Now I want to tell y'all what all of those Spring Break 2014 adventures meant to me and why they were important...
1. Making Other People Happy Feels Really Good
When I was home, I realized how much some of the people in my life really need me and how good it makes me feel when I can help them in some way or make them smile. When we took Emma to New York, the day was all about her -- she was the birthday girl! We didn't go into any big girl stores, and I didn't buy anything, and I didn't even want to. It was perfectly okay with me to watch her experience New York for the first time instead of doing things I would've normally done. Her face lit up on every street corner. That kind of memory, being able to watch the pure joy in a little girl's face, meant so much more to me than any of the material items I would've bought if I were in the city with my friends. Her jumping into my arms and being ecstatic to see me always makes me realize how important I am to that little girl. It meant THE WORLD to her that I came home for her birthday party.
Coaching the girls was another one. Since I'm away at school, I only come to practice every month or every other month, but when I'm there, they appreciate my help so much. I put my heart and soul into that team to help them do the best they can on the dance floor and to help them be the best people they can be off the dance floor. They appreciate my help so much, and it feels good to be so appreciated. I had my time on the team, and I try to be the role model I would've wanted if I had a young and cool 20 year-old as my assistant coach. When they thank me for critiquing them, offering ideas, or giving motivating pep talks, I know I'm doing something right. It feels good.
2. Sometimes Things Don't Go As Planned, And That's Okay.
I don't have a car with me at school, so I get really excited to have a car with me at home. Well, I had a flat tire all week, and my dad and my brother couldn't change it because they didn't have something that they needed. So, I was stuck sharing a car with my mom all week. It turned out not to be so bad because my mom just got a really nice brand new car that I loved driving, but it did test my patience and make me realize that having a car and the privilege to drive is nothing to take for granted!
My mom just got a new job, so she couldn't take time off to be with me, and she was also sick the first half of the break. I am just thankful that she HAS this job and that she has good health again. This reminded me how much I love to spend time with my mom.
My sister went to the hospital this week, so I babysat her kids for her. I was juggling the three kids while trying to clean her house, and I called Sydney and asked for her help. In no time, we had the kids fed, changed, and napped, and the house clean. It meant a lot to my brother-in-law that I helped them out all day, and it meant a lot to ME that Sydney helped me out. I can count on her for anything, anyplace, anytime. She is the cheese to my macaroni.
3. Make The Most Of College (And Life)
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but my coach Miss Kara is one of THE MOST influential people in my life. Her pep talks revitalize my whole day and my whole thought process. Endless talks about boys, roommates, friends, schoolwork, and everything in between helped me realize more than ever that THIS is the time in my life to figure out who I am and what I want, and I don't need to justify any of that to anyone. Her words bring such a light everything, they just click. Don't chase people. Don't kill yourself over a bad test grade. Don't let a bad friend or a dumb boy make you question your self-worth. Be a smart girl and do what you need to do and what you want to do. She just made me feel so good about this place in my life. I value her advice SO much.
It is good that you recognize your weaknesses. That keeps you looking to Me, your Strength. Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Me. Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what I am doing. This mindset will free you to enjoy Me and to find what I have planned for you to do. This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plan.
Don't take yourself so seriously. Lighten up and laugh with Me. You have Me on your side, so what are you worried about? I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is My will. The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you. Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts. When you look to Me and whisper My Name, you break free and receive My help. Focus on Me, and you will find peace in My Presence.
Instead of getting crazy on a beach somewhere, it was in God's will for me to come home for Spring Break and spend time with people who need me so that I could help them, make them smile, and remember how great I have it at home. He also is teaching me patience in His own ways, and it's helping me never to doubt what He has in store for me (which is what I gave up for Lent -- doubt!)
On a completely different note...check out some of the things I bought while on Spring Break!