Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Balancing Act

Last month the yoga studio that I am a member of did a "fitness challenge" to see if members could take 30 yoga classes in 40 days. At first I was interested and thought I would give it the best shot that I could. During the time of the challenge I was going to be traveling and housesitting. I figured I probably wouldn't get to the 40 classes, but if I could get in my normal 3 or so classes a week than that would show I am dedicated and still maintaining normalcy even though I knew I would have a busy schedule.  There was A LOT of buzz about it at the studio. About two weeks into it, I started to hear many other members in the studio talking about how they were planning to take multiple classes in a day to make up for lost time. Granted, these classes they were going to several times a day are challenging yoga sculpt classes in a heated setting.
Once this started happening, I got to thinking that people were going a little overboard. Yes, this challenge was about being a more fit person. However, it seemed that it was most definitely not creating balanced members. I believe yoga is about centering yourself & also creating balance in a hectic world. It seemed like the challenge was a bit counterintuitive to me. It got me thinking about balance in my own life. I know so deeply in my heart and in my mind that I want balance so badly. However, I don't do any favors for myself by overfilling my schedule and having to rearrange the things that are important for me.
With that said, this experience has made me realized that I am the one in control of my time and my schedule. And I have recently made some changes to my schedule and how I use my time. It is going to allow me to have a great more time for doing well in school, getting my applications in for grad school & spending time with my family/people I care dearly for. These things are the most important to me! Another important aspect of the balance, is that I know I am going to be clear headed and will be able to better give to others.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Different Kind of Marathon...and lessons along the way

Today's high was 81°F here in the city where I live. Even though seasons don't change too drastically here, I'm starting to feel hints of Fall in the mornings and evening. It puts a little happiness in my heart. I like the Fall a lot. (I even made a homemade soup last week because I was in a "Fall mood".) And this Fall I have a few things I'm looking forward to. One of those things is a Switchfoot concert with my oldest friend who has never seen Switchfoot. In fact, we've never gone to a concert together in the almost 14 years we've known each other! Operation Switchfoot has commenced. I will also be going to see David Crowder in concert with my dad this Fall. We are excited for a proper hoe-down. I'm also taking a trip to New York over Thanksgiving! And, depending on what grad schools I apply to, I may take a trip to Seattle. On top of all that, I am going to be taking classes & studying for a nursing grad school entrance exam that I will take in November. 

Currently, I am soaking in what is let of my summer "break" of about a month off of school. It's feels good & I am able to spend time with loved ones. I've still found ways to keep busy. Like going to grad school info sessions & researching schools. And I am working a lot on things like really trying to hear from God, seeking good counsel about nursing, relationships & communication. 

I know that I write a fair amount about school. So, I'm sorry if it feels a little bit old. It is a big part of my life though. I feel like I'm running a very long marathon of sorts. Except it doesn't involve running. But what I am doing requires so much discipline, focus & working my butt off. Lately I've noticed that my heart has been a tiny bit weary about the fact that more does lie ahead. But, there are many things that I hold onto. Like the ways that God let's me know he is there through the encouragement of others when there are valleys. And, how God has reminded me to look around & enjoy my surroundings. Just as a runner might get to run in an absolutely gorgeous landscape, I have so much beauty around me. Like the amazing, supportive and freaking wonderful family & friends I've been blessed with. Though I may not want to be shaped and molded along this journey at times, that is exactly what life and this journey is all about. I am also reminded of that. God has me right where He wants me, and it is all apart of His beautiful story. Every piece is woven in perfectly and carefully

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Twinkle In My Eye

There have been two things stirring in me lately. The first thing is something hard to admit. Hard to talk about. I feel like it's a bit of a funny thing to bring up; but it's something in my heart that my spirit is gravitating towards. As I've written about before, I was born with a chromosomal abnormality called Turner Syndrome. There are many complications that can go along with it, and thankfully I have had to deal with very minimal complications. One of the things that is an outcome of having Turner Syndrome is infertility. Basically, if I ever wanted to have children of my own I would need to have some sort of infertility treatment. I have always been okay with this, and have always been a HUGE advocate for adoption. Deep in my heart it has been something that I've felt so strongly for. And truly it just seems like an absolutely beautiful picture of God caring for orphans and those who can't fend for themselves. I've always thought that my family would be made in a "non-biological" way. It is still a very exciting & precious thought for me. 
To bring it back to what I have been feeling lately though, is a sense of grief regarding the fact that I will not be able to have the option to also be pregnant and carry a child. I grieve the fact that something this is so commonplace is something that I will not be able to experience. I'm sure that this process is taking place more prominently now because last year my cardiologist & I had a heart to heart and she shared that it would be a risk for my heart to have the stress of carrying a baby. So, it's one of those "it wasn't an issue before, but now that I'm told I can't have it, I think it would at least be nice to have the option. The thoughts that I've been thinking lately that are part of this process in my own soul gets brought up when I see friends and people I know get pregnant and get to experience the love and support of others along the way. They have baby showers and baby announcements. There is a natural progression and sequence of events for this thing that happens in a persons life. 
But, I wonder what it will look like when I (hopefully) start a family one day. How will my friends and family respond if/when I actually adopt...not just being on board with the idea of it. Will they realize this is how my family is starting & find ways to come around me and help me start the journey of having a family. Will I even get to see the sweet child I adopt as a tiny babe? Will I get the (challenging) privileged of late night feedings and diaper changes? Or soothing the bad dreams of a toddler? Or hearing cute little footsteps down the hallway coming towards my room to crawl into bed with my and their daddy? If it's not obvious, I just absolutely love kids.
Love shaping & mold them. Love pouring into them. Getting to have an infant, toddler & elementary school child is such a unique time filled with seeing life in it's beautiful, dependent & innocent form. The specifics of this part of my life are unknown, and that it what makes it hard. And I guess that I am leaving space for my heart to move towards whatever amazing plan God has for me. To get past my own tiny little box of what I think is the best God has for me so that He can show me the vast universe of beauty and awe that He has created and has planned for me to be apart of His Kingdom advancing here on earth. A kingdom of healing, peace, restoration & love. In addition, I am going to look at every little blessing/miracle in my life that I do get to experience and not ever forget them. And I will wait and see how this "twinkle in my eye" actually pans out to look like.
Secondly, I have this big sense to do something new. I feel like I have (fundamentally) been doing the same thing for at least half my, work, church, more school...repeat. But I want to meet new people...go to a new in an entirely new place. And travel too! I guess it's a sense of wanderlust and wanting to spread my wings after not really having done so in my life. I've lived in Orange County my entire life. A girl can want a little change of scenery, right?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Back to the beginning again

I feel like there is something big (and good) happening. In the middle of hard stuff, God is bringing me back to what matters.  To quote a Switchfoot song "back to the beginning again".  Peeling off layers and having to get down to what matters at the core.  And also allowing me to process not getting into grad school this year. It's a lot to take in.  The beautiful thing is that the last three weeks have felt a bit freeing for me.  Perhaps because I have nothing that is unknown and waiting in my life.  But I feel more spontaneous, uninhibited & not held back by fear.  A lot of this took place when I was in Hawaii two week ago...which I will write about soon.

So, a short update.  One of the amazing things that has been that I've found hot that there are many states in the US that have entry level MSN programs.  And I am going to look into them and apply if the programs match my goals and translate back to California too.  The timing is perfect because I don't think at any other point in my life I would be open to this.  It's going to require a lot of work, so if you could be keeping me in your prayers I would so greatly appreciate it.

Other things that are happening through all of this is that God has given me lots of great moments of peace and enjoyment with people who have made life even greater and filled with community.  Literally every night this week has been filled with such great quality time with people, and it has made my heart full.

I'll leave you with Switchfoot lyrics from their new album, Fading West. Happy Saturday!

Back To The Beginning Again
I can feel it building up inside
The images that play inside my mind
A dreams that I've been dreaming all my life
The colors that live outside of the lines

But dreams aren't all I hide beneath this skin
The cord is cut, the fears and doubts begin
My hope is anchored on the other side
With the colors that live outside of the lines

And the oceans roar
And the wheel's in spin
And the old chorus soars
Bring me back, bring me back to the beginning again

With the corrugated LA harbor stacks
With the weight of these machines across my back
I know a mountain road where time unwinds
But I'm busy living in a single-file line

And it all just sounds like poison on my ears
The background noise makes your voice so hard to hear
So I grit my teeth and straighten up my spine
I'm stuck in traffic on a dotted yellow line

And my heart is yours
And what a broken place it's in
But you're what I'm running for
And I want to feel the wind at my back again

Back to the beginning again
Back to the beginning again
I want to feel the wind at my back again
Back to the beginning again
Back to the beginning again
I want to feel the wind at my back again

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Results Are In

I've been head first in classes still, busting my hump to get the things done to get into graduate school.  The crazy/neat thing about blogging is that it is sort of like journaling.  You can look back and reflect on what's happened since the last time you wrote. I've finished two classes since the last blog.  And I'm smack dab in the middle of another. I know that I have to keep going on with classes and remain enrolled in community college to keep my status in the event that I am going to need more classes for another school I apply to for grad school. I have to remind myself that I do like school, I like learning, and that this is a marathon...shoot it's like a freaking Ironman competition. But we each have our own thing we our journey-ing on right?

In addition to that, I moved from my old apartment into a house with three other ladies.  It is such a great place and situation. I know that it was such a God send and He knew exactly what I needed in this place for this season.  

So, to get to the stuff you want to know about: THE GRAD SCHOOL RESULTS. I've heard back from all the schools that I've applied to. Each one was a "not accepted".  I am allowing myself to process this through the filter of how God sees me.  And how big He is.  That he has put this passion in my heart for a reason.  That it is not he who is rejecting me, but a competitive process. One of the results that I heard back from a school is they had 450 something applicants and only 60 spots.  That is a 13% chance of getting in. That is tough.  And thankfully, I am seeing the whole picture.  I will be honest here and share that it doesn't mean that it has been disappointing, frustrating, caused sadness and just been difficult. Like swimming upstream in a rough current. But, I am learning to be more free because of all of this. There is a lot of healing going on. I.n addition, the people I love have shown me so much love & support. And I am better at recognizing the good things I get to witness every day.

The hardest part is feeling so ready for this change, and this new chapter to happen but having nothing happen yet. I want a new adventure. But there are so many times when God has said to many "not yet" when they had a passion and goal.  I am waiting for the right timing.  His timing.  Right now the plan is that this Fall I will apply for some more schools to start at next year.  And I am praying that the few months from now unto then will be a sweet time of even more clarity from our Father and head first into His will. Because He is wild and free, full of His own adventures for my life and oh so good. I'm also proud of myself for stepping out & being brave by applying to more schools than I intended & was ready to jump in and move far away if I got in.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Heaven...waiting...and living the full life

Many years of my 27 years have been spent being in between two thing; being in a season of waiting for one thing to end & something that means so much & you have been longing for to start.  For example, waiting to become a teenager when you are not.  Waiting until you can start high school.  Then waiting for the day you can FINALLY get your drivers license.  After that, waiting to find out where you've gotten accepted to college.  All these exciting milestones that make us want to not be in a "waiting game".

Lately I've been doing a lot of praying and getting a lot of counsel from wise people since I am in this season that feels excruciatingly long.   I've been trying so hard for years to get into graduate school and do well in my pre-requisites.  I am also really just wanting to start the career I am passionate about, and if I am honest to have a husband and family too.  All of these things are not happening yet. Anyway, all of this wisdom I have been getting has really helped me seek deep down & gain some real truth.

You see, all these wise people keep saying "it is so hard to be waiting".  Let me tell you my theory about how everyone can relate to this.  And also how it relates to heaven.  You see, I feel like we can relate so much to this as humans and how is resonates so deep down in us because this earth is only an "in between".   A place where we are living in a world where God is here but he hasn't come back to make it perfect again.  And we haven't reached heaven yet.  All these things that I am longing for just remind me that they are such good things but really I think what I am is homesick.  But homesick for a place I do not even know of.  It's the thing of the Bible, books by C.S. Lewis and songs by my favorite band Switchfoot.  Strangely though, once I realized this, it makes me realize that really all I need is God's love.  And for Him to fill me with hope, joy, comfort, peace and His love while I am in this in between.  I know I have experienced all of these things.  And you know what, to me that is what it means go live a FULL LIFE.  And you know what, it's only going to get better because of that.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Choosing (Living the full life)

Choosing.  Life is about choices.  Big & small.  Easy & hard.  Most of the choices we make affect multiple areas of our lives.  They also have the ability to impact us years later. I have been thinking a lot about the choices we make.  There are people in my life who have definitely been hurt by the choices others have made.  Because of that, they are hyper cautious about making sure they do not make decision that will not touch or impact anyone else.  Don't make a mess, because then no one will have to get upset if they see any sort of mess .  With these people, I feel like I can't even ask then for a ride to the airport 7 minutes away when I need it, because they don't request help from anyone else in this way.  
In my mind, we are all in community & should all be there for each other.  This also involves being understanding of others (when the other person is truly repent-full, of course).  This whole concept has been relevant to my life, especially lately.  Of course I am not going to be careless with how I live my life.  And I am going to think about my actions before I do anything.  And of course I am going to think of others.  Don't get me wrong, I also understand that it can be very easy to have the "small stuff" become stressors.  But there is something inside of me that wages against letting it have presidence.
This has also got me thinking about how if life is messy, so how do I deal with it?  Exhibit A: I recently heard back from two of the graduate schools I applied to letting me know I was not accepted.  Yes, I feel loss in not getting into them.  That I wish I could hear that I was accepted, and not be in this funky season of waiting I am in.  That it didn't feel like I did a lot of hard work and it wasn't enough.  But, this is an opportunity to know that God works all things for good.  That this is all apart of my story.  God is doing something even in the middle of all of this.  And I will choose to still praise Him, seek Him, thank Him and dwell on all the ways He has provided and made a path for me in the past.  To me, it's so much more worthwhile to be filled with His goodness and the affirming things rather than but the negative things under a magnifying glass.  I'm going to press on, and press into Him more.  For we are commanded "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  We are not promised to have a perfect life here on earth, but when we keep a heavenly focus, we can also see Him.  And heck, I am going to do that until I breathe my last breath. It is because of this that I am able to see all the places in my life God is so vitally at work, and it makes me feel like I am living such a FULL life.  I've been told that this way of always pressing onward and pressing through things despite obstacles is called grit...and I've been told I've got lots of it.  All the better for me!