January 2009Walking Worthy: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Ain't So Bad!

WOW! I am completely overwhelmed after my birthday festivities! Can I tell you that I have the best friends ever! I also have the bestest boyfriend in the whole wide world! Let me start at the beginning.

Wednesday night I came over after half a day at work. I went in late because of all the ice. I walked in and immediately my nostrils were filled with the most heavenly smell. Allyson...I said, what is that? Your birthday cake...she said! Oh boy, was I excited! I love me some cake.

Ta da! Here is Allyson's creation! Funfetti cake! Oh boy!

Can you tell how excited I am?? Allyson even sang me Happy Birthday!
Well I went to sleep. With a belly very full of cake. The next morning I woke up and went to work. Randi, the girl I am replacing at work brought me Starbucks. Then Randi and the rest of the girls in my office took me to lunch at La Madeleine. Then that afternoon I got the best surprise ever... let me show you what came for me!

Umm yeah! Are they not the most beautiful flowers!! I seriously almost cried right there in my office when I read the card. These beautiful miniature roses came from my office family in the Registrar's Office. Now when I worked in the Registrar's Office I always knew my birthday would be special. I was really sad I wasn't getting to celebrate with them this year. They did not disappoint though! I was so overwhelmed by their friendship and love. I am so grateful for my office family! Love you guys!

So after that amazing day, I came home. I knew I was having dinner with one of my best friends...Ashley and my roommate Allyson. Greg surprised me when I got home. He walked into my apartment carrying this huge present. He handed it to me. I about dropped it on the floor. What was it you wonder? Well let me show you!

Ummm. YEAH! My parents bought me a Wii for Christmas. And Greg bought me the Wii Fit for my birthday!! Isn't he the best?? I sure think so!

Well, Ashley got to my apartment. And we got ready to leave for dinner. Where does a birthday girl choose to go for dinner?? I'm so glad you asked...Zio's! Oh yes, I had not been there since college. My taste buds were overwhelmed with Crispy shrimp, linguine, butter, parsley (fresh of course), freshly chopped garlic. Oh boy was it amazing. It fact it was so amazing I woke up the next day and could still taste garlic in my mouth (yes I brushed my teeth before I went to bed). Here are pics from the night.

Allyson, Ashlee, and Ashley (and baby Pelter in Ashley's belly)

My birthday Sundae! YUUUMMM!
The next morning I awoke. Very thankful for such a great birthday...um but apparently it wasn't over yet. When I opened my door that morning, this is what I found...


Ohhh. A big bag that says Happy Birthday. I wonder what is in it?? Hummm.....let's look inside.

What is it? Umm that would be my lunch for the day. A salad, strawberries with fruit dip, Tomato and roasted red pepper soup, and a piece of birthday cake! Yeah it was the best lunch ever! And...Allyson bought me these cool containers from the Container Store! A salad container with a place for dressing. The fruit dip container had a special place in the center for the dip with a lid for the dip. Um yeah I was really impressed and excited.
So I went to work, had my amazing lunch, battled traffic on my way home knowing I had a hot date that night...yep with Gregory. He wouldn't tell me where we were going...I love surprises!
Greg came and picked me up and we went on our way. All the time I was trying to figure out where he was taking me. So where was the place?? Ohh it was an amazing choice I got so excited when We drove in....Shogun! OH Buddy! They have the best fried rice, the best veggies, okay, so everything they have is the best!!! Then, he took me to see a movie. What a great night!
I am so full, I may not ever eat again. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make my birthday special! You are the best ever!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Pioneer Woman

Have you guys heard of the Pioneer Woman? You should check out her website www.thepioneerwoman.com. Some girls at work told me about her. Let me tell you my thoughts

She is a city girl turned country. I hear she lives in Oklahoma somewhere, but I don't really know. She has a garden. She cooks AMAZING food. She is a photographer and writer. She home schools her kids. She is a wife and a mom. Her husband is a cowboy and she used to be a spoiled city girl.

I think she is interesting. Her website is extensive. My biggest question for her, is how do you have the time? How do you have time to be a wife, mom, chef, photographer, writer, decorator, home school teacher, and maintain a website such as this. If you check out her website you will know, you will understand. Her recipes look amazing. Her photography will blow you away. She is so detailed. She is Witty and interesting. She loves all the things I love. She makes me want to have a garden with fresh produce of various colors and fresh sweet smelling herbs. She makes me want to be an amazing woman too.

At the same time, she makes me feel the same way Martha Stewart does. You know what I mean. Almost like less of a woman. Like every woman should be able to do all of that. Right now I barely have time to run to the grocery store once a week, be involved at church, spend time with my boyfriend, hang with my roommate, spend time with God, go to work, clean my apartment (it's not even as big as a house), cook one meal a week (I don't even make dinner every night because I am on the run so much), and have time to do the things I like (hunting for recipes, cooking, photography). I still haven't hung anything on the walls of my apartment. I barely get to sit down and relax. This morning is the longest time I've had in awhile to just do nothing and all I can think about it what I should be doing. How does she do it? I just don't have a clue.

Ugh I feel so torn. I want my kids someday to have that kind of a mom. I want to bake them fresh bread and homemade cookies. I want to make amazing dinners every evening (if I could only get Greg to eat onions and peppers). I want my family to be taken care of and loved. I don't feel drawn to homeschooling, though I could do it. I think it is good for kids to be in the world and learn how to not be of the world. I want all those things, but Pioneer Woman makes me tired. How is she not exhausted all the time. She must go to bed at like 7:00.

Thoughts anyone?

The First Week

Well I keep getting asked about my first week at my new job, so I guess I should tell you about it.
I began my new job on Tuesday morning. I was asked to be there at 9:00. I wasn't sure what traffic was going to be like, so I left my apartment at 8:30. I got there about 10 minutes before 9:00.
This is me on my first day. Notice the cute new shirt and dress pants!

No let me tell you about the weekend before I started my new job. My parents came in on Friday evening. Perfect timing! Isn't God good! We got to celebrate together His goodness in providing me with such an awesome job!
My parents bought me a washer and dryer for graduation. I think they thought I wasn't excited about it. That is so not true! I cannot wait to get in there and wash my first round of laundry in my new washer and dryer. In fact, I am stocking up until then. The dryer was back ordered, so I will get my new washer and dryer next weekend! YEAH!
On Sunday afternoon, Mom took me to the mall to get some new dress pants. Gap has my favorite trouser pants on sale...so I got two pairs!
My parents left on Monday, and I dropped in the Grapevine Mills Mall to look for some new shirts. I got two sweaters for $25 at Gap Outlet and then I got three shirts at Banana Republic for $28!!! Yeah I was really excited. If you don't know this about me, I LOVE a great deal! Ohh. I also found the Apothecary Bottle for my bathroom that I can been looking for ($5).
These are my shirts from Banana.
Yeah for Gap!
This is one the the new shirts...see the top of my Apothecary Bottle?

So, back to Tuesday. I drove up to my office building. I had been there a total of like 3 times before then. As I drove up I thought...I really work here! I also kinda panicked a little. You see when I worked at Southwestern I had to wear skirts. I worried that maybe my new job was the same way and I was going to be the idiot new girl who was wearing pants...gasp!! I know I totally freaked myself out! And of course I had dreamed the night before all kinds of horrible things, like sleeping through my alarm, everyone hating me, you know typical horrible dreams before a new job!

So, I got out of my car. I sucked in all the panic and worry. And I walked through the front door to Amanda, our receptionists, desk.

Now let me tell you Amanda had made a HUGE first impression on me when I went for my interview. I had listened to her answer phone call after phone call and she had the sweetest, most bubbly voice. It just makes you happy when she answers the phone! But- when I walked in and she already knew my name "You must be Ashlee." Well, that just blew me away! She made me feel so welcome. As I waited for Randi (the girl I am replacing) to come down and get me, she talked to me about where I'm from, where I live. She was just amazing and made me feel at home!

Randi came and got me and took me upstairs. She gave me what I call my "hip badge." It's one of those cards and gives you entry into the building and all the offices in the building. You cannot get in to see me unless you have one. Not going to lie, they make me feel very safe!

This is my "hip badge"

Then Randi took me to my make shift desk. Right now I'm at a table with a laptop. You see Randi can't move to her new desk until Stephanie leaves. When Stephanie leaves (she is going home to be a mommy) Randi is taking her place. So until about mid- February I am at my little table next to my soon to be desk.

Side note-Sometimes I dream about organizing my new desk. I dream about the nesting process. What should I get for my new desk? What pictures should I bring? What colors are appropriate? Do I need a plant? How will I organize things in a way that works for me. These are all things that run through my head during the day.
Okay, so later that day my new boss finally came in the office. He had been out visiting a church. He is really an awesome guy. He is detailed, but very personable. It's still weird to me that I have a new boss. I still feel a little disloyal about it. But we talked and he ran things by me and we just talked about different office type things.
So the rest of the day, and the week actually I spent learning the various aspects of my job. Everyone keeps asking me if I am overwhelmed yet. I don't feel that way yet. I know I probably will. Right now I'm am just processing alot and feel exhausted! But I know the Lord has brought me here. I know He wouldn't place me somewhere if He hadn't already prepared me for it. So I just get up everyday and ask Him to teach me and help me do my job well. I know that I have to trust Him in this job. I know that if I trust in myself I will for sure fail!!
I am working on a notebook about my job. Why? So I can remember everything Randi tells me. I have a HUGE advantage that she is just moving down the hall and I will still have her to ask stuff. But I want to do my job. I want to do it well. So I am developing this notebook.
Another thing I have learned is the advantage of a steno notepad. I always wondered why Karen had one by her desk at my old job...now I know!! Karen I appreciate you more now that I'm not there. Your steno notepad must be worth gold!! Everyday I write down a to do list. I love every time I get to check something off my list. Ugh...such a great feeling!
So, that's a little about my job. I am now an adult. The end with I'll give you the list of pro's and con's my friend Price and I came up with about being an adult.
Pro's: that secure feeling that comes with a good paycheck, insurance, money that goes into retirement, vacation time, paid holidays, sick days
Con's: getting up early every week day for the rest of my life, no summer breaks, being the "old person" that has to go to bed at a reasonable time because you have a real job!
Love you guys!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stupid Frustrations

Why do I let dumb things bother me? Why do I let them ruin a perfectly fabulous day?

Today I started my new job. It was great. I got my new e-mail address. Worked in a new program on the computer. Revised an organizational chart. Met lots of new people. Had lunch in the work room. Met with my new boss. I got in my car and traveled to my apartment.

All day I have been looking forward to working out at the gym at my new apartment. While my parents were here they bought me a card so I can workout. Let me include I have not been to the gym in over a MONTH. If you know me this is completely crazy! I usually go several times a week. It is how I get my "me time." Well my body has been craving a good workout. So today after work was going to be the day. How better to finish off a great first day of work than hit the gym and get a great workout!

So I came home, changed clothes, got my water bottle, and put my new ipod in my new ipod workout band. Ran out to my car, hit my keyless entry button, and then nothing happened. It refused to work. The green light was going off, but my car was not responding. I shook it, hit it with my hand, banged it against my car. NOTHING. I went and dug through my room looking for my "back up," and it refused to work as well!!!! Immediately I started fuming! My brain sounded like Taz from Looney Tunes.

So, now I am sitting in my apartment, still mad, dressed in my workout clothes, wondering why I let this small thing bother me. Yet I can still feel anger radiating out of my body. So I'm going to sit here and try to talk myself out of being mad about something I know is dumb. Yeah I know it's a stupid frustration!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

May The Name of The Lord Be Praised

It's insanely early on a Saturday morning. Yes, I really should be asleep. I desire sleep. I deserve sleep. I crave sleep. But alas, my body refuses. I think the Lord woke me up early this morning on purpose. Let me tell you why.

Yesterday was a insanely crazy and exciting day for me. Humm..where do I begin? In December, I graduated with my Master's degree. Sometime in November I saw an opening for a position close to where I was looking to move after graduation (You see they kick you out of student housing when you graduate!). So, I tracked down the e-mail of the contact person and asked him if I could send him my resume. He said yes, I sent it on its merry little way.

One week, two weeks, three weeks. I have heard nothing! Absolutely nothing. So, I shake it off and continue applying for random jobs that I am way over qualified for. Once again, nothing. Not one phone call!! Not one e-mail. Just silence. I am about to rip my hair out. I am about to throw a hissy fit like I'm three. I don't think I actually threw one of those in my life, because my momma would have spanked me so fast.....well that's another story.

It comes the week of my graduation. I am excited, yet disappointed. I know that one of God's names is Jehovah-Jireh: the God who provides, but I don't see Him providing for me. Hello God? Are you out there? Do You see me? Do you see that I really need you to provide right now? Why are you not doing ANYTHING!! Then comes the all encompassing embarrassing question I was asked a MILLION times. "So, what are your plans after graduation?" Everytime I wanted to run for the nearest table and hide underneath it. I don't think anyone really understood how I felt.
Mom, Dad, and I at Graduation. They are the best parents ever!!


Remember, still NOTHING! No word on anything!

Then the week before Christmas a get an e-mail from the first place I sent my resume. Wow!! The silence was broken!! It listed some qualifications, told me if I thought I met those, to let them know. Humm...do I meet those? Uhh yeah, I can do that. Then they asked me to take some tests online. Took those the Friday before the week before Christmas.

Now I have to tell you that during this time from about Mid-December on, God began to speak to my heart through my quiet times. Wow, did He blow me away. Over and over again the phrases "wait on the Lord," "trust in the Lord," and "take refuge in the Lord" kept showing up the the verses I was reading. Everyday I ran to my Bible, because at least God was speaking to me there. If I couldn't see Him moving in any other areas of my life, at least I could see Him moving there. At this time I also began praying specifically that God would provide me a job. I told Him I would go anywhere and do anything. I just wanted to be where He wanted me.

So then I went home for a week for Christmas. I had one of the best Christmases I have ever had. Just because I got to spend it with my family. Then I came back and went back to work at the school I just graduated from. (Forgot to tell you this part, I have worked in the Registrar's Office at my school the past two and a half years) Then came the next embarrassing question: "I thought you graduated..." Yeah it was really horrible. I'm sure I turned bright red everytime someone asked!

God continued to speak to me in my quiet times. One day I asked Him if I needed to take on another part time job. It's funny, because He spoke to me immediately. He said, "rest in the Lord." And I just felt Him telling me in my heart to enjoy these days off that I had right now. Boy do I know why now!!

Then, last Friday on my day off, I got the phone call. I had an interview!!!! That afternoon! Luckily, I was blessed this last semester by a group of women that bought me a head to toe interview outfit. Do you know how much pressure that takes off when I didn't have to worry about that!! Here, let me show you my outfit!



I never in a million years could have been able to afford this great suit! So back to my story. Went to my interview at 3:00, left at 5:30! I left feeling so good, feeling confident that this is where the Lord was going to place me. They said they would check in with me by Tuesday. Tuesday came, no phone call. Honestly my heart kinda dropped a little, but I held my head high and trusted the Lord, I took refuge in Him. Wednesday of this week rolls around, the phone call came. They were checking my references and would be back to me by Friday. Sure I thought!!

Friday morning my quiet time scared me to death. These are verses from Psalms 37:39-40. Verse 39 says "But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble" I got this far and stopped, my heart dropped. God are you fixing to bring me trouble? Does that mean that I am not going to get this job? I bucked up and read the next verse "And the Lord helps them, and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them. because they take refuge in Him" Do you see it yet? Yeah the second verse was the one that was for me. In this moment I felt the Lord saying, the times of trouble are ceasing for now, I am about to deliver you from this particular trouble. Yeah, amazing!

So I went to work yesterday. Going through my day. Working hard. Registering students, rebuilding a guys transcript, you know just Registrar stuff. And my phone rings, so I take in into the vault. I saw the number and knew it was do or die time. But I knew the Lord was going to provide, so if it wasn't thing job, it would be another one. So I'm in the vault because that's where everyone in my office goes when they need to talk on their cell phone. And then it happens. He tells me he wants to hire me and he would like me to start as soon as I can. Like Tuesday if my boss will allow me to. So, to make this long story shorter, yesterday was my last day in the Registrar's office. Tuesday, I begin my new job. It was amazing and hard. My office has become my family and it broke my heart to leave them so quickly. Why does God always do that to me? This is always the pattern: wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, BAM! Go! So I am going. Let me show you my office family from the past two and a half years.



I cannot end this post without giving all the glory in this story to the Lord. I didn't do any of this...obviously! I was totally powerless in this situation. All I could do was wait. But God Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the Author of Salvation, Jehovah-Jireh, did what is in His character to do. He provided, He took care of His child (thats me!). He blessed me in an amazing way where all I can do is praise His name. So, May His name be praised! May He get all the glory.

And that is why I am up at 7:15, now 8:42 on a Saturday morning, writing this post. God got me up this early, because I needed to praise His name for what He has done. He needed to get all the glory!!! All Glory and Honor to You Lord!

Friday, January 16, 2009

25 Feels Old


Last Sunday I was at church talking with some friends. I mentioned that my parents were coming in this weekend. "Really?" They asked, "Why?" "Oh," I said, "They are coming early for my birthday." "When is your birthday?" They asked. "The end of January," I said. "How old are you going to be?" They asked.



At that moment I stopped, in horror, in shock, in disbelief. It couldn't be, I thought. No, it is.



Then I looked up, swallowed hard, decided to be a big girl, and said it. "I'll be 25."



They didn't know what had just transpired in my head. They didn't know that 25 sounded SO OLD to me. They didn't know that I was still traumatized by the idea of turning 25. So in just a few weeks I will in fact be a quarter of a century old.



Turning a quarter of a century makes a girl like myself re-evaluate my life. Where am I? Where am I going? God, what in the world are you doing with my life? It makes me think about where I am in life versus where I thought I would be when I turned 25.



I thought that I would be married, in the middle of a teaching high school English, maybe thinking about kids. But God had such a different plan for my life. God called me into full time ministry, took me to Seminary, gave me new friends that became my second family. He has given me me an amazing man that blesses me everyday. Through all of this I have watched my closest friends follow the path I thought I would be on. Not going to lie, it has been pretty tough sometimes. But as I look back, I am grateful of where the Lord has brought me. I am so thankful for the times He said NO. As I look forward, I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do with me, where He is going to have me, and what my impact on the Kingdom will be!



Here are some birthday pics!!







My last roommate last year when I turned 24...and I thought then that that felt old!!




These are my college roommates. Some of my best friends! This is from my birthday my Senior year of college!


25....here we come!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughtfulness

We live in a society where people really don't think about others. I often get cut off in traffic, honked at, and that very special middle finger. Don't you just love that? Yeah, it just makes a small town girl feel so special!

This post is decidated to those thoughtful people in my life. Now thoughtfulness really isn't that hard, but when people take the time to be thoughtful I really notice.

So here are some examples of thoughtfulness that people have displayed in my life recently.

Prayer:
When people pray for me, it can really bring me to tears. The last few days, especially, I have felt the prayers of my family and friends as I have been waiting to hear back on jobs. This can be a very stressful thing let me tell you, but when I know that God's people are praying and that God hears the prayers of His people, it gives me peace.

Asking and Really Caring:
I hate when people ask me how I'm doing but I know they don't really care. They are just trying to be polite. Recently there have been so many people that have been really intentional about checking on me. "How is the job hunt going? Have you heard back? How are you doing?" People have taken the time to track me down and find out how I am and what is going on in my life. When you are in transition and you find out someone really cares, well that's pretty HUGE!

Patience and Trust:
These are been most greatly shown by my new roommate. She agreed to be my roommate with me having no full time job. She is trusting God and being patient with me. She has been such a great cheerleader! I am so grateful for her!

How has someone been thoughtful to you recently? I encourage you to take the time today to be thoughtful. Make the extra effort, because you really don't know how much someone might need it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. I have been wanting to write a blog for a long time now. So, here I go! Welcome to my life, welcome to my world, I am who I am and I make no apologies! I desire to be honest and transparent. I have room to grow just like anybody else, but I am walking through life with faith that God is not done with me yet! I hope that you enjoy reading!

Life in Transition

My life in in the midst of major transitions. I just graduated, just moved, and am waiting to hear back from about a million jobs I have applied for. (Okay so maybe its not a million, but it definately feels that way when you are the one waiting and sending your resume out over and over again!) All of these transitions are more than enough to make anyone crazy and by crazy I mean pulling your hair out sitting down and crying crazy!! My new apartment still has boxes everywhere. Pretty sure I moved in like two weeks ago! I haven't hung much of anything on the walls ( I hate putting anything up until I know exactly where I want stuff).



How do you battle transitions? What do you rely on? What do you hold on to?



I find that I am clinging to my family and friends more. I find that I am resorting back to weird confort foods that I haven't thought about eating in years. By this I mean Easy Mac, Fudge Rounds, and Dr. Pepper. You wouldn't find this so weird if you knew that I love to cook. I LOVE to cook!! I love scouring through new recipes and learning how to do new things. I love everything Pampered Chef, Williams and Sonoma, etc! And on top of that I am a really good cook!! Yet every day I more than content to sit down with my bowl of Easy Mac, my DP, and finish it all off with a cold Fudge Round.



But let me tell you about the number one reason I am able to sit here in peace in the midst of transition. In the midst of not knowing if anyone is going to hire me or when in the world I am going to get a full time job. I can sit here in peace because I have something more important than family, more important than friends, even more important than easy Mac, DP, and Fudge Rounds. I have faith in God. I have a personal relationship with Him. He is the Rock that I can rely on. He is my strength in the storm. If you are in the midst of transition or a storm of some kind I encourage you to put your faith and truth in God and allow Him to be in charge of your life. I can go into each new day in peace because I know that God is in control. I don't have to fear rejection from a job because I know that He has the perfect position ready for me and will place me there in His perfect timing.



So thats a sort of introduction into my life. My life is in transition. I don't know where God is going to take me. But I trust Him that He will bring me exactly where He wants me and that's the only place I want to be!