Thursday, October 27, 2011

Defining Character: Guilty

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

I have been wrecked this week.  I burst into tears at random times.  I have been battling my thoughts.  I have no appetite (apparently bone crushing guilt is the only thing that makes me not want to eat.)

One thing I did not address in self-control September that I now know I need to is alcohol.

I don't drink that much.  I might have a few drinks when I go out with friends sometimes, but I don't go out drinking every weekend. 

But because of this, I don't have much of a tolerance. And when an event rolls around and I drink like I did in college it is bad news bears.

Once in college I completely lost an entire night.  I woke up with scrapes on my feet and stories of how I had made out with some guy named Moose the night before.

And it's all funny and something to laugh at when you are 21 (or maybe 19...shhh) but the thing is it's not.

I didn't tell you guys this but a few months ago I woke up on the floor of my boss's bathroom after we went speed-dating, remembering nothing from the night before.  My boss filled me in on some of the details, one of which was that I ended up making out with one of the speed daters (who I ironically never saw or heard from again...until the next time I went speed dating.  That's right I had to sit there for 5 minutes making awkward conversation with this guy I had no recollection of making out with. Talk about awkward!  I will never go speed dating again).

After that night on the floor of my boss's bathroom, I spent the entire next day throwing up.  I was throwing up every 15 minutes until 7 pm when I finally gave in and went to urgent care.

I knew I needed to go to urgent care because this had happened once before a few years ago.  (are you detecting a pattern here?)  At urgent care they gave me a shot of anti-nasea medicine and 2 bags of IV fluid (I think I had 3 bags the first time this happened!)

Anyway, you think this would have been my wake up call right?  I mean who knows what could have happened!  I could have been fired!

And I did slow down on the drinking...for a while.

But fast forward to this weekend.  I don't remember much from Saturday night.  The last thing I remember is watching people play flip cup and talking about tattoos with some friends in the hallway.  Everything else is gone.  And I don't mean that fuzzy gone.  Like it comes back to you once someone starts telling you what happened because TRUST ME I so wish I could know how and why what happened happened.

Sunday morning I woke up on the couch at a friend's house still in my Halloween costume.  After a few minutes of chit chat (in which I'm sure my friend concluded I had no idea what happend) she finally dropped the bomb on me.

Apparently I made out with a married guy and his wife walked in on us.  And these were not strangers, these were friends!

I had always felt safe indulging in alcohol around my friends because I always thought they would stop me from doing anything bad and they would be able to laugh with me the next day at any crazy antics.  And this has always been the case.

Unfortunately it only takes an instant to make a bad decision.  One that will hurt a friend, erode any kind of trustworthiness you had, and have everyone (including yourself) wondering how you could do something like that.

Nothing will ever be the same.  I feel like I have lost my friends.  No one will ever look at me the same way.  I will never look at me the same way. I don't even know if I can face any of them again.  I can barely face myself everyday.

I am someone who I never thought I'd be.  I didn't think I was even capable of something like this.  I never wanted to ever hurt anyone like this, let alone someone I actually like.

I even feel guilty for feeling this bad because I wasn't the one hurt in all this.  I was the hurter. 

I thought "what if that is who I really am?!  the truth comes out when you are drunk."

I thought about Josh (Monday is the 14th anniversary of his death) and how he deserved this life so much more than me.

I thought "what if this is preparing my heart for forgiveness because my future husband is going to cheat on me.

I thought what if this is a sign of how undeserving and unprepared I am for a husband and I will never be.

I mean I can not even tell you where my thoughts have taken me through all of this....

It is one of the biggest internal battles I have ever faced. 

I want to run to God.  I have cried out to Him and asked for forgiveness and I know He forgives me and loves me. But I'm having a really hard time forgiving myself and accepting His forgiveness.

I was afraid to post here because my mom reads this. I asked my friend "what if your daughter grew up and did something like this!?"  And she said "I would love her still, always, unconditionally."  And I know this is true.  Not just for my mom, but also for God.  But still the guilt of how I have shocked everyone and let everyone down is crippling. 

I am one of those hypocritical Christians that ruins Christianity.  I am one of those slutty girls I hate.  I am one of those characters everyone hates in books and movies.

But somehow I know God is bigger than this.  This can be overcome too. 

Someone reminded me of David.  It was one of the most shocking stories in the Bible for me when David sleeps with his neighbor, gets her pregnant, and then has her husband killed.  How could David do something like that!?!  But God still loved him and did great things through his life. 

It's going to take time and a lot of prayer.  I know a lot of things have been permanently damaged through this, but I will not let it destroy my relationship with God. 

And I must learn a lesson from this.  I don't think I am an alcoholic, but I obviously have a problem with self-control when it comes to alcohol. 

I was so sad at the thought of giving it up completely.  I love drinking with my friends and didn't want to lose that (although I probably have anyway). But it is deeper than that too.  I've always known the Bible warns against drunkenness, but I always reasoned it away saying Jesus turned water into wine and it's ok to have fun, it is what he would want for us!  But it is just another example of me wanting my own way, not His.

Then last night I had to go to a party for work.  I got there and saw no one I knew.  I felt so awkward.  I had these drink tickets in my hand and I kept staring at them.  Finally I decided I needed a drink.  I got a light beer even though it was full open bar.  I have learned liquor is not my friend.  I sipped on the beer throughout the night.  All my work friends were trying to get more drink tickets and asking me to go downtown with them (including the upper-ups who I hardly ever get to see and this could have been good bonding time!)  But I resisted.  I told them I couldn't, gave away my extra drink tickets and went home and ran 4 miles (yes, sometimes it helps to literally run from your problems.)

There is so much more to this story and what I have been going through, but I can't share all of it here.  I know it is going to take time to work through this and understand completely why it happened.  For now I am just taking it day by day and wanted to let you know why it may be quiet on this little blog of mine for a while.

Let there be tears for what you have done.
Let there be sorrow and deep grief.
Let there be sadness instead of laughter,
and gloom instead of joy.
Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and He will lift you up in honor.

James 4:9-10

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Defining Character- Self-Control

Self-Discipline- the act of disciplining or power to discipline one's own feelings, desires, etc., esp with the intention of improving oneself

Self-Control- the ability to exercise restraint or control over one's feelings, emotions, reactions, etc.

Last month I declared the month "Self Control September".  Looking at the definitions above I should have named it Self-Discipline September, but I think they are pretty interchangeable.  Of all the fruits of the Spirit, self-control was definitely my weakest.  In fact I have even blogged about trying to get better with self-control/self-discipline here, here, and here. And I just remember my pastor JD saying in one of his sermons that you are only as strong as your weakest spirit.  So I am continually trying to work on this area of my life.

So what did I do to focus on my self-control in September?

1. I gave up soda (diet and regular) for the month of September.  I didn't drink a lot of soda anyway, but I would usually have a diet Mt. Dew, diet Dr. Pepper, or diet Coke just about every day.  All those chemicals can't be good for you (even if they are calorie free).  I did pretty good.  I had a cherry limeade that I think had Sprite in it, but other than that, no sodas.  Since the month has ended, I have kind of limited myself to just one mini (7.5 oz) soda/day.  I do notice that I get more headaches, but I also feel less bloated when I am not drinking soda.  I hope to keep them to a minimum from now on!

2. I had a virtual fitness partner!  I don't know what I would have done without Amber this month!  Each week we would send each other a summary of how we did the previous week as far as eating and working out.  At first I wasn't tracking my calories, but Amber was and she inspired me to get back on the bandwagon with that.  I thought I was eating pretty well, but it is different when you are tracking everything you eat!  I would often think before eating or skipping a work-out how this would look on my weekly report to her and it kept me from making some bad decisions.  I took this week off from counting calories and my 10K training program because I needed a break, but I hope we can continue our weekly reports because they have really helped me stay on track!  P.S. Go check out her blog!  It is one of my faves!

3. I started a 10K training program similar to the couch 2 5K program.  I'm up to week 6 and it is tough.  I'm up to over 4 miles/run and try to get all 3 runs in each week.  I think this helped me a lot too because I didn't want to get behind on the training program, so I would force myself to run on days even when I didn't want to.  I took this week off, but I had my 5K on Saturday and finally came in under 35 min!  My previous PR was 36:58 and I ran this one in 34:47!  I know it is still so slow, but hey it is an improvement!  Maybe one day I will break that 30 min. mark!

4. I've been using this app called "Home Routines" to stay on top of things around the house.  I have a morning checklist and an evening checklist and then a weekly checklist.  Here they are:

- Breakfast
- 15 minute focus/devotional
- Let dog out
- water animals
- get fresh and clean
- make bed

- Feed cat and dog
- Collect dirty laundry
- put away clean laundry
- shine sink (put everything in dishwasher and clean out sink)
- wipe down kitchen
- sweep floor
- run
- 100 sit ups
- swish and swipe bathroom
- take out contacts
- brush teeth
- pray

- Vacuum
- Mop
- Clean bathrooms
- Dust
- Brush Cam
- Go through mail basket
- Switch out towels (in bathrooms and kitchen)
- clean make up brushes
- clean out litter box

I didn't always mark off everything everyday/every week, but I aimed to get 90% marked off. 

5. Re-do budget.  I switched jobs this month.  I am still doing the same job, but I am a permanent employee instead of a contractor.  I used to get paid weekly, now I get paid twice/month.  I used to pay for my own health insurance and had no 401K, but now I have benefits through them and a 401K, so I had to re-do my budget.  I got my first paycheck this weekend, and I had to adjust my estimates a little (taxes are freaking outrageous!) but now I have my budget nailed down.  I am still doing envelope budgeting and I love being able to see where all my money is going.  Expect a whole post about budgeting later this week!

So there you have it.  I think self-control September was a success!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Love Story

I HAD to share this with you today.  You all know I am a hopeless romantic (emphasis on the word hopeless).  I came across this video on It Must Be (so) Liberating  I just discovered her blog recently.  She lives in Madrid! (Can I come visit!?) And I am so looking forward to following along with her adventures.

This video is so so good!  I hope no one noticed me crying at my desk watching it.  It is a little long, but so worth a watch!

Stuff like this renews my hope for some reason.  I just know my husband is out there.  God has perfect timing and He is probably using this time to mold and shape us to fit perfectly into each others lives.

Dear Future Husband,

I have waited so long for you.  But it is good because had I met you any earlier I probably wouldn't have treated you very well or even have wanted you at all (I was pretty selfish in my 20's).  Now I can not wait to freaking meet you!  I cannot wait to discover our love story!  Hope to see you soon!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall fun, TV finds, and frustration

I have so many things I want to blog about and not nearly enough time.  I'm going to try to keep it (somewhat) short and get some of the things swirling around in my head onto one blog without being completely random.  Here goes nothing...

Fall Fun

Last Friday my friend W pinged me and we both had no plans so we decided to check out this haunted farm in Cary. (The fact that we were going to Cary was scary enough.  Nothing good happens in Cary.  I tell ya, that town is just not right.)  Anyway, we should have took it as a sign when we pulled up and the parking attendant asked us if we brought an extra pair of panties (um what?) and then asked if we were in college? (no) high school?  (no)  Ok...moving for $15 we got to go tour the haunted house, take the haunted hay ride, and do the haunted corn maze.  The haunted house was ok.  The haunted hay ride was kind of fun.  But the haunted corn maze was by far the scariest. I think the key was they made us go through in the groups we came with so it was just the 2 of us.  For the longest time no one jumped out and scared us.  Then all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw some creepy guy walking behind us silently.  We screamed and ran and continued to be scared at just about every twist and turn.  (including 2 chainsaw chases!)  It was fun!  I tried to snap some pictures, but my iPhone doesn't have a flash so none of them turned out.

This weekend I'm hoping to get to The Sate Fair (fried oreos, roasted corn and maybe even a krispie kreme burger...pig races, people watching and more!) on Saturday and do the Parade of Homes on Sunday.  These are 2 of my favorite fall events!  I'll try to get some good pics to share!

I also have to figure out if my homemade Halloween costume is going to work sometime this weekend because the annual Halloween party is early this year- next weekend!  My costume is a totally awesome idea in theory, but I don't know if the execution is going to work.  I have a back up costume in case.  It is cute, but totally un-original, so I am really hoping Plan A works out.  If I would have thought about it earlier, I would have been a honey badger for Halloween!

What are you going to be for Halloween?

TV finds

I didn't add a lot to my TV rotation this year because I barely have time to watch TV.  But here are two new shows I like:
Ok, so a lot of the story lines in this one are far fetched, but I love Rachael Bilson, I love the South, and I love small town drama.  So I heart Hart of Dixie!

I LOVE this show!!  There have been only 2 episodes so far, but I am so freaking hooked!  The characters are so complex and it it just a great concept- the CIA finds this marine that has been held hostage by terrorists for 8 years.  One of the CIA agents has a theory that he has been turned and is now an undercover terrorist.  It is so freaking good!!!  Seriously if you have Showtime watch this!

Have you seen/do you like these new shows?  What are your favorite new shows?


I have been so frustrated the last couple days.  Frustrated with being single.  Frustrated with my never ending to do list at work.  Frustrated with having no time for blogging.  Frustrated with tracking calories and the crazy amount of calories in anything I eat out. Frustrated with running and running and not getting any better or faster.  Frustrated with comparing myself to others.  I even got frustrated at church on Sunday (why must they always park me in the freaking muddy field!?!  and no mr. pastor I didn't comprehend a word of your sermon because there were three kids sitting behind me whispering and rattling their candy wrappers the entire time.)  For some reason I feel like I could just explode with all this built up frustration. 

I tried running.  I tried eating.  I tried sleeping.  I tried vegging out and getting sucked in to cheesy Lifetime movies.  I tried hanging out with friends.  I tried praying.  I tried reading.  I tried shopping at Target (managed to get out only spending $50!)  But nothing seems to be working.  How do you get yourself un-frustrated?

I'm going to try to get some blog posts in this week including- marking off #18 on my list- upgrading a room in my house and Self Control September re-cap.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Snippets

This week I actually went to church on Saturday night instead of Sunday.  I don't know if the sermon was that good or if I'm just more awake at 6pm than I am at 9am, but I ended up taking two pages of notes!

We finished up our "Gospel" series this week.  The theme of this week's sermon was "Assurance of Salvation".

Here are some of my notes:

- There are things you just won't do until you rest your full faith (weight) on God.  (He gave this great example of rock climbing vs. repelling.  When you are rock climbing you have the rope there to catch you in case you fall, but when you are repelling you have to rest your full weight and trust on that rope.)

-"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."  John 14:18

- We are always trying to justify why we aren't that bad.  

- If you could get to heaven just by being a good person, why did Jesus have to come and die?

- You aren't supposed to rest on a prayer you prayed, your baptism, first communion, etc. You are suppose to rest on/ be assured by what Jesus did on the cross 2000 years ago.

- He used an example of us sitting in the chairs.  Maybe we didn't remember the exact moment we decided that chair was sturdy enough to hold us, but the fact that we are sitting in it now is proof that you trust it.  (It isn't one decision point, it is a constant thing you continually do.)

1.  There is a testimony to be believed.  It is just believing what God said about His son.
(1 John 5:11; 1 John 1:8-10)

2.  There is a manifestation of that testimony in our lives.

If Jesus is in you these things will natually start to happen...

- You start to do the same things Jesus did.  Your life starts to resemble His.

- God's prescription for everything is faith in the Gospel.

- Don't rest in YOUR fruitfulness, rest in what HE did for you.

It was great because he talked about how a lot of people struggle with this.  We question am I really saved?  How can I be sure?  Did I pray that prayer right?  He admitted he had been baptized 4 times and had prayed the "sinner's prayer" thousands of times between the ages of like 13-19.

I can totally relate.  I can't pinpoint exactly when it changed for me...when I became sure and put my full faith in Jesus, but I am more sure of my salvation than I am anything in my life.  I believe Jesus died on the cross and paid the price for my sins and I thank GOD for it everyday!