31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Winter

Day 22: Winter

Over four days, I’m going to write about my thoughts on each of the seasons. Yesterday I wrote about Fall and mentioned that it’s not my favorite season. If you came here today to see if Winter is my favorite season, then you won’t find that. Sorry! You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see if perhaps it’s Spring.

With the potential of snow, the holidays, my birthday and my anniversary occurring in Winter, you’d think it would be my favorite season. I do love Winter for all those reasons and more, but I’m not a fan of the cold and the lack of humidity in the air that causes my hair to frizz and my fingers to zap from static. So I don’t hate it or anything!

In Middle Tennessee, we don’t get much snow in the Winter, and when we do get a snow day it’s usually just here for one day, maybe less. As much as I love snow, I’m glad to live in an area that doesn’t get frequent snow that lasts for days or weeks. To be honest, I’ve never really been to an area during Winter where there was a lot of snow, but I hear that those areas are usually much better prepared to clear the roads than we are in Nashville. Seriously, the entire city, county and state close down if there’s snow on the streets. Maybe it’s the perfect excuse for a day to play in the beautiful, white, fluffy stuff, but we REALLY don’t like driving in it. There’s a few snow plows, and they will throw out the salt on the major roads, but we all panic and just cannot drive in the stuff. Laugh if you want, because non-southerners have been for decades. We’re content with the way we are.

My parents live in the country on 26 acres of land surrounded by big trees. It’s gorgeous out there when it snows! The trees are all covered in glistening ice, and the hills roll like a white wonderland. But do you know what’s best about being at their house when it snows more than a dusting? Redneck Sledding! Years ago, my parents bought a heavy duty sled, but there’s really not a big enough hill to sled down, so my dad tied the sled to the back of his truck with some thick ropes, and pulled us through the fields. It’s pretty much an understatement for me to say that it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had! I laugh and giggle and belly roll watching and participating in this rarely occurring event. My mom will even get out there and sled with us, and the dogs chase us around the field until their short, little legs tire out.

I have lots of awesome memories in Winter, including the snow days we might get once or twice a year, my birthday in February, and as of this year I’ll have my anniversary to my wonderful husband to celebrate at the end of February. Winter also has those snuggle-up-on-the-couch moments, as well as Christmas that makes for great memories, too.

What’s the best thing about Winter for you? Do you have some momentous memories of Winter? 

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days To Redeeming Christmas @ Little Juan on the Prairie

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Fall

Day 21: Fall

Over the next four days, I’m going to write about my thoughts on each of the seasons. I’m starting with Fall because it’s the season we are currently in, but it’s not my favorite season. What a bummer way to start, huh? I was initially going to write about why I Fall isn’t my favorite season, but I don’t want to be all negative about it, because there are still plenty of things about fall to like.

My absolute favorite is watching the leaves make their color changes and bless us with their beauty. If you’re in the Nashville area, I highly encourage you to take a drive down Highway 840 from I-65 in Franklin to the Almaville Road exit before you get to I-24 in Murfreesboro. That stretch of miles is one of the most beautiful to see this time of year, because the land in that area is still heavily wooded with rolling hills of open land filled with some of the most beautiful trees I’ve seen. It’s one of my favorite drives this time of year.

I feel blessed to live in an area where the change of seasons is noticeable. As much as I wanted to complain about about how it’s cold in the morning but warm in the afternoon in the Fall in Tennessee, deep down I love that it’s that way. We have a pretty awesome variety of weather that really isn’t one extreme or the other any time of year. I once heard someone refer to Florida’s seasons as being Summer and January. It’s funny but true!

Fall is also the fun time of year to plan outdoor activities after being stuck inside all summer standing over the cool air vents. This is usually when I see a lot of charity walks and runs so that people don’t pass out from heat exhaustion. There’s also Fall festivals most weekends. Yesterday I took my Little Sister to a local farm where we went through a corn maze and picked out pumpkins to take home while enjoying the cool, crisp air of the morning. When we left, she said, “That was awesome!”

So while Fall may not be my favorite season, I will admit that it’s my second favorite season. There’s just so much beauty this time of year to dismiss it and see only the negative aspects.

What do you like about Fall? Do you usually decorate pumpkins?

“Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.” – Carol Bishop Hipps

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days to Savour The Season @ The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking

 

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Cooking

Day 20: Cooking

Continuing on yesterday’s Confessions post, I must confess that I enjoy cooking most of the time. The caveat to the “most of the time” reference is that there are those times after a long day where cooking is the last thing that I want to do, but luckily that doesn’t happen on a regular basis. I don’t, however enjoy spending a lot of time preparing a meal. I tend to stick to simple recipes and usually double the recipe (or more) so that we have leftovers for the next night or for the freezer. Since I usually cook just for David and myself, it’s easier for me to cook for 4 or 6 and save the rest.

Earlier this year, David and I had a cooking day where we prepared enough dinners for an entire month. It’s an understatement for me to say that it was a lot of hard work. We spent at least 5 hours in the kitchen that day and were completely exhausted by the end of it. It ended up being worth it, and we’ve talked about doing it again, but so far it hasn’t happened. To prepare for the big cooking day, we invested in a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer and has turned out to be one of our smartest purchases. While we haven’t had another cooking day to plan an entire month’s worth of meals, I do tend to freeze the extra meals now instead of eating leftovers for days and days because we don’t want to waste food. I can only handle eating the same leftovers once or twice before I am ready to move onto something else. Pulling a meal out of the freezer helps on those days when I don’t want to cook after a long day.

Another long-time favorite of mine is slow cooking, and with the invention of the slow cooker liners that I discovered a few years ago, I’m definitely more likely to use the slow cooker now. There’s a ton of recipes on the internet for slow cooker recipes, and I love discovering new ones. There’s usually not too much prep that goes into a slow cooker meal, because it’s usually as simple as dropping in the ingredients and turning it on. The slow cooker liners are a bit costly but sure beat scrubbing the baked on caked on mess that comes with cooking food in a hot bowl all day long.

My favorite part of cooking is discovering new recipes. I’m a sucker for a cookbook or recipe website. I’m always looking for ways to mix it up and try something different. Plus, I have to admit that it can be fun to see what David’s reaction is to new foods. He’s not one to eat many vegetables, so I have to sneak them in sometimes. It’s pretty awesome when he’s surprised that he likes something that he wasn’t sure he would.

I’m not one to post recipes often, because I usually get my recipes from someone else and either follow them precisely or change them up slightly to fit my own tastes. However, what good is a post about cooking without one of my tried and true favorite recipes? I found this recipe several years ago in the coupon section of the paper. I’ve made this recipe so many times that I don’t even have to look at the recipe anymore but luckily found it online.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

1 pkg Mahatma Red Beans and Rice Mix
1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken, diced
2 tsp chili powder
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups chicken broth
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
tortilla chips, crushed

Directions

Prepare rice mix according to package directions. Meanwhile, toss chicken with chili powder. Combine undrained tomatoes and chicken broth in large saucepan. Bring to a boil; add chicken. Reduce heat and cook 7 minutes. Add prepared rice mix; heat through. Spoon into bowls. Top with cheese and tortilla chips.

Tonya’s Tips

  • I try to always use Mahatma Red Beans and Rice unless I can’t find it in the store. Zatarain’s will work in a pinch.
  • I cook the red beans and rice in the microwave.
  • I have made this recipe in the slow cooker, but be aware that the rice will expand so much that it becomes a bit mushy. It was still delicious that night and the next night for leftovers!
  • I am not a fan of using canned chicken, but it can work in this recipe.
  • I usually use a Mexican blend of shredded cheese.
  • I add garlic, but I add garlic to most non-sweet recipes, as I confessed yesterday.
  • Recipe found at http://www.mahatmarice.com/en-us/recipes/286/EasyChickenTortillaSoup.aspx

Do you enjoy cooking? What’s your go-to recipe? 

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.” – Julia Child 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts

Today’s recommended 31 Day Bloggers:
31 Days of Freezer Cooking @ Good (Cheap) Eats  
31 Days of Slow Cooking Deliciousness @ With Elephant Grace

 

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Confessions

Day 19: Confessions

Before you start thinking that I’m going to spill my guts of everything I’ve ever done in my life or even a couple of major confessions, I’m here to tell you that this is going to be a fun post. Sure, we all have secrets, though I don’t have too terribly many secrets, as I am a TMI Oversharer kinda person. However, I don’t think a public blog is where I need to be airing my dirty laundry. I’m just going to have fun with this and list some fun, and somewhat random facts that make me who I am.

  • I am still afraid to be outside in the dark. For real. I can handle it if someone is with me or nearby, but no way if I am alone.
  • I feel compelled to brush my teeth right after drying off from a shower, even if I happened to brush my teeth before I took a shower.
  • I have a slight OCD issue of things being in pairs or equal numbers. I can remember being this way even as a child. It’s hard to explain but one example I have is that sometimes I will sort out things like Skittles or M&M’s and eat them in a particular order
  • My other OCD is all things related to time. I like scheduling things in advance and knowing what I am doing at all times. I’m very much a planner kind of person and not very spontaneous.
  • I often eat things in layers. KitKats are the best for this!
  • When cooking, I add garlic to most every not-sweet dish and cinnamon to almost every sweet dish.
  • I want to consider myself a writer, but I have no real desire to be published for various reasons. I don’t feel confident enough to classify myself as a writer but more of a journaler. I often compare my writing style to others and wish I could write like other people but try to convince myself that my style is fine.
  • I love to sew and make crafts. Friends have always told me that I should sell what I make, and last year I tried my hand at running a small business making purses. Once it turned into ‘work’, I lost interest in it and let the business go. Maybe I’ll get back to it someday, but in the mean time, I’d rather to stick to making them for myself and as gifts for my friends and family.
  • I cannot roller skate to save my life but would LOVE to be a roller derby girl.
  • I don’t like the feel of wet russet potatoes but the smooth, wet surface of red/new potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes don’t feel weird.
  • Sorting, organizing and counting relaxes me. When I worked as a teller at a credit union, I enjoyed sorting and counting coins to wrap.
  • I have a dream to build a tiny Victorian-style cottage to have as a second home. I keep a print out of my inspiration house on my desk at work so that I never forget that dream.

What “confessions” do you have? What quirky, weird, random or fun things make you who you are? 

“Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Beach Lovin’ Photos @ Bonita Rose

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Gratitude

Day 18: Gratitude

Talk of gratitude is popular around this time of year as Thanksgiving approaches. It’s the time where we take note of both the small things and the big things in our life that are important to us. It’s usually the small things that we overlook until we take inventory, then we see just how important those small things are to us.

It’s an awesome lesson to those of us who have plenty to witness someone who has little but is still grateful for everything they have instead of dwelling on what they don’t have. It’s very humbling. I know I am guilty of immersing my thoughts on what I don’t have in my life when I should be thankful for what I do have. That’s where the first world problems jokes come from, and while we’re recognizing that they’re trivial problems, we’re also laughing at them, too. I know I am.

Over the next few days, I’m going to try to stop worrying about the things that I don’t have and start counting my blessings, including the ones that could be considered small…or I should say ESPECIALLY the small ones.

How do you show gratitude? Are you also guilty of being more concerned with what you don’t have instead of being grateful for what you do have?

I am grateful for the beautiful sunsets God gives me in the evenings on my way home from work.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Gratitude @ I Gotta Create

 

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Strength

Day 17: Strength

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like you don’t have the strength to keep going but when you compare your struggles to someone else’s struggles it puts things into perspective? I go through this every once in a while. As an introvert, if I am on the go too much in a short period of time, I withdraw and don’t want to do anything until I have regained my energy. But really, what kind of struggle is that compared to someone terminally ill? I’m not downplaying the idea that we all have degrees of problems, but it helps me to put my issues into perspective and gain the strength to keep going. Sometimes it’s just what I need.

What other ways can we find strength?

  1. Journaling or writing – Let out those thoughts that have filled your head and put them into action. It also helps to have an archive to look back upon and see how you dug out of the hole to get going again. Both fiction and nonfiction can work.
  2. Praying or meditating – Clear your mind of worries as much as you can, and let the peace of being calm and still give you strength.
  3. Reading – Find an inspiring story of someone who found the strength to keep moving.
  4. Exercise – HA! Remember a couple of days ago when I wrote about exercising? If not, go read it and see why I am laughing about this suggestion. Seriously, there are times when I am exercising that it helps me not only feel physically stronger but mentally stronger, as well.  I’m sure it has to do with endorphins that give you the natural high where you feel like you can conquer anything.
  5. Talking with a friend – Friends can be the best for giving encouragement or just listening when you need it.

There are just a few of the ways that we can push aside the negative and look toward the positive to gain the strength we need to stay in this world.   I encourage you to find what works for you, and it might be a variety of ways, as I’ve just mentioned five that work for me in various situations. How do you find strength when you’re a little low on fuel?

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Life Lessons Only Cancer Could Teach @ Pinked Perspective

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Pets – Cats

Day 16: Pets – Cats

I decided to split todays post into two and write separately about the dogs and cats that have been a part of my life. I don’t currently have a cat, but most of my childhood was filled with feline love. We had two cats in my lifetime who lived a very long time, Brownie and Sam.

Brownie was a cat that had belonged to my aunt and came to live with us when my aunt and uncle lived with us for a few months. Brownie liked it out in the country so much that he stayed when they moved. My most favorite memories of Brownie are when he would comfort me when I was sad. He had this knack of knowing when I needed someone.

The last cat to live a long life with us was Sam, short for Samantha. My aunt had rescued Sam and her brother, Milo, when I was thirteen. They had wandered into her yard, and since she already had an indoor cat she couldn’t take them in. She lived in the city and thought they would have a better life living in the country, so my parents thought they would be perfect for my brother and me. We adored Sam and Milo (named after the movie Milo and Otis)! We had Milo for a few years, but he was definitely a wanderer and got hurt several times, making his life a bit shorter. Sam, however, was a local hunter, and stayed around the house more. She was never comfortable being indoors, even when we would offer her a warm bed inside during the winter. In her old age, she loved staying in the garage my parents built because she was able to come and go outside  as she pleased.

My brother was deployed to Iraq in 2009, and during that time Sam really started showing her age. She wasn’t as active as she had always been, and one day we noticed some blood on her neck. A few days later it hadn’t gotten any better, so we took her to the vet. The vet said that most likely it was cancer and gave us a few options. We opted to have the tumor removed but not treat her with chemo because she would never understand or most likely never tolerate us catching her for frequent trips to the vet. She got better for a while but soon before my brother arrived home from Iraq, she took a turn for the worse. We prayed that she would live until my brother came home, as my mom didn’t want to break the news to my brother. Thankfully, she did make it a few weeks after my brother returned from Iraq. That stray cat that my aunt rescued lived to be 17 and brought so much love and joy to my family.

October 16th is National Feral Cat Day. My friend, Rebekah at We Live Inspired is writing this month about how a colony of feral cats in her neighborhood entered her life during a time that she needed some extra love. Go check out her blog to read about her experiences with pets and homeless cats.

Tell me about your pets. Are you a dog person, a cat person or not a pet person at all? 

“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – Sigmund Freud

Matthew & Sam the night he returned from Iraq.

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of 2×4 Projects @ More Like Home

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Pets – Dogs

Day 16: Pets – Dogs

I decided to split todays post into two and write separately about the dogs and cats that have been a part of my life.If you’ve known me for about 5 minutes, then it’s possible that you know that I am a mom to fur children. I have no human children, but my fur babies mean the world to me! I have three dogs, one of which lives with my husband and me. The other two live with my parents because they have much more room, and the dogs really love living out in the country where they can run free and hang out with my retired father.

Shelton is my oldest and will be 13 next month. He’s a small, 5 pound maltese dog and will steal your heart before you know it. I got him during a lonely time in my life. I had been married to my first husband for a little more than a year and we had just graduated college and started our careers. I worked a regular Monday-Friday 8-5 job, and my husband worked crazy days and hours in the 2nd-3rd shift range. I was coming home to an empty apartment most every night to cook dinner just for myself. There were some days that I would take the  long way home or find something else to do after work just so that I didn’t have to go home. When Shelton came along, it was SO INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL to have someone (even if it was a dog) so excited to see me! His whole body wagged right along with his tail. You know what’s even better? 13 years later he still has the same excitement when I come home. Shelton has a Facebook Fan Page because everyone who meets him falls in love with him. He has a following.

Copper is 10 and my second oldest dog. He came along right after my first husband and I bought our house in 2002. Since we had more room and a back yard, we talked about some day getting a larger dog and companion for Shelton. One day at work, someone came in asking if anyone wanted a puppy, and I WAS IN LOVE! Copper is a Bassett Beagle, and one of my favorite childhood movies is The Fox and the Hound, so naturally I named him Copper. Copper is the biggest of my three dogs but is the most lovable and cuddly dog among all three.

Penny is 5 and is my youngest dog and only girl, but she’s the roughest among them all. She came along when my first husband’s co-worker said that she had Corgi puppies. I had a Corgi mix in high school named Patti, and I adored that dog! Even though we weren’t looking to add another fur kid to the family, I couldn’t resist. I swear, I’d be an old dog lady if my husband let me! Penny may be rough and tough, but she is very sensitive, too. She likes putting her head on your feet and rolls over on her back for belly rubs. She and Copper are like peas and carrots…always together!

I would also like to add that my dogs’ names were not planned around The Big Bang Theory, though that is definitely one of my favorite shows. I had all three dogs way before I started watching the show. I would also like to note that while it DOES seem that I probably named Penny because I already had Copper, I actually didn’t plan those two names to go together. Someone pointed out to me that I have a Copper Penny about a month or two after I got Penny. Copper doesn’t like having his photo taken, and even let me know when I snapped the one of him below.

October 16th is National Feral Cat Day. My friend, Rebekah at We Live Inspired is writing this month about how a colony of feral cats in her neighborhood entered her life during a time that she needed some extra love. Go check out her blog to read about her experiences with pets and homeless cats.

Tell me about your pets. Are you a dog person, a cat person or not a pet person at all? 

“Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans.” – Robert Wagner

Shelton, Copper & Penny

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Leaves @ Egg Thoughts

 

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Exercise

Day 15: Exercise

Fifteen days into this challenge, and now I wonder why I chose this word. I’m wondering this now because I have slacked in the amount of exercising I’ve done in the past couple of weeks and don’t feel confident enough to write about it now. However, maybe it’s good that it’s today’s topic so that it’s a reminder that I need to get back to my workouts. God’s work is pretty awesome like that sometimes.

It probably comes as no surprise that I am not a fan of exercising, but then again I don’t know too terribly many people who actually enjoy it. Most of the time that I am exercising, I am thinking of other things that I could be doing with that time or would rather be doing. I also often look at the clock to see just how much more torture I have until I am done. Because of this, I often try to distract myself doing other things while exercising, such as playing games on my iPad or checking out Facebook. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to master reading while exercising.

The fact is, I know that if I don’t exercise, I won’t lose much (if any) weight, and that it’s required not only for my health to get better but for my body to tone as I lose weight. Since having my surgery in July, this past week has been the first week that I didn’t lose any weight (though luckily I didn’t gain, either!). It was incredibly frustrating, but I knew why I maintained instead of losing.

Generally, my exercising consists of water aerobics once or twice a week, walking during lunch, riding the stationary bicycle at home and weight machines at the gym. I try to mix it up so that I don’t get bored, and I’m also working all of my muscles at some point in time.

Water aerobics is a lot of fun, especially when a few friends are in the class. If you’ve never tried water aerobics, give it a try! I love it! It’s a great way to work a variety of muscles harder without feeling the strain on your joints. It’s especially great because the water adds buoyancy and you’re almost weightless. In the class that I take, we use dumbbell-style weights and noodles to help strengthen our core.

Walking is my old standby and one of the easiest forms of exercise for anyone. It takes very little equipment (just good shoes) and you can do it just about anywhere. A couple of years ago, I was very dedicated to walking every day, sometimes walking more than 6 miles a day. I slowly started finding excuses not to walk as much until I was walking very little every day. I’ve been trying to make an effort to get out and walk for 30 minutes during my lunch at work lately because otherwise I end up working through lunch without stopping. It’s a great mental break for me in addition to the obvious physical benefits. This is also the time where I listen to some upbeat music or a podcast to pass the time. When we went on vacation last month, I loved walking on the beach! It certainly made walking much more enjoyable, but I also find beauty walking at home when the leaves are changing.

I have a stationary bicycle at home that my uncle gave me. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s handy for days where I didn’t get much exercise in that day. I’ve got it set up in my living room, so I will watch television, a movie or play games on my iPad to distract myself. This is the exercise that I wish I could read while exercising, but I haven’t been able to stay concentrated on the reading while moving.

Finally, the weight lifting machines at the gym are something I was working in a couple of times a week until about a month ago. I can see and feel a huge difference when I work out with them and hope to get back into going at least once a week soon.

What do you do to get your exercise in? Do you make excuses to skip exercising or do you enjoy working out? 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13
“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” – Lee Haney

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Bloggers: 31 Days of Health & Exercise @ A Mommy’s Life with a Touch of Yellow

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Mentor

Day 14: Mentor

One of the biggest rewards in my life is being a mentor, or more specifically a Big Sister. Four years ago, shortly after my divorce, I decided to apply to be a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters after hearing my manager (at the time) talk about her experiences with having a Little Sister. It took a few months to be matched, but in May 2009, I met this sweet and sassy 6-year old who talked me into taking her to McDonald’s for ice cream. My life has not been the same since then.

We started out going out a couple of hours once a week for dinner and some time at the library where we would do puzzles, homework or crafts. When my job changed I was able to take her out on weekends, so we started going out for longer times two or three times a month to places like The Owl Sanctuary, Predators games, swimming and the nail salon for some girlie time. Recently she and her family have moved a little further away, so our outings changed to once a month, but it’s important to me to still maintain that relationship with her and make the most of our time together.

Before I signed up, Big Brothers Big Sisters trained me and let me know that I was making a sizable commitment to mentoring and developing a relationship with my Little Sister once I was matched. They ask for a one year commitment, but we’ve been matched now for 3 1/2 years. They were right about the commitment taking more time than it seems (a minimum of 4 hours a month), but I never imagined how much that commitment would mean to me still today. It’s been an awesome experience to watch her grow from a little girl into a young lady now 10-years old. She is always so energetic and entertaining that it keeps me on my toes. I can’t help but wonder how my life would be without her, though I imagine it would lack a certain bit of joy, which is why I wanted to continue going out with her at least once a month when she moved farther away.

Over the years, my family has gotten to know her family, as well. My Little Sister lives with her mom and a brother a year older than she. We’ve celebrated a few holidays together, and we’ve helped each other out when we needed it. My relationship with my Little Sister has grown from being a commitment that I made to an organization to welcoming three more pretty awesome people into my family. I truly hope to still be in my Little Sister’s life to watch her mature into an intelligent and beautiful woman.

One thing that I do want to mention is that as of this past summer, my Little Sister and I are no longer officially matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters since she moved away from Nashville, but we agreed to continue the match unofficially, and she will always be my Little Sister. The organization was awesome in their support during the 3+ years that we were matched and encouraged us to continue hanging out together after she moved.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor to a young person, I highly encourage you to seek out what is available in your community, whether it be Big Brothers Big Sisters or some other organization. I am more than happy to answer any questions about my experience, as well as offer advice on things to do and ways to help you through the mentoring process. Most organizations offer many free and sponsored activities, as well as suggestions on free and low cost things to do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to be a mentor, and the time that you spend mentoring is returned to you in many ways.

Have you ever been a mentor to someone or has there been a special mentor in your life? 

“No matter what your age and no matter where you come from, everyone can change the world in some way, whether it’s being a mentor to someone younger than you or someone that doesn’t have as much experience as you. If you’re passionate enough, you can do whatever you want and definitely change the world.” – Josh Groban

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Confidence Strengthening @ 14 Sixty