Peace out 23!

peace out

Hi Friends!!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog and I’m so excited to share what’s been on my heart with you! I recently celebrated my 24th birthday and it caused me to do a lot of thinking and reflecting. My very first thought was, “When in the world did this happen?” I can’t believe that I’m 24 and officially living an adult-ish life!!

My next few thoughts are where the reflecting came in. There have been so many lessons that I’ve learned in this past year. Every day I’m learning something new, discovering a small part of life I’ve never noticed before, or simply making a mistake and taking note of how I could make a better choice in the future. It’s an exciting and intense time in life! It would be nearly impossible to share every lesson learned, however, I wanted to share a few that have forever changed my perspective about this crazy thing we call life.

So, here we go…

Lesson number one: “Skip the drama, stay with mama!”

While I don’t mean this literally (please move out of your mama’s house eventually) the statement is so true and makes me chuckle to myself every time this quote comes to mind. As a teenager I often thought I had this whole thing figured out and when I hit twenty my stupidity only worsened!! I was without a doubt a victim of the “I’m grown” syndrome and secretly thought I was such a boss.  Then finally, at the great age of 23, I moved out of mama’s house and let me tell you, my parents are now some of the smartest people I know! It’s amazing how the things they taught me throughout my life are now a reliable road map to help guide me through the difficult moments in my life. So many times I wish I would’ve just simply trusted and obeyed their loving advice, but of course I had to figure it out on my own.  The hard work and love they put into being my parents has never been more obvious than it is to me right now.

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Lesson number two:  Create goals, not expectations.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a dreamer and a planner.  I have a huge imagination, because of this imagination I’m so quick to set extremely high expectations for my life and how I think everything should happen. For example, I’ve always had high expectations for my husband, when I would be married to him, when I should have kids, how many kids I should have, where I would live, what my house would look like … you get the point. Unfortunately, I’ve quickly learned that when it comes to life it just doesn’t work that way. Things don’t ever happen the way you expect them to. I never would have guessed that as a 23 year old I would be moving out to Tulsa, Oklahoma, single, and going back to school. Based on my expectations, my life was way off track and nothing close to how I imagined it would be at this point.  After throwing an extraordinary pity party for myself one day I went to class and one of my professors said something that would forever change my point of view. “You can’t control the events that happen in your life, but you can determine the outcome based on your response to them.”  I may not ever fully understand why things happen when they do or why I plan to go one direction and life seems to take me the opposite way.  But instead of sitting around and wishing things were different I must learn to respond positively and with the determination that no matter what road it takes to get there, I will arrive to my goals and dreams. I’ve learned to make goals in life not create expectations. When I have a goal that I am focused on it doesn’t matter what circumstances are thrown my way or how long it takes, I’m determined to reach that goal. When I create an expectation I only put pressure on myself to make things happen just perfectly, and in the end will be disappointed when it doesn’t look how I imagined it would or happen when I expected it should happen.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Once I’ve determined what God has called me to do my only job is to trust Him and pursue that calling with everything I have. His plans for me are good, His timing is perfect, and it’s not my job to create superficial expectations for my life based on what I think it should look like!

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Last but not least…Lesson number three:  Embrace vulnerability

In Genesis 2:18 God says, “It is not good for man to be alone…” I can already see all the singles pulling out their white hankies like, “Yessss GOD!” Today, I want to present a slightly different perspective then what we typically understand from this Scripture.  More than speaking solely of marriage I think God was also saying that we as human beings were not created to be alone. He created Eve to be a helper for Adam and in the same way He places people in our lives to be a support and a help to us.

Many times this year I learned this lesson the hard way. My natural tendency when I’m going through something is to push it down and not let anyone know. I immediately resort to isolation and don’t feel I should “bother” anyone with the struggles I’m facing. This is so wrong! Life is all about community and being there to hold each other in the difficult moments of our lives. By keeping things to myself I was only making the feelings and emotions worse.  There is so much freedom in vulnerability and openness. We never know how someone else can help or encourage us if we would be willing to lay down pride and embarrassment and simply ask for help. Vulnerability isn’t easy, it shows others that we are actually human and sometimes exposes our weaknesses. It’s never easy to admit to someone an area where we are flawed, or an area that’s open and sensitive like a bleeding wound in our hearts. However, it never ceases to amaze me that when I choose to be open and honest I get the perfect encouragement and boost I need to keep going. Simply sending a text that says, “ I need a friend…” has been such a lifeline for me. We live in a generation that tends to be staged to perfection. We look on social media and compare our inner insecurities to someone else’s highlight reel. I don’t know about you, but sometimes this causes me to try and pull myself together, pretending I’m ok, instead of admitting that something is wrong and I need help.  Embrace vulnerability and embrace the people that God has placed in your life, you are never alone!

As I said before I could go on and on. What a year it has been! I’m so thankful for the good things, the amazing new relationships, the tests, and the character building moments that have come my way. I know they are only preparing me and shaping into to the person God has called and purposed for me to be. I hope that these lessons I’ve shared can encourage you in some way and maybe show you that you’re not alone. We all struggle and walk through things, but the important part is being able to look back and learn from each and every moment, the good and the bad.

I’m excited for all that 24 has to offer me and I’m looking forward to continuing in this journey God has me on. Let the adventures continue!

Peace out 23!!

Until next time,

RAE. xx

Together 2016

together

WOW, what a year it has been! When the three of us met back in August of 2015 we had no idea that we were in for the ride of our lives. This year has been one of many up, downs, twists, and turns but God was so gracious to give us the gift of each other. Our personalities are so different, yet they’re just the perfect blend to keep life interesting. There is never a dull moment when we are all together! We’d like to think that we are funny enough for our own reality T.V. show, but what group of friends doesn’t think that about themselves? Ok, maybe it’s just us!

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A couple weeks ago we were in a quaint little donut shop celebrating the last day of school. Randomly during our conversation Sonia says, “Let’s go around the table and all share the most important lesson we’ve learned this year.”  Mikayla and Cyrae looked at each other and just chuckled because this was such a typical Sonia moment, she’s the deep thinker of the group. Without hesitation Cyrae quickly jumped out there and shared the most valuable lesson she could think of at the moment, there’s been many many lessons learned this year. Then, it was Mikayla’s turn. She smiled that shy little smile she always does, looked down trying to hide behind her bangs, then said, “umm…I just…you’ll have to come back to me!” We laughed because once again, this was a typical Mikayla moment. Lastly, it was Sonia’s turn, anyone who knows Sonia can picture this moment with no problem at all. She slammed her hands down on the table, jumped up and stood on her chair, as if she was speaking to a crowd of thousands, then began quoting her favorite Scripture of the year! And yes, you guessed it; this is a very typical Sonia moment. There’s never a moment where we can guess what she’ll do next. This one instance is the perfect example of our personalities and as you all can see, Cyrae is the normal one of the group, wink wink!  

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The truth is it wouldn’t be possible to list all of the amazing lessons we’ve learned this year. We’ve loved every moment the good, the bad, the moods, the adventures, the lessons, and most importantly getting to know our Daddy God more intimately. We can all say without hesitation that this year has forever changed our lives. It has birthed dreams, given us the courage to chase them, and built a firm foundation of unshakable faith to stand on. 

A couple of the highlights from our year have been traveling to five different states together, making amazing friends at school (our SQUAD), going to our young adult group called 3D on Tuesday nights, going on random adventures downtown, photoshoots, last minute homework cram sessions, discovering new coffee shops, trying to force Cyrae to enjoy coffee, attempting to get in shape, random dance parties that annoy all the neighbors, meeting each other’s families, and last but not least starting a blog together! We could go on and on but you get the idea, it was a great year!

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Although we experienced many great moments we had our fair share of difficult ones. There were months the finances were low and we didn’t know how bills would be paid. We woke up to mornings when we didn’t feel we had the strength to get up and face the problems that seemed to be staring us in the face. No one enjoys moments like these, but it is in these moments where we find strength. These are the moments our faith is tested and these are the moments that cause exponential growth in our lives. While we don’t welcome them with open arms, we are deeply thankful for them because they have shaped us into who we are today. By no means have any of us arrived, but we are more determined than ever to continue taking one step at a time towards the dreams we are passionately chasing after. We will never quit!

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The school year is over, summer is here and we are all headed down different paths. As sad and hard as this is for us we are excited to see what the next season in life has in store. Unescorted will continue and be just as strong as ever. Our passion to see singles become strong, independent individuals who trust God whole – heartedly will never change no matter what state we live in.

We love you all and thank you for continuing in this journey with us! We hope we are encouraging you to never give up, keep your standards high, and fight to find the beauty in every single moment of this beautiful life we have been given.

 

Until next time,

Rae, Sonia Dee, & MJ