Roots

Roots defined as the basic cause, source or origin of something. When used as a verb it may also be defined as to ‘establish deeply and firmly’. This is the word I think of when I think about home. I feel like the two ideas go hand in hand, whether you’ve grown up somewhere that you love or couldn’t wait to escape from it was still where you first began your journey.

A little while back one of my favorite country singers Miranda Lambert released a song called The House that Built Me, and if you listen to the words and watch the music video you see her go through the emotions of going back to your first home. The house, the place that held your childhood and so many memories. A few years ago I moved out of the house that I spent my whole childhood in. There were marks on the inside of my door that read my different heights, a treehouse my dad built in the back yard and a living room where so many Christmas mornings were spent. Leaving and moving was a new experience that I’m still adjusting to but now I’m at the point in my life where I realize that going back isn’t something that will happen. Even if I go back and see it again, it’s not the same house that I grew up in. There are new dents in the walls and different flowers in the flower bed out front.

As a senior in high school I hear a lot about people who are trying to get into a college that is as far away as possible. They’re so eager to pick everything up and leave their parents and the home town they knew but I can’t help but remember that these next few years will be the last one’s like it. The future can either be very exciting or intimidating. I can feel the pressure of trying to find yourself in a world that is ever changing. So I think that the easiest thing to remember is where you came from, your roots.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7

Heartbreak 

Some people have pets.

We did not have a pet, we had a member of the family.

For the past year or so our family cat, Toby has been sick. During this time period we  watched him go through many ups and downs. Sadly, three weeks ago today we were forced to make the decision to say goodbye.  We tried out best to get him better but came to the realization that it was just his time to go.

My family got Toby when I was around 6 years old. Toby to us wasn’t just a cat, he truly was a part of the family. He didn’t just come to you when he wanted food or to be pet. He came to you when he could tell you we’re having a bad day or because he wanted to love you. I remember growing up doing all kinds of crazy stuff to him, like dressing him in baby clothes and wrapping him in blankets. And never once he ever tried to bite or scratch. As Toby has progressingly gotten worse over the past few months he needed care most of the time. He was losing weight quickly and didn’t seem like himself anymore. For short bursts of time he seemed to be getting better but then would soon return to hiding and not being himself. We later came to realize that he only seemed to be doing better when he was on antibiotics. Something in him just wasn’t working anymore.

Toby was such a special and loving cat. I truly believe there is no other out there like him. I had the privilege of being able to spend his last few moments with him and let him know that we love him one last time. And while I don’t think the pain of losing him will ever truly go away I can at least know that he isn’t in pain anymore.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

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Our sweet Toby, you will be missed greatly.

Stress and Relationships

This past week has been a very stressful. And I know parents and people who are older often say “You’re a teenager, what could you know about stress?” Well let me be an advocate to high schoolers, especially seniors. This week I had a big test for my Psychology class. I love this class, but I often find myself doing well with review and practice work but not doing well on the actual test. Not only is this incredibly stressful but very frustrating. In addition the test, I also have a college visit this week. This visit is very crucial to my future and figuring out my career. A big aspiration of mine is to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. The college I am going to visit is one of the only colleges in the area that offers that major. So like many of my friends I am stressing about things that I normally wouldn’t, like ‘ What if these people don’t like me?’ or ‘ What if I’m not good enough?’.

Another thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about is relationships, and I don’t mean just the romantic kind. I have friends from all over the area and we’re all coming to that point in our lives where we are starting to think about where we’ll end up. Whether it’s college or moving somewhere else we’re wondering why we were put on this earth and what our purpose is. Because despite societies constant need to make us feel that having a successful career is the most important objective in life, we know  we were made for so much more.

So during the stressful parts of your life I’d advise you to remember that He is greater. Your strength does not come from within but from above. And even though an issue in your life might seem huge, it’s only one paragraph in your book.

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

 

First blog post

For the longest time I’ve wanted to start blogging. I have always loved writing and thought it would be a good outlet. But now that I’ve begun I don’t know where to start. It has always been a scary thought thinking about other people reading my work. But here goes nothing.

So a week ago I turned 18. 18 is the special number in human years where suddenly you can vote and buy cigarettes and have your name issued in the papers if you commit a crime. As I watch my peers around me they’re bursting with joy at the idea of turning 18. They no longer feel that they need to listen to their parents and can sign their own permission forms for school dances. But it’s been a little harder for me to comprehend. A little over a week ago my mom and I were driving home after I got my first tattoo ( oh yeah that’s another thing you can do at 18). She was talking about putting together a video of pictures for my birthday and asked if there were any songs that I could think of that would go along. It took me a moment but then I plugged my phone into the aux cord and started playing a song, she recognized it immediately. It was “Never Grow Up” by Taylor Swift. So we sat in the car listening to this song for a few moments before we both began to cry. For the past few years it had been just my mom and I at home because my sister was at college and all this time we have grown closer and closer. And in between the soft verses of singing about growing up the song comes to the bridge where Taylor finally admits that she wishes she had never grown up herself. It was here that I came to realization that someday my mom won’t be here anymore. We won’t be driving down the street as I constantly change the radio stations and she sings all the wrong words to the songs, or she won’t be here to hold me when I feel sick or need someone to talk to.

Time is a funny thing, it can fly by or drag on for what seems like forever. And turning 18 was one of those things that happened in the blink of an eye. Out of everything I’ve learned in my short 18 years I’ve noted that love and the people around you are what truly matters the most. So maybe you don’t want to go to the store but go to the store with her anyways, or maybe it’s the millionth time your dad has asked you if you want to play tennis this week, you should finally go play. Because these small moments add up to this crazy thing we call life and before you know it maybe you’ll be in the car with your kid crying about the fact that they’re turning 18.

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.