lifestyle

Be Present for Friends in Need

IMG_7003.jpgOne of the hardest things for me is knowing that someone is hurting, but not knowing why or how to help. ¬†I find myself poking and prodding until the person eventually explodes, which is obviously not the right way to handle things. ¬†How can we empathize with someone if we don’t know what’s going on in their lives? ¬†How can we be present and lend a helping hand?

First of all, it is important to not overstep. ¬†Even with close friends and loved ones, we need to accept that sometimes, it’s just not our business. ¬†Constantly pushing a person to spill out their obstacles almost always results in anger and even damage to relationships. ¬†It’s okay if you don’t have all the details‚ÄĒyou can still be there for that person.

Giving love and support is sometimes more powerful than advice.  Telling a person that you love and care about them is often all it takes to provide comfort and security.  It is hard, especially for me, when it seems almost impossible to console someone due to a situation that you have no control of.  This is when offering your support and time is the best thing to do.  Ranting and/or getting things out in the open is a great way to blow off steam, and it makes anyone feel better to get something off their chest.

When all else fails, be present.  Being there for someone, whether it be in person, on the phone, or even over text, giving up small amount of your time and energy to listen or console a person is the best thing to do.

Isaiah 41:10 says:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

All will be well when you have trust in the Lord.

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Christianity, lifestyle

A Year of Growth

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Hi everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas filled with laughter and joy! I, thankfully, was able to spend the week in Georgia with my extended family. ¬†Now, it’s time to prepare for the New Year!

This past year has been a roller coaster filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and even rushes of excitement. ¬†When I started 2017, I was at the height of my sophomore year. ¬†I was on top of the world with my loving friends and successful school life. ¬†I had just gotten my first ever lead in a musical, and I was spending almost every moment doing something I loved, whether it be rehearsal or going to my favorite coffee shop with my best friend. ¬†I never expected to be told that once again, I was going to have to move accross the country away from what I viewed as home. ¬†I’ll be honest, I was heartbroken at just the thought of moving for the sixth time; moving in the middle of high school.

If you would’ve told me a mere 10 months ago the mental place that I’m in today, I would have not believed you. ¬†I felt depressed and completely drained. ¬†I felt that I’d never be as happy as I was in Montana. ¬†I was wrong. ¬†Little did I know… I would find incredible loving friends only a few months into the start of school.

Today, I am beyond blessed.  I am a part of a fantastic youth group filled with like-minded kids who share an intense love for the Lord, I have friends that I love and trust, and I am all around a happier person.

As I said, 2017 has been a rollercoaster, but it has also been a year of growth. ¬†Moving my Junior year has made me a stronger person, and after much contemplating, I am grateful. ¬†I owe it all to God. ¬†Moving from Montana was a blessing in disguise, and I never would have expected to be thriving here. ¬†God is so good and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for 2018.

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” ‚ÄĒ 2 Corinthians 4:17

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Christianity

End the Chapter, Not the Book

Author’s Note: Hi everyone! I’m SO sorry about the late post! I was majorly swamped Sunday Night.

This past Sunday during church, the Pastor’s sermon really stuck with me. ¬†His message revolved around dealing with life’s interruptions.

So often we are faced with interruptions put in place by the enemy whose sole goal is to persuade us away from Christ.  It has been this way starting with Adam and Eve and the Serpent who persuaded Eve to take a bite out of the forbidden fruit.

“Don’t put a period where God wanted a comma to be” ¬† Rev. Edlen¬†Cowley

Even Mary and Joseph experienced interruptions in their life when they were told that their life would forever change with the birth of Jesus.  Imagine the ridicule the two must have faced.  In times such as these they would have been shunned by their friends and families and forever looked down upon.  However, Mary accepted the duty and went through with the deed with her head held high.  She and Joseph placed a comma after their engagement and turned to more important duties such as preparing for the birth of the Messiah.

Today, we can learn a lot about how to go about our pain and struggle through stories such as Mary and Joseph’s, and learn how not to go about our struggles through stories such as Adam and Eve’s. ¬†We are all sinners, but placing a comma where we need to take a pause may help us from closing off opportunity in life. ¬†Dealing with pain and strife is difficult, but with the help of our Faith in our Savior, we can get through anything.

¬†1 Corinthians 10:13 says “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear”

Though what we face challenges as Christians, we will never be given a temptation that you cannot overcome.  You are powerful, strong, and capable of great things.

Throughout your week, remember that when dealing with one of life’s many interruptions, do not put a cap on the struggle, work through it. ¬†Instead of placing a period, place a comma. ¬†Work through the situation with grace and the knowledge that you are capable of dealing with any obstacle you may face. ¬†Let the novel that is your life continue and develop into something that would make your author proud. ¬†You are made in the image of God and you are gifted with the joys that He has given you. ¬†As one chapter of life ends, a new, more impactful one begins.

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Christianity, lifestyle

My Life in a Picture

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Over the past year and a half, photography has become an almost essential part of my life. ¬†I love to go out with friends and take photos of and with them. ¬†I don’t know where I’d be or what I would be doing if I did not have photography in my life.

While living in Montana, I earned an appreciation for the beauty of nature due to my close proximity to it. ¬†One of my best friends introduced me to photography the beginning of my sophomore year when she decided that we should go out one weekend and take “fall portraits” of each other. ¬†I agreed because I not only loved being in front of the camera, I wanted to know what it was like to take photos myself. ¬†My love of photography as well as a lifelong friendship developed the very first time I went out for those portraits. ¬†After that day, my friend and I went out every weekend we had free to take pictures. ¬†It was amazing‚ÄĒa golden era in my life, and a development of an exciting hobby.

Montana had immense opportunity for photography.  A close proximity to Yellowstone National Park as well as unique rock formations, rivers, and colorful fields filled with flowers made photography easy and fun, whatever the subject happened to be.

When I moved away this past year, I thought that it would be difficult to continue the hobby in an area with not nearly as many interesting choices in scenery.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  God blessed me with friends who love to go out on the weekends to take photos, and areas close to home that make for gorgeous subjects.  I am also beyond thankful that I am able to look at things in a new perspective to make a seemingly boring subject into something beautiful.

Finding the beauty in a seemingly ‘boring’ or unappealing subject is not only important in the eyes of a photographer, ¬†it is also crucial for everyday life. ¬†Looking at things in a new perspective can put a positive spin on almost anything. ¬†For example, if I had looked at moving from Montana as an adventure rather than a hardship, I would have saved myself so much grief and been in a much better mindset. ¬†I am so excited to be in this new chapter of life filled with joy and excitement.

 

Throughout your week, try to look at daily hardships in a new light.  Capture the beauty of a moment in a happy thought.  Stay joyful and live life fulfilling your passions while using the talents that God has given you.

Turn your Unappealing Hardships into a Beautiful Picture with a simple change in perspective.

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Christianity

Thankful

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Happy Monday!

After a long week of school, I am so thankful to have the week off for Thanksgiving.  Honestly, I have so much to be thankful for!

Moving away from all my friends right before my Junior year of high school was one of the most difficult things that I have endured.  I remember constantly questioning God, asking him why he forced me to move across the country.  I was angry, and had no idea how I would possibly restart the process of making friends and finding my place at a whole new school.

It is now a little over 5 months later, and I feel as though I am thriving. ¬†I have made incredible friends who I love, and gotten involved with several clubs and activities. ¬†My mom always says, “grow where you’re planted”. ¬†This quote rings true to anyone, but especially to those who feel as though they have been placed into a new life. ¬†Moving a thousand miles away from my friends felt as though I was ripped from the ground. ¬†However, if I could go back in time and show myself who I am today, I feel as though I would save myself an immense amount of grief associated with moving. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I miss my friends more and more every day, but my relationship with Christ as well as myself has changed for the better in ways I would have never expected. Moving here was certainly a¬†Blessing In Disguise. ¬†After being “planted” in a new state filled with new people, I feel as though I have gotten the chance to grow stronger than I ever have before.

“You must prosper where you are planted” Dani Johnson

I am so thankful for the many blessings I have been dealt in the past few months.  I am so blessed to have amazing and loving friends who I can count on for anything, I have found incredible mentors and leaders who allow my relationship with Christ to grow and thrive, I have a youth group filled with like-minded people, and I have a family who loves me unconditionally.  In the season of Thanksgiving, showing appreciation for the ones in your life that mean the most to you is especially important.  Love unconditionally, and live life with a full heart.  You are a beautiful creation, grow where you are planted, and live life fruitfully among whatever circumstances you are given.

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Stay Optimistic

Sometimes the world hits you with cold truths that are very difficult to put a positive spin on. ¬†I can honestly tell you that it’s incredibly difficult for me to remain optimistic when going through life’s cold fronts. ¬†However, making it a point to keep smiling even through hard times makes all the difference in the world.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 says, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”. ¬†These words reign true in all that we do. ¬†God puts hardships in our lives for a reason‚ÄĒso that we can grow stronger in our faith and love. ¬†Personally, some of my hardest times have been blessings in disguise. ¬†Our heavenly father never puts anything in our lives that we cannot handle.

Even in times of distress, we can look forward to knowing that God has a purpose for what he does.  As strong Christians, we need to prove to the enemy that we will not wilt under pressure.  We will turn into shining diamonds in the love of Christ.  As followers of God we are called to live as Jesus would.  This means different things to all of us, but staying positive and optimistic is a great was to grow in your relationship with God

Throughout your week, remember to be thankful for what God has given you, look for blessings disguised as hardships, and stay optimistic even in times of distress.  We are so lucky to serve the loving and forgiving God.  Remember, he will never hand you a challenge that cannot be overcome!

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Happy November!

Happy November!

Now that there are officially less than 50 days until Christmas, I am beginning to get into the spirit. ¬†Though it reached about 90 degrees here in Texas, I pretended it was cold out by buying a hot peanut butter mocha from an adorable coffee shop right outside of my city’s limits.

November is a time for Thanksgiving, and as Christians, we have so much to be thankful for!  God has blessed us with so much and even in times of trouble, we can always find joys through small victories and christ.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.‚ÄĚ Psalm 100:4

We so often pray to the Lord while asking for things; I am guilty of asking for so much, and never giving thanks.  I know that I have so much to be thankful for, yet I find myself forgetting to tell Christ about how much I appreciate what he has given me.  I am making it my goal this month to improve my gratitude for what God has given me.  I will not only thank him in my prayers, I will write down all that I am thankful for in hopes of increasing my relationship with God, and promoting positivity within my heart.

I encourage all of you to pray hard and love harder.  Try to thank the Lord for the blessings you have been given, whether they be small victories or huge accomplishments.
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I am so blessed to have great friends, family, and adorable coffee shops close to home.  I appreciate all that the Lord has given me and hope to improve my relationship with him as I grow as a person.  Throughout the week, remember who Christ is and what he has done for you.  Remember to thank him for everything you have been given, and remember most of all to appreciate the little things.

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