We all have a story-- I have been blessed with a beautiful story, far more joy than pain.
In discovering a little more about myself everyday I am reminded it's my life experiences that have made a huge impact on who I am and how I go about living this life. God has given me some amazing adventures to embark on, along with some amazing people along the way--each of these People, Places and Things deserves to be known and thanked for having such an impact on making me...me.
I want to start with my husband, Matt. Since the first day we started dating Matt has helped to make me a better version of myself. A more patient--invested person. He has shown me how to remain calm, and carry on. Matt is my rock. He provides me with unbelievable comfort and peace and the ability to see this life as beautiful.
My parents. Almost every advantage I have ever had in my life thus far has been because of my parents. They worked hard to provide for me-- and they worked hard to make me understand the importance of caring about others and doing what's right. They were the first to love me and they were the first I ever loved.
Another defining person in my life is Jesus. I am nothing with out my faith. I am extremely thankful that I have lived my entire life knowing that Jesus loves me. I'm constantly trying to live my life like Jesus, obviously always falling short.
A defining place for me was Israel/Palestine. I had the amazing opportunity to travel with a college class for the majority of a month. Never in a million years did I think I would get a chance to walk where Jesus walked. This experience is just another reason I am the person I am today.
While in Israel/Palestine I was baptized for the for time ever. I remember wondering why it took me so many years to do such a symbolic act of my love for Christ--turns out I was meant to be baptized in the Jordan River. I read my testimony in front of friends and strangers...and I will never forget the emotion of that day.
Bluffton University. My home away from home. I loved my undergraduate experience. I am so thankful that I was lead to that school. It has transformed me more than anything else in this life. It gave me confidence I had never experienced before, the best friends I still have, amazing adventures on and off campus, a social justice seeking faith and Bluffton gave me my husband. Our dream is to end up back at Bluffton University using our College Student Personnel master degrees someday. We shall see :).
Pittsburgh was a transforming place for me. During the fall semester of my senior year I decided to enroll in a program called the Pittsburgh Semester (http://www.pittsburghproject.org/). During this semester we lived in inner city Pittsburgh. We lived amongst high crime, poverty and a huge need for God's love. This semester challenged me in so many ways...but I will forever be thankful for Pittsburgh.
After college I found myself serving with a ministry called a Christian Ministry in the National Parks (http://www.acmnp.com/). I was placed in Acadia National Park, Maine. This was another challenging experience for me. I missed home. And a lot of other crazy stuff happened while living there. Ask me sometime if you are curious!
Something else that defines me is my "broken" thyroid. I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's, it won't ever go away. A lot women actually have thyroid troubles. Some never endure symptoms, while others do. I have had an interesting experience with discovering my health issue along with trying to control it. (I take medicine everyday, watch my sugar intake, drink very little alcohol and have removed all caffeine). I hope to someday bring more awareness to thyroid diseases and mental health. I look forward to the day that I can talk freely and openly about some pretty scary and brief (thank you Jesus) chapters of my life.
Meet my friend Ali. I use to be her educational classroom aide before we moved to Ohio University. I also had the amazing chance to be her care-giver last summer and will do the same this summer. This girl has got my heart. I truly care about her so much and have spent a lot of time learning and laughing with her. Her personality is infectious.
Ohio University. We are obviously still in this place. And sometimes I have a really hard time understanding why we were lead here... but I do know that good things will come out of this experience, just like every other one. We have our good days here and our bad. But this place, this school is helping to make us who we are meant to be.
I look forward to this list growing. I can't wait to meet more life changing people or future experiences. At my young age I have already been blessed with abundance.
(Who, what, when, where) are your People, Places and Things?