Life, Spiritual Walk

An Unwanted New Beginning

I’m feeling a bit sad and sentimental today. Last night was the finale for the end of the program year at the Spring Valley Salvation Army, and in two weeks is the final party for the mentoring program I’ve been volunteering at with the Spring Valley High School.

Last year at this time, I was saying goodbye to the church and the after school program that my husband and I attended and volunteered at in Brooklyn. I was feeling heartbroken, lost, and uncertain about out next steps. I didn’t want to find a new church, and I especially didn’t want to attend the specific one that God kept on leading us back to as the most logical choice. But the drive and the tolls were becoming too much of a burden on our finances, and everyone was supportive of our move away from our church and to the next. I was so stubborn with God–I felt like it was His job to give us a new solution, since I was so unhappy with the one He was proposing.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

In the Details

I have eight unfinished blog posts sitting in my draft folder, waiting for me to flush out why it was I felt the topics were important in the first place. Over the past month, I would start one, get a few sentences in, and ask myself what the point was. Why did I feel compelled to write about a particular subject? I kept getting hung up, stuck, uncertain about how to proceed.

I know that what was truly holding me back was that this topic has been on the forefront of my mind and I had to get it out before I could move on to anything else.

In the current season of my life, my prayer list is full of some pretty heavy prayer requests and concerns. They involve big things for myself and for my husband: prayers for the direction of my career, for our family, for my husband’s career, for our future house hunting, just to name a few. I feel like there are so many things that are just up in the air and we don’t have a clear direction of who/what/where/when, etc.

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Life, Travel

How I Saw Hamilton on Broadway

I didn’t realize how large of a phenomenon Hamilton was until July of last summer. My husband was invited to be a special guest at a music camp in western Pennsylvania, and I was invited to accompany him. We were at the camp for a week, and toward the end of our time, the camp had a “soloist night” for the kids to participate in. The director of music decided he would do the closing number for the night and sing “My Shot” from the Hamilton soundtrack.

Before that summer, I hadn’t listened to the soundtrack, and it wasn’t until a few months later that I caved. I really wanted to experience Hamilton live on stage before I could recite all of the lyrics from memory. I wanted to go into the musical without any preconceived notions about what it would look like.

The director ended with his song, brown cape, and 1800’s getup, and the kids went crazy! Here was this group of 6-14 year-olds, more than 8 hours away from New York City, singing along to the Hamilton lyrics! Of course I knew that Hamilton was a big deal, but I lived 20 minutes outside of Manhattan. It’s not uncommon for me to attend a conference or event where a “night out” means free Broadway tickets and a ride into Times Square. But for us to be in a rural area of Pennsylvania where the kids knew every word to “My Shot”…that’s when I realized it.

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Life

Why I Learned to Date Myself

I have a confession: as I write this, I’m sitting on my couch, drinking a to-go Banana Royale milkshake from an amazing burger bar just a few minutes down the road from my house. The restaurant is one of my favorite places to eat; they have gourmet burgers, fries, shakes, and drinks. My favorite burger combination is a turkey burger with Swiss cheese, mayo, avocado, lettuce, and I like to add on a fried egg. My side is usually sweet potato fries with a yogurt dipping sauce. My fruity drink is a coke with grenadine.

My husband isn’t a fan of said burger bar. He says the service is slow, the burgers are piled too high (“I can’t pick it up”), and it’s too expensive (“Fries are extra? What is this?”). Now, all of his points are valid: we could get cheaper, faster burgers with fries included somewhere else, but it’s still my favorite. So I save it for date night.

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Books/Entertainment

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Myers

It’s the last week of February, and I am 3 books deep into my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017. That’s honestly not a terrible number for me. My goal for the year is 30 books, and considering I read 3 or 4 last year, I’ll be super stoked when that happens.

Side note: I absolutely love reading. But in the years since I graduated college, I also became a huge fan of the “Netflix and chill” phenomenon. Believe it or not, that greatly cuts into a girls reading time.

I was first introduced to Me Before You through a trailer I saw on Facebook for the movie. Emilia Clarke was adorable, and who didn’t want to see another side of Sam Clafin after watching him as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games. After enjoying the theatrical version, I figured the book could only be better, and recently decided to read it.

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Life, Marriage

I Fail at Birthdays

This past week was one of my favorite, low-key holidays: Valentines Day. Now, this wasn’t always on my list of favorites, especially thinking back to the single-girl days when I wouldn’t even get notes from admirers (let’s face it, I didn’t have any). But having spent the past 7 valentines days in a committed relationship, I love it. My husband knows the exact flowers I love, has some sort of chocolate-covered sweet delivered (which I promptly eat half of and wish I had saved some), and we usually plan some sort of meal/celebration around the holiday. He knows that displays of affection like that are part of my love language, and he does a great job at making me feel special.

Then February 15th hits, his birthday, and every year I feel like I fail at showing him the same love he’s shown me just the day before.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

Read through the Bible in 2017

I’m embarrassed to write this, but I am 25-years-old, have been a Christian since I re-accepted Jesus into my heart at 11, and I have never taken the time to read through the entire Bible.

I’m embarrassed to admit it because there have been many times that I tried, and failed. I became a Senior Soldier in The Salvation Army at 14 (which means I became a member of the Church). That was the first year I tried. I began in the Old Testament, concerned that if I didn’t read it through in order, I wouldn’t understand everything in the New Testament. I think that was my first problem. That try, I got through most of Exodus before I finally gave up.

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Life

Here’s to 2017

I hope you’ve had a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! I decided to take off a few weeks from blogging since, let’s face it, this time of year is so busy! My husband and I took off a couple weeks from work and started our Christmas vacation in Freeport, GBI with my parents, sister, and brother, then flew back to NY (stayed up until 3am finishing a Christmas blanket for my niece) and drove up the next morning to Syracuse for another two days with my husband’s family.

And now here we are, the holidays are over and it’s the first day of 2017. I feel like with each passing year, I can’t help but ask myself where the time has gone (which I find weird since I’m only 25 and that’s something a 60-year-old says, haha). It’s officially 5 years since I graduated from college. I’ve been working in my current job for The Salvation Army for 3 years. My husband and I have been married for a year and a half, and this year will be 7 years as a couple.

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Life, Spiritual Walk, Writing

After “Wait and See”

“So do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. My powerful right hand will take good care of you. I will always do what is right.” –Isaiah 41:10 (NIRV)

So, it’s been a few days, and I completed the “Wait and See” reading plan that I spoke about in a previous blog post. To say that God answered my prayers in the time we spent together during this devotional almost seems to make light of the time we spent together. I have no doubt of the things He told me, and know exactly how to proceed in the matter that I took to Him in prayer. I can’t say that I have ever felt so strongly about knowing the course of action that God has wanted me to take, and it has taken a huge weight off of my mind. Was this outcome based on the reading plan I chose? Not at all. God knew that my heart was truly searching his will in this matter, and I know He used this plan to help speak to me.

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Books/Entertainment

Book Review: “A Change in Altitude” by Anita Shreve

I want to start by saying I am a huge fan of Anita Shreve. The first book I read by her was Seaglass, and I couldn’t put it down. I love her style and her interweaving of stories. With that in mind, I’m not going to recommend A Change in Altitude to anyone, and will therefore be spoiling the entire book since I don’t think you should read it (so, if you are interested, you might want to come back to this later).

I was very interested in reading this book due to my own summer spent living in Kenya, but in the end was disappointed with the plot and character development.

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