Here’s to the Future|| Grateful Days 225-256

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

It’s finally hitting me that I am going to be graduating from college and moving on to a new season of life. I mean, obviously I’ve known I’m going to graduate this semester and I’ve thought about it, but it’s finally starting to sink in. It’s kind of a frightening thought, but at the same time it’s also a very exciting thought.

It’s strange, now that school is in full swing and I have more and more assignments I need to get done the thought of graduating is starting to excite me a little more. I’m excited because I’m graduating one, but I’m also excited because I’ll be entering a new season of my life.

I feel strongly that the current season I find myself in has taught me a lot, and is still teaching me a lot. I’m glad for where I am in life and I’m happy about all the things I have gained through all of these experiences, but I’m excited to see where I’ll be going. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous as well.

Graduating from university, or at least thinking of it, is way different than thinking of graduating from high school. When I graduated high school I knew what I was going to do. I had a plan for after graduation, but the plans I have for post-graduation aren’t plans I have set in stone just yet. At this point they are only dreams and I’m learning to trust more and have more faith.

As I see the end of this season coming to an end (this sounds a smidge melodramatic but oh well) I find myself learning more and more what it means to trust God with my future and have faith that everything will work out the way it should! I know who holds my future and I’m not scared of what’s going to happen. Yes I do get anxious about my future, but I’m not scared the way I used to be. I’m learning to trust God more and more, and I’m also learning so much about my heart in this season.

I’m extremely grateful for the things I’ve learned in my life thus far. I’m glad for where God has brought me from and where He is going to take me. Though I feel anxious about it many times, I’m glad to know that my future is in the hands of a Father who loves me deeply and tenderly.

So, here’s to the future and all the times ahead!

Goodbye Summer, Hello School || Grateful Days 196-224

IMG_4952Alas, another summer has passed and another semester of school has started.

I walked on campus this week knowing that the end of my school days is soon coming to an end. One day I may find myself back in school, but my undergrad years are soon coming to an end and honestly I don’t really know how to feel.Of course I’m happy that I’ll finally be done with school, but I’m also sad to be saying goodbye to this season of my life soon.

For the past four and a half years I have been at the U of A I have learned and grown so much. I’m happy to be leaving behind school and walking in to a new season because it means more growth and more experiences. But I’m sad to leave behind this season because this season of my life saw much growth.

I came to the U as a Freshman who had a lot to learn and in the past 4 years I have learned more than I could imagine. Obviously I learned a lot academically, but more than that I learned a lot personally. I shed many tears on campus and I can point out every place I’ve cried. In my 4 years as a university student I have felt anxious, sad, happy, scared and a plethora of other emotions. But I wouldn’t take back a single tear or a single moment as a student.

I wouldn’t take back any moment of doubt or anxiety because through all of those experiences I learned to trust God. In 4 years I have been challenged and in the moments when I was challenged most I learned to trust people, I learned to trust Jesus and I learned a lot about myself.

It’s crazy to think that my years at the U are almost over and now in my last semester I’m determined to end this season in the best way I can. Before the semester started I met with a friend for coffee to talk about life and the semester and she said “Steffanie, this is your semester” and I couldn’t help but smile at this thought. Now, I don’t think this is going to be my semester in an ‘Oh yeah I’m so going to own this semester’ way, but in a ‘Lets make this semester the best one yet’ way. I don’t know what this semester holds, but I’m so thankful for the past 4 years at the U and I’ve learned and done so much in that time that I’m excited for what this semester holds.

So here’s to my last semester as an undergrad and for all that’s to come!

22 Things I’ve Learned In 22 Years Of Life|| Grateful Days 187-195

WaterI’m 22.

Before my 22nd birthday I thought about all the things I’ve learned in my life and I’ve learned a lot. Some of these things I’ve learned the hard way and other things I’ve learned from watching people. I’ve also learned a lot from listening to my friends and family. I know I still have so much to learn, but there are a few things I’ve learned in 22 years of life!

1) Laughing is good for the soul
especially when one is super stressed out

2) Procrastinating is not a good idea
it may be great motivation to getting that 5 page paper written, but it is not worth it

3) It’s okay to have an opinion and then voice it
sometimes it’s scary to tell people what you think but how are people going to know what you think otherwise

4) The most unlikely people can surprise you the most
people can surprise you; in good and bad ways

5) Coffee was made for late nights and early mornings
i have gained a greater appreciation for coffee since being in college, it tastes good, it smells good and it keeps you awake

6) You parents are getting older too
you’re not the only person in your life getting older, your parents are too

7) People change and that’s okay
everyone changes, it’s part of growing up

8) Ice Cream is always a good idea
especially when there is a buy one get one free coupon

9) Being bad at something doesn’t make you a failure
just because you aren’t good at something doesn’t make you a failure; it just means you get to learn something new

10) It’s okay to be embarrassed
embarrassing moments make the best stories

11) Try new foods
you never know if you like something if you never try it

12) Jesus loves everyone
yes even the people you can’t stand

13) Be nice to your siblings
they’re your first friends and they’ve seen you at your lowest and smelliest but they still love you

14)  Dad can fix anything
if you can’t fix it call dad, the chances of him knowing how to fix the broken thing is very high

15) Thunderstorms aren’t as scary as you thought
especially when it means you can sit in your jammies all day

16) It’s not okay to be a mean
just don’t do it, it isn’t okay

17) Honesty is the best policy
but telling the truth doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk

19) There is music for every mood
whether you’re happy, sad or annoyed there’s a song for that

20) You’ll never know where your bobby pins disappear to
it’s just a fact of life that bobby pins find a new home after a while and they’re never coming back

21) Getting mail is still better than getting an email or text
it may take forever, but getting packages and letters in the mail is still a great feeling

22) Twenty-two is no different than twenty-one
it just means you’ve gone around the sun 22 times, experienced 4 or 5 leap years (depending on what month you were born) and have been on the earth for 8,034 or 8,035 days

Car Problems || Grateful Days 185 & 186

20140722-224258-81778956.jpgToday I had car troubles.

Any problems that have to do with my car stress me out to no end. I end up in tears because I’m so flustered! I also then find myself thinking ‘this would be so much easier if…’ or ‘why didn’t I…’ and the thoughts go on and on until I find myself being annoyed at myself for being in the position. Which then leads to me wanting to cry more.

I’m not like this only with car problems, I get this way about any and all situations in my life that cause me to be slightly frustrated. Especially if it’s a situation where I feel helpless.

It isn’t often when I find myself feeling like a little kid lost in a large store, but when it happens it scares me. I get anxious and I feel weak. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t like to feel weak. Even though I know in my mind that I am a weak person I don’t like feeling weak. I don’t like feeling as if  I need someone to come to my rescue; but sometimes I do.

Sometimes I need someone to come in and save me the way Superman saves Lois Lane. Sometimes I need to be a little weak if only because in moments of weakness I am humbled.

I am a fairly prideful person. I will admit that right now. Since I am a prideful human being, I often find that God comes and humbles me. Today was one of those days.

After my car decided to stop working on my way to work, in the middle of downtown Tucson, I found myself sitting in front of a building, in the middle of Summer thinking “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus”. That’s all I could think. I just thought “Jesus please give me peace. Jesus thank you for getting me to a place where  I feel safe. Jesus thank you for giving me peace and calming my heart”. In those moments I felt weak. I felt like I was going to burst in to tears every time I opened my mouth. Every time I talked to my parents as I waited I thought I was going to break like a dam. Then when I got home all I could think was “thank you Jesus for getting me home”.

Today I prayed God would use this day. I prayed He would take my heart and my mind. I have prayed that my heart and mind would be focused on Him and right before my moment of weakness I told God I’d go and do whatever He wants of me. I find myself praying that so often as a way of preparing my heart for what God is going to do with my life. I pray those prays continually because it is my desire to go and do the Lords work. It’s also a time for me to choose to surrender that part of my life. It’s my way of declaring the fact that I am weak and I need Jesus. I need my Abba.

As much as I do not enjoy moments of weakness, I am grateful for all the ways they humble me. I am grateful for all the ways moments of weakness reveal the true nature of my Father. The way I am reminded how blessed I am to be loved by a Saviour who gives me peace when all I want to do is cry and be upset. In my moments of weakness I am reminded that the hero of my story is Jesus. He comes when I call and he gives me peace when I am nervous and anxious.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Moments || Grateful Days 172-184

AsianDramaRainOh hello there friend!

So lately I’ve been thinking about being grateful and trying to write about a years worth of it. I’ve come to realize, that there are some things that can’t be captured through photographs. Some moments of gratitude are simply meant to be enjoyed. Between interning, moving and spending time with people I’ve come to realize that some moments can’t be captured in an Instagram worthy update. Nor can they be conveyed through a witty or meaningful tweet. Some moments are meant to be etched in your memory to be revisited every once in a while.

Eating dinner with friends, spending time with my niece, parents and sisters and watching Asian dramas with roommates can’t be captured on film properly. Finding words to convey these moments is difficult as well. Whether I’m sitting in my living room watching Asian dramas with my roommates or hanging out with my family, I’ve learned that enjoying moments is important.

I realize I’m only 22, but in my 22 years I’ve come to appreciate moments spent with people. Especially since sometimes being able to spend time with people happens rarely. Whether it’s having coffee or having dinner, watching movies or television shows I love the moments I get to spend with people more and more.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: June 2014 || Grateful Days 160-171

Oh boy oh boy. Between online classes, interning, birthdays and moving June was a pretty busy month (hence the lack of blog posts this month!) But over all June was a fantastic month!!! So here are a few of my favourite moments, blogs and doodads of June! RainMy first favourite of the month is a blog! So if you haven’t heard of Rend Collective then you definitely should give them a listen, or read this and you’ll hear a couple of their tunes! Anyhow, one of the guys is married to a woman who writes a blog and her name is Gabriella. I don’t remember how exactly I found her blog but I sure am glad I did. She is one of those bloggers who writes so beautifully and so full of life. I also love that she takes everything she does back to God. Even if she doesn’t outright say in a post anything about the Lord I can just feel how inspired she is for her love for the Lord and it serves as a great reminder for me that all I do is meant to please the Lord and nothing I do is for myself. So if you fancy a read you can check out her space here. It has been such a blessing to me and if you give it a read I hope it blesses you as well!Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Another one of my favourites from June (extending in to July) is the World Cup! Oh my goodness!! I love the World Cup so much! I am extremely invested in the whole tournament, more so I was/am extremely invested in the US Men’s National Team!! My friends and I would get together and watch the US Men’s Team play and we would stand for the National Anthem (I’m not kidding we really stood and sang!) and we would cheer! Then when we lost to Belgium we cried (I just got really emotional and tried not to cry). But I love the World Cup because it unites nations and the world! It’s also a great time for people to just hang out and get together to watch a sport!! It’s fun!!20140611-135215-49935983.jpgI also started interning in June which was so fun!! I’ve been at my internship for almost a month and I’ve learned so much! It’s been such a fun time of learning a new trade and getting real experience in the field I’ve been studying for the past 4 years!! Its been really tiring at times but its been so worth it because I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn, so much!!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThen of course I loved the birthdays!! Between my birthday, my dad’s birthday and my roommates birthday it has been a month full of celebration!! My birthday is the only time I’ll let people pay lots of attention to and celebrate me because well, it’s my birthday!!! I love that I have the same birthday month as my daddy because it means there are lots of birthday celebrations in one month!! I enjoyed this years month of celebrations because I’ve learned to appreciate my family and friends so much more and this year I spent my actual birthday with my friends and momma then went home and hung out with my family! It’s was great to be able to celebrate with the people in my life who I spend the most time with. I also loved being able to celebrate all the awesome ways I have been blessed with the people I have been blessed by the most. Then celebrating my daddy’s birthday was just awesome because he’s been on the earth for 50 years and it’s awesome!

All in all, June was a great month of life moments. Even though I didn’t blog a lot of it, I’ve learned that a lot of times some moments just need to be lived. No pictures, no tweets and no blogs. Some moments are best remembered by living them and I lived June in all the ways I could think. I celebrated, I cheered and I cried but June was good to me!

Family Weekend || Grateful Days 152-159

IMG_4671Nothing says summer like sitting poolside with your family eating, laughing and talking the afternoon away.

My family and I spent the weekend in Tucson, I spend every weekend in Tucson so I enjoyed a little stay-cation, in honour of my daddy’s 50th birthday!! It’s kind of crazy that my dad is 50. I never knew how old my parents were until recently, sad I know, but I always thought my parents would live forever! I thought my parents would forever be in their 30’s forever young and forever alive, but I’m coming to the sad realization that my parents aren’t going to live forever and they aren’t going to be forever 30.

50 years ago my daddy was put on this Earth. 22 years ago at the age of 27 he became a daddy. 8 months ago at the age of 49 he became a first time grandfather.

My dad has worn many hats in his 50 years of life and some of these hats he can never give back. He will forever be the baby brother of his brothers and sisters. Forever the husband to my momma. Forever the daddy to three daughters and countless nieces and nephews. Forever the grandfather to his grandkids. My dad will forever be the first love of his girls and the first man to hold me in his arms. My dad will forever be the man who hated being late to my band concerts and competitions. Forever the man who took me to school in the wee hours of the morning before I could drive myself. He will forever be the man who made me laugh with a simple glance and he will forever be the man who knew how to lay down the law. My dad will forever be the man who showed me that it’s okay for men to cry. He will forever be the man who taught me what love looks like. My dad is not a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination; but he will always be the perfect daddy for me.

To celebrate the 50 years my dad has been a member of this great big world we occupy was such a blessing! To have been part of 22 of his 50 years has been a joy and my greatest pleasure. The older I get the more I realize my parents are getting older as well.

My dad is 50. His body may not function the same way it used to but his heart, oh his heart still loves the same way. Actually, it loves better. My daddy loves my momma better now after nearly 24 years of marriage. His heart loves me better than it did when he held me for the first time 22 years ago. He loves my dear sister better after nearly 20 years of knowing her and he loves my baby sister more than he thought he could after 14 years of life. But the gal who stole his heart the most and who taught him and showed him love in a whole new light is my sweet baby niece who stole his heart only 8 month ago.

50 years ago God was kind enough to bless the world with my daddy and I am so glad he did!