23

Thoughts on my 23rd

As I enter into my 23rd year, I come with pure joy. A feeling I don’t believe I’ve ever truly felt before, until now. Joy from the grace God has given me and the patience He has shown me, specifically in my walk with Him. But also joy, because of how He has gently restored me, even though I don’t deserve it.

His patience to wait on me to buy into His goodness and understand His reckless and never-ending love that can be found nowhere else but in Him has meant everything to me. And because of that, I plan to remain faithful all my days and practice long-suffering until the day I see His face. Because kindness like this isn’t something, you forget. It changes you. It gives you peace. It’s something you tell and show the world because words simply aren’t enough.

It’s fruit.


Things I’ve Learned at 23

1. Plan

You can plan all you want, and still, God has the final say. Become comfortable with submitting your wants to Him, but also understand that when your plans don’t come to pass, the author and creator of your faith is overseeing your life. Things will work out as they should, and He has your best interest in mind.

2. You’ll Have Questions

Questions… that’s the polite way to say doubts. Whether you have questions about your purpose or your role here on Earth, there will always be things you think of that God hasn’t fully revealed to you.  The crazy thing is, some of those things might not be answered in this lifetime, and that’s okay. But one thing I will say is, meet your doubts with faith every time. Sometimes you won’t have all the answers, but if you had all the answers, it wouldn’t be faith. Let faith be the bridge between your doubts and God’s plans that you can’t see.

3. Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons to everything. I know this is a simple concept and yet it has taken me 23 years to understand. Every decision has a consequence whether good or bad, and once you are able to truly see the two in every decision, then you will make better and more informed ones.


Things I’m Thankful For at 23

1. Perspective

I never knew the power of perspective until recently. Perspective can have you feeling like the scum of the Earth or the luckiest and most blessed person in the world all while dealing with the same circumstance. Protect your mind, and keep your perspective in order. It’s so important, and I’m thankful for the change in perspective I’ve had this year.

2. Family

It’s funny, I feel like I always put this one, but it’s true. There isn’t a year that goes by where I’m not more thankful for my family than the last. You can’t choose family but God gave me a pretty good bunch, and they mean the world to me.

3. Chosen Family

In this year I’ve lost a lot of friends, I’ve gained a few, and I’ve kept a few as well. My support system (chosen family) has played a big role in my life this year as I’ve grown to understand the power of community. I’m thankful for the people in my life who put up with me, hold me together, encourage me and do life with me, daily.


Goals for 23

1. Continue to grow my faith.

2. Nurture the relationships in my life.

3. Better understand/find my purpose.


Twenty-two was an amazing year, and I’m VERY excited to see what 23 holds. Until next time, get up, get moving and be salt & light.

Vulnerability

V for Vulnerability

When I hear the word vulnerability, it’s like someone said the word “moist.” It just makes me queasy and uncomfortable. It’s funny because I used to think I had no issues being vulnerable, but what I really found out is that I’m great at keeping people at an arms distance.

The act of being vulnerable is uncomfortable, and I’m really bad at sharing personal details about my life.

I know what you’re thinking. “Sydney, you have a blog… about yourself. What are you talking about?”

I know, track with me for a minute. I do have a blog about myself, but much of what I share isn’t what I would call vulnerable information. I am willingly sharing it because it doesn’t take much out of me to share it. I share it because I love writing. I share it because maybe it can help someone else. But rarely do I share it with the intention for people to know the real me.

So about this vulnerability thing… For years, I’ve been praying for quality people and friendships to come into my life. I’ve wanted support groups, accountability partners, people who can look at me and say, “You’re not acting like yourself, what’s up?” even when I put on the facade that everything is good. I’ve wanted people who could call me out where I fall short, help me as I move towards sanctification, and much more.  Now, I’m finally in a position where I have those people, or I could have those people, but again, I keep them away.

I want you close, but not too close. I want you to know me, but only what I want you to know. Really I just want to be the introvert that goes to a coffee shop to be around people but doesn’t actually want to make conversation. That is me in a nutshell.

But as I learn more about what it means to live in community, I’ve learned those behaviors are actually the furthest thing from community. Community is allowing people to know you, all of you.

Not the Sunday morning you. Not the Beyonce version of “I woke up like this” you. But the you that nobody really wants to be around because you have problems, you.

Vulnerability is allowing people to get so close they could hurt you, but choosing the right community so that you can mitigate the unnecessary pain. You will get hurt being vulnerable, you will get hurt in community because people are imperfect, but as you exercise vulnerability in community, you begin to see what love actually looks like.

Vulnerability, community, and love. It’s hard to have one without the others, right?

It’s hard to be vulnerable, but it’s a prerequisite to community and love which are both things that we were built for because we were made in the image of God. So as I strive to become more vulnerable, no matter how hard and uncomfortable it is, I hope you strive to do the same.

Is vulnerability a hard thing for you too? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, until next time, get up, get moving and be salt and light!

5 Things I’ve Learned at 22

Hello beautiful people! Today is my 22nd birthday, so I am bringing you 5 things I’ve learned at the age of 22. Normally, when people do blogs like these, it’s, “22 things they’ve learned at 22” or “18 things they’ve learned at 18,” but I wanted to spare you all the fluff. Also, let’s be honest, I’m only 22, I’m not that wise. So instead here’s five.

1. Keep Your Circle Close

You’ve heard this spiel before, so I’ll keep this one short. When it comes to your inner circle and support system, quality is better than quantity. Period. Choose wisely…

2. Lofty Timelines Don’t Matter

You know when you’re younger, and you say, “I’ll be doing ______ by whatever age?” Yeah, how well is that working out for you? For me, it hasn’t worked out at all. Stop putting pressure on yourself, and just live your life. If you thought by now you would have accomplished something and you haven’t, and maybe your friends have, remember, we’re all on our own journeys. Timelines don’t matter. You’ll get to where you need to be when you need to be there. But more importantly, God has you right where He wants you to be. Trust in Him!

3. Health Is A Journey, Not A Sprint

Eventually, I’ll get around to dedicating a full blog post to this, but this year has definitely taught me that health and wellness is a journey, not a sprint. Some days, weeks and months you’ll be completely bought into your healthy lifestyle, other times, you’ll let yourself go a little. Regardless of where you are, scolding yourself into discouragement isn’t productive. The goal is to work your way to equilibrium. Eat cake, workout, drink wine, hydrate, go to bed late, eat plant-based, the list goes on. You don’t have to feel like you’re giving up things to live your healthy lifestyle. You just have to find out what works for you and stick with that. It’s not about what everyone else thinks healthy should look like, it’s about what you think it should look like. Healthy comes in many forms, find yours.

4. You Make Time For What’s Important To You

The saying, “You make time for what’s important to you,” still reigns true. We are all busy, so the question isn’t if you have time, it’s if you’ll make time. Not everything is worth carving out time for or putting on your priorities list, but never make the excuse of “I didn’t have time.” It simply wasn’t a priority.

5. Done Is Better Than Perfect

I dedicated a whole blog post to this topic, so if you want to read about it, you can find it here. But for the spark notes version, as a creator, it’s often better to complete something, than to slave over the details that don’t really matter and won’t make a difference. The creative gap, the space between the idea you have in your head and what you actually create, is real and can be daunting. When things don’t turn out as you have them planned, just remember that the act of creating anything at all was the victory. So finishing it and moving on to something that you can make even better is greater than stressing over the minute details.

All in all, 21 was an awesome year of growth and learning, and I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful opportunities and blessings 22 has in store.

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I’m changing up my blogging schedule a bit, so now instead of posts every Tuesday and Thursday, I will not post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. One more blog post a week! Yayyy!

Until next time, get up get moving, and live your best life!