Because I love words.
The word that gives me hope:
Serendipity – a fortunate accident, the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy way, the act of finding something delightful when you’re not looking for it
What my unpublished and secret short story is about.
The word that motivates me:
Sophrosyne – a healthy state of mind, self-control, and an awareness of one’s true self, resulting in true happiness
A manner I’d like to reach one day.
The word that makes me feel adventurous:
Vagabond – wandering from place to place without a settled home, rogue, irresponsible
Who I want to be when I feel like dropping everything and living in the woods
The word that reminds me I am strong:
Resilience – the capacity to recover quickly after something bad happens, toughness.
One of my favorite qualities.
The word for when I need to smile:
Zamboni – the machine used to resurface ice
A silly sounding word that I can’t say without laughing.
The word I never want to forget:
Agape – the love of God; highest, greatest, self-sacrificing, forgiving, and full of grace
The reason my life changed forever.
Sometimes we feel like we’re on fire as Christians, ready to take on the day with the full and complete belief that God’s got our backs and we’ll be alright. Sometimes though, we feel like God is far away. He’s not, but everyone is subject to those down-in-the-dumps feelings and we find ourselves struggling to find the good in the day.
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone, which translates to actually spending a lot of time in my own head. My mind is a dangerous place to be, and if I reside there for too long, I become depressed. Evil creeps up, finds its way into my thoughts, and tries to sway me from God, tries to feed me lies and heartbreak and negativity.
But I’ve also noticed lately, that the smallest things, the tiniest occurrences, have been able to bring me back to reality, back to the fact that I am loved, by both my God and the people around me. Retrospectively thinking about the past few months, God has shown himself to me in a plethora of ways, and really reinforced that being joyful in hope and faithful in prayer is indeed, enough.
Not once during this season of unemployment have I felt anxious about my job situation or defeated that application after application were being ignored. I can confidently say that I felt peace the entire time, knowing God’s plan is perfect and He wouldn’t lead me astray.
My two very best friends have been compassionate in every way- praying for me, offering support & encouragement, checking in, and believing that the Lord is working up something good for my life. I cannot express my gratitude to have those two.
In addition, so many other friends have shown me love in ways all unrelated. Whether it be offering to pick me up from the airport, sending a quick text to check in on me, or verbally affirming that I am appreciated, it’s overwhelming to know that I am cared for. I am thankful that the Lord has given me such valuable friendships.
To be completely honest here, I began writing this post with an entire different direction in mind, but in writing, I realized that these praises needed to be shared. Sometimes I just have to sit back and smile when I realize how great my Father is, and how He promised He would never fail me, even in the darkest/quietest/slowest seasons of my life (right now), & He’s never left. That just fills me with joy.
So I suppose my main point of this is to say that, even as Christians, we have tough days where we doubt God and question how our circumstances could possibly be what's best for us. But in these days of wondering why in the world God shook up my plan that I had for myself, I've learned so much about how His plan is ultimately so much greater. So when we're letting Evil lie to us, and we're questioning God's good intent, take heart & have faith.
If you know me, you know that I love to travel. I absolutely hate staying in one place for long, and I jump at the opportunity for a new adventure. One of the top items on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states by the time I'm 30 years old. To be honest, if I keep up at the rate I'm going (averaging 8-10 new states a year), I may reach that goal well before 30.
My current total is 29 (and I'm trying desperately to make it 30 before this year is over, because even numbers are better...). In the spirit of reminiscing and catching the travel itch, I thought I'd list my favorite thing I've done in each state. And in addition, my bucket list for the remaining ones!
Arizona - the Grand Canyon, obviously.
California - seeing the Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, & Beverly Hills (even though they were crowded and stressful), and also swimming with sea lions in La Jolla
Colorado - visiting Denver and seeing the mountains in Colorado Springs
Connecticut - this was a business training trip, but it was my first solo plane ride, so that's fun!
Delaware - spending my freshmen year at University of Delaware
Florida - spending a week with my very best friends in West Palm Beach after graduating high school, and going snorkeling for the first time!
Georgia - I guess I always just drive through Georgia, so I suppose I need to do something more fun than stopping at a Cracker Barrel next time I'm there
Illinois - Chicago! One of my top 5 favorite cities! And going up to the Willis Tower Sky Deck.
Indiana - visiting family for the first time and exploring a small town
Maryland - well.. I live here... Baltimore is growing on me, Annapolis is always a great time, and I've recently discovered a new love for Western MD. Having city, mountains, and ocean is pretty sweet.
Massachusetts - getting to finally visiting Boston after a lifetime of infatuation with it, and touring my dream college. Oh, and going to a Red Sox game at Fenway!
Michigan - exploring Detroit and Benton Harbor with my mom
Montana - West Yellowstone was pretty neat, but so was finally finding coffee at 5am after a few days of being on a tour bus with caffeine deprivation
Nevada - Vegas... I'll never go back, but it was cool to see once. Plus, our hotel had a water slide that went through a shark tank!
New Jersey - Again, I think I mainly just drive through, but I remember visiting the Statue of Liberty from the Jersey side as a kid.
New Mexico - walking around Santa Fe and trying to figure out why there were homeless (by choice?) hippies wearing dresses and yelling at cops. And eating the best fajitas of my life.
New York - New York City isn't worth the hype in my opinion. Upstate NY is where it's at. Hands down favorite memory ever was spending a month in the Adirondacks on Saranac Lake and volunteering on summer staff at Young Life camp
North Carolina - I've been a few places in NC, but my fav was spending time with my best friend and her family and getting to see where she spent her summers as a kid
Ohio - being in Cleveland during a Cavaliers NBA championship game against the Warriors
Pennsylvania - Philly will always be cool, but I really just love dog sitting for my godparents in the middle of nowhere
Rhode Island - pit stop in Providence for lunch on the way home from Boston, seeing Brown University was pretty awesome
South Carolina - okay, this is a worst memory; being forced to go to a Kid Rock concert by my mother and having my first panic attack... Thanks, Bobby.
South Dakota - Mount Rushmore, but it's smaller than you'd expect
Tennessee - going on a road trip with my Poppop, and having that memory now that he's gone
Texas - LOVE TX! Seriously, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Amarillo, I loved it all. Going to a rodeo and seeing Cadillac Ranch were a few highlights
Utah - Salt Lake City was pretty, and seeing Temple Square was neat too, but hiking in Arches State Park takes the cake!
Virginia - going to Rockbridge for Young Life camp three different summers in high school, where I rediscovered Jesus and began my relationship with him
West Virginia - honestly, the best part about going to WV is playing John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" on repeat
Wyoming - exploring Yellowstone with my best friend and our bus tour full of non-English speaking Asians
My musts for the remaining 21 states!
Alabama - go to Talladega Speedway
Alaska - be there for the Iditarod and go dog sledding!
Arkansas - visit Little Rocker & Eureka Springs
Hawaii - scuba with the sea turtles, explore a volcano
Idaho - visit Boise, and as many natural sights as possible
Iowa - go to the National Balloon Classic
Kansas - see Monument Rocks
Kentucky - do an Underground Cave Boat Tour
Louisiana - visit New Orleans
Maine - eat lobster, because I feel like that's a must do
Minnesota - Mall of America!
Mississippi - visit Jackson
Missouri - see Thorncrown Chapel
Nebraska - explore Omaha
New Hampshire - go to Robert Frost's home
North Dakota - go to Badlands National Park
Oklahoma - successfully avoid any tornadoes, and probably visit Tulsa or Oklahoma City
Oregon - visit Portland, but also do a ton of nature stuff, maybe camping?
Vermont - try skiing? This might take some self-convincing
Washington - visit Seattle and go to the top of the Space Needle
Wisconsin - I'm sure there are a ton of great things to do, but I would really just want to take a picture in a cheese hat by the Welcome to Wisconsin sign...
What I Write About: