Thursday, March 31, 2011


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What holds you back? What keeps you from having true faith? Do you believe in yourself and all that you are capable of?

I admit it, I am a culprit of telling myself everything I am incapable of. Instead of focusing on what I have/can accomplish, my mind goes straight to my failures. I think that is human nature. We rarely give ourselves a pat on the back.

Believing in yourself is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences in life. If we believe we are capable of something, that is the first step to greatness. The second step... is learning how to take advantage of what we are capable of and putting those thoughts and desires into motion/action. 

Believe that you are talented.
Believe that you can make a difference.
Believe that you are loved.
Believe that you are special.
Believe that anything you do in life is intentional.
I Believe in you.

Take a second to tell yourself that you believe in yourself. Give yourself a few compliments, you are worth every one. Now... if you would do me a favor, believe that I can do well on my statistics exam in an hour :)

I believe. I believe. I believe.

"But these are written, that you may Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name."
John 20:31


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Looking Back on LIFE.

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How often do you look back on your life? Are you one of those nostalgic people who loves to reminisce? Do you enjoy looking through old pictures and smiling when you think about the things that made you laugh, made you smile, and made you cry?

What have been some of the most special moments in your life? What people have made a difference in your life? What has gotten you to where you are now? What events in your past played a significant role in shaping who you are today?

I love thinking about some of my greatest memories:
1. The day I truly realized that I wanted God in my life and that I was willing to give my heart to him forever (Timberwolf Lake- Young Life Camp 2007).
2. High School Graduation- Celebrating with people I love, while also looking forward to exciting things to come. 
3. Family vacations- Nothing better than Caribbean cruises and Rosemary Beach with the fam.
4. The day I moved into my dorm, freshman year at U of M. (Such crazy feelings of independence, life, thankfulness, anxiety, fear, and excitement).
5. Finding the Young Life community- the organization and the people I have met have been such an incredibly important part of my life and spiritual growth.

I love thinking about these memories... I am not going to lie, some of them even make me tear up a little bit. It is so cool to know that thinking about events in the past can make me so emotional. Although we are encouraged to look to the future (and often not to focus on the past), the events, people, and memories we have made in life describe who we are.

Take a few minutes to recognize who you have become through events in your past, and be thankful for all the great memories. :)

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
James 1:17


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be yourself.

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Everyone has people in their life that they are completely comfortable around. You know that you can depend on them for a good laugh, good times, and great advice. You can count on them for anything. Most importantly, you love being yourself around them.
"No matter how serious life gets, you still gotta have that one person you can be completely stupid with."

It is so important to have good friends in life. Having people that you can count on, that you can depend on, and that you can connect with is one of the most beautiful things in life. These true friends are hard to find- there are usually only a select few people in life that you can completely be yourself with. With these friends, you don't care about your appearance, how you act, or whether or not you 'fit in.' True friends love you for exactly who you are.

When you find true friends, you have to treasure and protect the relationships in life. Coming to college has given me a new perspective on relationships and friendships, I have to put in a lot more effort to stay connected with high school friends while also pursuing and developing friendships here. Being caught in two worlds of friendship is confusing, but rewarding as well. Knowing I have friends in 2 places makes me extremely happy and very comfortable. I know I can depend on any one of my true friends for anything. They will be there for me regardless of what happens.

I am so blessed with incredible friendships. Take a moment to acknowledge how blessed you are... and thank God for the true friends in your life and for all they do for you.

"If one falls down, 
his friend can help him up. 
But pity the man who falls 
and has no one to help him up!"
Ecclesiastes 4:10


Monday, March 28, 2011

Who do you OWE?

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What do you think about when you hear the phrase 'unconditional love?' Do you think about the relationships you have made, the family who you would do anything for, or the things that you simply can't live without? Does the phrase... 'I owe you' or 'you owe me' ever come to mind?

"Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'you owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky."

I absolutely love this quote- there is something so beautiful about it, something so selfless, and something so true. All too often, I convince myself that if I do nice things for others, then they 'owe' me something. I should get some kind of reward, some kind of acknowledgement, and some kind of recognition. 

Life doesn't always work that way. It has been and will always be hard to do nice things for others or to spend time on something that you receive no recognition for. As human beings, we are always looking for a pat on the back- a comment on a job well done. But as time goes on, I am beginning to learn that doing nice things for others, or even just thinking about others, is so much more beautiful when you are not seeking some sort of credit. It is the quality of selflessness that makes acts of kindness so incredible.

So today I encourage you to try to do something nice for someone without expecting something in return. Know that God is smiling down on you even when no one else seems to notice- he knows and appreciates everything. Instead of saying 'you owe me' try saying... no problem, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

See where that takes you.

"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of other."
Philippians 2:4


Sunday, March 27, 2011


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I am so thankful for community. I am thankful for rest and relaxation. I am thankful for fun, friends, and great conversation. I am thankful for insightful thinking and a time to get away. I am thankful for worship. I am thankful for such an incredible weekend.

I had such an incredible weekend. I missed yesterday's post was because I spent the weekend at the beautiful Timberwolf Lake Camp in Lake City, Michigan- about 3 hours north of Ann Arbor. I love being able to get away from my hectic life in Ann Arbor (I do LOVE it, but it can be overwhelming at times). I went to the camp for a younglife college 'spring' retreat- although spring consisted of piles of snow, heavy winter jackets, and LOTS of coffee. :)

I loved the weekend because I got to spend time with great people, focus on my relationship with God, and truly grow as a Christian. I always love coming back from retreats, I tend to be on such a spiritual high. There is something so awesome about being surrounded by a community of people who all believe in the incredible power of God's love. I love seeing God's love in the faces of those around me, and I love living God's love through conversation, and I love talking about how truly awesome God's love is in our daily lives. Another reason I love retreats is because I get to hear about how God is working in other people's lives. Although I do love journaling and thinking about my own walk with God, there is comfort in knowing that other people think about the same things, go through the same challenges, and are 'in the spiritual journey with me.' 

I encourage you to find a community who you truly connect with. It is awesome to be around people who share similar morals, similar concerns, and similar values. Community is such a blessing- God puts other people in our lives to show us that WE ARE NEVER ALONE. He is there alongside us every day... and he wants us to live out his glory with the people he put in our lives.

You are never alone. You are loved. You are invaluable. 

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Revelation 21:4


Friday, March 25, 2011

A Leader or a Follower?

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Are you a leader or a follower? Do you set plans in motion, or do you like to follow other's plans? Regardless of what role you play in life-

Your role is invaluable. Whether you lead or you follow... you make a difference.

Followers are often looked down upon for depending on others to do all the work. I am here to defend everyone who considers themselves a follower. THE WORLD NEEDS FOLLOWERS. If everyone were a leader, we would never get anywhere. Don't get me wrong, the world needs leaders as well... and I will be the first to admit that I would so much rather take on a leadership role than a following role. It makes me uncomfortable to put my complete faith and trust in another person- definitely something I am trying to work on.

Are you a leader or a follower- or both? Does it make you anxious to trust others? What does that really mean- that we only truly trust ourselves? 

I believe in being a follower of Jesus Christ. We can only have a successful relationship with him if we put our complete faith and trust in him and his desires. I encourage you to test the waters- try depending on the Lord for something you usually take charge of... something your are hesitant completely to give to him. 

I trust that the Lord will bring me happiness, grace, and love. i trust in the Lord with all my heart. I lead by showing people that God is number one in my life, and showing others that his love can impact everyone's life. I follow by giving my heart to the Lord and dedicating my life to him. 

Where is your heart today?

"A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Children, Smiles, and Superman

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It's no secret that cancer is an awful disease. It claims the lives of so many innocent, beautiful, joyful, spiritual, and young people across the globe. Have you ever thought- "It will never be me. I will never have cancer... that's someone else's disease." I will be honest, that's kind of what I tell myself. I am fortunate enough to live a healthy, cancer-free life... but that doesn't say anything for 25 years from now. I bet this kid didn't wake up one morning and say... I think I want to be diagnosed with childhood cancer today- how fun?!?

Look at his smile.
Feel his positive attitude.
Appreciate his 'thumbs up.'
Notice that he is wearing a Superman t-shirt.

Isn't he just a normal little boy? Sadly, he is diagnosed with childhood cancer, like so many others across the world. They do nothing to deserve it- they are simply unlucky. I thank the Lord everyday for the health of me and my loved ones... I know that going through something like cancer can literally tear a family apart.

The point of today's post is to show how brave you can be in the face of an extremely disappointing/difficult/unfair situation. If you are experiencing cancer somewhere in your life right now- I pray for you and for healing. I pray that you and your loved ones can stay strong- I pray that you can fight. Most of all, I pray that you never give up. Even when everything seems to be falling apart- smile, give a big thumbs-up, and pretend you are superman. You are capable of anything. You can beat any disease. Trust in the Lord, he will deliver.

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
Deuteronomy 31:8


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


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What do you CRAVE? What makes your heart skip a beat? What makes your heart smile, your stomach happy, or our soul fulfilled?

It's got to be strawberry shortcake.

Although I am not much of a 'sweets' person, I LOVE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, especially my mom's strawberry shortcake. There is something so special about enjoying good food with the people you love- something about being with family makes it so much sweeter and so much more enjoyable. What exactly is a craving and why do we have them- I have absolutely no idea. If I knew, I would probably be more successful at staying away from the dining hall sugar cookies. :) 

What do you crave in life? Do you give in to your cravings all the time- or do you save them for special occasions? 

Whatever your craving may be, I encourage you to give in every once and while. Acknowledge that it is good for your soul, a healthy indulgence, something that makes you extremely happy and content. I encourage you to enjoy your cravings, savor them like you are protecting them from an unseen enemy. 

I am trying this new thing where I develop my craving for God. I am learning to depend more and more- learning that I cannot possibly live without him. I truly need him for my life to be complete. I need him for my life to be worth anything, for that matter. Do you crave a relationship with the Lord? It is only when we are desperate for him that we fully appreciate his presence in our lives.

Be desperate for him.

"You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73: 24-26

Meaghan O'Connor

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


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Wherever you may be at today... I am sending some sunshine your way. Although it is pretty overcast here today (I am NOT complaining, I would so much rather have it be cloudy than snowing), I am directing positive thoughts, great experiences, and thrilling emotions right to YOU.

We all need a little sunshine in life. Whether that be the actual rays of sun outdoors that make us feel so relaxed, so at peace, s content... or it be compliments, positive looks and emotions, or encouragement. Where are you at in life today? Do you need a little sunshine?

Here's my sunshine for you today:
You are beautiful, unique, special, and truly original.
You will achieve great things in life.
People value your presence in their life.
People value you.
Someone cannot imagine life without you.
God can't imagine life without you.
Every aspect of who you are is worth protecting.
Your thoughts and opinions are important.
You are important.

Today, I encourage you to spread the sunshine, the smiles, the positive attitude, and the love you are so blessed with. Give thanks to the Lord for the sunshine, and let others know that sunshine is perfectly possible on cloudy days... you just have ti make it yourself.

A little SPRING inspiration.

"Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name."
Psalm 97:11-12


Monday, March 21, 2011

Finding Beauty in the Storm

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I LOVE THUNDERSTORMS! Last night before I went to bed we experienced our first spring thunderstorm. There are a select few things in life I love more than a thunderstorm at night. 1) It means spring is COMING! 2)It's so comforting to be under my covers 3) Although the thunder is seemingly ominous, there is some sense of excitement and wonder.

Do you love spring thunderstorms? 
Today's post is about finding beauty in the face of a storm. Is it possible to find beauty in something so threatening, something so chilling? I think it is. When we find that beauty, its wonder and awe are even more exaggerated and brilliant.

So how do we find that beauty? We look in places that we may not be comfortable looking in, we challenge ourselves to experience things that may scare us, and we come to believe that nothing is impossible. We learn to direct our fear away from the things we dread most in life. 

So today I encourage you to drive right into the storm. Don't be afraid to go after the things in life that may seem scary or threatening. Challenge yourself and be proud of your accomplishments and values. Above all, know that no thunderstorm can ever stand in your way if you let it... and also know that after every thunderstorm comes a rainbow.

Go find your rainbow.

"You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus."
Philippians 4:19


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do You Have a Forever-Kind-Of-Love?

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"A forever kind of love is one that accepts, forgives, understands, and encourages. It is kind and caring. It is unconditional."
I love it when I get to spend time with my family at school. It is so cool to see my two different 'lives' collide. Although I would like to think that I only live one true life, it is sometimes easier to separate it into home and school. I have different priorities, different activities, and different groups of friends. One isn't better than the other... they are simply different. When my family (and I mean both my parents and all my siblings) comes to Ann Arbor, I get to experience the best of both lives, everything I love about life all in one place. 

What could be better? :)

I am so thankful for family. I am so thankful that they will drive all the way here to sit through an educational honors convocation and then dinner... all for me. I am so lucky.

Do you have family/friends that would do anything for you? Take a minute to think about how blessed you are. Tell those you love that you are thankful for them, and that would do anything in return. Think about how you love them- do you love them unconditionally? Do you love them despite anything they do to upset you? Would you protect them in the face of danger? Would you do anything just to spend an entire weekend just enjoying each other's company?

I love my family. I love them unconditionally. I love them as much as life itself.

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
1 Timothy 5:8


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Are You Confident?

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Do you struggle with self-confidence? Do you question your strengths and abilities? Are you your own worst critic?
Today I encourage you to embrace a sense of self-confidence. Believe that you can do anything, that you are on top of the world with your arms wide open... Believe me, it will make a world of a difference.
I often question how incredible God made me. I let others tear me down, believe the lies I convince myself, and am extremely sensitive to what others believe and think about me. Although I am not proud of it, I often do what I can to 'please' others. Many times, I would much rather change myself to suit others' interests than to stick up for my own beliefs and character traits. It's hard for me to believe that my own opinions are just as important than anyone else's.

Since coming to college, things have changed. I am starting to learn more about who I am and what I believe in, and I am starting to put faith and confidence in my actions and emotions. I am learning to trust myself more, to believe that I am beautiful, confident, smart, and faithful. I believe in the the relationship I have with God, and I can truly see the ways he is working in my life. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Do you question yourself? Do you struggle to see the ways in which God made you special and unique? Don't worry- struggle is part of everyone's life... just use that struggle as a way to learn, to grow, and to develop who you are as a person. 


"How precious to me are your thoughts,God! 
   How vast is the sum of them!Were I to count them, 
   they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
   when I awake, I am still with you."
Psalm 139:17-18


Friday, March 18, 2011

Never Settle.

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Late night for me tonight... I had a long day, so my post is coming down to the the last couple of minutes left for friday! :) I encourage you to tackle this post with an open heart, as it is one of my favorite things to talk about.

DON'T SETTLE. You are worth THE WORLD. You deserve greatness.
When we think of 'settling,' it is common to think in romantic relationship terms. We are constantly told to be patient- that the right guy/girl will simply come along when the time is right. We are told that we deserve someone as great (if not greater) than we are. We are told that settling for the 'less than perfect' is simply not an option. 

I will be the first to admit that I am not patient. Yes, I am trying to work on it... and it has gotten better, but I still find myself asking God why Mr. Right hasn't simply waltzed right up and introduced himself? If I truly desire someone to share my life with, someone to connect with, someone to challenge and promote my spiritual growth, why doesn't God just make it happen?

It doesn't work that way I guess. 
I am going to have to wait it out... It might be better that way- because when I actually find him it will be that much greater, that much sweeter.

I know that my time will come...and I can't wait to meet the lucky guy who gets to spend eternity with me :) Isn't he so lucky? I keep having to remind myself how special I am- how I do deserve someone that will make me a better person, someone that will love me for being me and no one else, someone that loves me back and will do anything for me. I deserve someone who will wake up in the morning and smile while making my coffee.

I encourage you to remind yourself not to settle- the right guy will come along. You are worth so much more than second-best. The wait will be worth it, I promise. If you are already lucky enough to have him- remind him how thankful you are for him and continue to give thanks to the one and only for blessing you with someone so special.

"How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves."
Song of Solomon 1:15


Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Beauty of French.

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I will be the first to say that I am firm believer in the value of learning to speak spanish. Not only are there many spanish speakers in the US, but it opens doors in Europe, Latin America, South America, and even Asia. Although my love of the spanish language has only grown since coming to school, my sister continues to argue that French is simply 'more beautiful.'

Although I was hesitant to put my sister's french status update into google translate, I was glad once I figured out what it meant. Her status read: 

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple. On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

Translation: Here's my secret. It is very simple. One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye. Pure poetry right? All the sudden, it was okay to admit that her French inspiration would contribute to my blog post for today. There is something so interesting, so beautiful about foreign languages. That's why I love them so much- translating is almost like a puzzle, like a secret to be unlocked.

I am one of those people who doesn't do anything without thinking it through first. I am obsessed with what my mind tells me is right- and sometimes fail to acknowledge that my heart is telling me something entirely different. Sometimes, following our heart can be scary. It can mean completely opening up, allowing yourself to be vulnerable in times of uncertainty. It can mean opening yourself up to heartbreak. But it can also lead to the happiest and most joyful feelings and events in life- things that your mind can't even bring you close to. So today, I encourage you to follow your heart... and trust that God knows what best for you and makes his will agree with the deep desires of your heart.

Trust your heart. Trust in the Lord. Trust yourself.

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:3


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Okay to Break Down.

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Are you afraid to cry? Are you convinced that you have to be strong all the time- that you have to be invincible? When was the last time you let yourself break down? When was the last time you allowed yourself to confess that you are not perfect- and that it is completely okay to have flaws?
Such a beautiful image- "I'm not perfect, but at the end of the day, who is?" We often think that we are the only ones who are flawed, when in reality- everyone has some flaw, something that makes them human.When we finally learn to accept our 'flaws' as important parts of our character, we can begin to understand why we have them in the first place. God gives us flaws to help us realize that perfection and beauty lie in imperfection (oh how I love contradictions).Stop being so hard on yourself- accept your flaws as important parts of your personality- what makes you, you. :)

Our flaws are often the source of negative comments and thoughts. They lead to self-doubt, depression, and a loss of self-confidence. Although we shouldn't let them get to us, it is often inevitable. I think that acknowledging our flaws and the power they have over us can be a good thing- yes, that's right, it can be positive instead of purely negative. When we allow ourselves to break down, to question, to doubt... we open ourselves up to be emotionally vulnerable. Being vulnerable is an important part of being close to God. Without being vulnerable, how can we ever fully put our trust and confidence in him?

So, today embrace your flaws as something that makes you unique- but also realize that it is okay to break down. It is okay to cry, need help, and rely on others. In the end, being vulnerable is the first step to acceptance and love.

"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Romans 12:4-5


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Impatience seek Patience?

Pin It Now! Lord, please help me be patient now. I need to learn to appreciate the current moment. I need your help and direction now, at this very second. We all do it- doesn't it sound a bit demanding? Don't get me wrong- prayer is an awesome thing... but do we get so caught up asking for things right away, that we forget that prayer can be about the long-term just as much as it is about the short-term. Can prayer be about developing your relationship with the Lord as opposed to just asking him for things? Can it be about learning to lean on him for things we aren't sure of- can it mean being patient in waiting for his promises. Absolutely, prayer can be about anything you want it to be.

I am guilty of being one of those people obsessed with the future. I worry about what my life will look like in 5 years, I worry about what my weekend plans are going to be... I sometimes even worry about what I might be having for lunch tomorrow. Crazy, but true. Why do we do that to ourselves? It seems like a lot of impractical anxiety to me. Why worry about something that hasn't even happened yet? 

I think it's because most of us want to know we are in control- we want to be comfortable in the security of our thoughts, actions, and emotions. Today I encourage you to let that future anxiety go- focus on appreciating today, recognizing each individual moment and thanking God for how special each second is. If we focused our energy on what we are doing now- we may have far fewer problems in the future (funny how that works, huh?) :)

"This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus."
Revelation 14:12


Monday, March 14, 2011

YOU are valuable.

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Before you read this post... focus on yourself. Think about who you are, what you believe in, what is important to you, what you stand for, and what you value in life. Today is all about YOU.

It is so important that we take time in life to take care of ourselves and to give ourselves compliments. All to often, I get caught in the trap of comparing myself to others, measuring my strengths and accomplishments in terms of what those around me are capable of achieving. This is not only unfair to myself, but it can be mentally exhausting and threatening. When we define ourselves solely by believing we are different (and often less) successful than others, we fail to acknowledge how truly special and talented we are.

Give yourself a few compliments- I know, it can be hard... I tend to focus on what I need to improve far more than what I do well. Today, don't be afraid to brag about your strengths. Here, I will go first: It's not that scary, I promise. :)

1. I love to help others and be a role model for those around me.
2. I am confident in who I am and what I believe.
3. I am pretty intelligent and value my education and knowledge.
4. I love my family and friends unconditionally.
5. I have a good heart, with genuine intentions.
6. I never stop giving my all- exhausting, but generally a good quality I guess.

Make a list of 5 or 6 things that you are extremely proud of. I am sure your list could go on forever- but truly acknowledge what you  value most about yourself.

Aren't you a great person? Doesn't it feel great to give yourself a 'pat on the back' every once and a while? Stop comparing yourself to others- you are your own unique, incredible, beautiful, and valuable person. 

"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."
Luke 12:7


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Flowers?

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Are you in desperate need of spring flowers? I sure am. I want warmth, sunlight, flip-flops, flowers, jean jackets, and lemonade!
Let's be honest... I am so over winter, and I am so READY for spring.

Aren't flowers just naturally beautiful? The way they seem to exude brilliant colors, aroma, and good feelings. I always feel better when I see flowers on the ground, or when my mom puts flowers on our kitchen table- they just have a way of brightening your day. :)

Why does it seem like winter is lasting forever this year? I feel like I will never be able to put my north face layers away- like I am eternally stuck in boots and mittens/gloves. Do you have a case of winter gloom like me? Is it taking a toll on your happiness?

I encourage you to create your own sunshine today (yes, I am aware that sounds extremely cliche/corny/whatever). But despite the weather, I encourage you to be optimistic. Have a good time with friends, share some laughter, get a few things done that will make you feel good, take some time to yourself. Make today your own "springlike," positive, happy day.

I know we may not be able to magically bring warmth and sunlight, but God can give us sunshine in other ways. It's out there waiting- now go and find it!

"We love because he first loved us."
1 John 4:19 (short and simple- but so powerful).


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Do You Believe in Destiny?

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Do you believe in destiny? Are you a hopeless romantic? Do you let your heart decide your path? Do you have faith that can survive any test?

So maybe our path in life isn't quite as perfectly laid out as this incredible path of rose petals. It's beautiful, isn't it? We sometimes wish that our plan in life was this perfect... if only we could just follow flower petals and end up exactly where we are supposed to be, everything would be so much easier.

But the truth is- maybe it is that easy. Maybe we aren't supposed to see the flower petals, but they are still there. Maybe destiny is like this unseen path, guiding us when we don't even know it. It's hard for me to believe in destiny. It's hard for me to believe in anything that isn't concrete. How can I put my faith in something that I can't see and that can let me down in BIG ways. 

But isn't that what faith is all about? It's about being confident in something you can't see, being sure that destiny, and God, will lead you wherever you need to be.

I encourage you to take a breath, relax, and realize that even though you may not know what is ahead of you... it will be exactly where you need to be. And ultimately, where you need to be is your perfect place in God's kingdom.

Happy Saturday! :)

"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, March 11, 2011

What does LIFE mean to you?

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I always love these pictures, they are so good at relating huge concepts to general emotions and feelings. They give us examples of the little things that make up the larger things in life.

What does life mean to you? When you think about life- do you think about courage, hope, passion, acceptance, decisions, feelings, dreams, pain, faith, thrills, reason, peace and LOVE?

I think that a majority of us would love to believe that our lives are perfect. But that's not always the case. There are going to be events, people, and days in our life that test us... that challenge us to be a different person. Sometimes, we approach that challenge with confidence while other times we shrink away from it and pretend that everything will simply just 'get better.' I encourage you to acknowledge that God gave you each and every day as an opportunity- and maybe that means turing disaster into beauty. So seize your opportunity today and make the most out of whatever you get dealt. After all, each and every day is beautiful.

It's the hard days that teach us the most about ourselves, that make us appreciate the good days so much more, and that push us to truly rely on our faith. If not for challenges and hardship, would I be able to believe in a God that delivers us from pain and tribulation? So, I am thankful for pain, for challenges, and for hard times.

But, I am also thankful that today will be a good day- filled with incredible people and friends, good worship and community and a few good test scores.. :)

I have to admit that good test scores make me a little bit happier/less stressed. Aren't we allowed to be proud of our accomplishments? :) Be proud of something you do today... and realize that it is God that gave you the power and ability to do so.

"You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." 
Psalm 16:11


Thursday, March 10, 2011

In an Emotional Rut

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The past couple days have been hard. Have you ever been 'stuck' in an emotional rut? Why can't I shake this feeling of discontentment?
What's really wrong- what is keeping me from living freely?

My answer to those of you who find yourself at the bottom- with no way out- is this... THERE IS A WAY OUT! All you have to do is climb a little bit. I understand that climbing a wall that seems unsurmountable does not sound appealing. Believe me, we all look for the easy way out. But the truth when it comes to our emotions is that there is no easy way out. There is no way to put your emotions aside and simply 'get better.'

Last night, on top of intense boredom, I felt like I was at the bottom. There wasn't a specific reason... I just didn't feel like myself. Everything changed when I talked to a few good friends (don't good friends cure everything?)They encouraged me to take a step back, to take some 'me' time. To me, taking 'me' time means being lazy and forgetting about other work that needs to be done. But taking just an hour last night to step back, to take a breather... I realized that I rarely take that time to myself. I am constantly going, going, going... and it takes a toll on me mentally.

So, I took an hour before bed to be alone with my bible. It is truly incredible how God speaks to us through the bible verses that we flip to. I read a story about a woman named Hannah who had to be patient. She desperately wanted a child, but the Lord wanted her to wait. Eventually after years of waiting and relying on the Lord, she had multiple children. Oh, the joys of God's fulfillment. I learned from that story that it is okay to wait- that there are great things planned for my future... I just have to be patient.

Be patient today. God created patience as a way to teach us that the great things in life are worth waiting for.

A cute picture for rejuvenation...

"Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were staving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away."
1 Samuel 2:5


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rainy Day Syndrome.

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If you are anything like me.. you have a mild case of rainy day syndrome. Okay, maybe not so mild...
Let's be completely honest. I HATE rainy, dark days.
I am always discouraged when I open the blinds in the morning to raindrops dripping from the windowsill, to sidewalks engulfed by puddles, and to think about my long and lonely walk to class while getting wet. It is hard to be grateful for something that can seem so depressing and pointless. 

Why does God give us these days when we are perfectly content with sunshine and warmth? 
I think the answer is all about gratitude. 
How can we truly be thankful for sun and warmth without the rainy days? How can we appreciate the good days without living through the bad ones? 

So today, I am thankful for the rain. I am thankful that the sun gets a chance to rest, that the snow is partially melting, and that spring is coming soon. I am thankful that not every day is full of sunshine, and I acknowledge that even rain can be beautiful. 

Even rain can be perfect.

Take advantage of whatever weather is coming your way today. If you do get some lucky rays on sunshine, thank the Lord for a healthy dose of vitamin D. If you wake up to rain... appreciate a nice day inside under the blankets with a good movie and some hot tea. If you get snow, get outside and try something new! 

The Lord has a reason and purpose for every day. Be thankful for weather, be thankful for your place on this Earth, and be thankful for the beauty that is God's creation.

"Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
Acts 14:17


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


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Wasn't Hellen Keller a genius? If only we could all think that way... I sometimes think about what it would be like to be blind. Not being able to see my family, friends, nature, anything... it seems like life would be so empty. 

Please pause to recognize how truly blessed you are to have a sense of sight. It makes life so much easier- and we take advantage of it all too often. If we could simply live a day without it, we might realize how dependent we truly are. 

Back to the quote- thinking about it, the most special things in my life have been the moments that have made me smile from the inside (those moments where I feel blessed, where I feel special, where I feel talented, where I feel like I am worth something).I encourage you to take a few seconds to feel and love the people and events in your life today. Take a moment to acknowledge how beautiful they are, and close your eyes to recognize it with your heart. 

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:23

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