Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm in the mood to run.

I'm in the mood to run but perhaps not the kind of running you think.  Not the legs pumping, heart pounding, sweat pouring physical endeavor.  I am in the mood to pack a light bag, get in my car on this cool morning, turn up some musical poetry to an all consuming volume, and drive drive drive, windows down, cool fall air in my hair, and take a long break from my life.

Lately, I have been very blessed.  But these blessings come with responsibilities, probably more responsibilities than I have ever encountered before in my life.  For the most part, I am enjoying this adventure, planning an event to remember for the rest of our lives.  But with every aspect to consider enters about twenty more tasks or steps and about one to three new contacts to coordinate with.  I feel the need to drive till I see an ocean and throw my cell phone in it, and then climb into said ocean myself just to float.  To let a creation God made hold me up to feel as if I was literally in His hands, which, I guess, I am.

I'm tired though.  I'm not exactly overwhelmed as I have a handle on things, but I am yearning a bit for those days when there are no plans except to breathe.  I miss my fiance and just the ability to simply BE together without the outside world constantly giving us it's two cents.  I wouldn't mind throwing him in that car too along with my lightly packed bag and lyrical poetry of Joni and Patty.  I just want to sing, rest, shed the responsibilities, until I am good and ready to return and get back to work.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

God will always provide.

Last week was the hardest week of my life.  Ben took me to the hospital very early Tuesday morning and I was diagnosed with a kidney stone.  I will spare you the gory details but I will just tell you that, after literally writhing in pain for hours, and then having to go through more pain spells over the following few days, I am more grateful than ever to be rid of the stone, be back to work, and for the most supportive and loving man by my side.

All that being said, I missed 3 full days of work.  My vacation time doesn't renew to September.  Leave it to me to have an emergency in the last month of my vacation days when the three I have left have been so carefully banked for a lovely trip to Chicago with Ben to see friends, family, and my 10 year HS reunion.  That's just the way it goes though.  Add in the new medical expenses and, needless to say, I was really worried about money in general and for our trip.

I went to church on Sunday morning and I prayed to God in worship.  I didn't ask for anything in particular, just took the time to spend with Him.  I remember struggling over giving my tithe.  I prayed about how much I could afford in my giving and decided to give as much as I could even if it was hard.  God had brought me out of a really hard place.  I remember thinking, "This is one way I give back to God for His blessings, and the blessings to come, however they will present themselves."  I try not to be a reluctant giver.  Please don't think I am trying to get credit for my actions here, it's just that this personal detail is applicable to the rest of my story.

Yesterday, I came back to work and my boss, in his true generous and wonderful fashion offered to let me work extra hours to make up for my lost time.  I was so happy to hear this and it really relieved so much stress.  I thought I was going to have to go back to the restaurant and pick up shifts to make up the difference (something I am trying hard to not have to do) but now I have a way.

Then the most miraculous thing happened.  I got a card from a client that we worked with to get her home rented.  We only work in sales and usually help our sellers find rentals only as a favor to them since we don't get paid in the process as there is no real commission standard for rentals in TN.  It's hard work to find a renter and often involves more work than even finding a buyer does.  I had done a lot for this seller in finding her a renter but I never expected a personal thank you from her, this just hasn't happened before in this job.

So I get this card, thanking me for my work, and there is a check inside with my name on it!  Just when I was down and out, just when I thought I wasn't going to be able to do the things I planned in Chicago with Ben, just when I thought the lost work and medical expenses were going to swallow me alive, there was God, working through this lovely woman to bless me and to bring me home.  I truly believe this was God's work in my life, the timing was so uncanny.  Always give praise!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm trying to be more mindful of this...

God Has a Plan for Your Life 
by Rick Warren   

“[A]nd let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1c (NLT)

I’ve said many times that God has a plan for your life. But what I want to emphasize is that his plan, which Paul describes as a race in today’s verse, is custom-designed for you and you alone.

You are supposed to run the race God has set for you. Not the race you set for yourself, not the race other people set for you, and not the race culture sets for you. You only run the race God has set for you. If you try to run any other course, you are going to fail and get discouraged.

The reason why so many people are discouraged today is that they are trying to please other people. Living for the approval of others is a weight that holds you back. You need to stop!

How do you know what is the race God wants you to run? Look at your SHAPE. Your SHAPE is your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences. What are you gifted to do? What do you love? What are your abilities? What is your personality? What are your experiences?

God doesn’t want rabbits to fly and eagles to swim. They are shaped to do what they are supposed to do, and you are shaped to do what God wants you to do. So stop trying to run other people’s races and go run God’s race for you!

Take a look at this new curriculum from Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.

This devotional is copyrighted 2011 by Rick Warren. Used by permission.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


To me you are Chanel No 5, Sandlewood, lazy summer days, peaches dripping down my chin, Farmers Markets, VW vans with bad seatbelts,  smokes, Coca-Cola Classic cans, rope swings, skinny dipping in the lake, magic mud, fireflies, colors, painting, teaching me art is just me and that is beautiful enough, in fact it's the most beautiful thing.  That's what you are to me.  The most beautiful thing, you made my childhood magical.  I miss you already and I can hardly stand it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Day in the Life

Taken from one of my favorite blogs:  Very Culinary

Weather outside: According to my Iphone 75 degrees and sunny.  (It's rainy in my head though...been a little bit of a sadness day for me, woke up weepy and too reflective.  ADDITIONALLY  a cicada was in my car and some church lady thought I was crazy when I pulled my car over frantically begging her to get it out.  I might note I did not have a clue who this said church lady was.  BLESS HER.)

On my desk: Papers, files, things I have failed to keep organized, I'm working on all this today.

On my lap: I wish I could say a puppy but truly there is nothing on my lap unless you count my pants.

On my feet: Old flats that I want to replace but can't afford to.  *Sigh*

On my nightstand: Eat, Pray, Love.   So far I love it.

On my mind: How I can get more involved, more active, strengthen my friendships, etc.

In my Amazon shopping cart:  I'm more a library girl...

In the Netflix queue: Legend's of the Fall, Out of Africa, and The Sandlot

In the oven: So far this week it was more crock pot Pot Roast and Rotisserie Chicken in my Ronco...

In my ears: My book on tape House Rules by Jodi Picoult

In my tummy: Leftovers :-)

In my future:  Tonight Zumba with my favorite...Lorenza!  

On tap for dinner: Probably a quick pasta night since it's just me BUT tomorrow I am making either curry chicken or bison flank steak!

Latest obsession: Looking forward to my debt being paid off and these Pottery Classes!!

Happy Thursday, everyone! What’s on your nightstand? In your Netflix queue? In the oven?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A new Wee bit Wednesdays...and a day late at that!

{one} what profession have you always admired?
Social Work.  Sometimes I think I want to BE a social worker because they are so amazing and courageous...then I realize I'm NOT that courageous.  My grandmother, my sister, my mother, my aunt, ALL social workers changing the world one client at a time.

{two} what would the title of your memoir/biography be if it was written today?
"The Unexamined Life is not Worth Living..."  Is it bad if my title is a quote from someone else?  I am a the ultimate collaborator.

{three} how far do you commute to work?
5 minutes!  Lucky girl!

{four} are your earlobes attached or detached?

{five} do you eat the unpopped kernels of popcorn at the bottom of the bag?
Only if they’re half unpopped…yup.

{six} what is the strangest gift you’ve ever received?
Not sure I have anything strange.  I have gotten many wonderful gifts.  Maybe one of the most creative was my Daddy at Christmas.  He gave me a box inside a box inside a box inside a...well you get the idea and in the final box was 100 $1 bills.  Awesome when you are 12...or even now!

{seven} what is one tv show that you wish hadn’t been cancelled?
Maybe Heroes... I am watching it now and I am in like season 3 but it did seem to last a while.  I also loved that one with Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser...Mad About You!

{eight} what is something that you are saving money for right now?
Trip to Chicago at the end of August with my honey!

{nine} what hobby would you like to take up?
Pottery Throwing.  I grew up with a potter in the family and I used to do it as a kid.  I want to do it now as an adult!

{ten} how many times a year do you get really dressed up?
As often as possible.  Hopefully at least once a month.  I go to a lot of benefits :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Help kids with cancer!

Well, most of you know I hate it when people have cancer.  I HATE IT.  Cancer sucks.  So how can cancer be any meaner?  It can affect little kids.  Boooooo cancer!!  So let's help kids and keep working to kick cancer's butt!

This video is dedicated to Gretchen and Larry Witt, in the memory of their son Liam, who would have been seven years old this year.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I have a confession, I have an obsession....

Adele, like most of us, has stolen my heart and I can't get enough.  Neither can the CD player in my car, my computer at work, or my Iphone.  Somehow, we were able to score tickets for her Ryman show in a few months (not somehow was Bruno magic).  She hits all the essential elements for me.  Sultry sound, R&B influence, reminiscent of the 60's style.  I even adore her use of fake eyelashes and beehive-esk hair styles.  I love loving her for just being her.  Her talent is impeccable and she strikes me as a woman who is just doing what she does best.  Not over produced, just genuine, my favorite kind of everything in this world.

Check out this incredible NPR "Tiny Desk Concert".  Did I mention I also admire her sheepish humility too?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How To Be Alone

I know a lovely lady named Ellen and she recently shared this video on her blog.  Ben is out of town until Monday and he goes on trips very often.  In the last 5 years or so I have forgotten how to take joy in being alone.  Perhaps it is because when I lived in Chicago I was surrounded by people but felt more alone than ever and I don't like revisiting that feeling.  Lately I have decided not to revisit it, but redefine it instead. 

This video very much illustrates my new mindset and even gave me some more ideas that I am excited and motivated to try out while I am alone.  I especially love the dancing one, although I'm not sure I am brave enough for that one just yet.  If it wasn't pouring outside I would take that hike but instead I am going to visit the library stacks (not uncommon for me) and then curl up with some Sleepytime tea and a book.  Maybe even the one my friend Annie Downs wrote...(From Head to Foot).  From here on out, every time I am worried or anxious about being alone, I am going to re-watch this video and feel strong.  In the past few days while Ben has been away I've reconnected with old friends (I get to hang out with a old high school buddy 6th grade boyfriend...ooh lala...and his beautiful new girl), I have seen some incredible music, I finished one book, caught up on my trashy TV, cleaned my room (still working on this one), and plan for much more. 

I always prefer having Ben by my side, but it is important for both of us that my inner joy is satisfied and he can enjoy his time away without having to worry about me.  Although I am sad to miss beautiful Katie Bruno's senior vocal recital at The U, and an opportunity to see Ben's family, so far, this trip has been lovely. 

Poem written and Performed by Tanya Davis who I know want to get to know.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quote from the Creator of The Good Wife Supper Club

The Good Wife Supper Club She knows my heart.....

"Angela Hirst* once told me that my cooking style was wholesome.  When I made food, attention was paid to everything and it was lovingingly brought together and presented as a whole, beautiful dish.  I have thought about that many times, when I reflect on why it is I cook.  I don’t cook because I think I am the best or extrodinarily gifted.  I cook because I am chasing after this ideal of what good food can mean – health, pleasure, connection to persons and seasons, culture, inspiration, etc, etc.  I want all the beauty food can bring because life is hard sometimes.  Like now, it’s hard.  I worry about what I’m going to cook and  I worry about life, and then I start cooking and it brings my focus to the pleasure of my simple tasks at hand – make soup, chop this, roast that, whip that over there.  And then I am consumed in a world of comforting smells and satisfying bites, sharing with others, and it makes me feel whole."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Eat Clean Me

Miss Heather Trabucco and her amazing blog called A Shaped Life recently turned me on to The Eat Clean Diet created by Tosca Reno.  Ben and I have been reading this book (I'm trying for cover to cover) and so far we have learned so much.  I think the trouble I have is I just don't really know how to eat healthy.  Yeah I know I can grab an apple over a candy bar, but I am talking about consistent lifestyle changing eating.  It takes so much planning and I am not a very patient person.

I'm challenging myself to literally change my tastebuds.  I want to get to the point where I no longer crave a Fillet o' Fish (I just saw half of you cringe) but instead want and actually get satisfied by fruits and vegetables.  It's not that I hate veggies (I add mushrooms to my cream sauces all the time!  Haha), I've just never enjoyed the taste of raw veggies.  I really want this to change.

I'm combining this with my free and lovely Iphone/Web App called Lose It!  It is an old faithful for me and I am using it to move on from Weight Watchers.  Weight Watchers is great, for most, but I need something different.  The Lose It app is improved and better than ever! 

I, Libby Marshall, have started putting wheat germ on my cereal.  Who ever thought I would say that.  Go check out this book!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five things that have captured my heart...

Paris Fashion Week

 Ok so I only in the last 4 years or so really started paying attention to and learning about fashion.  There are a few fashion blogs I subscribe to and I have also found myself indulging in Vogue and Elle.  This week I have been captivated by some of the styles from Paris' Fashion Week.  Check these out.  Incredible...I love the drama of these pieces (oh the gowns!!).


Can we PLEASE have a new season already.  I am dying here.  I miss the style, the red lips, the fragility of humanity for crying out loud!  I hear rumors that the premier of Season 5 might not be till fall of 2011.  I may wither by then.  I kind of miss the days that Ben and I could watch it whenever we wanted cause we had to catch up to the current season since we didn't start when Madmen was this is just torture.

Ugg - The Ashdale
It's a comfy slipper/golf shoe.  Don't know why but I just love these little goodies!!

A Fine Frenzy
I just love this fun, flirty, and sweet sound.  I love lilting music.  Always have.  Album is A Bomb in a Birdcage.  So far my favorite song is "Happier" and it's all about letting go of someone to make more room for the good in your life.  As someone who has always struggled with detachment I really relate.  I also love her gorgeous red hair!

Trip Planning

My boyfriend and I like to get out of town.  Recently he had been gone on a big trip for work but I haven't left town since the holidays and I wouldn't really call that a vacation.  Not to mention he and I were apart.  We have been discussing our next trip recently and it looks like we will be headed out of town in a few weeks.  I'll jeep you updated once we decide the delicious destination!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Drum Corps...if you aren't aware of this, you need to be.

Can I just say that drum corps amazes me? I knew about it (very very limitedly) before Ben and I started dating but I never really realized it's magnificence till this past year when Ben took me with him to the Drum Corps International (DCI) competition in Mufreesboro this past year.  I was enthralled.  The discipline these kids have to display is awe-inspiring.  The drama in the performances reminds me of ballet and I am on the edge of my seat throughout each and every performance.

I really wish I gotten the chance to see our dear friend Dan Twiford play with The Cavaliers.  I still can't believe that he was a part of this amazing organization.  It's so impressive.  Now he teaches with Rhythm X.

Below you will find a video of the Army drum Corps.  See the MAPEX branding!  That's Ben's company!  I think it's awesome that they play his brand.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

{one} have you ever been on tv?

Yes, I was a part of this awesome organization with some of my close friends for a while call Giving Back is the New Black  and I organized an event to raise money for flood victims in Nashville and the news crews came out!!  I'm sad that the news channel no longer has it on their website :-( 

{two} what was the best movie you saw last year?

Hmmmm...Inception, Shutter Island, or ...Harry Potter!

{three} do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Bottom tucked in, everything else..OUT!

{four} do you cut coupons?
nope. I probably should, but I don’t.  My roommie Katie tries to help me with this too and give me coupons but somehow I always end up at the store without them feeling guilty when self checkout asks me if I have any...

{five} do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Not really...maybe if I am working out.

{six} what sauce do you dip your chicken nuggets in?
Straight, pure HONEY.  Hold the mustard.

{seven} do you have any magazine subscriptions?
I had self for a while.  Annah got my Country Living and I am obsessed with it.  
Thanks, Ruthie, for that introdruction

{eight} when was the last time you wrote a letter on paper?
Do cards to my boyfriend count?  If so, Christmas.

{nine} what’s your favorite fruit pie?
Does cobbler count?  If so blackberry cobbler...yummmmmmmm.

{ten} black olives or green olives?
BOTH! I love olives!!

your turn!

I would be wise to remember this...

"Your giftedness and charm may open doors but your character will determine what you will do once those doors are open. We can become enamored with a person's gifting and or/charisma in which we then tend to excuse their sin, arrogance, and bad character."  ~  Shared by Tiana Song from her pastor one Sunday morning.
Ben and I an New Years Eve 2010
Ben is always talking about character.  The Bible is too come to think of it.  Ben often uses character as a measure of whether someone can be trusted and is good to have in his/our life.  Character can be such an ambiguous term but I think this definition fits best to what I am referring to:  "The inherent complex of attributes that determines a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions."  Character is one of the most important things that defines us.  It shows God, others, and even ourselves the kind of person we really are, what we value, who we value, and how we nurture those values.
I try, daily, to apply this to my life, how I make decisions, and how I treat those around me.  Will I go the extra mile for a friend in need?  Will I take time that I generally define as "mine" to serve someone else, to consciously spend time with God, to cheer up a friend, to pass on a work of kindness, listen when someone needs it most, or do something just because it is "the right thing to do"?  
I think that I am often shocked by others who don't inherently think this way or consider these things.  I know I shouldn't be, selfishness and self-centeredness runs rampant in our society, but I honestly just don't know how these people live with themselves.  Perhaps I care too much about others feelings but, believe me, I wouldn't choose to have it the other way around.  I adore caring for others.  Nurturing my friendships, family, and other relationships drives me in this life.  If I have to fight my co-dependent nature so be it, but rather that than be an insensitive person.  I have been told (honestly by many people over the years) that my efforts to show my love can be "overwhelming" and "too intense".  I can see that as being true but I refuse to apologize for loving too hard.  I crave deep relationships and that is just a part of who I am.
When I think I have hurt someone I lose sleep at night until I at least try to make it right.  I wonder why others are not this way.  I am confused by how others are able to deeply hurt the ones they love and completely detach.  Perhaps this is harder for them than they show, but all I can see if what they do outwardly.  The detachment ability, I must admit, I am jealous of.  I think I would be less hurt by some of the rejection in my past had I been able to harness this trait.     
Annah Joseph and Little Niece Claire
 Which brings me to my next point, I think it's very important for me to remember that it is only through a person's outward actions that I can judge what kind of character they have and how much (or how little) I should allow them into my lives.  I am not able to see into their minds, read their emotions (not to mention properly interpret them), or know what motivates them (nor would I always agree with the importance of that motivation).  Annah, my beautiful sister, when once I asked her about trying to decipher if someone is trustworthy or the measure of their faith, said to me , "Look at what their feet do."  You can never truly know someone else's priorities or motivations, but when it comes to your involvement with them, watch their feet.  In other words, what kind of relationships do they create?  Are they healthy ones or not?  How do they walk through this life?  What do they show you is important to them on a daily basis and is that the kind of person you want influencing you and surrounding you?  We hate to admit it but others DO effect us.  They inspire us, deflate us, and change us.  The strength of OUR character is often tested by others, and we sometimes only get to see how strong we are in our efforts to over come their influence.
Make no mistake, even if a person has good character, he or she is still human, will make mistakes, and will sometimes fail to "fix" a mistake they have made.  This is when we are asked to be forgiving towards them.  We are to love them anyway.  This does not however mean that we are to forget; it also doesn't mean that we have to continue an intimate relationship with them.  It IS, however, IMPERATIVE that we forgive them.  Otherwise we breed hate and resentment in our hearts and that, my friends, can then poison our own character.  Something to surely be avoided.
The Bible often refers to character as "fruit".  In fact in the NIV version it is mentioned over 150 times.  "It appears first in Genesis 1:11, the first book and chapter of the Old Testament, and its final occurrence is in Revelation 22:2, the last book and chapter of the New Testament." (Greg Johnson)  Greg states that in his findings if something is repeated frequently in The Bible, there is at least one important lesson to be learned from it.  I, also, have found this to be true.  I could go on and on about this subject, but when it comes to The Bible it's probably best to let it speak for itself.   
Matthew 7:16-20; By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Galatians 5:22-23; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Matthew 12:33; Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.  
Luke 6:43-45; No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Jesus Himself even said:
John 15:1-8; "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."  
The "vine" is our community in Christ and we are shown here that, if we leave Christ, we are not to survive, we will wither.  So when it comes to character (and fruit) I just need to keep my eye on Christ, to cling to the vine, to be as like Him as I can, and to use the Fruits of the Spirit ("love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control") to the absolute best of my ability.  This is the only true character that matters.

Thursday, January 13, 2011