What if Mary had said no?

Thank you  Foreverymom.com for re-posting this on your site!

Nativity_tree2011

What if Mary had said no?

Have you ever considered this?

Mary who is engaged to be married is being told by an angel that she is to carry the Lord’s son.  There are about a million things she can be worried about.

Not only is she facing possible execution, her fiancé leaving her, and ridicule…  In the unlikely event that everyone believes her, I think it would be totally valid for her to think: What about me and my plans?  I am about to get married!!  I don’t want to have to alter the wedding dress!  I like being a regular girl, everyone is going to ask me tons of questions!   I really am too busy for all this right now!  God can you find someone else?

Can you imagine this in today culture?  What with all our “plans and schedules”  I’m afraid we would just be too busy for such a task!

bows

But instead of any of these excuses she says:

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be with me just as you say.”

I think Mary “got” something that we often just don’t comprehend.

It wasn’t about her.

She had the amazing privilege to be the mother of Jesus because she was willing to be “the Lord’s servant.”

This is HUGE

And her self-sacrificing doesn’t end there.  Imagine you have agreed to carry God’s baby and it comes time for you to deliver.  I don’t know but I’m thinking maybe an angel comes and offers a big palace for me to deliver and it is a totally

Imagine you have agreed to carry God’s baby and it comes time for you to deliver.  I don’t know but I’m thinking maybe an angel comes and offers a big palace for me to deliver.   Totally pain-free child birth complete with people fanning me and feeding me grapes would also be nice.

But as we know, she has to make a long journey on a donkey only to find there is NO ROOM for them at the inn and she has no choice but to deliver Jesus in a manger.

You would think Mary would be shouting,
“UMM HELLO HAVING GOD’S SON HERE??? Can someone ELSE sleep in the manger for crying out loud?!!”

Yet Mary knew this wasn’t about her…it was ALL about Jesus. 

Every piece of her story, her pain, and even her frustration was all part of the beautiful story that we still remember today and will remember for generations to come, not because of her, but because of Jesus.

While I certainly believe Mary was the one God choose but what if she had said no.  She would have been free to do live her own little “important” life not to be “inconvenienced with the fear of being stoned and shaming her fiancé and family.   Yet her own little plans and agenda would have died with her generations ago and we would never even know her name.  

Making His name famous, furthering His kingdom, and doing HIS work.  His name is the only one that will last through the generations.  Why is it so hard for us to realize this?

Father my own little Kingdom is just laughable really.  Take my oh so important “plans” and use them for YOUR glory.  My plans and kingdoms will fall, but your Lord never will.

Mary was truly the Lord’s servant.  She put her own plans, fears, and excuses to the side.  None of that matters when the God of the universe has other plans.

Sorority Girls Can Change the World book release

Guys, it’s official.  “Sorority girls can change the world” is ready to read!

This is a book to all the girls looking for their happily ever after realizing dang Cinderella’s castle was so much farther away than they thought it would be.   To the girl that is longing for significance but keep coming up empty.  I hear you, and I wrote this for you.

If you are reading this book,  I have prayed for you before you read this.  My prayer is something in these pages will help you to realize your incredible power of influence and the world changing potential within you! If you know a sorority girl that could benefit from these words I hope you share it with her too.

Here is what the readers are saying

“This book is full of so many truthful stories that all college girls need to be reminded of.”   Caitlyn Fears Phi Mu

“Love!! Can’t wait for this book to be in the hands of every college girl.  So much truth in these pages” -Jenny Way Alpha Delta Pi

Sorority Girls Can Change The World, is a book of hope, encouragement, and love. May it stir your heart as it has mine.  -Kiley B. Ward Kappa Kappa Gamma

Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you a free copy of my book

 

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I’d love to send you a free copy of my book!




Heart language

My senior year of college, I met Jesus and I learned a new language.  It was totally foreign at first- nothing made sense. However, slowly but surely I began to learn foreign concepts like, “guarding my heart” and “avoiding temptation,”  But for the love of being popular what did all of this even mean?

I did not get it.  This was not at all my first language. 

I didn’t realize it at the time since I have always spoken English, but I have a “heart language”

I have a friend serving as a missionary in South East Asia.  When sharing the gospel, one of the first questions they ask is,

“What is your heart language?”

This is the language you grow up hearing, the language that you can most easily relate to, and the language in which you first learned the ways of the world.  This is often referred to by missionaries as your “heart language.”  While many people (outside of the U.S.) speak more than one language, they typically have only one language they know best.  Speaking truth to someone in their native tongue knocks down all sorts of walls and is so much easier to receive.

Heart Language

Ashly Cathy photo 

A typical sorority girl is my heart language.  This is the language I learned first.

Be beautiful

Sleep with your boyfriend if you really like him, or just because he wants you to.

Be beautiful

Wear designer fashion.

Oh, and did I mention to be beautiful?

Popularity, boys, and vodka was the language I learned in high school and it was tattooed to my heart when I joined a sorority in college.

I am fluent in this language. It is the language I learned first. I get them and they get me.  These people are my people. 

My passion is to communicate, in my heart language, to my people. That true love and happiness is not found in the arms of a guy or vodka (ew).  I looked very hard in both areas and found myself empty, EVERYTIME.

Learning a new language was tricky and it did not happen overnight.   I had to surround myself with friends who spoke this new tongue.  I had to read books on it and I had to listen to the people who spoke it best.  

We all have a “native tongue” or a group of people we identify with best.  You do not have to explain the back story or the “why” behind it because they get it.  We can relate to each other.  We have walked in the same (totally adorable) shoes.

Mother Teresa says “Calcuttas are everywhere, you just have to find yours”

Jesus is in the business of transforming us; it is what He does best.  He uses people like you and me to share with “our people” who speak the same language. He wants us to connect with others, telling them about the TRUE abundant life and the happiness that lasts so much longer than just a little temporary fun.

Identify your native tongue. Who speaks your language? 

Find your Alex

Disney is a lot like being a 20 something.

The landscape in front of us is filled with lights, glitter, promises of tons of fun and magic.  We stand in lines 2 hours long having no idea what we are even signing up for but the crowd is doing it so it must be a good idea.  Cinderella’s castle glows from the light of fireworks with promise of happily ever after in the backdrop.  We set out with gusto and excitement ready to have more fun than the history of fun.

But at the end of the day we are tired.  The directions were off, that two hour long wait left more pain from standing than magical memories.  Dang Cinderella’s happily ever after was so much harder to find than we thought it would be and the bottled water cost FIVE EVER LOVING DOLLARS.  It all looked so glamorous from the outside but inside it’s mostly just hot, expensive and exhaustive.

Until we met Alex.

As I write this it is early morning on our kids 3rd trip to Disney world.  This time we know what we are doing.  We checked out all the websites, we got the guide to Disney book.  We asked people smarter than us, we brought our own water, and we met Alex.  

Alex was the nice young guy that greeted us at Hollywood studios, a park we were least familiar with.  Alex took the time to walk us all the way to the far side of the park for our first attraction.  He explained the fast passes, the stops that would be great for our kids and the ones that would make us barf.  

Alex had been here before, he knew the ropes.  He helped us save time, money, made our day the best yet at Disney.  

Why do we ask for directions at Disney but forget to ask in life?

No matter where we are in life we need someone who has traveled this road before us to help us out.   A mentor, a guide, an Alex.

The mentors in my life are often older but not always.  Sometimes it’s just someone who has simply walked in my shoes, got lost a few times, wasted time, and now has advice that I truly treasure.

I seek out people living a life I aspire to attain.  No one has it all figured out but no amount of books are as helpful as someone who has simply been there.  At Disney you may waste a few hours getting lost but in life you could waste years if you don’t know which way to go.

While I write this I’m 37.
I’ve been to Disney.  I’ve also been to fraternity parties, hugging the toilet after too much tequila.  I’ve had (lots) of heart break and I’ve also found my happily ever after.  I’ve lived in New York City, Atlanta and small towns of Georgia.  I’ve worked in print, radio, and TV advertising firms and I’ve been a stay at home mom.

 I’ve met Jesus through the eyes of the homeless and at the mansions of greek row.  I have served every roll you can imagine at church but my heart is what I do now. Speaking, writing and having coffee with young women.  Your heart is so eager and hungry to figure life out. And I love that about you.  But as eager as you are, you are only 20.  You are not supposed to have it all figured out yet.  You are supposed to just enjoy being 20.

Just like a first time visit to Disney you are not supposed to have it all figured out yet but my prayer is you will listen to those that have been there before you, gone the long way, found ourselves exhausted and heartbroken and wrote it all down so you wouldn’t have to do the same.  I found the ways that avoid the long sweaty lines. The exhaustive long and winding routes and I brought us both a bottle of water….and it’s free.

 

 

 

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What if I never get married?

Leading college small groups for about 10 years,  I hear this question a lot.  “What if I never get married?”
First of all, I get it. When I was 20 I was totally terrified to end up middle aged with my only companions as jelly donuts and 17 cats.

what-if-i-never-get-married

Ashlyn Cathy Photo 

I’m in my 30’s now, married with kiddos (no cats) and a little life under my belt.  Now I see this question much differently.  

I look across our lattes as we sit together at the coffee shop listening to the NINETEEN year old worried she won’t find a husband.  With genuine love totally remembering feeling that way I look at you now and honestly want to say, “You are an infant!!!  What in the actual heck are you worried about!”

Good news from my side of the fence:
Do you know how many of my friends (also my age) from college, sorority sisters, or anyone I even knew that did NOT get married?
Two
As in 1 more than 1.  As in only 2.

I don’t know how to prove what kind of odds that is other than comparing how many people I currently know on facebook.  Assuming we know about the same amount of people that gives you a  .0016 chance that you won’t get married.

The odds are in your favor.

While I only have 2 friends that never married I know tons of people who are fighting custody battles with their kids because they are divorced.  Or married and miserable.

Permission to speak freely here?

 While there are few guarantees in the marriage and dating world I do have one guarantee for you.  
Sleep with as many men as you want, give your heart and body away with little or no expectations and I GUARANTEE you will have a million and 1 marriage problems IF marriage works out at all. YIKES I KNOW I SAID IT.

OR

You can look differently than the world.  Protecting your heart.  Protecting your body.  Working on becoming the best future wife you can be with as little baggage to carry into the marriage as possible.
Worry less about getting married and more about becoming a whole complete and loved by Jesus YOU.

Wouldn’t you want your future husband to be doing the same thing?

The Huffington post said it this way:

it’s a question of supply and demand. “Easy” women are easy to get. The supply exceeds the demand. Now, it’s the sexually modest woman that stands apart in the dating world as a rare and desirable thing.
(the whole article is great) 

From the Good Man project, author Dave Booda says it this way:

Ladies, if you really want men to step up and become the real men you talk about, you must demand it. I’m not saying ask for it, I’m not saying hope for it, I’m saying demand it.  What does that mean? It means you don’t settle for anything less. It means if you aren’t satisfied, you walk away. Men will rise up and meet your challenge, I promise, it’s what we do best. We love challenges. We love it when women make us step up and work.

Men are hard wired to work, we just have to expect no less of them!

There are some amazing men out there ladies.  But the good guys are not looking for a girl dancing on top of the bar.
The most profound question I have heard for singles to take heart is this: “Are you who you are looking for, is looking for?” -Andy Stanley

Guarding your heart, protecting your body and seeking your heavenly father FIRST will prepare you to be a wife of nobel character.

Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God.1 Peter 3:4

I think the real question is not “Will I get married?” but  “Is my God big enough to take care of this?”

He is a good father.  He sees you begging and pleading for what you think will fulfill your heart.  But he loves you too much to let you believe the lie that another human can fill the void that only He can fill.  He wants to pour into your broken places.  Make you whole and complete.  He wants you to become the person you are looking for is looking for not just for them, but for yourself as well.  Enjoy your single time. Make the most of it.  And don’t worry.  He’s got this.

unlocking prison doors…naked

If you had the keys to let hundreds of innocent people out of jail but the only catch was you had to unlock all the doors completely naked, would you do it?

unlocking-prison

Weird analogy right?  Don’t worry I have a point.

This word vulnerability, is opening my eyes to some huge and powerful truths.  When we are brave enough to share our past, our hurt, and our bumpy road to figuring life out,  it can be terrifying.  We feel exposed, naked really, but for those who are brave enough, it also allows SO MUCH freedom both for us and the one who needed to hear our story.

Brene Brown, who delivered one of the most popular Ted talks to date, has researched vulnerability for more than a decade.  Her goal was to “outsmart” it.  She wanted to see how she could have those deep connections with people without having to let het guard down allowing herself to get hurt. 10 years of research, focus groups, and interviews she found, much to her surprise.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known” –Brene Brown

About a year ago I finally was brave enough, and got the opportunity, to share my testimony with my sorority.  15 years after sitting in the same chapter room I came back to tell what God had done in my life.  The calendar is different but we shared the exact same fears, insecurities, desperate need for a guy to bring us happily ever after.  I walked in their exact same (totally adorable) shoes.

  I stood in front of 225 of the most beautiful women Georgia Southern had ever seen.  I thought I was going to throw up or pee on myself or both. I poured my heart out.

After I finished speaking I felt naked  Exposed.  Cold and sweaty at the same time.  I went home that night and journaled this:

2/11/16

Last night I had the opportunity to share my testimony with ADPI! I have never felt more where I am supposed to be.  Mother Teresa says “Calcutta” is everywhere we just have to look.  I never would have thought to find Calcutta in the mansions of greek row but father I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity.

Since that terrifying moment in the chapter room God has given me the sweetest little warriors for Jesus to encourage and mama while they are away from home.  He has made doors fall down and windows fly open to share more of Jesus with the most open hearts hungry to hear a better way than hangovers and heartbreak.  He took my “too little too late” and made it “abundantly more than I could ask or imagine”.  Redeeming my past and making beauty from a mess.

Here’s my encouragement: To break down walls we have to get uncomfortable.   The best place to start is sharing our story.  What has God done, and what He is currently doing in your life that is hard to share but could be the key to unlock prison for others, AND as a bonus, yourself.

To my daughter , Love Jesus

I remember the day my father and I decided to make you.

It was a few thousand years ago now.  We sat around the table drawing our plan of just exactly how you would look, the family you would have and the passions you would peruse.    At first we thought you would be perfect for the middle ages because you make a perfect princess.  But then we thought having you live in a time of air conditioning would be better….you’re welcome.

Since creating our first daughter in the garden we have loved each one.  Some drew close to me and I loved showering her with heavenly hugs and my still small voice guiding her steps.  Some of my daughters have ran away from my arms determined to chase after counterfeit love and have her heart broken and disappointed every time.

The enemy puts a shiny coating over the things of this world.  It looks at first that being beautiful, or finding love is what you need to be complete.  When you get behind the cheap veneer you realize nothing the world offers will satisfy.

I cringe when you look at your face in the mirror and tell yourself it’s not enough.  I’ve watched you cry when you found out the “forever” he promised was so much shorter than you thought it would be.  I’ve hurt when you gave your heart to men who were not able to love you fully and completely.

Sweet daughter.  You are enough.

I have looked at your broken and made you whole.

I want to hold you and pour into your broken places.  I want to ask that you see the difference in the temporary dime-a-dozen offers of “happiness” from the world and my offer of eternal fulfillment.

I look at you and see potential to love the unloveable, teach the unteachable and mostly…. just to be brave.

Because of that, I have created you to for such a time as this, for such a day as this, and to be such a girl as yourself by no accident.  You have a glorious invitation to be a part of something so much bigger than you could ever imagine.

I’m inviting you to be part of an adventure so much bigger than what you see around you.  An invitation to be part of the biggest motion picture that was or ever will be.  The story is already in progress, but it would be so much more exciting with you.  The way your passionate about the things that matter to you, your infectious smile and your gentle voice.  Every detail about you can be used for the bigger story.

 The story of God is in progress and your invited to be a supporting role. 

I love you too much to see you work so hard for all this unattainable happiness that won’t last.  I see a perfect daughter in you, and I want you to be apart of this adventure.    Come be apart of something bigger.  Come join my story.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:3-8

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Thirsty

When Jesus walked the earth He talked about money, love, Heaven and Hell. He talked to Kings, Religious leaders, his Disciples and even his mother but the LONGEST recorded conversation was with a heartbroken girl.

The woman at the well story in John Chapter 4 is the longest recorded conversation with Jesus in Scripture.

The calendar has a different date, the cultural is distant, and thank you Jesus we now have cell phones, but the struggle is exactly the same. What I love about this woman is she is me, and you, and so many other women I have talked to who all share her same testimony. Searching for significance in the arms of a man.

“I just kept looking to feel whole everywhere but through Jesus” confesses a 21 year old heartbroken girl I had coffee with recently. The struggle is the same today, as when I was her age, as when the woman came to draw water 2000 years ago.

I think Jesus knew, centuries later, an equally heartbroken girl would be in desperate need to hear the words directly from Jesus to pour into her broken places.

modern-day-woman-at-the-well

The woman at the well was married 5 times and having slumber parties with a guy she wasn’t married to. She comes do draw water,maybe doing the walk of shame in her boyfriends toga. She is thirsty, in more ways that one.

At the well she meets a very unlikely friend. Culturally He shouldn’t even give her the time of day. Jesus is a powerful, strong and respected leader. She is a woman of questionable morals from the wrong side of the wrong town. Thankfully Jesus was never one to follow the crowd and do what everyone else thought he should do.
He looks at her with dignity and says:

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again.”John 4:13

Jesus looks at the woman aching to be beautiful, yearning for popularity, and thirsty to be loved fully and completely and asks:
How can another sinful human fulfill a void that big? Even when you think you have found your happily ever after, it will only fulfill you for a short while, then you have to come back for another guy, another “the one” and another heartbreak leaves you more thirsty than before. I want better for you my sweet daughter.

“The water that I will give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

Imagine you have arrived at perfection. Your body is a 10, your hair is just right, not a blemish to be found from head to toe, you’re hilarious smart and turn all the guys heads. Awesome right? Now all your problems are solved and you will have a line out the door of men who will love you forever.
Only this:
1)we all have different definitions of what “perfection” looks like
2) How is this working out for all the perfect women in hollywood?

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty” John 15

AMEN SISTER!
YES GIVE ME THIS WATER!! It is still free flowing on tap in John chapter 4 and on your knees ready to be poured out to fill your brokenness.

Dear ladies searching for significance in the arm of a man. I get it, I was there. The man, woman relationship is designed to COMPLIMENT us, never to COMPLETE us. God gave me a wonderful husband but I can not expect him to make me whole! He is a (very handsome) but flawed human just like me. Where in the world did we ever get the idea that the “right person” would quench all that we thirst for?

Jesus says everything we are searching for is so temporary and won’t last. He offers Eternal water, a promise to never thirst again. A promise of no more heartbreaks and empty searches for what your heart truly needs to feel whole.

Jesus, give me this water so I will never thirst again!

Following Jesus can be scary

“Better than a crack house I suppose?”  I told myself as I walked my way to room 225 of the unsightly motel on the back side of town.  I had been working with the local homeless mission for a few months when the director called to tell me about  Sarah, a young mom they just place in a hotel for 2 weeks.  Sarah and I had kids the same age and the director knew Sarah was desperate for a friend to help escape the crack house.

Knock Knock

In 30 seconds that felt like 3 hours I questioned my sanity and thought about running away, but then a 5 year old boy opened the door with spiderman pajamas.  He gave me a hug and invited me in.

This began my dive into the deep end of the rich and poor divide.
I fell in love with this little family.  I learned her husband left her for drugs and other women.  She had no education, no car, no home, no bank account, terrible credit and all her friends and family were in similar situations.  We grew up only miles apart but it just as well could have been different planets.  When I was a kid, I came home from school my mom greeted me with snacks and homework help, when she came home from school her mom was passed out on the couch from trying to OD…again.

I’m an “all in” kinda girl.  When I decide to commit to something I pour all of my blood sweat and tears into it.  I pull long hours and recruit everyone I know who may possibly even have a hint of passion along with me.  With the help of the amazing community and my overzealous, determined, persistent  phone calls, we got her an apartment, a car, a great job, child care, and a housewarming party to boot.  My husband taught her how to handle money and I watched her kids so she could go get her GED. I poured my everything into this girl and couldn’t be more proud of all she would be able to accomplish.  She was going to overcome the chains of poverty, she would be a success story! 

The only problem was, I wanted her success much more than she did.

Almost as quickly as it came together I watched her let it fall apart.  She stopped showing up for work, She had excuse after excuse of why she couldn’t make rent.  Finally facing eviction of the apartment so many people helped her furnish. I woke up early calling all hands on deck, how could we help her, what could we do?  At 11am when I still hadn’t heard from Sarah I went to her apartment.  I figured she would be frantically working trying to find an odd job to make the rent payment,  No, she was asleep.

She was able to glimpse what it looked like to be on the other side of poverty, it was different, it was unfamiliar, and it scared her.

I felt like I was watching a bad movie. I was pleading and crying, “can’t you see you are making terrible decisions, can’t you see the amazing life you can have?” but she wouldn’t hear it.  She pushed me out of her life and went back to her old self.

Lessons learned

I have been just like Sarah, the only difference was the circumstances.  How many times has God shown me a better way but I was just too scared of the unfamiliar path so I didn’t take it?

How many times have I been offered a chance to sacrifice something small for the chance to have something better?

How many times did I, as a college student, throw up after drinking too much swearing there was more to life than this but scared to take the road less traveled?  How many times did I say I wanted a good Christian guy but I thought I would find him on the highway of kissing too many boys?

Just like Sarah I too wanted the more abundant life but none of my friends went down that road, It was unfamiliar and scary.  While the road of hangovers and heartbreak was collapsing in on me, at least it was familiar.

All the while Jesus is pleading, there is a better way my sweet daughter!

If God is all he claims to be then i lose NOTHING for putting down my lesser ways to follow his much more abundant ways.  Let’s live that abundant life we are called to live! Let’s hold hands and walk together and chase Jesus through the scary parts to find the abundance on the other side of scary.

Everything worth having requires sacrifice.  What am I holding onto that is so much less than what God is offering?  Can  I put down the less so I have room for the more? 
abundant-life-copy

One brave girl

At Georgia Southern University there is a revival happening on Greek Row.  Men and women in sororities and fraternities are rising up tired of the stereotypes and wanting to stand for something bigger than themselves.  They have tasted the hangovers and heartbreak and find, quite frankly, it is not all it’s cracked up to be.

At the beginning of the year the sororities gathered together for a prayer night.  Shut down the road and prayed over each house, each other and for the God of the universe to rule the row.

What struck me was the 3 times they had people come to the alter to pray.  The music was playing, the sun was set, the stars were rising and hearts were stirring.  And then….one brave girl would come to kneel in pray.  I can imagine inside her she is thinking, what will people think, maybe I can just pray where I am.  Do I really need to step forward?? But she does.

brave girl

A few seconds that feel like a few hours later her friend comes to pray beside her.
AND THEN
SOMETHING
REMARKABLE
HAPPENS

the flood gates open up and the alter is full of people praying.

This exact same series of event happened each of the 3 times there was call for people to pray at the alter.

One brave girl, then one brave friend…and then a movement starts.  EVERY TIME

I was so inspired by what I had seen happen hundreds of times before but never fully grasped until that moment.  All it takes is one brave soul.

During the prayer walk our group prayed this over each house;

“May ONE BRAVE girl rise up in each sorority and One Brave guy in each fraternity, though they may be scared, though they may not have all the answers or know what this will look like, may they be brave enough to take a stand for Jesus and look different than their peers.  May that one brave and scared leader immediately have a friend to follow and encourage each other that normal is overrated and leaders never settle for status quo.”

 

When one brave girl decides to have fun in a different way than puking up tequila all night.  When one brave girl says no to going home with a guy because nothing good will come of it.  When one brave girl decides she is worth more than the way she is being treated by a guy.

When a brave girl looks different than her peers.  Guys take notice, other girls take notice, and changes start to happen.

 

joshua-be-strong-and-courageousI have seen numerous interviews done with people in hospice care.  Those young and old facing their final days are asked what they would do differently.  You would think it would be to spend more time with family, work less, etc.  And while those regrets do make the top 5 the NUMBER ONE regret of they dying as concluded by several different surveys is this:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. I wish I could have been BRAVE. 

In your 20’s you will make some of the key decisions to shape the REST OF YOUR LIFE!  NOW is the time to be brave.  NOW is the time to be bold.

Look around you…
Everyone is just waiting for someone else to be brave.
Are you willing to be one brave girl?