Where I'm At:Emily

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Well, let’s see…it’s 4 PM on a nice Friday afternoon the day after my personal favorite holiday (the 4th of July). I’m drinking a Capri Sun and munching on chocolate chips, and if I’m honest I may still be in my pjs.  I promise I don’t spend every day like this, but I will say I have a deep love for some comfy pjs! So what’s my excuse for today? Well, I was up really late with fireworks and all. Plus, I got up early to babysit, started cleaning up around the house, and the next thing I knew it was 4 o’clock! Oh, wait you will want to hear where I’m at in my life and walk with Jesus… Okay! Gotcha now! Well, here goes…

For starters, the end of this month is my 18th birthday! While I know nothing really changes, at least not instantly, it’s a milestone birthday that I can’t believe is here. I used to think 13 was almost grown and 16 was so “old”. Now, I have a 13-year-old little brother who I still think of as a little kid even though he’s about to pass me up height wise and a 16-year-old little brother who has a summer job, a dirt bike, and is fixing up our old red pick-up for his first car. Time flies! It seems like yesterday myself and the now “big boys” were watching “Dragon Tales” and playing on the fort in the backyard all afternoon. Now, here we are: Eli starting junior high and playing baseball (not t-ball), Hank working and about to start driving, and me. One of the wonderful and, at times,   stressful things about a big family is being in so many stages of life at once. We have the “littles” as we call them, Ben (8), Grace (6), Leah (4), and Molly (2).  Having all the little kids is a lot of fun. We don't have to do boring "big kid" stuff all the time. For example, we recently found “Dragon Tales” on Netflix and every last one of us “big kids” drifted in to watch a little. Another example would be all of us playing - whether it’s the 4-wheeler, a baseball game, or having a war with the hose, we always have a good time.  
Speaking of having a large family, our sweet little Josiah Creed Horton arrived June 22, 2013. I don’t mean to brag, but I find him absolutely perfect!  He is without a doubt just what we needed. God has such awesome planning. His planning so far surpasses our own! Who are we to think we could choose better than the Maker and Creator of all living things? Just like each of my siblings, Josiah Creed is a great blessing! He was born not even two weeks ago, and I already cannot imagine life without him. God is great!

So other than everyone growing up and the addition of Josiah #8, what’s been going on in my life? Remember the last “Where I’m At” I wrote in October 2012? I’ll refresh your memory: “I've been helping my Daddy lately, too. He is a lawyer and I've been learning to file cases. He's training me as a paralegal. I enjoy going to work with him and feeling like I am able to help him with his work. It may be easy to help your mother - perhaps you wash the dishes or babysit so she can get some work done. Helping Daddy can be harder. So, being able to help file has been a great way for me to feel like I'm helping him. I'm learning more and more every time. Simply put, it's been a blessing and who knows how God will use the skills I'm learning now for the future!” 

Well, last fall shortly after writing that, I started working as a paralegal at my daddy’s office twice a week. I worked for another lawyer at the office, but helped Daddy too. Working there was an awesome experience and blessing. I learned so much! I went from “learning to file cases” to writing Quit Claim Deeds and putting Title Opinions together. I learned so many new skills like answering the phone and making appointments (it sounds much easier than it is), or filing documents at the Courthouse, typing pleadings and letters from dictation, looking up deeds at the abstract office, the list goes on… It was an awesome experience that I am so thankful to have had. Not only did I learn so much, but I got to spend two days a week with Daddy. 

I quit just before Josiah was due. I felt like I needed to be home helping out with the new baby and I knew I’d be quitting for school in the fall anyways. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss it until it was over. I miss driving into the office each morning listening to classic radio shows and lunch with Daddy every Tuesday and Thursday. I miss all the people who became my friends that I would see running errands to the bank or post office. I miss learning something new every day and seeing how God can use a girl in a small town law office for His glory. I know it was time to move on though and I’m glad I did. I am so thankful for the time I had working there with great people. Now, God has been filling my would be free-time with lots of experiences. (Photography, working with our horses, the sweet new baby...)   
So what am I doing now? Well, my photography business is growing. This summer I have had the opportunity to shoot wedding photos, baseball team pictures, and some portrait sessions. Like I have said before, God can use you in any situation if you let Him. Photography gives me the chance to meet new people and get to know them. I try to be an example to everyone I meet, though I know I fail often. There are times when I could have been bolder or said more. Every day I’m trying to watch for those opportunities a little harder. Just open my eyes a little more to God’s plan. I know He has one.
I am planning to and praying about starting college this fall with vet school being my end goal. My plan is to start at a small community college where I can still live at home and get my basics done. After that I plan to transfer to a bigger school that is still within driving distance of my home. There I will work towards a biology degree. After that I hope to be accepted to vet school. Some may think it’s crazy that I don’t want to get away from my parents and all my siblings, but that is the very last thing I want. I love them and I love being here with them. I couldn’t stand to miss out on my little brothers’ and sisters’ lives just to go to school. That’s why my plans are to stay close to home. Now, all of these plans are my plans. God may and probably does have some very different plans and I’ll be watching for them because He knows best. He knows me better than I know myself. He made me the way I am. I think He can handle my future. For now, I’m just taking it one step at a time and continuing to pray for His guidance. By my next "Where I'm At" I may be saying ,"I'm staying home another year.", or it may even say, "I'm going to school in California." (I doubt that one, but who knows...). The point is God is in control; not me. 
So, where am I at? I’m here, awaiting the next part of God’s plan for me. He’s showing me step by step every day. Parts of His plan may be outside my comfort zone, but with His help I know I can conquer any obstacle. In the last year he has given me so many new experiences and skills. He pushed me outside my comfort zone and then helped me to grow past it. He is so very good to me and I deserve none of it. I do not deserve to have the God of the universe walking step by step with me, but He does. The even more amazing thing is He wants to walk with each and every one of us who will let Him. He knows each one of us. He knows our hopes and dreams better than we do. He will help us achieve those dreams and far more than we could imagine if we will just trust Him. How great is our God? There are no words to describe Him! Will you trust your Maker with your life?


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