Saturday, September 21, 2013

Balancing Life and Putting God First

A lot has been going on in the Swafford house lately, so much that I haven't had time to update my blog.  This makes me so happy, though, because it is exactly what I prayed for.  I want a full, crazy life.  After high school, I kind of lost track of many of my friends.  I was so devoted to passing the nursing program that I just didn't have any time for anything else.  Then we got married and I had to learn about marriage, having a home, and starting a new job.  Things finally started coming together, but Russ decided he wanted to go to law school and we had to start over again.  I thought I would be able to keep up with everyone, since I was just an hour or an hour and a half away, but it was much harder than I thought.  I did make time for family, but it was hard to find time with friends.  Now, I am trying to work and go to school full time, so I have even more limited time.  I was missing out on so much and it was because my life was being put on hold for school.  I was over it! God spoke to me and told me I needed to check my priorities.  So, now I try to read my devotion and Bible everyday.  I feel like if God is put first then everything else will workout like it should.  I have started spending more time with family even if there is an assignment due and doing things with friends that I actually want to do. The old me would have said, "Oh no Christy, you can't drive all the way to Nashville to visit your friend and her baby in the NICU. You've got to stay at home and do homework all day."  And, although, I guess you can say that is good that I was so disciplined, it was just too much.  There was no balance and I was not living life to its fullest.  I am so much more happy now and am definitely seeing God's hand in our lives. I am hopeful I will make more friends here in Knoxville and am also keeping up with old friendships as well.  I have also started spending more time with our Bella dog and taking her on one mile walks.  Is it busy? Yes! Do I always reach my goals for that day? No. But it is life and it is full and I am living it for Him!

So here are some things we have been up to: 

We have decorated for Fall Harvest! I LOVE this time of year! I decorate really early, so I can enjoy it for many months to come.  Now, my house smells like pumpkin and I can already feel the temperature getting color. Yay!

After years of trying, we finally made it to Boomsday in Knoxville.  My brother and sister-in-law and their friends came to watch the fireworks with us.  We had a really fun time!

We went to my parents' house for Labor Day.  Many of my relatives were there. We were having a great time until I got stung by a yellow jacket, which I am allergic to.  Luckily, the years of allergy shots I took paid off because I didn't have a reaction.  My Uncle Bill can grill like nobody's business and it was delicious! 

I got my first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks before work one morning. 

I shaved Bella and she loved it!  She is scared at the groomers, so this is a cheaper, less stressful way of doing it.  We love our crazy, looney dog!!

We went to Nashville to visit Miss Hadley Claire in Vanderbuilt's NICU. I love her mama to death! She is one of the kindest people I know and I truly think God put her in my life to show me there are good, kind-hearted Christian women still in this world.  Her mama, Kerri, has been through so much! I might do a post about it sometime, because she is such an inspiration to me.  Hadley Claire is named after her big sister Delaney Claire, who passed away after being in the NICU for seven months.  I prayed my heart out for Delaney and then for Hadley when I found out Kerri was pregnant.  Hadley has had some health issues, too, but God has his hand on this family and we are trusting Him.  I just had to see this cutie patootie! Talk about baby fever! This little one will do it. I love her! Then we headed over to the mall to shop and eat at the Cheesecake Factory, of course!

The next morning we got up to go to the University of Tennessee football game! Russ gets limited access, which means he can go anywhere in the stadium, except the field.  He is actually working for The Chancellor when he is at the game, but it is a pretty nice job to have.  He gets to go to all the home games and watch them from the Chancellor's box.  I was off for this home game, so I got to go too.  Even better, I got a limited access pass, so we could meet Dave Ramsey at half time.  I was so excited!

Let's Go Vols!

Our view of the game

The food was great! I love seeing everyone in their orange!

Meeting Dave Ramsey 
He helped inspire us to pay cash for school, which lead Russ to this job at UT.  I would have never dreamed we would be where we are at today.  God truly works in mysterious ways. 

I love this busy, crazy road we are on and am so thankful for God's blessings and leadership in our home.