Posted in Write 31 Days

Restful Mission

As I sit here trying to force my brain to stay awake long enough to get this post out there, I realize it’s a losing battle. I’m tired. No, actually I’m exhausted. The last five days have been a whirlwind of activity that started when my husband and I attended WordCamp Tampa last Saturday and Sunday. We’ve been going nonstop ever since. Between going to the gym, my day job, leading  Small Group at church on Tuesday night, attending a small group this morning at 6:00 A.M., work again, working out again, I’m beat!  Oh, and I accomplished a couple of administrative tasks I do for the church and cranked out a few blog posts. I’m physically and mentally whipped.  So, I have declared tonight my “I’m on a mission to get 8 hours of sleep”. If I go to bed RIGHT NOW, I may actually succeed in this mission.

I have a big and exciting weekend ahead of me. We’ll be spending several days with very dear friends we don’t see nearly enough, and I’ll be attending the Women of Faith Conference with my friend Lindsey. I’m looking forward to the next 3.5 days so much. And I know my body. I need to recharge. So please forgive the short post and come back tomorrow when I hope that my brain has had a chance to reset and I can tell you all about my next mission or mission related ideas.

Even my kitty Peppy says it’s bedtime.  Have a great evening and I’ll see you all tomorrow.

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~~~~~~~~~~UPDATE~~~~~~~~~~

Mission Accomplished – God had his hand all over this one!
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The read out on my Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit Sleep Tracker on Friday morning.

 

 

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

From Reeling to Reborn

2013; It’s been quite a year. A year filled with heartbreak and disappointment. A year filled with love, family and friends. 2013 was a year that brought me to my knees in desperation, and in gratitude.

As I reflected on 2013 for this blog post, I thought about skipping over the bad stuff. However, the single most important thing I want to do with this blog is to be authentic in who I am and who I want to be. And skipping the bad wouldn’t be true to that. However, upon further reflection, I could think of only one bad thing worthy enough to even write about. It was a single heartbreak, although it’s probably not the kind of heartbreak you would think. It wasn’t a person, per sé, that broke my heart. No, it was a company. Specifically, my employer.

In order to protect myself just a little bit, I’ll forego the down and dirty details, but I can assure you that my heart was metaphorically ripped out, put in a blender, and turned into mincemeat. I had bounced back from the previous year’s disappointment, and even began to thrive and enjoy my role in the company. Then, in late January, some news came down that changed everything. I was given a new role, a new boss, new employees, and new responsibilities.  Ironically, I was given almost everything I wanted the year before, but in the worst possible way it could have been done. I know we all experience professional disappointments from time to time, but this was the kind of ongoing mental beat down that makes you want stay down. It’s the kind that breaks most people.

But, you know what? It has not broken me. I’m hurt and disappointed by what’s been done to me, but I know in my heart that what I’m going through is all part of God’s perfect plan for me. If there is one thing that’s come from this experience, it’s that I find myself growing closer to God. In 2013, my soul exploded with His love. I’ve read more books, listened to more music, and received more messages of God’s Word than ever before. I’ve found that in my very darkest times, God continues to fan the flame in my heart. That flame was bigger and brighter than ever on August 4 when I was baptized for a second time. There’s something about making that decision and commitment as an adult that means so much more than my childhood decision thirty-five years ago. It was the #1 moment of the year, made even more special when Gil surprised me by taking my hand and joining me in a commitment to live out this faith journey together, side by side.

2013 could also be summarized by the “F” word. Well, three little “F” words actually: faith, family, friends. I know it is cliché, but this was the year that those three words began to morph into the same entity. I cannot speak about one without talking about the others. My faith brought so many incredible friends into my life, friends that are now as important as any family member could be. And speaking of family, the most important person in my life, my husband, is also my best friend and a guiding source of God inspired love and service. I’ve seen Gil’s faith really grow this year, and I am so proud of him and so blessed to be his wife.

If I had to pick one word to describe 2013, it would be metamorphosis. This was my, “Year of the Butterfly”. I found my happy place right in my own back yard during the late summer months. Over and over again I watched something ugly become something beautiful. Sometimes it was in the birth of a pinhead sized caterpillar, or a bee sucking nectar from an alien looking passionflower bloom.  Sometimes it was in the sparkling sunlight reflecting off drops of rain on a vibrant, orange flower. Mostly, it was in the moments glorious new life emerged from an ugly, hardened chrysalis. These were the moments that took my breath away. These were the moments in which I remembered God’s grace. While the voices in my head wreaked havoc on my thoughts, I found moments of beauty and stillness in those fluttering, beautiful insects. The beauty would take my breath away and silence the demons in my mind. In those moments, I was reminded that God will make beautiful things out of all of us. I felt a kind of rebirth, very much like the moment of my baptism.

Metamorphosis is defined as a major change in the appearance or character of someone or something. My metamorphosis is happening. I can feel it from the inside, in very much the same way that the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly inside a chrysalis. You can’t see it happening, but you watch, and you wait with giddy anticipation. With hope. With faith that something beautiful is coming. I believe God gave me those experiences last year to remind me that He’s not finished with me. I believe I needed to see that the ugly doesn’t last. I needed to feel that special kind of hope.

So, it’s with giddy anticipation I enter 2014 filled with hope that God’s hand and His grace will continue to transform me into the person He wants me to be.

Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

274/365 Now I’m Ready for Vacation

GAHHHHHH!!!!! My custom Tervis Tumblers came in today. One for me and one for Michelle so that we can keep our adult beverages cooler longer in the hot Mexican sunshine.

Is it next week yet?

The new customization option on the Tervis website may just be the death of me….or at least my bank account. I now want to make a special cup for every event in my life and in the lives of everyone I know. Really…everyone Every event. If you know me and my love for plain ol’ Tervis cups, then you can appreciate just how true those last comments are.

The photo I used on these cups was taken on our first trip to Aventura back in 2008. I’m so excited about getting back there. Not only was this the place, four years ago, that Gil asked me to be his wife, we are also celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary and we’re doing it with friends that mean the world to us.

Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

259/365 DaniLani

Gil and I trekked down to Ybor tonight to see one of our favorite band, Son of a Bad Man, perform at Collage Ybor. We also got to see another local band that kinda rocks it – Fight Another Day. I recommend you catch both of these bands when ever you have a chance. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.

We had been to Collage before and I knew my friend Danielle’s artwork was on display here, but I had forgotten. So, it was a wonderful surprise when it grabbed my attention as I walked by.

Danielle’s art is some of my favorite on this planet. Period. She is able to take a few song lyrics, a canvas and some scrap paper and create a piece of art that evokes emotion at a very personal level. I can’t wait until I have one of these special and personal pieces gracing our walls.

Her name is Danielle Lanier and you can find more of her artwork and information here. If you are looking for a special gift for a friend or even for yourself, you can’t go wrong with one of her custom creations.

 

Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

248/365 Purring Whirring

For the second day in a row, I received another truly special and meaningful gift. Imagine my surprise when I found this waiting for me when I got home today. THIS is something I’ve been wanting for a long time, since the first time I laid eyes on it.

However, this time I have to admit I think I’ve never laughed so hard as when I read the note attached to the kitty fan. The five little words written on a piece of notepad paper were sincere and honest and from the heart. And, funny as hell. I almost peed my pants and I’m not sure which I loved better…the fan or the note. Either way, both were completely unnecessary but truly cherished.

Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

247/365 Joyful Endings

We wrapped up our small group tonight. I think that next Wednesday, when I’m not gathering with this amazing group of Christians, I just may sink into a serious depression. However, I have this absolutely beautiful gift from Jen and Manny to fill me full of joy every time I look at it. The significance of this gift means so much to me.

Gil also wrote about our evening here. I invite you to check out his gift. It’s pretty incredible as well.

 

Posted in Inspired by Music, My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

237/365 Time for Church

Day 4 of Rock by the Sea 6: I was able to wrap up the raffle and auctions with seconds to spare…literally. I claimed my saved spot by the stage (Thank you Lindsey and Tammy!!!!) just about 60 seconds before the boys walked onto the stage.

As always, NEEDTOBREATHE did not disappoint on ANY level. Even when the power went out on their microphones, Bear stepped out to the edge of the stage and gave us everything he had. And it was enough. This 90 minutes was the dose of Holy Spirit that I had been craving all weekend. There is nothing I love more than feeling music. Correction, there is nothing I love more than feeling music and God’s love washing over me.

Or maybe that was just the sweat from having danced my tushy off.

But seriously, God blessed those boys in that little band from South Carolina. He not only gave them talent to write, sing and make beautiful music, he has allowed them to share that talent with so many people. And if you are very fortunate, like me, you will hear the words and know that God is working through them. I am proof of that.