"Eventually all the pieces fall into place....
until then, laugh at the confusion,
live for the moment, and know that everything
happens for a reason"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

All This Talk About Chick-fil-A...

Time for another confession. 

I barely ever watch the news and I could barely tell you who is running for president this year. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't care as much as everyone else does. Honestly, the majority of news I watch is in an elderly patient's room as I hand out their medications. And even then, what I do catch usually brings about a conversation with my patient about how sick and broken our world has become. The news lately is very depressing. 

The elderly mildly disapprove of the what the world has become and tell stories about "the good old days". I love to hear their stories because they've seen so much change in their lifetimes. It makes me wonder what type of changes I'll talk about when I'm wise, wrinkled and in my 80's. 

But thanks to Facebook, I've been exposed to the recent news topic about Chick-fil-A not supporting gay marriage. Am I surprised? No. They are obviously a company with Christianity at their core. They're closed on Sunday's for goodness sake. Coincidence? We all know it's not. My local Chick-fil-A even rewards me for being a church goer by giving me a free chicken sandwich with the purchase of fries and drink with a church bulletin. So like I said, I'm not surprised that a company who has consistently made religion a part of their business would stand up for what they believe in. 

Is that what you believe in? Maybe, maybe not. Once again, we're faced with situations where someone disagrees with another. People like to voice their opinions on how they feel about this topic and are trying to persuade others to take the same stance as them. People who are pro and con this political/religious issue are speaking out. And my news feed on Facebook has been blowing up with people's opinions about boycotting Chick-fil-A or supporting Chick-fil-A or "What was Chick-fil-A thinking" and when is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day (it's August 1st by the way).

And after I've read a lot of people's thoughts on this topic, I've found myself thinking one thing:

Man, a chicken sandwich and some waffle fries sounds delicious right now. 

So what? Chick-fil-A doesn't support gay marriage. Neither does Cracker Barrel, Exxon and Wal-Mart. Will I go to these places and buy their products? Yes. That hash brown casserole is calling my name. Did you know that Target, Oreo, Ford, Starbucks and Pepsi support gay rights? Will I continue to buy dresses from Target? Yes and I might even buy a frozen Pepsi at their snack bar. 

All this talk about Chick-fil-A has ultimately just made me hungry and want a frozen Pepsi and some Oreos. Some people feel like they need to take a stance and boycott companies based off of their beliefs. And that is fine. We all have our own battles.

"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" AND eat waffle fries AND oreos. 

Love and Happiness,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Up a Creek WITH a Paddle...

Way back when I started this blog, I posted my bucket list. It was a lot of fun writing down all of the fun and exciting things I wanted to do with my life. If you didn't get the chance to read it, you can here.

Well after months of not accomplishing anything fun or exciting, at least according to the list, I can now say that one item is marked off! This past weekend Paul and my brother and I went whitewater rafting in North Carolina. We had a lot of fun riding the rapids, getting soaked and not falling out of our raft! The river, the Nantahala, was pretty mild but ended with one Class III rapid at the very end of our trip. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures from the trip but here is a generic, Google-obtained photo to give you an idea of of the river.

It was so much fun. My brother is already talking about planning a trip down the Ocoee for our next sibling adventure.

I'm happy to finally start checking things off of my bucket list! One down, many many more to go!!

Love and Happiness,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

17 Reasons I Love Paul More This Week Than Last

There are times when I have renewed confidence in why I love my husband so much. The past few weeks have been full of events, or little things, that make me smile and silently think, "I'm so glad I married that man." I thought I'd share a few things Paul has unknowingly done recently to make me love him that much more.

  • He planned a yummy BBQ supper for me to come home to after work on Saturday.
  • While preparing said meal above, he accidentally created a Pyrex baking dish bomb that exploded into a million glass pieces all over our house. After said explosion, he then swept, mopped and vacuumed the house so that all all evidence was disposed of. 
  • After watching some of the gymnastics Olympic trials, he was inspired to attempt some gymnast moves onto our bed. Hilarious to say the least.
  • He then convinced me to try some gymnast moves myself. Embarrassed laughing then ensued. 
  • After a day of painting walls at work, he then went to the store with a wad of blue painters tape on his butt. He didn't realize it until he got home. 
  • Giving me the chance to wash paint off of unreachable body parts in the shower. Painting sure is a messy job. 
  • He gives me foot massages after long days at work.
  • He tickles me until I nearly pee my pants.
  • I sometimes wake up and he's holding my hand while he sleeps.
  • He turns on the Christmas tree in our bedroom when I've had a bad day. (Yes, we still have a fake tree up)
  • He kisses my forehead.
  • We try new recipes in the kitchen and laugh when we don't get it right.
  • He chooses time with me over working late.
  • He makes all the important phone calls because he understands my social anxiety
  • He pays the bills on time.
  • He surprises me with Caesar salads when we cook Italian
  • He praises my cooking even when it's not always great.
What I think makes our marriage special is that we never take ourselves too seriously, laugh a lot and take time to make each other feel loved. It doesn't always have to be a big, grand gesture because even the small things that make each other smile goes a long way. 

Love and Happiness,

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is a powerful thing.

I pray everyday. My prayers aren't always requests to God but often times a conversation with Him about what's going through my mind. Actually, my prayers are mostly filled with thanksgiving because of the things God has provided me with. I am confident in God's hand in my life each and everyday.
 Like everyone else, I ask God for help, guidance, relief or answers when times are most tough. I go to God with the "big things" because there is no question that I can't handle it on my own. However, when it comes to the "small things", I find myself thinking that it's not worth a prayer. God doesn't care about my little, everyday problems, right? Wouldn't it be selfish of me to come to God with a petty prayer? 

This week, God showed me that no prayer is too small. 

On Friday morning I woke up and immediately began to pray. In this prayer I talked with God like a friend, explaining to Him the hardships I was going through. The past 3 weeks of work had been terrible. Exhausted and dreading the weekend of work ahead of me, I pleaded to God to let me have good workdays. As I ended this prayer, guilt overcame me. Did I really just have a vent-session with God? Did I just spend time complaining and asking Him to fix my silly problems? Yes, yes I did.

And I can honestly say that after working the past 3 days, I haven't had such good days at work in the longest time. Coincidence? Some may think so and that's fine. But I know in my heart it was an answered prayer. Even something as small as a couple good days at work have revitalized my confidence in God and renewed my faith in the power of prayer. And that guilt I felt after praying for small things has left. Why should I feel guilty with the Bible tells me it's okay? 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

God wants us to talk with Him, pray to Him and tell Him what we need. So, that's what I shall do. 

Go ahead, give it try. See what God will do in your life if you just ask. 

Love and Happiness, Bethany

Monday, July 9, 2012

Correction: We Did Not Buy A House

Writing this post makes me a little sad but unfortunately, after the home inspection on Friday, we decided not to buy the house. 

That house needed a lot of work. And I mean a lot! That didn't scare us off though. We were willing to rip up carpets, tear out walls, gut the kitchen, gut the bathrooms, paint every wall, put up crown molding, lay hardwoods, lay tile and landscape the yard...just to name a few things. 

What is the one thing that did scare us off? MOLD. During the inspection the inspector uncovered mold in the basement due to water leakage we couldn't see behind the walls. All his talk of lung infections, corneal infections and not to mention cancer, had me a little worried. He threw around words like toxic and carcinogenic that made me start to rethink the deal. But even then, we still wanted to make the house work. It wasn't until the inspector explained what we would have to do to fix our mold problem that the project became bigger than we'd hoped. On top of what we had expected our renovation to include, we would now have to hire experts to come gut the finished basement, professionally clean the walls, re-stud the basement and use an "air-scrubber" to remove moldy air particles. A hefty bill coming close to $10,000 to leave us with a unfinished basement that we would then have to finish again. This obviously wasn't in our original budget. Paul and I sadly had to walk away from the house. 

What hurt the most was to see the disappointment on Paul's face. He was so excited to be the manpower behind this renovation. I know that one day we'll find our perfect fixer-upper that Paul can make into our home. But for now, we're going to take a break from the house hunt until the sting of losing this one fades. 

Love and Happiness (and a little sadness), 

Friday, July 6, 2012

We Bought A House

After a lot of worrying, waiting and a possible self-induced stomach-ulcer...we bought a house! We placed a few verbal offers on the house before the sellers verbally accepted our last offer. We then put our offer on paper and the sellers had 24 hours to get back with the approval. 24 hours later...no news. My first thought was that they were backing out of the deal. 48 hours goes by and still no news. I was in pure panic mode at that point. At 72 hours we had heard back from the sellers who explained that they weren't backing out. Unfortunately, they experienced tornadoes in West Virginia that left them without power all weekend. Ok, we'll let it slide...this time! Anyways, we then resigned the paperwork and sent it back to the sellers again. So, after 120 hours of waiting (verbal offer time included) for things to be official, the papers were returned signed!! 

I've met with the bank and our mortgage loan is in the works! Who knew it could take up to 45 days for some loans to go through!? I sure didn't. I already foresee the word "waiting" being my least favorite word ever! 

This house is the epitome of a diamond in the rough. It takes some creativity to look beyond the wood paneling and multicolored carpets to see the potential this house has. But we see it. It will take a lot of work to remove the years of bad design choices and dated materials, but in the end this house will become our home! 

Here's a few pictures of my favorite visually disturbing things we found in this house. 

This took a lot of thought and creativity. Enjoy it while it lasts because it will be removed! 

It's like a smurf exploded all over the bathroom!

Wood paneling scares me. It's like being trapped in a wooden box, or a coffin. Paint  plus primer here we come! 

Red carpet. Enough said. 

Pretty in Pink? I think not...

The best part? The house is sold with all the belongings. Can't wait to tackle this room...not!  Oh, and don't forget to notice the green carpet under all that junk! 
Our home inspection is today and if all goes well we will be one step closer to being home-owners! Very exciting times at the Coulston house! Can't wait to see how everything plays out!

Love and Happiness,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Running Out of Kindness

I've been working as a nurse for just over a year now. I've met lots of people with every single personality you could ever imagine. Some of them I love with all my heart. Some of them make me laugh. Some of them make me cry. And some of them make me want to pull my hair out. 

I've been cussed at, spit on, scratched and kicked. I've been yelled at, talked down to and threatened all with a smile on my face. But it seems that every time I have a patient who tries their best to tear me down, God put's another patient in my group who lifts me up. I become emotionally attached to all of my patients,especially the sweet ones and yes, even the ones who are the most hateful. I can assure you that nursing is a draining career. I hate to admit it but there are patients who I've wanted yell back at or even strangle them when the frustration builds. And of course I would never do either of these things but it does take a certain amount of strength to smile, say "yes ma'am" or "yes, sir" and then continue to bend over backwards to get them whatever snacks they want, pick up their trash and give them their pain medications the minute they are due. 

But as always, God provides. God gives me a sweet little patient across the hall who says please and thank you with a kind smile on their face. They are a refuge for my struggling soul on a difficult day. There is no way around having difficult patients who push me to my whits end. And yes, I will treat them the same as any other patient. But sometimes when a single patient steals every ounce of kindness I have left, I am replenished by the kindness found in my other patients. 

So, after just having "one of those days" where I was pushed to my limit and stretched as thin as I could be, I am thankful that God takes care of me in the subtlest of ways and replenishes my kindness through others.

Love and Happiness,