Friday, August 28, 2015

Girl on the train

As a part of my Thirty before Thirty I promised to read 15 new books. What I was thinking when I decided that, I'm not sure.  To be honest, I would much rather watch Real Housewives or Big Brother in the evenings instead of reading a book. Simple minded? Maybe. Up to date on reality tv? Always!

So, due to my inability to put down the remote I have turned to audio books to meet my book quota. Side note - audio books are the jam especially if you have a fancy car like me that doesn't have Sirius or an aux port to plug your phone into and your other choice for entertainment is zee radio.

In full disclosure I did try to read this one via hard copy and got 8 pages in and never picked it back up. Then I decided to try my luck listening to it instead - BINGO. The narrator(s) are British - DOUBLE BINGO!
It took me some time to get into this one - slow moving at first and a little sporadic - almost a bit depressing. Then out of no where it starts to really pick up and by the end I was making laps around the neighborhood just to hear what happens next! I wouldn't call this a "beach read", which is my typical go to, but instead a good weekend thriller.
The main character Rachel is a tad nosey and very much an alcoholic and gets herself into a predicament when a girl she doesn't know from Adam goes missing. There were a few times I couldn't believe she was making the choices she was and thought she had lost her ever loving mind. By the end though I love her and feel so sorry for her - like can I please just cook you dinner and hug you. There are a few guys in the book that you will want to kick in their man junk and another girl (Anna) that is like the meanest of mean girls. Overall it kept me very engaged and made me ask a few fellow reader friends if they have picked it up yet. If you have an aversion to reading about alcoholics/adultery/murder I would point you in a different direction than this one. However, if you want to feel like at least my problems aren't THAT bad then grab this one stat.
On a scale of 1 - 10 // one being that I didn't even get half way through and 10 being Hunger Games // I give this one an 8.
Now go read it and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

16 months

I'm not sure how it happens but time can seem so short and so far away all at once. I cant remember what I had for dinner three nights ago but thinking back on fond childhood memories seems like just yesterday.

16 months from today I will turn 30. For starters I don't feel adult enough to be thirty - I would say at best guess I'm still 24. How was time gone so fast? It is so true when they tell you it only moves faster the older you get. For this milestone birthday I wanted to be intentional so I jumped on the bandwagon per say and created a "30 things to do before I turn 30" list. A little kick in the rear to get out there and do things that are out of my everyday norm. I plan on documenting the process so get ready for posts of random things Im purging and book reviews

1. Eat at a nice restaurant alone
2. Purge 100 items
3. Host a dinner
4. Try 10 new recipes
5. Visit a new beach
6. Learn to play tennis... again
7. Read 15 new books (audio books count!)
8. Visit Chicago
9. Pay off all debt
10. Send snail mail
11. Read the entire bible
12. Feel comfortable in my own skin
13. Take a fabulous 30th birthday trip
14. Go to Vegas
15. Play hookie
16. Reconnect with an old friend
17. Go to a Mass service
18. Skinny Dip
19. Hit my goal savings amount
20. Organize the shed
21. Print my favorite photos
22. Pay for a strangers coffee
23. Learn to shoot a gun
24. Have a huge garage sale
25. Capture more every day life
26. Get Murphy out more
27. Establish a safe place for important documents
28. Learn to change a tire
29. Participate in Lent
30. Set three fitness goals and achieve them
And because no one likes posts with out pictures here are some images that are totally unrelated!

Friday, August 14, 2015

From the cutting room floor

... also known as I take way too many pictures that reside on my phone to never be seen again.

Or a bunch of pictures of flowers and alcohol. Lets get started shall we?

In the spring time I get a bit "clepto" persay  - also when I'm drinking but that is neither here nor there. My neighborhood is Peony heaven during that time of year. Every yard has peonies in bloom but mine. So there might have been a time or two I "took murphy on a walk" a few houses down and snipped some of their blooms. Best decision I have ever made - those blooms lasted forever and never failed to leave me without a smile on my face.

Ed Sheeran concert with this hot babe. Hanson might have been the opening act - hands down more excited moms than children. I feel old. 

My bestie #forlife decided to up and move an hour and a half away. She also gave me this bottle of champs 6 months earlier. We celebrated her move in style with re-gifted champs and a few tears.

I should do a whole post just on my Mexico trip with my family this past May. A few highlights: I had fish give me a pedi and made my family take dinner selfies every night with my beloved #selfiestick

My favorite meal... Chicken Pho from a mixing bowl. Sodium filled carbs? Count me in.
When I took this picture I remember thinking "what an inspirational little pansy" and then never looked at the picture again. This is a true "bloom where you are planted" moment. I pulled pansies out of my flower bed a few weeks before and tossed them into the yard to get mowed. This little guy survived. Good story.

These next few pictures I would like to title "day drinking" - uber original

And then it rained on the way to the car...

First mater of the season. Obviously needs to be captured.

My best friend had the tiniest baby ever who made me an aunt for the 7th time.
 (insert heart eye emoji)
$4.50 Bluemoon pitchers and karaoke. Why not?

Average Friday at work taking a helicopter ride downtown.

Celebration lunch that turned into happy hour that turned into a few hours at the lake. What?

I've watched this gentle soul grow up over the past four years - last weekend she was baptized.

New Rustic Cuffs. A party on your wrist


Dinner for one. I might have gotten a little ahead of myself

I feel as though I deserve a pat on the back... only 9 pictures that contained adult beverages. Its like I'm growing up or something... okay not so fast. Maybe I should start doing these weekly - only next time Ill show you all the "look at me sitting on my arse" pictures and bachelor in paradise screenshots or weird text conversations. Oh just get ready.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The other 2%

Exactly one week ago I put out a plea on facebook about my precious kitty child who had run off to explore and had yet to return home. I drove the neighborhood, calling for her out the window like the crazy cat lady I have become to no avail. There is a good chance I checked the front and backdoor no less than 265 million times thinking she might, just might, have come back during that walk from the couch to the backdoor and then to the front door. Nope.

Wouldn't you know the next morning when I pulled my tired arse out of bed and let Murphy out - little miss street hussy decided to show her face. Truth be told I was 98% relieved to have her back and know she was okay. That other 2%.... well that is what I need to talk about.

You see, over the fourth of July I was in and out for a few days. Gone Friday and Saturday back Sunday (for all of 15 min) and then out again until Tuesday. My coming and going did nothing but "piss" miss thang off... literally.

She decided to hit me in the jugular. Take me to the cleaners. Give it her best shot. You get the point.

And her best shot... well it hurt...

Two pairs of tennis shoes - peed in

My PRECIOUS cast iron skillet that was sitting out stove top - peed in

Dishtowel draped nicely over the sink - peed on

Veggie bowl full of nuts/seeds/veggies/non refrigerated foods - PEED IN

I'm not quite sure I remember the last time someone was that mad at me. Maybe 9th grade when Alicia had to wake up early - on a Saturday morning post sleep over - to go to tennis practice and couldn't get back into her own house afterwards. Thus leading her to throw rocks at the bedroom window, which woke me up enough for me to get out of bed and see her standing in the driveway and turn around and go back to bed. She ended up sleeping in the back of her car until someone woke up (2 hours later) and let her in.

Even this episode of excessive urination tops that. Maggie girl was mad. So when the thought of her not coming home crossed my mind my heart ALMOST broke in half. I would be a liar if I didn't confess there was a tiny part of me that relished in the idea of being able to leave bath towels out and folded without the possibility of retaliation.

Since her stint on the street, my sweet precious kitty cat has gotten mad that I wouldn't let her back out to go whoop it up with her friends and has taken it out on a poor packing envelope sitting on dining room table. Soaked to the bone. Looks like that's a $1.37 down the drain.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Matthew 5:10

 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

I sit here drinking my coffee after reading day 7 of an incredible Lent study. Comfortable. Content. Free to worship to maker of the heavens and earth. My bible is currently in the front seat of my car - sitting there for all the world to see. I drive around town not even thinking twice about "putting it away" or scared that the "wrong" person might see it sitting out in the open. On Sunday I sat in the same spot I sit every Sunday listening to the word of God preached aloud. Not once did I check over my shoulder or worry about having to barricade myself inside from the terrors of the world outside. 

Here I am safe. Here I am free to worship.

As we all go about our daily routines and bicker about what Patricia Arquette's speech  really meant, we so often forget the privileges we have and the freedom we do not deserve. 

Twenty One men had their throats cut because they believed in the same creator I do. 

Twenty One families are grieving the loss of dads, brothers, husbands, sons, uncles, friends.

Twenty One faces so steadfast, brave, and dignified as they kneeled on a beach knowing they were about to take their last breath.

Twenty One men looking for work only to be lead to a beach and killed for their religious views.

Twenty One men who deserve to be remembered for their bravery and conviction.

Today I ask for Twenty One people to join me in honoring these men and professing your faith in a bold way. These men were Coptic Christians (Egyptian Christians) and thus I have pledged to get the Coptic Cross tattooed on my wrist and ask that you do the same. This tattoo is nothing new and worn by Coptic Christians around the world as a symbol of their faith.

"Therefore, the cross symbolizes not only membership in the Christian faith, but a remembrance of early Christian martyrs who died because they wore the cross and refused to renounce their faith" 

I have to be completely honest with you. Tattoos have never been high on my list of "things to do" but it was the first thing that came to mind when wrestling with the idea of honoring those lives lost. 

God calls us to do big things. Take bold steps. 

If you would like to join me in this way honoring the Twenty One lives lost please post a picture to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #21crossesfor21martyrs 

I leave you with this

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A big hug round the neck

I have to start today by saying "Thank you". Seriously. I was completely shocked at the response to yesterdays post.

Thank you for understanding
Thank you for listening
Thank you for your encouragement
Thank you for your honesty
Thank you for doing life along side of me.

Thank you.

Two weeks ago our senior pastor called our church body to a fast. If I am being completely honest I have always shrugged off "corporate" fasts thinking that God would call me to fast when he wanted me to - not my pastor. Though that is true, God can call us individually to fast, he also speaks through the leaders in our life. This time I decided to participate and see what God had to show me through this time of fasting.

If you are familiar with fasting then you know it's kind of like fight club. The first rule of fasting is you don't talk about fasting. Then there's me - sitting here talking about fasting.

Yes, I am going to talk about my fast but not to complain or wallow but to share with you a few things I have learned.

1. God works in mighty mighty ways when he calls his people to a fast. Hello job loss. His timing is impeccable.

2. Study. Draw near. Pull close. Learn. Rest.

I've never really been taught how to "study" scripture. There are daily devotionals and sure you can read a few scriptures a day but how do I really dig deep? Our pastor shared an example of taking scripture and dissecting it - studying it.

Thats what I want to share most with you today.

I started with Luke 1:45 // Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished //

Take each word and see how it relates to you, to the other words in the passage, the definition, what is its purpose in this verse..

Here is an example of what I did with the verse above

What I ultimately came to through my time of study was God was saying a lot of things to me through this verse

He is telling me that I am made holy (and you too) when we accept who Christ is and what he has done for us - through this his promises to us will all come to fruition. WHEW.

You'll see I jotted down a few things that he has spoken to me recently (and through this passage): stop worrying, refocus, slow down, I will never leave you... What has he spoken to you lately?

Try it. Take a verse that is really speaking into your life right now. Dissect it. See what God tells you through the process. Then glance back at it throughout the week. You will be surprised what new meanings it takes on.

I would love for you to share your various study habits/scriptures you are dissecting. Tag me on instagram/facebook or shoot me an email. Enjoy your day friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blessing even in the darkness

Life can change so quickly. It still fascinates me how in the blink of an eye your path and take a huge detour. 

Case and point - as I am writing this I am listening to the beautiful elevator music that gets played while waiting on hold (I am at 26 min and counting) with the Oklahoma unemployment agency. 

Cats outta the bag.

I have wrestled with writing about this experience or not - lets be honest its an ego blow to be laid off. What I realized though, is I am not the first or the last person to ever be laid off. 

A week ago today I was told my services were no longer needed with my current employer. Though I knew lay offs were coming, I will be the first to say I didn't really think I would be effected. There was always this fear in the back of my mind that I would lose my job and then I would get a call asking for help, a new meeting request, or a problem to solve and that fear was squashed. 

Getting laid off is such a roller coaster ride of emotions but one thing I have been completely astounded by is the love and support from friends and colleagues. I have joked a few times and said "If you ever want to know what it would be like if you died - just get laid off". 

Here is the biggest thing I have learned lately: God blesses us even in the darkest of days. 

Getting laid off was a complete blessing for me. 

Say What?

Yep, loosing my job has been a huge blessing for me. It has allowed me to refocus my career and really target what it is I want to do and where God wants me to be. 

More importantly, getting laid off has pushed me closer to my savior.  Trust is something that does not come naturally to me - its on the lower end of my competencies, if not the lowest. The easiest way to get me to trust something is to give me control. I know it will all work out better if you just let me do it....

Funny thing though, the definition of "faith" is to have complete TRUST or confidence in someone or something. So to have FAITH that my God will work all this together for my good and that he guides my path means I have to TRUST. 

It also means I have to turn over the reigns. Uh.... about that. See these reigns are super glued, cemented, and then surgically implanted into my hands. To let go of them takes some major work. Daily work. Heck, hourly work. But then I hear him whisper in my ear "Sarah, let me bear your burden. Rest." 

So thats where I am. Resting in his truths, exploring new opportunities inside and outside of my comfort zone, and allowing God to do the work. TRUSTING that he will make clear the path he has set before me. It isn't easy to let go. It isn't easy to not see immediate response. It isn't easy to wait, but I know that his direction is much more clear than anything I could ever try to create.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under Gods mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" 1 Peter 5:6-7