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Showing posts from 2015

All in perspective

It has been absolutely forever since I have updated this little blog. It has been a long semester. A tough road with many bumps, and I am still in shock that it's over. It has been the longest and most overwhelming few months of my life, but it has also been some of the best months.

Have you ever had that feeling? A feeling where you've worked so hard at something, spent hours upon hours working toward something, and then when it was finished, it didn't even feel finished. I had been looking forward to being done for so long and now that I am, it doesn't even feel real.

It's a wonderful feeling knowing that I don't have any tests or exams on the horizon. No papers due or online assignments to be submitted. After a long semester, this is such a foreign concept.

But, as I reflect back on these past few months I am overwhelmed with so many thoughts and feelings. The amount of knowledge I have gained is incredible and the amount of skills I have acquired astounds m…

They are new every morning

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"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness"- Lamentations 3:22-23
A few weeks ago, as I was leaving school and heading back to my apartment I drove into the most beautiful, vibrant sunset I have ever seen. Seriously, that is no exaggeration. It has been a tough semester, but because of that, I find something as simple as a sunset so, so much sweeter.
In the midst of studying and attending classes, it is far too easy to miss the bigger picture. To forget about the one who hold this world in His hand, and the one who can always bring me peace…no matter how long my to-do list is or how many assignments I have yet to complete.
I often drive into the parking lot of campus as the sun is rising, and far too often find myself leaving campus as the sun sets. The only explanation for a beautiful sunset is the work of the Lord. He paints the sky and fills it with the promises of the days to com…

Grace, Not Perfection

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Can we take a moment to discuss how in the world it is already September 20th? In a sense, I feel like the semester just began a few days ago, and in another sense it seems like summer never even happened and we've been in school for months. How easy (and difficult) it is to get back into a groove. The first few days of a new semester often feel incredibly overwhelming, but somehow, here I sit nearly four weeks later (?!?!?) and I feel like I've got this whole junior year, nursing school classes, thing down. Well, maybe….

The back to school time is without a doubt a stressful time. I don't care what year of school you're in, or what the workload is like….plain and simply, it's a time of overwhelming change. My to do list is ever growing and my planner is bursting at the seams but in the midst of everything going on, my heart is full.

I came across a quote that has really resonated with me,

"I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection"

That. T…

Coffee Talk Pt. 2

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When I wrote my first Coffee Talk back in January, I never thought it would've been as popular of a post as it was. You mention the word coffee and it causes a few heads to perk up, does it not!? That was by far one of my favorite posts to write because it talked about something that I love so dearly. Yes, coffee, but more so, people. People and their stories. Mmm, it makes this girl's soul so, so happy.

There is just something that I love about sitting at a table in a crowded coffee shop sipping on latte's (or iced teas in the hot summer sun) and swapping stories with a long time friend. Or perhaps it's with your mom or dad, cousin, or mentor. Coffee can bring so many people together, and I love that.

I stumbled upon a verse recently from Psalm 133 that reads, "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!". I love that. I am such a firm believer in community, and in my life, coffee has played such a role in creating community.

Whether it…

Two Years

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"Suffering isn’t an obstacle to be used by God. It is an opportunity to be used like never before. Run toward the roar." || Levi Lusko

Two years ago, I woke up yesterday morning on what I assumed would be just another normal, mundane, August 23rd. Just a few hours after starting this day, life took a turn. Within moments, the life I had always dreamed of, anticipated, and hoped for evaporated right before my eyes.  Quickly after discovering that my sister had passed away, I looked to the Lor
d and asked Him why something so terrible had to happen to me. What had I done to deserve this? Why me? Why now?
The months and ultimately years that followed revealed the Lord in ways I never knew possible. I slowly learned that the only way He would allow such a tragedy to happen, was if He had a plan for what would happen next. I had to believe that He had a plan. And for the past two years I have clung to that promise so, so tight.

The Lord had a plan on that hot, late summer day. He…

Life Lately

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It's crazy to believe that summer is slipping away in just two short weeks. Two weeks from today I'll be back in the classroom, textbooks in tow, filling my brain with an abundance of new information. An overwhelming thought for sure, but I've always loved the back to school season.

Life lately has been a bit hectic. With fall approaching I've been trying to cram in every last bit of summer fun as I can. And by summer fun, I mean quite a bit of quiet, relaxing evenings after work because I know that come September my evenings will be filled with constant homework and studying for a solid few months.

As summer comes to a close, I can't help but think about the looming August 23rd. The anniversary of Alex's passing is on the horizon and the thought of that has put me in somewhat of a funk. It may be a bit of a subconscious thing, but I know it's been eating away at me at least slightly.

It's funny because I can think back to two summers ago and vividly re…

so many plans, so many dreams

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When you're 20 years old, the future is at your fingertips. You're right in the thick of college, and the possibilities for life afterward are endless. So many roads to travel, and so many trails to create.

Growing up, I had so many plans for my life. Senior year of high school I would have told you that I was going to attend a big state university, major in engineering, get married with my sister by my side as my maid of honor, start a family, and live happily ever after as that picturesque soccer mom. Yep, so many plans. But in the blink of an eye, those plans soon began to crumble. But with those crumbs, I dreamed up some new dreams. I created new trails and pathways and entered down never-before-seen roads. Those dreams and plans I once had drifted away, and new, better plans filled their place.

After Alex passed away, I learned so, so much about God's plans. I've went on and on about those plans before, and anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a firm belie…

One Wild & Precious Life

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Gosh it has been a while since this little piece of the Internet was updated. Life has been crazy. And summer has been crazy. But in a sense, it has been the biggest blessing I could ask for.

Over the past few months I have found myself so engrossed in life. I've found myself genuinely enjoying each day and embracing all of the opportunities life has to offer. But honestly, the biggest part of these past few months is that 9 out of 10 times when I look in the mirror, I see my sister. Yep, you read that right. Alex has found a place in me, and it's nothing I ever expected or planned on happening.
If you would've asked me 6 months ago, I wouldn't tell you that I saw much of Alex in me. She took risks and seeked adventure and I liked organized plans and predictable days. She was spontaneous and outgoing and I always wished I was a bit more like that. But this summer I wanted to have some adventure, and I wanted to feel Alex again. I did. And I still am.
My family went to …

Before and After

Summer can be a bit of a weird concept. When we're kids, summer is full of so much possibility. Three months of free time, three months of little obligation. But, as we get older, summer becomes more of a go-go-go concept, rather than a relaxing, re-energizing one.

I'm not living at home this summer, and it's definitely been a decision I am 100% happy with having made. I love being with my friends and I love having some independence, but honestly, I love not constantly being reminded of what took place two summers ago.

In August it'll have been two years since Alex passed away. Two years. Is that not crazy? In a way, I feel like it was just yesterday that I was hanging out with my sister and swapping stories and secrets. But in another sense, it feels like a lifetime ago. Like that time period of Alex and I took place in another world.

Every time I go home I'm constantly reminded of that. I'm reminded of that devastating hot, late August day when life came cras…

A Surprise Gift

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"A room without books is like a body without a soul"  …I think Alex lived by that motto.
It was rare to find my sister without a book. Books filled shelves in her bedroom, and the floor of her closet. Books were tucked into every nook and cranny of her tiny, studio apartment. Books filled the back seat of her car, and it was unheard of to find her purse without at least one book floating around in it. She finished books in a heartbeat. She could transport herself into another world and indulge herself so much into a particular book that it became a part of her. 
Alex didn't believe in the Nook or the Kindle. To her, books needed to be tangible. She needed to be able to hold that book in her hands, thumb through the pages, underline the perfect lines, and store it on her book shelves. Renting a book from the library was rare because Alex liked to own her books. She liked to lend the books out and let them decorate her room. She told me that her dream house would have a ro…

Some Sophomore Year Thoughts

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Hello everyone! Life has been all sorts of places lately and I am so happy to be back home, sitting on my patio, typing up a post :-)
The past few weeks have been all over the place from wrapping up the semester, a crazy finals week, moving out of my dorm, moving into my first apartment (eek!) and I have barely had time to sit a breathe. And I also just realized that I have less than a week left of being a teenager and I am just in disbelief at how quickly time is going. Seriously, wasn't I just graduating high school??

As with all major life events (ok, minor ones too…) I thought a reflection post was in order. Partly because I can't let anything go by without reflecting on it and also because this past year was incredibly influential and just in general, good.

I've mentioned before that because I transferred schools and switched my major, I'm on a five year plan with college. I just finished my sophomore year, but technically it was my freshman year in terms of pre-…

Mama Hugs

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Almost 20 years ago, the Lord blessed me with the most supportive, encouraging, and loving mother. My mom has a heart that is so big and so full of joy. This mama will let me cry to her over the phone about the most unimportant things. She drives to visit me at school nearly once a week, and she sends me little cards more days than not. And on Mother's Day, a day where we should all be gifting her chocolates and sweet notes, she shows up with a big gift bag of chocolates for me. Selfless, I tell you!
The love this woman has for those around her is unending and unconditional. Whether it be her students at work, the stranger at the coffee shop, or a friend of mine, she opens them in with kind words and a heartfelt smile. My mom is truly one of a kind. It's days like today, however, that are the hardest for my mom. The little girl that made my mom celebrate Mother's Day for the first time, doesn't get to spend the day with us anymore. Alex celebrates Mother's Day fro…

30 Day Devo

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I always wished I was one of those people that could so easily wake up every morning, grab my bible, and have some God time. I've tried, I really have, but nothing ever stuck. My mom gifted me Jesus Calling two Christmases ago and I thought it was a really awesome way to grow in my relationship with Christ. I love it, I really do, but I usually fell into reading it for three days and then not picking it up again for another month or two. 
A couple weeks ago I started listening to Jeff and Alyssa Bethke's podcasts while running (super great to pass the time working out if you're looking for something like that!) and they talk so much about their faith and incorporating God time into your life. They're busy people, just like you and I, but they make it work. Alyssa mentioned doing a 30 day devotional and that really made me think. I could do that, right? I could carve that time into my day, surely I can. So I dedicated myself to just that. I was going to try and stick t…

Transformation

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Lately I've been thinking a lot about this current season of life. It is, for a lack of a better term, a somewhat stagnant season. I've got some exciting things going on, but I'm also in the middle of college with nothing too pertinent on the horizon. I'm not really tied down to anything. But all of this stagnation has lead to a lot of time with the Lord.
I never used to be someone to talk about seasons of life. To be quite honest, I never knew much of what that meant. There was high school and there was college. For some people maybe one season they were in a relationship or out of a relationship. For others seasons may be classified as a time in which God is really transforming them and others not too much appears to be going on. But over the past year and a half I've learned a lot about these seasons of life.
The other night I was talking to my roommate, Ashley about all of this and somehow got onto the topic of my sister. Now Ashley never got to meet Alex. She…

It's Personal

I was chatting with my cousin the other night and after I hung up with her I couldn't stop thinking about our conversation. My cousin Martha goes to school out on the west coast making us pretty far away from each other. We generally only see each other two or three times a year and because of that, lengthy text messages and frequent phone calls are the norm. One of my favorite parts about blogging is that I can find inspiration for a post anywhere. Seriously. I find inspiration in homework assignments, in church sermons, music, books, conversations with friends and family, or even conversations I over hear at coffee shops and the grocery store. Everything is fair game, and I love it.
So, when I was talking to Martha we started digging deep into that whole idea of our relationship with Jesus. What is it supposed to be, what does society say it should be, and what it really is. This topic is so crazy because it is so incredibly diverse. Not only does it vary considerably for diffe…

We don't have to do it alone

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The guys from Tenth Avenue North knew what they were talking about when they said we're not meant to live this life alone in No Man is an Island. We all accumulate stuff throughout this life, but I've recently grown a greater appreciation for the people we surround ourselves with. Throughout my life I've always known people are important. People far surpass that promotion at work or the gift you just got for you birthday. People are important. And some of these people...well, they're just special.
Sometimes I look around at my college friends and wonder what life will be like for us after we graduate. Chances are we aren't all going to stay in town working at the same place. That thought can be pretty depressing. But the thing about growing up is that this has happened before and will happen so many times again and it's ok. I look back at friends from high school, friends scattered across the country, cousins in far away cities, and think, well that was easier…

Gray Sneakers

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Alex and I were complete opposites growing up. We were as different as night and day or lion and lamb. She was the kind of person that could walk into an exam, having studied no more than 15 minutes, and ace the thing. I, on the other hand, am the kind of person that needs to study for hours, even days to feel prepared. She loved english, and I love science. She could rock tattoos, piercings, and fun hair colors where as probably visit the hair salon twice a year. We shopped at different clothing stores and favored different movie genres. But despite all of these differences, we clicked. 
After Alex passed away I got a lot of her stuff. In the realm of clothing, I took some sweatshirts and t-shirts, but a lot of her clothes were frankly, not my style. Her feet were bigger than mine and she was taller than me, so most of the clothes didn't fit me properly either. But, I took a few over-sized sweatshirts and love wearing them to study and cozy up in. Her beloved combat boots, ripped…

Another running post….

Ok, I have another running post.

But I promise, this isn't turning into a fitness blog I've just been really inspired while running as of late.

I spent the past month and a half or so listening to a workout playlist I compiled of songs from my iTunes library. To be honest, I haven't purchased songs on iTunes since at least last summer, so a lot of the songs were throwbacks. They were super great to run to and I loved hearing songs I would jam to in high school, but that playlist got old pretty fast. I was starting to get really bored of the songs and my workouts weren't as lively because the music wasn't really pushing me.

Enter: Spotify.

I've vaguely heard of Spotify before, but never knew much about it other than the fact that it was a music app. So the other day I turned to the app store and downloaded it. Instantly confused I ran to my roommate to get some information on this new music app I had discovered. Side note, I know it's 2015 and I just discove…

Run With Perseverance

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I have never considered myself to be a runner. In high school I was always in the back of the pack when we would run the mile in gym class and I would be embarrassed by my score when we ran the pacer test each semester. I hated running and never thought it was something I would do simply for fun. Before Alex passed away she started to really get into healthy eating and working out. She became a vegetarian and was really into organic foods and an all around healthy lifestyle. I remember the day before she passed away we were at Famous Footwear together and she got a brand new pair of tennis shoes for running. That memory of the two of us sitting in Famous Footwear as she tried on various tennis shoes is one of my last memories of her, and it's always stuck with me.
Over this past winter break I decided that this semester I was going to start working out. Nothing crazy, of course, but just a little something to get me moving. I have no desire to lose any weight or to get that perfe…

A Tribute

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Have you ever met someone who changed your life? Truly changed it. Someone who made an impact on the way you view the world. This person could be younger or older, living or dead, male or female. 
Think about it.
Is there someone that has shaped who you are today? A someone who has influenced your personality, your everyday movements, or the way you carry yourself.
So, who did you think of? Was it one person in particular, or a handful of influential people?
Here's your task…go tell them. Seriously. Shout it from the rooftops! Send a text, write a letter, make a phone call. Heck! Just show up at their door step. But don't waste another day not telling that someone how much they've impacted your life. Because there may come a day when you realize just how important they truly were in your life, and that day may be too late. Growing up I always knew my family was influential. My dad played a big role in me picking up the game of golf and being an organization fanatic. My mo…

Chocolate Hearts

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I have always been a sucker for the holidays. And all of the so-called "little" holidays often times become my favorites. I love Christmas just as much as the next person, but there's something special about Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and the 4th of July that I find myself loving year after year.
I have always loved scrapbooking and card making and kind of owe it to the craft stores for my love of holidays. I made cards for every occasion and embraced all holidays with the same excitement. I would decorate, have corresponding chocolates, and wear that designated color(s) on the day. Holidays just signify so much happy, even in a time when we might not be so happy.
Last February was kind of rough. My sister's birthday is the 18th and the entire duration of this short month was kind of the dreading of that day. It came and went with it's tears and weird feelings, but at least it went, not to return for another 12 months. So this year, I wanted to …

The power of words

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I often find myself talking about my favorite reads on here. I have raved on and on about Love Does (here and here!), and praised both Everybody's Got Something (here!) and Fly a Little Higher (here!). Whether it be fiction or non-fiction, I've always enjoyed reading. I love going to Barnes and Noble and giving up hours of my day to roam the endless shelves of books. And I often make far too many running lists on post-it notes, my phone, and in my agenda of books I must read.

Over the past six weeks while being home for winter break, I really immersed myself in books. My favorite genre is definitely non-fiction and I often seek out books that will inspire and encourage me. For Christmas, my parents gifted me with two books I had been eyeing for a while- The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan and I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. I hadn't read for fun since the summer but shortly after starting I am Malala I was reminded of my love for reading. I finished that readin t…

The art of slowing down

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This past summer I started volunteering at a local hospital. Initially, I was volunteering alongside nurses, doing little jobs for them here and there. I often found myself re-stocking drawers in patient rooms, searching the storage room for expired syringes and flushes, filling admit and discharge folders, and dusting the nurses' "cabs". While these were not the most glamorous jobs I could have been doing, I found joy in being in the environment and chatting with the nurses every once and a while. This winter break however, I wanted to try something a little different. While volunteering up on the floor with the nurses was great, I was itching for a new department, and a change of scenery.

When I arrived at the hospital a few weeks ago, my volunteer coordinator asked if I would be alright with running errands alongside the other volunteers. I was happy to do so and excited to try something different.

The errand running ranged from delivering flowers/balloons to patient …