Friday, December 17, 2010

New York, New York!

“Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do! Now you’re in NewYork, these streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York, New York , New York! No place in the world that can compare!”

I almost don’t know where to start this blog post because I just have so many thoughts going through my head about the past three months of my life. I’m currently sitting on an American Airlines aircraft in route to Austin, Texas for Christmas break! I’m about to spend 3 and half weeks with my family and friends in the Great State... pumped! However, I remember so vividly the flight in August in route to NYC and how incredibly difficult that day was for me. I remember feeling scared, insecure in wondering if I had made the right choice to pick up and move half way across the country to pursue seminary, but mostly I think I felt fear of the unknown. Within the first week of me being here I had determined that I’d move back to Texas by Christmas. I honestly didn't think i was cut out for NYC. I kept reminding myself that if I could just last 3 months I could go back to Texas where everyone and everything that I loved was. I think about those thoughts and almost laugh because today I’m kinda sad that I’m going to miss out on 3 weeks in the City, and also miss my crazy/awesome/hilarious/encouraging/fun roomie, Sara! (check out her blog for some good laughs)

You see, I wasn’t running away from Texas. I had no good reason to leave. I had a good job, great friends, and a church that challenged me each week. Everything was so normal, but the spirit continued to convict me that for this new season I was to leave. This morning as my plane took off from LaGuardia I had the sweetest view of NYC, and all its glory of high rise buildings, central park, and the like. I couldn’t help but smile because despite the sadness I felt upon moving here today I can say that I love this place. Despite its craziness, I truly do love my life here, the sights, the good eats, the people, etc. But mostly I love that God has taught me more in this semester than probably ever in my life. When I reflect on this semester I can only attest to God moving MOUNTAINS in my heart about my feelings toward the city and this new season. For the first few weeks I truly hated it here, and yes I know that hate is a strong word but I’m just trying to be honest here. I hated everything: the people, the noise, the subways. I missed everything about Texas: my friends/family, my car, my normal life! All I wanted were things to be normal in my life and I was so far away from anything that was remotely normal or comfortable for that matter. In those first few weeks I cried (buckets) of tears and questioned God over and over as to why he would let me move across the country to feel this way. I’d talk to my best friends on the phone and deeply miss them. I remember they’d offer me words of advice and encouragement but in those days I couldn’t see past my wants and desires for my life. I was so selfish and I just wanted to go back to what was comfortable. You see, I didn’t want to trust because all I could see was that this journey was going to be hard and stretching. (Thanks, God.)

But as the days passed and I got over my fears, and just trusted God, He began to steadily change my heart. He gave me a peace that surpassed any fear I could have. He gave me the confidence that I was in His will. And to this day He gives me the grace to get through each long, busy, crazy day here. Lets be honest, NYC is a fabulous city. It’s a city that is so rich in culture and has so much to do and see. I’ve been able to connect with so many Texas friends who are passing through the city for various reasons. Just last week I saw three different good friends from Texas! God always blesses me with little tastes of home :)To say that i’m thankful for this season would be a gross understatement. I’m thankful that living in the City has taught me to trust that Jesus is who He says He is. I’ve learned that wherever I am, He is with me each step of my day and for that, I’m truly grateful. I’ve learned more about his great love for me than every before. He loves this sinful, broken woman so so so much!

Lots of people ask me what I’m going to do after seminary, where I see myself, etc. Right now I have no idea how to answer that question. For this season I’ll be in New York, and there is no where else I’d rather be on this kind of adventure with Jesus right by my side. He has taken such good care of me, and provided in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. I have, and will always be a Texas girl, but I can’t help but wonder that God has big things in store for my time on the East Coast. To Him be the glory all of my days. Jesus, you’re enough for me every day. Every single day, you are enough.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day of Birthday!

Yup, here's my second blog post about my birthday! A third one is coming as tonight I got to celebrate with my best friends in Austin. Go ahead and judge me, I honestly just use this as an excuse to get all my good friends together at once. Ha!

Anyway- the above pic is me and one of my very best friends from college, Camille! She and I were instant friends junior year and our friendship has been such a blessing in my life. If it weren't for Camille I would have never probably gone to the Dominican Republic, and my life would probably look so much different today! She is such a great friend, and I had really been wanting her to visit, so what better weekend than last weekend? :) It was such a joy to have an old friend in town to celebrate with a few new friends! I actually was pretty sick all weekend so having a friend in town who was completely content doing anything or nothing was so wonderful for me! Love you Cami, thanks for coming to visit!

The day started with me waking up to smell delicious blueberry and chocolate chip muffins waiting for me in the kitchen. My rooms had gotten up early just to make these for me! Dang, I love that girl! I know she loves her sleep so the fact that she got up early just for me reminds me how lucky I am to have to live with such a great gal!

Later, Camille and I headed into the City to eat some Dominican food! I hadn't had any since moving to City and I was determined to enjoy some rice/beans/maduros and some cafe con leche on my special day! haha! The rest of the day was spent out shopping in the freeeeezing cold weather!

That night I kept it pretty chill and just had dinner at a new burger place in Soho, called B&B (Burger and Barrell) with a few friends. Burgers and wine. Expensive, but delicious!

I had soooo many wall posts, texts, phone calls, and cards come in the mail that blew me away. I felt so loved and I can only thank God for giving me so many wonderful friends.

26 was a great year. 27, let's see if you can top it!
Shanna, Andrew, and my Rooms at dinner!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy 27th Birthday to me!

If you know me at all you know how special my birthday is to me! For some reason it's always been a day that I LOVE and I can't quite relate to people who just don't get excited about their special day. Call me selfish, but I love it! My love language is words of affirmation and quality time and this was met by so many people on my day this year! My celebration started a couple of days early with the picture above. My dear friend, and old roommate, Laurin, was in town for the past couple of weeks for work. She had to leave on Thursday, the day before my birthday, so she decided we'd go out Wednesday to celebrate! We went to Primehouse Steakhouse on the corner of 27th/Park Avenue and it was fancy pants for sure! Laurin and I went to an awesome steakhouse last year, so we (or I) decided to keep the tradition alive with choosing this place. My friend Ema from my community group is the pastry chef here and that definitely swayed my decision a little :) The food was absolutely fantastic, and apparently knowing someone who works behind the scenes at a restaurant gives you top quality service. We were treated sooo well. NY Strip, brussel spouts, mac & cheese, and then that awesome dessert you see above... bananas foster! It's the same dessert we had last year at Perry's in Austin, so we decided again (for tradition purposes of course) to get another one here! However, because my friend is awesome Primehouse also sent out a baggie full of their famous DONUT holes, in which we also received three tiny tubes of goodness to inject in them... what?! Needless to say were sooo full after that meal that I only had a couple of donuts. Luckily I have a roommate who appreciates dessert so those babies did not go to waste!

I'm spoiled.

I'll post the official day of birthday post.... soon :)

PS: Am I really going to Texas in two days for 3 and half weeks? What?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Tree on the subway? CHECK!

Yes, it's true last week we were THOSE girls who took a Christmas tree on the Subway. In fact we were those girls who ran down the steps with it as the "L" was approaching, and since that train doesn't come often we had to catch it. Was the train packed? Yup. Did we care? Nope. Mind you this was after we made our friend Angie hold the tree inside of CVS as we went and picked up ornaments and lights.... don't judge us!

Sara had been talking for weeks about getting a Christmas tree. I honestly didn't think she was that serious. Last Thursday when she continued talking about it, I asked her if we should just get a fake one and the look she gave me summed up that she thought I was just plain crazy. So yes, last Thursday night we hailed the tree from the East Village all the way out to good ole G'Dale Queens. Sara was so excited as you can tell from the picture!

And I will admit.... it was kinda fun :)The finished product! Merry Christmas :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Deep In The Heart Of Texas... Part II

So I've been back in the City for a week now so I figure I should blog about my adventures from the Great State! I had been looking forward to this visit for quite some time now. Let's be honest, my BFFE Mandy and I had a 80 day countdown from the day I left to the day she'd pick me up at at the airport! I arrived to open arms and warm Tiff Treat's in her car. Do I have a great friend or what? I spent the next four days with my best friends in Austin. Catching up on life, getting pedicures, and eating lots of good Texas BBQ, Queso, and Mexican food. Don't judge me.
On Monday I headed home to Brownwood with my nephew who know is the owner of my old car, my precious red jetta! The jetta I bought all on my own, and signed 25 papers piece of paper for one afternoon. She is now in property of my college-sophomore-UT student- nephew. She was clean, and I think he takes good care of her. Remember that time I wrote a paragraph about my car? Whoops.
I spent from Monday- Sunday in Brownwood with the family! It was so nice to see them and to relax at my parents house. I love them and it was such a nice break away from the chaos of my life in the City! It was nice to get to places in under 10 minutes in a car. What a novel idea, right? On Friday I went to Abilene to watch the Mighty Brownwood Lions take down yet another team in their voyage to their 8th State Championship. These boys are good! Jaxson Shipley (who will be a Longhorn next year) is just plain ridiculous! Hopefully he can redeem next season for the Horns, because this season was just terrible... but that's a whole other story. Sunday my parents took me back to Austin, we enjoyed some Hula Hut, some mall shopping, and a course a trip to Target. We have our priorities, that's for sure. That night I spent the night with the Robles' at my old house! I love them, and miss them greatly. I was so happy to see 'my' dog Colt too! Hope was gracious enough to be willing to take me to the airport Monday morning at 4am to catch m 6am flight back to NYC. Remember when I thought that a six am flight was a good idea? yeah, me either.

Sunday night we went to church at the Stone. While I was a church the Lord spoke to me to great depths. The sermon was amazing (The Story of Redemption, all scriputre, all memorized by Ronnie Smith... truly incredible!). But more than the sermon the Lord reminded me of his great grace for my life. He reminded me that His will is more perfect for my life than mine will ever be. He reminded me that what is going on in Austin, with my friends, with my church, with that city are all GOOD things, but in this season I'm not supposed to be a part of them. Being able to articulate that is so refreshing to me after only being in NYC for about 3 months now. I can say that I'm happy, and mean it. I can say that despite my life being pretty nutzo most days, God provides me a peace that sustains me during the craziness. God called me to be here for now, and He has provided in ways that I don't even understand. I have great friends, I'm in seminary studying and learning so much, a great church, and I'm being stretched in more ways than ever before. I'm thankful and I trust Him every single day. Texas will ALWAYS be home, but I'm really starting to love NYC.

Over and out.