Fruit Smoothie For The Soul

Fruit Smoothie For The Soul

 

 

We all have a soul. I believe it is what makes us who we are- our passions, desires and beliefs all intertwined into this being that lives inside of us. I also believe our spiritual souls can get just as unhealthy and sick as our physical bodies.It seems like such a simple concept, yet I didn’t realize how sick my soul had become until recently. It’s not like I had done anything bad (in the worldly sense) & my life was going really well (in the worldly sense).

This is the worst kind of toxic soul I could have, if you ask me, because I began to mistake my outward appearance to be the same as my inward appearance. Over time my heart had pushed out God’s promises and power and had become full of anxiety and judgement and fear.

I realize that this is bound to happen- I mean, I am a silly, impressionable human who lives in a world that is trying to bombard my heart with anything but the truth! But just like my physical body has to be cleansed daily- my spirit has to be cleaned out too. And that was something I had forgotten to do in the midst of attempting to keep my life under control.

So when I would spend time with God, I felt so cluttered & distant from Him. I couldn’t get my mind to focus or I would get so caught up in trying to have this “perfect” meeting with Him that I would forget the whole purpose of just laying at His feet & resting in Him. I would pray and get way off track (like, “What should I have for lunch?” off track!). I would procrastinate doing my morning devotional until I only had a few seconds to squeeze it in or else I’d be late to wherever I was running off to.

Basically, I was already so full of the toxic stuff that I had no room for His fruit to grow in my heart. Instead, I was trying to survive on my own, self-produced (& extremely expired!) fruit.

That’s a weird place to be in- especially when you aren’t truly aware of it. You feel anxious and discontent & like you’re always missing something. Thank goodness He opened my eyes to what was happening inside me.

You know what my soul needed? A fruit smoothie* made by the true Smoothie King!

Love.

Joy.

Peace.

Patience.

Kindness.

Goodness.

Faithfulness.

Gentleness.

Self-control.

All of them! Blended up together into fresh, juicy spirit-filled goodness. My soul needed a detox. So so so badly. It needed to flush out the worldly toxins & darkness- it needed a spiritual fruit smoothie.

So (thankfully!) that’s what God has been pouring over my heart & soul for these past few weeks. And it tastes gooood.

Now, I’m not perfect & I most certainly do not embody a soul full of His “fruit of the spirit smoothie” all day, every day- but I am seeking Him to give me glimpses of how good a life full of His fruit is & having that kind of perspective changes everything.

When my soul is focused on His fruit- His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness & His self-control- everything is so much clearer.

I am so thankful that I have a Father who loves me enough to clean up my messy soul & treats me to the sweetest fruit smoothie this world has ever known.

Being His daughter is always the yummiest & most satisfying adventure for my soul.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”-Galatians 5:22-23

 

*Shout out to Jacelyn & all of my crazy AMAZING sixth grade ladies for coming up with this “fruit smoothie” revelation during small group discussion! Y’all remind me each week how simple God’s love is & how sweet life is when we choose to follow Jesus! I love you girls so super much!

Uncomfortable 

Uncomfortable 

Tonight I sat down with absolutely no idea where this post would go. I just decided to stop trying to make my words happen & let God lead them instead (which is never a bad choice, if you ask me!). This is one of those posts where He gave me a desire to write & told me what my words & this post would be about as I was typing. So, it may be a little more scattered than usual but I can honestly say it’s straight from the heart. I hope you enjoy & receive your own sweet revelation from His words tonight…

  

I have been thinking a lot about this blog post.

Which is precisely why this blog post has yet to be written.

I have quite an issue with overthinking things and ideas and moments and people. I overthink about what I’m going to wear. I overthink about the things I have already said. I overthink about overthinking. It’s one of my core struggles.

So, when you mix the idea of supernatural overthinking with a crazy, busy season of transition and then throw in a tad bit of laziness- you have yourself a blog post that is way overdue.

I’m not kidding when I say I have been thinking about this post. I mean I have been really, truly asking God to give me a word or desire to write about.

I’ve had a few ideas, they were all good but every time I would get in front of the keyboard I would lose my inspiration or (even worse!) my ability to form cohesive, thought-provoking sentences…well okay, let’s be honest, have I really ever achieved that?

Seriously though- this has been on my mind a lot, but I have yet to actually act on any of my ideas.

Which, if I’m honest, is a lot like how I treat my walk with God. (Woah. That’s some in-the-moment revelation right there, y’all.)

Man, I love to think about God. He is so awesome. I love to think about what He is doing in my life and the lives of all of those around me. When I pass by someone at school, I think to myself “I wonder if they are a believer?”. I think about all the times He has proven Himself utterly faithful. I think about how I should apply that awesome devotional I read that one time to my day. I think about loving others. I think about how much He loves me.

But do I live the same way I think?

Often times, I forget that the thoughts swirling around in my head are not public knowledge to everyone else (because sadly, mind-reading is not a characteristic of following Jesus).

If I am not careful, this mentality of assuming my thoughts about Him are automatically expressed through the way I live becomes my reality.

Basically, I find myself being all talk  (or, in this case, thought!) and no walk.

My hope & prayer is that I am over-exaggerating or being much too harsh on myself (yet, another core struggle of mine…) and in actuality, everyone is aware of my love for Jesus…but I have a feeling that is just not the case. 

I will be the first to admit that the idea of getting up in front of my entire lecture hall and declaring that I am a Christian who is madly in love with Jesus is just a tad bit overwhelming. And I don’t really think that’s what God wants me to do either…(unless He tells me…). But He does want me to live like Him & for Him everywhere I go. 

That includes my lecture hall. 

That includes the doctor’s office. 

And that even includes the DMV.

It’s so funny, I find myself living authentically & boldly for Jesus around those who I know are fellow believers & in places that I am comfortable in. Yet, when it comes to being like Jesus around those who are visibly broken & in the places that I don’t like, I suddenly lose my fervor to talk about God.

I love to preach to those who have already heard the sermon, not to those who desperately need to be invited to the service.

It all comes down to the fact that I like to be comfortable. 

But the problem is, I was created to live an uncomfortable life on Earth for God so I could spend my eternity comfortably in Heaven with God.

And that is the great paradox that makes being a believer so bold & rewarding- we are warriors who live in a world that we are not of.

He calls us (by name!) to pick up our crosses every day and to follow Him straight into the darkest depths of this world with everything we have.

But, if I’m really honest, I often find myself suited up in the armor of my thoughts, too afraid to charge into the world with the truth God has given me. I know He is always with me & I know he will protect me.

So, why do I get scared sometimes and try to avoid telling the world about Him? 

Because as much as I hate to admit it, the world can be scary.

It’s plain & simple- I’m a tiny human who takes a look at the world through the lenses of my own strength & gets scared.

But God is not asking me to change the world in my own strength & with my own words & through my own thoughts- He is calling me to trust Him to turn my silent thoughts into bold, Kingdom-building shouts. 

That’s it. Just trusting-truly trusting-  Jesus has it all under control. When we give it to Him, we hand over any authority the world may attempt to use against us.

When we boldly declare His promises & truly are real & raw with those who desperately need the truth- He will use us to change the world.

When you get uncomfortable, you become unstoppable. 

“Arise & shine, you Kingdom-builder!

Allow your mind to dwell on Me.

Let your words reflect Me & reveal the beauty of My children.

My voice is your guide, let your steps follow Me across every hall, every ocean, every street & every desert.

Shine brighter than any darkness, be bolder than any fear.

You are a warrior. You are an Earth shaker. You are My battle cry.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Lions & Eagles & College, Oh My!

Lions & Eagles & College, Oh My!

“What college are you going to?”

This is the question that dominated my last year of high school. 

At the beginning of my senior year my future was extremely fuzzy. I could hardly see anything & really had no clue where my path lead. I had some ideas but nothing was really set in stone. All I knew for certain was that God would lead me where I was meant to be. He would take care of me.

As the school year progressed parts of my future slowly began to become clearer. 

I went on a campus tour of the University of North Texas & really enjoyed it. 

I attended a journalism convention where I realized my passion for writing & possible future as a journalist. 

Everything was slowly coming together. It was still pretty fuzzy, but I could make out some objects. Although I couldn’t tell what they were, I knew they were there.  

When I imagined college I saw myself living in some dorm on some campus at some four year university. To me, that’s what college was. So when I visited UNT (Go Eagles!), everything clicked. There were so many things that lined up with what I was looking for in a school & potential home. 

They had a great journalism school. 

I had a lot of friends who already went there. 

One of my close cousins was also going there in the fall & could be my roommate!

AND! My church had just recently planted a brand new satellite church in the same area!

It was fate. 

I remember the moment I knew that UNT would become my future home. My vision felt clear as day. So, I applied & got accepted- everything was great. 

Except, four year universities are kind of expensive. And while everything seemed clear & perfect in my eyes, my parents weren’t seeing the same thing. I’m their oldest of three kids and within the next four years all of us will be in college. Now that is expensive. 

My future began to become fuzzy again.

I applied for a couple of big scholarships but I knew it would still be a lot on my parents financially. They could pay for my college expenses, but we all knew deep down it just wasn’t what was best for us as a family.

What my parents had in mind was not something I had given a thought to for my possible future- community college. 

There was one a few minutes away from my house. I didn’t consider it as an option until I had to.

I mean…it wasn’t a four year university. It wasn’t UNT. It wasn’t very exciting. And it wasn’t in my plans.

But it was logical. It was close. It was wayyy cheaper. And (surprise!) it was in God’s plans. 

I knew in my heart that NCTC was where I was going to end up in the fall, but I didn’t want it to be true. There was always a tiny sliver of self-forced hope that UNT was where I’d be. My parents told me they would support me & get me there if I really felt like I should go to UNT right away- but they could feel it in their hearts too. 

I wrestled with this for awhile and went back & forth about where I felt I should go as my senior year slowly began to come to an end. I tried to make my future seem fuzzy when the answer was clear. 

But ultimately, God’s plan for me trumped the plan I was trying to make happen for myself. 

“What are you majoring in?” 

Journalism!

“Where are you going to college?”

NCTC.

I remember the first time I actually said that I was going to a (gasp!) community college. I felt like I had to explain why & add on the fact that “I’m only going there for my basics & then I’m transferring to UNT to study my major”.

I wasn’t ashamed that I was going there. I just wasn’t excited. On the outside looking in, it would seem so silly to feel this way because at the end of the day- it is still college & I’m going to get the same education as I would have during my first two years at a four-year university & I am going to be at UNT eventually so it is still my future home & I will still get a college experience there!

But I wasn’t on the outside looking in, I was right up in the middle of tons of kids my age who were making commitments to big schools & who were getting excited about their future homes & who were going to leave to go on to, what seemed like, “bigger & better things”. 

And, because my heart wasn’t completely focused on God & His plan for me, I really struggled with being excited about my graduation & future. The fuzziness was gone, everything was pretty clear- and I didn’t like what I saw. 

I wish I could say that from the beginning I was focused on God & where He was taking me & all of the positive things NCTC had to offer & that I was excited about the fact that I was even getting to go to school but, honestly, I wasn’t. 

It took time for God to open my eyes & humble me. It was only during the last few weeks of high school that He began to truly open up my vision to the clear future He had for me.

At first, the only hope I held onto was the undeniable contentment God had given me about my decision to go to NCTC. 

I felt like I was alone in my decision & was the only one in my class who was taking the “NCTC path”. But through conversations & announcements & hallway signs (God works in mysterious ways…) He encouraged me by physically showing me that I am not alone. 

Then He began to open my eyes to the logical aspects that my parents had seen from the very start. That was so big because I began to see how much of a blessing it was for me to have the option to go right down the street to a great, affordable community college. 

Everytime I would tell someone, whether it was a fellow student or adult, that I was going to NCTC they would confirm & encourage me.  

And most recently, God has been placing Godly relationships who go to NCTC in my life. He’s also laid on my heart the fact that I get to stay rooted in my life here at home for at least another year. I am confident that He is going to answer some big prayers this year & do some amazing things in & through me. He has taken me out of a valley & has put me on a mountaintop of hope & excitement for this new season.

I’ve never felt so content about where I’m going. He has made my vision crystal clear & the future I’m seeing is exciting, bright & mine. I am beyond ready!

So, why am I sharing this mini journey to my freshman year of college with you? 

Well, I want it to be a reminder (to any & everyone, no matter where you are in life) that God’s plan for you doesn’t look like everyone else’s plan. And sometimes, that is a hard truth to swallow. 

But He does have a plan for YOU & even though the journey can seem crazy & hopeless, the destination will be so much more satisfying than what the world could have ever dreamed of offering you. 

At the end of the day, we are all walking different paths & I am so thankful that, no matter how confusing our paths may become, we can rest in the truth of knowing that we have a Father who gives us a hope & future to prosper us.

Today, I am proud to say that I am going to be a student at NCTC (Go Lions!) this fall & can’t express to you in words just how excited I am that God is going there with me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”                      

-‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11

Where Feet May Fail

Where Feet May Fail

Earlier this summer my family & I took a very much-needed vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama. God was completely evident in every moment & it was (without a doubt!) one amazing week full of rest, joy & pure bliss! Here are some thoughts God stirred up in my heart while I was at the beach & has continued to stir within me throughout the summer.

  

Thinking about the ocean’s constant, crashing waves 

which bring hundreds of thousands of uniquely designed seashells 

onto a shore made up of millions & millions of individual pieces of sand 

takes my breath away. 

I believe God gave us the ocean to show us a glimpse of His awesome power & vast love. It’s mind-blowing how intricate & precise each detail of His creations are. We serve an awesome God who makes beautiful things. 

 

As a tiny human, standing in the ocean makes me feel unbelievably small. I’m convinced it’s one of the most humbling feelings in the world and, because of it, I believe there is beauty in feeling insignificant. When we get lost in Him we forget to worry about ourselves and, for a moment, truly experience His overwhelming & powerful presence.

Trying to comprehend the ocean’s power & vastness stirs up true wonder deep within my core. I can’t help but believe in Him with every ounce of my being when I look at the seemingly never-ending ocean water & sandy shore. It’s so crazy cool that God would take the time to design such a beautiful masterpiece on this Earth just so we could be reminded of His awesomeness & have our wonder for Him revived. He captivates us by His ability to bring Heaven to Earth through His creation.

 

Experiencing His creation causes a tidal wave of awe, faith & absolute bliss. His love for us goes beyond human comprehension- it is vast & big & strong. Words can’t describe how thankful I am to be in the arms of a Father whose love for me goes deeper than the ocean.

I am small. 

He is mighty. 

I am sand. 

He is the sea.
  

Let Me Catch My Breath

Let Me Catch My Breath

Hello. It has been awhile since I have entered the blogging realm & I am most certainly happy to be back. Many things have changed since my last post. From my high school graduation to my summer escapades to my next steps- these past couple of months have been a whirlwind of change & refreshment. In a nutshell, I have much to share and I look forward to unpacking it over time through this blog!
But, today I want to talk about the sweet rest, revelation & revival God has placed on my heart recently. I have a feeling this post will be short & sweet, but when God gives me the desire to write I can’t help myself…

  

Breathe.

Experiencing God’s presence is like taking a long, satisfyingly deep breath of fresh air. As a citizen of Earth, I am used to physically breathing to stay alive. But as a citizen of Heaven, I often forget how spiritually breathing is just as (if not more!) important in keeping me truly alive.

Honestly, the only moments I oxygenate my faith are when I’m at church, smallgroup or during my rare (and often infrequent) quiet times with God. Other than that, I get so busy with life that I forget to take time to breathe Him in & start to feel like I am drowning instead. I begin to focus on the world to save me instead of the One who already has saved me.

Still, every time I begin to let the waves of the world knock me over, God is patiently waiting for me to come up for air. He gives me new breath through reading His Word, being encouraged by others or even just listening to worship music in the car. It’s surreal how much spending time with Him can fill me up after I’ve been running after all the wrong things (or, sometimes, all of the right things). 

I desire to find my natural rhythm with Him & to begin involuntairily breathing in His life-giving oxygen. God doesn’t want us to live life constantly pursuing & chasing “things”, always out of breath. Instead, He wants us to live in His supernatural rest & offers refreshment for every moment. 

I’m so thankful that I have a God who gives me fresh air & fills me up so I can be sent out.

“True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun

Bright. 

Gloomy. 

Joyful. 

Numb. 

Refreshing. 

Beautiful.

Our lives and memories are overflowing with these tangible feelings. They make us who we have been, who we are and who we will be.

I am generally a very outgoing and joyful person. I believe in optimism and in loving and encouraging those around me. But- every now and then- I am overcome by a storm which clouds my heart and head, making it difficult to see the sun that shines so brightly in my life. I am not given a warning or time to prepare- the dark clouds just come.

And it may not be a fun and cheerful topic, but it is reality: we all experience these stormy seasons at some point during our lives. I want to remind anyone out there who may be weathering through a storm that every person has had a few gloomy clouds. Because we are exactly that: people. 

We are human. 

Life is messy. 

The weather changes, but the sun does not. 

See, that’s the thing about gray skies: they only stay around for a little while. And even though we can’t always see the sun, it never truly leaves our atmosphere.

You are not a person without sunshine. Actually, you are the sunshine. 

We carry the bright warmth of the sun with us wherever we go- with or without the dark clouds. 

It’s in your genuine smile as you walk down the street and wave to a perfect stranger. 

It’s in your uncontrollably contagious laughter. 

It’s in the light-hearted conversations you have with your friends and family. 

It’s in the moments you forget the world is watching and you get lost in the beauty of life.

I could go on and on- because your radiance is everywhereBeing the light in someone else’s day does not have to be a big gesture, but it does involve you to beBy being who you are and sharing your joy with another person, you get the opportunity to break through those few gloomy clouds hovering over them for a moment. You get to remind them what sunshine looks like because your light brings out the light in others.

So. If you are walking through a season of gloominess and gray skies, I want you to know: you are not alone & that everyday you are being used to help brighten someone else’s life (whether you realize it or not). I challenge you to embrace this season. I challenge you to find a way to get some sunshine to break through your clouds. I challenge you to realize that experiencing light again is possible.

Gloomy days come and go but the sun is always there. Waiting. Hoping. Being bright and bold for you when you need it most.

Do not lose hope. Here comes the sun.

I Left My Heart In San Antonio

I Left My Heart In San Antonio

I began this post back in October, when I actually went on this trip, but never finished it. I think I was still too stuck in the wonder of my experience to write about it (coherently). But now it is time to pluck it from it’s floating world of “could have been” & “should have been” draftiness. Now, this story will be. It is time to remember the wonder & magic of my trip to San Antonio with my story-telling family.

  

Bright lights. 

Big city. 

Vibrant faces. 

Eclectic culture. 

Endless possibilities. 

Spontaneity. 

If there were words to describe my most recent trip, those would be only a few of them. 

If you know me at all then you know how structured I am. I’m a very rules oriented, A-type person when it comes to unfamiliar places. Or really, any place. But for some reason, this foreign city didn’t have that effect on me. 

Maybe it was the people I was with. 

Maybe it was why I was there. 

Or maybe, I decided to be a little wild & not plan, but instead, just lived in the moment. 

I don’t know what caused it, all I know is the effect it had on my heart. This was my very first trip to a city alone. Without my family.

I was surrounded by a couple of kids who love to story-tell a little too much & who made the most of the rare, unexpected freedom we were given on this trip. 

Yes, this was a high school field trip. 

Yes, it was amazing.

The first day was totally crazy and spontaneous. The day started and ended in a whirlwind of excitement. We had to wake up and be on a bus by 6 A.M. on a Saturday morning in order to reach San Antonio in time for our first competitions. Oh. Let me explain why I was going on this trip in the first place…I’m a writer for my high school yearbook and this was a “journalism field trip”. All four journalism staffs from my school- newspaper, news broadcasting, yearbook and the literary magazine- were able to go to San Antonio so it was one big melting pot of journalists. I went into this trip not knowing much, like where we were staying or what we were doing there, but I believe that made the experience even more refreshing. 

The bus ride there was as painless as a bus ride with fifty students can be. I distinctly remember buying a neckpillow at one of the stops. I have no regrets.   

Once we arrived at our beautiful hotel, (that was only a few steps away from the San Antonio Riverwalk!) we began competing in our competitions right away. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a writer. The only thing I knew about my competition was it’s name: Photo Scavenger Hunt. And based off of that, I gathered that I wouldn’t be writing much. At first I was a bit confused and upset about that, I mean, I really wanted to write! But I wouldn’t change one single thing about my experience in San An, especially the Photo Scavenger Hunt! It was such a blast. Me and three other girls from my school got to run around San Antonio for hours with a beautiful camera & a scavenger hunt list of photos to capture. Some of the items were historic landmarks around the city, others were fun & random things like taking a “selfie” with a police officer or finding someone dressed up in a costume. (We achieved both of those.) That competition made me so familiar & comfortable with the streets of San Antonio. It was the coolest and most tiring challenge I’ve ever conquered.  

    

 

We all competed in our competitions that evening, afterwards we all got to go to dinner wherever and with whoever we wanted. Some people had already made reservations in advance, but me & my group just decided to “go with the flow”. 

And let me just go on the record by saying that if there was one thing this trip taught me, it was that going with the flow & doing what you really want to do (instead of what everyone else is doing) is where you’re going to find the most joyful and memorable moments. 

Our night was so cool. What “going with the flow” meant for us was eating on the Riverwalk at an amazing, authentic Mexican restaurant called Casa Rio. 

  

Although the food was pure greatness, the best part of the night was being entertained by the cutest Mariachi band I’ve ever seen. I was eating dinner with most of seniors who are also on the yearbook staff. When we saw the band we all decided to pitch in to pay for one song. They were so playful & energetic- it was totally worth it!  

    

 
Since I was on this trip with other awesome journalists there were tons of photographers snapping pictures. My absolute favorite moment that was captured on the trip (by the wonderful Erin Brown) was when one of the Mariachi band members, who was closest to me, started dancing with his little guitar to try to get me to laugh. 

He succeeded. It was greatness.

Even though it’s been a few months since that moment, I can still remember it so clearly. I love those moments. They just fall in place perfectly without expectations or preparation- they are effortless and, therefore, they are beautiful. 

Afterwards, a couple of my friends and I went adventuring around the city for a little while.

 
That didn’t last for long though because of how exhausted we all were (and also because I don’t like walking around big cities at night…) so we all went back to the hotel. It didn’t take long for me & my roommates to crash (thanks, melatonin!) after such a long, unforgettable day.   
 
When I think about the second day it seems like it was multiple different days combined into one because of how many amazing things happened. I started the day off early. This was our “Day O’ Seminars” (that’s what I’ve decided to call it) where we got the opportunity to learn from amazing journalists about anything and everything we could think of. It was Heaven on Earth for a nerd like me. While I loved all of the cool mini adventures me and my friends went on during the trip, there is a part of me that enjoyed the “Day O’ Seminars” the most. I thrive when I get to learn about the things I am passionate about. Writing is most definitely one of those things. I went to four writing seminars that day. I picked up new writing techniques, met journalists from all over the state and, most importantly, experienced an ignition of passion for story-telling that has stayed with me throughout the year. And that is something I had never experienced before and will never forget. 

Half-way through the “Day O’ Seminars” all of the yearbook seniors & I went to lunch at a really bizarre burger place. It had a hidden entrance door. It was one of those really cool (but borderline terrifying) moments. Once we figured out how to actually get into the restaurant we sat down and ate lunch there. It wasn’t the best food (they had fake ketchup…what?!) but I was with good friends and they made it a good time. What more can a girl ask for?

  

After lunch I had the difficult choice of choosing between a power nap or another unknown and mini-adventure. I chose the adventure, but at the time, it was not an easy choice. I joined a group of yearbook girls from my school who were walking to the historic Mexican Market. Once I stepped inside the Market I knew I made the right choice. 

     

It was such a cool atmosphere full of the authentic Mexican culture that is embedded in San Antonio. There was vibrant color everywhere and cute, homemade antique shops at each corner. This was where I bought all of the souveiners for myself and my family. It was a lovely experience and was so much better than any power nap I could have taken. And for me, that is saying a lot. 

 

  

As soon as we got back to the hotel we all joined everyone to eat dinner together as a school. Once again, I chose to “go with the flow” and could not have ended up with a better night. All four staffs walked together to the restauraunt so I took this as an opportunity to catch up with some of my newspaper friends, something I don’t do every often. Even though the newspaper kids are considered the “rivals” of the yearbook kids, I consider them some of my dearest friends. Actually, I really took the whole idea of our “group dinner” to heart and ended up sitting at the newspaper table. I didn’t plan on doing this, but I became a newspaper kid for a couple of hours and it was so much fun. I got to laugh with new friends and joke with old ones. I remember this dinner so distinctly because while I may not have been seated with “my people”, I still had an absolutely fantastic night with new people who ultimately share my passion for story-telling. It was a very refreshing evening, to say the least.
After dinner we all went back into the heart of San Antonio to do a fun activity of our choice. I decided to join the group that was going on the boat tour of the Riverwalk because I really wanted to see it at night (and also, I was really tired of walking). So, we began making our way to the Riverwalk along with hundreds of zombies.

Yes, I said zombies

  
On this same night there was a Zombie Walk happening in the streets of San Antonio (because we were in the season of Halloween) so our journey back to the Riverwalk was anything but boring. The people who were participating in the spooky event were really into it, they wore extremely realistic zombie make-up & costumes. The freakiest part was when they would jump up in our faces and try to scare us as we walked by them. While it was an extremely frightening experience, it was really cool to witness the whole city joining together to participate in such a silly celebration.

We all miraculously survived the zombie-filled streets and my group made it onto the relaxing boat tour of the Riverwalk. I was right, it is so beautiful at night. After the crazy past 48 hours we had all experienced, humming along on the waters of the Riverwalk while learning about the history of San Antonio was a nice change of pace. I really enjoyed the ride.

   
 
Since the boat tour ended so early, our group decided to adventure around San An a little while longer. On the boat, the tour guide had pointed out the San Fernando Cathedral which played a “History of San Antonio” laser light show in the evening. As soon as he told us about it I knew I wanted to check it out. I had no idea how cool it actually was. A couple of my friends and I left the big group from the boat to go do our own thing- check out the cathedral. We went with “the flow” and  again, it was the right choice. There were only four of us who went, we had no idea what to expect at all. I mean, what even is a “laser light show”?

Long story short- it was the coolest, most mesmerizing thing I’ve ever seen. I had passed the cathedral multiple times on the scavenger hunt but the way the light show lit it up made me look at in a whole new way. Colors and shapes danced around the face of the cathedral and told a story about the city we had been exploring. It was beautiful. 

   
 
I think out of all of the “going with the flow moments” on the trip, that one was my ultimate favorite. We didn’t have to go and watch it, we could have followed the group. Except, we did go watch the show and we got to create our own memory that no one else on that trip experienced. Sometimes, there is joy that is found in breaking off from the group.

We walked back to the hotel after watching the crazy cool cathedral light up and I went to sleep content & joyful.

Compared to the other days, day three was not very significant. The most important part of that day was going home. And, coincidentally, that was also the same day that Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, came out. It was perfect roadtrip material & now I will always think of San Antonio when I hear those songs. And that’s a really good thing because I love those songs & I loved that trip.

This trip holds so much meaning for me.

I learned that I wanted to become a journalist on this trip. 

I met some of my greatest friends on this trip. 

I got to freely explore one of the coolest cities on this trip.


But most importantly, this trip taught me that some of the best moments that truly stand out 

are the ones 

where we aren’t trying to 

fit in. 
Special thanks to Erin Brown for her brilliant photography skills.