I’ve been working on this blog for a week or two now, but before I begin, let me preface this with a word of thanks.
WOW. You all are amazing. I cannot express how blessed I was by the dozens of responses I received regarding my last post. Texts, comments, messages, emails, phone calls — I am surrounded by a community that is incredibly supportive. Thank you for that, my dear friends!
I have always thought that God allows each of us to experience different things in order to allow us to help others in dealing with those same things later down the road — and the only way to really do that is to share. Stories are so vital to life, and I am blessed that God has given me stories to share and blessed that he has given me a way to share them. Again, thank you — for reading, for responding, for loving.
Now… a birthday blog.
21 years old (or should I say 21 years young?).
In looking back at the past 21 years of my life, I’ve been surrounded — surrounded — by blessings. So many of them. I don’t have room to list them all, so I’m going to try to quickly run through my top 21 blessings — and the way each blessing has molded me to become the young woman I now am.
- Mums: My mother is (and always will be) one of my best friends. The most instrumental person in shaping my life — a solid role-model, proving that it is more than possible to triumph over adversity. Super-Woman.
- Rikki: My baby sister is (also) one of my best friends. 17 years old and feisty as all get out, Rikki is one of the most beautiful women I have yet met. Her heart is just as lovely as her face, and she inspires me to be a better person.
- Daddy, and…
- Death: My daddy was my best friend. He was also a man who epitomized the phrase “living for Christ” — of this I am sure. I have so much I could say here, but in truth… there’s not enough time. So I’ll leave it at this. Death is tough. It hurts like hell. Your heart breaks again every morning when you wake up and every evening before bed — but in the end, you survive, and you’re stronger. Death is just another chapter in the book of life… but it is not the end.
- Mimi and Grandaddy: They stepped in when Daddy died and loved us through it. Slumber parties and Fresca and riding around on the golf cart, and knowledge that it didn’t matter what I did — because they would love me no matter what.
- CCYM: The Conference Council on Youth Ministries. Youth working to provide opportunities for all youth to grow closer to Christ. Instrumental to my relationship with Christ.
- Chrysalis: This retreat was the first in a set of moments that caused my entire world to shift. The moment when I first understood the depth and the intensity with which God loved me.
- Cedar Springs Choir: Need I say more? For questions, refer to this post.
- Yankee Candle: First real job — and some truly wonderful people. My coworkers have become cherished friends… and I’ve developed a mad nose for candles.
- LCHS Theatre Department: Gave me confidence in my ability to lead and do well as a leader. A stepping stone in the path that led to where I am today.
- Laura Lamb and the Holston Conference Office: The best summer I have ever had. Post upcoming regarding this adventure.
- Kara: My other little sister. A girl who has held a special place in my heart for several years now… striving to live a life that glorifies Christ in ways I can’t begin to fathom.
- Diabetes: Responsibility. Consequences. Learning to deal with things that aren’t always fun. Growing up.
- Ashley: My roommate. A shoulder to cry on, a friend to laugh with, someone to vent to — a precious, precious sister-friend.
- Kristin, Claire, Laura, Alex, Ben, Megan S, Nikki, Allen, Megan H, Matt, Kevin, and the rest of the WesFound Crew: My best friends. The birthday bunch! The people who love on me ALL the time — even when I haven’t showered and am running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
- Music: This topic and the next will need to be covered in a separate post one day soon. Too many words.
- UT Singers: See above.
- God Squad: A Bible study I started along with some friends my sophomore year of high school. Such an AWESOME group of kids — encouragement through all the transitional parts of my life.
- Liz, Dani, Joedie, and Erin: The “group” my freshman year of college. These girls were my home-base — the best friends I needed. They were a safe haven when I was all over the place.
- My family: I have been given one of the most supportive, caring extended families in the world. Period. They support every mad idea I come up with and are constantly loving on me.
- Nannying (Cambug): This topic also must be covered in a separate blog. Don’t worry, my friends! It’s already begun. 🙂
This is all over the place, and I know that. Yet, I couldn’t let my birthday pass without commemorating all the different things that have helped me become the young lady I am today. I am so incredibly blessed — and I can’t wait to see what more God has in store!
I went out with some friends and my camera on my birthday — so for your viewing pleasure, a few shots around town (including Kevin and Liz). Thanks for reading!