading Forgotten God, but have not yet finished it, but so far I am enjoying it.  My Bible study on Thursday night is studying the book of Galatians and what it says about the Holy Spirit, and these women in my Bible study are sharing with me how the Holy Spirit has worked in their life. 

What I have learned so far is that the Holy Spirit is what is supposed to lead me, comfort me, and protect me hear on Earth, and I have never tapped into that power that He holds.  This is still new to me, but I am slowly learning how to rely on the Spirit and ask for that power in my life.  You see, I do still believe in miracles, but I think we have become closed off to them, especially in America because we are afraid of the power of the Holy Spirit.  I know I used to be - I used to think that was just stuff in the Bible and that anything that might look like that power today must be evil or wrong or something, but why?  God hasn't changed, and why should I limit His power and what He has given us in the Holy Spirit?  I am slowly learning how to open my eyes to the Spirit and God is revealing so much to me right now.  In the midst of studying for this crazy exam that is weighing on almost my every thought, the Spirit is there comforting me and showing me and filling me.  It has really been amazing, and I want to share the most prominent way I have seen Him work in the last couple of weeks. 

It is crazy, all I had to do was ask for Him, and he showed up.  I always felt this longing for something more in my heart, and now I'm realizing it is because I wasn't allowing the third part of the Godhead to be a presence in my life.  All of this going back to my baptism, I realize that the Holy Spirit got through to me that one time, and I'm so glad He did, but then I shut Him down for the last 11ish years.  Now I'm realizing why there didn't seem to be joy or life in our old church, because I don't once remember ever talking about the Holy Spirit in the five years we were there.  I don't think they were inviting Him in because we were all afraid of that power.  I am learning that you have to measure everything to the Bible to know it is true and from God, but just because something seems a little different for us nowadays doesn't mean it is bad, it just means we might be putting God in a box and limiting His power in my life, and why would I want to do that? 

Okay, tomorrow will be the last intense installment of this journey for now anyway - I am sure I will keep sharing it along the way!


Conversation #143: The spiritual journey continues...

So I left off yesterday with our search for a new church.  I did feel God leading me away from the same type of church I grew up in at this point, and I also felt like that would be fair to the husband.  We needed a change.  We started googling churches in our area - kind of weird, but that is the age we live in these days.  Like I mentioned yesterday, my first thing was to go straight to their doctrinal statement and make sure it was Biblical and we agreed with it.  We tried a few churches, but again, the one where the people just welcomed us was ultimately where we landed.  In fact, there was another church we also really loved, but we felt like they wanted us to build up a young couples group and we had spent 5 years trying to lead that at our last church so we worn out, but it was very welcoming too.

We landed at a Bible church, and it did take me a few Sundays of telling myself, "it is just different, not weird."  It was new for me to be in Bible church, but God met me there and we started getting involved.  Our original commitment was hampered by the husband finishing law school, but once he did, we jumped all the way in.  We love pretty much everything about our church, but again no church is perfect, but I have felt God meeting me there in ways I haven't in a long time.

You see, the day I decided to be baptized was the first time I think the Holy Spirit spoke to me.  I had been contemplating giving my life to Christ for a while, but I kept telling myself I wasn't good enough.  I had to do more and be better before I could.  Then, one night at church camp when we had a guest speaker/singer there, it hit me - the Holy Spirit hit me - I will NEVER be better alone.  I will NEVER be good enough alone.  That is the whole point of the Gospel - Christ came because I'm not good enough alone, but through Him I am made new and clean and flawless.  When that hit me, I was like "yes, I am ready!"

It was a great high for a while, but then the world and the "law" began to work on me again.  If you have never read the old testament, then the "law" won't make as much sense to you.  Before Christ, God gave his people the law, something that would lead them (ultimately to Christ as Paul explains in Galatians), but once Christ came, the law was broken because the people couldn't keep the law without Christ.  Christ introduced grace which trumps the law every single time.  However, you can keep living under the law, but you will be cursed (this is all in Galatians, you should read it!)

The husband and I started a cool marriage class a few months ago, and that is when I started realizing that I was choosing to live under the law and make him live under the law.  I started actually hearing how this is what God desires and makes Christ death useless if I chose to keep going back to the law.  I'll be honest - this was hard for me to hear at first because it sort of made me realize that I had gotten a lot of this from "church."  This happens at a lot of churches and with a lot of Christians, but I felt like if I admitted this I was saying that my whole background was wrong.  I realized that it is wrong to live under the law and feel like I have to keep doing all of these things to be right with God, because I don't - all there is is Grace.  I realized that they way I was living didn't make me less saved because I had given my life to Christ in faith, but I was missing out on so much of His power and blessings because I had decided to go back to the law.  No wonder I wasn't hearing from Him!  When legalism creeps into church, it creates an atmosphere of living under the law, and this can happen anywhere, not just the church I grew up in (we see it in ways at our current church too, it is hard to keep out for some reason).  My background isn't wrong or awful, it is still the place I came to know Christ, but I have had to realize and learn to leave the legalistic things from my background in the past and move forward in the grace of God.

Wow, this is really getting to be much more than I realized, but it does feel good to process through all of this.  More to come...


Conversation #142: The Forgotten God in my life

I'm a Christian.  I think that has been fairly evident on my blog, but if not, now you know.

I grew up going to church, and I loved my church and the people in it.  I came to really understand and know Christ back in August of 2009 while at church camp in Colorado, but then satan went to work on me and I slowly started losing my fire.  I didn't lose my belief, and I talked to God often, but something just always seemed like it was missing.  I wasn't quite there or something.  I just thought I wasn't one of those people God talked to and went on living my life.  More on this later.

I went to a Christian university, but I quickly realized it wasn't much like my church where I grew up (I don't really want to mention the specific church/school I grew up going to because I really love my home church and the issues I found with my church can happen at any church, it is not denominational specific, some may be more prone to legalism, but it can happen anywhere).  It felt like a place full of hypocrites, and I don't mean to offend anyone who went there if you even know what I'm talking about, and I definitely don't think every person there was a hypocrite.  I just didn't like it, and so I transferred to a school that was almost a polar opposite.  That is really a story for another day, but weirdly I did find God at that Christian school, but not because of amazing atmosphere I was surrounded by.  Rather, I felt like I had to search and cling to God so hard while I was there because it would have been easy to lose Him in the tradition and rules and show (sorry, I felt like going to church was a social event, not a time for me to be free to worship).  Anyway, like I said - I left. 

I ended up a school where you had to choose to make Christ part of your life, and I loved being surrounded by people at Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) because they felt alive.  They had many other more exciting/fun things to do by society's standard, but they chose to be there.  However, the fact that I transferred schools during the middle of my freshman year (which I don't recommend) just made me be this weird hybrid of a person that never really fit in, sadly.  However, I went to small group and kept trying to feel God in ways I had before, but again just accepting that maybe I wasn't meant to.

My husband and I got married young (we were 20 and in the middle of college) and we found a church close to school, and it was the same sort of church I grew up in so I felt comfortable there, and my husband enjoyed himself so we decided to make it home.  We met a lot of nice people that first Sunday, and that is a huge thing for me when looking for churches (and of course Biblical doctrine, but I already knew the doctrine - we always look at that online first before even visiting a church). The husband didn't grow up in the same church as me, but he loved me and liked the people we met the first day so he was okay with going there, because now I realize that God knew I wasn't ready for something different.

We met some really great people at the church, and LOVED our campus minister.  He was such an important person in our lives and marriage, and I wish we could have stayed in college and his ministry forever!  However, we also longed for marriage support so we joined the newly marrieds class.  Everyone was sweet, but let's face the facts, we were at least 7 years younger than everyone else, much poorer (which is a weird thing to worry about) and just kind of out of place again.  You know, typing this makes me think that maybe I  will just always be in a weird out of place place.  Anywho, we went through three generations of our class in the 5 years we were there, and we still left as some of the youngest people in that class.  It was just a weird situation.

The husband had long commented on the fact that there didn't seem to be joy in our church, especially during singing, but I told him it was just different.  And it was.  This denomination (although it is actually nondenominational, no governing body, but I couldn't think of a better word) doesn't use instruments during worship, but I happen to love that, but others don't.  However, it was a longing in my heart that ultimately pushed us to move churches, not the husband. 

I didn't want to ever be a church hopper, and I know that no church is perfect, but we took about a 6 month break from our church before deciding to leave (we had been there for 5 years and had been very involved) and no one called or even emailed to see if we were ok.   I really thought we could have died and none of them would have ever known.  That just wasn't a church family experience I was used to or longed for.  Also, we again found ourselves in weird middle place within our last young marrieds group.  There was one side that grew up in the church, had a lot of money (we went to church in a very wealthy neighborhood because it was by our school), and bought starter homes that might be our third home!  Then there was the other side who were more liberal, kind of into the post modernism/pre-emergent church movement, and grew up with quite the family tradition in the church of christ (we called them insiders), and we weren't that either.  We never felt like we could really connect to anyone.

It seemed like our church had a lot of guilt over being white and wealthy, to tell you the truth.  They actually had a "diversity sunday" where an African-American guest preacher would come and speak and a gospel choir would join worship.  Sorry, but that seems way more offensive and weird to me than just being a mostly white church the rest of the time.  The husband and I are just not going to feel guilty over things we can't change or what God has blessed us with (I think you just have to look at what you do with that) and so again we felt like this just wasn't the place for us.  We are all different for many reasons than just skin color, and frankly, I don't know why we as a society keep harping on this fact.  Again, this is a different story for a different day, but we are all children of God so why don't we just act like it?  I know, because we live in a fallen world, but that is just how I feel.  Seriously, this is something I could go on forever about, but I won't here.  Maybe another day...

Okay, all of these things lead us to start looking at new churches, especially ones closer to home because we had moved after we graduated college.  Since this has gotten so long, I guess it might be good to take a break and write more tomorrow.  If you read this, you are awesome!  This post might be more cathartic for me than for enjoyment, but now you know more about me and it really does lead up to this whole journey I'm on right now.


Conversation #141: Yes, I am putting off studying right now

However, I have done pretty good so far with the studying (I hope anyway) so I decided I didn't want to go for forever without posting anything.  Plus, Murphy's Law, I had been feeling uninspired with blogging topics and once I don't really have time I realized that I had a lot I wanted to share.  My blog (old and new) have gone through many transformations, and the latest was blogging about what I wear.  I have no idea why.  I started randomly reading fashion blogs and got inspired and it seemed fun.  However, I don't have the time or camera or style to really be a fashion blogger  (or the money, except that there is a great group of gals who share their thrifty finds which is awesome!)  So I'll probably still post outfits sometimes just because it is fun for me and helps me stretch my current wardrobe because one thing I have learned is that I don't need any more clothes or anything.  I know I will still probably buy some items, but I am trying to be much more responsible and aware of what I spend my fun money on this year.  I'll keep y'all posted on this journey.  My plan is to really get back into sewing and stretch my skills.  I have a bad habit of not doing something if I think I won't be perfect at it, and that is just silly because how will I get better if I don't try?!

I have also been on a really great spiritual journey, and I plan to start sharing about that tomorrow.  God has been revealing so much to me, and I am just so excited about it.

Okay, only because I actually really like my outfit today, I am going to share it.  Like I said, there will still be that aspect, but just on a normal girl/blog level.  I love finding nice clothing and fashions on a budget so that is definitely my perspective on this blog.

This outfit was inspired by a J.Crew catalog from a while ago now.  I loved the idea of a button down layered under a suit dress, but didn't own one and J.Crew suiting pieces are rarely ever in my price range.  Anywho, I found this Gap dress on ebay a while back, and decided it was perfect.  I love it, and it was a great price!

Outfit breakdown:
Dress, Gap via ebay, $16
Blouse, Lands' End Canvas, $13
Necklace, local store in my hometown, $4
Grey suede pumps, Shoe Carnival, $25 or $30 (can't remember for sure) - had for about 4 years now

I really hope y'all will come back tomorrow so I can share what is going on in my life with you!