Thursday, August 20, 2015

The heart, the timing, and the long road ahead

"And you've been waiting and praying for the right one to come
Watch the rising and the falling of another setting sun" -M.Kearny

I finally finished the Return of the King today. I kicked in some major speed reading so I could finish it before school starts next week. What a bittersweet moment reading those last few chapters. I've never been one to read "romance" novels like most girls...even the ones that have CHRISTIAN slapped on the cover to make it seem religious. They aren't healthy, at least not for me. The Lord of the Rings series, though, was a gem to read. Lots of adventure and excitement. A truly incredible story that I will always treasure. Of course there were two love stories thrown in. Aragorn and Arwen. Faramir and Eowyn. I'll be honest...I thought they were sweet. It wasn't overload love story too, just a snippet. 

Even little love stories like that can still get to me. They make me wonder if that will ever happen to me. Is it even possible? I've never felt it. And I'm not expecting Faramir to waltz up and be infatuated with me. Just a love story on earth. Do things like that even exist? Typically I'll laugh it off and tell myself, "there's no way that will ever happen to me!", when inside I will still feel a little discouraged. Truly, I'd love to experience a love like that one day. That day just seems like it never comes. 

I always have to remind myself, however, that I'm still young. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it never will. God is calling me to be patient and be satisfied in Him alone. Even though its hard to see my friends in relationships and not be jealous, I know that if its God's will for me to have a relationship one day, the right man will come at the right time. It may take years. It may take months. It may take days. Okay I don't know about days right now, but you get the point.

Regardless of if and when I ever have a relationship, I know what God has called me to He has called me to live. I am created to glorify Him, to use whatever talents He has placed in me to enhance His kingdom and spread His amazing love. Right now, for myself, that means going to school and studying to be a teacher. It means volunteering with my church and spreading the gospel and God's love with all my abilities. It means learning, working, and growing closer to The Lord. 

I am waiting and praying for the right man to come. Oh yes, I pray for him every day. My life, however, doesn't start as soon as I get married. My purpose is not found in a relationship here on earth. No, my purpose, my life story, the meaning of my existence is found in my Heavenly Father. I will always have days where my heart is restless and impatient, but in those times I must remember where my true treasure is. My treasure is the One who can satisfy my soul and still love a broken, sinful girl. 

To have a love story with a guy one day here on earth would be an awfully wonderful adventure. I'm handing God the pen to write that love story though. I think back to stories in the Bible where God's people tried to solve their own problems and satisfy their own desires without the Lord. Not one of those plans worked out too well. Instead, I choose to trust the Creator. I have to ask myself quite often, "How could I ever think that the God who created the earth, the stars, mankind, and love itself would not write an incredible love story for my life?". There is no reason not to trust Him. Even if I don't get married, I still trust His plan will be an incredible adventure all the same.

There's a lot (a whole lot) more that I could say, but I'm going to shorten it to two statements. 1) The love stories we experience on earth are a mere glimpse of the greater love story God has written for His people. 2) I want to encourage anyone in the same boat as I am to wait, to pray, and to trust in The Lord and His perfect timing.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The new season approaches

New seasons of life are indeed scary, but oh so exciting. I still cannot believe I am starting college in a matter of days. As this new season approaches, I'm getting a lot of mixed emotions. We as humans get so comfortable with the familiar, and when a new season comes, it hurts to let go. It's natural. My high school years were truly amazing, good days and bad. I wouldn't trade them for the world. Now, I step into a world of unfamiliarity. The funny thing is, I'm not actually stepping very far. I'm not going far away to school and moving into a dorm like all my friends. In fact, I'm actually going to a university I've grown up being on. My dad taught there. My track team practiced there. My parents are both alumni there. It's in my city. Sometimes I wonder why I chose the university that I did. I could have taken a huge leap and moved away...but I didn't. I don't think it was fear or anxiety of being far away from home that was a deal breaker in my choice. I actually love being far away from home without my family when I get the chance. A big part of it was money. Financially, this really was the best choice. I can't quite explain the main reason why I chose my college, though. It wasn't my dream school. I didn't even think about going there. When the decision needed to be made, however, I knew it was where I needed to be.

I think because I'm not going along with the modern trend of going away to school that people don't really see my transition as that big of a deal. To them, because I'm still under my parents' roof I'm not really experiencing independence and the passage into adulthood and college. For a while...I believed them. Then the new season starting getting closer, and I knew things were going to change. Will I be experiencing independence? You better believe it. I don't have the same relationship with my parents that I did when I was younger. Just because I'm living in their house does not mean they are by my side every minute. They aren't making decisions for me any longer. They aren't telling me how to spend my free time or who to hang out with. They are not telling me how or when to study (but I'm really thankful when they give parents are pretty brilliant). They aren't telling me how to spend my money. They expect that if I want to live under their roof for free, I will be responsible, respectful, and mature. My parents have trained and disciplined me my whole life to be able to have this new freedom but use it wisely, no matter how near or far away from home. 

So, yes, though I am still living with my parents, I will still have to be just as independent and adult-like as someone who lives in a dorm in another state.

I don't know what God has in store for the next four years of my life. Its the great unknown, and anything could happen. This is where I begin to become the person the Lord has created me to be. And that excites me. It's a new chapter He's already written and I know its going to be good. The possibilities? Endless.

I love my city. I love my home. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my school. God planted me in this place for a reason. If I'm being honest, I'm glad I'm not leaving just yet. I can't wait to see what this new season will look like in the same place I've always lived.

I wave farewell to my sweet season as a child and warmly embrace this new season as an adult. Even though it's not quite that sweet of a transition sometimes. More like nausea before the sickness.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

The art of the undistracted

I want you to think back to the last "deep talk" you had with someone. You know, one of those talks where you open up to someone else about the things going on in your life or the things that your feeling. Or maybe someone else opened up to you. Either way, those talks are the ones you remember. They make an impact. Anytime I have one, whether its with my best friend or my mom, I become closer to the person I'm having the conversation with. There is something so special, so unique about those moments. So you've got your "deep talk" memory in your mind, right? Okay, so lets take that memory and imagine the person your talking to is on Instagram the whole conversation. They occasionally nod and say "yeah" to whatever you're saying. They don't even make eye contact with you when they look up from their phone because  the TV is on too. You'll probably get uncomfortable trying to open up to them when they aren't even paying attention to you. All the "deepness" of this conversation is gone forever. Poof. No more. Pretty depressing huh?

Being distracted is so easy. In fact, too often it becomes second nature to us. Our culture is ADD. 

What's sad is that the more distracted we are, not only by social media (although that's like 95% of the problem these days), the more we mentally and physically aren't able to have those "deep talks". We loose the closeness between each other. The worst part? We even loose our personality, living mentally in another world. 

So you've thought about what the receiving end of a distracted conversation looks like. You would probably feel a little hurt, and even more annoyed with the other person. After all, it's rude of them. It shows a major red flag of immaturity. So why would you think it's okay for you to be distracted like that?

 It's simple logic. When you are not paying attention you are most certainly, without a doubt, no questions asked, missing something. You might have missed something someone had to say. Maybe you missed what someone was trying to show or teach you. Either way, you missed out on a opportunity to make your life meaningful, no matter how small a way. 

So my friends, I am calling you out today to turn off your phones, your TVs, your computers, and your radios and do something meaningful. Respect others, cultivate relationships, be creative, be who you really are beyond the screens and other distractions. When you put away the distractions in your life, you will discover what it's like to really live.


Friday, July 10, 2015

College Preparation

Summer is well into swing! Bright sun, pool days, and all the wonderful summery things are back again and I am loving it. On a literary note, I finally finished The Deathly Hallows a few weeks ago! I cried when I read the last words. It was like a part of me died. Let me tell you, I went through an emotional roller coaster of PPD (post-potter depression). I was in denial for about two or three days. I finally came to grips with reality, and was at peace. Well, the only reason I was really at peace was because I found out about the new HP-related movie coming out next year. I quickly put Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on hold at the library. 

So anyway, after returning from PPD, I finally accepted the fact that I was a muggle and I needed to get ready for college. It's a shame Hogwarts won't accept FAFSA. Not that FAFSA gave me much help anyway. 

It's time for the major college preparation to begin. There's a lot I need to take care of, especially with school starting in almost a month! Here are a few things off of my to-do list that might help any other students or anyone else in a new season of life or just looking to get reorganized. 

1. Major Room Cleaning
It's amazing how much junk can collect over the course of high school. Since I'm starting a new season of life, it's time to give my room a clean slate. I am living at home my freshman year, but to anyone moving into a dorm, still clean out your space; it will make the move much easier. First, I cleaned out my whole desk. Everything in there now is basic desk stuff (paper, pens/pencils),stationary, supplies, etc.). Lots of room for the new school year now. Next came my clothing, which I'm still working on. I picked out the things I no longer wore (I got rid of a TON of stuff a year or so ago), sold a few things (only made $8, what even), and gave away the rest. I finally have accumulated a new wardrobe over senior year, so I am ready to go for college. I moved on to my bookshelf. I sold a bunch of books to a used book store, which made lots of room for new books and gave me a little extra cash.  Since I'm going to be living at home, I am also in the process of changing things up in my room. I had an 11-year old tell me my room looked like a little girl's room. After being slightly offended, I realized it actually did. It was time for my room to mature. New photos, new decor, but nothing outside my budget. It's coming along nicely! 

2. Tech Clean Up
Have a family computer? Wipe off everything on your side of the computer. Odds are you already have your own computer or you're getting one (make sure your computer is completely cleaned off too; college will take up a lot of memory), so you won't really need the family computer. Your parents will appreciate the extra memory on their computer anyway. Don't get rid of your side completely though. Use it as a second "back up" source to save important documents and things. You won't regret it. Accidents happen. Also, go ahead and  clean up your social media. I have been deleting posts from middle school and freshman and sophomore year on Facebook and Twitter. Indeed, it is a tedious task (and one that will make you somewhat humiliated when you see the things you posted back in middle school and early highschool), but you will be so glad when you do it. I promise. Lastly, get your emails wiped off too. It is also pretty tedious, but so worth it to not have pages and pages of emails that are waiting space.

3. Establishing Healthy Habits
Ever heard of the freshman fifteen? No, it's not referring to the average amount of class hours during freshman year. It's the average weight gained freshman year. How about no. Get into the habit NOW of eating healthy and exercising, so come fall, you will have a set routine and plan. You want your brain and body to be in tip top shape in order to handle the stresses and chaos of college. Be mindful of what you eat, and exercise regularly. Find things you love that are healthy and just go with them. The university I am going to  recently built a new gym/workout center and it is pretty sweet. Odds are, your gym on campus will be free to use, so take advantage of it! Its a great way to reduce stress, get in shape, and to get know other students. And then there's the matter of sleep. Make it a point to get 8+ hours a night, whatever it takes. I know, some nights it just isn't going to happen, but no amount of coffee consumed will ever make your body work as well as it does when you're getting a good amount of sleep. When you get 8+ hours, your brain works better, you're less stressed, and heck, you can even loose weight better. Also, lets not forget our H20. In the habit of not drinking 8 cups a day? Change that. Water cleans out the toxins in your body, hydrates you, and makes you feel better. In fact, most headaches and other health issues can be linked to not enough water. So drink up. 

4. Acting my age
This is partially an attitude adjustment and partially an organizational adjustment. First, listen to your parents. No matter how much you want to get away from them or how much you don't like them, they've had more experience in life than you. Truth is, we young adults don't know everything we think we know.  Your parents can and usually will help you figure out adulthood if you respect them for a change. Second, I can't speak for everybody, but I was blessed to have parents that took care of all the complicated stuff for me for my childhood and teen years. Now that I am becoming an adult, it's time to be aware of what all of it actually means. Taxes, insurance, healthcare, money...get informed! It may not all make sense right off the bat, but it's good to have a head start at knowing the costs of being an adult. I've been organizing my important info into files, thinking through budgets, as simply trying to prepare to be an adult.   So start making your own doctor and dentist appointments. If your parents pay for the majority of your basic needs, start helping out. Get a job, for goodness sake. Make sure you know how to handle your money too. The last thing you want is debt. It's a burden that weighs heavy on you until it's is paid. Basically, you're like a slave to it until its paid off. So avoid it. Watch what you spend from now on. 

5. Time management
This is a biggie for me. Now that I have a job and I will be starting college, I need to start managing my time appropriately. In highschool, my schedule was pretty insane. College, however, will be a whole new level of insane. Being home schooled, it was so easy and ever so tempting to get sidetracked on Pinterest or Twitter when I was supposed to be doing homework. With 16 hours this fall, I don't have time to get sidetracked. Its time to start using my time wisely and focusing on tasks and their priority. 


These are just a few things I'm working on to prep for college. I have lots more to take care of, but I suppose thats another story. My intention for the next month is to have my life like a blank canvas. Not necessarily dull and blank, rather, a painting waiting to happen. A canvas that is ready to be painted. I have made a lot of habits in high school, some good and some not-so-good. As we enter college or a new season of life, I encourage you to desire to be the best "you" that you have ever been. End bad habits. Add on to the good ones. It will be a journey like never before. 

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Friday, June 5, 2015


"Dreams they come, plans they change. Yeah, we're gonna break, yeah we're gonna break. Things we face make us who we are. Baby you're a star shining in the dark"

Those lyrics ring true to my life. Dreams they come, but plans…oh how they change! I had so many dreams about college. So many things I wanted to do. Nothing is going how I expected it to be or even wanted it to be. That's just life I suppose. I didn't make the test score. I didn't win the scholarship. Most of my friends don't understand, but I am very thankful for the ones that do. I'm not sure what I've done wrong or how I could have done better. I see now that I'm going to have to go about things the hard way. Nothing truly good has ever come easy though.

I see so many others with their paths paved out quite nicely. Pretty scholarships and lovely awards. No worries or burdens. Its hard to see that and try to understand what I could have done better. 

I can't forget, however, that God has me right where He wants me. Why this place? Why this time? Why this situation? I don't know. I will find out in time. All I can do is pray, seek His will for my life, and glorify Him in all I do. God has provided for me in the past, why would He fail me now? He knows how long to be secure in perfection and He wants to change that. He wants me to trust Him with all I am, not in a scholarship or a test score. This world will fail me. I'm seeing that everyday. The Lord, strong and mighty, will never fail me. He won't fail you either. 

Even though things would appear they're not going in my favor, God has His ways. He knows what He's doing. He will provide. I can be secure in these truths. I am in no place to tell God that He is writing my story wrong. The pen is His, not mine. I know that the journey will not be easy and I will go through many more trials and days where I just don't understand. But I do know where my hope is found. 

If there's one thing I know for sure, its that if we are not truly and utterly desperate for God, we will be terribly empty and disappointed the rest of our lives. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015


May 15th, 2015. Cap and gown on. Everyone lined up, beaming with nerves and butterflies. My sweetest, dearest best friend hugged me before it began. The seniors strutted down the aisle, just like we practiced, and filed on the stage. It was really happening. I had a hard time staying focused. Partially because I haven't had a good night's sleep in a few weeks, and also because I couldn't believe it was happening. We were really graduating. I got my diploma, I turned the tassel. We left as we came, but burst through the doors now highschool graduates. So many hugs, so many "I love you"'s. At the reception, my dad and I looked around the packed room. "You realize", he said to me, "this is probably one of the last times you will see some of these people." He was right. We were all headed off in different directions to have different adventures. So I cherished the last few moments of it. What was funny was that I really didn't see anyone crying very much. A few tears, yes. I mean it was graduation. Instead, there was a feeling I know everyone was overcome with. Joy and excitement for the future. It was time to move on. We celebrated the past few years of hard work, friendship, and fun, but so overjoyed that the transition finally came. We've got lots more celebrating to do this month (gotta love those grad parties). Life is just about to begin. I don't know what God has in store for me as I begin my college career to be an English teacher. I saw two rainbows today, though, (literally, it was pretty cool) and was reminded that the Lord has promised that my life and my heart are in His hands. And that is enough. 

Lots of love,
(Highschool graduate)