May 2021 was a really full and fun month of all the summer things — baseball, travels, and gatherings with friends. I am so grateful for the people and places that filled my time this month! 

What I did

Hiked Cloudland Canyon with my dad. I’ve been wanting to visit this scenic park for a while now, and we finally made it happen! The weather could not have been more perfect, and we climbed the equivalent of 86 floors. I was honestly so impressed with how much my dad (who’s 69 years old) kept up! We had some great discussions on the drives, during the hike, and over dinner, and it was an all-around lovely time.

Cloudland Canyon

Celebrated my sister’s graduation. My sister graduated from Jacksonville State University with her bachelor’s degree!

Celebrated Mother’s Day with dinner with my grandmother and lunch with a church family. The day after my sister graduated I drove up to my grandmother’s home and spent the day shopping and chatting with her and my sister before some of our other family members joined us to take her out to dinner for Mother’s Day. Especially with my own mom gone now, I’ve been really intentional with spending more time with my grandmother and am always so thankful for my time with her.

A couple in my church also invited me to join their family on Mother’s Day for their family lunch, knowing that day would be hard for me and wanting me to have a place to be. It was such a blessing to me to be included and cared for by others that day.

Mother's Day 2021

Traveled to Charleston for my sister’s bachelorette weekend. My sister’s bridal party of six spent a weekend in Charleston, South Carolina for her bachelorette trip. We had a game night, spent time relaxing at the beach, walked everywhere downtown trying to find dinner, took some cute photos, shopped, and enjoyed some good food and desserts. It was so endearing seeing her close friends celebrate her!

Bachelorette Weekend in Charleston, SC

Attended my first Atlanta Braves baseball game with my church small group. I didn’t start watching or enjoying baseball games until 2020 when COVID hit and going to games in person wasn’t an option, so I knew that going to see the Atlanta Braves play was something I really wanted to do this year. I also wanted to spend more time with my church small group outside of our scheduled meetings, so getting everyone to go to a game together was so much fun! We ate at Ph’east (which had the best sweet and sour chicken I’ve ever eaten) and watched the Braves win from good seats and with great company.

Traveled to Savannah for Georgia Southern Alumni night at a Savannah Bananas baseball game, visited Fort Pulaski, and spent time with friends and family. Sometimes it still blows my mind that I’m an actual alumnus of a university who gets to attend and participate in alumni events organized by my school. After hearing about the Savannah Bananas baseball team from Annie F. Downs, I knew I HAD to go to one of their games someday, and this event hosted by my school was the perfect reason to make the trip down there. I loved getting to see their choreographed dances, hear the pep band play and serenade the crowd after the game, and join in the camaraderie of the other Georgia Southern alumni who were there. I even got to see my middle school band director, who plays in their pep band! We spent the night with one of my best friends from college and got to explore Fort Pulaski together before heading to Guyton to visit with some family. It was such a fun and full weekend!

What I discovered

10,000 Minutes podcast. I discovered this podcast by listening to this episode on the That Sounds Fun Podcast with Annie F. Downs, and was really encouraged and convicted by Tim Timmons’ thoughts on Christian living and what being the Church really means aside from attending corporate worship once a week. His podcast discusses different practices that realign our lives during the other 10,000 minutes in our week that’s not spent in corporate worship to the way and heart of Jesus Christ. I love and appreciate the honesty and authenticity the hosts and guests share in this show.

What made me smile

Dinner and movie night with my friend and mentor. About once a month I get to have a dinner and movie night with a dear friend and mentor who’s been a part of my life since childhood and has walked so closely with me over the last three years. Every time we get together I’m reminded of God’s goodness and care for me, and what a blessing it is to have such wise and caring people speaking into and over my life.

Deep and wide conversations. My weekly rhythm typically consisted of two or more walks or meals with people in my church family or friends and getting to share my life and discuss the goodness and struggles of it fills me up. I always walk away from them feeling so encouraged, seen, and that I am not alone.

What I wrote down

“My grief doesn’t diminish my joy in the least and I’m grateful for that. But my joy also doesn’t diminish my grief in the least and sometimes I wish it would. Sometimes I wish it would.”Lore Ferguson Wilbert

“Ask for prayers and help when you need it. The asking is a sign of confidence in the people you’ve trusted with your life.”Annie B. Jones

“But here’s the thing with grief. It doesn’t compare well. Grief is grief. And usually, it just needs a witness. Like any feeling, it doesn’t do a great job with being ignored.”Ally Fallon

“May the Lord teach us that the whole principle of the Christian life is that we go beyond what is right to do that which is pleasing to Him.”Watchman Nee

“Image management is a heck of a liar.”Sharon Hodde Miller

“Digging deeper is about transformation, not just information. Is what you are learning becoming true in your life? Is it leading you to worship?”Lisa Hensley

“When you accept that God is constantly aligning you with the right scenarios at exactly the right moment, you can’t help but be at peace with the present.”Taylor Simone

“Waiting is HARD.” But it’s also who I’m becoming instead of just what I’m doing that matters.”Lisa Hensley

“‘Yeah,’ Harper yelled excitedly from the back seat, ‘I prayed to find you again, and then you appeared!’ Harper told me how she couldn’t wait to write about this in her journal, how she was going to call it “Something Amazing About God,” and I just shook my head, and wondered when I started thinking that I knew better.”Katie Blackburn

Where I saw God

May gave me my second Mother’s Day without my mom’s physical presence here on earth, and the Lord gave me so much grace and comfort on the days leading up to it and especially on the actual day. I find myself in awe (and I’m teary-eyed just reflecting on and writing this) every time I think about the specific people He’s placed in my life at this particular time to love and care for me as I carry the weight of such a heavy loss. This year His grace looked like friends sitting with me as I bawled my eyes out from the brokenheartedness of missing her, friends checking up on me and sending words of encouragement and reminders that they see, remember, and are praying for me, hearing my pastor pray the same prayer over mothers as he did two years ago when my mom was here and we were struggling together, being welcomed into another family’s home for their Mother’s Day lunch, and a friend spending time walking and talking with me so I wouldn’t have to spend the evening alone. I am so grateful that the God of the universe intimately cares for and provides for my needs at exactly the right moment and in exactly the best way. He is so, so kind.

What I’m looking forward to

June might be my fullest and busiest month this year! I have a wedding to attend for a friend that I grew up in church with, my sister’s wedding (I’m the maid of honor!), traveling to Statesboro for a dinner date with my friends, traveling to Savannah to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and traveling to Augusta to celebrate another friend’s birthday. Summer fun is in full swing, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

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