what a year it was

Welcome to my world of random Katie thoughts. I am so excited to write, because this year is a very large and fulfilling topic that I think a lot about.

This year has been so changing. I feel really different, in good ways. I feel older and wiser and happier. Throughout this year I’ve thought to myself “How do I do this”. Honestly…sometimes I wonder how I can (and how we all can) push through so much of our schedule. There were moments this year, whether it be from school or other responsibilities, that really tired me out. I’m sure that you can relate. But after all the studying, all the planning, and all the experiences, I’m really glad that I was able to leave this year feeling accomplished. Isn’t it so good to be able to look back at everything you did and feel like you made it. I did it.

Here is a list of things I’ve learned/pictures to show you what I’ve been up to. Some deep, some not. Here we go

  1. I need to do things that make me happy. Saying yes to everything removes me from being able to develop dreams that I truly want to reach. I don’t have time for doing things just to do them. Eventually, I have to realize that some things just don’t stick around forever. And they weren’t really meant to anyways…so it’s okay. For me, this meant no longer pursuing a sport. It also meant spending more time alone with myself to step back and breathe. Before this, I always thought I could do everything with everyone and come out strong and successful. But the hamartia is that I am a human (who needs sleep). By narrowing down what I do every day, I believe it will help me see my passions more clearly.
  2. I have got to take breaks. And not just once a month, or whenever I have time. No. I mean making time to (like I said before) step back and rest. Towards the end of this year, I’ve started to pay more attention to myself and the fact that I need some good ole me time. In 2017, I’m going to keep that up. I’m going to continue to make time for myself to just sit and recharge and think over things.
  3. I need to accept my flaws instead of refusing to have them. And I’m not really talking about my body here, more like my flaws as a person. I have this terrible issue  of misplacing things, forgetting things, or planning things out badly. I know that it’s always been such an inconvenience for other people, not only me, so I always try my hardest to not be so forgetful and scatter-brained. But the other day, I ended up leaving my wallet in Zaxby’s, and I didn’t realize it until I was about to leave and go get dinner with friends. So….after thoroughly searching the house, I had to drive to Zaxby’s, sheepishly ask if they had a gray wallet, and drive back late to dinner with my friends. I know it’s a dumb situation that was fixed, but for some reason I was just so hard on myself. I forgot that I make mistakes, and it’s okay that I make mistakes. Now, I know that whenever things like that happen, I need to forgive myself immediately and realize that it is what it is. This is just a mistake, and I’m going to fix it and keep on moving.
  4. You are most happy when you give your life away. My friend Clark told me that. A few weeks ago, I got to be a part of a weekend work crew that helps put on retreats for YoungLife. I totally love going on trips or retreats with people to hear sermons or experience cool things. But the quote I said at the beginning is so true. By getting up early, serving people their meals, and spending hours setting and cleaning up for them, I got to know a very new perspective of service and fulfillment. I’ve never had to do the dirty, behind-the-scenes stuff. I didn’t earn much recognition. I was never rewarded for doing the things I did. But I felt so happy to be so unnoticed. I felt like through my work, I was able to point directly to God without people looking at me, first. I realized who was really doing the Big Stuff. And that for me was so incredibly fulfilling. I loved each and every kid I served, even though I didn’t know much about them and they didn’t know much about me. Here are some pics from that:
    IMG_5019.JPG

    My girl Gini and I waiting for the campers so we could serve and get to work.


    img_5018

    Behind the scenes in the kitchen…BEFORE WE SERVED THE FOOD!!!!!!


    img_5004

    We were so excited to bring ’em out.

  5. I love feeling like I’ve made someone feel better…like I touched them or changed them somehow. I bet you’ve heard that phrase a million times, and since you have, it’s become an insincere, cliché group of words. But I just want to let you know that I think that about myself now because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve always wanted to help people and love them somehow in my life, and I thought that if I was kind to people and spent time with them, I could begin to do that. After this year, I knew I was right. I’m just really happy to know that I don’t have to take on the whole world and change it. I don’t have to create this huge organization that fixes everything. I do a lot by showing up and living for God. Here are some examples of people I have an impact on:
    img_4844

    The FCA life


    img_8654

    IMG_4763.JPG
    Being a co-small group leader for some crazy seventh grade girls…


    img_1882

    Spending Sundays with my own group 🙂

    All in all, I’ve been lead to be a part of such good things. I hope these pieces of life that I’ve learned will help me as we hit 2017! Bring it on.

Love, Katie

Why was Haiti so Beautiful

Hello reader.

This post is all about why my mission trip is something that I will never forget. Why I will always love it, and why a piece of my heart is still there. Here goes.

God is really good at breaking hearts.

He certainly  broke mine. In half. This is because I had to leave Haiti, my new home. Whenever I get back from a mission trip, I struggle with what to say to people when they ask me the question: “How was your trip?? Tell me all about it.” Here is the issue that I come across:I cannot express to you the feelings I had in Haiti. They are those feelings that take your breath away and fill your heart and paralyze your body from noticing anything else. ANYTHING ELSE. Someone told me the other day that we are uncomfortable here on this earth because we are not meant to be here; our real home is in heaven.

I agree. I second that fact.

Those feelings that I stink at describing made me feel like I was in heaven. IT WAS SO GREAT. My biggest fear is to be ignorant and unaware…so you can imagine how much I let Haiti wash over me and expose me to real love, real poverty, real pain, and real people. There, I felt no worry about the first world problems that circle me at home. Those problems seemed very dumb and small, actually.

Here is the answer to my title, “Why was Haiti so Beautiful”:

Because of them: boy squad of the week and our leader, Frantzou. (It’s like Fronzu.)

And them: waiting to meet their new American friends.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/G-r8E5sEaqSyDxnNlm3D2r51IIJHWk18VXNKp9Tz17DABJ5U-dWg3DiVOvlj2x0ggjZrjiARgpSDvRLo0Y9eA00G8N1eRJegaGZ_NVKjjiFpqZF_Ws5uj6Ch7CH6Q9gCKPBC68Uc3vvFhtct9iJvbyVvHY7KE342V3fQQllgW_d2_evMc7OUszcWq0-_SVKUY9fRYJeVFMvvK3B5iOMGwW5Na42Y2yDGSfk-ORlY7VjeOlK4xdrqSIe0oi2xImfiEXT350kC1OSA93xIiIqDQVichWJqiNVIFuG6R3-CMVTwm-WpS7oMmaWQFsrjIilo6lH3jZFf9ASyso2j4H96DJdn-i4v71mmGKylZ6YAIFHhTqE8neFr24KO7maf_pwbt6YX3loqjgChCMwcRMegSVxkOsnhfXrYrfOk533YWFlaD3HKFL6HBMBYuKP6-wLWZd6mPA1nM-LDJ-qDSOa78DHCIkL9T9E7HVDbXywbt7qcqxziIc7D5Zd727ogPH3leSRODABT0z7q9ErTXqIWAZMU6pQJyTE53J_W_RPcJrSB8fC9KNsq-KGZs62ZQDN-S_VhDaHJtlHQIAi3X4E0AEVbb9ueETA=w1063-h797-no

And him.

And them.

And them: Village kids that are totally copying the way I’m standing.

And HIM: Working through our totally unqualified, but totally willing selves. (Which is all he needs.)

And this: Our new relationships full of curiosity, companionship, and love. (And the occasional mockery.)

 

And those: the smiles.

And this: true friendship that’s all about trying new things ❤

The dance parties were also a plus.

 

And us: Tired with full hearts and open mouths.

NOT PICTURED BUT TOTALLY WORTH MENTIONING: Our dance circle with our Haitian friends and trip leaders. I saw some things that will never be erased from my memory, which I’m not sure is good or bad.

In Haiti I saw God very differently. He wrapped me up in His arms through each little Haitian kiddie hug. He washed away every drop of worry and doubt about Him as soon as I saw that little girl that we sang to. He brought me really good friends that I got to go back home with. And He spoke to me through Dee on those early mornings of devotion.

I will never, ever be the same.

And that is why Haiti was so beautiful.

(I like to space out sentences that I want to emphasize, in case you didn’t notice.)

So, there is my answer for you. If you donated to my mission trip you really should feel amazing right now, because that ^^ is what you brought me. An experience that changed my life. Also, all these pictures are from a bunch of people on the team, so thanks to them for letting me use these. My last sentence is this: Go on a mission trip. Then you will understand all of the Instagram posts, blog posts, and incredibly long paragraphs from people who came back home.

LOVE, KATIE.

Crooked Creek Ranch

Welcome.

I really, really love traveling with my friends to new places that are full of good times (as we all do). Recently, I had this opportunity at a camp in Colorado. I want to tell you all about my experience up there. So, here we go.

First of all, this trip starts with a 33-35 hour bus ride full of people. I didn’t know anyone that well that went on this trip in the beginning, so I was a little nervous. You don’t always come out best friends when you’re being placed in closed corners with new people. But, everything was good.
We actually ended being REALLY good friends with people from Columbus, GA. We had a quick stop in Denver, which was a little shocking. It reminded me a little bit of Vegas because there were all types of people and all types of places.

Exploring city streets.

That man seems to be the focal point of this photo.

There was one spot though that was full of Christian music, and we all danced away.

The actual camp was packed full of stuff to do. No phones and no knowledge of what we were doing also made everything a lot of fun. Here’s a look at what we did:

CABIN ACTIVITIES:

Volleyball tournament huddles.

Tacky leader contests.

Go-karting.

When bae is always there to catch you if you fall.

I had no idea that a cute little ropes course overlooking such a good view would make me want to pee myself in fear.

The camp itself was so beautiful. Every day there was some sort of new activity to do. Our view of the Colorado Rockies was really calming, and was a good back drop for all the things we did. Even if they were scarring, like the swing. Here are some of my favorite pictures from that:

If we weren’t doing stuff like that, we were either in club, eating, or having free time. Free time was where I’d say I got really close to a lot of people.

RANDOM FREE TIME:

This picture is sort of irrelevant. I just like our faces.

Rap battles: “My name is Kenzz (yeah!) I drive a Benzz (yeah!!) I have lots of frenzz (yeah!!!) and I steal your menzz (YEAHHHHHHHHH)

The hot tub was a good spot to meet people (and possible camp crushes), but I’d also have to say that our cabins were fun places to go, too.

GROUP STUFF:

Getting volunteered to ride on a blow up whale while being pulled by fellow teammates was life changing .

We were the Green Team: a rag tag group of misfits that somehow won the rodeo games.

JC group pic from the volley tourney. Our team uniforms say it all 😉

Got some good bread on bread tomato based soup action here.

WESTERN WEDNESDAY’s got it goin on.

Good ole 6 mile hike. Why not?

I’ll never forget this victory.

I think my favorite part about the trip was the big group activities. I had SOO much fun. We all got along really well, and moments when we were volunteered for random competitions were good opportunities to laugh at people and cheer them on.

Towards the end of camp, we all dressed up and took a bunch of pictures with each other.

Here are pictures from the fancy night that I like a lot.

Love memory making with my BFFLs.

Camp crush for the first 2 days lol

Candiddddds ❤

I lost and gained friends because of this move.

Suspicious.

MONT(GOMER)Y.

“Hotty Toddy!” “Ehe…”

Mah girl LG.

Hey Boobrey. Rooting for you in life.

WE GOT A GOOD PICTURE, AFTER ALL.

Glad that I met ya.

Classic relationship pic that captures my impatience and Mackenzie’s confusion (and terror).

Someone had to post it…

These aren’t even my eyes.

JESUS:

Of course, Jesus was a big part of this week. Here is why:

I get mad at God a lot, and instead of trying to get my questions answered and clinging to Him, I like to think I can do everything on my own and pretend that I know exactly what God is doing.

At CCR I realized that I have no idea what I am doing with my life. But accepting God means that I have something blooming inside of me from my relationship with Jesus, and this new me is connected to a good plan that I can trust. I don’t have to be afraid of God when I sin, because the punishment I deserve has already been taken, when He died on he cross for me.

I love this truth and I think it’s a big step for me and my faith. So thanks a lot, CCR,  for showing me a glimpse of how I might live in Heaven. I made a lot of new friends and got to share a lot of fun times with them. Sounds simple, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A week in Colorado was amazing, and I miss it a lot. I’ll leave you with my favorite journal entry (the pages don’t all go together so ignore cut off sentences):

Feed Your Soul

Hello. I’m sitting here thinking and looking at Pinterest. If I’m honest, this is how most of my posts begin- a good dose of creativity. Anyway, I found this really striking quote on Pinterest:

 This really appalled me and I just like to talk about it. So if you don’t mind getting a little deep, keep on readin. OH, also! I feel like you would fully enjoy this post by getting some popcorn or tea or something and sitting somewhere quiet. Then you can really get what I’m saying. Anyway, let’s delve into my mind for a lil. Get ready…it’s pretty messy in here.

Recently, I’ve been all about being kind to yourself and loving yourself. Seeing so many people become successful because of their confidence and security has proven my hunch. For example, North Point Community Church had a night called Delight. All high school girls were invited, and it was a very inspiring, detoxing, fun night of songs and friends. Three women spoke to us about labels, who you are, and that you deserve love. These women all came from a past that had its ups and downs, but they used these experiences (planned by God) to turn into women of grace, kindness, and love. I really enjoyed what they had to say, and I think anyone could benefit from their wise words. I know it’s hard to just decide to love yourself. For me, it made a huge difference when I stopped looking and listening to what the world has to say about what you should look like, and started listening to what God says you should look like- your complete, true self.

This ties into the quote I showed you earlier: “She sprouted love like flowers, grew a garden in her mind, and even on the darkest days, from her smile the sun still shined.” Without recognizing your worth and beauty as an individual, you can never accomplish what the girl in this poem accomplished. I think it’s so important to love yourself, because YOU ARE WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE. He says we are…

“You are altogether beautiful my darling, there is no flaw in you.” ~ Song of Songs 4:7

“She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.” ~ Proverbs 3:15-18

“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” ~ Psalm 34:5

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

Another thing I think is important in order to “grow a garden” in our minds is TRUSTING and COMMUNICATING with God. Ya know, part of being a Christian is having faith and believing in God. But we can’t do those things if we don’t trust Him. Your life is not in your hands. Weird, isn’t it. Your life is actually just a big, metaphorical pond of murky water. You don’t know what’s in there. But God’s got us! God is teaching us and planning everything out precisely to where it needs to be. I think this is really important to hear when we’ve got pain and struggles in our lives that seem to consume us. Just remember that God has got you. Now, as much as God is in control, you have to do YOUR PART in order for Him to do His. Think about it like this: How can you get an A on a math test if you don’t study? In the same way, how can your relationship with God grow if you don’t invest time to talk with Him? These two things are what makes our mind at rest.

The last thing that gives us a smile to have even on the worst days is investing time to ourselves to find peace in the Lord. I always keep a ridiculous amount of books and journals by my bed to just clear my mind of anything that either needs to come out or needs to be remembered. I sit for a good 20 minutes before bed, just reading my Bible and writing. It really eases your mind from anything stressful or busy and gives yourself a chance to unwind and rest. Your mind sort of plants seeds of inspiration and peace when you start to do that. And, as long as you keep watering them, you’ve got your very own “garden”!

See, our minds really aren’t that scary. We don’t have to be afraid to be alone. If you’re like me, you used to be scared of yourself. You were full of doubt and insecurity and wariness. But by treating yourself to doing these few things, you begin to see the You that God made. Beautiful, Brave, and Radiant.

DON’T FORGET: This does not happen in one day. As a young girl, I am so grateful that my church has taught me these things. But I fail constantly. Everyone does. You don’t have to have your life together every moment of everyday. You are human. It’s part of what makes you beautiful.

Love, Katie

Pics from Delight: 

      

Highschool Happenings

Welcome to “Highschool Happenings”:) I hope your day is going really well, and if it’s not, that’s okay. It makes me feel better to have tea/eno/look at cute puppies/ talk to someone. Anyway, since onegirlwonders is kind of like my little journal to talk about random stuff, I decided I have lots of things I would love to write about and share with you today!!!

First// high school drama. Now, I am not one to be shy. I’m just one of those people where being shy isn’t really in my genes. However, I have really found it quite difficult in some of my classes to be comfortable with the people there. Like, I’ve never been afraid to say what I think and make mistakes. But goodness, there are some severely judgmental people at Johns Creek. I have never heard so many insults and gossips about something that is so petty. Teenagers find anything to judge so they can make themselves feel better. Now, I am guilty to this also, and I don’t like it! I feel like we all have our guards up, trying to stay cooler than everyone else.  But it really is so sad. Like what is this??? I have definitely had my share of awkwardness/uncomfortableness at JC. And I guess it is just a part of life. High school is very interesting.

However, there are so many perks. I have freedom to hang out with my friends after school at Starbucks or Romeo’s. I can eat lunch in a hallway, I can go to the Media Center and study, etc. I just like that I can do a lot of things I couldn’t do before. This year, I have met some people who are diamonds in the ruff. They are wonderfully kind, smart, hilarious, charming, and just fun to be around. I realized that having real friends is much better than having fake ones (even if they may get 200 likes on Instagram).

High school makes you experience a little bit of everything- break-ups, friend problems, working hard, learning, having fun, growing relationships, ending relationships, and a lot more. It molds you into who you will be.

Next// Goooooood (the bae). If I am completely honest with you, God has been in the back of my mind since school started. Sure, I’ve pulled out my Bible, read a verse, and put it away, but that is not nearly enough. Something I’ve learned is that you must prepare your heart for Jesus (by praying) before you invest your time in growing with Him. God is so cool. Now, I fell in love with Him all over again, and I can’t wait to start talking about Him.

Think of God like your perfect best friend- He loves you unconditionally, He is always there for you, and you share every moment together. God promises something that nothing in this whole wide world can give- a Promise of perfect peace, love, happiness, and security. I had a little teary-eyed moment when I was singing the most beautiful, passionate song at church. It’s called Sinking Deep by Hillsong. Please do me a favor and listen to it.

IMG_8896

Sorry, if you view this on your phone you can prolly see it way better, THis is basically just the first page of 1 Peter. Check it out!!!!!!!

No matter how many times you abandon God’s arms, He will always have them open; waiting for you to run back to Him. He’s a really nice guy. You should talk to him some time. He’d love it. Here are a few things I think you should see:):IMG_0783IMG_8906

Oh my gosh I just love discovering things that give me a different perspective. Anyway, Here are verses and quotes that I hope you find just as interesting as I do.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU: Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Let your faith be bigger than your intimidation of people, fear of the future, fear of right now, fear of sickness, any of that. Because YOU, my friend, have A GOD that is so big we don’t even realize it. Don’t let an object or disease or person seem bigger than a Guy that is bigger than the UNIVERSE. Gosh, God’s the bomb.com.

Last//EL SALVADOR!!!!!!!!!! Guys, I am about to go on a mission trip. MISSION TRIPS ARE MY CALLING, so, I am very excited about it. I am so excited to see God in an entirely different way, make new relationships, grow with the ones already here, and just love. The verse on the third pic of a page in the Bible is 1 Peter 1:22. It basically says to love each other deeply and with all of your heart. And I am so excited to do that. Love yawl so much, thank you for reading. You rock. Much love.

-Katie.

high school tips&tricks

WOWWWWWW. hello everyone:) I am so surprised, because I am already 3 weeks into my freshman year of high school! high school is a big change for me, especially because I came from an extremely small private school (12 kids in my grade). but so far, I seriously like it. As I was thinking about what to say to sum up my high school experience so far, and I think I have a couple rules that I have learned during my first few weeks at Johns Creek that I would love to share.

1. yes, you can freak out about the first day. every single freshmen is going to freak out, so you can freak out. you don’t have to pretend like you know what you’re doing, because a few hundred people have no clue what they’re doing, just like you. it’s ok.

2. if you are lost, ASK. would you rather ask a teacher/upperclassmen and find your way, or wander around the halls until you have a nervous break down? for the first few weeks, teachers and staff stand outside their doors to assist new students. the whole point of them is for you to ask them questions. it’s ok to be lost.

3. don’t feel like you’re a total loser if you don’t know anyone in your classes. trust me, I didn’t know anyone that well in one of my classes, and a bunch of us are already friends. It takes time, but you will make friends in your classes. It’s only awkward the first couple weeks.

4. if you’re like me and you aren’t used to locker combinations, you need to practice, practice, practice opening your locker. even now I still stink at opening my locker. during freshman orientation, keep opening your locker until you feel comfortable with it. Even if it takes a couple tries to get it during school, you will get it. just keep working at it!

5. if you need to get classwork that you missed from a teacher, you need to take a quiz/test, or you are confused about something, make an effort to talk to your teacher. they won’t make the effort to talk to you about something you missed or failed because they have so many students to worry about. you have to make the first move and speak to/email them to solve your problem.

6. This one is important- BE YOURSELF. Laugh at what YOU think is funny, say what YOU think you need to say, do what YOU think you need to do, and so on. My personal worst nightmare is going into a new place being someone that you really aren’t. Why fake it for 4 years???????? you’ll end up depressed, unsatisfied and disappointed. the right people will love you for you, but the wrong people will love you for NOT you. catch my drift?

7. This one is probably the biggest piece of advice I took when I started high school- BE KIND. people will like you and you will like you if you follow this step. you will be a great influence, and you will feel so good. It’s really not that hard. don’t feel like you have to be rude because you’re friend is being rude. This is SO simple and has such amazing results.

8. something that I also think is key is don’t lose sight of Jesus. Trust me, I have pushed Him away countless times, and in the end, it SUCKS. the things is, YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY AND LIVE A GOOD LIFE WITHOUT HIM. you just can’t. you need to treat Him as your everything, because He is. He is your everything.

9. join clubs, play a sport, take challenging classes- but don’t overwhelm yourself. For your first year, I would suggest taking things slow, with maybe one or two clubs, one sport, and average classes. That way you can do well and leave time for important things.

10. my last rule is: make memories. Don’t freak out about one bad grade, go to as many football games as you can, and go to dances and parties. Don’t get caught up with the populars or things that you’ll regret, but get involved with the things that YOU love so you can have the best experience as possible.

I hope this tips helped you out and gave you some inspiration. It definitely helped me! Good luck! I leave you with a quote that I LOVE: Lord Jesus, heal me. Heal in me whatever You see needs healing. Heal me of whatever might separate me from You. Heal my memory, heal my heart, heal my emotions, heal my spirit, heal my body, heal my soul. Lay Your hands gently upon me and Heal me through Your love for me. Amen.0f44fa153cd8a357a11a2c3721cfb2bb_002