in honor of my twenty-fifth post, i decide to post twenty five things that define me for whatever reason...
1) my niece because she is a part of me in a way i've never experienced before and because she teaches me how to love unconditionally.
2) lab puppies because their ears and paws are too big for their little bodies and they make me melt
3) texas because it's "home"
4) california because it's where i'm putting down my "first roots"
5) the color yellow, i have no good reason why, it just makes me happy
6) grace because too often i fall and need His grace to right me again
7) my parents because they raised me to love Jesus and to respect my elders, yet gave me the freedom to become who I need to be - they are generosity and faithfulness
8) babies because of their sheer innocence and peace, they are irresistible to me
9) volleyball because hours on the court on multiple teams through my adolescence shaped much of who i am and gave me the love of the game
10) writing and photography because they are my creative outlets
11) my grandpa because the way he loves Jesus is unmatched by anyone i know this side of heaven, and he's really funny
12) the beach because it reminds me of how big God is and calms my soul
13) butter popcorn jelly bellies because they're the underdog
14) traveling because it allows me to go outside of myself and experience life
15) ministering to teenagers because it's clearly God-given :) and it makes my soul come alive
16) my younger brother because he has the greatest sense of humor and the most tender heart - he is pure joy and humility
17) my older brother because he speaks truth and he loves people well, he is authenticity and consistency
18) san diego because it is a place of childhood happiness for me and is still my favorite yearly retreat
19) cheese because my dad is a dairy farmer and it's just yummy goodness
20) young life because working for them for 5 years has changed me in ways i could never have imagined and has given me a passion that feeds my soul
21) my heritage because it helps me understand me, it gives me pride and purpose to know that my grandparents immigrated to give us a better life
22) my dad's mom because she is wisdom and strength in the midst of physical ailments and her fair share of difficulty in life
23) my running shoes because they signify that my body is healthy enough to exercise and they are a symbol of my physical outlet
24) my friends because they accept me and love me - the good and the bad, and they give me the opportunity to truly live in community and learn what it means to love wholly and unselfishly. i would not be where i am without the durable, consistent friends i have in my life and i'm grateful
25) Jesus defines me like nothing else ever could because without Him, my soul is empty, my life is incomplete. He is everything. He is the reason I choose to love others, He is why I am in seminary and why I want to be in ministry the rest of my life, He is ridiculously forgiving, He loves everything about me, which I cannot fathom. He never fails.