Thursday, December 29, 2011


For every thing there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Seasons are inevitable. I'm not talking about summer and winter (though those are inevitable too). I'm talking about the good and sometimes bad times in our life that come, quietly and without notice, and become a way of living. Then we wake up a few months down the road and realize all we have of that time is just the memory, and just like that, those times, those seasons are gone, quietly and without notice- just like they came.

Like a Memphis spring, some seasons of life aren't too noticeable. But, like a Memphis summer, some seasons are full of memorable events, good and bad, and seem to last forever. Then, just when we get used to them or adjust to their pace, they are gone and we aren't sure how, or what to do in their wake.

Though my life has been full of these seasons, and I've taken something away from each one that I am thankful to have learned, there are three particular seasons that stick out to me.

The first one is summer of 2008. I had just gotten my mountain bike as a graduation present, and it was the best gift ever. My dad, brother, sister-in-law, and I would go and ride all the time. Maybe that's why I love MTB so much. That summer was hot, but we spent what seems like every weekend on our bikes. After that summer, I started working for Student Life so that was my only summer on the trails, but I still think about those days all the time, and I am thankful.

Even though those summer days faded, a new season came. It was the season of Starbucks. Every Tuesday afternoon, my mom and sister and I would meet at Starbucks. We would laugh and gossip and discuss things of importance, like Thanksgiving meals and sales at Target. This season lasted for a long time, but eventually school schedules and jobs got in the way. One day, I might live too far away to meet my sister and mom at the coffee shop, but I am so grateful for those Tuesday afternoons!

The season that has lasted longer than any other is the lunch club. When I was a freshman in college, my dad would eat lunch at the Subway across the street from school every Friday. So, for a free meal, I started joining him. Little did I know, 4 years later I would cherish those lunch dates. Sort of like religion, we follow the guidelines and meet every week; usually Subway, sometimes mexican, and lately, on Thursdays. The lunch club has gone through the days of the week, and occasionally we'll have honorary guests, but my Dad and I are the only true members. My sister tries but just can't stay faithful (which is understandable with a 4 year old at home), and Mom has a hard time sitting at lunch for an hour (because teachers only get 25 minutes for lunch), but is normally at work anyway. So, just me and Dad. It's my favorite and longest running season. When school starts back, we'll have to move Lunch club to Fridays, and then, in the summer, it might change again. I know one day I probably won't make it to lunch every week, but I sure have learned a lot during these meetings over the past four years, and I am so blessed to have that time with my Dad.

These seasons are the moments we'll cherish. These are the moments we'll remember, the conversations we learn from, the moments that define our relationships and our lives. These seasons are the ones that get us through each day and make the weeks go by. Be grateful, whatever season you're in, and take something away from each one.

Whatever the season, however long, be thankful.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 by month

My plans for myself have never worked out, thankfully. God cares too much for me to let my plans work out. 2010 was a big, hard year in my life, and 2011 was the aftermath. I have been thinking about it, how this year has changed me, or rather, how God has changed me throughout this year. Here are some of the highlights:

In January I started a new relationship for the first time since I ended my engagement.
In February I really, finally let go of an old relationship and let myself heal.
(In March, nothing memorable happened, but I'm sure God did something during this month, too.)
In April, I quit the job I'd had for 5 years and started a job that would lead me to one of the best friends I've had.
In May, I experienced Cinco De Mayo working in a Mexican Restaurant... no description necessary.
In June, I took my first family vacation since 6th grade. I realized that I was alone for the first time since I could remember- alone, just me and God. I also realized that I've never been more care and worry free than I was in that moment... and every moment since. God opened my eyes that week to his love in a way that I'd never seen before.
Then, in July, God brought me to a new place with my faith. For the first time, I've taken it and made it authentic. I am living MY faith, not my mothers. I don't know how He does it, but if you let Him, God will change your heart and mind in a way that makes you realize who you really are.
In August, I went to a wedding and saw, for the first time since our breakup, the boy I almost started a life with. God is so good- the way he opens our eyes and heals our hearts.
In September, I started a "real" job and the major that would rekindle my love for school. I also bought myself a car- a really nice car that doesn't break down and has a working cd player. I met my new niece and God showed me, again, the blessing of family.
In October, I realized why my dad told me never to have a car note, and what being an adult feels like. In November, I filed my intent to graduate and realized how far I've come over the course of three different majors and two different schools.
In December, my hard work at school paid off- I got my scholarship back. God used this to show me, yet again, His faithfulness and how he will always provide.

Maybe the details that shaped my year aren't really important. Maybe what's really important is that, some days throughout this year, I cried. I was heartbroken. I was lonely. I was mad. Some days throughout this year I was happy. I was excited. I was indestructible. But every day throughout this year, God was faithful. His love overwhelms the happiest memories of this year and the most painful. I have no idea what God has in store for 2012, but I will go confidently into the new year- no worries or cares- because I know whatever God has in mind, it's going to be greater than any plan I could have for myself.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.