Thursday, September 6, 2018

Brooklyn, New York


I love visiting new places and seeing what the world has to offer. But sometimes we get so caught up with embarking on an adventure overseas, we miss the very beautiful cities and monuments that are right by our own homes. 

I have always seen images of Brooklyn and its quirky cobblestone streets, with corner pizza shop gems... but after so many years, I had never visited for myself. And so a few days before my birthday, D surprised me by telling me to ready myself for an adventure. 

I'm not easily surprised because being a typical girl, I need to know what to wear, and should I bring my camera along? There's so much to know! Needless to say, I brought my camera along and I'm sure glad I did. 

We spent the day walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, sat at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and strolled by Dumbo and Jane's Carousel. We visited the Oculus by the One World Observatory and marveled at its beautiful and modern architecture.

When in Brooklyn... you eat pizza. We ended the day by eating a delicious Margherita Pizza from Ignazio's. Here are my favorite photographs I took from the day!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

29


I'm not quite sure where to start this post, other than realizing this is my final year of being a 
twenty-something year old. 

To be honest as in all seasons of my life... I never thought it would really be over. Or I guess that my turn would come too.

And as much as I'm dreading leaving this season behind... alas, all things in life must come and go.

When I turned 20, I looked through my imaginary "future peephole" and saw my life looking all sorts of sparkles and "cue the Broadway music" when I would be this age. 

Secure Career? Check.
Married? Check.
Beautiful house? Check.
Cute kids? Check. 
Fancy car and vacations? Check.

My life plan was set. Shaking my head, Oh Barbara. 


But gratefully there is a God that loves me so much, He didn't give me "my perfect plan". Because He knew it's not what I needed.

Through the different jobs and searching that came and went these years, I always felt lost.

But I wouldn't change a thing. Why?

Because it was during these years of my life that every tear that streaked my face, every "crying" wrinkle that etched itself into my eyes... left a reminder that I was so wrecked in my way of thinking that I needed saving. 

And that I was tired of figuring it all out alone.

I'll never forget this decade because in my 20's... Jesus saved me. And it changed everything.

And I now know that all of those things I ever wanted, even if I did get in life... would mean absolutely nothing if I never came to know who my Creator was. 

My little brother reminded me, "Even if you have nothing in this world... if you have Jesus, you have everything."

And so you're probably expecting me to tell you what lessons I've learned all these years, what to avoid, what to do, etc... 

But instead, I'll leave you with this. 

*We often put too much pressure on ourselves to have it all... but rarely does life turn out how we plan.

*You can't wait forever for that "thing" you want to start... just start. 

*What are birthdays and seasons for if not for learning and growing right? Hold on to the things that make your heart beat.

*Try different hobbies and passions... you might be surprised at what you like/are good at.  

*Be dedicated to a few things... and do them incredibly well. 

*Reach out to a friend/coworker in need. We all need saving... be the little light in your world around you.

*Travel if you can... God gave us this beautiful world for a reason! We're in the best time period to quickly get on the other side... take advantage to see how others live. 

*Don't be afraid to say "yes" to the things you like, and "no" to the things that aren't you. 

*The more you push yourself in the thing you're scared of, the more you'll grow. I've never felt more myself than I do now. God has grown me and given me a confidence that I never knew was within me.  

  
I heard this quote the other day,

"Contentment has nothing to do with what you have, but everything to do with who you know."

This couldn't be truer. 

I may "not have it all" according to the world's standards... but I have my family, my health, friends, a home, a purpose, and most importantly Jesus. 

I'd say at 29... I have everything I need.  

29... I'm so glad you made it! Show me what you're made of. Let's do this.

Friday, August 17, 2018

First


As I sit here at the dinner table of my home, lights off with just the sunlight from the side door pouring in, I anxiously wait for the words to spill out...  and then I realize how much of a jumpy, uneasy person I am.

Sigh, I'm a worrier. 

I worry when there's a phone call... will it be bad news this time?

I worry if it rains hard enough... a tree might fall through my roof.

I worry I accidentally said the wrong words to someone... and now they think I'm a terrible person. 

I worry about my health and finances.

I worry I give the wrong impression if my Instagram is not perfectly pretty.

I worry... about worrying. 

And just like that, I've become Wemberly Worried, the character in the children's book I read to our class this past year.

This morning I decided to start first off reading the bible and my devotionals along with it before I began my day.

I don't know about you guys, but you know how when you ask God to show you something, and you're like "WOAH that's it!" when He actually does?

The overall theme was so obvious, it speared right through my heart.

In John 21:15, Jesus asks Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?"

Jesus asks this question three times.   

"More than these" could have easily been anything else that Peter placed before Jesus. 

In Genesis 4:4, Abel brought the first of his flock and of the fat to God as his sacrifice and offering. 

Do you see what's going on here?

God wants to be the first important thing in your life.

What do you place before God?

If I'm going to be honest, as much as I say I'm not going to... worry and fear terrorize me before running to God first.

But why?

Jesus specifically tells us in Matthew 6:33,

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all of these things shall be added unto you. 

I often ask God for the same things, and I get so upset and frustrated because He's not answering in the time I want. 

And then it brings me to think maybe we want the answer to our problems more than God's own plan for us.

But is it possible that God is trying to change us before our circumstance?

I think so. 


Jesus never said, follow me and forget everything else you ever wanted.

No, He said, follow me first and then everything else you need will be given to you. 

We all make this mistake thinking other things like our careers, relationships, status, and yes even family should be first. 

God wants to transform your life, no mistake in that. But before He does He needs you to put Him first

I promise you, once you do... be prepared for the change of a lifetime.