9.30.2010

Lately...

As I'm sitting here drinking my hot tea, trying to get my sore throat to go away, I decided it was time to write again. I actually have a few things to write about. I had wanted to blog earlier in the week,  but was waiting for some of the pictures I wanted to post to get edited. So....this may be a long one...

Last Friday night was the last night with my brother before he and Dad left for California. He stopped by my apartment to give hugs and say bye. I won't be seeing him or Dad till Thanksgiving....weird! I love my little brother and am so excited to see what the Lord does in his life in this new season. It's been 6 days since he left and I already miss him so much. I do have to say though, that I did not cry when I said goodbye...I stayed strong...even though I didn't want to, haha. Here are a couple pictures of the family!

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On Saturday, the 25th, a group of friends decided to look at all the pretty Autumn colors. We drove up into the mountains to some of the most beautiful colors...the yellows, reds, and oranges...simply breathtaking. First we stopped off at The Donut Mill in Woodland Park and ate breakfast with all our friends. The kids LOVED the donuts...and the adults enjoyed them too ;) As we drove up the mountains, I took some pictures...



This is why I will never move away from Colorado...unless it's further east or over seas :)



We ended up in a small town called Cripple Creek. Now you see, Cripple Creek is known for the casino's and gambling, so all this time I thought Cripple Creek was like the Vegas of Colorado. Little did I know that it was one of the cutest towns I have ever seen. It's an old historic town and all the buildings definitely prove it. I really wish I had taken pictures of the town! We went to the park and all the kids got to run around and eat lunch. The boys threw around and hit a tennis ball, and all the ladies enjoyed each other's company, all while keeping their eyes on all their sweet children, or as my friend Kacy calls them, treasures! Some friends had to leave early, but before they did, we took a group picture....

Love all of these friends! It was such a fun day and I can't wait for the weather to start changing so I can wear thick sweaters and boots :)
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Lets see...what else has been going on....I've been completely addicted to watching documentaries lately. I've watched one on young girls who are sold into prostitution in New York, Solitary Confinement at Colorado State Penitentiary, one on the catholic church and a minister who abused children, Meth and the effects is has on the body, brain, and society, and now I am currently watching one about the editor and creative director for Vogue. All of them have been so very interesting! 
I'm having a hard time with not having a really close girlfriend or a best friend. This has been on my mind the past couple weeks. Pretty much since one of my good friends reconnected with her best friend and has kinda forgotten plans we had. I'm figuring out why I never had close girlfriends all throughout life and why I've always had close guy friends. 
I also am sick....so it's been a sucky week. Oh well....hopefully all the med's I've been taking kick in and I can get better. Hope you all are blessed today! xoxo

9.23.2010

How good do I have it?

I mean really. Life has had it's sucky moments. My Mom left and I had to watch my family fall apart. My family gets stressed out and sometimes, more than often, we take it out on each other. I get zits on unconventional days. I wake up with puffy eyes from staying up too late thinking about life. My tears flow so much more easily than other peoples'...so I've noticed. Ugh.
I have a bad attitude when things don't go my way. My heart hurts when I am told about the characteristics I possess that are like my Mom's. I get angry way to easily. I battle with being shy on a daily basis. I also battle with why it's so hard to get involved in our new church and feel like I'm apart of it and know people on a deeper level. I want more close girlfriends that I can be myself with. I constantly wish I had a girl best friend again that does things with me and I can call anytime..no matter what. And...I often wish I had a job that I actually enjoyed going to.

But really.

I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and cherishes me like no one ever will in all of my lifetime. He sees my thoughts, hears my cries, and desires to be put above everything else in this world.

He
loves
me
for
who
I
am.

And He's there by my side no matter what.

I am abundantly blessed and highly favored. He loves me for me. He knows how much I want to change in so many areas. And I know...it's not going to happen over night (although I really wish it would).

Not only do I have shoes on my feet, clothes on my back, food in my tummy, and heat when I am cold...
I have a Dad who loves me and does anything he can to take care of me. A brother who I adore and who knows my hurt...and also makes fun of me because that's how he shows his love towards me. Ha!
I have a job that pays the bills.
I have close friends that make me laugh and are like family to me. They were there for me when the storm came, and they never left my side. (these would be Colorado friends...my California friends...that's another story, but still, I am thankful to know them).

What more could I possibly ask for?

I have it real good. And I often get so carried away with the bad things in life that I forget about all the blessings I have.

My hearts desire is to never lose sight of the things I am blessed with. My hearts desire is to become that women of God that I dream about being. My hearts desire is to be carefree again, not worrying about things, and living as if each day were my last.

So...here's to learning to lay everything down at my Lord's feet and not worry...



9.18.2010

Changes

Lots of changes are going on in the McMillen world again. My brother, who is living with my Aunt and Uncle, has decided to move back to California with Dad....next week. Here's kind of how it was supposed to be...

My brother was bounced around from house to house this past year when Mom first left; then my aunt and uncle decided they wanted to take Tanner in. We were all so blessed by them doing this and he had a 'family' again. He was doing great! Well, after his girlfriend moved back east, and he decided he didn't want to have any communication with Mom, the idea of him moving back to CA with Dad was definitely in his mind. But he decided he was going to wait till after Christmas so he could play in the band (he's a percussionist in his high school band and on the drum line) and get a few more classes out of the way. And by him doing this, it gave Dad a few more months to figure out what to do financially and to try to find a place for him to buy or rent. As of right now, my Dad is living with his Mom; he moved in with her when my Grandpa passed away this past April. Anyways, we're not sure what has transpired in Tanner's heart, but he is very ready to move back to California. When he sat my aunt and uncle down to talk to them about his decision, he said that he realized how much he missed Dad and he wanted to live with him again. He also said that he felt that he was just wasting his time at school and was very ready to get his GED studies done, go to college, and move on with life. The part that made my heart drop to my stomach was when he said how none of his friends understood and they started shunning him from the band. He told Dad, "all my friends go home to their families, but I don't. I don't have a family to go home to, and I miss that. They don't understand what it's like." Oh man. I had to try so hard to hold back the tears when I heard this.
You see...my brother keeps everything in. He doesn't like to talk about what's going in his heart or mind, and he keeps all his anger and frustrations bottled up. So most the time it's so hard to gauge where he's at mentally with the divorce. So for him to come out and say why he's ready to move and how hard it is to not have a family...you know he's serious and you know that he's been thinking about it for a long time.

I'm sad. I will miss my brother very much. Although I don't see him everyday or talk to him everyday, he's the only brother I have and we're the only two that know what's gone on and how much we've been hurt. We've held each other as we cried, stood up for each other in battle, and have grown in our relationship more than I could ever have imagined. I love my brother so much and am so so very proud of the man he's becoming. He even told Dad that he's ready to get back into church and meet some solid dudes. This is an answer to prayer! So...as much as I hate change...I know this is the best thing for him.

Today was his last performance with his marching band. Here are a couple pictures of him before they went out on the field...

Tanner is the one with his drum sticks in the middle (left). And he's the middle one in the picture below. I'll put more up of him and us before he leaves! 


Thursday Dad flies in on a one way flight, him and Tan are going to pack up the truck with Tan's clothes and whatnot, and leave Saturday morning for CA. I won't see them till Thanksgiving...and well...this is just weird. Never in my 21 years of living or in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that my family dynamics would change so much. But God knows what He's doing and I'll continue to take comfort in that :)

9.08.2010

Deep thoughts from a tired girl

I'm running on little sleep, I have a stress headache, I have been constantly blowing my nose for the past couple weeks (dumb allergies), and my mind is running a million miles an hour...or so it feels like. I wish a bath, a glass of wine, and rest would take it all away, but I know that wouldn't quite do the trick. Although...it does sound wonderful!

Last night I started going to a Bible study where we're going through the book entitled "Lies Women Believe...and the Truth That Sets Them Free" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I've only read the introduction and the first chapter, but so far...I can tell it's going to be a convicting book. The first chapter is all about deception and how Eve was deceived by the enemy, fell into his trap of lies, acted upon them, and then...well, we all know what happened after that. He began planting seeds of doubt in her mind about what God had actually said causing her to question the goodness, love, and motives of His word. Isn't the enemy so good at planting those doubts in our minds? Doubts about our future, our finances, our physical appearance, etc. From that moment in the Garden of Eden, Satan has used deception to win us over, influence our choices, and ultimately, destroy us. "In one way or another, every problem we have in this world is the fruit of deception-the result of believing something that simply isn't true." That one line from the book has been on repeat in my mind since yesterday morning. I can't stop thinking about the lies that Satan has fed me over and over and over again for the past 21 years. Lies of not being pretty enough, smart enough, worth anything. Most recently, lies that my dreams of getting married and having a family will never happen. Lies that there is no hope for my Mom, that she's so caught up in the enemies lies, her own lies, and continually being deceived that she will never find the Lord again. Lies that people are out to hurt me, judge my every move or the words that I speak. Lies that I can't trust anyone...not even the Lord. And well, there's more. Phew....that's hard to write. So many lies that I struggle with on a daily basis that it has kept me from opening my Bible, knowing the truth, and saying, "No Satan...you have no dominion over my thoughts. I rebuke the lies. I choose to live in freedom."

In this new season of life, with these amazing women of God that I have met and now call friends, I pray that I can work through some of these lies, and truly come to a place of freedom in the Lord. Not living in fear anymore, or having anxiety attacks because my thoughts become so real to me. And letting myself become vulnerable. This is another area that I struggle with all the time...opening up and letting people inside. Sharing what I fear, what I think, how I feel. I want to become a women of God that shares her heart, is full of wisdom (I know that really comes with age), and loves people wholeheartedly.

Sigh.

This is going to be a long journey. And some days I feel like I'm in the battle alone. But I'm not...I have the One who loves me unconditionally and who died for me. I just need to be in the Word, seeking Him, listening for his voice. I desire to know my Jesus more intimately than ever before. Pray for me as I embark on this journey.

9.01.2010

It's the little things

It's September first and I am left sitting here wondering where in the world my year went. I will always remember my Dad telling me when I was young, "Don't grow up too fast, because when you're an adult, the days go by fast and you have a lot more responsibilities." Boy...is that statement true! It seems that every year that passes, the days zip by faster and faster... And most of those days I am so caught up in my own world and the busy-ness of work, school, and family, that I forget about the little things in life and even the big things that matter most. Like how much I enjoy being woken up by a warm little puppy licking my hand, or how much I love hugging my brother, or when I sit with a bunch of women who love Jesus and am reminded that He is constantly pursuing me, even when I do the mundane tasks that everyday life requires.

I decided after the summer semester of school to take the fall off to relax and enjoy life with out the stresses of getting homework done or going to class. And I couldn't be more grateful to my mentor and Mom (in this season of life) for encouraging me to do so. She said, "Autumn, you're tired, I see it in your eyes. Take the semester off...it's okay to take a break every once in a while so you don't get burnt out." I didn't realize how burnt out I was until I saw many of my friends commenting on school starting and I wasn't...and you know what? I love not being in school right now! I love that I get to soak up all those little moments again. I love that I get to enjoy my evenings again. I love that I get to start baking and making crafts and Christmas presents. I love that I have time to decorate my apartment. I love that I have time to go to women Bible studies, meet new faces, and grow in my relationship with Jesus. I love that I'm a nanny on Tuesdays and I get to play legos, lincoln logs, and color with a 4 year old who reminds me of my brother when he was little. I love that along with playing with Campbell, I get to hold, snuggle, and play with his 6 month old sister Reese. Oh, the joys of being with children all day! Makes me want to be a mommy...but that will come soon enough :)

Anyways, all that to say, enjoy the little things in life. Stop every once in a while, take a deep breath, and know that your Creator is constantly in pursuit of you...even when you're just doing the little things and/or when you're so busy with life that you don't feel like He's there. This is something that I was reminded of the other night and it's something that I, too, have to do. 

Be blessed today!