2020

It’s 12:05am, I should be asleep but I also felt the need to write this down.

There is a song going around about how horrible 2020 has been and why it’s the worst year ever. And don’t get me wrong. This year has sucked in a lot of ways. Long stretches of time in isolation, an actual global pandemic hundreds of thousands if not millions of people dead, and a lot of hate over trivial things that do not matter in the long run. It’s been a year of being scared of losing my Dad three separate times. A year of moving in with in many ways a stranger and suddenly being stuck together with no where to go. A year of not seeing people in person for over a month which is very hard for someone as extraverted as I am.

But I hope that one day when I’m asked about 2020 I can talk about the good.

How families became closer even through stupid things like a video app thought caused families to do stupid things together. How families learned how to hang out together again because eventually watching tv does get boring.

I want to tell them how I got closer with friends, in ways I couldn’t imagine because we would sit on FaceTime/zoom together. And we run out of surface level things to talk about so we got down to the real things and took the time/chance to be vulnerable with each other a truly listen to each other.

I want to tell about how I got to move in with my best friend. How she took a chance on a house and letting me move in. And how we got chickens, how we learned how to fix things in a house that we never would have never learned except we moved into a house that was 85 years old, and above all I want to be able to tell them about how amazing it was to get to see my best friend everyday. To not have to worry about driving home or if we are over staying our welcome at the other place when it comes to our family/roommates that we lived with.

I want to be able to see the good. It’s not something I’m always doing and I don’t do it to well very often. but I’m trying to grow. And I think that’s what 2020 has been. A year of unbelievable and undeniable growth.

2020

Quarantine

I’m not an artist by any means. But I made this, this morning actually. I’m currently home alone, watching my church on the computer. Because we are no longer allowed to meet in person. Let me just say. I HATE this. I hate being stuck home, I hate not getting to actually see my friends, my family, or my church. But wow I am so thankful for technology. I have spent more time virtually with my two best friends than I have ever spent with them. It’s been crazy. I’m also sitting in a apartment, with internet watching my church, with food.

It’s now 11:14pm. I spent the afternoon/evening FaceTiming people I love. Playing virtual games together. How amazing is that. Like think about it. It’s 2020, no 1920 even when I’m alone, I’m not. God is there, and he blessed me with amazing friends who reach out. Who check in. Who drive 20 mins after making my favorite type of bread and leave it on my door step. I have a brother who I text and tell him I need a new filter for my apartment because crappy

Lungs and he goes and gets one for me. Then he helps me think of ways to end boredom/make days go by faster. While I know it’s scary out there. I’m not fearful. I’m following guidelines, I’m washing my hands, I’m doing what I can to keep me, and the people I love safe.

I pray that this time while scary and uncertain causes change. That we are faced with our greed (see TP isles), that see the importance of togetherness, of slowing down, that we stop taking for granted the people around us. I pray we cherish our time with the people we love most.

Quarantine

Morgan.

November was a bad month. In one week I went from celebrating one of my favorite people to going to her funeral. Below is just a few memories I typed up to share with the pastor who helped preform her funeral. I’ve finally gotten up the courage to share them.

Morgan, I miss you everyday. I miss going downstairs and seeing your smile and getting to just talk even for just 30 mins. I miss the way you said my name and always listened with just intent. I can’t wait for heaven to see you again.

The funniest story has to be the time we tried to go star gazing and instead of driving to our normal location we got kind of lazy and I convinced Morgan to pull on onto this side road and into a road in a corn field. We were in the Beamer so the top was down but we decided to get out of car and we were just talking and joking and we heard a noise and suddenly heard the click of a shot gun being loaded. We all looked at each other and took off towards the car and broke the rules and just jumped in with out opening the door. Someone dove in the back seat I jumped over the passenger door and Morgan the driver door. Then she was backing out and took off. It was the only time I ever saw her speed.

One of my personal favorite times with her was I went home with her one weekend. It was the first time I met her family. We just did random things. Set up Christmas. But I think I laughed more that weekend than I had the entire semester. She saw I was having a bad time due to school and wanted to make me feel better and knew her family was the best thing for it. And it was perfect. We sang Hamilton sound track the entire drive to her house. And found this random show with puppets and Julie Andrews and watched it while at her house and just laughed.

Took that photo as we left Milly.

One time in our team meeting for BCM, marlee couldn’t make it so it was just us and honestly we just sat there and talked. About everything and nothing and that will always be something I remember, because she was the one who you could count on to listen even when it was about nothing. She always made sure to listen and made sure you knew she was listening. She also could tell if you were even the slightest upset and knew exactly what to say to make things better.

I took this photo before they were officially dating and I teased her about it. But it was also one of the best nights. We didn’t really do anything. We all just hung out. Sang random songs but it was those ordinary moments that made you appreciate Morgan because even just playing pool and doing homework and singing was so joy filled that it was the most fun.

This is one of my favorite memories. We were helping set up for BcM hoe Down and we spent the day together driving to get things, it was the perfect day, we had the top down, we listened to our favorite songs, and then we met the horses and this one wanted a selfie. I just remember being so happy that day. Even in all the craziness.

These are two photos that show her intentionality. We both love peppermint things. And two different times when I was having a bad day she decided we were going out. And no matter what it was always just the best time.

We also spent two years in a bible study together. I loved studying the Bible with her. She always saw things in such a special way that i may not have seen. And her joy always radiated when she talked about Jesus and it was infectious.

Below are some notes I wrote out about being in the hospital and how the Lord worked through Morgan even through death she was a joy brought to people in their time of darkness, the Lord allowed the people she loved the most to be blessed even as we lost her. She got to be miracles for so many people.

Honestly I saw so many mini miracles at the hospital it was amazing. From old family wounds being healed to, strangers who dared to be in the same waiting room who told us they saw something in us a love they hadn’t seen before, to the kindness of the cleaning ladies making sure that even the 8 year old was able to say good bye (supposed to be 12 and over) and especially the nurses and staff who let us bend and break all the rules because they knew we needed to be there. We needed each other. We weren’t supposed to take over the waiting room but we did. For 72 hours. We had at least 1 of us in there at all times. The signs say only 2 visitors per room at a time. At the most I counted 10-15 of us all back there. The fact that her dad is a pastor and told all his associates to stay in lilburn but 8 pastors from around Milly who knew Morgan or knew Kevin showed up and prayed with us. The fact that staff let us do three different goodbyes (her Fam, Kevin’s Fam, college friends) and the fact that we got $700 in less that 2 hours donated to feed the family.

Morgan.

2020

I’ve spent all day in bed. I started the year off. Editing photos, watching videos, and resting. Between all of that I have been thinking about 2019. It feels like 2019 just started and here we are. It’s 2020. This last year has been rough but it’s also been so amazing.

In 2019 I met new amazing friends, ones I can’t imagine doing life with out. I found my place at my church. A church I can say is mine not my families. I have gone on a bunch of fun trips. I’ve celebrated weddings, birthdays, and new babies. I’ve also said see you later to two of the most amazing people in my life. My grandfather and Morgan. There has been days when I forget their gone. And then there are days it hits me like a ton of bricks that they aren’t here with us anymore.

This year I have switched positions at work. Restarted my photography business. And found a potential new career path. I was talking with my best friend the other night and we legit could sort out 2018 from 2019 it’s been a Blurr. This year Micah has come to spend the night all by himself no other siblings. The boys have spent the night more times than I can count. My hair color has changed more times than anyone can count and has been pretty much every color but green and yellow/blonde. Jay graduated became a “real” adult and is now a cardiac nurse! The boys and I got to see Kratt Brothers live! There has been a lot of singing Bon Jovi & phineas and ferb with the little boys. Ashley and I got to see the Jonas Brothers live. I have played a lot of trivia, won some and lost a bunch. I even flew out to Texas to surprise Abigail. Successfully partied and photographed the Milly Film Fest. I went on a beach trip with friends and loved every second of it. Went to so many weddings I lost count. Went to several plays/musicals. Played with wild animals. Watched a few macon bacon games. Said goodbye to friends as they move away. Smashed a car with a crowbar at work. Took the boys bowling for their first time. Started taking photos at church. Got to fly to Missouri and see the Eisiminger’s and take their new family photos. Introduced friends to Korean food. Conquered burger week. Watched friends get baptized. Went to the fair, won a photography contest. Ate some good food. Went to a USMA football game and got completely drenched and frozen. Actually dressed up for Halloween. Recreated some photos, drove just Peter and I to Babas. Got to see Julie Andrews live. Went to a ridiculous over the top Christmas gala with Ashley and friends from work. Threw a successful surprise party for one of my favorite people. Hung out with kids in nursery at church a lot. Got to spend the night with friends and eat yummy ice cream and BBQ. Laughing all squished in a car. And then had a good Christmas even with hurting my back.

I am so very blessed by the Lord and I can’t even begin to explain it. But that’s the brief overview and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2020.

2020

Grandpa

This is me, my sister and my grandpa.

I don’t necessarily remember this vacation other than this moment. I remember painting a “jewelry” box. Discussing with my grandpa where to paint and what colors I liked and how to put shells on the box. This is just one of my many memories with my grandpa. From doing art projects on vacation or going for walks in the woods behind his house to find the perfect rocks and turning those boring rocks into “works of art” to endless games of Chinese checkers, getting to use the “fancy” telescope and the awesome laser pointer that reached the stars. Grandpa taught me to love photography, he and my memom always encouraged my love of art. Endless trips to the Philadelphia art museum, or getting special tickets to places like the Barnwell house. Grandpa was always willing to look at the endless photos I took as a kid and even as I got better and the photos became less numerous he would gladly look at them.

I truly believe my sense of adventure comes from my grandpa from endless kayaking trips to encouraging me to take a leap and go no matter where. The endless vacations as a child where at Disney we got the ride on the back of his motor scooter. Going deep sea fishing. Or just play even more board games.

Forth of July, the time my poor grandparents take on all 9 of us grandkids. Fun fact this photo actually has all 9 of us in it. Erin, Jay, Natalie, and Sarah to the left Me and Peters arm to the right and Nathan, Micah and Andrew in front.

Forth of July is and forever will be my fondest memory, from waking up early to go see the parade, going to the park to listen to speakers, eat hoagies and pretzels, and then the best part going to the fire station and getting birch beer. Which as a child grandpa ran it so I never had to pay for it or wait in line. Just stand to the side and say “Please Grandpa?!?” And my cup would be filled.

I love this photo because you can see his mischievousness. That I 100% know he passed on to all 9 of us. With out a doubt we all get that twinkle in our eye when we come up with “an amazing idea” or do something “sneaky”. Grandpa will forever be the best partner in crime. From “not” seeing the cookies Sarah and I would sneak into the cart. To sneaking off to buy sweets when we were out with the family. Especially at the Amish market.

Life will never be the same. But I am thankful for all the memories and photos. And will always be proud to John Mullens JR’s granddaughter.

Grandpa

Talk less, Smile more.

For the first time in my life I am not getting school supplies, I am not finding where books are cheapest. Instead I am taking my licencing exam at 2pm today. I started working for Geico 3 weeks ago. But I’ve been talking to all my friends either the returners of this years round of freshmen. So I thought I would offer some advise from someone who didn’t take the normal route to school or the normal amount of time.

First off, give things a try. Try different groups. Don’t just go with the first one you go to. If you come back to the first one great, but try more than one.

If you get to your major and you hate it. CHANGE YOU MAJOR. Don’t keep paying for, for something that is going to make you miserable. Don’t use the excuse “my parents wont let me” its your life and I promise they don’t want to waste their money anymore than you want to waste your time.

Do you best, not the best of the person sitting next to you. Study, don’t over work yourself, have some fun, go on that midnight run to cookout. Go the random event on front campus. But also go to library and read your textbooks.

Don’t waste time comparing your path to someone else. Their path in this moment might be running along side yours but eventually one of y’all’s paths will take a different direction. But that is where that person needs to go. Not you. Trust God’s plan, let Him guide your path and so you the twists and turns and when it feels like He isn’t guiding wait to get around the bend He will be there waiting for you.

Also talk to the people in your class. Some of my best friends came from taking time to move past just talking about class to the people in class. Invite them to fun events you’re going to, get coffee with them. Especially talk to the people who you see who just come and go from class. Or come and go from the clubs you’re in. People want to be noticed. Notice people.

Get into a life group/a bible study/a campus ministry/a local church. Find people to do life with. Find the people that will be with you in the good times, but especially find the people who are willing to be there for you when life sucks. Also find people you can be completely transparent with. Who you can be completely honest with.

Find an accountability person. Find someone who gets you are different level, who calls you out on your crap. Who yells at you in a good way when you aren’t doing what you supposed to do. Who encourages you to get into God’s word. Who you can tell your struggles to and there is no judgement just encouragement. (I never realized how important this was until I found my accountability partner)

Grow, allow yourself to grow and change its August 2017, by May 2018 you wont be the same person. Embrace that. It hurts, its painful, but man when you let God move and stop fighting His growth in your life. Wow the places you will go.

Remember  the words of Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You are God’s masterpiece, let Him work.

Talk less, Smile more.

23 things

I was challenged by a friend to write 23 things I have learned since coming to college so here goes

  1. If you don’t enjoy your major change it.
  2. Find a local coffee shop.
  3. Find a ministry.
  4. Pour your heart into the people of that ministry.
  5. Find a local church. (its okay if this takes a while)
  6. Join a bible study. (I can’t stress this one enough)
  7. If its your health or a grade pick your health. There is no grade, no test, no GPA worth more than you.
  8. Make time for people.
  9. You can watch Netflix but don’t pick it over people, not all the time.
  10. Smile. Even when you feel like crying.
  11. Don’t just say fine when people ask how are you.
  12. Long drives, windows down, and music blasting is one of the single best ways to destress.
  13. Go stargazing at least once.
  14. Try the local places not just the chains.
  15. Its okay to buy yourself flowers.
  16. Find a tea that you love. Drink it.
  17. Pray; for yourself, your friends, your school, your family, your country.
  18. Read your bible as often as possible, with people. It changes how you see things.
  19. Don’t forget to eat. It makes a difference.
  20. Text you friends. Random messages telling them why you love them.
  21. Take photos of your friends, when they aren’t looking, when they are lost in thought, just sitting there, laughing.
  22. Encourage your friends in their relationships but don’t lie to them. If the person sucks they suck.
  23. Last but not least you wont actually die if you fail something. Be it a test, a class. You can and will get through it.
23 things

A little confusion. A lot of love.

I’ve been trying understand this whole “international woman’s day”. I think it’s great woman getting celebrated. Woman who break the gender barriers who push the limits. Who chose fields dominated by men. But I’ve also seen several posts about this whole a day with out woman thing. I know I have a lot of friends who support it and that’s great. You do you. But how is not doing the exact things we are celebrating, counted as celebrating? I’m not trying to start a fight. If you are going to do something then help support a girl who wants to go into STEM. Volunteer somewhere and help build the girls up instead of skipping work in protest.

I try my best to see myself how God sees me.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. ~ Proverbs 3:15-18
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. ~ 1 Timothy 3:11
A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. ~ Proverbs 11:16
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of Go. ~ Titus 2:3-5
This day is supposed to be all about woman and supporting them but what about every other day? All you see on social media or hear is woman doing the exact opposite of what they are claiming to do today. Why must we only support each other when there is a day or month dedicated to it? What about in 2 months from now when girls are graduating highschool and want to go into fields like engineering or math or some other field that is a “male” field? We support guys going into “female” fields like teaching and nursing and claim to support girls when they try to venture out but do we?  Im not saying by any means that I sit there and support all these things. But I do my best. I have friends in STEM majors, I have friends not. Just cause I don’t have the passion they do doesn’t mean I should support them any less.
But I realized something today, when a girl tells me they are going into something like nursing, teaching, or mass comm. My automatic answer is “Wow thats so awesome!” “Why do you want to do that?” However, if a girls tells me they are a physics major, or a math major, or want to go into engineering my automatic answer is; “Ew why would you do that?” or “Oh goodness, you are a brave soul.”
Why?
Why do I say things like that?
Because from an early age I have been conditioned to do so.
I had a friend ask me when I realized I was bad at math. I was 6. A boy in my class told me I was cause I got a problem wrong that everyone else got right. Im not saying I believed him because knowing sassy me I probably said something. But at the same time no one ever told me I could be good at math. And I admit I am not the strongest in math and science but thats me.
Im good at photography. When I talk about photography I get super excited. Its the one thing I understand completely and can understand no doubt about it.
Until this past year I didn’t understand other people did that with other things. Then I met my friend and she has a passion for math, and just learning in general. Ive learned how important it is to listen when she gets excited about learning and understanding a new equation. That she apologies when she gets “to excited” because as a human kind we have been taught that there is such a thing as “to much” excitement about something we love.
So my challenge to myself and to you is to support. Listen to someone talk about their passion, even if you don’t fully understand. Just listen and understand the person not the subject.
A little confusion. A lot of love.

46 to 49

Today I am sitting at my kitchen table watching hunger games. My friend counted up all her classes the other day and watching the hunger games for some reason made me want to count my classes.

I have taken forty six college classes. Forty of the classes I passed. Six of those classes I failed.

I have … 14 A’s, 17 B’s, 9 C’s, 5 D’s, and 1 F.

Which is the most horrifying and scary words to say to anyone, yes I failed 6 classes.

I am 22 years old and I have survived 46 college classes. But I think God for those failed classes. Which is a weird thing to say because they cost me $46,000+ by the time I pay off student loans plus food. But failing those classes kept me here an extra year. Staying here that extra year allowed me to be downtown on a encouragement night with Hydrolove and meet my now friend and hug her and cry with her and pray over her. It allowed me to meet my other friend in life group who is quickly becoming one of my best friends. It allowed me to meet bailey and get a rock out of her foot using a knife causing me to meet the passion guys, end up becoming and rep and getting to go to passion (for FREE). Which in turn set events up so that I would be at the max and randomly sit down at a table with two girls and give the one I didn’t know my phone number 5 mins after meeting her. It allowed me to go to work, use the wrong version of to (I was supposed to say too) and meet two of my other friends and again give them my phone number that night and in turn get the chance to pour into and show Gods love to all of the girls I have met this semester. All of which when I was crying this summer over failing a class I worked my BUTT off to pass and still failed. I thought that was it. Life was over. But I cried over that class more than any of the other ones but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I have gotten to know and love (on) so many people this semester. I have gotten to watch BCM grow and change. I have gotten to watch old friends grow and change, and new ones. In the end it was all for God’s glory and His plan and I am thankful to be his hands and feet.

 

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

 

 

46 to 49

I kind of love you?

LOVE
noun \ˈləv\
a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
I love you.
What does that even mean?
Most of the time it means;
I will love you
if…
until…
but…
As humans we throw the word love around like its just another thing you say. But the second there is a problem that love can and often does disappear.
We say we “fell out of love”
But how? Why?
Can you imagine if God looked at us and said “I’m just not feeling it anymore.”
What would happen?
What if Jesus has said “No, they aren’t worth my love and sacrifice?”
Where would we be now?
For God SO LOVED *insert your name here* that He gave is only begotten son that whosoever believes in him SHALL NOT PERISH but have ever lasting life.
John 3:16
AGAPE – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
God looked at us and said I LOVE YOU. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
God showed us the ultimate example of how to love, but what do we do? We reject it. We judge people, and refuse to love them over something stupid.
Just love people with an agape love. Just love them and let God sort them out later. It is not our place to judge people. But we do. We use our words to bring people down. We spread hate.
I’m not saying to love the things people do. Sin is sin. But I am saying LOVE the person. I was always told growing up, you don’t have to like them but you have to love them. Somewhere along the line we lost that. We dislike a person so we hate them. But Paul even said;
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1
A lot of times thats what I hear. I hear people talking but there talk is nothing because their actions say hate not love.
I am by no means saying I only show agape love. But it is what I strive for. I still have A LOT of work but I am praying that maybe, just maybe the Lord will use me either in word, speech, or action to spread his love.
This word has enough hate why add to it?
I kind of love you?