"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

- Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
I graduated.

What? I can barely believe it myself. This year has just flown by. But... I am glad it is over, honestly.

Well, so I promised I had a lot to post about... and I still do, I don't remember everything. But I'll try to get my thoughts out.

Last night the family was talking and stuff and I guess just telling me what they thought of me or whatever, and like it got me thinking about what I thought of myself in this past year. Or not really, just... I guess looking back on the last year. And like, I just was kind of overwhelmed how much I grew. Like, I've said all year (or I guess all semester) that I have really grown this year. But, I didn't even realize how much because it was all really gradual and really just... subtle. But I grew. And it gave me some encouragement. Because May was really hard for me. I was skipping out on quiet times because I have just been so lazy lately. Like I don't want to do anything. But sit at the computer. And so then I was like... I need prayer for that, and I just need to do my quiet times. But I was so lazy IN my quiet times as well. So... I don't know. I was really discouraged and just upset and just whatever. And there was also other stuff that made this month kinda stinky. And that stuff was contributing to my lack of focus on God and whatnot. But, I don't know... last night, I guess just made me realize that God has been working in my life. And everything is not in vain. And, I have been seeking God. Maybe not in these last couple weeks, but I have. And at the end of the day honestly I can say that I love God. Like, I used to not be able to say it. I mean, like I would say it but in my heart I would be like "I don't even know how to love God". But now I have full confidence that I love God. I don't love him as much as I should. But, my love for Him overflows.

But, this year things God has been teaching me: He's been teaching me about a pursuit of holiness. Feed the Spirit. Starve the Flesh. (As my sissy says). It's hard. But, I've learned that even stuff that people don't think are "sin" can really hinder your pursuit of Christ. Things affect you. And you can say, "I won't participate in that" but then you fill your mind with everything concerning that, and it really affects you. And I learned this year that it does affect me. So, I've been trying to just go after Jesus and giving up anything that in any way causing me to sin. Or, just... distracts me. I don't know, I think you get what I'm saying.

He taught me about faith. Every time we take like a "spiritual gift" test, faith is always the winner for me. But this year, Jesus really taught me that I could have so much more! And that fear is the opposite of faith. And to trust him more. It's hard. But, my faith definitely has increased!

He's taught me about his love. I think, honestly, in the Breaking Free series the week about God's love is really what I think made everything click for me. It's the week that I think really jump started my growth and my... I don't know.... love and devotion for Jesus. He's taught me how wonderful his love is and it keeps me going in the hardest of days! Even though, sometimes I still seek for the love of man, and I get all funky when I don't get it... I still remember God loves me and it, it warms me up. And he taught me that his presence is really where I want to be. Or showed me? Or made me realize? But, I love being with him. And, this last month I felt I wasn't even seeking his presence. And so, I don't think I was getting it. And sometimes I don't feel him there. But the days I do, it gives me so much joy!!

He's taught me about community. I don't really want to get into this cause I could talk for hours. But, he's really taught me a lot about this.

He's taught me more about prayer. I used to not be good at prayer. I'd pray for like a second right before I go to bed. Or... some stages in my life I would only pray and not read the Bible. But, even that prayer was kinda shallow. God really showed me just... the power of prayer! And gave me a love for prayer more. I get a little overwhelmed sometimes because I have SO much I want to pray for... and I don't know how to physically commit myself to praying for it all. So, I have been asking Him to show me more in that aspect. But, I have grown to just... love it more.

He's convicted me of some sins, and then be so ready to forgive and restore. Which was awesome.

I don't know... I think there was more !!! if I think of it I'll write it down.. then hopefully post about it. hahaha.

Welp, here's to my next phase in life!