Sunday, November 20, 2011

Things My Parents Taught Me About Life:

There was a time in my life when I was amazed by everything my parents could do because it all seemed so cool to me as a little kid. Then, there came a time when they were holding me back and not allowing me to follow my impulses, which angered me as a moody teenager. But, finally, there has come a time when I can look back and genuinely be thankful for all the things my parents have taught me. In order to not write an entire novel, I'm just going to focus on two of my favorites.
First, and most important, they taught me what it means to love and follow a God who gives them the perfect example to live by. Through them following God's decisions and direction, they have taught me how to make and maintain a beautiful marriage. They showed me that it's more important to marry my best friend than to marry for money or security. My husband should want to go on adventures with me and learn things with me. Together, we should have fun no matter what we're doing and we should appreciate everything we have because we don't really deserve it at all. My husband needs to be a man who builds me up, someone who is different than I am and has the patience to deal with me. Together, our differences compliment each other and we are able to have fun and enjoy everything we do.
Also, they taught me how to live life. How to handle money, a job, a car, bills, unexpected life situations, stress, financial hardships, and everything else life includes. By watching them work together well and figure out all of these things, I saw how two people in love (through God) can handle anything the world throws at them. Their pasts don't matter and their faults are irrelevant: when it comes down to it, their ability to work through anything and everything is amazing to me. Now a days, people so easily think something is too hard and they give up; they flee from conflict. But, when you know that you're with the only person in the world that you want to wake up next to every day, leaving is not an option, and that makes any problem seem miniscule. At the end of the day, even if they lost all material things, they realize that they have the greatest love (God's) and they also have each other's, which trumps everything else the world can offer. Basically, my parents taught me the true meaning of "a chord of three strands is not easily broken." 

\So, padres, thank you. I know I'm a lot to handle, but your patience and love has paid off. I promise. See you both in a few days :) 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keep your hopes up high and your head down low.

This blog post is designed for my dear friend Amber. However, it applies to most single girls, so read it if you want.

The other day I stayed over at your house and we had an amazing, deep conversation about love, life, and boys. During this talk, you said that my boyfriend "treats me like a goddess." I had to think about this for a second, but I agreed. I knew he was amazing, but I didn't realize how obvious that was to everyone else. I'm not here to brag, but rather to encourage. I was like you not too long ago. I wanted someone to love me and treat me right. I longed for a man who loved God more than he loved me; for a man willing to make sacrifices to make me belong to him. I desired a man I could love and respect. But I was not patient. I tried to find this man by myself and I would almost beg God for this one to "be the one." Once, I literally asked God this: "I don't know if he's who I'm supposed to be with, but can you make it him?" Thank God that He didn't listen to me. I would be miserable right now. I didn't realize what I was asking, but I was too impatient to wait for someone worthy of me, and God knew that. Now, my prayer has changed. I hope this one is the one, but I will always trust God and accept His will for me. We may have free will, but it is not our will that matters in the long run. I simply pray that I can glorify God with my relationship and that together we can build each other up and reflect the love that was graciously given to us.

Baby doll, there are plenty of great men out there, but don't seek him. When you least expect it, he will come into your life. The wait is worth it. All the crying and begging and lonely nights will seem as if they were nothing. As if they never happened. You will find a man who will never want to hurt you and who is sad that you have been hurt in the past. He will make waiting seem like it was nothing.

I know you know this stuff, but I wanted to remind you to be patient. Maybe you're talking to the man you're gonna marry, and maybe you aren't. But, regardless, always remember how valuable you are to God and how much you are loved in His eyes. If a man can't see your true heart and love you despite your faults, then he's not worthy of you. Stay true to yourself and you will never be disappointed. Focus on making God happy, and I guarantee your life will play out how it's supposed to. I'm not saying it'll be easy or fun, but it WILL be worth it to find your own man to treat you like a goddess.

I'm rambling, but I love you. You've come so far in your life and I wanna see you keep progressing. I wanna see your health increase and your life be overflowing with love and joy. I know you have the power to quit smoking because you have God. I wanna see you use that strength. I wanna see your self-worth reject guys that refuse to grow up. I'll always be there for you, and I'll always support you.

I'm proud of what you've done lately. This "new woman" feeling is a good sign. You're wonderful and I love you.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Is School Over Yet?

I'm not one of those overly-optimistic people that thinks life will be a breeze after college and things will just fall into place like a Disney movie. I am, however, one of those people who sees the benefits of being out of school and advancing to the next level in life. I don't easily assume things will happen the way I want them to, but I do know there are certain things that I can control. I can't make anyone fall in love with me, and I can't make someone hire me. But, I can do what it takes to support myself and be independent of the world. That said, I just want to live the dream life. Well, my dream life...

I want to marry a man that I love, and I want to start a family. I want to raise my kids with a strong faith and a loving heart. I want to cook dinner for my family and make sure they are all happy. I want my husband to be proud of me and I want him to show me off to the world. I want to open a bakery, so I can spend all day doing what I love. I want to incorporate a coffee shop so that I can give people a cheap alternative to the expensive coffees I often buy too much. I want to help pay the bills and I want to maintain a happy home. I want to travel the world with the love of my life and I want to visit my parents on holidays. I want to have a husky and I want to rescue a kitten. I don't care about a white picket fence or a fancy home in the suburbs. I want a mountain vacation house and a condo on the beach. I want my children to go to a good school and spread the Love of Christ even at their young ages. I want to host women's bible studies and go jogging with my husband saturday mornings. I want to curl up on the couch next to the warm fire with a good book, a cup of coffee, and my husband holding me under a blanket. I want to feel secure in his arms and fall asleep next to the man that promised to love me forever. 

When I'm giving birth, my doctor won't first check to make sure I graduated with a high GPA, and my attorney won't make me check the grammar before signing a contract. My husband won't make me only speak in a proper vernacular, nor will my children only love me if I read them English authors versus American ones (which, I totally prefer English Literature anyway...)

My point is this: school has become an inconvenience. For me, my accounting class is kind of difficult. I love math, but I do not enjoy this class. One day, I will hire an accountant, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Economics is a fun class, but there is too much theory for me to put faith in what they say to me. And I love my English classes to death, but writing a 5-page paper isn't going to define who I am as a person or what I'm capable of doing with my life. I'll admit that I don't have the greatest GPA in the world, but I don't care. I enjoy my life and I do what makes me happy. Yes, I get homework done early and I don't procrastinate, but there are so many other things I would rather be doing with my life. I could drop out now and it would not affect my future at all. In fact, it would just give me what I wanted a little earlier. I could live on my own, support myself, and get on with my life. No more roommates or frustrating parking lots or grade deadlines. Just me, my life, God, and things that make me happy. I have a family I love, a boyfriend I absolutely adore, and friends that mean the world to me. Compared to all that, my papers are just busy-work that gets in the way of what I want to do. 

I probably shouldn't be such an impulsive person, and I know that I am learning valuable things here at school. But I just want to be finished. I have a plan, and I'm ready to put it into action. I keep asking myself, "Why do I need a degree?" I have yet to give myself an answer... For that reason, my heart is telling me to move on. I've had a good two years here, but I'm ready for something more. Maybe I'm naive or blissfully ignorant of what I'm asking, but that's for me to figure out. For now, I'm going to keep dreaming of the life I want while living the life I have. 

Don't get me wrong: I am grateful for everything I have been given and I really do appreciate how blessed I am to be at school. However, it's hard for me to deny my heart the things it most wants. That goes against my very instinct. That's my dilemma... 

Anyway, that's all I'm gonna ramble about for now. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What is a boyfriend?

Depending on your relationship status, you might have a different response to this question. The single girls might say a boyfriend is someone who you can share a walk on the beach with, or someone who drives to your house to hug you when you're upset. Girls in a relationship might describe qualities of their boyfriends, or qualities they wish their man had. Married women, however, will say boyfriends are men on trial runs for marriage, like a period of testing if we want to stay with them; or boyfriends might be those horny boys that are looking at their little girls a little too long. 

Point being: everyone has a completely different response to this generally easy question. Basically, this blog is my answer to that question. I'm not saying that I know everything and I'm definitely not an expert at relationships. I have plenty of problems of my own and I know every relationship is different. That said, I was thinking about this question in the shower the other day and this was my conclusion simplified: being in a relationship is a big deal. Not in the "OMG, Jill, I can't believe you got a 'boyfriend' at the age of 13" kind of teenage angst, but in the deep, intimate kind of deal. Contrary to popular belief, you're not supposed to go through relationships like disposable razors; they're supposed to be savored, loved, appreciated, and enjoyed. 

I just kept thinking that the word "boyfriend" is not only a compound word, but it's also singular. There is one, and he is many things. He is, essentially, your other half (or should/could be eventually). He is someone that you share your thoughts, dreams, hopes, and plans with, and he should do the same to you (one-sided relationships suck). So many people are afraid to feel vulnerable because they've gotten hurt in the past, and they've learned to protect themselves by not getting too close. I'm one of these people. However, unless we let down that wall and let ourselves fall for someone, we will never fully get to see what it's like to be united with someone. So, to me, that's what a boyfriend is: a man who I'm willing to give myself to (emotionally) and someone I can trust with my heart. He has to be many things, but, most importantly, he has to be someone who feels the same way about me. It's not about the numbers, or what you do, or who pays, or dumb fights; It's about the fact that you both are willing to fight through everything just to end up together when it's over. 

Naturally, if you are with the wrong person, then it will not work out anyway. No matter how hard you fight or how badly you think you want something, if God has a different plan for your life, then His will is the one that succeeds. There have been many times when I've prayed for something that I now regret. I was wrong, and God showed me that. I prayed for relationships that weren't mine, but, I also prayed for my future husband. I prayed that he would have a strong faith and that he would be everything I need. It's so easy to feel lonely when you're single and to think that your boyfriend is "the one." The way I see it: I'll know he's gonna be my husband when he gets down on one knee and asks. Until that, I will not assume anything. Maybe that's a bad mindset, but it keeps me from getting too excited about it. Not that we both wouldn't want it, but if God doesn't want it, then there's no reason to force something that isn't meant to be. So, a boyfriend is someone given to you by God to grow with and to build up through all things. You should lean on each other first (after God) and be able to share anything, no matter how gross, or embarrassing, or idiotic. If he loves you, he'll love your quirks, and your bad jokes and lame stories won't bother him (well, he'll love you regardless of them, I guess is what I mean haha). 

You have to know what makes each other happy, mad, upset, etc. and live with that. People aren't perfect, so no couple is going to be perfect. They take work. A married couple is just two people in love who want to share one life. Yes, it's obviously deeper than that, but follow me. If two people are together for long enough, stuff happens, even with friends. They fight, yell, cry, hug, laugh, love, share, steal, lie, sing, dance, everything. It's not different when you choose the person. It's kind of like choosing an Alfa-friend. A friend above all other friends. A friend you want to stick with no matter what happens in life. A friend who will go everywhere with you and you can have a great time. A friend who becomes family, and one day starts one with you. He is with you through thick and thin. The fun times and the hard time. The bull crap and the utter bliss. He's your best friend. 

Obviously, this is an extremely generalized definition, and maybe I'm just blissfully naive. If you really want specifics about my personal relationship, just ask. But for now, I just had to vent. Thanks for listening :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

May the Force Live Long and Prosper

I came to the conclusion that my inner thoughts aren't battling each other, but rather awkwardly co-existing in an unnatural habitat. This is the best description I can give:

My every day, normal thoughts are like Captain Kirk and the crew kinda chilling and going about their every day business. As Kirk walks into command control, he sees that Luke Skywalker has taken over. The two attempt to peacefully both be in control. Not that the they are polar opposites, but they are definitely not very similar either.

That's what happens when I try to analyze a situation. Kirk is saying one thing while Luke is saying another. They don't argue, yell, or contradict each other. It's more like they both present valid arguments that sound right and I never know what to do.

So, welcome to my head: The USS Enterprise flown by Luke Skywalker.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maybe two is better than one

[Background story: Okay, so there is this picture frame that sits on my desk at school. My parents gave it to me after I got baptized because they assumed I had a picture to put in it. Now, of course I do. But, because of the fake picture already in it, my immediate reaction is to replace it with a picture of me and someone I love. I still have not filled in the frame. Not that I don't love my friends, but no picture I've taken seem to replace this "romantic" one. ]

Today, I realized that one of her nails isn't colored. Just one. Did the photographer not notice, or was it a mess up? Either way, it made me feel worse. She's not worrying about her nails, or the way her hair falls, because she's in love. (Yes, I understand it's a posed picture, but follow me.)

Why do we let ourselves become so insecure around people we don't know (well heck, sometimes even those we do know)? The person that you give your life to forever will not care about those petty things. He(/She) will love you for who you really are. Your jokes, your laugh, the way silly things make you smile, or the strange looks that only he can fully understand. He already loves you, even if you don't know him.

I have become a victim of this lately. Part of me has given up on love and the other part of me wants to keep trying, but can't. It's like a circle: I don't know how it started, nor if it'll end, but it just keeps going. I don't care what I look like around campus because it obviously doesn't make a difference anyway, but also I look at other people and think, I wish I had... Whatever it may be, other people always seem to have it.

I've decided to not care. This is me. I am who I am and I refuse to change for one person/thing/whatever just because the world says so. You know what? I love coffee, and I'm going to drink it. I'll eat when I'm hungry and sleep when I'm tired. I go to class because I have to, but I learn because I want to. I refuse to get an eating disorder just so I can be invisible when I turn sideways, but I'm not going to eat takeout five times a day. I'll run when I'm lazy and play when I'm bored. It's time to let the joy pour out in everything I do and kill the mopey dwarf forever. I have happiness because I have God. I have no reason to be insecure other than it's easier to hide than to put yourself out there for other people to tear down. That's a characteristic that I've never liked about myself, so I'm getting rid of it. Insecurity is for those without Christ. It's my time to stand confidently in the Love that was given to me.

This is not supposed to be a depressing post, but an optimistic one. See, today I was talking to a friend and I have her my internal debate about a trip she wants to take. The optimistic thoughts and the pessimistic ones going head-to-head. It was like the battle of Troy: pessimistic thoughts snuck in and over-took everything else I was thinking. There were bombs and light-sabers and everything... She told me I was being silly. That made me (re)over-analyze the situation. She was right. There is no harm in trying something. The worst that can happen is nothing. Yeah, maybe I wasn't meant to do that, but I'm meant to do something else. People become depressed when they cross something/someone off this metaphorical list, but I think it's a happy thought. Good, one less thing I have to think about because I know I wasn't meant to be a whatever-it-is nor end up with whats-his-face.

I'm understand that my blog posts are always scatter-brained, and I'm sorry about that. (fyi: my Tumblr is much more organized) But that's why I enjoy blogger: it creates a neat place for all of my messy thoughts.

Anyway, I hope everyone has an amazing day. Don't forget to show love everywhere you go :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

love, love, love

My last post was not the most happy one; I had to release anger about some things that were going on. But the past is the past, and I don't even care anymore ;-)

Anyway, this post is definitely happy. It's all about love.

I'm in love. I'm in love with my friends, my family, my location, my classes, my life, my God, everything I am blessed with, and the fact that I'm alive. I'm just in love. I don't know how to explain to you all what it feels like to just want to smile all the time. I want to smile when things go wrong, smile when things are happy, and laugh when no one else knows what to do. For some reason, today hit me hard. I don't know whom or what did it, but today has made me look at everything as a gift. I am blessed to be on campus, blessed to have such amazing people in my life, and basically I want to stop taking my life for granted.

Also, I want to stop starting sentences with "I." (after this post. haha) I want my mindset to be "wow how can I share this with the world?" or "in what ways can I help others through this?" and stop being "I'm bored," "I don't want to eat there," or "I can't stand when people..."

I may only be one person, but I'm in love with someone much bigger and I have friends that are right there with me. Maybe my bliss is temporary, but I like it :)

This post was scatter-brained. Sorry. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm sick of people sitting idly by while the world slips between their fingers.

To avoid sounding mad, I'm going to stay as vague as possible. However, as the title states, I'm sick of people doing nothing. I feel like I know so many people with such potential, such charisma but they just sit around wasting their lives. You cannot blame alcohol, drugs, men/woman, psychological mindsets, etc for your lack of motivation. 

The most annoying thing to me is seeing someone with all the potential in the world yet they don't expand on it. If you're good at something, that's a great first step, but life can't end there. Take that first step and run with it! One bad situation or feeling shouldn't be enough to alter your mindset completely or stop you from doing what you want.

Another thing is when friends get all hot and heated about something that doesn't matter. People now-a-days take everything so personally. Someone will hang out with you one day, and then hate you the next, never speaking to you again because of one instance. It takes time to get to know someone; things aren't meant to come easily. It's those that are worth the effort that you know will make a difference in your life. But giving up is never good, either. You never know how much that person needs you in their life even if you don't want them in yours. 

Honestly, I have no idea what this post is about. I just don't like wasted potential or irrational blowups. It seems a lot of these recently have crossed my path and it's getting harder and harder to love people who are trying so hard to push others away. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Before you have opinions, know both sides.

I am open to people disagreeing with me. Honestly, I prefer it because it allows both me and my opponent to thoroughly evaluate why we believe whatever we believe. That said, this was emailed to me by my mother earlier today, and I thought it was a fresh perspective on the world today, according to Billy Graham. Go ahead and hate him if you want to, but at least do it knowing why...

[Billy Graham's prayer for our nation]

"Heavenly Father, we come before you  today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your  direction and guidance.  We know Your Word  says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but  that is exactly what we have done.  We have  lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our  values.. We have exploited the poor and  called it the lottery. We have rewarded  laziness and called it welfare. We have  killed our unborn and called it choice.  We have shot abortionists and called it  justifiable.  We have neglected to  discipline our children and called it building self esteem..  We have abused power  and called it politics. We have coveted  our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.  We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it  freedom of expression.  We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.   Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts  today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us  free. Amen!"

With the Lord's help,  may this prayer sweep over our nation and  wholeheartedly become our desire so that we  again can be called 'One nation under God!'

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dreams only last for a night.

I woke up to rain, walked to class in a t-shirt, and left java city in a blizzard. Today's weather made me want to be back in the north! Well, in a city. It brought me back to the days in Chicago when I'd have to fight feet of snow just to get to the car. It made me wish to be in Nashville trying to survive as a starving artist. It made me think about my future. 

I don't know why, but whenever I think about my future, I want to be out of college. Not that I don't love it here and not to sound ungrateful, but I want to be out in the world doing what I love. There is still some preparation work that I need to do before I'm ready, but I just want to GO! I want to go out into the world and do what I want to do! 

There is a reason I'm where I am and there is a reason I have another two years here, but I can't help but want to be out. At the same time, it makes me sad to think of my life without my friends. Without a significant other, they're all I have up here. My family is far away, but I know that they would be here for me at any time. I mean, I still feel lonely, but they are right there by my side. 

Which is why Kathryn and I (well, I can't speak for you, girl, but I hope you agree!) want to start small and live in Nashville. We will have someone going through the same pain. We can suffer together. We can get our foot in the door and still feel at home, all at the same time. Or we can just move to Vancouver; I'm down with that, too ;) 

Anyway, to those of you reading this, I'm sorry. I'm just babbling. To summarize: I want to get on with my life. I want to make my dreams into my reality and leave dreaming to those without desire. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today, I smiled.

Today I received a letter in the mail from a dear friend who left for the Navy about two months ago. The first letter he sent simply said, "Hey Kristen, what's up?" He was always a funny kid, and his letter definitely made me laugh. Only Andrew would send such a simple letter, but I knew he honestly cared about my reply. I kept my letter back to him short, speaking of light topics such as school and work.

However, today I received his second letter. It was four pages long, and his words made it seem like he was right next to me again. It brought me back to the time we hung out in my room, or when we sat on his floor playing Halo. The way he spoke of our time together, how he said thinking about it made him happy, and how he said he wanted to get coffee when he is back in town all made me miss him. Coffee. He knows me. Yes, we will sit and talk about life, God, the Navy, school, and all that, but such a simple request means so much to him now that he is so far away. Wow. How often do we take for granted the fact that we can get a cup of coffee whenever we feel like it? 

He told me other things they did in physical training, but I will leave out the gruesome details. He told me that he was using his letters to me as a type of journal, written different days throughout the week, each with new events and feelings that he knew no other way to express. Well, at least to me. (yes, he even indicated the new days and everything. :] haha)

I knew him for only 3, maybe 4, months before he shipped out, but it was the kind of bond that was meant to last longer. I'm not confessing some secret love or anything, but rather saying how God works in our lives is crazy. This guy. This random dude I met on a lake with my church, he would be writing me letters months later from a different city, sharing his inner most thought with me. The Lord put Andrew in my life out of nowhere, and He intends for him to be in it for much longer. 

This idea just makes me realize how quickly things can change. In the blink of an eye, I could be in love, fall down, or die. We just never know. But I am grateful that I was blessed with such an amazing friend and son of God who will help me through this time when I have so much on my mind. 

Andrew Peters, I don't know if you'll ever read this, but thank you. Thank you for being there for me, and thank you for helping me through problems that you don't even know exist yet. I hope I get to see you very soon. 

I love you and I know you will always be there for me to rely on. I'm praying for you. 

:) Support the Troops. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where has time gone?!

Recently it has occurred to me that so much time has gone by. Since forever. My dad is FIFTY. There are pictures of him dated from the '60s. That's just crazy. I'm 20. TWENTY. My mother had her first kid at 22. There is no way. Then, my brother is stinking 26! He lives on his own in Destin, Florida. Jon is freaking almost 23! I still think of him as my brother that watched me after school and practiced sports with me in the yard. Now they're both grown!


Anyway, I was thinking back to three years ago. Can you remember what you were doing today three years ago? That's just crazy to think about. It took me a while to figure it out, too.

Anyway, that's why I chose this picture for today. It was taken by my friend who lives in Windsor, Ontario right across the water from Detroit. This picture was taken about three years ago right after we met.

Honestly, the picture has nothing to do with the post other than its date. My point today is that time goes by so quickly. Three years ago I was in high school. I thought my life was awful, things were so hard, I hated school, blah blah blah. Now I look back and see it as nothing. Just a mile stone that I am happy to have accomplished.

My mom keeps making fun of me for repeating, "holy cow, dad is FIFTY" over and over, but I just haven't registered it yet. So much wisdom and history has taken place in that time. Even the past 20 years have been full of love, hate, war, and deaths. We live history each day, so we should make the best of it.

I want to look back on when I was 20 and be happy of what I've accomplished. I want to really notice a change in my life. I want to be better than I am today. And I want you all to join me on this journey.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

If you're in love, giving up is not an option.

So, today I've been thinking a lot about the future. Assuming I will even be blessed with having one. Anyway, my mind was racing with what I want to do, where I want to go, and all that. (don't think I'm counting God out of the equation, but you all know what I mean.)

Anyway, I realized how much better living is when you live for what you love. There are a lot of things that I need to accomplish before I can live my dream. I'm not talking years, but a couple months. But my view has changed. I do not look at working out as a sacrifice, it is simply what I need to do in order to get where I need to go.

No one cares about my diet story, so we will work with a different angle: school. I do not really enjoy going to classes, nor do I enjoy studying or research. However, school is simply something that needs to get done. It is not a speed bump in my life, but rather the new car I'm in. It is still getting me to my destination, but it never promised to get me there without trials and tests.

Simply, my realization is this: if you're truly doing what you love (or on your way to do it), then giving up is never even considered. I will do WHATEVER it takes and I will accept everything I am given in order to better myself.

I am confident that I will better myself and not let my worries about life get in the way. I don't have a boyfriend. Yeah, so what? I have a God that will never leave me, a plan that requires hard work, and school that consumes my life. I am happy with my life and grateful for all those who are on this ride with me.

Never give up; never surrender. (sorry, you just can't kill my inner nerd.)

Godspeed, everyone! ;)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Look Through the Fog

[Note: Ironically, the photos in this post have been removed. It seems Blogger removed them after some years had gone by, and I have not been able to relocate them.]

I'm a firm believer in putting pictures with my posts. (hehe and alliterations) Maybe it's because I'm a photographer and maybe it's  because I just think the phrase "a picture says a thousand words" is one of the most truthful things anyone told me as a child. Not to say that you could find a thousand adjectives to describe this, because that would just be silly. It means that there are easily a thousand words that can be written about this. Here is my short version:

This past weekend, my mother and I drove 8 hours in the pouring rain to get to Florida. While driving we missed our turn, slid a few times, and had to go incredibly slowly on the highway. If there had been clear skies, none of that would have happened. Therefore, the cause of our problems is the rain.

That solved, I refer back to the picture. The raindrops coming from the roof are in focus. Everything else is not. This is how I think I've started to view my life. I do not see what's beyond what I stress over. I can so easily focus on what I lack. I want what I want and I want it now. Life is not supposed to be like that. I am not like that. Selfish people annoy me, yet I am selfish about my own life. If I can't have love, then no one should. If I can't get a career, then everyone should suffer. What?! Who thinks like that?! How does that even make sense?!?!

However, I have learned to look through the fog that I've created. I can see beyond right now. I can see next month. Next year. True, I may die tomorrow, but at least I'll die knowing that I was striving toward something important. There are so many goals and plans that I have and when my head is clouded with unimportant, fickle things, then I am unable to remind myself that each day is a blessing that I should live up to its fullest. The Lord has shown me how I need to broaden my mind.

I have two New Year's resolutions, if you will. Rather, I have two things I would like to improve about my life. One of which you all don't need to know. But the other is to try my best to put others before myself. And to do this with a joyful heart. I want to radiate happiness more than ever.

I want to show the world my God.

I want to show the world Love.