Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Proverbs 3:5-6

Well, it's Tuesday, which means I only have ONE more day of my internship left, and I'm officially finished with my requirements of getting my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work!!! (It's been a great journey!) Everybody from work is taking me to Olive Garden for lunch, so I think tomorrow will be a fun day! This past Sunday was my bridal tea at church, and let me just tell you that Michael and I are blessed beyond measure when it comes to having friends and family that love us!! We now have his spare bedroom (which I had hoped would be a guest bedroom) filled with all the stuff we got from the tea....and I have nowhere else to put it!! We're going to go through it all little by little and use everything, and take back whatever we need to take back (like maybe 1 or 2 of the FOUR crock pots we got!) It's extremely exciting....I can't wait to get everything out and have his town house turn into OUR HOME! =)
We finished our last session of our premarital counseling tonight. Brother Hal did a great job of encouraging us, and telling us all the important things we need to know about getting married! Over the past 4 weeks of doing the counseling, I have fallen in love with Michael more and more, and realized ways to show him that love! (that's just a side note.) We talked with him tonight about how we want to join Calera Baptist, and I'm really excited about doing that when the time comes. Until the wedding is over, I honestly don't know what my life holds or how often I'll even be able to go to that church. But we both know that is where the Lord has lead us, and we are so ready to get involved and serve HIM there!

One of the things I've been learning and struggling with in life has been trust. It's pretty scary to me to not know what my life holds as far as work or wedding plans or where I'll live and everything over the next few weeks. Yesterday morning, I was talking to my mom while I was getting ready for work and she could just tell I was exhausted and upset. I told her I was stressed to the max, but I didn't want to be. As soon as I hung up the phone with her, I opened my Bible to Proverbs 3: 5-6. I have read these verses a thousand times and even have them memorized... "TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING; IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT." But yesterday, I read those words on the page as if it were God Almighty himself speaking them to me (isn't that how we should always be with GOD'S WORD?)
I realized that I have to trust! And when I go through life worrying and stressing over things, that is because I am leaning on my own understanding......and that's usually not very much! When I give up and say "God, no I don't understand You're ways, but I trust you" He then takes control and "makes your paths straight.".......what a promise.
So I've been grasping those words this week. You may not think that the things I'm going through in life are no big deal, and that's fine with me. I'm sure we all could think of things in our lives that are HUGE to ourselves, but not to anybody else.....that's ok too....it's life! I've trusted God with my job hunt (as i've said a thousand times before) and with wedding plans (they could make me go crazy if i'm not careful) and even with finances and just everyday small things! It's amazing how He gives peace. He promises us so many things in His word....but do we listen? Do we accept the things he offers??

TRUST in the Lord.....
lean NOT on your own understanding.....
He WILL make your paths STRAIGHT!!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where did you come from??

So I'm really not suppossed to be on here, not because I'm at work or anything, but just because I said I would take a break from blogger and facebook for the rest of this week. However, I have such an urgency to share with you guys what the Lord is teaching me! It's been so long since I have felt this close to the Lord. I'm not sure what exactly brought me to this point, could be a mixture of things going on in my life, and I realize now more than ever that I CANNOT get through one single day without first spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word!! So, this week I have done lots of praying, mostly about my job hunt, but also just about God teaching me and growing me....I have such a desire to grow right now! I'm so tired of just getting through each day, and not even realizing all the opportunities He gave me to share His love.
Yesterday morning as I was praying and preparing to study the book of Esther once again, I was just reminded of where I came from. God quickly reminded me that I am not different from any prostitue, murderer, adulturer, lier, cheater, hater, theft, slanderer, or the most horribly person you could ever think of. I was reminded that Jesus Christ dying on the cross was not just for me, but for every single person.....EVERYONE.....EVERY murderer....EVERY prostitue....EVER drunk...EVERY drug addict.......yet the only difference between me and those people is the single fact that Jesus' blood covers up all the things I have done wrong in life.
I am in tears as I write this, because I know there are so many out there who just don't think they deserve the love of Christ, or they may think that they have to get their life straightened out before they can accept His love. My friend, let me assure you.....we were NOTHING before He saved us. Listen to these words from 1 Corinthians 1

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Nobody on earth can say that they were something before Christ...and yet even now, we can't even boast in ourselves because we are still nothing without him....we all came from the same place, and that is sin!!
He called us all "out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9)
1 John 1:9 says "IF we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and just and WILL FORGIVE us our sins and PURIFY us from ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!"
What joy this verse brings to my heart. It does not talk of a God who reigns and just thinks about forgivig you, oh no!! This gives us assurance that he is faithful, he WILL forgive, but not only forgive....He goes beyond that and He purifies us! Do not EVER let satan tell you lies that you are not good enough for our God. He loves you and gave his life for you.
Christian, do not ever forget where you came from....we are no better than this world, no different except from the fact that we are saved from sin. We should be living as sons and daughters of a mighty King, yet we go back to our old lives so often! (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Be encouraged, live for the ONE and only.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

easter pics

Here are some of the pictures from Easter that I was talking about.... Alan playing with Musso, the whole family (minus Amanda) and then the family without the dog.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marvelous Grace!

Very quick update here, but I got TWO calls yesterday for interviews! I have one with Shelby Emergency Assistance Wednesday at 1:30......and the other is for the FOCUS job at Gateway, that interview is next Monday (the 27th) at 1:00!!!
I'm leaving it all up to the Lord.....like I said, HE knows what lies ahead, so why should I worry??

Michael is taking me to the Macaroni Grill and shopping tonight for my Birthday!! YAY!!
Beach trip plans are hopefully going to get in place, and we should leave tomorrow night! Exciting things are happening, and I'm learning daily that it's ALL because of HIS marvelous GRACE!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Need to breath!

I'm so ready to have time to relax! I mean, I know my life isn't as crazy as others, but it seems like I never get a chance to just sit and read, or watch tv, or take a walk, or ride my bike....or any of those things that I used to do ALL the time! I have 26 days until I become a college graduate, and 55 days until I become MRS HICKS! And all of this has really been hitting me here lately!!! I applied for that job at Glenwood (which is really with the Alliance and Gateway) and I also interviewed last week....however I haven't felt the peace that I was hoping to feel about it. I was extremely excited just to have an interview, but I think afterwards I have just felt a sense of fear and I don't know what to do if they offer me the job. That will be the hard part...I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I did feel better about it last night and today that I have the whole time. I've done A LOT of praying, trusting God, and waiting on the phone call. Of course if they don't offer me the job, my part is easy.....I just say "Ok, thank you" and begin the search again! ........soooo I wrote all of the stuff previous to this on Monday, and didn't ever get a chance to finish. Since my supervisor is out today, and I have a whole bunch of NOTHING to do, I thought I would finish writing! It's funny how things can change in just a few days! I got a call yesterday from the recruiter from Gateway, and she was telling me that she received my resume and asked if I would be interested in a job with their program called FOCUS. It's a program designed to offer intervention services to families in need....like when DHR gets involved and the parents just need help getting on track, or they just need some type of family intervention....that's what I would do. I told her that sounds perfect for what I'm looking for....and it's so true!! (ANYTHING is perfect and what I'm looking for right now!) But anyways, I talked with her for about 10 minutes, and she said that they would hopefully contact me soon to come in for an interview for that job. There is also ANOTHER job with Gateway that's a Consumer Credit Counselor. Pretty much I'd just be providing financial counseling to people and maybe doing classes and stuff about how to manage your finances. I think I'd REALLY like this one too....therefore, I'm sending in my application and resume today! YAY! I'll follow up on both jobs next week, and see where they go. I just really have a peace about everything. As scary as it is at times, not knowing what lies ahead....it's also extremely comforting to know that God already knows, so I shouldn't worry! When we worry, it's like telling him that we don't think he can take care of it! (what a blow to our creator!!) ....just a thought
So I wanted to post pictures from Easter on here, and I might later on...just don't have my camera cord here at work with me. I'll try and post them sometime soon. ANYWAYS, I have pictures of the adorable dog my parents go, his name is officially Musso (I think that's how it is spelled) but he's named after some Alabama football star from the 70s...go figure, my dad is an Alabama freak!!! But the dog is so cute, and lovable.......I think he's going to be mom's dog more than dad's though. For real, when I got there Friday, she was outside and I was like, "what are you doing" and she said "I'm going to go play with the puppy!" so she layed down on the ground and just let him roll all over her....it was pretty cute! Then like an hour later she was about to go back outside....just to check on him! I haven't seen my mom so excited about a dog (other than Lucy) since like EVER!!

Ok, on the other hand of things.....I get to go to the beach this weekend! I'm extremely excited!! It's a birthday/bachelorette/ just get away with the girls trip!!! My birthday is tomorrow, and Michael is taking me out to eat at my absolute favorite restaurant Macaroni Grill...he hates the place, but I love it!! I think he's taking me shopping to...not sure, but that's the way the hints are pointing! :) .....so back to the beach trip! Ashley, Lauren, Doerun and I are leaving Friday and heading to Orange Beach! I'm so excited because A. I haven't been to the beach in about 2 years! and B. I haven't been on a weekend trip with these girls EVER and C. I just need to get away....you know I need to breath!!

On a more random note, I saw a herd of buffallo today on my way to work. Right there in a pasture on the road coming into Columbiana....I didn't really know Buffallo lived in Alabama...guess I was wrong!!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

extremely random!

So I talked to my mom on the phone about 10 times yesterday. About the 3rd time she called, she said "I going to be living with Alan." I was thinking, huh? Is he moving back home or what? And she preceeded to tell me that she was getting something for dad and she hoped he didn't kick her out for it. Usually when mom says this, she is talking about how she's about to spend lots of money on something that he wants really badly, but just doesn't want to buy for himself, so naturally I was like "Oh, you're getting him that grill he's beeg wanting?" And she said "No, I'm not BUYING anything, just GETTING him something." I was like....um, a dog? And she said "yep, another Great Pyrenees!"
They had one last year from about November until August....her name was Chrimson, and she was BEAUTIFUL!!! I wish I had a picture of her, but just believe me, she was adorable! So anyways, some of their friends called and asked mom if she wanted to have one....and of course mom gave in!! So when I go home this weekend, I get to play with the cute 7 week old puppy!!! I'm so excited!
Last night Ashley, Doerun, Lauren and me went to see Benjamin Button at the dollar theater, that was fun....it was my first time to go there so I was pretty impressed! I thought it was gonna be like a hole in the wall thing, with like only 1 movie showing! BOY WAS I WRONG!!
Needless to say, I'll be back!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

God's plans, not mine!

Well, I just got back to work from my interview! It was at 10:30 and lasted about an hour, so that was a huge relief when it was finally over....I should hear something from them next week. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, I interviewed today for a Family & Child Specialist position with Glenwood....well I'd really be working at the Gateway Aliance, but it's all pretty much the same.
My prayer this entire time has been just for the Lord's will to be done. I know it sounds really exciting and everything, and would be amazing if I got this job, but if it's not what God wants, then I would be miserable! During my interview, they were talking about the case load and all the paperwork and home-visits and crazy work schedules, and being on-call every 3 weeks....and honestly I got a little overwhelmed! But I know that if God wants me there, that I will survive and He will use me. I'll update on that as soon as I hear back from them....one way or another!
On the other hand, today is WEDNESDAY, which means I get to see 3 awesome girls! (as you already know!) Lauren and I ususally go to bible study at Calera Baptist, but tonight, we're going to dinner and the dollar theater to see Benjamin Button! We'll be meeting up with Doerun and Ashley when they get off so we can begin our fun night together!
Wedding plans: I ordered the organza for the tables and stuff, and my lovely roomies helped me get out all 100+ of the tea invitations!!! (p.s. the tea is April 26th at Mt Vernon Baptist Church in Jasper!!) So that's a huge relieve just having that stuff done! I also email my addresses to Valerie for the Princess House shower that she's throwing me! It's April 25th! AND....Mallory and I sat down and got lingerie shower stuff together, and plans are rollign for that too!!
I can't believe that in less than 2 months I'll be Mrs. Heather Hicks.....what I've waited my entire life for! I wonder if I'll have a job, or where I'll be working?!? God has reassured me constantly that "the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day" (Psam 139 from the message translation) or as the NIV says "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Isn't that awesome!?!?!
I'll leave you with this passage of scripture.....psalm 119. Soak it in........let the Holy Spirit show you our Savior's Love for you!!!
How beautiful!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

another week down....

Well, today was church day...Sunday! Ashley met Michael and I there at Calera Baptist, and they had pretty much an Easter worship service. (more like a palm sunday service I guess.) I must say....the Lord showed up and He was lifted high!!! I haven't been that excited about singing praises to our God in so long! I felt like screaming and shouting at some points! Especially while singing The Revelation Song, where it ways "Clothed in rainbow, of living color, flashes of lightening, rolls of thunder. Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be, to You the only wise king!" (wow!) If you have never heard that song....listen to it HERE!!! The power of the Almighty One reigned down!
Well, as you all know, as soon as you feel so close to the Lord and are ready to just forsake all other, and live for him....Satan is right there to bring you down! There were just a few things that happened that got me in a tizzy today regarding the wedding, but with the help of my mom, maid of honor, Valerie, and especially my lovely fiance...it's all getting worked out!!!
I have a BIG week ahead of me: address and mail tea inviations, Class presentation, job interview, pick up my wedding dress.....ect. ect!!! Not to mention, girls night on Wednesday.....we're going to the dollar theather (I've never been!)
Well, hope you all have a great week....it's almost summer!

P.S. 2 months till our wedding!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Best day EVER

So, I sent in my application to 3 different places this week. One to Shelby Emergency Assistance, one to Gateway, and the last to Glenwood, Inc. I had planned all week to make follow up calls today with them, to just make sure they knew that I WANT A JOB BAD!! So, after sitting and staring at the number to Glenwood dialed in my phone and ready to call for about 10 mintues, I finally got up the nerve to call. When the lady answered, I told her who I was and said that I was just calling to make sure she received my application. She said she had, and also said that she had it set to the side, and had planned to call me to set up an interview for next week. I think I about fell out of my chair right then! So, we set up an interview for next Wednesday at 10:30!!! I couldn't be more excited!! REALLY!!!
Now to make this day even better, I have the most amazing fiance in the world, (who I haven't been able to get in contact with to tell him my good news yet) and I have my very first Shower tonight!!! Mom is meeting me this afternoon to shop a little, then we're going to Dorann's house for my shower!
Just had to share that with you!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

a whole bunch of nothing

Today has been one of those days that has flown by to begin with.....but now that there are only 2 more hours of work left, it's just slowly but surely creeping by! I'm pretty excited and ready to get off, because I get to see my favorite girls tonight!! I haven't been able to hang out with them (Doerun, Lauren, and Ashley) in about 3 weeks, and it's about time!!!
My brother is also suppossed to be bringing my laptop to me, and Michael and my engagement pictures!! YAY!

On the school side of things....I have 1 week to begin and finish a psycho-social paper and case summary and everything! I actually have less than a week bc Dorann (my supervisor) has to sign off on it Tuesday so I can turn it in Wednesday! I know I'll get it done....its my very very last assignment, and I couldn't be happier! Well, the only other things I have left to turn in is like my checklist, and portfolio and stuff like that, but at least I have no more presentations or papers.
That is none until Grad school. I've decided I'm going to go ahead and begin that application process and probalby start either in January or May or next year! The University of Alabama has an advanced program so if I start then, I'll graduate in May 2011!!! That sounds really crazy, but I think I can do it! I'm still on the job hunt! I had a dream last night that I got called for an interview, and it was set up for Sunday at 4! (yeah, how crazy is that?!?!)

Wedding plans? Where they're still going. There was a tad bit of a scare with the bridesmaid dresses, but it worked itself out! I thought I was going to have to start the pattern search all over, but the one we had turned out to be ok! They are going to be ADORABLE!
Michael and I are doing pre-marital counseling beginning tomorros with Brother Hal Warren. He is the pastor at Calera Baptist Church (where we have been visiting) and I think we're going to like him a lot.
After that tomorrow, Michael and I are going to take our wedding bands to Kays to be sized and cleaned and stuff! For those who don't know: I have his grandmother's engagement ring, and will be getting her wedding band that matches it. And Michael is going to be wearing his grandfather's (other side of the family) wedding band. I think that's special.....more meaningful!
THEn after that...we're going to the Cheesecake factory! yay!!!
Friday consists of a Pampered Chef party for me, which I am extremely excited about! And then Saturday Michael and I are going on a double date with Kendall and Ryan!! I think we're eating at the Cheesecake factory too, so that should be extra fun!!

Guess I could get back to "work"....l
It's funny that I feel bad doing stuff like this here, but then I think about it, and I'm like "They're not paying me!" But then I realize that I am being evaluated, and hoping they will contribute to me finding a good job SOON!!!!!!