Growing Up

Why do we want to grow up so fast? Even as children we long to be just a year older. We think it has to be better than where we are at. We want to be able to make our own choices and do whatever we want. What we don’t realize is that with age comes responsibility.

Now I am not against responsibility. I have always felt I am quite the responsible person, but in the last few weeks I have really been struggling. The realization that in May, I will be a college graduate and “officially” an adult. I will be expected to get a job, live on my own, pay my bills, afford my lifestyle; and let me tell you: this is a scary thought.

I am one of the lucky ones who has not had to put myself through college thanks to my parents, grandparents, and scholarships that I have been fortunate enough to receive. I will have to pay back some debt, but I was encouraged to focus on school. Because of that for the past four years, I have not had to worry about school, rent, insurance, phone bill…and I am starting to really freak out that in less than a year from now I have to figure out how to pay for all of that.

I have been slowly, but surely teaching myself to budget, but failing miserably. I got a new job back in May that I thought was going to help me save up money over the summer, but has been giving me less and less hours, so my paychecks aren’t really cutting it. I have these envelopes that I split my checks into: groceries, gas, rent, entertainment, and a few others, but there doesn’t seem to be enough money to split and actually be useful. It is a rude awakening figuring out how much stuff actually costs and how all of that adds up. I have been looking for a second job; applied to almost 15 places in the past couple weeks and have heard nothing back. I have just been extremely discouraged lately.

Failure. Loser. Pathetic. These are the words that have started to float around in my mind. I had never really feared the future until now. I used to think I would make a great older person, because of how responsible I was, but now I am thinking otherwise. I am scared to finally be out in the real world, because I have no doubt it is going to make a mess of me.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:6-7

Advertisements

Unplanned Changes

IMG_7283

I had wanted to wish you all a Happy Independence Day (for those of you Americans), but my Fourth was jam-packed, so I didn’t get the chance.

I am a planner. I like to know what I am doing and when I am doing it. I use multiple calendars and an actual planner in order to keep myself on a set schedule and to keep me productive. Well, I expected nothing less of my Fourth of July.

  • 8:00 – wake up
  • 9:00 – be at my parents house
  • 10:00 – arrive at Hurricane Harbor
  • 5:00 – leave Hurricane Harbor & shower
  • 7:00 – arrive at my friend’s cookout for food and fireworks
  • 10:00 – sleep

Let’s just say it did not quite go like this.

I really enjoy being a planner and I take pride in the fact that I can stick to a schedule and fit everything and everyone in. Well, when I woke up on Monday, it was storming and my mom had texted to me to come around 10/10:30 instead, so I fell back asleep. When I woke, I decided not to shower since it was raining and we were going to a water park. I got up, got the pup, and got the boyfriend and we were off to my parents. We hadn’t eaten yet, so I asked my mom if she would cook a quick something, she said sure, but she needed milk and eggs, so we stopped at a nearby Walmart. When we started cooking, my dad decided to make pancakes and my mom egg quesadillas… all was going to the “new” plan since we were waiting out the rain.

Once the rain had stopped, we were ready to go except my brother had not shown up yet. We texted and called and he finally showed a bit late. Once were on our way to the water park, we paid for parking and my dad had to park about a mile away, so it took us forever to reach the front, but alas we arrived around 12:00. My cousin and other brother were supposed to meet us there, so after every ride we rode, we had to go back to the table and check and see their status. They arrived around 2:00.

All was going just fine until around 5:00. I was exhausted and sunburnt and hot and miserable. They kept going down body slides that I do not enjoy with long lines and I was about done. I was already supposed to be on my way home and my mom didn’t seem to care. She just wanted to go on one more ride then another. I was trying to be a good sport except we didn’t end up leaving until 7:20. Way later than I had planned.

When we reached the car and I checked my phone, my friend had called me and texted me multiple times, because I was supposed to be there. I tried texting her that things were running a bit behind, but that I would be there soon. We arrived at home, showered, and were getting ready to leave when I realized it had already been another hour. Driving to my friend’s place would be another hour and we would have missed food and would seem like we only showed for fireworks. My friend wasn’t returning my texts about being late, so I had to make a decision to skip her cookout and just go to dinner with my family.

We were eating on the patio at Boomerjacks (one of the only places open) and everything was going great. Laughing, talking, a good family outing until the arguing started. I was already irritated that I had to miss my friend’s cookout and fireworks and then my brothers had to make a scene. I didn’t get home until around 10:30 and I was totally exhausted from the day’s events.

I wanted to just be mad and stew that I didn’t get to shoot off any fireworks or even see any fireworks, but God has given me an amazing boyfriend who knows when he needs to calm me down and distract me from my own mind. He gets to my house after I dropped him off at his car and he tells me to come outside. He is sitting on the curb staring at the sky. Winnie and I come out, she runs around and I take a seat beside him and also look up to the sky. There is a lightning storm with no thunder. It is absolutely beautiful and bright and shocking and fun. It was like God’s version of fireworks. He held my hand as we gazed up at the sky and in that moment I wasn’t irritated and angry that my plans did not work out the way I intended. In that moment I was exactly where I needed to be. 

That whole day made me realize that making plans isn’t a bad thing, but it is not the end of the world when they don’t work out, because unplanned changes can result in the best memories!

The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9

The New Has Come

IMG_7262

In the two and a half months that I gave up writing, I chose to really focus on figuring out who I want to be and how I was going to get to that. I worked on being a good, responsible mom to my puppy [Winnie]. My boyfriend [Jeremiah] and I spent time getting closer through fun times and hard questions. I went on an overwhelming yet wonderful adventure traveling to four states I had never been to. I met people who will undoubtedly be my family one day and they treated me, essentially a stranger, with more love and kindness than I could have imagined. I grew to appreciate my family more. I learned even more of what it means to be a true friend. I claimed my faith and have begun to accept God and the grace he so freely gives.

So my break was great, but I couldn’t help, but miss the community here and the voice that I have. I had all of these words and ideas all jumbled up in my head, but had nowhere to put them. I am also so humbled by the response that my last post received. I was sad to go, but I am in a better place now, so I am choosing to come back and be heard.

I heard a song on the radio last night called Let It Fade by Jeremy Camp. As I listened, I just felt this sense of peace. I could finally breathe realizing that everyone makes mistakes, everyone loses their way, everyone falls down. I wasn’t the first or only person to screw up royally and feel that there is no way back. In the song, he asks some questions:

Have you helped yourself to everything that’s empty?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?

The answer to all of them was yes. At first, I was thinking wow… I can’t believe all of this describes me… how could I have gone so wrong? But then he goes on to say:

You can rest, you will find rest.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.

I did have a way out. I don’t have to be defined by the mistakes and choices I have made in the past. I am not chained down by them anymore. They happened, but I am washed clean. God gives grace, so we can move on and start again. We are going to mess up. I am going to mess up, but that fact is inevitable, so I am just going to give every day my best shot and ask forgiveness when it is necessary, but keep going and not let mistakes and failures hold me back. 

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.
-2 Corinthians 5:17

Refusing To Acknowledge Doesn’t Make It Untrue

prayer

It has been awhile, but I have finally come to an understanding. God has been faithful to me even though I refused to acknowledge it.

I prayed every day that He would bring Bailey home quickly, safely, and in good condition. I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard, so often, and so passionately for something. God answered that prayer. Bailey came back the last week of October and was generally fine.

God answered this prayer knowing the outcome. He knew it was not going to turn out like I hoped. He knew how I was going to be affected by Bailey’s inactions. But still He answered my prayer and my pleas to show me the power of prayer.

I now have this specific answered prayer to hold on to when I feel like God is far. He didn’t ignore me then to save me from the hurt and heartache He knew was coming, so now I can have faith and know that God will come through in all situations.

❤ a girl

Dear You,

Dear You,

Today I felt like a real college kid.

No, not because of the overwhelming feeling of never knowing what I am doing with my life, but because I stayed up till 3 in the morning studying and doing homework with the unpleasant reality of having to wake up at 7 to catch the bus and make it to class.

The past two days have gone something like this: go to class and work, come home and procrastinate, cook pizza rolls and watch an episode of Law and Order: SVU (because why not?), procrastinate a little more, and finally work on my Archaeology which consisted of finishing a lab and memorizing the basic bones of the body.

When I picture where you are and what you are doing, I envision your current situation to be similar to this. No sleep. Waking up at ungodly hours. Working hard (way harder than me of course 😉 ). I have somehow survived my one day of this life and I know you will survive all of yours too. Sending all my energy your way!

❤ a girl