Worship Encounters

This is my new series idea. Mixed in with these, will probably be random things I am learning. I just really enjoy writing. It’s a great way for me to process, learn and express myself. So I am dedicating one day a month to just writing.

I love worship. It has always been one of the most intimate ways that I can connect with God. I’ve learned a lot through practicing it, and watching others. I also have had the privilege to help be a part of teaching students about the heart of worship, and what worship leading is like because it’s more than just being on as stage. Through that, I have looked and found many worship stories/encounters in the Bible that I have fallen in love with. There are some ones you would expect and unconventional ones, but the Bible is full of them. It’s God’s story, so pretty much any encounter with God can be a worship experience. Which I love.

So in the future, I will write about different encounters I’ve read and things that I personally have learned and gleaned from the encounters/scripture and hopefully you can take something away from it too.

So you can expect the first one by the end of this month.
Thanks for sticking with me!

 

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Hey, I’m 30!

I had a milestone birthday a few weeks ago, the big 3-0. A brand new decade.
I was pretty excited about it. Excited to see what this new decade will bring me…

I’ve already started to freak out a bit about being in a new decade, because if I am being honest, where I am at now – is not where I expected I would be when turning 30. And when I look around me at other 30 yr olds, I’m not anywhere near where they are. But that’s called comparison, and that is something I am tempted to do, but always reminded that that’s not fair to do because I have a different path than other’s. Plus, when I really sit and think through what I’ve done thus far, and the people I have met, and the work I have done and am doing – I feel pretty blessed and privileged.
The 20’s helped to shape me, and the 30’s will only shape me even more. There have been lessons I needed to help mold me into who God has designed me, and there’s only more to come. I’m only a few weeks into 30, and I’ve already been hit with a bombshell of something that I need to work through…but I think I’m ready.

So, what did my 20’s teach me?
To have fun. That I’ll never reach the top (in a good way, staying humble basically and that there is always room to grow). That I don’t even want to be at the top. That I am always well taken care of and loved very well. That I cannot live alone. Dreams do come true, but aren’t always dreamy. That I’m clumsy. Technology hates me. I will survive. Sometimes I don’t have a choice and that is okay. God is ALWAYS good. That I am a hard and loyal worker. I love deeply. I need to be better at time management. I’ll never stop growing, but I also have to be intentionally about growing. You should ask for help. I have limitations and it’s okay. Kid’s are a delight to me and can always lift my mood.Β People believe in me, so I need to believe in myself. I was born to disciple and to worship.

I have high hopes for my 30’s. So here is what I’m hoping for:
That my 30’s will be good to me genetically. That I can get healthier, that I get more sturdy (even though I spilled water all over myself today), that I can live more intentionally, to not take myself so seriously, to be more happy, to let people in, overcome some fears, and to laugh so much more. Also really hoping to become a mom (via adoption). To choose joy more often. To not be so selfish.

I know that these list’s could be ridiculously long, but for your sake and because I like to keep many things to myself – I will spare you! Really, I just want to be obedient to Christ and to be helpful to those I love. I have so much more room to grow, and so many things to learn – so thanks to all of you who have been with me this far no matter at what point you came in. I’m looking forward to the future.

Enjoy some of these funny photos from my birthday part(ies). My friends are crazy, and thats why I love them. I like to think that I stir that crazy pot for them :).

30:30

So, unfortunately I didn’t divy the places up enough like I thought I did, and I don’t have a 30:30 place. If i would have done cities rather than states (or I did a mix of both and combined some places), then I could have…but alas I can’t go back and re-do it!

So, for this final post, I thought I would make a list of the places I have NOT been to, and to where I would like to go before I die. πŸ™‚

If you have suggestions as to places, please feel free to leave those in the comments!

With-in the U.S. (because I’ve come to realize, that our country is huge, and there is a lot to see so I should appreciate that!)
California (more specifically the Red Woods & Yosemite and San Fran, and wine country)
Savannah, Georgia. My mom has always wanted to go here, so therefore I do to.
Waco & San Antonio Texas, trying to talk the family into a vacation here next fall/winter. Mom loves Chip & Joanna Gaines, so hey! might as well!
Oregon
Seattle, Washington
Colorado (hopefully going next year…I have a friend in Grand Junction, so its helpful when you know people!)
New Mexico (i just drove through it, so I would love to just explore the state, and also see the hot air balloon festival)
Grand Canyon (duh)
Hawaii (any of the other Islands, since Ive been to Oahu)
In the World
Turkey
Israel
South Africa
Greece
But pretty much I will go anywhere because I love culture and travel.
So if you know of anyways to travel cheap, any tricks for a single person who doesn’t spend a lot of money and doesn’t have a lot of money, send them my way! πŸ™‚

thanks for following along!

29:30 O-H-I-O

Growing up, I couldn’t wait to explore the world and see what else was out there outside of Ohio. I never truly appreciated what my home state offered until I moved away and then ended up moving back.

It’s home. It’s where my family is. It’s where my community is. There will always be a draw to go elsewhere, but there will always be a draw to come right back. I truly believe that people are what make a place. I could go to the most beautiful place in the world, but if I don’t get to experience it with anyone, especially anyone that I love, it won’t have the same affect on my soul as it would if I got to share the place/experience. So, Ohio, for me, is about the people and the memories.

Fall is a pretty spectacular time to live in Ohio, with the leaves. It’s been voted I believe top 10 by national geographic before for places to go to see the leaves change. I live right in the middle of Amish Country, which attracts done of tourists each year. We locals hate tourist season because seeing Horse & Buggies, Amish on bicycles, Tractors on the main roads, the farmers making hay… is apparently not a normal every day occurrence.

I remember one time, a local-isa city guy coming to our church and I was driving him home I believe, and he just couldn’t get over the rolling hills. He kept telling me “do you realize how beautiful this is, all I see is roller coasters!” (He lived near Cedar Point!)
I’ve definitely taken it for granted. The scenery, the chiller lifestyle. I have definitely made myself sick on some of our winding roads…oops!

I have also gone to the Farm @ Walnut Creek a handful of times. Whenever new people would come into town, that would always be one of my favorite places to take them. It still is! Who doesn’t love a wagon ride, or taking your car through to have llama’s come running at you! I definitely have broken down there before too…that’s a fun story! πŸ™‚

So, there will be lots of photos, mostly of the people I love and memories I have. There are too many to encapsulate all of my feelings for Ohio. I never know I could love this place, but I am glad God moved me back and has gotten me to a place of appreciation for Ohio.

Some of my favorite things:

Cleveland has a great ice cream parlor – Sweet Moses! Also, I grew up going to the Playhouse Square, and most recently found an amazing Mexican place with like theee best quesadillas, Puenta Viejo (i could at quesadillas every day).
Columbus has great shopping!
Akron has great character and a good Art Museum (as does Cleveland! It’s awesome!)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park/Forest is fun to walk through!
Drive-In Movies @ Lynne Drive-In in Strasburg
Coshocton Water Park
Roscoe Village in Coshocton
The rails to trails that runs through Millersburg.
Cleveland Indian’s Games!
Playhouse Square
Blossom Music Center

So, whether your from Ohio or not, enjoy it! πŸ™‚ I’ve learned to!
It’s not a post about Ohio, unless I post about Ohio State or theCav’s, so I’ve been a Cav’s game before which was a blast! But not a football game, my school didn’t have football, so I never really got into it. Also, do I need to mention the Browns?! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

28:30 North Carolina

I love the Carolina’s, for years North was my favorite state (until I went to Kentucky and Tennessee and Hawaii!) πŸ™‚ It’s hard to pick a favorite!

I have family that live in Raleigh, and for a short time my brother lived in Charlotte. I love both of those cities. I also have stopped through in Boone and Ashville which are awesome mountain towns! Asheville is a fun spot to walk around the city and explore and its very artsy. My friend Abby and I spent a night there at a hotel and went wine tasting (as we do) and explored! I love the mountains, they give such spectacular views! (I’m not an adventurous person, deep down I want to be, it just takes a bit to pull it out of me)

I always remember really enjoying Raleigh and Charlotte. Because I don’t live near any big cities, I always am able to enjoy the cities and what they bring when I am visiting them. My brother sed to work for the Charlotte Bobcats so I remember touring the arena and his little office area and just walking downtown. Raleigh I’ve explored mostly just the residential part. But I’ve always love the weather, because it’s pretty mild from what I remember!

I feel like each state has things to offer, so if your passing through NC take advantage of the Smoky’s and the Blue Ridge Parkway. There’s some great pull over spots with spectacular views down 77 and check out the small towns, there’s lots of character!

 

*no photos I could find, my apologies!

27:30 Myrtle Beach

IMG_4484IMG_4485IMG_4486IMG_4487IMG_4488IMG_4489Good ‘ol Myrtle Beach!
Between FL and Myrtle Beach, those are pretty much the beaches that I have been to the most. My grandparents lived in both places, but the one we visited them at the most was Myrtle Beach. They lived about 5 minutes from the beach, and had a communal pool (i know it sounds scary, but it actually wasn’t!) in the area’s where they lived.

Myrtle Beach is not that bad of a drive from Ohio, maybe like 10 hours max depending, but it was a nice trip for us! We would go in the summer time and I would take a friend, I also remember we went in the winter time one time also with the rest of the family. One time, I’m pretty sure this was that trip, in our vehicle we had my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my other aunt. All of us ladies were in the backseat, only there wasn’t room for me, so me being the youngest on that side of the family, I literally laid on their laps and pretty much slept for however long we were in the car. My mom and aunt’s were miserable, and I was loving every second of it! πŸ™‚

Myrtle Beach is great because there is so much to do, always. It’s been quite a few years since I have been there so I know it has only changed and probably gotten better I am sure, as most things do with age :). But, there are also lots of people, so if you prefer beaches with less people, this is not the beach for you. But if you don’t mind the people, and love activities, this is definitely the beach for you – especially if you have kids!

*As for photos, I couldn’t find a whole lot, and I know for a fact that only 2 of these are from myrtle beach, the others I am not sure, but they are photos of photos and I’m all about embarrassing photos so enjoy!

*My photos are not showing up to where I am able to upload them. My apologies, hopefully in the next couple of days, they will appear! πŸ™‚

 

 

26:30 Indiana

For most of my life, my uncle and aunt have lived in the Ft.Wayne Indiana area.
My friend’s sister, lives in the Indianapolis area and whenever I’ve gone to Chicago, we’ve driven through Indiana!

To be honest, I’ve never done touristy things in IN, nor do I really know what touristy things there would be. But my memories are from there are good ones of just passing through. I’m always met with great hospitality and friendliness.

When I was younger, I would spend a weekend at my uncle’s, they always had dogs so that was fun! There’s not much to see in Indiana apart from flat land and wind mills. There is a great road stop in western IN when your getting closer to Chicago, I know there is a great travel plaza nearby (i forget the town) but we’ve stopped there numerous times and at a Chipotle nearby! πŸ™‚ We have our travel priorities right!

Unfortunately, I have no photos of Indiana. I could just post a windmill and from what I have seen, that would be fair enough! πŸ™‚ I do appreciate the flat land, in that it is different than what I am used to with the rolling hills of central/eastern Ohio, but if anyone has anything spectacular about Indiana, you just let me know where I need to see and someday I will make it a point to get there, while I’m passing through :).

25:30 Outer Banks

2 summer’s ago I had the opportunity to take about a week vacation to the Outer Banks in NC with a family I am very fond of. I have been to a few beaches, and this was the first time to the Outer Banks. I was very pleased!

I’m an introvert, so the beaches where there are many people tend to stress me out. This beach wasn’t very crowded, and it was great! I love just laying on the beach, which we did quite a bit of, but we also did quite a bit of activities, including a sand castle building contest which the boys won, they all went to a high ropes course which was fun to watch! (i have a fear of heights, so i stayed on solid ground), went to see a local lighthouse, went to an arcade one afternoon when it was rainy… There’s plenty to do in the Outer Banks area!

One morning I got up for the sunset and that morning was so special. I found a conch shell, and has some great time with God. It was exactly what I needed that summer.

We also went to Duck Donuts one morning…waited in line for like 40 minutes and it was SOOOO worth it! Donuts are the way to my heart, so to wait in line for donuts you ca customize and that are still warm and fresh is well worth it for me!

Towards the end of the week we also went to the sand dunes which was AWESOME to see the wild horses. We rented 2 Jeep’s and off we went driving onto the beach! It was so cool! This was probably one of my favorite parts of the vacation.

I would definitely go back to the Outer Banks again, especially for those donuts ;).

 

24:30: New York City

I’m not a city girl, but I am amazed by them and love to occasionally visit them! I am always glad to go home afterwards, but I am also able to really enjoy taking them in while I am in them. So, a few years ago I had the opportunity to go take in New York City with my friend’s family who came over for their holiday and spent a weekend in NYC, so I got to go with them!

My friend and I rode the bus from Pittsburgh to NYC and we met her family pretty much right down time if I remember correctly! We arrived around lunch time so we had a drink and some food and then off we went to explore the city! We stayed at a hotel in NJ just right across from the subway station pretty much. It did the trick! πŸ™‚

My feet were so sore from walking everywhere. We took the subway to Greenwich village, on a day that just so happened to be a Gay Parade. That was very interesting to walk into, people were handing out freebie bags that I will refrain from telling you all about! πŸ™‚

We walked through Times Square, got hot dogs from a stand (which was one of my have to’s!), we hung out in central park which for some reason just felt so surreal! We went to Radio City Hall and the Rockefeller Center. We walked the high line, which was really cool! Went to the top of the Empire State Building.

We took the staten island fairy to see Lady Liberty (we didn’t get off of the boat, it was at night-time) and that was really cool! That was one the last things we did while I was there with them, I left a day early. We also walked to see the WTC site which was very surreal and so eerily quiet out of respect. If you’re ever in NYC, this is a must just because it is such a big part of our History now and to remember all of the people who lost their lives and the hero’s who lost their lives and saved so many people is an amazing thing to have been alive for. Seeing the site and reading all the names just made it so much more real for me. I clearly remember when I found out, I was in Jr. High at my last class of the day and my History teacher at the beginning just turned the TV on because History was happening right before our eyes and she wanted us to know what was going on in our country. So we all just sat there and watched the news, and when I got home, that’s all my family did. We just sat there in disbelief. I will never forget, and for those who didn’t have any family involved like me, if you go and see it for yourself, it will cement it in your brain and give you just a taste of what people went through and to pay respects to the people, was an honor.

NYC was like a dream, and although I would never ever want to live there or spend an extended period of time there, a weekend is a blast for this little suburb/country girl like me! I also, am excited to go back someday. This time, I want to go in the wintertime, and see a broadway show and go ice skating at Rockefeller center and see the big Christmas tree! That’s all I want!

I don’t have any photos from NYC, my apologies. But what I have, is below and is great for me! thanks for reading! Thanks for the Monaghan’s for letting me come on this trip with them and being so generous to me! It was an incredible blessing and a very great trip!

23:30 Tennessee

Good ‘ol Tennessee. So much music! Such a fun state to drive through and take in Memphis and Nashville. I am not a country music fan, but somehow you can appreciate it when your in TN!

I remember walking down the streets of Nashville and there being busker’s on the streets everywhere and they were all so good too! Very entertaining and always had a crowd of people!

Memphis we were only in for a couple hours. We walked around town, saw the sites and the Rock n Roll Museum, sidewalk of stars, Lorraine Motel, Elvis’ statue… and ate at a restaurant that has Jonny Cash’s name carved into it because he had eaten there before!

We stayed the night in Nashville with a friend, she was very accommodating and took us downtown to a music festival thing, and we walked around to see the sites! I loved it! Nashville is definitely a good weekend trip with the ladies, and would love to do it for longer and take it in more than an evening! πŸ™‚

I hope these posts encourage you to travel more! Remembering them makes me want to see even more of this country, and world, but also to revisit different places that I really enjoyed or wished that I had more time in!