Nothing excites me more than meeting new people and hearing their stories! In this life of mine, friendship is one of the things that I value significantly. I actually have been thinking a lot about friendships in my life lately. There are SO many different types of friendships, all of which I could never see myself living without!
There’s the friends that you grow closer with because of the sports you play. These are the people who have seen you the most sweaty, no makeup on, dirty, and on the verge of puking, yet they never leave your side or let you down. They push you to reach your fullest potential, and aren’t afraid to make you work. To all my teammates past and present — I'm SO thankful for you!
The best friends! This group is THE coolest one because it’s forever changing. I can almost guarantee that your group of “besties” in middle school is not the same as it is now, wherever you are today. And that’s NOT a bad thing!
Best friends help you through some of your hardest times growing up, and are also there to experience you when you’re THRIVING! There’s nothing better than making memories with these friends! To all my past and present besties — thank you for helping me, always being down to make memories, and loving me so good!
Kanakuk friends! There’s nothing sweeter and more refreshing than these types of friends. These are the girls and guys that you get SO vulnerable and real with. These friends are the ones who you make the most memories with in the shortest amount of time. I cherish these friends so much because it’s so easy to be genuine with them. We all share that love and fire for Christ which is so comforting. To all my camp friends and counselors — thank you for being such a light to me!
The family friends! The ones your families have basically grown up together. Most of your childhood memories include spending time with these friends. They’ve been around forever, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. These friends are epic because it’s like having a second family! To all my family friends — I love y’all.
I couldn’t imagine living life alone, with nobody to share the experience or make memories with. I will forever cherish all of my past, present, and future friends. I couldn’t live without them!
We all know that our time in this world is limited. Yet it is always a surprise when the end comes for someone we know and love. The summer heading into my seventh grade year, I unexpectedly lost my grandfather, known to me as Grandad. It wasn’t my first experience saying earthly goodbyes to someone that was close to me. However it was, and still is, the most vivid.
My Grandad was the most goofy, compassionate, and encouraging person I have ever known. I shared MANY laughs, childish ways, dreams, and loving moments with my Grandad. I still carry so many fond memories of him that I would not trade for the world. He taught me lessons about life and never let me go without telling me I was loved every single time he saw me.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with horses. They fascinated me and were the only thing that I would ever talk about. My Grandad liked to fuel this obsession of mine with lots of whacky horse stories. My personal favorite is of Fred, the green-headed horse, who resides at our local Dairy Queen in Washington. Whenever he came to visit, we would make a special trip to DQ in hopes to see Fred and to grab some blizzards. We never saw Fred, but he always ensured me that NEXT time he’d show. I still think about Fred to this day whenever passing a DQ. Goofy moments shared with my Grandpa like this one are what I cherish the most.
I wish he could’ve seen me run in track meets and met my new friends. I wish he could be here so I could tell him all about volleyball and the exciting things that have happened in school. I wish he was still around to watch all of my Blue Jay Journal TV stories and read my blogs. He would’ve been all over those things! But most of all, I long for another laugh and more happy memories with my Grandad.
Mourning can be hard sometimes, but I find Matthew 5:4 as a very comforting verse when it comes to times when I experience grief. It says "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
I love, remember, and thank my Grandad for his part in my journey. He is one of the many people that had I not had in my life, I would not be the person who I am today. I often think of him and am more than stoked for the day when we will meet again.
However, the hardest pill for me to swallow last year was that you can’t please everyone.
I won’t share with you the specific story that really opened my eyes to this, however I know that almost everyone can relate to it in some way. Whether it's a teacher, friend, coach, or even family member, we’ve all had to deal with someone that no matter what we do or how hard we try, still manages to bring us down.
This may sound crazy, but now that I reflect back on that experience, I am actually grateful for that person. Without their constant disbelief, judgement, and accusations, I may not have learned this lesson yet.
“In life you will meet two kinds of people, those who build you up, and those who tear you down. But in the end you’ll thank both.” - Unknown.
It was so difficult for me to come to terms with this because I’m a HUGE people pleaser. I tend to put people’s needs before my own, find it hard to say no, and apologize even when I am not in the wrong. Not only was it very unhealthy for me to constantly worry about what that person thought about me, but it was also stressful to live up to their standards. I had to grasp the concept that people pleasing is the perfect recipe for stress, misery, and frustration. I learned this the hard way!
The bad news is that you cannot make people like, understand, love, accept, or even be nice to you. It’s just reality.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter! Odds are that someone who doesn't accept you as is and sets unrealistic expectations is the one with the problem. The problem isn't you. It is indeed them.
Remember ladies and gents, you can’t please them all and that is okay!
It’s no secret that the stigma surrounding mental health disorders is on the rise. A stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. The shame surrounding mental illness is so powerful, mostly due to the media stereotypes and lack of education, that people tend to attach negative stigmas to mental health conditions. This causes individuals suffering from this to be called names, feel embarrassed, or even to be blamed for their condition, which is completely outrageous!
I believe that ALL people have the right to be treated with humanity and respect. People struggling with their mental health may be in your family, live in your neighborhood, go to your church, or work in the same building as you.
We live in a society that puts up a front about how we should look, feel, and act. If we don’t fit that “mold,” then we feel like we have failed ourselves or don’t fit in with the rest of society. People are frightened of being portrayed as weak and have a hard time asking for help. This is the main reason why 67% of those individuals choose not to get help, because of the stigma that WE as Americans have placed upon them.
By now you may be asking yourself, “What can I possibly do to help?” The answer is straightforward. Be accepting of others! Yes, it sounds simple. That’s because it is! Just by showing individuals respect, acceptance, and taking the time to listen to them, you will provide helpful support. Having others see you as a person and not as an illness can make a monumental difference for someone who is struggling with their mental health.
If you are suffering, talk to a trusted friend or adult. Know that you are not alone. Remember, ladies and gents, your illness does not define you! Your strength and courage does! Let’s end the stigma.
In mid June, we packed up our things and took a trip down to Springfield, Missouri. When we arrived, we were greeted by two beaming ladies who were their sisters. We barbequed, played lawn games and cards, and caught up on lost time for hours on end.
The joy of new siblings for my dad, meant NEW COUSINS for my sister and I. Our family isn’t very large, so doubling the cousin count was THRILLING! We had so-o-o-o much fun together that after the barbeque was over, we decided to take the party over to my cousin’s grandparent's house; where swimming, pizza, and washers filled the rest of the night.
I NEVER once had doubt in my mind that these people were related to us. There was absolutely no denying the similarities between the four siblings. If you were to line all of them up and look at them, there are physical traits that they all share. Between the four of them, there are also MANY personality traits that they have in common. For example, my dad and one of the sisters are more quiet and reserved, whereas my uncle Jay and the other sister enjoy being the life of the party. It’s even quite comical that my dad and one of the sisters are so similar, that they even have the same profession as math teachers and coaches at the schools where they work! What are the odds!?
Since our initial meeting, we have gone to church, out to eat, shopping, and spent many hours catching up on 44 years of lost time. I guess you could say that the pieces of the puzzle have finally been put back together!
Until next time ladies and gents,
When the going gets tough, many people turn to a motivational quote for a bit of inspiration. I recently spent some time thinking. What motivates me? When I feel unworthy or discouraged where do I look?
A few weekends ago at church my pastor quoted the words of Christine Caine. She once said that, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” I immediately wrote it down in my notes so I wouldn’t forget it. There was just something about that quote that really spoke to me.
The next morning when I was reading in 2 Timothy, I came across 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which reminded me of the words of Christine. It says that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” CRAZY COINCIDENCE right?!?!
So how does this inspire or motivate me? I’m sure most of you reading this have felt ineligible, or not “good enough” to do something at some point. For me, I feel that since I am so young, I do not know enough and am not qualified to teach others about the gospel.
There are many people who are turned off at the idea of religion. Because of this, I am easily worried that my peers won’t care or be accepting about what I have to say.
I have to admit, I was very nervous about writing this post. Especially since I’m not currently in a church environment or surrounded by other Christians. What If I don’t say the right things? Will the people reading this continue to take me seriously? Or treat this post like it’s a joke?
When I started to feel this way while beginning to write this, I thought of what Christine said. Although sometimes I may feel as if I am “too young” or “unqualified” to serve my part, her words remind me that I AM enough, I AM called, and I AM qualified. If that doesn’t prove it, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 sure does. It says that I am not only equipped, but THOROUGHLY equipped. Even if that means being vulnerable enough to put my personal thoughts out there like this.
In today's world, especially as a teenager, I feel as if most of us are caught hiding behind our own masks. We are scared of rejection and afraid of judgment. Rejection can be a criminal and steal our self-worth and joy.
Some may even feel as if they are alone, which is why in today's world we are DESPERATE to fit in. We may even do the wrong things in attempt to do so, which will only hurt in the long run.
We have to get past the fear of rejection. Once we surpass that fear and take off our “masks” we will experience so much beauty and feel so much joy. We will feel SO QUALIFIED to do whatever it is that needs to be done.
Remember ladies and gents, when the going gets tough and you go searching for motivation, remember the words of Christine. If you are called to do something, you ARE qualified! Don’t ever let yourself think anything different!
That's a wrap ;) ,
Let’s admit it. Life can get pretty crazy and out of whack sometimes! Something that I have found that really aids in keeping my life in line, as well as my priorities straight, is designing beneficial routines.
I thought that I would share with you five little pointers that work big wonders. These are tips that I already have or am trying to fall into. They will assist you with staying on task. When developed over time, these small “life hacks” can insure phenomenal change