Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: a year in review.

It's funny how at the end of every year we tend to look back at the year and think about everything we did[or didn't do] and make a list of things we plan to accomplish in the next year. We even dream about what the new year will be like. But I'm almost certain most of us do not even expect what happens in the new year. When we look back at a year in review we remember where we were a year ago and what was going on in our lives. So as I pause to look back at 2011, I remember where I was this time last year and what I had hoped for 2011.

This time last year...
1. I had a full time job at a daycare.
2. I lived at home with my parents and little brother.
3. I sang in the Engage service.
4. I had plans to quit my job.
5. I had dreams that I wanted to come true.
6. I was in fairly good health.
7. I had gotten over another major disappointment.

As I look at where I am now, there are still several things that haven't changed. Now for the things that have.

This year...
1. I'm self-employed working in the business world.
2. I am almost fully recovered from a major surgery that I had 6 weeks ago today.
3. I now work with CG Kids on Wednesday nights.
4. I've learned a lot about relationships.
5. I'm patiently waiting[attempting] for that special person...with a new perspective on it.

It really is funny how things happen. You have such high expectations for the new year to come. And as I look back, I had things happen that I wanted to happen. Now how those things happened or the outcomes weren't necessarily what I wanted, but God has taught me a lot. I also now see why certain things happened. This time last year I didn't know that I was going to have some pretty big health issues. If I was still working at the daycare--well let's just say I would have lost my job anyways because of those issues. God was gracious in a lot of things. Some things I don't "love" about my life have been blessings. I'm right where I'm suppose to be. Even if I do get very frustrated with things, I know that God is working and He has plans and a purpose for me that are for my good.

This year I'm not going to make a list of things I want to accomplish next year. I have things I want to do and things I want to happen[but that's been a running list for quite a few years now, so why bother with a list]. But I trust that 2012 will be another year filled with many blessings and lessons. Regardless of what they are, I know that this time next year, I'll be thankful for what God has done for me and what He has brought me through in 2012.

Peace, love and blessings as we leave 2011 and look to a new year that's fresh and one filled with endless possibilities. Be joyful friends because God is good. All the time.

Monday, December 5, 2011

blessed beyond belief.

Today I found out some of the greatest news I have heard in a very long time. I had my appointment today with the doctor who did my surgery almost 3 weeks ago. She wanted to go over my pathology report with me. I admit I was anxious about finding out my results. When you hear that your doctor wants to go over results face to face, you get a feeling in your gut that it means you're going to hear bad news. Well today, my news was good. I found out that I did not have cancer. PRAISE THE LORD! Instead, I had one borderline tumor and one benign cyst. Because I had a borderline tumor, my doctor wants to keep a close eye on me. That means I'll be going to see her several times a year for exams and for blood tests. I'll be treated like an ovarian cancer patient. Even though I do not have cancer, and a very small chance of developing it--I could still develop another borderline tumor from my remaining ovary. Due to this chance, and her wanting to preserve my remaining ovary, she is going to make sure that I'm well taken care of. I also will be put on birth control which will help regulate some things, and help to prevent another cyst/borderline tumor from forming.

I must admit I had no intentions of going on birth control until I got married. In fact, depending on when I got married, I don't even know if I would have gone on it. But based on the recommendation of my doctor, I'm going to listen to her and go on it. I would like to prevent another cyst/borderline tumor from forming as well as preserving my remaining ovary. I've been told I'll still be able to have my own children--the doctor doesn't seem to think I'll have any complications. So I hold onto the hope from her words as well as hope that God will give me the desires of my heart[which is to have my own children someday]. He has been so good and faithful to me so far, and I trust His will for my life[which I selfishly hope is for me to have my own children] :)

I just wanted to share my wonderful news with whoever happens to read my blog. I've been so blessed this year. I pray you also have something wonderful to be thankful for this year. God is good. ALL THE TIME!

Oh, and onto some other amazing news--my cousin, Stephen, is safely back in the states from his deployment to Iraq! I look forward to spending Christmas with he, his beautiful[and pregnant] wife, Jo; his parents; one of his brothers; and my wonderful parents and brother! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Wow. That's about all I can say about how quickly this year has gone by. It is already December, and the Christmas season is upon us--and we have 24 more shopping days left--and 25 days til that big day! I must say I'm looking forward to this month. There is so much going on this month that I'm so looking forward to. Christmas parties, Christmas programs, Christmas family get togethers, etc. I love Christmas! I love the music, movies, parties, lights, trees, decorations, and of!

This year though brings about some different feelings for me. I've had a lot happen this year and especially over the past couple of months. The trials that I've gone through have shown me some things that I need to work on in myself. And with the Christmas season in full swing--it's time I take some of the lessons I've learned to heart and act in a Christlike mood. It is, after all, the season in which we celebrate His birth. That's why it's called Christmas. It's all about Him. No one else. I have so much to be thankful for, and so much to celebrate. I have almost been given a clean bill of health[after my doctor's appointment Monday--I'll know for sure] and I have everything that I could ever need and so much more!

There are so many people who are so much less fortunate than I am and dealing with things that I could never even imagine having to deal with. It's by the grace of God that I have gotten through the past couple of months. But there are so many people who are not as blessed as I am. I have wonderful doctors and medical care, a successful surgery, a family who loves me and wants to help take care of me as I recover, and insurance to help defray most of my medical costs. It's such a blessing to have that, especially at this time of the year--the holidays are a hard time for a lot of people because money is a huge issue. There are so many families and people who are hurting and we are in such a hurry to get our shopping done, get to our parties on time, or whatever else it is we have occupying our minds and blinding us to the needs of others. This is the time of year when those of us who have been blessed and fortunate enough to have plenty should be aware of the people around us who are struggling.

I want to challenge anyone reading this, as well as myself to stop. Look around you. Take off your blinders and see the people around you who may need a little help this Christmas. Let us not be so consumed with ourselves and all the stuff that we need/want, and let us be like Christ and give of ourselves. He gave so much, for what? He didn't expect anything in return. Now as a believer and a follower of Christ, I am called to give to the poor and take care of those less fortunate. I have been given much[responsibility/talents/etc] so that I can help others. No matter what I do for others--a kind word, opening a door, carrying groceries, taking someone to the doctor, etc. Find ways to help people who are in need. It doesn't matter how small. The best way to start out is doing little things. Then work your way up. And I promise by doing things for others, you will be blessed by it. Some of the times of greatest fulfillment in my life have come when I've been doing things for others. We are called to be servants. So let's get some practice. This is the perfect time to start!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


This year has been a whirlwind of emotional events. If you had told me this time last year everything that was going to happen to me over the next 12 months, I would have laughed in your face. I've had some pretty major things happen: I lost my job; had my first boyfriend; broke up with my first boyfriend; took a super hard test[twice]; got a new job; had some health problems that ended up in me having surgery.

Yeah, crazy stuff has happened this year. 2011 has been interesting to say the least. And my 25th year started out to be very interesting. These first two months into it have been two very difficult, scary months. I've been to a ton of doctors, had big tests done, and major surgery. I never thought that I would, at age 25, develop a very large cyst in my abdomen and have to have surgery to remove that. That was only part of the surgery--I also lost a couple female things--and had another cyst that had to be removed. The major cyst that I had that was found on my CT scan turned out to be 25 inches long and they drained 6 liters of fluid. Since my surgery, I've lost a total of 21 pounds! Crazy! This thing had been growing inside my body, unnoticed for a while--and I didn't feel it! God works in mysterious ways. Had it not been for heart issues that caused me to go to the doctor in the first place---I do not know when or how it would have been found. In fact, something worse could have happened. But I'm clear of what I deemed "Olga"--she is gone, been tested, and has been disposed of. I'm only left to wait a little bit more for results from the tests done on the cysts and to get my not so wonderful, lovely, comfy staples removed.

There's been a lot of waiting. I had to wait for doctors to be available. Wait for results. Wait for surgery. Now back to waiting for more results. I really don't like waiting. I would like to know for certain that the alien thing that was removed from my body did not have any cancerous cells in it. I'm pretty sure I don't have cancer--but then again--I never thought that when I started having heart issues that it would lead to major surgery to remove a ginormous cyst. So I just need to be patient, wait on God, take peace in His control over my situation and rest.

Today, because I'm still recovering at home, I watched our Engage service online. Our new youth pastor preached today about rest. He preached from Psalm 23--and challenged us to learn how to find time in our days to rest in God's word. It's so important to stay connected to our Savior and draw closer to Him through quiet times in the day when we talk to Him and read His word.

This is something that I struggle with. Just being honest. I've gone through my good days and my bad days. I'm not perfect. I wish it came easier for me to rest and be quiet. To take the time[that I really do have a whole lot of at the moment] to spend with my Savior everyday--seems to be so hard. When I really have no excuse to not take time and rest in my Savior and all that He has done for me. And He really has done a lot for me this year. He has taught me quite a bit about Himself--as well as teaching me about me. I'm still learning life lessons as I continue to deal with different situations--especially new ones--things I've never had to deal with before. Sometimes "growing up" sucks. I'm definitely still a kid at heart. Heck I still live at home--and am soaking it up[but also very grateful for] my parents and how they have cared for me and been there for me so much--especially these past couple of months. They have sacrificed so much for me--and I know that this has also been very difficult for them too. But I know everything that they have done for me--it's because they love me. I am so thankful for them. I'm so thankful for their love, support, time, and care. They've given me so much that I don't deserve.

I have been so blessed this year. I've been blessed to have such wonderful parents, a loving family, super supportive friends---and an awesome church family. God has been good.

So to end tonight, what are you thankful for? What has God blessed you with this year--maybe it's something you didn't really realize until now--some things are little and not as obvious as maybe the bigger blessings. It's okay to be thankful for those little things too. Because there are a lot of little things I'm thankful for: getting "get well" cards/letters/pictures in the mail, "get well" flowers, visits from friends, comfy pants, my mom staying with me in the hospital every night, having an appetite again, etc. These are all little random blessings as I like to call them.

Where has this year taken you? Is it what you thought it would be? I know we have a little over a month left--but I know this year has brought a lot of surprises for me. I'm curious about next year. I'm hoping it's a "quieter" year, but I won't turn down chances to be surprised in not so quiet ways.

I'm still praying I meet my future husband next year[I pray this every year--we'll see if 2012 is my year--or I could still meet him in 2011--I got time, right?!] haha

seek peace. show love. find rest.

Monday, November 7, 2011

i blogging.

I'm really terrible at keeping up with this blog. I had great intentions for keeping up with it on a more regular basis. But I'm good if I get in one entry a month now. It's not like I've been super busy recently. I've just had a lot of stuff going on. Yes, contradiction. When I mean I have a lot of stuff going on, I refer to my last post. I'm still waiting to find out what is going on with my health. I found out my ankle is sprained and that I have an abdominal cyst. But that is all I know right now. I have to go back to the doc in the morning to retake my blood--to recheck some elevated levels. I will also be having a CT scan [hopefully] this week.

I'm a terrible waiter. I hate it. I wish I could blink my eyes, wiggle my nose, or say the magic word and "POOF" I have my answers. I would like to know that the cyst on my abdomen has caused my heart related issues. I would like to know that the cyst is nothing major--and that it's just a random cyst that is pretty common in a lot of people. I would also like to know that my blood levels are all normal after I have my blood retaken.

I'm in a betweenish state of being worried/not worried/totally freaked out. If I think too much, I come up with the worst case scenario. In my heart of hearts[what the heck does that even really mean?], I know that I'm not in my worst case scenario. But it could be that I may have some health issues that quite possibly I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life. So maybe this ordeal is all about teaching me patience and teaching me how to trust--and rest in God's peace. Not the easiest thing for me to do. But I'm trying. Again, I have good intentions. We'll see how I hold out until I have the answers. I know I have a very strong support system. A great family, amazing friends, and an awesome church behind me. There are a lot of people praying for me--and quite a few of those people are those I don't even know! That's encouraging. It makes me feel good to know that I am loved and cared for, and that gives me some peace and comfort.

So, that is about all for tonight. Semi-short. But just to update any who want to know my status. Oh--besides this stuff--I'm getting ready for the Christmas program at church. I'm singing in the choir and in a quartet. So I'm learning some great Christmas songs! Which I absolutely love! :) I LOVE Christmas--and everything about the season--and of course why we celebrate! Because if not for Christ, where would we be? :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

change of perspective.

Over the past 5 weeks, I've had my world semi tilted off its axis. I thought I was clear of stress related issues after I had taken and [finally] passed my exam. I never thought that the day[night] after my test was over that I would wake up in the middle of the night to my heart racing and my body shaking out of my control. I didn't expect on that night that I would have several other episodes and would be dealing with the unknown as I went to the doctor who then set me up to see a cardiologist. Then I never would have imagined that I would have a heart monitor attached to my body for a month, or that I would have to have an echo cardiogram done. Heart issues are for old people, or people with poor health.

Let me tell you, blog readers, that this has been a difficult period in my life. The uncertainty, the worry, the fear, the anxiety[yes I know some of these words mean practically the same thing], the doubt, the's all been a bit overwhelming. The more I focus on my issue[whatever it may be, because I don't know what's causing it] the more I think and "feel" that something is really wrong with me. I tend to go to the worst case scenario, and think "I'm going to die". First of all, I'm not dying--not now at least[I don't plan on that till I'm old and gray]. I just have all these things come into my head, and I dwell. Then fear begins to grow. Then I "feel" my heart beating--it's hard to explain this--it just kind of feels like it may beat out of my chest[not really--because my pulse isn't racing] I know it's confusing. Just go with it. I then come to the conclusion in my head that something is really wrong--and then I can't sleep or I have an episode. Nighttime is the worst. I dread nighttime now. I hate going to bed...because I dread having an episode. Granted, I have this super duper beeper sized thing attached to my body to record my "episodes" to help the doctor figure out what's going on, but I still do not enjoy having my heart race and the shaking that follows. I also found out my bilirubin count is high and then I got a stress fracture. All in a matter of the past 5 weeks. It's been a crazy mess.

Okay, enough of this "woe is life is awful....etc". I have had to have a little bit of a perspective shift. A change in my point of view of the issue at hand. Granted, I still have my worries, fear, etc. But I have come to realize--and need constant reminders of a couple of things. First of all, and most importantly--God is in control. Okay, why am I still worried? Oh it's this little thing called weakness[in me] and my flesh. Secondly, there are much worse things that I could be dealing with. Case and point, last week in Lifegroup, I drew someone's prayer request for their friend who has brain cancer. So, all last week, I prayed for this person everyday[and am continuing to] who is struggling with an illness that is so menacing and horrible. I know there are probably better words to describe that dreaded word, but that's what I've got for now. Here is a person, who has a disease in their brain that doesn't seem to want to go away. I don't know the whole story, but I know it's not good. I cannot imagine what this person is going through, what they are feeling, what they are thinking. I'm sure they've asked God "Why?", "Why me?", "What did I do to deserve this?", least those would be some of my questions probably followed by some anger issues as well. [This is how I've dealt with my health "issues"] As I have prayed for this person, God has shown me that I'm really okay. If there were something really seriously wrong with me, I'm pretty sure the doctors would act more concerned--and something would be done to help make me better. I am thankful that I'm not dealing with treatments, hospitals, medicine, IV's, etc. Yes, I have had to go to the doctor a few times, and I have a heart monitor on. But this pales in comparison to what life would be like if I were in the shoes of this person with brain cancer.

It makes me sad that I am so selfish and close minded. Why did I get so upset the other day because I didn't like what I had in my closet[that was clean] to wear? Oh, because my heart monitor wires were sticking out? Seriously, I got upset because of that!?! Wow, reality check time. I still have a full head of hair. I can go out and hang out with my friends and not worry about getting a cold that could potentially lead to my death because my immune system is so low from my cancer treatments. Perspective[oh and some wisdom and harsh, but truthful words from my dad] on my situation made what I'm dealing with seem much more bearable and easier to deal with. Yes, I still am afraid of what the doctors could find--but why do I fear something that could easily be fixed by medicine, vitamins, or surgery? I also know that I have a mighty God who can heal me[as well as this person with cancer--and I pray that is God's will and very earnestly so]. Words from a powerful worship song keep coming back to my mind to help keep me focused on the One who has all the power "Whom then shall I fear, whom then shall I fear? Oh no, You never let go, through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, You never let go, every high and every low. Oh no, You never let go. LORD, you never let go of me" When I start to doubt, and fear begins to creep in I sing this song to myself to reassure me that the One who created me will never let me go. He'll never leave my side. He'll never leave me on my own to fight this battle. He is there with me every step of the way. To give me peace. To give me hope. To give me joy. To give me comfort. To give me life.

I know that God would never give me more than I can handle. I must say, sometimes it's hard to believe. But think about it. Think about your life. Then think about your neighbor. Think about a coworker. Think about a child in a third world country, or even the child who rides the bus with your kids. Do you know what they are dealing with? Are they dealing with a terminal illness? Are they dealing with hunger? Are they dealing with homelessness? Are they dealing with abuse? Sometimes the best thing you can do to help you put things in perspective in your life, is to count your blessings. Do it. Write them down on a piece of paper. See all the wonderful things that God is doing in your life or has done for you already. Of course the one at the top of the list is that God gave you life. Eternal life through the wonderful gift of salvation from the precious sacrifice of His only and perfect Son, Jesus. That's all that really matters. Even if we suffer trials, think about your Savior. Remember what He did for you, so we wouldn't have to suffer. And when I talk about suffer, I'm talking about the suffering that we'd have to do had Jesus not died for us and paid the debt that we could never repay. Romans tells us that what we deserve is death because of our sin[and that means total and complete separation from God], but because of Jesus we have eternal life[if we accept His gift of salvation]. Yes, life is hard. But He never said it would be easy. It's a race that we are all running. I want to finish well. So through this trial, I want to persevere through it well. I want to keep the faith. I have hope of a glorious ending and the wonderful gift of an eternal life with my LORD. I look forward to that day when I will praise Him forever in the most AMAZING worship I can[or more like can't because of my finite mind] imagine.

So I challenge you, if you are going through a difficult time in your life to remember and focus on the One who made you. On the One who saved you. On the One who has your best interest in mind and can carry you through your trials. Don't let Him go--because He, for sure, will NEVER LET YOU GO!

Friday, September 30, 2011


It's been a rough year so far. I've had a lot of ups followed by a lot of downs. I have not enjoyed some of the "junk" that I've had to deal with and I've also not been faithful in giving all that "junk" to my Savior. I've had two very real reminders of how small and powerless I am on my own. Last night(or rather very early this morning) I experienced my second "panic/anxiety" attack. My heart was racing and I had tremors/shakes throughout my body. When this happened two weeks ago--I thought I was dying. Then I thought that it was a reaction to a cold medicine mixed with melatonin. Well I know now that I did not have a reaction that night two weeks ago. All I can gather is that I had a panic attack. It's strange how these "attacks" come after I've experienced great triumphs. Two weeks ago, I passed my exam. Yesterday, I did business for the first time. I don't understand why these "attacks" have happened following something that was a great stressor to me. Maybe it was the end result and my body "detoxing" from the stress. I don't know. All I know is I do not like having these attacks. I was hoping it was only going to be a one time thing. But after some realizations--I need to go to the doctor. I also need to go to my Savior. I know I haven't been fully relying on Him the way I should be. It's like I'm trying to prove a point that I can do this life alone. Well, I'm wrong every time. And I can't say for certain whether this "attack" was also a spiritual attack, but it very well could be. I'm left with an unsettling feeling that something major could be wrong with me, or it could be just plain old anxiety. Which in my case has been something I've had for a long time--but never has it lead to a panic attack until now. God keeps on trying to remind me that He is God, and I am not. He is in control, and I am not. He is all powerful, and I am not. It's time I get my butt in gear. I don't like games and I don't want to play them. It's time to get real and give up everything I am and everything I have to Him. A complete surrender. If I don't, I feel like these attacks are going to continue.

I'm writing this so that any of you who care to, would please pray for me. Pray for strength. Pray for courage. Pray for steadfastness. Pray for peace. I just need prayers. I know I do not need to worry. I know that God is in control. I know that He has already overcome this world. I just need His strength and peace in my life. I need it just as much as the air that I'm breathing. I don't know if anyone else has had any similar experiences--and can maybe offer some encouragement. But I'll take anything I can get at this point. I can't do this life alone. God has placed people in my life to be encouraging and uplifting. I need to start relying on Him to provide me with everything I need and to take away my worries and fears.

I'm going to end with this verse because it is one that I need to take hold of and rely on its promise:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Monday, September 12, 2011

family forever.

Family is something that is very important to me. My family is very supportive, loving, nurturing, and accepting. They are not perfect, as no family is, but they are pretty amazing. I come from two sides of very loving families. The Wilson family and the Carpenter family. This post is pretty much dedicated to the Carpenter side due to the fact we had a family reunion yesterday.

There is great significance to this day, as it would have been my Meemau's 95th birthday. Two years ago she celebrated her last birthday here on this earth, and it was the day before she left this earth. The past two years have been very hard for me as I have lost one of the most important people in my life. She was the grandmother that I never had [due to both of mine passing away when I was one]. She was the rock in our family. Every holiday was spent at her house. Yesterday my cousins and I reminisced about the good old days when we were all younger at Meemau's big white house on Dale Drive. Food was a big part of it. As we indulged in a delicious feast yesterday, it took us back to the way things were--first course, always dip and chips/veggies; second course, the main meal[which always consisted of a delicious meat, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese, bread, etc; then the last but not least course--dessert. Now at Meemau's house--dessert was always brought out last--never put out with the main course. It was something we had to wait for. Which is what we must do with all good things. There was certain protocol at meal times--as in kids go first--haha---and NO DOUBLE DIPPING! I will not name names, but we did have some double dippers. We still love you though--you who shall remain nameless. Yesterday we kept some of Meemau's traditions alive. Three course meal that we all had way to much of that included mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, bread, and of course we had dip[Thanks, Mere!] and a slew of desserts[Thanks, Aunt Laura!] And to wash it all down--Meemau's famous punch[Thanks, Aunt Debbie!] The only things that had changed were the location, and we were missing that one very special person, Meemau. But she was definitely not forgotten. [This was the last picture I took with my Meemau--April 2009]

We are all getting older, several of the cousins are in college, some have already graduated and are working, several are married, and a few have kids. It's funny to see who is now taller than who---and find out about that special someone who might be "the one"--it was so great to be together and spend time and catch up on what we are all doing. First of all, my dad is one of 6 kids--so that's quite a few aunts and uncles--plus I have 24 first cousins---not including spouses and children of some of those! So needless to say there was a full house. Of course, we cannot forget our beloved Grandad. Who is always there to give you a big bear hug, tell you he loves you and he's praying for you everyday. We also had our favorite "great" aunt Kay--who knows all the "dirt" about the cousins and the hilarious stories that some of us would like to forget. Yesterday was a wonderful day to be with my family and remember and treasure the memories from the past as well as making many new memories.

I love my family. I am so thankful for them. I would not trade them for anything in this world. I only wish we were all closer--but it does make those times we are together very precious and I look forward to the next time we will all be together!

[Cousin girls: Amber, Erin, Meredith, me, Meghan]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

fresh starts.

Do you ever think about how many "fresh starts" you get in your life? There are actually more than you think. In fact, everyday brings a "fresh start". You have a new day--one with no mistakes in it. One in which you can choose to do great things. Be extraordinary. There are also other "fresh starts"--first day of school, first day of a new job, etc. Last night was a "fresh start" for CG Kids this year. I was really excited to be back working with the kiddos last night. We had around 65 kids!! That's pretty awesome! I'm hoping they'll keep coming--and that more will come. Now, I also pray for more people to help serve in this awesome ministry of CG Kids. It's definitely worth the time on Wednesday nights. The kids are so energizing and encouraging to be around. They always have something funny to say, questions to ask, and plenty of energy to use up during the hour. I've missed being around the kids this summer, they have a funny way of making my day brighter. I just hope that I can brighten some of their days. I don't know where all of these kids come from or what their lives are like at home. I just hope I can show them lots of love, joy, hope, encouragement, and a smile. And of course hugs, high fives, fist pounds, and an open lap when they want to come sit with me. I love these kids and I'm so excited about this new year and the "fresh start" of CG Kids for this 2011/2012 school year. I pray God does EXTRAORDINARY things through all the kids and through all of us who work with them!

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these"
Matthew 19:14

Monday, August 8, 2011

feel lost much?

Do you ever feel lost? Do you ever feel like you don't know where you belong? Do you ever have those moments of panic in which you wonder why you are where you are--how did I get here--what's my purpose--why can't my life be easier?

Why does life have to be so hard? Why? WHY? So, I had one of those moments---well rather several of those moments today. It seemed as if I had taken a leave of absence from my body and was watching my life as I would watch a movie. There have been a lot of things to happen in the past couple of years of my life that have caused me moments of panic such as these and times where doubt fills my mind and the fear takes over. Fear of not being able to do the things which I was created to do. Fear of not doing the right thing. Fear of taking the wrong path.

Today, I let things into my mind and heart that wreaked some havoc on me for a few hours. I was lost. I've gotten to a point in my life where I don't understand why I am where I am. Why am I a 24 year-old-single-college graduate-still living at home-working at a job that I didn't go to school for--living the way I am? I became angry and sad. I started to wallow in my self pity--wondering why I couldn't have a more exciting, and fulfilling life. A life in which I could have my own place, work at a job where I knew exactly what I was doing, and was completely fulfilled and content with my life. Why have I not met the man that God has for me? I feel like I've been left behind. There are so many people getting married, having babies, about to get engaged...I just feel so left out. I know God has a plan. But it doesn't make my wait any easier. And why oh why, do the people who seem to dislike me follow me wherever I go? And why do some people seem to not want me around?

The day did not seem to get any better. News of the economy slipping down the dark slope of recession into a potential depression. Seriously? This is 2011. This is the United States of America. Why are these things happening?

Okay friends, reality set in. Yes, life is hard. I know this. I've known this fact for a while. Life isn't fair. But there is one thing that will never change. God. He is always steadfast. He is constant. He is faithful. I remember the lesson we studied in Life Group yesterday in Colossians. God is always faithful. He will always be faithful. He will always take care of us. He knows what we need and will always provide for those needs in the way He sees fit. This is not an easy thing to always swallow--because we are the type of people who want things yesterday--but we may have to wait a while. Sometimes those waits are waits for a 'yes' answer---and sometimes those waits bring a 'no' answer. We may not always like the outcomes of our waits--but we have to trust His answers because He has our best in mind. BECAUSE--He is good. He is just. He is holy. And HE LOVES US.

W.O.W. Yeah, He loves us. Oh, HOW He loves us. I tend to forget this fact when I'm beginning to go down into the dumps because I'm unhappy and discontent with my life. I need to have reality checks every once in a while. I need to remember my place in this world. I am not needing of anything. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. I have a dependable car to drive, great friends to hang out with, and a family that loves me. I have a job that is secure, a church that is accepting, and a God who is faithful.

In the quiet of my reality check moment, I come to terms with where I am. My life is His. His plans are for my good. And I know that I once was blind, but now I see; and I once was lost, but now I'm found.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I love vacations. I love getting away. I love seeing new/different things. I love seeing/meeting people. I love going to try out new places to eat. I love doing things I don't normally do at home. Of course then there's the whole being lazy on vacation. It's nice to just get away from the busy, fastpacedness of life and just sit back and relax.

That's what I loved about last week on my vacation. I could sleep in until whenever. I didn't have anywhere I had to be. I could just sit by the pool and read. Ride my bike to the beach. Play in the water and just not worry about life back home.

Sometimes I wish I could live somewhere the beach. It would be nice to be in a setting that's so relaxing all the time. Of course, I'd probably end up being a bum--then have to come back to reality. Hence the need for yearly vacations to allow for the time to just sit back and forget about life. Although you never do forget. It's still there---looming over you as the clock ticks away until the day you have to leave your paradise. But it just makes you long that much more for your vacation throughout the year. I look forward to going back to the beach--or just getting out of town in general. I've got a few plans up my sleeve. I just wish I had the unlimited resources to hop on a plane and fly to wherever or get in my car and drive to the coast. But, I don't. I guess that's what retirement is for?! I don't know--I just know I've gotta get myself in gear and back into a work/study mode. Back to real life it is...hahaha. :)

Here's a little piece of beauty for you to enjoy...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I found this quote in my journal from last year, just thought I'd share it with you and let it speak for itself.

"My friend, your places of greatest disappointment are your greatest opportunity to let Jesus live through you. In just such times, you will experience your greatest growth or worst failure. Trust Jesus to fill your heart with His pure, unconditional LOVE for others."

This quote struck a chord in my heart last year because of some trials I was going through. I was at a breaking point and wondering where my place was. What my purpose was. Why was I going through this same thing again and again? Love was not at the forefront of my mind and I had very little of it for others. I was self centered and focused only on my needs, wants, and desires. I had also lost sight of God's plan for me. I thought I was in control. Yet, I was powerless to make anything "good" happen. Sometimes when I read my past journal entries I become very sad. There were some very down times in my life. Times when no one knew that I was struggling. Times I felt very alone. I still have those moments, but God has been ever faithful to show me that He has always been with me...even during those times when I felt like no one cared. He has also blessed me with so many people in my life who I know do care about me. So then He can give me a little kick and reopen my eyes to all the many blessings in my life if I have those moments of doubt. I know I am not alone. I am human and will still have these moments of self-doubt, fear, and worry. But Jesus will never leave me, and He has given me such a wonderful group of people to encourage me and lift me up in times of need. I am so thankful for all of my friends! I love you all!

PS. I have a pretty amazing family too--love you ALL as well! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

expect the unexpected.

You know that no one can predict the future. There are countless who have tried. Although it's easy to say that certain things in history repeat themselves, there are never two things that are exactly the same...there will always be differences. I've come to realize a lot here lately that there are a lot of unpredictable and unexpected things happening around me all the time. Somethings that have an affect on me and somethings that do not. There have been some really great unexpected things to happen that have allowed me to learn a whole lot about myself. I'm thankful for those experiences that have taught me very valuable life lessons.

God likes to show us more and more everyday how small we are and how big He is. He also likes to surprise us with things--as I've come to find--as well as placing people in our lives who will bring unexpected blessings as well as encouragement to our lives. I've also found that some people like to push us to go beyond ourselves and outside of our comfort zones. This has happened quite often in the past few months--and I've come to grow a lot through the broadening of my horizons. I also have the expectations of some future situations that will challenge me again--whether it be relationally or vocationally. So I must come to grips with and accept the challenge of expecting the unexpected. Because from my past experience, I know that God has great things for me. I just have to be prepared and willing to do what He wants me to do.

I just hope that I can discern His will very clearly. As I grow older, I have the greater urge to do things that are in His will. Sometimes we do things that may be outside of His will, but He has a way of drawing us back--and using those situations and circumstances to grow us and mold us into the people He would have us to be. It's not always easy. He never said that it would be...but He promised that He would always be with us to help us through. And if times get so tough--He will carry us through our hardest trials. I know this with certainty that He is a faithful God who will never leave us in our darkest hour. He is always there. All we have to do is call.

So, expect the unexpected. Embrace the future with hope. Know that God has great things in store, even if they are completely outside of your comfort zone and outside of "your plan". Remember, His plan is greater--and it's for our best!


Thursday, July 7, 2011


Time. Something I wish I had more of. Something I wish I could speed up. Something I wish I could go back in.

There are times I want to stretch out time when I'm enjoying life so much I don't want the goodness to end. There are times when life may not be so lovely and I just want to skip ahead to the good stuff. Sometimes I miss the old times, memories come flooding back and I want to return to that place of pure joy. Sometimes I want to go back and spend a little bit more time with that person who meant the world to me, and now they are no longer here. Sometimes I want to go back and change the way I reacted in a particular situation. Maybe if I could go back in time I wouldn't have all these regrets. Hmmm. If you really think about it, do you really want to go back in time and change things? Sometimes I really wrestle with this. There are things I wish I could say I've never done, but it's all about the growing up and learning process, right?! It's something I've been really thinking about a lot lately. Sometimes you get so caught up in the moments of your life that you do things you never thought you'd ever do. Sometimes you say things you didn't mean to say. I know I have lack of "common sense" moments--or I have an "out of body" experience...and then I spend my time regretting my past mistakes in those moments of "what the heck was a I doing?" Know what I mean?

Okay, so this post is a little random. Yes, I know it's not much info about what has transpired in the last few months of my life. But I don't feel the need to relive some of the past months of my life right now.

I just know that I've learned a whole lot. It seems as though so much has gone on in the past several months of my life, yet the time has flown by. Things can happen very quickly. Sometimes much too quickly. Maybe if I'd had more time and could slow down that time like a whole lot---then things wouldn't have been the way they were. But such is life. We all have the same amount of time in a day. 24 hours. It just doesn't always seem to be enough. But yet, we tend to waste it with mindless things and poor choices. I know I've wasted a whole lot of my time in general. Something I regret, but I cannot change the past. I can only learn from my mistakes and hope my future has fewer regrets. Life is also about living. Living is done by learning through our choices...whether good or bad. Then we must live with the consequences of our choices. It's a hard thing to grasp. Especially in my very finite mind. I am so small. I tend to only think about my own life and what is going on in my world around me which is oh so small and closed to a lot of the outside world. You can take this however you like...and maybe it somehow applies to you too. But this is just one of the many things that is going on in my head right now.

Time. You get out of it what you put into it. You lose it. You abuse it. You use it up. 24 hours, everyday. What are you doing with your time?

I know one thing--it's way to precious to waste. So start living. BUT live purposefully. It's not easy, but you'll feel better and a whole lot more fulfilled if you start really using your time so that it is not only beneficial to you, but to others as well. We were not created to live for ourselves, but for the One who created us. And He knows the number of our days, and how we live those days. So make it good. Make it worthy of the One who is breathing life into your lungs everyday.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


So often times we find ourselves wandering. Sometimes we wander a lot. We wander far away from where we want to be. When wandering we lose sight of ourselves and who were are and who we were meant to be. I tend to find myself wandering when I've forgotten Who created me. I forget the great love that He has for me. I take for granted the perfect life His Son lived and the horrible, painful, shameful, forsaken death He died. I forget the ultimate victory that His death had over sin, hell, and death itself. I forget the freedom that I have from the mercy that Christ so graciously bestowed upon me and the rest of the world. Christ died for me. He died for you. He died for every single person that has ever and will ever live. His perfect life atoned for the great debt that we could not pay. The debt we could never work off--no matter how hard we try to be good. Our goodness will never match Christ's perfection. We can never attain His perfection by doing good works. Some who call themselves Christians believe that this is so--if they stay away from certain "evil" things--and they go day by day doing "good"--they will be perfect. Well, I hate to burst their bubbles--but that simply is not the case. But take hope all you sinners who try to do good--and truly want to do good because of Christ. In Him, we are made new. In Him, we are sanctified. We are transformed. When we wander we lose sight of these things and all the goodness that Christ has for us. We forget that He wants us to draw closer to Him so He can make us more like Himself.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
Philippians 2:5-11

I do not want to forget the sacrifice that Christ made for me. I do not want to wander away from His love. For without Him, I can do nothing. I want to be made like Christ. I want to be like Him. I want to love the way He did--unconditionally and sacrificially. I feel like that is how He wants us to love. That is not an easy thing to do--but as I reflect back on what Christ did for me over 2,000 years ago--I want to be mindful of why He died the death He did. He did it for us--He did it out of love--not because we deserved it--but by His grace and mercy--and HIS GREAT LOVE. In the end, it's all about love.

Praise be to my gracious, merciful, powerful, great, awesome, and most loving Savior and Heavenly Father for doing for me what I could never do for myself. Hallelujah--Hallelujah--PRAISE THE ONE, RISEN SON OF GOD!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

For All "He's" Done

God is good. I can't think of a perfect word to describe His awesomeness and amazingness because of the things He's been teaching me and showing me lately--oh and doing for me. He has blessed me a whole lot lately. He is constantly growing me and drawing me closer to Himself. He's also been showing me that I have such incredible value in His eyes. How come it took me so long to figure out how much He really really does love me? It's sad really. I've been missing out. I've been letting my flesh get the best of me and Satan took hold of certain areas of my life to make me feel very very inadequate. But as I've experienced some pretty incredible things over the past few weeks--and learned quite a bit---that I really do have an incredible purpose here on this earth. He made me the way He made me for a very specific reason. And He's shown me through different people how I have so much to offer. That's why I'm just super excited about finally getting to a point where I'm not so afraid to do things. It all started when I was asked to lead a group of girls at Discipleship Now. I felt totally inadequate and was very nervous about doing it. But that turned into one of the best spiritual experiences I have had[in that kind of setting] since I graduated from college. The speaker that weekend talked about how we need to "live weak"--basically everyday when we wake up--we give our day to God. Total and complete surrender. Because...from my experience, when I try to live life on my own...I fail miserably. I want to "live weak" everyday for Him--for the purpose which He has created me. That's to tell others about Him and to live my life in total surrender to His will and bringing Him glory with everything that I do.

It's funny how selfish--and greedy I've been. Until this morning...I didn't think greed pertained to anything other than money---until our lesson today in Lifegroup. I see how "closed minded" and down right rude I had been when it came to being kind to people and going out of my comfort zone to talk to new people who are different than me. To say the least, I have been humbled. It made me cry thinking about how I had treated people. I didn't think about the feelings of these other people--but just my own selfish and vain reasons--basically it all boils down to pride. So now I'm striving to be Jesus to everyone that I come into contact with. Seriously. It's not going to be easy for me to talk to people I don't know---but hey--they're a person just like me, made by God. So why should I think I'm so much better than anyone else--because I'm really not that great.

I'm so thankful for what God is showing me and teaching me. He really is a great God. So merciful and forgiving. For that, I'm so grateful.

God is Good--ALL THE TIME! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

So today started as any other day. I get up and take care of my dog Cocoa. We go downstairs so I can take her out to go potty then we come back up to the breakfast room where she will eat her breakfast. But after I fed her today, a pink envelope on the counter catches my eye. It has "Jilene "Lamb chop"" on the front of it. So automatically I know it is for me, and I already know that it's from my dad. He has called me "lamb chop" since I was born. He will say I am his little lamb chopper. I know it's silly, but it's one of those things that will always be precious to me. So--I open up the card--and obviously it's a Valentine's Day card. The card itself is inscribed with a message about how a dad is looking back in time to past Valentine's Days and over time how the daughter has always had a special way of "filling life with love". It's a typical card from a dad to his daughter telling her how much he loves her. And typically, the cards I receive end in "Love, Dad[and Mom]"---but today this one had a message from my dad. It said: "God wouldn't wait so long if He wasn't preparing someone very special for you. Until then and always you will always be my Valentine. Love, Dad". Okay people, the water works started then. I've been extra emotional since I lost my job, but that really just struck a chord in my heart and the flood gates opened. I think that was one of the sweetest and most precious things that my Dad has ever said to me. I will cherish this card for the rest of my life. It means so much to me because of not only how much it shows he loves me, but also that he knows I struggle with being single and waiting for finding the right man to marry. He knows that God has someone out there, but he also acknowledged the fact that I have been waiting, but it has not been for no reason. This makes this Valentine's the best one I've ever had so far in my 24 years of life. It just makes my heart very happy and I feel extra loved today. Even if I don't have a "someone special" to share it with--I have the best Valentine anyone could ask for. My dad. I forget sometimes how much my parents love me--and I long to find a man that will love me for who I am--quirks and awkwardness and all. But I already have a man that loves me unconditionally for who I am and would go to the moon and back to do anything for dad.

So today, I don't feel the need to be sad or lonely because I don't have a date for Valentine's Day. I have the love of my parents who show me time after time how much they love me and would do anything for me. They mirror God's love. And that's the best kind of love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011



A color most people attribute with either love, blood, death, hate, anger, etc. This week the color red is going to be worn by hundreds of people around my county in honor and memory of a boy whose life was cut short. His name was Nick. He was a senior in high school. He had three siblings and two loving parents. He also had a ton of friends and touched countless lives. Little did he know that as a result of his car accident this past Thursday morning, that this was going to change not only his family's lives but the lives of friends, teachers, and countless people who had never met him before. I did not know him personally, but through church growing up and through my family who had contact with him through junior high choir and my brother's Upward basketball team.

It's funny how in times like these, people really come together. Why can't we always come together in unity? Well, it's because of our differences. We don't always look the same, feel the same, think the same, believe the same. But over the past several days, hundreds of people have been brought together as they earnestly seek the hand of God[who at this point was unknown to many]. They held prayer vigils and raised money in a desperate attempt to beg God to save Nick's life. The money was for the life support that Nick was on that cost around 2 to 3 thousand dollars a day. Yes, a day. To add to the stress of this, he was brain dead. So that left his parents with a very difficult and painful decision. Through this all, Nick had his story being played on television stations around the Piedmont area. His life and legacy were being told as his tragic story was played for thousands to see and hear. This 18 year old boy, who had his whole future before him, was laying in a hospital bed where he had no brain activity. In one instant, his life and many other's lives were changed forever.

Red. The color of love. The color of blood. For me, as I am reflecting on my own 24 years of life I think about what this color represents to me. For me, it represents love and blood which represent sacrifice. One sacrifice to be exact. Jesus Christ's. So, the color red also symbolizes hope, faith, grace, and mercy. It also means life. Eternal life. This eternal life comes when a person realizes that they are a fallen and broken creature in need of salvation from the only one who can give it, Jesus Christ. This hope can be found for anyone who is seeking it. This hope is a saving hope. One that will change your life forever.

So Sunday, when Nick's parents made the hardest decision that they ever had to make, Nick went home. Home to Jesus. Home to his Savior. So red is the color. The color of hope and love. The love of a Savior and the hope of a future that is held in God's hands when a life is surrendered. This color symbolizes a changed life that Nick had--one that his legacy leaves behind for so many people. His story will never be forgotten. And I have faith that many lives will be changed due to his story. It is a story of forgiveness. It is a story of a real life. It is a story of love. It is a story of hope. It is a result of one of the greatest stories of all.

I know that on Thursday, when his funeral will be held, there will be tears. For those that believe, they will be tears of hope--as well as tears of sadness. I pray that for those there that do not believe--that the Holy Spirit will work and touch their hearts as Nick's family and friends remember his life through testimonies, scripture, and song.

This challenges me as I look back on my own life. What have I done to show others the love of Christ that is in me? I hope and pray that everyone that I meet and come in contact with can see that I have hope and joy. And I hope my life reflects what Christ has done for me. Because God has done great things for me. He has blessed me beyond measure. Because He died for me. He LOVES me! That in itself, is something worth living for--as well as something worth sharing with others!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:4-9

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Okay, really?

So I'm sure you've heard the saying "Pride goes before the fall"--well here's my interpretation/personal experience with it--"Confidence in one's position/education does not mean security". I know that's a stretch--but here goes my story.

2011 started out just the same as every year--I was thankful for another year of life among all the other many blessings that God has so graciously given to me. Not to say I thanked Him everyday for certain things[ie--my job]. He quickly showed me how to end the misery that I had been experiencing for quite some time. Confession: I've been very stressed out and depressed for quite some time. I have tried to put on a brave/happy face--I don't want people to worry about me. [Disclaimer--I'm not "clinically" depressed--just super unhappy, tired, and struggling with life] There are a few things in my life that have lead to this feeling of 'depression'. One of those things was my job. Don't get me wrong, I was thankful for my job[yes that is the past tense], but I was not happy at all and couldn't understand why I was where I was[I see now I was there for the girls I worked with--and the kids I developed relationships with]. Well, I had had the opportunity to get out a while back--and turned it down--because I didn't want to leave because I WANTED to leave--but I wasn't completely surrendering my job and life to God and seeking His guidance--so major fail there on my part. But I knew that my job was very stable--because my boss expressed her "love" for me and how happy she was that she had hired me back in October of 2009. There were just certain circumstances and hard and trying situations that caused my stress and depression.

Flash forward a short 6 days into 2011 and BAM! my super stable job is taken right out from under me. Confused, saddened, and somewhat angry I sit here today writing this. I was totally taken aback. I am proud of how graciously I took my being "let go"--but still am so hurt by how 'burned' I feel. The general consensus[not the whole] of my fellow coworkers was shock and sadness. I felt very loved by the majority of the wonderful people I worked with on Friday--which was my last day. But it was a sad day for me. I had come to be very attached to a lot of the children that I worked with--they are so precious--and can really lift your spirits if you are sad. I also dealt with the quick end to work relationships with people who I really enjoyed working with. I made some good friends there--and there are those I know I could count on if I needed anything at the drop of a hat! These girls are so awesome! They would really go to bat for me--and seriously would have taken a bat to something if I'd asked them to! :) But there are some other unfortunate circumstances that leave me feeling betrayed and so confused. In my case, my comfort and confidence in my education[because you'd think someone with a four year degree would be pretty safe in an environment that encourages people to get and continue their education] my degree was one of the reasons I lost my job--money the other. It just doesn't seem fair that I'd get let go for that. But God clearly closed that door. Now I know that I am suppose to leave there--obviously?! :) It was the sign I needed--it didn't happen the way I would have liked it too--but how much clearer can you get? All is not lost. My world isn't ending. I'm just unemployed. Weird. I never ever thought I'd say that. I've got to stop saying "never"--things always happen anyway!

BUT--I have hope. Faith. Confidence. Security. First, I know this--God is in control. He had a plan this whole time. He was working. And it was time for me to see how He really does have control. I don't always take note of this fact--I like to pretend sometimes that I've got my life under control--because of me. Yeah, you see how well I do with that. And second and MOST THANKFULLY--I have a super awesome dad who is going to hire me--but I can't start until March--so until then--I'm helping pack up the house--yeah, the other news, we're moving! Finally! :) I'm pretty excited about it!

So anyways, to end up on a good, positive note. I'm not in a difficult work situation anymore. I can get back to my normal happy self! :) I'm working on my attitude about the whole thing still--and some feelings of ill-will. But these things take time, I'm not perfect. It's not going to happen overnight for me. I do promise to work on them. No need to let bitterness take root in my heart--it only leads to destruction and more unhappiness. I can't change anything that has happened--all the times I felt disrespected and when lies were attempted to be spread about me. God had perfect timing in getting me out of a situation where things were not right and away from a couple of people who try to bring harm to others everyday.

So--in my last post I said stay tuned for the craziness in my life--I totally didn't expect this--but I'm sure no one did. So 2011--already topping my list of crazy beginnings. But it's what I like to call a 'blessing in disguise'. :) Now onto getting some of my resolutions started---since I have so much time on my hands now...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


January 4th, a day that will forever mark my family's heart as a day they lost someone that was very special and precious. My Nana, Virginia Dare Gardner Wilson. She lost her battle with cancer this day, 23 years ago. Has it really been this long? I knew her only a short time, and I don't remember her at all. What I know of her is from what has been told to me by my family and the pictures and very treasured family videos--and a couple of recorded tapes. I know she was a very godly and sweet woman. And she has been missed very much since her passing. I have hope and peace because I know that someday I will see her again. Although, it will not be the same on that side of heaven, it brings me joy and great comfort to know she is there, safe and waiting[although I'm sure she has much better things to do there!]

It does sadden me though, that I don't have memories of her. My own personal memories. I don't have a memory of her voice, scent, touch. I also don't have this for my other grandmother who passed away just two weeks after my Nana. I never had the pleasure of growing up having my two very loving grandmothers around at birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, or any other holiday. I don't remember what their chocolate chip cookies or mashed potatoes tasted like or what the sound of their voice when they sang a song or blessed the food. They had their view of my life from a window in heaven[I'm not so sure how that works--I guess someday I'll find out] They were only here for a very small part of my life. I know I would have loved them dearly--just knowing what I know about them, I love them--but it's a different kind of love. There are times I wish I had a time machine and I could go back at the age I am now, so I could talk to them, hug them, and hear their voices. It would be pretty awesome if I had a time machine, I have a couple other people who I'd like to go back and hug again and hear their voices. But I don't have that luxury. All I have are all my memories[or the memories and stories of others] to carry me through--to make me smile, or cry, whenever I think or hear about them. I'm so glad that I have pictures, videos, and recorded tapes. What precious treasures to have so I can remember the rich heritage that I have in my family.

So, my challenge to anyone who may read this. Don't forget your family. Cherish every second that you have with them. Tell them you love them. And for those that have passed--go back down memory lane. Look at a picture. Read one of their favorite books. Make one of their famous recipes. Then thank God for them. Because He knew how we would need our families and that's why He gave them to us.

So cherish all the moments and make lots of memories in 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

happy 2011.

Welcome to the new year folks. I pray it is one filled with many blessings. I know for me it's going to start off as a super crazy busy year with many changes. There are going to be some firsts for me this year, so stay tuned to hear about the craziness in my life! :) Okay, maybe not THAT crazy. But new and exciting things are happening. Some things are going to be difficult, and of course I really have no CLUE what God is going to do this year--He could completely change my direction--so we'll all see won't we?! :)

I will say it was nice to have a group of great people to ring in the new year with. My Lifegroup had our annual Christmas/New Years party last night. We had a progressive dinner that included tons of yummy food, lots of laughs, and a dirty santa gift exchange. [I got a Nickelodeon Super Slimer!] :) I'm so blessed to have some amazing Christian friends in my life. God really has spoiled me. On that note--I also have been super blessed with an amazing family--especially really awesome parents who have spoiled and continue to spoil me in so many ways. I'm so blessed to have parents who love me so much and want to see the best in life for me. It really is quite wonderful. It saddens me for those who don't have parents who show them love the way everyone deserves to be loved by their parents--the way God intended parents to be--like Him of course! I just hope that someday when I have children I can be just like my parents. I hope that I can be a godly example to my children the way mine have been to me over the past 24 years of life. Through thick and thin, the good and bad, the major ups and downs that we've had in our family--my parents have stayed strong and remained faithful to each other and to my brother and I--for that I praise God! I know it hasn't been easy--but I know that in this new year, He's got some amazing things planned for all of us!

So HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope it is filled with lots of love, joy and blessings!