Sachi…

People who are familiar with me know I am a cat person. BUT this little pup has stolen my heart.

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Sachi is a chocolate and blond Labradoodle puppy who is, at the moment, six months old. I have never had a dog with such personality. She is a fast learner, even though she is so, so, soooooo stubborn at times.

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I think we are all part of her diabolical plan of cuteness, and we are all pawns in her game. Sachi is my mother’s baby, and she is so spoiled! Her name means “Miracle.” She was the last of the litter, brought back because she came down with a cellulitis infection on her snout. So, my mom got her for a discounted price.

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Now we get to enjoy her shenanigans. Her personality is definitely sassy! I know that she will change a little since she is not yet an adult, but I am sure she will still retain some of her obstinance and humor.

 

Georgia On My Mind…

Just some photos I snapped with my phone over the past week since moving back to the Peach State.

My parents’ home in Georgia

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On a drive near my home

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Starbucks Evenings (Starbucks stores that sell wine and appetizers after 4pm)

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Getting Coldstone with momma

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Family Reunion

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Skate Country (Cousin’s 13th birthday party)

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Parents playing cards

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:)

I’m Taking the Red Pill…

I am leaving Fakebook Facebook. Not just deactivating, a full-on delete. Yes this is very possible.

 

What I will miss about FB…

1. Having instant updates on hundreds of people that I know
2. Seeing happy faces and exciting adventures
3. Being able to reconnect with people that I haven’t seen in years

 

What I will definitely NOT miss about FB…

1. The ever changing layout and weird issues with privacy
2. Oversharing and TMI moments
3. GAME REQUESTS AND UPDATES
4. The true depravity of human nature…when we are behind a screen, we somehow become “bolder” and it’s not always a positive thing…
5. How your life can seem so small and uninteresting in comparison to those around you, even though you know people only share what they want others to see
6. The time vortex that is the sign in screen. Seriously you can lose HOURS here
7. Ratchetness
8. Not really connecting to those hundreds of people that I know and maybe not seen in years
9. Knowing deep down that we really know nothing about the lives of the majority of the lives of the people on our friend list, but somehow feeling like we do know because of what’s posted on their page.
10. Realizing that our world is not really that big, and there is no way that we can nurture a friendship base of over 400 people… it just doesn’t happen. Our life scope is much smaller than that.
11. Not being creative and not really adding to the lives of others through the platform… At the end of the day once we sign out, the life we have suspended in the wings resumes without much inclusion of whatever happened online (save for making in-person events and people you talk to off facebook on a regular basis)
12. How it makes us lazy to really connect with people to create meaningful
and trusting relationships.
13. How it helps us perpetuate a world without true etiquette and manners
14. How it allows us to remain in our past and wallow in our previous pains, which ultimately makes it super hard to learn how to overcome and move on.
15. How it has helped us perpetuate a world where not much is sacred and special because everything is ordinary and is shared with everyone
16. How it stunts our maturity in learning how to deal with disappointment, confrontation, conflict, failures, and success
17. How we slowly move away from being true memory keepers
18. How the experience has convinced us that printed photos aren’t necessary (ridiculous, right)

Facebook is not evil and I don’t hate it (all the time lol).

In fact, I think it is an ingenious invention. It has just gone awry. All of the reasons that I dislike FB are things that I saw rising up in myself, and I didn’t like it. I don’t think my experience is unique. Not everyone experiences this or is prone to it; however, the majority speaks to the former.

SO, I am taking a risk. I am challenging the status quo to do something that is not in line with what is normal or popular. I am stepping away. Letting the chips fall where they may, and I am running for my life to have true joy, peace, and community. I know I won’t be perfect at it. I’m actually pretty nervous about how to even really begin to build this. The only thing on my side outside of God, is that I remember a life before facebook. I know the possibilities.

I am ready to live a life where technology truly enhances my life rather than stunting it.

Would you like to come too? You may not really need to and you may have only experienced the first three great truths about facebook, That is awesome and I wish that were my reality too. There is no judgement in that. “To thine own self be true.” If you do come on this journey, know that results may vary. There is a direct correlation of sowing and reaping.

https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account?rdrhc. This is a personal choice…Of course let your friends know you are heading out if you do, but otherwise it’s about you and what’s best for your life. After you do this, you have 15 days to change your mind before everything is deleted. It’s a 15 day fasting period and if you log into your account during this time you start the clock over. I’ll definitely let you know when that clock starts for me since my profile will still be active, but I won’t be responding.

For all of us… Love the people in your life with all you’ve got. Be present. Be still. Really listen. Enjoy your BEST life today :).

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY – here’s to breaking codependency with the web.

God is my life P.R.O.

God is my:

PROVISION – He has provided me with PROTECTION through the past nine years. I have had so many wonderful experiences and adventures, but I have not been hurt or damaged. Every good and bad thing that happened gave me more tenacity. Psalm 91:4 says “He will cover you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

REDEMPTION – He is the reason that I have abundant and meaningful life here on Earth, and the reason why I have eternal life in Heaven. I am grateful that I have another chance through Christ. I am also thankful for the new mercies he gives me every day. He has given me STRENGTH to get through all of the challenges I have faced, and I know I have the strength to endure what’s to come. Isaiah 40:31 says “He who trusts in the lord will renew their strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

OPPORTUNITY – He is has given me opportunity after opportunity to do things in his name and also to enjoy life leisurely. He has given me FREEDOM. Freedom to learn who I am, and freedom to be who I am.  2 Corinthians 3:17 says “For the Lord is the spirit. Wherever the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

I don’t know where I’d be without God!

It’s Gettin’ Real!

My awesome parents drove down from Atlanta to come get some of my things. I am so grateful for them! They packed up my mom’s red Honda Element with five Sterilite 18 gallon containers, keyboard with stand, two 36″ art pieces, a foldable papasan chair, and several other items. I couldn’t believe that so much got packed into that car!

Today, a friend came and picked up my couches, and then I put some other containers that will be going to another family in my car. So now my TV sits all alone on the floor. So sad. I am very happy to see it all begin to move. I was starting to get a little anxious with everything intact.

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On another note, did I tell you how much I hate job hunting?! I hate it more than being nauseated. I am praying that God opens the best door. I just want to be where I am supposed to be.

20 days…

 

The Sum Total…

I was thinking today, and I have to say I am really grateful. I have had about a week of unadulterated silence from my heart. Some may think that this is an odd thing for which to be thankful, but my reasoning is that the silence has given me time to evaluate. Experience alone does not make you wiser, only evaluated experience. So… I have had some time to really do that – evaluate.

First, let me just set the record straight that I am not in some kind of “girl power” type mood where I am going to bash relationships and fly the single flag high like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. No, I very much want companionship, but I want it in its place. While I have been single for quite some time at this point, I have been crowded by too many other things to work through all of this. I mean, crowded for months. I figure that in the last four weeks before my departure it is a good a time as any to think and come to grips about my past, especially with dating, before starting a new adventure. While I have no idea when or where the opportunity of a relationship will come back around, I do know that when it does I want to be ready.

The sum total of my relationships looks something a little bit like this:

and

I wish I could find a less crass comparison, but there is a raw truth to the Big and Carrie drama. The underlying theme for Carrie was that there was a deep dedication to being 100% in 100% of the time. There was an insatiable desire and expectation of total commitment and surety in that decision for both parties. There was a willingness to go the extra mile to make sure that there was never a question of loyalty. There was an eruption of emotions at the disappointment of finding out that love was not on the same page.

I think I most identify with Carrie’s stalemate before jetsetting to the Caribbean. At this point, it’s a no-win situation because if Big gives into Carrie’s desire to have affirmation for their relationship, he would not be true to himself. At the same time, if Carrie ignores her need to know where Big’s loyalties are, she would be fooling herself and just prolonging the truth. I know when I have come to the realization that my significant other wasn’t sure about me, or wasn’t as committed as I was, that I was completely crushed and traumatized. The pain that comes from this truth makes one want to not longer be part of this world because usually I have given that person so much of myself that I have exposed things about myself that I try to guard except in the most trusting environments.

Vulnerability in relationships is something with which I have difficulty, but once trust has been established, there is a depth of openness one never knew existed (think iceberg). I crave authenticity, and am willing to give it, but it takes a bit for you to earn it. Once I have opened up, to find out that the affection is not what I thought based on shared information, will cause me to feel the deepest sense of betrayal. It’s the ultimate bait and switch for me. If you aren’t ready to go deep, then don’t stick your feet in the water. In fact, just get away from the water entirely.

Since I began dating, I have always wanted that crazy, can’t live without each other type of love. I have always wanted to know that someone specifically chose me, and was completely sure and satisfied with his choice to be with me. I know deep down that this lofty expectation on my relationships stems from the lack of male affirmation in my childhood (that’s a whole different topic that I will not get into). Thankfully, those emotions have been since addressed, but sometimes behaviors don’t change as quickly as the realization of behaviors comes.

Some may ask, “Why is that desire bad or unrealistic?” The answer is very simple – humans are human, but God is always God. The expectation for a human to have such a desire and loyalty that I will always feel comforted is not realistic. Humans hurt each other, intentionally or unintentionally. It’s just fact. That is why as a Christian, I have to rely on this completeness to come only from God. He gives us human companionship in order for us to maybe have a 1/100th of an idea of what true fellowship is like with him, of which we can only completely experience in our eternal existence when we are reunited with him. Yes, we can be loyal to one another and love each other so much that it hurts, but that cannot be a driving force for relationships. in a Christian worldview, relationships are not necessarily about us, but rather a service to God and the other person with positive personal benefits as a result.

Restated, my desire has always been to havethat crazy, can’t live without each other type of love. I have always wanted to know that someone specifically chose me, and was completely sure and satisfied with his choice to be with me.”

What I know both in my head, and now in my heart is that I already have this type of love!

1. That crazy, can’t live without each other type of love…

I can’t live without God. Scripture says that without God there is certain death because my sin creates separation that no amount of human initiated sacrifice can fill (Check out Romans 6:23). Clearly God cannot live without me. He manifested himself in human form (as Jesus) so that he experienced a physical death because of the fact that we were separated. He took on the guilt of my sin, reconciled me to him, and he did this long before I was alive.  God has always loved me so much it hurt (check out  John 3:16, John 11:25, 1 John 2:2, and John 17).

2. The knowledge that someone specifically chose me and was completely sure and satisfied with his choice to be with me.

God chose me before I was born for a specific purpose that would glorify him (Check out John 15:16). While I do have a choice of whether or not I want to live out that purpose, it does not negate the drive to live a meaningful life. God gave me this purpose and the drive to seek it before I was born, and it is part of my name – Dana. The kicker is, he is so in love with me and wants me as I am so much that he continues to make me better (Check out Ephesians 1:5, Jeremiah 1:5, Jeremiah 29:11, and Philippians 1:6). I was made in the image of God, and in that he is well pleased with me as part of his creation (check out Genesis 1:27-31)!

In 2009 after calling off my engagement,  I accepted in my head the fact that I had been looking for love and acceptance from a man, but only God could give that to me. In 2014, I accepted this fact in my heart.

It’s not until the knowledge of things permeate our heart that our destiny changes.

While I still very much want companionship that will lead to a godly marriage, I know that I have everything that I need because I am complete in Christ. I still want that surety and commitment from my future spouse, but now I can see how relationships play out when you misplace that expectation. God will never let me down, nor will he ever leave me. I can be sure that he is always on my side.

Thank you, God, for being patient with me while I literally took five years to completely learn this lesson (the number ‘5’ in Biblical Numerology means “grace”, David also took up five stones to slay Goliath…relationships have been sort of my own personal ‘Goliath’).