Gaining Approval

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I am not one to really need the approval of others in general, but it’s definitely important for me to have the approval of my loved ones. If my parents or family members don’t approve, I feel bad going through with my choice even if I know it’s a good thing. And this can be doubly difficult considering I have two sets of parents to go through right off the bat.

Let’s look at my most current situation and maybe you can relate.

I am planning on going to Slovakia on a mission trip next summer and I’m so excited!!! But going to a foreign country on mission can raise a whole bunch of questions and concerns from loved ones. I expected my mom and step dad to be a little skeptical of it, but my step dad is very conservative and believes Eastern Europe to be a very safe area of the world right now, so they were surprisingly approving of my decision. (And ultimately they are the most important when it comes to this.)

The next person to approach was my dad. Now he was just in Ecuador (a third world country, mind you) just about a month ago now on mission, and he has a pretty strong faith, so I thought of all people he’d be totally gung-ho about this trip. Boy was I wrong. He felt the opposite of my parents and was very concerned because it’s so close to the Ukraine and blah blah blah. I was so annoyed. He also wanted to know every single detail of the trip down to every day trip we’ll be taking and all the projects. I don’t know all of this information yet though for certain because God will lead us where we need to be once we’re there. I’m hoping to find a way to get his approval soon.

Lastly, I contacted my grandmother. She is not one I normally seek approval from completely, but when I told her about the trip she seemed a little hesitant. And when she ended up staying up for hours worrying about me and my safety there, I begin to feel bad that I’m going and putting these concerns in her mind.

Do any of you ever struggle to gain approval for things that seem like obvious good choices like going on a mission trip?? I guess I just have to trust God on this one and seek His approval only.

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Top 5: My Favorite Books

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Here’s our Friday Top 5 this week!

I absolutely love books, and it was very hard to narrow it down to a top five, but I did it for you guys! Let me know what you think of my picks in the comments!
1. 220px-Funny_Story_front

2. 91-XBtEV4OL

3. 71obwsaSyoL

4. 51aC4tiXgiL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_

5. 71VBpx0qsmL

What are your top favorite books of all time??

Let me know if there are any Top 5 lists you want to see on my blog!

October Nostalgia

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Every fall I become extremely nostalgic and even a little homesick. And it’s not just because of college. Ever since we moved, I have always felt a hint of nostalgia for my childhood and previous home.

The darkness early into the evening reminds me of the dark nights of my childhood when I would sit in the living room playing with my toys and watching the snow fall outside.

The chill in the air reminds me of the fall days of elementary school getting off the bus in the afternoon and having no homework.

The trips to corn mazes and pumpkin patches remind me of my parents taking me to a farm to pick out the perfect pumpkins and ride a hayride through a winding trail.

The crunch of the leaves beneath my feet reminds me of the afternoon walks I would take with my grandma.

Life’s Necessities

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Let’s chat over a delicious Mango Dragonfruit refresher! IMG_3126

I may be the only one that feels this way, but I hate one of life’s great necessities: showers!

I mean, I obviously feel good after I take one, knowing that I am clean and refreshed, but I absolutely hate having to take them. You either have to plan to wake up sooner in the morning or carve out time when you get home from a busy day. Sometimes it just feels like a waste of time out of my chaotic day. It’s also annoying when it’s super cold out because, although the water can be extra warm and cozy, when you get out it’s frigid!

Like, have you ever thought of why God even designed the need for showers in the first place? I understand that we get dirty and need to be cleaned, but why did those two states have to exist in the first place?

Do any of you feel this way too sometimes?

Do you dislike any of life’s “necessities” and wonder why they exist in the first place? Comment below!!

Comfort: Studying the Bible

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One of the greatest problems facing our world right now is depression and suicide. And not only does it affect the person directly suffering, but also all those around them that love and care about them. So many people are searching for answers to this problem and how to help those that are suffering.

Outside of prior mental illness, the next greatest cause of depression (*in my eyes*) is broken relationships with others. This could be friendships, or lack thereof, family brokenness, etc. Many times it’s because someone doesn’t feel worthy of others’ attention or companionship or feels unwanted by others in some capacity. What I find incredible is that God loves us no matter what anyone else thinks.

I am studying Colossians 1:15-23 right now for my New Testament class in college, and I ran across the most comforting, reassuring statement when studying a commentary today. This passage says that Christ created all things and it was all created through him. The commentary went on to say that this means that all things created (you, me, plants, animals) have meaning and worth. He wouldn’t create something without it having importance to him just as we wouldn’t. This can give us all SO much comfort! God, through Christ made YOU! He believes YOU are valuable and worthy of all the love in the world. And while we may not always receive this love by other humans, we can be reassured that we are receiving it from God.

I get nervous when I analyze the Bible (even though I love doing it) because I always worry I’m going to find things I disagree with or that disappoint me, but I should be much more trusting of God and his word than that. Every time I dive deeper I just find more and more encouragement, comfort, and reassurance. This just proves how incredible our God is!

Thank you, God, for constantly seeking us and loving us even we are unsure and feeling unworthy or unloved. Help to continually remind us of this. Amen.

Friend VS Boyfriend

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I’m sorry that the title is misleading, but I’m not dating anyone. Sorry to disappoint. I’m still happy being a single Pringle out here! But I have been pondering an idea concerning boyfriends…

Imagine your best guy friend (or gal friend if you’re a guy! This theory might go both ways). What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you picture them? Probably your inside jokes or the fun memories you’ve made.

Do you picture what they normally wear or how they do their hair? Do you picture the car they drive or how clean they keep their room? Probably not. None of that really matters when you’re friends with someone.

But for some reason it does when you start dating them. All of a sudden you’re hyper-aware of the clothes they wear and how often they throw a hat on. You notice the smell of their car or the slew of school supplies on their desk.

Why do we view a person differently when the title changes from friend to boyfriend?

Part of it I think is the fact that once you are dating you come more as a package deal, so when people think of you they also think of your significant other. This makes us sensitive to how not only we look but also our partner in crime.

Maybe part of it also is that when you’re dating someone you are thinking about a future with them, and so things like their lifestyle habits become important when they weren’t before because you had never planned on living with your best guy friend.

Honestly, I’m not 100% sure why we do this, but it kind of stinks. You can totally appreciate a person as a friend and start to date them and begin questioning it all. I guess all we can hope for is that these things that start to become apparent to us when the titles change won’t change the feelings we have for the other person if they are “the one.”

Any thoughts from you all??

Step Out for God

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My boss at my summer job is a really great Christian man. On my last day of work, he gave me a challenge. He said, “This year at college I want you to step out for God.” And of course he added, “And I’m gonna ask you about it when you come home!”

The pressure was on!

He gave me an example of how he had stepped out {of his comfort zone} for God: he asked a stranger at the post office if he could pray for her. He also asked to pray for a man that he sees walking his neighborhood every morning.

Since that day, I’ve been searching for the opportunity to do the same and looking for when God will reveal to me who I should be praying for or reaching out to. What I realized today though is that each one of our “stepping-out-for-God” looks different. I think mine is going on a mission trip next summer. For you it might be starting a Bible study or joining a worship band or talking to someone you normally wouldn’t talk to.

And I could be wrong about my own calling to step out for God by going on a mission trip to a foreign country, but so far He’s revealing that this is it. I hope He will continue revealing it to me.

So, I challenge you: Step out for God!

Top 5: Historical Fiction Novels

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These were some of my favorite historical fiction books I read in both middle school and high school! I still think back on them fondly and want to reread them all again sometime soon!

In no particular order…

1. The Revolution of Sabine by Beth Levine Ain

2. Incantation by Alice Hoffman

3. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

5. The Royal Diaries series and Dear America series (by many different authors)

I am not going to go into detail about each book since I haven’t read some of them in a while, but let me know if you’ve read any of these or what your favorite teen historical fiction books were! I think it’s awesome that there are authors out there who’ve been able to make history so accessible to younger generations!

Please check out these books and let me know what you think!!

Greener Grass?

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Have you ever heard the saying, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence?” Or maybe you’ve heard, “You don’t know something is good until it’s gone.” Both of these phrases describe our tendency to take for granted our current situations, and they are describing my current state to a T.

Some background: Last year I lived in a dorm where my roommate and I shared a jack and jill-style bathroom with two suite mates. Our dorm was old and run down and the furniture was completely outdated. While the private bathroom was nice, the shower was so small I was barely able to ever shave my legs. The location of the dorm is also far away from most things on campus especially my best friends who lived in another dorm. While my roommate and I got along really well, I got tired of her coming in at 3am on a Thursday night (or morning?) and spent much of second semester holding a grudge against her for planning to room with someone else this year.

Fast forward to this year: I moved to the dorm where my best friends live that has updated furniture and my buds right down the hall. It also has a handicapped shower that (when no one needs it) I use to shave my legs easily. But that’s where the positives really end. Communal bathrooms are not fun, and it’s taking me a while to get used to the setup in my room compared to what I settled on last year. I also miss my roommate soooo much! My new roommate is fine and respectful, but it’s just not the same. My old roommate and I just understood each other and I miss her like crazy!

Suffice it to say, the grass is NOT always greener, and I definitely didn’t know how great my situation last year was until I changed it. Granted, there are a lot of positives to where I live this year, but it’s hard not to miss what I had.

I’ve had to lean on God a lot in times that I’ve felt lonely or uncomfortable this past week or so. Here are some Bible verses that have been helping me get through these changes (as well as ample prayer!!!):

Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 18:2 – “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Radio Observation: Top 40 Vs Christian

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Just an observation.

This might sound a little hypocritical, but I listen to both the Christian music radio station and the Top 40 music station depending on the day and the music playing. What can I say? I have a weakness for Post Malone and MercyMe!

But either way, I noticed something interesting about the two stations today. I hate commercials on the radio, so I usually change the station when they come on, but I saw a huge difference between the way that each station handled the free time between songs.

Top 40 station: Commercials about acne treatment, Lasik, fat-removing clinics

Christian music station: Verse of the day, encouraging word from station pastor, ad for a women’s conference or Christian music event

See the difference?

I never noticed how so many commercials on the Top 40 station (and I’m sure other secular stations as well) focus on personal appearance and how to make you “improve” how you look. On the other hand, the Christian station stays true to its intentions and tries to keep a positive, gospel-centered culture throughout the entirety of their broadcast.

Now, I’m not trying to say that the Christian station is better or anything or to prove that listening to it is so much better than the other station.

  1. As I said earlier: JUST an observation.
  2. I think it partially exemplifies the difference in what the world is trying to feed you versus what God and the Bible feed you. And just to be constantly aware of what you are being told even through things like commercials that most of us hate and ignore, so that if you do listen to the Top 40 stations (like me), you don’t fall into their trap and believe what the world is telling you to look like or feel like or want.

Hope y’all have a great rest of your week! Love yourself just as you are – because that’s how God loves you.