Today, I have spent a lot of time thinking about change... It's the one year anniversary of the day I loaded my car, drove to Kennesaw State University to turn in my thesis and then, instead of staying in Kennesaw or going to see my family in Calhoun, I started the drive to Fort Mill, SC. It was a drive that I was used to making--and had made a lot--the difference was, this time I was moving! Yes, I have lived in the Carolinas for exactly a year!
A lot has changed, even since being here. We were in an apartment for the first few weeks and then closed on our house... We lived in Charlotte, NC for the first couple of weeks and now we are in Fort Mill. I have gone from not knowing anyone to having a few close friends and a lot of acquaintances here... We have found a church that is the perfect fit for us... We have seen the good and the bad that we each have to offer and have grown closer because of it... We have taken trips to see our families... We have taken trips to go to conferences and football games and to the beach...We have gone to concerts, cooked dinner, gone out...and an endless list of day to day activities. Now, when we go to Georgia (even though I will always be a Georgia girl); I get the feeling of being home when we are back in South Carolina... Yep, a year can change a lot!
And I will tell you, change is good! Yes, I miss my friends and family on a daily basis-- but, being in a new place will force you to a) continue to go through the motions or b) find the person you are meant to be. And trust me, finding the person you are meant to be is by far the best choice!! I honestly don't know if, at this point, I would have taken the time to look deep within myself and seek a closer relationship with God and ways to fulfill my purpose if I had always stayed in the places where I was the most comfortable. This past year has done wonders for me and I am so excited about the journey I am on! No, I don't know exactly where life will take me-- but I know that the journey is going to be purposeful (notice, I didn't say that the journey would always be comfortable...).
Life is full of challenges... I choose to let the challenges make me stronger. Life is full of choices... I choose to always do my best to glorify God. Your attitude is a choice-- choose to be happy! Your mindset is a choice--choose to encourage others and yourself! Life is a journey, my friend... We will never have all the answers! Make a choice to trust God and His will for you!
When I was so stressed and sad about being in a place where I really didn't know anyone-- I made a choice to let myself get down and cry about it... and then, I did what should have been done all along! Without reason (or so I thought), I looked up Transformation Church on my phone, listened to a couple sermons... and let God in the drivers seat of my life (where He belonged the whole time). It makes a difference! Rephrase that--- It makes all the difference in the world!
Maybe some of that hits home to you-- maybe it doesn't. Just remember-- be thankful in your circumstances and put your faith and trust in God... if you're thankful no matter what, nothing will get you down!
Speaking of change... The other night, Chad and I were watching a basketball game. My phone started to vibrate, so naturally I picked it up to look at it... and then I started laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes. Chad gets so involved in basketball games that he rarely notices what is going on around him (totally zones out), and he even noticed that I was laughing at my phone like a crazy person.
What had happened-- one of my lifelong friends had sent me a picture in a text message. He was looking through old assignments we had done in school and found a project from the sixth grade (I was 12). I remember it well-- we had to interview classmates and then write a story about them. The picture he had sent me was my page in that assignment book. Seeing myself at 12-- and the things that I talked about in a peer interview was hilarious! I sent the picture to my mom, my sister, Steffi and Keshia. Lindsey (my sister) laughed hysterically (just like I did). My mom thought it was cute and said that most of what it said was still true. Steffi had a good laugh and said that nothing had changed-- and I then had to point out that I no longer wear LimitedToo. Keshia said that we had a lot in common even back then.
Anyway, it made me laugh-- and even though it is embarrassing, I am going to share the picture with you. I think it is great to have an actual glimpse into where we were so we can appreciate where we are and where we are going! Yes, I could think of a few things that were important to me in 6th grade-- but actually seeing an assignment spoken by me and written by a peer really puts, "growing up," in a whole new light!
Enjoy... and try not to laugh too hard!
Sadly, it would not attach... So, I am going to type it out for you:
"Erin seems pretty normal for a twelve year old girl. Erin collects b. babies, carousel horses and cherished teddies. Erin loves to swim, which falls in her favorite season, Summer. Before going swimming, Erin loves to go shopping at her favorite store, Limited Too for her favorite color lime green bathing suit. Erin also likes to go horseback riding, which she does well: she also does back dives well. She loves babysitting and she even taught her sister how to do cartwheels. She is very proud of all these things. While staying busy with all her activities Erin works up an appetite. So after a hard day of work Erin loves to go eat Mexican. "Even though I am American, Mexican food rocks," she says. After learning about Erin, you decide. One of a kind?"
**Remember, this was written by a 6th grade student about me when I was in 6th grade... I am not putting this on here because of the literary content-- but, I thought it was a great way to show how things change!!
Whats the same--
1. Summer is still my favorite season.
2. I still love to swim.
3. I still love riding horses.
4. Mexican food and sushi are my favorites.