Well, guys, today I am another year older.
Today, I turn 25.
And really the only question I can ask myself is, "how did I get here?"
I'm definitely not where I thought I would be at 25 and I'm not going to list all the ways.
Single. Living at home. No full-time job.
I may not be where I thought I should be, but if there is one thing I'm repeating to myself today it is that
that is perfectly okay.
I'm not sure what 25 is going to bring with it, where I will go, who I will meet, or what I will do.
But, I'm ready for the journey, because I know my future is set.
I know I have a Father that loves me and He only draws me closer to Him.
I'm letting His love fill my holes.
So, over the past few months (since I started blogging again), I've "met" quite a few girls who are exactly where I am in life. Although our lives do like different in some ways, we are all across the nation, we have different jobs, etc...they all have one thing in common. They have passed along some great advice! Throughout the months, I started a bookmark collection with the title of "READ ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!!!" And well, I just read them all. I wanted to share with you these wonderful words. The advice in these posts are greater than any words I could have probably ever written.
I hope you will read one or two, or nine! :)
when are you "old"? by jackie at jade and oat
Favorite Quote(s): "Every age sounds so old until you actually reach it." and "It's about being in the best place for yourself in every moment."
...because i'm a twentysomething by jessica at today was meaningful
Favorite Quote(s): "i’ve started to think about how easy it is to become controlled by our age. and the expectation of what your age signifies to everyone else." and "forget molds." and "say goodbye to all of the things that have kept you stagnant and vow to keep moving forward."
twenty-five things you should know by faith at 'cause you gotta have faith
Favorite Quote(s): "You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there." and "You can’t please everyone." and "Music is good for the soul." and "Never let one bad day make you feel like you have a bad life."
quarter-life crisis by kari at lipstick stains and coffee cups
Favorite Quote(s): "Quarter-life crisis? What the hell is that? Did you just make that up?" and "You are not alone."
how to avoid the quarter-life crisis by cat at budget blonde
Favorite Quote(s): "Don't worry about what others think" and "The secret for avoiding the quarter life crisis is working hard, pursuing different passions, and constantly learning, adapting, and exploring."
7 cures for your quarter-life crisis by paul angone (article from relevant magazine)
Favorite Quote(s): "Limit obsessive comparison disorder" and "We are in the exact spot we are supposed to be, it just looks nothing like the picture on the front of the brochure."
20 tips to make the most of your 20s by ashley crouch (article at huffington post)
Favorite Quote(s): "
Your twenties are a prime time to explore and grow, without all the baggage that comes with settling down and making your mark." and "make a great breakfast" and "limit your online life" and "brew a great cup of coffee or tea" and "be alone" and "hold on to a good friend."
And last, but not least, if you have only time to read one, try and make it be this one. Since I started blogging again, Amy has given me some great advice and some great reads (whether she knows/believes that or not). Every word spoken in this post, is something I want every twentysomething to know, believe, and remember.
25 years... by amy at taking steps home
Favorite Quote(s): "God's plans are bigger than mine, and i have to trust that." and "i've learned that it is better, easier, and less stressful to just trust God." and "Never be afraid to make a fool out of yourself. (in the good way)" and "So cheers to 25 years!"
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I know right after Christmas isn't ideal for such a heavy and real post. I apologize in advance.
Also, I really am truly excited for my birthday! I promise you!
We've mentioned it here and there in passing, but it's time we really talk about the looming subject at hand.
Being single during the holidays.
Oy vey. The holidays, Christmas especially, are a time to be happy! We have so much to celebrate, so much to rejoice over, so much to be thankful for.
And this Christmas has meant so much to me, more than any other Christmas, because I truly took the time to celebrate each day, what Christmas is all about. Christ, his coming and his future coming.
If there is one thing that we know, it's that the devil is so crafty and cunning. He knows just the right moment in time to strike you. And for us singles, one of those times is the holidays.
I remember something that my college minister taught us one night during worship. When we HALT, the devil is more likely to attack.
When we are Hungry.
When we are Angry.
When we are Lonely.
When we are Tired.
And loneliness can be one of the worst things for people during the holidays.
It starts with Thanksgiving. Which isn't really all that bad, except for the fact that it is the most perfect time to drown your sorrows in tons of comfort food and gravy. In your sweatpants, nonetheless.
Then, starts the pictures and statuses about how "we are going to cut down our Christmas tree!" "Time to take Christmas card pictures!" "Look at this lovely 'Our First Christmas' ornament we got!" "I'm so blessed by this guy, look at all these gifts he gave me!"
Please remember and know that I am so very happy for my friends who are in good, dating relationships, engaged, or happily newlywed. But, when it's constantly throw in our faces (and you clearly forgot what it's like to be truly single), it isn't fun.
And us single girls are just sitting over here watching Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas romance movies, while we eat our ice cream, as we daydream that we are actually the star actress of that movie. And that our old crush from years prior will magically come back into our lives, realize he is in love with us, and sweep us off our feet.
Insert eye-roll here.
But, in the true state of being honest with you all, I really can't stand those Hallmark and Lifetime romance movies. They are all the same. No hard feelings if you like them, they just aren't for me. Give me the Bourne Triology, Lost, or any superhero movie any day.
Then, after Christmas comes New Year. Where apparently whoever you kiss at midnight is who you will be with for the entire next year. Which implies to us single ladies that if we are alone when the clock strikes 12, well, better luck next year...or not.
Just pass that bottle of champagne please.
And, if you are lucky, like me, you get to throw a birthday into the mix! Nothing says a party like tons of leftover candy and chocolate, watching Netflix in your sweatpants (if you're single, you live in those things), while your friends are away and spread throughout the country, making it difficult to celebrate a monumental birthday like the big 2-5.
And really, all I want are some flowers.
I may be single and not exactly the girly-est girly girl, but I still like flowers. Lilies, hydrangeas, and daisies in fact.
Although being single during the holidays can be a drag. And thrown in our faces once or twice. It isn't what we dwell on.
As single people, we have to learn to find the joy in everyday things.
We grow and learn through our singleness that being single is not what has to define us.
I can give you the whole spill about how when you are single there are so many things you can do or how all your focus gets to be on your relationship with the Lord. But, you already know all that.
We've heard the lines about how this is just a season and if we "stop looking, love will come."
We know that all are maybe not meant to be married. (The hard truth to hear.)
We know that our joy is found is Christ alone.
We know that the only One who can give us true joy and contentment is the Lord.
We know He can do great and wonderful things through us.
We know we are complete in Him.
But, are we believing it?
Are we embracing the truth that He has spoken over us? Are we trusting the words that He has spoken to us?
Are we believing that the Lord is good?
Friends, He is so, so very good.
He is the true constant in our life that will never change. Whether we are single forever or happily married forever.
He continuously and daily sings joy over us.
His love is extravagant. His love knows no bounds. His love fills the holes of loneliness.
No matter what stage of life you are in. No matter if you are 16 or 25. No matter if you live on your own or still with your parents. No matter if you are single or married.
Let His love fill the holes in your life.
Let Him in and allow His love to fill every crevice of your being.
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Merry Christmas from me to you!
I hope you all have a wonderful day spent with your friends and family.
Let us always remember the true reason for the season!
Let us fall on our knees and adore Him who came for us and gave us life.
Happy Holidays, friends!
Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!
I absolutely cannot believe that tomorrow is Christmas! Where did this year go?
I feel like my Christmas tree hasn't been up for that long (but really it's been a month) and I'm not ready to see it go.
I'm going to read Dicken's A Christmas Carol today, continue my Advent study (I'm sad to see that go as well!), do some baking, drink some hot chocolate, and of course, watch Christmas movies!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas as you spend time with friends and family.
You guys make this place so much fun and I'm happy to celebrate with you all.
Now, I leave you with my Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs!
10. 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser This is one of those Christmas songs that you either love or hate. And it usually ends up being one that people redo and just have fun with. This is my most favorite version, by far!
9. White Christmas by Ben Rector White Christmas and Let It Snow are pretty much on the same level to me. Ben Rector has a version of each and they are both amazing.
8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Relient K I mean, it's Relient K. They are amazing. They did a whole album that is nothing but covers. :)
7. Joy To The World by Andrew Ripp This won't be the only appearance that Andrew makes on this list. He has a Christmas EP that is just fun to listen to. Also on the album is the song Peace Like A River, one of my favorite songs.
6. Snow Globe by Matt Wertz This is just one of those fun and non-traditional Christmas songs. Plus, Matt Wertz wears a red onsie for most the video. Funny. This is also the song set for my alarm in the mornings right now.
5. Come Let Us Adore Him by Hillsong One of the classics that we sing in honor of our King! Let us adore Him this Christmas!
4. Silent Night by Andrew Ripp AND Ben Rector I was only going to share Andrew's version, but then I saw this version that has both Ben and Andrew. Needless to say, I got excited and this duo is great together. (Andrew's solo version is below this one.)
3. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by NSYNC I mean, we can't leave out NSYNC right?
2. Carol of the Bells by Sofree I love any version of this song really, it's just fun. Well, this performance I saw live! Sofree is an all girls ensemble from The University of Mobile. I had the opportunity to go to Christmas Spectacular this year and it was absolutely amazing. Everyone did a wonderful job.
1. O Holy Night by Hillsong This is by far my most favorite Christmas song! The lyrics in this song are just astounding and are filled with truth. I've included the version from Hillsong and the version from Christmas Spectacular from last year. That is one you MUST listen to. Chills, I tell ya. Chills.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Here is one I just wanted to included for fun!
Jimmy Fallon did a mash up of holiday tunes with Carrie Underwood and Rashida Jones!
Regardless that this was mostly for Thanksgiving, but there's a little Christmas in there too.
What are your top favorite Christmas songs?
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It's not too late!
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Spots are still available for January 2014!
Guys, I'm so glad today is Friday.
I also can't believe that we are less than a week away from Christmas!!
Where did 2014 go?
This Christmas season was the first that I have taken the time to celebrate Advent. I've been using my quiet time to celebrate and countdown the days until Christmas. But, not so I could just count the days until I get to open presents, but to reflect and bask in the glory of the Lord.
Advent is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but also a time to remember his first coming, his death on the Cross, and his second coming!
I think it is amazingly cool how the people in Biblical times were in their own advent season waiting for the birth of Christ and now we are in our own season of advent waiting for his second arrival!
Not only are we in our own waiting season, but we can be assured that Christ will come again! We are not waiting for nothing!
Our God is the same as he was yesterday, last year, and even the Old Testament times! He promised the birth of his son and his death on the Cross and his words are never without void! He has promised the return of his son as well and because he is the same as yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we can find peace and comfort in knowing that Christ will come again.
I'm thankful that my God never changes! I'm thankful for the promises he gives, including the return of his beloved son.
Happy Advent Season, until Christ returns!
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Warning: This might come off as a serious fangirl post, but that's okay.
I truly love this band like no other and I want everyone to know them.
Psst. All opinions are my own.
There is just something about music. It can touch the soul in a way that nothing else can. It can get you through breakups, late night cram sessions, fights with your best friend, or moves all the way across the country (aka long flights).
There are lyrics that hit you all the way to the core. That resonate so deeply and just stay with you.
When you come across a band like that, the only natural thing to want to do is pack up all your things and just follow them around the world forever. I'm serious.
What we can sometimes forget, however, is that those bands (or single artist) that we are so infatuated with, are indeed made up of people. Most likely, best friends.
And just like all best friends, they fight. Sometimes, it leads to the end...
Most bands will tell you the truth about life on the road. The ones who don't are lying to you. It isn't all sugar plums and candy canes. Rainbows and roses.
Oh no. It's long days and nights, driving across the country, shows every night, easily forgetting what city you are in.
It's time away from your family and friends and maybe even kids.
It's large amounts of time with the same people and very little private time/space.
It's lots of ideas coming together and clashing.
And everyone handles it differently.
I first learned about NEEDTOBREATHE my sophomore year of college. They came to my school and were part of a free event.
I will never forget hearing them for the first time. I didn't know who they were, but I will never forget standing on top of that chair as they played their last song of the night. Acoustically.
Something about just voices and soft instruments that make such a loud noise.
It was fantastic.
Then, of course, the night got better as me and my friends waited in line and bought every album that was out. We got to meet the guys and they signed our copies. We even took a picture with them. And we joked around with them.
I will never forget my quick, joking conversation I had with Bo. One I'm sure that after many cities and meeting many fans, he does not remember. But, I'm okay with that. It's one of the coolest memories I have.
I've listened to every NEEDTOBREATHE album about 50 times (maybe not quite, but close). I've seem them live 3 times. I've met them once.
And they never. get. old.
They are amazing every. time.
And they close out the way they always have and I hope they always will.
With an acoustic set.
We fans have been BEGGING for an acoustic album and hopefully it will arrive soon.
I will always love these guys. I will always have their records. I will always listen to them.
No one will truly know what NEEDTOBREATHE has done for me in my life.
But, it's definitely made it better.
One of the things I love and respect the most about the guys of NTB is that they are real.
They proved that more than ever when they filmed a short documentary during The Reckoning Tour.
Fans got to see a whole new side of the band.
It's hard to watch at times, but it's real. That is what makes it great.
I'm proud of these guys and all that they have accomplished. I'm thankful that they are willing to be real and open with their fans.
If you are a NEEDTOBREATHE fan at all, you need to watch this documentary!
And learn to "prove the poets wrong."
My favorite quotes from the film (all from Bo):
"Our faith is something that we're not the best at. It's that we look towards it. We strive for it."
"If you're not willing to fight for it, then how great is it?"
"The music we are making, I'm in love with."
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Welcome to a (very, mini, small) Christmas tour of my home!
We don't have too many Christmas decorations around our house, so this will mainly be pictures of our (real) Christmas tree.
But, you best believe that if I had my own place, it would be decked out in so many Christmas-y things.
Also, bonus points if you can find the slightly creepy elf in the pictures below.
(Also, I took these right when I first woke up, so they aren't my best. Nor is it the best lighting.)
When we lived in Memphis and I was little we always had a real Christmas tree. Once we moved to Alabama (our house got smaller) we went a few years with a fake tree. Then, one year we wanted a real tree again and that is that. :)
When I was younger we had many different ornaments on the tree. Like things that I had made, little ornaments with my picture in them, all that jazz. Well, now we do simple silver and red (I was really feeling red and gold, but we went with silver.) with white lights. I love the way white lights look, but last year we did have colored lights and they are festive and pretty as well. :)
That's all for this Christmas tour!
I hope you enjoyed the many pictures of my tree.
While we are talking about Christmas!
Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition that you or your family started?
What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?
Do you get a real tree every year?
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One of the best things about Christmastime is curling up on the coach, with some hot cocoa or chai tea, with your Christmas tree in the corner, all while you watch a good, ole Christmas movie.
Here are my Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies!
10. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
A crazy uncle, a father obsessed with having as many lights on the house as he can, a pretty deaf grandmother, a pesky cat, a large Christmas tree, and an exploding turkey. Hilarity ensues and you will laugh.
9. Holiday Inn
One of the oldies, but a classic. Plus, you get to listen to Bing Crosby AND Fred Astaire.
8. Jingle All The Way
A dad races through town on Christmas Eve to find the most popular toy for his son.
7. The Holiday
Two women, who are tired of men, switch houses for the holiday.
From LA to England.
And end up finding everything they wanted.
6. White Christmas
Another holiday classic where you get to listen to Bing Crosby and this time, Danny Kaye!
5. A Christmas Story
Yes, I am that person that watches this ALL. DAY. Christmas Eve. Thank you, TBS.
It's a weird tale of a kid who only wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, yet everyone insists that he will shoot his eye out.
4. The Santa Clause
"You put on the suit and you're the big guy!"
By the way, ABC Family is showing ALL 3 movies tonight!
3. Little Women (1994)
Of course I'm a fan of the book, but I adore this movie.
Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, and a young Christian Bale.
My goal this Christmas is to watch the other versions of this movie!
My #1 and #2 are pretty much ties. I could watch these two movies all Christmas season long!
They are just fun movies.
If you haven't seen them, I hope you will watch them this Christmas.
Psst. They are both on Netflix!
2. I'll Be Home For Christmas
Three intials. JTT.
That should be enough for you to want to see this movie. And love it.
A guy tries to make his way back home in time for Christmas and win his girlfriend back at the same time.
1. All I Want For Christmas
This is one of my ALL. TIME. favorite movies! Two kids work together to get their parents back together. A young Thora Birch is so adorable and I had a major crush on Ethan Embry at this time. It is such a good movie! If you haven't seen it, try to watch it this Christmas!
Pssst. It's on Netflix!
What are your top favorite Christmas movies?
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I was totally going to write a real post today. But, my brain just isn't in the writing mode today.
Instead, it's in the mode of catching up on my TV shows all. day. long.
And the mode of not getting out of my sweatpants all. day. long.
And the mode of laying in my bed, while watching my shows, in my comfy sweatpants all. day. long.
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I am so happy to announce that starting in 2014, I will start button swapping! I've been looking for ways to meet new bloggers and sponsoring seems just the right road to go on. However, I'm not able to financially sponsor anyone's blog, so button swapping is where we are at right now.
Every month I'm going to (hopefully) have five awesome bloggers on my sidebar! And throughout the month, we will get to know each one of them better.
I know I started following most of the blogs I read by clicking on a button I saw or a link in a post. It's a great way to get your space out there and to meet new bloggers! I'm excited to see what this brings about in 2014 and whether or not it is a good fit for my little space here.
If you feel like it's been a little silent around here lately, it's because I've been working on this little project. And filling my head with all knowledge of button making and button sizes. I still don't have all the knowledge. It's been a little overwhelming at times, but I'm excited to get my feet wet and start this new adventure! Oh, and many thanks to Kiki! She has been loads of help! :)
I will try to not be overwhelmingly annoying with the announcements of sponsoring in my upcoming posts. But, just like when I ask people to "follow" me, it will be at the bottom of every post until spaces are filled! :)
Now, I'm off to get ready for a day at the coffee shop. It's off to work I go!
Happy Thursday, friends! :)
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