Thursday, December 31, 2009


If I had to sum up 2009 in one word, I think I would have to choose unpredictable. Never in a million years would I have imagined that this year would turn out the way that it has, ever. Seriously.

I'd have to say that this year has been one of the best, yet also one of the most difficult years for me. This summer was incredible and was spent with amazing friends whom I love dearly. Some great memories were definitely made. Lets see, In January of this year when I wrote my new years resolution, goals, plans and ambitions, I definitely didn't see my family packing up and leaving by October. I didn't see Ben and I getting back together after being seperated for 3 and a 1/2 years and I didn't imagine that I would make the decision to stay in Pensacola without my family. There has been a massive turn of events and my plans and goals were altered quite a bit but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

To say that I've learned alot with these last 12 months would be a mere understatement. I've learned, changed and grown a ton and I can definitely feel it. I feel like I have a more vast perspective on things rather than the pinhole perspective that I possessed before. It's amazing how being on your own away from your nest ie family will inflict changes and affect you so much. Has it been hard? Most definitely. I miss them every single day and I miss my home, pets, familiarity etc. However, I'm proud to say that I am capable of being on my own. Independance has taken on a whole new meaning. I made a somewhat selfish decision to stay here and in doing so , am discovering so much more about myself and what I want and need. I've learned to love, let go, move on, glean from each and every situation, trust and give. It's beautiful, this life. So full of unexpected turns and bumps, yet never dull.

I'm 2 days away from bidding farewell to my dear friend, Beth. She's moving to Atlanta. Our friendship has been strengthened this year. I met her at the end of 2008 and now feel as though I've known her my entire life. Pretty much every memory this year involves her. I can't even fathom her not being apart of my every day life. Life is certainly full of greetings and partings.

On to 2010. What to expect? I honestly have absolutely no idea. I'm excited though and maybe a little anxious. I pray that this year would be filled with God's grace and direction. I hope that I continue learning, striving and growing. I desire to be used to influence another and I hope that I become more selfless and make helping and loving others a priority.

Tonight I will be counting down to the new year with all of my best friends in downtown Pensacola for the annual Pensacola Pelican Drop. Here is my post from all the fun that we had last year. I'm looking forward to it!

May this year be beautiful in every aspect, even in the challenges that it may bring.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Christmas.

Hope you all had an incredible Christmas! I certainly did. It was the most wonderful white Christmas spent with my dear family and I enjoyed every second of it. It went by all too quickly, though.

This Christmas was much different than former Christmases as for the first time in my life, I did not wake up in my own home. However, I believe that this Christmas was by far one of the absolute best and memorable ones I've ever had. Undoubtedly.

My whole family has been affected by this ever failing economy in some way, so this year was quite refreshing as the focus was shifted away from materialistic gifts and onto what was/is of utmost importance. Honestly, the fact that I didn't "get" an enormous amount of presents to unwrap as usual didn't affect me one bit. I would have much rather preferred the Christmas we had over any elaborate gift money could buy.

Being with my family on my Mom's side was amazing. I love them all so very much and we all have a very special and deep connection due to our heritage and beautiful family history. We spent hours all gathered around the piano that belonged to my great grandma as my uncle, aunt and mom played and sang beautifully composed songs and lyrics that my incredible Grandma wrote. (She passed into eternity in 2003.) It was precious and undeniably sentimental. They literally had us all in tears. It was very enriching and meant more to me than any gift that wrapping and bows could adorn.

We all went sledding in the 20+ inches of snow that fell and then sat and got all toasty by the fire as we all laughed until we cried. When we get together, there is always a LOT of laughter. We had a Michael Jackson dance party, naturally and proceeded to all watch the Office together which entailed much more laughter. It was great. I believe that I excercised muscles that I hadn't in quite sometime due to laughing. Thank you, satire.

The food was phenominal as to be expected and every sort of cookie, candy and sweet treat was easily found within my aunt and uncle's home as my mom literally baked for weeks beforehand.

Those 3 days went by rather quickly but some of the most precious memories were made within them. I am so very thankful that I was able to join them all.

It was definitely a Christmas that I will always remember fondly.

I was of course eager to get back and see Ben as we had gone 8 days without seeing each other. I wish he could have accompanied me and experienced this Christmas. It was truly wonderful in every aspect. I am so blessed and thankful to be apart of such an incredible family.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Here's to a new year that begins very shortly.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

I'll be boarding a flight to Pittsburgh in just a few short hours to meet up with all of my dear family in the snowy mountain state of West Virginia!

In case I'm not back on here before I return (which I kind of doubt I will be), I wanted to go ahead and wish ALL of you a very...


I truly hope that each and every one of you have a beautifully blessed Holiday with your families and loved ones.

Much Love,


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas happenings.

Ben and I had a most lovely weekend together. Friday night we had dinner and exchanged gifts in which I received a most beautiful Michael Kors designer handbag as pictured below AND he freaking got me a new 55-250 mm zoom lens for my Canon Rebel! So sweet. I gave him two sweaters and a wallet/money clip. As you can tell, he definitely outgifted me =/ It was a good time spent together, though. I really enjoyed it.

Saturday night we attended an "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party" and this was my creation...

Light up earrings!

He left today for Michigan where he will be spending Christmas with his family and I leave Wednesday for West Virginia where I will be spending a WHITE Christmas with my family. We won't see each other for a whole week. :( This is quite strange considering we have seen each other every single day since late October when we started talking again.

I'm very much looking forward to spending Christmas with my wonderful family. I haven't seen them since Thanksgiving and I miss them tons!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I can't believe Christmas is in 4 days! That is totally insane. So much to do...

Love, Amber

Friday, December 18, 2009


I am currently counting down the minutes until it's 5:00! I know, hard to believe.

I am so ready for this weekend! Tonight Ben and I are celebrating Christmas together as we will both be in totally different parts of the country for Christmas celebrating with our families.

Tonight shall entail a nice dinner at my all time favorite restaurant in Pensacola, The Fish House, our gift exchange, Christmas movies and hot chocolate. I am very much looking forward to it.

Kelly Clarkson was amazing last weekend. She puts on a fabulous show and her vocal talent is absolutely phenominal. Her band is also insanely talented. It was a lot of fun and I throughly enjoyed it.

I fly out to Pittsburgh, PA on Wednesday to meet up with all of my family at my aunt and uncle's house in West Virginia. I'm getting very excited and eager to see my family and celebrate with all of them. It looks as though I just may be having a white Christmas this year. I haven't had a white Christmas since I was a little kid! I'm stoked.

It really hasn't felt like Christmas to me all month. It's weird. The other night, Ben and I went to a big Christmas tree that our hospital puts up on a main street in town and took a picture with my phone. I think that may be the most christmasy thing I've done all month! Haha. We have an ugly Christmas sweater party to attend tomorrow night. Now, I just need an ugly Christmas sweater.

Tomorrow I'm going to look at a house that I may potentially be moving into in January! Yes, you heard me. I'm looking at getting my own place SOON and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Oh so much is going on my my little life.

That's all for now, friends. I hope you're all having a blessed Christmas season. I'm off to catch up on my reading and commenting!

Love, Amber

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh my.

What a week it has been!

I've been the only one at the office this week due to my co-worker being out sick. Ay. It's been a week, I tell you. So ready for this weekend that begins in exactly 2 hours and 10 mins!

Ben bought tickets to take me to see Kelly Clarkson tonight!

So so so excited! That guy. My goodness.

This weekend shall be filled with lots of fun. The Christmas parade is tomorrow night and our friends are playing a show downtown. It's supposed to be cold cold cold so maybe it will start to feel more like Christmas to me. I'm so looking forward to all of it.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The gift.

As mentioned previously, Ben made me the most beautiful gift ever as he collaborated hundreds of pictures from my lifetime and made them into a montage that sits in a gorgeous frame. It will always be a a prized possession to me as it essentially screams "me" in so many aspects. Every era of my life is documented in this most thoughtful gift. No one has ever gone to such lengths to do something this special for me. I love it so much and wanted to share a picture of it with all of you.

Please disregard the somewhat grim quality of this photo as it was in fact taken with my blackberry. You get the idea.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

However, it doesn't necessarily feel like Christmas to me right now. I'm assuming that the absence of my family fully contributes to this feeling. We have so many sweet traditions that I will not be able to participate in this year. Sad.

I'm going to make the most of this blessed season, though. I'm surrounded by wonderful friends and I plan to seize and treasure every moment spent with loved ones. Plus, I will be spending Christmas eve and Christmas day with my wonderful family! God totally provided a way for me to fly to West Virginia to be with them. We're all meeting up there at my aunt and uncle's house. I couldn't be more excited!

I'm really happy in so many aspects of the word but the last couple of days, I have been feeling a bit down. This growing up stuff isn't easy. I'm trying my absolute best to be positive and excited about the future and I really do love how things are right now. Plain and simple- I miss my family and my home.

Ben is wonderful and treats me like a queen. It's insane, really. I've never been treated with so much respect and care by anyone. It's so precious and inevitably makes me feel amazing. So blessed. I think I mentioned before that our history goes back 5 and a 1/2 years, didn't I? Isn't that insane? Seriously, our story could be a book. It's that crazy and sweet. I love it. I'm still in disbelief about it all but I'm savoring every moment we've been able to spend together. Our times together are so pure and sweet. There's a definite comfort given our past but also a new intrigue and mystery which makes it all the more exciting and precious. Seriously, every girl should be treated the way he treats me. EVERY girl. I'm amazed at the amount of thoughtfulness he displays towards me. He knows exactly what makes me happy and goes beyond measure to give it to me. It's so sweet and melts my heart. Slow strides though. Slow strides.

I'm learning to discover beauty in the unpredictable and contentment in the curves that life consistently throws at me. It's a lesson to be learned every single day.

I hope you're all having a beautiful holiday season thus far.

Love, Amber

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm here and new news!

I can't believe it's December. That is so freaky to me. This year has flown by way too quickly for my own good. My goodness.

SO much has happened since I last posted. SO MUCH.

This year has just been absolutely crazy in every aspect, honestly.

Remember this?

Well, I went to Charlotte for Thanksgiving to be with my family and Ben came with me. We had an AMAZING time, by the way. It was so great being with all of my family! My cousin and her husband showed up and surprised us. It was an incredible weekend filled with lots of good food, fun, laughter and amazing people. It was difficult leaving.

So, Ben is the guy that I dated 3 and 1/2 years ago. The only person that I have EVER dated in my life actually, and we're talking again. There is such a crazy, long, insane story that goes with this whole situation. I'm basically still in complete and utter shock with regard to everything but strangely find myself to be completely content with it. It's crazy. Beautifully crazy.

I've never been treated with so much care and respect by someone and I'm finding myself falling.

I'm still in disbelief, honestly. When things ended between us 3 and a 1/2 years ago, I never ever imagined this happening.

Life is so unpredictable. There are so many winds and bends along the way that you can in no way be fully prepared for. So exciting and yet terrifying all at the same time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


With my family leaving, I had to find a place to live. Thank the Lord for the precious Boren family whom I have known for 10 years. They are more like family than anything. Undoubtedly some of the dearest friends we have. Meagan is my best friend and has been since we were 11 and 12 and her little sister, Kayla is best friends with my little sister, Hannah. Our Moms and Dads are very close friends and having Mrs. Lisa during this time in my life has been nothing but an absolute blessing. She's more or less like a second Mom to me. Love them all.

They're letting me have/rent out their spare bedroom for now. So sweet. I love living with them so far. Meagan and Kayla are more like sisters than anything and I'm quite used to a house full of girls with lots of clothes and accessories to share. We have a good time. Love it and I love them dearly!

Meagan, Myself and Kayla.

So thankful that I have a wonderful place to live for now.

Still so unsure about the future, though. Meagan and I have been talking about renting our own place soon. That could mean me staying in Pensacola longer than I expected depending on certain things. Crazy times.

Happy Thursday sweet friends!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The babies are boomin'!

Is it just me or does it seem like every blog has turned into a pregnancy and/or motherhood blog?!

Don't get me wrong, I love it! I just find it ironic that it's all happening at the same time. Something in the water?

I'm excited for all of my fellow bloggers and new mommies to be. It's fun and very interesting to read about your progress and then watch as you welcome your precious babes into the world. I really find much joy in it.

Lots of babies are coming to a blog near you! Nearly 80% of my blogroll is pregnant. :) I love it.

Congrats to all of you very special ladies. I couldn't be happier for you!


I had a mega scare.

I was under the impression that I may not be able to go to Charlotte and be with my family this Thanksgiving due to work related issues. Yesterday, I was more than stressed and completely down about the entire situation.

This morning my boss assured me that I could, in fact take next Wednesday off to drive up there. Thank you, Lord! I honestly didn't know how I was going to tell my mom that I wasn't going to be able to come. Ay. She would have lost it.

I can't wait to be with my family. I miss them more than words can express. Thanksgiving is by far one of my all time favorite holidays with Christmas following close behind. It's weird to think that I won't be with them for the entire Holiday season. That makes me really sad. I get 4 days off for Christmas and we're all going to West Virginia to be with my Mom's side of the family. I am stoked! We haven't spent a holiday with them since I was little. I am very close with them. It will be wonderful! I'm very much looking forward to it.

Life is still crazy in every way possible. I'm not even really taken by surprise anymore. I'm embracing this season of my life with pure intentions and an open mind and heart. At least thats what I'm telling myself. Pshhh. Who am I kidding?

It looks as though I'll have someone accompanying me in my travels to Charlotte next week per their sweet offer. Take a wild guess as to who it might be...

My, oh my.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm a mess.

I am currently dealing with way too many sicknesses all at one blessed time. Lord, have mercy.

I'm almost positive that I have a severe case of strep throat. Maybe the feeling that I have a golf ball with sharp edges lodged in my throat would give me reason to believe so? My sinuses detest me and are doing anything and everything in their power to ensure that I am miserable and unable to breathe.

AF made her debut yesterday and not in a polite manner whatsoever. She rudely stormed in and did as she pleased without my consent and with no forewarning. Discourteous.

My gums around my wisdom teeth are red, seriously inflamed and swollen thus causing extreme pain and discomfort inside of my mouth. I can't even chew. Unfortunately, I don't get dental insurance until January 2010. Hopefully, I don't die from infection before then.

Between an insanely sore throat, intense sinus difficulties, painful cramping and severe tooth and gum grief, I just don't even know where to begin with the meds. I don't even know what all I took last night and I'm already leary about medicine. I hate taking medicine. However, I'm way too miserable to not try anything.

It feels as though my body has turned on me and is attempting to assault and attack me in every form possible.

It might be winning.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


Definitely watched the CMA's last night. Loved it. I am a definite country music fan, not ashamed. Between Carrie Underwood's sheer beauty, phenominal wardrobe and incredible voice and range, Brad Paisley's insane guitar pickin' and riffs and sexy Keith Urban lighting up the stage with his usual star quality performance, I would have to say that that I was very pleased.

Taylor Swift is kicking butt and taking names with all the awards she received this year. Not to mention, Entertainer of the Year. I love Taylor, I really do but I just think she is absolutely horrible live. Is anyone with me on this? Her voice is so pitchy and she goes flat all too often. I'm not discrediting her by any means as I have all due respect for her as a musician and a writer and I own all of her albums. She just isn't good live, plain and simple. She seems so sweet and I really do love all of her music (just as long as it's the cd).

Lady Antebellum is a new favorite for me. They kind of up and came out of nowhere but their music is fantastic, in my opinion! Loved seeing them perform.

All in all, I really enjoyed it this year. All of the jokes geared at Kanye West were pretty funny even as they have been worn out recently. I laughed (out loud, have you).

Happy Thursday everyone! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So there's this situation...

Why is it so difficult to return to your blog when you've been absent for more than so many days? I think I just get overwhelmed and begin feeling disconnected from all of you sweet folk and I don't like it, one bit. So, here I go...

I hope this post finds all of you enjoying this wonderful day. I have been an extremely poor commenter but that does not mean I have not been reading as of late. :)

Life is...crazy, point blank. I wish so badly that I could unravel and elaborate on the series of events that have transpired over the last two weeks but to be on the rather safe side, I will try not to go into too much detail.. Just know that it's kind of a big deal and it may or may not have to do with a certain (and ONLY) someone who I dated 3 years ago. Yeah, the only boyfriend I have ever had in my entire life has somehow made his way back into my life and may or may not be trying to win my heart again and it may be working. There are way too many details and history there that it would take me hours to fill you all in on. It feels really good in a sense to have this familiarity in my life, at this very strange state I'm finding myself in lately. I am just afraid that I am too vulnerable and sensitive at this season in my life to make a hasty decision.

I'm thoroughly enjoying his company and he has done the absolute sweetest things in the entire world to ensure that I am happy and content. I can't even put into words the lengths and efforts that he has gone to in order to show that he still cares about my wellbeing and happiness. So sweet. It is so very flattering and inevitably makes me feel amazing but on another level, it also kind of scares me.

You see, I'm the one who broke things off 3 years ago. Apparently (according to all of our friends), he has never gotten over me. :Melting heart: Such a good guy, really.

So, here's where I am finding myself...

Confused. Analytical. Frustrated. Happy. Content. Scared. Freaked out. Unsure.

Prayer seems to really be the only thing that could possibly help at this point.

I don't deal well with outside pressure and there are so many people either rooting for us to get back together or vice versa. Oh, another big problem...I care WAY too much about other people's opinions. Ridiculous, I know.

He made me the most thoughful gift anyone has EVER given to me in my life. He took hundreds of pictures off of my facebook from every era of my life and had them printed in black and white and made the most beautiful collage/montage of my life in pictures. It's MASSIVE. It had to have taken him hours upon hours. I can't even imagine. He brought it to where I was staying and set it up for me with a card to come upon when I got home from work. I was speechless when I saw it. I seriously couldn't even wrap my mind around it. There are pictures from when I was a baby to pretty much every vital season in my life- all of my friends, family, animals, the house I grew up in etc. It's incredible. Seriously, I think you all have probably already gathered that I am an extremely sentimental person. Pictures are SO important to me. This gift was above and beyond amazing in every aspect. It sits in a beautiful frame (made to fit the picture) with the words etched in the middle... "Every season runs it's course but family is an eternal constant". Simply beautiful.

I don't understand this love and admiration for me.

I have no idea.

I know his pursuit spoiled me. He pursued me for almost two years before we started dating and he did the most insane things and really put his heart on the line to be with me. I compare any guys interest in me to his. If a guy professes he wants to go out with me, I want him to chase me. Crazy, I know.

I don't understand it.

He's special to me and holds a very dear place in my heart but I'm scared to go there again.

I never in a million years saw this coming. I'm not even so sure what is going on, to be honest.

Oh pray for me, ladies.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh life.

My oh my.

How things change. Continually learning.

We're all moved out and moving day definitely tops as one of the most difficult days of my entire life. It was emotionally draining and exhausting in every aspect. I didn't get much sleep during the month of October with all of the packing, moving sales and then final moving day on the weekends. Needless to say, the immense lack of sleep most definitely attributed to my emotions and state. I was quite a sight to behold.

So many of our friends came out and helped all day long. It was such a blessing and truly reminded us of how loved we are. We really do know some of the most incredible people! So blessed.

The day was so long and drawn out. Oh and to top it off, not all of our stuff fit in the truck. Lovely indeed. We rented a storage unit and were forced to make trips back and forth with all the leftover junk. So much fun.

My family left last Sunday and made their way across 3 states away from me :( I miss them so very much. It is so weird not seeing them every day.

They endured some extreme hardships along the way but God remained faithful and steadfast and only proved to them that they were in His will. It seemed as though it was the final test. They handled their circumstance with grace and dignity and prayed and God came through for them. It's quite a story. I assume my mom will write about it in her blog at some point. With my not being there, I just could not do the story justice. So, I will post a link when she writes about the happenings.

While I am beyond happy for my family and their new adventures, I don't like the idea of getting used to not seeing them all of the time...

It looks as though I just might have to, though.

As of last week, I made the decision that I will be staying in Pensacola until at least January or so. I'm not really quite sure what triggered this huge change of mind and heart but it happened. I have never essentially been "on my own" before and I believe that this will be a very crucial time in my life to grow and learn. I could very well be making the worst decision by choosing to stay but it is my decision and if it ends up being a bad one, I will own up to it.

I have a track record for always doing what everyone else wants me to do and when and how they want me to do it. This will honestly be the first time in my life that I've made a decision for "me". I know that may sound really selfish but I kind of want to be selfish right now, as horrible as that sounds. I just want to experience this and I want to explore and find out for "me" what is the best thing at the right time. Does that make sense?

It breaks my heart that my family is so sad about me not coming when I had proposed and honestly my emotions have been swaying and changing so much but this is the decision that I have made and I am sticking to it.

Life really does have a way of unexpectedly taking you by complete and utter surprise.

So much has happened between my last post and now. SO MUCH. It feels as though these last 10 days have more or less like 6 months with all of the changes I have experienced and undergone. It's absolutely insane. I have a lot to catch up on, reading-wise and posting. Bear with me. I'm getting back into the swing of things, my friends. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

sad day. sweet find.

Today we close on our sweet homeplace. I'm in such a weird mood. The gloomy weather may have a bit to do with the way I'm feeling as well. It's quite dark and dreary. This day has been dreaded for some time now.

I'm sad today. Yeah, I said it. I'm still excited about new things ahead but closing a precious chapter in your life always hurts. I'm so glad that I still have a month left here. I'm going to savor every moment I can with all of my dear friends.

I'm not really going to elaborate and throw up all of my feelings today because they're all over the place and I don't want to come across as being bi-polar. I'm just emotional. I think we've all determined that already. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. ;)

So on a happier note, I thought I'd share a lovely find. I love to go thrift store shopping. Call me crazy, weird or whatever, I don't care. Honestly, I have found some really great treasures at thrift stores. I love to rummage through other people's junk and find something with character.

I went to goodwill not long ago and was digging through their scarf/hat bin when I happened upon a most lovely, antique and very vintage hat from the 1940's era. Fell in love. I don't know if I'll ever actually wear it out but I have a thing for hats. I guess it's the little old lady somewhere inside of me. I wouldn't be opposed to wearing a nice hat every now and again. I think I was born in the wrong era. Who knows? It could very well come in handy for a costume at some point. It would work as a wonderful prop for some fun photo shoots and it can very well be used even as decor, if you ask me. I can find use for most anything. Behold the vintage red net hat in all it's glory that I paid a whole $2 for...

I bet I could sell it on ebay and make way more than I paid for it. Still has the original designer print inside and everything. I believe I'll keep it though. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's official.

I'm really moving to Charlotte, NC. I have one month left in my sweet beloved hometown of Pensacola and I will be making a move away from the sweet coast up into the Mountains of North Carolina. A change of scenery will be nice but the thought of giving up my beach breaks my little heart. It's bittersweet, really. That is the best way to describe my emotions and feeling toward all of this.

I will always be a Pensacolian. I love it here and it is my home. Our beaches are amongst the most beautiful in the world and I can get around this town with my eyes closed. My dearest and lifelong friends were made here. Pensacola will always have a very large portion of my heart and I will visit as frequently as I can.

Charlotte is a bit intimidating to me. It's SO BIG. Don't they call it the NYC of the south? Seems like I've heard that before. I'm used to a somewhat smalltown feel. I have a feeling I'm going to need to purchase a GPS before I go. Big city traffic freaks me out and getting lost freaks me out even more.

Thankfully, Charlotte, NC is still the "south". I am and will always be a southern girl. It's in my blood. I am all about southern hospitality, sweet tea, grits, the knowing that fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb, ya'll is a part of my everyday vocabulary and I will always say yes/no Ma'am and yes/no Sir (Mama and Daddy raised me right!). There are so many more southern perks. I love being from the south.

I really can't believe this will all be reality soon. It's so surreal. I am going to live in North Carolina. That is SO weird. Of course all I can think about is- I wanna take all of my friends with me! What am I going to do without the beach? I wanna keep my Florida license and tags! I'm going to have to get used to not knowing how to get anywhere and not feeling at home right away. What if I don't like it as much as I thought I would and want to come back? What if I don't like my job there? Some of these these thoughts are pretty silly, I know.

In the end though, my family will be there. I already have a group of friends there and a wonderful church. This will all help so much! It won't be as foreign as sometimes moving to a new place can be. I'm trying to dwell on all the amazing things Charlotte has to offer- INCREDIBLE shopping- IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, etc. exquisite cuisine, a lively downtown/uptown and lots of fun things to do like the amusement park, Carowinds. There are a lot of pros! I'll be closer to my cousins and aunt and uncle in West Virginia and just a couple of hours away from my cousin, Tamera in Knoxville, TN. Charlotte is beautiful and I have met a lot of amazing people there. Maybe I'll even meet my husband there. Who knows! ;)

Thankfully, I have a few job opportunities up there already thanks to my amazing boss who is recommending me to State Farm agents in the area. He reassured me today that I will most definitely have a job when I get there. What a relief!!! He also said something that completely took me by surprise as he stated that if I decide to come back to Pensacola, my seat here will always be open and he would gladly bring me back on staff. He also proclaimed that he hasn't told a former employee that before. Seriously? I wanted to start crying. I couldn't believe it. I'm still in shock. This job has been nothing but an absolute blessing in my life in every aspect. I love the people I work with, our clients, my day to day routine and just everything about it. I just have a hard time believing that there is another office out there as great as this one! Let's hope that there is!

In essence- I believe this is going to be a good thing. It's hard, yes but also exciting and adventurous. It's comforting to know that our steps are God ordained and ordered. It's crazy how all of this has panned out and there is more of a story behind it that would take forever to share but God has just put all of the pieces together perfectly. I have no doubt that this is His will. It doesn't make it any less difficult but trusting Him and knowing that He will take care of the details is so relieving and encompasses my heart with total peace.

Today I'm more upbeat about things. We close on our house tomorrow and move out this Saturday. So be expecting a bit of a gloomy post shortly. My emotions are a whirlwind these days. I can go from laughter to tears and vice versa in a matter of seconds. It's a bit pitiful.

So here's to a new season, a new chapter, a fresh start and a scary/exciting adventure!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekend Recap

Woke up at 6:00 am on Saturday morning to begin setting up for our big moving sale. Note: 6:00 am on a Saturday is more than torturous.

These are only my clothes. Picture this times 3. Yes, the Collins girls have WAY too many clothes. It's somewhat ridiculous. It was time to get rid of some, even the cute ones. I just don't wear them all and there is no sense in having them take up room in my dresser and closet. So, I FINALLY went through and got rid of TONS. It was a relief and I made some good cha-ching in doing so. That never hurts ;) More money for which I can buy new clothes. I love my theory.

Getting it all set up. This doesn't even do it justice. I should have taken a picture from the road.

Saturday night we went to a Gills' show- one last time with my sister : (

My friend, Beth and I. (Would you look at how long my hair is getting!)

(L-R) Ben, Danielle, Myself and my sister, Ashton.

Myself, Beth and Josh

Danielle and I.

Despite the early Saturday Morning, yard sale chaos, wind chills and feeling pretty crappy all weekend with a head cold and unstoppable allergies- I'd say that this weekend was nothing less than wonderful as it was spent with family and friends.

This moving stuff is starting to feel more real. The house is in utter chaos and I'm just kind of ready now for it to be over with. Then again, I'm not. So back and forth.

Tonight shall entail a girls night with my mom's best friend, my best friend and my sister's best friends. Movies, cookies, chips, phase ten, lots of laughing and most likely- some crying. I'm most definitely looking forward to it, though.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mixed emotions.

My bedroom is officially all packed up and is no longer "my room" anymore. So sad. I can't believe this chapter of my life is really coming to a close. It's so surreal. 9 years. 9 very significant years of my life were spent within these walls and now, we're only days from bidding farewell to our beloved home. The Collins clan might possibly be the most sentimental bunch you would ever wanna meet. We've spent hours upon hours reminiscing and crying our little eyes out, while also laughing about memories and such that were made here. It's a bit pathetic and exhausting. Being so very emotional on top of incessant packing and cleaning can be draining. Of course, we've taken many breaks to play Phase 10, which has more or less been therapeutic throughout this entire process.

Unfortunately, I haven't been home to help as much as I would like due to my being at work every day. My dear Sister helped me rummage through my entire room last night and helped me clean, get rid of and pack things. Such a blessing. I could not have done it all by myself. I didn't realize how much of a packrat I was! I keep everything! I'm getting rid of so much junk and it's quite liberating!

We're having a huge moving sale tomorrow morning. It should be interesting. We're selling a lot of stuff. It's kind of sad. We need the money though and the house my parents will be renting for the next year is smaller than what we have now, thus causing them to either store or sell furniture and such. They're leaning more toward the sell option as money is kind of important right now.

As sad as all of this is, I am sort of feeling like this is a cleansing process, a way to make a fresh start and start a brand new season. Does this make my heart break any less? Absolutely not. I would love nothing more than to stay right where we are but I know that is not possible nor is it the most healthy thing for us. Change is good, the adjusting is difficult.

I think I'm having one of those "A-HA" moments. Of course, when I make my way home tonight and realize that as of today, we have only 5 days left until our lives drastically change, I might just lose it again. My emotions are in full swing. My family will make the move to Charlotte without me next weekend. I will be moving in with my Best friend and her family tenatively until I can get to Charlotte.

I can't believe that this is all really happening.

And speaking of seasons changing- today I woke up to cold weather! Finally! It's 65 degrees and it feels wonderful. I was growing very tired of the Florida heat and humidity in mid October. The annual Interstate Fair makes it's debut next week and I refuse to go to the fair in the heat. I also have been wanting to go to a Pumpkin Patch- another thing I refuse to do in the heat. I hope that this cold weather sticks around! I'm quite enjoying it. Time to bust out the boots and sweaters.

I'll leave you with a "before" picture of my beloved bedroom...

I am a bit excited because I do want a change in my bedroom decor. I'm growing tired of the colors and style and have found some really fun inspiration pallettes and bedrooms. I'm wanting to go for a more colorful, yet rustic/vintage and trendy style in my next bedroom. Might sound a bit contradictory but I have the idea in my mind and it's quite lovely, I assure you.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Mom, I know you're waiting for an update as I believe you're my most faithful reader. ;) So, this one is in honor of YOU.

It's not her birthday, Mother's day or anything special like that. It's just an ordinary day and I'm thinking about how amazing my mom is.

Thank you Mom for all that you have done and for all that you do for us. I don't tell you enough how much I appreciate you and how much you mean to me. I can't imagine not having you to talk to or confide in. You really are the most amazing, selfless and beautiful person ever. Everyone knows it. I've never known anyone more hospitable and welcoming than you are. You always go out of your way for us and everyone else. You go above and beyond your role as a mother.

You were the best teacher I could have asked for and ensured that we all got a solid education and you always made everything so much fun with your plethora of unit studies and field trips. You're the best doctor when we're sick, the best listener when we're going through something, the best target when we need to take something out on someone (I hate even admitting this one but its true because you never hold ANYTHING against us and always say "that's what families are for- you can let your hair down at home and it won't be held against you".) Ashamedly, I haven't always given you the respect you so deserve and for that, I'm sorry.

Thank you for always supporting ours and Dad's dreams and for standing by us in whatever decisions we've made. You're my number one fan and for that, I couldn't be more thankful. Thank you for remaining humble and selfless and for showing us what a Wife and Mother should be. Thank you for pointing us in the right direction. Sure, we've messed up but our roots run deep and we all know the truth and direction from the compass you and Dad have instilled within us.

Thank you for telling us we're beautiful and that our worth is of utmost value. Thank you for your support, direction, advice, prayers and for simply listening.

Thank you for always having hot meals on the table for dinner and for being the most incredible cook EVER. Seriously, all of our friends always say how they only wish their mom could cook as good as you do! Thank you for also teaching us how to cook. I don't think I'll ever measure up to the cook that you are, though!

Thank you for always making every holiday so special. This is another area that you go above and beyond in. Thanksgivings, Christmases, New Years, Birthdays and Easters etc. All of our traditions and baking etc. make them SO much more special and unique.

Thank you for everything, Mom. I could go and on and on but I'll close by saying that I have no doubt in my mind that you're the absolute best at everything you do but most importantly, at being a Mom. I don't give you enough credit and I certainly don't tell you enough how grateful I am for you and Dad. You both have given us beyond what we need and deserve. We're so blessed and I thank God for giving you both to me.

I hope I'm at least a fraction of the person you are.

I love you so very much!



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scariest moment of my life. This day is from h*ll.

Today, I experienced my first real panic attack.

Perhaps it had something to do with being "this close" to being kidnapped.

Yeah, scariest moment of my entire life thus far.

Upon taking boxes to a larger mail box in the parking lot parallel to our office (a parking lot that is somewhat desolate), a man sitting in his vehicle began screaming at me and motioning for me to come to his vehicle. Of course it FREAKED (freaked is an understatement) me out and I took off running. The dude then pulled out of his parking spot as if he was going to follow me but I made it to the office by then and didn't see where he had gone. I saw him but did not recognize him. I can't even describe the feeling of fear that gripped me during these few minutes. Something was definitely wrong and he was a SICKO. I could just sense it by the way he was screaming and looking at me. Absolutely insane.

We called the police and an officer came out and I hysterically gave him a report and he stated that this was the SECOND similar report they had gotten today in this vicinity.

Being abducted is my absolute worst nightmare. I can't tell you how much I think about it. We had a friend who was abducted and murdered last year and it ruined me. You can NEVER EVER be too careful.

There are so many psychos out there. The outcome could have been so much worse. Thank you Jesus for swift feet and safety.

....and this day is just progressively going downhill.

Can I just vent for a second?!

I am SO SICK of disgusting, shovenistic, power hungry and demeaning men. We have had so many customers with this attitude and it's really getting tiring. I don't appreciate being cussed out and called a "liar" when I tell you my boss is out on an errand. No sir, I do not lie. My boss is out on an errand!" He then proceeds to SCREAM at me and insists that my boss is out shopping. What the heck?! As if I have the audacity to put up with all of this crap today.

This day sucks and I can't WAIT for it to be OVER!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The best days.

In the midst of the move, we've had the ability to rummage through a lot of old pictures, cards, and other sentimental pieces. In essence, this has made me ten times more emotional. In many ways, I wish I could go back to being a little kid, carefree and concerned not with the things I am facing today, as an adult. Time flies, huh? I dearly treasure my childhood memories. My sisters and I were so close. My parents always loved each other and provided more than we needed. So blessed.

So, without further adieu, here are a few photos I figured I would share with you of "little Amber" and her dear sisters/family...

Me at Chucky Cheese circa 1990.

Mom, Dad, Ash and I. (I'm on Mom's lap and Ash is on Dad's)

Ticklish much?

Mom's hair was seriously rockin'. Ash and I look somewhat frightened.

Mama, Baby Ash and I

Glow Worms and Baby Alive's- Remember those, anyone!?

Cousin Ben and I havin a good time, as we always did.

Ashton and I...two peas in a pod.

Like our Little Mermaid shirts? ;) New baby sister, Hannah. We were so excited!

Matching windbreaker jumpsuits!

Yeah, I was a bride for Halloween in 2nd grade and I kind of hated it. As I approached every house for trick or treating, the homeowners would all sing "Here comes the bride...". I was shy at this age and this only made me feel very exposed and embarrassed. I remember crying about it. Hahaha. Little emotional me.

That's all for now! There are so many more pictures I would love to post but I have a lot to do, so I gotta get to it!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend thus far. If you would be inclined to post some pictures of you as a baby/little girl I would love to see!!!! So, please do! :)

Back to being emotional and sentimental. I think I'll start by having coffee with my mom...


Friday, October 9, 2009

Mi corazon deseos...

For those of you who are not aware, I was apart of a Spanish Church for a year and a half back in 2007. It was a life changing and definite growing experience for me. I was stretched in almost every way possible and a huge love and stirring desire was planted inside of me for the Hispanic people and nations. I learned about their culture, their language and their hearts. I was honored to be apart of a worship team and sing in their most beautiful tongue and worship the Lord with a new song, literally! I was honored to help out with the youth group and love on and mentor young girls who were undergoing some very difficult home situations. It was so eye opening.

Amongst all of these things, I also served as an assistant to the Pastor and learned so much in doing so. I accompanied her on various trips and even got to go to Mexico with her. It was a truly amazing and humbling experience.

I've actually experienced quite a bit in my short lifespan. I've been apart of many different ministries and internships as well as worship teams and Bible colleges. I guess you could say I just got burnt out.

I'm finding myself in a very strange place as of late- with all of these abrupt changes taking place and my future very much hazy and distorted, I am so confused as to what I should do or where I should go. My heart desires so much, yet my mind stays busy reasoning and analyzing thus drowning my dreams and heart's desires.

What makes me happy? What gives me purpose? What brings me alive?

Worship. Music. People. Singing. Ministry. Culture. Nations...

I miss these things in my life. It's no wonder I feel such a void inside of me. I am doing absolutely nothing that makes me feel alive. I'm simply existing and working to live. I want more than anything to take a blind leap of faith and go out on a limb to experience the divine grace and provision of my merciful Father but I am just so scared to do so.

I can be this honest here, right?

I have so much ahead of me. These are my dream years. I don't want them stolen from me simply because I was too comfortable.

Stability brings me comfort. I'm not a fan of change and I'm terrified of the unknown.

I want to be as free as some people I know. You could say I'm a faithful person but really, do I have the faith to do let go of things that I've known all of my life or things that keep me financially stable and comfortable? I admire those who do and I only hope to get to that point.

Lord, help me trust you more. Ashamedly, I haven't given you the trust and faith that you so deserve.

Señor, cambia mi corazon. Abre mis ojos y oidos. Eres siempre fiel y digno de mi vida.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

On Knowing You.

Because i knew you
now i know Love.
And i know that, i want more of...

the thing that poets write about
the thing that singers sing about
the thing that flowers bloom for
the thing that stars shine for
the thing that babies laugh for
the thing that jesus died for
the thing that winners wait for
the thing that trees reach for
the thing that addicts stop for
the thing that widows die for
the thing that proud are humbled for
the thing that lonely are looking for
the thing that made me come alive
the thing that made me realize
that Your love is the most beautiful thing can happen to anyone.

-Bradley Hathaway

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

and thus the process begins...

Packing. I so loathe that word and concept. How in the world am I supposed to cram my life's belongings into boxes for who knows how long to be sent and stowed away with my family until I figure out just what I'll be doing and when and if I'll be moving?

This stresses me out.

I have so much cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of to do in the next few days. Ugh. I am not a fan of all of this.

Packing also makes this whole idea a concrete reality. A reality that I am kind of in denial about. A reality that I don't want to become real yet. Dang it. Can I just freeze the clock and calendar for a bit longer, please?

While new beginnings and fresh starts are always exciting and adventurous, they are also scary as crap. Are you with me? I'm not so sure I'm ready for such a drastic change in my life. Whether it be my ENTIRE family leaving me here or me leaving all that I know here. Either way, it's going to be hard and will take some getting used to.

Change is necessary for growth and maturity, yes. I keep telling myself this. I can't stay in a rut forever.

And I won't be because things are changing....and fast. Too fast.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The news is out...

Yes. New news. Imagine that? Things rapidly change in my life if you haven't yet noticed. Sure makes for some stories though, huh?

As mentioned earlier, our house has sold and we have to be out by the 24th of October. That is 24 days to pack up our lives and embark on a new adventure.

As of last week, my Dad's current job situation fell through and it left my family feeling a bit apprehensive as they were unsure where they would be heading once we had to be out of the house. My Dad however, remained prayerful and faithful and encouraged all of us that "God would and will provide just as He always does. That door was simply closed because there is a better opportunity elsewhere and we just have to trust that God will lead us." His faith amazes me.

I had planned all along to stay put here in Pensacola. I have a great job, friends and I just love this area as this is essentially where I grew up and spent my most formative years.

That, however, could be changing.

After much prayer, consideration, meetings and evaluations it looks as though my family will be making their move to Charlotte, NC to rejoin FIRE Church and FIRE School of Ministry. In case you're wondering, FIRE stands for Fellowship for International Revival and Evangelism. We were apart of this church and school when it was birthed here in Pensacola, FL in 2000. In 2003 the entire church and student body relocated to Charlotte, NC and for various reasons, we stayed behind. We have remained in close contact with many from there and even made a road trip up there earlier this month to visit very dear friends.

I couldn't be more excited about this for my family! Although leaving Pensacola will be so very sad and hard, I believe this is going to be the best thing that could possibly happen. I'm honestly still in shock and disbelief.

As for me, I would love nothing more than to go. I just feel as though I need to stay committed to my current job until at least January 2010. I can transfer to a State Farm office up there quite easily but I just feel like I need to stay here for some more time for certain reasons. I love this job. I have the most amazing boss and co-worker ever. It's a true blessing.

So much is changing. I'm so happy that I can be somewhat excited about this move though. Leaving our house is still going to be unbearably difficult. I don't even like to entertain the thought but the days are very quickly vanishing and the 24th will be here before I know it :(

I'll keep you all updated as time progresses and more details come!

Are we crazy? Ahhh, so much to do in SO little time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rest in Peace.

These last couple of days have been quite a whirlwind.

I spent my weekend in a Hospice center near the death bed of a precious woman, my great Aunt Dolly. Sadly, I did not have the opportunity of knowing her as well as I would have liked but the few times we visited her were always very sweet. My Dad was very close with her growing up and often shares fond memories and stories in relation to her and her family. She was more like a grandmother to him as his passed away when he was fairly young.

We reconnected with extended family from all over the place and it was wonderful being able to meet family whom I had never met before.

She passed into eternity early this morning.

Such a strange and indescribable thing to behold the death of someone. I witnessed so much love during these last few days as so many came around her and spoke sweetly of her humble posture, selflessness, ginormous heart and compassion. It was a privilege and an honor to witness such a beautiful passing and moments of solitude as well as singing and blessing. It was very humbling and reminded me of the last precious moments we were able to have with my Grandmother before she passed into eternity. They were so very difficult but beautiful and sweet all at the same time.

My heart and prayers go out to the immediate family at this time of loss and mourning.

My mom wrote a beautiful tribute in honor of Aunt Dolly that is going to be read at her funeral and I thought I would share it on here with all of you...

A Life Well Lived

I have spent the last few hours at the death bed of a saint.
There is most likley no place so holy or so precious.
There between this reality and the breath of heaven.
Is a peace so precious and strong.

I have witnessed a death surely approaching.
But a life so well lived that there are no regrets.
No words unspoken, No deeds undone.
No pangs of remorse, No qualms of conscience.

There is a light and sparke in her eyes.
A strength and urgency her grip.
She is so desperately still holding on.
Ignoring her pain.
Making sure each loved one is at ease with her passing.

A mother and a Matriarch to the very end.
Her large and loving family hold vigil.
And I can see she knows this is her Heritage.
Her gift to give the world, her life reproduced in her children.

It's beautiful, she's beautiful.
And humble, She has no real idea of her impact on generations to come.
Of Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren who will,
because of her life, Her love and her example become the hope of new families and communities.
This is the real circle of life.

I know because you see, I married her nephew.
She probably doesn't even know her impact on he and his brothers lives.
And consequently mine and my own girls.
She didn't think of herself as a rock and a foundation for life but she was.

From the moment I met Keith I heard tales of 820 and "Grundy"
To three little boys from a Broken home "Grundy" became their ideal and hope.
It was a place of faith, Hope, Family, Hospitality and Love.
Where fathers didn't leave and mothers always put their children first.
Where there were always hot and happy mealtimes.
Values were taught, A place where Faith and Family and Country came first.

A place you were always welcome.
There would always be hot coffee and a tray of cookies.
Aunt Dolly would always hug and kiss you.
And sit and have a talk, and she really listened and she really cared.

Its so hard for them all to say goodbye I know.
But as I watch the beauty of her passing.
I know her secret. I can see it her beautiful, loving eyes.
Shes about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.

She knows she can go on in peace to her Savior and Her Sweetheart Uncle Bob.
Because she has fought the good fight, she has run her race,
And she has led a life to be proud of..... a life well lived.

-Darla M. Collins

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Mystery of God's Ministry

I did not write this poem. I honestly do not even know who did but my dear mother shared this with me some time ago and it spoke volumes to me. Read on and I hope that it can touch you and speak to you the same way that it did my mom and I. I would love to meet the dear saint who penned these words and simply tell them, "thank you".


I prayed to be made holy like the savior
To be patient, gentle, mild and meek as he
Then straightway came some bitter dissapointment
And I pushed the instrument away from me
I kept on praying still to be like Jesus
And trials of sort I seemed to face
But every time one came I fled in terror
And sought me out some human refuge place

I cried for love, that dying love of calvary
At once it seemed my foes were everywhere
I could not stand to meet with opposition
Injustice I had never learned to bear
And once again I fled for consolation
To some I knew were loyal through and through
And then kept wondering at my heartfelt hunger
As day by day my prayer I would renew

I sought for faith, the kind that moves a mountain
Then staggered when my plea for alms seemed spurned
I said that "God, His love for me hath holden"
How strange through all, his will was not discerned
And after weeks and years of constant trying
I seemed to stand fast where I stood before
At last I noted there was not advancement
"Why is it Lord?"My heart seemed to implore

He spoke when I had ceased my bitter struggling
And quiet was I, passive in his hand
And to my great surprise (almost REBELLION)
He said "You have not heeded My commands;
You wanted peace and joy and love and patience
But daily you have shrunk from sacrifice
You loved the hollow "ROMANCE" of mount calvary
But for the crown you will not pay the price

I see it now! I do not like the chastening
But now instead of seeking human aid
I let each stroke he sends be just a weapon
And when I shrink in terror from the trials
I only cling still tighter to my Lord
And then emerging from the loathsome testing
I find I am more like HIM - My reward


How many times have I, myself prayed, "Lord, Lord make me like you! Give me your heart, break me, use me, fill me!", but the moment he begins the crushing process I withdraw and begin to seek comfort elsewhere. The moment He begins to do the work inside of me which I asked and begged for Him to do, I oppose it because it does not look or feel like what i thought it would. Doesn't He know that, that was not exactly what I meant? I mean, "c'mon Lord, you knew what I meant when I asked you to break me, right? I wanted you to do it gently, taking into consideration my timing and feelings and not so quickly and please, not in this manner. I'm just not ready for this, I've changed my mind."

How many times have I prayed, "Lord, take my life and may it be a sacrifice to you, I will do whatever you ask of me!", but the minute He begins to take those things which I hold so dear to me in order to replace them with Him, I cling tightly to those earthly possessions or things in which I take delight.

How many times have I prayed, "Lord, I will go where you want me to go, I will say what you want me to say!" and then when He presents a situation for me to share my faith or when he pulls on my heartstrings to speak what I feel He is saying to me I retract and begin to question, "Is that really Him or just me?", and I talk myself out of it because of my unpleasant pride or even worse, my embarrassment.

I think my favorite line in that poem is, "You loved the hollow "ROMANCE" of mount calvary But for the crown you will not pay the price". Wow, that is so true! We love to sing about it and pray to "bear our crosses" but when the time comes, do I really do so? Oh how many times I have failed, how many times I've made excuses and out of being hurt I've withdrawn completely because the pressure was just too intense.

Jesus never withdrew, retired or backed away from His chastening. He didn't make excuses or run and hide. He didn't reason with God and try to substitute what God's will was for something a bit more pleasant. He humbly bore a heavy cross upon His back, was beat, mocked, slaughtered, pierced, and blasphemed in front of crowds of people. Those who hated Him, those who once loved Him and those who loved Him. I can't imagine, I really can't. He knew it was for a cause much greater than what His current circumstance was, He knew that the bitterness and sting of death only lasted for a season and the worth was far beyond anything that had ever been paid. He knew that this was the only way that these wretched sinners and reprobates, as well as those who loved Him could be given the gift of life and of fullness. He even forgave those who killed Him because despite their hatred and animosity, they too possess a soul and a soul worth dying for.

Now, tell me how can we expect for our sacrifice to be one without pain and agony? How can we expect our surrender to be sweet? How can I tell God exactly how I want him to break me and use me? Ashamedly I have, and I've thought that it was just fine because of things I have undergone, situations and relationships that have hurt me deeply. I blamed God for forsaking me, I rejected Him by doing my own thing and and I justified it by my pain and anguish. However, nothing I have endured could even come remotely close to the price that was paid for me, absolutely nothing.

May I truly become a living sacrifice, not just one who says it and prays to be but one who truly does lay everything down. The words of the song "Lead me To the Cross" by Brooke Fraser truly speak volumes to me.

"Lead me to the cross where your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself I belong to you
Oh lead me, Lead me to the cross"

Rid me of myself, empty me of me so that when I am faced with opposition and trials I can cling tighter to my Lord.

-Amber Denae

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:24

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

14 days and counting...

I'm currently on day 14.

Day 14 of what?. You might ask.

I have sucessfully gone two entire weeks without desserts, candy, chocolate of any sort, and sweets in general. My dear friends, this is a very huge accomplishment for me. You really have no idea.

I decided to give this up for an extended period of time mainly due to my being unsure of what was ahead of me. Kind of like a fast. I'm also finding mysef to be more energized and alert because of it. Whenever I have a sweet craving, I instead reach for an orange, apple, pineapple, cantaloupe etc. Needless to say, I have been consuming large portions of fruit lately.

I'm really not sure when I will come off of this. I just had to share my accomplishment of going 14 days without any sweets. This is definitely a first for me. I have been tempted from nearly every corner. Both of my parent's birthdays were last week and I even endured baking my favorite chocolate cake for my mom and did not even have one lick of batter, nonetheless a piece. Candy seems to be everywhere I go just screaming for me to unwrap it and let it melt on my tongue. For instance, we went to Olive Garden the other night and our waitress flung an andes chocolate mint candy right in front of my face. I so desired that thing but did not give into it's temptation. It feels quite good to conquer even the smallest of temptations.

If I can do this, I can do anything!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Survey and an Award...two in one, yes.

My blog friend from over at One Heart, Two Hands tagged me for this survey. I had a good time filling it out.

1. Respond and rework: Answer the questions on your blog.
Replace one question with a question of your own or add a question of your own.

2. Tag other un-tagged people.

What's your favorite article of clothing?
All of my cardigans but especially my teal one from Forever21. My comfy day dresses and scarves in the fall :)

Who was the last person you hugged?
My mom.

What's your favorite dinner?
I'd have to say the mediterranean meal my mom cooks which consists of falafel, tabouli, hummus and cous cous. Delicious, diverse and so healthy!

What was the last thing you bought?
I bought many a things last night to cook dinner. We had a mexican fiesta night!

What are you listening to right now?
Absolutely nothing. I'm at work.

What is your favorite weather?
I'm going to say fall weather and not just because it's right around the corner and I'm craving it at the moment. I really do love the crispness in the air during this season!

What is your least favorite season?
I don't really have a least favorite. I live in Florida and while summer is undoubtedly amazing after nearly 9 months of it, it does get VERY old, as does the humidity.

Who do you admire the most?
I admire a lot of people, some who have already passed and some who are still living. But at the end of the day I think I'm going to have to say that admire my parents the most. They have been through so much and have handled difficult situations with honor and dignity, even at the cost of losing "fame" or "popularity". I highly admire those who stick to what they believe even in the midst of a fiery trial and I can say without reserve that my parents certainly have. I am blessed to have them.

Say something to the person who tagged you: One Heart, Two are a beautiful soul and I love your writing. I enjoy your blog and you're so sweet!

What is your favorite dessert or cool treat?
Ahhh, anything sweet! I haven't had dessert or sweets in 12 days now. It's a fast I'm doing and it's really difficult to talk about this. I could list a million things but I LOVE cheesecake! mmm especially raspberry chocolate cheesecake. Goodness gracious. Heavenly.

What did you want to be as a child?
A teacher, lawyer or singer

What do you want to be now?
Still trying to figure it out. I want to be diligent in all that I do. I want to be successful in anything I attempt to do. I want to benefit others and make a difference.

What is your favorite song?
I have way too many. At the moment: More than Ashes by Tim Reihmerr, Falling Slowly from the movie soundtrack, ONCE, Sweet Disposition by the Temper Traps, Green Eyes by Coldplay, Gravity by Sara Bareilles, Anything by The Beatles, I could go on and on and on and on. This question is ridiculous. ha

Which is you favorite country/state, and why?
United States. I feel so blessed to have been born here. I do love Italy though. I went there when I was 15 and absolutely fell in love with it!

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? New Zealand

What are your most challenging goals right now?
Figuring out my next steps and direction. I'm completely clueless as to what the future holds. I need some clear direction which I am most definitely praying for.

What is your 5 year plan?
Meet my husband, get married, travel, buy a house, do something meaningful and purposeful, be apart of a ministry again, maybe have a baby? 5 years is such a short period of time when you think about it! I'll be 27! Goodness, that is scary to think about.

What is your favorite sport to watch? Football

What show would you want to be a cast member on (reality included)?
As cheesy as it sounds...American Idol. I know, I know. Or any show that I could win money on...haha

What is your most prized possession?
I have many. Probably my purity/promise ring that my parents gave me when I was 16. I still wear it proudly signifying that I will indeed wait until marriage. I have never taken it off since I was 16. Also my box FULL of letters from my Grandma. She passed away when I was 15 and up until then, she was the greatest pen pal one could ever imagine having. We wrote every week to each other. I believe she greatly inspired my love for writing.

Name one favorite childhood memory.
I have so very many. Family camping trips, living on cleveland ave in buckhannon- our playhouse, making mazes in the galores of leaves that would fall in autumn, playing with my cousins and sisters, family bike rides or walks to dairy queen downtown, staying with grandma and grandpa on weekends and waking up to her signature biscuits and gravy, christmastime at many!

What is your favorite book of the Bible?
Psalms. I love David's expression unto the Lord and reading his inner thoughts, struggles, desires and challenges is very intriguing and inspiring.

What is your favorite quote?
"Deliver Me, Jesus from the desire to be praised, honored, glorified, preferred, consulted, or approved. Deliver me, Jesus, from the fear of being humiliated, criticized, forgotten, ridiculed, maltreated, and from the fear of what others will think. O Jesus, give me the grace to desire: that others would be loved and esteemed ahead of me, that in the eyes of the world they would increase while I decrease, and praised while I pass by unnoticed; that others would be preferred in all situations; that others would become more than myself — in order that I would be as holy as You want me to be."
—Charles de Foucauld

Now I tag any of you lovely ladies who would like to do this. :)

Also, wonderful, beautiful and sweet Shanny over at I did, I do, I will nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award! Thank you Shanny! I so enjoy your blog and pure honesty.


1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.

7 things about me that people may not know:

1. An opossum fell out of a tree onto my head when I was 9 years old. Not even kidding.

2. I wake up every morning at 6:00 am even though I don't have to be at work until 8:30 am. I get ready in 30 mins and then often go back to sleep until I have to leave. So silly.

3. I Love Lucy is the best show ever, in my opinion.

4. I've been single for 4 years now and have only had one boyfriend in my entire life.

5. I never got into the Twilight series.

6. I've been out of the country 3 times. Italy, once and Mexico, twice.

7. I attempted to learn the flute when I was around 11 but quickly realized that I could never play an instrument to which I could not sing to. It drove me nuts. I stuck with piano. :)

And I nominate those who are deserving of this award...

One Heart, Two Hands

There you have it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Open my eyes to love these.

She carefully examined her mirrored reflection in the tainted glass. Her small frame and sunken eyes greatly displeased her. Peering for several moments she did not make any attempt to fix what she saw and became a victim of indirect criticism. Words flooding her mind only intensifying the hatred toward what she beheld.

"Ugly, fat, repulsive, unfashionable, pale"- all words that ran through her head repeatedly. The scars on her frail wrists told the most truth and the emptiness deep within her eyes spoke the facts. No glimmer of hope to be found, only pure worthlessness, betrayal, feelings of anxiety and hatred filled her being. Her innocence trespassed and violated leaving her with nothing but absolute fear. Rejected by her world, her family, herself.

"Why go on? Why face it all over again tomorrow? Why hurt, Why cry? Why bleed?"

All silent cries, unseen and uncared for. Lonliness becomes her dearest friend and deception seeps into her core, withdrawing and feeding on every lie that resounds within her mind. She's become a victim of her own, inflicting pain upon herself and punishing herself for who she is not. Her scars display rejection of self, a need to release pressure by obstucting her tender veins. In a sense it's a relief to her. Temporary highs give her an escape, to flee the current pains and dissatisfaction she feels. Her heart senses no love, peace or hope- only fear and distrust.

How many have I crossed paths with? How many have I had the profound opportunity of speaking with? How many have I left "with hope"?

My prayer today is that I would be drawn to these young girls and women whom I know I come in contact with often and that in someway I can offer something that can in fact ease their pain and soften their hearts. How my heart breaks for them. How my heart hurts when I just think about their lives and the constant pain they face within their broken and dysfunctional homes.

I do not know their pain, I do not know their heartache, I can not relate but I have hope and more importantly, love to offer them. I can show them love, I can show them acceptance when the world and even sometimes "christians" shut them out because society calls them "emo" and/or "gothic" and categorizes them as though they're compartmentalized and not possessing a human heart, soul and feelings.

If we would just be the body. If we could be like Jesus and embrace these. God forbid we get our hands a little bit dirty in doing so.

Love. Love. Love.

I've said it so many times. I know there are SO many facets of the word of God that we are to follow and obey, but love is the greatest. Love sent Jesus to die for us, LOVE laid down His own life for us, LOVE conquered death, LOVE rose again, LOVE has a purpose for us. I PROMISE you that when you truly love someone it completely changes everything. It goes from you trying to change them to being their friend and someone they can talk to.

God will give them conviction and bring them to repentance, that is NOT our place, nor our job. For when and if we enforce "conviction" I believe that they get saved out of guilt or condemnation and that will take them no where. It's a divine work of the Holy Spirit in which we cannot interfere. We simply love them, pray for them and speak into their lives.I know I must sound like a broken record, but I just feel so strongly about this whole subject and matter.

Show love. Love is the movement.

Despite my current hardships and circumstances, may my eyes be unveiled to see others in a different show love and hope even when I am hurting. Life is so short and so many things that consume my time and thoughts are not worth it. I want to make a difference and I desire to be a light and encouragement to others. Not in myself but through Jesus in me.

I pray that I do not pass these by. I pray that my heart and hands will always be willing and ready to embrace a broken soul.