lifestyle

Love Yourself First

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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

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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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lifestyle

Live for the NOW

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Hi everyone! I hope you’ve had a fantastic few weeks! ¬†For a while now I’ve been stressed about the future‚ÄĒwhere will I go to college? what will I do when I get there? what’s the plan after that?!

As a high school student, I am constantly pressured to make life altering decisions that I am much to indecisive to commit to. ¬†As an eighth grader I was told to choose a “career path” that enforced elective classes that would prepare a student for their college major. ¬†How and why does a school system expect kids to know the outline of their life at fourteen years old?!

We are put under so much pressure to decide our future, but I think its high time that we live for the now. ¬†Living in the moment is an easy way to impact your mental state. ¬†Now, I’m not saying to completely block out the future. ¬†Consider how your decisions now will impact your life later, but if you have the chance to spend time with people you love, or go do things you won’t always have the opportunity to do, please go out and do it! ¬†Youth is fleeting and the cacoon of high school doesn’t last forever.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. ¬†Fools stand on their island of opportunities¬†and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒHenry David Thoreau

Enjoy doing what you love with people you love, and stress will melt away. ¬†Live for the now, and don’t stress too hard for the future, everything always seems to work itself out.

Spend your week enjoying the little things, and find sunshine in every day life.  Take a moment to slow down in this already fast paced world.  Sit and ponder and laugh and love.  Life is short, keep a steady pace and enjoy the simple things before life gets in the way.

P.S. if you see a colorful wall, don’t be afraid to go and take pictures in front of it‚ÄĒit’s the little things that radiate joy.

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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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Fashion, lifestyle

Hoping for a Winter Wonderland

This past week, all of my friends up North got completely bombarded with Snow!  Watching the weather from the comfortable 60 degrees that Texas has been hovering at has made me miss snow more than I ever thought possible.  Snow is a beautiful and exciting phenomena that I always took for granted living up North.  Constantly checking  the weather forecast has only made me jealous of my friends who are getting inch after inch of snow piled on.

My winter wardrobe is home to my favorite articles of clothing, and I look forward to swapping out my closet every year.  Winter seems to bring about a fresh new light to life, especially when it snows.  A snow-covered ground is quite literally a blank slate just waiting to be stepped in to.

Cozy sweaters, blanket scarves, and even comfy beanies make winter worth while. ¬†Though I’ve never really been a fan of being cold, I love when the weather outside is conducive to a hot cup of cocoa and staying in bed without a care.

Though I miss living up North and the special connections I have with the snow, moving back down South is a definite change in pace when it comes to both life and weather.  After all, living in a place like Texas makes getting snow all the more special.  I hope that I am able to see some snow this winter for even just a few days.  It truly is magical to see a blanket of white over the normally colorful world around me.  When I look at such a serene image, time seems to stop in a soothing manner.  The snow and the North will always hold a special place in my heart, but for now, watching from a far is all I need.

Get a similar sweater HERE

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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

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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