A Year Full of Expectation

I chose expectation as my word for this year. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I chose this word.

Man, was I unprepared for what God had in store for me this year!

Here are a few things that I learned from this year full of expectation:

  • God doesn’t like to stay in the boxes we tend to put Him in.

This has been a lesson I seem to learn time and time again. I try to put God in a box of what I think He can accomplish or how I think He’ll heal me. Time and time again this year, I put God in a box, and time and time again, He burst out of the box doing more than I ever imagined. I sent out letters for Ukraine and within week…WEEKS…I was fully funded due to generous people. I didn’t expect to fall in love but I did. Ukraine wormed its way into my heart within minutes of touching ground. I finally got content with being in my corner of the world, and God put hospital nursing back on the table. Through an unintentional interview, it was like God was saying “Your story is not over yet.”

  • Bravery and expectation go hand in hand.

Living with expectation takes a lot of bravery. I mean, if you expect God to move, you have to say the next brave “yes”. You can’t expect to sit on your butt and wait-just wait-for God to do something. Living with expectation means listening to God and saying the next brave “yes” that falls in front of you. It means making plans, but holding them loosely as you expect God to move in them.

  • Rest is not selfish. It enables you to be your best self later in the week.

Rest. Self-care. In some circles, these words make people cringe. Honestly, 2 years ago, they would have made me cringe. It wasn’t until I was literally forced to slow down that I realized how necessary it is. My energy is like an opaque coin jar. I keep taking change out of it not realizing I’m close to the bottom until I hit a wall, get a TBI headache and I’m put out of commission for 24 hours. I hate it. I hate that I can’t do everything. I hate that I seemed to need more rest than an average 24 year old. I realized something this year. If I plan time into my schedule for rest, it doesn’t feel unproductive or a waste of time. Over time, my mentality changed because I didn’t view it as selfish rather I viewed it as necessary for me to be my best self. I couldn’t help the littles feel better if I was at the end of my rope.

  • My story isn’t over yet. Your story isn’t over yet.

I don’t know where you are or where your story has taken you. You may be reading this and you are on a mountaintop. God has never felt closer, and life is perfect. I’m happy for you. Cling to that feeling. Soak it in, and capture it to remember in the hard times. On the other hand, you may be reading this thinking “What has she got that I haven’t? Why is life so hard right now? Why is God so far away? Is God even good?” Don’t…and I mean don’t be ashamed of those questions. They are real. I’ve been there. All I can say is try and remember the mountaintop experiences. It may not seem like it but that God is the same God in the valley. This is why reading the Psalms is good-oh so good. David lamented about where He was but he always said “remember when…” You may feel like your story is over. I’ve felt that way many of times in the past two years, but GOD. He has redeemed what I thought was lost, and put my mind and my heart back together. 3 years ago, I begrudgingly settled for Akron, OH when I really wanted the ends of the earth, 2 years ago, I had no choice in moving back to Mansfield, OH. Today, I am realizing that God is up to something at MCS and in Mansfield. I am honored to be a witness to what God is up to.

This has been quite a journey, and I’m not there-wherever there is-yet. Thanks for walking this journey with me. This has been a year full of expectation. I started out the year hopeful, but depressingly realistic of where I was. I end the year overwhelmed with how God has blown those seemingly realistic thoughts of who I would be out of the water.

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Embrace Your Messy Hair

I’ve been blessed with my messy curls.

I used to not like them. I wanted blonde, straight hair like my friends. It wasn’t until college that I started to embrace my curls.

Now I wouldn’t trade my curls for anything, but I’ve learned how to manage the crazy.

Here are a few tips and tricks that I use manage my messy, crazy and wonderful hair. I’m by no means an expert. These are just some things that have worked for me and so I thought I would share.

  1. Don’t brush your hair.

That sounds weird to say but with curly hair it’s not a good idea to brush your hair and NEVER brush it dry. Brushing your hair damages the curls and increases the frizz.

2. Dry shampoo is my favorite friend.

I don’t wash my hair but twice a week (I see your face). It’s not as gross as it sounds. If my hair is visibly dirty, I wash my hair but washing it too frequently takes the natural oils away. It dries it out and makes it more frizzy. Because I don’t wash my hair that frequently, dry shampoo makes it fresher without all the work of actually washing my hair.

3. You can try your hardest to control it, but in the end, it’s just going to do its thing. Accept it. Embrace it.

My state of mind got better when I decided not to fight against my hair. Instead of me freaking out because my hair will do its own thing regardless of how much time I put into doing it. Im learning to take an “it is what it is” attitude with my hair. I mean 9 times out of 10 when I feel like my hair looks awful, someone else is thinking it looks good.

4. Condition. Condition. Condition.

The thing about curls is that you have to keep them hydrated. Conditioner reduces the frizz and keeps your curls looking controlled and defined.

These are just a few tips and tricks that help me embrace my messy and crazy hair.