Forever #ShaniceInspired

Four years ago tomorrow. Four years. Four years ago so many people lost such a special person.

Four years ago I lost my teammate, my friend in a tragic car accident. Shanice was a special soul, and I don’t think there is one person that would disagree with me. She was everyone’s friend. She was the kind of person that if you were upset about something, she just knew, and she would do absolutely anything to cheer you up.

Still, after four years I still don’t quite know how to put into words how blessed I am that I got to know Shanice. So this blog is me just trying to even slightly express my emotions.

Shanice was definitely a “mom” friend to me, she would always stand up for me, and help me in any way. She and I had cooking class together, and every day that we were cooking she put my hairnet on for me and tied my apron for me. That first day back without her there to do something so simple for me… man that hurt.

Shanice and I cheered together, and I am so thankful for the memories I have from that. She was one of the few people I trusted to spot my back handspring, she was always there to be positive and say, “you got this.”

She was everyone’s biggest hype man- she would genuinely be so excited when someone accomplished something new. She put her whole heart into cheering… whether it be at a football game, basketball game, competition, or even practice. You knew when Shanice was there.

January 15, 2015 is a day that is forever etched in my brain. I can remember every. single. detail. From that day and the days following. My stomach drops every time I think about it. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, and I can’t believe it’s been four years here without her.

So, as I’m sitting here writing this through my tears… I’m so thankful for the memories I have with Shanice, and to be able to see the mark she left on so many people. It sure is hard to say goodbye.

I hope you’re having the best time up in heaven, Shanice. We sure do miss you a whole lot down here.

-Abz

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New Year, New Blog

Happy New Year (6 days late), friends!

I’m not one to make a bunch of New Years resolutions that I’ll never stick to. Mostly my goal these days is to deepen my relationship with Jesus & to just be a good person. Obviously, my goals are a little more complex than that, but that just gives you the big picture.

However, I do want to be better about writing on my blog. I have this bad habit of writing FULL posts and deleting them, rather than posting them.

I think the majority of my issue is that I feel I have to have something that is actually meaningful and worth being read by people.

I also don’t want people to judge me for my writing, my feelings, the outlook I have on life. (I know, something I shouldn’t worry about… but I’m only human.) 

I mean, honestly, if I didn’t have people who call me out for never posting on my blog I wouldn’t be here. I’m only partially kidding. I really am thankful for friends and family that encourage me to continue writing.

So, here’s to 2019 & here’s to my blog.

-Abz ♥

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A Loud, Outgoing Mess

When I was a little girl I was completely shy. Like don’t look at me, hide behind my mom’s skirt shy.

If you know me, you know I majorly grew out of that.

Now, I’m completely the opposite. I’m outgoing, I’m loud, and sometimes I can be a little too much.

And that’s something I struggle with. Some days I’ll go home and I’ll just sit and think about every. single. moment. Why did I say that? Why am I so loud? Should I not have said that? Was I too annoying?

And the list goes on and on and on…

Here lately it’s been something that I’ve been struggling with even more, and I’m not quite sure why. My initial way to address the “issue” was to completely change my personality. I’d wake up some mornings and tell myself, “Okay, Abigail, today we’re gonna be quieter, we’re gonna spoke only when spoken to, and we’re not gonna say everything that comes to mind.”

Buttttt… it never lasts.

Every time I try to completely do a 180 on my personality, God’s there telling me, “Abigail, I made you the way you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Side note: There’s a song “I am who You say I am,” by Hillsong that has had a lot of impact on me, and when I’m having really hard days I just jam out to it. If you haven’t heard it, you should go listen to it.

I’m okay for a while after God nudges me and reminds me that He made me the way I am. Then I slowly start to slip back. I can be so critical of myself, just like I think most humans are. It’s something I’m majorly trying to work on. God made me the way I am for a reason, and I’ve got to learn that it’s okay to be me.

So here I am… a loud, outgoing mess. And here’s to learning to be okay with who I am.

-Abz ♥

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I’m a Procrastinator.

So, I’m here today to  assess a major problem I have.

I am a procrastinator, which I’m sure you could gather by the mediocre title of this post.

Okay, but on a more serious note. Lately I’ve been in a rut. I feel like life has just been one big loop.

I wake up. I go to work. I go home. I do homework. I go to bed. Repeat.

Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy. I’m thankful for my job, for being able to go to school, that I’m blessed enough to live this life.

Something just feels off, and I think it comes down to that I don’t feel like I’m really making a difference, that I’m doing everything I can.

Maybe it’s because I push aside the things I have the desire to do, but I just don’t ever feel like doing them… which takes me to my next point.

….  ….  ….  ….  ….   ….

I watched a Ted talk on the mind of a procrastinator the other day. (Link attached) I’m a huge procrastinator, and it’s starting to really take a toll on me.

See, in this Ted talk he talked about how we don’t just procrastinate the things that have deadlines. We procrastinate the things that can give life meaning. The things we want to do, but we just don’t.

Hellooooo. Wake up call. ↑

So, I really pondered this. And you know what I did? Yep, still absolutely nothing. Why? Because I am still 100% a… p r o c r a s t i n a t o r. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?) 

Even though I never do the things I have in the back of my mind to do, I’ll think about doing them, I’ll plan to do them. See, I’m the kind of person that writes everything down, makes “to do” lists. Really the intention is there, but the physical part of doing it, yeah that’s not there.

So obviously aside from waiting until the day assignments are due to do them << Side note, I envy anyone who does their assignments in advance, I’ve tried, but I simply can’t. >>, I have majorly been procrastinating in terms of my writing.

I think the main reason I haven’t been writing is because I’ve for some reason convinced myself that I have to have something meaningful and inspiring to say.

Buttttttt. I don’t. Which is something I really need to get through my head, because when I created my blog I made it solely for personal reasons, it’s an outlet, a way to deal with the things life throws at me.

So, I’m not making any promises, but I’m gonna maybe put a little more effort into LIVING life, rather than just watching the days fly by.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

 

♥ Abz

 

Less Us, More Jesus

In two weeks I will be traveling overseas to Haiti on a mission trip. I’m very nervous, to say the least. As I start to prepare for this trip, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.

Mission trips provide opportunities for us as Christians to share the love of Jesus that we are so fortunate to know. I think it’s awesome how so many young people are blessed with the opportunity to participate in mission trips.

But… here’s my “unpopular opinion.”

Mission trips are glamorized.

I think that sometimes people forget the REAL purpose of  these trips. It’s not to vacation, it’s not to kick back and relax. Mission trips aren’t meant to make yourself look heroic. Mission trips aren’t meant for photo opportunities to update your social media accounts. I’m not saying don’t take pictures, but be mindful when taking them.

You’re there to be a servant of God, and that’s not something to take lightly. Of course, I’m not saying you can’t have fun on these trips. I just think the situations these places are in, the conditions these people live in is so heartbreaking. The time you’re there is limited, it’s precious. Don’t waste a second of it.

The places we travel to are filled with people in devastating situations. Whether the country be struggling politically, environmentally, religiously, whatever it may be… these people need help in so many ways. If we’re so fortunate to be able to physically be in that country, we need to be willing and ready to help in any way possible.

Most mission trips not only give us the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but it can be an eyeopener for us as well. Let God show through you, let God open your heart and eyes.

Focus less on you, focus more on sharing Jesus and helping others.

*This post is 110% not meant to offend anyone, just some thoughts I had*

-Abz ♥

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8 

Forgive Others, Forgive Yourself

Being able to go to church these past couple of weeks has been the most relieving thing. I never really understood just how much I would miss going to church until I began working every Sunday. 

Yesterday the question “What kind of Christian are you?” was brought up during the message.

So, I began thinking. 

What kind of Christian AM I? 

What kind of Christian do I WANT to be? 

Basically here’s what I figured out… 

I am not the Christian I desire to be, nor am I the Christian I need to be. I want to be able to find God in every moment, I want to be able to find myself in situations where I can share my relationship with Jesus, and I want to be a forgiving Christian. Which brings me to my next point.

I am a Christian, however; I am not a perfect Christian. No one I know is a perfect Christian, because we’re human. And being human means we’re all going make mistakes. There’s no way around it, we all make mistakes.

⇒We. All. Make. Mistakes.⇐

I’ve made big mistakes, I’ve made little mistakes. And guess what? I’m going to continue to make mistakes. You’re going to continue to make mistakes. Just because we make mistakes DOESN’T mean we have to dwell on them, it doesn’t mean we have to let them haunt us for the rest of our lives. It doesn’t mean we have to continuously feel shame for the mistakes you’ve made. Your mistakes do not define you, and don’t you let anyone ever tell you differently. 

I think often times we forget that we are ALL human, we are all allowed to make mistakes. With making mistakes comes forgiveness. You have to learn to forgive, not just for those you’re forgiving, but for yourself as well.

Forgive others. Forgive yourself. 

I, along with just about anyone reading this, have made quite a few mistakes in life. But, guess what? That’s OKAY. Why?? Because we have an AWESOME God who forgives us. If God can forgive us, don’t we need to forgive? (Surprise the answer is yes) 

If you’ve read my previous blog posts (which if you haven’t you should totally think about checking them out) you’ll know I’m on this journey of growing closer to God, finding who I am as a person, and simply just trying to figure out this life thing. In this, I’ve learned just how important forgiveness is… forgive, always. 

And if you’re someone working on any aspect of your life, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually; then I’m proud of you. Don’t you e v e r let anyone make you feel bad for working on YOU.

And if someone you know is working on themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc whatever it may be… LET THEM. Don’t judge them, talk about them, ridicule them. Build them up, it’s a hard journey to take on no matter who you are.

-Abz ♥

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:31-32

Focus on YOU

Life is good. And I mean it when I say that life is good. These past couple of months I have made huge strides in being who I am, and focusing on myself. I turned to God and gave Him every broken piece of me, and here I am… happy.

I think a lot of times we get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget that we have to take care of ourselves. Not only do we NEED to take care of ourselves, but it’s OKAY to take care of ourselves. I feel like so many times it’s looked down upon to put yourself before others. I’ve been told that it’s selfish of me to want to put myself before someone else’s needs. BUT IT’S OKAY TO DO THAT. And that’s something I’m so thankful I learned. You don’t have to say yes to everything, you don’t have to make plans that you don’t want to, you don’t have to bend over backwards for someone who wouldn’t turn around and do the same for you. Don’t get me wrong it’s OKAY to say yes, it’s okay to make those plans, it’s OKAY to bend over backwards for someone.

My point is… take care of yourself. Take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally.  And never e v e r let someone make you feel guilty for putting yourself first. You are human, you are important, you are YOU. And that my friends, is such a wonderful thing. Love yourself, take care of yourself, and don’t you dare feel guilty for it.

 

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He Heals the Brokenhearted

As I was driving to work this morning I was listening to the song “Great Are You Lord.” A particular lyric stuck out to me, “You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken.” 

This line really hit me hard and as I drove I couldn’t stop the overflow of tears, but at the same time God plastered a super cheesy smile on my face. No matter what has caused your heart to break, God restores EVERY heart that is broken. Let me say that again… no matter how much it hurts now God restores E V E R Y single heart that is broken. How amazing is it to know that this pain you’re feeling right now, it’s not forever, it won’t always be this way. You won’t always feel this seemingly unbearable pain, you will feel joy again.

God is using whatever storm you’re going through to help shape you into the person He has called you to be. The trials and tribulations we endure help make us stronger, they open our eyes, they bring us closer to Him. Personally, I have a bad habit of neglecting God when life is “good” then all of a sudden, BAM, my whole world seems shifted. That’s when I run scared back to God, and you know what? He waits with open arms, because no matter how far I run He is right there when I need Him.

You are so special in God’s eyes, and He wants to help us be all who we are called to be. Which is why He NEVER gives more than we can handle. As it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.” In this life we will face so many challenges, but as long as we lean on God, we can overcome it all.

The pain of having your heart broken can be immense, trust me I get it. However, I find comfort and relief in knowing that God will fix my heart again. He will make me whole again, I just have to lean on Him and trust Him.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3

Lydia and Abigail–A Tale of Two Sisters

This blog brought tears and many thoughts to my head. I’ve always wondered, what if Lydia was born? Would I still be here? Thinking about my unborn sister, and that I came along not long after, makes me really realize that God placed me here with a purpose.

When I was younger, I use to BEG God to bring Lydia into our lives, I wanted to have a sister. For some reason I thought that one day she would just walk through the door like it was completely normal, and that I would have a sister. At the time I didn’t quite realize how crazy that would’ve been for it to happen, I just knew I wanted it to happen.

I often wonder how different Lydia would have been from me, sometimes I feel as if maybe life would’ve been better for everyone had she been the one to be around. I haven’t been the easiest person to have around. Again though, I remind myself God’s got me here for a reason.

I absolutely love my Mimi’s take on the relationship that Lydia and I share. Of course, I’ve never met her, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t right beside me every step of my journey through life.

Braking Points

Let me tell you a story, part truth, part fiction, because my mind tends to imaginings.

It was the worst of times followed by the best of times.  There was death and then there was life.  For there are  two sisters, one who died before she was born and one born ten months after the first one died. On November 10, 1997 I had lunch with my daughter Brandee at Wendy’s in Madisonville, KY just before her scheduled OB appointment. She was expecting our first granddaughter, who already had a name, Lydia Elizabeth. Just the weekend before our son Scott and daughter in law, Martha had been to visit with our grandson Jonathan, so we had had both grandsons Jordan [Brandee’s] and Jonathan. It had been great to have them together. Still the idea that a girl would soon brighten our lives thrilled us.

At lunch, Brandee confided that she…

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