Tag Archives: transitions

Journey Journal: Days 129-148 (Catching Up)

Has it really been 20 days since I wrote a blog post?! My sincerest apologies, but “busy” does not even come close to describing the last three weeks! Don’t worry–there have been some moments of calm.

Day 129: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Today was an exciting day! Bryan officially changed his major to Culinary Arts today! Let the cooking begin…or continue, rather! This is one very excited wife! He’s been at Greenville Tech for the last year taking some basic courses, but starting in August, he’ll be in the Culinary program (great news: everything he’s taken so far actually applies to the new major!). This was a long process, but I am excited to see him pursue one of his greatest passions–food! Below is one of his most recent creations: a Curried Chicken BLT with a special sauce and fried egg!

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Day 130: Friday, May 10, 2013

Today, a 16-year old boy in our church, Todd Lurtey, lost his battle with cancer. It was a very sad week, and we will miss him very much, but we are thankful that he is no longer suffering and in the arms of His Savior! There are no words…just love and grief and prayers. One thing is sure: Todd is in heaven smiling with that big, beautiful smile next to His Savior. Todd was known for his smile–and as big as it was on earth, I can only imagine how huge his heavenly smile is!

The Lurteys have had a beautiful testimony through this incredibly difficult trial–through the pain and tears, through the questions and even sometimes doubt, they have shown the grace and trust in our great Savior; they have counted every day with Todd as a gift and blessed God. I just realized that exactly four years ago today was when Brenda first shared her testimony of the beginning of this trial. I am so thankful to be a part of our church family at Heritage–to see what the hands of Jesus look like–to see how the body of Christ

Day 131: Saturday, May 11, 2013

This morning, I got to babysit three of my nephews. Then my parents stopped by for a lunch of turkey burgers and salmon sandwiches. I was able to give my mom her Mother’s Day gift and chat for a while–the visits are never long enough! Then later today, we finally sold our motorcycle!

Day 132: Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day! Today’s 2nd grade Journey Group involved extra singing and creating special Mother’s Day cards with the kids. Neither of our moms were in town today, so after church, we headed to Paris Mountain State Park for a 5.5 mile hike! We went on some new-to-us trails and it was a really beautiful day!

Day 133: Monday, May 13, 2013

Today we heard of another friend who died last night. Grieving with those who grieve. Thankful that because of Jesus there is hope in despair, comfort in sorrow, and healing for suffering. May the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 12:15; II Cor. 4:14-18; Phil. 4:7)

Days 134-136: Tuesday through Thursday, May 14-16, 2013

Excited to hear that GOGA studios bought out their franchise and changed the name to iVIVA (i for you and me, V for Vibration, I for infrared sauna, V for vitality, A for alkaline water)! I love the new name! If you haven’t checked it out yet, it is a fantastic and refreshing routine!

One of things I’ve missed the most since switching to a dairy-free diet is mac-n-cheese, so I tried a new recipe and was pleasantly surprised with this Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. I used gluten-free spiral pasta, soy milk and nutritional yeast, and added garlic and dijon for an extra kick of flavor!

Read of the day: “Why God Gave Us The Church, Not Superman” – There is no such thing as “Super-Christians,” so go ahead and take your cape back to Goodwill, please.

Day 137: Friday, May 15, 2013

Worked till about 1:30, then closed up shop to attend Todd’s funeral. Though sad, it was a celebration of life in Christ. After the funeral, we packed up the car and drove down to SE Georgia for our niece’s high school graduation. Spent the night at Bryan’s aunt’s and uncle’s house–so nice to see them again!

Day 138: Saturday, May 16, 2013

Woke up early and headed to Ciera’s graduation! So excited for her as she closes this chapter and begins a new one. After graduation, we were able to spend a little while with Ciera and her folks before heading home for Sunday. It was a whirlwind trip but totally worth it.

Day 139: Sunday, May 17, 2013

Quote of the day: “The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God; the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit; the furnace made alive and warm by the flame of truth is our renewed spirit; and the resulting heat of our affections is powerful worship, pushing its way out in confessions, longings, acclamations, tears, songs, shouts, bowed heads, lifted hands, and obedient lives.” ~John Piper

Taught 2nd grade Journey group in the a.m. Hosted the Young Professionals class for pizza and salad for the evening. What a fun group! I think there were people in nearly every room of the house and on the front porch–talking, eating, playing Taboo, games on the Wii–it was fantastic!

Day 140: Monday, May 20, 2013

7 years ago today I married my best friend Bryan! So thankful for his love, his leadership, and his ability to make me laugh even on the hardest days. My cousin and his girlfriend gave us an amazing “thank you” gift card to The Lazy Goat–and we spent it all (and then some)! We had steak and parmesan truffle fries, fried goat cheese with honey and crushed pistachios (definitely ordering those again), Moroccan fried chicken with falafel waffles, and–our favorite–Duck, Duck, Goat pizza with duck meat, a duck egg, goat cheese, arugula, and balsamic soaked dried cherries! It was so nice to look out over the Reedy River and not have to cook (or clean up)–just enjoy one another!

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Days 141-144: Tuesday through Friday, May 21-24, 2013

Several busy days of work–lots of upcoming events, Dispatches sales, upgrading some technology stuff, etc. Friday night we were able to get together with two other couples for a fantastic Cashew Chicken stir-fry, a game of Settlers, and a dessert of fresh fruit topped with toasted nuts and Rice Krispies and drizzled with a raspberry puree. So much fun!

Day 145: Saturday, May 25, 2013

Brunch with our friends Jordan and Sarah! I made up a new recipe for Sour Cream Pancakes with Cream and Berry Compote toppings! I would share the recipe…but I’m pretty sure I want to save it for “The Cookbook” (thinking more and more seriously about writing one, so I’m starting to save up some recipes for the “testing” phase).

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My sister and her boys came over for a couple hours this afternoon–had fun playing Jenga and Wii with them! Went for a walk with Bryan, then randomly got together for a game of Dominion and coffee with our friends Nate and Leigh!

Day 146: Sunday, May 26, 2013

Really enjoying this group of 2nd graders in our Journey Group! Had fun talking about our Exalted God and applying it to their lives! Had a headache and it’s been a pretty exhausting couple of weeks, so Bryan took me to Panera for lunch–it was a nice treat! After evening service, we had several of the young adults over for a cookout. Bryan made his famous curry burgers, Laurie brought some fantastic homemade guacamole, and I made some potato wedges. We are really enjoying getting to know these friends!

Day 147: Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day! Had an absolutely fantastic day with Bryan’s side of the family. Started with blueberry pancakes at his folks’ house at 8AM and finished with a delicious BBQ dinner at his sister’s. After the long day, we came home, lit some candles and listened to some classical violin on the back porch, and shared our dreams for the future. So thankful for a man who is romantic and teaches me to relax all at the same time.

Day 148: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

After work, we came home and fired up the grill one more time for a dinner of ribs, baked beans, salad and chips with some dear friends from church. We are so thankful for Aaron and Marjeana and their love for Christ, their love for the people around them, the way they raise their children, and their passion for growing in grace and coming alongside others to grow in that same grace! For dessert, we had fruit and ice cream (well, they had ice cream–I’m still avoiding the dairy)–and we introduced them to balsamic vinegar as an ice cream topping! (I know it sounds weird, but the tiniest bit can be truly fantastic!) The kids played Wii while we reminisced and laughed and got to know each other a little bit better.

So, 20 very full days are behind us–days of sadness mixed with days of joy, mundane days mixed with days that symbolize major life changes, days of busyness and friends and family, but most of all days filled with seeing God work and learning to wait on Him and accept His gifts when He gives them for as long as He gives them. God is good–all the time!

A Glimpse into What God is Teaching Me

There are so many things going on in my head and heart recently, so I wanted to put a few of them out there. There may be some “stream of consciousness” style going on here, but I’m just trying to put it all on one page and see a big picture emerge. I’ve been using the NLT (New Living Translation) for my personal reading recently and it’s been a joy to read and see things in a fresh way. So, the passages quoted below are from the NLT (underlining is mine).

Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

Proverbs 6:6 says, “Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!” And verse 8 says, “They labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.”

Proverbs 11:12 says, “…a sensible person keeps quiet” (compared to the gossip in v. 13).

Proverbs 11: 16 says, “A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.” And verses 24-25 say, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

Proverbs 31 speaks of the capable woman. She is trustworthy (v. 11), rises early, cooks, and plans ahead (v. 15), is “energetic and strong, a hard worker” (v. 17), works late into the night (v. 18), “extends a helping hand to the poor and open arms to the needy” (v. 20), and even sews (v. 21-22). “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” (v.25). She watches her mouth (v. 26), her pocketbook (v. 27), and her children (v. 28). And most importantly, she “fears the Lord” (v. 30).

My Notes:

I’m in school to become a personal trainer, so no surprise that a future career change is in my future. And though it’s exciting, every transition comes with a risk. I’ve been working at the same company for five years, have pretty decent benefits and enjoy what I do. I also love the people I work with! Change is scary, but it’s inevitable (though I’m not exactly sure when yet). So the verse about keeping my eyes focused and not getting sidetracked is something I need to keep before me.

Long term goal? I want to be able to work part time from my home as a personal trainer or life coach (may even write for a Nutrition or Fitness magazine or website), publish my own cookbook, and be a stay-at-home wife and mom. All in good time. I know, I know, I’m not getting any younger, but you’re only as young as you feel. And I feel about … 23 (even though I’m almost 6 years older than that). I’m taking care of myself and I believe God is in complete control. So, don’t worry, we want kids. But we want them in God’s timing. So, if it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t,…I would love to adopt! All I’m saying is I don’t know exactly what God has in store, but we have some desires, and we believe those to be God-given, so we’re taking steps to get to the goals we think He has for us.

Another long term goal is to help with a church plant somewhere. There’s a church in Colorado that’s just starting up and we have several friends that either are already out there helping it or are moving soon. We’d love to be a part of this, but we know that 1. we need to find jobs, 2. we need to sell our house, and 3. we need to be content until God says go.

For now, I’m in school. After this semester, we’ve decided that I’m going to try to do the self-study method to get my personal trainer certification. Eyes on the prize: certification! As another step in the process, I’d love to work part-time for a gym and learn the ropes of running a fitness studio under a certified trainer. So, is Colorado a possibility? Sure, but not for another year or so, most likely. If I can find a job in a gym and get one year under my belt while getting certified, that will help me find a fitness job if we get to move. And if we don’t move, then I still want to work for a personal trainer while becoming one myself. God knows. He’s had it all mapped out long before we were ever born.

Meanwhile, my personal goals are to 1. be a godly woman (which means focusing on God first and foremost, watching my mouth, watching our money, planning ahead, and being as generous as we can be), 2. be a fit wife (physically fit and one that nurtures my husband), and 3. become a certified trainer. If I focus on a heart that pleases God, I honestly believe the rest will fall into place. So, I choose not to fear the future, but instead to “laugh” and fear God instead of fearing the future, like the woman in Proverbs 31. I choose to be joyful, gracious, and generous. And though my steps may falter along the way, God has prepared my steps and will continue to guide us each and every day.