Monday, November 30, 2009

Atlanta Getaway

We really enjoyed our little getaway to Atlanta. It wasn't quite long enough, but we'll take what we can get. The first night, we arrived in Atlanta around 8:30 and walked around Olympic Centennial Park which was all decorated for Christmas--and very beautiful. Then, we grabbed dinner, which we basically got for free because of a mistake in the kitchen.

Tuesday, we slept in then went to the Georgia Aquarium. We enjoyed it a lot and spent lots of time in front of the world's largest single aquarium, which is home to 4 whale sharks and a couple of humongous manta rays. It was pretty incredible to just sit there and watch. An aquarium worth visiting for sure!
See some more of our pictures here.
Later that afternoon, we chilled in our hotel, then went out for a nice dinner at a nearby Bistro. Matt had earned us a free dinner from points he gets for booking reservations at his hotel job. Thanks, honey!
The hotel was very nice. The location was great! Once we got there Monday evening and parked, we didn't have to drive again until we left. Right across the street from the Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Coca-Cola thing. The only thing that was a little daunting was that we were approached for money every time we went out to walk around.

Discounted hotel, discounted/free dinners, and discounted aquarium tickets meant we could feel a little less guilty about taking a mini-vacation. We enjoyed it and very much needed the time away together. A wonderful refresher going into Thanksgiving...

Monday, November 23, 2009

~Thankful~

Thanks, friends, for the love you showed me after my last post. The emails, texts, calls, and even hand-written notes were very appreciated. I did not intend to sound a desperate alarm of oh-my-goodness-this-girl-needs-some-love, but I am thankful that many of you showed love as a response.

Many of you know that Matt and I have 5 days off this week--together! We spent today with friends and family and getting ready for our trip. Tomorrow, we'll leave for Atlanta where we'll be taking advantage of Matt's Hilton employee discount for a couple of nights. We're also planning to go to the Georgia Aquarium where we got discount tickets thanks to Matt's step-sister's company. (Yay for connections!) We're very much looking forward to some alone time away and also to be able to spend a couple days with family for Thanksgiving.

I hope each of you will have a great holiday with family and loved ones!

In honor of the holiday, I'm leaving you with a list of things for which I am thankful:
~a personal God who knows me and loves me ~a Savior who continually saves me from myself and my sins ~an amazing, devoted husband who is also my best friend ~lots of friends who aren't necessarily close geographically but close to my heart ~family ~Nala ~living in Charleston ~the wonderful season when I was paid to walk with Jesus and love others ~jobs, in this time when many are unable to find work ~guidance for getting out of debt ~the opportunities I've had to experience and learn about other cultures ~people who sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel ~living in a country where I'm free to worship and serve Christ unhindered ~the internet for helping stay in touch ~this blog, though sometimes impersonal, it helps me feel closer to so many of you



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How are YOU doing?

This is my feeble attempt at 'connecting' with so many who I would love to sit down and have hours and hours with. I have been such a slack friend lately that when emails come across my screen of friends trying to catch up, I cry. Not bawl, but tear up significantly. My thoughts are inexplicable and don't make any sense, but if that gives you any idea where I am, there you have it. I'm not quite wanting to admit how I'm doing. On several occasions recently, I've broken into tears when I had time to connect with friends. Once when a friend just said 'how are you?'. I couldn't even answer... just cried. Finally said, 'I'm not doing very well', and that cause even more tears. Ugh.

The other night when coming home from work, I turned on the Christian radio station (which I don't usually have on anymore). The song, 'Blessed Be Your Name' was playing, and I had to sing along. It didn't take long before I had collapsed into tears based on the pure effect those words had on me. Blessed be Your Name, when I'm found in the desert place, when I walk through the wilderness, Blessed Be Your Name. I hated to admit to myself that I'm in a wilderness of sorts, but when I really think about it, I know I am. And even though I know it's true, I know that the bigger truth is that God is still worthy of my worship when I'm lost in the wilderness.
I can't remember the last time I had an extended, quality time set aside with the Lord. Haven't been to church in a looooong time, and the last time I did, I cried as a result of my bad attitude. This 'desert place' I'm in is somewhere where I think that I can control my life right now. Yeah, right. Look where it's gotten me: breaking down into fits of tears when asked how I'm doing. Great job, Tricia. Seriously, though, I've been thinking about this a lot the past couple of weeks, and I think I've created some sort of justification.

Somehow I think that because of this season I'm in, there's nothing God can do to help me. We've gotten ourselves in the financial trouble where we are both working 2 jobs, barely seeing each other, not making enough time for developing friendships, not having enough time to manage the house as I'd like.... It's kinda like I feel like since I made the mess, I've gotta clean it up. Some kind of penance.

I know better. I've given others advice in similar situations, but being here, in the midst of what feels like chaos and shame, stinks. I don't feel worthy enough right now to invite God into this season of my life. I don't feel worthy enough to have friends really love me through this, and I don't even want friends close enough to see this junk right now.

This last week has been filled with a new situation requiring any excess emotion/courage/energy I had left. It's messy, and it's not going to be a 'quick fix'. It's caused me to realize even more how empty I am.

There, I said it. Yuck. I'm a sinful, selfsh, self-centered human being who is faulty. Duh! And, at the risk of being too sappy and needy, I've got to say: please pray for me. Pray that I would have right perspective. Pray that even though I don't *feel* worthy, that I would know the Truth during this time. Pray that I would have the courage to address some of these issues. Pray that Matt and I would find time to encourage one another and love each other well-- instead of just being exhausted when we have time together. Pray that I would be humble enough to say I need help. Most importantly, pray that I would seek the Lord for His Truth and comfort and salvation during this time when I can't see the end of this season.

And, when you get a moment, update me on YOU. Help me climb out of this self-absorption I've seemed to fall into. You're important to me.

Love, Tricia-who-processes-while-writing

P.S. Wow, even just getting all of that out there has helped lighten the load.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas is coming!

Holiday cups at starbucks! Best part of my week so far!