"The world is but a canvas to the imagination." -HDT

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request

Hello my beautiful friends! I know many of you are strong Christians and you are aware of the power of prayer. I am asking you all to band together in order to grace a family with that incredible power. My friend, Leah, texted me the other night informing me that her mother had a stroke and was in need of prayer. Within 24 hours, her mother was air lifted to Baptist Hospital and underwent treatment on her brain. She is currently in critical condition and is not responsive to anything. There is a large amount of fluid on her brain and things are not looking too well.  The doctor's believe it's going to take a miracle to save her. So friends, I am asking you to pray ceaselessly for this incredibly sweet family. I know our God is capable of that miracle and can make it happen in moments. Leah's family really needs some love and prayers right now, and if you all wouldn't mind to keep her in your hearts, that would be incredible of you. I know miracles are possible, and I'm praying it's in God's will to perform one on her mom. Thank you all so much!
With tons of love,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

11.5 Short Thoughts:

1.) Change starts with a girl. I want to start a campus outreach program for the Girl Effect. Never heard of it? Check it out here and go make a difference. 50 million, 12-year-old girls will love you for it.

2.) Last night's Carolina vs. Duke game made me extremely proud of my Tar Heels. Despite the fact we lost, it's amazing the strength found between the players on the team. I'm Tar Heel born and bred, and so proud of it.

3.) Bones has been blowing my mind lately. It's always been awesome, but they are just outdoing themselves recently. If you've never watched Bones, go watch all the seasons so you can then go watch the Gravedigger Trial episode in season 6. First 4 minutes cannot even be described into words. Seriously.

4.) Sometimes I feel like I need my own warning label.

5.) Maybe my real calling is to open at orphanage. Katie will help me fund it and Nate will be our cook. And those kiddos will be so loved by us, they'll feel & understand the love of Christ, and eat asian noodles every single day.

6.) I'm learning what it means to bear my cross. It's a beautiful and humbling process.

7.) My Women's Studies class really makes me question all woman-kind. And not in a good way.

8.) My brother made the Carolina Honors Band and will be spending the weekend here at UNCG with Nate and I. So excited and oh so proud of him!!

9.) I use my speeches in my communications class as a witnessing opportunity. Seeing people cry and say amen at the end of my speech makes me realize that it wasn't me up there speaking, it was God speaking through me. Every little thing can make a difference.

10.) Elizabeth Gilbert's writing continues to make me want to seek God, love unconditionally, and travel the world. I feel like she's taken my brain and splattered it onto the pages of her books.

11.) My name is Annaliese and I'm addicted to the Mac Application Store.

11.5) when making ramen soup from scratch, always remember to skim the scum...

Clearing the Air

After the Heaven post from a few months ago, I've received some concern as to what exactly is going on in my life. 
In January I went to see a specialist about the internal bleeding I was dealing with. Since then I have officially been diagnosed with Endometriosis. This is good because it explains a lot of what's been going on. However, it's also bad because both endo and PCOS are clashing diseases that refuse to get along. By treating one issue, it only makes the other one worse. This has led to a treatment that will put my ovaries to sleep until further notice. It's going to be an adventure for sure... and it's a little scary because I know how this will emotionally take a toll on me. 
My body is extremely confused as to what exactly it's supposed to do. As of 4 weeks ago, I feel like I've gone through puberty, menopause, and suffered symptoms of pregnancy, minus actually being pregnant with a baby. There's nothing like hot flashes, morning sickness, and mood swings all at once.  Because this treatment directly correlates with my hormones, I can feel myself sinking into the depression I had suffered in the past, and it's very terrifying. I do not want to go back to that person I was. And I will not. It has definitely challenged my trust in God and my relationship with Nate and my family. However, this challenge is a good challenge because it really has helped me to realize not only how loved I am, but also how strong I can be as well. They have not left my side and although they are struggling with me on this, I know they are not going anywhere. My testimony is still in the process of being written. 

Because of these emotionally difficulties I'm dealing with right now, we've decided to make a personal treatment for me. While physically, on the road to recovery, I will also be on the road to personal happiness. This is a way for me to find joy and contentment in my life, despite what my body and hormones are trying to say.

The first step? After this recent discovery and diagnosis, Nate and I came to the conclusion to go speak to Dr. Joe at Lawndale. 
Dr. Joe is one of the most wise, if not the wisest, man that I've ever come across. By the end of our discussion, both Nate and I were speechless (shocker right?) The conclusion though? It had been laid on my heart to join Lawndale since Thanksgiving and finally, it was time to make a public announcement of faith and become a member of this amazing church.  This was the first step to my own personal road to happiness. And as of January 23rd, I became a member of Lawndale. 

The second? MB and I had been having difficulties in our relationship over Christmas and it came to the point where neither one of us was speaking to the other. It was very challenging to deal with, both emotionally and physically, because my trust had really been tried.  However, three weeks after we returned from break, it was placed on my heart (well placed is not a good word... thrusted is more like it) that I forgive MB and we try to start our friendship anew. I found myself with Nate one night discussing what had been placed on my heart. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and explained that only the love of God could change a heart that was so hurt. Only He could change it to the point where I wanted to forgive MB, to the point where I openly admitted that I missed her. Then he put his arm around me and said something that I will never in my whole life forget: 
"You've been so busy trying not to die, that you've forgotten how to live. You have Christ on your side, risk it." 
As soon as he said those words,  my phone rang and it was MB...
the rest is history.

As the trials come and go, 
the scary moments when my body fails, or when my emotions get the best of me, 
I've realized that in Christ alone my hope is found. I know that the only way I'm going to survive myself during this treatment is to be completely engulfed in Him.  I may be weak, but His spirit is strong within me, my flesh may fail, but my God never will. 

This whole experience has helped me to overcome my silly self conscious concerns, it's helped me to rely on God to fight for me, when I cannot fight for myself. It's made me realize just how much I am loved from my family and how devoted they are to making me feel better. It's brought Nate and I closer than we ever were before and I know that by growing in God, the best is yet to come.  My testimony is constantly writing itself out, but I know the end result will be beautiful because it will be written in the glory of God. 
Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

And I can barely contain my excitement for that glory...

In Other News

Everyone take a moment to breathe, 
the Christmas updates are finally over!! 
So in other news, what's been going on 
with the gang in Greensboro, 
since we're returned to school? 

we have taken the time to take photoshoots of each other...
I mean, 
we study...

we play leap frog in the middle of the snowy streets...

we walk to Tate Street at 11:00 at night
 to fulfill cravings for Chinese food. 

We eat Chinese food at least 4 times a week...
that's not a lie at all. 

We pose in the meditation room and take modeling pictures, 
because we all know that no one actually 
meditates in the meditation room.

we get the last two tickets to WinterJam before
they completely sell out so we can see
Francesca Battistelli,
 David Crowder Band,
and the Newsboys be mindblowing. 

We cheer on the Packers in honor of passed friends 
at the Lawndale Super Bowl Party. 
Which may I add, is just like Christmas, 
lots of food, lots of laughs, 
and everyone comes out to visit. 

Did I mention it's February? 
Say what? 
New Years feels like it was just yesterday,
what on earth!

I Get It From My Mom

where does my decorating sense come from? 
Definitely my mother, 
just look at the Christmas decorations
 she graced our house with this holiday.
Such a beautiful and creative mind she has!

A Baby Changes Everything

Every year our church puts on the the annual 
Greensboro Christmas Spectacular,
and every year, the show blows the sock off the show
from the previous year. 

This year our show was entitled: 
"A Baby Changes Everything" 
and it was beyond incredible. 
Our music program goes all out for these shows 
and I am more than blessed to be a part of it. 

This year the first act was "Toy Story."
Yes, you heard right. 
We're talking toy soldiers coming down from the ceiling,
Buzz, Woody, and the whole gang. 
Truly amazing and beyond cute. 

The second act was the always moving nativity scene. 
This act is always my favorite because it is beyond precious. 
We had a baby nativity scene put on by the children, 
as well as an adult scene. 
Kings were coming down from the balcony 
and onto stage, dressed in full costume, 
it was heart stopping and incredibly moving. 
The real message of Jesus was portrayed, 
and that's the message of love. 
God moved in big ways through this program! 

My lovely family came to see the show, 
since Nate, Katie, and I were all in it. 
It was so wonderful to get to share this joy with them! 

Nate and I rocked the cello/bassoon lines in the pit orchestra. 
However, I can tell you that mics pick up laughs very easily, 
especially our laughs...
 not that we can tell you that from experience or anything. ;) 
It's always a blast to sit next to my best friend in pit, 
always some kind of trouble is bound to occur. 

Miss Katie K and I, laughing at what is probably one of our 
hilarious stories we share with each other. I am so very blessed 
to have gotten to know this girl, she's such a light in my life! 

We had three shows to perform and after Saturday's performance 
we all went out to Chili's with our friend Brandon. 
I got hung up on when calling for reserved seating,
Katie received a bent fork, 
and we got placed in the bar since they didn't actually 
write down that I called ahead for seating. 
However, it all ended well with free chips 
and a hilarious waitress. 

you know how we do, 
always being classy in public. 

we spent hours sitting around and entertaining ourselves...
and this is what we came up with.
It's a talent like no other. 

the beautiful Christmas tree. 
This show is just one of the 
millions of reasons that I love my church. 
Lawndale is one of those places that's just not afraid
to reach out into the community and share the story of Jesus. 
It was the 2009 show brought me to Lawndale, 
and since then, I've come to learn who God is on a personal level. 
I am forever grateful for this church 
and I'm proud to now call it my home. 

CRU Christmas Party

Yes, I realize that I'm just now posting Christmas pictures, 
but you know what? 
It's okay, we could use the Christmas cheer all year round, 
if you ask me :)

The Bible Study girls and I at the CRU Christmas party. 
(minus Katie and a select few others) 

The lovely Maria Elena and Taylor Ann. 
I love these girls oh so much. 

Merry Christmas from our severely awkward family :)

MB couldn't be there, 
so we just pretended she was there
for our family photo. 

I love absolutely everything about this photo! 

the boys serenading us with Christmas carols...
or at least their versions of Christmas carols. 

I'll claim him as my brother anyday. 

So tell me now, 
despite it's almost Valentine's day,
how was everyone's Christmas? 


Spartan Basketball!

I went to my first basketball game of the season this past 
December with these lovely ladies. 
Although we lost (which what else can be expected these days),
we definitely enjoyed our girl bonding time. 

TA has this amazing penguin hat, 
and I feel the need to tell you just how incredibly cool it is, 
and that although not everyone can pull one off, 
everyone should at least own one for the their own 
personal entertainment. 

We ended the night off with midnight breakfast 
and energy drinks and staying up until 4am. 

What shenanigans have you all gotten yourselves into? 

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