Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What 2014 Taught Me

Well. Considering that I have not written one speck since May and that was my only blog post from '14, I better write one more before I leave 2014 in the dust. I've been working really hard on finishing my degree, and I've had some time to write, but not enough to be able to reflect about what's happened this year. Sorry I don't have the time to go into all the details of 2014 on its last and final day, but I can start with some highlights, thoughts, and expectations for 2015. 

What 2014 taught me: (the short list)

  • That it's okay to cut toxic people out of your life
  • That new friends aren't scary, and can teach you much more than staying in stagnant relationships
  • That New Years resolutions aren't always realistic, but small steps add up
  • That travel is one of the most important things to me
  • That travel can teach you more than you could ever imagine
  • How much I value real relationships
  • That I am okay with where I am as long as I am learning and growing
  • 'No' is a complete sentence that does not require an explanation or apology
  • That God's plans are better than my dreams
  • That jealousy spoils good things
  • Marvel. I love Marvel.
  • Found people find people. Saved people serve people. Growing people change. You can't out-give God. You can't do life alone.
  • The best is yet to come!

What I am expectant for in this New Year: (the short list)

  • The completion of my degree
  • A deeper walk with Christ
  • A full passport and to seek adventures that open my mind
  • New meaningful relationships
  • To be content with who I am
  • To become a CONFIDENT. Woman.
  • To put a lid on my cheesy jokes. God help us. There is a time and place.

Last year, my only three resolutions were simple:
  1. Whenever someone offers me water, to drink it. (I've had 5489 more cups this is true)
  2. To invest in quality, key pieces when shopping and not blowing $. (I've saved 4839 more $ this is true)
  3. To visit 3 new countries within the year. (The only regret is that I couldn't make it to my third country, but I did visit two pretty spectacular ones.) (this is true.)
So, this year's resolutions, in addition to last year's:
  1. To become proficient in another language
  2. To not only travel to a new country, but stay there for one month
  3. To finish my degree and do life
I have grown so much this year, but I can't wait for a New Year. I am expectant. I am ready. In Christ, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Israel through an iPhone//Adventures in Amsterdam

[wrote this now almost two months ago after getting home, got distracted, (of course) and am just now getting around to actually posting, but here ya go. plus i'm awful at posting to this blog because we are literally halfway through the year and I haven't posted here in. six. months.

Phew. I can't believe I have a night in to write this. My weeks tend to be all-or-nothing, so on the weeks I have no place to go I'm trying to work on school, and then there are weeks like these last few that have been really, really busy.

Oh, and I just got over some pretty awful jet lag (but I better get used to it!) because I just recently got back from Israel and Amsterdam. This was a trip I had been looking forward to going on since the fall and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to go.

It wasn't a modeling job, (what can you model there if you're not Bar Refaeli? Olive oil?) And Amsterdam was just a side trip to see the city (my first time in Europe!)
I went because I want to know Jesus more, walk in His footsteps, see a new country, and have a new experience. I went with NewSpring church (what I would consider my home church) with Pastor Perry Noble. I would not have wanted anyone else to show me the Holy Land than a pastor who continuially breaks Scripture down in a way that I can apply it in everyday life than Pastor P!
I took every day in through the lens of my iPhone, and to spare you a gallery, here are my memories and moments I will treasure the most...the times where he preached on places like Mount Arbel, the seashore of Galilee, the Mount of Olives, and the Garden Tomb. Nothing will change the way you perceive Jesus then worshipping in front of an empty tomb.
The empty tomb is living proof that Jesus can do more than we could ever ask or imagine!

Some other highlights were the Dead Sea, MASADA(AAAAA), sailing on the sea of Galilee, OH! and a day in Amsterdam! What a cool city! I took a canal cruise to get a feel for the culture, dined in a restaurant that overlooked the city, (accidentally got lost [don't tell mom please]) and of course, shopped! It was a wonderful place to visit.

See, I figured out what I was passionate about and it's not a new car to be married to and a job to pay for it, it's not a boyfriend to tie me down or a campus to be committed to, it's travel. I truly enjoy the excitement of being in a new country and the thrill of experiencing its new culture. I love to travel, and I plan to do it all my life, but I especially believe in traveling while you're young. It seems to be my new mantra. The world is at my fingertips and as Ellie says: "Adventure is out there!" (-Up)

Since I've been the worst blogger ever and haven't written anything since Christmas, these last few months for me have been filled with wonderful community of women, (you know who you are) cabin girl weekends, (filled with go kart rides) working or doing shows at Lenox (Neiman Marcus) ski trips with my family, (pretending to be in the olympics) a few shoots, (here and there) and of course, working on my degree. (can't wait to be done! so close!)

So really this is more of an update than a blog with thoughts. I am still alive! I just wanted to squeeze this in before a travel conference this weekend, a few exams next week, and a long-awaited trip to Jamaica!

Hopefully I will be able to post more if I am not traveling much during the summer, (which I am trying to make plans to do!) but you can see all the pictures of Amsterdam, every site in Israel from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to the Sea of Galilee, on my instagram (@cheriseshaddix) because it would take up pages of room to post them all here! And you can hear everything I thought about it on my twitter (@cheriseshaddix) too! For those of you reading this on Facebook...well, you get what I remember to share. ;)

I've been so blessed with the opportunities I've been given and are coming soon, I can't wait to share them with you and I thank you for reading this and wanting to be a part of my life. xoxo.