Friday, August 26

A moment of honesty

A moment of real honesty. There are someday when I have some major issues with anxiety. Due to some other medical reasons, this is something that I have been struggling with for awhile. I didn't really realize it until over this past year, but its been something very new and a challenge that I've been learning to cope with. I also believe that there is great freedom in being transparent, hence why I'm sharing all of this today. But, I know there are lots and lots of other people who struggle with anxiety and its not fun.

This isn't supposed to be about anxiety, but about something that I've learned through it. One of the biggest lessons I've learned and continue to learn day in and day out is how to trust. How to trust myself and not doubt when my anxiety rears its ugly head. How to trust Jake and what he says, and to lean on him when I'm struggling. But most importantly, I've had to learn and relearn how to trust God and trust him fully. Trust that He loves me, trust that He will provide, trust that His heart is good.

Today I received a text message with this verse:

"Don't be anxious about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ."

It was such a beautiful remind of God telling me directly...Shana, don't be anxious. I've got it under control. Just trust me.

So, that is what I have been trying hard to do today. Trust, trust, trust.

But sometimes anxiety makes me eat the candy on my desk. So this is what my desk has looked like today.

Happy Weekend, all!

Wednesday, August 24

Finally, the new place...

It's taken me much longer to get things on the walls than I had originally planned, so I finally went ahead and snapped some shots of the new place. You'll see it has lots of character, which I am loving more everyday. I've been here for just over two weeks now and I'm finally beginning to feel settled. I've even had guests stay! Jake and I put a lot of work into the house before I moved in. Lots of cleaning, painting, repainting, moving, more cleaning...and on and on. I had lots of help from his family and my friends during the process and I absolutely couldn't have done it without their help. Jake deserves a big round of applause for the hours he spent helping me make this house my new home.

Here are a few pictures of the new pad, and you'll notice my handy little helper in a few of the shots to. She's born to be a star...what can I say.

The infamous bedroom, we did lots of painting in here. The colors aren't given justice in this picture.

In bedroom
Other side of room.

Winnie tried to get away with eating tissues, while I was snapping pictures.
I HAVE A NOOK! My favorite place to read.
She's gotten big.

Poor lighting in the living room, but you get the general idea.

Breakfast corner

Kitchen Cabinets.
This is for my dad. My back door mat.
This is what sold me on the house.
I'm lovin' my kitchen more and more.

This makes me laugh every time.
Whew! Pooped puppy in her favorite spot..the air vent!

So, that's what the new place looks like, kind of. There are still some things to be done and once they're finished maybe I'll post some more pictures. I'm appreciating the character of the house, more everyday. I'm enjoying living here. I honestly have more space than I know what to do with, but I'm not going to complain. 

I love visitors, so come by anytime! I'd love to make you dinner.

Thursday, August 18

Three things on my mind

It's funny to me that I often think to myself..."Oh, that'd be a good topic to blog about." Yet, every time I go to sit down to actually do it, my mind goes blank. Maybe that a blessing because it frees up what I can right about right now, in this moment. It let's me say what I want to say.

Right now, I have a few things on my mind:
  1. How God is faithful
  2. How great my co-workers are
  3. How great my boyfriend is
1. I daily struggle with surrender and control. God and I often have a battle on who is in control. Well, really it's me who is having the battle. God usually just waits til I'm tired and then steps in to save the day. But, I am finding that I am having to learn how to trust more and more, even as I get older. I used to think that by the time I was almost 25 (eek!) that I'd have it all figured out. But actually, the older I get the less I feel like I have figured out. I'm regressing in sorts. I probably just used to be ignorant to what I didn't know, when I thought I did. And now I realize how much I don't know.

One of my professors in graduate school said, "I teach the first class, where you will learn how much you really don't know." And he was right.

This is real love
But back to God being faithful. I also used to think that trust was a feeling. No, trust is not a feeling. Trust is a choice. Much like many other things are a choice...surrendering, forgiving, loving, commitment, perseverance, joy. These are all choices. I used to think that unless I "felt" them inside, then they weren't there. This is not at all true. If I were waiting to feel like forgiving someone when they've hurt me, I'd probably never do it. If I were waiting to feel joy, to be happy...I'd never be happy. These things are a choice. Love is a choice.

I used to think that fairy tales equated to truth. I used to think that I'd always feel mushy gushy in love every moment of the day. Well...I did for a while, but now I find that my love has changed in sorts. Now, let me say that it has changed in a good way. I'm still new on the relationship spectrum and we have a lot way to go. But it's not a fairy tale...well it is a fairy tale, just different than the way that Disney portrays it. I seem to have gotten way off topic, but oh well.

The sum of number one is that God is faithful and He will always provide. Sometimes it's different than we think, but it's always a greater blessing than you know.

2. I just got home from work at 9...long day. We had an event and it always makes me realize how great the people I work with are. Everyone is hard working and does their part. I appreciate them so much. They've spoiled me for any future employment

3. Why is my boyfriend awesome? He is awesome because he picked up all the toilet paper on the floor of my bathroom that our puppy decided to pull down today. That's why he is so awesome and that is what I call love.

Thursday, August 11

What Makes Me Who I Am Today...

Story time:

Last night, I was waiting to meet a student to prepare him for his first class beginning today. As I'm waiting, I decide to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Not too long after I've been sitting there, another man, in his late 40's or so, asks me if I will watch his bag while he runs inside. "Sure, not a problem" I tell him.  I notice he's reading a Christian book. I always look at what other people are reading, helps me get an idea of possibly what kind of person they might just be. You know, judging a person by their book cover :)

After he comes back out, he notices my papers and ask if I'm a teacher. I smile and say no, but I work with a lot of them. Then I proceed to explain to him where I work and what I do. The conversation leads into a high level conversation. He was a very nice man. He explained to me why he is now in Indiana and what his life has been like up to this point.

Apparently, he has worked with a lot of battered women and helped people figure our their life in sorts. I never fully understood some of what he was talking about, but a couple things he said sort of struck me. First, he apologized to me for all of the "bad" things that some men have done to women. Not a specific situation, just in general. He said to me "there are probably some things that some men have done that hurt you, and I'm sorry for that."

I thought to myself..."I've never been hit by someone, but yeah I could say I've been hurt."

We've all be hurt by other people, but it's nice to have those feelings validated. Which led me to think about how God has brought a great great man into my life to show me what real love means. He has give me someone who goes above and beyond what I could ever ask for, who loves and gives of himself so greatly. I don't think I will ever be able to full give Jake the credit he deserves for the truly wonderful man that he is. God really knew what he was doing when he made Jake and when He patiently waited for me to allow him into my life.

Next, the man, who's name is Rob by the way, looked at me and "what makes you who you are? You seem mature and well spoken for someone your age." I smile and politely say thank you and I begin to think of my answer. The first thing I thought to say was "Oh boy, I don't know you that well and that's a really long story to tell. There is a whole lot of stuff that makes me who I am." But that's not what I told him.

I simply replied, "I come from a really great family, I'm well support and grew up with small town values." Albeit, true -- that was my safe answer. My student soon arrived and I carried on with my work. I said good bye to the man as I left and that was about the end of the story.

Until, this morning when I read this verse...

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
~1 Peter 3:15

Then it struck me. Duh, Shana! Even though I have a truly wonderful family, the real answer to why I am the way I am is because of grace. I have hope because of Jesus. I have been saved and redeemed by God the Father in Heave and that is the real reason why I am the way that I am.

I felt very convicted this morning as I thought about how my answer yesterday was not what I really should have said. I went the safe route...not the faithful route.

So, why am I the way that I am...because I am a child of the Almighty who has so lovely poured his grace and mercy over my life. I don't deserve it, but I can live in the freedom of knowing who I am in Christ.

That is the true reason.

Tuesday, August 9

Finally, moved!

I feel as though I've ignored my blog for the past week, which is basically true. I've been swamped at work and packing, moving, and unpacking in any free time. Blah. Plus, I currently don't have Internet access at home, which makes it just a little difficult to check on my blog.

But, the move was successful. Now I'm trying to get settled and find everything a home for the next 10 months of its life. I have been extremely blessed to have some really incredible friends and family help me during the moving process. I am so incredibly grateful for them all.

I miss my roommates and talking with Meg and T (if you read this) I hope you know that you are missed by both me and Winnie. She asks about you often :)

Anyway, I will soon return with pictures of the new pad, once it's all put together and livable by my standards. Aka - pictures are hung up!

So for now, Happy Tuesday.

Try to find some time for rest. I know I need to and desperately looking forward to it!

Tuesday, August 2

Purple Rain

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain.

Ok, so I'm not really singing the Prince song Purple Rain.  Purple Rain is actually the color of my new bedroom. 

I feel like I've been a painting fool this past week and I'm not even half way done! I am in the process of painting my new home...the bedroom, the living room, the dining room...lots of paint. If you've ever been to a home improvement store you know that the color selection is beyond overwhelming. 

But for me, when if comes to color I am pretty predictable. I have two favorite colors. Purple and White. And these are the two color I've selected for a good majority of my new place. No, I'm not painting the whole house purple, but it will be around. 

As I was picking out paint, it got me wondering about what draws us to certain colors. Why are some people draw to this color or that color. Why do I love white so much? So I looked up the meaning of colors.

Purple: It's associated with royalty, wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. 

White:  It is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. (and we all know I'm a bit of a perfectionist).

There is something simple about white. Something simple that reminds me of simple things. I don't need a lot of variety of colors or bright and bold colors, just something that is beautiful.

For me, there is great beauty and serenity in those colors and I love being surrounded by them. I can't wait til it's all finished and I can sit and enjoy the hard work. Makes me excited just thinking about it. Therefore, I should probably get back to work!

Oh, but in honor of the big win last night...Go JP!