For When You Think You Can Do It All

This morning I woke up to feeling like my To-Do List is too long, my Dream List is too impossible, and my Can’t Do List is too large. This morning I woke up wanting to return my new found independence as a recent college graduate. Now that school is over, wasn’t this my big moment? Wasn’t this the time where I proved to the world, my family, and to myself that my college degree was worth every ounce of debt I now proudly hold?  After all, look at me now…

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Since graduation, I’ve spent most of my time and money feeding the social butterfly I neglected while hibernating in the library for the past four years. When I’m not socializing I have about 5 half-thought-out inventions or business plans that will surely take me to the top. And when I’m not becoming the next Bill Gates, I am finding holes in my schedule for workout plans and self-help books that people have been subtly or not so subtly buying for me since I graduated high school. I’m an adult now!

So while I’m acting like I enjoy myself and am responsibly becoming the adult I was always meant to be, why do I feel this way? Why do I still feel like I am drowning in the mere hopes of a successful future? Maybe doing it all isn’t the solution.

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I have so much going on- all good things from the outside looking in- that my overflowing schedule, agenda, and spending flood onto other aspects of my life- maybe even aspects or people who didn’t ask for it. I want to give my time and money and energy to those who need help, friends or strangers, but I can’t give them something I have already spent. Maybe trying to do it ALL is the problem; maybe I am just expected to do what I can.

So what if I stopped doing it all and just did some? Does life have to be all or nothing? I would like to argue that life can be fulfilling with just some. What if I spent some of my time and saved some of it for when a friend calls unexpectedly? Or maybe I spend some of my money and saved some of it for when my dreams actually need funding… or for when a friend’s card gets declined at dinner. (Because let’s be real… I’ve been the friend whose card gets declined on more than one friend date.) Maybe I work hard towards some of my dreams, the prioritized dreams, and channel my energy into making each one important and successful on its own timing? Then with my big shiny dream sitting on my shelf I can move onto some other dreams. Doesn’t having it all at a slower pace mean peace?

IMG_0788I vote for some right now and all eventually over all the stress of all right now. I hope you will too.

Cheers to doing some things well and saying “not right now” to others, because after all… look at me now!

– Sarah

6 Reasons Your Life Sucks Right Now

photo credit: heartofthematteronline.com
photo credit: heartofthematteronline.com

Now, that is a pretty bold statement. Maybe you’re even thinking, “my life doesn’t suck right now.” And if it doesn’t I’m happy for you! But if it does, if you’re in that moment between ‘can’t’ and ‘even.’ Know that you aren’t alone. Because Homegirl over here knows exactly what that feels like. Here’s the thing though. In order to narrow down exactly what is causing your life to suck we need to start with the facts.

1. Your job. Let’s start with the worst thing that ever happened to mankind. Making us get jobs and earn money to buy things. Does it even make sense that we have to spend time and energy making someone else money? Why can’t nice things just be given to us? AMIRIGHT?

2. Your significant other. Don’t even get me started. If you’ve got one, ask yourself, do I need one? If you don’t have one – maybe that’s why your life sucks. No matter what Facebook says your status is, I’ve got one word: REEVALUATE.

3. Your family. Can they just stop hounding you about when you are coming home? Can they not just give you money when you need it and send you care packages? Like what is the point of even calling home if all you’re going to hear is how much they miss you and how they have surprises waiting? ANN-OY-ING.

4. Your living arrangement. Between dirty dishes and smelly pets (maybe even smelly roommates.) I could write a novel on this. You cannot handle the dirty laundry or even thought of scrubbing a toilet one more time. Next time you have to replace the toilet paper roll just go ahead and move out. GOOD RIDDENS.

5. Your school. If the #BIGORANGESCREW isn’t truer than the gospel than nothing is. I don’t know where you are in your education, but I promise you that if you are still chasing down a diploma of some sort you might as well stop now. The only thing your school wants from you is more money. They could care less if you graduate, let alone in 4 years. Move back home with mom & dad and get a job at the local market. They’ve been saying they miss you anyways and the cookies on isle 4 aren’t half bad.

6. Your schedule. You never have time for anything. You don’t get to have fun. All you do is work, work, work. And when you’re not working you’re doing something else you stupidly agreed to sign up for. Can’t the world just understand that you haven’t had a pedi in over 3 months? And the last time you didn’t have anything on your schedule it was because you were grounded. Even typing this is giving me anxiety. TICK-TOCK.

So there you have it. Get rid of those 6 things and you’ve got yourself a care-free life!

OR we could all stop for a second and start seeing the real problem. The only similarity in these 6 things…. Is YOU. So maybe it is time for a YOU adjustment? Maybe there isn’t a job problem or a family/relationship problem. Maybe, just maybe there is a heart problem. I can’t answer that question for you, but that is definitely what I found this morning as I started letting my heart harden towards the above things in my life. I was angry at everything and everyone around me. But the only thing all those things had in common was BEING AROUND ME.

Ann Voskamp says. “Anger is contagious – so is grace.” Maybe the person you’re actually angry at is you? Maybe you just need to give yourself some grace. It’s ok. I won’t tell.

My prayer for you this week is that you can love yourself well. Love who you are in this season of life. Give grace to yourself and your surroundings. Jesus made you for such a time as this. {Esther 4:14} Don’t wake up in 5 years and realize your sucky life could have been the life of your dreams. Tell the people in your life that they matter to you. Be grateful for your opportunities and experiences. Spend some time in the Word – actually stop rushing for even 15 minutes. I dare you, just for one day, to seek joy in Jesus and see if it makes a difference.

 

– Sarah

Oh Holy Week

This?

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THIS is what Holy Week looks like?

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A hot mess with a side of ratchet? Can anyone else relate?… And if you think this looks bad, you are just lucky I can’t capture my emotions or my thoughts in a photo to share. After all, my outsides are almost always a reflection of my insides.

But maybe it is more than the pile of clothing I feel necessary to try on each day before work. Maybe it is more than the stacks of to-do lists that seem to replenish faster than I can complete them. Maybe, just MAYBE, this week is more than finals and weddings and flash cards.

I thought to myself as I was getting ready this morning, ‘This week Satan has had all hands on deck. With the chaos and the worry and the doubt and the high emotions. Of all weeks, he couldn’t give me a break this week? This precious week?’

And then Jesus met me.

He reminded me that I do not have fluctuating value. I am not the stock market. My worth was permanently made known on the cross. A completed to do list, or folded laundry pile, or cleared off kitchen table CANNOT add to me.

He reminded me that I am an individual. That from my fingerprints to my sense of humor. I am special. My outward appearance or comparison to others’ successes DOES NOT make me any less unique.

He reminded me that I am blessed. Blessed with two pups I get to call my own. Blessed with a nephew I can’t wait to squeeze. Blessed with a car that moves forward. Blessed with 80+ girls that asked me to lead them. And Blessed by words that come in the sweetest of moments.

He reminded me that He is my hope. That I need nothing but Him. I should desire nothing but Him. And that His sacrifice will always be the greatest love story of all time.

So. I hope your Holy Week was a WHOLE LOT more holy than mine; but if it was a WHOLE LOT messier than you expected, there is good news. This week is HOLY because of a God who is HOLY. So there is still time to forget all of the other stuff and to remember the HOLINESS of CHRIST and what He did for you.

Remember that because of Him, because of what happened during Holy week, you are valued, unique, and blessed. And most importantly you can have hope.

Grateful.

Life moves quickly. That’s what I remember thinking on my 21st birthday last week. It moves quickly and keeps moving quickly. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good, and that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

If you didn’t know this about me, I journal. I write in a notebook starting on my birthday and I keep writing until either it fills up and I start another or it’s my birthday again. I like getting  a fresh start. Opening the first page and physically beginning a new chapter. Last year on my birthday I purchased this journal:

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And I am truly blessed to say that I found joy this year. Through trial and through blessing, Jesus has been there. There is a joy I cannot explain and cannot contain that comes from Him. And for that I am grateful. I have learned the art of being thankful. Especially for the little things. I was given this sweet gift from my dear friend Katie:

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It’s an awesome way to see where Jesus spoils you. Because trust me friends, He does! After realizing how truly blessed I am, I cannot help but think what a wonderful year and life I have! I am not saying there aren’t bad times. I’m not even saying there are easy times. But Jesus is good to me. And I just felt I needed to share that with you today. I have had more sentimental thoughts, I have wanted to write probably a lot more ‘profound’ opinions. I have even wanted to share some pretty hysterical stories and videos. But I just felt I needed to stop and say. “I’m grateful.” So here we are….

I got a second dog. “What?! She’s crazy!! You can’t do that…” I know…. But I did. And she is wonderful and she makes everything ten times better. I don’t have to defend my decision, but she is adorable and you will love her too. Her name is Wendy.

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Besides Wendy and Lucy. I have learned a lot about myself. I have realized how much I truly love flowers. And Laura was sweet enough to send me some on my birthday…

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I am beyond blessed to be a member of Sigma Phi Lambda. This year the girls in Phi Lamb have challenged me, blessed me, held me accountable, and showered me with love that I didn’t deserve. And as of last night, I was initiated as the President for the 2014 – 2015 school year. And believe me when I say, it is my honor.

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Alexandra. I have to say I am thankful for her, because Jesus was good to me when He gave me her. It wasn’t that He hasn’t blessed me with 100 thousand other people who love me too, but this year, specifically this semester, she has been there. He placed her in moments and gave her wise words. He blessed us with good conversation and for quiet moments. And I just needed to say so so THANKFUL for her.

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And lastly I am thankful for the gospel. Jesus has met me here when I needed Him most. People reminded me of the good news when I had almost forgotten it. And if it were not for the sweet truth of Jesus, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

So here’s to a new year and to the blessings Jesus has given me!

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Cheers! – Sarah

 

 

Life Lately {June addition}

So Life Lately has been a little crazy. Also, looking back on a lot of my blog posts recently they have been super deep and vulnerable and emotional and all that jazz. And that is great and I always think my writing is most real when I am in the zone like that, but there are days when I just need to talk about the good things going on. So here it goes.

Saying y’all. Like a lot. The kids I nanny have pointed out to me that I average about 15 y’alls a day. WHAT?!? #Southern

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Saying Holy ______ Batman! This is something the kids have taught me to say. It’s funny. And can be really witty if you play your cards right. My favorite so far is “Holy Did Nicky Just Wet His Pants Batman?” Check out this video for some examples!

Playing games with boys. Now this sounds weird, and potentially inappropriate, but I promise it 100% isn’t. I have always been a girlie girl, and I’ve pretty much always only had girl friends, but this summer I dared myself to learn to hang out with the 2 boys I nanny and actually play with them. I have learned that I am terrible at: football, Mario Kart, and watching scary movies. I have learned I am good at: wrestling, winning fart contests, and making inappropriate jokes. Here’s to being a boy!

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Asking for Prayer. And this isn’t me trying to be all like “look at me, I pray and need prayer, blah blah blah.” But this is me saying HOLY PRAYING ROCKS, BATMAN!! I have been praying probably more than I ever have before. And honestly I think prayer reaps prayer. It has taught me to be honest, sincere, and connected to Christ in a way I never have before. I have always prayed, but I think this summer was meant to teach me the disciplines of prayer and what the power of prayer can look like in a person’s life. I have also seen the benefits of being vulnerable to ask for others to pray over you. As I make some hard decision in the next upcoming months, it’s been awesome to see the community of people join with me in these decisions, all because I asked them to. And let’s be honest, it’s pretty sweet.

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And lastly, I would say graphic design. I’m all about it. It rocks. It brings out the creative juices in me and it let’s me feel super artsy. (And apparently it’s the hipster thing to do, so surprise surprise I am loving it.) I made these 2 things & I’m super proud of them. Even if they’re simple to everyone else, they were hard for me, but I am loving the chance to learn new things. The BIY chart I made one for every week for the rest of the year & the button on the right is for a Speak Now event this July! It is broadcast on my blog along with many other women’s!! (:

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I hope y’all enjoying the simple things in your life this week!

‘ Til next time – Sarah

A Christmas to Remember

The lights were dark in the sanctuary. Candles were aflame in various parts of the room, and the pastor called forward all who had been saved, came back to Christ, or had been baptized this past year. I don’t like alter calls and I do not like walking to the front of a church when you feel like the world is looking at you. And in that moment, fear took over me. I whispered to Mom if I should walk to the front. After all, I was baptized in May of this year. The moment was overwhelming. She replied, “You can if you want to,” and without thinking my feet began to carry me. They took me down the stairs as tears streamed down my face and I sang “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.”… The tears started rushing even harder. “I am not faithful,” I thought. “Not even close. After all I’ve done. After every mistake. I am the least of these.” None of these people should be looking at me or the small light that shined oh so brightly in the terribly dark room. But something inside me made me desire the light. My maternal instincts made me clasp my hand around the flame, not daring to let it burn out. I walked back across the room and up the stairs to my seat with my family. The whole time allowing the tears to pour and the light to shine.

Because that is what Christmas is all about. The people of the world were so UNDESERVING of a Savior. So UNPREPARED. So UNWORTHY. Yet God sent His Son. He sent HIS ONLY SON knowing we would hate Him. The children He loved Oh so VERY much, would reject His most precious gift to us. So we stand once a year, in a large sanctuary, and the Elders pass out candles, and we all sing, and we all remember the little babe. We remember the humble mother, the doubtful father, the dirty stable, and the UNPREDICTABLE, IMPOSSIBLE, yet REMARKABLE birth of the baby who came to save the world.

This Christmas I encourage you to remember. Remember the gift that came. And to remember how much love God MUST have for us, in order to give us His Son. I wish you the Merriest of Christmases, and the Happiest of New Years.

– Sarah (:

P.S. If you missed my Baptism video. Here’s the link!

The Joys of July

HAPPY JULY HOMIES!!

This is a shock… JULY?! Really?!?!

With July comes weeks filled with these things:

The joys of starting my Whole30 plan. Which means the joy of shopping at Whole Foods

The joy [and shock] of realizing more then half of 2012 is over

The joy of cooking my favorite dish for the kiddies

The joy [and tears] that come from watching this little one at her recital

The joy of long conversations on the phone with good friends

The joy of finding this photo in the Smithsonian Photo Gallery

The joy of standing in the presence of this memorial [again] and thanking the LORD for what it stands for

And the joy of being thankful for the people who serve our country on this upcoming holiday.

Enjoy the fireworks, good food, and family.

Happy 4th everybody!

 – Sarah (:

Where This Summer Takes Me.

Where can this summer take me?

To find that I love crafts.

To remind me of my love for writing.

To keep me committed to my pen pals.

To push me closer to the Almighty.

To bring me closer to family.

To expand my musical taste.

To force me to lack Young Life, just for a little while.

To try new recipes.

To let me travel past beautiful places like this.

To meet super legit people like this.

And of course, to take me back to Washington D.C.

Here I am. Nannying again. Doing one thing I love and enjoying the blessings this summer has brought me. Where has your summer taken you?

– Sarah (:

Here’s My May-athon.

Wow. It’s May 31. Dang I am getting old. I can’t believe it’s been an entire month sense I last blogged. I can’t believe this month of my life has not been exposed, not written about, not thought through. I need clarity people! Anyways, I guess I will start with the basics.

I moved out. scary thought that I am no longer a freshman in college. sad thought that I don’t live with my awesome roomies, and I live back in good ole Marietta.

Next was Matt and Lauren’s wedding. My cousin was married earlier this May and it was a joy to see him marry the love of his life who has been around for quite a while. We all adore Lauren, and honestly SHE is his better half! (:

After that I came back with a few days to recover before the guests started arriving for my baptism! I GOT BAPTIZED Y’ALL!

FINALLY!!

If you want to watch my testimony video and me getting baptized check it out here!

God’s love washed over me and took my sin away. It didn’t save me. Jesus Christ saved me. But it symbolizes what He did for me!

Then there were a couple days that gave me a chance to put my life in order. Unpack my dorm stuff, clean my room, and try to get into a summer routine. But soon came this monday, MEMORIAL DAY. We have several veterans in this family and it was awesome to get to celebrate this holiday with them. We took my grandpa, a WWII vet all the way from Knoxville down to the Atlanta Braves stadium where he had an awesome time at the game! This picture is us giving kicks and fist pumps so that I could send it into Today’s Letters (one of my favorite blogs. Check them out!)

And this week I have been taking things slow. Sleeping until noon. Doing lots of crafts including making ‘Merica shorts, flower pens, picture frame art, t-shirt blankets, writing letters to old friends, and working on some books (writing and Reading of course.)

 Hope your May-athon was as good as mine! See you in June!

– Sarah (:

Find Your Joy.

For the third time in the past five days I had someone differentiate between happiness and joy. One way, I feel, that God speaks to me is through suggestions and comments from people influential in my life. So when a suggestion or an intriguing comment is made I listen. When Greg spoke tonight at Fellowship he prayed that as students we would find joy, not happiness, but joy.

SO…. I am going to talk about the differences and how this speaks to me this week.

Happiness is defined as: the quality or state of being happy.

Joy is defined as: the emotion of great delight caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.

As I have been listening and contemplating the difference between happiness and joy, what I have discovered is this: joy is long-term. Happiness is superficial and it is short lived. But when a person can find joy it can last for a lifetime. I am NOT saying that once a person acquires joy in their life that life is easy or that hardships will never approach, but I am saying that with eternal joy instilled in a person’s heart he/she can conquer daily trials with inner peace that cannot be discovered without joy.

My God has provided me with Joy. All day he gave me loved ones who welcomed me and people who desire my presence with them. I felt like I fit in at school. That being at UT, isn’t a mistake, I can possibly make this work.

Today, I dressed for success. I set out with the purpose of finding joy. That I have been given this opportunity and it would be a shame and foolish for me to declare that God’s plan is unfit for me. That he made a mistake. That my job here at UT is only to walk through the halls as if I don’t care. Today I walked throughout my day being intentional. Every conversation, every assignment, every goal, I did with the full purpose of glorifying God and taking full advantage of His timing and His plan for my life. I have found joy. While I am jumping the gun to say this, I believe it to be true. That with the attitude of importance and with the mind-set of great delight, anyone can allow the eternal peace of Jesus to wash over them bringing them everlasting joy. (:

Tonight my friends and I decided to get crazy… we are pulling an all nighter and dying my hair. I am now a brunette (like I was before this summer). Weird. Thanks to Alexis, Micaela, Caroline, Claire, Kristin, and Elizabeth. We are studying together and working on essays and other assignments for the week. But He has placed us at this time to enJOY one another and rest in the JOY of these once-in-a-life-time moments. Embracing these evenings, and one another, with the same open and loving arms that Christ extends towards us.

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An evening I will always remember… Well back to Religious Studies… the girls say I gotta get back to studying.

– Sarah (: