the daily grind

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I have missed this little place of freedom to write.
In a small way, it is a place to retreat and and a time of reflection for me.

My fall semester has begun and it is full speed ahead.
I went on vacation for a week to the keys and enjoyed a week of quiet, warm sunshine, and time with my family and fiance that I cherished.

Back to reality though however was harsh.
While I am truly loving all that I am doing in school (I will have to write about details soon), it seems as though it by far is my full time job and then some at the moment.

This last week involved work, clinical, class time, reports, reading, quizzes, and more reading.
I felt like I did nothing but run from one thing to the next.
The second I laid down each night I passed out.

This might be the point in the semester where reality has set in.
To be honest, a little more than overwhelming.
While I truly love what I am doing and have never been more certain that I'm where I need to be,
I also have felt the weight, responsibility, and challenge of what I am doing.

In my business this week I must admit, I have neglected a chance to be still. To be quiet. To refocus.
I have experienced anxiety about potential changes, and have worried about how I will do on upcoming assignments and tests in school. Free time has been consumed with homework.

So on Saturday night, with the week coming to a close I find myself reflecting on the week. I put away the homework for today and I've spent some time to just be quiet.

Things to take away from this week

I have so many things to be thankful for
God has provided my financial needs and the flexibility I need at my job
I shared a cup of coffee with a sweet friend who shared deep life changing issues with me, what an encouragement to see God working and what joy I find in God's healing power
I have an incredible learning opportunity with a great clinical preceptor this semester, and I have found total peace and confidence in this direction of my life
Answered prayers in Andrew and I's lives
Reminded of the promises found in Isaiah 43

It is my prayer that as the days continue to be long and busy, that I will not lose sight of the most important things in my life. In various ways right now, my faith is being made stronger daily. 

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, that my faith would made stronger in the presence of my savior." 

wedding plans continued

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wedding plans.
What a fun and exciting time!
We have made progress.

So far we have
Set a date
Picked a venue
Selected a Photographer
Selected our wedding party.
I said Yes to a dress.

This is how I asked the girls to be in my wedding. 
A sweet necklace and a card asking each of them to be in my wedding.
I am blessed to have these incredible girls in my life.

Wedding dress shopping was an awesome experience and I am thrilled about the dress I chose!

Just an update on the wedding planning. So thankful for this time.

monday morning

I must say I have enjoyed 2 weeks off of school.
Monday mornings have not been slammed with a planner full of things to get done and homework assignments that I must tackle for the week.
I have thoroughly enjoyed 2 weeks off of school.

This morning I am enjoying a beautiful sunny day, coffee, and time with Andrew.

While he might be studying for school, I am thankful for my last day "off." 

I feel yet again that I am about to begin another new season.
Change is consistent in my life.
I'm not always the biggest fan of change but I am realizing more and more just how important change has been and all that good that has come from it.

This new season of being engaged has by far exceeded my expectations.
While I have some time before our big day arrives, I am enjoying the freedom to look at what I like, to dream about this day, and in every way I can just soak it all in.
I have found myself thinking about all that being a 'wife' will mean.
Now more than ever, it is my prayer that I will be all the Lord has called me to be and for my shortcomings that He will continue to refine me as I enter this new season.
 I cannot tell you how excited I am to get closer each day to spending forever with my best friend.

Ah grad school.
I still can't believe I finished my first year of grad school.
Time to kick it into the next gear.
My first clinical as a Nurse Practitioner student begins next week.
My nerves go crazy just thinking about it. 
I am looking forward to this experience and really digging into school this semester but I am nervous.
I have set one goal for myself since I started grad school after looking back on my undergraduate experience in Nursing school.
I don't want to look back and say I sat out or didn't try something I could have because I was scared.
I want to take every opportunity I am given and sink or swim, I want to give it my 100% so that coming out of school I will hopefully have more confidence in myself.
It is my prayer that the Lord would continue to remind me what He has called me to and that I will rest in the fact that He will equip me to do all that is ahead of me.
Your prayers in the next few weeks would be so appreciated.

Things today I am thankful for....
God has met every financial need I have had, just in time.
My parents who have done nothing but support me and are so excited for my upcoming wedding.
6 amazing girls who have said "yes" to standing beside me on my special day.
Sweet moments in a little coffee shop with Andrew. It's little moments like this that I'm grateful for in the midst of the chaos of our busy lives.
God's promise found in Isaiah 43

I hope you are having an incredible Monday!!!

Let the wedding plans begin!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We are excited to share that we have set a wedding date and the wedding planning has begun!
I also wanted to take the time to share a video of more of our engagement.
Thank you for all the love and support during this time! 
We are so blessed and excited for all that is ahead.

taking a minute to reflect....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's been awhile since I have set aside time to sit and reflect.
To be quiet and still just for a few minutes.
I was intentional today about getting away to make this happen.

This rainy Thursday consists of a planner full of homework assignments to finish as I have a mere 8 days left of my first year of graduate school to complete, 4 days of work in a row beginning tomorrow, and other random places to be and things to do that keeps me running like crazy.

Since our trip to Nashville, I came home to a busy work schedule, a week full of break-out camp with church, and it has literally not stopped.
While I enjoy the business and tend to function better when life is really busy, I have realized my need to truly take some time for myself to be still and not feel rushed for a few minutes.

So this rainy morning I am enjoying sitting in a quiet corner alone in Rio Coco. (if you haven't been here in Vero you should definitely check it out!) 

I have wondered when the day would come that I could share my heart like I am going to, and that day is here.

As many of you know and have read my previous post, the last few weeks have entailed the best day of my life when my best friend asked me to marry him! Such an exciting time, and to be quite honest, its been so crazy and busy I'm not sure it all has set in yet. I still find myself looking at my ring, reminding myself that I am in the process of planning a wedding and the time I have so longed for is truly here!

While I shared bits and pieces of my journey in my writing up to this point, it was not the time for me expose all that I really was learning and going through as I was still processing and learning. I have known though, that in the right time I would share.

While I'd like to say the past year and specifically the last 8 months has been an easy time as we continued to transition into our new life back at home, this might have been one of the most difficult seasons of life for me. It is hard for me to admit my true feelings and honestly share with you the truth in my heart the Lord revealed to me through the past several months.

While I was genuinely happy for those around me, after 3 of my closest friends got a ring and started making wedding plans within 5 months of each other, I didn't realize it but it sent me into what I would call a panic mode. I didn't realize that deep down in my heart, stewing was jealousy, envy, and the lies from satan about what would never happen for me and put me in a place of almost being paranoid. Deep down if I was honest with myself and with God, I realized there was an anger deep within me that I needed to let go of. 
Where had all of this come from? Why did I feel like all of a sudden I was slammed with all these emotions I didn't know how to deal with? 

I've said it before and I will say it again.
The Lord truly brought me to myself.
This was a harsh reality for me.
The ugliness of my heart staring right back at me.

I'd like to say that I dealt with it, it went away and I moved on. Instead this was a process. A process to first own exactly where I was at. To admit all the true feelings I had, even the worst ones. To admit I was jealous, scared, freaking out, paranoid that I was going to be left, afraid that I would never have the desires of my heart. Never have my prayers been so honest, and in the same way, never have I felt the Lord be so near to me even when I felt like my life was far from being in the right place.

Little by little, the anger, envy, jealousy, and fears began to be chiseled away. 
Telling myself the truth based on facts, not feelings was an everyday event.
Mentally it was crucial for me to surrender my thought life to the Lord instead of letting Satan take hold of my thoughts.

While I longed so badly for this season of my life to be over, to have a ring and to feel the confidence that comes in moving to the next place, to begin planning for our future together and all that it would entail, 
I needed to be in this waiting place.

I never thought I would be saying or admitting this.
But I'm so glad that even though the days seemed long, that I was put in that waiting place. 

Even with Andrew, and certain things I could not share at the time, Him and I grew in ways I didn't ever think possible. His love, patience, and understanding with me during a time where I felt out of control is something I am so thankful for but also was crucial for me in realizing my need to trust even when I was not in control. I have said it many times before and will say it till the day I die, Andrew truly has been grace in my life and has made me and continues to make me a better person. 

By no means did all of my problems go away when the waiting time was over, but The Lord truly taught me so much during that time and I am thankful for the heart changes that have happened and are continuing to happen. 

The night that Andrew asked me to marry him, while it was the greatest moment of my life, in my heart I was reminded immediately of God's faithfulness to me.
In and through all of it, He was faithful.

He had given me the desires of my heart.

It is my prayer moving forward, that I would continue to be changed to be more like Jesus everyday. It is by no means something I am proud of, but I realize the growth that has come and the pain it took to get there. My faith and trust in God and Andrew grew during this season of life as I was forced to be out of the drivers seat and it is my prayer that I will remind myself of those long days, in my most desperate moments, to find confidence moving forward.

While I don't feel this entry captures even a hint of where I have been, I hope it blesses someone.
I hope if anything it encourages you to believe in the power of prayer, in God's grace and forgiveness, and also in His unfailing love and relentless desire for us to draw near to Him, and to find confidence in His faithfulness to complete all He has started within us.

I am still changing and I thank God for giving me the desires of my heart and for the opportunity to become more like Him! 

We're Getting Married!!!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I can't believe I am actually writing this post! 
I think I've dreamed of different ways we would tell everyone our story, but I thought this would be a great way to document the details while it is fresh in my mind and a way to to share just how our engagement happened.

Lets see where we begin.
We are actually in Nashville this week on vacation! 
We have had an incredible week and have so looked forward to our trip here to see all of our friends.

Coming into this week we didn't have many set plans, and my best friends Brittany and Lindsey came from home to Nashville this week to spend time with us.
While the rain did not seem to end the first 3 days we were here, we had fun going to the movies, eating delicious southern food, and just soaking in the time with our friends.

Saturday night Andrew and I planned to have our date night while we were here.
Nothing was really set in stone except I had asked him if on our night out if we could go back to Trevecca just for memories sake. 

We decided to have dinner at the Southern downtown, somewhere we had never been. I must add, all the rain that seemed like an endless monsoon was gracious enough to hold off on our date night.

We made our way downtown, parked at the hotel where Andrew use to work, and walked down to the Southern. 
We had about a 40 minute wait and we just talked and people watched until we were seated.
While this place had incredible steaks and delicious food, I found it interesting that Andrew chose salad. He seemed a little fidgety during dinner but I didn't think enough about it to ask if something was wrong. We enjoyed the food, but before we had been eating for 5 minutes he had asked for the check. 
Ha, I was wondering why is he rushing? But again, I didn't ask or say anything.
We finished up and made our way back to the car. I thought maybe we would stop and take a walk downtown, or go for a walk on the walking bridge, but we didn't we headed straight for the car. I didn't really even ask where we were going as I figured we would go by Trevecca since I had asked earlier if we could.
We pulled into the back of my old apartments.
I lived there for 3 years during college and Andrew and I used to stand out there for hours as friends talking. That is also the place where he told me how he truly felt about me, and I joked with him but in all seriousness have told him that is where I fell in love with him.

Bush 55 was our place.

So, we pull in the back of the parking lot. We start walking up the back stairs, and I wasn't thinking anything until I saw the bulletin board outside had pictures of us all over it. It seemed like everything around was dead silent. I asked him: "What is this? " I'm not even sure he answered me. 
He then handed me a piece of paper that was a letter he had hand written me (I am so incredibly thankful I have this letter to keep). 

I'm not sure I could even get through it. My eyes were welling up with tears and I wanted to just jump to the end of the letter so see if maybe this was really it? 

After all the incredible things he wrote me and all the reasons he loved me,
it ended with this:
You are my Godsend.

Andrew had given me a song awhile back that had those lyrics in it.
Before I could even catch my breath, I literally felt like I was in my own world dreaming.
I put the letter down and Andrew was on one knee, and I heard him say the words I dreamed about hearing.
Without hesitation, I said yes.

I must say, I have dreamed about my reaction for awhile now. I have contemplated time and again just how he would ask me. My reaction was nothing I dreamed it would be. I felt like the wind completely had been knocked out of me. (in a good way that is) I hugged the life right out of him and asked:
 "Is this real life?" 
He laughed and said yes.

This picture explains my reaction

As a took a second to finally look at my ring, I looked at it and then looked at him and said 
"There's no way...."
And he simply smiled and said "yes, thats it."

The weekend of my graduation, we were at the factory with my family. As we perused through the antique store, we ended up looking at rings and I fell in love with a ring I had seen. I tried it on and thought to myself I love this one more than any of the others we had looked at. He knew it but told me he didn't have the money. Little did I know the next day he went and put money down for it.
Absolutely perfect!
I stepped back and looked and behind him was a table that had a bunch of meaningful things between us. A dozen beautiful yellow roses, one red rose, sonic drinks, a chalkboard that I loved with "The future "Mr. and Mrs. Silvas" on it. 

I was overwhelmed.

I literally said nothing and just cried.

I then told him I was sorry if this was not the reaction he had expected or hoped for.
He said it was perfect.

It was then that I wondered who knew? When would I get to tell Brittany and Lindsey? And so I asked who knew....He smirked and began to tell me who had helped him put together that night. Little did I know Heather Bryant, my amazing friend and old RD of the apartments had taken pictures of the entire thing and was amazing in helping set up that night: including telling people in the apartment and those around to leave or not come out for that hour. I then found out (the thing that surprised me most) that Brittany and Lindsey had known since we got our plane tickets for Nashville months ago and they had been a HUGE part of making that night what it was.

But, the surprise wasn't over. Sweet friends of ours from Greenville happened to be in Nashville for a wedding and them as well as some of our closest friends were at Jacksons, a restaurant downtown, waiting to celebrate with us.
Did I mention there was a dozen Gi Gi's wedding cake cupcakes waiting on us?

After asking a list of questions I had in my mind for awhile now about who knew, when did he ask my parents, and a few more questions he was waiting to answer (he knew the questions would come flooding his direction), I just sighed.

I stood there and asked for just a moment.

I wish I could have stopped time in that moment.
 Such a sweet and beautiful moment in my life.
The best night of my life actually.

I could not believe that this was actually happening.
The ring was gorgeous.
The surprise was breathtaking.
The people that helped to pull that night off made me feel so incredibly special.

But, my favorite part....
Andrew. The love of my life and my absolute best friend, was ready, ready to ask me to marry him.
The note he wrote me is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The look in his eyes is something I can't explain in words but it makes my heart so happy. 
This night was more than I had ever dreamed of for this special day in my life.

this smile says it all
The celebration was incredible, a night to remember. I'm still looking at my ring, and thinking to myself, I actually get to start planning our wedding.
I'm going to marry my best friend!

It's so surreal.

Our trip is coming to an end and we fly back home tomorrow, but I am soaking in every moment we are here.

I will have more blogs to share in the future of all the Lord has taught me during this time leading up to this point but I will say this: God is so faithful and His timing truly is perfect.

I feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world.
God truly blessed me when he placed Andrew in my life and I am so thankful for the man that he is.

We have been overwhelmed and so blessed by the amount of congratulations and excitement for us as we start this new chapter in our lives. 
We are so grateful for all the love and support and want to say thank you!

This has been one of the best weeks of my life.

We're getting married!!!!

To Heather, Brittany and  Lindsey: Thank you so much for being the incredible friends that you are. My night was absolutely amazing and it wouldn't have been that without you. 
From both of us, please know just how much we love and appreciate you! 

Refiner's Fire

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I wish I was writing this blog from a place of contentment, peace, and a feeling of victory.
I write this heavy-hearted, convicted, weary, and as honest as I can be right now.
I pray in days to come, I can share more of the details but for now, this is where I'm at.

In my heart, I have had to own feelings of anger, bitterness, jealousy, discontent, anxiousness, and feelings that have just truly changed me.
Not in a good way.

Time has allowed me to step back and see it for what it is.
In love, being confronted, pointing out a change of my heart from joy to one of almost anger is not one that is easily accepted, but needed.

So what does that mean for me?
It means tonight I find myself, on my knees before the Lord.
Owning my hurt and the true feelings in my heart that I haven't allowed myself to admit.
Sharing my deepest secrets and desires. Opening myself to the deepest places of my heart.
Asking for forgiveness for the motives, attitudes, and envy within myself.

Accepting full responsibility of my actions and thoughts.
Releasing to the Lord all of my unmet expectations and the places where I find it hard to just be still.

I wish I knew how all of it would get better.
How it will all go away and change.
How I will be filled with the fruits of the Spirit instead of discontent, jealousy, weariness, bitterness, impatience, and all the other things I have been experiencing. 

I don't know much but I do know this.
I have asked the Lord to meet me exactly where I am.
In the ugliness, the shame of every place I find myself in currently and just be here.
I've asked Him to refine me. 
To be honest, this is one of the hardest prayers to pray. 
It hurts.

I have also asked him to be enough for me today.
And I will continue to pray this everyday.

That I will find my total and complete contentment and peace in Him.
Regardless of everything in and around me.

I have no control of my circumstances but I do have the promise of a loving Heavenly Father to be all that I need.
That I do know. 
And tonight that is enough.

This was not an easy blog to post.
It is raw, ugly, and real.
I am posting this because I am thanking God in advance for what He is going to do and I want to look back and see where He brought me from.

"Do you see what I've done? I've refined you, but not without fire. 

I've tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

"looking back you'll see that you were carried all along"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The title of this blog is my favorite lyric from one of Jessica Aaron's originals that's coming out in the next few months. 
I was listening to the song in my car when I began to think about where I am at currently.

I can't believe I am coming up on the year mark, in a little over a month that I have been home.
So many changes have happened throughout the past year. 
It's actually really overwhelming if I think about all that has changed, happened, and worked out in the past year.

In thinking about the past two years, I started to read back into my journals, my personal prayers, and my blog. My last year of college was one of change, excitement, but one that was full of fear for me.
Anxiety gripped me to my core and those were long hard days no doubt.
Counseling was hard work but still what I believe was the best decision I could have made.
I was reminded of the days where I would hurt my body by starving it of what it needed just because I felt that it was all I had control over. 
All too well I can remember the desperation I felt in my spirit, the fear that gripped my heart and crippled me from  what at times felt like everything.

As I read back through some of the desperate prayers, the longing and desires of my heart, I found myself recognizing those moments all too well, but shortly after that thought, tears of joy and thankfulness.
A smile that's full of life and peace.

While I am nowhere near perfect, or completely free of all I struggled with over the past few years, the Lord truly has met my every need that I had, and has given me way more than I even asked for.
Every desire that I had including my idea of the perfect situation for when I moved back home, He has pieced it all together in ways that I never could have imagined. 

The support of my parents, Andrew, my mentors and friends is more than I ever could have asked for. I feel that this season of my life has been one that has drawn me closer to wholeness that I could have imagined. While the days of unknowns still exist, God's faithfulness each and everyday has given me the strength to keep trusting daily.

The Lord has truly done a work in my heart. I have been pushed into situations where I never thought I would make it, where the pain in the depths of my heart felt so great that I couldn't imagine getting through it and being okay, and yet here I am. The lack of control and uncertainty at times made me feel like I was doing nothing but drowning. The Lord's refinement of my heart has no doubt hurt, and stripped me to the core. He really did bring me to of the hardest things to face, but I am thankful He doesn't show me all that needs to change, and says okay, come back to me when it's all fixed.
Instead, day by day, He is there to help me fix the characteristics that are not like Him, to strip away my pride, impatience, control, to show me how He sees me, and so much more.

There is freedom and victory in my life over some of the old battles I use to face. For the things I still struggle with, I am just thankful that God doesn't give up on me, and that He is changing my heart daily.

It is true, looking back in the moments where I felt like no one knew where I was at, where I questioned God's sovereignty over the situation, He was carrying me each and every step of the way.

It is my prayer that as I continue on the path that He has for me, that all these reminders of His faithfulness will draw me closer to Him even in the moments where it doesn't seem to make sense.

I feel blessed today to be here. I know I have been given more than I ever deserve. 

Thank You Lord for your faithfulness in my life even when I questioned you.
May I draw closer to You and continue to trust You and Your word with every new day that comes.   

For My Parents: thank you for your unconditional love and support even in the moments where you questioned my decision making. Your countless prayers and trust in the Lord to lead and guide me forever has changed me and made me a stronger believer in prayer. 

Andrew: you have been a Godsend. Long before our journey together, your care, protection, and genuine interest in my heart and life has made me a better person. For the long hard days, your commitment to me and your belief in me is something I pray that I can give right back to you. You truly are my heart and I am forever grateful that the Lord brought us together. 

To my Church family & Friends: your prayers, support, and love is more than I could ever ask for. Coming back home was nothing short of a big change for me, but I have felt loved, accepted, and thankful for the chance to grow as God continues to lead me. 

Life as of Lately

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I am currently enjoying a nice cup of coffee, smelling clean laundry,
sitting at home on this dreary day
with Brooke Fraser music playing in the background. 

It's been quite awhile since I've had the time to sit down without an agenda.
So time to catch up.

Sunday night I  completed my second semester of grad school.
Health Assessment and Pharmacology are finished. Check.
I had to complete a head to toe assessment video that's 30 minutes long on my lab partner for a pass/fail grade. Let's just say preparing for this was more nerve wracking than I expected. 
Ha, Andrew and I have some funny memories from my practicing that's for sure. 
 All that to say, I finished and passed. 
Pharmacology involved an accumulative final and I am just so thankful it is over.

I have 2 weeks off and then I begin my summer classes.
Legal and Professional Behavior and Research. 
Sounds exciting right?

2 semesters down. 7 semester to go.

I can say I learned a lot this semester, and not just with school but about myself. I feel like this semester really challenged me as a person to dig deep and really work hard even when I feel like I couldn't do all that I was doing.

I'm so thankful for the support of my Parents, Andrew, and my friends.

So these two weeks off I will be working a lot and I'm thankful to have a break from school.

So what else have I been doing?

I took a few trips to the beach by myself and so enjoyed it.

My best friend Mary made a visit to Florida and I got to spend an evening with her and we had a sleepover.

I've made weekly trips to target , what girl doesn't?

Andrew and I went on a double date with our good friends Natalee and Chase and enjoyed an evening out. Spontaneous but perfect.

Life is hectic no doubt with crazy schedules constantly coming and going.
Thankful this season is temporary but finding joy in the midst of it all.

On a more personal note, I  have two situations among people I care about that have been really tough.
Without sharing many details I can honestly say that I feel like my prayer list is huge, my heart is heavy for these people, but I am believing in the Faithfulness of my God to come through as He feels best in both situations.

It's hard to feel helpless but I am fervently praying for both situations and will continue to support the best I can and trust God with the rest.

I am thankful for this time to just be still.

I'll be writing again soon I'm sure with more details of what's been on my heart and mind.

i've met my match

Thursday, April 4, 2013

the last several weeks have been  a challenge and it really is only the beginning.
when i applied for graduate school, i didn't honestly think i would get into the program as a new graduate nurse.

i got accepted.
that was the hardest part right?

the excitement and all the other adjustments in my life my first semester made it seem not so bad.
this semester involves pharmacology and advanced health assessment.
while i have enjoyed everything i've been learning about,
the last couple weeks have been such a struggle.

i feel like i spend hours on assignments that i still walk away from thinking, huh?
 chest x-rays have never looked so blurry to me.
preparing for an accumulative pharm final, or practicing for my full head to toe assessment I'm performing in two weeks
yeah...i got this.
or so i keep trying to convince myself.

my entire life i have been good at school.
if i wasn't good at anything else, i knew i was good at this and i've always found confidence in this.

i have officially met my match.

i'd be lying if i said quitting hasn't crossed my mind.
or that i was crazy for even venturing on this journey at this point in my life.

i don't even have tons of confidence in the few months that i've been a new nurse.

i have felt discouraged.
i have had anxiety late at night before i go to bed.
i've had more melt downs alone than i'd care to admit.
i've even questioned the lord on this step in my life.

this by far is the hardest thing i have ever set out to do.
it seems so exciting to me as this is one of my dreams.
but it isn't long after i begin thinking about it that fear creeps in.
fear of failure.
fear of not being enough.
fear that this whole thing is a big joke and waste of my time and effort cause i'll never make it.

each time i have prayed about this or tried to see what i can do differently, each step still points to the path i am on right now.
why now? i have no idea.
how? ha, if you figure that out give me a call.

maybe for the first time in my life, the thing i felt confident in is the one thing i feel the most hesitant with, and hard work means something totally new in relation to school.
not that i never worked hard in undergrad because i certainly did, but this by far is the biggest challenge i've had in front of me. 

i certainly don't want to give up. 
but i also realize this is a process.
a long one.

and it's gruesome right now.
i'm still adjusting to the thought of not just being a student but instead working, being involved in church activities and being a graduate student.

i feel like between now and april 25th, i  have a to-do list that appears impossible.

so what am i gonna do about it?

one day at a time.
trusting that God will give me the grace and strength to get through each and everyday as it comes.
realizing that my identity and confidence isn't found in my performance but instead is rooted in who he created me to be.
i don't wanna give anything less than my best.
i feel so blessed to even have the chance to finish school, and someday to be entrusted with this responsibility. 
i want to be prepared and i know it is hard work to get there.

so if you're reading this, i'd ask you to pray for me in the coming weeks.

i'd also challenge you. if you feel like you've met your match, regardless of what that may be, where are you getting your strength and confidence from?

i am thankful for a God who's purpose for my life is far greater than i ever could have dreamed.
i am also thankful for the strength he gives in the midst of my weakness.
 i have been made more aware of my need for Him as I continue this journey step by step.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

that was the celebration of this past weekend.
easter sunday is the biggest if not the best day we celebrate in our relationship with Christ.
good friday is a dark, harsh, day where the reality of our sins and the weight of it all becomes real.
but sunday is coming my friends.

he is alive!

i got to be a part of three different services where there were people who stood up to acknowledge that they wanted to accept christ as their Lord and Savior  believing in the power of his resurrection.
how incredible. 
i was reminded about how much i take this truth for granted.

in the last month or so, I haven't had much time to write but I have been learning some very hard, but incredible lessons. 
sometimes pain, difficult circumstances, and character that is being built and refined reminds me that i'm alive.
that i have feelings.
that my everyday coming and going , the day in and day out 
causes me to remember there is a purpose for my life.

working on certain parts of my heart, finding patience and peace in a chaotic life that seems to be changing daily around me
has revealed a vulnerability in my heart that has opened my eyes to my desperate need for the love and presence of my unchanging heavenly father.
in the midst of places i never thought i would be, with unknowns clouding my view at times, my spirit is being renewed.

it means so much more to me.
it brings hope to disappointment.
it means i'm soaked in grace.
free from the chains that used to hold me down.
not perfect, but waking up each new day walking in the grace given to me
finding my purpose and identity in the one who gave me life
who's plan is specifically for me
with a time and place for each and everything
that wants to bring each desire of my heart to life.

i am alive.
i am thankful for this gift, and the hope that i have because my lord and savior rose from the grave to give me life, and life abundantly.

the grace of my life

Friday, March 22, 2013

this was the title of a blog i never got to complete a year ago.
I found it a few weeks ago and  i was oddly happy when i found it.
sad that i never finished my thoughts during that time of my life, but a unique coincidence that i found a blog post i began to write about Andrew and I celebrating 1 year of being together.

Here is a paragraph from that blog.

I realize just how much my life has changed this past year. I talk about it often, but he has truly been such a blessing to me. He has embraced me where I'm at, seen me for what I can be, and loved me the entire time, and he continually encouraged me as I am on  my journey to find wholeness and to continually pursue what the Lord has for me.

i do nothing but smile when i read this, as we just celebrated two years of being together March 4th. 
while it feels like much longer than that (in a good way of course),  everything that i wrote a little over a year ago is still true but so much more. 

the past 8 months have brought on a ton of change in our lives, in just about every way, but i can honestly say when fear would creep in with all the changes taking place, Andrew has been a rock in my life. he has been consistent in a world with schedules that are absolutely inconsistent. 
he has shown me depths of love i've never experienced before, and i realize the challenge he has placed in my heart to let go, trust, and truly love without fear. 

if i was honest, i'd have to admit that i want nothing more than to love hard, but until the past couple of years, i never realized how much its cost me. 
while i don't live with regrets, there are scars in my life from loving hard and not receiving that in return. in giving more and finding out its not reciprocated. 
as I've continued my journey with Andrew, I have realized in my own heart my struggle to completely let go of fear, doubts, and worry, and everyday i am  learning what trust really means.
we have grown together so much in this past year, its crazy to think how much we've done, been through, and where we are going.

i have been challenged in my own walk of life because of this amazing guy.  he loves without conditions, and i am amazed at the strong yet gentle spirit he pursues me with. while our lives have gained new relationships and people we see day in and day out, it never gets old hearing that people think we belong together, or that we are good for each other.

at work i grin from ear to ear, hearing about resident's families who think he is so wonderful. 
i think to myself, he's mine.
i remember the days i only dreamed about him being mine and telling myself it could never happen.

i truly could go on and on. 
this guy is the best gift God has given me.
i don't know the details of all that God has in store for us, but i can't imagine my life without him.
he truly is the grace of my life.

andrew silvas. you truly are my heart. i consider myself blessed to be your best friend, to have the opportunity to love you, and i want nothing more than to help you do and be all God's created you to be. i know it requires more patience than i would ever have, but you truly make me a better person. you have reached parts of my heart i didn't know existed and i am learning everyday a little more of what loving you means.  thank you for teaching me about grace. for believing in us and not allowing fear to be a part of our relationship. you have shown me more about what love really means than you will ever know. it's been the best 2 years of my life and walking through everyday life with you is a gift. while our schedules, surroundings, and comforts have changed, we are still standing on what was built 5 years ago. its my favorite part you know. lucky i'm in love with my best friend.... you have my heart.
i will pursue you always.
Bethany Joy

in need of a Savior

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

in recent days I have come to understand more about my heart.
sometimes this can be a good thing, and other times the realization of truth can hurt so bad.
i'm realizing with each passing day, that the process of refinement may not be glorious or pleasant,
but the fruit that is produced and the character that is being shaped is worth it.

i've also been praying for perspective. 
perspective that allows me to take a look at my life the way God sees it. 

in the midst of this current place in life, filled with business, constant coming and going, inconsistent schedules, and all the changes that life continues to bring, I realize my lack of control, my inability to express the depths of my heart,  my desire to be known and understood, and my desperate need for  a Savior. 

while i feel uncertainty in plans for the future and all that it entails, weariness in playing the what if game and comparison game, automated answers when asked the same questions over and over, I have found a new confidence.

a confidence i haven't had in awhile.

 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Hebrews 4:15-16

my dear friend reminded me of this verse this week. 
and oh how it spoke to my heart.

regardless of circumstances, unknowns, questions, mundane day to day things, excitement of new opportunities, and the hard work it takes to get to the next place, i have gained a confidence in bringing my heart, my needs, my hurts, my desires, my praise, my secrets, and my hopes, before the throne.

each and every time without fail, my Savior meets me here.

my desire to be known is filled.
my longing to be understood is satisfied.

it's pretty cool to look back and see His faithfulness in a different light.
He's been showing me His faithfulness up to this point but also showing me the importance of a foundation.
what do i mean?

while this time in my life feels like one where I just come and go with school, work, and maintaining relationships, it can often feel like I am at a standstill, when in actuality, there is a purpose and reason for this time.  I am building a foundation in certain areas, building on foundations already established, and in the long run the strength and the solid ground i pray to have in my life with my work, my relationships, and my future home and all that it entails, is being established and built upon even now.

in the midst of my impatience, it is my prayer that the Lord would remind me of all that I hope for ahead, and that the foundation is the most important part. 

i know that some of the best things in life come from hard work, endurance, patience, and waiting.
i know that for all my heart longs for, and all that i am working towards, it will be just that. 

i'm thankful today for my Savior. 
for his ability to understand me because He's been where I'm at.
 He also knows what is best for me and in His time He will bring it all to fruition.

in the midst of it all, He gives me just what I need to keep going.
one day at a time.

even now

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

lately it seems as though I'm at a standstill.
while my schedule is 100 miles an hour, certain parts of my life and heart feel that they are at a place of no movement. 
sometimes i find myself watching other people moving into different phases of life and i recognize in my heart the desires I have and then the realization that i am exactly where i need to be.

i'm thankful feelings aren't facts.
feelings can be misleading.
they are hard to deal with sometimes.

in recent days, i have recognized my desire for instant gratification and the way i feel when i haven't been getting it in certain areas of my life.
accepting that school is still 3 years from being over is hard to swallow at times, but i keep reminding myself of the journey nursing school was, how fast it went by, and the joy that came in finishing something that took so long to complete.
i also know that instant gratification isn't the answer to the things i feel or the thing that will bring contentment and peace into my life.

i have had to surrender daily my desire for instant gratification.
admitting and owning where i am at.
giving up my desire and need for 'thank you's, recognition of my hard work, and ultimately my plans 
but also asking God to help me see my life and where I am through his eyes.

it's amazing how His perspective of my life and who I am can change everything.
i've had to own where i'm at.
owning and agreeing with Jesus's assessment of my heart and life.
and honest would tell you i have feelings and issues in my heart that are wrong.

being honest would mean i'm not completely sure how to let go and get rid of some of them.
and honesty in my prayer life even when its ugly is how i pray daily right now.

through all of it, even in the midst of my wrong, He is showing me things.
about myself. about my heart. about my desires. about my need for Him.
He is also showing me that His plan for my life, is a plan designed just for me.
everything that I need. everything that He created for me, in His timing.

so for the moments I compare my life to other people around me, I'm missing the joy of His plan for me.

It may appear as though I have this lesson learned, and am bringing it out after it's been learned when reality is, i write this with a heavy heart, with teary eyes, a lump in my throat, with hurts no one knows about, and with thoughts that i'd be ashamed for anyone else to see.

but even now, in the midst of my searching, in the times where the Lord is refining my heart,
it hurts so bad, there's nothing easy about it, He is revealing his plan for my life piece by piece.
even though I feel like I'm at a standstill, He is doing something deep down in my heart in this time of my life.

as much as I'd like to just move past this place that I'm in currently, I need to be here.
God is here. He is working.

a day to celebrate

Sunday, February 17, 2013

there's no one else in the world who compares to my mom.
there just isn't.
something about needing a mom seems to be at the core of who we are, even when we are grown.
no one can make things better like mom can and no one understands or loves you quite like your mother.

I have been blessed with an incredible mom.
it's neat how over time we have become friends instead of just family.
I love and appreciate her so much and pray that someday I am half the mom she is to me.

Today was her birthday.
Yesterday, I planned a day for us.
We went out and got  coffee and donuts.
 Enjoyed a massage at the Disney resort together.

Made our way to lunch on the River with her best friend.

& ended the day with pedicures and a trip to target.
We had dinner with some of her closest friends and what a day it was.
It was nice to slow down for a few hours and share this time with her.
She certainly deserves so much more.

Happy Birthday Mom!

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