Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome 2014

I've decided to make "avant garde" as my 2014 theme. Not only is it one of my favorite challenges on Project Runway, I love the synonyms for this word.

I feel like I've begun pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in 2013 and want to continue this avant garde way of living and thinking into this new year.  

I have also made a list of goals (resolutions) for 2014.  Hopefully I can stick with this list.

  1. Keep at least at 3.0 gpa.  Sounds simple but grades are just not a priority for me this time around.
  2. I have a hard time just sitting still- I would like to go to the reservoir (or somewhere similar) and just sit with Sally. Even if I only do this once it would be progress.
  3. Get up early at least one day a week for some me/God time. Also I won't be rushed and my day will hopefully be better because of this.
  4. Join a bible study-possibly rejoin my Redeemer group or check out the single girl's group at Fondren Church that a classmate invited me to join.
  5. Be more intentional with dating and what I expect from my dating life. Yikes...this might be the toughest goal.
  6. Go on at least three really good dates with a man or men that are worthy of me.
  7. Paint my house shutters, my bathroom and the guest room (trim included in this room).
  8. Have a dinner party at my house that would make Martha Stewart proud.
  9. Plant a vegetable garden on the side of my house.  Nothing big, maybe just squash or something simple for my first time gardening.  The worst part of this is going to be digging out all the weeds in this area of my yard.
  10. When I come to anything with my former married name on it, I will change it immediately. Procrastination leads to that name still hanging around after a year.
  11. The obligatory lose weigh resolution.  I'd like to get to my graduated school weight which is about 15 pounds lighter than I am now. Maybe I'll start wearing pants again if I can shed a few pounds. 
As for the blog in 2014, I will be doing something a little bit different in January.  I have been working on a series of 31 journal like entries that are extremely honest.  Some may even raise a few eyebrows.  Each day of January I will post one journal entry.  I hope you will enjoy!

Cheers to 2013 for all it was and welcome 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Goal Setting and Resolutions

I really enjoy setting goals and meeting them.  I feel more put together when I have goals that I am working toward. Even if the goal is something like not turning my heat on until December, I still feel accomplished. Which by the way for health purposes I did turn on my heat at thanksgiving when my thermostat read 56 degrees. 

New Years resolutions are right up my alley. My former roommate, Lindsey and I would hang up a list of resolutions in our apartment. We even decided to set a theme for each year. It started when Lindsey decided her theme in twenty dime would be "babies". You will have to ask her about the meaning behind that theme ;)  This past year my theme was "edgy" and "bible". Edgy because let's face it, 2012 was not a great year and 2013 was all about stepping outside my comfort zone and being edgy. And then bible because I wanted to read through the entire bible which is something I have never done. I made it about to June on the read through the bible in a year suggested reading schedule. Maybe next year I will read the other half? Maybe. 

I sat down to make some goals for 2014 and realized I needed to make a resolution to finish before the new year. That is get rid of all things "Archer" (my married name) that are still hanging around. Simple but difficult. I ordered a new credit card with my real name, I changed my name on my paycheck, I changed passwords and key codes that were Archer related. And it feels good but weird at the same time. 

It was easy for me to change my name when I got married. I was an excited newlywed. It was not easy to change my name back. There was a lot of emotion tied to that name and I guess that is why it's taken so long for me to change everything. I'm sitting in my sunroom with my newly activated credit card that displays the name Mary Kendall Land. It's strange to think that I won't ever sign Mary Kendall Archer again, like I have been every time I've used the old card this past year. It's strange to not type in mka when I log on my computer. These little remnants of my former life are gone just like my former life left me a year ago. I'm feeling bitter sweet in this moment. I wish you could see the way the sun is flooding in this room creating shadows across my body. It's a really beautiful moment for all that it is, bad and good. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I Need A Rest

This week I'm studying pain medicine in pharmacology. I guess I haven't gotten to section of my book that cures the kind of pain I've experienced. The above quote is from my textbook. It is in the section called "severe pain" and refers to physical pain. But it might as well be in the section of the book about psychological issues. 

I am tired of hurting. I am tired of feeling like I can't catch a break. And the longer I hurt, the more aware I am of my pain. I can't ignore it and honestly I'm tired of dealing with my emotional hurts. I need a rest. 

Often over the past couple of years I've found myself screaming out to the Lord, "Where is my relief, my rest? When do I get a break from hurting?". I spent a long time in prayer yesterday praying for myself and for a close friend going through a particularly rough time. A lot of my prayer just asked for a glimpse of the light in the midst of what seems to be such a mess. 

So when I saw that quote in my book I had to share it. It is the words that I've wanted to say but couldn't write myself. Funny how a pharmacology text book can bring out so much emotion in me. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Same Yesterday and Today and Forever

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Growing up in a Christian environment it has been ingrained in me that God is unchanging.  God is always there and always the same.  His love is unchanging. 

But what does this really mean for me? How does this relate to my day to day life and struggles?

Lately I've been in somewhat of a valley with my faith.  Last spring I was on a peak and shouting from the rooftops the joy of the Lord.  Today I find myself questioning everything, often wondering what is the point.  Where is all this faith stuff going?  Scary thoughts, huh?

A friend sent me a link to this post over on A Deeper Story that really got me thinking about the fluctuations of my faith. Thanks, Addie Zierman for this quote that basically sums up my current state of mind.
"God is unchanging, steady, forever. But faith ebbs and flows. It shatters and is reassembled. You are on fire for God and then the fire burns out and you are left angry and ashen and cold. It’s a road. It’s a journey. It’s a pit. It’s a paradise."
In a world where one day everything is roses and the next there is nothing but darkness, thank goodness we can count on a God that never changes.  People are fickle. The boy you like all of a sudden quits calling, your best friend sends you a mean text message, your mom misunderstands your feelings about family holidays...and on and on.  It's hard for me to trust people.  I've been burned by relationships with people a few too many times to fully trust anyone at this point in my life.  Almost to the point that I question my trust in God.  But thankfully we have the promise that God never changes.  He loves me today and tomorrow.  He works all things for the greater good forever and always.  Thank you, Lord, that I can count on that.  And while my thoughts on God may ebb and flow, His thoughts and intentions for me will never change.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In a Manner Worthy of the Gospel of Christ

Today I am reminded of a very special girl in whom I have the utmost respect.  Her story is not mine to tell but I will say that she has shown the kind of courage that most of us can only image.  This post is inspired by her strength and her commitment to trust in the Lord no matter what challenge may come.

It is no secret that I have made a lot of mistakes on my journey.  I made some very big mistakes and ultimately ended up divorced.  I haven't always been proud of the way I conducted myself but I will say that I can hold my head up high today because of my actions this past year.  When JG left I faced a lot of tough decisions.  Should I grant him the divorce?  How can I continue to trust in God when he is allowing this to happen to me?  How should I treat JG, his family and friends?  What do I need to do to make things right between us?  How can I live with myself once this is all over?

If you have read my blog before you know that I took a particularly long time to grant the divorce.  You also know that I fought the divorce despite even my own parents telling me to sign the papers.  I knew I had to live with my decision about my marriage for the rest of my life.  I knew that I had to make a decision based off of me and not what anyone else thought.  Yes, I do think at the time it caused some unnecessary pain in prolonging the inevitable.  No, I do not regret that.  I stood up for what I truly believe down to my very core.  I believe that marriage is set apart by God in such a sacred way that it should never be broken.  I feel that Christians give up much too easily on marriage.  Divorce should never be an option in a Christian marriage.  As Christians we should live our lives differently....even when we make mistakes.  We are a body of Christ that should be able to come clean to the Lord and each other.  We can own our sins and still show our love of Christ through the way we handle our mistakes. As Christians it is so important that we be able to stand together and share together even when mistakes are made. That is exactly what the very special girl I mentioned earlier has done.  And that is what I hope I have somehow been able to show through the way I handled my divorce.

Since JG left I have started seeking the Lord harder than I can ever remember.  I live every day with the intention of furthering His Kingdom.  While I am a sinner and I committed huge grievances against my ex-husband, I have found a way to look at my self in the mirror and be proud.  I found that through Christ.  When I see my ex-inlaws I can look them in the eye because I know I have conducted myself in a way that is honorable.  When I think of my ex-husband I feel compassion because of the strength I find in the Lord.  If nothing else comes from my story, I hope that someone else will see the strength the Lord has given me and be able to conduct themselves in "a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."*  That strength is what my very special friend has inspired me to strive for everyday.  No matter what your story or what your past what really matters is who you are and what you do with your story.

*"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel." Philippians 1:27

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Day That Changed My Life

365 days ago my life changed forever.  My path took a turn I never saw coming.  It was the worst day of my life. Yet somehow all these days later, I am grateful for the sharp turn in my path.

I came home on Sunday, October 21, 2012 from a weekend with my two best friends in Birmingham.  When I got home my husband wasn't home.  It was around lunch so I thought he had gone to get something to eat.  A quick call got his voicemail and a text got no reply.  That is when I noticed our laptop was gone.  So was the computer bag.  And so was his suitcase.

Now, we had more than our fair share of difficulties in our marriage of barely a year but never had either of packed up and with not so much as a word or indication of leaving.  We had not even seen each other in 3 days.  How could something go wrong when we weren't even together?

I called my mother and calmly told her I thought John George had left.  I remember her asking why and me explaining about the missing items.  That is when she interrupted me saying that his mother was beeping in on her phone.  We ended our call and I very nervously waited to hear why my mother in law was calling my mother.  My mom called back soon and said that JG's mother was calling to pass along the message that he had left me and could my mother pass the message to me.  Yes, seriously!  That is a true story.  That is just how it happened. 

I don't really remember much about the rest of the day.  My parents who thankfully live only 20 minutes away immediately headed to my house. I remember crying.  I remember finally getting JG on the phone later that night.  I was sitting in my beautiful walk in close that the two of us had so lovingly planned and constructed.  I was crying and confused.  I don't really remember the conversation but I do know he said he just needed time to decide if he wanted a divorce or not.  I never knew that day where he was or who he was with but I did know he was gone.

My life changed forever that day.  The perfect life I had dreamed of for so long was gone.  It was taken from me.  I didn't get a choice.  It's all still so confusing to me.  How can I today be so grateful for a life that came as a result of a divorce?  I am not grateful for my divorce yet I am so grateful to not be bound to that man and that life for the rest of my days. 

Two remarkable things happened today that reminded me of God's presence. The first a text from a loving friend. The second being an unpaid bill at the dentist. 

I woke up to an encouraging message from a sweet friend that I haven't seen in quite a while.  She told me she was praying for me today.  At the time I did not realize that today was exactly a year since JG left.  I just thought it was another day.  Which honestly it is.  Later on in the day I did the math on the calendar and was struck by how important it was to have someone praying for me today.  How awesome is God?

I also went in today to have a cavity filled. I was informed that I had an outstanding bill from 2012.  A bill that JG had told me he paid last fall.  Come to find out he only paid the portion of the bill that was for his dental services.  At first I started to tear up.  How can he still be such a jerk "from beyond the grave" of our marriage?  Its like my married last name that seems like it will never fully go away.  And then as I'm texting my mother about the bill, a really calm feeling came over me.  I realized that I am free from the man who treated me like I wasn't even human.  I'm glad it wasn't my choice.  I would have held on forever to my marriage.  I truly believed and still do believe that God can do anything, including save my former marriage.  Now do I think He will save my marriage? No. Do I want Him to save my marriage? This I feel bad for saying but the answer is no. Stranger things have happened though so I'm just going to keep living each day as it comes with my eyes on My Lord and Savior.

So today I am grateful for the worst day of my life.  It had to happen to get me to the person I am today.  I was dropped flat on my face and my world turned upside down but through it all God has been faithful. He has never left me even in my darkest moments.  Thank you, Lord and Father, for your many many blessings.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


No less than 4 of my Facebook friends had babies today. And that is counting the husband and wife as just 1 friend. I say no less than 4 because every time I open FB there is another bundle of joy in one of those white blankets with the pink and blue stripes. Who knows how many more newborns will show up on my newsfeed before the night is over? I really do think it is such a wonderful blessing from God to know four people who welcomed healthy babies into the world today. So to celebrate I'm having an appetizer of popcorn along with my new favorite drink, a port and lemon, while I wait for my spaghetti to cook. 

If you haven't heard of a port and lemon you should. I first tried it at The Apothecary in Fondren. After a little Google research I learned that this is the drink of choice for elderly women in the UK. This actually makes me like it more for some odd reason. The recipe calls for Port (I substitute a cheap bottle of red wine) and soda water with lemon (I substitute 7-Up).  It is delicious! 

So congratulations to all my friends and their new adventures in parenthood! But for now I am quite happy to eat popcorn and spaghetti for dinner while drinking my glorified wine spritzer!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Most Southern Place on Earth

If you google "the most southern place on earth", your results will all be about the Mississippi delta.  Who wouldn't want to claim "the most southern place on earth" as home? 

The past two weeks I have been doing clinical in the delta.  The Rolling Fork area to be specific.  I loved it. I loved working with kids in the schools there but I also just loved being in the delta.  It has been a while since I have been "home". Just the feeling of riding through what most people would call nothing is soothing to me.  I honestly had forgotten that Jackson is a big city.  I'm literally never not surrounded by stuff....buildings, houses, hospitals, people, traffic, STUFF! I think the Dixie Chicks were on to something singing about Wide Open Spaces.*

I grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi.  And I will argue with anyone that the Mississippi delta is the classiest place on earth. I'm a girl who loves tradition and the delta is full of that. **  Greenwood and the delta will always be my home.  About a year and a half ago when my parents decided to move away from the delta I was anything but happy.  Why would they ever want to leave the delta? Why would they want to leave the home my brother and I grew up in? Why would they want to leave Pillow Academy? Pillow is the school where both my parents worked while I was growing up.  Pillow is a huge part of Greenwood and while growing up Pillow was our life. I'm fairly certain my brother and I never took a picture before the age of at least 10 without some kind of Pillow paraphernalia.***  We even named our favorite dog after the green and gold(en retriever) Mustangs.  So the last thing I wanted was for my parents leave Pillow and Greenwood for MRA and Madison. 

Fortunately, they made the move despite my protests.  Yes, fortunately.  My parents only thought they were moving for a job.  Little did we know they were moving just twenty minutes from my house about two weeks before the most difficult year of my life took place.  It's one of those times that you realize God is in complete control and that his time truly is perfect.  I have no idea what would have happened over the past year and a half if they had not been close enough to drive to my house in the middle of the night.  I can tell you that I know I would not be any where close to where I am today without them so close. 

So now a year and a half after my parents became (sigh) Madisonites I could not be happier with their move.  My mom and I were able to go shopping this afternoon and have dinner.  On a Wednesday night! There is this parody of Taylor Swift's song I'm Feeling 22**** called I'm Feeling 32.  It's hilarious.  There is a line in the parody that says something like, "I think I'll call my mom.  She's a really cool lady".  It's pretty true of my incredibly blessed life as it is today. 

By now I've almost gotten used to not going home to Greenwood.  But I do fully intend to one day live in the Mississippi delta again.  It's just home and as you all know "there is no place like home".
* And yes that probably dates me. My cousin asked me to go to a Hunter Hayes concert and I had to do a google search to find out who that was and if Hunter was a boy or girl. Yeah, you are only as old as you feel, right?
**It's full of some other things too but no need to discuss that.
****See, I'm hip.
***Proof there are no childhood pictures of us without the presence of PA:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Where I Lost My Sunglasses

I'm in Starkville for the weekend visiting my long time BFF Nikki. I love being in Starkville. It is a very special place for me. What I do not love is the drive between Jackson and Starkville. For the most part it is two plus hours of nothing. With the exception if Louisville and its two gas stations that fall about 45 minutes outside of Starkville. I prefer the Chevron that is on the side of town closest to Jackson. I've probably stopped there 4 out of every 5 trips to and from Starkville. And as of November of last year it will probably always be known to me as "where I lost my sunglasses".

These were my favorite sunglasses, limited edition RayBans that I had actually managed to keep up with. And yet somehow on a late November night a year ago I drove away from that station without my precious glasses. I was headed home to Jackson after a football weekend and running on fumes coming into Louisville. So of course I pulled into my favorite station. Now by this time in my marriage separation our checking and savings accounts had been drained. There was just enough left to keep them open. Like $20 left. (But that is another story.) We did still have our joint credit card that was only used for gas and groceries. So I wasn't worried about being able to get gas that night...until my card got declined twice at the pump and again when I tried it inside. Yikes! I had spent all the cash I had that weekend and had nothing left. It's nine at night and I'm 45 minutes away from anyone I know. I try calling the credit card company only to be told my account had been cancelled with the message to suspend the account due to divorce. So I used my debit card to pay for my gas. It was my only option. I felt like I was in some bad Dave Ramsey story. "Mary is broke and going through a divorce. Even though she only has $20 in the bank, out of desperation she fills her tank with $40. Mary let stress cause her to make an unwise financial choice." Honestly, Dave, Mary's husband cancelled her card without letting her know. So boo on you! 

It was a low moment. And somehow my sunglasses that were sitting on my front seat got knocked out of my car and I drove off never to see them again. Sad ending to a sad story. But really that isn't the end. Because I didn't let that awful night or any of the other awful nights that were to come ruin me or control me. I took control of my life. I worked two part time jobs the next six months until nursing school started. I opened my own bank accounts and credit card. I become my own woman. I like to think of myself as kind of like Jennifer Lopez in the movie Enough. That woman did not let her husband ruin her. In fact she trained like crazy, became a complete badass (excuse the language but if you have seen the movie you know what I mean) and got more than even with her husband. Now I'm not trying to train to beat up my ex. Nothing like that. I don't have any desire to get even or back at him. Honestly I think where I am today as a person is revenge enough if that was my goal. But anyway.. back to how I'm like J Lo. I am without a doubt stronger than I ever knew I was capable of. With much thanks to the ex actually or maybe thanks to the way I learned to respond to some bad times caused by him. It feels good to know I took an awful situation with much help from The Lord and became an overall better person. Today and everyday I seek to glorify him. My divorce could have destroyed my life but it didn't. It made who I am today. 

I'm closing with a verse I often feel is over used but tonight it seems to have meaning I never realized before. I often see this verse pertaining to some sports team or being used by a student struggling with a class. But for me I know without a doubt I can do all things with him. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Little Something I Read Tonight

This school thing has actually started to be time consuming.  Its really cutting into my blogging efforts.  I do have lots of updates coming soon though, including kitchen pictures!! In the meantime, I stumbled across this blog on facebook tonight and it had me in tears.  Tears of heartbreak for this family and of awe at God's greater plan for our lives.  His power just overwhelms me sometimes.  This is such a great testimony to trusting the Lord and finding joy through him.  My momma and I were talking at lunch about how even though God has the power to change any situation he does allow things to happen.  Even things that seem impossible to have any joy or hope in them.  So read this blog and I hope this family will inspire you as much as they did me!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Safe Place

There is so much bad in this world. The reality of the corruption that surrounds us all is quite unsettling. It's hard for me to truly take it all in honestly. I spent some time in prayer earlier tonight and each time I thought I was coming to an end, I would circle back around in order to prolong my prayer. I finally started talking to God about how much I didn't want to stop praying. I just feel so safe in my quiet time with God. It's in this time that I feel most hopeful for our world. I get such an overwhelming peace through prayer that I don't want to break it. 

How truly blessed are we as Christians that we have a direct line to our Lord whenever and wherever? 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TV Can Be Lonely

Breaking Bad premiered this past weekend. I started watching Breaking Bad with my college boyfriend. I watched the middle seasons of BB with my husband. And now I'm watching the final season on my own. Funny how one little television program that I never would have watched if it weren't for the men in my life can bring up such strong emotions in me. 

I'm rewatching the last episode of the previous season right now. Got to get prepared to watch the season premier later tonight! I'm watching alone. Not that I consider this a bad thing. It's just different. 

Ask and You Shall Receive

I am not good with money. I like nice things and as you know, nice things cost money. More money than not quite as nice things. 

For the first time in my life I am living on a finite budget. I've made budgets in the past but never had success with sticking to them. So now after my first summer living on a finite amount of money, I am faced with a huge reality check. I need to actually stick to a budget. And when I say budget, I mean a realistic budget. A budget that doesn't have a category for Kate or Tory (fashionistas, you know who I'm talking about). Last summer when I quit my job to go back to school JG and I made ourselves a budget. It lasted one month. It also had a $200 category for the liquor store. I can't even begin to start on the flaws of that "budget".  

Are you beginning to see my dilemma? That comfortable life that inspired the name of my blog is presenting yet another problem. Or rather I'm starting to feel uncomfortable in another area of my life. And I love it! 

Thankfully I have a good friend who practices some of what Dave Ramsey teaches. She provided me with tons of helpful information on how to live on a budget. The last week of july I spent hours getting my finances ready for what I knew would be a trying month. Just how trying I did not realize...

On July 29 I was informed in a school meeting I had to buy a $400+ computer program within the week. My budget was busted before the month ever started. Feeling defeated I returned home with the plan to put the purchase on my credit card and hopefully pay it off by the new year. God had another plan. I had prayed a lot about getting my finances to a place where I felt comfortable and could still manage to save a little. I came home that day to an $800+ check from an overage on my escrow account. Yes, yes in deed I did! "Never have I ever" had an unexpected $800 delivered to my front door. I was able to buy the computer program plus had some to save. Ask and you shall receive!

That was not my last trial of August. Once all my loans came through I was still over $300 short on paying my tuition. Which is disheartening not only because of the lack of tuition funds but also because I was expecting to have a nice refund to keep from having to dip into my savings for a month or so. I kept this to myself for a few days and then confessed my lack of funds to my dad this past Sunday night. My parents will always help how they can but I desire to be independent. They do so much for me already. In the first true fit of anxiety I've felt since starting nursing school I went to visit with the UMC financial aid office today. And what do you know but there is a rather large loan payment that has not been credited to my account yet. A loan payment that will be completely forgiven after I work for two years in Mississippi. A loan I had no idea I had been offered. A loan that said trust Him and He will provide. 

Living by faith and not much else is a very new way of life for me. I know I still have half the month of Auguat left but I am encouraged. I feel uncomfortable yet totally protected from harm. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What I Have Been Reading...and my guilty pleasure tv

I've gotten on a huge reading kick lately.  Google search: fiction divorce book. Several reading lists later I came across Gone Girl.  And then once I finished that, Amazon recommended Before I Go To Sleep and The Silent Wife.

I loved Gone Girl.  It is about a woman who frames her no good husband for her own murder.  I must admit that it took it me until I go to about 90% through the book to feel like the wife was the bad guy. I'm going to chalk up me siding with a sociopath to my current post divorce revenge state of mind.  Not that I actually want to get revenge but I do love to daydream of printing the secret Archer family mint julep recipe in the Delta Democrat (Greenville newspaper/small town where JG is from and parents still live).  Did I mention that the recipe is hand written on his mother's stationary and says "welcome to the family"?  Now that I am admitting this I officially can't act out this revenge.  Or I guess I will be the number 1 suspect if I do this.

Before I Go To Sleep, also a good book.  A 50 First Dates kind of book.  A woman wakes up every morning with no memory of the past twenty years or so.  She remembers nothing about her husband and forgets him every night when she goes to sleep. She finds a hidden journal instructing her not to trust her husband. 


 And lastly The Silent Wife.  This was my least favorite of the three.  But still it was a good read...if you check it out from the library.  Don't pay for it.  You find out in the first chapter that the couple isn't actually married.  They have just been living together for twenty years. Maybe I am just too traditional but that kind of ruined the story for me.  I just don't relate to that lifestyle.  Anyways, the book is about a man who has an affair and his wife plots his murder.  The writing style is just a little dry for my taste.  Its very straight forward.  Although I do like the "wife's" sense of style and her classy nature.

So are you sensing a theme in my reading choices?  All part of the healing process, right?

And just because HBOgo is the best thing since sliced bread....I'm obsessed with Big Love.

I am about half way through season 4 and will probably finish by next week.  I currently love Margene and Nicki.  I currently dislike Barb and Bill.  Barb is so boring.  Does anyone else watch Big Love? I'm told the ending will blow my mind.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Room A Day: day 2 & 3

I'm still doing good with my room a day challenge. The house is at least looking cleaner. I haven't done much additional unpacking so nothing is really decorated yet. But I did have time to work on the cabinets in the butler's pantry. They aren't perfect yet but I'm liking the over all look. Just a few more small tweaks and I think I will be satisfied. 

I'm using my everyday dishes in here and saving the fine stuff for the china cabinet. 

I'm also still working on what to do with the serving part of the buffet area. There are cloth napkins in that copper piece. I've been using them instead of paper. Not really because I'm into being green but more so because I haven't gone to buy paper napkins. I actually really like using cloth napkins. It makes me feel fancy even when I'm just eating frozen pizza! 

Here is the other side of the room. Work in progress for sure. But honestly this house is so cute it doesn't take much to make it look good. Thank goodness!

This next picture is only to prove I actually cleaned up the dining room. It in no way reflects what the finished product will look like. It's got tons of potential though! 

Fun story about this room. I had professionals come in to paint the walls and ceilings. I love the cream on the walls but the ceilings were a bummer. I wanted blue but picked the wrong shade. So after having professionals paint, I spent an entire afternoon re-painting the ceilings. Out of sheer laziness I didn't want to go get the paint remixed so I just dumped my bedroom paint color into the original ceiling color. I like how it turned out. Subtle blue and very warm. 

So that is it, day 2 and 3 complete and two more rooms at least straight and clean!


Lately, things have been difficult for me. I've been in a depression that I just can't seem to shake. I'm struggling with moving forward. For a marriage that lasted such a short amount of time I feel like I should have moved on by now. I'm frustrated that it still hurts so bad. How can I have been doing so well and moving on with my life so smoothly only to be hit with this "set back"? There is just so much to process. I may never get finished processing my feelings.  

Lately it has been John George that I have been processing. Enough time has passed that everything of the past year seems much less dramatic than it was at the time it happened. I miss him. While I have been mad at JG at times I've never felt like I couldn't forgive him for anything that has happened. I struggle with how to feel about him. Part of me just wants to cry out to God to save our marriage. That part of me that I have been told is naive. That hopeful part of me with child like faith. If I'm really honest with myself, I do still hold out hope that JG and I will reconnect. And while I do think its never futile to pray for the reconciliation of my marriage, I know it's not necessarily the most healthy prayer for my recovery. So how can I move forward while still continuing to love JG? It's hard to even pray for his well being without getting over emotional. 

Mark 10:9 is really hitting me hard. "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." ESV

Just because the state of Mississippi says we aren't legally married doesn't mean I don't still feel that connection with JG. And the connection I feel is much more important than what Mississippi has to say about my marriage. My feelings of connection come from God joining us together in front of all our friends and family almost two years ago. I really meant that vow I took. I'm just not sure how to go forward with these feelings. 

I try not to think back on the mistakes that were made over the past year that led to my divorce. I definitely was the instigator in starting our troubles. I couldn't get along with JG's sisters and I took out my anger on them. It's hard not to look back and see how even tiny little things could have prevented all of this. But then again would the problems of my marriage have come along regardless?  As much as I wish I could change some things it's fruitless to think that way. And I honestly don't want to go back to being the person I was last summer. I love the "new" me. I love the way I view life now. I love my relationship with The Lord. I would never want to go back to that person I used to be. 

So what do I do now? How do I go forward? When I pray, I don't know what to pray for. I'm asking God to give me wisdom on what to do because I certainly don't have the answers. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Room A Day

The house has gotten a little out of control. I'm a huge procrastinator so most of the house has not been unpacked. My goal this week is to get a room a day cleaned and organized. I started with the kitchen. I'm pretty much done with my makeover to the kitchen. You have seen the countertops and I've also updated the cabinet nobs by painting them silver. This weekend I finally got around to painting the chalkboard wall in the kitchen. I really like how it turned out!  

The old ironing board cabinet makes a great spice rack. I bought this little bulldog bottle opener back in October but never got to use it in my other kitchen. And then the fridge is updated simply because I covered all the scratches and paint marks with pictures. 

Have I mentioned Sally has her own door in the kitchen? It's the most expensive thing I've bought since I moved in ($150!?!?) and the little "princess" won't use it. She actually won't even go outside by herself anymore. So rotten!

And then lastly, the laundry room is also part of the kitchen so I figured that was included in today's room organization endeavor. It was pretty gross. I bleached just about everything in this tiny closet including the inside of the washer and dryer. I'm not sure how something that's main purpose is to clean can get so gross. I'm pretty proud of how well everything fits now. 

Day 1 of "a room a day" challenge is complete and a success!

Monday, July 15, 2013

First Room Completed!

The sunroom has quickly become my favorite room in my house. It's the perfect Sunday afternoon reading/napping spot. I just love it. And since its the smallest room in the house I decided to tackle it first when it came to decorating. 

This is how the previous owners had it decorated. It really did look good and fit with the house so well. It was just a little darker than I prefer. 

And here is the room now from the same angle. 

I painted the walls light blue and decided to take a leap by painting the ceiling a fire orange. I'm thrilled with the result. I promise I'm not trying to be artsy with this photo. I just wanted to make sure y'all got a good look at the ceiling!

My MeeMaw's antique rocking chair sits in one corner. 

And my Nanny's antique tea table complete with her tea cups sit on the wall opposite the daybed. She left me specific instructions to use that table with those tea cups on it. And she was right! It does look good! I also love how well this painting goes with the look of the room. I won it at a silent auction a few years back. Silent auctions are about the only way I can afford original artwork. PS look at the original door lock chain hanging at the top of the door. Character!

Here are a couple more pictures of the whole room. I just love the windows and the glass pane doors leading to the den and dining room. 

I realize I used "just love" an annoying amount of times in this post but it is true, I just love this room. It is modern and light yet very homey.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Self Protection

This is a difficult post. Hitting the publish button will be scary. I'm admitting some terrible things I've done and its hard. But I've always been open about my marriage and the mistakes I made. I want to be real. I want to be transparent and open my hurt and sins up to my fellow believers. So that we can be transparent together. 

Sometimes I think I'd like to cut myself off from all people. Wouldn't it just be easier to live an isolated life with no real relationships? That way I would never get hurt. I'd never feel the emotional pain that comes with being with people. I've been hurt so much this past year. Pain I can't even describe. The kind of pain that makes it actually seem like a reasonable idea to shut off all my relationships. Self protection. 

I know it's not reasonable to think a person will never hurt me or let me down. That is just who we are. We let other people down. Even the people we love the most, we end up hurting. We just can't help it. And inevitably those people we love the most will also let us down. 

I let JG down. I disappointed him in such a tremendous way that he chose to shut me out of his life. He felt he had to protect himself from any further hurt from me so he ended our relationship. Unfortunately this wasn't just a friendship or a dating relationship, it was and still is a marriage. A relationship bound by God. I often wonder that just because the law no longer says we are married does God say that? I honestly don't know how to answer that question. 

I did hurt JG. I didn't get along with his family and I hurt them too. And as a result I further hurt JG. I am an emotional person. I show my emotions in big ways. Especially anger. I hurt JG with my huge emotions. Yelling and slamming doors. Throwing things. I even once slapped JG. It is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I think if I could take just one day back, that would be the day. In fact I know that day I slapped him would be the day I take back. But none of us can rewrite history. We can only go forward with an effort to have learned from our past. To have learned from the hurt others caused us and the hurt we caused others. 

So while I sometimes wish I could just cut out all my relationships and avoid ever being hurt again, I know that is impractical. And probably not even possible. I've got to look to God to heal my pain and to give me the strength to forgive others. I must realize that there are relationships I have that are worth keeping despite knowing they will one day let me down. And there are people that love me enough to continue their relationships with me even though they know I will let them down.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cluttering My Life

I went this past weekend to the coast with Mallory. We stayed at her aunt's house where her aunt, uncle, three cousins and grandmother all live. Saturday morning while her cousin made me a waffle, her grandma was digging through a cabinet looking for the lid to a Tupperware container. The cabinet was clearly quite cluttered  with too many to count different shaped dishes and lids. And this is probably the strangest reaction to seeing clutter but it gave me this warm feeling inside. It made me think of my parent's house.  It's a home. A lived in home with lots of memories and love and the least important thing on anyone's mind is keeping the Tupperware cabinet organized. Btw...mine and JG's Tupperware drawer was always organized. What do you literary people call that? Symbolism?

For most of my life I've wanted to be perfect. To look perfect, act perfect, be perfect. As all humans do, I have failed. My life inevitably becomes cluttered with emotions and knick-knacks and the business of living. When I saw that cluttered cabinet all I could think is that I can't wait for my house to get cluttered. I can't wait to have lived in my house enough to make it a home. 

To my surprise when I returned from the coast my parents had unpacked most of my house. They are awesome. It was one of those moments when I couldn't even find the words for how grateful I was for them. I opened up drawers and cabinets excited to see everything in a place! And what do you know but I found my Tupperware (gladware, let's get real.. I'm cheap!) in a cabinet where it all just didn't quite fit perfectly. 

It's pretty organized but certainly not perfect. I like it that way. I like a little clutter. It feels a little more like home everyday. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

On the Lighter Side...

Believe it or not I do like to have fun!  And I have a lot of it! I feel like my blog is always so serious.  So here are some of the highlights from my past three weekends. I am blessed with incredible friends!

Mid-June I took a trip to Nikki's cabin on Smith Lake in Alabama.  A girl's weekend at it's best! And I got to use (try out) my nursing skills when Kristi twisted her ankle.  Definitely not the highlight of the weekend but I did show off my palpation skills.  :)  I'm so glad that  Nikki and her friends from Starkville let me be a part of this weekend.  You know the feeling of just being yourself? That is exactly how I felt all weekend.  I haven't been so relaxed in I can't even remember when!

Captain Nikki

Awesome to go wine glass.  Thanks, Katy!

Kristi, pre-ankle injury

Janna and Erica up front

June 28, I was honored to be a part of Katy and Dave's wedding.  Katy was gorgeous.  I actually teared up when I first saw her in her dress and all dolled up. The reception was fabulous.  Honestly, one of the most fun weddings I have attended! I stole a few of these from facebook...

Definitely having a good time!

And then to round out my busy weekends, I took a trip to the Mississippi gulf coast with Mallory to visit her family for the 4th.  Hamburgers, hotdogs, swimming pool, old stomping grounds, Edd's Drive In, reading not for school and the cutest little sixth month old there ever was! Plus we stopped in Magee on the way home for some gooood Mexican!

Did I also mention that he is the happiest child ever?

So that is what I have been up to lately.  Now on to week seven of nursing school and to study for test number twelve of this summer.  Bluh!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I used to date this guy, Fred (obviously not his real name).  I always loved that Fred had freckles on his eyelids. These freckles were small enough that you had to get fairly close to Fred's face in order to see them. I remember thinking back when Fred and I were dating that even if we didn't end up together I would still remember those freckles. It would be an intimate detail that I could store in my memory about Fred. 

Last night I started to think about John George (real name) and what I would consider his "freckles". What is that one intimate detail of JG that only I would know about or have paid enough attention to remember? I found myself stumped. I can't remember any distinguishing moles or scars. Nothing that only I would know. And now this may be tmi but all I could think about is this tiny benign cyst JG has that likely no one besides the two of us knows about and that he has bad acne on his bum. Isn't that awful? I'm trying to think of some sort of nostalgic detail to remember JG by and all I can think of are cysts and crusty pustules. (I couldn't resist using a little of my new nursing terminology!) And then I start just trying to remember his face and that too seems very distant in my memory. I know it is a good thing to feel distance between myself and JG and all of my memories of him but I'm reluctant to be distant. Distance means that this part of me truly is coming to an end. Everyday I feel less and less the stigma of being divorced and more and more just me.  But still it's hard to no longer feel like a wife. It's hard to let that feeling go. I might not have been that great at being a wife but I truly did love being a wife. I'm trying to embrace being just me. Not a wife. Not a part of another person.

So on this lazy Saturday night I propose a toast. A toast to memories fading and being replaced by new times. And here's to embracing independence and the life that God so graciously has given us. 

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Happy birthday to the sweetest little three year old ever, Sally Belle! 

She thinks she is the queen...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nightly Rambling Thoughts

I think a lot at night.  My thoughts ramble to subjects that I try to forget during the day.  These are my thoughts tonight. 

I expect too much from people.  Eventually everyone lets me down. Eventually everyone gets to a point where they just don't understand me and the way I feel.  There is no one who can meet my needs all the time.  I have such little faith in humanity right now. Humans are so self centered.  Such selfish creatures we are.  It disgusts me.

I don't even know how to not be selfish.  Does anyone? Probably parents.  Parents have to be selfless when it comes to their children.  And spouses should be selfless toward each other.  But that isn't always the case.  And maybe some friendships are selfless.  But I don't expect to find this.  Not to knock my friends.  Its just that we all have our own lives and priorities and we must be selfish to one person in order to be selfless to another.  Right? I don't know.  I just know that my faith in men is not what it used to be.  My hope for good in people is slipping through my fingers. I'm trying to grasp that childlike faith in humanity but the world has jaded me. 

I was told back in the fall that I was naive to the ways of mankind.  Well I guess I've been enlightened.  But I still just refuse to give up all that naivety.  I've just got to hold onto some kind of hope for people.  That we can be more than just our sinful, fallen selves.  That we can look outside of our broken bodies and learn to see Christ.  To really seek Him and let Him sanctify us as we travel this journey.  This journey that sometimes brings us to the point of no hope, only to remind us again and again that there is something much greater than us.  There is a purpose for our lives.  And that no matter how selfish we humans are and always will be, the Lord is not selfish.  The Lord is selfless and loves us perfectly.  He loves us the way that humans fail to love us. 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Be Thou My Vision

Back when I couldn't find the words to pray I would sing. Yes, you heard me. I, Mary Kendall Land, would sing. I like to believe its always a joyful noise to The Lord, no matter how great the noise. 

Sometimes there just weren't words to pray. I just hurt too much to say anything so I sang. I sang my favorite hymn. The hymn the congregation sang at my wedding. Be Thou My Vision. And as much as those words spoke to me before the past few years, they speak to me even more now. 

I haven't talked much about my friend, Lauren, but she is without a doubt my best friend. She is the friend that will still be there no matter what. The Lord knew what he was doing when Lauren gave me the tour of Lamar School the year my family moved there. We just clicked. She is the friend I have been through everything with. Literally everything. Heartbreak, first kisses, deaths, marriage, and now babies (Lauren not me).  I'm going to be an aunt. Lauren is an only child so I feel like I am first in line to be an aunt on Lauren's side of the family. Our friendship has been through ups and downs just as with all relationships. But at the end of everything I know Lauren is the person I can count on for anything. She texted me tonight to say she was thinking of me. That text came at the perfect time. I needed encouragement and there she was. Lauren's mother passed away earlier this year. And do you know why hymn was sung at Mrs. Charlotte's funeral? Be Thou My Vision. 

So now when I pray I still sing that hymn sometimes. And I think of my life and the turns it has taken but I also think of Lauren and Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Wayne and the turns their lives have taken. And I love them all a little more. Because "whatever befall, still be my vision, oh Ruler of my all." 

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Pursuit of Happyness

Every so often I get a stroke of insight into my own feelings.  Last night while laying in bed I saw a picture of exactly how I've been feeling. These are the notes I jotted in phone.

I realize that I have begun to wrap my happiness not in the marriage or in The Lord but I hinge the existence of being happy on never having committed the sin of the divorce. And that is not something that can be reversed. It happened. It is real. And all the "why me" and "I can't understand how this is my life" will never erase the past. Turning those thoughts over and over in my head only exacerbates my feelings of depression. How can I feel so sure of myself at times and then so totally lost at others? The facts and events of the divorce never change. That is a closed book. That part of my life is over and I can't go back in time to change that.

So here comes the positive self talk. (Oooo good therapy word.) Come on MK. You can do this. You CAN recover. You are recovering. And most likely are closer to being recovered than to the start of the process.

And maybe my heart will always break a little because of the way things played out. But maybe it won't. And even so marriage and staying married is not the reason I am here. I am here for God's glory. So I work with what I've been dealt or  more so the hand I've played for myself. And I work not toward remarriage or finding someone so I won't feel alone in a world full of couples, I work toward The Lord and His glory. So rinse, lather and repeat as necessary. Keep Him in mind in all things. And remind myself of this as needed.

Friday, June 21, 2013


I told you a while back that I was going to do some very inexpensive updates to my kitchen. Well I'm finally ready to update you on part 1 of my kitchen renovations. 

There honestly was nothing wrong with my kitchen countertops. But they also weren't anything to write home about. And in what I have started calling "the fancy house" I definitely needed to step up the game in my kitchen. So here is the before...

After A LOT of Pinterest research I found a blog post on faux marble countertops. I already had everything but the latex glaze and the sea sponges so this project literally cost me around $18. My blog inspiration said I would need a stiff drink to loosen up. Of course I had to oblige with Skinny Girl Margarita. So after two coats of primer and margarita in hand, I started faux-ing my counters. This is the result. 

Not too bad I think. Not perfect but also not worse than before. It was a little "gloppy" in some areas. And after three days of sanding I realized I would never get smooth countertops. So it was back to Pinterest to find a thick lacquer to cover the multitude of sins on my counters. And I found this magic stuff. 

It equals 50 layers of polyurethane and requires a propane torch. Sold! Also I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby so it only cost $19. Making this project still under $40. I also bought the propane torch which I'm sure I'll find plenty of uses for in the future. The best part is that in my slightly OCD mind I feared the propane tank would explode in my car in the Mississippi heat. So I carried it in my purse while I finished my shopping. I'm sure the good people of Illegal Burrito were questioning my sanity/intentions when I had to take the propane tank out of my purse to find my wallet.

The instructions say you have to work fast with this product. The instructions also say you need under 50% humidity for 72 hours for the product to properly cure. Does under 50% humidity exist in Mississippi?  I did this last Sunday night and as of Thursday morning there was still a certain sticky feeling to them. Especially the area right around the sink. I'll be out of town until Sunday and have decided that no matter what I'm going to start using the counters when I return home. 

This is the finished result. It's quite shiny. I think I like them. It's growing on me. 

Just to prove the extreme shine...and if you can't tell that is a gnat that flew into my counter while it was wet and now will forever be immortalized in my kitchen. 

My next steps in the kitchen are painting the cabinet knobs to a nice brushed nickel and having a chalkboard wall. 

So what do you think? Before, during and after.