Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, What a year it has been.

2010. Can you believe it's over? In so many ways it feels like we were just now putting away our noisemakers, hats, and funny glasses that read '2010! Happy New Year!' But that was a full year ago. It's so hard to believe sometimes. Almost like we blink, and there it goes. But then I think back to events that have taken place and it seems nearly impossible that they have occurred within the last 12 months, and not several years ago. Time can be funny that way. It can go by in an instant... one blink.... but then again it can stretch and stretch, going on forever.

2010, a year of struggles.
From the unemployment rate continuing to grow, to the earthquake in Haiti; the political crisis in Thailand, to the debt crisis in Europe; the oil spill in the gulf, to the flooding in Pakistan. This year hit many very hard, and has changed our world forever. Many lives were lost, or permanently changed, but none ever forgotten. Through every struggle, every battle our world has had to fight... we've come out stronger as a species, stronger as people. We can do this.

2010, a year of advancement.
From medical breakthroughs that would blow your mind, to the iPad, it's insane the things we've come out with. New cures, new treatments, and new testing. Stem-cell research and the genome project have reached far into new heights, and more and more lives are saved each day. The iPhone4 and the iPad were both released, things that we never even imagined could exist a few years ago. Google Chrome has become a part of our vocabulary. Smart cars are no longer a rare sight going down the road. Just think, what else are we capable of?!

2010, a year of goodbyes.
We said goodbye to many, many people through natural disasters. We lost loved ones in wars and even close to home, as in the case of Zahra Baker, the sweet little girl who was discovered merely weeks ago. We said goodbye to many iconic faces, like Gary Colman, JD Salinger, John McCallum, Alexander McQueen, Jim Bibby, Peter Graves, Lech Kazcynski, and Dennis Hopper. We may have said goodbye for now, but the memories will last a lifetime.

2010, a year of milestones.
This year, our President declared an end to Iraq combat, and promised to bring our troops home, and the elections have declared a turnover in the house. Elections all over the world have changed how things will be done, and have changed the future of many countries forever. Spain is now the holder of the World Cup, and the Giants won the World Series. The entire world held their breath as 33 Chilean miners were pulled to safety after being trapped for three whole months.

2010, a year of experiences.
It's been a year of new things. I got my first car, made many new friends, got my drivers license, went to my first prom, managed my first Relay for Life team, got my first job, and so much more. I got to experience trying and failing, but also trying and succeeding. I got to direct the band for the first time, and I got to know tons of new people through being the Drum Major. I got to spend time with my family and friends. I was blessed to be able to go to Caswell for the first time, and return to Arnoldsburg, WVA with one of the best youth groups ever. I became a glee addict. I saw the sun rise and set 365 different times, each day bringing with it new opportunity. I learned to be thankful for what I have, and to never forget to smile. There were tears, and hurts, and fears, and times I really didn't know if I'd make it... but, here I stand! The color purple and the word hope became even more dear to my heart and life. I'm in a new place with God, and I'm loving watching as he moves through my life. I got to dance in an amazing recital, and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to many of my friends as they moved on to college and a new chapter in their lives. I've seen more snow than I'd ever care to see again, even though it was quite amazing to experience my first White Christmas! I learned a lot about myself, and even more about others. I learned a lot about trust. I'm not the same person sitting here now that I was on December 31, 2009, but I wouldn't change a thing about who I've become, and who I am becoming. I'm a blessed work in progress!

2011, a year of opportunity.
In just a few hours, we'll stand together with friends and family and count our way into a brand new year. It's one of those moments that we've come to expect, yet each year it seems to hold the same amount of excitement. A new year. What will we do with it? Will we invent something new, cure a disease, or fall in love? Will we welcome someone new into the world, or sadly see someone part from it? We never really know, do we? But that's what makes it so exciting. This year has the potential to be the best year yet. It's all up to us... it's all in our hands. And in accordance with it being a New Year, of course I've made several resolutions. Don't you want to hear them? Okay, I'll tell you!
1. To take a picture a day.
2. To write a thank you note a day (inspired by this article... it's awesome)
3. To remain healthy. Not to lose weight, or gain muscle, because I often get frustrated with those goals, but simply to remain healthy.
4. To spend time in my Bible every single day.
5. To be the best person that I could be, and to do my best in all I commit to.

There's more, of course, but I won't bore you with that. So here it is. Goodbye, 2010. We will surely miss you, but are so very glad that you came. You've given us memories that will last a lifetime, things that have changed not only us, but our world, forever. And as we usher in a new year; a year full of new hopes, dreams, aspirations, goals, and more... let us remember to be thankful for what we have. To smile, and hug, whenever possible. And always, always remember this: that life is about stringing together the little things, letting those add up and count for more than the bad stuff. To remember all the small things, for one day, you might look back and realize... those were the big things.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Perfect Christmas

I read this about a year ago and I just thought it was a precious story, so I wanted to share. Merry Christmas!

The Perfect Christmas

“MOM! DAD! WAKE UP! SANTA’S BEEN HERE! SANTA’S BEEN HERE!” This is what I wake up to on my Christmas morning. Still listening to the chorus of voices singing to the beat of small feet running down the stairs, I roll over to look at the clock. It’s 6:00am, but I definitely don’t mind.

“Merry Christmas,” My husband whispers as I roll back over to face him, “are you ready to see what Santa has left us this year?” I couldn’t have asked for anything better than this. We lay there for a few more moments just staring at each other and listening to the joy that is overflowing from our living room.

“MOM! DAD! ARE YOU COMING?! YOU HAVE TO SEE WHAT SANTA BROUGHT!” We hear our cue, and quietly get up. I slip into my bathrobe and follow my husband down the hall. When I turn the corner into the living room, I pause, trying to take it all in: the full stockings, pile of presents, and the warm colors coming off of the tree reflected in the excited looks of my children’s eyes. It’s hard to believe that it was just five years ago that we had our very first family Christmas with only one baby. Now, look where we are. There’s my oldest son, a strawberry-blonde five year old running around like crazy trying to look at everything at once. And then there’s my middle child, my sweet three year old girl, following right after him, her ringlets flying everywhere. Finally, there’s my husband sitting in the old rocking chair playing with our youngest, a one year old girl. He’s such a good Daddy to all of them, and I can’t wait to give him my surprise Christmas present for the year.

“Mom look! Santa filled up our stockings and everything!” That statement, so excitedly made by my son, pulls me out of my memories and back into our living room.

“Well, lets see what all he’s brought this year!” I respond, and then it begins. Aaron is put in charge of handing out the gifts this year, since he is the oldest and has been learning his letters in Kindergarten.

“M…O…M… Mom, this one is for you, and it’s from Santa!” His excitement is definitely contagious, and makes me smile as he brings me the box wrapped in gold paper.

“What do you think it is?” I ask him while shaking the box. I gently tear the paper and find a beautiful sweater set that I had been looking at for months, but was over my budget. “Why, Santa knew exactly what I wanted! He has such good taste!”

The next gift is for Grace, the three year old attached to my side on the floor. Excitedly, she tears open the paper. Laying there in a box is a gorgeous baby doll, complete with blinking eyes and a red and green Christmas dress, almost like the dress that Grace owns herself. I watch her face as she removes the paper and her eyes light up as she takes it all in. Her squeals of delight beat any sort of present I could have received.

The ritual continues, each gift another piece of joy. My husband helps our baby girl Bailey open all of her presents, setting his to the side. She is so happy with the simplest of things, and it makes me thankful for everything around me. Their smiles, so full of joy, make everything around me seem absolutely perfect.

Finally the pile begins to dwindle, and we have all almost finished opening our gifts. There is one left for me, one for Aaron, one for Grace, and one for my loving husband, Jacob. Aaron gets a train set, just like he always wanted. Grace gets a beautiful golden locket to wear around her neck.

Now there’s just two more presents left, one for me and one for my wonderful husband. He tells me to go first and I tear the paper to find a small wooden box. When I open it, a beautiful song plays. It’s a music box he made himself, and it’s playing my favorite song of all time, the song we danced to at our wedding. I lean over and give him a kiss, the only way I can remotely think to thank him. And then I feel it again, the small butterfly flutter in my stomach, affirming my final gift for my husband. As I pull away from our kiss, I smile at him and remind him that he has one more gift to open. I watch his face as he removes the paper to reveal just a small note in a box. He pulls it out and reads out loud what I have written to him. The note says, “Dear Jacob, your gift isn’t quite ready yet, but I promise you’ll love it. It should be delivered in approximately nine months. Merry Christmas, Daddy! All My Love, Emily.” He stares at the note for another moment before grasping my meaning.

“Really?!” he asks, so many levels of excitement shining on his face, “You really mean it?!” and he leans over to kiss me one more time. There really is such a thing as a perfect Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus?

Holy Wow. This video made me tear up. It's SO beautiful, and SO true! We all need a little dose of this little boy sometimes. Lovelovelovelove!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Herman Cater.

I want to tell you guys about someone. His name was Herman Cater.

Although I spent almost my entire life around Herman in one way or another, I don't really know much about his life growing up or anything. But there are so many things I do remember about him, from his strong, determined will to his sweet little smile, he was such a wonderful, joy-filled person. Herman was one of my Dad's best friends for forever. Herman loved Radios, all of them, and nothing thrilled his soul more than to be able to fix up an old radio. He's the one that sort of got my Dad into doing radios. He was so smart! He could take one look at any radio and not only know exactly what was wrong with it, but how to fix it as well! I never quite picked up that talent, but my dad did, and he absolutely loved it. Ever since I can remember up until a couple years back, my Saturday mornings were filled with two things: taking the trash, and going to Herman's shop. He and my Dad could talk for hours on end about this radio part or that brand name or who knows what! Sometimes, if I knew they would be there for a while, I'd go on adventures through the shop, just to see what all I could find that he'd brought in. There were some bicycles, pottery, metal parts... the list goes on! One time I found this sweet little sandcastle that he let me keep. I still have it in my room to this day. It's one of the best things I've ever gotten. Whenever we'd go, Herman always made a big deal about us coming. He'd always greet us with a 'Well, Hey there!' and a big old hug. He'd remark on the fact that we'd grown and he'd make a fuss over how well we were doing in school. I loved hearing him talk. It always was a challenge to try and talk back though, because he was quite hard of hearing. Herman fought in WWII (He was actually at Iwo Jima, and has a map that he took from a Japanese soldier there) and because of several things that had happened there, he had great hearing loss. But that never stopped him, no way! He was tougher than that. He always carried himself with dignity and poise, no matter how much he had aged. He had enough love in his heart to cover an entire continent, and he used every opportunity to spread that whenever possible. He loved God, and he loved his family. These last few years have been hard on them, because he had to be put in a home for his dementia. His wife, Nadine, never left his side, and he had wonderful support from all of his children and grandchildren. Herman passed away earlier this evening, and he will be so greatly missed. He was like a second grandfather to me, and I love him so very much. His memory and wisdom have definitely been passed on and will continue to live in all that were blessed enough to know him. We love you, Herman, and I pray you are enjoying your time with the angels. I'm sure they have plenty of radios for you! ♥

Love, Sarah

Thursday, December 9, 2010

O Holy Night!

I absolutely love Christmas music. Pretty much any and all Christmas music, with very few exceptions. Although I have many that I love, there are a few songs that just stick out in my head. But even of those, I do believe that O Holy Night is my favorite of all time. I mean, really look at these lyrics (I try to do this as much as possible: Read the lyrics as though there was no background music. It gives you a chance to really delve into the meaning). In this song, the image it paints is so very strong and beautiful. It makes me tear up sometimes just to think, in one night all of heaven watched as it's most treasured possession made an entrance into the world He would one day save. But did He do so with trumpets blaring, in some royal castle, with a large crowd of nobles gathered to witness the greatness? No. He was born in a stable with stinky gross animals, a few shepherds, a few Magi, a carpenter, and a young girl. All for this weary, worn out world who He knew couldn't survive without Him. He broke all stereotypes and set captives free. O Holy Night!

O Holy Night

O holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night
Of our dear Savior's birth

Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
Til He appeared
And the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees
Oh, hear the angel voices
Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born
Oh, night divine, oh, night, oh, night divine

Truly He taught us
To love one another
His law is love
And His gospel is peace

Chains shall He break
For the slave is our brother
And in His name
All oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy
In grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us
Praise His holy name

Fall on your knees
Don't you hear the angel voices?
Oh, night divine

Oh, Christ is the Lord
Let's praise His name forever
His power and glory evermore proclaim
Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born
Oh, night divine

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010

I was looking back through my recent posts, and there weren't any pictures, so I thought I'd use one on this post! Do you like it? I love taking pictures of water, for some reason. The way they just look like little crystals suspended in the air never ceases to fascinate me!

Tonight marks a lot of things for me... kind of like a new page. Not exactly a new chapter for me, but a new page for sure. A different place in the same season of life. Make sense? But tonight, several things hit me:

1. Why am I so stressed? It only makes me upset, and frown more. It's almost Christmas. You only get those once a year. Make the best of it, regardless of your current situation. And for goodness sakes, Smile!

2. God does WAY AMAZING things when we let Him. He uses His word, and people around you to send you a message that you have needed to hear. He'll do things that only you would recognize as being from Him. He does things very specific to each and every person.

3. It hit me again tonight how very blessed I am. God has given me some wonderful people to help get me through everything. He's given me fabulous friends, and people that understand exactly where I'm coming from, people to be on my side, even when I'm wrong, and people to make a big deal out of things that are a big deal to me. He's given me people who give fabulous hugs, and can braid my hair, and like oreo's and peanut butter, or will sit outside of Rita's with me for hours on end and let me vent. People to go 'leaf rolling', or laugh until we cry over absolutely nothing other than the fact that we're exhausted, or give me advice, or tell me that I have something in my teeth or on my face. People that share my passion for music or dance, people that I can totally goof off with and just be silly, and people that will speak wisdom into my life. He's given me all sorts of people, and He uses each and every one in a very special way. And I am so thankful for each and every person in my life!

4. If I'm in a bad mood, I should listen to jazz, or Christmas music. Or even better, Jazz Christmas music. It never ceases to put me into a much better mood. Unlike Calculus. Which I should never ever do. Ever. (:

5. You are in charge of your day. You have one day, and you can either be happy or sad in it. It's your choice! So choose joy!

Well, there's more, of course! (: But for now, that's a good list. I hope I haven't convinced you guys that I'm crazy yet!


Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

Can I just tell you something? Actually, a lot of somethings are going through my mind at the moment. But I just want to tell you one:

There is nothing in the entire world like leaving a burden at the foot of the cross. That is, if you really leave it there, instead of leaving it there for .25 seconds and then picking it right back up again, which is what many of us do. Which is what I've done for 5 years now. But when you really pray, and honestly give up all control of the situation... there's no feeling in the world that beats that. When you can walk away from the altar and say 'God, I've left it there. It's up to you for the taking and molding to please you.' You just feel so light, and so free. It feels so amazing. I'd been fighting and wrestling with this one issue for way too long, and I'd attempted to leave it in God's hands for a long time. But every time I would give it up with one hand, I'd pick it right back up with the other and keep trying to do things my way. Even lately. But now, it has just gotten too heavy for me anymore. It's emotionally exhausting to carry anything around, especially for an extended period of time. So yesterday, God and I had a long talk, tears and everything, and I'm through holding on to something I have no control over. So yes, finally... "I'm giving you my heart, and all that is within. I lay it all down for the sake of you, my King. I'm giving you my dreams, I'm laying down my rights. I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life. And I surrender all to you."♥

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trans-Siberian Orchestra♥

Thursday night I was lucky enough to get to go with my family to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live in Charlotte, and let me just tell you... It. Was. Amazing. I really recommend that everyone go see them at least once, especially their Christmas show! The second half of the show was fantastic; they did many different songs and medleys from their new CD's and performances coming up. But my favorite part was the first half of the show. The first part is a Christmas Story about a man who is broken and lonely, his daughter has run away, and he spending his Christmas Eve in an old bar. While he's there, this old man is telling Him a story about an angel who comes down from heaven to check on the world and see what has happened since the birth of God's son, and they weave both stories together beautifully! It is SO good. One of my favorite songs they sang that night was called Old City Bar, and I really want you to read the lyrics. They are so good, I teared up! If you haven't listened to TSO, go do so right this very second, because that is absolutely unacceptable! I hope I get to go see them again super soon!

Old City Bar

In an old city bar
That is never too far
From the places that gather
The dreams that have been
In the safety of night
With its old neon light
It beckons to strangers
And they always come in

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The music was low
And the night
Christmas Eve
And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It's easier to believe

Then the door opened wide
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before
And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze
Through the window and ice
To a corner streetlight
Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The bartender turned
And said, not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I've noticed
If one could be home
They'd be already there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar
And in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw
When he took all the cash from the register drawer

Then he followed the child to the girl cross the street
And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K.
Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
And we saw in his hand
That the cash was all gone
From the light that she had wished upon

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last
By helping a neighbor
Or even a stranger
And to know who needs help
You need only just ask

Then he looked for the child
But the child wasn't there
Just the wind and the snow
Waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside
Somehow different I think
For the rest of the night
No one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say
That some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums
In the world where they hid
But they weren't there
So they couldn't see
By an old neon star
On that night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
And in case you should wonder
In case you should care
Why we on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there

Then all at once inside that night
He saw it all so clear
The answer that He sought so long
Had always been so near
It's every gift that someone gives
Expecting nothing back
It's every kindness that we do
Each simple little act

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Godstops and Pauls.

Pre-post warning: It's going to be random and sporadic and jumbled up. It's just been a randomlysporadicallyjumbledup kinda day(:

I have been very blessed with several amazing 'Paul'* figures in my life, and today I was blessed enough to get to see and speak to three of them. Now, if it wasn't obvious that God was trying to get my attention then, it will become so in a few minutes. But, I tend to need a bright flashing red sign to be able to see anything apparently, so he had to remind me several different times until I finally got the picture.

First of all, we had an extended homeroom today. HUGE BLESSING. Short Calculus period=an already much improved mood. But during that extended homeroom we had an assembly for Juniors and Seniors. And when I walk into the gym, guess who I see?! None other than Mrs. Pat. Now, Mrs. Pat is one of the people that I know that I can talk to about absolutely anything, and no matter what she will be completely honest with me. Whether I want to hear it or not, if it needs to be said, I know I can count on her to say it. She is one of those people that just being around her makes you feel better. Anyways, we were talking after the assembly and we got to talking about Godstops. I had kindof let the phrase go for the past few weeks, and I wasn't looking for them as much. Just her sweet story was like a reminder. That little whisper in my ear... 'Sarah, I'm still here and I still move. Just look, you'll see'. My response? 'Okay, God. But I haven't seen you lately. You just haven't shown up like you used to, and I've really needed someone lately. But, if you say you're still moving, I'll start looking.' Really doubtful, really selfish, I know.

Then tonight I went to eat with another fabulous Paul in my life, Kara. It's by chance that we met, but I really think it's more like divine appointment. God knew I needed someone, and I couldn't have asked Him to send someone better as an example for me to walk by. She just has this glow that even when she just walks into a room you know God is in her heart. And she has such a sweet spirit and a caring heart. And we really have a lot in common, like our love for God, music, and kids, and we were both diagnosed with thyroid cancer when we were young. It's really cool to me to be able to talk to someone who completely understands where I'm coming from when I say something, and to not have to explain it every time Thyrogen or T4 come up in conversation. Anyway, we were talking about anything and everything and we talked about how God has been moving in completely different ways in both of our lives than He ever has in the past and how where our walks are now is such a different place than it was even a year ago. Again that little 'Sarah, I'm still here, and I'm still working. See, you aren't alone here. I've given you someone who gets you completely.' I literally could have cried. It's such a beautiful thing to be able to do something as simple as go and eat with a friend and share your hearts. I think that's what God intended when he created relationships.

And finally, I arrived at Orange practice to a lovely gift bag with my name on it. Do you even know what was in this gift bag? The best, most wonderful holiday treat ever invented: HAYSTACKS! Well, they aren't technically only a holiday treat, but that's when I get them. And they're the most fabulous when the best Haystack-maker in the world makes them... Susan Kanipe! I'm so very blessed to know her. She's definitely a second mother to me, and God just radiates in and through every single thing she does. We got to talk for a few minutes on the phone when I called to thank her, and I don't even remember what we were talking about, but for the third time there it was 'Sarah, I've given you these people to love you. Accept that, embrace that. They're just a teeny-tiny display of how much I love you, and will always love you. You're never alone.'

I have had several more Godstops in the past couple of days, and with each one I realize again just how special our God is. He knows the little things that I need, and He does very specific things just to remind us that He's still there. He is moving, and living, and loving like crazy. And He will never, ever leave us alone. Just take a second and look around you; you are so blessed. God truly is an all-powerful, full of surprises, amazing God!

*(Paul definition...Everyone in life should have two kinds of relationships always present, a Paul and a Timothy. A 'Timothy' is someone that you are pouring your life into, and teaching and shepherding. A 'Paul' is someone who is doing all of those for you... kind of like a big-brother(or sister!)-mentor-friend kind of thing.)

Monday, November 29, 2010


So I'm not going to lie, I've really been struggling lately. Don't get me wrong, I'm really not trying to complain here. Honestly, I'm SO blessed and thankful for every single second I'm given. I just need to vent a little. It just seems like lately, 7542934057289 things decided to hit all at once (don't worry, I won't put you through having to hear what all is in my brain!), and sometimes I'm not all together sure where to turn. And lets face it, between school and dance and band and work and church... well, there's barely any room to breathe in there, much less take time out to sort through things. So sometimes it feels like all those thoughts and emotions that run through me throughout the day, well they just get stored in some file way in the back of my mind. I simply don't have the time to deal with them at the moment. But then, those filing cabinets can fill up pretty quickly, and when you try to squeeze one more little emotion in there, they fling themselves open, releasing everything all at one time, and all of the sudden everything is right there in your face. It's kind of overwhelming. Am I the only one that feels like that sometimes? It just feels like you work so hard at getting this stupid puzzle to fit together, and while you're so focused on the puzzle itself, the table decides to completely flip out, and all of the sudden, nothing fits where it was anymore. It can be hard, and lonely.

But it's those times when I get so lonely, that I am so thankful to be able to know that I am never truly alone. Even when it feels like everyone has left my side, and I don't have anyone to talk to here, it's no matter. I have a Father in Heaven to love me and hold me when I cry. He hears all of those prayers that fall as tears. He hears those cries in my heart even when I don't have words for them. He knows my hurts, and he cries alongside me. He carries me when I'm unable to walk alone. And it's for that that I will praise him. Even as I struggle, even as I pray through some decisions, I will lift my hands. I will sing hallelujah, even if it's a broken one. Through the hard days, through the times when I fail, I will praise Him. For He is the holy, righteous, worthy, magnificent, living, alpha and omega, prince of peace, mighty, deliverer, Lamb of God. He's the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He's my best friend.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is this: Life gets hard sometimes. We all struggle, we all fail, we all must face many things alone. We all cry, we all reach a breaking point. But reaching that point doesn't make you weak. If anything, reaching that breaking point makes you stronger. Being able to let go, to cry when you need to, to be upset if you need to be... that takes more courage than trying to keep it all in. And also, realizing that you must move on from that... that's brave too. But even when you reach those hard moments, especially when you are facing a season of loneliness, turn to God. I know, it seems hard, since you can't actually see or hear Him. But He IS there. I promise. He'll wrap you in His arms and hold you close, provide a comfort that you won't find anyone else, and most importantly: He will heal you and fill you with His love. Pour your heart out to Him, let Him know you if are angry, sad, hurt, upset, whatever. He's waiting to hear. He's waiting to provide everything you'll ever need. Just let Him.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merry Christmas! From: God

As we officially kick off the Christmas season, I wanted to give a little reminder of the best gift ever given: Jesus. It's all because of Him. And God gives us so much more too! I found this list a few years ago and I pull it out every year to remind myself. Hope you enjoy!

Merry Christmas! I have many very special gifts for you this year! I hope you enjoy them to the fullest. From: God

Eternal Life because I want you with Me forever and ever and ever and ever.
Love for so and so who really grates on your last nerve.
Holy Spirit to remind you of My truth.
Freedom to become all that I'm dreaming for you.
Discernment to guide you into making wise choices.
Patience to overcome the daily trials you face.
Confidence to stand against sin and to stand up for what's right.
Kindness for the very least of these, those at the bottom of the pecking order.
Passion to share Me with those around you.
Forgiveness to that one who should have never said and done that to you.
Peace that goes way beyond what your friends offer.
Security to feel good about yourself even when you're alone.
Strength to withstand the utmost peer pressure.
Power from my very Spirit to enable you to live a holy life.
Wisdom to know that I Am absolute Truth.
Joy, even when you've been rejected by a friend of family member.
My Son, to come and save you from all your sins.

My precious Daughter, this Christmas I want you to bask in the multitude of gifts I'm lavishing on you. Open them now, but enjoy them throughout the entire year. I'm giving you My very self wrapped up in these trimmings! Love, Your Heavenly Father.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for. It never ceases to blow my mind how much God has blessed me with. He's so cool! So here's a list of a few of the things I'm thankful for, in no particular order of course! (:

1. Jesus Christ; for being my Savior, for loving me in spite of me, for carrying me when I can't walk on my own, and for never, ever leaving me alone.

2. My Mom & Dad; for being my number one fans, for supporting me in all I choose to do, for loving me unconditionally, and for bringing me up right.

3. Emma Kerr; for putting up with me on my bad days, for stealing my clothes, for the little cards you made me when I was sick, for coming to my ball games, and band competitions, for always having a smile on your face, for facing some of my roughest times beside me, for loving me in spite of my mood swings. You're the best sister I could have ever asked for.

4. My friends; for making the school days bearable, for helping me get through everything, for knowing me, yet choosing to be seen in public with me anyways.

5. My Grandmothers; for showing me how to have class, and how to be strong in spite of everything else, for making my bad days brighter, and always having the right advice and a big hug ready and waiting.

6. My Papa. You'll always be my hero, and the one that taught me so many more things than I could even begin to name. Even though today marks two years since we lost you, you'll always be in my heart. I'm thankful for the times we did have, and for everything you mean to me. I miss you so much.

7. All of the other fabulous women I have to look to as an example: Susan, Kendra, Kara, Anne, Kim, Erica, Ashley, Jenna, Lisa, Tina, Carrie, Pat, and so many more. You've given me the best examples to live by, and I could not be more lucky to know each and every one of you!

8. My 'Big Sisters', even though I don't see you much any more, I love you all dearly from the very bottom of my heart. You've taught me so much, and been there for me when I needed advice or even just a hug. Kate, Rachel, Sara, Janel, Rachael, Kelsey, Bethany, and everyone else.

9. Music; for keeping me company on my late nights, for being able to express every single one of my emotions, for always having the right words. If you were a person, I'd hug you and never let go.

10. My Band. You guys are my support, and my home. I love each and every one of you more than you'll ever know. This past season, I've learned so many lessons about myself and who I am and am becoming. I couldn't have done any of it without all of you, and I'm more than lucky to have you in my life. Being your Drum Major has been the best experience I've ever had, and I couldn't be more thankful for that opportunity!

11. Studio B, and everyone involved with it. For being my home away from home, my backbone, my escape, my closest family. Even though I'm not a good dancer, it never fails to make me happy, and has been the main constant through everything.

12. My team of doctors; for keeping me healthy and always having my back, for taking God's approach to everything you've done, for saving my life on dozens of occasions, for being like my second set of parents and big sisters, for going above and beyond just to make sure that I'm having the best quality of life possible. I pray for all of you, you are like family to me.

13. My Nikon D80 for capturing my fondest memories and moments that will last a lifetime, and for letting me borrow pieces of Gods creation between your 4x6 borders(:

14. My room, for being the exactly perfectly right color of purple and always welcoming me home no matter what my day has been like.

15. Naganoes, for always being amazing and having wonderful food.

16. My small group, for being one of the few places I can just relax and take a couple hours to chat about anything and everything, and a place where I can come to unload after a difficult week, for being there for me no matter what.

17. For my 5th grade girls on Sunday mornings. You are sunshines and I want you to know how especially important you all are to me. I want to pour myself out to each of you, and help you to avoid the many mistakes I've made in my life. You are precious daughters of the king!

18. Arnoldsburg, WVA & FBC Mebane; for being my favorite place on the planet, for introducing me to my second family and my favorite youth group ever in Mebane, for being home to the most amazing children I have ever met, for being a special small town that I look forward to going to, for having a community of people that are hungry for God and are always willing to open their doors to us.

19. The moon, for reminding me on a regular basis that I am small and loved very much by a fantastic Father in heaven.

20. Winston-Salem, NC; for being my favorite town to go to, for embracing me when I come for my regular visits, and for housing Dewy's Bakery.

20a. Anyone who has read this far! :D

21. Rita's Italian Ice; for being absolutely delicious in every way, and for allowing me to sit outside on your benches with Kelsey Lechtner and vent for several hours at a time, and thus keeping me sane.

22. The lessons I've learned these past few months, like the fact that I can stand on my own two feet, and that I don't need anyone to be who I am. I'm stronger than I imagined I was, and I'm perfectly content with being just me. And I've come to be okay with being alone. Whatever God's will, it will bring me the truest joy and fulfillment for sure!

23. Being a girl with the ability to wear dresses and makeup and tutu's. It's the absolute best.

24. Gift-giving holidays. I loveloveloveLOVE giving people presents. It's the best!

25. A wonderful support system of people that love me & that I love. I could not be more blessed!

So, that's definitely not all, but it's a list anyways. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


If you think about it, there are a lot of lonely things in the world, including people. But when I think of loneliness, I think of the moon.

The moon is lonely.

But maybe that's what part of what makes it so spectacular... so beautiful. There it is up there, surrounded by a sky full of stars, but yet, the only one of it's kind. There's only one moon. It's the only moon up there, so it stands out. It's different, unique, splendid; it is something the rest of the night sky isn't. So we stand and we look and we marvel at how gorgeous the moon is. The big white globe that slowly moves over the night sky. It's reflection is what lights our ways during the wee hours of the night, and quite a sight for all who take a moment and see. On the surface, it may not be perfect. There are lots of imperfections, but that doesn't stop us from seeing the beauty in the whole picture. Being the moon must be lonely. But, even though it's lonely, the moon always continues to shine♥

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Honestly, I'm just rambling(:

First of all, what in the world?! Thanksgiving is THIS THURSDAY?! When did November happen? Forreal, I feel like Halloween was last Sunday. Crazy stuff! But anyways. With Thanksgiving comes my very most favorite time of the year. I adore the Holidays! Everything just gets so warm and cozy and for once people focus on others instead of themselves. Here's some things I'm looking forward to:

1. Re-decorating my Christmas tree. Yes, you read it right. Re-decorating! See, I keep my little four-foot tree up all year long. Think about it, you're having a bad day and you come home and plug it in and BAM! It's Christmas. Things can't be that awful if it's Christmas! So yes, I keep it up. But one of my favorite Day-After-Thanksgiving traditions is actually decorating the tree itself, so I take off all of the ornaments and re-arrange them all, just to have that moment(:

2. Buying Christmas presents! I loveloveLOVE to buy or make people presents. It's so much fun to try to pick out what they would like, and what to give them. And then to see the joy it brings them when you give it, it's so exciting! I love to make people happy, and presents are my favorite way to do that.

3. CHRISTMAS CARDS! I adore Christmas cards, and writing them and sending them and getting to make sure that people know how special they are in your life. It's a great time to remind someone that you love them. I try to remind people as often as I can, because you never know when that chance may not come again. But, it's fun to write something that you know will warm someone's heart!

4. I have SO much to be thankful for. The Holiday's are a wonderful time to step back and look in and realize how truly blessed we are. I know they can be hard sometimes, but when we really take a look, we should know how blessed we are compared to so many other people. It never ceases to amaze me every single time I think about it. God's too cool.

5. Going to look at all the Christmas decorations! Holy cow excited doesn't even cover it. There's this almost tangible magic that hits the air once it gets dark and all of the twinkly lights come on. I'm pretty much like a five year old still, because I absolutely love it. And downtown Forest City is the very best... the lights are amazing and they fill up the whole town!! Love, love, love it.

6. Christmas music season!!! Even though I've been listening to Christmas music since the beginning of dang August with our show and whatnot, I'm still super excited. Christmas music is the very best kind. And Christmas movies! The 25 days of Christmas are absolutely amazing, and I love it! AH! YAY!

7. Time with my quirky, amazing family. Just like every other family, we've got plenty of flaws, but I love them more than anything. I can't wait to be together with everyone again! (:

So pretty much, I'm stoked. This list doesn't even cover half of what I'm excited for! Let the Holiday's commence!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Heather Williams - Hallelujah

I definitely stole this from God, Girls, & the Good Life. But I LOVE this song. It's such a powerful testimony. Lord, I'm so broken sometimes. So many things can be so difficult. So many days I fall, and I know for a fact that I can't get back up on my own. Please help me to have a hallelujah in my heart regardless of my circumstances. Help me to praise you in spite of it all, and please hold me close as you work in and through my heart. You've promised you will never leave my side, and I am resting in that promise today. I love you, Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Wait...WHAT?! You don't have a stumbleupon account?! Go. Right now. and create one! It is a fabulous website. What you do is, when you sign up (for free, don't worry!) you check off some of your interests. Then, stumbleupon comes up with all of these different web pages related to your interest that you would have never known about! It's so cool, I love it! It is also really quite amusing, especially when you are bored. I have stumbled upon many new websites that I use on a regular basis now, as well as these, which I needed a place to keep them. So, the blog it is! And plus, you get to see them. I love this stuff, and I hope you do, too!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010.

I want to have six kids one day. Four girls, and two boys.

I know, I know! I've heard it 7824957678439 times. "You don't know what you're in for with six kids! That would be crazy!" "You don't actually want six kids, you'll see when you're older." "You aren't even old enough to possibly know what you want yet!" "Just wait, you don't know what it's like to be up with a kid at three in the morning because dinosaurs were chasing them or because their tummy hurts." "You won't be able to watch your own movies and TV shows." "You won't have any time with your husband or your friends." "You give up all kinds of freedoms."

I KNOW. But those things... they aren't terrible. I mean really, think about it. You're giving up those things in order to raise an eternal soul. And plus, look at the flip side.

To your baby boy or girl... you are a hero. They are your number one fan. Looking at them is like looking at a time machine and a mirror all at the same time. For the first nine months of their existence, your heartbeat is their favorite lullaby and the first thing they hear as they wake up. You're the face they look for in a crowd of people, the one they run to when they are all alone. You're the one they wave to from the stage at their first dance recital, and you're the only one who can make them feel better when they strike out for the first time. When they fall and get hurt, they want you to make it better. To them, you are invincible and a superhero. They depend on you to shape them into the people they are going to be one day. They look to you for advice and guidance and everything else. They love you with all they've got.

Maybe it's true, maybe I really don't know and will change my mind one day. For goodness sakes, I'm only sixteen, so I have a while before I will even be settled enough to have kids. And who knows! I might not even marry, and then would never have any kids. That's up to God, not me. But still, that's just how I can see my life one day. I've always wanted to be a Mom, more than anything else in the world. So please, stop telling me it's a dumb idea. Don't try to predict my future. If I can't, then I'm pretty much positive you definitely can't. I'm not saying your not right, I may turn out to be a terrible mother, and may not want to have kids. But let me figure that out for myself. At least for now, let me dream my own dreams :)


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pocket Moment♥

This past Saturday was definitely a pocket moment (in case you don't already have one, let's get a working definition of pocket moment- One of those amazing times that you never want to forget that you can store away in your 'pocket' and pull out on one of those not-so-fabulous days to remind you that life isn't really as terrible as it may seem in the present moment.) and it was a day I will cherish forever.

It was our last band competition of the season, which is always so bittersweet. It's the last time putting on a show that has been a long time in the making, something you've basically given your life to since the beginning of August. It makes you want to treasure every single moment of that last performance, because you know that once you hit the final horns down, that's it. Marching season will be over. But you also can look back, all the way back to the first time we marched a form until now, and it's amazing how far we've come. And yes, I cried when we finished! At this final competition, Mr. Neely decided to bump us up a class to AAA, which means we would be competing against bands with 20+ horn line on us, making it that much more difficult to place in the final awards. We had a solid performance, one to most definitely be proud of, but we knew by watching the other bands that it was going to be difficult, because they were all so very good. Finally, after a long evening of watching bands, getting food, and attempting (most of the time, to no avail!) to keep warm, it was time for awards. Since it was the last competition, all of the Seniors got to come to the field with the leadership team to go accept our awards. It was Olympic style judging, with four classes. The first caption announced was Drum Major. When they announced 'Second place, Southpoint High School!' I kind of deflated inside. The two other bands in our class had two drum majors, and that usually means a higher score since you have to match each other. I was like 'Dang, I didn't even place in my last competition of the season. This really stinks, I hate I let my band down like that.' So imagine the look of utter SHOCK as they announced 'First Place, FOARD HIGH SCHOOL!' It even took me a minute to realize that they hadn't said Bunker Hill or Hickory High school, and then I think my jaw literally hit the floor! I've never been so excited in my whole life! It was so amazing, excited doesn't even begin to cover my emotion. I hadn't gotten first all year long, and I finally won! It was the best feeling ever... a moment in time that I will keep with me forever and ever. And then, as if the night wasn't good enough already, we got second place horn-line! Finally, they announced rating trophies, and the only two superiors were Foard and Bunker Hill. The final awards were placement, and we knew the first place trophy would be between the two of us. When they announced 'Second place, Bunker Hill High School!' Our entire leadership team was about to jump out of our skin! 'First place, Foard High School!' HECK YES!!!! WE WON! We beat the other bands that were much bigger than we were, all that hard work and effort paid off, and we all got to go receive our trophy. It was a fabulous night, and by far the best end to an amazing season. I'm so proud and so blessed to have been a part of the 2010 Marching Tigers. They are my family, and I love each and every one of them so much! Throughout this season, I have seen myself change into a completely different person than when we first began, and this competition shows that. At first, I was not a very good conductor, but as the season progressed, I have gotten much better and am a much better DM. I've met tons of new people, and have gained some of my greatest friendships. I'm SO blessed!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Twenty-Five Facts (:

I know it's kind of a facebook thing, but I wanted to do my 25 things about me on here instead(:

1. Today in fourth period, I had planned out the majority of what I was going to put on here. And now I've forgotten exactly all of it. Awesome.

2. I'm a completely different person today that I was a year ago. I've learned a lot of lessons, and learned a lot about myself.

3. Apparently I'm easy to read, and no matter how hard I try, I'm not really great at hiding what I'm feeling.

4. Music is as much a part of me as breathing. From making music, conducting, and dancing... it's my life.

5. God is absolutely amazing. I'd be completely and totally lost if he weren't by my side.

6. I'm very OCD about a whole lot of things, especially my school work.

7. I love photography.

8. I want to have six kids one day; two boys and four girls.

9. I have a huge fear of cats. I know, weird. But I'm scared to death of them, and won't stand within fifteen feet of one without flipping out. Don't ask me why, I don't know.

10. Purple is my favorite color. It reminds me of hope, which is one of my favorite words (right up there with 'dream' 'wish' and 'magic')

11. I have trust issues. Actually, there are a total of about 3 people I trust.

12. I've been dancing for 13 years. It's my passion, a constant, my escape, my outlet and I love it more than anything else.

13. I was the Drum Major for the Foard Tiger Band this year, and I can honestly say it's been the most beneficial thing I've ever done. I've learned more about myself in these past few months than I ever knew, and I'm becoming someone completely different. Band is pretty much my life, and the people in it (I count you even if you graduated!) are my family.

14. I'm weird. And I'm pretty sure if anyone took a look inside my mind, I would be sent to a mental institution and not allowed out.

15. I can tend to care too much sometimes. And I wind up getting more hurt than I intended. But I'd rather care too much than not at all I suppose!

16. Pinky promises mean the world to me, and are the most legit promises ever made. Break one, and I will literally not trust you ever again. I'm completely serious.

17. I have no visual artistic talent whatsoever.

18. There are several Doctors offices that I am at so frequently that I'm on a first name basis with all the nursing staff. It's fantastic to be pretty much the only kid that a doctor sees. Everyone automatically loves you! (:

19. I love nicknames. But, until we're tight, lets stick with learning my real name first(:

20. I love hugs, and I hug all the time! It feels weird if I leave one of my friends without hugging them first.

21. Generally I'm a really happy person. I love to smile and laugh, and I usually don't sweat the small stuff. Life's too short to spend so much time upset!

22. I love Dots. Like the candy. They are absolutely fantastic.

23. I love to think. To just sit inside my own head for a while and sift through all of the random bits and pieces that have fallen out of my filing cabinets up there. Again, I told you, I should be put in a mental institution.

24. I am most definitely a summer kinda girl (:

25. I am slowly but surely becoming who I'm meant to be!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lessons I'm learning.

Lessons that have hit me lately. Have I learned them? Not completely. But I'm definitely working towards them. Read if you wish, but you don't have to. (:

1. The importance of letting your voice be heard. When I had my thyroid taken out in February of 2006, the surgeon also removed my right vocal cord nerve, paralyzing half of my vocal cords. It was a good six months before I could do anything more than whisper, and even then, it was difficult for me to muster up the strength to have a normal speaking voice, and it wouldn't last long. Yelling, singing, laughing... all things that were so natural became something I had to fight my own body to do. It's been four years now, and I almost have a full range voice back. I still struggle with gaining volume, and I absolutely cannot sing at all (I'm pretty sure I could never sing, though ;) ) but I'm much better off than I was. I've fought hard to have a voice... my voice. And I'm not going to let anyone take that from me. Speaking isn't something we really think much about, you know? It just happens. But like other things, we realize what we have when we miss it. My literal voice being taken away and rebuilt has been such a metaphor for my spiritual voice. There have been so many times when I lost my voice, hid away, didn't say anything. And now, I've fought hard for that too. And I'm most definitely going to keep it.

2. I am beautiful. God says so. He told me... "For you were fearfully and wonderfully made." The God that imagined the moon and stars and the sun created me. The hands that fashioned the entirety of creation formed my very features... every last one. And he doesn't make mistakes. He knew what I had to offer to the world, and He found it of enough value to place me where I am. If He found me important enough to create, than shouldn't I have that same respect for myself? I'm not going to let anyone make me feel inferior, or small, or unimportant. I have something to offer the world... I have a difference to make, or I wouldn't be here. I'm special, one of a kind, my own kind of rare. You don't find anyone else exactly like me, and you won't. If anyone, or anything makes me feel any less than that, then they aren't worth a lick of my time. Not. At. All. The one that matters is enthralled by me, and who I am, and what I am. He created me for a perfect purpose, my job is to listen and follow as he leads.

3. I am a Princess. God's Princess. I deserve to be treated with respect, to be revered, to be cherished. Some day, someone is going to be lucky to get to spend the rest of their lives by my side, and they should appreciate that kind of luck. With the same regards, I'm going to be super lucky to spend my life with someone else who is equally as special and wonderful, and I really will not let them forget it. They will definitely know that they are loved, and respected, and wanted. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't play on their emotions, or abuse the love that they give you. If someone is willing to spend their own time and effort on your happiness, don't walk all over them just because you know they'll always be there, no matter how many times you do it. You never know when they might surprise you.

4. Worrying solves nothing. It just puts you in a bad mood. So, why do it? The outcome will remain the same whether or not you worry about it. Let the small stuff roll off, just enjoy your life. You're only here once, and when you're 96, you don't want to look back on a lifetime of bitterness and worry, but instead, joy, peace, happiness. Cherish those around you, even if they are only in your life for a short amount of time. Make the best of the situation, and then move on. Don't harbor the past, but sail freely. Keep that joy in your heart.

5. There's a huge difference in being the best and being your best. Being the best... well that's all a matter of opinion. But being your best, well that's something no one can argue with.

6. Being courteous is classy. It will never go out of style, and people will love you for it. So don't be a jerk, don't cut someone off, don't slam a door in their face. Just be sweet, and polite, and have some manners. It'll get you so much farther than you think.

7. Love more than you think you should. It's true, with love comes risk, and you very well may end up hurt. But in order to receive love, you must be willing to give it as well. And have a little faith, not everyone you love is going to leave you.

8. Remind people how much they mean to you. You never know when you won't have that opportunity again, and that's something you don't want to regret. Ever. Show them you care, tell them you love them over and over again. Even if it's just a friend, show them that they mean something to you. Being appreciated is so important to everyone.

9. Do what you love. If you're doing something you hate, change it. Love what you do on a daily basis. If you love what you're doing, it will never be monotonous. You'll laugh more, and you'll have a spark in your eye and a spring in your step.

10. I'm never going to be perfect. There will always be things I simply cannot, and will never be able to do. But that's okay. I'm here, and I'm me, and that's what really matters!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31, 2010

To me, “FEARLESS” is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. FEARLESS is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. FEARLESS is walking into your freshman year of high school at fifteen. FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s FEARLESS to have faith that someday things will change. FEARLESS is having the courage to say goodbye to someone who only hurts you, even if you can’t breathe without them. I think it’s FEARLESS to fall for your best friend, even though he’s in love with someone else. And when someone apologizes to you enough times for things they’ll never stop doing, I think it’s FEARLESS to stop believing them. It’s FEARLESS to say “you’re NOT sorry”, and walk away. I think loving someone despite what people think is FEARLESS. I think allowing yourself to cry on the bathroom floor is FEARLESS. Letting go is FEARLESS. Then, moving on and being alright…That’s FEARLESS too. But no matter what love throws at you, you have to believe in it. You have to believe in love stories and prince charmings and happily ever after. That’s why I write these songs. Because I think love is FEARLESS." -Taylor Swift♥

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30, 2010

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
-Exodus 14:14

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

"To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest."

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world."-Harriet Tubman

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 28, 2010-Advice♥

Everybody's Free
By: Baz Luhrmann

Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis or is more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, nevermind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is about as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind;
the kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts;
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes your ahead, sometimes your behind
The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive
Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters
Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it; it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but would a precious few should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you'll have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. IT is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."
-Charles Swindoll

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010

"Nature is God's first missionary. Where there is no Bible there are sparkling stars. Where there are not preachers there are spring times...
If a person has nothing but nature, then nature is enough to reveal something about God." -Max Lucado

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010

"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible." -Cadet Maxim

"Life is about trusting our feelings and taking chances. Losing and finding happiness. Appreciating the memories and learning from the past."