life

you deserve I'm 23 years old. I'm black. I'm a woman. There are so many statistics in between those very words that sadly, to some people it would be a surprise to hear of how I just graduated with a master's degree from a really good school. However, all that withstanding I'm happy and so privileged to say that I live in a society where (higher) education is not only welcomed, it's encouraged and celebrated. I'm happy that my stats are not stats at all but badges of honor I get to don proudly because of the places and way I was raised.

So to those who are told you can't because of you're background or current situation, that your dreams don't suit the color of your skin or your gender, remember that you can either carry your traits like a ball and chain around your ankle or diamonds around your neck.

It doesn't matter what hasn't worked for others before if it works for you now - just go for it! To the meanies (yes, I said meanies) who tell you no, pay them no mind. Focus on yourself and using your own badges of honor to help you cross that finish line. Know that when you are ready I and a few others will be waiting to cheer you on - roses and all. Anyone who takes the time out to go for their goals should be celebrated.

You are worthy of celebration.

 

 

Today I will walk across a stage to say I have officially finished graduate school with my very own a master's degree and honestly I'm not looking forward to my ceremony because it's of little importance to me. What is though are all the moments that preceded this very day.


It's the encouragement I received from my twin brother who told me life can be bigger than we dreamed.
The example my sister set before me of being a young woman wanting to make her unique impact on the world.
The way my older brothers constantly and consistently persevered through everything to get where they are.
The constant support and patience my aunts and uncles gave me during some of my most confusing and lowest times of my educational career (and life).
My friends who never forgot to check in and say a warm "hi" even when work and school took me away from keeping in contact.
The surprising moments during the day that my parents would call to tell me how much they love me no matter how weird they thought my goals were.


I'm not looking forward to graduation because I've been too consumed with relishing in these moments and those who make it that much better. It's all those things that eclipse graduating because without them there would be no today.


Yes, I'm excited to finally be done with school and I'm happy that there is a day specifically set aside to celebrate and commemorate that chapter but partaking in it is more so of a makeshift gift for everyone that has contributed to the bettering of my life is someway no matter  how small.


my-life


To you all I say thank you from the bottom of my heart and every other crevice it has. Thank you. I will not walk across that stage alone but rather with every moment, word, and prayer you've blessed me with in mind. I walk with those thoughts just as I will for the rest of my life.  I will always be aware that my life is mine to own but it is not mine to keep solely to myself. Just as it was built by all of us I will promise to help others grow and build theirs. No matter where I go or what I do I promise to give just as I have been given to.


So I guess a congrats is also in order too - we made it! Yes yes y'all, we made it!

Dear My Generation, Your actions will outlive you.

"Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

While we may not be old enough to look back and be fully satisfied we are also not young enough to look forward and take our time. There are far too many wonderful and life-impacting  things out there that we have yet to come across. There are so many people we have not yet met. Let’s live fully and leave this world better than we entered it 20+ years ago. 

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

I take a look back at the life Christ died for, mine. Although He was always there I wasn’t always aware. I was lost but now I am found and f o r e v e r grateful. Not only did I gain an identity in Him but I also gained a purpose, love. I must love others the way He has relentlessly and undauntedly loved me. In that love I pray that the world will see Jesus and be drawn to His light, love, and grace.

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.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

Ihe Neme (Things Are Happening)

  • You’re thinking of plans on how to entertain the kids.
  • Setting your alarm clock for an  earlier time to squeeze more things on your schedule.
  • Considering how your currently terrible situation can be used as a testimony.
  • Praying for others more than you pray for yourself.
  • Writing down a reminder to buy thank you cards for the volunteer workers.
  • Learning that the choosing your battles have become a part of your nature.
  • Seeing the cool in what you’re even 2-years-younger self would have found embarrassing.
  • Making a little extra dinner for your roommate out of want rather than obligation
  • Simply deciding not to get a manicure because you’re on dish duty the next day and you’re okay with it.
  • Calling your relatives because they would like to talk to you even though the feeling may not be fully mutual.
  • Finding joy in eating alone once in a while rather than fearing it.

Call it whatever you wish, maturity, growing up, life, what have you. All I know is that it is here and although I didn’t even know when it hit realizing how it has slowly altered my everyday actions has made me more appreciative of the life given me. 

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.

Happy Anniversary

Just wanted to take a special moment to say Happy Anniversary to the best set of parental units a girl and her siblings could ask for. You both have been monumental figures in my life. As mere human beings you have both - and individually - taught me to live a life worth telling; as a couple, you have shown me how to love oh so deeply and truly, without cease; and as man and woman in Christ, you have provided me with something that I can use for the rest of my life and in all areas of it.

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Happy Anniversary Ma and Pop.

Easter Sunday

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Happy Easter everyone!

To say that I love Easter would be an understatement. I saw a quote last night that said, 

"Friday taught us to love. Sunday taught us to rejoice. But Saturday, a cold tomb, no angels, no answers, His silence taught us to trust."                           Wise words said by Jack Sitorus.

Yes, chocolate -especially 70% dark cacao - is good and all but what’s even greater is knowing all the things my Savior completed during his 30-some years on Earth. All that He did, it still amazes me even until today. At my age He traveled far to see the masses, healed the sick and fed the hungry. Then He unselfishly died for me and many others. His life was short but it sure was powerful. Thank you Jesus.

 

* The Three Crosses is an image taken from Google.

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.