Strangely Dim

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Sweater: Express β€’ Top: Rue 21 β€’ Skirt: Forever 21
When: A Sunday afternoon

This week’s lesson was once received, forgotten, then remembered at the perfect time. It is this: instead of a grumble, instead of a whine, instead of a complaint, instead of looking for blurry answers, look at nature. Look at goodness. Look at wonder. Look at True Love. Be thankful then repeat. ClichΓ©? Yes, but only because it’s that good and it never fails. Then you can get back on your feet to push yourself and keep going. I discovered this new song from Francesca Battistelli and it became one of those songs that you can instantly relate to. Maybe it can encourage you as much as it did for me. πŸ™‚

Let’s stay connected on Twitter, shall we?

“We expect God to come looking for us, to explain Himself, prove who He is, and give us gifts. But those who are wise still seek and worship Jesus today, not for what they can get, but for who He is.” (Zondervan Life Application Study Bible, NIV)

Start With You

Have you ever felt the need to leave a place in order to start new? To try and leave your past completely? To try and find your better you? To do bigger and better things? I feel as if we strive for this future “fantasy” place where everything will just be- better. Many people in this generation especially have this urge to discover the world and do unexpected things. The whole “living life to the fullest” mantra. And though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, maybe we’re not getting it exactly. That in order for us to do better and to start anew, we must look at ourselves first. You can go anywhere yet still be the same, tangled person on the inside. This leads to another revelation: that where we are might just be where we should be. We constantly ask God to change our situations or life in general because we’re merely not happy with the circumstances. But as gold is refined by fire, we are refined by trials and trusting in our hope that God will relieve us in His own way and not ours. Accepting it can be hard, but once we do, we can finally live on in peace knowing that we are right where we’re supposed to be and working to improve ourselves until He finally does allow us to shift places. If you’re in this waiting period, don’t be discouraged. You are constantly on God’s mind. He hasn’t forgotten you. Right now, He’s shaping you. It’s all part of God’s perfect plan and perfect timing. (Perfect= adj; completely free from faults or defects; as good as it is possible to be).

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“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalms 16:11

You Set Me Free

I remember watching the entire season 1 of American Idol; loved every minute of it. After that I didn’t bother to watch the show because I felt as though it was plain lame. Shouldn’t there only be one “American Idol?” And why do some runner ups become bigger than the actual winner? Where’s Taylor Hicks? Then season 11 comes around and I find myself watching AI again purely because Jessica Sanchez is a Filipino. Her version of “I Will Always Love You”will be a lasting performance on that stage. Then she lost which left me speechless. Never watching AI again.

Season 12. The hype of auditions, golden tickets, and Hollywood week were all over social media. I scrolled down my Facebook feed and saw this video of 18 year-old Angela Miller…

BLOWN. Around the 8th or 9th replay, I teared up. Listening to her original song “You Set Me Free” really speaks and every time the line “You say I love you for who you are”Β hits I am covered in goosebumps. Not only are her vocals on point, but the fact that she wrote this song about carrying life’s baggage and finding strength in Christ is incredible! And her Twitter profile? “Through music I aim to show that loving God and being a good influence to others is my goal.” This world desperately needs people like this to show God’s power and love all over in every area. And God is using her in big ways as a door to His Kingdom.

Needless to say, I will be watching season 12.

Journey On

During Bridgewood Church’s Sunday service a few weeks ago, the pastor gave this:

Four Reasons for Being Stalled On Your Journey in Life:

1. At a rest area (actions have stopped)

2. At a red light (wanting to move but there’s a hindrance)

3. In a round-about (putting effort but not getting around)

4. Detour (growing in life but in the wrong direction)

Then these verses came to mind:

“We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy but to imitate those who, through faith and patience, inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6: 11,12

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10: 35-39

God has made us all for a specific purpose. We are not on this earth by accident. In Hebrews 10 it goes from “…if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him,” into “But we are not of those who shrink back…but of those who believe and are saved.” Doesn’t that show God has hope in us, too? That the Creator of all things actually believes in us? Shouldn’t that motivate us to do as much as we can in this life that we’ve been blessed with while giving glory to Him? How motivating! Don’t shrink back but keep on growing. Put in effort and work hard and “it will be richly rewarded.”

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Living to Live for 2013

First and foremost…HAPPY 2013!!!

How was your New Year’s? My days leading up to 2013 and a bit after consisted of the above images courtesy of Instagram. Opening gifts on Christmas Day, intense games of Dutch Blitz, my current reads, jam sessions with my brothers, and even this little cutie giving me a surprise smooch on NYE! Now it’s already three days into the new year. It took me a few days to think about what my first post for 2013 should be; I knew I didn’t want to go straight into fashion/look shots. Instead, I’ll write on something we all need at least every once in a while especially when we start a new year: encouragement.

Be positive, don’t just think positive. Be thankful. Be kinder. Help others. Smile more. Love more. Because you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and there’s a lesson to be taken from any situation. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be a bad situation. Waking up with air in your lungs is something to be thankful enough for. And please, you don’t always have to resort to social media to post your complaints and miserableness. One bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

Live it out.Β What motivates you? What’s the thing that drives you to keep pushing yourself? Music’s a big part of my life. Ergo, some of my favorite “you’ve got this” songs.

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Keep track. 365 days is a pretty long time and we can tend to lose our perseverance throughout those days. Personally, physically writing down goals and encouragement for myself helps me to think positive. When I was in the Philippines I started a quote book where I wrote down anything that lifted my spirits just a bit more. It quickly became filled with Bible verses, quotes from books and the Internet, song lyrics, and words of wisdom from close friends and family. Whenever I feel down and discouraged I read each page carefully and meaningfully. How do you keep yourself on track?

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Trust God. Yep, you knew it was coming! Accepting Christ into your heart is the best gift you could ever receive and living it out changes your entire life. Have faith! Block fear, worry, and anxiety. These keep you from living the life you were designed to live. Dive deep into His Word, His love letter to us that basically guides us through anything and everything. I realize life is far from perfect; it never will be, actually. But remember: God brought you into this life. He will get you through it.

I am no therapist, counselor, or the like but I pray that these words somehow help you achieve what you want to do and who you want to be in 2013. Be determined and stay focused. Be the type of person you want to meet. I for one am so excited to see what God has in store for me this year!

“Get on your knees and pray. Then get on your feet and work.” -Gordon B. Hinckley

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31