12.28.2009

A New Venture

Dear Readers,

First, I want to start off with thanking all of you for your interest in the life and thoughts of a young, and often confused and learning, woman. Thank you for comments that encourage and support me in my pursuits and in my ideas. Thank you for comments that challenge and sometimes unsettle me. Thank you for joining me in my life's journey. I pray that you are all surrounded equally or more with friends and family that love, challenge, and support you daily. And more desperately, I pray that each of you are filled with God's Holy Spirit, who loves, guides, renews, encourages, and emboldens you!

And now, dear readers, I would like to ask you to join me in a new venture. God has been breaking my heart over the past year and a half, as I have searched and cried and prayed over finding a ministry in my new place at Northwood church and as the wife of an amazing man. What I would like from you is your prayer. Please join me in praying for guidance, both for me and for the church as a whole, that those of us who claim to follow Christ would truly be led by His Spirit and walking in His Way! I have been earnestly praying this for some time, and now I feel that God is starting to reveal a way for me to serve in my new position. Years ago, when Mikey and I weren't even dating, he had a house church one night. At his apartment with other young guys, he and some friends led a night of worship with a short message and discussion. From praying and reading my bible, this version of worship really resonated with me as a real and vital way of seeking God and encouraging one another. So...I would like to have a service at our apartment sometime soon! This is not a replacement for other services, but rather, an extension of worship. I don't know whether this will be a one-time thing or a more regular occurrence. I don't know when it will be. I don't know exactly what we will do or how it will work. But I am asking you all to join me in praying for guidance, in knowing how best to open our home, how best to encourage those who come, and how to open the night to the Holy Spirit, not to our own designs.

Thank you again for your love and support!
Love, Anna

12.20.2009

Best Day Ever

Today has been a great day! I slept in, got picked up by Mikey to go to bfast at the church, finished my surprise present for Mikey, gave the present to Mikey because I'm not good at waiting, put up my new curtains from my mom because I'm not good at waiting, chilled with Mikey, beat Mikey at scrabble and dots on my ipod, watched the Steelers beat the Packers in the LAST second of the game, and went to to TBonz to celebrate our Year-and-a-Half-Aversary!!! Whew. THAT is the epitome of an awesome day...relaxing but productive and full of time with my amazing husband!

Here are the super cute curtains my mom got me for Christmas :) I have some other really nice ones from my grandmother, but I have to wait to unwrap those! I love the big pattern of these with our plain brown bed...plus I just LOVE green!
Here is a picture of the surprise I got Mikey. He asked for a picture of me (and without himself-he's so silly!) for his desk, so I asked our friend Alexa (who took our anniversary pictures) to take a few pics of me at the park where Mikey and I first met. She did such a great job that I picked a few more to put in this other frame for our apartment...haha :) I felt silly, but she's so artistic and had some great ideas!
And, finally, here are some pictures of Mikey and I on our date! We went to Tbonz, which is where we went for our very first date :) We sat at a table right near the one we sat at on that first date! We had a great time talking, reminiscing, and enjoying great food...I am so lucky to be married to such a funny, smart, and fun man! :)

12.17.2009

What We May Be

I am definitely not claiming any mastery of poetry, but throughout my life, I've always enjoyed reading and writing all kinds of things. Poetry is one of those things that just pours out of me. It is so cathartic to get a message across through creativity because so often normal words and phrases leave so much to be said. With more time from my semester ending, I had some more time to think and to get what is in my heart out onto paper. I wanted to share a poem I just wrote. it isn't a great work of art, but it is an outpouring of my heart, a cry from inside of me.

This poem is about my frustration with limitations, my frustration with my own weaknesses and my confusion at times about what life is about. It talks about putting on a good face, even when you're filled with doubt and insecurity, and about longing to be more when you feel like people are placing limits on you. And then it moves into hope, remembering God is the ultimate guide, and the whole journey through confusion and doubt will eventually lead to Him if we keep trusting and pursuing Him.

Open eyes and turn on brain
And leap into a suit of sane
And close the mouth
And guard the ears
And grow backwards
For twenty years
Then open eyes and turn on brain
And lash out of the suit of sane
And realize that all that was known
Is rejected now; I'm on my own
What once was real is now behind
What lies ahead keeps me blind
But oh to reach and grow and know
To love and be loved as before
To feel that I am me inside
To realize my life is alive
And oh to see this face of mine
And feel it's not a stranger's prize
To make a change and give a start
Lay down my life to gain a heart
And oh to walk a path less trod
To seek a light, the Way, my God
With every ounce of strength and will
My life is Yours to grow and build

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be" -Shakespeare

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" -Jeremiah 29:11

12.15.2009

Double Good News

It's finally here! This afternoon, I finished my last two finals for this semester at CofC, and life is feeling GOOOOOOD! :) It is so wonderful to be able to take a few deep breaths and enjoy some rest, but I'm sure within a couple of days, I'll start feeling antsy and looking for things to do!

My other new big news, which is actually way BIGGER than just finishing my semester, is that one of my best friends just got engaged! I met Rabun my freshman year at Clemson. We were in the same pi chi group for rush, and we lived on the same hall. AND she's from Hanahan, right near where I live, so I get to see her on visits to Clemson and when she comes home! It has been amazing to have her around more, and I am so so so excited for her and her fiance Cameron!!! They have been dating since high school, and Cameron proposed on Saturday...downtown...and coffee (rabun's fave) was involved :) The wedding date is set for sometime in May 2011, right after graduation. I feel amazingly blessed to be a bridesmaid, and I can't wait to start helping with some shopping and planning!!! :) Love you, Rabun!

12.05.2009

On Thursday of this week, I had no idea who the Flecktones were. When Rodney, Mikey's boss, called me to ask if we wanted to go see the Flecktones, I thought it sounded like a cartoon and avoided mentioning the name when I ran the idea past Mikey. Oh, how little did I know back then! I just got home from a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones concert, and it was absolutely incredible! Never in my life have I felt so musically illiterate. They could go between songs, between keys, between time signatures at the drop of a hat. They did a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas with each day in a different key AND a different time signature, and every time they went through it, they kept the exact right time for each individual day. Apparently, that's crazy! I really, really enjoyed their show!
AND, they had special guests: Alash. Alash is an ensemble of Tuvan throat singers (from the Republic of Tuva in Siberia). I just learned about them in my animal behavior class because they can do something that only birds (besides them) are known to be able to do: sing multiple tones at once! Birds have two voice boxes though, and humans only have one...which is why this skill is so unbelievable! It is called "throat singing," and it is absolutely astounding! I posted a video with the Flecktones and Alash doing a song together...see if you can hear the multiple tones in their voices when they sing! It is crazy!
Mikey and I had a great time at the show, and Mikey amazed me with his awesome musical knowledge. I am so proud of him! :) I want to give a special THANKS to Rodney and Tracy for inviting us to go to this show with their family!!! I never would have discovered these amazing groups on my own :)
video