Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh My!

Well, I finally did it. I registered to take the Praxis 2 to get certified to teach French!

On April 24 I will take it!

I am sooooo nervous already.

Yesterday morning on the way to work I was thinking about how God has weaved different events into my life to lead me here. It was obvious with art, how that has changed my life when I was in college. But my love of the French language started when I was in middle school. I took my first French class and loved it from the start. I remember being surprised when I was accepted into the French Immersion Program at my high school, by my senior year I remember wondering why I worked so hard to complete it when I didn't have any strong desire to study French in college. Although I did take some French classes in college it didn't speak to me the way art did while I was at JMU. It wasn't until I went on my honeymoon to Martinique. We loved the idea of the French culture on a tropical island.
Makes me want to go back!

While we were there I remembered what I loved about the French language and culture. I am loving this idea of teaching art and French now.

Please pray for me, I feel like satan has really been attacking me, making me fearful of this whole process. Please pray that I would find time to study as we are moving, and that I would continue to trust in God about the school where I know one day I will be teaching.

Now I am off to the library to start studying!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Teaching French?

As spring is approaching I am getting ready to send out all my materials to apply to any and every public and private school within a one hour distance of Richmond. They say cast a wide net, so I am.

For some reason I can't stop thinking about French. Teaching French.

For the longest time my mom has been telling me to get certified in French, it will increase my marketability. This is true.

Although I can't help but think, is this settling?

Is it settling to not teach art?

For so long I have wanted to teach art, dispite what everyone says about the economy, the budget, blah blah blah.

But honestly, I feel I am getting desperate.

I so badly want to teach, and at this point I am starting to not care so much about the content area. And really I loved French in high school. So much that I was in the French Immersion Program at my high school. I took most of my classes in French and loved it. By my junior year I dreamed and thought in French.

Then I went to college and they spoke english in my French classes, and they were not as challenging as my classes were in high school. So I stopped taking French.

If I am being completely honest I don't think trying to teach French would be settling, I think I would enjoy it.

Honestly, the thing that is holding me back: FEAR.

I hate saying that, I really do, but it is the truth.

What if I fail the Praxis ? (the test I have to take to get certified to teach French)

What if I pass the Praxis, and still can't find a teaching job?

What if I stink as a French teacher? I have no experience teaching French like I do art.

I am always telling my friends and others not to let fear stop you from doing something you want to do. And I think it is time to start taking my own advice.

How can God use me if I am not willing to step out in faith?

And it's not as if He hasn't been faithful to me in the past. I can't even count all the times He has blessed me and used me when I have gone into the unknown, tried something new, gone somewhere different or done something I knew I couldn't do without Him.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 1:6

I know God has started a good work in me, I know He has called me to teaching.

Now I just need to be more confident.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby Betty

Today is my baby's birthday. She is turning one, she is technically no longer a kitten!
I guess we will start buying cat food, instead of kitten food!
Since we got her last summer she has really become a part of our little family. Even Clarke loves her as much as me, which is saying a lot because he was always more of a dog person.
Her personality is different than any other cat I have known. She loves table food, so much that she will jump on the table while we are eating, grab a piece of meat and run off with it! She also loves my hair ties. They are without a doubt her favorite toy!
She is so grateful to be here with us. We always say she is such a thankful cat. I think because before we adopted her she was wild, and then when the rescue people found her she lived in a garage with a bunch of other cats.
I still can't believe she is one. Happy Birthday Betty!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Loving This

Right now I am really loving Carbon Leaf's newest album, Nothing Rhymes With Woman.

I am also loving riding around with the windows down in my car and listening to this really loudly.

Just thought I would share! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Update

Although I had to work Friday night and Saturday, I still managed to squeeze in lots of fun!

Clarke picked me up from work on Saturday (I got to get off early!) and we drove up to D.C. We met my dad and my brothers at The Chop House for a yummy steak dinner.

Then we went to a Wizards basketball game. It was mine and Clarke's first NBA game ever. It was really fun.
Us at the game.

After the game we drove up to Baltimore and spent the night there. We stopped at Vaccaro's, an Italian dessert place in Little Italy, right by my dad's place.

Sunday we went to the St.Patrick's Day parade in Baltimore with my dad and little brother.
Horses at the Parade.

And of course went to an Irish pub, to celebrate St. Patty's Day.
Dad, Me, Clarke and Drew.

What a fun trip!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wishful Wednesday......My Wedding Dress

I am participating in Wishful Wednesday over at The Seattle Smiths!

The topic is gowns, and honestly if I could have worn any dress on my wedding day it would have been the one I did wear. I loved my wedding dress, it was my dream dress. Here are some pictures:
I love all the pick ups,
and the buttons on the back.
This was my something blue! On the bottom of my dress.
This is our cake, it was insipred by my dress. Notice it is the same color and has the cream colored ribbon on it.

Our one year anniversary is less than a month away!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oh My Gosh!!

We bought a house!!!! I am soo excited right now. Although I am so tired, two nights of restless nights wondering if they will accept our offer, what will happen, and various this or that situations running through my mind, now I can relax!

Me and my husband feel so blessed, this house is amazing. I can't believe we are going to be living there in 5 weeks! I have already decorated the whole thing in my head, I can't wait to get started.

Here it is! I am painting the door yellow!
Isn't it so cute? !?

Okay, I am off to get a good nights sleep. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

An Offer!

So me and my husband just put an offer in on a house!!! Oh my gosh! By 5pm tomorrow we will know if they have accepted or not. I think they will counter, and we have some wiggle room, but not much.

All I can say is I know God has the right house out there for us, I just don't know if this one is it?

Pray for us, if this is the one that it will work out. Honestly, I hope it is because I love this house!

I will keep ya'll posted!!!! In the mean time we are off to hit some golf balls, a much needed distraction.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Big Decisions

It seems I am at a time in my life where I am constantly faced with big decisions. Who do I marry? What do I want my career to be? Do I buy a house, if so which one? When to have children? The list could go on and on forever.

And each choice brings different consequences along with it. They say the most important decision a person makes is whether to follow Christ or not, I agree. They say the second is who you marry. I know I have made the right choice when it comes to those two.

As many of you know my husband and I are currently in the middle of buying our first house. It is wonderful, exciting, confusing and stressful. It is also the most money we have ever spent on anything in our life!

I told my husband I am ready for this process to be over and on to the fun part, decorating!!!! Those choices aren't so hard. If I don't like the wall color, that's an easy change.

I feel God is leading us in a certain direction, to a certain house. I don't want to share any details yet, because nothing is final.

Big decisions. What would I do without God to help me decide?!?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Testimony

I always knew God existed, I just didn’t know He loved me and wanted a relationship with me. I was raised in the Catholic Church and went every Sunday. I was baptized as an infant; I remember my first communion and I still know most of the prayers. Although none of this ever meant anything to me. In fact I hated going to church. When I was little I was bored and didn’t understand it. When I was older I hated not being able to sleep in on the weekends and still didn’t understand it.

I had no interest in getting to know God more until I was in middle school. A good friend of mine invited me to go to youth group with her. Since most of my other friends were going I started attending as well. This was the first time I heard that God loved me and wanted a relationship with me. Before this I had never thought of God as someone personal, who I could get to know, and who knew me as well. My interest was sparked.

It wasn’t until the summer after my freshmen year of high school that I accepted Jesus as my savior and was saved. My track coach, who I loved, invited me and some other runners to go with him to a FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) camp. It was there that I truly understood that God had created me and loved me. He wanted to be in a personal relationship with me. But, because I was sinful this was not possible. Lucky for me and everyone else Jesus came to earth, led a perfect sinless life and then died on the cross in my place. Because of Him I could be in that relationship with God. I understood it all so clearly and I felt God tugging at my heart like never before.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school. It was like night and day. I had slowly turned into someone different than God had created me to be. Call it the rebellious teenager, it doesn’t matter, I was a mess. Drinking, sneaking out of the house at night and lying to my parents about my whereabouts where all things that I did almost every week. Although I felt incredibly guilty I couldn’t stop. I was still involved in youth group but was definitely not following God anymore. I actually met my husband during this part of my life at a party and we began dating. My identity was no longer in Christ but in the fact that I was a cheerleader, a gymnast, had a cute boyfriend and great friends. I thought getting drunk every weekend made me cool, and tried to shove my guilt to the side.

After a year of my crazy lifestyle God spoke to me in a huge way. It was at beach week, me and my friends had gone after graduation to celebrate. After my first night of partying I started throwing up. I couldn’t stop. Even after I stopped drinking I couldn’t stop throwing up. My friends took me to the emergency room at the beach and later that week my mom had to come down and pick me up. Eventually I got better, but I remember praying to God as I was hunched over the toilet, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t live this life anymore, I know this is not what you want for me. I pledged to stop drinking and turn back to God. And that is what I did.

I started college with the hopes of finding a good group of Christian friends and growing closer to God. And I did. I became involved in Campus Crusade for Christ; I made great Christian friends and was blessed with the best bible study leaders. I broke up with my boyfriend (husband now) because it wasn’t right at the time. I got baptized again. I grew so much in my relationship with God and learned so much about myself and who He created me to be. So everything was great, right? Wrong!

The throwing up that I had experienced at beach week didn’t stop. When I went off to college it started again. I would throw up for two weeks straight and couldn’t stop. I would go to the emergency room several times because I was having trouble breathing. My whole body would cramp up. Eventually they admitted me to the hospital to run different tests to find out what was wrong. After a week in the hospital and various tests they came to the conclusion, it was mental. I was having anxiety attacks. I started taking anti-anxiety medicine which helped, but not enough. Since I had missed so much school I took a medical leave my first semester of my freshmen year of college. It was a dark time in my life.

College for me was great, but hard. The anxiety seemed to almost cripple me at times. I had to learn to trust God and the promises He has made in new ways. I remember when my parents got divorced, I had an anxiety attack. I would miss weeks of school at times, because I couldn’t stop throwing up.
Eventually after five years of college, I graduated. It took me a little longer because of missed time due to anxiety, but with God I did it. God gave me the courage to go back after a bad attack; God gave me peace about the unknown and my future.

Anxiety is still a part of my life today. I struggle with not knowing what comes next for my life, I struggle with insecurities and I struggle with fear. But, I have a new found hope which keeps me going. I know God has a plan for my life, and has created me for a purpose. Although there are things that are out of my control and things I wish I could change, I know ultimately He is in control, and that is good. I am proud to say this March it has been five years since my last attack and I no longer need anti anxiety medicine. That is a big deal for me.

Presently I am searching for a full time teaching position. In the past this would have caused me to have an attack. Not knowing where and when this will happen is scary, but I know God has something out there for me. I know it will come in His time, and I am already thankful for that. And obviously I got back together with my husband after a year and a half apart. God is amazing!

I am thankful our God is a God who loves us despite our rebellions, our shortcomings, our fears, our anxieties, our sins. God has changed my life and I can truly say I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Him in my life.