Monday, September 26, 2011

Turning the page...

            So this past weekend my brother got married!! He married a girl that he has been in love with since high school and I am so incredibly happy for the two of them. They are moving into a new chapter in life. They will be rigorously packing and getting ready to head south this weekend. I feel as though he just got home! I honestly wish that they could stay longer but as my mom says, "they are ready to start their life together, ya know?". And I do know, but a part of me is selfish and wants to keep him here. At the wedding, I knew that there was a small possibility I might tear up a little bit at the ceremony. I did not realize, however, that at the end of the "I do's" my brother would look over at me and smile and I would start crying like a freak! We have grown so close the last few years that we know each other's insides and outs. When he looked at me, I could just tell he was SO happy. And after the last few years that have been the hardest for our family, I was crying out of pure joy for him because he finally knows where he belongs and knows who he wants to spend the rest of his life with. I am blessed to have a brother as cool, as funny and as great as he is. The wedding was the first time in a long while that I have been able to hang out, goof around and dance with him. He adds so much joy to life and he has a smile that kills. When he smiled at me, it was like a giant bear hug telling me that it was alright. Even though I will miss him and Meg terribly when they move, I know that they are so happy and love each other so much and that they can make it work.
              I am so blessed to have a family like mine. They show me what love is. While embarrassing at times, when trying to set me up with boys, I know they mean the best. Weddings seem to always make you take a step back and look on your life and look at the people that you love. Some people have regrets, some don't. I don't have regrets. I was blessed to have been put into a family that is extremely close. We have arguments of course, but we always forgive and we always remember how much we love each other. I think that is part of the reason that I am so choosy with the boys in my life. I have a family that loved my brother's wife from the very beginning. That is just how they are. Wow, weird to say brother's wife. I have no doubts that whomever I marry one day will be loved by my family without a doubt.
            I love parties, celebrations, get-togethers whatever you want to call them. I love the sound of laughter, music, stories being told, toasts being made. I LOVE to dance and sing and play. I love to be myself and laugh and goof around without having a care in the world. That's how it was on Friday night. I love the men in my life and I am so happy that we could dance and laugh and carry on because we had a chance to forget about our lives, our worries, our futures, and school for a short while. Needless to say, I am blessed. I am blessed with a family like mine, and friends like mine.
            Turning a new page in our lives is always hard I feel like. It is hard to change and accept new situations and new places. But we learn to adapt. I have friends all over, at different schools, in different states, in different houses/dorms, but I always try to catch up on their lives. What do we have to look forward to in life, if we don't have friends to share it with? Wherever my friends and family may be, I always take time to think about them, pray for them, listen to them and catch up with them. So here's my advice for you, when turning the page in your life, embrace it. Know that it is something you have to do and know that something good will come out of it even if you have to push hard to make it through. Good luck to the stressed college students, to the ones going through physical training, to those being tested on subjects that determine their careers, to those looking for new jobs and new houses, to those moving to new places, to those becoming empty-nesters officially, to those filling out job applications, to those just trying to make it to the next day. Embrace the next page, the next chapter. And never forget to remember the ones that love you and keep you going.


“Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
― C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 12, 2011

The things I've come across...

I've come across many things in my short 20 years. I have loved, learned, grew, became, helped, cherished, fought, craved, marveled, destroyed, created, left, returned, laughed, cried, yelled, hated, and so much more. Through all of that I have picked up on things that make me happy, have helped me do better, have made me laugh more, that created relationships. I'm going to share of few of those with you.

1. ALWAYS go to bed at a decent hour, and take naps.
2. Open your heart to be loved but don't go chasing it.
3. Be REAL with people.
4. Always be honest, even when it's the hardest thing you've ever done.
5. Never forget. Write journals, take pictures, make movies.
6. Know that the lowest points in life are meant to build you back up as a better person.
7. Create masterpieces. Whether you are an amazing artist or playing with play-doh with your 4-year old niece.
8. Stand up for what is right. Don't follow the crowd, you have to believe in yourself and know that everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
9. Volunteer. There is just something about putting a smile on another's face.
10. Memorize little pieces of people. I love my friend's laughter, I like that my Grandpa brings me peppermints every Sunday at church, I love that my friend always seems to know what I'm thinking just by looking at me, I love that I remind people of my brother because he's my hero, I love when my mom plays with my hair, I love when I am squeezed in a hug by my niece and nephew.
11. Build bridges don't tear them down. If you are angry or upset, forgive. If you are hurt or sad, apologize even if you do not think it was your fault.
12. Don't live too far into the future. Pray for what's next and hope for the best but live each day to the fullest.
13. Commit. Commit to your job, commit to your classes, commit to your partners, friends, family.
14. Never take the easy way out. You will not feel satisfied. The road that takes you on a bumpy journey will be the one that you look back on and remember, "Hey, I did that."
15. Pray. About everything. Whether you believe in God or not, the majority of people pray. Maybe you don't call it praying but "hoping" and "thinking" about things can be considered the same. You can pray about anything. Talk aloud, whisper to yourself, think things through in your head, all of it I considered to be praying,. Because you need something more than just yourself to ponder the things you pray about. You hope that somebody else can help you or heal you or fix you. You hope that everything will be okay.

These are only a few lessons that I have learned. Some may seem cheesy (like "shredding cheese" as one of my housemates would say) but do not take them for granted. I think everyone at some point looks for advice and I hope maybe some of you find what you are looking for.

Grace & Peace,