December 4, 2009


Last year I wrote a post about Akugbey. He's the little boy that I have been sponsoring for over a year now in Africa through Compassion International. Through this sponsorship I have been able to celebrate two birthdays with him, seen him grow and mature, read his letters of thankfulness and prayed over his struggles and requests. I have stepped out of myself and seen the bigger picture of what God means when He tells us to "give generously."

Since moving to New York I have learned what it means to live on a budget. But more importantly what I've learned is that God is faithful to financially provide enough to make ends meet each month. (More often than not, usually does not mean being able to purchase those super cute suede ruffle mary jane heels I want from JCrew.) When I first began sponsoring Akugby I was living in Dallas - I had no idea how rich I was at the time! Now, in New York, my rent has doubled, I live in a City obsessed with appearances and dining out, abundant shopping opportunities creep on every corner, and the average cocktail price is usually at least $12.

I knew all of these expenses came along with moving here and I was ok with that. But I did force myself to make a conscious decision that I would always forgo a meal out or a new dress so that I could continue supporting Akugby. (For those of you who know me, materialism is kinda my thing. So this is sometimes harder than it may sound.)

The point of this post is this Christmas Compassion has asked sponsors to pray for a child that is currently waiting to be sponsored. I received Nisya, and y'all she's cute! She is 6 years old, lives in Indonesia with her father and her mother. Making beds is her household duty and she loves playing with dolls.

I know at the end of the month I will not be able to financially support Nisya. But I also know that God works through people. Therefore I have committed the next 30 days to pray - for her development, her family, her health, her faith, and ultimately for the lucky individual that will one day sponsor her.

My pastor often says, Live simply so others can simply live. The sweet letters, the drawings, the progress reports, and the pictures I receive from Akugbey outweigh the $38 I forfeit each month. And I know that $38 means more to him then it ever could to me.

* If you are intrested in supporting Nisya please let me know so I can mail you a picture of her with all her information.
Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own. 2 Corinthians 8:2-3

November 26, 2009

i'm thankful

I'm thankful that as I write this post I can sit on my bed, stare at the Empire State Building, and listen a bird chirp on my fire escape.

I'm thankful for my two legs, that week after week have proved me wrong as I continue to train for a half-marathon.

I'm thankful I have a job- that I almost always love :)

I'm thankful that although I earn a tiny salary, I still have enough to make Christmas better for other people in the City.

I'm usually thankful for my next door neighbor who entertains me with his mad karaoke skills morning, noon, and night. Show tunes, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey Christmas, you name it. (Currently singing acapello as I type, which is probably why he's even making it in this post.)

I'm thankful for Apostle's Church, because I swear sometimes God created it just for me.

I'm literally thankful for stretchy pants- love of my life.

I'm thankful for trashy reality television.

I'm thankful for my roommate, who I've known and loved for 16 years!

I'm thankful for Liz, who is cooking our entire Thanksgiving feast today, for Bethany who is making Trashy Jello Pretzel Pie (??), for Riley who flew in from Texas and immediately bought 6 bottles of wine, and Renee who is totally on board with the "Stretchy Pants must be worn to T'Giving Dinner" rule.

I'm thankful for the friends I hardly get to see, yet their friendships continue to be marked by trust and love.

I'm thankful for my family, full of laughter and abundant love for one another.

I'm thankful for my Savior, who on a daily basis dies for me, challenges me, humbles me, comforts me, and unconditionally loves me.

Thanks be to God for his indescrible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

November 11, 2009

there's no place like home

I have several friends that are really good at blogging. They are consistent, fun, and somehow take random day to day activities or interests and turn them into elaborate blog posts. As we all know, all meaning the three or four readers I may still have, I am not someone who can do that. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot to say. But I somehow talk myself into shopping on the internet instead of blogging. So I was not at all surprised nor offended that I'm not part of the blog carnival like a few of my favorite bloggers are. ;)

However, all week I can't stop thinking about their first subject, Home, and what that word means to me.

Home is my tiny apartment, on the 5th floor, with no elevator, which I shell out over a whole paycheck to for rent. Home is the smallest bathroom you'll ever see. Home is a picnic with friends on the Great Lawn. Home is 71 Irving with a cup of coffee and a good book. Home is the way my running shoes feel against the pavement on my evening runs. Home is the little farmer's market I pass every Tuesday on my way to work. Home is Jean who owns the laundry mat- where I usually drop off at least 18 pounds of laundry and she asks me about my day. Home is my next door neighbor that sings karaoke at the top of his lungs- and he's not good. Home is watching reality tv with Kristin on our red couch. Home is Apostle's Church, where every Sunday I feel more at home than I ever have in my life. Home is the friends I have only known for several months but feel like I have known forever. Home is the friends I have known forever. Home is brunching together, laughing together, praying together, and struggling together. Home is the siren that interrupts all my phone conversations. Home is cheap pizza, cheap wine, and dark chocolate m&m's.

But home is also in Texas. A red brick house on Ridge Drive. My brother and I played basketball in the driveway. Our names are written in the cement from when the goal was installed. I had a rabbit named Harriet and a rabbit named Harvey that lived in a hutch my Dad built. Our home has wood floors and they’re always cold. On Saturday mornings I can always count on my Dad to be either biking or kayaking, my Mom at yoga or in the garden. In the Spring, there are multiple fawns that call our backyard home. They eat my Mom’s plants and Maggie, our dog, doesn’t chase them. When I was little I rode a purple bike but quit riding because I was scared of skinning my knee. My mom made every birthday cake from scratch in our kitchen. Springtime at home reminds me of Easter, white tights with white patent shoes, and our sandwiches on croissants instead of wheat bread at lunch. Summertime at home reminds me of jumping in the river just to cool off, the farmer’s market, grilling out, and the Gipsey Kings. Fall reminds me full moons, reciting the poem Little Orphan Annie, and David and I waiting for the school bus- our bus passes, laminated of course (thanks Dad!), hung around our necks by string. Christmastime at home reminds me of anxiety! I literally stayed up all night wondering which gifts from my list would be under the tree for me.

But I also know that these homes are not permanent . I also have a home in heaven. The truth is no matter how great our earthly homes are, they are nothing in comparison to the home God is preparing for us. I find rest and peace in knowing that it's not the end all if my home doesn't look like a page out of Pottery Barn! Minuscule in the bigger picture. If my building was to crumble or Texas somehow floated away, life still continues because Christ remains. One of my favorite hymns says it best, "...on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Other places I feel at home:
Dallas- because some of my dearest, dearest friends call it home
Tennessee- Union City and Franklin
the Farm- Oil Trough, AR
Home is anywhere with David and Tiffany
Home has always been with my Mom and Dad

August 12, 2009

A year of firsts

Leaving Texas.

First NY roomies and Central Park picnic.

First week in NY.

My first cupcakes, literally. (Always well worth the calories.)

P Party House Party.

First Fall.

First road trip out of the City for pumpkins and apples.

Apple picking.

First (and probably only) Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

First NY Thanksgiving at Friend of a Farmer.

My first live Christmas tree... ever.

My first NY Christmas experience and my first NY visitor.

New Years in NY.

First of many snow days.

My first NY birthday party.

Happy one year anniversary New York! Here's to a few more years of memories... xoxo

August 3, 2009

Summer and the City

Folks, today is August 3 and I cannot believe it. The summer have flown by. Our new apartment has literally been a revolving door. Between the two of us, we've had 6 visitors in the span of a month in a half. Talk about draining my already non-existent financial resources! But I would not have traded the time I got to spend with good friends and my parents this summer. Moving downtown has proved to be the best idea I have made here in New York.

Here is what's been happening in the last 2 months:

- I have walked the Brooklyn Bridge twice, toured Central Park 3 times, enjoyed Top of the Rock for the first time, eaten in Little Italy due volte, purchased fresh cherries for $1/lb from a street car in Chinatown, admired 2 glass elevators with my Dad (ha!), cheered at 2 Yankee games, applauded 2 Broadway shows, and Brunched too many times to count
-Work continues to go well and be quite fun. We have had several roof-top happy hours lately, and let's face it: there is nothing better than a roof-top party in NY.
-In between visitors a big group of friends picnicked under the stars while listening to NY Philharmonics free Central Park concert. Delicious all around.
- I hate to even bring up our weather problem because most of my readers are Texans, but y'all it has rained all summer. So in that case I'm kinda ready for Fall already. As we most know, rain means humidity, and in this City humidity means stinky stinky stinky!
- All summer at church we have been going through a 22 week series on Ephesians, and each week has been amazing. It has helped strengthen my life as a NY citizen, an employee, a friend, and a daughter/sister.
- Next stop: Texas in 2 days! Although I am nervous that my 100 degree weather survival skills may be lost, I am so so excited to be back in the Lone Star State.

Mom and Dad outside our favorite neighborhood pizza joint.

Central Park and Uptown

Observation Deck

Little Italy

Dad taking a picture of a glass elevator- with his Blackberry :)


City Hall Park

My faves at the Beer Garden

Keith's visit

Our new friend, isn't he lovely?

Matching pup

Kristin, my roommate

Happy 4th of July, at Yankee Stadium

Central Park croquet

Bailey, my Texan roommate

May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

May 24, 2009

Farm Grandpa turns 90!

Last week I flew to Arkansas to see my family and help celebrate my Grandfather turning 90. I now have two Grandfathers in their 90! Yes, I do believe longevity runs in the family. It was a quick weekend getaway where I got to wear shorts for the first time since last September, drank lots of cheap wine at the Newport Country Club, and ate Chili's and Sonic within the first few hours of arrival. (Very exciting, thanks David!)

Some of the pictures are bit grainy. This is due to the fabulous fluorescent lighting at the Club.

Farm Grandmother and Grandfather

David and Tiffany

Bailey, my cousin that never ever ceases to entertain us.

My father, who also never ever ceases to entertain us.

My Aunt and Uncles (minus one Aunt)

David and a few of our sweet cousins. It was so cute that David and Bryce were twinkies.

Mom and Tiffany, my sister-in-law.



(Explanation of what my brother and I call our grandparents: My Dad's parents own a ton of farmland in Arkansas and my Mom's parents have always lived in Tennessee. So ever since we were children David and I have identified our Grandparents as either "Farm -" or "Tennessee -". So original, I know!)

May 14, 2009

new bathroom

(so tiny I could hardly take photos!)