lifestyle

Love Yourself First

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! I’m writing this message as a personal plea to Love Yourself First!

Around this time last year, a friend and I were sulking together‚ÄĒrelishing in the fact that we would be single for Valentine’s Day. ¬†We saw how pitiful we were acting and decided that instead of giving in to the Hallmark Holiday that is Valentine’s Day, we would celebrate “Galentine’s Day”‚ÄĒa day devoted to friendship and self-love.

¬†The creator of the holiday, Leslie Knope, from the television series, Parks and Recreations,¬†describes Galentine’s Day as a holiday for “Ladies celebrating ladies. It‚Äôs like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas”.

Spending Galentine’s Day with my best friend was immensely more fun than spending it consumed in the stresses of buying material goods that represent an overcommercialized view of¬†love. ¬†In reality, we must love ourselves before being able to truly accept the love of others.

To love ourselves is to accept our flaws, and ignore the criticism of others.  Your self-worth is not defined by the surface of your personality.  You go so much deeper than people are willing to dive in to…all of us do.  Criticisms are based off of a small amount of knowledge that again, does not define a person.  The criteria that others put in place for you is not the guide in which to live your life.  Be a confident and strong individual, and do not conform to what others expect you to be.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday meant to spread love and kindness, but it has turned into a commercialized monster. ¬†Love is shown in many other ways than through monetary value. ¬†Instead of focusing on the stress of Valentine’s Day, focus on yourself. ¬†Find ways to love yourself and find your self-worth, rather than spending time and money on a holiday that should be celebrated every day. ¬†We should not need a holiday to tell us when to express love. ¬†Show love when you feel the need rather than when a holiday tells you it is a requirement. ¬†Love others, and learn to love yourself.

~ ‚ô° Presley

Standard
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.

Standard
Christianity, lifestyle

My Life in a Picture

IMG_7384 (1)

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.

Standard
Christianity

Thankful

DSC_0738 (1)

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.

Standard
Christianity

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.
IMG_8681

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.

Standard
Christianity

October Offerings

IMG_0504 (1)

Happy October!

This past Wednesday I spent my night at a local Pumpkin Patch with my youth group.  We spent our time taking photos and spending time in fellowship.  I am so blessed to have like-minded friends in which I can share my love and worship.

At the Pumpkin Patch, I came to the realization that an “Offering” is not just monetary. ¬† As Christians, we are called to spend our time, talent, and treasures to help ourselves and others grow as Christians.

Salvation is an investment‚ÄĒif you don’t invest, your faith will not grow. ¬†Your relationship with Christ is not one-sided. ¬†You must play your part, if you do not put anything in, you will gain nothing. ¬†As Galatians 6:7 says, “a man reaps what he sows” Do what you can to spread the word of God to everyone you can through how you live, love, and say. ¬†People will take notice if you live in a holy way.

Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

You are valued and loved and don’t forget it. ¬†Spend your days with the knowledge that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. ¬†Throughout this October (and indefinitely), spend not only your money through offering, spend your time, talent, and treasures on growing in your faith and spreading the word.

IMG_0518 (1)

get my top from Free People in white HERE and my jeans from American Eagle Outfitters HERE

Standard
Christianity, Fashion

My 2017 October Favorites

Its Fall y’all! I’m so thrilled that we are in the midst of my favorite time of the year. ¬†Halloween and Thanksgiving, the vibrant color of Autumn leaves, the crisp air in the morning, how could you not love the season filled with color and beauty? ¬†October is one of my favorite months of the year, so I thought I would give you some insight on my “fall favorites” this October.

Comfy Sweaters

It’s finally the time of year for cozy sweaters. ¬†Who doesn’t love something comfy and stylish? ¬†Fall is the beginning of “sweater weather” and I am always prepared! ¬†This sweater came from H&M and is my absolute favorite. ¬†It has held up nicely for the past three years, and is a great and stylish way to stay warm all Fall and Winter long. ¬†(you can purchase a similar sweater¬†HERE)

Hot Drinks

The cooler Autumn weather makes hot drinks so much more desirable. ¬†Lately, I have been drinking a lot of coffee with International Delight’s White Chocolate Mocha Creamer. ¬†I love the way it makes my coffee taste‚ÄĒit reminds me of something that I would buy at a coffee shop. ¬†I also love Chai Tea this time of year. ¬†The spices remind me of the crisp air and bright colors that fall includes.

Psalm 55:22

Verse for blog.png

October personally gives me so much to be grateful for.  Psalms are a beautiful expression of messages to God, and this one is so powerful.  God is bigger than the issues you are facing; he will never give you a task you are incapable of doing.  Pray for guidance and you will receive it.  You are never alone when you have Jesus in your heart.

Neutral Nail Polish

IMG_8073.JPG

Also sported above in my coffee photo, light pink nail polish is one of my favorite looks this season. ¬†Although people tend to go darker in the fall, I love to go for a more neutral tone. ¬†My favorite polish color right now is OPI’s “Bubble Bath“. ¬†Also, for those of you wondering, my rings are part of a set from Forever 21. ¬†They always have the cutest rings for the greatest price! ¬†Get a similar set¬†HERE!

I hope everyone has a great week. Make sure to check back every Monday for a new post!

Standard