My Birthday Present From Me to You.

Monday, October 27, 2014

For the past few months I've been not looking forward to my birthday as I feel like I'm getting super old and I had no clue this is what my life would look like at 25.

I'm glad I've had the experiences I've had. I know I'm where I need to be. But I never thought I'd be 25, working at an upscale fast food restaurant, and going to community college (insert growth in humility, etc etc).

In reflecting on the past 25 years, I've seen that God has allowed me to have some amazing experiences! Some of these include:
-graduating college
-being a missionary for two years
-living in five different states (six if you count where I was born)
-visiting Spain
-going on mission to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland
-having an amazing family and getting to watch my littlest brother's birth
-being in some special weddings
-encountering Jesus in a real and deep way

I could go on and on.

It makes me excited.

Sooo for my 25th Birthday, I decided to come with my "30 before 30" or my list of things I want to accomplish in the next five years! Maybe I'll still be making just above minimum wage and going to community college, maybe I'll finish most of these. We'll see!!

These are some of my dreams and hopes, and I am sharing them with you. I hope you're inspired to dream and hope in your life and are able to support me in becoming a better version of myself.

30 Before 30
  • pay off student loans
  • take guitar lessons
  • graduate college round 2
  • master a signature eye shadow look
  • get my BMI below 30
  • fall in love
  • make a quilt 
  • visit Yellowstone
  • go to an Auburn game (ideally with my friend Brittany!)
  • become a morning person
  • run a marathon (I'm crazy. I know.)
  • move back to the South
  • have visited at least 30 states (50 States before 50 goal)
  • learn to drive a stick shift
  • be a godmother (again)
  • do a 30 day clean eating thing
  • master Helen's guac recipe
  • learn to make iced coffee
  • scuba somewhere cool (ideally with Margaret and Emily)
  • acquire a colony of bees
  • take my family/brothers to Disney World
  • visit Maine in the fall with my Mom
  • grow a garden and start composting
  • finish reading the whole Bible
  • build a bookcase or some furniture
  • learn to change my oil and replace my brakes
  • be able to do T25 without modifying
  • help someone have a baby (did I mention I'm crazy? #aspiringtobeL&Dnurse
  • get really good at walking in heels (or find a pair of heels I can really walk in)
  • register at a parish

I'd love to hear about your goals, hopes, and dreams! Join me and Brittany in creating a 30 before 30 or 40 before 40 or 100 before 100. Or whatever floats your boat.

The end.

Fall in the Midwest

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The last two years I didn't really experience fall.

In Florida the palm trees didn't lose their leaves.
In Georgia the pine trees didn't change colors (although the cotton won my heart).

And now I'm in Illinois and I'm struck by the leaves, especially the bright yellow and bright red ones.

I made a friend last week named Isabel. Today we went on a walk by all the beautiful historic homes and took in the leaves.

It was a great opportunity for holy leisure.
I remembered that I'm a person and not just a worker or a student.
I remembered life is bigger than my schedule and my paycheck.
Although I "should've" been doing homework, it was beautiful to just be and to celebrate life here and now.

Looking Back

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Yesterday was a hard day.

Losing my keys/wallet left me in such a tizzy, frustrated with my plans that were changed and disappointed that I hadn't got anything done.

Last night I tried and tried to go to sleep but I found myself exhausted and yet somehow awake. Which pretty much never happens to me...after some troubleshooting I figured maybe the iced coffee I drank around 9 had something to do with it?

Yesterday I cycled through accepting where I am in life and hating it. I felt unsettled and not at peace all day. When I told my "little sister" about how I felt she asked me a bigger question, "What does Jesus say?"

And it stopped me in my tracks.

Because I didn't have an answer.

Have I been quiet enough to hear? Have I actually listened?

I don't think so.

Last night when I couldn't sleep I pulled my old prayer journal off the shelf and cracked it open to this time last year. And I read entries from fall through Ash Wednesday.

I was surprised by what I found.

I had really really great days in Georgia. I knew that. But I also had really really hard times, that I had managed to forget. I had the months where I didn't know what was next for me, if I would be a missionary or not, and if I would, if that would involve another cross-country move. I had times where I felt alone. I had times where I was dissatisfied. I had times where I had a sinus infection during offsite.

And I had times of grace. I had times where I felt Jesus' love and focused on believing it. I saw myself feel content for the first time in my life. I had times when I enjoyed being single. I had encouraging words from my friends and from my spiritual director. And those things are still true.

So I know this too shall pass. I will have good days and I will have bad days. I will have times of grace and I'll have times when I realize I haven't stopped complaining enough to hear Jesus' voice. And hopefully when I look back, I'll see the good again and overlook the difficulties.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

***disclaimer: as my 25th birthday and impending quarterlife crisis approach I'm afraid these dramatic posts will be finding their way to the interweb more often than I'd like to admit***

Homesick forever and always is what I think this blog is turning into.

Today I went to mass and instead of cracking open my Bible to pray I just let my heart cry "Please let me go home. I want to go home. Please."

I've been back for how long? 10 weeks? 12?

I still don't feel at home at a church here, in a home here, at school here, or at work here.

At the same time I don't know what my heart is longing for because the Georgia I left is not the same Georgia now. People have moved, people have changed, people have grown.

As I put in more and more hours at my jobby job I miss my old amazing job I used to complain about. There are ups and downs to every job, and being a missionary definitely had both. I hope one day I'll have a job again where I'm not dragging myself out of bed in the morning and counting down the minutes until a day off...

(although I remember my life as a missionary... I remember the showers and weddings and birthdays I missed. I remember the holidays I spent away, I remember the days I worked from 7a until midnight, and I'll never forget the nights I stopped in the chapel, exhausted, at peace with the fact I had done my best and had nothing left to give)

Nonetheless, I'm still finding myself between two worlds: my college friends who are all getting married and having kids, and my teammates/friends who are doing weird things with their lives, too (back in school, in seminary, missionary, and/or still not really settled as they'd like). Physically, I'm closer to my college friends. Life-wise, I'm closer to my Georgia friends.

All in all, I still don't feel at home.

Georgia on My Mind

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jess's car.
Ms. Rachel
That one lady from mass I don't know her name.
Ms. Natalia (twice).
Uncle Mark.

This is a short short list of the people from Statesboro I think I've seen. Almost everyday I think I see someone from that sweet state.