Last night was my final night at my part-time job. I’ll be starting my normal summer gig next week. In all honesty, it was bittersweet.  I am looking forward to having some time off (only working 40 hours) before I begin another crazy-but familiar-schedule…and I am glad for a change of scenery…but I’ll miss the people and I feel bad for leaving them.

It’s funny how we can be so conflicted about changes in our lives, whether they be big or small: “It’s great except for this part…” or “I want this to happen but not if that goes along with it…”  or even, “I need to do such-and-such a thing, but I can’t because of X, Y and Z.”

We put these conditions on our happiness when we should just …be happy, roll with the punches and embrace the adventures that come our way. Yes, it can be scary, but it’s living! God did not intend for us to be stuck in the same place, doing the same thing and being afraid and unhappy. He wants us to live, to love and to grow… while having some fun.

If you fall flat on your face, it’s to prove that you can pick yourself up, you can bounce back and do better, still.

As I’ve gotten older, I admit, I’m a bit more cautious and I have my moments of doubt.  But I still embrace change. The last three years have brought a multitude of changes-both good and bad-and I’m in a place I never imagined. But I’ve never been happier. And I’ve never felt more open to possibilities.

I was cleaning out my inbox yesterday and stumbled across messages I’d written from 2007. It’s crazy to see written proof of how different I am, to see how my state of mind and my priorities are so different… and yet, I’m still me. I can still see that 19-year-old girl…

And here I am in 2012, itching for something new, wanting something different and looking forward.

 Time for a change….

A Spring Morning

This morning, I woke up to sunshine. Golden rays streamed through our lace curtains and gently danced across our comforter. It’s been some time since I’ve been able to appreciate the wonder of waking up a few minutes before the alarm and basking in the quiet peace of dawn. Let me tell you, it was wonderful. Our room was full of that rejuvinating and quiet light that you can only find in the early morning, a perfect contrast to the coolness of the air on a spring day before the world awakens.

When I finally made it  into the shower, I could hear Ben in the kitchen grinding coffee beans for our morning brew.

Brushing my teeth, I heard him watering our little sprouts that are perched on the dining room window sill, waiting to be planted in the garden.

As I drove to work, the sun was shining and one of my favorite songs was on the radio.

With all of these little blessings, I feel ready to take on the world.

And Before You Know It…

A Note from Noelle: I am trying something a little different today, and depending on your feedback it may become a permanent Monday fixture; I’ve been wanting to do a bit of free-writing/journal-ing and figured that there’s no time like the present. Per usual, I’d love your feedback.  Thanks! -N

Now onto your regularly scheduled blog post!

It’s funny how something can you bring you back to an exact moment in time. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be the smell of a stranger. Or the chorus of your favorite song, drifting out of an open window. Or even just putting on an old t-shirt… Biting into a sandwich.. Driving down an old dirt road. Rainstorms. A glass of red wine or a phone call from a friend.

 And upon that one small thing crossing your path, while remaining in the present moment, you are transported back to a different place and time. And feeling exactly how you felt.  The same thoughts are running through your head, the same sounds gracing your ears and there you are, face to face with a former self. It doesn’t matter who you are in the present, because for that one moment, you are taken back to where and who you were. Living in the past, just for  moment. It’s time travel in its  truest form.

Most recently for me, this “something” was an invitation. In that particular (present?) moment I was a strong, put together 24-year-old woman, looking forward to an evening spent with my wonderful husband…until, an unexpected invitation arrived.

And there I was, a 20-year-old, living in a new place, standing next to a monument in complete shock and awe as I watched a ring being placed on my finger…onto a know-it-all fourteen-year-old with a serious case of puppy love, and then-just like that!- I’m sixteen. 

As quickly as I’ve been taken to these places, I’ve left them (and been to a few places in between). Then, I am twenty-one, crying hysterically after sliding the ring off my finger and knowing I’ll never wear it again, wondering what I could have done to prevent this. 

A moment later, six months have passed and I am timidly looking across a table at an old acquaintance.  After that I am fifteen, standing in a friend’s living room meeting a goofy boy for the first time. Seconds later, I am twenty-three, standing in that same goofy boy’s kitchen as he asks me to marry him, another second passes and I am having a difficult conversation with someone that I used to know. Then, with a flash, I am saying my marriage vows on a hot summer’s day.

And then, as quickly as it came, it’s gone. I am back in the present, staring down at an invitation. My head is spinning, lost in a sea of memories and I smile to myself, realizing how each one of these moments has shaped who and where I am in this exact moment. 

I used to hate being flooded with memories and dragged through years of forgotten (and remembered) moments in time, but now I think it’s God’s way of keeping me from getting too comfortable. It’s his way of reminding me of where I’ve been, while showing me where I’ll end up next.