Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peace Beyond Understanding

'When I said, "My foot is slipping." your love, O Lord, supported me. 
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.'
                                                                   -Psalm 94:18-19

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stuff and Things

So this one time on June 3rd I ran a 5k. It was 90ish degrees, sunny,  there were lots of killer kills and I was wearing sweat bands. And this is what happened to me. Yep. I straight up stopped right after the finish line. There was no 'powering through' for me.

Don't be jealous. You all want to be me...

But i did finish the race somehow in about 26 min flat. The race was actually loads of fun, mostly because I did it with other people and hanging out afterwards is always a good time. 

And THEN I discovered the magic of trail running. And I can't believe it took me this long to discover just how much I love it. I can spend 2 hours in the woods, just running. Falling, covered in mud, sweating like a crazy person and loving every minute of it.

It is incredible. I don't know if running on roads will ever be the same. 

Oh! good news, I just got a camera so expect lots of dumb pictures to appear here soon. Like these..

this is me being dumb in a hammock during a rain storm

and this is precious Lucy sitting on a pile of mulch outside of Kmart.
don't ask..had to throw one crazy one in here

and this is where i get to live all the time.

like I said. dumb pictures. get used to it. there is a whole lot more where that came from..

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To Dad

Sadly I was nowhere near internet access in order to write this post.
Dad, this is for you.

I wanted to say how thankful I am for this man I get to call my Dad. I am very lucky to have a dad who loves me as much as you do. You are a manly man yet also in touch with your sensitive side. You may be small in stature but your heart is bigger than most and your contagious personality makes you seem 7ft tall. As each year passes I realize how much I love you and just how much you love me too. In high school I used to brush you off and pretend I didn't care. But behind your back I was telling everybody how cool you were and everyone was telling me how cool they thought you were. I see how much people love and respect you and I am proud. You have worked hard for everything you have.

I look up to you so much. You have taught me so many things in life. Everything from how to catch fish, shoot a gun, to how important a good work ethic is and that no matter what, you should always treat people with respect. Your laughter is contagious. You never cease to surprise me with your jokes. I think when you and Mom make each other laugh it is my favorite.

You have suffered much deep loss in your life yet you have kept on living a full life. You were never bashful about your tears. I used to give you a hard time for crying at all my awards ceremonies and graduations but deep down, I knew it was just one more way you showed me you loved me.

I have so many great memories of you taking me fishing and waking me up at 5AM so I could go sit in a deer blind with you. When I was finally old enough to sit by myself I used to secretly wish that you would sit with me. I'll never forget when I shot my first deer and you were more excited than I was. Funny thing about all my pictures is that you are hardly in them because you were (and still are) always the one taking them. I make fun of you but it is fun to know you were behind the camera.

And then that time we were at Inks Lake and I caught that record holding bass. I couldn't even lift it up. You were giddy with excitement.

I used to think you made me do useless things. Like that one summer on the Ranch when you made Ryan and I go out into our 100 acres with brush clippers and clip down cedar trees under the hot Texas sun. Horrible times.  Then there was also that time you and Mom made us build that crazy rock wall. 5 years we built it. I now know that it was all just a ploy to keep us busy and distracted. And like Calvin's dad always says "It builds character."

Thanks for all those times you used to come outside even after a long day at the office to shoot baskets with me in the driveway. I love(d) every minute of it.

Your stories from college and high school never fail to make me laugh. And you saying "Do as I say not as I do."

You love your family better than most. You always make me feel special. Especially on Valentines' Day every year when I would wake up to flowers by my bed that you had put there in the middle of the night while I was sleeping. And even now. You still send them to me. My freshman year of college when you sent them to the Sloans I was so surprised. And I walked around with a smile on my face for days.

Thank you for giving me an example of Jesus' love for me. For being an example to follow always. For that, I will be forever thankful

In short, I am so glad that you are my Dad. Don't think I could say it enough. Can't wait to see you in August!!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nervous Sweats

So I feel like I have had several slightly depressing posts recently. So here is a fun one for you.

In two weeks I will be traveling to Washington DC to turn in my Visa application for Spain IN PERSON. You read that right. They don't accept it in the mail and they want to see you one time before you leave the country. No guidelines. Just show up and hand in your paperwork and hope you have everything they need. If not, well...I don't even really want to think about that.

This whole process has been a learning process. Lots and lots and lots of paperwork. Lots of reading and translating websites (with some help from Google Chrome translate feature). My favorite part though might be when I tell people I have to go to DC to turn in my paperwork? The responses have varied from "are you sure you are doing that right?" to "really?" and "I've never heard of that before." Thanks a lot. As if I wasn't questioning every move I've made so far.

But as tiring and time consuming as the process has been it has definitely cemented the reality of leaving the country for almost a full year. Somedays I am ready for it and somedays I am not so sure. But in the end it is happening and I am going to be ready whether I want to or not.

But hear me, I am super pumped! I mean, the more I talk about what I am doing the more I realize just how amazing this opportunity is. And that gets me super excited. The possibilities are endless and terrifying at times but somehow exciting non the less.

So there. A semi-upbeat post. Trying to procure a camera soon so I can actually post my own pictures soon. My fingers are itching to be taking pics again. It has been 6 long months without one and I kind of would like to document the rest of my amazing summer in Asheville.

Friday, June 3, 2011



Tomorrow John Noll would have graduated from Boerne Champion High School. Tomorrow I would have been in Boerne, TX celebrating with the family. But sadly, I am not. My parents and sister are still going. I can't even imagine what that will be like for them.
Yet another thing to get through. Another reminder that my brother isn't here anymore and will never be. And to be quite honest, it hurts a lot. No surprise there, I guess. The ache now ebbs and flows. Today I felt the loss more than I have felt it in several months. I thought these moments of consuming sadness would end. But they have not. And I know realize they might never end. But somehow, by the Grace of God alone I have learned how to sit and them, to drink them in, and to not ignore them but at the same time not let them completely consume me. I can even smile through them sometimes. Laughing at a memory or remembering a joke.

O how I wish I could be there with my family. To walk through the painful day together.
Even through the heartache today I still remembered how far I have come. Even from a mere 6 months ago. How far we have come as a family. And how far we have yet to go. I talked to my older brother, Ryan, on the phone tonight. It was so so good to hear his voice. It is a strange thing. Death seems to have brought our family closer together. A closeness I wouldn't have guessed would have happened this fast.

So many conflicting emotions, it is hard to keep them straight sometimes.
Thanks to all of you who continue to love me and my family. You are Christ's love physically and visibly present in our lives.
And it is because of His love that I am here today.
Thanks to those who have continued to honor John Noll. It means the world to me and my family.

Senior trip to Boone, NC. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

TRUST- It's What's for Breakfast

Where to start...

Well, about two weeks ago I was totally panicking a little because I had no job, no money, and I hadn't done anything about getting my Visa for Spain or booking flights. Usually my reaction is to become so stressed out that I literally don't have to capacity to completely any tasks. Pretty much how I have been handling everything lately. I have started labeling it my stress ADD. It comes out at the worst times. But this time around I've been trying a different approach. I called it the Chill The Heck Out And See What Happens approach.

2011 has been all about Trust. And when I say trust I mean trusting that all I need will be provided for me. Trusting that when I actually let Jesus do his work, it all gets done. This has been a very scary concept for me. It sounds wonderful on paper and in theory should be a no brainer. So in this past January I tried not stressing or doing really but praying, waiting, watching, and trusting. In the beginning that process turned out to be way more stressful than my original attack method. Mostly because I think things typically don't get done or done right unless I do them myself. Well, I believe I am learning my lesson and am every so happy to be learning it and I think I will be learning it my entire life. But somehow, I am ok with that.

All this to say little by little for the past 5 months I have been slowly giving up control. It has not been an easy thing. And I still have days where I wonder how in the world I am going to make it but those days are significantly less. My new approach of trusting hasn't been a walk in the park but at this moment in time I am already seeing the fruits. So much fruit in fact that some of it is rotting on the ground because I can't fit it all in my basket. Never thought I would have that problem. And this is how I know that Jesus has the most wonderful sense of humor and I think we shall get along just fine.

I mean oday, I have a part time job hostessing at the Grovewood Cafe that literally found me about a week ago (thanks Hunter!!!). I get calls for babysitting and other odd jobs everyday. I have a few dog sitting jobs lined up. Things for Spain are slowly beginning to fall into place. And I feel more loved and blessed than I have a quite awhile.
The freedom and contentment I feel right now is ridiculous and awesome and sometimes I want to slap myself to make sure this life I am living isn't a dream or somebody's idea of a bad joke. But it IS real. And it is mine, given to me by the One who choses to love me and lovingly rub it in my face just how much he loves me. And I am entirely too grateful and humbled for words.

This is the first time in almost 2 years that I can remember being at peace. The tables have turned in my favor and I know how they got there.
People always tell you to enjoy it now because it will be gone sooner or later. But I am not so sure that I believe that. Because what I do believe is this. That I serve a God who loves me so much that he sacrificed his own life so that I could be with Him. And I believe that while the blessings may not always look THIS fantastic they will continue to come, but only if I let them. And they won't always look this grand and spectacular. But they will be there. Providing for my needs big and small. I need only to give up the driver's seat.

Somebody very smart, wise, and successful (insert rolling laughter here) once said,

"Je-e-e-e-sus take the wheel!"

But for real, it's yours Jesus. I am road weary.