Mid-March 2018

I should probably be headed to sleep about now, it is a work night. But I’m in the mood to write and haven’t in a while, so here I am.

I’ve spent the majority of the past 2 months in pain. Physical pain that is. I messed up my back at the gym in January and it has caused or highlighted some other issues back there. Plus I spent most of the last week with a migraine. Yuck.

At the gym I deadlifted 170 pounds, but that didn’t cause the pain. I was putting away a 25 pound weight and picked it up and twisted wrong and could hardly move after. That pain mostly went away, but the pain in my lower back and hips has intensified. I drive a manual transmission car and every time I push in the clutch, pain would shoot down my leg. I can hardly sit at work for very long and have to get up to relieve some pressure. I started seeing a Physical Therapist and things are getting a lot better now. I just have to get on the ball and do the stretching exercises at home!

Not sure if the migraine was brought on by environmental or hormonal triggers or stress. Probably a combination of all the above. This time of year between Winter and Spring can be harsh on sinuses and headaches. My stress isn’t too bad lately, just was dealing with finals.

On Spring Break now. Off this week and then start my last undergraduate class on the 26th. A little nervous about this class, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. I received an approval for my RSVP to the graduation, so all I have to do is pass this class. 2 months left! Then 2 months off, then 2 years of the Masters program. Then I don’t know 🙂

Spiritual lesson of the day… I realized during worship this morning at church that I have been looking for validation from all the wrong places. Be it from my pastor, friends, boss, other leaders I admire, I’ve been stressing about making them proud of me and approve of me that I’ve lost sight of the One that really matters. And I already have His approval and am totally validated by Him through Christ. God is so merciful and loving, yet it’s like I take advantage of His love. People have their own lives to worry about, making me feel good about myself isn’t their job. My value and worth comes from the One who made me and died for me. Yes, being validated by people feels good, don’t get me wrong, but not being validated by them shouldn’t be detrimental.

Then I worry I’m not pleasing to God. Did I pray enough? Read my Bible enough? Give enough money? What about time? Could I have done xyz better? Did I completely mess it up? Oh my goodness! Stop it! God doesn’t have a sticker chart with our names on it, grading us on how well we did everyday!! Oops, she didn’t pray for 30 minutes, only 10, red X for today! Ugh! The Father sees us through the blood of the Lamb and that blood has made us perfect in His sight. Does He want us to do our best? Yes, but it doesn’t make Him love us any more or any less!! Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing He died and rose again, and confessing Him to others – that is what matters! Everything we do from there is motivated by Love, not fear that He is going to strike us down.

I’m preaching to my self and as much as to you, BTW.

Through Jesus and only through Him, do we find love, acceptance, and validation that truly matters.

Alright, now I think I might be able to sleep, maybe? hopefully!?!?

Good night! ♥


Mid January 2018

Happy New Year!!

Hard to believe my birthday is coming up! Harder to believe I’m going to be 39! 40 is sneaking up quick. I’ve got some ‘I want to (blank) before I turn 40’ things to accomplish this year. Get healthier, graduate, pay off some stuff. Not that 40 is a deadline or anything, just a milestone.

I stepped out in faith today and applied for a masters program. I know, I know, I said I was going to take some time off or not even go for a masters. I don’t know if it’s just fear of having to pay my student loans at the end of the year, but I keep coming back to wanting to further my education and selfishly want a masters and initials after my name! Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment and stress. We’re just at the application stage at this time though, not registering for classes or anything like that yet. Oh, it’s a MA in Global Studies.

My Bachelors graduation is in 4 months! Actually 4 months from today I’ll be headed to VA 🙂 We start the 2nd to last class on Monday, and it happens to be Intro to Global Studies. Guess we’ll see how this class goes in determining further studies in this field. I don’t need a Master’s degree to be a missionary, but this might set me up to work for an organization that does mission work.

Also, it’s only a 36 credit hour degree, not 60+, so I’ll graduate faster, will owe a lot less, and I promise to not take out any extra personal loans. I’m starting to just argue with and justify myself now.

Just be praying for me for wisdom if you are so inclined. Thanks!

End of December 2017

It’s not that nothing’s going on, I just haven’t been in the writing mood. But school is out and work is slow, so I thought I’d check in.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

I’m on break from school! Out until Jan 22, whew! Not doing anything exciting while I’m out, mostly just reading for fun and possibly some art. The next class should be super easy as I’ve already went through the material in another venue, so most of the work is already done. The capstone after that has me a little nervous, but we’ll worry about that in 3 months when I actually take the class. I might take the opportunity to read ahead since the other class will be easy. Oh, and I earned an A in the class that just ended 🙂 My GPA is now 3.31.

My brother and I booked our vacation for May! I’m going to ‘walk’ for my degree graduation and he’s going to support me. We’re spending the next week just hanging out in the Blue Ridge Mts and relaxing. We’ll take a day trip into DC too, but we’re not planning to many other adventures.

Also looking forward to going on a mission trip somewhere next year. Maybe Costa Rica, maybe Nicaragua, maybe Austria, not sure. Leaning towards going back to Costa Rica, but we’ll see. Maybe somewhere else entirely, wherever God leads.

Started see a therapist. I really like her, she seems to get me. We’ve had 3 or 4 sessions so far and I think I’m feeling better. That and the adjustment to my antidepressant was a month ago, so it’s had time to kick in. The depression is still there a little, but things don’t feeling like I’m walking through mud so much.

Looking forward to 2018. I’m going to have a lot going on, as usual. I’ve set some goals because I don’t do resolutions. One of them is to walk a 5k faster than I have before (last one was 1 hour, 15 min and my best time is 57 min). I hope to read 6 books for fun, get to my goal weight, read through the Bible… among others. At least they are measurable goals, not just generic things. I’ve done this over the past few years, I didn’t get much accomplished on my goals for 2017, but that’s what the new year is for, right?

For Christmas I got some camera stuff from my brother. Excited to play with all that soon. He also gave me a book for dummies for my camera model. I realized I bought myself an expensive fun toy that I really have no idea what all it can do. Anxious to start learning more soon!

Things are still going well with my trainer. I’ve deadlifted 175 and squatted 160?, I think. Definitely my favorite love-hate relationship! I had to put my scale in the back of my car. I started focusing on that number again too much and putting it in the closet was deterrent enough. My therapist mentioned giving it to a friend and I could go that far.

Well, that’s about it, I think. Talk to you all again soon!

Late October 2017

Fall break is on!!

Such a much-needed break! 1 more class then Christmas/Winter break! Yay! Only 3 classes left until graduation! Just received my final grade in the last class, even though I was late on multiple assignments and stressed out, still earned a B, 6 points away from an A. I’ll take it!!

So, my master’s degree. Yeah, I don’t know. If my end goal or dream job is to be a missionary, do I really need to keep going to school… and increasing my student loan debt? Probably not. I do (did?) enjoy organized learning, but I think I’m burnt out. This happened at the end of high school too. I was supposed to go off to college on the East coast somewhere fancy, but got burnt out my senior year and ended up going to community college for a while and entering the work force. I do not regret that at all, mind you. I’ve changed my mind so many times on what I wanted to do when I grew up, that I would have had so much more debt if I’d kept going to school through the years. I am proud and humbled to earn my Bachelor degree, but I don’t think jumping into more schooling is going to be wise. I still have time to make a decision, so I’m not set either way right now. Prayers for wisdom and guidance are appreciated.

Thinking and praying about where I’m headed next in ministry. I’m pretty sure the new role I’m taking, just seeking out what that looks like. I’m excited about it though, so that’s good! Can’t give away too much yet, but it involves cameras and people 🙂

What has God been teaching you lately? I think I mentioned this a blog or two ago, but I’m learning to take it all one step at a time. While there’s wisdom in planning for the future, if those plans are not prayed through, they fail. I get excited easily about things and think, “this is it!” Only to find later that it wasn’t ‘it’. Know what I mean? Relationships, career paths, schooling pursuits, mission trip opportunities… the list goes on. Being flexible when learning God’s will is so vital, and so hard!

I mentioned in my last entry that my blood work wasn’t very good. After talking with my trainer and my doctor I’m not freaking out as much. This was just a wake up call. The exercising I’ve been doing over the past 16 months is great, I really appreciate what I’ve learned from my trainer and what I’ve accomplished. I just need to work on my eating. I stress eat so easily and need to get a handle on my stress. Easier said than done, right? Learning to say ‘no’ is important, and to not worry about what people think about me for saying ‘no’ is even more important.

Thought I had something else to say… oh well. I’ll write again soon!

End of August 2017

Hard to believe September starts tomorrow! I’ve said it many times before, I love Fall, but this summer flew by. Took two classes and have a lot going on at work, so I feel like I am always busy.

Glad to be back down to only 1 class. Took counseling for women and retook Acts this summer. A in one, C in the other. 10 points from a B with that C, but that doesn’t matter. Now I’m taking Theological Interpretation of Scripture. Hopefully it won’t be as hard as it sounds like it will from the title. With that, 4 classes to go! Less than 9 months until graduation! Not that I’m counting down or anything!

My coworker quit and another gave her notice. So we’re interviewing but things are busy. I’m hiring about 35 people at the moment and each requires approximately 50 pages of paperwork. That’s a lot of faxes, emails, and meetings! Not to mention if they are in the school and need fingerprints or a therapist and need to go through getting billable through insurances. On top of that, all the day-to-day stuff with existing employees, of which we have over 450 on our campus alone. Can you see why I’m exhausted at 4pm?

Then have to do homework, work out, do laundry, etc. etc. etc. I am so grateful for not having kids! Sleep is hard enough to come by!

Dead-lifted 160 (or was it 165?) the other day! Squatted 135! While the scale actually went up this morning, I’m definitely getting stronger. Some of my clothes are getting loose too 🙂

Haven’t told you my other news this month! I’m no longer the Director/Pastor of the Senior Citizens’ Ministry at church anymore. God seemed to reveal to my Pastor and I that my assignment was coming to and end. Someone else has already taken over, and I’m moving on. I’m going to do more with photography and tech stuff, just not sure what that all looks like, but I’m excited. My ego/pride is a little upset that I won’t be in leadership per se, but my stress level is certainly going to be lower! With starting my Masters program next year, somethings are going to have to be given up or set aside for a couple years. Guess this was just the beginning.

Went to the Festival of Nations last weekend and walked about 7.3 miles in one day. It wasn’t too hot, but we were in the sun a lot. I had no MS symptoms even though I was exhausted. Had a good time and ate some good food, including a dish I hadn’t had since West Africa in 2013!

Well, that’s about all the updates I’ve got for now. Be blessed everyone!

Mid-July 2017

Hi y’all! Hope you are all enjoying your summer. So far, my MS symptoms haven’t been a problem, even though it’s been pretty hot here in STL. I’ve even gone on walks outside and not had problems! Praise the Lord!

I have been sleeping a lot on weekends though. Not sure if it’s MS fatigue or if I’m just not sleeping well during the week and am trying to catch up. I’m trying to wear my CPAP every night, which really helps. No, I haven’t been wearing it faithfully for a while, but I’m changing that! Slept a lot this weekend, mostly due to (I think) allergies, which lead to sinus pain, which leads to toothaches. Ibuprofen is my friend!

Earned an A in my last class! Now my GPA is 3.22 🙂 Taking 2 classes right now, a bit overwhelming. But I’ll make it. One class I’m retaking because I earned a D in it the first time. Some of the work I’ve already done, so that helps, but they changed a lot of the format.  Which actually makes it a little easier this time around.

Saw my PCP and GYNO recently. All pretty good, just focusing on losing weight, as usual. Which has been happening, just slowly. I’ve lost inches, but the scale isn’t moving too much. But some of my clothes are getting too big, so that’s a good thing! Still working out with the trainer and loving it! Anyway, we’re also watching my BP, it might be getting too low. Could that be causing some of the sleepiness? Maybe, I guess. My PCP also mentioned getting an ablation, which I’m not sure I’m quite ready for. I don’t plan on having kids, but that seems a little invasive. We’ll see, if things in that area don’t improve, it might be an option, I’ll have to talk with my GYNO. Nothing too scary, but probably a little TMI for here already!!

So, dad’s OK. Mom’s OK. Hard to watch your parents age though. Mom had a little scare the other day, but she’s good. Dad’s at home at least.

Work’s OK. Some days are super busy and drain my brain power. Still love my job, just a lot going on – a lot of hiring, which that’s my main area.

Ever mess up something in your life and think you’ll never get back to where you were? I know, kinda vague, bear with me. I know God is like a GPS, He has a destination set for us, and even if we take a wrong turn, He can still get us there. I’ve probably shared that before, not an original thought, but a comforting one. I just think I went down a path that I shouldn’t have and feel like I lost a lot of ground. Ground in my friendships, leadership, walk with God, reputation, etc. I’m feeling condemned, which isn’t from God and I know that. I just, I don’t know, wish things were different. I know He’s forgiven me because I’ve repented and all, but there’s still the regret and remorse. Guess maybe I’m mourning the mistakes I’ve made?

But that’s all in the past and I need to look forward. He has amazing things in store for me, and I want to follow hard after Him. Whatever and wherever that may entail. I’m excited for my future and His plans for me. I know that last paragraph might sound otherwise, I was just lamenting. Things are getting back on track and I’ll be OK.

Thanks for sticking with me through my (sometimes mis-)adventures!

Mid-June 2017

Time slips through one’s fingers when they’re having fun, huh? Not exactly the case here, time rushes out of my fingers when things are busy!  As usual, I’m super busy these days. A lot going on, some of which I can share…

My dad’s been in the hospital/rehab for quite a few weeks now. He comes home today though. He requires 24-hour care, so there’s a burden on my mom. Who’s stress test came back a little abnormal and she has to have further testing done :(. Not sure what’s going on there, hope to find out soon though. Dads’s doing better though. The MS took a toll on him plus he wasn’t eating well. Prayers appreciated for both of them (all of us!!)

School’s going OK. Got behind in a class with all that’s going on, but am up-to-date now and making an A 🙂

Work’s going OK. We seem to be on a hiring frenzy, so I’m super busy. I think that’s why seems I’m so overwhelmed… a lot of my energy is used up before I get home. It’s all good though, just learning to balance everything.

Had a spasm in my back/sciatic area over the weekend. I was supposed to do a 5k on Sunday, but that wasn’t happening! I could barely move! I’m a lot better now – between prayer, chiropractor, trainer stretches, and ice – I’m almost back to normal. It was going to be my first summer 5k though and it was mostly downhill. Oh well, maybe next year!

We did personality studies as an HR team in order to get to know each other better. I’m an INFP. Basically I’m an introvert, creative, independent, diplomatic, all things I already knew! But it was cool to one, be verified, and two, get to know my co-workers. I am a minority though, out of 15, only a 3 of us are introverts!

Well, that’s about all I can share at the moment. Talk to you soon!