Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Thankful Days: Wow I've Missed a Ton

So for the last time I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife for 30 Thankful Days and I must say I'm sad it's over but I might do thankful posts occasionally anyway because praises aren't praises unless you share them :) AND even though I missed the last week or so of posts I was thankful for a lot this past week.

1) My roommates! They've been gone a lot recently for volleyball and Thanksgiving break and now they're back. I no longer live in this huge place by myself AND since we're all studying for finals (or trying to at least) we have lot's of study sessions together. I enjoy the company and entertainment especially when writing final papers and laughter never fails to make the time go by a whole lot faster.

2) Cinnamon rolls! Today one of my roommates and I made lunch (which was delicious by the way) and then I made cinnamon rolls YUM! I believe cinnamon rolls and ice cream are God's personal gifts to me.

3) Walmart! When there aren't many stores in the town you live in the one that has the most variety is like a mall. It's close to my house (well what isn't in this town?) and I go there often. When I lived in the dorms my friends and I would go to Walmart and only bring in a dollar or two and then just walk around. The longest we spent was almost two hours and we walked out with a bag of skittles, post it notes, and a cheap movie.

4)Music! I think being thankful for music is an understatement. It can make the worst days a million times better and good days fantastic. It can calm me when I'm anxious, pump me up when I need some extra energy, speak God's truth into my life, or just provide some background noise to any activity. I LOVE music and few things can touch my heart like beautiful lyrics and a great rhythm.

5) Random factual knowledge. I notorious amongst my team and roommates for knowing the most ridiculous facts about completely random things. I don't have a subject of interest or a reason to know them I just like to learn new things. I've occasionally been known to search random facts on the internet during homework breaks (where most people go to Facebook or eat lol). There have been a few times where I've been able to use the knowledge but mostly it just for entertainment. Here are some favorites:

-Jellyfish evaporate in the sun because they're 98% water
-When a person is tickled is actually a form of panic because the brain associates the sensation with creepy crawlies on your skin. Laughing can also be a response to panic.
-It cost 7 million dollars to build the titanic and 200 million to make a movie about it
-You actually can't see the Great Wall of China from outer space but you can see the Pyramids of Giza and a few other man made buildings.

6)Sock! I shouldn't have to say too much more but I will. I'm one of those crazy person's that has to have socks on to sleep at night (I'll wake up if one falls off). It's cold in Wyoming and my feet are not a fan of the chilly temperatures

I have more but I've got to get back to studying! :(

Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't Quit

I've missed a lot of Thankful Days but that doesn't mean I wasn't thankful. I have so much to be thankful for but I've definitely had a long break (if you could even call it a break). I had a day off of school and then worked 40 hours in 4 days but I DID get to have a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to some church friends (since I couldn't go home to Colorado Springs). AND I got my schedule for December and I work 16 hours every weekend plus 48 hours from December 22-27. I love my job but I don't love my feet hurting from being on them for so long and I don't love having to wake up a 4:30am. I also need study time since my grades could definitely use some improvement and work isn't helping that. So my goal for the next two weeks of school is to not give up and just keep pushing through even if it doesn't always seem worth it.

This is called the Don't Quit Poem by an unknown author and it's been a HUGE encouragement to me this week.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out…
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

P.S. If you're the praying type I could really use some extra strength and motivation this week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Thankful Days #17-#20

Here is a short and sweet post to catch up with the 30 Thankful Days I've missed. It's been a crazy week but I've been blessed by the peace that I've had during it.

In no particular order here are the things I've been blessed by and am thankful for these past few days:

-I'm thankful for my spacious, stocked, clean, and WONDERFUL kitchen. Living in the dorms was a challenge mostly because I was used to home cooked meals and fresh food but it made me realize how amazing it is to have a kitchen. I cook as frequently or infrequently as I want and am also thankful for my roommates when they make "family dinners" on the days I don't want to cook. In the last few weeks I've made brownies, pesto cavatappi, enchiladas and my roommates have made ribs, various soups, chicken wraps. My mouth is watering :)

-I'm for my warm home and heated blanket. As winter is approaching it's been getting windier and colder (neither of which I particularly like) and I'm just thankful I have a warm house and bed to come home to.

-I'm thankful for the The Help by Kathyrn Stockett. A friend loaned me this book after we had a heart to heart on a soccer trip. I can't put it down! It's beautifully written with amazing insight into the lives of the African American women who's job was to raise children, clean the house, and wait on one family's every want. I can't wait to go watch the movie after I finish.

the movie
-I'm also thankful that I passed my CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) state exam and am now officially a CNA (though I'd already been hired as one). I knew I'd pass the written exam but was particularly nervous about the skills exam where we have to take care of a volunteer patient. I had to be able to perform any of the 29 skills as five would be selected at random for me to test on. I PASSED!!! I was nervous and forgot a few steps to some skills but they're were apparently not too important. YAY! I'm so thankful that the studying and practice payed off!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Thankful Days #15 and #16: Work and Laughter

Day 15:
Yesterday I realized just how blessed I am!!! I got a job at the local nursing home as a CNA. thousands of people these days would do anything to get paid minimum wage for something they hate just to support their family but not only did I get a job I got a good one AND I love it. Okay, love it my be an overstatement since geriatrics is not my favorite field but regardless, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to get to work in health care. I'm getting paid REALLY well and because they're desperate for CNA's they're working around my schedule. Being around the residents at the nursing home truly makes me happy. I enjoy serving them and I've felt, for maybe the first time, I know what it's like to be God's hands and feet and it feels SOOO GOOD!!!!! I'm just so thankful for this job and the way God is going to use me and teach me through it.

Day 16:
Laughter!!!! Simple enough. My old roommate and I hung out together for a while and we watched youtube videos and laughed, ate ice cream and laughed, and watched documentaries while doing homework and laughed. We laughed until tears were streaming down our faces and our abs hurt from constantly giggling. Laughter is therapeutic, it's a key part of any relationship, it's the easiest way to break cultural and social boundaries, and it was the BEST part of my day today.

Here's some of the goofy things we do :)

Our version of pole dancing

This and the next one was our way of lightening the mood of preseason... we covered everything, and us, in trash bags and then broke glow sticks and called it "project decoration".  Don't worry we cleaned

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Thankful Days #14: My God Box

Ah Ha!!!! I've kept up, even if it's only for one day, on 30 Thankful Days! As thanksgiving approaches I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and celebrating the little things each day that I am thankful for. I encourage you to join in because you'll realize that the little things you are thankful for are the things that make life enjoyable and worth living!

Day 14:
I'm thankful for my new "God Box" (thanks Molly for the idea) and sorry ahead of time for the poor picture quality. I had to use my computers camera!... Like I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had a ton on my mind lately and can't seem to escape the whirlwind of thoughts. I'm a visual kind of person and I needed a visual representation of me casting my anxieties on him (1 Peter 5:7). I wanted to just see what it was like to just "give it to God and then be done worrying about it" because there is nothing Godly about worry and fear... My friend was telling me that when she had a lot on her mind she would write it out on a small piece of paper and then put it in a jar that she had painted black. Once the thought was in the jar, all the anxiety and concerns that accompanied the thought were gone too. It was her way of letting go of her fears and choosing to trust God. So I bought a a small storage type box, covered the inside with black felt, and cut a hole in the top. I like to call it my God Box. It sits on the shelf next to my bed and I put a sharpie and some sticky notes next to it so not even laziness can keep me from turning my thoughts over to God.

top (my attempt at showing the hole for the paper thoughts)

Where it sits on my shelf with the sticky notes and sharpie :)
It's actually quite big and more cube like, though neither
picture shows it that way.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Thankful Days #12 and #13:

I'm going short and sweet today as I link up with 30 Thankful Days.

Day #12
I'm thankful that I have a car... I know it's kind of a lame thing to be thankful for but yesterday I really needed to get out of the house and because I have a car I grabbed my keys and drove off. I headed down to the river and just sat (in my car because it was freezing) and tried to clear my head. I was all bundled up and had the heater on as I just watched the river flow by. Because of my car, I'm able to just pick up and go and I LOVE it. I don't need to ask permission or have a destination in mind (which is how I ended up at the river) I just need to be able to find the keys :)

The view from my car... I took this pic a few weeks back at the same river (it's less colorful now)
Day #13
Today I'm thankful for church. I haven't been to a whole service in a while because of soccer and today I was blessed to be back. With my newly covered journal and Bible in my lap and a few friends at my side I felt at home. I'm so thankful for my church family both here in Wyoming and back in Colorado. I know it's cliche to say this but I'm going to anyway... I don't know what I'd do without them :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Thankful Days #10 and #11: Naps and Heroes

I couldn't be more excited to link up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and join her in 30 Thankful Days. It's simple! Everyday (or every other day if you're me) you think of something you're thankful for and write about it so that other people can give thanks too.

Day 8: Naps
Yesterday was one of those days where there were definitely things to get done and places to go but I just couldn't work myself up to care about them. If you know me this is actually a good thing because for the last few weeks I've been overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and worry most of which comes from freaking out about simple day-to-day activities. But yesterday, it was like my brain took a day off and decided to stop worrying and just go. Go to class, go to physical therapy for my foot, NAP, go to lab, and finish the day off with some great friends. Though I am so thankful for the slower pace my mind functioned at yesterday, the thing I am the most thankful for was my nap. TWO HOURS of sleepy time in the middle of the day. I felt rested and revived! (And I bet I would have been exhausted by the time lab and friend time came around had I not caught some Z's earlier in the day)

Day 9: My Dad
Today I am thankful for all the men and women that serve our country. I know first hand the sacrifices that the service men and women, as well as their families, have to make and it's not easy. Their lives dedicated to others will never go unnoticed by me and I pray today especially for the ones serving overseas and that they may return safely to their families.

But today I want to recognize one veteran in particular... My dad.

At his retirement ceremony
He joined the Air Force at 18yo and served for twenty years before retiring. He soared through the ranks, while attending college and providing for a family. Though he and our family had to put up with moves, TDY's (where he'd leave for days or even months and we never got to see him), and the rest of military life, he never complained. He never took a day off (not one... he had over 3 months of PTO saved up when he retired) and he was alway home in time for dinner and soccer practice if he was in town. I can't even explain how much I love this man and how proud I am to be his daughter. 

What's not to love about a man in uniform!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Thankful Days #8 and #9: Art and Flexibility

So I've realized that I've been doing 30 Thankful Days every other day and just doing two days in one post. Maybe I should call it 15 Thankful Days...Just a thought... If you didn't catch any of that let me fill you in. I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and making an effort to post one thing I'm thankful for each day of the month. It's incredible because I find myself thinking throughout the day, "hey, this could be what I'm thankful for today." and it happens so regularly that by the time I sit down to write, I don't know which to choose for that day (not wanting to imply that I'm not thankful about the other things I didn't choose). Anyways...

I used some old scrap booking paper, magazine cutouts, stickers, ribbon, and then covered it all with contact paper for a smooth finish.

For day 8 I'm thankful for being blessed with a creative and artistic mind. You see, I hadn't been journalling lately but I was trying to get back into a routine with it. I had this new journal type book that my dad gave me from work and though I liked how the pages on the inside were set up (amazing how something little like having the spot for the date made me like the journal) the outside was this plain navy blue with NO words or decorations. I guess I should've expected that since my dad is a military businessman kind of guy. So I decided it would be fun to decorate the cover and hopefully the personalization of the journal would tempt me to write more... it was worth a shot. I finally got around to decorating it. YAY!!!! I now love my journal and can't wait to keep writing in it but I'm just so thankful that I can transfer the creative ideas in my head to paper. It's weird for me to think that some people can't do this so I'm just really thankful that I can and that I can get joy out of some simple arts and craft projects.

AND today I am extremely thankful for flexible professors. I asked for an extension on a paper because I was gone all last week for soccer and my english professors was more than happy to help me out. She didn't give me a specific date and just said that I could turn it in whenever I finished it. However, even with the extension I was struggling to get through the assignment due to how complicated (and uninteresting) the prompt was. Now that I'm about two weeks past the due date I decided to meet with the teacher and hopefully get some suggestions. BUT instead of suggestions my professor just told me to write about something completely different and unrelated to the previous assignment because 1) she was tired of grading the assignment and 2) the students didn't grasp the assignment's purpose anyways. On top of getting a new prompt she also gave the entire class an extension on the next papers and gave me freedom to make up my own extra credit assignments. Gotta love cool professors that work with people and I am so THANKFUL!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Thankful Days #6 and #7: Mom and Fellowship

Don't have too much time tonight but still wanted to link up with Dawn over at theGoodlife with 30 Thankful Days.

Thankful day #6:
I spent most of the day playing soccer (we lost in the finals but definitely had an INCREDIBLE season) and ended the day traveling back to good ole Laradise (aka Laramie, WY). Though I had so many things to be thankful for like my team, my coaches, my Kay Arthur study, the one thing that just made my day 1000 times better was talking on the phone with my mom. We didn't talk that long but, man, do I love that women! It was great to hear some encouraging words from someone who has made it very clear that she cares more about my well-being than my grades, athletic success, or flaws. Mom, I can't even explain how much I love you and how much you mean to me.

My mom and little B (one of the kids she watches during the school week)

Thankful #7
Today I just want to simply say I am thankful for fellowship! I spent my afternoon taking a Statistics exam (yuck) but I got through it by thinking about the people I'd get to see when I finished the test. I went straight to an FCA outreach dinner --families in the community host a dinner and all varsity athletes are invited— where a good friend shared about her walk with God. Then I went to a Bible Study where we were studying 2 Peter but had to leave early to go to a prayer date :) where a small group of friends spent devoted their time to pray for me. I definitely felt the love in the room.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Thankful Days #4 and #5: Blessings

It has been such a blessing to be a part of 30 Thankful Days, as I know first hand how hard life is when I fail to find things to praise Him for. Go check out theGoodlife for more information on how to get involved. I promise you won't regret it.

So I missed yesterday but I feel that I have a good reason. Wyoming Women's soccer beat SDSU to advance to the finals and our day here in New Mexico was full of excitement and energy. Needless to say I  had a hard time slowing down even to write a few lines though I definitely was thankful for many things yesterday.

So on my fourth day of thankful days, though soccer was definitely the highlight, I was/am thankful for my phone :) Well actually I'm thankful for all the friends that I can dial up on a moment's notice just to hear them say "you're going to be ok." Yesterday, despite all the excitement that winning brought me, I had a mental breakdown about school and where my grades are at. It's humbling to admit how poorly I'm doing in school but I think that is a part of God's plan in this... to humble myself so that I see Him as my everything. In the midst of my tears and regret I had plenty of friends to remind me that no matter if I drop out of school or if I'm the top of my class I have people (and a God) who love me just the same. I'm so thankful that I have people to remind me that I am "justified by faith" alone like I mentioned in day 3.

Day 5 I'm thankful for something that happened yesterday but I didn't realize it until today (I don't know if that counts but I'm doing it). I'm thankful for the song "Times" by Tenth Avenue North. It was such a blessing to me yesterday in calming my nerves about soccer and in reminding me where my value is when I was stressing out about school. Through these lyrics I've felt God's love and mercies wash over me. He knows all of my sins and loves me the same. His love never ends
Times by Tenth Avenue North

Her are some of the lyrics from the song Times (I've bolded a few of the lines that have been a blessing to me)
Well my love is over
It's underneath
It's inside
It's in between

The times that you're healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you've fallen from grace 

The times you're hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal

In times of confusion
In chaos and pain
I'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame 

I'm there through your heart-ache
I'm there in the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone 

I don't care where you've fallen or where you have been
I'll never forsake you
My love never ends

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Thankful Days #3: Beloved

Once again, I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and sharing what I'm thankful for today!

Today I'm thankful for the Kay Arthur study that a friend and I are going through. We're only on week two but it's INCREDIBLE. Every word and verse mentioned in this week's study spoke right to my heart... Have you ever felt like you can feel God changing your heart the very moment your read or hear something?... All I have time to say about it now is that being called "My beloved" by the Creator of the Heavens and Earth is quite possibly the best feeling in the world and knowing that I am simply "justified in faith" has made me feel of worth for the first time in a while. God is so good!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Thankful Days #1 and #2

Today I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and couldn't be more excited about the idea of thirty days of being thankful. What a fantastic idea!

It reminds me of a time when I was having a hard time finding joy (which is a total understatement) and a friend and I came up with a way to change my focus from the negatives to the positives of life. Everyday she'd ask me to name five things I was thankful for and though it was a struggle at first, it became a natural part of my day and I looked forward to sharing them with her. I found myself thinking throughout the day, "this could be one of the things I'm thankful for today." And it was amazing to look back at what i was thankful for that week. The list went from food items like toaster strudels (a definite weakness of mine) all the way to being thankful for having free laundry (a blessing after paying for laundry in the dorms). After only a few days I had 25 little things I was thankful for and I realized that those little things were actually the things that make my life worth living.

So for day #1 (yesterday) I'm thankful for my team and the growing relationships that I with some of the girls. We spent the day traveling to the Mountain West Conference Tournament in New Mexico and I was blessed by all the conversations and laughter! LET'S GO POKES!!!... We beat TCU today and are advancing to the semifinals (first time ever in Wyoming history). wish us luck as we play San Diego Friday so we can advance to the finals.

And for day #2 I'm thankful for hotel pillows!!! Every time I'm in a hotel I consider stealing the super soft ones to take home with me. I just love having a ton of pillows on an oversized bed just for me :)