In my post from a while back, One Minute Late, I ended with a list of dreams I had for myself to accomplish with God by my side.
1. Take any and every opportunity God puts in front of me
While, I can never be sure if I have taken every opportunity because frankly, sometimes I am just oblivious, I would like to think that I have taken more opportunities than I had before. One example, I have taken the opportunity twice to lead the talk during middle school youth group on Sunday mornings. This is something I normally would be very afraid to do and would have even avoided it, but I didn't let that get in the way and through the process I learned that I really love it!
2. To always be reading and learning
When I made this dream, I was so frustrated with school and was just being plain lazy. I wanted my zeal for life and learning back. I have since picked up multiple books, read newspapers/ magazines, and have fallen in love with reading all over again.
3. Eat healthy
This is something I am very proud of right now. I was an extremely healthy eater for a few years and then somewhere along the road, I stopped caring. Then, this summer I took it one step further and enjoyed the junk food way too much. I have gotten back into the swing of healthy eating and I don't miss the junk food at all! I don't deprive myself if I crave something, but I do limit my portion size of anything unhealthy I decide to eat. I have been taking a multivitamin everyday and honestly since I have changed my eating habits, I have seen an overall increase of happiness and a decrease in exhaustion. Junk food makes you grumpy!
4. Become a runner
Okay, so I didn't accomplish this dream. But sometimes you have to follow one dream to find your actual dream. I learned through trying to run that although I loved the physical exercise, I am simply not motivated to run. I have yet to find the perfect exercise for me, but I am currently looking into yoga or pilates.
5. Keep up with my blog
I feel like I am doing a pretty good job. I would like to get to the point where I am blogging more frequently.
6. Overcome my current struggle/ obstacle
All I have to say about this one is that God answered prayers and worked in my heart BIG time to heal and overcome this, and I couldn't be happier :)
7. Be patient with my education and learn to appreciate it again.
I barely made it through the last few weeks, days, hours, minutes, of my semester. But I made it and am definitely optimistic for next semester.
8. To keep dreaming..
Oh I definitely have some new and developing dreams, but that is best left for another post. (my first cliff hanger :P)
While of course these are only a handful of answered prayers in the last few months, they are great examples and touch on all different aspects of my life from fun things to serious struggles. As long as you reach out and ask with God-filled intentions, He will respond.
I have had mild anxiety my entire life, but it has definitely manifested itself since my junior/senior years of high school. God has without fail, given me peace every time I ask. And, I, have without fail, somehow forgotten that and allowed myself to be anxious when all I had to do was ask for peace.
My family isn't perfect and if your's is, then you aren't paying close enough attention. But despite our shortcomings, I couldn't love them more and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I have a wonderful father who has never been anything less than understanding and loving. Even when I have done something wrong, he corrects me, shows me the lesson, but then is right there by my side while I work through the consequences. My mom is my best friend. She isn't afraid to tell me the honest truth. When I am being stupid, she tells me. I hate it in the moment, but I couldn't be more thankful in hindsight. I wouldn't be the person I am today without her pushing me to be the best that I can be, that she knows and believe I can be. My parents are my biggest fans and I know that I am extremely lucky to have that. My brothers are so unique and awesome in their own ways and are growing up to be great, God loving men. Although we bicker, when it comes down to it, I know I will always have their support and love. They have become my rocks that I can depend on and when I am struggling, they are always there with open hearts and open arms. AND the wisdom that somehow makes its way out of their mouths past the teenage grumps and gripes and their silly and sometimes gross jokes, really, truly amazes me.
This is a blessing, but also still a prayer. I have been blessed with being surrounded by God loving people who have all become very dear to me, but because making friends does not come super easy to me simply because I seem to be very shy when I first meet people, I would love more opportunities to meet and start friendships with more God loving people.
My boyfriend and I have been through a lot in the past two and a half years, especially this past semester. Most of it was wonderful, but some was definitely a struggle. It has not only been a blessing to have him in my life, but a blessing that God used our struggles to bring us, as a couple closer to Him. We have both, since we have known each other, had strong faiths and we would occasionally go to youth group and church together. Although we were individually focused on God, our relationship was God honoring but not God centered. We now pray together; we discuss God together; we use scripture to help us through the tough stuff; we love each other the way God instructs us to instead of the selfish ways we want to; we are involved in ministry together as much as we can; but we also make it important to focus on our individual relationships with God as well. God has taught us the meaning of true forgiveness, patience, and grace and now we are truly stronger because of Him.
Education and Opportunity
Despite my shallow frustrations with school, deep down I am so gracious that I have the ability to study what I want to study and where I want to study. I have so many more opportunities than a majority of the global population and I am so very guilty of not appreciating it the way I should.
Gifts and Passions
God gives every single one of us spiritual gifts whenever we enter into relationship with Him. He uses those gifts along with our passions that He has programmed into us to do His work. I am incredibly blessed and thankful for the gifts and passions that God has placed in me. This is not because I think that I am uniquely or extraordinarily gifted, but instead because God made it (of course He did, He's perfect) so that we are uniquely talented to accomplish the things we are passionate about!
What are you thankful for?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Over and Out