Tuesday, December 31, 2013


At the end of every year, I've made it a tradition to reflect where I've been and the major life happenings. This year is definitely one to go down in the books as one of the busiest, and probably most eventful.

2013 began as I transitioned from being a full-time college student to a full-time employee at Carthage. I continued working with some of my favorite people in the Financial Aid office, but knew I couldn't stay there forever...
it was a bittersweet goodbye. 

And then I met one of the best families I know and fell in love with these three kids. Nannying was exhilarating and exhausting. It taught me to have patience, grace and find joy in the smallest of things...

Eventually May rolled around... graduation month. First the big brother graduated from UW-Oshkosh...

And then it was my turn to make my departure from Carthage official. Friends gathered to embrace the last bit of time we had and reminisce on the gifts we were given during our four years together. We laughed, we cried, and we said good-bye...
we did it!  
so long carthage. 

A week after graduation I moved out of my college house and headed to the mitten. The month of June I was reunited with one of my best friends and we worked together at Michindoh. We fell in love with small town Hillsdale and embraced a new sort of Young Life camping. 
oh the places you'll find in a small town.
Michindoh dream team. 

2013 was also the year of turning twenty-two. I was blessed by a birthday celebration complete with best friends, fireworks, and sparkling candles.

The celebrations continued as dear friends tied the knot and we danced the night away. 

These couples are true examples of what it means to love whole-heartedly and have unshakable 

And then it was the end of August and I was fitting my entire life in the back of the jeep. My dreams to move west to Colorado and work full-time at a Young Life camp became a reality. 

Colorado has led to meeting so many new people that I now call my intern family... climbing a mountain... and taking up skiing. 

 A lot has changed in 2013. It's been a year of change, growth, and trying new things. It's been a year of saying goodbye, learning forgiveness, and savoring the sweet moments. It's been a year of independence, raw emotions, adventure, and celebration. It has been a year. 

But if there was one over-arching thing I want to remember from the year it would be to embrace the moments and allow for grace. Moments can pass by too easily. All of these memories from above happened in the blink of an eye. But there's beauty in breathing them in slowly, in embracing the emotions that are attached, and in thanking the Lord for the joy they bring. And when the days get hard and embracing the moment seems impossible, allow for grace. After all it is your first year out of college. You're not required to have it all together or know how to handle every situation. The Lord will guide you and never leave your side. 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, 
it is the gift of God."
                                                                                                {Ephesians 2:8}      

"Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor."
                                                                                                {Proverbs 21:21}  

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