When you’re growing up, you spend the whole time wishing you were older. When you get into your teenage years, adults tell you to enjoy it while you’re still young. I’m the oldest of four kids, and I always wanted to be the boss or the grown up; however, looking back everything was perfect when I was five.
1. Your mom can take care of you when you’re sick
Whether you’re in kindergarten or ninth grade, it’s nice to live at home when you’re sick so your mom's there to take care of you, bring you medicine or water, and give you that extra attention everyone loves.
2. You appreciate the little things in life
In an age where nap time was the enemy, you appreciate the simple things in life. Snack time was the best; Santa was the most interesting person ever (I mean, he still is in my opinion); and you couldn’t wait to slide or swing with your friends at recess.
3. You were friends with everyone
If John was being annoying yesterday, you could still share the sandbox with him the next day. Things weren’t so concrete, and it was easier not to be offended or hold grudges.
4. Everything is celebrated with a craft or party
If you didn’t have cupcakes for every single person’s birthday, did you even go to kindergarten? The class parents brought in cookies for every holiday, event or celebration. You made Christmas ornaments, painted pumpkins, ALWAYS dressed up for Halloween and colored on a daily basis. When I was in kindergarten, my youngest brother was born, and even that was celebrated — everyone gave me gifts for the new baby at my baby shower and of course, we had cupcakes.
I might have just oversimplified the kindergarten experience, so sorry to kindergarteners everywhere. But I’m jealous of all the five-year-olds out there who have the energy to run around outside for hours, live their lives on the edge and love everything.
Popular Right Now
My grandpa always talked about how much he loved the college I went to. I think it more so stemmed from the smile on my face and the way I beamed when I talked about it than anything else. I was elated when I successfully convinced him and my grandma to join my parents and siblings in their yearly winter visit to campus during my sophomore year; the nine-hour drive was not particularly ideal, but when he set foot on my second home, his eyes widened.
His perceptions from my Facebook photos were turning into a reality. Four months later, my grandpa unexpectedly passed away from lung cancer after his chemo treatment caused his tumor to detrimentally affect an artery in his lung. One of my first thoughts as my world came crashing down on me on that Friday in June of 2015? He would never see me cross the stage on my college graduation day.
This past October, I had just wished a friend of mine a happy 21st birthday; he was a junior at the school I just graduated from in May. Soon after, he mentioned how much he and the rest of his crew missed my grade, and couldn’t wait for my renowned ‘mom hugs’ when I got back to campus for Homecoming weekend in exactly three weeks. Just 16 days later, I received a Facetime call from close soccer teammates that this friend had taken his life, that it was his turn to earn his wings. I never was able to give him my hug during that homecoming weekend.
A loss is unfathomable; the mere concept scares me quite a lot. The emotions that follow are heavy, difficult to cope with, and hard to understand. From sadness to anger, disbelief, you name it, the grieving process is not one any human being is innately good at. Despite all of this, there is one prominent concept that lifts my spirits when my heartbreak begins to falter once again.
The type communication we can still have with these now angels, even though they are a world away. Consider a penny. Yes, that copper coin you probably have jingling in your pockets, falling out of your wallet, or are disregarding in the bottom of your purse. That same coin you throw into fountains and wishing wells with hopes and dreams attached. That very coin you usually pass by on the street; well I hope you don’t walk on by any longer.
On my graduation day, my family and I were leaving a celebration at a friend’s house when my grandma stopped in her tracks. Her shoulders sank and tears began to well in her eyes as she bent down to the concrete. A penny. She put it in my hand and told me, “it’s grandpa, he is here today. And he is so proud of you.” Well, hello grandpa, I really needed you right now and I hope you're beaming that I did it, I graduated.
A few weeks ago, I had just gotten out of one of my counseling classes whose topic that evening was about patients exhibiting self-harm and those looking to take their own lives. It was not an easy lecture to get through, being it was only three months since I endured the loss of that very good friend. A pit stop at the grocery store for dinner then brought me to the self-checkout kiosk, where I found a single penny laying in the change dispenser. Another sign from a guardian angel. Hello, friend. I'm so glad I could hear from you today. I really needed it.
These instances have come at many coincidental times: finding a penny on the carpet on Christmas Eve while the song my little brother sings every year, and the same song my grandpa would listen to daily (both the little brother form and original form) played in the background of our festivities; a penny on my doorstep the night of my final soccer game; a penny on campus during homecoming as we all grieved the loss of our friend who left us too soon; a penny on the bench outside of my new campus building during the first week of graduate school.
The list goes on, the coincidences never failing to reassure that my angels are looking down on me. My worries begin to slip away because I have stumbled on a penny from heaven; a blessing, a hello, from a guardian angel who knows all will be well.
A penny is a gift from heaven; it is a sign from your guardian angel.
It is a hello on a day that you miss them the most. It is a “you’ll make it through this” when your world is seemingly tumbling down.
It is a “happy birthday” or a “you did it!” when you’re blowing out your candles or conquering another milestone. There are all sorts of signs your guardian angel may send you to let you know they are with you, all coming at the most ironic, spontaneous times, but a penny is often overlooked.
It is in these moments that solace returns to your heart and your bones; you remind yourself that this journey is by no means easy.
However, you must believe you are not alone. Your signs will come when you need them most, I promise you. So never walk by this copper coin again. Take it for what it's worth: all of the love, hugs, and direct communication your angel is sending you from the clouds.
To my personal guardian angels, thank you for your signs. I love you dearly.
Girl, let me just tell you from girl to girl - stop, be patient, and trust in the Lord.
The Lord is good to those who trusts in Him,
So it is best for us to wait in patience - to wait for him to save us-
And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.
I won't tell you that learning to be patient is easy because it isn't always. Especially when you're an adolescent or young adult craving the idea of having someone to love.
It's in our nature to want that companion and to have someone we can love unconditionally and care for and have those actions returned.
But what I can tell you is that when you do choose to wait on the Lord, that His plan will be so much better than you can and will ever imagine. When you choose to wait in His timing and focus on Him, He will prepare you to be the wife that you are called to be.
You will be a woman who embodies what a Proverbs 31 woman is, a woman who is faithful and strong among other qualities.
You might be thinking that "of course this is easy for you to say because you're married". You might even assume that I just couldn't possibly understand, but I do.
I watched all of my friends date in high school. Even my two little sisters had their first serious relationships at the ages of 15 and 16.
I wanted so bad to understand what it was like to have a boyfriend and to have someone who would pursue and love me, but I didn't know what it meant honestly.
I was 19 when I ever entered my first relationship.
I couldn't believe that someone actually was interested in me. I was terrified for many reasons. And up front, I had to let him know that he could never be first because Christ would always be.
Side note: we had been friends for several months before either one of us admitted to potential feelings.
I tried repeatedly to push him away and allowed insecurities to interfere with dates and important events to him. I still regret some of those decisions I made because seeing the hurt it brought him was overwhelming.
But God is faithful and all knowing.
After four years together, this man is now my husband.
It was not always easy.
I hurt him more times than I wish I could admit. I said things that I should never have said. He never did anything to hurt me.
He never said anything he would've regretted.
Marriage is by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have had and it's only been eight months.
It is absolutely not easy and grand all the time. Life has changed dramatically from what the both of us new before.
We had to get used to living together and share one bathroom (make sure you always have two).
But patience and trust in Lord are what prepared to be the best wife that I could be. There will always be moments where I can improve and grow, as for him as well.
There is no way that I would've ever just assumed that I was ready for this. To this day while I know that I wanted to be married one day I can't say that if that someone asked me I could've 100% said: "yes, I am absolutely ready to be married".
When my husband got down on one knee and proposed to me while I was sweating and wearing the same exact thing from the day before I couldn't believe it.
I was so ecstatic, but also fearful.
However, I knew that he was the one and that God had prepared the two of us in His perfect timing. Neither one of us even wanted to date anyone until we knew they would be the one.
While we truly didn't know if that would happen nor if it were meant to be, I believe wholeheartedly that by being patient and allowing Christ to work in me He showed me what I deserved and prepared us for the other.
Today, I encourage you beautiful and sweet ladies who just feel like they're ready for marriage and crave that love and affection to just sit quietly in the Lord's presence and trust in Him and His timing. Know that you are being prayed for by others who have been in your shoes and know how hard it can be.
Pray that He shuts the doors that are meant to be shut and gives you the peace and patience that you so need. It is in our nature to desire love from others, but I can tell you that seeking the Lord is so much sweeter.
When you focus on Him and the infinite love that He has for you, your life will be so much more joyful.
As you rest in Him and realize that He is truly all you need, you will begin to watch Him transform your life before your eyes and when He brings that incredible person into your life it will be one of the most amazing and joyous feelings.
Seek Him in all things and find rest in His love. He will show you the desires of your heart when you place your trust in Him and He will prepare you for the love that you deserve.
You are a beautiful woman who deserves the absolute best and I pray that you who may be struggling with finding the patience and ability to trust in Him will be able to do so and with help from encouragement around you.