Looking Back

Currently I should be writing a paper for grad school, but instead I am writing a blog and reflection on the past. So be prepared this could get a little ramble-y or long winded.

Fall is here, my favorite time of year!  Days like today take me back to Bowling Green and visits to Jackson’s Orchard for pumpkin picking, apple cider slushes and fun with friends.  I would love for a day to travel with a group of college friends for some fall fun.

I was also thinking today about how I graduated three years ago (in a couple months)! Crazy.  Seems like yesterday I was walking The Hill at WKU and spending my days in Tate Page & Cherry, hanging out at the BCM, making late night runs to GADS and surrounded by friends. I miss getting to pour my heart into the college life and having a community of friends all around me.  I miss cramming four girls into a tiny apartment with only one bathroom and dorm floods. I miss teaching family groups and Dgroups.  I miss going to football and basketball games and cheering on the TOPS!  I miss studying at baseball games, Spencers and the library.  I miss Mancinos, Griffs, Kyoto, Buckhead and Linzies!  I miss welcome retreat, FOCUS and road trips. I miss spring break and college mission trips.  I miss my jobs at the testing center and at LHBC.  I miss my small group of girls from LH and can’t believe that they are all freshman in college now!  There are days when I want to go back to college and enjoy it all over again.

Looking at pictures from my FFG kiddos who are Seniors in college and my Small Group girls who are Freshman in college I am blessed by all the Lord has taught me and the lives the Lord has let me pour into and has allowed to pour into me.  I am so blessed in the life I am in now and know that I will look back and reflect on this time in the years to come.

I am going to wrap this up although I could probably write all day about college and things of the past that I miss, but even though I miss the past, I love the present and am choosing to live here!

30 Things I’m Thankful For

Everyone is Facebooking and Tweeting about what they are Thankful For everyday this month.  Instead of posting everyday, I decided to post the 30 things I am thankful for on here.

1. I am thankful for my wonderful parents!  They are so supportive of me and my adventures!  Even though we don’t always agree, we always love each other!

2. I am thankful for my baby sister.  Even though we haven’t always gotten along, she is such an amazing person and I love her so much.

3. I am thankful for my job at PB – I have a wonderful job with wonderful people and it is something that I enjoy doing.

4. I am thankful for my college education – I had such a wonderful time at WKU and I am thankful that not only did I gain a great experience and great friends, but I am a more rounded and well educated person who is ready to take on the world (at least some days).

5. I am thankful for a roof over my head and a place to sleep every night.

6. I am thankful for the ability to read and write.  Having this ability has opened up so many opportunities for me. School, jobs, ability to drive, cook, and so much more.

7. I am thankful for a mom who taught me how to cook.  Cooking is something that I love to do now for fun and I love to cook for people.

8. I am thankful for my two precious dogs that are always willing to play and cuddle with me.  They are there for me when no one else is.

9.  I am thankful for my roommate, Amy.  We have lots of fun eating together, laughing together and just spending time together.

10. I am thankful for the opportunity to pour into the lives of high schoolers every week at SCC.  I love my lifegroup girls and can’t wait to hang out with them every week.

11. I am thankful for BCM ministries – Not only did it change my life while I was in college, but it has given me the opportunity to be involved in the lives of college students as a campus minister. BCM gave me a family both in college and after I graduated.

12.I am thankful for my church family at SCC – thankful that I have friends and a support system who love me and are able to walk through life with me where I am at now.

13. I am so so thankful for Living Hope and the role it played in my life in college. I am thankful for a pastor, mentors, teachers, students, friends, and so many others who supported me in college.  I am so thankful for a church who supported me in all of my endeavors.  Who served me and gave me an opportunity to serve.

14. I am thankful for my small group of girls from LHBC.  I learned so much from them and can’t believe that they are seniors in high school now – to think that when I started working with them they were in 8th grade.  They gave me an opportunity to pour out what wisdom I did have and they poured so much into my life.

15. I am thankful for a car that is my own. Thank I am able to drive myself to and fro wherever I want to go.

16. I am thankful for some AMAZING friends who are there for me through thick and thin.

17. I am thankful for diet coke and Starbucks lattes – I love my caffeine!

18. I am thankful for the opportunity to be crafty – to paint, sew, and make fun things that aren’t necessary, but are lots of fun.

19.  I am thankful for my birth parents, who chose to give me a life. Without them I would have nothing to be thankful for.

20. I am thankful for candles. I love to burn a candle in my apartment and to be able to smell the wonderful scents.

21. I am thankful for my computer and for the many things it allows me to do.

22. I am thankful for HOBY and the role it has played in my life.  I am so blessed to work with and be a part of such an awesome organization.

23. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to travel around the world – to Asia and to Haiti and next year I will be headed to the Ukraine!

24. I am thankful for the support that people have shown me over the years – whether it was in my crazy idea to pick up an instrument or a basketball or this crazy idea I had to move away from home at 17.

25. I am thankful for the ability to give to others, whether it is my time, money or something else – I love being able to give gifts and to help people out in whatever way possible.

26. I am thankful for the sweet families that allow me to love on their kiddos. They have taught me so much about parenting and I know that I am going to be able to use their examples when I have kids of my own one day.

27. I am thankful for clean running water. After working in countries that don’t have this and seeing the difference it can make in someone’s life when they have it after not having it for so long I have learned not to take it for granted.

28.  I am thankful for adoption and the role that it has played in my life and the lives of so many others.  I am blessed to have been adopted by a wonderful family and to have so many friends who have adopted children or are in the process of adopting!

29. I am thankful for each breath I take  – that I am allowed one more moment. I pray I use each one to make an impact on this world.

30. I am thankful for a Lord and Savior who died for me and has given me the opportunity of a new life!

 

There are so many things I am thankful for and I could go on and on, but this is my list of 30 things I am thankful for right now.  What are you thankful for?

Dreaming Big

I ran across this quote on Pinterest today:

“If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You They’re Not Big Enough.”

Well, my dreams definitely scare me, and I feel like they are way too big for what I can actually accomplish, but I am going to keep trucking on with them.  Dreaming and hoping that one day they one day come to fruition.  I know that the Lord has a big part in my dreams and if they are of Him, then he is going to work them all out for His good.

I could use prayers for my dreams and how to go about making them reality.  Hopefully one day I’ll be able to post that an undisclosed dream or two is becoming a reality in my life.

My Education

Well it has been a year since I graduated college at Western Kentucky University.  I can hardly believe it!  In some ways it seems like yesterday and in others it seems like years ago.  I loved my time at WKU and feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity of a college education.  Not only do I feel blessed to have a college education, but any education at all.  I think about the world and how many girls and many people in general have not had the same opportunities that I have had and I thank God for what he has allowed me to have.

Although my education to this point in life ended with WKU (not counting my one semester of seminary), it did not start there and that probably won’t be the end of it.  My education started way back when I was little with my parents, but also with the myriad of schools that I attended, starting with Noah’s Ark, then on to WCES, BES, St. Gregory, FES, and then WCHS.  To think that the first 5 in that list were all by the time I was in second grade.  Even though I was only at some of them a short time, I owe a lot to the teachers and staff at each and every one of these schools for who I am today.

I have always valued my education and my dream and wish on every birthday candle for about 12 years was to be able to graduate college and a year ago I made that happen.  Such a sweet experience!  I am so grateful for the opportunity and the fulfillment of that dream.

One question I have asked myself is given the chance, what is one thing I wish I could go back and change about my education?  This is a hard one, because all in all I’ve had a great education, but I think if I was going to change something, it would be to have gone to a more challenging high school where I would have been even more challenged and also I would have applied myself more in college.  Even though those are things that I would change, I really at this moment don’t even think I would do that.  My education was great and exactly what the Lord had planned for me and changing something would be like changing His plan.

So to all the teachers, principals, librarians, cafeteria workers, aids, secretaries, superintendents, and other school employees at Noah’s Ark, Washington Co. Elementary, Bardstown Elementary, St. Gregory, Fredericktown, Washington Co. High and Western Kentucky, thank you so much for all that you do in allowing me and others to gain an education and a window to the rest of the world.

Amazing Morning

There are so many things at this very moment I could write about and hopefully I will have some extra time to write later, but until then, here is a short post on my awesome morning so far!

I woke up this morning with my sweet puppy jumping all over me.   I took her outside and then I took a shower.  After getting ready I fixed a yummy breakfast of a banana and blackberries with cool whip mixed in, which I took with me to my room to work on while doing my bible study quite time.  I turned on Pandora, sat on my bed, and jumped into my time with the Lord while Baylie curled up next to me.

First I opened up the book I am going through with my mentor that is all about the names of God.  It is called “Lord, I Want to Know You” and was written by Kay Arthur.  It is AMAZING.  This morning I did the first day in a middle of the book recap that is about teaching inductive bible study.  I read through Exodus 17 and was deeply reminded of how the Lord provides for us in many ways and in His timing.  Jehovah-jireh provides for us!  How awesome is that!!

After finishing this book, I opened up a new study that I started today by Beth Moore.  It is “James, Mercy Triumphs.”  In the first lesson, it was all about learning about James’ family aka Jesus’ family.  She brought out verses that I tend to ignore from the gospels about the people in Jesus & James’ family and what they did.  She examined what life probably looked like back then.  I can’t imagine living the way they did, but it was very humbling and such a blessing to me.

While I was studying, the song, “Your Love is Strong,” by Jon Foreman played on Pandora and I had to take a moment to just reflect on what he was singing.  It is such a powerful song and I don’t think I had ever heard it before, but the Lord really used it to speak to me in what is a difficult time in my life.  Here are they lyrics and a link to the song on YouTube.

Heavenly Father 
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come 
In my world and in my life
You give me the food I need 
To live through the day
And forgive me as I forgive 
The people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window 
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune 
Or out of place
I look at the meadow 
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl 
On her wedding day

So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Chorus (3x):
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens 
Is now advancing
Invade my heart 
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens 
Is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself 
To buy the one you’ve found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

(Chorus 3x)

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us wicked sinners
Lead us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

All in all this morning was just a great morning spent with the Lord and one that was much needed in my life at this moment.  Things are difficult in several areas of my life right now and I very much needed this time to focus on Him!

30 Day Blog Challenge – Learning

What have I been learning this week?

The Lord has been teaching me several things this week.  The first is that I need to have friends in my life who are willing to ask the hard questions and who I feel like I can talk to about anything and everything.  I need to rely on these people and not feel like I have to keep everything to myself or do everything myself.  He has also been teaching me the value of how to let others in, this is a hard one, because I don’t like to trust people, even though I know I should.

The importance of family is another thing the Lord has been teaching me.  I don’t know what I would do without my family.  At times the frustrate me and I get upset with them, but I love them and I think I need to show them that more.  I have taken advantage of the fact that I have a mom and dad who are still together and who love me and support me even when I do things that they don’t understand.

The Lord has also been teaching me, the importance of knowing him.  Not just in one way, as Lord, but in many ways, as creator, lord, all knowing … The list could go on and on.

 

I could probably list more about things that the Lord is teaching me, but I will leave it at the importance of friends, family, and knowing His name.

30 Day Challenge – 10 Years Ago

Where was I 10 years ago?

Wow, that goes back to 2001 when I was 12 years old.  I was in 6th grade and had Mrs. Riley as a teacher.  She was known as the “mean” teacher at our school, but I loved her.  She was the teacher who would pull me out in the hallway to give me her next Harry Potter theory, because she had just started reading them.  I was a nerdy, yet athletic middle school girl.  I loved to read, but I loved to play basketball.  I watched the attacks of September 11th happen on television after getting back to my classroom from P.E.  I went to a small school and only had 11 other people in my sixth grade class.   My life revolved around school, my family, and basketball.  I led a boring, but busy life.  That was me 10 years ago.