Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who is your best self?

Day 10: Who is your "best self"?

I was reading The Diary of Anne Frank recently and came across an entry where she was talking about how she had a different Anne for everyone.  She was a different person depending on who she was around.  At first, I thought to myself, "That's weird. Why would you change around people?  Just be yourself."  But you know, I don't think being a different person around others is necessarily a bad thing.

When I'm around different people, a different self of me does come out.  It's not like I don't act like myself.  I just adjust so they -and I- will be more comfortable together.  For example, with my best friend, I'm more personal.  We talk in depth a lot.  I'm more calm and quiet... not in an awkward-quiet way, but in a natural way.  With another best friend, I'm crazier.  We have crazy moments and are constantly thinking of adventures.  I'm also more complimentary.  With one of my guy friends, I joke around a lot more than I do with other people.  My personality shifts slightly depending on who I am around.  But all of these personalities are still me.  I'm definitely still me. :)

I know that's not entirely what this question means.  I think it's also asking what is the best part of me or what I like most about myself.

I like myself most when I'm serving others or helping someone.  My unselfish or compassionate self is probably my best self.  But of course... I see compassion as the most beautiful thing in life, according to day five of this blogging challenge, so that shouldn't seem like much of a surprise to all of you.

When I serve others, I feel joy and peace.  I feel like I'm fulfilling a piece of God's plan for me.  Serving others also gives me a feel-good feeling that nothing else can really replace.  So that's my best self.

To be honest, I feel really awkward writing this right now.  Like I can't share my best self without bragging.  I have a lot of bad selves, but that isn't the purpose of this question.  No, Emily.  Bad.  Why can't we share good things about ourselves without feeling guilty?

Here are your questions:
1. What is your best self?
2. Do you change slightly when you're around different people?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Okay, so I'm gonna say it...

Day 9: What song has moved you recently?

Songs constantly move me, but one that has re-captured my attention lately is "Say It" by Britt Nicole.  The lyrics have been tugging at my heart, so I think there is a message God has for me somewhere in this song.

Say It

Okay, so I'm gonna say it.
I'm not afraid to say it.
The clocks on my wall keep ticking,
The moments that I keep missing.
Okay, so I must confess now,
I've settled for so much less than
What You designed.
I'm not taking my life one day at a time.

'Cause life is short and quickly passing by.
Father, will You help me make the most of what is mine?
With eyes opened wide, I'm taking You in,
Making the time mean all that it can.
I don't need a sign. I just need to begin.
With every second of every minute,
I've living in it and that's how I say it.

I've got so much to discover,
A hand I could lend another,
A word that could bring some healing.
Is there any better feeling?
Hold up, gotta see the beauty.
Hold up, gotta let it move me.
I want to be here with You in the now.
I'm done missing out.


Let me fall in Your arms.
Resting here in Your arms, I found...
A peace like I have never known, like I have never known.
Counting every star,
Nothing's ever too far with You here.
I see it all so clear.


Pretty, isn't it?
What song has got you thinking lately?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I knew more when I was four.

Day 8: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What about now?

It really depends on the age. And to make these more interesting, I thought I'd share the few embarrassing little kid pictures I have on this computer, if I can find any.

Princess.jpgWhen I was around four, I wanted to be... (prepare yourself for a long list)
- Famous author
- Zoo keeper
- Vet
- Doctor like my dad
- Adventurer
- Rancher
And according to the picture to your left, I also wanted to be a fairy princess. Isn't that nice? I think I achieved that dream.

Big Ball_2.jpgWhen I turned eight or so, I wanted to be...
- International journalist... Mostly because of Buck Williams from the Left Behind books. I thought he was a beast. If I could have his job now, I'd still be an international journalist.
From the picture to your right, you can tell that I was definitely cut out to be a basketball star, wasn't I? I definitely had those skills in me. I was born to be the female Michael Jordan.
(Yes, I was homeschooled back then.)

Pictures of the rats 065.jpgAt ten, I wanted to be...
- Famous author
- Doctor like my dad

When I turned twelve or thirteen, I wanted to be...
- Famous author
- Counselor

W Twirling_2.JPGWhen I was fourteen/fifteen/sixteen, I wanted to be...
- Famous author (Do you see a trend here?)
- Missionary to a foreign country
- Someone working with a humanitarian organization

At seventeen, I wanted to be...
- Writer
- Editor/Literary agent
- Someone working with a humanitarian organization
- Blogger

P1000534-1.JPGAt eighteen, I want to be...
Seriously. I don't know what I want to be when I "grow up."

What about you?

What did you want to be when you were a little kid compared to now?
If you are already an adult, do you have the job of your dreams?

Monday, March 28, 2011

I love the smell of hope in the morning.

This is not the best poem I've written.  In fact, it's rather poorly written.  I'm not sure why, but I thought I'd share it anyways.

Bad Day

I've had a bad day. Yes, I feel down.
I'm ashamed and I'm lonely. I can't make a sound.

Here I am, Jesus. Please open my heart.
If I've not pleased You, then I'm ready to start.

I've had a bad day. I've messed up and failed.
You have shown me Your plans, but I gave up. I bailed.

Your mercy astounds me. You forgive every sin.
And You continue to love me when I fail yet again.

I've had a bad day, but I still feel Your love.
Despite my frustrations, only You are enough.

Emily Whelchel
March 24, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

I need to recharge my batteries!

Day 7: What is your place of refuge?

P1010357.jpgMy place of refuge is my bedroom.  Dorky, huh?

But it's the honest truth.  My mom always tells me that some people recharge their batteries when they're around other people (like my best friend Ali, for example).  When they're alone for too long at a time, they'll start to feel worn out and unhappy.  I'm the opposite.  I recharge by being alone in a peaceful, familiar environment.  I love to be around people, but if I'm around anyone for too long, I'll start to grow weary.  I need time to myself: at least a few hours a day.  That's how I recharge.

When Ali is at my house, we have to learn to live with each other.  Ali is the type who truly wants to spend time with me.  That's how she feels loved and that's how she recharges.  If I'm not careful, I'll hole away from her for a couple of days and she'll become hurt or worried that I'm mad at her, when really, I'm just recharging after a busy week at school.  On the other hand, Ali's learned that if we spend several days together without any alone time, I'll start to feel exhausted and unhappy, so she's realized that I need a few hours to myself each day.  It's like we're married. :)

When I'm alone, I read, write, play guitar, listen to music, have alone time with God, and just... soak in the peace.

I love peace and quiet.  Don't you?

And today's questions are...
1. What is your place of refuge?
2. Do you recharge by being alone or by being around people?

Update: Okay, I can't help but laugh.  Looking back, I'm not exactly sure why I chose the picture I did for today's blog post.  It was taken in my bedroom, so I guess that's the reasoning behind it, but still... it's an interesting picture for this topic.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Learning to trust God.

Day 6: Describe a specific moment where God obviously was working in your life.

There have been many moments where God has obviously worked in my life.  He's been involved in my life since day one.  But if I was to pick one moment, I'd have to pick an instance from the summer before my freshman year of high school.

My eighth grade year, I was struggling with severe depression and an addiction to cutting.  I hated myself and I wanted to die.  My parents had me see a counselor after a failed suicide attempt, but when you aren't willing to listen, you won't learn, and that's exactly 20670e98eceb35c46f4a59de53117146636399.jpgwhat happened to me.

The summer before my freshman year of high school, I made a deal with God.  I know that's a bad thing to do, but I didn't care.  I had pretty much stopped believing in God anyways.  I openly denied His existence to my friends.  I was sure that if He actually existed, He would have taken away my depression long before.  He would make me happy again.  So yes, I made a deal with God, mostly so I could blame my future death on His lack of presence in my life.  I asked God to show me that He was working in my life over the summer or I would kill myself before school began.  My end of the deal was if He showed me that He could work in my life, then I would give myself to Him because I sure couldn't handle things on my own anymore.

Basically, over that summer, God used me in ways I never thought possible.  My parents forced me to attend this training called Christian Youth In Action that teaches teens how to witness to kids.  Since I didn't believe in God, that was a big problem.  I hated the training.  On the fourth day, we had to open air evangelize to children, and by accident, my leader approached a short, young-looking nineteen-year-old girl.  Humiliated and shy, I shared the gospel, expecting her to laugh and walk away, but much to my surprise, the girl asked Jesus into her heart that day.

\That night, I went home and wept.  For the first time, I knew that God had just worked through me without any effort on my part.

Over the course of the summer, I was given the opportunity to lead more than thirty people to Christ, both children and adults.  That was not me.  There was no way a shy, depressed, doubtful fourteen-year-old girl could have done something like that on her own.  I was so shy, I could hardly approach my friends, let alone a complete stranger.  God worked through me that summer.  There's no doubt.

I also went on a mission trip to Mexico City and was given the chance to work with kids living in poverty.  I got to share my testimony through an interpreter, the first time I'd ever done something like that before.  I learned what it meant to sacrifice my own comfort for the sake of somebody else.  I also was a counselor at Angel Tree Camp, a camp for kids with incarcerated parents.

By the end of that summer, there was no doubt in my mind.  God had worked through me.  From then on, I knew it would be a struggle for me to entirely give myself to Him.  Sometimes I still pull away.  Sometimes I clutch at my dreams and don't let Him take control, but I do have a deal to keep.  And my life is still His, even when I mess up.

How has God worked in your life?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Corny Blog

Day 5: What in life is most beautiful to you?

I'm the one who made up these questions for the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, but I have no idea what to say in response to this question.  Why did I choose to ask this?  Why?

Compassion knuck jpgWhat in life is most beautiful to me?  Hmm...

I'm afraid that no matter what I say, I'm going to sound totally corny, so beware now.  I'm wracking my brain for something that will sound totally deep, but I don't think I'm going to come up with anything good.

Okay, after spending the last seven minutes wondering what in life is most beautiful to me, I've got it.  And I'm not just saying this to sound deep, because I don't think it's that deep at all.  This is the truth.

The most beautiful thing to me is compassion.  I love to see compassion and empathy in other people.  When I see a person make a sacrifice to help someone in need, I almost always get chills on my arms.  God has made us to have compassion on one another, but it's been forgotten so often these days.  I love hearing stories about children and elderly and those living in third world countries and basically anyone who reaches out to help another human being.  That is one of the most wonderful things in the world.


Colossians 3:12
...clothe yourselves with compassion...

Compassion is beauty to me.  When I see compassion in the hearts of those around me, their actions and lives have never looked more beautiful.

Here are today's questions.
1. What in life is most beautiful to YOU?
2. Where have you seen compassion lately?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What is your dream career?

Day 4: What is your dream career?

This may seem ridiculously obvious to some people and just plain ridiculous to others, but my crazy "out there" dream career would be if I became a younger version of Beth Moore.  I love to write and I have a passion for helping others and for raising P1010049_2.JPGawareness for difficult issues like poverty and self injury.  I would love to write devotions and Bible Studies and use the gifts that God has given me to help young girls grow closer to Him.

If that doesn't work out, I wouldn't mind becoming a successful author. :) Not necessarily to the extent of Stephenie Meyer or J.K. Rowling, but successful enough to make a living.

On the side, I would love to travel to Africa with a humanitarian organization, serving the kids and raising awareness for their issues with my writing as well.

And finally, I wouldn't mind being a blogger.  As a career.  That might sound bizarre, but there are professional bloggers out there who write things like I do and get paid for it.  That would be very nice.

It makes me chuckle to see all of my multiple and crazy aspirations.  Does it make you chuckle?  Probably.  Above all, I know that God will help me to find joy in whatever I do with my life.

What is your dream career?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Words, Hope, and Africa

Day 3: What are three of your biggest passions?

Before I answer this question, I'd like to put Jesus at the top of this list, but because that is an obvious Sunday school answer to this sort of question, I'm not going to include Him in my list today.  Just putting that out there.

Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  I've wanted to be a writer since I was three or four years old.  I made up stories before I could actually read.  Nothing else on earth gives me that same feeling of excitement and joy than writing does.  It's truly a passion of mine.  If I go more than a day without writing, my heart starts to ache in my chest.  I feel like a day has been purposeless if I haven't written something.

Writing is a love that God has given me.  Whether He's given me talent is up to you to decide, but even if I'm an awful writer, that's okay.  That won't change my passion for writing.  I know a lot of people find my passion for writing to be funny.  Most people hate it... like my friends, for example.  But I don't.  I have a love for writing the way some people love nature and the way some people love music.

When I write, I create.

africa children block of jpgAfrica.
My heart hurts for everyone in the world who is struggling with poverty, but for some reason, a huge chunk of my heart lies with the people in Africa.  When I visited Kenya, my love for Africa expanded even more... and I didn't think that was possible.  The people I met were filled with joy and peace and beauty.  They taught me so much, even though they had so little.

No matter what I end up doing with my life, I know God is going to use me to help Africa in some way.  He's given me that love.

Those struggling with self worth.
As a young teen, I struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and self injury.  I've been through those emotions and feelings of absolute hopelessness.  I was once a little girl who felt worthless and unlovable.  I hurt myself because I thought I deserved the pain.  I thought I deserved to die.  As I've grown older, the Lord has shown me how much worth I truly have.  I am His treasured possession.  At times, that is a hard thing to accept, especially after I've taught myself to feel stupid and ugly and without value.

I feel a great empathy for other young girls who are struggling with these issues.  I know what it's like to feel worthless and I don't want any other girl to have to feel the same way.  It is sometimes difficult for me to forgive myself for the things I've done.  I've damaged God's temple.  I hated His creation when I hated myself.  When I have the chance to talk to girls who are struggling with the same things that I once struggled with, in a way, I feel redemption.  The Lord can use my most shameful and painful mistakes to glorify Him and help others.

For the rest of my life, I want my struggles and past to be available for the Lord to use for His glory.  If there is a young girl who will be encouraged by my testimony, then I will be eager to share it with her.

No girl should ever feel ugly or worthless.

Here are today's questions:
1. What are your three biggest passions?
2. Have you ever struggled with self worth?  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unseen Footprints

Day 2: Has a painful experience ever had a positive impact on your life?

When I was fifteen, a close friend of mine committed suicide.  That was probably the most difficult time of my entire life.  It's hard to accept the fact that your friendship isn't enough to keep someone alive.

100_5313-1.JPGBefore Gatlin died, I had never really experienced death.  A couple of great grandmas had passed away and I was extra close to one of them, but they were old and their deaths didn't come as a shock like Gatlin's did.  I had never lost someone close to me... and I had certainly never known someone whose death was self-inflicted.  I think it's most difficult to come to terms with a suicide, more than with any other death, simply because you keep asking yourself, "Why?" and "Could I have prevented this?"

Guilt was a huge issue after Gatlin committed suicide.  I couldn't stop wondering -and I still sometimes wonder- whether or not I could have done anything to keep him alive.  I didn't understand why he would end his life over something so silly.  I didn't understand why he would willingly hurt every single person who knew him.

When we were both in middle school and struggling with depression, Gatlin and I made a promise to each other, "If you go, I go."  We basically agreed that if one of us committed suicide, the other one would too.  We were each other's accountability in a way.  Gatlin died years after we made this "deal."  Although I had already overcome my depression, I was suddenly faced with the issue of our promise.  I felt deep down like I was breaking my word, even though dying would have been much worse than not keeping a silly promise.  And why did Gatlin get an escape from life when I had to stay on earth, suffering without him?  It just didn't seem fair.

Another struggle I dealt with was with God.  The summer before Gatlin died, I had rededicated my life to Christ.  I gave every part of me to the Lord after realizing I could never handle it on my own.  However, after losing Gatlin, I was faced with the painful reality that even though I had found the Lord again and found joy, there was still suffering.  I didn't like that at all.  I was angry at God for a long time.  "After all I've given You, after all You've promised... You let this happen?  How could You?"  I began an ongoing struggle with God.  Why did He let me feel so much hurt?

The first time I opened my Bible after Gatlin's death, I stumbled across Psalm 77:19.  It was an obscure verse.  I'd never paid attention to its words before, but this time, they seemed to blaze through my mind.

Psalm 77:19
Your path led through the sea,
Your way through the mighty waters,
though Your footprints were not seen.

This verse made me realize that even though I couldn't see God anywhere in the chaos after Gatlin's death, He was still there.  My grief and guilt were like an ocean of churning waters.  I was nearly drowning.  However, God's footprints were silently gatlin guthrie 2 jpgmoving through my life, slowly healing my wounds and bringing my head above water.  I wasn't going to drown.  He was there, even though I couldn't see Him.

It's been a little over three years since Gatlin died.  These three years have brought a transformation in my life.  I've been forced to trust the Lord in difficult circumstances.  Without Him, I could not have made it through.  He has shown me that I can survive anything with His help.

While I still ache over Gatlin's death and wish he never would have made the decision to end his own life, God has turned his death into a source of healing and transformation.  So in a way, the painful experience of losing my friend to suicide has made a positive impact on my life.  I've learned how to be strong.  I've learned how to trust God, even when it hurts.  And I've learned that it's possible to heal.   

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I became a mother of sorts at fifteen.

Day 1: What is a changing moment in your life?

A changing moment in my life was when I got to know the little girl I sponsor through Christian Relief Fund.  We'd corresponded through letters for two years, but when I actually met her in person, my entire world seemed to spin out of control.

Look what I did.JPGLavin is beautiful, smart, and heart-breakingly sweet, but she lives in a world of poverty.  Everything around her seems dead set on keeping her poor and hungry and uneducated.  Her father died from AIDS years ago.  She lives in a mud shack.  Her one pair of school shoes (when I met her) was tattered and torn.  It was painful to see this little girl I had gotten to know surrounded by so much hurt and sadness.

When I agreed to sponsor Lavin, I agreed to take care of her as an adoptive parent of sorts.  I provide food, clean water, medical care, clothes, and an education to a little girl I've grown to love so much.  The picture to your left is of dorky-freshman-in-high-school me eagerly holding up my first picture of Lavin.

I remember the first time I saw Lavin in person.  I was standing in a crowd of uniformed children who were all chattering in Swahili and broken English.  "Do you know Lavin?" I asked them, searching the crowd for a familiar face... for the face of the child who called herself my daughter.  "Is Lavin here?"

"Lavin, Lavin. Where is Lavin?"  Voices ricocheted through the group of children and heads began to turn, searching for my sponsored child.

Finally, a young girl with a painfully shy smile was nudged to the front of the group.  Lavin.  She looked at me with hesitant brown eyes, obviously unsure of what to say to me in person.

me and Lavin so cute and sweet.png"Lavin, do you know who I am?" I asked quietly.

She nodded her head.  "Emily," she whispered.  I had sent her a few pictures of myself each year, which is how she would recognize me by sight.

We embraced.

By the end of that week, we weren't only acquaintances anymore.  Lavin wasn't just a stiff-looking child from a photograph.  She was my daughter, my sister, and my friend.  I loved her.  I loved to talk with her and sing with her and see the look of pride that fell over her face when other kids would watch her enviously.  Lavin's sponsor had come to visit her.

Sponsoring Lavin was a huge step in my life.  Meeting her was even bigger.

Lavin has taught me to be unselfish and joyful, no matter what circumstances have been thrust my way.  In her last letter to me, Lavin said she wanted to be a lawyer so she could stand up for the street children.  If that's truly what she wants to become, then I'll do whatever I can to help her get there.

I love Lavin.

If you've met your sponsored child, you know the feeling.  If you don't sponsor a child yet, you can do so here, at Christian Relief Fund's website.

Here are today's questions for you to answer:
1. Do you sponsor a child? How has that changed you?
2. What's a changing moment in YOUR life?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

I enjoyed my 30 Day Blog Challenge from September, so I thought I'd go ahead and participate in another one.  However, I have other things I'd like to continue writing about, so I think I'll only participate in the blog challenge four days a week, making this more like a six or seven week blog challenge.  Oh well.

On Mondays, I'll continue my Billboard Top 10 songs review.  I'll post my Jack blogs on Sundays and my Prank War updates on Saturdays while they still last.  If I have anything else to write about, I'll just go ahead and write about it on a day of the week when I should be answering a blog challenge question.

Got it?  Good.

This 30 Day Challenge will be a little deeper than my last one, which consisted of several silly and fun questions, like "What are 5 things you can't live without?"  This one will be more difficult and complicated to write about.

I'd like you to answer the questions as well.  I'd love it if you left your answers in the comments, but if you don't have time or the question is too personal, then write about it in your own personal journal or in your head as you go throughout your day... or even write about them in your own blog.

Here's the schedule.

1. What was a changing moment in your life?
2. Has a painful experience ever had a positive impact in your life?
3. What are three of your biggest passions?
4. What is your dream career?
5. What in life is most beautiful to you?
6. Describe a specific moment where God obviously was working in your life.
7. What is your place of refuge?
8. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What about now?
9. What song has moved you recently?
10. Who is your "best self"?
11. What is your favorite age?
12. If you knew you would die in two weeks, would you change anything about your life now?
13. Why do you keep a blog? What is your favorite part of keeping a blog? Least favorite?
14. When do you feel most alive?
15. Have you ever regretted something you DIDN'T do?
16. How do you spend time alone?
17. What kind of impact do you want to make on the world?
18. If you had a friend who talked to you like you talk to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
19. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
20. Are you an optimist, a realist, or a pessimist? Which would you rather be?
21. What do you miss most about your childhood?
22. How are you inspired?
23. What is a quality about yourself that you like? That you're striving to change?
24. Who is someone who changed your life for the better?
25. How is God working in your life right now?
26. If you could write a letter to your thirteen-year-old self, what would you say?
27. What do you like best about each member of your family?
28. If you could do one thing to make the world a better place, what would you do?
29. At this time in your life, do you think you're fulfilling God's plans for you?
30. Share your testimony.

I hope you like these questions.  If anything, I'm writing these for myself, because maybe there are some lessons I need to learn.

I'll begin Wednesday.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's your glass?

You know, being negative is one of the easiest habits you can make.  It might start out with a bad day or something that makes you pretty mad... and then suddenly, your entire outlook is transformed.  Honestly, is it easier to remember the difficult things that happen in a day or the happy things?

I've noticed lately that many of the people around me are much more negative than they are positive.  I also easily fall into this habit.  I go to school and a friend walks up to me and says, "I'm so tired.  My alarm clock didn't wake me up this morning, so I had to get ready in daisy-glass.jpgfive minutes.  Plus, I didn't get to do my homework last night, so I'm going to fail," and in an agreeing way, I often reply with something like, "Ugh, I know.  I didn't fall asleep until three in the morning.  I'm exhausted.  I hope I didn't fail the test last period."  And so the negativity begins.

This needs to stop.

When we're as pessimistic as we so often are, we're putting down the blessings we've been given by God.  We're ignoring the good things in our lives and focusing on the negative.  Look at the things you do have.  Life, breath in your lungs, a Savior...  There are so many gifts you've been given and those are only a few.

1 Chronicles 16:10 says, "...Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice."

\Sometimes, you gotta vent.  I understand that because I have to vent too.  But when the conversations you have with the people around you become more negative than they are positive, there is a problem.  This week, I challenge you to outnumber the negative things you say with positive things.  If you're feeling brave, I challenge you to not say anything negative at all, at least for an entire day.

Instead of negativity, fill your thoughts with happy things, with your blessings.  If someone hurts your feelings, remind yourself about the friends you do have.  If you wake up late, just think... you got a few minutes of extra sleep.  If you get into an argument, remember that difficult situations sometimes happen, but they don't have to define your day.  When you begin to shape your thoughts to think about joyful things rather than negativity, your entire outlook on life will begin to change.

God created you to be joyful, not down in the dumps and full of complaints.  1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  You were made to be joyful.  Not lonely.  Not sulky.  Not negative.  Not complaining.  Strive to be thankful, even if you're having a tough time.

After all, there are so many things to be thankful for.  If you're having trouble finding them, it may be time to start to change the way you think.

I remember reading Numbers 11:1 last year and feeling shocked.  "Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of water-drops.jpgthe LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp."  God hates complaining.  I can complain a lot at times.  I stubbed my toe.  I'm tired.  I have a headache.  I've had a bad day.  It's so easy to dwell on the negative.  But negativity causes God's anger to burn.

Yes, it's easy to think about how much you don't fit in or how bad of a day you've had or how much you wish you could be doing something else than what you're doing with your life... but it isn't God's will for you to dwell on the bad stuff in your life.  He has blessed you, even if you don't feel like He has.  If you're breathing right now, you're blessed.  If you have one friend, you're blessed.  If you have an education or food to eat, you're blessed.  You've been blessed.  It's time to act like it.

Have you ever known a true pessimist?  You know, someone who can twist any situation into something awful?  Aren't they an irritating person to be around?  Don't they just bring you down?  Try to remember that when you're with friends and constantly complaining or talking about negative subjects, you're bringing your friends down.  You don't want to be "that friend" who brings everybody down with your pessimism.  

You know, your relationship with Jesus Christ should give you joy.  Are you focusing on the joy in your life or the things that make you unhappy?  Which do you think glorifies God more: negativity or positivity?  The Lord has given us so much.  Let's thank Him with our thoughts, words, and actions and try to keep them positive.  Does anyone agree?

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!     

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Today is my dad's birthday, so I'd like to dedicate this post to him.

You know, I've been blessed with a lot of things in my life, especially when it comes to my father.  It seems like very few kids are given the chance to grow up with a devoted and loving father.  I have one.  I've been given the most amazing dad anyone could ever have.  He doesn't let a day pass by without letting me know how much he loves me.

I love you, Daddy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fifty Inspirations

Today I would like to share fifty things that inspire me.  Perhaps they will help to inspire you too.1.) City lights at night, especially during road trips.

2.) Rain-streaked window panes.

3.) The sound of distant thunder.

4.) A crisp, new sheet of paper.

5.) Old lamps.

6.) Eva Cassidy.

7.) Accents.

8.) Swings.

9.) Blue bonnets.

10.) Photos of children in Africa.

11.) The sound that comes from an acoustic guitar.

12.) Old-looking sheet music.

13.) The smell of laundry detergent.

14.) Grassy fields.

15.) Sunsets.

16.) Eyes.

17.) Street lights.

18.) Seeing passion in people.

19.) Charcoal drawings.

20.) Old windows.

21.) Hands.

22.) Old photographs.

23.) Anything black and white.

24.) Piano keys.

25.) Abandoned buildings.

26.) Pressed roses.

27.) Sand.

28.) The faces of very old people.

29.) Movie tickets.  Lots and lots of movie tickets.

30.) The sound of rain.

31.) Baby hands and feet.

32.) Hot chocolate.

33.) Psalm 91.

34.) Window seats.

35.) Eyelashes.

36.) Dandelions.

37.) Very old Bibles.

38.) Puddles.

39.) Music boxes.

40.) Pearls.

41.) Stained glass.

42.) Words in other languages.

43.) Train tracks.

44.) Guitar strings.

45.) Fog.

46.) Clear water.

47.) Flowers.  Any flowers.

48.) Baby bottoms.

49.) The smell of grass.

50.) Eyebrows and the expressions that come from them.

Are you feeling inspired yet?