HOLLA 2017!!!!

HNY!!! Welcome 2017, we’ve been waiting for you.

Part of me doesn’t understand the purpose of a holiday that only celebrates a man made calendar, but the rest of me (the majority) loves a good celebration!!! Therefore, I’ve gone along with traditions and created a list of resolutions, the first being to make a list, the second being keeping up with my blog. What better way to start the year and the (public) blog than to share my goals for the year, the cliché ones and all!

1. Keep up with your blog.

Okay, yes, you know this already, but hopefully sharing this will help me stick to this one. My goal is to post at least once a month and then I’ll just build from there.

2. Create healthier habits.

Cliché #1. Only I haven’t resolved to get skinnier or diet. I resolved to create healthier habits. Today’s society has distorted “healthy” to mean “skinny”. I want to get more sleep (at the proper time of the day), drink more water, get outside and get active, etc. instead of laying around on my computer….except right now, I gave myself a pass 😛

3. Set a date with God.

This past summer, I worked at a Christian sports camp. Although I was a staff member hired to lead campers, I learned a lot myself from my campers and my peers. A major thing that stuck with me came from my co-counselor. She said that she “sets a date with God” each day. Its easy to get bogged down by life and let yourself push spending time in the word to the bottom of the list. Dates are different for some reason. If you plan to go to the movies with a boy, you go. If you schedule lunch with your best friend, you show up. She said that she sets a date with God and holds herself accountable to it. She doesn’t stand God up. I’ve been slacking off in my relationship with Him and I resolved to set dates with God every day.

4. Fall in love with yourself.

I have a habit of trying to please people. Now, I’ll let you know, I also have a big mouth that never seems to shut and a naive sense of what is appropriate or not so I don’t always succeed, but deep down I know that I “need” the approval of others and it tears me apart. On top of that, I don’t like conflict, so typically I’ll just avoid something and hope that it passes. In no way shape or form is that the mature approach, but I’m going to work on it. Part of my problem is that I don’t love myself like I should. When others are upset with me and think (or, more commonly with girls, talk) about me in a negative way, I in turn view myself that way. I let their poor opinion of me become my opinion of myself. I’ve resolved to love myself the way that I try to love others, despite their mistakes and differences. I once read a quote that said, “You’re feelings are valid purely because you feel them.” No one is allowed to tell you how you should feel about anything and that includes how you feel about yourself. Everyone has walked a different path in life and has been affected in different ways. I love the person that I am, or at least I’m trying to.

5. Worry less.

I let myself be consumed by things. Deadlines, college and adulting, money, people not liking me. You know, the usual. But worrying helps none of these things. Most of the stuff people worry about never happens so I’ve decided to chill out. If it won’t matter in 5 years, it doesn’t deserve more than 5 minutes of my time.

6. Experience more.

I’m a typical 20 year old girl. I like clothes, and decorations, and flee markets, and other things that I don’t need. I resolve to become more of a minimalist and use more my time and money to experience more. I’ll be a senior this fall and I’ll be in the real world. For now, I want to travel and try new things and find new hobbies. I want to take more time to feed my passions and I feel like this is my time.

7. If it makes you happy, do it.

As I said, I have a habit of people pleasing. I’ll cater to those around me before meeting my own needs. Although I believe that everyone needs a little help now and again, I’ve resolved to focus on myself. That sounds very self centered, but I think it’s necessary. How am I supposed to help others if I’m helpless myself.

Along with this, I like to be with people. So, if I want to do something that no one else wants to do, I don’t do it. I’ve missed out on way more things than I care to admit purely because I have issues with doing things alone. I’ve resolved to do it. I’m gonna do what I want to do. I’m gonna go watch the sunrise even if its early, eat at my favorite restaurant even if everyone else has already had dinner, go to the baseball game even though all of my friends hate baseball. I’m going to experience more by loving myself more and becoming more comfortable being alone (or with my dog because I just got a new puppy and he’s great and I can’t wait to take him to the lake and baseball games and everywhere)

So here’s to 2017, I have a good feeling about this one!

-highway

P.S. If you have any resolutions of your own that you think I’d like to hear, comment and let me know!

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Choose Wisely

My friends will call me a broken record, but my favorite quote is “You become the average of the 3 people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely.” I’ve always taken pride in how well I choose who I give my time to and who I choose to distance myself from. e68157ad70f4d13b4f54c540e2c5c72aI’m a good judge of character most of the time. There are obviously some people that I gave too many chances. I saw the potential for a good friend and I made excuses for them when they didn’t live up. Even so, I like to give people chances. If I wasn’t in their past, I can hardly judge it. Everyone has a chapter that
they don’t read out loud. Some peoples’ have just been ripped from the binding. They’ve been copied, often times after editing, and then hung up all over town. Personally, I’m not shopping for friendships. I don’t need advertisements or sales reps telling me who I should invest in. My relationships aren’t business transactions, but recently, people seem to think they are.

If you’ve read my previous post, you know that I’m starting at a new university this year. That was a hard decision for me, but I think that the transition will be easier, largely because of everyone who has been willing to help.

I am obviously new and I graciously accept advise. For the most part, it’s all been very useful i.e. “This teacher is always willing to help outside of class,” and “With your major, this club would look really good on your resume.” I am thankful that I have been able to make relationships early on with people that are able to make my transition smoother.

On the other hand, some advise has been a little upsetting. I nod and thank them for their insight anyways, but I leave very unsettled. These comments have been things such as “Trust me, you don’t want to hang out with her,” or “Be careful. You don’t want people thinking that you’re friends with them,” or the most shocking “I don’t know her, but she is NOT hanging out with us.”

I am in college. I am 20 years old. I can pick my friends. The only real advise I need is from The Lord. James 4:11-12 says “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” Although I’m not perfect and am often quick to judge, I try my best to catch myself. As a Christian I’ve been called higher. I’ve been called to love everyone despite their past, their choices, their appearance, everything. I have also struggled with forgiveness, but one verse, Luke 6:31-36, has been one that I have clung to in those times. It says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you. ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

My God not only desires for me to love my enemies, but the strangers at my new school as well. As a people pleaser and a human-being, its natural for me to desire many friends, but if I have to judge others and write them off without even giving them a chance in order to gain those other friends, I’d rather have none. I’m much more worried about my character than my reputation. My character is who I am, while my reputation is who people think I am. My identity isn’t rooted in my friends or even myself, but in Christ and as long as I remember that, I don’t NEED anyone.

9a621d57f542267af5bc9c8f9358e9ddGod designed us to have relationships, but He wants us to find those that encourage us in good ways. Relationships either inspire you or drain you,
help or hinder, build up or tear down. There is no in between. Now everyone obviously has their own struggles and no one will ever be perfect, but as long as your bond is rooted in Christ and they’re striving toward the model that He’s given us, then that relationship at any level is a wise choice in His book. The relationships you and I really need to question are those that encourage the dismissal of people over rumors or tempt us towards things that do not glorify God.

That being said, I am excited about this new chapter in my life. I’ve made my schedule (praise the Lord for no 8 am classes) and I’ve moved into my amazing new apartment. I’m all kinds of nervous, but mostly the excited kind. I’m ready for new-new experiences, new people, new everything. I pray that I’m able to find those godly relationships that will encourage me and keep me accountable over these next 2(ish) years, that God will have my path cross theirs, but God’s will will be done no matter what and for now, thats what I find my peace in.

-highway

 

Breakups Are Hard

I recently went through the worst breakup of my life. It was one of those relationships that you wanted for so long and it was so perfect that you just can’t let go of, no matter how toxic it becomes. In the beginning I was in love, more so than I had ever been. And for a while, the relationship brought me so much joy that I couldn’t imagine anything else.

Then the fighting started. We began pushing each other away. We fought over money, time, even friends. I think a part of me knew that I should have let go a long time ago, but I just didn’t want to give that original feeling up. Little did I know, that that feeling wouldn’t be coming back.

Now before you start to panic, no, my boyfriend and I are still very much together and very happy. This breakup was between myself and my university. And through ups and downs, the end has finally come. We’re still sorting through a few things (i.e. finals), but we will soon go our separate ways, almost like nothing ever happened.

In the beginning, Ouachita Baptist University was my home, my safe place, my own personal disney world. I was thriving like I never had in high school and my first semester at Ouachita was the happiest 5 months of my life. It was easy to think that I had made the right choice, that God had placed me at OBU. Soon things would change.

In a series of events, suddenly nothing was going my way anymore. I had peaked and I was on the downward slide, well, more like a snowball. I was tumbling down. Not only did I not achieve new things, but I lost my old ones. These included various positions, activities, and even multiple friends. I had hit rock bottom. And then as if that weren’t enough, my first year at Ouachita had drained my bank account. Translation=loans. I was at a bad place and I had to make a change.

At first I was very confused. I questioned God. If I was supposed to be at OBU, then why had I become so unhappy there? Why had my happy place become my jail cell? I eventually came to the realization, that I had never really asked God if I was meant to go to Ouachita in the first place. Subconsciously I had told myself “It’s Ouachita Baptist University. I’m sure God wants everyone to go to Ouachita.” I never actually looked for His guidance.

The truth is, God does not call everyone to attend a Christian university. Not to say that those who do choose that path are not following His will, but I personally feel pulled somewhere else by God where He could use me better. He needs people to spread his love throughout secular schools as well. At this point in my life, I’m feeling called to leave Ouachita, which doesn’t seem to make sense to many people at my school, hence the reason behind this post.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my time as a Ouachitonian. I learned many things that I probably wouldn’t have if I had chosen to attend another university instead. I grew in my faith more than I ever had before college and I was able to finally set a solid base for my faith. I believe that for the first time I’m prepared to enter the world and independently pursue my God all thanks to Ouachita Baptist University. I am able to leave Ouachita, because of Ouachita.

Although my circumstances and my calling are drawing me away from the home I made here,  it will always be my first love and I’ll always be a Tiger 4 Life.

Baptize ‘Em,

highway.to.hale