Archive for the faith is action Category

naked.

Posted in bff, faith is action, family, i love my life, magic, the glass is half FULL, wifey on September 16, 2009 by drbolte

at moments, the degree to which i am grateful for my life overwhelms me, in wave upon wave of memory and realization of how many dreams have come true.

some nights, when i have a bad dream usually relating to something bad happening to the bff, i roll over and squeeze him, over and over, as if to try to convince myself that nothing will ever happen.  the depth of how much i love and depend on him is most clear to me then.

in some ways, marriage has really surprised me.  i have been surprised by how comfortable i am being my whole self in my marriage, being unafraid of who i am in every way.  it don’t feel flawless, perfect, or like i’ve achieved all that i want to be.  some days, as i face them, frighten me with their intensity and the responsibility that comes with them.  the future still remains murky and unclear to me.  we live lease term to lease term, week to week, while planning for eternity.  it’s a strange place to be.

but the things that i thought that i would be worried about or uncomfortable about are not even a concern.  what i thought would make me feel exposed makes me feel secure. what i thought would frighten me makes me strong.

the only walls in our home are the ones that surround our love.

that realization, i think, fills me with the greatest joy.

resolution.

Posted in c, etcetera, faith is action, i am not a gym rat, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, the glass is half FULL, the joys of living in Florida on September 9, 2009 by drbolte

i mentioned in passing a few posts ago that i hadn’t worked out since before the wedding. by this i mean that i haven’t been to the gym, put on a jillian michaels sadistic dvd, or otherwise done a formal exercise activity. this, however, doesn’t mean i haven’t spent time doing things that require exertion, like moving things around and walking around theme parks and digging in my small but disgustingly in need of tlc garden plot and walking across campus and you get the idea.

my problem is really time. i just didn’t have the time, or so it seemed, to truck to the gym (which is now much farther away than it once was, across gville downtown/campus traffic), work out for an hour, come home, shower, and move on with my day. i just don’t have those kinds of windows.

so i think i thought that i was just going to have to stop working out, though in the back of my mind, some part of me was screaming both in warning and in horror.

it sounded, faint though clear, a little something like this: WE HAVE NOT WORKED THIS HARD FOR YOU TO GIVE UP RIGHT NOW! THERE’S ALWAYS TIME FOR WORKING OUT! MAKE IT WORK, WOMAN! MAKE IT WORK!

you see how that might be a bit difficult to ignore, even in its faintness.

as the weeks progressed and the stress continued to build and the realities of life hit me, as they hit everyone, i realized that i wasn’t sleeping well, i wasn’t eating well, and i wasn’t feeling as regularly sassy as i normally do.

the sassy was sort of…sporadic.

i knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was because i wasn’t moving.

moving is an incredible stress reliever. it’s amazing to me what 20 minutes of giving my all to  something does not only for my sleep patterns and the way my body works but for my feeling about myself. somehow, when i see that i can in fact run for blocks at a time or i can stay at the jillian michaels workout o’ pain for the full 20 minutes, i feel like i can conquer anything.

(that’s nice to remember when i wonder, every day, if i can manage the daily mountain that faces me. which is probably a grain of sand, to quote carrie underwood, but nevertheless seems like everest sometimes.)

today, despite the fact that i really have oodles to grade and heaps to do, i decided that it was a beautiful sunny day. it’s hot but not death hot. it’s the kind of hot you want to go hang out in.  it’s an inviting kind of sunshiny florida day that makes you want to strap on an ipod and some slightly worn out sneakers and take on your neighborhood for a good game of “how long can i run before i die?”

that’s what i did today.

i tried out a pretty short loop in my neighborhood, one with well-traveled roads and as little ghetto as possible.  it was fantastic. i mapped it. it was 1.5 miles–decent, i suppose. it took me about 20 minutes, which isn’t great but isn’t horrible either.  i gave myself permission to walk as fast as i wanted and run as slow as i needed.

i came away knowing the following:

  • no matter what happens, i have to exercise. if it means that i need to wake up earlier, i need to do it.  i need to do it for me. i need to do it for my job. i need to do it for my family. a better me is a better wife, a better teacher, a better scholar, a better friend.
  • i need to remember that taking care of me is not selfish. it’s essential.
  • i need a longer route. because i’m better than i thought i was at this whole running/walking combo.
  • i liked it. a lot.
  • running slow is not a bad thing. in fact, i am beginning to think that it’s the only way i’ll be able to build up my endurance.
  • my neighborhood is actually fairly conducive to running.  i wasn’t the least bit nervous, scared, or inclined to trip.
  • i need a new ipod holder. the bra isn’t really working well.

this was a very productive day, and i’m proud of myself. even if it’s only 20 minutes a few days a week (but let’s get real: exercise is like a drug. i’ll want more soon enough.), i will find time to take care of me.

it’s going to pay off.  i know it.  here’s hoping i can stick with it.

home.

Posted in bff, domestic goddess, etcetera, faith is action, ghetto life, i love my life, Life, magic, superheckyes, the engaged life on August 3, 2009 by drbolte

when we saw the apartment for the first time, it was only for about 10 minutes–long enough to tour a 500 some-odd square foot apartment and to briefly talk to the tenant about utilities and such.

for the most part, it was a drive-thru tour, but it didn’t matter.

the minute we walked into it, we knew it was the one. it had an incredible vibe to us.  the bff and i both knew it–we just looked at each other and communicated, as we so often do, without speaking that this was the place.

that was the only time we saw it.  being occupied, as it was, there was no real chance to go back, take measurements, make plans. the mental picture was all we had, and even that was somewhat hazy.

or so i thought.

i drove by a couple of times in the latter part of last week. the place was empty by thursday, and so on friday i drove by again, looking in the windows, noticing that the outdoors looks sad and needs some tlc.  i thought the living room looked bigger than i imagined it. in general, i just kept trying to see if the snapshot in my mind was true of reality.

when we arrived on saturday, after what can only be described as a miraculous weekend of moving*, and opened the door to our first apartment, the same vibe was there.  the spirit that’s here is so amazing.  i don’t think i’ve ever felt anything like it.

i’ve moved several times. i’ve lived in lots of different apartments, between moving with mom before she bought the house and moving during my very long college career.  usually, it takes time to feel at home. usually, you have to grow into a place.

that is not the case here.

i’ve never felt so absolutely suited to a place, and like the place is absolutely suited to us.  everything fits.  it fits us. our things fit into it.  we love it. completely.

and i think i love it more because of its flaws.  it’s this lovely diamond in the rough.  the closets are fantastically huge and there are shelves for miles, but the metal bifold doors are a bit wonky and tempermental.  the kitchen has one million tall cabinets, but the stove is probably older than me and probably hasn’t seen a decent cleaning since i was in elementary school.  the living room is much bigger than i thought it was, but the deadbolt is seriously screwed up and there’s this strange spot near the door where i think the rain might leak in (see earlier comment about the deadbolt).  we have a mailbox that’s a real mailbox and a trash can that’s a real trash can and the beginnings of our very first home.

i am in love with this life. i am in love with this place. i am in love with this time, when i feel absolutely and one hundred percent the confirmation of the Spirit that the decisions we are making are right and true and when the pieces are falling into place in the most beautiful ways.

i’m not sure i ever really imagined what my life would be like as a married person.  yesterday, when i spent the whole day with the bff in our new house, cooking dinner, unpacking the kitchen (in order to cook said dinner), talking to my mom on the phone with him next to me, playing monopoly for hours, i realized that i really love it.

it’s nothing whatsoever like i would have expected.

it’s better.  so, so, so much better.

and i’m not even married yet.

*the two of us packed an entire van full of my stuff, got rid of truckfuls of stuff, and kept going for 8 hours straight…on friday. then we got up and did it all again–but kept going for probably 12 hours that day. and we didn’t fight, squabble, bicker, or get upset with each other once.

i swear.

the miracle of that isn’t that it’s unusual. it’s that it’s not.  we are the best team ever.

and that’s just the start of the miracles.  rain held off. things got done. keys were turned in on time.  keys were picked up on time. utility confirmations were gotten. in short, every worry that i had was eased, every problem solved, every minor glitch dealt with quickly and with cheerfulness.

i actually had a good time moving.  my feet STILL hurt and i am bruised like someone beat me with an ugly stick, but it was incredible. i am ridiculously grateful.

the incredible blessing of cluelessness.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action on July 21, 2009 by drbolte

i find that now, 18 days out, a blissful sense of euphoric idiocy has descended upon me.

i was counting time based on event milestones prior to this past weekend: first was the first shower in orlando, which marked the beginning of summer b and the chaos that i was sure to descend. (i wasn’t wrong.) then came my flight to NC for my bridal brunch there.  the last real pre-wedding festivity that i had on my bride radar was my gville shower and bachelorette party (all PG fun, i promise. well, there was a moment of pg-13ness, but that’s neither here nor there.  no salacious stories is my point.).

those things have come and gone and now i’m left sitting here, still with a large list of things to do (although, granted, it’s getting smaller) and no real motivation to do them.

know why?

i just don’t care that much anymore.

i have what i absolutely need, or i have lined up the things that i need.  the place will look good.  we’ll make it look good.  and honestly…if things go wrong, which i’m expecting, we’ll deal with it.  because you know what? i am a problem solver.

and i would much prefer to be very very busy with actual tasks to do than sitting around twiddling my thumbs and thinking about everything that will happen the next day. i’m not nervous. just EXCITED.

but what’s most important isn’t whether or not everyone else is happy or if the red and yellow lanterns hang by themselves or with white lights or if we have greenery where we are doing our ring exchange.

all that matters is that we are going to be married forever.  that’s all that matters.

so now i just go day by day. i have a few goals: keep up with my class, and maybe even work ahead. pack my house BEFORE it’s time to move (and find boxes in which to stuff all of my stuff). check off a few things here and there on my big long list of things to do.

but the stress? i have it.  most every day, the day is crazy busy.  right now i feel compelled to multitask–ordering the memory card my bridesmaid photographer needs because i’ve forgotten for something like two weeks and looking at my to-do list at the same time.  and very very soon i need to turn off gilmore girls and put away the blog and the facebook and the internet and read charles dickens as quickly as possible.

but overall i really have this ‘i don’t care’ sort of fog that has descended.  it’s lovely.

it’s a blessing. and i really appreciate it.

reaching.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action, family on July 15, 2009 by drbolte

there are moments very recently when the way i feel can only be described as the world hitting me from all sides.

(i know that i have been way angsty of late here, mainly because i don’t have time to blog all of the awesome that happens every day (although after friday, i will most definitely be recapping you on my THREE bridal showers…all of which were VERY different, i can assure you). )

people told me that things were going to be crazy. i thought they meant to-do list crazy (which is most certainly true).  i thought they meant getting things done crazy. i thought they meant being organized and deliberate and taking care of the small stuff.

i thought that, yes, it would be hard but that i have juggled crazy before and survived well.  i figured this would be the same.

this is nothing like the same.

i literally feel like the bff and i are in the middle of a storm.  every day, it seems, the stress descends, even on my mild mannered and adorably untouchable bff who rarely, if ever, cracks under pressure.  and it’s not just one thing, and it’s not just the wedding.  it’s everything.

school. work. wedding. moving.

but those are the to-do list things. i think the things that are hitting us where we live are the more intangible things.  feeling like what we do isn’t good enough. feeling the pressure to please certain people who, in all reality, might never be pleased–but still feeling pressured to do it.  finding a middle ground between what we want and what will make others happy. finding a way to do everything when we both feel absolutely and completely inadequate.  disappointments. frustrations.

last night, after what can only be described as a bad day for both of us, we talked for hours.  we talked about lots of things–things that we needed to talk about, things that we will continue to talk about, things that we want, the way we imagine our lives–and after a peaceful lull, i looked at him and quietly asked him why he thought things were so hard lately.

it’s not that we haven’t had hard before. i feel like, in some ways, the degree to which we have not had to fight with each other has been translated into fighting for our dreams externally. neither one of us is wimpy. neither one of us shies away from struggle.

but now? it just feels so much…harder.

the moment i asked it, i realized the answer. a quiet voice in my mind and in my heart told me why.

we are about to get married. for forever. we are about to create a family that will love the Lord and honor His commandments. we are about to promise to fight for each other and fight for our family come what may. we are about to promise to never look for an individual exit, but always look for the path we can walk together.

we are about to do something miraculous.

it’s no wonder the opposition has stepped up its assault.

all of the sudden, it became clear to me.  i suppose i expected the opposition to manifest itself in ways that i had predicted–i said as much, sheepishly, and the bff sort of laughed and said “oh yeah…because that’s always how it happens.” i was expecting it to be hard to fight certain temptations. i was expecting to feel bewildered by the amount of things to do. i was expecting to feel stress.

but i wasn’t expecting that stress to be coming from the areas that it’s coming from. and in those times, it’s hard for me to come up for air.  i begin to think, in my limited perspective, that struggling struggling struggling to get through every day with some measure of peace and some degree of accomplishment, to meet the expectations of my job and my relationship and myself, is the only way that life will ever be. sometimes, i begin to think that i’m not really getting anywhere. sometimes, i worry that i never will.

on the bad days, it feels like the weight of the world is holding me back.

it is the moments when i reach out, and find the bff, and he understands and he feels the same and for that brief moment, or for those few hours, the whole world lifts off of my shoulders.  it is in those moments when i feel the peace return, when i realize that all of those prayers that we’ve been praying about being prepared in every way for our lives together are being answered in our struggles. in those moments, i feel like i can fight another day and i commit to fighting well and struggling on and doing all i can to do all i can.

in those moments i can breathe.

often, they are preceded by true and honest difficulty. but in the face of incredible opposition and struggle, i will reach out for the hand of the man that i love and reach up for the hand of the God that i know knows me.

and we will walk through it together.

the hardest thing about 33 days left…

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action on July 6, 2009 by drbolte

…is leaving to go home every night.

I want to be married.

unfriend.

Posted in etcetera, facebook is the new crack, faith is action, huh?, Life, me, the internets on June 10, 2009 by drbolte

tired of the masses of people that i haven’t met/talked to/seen/heard from/corresponded with in ages and ages, and for whom i feel no real affection if i am to be truly honest, that populated my facebook friends list, i went on an unfriending spree last night.

but it really started with my  desire to unfriend, once and for all, my ex.

there’s no drama as there was the last time i unfriended him. i have just felt uncomfortable with the idea that, whenever he wants to, he can just pop back into my life via facebook. when that happens, it catches me off-guard and i feel glimmers of the girl i was circa fall 2007.

in case you’re not keeping track at home, i am REALLY not that girl anymore.

i didn’t like it and here’s the straight up truth: we weren’t going to be friends.

since the bff and i started dating, i had pretty much cut off all contact with the ex.  we had been, prior to the bff coming home, exchanging messages weekly. the ex is on a mission too, far far away in the far far east, and i was trying to be supportive and friend-like.  for a while, it was fine. we were friends, i suppose, in the way that we ever really were friends which by comparison with my other friendships remained strikingly shallow.  in parable metaphor, our friendship consisted of seeds sown in the heat of the day.  it worked, but only briefly.

once the bff came back and things started happening as they were meant to happen, thoughts of the ex quickly left my mind–friendship or whatever it was–and he became, as he was meant to be, a distant memory. except when he would pop back in and i would be jarred backward.  it felt wrong.  the bff doesn’t like him, doesn’t trust him, because of how things went down.  i think i probably understand better why things happened the way they happened, but i realized last night, as i considered whether or not to unfriend him, that we were really never going to be friends again–or perhaps it’s better to say that i didn’t ever want to be friends again.

for a while i thought that that was a character flaw of mine–to not be able to redefine the relationship once it changed. last night, i began to think that perhaps it is a strength to be able to see when something is done and to let go of it with grace.  i have always hated the part of me that held on too tight when something had clearly run its course. perhaps that part of me, like so many others of late, has changed.

i sent the ex a message, lest he think i was bitter, to explain my reason for unfriending him, to thank him for the blessing of his friendship so many moons ago, and to wish him all good things. i have been on the receiving end of unfriending of late and, if it is done without any real warning, it can be interpreted lots of ways. i really didn’t want that to happen.

i did know, though, that by doing so i was opening the door a crack. i erred on the side of kindness.

he replied tonight by sort of questioning my reasoning for unfriending him, seemingly halfheartedly wishing me good luck, and then telling me that he still wears the ring that i gave him (it was mine, it was a guy’s ring anyways, it was too big, he liked it, i told him he could have it, blah blah blah).

what do you do with that?

i’ll tell you what i did.

i deleted the message.

i recognized the guilt trip implicit in it (something i perhaps should have been expecting).

i let it get to me for a few minutes and then  i gave the bff the readers digest version of the whole thing and realized that this is exactly why i made the right decision.

i shrugged and moved on.

i feel inclined, right now, to move on from lots of things.  this one? i think this one was important.  far more than being about an ex, i think this one was about me recognizing that the choices i make for myself, as long as they are not intentionally harming others, are valid. i think this one was about stepping up and unapologetically claiming what i want.

this one was good.

bridal diaries: thick and thin.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, faith is action, me on June 8, 2009 by drbolte

i got sick yesterday, with what felt frighteningly like when i had a massive kidney stone/infection about three years ago. i would officially call that the sickest i have been in recent years. i can hardly think of a time when i was sicker, unless it was with the migraines i got in high school (probably a combination of hormones and the massive addiction i had to GIANT tubs of pepsi at lunch), one of which left me asleep on the floor of the bathroom.

yeah, i was that sick. and i’m really glad i have that memory still because, honestly, it puts a lot of things into perspective.

but the kidney infection/stone of yore was no better. i was SO sick, possibly because of a reaction to the antibiotic they gave me but possibly just because it was so horrible.

anyway.

i started feeling that stabbing/squeezing/horrible side pain again and i got scared. i had been ridiculously exhausted all day, and the pain hit me pretty fast, and all i could think of was being that sick and how i desperately didn’t want that. i don’t really know what it was, but i got a blessing and the pain is basically gone.  it’s very possible that it was a small kidney stone. felt like it.  but i have an assurance that it will not come back and that it’s nothing to worry about, which is exactly what i needed.

because i was scared. and all i thought during the three or so hours that i was suffering was that i was falling apart. i am about to get married and i am falling apart.

the bff was worried about me.  he’s so sweet. i love him so much, and i really didn’t want him to have to deal with a dilapidated bride.  when i realized that he was really worried–understandable, because i really was hurting pretty bad–i told him he would probably fall apart when i had a baby. he said he wouldn’t, because that pain is supposed to happen.

(i’m putting it out there, right now. i don’t think he’ll handle me being in that kind of pain well. we’ll see…)

but as the night went on and i realized that the bff has seen me at my worst–bad attitude, illness, sadness–i understand better what it means to be together forever.  i worry, i guess, sometimes that seeing me at my worst will somehow make him love me less.  i think that’s natural, especially for someone whose biggest fear is that she’ll be a bad wife.  but i’m realizing that it is in those moments when i am broken down, when i need him most, that our love grows the most.

it’s a blessing for sure, and i’m grateful for it.  i’m grateful for the times when i’m weak so that it can make everything else stronger.  i don’t like being weak and i don’t like being sick.

but i like the lessons it teaches me.

coming up for air.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, disney princesses got nothin' on me, dissertation, drama drama drama, etcetera, faith is action, i love my life, magic, me on June 5, 2009 by drbolte

hi all.

thanks for letting me vent in the last post. thanks to those of you who chimed in with responses.  i’m sure it will all get done and i am sure that i will get better at asking for help. in the meantime, though, i came up with a plan that is already helping me.

a. stop worrying about the dissertation.

that’s right. i’m officially calling it.  dissertation is going on real hold (not that actual hold that it’s been on while i fret and worry and feel guilt-infused over not doing it) until after the wedding. i just don’t have time, even if i used every available moment of my spare time, and even if i did, i am too frazzled to do much of substance.  so it’s on hold.

and, as my wise mama said, if we are prioritizing tasks based on their due date, that one’s last anyways.

she’s brilliant, my mom.

b. read wedding blogs every day. specifically, in my days of stress, weddingbee is keeping me sane. i skim it over, revel in the bridalness, and am suddenly grateful that i am doing things the way i am doing them.

and it usually inspires me to start thinking/planning things that i need to be thinking/planning.

c. be kind to myself. or, in the wise words of a friend of mine, create small manageable goals.

yesterday, that was to workout hard and to straighten my room.  i did it. i also tried to make homemade donuts, which i realized i have neither the patience nor the oil stores to do effectively. therefore, yesterday was a success.

i also painted my toenails. crappily, but they’re painted.

in the new vein of being kind to myself, i’m just going to let them be crappily painted until i have the wherewithal or the time to do it again.  and lighting. i clearly need better lighting.

d. keep breaking the chain.

did i tell you about our paper chain?  i can’t remember, so i’m telling you anyway. if you’ve already heard this, could you, i don’t know, talk amongst yourselves for a moment?

we created a paper chain, the bff and i, to count down to our wedding. you know, in case the countdown on my facebook page and on my blog wasn’t enough (which it’s not).  we wanted some kind of tactile way that we could do it.

it makes the days when it seems like it will NEVER get here go by faster.

especially as we are getting perilously near the two month loop. whoo!

e. find things like this...

and just know that, come what may, my wedding is going to be amazing. and very much me.

grace in a million little things.

Posted in bff, dissertation, etcetera, faith is action, Life, me, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, will work for food on May 20, 2009 by drbolte

for a while there, at the beginning of the year, a bunch of bloggers were doing this thing called grace in 365, where they listed five things about their day that made them feel as though they had been blessed. it was a fantastic idea, and one that i remembered often during that time and thought about doing myself.

i am reminded of it as i try to encapsulate what’s been happening in my life lately.

i thought that i would talk about the  daunting nature of my training for a new job. i’ve mentioned it a few times, mainly in passing about how busy i am, but not in any real detail. i still don’t want to speak of it in detail, because i don’t think it’s appropriate, but it’s the second of three stages of interviewing to see if i can hack it as an online instructor.  i like the training. it challenges me in a different way than every other challenge that i have in my life right now, and i like that very much. i’m already online way too much, so at least now i feel like i’m being productive.

and this job is one hundred percent a blessing from God.

i’m a little more than halfway through the second stage, and as i began the second two-week training, i found myself staring at the syllabus, feeling paralyzed almost by nervousness. i don’t know why. yes, there is more to do in this two-week training. yes, i am trying to balance potential out-of-town plans and invitations and all of that with this. yes, i had gotten a bit tired at the end of the last training.

but why would i be so daunted?

i am tired. straight up, lots of things in my life make me tired. life, right now, is a struggle. it’s not bad.  i am in no way depressed. but job searching, and worrying about that, and planning the wedding, and thinking about that a lot, and working on training, and hoping that i’m doing enough for that to get the job, and interviewing for more jobs, and praying fervently that i will get it, and thinking about how i’m not doing my dissertation at all, and wondering if it will even be possible to do everything that i had hoped to do this month–it’s all just a lot.

i think i kind of have a right to be tired.

but as i was walking back to my car from work, in the rain, i realized that despite all of these things, i keep moving on. i keep making progress. sometimes leaps and bounds of progress. and it’s an extraordinary gift. the gifts have been piling up of late.  here are just a few:

last night i didn’t want to go to institute. i was tired. it was rainy and cold and the thing i thought i wanted most was to curl up on the couch and wile away some hours doing nothing but cuddling.  but thing that i needed most was to go. and there i felt the Spirit and felt instructed and comforted and directed in ways that i needed.

i went to the store, shopped some serious sales, and got $175 worth of groceries for $100. the bagger lady said that she should go shopping with us because she was so impressed with the deals we got, one of which was HEAPS of pork chops for free (buy one tray, get two free).  as we were breaking them up into individual freezer pouches, we realized that not only were they much larger than i thought, but there were more in each pack than i thought. that means more meals for less money. that is a blessing during the very lean month before Summer B work starts. oh, how i hate the summer sometimes.

in the midst of these challenging times, i feel my faith growing. i have been wondering why the struggle is important for me–the job struggle, specifically, is what i mean, but i suppose the way that all of these major life events have come together at this time also contributes to the nature of the struggle that i feel every day to keep on top of things–and now i’m realizing that the struggle is the point. you’re shaking your head at this point, aren’t you? duh, drbolte, of course the struggle is the point. but sometimes, when you’re struggling, you think the point of the struggle is to get where you want to go. sometimes you think that the reasons that the answers haven’t come or the reason why things are challenging is because maybe you’re not putting in your best effort or maybe you haven’t found the key to all mythologies yet (and, uhm, if you get that reference, i’ll give you a cookie).

i’m realizing, again, probably for the fortieth time at least, that this struggling? is where the lessons are.  i approach things that are hard now with a sense of determination, an internal fierceness that is grounded in the idea that i will do whatever i need to do, whatever He wishes me to do, in order to keep the Spirit with me, in order to stay close to the Lord.

that determination is probably the greatest gift. because in the moments when i don’t know what to do? like when i’m looking at a syllabus and don’t know if i can muster the energy to do it?

i dig deep. and it’s there.  i just decide that the best way to get through it is to GET THROUGH IT and i dive in.

and the RWC is quiet and i manage to get all of my reading done and my assignments and participation done and ta da…i can work on something else.

all of this is surrounded and wrapped up in the most amazing fact that, in all this struggling, the bff and i are growing closer. we struggle together. i can’t even do justice to how much that means to me, that our love is growing and the pressures on us are just teaching us that we are absolutely essential to each other.

in a million little things, and in one or two huge ones, i am being shown that the struggle is the prize.

it’s the struggle where the grace truly lives.

that’s what keeps me going.