Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago, I was at a dear friends apartment with my then-boyfriend. It was a New Year's Eve party like no other I'd ever been to. We ate food, laughed, told jokes, got to know one another better. Then, at 11:30ish, someone whipped out a guitar and we all sang worship songs. We didn't know when midnight happened because we were so focused on worshiping our Lord and Savior. I don't remember how long we sang. But, it was sweet. I loved celebrating Jesus and thanking Him for life, and the opportunity to worship Him with our lives.

This past year has been a whirlwind.

If anyone told me that I would be spending New Year's Eve 2011 in Lynchburg, VA in my new apartment with my cat, having a quiet evening in, I would have told you to shuttheheckup. I wouldn't have believed you.

But, it's true.

I would love to make a list of everything that happened this past year leading up to me being here, but then I realized that I wouldn't know where to start. Because me being in this exact place (spiritually, not geographically) is something that has been stirring for the past 5 years. God always wanted me here. He was always beckoning me to become radically obedient to Him- to forsake all just to gain Him. He was always asking me to take His hand and follow His lead. He was always saying, "Lindsay... I have more for you."

And here I am: Asking what it is that He has for me. Wondering where this is leading. Praising Him for not giving up on me when I walked away from Him years ago. So very, very thankful.

Grace is something that astounds me. I look around my room and see so many things that I don't deserve. I see people on the friend list of my Facebook all over the world- people that I can call my own- and my heart melts with love that God has given me for them. I think about all the places that I have been and all the things I have been able to do and I am humbled.

This was a post from earlier this week when God was really moving my heart. My hearts are continually opened to His mercies and I am left silent. Things are not always sunshine, bubbles, and unicorns... but they are Good. Because He is Good.

Don't forget that.....He is Good.... Even when bad things are happening and you feel like your world is crumbling and you're crying so hard you can't breathe or watching someone you love pass away or seeing your loved ones make mistakes that are potentially jeopardizing their lives...... He is still Good.

Happy New Year to you and yours :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Water Only :)

Today I am committing to drinking only water.

This is going to be a toughy.

Dr, Pepper, I will miss you. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Did It!

For the first time in I don't know how long, I made myself a healthy home-cooked lunch :)

For me, it was a big first step to a healthier "me."

Here's some photos of my Bojito Chicken Salad:

This is all the ingredients, minus the chicken, in a pan that I left to simmer for about 30 minutes.

You are supposed to cook this in a Crock-Pot, but ours was unavailable. So, I improvised :) It turned out okay. I learned that I will need to adjust the temperatures for next time, though.

Completed the meal with fresh, organic spinach and chopped Roma tomatoes :)
Oh, and a little but of Caesar dressing too. #nomnom

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Goals? What Goals....?

Today was a gloomy day in Lynchburg, VA.

I got TONS done.

How much of it towards my weight loss and health goals?

I don't want to talk about it -_-

I did go grocery shopping and bought tons of healthy food that I am going to eat.... tomorrow.

I can't seem to figure out if if food is that much of an issue, or if I'm lazier than I think.

I dunno.

Rain: Demotivating and Gloomy

I will do my best not to be to whiny on this post- mostly because I hate how I sound when I whine, but also because I have so many things to be thankful for that it doesn't make any sense to whine too much about the weather.


It's been rainy all day.

I normally wouldn't care. In fact, I normally would be happy to turn my brand-new-for-Christmas electric blanket on high and snuggle in bed with my kitten and a movie on Netflix.


I had a HUGE list of things to do today. Those things included getting food for the week, going to the Post Office and mailing my "between Christmas and New Year" cards, going to the pet store and getting my Phone worked on. I hit every puddle in every parking lot too.... lol.

What did I want to be doing? What I'm doing now. Electric blanket + kitten + bed + Netflix (which will be happening in a minute).

Sitting here decompressing from my day is allowing me to be so thankful for what I have and where I am.

Who am I that I matter enough for God to call me to a completely different state to serve Him?

Who am I that He would think for one second on how to provide for me?

Who am I that He offers even the smallest amount of grace for all the mistakes I've made and people I've let down and sin I've wound up in.

Who am I?

I just confessed to a friend that I miss the structure and business of my old 9-5 life. I miss being forced to get out of bed in the morning (gasp! I know!), and rushing to work, and working hard all day and then coming home exhausted and ready to wind down. I miss that.

But, that is obviously not what God has for me in this season. Rent is paid through the beginning of Feb, so I'm good there. God provided enough money to support me otherwise, so there's just no sense of urgency in my life.

I want urgency.

I want demand and responsibility.

Is that so bad?
Maybe God wants me to be urgent about different things. Maybe He wants me to feel challenged in ways that can't be defined by "living the American Dream."

I feel that God is pressing on my heart to ask Him each day what He wants me to be urgent about.

So, tonight, I am posting a reminder on my bathroom mirror (where else would I put it?? :P) that says, "Ask God what He wants you to be urgent about TODAY."

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Starting fresh

When is it time to "start fresh?" Most people do it after the New Year, or a break up, or after some monumental occurrence.

I am starting fresh tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that.

Tomorrow is a new day. Basically, that means that I will not be holding today's mistakes against myself tomorrow, letting it ruin my chances of bettering myself.

My small pledges for tomorrow:

1. Go for a walk around the apartment complex.
2. Cook THIS :) ....and add it to a pile of spinach and tomatoes.
3. Post one motivational quote/picture.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Okay, so I have found that not having a job yet has definitely challenged me with both eating and exercise. Why?

1. I have been trying to eat extremely cheaply. Like, college student cheap. That means sodium and processed foods galore! Mac and cheese tastes amazing to me, even after all these years... but something's gotta give!

How can people eat healthy foods on a budget? I bet there's a website for that! (Will be updating this on a later post :P)

2. I have been trying to be creative in earning money. I have been making these uber-cool scarves and selling them (yay for extra money!)... but this requires me sitting still for 1-1.5 hours per scarf. Which is fine, but once I'm in the zone, I may be busting out 2-3 at a time. By the time that is done, I can find a long list of reasons why I don't really need to get up and do anything else.

Solution??? Maybe taking a break in between scarves to go for a brisk walk around the apartments? That seems like a fair trade. It actually would get my blood flowing more and probably help me stay alert to.... make more scarves!

Now, to just put this into action.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Busy, Busy Bumblebee (Fun-Time Photo Dump 2)

I am not a "sit around and wait for an opportunity" person. I have now been without a job for 21 days. Some would consider this mini-vacation amazing. I did too.... for the first week. I hiked, I drove around town, I saw sites. Then, I realized... this is life. I need to do something. I am a Martha. I "Mary-ed" around for a bit, and then felt the pull to be productive. The blog that follows documents how I have kept myself busy the past few weeks that I have been here in VA.

I've been crafty:

These are scarves I made from old t-shirts :)
I posted them on my Facebook, and people liked them enough that I've sold 7 of them so far.

Watercolored pages of a book + old Holiday bags and paper = Holiday postcards :)

These are postcards that I made to send to people all over North America (and one in The Holy Land!) I love hand-making presents, because it seems more personal and a little piece of me goes with it :)

In lieu of my cat still being in OH (sob!!), I have been bonding with my roommate's cats. They are ever-so funny :)

Meet: Minion and Little Bit. They are cute, cuddly, and hilarious!!

They like to hide: in my shower, under the rug, in my closet. know... sayin' "O, hai! Be mine fren?"

Observing Christmas :)

I was pleasantly surprised to see these sights on the campus of Liberty University :)
It made me long for Easton Town Centre's decor.


Okay, so I feel like this was a successful photo dump :)

I hope you feel updated as well as visually stimulated!! :D

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Warning: Emotional Post

You were warned :)

So, the point of this blog is not to just post the good and joyful. I think it is also important to be honest about the more ugly and frustrating things that have been going on as well.

If you want only sunshine and glitter, best not continue...


Maybe it's because it's almost 4 am.

Maybe it's because I have been working hard to be creative and earn some extra money and have been staying up late since I moved here.

No matter the reason, I am crying. I miss my family. I miss my friends in Ohio. I miss the fact that I know that it feels like Christmas up there, while it's 50 degrees down here. I know, I know.... I'm coming home in two days, so I should probably just simmer down, drink a glass of water and go to bed.

But, one of the projects I have been working on feverishly the past few days are a little "Christmas Cheer" from me to a few people in Ohio (and a few outside of Ohio). I made each postcard by hand, collaging, gluing, writing, and loving. I wanted each and every person to feel my love from however many miles away I am. Gifts to me are personal, and with these cards goes a little piece of me.

--------------------preview of postcards--------------------

I love recycling old things to make new ones :) These are made from leftover gift bags/wrapping paper and ribbon. See those triangles (that are supposed to be mountains)? Those are water-colored pages of a book I got a Goodwill :) I. Love. Art.

As I have been sitting here writing notes on each one, I've been trying to come up with a few sentences that communicate how much I care about people, how much I miss people, how much I want to just hug them forever. I'm writing these phrases, and smiley faces, and exclamation marks. It's slowly sinking in. I'm not on vacation. I moved. I'm gone. This is it.

And, yes, there is excitement with stepping out into what God has for me. There is joy in knowing that I am exactly where He wants me to be at exactly the right time (even if I don't quite know the specifics yet). But, there is also a certain type of longing for what is comfortable. When the dust settles and you look in the mirror and stare at your reflection and realize.... this is it. I moved. I'm gone.

I can trace the roads back to Ohio with my finger on a map. I can drive there in a weekend. But I cannot get in my Jeep and drive 30 minutes to my Grammy's house. Or 40 minutes to see my Mommy when I really need her. And, there's no way I'm possibly going to run into someone I know at the Kroger down the street.... because I don't know anyone in this neighborhood yet! It's in those moments of realization that I see it. I see the truth that I'm gone. I moved. This is it.

I wrote a song a few months ago about my journey back to where God and I left off:

When I walked away five years ago,
I thought I could live life all on my own.
I thought I could make my own dreams come true,
On a twisted path far from You.

But the road was dark and frightening
And I didn't know which way to turn.
I lost the freedom that I once had
As I became prisoner to my own sin.

In the distance I hear You calling...

My darling girl, I have more for you-
More than you could know.
I could bless you endlessly,
If you would just come back home.
So I took a deep breath,
And I took my first step
Towards living in freedom again.
I reached out to my Savior
As He reached out His hand.

The comfort here in the truth that God continually shows me is that freedom, while amazing, is not without pain. Ripping a band-aid off a healing wound lets it breathe, but boy does it still hurt! I am where I need to be. I am where God told me to go. But going somewhere meant leaving things (and people) behind.

I will now be going to sleep, as it is 4:17am, and it is definitely too late to be thinking about anything else rationally :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Are You A Rhinoceros?

No, I'm not asking if you think you're fat. Or tough on the outside and soft on the inside. Or even if you have blind rage and run at anything.....or are those bulls?

Anyways, I'm asking if you think like a rhino. Don't know? Let me explain.

You see, in addition to being strong and powerful, rhinos are pretty good runners. Although they can be around 1.5 - 2 tons, they also can run around 25 miles per hour. (Thank you wikipedia for the information) That makes me feel slow. What does this have to do with how they think?

Welp, rhinos can't see past around 30 feet in front of them. If I couldn't see but 30 feet in front of me, you would see me walking slow, being careful, trying to assess what's in front of me. But they don't, you see. They charge. Full speed ahead. They run as fast as they can towards a specific thing- without being able to see anything except what is directly in front of them.

So, I ask again: Are you a rhinoceros? Do you listen to the Lord and.......not step, not walk, not prance, or even jog..... but charge full speed ahead towards what He has for you? Do you do this even if you don't know exactly where you are going to end up?

I guarantee that when a rhino is running at 25 mph, his destination is not 30 feet away. He is aiming for something farther- something that he can't quite see, but he knows it's there.

If you are not a rhino, that is okay. You can be. What do you need to do? Simple.... but not easy.

Listen......step..... and do.

Listen for His voice. Be still before Him so that you know it's Him speaking and not just you wanting Him to tell you something. Test what He is saying by asking Him for confirmation. Once you have that confirmation....

Step out in faith. That first step is always the hardest. Believe me, I know. I did it. And, I do it everyday. That first step is crucial. It's as important as getting baptized as a new believer. It's physically saying "Yes" to His calling. It can look different. For me, it meant telling my family and close friends that I was moving. I knew with that, there was accountability. That was scary. It will be scary. And thrilling. And joyous. And encouraging to those around you. So do it. Once you take a step....

Do what He is telling you to do. If He hasn't told you anything specific, then go back to the basics. Read the Bible. What does it tell us to do? To love. To encourage. To "[as you are going], make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

So listen to what He is saying, step out, and do it! And don't be a patsy about it! Be a rhino. Run as fast as you can toward His will, and I guarantee that you will experience inexplainable joy from the wind blowing through you hair and the mileage you will get on your car and the lives you will bless.... but most of all, think of what it means to Him when His children say "yes."

Be a rhino.

Do it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Living + Laughing + Loving

Unrelated to anything else that happened the past few days, I am going to start off with a cute/funny/hilarious/made-me-giggle picture:

Source: via Mahnoor on Pinterest

Get it? LOL!

K, so back to the events at hand: I woke up to a Facebook message from my friend, Mike, saying this:

"Ok guys, looks like I'm going to be sworn in at 1:45 today at the circuit court clerks office. (On the side about 2/3 of the way up Monument Terrace) If you're free, please come be there for it."

I had no idea what he was being sworn in to, but seeing as the location was a governmental office, I figured this was legit.

Proud moment :) But, I wondered what would happen if he said, "I don't."

What I found out later: The cool story behind this is that there were two write-in options to elect on the board of Soil and Water Conservation. Mike's friend thought to himself, "I should write-in Mike." So he did. Then, he told Mike and Mike spread the word via Facebook and voila: He was elected. Random, but pretty sweet. It was a cool moment to witness.

P.S. He said "I do" of course.

Weird things I saw while downtown:

1. There was a kid talking on his phone while skateboarding down the street. I mean, seriously. I skateboarded. Once. It is considered an extreme sport. Why make it more dangerous by talking on the phone?

2. A car turned to drive down 9th St. Then, he changed his mind and went backwards up the street. Then, he changed his mind again (at this time, I decided it was officially a woman) and proceeded to drive back down the street. I can understand being indecisive about an outfit, but driving requires complete commitment to your decisions.

3. There was this crazy chick laying on the sidewalk just to get a better angle for a picture. How gross! Doesn't she know that germs and bacteria are all over the floor? Yuck!

Oh wait. That was me. But look at the picture:

The focus could've been better, but I just like the angle :) It was SO worth getting the germs all over myself.

Creepy alleyways and stairwells:

Photo 1: Cree-py! Photo 2: If a construction cone didn't make it, I probably won't either. -_--------------------

I have been determined to make friends as soon as possible here in Lynchburg. I am not sure how long God is going to have me here in VA (or on earth, for that matter!!), so I have been forcing myself to be social. This includes, but is not limited to:

1. Having conversations with complete strangers out in public.
2. Going to any (and most) events/parties/bible studies/lunches that I am invited to, as long as I am free- which I am most of the time.
3. Reaching out to people to serve them in anyways that they may need.
4. Getting to know local businesses.

Highlights from last night's Christmas party with some women from church.
We made Christmas-themed hats as a team and then were judged for a team prize. Some of the descriptions of the hats by the judges:
"Christmas Throw-Up," "Christmas Fireworks," "Southern Belle Christmas," and my table's creation was called "Christmas Bling." Fun times :)

P.S. The Grinch, Santa, and one of the Wise Men visited us too and gave us sugary yummies :)

Last but not least, here is a lesson on toe socks.

Every year, my mother gets me some sort of toe sock for Christmas. These beauties were from last year.

This is what my left shoe revealed! What?!?

I thought I felt discomfort, but I ignored it. Little did I know, my baby toe was shacking up with his neighbor! Not cool.

Anyways, that is all for now. Tomorrow is Wednesday, which means I have another Christmas party to go to! I need to go to the thrift store to make my "Dirty Santa" gift extra-memorable :) muahahahahah!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Don't Complain. Declare Who I AM."

So, life has been somewhat of a vacation the past 4 days. There are things that I would love to be doing:

1. Moving in to my new apartment
2. Working
3. Playing with my cat
4. Fast forward through all the seeking and just be plugged in

But... God made it abundantly clear when I was laying (not quite asleep not quite awake) three nights ago. He told me not to complain. Now, keep in mind I was not complaining at the time, so I'm pretty sure this was God being all, "I'm Omniscient" on me. He knows that I will be discouraged at some point and wallow in the negative. So, He told me instead to "Declare who [He is]."

So, instead... I have been trying to just experience Lynchburg. I been going out in the fresh air every day: hiking, smiling, meeting new people (today I met Victor and Mike!), taking LOTS of pictures, being creative with the photos later, praying, blogging, etc.

Here is what I know about God:

1. He is good.
2. He sees things in me that I cannot even begin to see.
3. He knows exactly what He has for me here (even though it's hard for me to believe there is someone who knows more than me :P). This statement is so much more important than me focusing on the fact that I have no idea.
4. He is so creative. Mountains are amazing!! I love climbing to the top of one and just marveling at how many more there are and how tiny I am.

It reminds me of this:

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
When I look out at the billowing mountains and realize how small I am in comparison, I am so friggin humbled. Who am I in all of creation that God took the time to plan my hair color, my freckles, my laugh (that loud noise that embarrasses me sometimes- He made that!!)? I am so small and the earth is so big and so full of people and God is so much bigger than that. And He loves me and has a plan for me and in my quietest moments- He is there. He touches my trembling heart when I am scared or lonely and He puts his hand on my shoulder when I need comfort and He speaks so directly to me when I need His peace. But, who am I?
That is why I will never tired of climbing every mountain I can- so I can belt out a few lines of the "Sound of Music" Julie Andrews and marvel in God's creation.
Tomorrow? I think I'm going to climb a mountain and draw what I see.
Just to tide you over, here are a few photos from today:

Walking Around Town...

I got new shoes two days ago. That definitely made walking for an hour and a half yesterday and two hours today more enjoyable.

These are my new kicks :)

I found myself being more and more tired the past few days. This could be due to me trekking around the city, using muscles that I haven't in a while or to a change in diet, or sleep schedule. But I'm not too worried about it. I'm exercising!!

Celebrate the small things, right?

Off to guzzle some water before bed :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lunch Date + New Shoes + A Walk In The Park

Today was a fun one :)

Started off with having lunch with my wonderful friend, Karen, whom I was close with when I lived here a while back. Love, love, love that woman!

Next, I was on a mission! I climbed up a mountain Wednesday while wearing my Chucks.

Not comfortable for a 1.5 hour hike!!

So, anyways... I went to Super Shoes to peruse their stock. With an amount of difficulty, I was able to find shoes that I liked in my size :) Here's a peek:

I like them! And they came in a wider width, so they are comfy on my boxy feet :)

The walk was great! I think I did about 2 miles, and saw some cute little puppies :) I did see something mildly alarming: a man running out of the woods passed me with a leash in his hands and no doggie :( I said a quick prayer for him- and hope everything is okay with he and his animal friend.

I did come across something I was not happy with: Dog Poop. I had a dog. I scooped/scraped/cleaned his poop when I took him out in public.

I did this so that people wouldn't have this happen:

Um, YUCK! I was NOT happy. I guess my shoes are broken-in now.

Here are a few highlights from the trip (made possible by Picasa 3):

***If you would like to learn how to put a Picasa slideshow on your blog, this is a great tutorial***

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holy Crap!

I still haven't decided if I want to post numbers on here... But it is a blog, and to me, a blog is a way to document specific things.

Okay, here it goes.

57.9: That is how many pounds I have gained since I started working at a job where I literally sat all day.

115: That is how many pounds I need to lose in order to be at a healthy weight.

1: That is how many times I have intentionally exercised since August. (And it was today)

1,345,283: That is how many different emotions I feel.

Okay, so enough with the numbers.

I have noticed clothes getting tighter. I even had to go up a pants size (and I still can't dry them in the dryer, or they won't fit!) I also feel shame when I see recent pictures of me.

So, now that I am here in Lynchburg without a job, surrounded by mountains, I am setting some basic doable goals.

1. Hike as much as possible- why not?!? It's free entertainment, fun, and a great way to burn calories.
2. Take a cup of water with me to bed- I am terrible at remembering to drink water throughout the day. So much so that I get headaches from dehydration. If I make it a rule to drink at least on big one before bed, I'm doing better than usual.
3. Participate in Spark People- This is a great community of people that have the same goals as me: get healthier. I used to be so involved. Now? Not so much.

I'm going to go ahead and put up the dreaded "Before" picture too, with my actual weight. It won't stay that way for long. And besides, seeing it will motivate me to make changes!!!

Two "Before" Pics. Not happy about how I'm looking right now. :(