I’ve missed you

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step t… wait. That’s just Aaliyah lyrics.

But, seriously. It has been two months since my last post.  A LOT has happened in those past two months.  The biggest thing? A guy. Yeah! (cue girly giggle) I did not see that one coming. But, oh my goodness, God is good. Someday I will delve into all of that, but for now, let’s just keep that at “God is GOOD.”

My last post was about financial stewardship and I was very worried about money. I have gotten better about that. The worrying part, I mean. God is my provider. He won’t let me be broke and destitute. I did, however, change my tithing. I may have mentioned that, but if not, I was tithing HALF of what they say one “should” be tithing. I guess the key percentage is 10% of your gross income. So, I changed it to be the average of what I think is my gross per week. It changes every week, so I can’t pin point it exactly. (I could, but if I try to do that each week, I WILL forget about it altogether).

Changing my tithe money is really more about me saying, this money doesn’t belong to me, it’s God’s money. It’s a heart thing more than anything and God knows our hearts. So, He’s got this one.

I have decided, however, that my time at my survival job is coming to an end. I don’t know when that date is, but it is coming. God and I are going to work on that. My dream right now is to be a figure skating coach and an actor. That’s what I want to be doing. I started skating when I was 10 and stopped around 21, but I still love it. I love seeing little kids progressing and I love being a part of their journey. I’m discovering how much I love to coach others. If you don’t mind, keep me in your prayers about that.

This season I led a community group on acting. I LOVE coaching actors. I think part of my coaching style stems from coaching that I have received from others, but ultimately I just want to help other actors succeed and grow in their craft. If I could make that part of my everyday life, I absolutely would. It’s a wonderful feeling to watch people step into their own.

Anyway, I’ll conclude this for today. It’s a bit of a scattered post, but my thoughts will become more clear as I begin to write more. I really hope that you enjoy your day today.

Financial Stewardship

I don’t even know what that means. Financial stewardship. Whatever it is, I’m probably not very good at it. Hence why I joined a community group at my church on finances. We are reading The Blessed Life by Robert Morris. I haven’t started to read it yet, but I have a feeling that my mind will be reeling from it.

Money is stupid. It’s also awesome. But, mostly, it’s stupid. That’s just my opinion, but that opinion is based on financial need/stress that I have felt for a very long time. I grew up poor. We lived off of one income my entire life. My mom did really good job of not making me feel like I was poor. No, I didn’t get what I wanted all the time, but she spent quite a bit of her hard earned money on me. I do remember one Christmas opening up the one present that I got that year – a Barbie doll. I was very young, maybe four or five and I remember sitting on the heat register with my sister and my mom. I don’t know where the rest of the family was. I have a big family, too, so who knows where they were. But, what sticks out to me about that time is not the feeling of sadness, because there was a little bit, but that fact that she did what she could. I had my family. That was all that I really needed as a five year old.

Now, as an adult, I’m starting to wonder if I’m experiencing a little bit of what my parents went through for years. The question of, “How am I going to pay this bill?” “Where am I going to get the money from?”

I’ll be brutally honest here. I’m broke and I’m broken. Literally. I fractured my knee cap three weeks ago and I was off of work for those three weeks. I just went back yesterday, but I won’t be receiving a paycheck for another two weeks. My credit cards are almost maxed out, I got a bill in the mail yesterday for my health insurance that if I don’t pay tomorrow I will lose my coverage and I realized that I may not have enough money to get to work.

I keep thinking of ways that I can make money immediately and I can’t think of anything realistic because of my knee. My brace makes it very hard to walk and it is so tiresome to walk up and down the subway stairs. I want to take clothing to a consignment shop, but I can’t because of the knee and the fact that I don’t have to money to get there.

Breathe.

I think this is what they call “rock bottom.”

Meanwhile, I’m just going to pray. I’m going to trust that God is my provider. Now is probably a good time to start reading that book.

**UPDATE**
I called my Starbucks benefit center and we got everything straightened out. I do not have to pay the bill they sent me and I will not lose my health insurance. That is such a relief! So, now I can actually get to work and continue to pay my other bills. Praise!

All in God’s timing

I am going to admit something to you.
I applied to be on a reality dating television show through a major cable network. Yeah, I know. Hah!
I made it to the semi final round of callbacks before I called it quits. I had some reservations about doing the show. I wasn’t sure that it would be good for my acting career, I wasn’t sure that I actually wanted to find my potential mate or if I wanted the money and I was concerned that they would take advantage of me being a Christian and portray me through crafty editing as a “crazy Christian.” I am not a crazy Christian. Just so you know. Haha!
I had been going back and forth with my decision to go forward with the show and it was crunch time. I was to meet with producers within a couple days. I got to church that Sunday and decided to ask God one last time. “Should I do this show??”

No.

It swept over me. I could feel it in the depths of my heart and soul. I said, “Okay, God. I want you to be my provider and my matchmaker. I will not do the show.”

A couple weeks later I get a call from the Artistic Director of the playhouse back home asking me if I wanted to audition for their next show. I said, “Sure!” Then a week or two after that I found out that I got the job and I would be away from the city for five weeks.

Well, as soon as I found out I posted on Facebook that I needed someone to sublet my room for those five weeks. In less than a minute, possibly even less than thirty seconds, I had found someone.

If I hadn’t obeyed God’s instructions I would have never gotten to spend time with my mom for her last five weeks on earth. All I had to do was ask, listen and obey Him. God planned the rest of it. Right down to that thirty second response time.

God is good. He is the King of Awesome.

It is all in his timing.

This is needed

Hi friends!

It has been a long time since my last post. A lot has happened over the past three months and bit by bit I will write about it. For now, I need to get this particular thought out of my mind and onto paper, so to speak. I wrote this to my friend about a week ago. I have expanded upon it and would like to share it with you.

I’m sitting here looking at my scars and thinking, “Isn’t it amazing how the body heals itself?” We are so wonderfully and fearfully made. When we burn our skin or cut ourselves (obviously serious accidents aside) our bodies know what to do. God made us so that we regenerate, not just physically but mentally and emotionally, too. Through his love our hearts and minds can be healed. Heartbreak and loss get easier. Like a scar, it is still there, you don’t forget about it, but it isn’t an open wound that every time something touches it you wince in pain. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. We protect ourselves every day – Sunscreen, seat-belts, shoes, umbrellas, jackets, gloves, etc and yet, what are we doing to protect our heart?

Now, here is where I begin to wonder – At what point do I let my heart become susceptible to heartbreak? How do I know when the right time will be to let others in? At some point I have to take a risk in order to gain, so how do I guard my heart as I do this?
I’m mostly talking about entering into a relationship with someone or even just letting someone know that you like them. I’m a girl, should I let him pursue me and HOPE that he realizes that I like him? Or should I break that tradition and just let him know how I feel? Where do I draw the line between opening myself up to something potentially amazing, a lifelong partner and not letting myself get too wrapped up in a crush when there is potential that my feelings are not reciprocated?

I don’t have an answer to this. If I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here wondering all of these “what if’s.”

The only answer that I can come up with is to let Jesus be my guard. I mean, He’s in there anyway, He doesn’t have far to go. Might as well let Him in on my love life since, ya know, God IS love.

Now here is the update to that:

I have a love/hate relationship with crushes. It was the worst of times. It was the best of times. But, mostly it’s the worst. I have a lingering crush on someone. God and I are working on it because I don’t believe this guy is interested. I’m not going to ask about it. I’m not going to pursue it. I’m going to let God have control. God will be my matchmaker.

About a month ago I trusted God completely to help me find an apartment. There were ups and downs, for sure, but all throughout the process, God kept reminding me that he would provide. All I had to do was listen and obey. I actually think that my experience with finding a place to live is rather telling. The first apartment that I really really wanted, that I thought was the perfect one for me, that was beautiful and would be an answer to my prayers ended up not being what God had planned for me. I truly was heartbroken. Seriously. I looked at the next apartment with tears in my eyes because I had wanted that apartment so much. But, it wasn’t for me. That wasn’t in God’s plan.
I think this guy is actually like that apartment. He isn’t for me. I want him to be, but he is meant for someone else.
I have to move on. I have to have that same faith that God has someone just as amazing and totally suited for me just waiting to pursue me.
Which, by the way, is what I want. I want to be pursued. Big time. Just as much as God is pursuing me.
Example – Last night at church, I was feeling very down, like I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t do a good job singing and I didn’t deserve to be on the worship team. Yeah, I know, CRAZY thoughts. Anyway, my pastor got up to speak her message and she asked where I was. I raised my hand and proceeded to give me a wonderful word of encouragement that just melted my heart. God knew what I needed. I needed to hear those words. “You’re doing a good job.”
It’s a beautiful thing to know that God is pursuing me. That he loves me unfailingly and faithfully. Relentlessly.

This is my prayer – that I will know more of God’s love so that I may be ready for love. That when the time is right, God will make it obvious who I am meant to be with. Until then, strength and comfort and a quick moving on period!

 

I’ve done a lot for my soul today

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It has been a week since I left NYC for Upstate NY. I initially thought I would be picking up shifts at a few stores here in town, but so far, that has not happened. So, for this past week I have had a lot of time to myself. I live by myself in a huge apartment (by NYC standards anyway) and I don’t have a car here so I rely on my sister or father. Every morning I wake up, take my time getting ready, spend quiet time with God – praying and singing worship songs. It has been awesome.

A few posts back I talked about how I had done a lot for my stomach. Since then I have tried to do a lot for other things. My soul especially. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I have stopped over-eating, I am eating healthier food and eating much less sugar.

I think I traded feeling full in my belly with feeling full in my spirit. Since finding out that I would be leaving for five weeks, I decided to try and spend as much time with the people I love most. Which, in the city, means friends, since I don’t have family there. When I spent more time on my relationships with others my relationship with myself grew. Seems a bit strange, but it totally makes sense to me now. When I spent more time in fellowship with others, I spent more time in fellowship with God and ultimately relinquishing control to God. It is actually quite freeing to not be in control. To let my creator have control again. He will always have my best interest at heart. He will never fail me. I will fail me. Other people will fail me. But, He, He will always have me.

I’m learning to love boldly. It’s still a struggle sometimes but, it sure is a wonderful journey. I am learning to love and honor my friends, and especially my family, BOLDLY, to ask for help BOLDLY, to face my fears BOLDLY, to go for what I want BOLDLY, and to let God take control BOLDLY.

Oh, goodness, that makes me excited. I just want to keep living boldly so that I keep my spirit alive and full.

More than ever, on this beautiful Resurrection Day, I hope you Enjoy Life.

All the world’s a stage

I’m doing a play!

Many of you know that I went to school for theatre and moved to NYC to pursue acting. I have done one reading, two plays and a couple on camera things since moving there. I also got a commercial agent back in January. The fact that I’m actually getting paid to do a show is fantastic. The fact that I get to be in my hometown is even more fantastic. I think. So far, yes. I’m saving money on rent, making money and getting to be with my family. Woo!

I will admit, though, that I’m asking God as I am up here doing this play if acting is what I am called to do. It’s a tough business full of rejection and costs more money to TRY to be an actor than it does to actually be an actor.

As a Christian, I would love to be that person that shares her faith with the world of entertainment. Being able to share the truth and the love of God would be an amazing opportunity. I want people to know that God loves them no matter what. That when people tell them otherwise, they are lying to them and to themselves. As John 3:16 says, God sent his ONLY Son as a sacrifice for us because He loved us SO much. So, why would that ever change? His love is constant!

The ‘business’ always says that if acting isn’t your passion, get out, it’s too hard. Well, God is my passion first and foremost (though, He wasn’t always) and with God, nothing is too hard. I just want to know if that is what God wants me to do.

I know He wanted me to go to NYC. Acting was how he got me there. My church and He are why I’m staying there. So, where does acting fit in? Is that my career? If so, for how long? Do I go back to being a figure skating coach? How do I break into that arena?
(Hah! Pun. That’s a pun.)

For now, I will enjoy my time here. I will keep living day to day, moment to moment because that’s all I can do – is to just be present.