this might take you a while to read. so grap a cup of coffee or tea. join me.
the paragraphs will get shorter as they go (hopefully) so don't be scared.
the past year. wow. it has been quite the ride. there were amazing times this year. but some not so awesome ones too. i watched people i love get hurt, i watched lost friends return, i made new incredible friends, i saw friendships fade that i thought would be forever, i was relatively healthy & got great scan results, i watched my beautiful cousin get married to a pretty cool guy, i saw God's faithfulness, my first friend my age got married, i did well in school, i worked in a bakery, i went to my favorite place in the world (sunset beach) & so much more...
along the way i learned some stuff..so if you are ready...here i go.
1. my heavenly Daddy is truly incredible. i find myself with tears in my eyes if i think about it too much. so many are stuck in this world of chaos and do not know how amazing God is. i wish i could scream if from the rooftops for all to hear. i have learned so much this year about His character. it is truly marvelous that He can be so many things wrapped into one. He is peace, loving, and just. He is a healer, a comforter, and a father. He is a creator, a miracle worker, and a very present God. He is as gentle as a lamb, and as furocious as a lion. He is strength, life, and hope. i mean how incredible is that? sometimes for like a minute i think i'm kinda cool and then i think of God and i'm like "oh shoot, i'm not cool." this year i have found so much comfort in the words of my heavenly Father. i'm a hopeless romantic, but i'm slowly learning that the Bible is the best love story that i'll ever read. and i mean that. because you all know how much i love me some nicholas sparks.
2. FAMILY is everything. well here i go, i'm getting all teary eyed thinking about them. but the reality is, i don't know what i'd do without them. days i remember times when it was just the 5 of us. road trips to sunset beach usually would end in fights because no one wanted to sit next to me. hey can you blame them i was in a car seat till like junior high [ just kidding...kinda. ] There were Christmas cookie decorating days, pumpkins being carved, easter egg hunts. Just the 5 of us. While i love that the family is expanding, those times still hold such special places in my heart. But this year. this year was amazing. God's faithfulness was shown in the birth of my precious niece Shiloh Makena Rose. She is a beauty. So heres to...
* mom and dad - I do not even know where to start. How can you begin to put into words how thankful you are that two people who raised me, loved me, and taught me that Jesus loves me. All while helping me get through battle after battle. You are two incredible people, and I’m blessed to have you as parents.
* jordyn lee - My sister, my best friend. Thank you for being such a wonderful big sister, growing up I always wanted to be just like you. Then one day I realized that was impossible! But thank you for loving the Lord and always being willing to share with me what He is teaching you! Keep being a light for the Lord! We’ve gone through so much together sissy, and each battle has made us both so much stronger. I love you more each day… “I’m here lasagna!!!”
* seth brooks - My brother, my hero. Thank you for being my “super-hero.” You have always been my number one fan, and for supporting me in everything I do. Thank you for loving our Lord and showing me what a Godly man should look like & helping me believe that Prince Charming does exist. Thank you for always letting me tag along everywhere even when it was against your better judgment! I don’t think you realize how much you mean to me. I love you Roo!
* malakai james & shiloh makena rose - You are so small. But remember always that small can do incredible things. I pray you will grow into a wonderful gentleman and lady, and never forget that the God of the universe loves you more than you could ever imagine! I love you "to the moon and back" and couldn’t be prouder to be your Auntie.
* mark-the-brother-in-law - i'd say this year i've come to like you even more. i'm really happy that jordyn is married to such a great guy. i know sometimes all my sass and loudness drives you crazy, and i can't understand how anyone could possibly like things more clean than danny tanner, but you are that person. but i think we are learning to love eachother. one crazy family dinner at a time.
3. this year i have learned that everything is good and perfect in God's time. HIS TIME. it has been hard to wrap my mind around this. but i am beginning to understand. i guess i struggle with the feeling of having no control. i think i have struggled with this my whole life. i think many people do. i often think that if i could just have coffee with Jesus so he could explain my crazy life to me things would be better. then i have second thoughts, because i am sure if my future was placed in front of me i'd have a meltdown. so i have to be content. because He holds time. and His time is so much better than mine. i have to be okay with waiting. waiting on the Lord. waiting to see what His plan is for me. waiting for direction. waiting for Heaven. there will be a lot of that. but because God's time is so different from mine, maybe to Him it doesn't seem like i'm waiting. i'm not sure. [ have i lost you? i'm sorry. i just have so many thoughts going through my head and i'm trying to get them all down before i forget them. ] anyways. i am excited to see where God takes me, but all in His timing of course.
4. this crazy body of mine is not my favorite thing. but i have it for a reason. i dream of having a perfect body in heaven. no tumors. perfect immune system. no syndromes. no heart murmur. perfect eye sight. i am secretly hoping i'm super athletic so i can play soccer against seth and actually be good. i hope i'm still short though, because i really like it. [ don't tell mom and dad that, they'll regret ever giving me growth hormones. ] i can't wait to live years and years in heaven without getting blood draws, scans, medicine or having doctors throw a million questions at me. i can't wait to never have to give a health history again. because it takes literally for-ev-er. i can't wait to never see a doctor mask, white coat or stethescope again. i can't wait until the only doctor in the house is my HEALER. my Jesus. that is the day i long for.
5.the spice girls were wrong when they said "friendship never ends." because it does. it can. and it will. it's inevitable. i'm one of those extroverts that hates even thinking about losing someone i care about. if someone stops talking to me, it's almost as if my brain and heart can't understand and something inside of me begins to shut down. i start to analyze every conversation, everything that has happened. thinking "there has to be a reason" when many times there simply is not. because despite our every prayer and wish, people will let you down. it will be the ones you least expect. the ones you swore would never do it. one day they will just walk. you'll never hear from them again. (or maybe, like one case this year, beause of thousands of prayers, they'll come back) but they might not. and you have to be okay with it. because everything happens for a reason. if God takes someone out of your life, you can't run after them. you just can't. don't do it. just let it be. because maybe one day they will come back. but maybe they won't. and trust me, you don't want someone in your life that could care less if you are in theirs. [ does it sound like i'm still trying to convince myself a little? WELL I AM! haha ] but really...
6. okay maybe they weren't completely wrong. because some friends do last forever. but those friends are now considered to be like family. you know the girl you've known since you were 2. the handful of ones who have stood by me through everything since kindergarten. the one who moved to texas but as soon as you see her its like she never left. the one you met when you were tiny watching your brothers play soccer and don't know what you would do without. the ones who you met long ago in that 7th grade hallway that you know so much about that if you weren't friends you'd have to kill them. its those ones. those are the ones who have become family. it's the group of 5 sisters. and the group of 4 sisters that have watched you grow up and welcomed you into their homes to be the #6 and #5. it's those ones that make you fell blessed. those are the ones that count. those are the ones that make every single person who walks away not hurt as bad.
7. i don't want to be the next anyone. i just want to be me. i really love artsy things. cooking. baking. writing. singing. and in those worlds it feels like there is so much room for "the next" but i just want to be me. when i cook something i'm not looking to be the next julia child. i'm just me. when i bake i'm not asking anyone to call me the cake boss. i'm just me. when i write i don't expect anyone to think i'm the next robert frost [ although i wish with all my heart i had penned the words "the woods are lovely, dark and deep. but i have promises to keep, and miles to go before i sleep.." THEY GET ME EVERY SINGLE TIME ] and when i sing i don't want to be the next whoever is popular right now. i'm just me. i think so often people struggle with this concept though. they aren't comfortable being themselves. they want to be the next whoever. maybe it's a matter of not being confident in who they are? i'm unsure.
8. being short is actually pretty much a dream come true. [ don't worry mom and dad i'm very thankful for that growth hormone. i wouldn't want to be only 4 feet forever, 5 feet is just right. ] so yes i get the questions "kids menu?" "is that your big sister?" "you have to be 15 to work here" "is your mom and dad home?" and sometimes i love it. because yes. i do want that kids menu because i eat less and its freaking cheap. no she's not my big sister...she's actually 2 years younger than me, but thats cool. oh don't worry i'm 22. and sometimes it's great when i can say they aren't home because then the freaky guy who looks like a homeless version of st. nick just leaves and doesn't decide to install the hot water heater that night. [ WHY DID HE SHOW UP AT NIGHT!? ] thats something i'm still trying to figure out. anyways. short is the place to be. my best friend recently got me a necklace with my favorite Shakespeare quote on it. [THOUGH SHE BE BUT LITTLE, SHE IS FIERCE] -- PREACH BRO! I'M FIERCE AND LITTLE.
9. not everyone is going to have confidence in me. this is a tough pill to swallow let me tell you. [ and i've swallowed a lot -- trust me on that ] i learned this very well last spring when a woman who i shall call cruella told me that i must be mistaken and my dream is not realistic for my future. she also told me that i wasn't "emotionally stable enough to handle that job." well PISH POSH MISS CRUELLA. i'm gunna do that job whether or not you have confidence in me. if i'm being honest it hasn't been easy. discovering that the plans you had set aren't going to work like you thought they would...not cool. also i have learned that many people your own age, and even grown ups who you thought had your best interest in mind, aren't going to have confidence in you. because maybe their idea of success looks different than yours. when i tell people what i want to do they say "well thats different." recently i told someone i want to adopt and they said "but your husband isn't going to want that, men want their own genes." [ Well sir, my husband is going to have to deal. because you know what...he might not have a choice. AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE. who says i need a husband? if i have to move to africa and start up an orphanage of my own i will. don't tell me what will happen, because you sir, have no idea. ]
[ okay i'm really sorry i lied and said the paragraphs would get shorter. cause they haven't. please don't hate me. okay i'm sorry. i'm a sinner. i lied. okay keep reading. we are in the home stretch... ]
10. writing is way more therapeutic than i gave it credit for. did i spell therapeutic right? i don't think so...oh well. this year i have begun to write more songs...and written more in journals...and on here. i just love it. it is such an easy outlet. oh and also...if a guy hurts your feelings writing a song about him gives you 99.99% less chance of getting arrested than taking a baseball bat to his car. my theory on men:: if he's being a butt head just write a song about him [ insert quote about butt head from legally blonde...love emmitt. ] but really. i also found that writing things down during my devotions helps me remember things so much better. i also found that writing things down in school doesn't help me as much as i wished it did. [ sorry mom and dad. ] -- also if someone wants to come up with songs for everything i learn this next semester i will pay you lots of money ... well maybe like 5 dollars cause i dont have money.
11. as the john mayer lyric says [ so scared of getting older...i'm only good at being young.] all i can say to this is AMEN. well not all...cause here comes the paragraph. growing up. it brings fears. of what is to come. even if you know its coming. its still scary. i have found that it comes with the revealing that so much that i thought was true is not : : : people are not all nice and they will let you down. the easter bunny isn't real. the moon isn't made of cheese. grandpa did not walk up hill both ways to school. everything is not always gunna be okay, athough i wish it with all my heart. i can't do everything. and if you are in my backyard playing wiffle ball with daddy...there is crying in baseball. haha. i have found getting older is different than growing up. not everyone grows up. but everyone gets older. somedays i find that i am probably very fearful of what is to come healthwise. the future holds so many unknowns for me. we've been told my whole life by so many doctors "we're not sure." not sure of what will come. will my heart murmur get worse? can i have kids? will my tumor grow back? will my endocrine and lymphatic systems work well? these are all things we are so unsure about. and i assosciate them with getting old. so i just want to stay young. i'm really good at being young.
12. my favorite quote this year:: “Nobody wants to admit to this, but bad things will keep on happening. Maybe that's beause it's all a chain, and a long time ago someone did the first bad thing, and that led someone else to do another bad thing, and so on...you know, like that game where you whisper a sentence into someone's ear, and that person whispers it to someone else, and it all comes out wrong in the end...but then again, maybe bad things happen because it's the only way we can keep remembering what good is supposed to look like.” - Jodi Picoult
13. i want to be incredible. i want to be far from ordinary. i want to be extraordinary. i don't want to sit and watch life to by and do nothing. i want to help people. i want to change peoples lives. i want my life to be changed. i want to change the world. I WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
well that is what i've learned...i can't wait to have coffee with Jesus one day so He can explain all of this craziness to me. the craziness that i live in.
if you read all of this...lets go to starbucks because we should probably be best friends, unless i dont know you...that'd just be creepy.
love you all.
blessed by a heavenly Daddy,
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