1 peter 3:4

"cultivate inner beauty--the gentle, gracious kind
that God delights in.the holy women of old were
beautiful before God that way.." -1 peter 3:4

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

pink fuzzies.

driving down the interstate today i noticed that the flowers in the trees are in full bloom. i don't know what the names of these flowers/trees are, maybe someone reading this does?
its the little pink fuzzy flowers, i have no idea what they're called! but i remember going for walks with my daddy around the lake at our old house, and there being one of these trees on the far side of the lake. i would pick the flowers, and sprinkle the leaves into the water. i wish i could go back and re-live those walks around the lake again:)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

like a lightning bolt.

this will be short, and to-the-point.
{i hear you laughing, those of you who know me. i promise, it will be!}

a patient made me cry today. i was filling out his cataract surgery papers, and i began to cry right there in front of him. here's why: he told me that this was his second time scheduling this surgery; that his wife had died a few weeks before his original surgery date. i looked in the chart, and saw that date was just in september of this last year. i said, "oh, i'm so sorry to hear that. i can't imagine." he took this as his go-ahead to continue the story. you know, sometimes all a person wants is to have someone listen. its hard to carry hurt all alone, it needs to be let out.
he proceeded to tell me that he has been with his wife for 63 years, and that they were married for 62 of them. i asked him how old he was when he met her. he replied, "i was 19, she was 18. i will never forget the day that i met her, either. she was beautiful and kind. i couldn't stop staring. and it was like a lightning bolt hit me in the back of the head, and i realized, 'this is her, this is the girl you are going to make your wife,' and then a year later, i did. they told her last year that she had a month to live, and put her in the hospital. she died in there."

i looked up at him with the biggest lump in my throat, and the nile river building up in my eyes, and said, "gosh, you're making me cry!" he just smiled a sad smile, and i could tell he still loved her as much then as he did 63 years ago.
one day - be it now or months or years from now - i want someone to love me that much. and i want love to hit me like a lightning bolt.

Friday, April 9, 2010

bits and pieces of this week.

so--in the past 2 days i have had a MILLION blog ideas. well, maybe not quite a million, but close enough to it. let me try and limit this entry to only the thoughts in my head that would be worth sharing:
1. on monday, i overheard pieces of a conversation that some patients were having. a few elderly ladies were sitting in our dilation area, and discussing their husbands. it was heartbreaking, i walked up in time to hear one say, "he's been gone a year, next month. it was so hard to believe when it happened, just weeks before he was tending to the lawn and doing yard work, being so active." another piped in, "i'm so sorry. my husband has been in the hospital for a number of weeks and i don't know if i'll ever get to bring him home. its hard because i love him so much, i don't want to see him there." it really hit me hard, bringing a lump to my throat while i stood in the middle of the hallway. don't get me wrong, i'm not oblivious to the fact that we all get old and death is something that no one in the history of the world has been able to dodge. but listening to these women discuss losing their true love--it hit a spot in my heart. it makes me want to know more of their stories. did they be sure to never take that person for granted? did they know to cherish every moment and take every opportunity to make a normal everyday memory into a special one? i'm just curious. do i do those things? do you?

2. a guy under the age of 60 flirted with me a little today at the hospital. let me explain why that's exciting: i work at an ophthalmology office. meaning eye surgeons. meaning that while we do a lot of lasik surgeries for 20something year olds, we do way more glaucoma lasers and cataract surgeries. what age group does that target? 60+...so usually, the standard line i hear at the hospital is from a toothless elderly man asking me to come home with him so i can administer his eyedrops. {oh, romance.} so imagine my grin and blushing cheeks when a cute {20-30something} drug rep kept bumping into me today {on purpose i think!}, and he then told a surgical assistant that he and i had "had a moment". when the surgical assistant told me he'd said that, and that he was out in the hall way, and that i should talk to him before i left, it only made me blush and try to avoid him more. ha! but--he did see me as i was trying to sneak out the door, and he called from down the hall, "i didn't get to get your name!" i told him my name and then i left. i am horrible at this dating thing.
3. i am getting more and more certain of what i'm looking for in my next relationship. i just need to take this opportunity to put it into words. i want someone who will know when to scoot closer to me and squeeze my hand, and know when to sit back and let me be my own person. i want them to postpone the first kiss as long as possible, yet make me wish every date that THAT day is the day it will finally happen. i want them to love going out and having a fun time, but all the while loving Jesus more than anything. i need someone who understands that in many different ways and meanings, i am a mess, but will love me for it anyway.
4. i am convinced that the girls i have in my 11th-12th grade church group are the most amazing girls. i am learning so much from them! they are incredible and i am so blessed to have the chance to have my voice heard in their worlds. last night, talking with them about Jesus--i must say, that was the highlight of my week! their views and thoughts and hurts and joys are so very unique. it is nothing short of a blessing that i have the chance to be a part of their lives.

i think that's enough for one blog entry. i need to save SOMETHING for next time. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

what am i living for?

i heard some song lyrics recently that have inspired my daily outlook on life. i'm completely obsessed with living these words:
"i will live to carry Your compassion into a world that's broken-to be Your hands and feet. and i will give with the life that i've been given, and go beyond religion to see your world be changed by the power of Your name." {via lincoln brewster/darlene zschech}

wow. it's been a while {well, a few months anyway} since i've dwelt on something and really chewed on what it means, as much as i have these lyrics. i want to dissect them a little bit--

i will live to carry Your compassion -- what does that look like in our daily lives? obviously the "Your" i'm referring to is Christ's. Christ's compassion was timeless, patient. it didn't discriminate. it was joyous. not for a day, not just around certain people he liked hanging out with. it was for all people, from all walks of life. it was for all of eternity. do people look at you and see something different? i'm talking to my fellow Christians, here. our visual field tech asked me a few weeks ago asked me what i was doing after work. i told her that i was going to help lead worship at a youth event for a church in hampton. she responded with, "you're a Christian? i should have known. Christians just have a certain glow and happiness, you can pick them out." that {to me} was not a pat on the back, or an ego-feeder. it was an encouragement and a challenge to let God's love flow through me so that others will notice that i am indeed carrying His compassion to a broken world.
i will give with the life that i've been given -- the title of my blog posts an age-old question. "what am i living for?" i am living, because a Master Creator chose to give me life. and because He has given me this life, i want to use it to give back.
go beyond religion -- i love this. "religion" is such a touchy subject in today's world. people worry about what's politically or "religiously" correct when it comes to God, instead of what's divinely inspired. we are called to step outside of the box of what is religiously correct and to do whatever we need to do to meet our world where it is. it means not just praying for those we do life with, but loving them. getting down on their level and just showing them love, whichever form they might need it in. it might be a meal, it might be a prayer, or it might be a listening ear. they might realize your love, they might not. i encourage you to live out the basic principles you learn in church on sundays, in your daily life monday-saturday. what basic principles, you ask? Jesus himself said the greatest commandment is to love. love others like Christ loved us. can you even imagine what our communities would look like if we all lived this out on days that didn't begin with "sun"?!

i hope this has inspired you.
1 corinthians 13:8,11 -- love never fails...and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love.

Friday, February 12, 2010

anna+dating, part two: haven't met you yet!

so valentine's day is this weekend. in that, i can't help but think back to last valentine's day...and how i thought this year was going to be so completely different from the way it actually is going to be. i believe somewhere i still have a card i was given last year promising something along the lines of "today will be special in our own way and next year will be even more special in another way." it saddens me to think of the heartbreak that evolved and came and went in the last 365 days.

that being said, i will not be single forever. {although somedays it feels like it! haha} i will find someone who is a million times a better man than i've ever known...or dreamt of knowing. and to whoever you are, this one's for you.
a friend of mine is having people over sunday night, and calling it an "i just haven't met you yet" valentine's party. i actually really love that idea! its so cute! {why aren't i that creative??} and not only is it cute, it's thought-provoking and makes me so much more optimistic during a time that is kinda depressing for us single-folk. and what's even more awesome is what billy graham once said:

"God is even more interested in your future and your relationships than you are."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

anna+dating, part one: what a girl wants.

{i titled this 'part one' because i'm sure there will be future entries about me+dating haha!!}
i've been doing a lot of thinking about relationships lately. it's been 10 {very long, but also very short} months since my last relationship ended. the death of that romance was probably the hardest thing i've dealt with in life, thus far. for months {and months...and months...you get the picture} it haunted me in my personal life, my spiritual walk, and in my ability to date again. now that i finally feel ready to move forward and into a new season of life, i am faced with a new difficulty: finding a good, Jesus-loving man--who i am compatible with. don't get me wrong: i've found plenty of great Christian guys...hence my addition of "who i am compatible with." and let me go even further and say that besides being compatible, i want a butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling. i know this exists somewhere!

almost a year ago, i felt a painful hole in my heart when a relationship ended. but what i felt before that, and for a while after that, was a butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling. if there is one thing i can look back at and be thankful for, it is the truth i learned that that kind of love exists. that was something i can honestly say i had never gotten to experience before--i thought before that relationship that i knew what love was. but in those bittersweet months i can look back and realize that i loved someone with an intensity and selflessness that i didn't know i was capable of.

in past relationships, my decisions were always based on what i wanted. i picked fights over things i didn't like, and to be quite honest, i'd be a total brat so that i'd get my way. i looked for what i could get out from the relationship. {looking back i can't believe how i was sometimes! hindsight is always 20/20, huh?} everything in my head revolved around a couple of words: me, myself, and i. now mind you, this wasn't always a conscious thought process. i had good intentions, i thought. i had never known anything different...i thought that's how relationships worked: look for someone to make you happy. if you felt loved, then the relationship was great...no need to fix anything. but--my last relationship was the exact opposite! i found myself caring more for his feelings than my own. i found myself wanting to protect his reputation more than mine. i constantly looked for ways to make him happy, out of my appreciation for having him in my life. and i thanked God daily for having brought him into my world. instead of wanting to just receive all the love and attention, i felt like i couldn't help but overflow with love and appreciation for all that he was. {re-reading this paragraph, i feel like it doesn't even begin to truly express my feelings. my simplest attempt to explain is this: in the past it was always take, take, take...with him i only wanted to give, give, give...to the infinite degree. there. hopefully that's easier.}

people tell me i'm too picky now. but it boils down to this: i want to meet someone and instantly feel like God put them in that place for the purpose of us meeting. i want to care so much for that person's happiness, spiritual walk and integrity that i set my own selfish desires aside. i want to get giddy just thinking about the chance to see them later. and i want to feel God leading me into that relationship. so--am i too picky for having this checklist? personally i don't think so. i know that i am capable of feeling a selfless, crazy love...and i won't settle for someone who will just make me happy.

in the meantime, all i can do is work on my own relationship with God. and i need to daily remind myself to trust His timing...trust His plan...trust Him period.

{disclaimer: my last relationship wasn't at all what i thought it was; BUT that fact doesn't void my feelings. they were real. my side was true--even if nothing else was.}