Falling leaves.

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 “Falling leaves.

Things change.

The air turns cooler.

The blooms of Spring turn to to the crisp-ness of Fall.

Things change.

The bright colors of Summer turn into their darker brothers and sisters.

It’s almost as it one season dies and lend it’s spirit to another.

Things change.

Time continues to move forward, as always. Never stopping for anyone.”

I’ve been thinking about change recently. 2013 was the biggest change I’ve ever had to endure and it seems that my life is ever evolving now. Never staying the same, always keeping me on my toes, yet always leaving an air of the same things. I’ve changed a lot over the past year, some ways for the better and some ways not so much. I’ve also been thinking about how God has been there in these things. No matter how good, bad, or horrible it has been. He’s been there and never let me fall. I’ve went through some dark times and I’m forever grateful for that minuscule glimpse of hope that He’s gave me to keep holding on to fight another day. And some days I ask why because it is so hard sometimes to just get out of bed and shower and carry on with my daily activities. This week has been one of those weeks; I’ve been sick with a sinus infection and dealing with that old health issue that no one knows why it’s happening, My car battery died, then my window motor broke, I find myself wanting so many things and being very ungrateful and un-content with what I have, I’ve missed my allotted days of school and am slightly behind with some of my classes, I’m dealing again with being content with my singleness and find myself asking “what’s wrong with me!?”. I haven’t been eating clean lately and haven’t been able to workout. But then I stop myself and think, God has provided for almost every one of these things. He provided the money to have my battery replaced and my window to have a temporary fix, He provided a way to see the doctor in both cases, I was able to speak with someone about school who knows the issue and seems to be on my side, I have everything I need and a roof over my head. And most of all, I have hope that tomorrow is a new day, full of His grace and mercy and new opportunities and chances. Change isn’t a one time deal, it’s all around me for me to seize and make my own. I have to remind myself of that, often it seems. I started school in August. I was so scared and nervous. I’ve never had good experience with school, I was always bullied or the kid who was always bigger than the others. So it was natural for me to have these feeling prior to starting. However, once I got there I have found I love it. I’m so excited to see what each day holds and to see the people I feel like I’m starting to make friends with. There still are those mean girls and guys, but so far it hasn’t been too bad and I’m at a point now where I can hold my own and I’m not afraid of my spirit anymore and will not omit pieces to make anyone feel more comfortable. I have this want and willpower to change the things I’m not happy with in my life and the one I’m working on is my body. While I’ll always be a big girl and never a size 2, I’m ok with that. I just want to be confident with myself and how I look. I believe in the body image movement and feeling positive towards yourself, so I’m embracing that and working towards feeling that way about myself. I’ve found on this journey that I actually like to sweat and enjoy the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement, I’ve seen the fruits of my labor and I like that. So while reminding myself that change isn’t a one time deal, I’ll do what I can, when I can. I’ll eat foods that are good for my body when I can and when I’m feeling good and up to it, I’ll exercise. If one day I eat pizza or a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s because I’m in a hurry. I’m not gonna beat myself up over it. It’s not a race and I’m not competing with anyone, I hope we all make it. Yeah, change seems to be my motto in this season of my life and it’s a season I’m embracing with open arms.

My first college paper… The House that made me.

The house I grew up in and live in to this day, is a place of solace and peace for me. It’s one of the main places I have the strongest memories of my dad. Now that he has passed it’s even more important to me. It’s one of my most favorite places. I feel safe, loved, comfortable, and accepted as soon as I drive into that long dirt road.
I can smell freshly mowed grass and pine, from the tree that sits at the bend as I pull into the driveway. A weeping cherry tree sits beside of that huge pine tree and is the picture of southern elegance in the spring and reminder that beauty fades in the winter. An old white house with its weathered appearance sits at the end of that long driveway. Fields used for hay sit on either side with a cow pasture in front of it.
You can find any tool or piece of equipment you need to help fix up a tractor or lawn mower out back, there is always the smell of diesel fuel and gas lingering in the air. There is the garage where my first car is parked. It’s a silver Jeep, personalized with stickers to make it my very own. See that maple tree beside it? There used to be a swing set there, now a picnic table sets in that trees cool shade. I recently saw that old swing set, rusted at the hinges, but still just as sturdy as it was the day it was bought. I can remember many times swinging as high as I could go and the wind blowing in my hair while my dad was working nearby. My mom tells me stories of times on it when I was a wee toddler, she says she can hear the squeals of laughter and conversations I had there.
There’s a building that sits nearby that my dad built with his own two hands. I remember watching with wide eyes as he built it from the ground up. I can remember the smell of wood as it was being cut to exact measurements and the sound of a hammer, pounding the nails into place. Over there are the dog kennels where some of my childhood best friends lived. You can now find my fiercely loyal and loving border collie, Lexi there. There’s never a dull moment with her. She’s always very vocal with her barks and always willing to give you a big, sloppy wet kiss.
As you make your way back to the old, white house there’s a wraparound porch that my dad put in lots of hours to build, I remember because I helped him some. As you walk you can hear the creaking and popping of it weathered boards. The house is just big enough for the three of us, but it over flows with love. That kitchen there, is where we cook dinner and eat around that table. There is always booming sounds of laughter and loud conversations filling the room. I can smell the fresh scent of laundry being washed nearby mixed with the aroma of my mom’s famous homemade spaghetti or one of her batches of oatmeal cookies being made as you walk through.
The living room is the heart of the house. With the sound of a football or basketball game being played on the TV or laughter coming from someone reading a funny story of the computer that sets in the corner. Big, fluffy couches where you can find my small, furry dog Buddy curled up in my mom’s lap or maybe taking up one of the most comfortable recliners. It always smells like comfort and peace to me. It’s where you can come to laugh at something funny or cry and pour your heart out, whatever the case may be.
It’s the house where I learned to be brave, believe in God, know that I am no better than anyone else and nobody else is better than me, witnessed miracles, grief, happiness and sadness. This is the house that we may not have had a lot of money but we had love and that was enough. Yeah, that’s the house that made me.