A Little Motivation

The most wonderful thing happened last week.

Saturday evening, I opened a package from Mrs. Terri. I knew it was a graduation gift. Mom asked me if I wanted to open it now or later. She was like, “maybe it will motivate you to finish school.” and I was like, “Mom, I don’t need any more motivation to finish.” But Mrs. Terri wanted me to open it, so I did. And I am so thrilled.

Y’all, the Pin Pals made me a quilt.

Several of the ladies made quilt blocks and embroidered a message, or just signed their name in the corner of their block. They picked such beautiful fabrics. There are pink and red flowers. There are text fabrics with different quilt terms. There’s a block with “Baby Ruth” embroidered in big red script letters. (That’s what all the ladies call me!) The backing is a green and white triangle pattern. Mrs. Terri quilted the entire thing with meanders and stars.

It is so perfect!

No one has ever made me a quilt before. I have always been the giver and maker of quilts! Being on the receiving end, I understand now how special and meaningful quilts truly are. They are the product of love, kindness, and generosity. To me, it’s a reminder that though distance may separate us, it cannot lessen the love that I have for my Pin Pals and the Pin Pals have for me. It is a comfort and an encouragement (not to mention it keeps me warm at night!).

That Saturday, I was sad that the sewing guild will not be here to celebrate my graduation with me. When I look at this quilt, and as I’ve read the messages they wrote on my card, I see that they’re already celebrating. They’re already proud of me and they are already excited for the next chapter of my life to start.

I think Mrs. Rose said it just right:

“I will be right there with you in spirit as you graduate and you will know we are all there with you when you wrap yourself in the quilt. You are loved.”

I can’t get over how amazing this gift is. I’m never letting this one go.

Now I really have to finish. I said I didn’t need any more motivation, but the Lord knew I needed this.

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Physics is finished. I took my last test yesterday! All I have left are two writing assignments for English. I’m almost done.

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The Best Is Yet To Come

So there was this song I heard a long time ago when I was visiting Jami. We were in her car driving home from The Big White House. Windows were rolled down and the sun was setting. I remember now that we had Pandora’s music on shuffle and this song came up. I never caught the lyrics or even the name of the song, but I really liked the tune.

I found the song yesterday.

It’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” by Sheppard.

The lyric video is here.

This has been floating around in my head for years. I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am that I found this. 😄

The Goodness of God

{Past}

It’s been a while. A long while since I saw him, or heard from him. And then, there he was. Smiling, staring at the ground with a girl by his side. Their faces frozen forever in a perfect little picture.

I shouldn’t have been stalking her. Now my heart hurts. It’s not broken. I remember what that feels like. It was so horrible. I felt shattered, crushed into a million pieces. I never felt so small and insignificant in my whole life. No, this time it’s a dull ache that burns in my chest. There’s regret. So much regret.

I’m relieved that it’s over. I finally have closure. But I also feel sad and disappointed that things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I desperately wanted him notice me. I tried so hard and wasted so much time and energy trying to get him to like me. But it was all to no avail. He wasn’t the one for me.

Thank God.


{Present}

The past three years have been one heck of a ride. It’s amazing how far the Lord has brought me and just how much He’s done in my heart.

15. That was not very long ago. I was young and crazy and head over heels for one guy, and then another guy, and then another. (None of which liked me back the very least.)

I spent so much time and energy trying to make boys that just weren’t the ones for me, the right ones for me. I had tried so hard to give my heart to each one. Mom warned me about the consequences of doing that. It would hurt and it’s a waste of time and affection that is so very precious. I would regret it because there were so many other things I could pour my energy into other than boys. But I didn’t listen. I still gave my heart away and every single time, I got hurt.

I let myself go until I became someone I didn’t recognize. I was unhappy with my image, with my personality, with all of me because I felt like no one liked me for who I really was. I tried so hard to be someone else for a guy. A guy who didn’t care for me. I spent so much time and energy wishing, wanting, and trying way too hard to get him to like me. Every night, I prayed that he would be the one for me. I said, “God, please let him be the one!” when really I meant, “God, please make him the one!” I am so thankful God did not give me what I wanted!

Then I moved.

And then the healing began.

I came to face some really hard truths.

Truth is, I wasn’t ready to date. (And I’m still not ready to date.)

Truth is, I wasn’t ready for marriage. (And I’m still not ready for marriage.)

Truth is, every guy I really liked was actually a terrible match for me.

Truth is, the distance away from my friends and all the guys I knew has actually been really good for me.

Truth is, I really need to get to know my Savior first before I ever get to know any guy.

Truth is, I have a really good God who has protected my heart in so many ways, it makes me cry every time I really think about it.

For three years, God gave me acne. The kind of acne that you just can’t hide no matter how much makeup you put on. It was big, red, painful, and pretty much all over my face. I hated it so much, but now I’m pretty sure those mountains were what kept the boys from falling in love with me during a very vulnerable time.

You know how I know?

Three years ago, in the middle of my boy-craziness, my acne was just awful. Like I went to a dermatologist because it was so awful, and she said it was awful. (Okay, she said it was very severe, not awful.) It was bad. Up until the time I moved, it had stayed that way. But ever since I’ve been living here, my skin has healed! It’s unreal. As I have grown in the Lord and let Him heal my heart, He has healed my skin too. It’s so amazing.

Ever since I moved, I have not met a single guy who is remotely close to my age. (Okay, that’s not true. There are boys here but they’re young and wild.)

God gave me ladies like my mom and Mrs. Nancy. Ladies who love the Lord and who are the kind of wives that I want to be when it’s time.

God gave me a handful of good, Christian girlfriends who have encouraged me in my walk with Him.

God gave me such a good daddy (and mommy) who will guard my heart even when I won’t do it myself. And they will continue to guard it until God brings the man HE picked for me. I’m so thankful for my parents. They counseled me when I was heartbroken. Now they’re encouraging me to pour my energy and time into the people I love and the things I like to do. To be busy instead of sitting around wishing for a boyfriend. They reminded me to be myself and to love myself because God made me the way I am: Complete. Perfectly and wonderfully made. Exactly the way He wanted me to be. And God doesn’t make mistakes. And finally, they told me to wait on the Lord’s timing. For His timing is perfect, and He always, always, has my best interests in mind.

So that’s where I am now. Waiting and trusting in the Lord.

Good Gifts

You don’t realize how special your family is. 99% of the time, you take them for granted whether they’re around or not.

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That is until you have special moments like these.

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Becca tho. Why.

When you’re together and you catch up on life.

 

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When you’re laughing so hard your sides hurt and you’re crying. Or you stay up till 2am and literally fall asleep talking to each other.

That was what happened when the cousins came. We haven’t seen them in a couple of years, but they came to visit for New Year’s weekend. It was so so good. I didn’t realize how much I missed them and loved them until they had to go. I cried so hard the day they left. I had taken them for granted.


My uncle flew in from Korea and stayed with us for like ten days or so. Komo came for two days during that time. Oh, and Uncle Joe surprised us and stayed with us too. So we had our family reunion and played games and watched movies. Here are some of my favorite moments.

That time when we watched Inside Out and we all cried together.

All the puzzles we put together. With every piece, Uncle David would say, “This is key.”

When we played games and Uncle David said,”The losers shall eat chocolate because they are sad.”

The fact that Uncle Joe brought more food than clothes with him when he arrived. How does he manage to get everything through security?!?!? #donutsfordays #whitecastle #ilovemyuncle

Sam was baptized the same weekend both uncles were here. (Komo unfortunately had to go back to work.)

With every game we played, Uncle David calculated the probability of the dice or the cards and insisted that we trust the math… Because the math works and math is life.


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We also took a trip down to Texas to see some friends. Man, have I missed these girls!

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An unexpected surprise! We got to see Aunt Laura and Uncle Kerry!

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Aunt Laura and Uncle AJ renewed their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary.

Hearing parts of their journey together and hearing their new promises to each other with the ocean crashing behind them was such a privilege. Being married to only each other for 25 years is a rarity. It’s one thing to get married, but it’s another thing to stay married. Their marriage and my parents’ marriage are a testimony to the Lord’s goodness and His grace. That’s the kind of marriage I want–one that is firmly anchored to the Lord and to be growing and encouraging each other to be more like Christ.

 

With all the people I got to see these past few months, James 1:17 kept coming to mind. Every soul I got to see, every hug I got to give, and every laugh we shared was a beautiful gift from the Father of lights. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. It’s more fun now that we’re older, but it’s also harder to get together because we’re working and there’s college and life happens. But I realize that my family is important. I often take them for granted, but they are a good, good gift from my heavenly Father. I need to make time for them. I may not see my friends on a regular basis, but every text message, every card, and every skype call or lunch date is a good, good gift from my Father. I can’t take that for granted.

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“These are the days, these are the days. The days we’ll never get back. These are the days, these are the days. And these days are all we have.”

Reflections on 2016

I said 2016 was the worst year of my life.

And apparently a lot of people agree with me.

But here’s the thing. 2016 in of itself wasn’t bad. It was just another year. What made it bad for me personally was that in the past, I had made a lot of poor choices and bad decisions and this was the year I suffered the consequences. But even through all the trouble I caused and experienced, God was faithful, steadfast, and unchanging.

Here’s what I’ve learned this past year.

Life can suck. Change can really suck. When everything is completely new, it can be really terrifying to think about adjusting and it is perfectly normal to feel like you can’t handle it. It’s okay to feel sad and a little lost over something you can’t control. But. Don’t dwell on the fact that everything is different and nothing will ever be the same again. Don’t let that drag you down. Instead, remember that God will never give you more than you can handle and He’s going to go with you through all the changes. He won’t leave you behind.

Life is short. Too short to hide behind a camera. Take the time to step away from your phone. Stop taking pictures for a minute and enjoy everything around you with your own two eyes. Soak it in. Remember it for yourself. Then maybe take a few pictures for that scrapbook of yours. 😉

Read some more. Be still, even if it’s for twenty minutes. Take one chapter at a time. Go on those adventures between the pages. Fight monsters. Conquer fears. Find true love and live happily ever after. Just don’t forget about reality.

Don’t lose heart. Some days, life can feel really crappy. There will be times when you won’t know what to do or say, or how to react and that’s okay. Take a deep breath. Talk to Jesus. Really talk to Him. Pour your heart and soul out –trust me, you won’t regret it. He’s a master of holding hearts and He’ll take good care of yours.

Listen to what He has to say. It’s so important to listen. Otherwise it’s a one-sided conversation, you know? You do all the talking and you ask all the questions, but you don’t get any answers because you don’t listen. Sit at His feet and rest in His presence. Seek His will. Chase after it and never stop.

Choose your friends wisely, love. There is a huge difference between friends and acquaintances. Make sure you know the difference.

Don’t push away your family. Your parents will always be your biggest cheerleaders and you will always have a friend and confidante in them. You really are going to be stuck with your siblings forever. You don’t have to like them, but you do have to love them. They will be the ones who will take you in when you need a place to stay. They’ll keep you company whether you want them to or not. Cultivate good relationships with them now while you’re all young. It won’t be long before you all start moving out and living a life on your own. These are the days and you’ll never get them back. Redeem the time you have.

Finally. Run wild. Live free. Love strong.

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Here’s to another year.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

So our neighbors across the street hosted a Christmas party a few weeks ago, and they had an ugly Christmas sweater contest. Of course, we all wanted to participate. Well. Almost all of us. 😉

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Everyone pretty much decorated their own sweater, except for the party pooper. He was a great sport though– he said he would wear whatever we made him. So. 😛

It was so much fun just taking silly pictures, as you can see. The party was a blast! And I may have won the adult division for the ugliest sweater… 😁 It’s the ornaments. The ornaments really make the tree.

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Even the parents joined in.

This is a Christmas we shall never forget. Ever. 😀

Winter Is Here

Christmas is upon us.

I can smell it in the air.

Cold.

Biting.

Freezing.

You can see your breath in puffs.

Clouds of warm air evaporating in the chilly atmosphere.

Whispy.

Short-lived.

Poof.

Lights glimmering in the night.

Deer and angels dancing with the shadows.

Rooftops glowing.

Windows sparkling.

It’s magical.

Christmas carols echoing in the distance.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Rejoice!

Hallelujah!

Gloria!

My cup runneth over with hot chocolate.

(Mexican’s my favorite)

Cookies fill the countertops.

Plates are passed around.

There’s warmth.

Joy.

Love.

Eyes are closed and sweets are savoured.

Hearts are full.

Memories are made.

It’s a good life.

It’s a rich life.

It’s a beautiful life.

There’s hope.

Comfort.

Peace.

For unto us a Child is born,

And the government will be upon His shoulder;

And His name will be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

{Isaiah 9:6}