The Longest Plan of Salvation, Like Ever.

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I’m a details kind of gal. I can’t help it. I blame it on my ADD. Mom used to say that when she would ask me to clean a room, she’d come back 45-minutes later to see the room looking like a disaster. But let me tell you, the window panels were cleaner than the day we got them. I’ve always been like that. I tend to be very focused on the details that make up the big picture.

When I sit down to study scripture, I am the same way. I spent about nine months in the book of Colossians, daily dissecting every single word in the book. I have to remind myself before studying to read the book fully first. I have to see the big picture, so I won’t miss the forest for the trees.

Today I sat down to study Romans. Lord bless it. I was in 1:1-4 for two and a half hours. I love connecting with the Lord that deeply, but I know (time wise) that’s not sustainable for everyday life. I wanted to share some thoughts on how cool these verses are:

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our lord,

Why are these verses important?

It’s important because it sets up verses 5-6. Well, and all of Romans concerning God’s plan of salvation.

I tried to sum up what these verses were saying. Here’s what I got, “The gospel of God was promised by God through His prophets in the OT. The gospel was always about Jesus-who was a descendant of David in the flesh and the Son of God in power, proven by his resurrection.”

Why are the Prophecies important? 

I thought to myself, “Why is it so crucial that Paul is confirming Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy to the church in Rome?”

One reason, I think, was to reaffirm that YHWH, the Lord our God, is the one true God and is sovereign over all creation. Looking back at the early Roman church, most of the people there were gentiles having come from a long line of polytheism. It’s essential to point out that there is only one God and He has made a way for redemption.

One cool thing is that these verses show is that Jesus Christ dying for the sins of man and conquering death through resurrection was God’s plan of redemption from the beginning of time. It wasn’t a “Whoops! Let’s see how this turns out and if I like this generation I’ll choose to save them, and if not oh well!” kind of thing. This was His plan because of who God is. The Lord’s character is consistent and has been since the beginning of time. His plan attests to that.

From cover to cover, we see that this was God’s plan and He has been faithful to complete it for His glory.We can see in Genesis that it is God’s plan for Jesus to crush the head of the serpent. In Revelation, we see Christ’s second coming and conquering sin, death and Satan for all eternity. It’s the same promises in all of scripture for all time that are all fulfilled by Christ. We know this to be true because of 2 Corinthians 1:20. There is not one promise that He has made that is not fulfilled in Christ.

These verses in Romans help show God’s goodness and His steadfastness to creation for thousands of years. And y’all, something I struggle with and fight to believe in? The fulfillment of His promises (that have already been fulfilled and will be fulfilled in Christ) are in no way dependent on me or my works. His plan for salvation was never “If you’re good enough, I’ll send a savior.” It was His plan to send a savior, and He is accomplishing it for His glory through which we benefit from that grace. It’s not about me. That’s a humbling position to be in.

Where in the OT is Jesus prophesied about?

Firstly, who even claimed (besides Paul) that the prophets were talking about Jesus? Well, in Luke 24, Jesus claims that!

In regards to the prophetic books, I don’t know about you, but I only ever really think about Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. I think of all those verses that we look at around Christmas about the birth of Jesus. I looked it up in my ESV Study Bible (Thanks Steph Norris!) and found that there are former prophets, minor prophets and the main four everyone typically thinks of. And you know what’s cool, if you add up all the prophetic books in the OT, there are 22 in the OT. We all know, thanks to the help of the Jesus Storybook Bible, that all the stories in the Bible are about Jesus. It doesn’t matter if they are a “prophetic book” or not. But what is so cool is that the promises of the prophets in the OT are concerning His son, Jesus. That’s really cool! 22/36 books in the OT testify to Christ’s coming. Awesome.

Just to encourage you today that the gospel is God’s plan for salvation from the beginning of time, here’s a few verses I found in the OT that encouraged my heart that this whole Christianity thing isn’t made up. It’s too consistently true over mass amounts of time to be a lie.

Micah 5, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 42:1-9, Daniel 7:13-14 (cf. Mark 14:61-62 and Rev. 19:11-16).

Respond

One thing I think we can do as we reflect on these verses is ask God to make this truth deep to us. Worship Him that it is true and seek to dig deeper into His gospel of Grace, Mercy and Redemption.

He’s so good, y’all.

 

Freestyle Freelancer

I don’t know how to say this properly so I am just going to spout it out. I’m working three jobs, y’all. How I went from no job to three utterly dumbfounds me, but it’s the truth. Scouts honor.

I am on this Freelance website where you can post your resumé, links to your work, bio, etc and then apply for jobs that have been posted on the site. I have applied for a few gigs, received VERY strange invites to interview, and a few keepers.

I mostly write content for organizations, companies and ministries. Can I tell you how life giving it is to do enjoyable things after a long day of getting yelled at in Quebecois because an appliance is broken? I do. I really love it… the whole writing thing. Canada can keep their “lors” and “blondes.”

I just got done working on some content for the homepage of a website called SnowGraffiti. It’s based out of Australia. It is pretty unique and awesome. You should check it out and buy a snowflake pancake maker. That’s right. A SNOWFLAKE PANCAKE MAKER. Need I say more?

 And if you’re planning a destination wedding, you need to look into NSW. After writing the content for SnowGraffiti, I’m convinced a destination wedding in Australia is within budget and ideal. 

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SkyBridge Blog: 7 Tips to Prepare for Purposeful Living Overseas

I always get so excited when I get published on other places, well you know, other than my own blog. 

I HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED!!

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I figured all you beautiful 62 followers needed the link to be able to read this post I wrote for an online community of expats and ex-expats. Check it out HERE. Let me know what you think. 

XOXO

Mary Lou

Splatter Paint Art With Jesus: Freedom from the Fear of Failure

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere during my five years in college, my personality switched. Okay, maybe it didn’t switch, but I reached a point where I started to push myself harder and harder to be better and better. To be honest, I’m logical, smart, but I’ve always been horrible at school. I really do enjoy learning, reading, and teaching but at the college pace, I’m just not the best at keeping up.

One semester, I realized in order to get into seminary, I was going to have to pull up my grades.  I busted by butt for several summer semesters and last year of college trying to pull my GPA up from my BC days (ya’ll know what I’m talking about..). I did it! I reached my goal by .04 GPA points, but I did it.

I have been thinking about why I didn’t try harder in the first place, and what would my response have been if I hadn’t reached my goal. Frankly, I don’t like to do things I know I’m not good at. I don’t like failure. I would rather put in 70% effort and pass with a C than put in 100% effort and get a B. Why? Fear of failure.

I am realizing that fear of failure is a graceless approach to life that limits me from trying new things and taking risks for the Kingdom of God. Fear of failure exposes where one’s confidence is coming from and who they are trusting in.

Today was so sweet. I was working on an art piece for my room, and halfway through I decided I didn’t like it. So, I laid down some tape to do stripes on it. Every piece of tape was evenly spaced and perfectly pressed (all or nothing personality). I painted my stripes, waited for the paint to dry and then removed the tape. “Uh, oh. I hate it.”

I tried to figure out lettering that could go over it to make it better. Nope. I tried everything. I was about to toss it out when I stopped and prayed, “Lord, you take it.”

Three seconds later I had the idea to splatter paint it. I have rolled marbles in a shoebox more times than I have splatter painted. Nonetheless, I said okay.

Y’all, sometimes all a girl needs is to create splatter-paint artwork with Jesus. I know it’s not a big deal to most people, but the way we create things reveals a lot about our personalities. Normally, I follow the design rules (repetition, contrast, proximity, alignment etc). I don’t go outside of the box. Why? Because I’d end up creating something that a 3rd grader could make. (Fear of failure).

But today was great. I didn’t worry about anything, I didn’t think about where I was going to put what. I even got it all over me, my clothes, floor, sink and glasses. And it was okay. I didn’t stop to evaluate what was wrong with the piece and what needed to be changed. I just did it.

The final touch was the addition of the letters “J-O-I-E”. Joy in french. Something I fight for, but know exactly where that’s found.

Today was something that my soul needed. A day to make art with Jesus. To walk by faith experiencing freedom in trusting Him with the outcome, however small that outcome may be.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

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Hand Painted Orderly Design

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Sometimes I’m a Genius: Discount Shopping for Contacts

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Y’all, life is tough being visually challenged. Contacts and glasses are a necessary evil in my life. Before this year, I was on my mom’s very great flex spending plan so I never had to worry about footing the bill for these things. My money could go to better things like, you know, Senegalese clotheses.

I asked my mom if she would go through my new insurance policy with me so I could make smart decisions about where I am going to go to purchase my 2014-2015 supply of contacts. I didn’t realize how expensive contacts were and how much planning needs to go into finding the best bang for your buck.

Here are few tricks I’ve learned about shopping on a budget for those necessary, budget-busting evils like contacts.

  1. Know your insurance policy, what providers are in your network and how much is covered. Mine covers a certain monetary amount and then after that it covers a percentage of what’s left-over. It’s important to know this to know what kind of budget you’re working with. This saves your from missing something you could reimburse or the frustration or paying for something out of pocket that you didn’t realize you were responsible for.
  2. Know what contacts work best for you and your lifestyle. Monthly contacts don’t work for me because I don’t wear contacts enough. On average, a one year supply of dailies lasts me 20-months. Please note: monthly contacts are good for 30 days from your first wear not good for 30 wears. There’s a difference. If you wear contacts everyday, these might be a good choice for you. If not, discuss your options with your optometrist and she what they recommend for your eyes and lifestyle. This can help reduce cost and waste.
  3. Unless you’ve done your research, be patient and don’t buy your contacts the day of your eye exam. I know it’s fun. The excitement of a new pair of glasses or a new supply of contacts is great (NERD), but please do your research on your options before you get stuck paying double. **SEE BELOW.
  4. Research rebates and the rules! Acuvue always has great rebates. Their standard rebate is $50 or $100 off your year supply. There are strict qualifiers though- for instance you must buy the product in a store. You can’t get a rebate for a product you bought online. See if the brand you’re looking for has a rebate by calling customer service or googling “your brand name + rebate.” **NOTE: If you’re really dependent on this rebate, please read the fine print before taking the plunge!
  5. Speaking of rebates, check point-earning sites or cash-back sites like SwagBucks or EBates.com (GREAT ONE, thanks Kristin!) for partnerships. Sometimes there are special offers through these search domains that give you points if you go through their website to shop online. The more points you have the better the rewards. Rewards are often times gift cards/certificates to partnering stores (like Starbucks). Also, it’s rare that there would be a Groupon for contacts or glasses, but rare doesn’t mean impossible!
  6. Free Shipping: Most online retailers will give you free shipping if your order is over $50.  Trust me, your order will be over $50. Double check that so you don’t debate over a $3 difference between two online stores and get stuck with a $40 S&H fee you assumed was free.
  7. How Low Can You Go? While a lot of retailers with physical locations do not advertise that they do price matching, ALWAYS ask. Know what their policy is. Generally, it is before rebate prices or manufacturers coupons.
  8. Please be careful using online sites. There are a plethora of contact retail sites out there. I am not an expert on what the laws are regarding selling contacts, but know where your contacts are coming from. If you wouldn’t buy prescription pills online from a little known source, maybe don’t by them from lesser-known websites. Know that going through third-party dealers means you probably won’t have much of a warranty or much help after purchase. Check on their rules and regulations as well.

Here are some examples I used while researching Acuvue 1 Day contacts in the 90 count pack.

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  • LensCrafters: You’re killing me smalls. One box (45-day supply) is marked at $69.95. Year supply is $559.60. If someone doesn’t have a flex spending plan to pull from or insurance, I don’t know how they do it. The good thing about LC is they do price matching. They will even call around for you if you tell them which places to check. If you have had a recent eye exam and purchase these contacts in a store, there’s a $100 rebate available on the Acuvue rebate site. Dropping the final cost to $459.60, averaging at $1.26 per day. Holy expensive batman…
  • 1-800-Contacts: I can’t tell how I feel about this place... I will say I am impressed with their Unbeatable Price Guarantee policy. Not only do they match prices, they go 2% lower in the price. Normally, price per box is about $70. But, if you buy a year supply, PPB is dropped down to $57.49. Bad news, you can’t use a rebate with it because you bought it online. And since LC’s initial cost is  before the “rebate,” 1-800′s price is lower so you can’t use the 2% decrease. If you’re a returning customer, this is as low as it goes. Good news,  if you’re a new customer you get an automatic $25 off your purchase. And like most other places, shipping is free for purchases over $50. The sales price before taxes is $424.92 averaging at $1.16 per day.
  • Walgreens- Is this a new thing? Has Walgreens always sold contact lenses? I found out that Walgreens has a 20% off promo code until 4/30/2014 (SEASONS20) for any contact lens purchase. They also have my contacts listed at $62.99 per 45 days. This is the second lowest price I’ve found. Bad news, ’cause there always is some, the Acuvue Rebates specifies that it is only valid for in-store purchases. Unless I am mistaken, which I may be, Walgreens does not carry these contacts in store. Good news, this is the lowest price available without insurance. The final price would be $403.14. Price per day: $1.10. 
  • Pearle Vision: For those who eat Pearls for breakfast... I just want to say, my initial total came out to be $719.76. You’re funny Pearle Vision, but for real though. There was absolutely nothing on their website about contact discounts, rebates, etc. I’m not even going to do the math on this one. Free shipping for orders over $50. You can keep your $50 and I’ll keep my arms and my legs, thank you!

While I try to be a loyal customer to LensCrafters, I may just have to go to Walgreens for this one (if they are covered in my network for contacts). Thanks for reading and learning with me!

What are some ways you’ve found to help budget in the necessary evils of life?

Is there another site you and your family use?

Mary Lou

Six “Christian Artists” You Need To Know

Decypher Down-I got to do photography and co-interview them for my internship at a Christian Radio Station

Decypher Down-I got to do photography and co-interview them for my internship at a Christian Radio Station

You’re probably thinking, “Why did you put Christian Artist in quotations?” I just think it’s weird to be categorized as a Christian artist. It almost makes it sound as if you aren’t Christian enough [that's no such thing!] if you’re not marketing directly toward the Contemporary Christian Music realm. In my little ole’ opinion, there are so many unique “Christian artists” that don’t get airtime on Christian radio for either marketing purposes or radios don’t pick them up. I have a lot of theories for why they don’t get picked up, but I’ll just share my favorite theory.

One: most Christian radio stations are listener supported. What does that mean? That means that listeners fund the station. No support, no station. So, who is their target audience? People who like music yes, but mainly the target audience is moms. Moms want their kids to listen to music that’s wholesome and Christ-centered (amen!). And moms generally have a little extra income to support something that impacts their family directly. And that’s great! I’m thankful for you moms!

Now, before people say, “Mary, why are you hatin’ on these moms?” I most certainly am not blaming moms for the lack of diversity on CCM stations. I’m blaming the Contemporary Christian Music industry. Y’all give these moms some street cred, bruh. They ride deep. I promise if you play something other than the same G, C, D, E/F# chord progression they’ll love it. For instance, it took forever, but finally fresh artists like Rend Collective Experiment, Audrey Assad, and All Sons & Daughters are getting some airtime. And trust me on this one, if mom’s can handle RCE’s Flogging Molly stick? Jumping Jacks? Jingling Johnny, they can handle these next six artists.

Here’s a list of artists that even though they aren’t getting played on the radio, you need to check them out. Why? Because missing out on musicians like Lecrae because the owner of a station doesn’t know who he is is just plain wrong [TRUE STORY]. It’s straight up gospel of Jesus Christ doe….

  • {ONE} 1-1-6 Clique: There are some stations that will play Lecrae, but overall the only hip-hip heard on Christian Radio is Toby Mac. I’m not hating. I’m juuuuust sayiinnnn. Check out Lecrae, Tedashi, and Trip Lee for sure. **Click on their names to open up a YouTube video of my favorites from each person.
  • {TWO} Page CXVI: If you grew up singing hymns, you’ll love this band. Actually, I didn’t grow up listening to hymns, and I love the way this band has revamped old hymns. So good. I have almost every one of their CDs. Hymns are some of my favorite, most doctrinally sound worship music to listen to. It’s a different feel than most modern worship songs that tend to focus on self, or emotions, and not on exalting Christ. So, check these people out!
  • {THREE} Brooks Ritter: His voice though… It has such a deep, rich texture to it. I love his EP with Sojourn called The War. It was not a miss at all. His rendition of Rock of Ages is one of my favorites. I also really like “Good Day”, if you have any Memphis Blues in your soul you’ll appreciate this one.
  • {FOUR} Soul Survivor: Okay, so this isn’t really a band. It’s a funny story how I stumbled across this ministry! Simon, a friend from Senegal, lives in the UK. He went to an event put on by SS where Rend Collective led worship. It popped up in my newsfeed, and since I’m RCE’s BIGGEST FAN, I researched what SS was. While researching I stumbled upon their music. One of the worship leaders, Beth Croft, is amazing. And one of my new favorite songs is performed by a guy named Sam Bailey. The song is “One Touch.” [sidenote: when he says "Hi, my name is Sam," I always want to follow it with "Samwise Gamgee." #LOTRNERDAMIRITE]
  • {FIVE} Josh Garrels: Okay, this is one of those “Christian Artist” things. Christian undertones, but not labeled as a Christian artist. [Which I think is fine. Plenty of other bands do this like Needtobreathe, Switchfoot, and Gungor]. But really, check this guy out because he’s awesome! Unique lyrics, yet surprisingly so hopeful!
  • {SIX} Shelly Moore: Y’all. Refreshment to my soul. I cannot tell you how much I love her Unraveling cd. It’s the best $10 I’ve ever spent. She’s a singer-songwriter based out of Raleigh. I first heard about her through my friend Michelle Wijaya and then my friend LB! You will not regret buying any of her music.

Anyways, I hope this was interesting and helpful! I love new music and discovering new artists. Comment below with some artists that you love that aren’t getting enough radio time. Maybe we can change that!

Like always, thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing.

Dare to Dream

Y’all. 

I’m reading this book right now called “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand” by Paul David Tripp, and it is good. My first year on STINT, my team leader Aaron suggested we read this together as a team. Instead we did a really in depth bible study by Tim Keller on the book of Acts, which was really great minus the fact that you had to have either the leader’s guide (with the answers) or a Ph.D in New Testament history to get any question right. But can I so confidently affirm something for your life and mine: the Lord knows what we need when we need it. His timing is wonderfully beautiful. 

Okay, before I get too carried away ranting and raving on Tripp’s book I have to admit, I’m only on page 18. IT’S THAT GOOD. 

The first chapter is entitled: The Best Of News: A Reason To Get Up In The Morning. When I read that chapter title, I was kind of bummed. I have been feeling extra joyful in the Lord and was thinking this book was going to be a downer. Instead, the first half of the first chapter is about knowing the good news. I really wish copyrights didn’t exist so I could copy and paste how, almost romantically, he words the gospel. It’s so beautiful. From beginning of creation, to the fall, to our hope in the only Hope available, you can’t help but read this and become enthralled in our savior. 

Anyways, THE REAL REASON I’m writing this blog:

I can tend to be so systematic and methodical in the way I approach my job, relationships and even my walk with the Lord. There’s a segment in chapter one that talks about how as people who know Christ, our job is to point people to Him. Oftentimes we can make redemption about systems, steps, or a lifestyle instead of bringing them to the Redeemer. We see this in the way we share the gospel or even in the way we read the word. He says,

“We cannot treat the Bible as a collection of therapeutic insights. To do so distorts its message and will not lead to lasting change. If a system could give us what we need, Jesus would have never come. But he came because what was wrong with us could not be fixed any other way. He is the only answer, so we must never offer a message that is less than the good news. We don’t offer people a system; we point them to a Redeemer. He is hope.”

I was so excited when I read this. Oftentimes, I look at verses in Colossians or Galatians or any other book and get a little bogged down at how far (how very, stinkin’ far) I fall short of God’s standard. Instead of depending on the Spirit for sanctification, I systemize checklists of what I need to do better or what I stink at. I turn something so sweet into legalism. Reading the word should not create a checklist mentality. Reading the word should spark in our hearts an imagination for the reality of Heaven and it’s perfection! It should create a yearning in our hearts for His kingdom come, His will be done. It should stir in my heart an affection and awe that He is holy and perfect in Himself. All the things I can’t be, He is. Yes, repent for where the Holy Spirit convicts you through the word. Ask to be sanctified, but have a hopeful and joyful heart in doing so knowing that you’re drawing nearer to the Redeemer and our Hope.

So 2014, here is to seeing the word as a reflection of the heart of God and a vision into eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

Ce sont les petites choses..

What’s with the new blog title?

Girls, y’all will get me. You know that blistering sensation you get right before you make a rash and imprudent decision that mainly deals with your hair? You know the I-just-need-a-new-hairstyle-that-is-an-outward-expression-of-the-inward-change type of sensation? It’s one of those days… I am ardently holding fast to my long locks until I say “I do,” so I suppose this new blog name will have to be enough the suppress the hair baptism sensation.

Ce sont les petites choses… means, “it’s the little things..” [in French].

And that’s where I’m at in life. I’m asking for eyes to see the little details that point to the bigger purpose. I’m reflecting on all the little things that added up to a big batch of common grace. And I’m thankful.

In lieu of my first Thanksgiving back in the States, here’s a few pictures of things I’m thankful were in Senegal.

Bless it. A thousand times over. You will never imagine how much you just NEED frappucinos when you're dropped off in Africa for 2 years. Thankful for an "American" café run by Lebanese people. Even if it did cost $15 for transport + frozen treat.

Bless it. A thousand times over. You will never imagine how much you just NEED frappucinos when you’re dropped off in Africa for 2 years. Thankful for an “American” café run by Lebanese people. Even if it did cost $15 for transport + frozen treat.

I'm thankful for water, whichever way we get it (the sky, ocean, bottles, whatever). There were so many times when we were halfway done rinsing our hair in the shower, and the water would cut out. Praise Him for those buckets!

I’m thankful for water, whichever way we get it (the sky, ocean, bottles, whatever). There were so many times when we were halfway done rinsing our hair in the shower, and the water would cut out. Praise Him for those buckets!

Thank you Americans that donate hilarious graphic tees. While this is not my favorite, this is a GREAT one. Those days that we hated the culture, seeing a male college student walk around with a tight hot-pink shirt with glittery appliqués that spelled "Trophy Wife" just brightens your day.

Thank you Americans that donate hilarious graphic tees. While this is not my favorite, this is a GREAT one. Those days that we hated the culture, seeing a male college student walk around with a tight hot-pink shirt with glittery appliqués that spelled “Trophy Wife” just brightens your day.

The Joys of Being a Bachelorette: There’s Someone In My House

I’ll admit it. Living alone in a two-story townhouse with a basement has brought out and heightened my awfully darn cute sense of paranoia. Oh, the joys of being single!

Y’all. I’m not kidding. I haven’t NOT shared a bedroom since April 2010. I’ve been blissfully paired with some of my favorite people over the years in a confined 10X7 jail cell room. First it started with Tessa on summer project in Daytona.

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Sweet Tessa!

It continued with my favorite little bunkmate I ever did have, Aimee.

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Then I got to share a small room with two foam mats on the floor in Africa with Whitney, who mind you, laughs in her sleep so there really was never an hour I wasn’t interacting with people.

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Love her.

Finally, I was sandwiched for 10 months between LB and Elaina every single night.

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Elaina, me and LB

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Our bedroom in Senegal. It was cozy.

Let’s fast forward to today. I am living outside a major city in the Mid-West across the street from my aunt, uncle and grandma. Even though they are close, I still feel pretty isolated and in the back of my mind I’m thinking that any point in time the guy from Unsolved Mysteries could sneak into my house and be a “squatter.” Don’t think it could happen? HAVE YOU SEEN THIS NEWS ARTICLE?

Okay, I’m being a little dramatic. But today y’all. Today made me thankful I’ve given up on this state and am moving back to good ol’ Rocky Top Tennessee.

I was fixing a bowl of cereal, minding my own business mind you, when I heard this really loud thud. It sounded like it came from the stairs. I said to myself, “Mary, it’s nothing. Eat your cereal confidently.” {Who says that?! Right, because me chewing Frosted Flakes like a boss is going to make a killer back away saying, “Oh, my bad. I don’t attack people who eat cereal with a Tiger spokesman confidently.“} I walked upstairs into my room and started working on a few freelance applications and heard, “BAM! BAM! BRRUUUM! BAM!”

I kid you not. The Memphis blood in me is still good. I hit the ground in two seconds flat, belly down, eyes positioned to where I could see out from under the bed only to realize the shadows were coming from my other side. I glance up at my window hoping to see Jesus, but instead I saw the shadow of a man!! But instead of the notorious killers I’ve seen on UM, I saw a man cutting down some branches off of the tree in front of my house.

I was scared of a lumberjack.

The loud “thuds” and “bams” came from him setting up his ladder on the awning above my stairs, climbing on top of the garage, and starting his chainsaw to trim back some of the branches.

I’ve decided the single life just isn’t for me. I’m ready for some roommates. Even if they are ones that huddle in another roommate’s room with me while we call the cops about someone walking on our front porch, only to realize it’s the neighborhood dog with 22 toes. ‘Cause that happened too.