Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Self: Stolen

One month ago … my favorite car I’ve ever had was stolen.  It was the weirdest experience to walk out of a quick mall trip and not be able to find my car.  I’m not one who “loses” my car in a parking lot, but I thought I had lost my mind as I wondered that parking lot for 30 minutes thinking “I know I parked right here”.  

As I’ve been frustrated, mad, sad and a whole other range of emotions about it I began to realize, I feel like this was the ending of 2 years ago when I felt like my life was stolen out from under me.  (2012, 2013) At the end of the day it is just a car.  But, I’ve always said I would drive that car until the wheels fell off!  I had 140,000 miles of memories in that car and for the better part of two years have hauled my life from one location to another, traveling, working, living, visiting friends, seeing family and finally settling into one place again.  It’s taken me a long time to work through these 2 years and am just feeling like I am getting settled this Spring in my “new life” … moved, finally have all my stuff in one place and trying to adjust to living in a new location. 

 So, what is it about something tangible being stolen vs intangible?  The intangible cuts a lot deeper, takes longer to heal from and changes everything within you.   I couldn’t wait to get all my stuff in one place and quit living out of a suitcase and temporary living situations.  But, I worked, traveled, ate, did errands and lived with people day in and day out for these last 2 years, and I miss that community.  My new place doesn’t seem quite mine, there are things I love about it, but I don’t love it like I did my old place.  We are made to be in community and despite being a couple of the toughest years of my life; I was surrounded by community that I miss.

I’m in a new town, where I have best friends, but am also 30 miles from other best friends and what was familiar to me for 15 years.  There are conveniences I miss, they require more effort/scheduling now, effort I’m willing to make, but element of last minute and spontaneous, which I thrive on, isn’t as readily available.  It’s an adjustment, one I’m not quite settled into.  
There have also been changes in relationships and friendships.  Some that I never thought would be different are now very different due to time/distance.  I have made new friends at my new job and from life on the road that are the sweetest gift of these two years.  And, the friends who stand the test of time, no matter the distance, time apart or other life circumstances…we make effort to keep in touch, see each other when we can and for those people I am very grateful.  They have at times carried me through this season. 

I didn’t really realize the magnitude of adjustment. I moved, worked to unpack, started a new semester teaching new classes and went right into a busy season of Rodeo and then my car was stolen.  Sitting with an empty garage and trying to figure out what next, I felt like time stopped, and realization set in this is reality.  What does it look like for me!?  Why is there a struggle? 

I believe being aware of my weakness, asking for help in those times and realizing it can’t be done on my own has been the hardest.  Change isn’t typically difficult for me, in fact I usually embrace it.  Ultimately my faith has been stretched and my dependence on Jesus has been increased.  It doesn’t matter that my place doesn’t feel like home yet, or that my new car doesn’t feel like mine yet….at the end of the day things (both tangible and intangible where we falsely place security) are temporary.  They can be stolen at any time and the One who sustains us remains faithful. 

I can remember my Mom sending me a verse at the beginning of these 2 years…it has stuck with me, despite not thinking I could ever see the end as better, but ultimately coming to realize the end can be  better. 

Ecclesiastes 7:8 “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride”. 

No new beginning can start without something else ending, even when you think it was the best before it ended.  I know my pride put security in those things and patience has taught me to wait for that which is best.  Over, and over again, to wait, but still believing that wait is purposeful. 
Anticipating new beginnings,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Style: Stacks

Bracelets, rings and necklaces ... I like a lot of them and layered up!  Lots of people have asked me about stacking, how to stack and putting stacks together.  There is no real secret ... just grab a handful, add one more and layer it up! 

My everyday is stacks with my watch, stack of rings and stacks of necklaces if I'm not wearing a scarf. 

Here's a few lately ... again, no right or wrong, just grab what you like, put them together and go! 

Some staples that get stacked a lot ...
Ring stack with brown center.  These are all a mix of Pandora, Nordstrom, Amazon, Brighton and rings I found along the way on Rodeo show trail 

My Papa's watch and mix of gold, silver and wooden beads.  Yes, you can mix metals. 

If one is good ... 4 are better ...

More ring stacks, all are interchangeable, mixed metals happens again! 

Part of outfit, and yes, I did layer a necklace with a scarf, bracelets stack and ring stack with yellow center ring.

Necklace stack . I have several brushed gold, stone, pearl and chain necklaces that get interchanged all the time!

And, lately, these are a new favorite style.  Similar at Nordy's for $28+, perfectly trendy priced at Sam Moon for $5.  Added this stack to leggings, white T and cardigan. 


More bracelet stacks, sometimes need a little bling ...

Necklace layers + bracelet layers ... leather & pearls mixed one day working on the Rodeo Show road ...

 Layer up! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Self: Time

Time is my thing.  Any  relationship that is important to me takes time, I invest time and time invested is reciprocated. 

I learned a long time ago that  there are people in life for only a season and there are people in  life forever.  Some of those for a season you never thought would end, but they did.  Time to keep that relationship going wasn't put in from one side or both.  It doesn't mean it ends ugly, it just isn't what it used to be. 

Time for me isn't expensive or extravagant.  It is simple, time spent together.  It's effort though and at times requires sacrifice.  Text messages don't sustain relationships.  Phone calls and face to face time do.  And, time looks different in every relationship. 

There are people I talk to when I'm on a road trip driving and we catch up/pick up just as if we'd talked the day before.  There are people who don't live near me that I wish I could drop by and hang out with on an afternoon, but instead it's an afternoon at the ballpark because they happen to be close to me and it's worth it to go spend time there.  There is a friend who gives me airline miles because it's easier for me to travel than her, and every time we pick up just where we left off and time spent together is precious.

Time is working with a friend because that means we get to catch up when we don't get to see each other often.  Time is using an app to keep in touch with a friend who lives abroad and leaving 10 minute messages back and forth.  Time is driving to see a friend for an important event.  Time is hanging out with friends and their kids because I love their whole family.  Time is walking literally and metaphorically through life together with a friend.

Every relationship is different, but it's worth it to invest time to keep relationships going and never do I think "I wish I would have" instead of the time I spent.  In every one of these relationships time is reciprocated.  And, that is what makes them quality friendships and important in my life. 

The same applies to our relationship with Jesus.  It requires time.  Time that I often put off, or try to squeeze in.  But,  I know that I have to put in the time to grow my relationship with Jesus just like any other relationships. 

As the Easter season is upon us, I am reminded of the cross and the gift of grace and mercy given to me.  A gift that I can't repay with any action or to-do.  I often fall short, but all that is asked of me is time and obedience  Time spent in prayer and reading my Bible which results in obedience.  I am thankful for grace when I don't put in the time and a constant love to pull me closer to Him . 

I am thankful for friends who give of their time to me.  I know time is precious and it is at times a sacrifice to fit one more thing in.  But their time means a lot to me and speaks my language.
 Some people could learn from this statement. I've heard EVER excuse in the book and then some. Wonder if they like a taste of their own medicine?
Spend your time well. Invest it where it matters.