Thursday, January 21, 2010


when i first moved to charlotte, life felt nutty.

i just remembered how out of control it felt because 'skeleton bones' by john mark mcmillan came on. you see, when i got my land rover back from jared, he had a mixed cd in the car that included that song. i loved it quickly, and still have no idea what he is saying the majority of the time, but i sing with gusto anyway.

let's look at the calendar, my dad flew out to washington on march 16, and we set out across the country on tuesday, march 17. we were in columbia by sunday, march 22. [i was set to move to charlotte on april 6] the next week i was in savannah visiting with jared and maria, and picking up my car, and still job searching. my living situation was not set in stone yet, and i was dragging beulah around the world with me. i remember having a meltdown in savannah and feeling like i was at the mercy of everyone in my life to let me sleep on their couch, without a dollar to my name.

as the days tricked by, i knew i'd have to set out on my own and just start somewhere. while i was in savannah, i had a phone interview for a nanny position, and set up an interview for the next week, april 2. that next week i was back and forth in savannah, columbia, and charlotte. that sunday night, april 5, i was emailed saying i didn't get the nanny position, only to be called the next day [the day i'm packing up to move] and was told, "you did get the job afterall", and was asked to start the next day. eeeeeek.

i drove up here, beulah in tow, with literally a blanket and a pillow and one box of things. i had never met the girls i was living with, and there was the added layer of 2 cats and a dog living in a combined space. i was anxious and just plain scared. i stopped and visited jared at elevation's offices hoping maybe he'd come to the house with me to 'unload' (one box, remember?). he couldn't and i think i started to cry a little when i left him.

up and starting something new is scary.

i remember laura troutman praying for me over the phone as i drove up to the house to move in, and i remember the Lord giving me so much courage and confidence through that prayer. so, i tied beulah's leash to a tree out front while i brought in my meager belongings, and met JB and her fiance Ben. i got directions to the closest grocery store, and went to get beulah some food. the first few weeks i lived here, i didn't have provisions for beulah during the day, which was sort of a nightmare. she couldn't be out in the house because she wasn't used to cats. i thought i had a solution, which then fell through. after that didn't work out, i sat in a dunkin donuts parking lot on south kings, stole some internet to get directions home, and i cried. i guess big changes do that to all of us.

coming off a year of living on support, i had no savings. so those first weeks and months were a real financial adventure as well. let's just say there were lots of pb&js eaten.

that first week was full of craziness, my driver's side wiper blade going out in a huge rainstorm on i-277 (took me an hour and a half to get from east blvd. to my house), got lost on the way to my first sunday at elevation (providence). and i mean, i really got lost. but, i've told that story before.

in the midst of it all though, i knew every morning i could get in my car and the same cd would be playing. i didn't have friends yet, and sometimes i still got lost on the way home, but i knew it was temporary. and one day i came home, and suggested ally and i watch 'freaks and geeks' and after that, i had a lifelong friend:)

lots of things started to change and become more familiar. seemingly unimportant things happened like finding beulah a place to play during the day (for free). friends started to appear, like at jared and maria's housewarming party, i met laci. or the time i was crying after getting lost and met ashley. or the time jared invited me to the elevation cd release party (maria was out of town), and told me it was casual, and we got there and it was black tie (i was in jeans), i met cheyenne that night. a few weeks later, i ran into an old friend from arizona, raechel.

then a blast from the past, kristin camp moved to charlotte.

thinking back on march and april, i see that on january 21, 2010, roots are growing. i see the goodness of the Lord. i am thankful for a challenging transition into life in charlotte, and there is a deep joy in my heart when i think about the people the Lord has brought my way in nine short months.

"Oh let us adore the
Son of Glory dressed in love
Open up your gates before him
Crown Him, stand Him up"

skeleton bones, by john mark mcmillan

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

certainly uncertain

do a day, and then repeat. do a week, and then repeat. get off work, have people over, go to bed. i am a creature of habit these days. rise at 5am, bed at 10pm. maybe 11:30pm if something unforseen happens, or if a conversation is especially good.

midnight? let's not get crazy.

it's actually tuesday, but feels like monday because yesterday was mlk day. i was weirded out all day, probably because i have become so intrenched in my ways, and was confused about not being at work on a monday. what a silly thing to waste a day off feeling out of synch.

ally and rocco came down to play yesterday. we went to chantilly park and threw the ball for the dogs, and then stopped by the friendly mart for push pops. it was slightly warm, but the afternoon had the feeling of summer. like we should've gone home and grilled out, and had all my windows open and laid around on lawn chairs on my patio, and spent the night slapping away mosquitoes.

isn't it fun to think about the next season? i love that in a few months, i'll be wishing for cold days piled under blankets, but for now, i look forward to springtime, and what comes with it-- a hogan baby.

a little suggestion:

i love how she talks about food and life, and how the two shape each other.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

is it best?

sometimes i rebuy albums. like just now, i rebought david gray's lost songs. when i was 15, i clung to music for dear life. i remember buying coldplay's parachutes and david gray's white ladder on the same best buy run. i also remember those 2 albums changing the way i listened to music, and leading to other high school favorites like the strokes and travis and rufus wainwright. i found identity in those lyrics and maybe a bit of pretentiousness (maybe not a word..?) in knowing no one else at my little private school knew or cared about these groups.

i wrote a while back about how it made me feel to listen to joni mitchell's blue album after not listening to it for a few years, and my experience this morning is similar. listening to these songs again, i feel what it felt like to be 15, 16, 17. remember how when you're young you drive around just to listen to music? there'd be a new mix for almost any car ride. i knew the music backwards and forwards, inside and out, so much so, that hearing it now makes me emotional for every moment that was spent with this playing in the background.

this morning, i'm feeling it. it's a hard day at work. and listening to david gray is making me think.

the kids are out of sorts, and we're not back in the groove yet after our holiday break. i know that loneliness is a struggle for everyone, married or single, parents or the childless, this i know. it's easy to blame our discontent on whatever stage of life we are in. but that's not really what is to blame. my loneliness right now is more about not seeking the Lord with the intensity that i should, than it is about not having a man in my life. maybe your loneliness is about not serving and loving your spouse the way you should, or maybe your kids are teenagers now and life feels different, and they don't need you as much. whatever. people and loved ones can only do so much for our hearts.

easy to forget that though.

i don't often write about what i'm reading in the Bible, because truthfully, what God is teaching me is never quite as relevant and exciting to others as it is to me, but this morning during my 'lay around time' [[raechel's lay around time definition: get up, start coffee, get a book, Bible, blanket and just survive until the coffee is ready, and drink the entire pot. been doing this for two days now instead of rolling out of bed and walking to my car. so far so good. just have to wake up at 5am to do it..]] i was reading in 1 corinthians and was so encouraged by the words i read. i swear they were a little too poignant.

"And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life." 1 corinthians 7:17

WHAT. woosh, okay, let's keep going.

"All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don't, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side." 1 corinthians 7:23-24

isn't it STILL (as a 25 year old), so easy to believe the lie that if we compromise on a few things, that life would be easier, and better things would come our way? hold the high ground, friends, God is there.

"I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you're unmarried, you're free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I'm trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions." 1 corinthians 7:32-34

this time is golden. that is something i will have to repeat to myself many times. probably a few times a day. something pastor steven said months and months ago, has stuck with me in an every day way. without remembering the exact context, he said a simple way to help in decision making is to ask, "is it best?". hold it up next to scripture, filter it through the words of Jesus. is it best?

what do i desire in my heart for my life to look like right now, and is that actually best for today? i have this golden time to become holy and whole before the Lord.

I pray that i will not waste another minute hoping to be somewhere else, or wishing for a different story. You are my story, Lord. Give me courage to hold the high ground.

Friday, January 01, 2010


this is what i am doing right now. it's my last day off and the last day having our little christmas tree up. there's much to be done today, but i have become an expert in doing nothing over the last week. so..i have on my cleaning/organizing motivational movie, you've got mail, but i have managed to sit here the entire movie and not clean OR organize. oh well, i suppose that's what last days off are for.

it's a new year, and since i'm not in school anymore and am no longer on that academic schedule, january really feels like a new beginning instead of the end of christmas break.

starting a new year is a bit daunting, no? but man, so full of hope.

the holidays were sometimes restful, and sometimes..not. but, i'm thankful for the time spent relaxing and not being a nanny. (but i do miss those babes).

anyway, there's a lot i could catch you up on, none of it very titillating (that word makes me uncomfortable), but for now, maybe i'll nap through the rest of you've got mail. so much for this movie motivating me to clean.

hey, i'll see you all back in real life.
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