Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Change is a Good Thing..

It has been a really long time since I have written a post, but with all the time I have on my hands at work, I decided that it is time to get back into it.  Recently, I've been reading through all of my old posts and creeping myself on Facebook.  It is simply amazing to me how much I have changed as an individual over the past three years not only physically, but emotionally as well.

Looking back at my pictures, I noticed that I have changed a lot physically.  At this point in my life, I am eating right, exercising, and trying my best to maintain a good body weight.  However, I would not be able to do this if it were not for some important people in my life doing it with me.  Since they wanted to better themselves, I decided to jump on board as well. It is really nice to have people who motivate and encourage me, especially on days I really do not feel like working out or eating healthy.

During my freshman and sophomore years of college, I would work out every once in awhile, but I never really stuck with it.  Not only did I not exercise properly, but I ate a lot of sweets, fast food, and pop. In contrast, this year I run at least two to three times a week, eat a lot less, eat a lot healthier, and do not drink pop. Running has become something that I love to do, when at one point in my life, I despised it.  Since I am not very fast and I do not run correctly, it has been hard for me to get motivated and enjoy running.  Things have now changed though and I run whenever I can. As a result of that, I have lost almost ten pounds since last May.  One would think that is not that much, but for a girl my size, it is enough.  I'm very proud of how far I've come and plan to continue to better myself through healthy living, keeping my faith, and exercise.

As I kept scrolling through old pictures, I couldn't help but notice the places my pictures were taken and who they were taken with.  My first two years of college were pretty rough, but it did not stop me from having fun. There were countless late nights, cru parties, junk food consumption, intramural games, and many other activities I engaged in.  As time flew by and I moved into a house and gained new friends, I started to realize that I was no longer interested in engaging in certain activities.  In a sense, my interests changed over the past two years and things that were once of importance to me, no longer are.  Yes, I still have a lot of fun, just in a much different way.

Since I now get the privilege of living with my best friend, we like to make our own fun together by doing crafts, going for ice cream, going on double dates, completing devotions at Boomer Lake, and fighting with "our" brother.  I also have a significant other now, so I get to watch movies, go on dinner dates, attend sporting events, go to plays, and hang out with him a lot, which I love.  In addition, I now have a sister who is a senior, I get to watch her play sports one last time, help her with school projects, go shopping, attend sporting events, and hang out with her and my parents before she graduates.  Since one of my best friends and her husband live in my hometown, I like to visit them and spend time with them as well.  As one can see, a lot of my priorities have shifted from things and people here at college, to things and people at home.  Although I like to go home a lot, the friendships from cru, my classes, and SPURS that I have made over the past few years are still very important to me, so I make time for bonding and catching up with them as well.  In a sense, I am getting the best of both worlds. School and newer friends are here at college, but my family, my man, and old friends are at home.

It is amazing how one can change over such a short period of time.  Since I now know what I want to do in life, where I want to live, who I want to spend my life with, and the people I want to stay in touch seems to make a lot more sense.  I am extremely happy with where I am in my life and I could not be more blessed.  I have the best family, friends, and boyfriend that a girl could ask for and I would not change that for the world. My life is by no means perfect, nor will it ever be, but I am thankful for the way it is turning out so far. 

I have not always viewed change as a good thing, but at this point in my life, I would say it is a very, very good thing. I urge you readers of this blog to take a look at your own life and find things you are grateful for. Go back and look at where you were two, three, or even ten years ago and see the difference those years have made. Are you happier now? Are you a better person? What motivated you to become who you are? Who helped get you to this point? Do you believe change is a good thing? Ponder on your life and be sure to thank the big man upstairs for the life you live and for allowing you time on this earth. We only have one life to will you live it?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spreading the Word to end the Word.

Over the semester, I have been taking a class that enables me to work with students who have disabilities. The class enables children with disabilities the opportunity to work on their fine motor skills, range of motion, and listening skills by allowing them to do activities in a heated pool. I work with two very charming boys who have completely stolen my heart.  I work with Jonathin, age 21, and Carson, age 14.  Both of these boys have severe cases of autism and struggle with difficult obstacles every day of their lives.  Most of those obstacles are things you or I will never have to deal with in our entire lives.  On swim day, you can always guarantee each student will have a smile on their face and are ready to have some fun!
There is no doubt that in our society today, people discriminate against others, especially if they look different. Most of the time, people put down others who can defend themselves. I'm talking about oppression towards racism, sexism, religion, etc.  All of these people being oppressed have the ability to stand up for themselves even if they choose not to. What about people with disabilities? They physically and mentally do not have the capability of defending themselves.  This is exactly why I have pledged to spread the word to end the word.
You may be thinking....what is the word? The word is retard or retarded. The R-word, “retard,” is slang for the term mental retardation.  In today's society, it has become a very common word when indicating that someone is being stupid, such as, "you're retarded" or "stopping being a retard." When used like this, even if it is not meant towards a person with a disability, it is still offensive. The fact of the matter is though, is that the word is insulting and has dehumanizing and hurtful effects. Because of that very reason, I have decided to completely cut this word out of my vocabulary.
Millions of people have a mental disability all over the world. They did not choose to have this disease and simply do not have the ability to stick up for themselves when they are being mistreated.  So the next time a disabled person is at the butt of your joke or you call a perfectly normal person a “retard”, think carefully.  There are so many people that know someone or are close to an individual with a disability, so you never know who you are offending.  I pray that before people look down on someone because they are different or prejudge a person by the way they look or act, they put themselves in their shoes first.  It is no surprise that Jonathin and Carson are two of my favorite people in the world.  They do not know it, but every Thursday, these boys make my day and remind me of how much God has truly blessed me with.  I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of bettering their lives!
I would urge you to take the 10 minutes to watch this video.  It tells a good story of how people view disabled individuals today and why we need to stand up for them, as well as why cutting out the r-word is so important.  I promise it will make you rethink the things you say!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Projects Galore!

So over the past year, I have gotten pretty crafty!  Take a look at my room before I got a hold of it and the craft projects I made to personalize it! :)

This was my bedroom before I moved in..

Here it is now...a little more shabby chic. :) 

  My Art Projects
This is just a cork board I bought at Hobby Lobby.
I simply took the cork board out, added wire, and painted and glued rhinestones to some clothes pins.  Now it holds tons of pictures in a better way than a cork board ever would!

This table used to be brown.  I painted it completely black and then glued large, clear pebbles around the outside edge.  I then broke up some mirrors and mosaiced the top of the table. I am really proud with how it turned out!

This is just a letter P that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I bought some scrapbook paper, glitter, rhinestones, ribbon, and stones to make it my own. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Truly Thankful

It has been a decade since I have blogged, but what better way to welcome myself back to the blogging world than with a blog of all of the people in my life I am thankful for. (This is long so beware and read at your own will be glad you did though.)

I am thankful for Jesus Christ.
How lucky are we?! I mean, God sent his son down here to this horrible world to live a perfect life, die, and rise again...all just for us!! It's simply indescribable! I am so thankful that I have chosen to live a life for Christ and that He loves me so much, even when I make stupid mistakes.  His power of forgiveness is one that I strive to have myself and I love Him more than all the love in my entire heart.  God has blessed me with each and every person I am about to list and without them or Him, I would not be the person I am today.  So without further ado...

I am thankful for my parents.
I kid you not, I have the BEST parents in the world...and I'm not just saying that.  They support me in all that I have ever done, not to mention shelled out the money when I've needed it, which is probably more often than they'd like.  Dad, you have the kindest heart of any man I have ever met. You have so much love to give and you are always so patient with us three girls! You are the best elementary principal I have ever met because you are so selfless and want what is best for everyone.  Without you, that place wouldn't even be standing...and I seriously mean that.  Thank you for all you do for everyone else and being a Godly, loving, and the best model of the type of man that I hope to marry someday.  Mom, you have the biggest heart of anyone I know.  You spread yourself so thin, but you give your all in everything you do. You think about the little people and try to make everyone feel welcome and loved.  That is a great trait to have and I hope I can possess that one of these days.  Thanks for always being there for me and listening to me rant even when I know you'd rather not.  I know that times get tough sometimes but your faith in God is one that is hard to copy so I know that when things are not the best, you are going to be just fine.  I pray for both of you every night and miss you when I am at college. Thanks for being there for me and taking time to let me know you still care about me and love me each and every day. Much love!

I am thankful for the power of forgiveness.
Without this, I would be such a hateful person.  We all would really.  There are so many people and things that have hurt me in this world that without this power, I probably wouldn't be a very happy person.  I know that God forgives all of us ALL the time, so why is it so hard for us to forgive people?  Forgiving people is something I am so passionate about and try to do everyday.  I think we could all be better people if we strove to do that too....wanna give it a try with me?! I'm always needing accountability! ;)

I am thankful for my seestah.
I'm not going to be all mushy about her because she wouldn't want me to. Yeah she is probably gagging as we speak.  But I'm thankful for you Payton because without you, my entire life would have been so boring.  I'm really glad that mom and dad decided to have you because on that day, God gave me a permanent best friend.  We may not get along all the time, but there is no one I'd rather have as a sister.  Even though we don't talk as much now with me away, I hope you know that I love you very much and think and pray for you each day. Thanks for giving me laughs, making me cry, and letting me be your sister. Love ya!

I am thankful for my grandparents.
Okay, now seriously people, do you know better grandparents than Bob and Ilene?! Nope, didn't think so.  They are the epitome of grandparents.  I miss them so much it's crazy.  I mean, how could I not miss my grandma's amazing cooking, her loving heart, and encouraging words and hugs...or my grandpa's stories and great big bear hugs?? They have always been there for me whether it be a sheep show, basketball or softball game, or an FFA activity.  In college, they have supported me in more ways than one, send me encouraging letters, pray for me, and of course, loved me more than ever. I am so thankful God gave me them and that He has allowed them to be such a big part of my life.

I am thankful for cru.
Even though  I wasn't too fond of cru last year, this year I am beyond thankful for it.  I look forward to it each and every Thursday.  It has given me some of the best friends I could ask for, it is helping me grow closer to God, and it is showing me some great examples of Christians I need to strive to be like. God is so good and I am so thankful He made me stay plugged in to this great organization because without it, I wouldn't enjoy college, nor my walk with the Lord near as much!

I am thankful for Jeania and Rick.
You two are such a great aunt and uncle.  There aren't two other people made better for each other than you two. You balance out each other so well, not to mention raised some of the best kids you could ask for. I am so thankful for your family and what they mean to me.  Your kids show me so much love and I know they learned that from you.  You both have such big hearts for others and are great people all around. Even though you moved even farther away from me, I still love you and can't wait to see you soon...not to mention I may be coming to live with you in the next couple of years. That in itself is something I am so thankful I have as an option. You all are the greatest and  I love you with all that I have!

I am thankful for education.
Growing up in a family of educators, I know how important education is.  I was privileged to go to the best school system in the state and now I'm getting to go to the best college in the state. Without education, our world wouldn't be near as advanced as it is now and we wouldn't have near the gadgets and gizmos we base our lives around. So yep, I'm thankful for education and the people that have devoted their lives to it!

I am thankful for Adam and Crystal.
I am very fortunate to be so close to my youth pastor and his wife.  Not many students get the opportunity like I received to build such a strong relationship with these two people.  There isn't enough space in the blog to write how much I love these two people.  They have done so much for me that I probably did not even deserve.  The friendship I have developed over the past few years is one that many people don't understand, and you know what? I could care less. Without you guys, I know I wouldn't still be in college up here at OSU, I wouldn't know my loving Savior, and I wouldn't have been through some of the best and maybe some of the worst experiences of my life. Thanks for always believing in me and continuing to be my best friends. You guys mean the world to me! I'm throwing this person in here to. Daylon- You are in there with these two as well. Whenever they are there for me, whether you want to be or not, you usually are too. We have gotten to be pretty good friends and I am thankful for our friendship. You and your brothers mean a lot to me and I'm very lucky to know you all!

I am thankful for a house.
There are so many people in this world who are living in poverty and have little to nothing.  I have a house, a bed, food, water, etc. Those right there are things that I should be beyond thankful for.  I am so blessed to be able to have the things I have and I hope that I share my blessings with the people around me in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  Having all of these things are defnitely something I am very, very thankful for!!

I am thankful for my entire family.
All of my family means so much to me and I love each one of them equally.  This year we have been blessed with three new additions to the family..Aubrey, Landri, and Heidi.  They are the three most precious girls ever and I love them so much.  God has blessed our family so much and I am thankful that we are all healthy and able to spend time with one another.  I love all of you very much and thank God everyday you all are in my life.

I am thankful for SPURS.
SPURS is an organization I'm involved in where we cheer for the basketball boys, make them posters, sell programs, work with Coaches vs. Cancer, and represent OSU athletics.  I have made some awesome friends from being involved in this and it has helped me to get more plugged in on campus.  I love it and am very thankful I've been given the opportunity to be in the organization.

I am thankful for each and every one of my friends.
Stephanie- you are such a good friends and it is such a God thing that God put us in each other's lives. I wouldn't be able to function without you at times. Deavon and Ashlyn- you know what you mean to me and I love you both with all of my heart. You always have been and continue to be two of my best friends. You are always there for me and I appreciate that a lot. Madison- I am so thankful God gave me you in the 1st grade. We have been through the most together and you will always, always be my very best friend. I love you til the end and back. Christen- Somehow God put you in my life too and I don't know why he did, but boy am I thankful for you. You are the best roommate I could ask for, not to mention friend. I'm so excited for you and your new adventures in life. I can't wait to be standing next to you in May when you marry your best friend. Carmena and Chelsea- Even though we have only been friends a short time, I am beyond thankful for you all. Whenever Reeves told me I needed to get to know you both, I was a little hesitant, but I'm so thankful I did. You are two of the funniest, nicest girls I know and I am grateful for you. Things happen for a reason and I believe you are in my life because of that! There are so many more of you that I could name but this blog would be a novel and no one would read it so....just know that if you are reading this or if I have talked to you within the last year, you mean a lot to me and I consider you a friend. I'm so thankful for each and every one of and old!

I am thankful for life.
I am so thankful that I can type on this computer, run and play basketball, hang out with friends, watch tv, buy things, make people's day, mentor Misty, help people in need, read, write, listen to music, go to church without being convicted, eat out, induldge in sweets I shouldn't, take pictures, joke around, travel, go to sporting events, be myself, encourage others, blog, hold babies, paint, and everything else in my life I have forgotten to mention.

Everything in this life...I am thankful to God in heaven for. All of the experiences and situations He has put me through have made me that much stronger.  I am thankful for the person I have become and I continue to become. Thanks be to God always.

Over and out...(most of you probably didn't make it all the way down here to the end, but if you did, thanks for reading....and guess what?! I'm thankful for you!!)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fighting to Create a World with More Birthdays.

Before you read my blog, I want you to do something for me. Actually, it isn't for me at all, it's solely for you.  If you follow the link below it'll take you to a very moving video. It's only 3.5 minutes long so it won't take too much of your time. Please just watch'll touch your heart in more ways than you can imagine. You may shed a few tears, take a moment to say a prayer, or just sit in silence when it's over, but I urge you to come back and read my blog. I think you'll enjoy what I have to say.

Did you enjoy it? Did it touch your heart? Did it make you reevaluate certain things you do in life? Did it make you happy to be alive? Are you ready to start making a difference? If the video didn't make you rethink the way you live your everyday life, you may want to get a reality check...and do it quick.  There isn't one thing in this life that I dislike more than the word cancer.  It's everywhere and no one likes to hear it.  It's a terrible disease that affects the lives of so many innocent, beautiful, loving people in this world.  It saddens my heart to know that no matter how hard people work to find a cure, it's a slow process that potentially could never work. But it's a chance I'm willing to take. I hope and pray everyday that the money and time I give will aide in helping cure this sickening disease.

There are so many ways that the average joe could help those who have come in contact with this disease.  After watching the video, you can see that we spend money on stupid, pointless things.  We do this in order to either feel better about ourselves, please our taste buds, or give us a nicotine fix. Selfish much?! No one needs to supersize their meal at McDonalds... No one needs to buy packs and packs of cigerettes (which I must say can cause cancer and kill you. Don't get me started.)... No one needs a mocha everyday after work... No one needs any of these things to keep them happy, definitely not healthy, or any more popular or better than the next person. So why do we give in?!!

Ever since I was in middle school. I have had a soft spot in my heart for people who have been diagnosed or affected with cancer.  I wasn't very close to anyone that had it or anything, but it was something that was near and dear to me.  I decided to start getting involved with Relay for Life in our community.  Being a part of such a great organization was one of the best things I could have ever done in my entire 20 years of living.  Though I usually was the only one on my team that really cared about Relay and why we were doing it at that age, I still strove to do my part and make a difference in people's lives through my involvement.  Now as I've grown up a little, I've seen more and more people become a victim to cancer.  Here recently a beautiful, strong, unbelievably talented, down right inspirational friend crossed over into a new life because of that nasty word.  Though I know she's as happy as a lark, carefree, and dancing with Jesus without a pain near her, it still hurts to see her go.  I know that what I'm doing through the Relay for Life is giving others the chance to have more birthdays, more time with family, less tears, and another day at living.

Tonight is the Major County Relay for Life at the Fairview Football Field.  It's at 7:00 pm and lasts all evening.  I urge you to go out and see what it is all about.  Not only will there be countless survivors present, but there will also be a huge number of people just like you and me out there for support.  Cancer is all around us and it is up to us to figure out how to fight it.  Even though I am not on a team this year or on the committee, you can guarantee I will be making an appearanc to let those survivors and the ones fighting this disease know that I'm there for them. I'm praying for them and cheering them on in their battle, which they will win.  So how about you? Will you make a difference and give up a little to give a lot? Or will you just sit back and watch others take action?

I challenge each and every one of you to either make a team, join a team, donate some money, or just go to a relay and see what it’s like…I promise you, it’ll change your life forever.

“If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?"                   
-John Lewis

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Altared From the Inside Out.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- that is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

This past week God gave me an opportunity of a lifetime.  He blessed me with chance to change myself, as well as enabled me to assist many junior high students in changing theirs. Being down in a canyon with 200 people on fire for God, no cell phone reception, no distractions, and the presence of God is something you really can't describe in words. In fact, it's nearly impossible.  I did find out through the journey though that one week is all it took for my life to be changed from the inside out.

Before I left for camp... I was a little nervous because this year, I was attending camp as a leader instead of a camper. Not only was I nervous because I didn't know what to expect, but I was also a little hesitant about leading a bunch of 7th graders through the curriculum.  I had decided before I left that I was going to make the best out of any situation and try my best to not hold back.  I knew I'd regret it later if I didn't listen to God's will and try to lead students on the right, spiritual path.

The beginning of the week started off a little like I had worried about.  I was nervous, the kids were quiet, and I wasn't too sure I knew what I was doing.  Monday night, I prayed long and hard for God to give me the confidence and courage to start over on Tuesday.  The next day, my whole experience turned around. Now, it could have been the fact that it was Tie-Tye dye-Tutu-Tuesday, but I'm pretty sure it was the power of God working through me.  My small group started to warm up to each other, my partner, and to me by the end of the day, which made the experience that much better.

There were so many great things about last week that I'd love to share, but I'd be writing a novel.  Between the non-stop laughing in my small group, to watching the kids battle it out in volleyball, to them trying to figure out how to get from one plank to another on the low ropes, to watching the Spirit work through them in worship... it was an awesome week. All of these things were just a few of the things that showed me why God had called me there.  Not only were the kids amazing, but so were the staff. We all got along so great and brought out the best in one another. It was so great to know we were all there for a reason and understood that God was working through us.

Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself, but I learned more about what junior high students face in today's day and age. I received the chance to relate to many of the students and be an ear for them to talk to.  It was by far one of the most rewarding things I've ever done and taught me what is truly important in this life.  I met so many amazing kids that have so much going for them if they keep their eyes on the real prize and be blessings to others just as they were to me.

I was truly changed last week from the inside out. I know that kife is truly slipping by one day at a time and it's up to us to be the real change we wish to see in the world. Our children are the next generation and if they aren't well equipped for what they'll face, how will they cope? How will they know there is a God that loves them and there is more to the materialistic things the world shows them?  I believe that it is becoming harder and harder for students to live a life for Christ. By taking a week out of my somewhat busy schedule to be an example and leader for them, I'm making a positive difference in their lives, as well as my own.

My God is Greater. My God is Stronger. My God is a God Who Saves. <3

Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye.

So, four more days of class and four tests and I'll be done with my first year in college.  Is that not crazy?! I'll answer that is beyond crazy!  Last year at this time, I was worrying about my Senior Prom, sending out graduation announcements, and anticipating the big night. I was so wrapped up in everything and so excited about gaining a new sense of freedom that I wasn't even thinking of all the changes that would enter my life. Needless to say, the night of graduation, it hit me: I'm growing up and NOTHING is going to be the same after this moment.

And I was right... nothing has been the same.  There was a part of me way back in August that didn't even want to go to college. All I wanted was to stay where I knew what to expect and somewhere I was safe.  When I got to college, my view on the whole situation still hadn't changed.  I was excited for something new but I knew absolutely nothing, I was on my own, and I didn't know what to expect.  It was a rough couple of months.  My car (which I got for graduation and loved dearly) got hit and crushed forever, I had a four wheeler wreck with my dad, and my classes weren't the easiest.  I cried often (okay, maybe a lot) and I questioned myself on what I really wanted out of my college experience.

I would love to say that it was just a phase and I got over it in no time, but it really did take awhile to adjust.  By Christmas time, I still wasn't 100% I wanted to go back, but I did.  I knew that I needed to make the best of my year.  I became very passionate about children with disabilities and decided to declare my major.  I also became more involved with the Christian organization I was in last semester, but I started to put myself out there and participate in more activities.  I also found a much needed friend who just so happens to be my roommate next year in our new HOUSE! Not to mention, I was chosen to be a SPUR for next year's OSU basketball season.  It's all quite exciting and happened so quick.  Never in a million years would I have thought all of that could happen in a few months time. 

I have changed a lot since the beginning of the year.  Not that I've changed who I am, I've just rediscovered what is important to me and I'm very happy with what I found.  Even though this year is ending, I know that the summer will present me with even more challenges that will shape me into the woman God wants me to be. I'm even sort of sad to be leaving this tiny, undecorated, kind of smelly, almost unbearable, dorm life with my roomies.

God has done amazing things with me this year and I am truly blessed beyond belief.  He has placed people in it that I don't deserve and given me too many opportunities to turn my year around.  I'm happy to be done with school soon and for summer to start.  It'll be nice to get away and do my own thing without assignments and tests being shoved down my throat. 

I'll continue to blog during the summer, though I highly doubt I'll have as much to say.  Hopefully, my blogs are an inspiration to someone and they bring smiles to faces... I know they do to me.  For now, it's off to practice my speech for my presentation tomorrow (if you're reading this, say a little prayer please).