New Year, New You? My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions & Great Ideas for YOU!

2015

Common phrase isn’t it? What attracts us to this catchy phrase so much is the fact that we don’t like ourselves. At least we don’t when that phrase sounds appealing. And what better time to make changes than with the new year? I’ve had many New Year resolutions in the past- things I didn’t like, areas I wanted to improve in my life:

  • Read the Bible in a year
  • Only listen to Christian music while diving
  • Journal everyday
  • Go to the gym at least three times a week

The thing I like most about this time is the self- reflection component. I always look at myself and try to pick things that will improve my weak areas. Last year I was feeling pretty ambitious and came up with this list:

  • Write down one thing I’m thankful for each day
  • Write a prayer for someone I know each day
  • Write a short entry about my day each day
  • Reach out to a total of 52 people
  • Pay it forward to people at random times
  • Read the entire Bible again

The only thing I fully completed was writing at least a sentence each day about what happened. Can I have my pat on the back now? Haha. I got overwhelmed to say the least. I like lists- they keep me focused and I can track my accomplishments. The problem I was having however, was the fact that each of these things were designed to better me but they were actually having a negative effect. I prayed, I read, I wrote, and I thanked- just to check it off my list. Real noble, right? And because of this I started to lose heart. Was I really making a difference? What was I really accomplishing?

I want this year to be different. If everything you are doing is mandated, where is there room to hear the Holy Spirit? Where is your flexibility? I believe in structure but not too much. It was with this in mind that I settled on what I want to do this year and what I hope to accomplish:

  • Christian Accountability– I started up a Facebook group again for sharing and accountability utilizing uplifting thoughts, quotes, songs, whatever. This is a place for people to share ideas and receive encouragement to grow closer to God in their own ways whether it’s through music, reading, praying, etc. I hope to not only help others but continue to grow in my walk with the Lord.
  • Passion Planner– I stumbled across this awesome planner that allows each unique person to focus on what is important to them. It takes planning to a whole new level. I can’t wait to start! I’m such a nerd:p
  • Rememberlutions– I love this! Basically you write down good things that happen throughout the year and place them in a jar or some other container. At the end of the year, you get to read them and remember all the good things that happened over the previous year. This is great for me because I always seem to forget everything I did lol.
  • Who I am– Oftentimes I get focused on what I am doing rather than who I am. I want to focus on who I am rather than what I do. Here is where my flexibility comes in. Rather than a checklist of items, I want to be more aware of myself and my surroundings to be able to hear the Holy Spirit so I can grow and improve myself and the relationships around me.

That’s all. Pretty simple, huh? I’m so excited for the new year and seeing all God has planned for me! In case you are interested, here are some other cool resources and articles I found regarding resolutions:

1) Getting organized– This is a great article on getting organized in the new year. ( I needed this:p)

2) Excellent Bible reading plans for 2015– pick the one that’s best for you!

3) 10 toxic people you shouldn’t bring into the new year– Enough said.

4) Cool ideas for things to do this coming year– minus the cussing in some parts, these are some pretty good ideas.

5) Lifestyle resolutions– this were some great ideas for improving your life!

6) Rememberlutions– what I was talking about earlier and what I’ll be doing this year!

I thought I had more on eating and exercising but apparently not. The truth is, you can start fresh any day but why not take this opportunity now to make some positive life changes? We can always learn, grow, and improve. God gave you this precious life for a reason- find your passion and get out there and start doing it.

Happy New Year! xoxo

signature

Advertisements

Please date other people

large_15685590978

These are some of the toughest words I’ve ever said but also the most needed. We all want to feel like we are the only one, that we are special, we are worth it. It makes us feel loved, valued, and appreciated. I love feeling this way. But there is something I need more. I need you to date other people.

I need to not feel pressured while I’m getting to know you. I don’t want to know that you are putting all your eggs in one basket with me and that if I decide we aren’t meant to be, your life won’t be destroyed. I don’t want to cause another heartbreak. I don’t want to be the cause of pain. But it’s that or stay with someone I don’t’ really love. Both options aren’t right. There should be more options. That’s what’s kept me away from dating for so long. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I have many guy friends who have been hurt by that one woman. I don’t want to be that woman. Ever.

I need to know you aren’t wasting your time with me.
I need to know you can be patient with me.
If I’m the only one, please don’t make me feel guilty; I tend to shut you out and run.

I need you to date other people for you too. It’s so easy to like someone when they are the only one you have. You make it work. You even change yourself if it’s not working. But I want to see the real you. And you deserve to see the real me too. When you date multiple people, you can compare and learn more about what you like and don’t like. I’ve heard people say you shouldn’t compare but I’m not sure why. You deserve the best. And I believe the best is worth waiting for. We could all settle today if we really wanted to. Lower our standards enough and there’s somebody there waiting. But that’s not what we want and we know that. Don’t settle for Mr. or Ms. Right Now.

Do you know how much more valuable I’ll feel knowing you have dated other girls and still chose me?! I really can’t commend you if I was your only option. Take your time. Get to know me- before being sold on my great looks and dashing personality:p Okay, I’m halfway kidding but this does happen to me a lot more than I care to admit. And I don’t like it. It feels good for my ego but deep down I don’t like it. My heart, the most important and valuable thing about me, is minimized.

Why is it that the best relationships started as friendships and some of the worse ones involved people who jumped the gun? Think about it. I’m looking for something that’ll last; not just feel good right now. And for me, dating multiple people allows me to be myself more and truly get a feel for what I’m looking for. So many people stay stuck in bad relationships because they don’t believe there is anything better. Oh, but there is. You just have to be willing to wait for it. As one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard states- “You’ll never leave where you are until you decide where you’d rather be.”

I’m not acting like this phrase is easy to say or hear. It requires you to be vulnerable and take risks. Sometimes people use this phrase because they really don’t like you and feel guilty about it. But it requires a lot of strength to say. You risk losing a person you might truly love in hopes of obtaining someone that truly loves you. When you hear it, you don’t know how to take it. Are they caring about you or do they really not care about you? I hate it. God tells us to guard our hearts. So be yourself. Love. But take your time. Trust that God will show you the right one when the time is right. You both will know. After all, you’re only looking for one ‘right one’ anyway;)

*date as in having many friendships with guys/girls that you may be interested in. I DO NOT mean being physically involved with those people. That’s another sure-fire way to distract you from reality. signature

photo credit: Graffio! via photopin cc

Rebounding is not always such a bad idea

large_5271247127

I’d like to preface this with what I would hope to be common knowledge given the title of my blog but just in case- I do not mean rebounding in any physical manner. However, I do believe rebounding in other ways may prove to be very beneficial and healthy.

Going through break-ups are rough. Unless you decide to not have a heart and cut off all emotions (which I have seen before) you will experience pain and heartbreak when you go through a break-up. While I have not done any studies on it, I do think that you experience more pain with the ones you cared about the most, the ones you allowed inside your heart. It’s so crappy when it happens because part of you never wants to experience that hurt again but at the same time it’s rewarding because even after all the pain, at least you can feel and have the capacity to love. To me that’s everything.

Nothing is a substitute for time after a break-up. However, it is what you do during the time after a break-up that affects your healing process most. I think we all deal with it in unique and different ways. I’m a huge fan of closure and for me, I sometimes put myself through more pain because it helps me to truly get over someone and have no regrets. While my healing process may be different than yours, I don’t think it’s really all that unique. I question the relationship- if I could have or should have done anything different. Was it my fault things ended- were my expectations too high? I remember the good times. I stalk social media pages and wonder if they are missing what we had. Because truthfully, while we may miss each other I think what we miss the most is feeling loved. I tend to close myself off to anyone else because I know I am vulnerable and just want to feel loved again. So I don’t look for anyone else for awhile, I won’t open myself up until I feel completely healed.

It sounds good in theory but what happens during that time of healing? We don’t go out and we don’t allow anyone in. That forces us to only think about that one person we had. So in hopes of feeling loved, we try to convince ourselves our ex wasn’t that bad because we don’t want to be alone. This is why you see so many people go back to their exes, back into bad relationships. This is why people settle. And it’s so scary because I’ve been there so many times.

I went through a break up not too long ago and I am now currently talking to a guy that recently got out of a relationship, as well. My old self would have said this is a recipe for disaster. “Don’t talk to me, I need to be alone for a long time” would be my response. But this guy is fun and honest and real. We are able to talk and communicate about what is going on inside of us. I have a feeling we will always be friends no matter where our paths may take us. We think a lot alike and have very similar interests. It’s a different feeling than I am used to and I like it. I am so glad I met him and that we came into each other’s lives. I’ve already learned so much more about myself because of him. When you don’t see anyone else, you naturally think it won’t get any better than what you had. He reminds me what it is I really want when I had forgotten in my previous relationships. He gives me hope. Likewise, he was hanging onto the thought of hopefully getting back with his ex because that’s all he knew, all he saw. Meeting me has reminded him of what he is really looking for, things he didn’t think were out there. It’s crazy how in some ways we came into each other’s lives to renew our hope. Some may call it rebounding and that’s okay with me. But this kind of rebounding shouldn’t have a negative connotation. We aren’t using each other. We’ve set boundaries. We like each other and we appreciate each other. It gave us fresh eyes to move forward and to move on.

I sometimes wonder if we hadn’t come into each other’s lives if we would still be hurting or wishing for something in the past because we saw no future. Society tells us it’s wrong to rebound and not fair to the other person. And I would agree, especially if you are using someone just to feel better about yourself. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with putting yourself out there in order to heal and do what you need to do. I still am a firm believer in self-reflection and alone time. Don’t rush into something just because you are lonely, but don’t close yourself off just because you’re scared. There is so much hope out there, so much love. Give yourself another chance. You left that person for a reason and God has that perfect one for you out there. Go explore and never settle.

signature

photo credit: Keoni Cabral via photopin cc

There is no such thing as right person, wrong time

origin_4321914441

Seriously. I’ve heard this numerous times and I just read an article entitled something along the lines of “The joys and pains of meeting the right person at the wrong time.” Umm what?! I’m sorry, but do you realize how rare it is to find the/a right person? And let’s be honest for a second, maybe it’s just me, but if I found what I thought was the right person, I don’t see how or why the “wrong time” would have to stop us from being together. So what do these “wrong times” really mean?

  • The “I just got out of a relationship and need to be single for awhile” excuse. I’ll let you in on a little secret- 99% of the time this line is used as a nice way to reject someone. The other 1% actually recognizes what is going on inside them and hopefully expresses it well enough to let the other person know they can still enjoy a friendship with one another. Besides, starting out as friends is always a plus. The right one will be patient. So tell me how this was really the right person at the wrong time again?
  • The “I just think we are headed in different directions” excuse. Basically, something else is more important to me right now and this relationship is not worth it. You are a great person but more than likely not the one I’m supposed to be with so I’m okay with letting you go. Love always finds a way and if I really thought you were the right person, I’d find a way to be together, while still pursuing my dreams. It’s not rocket science, but it does require two people who both feel the other is the right person for them.
  • The “I’m just too young and don’t know who I am yet” excuse. Legit excuse. However, who says you can’t figure out life with the right person? If anything, I think the right person would be a complement to you and would only help to strengthen and encourage you. But then again, we often get this confused with the wrong person who we like but something deep down in our gut tells us something is wrong. Therefore, this wonderful excuse was born.
  • The “We live in two different places” excuse. While I understand this is a hard one, I firmly believe it’s doable. After realizing how rare it is to find someone you actually like and could see yourself being with for the rest of your life, I honestly believe that with the right person, you can make anything work. This might include giving up on something that is not that important to, compromising, or managing a long distance relationship for a certain period of time. I think we forget that one of the greatest things about being in a healthy relationship is having someone that loves you no matter what and encourages you to achieve all the dreams God placed in your heart. The wrong one will not understand this and have a cookie-cutter life planned out and run the minute things don’t go according to plan.
  • The “This could never work long term” excuse. This one is open-ended. Our families don’t get along. We have different beliefs. You annoy me. Really, this could be anything. We like the person for whatever reason but we don’t want to be with them for the rest of our lives and that’s okay. There will be many people we like for different reasons but that does not mean they are the right person for us. It’ll work with the right person no matter what obstacles may come your way.

What all of these have in common is the fact that they weren’t the wrong time; they were the wrong person for you if you were willing to let them go. Let’s call it what it is. Besides, would the right person really leave you? That doesn’t sound like the kind of right person I would want to be with anyway. And if I’m not willing to work through it or make it work, I deep down don’t think they are the right person either.

Maybe we just need to redefine the term “right person.” Sometimes a right person will come into our life only for a season. We grow, we learn but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are to spend the rest of our lives with this person. This term “wrong time” has such a negative connotation. Embrace the time you have with those at given times in your life. Some come for a lifetime, others for a season and that’s okay. These people can be the right person at the right time. They are a great person, cool person but not the right person (marriage), for us at least. So can we please stop lying to ourselves? Can we please stop using this as a cop out to avoid rejection or rejecting someone else. It’s not the wrong time- it’s just that we are don’t see this going anywhere further and that is nothing to feel bad about.

signature

photo credit: pathlost via photopin cc

To the girl who regrets waiting until marriage for sex

large_14233887723

There is an article going around about a woman who waited until her wedding night to lose her virginity and how she wished didn’t. If you are interested in reading it, it can be found here. One of my friends sent it to me and as I was thinking about my thoughts regarding it, I decided to make them into a blog post as a means to hopefully clarify what I believe went wrong.

I first want to start off by saying her sex life sounded awful. It breaks my heart and is certainly not how God intended it. Sex is a great thing. God created it and it is talked about and encouraged in the Bible several times. To me, it represents a whole new level of intimacy that I hope to share with the man I love as I get to be vulnerable and allow him to love me on a deeper level as well. I look forward to this day. It is beautiful and wonderful… IF you have a proper understanding of why God designed sex and if shared with the right person. And therein lies the problem. Her problems started before her wedding. Her problems began before she even met her husband. They started when she was a kid.

  1. Samantha stated that she decided to save herself for marriage because she believed that true love waits. Why? What does that even mean? How is it true love if you wait and not if you don’t? My feeling is that she didn’t know the answers to these questions. There are so many benefits to waiting until marriage to have sex and there are no cons if you truly marry the one God has for you. It is so easy to bring additional problems into the marriage and then blame God’s rules for them. One of my favorite pastors, Andy Stanley, once said there are no such things as marriage problems, just single people problems that get brought into the marriage and I couldn’t agree more. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that God wants what is best for us more than anyone in this world could ever want. He would not withhold anything good from us. And just because we may not understand exactly why at the time, if we have a true relationship with Jesus, He will show us why. Sometimes I’m okay with just trusting God because I know He loves me, other times I ask Him to show me things and I actually put some effort into finding the answers and He does show me.
  2. 10 years old. She made a big deal about how she was too young to make the pledge at that age. I don’t think this is too young given our culture today. Maybe it was too young for her though and the proper age may be different given your specific environment. I doubt this had much effect, however.
  3. What her church taught was a lie. What scriptures did they use? Sex is for married people and it is sinful and dirty outside of marriage. You should want to remain pure for your husband, but because you love him not just because you don’t want to go to hell. I’m sorry but if you do or don’t do anything because you don’t want to go to hell, that is really selfish and not about love at all. And God’s number one commandment is love. There was no love in her church or interpretation of it. And just to be clear, the responsibility to remain pure is the same for both women and men. I have nooo idea where her church got the idea that men weren’t held to the same standard. This sounds more like a legalistic cult rather than a loving church.
  4. Your virginity should never be your identity but an action that follows as a result of who you are and what your identity really is in Christ. Samantha noted that it did become her identity and that was another problem. No wonder she couldn’t enjoy sex. If you lose what you are dependent on for your identity of course nothing good is going to come as a result. My life would be over if I lost Christ. He defines me. I would be lost without Him. But it’s Him that defines me, never my virginity.
  5. Why the heck would she feel dirty, wrong, or sinful having sex with her husband?! It sounds like she was taught that sex in general was bad and it’s not. It’s great. And it’s best when shared with the person you decided to spend the rest of your life with and make that commitment. You should only ever feel that way if you give away part of yourself to the wrong person. I can’t wait to have sex and it will be enjoyable (after the initial pain;) with the right person- awful with the wrong one because you do give away a part of yourself and it’s extremely scary if it’s not the right person. It also sounds like she didn’t trust her husband enough to be open with him during this. I would never marry someone I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to about these things. There were definitely some communication issues. This would not have been solved by having sex a bunch prior to marriage. I will say sometimes people rush marriage because they are waiting until marriage for sex, as well. This is never good either. I don’t know what their motive for getting married was, but sometimes lust is the main reason. That will never end well if that’s the case.
  6. She had religion but not a relationship. Her view of God was so incredibly wrong. I cannot stress this enough- you do not remain pure because you don’t want to go to hell or want God to bless your marriage! These were her reasons mentioned. You do it because you love God and you love your future spouse. Am I the only one that sees this? I don’t do nice things because I don’t want to be treated badly by people; I do them because I love and care about people. When you truly move from following a set of rules and guidelines and start developing a loving relationship with Christ, your whole life changes and that’s why they call it being born again.

This article truly broke my heart because she was not able to fully enjoy sex, or make love as I prefer to call it, because she was never really shown what Christ’s love was all about. Please don’t forget that just because someone goes to church or says they are a Christian doesn’t mean they really are. It goes much deeper than that. I truly hope she realizes one day that her problem wasn’t the fact that she didn’t sleep around before marriage, but that she never had a proper relationship with Christ of knowing how much He truly loves her.

signature

 

 

photo credit: Georgie Pauwels via photopin cc