Friday, July 29, 2011

*The 8th Grade 'Word'*

Picture this: May 2002 at the country club for my 8th grade graduation ceremony. Everyone is dressed up in their finest cocktail attire and waiting to see what special word will be chosen for them this year. The teachers follow tradition by picking out one word that describes each student to honor them as they come and pick up their certificate. It's always a very special occasion and people remember their word forever. It signifies something very particular about the student that the teachers saw and want the world to know about.

The students started getting called up one by one being showered with honorable words that would make any parent proud. "Respectful" "Servant" "Jovial" "Caring" "Intelligent" "Athletic" "Charismatic" "Successful" "Lovable"…the list goes on and on. Every student before me got words that were so positive and made them feel like a million bucks! I couldn't WAIT for my turn….nothing like being publicly shown off, right? I just KNEW I was going to get a word that would blow everyone away! I'd been waiting to see what they'd choose for weeks.

Finally, they got to my name and the butterflies rose up in my stomach. I smiled as wide as I could as I walked up to my teachers who were waiting for me at the stage. I looked over the crowd ready for them all to be completely taken aback at how wonderful my word was going to be. The teacher then took the microphone and slowly said: "Abby's word is…." THIS IS IT, THIS IS IT!!! "…..sensitive."

SENSITIVE?!?! Excuse me?! Did I just hear you correctly?!?! I was NOT pleased and my face showed it. Me?! Sensitive?!?! How RUDE!!! "I am NOT sensitive!" I said to my friend as I tried to wipe the tears streaming down my face afterwards. " 'Hilarious' 'Witty' 'Charming' 'Sweetheart' 'Favorite'…THOSE were the words they were supposed to bring out!!!! But SENSITIVE?! REALLLLY?!?!" Let's just say I cried for a very long time about the whole thing.

But I mean, what girl doesn't cry a lot when they are 13 years old? It's 8th grade for heaven's sake! You are still deep in the jungles of Jr. High!!!!! I felt like I had been pretty strong and not had drama moments when I could have. If only they knew how much emotion I was keeping in! How come everyone else got a lovely word and I was stuck with SENSITIVE?! I still haven't completely forgiven my 8th grade teachers and I really liked them before that.

Fast forward to today that holds a MUCH better memory than my 8th grade debacle. Luckily, I had a moment that over rules that horrific day I try to forget. At a bridesmaid luncheon this afternoon, the bride gave us all stationary with a sentence that describes us on it. I finally got something that I really loved and want to embrace for the first time! Mine said: "She turned her can't into cans and her dreams into plans". It meant so much because she doesn't even know how many times in the past five years that I literally thought I'd NEVER make it to where I am. I hope at the end of my life this quote is still something someone would choose to describe me with. I serve a God who can do the impossible, so luckily it's a definite possibility. I'm so thankful for that moment…what an encouragement…what an honor to be seen that way by someone I care so much about.

If only my 8th grade teachers were there to see it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

*Fingerprint Debacle Part 2! (THE ENDING)*

Some of you may remember reading about my licensure debacle over my fingerprints a few months ago. You also might remeber the creepville visit to the jail I made to get some new ones. Well, it turns out that the second ones are still not sufficient to the Po Po which was shocking to say the least. I'm the only one who has not received my license in the mail out of all the people I know. Instead of having a panic attack, I decided to put the Police on speed dial and call them everyday this week.

Turns out my fingerprints apparently will NEVER be good enough to go through! Yep, I have managed to ruin my fingerprints and I bet you couldn't guess why. I have washed my hands so much that I literally rubbed my fingertips raw enough that the prints always look a little off on that paper!!! My germophobe tendencies have come back to bite me in the rear!!!!!! Who knew?!

If that doesn't give you an idea of what a germ freak I am, I don't know what will! Luckily, they are going to let them go through and give me my license anyway just a couple of months after everyone else. My tainted fingers are to blame for this very grievous incident, but at least there is hope for me. Now it's just a waiting game.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

*Going Back*

*I really hope this can help/give encouragement to anyone who has struggled with hanging on to hurts from the past! Jesus CAN heal us!!!! He can do so much more than we imagined possible!*

I woke up early Saturday morning with this major urge to go back to the place that has been haunting me recently. From my last blog, it was obvious that things were coming back and I now know why that is. It was time for me to face everything from years ago so that I could move forward in my todays. God is up to BIG things in my life and I don't want anything to stand in my way. I'm in a Beth Moore "Breaking Free" bible study that has been SO amazing and it just so happens this week's homework was on facing our past. Definitely not a coincidence.

I grabbed my workbook and headed out the door to travel to the town that I haven't been back to in three years. I didn't think I'd ever go back, but to move forward I really needed to. I prayed that the Lord would show up and show me how to put to rest all of the things inside of me that bring out negativity because of my past. I prayed that somehow He would show me how to let it go and show me the good that He has promised to do from it. All the insecurity that I haven't been able to shake has got to get a move on and FAST! It's God's will that we live as secure people with healthy hearts and minds not fogged up from situations in our life's rear view mirror. I knew inside that I had to go back in order to move ahead.

I drove up to the campus and instead of feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness, I felt an overwhelming sense of "where in the world am I?!"…I didn't recognize the place at all and I bet it didn't recognize me, either. I did remember my old dorms, so I kinda drove around and let all the memories flood back, but in all honesty, I didn't have many come to mind except for the ones I've beat like a dead horse. Everything seemed so normal…so ordinary and not like the nightmare I had pictured it. Our brains have a way of making things so much worse than they are, don't they? I just kinda sat there and stared wondering why I let this place haunt me for so long. Why did I let college aged people help decide what I think my worth should be? Why would I ever let a person decide?

I ended up dong my bible study on a picnic table outside my first dorm room window. It couldn't of been more relevant and it was about Jesus being our Healer and how He has come to bind up the broken hearted. He has come to save us from those moments when our hearts have burst into pieces and we never thought they could be mended again. He has come to bring light to what was once darkness. He has come to make all things new.

The Lord really showed Himself so clearly and His Spirit was there in such a real way. I have been praying constantly everyday that the Lord will give me a security so deep that no one or no situation can shake. I went through some of the things that made me feel so unimportant and worthless and prayed to God through them all. He showed me that no matter who doesn't like me or who rejects me that my beauty and worth is unchanging. Every person on this earth could turn their backs on me, but I am still as valuable and full of dignity as ever because the Lord has crowned me with these things. Going through those moments that should have hurt so bad was not even hard at all in the light of this truth. I have never felt more secure in my life because the fact was, I was rethinking about things that should break me, and all I felt was confidence and security. I was full of unshakeable dignity even while thinking of times when our human nature would feel the opposite. Being able to feel secure in the moments when most people can't is the most empowering thing I've ever experienced.

Once I was done with my bible study, I got in the car and a song that I've never heard from Hillsong came on singing this:

"So I throw my life upon all You are,
‘Cause I know You gave it all for me,
And when all else fades,
My soul will dance with You,
Where the love lasts forever"

It really spoke to my heart so much. I could see myself literally throwing my past and future out of my hands and into His. And the neat thing was, I started imagining Heaven with Him forever and everything just kind of faded away. It reminded me that when that day comes, NONE of my disappointments or trials in this life will even be on my mind at all. It will fade away for good and the only thing that will matter is the love story I'll be living out for eternity. Suddenly my past didn't seem so big anymore….suddenly it actually seemed pretty small. ALL my problems seemed pretty small in the light of eternity.

God has supernaturally changed my thoughts and feelings towards some of those days which is an absolute miracle. I can't explain to you exactly what He's done, but I will let you know that I thought it was impossible. I thought a lot of the things He's doing in my heart and emotions lately were impossible, but they aren't! I have faith that the Lord will do so much in my heart throughout my life and even though I'll never be perfect, the Holy Spirit can help me be more than I ever thought I could be.

Let's throw our lives into the hands of Christ where everything good and bad can bring glory to Him. Every difficulty we've been through can be a part of our deliverance. Every hard situation can bring us wisdom. We can all find an unwavering security and be empowered through the things that should have crippled us forever. How neat is that? How good is our God?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

*No past is too big for God*

"If we pretend like our past doesn't effect our present, we are giving the past control over us."

This quote came from a teacher magazine that I'm reading about the Common Core Standards but it just so happens to relate directly to my life right now. My past is like a horrifying beast that shows up when I least expect it. Guess what the computer decided to put front row center on my official transcript till the day I die?! Somehow my 1.4gpa from my 2008 semester at Tech is the main attraction. I had to turn it in to my new employer today and I was just hoping they wouldn't look at it too closely. The worst few months of my life revealed for all to see! My A's hide on the back sheet collecting dust, but my dark days of failing life and school are literally CENTERED on the front!!! I think they might even be in bigger font than the rest, but maybe that was just my imagination. Never choose a school based on a boyfriend or a dorm you never actually get to live in. It's not a good idea.

I'm still not sure why I had to go through all the things I went through, but I know the Lord has purpose in it if I give it up to Him. I can relate to people who are completely alone in the world and I couldn't of before. I know what it's like to feel completely rejected for things I couldn't help like coming from a private school or my religion. I know what it's like to have a phone that never receives a call from anyone at my school for days on end. I know what it's like to sit alone at lunch everyday for weeks strait. I know what it's like to be made fun of and constantly mocked for being too 'friendly'. I know what it's like to be worried to leave my room because my face was so broken out that hardly any real skin showed. I know what it's like to have a guy in my life that ignored me in public because he was embarrassed to be seen with me. I know what it's like to be an outcast. I never had to deal with that before or after Tech, but I am thankful because I do have such deep empathy for people because of it. I don't want anyone to ever feel like that. I want everyone to feel completely important and included the moment they set foot into the room with me. I know the Lord works everything together for my good and I know He will use that time to bring glory to Himself if I let Him.

Looking at my life now I can clearly see that my God is mighty to save. He jerked me out of the mud and the mire that I was drowning in and put me on solid ground. He nursed me back to health and brought me closer to Him than I ever thought possible through a bad circumstance. I would not change it, because I know that my relationship with Him would not be the same. Even when I felt like completely giving up, He whispered in my ear that there was something more. Something big that my life would become if only I would take another step. Now that I'm about to start my first year as a teacher, I see what part of that plan was. I see why Satan was trying so hard to keep me down.

I guess the good news about my horrible semester being the main attraction on my transcript is that it reminds me of all God has done. It reminds me of where I've come from and how much my life has been turned around. It reminds me of what a mighty warrior my God has been on my behalf. It reminds me of how lucky I was to transfer to my new school and get the care that I truly needed. I'm thankful to the Lord that He can use even the worst times to bring glory to Himself. I am thankful that He has carried me when I couldn't carry myself. I am thankful that He will stop at nothing to make me the woman He desires for me to be and will not get tired or weary of working on my heart. I can be stubborn and I can take time, but I have a God who will not give up. I am so thankful that He is strong enough to get me through anything and that NOTHING can get in the way of His plan!

Praise Jesus for where I am today!!! Being reminded of the days I try to forget helps me to be so thankful for where I am right now. My reality is so starkly different that some of you might not even believe that those times happened to me. NOTHING is impossible with God! He is big enough, He is mighty to save, and no past is too big for God!!! Not mine and definitely not yours! I can see recently how I've still let some of my past control some of my now and I will not have any of that for a moment longer!!! He will make us more than over comers no matter what life brings! There is hope for us and lots of it! Praise His Holy and Worthy name!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

*Life is Super Awkward!!!*

I have recently started following this twitter account called "TheAwkwardTweet" and it didn't take long for me to realize this person is exactly like me. I have experienced every one of these awkward moments before and even came up with some of the same jokes. Awkwardness is a very real thing that is very present in my life and it must be addressed. I'm going to give a list of some of the tweets that made me laugh because I can TOTALLY relate. Life is super awkward and I'm glad this person can admit it! I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one concerning some of these things….I was beginning to think I might be weird.

The awkward moment when you finish a large popcorn by the opening credits at the cinema.

The awkward moment when you feel like you've shared too much already but just can't stop talking.

The awkward moment when you're taking a shower and your foot slips and your life flashes before your eyes.

The awkward moment when a sad song comes on your iPod, so you stare out of the window like you're the star of the music video.

The awkward moment when you realize you've been balancing your laptop on your belly fat for the past hour.

The awkward moment when you see a cat and start meowing at it, waiting for it to meow back, only to realize that someone is watching you.

The awkward moment when you sleep over at a friend’s and wake up before them and all you can do is stare at the ceiling.

The awkward moment when you repeat a word so many times it loses its meaning, & sounds like a strange sound coming out of your mouth.

The awkward moment when someone yells at you for clicking your pen and then you have to click it again to use it.

The awkward moment when you can't stop laughing at your own joke because you're so super hilarious.

The awkward moment when you're at someone's house and the toilet won't flush.

The awkward moment when you actually start to believe that you will die forever alone.

The awkward moment when you don't know why you're in a bad mood, but you just are.

The awkward moment when you surprise yourself by saying something really deep and you begin to wonder whether you may be a poet.

The awkward moment when your parents have a better social life than you.

The awkward moment when you rub your eyes innocently, forgetting you're wearing mascara and end up looking like a raccoon.

The awkward moment when your heart stops because you tilted your chair back too far.

The awkward moment when you have to make up an excuse to not hang out with someone because you'd rather chill at home.

The awkward moment when you realize the thing you've been charging for hours was never properly plugged in.

The awkward moment when you see someone really good looking, and then realize you just looked in a mirror.

The awkward moment when you try to not blink for a picture, and when you look at the picture you realize your eyes resemble a mass murderer.

The awkward moment when even twitter knows that you're forever alone as it suggests you to follow

That awkward moment when you accidentally send a wink face instead of a regular smiley face in a text and it makes it sound really creepy.

The awkward moment when you are just casually dancing and you get mistaken for Beyonce.

The awkward moment when you finish a good book/TV series and you have to face the reality of your boring life.

The awkward moment when the weirdest person in your school gets a girlfriend/boyfriend, and you're still forever alone.

The awkward moment when you look at an old photo of yourself and realize just how unattractive you were.

The awkward moment when something falls in your room in the middle of the night.

The awkward moment when there is more than one camera taking a picture of you and your friends and you don't know which one to look at.

The awkward moment when you call everyone in to watch a funny YouTube video and you're the only person who finds it remotely funny.

The awkward moment when you get into one little fight and your mom gets scared and makes you move in with your auntie and uncle in Bel-air

The awkward moment when you can't remember which cup is yours.

The awkward moment when you come back from something and someone has stolen your seat.

The awkward moment when someone spits on you during a conversation & you have to wait for them to walk away before you can wipe it off.

The awkward moment between your birth and death.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

*The Experts*

Today was the first day I started working on my classroom. It was the weirdest thing because I was moving stuff around and looking in boxes so carefully like it all belonged to a stranger. I have lots of supplies that don't feel like they belong to me so it was odd going through everything. I asked the principal if I could open up the file cabinet and she said: "This stuff is yours…it's all yours! Do whatever you want!" Crazy. After being a guest in other people's classrooms for so long, it's surreal to think that we were standing in MINE today. Even writing that feels strange…is this realllly happening?

I sat in there for literally an hour just mentally trying to figure out where I wanted the furniture to go. I finally left with a little bit of an idea but still wasn't exactly sure. I showed up to work a little stressed and decided it would be best to just call in the experts right away. I quickly recruited my 7 year olds and took a vote on my top two classroom arrangements.

I ended up drawing a rough sketch of my room and all the little girls quickly grabbed a pencil and paper and started drawing it, too. They were labeling everything like "desk" and "white board" while giving me ideas on what I should do. "You definitely need to have a carpet in the reading corner FOR SURE." "I think you need to make a place where they can get glue and crayons really easily." "Miss Abby, you have to have the alphabet on the wall and you have to make sure and sing at carpet time." "You should have a book case FULL of books! Colorful ones!"

We did this for about fifteen minutes and each kid could'nt tell me what I should do fast enough. I had to make a talking time for each one because each were yelling ideas at the same time. It was the cutest thing EVER!!! They took it on themselves to plan my classroom and were VERY serious about it. It was like a legit business meeting to them. When we were out at recess a few of them ran up to me and said: "Can we plan your classroom again when we get inside?" Even after the planning was long gone, a few of them kept re-sketching it over and over. It was adorable!

I think sometimes we as adults try to make decisions about children without asking the actual experts. Trust me, they are full of great information and are very ready to talk if only we'll let them. A lot of my questions are put to rest thanks to my wonderful team….I couldn't do this without them.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

*IT'S US!!!*

There was a time when I watched 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and thought the family just barging into his house was funny. I figured it was made for sit com television and families in the real life never actually did that. Now that I am out on my own, I am realizing that there is a time in life when a family transfers from one type of relationship to the next where calls before coming are expected. I think my family didn't exactly get the memo on that one, though.

My mom has already complained that she never knows anything that is going on in my life because once I moved out, I kinda fell off the planet of our old household. Molly calls mom to tell her if a freckle has darkened and I pretty much keep things to myself. My dad said that he's happy that I have a facebook and blog so he can keep tabs on my life! There is definitely some truth to that.

Anyway…the other day I had plans to go to some fireworks with the church and was on a tight schedule. I get off at 6 and needed to shower and be ready by 7 which would make me late anyway. I don't like being late, but this was the only way I'd make it. Molly and Logan were getting in town that day so I thought I might stop by and say hello on my way out really quickly.

I got home and rushed into the shower and not three minutes later I started to hear someone outside my house. A wave of terror filled me as I turned off the water to listen closer for the noise. I definitely heard someone and was contemplating what I should do. After a while of listening, I figured it might also be my overactive imagination, so I turned the water back on. A few minutes later I heard lots of noises again and was definitely scared out of my mind.

I had taken up so much time trying to figure out if someone was breaking in, I knew I had to just turn the water on and get over it if I had any chance of keeping my time schedule. Once I got out, I realized my phone had BLOWN up with so many calls, texts, and voicemails from Molly and Mom.

Molly's texts: "Hey! Forgot to call, but I'm at your door!!! LET ME IN!!!" "HELLLO…HELP US! WE ARE OUT HERE!!!"

Mom's Voicemails: "ABBY! ABBY!!! I know you're probably in the shower, but get out here!
YOU HOO!!!!" "ABBY! It's your mother! I'm still out here waiting in the car! YOU HOO!!!
YOU HOO!!! COME OUT!!!! WE ARE WAITING! I jumped up to see if your car is here and it is!"

Next thing I know, I hear the doorbell ringing over and over and over and over and over and over and over! "BANG BANG…HELLO! IT'S US!!!" I kinda made a curious face at myself in the mirror as I screamed at the door that I would come in a minute. My hair was wet and mascara was literally streaming down my face like the main character in a horror film. I grabbed some make-up remover and was wiping my face as I opened the door.

"I wasn't expecting you, sorry!" I said as Molly made a dramatic scene about how hot she was waiting for me 15 minutes. "I didn't know I had to CALL these days, Abby! Sorry that I FORGOT TO CALL!!! I just couldn't wait to get here! You definitely don't have to CALL me when you show up to my house!" "Um, I'll probably call if I come to your house…it's just kinda what you do."

"Yes, ever since Abby has moved out she has been all INDEPENDENT and such! I have no idea what's going on in her life!" Mom explained to Molly as she showed her my bathroom. "I'm not trying to be independent, I'm just going on with life. I mean…Molly calls you about any little ailment, but I'm just not like that!" "THANK YOU, MOLLY!!! THANK YOU for giving me all the details that I NEEEED!" mom said dramatically looking my way. I laughed and told them that my stomach has hurt for a couple of weeks just in case they were wondering….I'd call and let them know when it stops.

I ended up not being ready in time and realized how hot it was so I changed my plans for the night. I didn't really mind because it was one of the best nights ever and all worked out beautifully! We are a family that gets all up in each others business, and in all honesty I do like it that way. I'd rather have family banging on my door scaring me half to death than a distant one that never shows. It really does make me feel special and important when I have people WAITING for me outside. It's nice and I love it! haha This is definitely a new experience in life, though….the awkward do I call or not call? Obviously, they have never dealt with that question, but still. haha Gotta love them! :)

By the way…Hello, Family! Here is a shout out! haha I am thinking of you! My head hurts a little and my right knee itches…but not anymore cause I just scratched it. How's that for details? haha Just kidding! LOVE YOU!!!!