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!

Downtown Lovin’ (Grateful Days 150 & 151)

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I step out of the elevator into the sunlight and immediately put on my cardigan because the light breeze made me a bit chilly. I walk from the garage to my office and take note off the beautiful weather. I walk in to the office and immediately get to work. I collect papers, got organized and make my way to court.

I enjoy being able to go to court for a lot of reasons. But I think I enjoy going because I get to be outside. Even though it takes me 30 seconds to walk out the doors of my office building through the doors of the courthouse. 30 seconds is sometimes all you need.

In those 30 seconds I feel the weather on my body. Whether it’s blistering hot, a bit humid or there’s a soft breeze, I feel the weather. I feel it on my skin. I feel it on my face and in my feet.

In those 30 seconds I see the way the clouds react to what the sky is doing. I get to watch as the sun plays peek-a-boo with the world.

In those 30 seconds I walk in awe of how awesome God is to make the world as beautiful as it is. I walk past a bridge that leads to beautiful buildings and a different part of downtown and am amazed at the loveliness of the scene. A bridge leading to colourful buildings with a different set of business inquiries.

I make this 30 second walk 6 times today and each time I am struck by the beauty of downtown. I am struck by the beauty of cloud formations and the subtle change in weather. I’m amazed at the loveliness of simple structures. Even when I’m inside buildings I look out windows and am struck by the beauty of the scene laid out before me. By the way the sun and clouds reflect off the buildings and the fact that trees have never looked more beautiful.

I work downtown three days a week and I always see this beautiful building. I learned recently that when my best friend started her internship this building was the first place she went, and she said the place has a lot of history to it. I can’t remember if she said it was part of the court houses or not, but I do remember her saying it’s been there for a while. I love walking past this building quite a bit. So much so I’m not going to walk directly past it, I’ve found myself making a point of looking at it for a good while.

It takes me 30 seconds to walk from my cubicle, down the stairs, through the front doors of the building and to the elevator that will take down me to my car. In that 30 seconds I walk by buildings and I stop and look at one. In the 30 seconds it takes me to get to an elevator, I am struck by the beauty of the world around me. The green of the grass and the swaying of the trees.

Sometimes all you need in a day is 30 seconds and to see the beauty in the trees.

My Heart Sings (Grateful Day 149)

I don’t need to go on about my love for music. So instead I’ll let you in on my heart songs.

For a little while now my heart and ears have been on the same wave length. Always wanting to be ready to worship my Abba. Most times my mind isn’t wanting to be in line with the two, so more recently I have been choosing to want to be in a state of worship.

My mind is a wanderer. When I’m not doing something productive, my mind sets itself to its default mode: daydreaming. Interning has made me more aware of how little time I let my mind drift to the songs of my heart.

My heart doesn’t just sing one song, my heart sings many songs. Sometimes one after another like a CD in my mind. Other times the songs play all at once. My heart sings for love and affection and my heart sings for healing. Lately, my heart has been singing for simpler times and a deeper love and passion for my life!

Lately a couple of songs have been in my heart. Both songs are by Rend Collective. If you haven’t heard of them and you love some good ol’ Jesus music then I suggest you give them a listen. Both songs have given me a desire to live my life more in the ways I want to live it. These songs give me fresh vision of what I want my life to be like. What I want my love for Jesus to feel like! I hope these songs bless you in all the ways they have blessed me and so much more. If this isn’t your cup of tea, I hope you still listen to these songs and let them inspire you!

Simplicity

More Than Conquerors

Meet My Daddy (Grateful Days 143-148)

IMG_461722 years ago, this man became my daddy! He is such a blessing to me, my momma and my sisters. He has fought for all of us and he has loved us all. Through the ups and the downs, my dad has been the man we can all lean on! He has been my day one fella and nothing in this world can change that.

I once read somewhere that the best thing a father can do for his kids is love their mom, and my dad has loved my momma well!  My dad has loved my mom in such a beautiful way for the past 24 years and for 22 I have been part of their love. I have seen the way my daddy loves my momma and how he takes care of her. He is always ready to defend her and he is always ready to take care  of her. My dad holds my momma’s hand and gives her nice cuddles. My dad loves my mom in a way that is so wonderful to witness and so marvelous to behold.

My dad has always taught me how to fight; for myself and for others. My dad fought for my sisters and I when it was needed! He prayed for us and he loved us. When we cry he holds us, and when we need a good laugh he knows just what to say! My dad cried when I left for prom and when I graduated high school. He may be a large man, but he is a softie. He’s got a soft spot for his family and he’s always instilled in me the importance of family and he has always held true to his beliefs. My dad is a wonderful dad and a wonderful granddad. Seeing him with my niece just shows me how much this man can love. He has shown me how great his heart is and how deep his love goes in all the ways he loves.

Daddy if you ever come across this I want you to know, I love you! I am so blessed by you and I couldn’t have asked for a better dad to show me what love looks like. I couldn’t have asked for a better daddy to celebrate every years and I couldn’t have asked for a better man to hold me 22 years ago. I’m glad that 22 years ago I was the reason you got to celebrate your first fathers day (and yes I will always remind you that I was the first! :)). I hope that  one day, in the distant future, my kiddos get to experience all the love you have. I hope that one day they will be able to see how much you love and be able to experience all the love you have to give them! I also hope that one day my kids will have a father who loves them in all the ways you have loved me my whole life. A father who will fight for them so tenderly and so fiercely and that their daddy would love their momma in all the ways you have loved mine. Daddy, I am blessed by you and I feel so loved by you. I love you dearly daddy!

Grateful Days 139-142

IMG_4606At 6:00 am the sounds of Lets Hear It For The Boy by Deniece Williams flood my bedroom and it’s time to start getting dressed. Today marks the first official day of me being an intern and even though it started so early, it was truly a day to remember.

It’s crazy how life just has this way of creeping up on you. One day you’re a little girl riding the school bus for the first time with your dad following so he knows you got there safely and the next you’re an adult driving yourself to interviews then to your first day on the job.

While I  was interviewing and getting things done for my internship I spent a lot of time downtown and walking around offices and I realized how much I love business attire, name badges, office buildings and courts. I love knowing I’m in a building full of people who are doing  things. I also like to be put to work and having something to do. That’s why I like school and offices; at school I’m busy studying and doing assignments and at the office I’m working.

It always amazes me how God gives people a love for certain things. I love anything and everything to do with criminal justice, my best friend loves administrative work and my roommate loves hospitals!

I have always been scared that in the future I would simply be settling when I start working, but I’ve learned when you do something that you love in places you love there is no settling. When I think about my future all I know is whatever I do in life and wherever I am I want God to go with me and I want him to be with me. The older I get and the more I understand my relationship with God the more I see that no matter where I go God is with me. He knows me.

In Psalm 139:2-4, David says “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all the ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD”. God just knows me; my loves, my dislikes and my strange habits. He leads and I follow; he’s always with me.

I realize now as I sit here watching Bones, wondering why I watch crime shows when I know how extremely inaccurate they are, while also thinking about what to wear tomorrow and all the other things I have to do, that every job and every place is a missions field.

In Chi Alpha the missions motto is Every student gives. Every student goes. Every student prays. We are all also asked to give a year and pray about a lifetime. I decided to do just that. I have thought and prayed so long about my life after college and the year I am dedicating to missions that I am beginning to realize even if I don’t spend the rest of my life in ministry that no matter where I go I am an ambassador for Christ. Even if missions is only a season of my life everywhere I go I can show people Jesus by the way I love and by allowing Jesus to work through me.

I finish my glass of iced tea and debate getting another while I set the coffee maker to start brewing at 6:00 am while finishing an episode of bones. I’m still wondering why I watch these shows.

Then again, maybe I watch these shows because it reminds me of something I love.

2 hours 46 minutes (Grateful Days 136-138)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHere I sit, on the eve of my birthday thinking about the fact that in 2 hours 46 minutes I will have rotated around the sun 22 times. In 22 years I have experienced life in all the ways only I can.

I get older as the clock ticks away, and yet I cannot find ways to describe how I feel about being 22. My life isn’t a compilation of Taylor Swift tunes so I can’t dance around saying I feel 22, because I don’t know what 22 feels like. I barely know what 21 feels like! But I do know that 21 treated me well.

21 treated me the way I should be treated. It treated me with love and kindness; even in the hard times. 21 gifted me with a beautiful niece and it taught me the art of living.

21 showed me that the change I fear so much, is necessary. Without change, there would be no growth and that’s just not fair. 21 showed me with each new season new change comes. After all without April showers May would have no flowers.

21 taught  me even when I have little faith my Abba is faithful. When I was weak and had no where to turn, 21 showed me that my Abba is strong and carries me. When I was filled to the brim with joy, 21 showed me that my Abba rejoiced with me. Even when my heart wanders, 21 showed me that my Abba is a faithful friend and is always waiting for me.

21 taught me the art of friendship and 21 was kind enough to show me the beauty of my friendships. At 21 I saw and understood the depth of my friendships with each of my friends. I felt the sting of distance and I feel the upcoming sadness of goodbyes. But 21 showed me the art of learning to communicate in new ways and helped me see that sometimes there is beauty in goodbye.

21 showed me the depth of the love of my family. 21 showed me the grace of my mother and the gentle heart of my father. 21 showed me the beauty of sisterhood and introduced me to the joy of being an aunt. 21 also reminded me that my parents and sisters get older with me and 21 reminded me to tell my loved ones those three words no matter the circumstance.

21 taught me the joy of life and showed me the sorrows and the hurts. Mostly 21 taught me how to live life in only the way I can live it. 21 showed me the beauty of each new day and 21 introduced me to myself.

As I sit here, I begin to say goodbye to 21. 21 is introducing me to 22 in the way a gentleman introduces his lady to his mom – with love and tenderness. 21 was kind and taught me so much. It’s strange to say goodbye to 21 because we’ve spent so much time together.

2 hours 46 minutes later I say goodbye to 21 and hello to 22.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: May 2014 (Grateful Day 135)

So here we are at the beginning of a new month! Woo hoo!! Fun fact: it’s also my birthday week!! 🙂 But since it’s June now, I also get to share a few of my favourite things from May!

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Since it’s summer time now I’ve gotten the chance to do a lot more reading which is always a really great time for me! I’ve been re-reading a couple of my favourite books which are called The Truth About Forever and Just Listen! These are both books written by Sarah Dessen that I first read in high school, but find myself re-reading every so often. I used to think it was really strange that I enjoy reading Young Adult books as a Senior in college, but after reading this great piece by John Green where he explains why people like Young Adult novels as adults. I think he hits the nail right on the head with it too because I think so many times as we get older we start to view the world through this lens of ‘I’ve done this so many times before it’s not that important’, but as a teenager certain life events are new. Driving a car without parent supervision is new and freeing as is falling in love or getting your heart broken. Thinking about what you’re going to do when you grow up isn’t as daunting as a teenager because that’s years from now, but as an adult those decisions are more real and far scarier. But teens have the luxury of being able to put off bigger life decisions because the future isn’t staring them right in the face. So yeah if you know a young lady who’s in need of a good book, or are just a fan of YA I definitely suggest these two books, or any other Sarah Dessen books.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetThis month I have also celebrated many friends and family members. I watched people graduate and get married and began to understand the importance of making each moment count. I think I’ve started to appreciate more the people and moments in my life lately because I’m beginning to understand the fact that everyone around me is growing up, and some times that means they are moving to far off places. I think in another life at another time I would be more sad about that fact, but I’ve realized that my friends and my family are going to far off places to pursue a life they cannot find in the place they are in. For some people that means moving out of the country for a year or two and for others it simply means growing in to more of the person they are meant to be. Celebrating people as they graduate and get married has been such a fun thing to be part of and it’s been one of my favourite moments of the month!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis month I also watched Once! Woo hoo oh yea hey o!! Seriously I suggest any music loving human being to watch this musical. Even if you’re a fan of music but not of musicals I think you’ll enjoy it simply because it’s about music. It is literally a musical about music! I enjoy a lot of musicals such as Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, but Once is the first musical I’ve seen live in a really long time. The first I saw was Tarzan on Broadway in New York, which was so cool!! That was also almost 8 years ago, so seeing Once was so great for me! I went with my best friend, who even though she likes music she doesn’t listen to music to the extent that I do and she loved it!! I really think Once is one of the most beautiful musicals I have listened to and will probably be among one of the most beautiful I will ever see. I also enjoyed watching Once because it was one of those days that I will remember years down the road as a wonderful day with one of my dearest friends.

May was good to me in so many ways and in the business of finals and papers I am glad that I got to find moments to enjoy the month. God was extremely faithful to me and gave me such great peace in the face of stress during the month. I’m thankful that I got to enjoy my favourite books and one of my favourite musicals and as always I am glad I got to spend time with my friends and family!