Iron Sharpens Iron

Wow! What a fun-filled weekend! On Friday afternoon, I headed up to Raleigh, N.C. for a friend’s bachelorette party and got to see two more friends on the way home the next day. I was so glad I was able to squeeze in time with all three friends!

Driving home, I had a lot of time to think and pray and one thing that just kept coming to mind was what a gift friendships like these are. When I went to college, I remember praying over and over again that God would surround me with Godly, faithful girlfriends, and that’s exactly what He’s done over the last six years.

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These sweet friends and I are all in totally different seasons of life: Valerie (left) is getting ready to get married, so she’s enjoying the busy, exciting season of preparing to become a bride. Kayla (middle) and her husband just had their first baby, so she’s enjoying the sweet season of motherhood and newness that comes with bringing a precious life into the world. And, Amanda (right) has been married for several years, and is currently living in Wake Forest, N.C. while her husband finishes seminary, so she is embracing the adventure God has set before them as a couple and learning to bloom where she’s been planted.

I love being able to share the milestones of life, rejoice together in the joyful times, and encourage each other through the hard times. It’s such a gift from God! Learning from one another, sharing wisdom and experiences with one another, praying for one another… .it’s priceless.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one (wo)man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Weekend Recap

Whew! Another fun-filled, jam-packed weekend has passed (too quickly, as always). Late summer is one of my favorite times of year because it just brings back so many treasured memories for me. This weekend, we had a blast hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We love any chance we get to show friends around Boone, N.C.

On Saturday morning, we packed a picnic, headed out early, and hiked up to a few of our favorite spots.

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Then, on Sunday, we had our family reunion. On the 4th Sunday of every August, my family gathers together at my great uncle’s house in the mountains on a Christmas tree farm surrounded by beauty and fragrant trees. It’s not a big fancy house, but it’s filled with so much love and the potluck lunch is always good old southern favorites like creamed corn, biscuits, and chicken and dumplins. This year was our first year without my grandma, the oldest of the 5 sisters, and we missed her laughter and contagious spirit, because without her it just feels like we aren’t complete but I’m so thankful for the love of tradition she instilled in me, for my family who still makes days like this happen, and for the chance to all be together.

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Hope ya’ll had a great weekend, too!

Weekend Fun

This past weekend, Gray and I made our way to Carrboro, N.C. (nestled between Raleigh and Greensboro)  where some of our dearest friends live. Kayla and I met our freshman year of college and our friendship has only become stronger as the years have passed. We have been through so many phases of life together just in the last five years- from living together, encouraging each other through breakups and makeups to sharing in the joy as each other got engaged, helping each other plan our weddings, standing beside each other on our wedding days, stumbling through newlywed life and the home-buying process together, and now welcoming her little one into the world! Little Berkley Stalker will be here in just a matter of days and he’s already so loved.

You can’t put a price on a friendship like this, and I thank God for it every day.11755794_10207221284156069_3337934158899378133_n 11760046_10207221284916088_2147295126678019843_n 11800499_10207221285396100_2843991354142917279_n11800054_10207221283476052_2416351216681779538_n 11800234_10207221283116043_1088406953484322993_n11742782_10207221283236046_584534852618842789_n

Celebration, not Competition

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I did not write this, but I stumbled across it today on Jenna Kutcher’s instagram and wanted to share it because it’s so true:

“The people who seem to have it all together, they don’t. The ones who you think have ‘made it,’ they are still reaching. And the ones who make you question their worth, they are likely doing the same. At the end of the day we are all beautifully broken, imperfect humans doing the best we can. Let’s stop this rat race of competition and focus our energy on empowering and cheering and celebrating instead.”

I am so passionate about the idea of women supporting other women, younger women learning from older women, and lifting each other up rather than tearing one another down. We live in a world of such competition and all it does is drain us and leave us feeling empty. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the success of those around you. Her success is not your failure.