Farewell to 25

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new adventure–Year 26.

I’ve already shared my goals with you, so now I just want to recap what happened last year:

  • I was working as an office manager
  • Serving the deaf at 2 churches and a school
  • Making the decision to leave Alabama again to head out to Rhema
  • Falling in love with missions
  • Writing for this blog everyday
  • My heart was steadily being changed by this radical notion that following Jesus was never meant to be a Sunday only affair 

I am so blessed and humbled by everything that happened which brought me to right here, sitting on my couch, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. 

25, you’ve been good to me. Now it’s time to start out on my next adventure. 

Happy Father’s Day

If your dad is still around, be sure to visit or call. 

It’s weird to think about my parents and grandparents passing away…

As a young adult, I have a hard time picturing life without my family around, but I know one day it will happen. 

Several of my friends have already lost their fathers. They don’t talk about the difficult times and their differences. 

What they talk about is how much one more day would mean. 

Nothing else matters. 

This Father’s Day I’m reminded again about the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and love.

Hard times come–disagreements happen–but do what you can to make amends. 

Decide to forgive instead of holding a grudge. None of us knows if today is our last. 

When the end comes–for you or your loved ones–wouldn’t you rather know that you’ve done everything you can? 

Regret is a bully. 

You don’t want that hanging over you head. 

 

Finding Dory 

Finding Dory is coming to theaters this Friday!

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite Pixar films, so it’ll be cool to see all the characters from the first movie. 

Fun movie fact: It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo came out. 

I remember a day in high school when we watched Finding Nemo in our Spanish class. 

And then we watched it in 2 other classes that week…

What were they teaching us in school? 

How to be a movie junkie?

I guess it worked because this girl can’t wait to see Finding Dory!

Dory is my favorite character because she’s:

  • Voiced by Ellen
  • Funny
  • A good friend

Not to mention that “Just keep swimming” is a great life motto. 

All about singin’

I retaught myself a song from my childhood….

I can now sing you the books of the Old Testament. If you’d like to request a special performance, just drop me a comment below.

What I find most amazing is that I remembered half of the song, but the part with all the major and minor prophets had me a bit tongue tied. 

As a kid, you can remember anything if it’s in a song. My little brothers and sisters can sing you the entire timeline of world history!

I guess this shouldn’t be surprising because the only reason I know the multiplication tables is Ms. Eiser’s 3rd grade math class. She had 45s (that’s a type of record btw) of math songs.

Today’s post is short–finals start tomorrow–but I have a fun question for us to talk about:

What songs do you remember from childhood (from school or church) that you can still sing today?  

 

Christmas memories

Today I ate a Christmas burrito. 

My dad came up with the concept as a fun way to eat leftovers. 

Well, he learned about the English’s version called Bubble and Squeak from our friends, the Vospers. 

The idea of putting it in a tortilla was his own. 

We spent the day packing and purging after a small basement flood on Christmas night. (It came a bad storm that afternoon, which led to an overflow of water on our property.)

No worries, though, because it’s all been cleaned up now. Nothing major was lost to water damage. 

As tiring as the process has been, I’ve enjoyed working with my family and being around our house. 

My favorite part of the day was when my dad found an old journal from his 6th grade year. We read the entries aloud at lunchtime.

Let’s just say that my dad’s always been a funny guy. The journal was filled with pictures, misspelled words, and all the cuteness that comes with childhood. 

I’m not an overly sentimental, let’s keep everything kind of person, but finding this journal has me thinking:

We ought to keep some things from every part of our life. It’ll make for some great conversations later. 

The gift of empathy

7-christmas-tree-backgroundI bumped into a bad memory last night. It happens from time to time….

I allowed myself to think back to the people involved, the events of the evening, and the décor of the room.

The emotions were strong and I found myself gasping for breath. I was choking–trapped–in the moment and all I wanted to do was run out the door.

I’m sharing this story with you because I learned something in the process:

You can deconstruct the past, face the truth, and then move on.

The reason people remain stuck in the past is that they never learn how to see it from a place of freedom.

I am free from the pain, shame, and guilt of my past. (Notice that I didn’t say sadness of my past. It’s not possible to remove the sadness.)

With time and a year of counseling, I stopped seeing my past as a bully that’s holding my present hostage and casting a shadow over my future.

I can now face up to the memories instead of running from them.

Christmas will be here in 3 days and Facebook posts are already warning us to be sensitive to the hurts and pains of others.

No one can have a good Christmas (and don’t even think of sharing your joy online) because hurting people will be scrolling through their newsfeeds.

This kind of attitude is detrimental.

Even if everyone didn’t share about their holidays, there would still be hurt in the world.

There is nothing sympathetic about making others feel guilty. Likewise, there is nothing empathetic about walking around on eggshells.

Why don’t we comfort our hurting friends and family?

Take hold of their hands, give them a hug, and sit with them through the tears.

This is genuine empathy and it leads to healing.

There’s no magic formula for grief and sadness, but genuine empathy is the greatest gift you can give this Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple gifts

What’s the best meal you ever had?

Was it a complicated, picture worthy affair? Or was it simpler fare with a close friend or family member?

I remember this one meal with a close relative. He diced up hot dog wieners and put them in a pan with tomato paste, a dash of garlic powder, and some Italian seasoning. 

That was it.

 He stirred it up, got it warm, and dished it out generously on our plates. 

I felt like a queen. Life was going good for this 9 year old! 

I “learned” a new recipe and spent the evening enjoying myself and the time with my relative. 

How many times do we agonize over big, fancy meals? 

How many times do we stress out over minor issues, berating and belittling our family in the process?

There’s nothing wrong with great food, but missing out on the important moments is not worth the exchange. 

The things we attach a memory to are quite small. 

Filet mignon on vacation might be overlooked while cheese and crackers on Tuesday is precious. 


Thanksgiving is a week away. 

Cook up a feast! 

Eat yourself silly. 

Clean up later if a fun opportunity presents itself afterward. 

Just don’t stress out over the inconsequential elements of the celebration. 

Remember: It’s the simple moments of intentionality that make the holidays special–not a gourmet meal.