Thankful.

It’s been a long week (it’s only Wednesday). I’m making a list to remember why I’m thankful, oh so thankful, for life. In no particular order, here goes. 

1. I have some amazing friends who are constantly by my side, who support me, and who offer words of advice. I love you guys. I really couldn’t do it without you.

2. I’m thankful for the ability to learn. I go to an amazing school and I have some of the best professors in the country. I’m thankful that I get to be here.

3. I’m thankful for opportunities. Within the last week and a half, so many opportunities for the next year to two years have found their way to me. I am beyond excited for what lies ahead. 

4. I have a God who leads me in the right direction, along the right path, and drops little cookies along the way. I find these little hints that I’m doing the right thing — and that greener paths await me. 

5. Music. I was thinking about it earlier — I wonder just how many minutes of my life I’ve spent listening to music. It is such a constant sound in my life. I think it’s beautiful. I’m so glad I get to fill my days with lyrical genius. 

6. Words. I think some of the biggest support is found in the form of words. I also think some great therapy is found through words. I’m thankful for the ability to write, not only to share my own thoughts, but to share words with others. (Whether that’s a quote, a Bible verse, or something else). 

7. Warmer weather. The high is 70 tomorrow! Woohoo! I can’t wait for warmer weather, sunshine, tan lines, shorts, tanks, and sandals! Hopefully some beach too. (:

8. I’m thankful for letters from moms and sweet texts from dads reminding you to take a break. 

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Bigger

I’ve been reminded of something a lot lately, and my most succinct way to put it is this — 

Bigger Things, Bigger Plans, Bigger God.

So many random things have been going on. I can’t say that small things don’t affect me — they do. A couple weeks ago, I didn’t get something I was really hoping for. As a result, I was surprised and disappointed. I was hurt. At the end of the week though, something so much more incredible happened.

A friend wrote me a letter. (This isn’t the incredible part.)

“You were the light at the end of my tunnel.”

Those words. Me. Those are about me. I was someone’s light. The letter says many other things, but the idea is that the reason my friend is still here is because of something I did. In that week that I got news that I didn’t want, I had time. I had time to be there for my friend. I had time to share the Word with him. When I got this letter at the end of the week, it made everything so worth it. 

Other things have happened. I’ve been able to be there for other people. My time has been channeled toward more important things. 

God has a bigger plan. A much bigger one than I can ever even begin to imagine. Through all of this, I feel like it’s been a constant reminder — He has a plan. I just have to be patient. 

 

Today I got to be… An Honorary Dad

I guess it’s about time I write another post. (:

For those of you unaware, I have two internships this summer. To make a long explanation short, here’s the gist of what I’m doing.

Both are with OU Health and Science Center. One is with the Child Studies Center (CSC); the other is an extension of this program and is called Early Foundations (EF). With CSC, I observe three different clinics and do research with my supervisor/mentor. With EF, I’m a teacher for one of the playgroups. 

I started last week, but my supervisor was gone so there were about 16 hours I couldn’t attend. This week was my first “full week”, as I’ve deemed it. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s exhausting and sometimes all I want to do is sleep for the next 7 days straight. But, I love it. 

The highlights of this week… I observed testing that led to diagnosing a child with autism. I sat in the room as the family was told. As an observer, I do a lot of following and not a lot of talking (in front of the family at least). So during this part, I just kind of sat back and watched the family’s reaction. I saw his mom’s blank stare and his grandmother’s questioning words. “Can it be cured?” “Will he grow out of it?” To me, questions that shouldn’t even be asked, but to a family who has heard the word autism only a few times before, these are serious questions. On Tuesday, someone’s life was changed. The future and fate of this family was changed forever.

Today, at EF, it was “Dads and Donuts”. One of our little boy’s dad could not come, so I got to be Honorary Dad for the Day. Of course, I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be a dad, but I had fun doing all of the activities with the kiddo. This is only my third time at EF. After snack time, one of the little boys came and sat in my lap. Later in the day, he held my hand as we walked to the next activity. I sat with the kids as they waited to be picked up. One of the mom’s arrived and a little girl’s name was called. She went with her sisters to the door before running back to give me a huge hug. My heart melted today.

Wise words.

I just really like this quote.

Gratitude. Blessing. Appreciation. Thanks. (Part 1)

Day One:
The little things. I was sitting in the library studying. When I looked out the window, there were about eight teeny, tiny birds. So precious!
I am also thankful for the love and comfort of friends, particularly Nikki today. She’s awesome.
The surprise from Melissa! It was so sweet. I love her a lot. (:

Day Two:
I am thankful for the opportunity to attend school here, to take challenging classes, and to be working toward a greater future.

Day Three:
Today I am thankful for movies. I’m not feeling so well, but I am glad for a moment to rest, breathe, and relax.

Day Four:
My brother. Even though we don’t talk all that often, I am thankful that I can call him my big brother. I know that if I needed anything, he would be at my side in a heartbeat. Happy birthday big brother. I love you Josh!
I am thankful for my grandparents. I cannot wait to see them.

Day Five:
I am thankful that I have the ability to serve! It was so much fun playing with the children at the shelter today. I love the group of girls with whom I was able to volunteer. And I love that we collectively poured our hearts into those children.

Day Six:
I am thankful for letters (Sara James!). I’m thankful for the freedom to worship. I’m thankful for the ability to attend church and find a community there.

Day Seven:
I am thankful for the absolutely best friends and family a person could ever imagine. Today I received four letters and two packages. I have some pretty incredible people thinking about me. My mom and Maddie both sent medicine — they are too cute.
I am thankful for time to spend with new friends, the opportunity to listen to their huge hearts, and getting to bake in a kitchen!

Day Eight:
I am thankful for friends who help me study. I may have lost my sanity without the incredible help of Phoebe and Scout today.

Day Nine:
I am thankful for things like skype that enable me to see my friends. I miss Maddie and Hannah! IT was so good seeing them and talking to them.
I am thankful for being able to drive. Peyton’s a good car. (:

Day Ten:
The beautiful weather that allows me to sit outside and study.
Cameras that capture moments for a lifetime.

Day Eleven:
Surprises! I loved surprising my dad and Maddie and Melissa. I wish I could have stayed longer, but it was still such an absolutely wonderful night. I needed that little sliver of time with my family.

Day Twelve:
Football games! I love football. Even though we didn’t win, my team played their hearts out. I loved watching my friends play the best game I have seen all season. I love the atmosphere of the games — cheering, clapping, jumping to our feet. And, after all, it was a perfect season. (;

Day Thirteen:
I am thankful for Harry Potter and friends. It was fun just laying around with Sydney and watching the movies!

Day Fourteen:
I am thankful for the ability and opportunity to give blood, for naps, and for staying up way too late and talking to Elizabeth and Katie. (:

Day Fifteen:
My momma! I am so proud of her today. I am thankful for the woman she is, the role model she is, the goals she achieves, her constant presence in my life, and so much more. I can’t wait to see her!!

Nine Reasons Why I’ve Loved This Week

1. Running just after the rain. The sky, the puddles, the streetlights glowing — they are all so incredibly beautiful. My heart pounding, the wind chilling my body, the soft music playing in my ears. The thud of my feet against the ground, my friends running besides me. I can’t help but see God in these little moments.

2. Sleeping for eleven hours. Rest and relaxation.

3. Staying up until 4 in the morning talking to one of my new best friends. I love conversations like that. (:

4. Spending time with some great new friends. Friends who give me a piece of home when I don’t get to be home. Friends who make me laugh at all times of the day. Friends who decide we should go on random adventures together. (:

5. The new Coldplay CD. Simply incredible.

6. The first days of cold weather here. I love cold! And I love wearing boots. They are the best. (:

7. Conversations with old friends. It’s a good reminder that I have people at home rooting for me.

8. Talking to my best friend on the phone twice this week. Getting a letter from her. I’ve really missed her!

9. Seeing my mom today and the surprise of seeing two of my doggies! It’s been waaay too long since we’ve been together.

 

It’s just been a wonderful week. I like thinking about the things that have been great.. Sometimes we forget those good things in the midst of little troubles. Thank you for this week God(:

 

Happy and Excited(:

Sometimes, I just think about a lot. I’m not sure how I feel about this whole blogging thing. It puts something out there for the world to see, never to be taken back, always to be somewhere. But, I also think that it is a powerful way to share thoughts, to stay in touch, to tell you about my life and what I’m experiencing. (Side note: this will be my thoughts jumbled together. It may not always make sense. It may be all over the place. But, here they are.)

I’ve had a really incredible experience over the past week. I have felt love in a new place and I’ve been reminded of love in old places. I’ve had nearly three hour long skype conversations, just talking about everything. I’ve stayed up until three in the morning talking to new friends, learning about their lives, building relationships. On Friday, I got some pretty exciting news, and I got to share that with people here. The responses just lit up my life. To know that these people, these people that I’ve known for a month now, were so happy for me, it was breathtakingly beautiful, if an experience can be breathtakingly beautiful. I called my mom to tell her too, and it was a perfect reminder of how proud she is of me and how much she loves me. I’ve listened to the musical genius of one of my friends. I’ve met new people. I’ve talked to my best friend on the phone about everything. I’ve received texts reminding me that I am missed. I’ve had people check up on me. I’ve received packages (mail is the best). I am blessed.

I think we so often forget how blessed we are. It’s easy to go through the day complaining about the chemistry homework, how my psych professor still doesn’t know our names, how I really need to study for that test, how I just don’t want to do anything. The thing is, though, we are so blessed. I’m so guilty of focusing on the bad things instead of the good things. I have 8:00 classes three days a week. If you know me, you know that I am not a morning person at all. I’d much rather be sleeping. So, at 8:00 in the morning, I fail at being someone who recognizes the good. I think that’s my goal for this week.. To wake up joyful. As my dad and I used to say, “to wake up happy and excited for a new day.”

So, I encourage you to wake up happy and excited for a new day tomorrow. Remember that you are loved, you are blessed, and it is a new day.(: