19 Of The Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned In 19 Years

19 Of The Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned In 19 Years

I've learned to ask God for big things; to ask for the things that scare me because they seem impossible. I've learned that to experience God's provision I need to test Him.



1. Ask God for the things that seem impossible. He will do immeasurably more.

I remember in a tough season of life asking a friend, "Can I even ask God to do that for me? Can He change this?" as if there were some things in life God doesn't have control over. I've learned to ask God for big things; to ask for the things that scare me because they seem impossible. I've learned that to experience God's provision I need to test Him. I need to hand him more than I can handle on my own. I've learned that God always does immeasurably more than I could ever even imagine.

2. I only get sick if I neglect my own health so basically I need to take care of myself.

Love me some vitamin C!

3. Feeling very lonely is usually a sign that you need to be alone.

I used to immediately distract myself from any sense of loneliness I felt instead of just being still and listening for God's voice to tell me "Hey Grace, you know you're never alone right? I'm right here, always." I've learned how to be so content in the moments where I'm alone instead of feeling lonely.

4. You think you’ll never stop loving that boy who broke your heart but one day you do.

The love that you thought would be always and forever dies out, and that's okay. Your heart heals.

5. The meaningful things in life are beautiful.

Lately I've challenged myself to discern what the meaningful things in my life should be and recognize them as things of immense beauty.

6. Don’t let anyone put you on hold until it’s convenient for them.

You deserve honesty and to be pursued.

7. You shop at Publix for the experience, not the prices.

Financially unstable Florida college students get it.

8. Just because you never want to feel heartbreak again doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allow yourself to feel anything at all.

I think this is one of the biggest mistakes I've made and it's something I'm still working on. There's a difference between guarding your heart and not allowing yourself to feel anything out of fear.

9. God is so patient.

He is so loving, so patient and pursues me even when I push back. It sounds crazy to push away a perfect, never ending love that we don't even deserve in the first place but it happens all the time. God is so good, He's there when we come running back and He's there if we don't look back at all.

10. How to lead in love and with grace but with assertiveness.

I was never a very confrontational person but I'm learning how to deal with conflict in a loving way. I think knowing how to handle correction with a spirit of love and understanding is definitely one of the most important skills as a leader.

11. Florida pizza isn’t pizza


12. What loving well truly looks like.

1 Corinthians 13 aka "the love chapter" is a well known scripture and you hear all the time that love is selfless, but as I've gotten older I've realized that love is sincerely not self seeking. I've watched my parents and the people I love most make huge sacrifices for me; hard sacrifices. These are the people who have taught me how to truly love well.

13. You don’t always need to be out on a Friday night.

I'm learning not to let the fear of missing out dictate my life.

14. Contentment isn’t complacency, it’s fulfillment

During a devotional one morning the speaker talked about how being content in a season of life is being fulfilled in that season, it's not just being complacent. It challenged me to continue to push myself further even in the seasons where I feel comfortable.

15. Love is always a choice

Love is waking up every day and making the decision to love. We have to consistently and intentionally remind ourselves to love God in every moment and with every decision.

16. For harvest there must be waiting. To break ground you have to spend time under the soil.

Being patient and waiting on God is so hard for me, yet God doesn't think twice about waiting on us no matter how long it takes for us to return to Him. God is constantly teaching me to step back, let go and just wait on Him.

17. I play into the game of comparison so easily.

I've realized that I'm someone who compares herself to others almost on a daily basis which is so unhealthy. Theodore Roosevelt said, "comparison is the thief of joy" which put things into perspective for me. Why should I be letting this steal my joy? God is reminding me daily of who I am in Him and bringing me to a place of peace when those thoughts come.

18. Empathy isn’t weakness.

When I went on my first missions trip I prayed that God would break my heart for what breaks His and He did. Empathizing with others, feeling broken for broken people is a life that God calls us to; a life of compassion and grace. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus explains, "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Serving others and empathizing with those in need is a tangible way to express our love towards God.

19. How to be still and find rest during the busy seasons of life.

One of the hardest things for me to do is rest. I love being busy. I love the hustle of life, but rest is so important to maintaining a healthy balance in life. It's essential to take time to take care of yourself. Time to be still, relax and recuperate.


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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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