Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year, A New Change

Dear Friends,

     I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful, blessing-filled New Year! I hope you all have some great plans, a great evening, a great year.

     The New Year is marked by most of us making New Year's Resolutions. I, like many others, tend to want to make about 1500 and seldom keep many of them. I think this year I will make a list of all the ones I'd like to make and narrow it down.

     But, apart from Resolutions, the New Year can bring some positive changes that are not necessarily "resolutions." With that, I'd like to announce a revision of my blog. I will now be hosting it through WordPress, which I believe has more beneficial features than for me at this time.

     You will still find me at, however, what this means for you is that if you are currently following my blog through Google, you will have to resubscribe on my new website. The easiest way to do it is through the email subscription option, on the top righthand side of the site. I will be looking for other options as well to make it as easy as pie!

     I have truly enjoyed sharing my life, my thoughts, and my lessons with you over the course of this year. Many of you have followed me the entire length of this year-long journey which has included many joys and miracles, though some hard days too. All in all, it has been a record breaking year, and I truly thank every single person who has followed me and supported me on this ride. Thank you to every single person who has sent me encouraging feedback about my posts. I am beyond touched and grateful that my words have impacted you in some way - that is one of the greatest gifts to me and always my goal when I write.

      I truly hope you will continue to walk with me on this journey, which will continue to be record-breaking this year, as I launch my business, Ink Box, LLC.

      I hope this year has been just as good to you, and I would love to hear about it! Feel free to continue sending feedback. I love reading your comments and emails!

      A Happy New Year to you and yours! I love you guys :)

      Don't forget to visit me at the same address,, starting tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Excess

For Christmas, I received my first Beth Moore Bible study. I was ecstatic. I've been wanting to do one for months - ever since I found out how good they are.

As I sat down to begin, I started by journaling a prayer. Completely unrelated thoughts started pouring through my mind. They went a little like this (taken from my journal):

"Our society tells us to focus on us and our happiness, our comfort, our contentment. Look at our blog posts, our businesses, our hobbies - they're all about the things we love, the things we enjoy... even I have been obsessed with those things. When I don't have them, I crave them desperately. It's almost like my soul dies. I go crazy, it pains me. I mean, heck. Aside from it being Your will, I moved to Colorado because of the spiritual connection and comfort I get from the mountains. I moved 2,000 miles away from home!

The minute something disrupts our comfort, we cry out. I even hold onto certain desires because...I don't dare risk the possibility of not obtaining them. Of course, the possibility is always there, but I don't dare entertain the thoughts because a future without them is too dismal. When I think about my future, I always include the condition of making enough money to afford these comforts, because I have placed such a high priority on them.

(Living for our comfort)... is what everyone does. It's "The American Dream." Its why X (name withheld) buys a 65 inch TV when he's upset, and why the majority of Americans have credit card debt (myself included). It's why we all have to drive nice cars and live in big houses when there are people in our own country who are starving. And then we turn our eyes aways when we are asked to give money to the poor."

Ok, so I was on my "soap box" when I was journaling - but it's a valid point.

And I feel that way very strongly. As I was writing that, the idea came to me to "give away the excess." 
Not to give away so much that you can't pay your mortgage or feed your family.... but give away the excess. Give away the extra that you would spend on going to a movie, going out to eat, or buying a 50th sweater. Now, I don't own close to 50 sweaters, so please forgive me if I buy one more. I'm not suggesting anyone give away so much so as to withhold from themselves the provision God has blessed them with for the purpose of provision. What I'm suggesting is that we give away the excess.

Because, hey - do you know what America is filled with? Excess. And even those of us living from paycheck to paycheck and classified as middle class have more than some people will ever see in a lifetime. And we are still filthy rich compared to the millions living in Third World countries. 

So, do you remember in the previous post when I said I had an idea for a nonprofit ministry brewing? This is it. Because I firmly believe that this needs to be a movement (if it's not already - maybe I'm not aware of somebody else trying to do the same thing, which is altogether possible).

Have you ever read the book "Crazy Love"? This kind of builds on that concept. Have you read the book "Radical"?  It's going to be my next book when I finish Love and War, but I think it's the same kind of concept. When you think about the the way Americans live, the standards of American society - consistently giving away the excess would truly be radical.

So this is it - my first of what I hope to be a continuous call to Give Away The Excess.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting Down to Business

As the new year quickly comes upon us, I am resuming preparations to embark on a grand adventure starting in 2011 - launching my freelancing writing and consulting business, Ink Box, LLC.

I am super excited for this, as I have been wanting to launch my own business for three years now. I am an entrepreneur at heart - even dreaming up new businesses as I write this ;) There's an idea for a new ministry brewing in my mind as well these days! But more about that later.

Even though this is the fulfillment of a dream, I of course have the typical doubts any new entrepreneur would have. I worry about how I'm going to take a daytime meeting while I'm still moonlighting, how I'm going to drive the client relationship once someone wants to work with me, how I'm going to manage my time in order to stay on top of everything, and most importantly - what am I going to wear to networking events?

I am sure these are things many entrepreneurs worry about. I am sure I'm not alone in this. This is not a singular experience. And YOU can be sure that I'll be freely blogging about my experiences here on

Get ready to learn about the entrepreneurial experience from a first hand point of view!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to the Schedule!

Hey ya'll!

I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas possible. Mine was quite fantastic. It was the first family Christmas I've had in 3 years, even if it wasn't my family by blood. Ever since my parents started going through rough times, I developed the habit of adopting families everywhere I go. It started with a family named the Austins in Virginia, and continues today with the Starkeys, the Aukers, the Semroskas.... :) I truly adore every family and every "parent" that has gone out of their way to make me feel like their own!

But, that's a tangent ;)

Today we continue our exploration of "Love and War," by John and Stasi Eldredge. I haven't listened to much lately, because I took a break to enjoy Christmas music instead. I love Christmas music. It just has a way of feeling so much more magical than regular music... and not just because it coincides with lights shining everywhere and snow on the ground. Well, snow on the ground for the East Coast, maybe. Denver has yet to see any of that =p

Another tangent!

The latest ingredient in the recipe for marital success that John and Stasi Eldredge have concocted through experience and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit is a shared adventure. This is a term they use a lot. They believe that it is a part of men and women's DNA - the desire for a shared adventure. They claim that if a husband and wife don't have a shared sense of purpose, a shared mission - something they are working towards together OUTSIDE of raising children and making a happy home, then their marital relationship will suffer.

I find myself agreeing with this. The couples that I have seen partnering together in an endeavor (especially ministry) are also, coincidentally, quite strong couples. Additionally, a man who shares major dreams and goals in common with me is something I strongly desire in a future husband. I want a husband who shares in my mission and my life passions. A husband and wife whose callings complement each other or match, I believe - and so do Stasi and John - have higher chances of marital success.

Just add it to the long and ever growing list of qualities I'm looking for in that lucky man ;) Ok, it's not truly "ever growing." But sometimes I feel that the core items that mean the most to me are quite a few! And I know that God's the only one who can put them all together in one package... that's why God's supposed to be the one to write your love story.

If you're not currently betrothed, and even if you are - I believe you can still let God write your love story into a happy ending.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer - er - Christmas.

It's almost Christmas!
This Christmas season has definitely been an interesting one for me so far. At first, I thought the main issue I would have is the "first Christmas post ex" stuff, but that hasn't been an issue at all. Instead, my health has been the issue at the forefront, and I definitely wasn't expecting that.
I've discussed my health struggles on my blog a bit in previous posts. Basically, I have been getting frequent bouts of fatigue, dizzyness, and have had a nonstop headache (that no med I have tried takes away). These have been affecting me for about two months now, but I am finally getting to my breaking point - the point at which I can't take it anymore and I'm ready to do something about it. I'm not quite sure why I wasn't before - probably because tiredness and headaches don't seem like anything major. Until they bother you for two months!
Currently, I am exploring two possible causes: food allergies, which my dietition roommate specializes in, and type 2 diabetes.
Last spring, I endured two months of chronic dizzyness. At that time, they tested my blood sugar, and it came back a "little high," but that's all they said. It turns out that fatigue and headaches are also symptoms of diabetes. The pieces didn't really click for me until this past Saturday night, when I was at a Christmas party. My roommates and I prayed over ourselves before going to the party, because we all have our food issues - things we're allergic to and shouldn't eat. But, those can be hard to manage at events like Christmas parties. So, we prayed, and I trusted God. Well, since I was trusting, I allowed myself to have some sugar. In retrospect, not such a great idea, but the experience did benefit me later. I had a big sugar cookie, and no more than 5 minutes after finishing it, became dizzy and felt like passing out. I went upstairs and climbed in one of the beds, and I could have slept there all night from that moment on. That's when the connection happened!
So, Christmas parties are dangerous territory for me this year! And that's definitely making this Christmas different. I have been a sugar addict my entire life, and it's one of the hardest things for me to give up. I love my sugar. But it clearly doesn't love me just as much anymore.
I have not enjoyed the decreased functionality I have had to suffer as a result of these food struggles. And speaking from experience, nonstop headaches are NOT conducive to happiness. I'm at the point where I beg God for relief, beg him for a good day. There are days the headache is better than others, but it's still there. This past Sunday, the day after the sugar cookie, my headache went (mostly) away, and I felt the best I had all week - probably two or three weeks. I consider it a miracle of God, because I had a lot of church related events that day that I didn't want to miss (I've missed about every third week of church this fall due to my health). Monday went right back to the same old.
I am trying to modify my food habits and eat as healthfully as I can. I'm working with my dietician (roomie). I'm not perfect, but I'm improving. I'm starting to watch my total carbohydrate intake, since that is what diabetics need to monitor. I might be more in the practice of reading food labels than I ever have been before! And, I do have a doctor's appointment scheduled. However, I have something else that might conflict that day - so prayers that it wouldn't would be greatly appreciated.
I've heard and I've experienced that people don't really like listening to your food/health struggles all the time. I certainly hope I don't talk about it all the time. But the reality is that this is the "major event" in my life right now. I've never experienced long term health struggles before. I love Christmas, I am excited for Christmas, and this year will be wonderful. I've enjoyed all the Christmas parties, of which I've had many more this year than in previous years. But my current state of health has definitely made it harder. I would just love to feel good on Christmas and be able to eat whatever I want. It's Christmas!
Tonight I have another Christmas party that I will be carefully navigating, in terms of food and drinks. I can't withold from the good stuff entirely - this is Christmas and that's part of the enjoyment. If I did, I would only make myself more miserable, emotionally, than my health is already making me. But, I do plan on using caution.
I know I have eaten unhealthfully most of my life, and I look at this as at least a wake up call from God that I need to change my ways. I'm not sure what else God is trying to teach me - although I could list all the lessons one COULD get out of this type of experience, they might not be the ones God specifically has for me, though all probably very worthwhile.
I've had many people reach out to say they are praying for me, and I am so so appreciative. Thank you. It means a lot to me, because of how much this is a burden on me right now. But God has a purpose, and I believe that I will get to the bottom of the issue and start feeling better. Everything will be ok :)
Thanks again, guys. Sorry for the decreased bloggage over the last couple of weeks, but I plan to keep up as much as I can!