A Godly Friend

It is not a mystery to many of you that my best friend of 13 years past away in the summer of 2016 at the age of 21. I have been wanting to write about our friendship for years now but I just couldn’t quite put the words down. I didn’t want it to be a sad story. I wanted it to point to Christ because after all, her whole life was about pointing everyone she could to the beauty of The Creator. I could go on and on about the ways she was absolutely amazing but that would all be summarized in the fact that she was was a true Godly friend.

Hannah Elizabeth Russell never gave up on people. We met in Sunday School at the age of 7. She only attended that church for a short while before moving to a church that was closer to where she lived but let me tell you, 7 year old Hannah would call me every single day. We only knew each other for 6 months and I knew that every day at 4:30pm She was going to give me a call. We did this until we were 12 years old and got our own cellphones. There were times that I wouldn’t text back, call back, or hang out with her and she would still reach out. I always felt like such an awful friend but she would just encourage me and hang on to me. I really didn’t know it then, but I needed her.

Through High School when I was causing trouble, she was always there to listen and give a firm, yet loving opinion. When we were together we had the best times. Plus, we would have these deep conversations about God’s unfailing love for us and things we were struggling with. We would pray for one another and almost always ended the night with a good High School Musical sing-along. Hannah loved me like God loves his people. Unwavering and never ending no matter what.

Sometimes as a friend you can feel as though you are growing apart from one another. Like you no longer have the same values. and before you know it, it has been months and you haven’t caught up or even sent a Snapchat. In many ways our faith is like this. I know I have felt like I have grown apart and grown out of my relationship with God. But the beautiful thing about God is that he never stops caring, calling, or loving. God is the perfect friend. He is a listener, guider, and unwavering presence. I notice when I have felt like he hasn’t heard me or that he is far, it isn’t because he has been silent, but instead I have ignored his calls and stopped reaching out to him.

I always knew Hannah was the better friend. No, she wasn’t perfect, but she really molded her life after Christ and loved people like she was loved by her heavenly father. Hannah changed a lot of people’s lives through her faith. I always looked up to her and still do. After her passing I was really challenged to be a better friend.

There are times with friends that you are giving 90% and they are giving 10%. As someone who has been that 10% giver I have chosen that with people, no matter what, I am not giving up. I will continue to love them, invite them, and be there. Love shouldn’t be conditional. It’s this idea that no matter what, I am there. No, I don’t do this perfectly but remembering the importance that Hannah was to me and the way she loved me like God loves me without ever stopping is something that I hold close and keep in mind.

This has pushed me to be a better representation of the love that is found through our Christ and Savior, Jesus.

Vegas Trip Rewind and Life Update

For my amazing husband’s 29th birthday I decided to surprise him with a trip to Vegas. It took 2 months to plan and it was one of the hardest secrets in my entire life to keep. I had his family take him out for his family birthday dinner and after when we got to the car I broke the news to him that we were actually going to the airport. His response… well I guess you will just have to watch the video at the bottom.

vegasssWe boarded at 11pm and arrived in Vegas at 12:15am. I booked us a room at the Flamingo Hotel. This is the same hotel that we went to for our honeymoon in 2017. We absolutely fell in love with the location, retro vibe, and some of the best black jack and craps tables. Upon arrival we were upgraded to a newly renovated suite that overlooked the strip.

The next morning when we were on our way to breakfast where we usually get a day pass to eat unlimited meals at 8 different Vegas buffets, we were stopped for a promotional deal where they would give us tickets to any show if we sat through an “info” meeting vegasssssabout timeshares. I really didn’t want to do it but free tickets were on the line, so we went for it. Never again. We got a free breakfast, $75 dinner voucher, and $100 in cash to tell this incredibly pushy salesman that we weren’t going to buy a time share. In my mind it so was not worth it.

The rest of the day we spent window shopping at the forum at Caesars Palace and let me just tell you, that place is so dangerously amazing. I could spend all day there. For dinner we went to a steak restaurant that was located in our hotel. I seriously can not brag on the Flamingo Hotel enough. If we wanted to we could literally never leave since it has everything you would every want. We learned how to play craps and had a blast at a table vegasssssswith many other Texans.

Before we knew it, the next day we were on our way back home with a little extra change in our pockets and full excitement to be moving into our new home.

We got all moved in and have been loving our new little place, city, friends, and taking a leap of faith. A lot of change has occurred within these last few weeks but we are enjoying it all. I haven’t felt this sure about where I am supposed to be in life since I married my incredible husband. God has been so faithful and loved us through it all. We know that we are here for a purpose.

Enneagram Results and Thoughts

I jumped right on the back of that bandwagon. I took the enneagram test. I love these type of personality quizzes that tell you about yourself and even sometimes allow a bit of revelation to your current situation or relationships but I am not going to lie, this one stung a little. There I am clicking all the answers and patting myself on the back about myself and then the results hit me like a ton of bricks.

I read the outcome and ouch. I am a 3 and here is the first thing I read:
“People of this personality type need to be validated in order to feel worthy; they pursue success and want to be admired.” Well that was a blow to the ego. The funny thing was, I took the test so that I could validate what I already thought about myself and here is it spinning my intentions negatively but so honestly.

I finished reading it and felt like I was just picked on by the school bully. I decided to read it again but this time with a much different perspective: “I want authentic friendships that build each other up, not tear one another down. I want to be successful and a good example to young girls. I don’t give myself to a lot of people because I save it for my closest inner circle and that is okay. I am adaptable to my surroundings. I want to spread happiness with others because there is already so much negativity in the world. I am a leader, influencer, and to the core of myself, I am exactly who God intended me to be.”

When I read it this way and spoke positivity over myself it was like God was reminding me of how He sees me. I am aware that the enneagram is semi-controversial and some people attribute it to witchcraft which I do not think so, but to each their own. I also know that just because you take a 75 question test, it shouldn’t give you a definition of yourself that you should live by. But I do think that it helps you assess who you are and the miracle of the uniqueness that God has instilled in you. If you want to take the test there is a link below.

Enneagram Test