Monday, February 3, 2014

Looking Back

So I recently started looking back over old blog posts. Man oh man! I was really hoping I would have had life figured out at 24. As I am sitting here texting with a close friend of mine from graduate school, I am reminded that I put deadlines on myself that are ALWAYS unrealistic.

By 24, I thought I had to be married, pregnant, in my dream job, with a killer house, and a fat bank account (or something like that).

Image by Bobbi and Mike
I'm 28, married, not pregnant, in my dream job (even though it is a maternity leave coverage ending February 20th), in an apartment, and a figure friendly, healthy bank account.

Accepting my Master's Degree

I still don't know who I am. I still have similar stresses and anxieties that I had when I was 24. They just look different.

Stress and Anxiety
The only thing that is different is my faith. I am closer to God than I have been in over 15 years (which is a guess). We have a great church family. My husband encourages me to pray and write (two things that help me put everything into perspective, if only for a moment).

This Sunday at church was the Presentation of the Lord. This is where Mary and Joseph brought Jesus, a mere 40 days old, to the temple for the purification ritual. Father Dexter, was encouraging us to not lose sight of the light of Christ in our lives. He was telling us that we will always have anxieties, stressors, and worries, but the light of Christ shines in all of us and is for all of us to experience. This light never fades, no matter how far away we are from it. We have just simple allow Christ to be our light. We have to practice letting Christ be our light.

This is such a beautiful message to remember when all of the stressors, anxieties, and worries get to be too much. Christ is our light, shining in the darkness (anxiety), and shining in our hearts.

Christ be our light.
St. Elizabeth Seton, Carmel, IN
I want to leave you with a part of mass that was part of the old translation of the mass (prior to November 2011). During the Eucharist, the priest would say, "When we were lost and could not find our way, you loved us more than ever." Just remember, if you don't feel or even see the light of Christ, he is still loving you.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Should and Should Nots

Ever live your life by the shoulds and the should nots? Every Friday, I struggle to live my life by the shoulds and the should nots.

Friday, I do not work. That's just how my current job schedule has fallen. Usually, I end us spending money on things (clothes, acupuncture, food). Things to prevent me from falling into the all too common trend of fighting internally with myself of the shoulds and should nots.

This morning is no different. I started my morning off by enjoying my breakfast and coffee with my husband discussing his day and mine. It is a routine I have come to love about this stage of our life. Monday through Friday we usually read the daily readings from the Bible. Today, we were unable to do this because we accidentally turned off the alarm and John was running late.

Handsome Husband
In order to prevent myself from falling into the ever-present should/should not battle. I made a list (I love lists, thanks to Meredith). All of these items are easy to complete, except for the "Finance".

Meredith helping me put my Phi Mu pin on my wedding bouquet.
Photo courtesy of Bobbi and Mike

I like to write down all our monthly bills periodically so that we know roughly how much money we have to spend each week and month on gas, groceries, and fun. This simple task could have been very easy due to the fact that we will close on our house in NC and no longer have mortgage and utilities! However, I saw a post from an acquaintance (SuperPT) on Facebook (the death of me) that she is free from debt and just paid off her student loans. I should have been really excited for her, but she graduated 2 years ago. TWO YEARS AGO! Should/should not argument...ENGAGE!

I thought, "you can be proactive, Kristen".  Make a list of goals you would like to accomplish. Realistic goals. Realistically, I know we can not pay off my loans in 2 years. Realistically, I know SuperPT is not married and has a boat load of disposable income. Realistically, we just moved to a new state, sold our house (at the expense of most of our saving account), and I have been unable to find a full time OT job.  Realistically, God has provided for us multiple times over the past 4 months since we have moved to TN. God has showed up, like He always does, to show us everything will work out the way He had intended.

We are so blessed. We have a great marriage that we work at every day. We have amazing friends in the Nashville area, who inspire us and motivate us. We have a strong church community that we belong to. God has put these people, events, and experiences in our life to let us know that He is in control of our lives.

New Year's Eve
I am so bless to believe in a God that loves me unconditionally, no matter how hard I try to control the situation. God forgives me when I am stupidly stubborn. God believes in my abilities not matter how much I doubt them. God is great!

I am very happy for SuperPT and her ability to pay off her loans so quickly. Although, we won't pay off my loans in TWO YEARS, I am comforted by God's love for me.

Happy Friday!