Sunday, April 21, 2013

Outfit Post: Sunday Librarian

Today is just a bit cold, but it didn't keep me from wearing my new-to-me sandals and floral dress to church today. I'm nearing the end of my 2nd of 4 semesters of librarian grad school. With this in mind, many of my new clothing purchases are librarian inspired.

I wish I was better at photography. Hmmm, I have a brilliant idea of what I want to capture. But, it never quite works out. Oh well, I like to dress up, whether or not YOU can fully appreciate it via photos. Just believe me. ;)

Of course, Maddy was acting in true 3 year old fashion and this is why you don't see her face much. And she had just taken a spill on the sidewalk. I cannot count how many times I have wiped out on that same sidewalk! I was always barefooted and band-aid kneed. (Knee-ed). Band-aids were on my knees.

Here's a pretty sunny picture of Rachel, Maddy's mom, and Maddy. I cannot wait for just a raise in degrees just a bit. Then we can spend more time outside and not pretend to look warm! And maybe by then, I'll be better at taking pictures! 

 My dress and sandals were the products of a day at the Salem Consignment Center. It is a huge store of lots of second-hand clothes, vintage, and more! We love it. The sweater was mine already, but I think we got it at a garage sale.  Eeek! I do not spend money on clothes. I probably should!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Off work on Friday!

 Hooray, I am off work today!
Time to get caught up on some HW.
Then I should do something FUN. Like... Bike ride!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Birth Month, Puppies!

April is the birth month of my precious babies. This year they are turning 3 years old! Charger and Delorean were my graduation presents when I graduated KCU in 2010. I was moving out on my own to a farm house in the middle of no where Central Illinois. I was living rent-free in a 3 bedroom house taking care of my uncle's horse farm. Aside from a few awesome humans that I got to live with while I was there, the majority of my roommies were four-legged.

These two pups were the perfect companions. I remember wishing that they would grow up faster so I would have protectors when scary people knocked on my door at 10pm when I was all alone to tell me my neighbor's horses were out in my yard. (This may or may not have actually happened.) But now looking back, it feels like they were never puppies. They grew fast and they grew BIG!

When I moved to Lexington in 2011, I knew I couldn't have both puppies with me in an apartment. I was blessed to have my sister volunteer to adopt one into her family. After she moved into her first home in South Bend, I left from my visit with just one puppy. I said goodbye to Delorean. As I cried like a parent sending her child to kindergarten for the first time, I said to my sister, "She's such a good dog." And she really is. She has fit so perfectly into my sister's family. She is a great big sister to my nieces. They all love her. Little did I know, Charger and Delorean would soon be together again.

Anyone who knows me, knows that Charger isn't a dog to me. He is my companion. There is no better word for it. From the farm house times, to our 1 bedroom apartment in Lexington, Charger and I are basically inseparable. He keeps my pace up when I go for a jog, he helped me study for the GRE, he watches my favorite shows with me, he holds me when I cry.... Well, um, he looks at me when I cry. Charger is perfect.

And even when I find myself moving all over the Midwest at a moments notice, you can bet Charger is there with me in the passenger's seat getting hair everywhere...

Happy Birthday, Charger and Delorean!

First Photo is compliments of R&G Photography

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sending a piece of my heart to Guatemala

Before I moved back to my hometown in Southern Illinois I heard about a fabulous concert in Elkhart, IN. Actually it started out as just fabulous and then it became a once-in-a-lifetime concert, for me anyway. It was the Promises tour with Sanctus Real AND JJ Heller. At first when I heard Sanctus Real was coming to town, I was like, yeah. That would be pretty cool. But when I knew they were accompanied by JJ Heller... forget it. I'm so there. I was not even deterred in the least to know that no one was available to go with me. I was going alone but this show was being played for ME. Hello.

I started listening to SR when I was in high school. The coolest hippest station, 102.1 The Alien played their song, Say it Loud. My best friend and I were always jamming to this one. Loved it! "30 hour drive through the Rocky Mountains..." She bought me their CD, "Fight the Tide." And my love for them continued. ***WHHHHAAA A bug just flew into my eye!

Okay, I'm back. Now, JJ Heller. I was introduced to them in college by my dear friend, Jenn. I was going through breaking up with my fiance in 2009. You know that feeling you get when you're going through a break up and its like you forgot what it felt like to feel normal? It hurts so bad that you forget what day it is. It was then when I first heard Your Hands. Such a beautiful song. It spoke to my simple Sunday school self. It reminded me of the simplest truth of my faith. God is here. I am His and He is mine. Thats it. God used that song to lead me to the other side.

  Did I tell you I love Sanctus Real? As I've grow up their music has changed to me. It means something. I'm sure if you listen to Christian music at all you've heard Whatever You're Doing. A.MA.ZING. I have heard so many stories of that song touching lives. Its good. That song defined my transformation from struggling post college grad to "thriving" grad student. Thriving is a relative term... ;) Seriously that song encompasses my thoughts, fears, hope from 2010-2012.

Well, I haven't even mentioned Guatemala yet! I'm getting there! One of the speakers for the concert was a child advocate for Compassion International. Now, I actually have a history with Compassion. Flashback: I was a simple-minded, well-meaning high school student at a CIY conference. I was moved to sponsor a child, from Peru actually. I am not sure if God was telling be to do it, but I felt compelled. Who wouldn't? The stories of those children are so touching. I wasn't able to keep up with the payments. I felt so guilty about it. And as a high school student, thats what they were, just payments for something I'd signed up for. I meant well, but I didn't get it.

Since graduating in 2010, I have been trying to figure myself out. What is God telling me? What am I doing? Where am I living? (Resident of 3 states in 3 years, people. This is serious.) After talking to a inspiring woman I met in my last church, I have accepted that I am God's vessel. I am empty for Him to fill and pour out. I am made to BE Christ to the world. God has given me the responsibility to care for his people in whatever way I am presented. This lifestyle is a challenge. Everyday is a challenge. I like my time. I like my money.  I am learning what real stewardship is. More than my tithe belongs to God.

I knew this time, God was telling me to use my money to sponsor a child. I prayed as I listened JJ Heller and later the announcement was made that anyone choosing to sponsor a child tonight would receive Sanctus Real's new CD and get to meet the band. If that is not a sign from God that that is exactly what I was suppose to do, then WHAT IS?!

With that in mind, I'd like to tell you about the newest member of my family. :) Her name is Sheila. She is 6 years old and she is from La Trinidad, Guatemala. It was so exciting to look through the packet I got after I signed up. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a stay at home mom. She has 5 siblings. I am so pumped to support this little girl, write to her, and love her.

 Just 2 days ago I got an email from Compassion saying that they'd told Sheila that she has a sponsor. It gave me goosebumps. I came to the dining room table to eat breakfast with my family after reading that email and I cried over my raisin brand. She knows about me. She knows that someone is going to take care of her. She is going to have opportunities that she couldn't have without me. ME. Wow. Such a big responsibility. God has blessed me so much, honestly its an honor to give my money to help someone else. Now when I go to work, I do my job knowing that someone is depending on me. I have a purpose, even as a grad-student Aldi cashier. God has filled me and "my cup overflows with blessings." Psalms 23:5

The last song of the concert was Whatever You're Doing. I was already crying as they played. I didn't know how the show could get any better until Matt, SR's lead singer, welcomed JJ Heller to the stage to sing the last chorus of their song. Here I watched as two of the most influential musicians in my life sang one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard. I closed my eyes and I was alone with my God.