New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope your holidays were full of fun, love, and peace these past couple of months. I have been quite busy myself with work and the holidays, but it is nice to take a moment just to sit and think.

Like many other people, the year of 2016 has been a pretty crazy one for me. I had a stressful time with school, I struggled with food, and I was overcoming some insecurities. To top it off, this year was pretty crazy with the national election and not really knowing how to process many of the things done and said by people close to me.

However, there have been many good things that have happened this year. I graduated college with my Bachelor’s of Science, Mr. Yell and I have started new camping adventures and rescued a cat, and I started a new job which I love. Personally, I have overcome many fears and issues that developed in my heart and mind, and overcoming those alone are enough for me to celebrate this year.

With all that being said, I have been trying to think of a new “Word of the Year” for 2017. If you have been following me for a little while, you know that last year my word was “Kind”. I wanted desperately to work on being kind to myself and to others. I believe that over the course of the year I was stretched in this area in many ways and that having the simple mantra of “kindness” helped me to remember my goal for the year.

This year there are so many things I want to accomplish. I want to love more, learn valuable skills at my job, be warm and encouraging, and I want to be content with life. After thinking about the things I hope to accomplish in 2017, the word “Peace” has been laid on my heart.

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I need to find peace in the busy moments.

I need to seek peace in times of anger or sadness.

I need to have peace with what I am doing and how I am able to do it at a point in time.

Peace is what I need to seek.

After about a week of praying and thinking, I am learning that this type of peace comes from wisdom. A righteous, pure, wisdom is what brings true peace.

James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

I hope you will join me this year as I yearn to remember peace in my life and peace in my relationships with others. I hope that I can live by the wisdom the Lord gives. I pray that the simple word of “peace” will bring to mind what wisdom looks like for this upcoming year.

Bring it on 2017, I am ready for ya.

Much love. Much grace.

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Even If…

Even if I have problems, You are still good.

Even if I am weary, You are good and you are strong.

Even if I feel like you have forgotten me, You know my thoughts and fears.

Even if (when) I have bad days, You forgive me and remind me there are good days too.

Even if I struggle to have peace, You love me and guide me to a place of tranquility.

Even if I feel useless, You have a purpose for your glory to be shown through my story.

Even if I feel unworthy, You remind me that my worth comes from You, and You alone.

Even if my expectations are not met, You are good.

Even if my life is not what I planned, You are good.

Even if I am scared or anxious, You are good.

Even if everything changes, You stay the same.

Even if anything, You are so so good.

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Much love. Much grace.

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Apathy.

Loss. Destruction. Hurt. Fear. Agony. Distrust.

These are just a few of the emotions and realities that have come the past few days.

But fortunately for us Americans, we can soon forget all these things. There will be no one to remind us of these horrible events. The media will soon move forward, social media will spin into Christmas mode, and the thought of all of these events will be less than memories in our hyper, fast-paced, American minds.

We won’t have to worry about the Syrian refugees walking onto our soil in masses in search of help and care like European countries.

We won’t need to rebuild our cities and public entertainment centers destroyed by a suicide bomber.

We won’t have to try to rebuild thousands of years of history because of a massive earthquake literally ripping our culture from its foundation.

Our reality, as Americans, is that we will be more worried about cooking our huge meals for our families, finding the perfect gift for our loved ones, and we will continue to fight about who is the loudest candidate running for President. We will fall back into our habit of picking apart each other’s opinions, Facebook status’, and outward appearances. We will return to being jealous when a friend does well on a project, being angry about immigrants coming to our country, and looking down on those living in poverty. We will continue to fight each other to be the best, fastest, or most liked.

How can we claim a life of love, and yet give none of it- How can we claim a life of limitless opportunity, and not allow everyone the chance to experience it-

While we definitely have problems of our own, abandoning the plights of others seems incredibly selfish and small-minded. We see the struggles, fears, and life-threatening circumstances of those in other places everyday on the news, and yet can find a way to justify our forgetfulness and apathy. We want to help, as long as it doesn’t affect us. We think that the refugees need homes, but are unwilling to give them our own. We feel the sadness of the attacks in Paris, but the next day decide to fight about Facebook pictures.

How can we claim a life of love, and yet give none of it? How can we claim a life of limitless opportunity, and not allow people the chance to experience it?

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I feel turmoil and anguish writing these words. Not out of fear, but of great sadness. The loss is so great; and yet all we can seem to muster is a Tweet that hopes those in need will find somewhere else to go.

But I am asking, if not to us, then where?

Why not us?

Friends who claim lives of love and peace in Jesus Christ: why are we so unwilling to help the helpless? Excluding our “rights” to freedom, liberty, and saving our economic system, is there a justifiable reason? Who are we to turn away the needy? Are we not instructed to give freely, even at the risk of our own safety?

Please know that I write these words with love and not judgement or anger. I write this blog to be a light in an ever-dark cyberspace. Sometimes that light comes out as encouragement. Other times that light must be truth. We must be aware of our fellow man in hurt and agony. We must show compassion and love to those in need.

Now is the time.

Much love. Much grace.

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“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

-Statue of Liberty

No Fear November

Fear is such a tricky and subtle thing. It can creep up in unexpected ways, like being scared of whales. Or it can develop over time coming from insecurities or traumas.

This past month I was asked to write as a guest blogger for a regional blog about marriage in my area. While I was so excited at first, I slowly began to become nervous and somewhat stressed. I began to become so stressed that I developed writer’s block.

I mean, how could I write about marriage when I have only been married for five months? I know nothing of trials and struggles that marriage can bring. People keep saying I am still in the “Honeymoon Stage”.

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As I began thinking of what to write about the more desperate I became. I would try writing whatever I could just to try to find an idea that stuck. I started and stopped about eight different times just trying to write one post.

As I said before in a previous post, writing was never my strong suit in school, and I began to remember the comments and even my grades as I would try to write this guest post. I was struggling.

Insecurities have a way of tearing us down.

Not quickly like outside or hurtful comments do. No, insecurities come from the inside. They come at us from our core and who we think we should be.

“I should be more graceful by now” “Why can’t I just stop eating Oreos?! That’s probably why I am so chubby” and on and on.

These little thoughts of negativity eventually bring us to a place of inhibited living or avoidance of certain activities, just like true fears do.

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This month is November, and in honor of Halloween being over, I am dedicating this month to overcoming my fears and insecurities. I will continue to write what is on my heart and I will begin conquering the insecurities that make me doubt myself.

Who’s with me? Let’s overcome our fears together this No Fear November. If you want to do this challenge with me, be sure to fill out the contact section on the blog and let me know!

Let’s see just who we can be without fears and insecurities weighing us down.

Much love. Much grace.

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No Fear 

In honor of Halloween I am sharing a series my friend Madi from http://www.shelaughswithoutfear.com is doing about Fear.

 

This has been a month-long series in which she discusses her fears, fears others have, and how faith trumps all of these fears.

Be sure to give her series some love and check out her hard work!

Faith > Fear 

What are your fears?

Much love. Much grace.

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