Friday, March 6, 2015

Trinkets.

Welp. I haven't made just a Trinkets post since like July. What in the world? What happened? Good grief. I need to get my life together.  It's crazy how fast these days are flying by. Senior year has been good to me.



photo credit: By Heart Photography 

Christmas break was nothing short of magical. I slept so much it's insane. I caught up on sleep from like sophomore year of college. Just in case this Christmas break could be my last, I wanted to make sure it was absolutely fantastic. Which meant a lot of sleep and a lot of Netflix. I adventured through St. Louis, spent some time finding new places in Belleville to hang out, and spending some time with friends. I'll be honest, I did an unhealthy amount of Netflix watching over break, but I did read some books that I have been wanting to read for YEARS. I finally bought the end of a series I've been wanting to finish since 7th grade (yeah, I'm that behind.) and I also "bought" all of the A Wrinkle In Time series. My little fairy tale loving heart was SO excited.

One of the best parts of Christmas break was travelling to Colorado for Natalie and Isaac's wedding.  Morgan and I got to be adults and fly on planes and unnecessarily early hours all by ourselves and take sketchy taxis back to the airport at 4 AM. I loved every minute of it. I got bit by the travel bug and now I just want to plan road trips for DAYS.


The St. Louis Art Museum has my heart. And historic St. Charles has the cutest little shops.  




One day over Christmas Break it was 70 degrees outside. So naturally we took to the park with Sonic Happy Hour, books, and chips and salsa. Now today it's sleeting and gross and yucky snow is still on the ground. Will it ever be spring? Like it's okay, just somebody be honest with me? WILL I EVER KNOW WARMTH AGAIN? 



One day, Pyeatt and I just drove to Arkansas and went to Crystal Bridges because why not. It's cool there, it's pretty there, and my best friend is pretty. (Everything is awesome).  





Bekah came to visit me and it was the absolute best ever because I love her. 




Valentine's weekend this year topped everything. It was perfect. There was Galentine's Day, hanging out with girls at my house and eating way too many donuts and pancakes. And also chocolate chips and whipped cream. A lot of sugar. Then there was a party with my gals where we played all sorts of silly games and watched The Wedding Planner and ate more junk foods. Basically my Valentine's day weekend consisted of junk food, a lot of laughing, and wearing fun dresses. I wish it was Valentine's all year long. 



Here you can see college seniors in their natural habitat singing  screaming the chorus to 'Let It Go'. #noshame But it was in fact the most fun murder mystery I have ever been to. 




So we had a 90's Country party to celebrate Morgan and Doell turning 22. This was our "pose country" take of the group photo. I don't think we'll ever get this right. 



see more of my #2015trinkets on Instagram 

Monday, March 2, 2015

3 Things I Learned in Kid's Ministry

I'm on the tail end of my undergrad college career. With a little over 70 days until Graduation, I've started reminiscing on my experiences in the past few years. Working with kids has been one of my favorite things for years, and they have taught me exponentially more than I could teach them. But here are the top three reoccurring things that I have learned.  

1. Expect the unexpected. I have been working with the same lovely group of kiddos for almost four years, and no two days of serving with them has been the same. Sundays, Wednesdays, weekends, camp. It's a new adventure everyday. On any given Wednesday night, there could be blood, an toilet overflowing, a kid could eat a plastic bag, or we could have a fistfight. But on the same night a class could have a discussion on the importance of prayer and how amazing God's grace is in our lives. A few weeks ago, I found myself answering the question "Why can't I be good without God?' to a bunch of K-3rd graders. Even when I pray for opportunities to see the Holy Spirit move in the lives of these kiddos, I'm still so incredibly amazed by what the Lord can do. I never want to lose that sense of amazement. I never want to put my God in a box. I want to pull that sort of thought process into my life on a regular basis. Not only to expect the unexpected in what God can do, but also what kids are capable of. Just as soon as I think I know what's going to happen, they surprise me. They make me love living my life on the edge. 

2. When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" he wasn't kidding. Do not hinder then.The witness they have on their families and each other can be incredible. Just like putting God in a box, I'm sometimes guilty of putting these sweet kiddos in a box as well. The Holy Spirit doesn't discriminate based on age. 1 Timothy 4:12. Just because they're kids, does not mean they cannot witness. Sometimes their innocent outlook on the world is a refreshing perspective on the gospel. They warm my heart.

3. When I declared my major as social work as a freshman, I had no idea what I was getting into. I fell into a season of doubt. I doubted if I made the right decision, if I would even be good at it, or even it was a real passion in my life. One of the most reassuring moments in this collegiate journey took place on a Sunday morning with the sassiest, third grader and our conversation about what happens after death. You can read about that day here. I didn't know how much that day in Kid's Church would impact me. 

A midst all the crazy days serving with kids, I have learned so much. They have an incredible thirst for knowledge. They want to serve the people around them. When I grow up, I want to be just like them. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bye, 2014.

Happy New Year.

Or whatever. I know January is over, but I still hope you have a Happy New Year. My slow processing brain is still trying to file away all the lessons of 2014 in my little brain Rolodex. Still. But 2015 is here! 2015 is one of those years I never thought would come, just because it always seemed so far away. When I was in the 2nd grade, my class all signed a t-shirt with "Class of 07" on the back. I remember thinking how far away 2007 felt. The journey from 2nd grade to 8th grade was a blur and I don't even remember 2007 anymore (except for Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry.). But then it was 2015. My expected college graduation year. 

May 16, 2015. It's fast approaching. It's going to be crazy. 

So that's how I'm dealing with 2015. It comes in waves. I'm either so excited or so weirded out by the situation that I forget what is happening. But then I start doing stuff like looking at potential Master's of Social Work programs and buying Lisa Frank coloring books at Walgreen's. And yes, those happened in the same day. So I would say I'm handling it very well.

I am taking the new year one day at a time. Which is why it is now February 5th (Happy Birthday, Dad) and I haven't really had the time to blog like I planned. Or to read books or play the piano like I planned. I have actually done nothing like I planned. God is funny. He will probably never stop showing me that, because I am a doofus.


#2015trinkets // Trinkets of 2015 (photo credit: Ashley Pyeatt)

So here it is. 2015. Once month down and eleven more to go. I'm taking this year to focus on you guys. I want to dedicate much less of my life to myself and more of it to serving and loving on the people God has placed in my life this season. I want to hear your stories, I want to sit with you and learn about you. I want to serve alongside you and serve you. I want to have people over for dinner, go get ice cream, and also go get corn dogs. Man, I love a good Sonic run. I also want to pray for you. So let me know how I can be praying for you, friends. Let's do 2015, together. 




Demi and Joe couldn't have said it better.  So why not open up that door? It's what we came here for. 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Advent & Focus




Happy December, friends. It's my favorite time of year. The Christmas Story is my favorite passage for a few reasons. It was the first passage of scripture I ever memorized. Kindergarten. New Life Christian Academy. Montgomery, Alabama. Luke 2:1-20. Every year I get to remember how five-year old me felt about the Christmas Story. I was overwhelmed by memorizing a whole twenty verses. I was curious. I was excited. I wanted to know stuff. You know? Just exactly how many animals were there? What do frankincense and myrrh smell like? I mean, sometimes I really wonder just how beautiful Mary was? She's the earthly mother of Jesus. I know she was absolutely stunning. Think about that.
Advent season is fun because I go to church and hear sermons on my favorite thing for a few weeks. Such a wonderful time, everything is wonderful. Everyone is happier.  But it's not just that. It never fails, every year I learn something different from the Christmas story. Last year, God reminded me just how glorious he really is. When the angels appear to the shepherds, the glory of The Lord shines around them. I make a feeble attempt to imagine what the glory of The Lord looked like to them and I am speechless. This year, I think Advent is going to be a challenging, reassuring time.


Every so often it is imperative that someone remind me what's going on. Sometimes I get confused. I get confused about where my life is going, where I am supposed to be, and especially what on Earth I am supposed to do. Or worse, I start working on my own agenda. I get cocky and I think I know best. For instance, Thanksgiving Break was great, but by Saturday I was absolutely lost and completely confused about what I needed to do to not fail all my classes. It's like I had forgotten how to actually study, write papers, and complete assignments. But luckily, there's a cure for that. Jesus. And there's nothing like Advent to refocus.


Focus. The entire Christmas story has one main focus. Jesus. The shepherds. The angels. The wise men. Even the animals gathered around to see (or at least that's what the illustrations depict). Even the star. One main focus. The most important day in the whole world and everyone had the same focus. To me, the simplicity of the concept that gets me the most. So much happening, but converging on one marvelous thing. It's that simple. My focus should be on The Lord, plain and simple.
Simpler said than done. We live in a world rampant with distractions. Not only is advent a wonderful time to focus on The Lord, but it is a fantastic time to strip away the distractions in life. Let God be your focus this Advent season. Take every opportunity to be still and rest in the wonder and glory of the Christmas story.








"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:14


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Autumn Affair

One of my favorite things to do is plan parties. I love having people over at my house and I love cooking for people. Parties are typically one of the easiest ways to combine the two. This fall, Ashley and I wanted to host a brunch at our house, but we wanted it to be unique. After some serious Pinterest browsing we came up the theme: lumberjacks and pancakes.

All it took was three boxes of pancake mix and two things of syrup. My sweet friends brought eggs, breakfast casserole, and doughnuts and it was perfect.

You put on a flannel shirt and I guarantee you'll start craving pancakes in no time. Throw in some axe-throwing, coffee, and lots of laughs and I give you : The Autumn Affair.

Family Pictures , take 1,000

I will forever love hosting parties with this girl. 

Friends and Walls

Photo Credit: Taylor Smith

Taylor James trying to talk in an accent with a mouth full of marshmallows. 

I love a living room full of people. 

"Once a princess, always a princess." // Photo Credit : Easton Roye

Photo Credit: Taylor Smith






Our kitchen is my favorite room in the house.  
Friends who brunch together, stay together. 

We probably ran the dishwasher three times that morning, not to mention people were washing dishes for us. But it was worth it. My day was instantly made to see people walk into my house wearing flannels and wielding axes (which were immediately put in the backyard because boys are boisterous and clumsy). I am so thankful and immensely blessed to call these people my friends and to live alongside them.

This morning was one for the books. It had friends, pancakes, cozy shirts, and laughter. Pancakes or not, friends, you are always welcome at our house. Don't be strangers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gratitude

It's September! Know what this means? Pumpkin everything is back, it's time to start wearing boots again, and somebody is gonna have to wake Green Day up again here in a hot minute.

It's basically October, which means it is almost Thanksgiving. As far as I'm concerned, it might as well be Christmas. Let's skip right to Christmas cookies, Christmas movies, and Christmas music. I will never be tired of Christmas music. I'm already warming my voice up to hit those high notes in All I Want For Christmas. Mariah ain't got nothing on me.

This is semester got off to a crazy start. After Welcome Week, I dove head first into school and work and my internship. All of those things are going well, and I am finally falling into a routine. It took a good long while, but I finally have adjusted to waking up early, cooking dinners, finding time for homework.

So far, I have been doing my best to cherish memories. Senior year is no joke. Every ten seconds I get asked "What are you thinking about doing after graduation?" and every thirty seconds I get a panic attack thinking "Maybe I'll just drop out and own that cupcake shop after all." But after a year (almost) of practicing being "all in", I know how to deal with that mentality. So I get out my journal and I make a gratitude list. I list all the things I'm thankful for, and in doing so I toss anxiety and fear right out the window.  I remember how much I am thankful for my life and how much I am loved. Even just little things like watching kids play Octopus tag on Wednesday nights or meeting social workers who love their jobs.

+Trinkets from August

Springfield Cardinals game for $5 AND I got to hold this sweet little lady.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS selfies

I love these people. 



You don't know college until you pile into a minivan with 8 other people you only barely know, ride around town putting your name in drawings to win stuff, and eating lunch together. This is what community looks like. 

Notcho Ordinary Taco has my heart. 

Pyeatt always captures my best. 

Sometimes my early bird personality surrenders to the night owl and I stay up late with friends talking about life and longboarding. I can't longboard, so I just talk about what little I know about life. 

When hiking gets rained out, we do the next best thing: Apple picking. 

Apple Picking and movies make us tired. 




Sometimes I am absolutely baffled that I get to do life with such cool people. I didn't think anything could top my Summer of Dreams, but this community of mine comes pretty close. God has wrapped up so many little life lessons in friends, conversations, and experiences I did not ever think to receive. He meets me where I am and He will never let me go. He will also do the same for you, friends.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Open Letter to the Class of 2018

I need you to know something. I'm so glad you are here. I'm so thankful that The Lord has placed you at SBU. I am equally thankful that He has placed it on my heart to write this "Open Letter to the Class of 2018". This was a weird thing to write because I have not met you yet. But God's plan is bigger than mine, so I let Him take the reins. As a senior at SBU, I have had my fair share of college life experiences. I once rocked a tutu for the homecoming parade, I held a position in Student Life as the Servant Leader Connections Chair for Welcome Week, and I worked for a semester in the Call Center. This year I will embark on a few new experiences like living off campus, doing my senior internship, and leading a small group. But one thing is for sure, I do not claim and cannot claim to be an expert. I feel like sometimes I know less about life than I did when I started college. That's not meant to be discouraging, that's just me being honest. I will tell you this much, when you get to SBU this week you will be met with challenges like you will not believe. For many of you, it may be your first time away from your family for any extended period of time. And no, summer camp and mission trips don't count. But maybe that's not a challenge for you, maybe you don't mind the distance. Perhaps your challenge will be paying attention in classes that don't interest you. Perhaps you will struggle most with the freedom of staying up as late as you want, whenever you want, and no one can tell you to go to sleep. That's okay. 

Whatever your struggle might be, I want you to remember this: you only get to be a freshman in college one time. I know that sounds a lot like YOLO, and they are just a little bit similar. Track with me here for just a little bit. You will only be a freshman in college one time. ONCE. This transition, from high school to college will happen this one time. You don't want to miss this. You are going to want to look back on your freshman year of college knowing that you were undoubtedly changed, and that you experienced exceptional growth. I confidently believe that this will be true for each of you. 

One thing I learned/am learning, is that college is meant to be a journey. You will never get it. I have not graduated yet, but from what I can tell, there is not a switch that just flips on once you cross the stage. Your transition into college will prepare you for what the rest of your life will be, a journey. It doesn't stop until you're dead. To be successful in this journey does not mean that you have all the best grades, all the best clothes, all the best friends, etc. To be successful on this journey requires you to be honest with yourself about where you are with your relationship with God. Because when you strip away your grades, your friends, and your worldly life all that will be left is you before the throne of God. The best companionship is found in the Lord because unlike sketchy, real life relationships He will never leave you, nor will He forsake you. He knows everything about and He still loves you. He knows every stupid mistake you will ever make, and he still loves you. Doesn't get much better than that. In every aspect of your life, God has orchestrated a masterpiece of a plan. He knows about every opportunity you will ever have, and He knows which ones you'll take and which ones you'll pass up. 

Three years ago, I wish I had known what I know now. I wish I had taken the opportunity to live well in community on campus. Living in the dorms was one of the most amazing experiences of my short life. I wish that when I was a freshman, I would have taken advantage of a few more late night talks, a few more opportunities to do activities with my hall, and I wish I had taken a few more hours to serve and love my RA and girls on my hall. One of my good friends lived on my hall freshman year, and I don't remember sharing any moments with her. Sure, we're friends now, and that's all well and good. If I had been just a little bit braver, maybe I would have gone across the hall and started our friendship story a chapter early. I don't regret dorm living. A new place, a new crowd of people, new friends, new classes, new teachers. I get it. Everything is new. But don't let that stop you. You can only be afraid of change for so long.

Once you get to know me, you'll understand one fundamental thing about the way I live my life. I don't run. Even if someone was chasing me, I think I would try my hand at sarcasm before running away. So when I think back on one of the single most formative moments of my freshman year, it almost seems like a lie. It's SBU Homecoming week 2011, Friday. Probably about 3:15 PM. So far this semester, Homecoming was the only thing I had participated in. The most notable events thus far had been one weird bonfire with my Welcome Week group and a Meyer dance party. It's not that I wasn't having fun, but I had yet to have an experience that took a little bit of courage. At about 3:25 PM the group in the lobby preparing for the bed races realized they needed one more person. Five minutes of internal, mental wrestling and I agreed to be the fourth runner. I took the opportunity to be involved outside of my comfort zone. I don't remember Bed Races at all. I don't remember what place we got, except I am pretty sure it wasn't first...or second...probably not third either. I just cheated and looked at a picture to remember what I was wearing. I remember exactly what I was thinking when though. I was thinking (internally screaming), "Why not?" 

Here's the thing about my bed races moment, it was not the most exciting thing that has happened to me at SBU. It paved the way for some pretty amazing memories. Do I think my life would be different if I had been on the sidelines that year instead on running with the bed? Probably not much. I probably wouldn't even be able to notice the difference. I just probably would have had a different "bed races" experience. Hopefully, freshman year Trinity would have taken a different opportunity to be all in, and say, "Why not?". That moment was the catalyst for a few more moments to come. This journey is far from over. I have to constantly remind myself that my doubts and preconceived notions should not stand in the way of my everyday "Why not?"s. Three years later, and I still have to convince myself that "Why not?" is a good justification for new experiences. I'm glad that when I said "Why not?" to running in the bed races three years ago that I also thought to say "Why not?" to joining a UAC committee, applying for an internship at Freshwater Church, choosing Social Work as my major, and applying for Welcome Week.

I guess what I'm telling you is that you need to be courageous. Courageous comes from the Latin root word cor-, meaning "heart" or "soul". Over time, the definition has become to the equivalent of bravery or fearless. It has also been used to explain the importance of living your life with your whole heart. Live your freshman year of college with your whole heart. Find those deep dark crevices that have never been explored and fill them with grace, love, and Jesus Christ. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, getting C's, and standing in lines in Mellers. Life may be tough, but one thing is for sure : You aren't in this alone. Welcome Week is one of the greatest examples of that. Upperclassmen giving up their final week of summer to make sure that you get settled into life here. You know why? Because someone did it for them. We're a family here, we take care of each other. We walk alongside each other when life gets tough (which it will) and we celebrate together when life is good. College is a crazy mixture of both, and sometimes at the same time. You will find that you are not required to walk this alone. You can't, you are not strong enough, we wouldn't want you to. You have a God who has prepared each day for you and ordered each step of your life. Allow Him to direct you. Trust me, He will put those "Why not?" moments in front of you. 

It is my prayer that in those moments, where you are thinking (or internally screaming) "Why not?", that you would trust God's plan for your life. Especially while you are here, sharing life with us. Welcome home.

Love, 
Trin