As the sun sets on 2017

As the sun sets on 2017, I look back on my year with fond memories.

I met some amazing people, and developed a new friendship that makes my heart happy. I overcame a lot of fears, I went on many new and exciting adventures with equally exciting people. I learned a lot, I grew a lot, and I think I am a better person for it all. Most of all, I think that God has opened up my heart to loving people deeply in a way that I was not before. I am so, so grateful.

There were some heartaches, and I still struggle daily with certain things. But man, God has been so good to me.

Today I went for my tattoo touch up appointment, she went over all the lines and darkened it all a bit. As I sit here all bundled up (I am perpetually cold, and also, coincidentally, I have a cold), the mild stinging of my shoulder reminding me that I was poked with many needles a few hours ago, somehow it makes me smile. I will enter into the new year with a renewed sense of accomplishment and courage. Looking forward to whatever 2018 brings.

Tonight one of my favorite dudes (Peter) and I are going to a contra dance in Charlotte, NC for a “New Years Eve Eve” dance, and will be meeting up with my other favorite dude (Jonathan) who is currently touring with the band “ContraForce”.

Also, gotta tell you all a short story! My friend Jonathan got in an Uber the other day, and the music that was playing was super good, so he said “Hey, this is good stuff, who is this?” and she turned to him with a smile and said “That’s me!”

Please, check out Mizz Blueyesol, her album “Deceiver” is available on iTunes,  Apple Music, Spotify, and most other places music is available. My person favorite song is the one from which the album gets it’s name, “Deceiver”.

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The Greatest Adventure Of All

I have blogged about a fair number of adventures in my time here, but I wanted to clarify something. All of my adventures are just chapters in the grand adventure that is life with Jesus.

Living for Jesus is the most exciting,  joyful adventure anyone could ever hope for. Because of Jesus, I have met and gotten to know people I never would have invested in had He not prodded my heart to do so, or vice versa, had He not prodded their hearts to pursue friendship with me. God has taken me on so many grand adventures in my life, through trials and hardships that ultimately resulted in both His glory and my growth, and also through thrilling , exhilarating, ridiculously fun things that leave a smile on my face every time I think of them.

He has rescued me from my sins and failures, and doesn’t give up on me even when I fall over and over again for the same old stuff. His mercy is new every morning, and His grace never runs out on me, even in my weakness. He loves me with an everlasting love. ❤️

And that is why, for my 25th birthday, my plan is to even out my lopsidedness and get a tattoo on my right shoulder, of mountains, with just the word “Adventure” under it. My hope is that any time someone compliments me on it, or asks about it, I can say “Thank you! Every day is an adventure when you’re walking with Jesus.”, just like I am able, with my current tattoo, to share about my mom and how yes, it’s hard that she is gone, but I know I will see her again because we have eternal life in Jesus.

I realize I said it before, and I was wrong, but I will say it again regardless. I seriously doubt after this one, that I will get any other tattoos. My moms memorial and the word “Adventure” are the only things I have that mean enough to me to want them permanently on my skin. Other than scripture, but there are so many verses I would like to have and just not enough pain tolerance/money/skin that is easily hidden to go around. I am enjoying being a tattooed girl, but I want to also remain classy. ☺️

Anyway, just thoughts I had on my mind that I wanted to share.

Got some thoughts you want to add to that train? Please, feel free to comment!

Tattooed Girl

I CONCURED MY FEAR OF NEEDLES IN THE PRETTIEST WAY POSSIBLE!!

In case you didn’t read my previous post, this is a memorial tattoo for my mom, who passed away on November 22nd, 2014. This year was the three year anniversary of her going home to be with Jesus.

My desire is for my tattoo(s) to draw attention not to me, but to my hope in Jesus. To be conversation starters that open opportunities to share the gospel. My next tattoo is one that will be in celebration of the adventures God has taken me on by introducing me to so many amazing people these last three years.

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The “carbon” copy, aka, the stencil my tattoo artist drew and then transferred to my shoulder.

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For those of you who are, as of yet, ink free, here are a few things you may be wondering.

Does it hurt? Tattoos feel differently depending on where you choose to get them. I chose an area that is known to be one of the least painful places to get a tattoo. I would describe the sensation as having someone scratching you with the tip of a hot knife, not hard enough to break the skin, but enough to be annoying and mildly uncomfortable. It did not feel anything like needles. It felt prickly, hot, and eventually, kind of “fuzzy”. Once  I managed to focus on some distance thought and stop thinking about what it felt like, I drifted off into a calm day dream and didn’t feel much at all.

How long does it take? Depending on the skill of your artist and the size of your piece, it varies. From first touch of the needle to finial product it took about an hour and a half. My artist is very skilled and has 27 years experience under her belt. Do your research before you get inked. Your artist should be experienced, reputable, and have a lot of good word of mouth and online reviews. Find someone who has a tattoo from that artist and talk to them about it. Don’t rush into it. You’re going to have this image/phrase on your skin for life. Be patient and wait for just the right person to do the job.

Are they like potato chips, you can’t have just one? ….. Yeah. Kinda. Seeing as how I am already planning to get another one closer to my birthday. My other should is so bare, guys. Plus, I’m lopsided now. 😁

Any other questions? Feel free to comment. If you live anywhere near South Carolina and want to know who my artist is, shoot me a comment and I’ll send you her info. ❤️

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

So, it’s been a grand total of forever since I have blogged about… well… Anything. So, allow me to give you a brief update (be aware I did not read my last post and don’t remember what I have or have not already told you all) :

I am 24 now! *gasp* SO OLD.

I live in a house with a roommate and no longer in my childhood home or with my Dad. I have real adult bills like rent and utilities and renters insurance now. Yup. Life.

I am a COA, OSC (Certified Ophthalmic Technician and Ophthalmic Scribe Certified) now, as of Dec. of last year (so I am sure I must have told you this… hopefully.)

I am STILL SINGLE. Or really single now. As I was in a courtship with my best friend, who is still my best friend, who I am still madly in love with, but who has chosen to spend the rest of his life with Jesus and be celibate. (But still my best friend, because friendship should not end just because the courtship didn’t end in marriage, fyi.)

I have made a NEW FRIEND, who has the most awesome testimony ever and I love him dearly, he is super cool. He is an excellent adventure buddy. ^_^ In fairness I’ve known him for quite a while but only recently have gotten to know him really well.

As of Dec 2nd, I am getting my first tattoo! Japanese Cherry Blossoms, which symbolize the beauty and fragility of life, and “Matthew 25:21” beneath them, as a memorial to my mom. November 22 will be three years since she went to spend forever with Jesus. My tattoo artist has been doing her thing for 27 years (longer than I have lived) and is super mega skilled. I am stoked. And terrified. It’ll be great! Pictures to come once it is all healed and ready to be seen by the world.

Let’s see… Anything else? I have an iPhone now. That’s not really news. I joined the cult. I’m sorry. I regret nothing. I am enjoying it. Sorry, Android lovers. I was once one of you, but I have moved on to bigger and better things. 😛

Anyway, guys and gals, I really really am sorry I have left you all hanging. Since my courtship ended, I have had less that really inspired me to blog. Yeah, he’s still my best friend, but it’s hard. There was such a beautiful dream, such a precious love, and it is still there, it just cannot grow into anything else, and that’s hard. Please pray for us. Pray for me, that I am able to move on, and pray for my awesome guy, that he would change his mind and marry me. (Just kidding!!… sort of.) Okay, for real, pray for guidance for him, for clarity, and that both of us will continue to be lead by God into whatever future He has for our lives. And that no matter what happens, we remain close friends. His friendship is so valuable to me.

Alrighty, I must be off. But thanks for reading, and thanks for the prayers.

~TQG

One Flesh, and Reflections

So, tonight as I am listening to the rain and doing some reading in scripture, I thought I’d share a recent realization I had.

I was thinking back to some memories from my childhood, and my parents, and how they used to laugh and carry on, and I said, out loud to myself, “Man, I miss them.”

My dad is still alive. I see him at least once a week. It’s my mom that I miss… right? Then I realized… My parental unit was just that, a unit. Two people, yes, but joined together by God, one flesh.

6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

~Mark 10: 6-9

I still have my dad, yes. But, God took my mom home. And my dad is now joined with my lovely step mom, Polly. He is the same man, but also, different, his other half has molded and changed him and they have become their own unique unit. One that I admire and enjoy, but it’s not my unit. So I do miss them. I miss my parents. Both of them. I miss what they were, and what they meant to me as I grew up. Their marriage was not perfect, they had some struggles, but almost 25 years and they were still totally in love. I remember the day my mom passed away, we saw it coming. We watched her O2 levels drop.

70%

65%

60%

and my dad leaned down and kissed my moms forehead and said “Liz, I love you, dear. I love you. Stay with me. I love you.”

To her very last breath. Till death do us part. I pray that the Lord brings me a man who will love me like that. When I have nothing to give. My mom was too ill to cook, or clean, she was not able to be sexually available for him, she was barely able to put on her own shoes. But he loved her. And he painted her nails, and shaved her legs for her so she would feel pretty and feminine even though she was unable to go anywhere. He cooked for her, and cleaned, and brushed her hair. And he never once complained. He cared for her the way Jesus cares for us, His Bride. We have nothing to offer, but He treats us like we are precious, and irriplaceable.

I sometimes have nightmares about that night. The sounds the body makes when it literally suffocates are other worldly, and horrifying, and when those nightmares come they last for several nights. But on that night, without being invited, or told what was going on, no less that 6 close friends of my family came to visit my mom. As I was being ushered out of her room so the nurses could attempt to keep her breathing, my friends were walking in. One of them, my good friend Jese, stayed the night with me. Her awesome husband brought her pjs, and she slept on my couch, let me sit numbly without talking to me and was just… there. I didn’t sleep. I just sat. And I didn’t sob. I just let the tears roll down silently. In the morning she made me gluten free pancakes and vacuumed our house, and cleaned our kitchen, all of which had fallen to ruin during the week we had spent practically living at the hospital. She also arranged for a full course Thanksgiving dinner to be cooked for us, as this all happened on Nov. 22, 2014.

Since my mom was taken home, I have seen the fruit of my suffering. God has used me to reach out to people in ways that I would not have been able to, had I not experience this pain. Empathy is such a gift. Anyone can say I’m here for you. But when someone can come along side you, and cry with you, and feel your pain with you, that is truly a gift.

Anyway, all that to say, the marriage union is truly, miraculous, and beautiful, and the best picture of Christ’s love that we can find on this earth. And that is why Satan attacks it with such vigor. Kind of eye opening, isn’t it?

~TQG

Bragging on Bragg ACV

I moved recently (In January) and I now live within almost walking distance of a Kroger!

Yesterday, after getting off work, I stopped into Kroger and wandered vaguely through the isles. Suddenly, I found something WONDERFUL. Something AMAZING. Exactly what I had been looking for for AGES!!!

No, not a husband… *sigh*

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I had previously only found these on Amazon.com, and seeing how I had never tasted them, I didn’t really want to order a 24 pack and have them shipped to me for an outrageous amount of money. I have so far only tried the Apple Cinnamon one, and it is super good! Reminds me of tart apple pie. Apple Cider Vinegar has a lot of great health benefits. I use it in my hair, on my face, and to clean in my kitchen. But I had not yet found a tolerable way to drink it. Super glad I found a place to buy these in person!

To learn more about Bragg products, click here.

Fifty Shades

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that means Singles-Awareness jokes, lots of pepto-bismol pink, fluffy things, chocolate and, as TV adds, media, and probably your coworkers won’t let you forget, Fifty Shades Darker.

This post is to all my Christian followers, and those who are curious about Christian’s standards on entertainment. I will be the first to admit, I am preachy when it comes to this subject, but for today, I just want to offer some biblical advice to my Christian brothers and sisters who are curious about this series of movies/books and are trying to rationalize their way into going to see it.

I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.

~Psalm 101 2-4 (NLT)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

~Ephesians 5:3&4 (NIV)

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

~Psalm 119:9 (ESV)

Don’t tell yourself those rational-lies. Keep your way pure. Keep your heart and mind free of the sin of this world and pursue true, honest, gentle, and guiltless love. What you put in your mind effects you, fellow believers. Don’t give Satan a foothold.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

~Philippians 4:8

Need an alternative movie night idea? Here are two great titles! Both available on DVD.

“Old-fashioned”

“Priceless” (Available Feb. 14th on DVD)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let true love win the day!