Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30- Being Thankful

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It's day 30 already... the day to 31. Spend a day being entirely thankful.

Sometimes I forget to just stop and appreciate the beauty of life. We get so wrapped up with moving on from one thing to the next thing, or accomplishing something way down the road—that we lose track of the grace and wonder of everyday life before our very own eyes.

So today, I made a conscious effort to realize the little things I am thankful for:
I'm thankful for friends who make me laugh.
I'm thankful for the healing and energetic power of my morning coffee.
I'm thankful for an incredibly warm winter jacket that makes me look like an Eskimo on the way to class.
I'm thankful that exam grades don't mean everything.
I'm thankful for being able to share meals every day with so many incredible women.
I'm thankful for my passion for journalism and magazines.
I'm thankful that I am the opposite of a procrastinator.
I'm thankful for M & Ms and the kids I babysit who put a smile on my face.
I'm thankful for a car to take me anywhere and everywhere.
I'm thankful for late-night snacks.

I am so thankful for life.

It's December 1st tomorrow- and my last official day of The 31 Day Challenge! Help me celebrate? :)

What are you thankful for? What makes you excited for December?

"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
2 Corinthians 9:6


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29- Truth Matters

Pin It Now! Day 29 of my 31 Day Challenge :)
The options are becoming few and far between...

14. Be 100% honest for an entire day.

Today, I'm working on honesty. More specifically, I am learning to be honest with myself. Sometimes, being honest with oneself is harder than being honest with others. We tend to convince ourselves of certain things to please others, to mask discomfort, or to deny struggle.

Sometimes I convince myself that being imperfect and having flaws is unacceptable.
In reality, everyone has bits and pieces of their personality of character that they consider 'flaws.' Our flaws not only make us individuals, but they make us beautiful in God's eyes.

Sometimes I convince myself that I'll never find someone to love.
In reality, I know that God has an incredible plan for my life... and I am confident that finding someone to share my life with is a definite part of this plan. If it is truly one of my desires, it is one of his as well. Cue patience....

Sometimes I convince myself that if things don't go a certain way, my whole life will fall apart.
In reality, I know that little things and flexibility will never make a huge difference. Going with the flow may not be easy for me—but in the end, it will make life a lot less stressful.

So today, I was not only honest with others... but I was honest with myself. I'm learning that it's okay to doubt and question—that nobody is perfect.

What would you like to be honest with yourself about? Why is it so hard to admit things that might make us uncomfortable?

I challenge you to be honest today. You may find that it's a lot harder than it sounds.

"The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever."
Psalm 119:160


Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28- Living and Learning

Pin It Now! What am I going to do without my 31 Day Challenge :) in a few days? It's been so nice to have something to inspire me each day, I think it might be hard to go back to normal blog posting for a while...

But for today- another one bites the dust!
11. Learn something new- challenge myself.

Wouldn't it be great if we could challenge ourselves to learn something new each and every day? The truth is, you learn a lot more every day than you can actually remember.

I consider living in general as one big lesson, you are always learning more about yourself and the world around you with each passing day.

Today was my first day as a 'nanny'... and what an experience it was! 

I picked up the three kids at school (a girl in 6th grade and a boy and girl set of twins in 4th grade) and took them all to get their hair cut. Sitting in the waiting room, it was time to conjure some sort of entertainment... we turned to magazines and lollipops (always a kid's best friend). This was probably what I was most nervous about- being the adult supervisor of the hair cuts as well as the one in charge of keeping them entertained. Luckily, no problems here... the styles were all pretty basic trims and we left the salon without any bumps or bruises.

After, we sat in the car for a few minutes while the kids munched on a few after school snacks (which their mother referred to as their source of sanity). Once they were happy and fed, and after listening to a little Justin Bieber in the car, they were off to Mathnesium (a math learning center). Mom, if you are reading this... thanks for realizing that kids really don't need to be in school longer than they are in school. They looked less than enthused to spend another hour after school doing math problems :(

Lesson of the day- don't be so afraid of new experiences. On my first day as a stand in mom, I did pretty well! We made it to all of our stops in one piece, everyone was happy, and all went smoothly :)
My inspiration for my first day as a 'soccer mom' (two of the kids actually play soccer, ha):

I hope they made you laugh a little :)
And just to be clear... I'm not a mom yet- just a stand in. Not quite ready for that much responsibility!

"For whatever was written was given to us for our learning, that through patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope."
Romans 15:4


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27- A little tip...

Pin It Now! And... it's back to Ann Arbor I go for finals.
These are about to be some pretty rough 17 days.

But more importantly... it's Day 27 of my 31 Day Challenge :)
A quick side note- I just realized that there are only 30 days in November... so my challenge will carry on to the first day of December!

There are so many things already crossed off! It's getting harder each day to complete a different task- I am starting to learn to be more intentional with what I'm choosing. Having limited options really does encourage me to actively pursue a good deed each day! 
10. Leave an extra large tip for a waitress. 

I chose to modify this one a bit. Since I haven't been to a restaurant in a while, and probably won't make it to one by the end of the challenge, I left a tip in an unexpected place...
The Starbucks DriveThru Tip Jar.

How many times do you just stroll by tip jars? How many times do you think to yourself, I'm already paying them enough.

It wasn't a lot. But when I saw the drive thru attendant smile and wish me a good day after I dropped a dollar into the tip jar, I knew I had done something worthwhile.

Could you leave a tip in an unexpected place? Instead of driving by at full speed, thinking only of yourself, could you try slowing down to appreciate the service and smiles of others?

It may just make their day.

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
Proverbs 18:10


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26- Local @ Home

Pin It Now! Hey bloggers- we are winding down with the last few days of November, can you even believe it? :)
I hope you've enjoyed my 31 Day Challenge :) Check my progress here! Only a few days left!

20. Eat from a local restaurant, grocery market, etc.
I'm really enjoying my last few days at home... It's back to school/reality tomorrow. I don't know if I'm quite ready.

It's about to be semester finals time. Scary thought.

Tonight the family ordered pizza from one on our local favorites (I saved this for today, since it's Small Business Saturday). I get my favorite pizza with chicken, green peppers, tomatoes and onions... yummmm. I definitely miss it while I'm at school.
And a few more pictures of my puppy... since I'm going to miss her so much at school.
Truly the love of my life :)
Doesn't she just melt your heart? I'm really trying to enjoy my last few moments at home until I come back for holiday break. It really does go by way too fast, and then I end up back at school just missing the simple things at home.

I will miss waking up to my dog, my coffee, my mom, and The Today Show.
I will miss wandering around Grand Rapids aimlessly with my mom.
I will miss window shopping at the mall.
I will miss laughing for hours in our kitchen.
I will miss being able to bake homemade cookies and muffins.
I will miss sitting in our living room next to the fire.
I will miss having an excuse to do nothing at all.
I will miss everything about being home.

What do you LOVE about being home? What makes your heart melt?

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."
1 John 4:7


Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 25- Thank You.

Pin It Now! Day 25 of the 31 Day Challenge :)
15. Say Thank You and really mean it.

Dear Best Friend,
I owe you so much more than I could ever say with words. You have given me a reason to laugh, a reason to love, and a reason to appreciate the beauty of the small things in life. You have shown me what it means to love someone unconditionally and to support them through whatever they may need.

You are truly an inspiration.
You always find a way to look at the positive side of things.
You enjoy yourself without any fear of guilt or embarrassment.
You give the best hugs.
You will do anything to see me succeed.
You are the reason I do all that I do.

I don't know what I'd ever do without you.

So this is my sincere Thank You.
Thank you for all that you have done and will do in my life.
Thanks for being you.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 24- Happy Thanksgiving!

Pin It Now! It's Day 24 of the 31 Day Challenge :)- and it's also Thanksgiving! Such a great time to be with family, lounge on the couch and spend time in the kitchen... yum!

And so... I though it was pretty fitting to save this challenge for today-
13. Treat myself to my favorite foods, without feeling guilty at all.

I am thankful for my plate of incredible Thanksgiving food :)
Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar
Green Beans
Stuffing (straight out of the turkey)
Bread and Butter
and Cornbread

It makes me full just thinking about it. To be honest... I'm thankful for so much more than just food today.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to come home to a loving family who would do anything to see my smile.
I'm thankful for incredible friends who text me throughout the day just to wish my a happy holiday.
I'm thankful for the ability to spend an entire day in the company of such incredible people.
I'm thankful for taking a nap by the fireplace with a cup of coffee next to me...
I'm thankful for the most adorable puppy anyone could ever ask for.

Honestly... who couldn't fall in love with her?

What are you thankful for today? How did you spend your holiday?

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 23- Finding Morning Peace

Pin It Now! And... Day 23 of my 31 Day Challenge :) Be sure to check my progress and see all of the things I've crossed off so far this month! I've been busy!

It's almost time for Thanksgiving Break- if it wasn't for ONE class this afternoon from 1-2:30, I would have been out of here last night! English... always seems to get in the way of everything.

So with plenty of time to spare this morning, I chose something toward the bottom of my list, that I usually don't take the time or energy to do.
28. Wake up a few minutes early to stretch and get ready for the day in peace.
I woke up and told myself to forget my 'normal, early morning fast-pace routine' and instead spent the morning relaxing, reading some of my favorite blogs, stretching, and enjoying a nice big mug of coffee. Why is it that coffee just seems to heal everything?

Anyway... upon looking for my picture this morning, I found this absolute gem from one of my new favorite blogs (MadeByGirl)- it may just be on my Christmas list. Too bad I don't have my own house yet to decorate...

How cool is that?? And oh so appropriate :) The blog by Jen Ramos is really awesome- it's a cool mix of design, food, fashion, and homemade goodies. I could spend an entire afternoon looking through her online store.

What did you do for yourself this morning? Do you need to break a morning ritual and take some time for yourself?

Give yourself a morning coffee break. You deserve it.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22- Beauty Sleep

Pin It Now! Can you believe it is already November 22nd?!?
Where has the time gone. Fall was here and went in the blink of an eye... please don't tell me it's time for snow already.
Today's challenge in my 31 Day Challenge :) met...
26. Go to bed really really early, and wake up feeling refreshed.

I went to bed just before 10:00 last night!? It was almost strange. I went to bed so early that I just laid there for a while, probably confusing my internal sleep clock... As a college student, especially this year in a house with 50 women, I usually go to bed at midnight (at the earliest). This extra two hours kind of threw me off- in a good way! I woke up this morning refreshed, energized, and more optimistic :)

Maybe I should try this out more often. If I start to prioritize my time again, I could probably get to bed earlier more often. I forget how much I truly need sleep to function well and to be in a good mood. Sorry to all those who have to see me on less than 6 hours of sleep- it's not so pretty.

When there is so much to do in a day... and always things that can be done, it is hard to remember to take a step back and take care of yourself. All too often, my body and soul suffer because I over-extend myself or put way to much pressure on myself to be perfect and get things done on time.

It's hard to remember that my health should come top priority.

What have you done to take care of yourself today? Did you get your beauty sleep last night?

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."
Psalms 4:8


Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 21! Sharing and spreading the LOVE.

Pin It Now! It's Day 21 of the 31 Day Challenge! :)! I'm not going to lie... I've been looking forward to this challenge ever since I made it number one on my list.
1. Buy someone a cup of coffee. 

Do you ever have those days when you just know that you have to get away?
Do you ever have times you wish you could just drop everything you're worrying about and laugh, smile, and spend time with good friends?
Today was just one of those days.

After I got out of my exam this morning, it was time for a little mall bonding time with someone I haven't spent time with in a while. We went to the mall with relatively no plans, and ended up wandering around from store to store trying on shoes and sweaters for a few hours.

It was so nice to be away from the stress of school. I got to reconnect with a girl who I really respect, care about, and genuinely have a blast with. We are so similar, and I always appreciate her input on my man drama and life troubles. Whenever we're together, she listens to me rant about how much I struggle sometimes, and continues to assure me that God has a great plan laid out for my life- the message she never ceases to get across; never settle. I'm worth the world.

So you know who you are...Thanks for everything.

To show her how thankful I am that she is in my life, I treated for our mid-shopping coffee break :) Starbucks is always the perfect pick me up and the most incredible way to start great conversation. I always think it's so funny when I try to explain this challenge, people look at me like I'm a little crazy.

And... maybe I am. But at the end of the month, I'll be 31 days closer to the woman God has always wanted me to be.

"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."
Proverbs 16:3


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20- Little Goes a Long Way

Pin It Now! And... another one bites the dust in my 31 Day Challenge :)!
17. Reach out to my church community and get more involved.

Have I already mentioned how much I love Sundays? Well, if you're new- I truly LOVE SUNDAYS.
I love getting up with a fresh perspective, ready to worship and spend time to myself in quiet and solitude.
I love having the whole day to relax, settle down and catch up.
I love making dates with God.
What do you love about Sundays?

Anyway, I woke up this morning with a desire to do something more for my Ann Arbor church home. I say home, because I have been going there since the beginning of the year and I really enjoy it and am getting a lot out of the messages. I'm glad I have finally found a place that I am so excited to go to on Sunday mornings.

I started small- sure, reaching out may mean something different for everyone- but today I gave my first offering. It was the first time I actually pulled out my own wallet, and put a nice 5$ bill in the offering bucket. 5$ may not be much for some, but for a college girls who lives on coffee and other little random things... 5$ meant thinking of the church community over myself.

This week... I felt a call to be generous. I felt like giving my heart to God was more than just sitting and listening to the sermon.

So, I gave what I had with me. And it felt good.
Anything you give for the good of others is valuable. There are truly no guidelines, no price limit, and no specific instructions to generosity.

Generosity is finally learning what it means to think of others over oneself. Generosity is taking delight in making a difference.
 Generosity is learning to be selfless every once and a while.

" Just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-- see that you also excel in this grace of giving."
2 Corinthians 8:7


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19- Inspired by Others

Pin It Now! Hello there again... two posts back to back- I had some make up to do!
So the rest of today is devoted to my 31 Day Challenge :)...

23. Find ways to laugh and relax, reduce the pressure I put on myself to be perfect.
Today was a great day. Not only was I able to spend the last football morning with some of the greatest people I know at school, but I also got to rest, talk to my mom on the phone, and babysit the three cutest girls I could ever have the priviledge of babysitting for.

Literally- I would probably babysit them for free... just because they're so cute and fun to be around.
More pictures that hopefully make you smile... :)

Sporting the Starbucks cup to pregame with the roomie... so necessary.
 Responsible for so many late-night chats and vent sessions. :)
 First house-mates picture for next year! (Junior year, what??)
 Some of the greatest women I know.
My cute girls :)
So all in all, today was truly about relaxing and being in great company. Doesn't it surprise you how good other people can make you feel sometimes? For me, whenever it seems like I'm lonely and there just isn't a cure.... God sends me three cute little girls who will do anything to make me smile.

I'm so blessed.
Did you enjoy your Saturday?

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:28-29


Day 18- Breaking Dawn

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Hello friends- this post is a little late, I meant to post it earlier but I got home a little later than I had anticipated from a MOVIE night, so here it is! :)

As November continues.... so does my 31 Day Challenge :)
As the list winds down, it's getting harder and harder and I have to start being more intentional about which things I pick. But no fear, I am still going strong!
29. Include someone who may not have plans to a gathering or meal.

Tonight I went to see the movie Breaking Dawn (Part of the Twilight series). The movie was a major disappointment, but I was blessed with great company- so I guess that's okay :) I invited my new sorority little sister (she's a freshman who just pledged this year) on a movie/bonding date. It's so nice to be able to share with her what I went through last year- and to listen and giggle when she tells me all about her crazy college firsts (everyone has them, believe me). I love being there for her as kind of an older mentor (although she's almost as old as I am). Here are a few photos of her because I love to brag :)
And here are a few from the last football tailgate of the year! So sad- two down and two to go! :)
And here- is the LINEAGE! My little, my big, and me :) We get taller and taller every year.
Besides my little, I also invited my roommate and her little to come with us. Even though the movie was bad (extremely gruesome and strange), we all had a great time. I always say this- but it's so nice to get away from campus and to remove yourself from all of the crazy stress and people and homework.

Be back with more later- I'm off to babysit! :)

"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."
Luke 11:9


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17- Reflection

Pin It Now! It's DAY 17! Check on my progress here: My 31 Day Challenge! :)
I love watching my list slowly shrink as I cross something new off every day.

Today, it's reflection day.
19. Reflect on how lucky I am and what an incredible life I have been blessed with. 
Thursdays are my tough days. I have class straight from 11-5:30 and it gets really long and dull by the end. So in an effort to fight the monotonous drone of the long day, and the extreme chill that's taken the air (but really, is it winter already?), I decided to brighten it up by thinking about how truly lucky and blessed I am.

So what are a few things that make me lucky?
1. I am surrounded by the most incredible family I could ask for. My parents are my motivating role models- I do everything I can to live up to what they have given me. My siblings make me laugh and realize the contrasting importance of honesty, argument, and love. My grandparents continue to shower me with love and pride, and I couldn't ask for a better set of individuals to see God's love and devotion in.

2. Through sometimes it may seem like a miracle- I ended up with friendships that will most definitely last my whole lifetime. I have friends from high school, who thankfully aren't too far away, that I rely on for emotional and spiritual support. I have college friends who I rely on to keep me sane, have fun with, and unload my stress on.

3. I am going to one of the best universities in the entire world. Hands down. The opportunities and doors that have been opened to me are beyond compare. I am so thankful and lucky to be in such a great environment with so many bright, motivated, and diverse individuals.

4. I live in a house with 50 other incredible women- an experience that has been interesting, to say the least, but also so rewarding. I have been so blessed to see my ministry grow to reach a lot of girls this year, and I can't wait to take over 7 of them on a mission trip with me this spring! :)

5. People truly care about me and want me to succeed. There's nothing greater than feeling that you're loved and supported.

6. I don't have to worry about where I'm going to sleep tonight, what I'm going to eat for dinner, or whether or not I have a home to go back to. I take advantage of these things everyday.

7. I'm loved, and I've found and experienced the direct love of Jesus Christ.

Take some time to reflect today- I ensure you it's actually very eye-opening. You start to realize how lucky most of us truly are. What makes you lucky? Do you have a lucky charm?

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Makeshift Cookies

Pin It Now! It was BAKED GOOD DAY on Day 16!

Yum :)

8. Deliver a baked good to someone having a rough day.

I love baking, and being at school I hardly ever get the chance to step in the kitchen! So tonight, a best friend and I walked over to a friend's house and made chocolate chip cookies. There is just something about a warm cookie right out of the oven that makes your heart melt. I'm not sure if he was actually having a bad day, but I do know that a little time with good friends, a tiny kitchen, chocolate and a few laughs really push the pressure and stress aside for at least a little while.

There's just something so beautiful about baking for someone else. The fact that you put love, time and care into something for another person- there's just nothing quite like it. And a little chocolate will never hurt anyone. :)

Okay, so the tiny (easy bake-esque) oven didn't make for extremely gourmet cookies, but I am sure the boys still appreciated them- my guy friends from home will do anything to have girls bake for them.

I'm making good progress! I can't believe we are over half-way to December! The time is flying by. Pretty soon, it will be Christmas break and I will be half-way done with the school year :)

What do you bake to make all your troubles go away? What's your favorite indulgence?

""But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
1 Corinthians 2:9


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15- Beyond Myself

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It's Day 15! This 31 Day Challenge just keeps getting better and better with each day. It gives me a reason to blog, a reason to think, and a reason to reflect on how important it is to think about my family, friends, and faith every day.

Today's challenge:
16. Find a way to be generous and selfless at the same time.
After I get out of class for the day, I'm going to head to the library and be available to other kids in my English class for help setting up a blog. We are required to create a muli-media project as a component to our current paper assignment (more details to come), and I thought that since I have a little experience with blogs and online journalism, I would step up and give some helpful hints/advice.
Although I do have a lot to do on the project myself, I am setting aside that specific time to help others- using my gifts and knowledge in all possible ways that I can help.

Being generous and loving is such a taboo topic in modern-day society. People are way too often guarded, protective and individualistic. Don't get me wrong, it's important to look out for yourself—but it's also important keep yourself from being the center of attention all the time and the object of all your concerns.

Believe me, you'll drive yourself crazy.

I encourage you to find a way to be generous today- with your time, your energy, your money, your spirit... anything.

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38


Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14- Listen In

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And another day down- can you believe that we are already two weeks into November? Where has the time gone? Fall always seems to go by in the blink of an eye... one second it's September and the next second we're seeing commercials for 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family?

Anyway- today's challenge met!
5. Actually listen to my friends' problems.

Sometimes it's so hard for me to put my own troubles and stress aside to simply listen to someone else and let them unload on me. I tend to think about all of my own problems and then get bogged down in a never-ending cycle of selfishness. So today I decided that I was not going to be the most important part of my day- someone else was.

Listening is a lot easier said than done. Do you ever catch yourself drifting in and out of conversations? It's so easy to get distracted and almost dismiss what the other person is saying to you. Listening is a conscious effort- it takes work, practice, and a willingness to care about and invest in others.

I encourage you to listen to someone else today. And when I say listen, I mean really listen. Go all in. Eye contact, comments, body language... everything. Show them that you are entirely committed to the conversation and that there is no place else you'd rather be. You'd be surprised how big of a difference you can actually make.

Show them that they matter.

In the spirit of the rain- "Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm cloud. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture."
Zechariah 10:1


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13- Got it, it's gone.

Pin It Now! And the 31 Day Challenge continues!
Today, in the spirit of my favorite day of the week- I made sure to make plans to go to church. In fact, I made plans with a good friend.
30. Invite someone to church or YoungLife.
I took one of my friends and sorority sisters with me to church this morning, and was so happy to hear how much she enjoyed it and how much she got from the message. It makes me so happy to think that I'm making a difference here. I'm helping people along, and through that process my faith has grown in leaps and bounds. I've challenged myself... and forced myself to step up.

I've been going to this new place in Ann Arbor for a few months now.. and I actually really like the church, the message, the music, and the community of such awesome people. It makes me really excited to get out of bed every weekend.

Weird for a college kid, I know.
Anyway, the sermon was all about humility. It was so great to be reminded that everything I do is all in God's image. He blessed me with all my strengths and talents, and often times I forget that I'm not the one solely responsible for all that I have accomplished and have yet to acoomplish.

It's nice to have a reminder to give thanks and gratitude.

Humility is a funny thing. The quote in the photo is one of my favorites... it's one of those things you look at and read and think "oh yea, that makes sense." And then you want to hit yourself for being proud of the fact that you've been humble.

Oh, the beauty of contradictions.
The lesson for today is this- being humble isn't about telling yourself that you're not special and talented, its about learning how you can bless others with the talent you have.
It's about making the most out of what God intended for you to be.

"But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12- So Many Leaves.

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Whew- Work Day 2011. In the spirit of working towards my Spring Break mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I spent the day working at various houses around Ann Arbor doing yard and house work. It was a long day... let me tell you.

But here it is- Day 12! :) I'm almost half way there. November is going by in the blink of an eye.
4. Volunteer my time for someone other than myself.

I woke up early this morning and met a really nice older lady from Ann Arbor First Presbyterian Church. She was extremely talkative and drove me to her home just south of campus in her light yellow bug :) I ended up raking leaves in her front lawn for close to three hours- can you say arm work (it feels like i spent the morning lifting weights!). She made me some coffee, and it was actually really interesting listening to bits and pieces of her life story.

Listening to her made me realize how truly interesting people are, and how we really don't get the opportunity to talk to many people like that.

I think she really enjoyed my morning company, and my help- so for that I am thankful.
I spent the rest of the afternoon at another lady's house, doing more yard work, light cleaning, furniture moving, and gutter cleaning.

If this is what it's like to have your own house- maybe I'll hold off for a few more years. :)

Moral of the story today- it felt so good to give back and to lend a hand to people who can use my young energy and flexibility. I loved being needed and helping others. All in all, such a rewarding day.

Now- nap time before I babysit later tonight :) Wish me luck!

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
Hebrews 13:16


Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11- The Beauty of Forgiveness

Pin It Now! DAY 11-
Actually, its 11-11-11 to be exact? Cool, right? Did you make a wish at 11:11?
I missed it. Woops.

Today's post was hard. I hate fighting. I hate getting in disagreements with my friends and family, but the truth is... sometimes, really good things come out of bad situations. So here it is-

24. Forgive someone and move on from disagreement.

I got in a fight with one of my good friends yesterday. I guess things just built up to the point where something needed to be said, and we needed to confront each other about what we were upset about. I'm not going to lie. Hurting people like that to their face is really hard.
But sometimes it's even harder to say I'm sorry.

Sometimes we are too stubborn to realize that all we really need to do is apologize, forgive, and let go. I wish all solutions were that easy. The truth is, there is a lot of power in forgiveness. There is a lot of power in understanding where the other person is coming from or how they feel.

I love this picture because it makes me think that forgiveness is somehow organic and natural. It makes me think that we are supposed to live to forgive and accept apologies. It makes me believe that solutions are much simpler than we make them out to be.

Thankfully, all is forgiven. And even better- things seem to be better than before our fight. It turns out that letting off a little steam is really what both of us needed.

Is there someone you would love to apologize to or forgive? Maybe it's yourself. If you're anything like me, you already expect way too much out of yourself.

Relax. Apologize. Forgive.

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Mark 11:25

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