Monday, September 5, 2011

Beautiful You

Whether it is comparing yourself to a peer or to a model in a magazine, you should remember one thing: inner beauty is what truly matters. Easier to say than to believe? Definitely. Our world puts ridiculous pressure on young women (and men too, for that matter) to strive for perfection.

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." - 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Aiming for perfection" is one thing that I personally have struggled with. I have slowly learned that beauty is in the people and circumstances put into our lives. Beauty in the heart is much more valuable (and often more truthful) than that of an outer appearance.

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." - Prov. 31:30

I was raised on the saying "Pretty is as pretty does." I used to become upset when I would hear it, (as it was usually being said to me when I was throwing a temper tantrum). Now, however, I realize that if my heart is in the right place, my actions will most likely reflect it. If you ever find yourself second guessing your beauty, I challenge you to do the following:

Read the following scripture aloud: 
"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14
God made you the way he wanted. He is perfection, and therefore you are exactly how you should be.

Believe in yourself:
You are made to walk in His footsteps. He has given you a purpose, and you must believe that you can fulfill it.. because no one else can but YOU.

Realize that beauty portrayed in today's world is often misleading:
Forget about weight, trendy clothing, and lipstick; Focus on kindness, humbleness, and authenticity. There is only one you, cherish that fact!

Steer away from conformity:
The stages of "self-discovery" are always difficult, but be comfortable in your own skin -- don't try to borrow someone else's!

Don't let anyone tell you that you are not pretty enough:
Many times girls feel the need to paint on make-up and construct a flawless "hair-do" to impress guys. On the flip side, many times boys will tell us that we are "too big" or "too skinny" or "too crooked" for their type. Just remember, there will be guy who will love you for exactly who you are -- imperfections included. It may seem like an endless search (trust me, I'm still waiting this one out), but it will happen, as long as you truly believe in your heart, that you are beautiful.

Express yourself in the best way you know how:
Whether it's through what you wear, what you like to do, or simply how you carry yourself, be confident when you shine your beauty. It may not be someone else's interpretation of true beauty, but remember their interpretation is probably not yours either.

Let someone else know that they are beautiful, and precious to you:
Kindness is contagious. Drop a simple note letting someone know you appreciate their kind heart, or beautiful spirit. (You'll be amazed at how much this affects your own attitude.)

Again, you were all made for a different purpose-- a purpose that was created just for you.

"There are two great days in a person's life- the day they are born and the day they discover why." - William Barclay

Do not let the distractions of this world keep you from finding the reason you were created!
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL -- Don't forget it!

Attached is a song (one of my favorites) that has helped me through a lot -- hopefully it can do the same for you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to School

[This is something that I posted last year around this time. I thought it would be good to bring back--think of it as a "refresher course".]

Congratulations! You are reading your first set of [important] notes for the academic year. With the school year starting, I wanted to share a list of good and bad habits of which to be aware.

Bad Habit: Skipping Class
Good Habit: Attending Class
Please don’t think that when you graduated high school, you graduated from the classroom altogether. JUST GO TO CLASS, it’s a small percentage of your week, and the return on your investment will be much greater if you are utilizing the tools your precious penny purchased.

Bad Habit: Wearing pajamas to class
For your reputations sake, please don’t roll out of bed and wear your pajamas to class. If you need to wear something comfortable, at least make it match!
Good Habit: Dressing with style
You may be pressed for time, or just too tired to fix up for the 9am class-- that’s understandable. But, always remember that you are making impressions with what you wear (whether you realize it or not). Just look like you care!
Check out some of my favorite places for trendy [and inexpensive for the normal student] fashion!
American Eagle Outfitters

.Bad Habit: Becoming a couch potato
It can be agreed that everyone needs rest and relaxation, but when it becomes excessive, then it becomes a problem. Becoming lazy can hinder physical, as well as mental, activity.
Good Habit: Getting involved
Being involved in activities is a great way to meet many (often ambitious and successful) people, as well as to stay academically motivated. Whether it is getting involved in the Greek community (college goers) or academic organizations, it’s a smart way to enhance your academic experience! Not only does getting involved allow you to build a network, but it also provides resume-builders (a must-have for the future).

Bad Habit: Becoming disorganized
If you are given a date, it’s probably for an important reason. If you are given an assignment, it’s probably on an important topic. Losing track of these items can result in stressful situations.
Good Habit: Staying organized
Even if you are not the organized type, small steps can make a huge difference when it comes to balancing due dates and deadlines. Consider purchasing an inexpensive planner, or other desk materials to help keep your life on track.

An article on organization in college--definitely, a great resource!
Organization in College Article

If you are looking for some ideas on where to find cute organizational items for your desk or work area, check out It has everything you could ever need! If you are looking for a less expensive route, check out Walmart or Target

Bad Habit: Overwhelming Yourself
It is easy to take on too much during the academic year. Whether it is sports, a job, a second job, or simply focusing on your studies, not managing your time correctly can lead to stress, or even more serious problems.
Good Habit: Utilizing Time Management  
As you begin to juggle multiple activities, efficient time management is very helpful.  Balance work and school, but be sure to plan in a social life!  It is important to have fun – but not TOO much fun, just as it is to work hard, but not to work TOO hard.

Bad Habit: Believing that one bad grade won't hurt you 
Compromise once and it becomes easy to fall into that pattern. Make every grade count.
Good Habit: Think about your GPA
One semester thrown out can hurt an entire GPA. No one should stress about it, but should definitely be conscious of the academic decisions made.

Check out these 10 Highly Effective Study Habits. -- GREAT tips!

Bad Habit: Eating food for convenience instead of nutrition
Good Habit: Maintaining (or beginning) a healthy diet
Don't freak out on the word "diet". I am simply suggesting that instead of barreling down those lanes of convenient food choices, take your health into consideration. Stay away from the Freshman 15.

These are great guidelines when it comes to choosing which foods to eat, as well as easy substitutions. College Eating and Fitness 101

Most importantly, ENJOY YOUR YEAR! Make it memorable, make amazing new friends, and have tons of fun. I wish you all a successful academic year!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Searching for Love

A short time ago, if you were to have asked me if I understood the meaning of true love, I would have confidently answered, "Well, duh. Of course I do." Love is giving your heart away for someone else to hold, devoting your time and effort to ensure the well-being of the relationship, and experiencing the rush of sharing intimacy with your best friend... right? Wrong. Well, right and wrong. True, these are all supplementary to being in love, but I have learned that love, as a whole, is so much more.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

Throughout the duration of my so-called "single life", I have had time to clear my mind from the stereotypes of love. In doing so, I have learned that it is a much, much larger entity then I could have ever imagined. Before, I used to divide love: Worldly Love (specific to relationships between people) and Godly Love (God's love for us, and our love for Him). I was never able to realize that there is only one kind of love that should be believed in and shown in absolutely everything that we do [including relationships!]. This "worldly love" that I believed stood solitarily, was shallow--empty.

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

I used to be selflessly selfish. Yes, that may sound contradictory, but in giving my all to one person (that was not God), I had expected to continue being happy with life. Although it felt like I was being completely selfless, I was ignoring what was important-- my faith, people in need, and my potential to do what God has called me to do. I didn't understand the true meaning of love then, and I know that it is impossible for me to fully understand it even today.

So there I was-- neglecting my family, friends, and even myself. Now, I don't want you to envision a pitiful picture of me, because that's not how it was at all. I have always been blessed, and He has always taken care of me. I'm just trying to make the point that I was lost, confused, and extremely mislead by the world.

"There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations." -Francois de La Rouchefoucauld

I believe that
Love is the strength that holds friends together through the trials of life.
Love is the unconditional bond between families, regardless of circumstance.
Love is the willingness to reach out to those in pain, or in need.
Love is the faith to continue, with no answers in sight.
Love is the patience to sympathize.
Love is the kindness of extending a smile...just because.
Love is the act of loving yourself for who you are, not who someone thinks you should be.
Love is the forgiveness of sins.
Love is the wisdom to share His story with others.

I feel that I could go on and on, thus reminding myself that love is much bigger than I ever knew before. Most importantly, "...God is Love" 1 John 4:8.

"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14

To any young girls reading this, I challenge you to make sure you understand the true meaning of love, before assuming that it's real. This world is too saturated with cheating, temptation, and deceit to live blindly.
And to everyone-- Next time you find yourself thinking about something or someone you love, I encourage you to determine whether or not Jesus Christ is a part of it. I can assure that if He is-- it will be much more rewarding.

I hope that you do not find this post condescending, for it is simply an excerpt from my journey! ... Still growing, and strengthening my understanding of His love. I am excited to continue learning, continue loving, and to eventually find that man who understands the true meaning of love as well. I attached what is probably my favorite song by Tenth Avenue North "Beloved". I think it is a wonderful summary of this post. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Can Hear the Bells

'Tis the season for weddings!

First, I would like to say how truly excited I am for the weddings of 2011-- Many of my great girlfriends are tying the knot! It has been a wonderful experience helping them plan and organize. Each individual love story is truly inspirational: from high school sweethearts to newly-found loves. Love is perhaps the greatest thing given to us, and when it is shared between two people, it is simply divine.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13

On a lighter note, I thought it would be fun to pass along this list of Wedding Trends for 2011. It will be interesting to see if any of these land in the weddings!

Bringing the vintage looks into a wedding provides class, as well as a point of interest for the photography. It can add to the wedding, as well as the memories caught on camera, a strengthened sense of timelessness. Items such as vintage wedding dresses, ornate textures, old-fashioned photo booths, and vintage photography are expected to be a popular trend this year. 

Who isn't trying to be eco-friendly these days? When considering the environment, it can also tend to be a less expensive option for the bride. Items such as second-hand wedding dresses, invitations printed on recycled paper, and food supplied by local farmers, can help the local economy, environment, and the pocketbook. 

Why try to avoid the fact that we are living in modern times? An up-to-date wedding can still be classy. A bride can shine a new-age light on the wedding by using bright colors, clean lines with decorations, serving cupcakes instead of cake, or even steering away from the traditional gown. Many brides will choose a shorter dress (almost cocktail length), or one in a color other than white or ivory. Yes, the decision is bold, but your wedding should be a reflection of yourself, right?

Personally, I have already witnessed this aspect with a lot of the planning this year. From projects like centerpieces, picture albums, and wedding party gifts to other small items, DIY projects can reflect the style and personality of the couple.  Not only can a wedding be more personalized by choosing this option, it can also save a lot of money in the long run.

With the use of technology, social networking sites, and other wedding blog/planning sites, we have the ability to share the excitement, updates, and utilize the tools provided. Sites such as,, and others allow the bride-to-be to keep track of guest lists, budgets, and other important items in the planning process. Blogging sites help to keep others updated before and even after the event. 

Again, I am so excited for this year, and I wish my girls the best of luck! Love you all!

Visit for more information on trends, hairstyles, and other "need to knows" about weddings! The information for this post can be found at this link:

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Lost Get Found

So, it has been a month since my last post -- life has been busy!

For the past year or so, I have really been struggling to understand God's purpose for me-- should I be in Wichita? Am I supposed to move? How am I meant to share His message?

I have always had a love for God and a love for His people, but never felt I had the strength (or enough knowledge) to relay scripture. It was discouraging when my efforts to reach out were shot down, or hindered due to lack of support from other people. There were even times where I became frustrated with God, asking Him, "Okay, you commanded me to go and light up the world, so why aren't you helping me succeed?" First of all, never question God, His timing, or His ultimate plan. It's humbling to realize that you are only a tiny little part of His grandeur.

He's the one that saves the world... not me.

Sometimes it is just allowing God's light to shine through your daily activities that makes a big impact. You may not always think that He is using you, but He is: Everyone is special and has a purpose here on this earth. During the Winter Jam concert, Michael Tait said something that really stuck with me. It was simple, and said in a humorous manner, but it is 100% truth. He said we must love ALL people because "God don't make junk." We all tend to judge and treat people different based on income, lifestyles, appearance, or even religious beliefs. We may try putting ourselves above others.. Next time you find yourself judging another (for ANY reason), I challenge you to smile, and tell them that Christ loves them, and let them know they are truly something special.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

This weekend, Britt Nicole's "The Lost Get Found" came on the radio. The lyrics of this song hit me, because it reminded me that change starts one heart at a time. It also reminded me that even though I may not be called to preach, or to do out-of-country mission work, I am called to share the light of God to the world, here in my own community. In the words of Britt Nicole:

"Don't let your lights go down,
Don't let your fire burn out
'Cause somewhere,
Somebody needs a reason to believe."

I hope you girls understand the impact that you've had on my life, and I hope to share those smiles, kind words, and the love of God with whoever crosses my path in life.

Attached is the full song by Britt Nicole -- wonderful song.

Stay tuned to my blog -- I feel a "Wedding-themed" message coming on! Have a great Monday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

No Greater Love

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

As society buzzes with talk of red roses, candy hearts and chocolate, I wanted to take time to talk about the true gift of love we have been given.

Whether you are married, in a relationship, or single today, please know that you are not alone. God loves you-- and there is no greater love than His! So before you dismiss Valentine's day as just another holiday, make it a day to thank God for His love.

His love for you is perfect:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Know that He loves you so much that He was willing to give His son's life for you.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I have attached my Valentine's Day anthem below. It is a music video by the David Crowder Band, "How He Loves". I absolutely love this band and cannot wait to see them at the Winter Jam tour this month.

Happy Valentine's Day and Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!