Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The 27 Years of ME!

Tomorrow I turn 27 years old!  CRAZY!!  This past year has flown by so quickly and so much has happened!  A couple of years ago before my birthday, I took a trip down memory lane and recorded on my blog some of my biggest memories of my life to that point.  I figured I would continue to add to it each year as a way to remember the big things…the small things…the things the Lord is doing in my life…etc. 

YEAR 1: It all began on February 16, 1985 when all 10 lbs. 11 oz. of me made an entrance into the world. Of course I don’t remember anything from this year, but pictures and stories tell me that my fat rolls had fat rolls. I was extremely chubby! This was also the year when I began all of my broken bones…a skull fracture at 9 months old!

YEAR 2, 3, 4: I’m lumping all of these years together….In these years I spent a lot of time with my Mama Sue. Mama Sue kept me while my parents worked, and I loved going to her house. We spent lots of time in the garden…chasing cows that got out of the pen…shucking corn…and snapping green beans. I gave my “passy” away to her baby calf because it didn’t have one. One of the biggest memories I have of spending time with Mama Sue is when we got into a wreck on the way to pick her kids up from school….even at that age, I still REMEMBER it (not just hearing stories about it!).

YEAR 5: During this year, I started taking dance. I’m pretty sure it only lasted one year…I definitely turned out to be a tomboy instead of a girlie girl. So sorry, Mom! At the end of my fifth year, I got a little sister. Hard to say if I was excited or not….I’m pretty sure I wanted to send her back. (No worries…I love her now!)

YEAR 6: I started Kindergarten this year, and I absolutely loved my teacher. My favorite part of Kindergarten was the memory verse cards we had. Each week was a new verse starting with a new letter of the alphabet. We learned scripture while learning our alphabet…I thought it was amazingly cool back then. I also began playing t-ball this year!

YEAR 7: This was the year when SOFTBALL actually started, and I was hooked from the beginning. I got to “play” on an all-star team which I was almost too young for, but I made the cut because I was “coachable”…what really ended up happening was I sat the bench and occasionally got to play right field [read…picking flowers!].

YEAR 8: I started piano lessons this year from the organist at our church. I enjoyed learning to play, but I hated practicing and hated recitals even more. At my Christmas recital, I walked in, saw everyone looking at me, started crying, and walked out. I can’t remember if I actually played my pieces. My FAVORITE softball memory from this year is warming up with my brother before a game and the ball hit me in the face. I had a bruise in the pattern of the “stitches” from the softball. I was SO proud! I’ve always loved my battle wounds!

YEAR 9: I got my first kitten this year, Oreo! I also had my first teacher in school that I didn’t like. Other than that, softball continues!

YEAR 10: I had my favorite birthday party in this year. My mom planned a Mexican Fiesta at our house and we all played Bunko!

YEAR 11: I broke my leg on Christmas day of this year, and ended up being in a long cast for several weeks. I vividly remember getting my cast off and a couple of days later having the first softball practice of the season. The last thing my mom told me before she left was DON’T run the bases. As she came to pick me up, sure enough, I was running the bases! OOPS! You couldn’t keep me away from softball.

YEAR 12: This was the year of my favorite vacation of all times. We spent two weeks going to New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. We had two weeks worth of pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches (which we STILL talk about to this day!)…and stayed at the “Best Inn”. Oh the memories from that vacation…

YEAR 13: This begins the awkward years…and I had it bad. I started 7th grade during this year, and it was a big deal because it was the first year for all of the kids in my grade to be at the same school (we came from several elementary schools). My best friend at the time, Amanda, moved to town, and we were instant friends. Without a doubt we were inseparable until she moved in 9th grade. I got sent to the office this year for accidently touching my teacher’s paper cutter, and I thought my world had ended! We added on to our house and I FINALLY had my own room. I started taking dance again because I thought I might want to be in drill team in high school.

Most significantly in this year is that the Lord began showing me through someone I looked up to greatly that I needed to make my faith in Him my own….

YEAR 14: March 4th of this year Andrey (from Ukraine) came to live with us while he had surgery on his eye. It was an interesting experience, but one I wouldn’t trade for anything. On June 24, 1998, I accepted Christ as my Savior and began following Him. My faith went from going to church on Sundays to having a relationship with the one true God! My life has never been the same since that day!

YEAR 15: I started high school during this year. I was on the JV Drill team and I made Varsity softball as a freshman. During my freshman year, I had two of my best friends, Amanda and Mallory, move away. I had to find a new group of friends which isn't always the easiest thing to do in high school.

YEAR 16: During July of this year, my parents bought me a red Volkswagon Beetle! It was what I always wanted…I couldn’t believe I was actually getting one!! I remember being so happy that I couldn’t quit crying as my mom and dad signed all the papers. Sad thing was that I was TERRIFIED to drive it because it was a stick shift. I finally learned, and at the end of my 16th year (on my 16th birthday!), the K8TBUG was mine!

YEAR 17: During this summer, I went to Super Summer and the Lord put China on my heart. I knew from that moment on that I would serve there someday…I wasn’t sure when…I wasn’t sure how…but I knew I was going!

YEAR 18: The thing that sticks out to me most during this year is junior prom. I didn’t like it one bit. It was my first (and only) dance I ever went to. That summer I went to several camps (like every summer) including softball camp at Texas A&M!!

YEAR 19: This was a huge year for me! I graduated from high school #6 in my class, and then packed my bags to move off to Texas A&M which was a dream come true. I left home being one extremely shy little girl afraid to order my own meal at restaurants. I was scared to death to be on my own, but I wanted to be an Aggie so badly!

YEAR 20: At the beginning of my 20th year, the Lord blessed me with an incredible friendship that proved to be one of my best friends of all time, Christi! She was (and still is) a huge blessing in my life. I learned so much of the Lord’s character and how much I needed Him DAILY during this year. I donated my hair to Locks of Love for the first time, and I got the chance to work at T bar M.

YEAR 21: I went back to work at T bar M this summer. My 21st year ended with my mom and dad driving to College Station just to take me out to dinner on my birthday. I was reminded of how blessed I am to have a mom and dad who would do things like that…and even sometimes just drive up to surprise me!

YEAR 22: Year 22 was another big one for me! I took the MCAT for the first time, and didn’t do as well as I had hoped. A few months later (only days after getting my MCAT scores back), I hopped on a plane and spent a portion of the summer in China teaching English. God used the MCAT to form a bond between me and my sweet friend from China, A! The best part of the summer was that A came to know Jesus and she loves Him with everything she has. The Lord showed me that summer that He works out ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him.

YEAR 23: During year 23, I took the MCAT for the second time, and the Lord began to reveal to me that medical school wasn’t the direction He wanted me to go. Not knowing what to do instead, I applied to medical school and again hopped on a plane back to Nanning, Guangxi, China (where I left my heart the summer before). This trip to China was cut short due to a broken arm, and I was completely devastated!

Oops…I can’t forget to mention that I graduated from TEXAS A&M! WHOOP! Proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2007.

I also began working at College Station Middle School in August. It was during this time the Lord led me to nursing school, and I began the application process.

YEAR 24: I continued to work at the middle school in the Special Education classroom where God taught me so much about unconditional love through two students that I affectionately call “My Honor Student” and “My Ray of Sunshine”. The entire experience of working at this school allowed me to fall more in love with Jesus and see new aspects of His character. I was completely changed by the lives of these two precious students!

I decided to come to San Antonio for nursing school, and it was a HUGE change for me! Little did I know that when I moved so far away from my family that God would bring a big sister (something I always prayed for) into my life. He also completely blessed me with an amazing house church of people with a heart for the nations.

YEAR 25: If I can sum up my 25th year in one word, it would be FREEDOM! I’ve learned a lot this year about what it means to truly walk in freedom in Christ. Freedom from fear…freedom from failure…freedom from perfection… Life isn’t about living for other people, but it’s about living for Him and following Him wherever He chooses to lead me.

YEAR 26:  This year has been a year of change in my life….I’m no longer a student.  :(  The early months were filled with a job hunt.  The process was not fun, but I was completely blown away with how the Lord blessed me. I experienced post earthquake Haiti, firsthand.  And to say that I fell in love with the people there is an understatement!!  The month of April was difficult because in the midst of applying for a job, one of my favorite clinical instructors/mentors unexpectedly went to be with Jesus. Then in May, I walked across the stage and received BS degree #2.  You can betcha that when I walked across the stage I flashed a big GIG ‘EM to the camera as I received my diploma.  I may have got to a “t.u” system school, but I am still 100% Aggie through-and-through.   In July I started an amazing job as an RN in the Pediatric ICU at Santa Rosa.  At this point, I have been there about 8 months, and Jesus has changed me.  I’ve been humbled by the trust of my patients and their families that is given to me on a daily basis.  Each day as I go to work, my prayer is the same.  I pray that I would bring hope, comfort, joy, and peace in Jesus’ name to my patients and their families.  I don’t want to miss any opportunity to be Jesus’ hands and feet.  A definite highlight in my 26th year is my roomies.  I live with 4 of the greatest girls I know….they deserve their own post.

YEAR 27:  This year has been one of many, many blessings!  I started off this year as the assistant coach for SACS Middle School softball team.  These girls had so much heart and gave their all 100% of the time.  They definitely worked to earn their undefeated season.  I was so proud of them!   The summer of this year {mostly June!} was busy, busy, busy, but I love busy!  Two of my closest friends got married two weeks apart during the summer, and I was honored to be able to stand with both of them as they said their “I do’s”.   In a seemingly “random” series of events {although it was completely orchestrated by the Lord}, I found out about a trip to Haiti, and God made it evident that I needed to be there…SO I WENT!!  Through this trip to Haiti, God brought about one of the biggest blessings of this year, A CHURCH HOME!  I have been so blessed and challenged by the people at Grace, and I love them so much!  During June, I also managed {somehow} to squeeze in working Vacation Bible School, taking girls to GA Camp, and working as a nurse at Camp Waldemar.   The end of the summer marked the end of living with my roomies at the M&M House and moving across town into an apartment by myself.  My 27th year also had its fair share of hard times…my grandpa passed away in May and some very sweet friends moved away in December.  Throughout this year, I have come to know Jesus in a whole new way.  I was constantly reminded that God knows the cry of our hearts, and He longs to give good things to His children….in His time!  I’m learning that His timing, no matter how crazy it seems, is perfect!  I finish this year blessed, thankful, and full of anticipation for the year ahead!   Oh…and I can’t forget that the last week of my 27th year landed me in the Emergency Room for an evening.  Evidently when you are kickboxing and pass out…people take that seriously!    

I know this is long, but I wanted to write down some of my biggest memories! What I didn't have time or space to do was write down everything. So woven throughout these years were many more broken bones, lots of laughter, lots of tears, lots of amazing memories! In doing this, I was reminded how incredibly blessed I am. I have the best family…the best friends…and I serve the most amazing God! These 27 years have been full, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m so blessed and so thankful!  As I look back at these memories, I am blown away by the life the Lord has given me.  I can't wait to see adventures are in store for the next years of my life. 

Feel free to comment and add some of your own memories.  :) 

1 comment:

Marty Chalker said...

God bless you, sweet Katie, as you continue to allow Him to lead you into your 28th year while serving Him.
We LOVE you,
Ms. Marty & Mr. Jerry