Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Life's Just Black and White Without You"

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Without you, I wouldn't know that stovetop popcorn beats the microwave stuff every time.

Without you, I wouldn't know that hanging your clothes to dry keeps them in WAY better shape.

Without you, I wouldn't know how to bargain shop.

Without you, I wouldn't know that going to Target almost every day is 100% acceptable.

Without you, I wouldn't know what it means to love selflessly and whole-heartedly.

Without you, I wouldn't know that walking really is the best form of exercise.

Without you, I wouldn't know that a human being is capable of drinking a whole pot of coffee in the morning.

Without you, I wouldn't have the strength that you show me every day.

Without you, life has no color.
Because the truth is, life's just black and white without you.

Sometimes it's hard to put in words how thankful and grateful we are to have special people in our lives. I can honestly say that without my mom, I wouldn't be where I am today. My doubt and insecurity... my belief that I'll never quite be good or perfect enough would most definitely overwhelm me. Somehow I convince myself that if I look a certain way or if I can achieve something exceptional at school that I'll be happy. And when I fail to meet my own high expectations (don't we all), I'm convinced that we are striving for something impossible.

My mom turns 'impossible' into unrealistic. She continually shows me that despite how I look or what grades I get, that I am worthy, beautiful and capable of love. She cares for me so deeply, that when I look at her I can't help but think... wow, my kids are truly going to be the luckiest and happiest grandchildren alive. I only hope that I can teach them to love life as much as she's shown me.

She not only shows me the beauty and exciting nature of love, but she convinces me that it's okay to let my heart go. I do tend to hold on pretty tightly and close myself off, but as I start to re-evaluate what I come home to every day... I'm starting to learn that letting myself love should and will be the most important thing in my life.

So to the most incredible mother and woman I've ever known—
I say thank you for making the first 19 years of my life absolutely perfect.
You're my shining star.
You're my role model.
You're the best friend anyone could ask for.
You're the reason I've learned so much.
You're the one who saved me.

Take ten minutes to share with a special woman in your life why you love them so much. They deserve it.


Friday, May 4, 2012

A Case of Blessings AND Lessons

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So I have these two girls in my life...
They may not know it all the time...
But I owe so much of my ability to love life to them.

They teach me things everyday.
How to laugh.
How to be yourself without caring a dime what anyone else thinks.
How to feel beautiful in your own skin.
How to open your heart to possibility.
How to forge your own path.
How to be brave.
And most of all, how to be confident.

I think it's easy to see that they are wise beyond their years.

Some may say we look like triplets. And in some cases, I'd agree. But if you take a closer look... we're all so different. We all have our own quirks, our own outlooks on life, our own priorities. And yet, there is something so special about spending time with them. Ever since I went away to school, I have to admit that I miss them more than just a little while I'm away. I'd consider myself somewhat serious and reserved compared to both of them, and in a 'well someone must have planned that' kind-of-way, they convince me that there's more to life than grades and academics and success.

From them, I have learned the importance of being happy.

This one's special. She's a free-spirit. She's not afraid to tell you what's on her mind. She's confident in herself. She never looks back. She's smart (although she definitely won't rub it in your face). She makes me believe in the beauty of myself.

This one's one-of-a-kind. She laughs without fear or holding back. She'll tell it to you straight. She's passionate and care-free. She's willing to let anyone in. She's got millions of friends. She convinces me that it's okay to open my heart.

I don't think there's ever a way to say thank you enough to some of the most special girls in my life. I envision us holding hands at our weddings. I can see us having impromptu 'play dates' with our kids at Starbucks. I can see us laughing over memories on family vacations. I hope they know that I'll hold on to them forever. No matter where we all end up, they'll always be there.... convincing me that life truly is beautiful. And that I am so blessed.

With the best sisters I could ever ask for.

"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

Meaghan Taylor

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ready To Be Your Ambassador: Philippians 4:13

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I'm just like anyone else.
I doubt whether I'm really capable of what I set my sights on.
I question whether I'm worth all the effort.
I wonder if I'll ever find what I'm looking for.
I worry that I won't understand what's really important.
I convince myself that life is stronger than I am.

These past few weeks, now that I have the time to pause and think about my life and what lies ahead, I have to be honest in saying that I'm scared out of my mind. What if I FAIL? What if I make a huge move and fall face first without anyone there to catch me? In a few short weeks I'll make a move to NYC. I'll leave the comfort of home, the love of friends and family and the support system that has kept me sane the past few years and instead I'll jump right into the hustle and bustle of a HUGE city.

Some may say...
Others may say...
You're crazy.

I hope more than anything that I can find my footing. Sure, I know the first few weeks may be rough. But isn't that the same with anything new? We stumble and we're awkward for a while until we learn that the only reason we're being awkward is that we're refusing to feel comfortable. In other words, I think all the insecurity is in our head (well, most of the time).

Because here's the truth... or what I hope is near the truth. God ensures that we are truly capable of anything we desire. We can truly do ANYTHING that's within his will for our lives. He makes this promise to us, and yet so many of us doubt him. We get uncomfortable, we shy away from new experiences because we're too scared to accept the challenge. We're too afraid to fall face first.

So here I am Lord... I'm scared. I'm nervous that I may only have one more year of college left to figure out what's next. But I trust you. I know in my heart that you have given me strength and courage and talent and determination and passion for life.

And I'm ready to use it.
I'm ready to be your ambassador.

PS- Sorry I've been on a bit of a vacation. ;)

"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 everything through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Application after Application after Application

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As with most people, I can't stand rejection. If there was one thing I learned after getting many no's (and even getting ignored) during my internship search for this summer, it's that nothing worth fighting for EVER comes easy. I knew what I wanted... a summer in the city, running around as a crazed magazine intern, living life in line with the big city dreams that I've always held close. And yet for months, it seemed far from what would really happen. I doubted, I cried, I got a little emotional... I started believing that I just wasn't what anyone was looking for.

But I still sent in application after application after application..... until I finally got a hook. To say that I actually believe that I'm getting one of my dreams this summer seems so far-fetched. All of the months of waiting and patience paid off, I just still can't believe it.

I'm living in the city. Me.... a girl from Michigan living in NYC. Is this real life?

Sure there may have been days when I really didn't want to send in another application. I got so fed up with being ignored or getting the polite, 'we're just not interested email.' I was ready to quit, and then I got a call. What if I wouldn't have sent it in? At the time, it was just another email... and now it's so much more. It's my chance to make it.

I'm not going to lie and say I'm not terrified. Living in the city all by myself scares me like nothing I've ever done before. And yet, I'm still really proud. Proud that I didn't give up in the face of rejection. Proud that I was strong enough to keep on keeping on. Proud that I'm one step closer to living my dream.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For anyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bound By Love

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For some reasons, LOVE tends to be a common theme on my blog.

So many of us are lucky enough to be loved by incredible family and friends.
Some of us have the love of a romantic partner.
All of us have the love of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes I think that in life's craziness (the 'mess' as I have heard it referred to before), I forget the magnitude and incredible nature of eternal love. So many things in our lives are temporary, static... they only change when we tell them to or when someone else does. As with most people I know, I get lonely. I sink into my own little personal 'bubble' and convince myself that the only person I can really trust is myself. I get so caught up in living my life, that I forget life is going on all around me, despite me, with me, for me. And I convince myself that I'm incapable of receiving love... that the only person I can love is myself.

I'm one of those insecure people who is convinced that love won't come knocking for a long time. But in that insecurity, I also know that when it does come knocking it will be beyond my greatest expectations. For hours I can talk about love and patience and waiting for love, but what am I really waiting for?

God loves me all day, every day. No need for waiting.  His love is here to stay.
Sure I can say these profound, general and inspiring statements. But is it really that easy to understand? We've heard these things since we were too young to remember, but how do we live them in everyday life? How do we apply them to situations and relationships that may need mending?

I love the image of binding Christ's love on the tablet of our heart. If I had to guess, I'd say that this means learning how to radiate, to exude, and to emit God's love in everything we say and do. Be an inspiration for others, a guidepost to wandering souls, a simple helping hand... there are no bounds.

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