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. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stones and Shoulders

Everyone tells me how good I'm doing. They say they are impressed with the way I've handled myself and how I seem to be coping so well. For a while I believed this too. But today I'm not coping well. I'm not handling myself well. I'm emotional. But is being emotional really a bad thing? That's what I've been conditioned to believe. 

I just feel so let down by so much. And it just hurts. I can't even think of anything elaborate to describe the hurt. It's a pain that lives inside me. And a lot of the time I just ache from the hurts. 

Obviously JG let me down. He wasn't the man I thought he was. But there is another hurt that is sometimes even greater than that. It is from the church I attended the past four years. I feel quite abandoned by the people of that church. The way that pastoral staff treated me is abominable. In my dark hours of need I was judged by that church like I've never been judged. I feel like the woman in John 8. (Since that particular woman was being judged for adultery let me add for clarification there was no adultery in my marriage. Nothing even close to anything like that by either party.) I made plenty of mistakes in marriage. I owned up to them and sought forgiveness with a truly repentant heart. I know I am not blameless but neither are the men who threw stones at me.  No one ever reached out to my from the church I loved so much.  They just listened to JG and judged me. The elders had multiple meetings where my marriage was discussed at length. Most of the men in that group have never met me or ever even uttered a word to me. Yet they felt they could judge me and discuss me and tell me what to do. 

The day after JG left I immediately called my church to set up a meeting with the pastor. I had grown to trust these people and needed their help. That's when I learned JG had already been talking to the church staff. They had already stoned me in their minds before I even knew my husband was leaving me. I reached out and got nothing. In the darkest time of my life I was actually told by an elder that there were bigger worse fires in the church and that is why no one reached out to me. I guess I just wasn't important enough to them. Once the church did try to meet with me three months had already passed. It was too late. The hurt and disappointment from them had been done. And they had only further solidified in their minds my guilt. I was also told that once the divorce was finalized they would talk with me again since I wasn't being completely truthful due to legal reasons.  Even more judgement. I never ever held anything back with anyone who asked. I was pretty horrified to find out a staff member had asked a close friend of mine recently if and when it would be ok for him to reach out to me. Well it would have been nice to have heard from you nine months ago. So yes this may ruffle some feathers. But that church let me down. And I've lost respect for that church and the men who lead it.

Today is not a good day for me emotionally. And I want to be honest. I want to purge all the hurt and just get it out of me. I don't want to burden others with my hurts. But today I am emotional and need a shoulder to cry on. I need my husband's shoulder. The one who promised me and The Lord he would always be there for me. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Yes, I spelled that correctly.  Deddy.  You know you are truly southern/country when you pronounce it "deddy" not "daddy".  And you might as well just move up north if you are going to say "dad" or "father".  I will admit that I do say "dad" from time to time but my earthly father will always be my daddy.  I'm 27 and still have him listed as "daddy" in my cell phone.  Whatever I call him, he is in my eyes the greatest man alive.

The thing about my daddy that has never ceased to amaze me over the past year is his love for me.  In a year that I have learned how fickle love can be, I also learned what unconditional love truly is.  I learned it from my parents.  Or rather I felt an unconditional love from them that cannot be explained, it can only be observed.

So this father's day I could go on and on about all the great things my dad does and how respected he is by everyone but I simply want to make it known to all that I love him more than ever because of his unconditional love for me.  I can't even begin to list all the ways my dad has been present for me this past year.  From packing my house, to sitting at the lawyer's office, to coming over in the middle of night because I can't stop crying, to fixing broken windows at my house, and making sure that I have money to not just eat but live comfortably, my dad has been a super hero this past year.  I'm sure it wasn't his plan to ever have me move back into my parent's house but he more than willingly opened his arms to me when I needed his help.  And he always told me his honest opinion this past year.  When I did something stupid, he told me.  My dad never stopped me from making my own decisions but always made sure I knew his opinion.  And while often times his opinion differed from mine, I am a much better person because of my dad's tough love.  Its that kind of love that shows me even more of how much he truly loves me.  I will never be able to repay him for the way he loves me and I know I don't have to because I am his little girl.

And thus I can't help but think about my Heavenly father.  Who somehow beyond what my small mind can comprehend loves me even more than my earthly father.  And I while I will never fully comprehend how much God loves any of us (and why He even continues to love me), I do get a glimpse of my Heavenly father's love of me through the way my earthy father loves me. 

 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

We love because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19

Happy father's day to earthy father! I love you

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Imaginary Friends

I had an imaginary lunch date today. I have an imaginary lunch date on most Thursdays. Her name is Mallory and I order her a water. Mallory doesn't eat. At least not at lunch. She is fasting at lunch time. Truth. 

Every week I have a standing lunch date with my very good friend, Mallory. She is my humor soul mate. Dry, witty and a certain amount of intelligence. I once had a dream that Mallory was having a baby and naming it Cayenne. She got really mad at me because it was pronounced "Michelle" and not cayenne as a normal person would interpret. I was mispronouncing it in the dream.  This about sums up Mallory to me. I believe that everyone has one story that perfectly describes then. When I told Mallory about my dream she went on to tell me about how she is "Mallory Cartwright" in the MC yearbook. Her real name is Mallory Carter but she somehow convinced the yearbook people you pronounce "Cartwright" as "Carter". This story is perfect Mallory. Totally unsuspecting hilariousness. 

So like most Thursdays I enter the Mexican restaurant alone. I get a table for two. I order coke for myself and water for my imaginary friend. I like to point to the empty seat across the table just to make it extra confusing for the waiter. Then the waiter brings our drinks and I order the Speedy Gonzales. As usual I let the waiter know my "friend" won't be eating anything today. And thus my standing lunch date proceeds. 

Is she real or a figment of my imagination? Who knows? I eat lunch with her weekly. Or do I? 

Yes, she is real. We speak mostly in acronym. We just get each other. So while most of my posts seem to have some moral of sorts. This is just to talk about friendship. Awkward, loving, so incredibly blessed friendship. Because God gave me friends like Mallory who get my humor, friends like Lauren who have been through everything with me and can pick up anywhere after any length of time, and Lindsey and Nikki and Katy and Elaine and on and on and on. #blessed

Monday, June 10, 2013

I'm Not Superstitious

....but I am a little stitious. If you've read my blog you have probably realized I have a dry sense of humor. The Office is for sure in my top five favorite shows ever. So I begin this post with a tribute you, Michael Scott. 

I do not now why but for the past four years this week has plagued me. Seriously, the week of June 10ish to June 15 has been a real bummer since 2009. 

Let's begin with this week in 2009. My long term and very serious boyfriend broke up with me. I was devastated. So much so that my closest friends say I responded worse to this breakup than my divorce. (Thank God for teaching me positive coping skills in the past four years.) And to pour salt in the wound the air conditioning died about five minutes into my hour and a half drive to my parents house immediately following the break up. The next day, Jill the Jeep went to the auto shop and never came back. Jill got me through four years of undergrad and two years of grad school. Her replacement, Jack, has just never really filled that void in my heart. So not exactly my best day/week. 

Skip to 2010, exact same day as the previous year's breakup (June15) and my boyfriend and I are calling it quits. Now I will have to say that this was not heartbreaking but still ironic. I sometimes forget/purposely don't include this boyfriend on my list of past romances.  I like to say I've had two and a half serious boyfriends. This guy was the half mainly because I feel it necessary to include someone I called my boyfriend at least every other week for a period of six months. (Btw the half boyfriend is at least a thousand miles away, married, has a kid and is no longer on FB. Nor do we have any mutual friends anymore. So I feel confident that I can casually joke about this relationship. He'd probably feel very similar.)

This week in 2011 rolls in with a bang. JG and I are engaged and have just purchased our house. It's time to paint and we have an epic argument. Actually I have an epic meltdown with his sister over where to buy paint. This honestly was the only time I ever even got slightly nervous about marrying JG. Not because of him but his family. Foreshadowing anyone? Now you may think just a fight is no big deal but when two years later it is mentioned in various divorce lawyer emails, I'd call it more than just a normal fight. 

Enter the infamous Archer family beach trip of 2012. Although according to JG's middle sister, Bibba, it wasn't an Archer family trip it was Ellen's (older sister from epic paint meltdown) beach trip because it was Ellen's idea for us all to go to the beach. Yes, I know, Ellen is a genius and was the first person ever to think of having a group go to the beach together. Do I sound a little annoyed? I'd call it more amazed by ridiculousness. But tomāto tomáto. In all seriousness this trip was truly the beginning of the unraveling of our marriage. It was the start of the absolute worst summer of my life and subsequently the worst year-ish of my life. I will definitely give more details at some point but just know this was not in anyway a pleasant week last year. 

So that brings us to present day. Like I said, I'm not superstitious. I'm Presbyterian for goodness sakes. We don't even say good luck.  Just do your best and do what God has predestined. Nevertheless I do slightly fear this week. Once at work I called a patient to let them (using non gender specific terms just in case) know their prescription had been sent to the pharmacy. I was informed by the patient's family member that the patient was dead. I feared calling patients about refills for at least a week. So I think it's reasonable to fear this week.  

What will this week bring in 2013? "Unlucky" 13. I do not know but I also know at the end of this week I will still be here. I'll still be working on myself, getting my life back together and learning to lean on The Lord for everything. I'll still have amazing friends and family. I'll be one week further from my divorce which means one week more healed. I'll also have week three of ten of summer school finished.  So bring it on week of June 10! I'm ready!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Before Pictures

A lot of people have been asking about pictures of my house. And of course I want to show it off! So here are some before pictures. It really doesn't need much work. Honestly, I probably don't need to paint because I already love the current colors but I want to put my own touches on the house. Painters will be coming in this week to paint the den, dining room, sunroom and master bedroom. I will definitely be ready to show off the after pics. Fyi there will be a fire orange ceiling in the sunroom. I also have a few cost efficient projects I'm going to try in the kitchen. Probably not this week though. 


View of den and dining room from the butler's pantry. I love saying my house has a butler's pantry. It makes me feel fancy! 

Dining room view from the den

Kitchen views

Master bedroom. You can't tell much from pictures but I wanted to make sure you can see the huge windows and chandelier in my room. Love!

And Sally's backyard just because I thinks it is beautiful. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stumping My Toe

I've been quasi-dating this guy. And while I knew I wasn't ready for a relationship, I also figured what can hurt in having fun with a nice guy (who of course I was super upfront with about not wanting/needing a relationship). Things were going well. I was having fun. So much fun that I started to think about maybe something more than just having fun. I started thinking maybe I wanted a relationship. Eeek! Yes, I am apparently crazy for thinking that less than three months after finalizing my divorce that I could possibly want a relationship. 

I started praying long before the divorce was over that God would protect my heart. My heart was so broken in my divorce. I just can't fathom being able to survive pain like that again. It's was serious pain. Like being in a full body cast during child birth with no drugs kind of pain. **  

In nursing school we learn to ask our patients to relate pain on a scale of one to ten or if the pain is similar to something else the patient has experienced. Well my pain in my recent dating debacle would be something like a stumped toe. Really minor that hurts excessively worse than the actually injury. 

For purposes of this blog I will call this guy I've been seeing, Danny. Because I want to protect the innocent and also calling him Danny makes me chuckle a little to myself. Danny might be the most gentlemanly man I've ever met. Chivalry does still exist, ladies! This guy has a stack of books in his apartment about being a gentleman. He impressed me to say the least. And when I really think about him, he posses the qualities that JG lacked in order to save our marriage. This guy is on fire for Christ. He lives with a true relationship of the heart with Christ each and everyday. This guy is so mature. He knows the value of hard work and that the best things in life are worth working for. He hasn't been handed everything so easily in this life but is able to use what he has to make his way in this world. Plus he likes Mississippi State (right to my heart) and is good at basketball. 

I honestly tried not to compare Danny and JG. I just know what qualities are most important now. The qualities I need in order to even look twice at a guy. Danny told me that I don't know what I really want. And in a way that is true. While I know the qualities (the scary list women all have) I want, I have no idea what I need right now in my life as far as dating. 

So this minor "crush/infatuation/like" that came to a hauly last night felt like stumping my toe. It hurt infinity times worse than it should have. But my heart is still raw from the divorce. And everything hurts worse right now. 

I am thankful for a God who knows best for me. A God who answers my prayer to protect my heart even though the outcome isn't what I want. I feel his presence in my pain and I am thankful. After coming home tearful last night, I jumped in bed quickly wanting the pain to subside. And I asked God "where is my joy? Where did it go?".  Immediately I felt better thinking of all He has done for me and my joy came rushing back. Because joy is not about feeling happy all the time. Joy is knowing The Lord and feeling his presence in all things. It's what keeps me going on days like today. 

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" 1 Peter 1:8

**I've never actually experienced either if these pains but its the worst imaginable physical pain I can think of right now. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

That Homey Feeling and Other Comforts

I grew up going to a traditional Baptist and later Presbyterian church. As my dad says, we did not have "jumbo-trons" at the churches I grew up attending. My favorite church was First Presbyterian in Meridian. I haven't attended a truly traditional church since I graduated high school and moved away from Meridian. I'm not sure if I've even used a hymnal since leaving that church.

When my tennis teammate invited me to church with her I was a little bit hesitant. But I figured it is about time that I put myself out there and start visiting churches. I'm not sure if I've mentioned but I haven't attended a church regularly since October. I had a bad a experience with the way my church deals with divorce and ever since then I've just been hesitant to try somewhere new. I know I want a church that accepts brokenness openly and has a designated woman on staff to deal with sensitive issues. I'll talk more on that in another post though. 

This morning's service was quite comforting to me. It was traditional to the core. We sang the Doxology, the Gloria Patri, said the Lord's Prayer and said responsive readings. And while I'm not sure what church I will end up joining, I must say it was comforting to open a hymnal and sing all five verses of the old hymns I love. 

It got me thinking about the style of worship that my future children will find comforting. Will jumbo-trons and hand waving comfort my children? Will my children even know how to sing from a hymnal? Please don't think I'm saying there is anything wrong with contemporary worship. I have  a feeling that I will land in a church with contemporary worship.  It's just not how I grew up. And isn't there something so homey and comforting about the way we all grew up? So today, I'm thankful for the refreshing feeling I had leaving church this morning. The feeling of coming home after a long yet very worthwhile journey.

This scripture was in today's service.  I much enjoyed it :)

Am I not trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? I I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galations 1:10

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Describe Your Perfect Date

I'm laying in bed putting off sleep by looking through Facebook. I'm scrolling through the timeline of a "friend" and see the date October 24. And I realize I can't remember the date that JG left. I know it was toward the end of October and on a Sunday. But I can't remember what the exact date was. 

This is not typical of me. I still remember the date of just about everything in any relationship I've had. I still remember the date of my first date with my first boyfriend. I'm also super quirky about numbers. I love months and days with 2, 4 or 8 in them. Those are my favorite numbers. I never forget a date because its either a "good date" and even or a "troublesome date" and odd. (Unfortunately my birthday falls in the troublesome category on the 21st of August.) So why in my slightly neurotic, semi-OCD mind can't I remember the date that changed my life? 

And all of a sudden I know that it doesn't matter at all. That is not a date that defines me or my life. It is just another day that presented a challenge. And for better or for worse (no irony intended) I have moved past that date. I am not the same girl I was last October. I am stronger and wiser and better off for it. 

That day and this divorce don't define me. It is my prayer that my life will be defined by Christ and his work in me. I'm reminded of the hymn "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love". What a beautiful line to be known by our love through Christ. 

Thank you Lord for reminding me of just how far I've come and how much you've worked in my life recently.