As we mark another New Years Eve celebration, I want to give you my final thoughts for the year 2014. This year has been a great year but a hard year…one filled with change, growth and eventually triumph. It was a year marked with pain but this pain caused me to grow and to strive for greatness. This was the year of the process, the molding and shaping period of my life and for that I am extremely grateful. God has been good this year, so good and because of this I wanted to share 15 things you must do in this new year. I use the word must to stress the importance of these actions…either way, I recommend doing these 15 things in the pursuit of a better mindset and life.
15. Make the small things count.
14. Enjoy what’s around you and who is around you.
13. Stand for something- if not, you’ll fall for anything.
12. Fill the need, whether it’s in your community, church or livelihood. Fill a need, do something significant.
11. Dream big!
10. Plan out your dreams, dreams without a plan/goal are just dreams…you need goals so that they can become reality.
9. Smile more.
8. Try to exercise, if your body feels good- you’ll feel good.
7. Use your time wisely– not everything and everyone is worth your time.
6. Give to those who can never repay you– this will test the intentions of your heart. We are supposed to give of ourselves selflessly.
5. Share hope– through spoken word, smile, anything. With so much bad in the world, you can make life a little better for someone else.
4. Forget the past– if not, you’ll stay stuck and won’t be able to truly enjoy life.
3. Forgive quickly– it’s the key to true freedom, remember who first forgave you….
2. Love with everything!
1. Meet God- I promise He will change your life only for the better. Build a relationship with Him, He’ll never disappoint you.
I ❤ you guys and I say thank you for journeying with me this year. This has been my year of great change, but what has remained the same has been y’alls consistent support. You guys are the reason that I share hope and write daily. I wish you all a Happy New Year. Enjoy this holiday with friends and family. Always remember: love is a movement and we are called to love like Christ: selflessly, passionately, honestly, deeply and securely. Wishing you guys the best!
Today’s poetry tells the story of an onlooker witnessing an argument between someone they know and someone else. Situations allow us to see individuals in a different light, but all in all- we are never to cast judgement: we are supposed to be there for people during hard times. When we witness hearts being broken and self-esteems being lost, we are to be present and speak a word of hope. That’s our role in the earth, to be bearers of hope. I learned this lesson when it was too late- I pray that you don’t do the same!
I hope that you have a fantastic day celebrating the birth of Christ. I love Christmas songs, but my ultimate favorite tune to sing is ” The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. What is your favorite Christmas song? Feel free to share that song with me below! I pray that this Christmas is the best one yet 🙂
Until next time,
Featured Image Credit: http://www.joniskelis.lt/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/christmas.jpg
I didn’t plan on writing today, especially as we near the holidays and some of you all will be surrounded by family- making you too busy to read. I understand the hustle and bustle of the season, trust me I do…but as I was sitting reading my Word for the day, I felt led to share these thoughts with you.
For those without family or friends, the holidays can suck! Some of you may find yourselves all alone during this season and from experience I can tell you that isolation breeds depression. I struggled with depression for 14 years…battling the sane demon that would drag me down through isolation. Being alone is not a bad thing but living a lifestyle where you are secluded from others can be bad. We as mankind, were created for community to reflect the community of God. The bible says that the council of God (Trinity) said, Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness…” So If we were created in the image of God then we were created to live in community, we were never created to live alone.
So the Enemy knowing that we thrive best in the community of others will lie to us and tell us that we can fix ourselves in isolation. This isolation includes but is not limited to: disconnecting from family, cutting ties with social groups, not having friends, not having a church community, allowing unforgiveness and bitterness to keep us from speaking to others, and then lying to ourselves with the phrase “I don’t need anyone, I can live life with just me…” Yes, you can live alone but you cannot thrive alone. Life without growth is stagnation and if its sitting still, then its dying.
I read this verse and I thought about how Jesus being God Himself, still thrived in the midst of His connection with the Father and Holy Spirit. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine won will, but the will of the Father which sent me” ( John 5:30) Just like Christ needs His community to thrive and to make a difference, we need our community to thrive- we need each other to grow.
Don’t isolate yourself this holiday season. Don’t just survive- choose to thrive!
Until next time,
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“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG)
Hello Authentic Lovers–
Christmas is the most celebrated holiday, aside from Halloween- there is something special about the spirit of the Holidays. It is as if people are nicer around Christmastime. I don’t know if its the carols of good cheer, or the emphasis on tasty desserts or if its just the idea that someone is going to do something nice for you for a day; all I know is that Christmas can bring the best and worst out of individuals. I love Christmas, it is my favorite holiday aside from my birthday. I love singing the songs, decorating the tree, baking cookies and just the sheer joy that comes around the holidays…but like others I can get caught up in things that don’t matter around the holidays: money and things. We have all been guilty of being caught up in material things around the holidays, desiring the next big thing and forgetting an attitude of gratitude.
But…does this make giving gifts bad? I say: absolutely not! The first demonstration of true love, came in the form of a gift- the gift of the Son of God. This is why I believe that gift giving is most appropriate for this holiday. Over 2000 years ago, God gave us something so dear to His heart- He gave us His son (only son). Can you imagine giving someone your child? Your only child? I can imagine the Father’s heart being bittersweet; sad knowing that He would be separated from His child for a season, but after remembering the purpose being filled with joy. Jesus was given to us so that we can have real life, life that is never ending or limited by the trials of this world.
In the next three days, your hands will be filled with gifts of the newest technology, clothes and accessories, and possibly a pair of socks but the greatest gift you will have the chance to receive is the Jesus Christ, the son of God. God himself has given you His Son, nothing else compares to that.
I know that some of you aren’t believers or profess any salvation/relationship with God but I just want to let you know that the epitome of love was a gift, the gift of Jesus Christ. Anyone can have this gift and when you accept Him – you’ll live, truly live. If you would like to accept Jesus, all you have to do is talk to Him and tell Him that you want Him to live in your heart forever and He will. Anyone can belong to the family of God. After you invite Him into your heart, find a group of people you can journey with ( we were never created to live this life alone- we were created for community) and take time to learn more about Him. Sometimes we can open a Bible and it seems dense, so I encourage you to read in a version that you can understand. Jesus has a friend that He gives you with Himself called the Holy Spirit, receive Him too because He is going to help you experience this life in a deeper way. Every year we acknowledge the gift of Jesus, but this year let’s open Him up and experience our lives with Him.
Always remember: love gives….
Until next time and Happy Holidays,
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As you may know…it’s really cold outside. EXTREMELY COLD. I, being born a New Yorker and all, should be immune to cold weather or so I thought. I’ve lived in SC now for eight years and have become accustomed to a slight chill but nothing too extreme, but times are changing as it is becoming colder. During this months of icy bliss, I find myself more and more in the house trying to get cozy. Today, I am going to share with you my top five cozy must-haves, basically my winter survival kit. If we share some of these must-haves in common, feel free to comment and let me know! Ok….Let’s go.
#5-My favorite down comforter. We all need that one comforter that is twice the size of our bodies and causes us to be surrounded from head to toe in warmth. I have a comforter at home that is absolutely wonderful. It is beige with wine & green diagonal stripes on it..it is one of my favorite cozy must -haves. It’s nothing like the bedding on Parachute Home, but it’ll make a close second. If anyone wants to make me happy this Christmas….I like comforters 😉
#4– My Ultimate Movie Collection. During cold days…I don’t feel like moving from my couch. I basically live on my couch between the end of November and mid-February. Living on my couch, makes my life easier. The TV, kitchen and bathroom are all in the vicinity of my lovely abode, making the need to move even more unnecessary. If I am going to be lazy and hibernate during the winter months, I might as well go all out! lol. I might as well plan my life around my couch, right? 😉 Anyways…I have some ultimate favorite movies that I love to watch during my cozy day madness. These movies include but are not limited to: A Cinderella Story, A Walk to Remember, The Hunger Games, 13 going on 30, One Night With the King, and basically anything else on Charter Demand.
#3– A nice cup of tea. I love hot tea, probably more than the average 21 year old love coffee. I love drinking tea, I love buying a new tin of tea and I love going to places that specialize in “tea” related things. I love tea. So, on a cold day…I like to make a cup of blueberry and acai herbal tea, pouring this delicious delight into my favorite mug. I have three tea mugs: An hampton inn mug, a valentine’s day xoxo mug and my graduate mug( gift from my mom when I graduated from college). I love these mugs and I love getting more for more tea days.
#2- A good book. When it’s cold outside, I usually curl up with a good book and sip tea as I read. I am currently reading: Crossroads by William P.Young and its pretty good. I love Karen Kingsbury novels and probably own all of them. I also like Terri Blackstock mystery novels. Reading allows me to escape the boundaries of reality for just a moment, feeding my imagination all of the wonderful possibilities of what could be in the midst of how life really is. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, especially on a cold day.
AND FINALLY……*drum roll please*
#1: My Cozy Day Music Playlist: I love music and have music that reflects every weather pattern, mood, holiday that I could ever describe. I have playlists on Spotify that are designed to reflect the day that I am having, therefore a cozy day playlist. When I am having a cozy day; I like soft, mellow, folksy type of music that causes my mind and body to relax. What do you like to listen to during a cozy day?
Well, that’s it for my top five cozy-day must haves. If you’re looking for a comfy comforter for your cold days, I would suggest checking out Parachutehome.com. This company is based out of California (design wise) but all of the products are made in Venice, Italy( cool…right?). Their products are made of Egyptian cotton and dyed naturally: making them environmentally conscious. I love this company because of their great product standards and their appreciation for the environment. If you are still looking for great Christmas gifts or you would like a new comforter for more cozy days, check out http://www.parachutehome.com/collections/bedding. Enjoy your cozy days and have a Happy Holidays!
Until next time,
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