Friday, August 30, 2013

Old Windows

Sarah and I moved into our townhouse way back in June but it wasn't until this week that I felt like I was fully unpacked and organized. All summer I had given myself the deadline of the first day of classes to hang everything on the walls and have some sort of organization so that I had minimal distractions (ie: reasons to procrastinate) come time for real work. Finally the house looks finished!

I am very thankful for my roommate Sarah who let me indulge a little bit when it came to decorating... I kind of have this obsession with old windows! I have four old windows that I have collected over the past few years and this is the first time I was able to find a home for each one! Two of the windows are in our common living area and the other two windows occupy walls in my bedroom. The ironic part of this whole decorative scheme is that the one real window in my bedroom that looks out over the backyard is almost always covered by its curtain!

Not an awesome picture with glares and what not but I do love this window... the flower pot is full of flower- dry-erase markers!

 What do you think? Are all of my old windows in one small house just too much?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Everyday Cure for the Common Self-Wallowing

Sooo I was really excited to start classes today (nerd alert)! I read all of the 8 million emails sent by professors over the last month, printed out and hole punched all of my syllabi, deep cleaned my room, organized my desk, ironed my skirt, woke up early and showered, ate a decent breakfast and set off for my first day of 3rd/4th year! That was at 9:30 am. By the time I got home at 4:30 I was exhausted and, as Avery helped me define, I was pretty grumpy. I blamed the weather, the back-to-back meetings, and the overwhelming feeling of already being behind on assignments the first day of class. To top it all off, I totally forgot to take a back to school picture with Bo and Sarah this morning and, I’m not going to lie, that made me sad!

After half a bag of popcorn, a wardrobe change, hot tomato soup, and a good old-fashioned quiet time, my head has been cleared of the self-wallowing fog I was in earlier. I had been planning to write on the blog for about two weeks now, and this is the first time since then that I have successfully typed lucid sentences. The amazing thing about God’s timing is that the topic I had chosen to write about two weeks ago, applies more to me today than it did at the time I chose it…

Psalm 32

3When I kept silent,

my bones wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4For day and night

your hand was heavy on me;

my strength was sapped

as in the heat of summer.

5Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess

my transgressions to the Lord.”

And you forgave

the guilt of my sin.

6Therefore let all the faithful pray to you

while you may be found;

surely the rising of the mighty waters

will not reach them.

7You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I stumbled upon this Psalm during a quiet time I had while on vacation in the mountains. My favorite part about the place we stayed was how quiet our surroundings were. When it was foggy outside and you couldn’t see the neighboring houses, it was as if our house was the only civilization on the whole mountain. In the silent beauty of my environment I was struck by how loud my own thoughts were inside of my head. I was feeling guilty about something and yet it took lots of time to flush out exactly what was the source. Finding this Psalm, I understood that I could constantly feel weighted with guilt with my human sinful nature but that confessing to God lifts the burden of guilt. The Lord wants to protect us from the grief of sin, but we first have to acknowledge the fact that the root of our guilt/frustration/anger is sin that poisons everything around it, including our moods!

I used this train of thought today as my grumpy self trudged around the house. After changing into comfortable clothes, I took a deep breath, sunk down on my bed and prayed. I was first rambling and making excuses as to why I was cranky, but soon enough I was confessing my anxieties and my lack of faith that was weighing me down. I wouldn’t say I was ready to be a social butterfly even after this little quiet time but I was definitely in a much more enjoyable state of mind.

Enough about me, I would love to hear if there are any other passages that you run to during times of turmoil and maybe guilt! Also, since school is starting and I will need some way to justify procrastinating on homework, I will hopefully be posting more consistently! I am thankful for the few people that read this blog!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Quickie Paint Job

Even though Sarah and I moved into our sweet little townhouse over a month and a half ago, we are still knocking things off of our to-do list to make it feel a little more homey before classes start! 

Like the chair that I recovered earlier, this table has been painted and loved by many, though it is not quite as antique as the rocking chair. The top of the table is a painted metal, great for quick clean-ups, so my family has fondly referred to it as our craft table. My mom was the last to paint this table so that my sister D-2 (second in the order... I am fondly known as D-1) could use the table in her room as a desk. The problem my mom encountered was that the table was too short so, being the brilliant woman that she is, she added a little height with the sports balls that can be seen in these pictures. Genius! And well executed!  

Just a little stretch between sets.
Unfortunately, Sarah and I were not going for the sports themed kitchen eating area, or I would have gladly kept the table as is. 

Instead we went with a simple and neutral "Classic Key Lime." The color is such a light shade of green that it is basically white, unless compared to a true white, so the contrast between the top of the table and the legs was just enough! I sanded just a little bit and I only had to do two layers of paint to get the color I was looking for!

DONE! So quickly too!

Such a quick and easy project that pulls our house together just a little bit more!

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Am A Very Bad Fortune Teller.

I am writing this post as I sit in cute little coffee shop in Crozet, VA, right outside of Charlottesville. If you had asked me five years ago where I thought I would be the summer of 2013, I imagine I would have said interning for a bank or law office, or just some internship where I would be wearing high heels, a pencil skirt and a coordinating, but not too matchy-matchy, tailored jacket. I had zero idea what I wanted to do as a career but somehow I just knew it would require full business attire. I thought I would be gearing up for my senior year at Wofford College. I thought I would be president of every club I joined at Wofford. I thought I would be able to "go out" at least four nights a week, like I heard most college students could. Of course I pictured myself happy, confident, and ten times better looking than I was at the time. College was going to be the best four years of my life. That is what everyone says, so it must be true, right??

Fast-forward five years and things have definitely changed, but in much different ways than I could have ever known. Here I am, at the University of Virginia, as a nursing major, gearing up for my “4th year” with another year following that one. This summer I am working as a nursing assistant and a nanny. Majority of the time I wear scrubs and clogs or sneakers. I have joined clubs at UVa, mainly nursing related, but I am much more conservative when dividing up my time, and I probably won’t even try to run for president of any of those clubs. I am happy. I am confident. I look the exact same as high school, with longer hair and a couple added pounds. Would I describe these last three years of college as the best years of my life? Probably not. Would I change any second of those years? Definitely not. So far college has taught me so many things about myself, some things for the better and some for the worst.

What I could have never predicted five years ago was the way my heart flip-flopped, deflated and ultimately changed starting as soon as I graduated high school. Leaving everyone I knew and heading to South Carolina left me vulnerable to situations I had never before encountered and most of all vulnerable to myself. After getting to Wofford, I realized pretty quickly that I did not enjoy waking up hangover and wondering why I acted the way I had the night before.  As much I wanted to fit in with my new friends, I did not want to ruin the relationships I had already started to develop (I “re-found” Jesus the summer before senior year of high school). Going into my spring semester of freshman year I was conflicted and lonely. This became the ultimate time for me to once again reevaluate my life path.

With lots of support from my family and Avery and his family I discovered that my strengths could be consolidated into one career, nursing. Apparently, my loved ones forgot my strength of dressing well ;)  From that point on I put all my energy into getting into a program that would allow me to pursue nursing. A very long year later I finally told my dear Wofford friends of my plans to transfer and received my acceptance into the UVa School of Nursing.

Here I am a year out from that major life transition and I have never felt more confident that this is where I am supposed to be. I have even embraced the new wardrobe demands… my roommate and UVa friends would probably argue that I never had an issue with it, as any day of the week you can find me in shorts and a t-shirt or scrubs by choice.

I think that the point of this very long, rambling post is that life is so ironic and funny and unpredictable. I had to embrace the weird quirks that God gave me and knew would show themselves at some point. Ultimately, I had to learn to rely on Christ to have any kind of confidence in my decisions. I have by no means figured everything out yet, and I am no better at predicting the future than my 17-year-old self, but my newer disposition gives me hope for an even greater next five years. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wisdom Found in Summer Reading

This summer I am thankful that I have had time to do some reading for pleasure. During the school year I feel guilty reading for fun because more cases than not, I am procrastinating on real work and school reading I should be doing.

I just finished reading a book called Call the Midwife, by Jennifer Worth, which I first heard about because it has also been made into a TV series playing on PBS (originally BBC). Long story short, the book is a memoir of a young nurse who unknowingly goes to live at a convent while she furthers her experience in midwifery in the slums of London, circa 1950. Each chapter is the story of a different interesting patient, or a particular struggle of being a young nurse, or an experience that could only happen while living amongst nuns. 

On one of the very last pages Jennifer, the young nurse and also the author, is talking with one of the nuns. Inquiring as to why this nun had left a home of privilege to become a nun and serve the lowest class people of London, Jennifer asked, "Was it love of people?" Sister Monica Joan, who was known for her quick tongue and what I like to call sassiness, quickly responded,

"Of course not. How can you love ignorant, brutish people who you don't even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and mice? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people."

Somehow this "sassy nun" (I imagine that these two words are hardly ever used simultaneously) summed up a thought that I have been trying to articulate in my quiet times for weeks. We, as broken/sinful humans, are nothing and can do nothing if it were not for the grace and mercy of our God. We cannot take credit for anything except having a heart that is open to God's love. Thank you Sister Monica Joan for saying what I could not unscramble in my own head!

Cast from the BBC series
While you may have to be in nursing school, or just not be grossed out about graphic birthing lingo, to appreciate some of the scenarios in the book, I would highly recommend Call the Midwife for anyone looking for a last minute summer read!