Silly games win silly prizes

My brother actually used this expression the other night and I remember thinking "dang... that's so true." And so I wrote a few things down. Ok, so what he actually said was "stupid games win stupid prizes" but 'stupid' just sounded a little too harsh for this post 😂 

Silly games win silly prizes.

We've all been there. At a carnival or a state fair throwing rings around bottles to try and win a stuffed bear. And then $20 into it you not only realize that this game is actually awful, but you're not accomplishing anything, and you know that even though that bear is cute it's completely not worth the time and effort that you're putting in to get it. 

And it's truly not the craziest concept but the really crazy part about it is how common it is to do this same thing with people too. It's so easy to get distracted by own our desire to win that we disregard every other factor that's involved. And with a silly little carnival game it may just be some cash and couple of extra minutes. But playing that game with another person involves two hearts, a whole heck of a lot of time and energy, and an entire mess of words and emotion. 

And just like there are different kinds of games, there are all different kinds of prizes.  Silly games will get you a stuffed bear or worse, a broken heart. Rewarding games may get you a championship ring or better, a ring that means much more. Play silly games with expectations of silly prizes, and then if you realize that you're not getting what it is that you really truly want, move on to something better. Rewarding games will make themselves known by the exhilarating feeling that you get from them. When your effort is being honored and your time feels worth your while. When your heart is being filled and your happiness feels justified. So when it comes to carnivals and board games and the games that we call video, do whatever it is that makes you happy knowing that the consequences are close to none. But when it comes to another person, think, and don't participate just for the sake of another win. Participate because it means something to you, it matters, and the benefits will far outweigh the costs for every person that's involved. 

And now I'm really craving a churro and a corn dog so I'm gonna end all this talk about carnivals right here right now    🎪

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Labor Day weekend vlog

Spent the long holiday weekend with friends and family in AZ and in CA. It was by far the hottest weekend I've ever experienced in Malibu. You think you know everything about the heat from living in Arizona but humidity is a whole different monster 😅 But as always, it was so great spending time with family and being able to travel to the water even if it's only for a couple days! Here's just a vlog of some of the things I caught on film from this weekend. (I think it's probably 50% my family's 200 pound dog Hoss) 😂 

For all my recent college grads

When I started college I thought I knew everything. Not everything about life, but I definitely thought that I knew everything about myself. And I'd totally be lying if I said I didn't think this way since I was probably around 16. And even sitting here writing this, it hurts my ego a little bit to admit that I was so incredibly wrong. 

But just these past few years have taught me more about life and about myself than those first 18-19 years ever did and I'm sure that you could say the same. My hair's changed, my clothes have changed, some friends have changed, and even what I ultimately want in a relationship has changed dramatically since then. I listen to new genres of music, I take baths for fun, and I've read so many more books that have just picked up my world and spun it around and impacted the very way I think about everything. I've grown closer relationships with my family members while learning how to live and take care of myself on my own, and even figured out how to put my mind at ease when it feels like the weight of anxiety might just run me down and take me over. I graduated college without any sense of direction and by the grace of God got started in a career that I already love that allows me to travel and support myself without worry. But the absolute most important thing that I've learned about myself within these past few years, is that there are so many different sides to me. There's things I like about me, things I don't, and things I may still want to change. Sometimes I'm motivated and energetic and feel like I could sit down and write a novel, and sometimes I wanna be a couch potato and watch 6 straight hours of Friends reruns. Sometimes I'm completely social and wanna go out and have fun with my friends, and other times I wanna wrap up in a million blankets, put my phone on DND, light some candles, and just watch a movie by myself. Sometimes I get the giggles and laugh so hard I cry, and then I put my headphones in and start my workout and become bionic woman who just has no sense of emotion whatsoever. Sometimes I get up early, sometimes I sleep 'til noon. Sometimes I eat healthy, sometimes I eat an entire pint of ice cream to myself. Sometimes I love love, and other times I believe that there's a possibility it might not even exist. There's times when I'm on and everything that comes out of my mouth is exactly what I wanted to say. But those other times when I'm off I can't even say my drive-thru order without sounding like English is my second language. I get flustered easily and jump at loud noises or I'm the first one at the door with an upside down empty champagne bottle that I somehow think I can use as a weapon to defend myself. I wake up confident one day and love myself and who I am, and wake up sluggish and dislike everything the next. There's days when I feel calm, I feel relaxed, and I have more than enough time to pray. But other days I close my eyes and just ask the Lord to "please help me stay sane". 

The truth is that I still don't know exactly who I am, because it changes all the time. And everyday I'm learning things about myself that I never knew at 19 or even 20. "Fake it 'til you make it" has truly become a life motto of mine. Because I promise you, that's really what we're all doing at one point or another. We've all got sides, we've all got moods, and quirks, and issues, and room for all these new discoveries. And we're all just gonna keep moving and shaking and growing as we go. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you don't have to know exactly who you are right now or who you're going to be, but realize and accept yourself for who you are right now in this moment. When it comes to you, there's always going to be things you like, things you don't like, and things you hope to change. But all of this is who you are at this very moment and you've just gotta love it all! You're not going to be on all the time, and you're not always going to be off either. It's a great feeling sometimes to pretend like you have it all together but it's also nice to let yourself breathe and admit you're realistically sitting in the very front row of the struggle bus sometimes too.

Nobody wants your perfection, they just wanna know you've got a heart. 

Accept where you are right now in your life and be thankful for those college years that gave you wisdom. And then go and find those special people who match up with where you're at. And then a few more years from now you can all grab a glass of wine and talk about how much you didn't know "back then" and what it is that you "know now".

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Choose Happiness

When people say "choose happiness" they're trying to make things simple. You don't actually get to wake up in the morning and have two buttons presented to you on a silver platter one reading 'misery' and the other reading 'happiness' and then frantically scan your brain as you try to figure out which emotion might be better for that day. Sure, you can wake up and tell yourself "today I choose happiness" but if things go wrong that day, then your perspective might change. Things happen, things go wrong, our expectations won't always be met, and life throws us more than a few curveballs. You can't just "choose happiness" and make all your problems disappear and have life go back to being peachy keen. (But if that button is ever invented, let me know so we can be the first ones to buy stock). 

You can't choose happiness but you CAN choose to not compare yourself to other people. You can choose to stop looking at the Instagram explore page and letting edited pictures control your life. You can choose to pick up groceries and cook healthy meals for yourself. You can choose to go to the gym instead of going back to bed because you know you'll feel better after. You can choose to go to church on a Sunday and be uplifted and inspired by the message. You can choose to text your friends and family and just tell them that you love them. You can choose to not go through his twitter likes because, let's be honest, you know you'll never like what you see. You can choose to pamper yourself with an at home mani-pedi and a great playlist to soak in the bath too. You can choose to look at yourself in the mirror and instead of noticing flaws, point out everything God's blessed you with. You can choose to take a drive with no destination and a Starbucks in your hand. You can choose to not get frustrated when plans change and realize that the best things really do always happen unexpectedly. 

The best things always happen when you're focused on your goals. The best things always happen when you discover something new, and look forward to the future, and buy yourself some ice cream every once in a while. The best things always happen when you're living YOUR life and not focusing on everyone else's, and when you finally say goodbye to things that are no longer a part of your plan. The best things are yet to come and you can choose to let them in. So yes, choose happiness, but choose it by doing what it is that makes you happy and running far far away from the things that don't.

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2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

It's never quite too late to start again
It only takes one breath to make amends

If you're looking for a change within yourself
Don't be so ashamed to ask for help

You can start today with just one prayer
Asking God for help to get you there 

So easy to get lost within the past
And forget what's left for us on future paths

Think about your life at seventeen,
Or twenty-two and all the things you've seen

The differences in wisdom and the lessons that you've learned
The progression of your mind and the blessings that you've earned

It's almost like we're brand new when we hear,
"I'm so much different now than just last year"

And with every passing day it feels like fate
Eliminating pressures as we wait

So when you're facing what you fear the most
Remember not to give in to the ghosts


It's brilliant and it's beautiful, a perfect kind of plan
You had everything you needed right when Jesus took your hand

Mistakes are only temporary if you free yourself from guilt
And you shall not be shaken on this sacred ground He built

We're not perfect in our own minds but in somebody's we are
You were meant to make an impact or you would not have come this far 

And if your heart is broken, then that's truly the best part
Because broken hearts are experts in the act of a new start

Start today and make a change with hope for starting new
Be someone that you're proud of and remember He's proud too

Just do you

Full disclosure I'm not really sure if this is a controversial topic or not I just had a realization a couple of weeks ago about myself and wanted to share in case anybody else has dealt with a similar feeling. Social media is undoubtedly the most wonderful but equally as awful thing in our world today and that all just depends on how we use and perceive it. Personally, I used to feel really bad about myself when I would go on the explore page and see these pictures of specifically females with these "perfect" looking bodies and in turn make myself feel terrible. 

But here's the thing: EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO POST WHATEVER THEY WANT ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES. And it's different for everyone and THAT'S OK. 

For the most part, I choose to keep my social media pages on the pretty conservative side. Not saying that this is right or wrong, I just personally grew up with the mindset of not wanting everybody to know every single thing about me. That being said, I've definitely posted a lot of bikini pictures from fun times on the beach (which I've also at times been skeptical about posting) and not too long ago I posted a typical "mirror pic" from the gym because I'm just proud of the work I put into my body to stay in shape.

But a couple of weeks ago I actually posted a photo that my friend took of me while we were in Malibu and I remember sitting with my friend at breakfast contemplating back and forth if I really should post it because it showed a little more of the booty than something I would normally post on my Instagram. But alas, it was a cute photo and I convinced myself that it was ok because "a lot of other girls have posted much more than that". 

TERRIBLE LOGIC.

My friend knew right when I posted it how uncomfortable I became. I was looking at my phone every two seconds and asking her things like "are you sure it's ok to post this?" and "it's not bad right?" 

Being the amazing friend that she is she just calmly looks at me and says, "Madi, if it's going to drive you crazy or make you uncomfortable just delete it." 

And she was right. So I deleted it.

Granted, I probably made a way bigger deal out of it than I needed to and people probably weren't even judging or caring as much as I thought they would but I knew it didn't feel or sit right with me and so I should have just gone with my gut in the first place. 

I follow so many females who are inspirations to me who post body positive images whether they're in a bikini or showing off their progress at the gym or just feelin themselves and wanted to post a pic and I always find myself double tapping while silently expressing a "ooo get it gurlll 🙌🏼" And these people are proud of what they post and feel comfortable sharing this with the world and that is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Basically what I'm getting at is this: It's perfectly okay if that's not you, and it's perfectly okay if it is. Just post what you are comfortable sharing and if you have second thoughts just trust yourself, save yourself the anxiety, and don't post it. Everybody is different and not every person is going to be okay with posting certain things. 

JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE. 

Post that picture if it makes you feel good! Show off because you're proud and want to share! Post it to inspire other people to work hard and feel confident too! But absolutely DO NOT post that picture if you're doing it for the wrong reasons like "trying to get that boys attention" or "because a lot of other girls are posting stuff like that too". Because ladies trust me when I tell you that the right person will love you for you, no matter what you do or don't post on a social media account and you really don't want to lose yourself because you're trying to be like everyone else. Listen to your body and don't try to convince it otherwise. It doesn't make you a "prude" if you don't and it doesn't make you a "slut" if you do. People can turn anything into a bad thing if they really wanted to so just be okay with what you're okay and not okay with and know that you're not less than just because you posted a booty picture or have a booty pictureless Instagram page. Whether you choose to keep it, or anything else private or put it out there, we've all got body's and it should be our decision what we choose to do or not do with them and not anybody else's. 

And that's all I've got to say about that. 

Now go admire yourself in the mirror, take some selfies, and tell yourself you're perfect because you are. 💁🏼

Work in progress

Every time you meet somebody new you will find another piece of yourself.
Whether it's a short encounter with a stranger or any sort of long lasting relationship, you will always learn about another part of you.
Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but yet it's always just another part of what makes you, you.

I used to think that some people were just not a part of my story, and that's why they had to make an exit. But that's so far from the truth. These people play major roles in your story and what you can learn from them is how you heal. You'll learn how to patch up broken pieces, how to become stronger on your own, and how to help comfort others when they're experiencing the same kind of emotion.

I've learned that most people come into our life as a lesson and some lessons just take longer to learn than others. Most people come into our life to show us things that we never knew about ourselves and then leave us wondering how that could be. Sometimes people come into our lives and make us feel things we've never felt and make us believe in things again and then fall short when it comes to sticking around and even though it's not ideal I can promise you that it really is going to be okay. It's okay to live without those people and to even be angry for a while. It's okay to feel the brokenness and let yourself wonder why things fell apart, especially when they once seemed like the perfect scene in your favorite part of the book. But maybe they're just not meant to move onto the next chapter, they're not going to be the ones to pick you up when you're down, and they have ways and reasons for things that will simply just never align with yours. It's not a matter of who's right or wrong it's a matter of where you're both at in your lives and unfortunately that's something that will never be a constant.

But people who are meant to be in your life will stay. And they will come when the timing is right and not just when you want it to be right. You meet them when you're not looking, when you finally feel like you're great on your own. But if you haven't learned enough about yourself, this next person will teach you more. They may stay, they may leave, you may be the one to decide to leave. Maybe you aren't getting everything that you want or even deserve from them. We just aren't capable of knowing what somebody's needs and desires are all of the time. And for those things to match up perfectly, it takes a very special kind of relationship. A relationship that everyone will experience at some point or another. But if you truly want it you're going to have to take some risks, because special things like that take time. Special things like that take trial and error, and mistakes, and broken hearts, and long talks with ridiculous feelings that you might not ever be able to explain.

So don't worry about what's next for you or spend too much time unhappy when you're going through an ending. Feel things, seriously, feel all the feels it's not a crime. You'll get a better understanding for how your mind works and more importantly what your mind needs in order to start again. And then start again. There are much scarier things in this world than forming another human connection. It's only going to teach you more about yourself. And if God decides you're ready, you might even find someone that's worth all of the risks.

 

James 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Let's just throw it out there. Every single person on this Earth has to deal with things, certain traits or circumstances that can hold us back from reaching our highest potential. It's no secret that we're not perfect, but really how beautiful is it that we're all imperfect differently. If we didn't have these flaws or quirks or setbacks in our lives, we would have nothing to learn, nothing to share, and nothing to overcome.

One of the biggest obstacles I've dealt with in my life since I was very little is asthma. You know the thing where your lungs decide to work perfectly sometimes until you hike that mountain or run that mile. Very inconvenient. I've always been the girl with the inhaler in her backpack and I'm still the girl that always has the inhaler in her purse. Sometimes you just don't know when it's going to act up. 

I remember one time I ended up going to the hospital because I felt like I couldn't get enough air out of my lungs when I exhaled. It was like I was suffocating from my own air intake. I was so uncomfortable and scared that I actually remember having my mom call my dad and tell him that I love him because I wasn't sure if I'd get through this. 

Sounds a bit dramatic now am I right? 😂 But at the time, I'd never experienced anything like it before and I really truly believed that. 

I sat there in the hospital bed asking Jesus to guide me through this. I was focusing on my breathing and what the doctors were saying. They had done multiple tests and attempts at a diagnosis before claiming to me it was due to severe allergies. My allergies had gotten so bad that it was restricting my airways and causing my asthma to act up.

I kid you not, they gave me two Benedryl and two more puffs of and inhaler and I immediately started to feel relief. The swelling had gone way down and I was able to finally regulate my breathing. 

So... basically now I'm the girl that always has the inhaler and Benedryl in her purse.

Dealing with asthma has been difficult, especially for someone who thrives on physical activity and fitness. A huge part of my life is working out and doing things to keep my body in the best possible shape and when you crave things like Chick Fila and Ben & Jerry's salted caramel core as much as I do, ya gotta do what ya gotta do 🤷🏼‍♀️

What I've learned throughout my life when it comes to pushing my body is that, like most things, it's trainable. You can train your body and lungs to overcome asthma, but you can't be lazy. It's hard work and it's challenging work. If you want to overcome something you have to work at it every day. Make yourself a routine, hold yourself accountable, reward yourself when possible, and you'll be absolutely amazed with where it gets you.

I know that if I skip the gym for a week, my lungs are going to have a tougher time adjusting when I get back into it. But if I'm consistent and push myself to keep it up, I'm able to do things that I didn't think were possible and I can accomplish it with minimal struggle. 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and we're so quick to embrace our strengths and pretend that our weaknesses don't exist because we're scared or mad or annoyed that they're even there. But think about how much stronger overall you could be if you built on those weaknesses like you do all of your strengths. Fuel your weaknesses by giving them what they need to get stronger. Spend time getting to know them and asking Jesus to help you overcome them, and over time you'll realize the steps that you need to take in order to make that possible. 

However! I feel like I must say this to you before I go because I don't want there to be any misunderstanding if you have asthma or suffer from some of the same things.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!

Baby steps, push yourself but start out slow. Test the waters by acknowledging your limits. Everything takes time, you can't expect results overnight. Be patient and kind to your body always so that you don't backtrack on your progress. You're going to get there! And the time that it took is what is going to make you the most proud of yourself in the end.

Malibu Vlog

Finally had time to edit all the videos I had from my trip to Malibu last week and I’ve got to say I’ve been cracking up rewatching some of these. Family is everything to me and God has blessed me with the most incredible people to call mine. No matter what life throws at me I can always count on them to keep me laughing, smiling and hopeful about the future! So I hope you guys enjoy this video about this wonderful trip and don’t forget to keep checking up every Monday for something new on the blog!  

 

Grace Upon Grace

Grace is one of my all time favorite words. I think because it looks so small and simple but it means so much and so many different things. When I think about the word grace I think about how I want to live it. I think about how I want to carry myself with it and how I want to take it everywhere with me like a purse over my right shoulder. So I hope that this little poem I wrote inspires you to embrace the gift of grace throughout the rest of your week and ultimately your life! :) "You don't need control. You just need grace."

 

Grace is inspiration after a long few days of drought
It’s making a house a home while it rids our minds of doubt

Grace is staying grounded while we still keep up the pace
It’s responsible for things such as the smile on your face

Grace is a compliment on an elevator instead of staring at your phone
It’s relief from all the action when you're finally home alone

Grace is what you feel when you first hear that certain song
Grace will never lie to you, it will never steer you wrong

Grace will call you by your first name and remind you who you are
A beautiful soul that’s not defined by wounds or battle scars

Grace is the reason we get chills while sitting in church pews
That overwhelming feeling that the message is for you

It’s a different take on happiness, a constant state of bliss
The way your heart speeds up right before that certain kiss

Grace is remembering that it’s okay to believe in something bigger than yourself
It’s finally getting to read the book that’s gathered dust up on that shelf

Grace will grant you favors and not ask for something back
It’s patience and it’s kindness and makes up for what you lack

It’s the comfort of your dog at home and feeling all their love
And it’s never growing tired of prayer and thanking God above

Grace is dinner with your family when the whole table laughs and cries
The only thing that gets us through those really tough goodbyes

Unlimited in power, strength, integrity, and truth
Grace will keep you humble, loved, and in centered in your youth

Grace is such a blessing and an undeserving gift
It’s not biased or conditional, a way in which to live

It’s forgiveness at its worst and it’s hope when at its best
Grace is what will stay with us beyond our final day of rest

 

Moving vlog!

I was so excited to graduate from college and move to another state. I was applying for jobs in New York and California and really anywhere that wasn't here. Not that I don't love Arizona, it will always be home, but I've been here since I was three years old and I was just ready for something new. Unfortunately, I didn't end up moving to a different state because life happens, job opportunities fall through, and sometimes things just don't go exactly the way you want them to, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad thing. 

I fell in love with this new apartment I found in Arizona as soon as I walked in and I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be for the time being! Of course I'm still going to continue to look for opportunities elsewhere but for now I'm happy with my cute little AZ home :)

I hope you guys enjoy my iPhone vlog of this past weekend! Enjoy your Monday and the rest of your week!!  

Gravity and Time

Two things are responsible for creating the most pressure and stress in our everyday lives. 

Since it was Father's Day yesterday, and I personally believe my own father should be giving Ted Talks, I decided I'd post some advice he gave me on a phone call the other day. 
I called my dad because I'm stressed. I'm about to move from an apartment that I've adored for over a year, I just graduated from college and finding a job is definitely not easy, my love life is comical, and I'm putting way too much pressure on myself everyday to get things done. 
And my dad always knows exactly what to say to make me step back and see things from different perspective. He told me that it's simple. There are two things in life that are responsible for creating most of our pressures and stress.

Gravity.
And time.

I was a little confused when he first said gravity to be honest. He said, "You may laugh, but how many times have you found yourself getting frustrated when you drop something, or have to lift something heavy, or lose your balance and trip or fall over." That's gravity. It's a pressure on our bodies both physically and mentally.

Time. More specifically, deadlines. Deadlines that are given to you and deadlines that you cast on yourself in order to push yourself to get things done. Even saying things to yourself like, "It's been one year since I've been in a serious relationship," or "By this time next year I should be doing this, that, and the other."

Here's the thing, it's good to set goals, and make plans, and create deadlines to be our motivation. But we aren't fortune tellers and we can't make things happen by just saying them out loud and wishing on stars. Because if we keep thinking that way we're going to be disappointed, and we're going to feel that stress.

But here's what we can do.
We can pray, we can ask God for direction, and motivation from a different part of our hearts, one that aims to be a better you everyday. We can let things go, realize that what is for you will be yours and what is not you'll be perfectly okay without. Realize that no matter what happens, you can make it through one day. And we can always work our asses off for what we really want in life and reap the benefits of our persistence. 

It's all going to get done I promise you, don't overwhelm yourself with too much of one thing at a time. And if you're faced with a strict deadline, take a step back and breathe. My dad can never tell me enough to never make decisions based on time limits and stress. Your mind won't be as clear.

So breathe.

We can stop being so stressed in the moment by just doing what we can and trusting that everything else will fall in it's place, and we can stop feeling the pressure by just laughing instead of grunting every once in a while when we drop a dish in the kitchen or trip while we're walking down the sidewalk for a bunch of strangers to see. Because trust me, they've all done it too. It's life. And we create our pressures and stresses by overthinking and trying to control these two very uncontrollable things. 

Gravity.
And time.

Let yourself breathe today in between daily tasks. Reward yourself when you've accomplished something and don't punish yourself if you haven't. Keep your mind clear by viewing gravity and time as allies and not the enemy. Your two feet are planted firmly on the ground because of gravity, and if you woke up this morning, you have time.
Wherever you are in life right at this very moment, you're where you're supposed to be. But remember, you won't stay in the same spot forever. Look forward to seeing where He takes you next!

(P.S. Thanks dad for always giving the best advice and inspiring me to be a better person everyday. ♥️ Still really think you should give a Ted Talks so uhh maybe consider it? lol)

June Beauty Products

Hey guys! So today's post is all about a few of the beauty products that I've been obsessing over lately and I wanted to share so you can hopefully benefit from them as well. Excuse the really poor video and sound quality, I definitely don't have the right kind of camera to make any type of tutorial videos (Clearly not a YouTuber 😂) But I figured this was the easiest way to explain these products. All of these products are available at either Sephora or ULTA and I put all of the links down below for you guys so click on those to order them online or look at pricing and that sort of thing. Anyways, Happy Monday! 

 

Tarte BB tinted treatment primer/Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen               http://www.sephora.com/bb-tinted-treatment-12-hour-primer-broad-spectrum-spf-30-sunscreen-P377542?skuId=1486760&keyword=TARTE%20BB%20Tinted%20Treatment%2012-Hour%20Primer%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20Sunscreen

Josie Maran Lip Plumper in shade 'Work It Vanilla'                                            http://www.sephora.com/argan-lip-sting-plumping-butter-P411573?skuId=1842996&icid2=products%20grid%3Ap411573

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask                                                        http://www.sephora.com/cucumber-gel-mask-extreme-detoxifying-hydrator-P382204?skuId=1560879&icid2=products%20grid:p382204

Pureology Colour Fanatic after shower hair spray                                                    http://www.ulta.com/colour-fanatic-multi-tasking-hair-beautifier?productId=xlsImpprod5800064

Delectable Skin Perfecting Bronzing Body Lotion                                               http://www.ulta.com/bronzing-body-lotion?productId=xlsImpprod15081191

Romans 10:14

"But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?"

There have been times in my life where people have asked me why it is that I believe. And how it is that I can believe in something that I'm unable to see or even reach for just to hold it in my hand. I used to get nervous about these questions, they made me feel as though my evidence would never be enough. No matter what I said, or what I did, I'd have no proof to back up my faith and people wouldn't be able to understand. 

There came a point where I became so frustrated about not having the right words to answer, that the next time this question was brought to my attention, I just blurted out the first thing that came to my mind. 

"I can't explain it, it's a feeling."

Immediately after I said it, I wanted to take it back. How can someone understand a feeling if they've never experienced it themselves? 
But then I really thought about it. 
Maybe not believing comes from experiencing these feelings and not knowing or acknowledging that they had come from God Himself. 

Maybe you've been hurt, but you became a better person from the fall. Maybe you've felt so alone, but found someone to share with it all. Maybe you've had a two hour parking lot conversation with a friend, but you end up teary eyed and emotional from the stories being told. Maybe you've felt the unconditional love of a family member, but never really realized it until things became tough. And maybe you've experienced lows that you could never even imagine how it was possible to pick yourself back up from, but you did. And maybe you never thought to thank Jesus for his hand. 

Maybe I believe because I feel that presence in my life. And even when I don't, I know that all I have to do is pray. I've seen things go from worse to better, in others peoples lives, and in my own. I've seen people glow with passion from the inside out when they discover what it is they've been placed in this world to do. I've seen mothers who've put their children's needs before their own every single day and children who have dedicated their lives to giving that all back when they finally find their way. I've seen people who are in love, people who never thought they'd find it. And people who take risks while disregarding all of the fear that comes behind it. 

So maybe I believe because I choose to see these kinds of things happen every day. And in my heart I know who it is that's been guiding us even when we may chose not to give credit where credit is due. We've been given such crazy and beautiful life to live, and giving thanks is so simple, and yet it is really the only thing that we are called to do. And it is never too late to be thankful. His blessings are unlimited and His grace is unconditional.

All you have to do is live your life and choose to see it.

Philippians 4:13

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

I think everyone has their own thoughts and opinions when it comes to the concept of failure. I know many people who are so afraid of failure that they don't even give themselves the opportunity to try. The thing is, failure shouldn't mean you should give up. Failure is something so much more and I think it should be given the credit that it deserves. 

Failure means growth. Failure means strength and maturity and perseverance. Failure means you put yourself out there and you gave it everything you had and maybe it didn't work out how you had hoped but you learned something valuable because of it. Failure doesn't mean that we should stop trying, because believe me, I've been there. It's hard to be vulnerable and face rejection whether it's in relationships, work, or any sort of hobby you might have. I've felt failure to my absolute core, failure when I felt like I just couldn't get myself back up after the punch. I've locked myself at home for 3 days straight just because I felt like I didn't have the energy to reevaluate and start again. 

But do you wanna know something cool?

You always have the energy to reevaluate and start again. You were born with it. It's always been inside of you and it's always just sitting there waiting for the chance to be used. The only choice you have to make is whether or not you want to use it. Understand that you can push yourself to your absolute limits and after that, you can keep pushing some more. It's in your nature. Don't get caught up in the idea that failure is a rut that you've been stuck in and can't crawl out of. 

Your failure is your only motivation to finally allow yourself to break out of your comfort zone and discover what you can do when you embrace your God-given energy and redefine your strengths.  Your failure is what grants you permission to press on. Your failure is your secret hidden talent that everyone would just so easily underestimate.

Keep your failures close to your heart and pay attention to the lessons as they happen. Keep on putting yourself out there and failing hard and often because eventually you're going to get what you want. Eventually, you're going to fail so many times that your mind will be stronger, your skills will be sharper, your light will only shine brighter, and you'll finally be ready to receive the opportunity that God has planned for you.

 

John 13:34

 "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other."

It is one of the most exhausting and toxic things that you can put yourself through trying to be enough for someone who is never going to be satisfied. You'll waste so much of your time contemplating how to play that game when in reality it doesn't matter what strategy you choose, you're always going to lose. And when you lose, you're going to be mad and you're going to be frustrated, and if you're anything like me, the competitiveness inside of you will only cause you to try harder which in turn, will only make you lose quicker and harder than before. Exhausting, draining, and ultimately self-deprecating. So why do we do this? 

Maybe the people who make us feel this way aren't bad people at all. Maybe they're just confused, or lonely, or just feeling unable to let themselves be happy. 

However, I truly don't believe that by sticking around and letting yourself continually be dragged down by another person is what God meant by telling us to love others. Of course everyone has issues, it's part of being human. Everyone has something that they're not proud of or something that they can't overcome no matter what they try to do to fix it. But it's so important to understand that it's not our job to be someone else's saving grace. That's why Jesus took that role upon himself. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to let them find their own way. Let God lead them back towards the path that helps them grow, and you can save yourself some frustration by taking a few steps out of the way. You don't need to be the person who fills another persons void. You'll only be satisfied when you can fill your own. You don't need someone else to make you feel happy. You'll only be satisfied when you realize that you can be happy on your own. 

Being in a relationship isn't about patching each others holes and then digging them back out whenever we get scared. We've all been conditioned to want what it is that we can't have, and we don't realize how much we're hurting the people we care about by living in this state of mind. Nobody is perfect, and even if you did find that perfect person, eventually you'd have the choice to become complacent and feel like you need to go searching for more. And that's why relationships shouldn't be rooted in perfection, they should be rooted around accepting each other's lack, being patient while we figure out how to patch our own holes, and creating something together that's absolutely beautiful and unique because of it.