Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Unfading Beauty

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” -  1 Peter 3:4

Honesty hour, guys.

Lately I've been struggling with my appearance, a lot, and I hate it. I've always known that my appearance isn't perfect, and I was more than okay with that, but I used to be really confident in myself. In high school I was pretty active, and while I wasn't supermodel skinny, I felt so much better when I was in shape. When I came to college and didn't have that team support, my fitness failed. I can count the number of times I've been to the school gym on one hand (not a fan of gyms...) and can never find a consistent running buddy to go run outside, and am too scared to run alone- the world is scary, folks.

So, I've done nothing.

And I wouldn't say that I've gained a lot of weight, which I'm really thankful for, but I don't feel the same. In addition to my body not being in sports shape, my hair has suddenly started to get thinner, my teeth need to be fixed from an orthodontic issue that leaves me wearing a bottom retainer all the time, and my skin keeps breaking out.

I don't like that. And I feel like I'm always in a constant cycle between trying to figure out how to fix myself, and completely giving up because I feel like nothing can even be done.

I really dislike that I'm hating on myself, because I know that God made me to be beautiful.

But I'm struggling.

And then I see this Bible verse today...

"You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within..." which I've always known, and just find it so hard to do lately. God made me the way that I look and thinks that I'm beautiful, and that's all that matters. And as long as my heart is beautiful and good, the outside of me can look terrible and He'll still love me, and I'll try hard to still love me.

"...the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit..." probably doesn't describe someone who complains, despite the great life they've been given. I know, God. I know.

"...which is so precious to God." No matter what, I'm precious to God. No matter what.

This whole article over at Praying Today really helped me. If you're struggling with how you look I really suggest that you sit down, and really read it. And believe it.
  • Pray about the negative thoughts you're having.
    • God, I'm sorry that I'm thinking negatively and not praising you for the beautiful creation you've made in me. I'm capable of so much and should focus on those things instead of focusing on what I wish I looked like, or what perfection is to me.
  • Be thankful for what you have over complaining about what you don't have.
    • Even though my hair might not be the thickest, it could be thinner, it's long, and I love the color of it.
    • Even though I'm not in the best shape, next year I'll be living in a different area with roommates who will have similar schedules and can work out with me to get healthier.
    • Even though my face keeps breaking out and I don't like that, I can focus on being better about taking care of my skin and eating right.
    • Even though my teeth aren't how I'd like them to be, I can look into options that will make me happier, and be thankful that I still have reason to smile.
  • Focus on functionality.
    • I can walk. I can run. I can smile. I can laugh. I am overall, happy.
  • You control your thoughts.
    • "The level of perfection in your mind was ultimately created by you..." - Ugh.
    • "...chances are you are your own worst enemy..." Me, or Satan. Good thoughts do not come from God.
    • "...but you are also in control of your thoughts." God, help me to think positively.
Edit to add: I wasn't going to post this. I was going to delete it today. But I came across this post from Fabulous in First and I just had to add it, and I knew that I had to post this.

""Until our hearts find complete security and significance in God's unconditional love, we will never be satisfied. Those of us who struggle with insecurity and find ourselves in the shadow of doubt often get there because we are seeking our validation in people's opinions, our worth in accomplishments, and our identity in excessive commitments.Until God's love is enough, nothing else will be. We were made for love that isn't measured by our latest accomplishment, but marked by God's measureless grace. "


 I don't believe in coincidences when it comes to the Lord. He always provides us with what we need at just the right time.  And this would be the perfect time for me. As I feel pulled in a million directions at the end of the school year, I need to realize that I am enough. My efforts, no matter how big or small, are enough.  You ALL are enough.  We aren't measured by a list on a website, or the beauty of an anchor chart.   We are all enough in his eyes.  God doesn't make mistakes y'all, his love for us is unconditional and that needs to be enough."


I hope you have a great week, know that you are loved.






Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Favorite Recipes, Ever.

I love food. I love food more than I love a lot of things in the world, and believe that most problems we face could probably be solved by food. Okay, maybe not solved... but we'd definitely be distracted from them for a little bit. And distraction is basically a break, and breaks are good for thinking.

Anyway.

Below, are three of my favorite recipes ever.

Triple Berry Crisp/Apple Crisp/Anything You Want Crisp!

 
So good. So so good. Where I'm from we have a lot of blackberry bushes and apple trees, so we make crisps with whatever is in season at the time. My favorite dessert ever, especially with vanilla ice cream. Yum. We've also made this recipe using gluten free flour and it was still so good.
 
Note: We do not place the crisp layer on the bottom, just the top, the bottom layer had a strange texture for us- but you can try it!
 
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 18
 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.
3.In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
4.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
 

Blackberry Pie!

 
If you dislike blackberries, I'm sorry, but most recipes I share- especially during the summer months - will feature them. Due to the abundance of blackberries at home that I mentioned previously, we use blackberries a lot when we have them, and never ever get sick of them. So, without further ado, blackberry pie!
 
Crust
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
 
Ready In: 30 min.
Servings: 8
 
Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold Land O Lakes (or other) butter
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
 
 
Directions:
1.Combine flour and salt in bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened.
2.Divide dough in half; shape each half into ball. Flatten slightly. Wrap 1 ball in plastic food wrap; refrigerate.
3.For 1-crust pie, roll out 1 ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan; unfold dough, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan. Crimp or flute edge. Fill and bake according to pie recipe directions.
4.For 2-crust pie, roll out remaining ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold dough into quarters. Place dough over filling; unfold. Trim, seal and crimp or flute edge. Cut 5 or 6 large slits in crust. Bake according to pie recipe directions.

Filling
 
Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: 8
 
Ingredients:
4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust
pie
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup white sugar
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.Combine 3 1/2 cups berries with the sugar and flour. Spoon the mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup berries on top of the sweetened berries, and cover with the top crust. Seal and crimp the edges, and cut vents in the top crust for steam to escape.
3.Brush the top crust with milk, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.
4.Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Cool on wire rack.


Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies (yup.)

I don't necessarily eat vegan, or gluten free, but we have some allergies in my family that result in desserts without eggs, flour, etc., quite often. Introducing these brownies. My mom and I loved them, my brother (who doesn't like things that are 'too chocolate-y'?) didn't. I think it just depends on your taste buds and whether they're right or... ahem, wrong. :)

 
Prep time
 
Cook time
 
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large flax eggs [note: we substituted applesauce for our eggs]
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup raw sugar, slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). Make sure you've rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree - about 3 minutes - scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don't be concerned if they seem too moist - that's the point. Plus, they're vegan so it doesn't really matter.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.
 
 
I hope you enjoyed these recipes, let me know if you try anything and what you thought!
 
Happy Tuesday!
 
Fun little disclaimer: None, and I repeat- none, of these recipes are mine- the titles of each recipe will take you to their respective sources. Images from the crisp and pie are from lovely users at allrecipes, and the black bean brownie photos are from the Minimalist Baker (who by the way is genius and if you love food at all - go, go now!)
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sunny Days are Happy Days

I am so thankful that I get to live in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, and that God gives us beautiful days like we've had lately. Just a campus appreciation moment, folks. So blessed to be able to sit in the sun while my friends, who can play catch without injuring themselves, on this beautiful day.
 
Also, sunny days mean ice cream dates and long walks and that makes me happy. But then again, when doesn't ice cream make us happy?
 
 
What have you done lately to enjoy the sunshine?
What do you plan to do?
 
 




Who says Mondays have to be bad?

Dollar Store Teacher Haul    

My Mondays typically aren't that bad, I don't have classes and just have a staff meeting at night. But today I was struggling to get up, so I decided to sleep in before heading to the Dollar Store. Now, the Dollar Store might not appeal to some people, but those people are wrong.

Only slightly kidding.

Their classroom section makes my future teacher heart so. happy. I spent a great deal of time there this morning and debated buying everything before I left with the following supplies.

I've always known that I want to have a lot of classroom materials before I actually get a classroom, because when I get to that point in life I'll (hopefully) be freshly graduated and know I won't have much money, not that I have tons now.

So, I've decided to stock up when the opportunities present themselves. And they did.

The Dollar Store has lots of educational posters, separated by grade level PreK-K, 1st-3rd, and 4th-6th. Ideally, I'll be a 1st-3rd teacher so I picked four two-poster packs from that grade level (here they are below!) At first, I hadn't planned on purchasing any because I don't know what grade level I'll be at, but then I decided that for FOUR DOLLARS for eight posters, I could manage. And I love them! For being fifty cents a poster they're so bright and colorful.

Parts of the Flower and Nouns


Beginning Digraphs and Punctuation Marks
Adjectives and The Water Cycle


Ending Digraphs and Parts of Speech
 
I really liked that all of the subjects were relevant, too. These are things that I can see being utilized often instead of something that I might use once and then never re-visit. I also liked the wide variety of subject areas: spelling, writing, science, grammar, etc. They did have math posters, but in my opinion they were a little confusing and I didn't want to buy them, so I didn't. 

 
Other Dollar Store finds were these cute month labels, days of the month for calendar, wall calendar template, happy birthday poster, alphabet banner, United States map, and barnyard bulletin board border. I love how bright and colorful everything is, and how it all ties in together.
 
Overall, I spent ten dollars ($10!!) and got eight posters, a wall calendar, days of the week markers, month labels, a Happy Birthday sign, another colorful wall piece, a map of the United States, an alphabet banner, and border dividers. That's 16 things, for $10. Oh Dollar Store, you have my heart.
 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Church on Sunday

Today in church we talked about John 21, and how God asked Peter to tell Him that he loved Him three times in a way to give him a chance to make up for the three times he denied him before he was crucified. I've spent my entire life in the church and this was something that I had never heard before, which was surprising to me, and I really enjoyed the message.



We focused on the exchange of 'Do you love me?' questions from Jesus and Peter's continued 'Yes' and his frustration. We also focused on the fact that when Jesus heard Peter say I love you He always gave him a task. Our pastor told us that God always has a task for our lives, something I struggle with, and that He will always have something for us to go and do. I've been praying this year about opportunities to grow in faith and while I've been expecting some huge opportunity to flop on my door, so far that hasn't happened. So, I'm still waiting to see where God takes me. Patience.

Our pastor also talked about how God has given us grace and love so that we will go and labor, not to prove that we're worthy of His grace - we've already got that, and nothing we could ever do would make us worthy of it - but to show that we love Him and that we want to have a relationship with Him.

My pastor asked everyone in the congregation to be honest with ourselves and think about the last time we sacrificed our time, convenience, schedule, money, or life for God. The last time that we were inconvenienced or sacrificed for God, and I couldn't remember. I go to church most every Sunday, listen to Christian radio, read my Bible probably once a week, get verse of the day alerts every morning- but I couldn't remember the last time I did something that didn't fit into -my- schedule just to show love for Jesus.

So, that changes today. I've decided that every day. Every. Single. Day. I'm going to read my Bible again. I know that this is something I may screw up at, and that's okay- Jesus will help me get back on track, but I trust that if I trust in Him I'll be able to do it.

I chose to make reading my Bible my first step because I think that I need to understand God's word and what it means to my life more, and the only reason I haven't been reading my Bible is because of my class schedule and there not being a convenient time that works for every day. Silly reason. So, every day I'm going to read and take note on at least one chapter.

My ultimate goal is to finish the New Testament (which I have already started) by the end of this term in June, and then will start working on the Old Testament which I hope to have finished by my graduation next June.

I started a Bible in a year plan before I began college which ultimately didn't work for me, and so I'm happy to say that by the time I graduate college I will have achieved that goal, even if I did have to alter my route a little.

What ways do you sacrifice for God? Do you know of any resources or opportunities to serve? What are you doing this summer? Share!

Happy Sunday

Saturday, April 25, 2015

End Of The Week Re-Cap

Something about this week was just really good. Yes, I was stressed and busy and not everything went exactly how I wanted it to. But, if every week was just like this one... I think I'd be okay.

 
Monday and Tuesday were lazy days. Usually I spend Mondays working on homework before my staff meetings and then spend time with Ry when the meeting's over. This Monday was beautifullll though.So, the majority of my day was spent siting in the grass outside of the building I live in with friends for a few hours. Friends, sun, and a good book, life was good.
 
When Ry went off work we walked to get ice cream too, so that was nice. And thennn, after my staff meeting we spent a few hours reading (him for homework, me because The Longest Ride is a great book...) It was a good day, and this adorable snapchat just sums it all up.
 
Tuesday I had classes, but the highlight of my day was definitely the ice cream social our college Christian group held. The whole group played charades, which I'm not really a fan of participating in, but watching was fun. I was also able to talk to someone there that I don't usually talk too often, and that was nice.
 

 On Wednesday, I went to my favoriteeee local store with two of my roommates for next year. This store is everything I want my future home to be: cute clothes, old repurposed furniture, cute home d├ęcor, and bright colors. It's great. It's hard not to buy everything when I go there, not that I could.
 
 But, I tried on a few things and left with this cute black chiffon tank top on the left. I love that it's lightweight and flowy, plus it was $12... and then when I was getting ready to leave I found this blue North Face vest. I love North Face, and I love this vest. Blue isn't a color that I usually buy, so I'm happy I found something in a different color, too. Best part- this originally $180 vest was $24. And that makes my heart happy.
 
Another thing that made my heart happy was this really cute pillow! The other side has a '1' printed on it, and I'm pretty sure if it's still there when I go back that it'll have to come home with me.
 

 
I rounded out my weekday by observing a physical education class at a local elementary school for an observation write up and it was a great experience. I have a really limited memory of my own elementary PE experience, and I'm learning how great PE is as a class in a course I'm taking this term. The PE teacher I observed was a wonderful woman who's getting ready to retire, and I was able to watch and help with a special education class and a group of third graders. It was great, and it really got me thinking about considering PE teaching in the future.
 
After my observation I went to get coffee with one of the women from our Christian group that I don't get to talk to often. I've known her since I was a freshman, but I was shy then and didn't really reach out to talk to people. It was really nice to talk to her about a lot of topics (cat 4H-nutrition, it really was a range) and it made my day.
 
To top off the great day, my afternoon class was let out an hour early and I was able to call Ry before he went off to a meeting so we could go grab pizza together. He's an amazing person and any time spent with him is the best time spent.
 
 
So that's how my week went, and I'm so grateful for all of it. 



 

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Online shopping is like quicksand, I tell ya.



Online shopping is a trap.
I'm pretty good about budgeting my money and not purchasing things that I don't need. As a student, this is something I'm pretty proud of. But sometimes, when I've finished all of my homework and I start to browse my favorite stores online... whammo! I buy things.

So, here are the things I've purchased proudly/unproudly... in the last 24 hours.


First, I started with this pencil skirt by Katherine Barclay from TJMaxx. I've decided that pencil skirts are something I want to try and get into for student teaching, and I loved the blues and grays in this one. Plus, there's a TJMaxx nearby in case returns do need to happen.

TJMaxx - $19.99 [says compare at $38]


After perusing random boutiques I realized that I had an old Macy's gift card that I should probably get around to spending, because you know... wastefulness is a bad thing, right? Online shopping brain, I tell ya. Anyway, I found this 'angel blue' top by Charter Club and my young teacher heart started singing. I love it, and I hope I love it just as much when it gets here.

Macy's - $23.99 [originally $59.50]
 

 
Which then led to this Hippie Rose lapis blue (lapis blue is apparently bright blue...) dress, also from Macy's. This one was probably the most impulsive of all of my buys, and in all honesty it will most likely be returned. It's a cute dress, but dresses of this style rarely fit me how I'd like them to. So, we'll see. Who knows- this could be the one that breaks the mold!
 
Macy's - $18.99 [originally $30]

 
 
Last, but definitely not least - this shift dress. I've been looking for a t-shirt dress similar to this one since I saw someone I know wearing one. I'm sometimes always too shy to ask people where they bought things from, and so I've been looking online ever since. And eventually I found this. I'm hoping that the fabric doesn't look awkward, as it does slightly on the left where her hand is stretching it. We'll see. Either way, this dress also comes in black, white, and aqua. I chose coral because it's the color I own the least of.
 
 
Overall, I spent $65.97 after gift card, minus shipping, on purchases that should've cost $153.50, so I'm pretty happy. I'll make sure to publish an after post when I compare the items as they arrive to what they look like online. And at the point, things will probably be returned.
 
What have you purchased recently? What are your favorite boutiques? Have somewhere I should look for similar styles?
 
Happy Friday

The Search for 'Teacher' Clothes

This is less of a blog post and more of a shopping list. I really need  want teacher clothes! Side note: Not a fan of the phrase 'teacher clothes', isn't there a better way? Work clothes in general is probably a better term, but oh well.

With student teaching juuuuust around the corner I'm finding my closet is lacking in the professional apparel department. I have a few things, but not the stuff that my overwhelmed mind is convinced I must. have. now. I'm so excited to get in the classroom and make a good impression, and I really want my wardrobe to reflect that both through next year and post-graduation when I'm looking for jobs.

So, I've been spending a lot of free time (that I don't have...) looking up things I wish I could buy to add to the ol' closet.

These are a few things that I love for whatever reason, and I'd love to find things similar to them.



THIS. SKIRT. I don't even like skirts, guys. But I love. this. skirt. I don't wear skirts because I much prefer jeans and boots, but for some reason I'm convinced that I need a skirt like this in my life.

This particular skirt is from Maurices and is sold for $34
 
Also, lately I'm finding myself wanting a blazer.
I don't like blazers with large shoulders, because I feel like I'm trying on dress up clothes. But I've been seeing a lot of really well tailored pretty colored blazers and I want one!
 
 Like this one, which is also from Maurices and is sold for $39.
 
Last, but definitely not least I love this dress! It's simple and cute and has chevron print, which may not be a thing other people like anymore- but I do!
 
From Lily Boutique, for $38 and out of stock right now...
 
What about you? What do you wear to teach/student teach/work?
Share your ideas!

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When You Don't Feel Good Enough

Whatever you do today is enough.

"You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”   
      - Maya Angelou
 
Disclaimer - This is not an invitation to always be lazy, although rest is equally as important as work. Interpret everything I say however it applies and relates to your beautiful life.

I'm an overachiever surrounded by overachievers often recognizing I'm stressed and overwhelmed when it's much too late. Can I get an amen? I want to be helpful, organized, caught up, and perfect - but I'm me, and I also want to be happy.

I want to go on runs, and read good books. (Haven't done much running, but The Longest Ride... which I read in the last 24 hours... is my new favorite)

I want to smile at Pinterest posts that I tuck away for events way, way, wayyyy in the future instead of doing the homework that's due tomorrow.

I want to make to do lists that I know I won't get to anytime soon.

Some days, I just want to take a break, ya know? I want to do what I want and not feel the ever-present pressure to be ahead, to be perfect, to be 100% constantly organized.

I want to be enough.

And thankfully, I know that I am.

Matthew 6:25-27  - “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

This is beautiful to me. Do not worry about your life. Yeah, you! You with the lists and the stress that I know all too well! Don't worry about where your food will come from, where your clothes will come from, how you will provide. Do what you can and trust that God will take care of the rest. Take a deep breath. Worry doesn't solve any problems, it causes more.

I'm a ridiculous planner, and I always have been. But little by little I'm handing over the reins to God. I know that His plans are far better than my own and I've seen this many many times in my life.

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Trust with your whole heart and everything that you are that God is good and that he has a  plan for your life that is far more than any plan you alone could create. Again, even if you can plan a good life for yourself in your head and you know exactly how you want it to turn up, trust that even if you get everything that you dream of - God's plan will always, always, always be far better. Always. Why would you not want that to be the plan that your life follows?

Matthew 11:28  Come to me,1 all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

God wants to give you a break. He wants to help you. Let go of that control and let Him do that. Don't struggle alone. Because struggling alone when rest is readily available is silly. Pray. Pray for peace and for help and do it often. It's worth it, you're worth it.

I hope you have a great day.
Remember you're enough.






Friday, April 17, 2015

The Big Swing

The Big Swing of death. Just kidding.
The Big Swing. High Ropes. Heights. All things I'm not really the biggest fan of... Or at least I wasn't, until Saturday. On Saturday, my co-workers and I overcame some fears. I say that they overcame fears because I don't really want to think of myself as being the only one who was afraid...

Anyway, back to TBS (The Big Swing.)
TBS consists of a 35 foot high platform, a rope, and a 75 foot swing distance through some trees. We were all given the choice between swinging alone or with a partner. I chose a partner because hey- I love the people I work with, and they wouldn't try to kill me, right? Ha.

So, C and I climbed up to the platform and waited. My knees shook the entire time and I tried to convince myself that it was because of the cold. It wasn't. Finally, the instructor had us sit down and hooked us both to the swing rope. We were told to slowlyyyyy move together and scoot ourselves off of the platform.

I listened.

C didn't.



Next thing I knew, I was flying off the platform after C because she scooted much too fast. I remember screaming, a lot, because unexpected falling is a terrible thing, and then I remember laughing. Probably so I wouldn't scream. The last thing I remember is telling C she tried to kill me before we were helped off of the rope by the second instructor.

When I watch the video I laugh a lot. Mainly because the most screaming comes from C! And because my laughing sounds weird and hyperventilatey. I don't think that's an actual word, but eh.

Turns out, C hadn't tried to kill me on purpose. She just said my scooting was too slow for her.

The high ropes are scary, heights are scary, a lot of things in life are scary.

But, this weekend I learned that even when I'm afraid I'm capable of calming myself down and working through it. God gives us this incredible ability to feel peace. Peace that transcends all understanding. A total lack of fear. I realized that many times on Saturday while I stood on high platforms and balanced my shaking knees while standing on cables.

I also realized  should never do The Big Swing with C ever again.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Projects & Positivity

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

Good gravy. This week hasn't even started and I'm already starting to feel overwhelmed. The first stressor (which is thankfully now over, but still) came from these eight posters my professors assigned to us. These posters, according to her requirements, are to be classroom worthy, be free of error, etc. Which is great, fine and dandy. Buuuuuut, I don't really have time in my life to make posters right now. So, I threw together these eight barnyard themed posters (below are my favorites of the bunch)




 Lately I've noticed that I've been complaining. Now, I'm super grateful for everything that I've been given, but sometimes I just get so down and forget how many reasons I have to smile. Yes, my job might keep me up late, but I'm so thankful for the opportunity and have grown so much from it. Yes, I'm tired and cranky and sick of art posters, but maybe I'll use them or the skills I've gained from them in the future as a teacher. Basically, God has given me strength to overcome all of the things I'm complaining about, and I feel especially lately that instead of complaining I should be praising. Praising God for the opportunities and growth that he's allowing me to have, and for getting me through each day.

So that's what's on my heart. A whole lotta Jesus, and a little bit of art. Haaa, corny.

Have a great day!

Thessalonians

-this post from my Tumblr, which I don't use anymore.

     I don’t usually post things on Tumbr, and if I do it’s usually a photo. But, today I read 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians and I feel the need to type. I feel the need to type so much I considered starting a new blog just to type, but I won’t do that…yet. [note... here we are! ]
Before I start talking about all of the things in my head I’m going to pinpoint some verses that really, really stood out to me.

1. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 - “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 - “On the contrary, we spoke as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”

3. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

4. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 - “Rejoice always, pray continually”

5. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 - “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.


First of all, just wow. It’s always incredible to me how often God brings the right thing to me whenever I needed. 1 Thessalonians especially was exactly what I needed to read.

1. Work produced by faith, labor prompted by LOVE, and endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that I often become grumpy about my work. I’m tired, so I don’t want to stay up late. I’m stressed about class work and other life responsibilities and wish I could be anywhere but that two hour meeting. But God wants me to be there. God has brought these opportunities into my life for a reason and any work that I do should be fueled by the faith that I have in the fact that he has brought me to this job, for a reason. Any work that I do should be done in love for those around me that I work with, the people the work will benefit, and God himself. And I should smile and work to the best of my ability with the endurance given to me by God, if I ask, because of the hope and faith that I have in Him.

2. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. Worldly approval. I’ve been struggling lately with being grumpy. And I’ve been praying for the ability to be kind to everyone, and nice- which are very important things. But I want to pray for the ability to show God’s grace to everyone. Not just to be nice to them, but to make them realize that I’m a kind person because I have the love of an amazing God, and have an amazing life because of Him. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to be kind- but I don’t want to be kind so that people will think "Wow, she’s a very nice person!” I want to be kind so that God will be proud of me for loving His people as much as He does, and because it’s what He wants.“

3. I so desperately want to be able to build other people up. I’m so proud to know many people in my life who are able to build me up emotionally and give me verses when I need them, and I want that to be something that I’m able to do for them, if that’s something God wants me to be able to do.

4. Rejoice always. Even when life is tough. Even when I don’t get what I want. Because God is always up to something, and even the negatives will turn out to be a blessing in some way. They always have, and they always will. I just need to be patient and praise God for the work that he is doing in my life. And He is always doing something. Pray continually. Continually, continually, continually.








I want to be able to pray throughout my day. When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I need strength. I just want to take the time to show God that I know He’s there and that I’m listening to what He has to say. I want to take the time in the morning to start my day with Him and to end my day with Him. Like the definition states, I want to pray frequently. regularly. without interruption. constantly.


5. May God, who loves you, give you eternal encouragement and hope. May He encourage your heart and strengthen you in every thing you do and say. That’s how I interpret this verse and I love every word of every version. May God give you strength every day in whatever you face, however you need it.


I’m just so happy and feel so blessed to have been able to read the Bible today, and for the life that I live.
What do you think about Thessalonians? What do you think about these verses?