summer learnin’

I feel like I write my best posts in the midst of heartache and painful growth, however, this post isn’t inspired from my internal lack, rather my internal abundance. I find myself only processing in the midst of hard things and today I decided to process in the midst of good things, because I haven’t done that enough lately. So, here we are, I’m currently on staff at a camp called Barefoot Republic in Kentucky! I’ve never been to a camp quite like Barefoot or even heard about the intermingling of so many different students’ lives in one location before working at camp. In a very intentional effort to portray the Gospel, Barefoot brings kids from so many different lifestyle walks dealing with socioeconomic statuses, ethnicity, race, different religions, denominational affiliations, and geographic differences together on one campground for one week to seek to prove there is unity in variety. You see, I’m learning a lot about diversity and how it’s more than seeing things through a black and white lens. Diversity isn’t being colorblind and being in the presence of people who don’t share the same hue of skin you do. It’s more than just differences, but rather embracing similarities. I’m excited to continue experiencing the various aspects and lives that camp brings together and what each week will teach me.

Before I went to camp, I was home for about 3ish weeks and the transition from my college dorm-life in Cleveland, TN is quite a jump from living with my parents in good ole Harrison, OH. It was so weird to go to sleep in my own room in my own bed… alone, without my roommate. I missed our late night conversations and random quotings of Vines, and singing Beyonce lyrics. I was back in Complacent Town, population me. It’s hard going from living with your very best friends and saying see ya later for 3 months. But throughout my transition back to life at home, I’ve learned to find joy in being alone and thriving in the silence. Living with so many people, I always felt so inclined to spend the majority of my time with my friends and meeting new people, almost feeling guilty when I didn’t. First off, our fast-paced culture that screams quantity over quality sucks and I hate feeling guilty for having regular self-care habits and taking time for myself, to some would be seen as unproductive. But this contentment with rediscovering the joy of being Heather apart from a group has been refreshing and has also helped me find joy in my small town. Living in a suburb of Cincinnati is so fun!! There is so much to do if you’re looking for adventure, or just to relax in a local coffee shop. Being home has continually affirmed me during this stage of my life that I made the right decision in leaving Harrison and Ohio in general to experience the world from a new perspective. Life in the south is slow and intentional, friendly and warm. Which is much more of a contrast from the brisk, fast-paced, let me squeeze right past ya and avoid eye contact confines of the north, that’s for sure.

My greatest lesson I think I will learn and continue to learn this summer and into next school year is boundaries. After realizing I don’t have boundaries I took it upon myself to be very intentional with my words, relationships, mannerisms, my tIME!!!!!, etc. because ultimately a lack of boundaries reflects a lack of respect for myself and the people in my life. So, to counterbalance my lack with an abundance, I took a few steps back and figured out where I lacked boundaries and where I could implement them, overall I think I’m much more happier because FOMO isn’t getting the best of me, and then as a result putting me in an unfavorable situation that negatively affects me in other ways such as my performance and other relationships. Boundaries aren’t always fun, but I think I’m learning that they’re worth the effort.

It’s been nice to just relax and find new ways to rest, reflect, and refocus, and also work.

Here’s to more learning, probably more iced coffee with coconut almond milk, and lifetime’s worth of memories—

 

He is faithful.

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good-byes & see ya laters

I recently graduated from high school and the summer after my senior year is finally winding down as Target’s back-to-school commercials remind me it’s time for a new school year. I’m moving five and half hours away out of my hometown comfort zone and as the countdown begins until move-in day I’m terrified and doubting every ounce of confidence I’ve ever had about this decision. Change is hard. This season has been beautiful- Jesus has been so good to me. I have seen the kindness of the Father abound in every new friendship and memory made in this transitional period. He is good.

It’s so bittersweet. To leave everything I’ve ever known as home and venture out of my comfort zone into the unknown. The unknown requires faith, being confident that even if I don’t see security and comfort yet, the comfort giver is ready to embrace me when I choose to let go of what once was for what will be. Because friends, C.S. Lewis was right when he said, “what lies ahead is far, far better than anything that we ever leave behind.” So here I am clinging to truth that He who started a good work in me will carry it out to completion because His plans are to give me a hope and future. His word is peace and life-giving.  It changes me. It changes my demeanor; my entire mindset. It changes everything.

As I release my grip of the security and joy found in this season I will cling onto the goodness of God, knowing that security and joy lie on the other side of surrender.

Jesus, thank you for this small town that has given me the best years of my life, the best friendships, adventures, and memories. I have tasted and seen your goodness and as I release my grip on my control-freak nature, help me to see that you provide in every aspect I could ever need, you are my provider and you’ve provided all along so I will see you do it again but this time in a new way. I am hopeful for the future that what lies ahead is better than what I’m leaving behind. Remind me that you are for me, and your plans are to prosper for my good. Even when I don’t see it, you are good and always working on my behalf.

Here’s to new memories, new seasons, more coffee, & the future-