I blame a certain favorite writer of mine for this sense of nostalgia which has overcome me this afternoon. I am very much okay with it though. So many times I get caught up in where I am that I do not take the chance to look back at how I got to where I am now in life.
I have at least five written in journals on my shelf in my dorm room. Every once and a while I take the time to peek into my past and memories. I love being able to see how I was thinking and what was happening years back in my past. My past has shaped me into who I am today and I often forget how important all my past experiences are to my future.
Here is a trip down memory lane...
Lima, Peru: Summer 2008
This picture is of Heather and I. Heather was on my team. She was a little sister to me. I am so glad I had the experiences with her that I did and in Peru in general.
Beatrice was one of the sweetest kids I met. She loved spending time with me and always wanted to hold my hand. She helped me face my fear of climbing the side of the mountain (foothills of the Andes Mt. Range...) all while holding my hand. When I should have been a comfort to her, she was my strength.
This little girl never spoke. Lacy and I tried very hard to get her to open up. She had lice and, unfortunately, there was nothing we could do about it. But we asked her if she wanted her hair redone and she nodded. Lacy re-braided her hair as I just held her hand. Her little hand in mine made me understand just a little bit better what God does for me every day as He holds my hand and helps me through the best and the worst parts of my day.
Stefanie had the most genuine smile out of all of the children I met in Lima. She glowed every time I saw her the day I was in her town. She was fearless. She came up to me and slid her little hand in mine.
"So... my day today was amazing. we washed hair, clothes and did the drama once, and led over 130 people to Christ. The total of people yesterday was 810. I am so excited. Today I was around the children when this little girl took my hands and just held them. Then I gave her a hug and she told me her name was Stefanie, so I told her my name and she continued to just hold my hands for a minute or two longer. She and the others are why God has placed me here! He is so amazing and I am so grateful!"
-From my blog post on Myspace while I was on the trip, 2008
The girl in red is Shayna. She came up to me and brought her younger brother and sister with her. I always wonder if she was the caretaker for her siblings at such a young age.
I was blessed to stay at the El Pueblo Resort while in Lima. The resort was the only place big enough to house all 500 and some of us.
This place was the prayer chapel in the resort. I loved going in here just to get away for a little while and remember why I was there.
Laura and I have been best friends since we were four. Some of the things that we have done over the years have no explination and I am just glad digital cameras have been around for my teenage years to capture it all.
Homecoming sophomore year: Grant (my "twin") and I.
Homecoming junior year: Ash and I before the dance at Laura's house for pictures. I was Ash's "date" because a bunch of us from different schools all wanted to go to homecoming together, so Ash bought my ticket for me. :]
Homecoming senior year: Me and my brother. David, the soccer stud, was on court his freshman year of high school and I, the band geek, was not even my senior year. Though my date was almost on court, so I would have been his escort for the dance and such. I was asked to homecoming that year via pancakes. A group of us went to Ram's Horn (LOVE IT!) to eat after an away game at which we played in the stands. Dan and Ryan ordered pancakes to split and then they proceeded to shield the masterpiece which read "Homecoming?" until it was finished for me to read and respond to. I said yes, and I'm glad I did. It was the best homecoming dance I had gone to all four years of high school.
Prom (Senior year): I didn't want to go to prom unless I had a date. I am very thankful Jeremy said yes. Who would have thought that I would have gone to my senior prom with my best friend's cousin? Not I! But Jeremy and I have been friends since we were little through church. I wouldn't give up his friendship for anything. :]
Senior year band camp... need I say more?
My last year on piccolo... with my AWESOME bff and co-section leader, Rachel.
WCSC: My home away from home...
I love my friends...
Attempt... and fail. :]
Wolverine is an amazing place. I feel completely comfortable there. It is my home away from home. I have met some of my best friends there. I have strengthened many relationships there.
Some things should never have to end. Going to camp is one of them...
Me and my little bro... :]
Friendship that will never end.
The group. :]
Watching the sunrise... Far too early in the morning.
Summer in the Son. I do not even have words. A week in Kentucky is always a highlight of my life. Especially when spent with some of the most amazing people I know. Dancing and running in the rain, amazing speakers and artists, raw emotions, honesty, laughing until my tummy aches, french toast sticks, biscuits and gravy, rolling hills, lakes which you are not supposed to swim in... :]
Texas: SB '10 BABY!
Senior retreat: Rob's Cabin
College: Farm Day
Mi hermano y yo!
I love my little brother... well, I guess he isn't really little anymore. He is over 4 inches taller than me now...
I am very blessed. I have done so much and I have so much left to do. I can't believe that I will be adding another country to my list of visited countries next week. Haiti is going to be one of those places that shapes me and breaks my heart. I am ready for God to do amazing things. :]
Here is a cute little video by He Is We. Enjoy!