Sunday, April 28, 2013

& then one day she's moving to California









Dear Samantha,
  Having a best friend is a blessing.  They teach you to be compassionate when it feels nearly impossible.  They show you what it means to love when in anger.  They help you to exceed above what others think.  Believe it or not, they reveal to you more of your identity than anyone else does.  Sammy, you are not only my best friend but my sister.  Yes, we do still fight sometimes, but the motivation behind our bickering is that we are both too ashamed to give into the disguised appreciation we have for one another.  I really am blessed to be able to call such a strong, responsible, independent girl my best friend.  You have so much to offer the world, including your personality, humor, intelligence, athleticism, and loyalty.  The most exciting part that I am looking forward to about our friendship in the future is to see it grow closer and closer to the Jesus-centered relationship that will allow us to maintain strength as you move to California.  I get to watch us struggle and persevere through the tough times when the realization strikes that we are no longer permanently around each other all the time.  I cannot wait for the day when we can share in a moment together again; being that you will be approximately 2,159.2 miles away as of the end of June, I will cherish all the experiences of our past and the treasures of our future.  From the day we decided to be best friends until now, I can see just how much I would never have been able to do without you.  I have looked through a countless number of pictures where my face is filled with pride and joy to be standing next to the girl who would one day become my closest friend, and I was not even aware of how much you would come to mean to me.  I gaze at the pictures and realize that I am staring right into my own eyes, as I flashback to the times when I was searching for a best friend.
       And you remember being seven years old and dreaming of the day you would meet your lifelong best friend -- the person who would stick by you through those dark days and show up at your weakest hour, just laughing at all the times to come.  And it was in that moment when you realized that she was only a spitting image of yourself, and you were proud to say that the girl standing next to you would be called your best friend.  See, a best friend is someone who inspires you to be a better version of yourself.  She looks at you with the intention of doing everything she can to make you shine, unselfishly praying that you could achieve your dreams with ease.  I couldn't live without you, Samantha.  I will love you forever & miss you bunches!
xoxo,

Monday, April 22, 2013

dare to explore

~ a taste of Italian ~


A few weeks ago, I got the privilege of traveling to Italy for a soccer tournament.  We stayed for ten days and toured the famous Italian monuments.  After visiting in Rome for two days, we traveled to a city three hours away, called Agropoli.  Located at the edge of the water, we dipped our toes in the Mediterranean Sea and fell asleep to the sounds of fierce waves crashing against the rocks upon the shore.  We made the haul out to Capri Island where amazement was found at every turn.  High above the water, we stood firm on the lookout point, gazing at the aqua waters with crisp white waves flowing against the magnificent cliffs.  After our eyes had absorbed enough of the view and our cameras had snapped enough of the horizon, we moved along to a sky lift, carrying us far into the clouds.  Upon approaching the top, one could look below and find themselves a midst nothing but fog.  Everywhere you looked was white.  It was a completely new encroachment to be centered among the clouds, invested inside what seemed to have been God's very breaths.  


The last night, though...that was special.  Everyone was tucked away in their hotel bungalows, and all was quiet and peaceful.  My roommates were occupied, so I decided to go for a walk.  Stepping outside the door, my face encountered a wisp of cool wind.  It was trying to speak to me, but I couldn't quite figure out what needed to be said.  I kept walking until my sandals were embedded with grains of sand, making my feet cringe.  The moon was out, shining bright, and the lighthouse in the distance was the glowing beacon of light.  In that moment, looking across the endless sea of possibility, I realized that I would never be sitting in this same spot again.  I wanted to bundle it up inside my hands and carry it with me, though I knew it couldn't be done.  I sat there in the stillness of the night and began to gather my thoughts.  Within all of the business of the travel schedule, I finally had a time to soak it all in.


As I was perched upon a rock and listening to the sound of the waves, someone appeared behind me.  Out of fear, I rushed my head around and found my best friend.  She was standing there, lit by the moonlight, as if God had sent her out to comfort me.  How had she known that I had needed a friend to help me absorb the moment?  She walked over and sat beside me, and we talked about life, about our dreams, and about our futures.  We talked for hours.  We soaked it all in and promised to never let it go.  It was quite the adventure, exploring Italy and discovering pieces of myself within each new found foreign experience.  On that trip, I uncovered more to me than I ever thought possible.


So I challenge you to explore.  Whether it be within the trees of your own backyard or the historical pinpoints of Italian architecture, go out in the world and find yourself within the newness of life.

Right here, right now, wherever you are
...
I dare you to explore.


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

MADE FOR LIGHT

You want to be found, but you're looking in all the wrong places.
You've got your life built up from the outside, but everything is in pieces within.
You think to yourself, "Maybe this is how it's supposed to be."
Broken, cold, and lonely in this dark world, and you don't know how to turn on the light.
Once upon a time, it was inside jokes and best friends forever & then one day everything in your life is slipping away.  All taken for granted before, and now you've seen the hour where it's no longer a part of who you are.  It's gone, and your heart is stringing along behind it.
The voices of criticism from the outside become the voices that wake you up in the middle of the night.
"You're not good enough.  You can't do this.  Give up."

But God says, 
"Your worth more."


I hope these pictures can bring a ray of hope.  Let God shine through the darkness of your day.  Remember, He created you to do much more than listen to those voices that tell you to quit trying.  Believe that a life can grow from anywhere, as long as you ask for a little light.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Integrity



"Consider what God has uniquely equipped you to do, as well as what He's asking of you (and what He's not asking of you) at this particular season of life.  Instead of focusing on what you can't do, why not carefully consider how to capitalize on what you can do in a way that will tap into God's presence and power?"