Today, I had to finish wrapping presents. Every year I realize how much I don't like to wrap presents and really consider just giving gift cards. At some things, I feel like I have to be a perfectionist, but wrapping is not one of them. I usually always cut too much paper, the ends look bulky, the bows are smashed or I can't get them the way I want them. I get a little impatient with the whole process, and I think a lot of it is that I know they are just going to tear it apart and throw it away...so why do I need to make it look perfect when they are just going to discard it? Aren't we always told it's not what's on the outside that matters, it's the inside? Isn't that what they are waiting to get to - the present inside the poorly wrapped present that I impatiently put together?

While I was doing this today, it got me thinking about the reason why Christmas is celebrated each year. Jesus. God's present to us many years ago was His son. He came to Earth in lowly status and knew He would die to save us from our sins. He came knowing He would face the ultimate betrayal and death on a cross. He was not wrapped in expensive clothes, or live in a fancy house. He did not come into this world as a King in that time would, but came to us and took the form of a servant. God's gift to us was His only son wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger. On the outside He was just a carpenter, but on the inside He was God's son that became a man to give us the ultimate gift. So, as I was wrapping gifts today I didn't worry about how the outside gift would look, but knowing the joy that would be received from what was inside. What really matters is Christ this season and all that His love brings. Merry Christmas.


100 Percent

Last night I was watching the news to catch the weather, and they said that there was a hundred percent chance of rain today. Normally, that is not the case. Usually they will give you a slight percentage and it may rain, or it may not. This got me thinking that there are not many things in life that we can say are guaranteed.

Some things I would like to be guaranteed, like a low credit card interest rate, but that's not something I believe I am going to get. In life, we would like to think that we could be guaranteed several things. Like, the love of our life will stay with us, but they could choose to leave. That our job will always be there, but it may not. That we will always have great health, but we could get sick. You never know what life is going to throw at you, never. It could all change in a moments notice, and the only thing you have control over is how you handle it.

When things are thrown at you, do you take it and roll with it, and try to see how God is moving, or do you run and hide? Have I faced a major tragedy in my life, no. But I have had my share of heartache, and it is not easy, but what I have learned through those experiences has been invaluable. Ultimately, God is in control and knows what you will face before you do. He is going to give you more than you can handle because He wants you to trust in Him to carry you. Lately, I have had to pray for God's strength. This is a very busy time for me and I am tired. I am battling this daily, and my only strength is God. If you think about what is guaranteed in your life, it is the love God has for you. Well, that, and death, taxes and today the rain.


Today was a great day. Since yesterday was so tough, I guess that is to be expected. I found myself very busy and feeling overwhelmed with a peace that can only come from people praying for me. I have been thinking a lot about things in my life and have realized how very blessed I am. I guess with Christmas just around the corner, it makes me very thankful for people in my life. There have been so many people recently that are experiencing very upsetting and trying situations, and it makes me wonder what kind of friend I have been to them.

Our lives can become so selfish at times. I know I am guilty of it. There are days where I am thinking about myself, and miss the opportunities to serve someone else because of it. I really do try to not allow things to be all about me, but we are human and have selfish natures. A former friend of mine used to say all the time, it is not all about you. There is so much truth in that statement. It isn't all about you. There are so many people in the world that you could make a difference to, if you just change the way you look and think about things. Life is hard, and very confusing at times, but if we just remember the little things and think about others every once in a while, life will be much more fulfilling. Just keep this in mind as you do things in your life and don't let your own stuff get in the way of loving others. Christ was the ultimate example of this when he walked the Earth. It was never about Him and He gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, by dying on the cross. Going through your day today, reach out to someone and love them.


The wonderful thing about living in Tennessee are the trees and hills in the country. I absolutely love living here because of that. From where I live I can be in the country, or city within minutes. I was having a very rough day today, so I left early. I had something happen recently that was harder for me than I thought it would be. It takes me a couple days to process something, then it all comes crashing down around me. The emotions just came to the surface out of nowhere and I had to leave. I ended up coming home and going for a drive to clear my head. I drove through Leiper's Fork over to the Natchez Trace and back home again. The sun came out just as I was arriving home and I had to take advantage of this gorgeous day before winter comes. As I was driving I noticed that there are several homes for sale. A lot of them farms with a lot of land, and if I could afford it, I would buy one in a second. I thank God every day for the home I have, but a dream I have is to live in the country away from all the clutter of the city.

Along my drive I came to a cross road and I had to choose which way I wanted to go. One way, I wasn't sure where it ended up. The other way, I knew where I would be. Normally, I would go the way I didn't know and figure it out, but I didn't have the energy today. It did get me thinking about how often times we take the easy way, the way we know, when confronted with something we don't know. At times this is a good thing, and others it isn't. How do we know that the way we didn't choose, could have been far greater than traveling the normal way. There is a book titled The Road Less Traveled that goes in great detail about this very thing. Sometimes the road that is traveled less is the road that will lead you to a far happier place and where you need to be. No matter which road you choose, God is always with you. He knows which road you will take before you take it. You may choose the road that will be rougher and harder, but God is always there carring you along the way.



Yesterday I watched the movie UP. It is an animated movie about an adventure an elderly man takes and what he learns along the way. What struck me in this movie was the beginning of the movie. He meets a girl when he is young, and they are both adventurer's. She has a book called My Adventure Book, and the first few pages are filled with pictures and drawings of things she wants to do, or has done. Then there is a page where she wrote "The Stuff I am going to do", then there are blank pages following it. Well, they get older, marry, and she passes away. She gives him the book before she passes as if to encourage him to continue the adventure. He ends up taking their house to the place she always wanted to go, and never got to.

What got me thinking is there is a part in the movie where he pulls out the book after she is gone, and begins to flip through the pages. He gets to the page where it says "the stuff I am going to do" and doesn't think there is anything after it, but he sees that she had filled the pages following with pictures of their life together. What mattered to her wasn't the stuff she did, it was being with him. Her adventure didn't have to be just stuff - it was the stuff that meant something. If you have read my blog before, you know I am a big believer in life being short, and living life to the fullest. When you get to the end of your life, and look back, can you say that the stuff you did made your life full, or the relationships you had? Life is an adventure and will be what you make of it.

The definition of Adventure is: to risk or hazard. to take the chance of; dare. a bold, usually risky undertaking of uncertain outcome. Sometimes it is scary to take that leap of faith. I know, I've been there. I am somewhat guarded from being hurt, but that does not stop me from trying. God is preparing another adventure for me to explore, and whatever that is - whether it is something difficult, or out of my normal, I am willing to take it. Going through life you are not going to know the outcome of certain things, but if you don't take the chance, you will never know. All adventures will lead you to learn more about yourself and the outcome may surprise you.



Today, I was addressing an envelope, and as I typed up the label and put it on the envelope, I knew the Post Office would get it where it needed to be. That label told them who it belonged to and where it was going. Without the label, the envelope is exactly that, an envelope. It doesn't change with the label, become better or worse, it is still an envelope. The Post Office is not going to look at that envelope and not process it because they don't like the label, they are going to treat that envelope exactly the same as they do all the others. We have a lot of clients in my company, so over my time there, I have typed thousands of labels. Just like people. We have thousands of labels (both good and bad) for people in our lives, and people we pass by. How many times have we labeled someone based on their outer appearance, or a certain way they act. Does that label, that you are assigning them, make them any less or more of a person than you? Does that label make them someone other than exactly who God created them to be? No. They are still a person and still someone that God created, just like you.

I am guilty of this, I'll admit it. It is so hard not to do because it is easy to pass judgement on someone because they are different than what you believe they should be. One of the most frustrating things to me is when someone is lazy with work. Not someone who takes time off, because everyone needs that, but someone who will only do what they need to get by. When I stop and think about it, maybe they aren't lazy. Maybe they just need that feedback, or need more training so they can work more efficiently? Just because in my mind I have labeled them does not mean that is who they are. That label could be the hindrance from me showing them God's love. The labels you place on people, and that people place on you, do not define who you are in Christ. He loves you exactly the way you are. Can we all improve, of course, but God is there to guide and teach you to be the person He meant for you to be. The next time you have a label for someone, think about how that label could effect their life, and yours.



The time change happened last weekend and it gets dark much earlier now. Having the daylight in the morning does not effect me that much, but not having it in the evening does. I feel like I need to go to bed so much earlier. Tonight though, I am thankful it was dark early. It was one of those perfect fall days where it was cool enough for a jacket, but the sun was out and the sky was blue with not a cloud in it. When I left work, I decided to go to the park to run. The sun was starting to set and the colors were amazing. The moon was already out and it is a full one. So, I am now sitting on my back deck with an amazing view of the full moon overhead. It is amazing to me how God has given us so many beautiful things each day to remind us how much He loves us.

Appreciating the time that God has given you is important. Take the time to love the people around you and appreciate the blessings God gives you daily. Life is so busy now and it seems the older I get the faster time goes. God only gives us one life to live so shouldn't we live that to the fullest? Often I get side tracked with superficial things, and honestly just things that don't matter. What if we spent that time investing in other people. Helping, serving and praying for others and their needs. How fulfilling would that time be spent if those were the things we focused on. We need to humble ourselves enough to know that this life is not all about us. Allow God to use us in such a way that brings glory and honor to Him. Time is precious and there is not a lot of it, so it should be used wisely.



BOO! Did I scare you?? No? I didn't think so....

It's October and the month of Halloween. Kids get to dress up and get a ton of candy, and everywhere I go, there are signs for haunted hay rides, and corn mazes. Fall is definitely here and with it comes football, apple cider and festivals. I love fall - I love the cool weather and the changing of the leaves - but it all ends so fast.

Just like things in life. How often do we think something is going so well, and then all of sudden, it ends? We are cruising along, things are smooth then you are hit out of no where with something? It happens all the time. Usually when things are going smooth, I wonder when it's going to get shaken up so God can teach me something. I don't ever want to miss what God is trying to teach me, but sometimes the end of something good means heartache. Through that, God often takes us to where we can't go anywhere but to Him. He wants us to trust Him and know that he always has our best interest at heart. I have lived it and I know sometimes that is so hard especially when you are in the valley, but knowing that eventually He will get you through it and what you learn will be far greater than the hurt.



Today I am off work, which I desperately needed after my seventy hour work week last week. I just can't keep up like I used to :) I treated myself to a massage today, which is a treat that I often don't get. I would have one every week if I could. Maybe I should marry a massage therapist, then I could!

Some people have a preference of whether they have a man or a woman therapist. I prefer a man because woman are too rough. I think they try too hard because they aren't as strong as most men. Some may think this is odd, to pay a perfect stranger to massage you - but I think it is fantastic. It is all how they handle it and how you think of it. When I lived in Ohio, there was a male therapist that I went to all the time. He was the best, and I haven't quite found someone like him here yet. The male therapist I had today was good, but he talked a little too much for my taste. In the middle of the massage, he was trying to guess how tall I was, and it just went down hill from there.

I wanted something to be all about me and not to be needed. I am needed all the time, and I was a little burnt out with it. I feel so selfish saying that, but I needed peace and quiet and just to relax. We are all needed for something each and every day, but we all need breaks. I have realized, that is why people take vacations (which I need as well). Hard work always pays off in the end, but every once in a while, take a break. Refresh yourself and clear your mind. Even Jesus rested when He walked the Earth, and He wants the same for us.


It's worth it

I fear that I am a hopeless romantic. Is it bad that I watch romantic movies and want my own story? When I watch these movies and the man truly loves the woman and will do anything to get her, it is hard for me to not want someone to feel the same way about me. Ok, I am aware that they are all a script and life is truly not like that, but for some people, I believe it can be (please keep in mind it is Sunday :)

A long time friend of mine used to tell me that I had "walls" built up around my heart, and for the most part, he was right. I've gotten better about letting people in, but I still don't fully. Along with the love, there can also be hurt and pain that can come along with it. Each time I have let someone get over that wall, I have gotten hurt. When I love someone, I truly love them and give my whole heart to them. Love is a choice, but for me it also has a lot of deep emotion attached to it - if that person is lucky enough to get over that wall.

Everyone goes through hurt and pain eventually. Just like the saying goes, "you hurt the ones you love". Someone is going to hurt you and at the time you may think you won't get over it, but eventually you will. Love is worth the chance even if you are afraid of getting hurt again. Life is short and it's not worth throwing away a chance to be happy with someone who loves you in return.



In 2005 I went on a mission trip to Mexico and it was an amazing trip. It was extremely hard work, but also extremely fulfilling. What I learned on that trip will be with me for the rest of my life. I hadn't thought about the verse that God showed me that week in a while, but it came up in my bible study the other day, and it brought back so many memories. The simplicity of the verse and the way it spoke to me that week was a valuable lesson that I needed in my life.
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 says Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. What I needed from this verse that week was no matter what I was dealing with at the time, give thanks in that circumstance. It is so extremely hard to do, and I am still not good at it, but it is so important to know that God always has your best interest at heart. It may be hard, and you may not want to be in the situation you are in, but there is a reason. As you know if you have read my prior blogs, I am not always super excited that I'm single. What I am trying to keep in perspective is that I just need to be thankful for the circumstance I am in. God always has a plan and I just need to trust Him and what He has for me.



I believe that communication is one of the most important things with any type of relationship, and probably one of the hardest. One thing that makes it so difficult is getting across what you want to say without offending or hurting the other person. The other side of that, is saying what you need to and being prepared for the response. In my prior relationships, the communication style was always very different. In some relationships I was afraid to say what I felt because no matter what it was, it would not turn out well. In others, I had the freedom to say what I needed. This is how I learned what the best way was for me to communicate. I am a processor. If there is something on my mind, I have to really think about it and make sure I know exactly how I feel before I talk about it, or it all just comes out badly. I had to learn to communicate out of love, and definitely not when I was angry. This was hard for me to learn when I was already conditioned a different way. If I do have something on my mind, I have to really process it, and know exactly how I feel before I express it. If there is something wrong, I have to get to the "root" of the problem to make sure I am not just being over-dramatic. I had to change how I communicated, and it was tough. Now, I really try to think about what I say before I say it, or it can come out wrong. Am I always successful at this? Absolutly not...sometime my filter is off, and I cause all sort of problems :) As I always say, it's all in the delivery. If you delivery what you need to say in a respectful way, it should be received well.

Even now, there are several times lately where there have been things I wanted to say, but didn't. I didn't want to say what I felt for fear of hearing an answer I didn't want. Is that right to do, no, I dont' think it is, but it is reality. Sometimes saying what you feel is a scary thing, and it's hard to be vulnerable to express what you truly feel or think. The important thing to remember is life is short. John Mayer said it best when he sang "Say What You Need to Say". There is a lot of truth in that.


Regarding Sunday...

So, the last blog I wrote was not very positive. I was in such a funk that day and lost sight of the important things. I know we all can get that way, but I probably should have kept all that to myself. I am human though, and being a single woman is tough sometimes. You have an unspoken expectation on you that you should be married and have children by a certain age. All of my sisters are married with children, so I sometimes wonder why I'm not. All in all, my life is great. God has blessed me more than I deserve and I still get whiny about stuff. I am very lucky to have the life that I do, because I know it could be much worse.

Of course, when I go through things like this, God is always there to show me that He is still in control. My Bible studies this week have been about God's love never failing, He is the one that will fill your life, etc... This morning while I was getting ready for work, a song by John Waller came on that I hadn't heard in a long time. It's called "While I'm Waiting". This song just talks about serving and praising God while you are waiting for Him. This is absolutely an area of my life that I need work on. Patience is not easy, but needed. I'm sure I'll go through valleys in my life, but even when I'm there, God is too.



As I've probably said before, Sundays are extremely hard for me. I'm not completely sure why, but they are just difficult. It is on Sundays that I am hit with the reality of how single I am. Normally, I don't mind being single. I don't mind being by myself, and I am pretty self-sufficent, but today was different. I do want to be married. Sometimes I feel so selfish feeling that way, and I feel I need to trust God's timing more, but it is really hard sometimes. I know God's timing is perfect and normally that brings comfort, but today was rough. I am sure other single women go through this too, and I need to quit whining, but I am just having one of those days...

Is it too much to ask to want someone that completely loves me for who I am? To have someone that knows me so well, that he can complete my sentences? Someone that has such a love for me that nothing will keep them away from me? I don't think it is...even though it sounds very cheesy. It could be all the "chick flick" movies I've watched today, but it is still something that I pray happens one day for me. Marriage is a scary thing with the high divorce rate, and many marriages are unhappy. Does that mean that if I do get married, it will be always happy? No. Will I settle for someone that I don't truly love? No. God will have to come first, and I am not guaranteed that whomever I do marry will stay forever. But is it worth it to try? Yes, if it is God's will. You can't choose your family, but you do choose who you love. "Love is many things, it's varied, but one thing is not and can never be, is unsure" (yes, that was from one of my girly movies today...) You can choose to love someone, and can choose not to. It has to be for better or for worse, because that comes with every relationship.

It's almost like a puzzle - I've tried to fit with a few pieces, and some of them fit in some ways, but not every way. I'm still looking for my piece of the puzzle that fits. The hard part in all this is that I always expect each relationship I have to end the same way. I always expect him to leave, for me to not be worth it for him. But one day, I know through God's blessing my piece of my puzzle will find me and the puzzle will be complete. Until then, I guess I get to go through little funks like this and know that tomorrow is a new day.



I'm going to admit something, that my dad would be extremely disappointed in. I hate to fill up my car with gas. You may be asking yourself, why would dad be disappointed? Well, here is an example. I live about thirty minutes from my office, and it's roughly 22 miles. Yesterday morning, while I was on my way to work, my low gas light came on. I have an SUV, so when this happens, I don't have long before the gas is completely gone. So, when I was leaving work last night (late, of course) I had forgotten that it had come on that morning. I didn't want to stop downtown where I work, so I figured I could at least make it half way home before I had to get it. I began to get a little nervous when I was close to the exit where I wanted to stop and the car began to putter just a little. I did make it, but this happens often. I just don't like to stop and do it. I know it gets you where you need to be, but the cost and time it takes just annoys me a little.

While I was pumping the gas I was asking myself why I do that almost every time? It isn't safe or smart. I was going through all the scenarios in my head of what could happen, and how my dad would be mad...and this got me thinking about my walk with God. How many times do I get so busy that I am running on empty? If God is the gasoline that makes you go, filling up every day will make everything run smoothly. I admit, I struggle with having daily quiet time. Some days I'm in such a hurry, it just doesn't happen. Those are the days that end up making me feel like I've been wrecked. Why? Because I'm trying to do it all on my own. We have to realize that drawing closer to God every day will only make us stronger and things will run smoother, even when things get tough.


My niece and nephews are here staying with me again this week, and they are hysterical. Of course they have their little spats here and there, but overall, they are great. It makes me realize how hard being a parent would be. I'm constantly looking to see where they are and worrying if they are having a good time. I know it is different because I am just their aunt, but I still think that way.

It also makes me see why parents lie. They tell their kids things to make things go a little smoother. It's starts so innocently. Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, you know, the normal. Then it turns into telling your 5 year old daughter that her dad burned her blanky, that she said she didn't need anymore because she was going into kindgergarten and was a "big girl" now, only to find out when she was an adult that her dad didn't burn it, but her mother had kept it all these years and lied about it.

As much as I love them, I can't imagine how much God loves us. It is hard to think sometimes, that God loves us above anything else, but He does. It's a hard concept to grasp when God isn't something tangible to touch and see. But the peace of God that you feel reminds us of His love for us.



Today was one of those perfect days. 80 degrees, sunny, a slight breeze. It was a great day to relax and do practically nothing - which is exactly what I did. When these days come along, I have a lot...and I mean a lot...of time to think.

Life has been overwhelming lately. Everyone gets busy and things pile up, but this past week was crazy. I didn't have time to hardly breathe and that is not good for me! I was so busy I lost sight of putting God first and following him. I've started a new bible study and the other day it was talking about how we often ask God to walk with us, when we should actually be walking with Him. This is something that I lost sight of this week. Thankfully, God gave me today to relax and get things back in order. I needed it and I am very thankful for it. Don't loose sight of what is important. Keep God first, and love people the way you would want to be loved.


My Niece Carey Lee

My niece was born today at 10:31 A.M. She is adorable and perfect. It is so odd for my baby sister to have a baby. Everyone is doing great and we are all so excited that she is finally here.

It is a miraculous thing to be a part of the birth of a baby. One minute she is just here and you are meeting her for the first time. I wonder what she is going to be like? What color eyes will she have? What kind of ice cream will she like? How hard of a time will she give my sister when she is in high school? I don't know anything about her yet, other than her height and weight, and I love her. Most people don't believe in love at first sight, but I do. God has created this beautiful baby girl who will be loved more than she will ever know.

Megan is going to be a great mother and Jaden will be a great father. They will raiser her as a Godly woman and I know God has special plans for her. Carey Lee, Aunt Lisa loves you and I am glad you are finally here. I can't wait to see what God has for you in your future.



I fell. Not a physical fall, but fell for the Twilight books. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you have not been watching T.V and you don't have young daughters. It is a book series about a vegetarian Vampire that falls in love with a human. Well, after much resistance I read them, and honestly I couldn't put them down. The movie also came out, but it was terrible. As they always say, the book is always better than the movie, and they could not be more right in regards to this one.

It made me think, what is the draw to these books for us? I obviously don't believe in vampires and the other mythical characters in the books, but I had to keep reading it. I think that it is the love between them that keeps you enamored with the book. We as women long for that one true love. The man that will love you for who you are and would do anything to be with you. There is chemistry between them that you can't ignore.

I believe that there are two chemistry types. One where you have that sick feeling in your stomach when you see him. You can't think of anything other than him and basically lose your head for at least the first three months of dating. The other is a comfortable chemistry. The person that you are very comfortable with and love to be around. You can still have a life and see him too. I've definitely had the first one, and it made me a complete idiot. The second is not as explored for me, but you will hurt less if it doesn't work out. So, how important is the chemistry you have? Just because you don't have butterflies every time you see him, should you continue a relationship without that? I don't know. It feels like settling, but the comfortable chemistry can have deeper meaning than a relationship based on emotion. Someone who used to be my friend said all the time that love is a choice, not a feeling. You chose who you love. Chose wisely, don't settle and love deeply.


The truth. Absolute truth is one of the hardest things for people to do. It is so much easier to lie sometimes. We learn this as children, of course. My nephew for example was lying a lot at school and getting in trouble for it. Well, he said that when he told the truth and others lied, the teacher never believed him, so he was going to lie too.

It is so difficult at times to tell someone something that is hard. We would rather take the easy way out. I know, I have been there. What we have to remember is that "it is all in the delivery". I will say that until I die. How you word things and your reaction to things is key. You have to think before you say anything. Get thoughts in order and say whatever you have to out of complete love, and the other person will accept what you are saying a lot better. I am not always great at this but I know that in trying to respect others in every way is the best way to communcate freely.