March 30, 2013


It's coming closer - the beginning of a new chapter in the book of my life.

I start work at Starbucks on Monday. 9 a.m. I'm thrilled. I'm still in disbelief that this is my life. That I'm not going to be stretching thirty dollars a week, and using my parent's money every week. I'm so in awe of the Lord, and still so humbled by His blessings. All I want for this experience is to honor Him and do my best, and not waste what He's given me. I'm not the best at doing all of that, but I really, really just want to do well on my end of this blessing.

Yesterday, I went shopping for uniform gear. I technically HAVE black pants and white blouses, but I wanted to get some new stuff because what I have is...lacking. The most important thing that I needed was leather shoes that fully covered my feet. HARDEST THING TO SHOP FOR, EVER.

I found a white blouse right away, pants were a struggle, until I stumbled upon the Lee part of Sears, and found the pants I was wearing that day, but in black - on sale! I got two pairs.

After that, I walked, and walked, and tried on, and walked, and looked, and tried on shoes upon shoes upon shoes.

Finally. FINALLY. I went into Payless one last time, and there they were - Converse style Airwalks with a label that specifically said LEATHER and a tag with "24/7 comfort insole," and as a bonus "no-slip soles."

When I saw the word Leather, I knew I was going to buy them. I tried them on as a formality, but I was so tired at that point, I just KNEW the search was over.

God is faithful. And I bought myself a cupcake. It was delicious. Then, I went home.

And today, I went bowling! Priscilla came, and we had a great time. Now, I'm going to go eat tacos, because life is good.

March 26, 2013

It's nice when...

You feel good about your blessings.

You know how when times are rough, and you have to remind yourself that you're blessed, so that you can force yourself to keep perspective? It's an important thing to do, but man is it nice to know you're blessed and FEEL blessed.

We can't live by feelings, but when there's nice feelings...I can't complain.

I was sitting out on the steps, drinking my second cup of coffee (second time sitting on the steps in the sunshine,) and I thought to myself, "Man. I am hugely blessed."

I just FEEL and SEE the blessings these days, and I am so humbled by them. I really, really am. It's a bunch of simple things, and big things, but I am so, so humbled. I mean, I feel like it's too much. Like, the Lord is going overboard, and needs to let me linger in a rut for a while or something.

I've been home for two weeks - two of them. More has happened in two weeks that is life-changing and thrilling than has happened in two years. Things that I have been waiting for, dreaming of, wishing at 11:11 for for TWO really, really long years are actually happening.

I'm not crazy now, and I wasn't crazy then. I knew in my heart of hearts that things like becoming a barista were going to happen.

The secret to having dreams come true is being willing to let go of your dreams if God asks you to, in the midst of holding on to them.

I have a job. Finally. It's not JUST a job, it's my dream job. I have insurance, AND the same doctor that I had before I lost it a few months ago. I'm going to go to college in the fall. These past two years have been a process of going forward. We're always moving forward by the grace of God, but sometimes we have to go forward through things that we wish we could run away from to get to what we're really anticipating. It's ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

Two years of searching, and crying, and waiting, and being angry, and being on a spiritual decline, and having a few ups, but only being able to focus on the downs, and forcing myself to remind myself that God is's like...if you've been following me on my blog for any major length of time, you know that it's been a struggle.

And for now, the struggle is over. There will be new challenges, but for now, it's all good. And I'm stunned by the blessings of God. I literally do not feel worthy, and I almost feel really bad to be like, "OMG GUYS MY LIFE IS AWESOME NOW YAYAYAYAY!!!"

But it just is, and it's because God is faithful, even when I haven't been faithful. It's..just incredible. I mean, the week before I left for Arizona, everything that I thought I had going for me collapsed. Literally. Love, life, and what I thought was a pursuit of happiness just crumbled. The week after I got back from Arizona, everything took a turn. (There's not love yet, but that's okay. I'm content. I told Allix today that if the Lord brings man into my life this week, I won't be able to handle it. I'll probably run away.)

Life feels good these days, and I'm embracing it. It's not always going to be nice, but for now, in my day by day walk, things are rainbows and sunshine. And I'm honored that the Lord would bless me like this.


March 23, 2013

It's a nice life.

I do have to remind myself to not get caught up in what looks and feels like success. Life is nice, and there HAS been a big burst of success but if I get wrapped up in that, and forget that it's a gift from God, it's going to get sour fast.

I'm talking of course, about my JOB AS A BARISTA R;OHF;GKJHSOIHG.

Honestly, proof that there is a God #47676: Me getting this job. The Bible says that God will "give us the desires of our hearts" if we delight in Him. Now, I'm not a Pastor, or a deep student of the Bible. But I think that this is fairly simple. Delighting in God, means delighting in anything from Him, and about Him. It means reading His Word, but it also means being willing and fully open to the possibility of Him asking you to give up whatever you want most. You delight in Jesus - it might be hard, or even extremely hard to give up the possibility of doing what you love, or receiving what you think you truly desire, but God knows what will please us the most.

He knows us better than we know ourselves. I know for myself, what I prayed frequently concerning my career in coffee was "Lord, this is my desire, but if it's not YOUR desire for me, then make Your desire my desire. But it really would be great if coffee was in my future." But my heart wanted what He wanted for me. I was fully prepared, and even expecting to not get hired this week. I was expecting at the very best, the "promise" of a phone call.

I mean, there is something supernatural about the feeling that comes when the Lord gives you a desire of your heart. I went into that interview simply trusting Him, and the only hopes that were raised were that His will would be done in my life. My expectation of one final rejection. When that didn't happen, and the manager said that she wanted to offer me the job, I felt such a swell of joy and excitement inside me. It was like standing outside the door of someone's house. You've rung the bell, knocked a few times, and decided to just wait. You know they've heard the knocks and the doorbell, so you wait. Maybe it gets cold, maybe your legs get tired, so you sit a while, but you wait. And when the door opens, it's like...this unebelievable experience.

When she offered me the job, it was like seeing a door that I had been waiting outside of for so long just open so wide, and someone on the other side was beckoning me in.

Really thrilling. I'm so honored, and humbled, honestly. I mean, yeah, in the reality picture, it's just a job, and it's not going to be perfect, but for me, it's not just a job. It's a journey that I have been itching to take for so long. My mom reminded me that I've actually wanted to work at Starbucks since I was 15 years old. I just didn't have the chance to pursue it until I got home from college. 7 years. Seven years for something that I thought was cool to turn into a sincere passion (that is, let's be honest, pretty dang cool.)

Delight in Jesus. His desires will be your desires, if you let Him fulfill His will for your life. Don't aggressively pursue what you don't love. In work, in relationships, just makes things harder, and it keeps you from what's perfect for you. Waiting, and trusting God, and letting Him provide and fulfill your needs day to day is the fastest way to receive your heart's desires.

I don't remember if this is what I originally wanted to blog about, but hey. So it goes.

March 19, 2013

I'm sleepy.

I woke up at 6:30 this morning to the first scrape of our neighbor's shovel. My dad's back is down for the count, and I had a 9:30 interview, so I was strangely energized to get outside and shovel like a boss. I was determined to get to that interview - rain, snow, sleet, hail, tornado, anything. Because the reality is, if I can't make it to an interview in the snow, I can't go to work in the snow. I'm an unemployed New Englander - how can I deserve a job if I can't handle our crazy weather? She gave me a couple of chances to reschedule, but all I knew was, "No. I am going to be there. I will be in that interview." And, I told her that when we got started, making initial chit-chat about the weather and roads, etc.

So, I had an interview at Starbucks, today. Now, I know someone working at this particular store, and she's told me multiple times that I should try applying there. I had applied once, and never heard anything. Then, last week, on the day that I got home, she messaged me saying that her store is hiring and I should apply. So, okay. I put in an application that night, and I followed up a few days later. I scored an interview, great.

Now, I'm not sure how to say this without sounding weird, but between scheduling my interview, and having my interview, there was a lot of "Well, I'm not going to get my hopes up, I'm just going to do it and trust the Lord for His will." There was a lot of committing my will to His will, and just trusting Him. I was at The Loop yesterday, and in January I had put in an application to Claire's. A part of me said, "Well, maybe you should follow up with your application there, just in case." Then another part said, "Just give the interview a chance." I have also always had this belief, though I haven't been very verbal about it, that if I were ever to get a job (at Starbucks or otherwise,) I would be offered the job on the spot. They wouldn't have to think about it, and they wouldn't have to "talk to other applicants," or anything. They would just believe that I could do the job and hire me. Because, let's be honest, very frequently the phrase "I'll call you in about a week" means "Haha, sucker, you are lame and I hate you." Okay, not exactly that, but that's what it feels like.

Anyway. The interview. The morning was stressful and we left later than I wanted, so I was convinced that I would be late. I even called her to say that I would be about fifteen minutes late.

I walked through the doors at exactly 9:30. My dad is a snow beast. And, God is good.

Then, I got my complimentary interviewee coffee (grande Americano, because of reasons.) I sat at a table and waited. She came over, we shook hands, and the interview was a breeze. I have never felt so comfortable in an interview. I didn't feel the awkward need to prove myself to her, or try and force answers to questions that I simply couldn't answer. There weren't really a lot of questions.

She told me about the job, the dress code, the pay, the benefits. She told me more than I've ever been told in an interview.

Now, I do have to say I wasn't sure what to wear. I googled "what to wear when you interview at Starbucks." I know. In the article I read it gave tips on what to ask when they say, "Do you have any questions for me?" I NEVER do. I'm always like, "Mmmm, nope." But, I asked a couple that the article suggested, like about the dress code and how she got into the company.

It was really great. At one point, I realized that we had been talking a long time, and she didn't seem to be giving me signals that she wanted to end this interview now, or anything. The whole thing lasted about 45 minutes. Longer than any other interview I've done, ever.

And, it ended with the words that I could not believe I was hearing.

I don't want to say it was EXACTLY this, but it really was, essentially, "I don't normally do this, I usually wait a few days to call, but I would like to offer you the position."

WHAT? Nuh-uh. WHAT? I was shocked. I was completely blown away. Obviously, in a more retrained manner, I said HECK YES I WILL TAKE THE POSITION. I could not stop smiling. I could not stop thanking her. She said that she's had experiences when she really likes someone, and she'll call them but they don't call back. So, she pretty much is starting to just offer the job when she likes someone. SHE LIKES ME. SHE WANTS ME TO WORK FOR HER. DJFKJFLKSJFDIOARJDOPJG.

I did tell her that if she had called me instead, I would have most definitely called her back.

We shook hands, I went to the car, told dad that I got the job, and we both started crying.

It's really exciting. It's beyond really exciting.

And now, I'm really, really sleepy.

But, I mean, this is so validating. It validates my faith, it validates my not wanting to go get just any job, it validates applying six freaking times to a company that kept rejecting me. It validates those three failed interviews. It validates my decision to stay home instead of going to Tennessee or Colorado. It makes me believe that maybe my dream of having my own coffee shop one day isn't strictly a dream. It means that I'm not crazy when I know (and have known!) that all I've wanted to do is make coffee for people.

I remember being at the Prison one day, not long after I had gotten home from college. The man who was volunteering with dad asked me, "So, what do you want to do with yourself?" I said that I wanted to make coffee for people. I don't remember the exact words he said to me, but the message was, "Well, that's nice, but what do you REALLY want to do?"

For a long time I felt like maybe I should want something more than "just" to be a barista. Then, one day I was browsing the coffee internets, and I discovered the Barista Guild of America. And, the Specialty Coffee Association of America. I realized - we all have our own passion. It doesn't matter what it is.

Each individual passion that people pursue is what makes the world go round. Not me getting a "proper career." My goal with finding a job was to do what I loved. I didn't want to be stuck with a job I hated. I love coffee. I want to learn everything I can about it. I want to be the best that I can possibly be in the coffee world.

And, I became confident about my passion. Getting this job is IT for me. Aside from having my own place, this is my dream gig. There is nothing bigger or better than this for me.

God gives us the desires of our hearts. We walk through doors that we think are open, we take steps of faith, even if we're not sure it's really His will, and He eventually leads us to what He wants for us. It takes time, and sometimes is incredibly hard, but He really does want the best for us. He gives us the desires of our heart.

And, I told the Lord that I wanted His desire for me to be MY desire for me. If I was wrong about wanting to be in the coffee world, then I wanted Him to change my mind. I was open to that. But, I also told Him that I needed a job. I was really straightforward about that two weeks ago.

So, here I am, home from Arizona for a week, and employed. At my dream job. God rewards obedience. Going to Arizona was being obedient. In the back of my mind, I knew that if I didn't go I was just going to make things harder for myself. I knew that God had something waiting for me at the end of that finish line.

He is good. You can trust Him. Just obey, and wait. It's okay to wait for the best - in work or anything. Be obedient in the things that He gives you to do along the way, and then He will give you the desires of your heart.

Still can't believe it.

March 18, 2013

WARNING: Man Rant Ahead

If it just so happens that my thoughts make no sense, well, sense is irrelevant, so haters gonna hate.

You know what's funny about rejection? Allowing yourself to embrace the rejection makes life a whole lot better. You'd think that holding onto "possibilities" would make you more optimistic, but the reality is no.

Seriously. In church yesterday, the message was about I Am the Vine. One of the segments was about branches needing to be pruned, otherwise the dead leaves will put toxins into the life flow and start killing the whole plant.

This is obviously a spiritual lesson about us, Christ, and the things Christ needs to work out in us to make us more like Him, but it can apply to this, as I think about my own experience.

It's like a smaller scale version of the branches with leaves. Take..say, flowers sharing a stem.

Stems provide a sharing of nutrients between flowers. It's nice, and they grow, and they bloom, and they work well together. They look beautiful, and it's just a nice thing to look at.

But then something happens. And one of the flowers starts to wither. If you don't trim that thing off, the other flower is going to die, too, and it's going to be one ugly stick. But sometimes you think, well, if I change the water - then they'll be fine. Or, if I change the vase, they'll have more room. No.

You have to get rid of the dying flower. And then things start to get better.

Trying to keep what is clearly no good for you will only make things worse. Especially in failed romance. Women deserve a man who is passionate about them, and we make this dumb decision to keep holding out for the people who like us just fine, want the best for us, they guess, but really just use us to make them feel better on a grey day. I'm talking about romantic relationships or friendships.

And maybe playing the power card is tacky, but I don't care. I don't like to be patronized in my garden of life. I make decisions, and I have hopes and dreams, and I can handle disappointments like a grown up woman, thank you.

Women aren't made to be uncommitted safety blankets. We're made to be partners and helpmeets. We're made to be respected and treasured. Not tripped up by your dumb man ego.

So, now, as I've had a few weeks of being emotionally pruned, as it were, I've noticed a significant increase in awesomeness. I couldn't really describe it for you, but like I told Priscilla, I don't care to go back. I'm happy, and I'm living my life, and that works for me.

I also have my girlfriends, who I love, and someday, some man, friend or lover, will enter the picture and be just dandy. And I won't make the same foolish choices that I did before.

Because the people that cross our paths are learning experiences, in the end. And if we're smart, we'll learn the lesson all the way.

More chit chat about Arizona, and nonsensical things.

I like the word nonsensical. Also, nonsense. Also, off-kilter.

So, I went to Arizona one time. About a day or two before I left, I remembered that Anberlin would be playing in Arizona while I was there. Tempe, in fact. Looked up how far away it was (about 45 minutes), and it was unanimous among myself and my parents that I should definitely go see them.

So I did. And it was magical. One, getting there early enough to be in the first 40 people in line is something that will spoil you forever. I mean, you KNOW you're going to have a good spot. And I think that for the most part, I did. I wasn't around the weirdies who are like, "LOL I KNOW I'M NOT ALLOWED TO MOSH BUT I'M GONNA TRY ANYWAY LOL." It wasn't with the weird teenagers who want to be as close to the stage as possible, but want to not be in the way at the same time (I can judge them, because I used to be one of them.)

But I was off to the side a bit, next to the line of movement when bands were coming and going. It was really neat. The only downside to where I was was the draw of photographers. I respect them, but they're annoying.

Anyway. It was a fantastic show. Absolutely incredible. I wish I could see them when they come to Boston, but I'm dead broke. But I did get to see them. And it was amazing. That show convinced me to try and commit to seeing them whenever they're around. It's just worth it to experience great music live.

That was the greatest thing.

That's all. My brain has blanked out.

March 15, 2013

Hey, guess what I did?

Signed up for college. Yup. What does this mean, concerning my previous post? Well, simply, it means that I'm staying home.

It does not mean that the door concerning coffee has been settled, but it does mean that I'm not going to Tennessee or Colorado.

Other than that, I don't know what else it could mean. Except that I'm going to some day in the near future have a Bachelor's degree. Yeehaw. I'm pretty excited about it, honestly. It's a good way to keep busy in a productive way, and I can study whatever I want.

Blahdy blah, not much else to say at this point. Going to Small Group with Priscilla tonight. My car has three leaky tires, which is wack. I'm still hoping to see Anberlin this month, but I have no idea how that's going to happen :P I'm content to miss it if I must. I'm sure they'll be back.

And, well, I'm going to be running a lot more these days, as the sun is out longer. I'm taking a break today because my legs are like, "WHAT DID YOU DO TO US?" but I figure for someone who hasn't done any working out for two weeks, getting twelve miles in three days is pretty neat, and I'm content to take a break.

Aaaaand that's all. Peace.

March 14, 2013

Overwhelmed, blessed, and maybe a little stressed.

Three doors. Three doors in less than a week have opened with opportunities for me.

One of them leads to my passion (coffee - however, it's harder to make definite assumptions about this one), one of them leads to familiar work, unfamiliar territory, and a neat experience, and the other leads to ministry/leadership of sorts and my best friend, and also unfamiliar territory. Add in continuing my education and you've got yourself a nice hallway of decisions.

I'm overwhelmed by the Lord. I didn't knock on any of these doors, someone came out of each of them and reached out to me. All of them are a means of supporting myself financially, which is something that I've told the Lord is really important to me.

All I can do is trust God to make it clear what His will is. I really just have to trust Him because all these things wouldn't be blocking my path unless the Lord knew what was going to happen with each of them.

But it sure does make one's mind feel crowded.

"There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel - that will stand." Proverbs 19:21

P.S. Did I mention that my time at the Gym might be coming to an end? The franchise changed hands while I was in Arizona, and chances are good that they won't need me there anymore (it's a husband and wife who are making it their full-time gig.) Billy is so sweet, though. He said that he's been bragging on me, and is letting me still come in to work out, even though I have yet to do any work since I've been back. I said I felt bad, but he told me come in one more week, and he'll figure out when would be the right time to introduce me to the new owners. We'll see.

March 11, 2013

Hello, hello, hello.

Said in a Count Olaf kind of manner because that's how it sounds in my head.

I just got home from Arizona today. I was supposed to leave on Thursday, but New England was like, "SNOW DAY, WOOOOO" and I had to wait until last night. The flight was fine, overall, I suppose. Lots of turbulence (which made a couple of women scream at first, which made me laugh in spite of myself, I thought it was exciting.) I had a lot of weird body pains, and at some point felt like I was going to vomit, which, thankfully, passed with a few deep breathes. It was weird. I felt really hot and clammy, and cold all at the same time. wasn't quite as bad as it sounds but it was uncomfortable. Sleeping was pretty much impossible. If I sleep when I travel, I have to lean my head against something, and I was in the middle seat, so unless the man next to me had offered his shoulder, there was no place for my head to go. I was really tempted to sleep on that guy's shoulder, though. He was middle aged and married, so don't think I'm trying to be weird, but he was really tall, and looked like he had comfy shoulders. I know he was tall because his left leg invaded my leg space, and our legs ended up resting against each other anyway. (Did I mention that he slept the entire flight? None of this was intentional. lol)

The things that happen when you travel. Can't predict any of it, just gotta roll with it.

SO, I'm home. This trip was the first trip that I consciously noticed homesickness. It was worse the first few days, but man. I had a nice time and all, but I was really excited to come home.

In case you didn't catch it from Facebook, I went to Arizona to visit my Grams. My parents are hoping to get out there soon. It was a major struggle for me to get out there.

If you know me on any intimate level, you know that I had a really hard time sometimes taking care of my Grandma, who had dementia. My Grams has Alzheimer's, and so the idea of going out there alone literally FREAKED me out. It wasn't as "bad" as I had expected it to be, but the personal, spiritual experience was unreal.

I have never experienced fear the way that I have when it came to this trip. Literally bound up and tied into knots with fear. Extreme, debilitating fear. It was very abnormal for me. I can be nervous about this, but typically, I trust the Lord easily, and I suck it up and go forward into whatever the situation may be. I don't know what happened. Well, I do. There was obviously a place in my heart and mind that wasn't secure, and the enemy got a foothold,and I entertained him. Invited him over for dinner.

"So, Devil, tell me more about how awful this experience is going to be. Please, I'm fascinated." I jest, but that's the only way that I could have reached the place that I did. I believed fear, instead of believing God. In the midst of fear, the Spirit would speak the truths of His Word to me, and I wanted to believe them. I knew they were true, but it was a really serious battle of the mind and spirit. I knew truth, and I wanted to believe truth but the fear was so big.

Thankfully, through the prayers of whoever prayed for me, I was suddenly...okay. I would do my devotions, and read my Bible, and everything was about service, letting the Lord use you for others, the Lord led me to the book of John to read....the message was clear, and I think the verse that stood out to me, and was a big part of my path to peace was this one:

"And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." John 8:29

Granted, this is Jesus, talking about Himself, but I read it, and that was it. The One who sent me, was with me. He hadn't left me alone, and I please Him when I obey Him and do what He puts in front of me to do. My greatest fear was going there alone. I didn't want to go alone. I didn't want to be by myself. I got there, and found out that one of the sisters, living nearest, was going to be out of communication.

What did that say to me? I was alone. It didn't matter that we were visiting her other sister for the weekend, it didn't matter that an aid came twice a week. I was alone. And it freaked me out.

And it kept freaking me out until...the truth broke through. That's the only answer I have. It was nothing of myself. It was the prayer of others, and the truth. The Lord spoke to me very clearly.

It was...not a bad time. It was nice. There were two days, the first and the last, that was stressful for me. Other than that, it went smoothly. I'm thankful. I'm glad that I got to go, because the Lord spoke to me about other things, which I'm sure I'll blog about later on, and the weather was nice, and I got to spend time with my Grams. Hopefully be a light of Christ to her (she isn't a believer.)

So. That's the story. I'm so glad to be home. I would love to get a job, but I'm going to start taking steps towards my education. Let the Lord open the doors for work when He pleases. It's been an interesting year so far. It's only March. I look forward to what God has in store. I also know that I expect nothing but His perfect will. I'm home again this year. Who knows what could happen? Only God.