Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Post.

I know that in yesterday's post, I promised that I would post my reflections on The Adjustment Bureau. I just spent 30 minutes typing a post and I didn't love what was on the page. I apologize for not having the post that you were looking for today.

As soon as the right words come to mind, I will get them on here!

Until then, rent The Adjustment Bureau.  If you would like to see The Adjustment Bureau's trailor, click here. If you would like to see their Wikipedia page, click here.

The movie is a present day look at "the man upstairs" and what happens when you don't stay on plan.

Friday, November 25, 2011


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As you may know, I have been trying to figure out what to do for the rest of my life.  At the end of last semester, God firmly put a stop to my plans to get a degree in education.  I have been trying for this entire semester to figure out what was next.  If it isn't education, what is it?  What else am I good at?  What else could I see myself doing for the rest of my life?

A few months ago, I began to feel a pull toward getting a degree in Children's Ministry.  After much research, I learned that you can get a certificate in Children's Ministry or a graduate degree.  I was excited to have a plan for a graduate degree, but still had no idea what to get my undergad in. 

As I began to realize that all of my friends would be graduating in May with a Bachelors degree from fancy colleges across North Carolina (and other states in a few cases), I began to work very hard toward figuring out how I could graduate with an Associates degree by May.  Every door that seemed half way open seemed to quickly slam in my face.  It was killing me to think that I have 75 credit hours and no degree.  All of my friends will have degrees and be off to bigger and better things.  As for Keirstin?  She will be stuck in school, still trying to figure out what to do with her life.

The harder I tried at figuring something out, the harder the door slammed in my face.  For instance, today I was looking at colleges in Charlotte and their programs.  I found several colleges that interested me, a few programs that made me excited, and finally narrowed 37 open tabs down to two colleges.  One school that beyond excited me and one school that had a program that made me get butterflies in my stomach.  What do I learn?  The one that I got beyond excited about, doesn't have that program in Charlotte.  *DOOR SLAM!*

Have you ever wanted to yell at God and tell the Creator of the Universe that His plan was wrong?  I have been tempted to do that recently.  I want to yell at the top of my lungs,

Hello, God??  Don't You understand how crazy are You being right now?  Teaching me a lesson on patience during one of the most critical moments of my life?  Toying with my education, is that really a good idea?  Can't you just tell me what I need to major in?  You can teach me a lesson on patience by sticking me in traffic, or making me wait in line at Starbucks... Right now isn't the best time to teach me a lesson on patience... okay?!  Glad we are on the same page now. 

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As soon as I began to think those thoughts, God grabbed me by my chin and said, "Keirstin!  I have always proved myself faithful to you.  Remember your finances?  Remember your last job?  Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says?  I have a plan for you that is far greater than you can imagine.  Trust me.  Let go of your control issues.  Let go of your need to have a plan.  And, trust that I will tell you what you are suppose to do next when you are ready."

Now, I sit and pray.  I pray that He give me patience.  I pray that He put in front of me whatever challenges He needs.  I pray that this lesson makes me stronger.  I pray that I never forget how great of a God He is.  I pray that I will not be tempted to doubt the One who made me who I am.  I pray that He give me patience.

Tomorrow, I will post my thoughts on how all of this relates to the movie The Adjustment Bureau.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

(Four) Things to be Thankful for... Day Five

27. A song:  There are two songs that I am very thankful for this year.  The first is For the Honor by Elevation Worship.  I wrote a blog post about the line "We'll live our lives as sacrifice until You come again" and what that line meant to me.  That line has completely changed my perspective on a lot of situations, and has taught me to think about things in a new light.  I have shared this thought with several other people.  I am so thankful for Elevation Church and the Elevation Worship team.  They are amazing!  You can click here to buy Elevation Worships first nationwide CD that is titled For the Honor.  The second song that I am thankful for is The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets.  Every time I hear this song, I think about my ex.  Every time I hear it on the radio multiple times in a day, I take the time to reach out to my ex.  I have never regretted doing that.  Several times, it has been important.  God uses that song to speak to me.

28. A gift:  This year I am thankful for my boss getting me a gym membership.  This gift has sparked change in my life.  I am working out at least twice but am upset if I don't make it three times.  I am so thankful that my boss cares enough about me to get me a gym membership and say that she loves me the way I am, but knows I can be healthier and have a better life!

29. Something in my home:  On my dresser sits a picture frame that used to sit on Philips dresser.  One day when I was five or six, Philip took me to Glamor Shots to get glammed up.  He always called me a princess, and that day I got top notch princess treatment.  They did my make up, did my hair, and dolled me up for several different pictures.  This picture frame has two pictures in it.  When I look at the pictures, I remember that day with Philip and how special he was to me.  He always did everything in his power to treat me like a princess.

30. The thing I am most thankful for:  Elevation Church.  Through Elevation Church, I have come to know Jesus in a way that no one has ever taught me.  Through Elevation Church, I have found a group of friends who love me for who I am, encourage me in hard times, and who I can celebrate victories with.  Through Elevation Church, I have found a group of 7 middle school girls who are looking to know Jesus in a more intimate way.  Through Elevation Church, I have learned the importance of tithing.  I can't thank the eight families who moved to Charlotte to start Elevation enough.  The staff of Elevation is par to none.  They never give less than 100% at everything they do.  The volunteers at Elevation pour their heart and soul into the church.  They work harder than any group of volunteers you have ever seen.  I am most thankful for Elevation Church this year.  I am so thankful that God brought me there on that day in May of 2009. 

This five day series on thirty things I have to be thankful for has been truly eye opening.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I am a blessed girl.

Dear Reader,
You may not have made onto one of the categories that I wrote about this week.  But, I want you to know that I am very thankful for you.  I write to you.  I pray that you will read each of my posts and grow from or learn something from them.  I am thankful that since I started writing in 2009, you have read my blog over 1,440 times!  Thank you!  Please continue to read, and to share this blog with your friends!!

Sincerely, .Redeemed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Six Things to be Thankful for... Day Four

20. A keepsake:  I am a pack rat.  I save everything!  I still have journals from when I was in middle school talking about a different boy every day.  I still have a few calendars from high school.  A keepsake that I am thankful for this year is some teddy bears.  I have a teddy bear that was my Nana's and one that was Philips.  These teddy bears have gotten me through many tear filled nights this year.

21. A disappointment or fear:  A disappointment or fear that I am thankful for???  I am the only one who this doesn't make such to?  If I had to be thankful for a disappointment or fear it would be my fear of failure.  I always give my best (and then some) to everything that I do.  I never give less than my best at anything.  This can be great, but it can also be bad.  For now, I'll be thankful that I have gotten very far by having a fear of failure.

22. A book:  when God writes your love story by Eric and Leslie Ludy is a book that I have to be thankful for this year.  Victoria showed this book first to me when I came to her about this crazy idea a friend told me about.  Victoria said, "No, read the book! It's in the book!!"  So, I read the book.  This book has changed my world for the better.  I am no longer bitter about being single, lonely or wasting my time on pointless relationships.  Also, this is the book I am walking through with my middle school eGroup girls!!!  I can't wait to see how this one book redirects their entire future. 

23. A feeling:  This year, I am thankful for the feeling of happiness.  I have had the opportunity to experience this feeling a lot this year.  There are many people who do not experience happiness on a daily basis.  I laugh daily.  I love my job.  I love my church.  I love my friends.  I love my family.  I love my life.  I am so thankful that I can be happy every day!!!

24. A photograph:  The picture to the left is a picture that I will be thankful for forever.  That is me in the baptism tank.  John Bishop is baptizing me, and I am coming up after being dunked.  This was such a powerful moment.  Baptism did not save me.  Baptism was a public commitment to myself, the Lord, my family and my friends that I will live my life as a new person because Christ lives in me.  I was so thankful to have (almost) all of my family there, and some of the best friends in the world.  This picture sits on my dresser, and I look at it daily as a constant reminder of my new life.

25. A luxury:  I am thankful for the luxury of having a job.  My job brings so many other luxuries.  First and foremost, I get to influence the lives of two gorgeous children.  I get to teach one of them on a daily basis.  The kiddos parents are far greater to me than I deserve.  They bought me a gym membership, are encouraging me on my running and becoming a part of the 5k I am doing next weekend! (eek!!)  They buy me random presents for being me.  They treat me far greater than any boss has ever treated me.  Simply put though, there are millions of people without jobs right now.  I am so thankful to have a job that I love in these hard economic times!

26. A charity An organization:  I don't know of a charity that I am thankful for this year.  So, I am going to change this up a little bit to be an organization.  I am thankful for the Down Syndrome Association of Charlotte.  They do some amazing work for children with Down Syndrome and their families.  I am so thankful for the work that they do, and the opportunity to be involved in their good works!

Tomorrow, I wrap up this series by blogging about a song, a gift, something in my home and the thing that I am most thankful for!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Six Things to be Thankful For... Day Three

14. Something new:  I am thankful for my new eGroup.  This would be my middle school girls eGroup.  These girls have been a true blessing to my life.  They come from four different schools, but you wouldn't know that if you saw them on Thursday nights.  They are amazing.

15. A recipe  Ha!  You know me right?  This one is going to have to go unanswered.  I have no favorite recipe, being that I don't cook, ever!

16.  An experience:  An experience that I am thankful for this year is growing closer to God.  I have heard Him speak in my life in an audible manner this year, more than ever.  The moment that stands out the most is when He asked me to begin leading an eGroup in Rock Hill.  I thought He was crazy, but I was obedient (delayed obedience is disobedience).  Now, the eGroup is actually happening.  The girls are growing and learning together, and it is amazing!

17. A store:  Target!  I am so thankful for Target.  It is a one stop shop.  I can get everything that I need from Target; groceries, clothes, gifts, body care, and so on!  Target is a gift from God, I am certain of it!!

For the Honor (Deluxe Edition), Elevation Worship 18. A saying:  We'll live our lives as sacrifice - Elevation WorshipThe line of this song is a constant reminder that the life I am living, is not mine.  It is His, and I need to live it as if it is His.  You can read a post I wrote previously on this song here.

19. A favorite piece of clothing:  Skinny Jeans.  I may be very late to the skinny jean fad, being that I bought my first pair two months ago.  But, I love them!  I have enjoyed changing up my wardrobe up to wear things with my skinny jeans.

Tomorrow, I will be blogging about a keepsake, a disappointment or fear, a book, a feeling, a photograph, a luxury and a charity that I am thankful for this year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Six Things to be Thankful For... Day Two

7. A scent:  I love Bath & Body Works Sensual Amber.  I always have.  I always will.  I get the most compliments when wearing it.  I have the most confidence when wearing it.
8. A restaurant:  Olive Garden has never let me down.  The service is always great, the food is always delicious and the company that I share when there is always top notch. 
9. A blog:  Pastor Steven Furtick brings so much truth every day on his blog.  I wait every morning for his tweet that a new blog is up.  I read it every day and learn something new by reading it! 
10. A time of day: Nap time.  Hands down, nap time in a time of the day to be thankful for.  Some days can be crazy.  Nap time gives me an hour and a half to clean up the house, do laundry, catch up on the shows I like and occasionally catch a cat nap, too.
11. A tradition:  I love the tradition seeing the lights at Hopelands Gardens in Aiken.  I look forward to parking at Applebee’s, riding a school bus, singing Christmas songs, getting hot chocolate and a cookie, taking pictures, finding new lights and occasionally seeing a proposal every year.  This is a tradition hat has been in my family for more years than I can remember.  I have shared it with many close friends.

12. A gadget:  I could not live without my phone.  Could anyone these days?  It tells the time, gives me access to my email, facebook and twitter, sends texts and makes phone calls.  Where would I be without my phone?
13. Something old:  Philip always had a handkerchief on him.  The day of his funeral, everyone in my family wore something red.  I just wore a blank dress and was sad that I didn’t wear red.  (Red was Philip’s favorite color.)  My mom pulled out one of his red handkerchiefs.  I carry it around now.  I am thankful for that because it is like having a piece of him with me all the time.

Tomorrow, I blog about something new, a recipe, an experience, a store, a saying, and a favorite piece of clothing that I'm thankful for.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Six Things to be Thankful for... Day One

So, I was late to the “Thirty Days of Thanks” idea.  I saw many blogs, tweets and facebook statuses about this idea.  Every day you write about one thing that you are thankful for.  I have a friend that posted some things to talk about.

So, in spirit of this week being Thanksgiving, leading up to Thanksgiving, I will post six things that I am thankful for.
1. A person:  Victoria.  We may live over 115 miles away from each other, and are lucky to talk on a daily basis, but we still are best friends.  We have known each other for 15 years, always been best friends and grown closer each year.  I am so thankful for the truth that she brings into my life.  She supports each decision I make and is always a shoulder to cry on when I need one.  She is the best friend that a girl could ask for.

2. An animal:  Oh geeze.  Well, you know that the answer to this is going to have to be Tiger.  In our nearly six years together, Tiger brought me a lot of joy.  He was a wonderful cat.  He loved me unconditionally.  There would be days when I would be drained from work, and just throw him off of me when I got home.  But, he still would snuggle with me at night.  He took good care of me in our time together.

3. A cozy place in your home:  My bed!  My bed is comfortable, warm and safe.

4. A favorite snack:  Oh how I love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, frozen yogurt and BBQ chips.  This girl does not cook, so the majority of what I eat is snacks.

5. A place:  Aiken, South Carolina.  This beautiful city will always be home to me.  I will treasure each memory that I have their as a kid.  I will patiently wait for the moment that God brings me back there.  It is the place which I want to get married, raise a family and grow old with someone.

6. A pair of shoes:  My rainbows have always been faithful to me.  They have held up for many years and are still kicking.  They have been out in the rain, in the snow, in the ocean and on the lake.  They have been through a lot. 

Tomorrow, I will write about the scent, restaurant, blog, time of day, tradition and gadget that I am thankful for.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Taking Time

There are many things that I don't like.  I don't like steak, I don't like putting laundry away and I don't like the word panties.  I don't like sour cream near my food, I don't like not having at least one item of jewelry on, and I don't like reading.  One thing I really don't like is dealing with difficult situations.

As you can read in a post from earlier this week, I have had a lot going on over the past few months.  One thing I have not taken the time to do through the events over the last few months is grieve. 

When Philip passed away, I took a week off of work.  But, instead of spending time with my family and grieving, I spent the week with my best friend.  I knew that with her I could avoid dealing with what was happening.  I only cried around her twice that week.  The rest of the week was filled with random drives, coffee shops, walking the Aiken (s)Mall, getting our nails done, and just laughing.  When I had to come back to reality after Philip's funeral, I didn't talk about what happened.  I quit my job a week later and started a new job. 

When I took Tiger to the vet for what I thought was a broken leg, to realize it was something completely different, I tried to avoid the situation. I didn't stay in the room with my baby as they put him to sleep. As long as I didn't see it happen, I didn't have to believe that he was really gone. Then, I walked downstairs in the mornings and he didn't walk me down, I came home from work and he wasn't at the door waiting for me, I laid down at night and he didn't jump in bed with me. He was really gone... But, I kept moving. I talk to the kids that I nanny daily about him and answer any questions that they have. I just keep hoping that it isn't really happening.

When my great-grandpa had a stuttering stroke, I didn't talk to anyone about it.  I hoped that by not talking about it, it would just go away.  I kept working, I kept volunteering, I took no time to go see him.  I hoped that if I didn't see him, he would have to stick around longer.  Then, he passed away.

When I got a call several months ago about my great-uncle being sick, I just brushed the call off.  He couldn't be at the end all ready.  I still remember the last time I saw him, the meals we ate and the shows that we watched together that summer.  Then, I got a call that he passed away.

In all of these situations, I didn't deal with the difficult situation.  I swept it under a rug.  Out of sight, out of mind...

Earlier this week, when I was asked to walk away from something that meant so much to me, my world was officially turned upside down.  I had worked two years to get to where I was.  I had planned vacations around this position.  I had passed up family vacations for this position.  I had jeopardized friendships for this position.  And, by burying myself in this position, I stepped on toes and was asked to step down. 

As the week has progressed, I am beginning to look at this as a blessing in disguise.  I need a break.  I need to take some time.  I need to take time to grieve the deaths that have happened in the last few months.  I need to take time to see friends.  I need to take time to spend with family.  I need to take time to reevaluate some things with God.  I need to make sure I am only pursuing His goals and not goals of my own desire.

As hard as this is to say, I am thankful to have been asked to step down from something I worked so hard for.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Not Giving Up

Don't give up on the God who has never given up on you!
Pastor Perry Noble

The last six months of my life have not been easy.  I feel as if the valleys in my life over the last six months have been long and unbearable, and not had many mountains in between.  I feel as if God is slowly stripping away everything good in my life.  Have you ever felt like this?

I am by no means comparing my life to people who have lost everything.  I am not comparing my life to people who started with nothing.  This is all just a personal reflection of what is going on in my life and how I feel.

Over the last six months, I have been tempted more times than I can count to walk away from God.  I hate to admit that, but it is the truth.

When Philip died, I wanted to hate God.  Why couldn't He make him better?  Why did he have to go?  I was so tempted to turn away from God.  I was tempted to doubt Him.  I never did.  But, it would have been easy to.

When God told me to do something that made no sense, I confusingly followed, and felt like He didn't meet me where I felt called, I wanted to doubt Him.  I wanted to question His motives.  I pressed on, embraced the struggle because I felt like that is where He wanted me to be.  I was tempted to doubt Him.  I never did.  But, it would have been easy to.

When my great-grandpa had a stuttering stroke (about ten strokes back to back), which caused damage to the entire left hemisphere of his brain, paralyzing the entire right side of his body, I wanted to hate God.  I wanted to question His judgement and ask Him why He was hurting all of these people close to me.  I was tempted to doubt Him.  I never did.  But, it would have been easy to.

When I took my cat to the vet for what I thought was a broken leg, but turned out to be a blood clot that paralyzed his back legs, I wanted to get mad at God.  Didn't God know how much Tiger meant to me?  Didn't God know that Tiger was like a child to me?  Hadn't He heard all of the conversations I had with various people about how I hoped to die before Tiger, because I wouldn't know how to live without him?  Didn't He know how much I would miss Tiger walking me down the stairs at the morning, greeting me at the door in the evenings and snuggling with me at night?  I was tempted to doubt Him.  I never did.  But, it would have been easy to.

When my great-grandpa and great-uncle passed away, and I was asked to step down from a role I had worked so hard for in one day, I was tempted to be very angry at God.  He knew how much these people meant to me, right?  He knew how hard I had worked to get in the position, right?  Why was He doing this to me?  I was tempted to doubt Him.  I never did.  But, it would have been easy to.

That "one day" was today.  The moment I was about to doubt God, I began to remember a sermon I was listening to recently by Pastor Perry Noble of Newspring Church.  The sermon was on the life of Job.  He mentioned chapters one and two of Job, where God and the devil are talking.  The devil had to get permission to do anything to God. 

The devil has been granted permission from God to put these hurdles in front of me.  I can react in one of two ways.  Way One - Walk away from everything I have worked so hard on, what I have built my beliefs on and where I believe I am suppose to be based a series of bad events.  Way Two - Embrace this, work harder and prove everyone that I will do what God has called me to do no matter what! 

Way one seems much easier.  It seems much more appealing.  As much as I would like to take the easier route, I have yet to take the easier route and will not start now.  I will be embracing this battle, working harder at the goal God has set before me. 

I will not doubt God.  I will not give up on Him.  I will not walk away from Him.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I can't wait for Thanksgiving this year.  It may possibly be the best Thanksgiving for me ever!

My middle school girls eGroup will be celebrating Thanksgiving together this Thursday.  We are having a potluck dinner with not only the girls, but their families too!  I can't wait. 

My eGroup started about six weeks ago.  This will be the first time that the girls and their families have been under the same roof at the same time.  I can't wait for us to fellowship together, get to grow closer to one another and reflect on all that we have to be thankful for.

I was beginning to stress out about this event.  I had high expectations for it, and wasn't getting a great response about it.  Thankfully, in the last few days everyone has began to gain interest in the event.  All of my eGroup girls will be there, at least one of their parents will be there, and everyone is bringing at least one thing.

What's on tap?  We will be having a ham and a turkey, homemade mac and cheese, famous green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, and banana pudding.

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Death is probably one of the scariest words to me.  Death terrifies me.  My death and other peoples death.  I don't enjoy talking about death.  I don't enjoy thinking about death. 

Death has been more common this year than I would have liked for it to be. 

In May, Philip passed away.  It wasn't a surprise, but it still hurt to lose him.  I stood at the end of his hospital bed, and was with him until his last breath.  Watching someone who meant so much to me leave the world is an experience I will never forget.

Last week, I had to put my cat so sleep.  He was about five and a half.  I took him to the vet thinking that he had a broken leg.  It turned out that he had a heart murmur, which caused a blood clot in his back, which caused his rear legs to be paralyzed.  I promise you, putting him to sleep was the last thing I wanted to do.  If I had unlimited funds, I would have done all that I could to make him better.  Sadly, I do not have unlimited funds.  So, I put him out of his pain and sent him on.

My great-grandpa is very sick.  He recently had a stuttering stroke which caused damage to the entire left hemisphere of his brain.  He is non-responsive.  He is paralyzed on the right side of his body.  Doctors were saying that he would pass soon.  This week they changed their mind, and said that as long as he eats a tablespoon of food a day, he could go on like this for months.  Knowing that my great-grandpa is in this state is painful. 

I know that death is a part of life.  I will die.  That is a fact I can not avoid.  But, no one I have known to die has died an easy death. Everyone has been in pain.  Everyone was in pain for months, if not years.  The idea of  me dying a slow, miserable, painful death freaks me out.

I just keep wondering why I am having to deal with the people and animals closest to me to die this year?  Is He preparing me for something?  Is He wanting me to become more comfortable with the idea of death?  Why??

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Being Single Isn't All Bad

I would like you to be free from concern.  An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord.  But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided.  An unmarried women or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.  But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of the world – how she can please her husband.  I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in the right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

This week, I have been on a roll talking about what the Lord wants for mine (and your) dating life.  I have been discussing how I gave God control of all of my times, how I will not waste time on a man who is not Mr. Right.  Today, I talk about the positive side of being single.

I am not going to lie.  I want to be in a committed relationship.  I don’t want to continue spending my nights alone with a bowl of ice cream watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I don’t want to continue having no one to call to talk to about my day.  But, this is where I am in my life right now.  God knows me better than I know myself.  I trust that He thinks that this is better for my life right now, than being with someone.  So, I do not hold any bitterness about being single right now.

As I spend more time being single, with no love interests in my life, I have began to evaluate how great this time is for me.  Here are some great things I have found about being single right now.

The most important, I have more time to spend with the Lord.  As you can read above in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, the writer states that an unmarried person should devote themselves to the Lord in both body and spirit.  But, a married person compromises their devotion to the Lord by becoming concerned with the ways of her husband/his wife.  If I were in a dating relationship, I would find myself diving my time with the Lord and with my boyfriend.  Right now, I can devote all of myself to the ways of the Lord.

I have more time to spend with my family.  Right now, I spend Friday nights with my mom.  We go out to dinner, go shopping, and just bond.  I typically go to my parents on Saturday or Sunday to have dinner with them.  This is a great opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my parents.  If I were to be in a relationship, I would spend my weekends with that lucky man.  Right now, I get to spend time with my parents!

I have time to spend time with friends.   In my previous relationships, I spent all of my time with the boy I was with.  I spent less time with my friends.  I have been able to see Victoria more this year, than any year in the past six years.  We take day  trips to halfway points and drive to spend the weekend with one another often.  I love it!!! Right now, I get to spend time with my friends!   

Being single is great!!!  I am so grateful for this time that I have to devote all of my life to the Lord, strengthen my relationship with my family, and spend time with my amazing friends.  I will not take this time for granted. 

 Single people – What do you  have time to do now that you wouldn’t have time to do in a relationship?  Keep looking at the positives!