Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well here I am, not sure what's going on in my mind, so I will just write like I usually do.

I guess I will begin with the biggest thing on my mind right now:

I love all the children I work with so much, yesterday's field trip with 21 of the children proved that I truly enjoy and love each of those children. They are so sweet, and yes crazy a lot of the time. But just the moments where one little boy that is most of the time, out of control, grabs my hand and says, "come on Miss Amanda, I want to see whats int he next rood." I didn't think he would ever, in a million years, want to hold a teachers hand, especially mine, being as the second week I worked with him, he told me that I 'sucked,' hah. Oh how things change so quickly. I can't forget those sweet girls that are so loving and can't help but spill there dreams and hearts onto me, without fear. I wish I would have been a little girl like them, living without fear of the consequences of what I told people.

There was one girl that told me she wants to help homeless and hungry people. She always tries to convince her mom to give extra food they have to the poor. She said, "we have so much and they have nothing, I want to help them, I think I help people when I grow up." WOW, I don't even know what to say to that. They don't have very much when comparing them to the American Dream standards. Yet she wants to help so many people with the little she does have. I said the same thing when I was so young.

I was determined to CHANGE THE WORLD. I knew God had given me the heart to do it. And yet I sit here these past few weeks, feeling pretty stressed and down in the dumps. Where did my passion go? Well....maybe it's the fear that got in the way, or all the work. Maybe it is simply just the fact that I never anticipated so much work just so I could help young people. Yes I'm talking about where I work. We have so much work we do weekly, but i do understand why. I need to be prepared and completely ready to give those children my best at all times, I want to know the Bible story or the gospel message so well, so I can help them have the knowledge that took me so long to gain. But it's A LOT of work. And I'm only part time, so that means I don't have nearly as much work as half of them.

With that said, I'm exhausted, I want to just go to the site and hang out with the children. Bible teaching is a huge part of our ministry which is something that many children in their neighborhoods don't get. This is a way that we show our love for them, by teaching them the truth. We have moments to just sit and play with the children too, but boy do i wish I could just do that all day long. I also wish I could make every situation in their life better. There i go again wanting to control everything! I hate that they know what a gang fight is, what a gun shot sounds like, what drugs smell like, and what it feels like to be so hungry that your whole body hurts. But this is where God has placed me at this time in my life to work.

It may be so overwhelming, that I want to give up at least once a week at this point, but when have I ever worked for something so hard in my life. When have I ever spent so much time studying and preparing a bible story to tell children? When have I ever studied just once verse of the Bible so much (ok maybe Professor Sanders could debate this)? When have I ever worked with so many people who love the Lord and children as much as I do?

Yes, Bryan, I am blessed, not just with you and Sookie, and great friends. But I'm blessed to have a job that pushes me. I may absolutely hate the work I have to do at times, to be able to work with the children, but the rewards leave me with out words. I am studying the Bible, teaching children and hopefully making a difference. And I get paid for it, WHAT!!!! I think I'm doing what God wants! But I still can't shake this overwhelming stress I feel!!!.

I think it also maybe that I want to be perfect! I want to get a good grade on everything, I want to tell the story just right in the right amount of time. I want all the people I work with to know how much I care and love the children and want to do the best I can, I want quickly so I have time to sit at home, relax and read a good book, hah. But all these things are once again what "I" want. Not what God wants. He knows I'm not perfect and loves me and strengthens me daily. This job is proving to me that I cannot be perfect and I have to once and for all, STOP TRYING TO GAIN PERFECTION IN MY LIFE! It will not happen. God will give me rest, He will give me strength, He will give me love to love others.

Huh, well here is another super long post from me. No worries if it was too long for anyone to read, it wasn't for that, it was inspiration for myself and my on discouraged will power.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So obviously I haven't post in, well, let's just say... a long time and leave it at that. It's late and I can't fall asleep, so I decided to write on my blog. For I was afraid it was getting lonely without my constant watch and attention to it.

Don't worry other bloggers, i still read your blogs.

So what's been going on in my life. I'll make a list, it's long, but I'll keep it direct and focused on the major events:

-I got a job with Novo Ministries. I get the honor to work with inner city children through teaching them about the Bible, God, and just investing in their lives. I love these children so much already. If I am never able to have children, I will praise God for giving me children at these sights that I can love and teach all the time.

-Bryan and I celebrated 2 years of Marriage last weekend. Crazy how time goes by. The memories of Hawaii are still so vivid in my mind, as if it was only a few months ago that we went.

-We went to Dallas for an anniversary vacation. We had a good time, we did lots of things, and laughed a lot. But it was also a rough time for me...

-A very close friend, Holly, graduated and moved back home to Pennsylvania where her family lives. I cried so much on the way to Dallas. I love this girl so much, and just to see how much she has grown in all ways, is such an inspiration to me. It;s harder now that I'm home and can't just call her to come over and hang out. She's really gone! I hate goodbyes... Why???

It's not the fact that I have to stand there and watch the person walk or drive away. It's not because I can't hang out with them and watch movies (ok maybe that a little bit). It's not even the talks I have with them face to face. I think what I hate most about goodbyes, is the fact that I lose control. I'm realizing more as I go further into marriage, that I love control. I Love Holly and I hate her not being here to hang out and do nothing together, and talk about anything. But I hate that with her gone, I am once again taught that I can't control everything, I have to let somethings go. This doesn't mean i don't want her to move back, but it means I have to support her and love her and not let her absence lead to my depression. I have to let it all go and rely on God. I don't have to control things and try to protect myself anymore.

Oh yeah that's another thing Im still working on. I have realized with my fairly recent closeness with 'the gang' as we all like to refer to our group of friends, that I have a very hard time trusting people who want to be friends. Since I was little I have had a difficult time with friends and it always leaves me sad, and feeling sorry for myself. But I can't just not hang out with people because of it. If they want to hurt me or say mean things or even decide to not be my friend, oh well. I have the most amazing best friend, Bryan Storie and I know he's not leaving willingly. Plus I have other friends that would surround me in a hard time as that.

I think I got off track from my list. I will add to the list later, for this writing may have spurred the sleep region of my brain to want sleep. Guess I will try again to get some rest.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

So we had our production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" this weekend. The first night (Saturday) went very well. But the second night (Sunday) was even better, especially the response from the audience. We all were so blessed to be able to be in a great play. I laughed, smiled, got frustrated, cried, stressed. Bryan and I were not sure if it was going to turn out sometimes, but it did.
The admission was to bring a canned good or dry food for out food pantry. Boy did God bless the food pantry through the admission giving. We have so much food to put over there.
As I was doing this play. I realized on Saturday night that my mom has never missed any of my performances I have been in, whether is be my beauty pageants, plays, or choir concerts, she was there. Now with sports due to work she had to miss a bunch of those over the years, but came to way more than she missed. But after coming to the conclusion early on that she would not be attending this performance, made my hard beat a little harder during my first monologue of the play and some tears fall after the play as well. We have an interesting relationship, but sometimes I need to have a little bit of normal, and her being there was normal growing up.
I think I did well and it was great regardless, but with her not being there I felt I needed that affirmation from a parent like person there. I of course heard it from Jamie (Bryan's mom constantly) which was great, and a few others. But there were two people who I hoped I would hear it from. I didn't, BUT tonight I did get a hug from one of them who never hugs me and I could almost feel God talking to me when it happend.
It was all very fast, but I felt him say this, "Amanda you are loved and you did great, BUT you do not need affirmation from the world, for you are my child, and I love you, that's what matters, and this play was NOT about you." Oh goodness "I hear you Lord." It's true. But God knows me and my emotional, sensitive heart so well that he preformed an act of love through a very important person in my life for me. Even if I should find my affirmation in him, he gave me that to know that this individual does love me.
God you are wonderful. Thank you for those things I may not technically need to live, but you know is the desire of my heart! Thank you for the talent of acting and performing. I love it and I'm ready to do it again.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So most of you have probably seen the number event happening on Facebook these days. Well if you aren't familiar. People are giving random numbers to me or vice versa and I write in my status how I met them, memories and my thoughts on them.
I have realized that maybe I have had an impact on people while growing up. I think back to the small town I spent most my younger years at. I wonder if I have made an impression and positive memory for my friends there? Well during the number thing, I have reconnected with one of my best friends during those years, and I realized not only how much I missed her and loved our time together, but also that she didn't forget about me.
I also, during this number game, came to the knowledge of sometimes the people you think are some of your closest friends don't view me the same way. And it hurt for awhile, but it is ok. All my closest friend, no matter how they viewed me, all made a difference in my life and helped me become the person I am today, so I can't be so sad about it.
Well those are just some thoughts I've been having.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Here is my winter wonderland.

So I'm really having withdrawals from the snow in Iowa, so my background is now my little winter oasis that i can go to and feel a little closer to home.
I haven't written a lot so I thought I better get something together. When I don't write for awhile I start to feel a bit off. So I will include some thoughts and activities in my life lately.
First: Bryan and I are having so much fun with Christmas and all the things that come with it. Decorating being the main thing. I haven't lived in a house since 2001, so i haven't put lights on my own house for quite awhile, and this year God blessed us with a wonderful home. And Bryan was so wonderful to put Christmas lights on it for us. They look great. Sookie is also loving Christmas, mostly the stuffed Christmas animals we have sitting out. They are now HER new christmas stuffed animal TOYS. We love to decorate so much that We helped Bryan's mom decorate her house and I decorated my office at work. I just love bringing the holidays to attention through beautiful decorations since the weather is not giving me much of an indication that Christmas is just around the corner... I had to add that in there.
With my withdrawals from Iowa, i've been feeling... well... very nostalgic. If anyone knows me much at all, they know exactly how I remember things very vividly, good and bad. Lately I've really been missing many people that were so important in my life in Iowa. Some of them I still talk to every once in awhile, and other I never get to talk to or see. I also have been thinking back about my years in college. Things sure do happen fast. But to all of those people in my life at certain times, Thank you for affecting my life and making me the person I am. I have grown more than I could imagine, but also have so so far to go.
I'm still on my weight loss journey. It's been very slow-going the past 4 months or so, I will lose than gain, or not lose much at all. I know there are many factors as to why I can't lose weight very fast like i used to be able to. Those mainly being my body changing and and being all messed up. But also i think I figured out what another factor could be and it's actually a good one. In college there were many times I would go home for the summer and work out constantly, like three times a day I would walk 3-4 miles. So about 9-12 miles a day I was walking and sleeping in between those time, so I wasn't eating much. This was because I was struggling with depression and worried about people loving me as someone who was not skinny. Which I have unfortunately struggled with my whole life. But i now have an amazing husband who I know without a doubt, no matter what will love me and think I am beautiful. So i think this makes me feel like i don't have to lose weight so fast, slow is the best way anyhow. I just know the slow is ok, b/c Bryan will love me forever.
It's quite amazing to feel this way, b/c to be frank, I never felt this kind of love from someone towards me growing up except for possibly one person. And he died before i had a chance to acknowledge that amazing love. I am so fortunate, and I know that I am loved. WOW, just to type those words makes me realize how wonderful it it. Bryan's love for me makes me realize how much more amazing and real God's love for me is. I will always be beautiful. But I won't quit trying to get in better shape and be healthier either.
I really neeed to write more frequently so I don't write so much each time and I have a chance to try to write better. I always feel so rushed in updating this blog, b/c I have so much I want to say. hehe.
Anyhow things are good, I've really been on my knees a lot in prayer lately for people in my life and things in my personal life, and God is truly blessing Bryan and I in our weaknesses and stress. So it's all gonna be ok and God has an amazing plan.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pleasing Everyone or Pleasing God?

If you know me at all, you know that I am a big ''people pleaser." I always try to please everyone. I've done this since I can remember. This is what causes my constant phrase, "I'm sorry." But as I have been going through a bible study that is making me very much aware of how big my people pleaser trait is going.
I also have a hard time claiming the forgiveness that God has promised if we confess and believe. I'm realizing that when I let fellow followers of Christ down, I start to somehow feel I have completely let God down. This problem has caused me to take a long time to get over and/or let go of certain relationships I've had in my life that are now over or are not as strong as I once thought they would be.
This is a problem for me. For so long I have equated showing God's love to people and kindness to pleasing everyone. For all those other people pleasers our there, THIS IS NOT AT ALL TRUE.
Jesus did not try to please everyone. He didn't care if everyone wasn't pleased with the way he lived His life. This problem is related to the problem of not being able to say "no," and stick up for myself.
So the question is, by trying to please everyone around you are you really pleasing God? I would have to say, "no." We are called to live a life that doesn't please everyone, but that is in accordance to God's commands and Jesus' life.
These are just some thoughts I've been having. Believe me I'm praying and working on it a lot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Skinny Dieters

This is for all those tormented skinny people out there.
May I explain...
As many of you may know I have been on the famous weight watchers diet since March, and I have managed to lose 16lbs, which after my weigh in tomorrow may be down to only 13 lbs, due to my past month of stress, bordem and just plain giving up hope to ever lose weight. This has been a long journey for me.
I started out very strong as many do, with some support and fellow weight watchers dieters on the same journey. I was working out hard and reached a goal in exercise that I have had for a long while which was to be able to run 3 miles straight. I was very proud and as the pounds came off slowly I was happy and trying to not get discouraged by how slow it was going. I love my husband to death but working out is in no way 'his thing,' and so he had a rough time showing his support through working out with me. So this was an obstacle, but that's not where most the tormenting comes in.
As I started my journey I wanted to tell others to get support and be held accountable. Well I got a little less than support. I don't want to totally forget about the very few that did support me and tell me I could do it and it was ok, "Thank you." But the ones that were discouraging in ways I'm not sure they knew, outweighed the good.
"You are already skinny," "you don't need to lose weight," "You have to understand that when you are already skinny you wont lost the weight as fast as others," "If you lose weight, you will disappear," "A size 4 is way too skinny," "You are beautiful the way you are," "You don't have to worry about losing weight," "Bryan, like's the way you look, right, so why change," " You can't just stop eating all good food, you have to still enjoy life and eat something," etc...
Does anyone know what I mean? I think people say these things to make me feel better, but PEOPLE, I NEED YOU TO SUPPORT ME IN THE WEIGHT LOSS, NOT THE UNHEALTHY LIFE IM LIVING NOW BY THE WAY I EAT, WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING BY SAYING I SHOULDNT BE ON A DIET. Im not going to be anorexic or extemely under a healthy weight, Yes I want to lose weight, so that I don't get to a point where some people are. The point where you feel you have no more hope to ever lose it. I know I am beautiful, but I will still be beautiful when I tone up, lose weight, and have a healthier body. But I want to lose weight the healthy way, through good eating and exercising. Why can't I at least get support in the way that I'm trying to do it?
I truly believe that it is hard for people who need to lose around 100lbs or more to lose all that weight, and it can seem so overwhelming. But you have so much support out there and you can do it, you just need to start moving and start changing.
But I think it is so much harder for those somewhat skinny people out there that are not extremely overweight but need to lose 30 lbs or less. It's hard to find support, b/c we have so many people that think we look fine bc they see us as having a 'healthy weight."
I'm not happy with how my body looks. And so what if I'm older now and I'm not as active, I still have a right to look good in a bathing suit and love my body.
I need support. I have given up so much at this over and over again and only gotten bigger due to it, b/c I don't have someone telling me I support you in this and going along with me in the journey. I need someone to tell me that it's ok to want to lose weight and your goal weight is still a great healthy weight.
I guess I need to start a skinny people diet club. It's seems they are all over in Hollywood, guess I could move there. Anyhow, I hope someone out there knows how I am feeling. My journey is long from over and I'm in a rut. I don't want to have to defend myself every time I order a healthier meal, turn down a snack packed with sugar, orjsut flat out say I'm on a diet.

P.S. I'm on my journey in weight watchers again and back to working out. One day at a time, right.