Monday, December 30, 2013


Last year, I set twenty-three goals for my twenty-third birthday.  I know you're wondering how I've done. 

1. Finish my last twelve classes at Liberty University Online with a bang
I did it!  I successfully finished my last semester at Liberty University with a bang.  I got all A's and B's and a college diploma.

2. Start grad school or seminary
I did it!  I'm at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary!

3. Make and maintain a budget
I could have done a little better at this!  I went through phases of being on budget and not and then getting back on track.

4. Run two 5k's
I could have done a little better at this!

5. Live in the moment
This wasn't the easiest.  I am always looking forward to what is next, but I think that I often lived in the moment often.  When I wasn't living in the moment, I recognized how consumed in what was coming or what had come

 6. Read the entire New Testament
Oh no! I completely forgot about this!

7. De-stress
I can't say I did so well with this one.  Seminary hasn't been easy.

 8. Visit a new state (I have 44 to choose from)
Success!  I visited Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and I now live in Texas!

 9. Learn to check my email and social media sites no more than three times a day
Mercy, I forgot about this one, too!

 10. Lose and keep off twenty-three pounds
Darn!  That was not a success.

 11. Read ten books for leisure
This year I read eight books.  I set a goal for ten and read eight.  I would say that is a success.  I would highly recommend Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and The Single Woman by Mandy Hale.  My year was different because of these books.
 12. Take pictures regularly
I may have annoyed everyone around me, but I take pictures more than regularly! 


 13. Laugh until I cry
Yes!  Thank goodness for great friends.  I was laughing until I cried regularly. 

14. Spend the weekend in Aiken
Right before I went from North Carolina to Texas, I spent the weekend in Aiken.  It was great.  I went canoeing with my middle brother, pretended to be a tourist in our hometown's "downtown", went to the movies with both of my brothers, and stayed up late sipping tea with my grandma.

15. Create opportunities for God to move mightily
If #NCtoTX wasn't one of the greatest opportunities for God to move mightily in my life, I can't tell you what was.

16. Learn to white water kayak
Texas does not have many places to white water kayak, so this was not a goal I was able to achieve.

17. Spend some QT with Victoria before she moves
 I am so thankful that I was able to drive down and watch my best friend walk across the stage.  She was also able to come up for the weekend and explore Charlotte with me.  We had a great time! 

18. Follow God's lead
Again, #NCtoTX... Right?!  And, there were several other moments this year where God called me to go against the grain and I did.  I've felt His confirmation when needed and I know He is proud of me for following His lead even when other options would be easier.

19. Have enough faith to believe that God can make my Sun Stand Still prayer come true
Still believing.

20. Visit Charleston at least twice
It is one of my biggest regrets that I did not make it to Charleston at all this year.

21. Get my second tattoo
After I finally figured out what I wanted for my second tattoo, I never had the time or money to get it done.  The time will come!

22. Find time for me once a week
I was doing really great at this prior to moving, then I got terrible.  When I noticed my mood was changing because I wasn't spending time with myself, I made sure to make time for myself weekly. 

23. Live a life that glorifies God at all moments
I cannot honestly say that every single moment of 2013 glorified God.  There were moments when I lost my temper, said something harsh and misused resources (time... money... etc.) that God gave me.  But, I think what glorifies God in those moments is recognizing that I made a poor choice and immediately deciding to stop making the poor choice.

Monday, December 2, 2013

HBD to Me!

For those of you who do not know me outside of the blogesphere, today is my birthday!  I'm twenty-four years old young today.  I would consider my birthday to be as significant as any major holiday, and I celebrate it as if it is.  Birthday's are my favorite, in general.  I will celebrate anyone's birthday, and my heart truly breaks when I forget someone's birthday.  I never want to be so busy that I forget to wish someone a proper "Happy Birthday."  "Happy Birthday" on your facebook isn't enough.  I will pull up share worthy pictures of us... good and bad... and tell the world how marvelous you are!  Birthdays are the best.

Well, I may have gotten a little off track there.  I just really love birthdays.  The real reason for this post is to say thank you.  I woke up this morning with a thankful heart.  I have so much to be thankful for this season.  But, what I am most thankful for today is my parents. 

I am thankful for the gift of life.  I am thankful to have an amazing mother who chose to give me life at sixteen.  I am thankful to have a strong mother who always provided for me, no matter how hard.  I am thankful to have a father that chose to be in my life.  I am thankful to have parents who always push me to give my best.  I am thankful to have parents who grounded me.  (What a lesson it was to learn to be thankful for my parents grounding me!  I wish I would have learned it a little sooner.)  I am thankful to have parents who believe in me.  I am thankful to have parents who want nothing more than for me to have a happy life.

I am truly blessed to have such amazing parents.  Though, they think my love for birthdays at age 24 is outlandish, they still love me unconditionally.  I am so incredibly thankful for the gift of life that my mom gave me twenty-four years ago!