Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's Your Story?

I haven't forgotten about my blog! I've been thinking about what you write about next. I only have about two days a week that I have any computer time - which in theory gives me lots of thinking time ;-) 

My cousin Melissa (check out her blog! It's one of my favorites.) commented on my last post, and mentioned my "story". 

Well...what IS my story? 

When I think about it, I can barely grasp how new it is. How young it is. Age is just a number. For years and years I couldn't wait till I was older, and now that I'm here, I wonder why I was in such a hurry!   Life is a roller coaster. I have been up and down, this way, that way, name it - I was there! 

But what is my story...

I normally stick with the abridged version. But when I try to put together the whole just comes out in a blob. It's a tangled mess! Life is messy. If I explain my past, you'll wonder how in the world I am where I am. Or if I tell you who/where I'm at'll wonder about my past. I can't mesh it together. My life only makes sense because I am Forgiven. He captured my wandering heart...

My family moved to Pennsylvania when I was about six months old. I have an older brother and sister, Nate and Lindsay. Nate is five years older and Lindsay is two years older than I am. 
I don't remember much...but I was an angel :) Being the baby of the family and all...
When I was five I became a big sister! I would carry Rachel around all the time. I can still hear the older ladies at church, they were so scared I'd drop her. But at five years old, I was a pro! And I've been changing diapers ever since. 
When I was seven, Sarah was born. This time, not only did I become a big sister for the second time, I was (lovingly) deemed "Mini Mommy". I had an opinion, and being the kind and caring older sister - I made sure "my" little babies did what I wanted. 
At age eleven, Kyle was born. I loved the little girlie dresses that Rachel and Sarah would wear...but there is something about a little baby boy. All babies are precious. There is a special bond that brothers and sisters have...and being the "best" older sibling, I was convinced that I would be the favorite. 
I knew that being the "favorite" came at a I invested a lot of time. I loved it. There are so many crazy memories. 
Thankfully the story isn't over. We have many, many years ahead of us to create memorable chaos!
At age sixteen, I became an Auntie! 

At age twelve, I started my first "real" job at a local Corn Maze. Yes. At age twelve. I'm kind of blown away that my parents would let me do that! Lindsay also worked at the Maze, and when I first started working there - we were always together. And always had radios - so just a call away. 
I worked at the Corn Maze for four years. Four years of sweat, sun, dirt, happy people, grumpy people, nice co-workers, rude co-workers. And a consistent pursuit of customer service. The Corn Maze was an experience...and my employers wanted the guests to receive the best. Those four years really sculpted how I treated people. And all those "second mile" services are a part of my overall thought process, now. 
At sixteen, I switched jobs. I was hired at a local christian theater. I was in concessions - It's a pretty way of saying I sold snacks :-) 
Just like at the Maze, the theater was focused on customer service. I have SO many crazy stories from those years. 

When I tured sixteen, lots of things in my life changed/were changing. Struggling to finish school, a new job, family relationships were strained. I almost preferred to be at work..that way I wouldn't have to deal with the people I would see everyday. 
I had a friendship that my parents weren't comfortable with. But I was sixteen! Almost an adult, I could make me own decisions. They were just being silly. So I continued to have this friendship. It was a mess, and not honoring. I had been a christian for years. But what did that have to do with it? My parents found out I was still talking to this friend - It would stop after some consequences were inflicted...this went back and forth two or three times. Until I realized where I really was. And what kind of person I really was. I was a good worker - My bosses loved me, managers, and even had a few good friendships with the people I worked with. But that had nothing to do with who I was. 
I was disrespectful to my parents. Dishonoring. And my relationship with the Lord wasn't really there...
My actions didn't just affect me and my parents. It affected my siblings. Whoa. I was a really bad example to my babies. Something had to change. I repented and the Lord really turned things around. I still wasn't strong in the Lord, but at the time I would have said my relationship with Him had never been better. I was growing - which is all true. I was proud. 
When I was almost eighteen, I started talking to a guy who also worked at the theater. He was older than me. He was really nice! Really involved in his church. The more we would talk, the more my parents didn't like it. But hey, I really was almost an adult. And my dream of getting married and being a wife and mother were closer than ever before. That.."relationship" was far from honoring. He wasn't even close to being who I thought he was. 

God broke me again. I had to rebuild trust with my parents. I was used to lying and keeping things from them - not really talking to them. It was hard to totally reverse my habits. 
By His grace, I have never been closer to them. 
He changed my ugly, deceitful heart. 

I had had enough of "my plans"...they always ended up broken, and hurting people. If there is anything in this world that I am really worried's hurting someone. Don't get me wrong, I will punch a jerk, the first chance I get...I guess I'm talking on a deeper level. 

I gave it all to Christ - this is where I'm at, these are my desires.
I turned my focus to Him. Not "Lord, what can I do for You today?" But "Father...use me today. Because I can't..".

The Lord gave me an opportunity to get to know a God honoring man, a hard worker, a deep thinker, someone who is willing to change and sacrifice himself. I am blessed to call him a friend. The Lord opens doors, and He closes them. He used this friend of mine, in many different ways. And I am thankful. 

Now, at the decrepit age of nineteen, I am finally realizing I'm still a baby. I am still learning so much. The Lord never ceases to amaze me. He is constantly working - if I feel like He is or not. 
He has shown me a path...and so I am patiently following. I don't know where all it is going to take me...but I am excited. Most importantly..I have peace. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

It's Spring!

Hey y'all! I've deleted all of my older posts...I'm hoping to find a groove and blog more - we shall see. I feel like my blog so far has been SUPER random. I'm I guess it fits. But I just wanted to start fresh. Anyway!

IT'S SPRING! I love it! I'm loving all the sunshine. Can't wait for summer, flip-flops, dresses, skirts, SUN, ice cream, hiking, birthday parties, sweet tea, lemonade (or emmalade, depending on who you ask =)....), strawberries, sunglasses...all of those little things that are so easily overlooked. 

Like I always say - Life is NEVER dull. Growing up, I learned I should never say I was "bored" ;-) there was always something to do. And now, I can honestly say I am never bored. 

Thinking over the past year - I can see how the Lord has drastically changed my heart. This exact time last year, I was miserable. I was a sorry soul. And, by His grace...I am who I am today. His ways are not our ways. I am so thankful for that. I've had my life planned out many different ways..many different times - and thank the Lord none of my "plans" have ever worked out! 
I am constantly blown away by His grace and goodness. Many new possibilities have "opened up", for my future. I can finally see a clear direction for my life. And that is without me twisting it to "fit" into what I want. God is directing me. It's scary - but I have an enormous amount of peace, because He has opened the doors. I simply have to trust and walk through. 

I'm not very good at putting into words, all that I feel....Or all that He has truly done in me.


Lots of new things are happening. Life is exciting. 

Enjoy Spring!