Sunday, March 25, 2012


"For I am your God who takes hold of your right hand and says, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'" Isaiah 41:13 

We're learning about synonyms in first grade and one of the first graders did awful on their practice worksheet. I called him over, let him look at his grade, and said, "If you need help, let me know...I'm here to help you - I want to help you. Let's work on this together." In that moment, I was given a clear image of God saying the exact same thing to me. 

Among other things, God has revealed a hidden sin of mine: I strive to please my family and close friends when it comes to relationships. For some reason, their approval means everything to me and when I don't feel like I'm getting it or that I'm disappointing them, I freeze. It's as if I forget what God is calling me to do and what I know will make me happy and try desperately to please everyone else. 

I've also been reminded of a very profound truth this week: I'm here to please Christ and be obedient to what He is directing me to do - even if it's messy and doesn't make sense. 

I have always found that when I do follow Him, He reveals Himself in the most unusual ways... 

Like cutting through the darkness of a storm... 

...or through the gift of family... 

...or through a lasting friendship. 

God says to find approval in no one besides Him. This is hard when you feel the pressure of a black and white world. But if I've been reminded of anything this week, it's that when God calls you to do something, you have to do it. You have to run, trust, be faithful, and believe in who He says He is.

So, here's to running. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

His will, my plan?

If I'm being honest, this week has been really hard for me. I have gone back and forth praying and trying to figure out what God's will is for my life. When you know that Christ gives you tremendous freedom in your choices, sometimes a plan is the only thing you really want. And as a planner, I am begging for some type of answer. Trying to figure out whether or not you're being blind to the truth or being given a fierce desire from Christ is terrifying and exhausting - His will for my life has become incredibly foggy. Sometimes I wish I could get a simple text message from God telling me what to do. A simple "yes" or "no" would be most welcome. Can I get an "amen!"?

So, the one thing that I've learned this week is that God won't tell you anything or won't direct you until you are ready. This can be extremely painful, frustrating, and more than anything else, exhausting. Time seems like eternity.

Even though I have been bogged down by the weight of a decision this week, I have enjoyed sleeping in and crossing things off my adventure list. Lets take a look:

On Tuesday, I drove to Denton with Mom and picked up my cap and gown. I can't believe I only have 6 more weeks of student teaching. Where did the time go? Hopefully, I'll have job offers by then too - keep your fingers crossed! After eating lunch with my wonderful friend Camille Ayoub, Mom and I drove back to Dallas to pick up Lucy. What a joy she is!

...and she's only getting cuter! 

I am a blessed aunt!

On Wednesday, Mom and I went to Grandmommy's to see The Descendants in her theater. This was certainly an experience. I'll just say this: old people cannot whisper and have no filters. Overall, Grandmommy was glad to see us and I had fun spending time with her. 

Me: Grandmommy, how are you? 
GM: Well, I'm just as beautiful as ever! 

I also got a haircut on Wednesday. It's a little short for my taste, but everyone has said nothing but compliments so I think I just need to get over it and embrace my short hair. 

Before... (sorry it's so dark!)


Friday night, I spent time with my wonderful friend Natalie Frederick. I just need to say one thing about Natalie: she is a breath of fresh air. You know those friends that care for you so much that they will be completely honest with you about anything? Natalie is that friend. We had a lot of good conversations over dinner before we went to see The Vow (really good by the way) and it was refreshing to ask hard questions to someone I love and trust. I thank God Natalie was brought into my life.

Love her. 

Saturday afternoon Marcos and I went to the shooting range. Let's be honest, shooting a pistol is intimidating but really fun once you get the hang of it. A riffle, however, is terrifying. Marcos, being the beast he is, is an awesome rifleman - which makes sense looking at his past profession. Sadly, Marcos didn't get a picture of me shooting, but we still had fun and I really appreciated Marcos teaching me his mad skills. 

Love Marcos! 


After the shooting range, I had fun babysitting Cameron and Alyssa. I love these kiddos - being an aunt brings so much joy to my heart. 

I mean who couldn't love this face? 

Just some girl time :)

 Cameron is one of the sweetest, most patient kids I know (and he's not even 3 yet!) - something he definitely takes after his dad. :)

Mom sent me a quote from Corrie ten Boom this week that has helped me see beyond this foggy moment in my life: 

"There are people who trust the Lord for their eternal salvation but not for the worries of every day. They do not see that our problems are the material God intends to use to build a miracle." 

Currently, I'm in the fog but I also know that God intends to use this time to bring me great joy.

Monday, March 12, 2012


At a recent seminar, I learned that laughter adds to your lifespan. I also learned that your brain can't tell the difference between real and fake laughter - I would say that's a win win. Usually when laughter occurs, something good is happening. Knowing that Christ wants what is good for us or desires our happiness, I can't help but think that He gave us the gift of laughter while full knowing that it would add to our life.

This week, I have laughed...and I'm talking about the deep, full, tears running down your face kind of laughter. During those times of laughter, good things were happening, I was surrounded by good people, and happiness was occurring. God only knows how much I needed this type of week! Plus, I also added years to my life - bonus!

To start off, last week I started my first week of first grade. Too many new things happened that week to name, but I will say this: my mentor teacher is amazing, the kids say some crazy things, I have a British kid in my class (SCORE!), and laughter regularly is heard in our room.

Now to the fun stuff...

To kick off my spring break, I went to visit Elena and Alex in San Antonio. I freaking love my sister, her husband, and their friends.  Every day I was there, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the family and the friends that I have. Every day was fantastic and laughter was a common way to end our nights. I truly did not want to come home and was sadder than normal to come back to reality.

I also want to note that Elena and Alex very lovingly bought my tickets so that I could come to San Antonio. They both know how hard it's been for me lately and saw an opportunity to take me away from the fogginess of life for a few days. I did not ask them to do this random gift of kindness. This just shows their heart. I can't get over how thankful I am! Their act of kindness truly touched me in a very deep way that I can't truly express. When you go through heartache, you don't feel very worthy or loved as often as you would like. Buying plane tickets as an escape to this, made me feel so incredibly loved and cherished...something that again, I haven't felt in awhile.

In order to not make this a terribly long blog, I'm just going to post the highlights of the trip:

When I arrived to SA, Alex and Elena greeted me with a sign (it said, "We love you Liz!"). I found out later that Alex found this poster in the airport's recycling bin and reused it. This made my poster even more special haha :) 

I had the joy of hanging out with Phillip and Hannah: two of my favorite people. These two are truly wonderful inside and out...and just plain hilarious. 

Hannah was gracious enough (and brave enough) to teach me how to ride her motorcycle!

Truly one of the scariest/coolest things I have done in a long time. I got the hang of going really slow and I only fell 3 times... not that bad, right? ;)

I was able to see Katherine and Natalie. I love this picture for so many reasons... 
PS: Finally being able to see Katherine was a wonderful highlight - what a beautiful person and friend!

Did I mention we all went to see a real roller-derby race? So intense. It was like seeing "Whip It" live. 

Elena and I went to Austin Monday afternoon to have some sisterly bonding time. We went to random stores and tried on funny looking things. Great time!

...and we got a tad overwhelmed at the boot store... 

This picture was taken at the park the previous day, but I just love it so much. SO humbly thankful and blessed to have Elena as my sister and friend! Love, love, love her!

Last but not least, I came home to this wonderful surprise: my college quilt! Mom worked so hard on it and it came out beautifully! The picture doesn't show how pretty this quilt is. Thanks for your hard work Mom! :) 

Overall, I am so thankful that I can still laugh during storms. It's amazing how God places people and instances in your life at specific times to remind you of His glory and His desire to bring you happiness...even when it doesn't feel like it. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Week of News and Olds

This week has been full of new and old adventures. I am constantly amazed at how glorious God is and how He can be revealed through anything or anyone. If I have been reminded of anything this past week, it is that God is always present.

Last Sunday it hit me that I really needed to purchase a yoga mat if I was going to stick with this new exercise. So, after writing in my blog, I went to Whole Earth Provisions and purchased my very first yoga mat. Thanks to Elena's gift card, I only had to pay $8. SOLD!

Very zen, eh? :) 

Also last Sunday, I started reading a book that my wonderful friend, Emily Wilson, let me borrow. Wilderness Skills for Women: How to Survive Heartbreak and other Full-Blown Meltdowns by Marian Jordan is fantastic. I know it might seem cheesy to actually read a book like this, but looking at my current situation, this book has been a wonderful relief to read. Jordan's comical stories are wrapped in biblical truths and reminders that have really helped me remember that God is very aware of my situation, is protecting me, knows the desires of my heart and loves to bless His children, and most importantly, His delays are not His denials. 

I am blown away by how much this book has helped me. Love it. 

On Tuesday, Mom, Grandmommy and I had coffee with our dear and lovely friend Lisa Kirkpatrick. Every single time I spend time with this woman, I am always left with a smile on my face. She is lovely inside and out and I couldn't be more blessed to have her in my life. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of our time together... probably because I was too excited to finally spend time with her! 

Tuesday night, Mom surprised me by doing yoga with me. Papi got a good laugh, but I have to hand it to Mom, she did well... even though she will say otherwise. :) 

See? I have proof that my mother is a beast!

Friday was my last day in fourth grade, so for the first time, I had to officially say goodbye  to my wonderful fourth graders and the fourth grade team. I literally cannot express the impact my mentor teacher, the fourth grade teachers, and the kids have made on me. I will definitely miss my time there. Tomorrow, I will begin my second rotation in first grade, so I am sure that I will have plenty of new adventures/stories. I will tell you one thing though, everything in the first grade wing is super small: chairs, desks, people...I fit right in.  

This is one of the gifts I received on Friday from my kiddos. I also recieved a card from every student, a basket of goodies/ 2 boxes of books from my wonderful mentor teacher, and a couch, 2 filing organizers, more books, and bookshelves from one of the other fourth grade teachers who is retiring. I can't express how grateful I am! 

Friday night, I excitedly babysat for my favorite family: the Houdeks. I have known the Houdeks for 6 (7?) years and I love, love, love this family! What wonderful people! I can always count on them for prayer support, encouragement, and love that is rare when you met them through babysitting. My relationship with this family just proves that God uses people to show His love and goodness. 

Lily and Walker! Can you believe how old they're getting? And yes, Lily is officially taller than me.  

On Saturday, Papi and I had a date! We went to the Meadows Museum at SMU. We had a great time, bought some scarfs as souvenirs, and had a wonderful lunch at Cafe Express. During our time together, I was reminded of how much God has blessed me with a father like Papi. He is always caring, loving, prays like crazy for his family, and is extremely wise. Some women can't say the same about their fathers, and this fact is something that I take for granted. Thank you Lord for Papi!

Us at the museum! So grateful for Papi! 

I now have 12 scarves. Pitiful I know. :) 

Saturday night I did something I have never done before: I went to Studio Movie Grill and saw a movie by myself. To be honest, the thought of going to a movie by myself was really depressing to think about... especially on a night that was bound to be "Date Night" for a lot of couples. Nonetheless, I saw This Means War (which was really funny), ordered some potato skins and really enjoyed being my own date. Picking the movie, the place, the time, the food was super easy and no arguments were made. I have decided that I am my best date. ;) 

On my way to church this morning, I also did something I haven't done in a long time: ordered a new drink from Starbucks. I ordered a Carmel Macchiato instead of my usual White Mocha. I'll be honest though, I like my White Mocha more.  

Next weekend will be full of new adventures as I'm headed to San Antonio to visit my wonderful sister Elena, her hubby Alex, and KATHERINE! Can't wait!