Hello? Hi out there! My life is a whirl-wind and changing quickly…
A few weeks ago my dream was to finish my Master’s as quickly as possible while becoming more intentional with some other things…
48 hours ago… My world flipped upside down. Yep! I got accepted to the 10 month program. I start monday. I couldn’t believe it. I look in the mirror and I think: who is this girl? How did I get my ideal life?
A few weeks ago, I was stuck in the ho- hum of life. Now I am on a roaring adventure… Getting ready to dive in with no apologies. Ready to hit the books and get my degree. I have never felt more humbled in grateful. I am so grateful that this unexpected turn has been taken.
I have diligently been plugging away at a few exciting projects and surprises that I can’t wait to share in the coming days! Sometimes ya just gotta have some surprises… But don’t worry this isn’t one of those lame surprises that I set you up and forget about… Because well, I have been working pretty hard on it and I am pretty proud of the results thus far!
Anyways, here I am about to leap into full time Masters student life. I can’t wait!
This past Sunday my church did a sermon on life giving words. The Pastor spoke on how “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12: 18. This really struck me. Lately I have been struggling with a few relationships in my life. With living intentionally I have realized that their words sent me to rock bottom. However, I wonder sometimes how many wounds are created intentionally or un-intentionally based on our words. Whether we realize it our not: we have the power of life and death in our tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
This hits home for me because sometimes I feel like my life is insignificant. I can’t do anything. However, when I look at scripture: it looks like I have a lot of power with just my words alone. Each day I have the choice to gossip or to remain silent. To choose to be joyful or choose to rip someone down. I recently watched a video on facebook. On the video each person that passed the screen had a white line of text that showed what they were facing that day: some were joyful, the birth of a new son or a celebration of engagement. However, some were heartbreaking: recently divorced, a 19 year old son on life support. This really hit my core. I do not know what these people around me are going through… How are my actions helping or hurting them?
May my words be life to each person I meet. This is my personal struggle and challenge.
I am getting ready to re-start the new year. Back in January everyone began the New Year. Each New Year brings new resolutions, new changes, however, about 5-6 months in people forget about those new resolutions. Today I sat down with a big ole’ cup of raspberry lemonade and my new Powersheets from Lara Casey. This woman is a powerhouse for making things happen and has helped many other people be successful both in their businesses and through living life!
I decided that part of the process is being authentic. I have seen the incredible authenticity of others and am amazed by their release and freedom. One of the first steps in the powersheets is to write down your story. This really challenged me. Looking at who I am from the inside out. Since I want this to be place of honesty and life giving words. Here I am: on my endeavor to be honest and share my story.
I was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York. From there I grew into a young woman with a big heart. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t have big dreams on my mind and in my heart. When I was in high school I got sick with Lyme disease and a friend of mine and I started a non-profit organization called A Hope 4 Lyme, Inc. For me this was a small stepping stone to the realities of life. In high school I realized that we live in a very intense world. I realized that each day I am faced with a very intense battle: choosing to be joyful or choosing to allow the bad news and atrocities to fill my life and paralyze me with fear. Some days it is easy to be joyful and full of life. Other days: it’s really tough. Most days there is a little bit of limbo. Throughout high school, I was in the hospital more than I was home or in school. However, I learned a very important lesson: our God is faithful.
Fast-forward to college: My big heart coupled with hundreds of causes resulted in big decisions. I learned about the conflict in the middle east, trafficking of women around the world and even in our own back yards, intense levels of suicide sweeping the nation, etc. My heart was heavy and burdened. Here I am a single college student… What in the world can I do to make a difference? It seemed like nothing. I volunteered at a homeless shelter, talked with a prostitute, mentored some youth, but still felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I changed my major from nursing to social work so that I could understand some of these issues deeper. I felt that through my education in how communities function and other basic human tendencies maybe I could scratch the surface on some of these big issues.
When it comes down to it: my heart is burdened for young women. I felt called to do more for these girls who are hearing nothing but negative words. Their dreams are shot down. Their hearts are broken. They do not know what it is like to be loved and even more, they do not know the root of love. The love from God. My heart became so broken, I would sit and cry over my generation. A generation of people who are so busy, but do not know how to experience life or true joy. Since that realization, and through much prayer: I have felt called to speak to these young women and to invest in organizations that support young women and their causes. That’s my story up until today. Where I am at… Stay tuned for the bumps along the way!
beautiful family my sister, my mama, and I. Before graduation
Well, Graduation was on Saturday. It’s hard to believe that I have come so far. There have been so many up’s and down’s with my life since I started my bachelors degree. I can hardly believe that I finally completed it and on time (despite taking a semester off)!
I think the above photo sums it up best. I don’t usually like roses but this bouquet was very sweet and one of my favorite bouquets I have ever gotten. After graduation it was a mad dash to find family… I was standing with the Social Work group (9-10 students total, we were a baby department) and I was standing on my tippy toes searching the masses. My family was nowhere to be found!!
Then all of a sudden: one by one my family began trickling in. Each one brought a bouquet of roses with their own respective colors. It was probably my favorite part of the day. Each part of the bouquet had special meaning and I really felt like it symbolized my college years. I had support of family and friends and each of their supports created something beautiful. Together we got through the sleepless nights of studying, the tears of being stressed out over assignments, and the friend break-up’s and make-up’s. Through it all it worked out and not only worked out but I came out feeling stronger than I have ever before. I don’t think I have ever been more thankful for my family and friends than I was in that moment.
I think my biggest take away from college was: God is faithful all the time. Not just when life is easy: but when life is extremely hard too. Most of college was rough for me but somehow things managed to work out for the good. At the end, I look back and I see many friends that turned into family and it was so hard to say good bye. However, I know that I will keep in touch with those closest to me.
The infamous question that follows is now what? You have your bachelors degree: so now what? Well, the program I applied to filled quickly so I was wait-listed for summer admissions to the advanced standing Masters program at Roberts. However, if I do not start in June: I will start in January. If I start in January, this will give me some time to pay down my student loan debt and get things settled for my January start date.
A gentleman I took care of the other day left me with these words of wisdom on marriage:
Everything is 50/50 when we got married:
I earn the money
She spends it.
She tells me what to do
and I do it.
She takes the credit
and I take the blame.
70+ years of marriage folks! That’s the secret!
So often I focus on what looks perfect… However, more than focusing on perfection… I think we need to focus on God. Especially in our love stories. This love story just blows my mind. So amazing. What radical love.
Recently I decided to take some time off facebook, instagram, and twitter.
I found myself being deeply convicted about comparison. Here I am so focused on what the haves and have-nots are of others that I am not focused on the joy I have of my own. There is so much I HAVE. I am SO BLESSED.
May my Social Media fast be one of constant little reminders of how BIG our God is and how truly blessed I am.
I am blessed with MUCH in a world where many have little.
I have hesitated writing honestly about my struggles on here…
Mostly because fear has gripped my very being. However, after watching some of my fearless leaders and friends write about their most intimate struggles… I have realized that I do not struggle alone.
Two years ago my life changed forever and six years ago my life changed even before that. There have been moments in my life that changed how I viewed every other thing forever. For the one event, I had no idea. For the other the tragic implications occurred immediately.
The movie The Vow defines these moments as moments of impact:
“The moment of impact. The moment of impact proves potential for change. Has ripples effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together. Making them closer than before. While sending others spinning off into great ventures. Landing them where you’ve never thought you’ve found them. That’s the thing about moments like these. You can’t, no matter how hard you try, controlling how it’s gonna affect you. You just gotta let the colliding part goes where they may. And wait. For the next collision.”
Anyways, for the past two years I have struggled greatly with fear. At first I blamed it on everything else… However, as things have progressed I realized I was paralyzing myself. Most decisions I made were made out of fear. What I did not realize is that walking in God’s will is not always comfortable. Sometimes we must go through things or challenge ourselves through the difficult to see the good or completely heal from our past.
When things have went south recently or gotten harder for me… Even when I thought I was following all the “rules” or guidelines for good Christian living. I quickly wrote everything off as not of God… Things got hard. I was chipping away at things that were cutting away at my heart. Then, I quickly turned to fear. I was scared to death that I had just screwed my whole life up.
Luckily, I had not screwed my life up: but I had come face to face with God and realized that I had to step into the next phase of life. Sometimes walking in God’s will is scary and risky. Sometimes we may be walking into the Middle East and other times we may be facing the monsters under the bed. With the latest Boston tragedy, and some other experiences I cannot list on here: I realized some of my greatest fears were being unearthed. Walking in God’s will and receiving complete healing is messy business but in the end: it is worth it. In the end we have a God in heaven that will give us complete life and healing.
I don’t know where I got it in my head that if I was walking in the will of God it would be smooth sailing and sunny days ahead… But that’s not the case all the time. More than that: it’s okay.