Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rainy Sunday in November . . .

These are actually some of my absolute favorite days. Yes, it's rainy and freezing and just . . . November, which already has a reputation for being dull and dreary. But I got to sleep in this morning, already put in some laundry and loaded the dishwasher and picked up the apartment, and am now sitting at Starbucks having some coffee cake, journaling, listening to my "Faithful and Fearless" Spotify playlist, and writing this post before I head out to do the week's grocery shopping and work out and go to the 5:00 church service.

This has been a very intense year, and I've been feeling very reflective this morning even as I contemplate how we're less than 8 weeks away from 2016, and how TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY I'll be on a plane touching down in Paris (!!!!!), and how two days from today marks my one-year anniversary of becoming an official member of the State Bar of Georgia. It's been an intense year of learning and growth and adjustments to a new lifestyle--being in a new city, my first professional job, being a lawyer--that have been much harder than I imagined they would be. Yesterday I was reminiscing about just how scared I was that day in August last year when I loaded up everything I owned in a moving truck and took off for a city where I knew virtually no one. It has been quite the ride, and it hasn't been easy. There's been a lot of struggle in the 15 months since I moved here--struggles to make friends, struggles to adjust to a new career where I'm pushed to perform at a higher level than I often feel capable of, and struggles to figure out what matters most to me as a twenty-something in a demanding profession in a big city, even as I KNOW that God wants me to be here now. I am totally confident about that, and even though my emotions sometimes scream at me that this isn't working out exactly the way I thought and maybe I should re-think things and go somewhere else, I have felt, and still feel, a deep and abiding peace about being where I am. I'm supposed to be here, I'm supposed to be practicing family law and am called to do that, and I'm supposed to be leaning in to what God has for me here.

And y'all, I just keep learning that God is faithful. God is faithful when I don't know if I can push any harder than I'm already pushing it, but somehow I have to. God is faithful in the times when I feel stuck in a rut or when I wonder if this place will ever consistently feel like home. God is faithful to always be the firm foundation of my life, absolutely no matter what. And that is worth celebrating, and writing about, even in a year when just trying to get on my feet has made me neglect this blog SO much. The other day I sent my best friend some really old blog posts I had written--like, from 2012--and she told me they had really blessed her, so I decided I need to start writing again. Officially. As much as I can. This is not going to be a formal "devotional" post, but I do want to share this with you. I've been reading in Hosea lately (absolutely amazing book, by the way), and have been given so much hope and encouragement by this verse lately: "I [the Lord] will make the valley of trouble a door of hope." (Hosea 2:15). YES. The Lord is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope, and reading this passage has meant the world to me in a season of my life where I've been spending a lot of time in the valley, a lot of time trying to figure things out and make sense of where I need to be and how I can serve the Lord in a life that's just so very different from anything that has come before this for me. But He is still here, and I've had conversations with a lot of people who love me and care about me lately that have helped me see that door of hope beginning to crack open, even in a season in the valley. And again, I could say this 100 times and I probably HAVE said this 100 times on this blog, but it's still just as true as ever. Jesus is enough. He is always, always enough. Not Jesus PLUS the perfect job, the perfect relationship, plenty of money, plenty of friends, and everything that Instagram makes me believe I need to have to have a perfect life. Just Jesus. He is enough. He's just enough.

That said . . . here are some other things that have been going on in my life lately:

  • Yesterday I chopped off a ton of my hair and dyed it red and I LOVE it.
  • I've been hiking: 
  • And taking painting classes: 
  • And I'm taking a French class in an adult continuing education program at a local university. And I DON'T GET IT AT ALL. This is why I only took Spanish in high school! But I'm going to keep working at it. 
  • I'm handling a lot more at the office than I was a year ago--giving clients lots of legal advice on my own, handling a couple of simpler cases with only very minimal supervision, writing much more substantial briefs and motions for partial summary judgment and similar items, jumping right into the fray with discovery disputes with opposing counsel, and you get the idea. 
  • I've been reading a LOT this fall, especially after coming to the alarming realization that if I read a book a week for as long as I can expect to live, I only have time left to read about 2,800 books in my lifetime (I somehow thought it'd be 10,000 or so. Not so much). I've read this book about young investment bankers on Wall Street and this amazing book about poverty in America and of course a Jodi Picoult book. Now I'm reading this book about neuroscience (I never said I wasn't a nerd) and this other book about poverty in America and of course this classic about life in Italy. And this book that my pastor wrote. And this Lisa Scottoline book (love her work). So much to read, so little time!
  • I am LOVING the career advice in this article. Despite the title, this is great stuff for professionals of any age. Especially great parts: "Carve out time in your week to prioritize your own learning." "Lean in to your weaknesses." "The best form of networking is absolutely crushing results in your job." And I could go on, but just read it yourself! Along the lines of this article, I've set myself the goal of reading 5 professional articles each week at my job (on any topic that's relevant to my career), of going to more seminars, of seeking out more feedback and actually using it, etc.
And now I am totally fired up and it's time to start drafting some goals for 2016! Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Day in the Life . . .

Hey y'all, so after discussion with my sister about just how incredibly interesting "day in the life" blog posts always are, and given that I need to catch you up on my life anyway because I haven't blogged in months, I decided to do a post on a "day in the life of a lawyer." This sample day in my life reflects some things that went on both on Wednesday and Thursday last week, so it's not really one specific day, but all of these events happened on one or the other of those two days and this will give you a good idea of what my typical day is like:

5:11 am: Wake up because Max (my cat) is meowing like the world's about to end (as he so often does at the crack of dawn). I manage to tune him out and fall back to sleep until about 6.

6 am: Wake up and pay all my bills on my iPhone, and check emails and my calendar, while lying in bed.

6:30: Shower.

6:45-7:15: Go "back to bed" for 30 minutes. I do this every day after I take a shower. It helps me start the day on a relaxed note. I use the time to read articles I want to read, get on Facebook, update my to-do list, even journal if I feel like it.

7:15: Get ready for work. Drink an Arden's Garden smoothie for "breakfast." If you've never had one of these, you should because they are delicious and really healthy.

8:15: Arrive at the office. Check work emails. Get coffee (which I will probably not actually drink more than 3 sips of, as those who know me well can attest).

8:30: Phone call with client. Work on drafting requests for production of evidence for several subpoenas for a case.

10:00: Case list meeting. My whole practice group gets together every few weeks to get a game plan on cases, figure out who's working on what, and discuss strategy.

11:00: Draft motion for contempt for another case.

11:45: Meeting with my boss about a client's settlement agreement.

12:20: Go get a salad at the cafe next door.

1:00: Conference call with one of the expert witnesses for a case.

1:30: Meeting with client.

3:00: Phone call with client about a settlement agreement.

3:45: Legal research.

4:30: Draft a motion in limine, which is a request for the court to exclude certain evidence from trial, typically because it is legally irrelevant or prejudicial.

5:30: Wrap up my work on the subpoenas from this morning.

6:00: Leave the office for the day. Go run my errands (pick up dry cleaning, buy food for Max, and get gas).

6:45: Get home, make dinner, watch TV, phone call with my parents, and phone call with my sister.

8:15: Go to my gym and go swimming.

9:30: Return home and read my book (Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller) and get ready for bed.

11:00: Go to bed!

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my typical day! Maybe I can even start including "write a blog post" in more of my typical days . . .

Monday, July 20, 2015

Travel Updates!

Readers, I have recently finished my whirlwind few weeks of travel! Since late June, I have been to Chicago, New York City, and Sarasota, Florida for a family reunion. I've seen Matilda on Broadway, been to Times Square, toured Chelsea Market in NYC, seen snow leopards and penguins at the Central Park Zoo, had drinks in the bar on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Tower in Chicago (and gotten stuck in the elevator on the 95th floor of said tower, but that's another story entirely), spent four days at an INTENSE but incredibly helpful family law conference, met family law associates from all over the country, seen the sun set over Siesta Key Beach, seen the Statue of Liberty, and so much more. Here are some of my pictures!

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New York skyline from the top of the Empire State Building. 

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Times Square. 

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If you're thinking, "That looks like the apartment building from Friends," you're right!

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Beautiful sunsets in Sarasota: on the beach and in the air. 

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Doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant in NYC!

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The Chicago skyline

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The Bean in Chicago

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Chicago at night. 

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And this weekend I bought a plane ticket to Paris and one to Reykjavik, which is in Iceland. I am so excited! Meagan and I are going together in November, because life's too short not to stroll the cobblestone streets in Rome, sip coffee and eat croissants in a Parisian bakery, see the Eiffel Tower, see the Northern Lights, see the Colosseum at night, and so much more!

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I can't believe that we are actually going to make the Europe trip happen . . . my sister and I have been looking forward to this for a long time, and we're so thrilled that we are going to get to satisfy a little bit of our wanderlust!

In the meantime, well, it's back to that associate attorney life! I'm in the process of drafting up a list of "core competencies" that I would like to have gained by the time I reach the end of this year . . . does anyone else do this? Probably just me, because I am a nerd. But my list includes things like knowing all the basics of divorce taxation issues; having the ability to speak articulately and knowledgeably about complex family law matters; and competency with all major types of drafting, including settlement agreements, modifications, contempts, discovery, requests for admission, motions for reconsideration, motions to compel, emergency motions, etc. By the end of this year, I want to feel confident and comfortable with most of these very basic lawyering skills so that I don't feel like I'm having to start from scratch with each new project and assignment. It is satisfying to already be at the point where, for many tasks, I have already seen it or something like it before and therefore have some idea of what to do. My absolute favorite cases are ones that involve either complex civil procedure questions, complex custody issues, or both. Well, I need to finish writing a memo so that's all for tonight!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Knowing the Heart of God

How many times as Christians do we find ourselves complaining about how we just don't understand what God could possibly be doing in our lives? We don't understand why he has brought us to a certain place or a certain circumstance. We don't know what his plan could possibly be and we start to question whether he really has a grip on what the future holds, even though we know he says that he does. We look at our lives and just wonder, "What could God possibly be thinking?" I find myself wondering this sometimes, and I'm sure you have wondered it too. Didn't he know I expected _____ to be so different than it is? Why would he think that the circumstance I'm in would ever work out ok? Why would he give me one thing when it seems so clear that I need another? And the doubts can go on and on if we let them.

But this past week, God impressed something on my heart very clearly, and it was this: I cannot know the mind of God, but I can and do know the heart of God, and that is enough. So often our angst and confusion and frustration with God comes from trying to understand what is in his mind and to see everything he sees and to know everything he knows, even though this is impossible for us as humans. We simply can't understand why God does everything he does. He knows things that we cannot possibly know--and that we should not know. He knows the future even though we don't, and isn't that a blessing? There are so many things in my life that, if I had been able to see into the future and known how hard they were going to be, I would never have pursued them in the first place, but I've been blessed in the long term because I did. There have been times in my life when years after the fact, God gave me some insight into why he allowed a certain circumstance to happen in my life or to glimpse a little bit of the purpose it may have served in his plan for my life. But other times, we never know and never see what God is doing, thinking, knowing, and seeing behind the scenes. He knows exactly what your life and the world around you will look like tomorrow, next week, and in 2050, even though we don't and can't even fathom having this understanding.

The reason we do not need to be burdened with our inability to know the mind of God is because we do know the heart of God, and it is for us. His heart delights in us and delights in working in our lives for His glory and our good. Because we know God's heart for us, we know that he works in our lives out of his great love and compassion for us and his desire to build our faith and make us more like Christ. We know that he has good plans for our lives and that he has promised to meet our needs, to fill our cups, and to satisfy our desires with good things. He has promised that he is FOR us and fighting for us, and that he goes before us and will be with us in everything, no matter what we face. Because I know that this is the heart of God, I can trust him and trust his purposes and plans even though I cannot know the mind of God, and I cannot see everything he sees or know why certain things happen and other things don't. I can take great comfort in knowing that I know the heart of God, and it delights in me. And in you.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tips for Brand-New Attorneys

So this week has involved many hours writing a trial brief on contract construction/ parol evidence, getting ready for a big hearing, consoling/ counseling tearful clients, doing subpoenas, writing consolidated orders, etc. Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about some of the tips I would offer new associates, just out of what I've learned in my first year so far. Here's a few:

1) There's no such thing as a first draft--ever. Assume that your work product, once it leaves your hands, could be filed with the court, submitted to opposing counsel, presented to a client, etc., with absolutely no changes or time for revisions. In other words, whatever work you give to your assigning partner had better be a final draft--captioned correctly, with any certificates of service included, totally ready to go. If you don't do this, you run the risk of having your work being labeled as sloppy.

2) Learn the preferences of your assigning partners and supervisors, even if you think they are nitpicky. Find out exactly how anyone who is assigning you work wants it to be completed--printed or emailed? Paper-clipped or stapled? Find out each person's stylistic preferences for pleadings and motions--and don't just stop there, make a running list of the types of edits you receive on work from each partner so that you can start to learn what they do and do not like. It's impressive when a partner doesn't have to tell an associate something twice because the associate referred back to The List before turning in another assignment to that partner.

3) Read this article. Do basically everything it says. Better yet, print it out, highlight it, and ever so casually leave a copy laying on your desk for when the partners come into your office (as I have unashamedly done).

4) Start carving out an area of expertise as soon as possible, read as much as you can about that topic, and make it known to others that you are really interested in that area so that they are more likely to assign cases in that area to you. I've made it known in my practice group that I love working with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Since 90% of family law attorneys hate those cases and I actually really like them, I've been given a lot of responsibility on any cases that our firm gets that have to do with the UCCJEA.

5) Make a professional development plan. My plan includes hard skills I would like to develop (taking a deposition, arguing a motion, writing a significant brief or motion for summary judgment, etc.), classes and conferences I would like to attend, networking activities I would like to be involved in, soft skills I would like to develop (things like being a better listener, taking more initiative, etc.), and industry publications I'm committing to keeping up with (and, down the road, hopefully writing articles for). Put deadlines into the plan. "By ____ date, I would like to have handled a client meeting by myself." This plan should also be printed out and casually placed on your desk next to that article described in point #3.

6) Do the job before you have it. If you want to be a partner at your firm someday, you need to start thinking, working, and strategizing on your cases as if you already are one. If you were handling the case by yourself, what would you do? Don't be afraid to offer unsolicited ideas on case strategy to partners, to take the initiative to research ideas on your own and present them as options to partners, and even to present alternative solutions to a problem.

7) Do the little things well. Always keep up with your billing; no one should have to ask you to do this. Proofread all of your emails before you hit send--it's amazing how often people don't do this. Keep up with your paperwork and keep your office reasonably organized, or else people might think you are a slob. Always show up to everything on time, even if it's just a quick meeting in the office.

8) Networking is now your job just as much as it was before you had a job. Go to events, join your local bar association, volunteer somewhere, and follow up with people you meet. This is how you begin to establish both your reputation in the legal community and a client base.

9) Volunteer for anything and everything you can. Volunteer to write short articles for your local bar association newsletter, to draft up new policies for your firm on e-discovery, to head up fundraising for the campaign to raise money for pro bono organizations, etc. Demonstrate a willingness to jump into things with energy and enthusiasm and the greater opportunities won't be too far away.

10) Don't wear green nail polish to work.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Attempted Return to the Blogging World

Readers, I know it has been a long time. And some of you probably about gave up on me ever writing again, which I can't say I blame you for! I've realized lately that this blog is one of several things that I really enjoyed doing in law school and then just kind of stopped doing, for no good reason, once I moved and started working full-time. I know that's pretty common when we make a big transition--we get busy and totally caught up in new things and then suddenly realize that we've let some things we really enjoy fall by the wayside. And that's exactly the way I feel about this blog. I have so enjoyed sharing my thoughts, pictures, goals, life events, and so forth with each of you over the last three years, and I'm just not ready to call it quits on this blog yet. I also can't use "I'm too busy" as a legitimate excuse because I'm honestly no busier than I was in law school, it's just a different kind of busy that comes with working at a firm vs. juggling classes and a million extracurricular activities in law school. So, with that said, I'm ready to get back into this. And honestly, even if my writing only impacts approximately three people, it's still totally worthwhile to me.

So here are some general updates from the last few months:
  • I have worked at my law firm for approximately 8 months now. It definitely doesn't feel like that long! I am excited about how much more I know now and am comfortable with now than I was even a few short months ago. I still greatly enjoy working with family law clients and on the types of cases we handle. I find it to be so meaningful and something that I feel like I can make a difference doing.
  • Meagan and I head out to Haiti for our second annual mission/ volunteer/ love on all the children trip in just two weeks! This year we'll be in the village of Mesaye, painting, planting trees, spending time with kids, going to the local Haitian church, distributing health kits to families and teaching them about basic hygiene, etc. I am so excited!
  • I just ran my third half marathon yesterday and beat my previous personal best by 15 minutes! I love these runs because they make me realize that even though I am not (and have never been) athletic or even particularly strong, I am still capable of pushing myself hard and getting across that finish line. My personal record to finish those 13.1 miles now stands at 3 hours and 3 minutes, which I know most people would probably consider unbelievably slow, but for me, it's still something I'm proud of because a few years ago, I never would have thought I could run that far, period.
  • I'm getting prepared for a whirlwind summer of travel. Plans include the Haiti trip (obviously), going to Florida for a work conference in May, going to Chicago for work in June, and then going to New York and Florida in July. Chicago, New York, and Florida are actually three weekends in a row . . . that could get pretty crazy, especially since I'm not taking any days off for any of the trips but am just squeezing them into the weekends. And of course, I definitely want to go on Lauren's third annual Tybee Island beach vacation, which may end up happening over Labor Day weekend because I can't take any more days off because, in addition to my week off for Haiti, Meagan and I are planning a big trip to Europe at the end of November (Iceland, France, Italy, Luxembourg). We are incredibly excited! #singleladiestraveling
  • I am still loving my not-so-new-anymore apartment, and my cat, and exploring and learning all the ins and outs of this beautiful city. I've found my favorite places to go running, and the coffee shop that just feels like home and where I can write for hours, and a church that I really love, and my favorite places to eat and shop and go hiking and take friends when they come visit me. I'm still working on really developing a social life and strong friendships and community here, but I know that that is a process that can take a long time, so I'm just trying to keep putting myself out there.
  • I just read Lisa Scottoline's latest book, Keep Quiet, and it is great! I have a ton of other books on my "to read" list, including The Innocent Man by John Grisham, Leaving Time and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (duh I have some Jodi Picoult books on this list--love her!), Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, Defending Jacob by William Landay, and more. I want to start reading at least one book a week, because I know that is totally doable, and a much better use of my time than just watching TV. 
  • I am loving Passion's new album, Even So Come. The link is to one of the songs, but they are all amazing. I have been playing them in my car nonstop. 
  • I am getting ready to start a personal Bible-reading journey through the Psalms (which may definitely lend itself to some blog posts in the future). I am eager to get back into a devotional routine--this is something I have really struggled with in the last few months, and I know it has not been the priority for me that it certainly should be. If you have any tips on how to make time for quality Bible study, let me know in the comments. 
Well, that's it for now. I hope you all are enjoying your Sundays!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Press On

Some of you have asked me to share a little more about my upcoming trip to Haiti and why serving kids and families in a totally different country than my own means so much to me. I'm hoping maybe I can explain that a little bit more by sharing a couple verses with you.

Hosea 6:3 says, "Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring." I have always loved this verse because it portrays knowing God as something we work at and push for and strain for--it doesn't always come naturally and it involves seeking after Him with all our hearts--but the reward is so beautiful and so certain. He will respond to us as surely as even the changing of the seasons.

But then what does it mean, exactly, to know the Lord? This is such a multifaceted concept and I know I can't fully dig into that in this small space....but Jeremiah 22:16 shares at least one thing that knowing the Lord most definitely encompasses. It says, "He defended the rights of the poor and needy . . . isn't that what it means to know me?"

Well, isn't it? God's heart is for the poor and needy and broken and voiceless, and it's always been that way! If you tried to cut out every part of Scripture where it talks about justice for the poor, helping the needy and orphans and widows, and speaking up for those who can't speak up for themselves, your Bible would literally be full of holes because it's everywhere. Everywhere. God spoke up for us when we couldn't speak up for ourselves! While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He stood in the gap for us. He fully embraced our brokenness and took our dirt and grime and scars and shame upon himself. The economy of God has never favored the rich and powerful! The economy of God blesses the last in line, the utterly devastated, the outcasts, the sick, the impoverished, and the desperate . . . a woman who's been bleeding for 12 years, a criminal gasping out his final breaths on a cross, a widow down to her last two pennies. And we are each commanded over and over again in Scripture to jump on board with God's way of looking at things, to embrace His deeply compassionate heart, knowing that whatever we do for the least of these, we are truly, truly doing for Him.

Isn't this one major way in which we can press on to know the Lord? If God's heart is for the poor and broken--both physically and spiritually--how can ours not be as well? As Christians, we are called to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken, hurting, hungry, impoverished world. We can't be content to just sit back and let suffering happen, or let injustices prevail. It's easier and more convenient and rocks our world less to sit back and do nothing, but I just can't sit back and do nothing. I'm not willing to sit back and do nothing when there are needs to be met, cups of cold water to be given out, love to be offered in tangible, practical ways to people who need it the most. When we love other people in this way, we are pressing on to know the Lord! We press on to know and acknowledge the Lord when we get behind what He is behind and go where He goes, because His grace goes absolutely everywhere . . . to the prisons and brothels and crack houses and homeless shelters and orphanages, and to desperately poor villages in need of hope like Titanyen, Haiti. I want to know God more deeply today than I knew Him yesterday, and when we love the broken, we press on to know the Lord because that is SO near and dear to the heart of God. There's a lot of desperate need in Haiti, and there's a lot of need right in front of us, too, in our own communities. I feel a strong calling to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti and such a love for the people there, and ultimately I feel an overwhelming urge to hear the heartbeat of God wherever I go, whether it's loving orphans in a tiny Haitian village or fighting for children to be protected by our legal system at my job every day. God's made it so clear that His heart beats for the broken and needy, so shouldn't ours too? Let's be about our Father's business and love what He loves and be passionate about what He is passionate about, because this is part of what it means to press on and push forward and lay aside every hindrance to know the Lord. We serve and love because He first loved us. We are the instruments of His grace because we have first received His grace. And I want my life to be well done, not just well said . . . don't you?

Press on.

Monday, February 2, 2015

You Don't Have Time

You don't have time to wait till tomorrow to do what God has called you to do today.

You don't have time to sit around waiting for the "right moment" to act on your God-given talents and abilities . . . there's a broken world out there and it needs you NOW.

You don't have time to know the good you ought to do without doing it. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

You can't wait till tomorrow to live your life on mission and to be about your Father's business . . . do it today! If you're not living your life on mission, why not? What exactly are you waiting for?

You don't have time to get to so caught up in the world's flimsy and ephemeral definition of success that you forget to give a cup of cold water to someone in need. Doing good is more important than doing well. And we don't do good works so that we are saved . . . we do them because we are saved.

You don't have time to be living your life with anything less than a sense of passionate urgency, because the days run short. As the Psalmist said, "Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom!" Number them . . . it is ok to stop and ponder once in awhile on the fact that your life won't last forever. Though some would claim this is morbid, what better way to become thankful for the breath and life you have today--and then to go out and do something with it? Something compassionate and inspiring and God-honoring and hopeful and fearless?

You don't have time to build your life on the shifting sands of wealth, beauty, success, power, and fame. Build your life on a firm foundation, one you know will hold fast, come what may.

You don't have time to waste comparing yourself to others or your life to so-and-so's life when you could just be following Jesus. As Jesus said to his disciple Peter, "What is that to you? You must follow me!" (John 21:22)

Get off the couch and do what God has called you to do, and do it now! Believe me, I'm speaking to myself more than to anyone else . . . but really, just do it. I don't know what it is for you. I know what it is for me . . . I literally have a list right now of specific tasks I feel God is leading me to do and it's time for me to get moving on it.

Don't waste your time, because that's what your life is made of. Get up and get moving. I need to follow Jesus. You need to follow Jesus. No one has time for anything less than that.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Readers, I am back after my long but much-needed hiatus. Maintaining this blog has just not been a high priority for me in the last couple of months as I've been busy with work, and I can't promise it will be that high of a priority in 2015 either, but I have missed writing and I do want to try to give you at least a few posts a month moving forward. So don't give up on me yet!

As is everyone else, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on everything that happened in 2014 and all the goals I have for 2015. In a way, I was sorry to see 2014 go. God has been very, VERY faithful and kind to me in the past year, and I've had the sheer joy of seeing Him answer prayers with a "yes" that I had previously thought might always be answered with a "no." He has worked in my life in ways that previously He had not worked, placed opportunities in front of me that I could not have imagined having, and walked with me while I've faced a lot of my fears, teaching me that I wanted to pursue His plans for me more than I was afraid of pursuing them, and these past few days I've just been celebrating that. With graduating from law school, my trip to Haiti (where I left a little piece of my heart), starting a job I absolutely love as an attorney, moving to the city I've wanted to live in for a long time, passing the bar exam, running my first two half-marathons, and appearing in court on behalf of real clients for the first time ever, this past year has been full of exciting and happy moments. I can't wait for many more to come in the year ahead as I encounter new challenges and tackle more things I've never tackled before.

Some of my goals for 2015?

  • Go to Iceland and see the Northern Lights
  • See the Colosseum in Rome
  • Watch the sun rise/ set over the Eiffel Tower (these first three should be able to be accomplished on the trip to Europe, traveling through Iceland, that Meagan and I are planning for late fall of 2015)
  • Begin handling my own cases at the firm
  • Do a deposition by myself
  • Appear in court by myself (as opposed to being supervised by my boss, as I was when I did trials this fall)
  • Go to New York City and see a show on Broadway
  • Read at least 50 books
  • Go to Haiti again
  • Get sworn in to practice law before the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court
  • Read the Bible from cover to cover
  • Become a better listener (it has come to my attention that I'm not really such a great listener. Time to improve on this vital skill). 
  • Pay off all credit card debt and start a new habit of saving cash BEFORE I buy things instead of putting them on credit and paying them off later. 

Well, I wish I had some deeply inspirational thoughts for 2015 but I really don't. I'm just excited to be getting back to blogging after so long away! I am going to try to be kinder, more joyful, more determined, more tenacious, and more fearless in 2015 than I was in 2014, and I hope you will too. Happy New Year!