Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Goings-On

In my last post, I talked about how much has been going on in my life lately!
I told you how I feel about it all, and what I've been learning,
but I also wanted to share with you some of the details. You know, give you a peek into what my day to day actually looks like.

After almost two years of working in the same office, last week I was offered a raise!! Which is so crazy, because I had been thinking about that recently and had said one single, teeny, tiny prayer regarding it which went a little something like this (actually, probably exactly like this):
"God, if I could get raise at work, that'd be pretty cool."
Hey, God just asks us to pray - He doesn't say how.

I started housesitting for a friend who is overseas on a missions trip in Indonesia for three weeks. The house is brand new, and so nice, and it has been so wonderful to have a change of scenery! My apartment is very small, and since my breakup in February I have been dying to get out of there. My best friend moved in last month, which improved it significantly, but staying at the house I'm watching actually feels like being in a home again, and I am loving it. It's also half an hour closer to my summer school campus than my own apartment, so it's been convenient too!

On that same note, I have been really enjoying the long drives this summer, between my apartment and work, which are on the west side of town, and my friend's house and summer school, which are on the east side of town. Before this year, I absolutely despised driving, so to actually enjoy it has been really working out for me.

I have been spending a lot of quality time with dear friends. I actually can't remember the last night that I wasn't going somewhere or doing something with a friend, and even though I have had absolutely zero time to relax lately, it has been so wonderful. I've been going to happy hours and dinners with both old friends and new ones, had movie nights, watched hockey games and UFC fights, and altogether I have just been celebrating life and all of the great relationships that I've been so blessed with.

I feel like that's been the theme of my summer - celebration. Celebration of people, relationships, time, seasons of life, babies, marriages...

Speaking of marriage, my best friend got engaged this month!! I knew it was coming, because her now-fiancé had given me the obligatory best-friend-heads-up around Easter, and to be honest I was a bit nervous. I was nervous that, given everything I've gone through this year and everything that I've lost, I would have a hard time being happy for her.
But then, when she sent me a photo of her and her new fiancé on the night that he proposed, I saw the joy in her face and I couldn't help but be completely ecstatic for her! It was so cool, to see the way that the Lord had healed my heart so that I could celebrate this incredible new step of her life with her, to be able share her joy with her and to celebrate with her.
And so this month has been full of fun wedding-planning things, from being there to see her pick out her wedding dress, to going through bridal magazines with post-its and wine in hand, to holding up the paint chips from Home Depot that she used to help her pick out her wedding colors...
It has been such a blessing to truly be able to celebrate her in these things, to feel nothing but love and joy and support for her and her fiancé, to be so excited for the beautiful things that are to come as the real wedding planning gets going.

I am so thankful that even though this summer isn't turning out at all like I had hoped or expected, I have so many things and people and reasons to celebrate.
I am so thankful that I have such amazing friends.
I am so thankful that the Lord has drawn me into such fullness of life, into such beauty and blessing and joy and fun.

It's gonna be a long, hot summer, but unlike Keith Urban (anybody? anybody?), I don't feel like I'm waiting for anything. I'm so enjoying this moment that I'm in right now, and that's never been something that I've been very good at so it is a challenge, but such a welcome one.

What moment are you enjoying right now?

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is he who takes refuge in Him. - Psalm 34:8

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Looking Good

Lately, my life has been an absolute whirlwind.
In two senses, really - 1. I've been so extraordinarily busy, and 2. so many things have happened!
Let me explain.

This summer, I am (yet again) enrolled in summer school, this time finishing off my math credits so that I can actually get this degree that I've been working so hard for! I need two semesters of calculus, so my goal is to finish them both in summer session so that in the fall semester, I can take it a little bit easy. I want to finish up my undergrad without having too much stress to deal with - all of my classes in the fall will be the prerequisite courses that I need for nursing school, so I'm anticipating that they won't be as difficult as the majority of the classes that I took for my major.

But right now: two five-week calculus courses, back to back? Where one day of class is basically equivalent to an entire week of material in a normal, semester-long class? In the subject that I am the least proficient in?

I'm brilliant, I tell you.

So between school and my job and volunteering at the hospital, I am a busy, busy girl.

But I'm also a happy girl. 

Lately, I have felt more thankful, beautiful, joyful, and blessed than I have in... maybe ever. Which is so strange for me to think about, considering everything that I've gone through this year. 

After my breakup, and throughout all of the pretty ugly things that happened following it, I was expecting the really hard, horrible part/season/period of the moving-on process to last for a long time. I was expecting to be sad for a long time, to feel the sting of the heartbreak for a good long while.
But, surprisingly, it is not quite four months later and I am feeling great.

I feel blessed. So, so blessed. It is still hard sometimes, to be sure - these things take time. They call it a process for a reason.
But at the same time, I am overwhelmed with the truth that my life is full and beautiful and victorious, and I am just in awe of it all.
In awe of how quickly the Lord has redeemed my heart.
In awe of how much goodness has replaced the ugliness and heartache that I felt was going to last forever.
Of how much affirmation I have received from so many people, about my character and my faithfulness and my future.

God has used friends and mentors and even people that I never would have expected to speak into my life to show me that I'm doing a good job, that I'm being faithful and obedient, that beautiful, exciting things are in store for me!

And I believe that with all of my heart - I wrote recently that I didn't know what to expect from even the next month of my life anymore. And that's still true, to a slight degree - I'm continually finding myself surprised at what God is doing, but in such wonderful ways! And while I could never know what exactly is next for me, I know without a doubt that it's going to be SO GOOD. Better than I ever thought "good" could get. And, in fact, I'm finding that it is that way - right now. 

And doesn't God tell us that anyways? That He always has our best interests at heart? And even though I didn't have the perspective to see it then (and I'm still not quite sure I understand now!), I made the choice to submit to the Lord's will for me, and He has shown me that He is always faithful to His promises! He has answered all of my prayers, even some that I didn't know I needed answers to. It hasn't looked the way I thought it would, but God is doing so many exciting things in my life and I am so encouraged and hopeful for what is to come.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28 NIV