Be Content

“I am content; that is a blessing greater than riches; and he whom that is given need ask no more.” -Henry Fielding

We’re all wishing for something we don’t have right now, whether that be the weekend, a new car, or even wanting to be more like someone else.  How many of us are truly content with where we are in life?  What about with what we have?  I know that I have been guilty of not being content.  I’m always saying, “I can’t wait until summer,” or, “I can’t wait to be out of college.”  Why do we wish our lives away?  Why can’t we accept that what is happening right now is all a part of God’s greater plan for us?

Being content has always been an issue for me.  As a teenager, I do tend to try to wish my life away, waiting for something that is to come rather than living in the now.  A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon Philippians 4:11-13.  This reads, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Most of us have probably heard the last verse of this, but how often do we focus on what comes before?  This really spoke to me.  Are we content when we are without? Are we content when we think we have it all? Most of us probably aren’t.  I now catch myself when I’m hoping for something more or wishing for something I don’t have, because every single day that we are blessed with is for a reason, whether it be big or small.

We are where we are right now for a reason.  It is important to remember that this is all a part of God’s plan for us.  Maybe you’re in college like me and you find yourself wishing you were somewhere else.  You’re in school right now in the town you’re in because that’s where He needs you to be at this time.  Make the most of that and enjoy each day because every day that you wake up is a blessing and you are meant to live it.  Be content with the life you have and be content with what God has given you.  There is a verse in the New International Reader’s Version, 1 Timothy 6:6, that says, “You gain a lot when you live a godly life. But you must be happy with what you have.”  I think we could all take a lot from this verse by remembering to be patient, to trust in God with our whole hearts, and knowing that he will provide.  We are all blessed more than we will ever know!

Answering the Call

“I believe there’s a calling for all of us.  I know that every human being has value and purpose.  The real work of our lives is to become aware and awakened… to answer the call.” -Oprah Winfrey

For several years now, I have felt God’s call to somehow use my knowledge and experiences to spread His word to as many people as I could.  For quite some time, I thought that I was meant to be a Young Life leader, since I was so involved and so in love with the ministry in high school.  However, as the time grew closer to go through with becoming a leader, this didn’t seem like my purpose.  It didn’t feel quite right.  I’ve been debating with how to answer His call in a way that was right ever since.  It has recently occurred to me that I was very blessed with the ability and talent to write, and that I should use what He gave me to spread His love and grace.  If I’m going to be writing on the internet, why not use this ability to spread His word?

As for anyone reading this that has read my previous posts, you know that this blog didn’t have much of a purpose.  I set this up so that I could write about whatever when I felt the urge.  That didn’t inspire me for long.  I was still searching for something I was passionate about to write about.  I aim to rework my site to write regular posts on my experiences in having a relationship with our Lord, sharing His word and adding positivity to the internet.  If my posts reach just one person that needs it, I will be making a difference.  That’s what this is all about.

I appreciate everyone reading this and all the support I have gotten on my past posts.  With that, I leave you with a verse I discovered last night that has helped me in starting this new journey on my blog:

“You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:14-16

Setting Goals

Every year, you see or hear someone saying, “New year, new me!”  We all think this is pathetic and maybe a little stupid.  I mean, what’s the difference in one day?  However, why is it so stupid?  Why can’t we all make a little change?  The start of a new year is a perfect excuse to right your wrongs and start being who you really want to be.  This is the perfect time to set new goals and try new things.

Personally, I don’t like to set “resolutions” because every time I have tried, I have failed.  Instead, I like to think about new goals for the year that I would like to achieve.  I used to be someone who thought that the start of a new year was just another day, but now I see it as so much more.  I see it as an opportunity to try something new and to be the best me. The following are some of the goals I have set for myself this year.

1. Go on more adventures.

I set this goal for myself at the beginning of 2016, but didn’t exactly meet it. However, I want this year to be different.  I want to see more, experience more, and live more.  There are so many things even just around West Virginia that I have not seen that I really want to see. I want to go on hikes, see beautiful sunsets, and simply try new things.  I am not really an adventurous person, but I want to be.  I want to quit being someone who sticks to her comfort zone all the time.

2. Take more pictures/videos.

I have always been someone who loves pictures. I love having them and I also love looking at them.  I always see such cool pictures on the internet, and I question why I don’t capture my memories more often.  Therefore, that has become one of my main goals for 2017.  Video is also something that has recently grabbed my attention.  This is also something I see a lot of on the internet now, and I started to try to take more video later on in 2016, but it didn’t work out and I sort of forgot about it.  I want to take as many pictures and videos as I can this year while still living in the moment to capture the memories I am creating.

3. Work harder.

Honestly, I do work hard already when it comes to school.  However, other than that, I tend to get discouraged when things don’t turn out the way I plan.  This year, I plan to change that.  I want to be more determined and work as hard as I can to be successful in whatever it is I am doing.  Plus, you can always work harder, even if you’re working hard already.  I also want to learn not to settle by thinking I am working hard enough.

4. Grow closer to God.

This has been a goal of mine for many, many years now, and it will always be a goal.  Never settle for being “close enough.” You can always grow closer to Him, and that’s what I strive for.  Shouldn’t we all?

To sum this all up, I just wanted to say that setting goals and working hard to reach them is important.  Never settle for being “ok” with where you are.  Everyone should be happy with their life and everyone should want to be the best they can be.  That’s what I want to do this year.  I am so excited to see where 2017 will take me, and I’m ready for a new adventure.

First Semester Wrap Up

A little over a week ago, I successfully completed my first semester of college at the University of Charleston.  I carried 19 hours this semester and am currently scheduled for 21 hours in the spring.  Transitioning from high school to college has been relatively easy for me, as I was most certainly ready for a change, and I am also still at home.  I have loved pretty much every minute of it so far and I pray that I continue to love it this much throughout my entire journey at this university.

I am personally very happy with my choice of school and couldn’t see myself anywhere else.  I am an integrated communications major and have enjoyed classes on things such as human communication and public relations.  I was even able to take an American government class because this was something I came to enjoy in high school, and I was able to learn a lot in there as well.  I love what I have chosen to get my degree in and have gained so much knowledge that I don’t plan to let slip away.  I have developed a new love for learning and truly enjoyed going to my classes.

I’ve gotten to meet a lot of super nice people from all over the world through my various courses, which has been very new and exciting for me.  I have also met new people through being a student ambassador at the school. As a student ambassador, we give tours to prospective students, work in the admissions office a couple of times a week, and work at events like scholarship competitions and open houses.  Not only have I made other student ambassador friends that I am grateful for, but I’ve also been able to meet some people that may be my classmates in the future!

I’m excited to see what my next semester of classes brings as well as the semesters following that.  I intend on keeping everyone updated on my studies and life as a college student throughout the next few years, as well as having these posts as memories to look back on myself.  I intend to keep up my hard work, push myself as much as possible, and continue learning as much as I can.  I am so incredibly blessed to be able to further my education and I am so thankful for a family who has gotten me this far!

Young Life… It’s For Everyone.

The guy you always see at a party on Saturday nights?  Young Life is for him.  The girl who has dated nearly every guy in the school?  Young Life is for her.  The kids that would never miss a Sunday at church?  You guessed it… Young Life is for them too.  It has come to my attention lately, especially through Twitter, that some people believe those who “visibly” sin should not be going to Young Life, or they believe that Young Life is only full of kids that go out and party.  Guess what?  Neither of those things are true, and Young Life is for everyone.

Sure, people go to Young Life because it’s fun, and maybe that is the only reason why they go.  However, there are also kids there for the fun AND to hear God’s word.  They deserve to get to hear that.  This is supposed to be a place where there is no judgement and where you can really be yourself.  If that’s the case, why are so many people judging others for being there?

Where would we be if God didn’t forgive?  If you were unaware, we all sin.  No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes.  There are people trying to find themselves, and maybe it’s not in a way that we deem appropriate, but should we love them any less?  Would I want anyone to love me any less for my mistakes?  Would God love us any less?  The answer is most certainly no.  Kids come to Young Life and are loved so greatly by their leaders, and they also get the chance to learn about a God that loves them endlessly.  They gain a whole new support system and a group of people who love them no matter what.  Maybe that’s what they need.  What would we be if we tried to stop them from that because we don’t think they are who they should be?

Sure, Young Life is for those who live their life for the Lord already, but it’s also for those who have never known of Him before.  Every single person deserves a chance to find Him and form a relationship with Him if that’s what they want to do.  Don’t knock Young Life before you’ve tried it, and don’t call someone out for going when you personally think they shouldn’t be.  No matter what you’ve heard, no matter what you believe, Young Life is still for everyone.

An Open Letter to My Boyfriend’s Mother

First of all, as I am writing this on December 4th, I’d love to wish you a happy birthday!  However, I wish more than anything that I didn’t have to wish you a happy birthday in Heaven.  I wish I had gotten to know you as more than someone I saw at church when I was younger, because I know you were an amazing person.  I would give anything for Aric to have you here.

Besides all of that, I want to publicly thank you.  Thank you for raising the most amazing person I’ve ever met.  Thank you for being a great mom to not only Aric, but his sisters as well.  Thank you for teaching him how to treat a woman, how to be so kind and loving, and how to always be willing to help out when it is needed.  Even though he did not have you here long enough, he became such an amazing person in that time, and a lot of that is because of you.  Thank you for raising such a great guy.  I will always appreciate that.

Although we will never get to have the relationship that some girls get with their boyfriend’s mom, I will still cherish the ways you let us know that you are there, and I’ll always be there to love your son.  Thank you for all that you were, and all that you will continue to be through your children.  I am so thankful for your family and being able to get to know them these last few years.  I’m also very thankful for you.  I don’t think I will ever be able to say it enough, but thank you again… for all of this.

Why You Should Date Your Best Friend

“I can’t.  I’m afraid it will ruin our friendship.”  Honestly, how many times have you heard someone say this?  You watch them fall in love with someone they have created a close friendship with, yet they never tell this person fearing it will ruin their friendship.  Have you said this?  Are you thinking this right now?  If so, stop.  Stop being afraid.  What if this is the person that God intended for you?  What if they’re the one?

I once had a Young Life leader that told a group of us girls that you should always date your best friend.  You see, it was a coincidence that she told us that, because I was afraid of this exact thing at the time.  I was terrified that if I started a relationship with my now boyfriend (of more than two years), that something could go wrong and I would lose the best friend I had ever had.  I remember the night she told us that like it was yesterday.  I stayed up half the night praying and letting that sink in.  By the next morning, I was most certainly exhausted, but I knew that I had to give the relationship a shot.  About a month later, we began our journey as a couple, and I don’t regret that for a single second.

I can personally say that dating your best friend is probably the best decision you will ever make (if that’s what you’re wanting), and I think anyone dating their best friend would agree with me.  You always hear that if your significant other is also your best friend, you are the luckiest person in the world.  I believe that with my whole heart.  I wasted a whole year being afraid that my relationship with my now boyfriend would be ruined by taking it from friendship to an actual relationship.  Don’t be like me.

Maybe it won’t work out.  Not all relationships do.  But… what if it does?  There’s no reason to forget the positive to only focus on the negative.  If you truly believe that you should be with this person, stop waiting.  You have to think of the friendship you have.  All the laughs, the good times, and always having someone to lean on… all of that only gets better in a relationship if it’s right.  Not only do you have all of these things, but now you have someone that could very well be your life partner.  All the love and the memories are even better when you’re sharing them with your best friend.

I thank God everyday that I get to be with my boyfriend and best friend for the rest of my life.  I can’t thank Him enough for blessing me with someone so kind, loving, and honestly hilarious.  It’s hard for me to think I almost let him get away or remain as just my best friend only a couple years ago.  If you want to be with your best friend, stop being scared.  Go for it.  It might just be everything you’ve ever wanted.  Date your best friend.

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