It finally hit me. The realization that I am…old. How? Well, yesterday it was only June 1st – the beginning of summer. I remember sitting and looking at my calendar, excited for all of the events and plans I had for the months to come. I was finally looking forward to enjoying the sunshine (that so seldom appears in rainy Washington) and now…it’s almost August. I have one month left before I go back to wearing my boots and jacket, using my umbrella, and saying “good-bye” to summer. And I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. Which is what made me realize that I’m old. People always tell me that time seems to go faster the older you get. Days turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years… and one day you’ll wake up old and gray wondering how you got there so quickly (boy am I excited for that!!) 😉
Regardless, I’ve been embracing every moment I’ve had these past two months and I’m excited to finish this summer off with a few last things that will make it even more awesome and memorable then it already is. Of course, being busy has kept me away from here (my lovely blog) and I regret not making the time in the midst of it all to share what has been happening and what God’s been teaching me along the way (which… He’s been teaching me quite a lot, as usual) 🙂 but I’m thinking that the coming of fall and especially the rain will fix that quickly because I won’t be running outside every chance I can to enjoy as much sunshine as I can before it disappears on me. 😉
A few highlights of my summer so far:
First, the birth of my sweet niece, Katie Grace in the beginning of June. She is by far the most precious little baby in the world. The first time I held her in my arms I fell in love with her. I held her for four hours straight (and yes… my arms felt sore the next day… shows how much I’ve been exercising) 😉 and I take every opportunity I can to visit my sister and spent time with both my nieces. There really is nothing better than spending time with family and I adore both of them so much. There’s never a dull moment with them in my life especially with Emma, who’s 4 and has a knack for talking… a lot. 😉 Recently she told me that when she grows up she’s going to be a flying ballerina… and then when she’s done with that she’ll be a doctor. 😉 Ahh… I feel like I need to carry a little notebook around every time I’m with her just so I can record every cute thing that she says. 🙂
Second, my best friend’s (AKA: “twin sister’s”) wedding in the middle of June. To be completely honest… I wasn’t TOO excited for this day. Not because I wasn’t happy for her and this exciting time in her life. But because I knew what would come with it: her moving away to Wisconsin with her husband and leaving me in good ol’ Washington. Maybe it would’ve been different if we were not so close. But she was the friend that I hung out with all the time, the friend that knew EVERYTHING about me and was there for me not only for the fun times but especially to help me through everything I was going through spiritually. Best friends like her come once in a lifetime, and the fact that she would leave me wasn’t something I looked forward to all that much. For her wedding day I wanted to write her a poem. And I couldn’t bring myself to do it until the night before her wedding because every time I started writing it and remembering the many years of great memories and times we shared I wanted to cry… knowing that I won’t have her by my side to make new memories for at least the next few years (if not forever). But I wrote the poem… and before I even went up to say it she was already crying like a baby on the stage (which just made it THAT much easier to share) 😉 But it’s been over a month now and although I haven’t seen her… we’ve been e-mailing, texting, talking on the phone (thank God for technology!) and it hasn’t been so tough. The distance sure isn’t fun… but I think it won’t get in the way of the friendship that we’ve built. And I love to write… so I’ve been sending her LONG e-mails of everything I haven’t been able to tell her in person… she has her own “essays” to read a few times a week 😉
Third, I had an AMAZING opportunity to go on a mission trip to Mexico for a week with my 8th grade teens from church. The teens had been practicing pantomimes, songs to sing when leading worship, and sermons to shared during our church services for 5 months before the trip and I was beyond impressed with how great they did! It was so beautiful to watch the (somewhat impatient, loud, and rowdy teens during lessons at church) up on stage worshipping God with their talents like mature adults. It made me so excited to see them passionate about God and serving Him in the ways that they could especially when it came to leading the church services there, praying for children, handing out food and toys to people… it was truly a humbling and incredible experience. Of course all mission trips have their memorable moments: such as driving on a bus for 50 hours straight (trying to get into a somewhat comfortable position is close to impossible), getting used to being sweaty after standing out in 115 degree weather for a few hours (that was a first), taking five-minute cold showers with three other girls at the same time (also a first), the constant fear of having a cockroach crawl on me in the middle of the night (which thankfully did NOT happen), getting stung by jelly fish in the ocean (this happened to a few of my teen girls), losing my hearing in one ear for a day (I almost had a panic attack when this happened), having one of the teens get caught while crossing the border with a gecko… Oh the joys of working with teens. You never know what to expect next and I absolutely love it! I especially loved bonding more with each of my girls and watching God work in them and through them on the mission field. They could’ve been chilling back home on the beach for the week but they chose instead to dedicate so much time to preparing for the trip and then to go on it and use all the energy they had to minister and serve the people and children there. It made me so proud of them and makes me so encouraged to know that there are so many beautiful godly young teenagers that are growing in Christ, pursuing the calling that God has placed on their lives, and having the desire to serve Him with their talents and time. 🙂 It makes working with them so rewarding and worth it!
That is just a little snapshot of what has been going on the last few months. Upon coming back I’ve found myself busy with piles of paperwork at work of invoices to pay, a lot of youth and teen events happening weekly, lots of friends to catch up with… lots of sunshine to enjoy (yes…it has actually been sunny the past few weeks here… it’s quite the miracle) 😉 and more planning for August. And for me personally… even more planning for the fall. God has been putting a lot on my heart that I can’t wait to share here and I think He’s leading me in a new direction in the months to come (which I’m both really excited and nervous about) but one BIG lesson I’ve learned this year? To trust Him in all His ways even if they’re not necessarily what I originally had in mind. Just because I put something on my planner and in my schedule does not mean that He does the same. But as always, His plans are better than mine… and I sure can’t wait to see them unfold in my life!
I will be back here… soon, but until then I wish you all the best during this wonderful season of sunshine and summertime! ♥