Friday, September 30, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Wow, so it's been a full week since I last posted on here. Blame my crazy schedule... and oh yeah, a fun bout of mono that's had me knocked out since last Thursday (the bad). Never again will I doubt WebMD. Hah, yeah right. With 20 possible diagnoses, they were sure to nail one.

But, even with the overall yucky feeling I've had all week, and the lovely sick look I've had (the ugly) there is one really great thing that happened. My wedding gown came in (the most amazing good)! Yes, it is finally here, and I am so excited. I wish I could show you all a picture of how gorgeous it is. Buuuttt..... I know my wonderful fiance reads this blog, and he is not allowed to know anything about it. And really, I would like it to be a surprise for everyone.

On top of that, I found my wedding shoes. They are absolutely fabulous. Let's just say they have a 4 and a half inch heel. I know that sounds more than a little ridiculous for a wedding heel, but let me tell you, I cannot wait to put them on.

Really the only things I still need to complete my wedding ensemble are the jewelry and the veil. Anybody know of a great place? I want some major bling, guys!

The mono is still knocking me out, but I'm back on here and ready to share. Get excited!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Mama

Today marks exactly 7 months out from my wedding. Seven months until I become a wife. Seven months until I become Mrs. Koscielecki. So in the spirit of that, I’m sharing some very exciting news.

Anthony and I booked our honeymoon! We had been looking at different options forever, primarily going back and forth because of price, but finally settled on what seems like the best option. On April 23rd, 2012, we will be embarking on our first cruise as newlyweds and heading to the Bahamas on the Carnival Ecstasy.



We were looking last night at all of the fun excursions we could go on and started picturing ourselves already there. Blissful newlyweds horseback riding into the ocean. Giggling lovebirds high above the world on a parasail. A peaceful couple enjoying their first couple’s massage.

I cannot wait for this honeymoon. I’ve called Carnival a couple of times to make sure I set everything up correctly and have been sure to tell everyone why we are cruising. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more excited for a trip in my life.

For all of you past cruisers out there, what was your favorite excursion? What are the must-do’s for our honeymoon?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Who's Coming to Dinner?

If you take a look at my DVR, you will most likely find only four kinds of shows.

1) Dance Shows – Right now I am so into Dance Moms, though I don’t know if this can really be classified as a dance show. I grew up as a competition kid and I can attest to the fact that a lot of what goes on on that show is completely unrealistic. That doesn’t stop it from being so damn addicting. So You Think You Can Dance is my standard favorite.



2) Car Shows – Particularly Top Gear. Anthony is so into it, and surprisingly, for as little as I know about cars, so am I. The debate still stands in our house on which version is better (I say American, Anthony likes the original British,) but regardless, it’s a great show.



3) DIY/Home Improvement Shows – Marrying a carpenter certainly has its perks. He can do almost anything I see on TV. Once we get a house, that should come in very handy. And last, but certainly not least…

4) Cooking Reality Shows – OMG!! These are my favorites. I can’t even tell you how much of a foodie I am. I’ve fallen asleep to the Food Network ever since I discovered it when I was 12 years old, and once had ambitions of being a great chef. I’ve settled for being average, but still live vicariously through the men and women who are able to transform the most disgusting sounding foods into meals made in heaven (anyone else a fan of Chopped?)



All of that being said, Anthony and I were discussing our favorite celebrities the other day and who we would want o meet/have dinner with, and I realized all of my favorites right now are chefs. So in the interest of wishful thinking, I’ve put together a list of the top 7 chefs I'd like to have dinner with. Why 7? It just seemed right.

#7 – Bobby Flay – I watched him growing up, love him on Iron Chef America, and think his southwestern style looks so delish.

#6 – Wolfgang Puck – I love his accent, I love his energy, but most importantly I love his food. I just think he would be so fun to sit down with.

#5 – Alton Brown – Alton Brown is the coolest geeky guy out there. How he can take the science of cooking and make something so simple seem so extraordinary astounds me. I would love to have dinner with him, just so he can educate me on everything I’m eating.

#4 – Anne Burrell and #3 – Robert Irvine – I had to put these two together because I think it would be hysterical to have dinner with the both of them at the same time. Watching them on America’s Worst Cooks was so fun, and when they battled each other on Chopped All-Stars, I was in heaven. The only reason Robert Irvine is #3 and Anne Burrell is #4 is because of shows like Restaurant Impossible. Looove it!

#2 – Emeril Lagasse – Let me just say, I have been in love with Emeril Lagasse since day one. I think he is absolutely incredible, his food is delicious (at least what I’ve had at his restaurant,) and who can resist his Italian charm. I remember when I was twelve, I was so excited to get his cookbook for Christmas. I wanted to be him. He would’ve been my number one, but he slightly edges out by…

#1 – Gordon Ramsey –



I love this man. I want to eat his food, I want to be his friend. He had me from the first moment of Hell’s Kitchen and gets me every week on Kitchen Nightmares. You can totally tell that behind that tough exterior, he really cares about the chefs he works with. He has talent and personality, and I would love to meet him.

Phew… Ok that’s my list. Anybody out there have any hook-ups for me? (wink, wink)

Who would you love to have dinner with?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scared to Death

I watched Insidious for the first time over the weekend. Perhaps one of the scariest movies I’ve seen in awhile. Let me preface all of this by saying I have seen some pretty scary movies in my time.  My little brother exposed me to my fair share growing up. Anyone else out there heard of Battle Royale?



My college roommates will attest to the fact that this is not a movie for the weak-hearted. Released in 2000, Battle Royale is a Japanese film set in the future where a new act has been issued and a group of delinquent students are sent to an island to kill each other off. They have three days to kill until they are the last one standing, or else they all die.

The movie is just a gory as it sounds. My point to that is that you would think having been able to watch that, I wouldn’t be phased by our more mild American horror flicks.

Let me tell you though, I don’t know what it is about demon movies that completely sends me off the deep end. I refuse to watch the exorcist. I have never seen it and never will. Paranormal activity had me crying with my eyes covered for the last ten minutes (this is not an exaggeration, I was literally crying in the movie theater. Can we say embarrassing?)

So what, you may ask, possessed me to pick up Insidious? I have no earthly clue. But there I found myself Saturday night, perched in front of the television with Anthony, eating the soy banana pudding I had made and preparing myself for the inevitable screaming.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I don’t want to give away too much of the premise, but what you need to know is that the visuals are what pushes the movie forward, and what Anthony likes to call the “cheap thrills” are what keep you on the edge of your seat (FYI, I’m a “cheap thrills” kinda girl. If you can’t make me jump in a horror movie, you’re not really doing your job.) I started the movie laying down, but spent most of it in a bird like position on the edge of the sofa (something similar to owling I suppose, but completely unintentional.)



I only wish I had a video camera attached to my t.v., so I could show you guys a video of my horror movie reactions. Anthony spent a good portion of the movie laughing at me, and I spent a good portion repeating my mantras for the night, “Why do I do this to myself?” and “This is so not funny.”

The thing is, regardless of how much I ‘hate’ horror movies in the moment, I absolutely love them in the end. It’s like being on a rollercoaster and wanting to get off right at the top, but running back to get in line once the ride is over. Insidious was great and awful and scary and wonderful all at the same time. The only question is this. What should my next scary movie be?



What’s your favorite horror movie and why?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stalking the Enemy

http://a1977.g.akamai.net/f/1977/1448/1d/webmd.download.akamai.com/1448/CorporateSite/logo_webmd2.gif



WebMD is not my friend. Not today. Not ever. Sure, I can appreciate the site for the incredibly valuable resources it offers for self-diagnosis. I absolutely respect its founders for developing tools such as the symptom checker that will offer you several diagnoses based on your gender, age and symptoms. In theory, WebMD is incredible.


The problem arises when you have people like me use the tool. WebMD was not designed for over-analyzers. It was certainly not designed for anyone with a type A personality. And it is exceptionally dangerous in the hands of a hypochondriac.

Let me illustrate this briefly. Recently, I’ve been feeling pretty lousy. Nothing too extreme, just an overall tired feeling, accompanied by a constant feeling of dehydration. It’s been going on for about a month now, and as a dancer, I need to be in the best shape I can possibly be.  So, I decided to check out good old WebMD for some possible solutions to the issue.

I entered my main symptoms, fatigue, minor muscle weakness, blurry eyes, dehydration. Out popped twenty-something syndromes I could possibly have, some with names I could barely pronounce, and there the cycle began.

Here’s just a couple of the possible diagnoses I was given:

Lack of Exercise – Um hi, no. I’m a dancer. That’s not a problem.

Heat Exhaustion

Hypothyroidism

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Anemia

Hypocalcemia

Emphysema - I didn't say anything about my lungs, guys.


Multiple Sclerosis - Really??

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Diabetes

Heart Rhythm Disorder

Mononucleosis - I've had mono before, this is not even close to mono. Mono is awful!


And my favorite,

Pseudohypoparathyroidism – Are you kidding me, WebMD? Not so much. If you’re curious, this is a hereditary disorder that affects bone growth, face shape, mental development, and produces other auxiliary symptoms. How did we get there from fatigue and dehydration?

Gosh, even though I look at some of these and think that there is absolutely no way that this is the cause for my symptoms, there is still this open door in the back of my mind. A door that would have been firmly shut if it weren’t for WebMD.  I researched the conditions for at least an hour, trying to determine what’s causing these issues for me, looking at conditions I didn’t even know existed prior to last night. But here I am, thinking I may be anemic, or heavily considering the idea that it is my lack of calcium that is wearing me down.

What if I do have rheumatoid arthritis? My joints do hurt from time to time. And even though I’m in my twenties, maybe its early onset? Who knows?

I’ve decided to leave it alone. I’m going to drink water like it's disappearing tomorrow. I am going to take multi-vitamins in case I’m missing something (plus, if I really am anemic, that should take care of it.)

And, next time I get the brilliant idea to diagnose myself, I’m going to remember that I went to school for communication, not for medicine. I didn’t take the exams and study all of the books to be able to interpret clearly what’s going on. So, I should probably leave it to a real doctor.

Have you ever used WebMD? How did self-diagnosis work for you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Looooving it!!

In how many different ways do we use the word love every day?

“Baby, I love you”



“OMG, I LOVE those heels”



“I can’t even tell you how much I love this cake.”



I could be wrong, but those are three very distinctive statements, each completely different from the other, but somehow we use the same word to describe our feelings for these things. I don’t know about you, but the way I love my shoes is certainly not the same way I love my fiancé. Love has got to be one of the most complex ideas in the world.

What about the difference between how we love our family, our spouses, our friends and strangers. The same word that we use to convey our relationships, has entirely different meanings based on who we are talking about, and in what context.

So how do we separate love from like? How do we differentiate between infatuation and true deep feelings? How do we know when we are just head over in heels in lust? How do we know the true meaning of what it is to love and be loved?

Truthfully, I don’t think we will ever break it down. I don’t think that our human minds are capable of processing fully that kind of emotion and pinpointing where it begins and ends.

From my perspective, it doesn’t matter. We don’t need to fully understand it. We just need to practice it. God commanded that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Ooof! I don’t know about you, but for me, that is an eternal struggle. It’s easy for me to love my family and friends. It’s easy for me to show kindness to strangers, particularly when they are kind to me. But how easy is it really to love those people we know nothing about.

I was challenged several weeks ago to pray for those around me with true love for them. To pray for them from a place of total appreciation and gratitude for who they are, even if that is not always easy to deal with. (And let’s be honest, I know I’m not always easy to deal with either.) We are inherently selfish and selfishness and love are opposing forces.

I’ve been talking a lot about love as I work towards marrying the man of my dreams, and there are so many ideas out there about how to make love last. How to work through the difficult times. How to avoid the common mistakes people make in love. How to “speak each others language.” I’m taking it all in and I’m learning a lot, but the truth is, everything is conjecture when it comes to this stuff.

Everyone has his or her own way of showing love. None of us will ever be perfect, but we can sure try. I think it may be necessary.

Check out this blog entry I read yesterday. If that’s not love…

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wishin' and Hopin' and Thinkin' and Praying

It's Hump Day everyone! Yes, I did capitalize that title , because to make it through the work-week, you have to have a little Hump Day celebration.



Truthfully though, today is a big reminder for me on the one thing I need to work on beyond all else. That is, patience. Yes we all need a little patience to make it through our work week. Heck, we all need a little God given patience to make it through our work DAY sometimes. But the kind of patience I am talking about goes deeper than that.

Yes, I demonstrate surface impatience all of the time. I hate to wait in line. Traffic drives me bonkers. And let me tell you, I truly believe that with some hard work and perseverance, ANYTHING can be done quickly and efficiently and before schedule.

The thing is, life doesn't always work out like that. I often find myself stuck in long lines and behind the slowest, most inconsiderate drivers you will find anywhere (props to Orlando for being an amazing place to live, but come on people, merging is not that difficult.) And those tasks that should have been done yesterday? Well, they are still piling up on my desk, my floor, in my planner, and have spilled into all facets of my life.

So, as I get older, it is becoming more and more clear how essential patience is becoming to my overall mental health and well-being. The truth is, there is so much more to being patient, particularly in the biblical sense, than what we all typically perceive. We think if we wait long enough, and are diligent in restraining ourselves from the inevitable break-down we SO want to have, we are demonstrating the kind of patience that would make our mothers proud. However, this idea of passively waiting, or gentle composure, is not what God intended for us when he touted faithfulness as a fruit of the spirit, and asked us to seek it out in our everyday lives.

No, the kind of patience we all need to be working on, myself in particular, is the active kind of patience. The type that not only waits for something to happen, but waits with a joyful hope that that need will be filled, that God has already set in motion a path for you that will lead to a life of blessing.

I know I find myself often wondering why things don't happen when I want them to, when I NEED them to, when I've worked so hard for them. Ouch, there are a lot of I's in that sentence. Why is it so hard for me to trust God to take care of me, when He has never left my side, He has never failed me? Why is it so hard for me to be patient and let his will for my life play out?

We all like to be in control, to feel the immediate cause and effect of our efforts, to know unconditionally that if I finish A, then B will happen. (Oh, if-then statements. Anybody else having a flashback to fifth grade here?) Anyways, we like to see immediate results, because that is what we have been conditioned for. But life does not always follow an easily explained cause and effect pattern. Sure, if you put water in a freezer, it will then turn to ice. But just because you worked your ass off on that last proposal, does not mean you will get that raise.

My challenge is this. Start living your life with patience, the true, real biblical patience, that can only be found in the Lord. Wait with a joyful heart. Have faith that you will be granted the provision you need. Know that you will be blessed in a way that you can't even imagine yet.

And in the meantime? Practice on that awful driver in front of you.



"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" - Romans 12:12

Where do you find yourself becoming impatient? What do you do when you notice it happening?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stand By Your Maaaannnn... ahem Alma Mater

I'm writing this post a couple of days late, but my point is still valid and the topic is absolutely worthy of discussion. What, you may ask, could be so relevant to everyday life to warrant such an untimely post?

The University of Central Florida's football season and the potential of this year's team to blow away the stereotypes created by past records and establish a reputation worthy of an inevitable  conference upgrade.

There has been talk of UCF moving to the Big East for years, from Conference-USA where they currently sit. But, it has always erred on the side of negativity, with many touting the idea as a pipe dream for a school whose football team has been around less than half a century. I am a UCF alum. I was on the spirit team.



I worked in the sports communication department.



I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of UCF victory and defeat. I have been a student cheering on a losing team, and an alumni watching my alma mater beat the University of Georgia in last year's Liberty Bowl. I have heard the rumors, the good and the bad, and the opinions of many who like to brush the program off in a state with one of the biggest SEC opponents out there (at least for most seasons - the 2010 season may have said differently.)

But with last year's recruiting class already pulling rank, and QB Jeffrey Godfrey at the helm of a growing team, I only anticipate the next decade to be a strong opportunity for UCF to prove its worth among not only conference rivals, but among some  of the nation's highest ranked teams.



The first two games of the 2011 season have already demonstrated the hunger that these boys have for if nothing else, a bowl win this year. With a 62-0 season opening win against Charleston Southern (admittedly not the toughest team they will face all season), the Knights were just getting started. Last Saturday, they took on Boston College, a team whose decision to leave the Big East for the ACC in 2003 and subsequent conference realignment in 2005 sent shock waves through at least the Northeast. They took them down 30-3.

Again, Boston College is no Auburn, but for UCF, who has been clamoring for national recognition and an invitation to join the Big East, beating the team who decided to leave seemed fitting to put doubters in their place.

It's not just Godfrey that is standing out on the field this season. UCF has one of the best defensive lines (dare I say it?) in the nation. They haven't allowed one touchdown yet this year. In fact, going back to last season, the Knights  didn't allow even Georgia to score a touchdown in the Liberty Bowl last year. Games are being won on the line of scrimmage, and the Knights are exquisite at they way they are putting the pressure on the opposing offense.

My point to all of this is to say that everyone out there should make note of UCF and the growth they are not only making now, but are inevitably bound to make over the next couple of seasons. Never overlook the underdog (is that even still applicable for a team who hasn't allowed a touchdown in 12 consecutive quarters?) Keep your eye on the Knights.



Who are you rooting for this football season? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Morning Musings AKA Why Youtube is Like Crack

Last night, I had four hours of rehearsal for an upcoming performance I am dancing in. (Shameless self-promotion alert: If anybody wants tickets to see me perform with Emotions Dance Company in our collaboration with Yow Dance, let me know. This show is going to be amazing!)



After the busy day I had yesterday, I decided it was a good idea to take a nap before heading to the studio. However, after wrapping up yesterday’s blog post, I decided to head over to YouTube to check out a video a friend had posted on her Facebook.

For those of you who have yet to hear of Jenna Marbles, check her out. Her stuff is hilarious. There’s only one problem, YouTube will suck all of your time once you find her channel. I spent at least forty-five minutes sampling her vlogs yesterday, laughing my butt off the entire time.  Her shark week video? Priceless. Why do sharks get all the love? I’m a honey badger fan myself. :) Her video on 'How to Avoid Talking to People You Don't Want to Talk To.' My strategy exactly. (Simple Warning: Her stuff is not necessarily PG, probably not even PG-13.)

From there, I moved on to funny or die exclusives, from there, old school SNL skits (I think we can tell I’m a fan of humor), and of course there were some amazing dance videos thrown in there. One of my favorites though has got to be this little girl. Why aren't we all starting our days like this?


By the time my computer decided to freeze up on me, ending my YouTube jaunt, which was meant to be five minutes, I had all of 2 minutes to get myself ready and out the door.

Why is YouTube so darn addictive? And how is it that it can eat time like my laundry machine eats socks. There is something very mysterious about the appeal of YouTube, but something very wonderful that is going on there.  I have spent far more time than I’d like to admit on that web site, but I know I can’t be the only one.

What are your YouTube favorites?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Filet, Ballet, and September 11th

Today, the nation remembers September 11, 2001, a day that shook the very core of our American identity and at the same time, created an even stronger tie that connects each and every one of us who lived through it. Anthony and I went to see the Central Florida Ballet's production of 9/11: An American Moment to remember and honor not only those who lost their lives that tragic day, but those who continue to put their lives on the line each and every day for us. The production was moving and beautiful, and showcased even the academy's younger dancers. It was the perfect way to spend our afternoon.



I think the take-away for all of us on this day, and every day really, is to really be in touch with what it is that is important to us, and furthermore, really be in touch with the people that surround us. The ties that bind us together in our families, our communities, and our nation, are what pull us through the tough times. It is also our relationships, both weak and strong, that allow us to celebrate the best in life with the fervor that such celebrations deserve. Remember the people around you, hold them close to your heart, and on a day where many focus on the tragedy of the past, keep your eyes to the future  and your heart in a place of joy and gratitude.

Prior to the ballet, Anthony and I had a very busy morning. We started at 8:30 am with the marriage prep class we are attending at our church. We always leave with so much more to learn about ourselves and our relationships with each other and Jesus Christ, but let me tell you, sometimes the homework can seem a little intimidating. On the plate for this week? Seven pages of questions about putting the past in perspective and allowing Christ to enter and be centered in our relationship. It's something that's very important to us, and so very worth it, but sometimes the motivation to get it completed is hard to find.

We followed our class with a bridal luncheon at Fleming's Steakhouse in Winter Park. Before I say anything else, if you have never been to Fleming's, YOU MUST GO! I had never been before today, primarily because it tends to be on the pricier side. But if the full entree's are ANYTHING like what I was served today for lunch, I have to say it is absolutely worth it. I am not normally a beef person, but the filet mignon skewer they served was like butter the way it melted in my mouth.



Beyond the filet, we enjoyed seard ahi tuna on a fried wonton cracker, a seared scallop with a meyer lemon sauce, shrimp skewers with a chimichurri sauce, lamb with a pistachio pesto, and grilled goat cheese flatbread. OH...MY...GOSH... So good. And all free for the event. For anyone who lives in the Orlando/Winter Park area, the month of September is Magical Dining Month and Fleming's is offering a prix fixe menu for only $30 a person. If you're thinking of checking them out, or really, thinking of checking out any other restaurant in the area, this month is the time to do it. Oh, and did I mention proceeds from this go towards the boys and girls club? How do you beat amazing food at an amazing price, while still supporting local charities? You don't.

The luncheon also served as an opportunity for us to meet with some local vendors in the area and enter to win some fun door-prizes. There was about an equal number of brides to vendors, so nearly everyone left with something. I won this super cute apron and Paula Deen cookbook, as well as a $25 gift certificate to amazon.com.

Anthony's hoping this apron will inspire some Paula Deen style cooking. We'll see. I'm a pretty good cook, but I have to be honest, I'm not the biggest butter fan. I will however, eat anything that involves tomatoes, artichokes, and/or goat cheese. Mmmm... my faves.

For me, today was a good balance of remembering the past and looking forward to my future. Next on the horizon? Four hours of rehearsal for my performance with Emotions Dance Company and Yow Dance September 23, 24, and 25. But more on that later. See you tommorrow friends!

How did you remember the events of 9/11?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nothing Wrong with a Little Give and Take

I'm marrying a carpenter, so I spend way more time than is necessary for me inside stores like Home Depot and Lowe's. I tend to prefer the latter, but this, as my fiance has pointed out to me is because "Lowe's was designed for Chicks, Home Depot is for professionals."

Anyways, while most of the country was preparing for tailgate feasting and some rowdy college gameday fun, I was wandering around the H.D. looking for materials for Anthony's next job. Now, I should say that I wasn't forced to come along on this trip, but with our hectic schedules, I'll take what I can get when it comes to spending time with him. However, what should have been a fifteen minute trip, turned into a several hour extravaganza.

At the first H.D. we stopped in, the staffer working the floor didn't have a clue what fascia was. Mind you, before I started dating the carpenter, I wouldn't have had a clue either, but given his current working environment, I would have expected more. We finally found our way to the correct aisle only to find that this H.D. only had four strips of the stuff and it was all bent out of shape.



We made our way to our second H.D. which, in my opinion was infinitely better. They even had bob-cats outside for rent.



Maybe one day I'll take one out for a spin just to say I can. I wonder what the insurance liabilities look like on those. They would definitely make me sign a waiver. The carpenter found what he was looking for here and we were off.

On the way home, we spotted a 90% off sale at Border's. Have I mentioned how much I love to read? We pulled in, and this time it was Anthony's turn to be patient as I perused the nearly empty aisles for what was left before the store shut its doors for good. I had to dwindle my pile, as we are on a pretty tight budget with a wedding to plan, but I managed to make my way out of the store with this stack of books for only ten dollars.

Anthony carrying all of my wonderful new books


We're home now and I can't think of a better way to finish off than snuggled up on the couch with my hunny and a good book. I've already made my way through one. Morning Glory, based on the movie with Rachel McAdams. Quick read, a little predictable, but being as chick lit is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, I still enjoyed it.

Today we got to spend a little time in his world and a little time in mine, enjoying each other's company along the way. It's all about the give and take in a relationship, we've all heard it a million times. But sometimes when both people are willing to be patient and open, the give and take feels a whole lot more like fun and adventure. Who knows? You may even learn something along the way.

What are your favorite excursions with your significant other?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weddings, Engagements, and Presence

I was chatting with a friend of mine yesterday and the topic of being present came up. She’s in a serious relationship, ready to be engaged. I’m engaged, so ready to be married. And as we talked, we realized how easy it is to get caught up in the things we WANT to happen, the things we are “ready” for, and forget to enjoy exactly where we are.

The strain this attitude can cause in all areas of our life, especially our relationships is so unwarranted, so unnecessary, and yet somehow we tend to go there. Why is it so hard to just live in the gratitude of where we are, even when our lives really are so blessed?

Not to discount vision casting. I am all about big ideas, and big vision. It’s what pushes us forward, motivates us, and keeps us growing in the right direction. In fact, it’s these very big ideas that tend to get me excited. But every now and again, wouldn’t it be nice to take a moment and just live in what is right now. Understand how important these moments are. I will only be engaged once, I only get this one chance to really truly enjoy being a fiancée, so why should I ruin this time focusing on how much I want to be a wife?

I thought about this all night, and then this came in the mail today.



We’ll just say it’s a pretty great match to this.



Oh well, I never said it would be easy. I’m challenging myself, and all of you, to balance your dreams and goals with a gratitude and an appreciation for where you are right now. There is no better place for you to be at this moment than where you are. And let’s be honest, even with all of our struggles and doubts, it’s a pretty great place to be.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What challenges do you face in being present? What do you do to allow yourself to live in the moment?