Friday, July 31, 2009

New City, New Experiences

I have been in Atlanta now for two months. I am still getting adjusted and still trying to work on a new routine for myself. I am more aware of the cost of things now that I am on my own again. When I lived at home I was aware but just not as aware I guess you could say. I was fortunate enough to not have to be. So I have been trying to cut back on a lot of things. I knew moving to Atlanta I would soon do something about my car but I had not really planned on doing something within the first two months of being here. But as it goes my plans were not God's plans.

For the past three years I have been driving my beloved Acura TL. I got the car soon after beginning work at FTI. Since I was living at home I had no other expenses at the time and decided that I just had to have a new car. The TL was my first brand new car ever. I fell in love with it after driving it and could not wait to make it mine. So after much consideration and help from The Runald I decided that I would lease the car for 3 1/2 years. I knew that I would keep the car so the lease didn't really bother me. Well, my lease would have been up this coming Dec. I knew I had a decision to make if I was going to keep the car or turn it in. Well, I decided that I would trade it in for a new car. The TL had more miles than I wanted to have on a car so I decided the best thing to do would be to get rid of it.

Last week, I began researching and exploring to see what all of my options would be. I first went back to Acura to see what they would be willing to do to help me out. They were more than happy to work with me but they weren't willing to work with me enough to get my payments where I wanted them. So I began to look at other makes & models. I ended up venturing in to a VW Dealership right down the road from me. The salesman was very nice, attentive, patient, and wanted to do whatever it took to make me happy. I test drove several different cars. Since I have only driven a Japanese car test driving a German car was much different. I wasn't completely blown away by anything though. The salesman and his manager promised me they would continue to look and find the perfect car for me.

They both came through on their promise. Sat. morning I received a call that they had something that I just had to see and they knew it was the car for me. I went straight to the dealership, took one look at the car, drove it, and told them they were exactly right. So we began the negotiating process. I had already been very clear what I wanted and they were good in working with me. So once we went back and forth on a few things they had the right number. So I called The Runald explained it all to him. He did a little talking to the guys himself. He just wanted to be sure they weren't screwing me over :) Next thing I know I am signing the papers to a '06 VW Passat that is fully loaded. I really love the car a lot. It is really a lot of fun to drive.

So in the last two months I have moved to Atlanta and bought a new car all by myself (something I've never ever done before). It was such a great experience for me and I am so glad that I went through with it. Now I wonder what will be the next new experience I will have. This isn't my actual car but it looks just like this...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Speak of Christ or Don't speak of Christ...That is the question

I have been going back and forth on if I would write a post about this or not. I have decided to do so though b/c I would honestly just like to know every ones thoughts and opinions on the subject. I am open to them all and you may just make me think of it in a different way than I have before. Ok here I go...

In the last month or so I have seen a lot of death. Death of celebrities, death of family, death of friends family, death of neighbors, death of the old, death of the young, death from a disease, death that was unexpected, etc. Every situation was different but they were all as equally as sad. In each situation someone was lost and families, friends, and acquaintances were all left grieving.

There is typically one thing though during this time that is talked about which I've been thinking about a lot especially in the last several weeks. I have noticed that God, Jesus, Heaven, salvation, and God's love for us, are all usually mentioned in a funeral services regardless of a persons background. And the pastor who is speaking at the service usually talks about the deceased and how "they are in a better place now". As a Christian I do find that comforting. However, I only find that comforting when I know that the person was a believer and that Jesus Christ was the Lord of their life. I believe it is in the time when you are unsure about a persons salvation that their death can bring even more sadness. It is that way for me at least.

So my question is does everyone find comfort during the time of death by God, Heaven, and a better place? I guess it is just puzzling to me why a person would find comfort in God if they don't believe in Him. Why would God, Jesus, etc. be spoken of so often during a funeral service if the deceased did not believe or did not live their life for Christ? Is it solely to comfort those still here on this earth? How or why would a pastor say in the funeral service that "God has called so and so home" if the deceased was not a believer? Wouldn't that be only confusing to those at the service that were not believers? Wouldn't they think "well so and so lived this way or that way and they went to Heaven"? Is that not the wrong message to be sending out? I get that death is sad and you want to say whatever you can to comfort the grieving but if they are not believers is it really worth sending them the wrong message? Why don't you just tell the story of Christ and how one can come to have a relationship with Him? I get that this situation is sticky and many people have different beliefs on the matter. And please don't get me wrong I do strongly believe that if you have the opportunity to share Christ with others that you should whether that be in a funeral service, in a coffee house, at work, wherever. I just have a problem when you send mixed messages to others who are not believers.

I know that while I have been contemplating all of this the last several days I know God has been speaking to me. It has been very clear that He was saying "McCall this is why I have called you to live a certain way". I have been reminded and challenged to be cautious of my actions, my words, how I treat others, how I serve others, etc. Because when it is time for my Lord to call me home I do not want there to be any confusion as to whether or not I will be spending eternity with Him. So I would also like to take this time to challenge all the believers out cautious how you are living your life. When others look at you do they see Christ in you? I know that I can say that I am a mess and I know that others can not see Christ in me all the time. So I will be making a conscious effort to live my life so that others may see Christ in all areas of my life.

Ok it's your turn...give me your feedback on this topic. Do you agree with me or disagree? Do you have any thoughts as to why this is the way things are? Can you help shed some light on all of this for me? Alright...go....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

What a great 4th of July it was! I was able to celebrate with my family, my boy, and my bff's. The weekend consisted of a lot of pool time, great food, great friends, lots of laughs, and all in all a great time.

Friday, I was off of work just like many of you. The day was spent in Atlanta with Joey and friends. We started it out by going to Waffle House for breakfast, then to the pool, and then to a cookout & game night. Which I will add that the girls beat the boys in Trivial Pursuit!!!

Saturday, my parents had invited all of us up to spend the day by their pool, cookout, and watch the fireworks that night. So we all headed up around lunch. It was such a gorgeous day. It was my first day back home since moving the previous weekend. I had not seen my parents in over a week and I was more than excited to get home and spend some time with them. The day could not have been any better. The girls stayed by the pool all day catching up. The guys joined us for a while but then made their way to the basement to play pool. My parents cooked a great 4th of July meal consisting of: BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, baked beans, homemade potato salad, bread, fruit, and cupcakes for dessert. We were all pretty much stuffed when we got done. When it came time for the fireworks we all made our way over to their neighbors house to watch the fireworks. We set up chairs and just sat back and relaxed. I'm not sure the day could have gone any better. Here is a little slide show of our time...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Good Food, Good Friends, Good Times

This past weekend was a pretty busy weekend. Not only did I move on Sunday but we celebrated Katie and Emily's birthday Fri. & Sat. It was a jam packed weekend but loads of fun.

Friday, Katie wanted to do dinner at Flemings (a nice steakhouse in Atl). The food was fantastic and the few of us that were able to join in on the celebration had a great time. Here are a few pics from that night...
From left to right: Daniel, Katie, Paige, Myself, and Joey
This is Katie and her yummy dessert! It was seriously amazing!

And of course a pic of me and my honey :)

Saturday, we had planned on "Shootin' the Hooch". We had a pretty big group of people going so we got up early and headed to the tubing place. I had never floated down the Chattahoochee before so this was a first for me. We all arrived in time to be on the first bus. We had a group of 17 people I do believe. The bus chartered us down to the drop off, we all unloaded and tied up together. I had been told that the water would be freezing but I don't think I really quite understood just how cold it was really going to be. One step in the water and I flew right back out!!! The temp of the water was probably somewhere around 50 degrees...that is a total guess too. :) Anyway, we all finally managed to get into our tubes and begin our float down the river. I must say it was a pretty fun experience. There were a couple of rope swings along the way and we of course had to stop so the boys and a few of the girls could play for a while. After that we started back on our trek down the river. I managed to flip outta my float at one point. I was NOT a happy camper by any means. Daniel let the air outta Katie's tube along the way so thank goodness we had an extra tube! We signed up for the 4 hour trip but it ended up taking us 6 hours instead. It was a very fun filled day full of adventure! Here are a few pics from the day...I have some really funny ones but have been told they could not be posted so the following is the best I could do :) ...
This is before we pushed off...
Katie and Emily the Birthday Girls
Christen, myself, and Joey...Joey was our paddle master for the day!
This is Katie after her tube "accidentally" deflated
Random shot of some of the group
All in all it was a very fun weekend. It left moving a little bit more tiring but it was all totally worth it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Goodbye Suburbs, Hello Big City

I am officially an Atlanta resident as of this past Sunday. That's right the U-Haul was loaded with all of my belongings and the move to Atlanta was complete. I am so grateful for the best boyfriend in the world because without his dedication I would not have gotten moved. I also have to thank my bother-in-law, Jacob and Joey's roommate, Donnie for their help as well. Joey could have never done it alone. It was a very long and very hot day. The act of actually moving is never fun and it can press on your nerves and emotions like you wouldn't believe. But I'm sure you know exactly what I am talking about. I am still in the process of getting settled. But little by little it is getting done. For the most part though everything is done and by this weekend my roommate Sarah and I hope to be completely settled in.

I have been really excited about the move and could hardly wait for it to happen. I was prepared for the headache that usually comes along with moving but what I wasn't prepared for were all of the emotions that would flood my body. Even though I was extremely excited for the move a part of me was also saddened to leave home. In the 3 1/2 years since I had been back home I had a regular routine. A comfortable routine that I just came to expect. I would get to see my babies on Tues. & Thurs. when my mom kept them. I grew accustomed to seeing my mom & the Runald every single morning before leaving for work and telling them that I loved them. I was use to my dogs running to me every time I walked in the door or having Izzy sit at my door and cry until I let her in. These were all things that I knew would change but I didn't realize I would miss so much. I guess considering I am still pretty close to home I didn't think it would really make that big of a difference or change that much. But I have found that I do miss those things, my normal routine. I am not saying that I wish I wouldn't have made the move by any means I just wasn't expecting to have so many different emotions about it.

As I talked to my mom yesterday and we discussed all the little things that have changed, how it is a little weird and will take some getting use to she reminded me that change is not a bad thing. Change is good. It may not initially seem like you have made the right decision but having faith that God has you right where he wants you and will never lead you astray just reassures me that if God didn't want me in Atlanta then He wouldn't have allowed it to happen. I will now come up with a new routine, change some things around and find what will work best for me now. It will be good for me and what I should be doing at my age.

I don't want you to think that I have only focused on what all I will be missing out on because I haven't. I already have things that I love about being on my own again...coming home to a place I can call my own, being so close to my friends in Atlanta & also being so close to Joey, a sense of independence that I have longed for, and just taking this new adventure in life and running with it to wherever it might take me.

One thing I have learned in my life is that change isn't always fun and may leave you nervous and scared but it usually turns out being a good thing that brings along excitement and adventure. And I couldn't be happier to be on this new adventure in my life.