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Little Sis On Your 21st Birthday…

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Little Sis On Your 21st Birthday...

K,

You’re in a season of life full of change and growth and discovery. You’re figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and who will be with you during the ride. You’re smart, beautiful, passionate, and loyal. As you go on, remember that you will make mistakes, and it’ll be okay. More than okay, because in those moments, you’ll learn. There is so much grace to be lived in, given to you by a Heavenly Father who loves you and by family who loves you so dearly. You made our unit a foursome, and it’s been a great ride. You have been my best sister friend, my Disney rides buddy, the girl I matched Easter dresses with, the one I shop with, the one I love to laugh with at family traditions. I’m so happy you’ll always be in my life, that you’ll always be close. You have so many great things ahead of you, and I want to encourage you to soak up every minute. Choose joy over negativity, choose courage over fear, choose compassion, choose love. Take care of yourself, emotionally, physically, and mentally. You aren’t meant to be everything for everybody. Find out what you’re passionate about, find the people who build you up and sharpen you, seek the Lord, and enjoy this beautiful life you have. Take risks, be adventurous, but be smart. You live with your decisions, and you can make your life whatever you want it to be! You have the strength in you. I’m proud of you, K. Proud to be your big sis. Embrace your quirks, be gracious to those who aren’t the least bit like you. I’m still learning such things, and want you to have the fullest life you can. Thank you for teaching me about style, makeup, and pharmacy facts. Remember God is with you every single second, wanting to love and help and provide for and guide and change you. He has big, great plans for your life, seek Him with your whole heart and He will satisfy you like nothing else. I love you forever and always. I’ll always be your best big sister friend, in your corner, ready to fight off the crazies or be your cheerleader. I hope and pray this is the best year yet — full of fun, love, adventures, and growth.

A Birthday Letter To Dad

Posted in relationships

Happy birthday, Daddy.

I am grateful God chose you to be my dad. I continually learn about life, love, God, and myself being your daughter. You live your life, and I watch. You serve your community seemingly without limits. You love the Lord, and share His words whenever someone needs to hear them. You are a smart working professional and you always try to treat people with kindness. You daily pursue and love your wife; you disciplined your kids, while giving them the space to make mistakes and grow. You cherish family traditions, and you are generous with your money and your time. It’s difficult for you to say ‘no,’ and your default in any situation is to be the peacekeeper. You are imperfect. You are human. First and foremost you are a son of God’s, you are a follower of His, and that is why you are a great dad. Not because you give us good gifts, not because we travel to fun places, not because you are funny, and not because of your job or status, but because you know God on a personal level. He’s your Source of life, your peace, your joy. Your relationship with Him seeps into every other detail of life. You raised us, talked to us, loved us, supported us, challenged us, and disciplined us out of heart saved by Grace. What a gift that is. As I’ve grown older, our relationship has changed a bit. There’s a friendship there that wasn’t there when I was six, or ten, or even fifteen. I can’t wait for my future kids (none on the horizon yet, fyi) to grow up with you in their lives. I’m thrilled to see you enter a new year, and am excited to see all God has planned.  I hope it is full of joy, rest, fun, and community.

My Weekend According To My iPhone

Amelia Island Adventure | heartnaturedMy best friend is getting married next Spring. My best girl since 2nd grade. The one who has been with me through every awkward, fabulous, difficult, sweet season. The only one I made a secret handshake with. The one who stood beside me as I got married. She’s the best.

She’s getting married where she spent many a summer, many a weekend — Amelia Island. This weekend we ate delicious food, shopped, laughed and learned, and made a couple wedding decisions.

It’s going to be a beautiful day, a beautiful life for the two of them together. I love being her MOH.

A weekend away can be so energizing.  I even got to stop in Statesboro and see some of my favorite friends-turned-family. (And a day off from work doesn’t hurt.)

Thank you, God, for fun weekends.

How was your weekend?

Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday! | heartnatured

Happy Sunday! | heartnatured

This weekend included more than one meal with my entire in-law family (including our newly arrived nephew + his parents all the way from Colorado), and going wedding dress shopping with my best friend. Great moments, happy memories. Hope you’ve had a great weekend! If you’ve got some downtime to web surf today, these are some cool links…

These alphabet frames are pretty great.

A cookie with so many good flavors/add-ins. Must bake soon.

Digging this desktop wallpaper.

How to set an elegant table.

I scream for ice cream.

Why perfectionism is stealing your joy.

The best snack for movie time.

Stop that bad mood in its tracks.

Anything exciting happen for you this weekend? I like a good story.

Current Read: Nobody’s Cuter Than You

Posted in books, relationships

heartnaturedGreat, great, great book. A memoir of sorts, told my a woman you feel is your friend from the first chapter on. The way she tells stories, her quirky, sweet, fun attitude toward life, and the truth she proclaims, all make for a wonderful read.

“There are probably only a handful of times in our lives when someone who will change us forever walks in—when we find someone we can love with our whole hearts, who will challenge us and shape us and make us feel like the world is safer and brighter just because they are in it. A person who loves us for exactly who we are, yet teaches us to be better because of who they are and how they live their life.”

I have many good, solid, there in the thick and thin friends… Lauren, Ashton, Meg, Whitney, my sister Kendall. These are friendships not bound by distance or time apart. They are each a continual presence in my life, and I thank God for them everyday.

Then there’s Mary Beth. We found each other at an early age, and our first photo-opp was the picture you see above. It was these grades, 2nd and 3rd, where we created our first secret handshake and declared our friendship for life. You know it’s true love when it begins with white ankle socks. She has encouraged me, loved me, shared in my ridiculousness. We’ve made pinky promises; we’ve endured boys and proms and bad grades. She was with me through the glasses, braces, hormones, college applications, and family happenings. We’ve had seasons of distance, we’ve annoyed each other, but today we’re closer than ever.

Seasons of life have carried us to different cities, as we pursued college degrees and full-time careers. But I believe ours is a connection that will last forever. We’re very different, but I dig it. Her boldness and style are things I hope to emulate.

A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. William Arthur Ward

All in all, this book is a delightful read. Makes me extra thankful for the wonderful friends I have in my life.