Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Favorite Things

right now are:

Song: Foo Fighter's "Best of You" and "Mighty to Save" by Kristian Stanfill are tied right now, narrowly beating out "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar.

Album: Louder than Creation (courtesy of Aaron for Christmas:)

Movie: Juno was good, and Atonement was well made (but depressing). I've been thinking that I'm overdue for a viewing of Dead Poets' Society and Flashdance.

Thought: "Just as I cannot trust someone I don't really know, my ability to trust God will only be as deep as my understanding of Him."

Activity: dodgeball and hanging out with Carter are both pretty high on the list (Speaking of Carter, he's asked about the blog (and knows the url), but I've asked him to not read it. I feel like he'd learn a lot about me from reading it that I'd rather him learn from conversation.)

Meal: Honey almond chicken salad on cranberry pecan bread with Kettle chips and Diet Coke at Bread & Co.

Workout: Elliptical for 30 minutes followed by kicking around a soccer ball.

Jeans: The $220 Citizen of Humanity jeans I got for free!

Shoes: The moccasin-ish flats I got for Christmas.

Drink: A good fountain diet coke barely beats out a nonfat sugar free cinnamon dolce latte with two Sweet-n-Lows.

Photograph: I love anything that reminds me of Santorini. My few days there were some of the best of my life.

Gifts: My friend "Grace" brought me a bag of my favorite chips (terra cotta) plus a bunch more goodies when she came to visit this last weekend. She's the best guest ever!

p.s. I'm grateful for people who speak the same language as me. While diversity is great and all, it was so wonderful to spend the weekend with Grace and have such easy conversation and fellowship. I've so missed the kinds of conversation we have; this was exactly the sort of weekend I needed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Favorite Story from the Angel Tree Deliveries....

I was so busy during December with over 180 deliveries for our Angel Tree and Family Basket program that I didn't really blog about the experience. I had never really organized anything like that; it was really consuming with hundreds of phone calls, e-mails, and deliveries. The planning began back in October, and I had churches contacting me before Halloween to ask if they could sponsor children. It's always nice to be reminded of how much people want to help others.

Some of the donors dropped off presents, while others chose to go with us to deliver the presents and baskets to the families. It was awesome to see how so many people took time out during such a busy time of year to shop for children and families they don't know and to see the excitement on people's faces when they received presents from strangers. It's also been nice that some of the children now associate me with receiving presents and are therefore extra nice:)

One of my favorite stories from our deliveries involved a donor family who went with me to deliver gifts to their adopted angel. The donor family picked me up in a car that had seen better days. Their children’s car seats were quite worn, and everyone was dressed very modestly. In appearance at least, they seemed to be faring worse than some of our students. Through our conversation I learned that the father had lost his job and had been unable to find work for months, and as a result the family had been struggling financially. Despite their hardships the family had vowed that no matter what they would adopt a child this year as they always had. The father commented that the Lord had given them so much that it was the least they could do. After we dropped off the gifts and were back in their car, the father stopped the car and went back inside to tell the mother which package contained a coat. He thought the little boy might need that gift before Christmas. I loved seeing his concern for the warmth of the little boy he had just met and am so touched by that family’s generosity. It makes me think of the belief that generosity is measured more by what I have left than what I give; and this family’s gratitude and giving challenges me to give away more of myself in the new year.

p.s. I'm grateful for the way others teach me about how to love and give.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy (Three Day ) Weekend!

Another joy of working in an afterschool program is that we observe holidays like MLK Jr's birthday, and to say that I'm a fan of three day weekends might be an understatement. I vote for every other weekend being a three day weekend, or at a minimum, once a month there should be a three day weekend. Even with my new life of less work, my to-do list (file 6 insurance claims, seek reimbursement for travel expense, complete form and mail to Georgia bar and get 4 more CLE credits, send congratulations card to friends, and so on and so on) seems to only grow. Of course, I'm not taking that extra day off to accomplish very much on that list, but it is going to be well-used.

I head to Calhoun tonight, and tomorrow we're celebrating my mother's retirement from the public school system after 31 years. She's taught biology, worked as a high school counselor (and sex ed teacher), and is now working as an elementary school counselor. I'm really proud of her, realizing how draining her job must be and how very important her work is. She's helped so many children and families. I hope she'll feel honored tomorrow and in the next two weeks (her last day is the 31st).

After our get-together, I'm heading to Atlanta to spend most of the rest of the weekend with Carter. He gets Monday off as well--an upside of working in the banking industry. The more I get to know him, the more I respect who he is. Another fun part of getting to know him is when he surprises me. Not with actual surprises, but when I learn something about him that isn't what I expect. I like it when I defy what people think about me too; i.e., when my Bible study group found out that I had been a lawyer, they were very surprised. I'd love to hear what surprises people about you if you feel like sharing:)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that the predicted snow doesn't snow me into Calhoun! And congrats to AM on her big news!

p.s. I'm thankful for the awesome music of the 80s, particularly Bonnie Tyler...."I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night; he's gotta be strong; and he's gotta be fast, and he's gotta be fresh from the fight." I feel an 80s movie marathon coming on too.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Bigger Pie Please

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe it's 2008. I have a good feeling about this year; I'll turn 30; I have to decide what to do next career-wise; and I've finally regained my ability to watch movies (I think billing in six minute increments in my former job sort of made it impossible for me to sit still); and in short, life is good.

Life also has a new addition at the moment. Carter & I have been on enough dates now that I've lost count, and I still like him (and the feeling is evidently mutual). It's so fun to be around someone who thinks as much as I do, has well-informed beliefs on most topics, can talk with me for hours with no sense of time, and has a heart for God. And it still feels sort of surreal that I've met someone who I even care to go out with once, much less countless times.

Despite how fun and exciting it is last week I found myself contemplating what this relationship might cost me, especially since we live four hours apart. Meaning I realized that the time I spend with Carter is going to have to come from somewhere else--that just because I've met someone I like does not mean that my pie gets bigger so to speak. For example, since I spent time with Carter during the holidays, it meant I had less time with my family and friends. I realize that's a no-brainer, but after not dating for a year and half, I feel myself clutching to my life as a I know and enjoy it. My life is easy and happy and very much living in the day just the way it is. On the flip side, I like Carter and love our time together. And ultimately when I think about how I want my life to look I know that one day I want to be married and have children--and that marriage is necessarily going to require dating and relationships.

I guess it comes down to taking a risk, realizing that it could mess your life up a bit but it could also enhance your life, adding some chocolate chips to a pecan pie that you thought didn't need anything else--but upon tasting it you realize how wrong you were.

p.s. I'm grateful for the new pink pajamas bottoms my sister gave me for Christmas. They are so comfy.