Friday, December 14, 2012

Heartbroken

I've been shaken to the core by the event that happened today in Connecticut  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones today. I cannot even imagine, heart breaking.

Today is the day to mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. Not to argue over laws and regulations, today is about being thoughtful. Incredibly thoughtful.

These unfortunate, horrible events are unexplainable  There is no why that can be pinpointed and solved. We live in such a fallen world.

I'm so grateful that this world is not my own, that I have a Savior who has saved me. Filled me with grace, forgiven me. Given me hope, even in the darkest of moments.

Unfortunately, these extremes highlight what matters most. What we seem to forget matters when there is a Calculus test on Monday or family tensions are running high.

I'm still trying to figure out what matters most to me, truly and honestly. I cannot confidently state to y'all in two sentences what matters to me most. But I do know what doesn't matter...wasted time on Facebook or Twitter, comparing myself to others, worrying instead of action.

This weekend, I'm reeling in on wasted time because every single moment that I am given on this earth is for a purpose. It was given with intention. And the moment I stop living my life to glorify the One who has given me all of this, it's a life that has lost its meaning.

I'm beyond grateful for Christ, who can meet me in my confusion, in my hurt for the families that I haven't met. For the parents of beautiful babies, mourning the loss of a piece of themselves. I'm hurting tonight and I can only imagine what the individuals involved in todays incident must be going through.

My heart is heavy, full of prayers and aching, resting in the comfort of God today, who can give us what we need most in these moments.

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How can I encourage you?

Do you need prayer?
Would you love a message of encouragement?
Need a once-a-week bit of Scripture to keep you going?
Please let me know.
I'd love to be praying for you. I'd love to be encouraging you.
Please, let me!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I want to be a teacher.

I'm feeling like myself again and I am so grateful. That meant that I got to go to my elementary school reunion tonight.
My heart is so full and so grateful for the night I was able to have with the small group of people that I learned how to learn with.
We laughed, we giggled, we talked about memories that I had long forgotten. There was something about being in those rooms and buildings again that made it all come flooding back.
I loved elementary school. Every day I loved school, I truly enjoyed my time there.
It brought back memories of Valentine's Day. Where everyone would bring someone their ideal lunch. We'd all bring lunches and give them to each other (secretly) and we would all receive the lunch of our dreams.
It was the sweetest, most thoughtful event I ever thought imagined.
Is there a way to re-create this in a high school setting? Because if there is, oh I am going to bring it back.
100%
Tonight, I left with a feeling of purpose, after listening to Mark Driscoll's sermon on Work and Worship in the car on the way there, I felt a change.
New intention was found in the why of me wanting to be a teacher to first graders.
I want to encourage them and be the person that believes in them, even if nobody else does.
I want them to shoot for the moon, because they will land among the stars.
I want to encourage my students to be the best that they can be and not let anyone tell them that they aren't good enough or smart enough. They can do whatever they believe they can do, which means the sky is the limit.
I would be so grateful to play this roll in student's lives. To be the one that is encouraging them. I'd love it.
Sure, teaching is a job that is not glamorized or makes millions, but I believe I'd be following the path that God has me on at the moment.
Maybe what I'm feeling right now changes, that I find that God has a different path for me and that I will encourage others in a different way. But right now, after tonight, I feel so motivated to see this as the why of being a teacher.
I'm so excited to put in the work and study so that I can be the encouragement that these student's need to make the best world possible.
Tonight, I am so grateful. Grateful for my elementary school, for a game of ultimate bump that never changes, and the incredible friends that I've made throughout the years.
God is good. 

ps: I brought that leaf into my fourth grade science classroom and Katie still teaches in that room, with that leaf, eight years later. Absolutely amazing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Clinging

I'm struggling and having a hard time figuring out where I am at the moment.
I haven't felt good this weekend and something just feels "off."
I felt sick on Saturday and have felt physically fine on Sunday and today for the most part but not myself.
I feel like I've lost part of myself. I don't know what part though or how it has happened.
Nothing drastic changed, there was no life altering event. Nothing.
Just me, myself and I struggling. Really, truly, struggling.
I feel like I'm in the thick of it, in a dark, nasty place where every single bit of encouragement has gone out the window.
I can't think positively. I blame myself. I'm not sure who I am or why anymore.
It's odd to me and I cannot figure out a why, but there isn't always a why.
There isn't always a problem that can be identified that has a solution. Life isn't an equation I need to solve.
I feel challenged to depend on God more, but don't know how.
I feel like I'm not close enough, but don't know how to get closer.
I want to do what matters, but how do I know what matters?
How does studying for a Calculus test every week and a Stats test every other week doing what matters?
I feel fired up by that statement one minute, one hour and then the next? It sounds cheesy.
What does "doing what matters" even look like to me?
And I think I've hit a road block. I don't know what the why is and I can't pinpoint a purpose.
I can't come back to the issues, identify where the "why" has gone wrong and fix it.
I would like to fix myself.
I cannot fix myself and at the moment, that is beyond frustrating.
I want to be better, feel better and feel like myself again.
But I feel frozen, not sure if it's my typical frozen-by-fear self or if it's something new and different.
It surely doesn't feel right.
I feel like the answer lies within God, but I don't know how to find it.
How do I find the answer from Him, friends? How do I get back to the point of saying God is good and truly meaning it with my heart and soul?
Prayer is my game plan. Trying to study the Bible is a worthwhile effort but I'm not sure if I'm going in with the correct mindset.
Is there a correct mindset to going to the Bible for answers?
I wish there was a correct formula, a right and a wrong for all of this.
This challenge, I will overcome it.
I just wish I had the answer key.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Believe In

Encouraging others. A lot.
Speaking a positive that you think. Their hair look pretty today? Love their constant positivity? Tell them!
Pure Barre. Working out, doing the hard work, pushing myself, getting out that anger. Seeing the physical, tangible results.
Reading my Bible. Studying God's word that He has given us to read. I need to read it more.
Going to church, singing songs that ignite the light inside of me. This is not the end, friends! We have such hope and joy to look forward to. Grateful for this constant, weekly reminder.
Texting friends encouragment. Lifting them up when you have no reason to believe otherwise.
Acting purposefully towards others with the same intent that you would want someone to treat you. It comes back, start it and it will continue. Maybe not instantly but it will. Believe.
Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.
Doing the hard work. It's hard, I know it and that's the challenge. It almost is physically painful to take the next step into action, into doing. But friends, it will be so blessed. Do the work. See the results.
Failing. I learn best when I make a mistake, goof up. When I think I know something and get it wrong, that's the moment I learn. When I know the difference between x and y, the reason why. It clicks. I'm so grateful that I'm not perfect, no matter how much I want to be.
That everyone fears, that if we were all more vulnerable with what we feared we'd be able to encourage each other much more effectively. We'd be comforted in the ways we need most.
Sharing our knowledge. This is all Lara Casey, but if we collectively share our knowledge for success we'd live in a much more successful world. I'm grateful for her and her crazy power with a keyboard and her fingers. Her blog, rocks. my. world.
Making Things Happen. I believe it changes people and I cannot wait until I know it's time for me to do something, make a difference and attend. To meet the people that will encourage me to face my fears. To walk the plank and take the leap, surrounded by friends in the water no matter what.
In honesty. In facing my fears. In doing the hard work. Admitting where I fall short. Owning up to my mistakes and saying "I'm sorry," without the "buts."
Encouraging you to do what you're scared of. Face your fears, ignite the fire inside of you that makes you want to change the world.
Sit for one hour this week, challenge yourself to figure out your "why."
I plan to do it this weekend and can't wait to share it with y'all later down the road.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bursting at the Seams

Y'all, I have never been more excited for a Friday than I am at this very moment. Such good things are going to come from this weekend.

I'm turning 18 on the 18th and I'm spending my Golden Birthday Weekend in a different state with three girlfriends. The joy is overflowing out of me at this point.

I cannot wait to see what happens this weekend. We have no incredible plans, I'm not throwing an incredible party or planning to do anything illegal or questionable.

This weekend is girl time. It's rest time. It's be together time. It's be in the moment time.

I'm trying to have low expectations so that nothing but goodness can come from this weekend and I think I have just enough excitement. That's probably not ture and I probably have too much excitement bubbling over but oh my, girls I am SO grateful for this weekend.

I'm grateful to be (almost) 18. I'm grateful to be healthy. I'm grateful to be traveling. I'm grateful that I get to spend the weekend with three girl friends that I know I'm going to have a blast with. I'm grateful for giggles and laughing until your jaw and abs hurt. I'm grateful for sunshine and a good book. I'm so grateful for everything the Lord has blessed me with. So, so grateful.

As old as I now feel--okay, I should definitely not feel old at 18 but I do, I don't feel old enough to vote, to sign my life away or to serve my country--I'm trying to be grateful in the midst of it. That age is just a number.

I want to always remember that no matter how old or young I feel, I'm never not good enough to be myself. I'm never wasting my time if I'm going after my dream or filling that passion that the Lord has filled me with. It will never be a waste.

I am never not old enough. I am never too young. I would love to just see the joy in this weekend and see the joy that this next year will bring.

I'll be in college, so much will have changed a year from today. We know so little about what God's huge plan is for us, but I'm delighted in His plan for my weekend. Absolutely head-over-heals filled with joy and love for the girls and the time I'll have starting at 10am tomorrow. Two more classes and I'll be free to enjoy the sunshine, the plane ride, the giggles and the joy. I cannot wait to soak up every single moment of it.

God is good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bringing Pure Barre Back

I feel like myself again and I'm loving it. I have to share and give y'all a little update! It'll hopefully be short and sweet, but I need to check in!

I went back to Pure Barre this afternoon and loved it. This class fires me up like nothing else. I swear, I feel beautiful, glowing and incredibly motivated to be me and do once I walk out of that room. I love it and I need it. I have begun to value myself in a new way and have realized that if Pure Barre fires me up, then it should be DONE!

I'm currently doing the James Bible study by Beth Moore and it is rocking my socks off. I want to study the Bible all the time. I want to know more, I want to know the stories and I want to get closer to Christ. The fortunate thing? I can accomplish all these wants and God will meet me every step I take. I've fallen off the Bible reading train (is it a train?) and am about to jump back on. I need to focus on what matters and if I say He matters the most to me, His word better matter to me too!

I'm feeling so good tonight. Election nights are hard because it doesn't bring out the best in others when they lose or get over zealous in their win. It's a challenging experience! Today, the election left me in a major funk, but I am so thankful for Emily Ley. She wrote an incredible letter to her son today about losing and boy, oh boy was I humbled. God is humbling me every single day and I hope I never stopped being humbled by the Lord.

I'm so thankful for the country we live in, the freedom we have and the ability for me to read the Bible and love God if I so choose. I love it. I've prayed more today than I have in forever, I need the dependency and I need the communication. He's showing me and guiding me to act with love, do what matters and to stop the many games I play with myself.

I am good enough. I am smart enough. I am perfect in the eyes of God. And so are you.

I am so thankful. God is good.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Making Things Happen

At this very moment, I'm challenged to make more of myself. To crush my fears. To live more boldly. To live a life that fires me up.

I live in a world of distraction. I'm learning that in the world I live in today, the amount of distractions is out of control at any given moment. There is a reason I feel like I cannot pay attention to anything for more than fifteen minutes, it's because I don't have to.

Read one half of a post, feel inspired, write something down, open a new blog, read five blog posts, check into Facebook, look at Instagram, check Skype, Skype for an hour, eat dinner, check Facebook, stress about homework, try to do homework, get distracted, and the cycle continues every single day.

This cycle isn't just going to stop one day. Nope. It will keep going as long as I let it. It keeps going because I do not say NO to it. I say YES to the temptation of Instagram, Skype, Facebook, iPhone, GoogleReader. The sad part is that list goes on and on. It's so much more than just that.

I want to be intentional with my time. With what I accomplish and the work I accomplish.

If I spent two hours working on a project, but was distracted, could I have produced better quality work in one hour with no distractions?

When is the last time I worked without any distractions?

This week I want to do homework a little differently. I want to spend less time on my iPhone and purposefully leave it in another room. I want to limit myself to thirty minutes of GoogleReader after school. I want to challenge myself to do homework without distraction, then reach out for help.

This week I will work intentionally on my homework without distraction.
This week I will check Facebook twice a day.
This week I will take Twitter off my iPhone.
This week I will check Twitter twice a day.
This week I will check Instagram at lunch and twice after school.
This week I will be more intentional with my time.
This week I will spend thirty minutes on GoogleReader after school.
This week I will spend quiet time with God every day.

What are you going to do this week?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Bad Seed

This morning was a hard morning for my family. It pointed out all the icky divorce-causing-lack-of-communication-problems we have. It was a tear filled morning. It was beyond frustrating after such a peaceful streak, one filled with new communication. We were being patient with ourselves and being patient with each other. It was everything I'd been praying for and a bit more.

This weekend my brother came home from boarding school, and with our whole family back "together" again, I think the flaws came out. The transition back was hard. Old habits that we're trying to break were back. Sleep got mixed up, food wasn't constant like it is at Brown Hall. Looking back there were many flaws, little fractures that built up to the huge crumble we had this morning. Oh my, was this morning rough.

Being in this situation, in our situation, is hard on me. It challenges me and causes me to be bent and twisted in ways I never, ever ould have imagined. Ever. Finding perspective in the middle of it is hard, hard stuff. Our instinct is to hold on to the anger, to the hurt and to the tears. They overhaul ourselves and we become negative, hurt, confused shells. My family becomes one that I don't recognize, but these days happen and history has shown that when you're at the lowest of lows, the only place left to go is up. And this afternoon, we're trying to go up.

It's a process. It's not immediate. We're still wallowing in the pit for a bit, letting the suffering go on, even if we don't want it to. Because the reality of life is that we live in a fallen world, the suffering is bound to happen and the pain doesn't always go away as quickly as we'd like. I prayed like mad as this was going on, that both sides would just act in love instead of so much hurt. God's grace allowed me to forgive quicker than any other family member in this situation. Forgiveness. C.S. Lewis's quote was running through my head and I knew that every word of it was nothing but true.

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”-C.S. Lewis

I quickly felt the presence of the Lord as my prayers were heard, not answered but heard. Someone was listening to me and my side of the situation, even if no one in my family was responding the way I wanted them to. Instead of texting a friend to pray, I prayed powerfully myself. I knew throughout the whole event, that my only value, my only stronghold, is the Lord (Ephesians 2:20). The only one that I can depend on always as my constant is Christ. A challenging idea for the world today and one I still am working on. Understanding that God is always there? Got it. Understanding that everything could fall away and crumble, I could be without everything I've ever known an He'd be there? Not so much. But I work on and build on my relationship with the Lord every single day. I'm so excited to know where He'll take me. That He will provide me with everything I'll ever need, even if I don't always believe it. God's grace and mercy triumphs, y'all. Let's live lives that show we believe it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Start to 31 Days

I feel motivated to write my own 31-day series this month. I hope it will be something I realize the value in because I know the good that can come from it. When I blogged everyday for a month on my personal blog, it blessed me so much. And now being able to look back on it? I'm much more thankful.

I hope to take this time to write, if only for five minutes, about what matters to me. Realize that in this world full of false promises, idols and ideas I can focus on what will bring me joy. Refocus for five minutes by just writing whatever comes to mind to help clear my head. God has been on my heart to spend time with Him more and more, something I'm failing at. I'm a better person when the Word is in my heart every single day. I'm starting a new Bible study tonight by Beth Moore and we're studying the book of James. I'm so excited.

Bible Study fires me up. I love it. I hope to be able to post every day this month and be able to look back and find something that puts a smile on my face. A month of encouraging-fire-you-up-focusing-on-what-matters-posts! Can someone sign me up for the Making Things Happen conference because I think I'm ready!

Have a great night everyone! See you tomorrow.

Patient endurance is what you need now, so taht you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. 
Hebrews 10:36

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making Time

 I posted at the beginning of the school year about having a hard time finding time for the Lord. I would be praying before I got out of bed and before I went to bed but it wasn't enough for me. 

I was craving more time with the Lord. I knew I needed more and I knew I wasn't doing all I could to be getting it in. 

The transition was hard, but now on my forth week of school I finally feel like I've got my rhythm and it's time to address the quiet time problem. And I did. 

On Thursday night I wrote in my journal and spent time with the Lord instead of doing my Great Gatsby reading for the next day. On Friday morning, at 6:20am, I spent fifteen minutes journaling about Proverbs 27 and praying about my day.

It blessed me 100x throughout my day and I had joy in my heart before stepping over the threshold of my bedroom. It was what the Lord had put on my heart to do and I'm so glad I listened.

Making time to spend with God is hard and it's a challenge that goes through seasons and transitions. Throughout the summer I could do the She Reads Truth study and keep up with my Beth Moore study, when I went back to school it was hard to keep up with either of them. As I'm finding myself back in the school mode I'm realizing that I do have time for Him. But it's about making it a priority.

I'm finishing the Proverbs study and then finishing my Beth Moore study on the Psalms of Ascent. I am so blessed to have a plethora of studies at my disposable, but I need to manage them to make sure I'm not overwhelming myself. I want to love and crave this time with the Lord and when it has become stressful, I know I'm doing something wrong.

I am thankful for a Lord that allows for buckets full of grace. Forgiveness on the days that I don't say a single prayer. Love on the days that I deserve it least. A life forever in Heaven. Knowing that Jesus is all that I do and will ever need, if I've got Him, I'm good.

These words are easier to type than they are to act out. It's hard to always believe that making time for the Lord is worth it when the classes you have tomorrow are weighing down on you. I found time to read my Great Gatsby assignment during my free period on Friday and the Lord took care of me. He knew what was going to happen, He always does. 

I hope that you'll leave me a comment or email me if you need encouragement or advice on how to make this time every day. I've done it for a few days and that definitely doesn't mean I've got it all under control, but it's progress. I pray that you will be able to hear where God is telling you to take the next step, He'll bless it more than you could even imagine!

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Joshua 1:8 

It takes three weeks to form a habit and I'm excited to see how God will be working in my life and yours by then! Good luck, friends!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Love

 
We made it. It's Friday, about six o'clock and we've done it, all of us, we have survived this week.

You're here, classes are done with and for me, the three-day weekend is just beginning. God is so good and I just want to scream it from the rooftops. I love it. I have the Lord in my heart and my soul and I feel Him working. I feel it and it is one of the best feelings ever.

 I wish I could sit down or email each and every one of you that are reading this and encourage you in some way. I am challenged, encouraged and just flat out love fellowship and Lara Casey has showed me the power of encouragement. The Lord has used her in my life to show me how to just love people. 

Love, love, love. 

That is all we need and above all else that is what we are called to do by the Lord! I love it. 

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
 John 13:34

I see this as such a huge challenge and it's just flat out hard sometimes. But y'all, love always triumphs. I'm so grateful that the Lord has told us to love each other because it's so much more than being nice.

It's about being generous when you feel it deep in your heart, it's about caring for others before yourself, it's about being inconvenienced and getting a little uncomfortable. Boy, oh boy, is it so worth it. Loving on friends and family through action leaves you with the best feeling. It's grace that is actively being lived out in your life and the Lord honors it. I would say He just LOVES it!

I pray that each and every one of you this weekend feel challenged to love on someone in a new way. That if you feel Him guiding you in your heart this weekend, you stop and listen. But this weekend, take the listening one step farther and act!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

She Shares

Y'all I went back to school for three days last week and by Friday night I was spent. I was exhausted mentally and physically, going back to school is a tough! I'm beyond thankful that I started daily journaling with God and with She Reads Truth. It has been a blessing before I even realized it, I have set this pattern throughout the summer and realized its importance before going back to school. But this is where I need your help.

How do you maintain this time with the Lord when school returns or life gets in the way? 

 When I can barely get out of bed at 6am, let alone think clearly and thoughtfully to God. When there's homework, dinner, chores to do, dogs to care for and the list goes on and on. But He is so important, I need it! 

Y'all, I'm three days in and haven't been able to commit time to my She Reads Truth devotions. I had four days of my Stepping Up study to do and did one. I'm not excelling in any form of Bible study this week other than a morning and evening prayer from Daily Prayers for Busy People by William J. O'Malley. I need help.

I'm craving this time but I don't know how to do it. I'm challenged to spend Sunday as a Sabbath, but am too stressed to get homework done in time to make that happen. I need peace as I'm going through change in my family and I'm not even at peace with where I am with God. My oh my, this is raw. 

I'm praying that I may be blessed with information by those in the She Reads Truth community. That God may show me how to spend time with Him through YOU! I pray that I may be able to find patience and endurance to complete my homework and not feel stressed doing so. 

I have Philippians 4:8 on a sticky-note on my computer and it's something that I haven't even looked at this week. God is working. I just need to be patient, see it and believe it.

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about what is pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marvelously Helped

Life is full of challenges, hills and valleys. With divorced parents I find myself in many a valleys. One too many for my personal taste, but things are what they are. 

Through these challenges it is never easy to find the positive and I haven't found a way yet. Usually at the peak is when I'm screaming and struggling asking, "Why me, God? Why me?" But it is truly remarkable that after this moment of lowest of lows, it can't get any worse I find myself seeing a new perspective.

It isn't always one of understanding, but it's one of recognition. That these events that are placed in my life are there to shape me. I don't know the answer to what causes negative events in our lives, but I do know that God is sovereign over all of it and has the final word in the end. The "why" is still not answered but I feel more confident in getting a little closer to understanding. 

I know that these events have made me who I am. That if my mom didn't have MS and if my dad had not had cancer I would not be the person I am sitting here typing these words today. That if my parents would have stayed married I would be different, my surroundings and circumstances would also be different as well. As hard as these times may be, I know that I cannot change any of it myself so I might as well learn to adapt. Or at least try to adapt...there is a lot of room for some grace in-between!

I am currently doing Beth Moore's study, Stepping Up through the Psalms of Ascent and it is blessing me so. I loved the women I was able to do the Bible Study with but now that school is coming back this week I won't be able to attend anymore. I'm excited that I can still continue the study on my own! Her words could bless anyone and she has such a heart for the Lord, her words help me understand His more every time I sit down to do the study.

On the Living Proof Ministries' blog she posted a quick video of her ministering to all the ladies watching and reading that day. I didn't catch it when it was live but you can bet I watched it when I was able to! I loved it and was just what I needed in that moment, and ample preparation for the night to come.

I wrote down, "I would rather be marvelously helped than strong" and it hit me hard. We don't need to be strong, because He is. We don't need to be perfect, because He is. We can love everyone because of His love. I love it. I love Beth and her passion for Jesus. It inspires me and blesses me every second I get. I pray that as you go through your weekend and get back into the rhythm of school time you find yourself marvelously helped instead of strong. I hope you know that this is a choice and I pray that you'll make the one that blesses you most. I know that I'm waiting for the day for someone to ask me, "how are you?" and for me to respond "marvelously helped." All in due time!

Have a lovely weekend!

And he built structures on the walls of Jerusalem, designed by experts to protect those who shot arrows and hurled large stones from the towers and the corners of the wall. His fame spread far and wide, for the LORD gave him marvelous help, and he became very powerful. 
2 Chronicles 26:15

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Intention

As school comes back into focus I have only two weeks left until I go back. Going back to school for my senior year hasn't been my major focus and I'm wishing it was, I only dream I wouldn't have to worry about college in the middle of it!

With this new year ahead I'm trying to be mindful of how I start this year with purpose and positivity. I don't want to be aimlessly doing homework and counting down the minutes until the weekend on Wednesdays. 

I want to have intention with my school work.

One verse that has stuck out to me is Galatians 6:9, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. I don't want to give up on anything I do this year and feel that everything relating to school is my "good work" at the moment.

I don't want to become weary. I don't want the stress that I feel welling up inside of me before a test to stop me from studying ever again. I truly believe that if I choose to be positive about this school year and the challenges that come with it, I will have a much better year.

I will be praying over this verse frequently throughout the months to come, I cannot wait to see how I can use this verse and other passages that I'm memorizing to help me throughout the seasons. 

How are you preparing to go back to school? How do you manage to keep a positive attitude throughout the year? I'd love to know!

Post inspired by this and this.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What I'm (Regretfully) Reading

(Update: As of Aug. 14th I feel convicted not to finish this book. We make choices every day and I am choosing not to finish it. I hope that you can see my heart with this post and in no way feel bad if you have read it.)

Right now I'm trying to read as much as possible before I go back to school because that's when I seem to lose all ability to read a book outside of the ones assigned. I'm trying to be more purposeful with what I'm reading and I've lost some steam in that regard lately.

I read Blue Like Jazz and loved it, an incredible book that I encourage everyone to read. It's challenged me in my faith and encouraged me in so many ways. I love it. 

After Blue Like Jazz the value of what I was reading started to decline. I don't care to read books (anymore!) that encourage infidelity, bad life choices, abuse, murder, etc. I didn't think it was that big of a deal but after reading Where We Belong by Emily Giffin I feel even more convicted to stay away from these "harmless" chic-lit book. I'm way too easily molded by these books and don't have enough strength to not let these books effect me. 

(Note: I have nothing against anyone reading these books and know that everything we read effects everyone differently. I was incredibly inspired by this post to consider what and why I'm reading the books I am.)

I was encouraged by Where We Belong to make poor decisions and those actions are not ones that I am proud of. I felt bad that I had Gone Girl on my shelf and had heard it was a book many were enjoying and was a must-read this summer. I picked it up, wasn't incredibly impressed in the beginning but stuck with it because of the rave reviews.

I'm addicted to this book and cannot wait to finish this story and see how it ends, but I wish I didn't have this story floating around in my head. Thoughts of murder, betrayal, abuse, psychotic plans and so much more are all that I seem to be able to think about. I hate it. I don't hate the book, I want to make that very clear, but I don't like how the book is making me feel. At all. 

I want to make sure everyone knows what they're getting in to before reading this book, because if I would have known I wouldn't have read it. I was up until the wee hours in the morning reading, not being able to put the book down and then not being able to sleep after I finally did. It's something I feel motivated to share about and hope that y'all can see my heart with this book.
 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Convicted

Three weeks. Twenty-one days. The time I have remaining until school starts up again.

Crazy!

Summers always tend to fly by, they seem like they go on for years when you're nine, but now? They feel like they lasted three weeks instead of three months. 

I'm excited to go back but challenged to do so many things different right now and during this coming school year. I feel motivated in a new and different way to make the best out of everything that comes my way during my senior year. 

I don't want to spend my days speaking poorly of others, participating in pointless and hurtful gossip, or listening to unnecessary swearing in. I feel purposeful.

This summer I spent a lot of time focusing on my faith and studying the Bible; last year I focused on going to all the dog stores in the greater Seattle area. This year, much more powerful! But I also feel worried as I try to figure out how to incorporate my new daily readings with She Reads Truth while balancing a full school load Senior year. 

Time has gone all too fast and I cannot believe that I will be going to college this time next year, it's incredibly bittersweet. I don't feel old enough to be writing my Senior Thesis or wise enough to go off to college, living on my own without my parents. It's terrifying!

Through all of the challenges that I will face this coming year I hope to remain solid in my faith, using the words of the Bible as my guide and not feed off stress from classmates. I was incredibly challenged by Proverbs 4 today and feel like I could spend months reading it over and over again in different translations, trying to get every ounce out of what those verses have to teach me. 

I pray that I continue to have this passion for the Word, even as the school year starts up and the college application process begins. It's my foundation and hopefully will aid me in being more grounded this year and stop comparing myself to others.

Twenty-one days is not a long time, but I'm excited to soak up every minute of these free days I have left. I want to make much of myself throughout these weeks and do what matters. Spend less time on Facebook and Twitter, more time reading the Bible and books that I'm dying to read. I want to have meaningful conversations and spend time with friends laughing so hard that my stomach hurts. 

I feel so convicted about how I should be spending these days and what I need to get done. The school year will start and I'll be swooped up in the stress in no time, but for now? I have all my family here to do nothing but spend time with me. Ample time to draft and prepare for college essays and to narrow down the never-ending list of colleges. To read my two books for my thesis and read so many more that challenge me to be stronger in my faith. I don't want to let a single one of these days pass by without making the most of them. I pray that I will be able to know exactly what He wants me to do with these days and give Him the glory of all that I do because without Him, I wouldn't be able to do any of it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Diving In



She Reads Truth is a community of women reading Truth together. We all follow one plan, read one Bible, journal, and share. It's a community that has become an essential part of my day.

Throughout the day through Instagram on my iPhone I look at all the pictures tagged with #shereadstruth. I tend to search this quite frequently that I can now type these words without even looking. Impressive, no?

I love seeing how others are reflecting and reacting to the daily reading. I love seeing the creativity of others overflow through one image. Jennifer's picture was the first one I saw that got me hooked on She Reads Truth and her images continue to inspire me on a daily basis.

Without these images and the online community formed in the comments of their daily posts, I'm not sure I would have been able to stick with this plan. I'm not saying that I haven't fallen behind, because I have. But because of His grace, I have been able to catch-up, realizing that my daily time with Him needs to be important. It has to happen.

Our Prayer plan is different than the ones previously, there is no "journal prompt", just scripture. I didn't like it at the beginning, I wanted the prompt and didn't know what to do without it there. I could not understand why other people were so in love with it, I wasn't getting it. I struggled with this until yesterday, my time in the Word wasn't firing me up. I want my time in the Word to fire me up no matter where I am or what I'm doing and I don't pray that enough.

Now? I'm fired up, I'm challenged to pray more and pray meaningfully. I've realized that I can't breeze through scripture like I was when there was a prompt involved. Just having His Word in front of me means diving deeper, breaking down every verse and figuring out what it means for me that day. Writing how it makes me feel, new thoughts & ideas as well as the impact it has on me. 

The reason I had fallen behind because I didn't have enough time to devote to my favorite verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. I couldn't will myself to do it if I wasn't going to put my all in to it. Sometimes a break is needed, but getting caught up after this break has cleared my head and helped me realize what I need to do. 

I'm making sure I have enough time to devote to my time with the Lord. I make sure to carve out an hour in my day, because if I'm going to live my life for Christ then I better be spending some serious time with Him every single day. It may not happen everyday but He knows that and I have His grace to help me pick it up after missing a day or two.

I'm beyond grateful for this community, for this opportunity to dive deeper into the Word and prayer. Praying is something that is new to me and having scripture that is focused just on that, on instructing you how to pray, has been invaluable. 

My prayer lately is that I will be fired up about God and be filled with a passion for Him that is overflowing. I pray that everyone who reads or is touched in some way by my blog can come to know Christ as well. My time in the Word is so important to me and thanks to She Reads Truth I hope that I can continue to maintain this time when school starts back up again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Trust God

Yesterday was the first day of VBS at my church. For those of you that don't know what that is, it's Vacation Bible School that teaches kids from pre-school to 4th grade about God. This year the theme is Sky and the phrase that we repeated yesterday was "No matter who you are, trust God." With "Trust God" as the theme for the week.

Since I never went to church before September 2011 I was worried going in to last night. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I had never gone to VBS as a kid and had no clue what it looked like to have God in your life as a three-year-old. 

What I know now? Seeing a three-year-old talk about trusting God is so incredibly wonderful. I wish I had known God then and wonder how different my life would be. But I'm grateful for my own unique journey to find God and am glad that I haven't had it any other way.

Finding God is a unique experience that happens in so many ways and so differently for everyone. You're raised in a Christian home, a home with a different religion, a religion-less home or something completely different. But in His eyes, it doesn't matter how you've got here, it matters that you're here. Now.

I'm so grateful that we live in a country where we can freely practice the religion of our choice. The 4th of July has truly taught me to be thankful for all the opportunities and options we have living in the United States. I couldn't imagine living somewhere else that doesn't have this freedom. It's a hard pill to swallow.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

She Reads Truth

One of my goals this summer was to find a way to spend time with the Lord every single day. I had attempted to read the Bible this year and throughout the school year finding time every day to read the daily section (which usually wasn't incredibly inspiring) was hard for me to encourage myself to do. With that in mind, I wanted a program that was do-able, which the Once-A-Day Bible was not. 

About a week ago I was on Instagram and saw a #shereadstruth hash-tag and was wondering what it was referring to. I followed the tag and found tons of pictures from women who were spending daily time with the Lord, reflecting about it, then posting it on Instagram. I was inspired. There were thousands of pictures and I was looking at them all, I didn't look at Twitter or Facebook on my iPhone for days. I knew I'd found something good!

I logged on to my computer and found SheReadsTruth.com, a community of women reading His truth daily. I'd found exactly what I needed! I was late to find their site so their devotional was already 3/4 of the way through but I started it anyways. I loved it. We're using the YouVersion Bible app and the first devotional we started with was Soul Detox

I found it inspiring and felt God working inside of me after reading it every day. I started to build my relationship with Him and it was beginning to turn in to the relationship that I desire with the Lord. I've found myself questioning my actions and realizing bits and pieces of scripture that I'm beginning to remember. I've been changed and challenged throughout the ten days of this study so far and today could not have been a better day for me to share this with y'all. 

Yesterday was the day that the Soul Detox devotional finished and today they started a new devotional titled Living the Surrendered Life. Many are still working with Soul Detox (I know I am!) and it is such an inspiring devotional to work with and I hope you to start one of these devotionals today.

Why? Because there is an entire community of women ready to support you in this journey. There are many social media sites that are bringing us all together to show us that we are not alone in our journey with Christ. I hope that all of you who find my blog realize God working through me and that this little spot on the Internet is a testament to Him.

I know a year ago I would never have thought that I'd be writing this post. My nerves are still present with sharing my relationship with Christ and my faith. But I am comforted by knowing that I have a community around me that supports me and believes what I do. I encourage you to find time today to spend with the Lord, because he treasures each and every one of us. I hope your path to finding Christ is one that grows and shows you what a joyful life that you can have with Him in it!

The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people of his treasured possession,
out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 7:6

PS. You can share your journey on Twitter and Instagram by using the hash-tag #SheReadsTruth, Facebook or their blog

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lovely Weekend

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend, mine was fantastic!

I started off sleeping in on Saturday, it's nice to be able to have a weekend with no school work to worry about! I cannot wait for many more of these this summer. The rest of the day was spent lounging and reading before my mom and I went off to get mani-pedi's! It had been way too long and it was very needed after a rough finals week. 
I started off my day with church on Sunday and the message was such a fantastic way to start my day. We walked the dogs and then I was off to my grades bonfire! Half of my grade went to Alki beach and we burned papers from last year and made s'mores! It was such a fun night and I cannot wait for more memories like this as we move forward into our senior year! This night made me appreciate my grade and all the incredible people that I am surrounded with!
Yesterday was a gorgeous day and after spending the night JNC's house after the bonfire we had an incredible breakfast in bed and chatted before I had to head home. I then spent the rest of the day reading by the pool, summer in Seattle cannot be beat on days like yesterday!
Today I found an incredible new site called She Reads Truth and it is an incredible resource. I've started the Soul Detox program and cannot wait to spend time with the Lord every day. It has been something on my heart over the last few weeks and with a new journal in hand I cannot wait to start! 

Have a great week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I survived Junior year.

I cannot believe that the last day of school has come and gone, that I will not step foot on campus until August!

Today we moved seats in our gym, the symbolic "moving-up" tradition at my school, and I'm officially a senior. I've made it through Junior year!

This did not come without its challenges. Junior year is the hardest year academically and by far one of the most important years of high school. I got my finals back today and it was a humbling experience, History and Pre-Calculus went well but Biology was a hard experience. I have struggled with this class all year long and had roller coaster test scores as I called them. I'd do poorly, do well, do poorly first semester and second semester I only did poorly on one test. Biology has come full circle for me and I ended the year as I started. This year has been an incredible experience learning how I learn and overcoming challenges that made this year so difficult. The struggles that I have faced have provided me with the strength I need to get through the challenges throughout my senior year.

Just thinking about what life will be like a year from now is terrifying! I'll have taken the ACT for the last time, have (hopefully) gotten in to college, and will be spending my last summer at home before I head off to college in August! 

Next year is going to fly by and I cannot wait for my Senior class to bond and grow!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Getting Through It

Right now I am studying for my biology final and doing this I have found these videos!

Crash Course is such a fantastic resource for me while studying for my final! I only wish I would have found it sooner!

What did you find was most helpful for studying for your finals, biology especially? They have a History channel as well so make sure to go check it out!

Thankfully I have biology tomorrow and pre-calculus on Thursday and then I'm done! The end is so close!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer To-Dos

I have completed my first final and thankfully only have 2.5 finals to go! Summer is very, very close at this point and the brainstorming begins for the Summer Bucket List of 2012! 
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What's on your list for this summer?

I'll be sharing mine soon!


PS: Have you seen this? Incredibly beautiful.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Finals

I've spent the day focusing on my finals and I'm finally feeling a bit more prepared for the exams that I face tomorrow. It was Graduation Sunday at church this morning and I cannot believe that I'll be up there next year! They said a prayer for everyone who has finals this week and it was the perfect way to start my day. Prayer is such a powerful thing and it is something that I truly cherish at my church. Education is truly a privilege and it's something that is easily forgotten during stressful times during finals season. I made a quick stop at the Farmer's Market today and got new peonies for this week! They add such a fun burst of color to my desk while I study! Tonight I'm reading my History booklet and watching Miss USA, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Delancey

I have named this weekend "Review Weekend" because nothing is more important than studying to prepare for my finals. I woke up and took a trip to one of my favorite Seattle bakeries, Macrina, today. This is a trip that my dad and I usually take on our weekends together, but we haven't for months. Turns out Macrina had remodeled their space and it was absolutely gorgeous! The pastries that we brought home and had for breakfast were incredible, a fantastic start to the day!
After Macrina I hit the books, or the laptop if we want to be completely accurate. I edited all my study guides for every History test I took this semester and had all the holes filled. Hours later when I had completed this task I ventured out to get it bound together in a book at Kinkos--or technically FedEx Office, but Kinkos is ingrained in my brain because it's took unique not to be. Having my study guide bound is such a motivator to study, it makes all the information I have to know for Monday more interesting and organized. My OCD tendencies love it! I cannot wait to do the same for my biology study guides, it will be beautiful having two this semester.
Once I had had enough of studying and binding of study guides, which took two Kinkos locations, I was off to dinner with my dad! We went to Delancey which is right in our backyard and it was fantastic. Their pizza is the best I have ever had. After discovering this restaurant mere months ago I've been hooked. I could not believe that I had lived here my whole life with this incredible restaurant hidden five minutes away. If you are ever in Seattle I recommend this restaurant with no hesitation, I've been twice and both times I've found myself eating all six slices! Tonight I added arugula and garlic scapes to my margarita pizza and every bite was life-changing. It was the perfect way to end this study filled day, time to breathe is always necessary on Review Weekend and I'm so glad I got to spend this time eating magnificent food.

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Bookshelf: May

 I love getting invested in a good book that I cannot put down, it is one of the best feelings on earth. Unfortunately life gets in the way of always having time for these moments, May was one of those months. I tried to pick up a book and get one finished, but time just wasn't on my side. I cannot wait for summer, which starts Friday (beyond comprehension at this point), when I will have the ability to read and have minimal other concerns. Hallelujah! The two books I found myself reading this month were Mere Christianity and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I cannot wait to get enough time to finish The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, so far it is absolutely fantastic! As this month approaches I hope to post daily, we'll see how this goes!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quote It: Finals

My first finals are on Monday and it's starting to become very "real" that finals are here. I haven't accepted it and the panicking will start tomorrow, but I'll push through. I hate getting stuck with a fear of failure on my mind. Instead of freezing up I try to find quotes to motivate me! Here are a bunch of finals-inspired quotes to get us all through to summer! We're so close!

"I believed in studying just because I knew education was a privilege"
-Wynton Marsalis

Don't be afraid to FAIL. Be afraid not to TRY.

"Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action"
-David Kekich

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

1. Reading history in bed this morning
2. Spanish class outside
3. Beautiful weather which means it's Jack Rogers season
4. Can you spy all three cockapoos?
  • I stayed home from school today and found myself getting so much work done. I'm proud to say that I stayed home today, even though I wasn't sick. I accomplished 100% more work than I would have if I would have been at school today
  • I hate the SAT, the format, the breaks, everything. It ruined my weekend too and left me completely exhausted on Saturday. Thank goodness I liked the ACT!
  • I am one month away from the last day of school. One. Month. 
  • These last few weekends have been so jammed packed with school that I haven't been able to find time for myself. I will be getting a manicure and pedicure this weekend. I will! 
  • I am loving Pure Barre, I find that I love it more and more after I take a three day break. My fears of shaking like a twig after a break have been debunked!
  • The nice weather we have been having is incredible. I don't ever want this gorgeous weather to stop! I'm so excited for the rest of spring and then summer! See 2 & 4 above!
  • I'm dying for the scalloped shorts from Lilly Pulitzer but am curious if you think they will stay in style for long. Timeless or just a trend?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not Airy or Flaky

I made Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Biscuits from her Baking Handbook. I love this cookbook and found that anything I make out of it comes out perfectly! Up until this time, these did not turn out too well. I think I know where I went wrong, over-mixing. I looked up online what could have gone wrong and that seems to be the culprit
Buttermilk biscuits seem to be a honed skill and maybe I should ask the queen of Southern baking, Paula Deen, for the perfect biscuit!
I hoped these would be a delicious breakfast treat and I know that they can be!
What are your tips and tricks for the perfect biscuit?
Find a similar recipe here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Trusted Favorite

I began baking banana bread in my dad's rental house throughout my parents divorce. I would bake a batch of banana bread every weekend I was there for months and I knew that they enjoyed it. 
As a baker I always struggled with finding a recipe that consistently turned out. I loved baking but was tired of putting in so much time and effort into a recipe that didn't even turn out. In comes Grand Central Bakery's Banana Bread (the President visited them this summer!). I have made this dozens of times and every single time it has come out wonderfully.
Granted there were times when the ripeness of the bananas effected the recipe but never did it turn out to be in-edible. I love it. It is a true recipe that I love. For so long this recipe was how I entertained myself and stayed busy, one day I won't even need the recipe anymore!
With every mash of the bananas to the whirring of my mixer I feel at peace with this recipe. It makes me think and makes me grateful for how far my family and I have come.
I encourage you to buy their cookbook where you will find this delicious recipe! I'm currently in California, so I am unable to post the recipe for all of you. If you would like the recipe and are not interested in buying the book, please comment and I will get you the recipe! This is the best banana bread I have ever had and I'm sure it will become a treasured favorite of yours too!

Friday, April 13, 2012

ACT Worries

I take the ACT tomorrow and I am beyond nervous. I keep on worrying about what will happen and what could go wrong, when it really is only a test. Looking back years from now, my worrying won't have changed my scores at all. My worries are more likely to hurt my scores than help them. I truly hate standardized tests. They're pointless and don't accurately gauge a students abilities. 
Today I'm trying to find peace wherever I can. I made Pioneer Woman's Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes this morning and they were absolutely delicious. The perfect Friday treat! I recommend you make them this weekend, you won't regret it! I made the batter earlier this week and made them today, such a fun treat to start the day with!
During these times of stress I find such comfort in a God that knows me so well and knows what tomorrow will bring. That He knows it will all be okay, the most reassuring part though? That He has provided me with everything I need. Everything. As I trust in the Lord, I hope that you all find peace this weekend and joy in the positive things we do have! I cannot wait to read Bloom since I finished I've Got Your Number yesterday. I am so blessed that I even have the opportunity to take this test, worry should be the farthest thing from my mind!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phil. 4:6-8

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hello, Spring Break

I cannot believe that today is here. My two-week spring break is finally here! Yesterday it was hard to believe that the break was finally here. 
My pre-calc test is done, my Convincing Argument is turned in and I have two weeks with no homework. I'm not sure what to do with all this time as I spend the first week at home then the second in Palm Springs! I'm taking the ACT on the 14th and will be spending some time every day working to get myself prepared! Other than that, I will be baking, knitting, going to Pure Barre and taking the dogs on lots of walks! Any good book recommendations? I'm trying to read Bloom and Heaven is Here! Have you read either?

Happy Easter weekend everyone!

He has risen!
Mark 16:6

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stop. Watch.

Please, no matter what you are doing in this moment take 29 minutes to watch this video. Know what is going on in the world today and that you could make a difference. Stand up for what you believe and make a difference. Hit play, you won't regret it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello, Sunshine.

I'm in Palm Springs for a three-day weekend and thoroughly enjoying the extra sunshine!
What I am not enjoying is all the work I have to do, even though it's a three-day weekend. Long gone are the days where we don't have any homework over the weekend. There is always something that needs to be done and it is wearing me so thin.
Being stretched too far has left me in a funk, almost in the mindset of "just keep swimming." I'm trying to stay afloat throughout this crazy thing called Junior year and I don't know how on earth I am supposed to do this! Anyone have any tips?
The only escape for me at this point is exercise and I cannot wait to get back to Pure Barre classes when I get home. These classes are quick, 55 minutes, and I love the difference I'm already seeing in myself. I'm glad I have one positive thing to show from putting in all this work! I definitely feel more comfortable in a swim suit now than I did before. Here's to hoping that I can find a way to snap-out of this crazy, overwhelmed funk!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time to Breathe

Yesterday night after talking, venting and expressing my thoughts about tennis to anyone who would listen I decided that tennis wouldn't be right for me this year. I knew going into the season that it wasn't going to be like it had been and that was worrisome, but it was much worse than I thought. Yet I am not alone in thinking that tennis is too much, another girl on my team also decided not to play this season today. It's incredible how reassuring it is when you aren't the only one doing something. I struggle with comparisons and needing to know what others are doing to feel confident in myself. It's something I work on every day and it's a major weak-spot when I'm stressed. But I know one thing for sure, that this decision was the best decision for me.
Since I wasn't at practice after school today I got to go to Starbucks after school and study before picking my brother up early from baseball. I enjoyed this time to myself, to study in an environment that I love to work in. This time helped me feel incredibly prepared for when I came home, knowing that my History homework was already done. What an incredible relief! This week is still a struggle for me to complete every assignment and I'm cutting it close. But I know that every day is a challenge and it's what I decide to do with that challenge that defines me. Hopefully, a class of Pure Barre tomorrow will get me incredibly prepared and motivated for a night full of studying for biology!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Frustrated.

Life has been crazy lately and I apologize for not posting. I can't seem to find time to come up for air, Junior year is no joke. The first day of tennis was today and at this point I don't see myself lasting until the end of the week. I'm overwhelmed. So overwhelmed that I am "frozen" and don't know what to do. I just sit at my desk and look at twitter, facebook, etc. so there is something to keep school off of my mind. I don't know how to balance it all.

School is hard. Tennis is rough. Nothing is turning out how I want it to be. I also don't see the point of sticking around and keeping up with tennis for the purpose of putting it on my college application. Isn't it supposed to be more than that? Pure Barre is a recent new find of mine and I am loving it so much. I have a blast working out, which for me and my asthma is a totally new concept. I'm dying to just go and do the classes three days a week, become more involved volunteering and ditch tennis.

I hope that through this I can figure out what I want. To not play tennis for the purpose of putting it on an application, but rather be able to go to a college and tell them who I am and why everything is there on my application. I want to be happy with what I decide to do and I don't think tennis will do that for me. I don't know what to do. I'm so stressed I don't see myself making it through tonight, let alone practice tomorrow or Wednesday. Hopefully a good nights sleep will help me sort some of this out, because at this point I'm lost and confused.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Little Things

It has been a long week, friends. I'll be glad when the clock hits 2:50 tomorrow and I can go home, pack for my dad's house and spend a night catching up on copying notes while emptying out my DVR! 

Tonight I let the smallest things get to me. I lost a highlighter, one highlighter, at school today and was completely distraught that I didn't have it. It completely derailed me from what I was doing. Not good!

I'm struggling this week. I've been trying to get as much done as possible but it's causing so much stress. I have so much to do but I start too late or get distracted too easily! Next week I have a test or a quiz every day and it is no time to mess around. I'm trying to manage my time as wisely as possible but at this point I'm just struggling getting done what needs to be done. And I'm exhausted.

The week that never ends will be over in less than twenty-four hours and I just need to make it through. I need strength and I am praying hard tonight for a positive outlook. During these silly times it makes me focus on my relationship with God. That He knew that I would lose my highlighter and trusting in him worked when we were getting groups assigned in class this week, I don't know why I have reason to doubt Him today. 

Over the smallest thing, one highlighter, when I have a plethera of highlighters in my room, I need to learn to let things go. It's been a challenge that I have always struggled with. I'm a perfectionist and type-A to the T with a pinch of OCD. I try to do my best but have to remember to focus on the reason why I am doing everything, not just when I'm at church on Sunday but during those troubling Thursdays too. Our God will always be there for us, an incredibly comforting feeling.

"‘For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Bookshelf: January

Finals had a large impact on how many books I read this month! Woof. I am behind and need to get reading! Hopefully I'll be able to catch up this weekend! Here are the books I finished, read and am reading for January!

I finished The Great Perhaps!
Read Comfort and Joy; short, sweet and just what I needed during crazy finals week that was truly two weeks!
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I'm currently reading The Overachievers!
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What did you read during January? Happy reading!