God

Beyond My Borders: Heather Bush

My name is Heather and I was born and raised in Hillsboro, Oregon. When I was 22 I left my hometown and I moved to Belize to do a discipleship training school through Youth With a Mission (YWAM).

After I graduated high school I went to one year of University. Upon realizing that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and that college was overly expensive I dropped out and moved back to Hillsboro. For the next few years, I worked at Old Navy and went to community college off and on.

Over those few years I just found it so mundane and I knew that God had put an adventurous spirit inside of me for a reason!! I knew a bunch of people who had done a YWAM DTS before and they had loved it!! I wanted to see the world and experience new things while I was young. I also wanted whatever I was doing to be meaningful and be able to impact the lives of others. I figured that college would always be there.

In the last two years, my main home has been Belize, but I have spent time in Venezuela, Costa Rica and El Salvador as well as I have travelled through Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. I have had SO many experiences that I NEVER would have gotten when I was in Hillsboro. I have also met some of the most amazing and loving people and had some amazing deep friendships. One of those being my future husband.

God has opened my eyes and my heart to the world and to His children in a way that I had never imagined. YWAM has a saying “Ruined For the Ordinary” that is so true. I can no longer have just a normal/ordinary life. I now know that there is so much more out there. I am stoked to see how else God is going to use me and where in the world He is going to lead me.

I would definitely recommend to anyone to leave their hometown for a bit. Step out of their comfort zone. To see the world while you can. Turns out you can learn so much from that, maybe even more than you would sitting in a classroom all day. My advice would be to just do it! Dive in and see where it takes you!

 

Post Post-Grad

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    Some posts ago I said I was finishing up grad school in less than one week, however things have changed! Now, a few blog posts later and grad school has been over for the last 3 weeks (No matter how many times I say that out loud or in my head, realizations like that make me squeel like a little girl who was just hugged by Harry Styles). 

      Given that, I’m sure everybody wants to know what my future plans are (and by everybody I mean probably just my parents, siblings, and a few relatives who have invested a lot of time, words of wisdom, prayers, money, extra bedrooms for me to crash in, and effort into any part of my educational career). Well let me tell you, my plans post post-grad go as follows:

1. Live life. 
2. Repeat step one while doing so in Sydney, Australia. 

      Yep, 12 years of grade school, 4 years of secondary eduction and a one-and-half-year post-graduate degree later the best answer I can come up with is to live life. I’m aware of the fact that my answer doesn’t sound too thorough or stable but still… Isn’t that the best answer any of us can come up with?
      The year before I graduated college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Truth be told, that was a grand part of the reason why I decided to go to get my master’s degree. Everyone around me at the time had some sense of what they wanted, what they were good at (Maybe I missed the memo about that meeting). So I did what I usually do in situations like that, I prayed. Afterwards I sent in my application for grad school and that was that. 
      While my  time spent in school  did help me figure out more of  what I was interested in it didn’t help me figure out what exactly I could and would do. That part was all God. He helped me realize that the years I spent stuck having a one-track mind were actually limiting me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to make a general goal of where you’d like to be in x-amount of years but we can never successfully devise the actual  steps to get there (Proverbs 16:9 || Jeremiah 29:11). That part, again is all God.
      “Be open to new, to the unknown and the unexperienced”, He said. “That’s where unexpected opportunities and trust in who I Am have the best chance of thriving.” He constantly had to remind me that He knows the desires of my heart - of all of ours - the depths of my mind, and the ability of my hands. He would not have given such things to all of us us if were supposed to stay glued to one thing  for the rest of our lives. 
      So here goes nothing everything. Here is to taking time to design more stuff, starting a  business of my own, volunteering, blogging more, growing roots, listening to people’s stories, taking pride in how far we all have come, late nights followed by late mornings or early mornings preceded by early nights, helping others, sharing my love of Christ with the world, strengthening relationships, travelling, more photos, getting blown away by God’s unconditional and unending grace, new connections, roads less traveled, new customs, old traditions, family, friends, strangers, peers, co-workers, love, never stopping my education long after school has ended, unplanned moments, meticulously planned schedules,
living, imagination, faith, and excitement. 

Life is crazy. Learn to deal.

With November now officially in full swing I now can look back at the quick blur that was October. It brings to mind all of  the things that happened that month. Although no event in particular was anything for the history books even so, it was a “busy” month. Longs weeks filled with packing our house into boxes, preparing for finals, birthdays, working on projects, catching up with friends, organizing events for church - a basic jambalaya of sorts.

Although, it wasn’t all bad though, in the cray of it all I learned this: 

Life is crazy. It always has been and it always will be. Learn to deal. 

It took me quite a bit of time to realize there is no reason to miss the days when Saturday morning cartoons and nap time were our way of life when we can have that today. Well, not necessarily but at least we can have something similar. 

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Whether you are 5, 10, 24, or 59+ all that is needed is a bit of grace and patience. Grace in the sense that we must know it is possible to do anything with God - small or grand. 

And patience to deal with the changes that come your way. In order to have a different life away from stress and fuss you’re gonna have to do things differently - a godly type of different.  Some days you’re going to think that your way is best and want to continue on that path but don’t. Stop and let God direct your steps no matter how crazy they seem. 

Which, if you ask me is the greatest news I’ve heard in a while. We don’t have to think for ourselves, that burden is now up to Him. 

So, while October flew in with a bevy of overwhelming plans, God reminded me that the same peace He gave me as a child is the same peace I can have now if I only believe in Him. Just because my circumstances and settings have now changed does not mean God has done the same.  

Think of it this way, the “little” amount of faith it takes you to trust in God to deliver the sun the next day is the same amount of faith it should take to trust in Him for deliverance of your student loans, the baby your hoping for, the job position you’ve been eying for the last few months. 

So stop stressing.  Stop making plans to do this on your own. Stop thinking that because you didn’t get what you want you never will. Stop fussing over the things God has already covered. Just stop. 

Life is crazy. It always had been and it always will be. The only way we can deal is to let God.

We Pray Too Much

Just a few moments ago in the middle a talk to God I realised something, I think I pray too much. Weird right? How does one pray too much? Aren’t we supposed to in fact go to Him without ceasing, day and night? I mean that’s what the Bible tells us to do. 

However, in the midst of my constant mind babbling God interjected and said you’ve got it all wrong. It’s not that you pray too much but that you either waste your time praying about all the wrong things, spending too much time on one thing or sometimes you even do both. You pray for such things like strength to continue your day or wisdom to go about certain situations but you do it so constantly. It is as if you’re reminding me like I’m going to forget. Either that or you yourself have forgotten that I have already given you all the things you need to go forth. I love the fact that you come to me and that you trust in me to deliver you need to trust more. Pray with honest faith in my abilities to be your God. Once you are standing in the midst of the situation you have prayed for, go and complete the task as if nothing can stop you because you know what, nothing can. Stop asking for my presence when I never left you (Deut. 31:8).  Stop seeking out   strength when I’ve already given it (Psalm 73:26). Instead ask for something that will always help you to remember all the things I have promised you with. Ask that you never forget who am and who I have made you to to be.

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"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities"
   - Luke 16:10

  Although I am at a transitional season in my life I can tell that the place God is leading me to is a one full of promise. I’m currently working on getting into campus ministry and even if it may be a big step for me I am still excited to see the road I end up on. Last week I was given the opportunity to share my testimony in front of my church. Despite the fact that what I had to say only lasted for ten minutes I think God was trying to see if I would still be able to fully utilize the little time He gave me to speak. Hopefully from there I can then grow and prove myself ready for the call He has placed upon my life to pursue campus ministry.

Take some time to listen to the message on Identity given by Angelo Dobros and then my testimony. Wherever you are in life, I hope these words help.

God Wants Me To Be Unclean

I’ve been sitting here in my bed for the last half hour or so as I just continue to stare out into my room. My clothes are strewn about. Socks lay next to my boots instead of the hamper that’s only a few inches away. The bag of paper trash is more than full. Jackets are falling off hangers and I lay in a bed that still remains to be unmade. If I can say so myself, I’ve come a long way since high school.

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I am no longer that girl who could not have people in her room for too long without the fear of it becoming messy or the person in the house who hated the sight of food left out on the table. I still take pleasure in being early to events and meetings but arriving ridiculously so is an old habit to me now. And among many other things, having a few unplanned extra things in my day doesn’t leave me at my wit’s end.

It’s amazing the things God does to you and for you when you take the time to pray about it.

It was about a year ago that I noticed how a bit overly dramatic I was when it came to having things done my way. If I didn’t complain about it, I sure was silently stressing about it. It was never a real problem to me though because I found joy in the sense of control I had. Unfortunately that bubble burst after I realized how little the amount I actually had after my sister got married (In the Nigerian culture, as well as probably hundreds of others, after the older sibling settles down everyone in and outside of your family turns to you to find out when your wedding will be. I’m sure they meant well but it still left me with a lot to think about). When the time eventually comes for me to get married what if my husband is great in all areas except cleanliness? What if he leaves the cereal bag inside the box unraveled? What if he he’s the type to leave his clean clothes in the dryer for days after they’re done. What if he leaves the toilet paper roll facing up not down? (Okay my need for clean wasn’t as cray as the direction of toilet paper but still) My head was processing a thousand What ifs per second?

Using all the faith I had, I prayed that God would start working on him now. That he would go through a series of life events that would make him turn into the clean man I needed. However, like most things in life, God always has a different plan. Maybe it was the fact that I was so intent on what I wanted that I failed to realize until a few months later that God said:

"You need to allow room for more dirt in your life."

And to that I replied, “God say whaaaat?!” I mean isn’t there an old saying that goes cleanliness is next to Godliness?

You see, what I have now come to realize is that it was never about being clean but an extreme way to control things. A way to make myself feel better about myself. A way to make myself feel better than others. When God told me to “get dirty” He didn’t actually mean become a slob. He was trying to show me that things were not in my power to control because that was and still is His job. He also wanted to show me just how much I needed Him to make me even better than the standards I had for myself. Additionally, while all that was going on, getting rid of these overly zealous ideals allowed more room for new and older relationships to grow. Just because some people were not as organized as I would like them to be didn’t mean they were bad friends, co-workers, or family members. Who was I to judge? I was a clean freak and look how I terribly I thought of other people.

Anyway, long story short, I began to understand what God was doing, who He was trying to turn me into. After that I then began to pray for the opposite. Instead of making my husband cleaner, I asked Him to allow me to accept things that do not go my way. Allow my heart to be content with situations, people, and yes, happily welcome “dirt” into my life.

It’s such a relieving feeling to relinquish control because I know something greater than me has my best interest at hand and also has the power to do far more than I ever thought possible.

PS. I’m not going to leave my room in the current state I just described - I will clean it up...eventually ;)

Got That Mad Luv.

  I have so much love for my church. I love the fact that you can come in and put a name to every face you see. I love the fact that church members have such a strong relationship with the pastors that asking them for a ride home is never considered out of the question. I love that while there are distinct areas and ministries in the church no one is ever too proud to help out or unwilling to lend a hand in an area they’ve never dealt with before. With all that said, what I love the most about my church is the commitment every single person puts into making the church what it is – it’s a commitment that is unfailing and unwavering.
    While we may not have a large building or even up to 200 people, one would think otherwise with all the love, time, and consideration put into our services. Every Sunday and even on the days between I see a work ethic that is nothing short of inspiring. You yourself cannot help but be impacted by it. Members, pastors, and volunteers make an effort to put on something that will personally touch the lives of the people who make it out each weekend.
    What I have learned over the last seven months of being here is that fame does not matter, and neither does size. I have been a part of bigger churches - churches that have their own CDs, stations, and PR team. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely root for those churches too because I believe in spreading the gospel in any and all ways possible. However, the church I go to does not have that, they are of a modest size but one with the heart of ten giants. They believe that even if only four people show up those four people are everything.  Those four people ought to be cared for and shown that no matter who they are,  no matter where they come from or what denomination they are a part of that they matter to the church and to God. I believe that that right there is the epitome of attention to detail. It is no gimmick, rouse, facade or embellishment on who they are -what you see is honestly what you get.
    Which reminds me, I was at a business seminar a few weeks back and the keynote speaker brought up church. He said, whatever church you go to surely you must consider it to be the best one out there otherwise you wouldn’t go to it. How true is that? If I didn’t think my church was the best I would have looked for another one already. I must say, because of the work and care put into this church so much light shines out  and that light is what draws me close.  I am so blessed by the people that make up this body of Christ-followers and so grateful that God has continued to bless me with their company and presence in my life.

I love you God for that and love you church for you are and what you do.

*I’m not here to advertise to or persuade anyone on religion, that’s a choice you have to make yourself.  Nonetheless, if you ever do find yourself questioning or considering, in need of a prayer, or just wanna talk, come to Every Nation. Our doors are always open.

You live that life

"I wanna live until I die. Don’t let the devil bury me alive." - Ben Rector.
I have come to realize that there is more to life and living than just being awake. There is much more than just hoping to have a great story to tell at the end. There is work to be done and it never stops. However daunting that last sentence may sound, it is nothing to be discouraged by. The work planned for our futures can be good and prosperous if we allow it to be. I should know, the last six months have been a process of learning just that.

I started the beginning of my year at the end of  chapter in which I needed to so desperately to close: acceptance for the normal. Looking retrospectively I wouldn’t call it acceptance for the norm but more like a fear for the possible. Although I claimed to be a hard worker and convinced those around me that I was, I never fully tried my hand at anything. Fear had me believing that failure was always eminent so I just thought what was the point in trying? 

I’ve said it in previous posts before, fear will have you feeling all these emotions God never intended for you to have. 

These last few months, God has been breaking down my former ways to build up something of value and substance. He has been creating a new thing in me and to speak frankly, it is one of the most confusingly difficult, heart-wrenching, mind-draining, and strangest journeys I have ever embarked on. When He wants something done, there is no going back and forth or no such thing as test-driving (James 1: 2-8) - it’s all in or all out. In everything I involved myself with, I found Him speaking to me and pushing me to do more than I expected of myself. There were -and still are- days where it became such a hassle to 2nd-guess all of my actions. Things like: Is this the best way to use your time? ; Are you sure that there is no better way to complete this task?; Why don’t you do this later so you can put something else first?; Why are you going that route instead of this one?; Have you tried asking for help? At times it feels like God had cast such a large burden on my shoulders that I began making excuses to stop all the lessons He had been trying to instill in me. But then He found ways to show me through life encounters and experiences that He was doing those things out of love for me.

To best try and explain, I guess I would have to say it’s the “little” things. A few weeks ago I was in class waiting to talk to my Studio Lighting teacher about one of the bulbs not working. I later found her talking to another student. Their conversation did take quite a while but instead of reverting to my old ways by giving up and attempting to figure out the problem myself, I waited. Maybe many of you don’t know the feeling but if you tend to be an impatient person, 5-10 minutes can feel like a full-on hour. Fortunately, by sticking around the teacher noticed me and also included me in the last bit of the conversation she was having. If it had not been for  God laying  it upon my heart to wait I never would have learned the tips I did that got me higher marks on my next assessment.

So you see, it is not as though this whole process has been forced upon me, it’s more like He’s showing me that there is nothing to be anxious for and through that I have gained enough courage to do more.(Micah 6:8). Then, after that more is done, move onto the next and make it a habit of constantly improving your life. Yes, you too will probably also feel like staying at your current comfortable level, (why fix something if it’s not broken?) but that’s not the point of life. We must make the most out of it and continually do the things He asks of us. They are not to tire you out or annoy you but to improve you and give you a life full of actual… well, life.

You're not a cookie, God made you into a brownie.

"You’re not a cookie, God made you into a brownie."

I told that to my sister a few years ago before she met my charming and funny brother-in-law.

Life is complicated because we don’t have a reason for everything. No one knows why certain things happen, especially when it comes to finding love. A few years fresh from grad school, it seemed as though everyone in my sister’s circle of friends was either getting married, having babies, or both!
 Major news like that, if it’s not happening to you can leave you questioning yourself, your looks, and the way God made you. Seeing my sister in that state got me thinking too. I mean, my sister by no means is ugly- she’s quite gorgeous. Her persona and personality are magnetic, and she loves to watch Pride and Prejudice (one of my personal favorites about her). Why are all her friends in relationships and she’s not?

Enter the cookie/brownie analogy. He [God] explained it to me like this:

Some women I made into cookies, and some women I made into brownies. All the women you see planning weddings right now are cookies. Their time in the oven has come to an end and they are ready to be taken out. However, some people like Simi, [my sister] are brownies. In no way are they any less than cookies and in no way are they any more, they just have different “baking” times. Imagine if you took a brownie out of the oven the same time you did a cookie. What would happen? The brownie would be somewhat hard on the outside but icky and gooey on the inside. It wouldn’t even be the gooey type that some people like to eat. In other words, the brownie just wouldn’t be ready. So, not to fret my daughters, if you are not a cookie it is not the end of the world. Just wait a bit longer and soon enough and it will be your turn.

I just thought I would share that with all the girl readers out there- guys too. I say a big congratulations to all the cookies out there! Additionally, to  all the brownies, just wait and see. Your time is coming and it’s gonna be ah-mazing.

——
In case any of you were wondering, below is a picture of my sister and Sam, her husband below. Her waiting proved to be worth while. Not only did she get engaged ( I got to take their engagement photos!) but she just recently celebrated her  6-month anniversary.  Congrats you two. Love you both.

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I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I just got "home" from two months at home.

It’s safe to say that I one of the worst feelings in the world for me is missing a noun. I get attached to certain persons, places, or things quite easily. It’s been a day short of a week since I left Nigeria and man do I miss it something fierce. While my stay only last two -what seemed like extremely short- months, the experiences I gained through this trip will last me a lifetime.

Stupidly enough, I only brought one more-than-half-full journal with me even though I just bought a new one right before the trip. To conserve the little writing space I had left I tried to limit my entries but I found myself writing at least once a day. Mostly letters to God on how fortunate I felt to be on this journey of a lifetime but also my recordings on everything I went through.

I won’t bore you with all the daily written sentiments but I still want you all to experience a little of what I did. Here a few more photos I took during the remainder of my stay in Nigeria.

#20: Ten to Eleven

1. I am senior in college so that means that I have spent the greater part of my life in the education system, 

2. I am currently running on less than five hours of sleep.

3. My diet today consisted of carrots, granola, candy, pretzels and a peanut butter sandwich - basically all snack food.

4. It smells like Asian food in the hallway. Sadly none of that scent is coming from me

5. I know that I have to get up early in the morning

6. My computer is acting a fool.

7. I have to write a short essay for class tomorrow.

8. Writing papers while sleep deprived will eventually make you rewrite it later.

9. My bike has a flat.

10. I live on the other side of campus.

I could indeed go on for days talking about how terrrrrible my life is at the moment because it currently sucks. All I want to do is stay at home in the comfort of my own bedroom and fall asleep to my favorite movies. However, being that steps 1-10 plus a few unlisted one are blocking those short-term goals, I cannot. So it is with that I now stop my whining and look at the positive.

1. This final project is almost done.

2. I just yawned- which means I have air in my lungs

3. I have a home to walk to.

5. It’s my senior year for crying out loud!

6. My project partner is pretty dang amazing.

7. I can sleep this weekend. 

8. Four years later and my computer has not given up on me.

9. You are well aware that homework and school are not your life.

10. You are headed in the direction of your dreams.

11. God is amazing.

Stay positive. Live Well. Shut up and just go.

17. Forget March Madness this is May Maelstrom

mael·strom/ˈmālˌsträm/

Noun:

  1. A powerful whirlpool in the sea or a river.
  2. A scene or state of confused and violent movement or upheaval.

 Dione von Furstenburg once said, “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I knew the woman I wanted to become.”  All my life I wanted to be this or that but I never could pin point the exact career path I wanted to walk down. It was not until I chatted with my professor, Deb Morrison that I realized… I still don’t know what exactly I want to do. Most would call that a failure but from my point of view, I see it as a breaking ground. Now that I have cleared the table and moved back to square one, I can have somewhat of a fresh start.

I bet you’re still wondering why I call it May Maelstrom, huh? Even though I have gained a somewhat clearer picture I still have all these things, ideas, and questions buzzing around in my head. I am still a little confused about  this whole state that I am in. HOWEVER, not to fret because I made a list. It consists of all the things that I want(ed) to be.

(Don’t worry, I’ll post a visual  here so y’all can see what I mean).

I then made a venn diagram (which will also be posted) of all the things these careers and jobs have in common. From there, I am now broadening my scope of jobs and finding more jobs that suit those commonalities.  This is probably get real messy and chaotic. Again, hence the name May Maelstrom. In essence, I am creating my own draft pick of careers that I could see myself working at.  I will find people that work in those positions, basically stalk their online portfolios, biographies, social networks and find out how they got to where they’re at. Hopefully, by the end of all this I will have narrowed it down to an actual tangible career instead of saying I want to be blah blah blah.

Here goes nothing something. Close your eyes, cross your fingers,  and pray to God this all works out.