Putting God first

Why do we live in a world where it is so hard to put God first? I hear excuses all the time, from my friends and myself. The question is asked, “Are you going to church tonight?” with responses like, “No, too much homework,” or “I think I’m gonna hang with some friends tonight instead.” We are all guilty of this, myself included. However, that does not make it okay. Let me tell you why.

One of the leaders in my Bible study always asks us this question. “What is the ultimate goal in your life?” Tough question, I know. But the answer should be so simple. The ultimate goal of my life is to get into Heaven and that should be yours too! So if that is the case why aren’t we living our life’s like this? My ultimate goal isn’t to have a 4.0 GPA, or to be an Olympian. However, I tend to put school and track before God at times.

Now I’m not saying to skip out on your homework and read the Bible all day instead. Psalm 34:10 says, “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” This verse is saying that if you seek God, good things will happen. He will reward us if we spend time with him. However, be careful because “reward” does not always mean what are greedy minds assume. I’m not saying just because you spend two hours praying to God, that he will make sure you get an A on the math test you skipped out on studying for. He is a good, generous Father, but he does not always give back in the ways we expect. If we serve him though, we will receive the greatest reward of all, eternal life.

 

 

 

 

He likes me!!

A friend of mine came running into my dorm today. “Oh my gosh, he likes me,” she squealed as she jumped into my room. Her eyes lit up, she was so excited, all because a boy liked her. Okay now, before you laugh at my friend, I’m sure most of us can relate. I know I’ve gotten pretty excited over a cute text from a boy I like.

But girl, do I have more exciting news for you. This is bigger than a boy sending you a cute text confessing his feelings, its God’s love!! God loves us more than any boy ever could. Now THAT is something to get excited about. As my friend left the room and this realization hit me, a smile covered my face. So what if no boy likes you right now, you can still get excited because you have a Heavenly Father who adores you!!

“God loves you,” is a message we have all  heard many times, but I think we tend to over look this message. God loves us SO MUCH and we should wake up everyday with a smile on our face because this is such good news!

I really hope you all get as excited about this as I did!

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

A princess for prince charming

img_2039Every girl wants their prince charming, including myself. We want a guy that makes us laugh more than we cry. A guy who opens doors for us and spoils us with gifts. A guy our parents love and our little brothers adore. The list goes on and on with all the qualities we want and the high standards that must be met…but who does prince charming want? He probably doesn’t want me. This thought had never crossed my mind before. However, with  all the Valentine’s Day love in the air, my mind had been thinking a lot about the “perfect guy.” But I had never thought about who the perfect guy would want. If I want a prince charming in my life I better start acting like a damn princess.

We all want the prince, but are we willing to be the girl it takes to get there? All I’m saying is a relationship is a two way street. If you want loyalty, be loyal. If you want a guy who watches Gossip Girl with you, be prepared to watch some Breaking Bad in return. If you want prince charming, be a princess.

So for all the single girls out there looking for a prince…maybe instead of looking for prince charming, work on being a princess and maybe you’ll find your prince along the way. 🙂

 

 

I STILL LOVE RUNNING

IMG_1808.jpgCollege track has been a battle. My body has never ran or lifted so much in my life. I am not used to struggling in a race or not finishing within the top five. With our indoor season just kicking off, the past few weeks have been especially frustrating. This past week has been the worst of them all, phrases like “I hate track” and “I wanna quit,” have even left my mouth a few times. However, today I went for a jog outside in this beautiful 30 degree January weather and I realized something I had forgotten. I LOVE RUNNING. I love the wind hitting my body as I force my legs to continue. I love getting lost in the music that plays through my headphones. I love the peace that fills my mind. I love admiring the sky and even the snow that sits under my feet in these winter months.  I love running for a workout. I love running to get my mind off things. I love running. The question I asked myself instead was “Do I love track?” This question didn’t have a simple, straightforward answer for me.

I used to think I was a incredibly competitive person. College or growing up or something or another must have changed that because I don’t feel competitive anymore (at least not like I used to be). I don’t care about winning a race or getting a medal like my energetic  high school self did. Yes, I do care about running my best and seeing a new PR on the clock…but that is not what running is about to me anymore. I want to run for fun. I want to run and get lost. I want to run and not worry about how far or how fast. I just want to run.

So here is some food for thought. You might not love school, but you might love to learn. You might not love your job of working at a hospital, but you love helping people. So what do you do? You find a way to love what you are doing. You find a way to make it less about the job or the sport itself and more about you. So here is what I realized, so what if I am not winning medals! I’m doing what I love and right now, thats enough for me.

Lesson from senior year

Senior year…quite the journey it has been.

I have spent months crying and having emotional break downs over which college I want to attend. In October if you would have asked me what I wanted, I would have said that I wanted to go at least four hours away, attend a big university and be on the dance team….this isn’t even close to my plans now.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past few months which is funny because I have never felt so lost in my entire life. However, tonight I realized a few things I wish I would have realized a long time ago.

1. ) You can’t plan everything!! Since I was a freshman I have been planning out my future to an exact science. When it was clear that my plan wasn’t going to work, I was heartbroken. But the lesson I took away from it was worth the heartbreak. That lesson is: things don’t always go as planned, sometimes you just have to let God lead you to where you are suppose to go.

2.) Your attitude is half the battle. I thought for so long I had to go far away and do something crazy with my life. So when I realized this dream wouldn’t happen I became so negative towards my future plans. I thought I wouldn’t have fun in college because I wasn’t going far away and doing amazing things. However, what I didn’t realize was that I can do amazing things no matter where I go…it’s just all about the attitude you have as you do those things.

3.) There is nothing wrong with staying close to home. My love for my family has grown more than ever this year and I couldn’t be happier to know I’ll be staying close to home.

4.) What other people think of a college does not matter. EVERYONE is different and just because someone does or doesn’t like a college has nothing to do with if you will enjoy college or not.

I’m going to SDSU in the fall to run track. That is a sentence I never thought I’d be typing…but excitement runs through my fingers as I do so. The future is exciting and scary all at once and although I’m excited to have a plan I also now know that sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Love what you do

I was recently asked what advice I would give to younger athletes and the overachiever in me wanted to come up with a non cliche answer. I came up with all the easy answers; work hard, bond with your teammate…blah blah. Finally I came up with what I truly believe is the best advice I could give. Love what you do. So many times I run alongside athletes who complain more than they enjoy the sport. I will never understand this. If you don’t enjoy practice, don’t do the sport. So to all the young and ambitious athletes out there, I urge you to love what you do. Love the hard, fatiguing practices filled with more sweat than smiles. Love the pressure from your coaches. Love all your failures because they only make you a better athlete. Love the team dinners and bus rides. Love everything about what you do, or don’t do it. 

I understand sometimes you will want to give up. I understand sometimes practices are stressful and you wish you could quit. I understand it all, any athlete has ups and downs. But I can promise you that all the wonderful ups will make you love the downs. 

Lessons learned lately

I’ve been learning a lot lately, mostly about myself. Maybe it has to do with me recently being single and having more time to focus on the person I want to be. Maybe it has to do with the book I’m reading, “Tuesdays with Morrie” which is all about life’s greatest lessons. Or maybe it is simply because I’m growing up. But for whatever reason, I have been journaling a lot and trying to establish what type of person I want to become.

The most important thing I have discovered is spending time on yourself is a necessity.  Simply just sitting down and taking time to focus on you can be such a learning experience. Here is some of the things I have realized after spending the last few weeks reading, writing and simply sitting alone.

I don’t want to be unfulfilled, ever. So many people regret their choices as they get older. They have a bunch of ‘what ifs’ and ‘I should haves.’  I don’t want to have those. In “Tuesdays with Morrie,” Morrie says the people who wish to be young again are the people who have not yet found meaning in their lives. Once you know your purpose in life, you want to move forward and you want to grow. That is how I want to live, always moving forward and never regretting the past.

Living a little more fearlessly is another new motto of mine. We always are so terrified of the future…where will I go to college? What will I major in? Will I make enough money? Constantly worrying and questioning my future is not how I want to spent my days. I am a firm believer in ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and that is something I need to remind myself of more often. However, being scared isn’t always a bad thing. Everyone gets scared when they are out of their comfort zone but that is a good kind of scared. The kind of scared that means you are about to do something really great.

Self-pitty. We all love to feel bad for ourselves. We sit down at night and think about our ‘terrible lives’ and let we let ourselves have a pity party. However, in “Tuesdays with Morrie” their is a great quote I believe more of us should live by. “I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than this. A little each mooring, a few tears and that’s all.” Cry it out quick and then get up with a smile and move forward. If you are unhappy with something, go change it, don’t sit their for hours and cry about it.

Learn! And by that I don’t just mean go sit in a classroom. Learn about something that excites you. Learn about yourself. Just learn because adding knowledge to your brain is so satisfying, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Although, these are probably lessons you have heard before, don’t take them lightly. The most basic lessons taught in our culture always seem to be the most important, yet most neglect to actually learn from them.

 

 

long distance relationships

Two of my best friends went off to college this year. Another two went to study abroad for their senior year. I thought the whole ‘keeping in touch’ thing would be easy. Never did I imagine that a simple conversation would be so rare to come by. With different schedules and time zone, even a phone call has become a difficult task. On top of that, we are all experiencing completely different things and trying, but failing, to understand the others lifestyle, with only old memories blinding us together.

How could someone I spent every day with last summer, now be nearly out of my life?

However, I have come to understand that it is not because we no longer care for each other. The few times I have gotten to see my college friends, the conversation carries with no awkwardness, like they never left. The few messages I do share between my friends that now live on another continent, are messages filled with love and curiosity for how the other is doing. We still CARE. But our lives no longer collide like they once did and we need to understand that. We understand that the other is off having fun with new friends, and experiencing new things. However, we also know that shooting each other a message once in a while to keep our friendship in tact is the least we can manage.

 

As I struggled to understand why friendships become weak when one is away, I learned a few things.

1.) Understand. Understand that the other is busy. Understand that we forget that we have friends sitting at home on the other side of the globe thinking about us. Understand that they aren’t trying to boast about their now amazing life, they are simply having a good time.

2.) Care. Care about what they are doing and what they have to say.

3.) Most important, cherish. Cherish the memories you once had with them and cherish the few memories you still get with them. Whether it’s a phone call or having lunch together, cherish it.

Love Yourself (title creds to JB)

 

“Fall in love every single day.” 

Immediately the assumption I made when I read this for the first time was, cheesy quote for hopeless romantics that want to find a man that they can fall in love with every single day.  And there is nothing wrong with that. However, it just didn’t have much meaning to me. Until I realized the obvious. I realized the word love doesn’t always have to be associated with boyfriends, marriage, kissing and the color red. I’m not trying to diminish the importance of that stuff, because it’s all really great. However, love involves so much more than a boy. Love involves yourself.

Fall in love (with yourself) every single day. Fall in love with the tomato sized pimple on your forehead, your tangled up hair, your lack of cleavage. I know I tend to be my worst critic but WHY I asked myself today…I should be my biggest fan. Anyone could tell me I’m beautiful but I tend to only accepted the compliment when I actually believe it. So start believing it! Looks are so temporary, and it’s ridiculous that we (especially me) care so damn much about a pimple that will be gone in a week or the prevention of wrinkles that will eventually come anyways. I believe in doing what makes you feel confident, and if putting on makeup and a sparkly dress does that for you, then do it. However, every girl should be able to feel confident makeup-less, with sweat pants on. We do it to ourself. We can blame society all we want…the 100 pound models that make us want to starve ourselves. The flawless looking (but completely photoshopped) face of CoverGirl, that convinces us to buy $50 in makeup. Yes, society is filled with all these seemingly perfect girl’s telling us to be like them, but we are the ones that buy into it. So stop. Stop thinking you have to wear makeup, or you have to be skinny. The only thing you have to be is you, and love you.

I’m not saying that is an easy thing to do. It’s not. I struggle with it every single day…believing I’m beautiful. But, you’ll find so much happiness once you start to try.

Alsooooo…fall in love with things. Fall in love with your bed, as you sink into it at night. Fall in love with the sun, as it rises to start a new day. Fall in love with the wind, as it presses against your body. Fall in love with the book your reading as the words come to life on the page. Fall in love with the music, as it swirls around in your head. Fall in love with the snow, sitting on housetops. Fall in love with moments, the good and the bad. Fall in love with your mom’s voice, filled with frustration as she shouts to you about your uncleaned room. Fall in love with your best friends smile, as she talks about her boyfriend. Fall in love with your grandma’s wrinkles, as she ages with grace. Fall in love with your own anger, as it is usually is due to something quite ridiculous.  Fall in love with everything and anything you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to follow your dreams?

How to follow your dreams?

“Anything is possible.” “You have to try to succeed.” “You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to.” But can you actually….?

Doubt clouds my mind, as my dream comes closer to reach. In three short months I will be auditioning for a college dance team. This has been my dream since I started high school dance team freshman year, and I’ve been working hard in attempt to fulfill my dream ever since. I tell everyone I’m excited, and a little nervous, of course…but that I’ve been practicing a lot and I think I can do it. As I tell them that I know that my words are the biggest understatement ever. However, as I stroll through my Instagram and see photos of UDA nations, I am beyond excited to (hopefully) be apart of that. As the audition date comes closer, I’m far past being nervous. I’m scared as hell. I’ve been practicing but not enough. My competition are girls that dance every single day. I know I have to step it up. On top of all this one question lingers in my mind…what if I fail?

Today I’m deciding to toss that though from my mind. No more ‘What ifs.’ Today I’m going to start believing the ridiculous and cheesy quotes that inspires many. You can’t go through life worrying about failure, that’s how the scared and unsuccessful live. Today is my time (and yours) to stop worrying and start trying. Enjoy the process of getting better and working hard. Then, when you have everything you ever wanted you can remember that you earned it.