The Safest Place

The Safest Place In The World.

My encourager. My constant.

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When we were little, my sister and I would sit at our little white crafts table after school and color while my mom made dinner. We would experiment with pencils, sharpies, watercolor, and pastels well into the afternoon, and nothing was better than sitting there for hours--except for when dad came home. Every day around 6:30 pm, my sister Charlotte and I would jump up from our creations, run down the hallway, and attack him. He would engulf us in a hug that felt like the safest place in the world.

My dad is one of the most influential people I know. He's genuine and honest; he speaks his mind and always says what he means, which is one of his greatest qualities. People don't always like to hear the truth, so this can sometimes be hurtful, but it's also what makes him such a trustworthy voice. He's not afraid to give you his opinion and challenges you when he knows you need it. He's always done this for me. When I ask a question, he might not tell me what I want to hear, but he'll always tell me what I need to hear. This quality about him is so special because I think it models how Christ loves. Jesus doesn't always give us exactly what we've been praying for or lay out all the answers on a silver platter, and He certainly isn't afraid to say "no" or "wait," but He does give us the answers we need and exactly enough information for where we are at that moment.

Not only does my dad challenge me and call me out when I'm not living as I should be, but he also loves me when I fail. He loves me when I'm not perfect and when I just can't seem to get it right. He comforts me when I'm angry and reminds me of the most important things in life. He tells me I'm beautiful when I don't feel like I am (inside and out) and encourages me on the days that just really suck. Throughout all the storms and waves that come crashing down and threaten to discourage me, my dad remains a constant that I can always count on.

Even in the time that's passed since I sat coloring outside the lines at our little craft table, my dad's arms have continued to feel like the safest place in the world. I know that not every girl can say that, so I'm thankful to have been blessed so immensely.

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On June 22nd I Celebrated My 22nd

*Insert cliche Taylor Swift song "22"*

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It's about time I turn 22. I've been told that after your 21st birthday, the years begin to fly past you in a blur. I don't know if I agree, but I can definitely say that I don't feel 22. Sometimes I look around at all the people who are freshmen in college, or juniors in high school, and I begin to reminisce about when I was their age. One thing getting older does do is make you a skeptical, cynical person.

I've thought a lot about my birthday as another day that I get to eat cake because let's face it, I'm not really here for anything else, except maybe a shot. I remember celebrating my birthday when I was younger was much different from what it turned into after I turned 20. Back in the day, I would celebrate my birthday with a pool party. Pizza, chips, cake, and soda. A few balloons and candles and that was it. I'd only invite my closest friends and we'd have so much fun.

I miss that kind of birthday. The kind you pick out an outfit for days prior, the kind you get so excited for and can't sleep, the kind that makes you feel special. It doesn't feel like that anymore. What it feels like now is, "welp, there goes another year." This line is also applicable to New Year's Eve, but we'll cross that bridge six months from now.

My birthday is pretty uneventful. It feels like the spark is gone, the excitement is gone. I wish I could feel happy that I'm turning 22, but I also know that it's just a reality that we all get older and things like birthdays begin to feel strange. You're faced to realize that you're supposed to have gained another year of experience and intelligence in the aspects of life, but it's almost like you feel the same.

It's safe to say that this has been a bit of an existential-crisis-themed birthday, but I'm just a little scared of getting older. I think we all reach a point where you realize you aren't invincible anymore. It's time to see what's in store for the future, what your career goals are, where you plan to move to after graduation, how to eat better, and how to feel like you've reached your full potential. It's a bittersweet moment in my life, but I'm ready to see what's next.

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10 Things To Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer Break

Here are some ways you can enjoy summer.

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Trying to find something to do during summer break? Here are 10 things to consider trying out.

Relax

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Relaxing is what summer is all about. Whether it's listening to music, watching TV, or sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing, any form of some relaxation is always necessary during break.

Stay active

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Staying relaxed doesn't always have to mean doing absolutely nothing. It's also highly beneficial to stay outdoors and keep your body moving.

Read

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Stimulate your mind and pick up a book you've been wanting to read but just didn't have the time to yet.

Pick up a new hobby

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There's no better time to find a new hobby than summer break, and it can be anything!

Practice good habits

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Healthy eating and exercise can be especially hard things to maintain throughout the year, but with a little more time on your hands, be sure to stick to healthy practices and eventually incorporate them into your daily routine. You'll be happy you did it.

Travel

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Stepping out of your environment into a new one is always an exciting thing to do. Traveling is obviously one of the most popular summertime activities, so, when met with the opportunity to do so, definitely consider going to new places, meeting new people, and exploring different cultures.

Write

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Writing allows you to be creative and serves as a form of self-expression that can be both relaxing and fun.

Shop

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Just because you can never go wrong with shopping.

Visit new places

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If you've been meaning to go to a particular place such as a restaurant or museum, now's the time to do it!

Focus on yourself

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One of the most important things that you can do during time off is to focus on yourself. There are many ways to do this, but definitely invest your time and energy into doing something that is beneficial to you.

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