bird poop

so i noticed this morning my car is victim to much a bird poop. gross i know.

but that means that spring is here, y’all.

yesterday was the first true warm day in a while and it felt amazing.

birds invaded the front yard. we leaf blowed the front yard on sunday, unveiling a yard full of untouched goodness. birds spent the day picking and flying; flying and picking — new life, new breath.

i’m doing better – i’m thankful for grief and sorrow. i’m thankful this is not our home. i’m thankful for community. for true community. not just holidays with presents and food, but community – where you have the same outlook on life, the same beliefs, you understand each other and you love each other through the mess.

and it is messy. life is one big pile of mess. sin. are we surprised? is this another flaw of us? that we truly believe life should be without mess? did we think we’d live this life unscathed? no. and i’m thankful i’m learning this at 28 years old. because i know some of you have felt unbearable pain before you were 16 years old, before you were 10 years old. some of you stay in a constant state of pain.

but there is hope. and you need only accept the hope. let it soak into your heart. believe in something bigger than you. it’s scary at first, but what do you have to lose? honestly? is life going your way with YOU in control? like, have you honestly figured it all out?

no. don’t kid yourself.

so why did i wake up this morning at start this blog post? because i like looking back at my honest thoughts. it’s humbling to be real with strangers on the internet, sure. but it’s more about the freedom i feel when i’m honest with myself.

the sunrise was a painting this morning. heaven and earth met with strokes of cloud beauty. this week i will focus on beyond this life. i will feel each and every moment with an eternal perspective. xo thanks for reading.

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recently on the vlog//

i’ve been catching up on the may vlogs this past week. enjoy!

{press play} my 28th birthday!!

 

{press play} grant the male nanny!!

 

{press play} pitch perfect 2!! plus more dates!!

 

subscribe to my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfbx921OsJbeEHJpjbLSt9w

 

xo

five years in the making.

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i’ve been living in maryland, in the same town, for 27 years. born in the local hospital – grew up in the same house until i was 18.

then it was off to college. i tried florida. that lasted a semester. i was homesick. i was unsatisfied. i was a typical teenager trying to make very adult decisions. why are we given such responsibility at such a young age? makes no sense. especially when college tuition and debt are involved.

i graduated with my degree. a bs in sociology. the study of people. i love people. i love studying them.

then the fun and stressful task of finding a job became my day & night. applications, resumes, rationalizing every job and saying “yeah, i guess i could do that” or “i’m totally qualified to teach kids english as their second language.” these are the conversations you have with yourself when you just wanna hurry up and start your career. your next step.

because life is just one step after the other. (insert feet emoji here) (ps why are the feet red?)

on a very snowy day in february, i got a call from a family friend. she said they were looking for an administrative assistant at the church.

on march 1, 2010, my journey began at chesapeake. well, not really. it started 5 years earlier, through a series of different events and connections, but that’s a story for a different day, different blog post 😉

it’s been five years since i started as full time staff at chesapeake church.

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[ this is me on 3/1/10. they take pictures of you on your first day haha i felt right at home 😉 ]

you know, your job is just one part of your life. it’s a big part, but it’s only one part.

however, working at the place where you worship, where you grow in your faith, where the same people that you turn to for counsel are the same people you submit reports, where you call work and home, at the same time – – it’s just an experience i can’t really describe fully.

maybe you’re wondering what exactly i “do” at the church. haha. it’s a fair question.

well, there’s my job title that might give it away – “executive assistant” – but i have a feeling that just made things even more vague 😉

i’m not trying to avoid the question – it’s just such a big answer. the list is long of the “things i do” and i really like my list. but it’s just a list.

when i look back on the last five years, i can say it’s been hard. and i’m not even talking about my job. i’m talking about life.

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[ this is me in january – on vacation from the job i love so much. resting & relaxing on the beach are imperative for my soul once a year. ]

DID YOU KNOW: your 20’s are a HUGE transitioning time. no one ever told me this. and if they did, well, i ignored them.

having a job at a church – doing ministry as my job – wasn’t my idea. i was gonna be a teacher.

but we hear this allllll the time. we have plans, God has different plans. and we are in awe at His plans over ours. but it’s true.

God has a mission for my life. and it will never look like how i expect.

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the other day my good friend billy asked me what i see myself doing at chesapeake in ten years. it’s a question i get asked all the time.

we are forward thinkers and nobody wants to get stagnant. and i LOVE the challenge.

but here’s MY question – is this ever an easy question for people? like are there actually people out there that know what they want to do in ten years? haha because it’s a ridiculously hard question for me to hear and answer.

but i pushed through haha for the sake of the conversation. i see myself teaching at chesapeake, in some fashion. in a classroom – meeting people. teaching people. i don’t knowwwwwww. that’s as far as my little brain could go.

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i’m excited for this journey. i don’t need it all planned out. because His plan for my life is way better than anything i can dream. but i get it. don’t stop dreaming. my dreams and God’s dreams are one in the same. because the more i trust Him, the more i want what He wants. it’s all just so beautiful.

 

i’m gonna have some ice cream to celebrate these last five years.

xo

why i get anxiety twice a year.

the dentist.

i only go twice a year, but it seems the older i get, the more i dread it.

i walk into the office & before i even sit down, i silence my cell phone & don’t dare take it out of my purse as to follow the directions on the laminated sign. i see you, sign. i’m not ignoring you. while i’m sitting in the waiting room, i read gossip magazines like it’s something i do daily. i smile at the kids playing in the corner. i act like a very mature adult. but in reality, reality is i’m hating life.

then they call my name. i smile, acting like this is normal & i’m looking forward to the next 30 minutes.

i’m polite, i answer medical history questions with ease, i try to cause absolutely no ruckus as to not bring attention to myself.

then they start “tool time” as i like to call it. brand-new metal tools fresh outta the plastic bag – which i notice, of course. i notice everything. mainly because I’M FREAKING OUT.

then it begins: the precious time where i’m not able to talk or defend my teeth, while people poke & scrap & JUDGE.

they can’t help themselves. and i can’t help but wait for their judgement.

i turn into a very codependent person at the dentist. more than i already am [let’s be real]. i crave approval about my teeth. it’s like the adult-version of getting my report card.

i don’t like the person i become in that dentist office. i stare at the light above my head & start thinking about all my cavity-free years & i envy those days.

i literally sat there today & started panicking about the next twenty years. it was so overwhelming. i started making new year’s resolutions right there in that chair. i vowed to myself to brush my teeth four times a day & floss after every meal & even BEFORE every meal. i vowed to use mouth wash for five minutes straight, even if it starts to burn & i start to choke. my teeth are at the top of my priority list . . . at least for those daunting 30 minutes.

am i the only one? all i want is a good dentist report card. i want these strangers to approve of my pearly whites.

today’s report card : A+

photo(17)no cavities, just some plaque.

luckily, i won’t have to endure this dentist-induced anxiety for another six months.

until then, i shall now google what the heck plaque is & how i can avoid it . . .

photo(16)tonight’s pretty sunset.

i don’t hate life anymore, ps btw.

his first name luke, his last name warm.

photo(15)oh golly. she’s writing about being single again.

ha!

yep.

in a culture focused on the next step, i wanna take time to pause. if that means once a month, once a week, once a day, then that’s what i will do.

i saw this video about three years ago & every time i watch it, my heart bursts. you should watch it after you read this post.

there is no need to rush. why do we live in such a rushed culture?

in my life, i’ve looked forward to the next step SO much.

in elementary school, i couldn’t wait for middle school.

in middle school, i couldn’t wait for high school.

in high school, i couldn’t wait for college.

in college, i couldn’t wait to graduate.

it’s a steady progression that we can’t deny; we are always anticipating that next step, which ultimately results in us missing the current step; the step we couldn’t wait to be in just a few years before.

& this must be why i tend to see life in steps. i think we all do.

after college, you get a job; start your career. then you find your husband. then you get married. then you have kids. then you raise your family. then your kiddos leave the nest. then you & your husband learn to build a marriage that is no longer second to raising your kids. then you become a grandparent. then you spend your days spoiling those babies. then you retire. then . . . then the next step is relying on other people to take care of you.

well, who honestly wants to rush all of that?! gives me small doses of anxiety just thinking about it.

so instead of thinking of life in steps, i’m abandoning all of that. all of it.

there is no next step for me. i love my job. i love my friends. i love my saturdays on the couch & my wednesdays catching the sunset. i love playing mario cart randomly on a friday night & having spontaneous dinners with my dad.

i like the unpredictable life.

i used to dread questions about my career and my lack of a love life. but that was before i realized that life is so much more than all of those steps. those steps may define you at dinner parties or at christmas gatherings, but then what happens once that isn’t enough anymore? let’s talk about other things. bigger things. things that will last much longer than any career or any relationship.

as long as i’m content with where i am, knowing it’s god’s will & not mine, i sleep well at night. when i start worrying if i’m keeping up with all the steps or the awkward dinner party conversation i might have with strangers, that’s when i’ve lost sight of the purpose. the purpose isn’t to complete a bunch of steps. the purpose is to serve & love. the rest will happen in it’s time. just like it always does.

take 8 minutes & watch this beautiful poetic story of waiting. waiting. ugh. it’s just so powerful.

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let’s live life abandoned & see how easily christ rescues us.

i dare you.

change hurts.

things. things. thangssss.

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we all know change hurts. i mean, that’s obvious.

that’s the kinda thing people always say when change is about to happen,

“well, it hurts, but over time, it’ll get better. blahblahblahhhh.”

although it’s super true – change hurts; time heals – i’ve noticed that time really isn’t what does the healing.

bc guess whattttt. as time passes, we pick up other habits, other distractions, other junk to capture our attention from the pain. you know what i’m saying?

time does pass – that’s inevitable. but healing doesn’t necessarily happen. usually bandaids cover up wounds & people see a huge dora face on your hand & they kinda forget there is an open wound under that dora face. but you haven’t forgotten. nope. you know exactly what’s under that bandaid.

dorai google-imaged this so you could follow my analogy . . .

about three years ago, i was sitting up in church – trying to heal from one of those large wounds to the heart- & up pops this video:

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take ten minutes to watch this. seriously. do it.

crying isn’t the best word to describe what happened next. i would call it sobbing. yes. sobbing.

something about hearing that god wants to remove that junk from my life – & that it’s supposed to hurt – was all too much. overwhelming.

i still get emotional when i watch the chisel skit video. it brings back those fresh memories of a season that i’m so thankful is over, but it also makes me smile bc healing happened.

but that’s the thing with seasons, right? one passes & just as quickly as you can say “see ya!” the next season comes running from behind & almost knocks you over. or maybe it’s more of a shy season . . . it creeps up on you & you don’t even realize you’re in the season & have been for about a month. seasons have a way about them.

——

do you know what insanity is?

insanity is doing the same thing over & over & over again, expecting different results.

& there are things in your life – you even think back to high school – that you’ve been doing that do not work in your life . . .

but you go to these empty wells,

whenever you’re hurting,

whenever you’re angry,

whenever you’re lonely & tired,

but they  d o  n o t  w o r k.

——–

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hope.

i sit here tonight & remember that hurt; that anger; that loneliness; that tiredness. i remember all my empty wells. some days it was easy to practically sprint to those wells; other days i could barely manage an army-crawl, dying to get a drink. something, anything, to quench my thirst.

i still crawl to empty wells.

the difference now is that i know a l l  t o o  w e l l  that they are EMPTY.

& i know where there are rivers, streams, OCEANS full of quenchable water – – beautiful, sweet release. relief.

i must say, though, it’s still hard to run to that place, the thing, the person who will make it all better – – even when i’ve experienced the dry, empty wells of life.

we are human. we are insane. ok, ok, maybe i’ll just speak for myself.

i can be insane sometimes. i’ll do the same thing over & over & over again, expecting different results.

the season of pruning & chiseling is one of the hardest, most beautifully freeing times a person can go through. i could talk about it for hours. i could talk for hourssss about all the things god chiseled outta my life. ugh. hours.

like the video above shows- chiseling, to make something beautiful & better, is going to hurt. you can’t take a hammer to something & not expect a painful process. journey.

but the encouraging thing to remember: change is best made when the pain of staying the same hurts more than the pain of changing.

& that, my friends, is what motivates me.
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so i’m in a new season. it has its challenges. & god will have to do some chiseling & i’ll have to let him.

i love that about god. he’s never done. never. he didn’t just create & give up. he’s constantly wanting to make his creation better. ugh. i could also talk about this for hours.

i’ll leave you with this:

we are all trying to better ourselves. whether we are successful with it or not, the truth remains.

if you look at anyone’s pinterest boards – you’ll see people just wanting to enjoy this life, improve an already awesome person & make a ridiculous amount of vegetarian/vegan dishes (we all like the idea, let’s be real . . . )

embrace yourself – be honest – & let god chisel. it’s gonna hurt, but you know it’s gonna be good. he created you & he knows what’s best.

let go baby

city.

i’m not a city girl.

parallel-parking gives me anxiety. loud noises annoy me. one way streets catch me off guard.

i like big parking lots. crickets & frogs singing their songs. wide open highways & winding back roads.

country living is my thing, yet, surprisingly, there are days when i crave the city-life.

monday was one of those days. hols & i went on a grand adventure to washington, dc.

photo 1(5)(this is hols. isn’t she a beaut!?)

in the time it takes to successfully cook a pizza (pre-heating the oven & all) i can be in the nation’s capital. that’s how close i live to dc. it’s pathetic how little i take advantage of that fact.

below are just a few of the highlights of what was a medicine-for-the-soul-distract-me-until-i-forget-it-all-friends-make-life-so-much-sweeter kinda day.

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city-life isn’t so bad.