Wedding Planning Update

In 149 days, Adam and I will be married.  We are still the process of squaring away all the details, but we are getting more and more excited as the day approaches.  Adam has been great at finding the best deals, coupons, and Groupons to help make our special day more affordable.

Flowers.  We have spent so much time with florists.  We have had face-to-face consults with four florists, called several others, and researched a lot online.  And now we have decided on a great local florist.  Yeah!

They make wedding planning look so easy on television shows, but wedding planning is indeed a process.  Adam and I have worked on our communication, talked about why we prefer certain things be done in certain ways, and learned more about one another as we plan for our special day.

A lot goes into the wedding day, but we recognize the greatest investment should be made into the marriage.  We look forward to loving one another for as long as God gives us breath.

In the comments section, feel free to post advice for us as we approach our marriage.  I hope during this summer to further develop my blog, and I look forward to discovering ways to interact with those who read the blog.

The Gift of Life

Every day that we are alive is a gift from God.  Some days have not felt like gifts at all.  On some days I have wanted to crawl back in bed, throw the covers over my head, and just browse Facebook and eat Oreos.

Yet yesterday was one of those days that I will remember for as long as God grants me breath.  I was driving, and the next thing I know I am putting on my breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of me.  Unfortunately, something happened and my car drifted into the left lane, back into the original lane, into the right lane, into the entrance lane, toward the bank on the side of the road, and then the car faced the other direction on the shoulder of the road.  I am not sure what happened because I was not on my phone, changing the radio station, or otherwise distracted.  My Paw-Paw Bob suggested that perhaps I hit a place where some oil had spilt.

Anyways in a matter of thirty seconds or less my whole perspective changed.  Three thoughts raced in my mind while all this was happening.  First, you are probably going to hit the bank.  Secondly, if you hit the bank, you will have a very bad day.  Thirdly, I was reminded of how I had not treated someone kindly years a go.

After I took some deep breaths, I was able to pull my car back onto the highway.  My hands were shaking, and I felt like I was going to throw up.  Still in the midst of high anxiety, God granted me peace.

As I continue to be blessed with life, I will seek to know God more and share God with others even on days when I want to hide under the covers.

25 Things I’ve Learned In 25 Years

Tomorrow I begin my 26th year of life.  In other words, my birthday is tomorrow.  I decided to blog about 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years. 

1. God is important.  Yes, seasons of struggles and doubts have come my way, but my faith in God still remains.

2. Women can be called by God to be pastors.  My journey to become an ordained Baptist minister was not easy or short, but I am thankful for those who empowered me to follow God’s call on my life

3. Family matters.  My family means so much to me, and I love them!

4. The best advice I ever got from Momma.  “Alicia, think about the worse case scenario of what could happen, and chances are that won’t happen.  Then think about how to bounce back from that because you can.”

5. The best advice I ever got from Daddy.  “If you are faithful in the little things God will allow you to be faithful with the big things.”

6. The best advice I ever got from a professor.  “It will get worse before it gets better.”  And life did indeed get worse, but then it got better, much better.”

7. Mundo friends are true friends, strong prayer warriors, and amazing.

8. Mentors are some of God’s greatest ways of ministering to me.  At the risk of leaving some one out, I will not list my mentors, but they have contributed to my life in more ways than I may be ever be able to articulate or even fully realize.

9. Writing is one of my greatest passions, and I hope to keep writing.

10. Not taking Dremamene before a flight is very, very bad idea, but carrying an extra change of clothes in your carry on is a great idea.

11. I may never look my age.

12. Western barbecue is way better than Easter barbecue.

13. Being with someone as they approach eternity is a humbling, precious experience.  I am thankful that Paw-Paw Bob and I shared many times together with families and their loved ones who were close to heaven.

14. Grandmother Turner taught me to sew, and Granddaddy Turner taught me as a child that as long as I tithed I had a right to speak my mind at church business meetings.

15. Paw-Paw Arthur taught me that laughter really is the best medicine.

16. John Miller taught me in his first youth sermon at Calvary about “No Chains,” and I still find myself going back to that sermon from Romans.

17. I should always have a back up plan if I decide to cook dinner.

18. Children can minister to one another and to adults.  Oh, the lessons we learn from children.

19. Sheila Walker taught me, “If you’re talking while I’m talking, you’re not listening to what I’m saying.”  I say this from time to time when I work with children.

20. Playing the piano is soothing and refreshing to me. 

21. Truck drivers themselves are not weighed at weigh stations.

22. Adam recently taught me how to be better at playing putt putt.  I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him.  I learn so much from his fun loving, yet serious personality.

23. You should always grease the baking pan before you attempt to flour it.  Yes, Momma came home to a white kitchen because flour was everywhere.

24. “A Time for Christmas” taught me so much about practice, togetherness, and the power of music & dram to touch lives.  “By the Way of the Cross” taught me about the resurrection narrative from a great perspective.

25. Dr. Cartledge encouraged us not to write blogs this long, but sometimes I choose not to apply what I have been taught.  All kidding aside, Dr. Cartledge is a great professor, and my writing is better because of his feedback.

I look forward to what I will learn in this next year of life!

Do Over

Recently I almost beat Adam in a round of putt putt, but I only came close to beating his score because he gifted me many do overs.  On some holes he even gave me multiple do overs.

How many times in life do I want a do over?  A lot!  Over and over again I set a goal to blog regularly, and before I know what happened almost a month will pass in between blog posts.  When I fall short of my goals, I want a do over, but am I willing to take full advantage of that do over?  Or will I continue to let life hinder me from my goals?

I am ready to live a life with more gusto and less excuses.  I want to take full advantage of a do over with some personal goals for my summer.  I am taking these goals seriously.  Some of my goals include: practicing piano, blogging, exercising, cooking more meals at home, and journaling.  I have prioritized this goals, and I am ready for a great summer.  Also, I made a list of what I feel could hinder me from these goals, and I am on guard against these distractions and frustrations.

God, thank you for your grace that allows do overs to be possible.  I am thankful that though I cannot relive yesterday, your grace empowers me to move forward with a brighter perspective.

Thanks friends for reading my blog, and with God’s help, I hope to post at least weekly this summer.  Stay tuned…

Awaiting Springtime

In the midst of waiting on summer, or even spring, temperatures to arrive this year, I have spent time with God processing some of the wintry seasons of my life.  In many ways I anticipate moving forward, and in so many ways I feel an eerie kind of comfort in the fears that have been with me for a while now.  I seem uncertain in what to do, just like the weather.  Still God seems to know how to get my attention.

Recently I was walking outside my church when I spotted some beautiful purple flowers.  These flowers were not the largest, most numerous, or even in center.  Yet I felt God clearly say to me, “Alicia, you are beautiful like these flowers.  In my eyes, you are beautiful!”  Wow!  Most of this week has been spent considering God’s message to me, and I have been reminded of God speaking to me each time I walked past those flowers.  I recognize that God sees my inner beauty and desires for me to continue to become more like Christ.

My prayer is that I will continue to stay in touch with God and continue to learn more about His love for me.  Leaving winter in some areas of my life will feel strange, but I am ready for Spring.  Now is the time for me to enjoy “dancing with my Father God in fields of grace.”

Pray for me as I continue of my journey of recognizing my brokenness and receiving healing from God.  And friends, hold on Spring will come!