I don't have a title for this one

After a terrible week last week, which probably aged me a few years because of self-inflicted worry and stress, I'm almost back to normal today. I am still walking around with a little hurt in my heart, and I don't know when it will go away, but I do know that there are a million other things I could be doing with my time, and a million other people who care, and a million other blessings that this pain cannot diminish. Truthfully, it still sucks.

I read a quote from C.S. Lewis on my friend Jill's facebook status and it talked about God not necessarily wanting to make us happier, but wanting to make us holier. Of course, He doesn't like it when we hurt, but He takes those times to teach us and it's a test of faith. Right now I am learning what it means to be fufilled in my Jesus BEFORE I am fufilled (or not) in my friends and their actions (or lack thereof). I know that this will pass, just as the bad always does, and the good will come again. This is a test of truth, love, and hard work and I am trying to be satisfied in His unwavering character, and not on the unsettled and disregarded feeling I've been carting around inside for the last eight days.

Last night I watched Dear John...love love love that movie! I get so emotionally invested in movies and books so it's nice to get away from the world for a few hours. I try to imagine that if someone else has written it, someone else has felt it, and I am not alone in it.

I am going to go through my closet and clean it out this weekend. I am inspired because I want to get a better handle on my own style and really live it! I love clothes and makeup and girly things...I also love all things vintage. I would totally fit in in NYC, but I would also love to live in sundresses and cutoffs at the beach. I have too many interests! I am (tiny) part small town girl, lover of all things nautical, and crazy about big cities. I want to live in all of those places at least once...I was raised in a small town, living in downtown Atlanta now, so all that's left is the beach! I think once I get there I'll never leave...

Trying to focus at work, but, as you can see, I am not doing so well.

Have a great night!

Wendi

I've Come Undone

I'm having a very difficult time today, and I have been for almost the entire week. I've come to a few realizations, both about myself and others, that are painful and kind of heartbreaking. I'm not really sure how to respond to this sudden onset of realization, except just to say that I am trying my best. Even though situations are not good, God always is. And He is much bigger than my problems. I'm not even sure they are problems or that anyone else even recognizes them, but they're causing me a lot pain, no doubt, and I need Him if I'm going to step back, take a look around, and work through them. If I try to do it alone, or based on my own emotions, I will certainly end up trying to control the situation and, ultimately, fail miserably. I need loads of prayer, if you have it in you to offer some. I would definitely appreciate it.

On a good note: it's Friday, I have nothing to do but relax this weekend, and my dear God-brother, Elijah (who was always my number two choice behind Pierce...lol) is graduating tonight. I am super proud of the man he has become!

Until later,

Wendi

I am not interesting...

I have no idea if anyone reads my blog but, suffice it to say, it does make me feel a little better about my day when I sit down to write. I feel productive whereas, usually, I just feel procrastin-ative...I don't care if that's not a word.

I've been writing alot in the last few weeks (considering, well, I am writing a book for my internship). I get to meet Scottie Mayfield tomorrow afternoon...that's right...you read that correctly. THE Scottie Mayfield, bowtie and all. I went out and bought some Mayfield Brown Cows just for his sake (no, I won't be bringing them with me. I just bought them to sit in my freezer, and eat of course, in honor of his visit...plus, I figured if I'm writing a book about their company history, I should probably become a patron!). My own novel is coming along fabulously. I feel really great about it, and it hasn't been something I have to drag out. I go into Borders or Barnes and Noble and feel jealous of all the authors whose books are displayed, pretty covers and shiny names and whatnot...I will finish my book by the end of the summer. I WILL. Remind me, just in case, mmk?

I'm going to get back to work and write some more. Only two and a half more hours before I get to go home...

Wendi

I Am A Dreamer

My favorite thing to do is create blog titles from song titles. I am fully aware that I am ripping off One Tree Hill, but since it is one of my all-time favorite shows, I feel that I can safely use the excuse that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Right now I am listening to THE Bethany Dillon and her song "Dreamer". LOVE her. She is an incredible singer-songwriter who loves the Lord AND...drumroll please...she ripped off MY baby name idea! Okay, okay. I only met her once for about five minutes at a show and she wasn't even pregnant then, but I know that she is naming her due-very-soon baby girl Lucy James. Lucy has been my long-time chosen girl name, probably since I was seven and started watching I Love Lucy with religious fervor. Lucille Ball is, and will always remain, the singular most interesting woman who's ever lived. But where I was going with that, as I said before, is that Lucy is MY name and, get this...Jane is going to be her middle name (when, if ever, we actually get around to having children, ya know). That's eerily close to Lucy James, isn't it? And I claim rights to it because I am three years older than Bethany Dillon. So there.

Anyway, Pierce got very sick last night with some stuffy-headed-sinusy-grossness and I stayed home from my internship this morning to take care of him. The fact that Pierce actually got up to go to work, went for about an hour, and then came back home showed me just how sick he really is. That boy would work if he was dead. I made him some chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese (wifey points for me!)and put a cold washcloth on his head. I hate that he is sick, and pitiful as anything, but I do so love to take care of him. Is that just a female thing? Do we just loved to take care of our men? All of my friends are very maternal in that aspect and, I think, despite whatever labels might be placed on me for saying this, that women really are just born with an innate motherly sense of how to care. Kiss my ass if you don't like it. It's a wonderful characteristic to have, whether you have zero children or eighteen (I am hoping for somewhere in the middle...say...two). I hope Pierce feels better soon.

So...today has been great. Feeling much better now that my stomach is not all jittery and nauseated. I have a sweet tea, I brought my lunch today (whoo hoo!), and I have completed two pages on the Mayfield book, along with two pages on my own novel. I'm the picture of productivity and it feels AWESOME!

Until tomorrow, my friends,

Wendi

Fresh Pages

Friends, let me tell you that there is nothing more exhilarating than the feel of a new book and an ice-cold latte in my hands, especially on this hot, hot day. Actually, there are quite a few things more exhilarating, say, jumping out of a plane, your first kiss, graduating from college...but I digress. God has certainly blessed me with the financial stability to be able to enjoy life's little pleasures, but I have to admit that I do spend way too much time and money on books and coffee (and SWEET TEA...ah, heaven...), and just because I CAN spend it doesn't mean I SHOULD. Know what I mean? My mother always taught me to enjoy what I have because "you can't take it with you when you die", as long as my bills are paid first (which they are!). Still, I find myself wondering how much I could be saving without my daily tea, weekly book or shirt, or even just driving to the mall on my lunch break. For almost two weeks now I have been bringing my lunch to work with me (and breakfast, since I am at work 13 hours a day, 4 days a week). I'm extremely proud of myself. It's something I want to do for our finances, as well as my health, and there are other things coming up that I have to start thinking about.

Number 1: Lauren's baby shower. I am, along with two of my sweet friends, hosting a shower for our old college friend, Lauren. Which means invites (going out on Friday, God willing!), food, decorations, presents, travel, etc...need I say more?

Number 2: Two graduations, one additional baby shower, one wedding, and a partridge and a pear tree...all within the next 30 days. And, yes, I actually DO WANT to go to these events...they are not just obligations. I am learning to say "no" and, even though it is a bit stressful, I want to attend.

Number 3: INVISALIGN. $1500. DUE IN AUGUST.

Number 4: Trip to California to see my sisters and brother-in-law. Pierce and I are getting a discount (thank you Cassi!) but, still, it's CALIFORNIA. It's the land of the Golden Gate, the Pacific Ocean, The Hills (haha, yeah RIGHT!)...we will need some dinero.

Plus, there's the always-tricky aspect of trying to save for, oh, I don't know, our retirement, children, traveling, house, life, health...I really don't like being an adult sometimes.

So I'm going to take this a little at a time, just like my new eating habits. This week, I solemnly swear that I will not purchase any sweet tea, coffee, books, clothes, etc. that are not necessary. Which none of them ever really are. So there. I will limit my spending to gas expenses, shower invites, and a graduation present for my God-brother Elijah. I cannot BELIEVE he is graduating! What's more, I cannot BELIEVE he decided to go to App. State rather than Georgia Southern...there I go again.

I will continue on this path for as long as possible, one week at a time, until I have saved hundreds of dollars that I never even knew I had...my parents will be so proud!

Have a wonderful Monday night!

Wendi

The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that's the book for me...

As you might be able to tell, I went home last night and read my Bible, which was a much needed refreshment for both my mind and my spirit. I'm way behind on my readings, though. I bought a one year Bible for women (NLT) and it's incredible, but I didn't buy it until the end of January, meaning I was already a month behind when I started. Now I am more than two months behind because I forget to sit down and make time to read it as I should. It's easy for me to fly through a romance or biography (I've read almost twenty books since January), but reading the Bible takes time. It takes brain power and heart and effort. I am fully aware that I don't need to understand every detail, but it is important that I give it my full attention and, well, I am too busy placing that attention on other, less significant things.

Today, however, is one of those fun days when I woke up on the right side of the bed. I'm wearing a gorgeous dress from New York and Co., complete with my sexy stilettos and chunky silver chain necklace. I feel like a model. It's amazing what a fabulous outfit can do for a woman. Carrie Bradhaw had that right, at the very least...I'm also sipping on a cold beverage, working on my writing, and looking forward to the weekend. I am almost finished with the latest Sookie Stackhouse book (I will forever be grateful to my best friend, Jillian, for introducing me to such a fun series), and I wrote more than 1,000 words on my own novel yesterday. Tomorrow, I get to go on my fourth consecutive Friday night date with Pierce. What's on the agenda? My first Braves game in three years! I know, I know, I suck at life. What a blessing it has been, though, to have these last Friday nights available for my husband. He is the most incredible man I've ever known...

I'm also trying to plan a baby shower with Kaitlyn and Amanda for our good friend Lauren, who is about 6 months pregnant with a little boy. I wanted to host it at our apartment complex's clubhouse, but, today, I discovered it costs upwards of $500 to rent, even though I'm a resident! Screw that...seriously. I'll have to talk to the girls about options, but it might be time to ask my mother for a favor in letting me borrow her home for a day...or Kaitlyn's cabin could work, but it's super far away...or maybe a restaurant or something...ideas? Anyone? The thing is is that we're all around Atlanta, but on waaaaay opposite sides. Yuck. Oh well, it will work out and be beautiful and fun, regardless.

So much stuff coming up in the next few weeks: another wedding (my fourth in the last two months!), graduation (second in one month), baby shower (first of two), skydiving (again!), trip to Tennessee for work (Mayfield, here I come!), birthdays, friends, work, school, life...and it's all just perfect, even when it's not. When I think of all these wonderful things, I know how much my Father in heaven adores me. And I feel simultaneously grateful and embarrassed. I should love Him as much in return.

I think I'll go read my Bible some more...

Wendi

Wake up in the morning, feeling like...blah.

I haven't had any caffeine today, so maybe that's why I'm kind of in a yucky mood. It seems like my world of comforts are slowly slipping away: my friends, my job, my energy. Nothing bad has happened, but I'm sure anyone reading this can relate to the feeling that nothing is really as it should be, as it has been, as it could be...I feel like I try so hard to keep a balance, but I can't do it on my own. I call so many people on a daily basis, just to try and let them know I'm thinking of them or to catch up. But very few people call me in return. I live far away from many of my dearest friends and I miss them so much. I wish I had the summers off so I could travel. Actually, no, I like to work. I just wish that I had less than 13 hours a day to work so I could enjoy some sunlight! But here I am, complaining, when everything I have is everything I asked for. I wanted this internship, I wanted to go to grad school, and my friends are also doing the things they want to do. How can I begrudge them their limited time? How can I expect them to keep in touch or to reach out to me the same way I do? It simply feels like all my efforts go out to so many things, and it's exhausting me because the returns are not what I wish they were. How many times have I said "I" in this post? Many, I know. But we all have our moments, and today is one of mine.

What I desire to serve others, which is why I reach out to so many people. I am blessed and I want to share my thankfulness for their presence in my life. I want them to know how much they are loved. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to provide for someone I know is having a bad day, or needs advice, or just wants to chat. Sometimes, though, it would be nice if I could be on the receiving end of a phone call that said "Just wanted to see how your day is" or "I was thinking about you".

With my jobs and school and work...well, those are things that I worked hard to get and now I need to suck it up and be patient. The fruits of those labors will spring forth in due time. With everything else, I feel like I'm swirling around in the unknown, always waiting, always wanting more. I feel selfish, but I also feel justified in my selfishness...does that make sense? We all just want to feel appreciated...and I am no different.

Even as I write, however, I am drawn to the Lord. The Holy Spirit is tugging at my heart, asking me to come to Him instead of trying to rely on a million other things to satisfy this emptiness. It's so hard to go to Him when all I want is to sleep a bit longer, or read a book, or just hang out. But everytime I've given up those other things for a bit of fellowship, I come away refreshed and renewed. Why, then, do I fight it?

I need some prayer today, in this season of loneliness. Pray that I will be satisfied in Him first and let everything else fall as it should. Thanks!

Have a Happy Hump Day!

Happy Birthday Sara! Love you!

Wendi

Hollywood films in my backyard...

On a rather decidely fateful whim, I chose to pack my lunch today instead of going to the mall to eat. But I got bored, as always, and drove over to the mall to walk around Borders, like I do almost every day. Alas! What did I find but a bona fide Hollywood movie being filmed in the food court! All I could see were cameras, and those neat fancy fold-up chairs (with the movie name splashed across the back), and a crowd of curious onlookers with camera phones whipped out like weapons, ready to fire at the sight of an actor or a call for "Action!". The movie, I soon learned, was Big Mommas: Like Fathers, Like Sons starring Martin Lawrence. I like some of his movies, and it was fascinating to see him in person, standing around like a normal person. Don't try to tell me celebrities are normal...they live in a totally different world, I don't care how much of their own grocery shopping they do. As Janis Ian so articulately stated in Mean Girls: "It's like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs". And so it was...I stood around, blatantly staring, even though I'd like to pretend I'm much cooler than all the weirdos who were gaping at him, drooling. I got to watch the director at work, who shouted for silence, please, and then came the most wonderful phrase I'd ever heard...a one-word, two-syllable magic piece of Hollywood history..."ACTION!" Martin and his castmate took the escalator up, said three or four lines, hopped off at the top, and "CUT!" That was it. But it was probably the best twenty seconds of my life...no lie.

So that was my day. Thanks, God, for bestowing upon me a little glimpse of Hollywood. I can die happy now ;).

Wendi

Beautiful

Happy Friday again!

Today I feel like the Lord is tugging on my heart, eager for me to know Him and to see myself the way He sees me. I have recently been struggling with my image, both physically and mentally, wondering what it is that I can be proud of, what is good, and what is really beautiful about me. I've never had deep self-esteem issues regarding my looks, and I attribute much of this to my parents, who were always encouraging and wonderful. I feel confident in myself but, of course, I have my own demons to fight off. When I was ten, I was lucky enough to get braces, which took away my biggest insecurity. I have always been slender and what many would call flat-chested (a second major insecurity until I got married =), but I have nice hips and I love being tall. My entire life I've been very physically active, either playing sports, walking everywhere, dancing, etc., but since I started working full-time and, now, holding down two jobs, I never have time to work out. And I'm not just saying that. I get up at 7, work from 9-12, drive to my full-time job for an hour, work from 1-10 at a desk (I try to walk around the building alot and take the stairs), and then get home with enough time to see Pierce, chat, and get ready for bed. The weekends arrive and I want to do so much and visit with my loved ones, and workouts get put on the backburner. In short, I am at my heaviest weight ever. I will admit that it's only ten pounds more than what I weighed in high school, but I have been at this weight for two years and I hate it. I have no muscle definition anymore, and I like to be fit and active. My clothes feel weird on me. My work is hindering a truly healthy lifestyle. Mostly I am bummed at myself for my inconsistent eating habits and for continuing to put so much pressure on myself. I don't want to obsess about my looks, but it seems to be all I can think about. My teeth have been shifting back, causing an overbite and other issues, and I need braces again. I hope to get Invisalign by the end of the summer to fix everything, but it's frustrating because I already went through this for three years! My parents worked so hard to make sure I had what I needed, and now I will need to get my teeth straightened a second time. =/

In short, I have long been critiquing myself based on how I think I should be, and not on how God sees me. I am constantly rethinking how I speak, what I say, what I wear, how I feel, or how I look and it is bearing heavy upon me. This is not the type of attitude I want to have. I want to trust in the Holy Spirit to help me honor God in the way I treat others and how I approach life. I want to take a step back and start making little changes that make a big difference. Degrading myself is not going to bring back my old size or a better outlook.

One of my my best friends has struggled with her weight for the last couple of years, even though she's curvy and beautiful, and she's been running on her treadmill everyday to get in shape. She made a commitment to a little change in her life, and she seems to feel much better about herself than she has in a long time. She looks incredible, and she has made me want to do the same. I need to start listening to the people around me who are loving and supporting, rather than listening to lies and irrational expectations. It's just very difficult to drop a habit that has been slowly working itself into my daily life for two years.

Why do we do these things to ourselves? In my heart, I know that I am beautiful and that there are a great many things I should be proud of; why do I focus on the negative instead of the positive? I will always strive to be better, but that's just life. It's a process, not an event.

I want to encourage everyone who reads this to know that you are loved by an incredible Creator, who made you who in His image, and there is nothing ugly about that. Although it's much easier to give advice than to take it, I'm going to try and do the latter, inch by inch, from now on.

"I want to be beautiful, make You stand in awe,
look inside my heart, and be amazed.
I want to hear You say who I am is quite enough,
just want to be worthy of Love.
Beautiful."
-Bethany Dillon, Beautiful

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wendi

Before My Computer Dies...

I should probably get to writing, shouldn't I?

Today is Thursday, which makes it the hardest day of the week, even over Monday. I hate Mondays, too, but Thursdays are much more difficult because they're the last long day (when I work two jobs) and Friday is just around the corner, tempting me. I am going to try and pass the day as quickly and efficiently as possible, but I'll let you know how that goes.

I started writing a new novel about three weeks ago. I have already written one, which is still unfinished at just over 115,000 words, but it is now resting on the bottom shelf of my coffee table. I could easily finish it if I would just sit down and do it. It would take a good month of editing, but I just don't want to. I worked on it for a year. I love the story (it is my own, after all, and based on my friends and husband), but it just got redundant. So much of it is inspired by or nearly copied from my experiences in college but, because I miss college so much and am not far enough removed from it, I need to put it away for now.

So I'm on to the next one, which is flowing fabulously at just over 6,000 words. I hope to have it finished and sent out to agents by August 20, 2010, my 25th birthday. What a perfect present to myself! I have to finish it...if I don't, I'll hate myself.

I'll write more later, but my computer just warned me it's about to shut off. Until then,

Wendi

With My Tears Dried, You Can See My Green Eyes

After having a day off yesterday to visit a family friend in the hospital (no cancer! Praise God!) and go to the viewing for Caleb (desperately heartbreaking), I'm feeling sort of wound up and uncertain. This is the kind of season in life when I need to cling to my Bible and find focus in it, in Jesus, than in myself or in the actions of others. It's so hard, though, because I want so badly to be able to control my own world. Trusting in God is a battle because the devil wants nothing more than for me to fail or, even worse, to believe I've failed and push me to dwell on his lies.

If you feel so inclined, say a little prayer for me. Part of me is rejoicing in the beauty of today, in the sunshine and good books and music, but the other is feeling down and broken. Like my blog says, I'm just a bundle of contradictions. Aren't we all?

All in all, I'm a happy girl, and I've got a cute outfit on today. Little things, I've said that before. Little things make a big difference. Please excuse me if I'm kind of all over the place. I need to be off work to spend some time in the Word and in prayer. I would love to do it right now, sitting at my desk, but with students in and out, and work all around me, it's hard to find a minute for real worship or solitude. Pray that I will find a few moments today to hear Him and respond.

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

R.I.P. Caleb Keith Dewberry: 8-25-82- 5-2-10

Wendi

I would like a Dove Promise today.

Today has been one of those days. You know, one of those days.

Just before bed last night I found out that one of my brother's best friends from high school was found dead in his home on Saturday night. There are no specifics as of yet; however, he had long struggled with drug abuse, among other personal issues, and we fear the worst. It's the type of situation that makes you realize your own selfishness, and the fact that we go years without ever really helping anyone, even our friends, because we're so busy with other commitments. It's not until death that we step back and re-evaluate. I'm just as guilty as the next person, but I honestly try every single day to tell people that they are loved, and to do little things that show how I feel. It's so important, and it's the one effort that will never be regretted. Call people back, send a thank-you note, PRAY, make a (nice) comment on Facebook, what have you...little things always add up. Caleb put himself through a great deal of pain, but I pray he knows he was loved. If he didn't while he was here, I have faith that he surely does now. We'll meet again, soon, funny man.

I'm sitting at work right now, waiting for a student to finish testing, and my head is pounding with a dull, throbbing ache that prohibits me from really working. While stopped at a red light this morning, I watched a three-car wreck unfold before my eyes. It was a downpour all the way from Atlanta on I-20, so most of my drive was set to the music of little prayers that went something like this: "God, please help us all get to where we're going safely".

The highlight of my day has been my Venti Passion Tea from Starbucks, and my aquamarine nails. Oh, the little things in life...

I'll probably write some more later but, for now, my head is hurting too much. Be safe in all this weather!

Wendi