When summer comes to an end…

It is the end of August which means summer is coming to a close. As I reflect back on the last three and a half months, I realize how much God has done in my life.    I had a blast at my sister’s bachelorette party down in Indianapolis. I got to ride on my boyfriend’s parent’s pontoon. I celebrate the Fourth of July at the Porter I got a full time. I moved into my own apartment. I bought furniture for my apartment. I went out East to Boston, Connecticut, and Rhode Island for a weekend. I touched the Atlantic Ocean. I tried lobster and swordfish.

  • six weddings
  • Sister got married; gained a brother (in-law)
  • dog sat
  • went to Chicago to pick up a friend
  • saw three musicals; Newsies, Footloose, and Into the Woods
  • celebrated my birthday with my parents, my boyfriend, and my best friend and her husband
  • picked out China from my great grandmother’s collection
  • looked at three different apartments
  • celebrated my sister’s bachelorette party in Indy
  • rode my boyfriend’s parent’s pontoon several times
  • celebrated the Fourth of July at Porter’s RibFest on the lake
  • stayed at three different homes
  • went to the zoo with my boyfriend’s family
  • fed a giraffe
  • got a full time job
  • went on several Menard’s “dates”
  • got my first apartment
  • bought furniture for my apartment
  • Went to the circus
  • made enchiladas, cavatini, and more
  • went to my first state park
  • helped prep a classroom
  • supported my favorite coach (my boyfriend) at a soccer tournament
  • went to some killer local restaurants
  • flew to Boston, stayed in Rhode Island, and drove to Connecticut for a wedding in a weekend
  • watched a squirrel touch a guy’s hand
  • took three Uber rides
  • ate lobster and swordfish for the first time
  • saw 11 bachelorette parties in one town
  • touched the Atlantic Ocean
  • watched the Solar Eclipse through a welding mask
  • played Putt Putt with my boyfriend and his parents for his birthday
  • hit softballs in a batting cage for the first time

It was a summer full of firsts, travel, and adventure. I can’t believe how much I have done and seen in the last three and a half months, but I’m so excited about the future. As much fun as it has been, I’m looking to the future to see what God has in store for me. I encourage you to do the same. We are on this earth to be His Light to the world.

C.S. Lewis says this, “Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him.”

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Go out. Make a change.

Unemployed, house daughter, the in-between, the season, the waiting period.

Call it what you will, I am in that time. This is my third week of being unemployed and to be honest, it is harder than I thought it would be. I have applied to numerous positions, had several interviews, and have had a lot of time at home doing chores, reading, paying loans, and struggling with this season. I might be in this waiting season, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I look back to a year ago in my last session of college. I was going through something similar. I had no leads on a job. I was moving home for only the summer, or so I thought. Now, I have been living at my parents for 11 months, I have worked three different jobs, and my longest full time position lasted 10 months. I am unemployed, living off of my parents, and trying to find a job. It feels like I am reliving the past, but life is a little different now.

I might be living with my parents, but I wouldn’t change my time living with them for anything. They have helped me grow into a strong woman who can do housework and cook, mostly on my own. I have worked three jobs that were all unique in their own way. I worked in a retail store, an event center, and as a social media manager for an auctioneer. I enjoyed my time working in all three of those situations. I am in a great place in my walk with Christ. I have a boyfriend who truly cares about me. I have friends and family that are praying for me continuously. I am in a season that I know will end in God’s timing and I just have to learn how to dance in the rain.

I was angry at first with how life was going, but I realized that this chapter is coming to an end. I realized that I am not some fresh out of college student, but  I am an adult that has goals and is passionate about learning and working. I am growing every day even when I feel stuck. I know that God is working on me and my heart in this time. He has me no matter what I am going through. He will protect me and provide me with a job in His timing.

For all of you who are struggling or are in a season of waiting, take time to work on yourself. Work on where you want to go. Seek out God’s plan for your life. Find out what you are passionate about. If you don’t enjoy your job, find one you love. If you are struggling with a situation, seek out guidance. If you are not loving where you are, get up and move. Get up and do something about your struggles. Go out and find what you are meant to do. Find where God needs you to be. We should not live our lives full of regret. The way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to go out and make a change.  

2017: The Year of Adventure and New Things

Most everyone sets New Year’s Resolutions that they may or may not come true. Some make lists about work/their career. Some make them about dreams. Some have health goals. Some make one and then don’t look at it again.

My list is a list of goals I plan on accomplishing over the next year. The things I put on my list are not all year long goals, but most of them are. It is nice to have a list that can help me live a more adventurous life. I have several that where I would like to try new things.

Some of my goals are: pay off one student loan, learn Spanish again, network more, try one new restaurant or meal a month, journal everyday, and get my own apartment.

Pay off one student loan. This one might be difficult, but I think I can pay off my lowest loan this year.

Learn Spanish again. I am actually already achieving this goal. I started using Duolingo. It has helped me remember a lot of things from when I learned Spanish in high school. It is an amazing tool!

Network more. I did met with a girl my age who is getting her Public Relations degree and we had a lot of fun. It was just dinner, but it was nice to just sit there and talk about the industry, life, and where we would like to go with our degrees. I am hoping to grow my network more other this year.

Try one new restaurant or meal a month. This one is checked off for the month of January. Papa Vino’s is where I went for my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday. It was very delicious and we had a blast. I also tried a new food while we were there, calamari. It was interesting. I can at least say that I have tried calamari.

Journal everyday. This is going well thus far. I journal every night about my day and down any prayers I have. It is nice to write it all down and let it all out. It is nice to write them down and I know I can look back in a year or two and see how far I will go.

Get my own apartment. I have always liked the idea of having my own apartment. I want to be able to decorate it the way I want and have mix match furniture. I want a little place I can call home.

Those are just a few of my goals for the year. It is nice to look at them and see where this year might go. I hope you made a list and that you can stick to it. It is very rewarding to see where you started and where you might end up.

A Leap of Faith

When we see kids ages 2 to 7, they are on top of the world. They know they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. When they reach the ages of 8 to 10, that fearlessness drifts away and they are filled with fear of life, the unknown, and their dreams fade away. In middle school, they face that awkward stage of change. They don’t know what to do with their life and they are changing in many ways. In high school, the kids start to divide into their groups. The athletes, the popular crowd, the band geeks, the bad kids, etc. We all fit into a group and we don’t drift from those groups. In college, we start to realize we can be whoever and whatever we want to be. We start gaining our fearlessness back and realize that we can conquer the world. Once we graduate, we seek to find that perfect job and jump into life. We start out with a desk job and stay there until retirement because it’s a safe job. We lose our fearlessness all over again.

We go through a circle in our lives that doesn’t end. We all go around it at different speeds. Some of us are more fearless than others. We need to learn that we all have the ability to take a leap of faith and let everything go. We don’t need to worry about where this job is going, we don’t need to worry about where we are going to be in the next ten years, we don’t need to worry about what will happen tomorrow. We need to jump head first into the unknown and realize that God will guide us on this journey called life.

I once read, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.” At the time, I said that is a good thing to remember, but now I understand what it means. I have lived my life in fear of a lot of things, but now I am starting to live my life trusting that God will take care of me. Now that doesn’t mean I am going to be cliff diving or drive 100 mph all the time. It does mean that I am going to take a leap of faith and not worry about what might happen in the future.

I was talking with a friend and they said that they were stressed about going outside of their comfort zone and I told them, you just have to have courage to try something new. After I told them that, I said wow Em take your own advice. I have been so scared to actually try new things and open up to people because I am afraid of getting hurt, but God has a plan for this life of mine and I need to be willing to let my fear go and have courage to step our in faith and trust in His plan. It will be the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I know that He will be there every step of the way. Guiding me, lifting me up, and loving me unconditionally.

What is stopping you from achieving your goals? What are you afraid of? Why are you afraid of it? Take a leap of faith and know that God will catch you because He is always there for you and will always love you.

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Help Wanted

We have seen these signs before in restaurant windows and coffee shops where they usually are wanting applicants. They are normally posted at the front of the store or at the register so everyone can see it.

One place we should see this sign is on a person like a name tag. We always hide our help wanted signs when we need them the most. We don’t display it for all to see because we live in a world where if we don’t seem perfect or have it all together, we aren’t accepted. We are constantly struggling with something, but we don’t ask for help.

Recently, I had a friend share her sin struggles with me that she dealt with several months ago. I had no idea that she was going through any of that and I had even seen her shortly after she had been struggling. It made me realize we all hide parts of our lives from people we think will treat us differently or look at us differently. I know it’s tough to not worry about what people think or what they will say, but it’s necessary.

I have always struggled with letting my walls down and being honest with others around me because I have put my trust in people and they let me down. College taught me that you have to let walls down in order to grow as a person and grow in all relationships.

Seeking out help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strengthen. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are less of a person because of your struggle. Fight to overcome your struggles and find others who can help you. If you have struggled with a sin in the past, be willing to help someone who is currently struggling with that sin. We all need help sometimes, but most of us are too stubborn to get the help we need.

The Unknown

When I first typed out the title for this post, all I could think about was a scary movie. I assure you my post won’t be about a scary movie.

We all have this amazing organ inside of us that allows us to recall memories, move around, and daydream. This is our brain. Our brain can help us do wonderful things, all day, every day. We can recall what we had for dinner last night. We can think about our childhood. We can even recite information from years ago. We can also dream about the future and about what might happen.

This dreaming can be good and bad. It can be could because we can achieve our goals through just dreaming that we can accomplish something and then accomplish it in reality. It can be bad because we think of all of the horrible situations that might occur. Most of the time none of those situations that we come up with happen.

Those daydreams consumed with fear are what make us stop before acting. We may be going to a friend’s house out of town. We have never been there before and we come up with at least ten scenarios where we get kidnapped, break a bone, or embarrass ourselves. When in reality, none of that happens and you thoroughly enjoy your time there.

We do this process with everything that comes our way. No matter what is in our path, we always think of the unknown.

I have been an over thinker my entire life. I always think of what could go wrong in a situation mainly instead of what can go right. I build up this wall around the situation and look at it from every angle. It comes in handy sometimes, but not always. I can think and over think a situation so much that when it finally happens I wonder why I was so worried or I don’t enjoy it because I am expecting something else to happen. It has been a struggle of mine for a long time. I am finally starting to realize that my brain isn’t in charge of what might happen. God is in charge of what happens in our lives. It is amazing who and what can come into our lives and make a difference in a small way. They might only be there for a season, but sometimes they are there for a lifetime.

We have to look at every situation as a gift that God has given us. We have to cherish it and not think about what might happen. Sometimes we need to turn off our brains and listen to God. He will tell us what we need to worry about and He will take care of those bad situations.

Don’t let the unknown keep you from the now. God will take care of you and calm you mind and heart. You just have to ask Him.

Joy Bombs 

Jordan Lee, blogger, photographer, amazing person who is a stranger to me, is the base of this blog post. She posted a picture of her and her husband and the post said,

“In true adult fashion, today we went to Staples to buy office supplies. Our productivity? We bought thumb tacks and danced in the aisle when Shania Twain came on over their radio system. #priorities Now tell us: How do you experience joy bombs in the middle of your every day tasks?”

When I read this, I stopped and thought about joy bombs. I thought about all of the little things and moments in my life that make me joyful. Making brunch with my best friend. Sitting and talking with friends over the phone, in person, or through text messaging. Meeting new people and getting to know them. Praying to God about others people’s needs. Stepping on a crunchy leave. Smiling about fun things people have said to me in the past. Taking the time to be intentional with those around me. Singing a worship song in an empty house at the top of my lungs. Looking at a baby and making them laugh.

Joy is all around us. We need to make sure that we remind ourselves of the joyful bombs that happen and not the real bombs that satan brings. We need to be fighting for those joyful moments. They won’t always be there. Take the time to remember those joyful moments in life. Those moments that make you smile or laugh. Those moments where you were truly happy. Those are the moments to remember over the bad. God brings joy into our lives to show us how powerful and great He is.