What Distance Has Taught Me

Christmas break has begun! Can I get an Amen 😉 Hallmark will be on 24/7, lots of coffee will be sipped, and I will be spending all the time with people I love dearly. Doesn’t that sound so amazing?

OK. So I wanted to write about dating long-distance. I have no idea who or if anyone even reads my blogs, but there may be just one person out there who this could  help…so here I go.

Quick background: Michael and I have been dating for almost 5 years now and at least 3 of those years have been long-distance. He was my very first boyfriend and I can only thank the Lord for that! If you know Michael you know that everyone adores him. He cares so much about other people, always makes people feel like they have a friend, and is always willing to help. He views all people the same and has a smile that will light up an entire room. No one is perfect, but he certainly comes close in my eyes. I truly am grateful to be called his girlfriend 🙂

One question I get asked quite often is, “How do you handle the distance?” And to be honest, I have not had an answer for awhile. I simply just respond with, “I don’t really know, I just do!” And to some extent, that’s true. I just deal with it. I feel like people shut down at the thought of long-distance dating these days. Part of it, I think, is the fear/doubt/mistrust that can form more easily being apart…but the other part is the way society has shaped our minds. Today we can have pretty much anything we want in a split second. Items can be shipped in one day straight to your door, food can be picked up through a window so that you don’t even have to get out of your car, and apparently there’s an app that can get you a date or whatever by a swipe right. People want what they want, and they want it now. The reason most people frown over long-distance dating is because it takes work–> lots of work.

So before reading further, if you are one of the ones who thinks long-distance just means it won’t work out…stop and take a deep breath and open your mind to a new perspective.

The first 2 years that Michael and I were dating, we saw each other a good bit. I was still in High School and at the time he was going to a Junior College right up the road. Then, he got a scholarship to play baseball at Holmes. Although this was only about 2 hours away from where we both live, baseball took up most of his time…so he only came home on random weekends when he didn’t have practice or wasn’t traveling for games. I guess you could say this was when our long-distance started (even though I did get to see him more than I thought I would). During this time I was kind of crazy (I know I know, but at least I admitted it). By crazy I just mean that I got mad over little, stupid stuff, had my doubts, and things like that. We had our ups and downs no doubt. But by the literal grace of God, we always managed to make it through. And thank goodness Michael continued to put up with me! HaHa!!!

Fast forward to 2 summers ago, when our long-distance was for real long-distance…Michael went to play baseball in CANADA!! Yes, you are reading that correctly. He went across the globe to play on a baseball team for the whole entire summer. Sad is an understatement. I was dreading the day he was leaving for the airport. The morning of, I went over to his house to help him and everyone else get all his things together and just spend that time with him before he had to leave. I held it together as best I could. I even made the drive home strongly too! But as soon as I pulled into my driveway, all the waterworks ya’ll! They just came and came. I was so, so sad. So I pretty much spent that whole day just crying. Now I will mention that I was so excited for him. I was glad he got to experience a new country and play the game he loves. We texted daily and had random calls/facetimes, so I was thankful I could at least communicate with him. But during this time, I really learned how stupid I had been before. It was during this summer that I did some personal evaluating and decided to make some changes in myself for the relationship. This is an important lesson that I will discuss momentarily. Needless to say, I made it through. And the sweetest thing happened! Toward the end of July I was in Louisiana for my cousin’s wedding. I knew Michael would be coming home soon but I didn’t know exactly when. Long story short, he had been texting my mom and was coming home earlier than he told me he was and he wanted to surprise me! 🙂 His family had actually videoed him getting into the airport and forgot to block me from the post, so I ended up seeing it and knew! But it’s the though that counts, right? It was the sweetest and I can’t tell you all how excited I was to see him and have him in America!

Actually a few weeks after he got back from Canada, he moved to Arkansas to continue playing baseball there. And so, the distance continued. I got really sad again at the beginning, but I learned to get used to it. I got to see him on random weekends, holidays, and occasionally when I got to go and watch him play! This is still the case, but it is his last year of school!

As you can see, we have experienced quite some distance. And along the way, the distance has taught me some important/valuable things that I want to share!

  1. Distance is a good thing in relationships. When Michael and I were together, and even when he was just a couple hours away, I never appreciated him or our relationship. I mentioned that I got mad over stupid things and looked for a problem where there wasn’t one. It wasn’t until we were truly in distance (Canada) that I realized how much I love Michael, and loved dating him. The value of the relationship was realized by me when we were apart the furthest. I’m not saying that people who date and go to the same school don’t value their relationship…I am just sharing that distance taught me to value the relationship and Michael as a person!
  2. Distance also helped me learn to be thankful for the time we DO get to spend together. It is easy for me to get sad/upset when Michael comes home on a Saturday and leaves again on Sunday. But I am learning (yes it is still a process for me) to enjoy him being home and value that time. It is much sweeter when we are together now! Recently he tried to surprise me again by coming home a day early. Once again I found out haha but because we had been apart, I was even more thankful and adored him for doing that for me! It literally just made it all the more sweet because we hadn’t seen each other in awhile.
  3. With distance comes lots of alone time as well. Of course I have friends and family, but I am talking in the companion sense. In those times of aloneness I have realized things I need to change about myself and how I can better myself. I am in a season of seeking the Lord with all I have and learning how to be what he wants me to be. Because if I fill myself up with Christ, I will have more to give in my dating relationship such as encouragement and things like that! It has/is so fun trying to discover Christ for myself.
  4. Distance has also never given me the chance to be obsessed with Michael or having a boyfriend. It has never been about having a boyfriend to me or girlfriend to him. From the start, it’s been serious which I think can be so valuable. I am thankful we have had that from the start. But being apart, he does his thing, I do mine, and when we do see each other, it’s not obsession, but thankfulness and just being happy to be in the same room! I think being obsessed with a person or a relationship can lead to some weird stuff and I feel like you would be upset/angry more.

That was long, I know…but I just wanted to share my journey/heart for anyone willing to read this. I’m definitely not a pro and don’t have it all together. I have my diva moments, I get sad and upset, and I’m more emotional now than I’ve ever been (idk why?). Distance is really hard, especially when you’ve been dating someone for so long that you just want to see them more often…and it’s not getting easier. But I have learned (and am still learning) lessons from being in a long-distance. For that I am thankful and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

If you are in a long-distance relationship, or are holding back because you think you may end up with the distance, don’t fear it anymore. Give it a try! If you both really want to be together and love each other, you will make it work! “People in long-distance relationships never last” is such a lie. Don’t listen to it anymore! And for those of you currently in a long-distance relationship, keep rocking on!

I really would not trade my long-distance journey/relationship with Michael for anything! I am so grateful the Lord gave me him:)

Enjoy a few of my favorite pictures of us!

-KB

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Little Prayers

Oh My! Christmas time is quickly approaching and I am so PUMPED! My mom has our house decorated already and it’s so beautiful. School is almost out and finals are right around the corner! Hang in there, guys!

So I have been wanting to write, but I have had so much on my mind, and just struggling with different things, so I kept putting it off because I didn’t feel “worthy” to write. I didn’t want to seem like I have it all together. Because truth is, I don’t. I am a basket-case. I worry and fear. I doubt God sometimes, and I give in to Satan’s lies way to much. I get aggravated when I read the Bible and nothing happens. I limit God. I don’t feel like my prayers are heard often times. Literally, my list could go on and on. My point is that I have my struggles just like anyone else. I am in a place of trying to learn how to discover Jesus for myself, learn more about who HE is so that I can simply have joy in just knowing him, and I am trying (major struggle) to let go of my fears and worries. I have such a long way to go, but I am trying and trusting that Jesus is going to work in my life.

A few weeks ago, I had a rough week internally. What I mean by that is that no one knew I was having such a hard time. Tears, tears, and more tears when I was alone. Feeling down and lonely. I am not saying this to be dramatic, just being real here 🙂 Anyways, after that week I started to pray. I was in a place where I was enjoying my school. I loved my teachers, my classes, and the campus itself. I had a few true, genuine friends that I absolutely love and am so thankful for, but I still felt really disconnected from the people in all my classes.

At this point in my college career, the same people start to be in every single class because we all have the same major. So I really wanted to get to know these girls in my class! However, I am super super shy so I never made an effort to put myself out there. They all already knew each other and this is only my second semester at this school, so I didn’t think there was a chance for me to get to know them. (But I really, REALLY wanted to be friends with these girls haha) So back to what I was talking about, I started praying. I prayed maybe 2-4 times that the Lord would allow me to connect with a few of the girls somehow. I didn’t care how, I just wanted to get to know them. They were funny, sweet, kind, elementary ed majors, and literally had such a fun time together. So I prayed. The funny this is that I literally prayed for this maybe 3 times. It wasn’t many and it wasn’t like I had been praying for months. Just a few times.

About a week after the prayers, I was in Target just treating myself to the candy isle when I randomly get added to this group Snap. Can you guess who it was? THE GIRLS I HAD BEEN PRAYING TO CONNECT WITH!!! Like what? Can you believe that? But then, on top of that, one of my close friends that I met the first day of school (shout out to Emily) texted me and told me that these girls wanted to get to know me. People probably thought I was crazy, but I was literally grinning from ear to ear and I was honestly squealing a little bit.

I was so happy. I will never forget that day. Ever!!! But I learned something from this as well. The Lord cares about the little things in our lives. For me it’s easy to get distracted, get down, focus on the negative, worry and fear, and even doubt God. But he is always good. He loves me. And he cares about the little things, such as me wanting some amazing friends. That is so amazing to me! I didn’t deserve for Him to answer my 3 prayers, but he chose to. I give him all the glory! My reason for writing this is 1. For me to go back one day and read this and remember what the Lord did for me. And 2. To encourage someone out there who may think your prayers aren’t being heard. No prayer is too small or too big. Pray and trust the Lord to be himself, which is a GOOD father who LOVES his children. It’s definitely easier said than done, but don’t give up.

Also, to the girls I now love so much, THANK YOU for being so kind, sweet, and loving to me! To know ya’ll is already such a blessing and I look forward to becoming teachers with all of you. It is such a rare thing to find true, genuine, real, funny, sweet, Jesus-loving friends in college. But that’s another way the Lord does his work. Love you girlies tons!

-KB

IMG_8726.JPGEmily, the girl I met the very first day of school this year, and it’s like we’ve known each other for a lifetime!

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Is that Fall in the Air?

Hellooooo October 1st!!

Y’all, I cannot tell you how ready I am for fall weather to officially be here. It is my absolute favorite time of the year! The weather, pumpkin-smelling candles, change in the leaf colors, cute outfits, sitting outside, and enjoyable football games! Literally I love everything about fall….anyone with me?!

School has been super fast paced and keeping me busy but fall break is coming up, which I am looking forward to. I plan to do much of nothing and rest!  Also I got a new hair do a couple of days ago that I think I really like 😉

Recently I got a camera and have since been trying to “up” my photography skills. It has been a blast teaching myself. I am not the best but I am trying 🙂 Saturday I went and picked up my little cousin and we spent the evening walking/riding the golf-cart around taking pictures! Talk about refreshing!!! If you are overwhelmed or stressed or just need a break for a breath of fresh air, grab your favorite pair of tennis shoes and go for a walk!

I mentioned in a past post that I am trying to learn simplicity and to be thankful for the little things. I am thankful for this Saturday. Nature I think is something I personally take for granted and don’t appreciate enough. In my Bible class we learned that creation is inherently GOOD and this is something that really stuck out to me…our world is so full of hatred, evil, and sin that sometimes it’s hard to think there is anything good left. However, creation is still very good! Think about it–> sunsets, sunrises, the sound of waves hitting the shore, the scenery you see when climbing something…all of these will take your breath away. Why? I believe it’s because it’s a way that we can truly “see” the Lord. Through his artwork…humans can’t touch or mess up creation which is also why I think it’s so beautiful and enjoyable! Isn’t that so awesome? Thank you Lord for nature and creation! :)))

So with that being said, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite pictures from our adventure Saturday! FALL IS IN THE AIR!!!!

-KB

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Connection Weekend 2017

I don’t know about you guys, but I honestly can’t believe summer is already over….like where did it even go? I am currently sitting outside a dorm, on a swing, enjoying the evening before classes officially start in the morning.

A few weekends ago, my church had a Connection Weekend. If you know what a Disciple Now Youth event is; this is exactly like it except it is just our youth group. Basically we loaded up the vans and spent the weekend at Twin Lakes growing closer together and growing in our walks with Christ before everyone got busy back in school. This was my second or so time to go as a college leader! There were worship services, olympic games, basketball, late nights, question/answer time, and tons of fellowship. So in this blog post I am going to share just some different things with you:

  1. The 7th-8th grade girls are the absolute SWEETEST girls to ever walk to planet! No joke! The college students arrived before everyone to set up and get things ready, so I just threw my suitcase and all into the cabin I was staying in…well, after a long night, I came in to grab something and those sweet babies had made up my bed for me!! My heart literally melted. I learned so much from them but one thing in particular is that I sase them truly care for other people! They each make sure no one is left out and that is something we could all do wherever we are. So if any of my girls read this, I LOVE YA’LL!!!
  2. I have gone to these weekends my whole life, but as I get older, and get to help out now, I see the importance of and how amazing these weekends really are. A few DNow(s) ago I actually gave my life to Christ as a college leader! Going to this connection weekend was so refreshing to just take a weekend and press pause on the busyness of the summer and get back on track with the Lord. Times like these I took for granted as a youth, but now that I’m an old college student, i really understand why we always planned these weekends.
  3. Kind of building on #2…Like I said, I realized just how important these weekends are. To be honest, I did not want to go at first. I was even dreading it a little bit as it got closer. But let me tell you, that was stinkin Satan trying to get in the way and not even let me think about how God could use a weekend like this to teach me so much…stupid devil..I did get excited though once I actually got there and it was such a BEST weekend!!! I read all the time in my devotional times about how it is a MUST to surround yourself with other believers…you can’t grow closer to God and learn different things by keeping to yourself all the time(which I am super duper guilty of). This weekend really put that into perspective. There was just something about being surrounded with teenagers who want to be on fire for God, by adults who dedicate their time to pour into the lives of the teenagers, and by other college students who want to better themselves as well. I can’t describe the feeling, but it’s amazing! Worshipping together, being goofy, and just listening to what the Lord was trying to say is something I needed desperately. And my little 7-8th grade babies made it all the more better! So if you seem to keep to yourself and think that you don’t need anyone else, you do. That is a lie that Satan is telling you and me but God wants more for us!
  4. One thing that like slapped me in the face one night was something Nolan (the youth minister) said: “Worrying about something you’ve already asked forgiveness for is basically like calling God a liar>” Ummmm holy moly I’ll give you a second to get up off the floor! How many of you needed to hear that?-because I surely did. But it is so true. If you are truly a child of God, sin is going to just eat you up, meaning that when you do something wrong, it makes you just sick to your stomach because the Holy Spirit is working on your heart. You may even do something over and over again until you give yourself a revelation and say okay, NO MORE…we all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we would have never done. We all sin. We’re human. But that is where Grace comes in. Jesus Christ came and exchanged his LIFE for death so that we could go from DEATH to life! He came to give us freedom from the sin we struggle with. So many times Satan attacks us and keeps bringing up things we’ve already straightened out with God. Do you know why he does this? Because this distracts us from doing the work of Christ. It causes us to think we are not worthy enough or don’t deserve to be making a difference, etc. He just doesn’t want us to think there is grace and forgiveness. But my sweet friend, there IS! And Jesus Christ will forgive and love and give grace to those who want it. Stop carrying around that guilt, and believe that Jesus has forgiven you.
  5. If you can, get involved with a youth group…young or old! It’s a blessing!!!
  6. Always strive to live your life for Christ. I have that desire so much right now and I pray you do to!

That was lengthy, but I wanted to share my heart with you! We had an awesome weekend with the best youth group ever! Super pumped already for Disciple Now weekend coming up shortly! These are some of my favorite shots I got from the weekend—>

much love, kate

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Freedom & Simplicity

With a major holiday just passing, (the fourth of July), I figured now would be a great time to update my blog!

The Fourth is one of my absolute favorite holidays. I just love the red, white, & blue, the flag, getting together with friends/family, firework shows, and just what the holiday represents—Freedom 🙂

For me, I spent the day with my family at the beach. We always go each summer and this time it just happened to fall around the time of the fourth, which was fantastic! We layed and sat on the beach literally ALL stinkin’ day, paddle-boarded, swam, tanned (I just freckled haha), and really just enjoyed our time together! That night we cooked hamburgers/hotdogs and watched an INCREDIBLE firework show from our balcony. It could not have been more perfect!!!

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I am currently trying to learn how to enjoy simplicity and be thankful for even the smallest things. My cousins and I decided to venture out and explore a new beach. It was secluded, the water was so calm it was almost like a lake, and it honestly had the most beautiful view ever! Boats were sailing by, the sun was beginning to set, and like I said, no one was really around. Looking back at some of the photos I took, I just realized how beautiful God made the earth and also I was just thankful that he allows us to enjoy it (simplicity in action here:)) I also enjoyed experiencing something new with my fav cousins!

***on a side note: I think I have the cutest models!!!

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