Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pay No Attention to the Number of Days Since I Last Blogged...

(That was totally said in the Wizard of Oz voice.)

Y'all there has been so much that has happened since I last blogged there is absolutely no way I could even BEGIN to write it all out...and what bothers me is that a lot of what has happened has been huge stuff...like life changing stuff. Massive stuff. I just don't know where to start. I think I will just do a bullet point list.

1. I moved back to East Tennessee. Something I swore would NEVER happen. I always said God would have to really shout it out that I'm supposed to be back over here. I just didn't want to do it. I love my life in Franklin and all my friends. I love my church and all my choir peeps. I love all my kids and all my babysitting. I love being able to go out and never know which celebrity you will see. I love my favorite restaurants and cute shops. I just love my life there. All that to say, I'm really missing it now that I'm back over here. There are so many differences that it's going to take another post to be able to share it all. Don't get me wrong, there are some good qualities about being back over here, but I HAVE to focus on them at times.

2. The reason I moved back to East Tennessee is go back to school. I am going to Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland Tn. Right now I'm just doing prep courses for the Nursing Program. I finally, after years and years of wondering, know what I want to do...what I feel like God wants me to do. I am going to school to be a NICU nurse. NICU means, NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit. I want to work with the little babies...the ones that are in there for a long time usually. I originally thought about being a Labor and Delivery Nurse but part of what I love to do the most in the world is build relationships with people. Help them, in some way if at all possible. Unfortunately when a child is in NICU they are there for quite some time. I feel like I will be able to minister to the family of the child as much, if not more, than I would be the child. It's still early in the game and I'm not even in the nursing program yet, but I just really believe that this is where and what God wants me to do. I keep holding on to the promise from Jeremiah 29:11 and the realization that He never said we would like the WAY the plans He has for us come about.

3. Throughout this whole time I've been faced with a lot of time for reflection. Looking at who I am...who people see me as...how I see people around me. It's been good, I think. As I've said before, I'm having to focus on the positive things but in a time of reflection, you often find yourself discovering things about yourself that aren't all that positive. Now I'm faced with the decision of what to do about the things I'm learning. I guess you could say I'm doing a lot of processing. I have told several people that I really believe that this whole journey and season of my life is not so much about me going to school and becoming a nurse. I think it has more to do with my relationship with God and dealing with some things that I have put off dealing with in the past. That said, I'm not exactly jumping up and down about the idea of dealing with my junk. Who is ever really excited about it?! I know it's a good thing and something that needs to be done but I also know it's not going to be easy or fun. My pastor said something when I was there a couple of weeks ago about how we need to decide which is worse, the pain of disappointment or the pain of discipline. There's a lot going on in that statement. Let me say it again...We need to decide which is worse, the pain of disappointment or the pain of discipline. This whole concept is one that I feel deserves it's own post, so I'm going to wait before going on about it. I don't want THIS post to become a encyclopedia.

So there's just a couple of things that have been going on...I mean, this barely skims the surface of all that's happened to me in the last 5 months. I'm hoping to be able to update my blog more and use it as a way to work through some of the stuff that I know is going to HAVE to be worked through.

So let's get going...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just call me Maud Lin...

Since I moved into my new apartment I've been in a mood. Not a bad mood, nor a great mood. Just a mood.

The best description of what I think I'm feeling is Maudlin. I looked it up online because I thought I knew what it meant but wanted to be sure. Here's the definition of Maudlin...

1. tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental 2. foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness.

That's it exactly. Well, I may be foolishly sentimental but it's NOT because of drunkenness. I promise you that! But other than that, this definition is pretty spot on to what I'm feeling right now. The thing that bothers me about this is I don't think I should be feeling this way. I mean, things are good. I've got an apartment all to myself. I'm in a great area. I'm in an amazing church and choir. I've been blessed with amazing friends and family. I have a good job. So why am I maudlin?

I. Don't. Know. And it kills me!!

I've decided that not knowing what kind of mood you're in will put you in an even worse mood. It's like, "Yes, I'm in a bad mood, but I don't know why and that makes it even worse!" I'm the kind of person who need to know things. Not so much in a nosey sense of needing to know but in a needing to know so I can plan kind of way.

I've learned something about myself in the last year or so...I don't like to be caught off guard or unprepared. I need to know so I can make sure everything is under control. So when I'm in a funk or feeling low with no real reason, I go even deeper in that funk because I don't know why. I get upset with myself for acting like my life is worse than it is. I mean, there there are people out there in way worse situations than me and yet I'm the one with the blue mood.

So here I am. Maudlin. I'm missing things and people. I'm missing my bff but yet, when I could go and spend time with her, I don't. What's up with that?! I miss playing the piano but I sold my keyboard. Huh? I miss my family but when I'm with them, I'm already thinking about getting out of there. What is that all about?

I think it's a sign of a deeper issue. A sign of me trying to find things to focus on instead of dealing with another issue. The REAL issue. Another side of maudlin is spending a lot of time thinking about stuff. A lot of time thinking about yourself. For me, that's not always good. This time, however, I think it is.

I'm in counseling to try and deal with some of this junk. I'm realizing that I'm at a point of where I need to get to the root of these issues and deal with them from there. I want to go on from this point with a better outlook and a foundation that is based on the right things and not the insecurities and issues that have affected me for as long as I can remember. I gotta be honest with you, I'm a little scared at the prospect of the changes that are coming. I have to keep forcing myself to remember several verses.

1. Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Message)

6 "Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you."

2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)

13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

3. Isaiah 46:4 (The Message)

3-4"Listen to me, family of Jacob,
everyone that's left of the family of Israel.
I've been carrying you on my back
from the day you were born,
And I'll keep on carrying you when you're old.
I'll be there, bearing you when you're old and gray.
I've done it and will keep on doing it,
carrying you on my back, saving you.

And there are countless others, but these are the ones that have stuck with me the most lately. I also have to keep reminding myself of the fact that it's a DAILY thing. Life is something that has to happen and be dealt with DAILY.

Luke 9:23 (New International Version)

23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

And, finally, one more thing about this "daily life"...a reminder from Anne with an E..."Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it." I just need to remember that!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Recap...

This isn't it. lol!

Sorry, that was kind of mean. I just wanted to say I'm going to be posting a recap of my weekend get away to Lexington, Ky for the LPL event. It was an awesome blessing of a weekend that completely happened all of the sudden. God blessed me so very much through the whole weekend!

I jokingly said, I'm sorry for all of the 10,999 other people who were there and Beth's message was all for me! Ha! It could not have been more meant for me and where I am at right now. I'm talking about, she was saying things that my counselor had said almost word for word!

I'm going to try and get all my notes down and in blog form later today or atleast later this week. I'm still trying to process a lot of it and what all God said to me through the weekend. I just can't get over how great a weekend it was and how unexpected it was, but so needed. Just another way God showed His Awesomeness!

Y'all have a great Monday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Been a while...

If y'all knew how many drafts I have started and never posted for various reasons, you would so laugh at me. I should really just shut this whole thing down and let it go...I mean, really. Pretty sad that my last post was in February and even though there have been things that are blog worthy, I just haven't done it. Oh well. I'm not going to say I'm going to get better...because when I don't, then I won't have fibbed! ;)

That being said, the reason I'm blogging today, is that I'm moving. AGAIN!! This is funny and blog worthy because it's the fourth time in a year. Yep, you read that right! FOUR TIMES in ONE YEAR!! Hold on...let me add up how many times in the eight years I've been in Nashville that I've moved.

Just counted and in Eight years I have moved seven times...SEVEN!! And four of them in the last year! Some kind of record!

The thing is, I've not been moving for jobs or anything like that. Most of the reasons I've moved have been because my roomies get married. I've literally had four roommates move out to get married. I like to joke and say, I'm going to offer my services for those who desperately want to get married. The ad would read something like this, "Want to get married? Let me live with you for 6months and it'll happen!" And the thing that stinks is, I can't move in with myself! I'm never going to get married!! Lol!

Every time I've moved there has been a little bit of drama involved. The time before last, I had to move by myself practically. Due to long standing family issues, my parents bailed on me the week I was moving and didn't come over. I did all of it I could by myself and only had 2 people come help with the big things. It was one of those deals where, if my parents had come, we could have finished the whole move in practically one day, but because they didn't, it took me three!

As I was moving my things into the new place by myself, my new roomie stopped me as I was carrying boxes in and said, "Girl, I had the best date of my life last night!" I just stopped and looked at her, immediately thought, "Here we go again...I'm not even going to bother unpacking this time!" That was sometime the last week of June and Autumn was married on Dec 12. Yep, six months later I was looking for another place to live.

As funny/sad as the whole thing sounds, each time I've moved, I've learned something. From the beginning when I moved out of my Aunt and Uncle's home into an older couples house, semi-on my own, to this move that I'm about to make into a place all on my own, God has taught me something. Whether it's been about me, my relationship with Him or about life in general, a lesson has been learned.

There have been some lessons that I would have rather NOT had to learn. Some that I can see now HAD to be learned. There have been roommates that have become lifelong friends and some that I can't remember the last time I saw them. Some roommates have been just that...roommates. Never really crossing into the friend category and for a people person like myself, that's kind of hard to admit.

It hasn't happened but once, maybe twice, that the girls I've roomed with haven't ended up becoming people I could hang out with, go to dinner with or watch TV with but I have to say, this last housing situation has shown me how ready I am for a place of my own.

There are no words to fully describe how excited I am about being on my own right now. I'm about to be 30 in November and for the first time in my life, I'm looking forward to having my own space and being by myself! One of my coworkers likes to joke that I'm FINALLY all grown up and a big kid now!

I'm not going to lie and say I completely okay with the idea of being all by myself, because I'm a people person and I know this. I think I've just come to realize that I need a place to be me. Somewhere that I don't have to be a certain "Nikki" for people. Whether its the sister/daughter/granddaughter or the co worker or the babysitter, I need a place to be the person that I never fully let myself be out in public. The person behind all the masks. Do I know this person? Not fully. I'm in a place of learning who that "Nikki" is and it's not easy to stop being who I'm "supposed" to be. One thing I've learned through all of the moves is, you can't live your life according to everyone's expectations of you. It's too hard. I know, I've spent my WHOLE life doing it and now I'm in counseling for it! I've spent so many years being who "they" needed/expected me to be, that I forgot the most important person. GOD.

In all my years of living for everyone else, I can honestly say, God's expectations were not always at the top of the list. Oh, I would go through periods where I would say that He was the only one I was trying to live for, but deep down, I knew that I was still trying to be the girl that the family or the church expected me to be. It's like I've lived my life just playing a part.

I'm still learning who I am behind all the different masks that I've been wearing. Some of them are practically glued on with the toughest type of glue but with God's help, and some awesome people, I'm determined to crack those masks off!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Song for thought...

Music has always been a form of communication for me. In a previous post, I mentioned how I have certain styles of music for certain times in my life. I have also learned how to read music, even shaped notes (Google them to see what I mean) and how to play music. One thing that has always been sure thing is that I always learn something when I hear music. I can learn a new song. I can learn a new style. I can learn that I don’t like that song or singer. I can learn about an idea that had never entered my mind before. I can learn something about myself that, because of the song, I now know. I mean, honestly, if you think about it, the first way we ALL learn a few things is through song. Hellooo…ABCs?! Or Clean up! Clean up, everybody! Or the books of the Bible. I even had a teacher that taught us the US Presidents thru a song. And wasn’t there a tv show that the whole premise was on learning through song? A little program called School House Rock…

In the Bible we have so many accounts of people using Music for worship or for expressing their emotion. The Psalms are nothing but music! In Deuteronomy 31 the Lord tells Moses that his time on earth is almost up and to bring Joshua to a commissioning service. It was a time for just the three of them to talk about all that was about to change for the people of Israel. He tells them that the Israelites would forsake their covenant with Him and God would turn His face from them. He told them how they would question whether or not God was with them. God specifically wanted Joshua to learn a song of how God promised to fulfill the oath he had made them and to deliver them to the Promised Land. In verse 19 it says “Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.” God knew they would rebel. He knew that they would blame him for not being there. He knew that, by teaching them a song that recounts His forewarning of what would come, they would be forced to realize his faithfulness and how he did do what he promised, he brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey. But the point I want to focus on is that He knew that teaching them all that in a song was the best way to guarantee that it would survive each generation. I love that God, being the awesome God he is, used a song to teach the children of Israel!

We all have songs that we’ve known for so long we don’t even remember learning. It’s like we were born with that song in our head. Unfortunately, we all have also had the awful “joy” of having an annoying song STUCK in our head for days…it just keeps playing over and over and over until one of two things happen: 1. You end up loving the song. 2. It causes a physical reaction to take place whenever you hear it. I’ve got several of both but the one that jumps to mind right off the bat is Phil Collins’, I Can Feel It… Oh My STARS! I can NOT stand that song! It just gets on my nerves! Seriously!

Lately I’ve been listening to Christian radio…it’s been a long time since I did that. I have to admit that, while I love Christian music, Christian radio can sometimes get on my nerves. I’ve already proven that I’m an eclectic sort of girl when it comes to music so when a radio station plays the same 10-15 songs over and over again, I get a lil frustrated! Thank the Lord for cds! And Ipods! However in my listening recently, I’ve heard some pretty awesome songs. Songs that make me stop and listen and wish that I could rewind it to hear it from the beginning. Whenever that does happen, I will send a text to my email so that I can look the song up when I get home. I’ve tried to hope to remember that song and the title but more often than not, I didn’t. One of the songs that has been on the radio a lot lately and all up in my bidness, is Addison Road’s, What Do I Know of Holy? GeezLouise, that song is amazing! Totally makes me stop and listen every time I hear it! It has such a true and honest message in it. I don’t know if it’s a song that everyone knows and I’m just now getting to the party or not, but I’m putting it on here because it’s amazing and I think everyone should know about it. I’d love to know what anyone thinks about the song…I’m always up to hear people’s opinions and what the song makes you think/feel.


PS Mkay, so I'm having technical difficulties tonight/morning and can't get the silly video to post from YouTube...so I just added the link to click on...sorry!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu to you Insecurity...

Today was the book signing for Beth Moore's book, So long, Insecurity. I took the day off from work to be able to go and meet with friends and see Beth. Totally worth it!

The first stop was Lifeway...the same store I used to work for and still go there all the time...Because Mike, the manager of the store, let me come in early and not have to wait in the cold, I told him I would do whatever he needed...I mean, I had the day off so I could stay and help around the store if he needed me. I could direct traffic, help the customers, answer the phones...heck, I could even imprint Bibles if he needed me to! I was just happy to be there. After standing in line for a while and visiting with my new friends, it was time for Beth to come out. We're sitting there watching her doing an interview and I notice Mike is trying to get my attention...he needs me to make a coffee run...for Beth and Michelle, her awesome Assistant!! Um, can you say excited?! Cause that's what I was! I have always wanted to be able to spend some time with Beth while we had the obligatory Starbucks so I was more than happy to do it! Course, we didn't SIT together and drink our coffee and there was a very good chance she probably would not ever know that it was me that got it, but I would know! I told my new friends that I had an errand to run that wouldn't take long and to not leave before I got back...we had to take a picture! They looked at me like I had lost my flippin' mind! Here I was, running out of line after spending a couple of hours waiting...insane! But it was worth to be able to serve Beth in a very small way. I knew that she probably didn't get very much sleep last night and, if it were me, would be living on coffee today! So out I went, flying to Starbucks! Got back and didn't spill a drop! I was soo scared I would get back, walk in the door and drop all of them! While I was sitting at a Red light I decided to write a 'lil note on the cups. I didn't know which of the drinks were for Beth and which was for Michelle, so I wrote "You Rock! -<3 Nikki Poppins" on both of them. I wasn't going to say anything because I didn't want to make a big deal of it, but Michelle saw the You Rock part first and loved it! I passed Beth in the back room at Lifeway and was going to head on out but stopped to say hi to Michelle. She is soo nice and too cute for words! We had a lil chat and Beth was meeting some people from Lifeway head quarters, so I decided to slide back out into line. As I was walking out the door, Beth comes and gets her drink from Michelle and sees my note. I didn't see her look at but all of the sudden I hear, "NIKKI!!!! Did you get my coffee?!?!" I turn around and grinned! I said yes and she came over and gave me a hug! We talked for a second about my blog name and she asked if I saw where she gave me a shout out on her blog. I told her I did and she asked if I had responded because she hadn't been able to check and didn't know. I said I did. She thanked me for getting her coffee and then she had to go meet some more corporate people. I turn around and Mike is standing there laughing at me because of the whole NikkiPoppins thing and that Beth called me out...I just smiled real big and kept on going! I was soo excited that that moment had happened! I was able to do something for the woman who has touched my life in such a huge way and taught me so much about the Bible and God. I love to be able to bless someone with a surprise cup of coffee or a Gigi's Cupcake or something else they may like...just because. God has blessed me with so many wonderful friends and mentors in my life and little treats like that are my way of saying Thank You and I'm so grateful to have you in my life. It's not much and nowhere near what I'd love to be able to do but I hope that it's something that maybe will make their day easier. So being able to get Beth her coffee was the biggest blessing to ME...I loved every minute of the running around!!

I was so glad to get back in line with my new friends...they were so gracious and let me step back in with them! All of them were worried that I wouldn't make it back in time...such precious ladies! After we all went through the line and stood on the other side of the table, we just huddled back up and kept right on talking. So great! We decided to pass out contact info and stay in touch. We're going to read the book and then meet back up in a month to talk about it. How awesome is that?! I told a friend of mine last night that I love coming to things like this because, as awesome and exciting it was to see Beth, I love the chance to get to meet new friends. You never know who you're going to meet in a book signing line...it could be a friend that you pour into each other for just that time or it could be someone that is going to be a vital part of the rest of your life! You seriously just never know! That is honestly one of my favorite parts!

After the book signing in Lifeway, Beth and Michelle were heading to Borders downtown. I went down there and met up with Abby and Kate.

It was a completely different scenario down there. Not as crowded, chairs for us and a lectern for her, and waay laid back! It was so great! We got in line and slowly worked our way up to Beth...she was able to spend more time with each person and actually chat with them. You could tell how much she loved it! She was so excited about the whole thing! When I got up there, I got another book signed and had it signed for my mom. A surprise that I hope she will like! I stood back and took pics of Abby and Kate since I had already seen and had my picture made with Beth. They were soo cute talking with her...Kate had a phone call while she was standing there talking to Beth. She totally answered it saying, Hello? Um I'm talking to Beth Moore right now...I'm going to call you back." And then hung up! How funny is that?! Beth positively cracked up!! So great!

Abby had a t-shirt for Beth that said Siesta Forever on it...so perfect! Beth loved it and Abby immediately told her that she didn't think Beth was an XL but the shirts just run reaally small, and asked that Beth not think she(Abby) thought Beth was big or anything. Everyone cracked up about that and Michelle held the shirt up and was like, there is nothing in this shirt that makes me think it would be an XL. It was soo funny!

After Beth was able to meet everyone in line and sign a few extra books for the store, she hopped up on the table and had a Q&A time with us all...with the chairs there, she kept saying she felt like she was in class and needed to tell us to turn our Bibles to Matt or Luke or something. Of course the room immediately said, go ahead...we will definitely listen! Lol! The Q&A time was so nice because the questions ranged from Movies and Mascara to the difference between "The Lord's Day & Sabbath" and why she is so passionate about insecurity in women. We laughed and I know there were some tears...in a way that is only Beth Moore, she ended the discussion by praying over us.

Beth Moore is amazing and I want to be her when I grow up! I'm anxious to get started in the book because like every other woman in the world, I have got my own insecurities. Those realized and those I'm not even really aware of. I have to say that I'm excited and slightly scared all at the same time...an insecurity if you will. I'm excited to learn about insecurity and what God says about them but scared too because there's the whold, having/trying to deal with what you learn thing that scares me. It's something that I've sort of been discovering about myself in the last year. And it's something that needs to be dealt with. So here I go...
This was such a great day...I was able to go, grab coffee and doughnuts for my friends/former coworkers at Lifeway, meet some super sweet new friends in the waiting line, and see Beth. All in one day, and I soo wore the wrong shoes for it, but totally worth it! Oh and one final note...Beth likes my tattoo! ;)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random thought on a chilly Saturday...

I'm keeping my three little cousins this weekend...

Ridge is 3

Banks is 8

Sally is almost 6

I was telling one of my friends about how I was turning into a single mom with Three kids for the weekend and she said that it was good birth control! She said that she would probably never want kids after a weekend like this. Well, I still want kids but I would like to go on record as saying, I am soo glad that they don't come out these ages. I am not sure how I would feel if we were to have a child and they came out as 8 or 6 instead of newborn! These ages, especially 8, wear me out faster than anything else... This is the age of smarty pants, sassy britches and know it all sighs. And nothing makes me want to smack 'em faster. This weekend we've dealt with getting in trouble for being disrespectful at school, falling down the stairs and bashing our ear against the stair gate, potty training, and birthday parties. Actually we still have one more party to go before we're all done for the weekend. Banks has one this evening and then is being picked up from the party by his granddad and mimi. Sally, Ridge and I are going to come back and crash...they are going with me to church tomorrow. I'm looking forward to taking them with me. I love going and doing things with kids. Even normal mundane thingss become fun when you have a kid with you. Yesterday, Ridge and I went and ate lunch at Jason's and even though he's only 3 and not very talkative, we had a great lunch. I've found that he tends to be more talkative when it's just him and me. It was a sweet little visit with him.

So anyways, I just wanted to drop in and say that I'm very glad that the good Lord blesses us with children as newborns instead of toddlers and elementary age kids!