Writing Scholarship Essays Like I’m Not So Sick I’m Taking the Semester Off & Crying About It

I have applied to 21 scholarships today. TWENTY-ONE. Not TWENTY-FUN. I am not turning the legal age to drink in America. I am literaLLY dying out here trying to save every spare penny a bi$h can. LITERALLY. And I am using literally correctly so COME AT ME. Or probably don’t; I have no good comebacks up my sleeve at the moment. That is because my sleeve is filled with my salty AF tears.

WHY?

I am so freakkkkking sick and tired of a life in solitude with my poodle. No offense, Tucker, but it is just not the same as being in class. I am just over it. That is why I had to buy Snoop Dog’s wine today from target. I had to because there was no other option for me.

That is ALSO why I had to put it in a portable container before I head out for my nightly walk with Tuck Tuck Goose.

I just cannot even believe this catastrophe of my social and academic career. I NEEEEEEEEEED someone to cut me a break and either get me a book deal or a reality show deal. Preferably the book deal. But I won’t mind some Kim K. action either.

Alright toodles. My Snoop wine awaits me. Can’t wait to walk my dog, drink this wine, and cry HAHAHHA.

K bye bishezzzz,

MOI

Tell all the truth but tell it slant by Emily Dickinson

Adrian Matejka on Twitter: "I'm welcoming #NationalPoetryMonth with Emily  Dickinson, who is one of the first poets I read & whose work continues to  inspire me to “Tell all the truth but
Here it is.

Sarah, I lied. This post is not for you. The next one will be (#lolZZZ).

I just have always loved this poem since I read it in high school.

I resonate with the title more than the poem because I think the title itself is genius, especially when followed by words explaining its meaning… **chef’s kiss**; it is a literary masterpiece… And I never told anyone this when I was in high school. I never added to the Emily Dickinson Conversation when we reviewed some of her most famous works. I never said or did anything other than expound upon what Google said her works meant… More truthfully, what Spark Notes and Cliff Notes said her works meant.

And that is because I was telling all the truth but telling it slant.

And it, Tell all the truth but tell it slant, received no credit, or rather poor Emily received no credit for her writing and her ability to feel so deeply, until after she died. And my high school self and this wretched account are dead, so this post, if even viewed by anyone at all, will receive no credit until then. Or I suppose now depending on when this is published, too.

Poor and clearly pompous me, for feeling like I am on the same level of writing and feeling as Emily Dickinson, and even personifying her feelings to her corpse. Poor and clearly pompous me, for even thinking a dead body would be feeling betrayed or disappointed or hurt or anything at all by this entire ordeal of her fame and love only after her, what seems as though, never-ending suffering.

What a shame that those who are trying their absolute hardest to communicate their desire for human connection and understanding and love do not receive any of it until they’re dead.

And that previous sentence, the one literally before this one presently being read, is me following Emily’s advice: that is me telling all the truth but telling it slant.

The Truth, when not told slant, is that I feel like the insurmountable vexation that progresses from having a mind like hers… one that makes her able to think and write this profoundly… is oddly enough the juxtaposition of the crux of progressive deterioration of that very same mind. I feel like it is oddly enough the juxtaposition of the crux of her, as aren’t the body and mind one and the same? Isn’t that what makes a person a person, as consciousness is too perplexing for even the world’s most intelligent psychologists and neuroscientists to “figure out” and explain?

Yet consciousness makes us human. It makes us different than the rest of living “things”. And isn’t that a good thing?

We are not animals but we are at top of the animal kingdom.

We are not unintelligent but we are destroying the one planet that keeps us all alive.

Make it make sense? Make the but make sense. Because I just simply cannot.

And that is what I find to be so profound about this entire poem. It’s the but in the title. That’s it… when I’m not telling it slant.

The Truth is I do not fucking understand the point of life.

I do not fucking understand the point of life.

I do not get it.

And no one can explain it to me.

That is the all the truth when I do not tell it slant.

However, if you do not tell it slant, that truth, or rather The Truth, is “too much” truth. It is misinterpreted as feeling emotions I do not feel. It is misinterpreted as me lying when I say those misinterpreted feelings are not felt. It is a whole bunch of an intertwined mess between me, “professionals”, and what is.

Therefore, I will just say what I said at the beginning of this entry:

I just have always loved this poem since I read it in high school.

Turns Out I’m NOT a CRAZY MOFO… just a MOFO.

Just a mofo. More to come.

Hopefully not more than a year and a half later, but more to come. That is my word, and I am holding myself to it… but without a timeline this time, as I had back when I created this account for… for… (I don’t even want to say it because it makes me laugh so hard)… a school C O U R S E HAHHAHA. The course was directed studies. I directed myself to do what I wanted. Loved that class. Best part? You grade yourself because you direct yourself. My grade? Perfect. Why? Because clearly from this account I am perfect, incredible, one-of-a-kind, never been done before, and AHHHHMAZING in all ways. DUH. My grade was 100 for both semesters. Best class and best teacher I’ve had, both me obvi, lmao. What can I say other than what great, outstanding work by me as a teacher and student all at once lolz lolz #LOlz.

All I have to say is, though, I was right. Nobody knows your body and your mind better than yourself. I wrote that years ago on here. And from life events from growing up that I wanted to push aside and never deal with, and from life events in high school and college that I also wanted to push aside and never deal with, and from just freaking life as a whole since the womb… things happened. Specifically, and right now especially, since February 10th of 2020.

Many things.

Too many things to count (but I counted and am continuing to count them because it’s not right for me to have been treated this way by so, so, SO many “professionals”).

I was made to feel like… like I was worthless, like I was a liar when I was telling nothing but the truth, like I was a stupid white girl. I was made to feel like I was crazy, like I was a waste of time, like I was a waste of space, like I was unloveable… and I believed it. SCRATCH THAT (self-editing #amirite)!!! I believed THEM, too.

The very people I came to for help. I believed them when all they did was hurt me. They hurt me so much.

How sad it that?

And I am none of those things. AND even if I was, I should never have been made to feel like an inhumane POS. It was not right. It is not right. It never will be right. I am trying to understand how and why you can be okay with knowing you treated someone like that and not apologizing. I am trying so hard to understand why did you treat me like that? because I just do not understand. But more than anything, truly, I want to.

Despite all of the extreme pain and suffering this has caused me, I’m choosing to once again consider it pure joy. I’m choosing that. Because I owe it to myself. Because…

We hurt where we care, and we care where we hurt.

Dr. Steven Hayes

And by the way, I want to say I am so sorry to anyone that has ever felt, ever feels, or ever will feel that way. It’s not a freaking amazing doozy type of feeling. It is the exact opposite type of doozy feeling…

I write all over the place: journals, notes, gratitude journals, papers, everywhere. I’m a vagabond writer at heart. And deep down, I know I’ve always felt like a vagabond person, too: never feeling like I had anyone to turn to or anyone in my corner, never feeling like I belonged anywhere, never feeling like anyone wanted me around, never feeling like anyone loved me or even liked me for that matter… even though all of that wasn’t factually true, I still felt it. And I still continue to feel it.

But I found my way back here… back to where I chose to finally address why I am the way I am and why I do the things I do. I found my way back to where I chose to finally address it because I wanted to understand, and I wanted to change, and for whatever reason that I do not know, I remembered this account, and I came back to see it. Even though I did not want to. I came back to see it. I found my way back here where that journey of my why all started, and I came to see it because I’m still trying to understand myself and why I do everything I do and what the point even is to anything. I found my way back to the crux of, at that point in my life, my entire life’s hurt, my entire life’s pain, my entire life’s brokenness, my entire life’s loneliness, my entire life’s tiredness, and…

And perhaps, perhaps just maybe, this is now actually the moment for which I have been created?

Perhaps.

ORRRRR as the people who know much more about the Bible than my younger-grasshopper-highschooler-self might say…. and who knows whether or not you have entered the kingdom for such a time as this ;)? I’ve made some growth. I watered my mustard-seed self. But ONLY once in a blue moon. Still not a #profesh.

It was worth it, though. The suffering from high school was worth it. The Bible was right about that. I’ve seen it in my own life.

ANDDDD I just passed out recently at the start of this year while funneling diet cokes in a McDonald’s parking lot when I found out Dr. Steven Hayes put in the work and found the science to prove it can be done. He proved that you, me, and everyone can overcome their struggles… WITHOUT claiming they will go away like other therapies do. That’s h o n e s t. And that’s what considering it pure joy is to me. That’s what God says, too. And, like I said on here years ago, God is not in the business of giving you the perfect life… I finally feel like I don’t have to choose a side anymore. I finally feel like I can choose both, like there can be unity.

I can forgive while still feeling sad and hurt… potentially for the rest of my life.

I can be Christian while believing the Bible is NOT the literal word of God, rather the living word of God. The living word of God is subject to interpretation and change; it all depends on who is reading it. No one is the same. No one.

I can believe in science and be Christian.

I can believe in God and doubt… which I have done and will continue to do too many times to count.

I can feel scared and follow through anyways.

“And that’s okay. I accept it. COME AT ME bISHEZZZZZ. I ACCEPT IT AND I COMMIT TO USING IT FOR GOOD…”

That is a little rendition of an interpretation of words by God and by Steven Hayes… & by me. Mostly me tho because I do not think first God or second renowned researcher Dr. Steven Hayes would sign off on that. So mostly by me… inspired tho by them. And by everyone who has ever shown me a little kindness. That’s also true: it goes a long a$$ way, being kind. You just never know who needs it. Because God knows I did…I still do… & I always will.

P.S.: Got my name changed back, ya i got my name changed back (Miranda Lambert recently if I do recall from a youtube video). Consideringitpurejoy.com is back. Found a sale $15 for the year. No more consideringitpurejoydotcom.wordpress.com for now lolol and LOL

Eulogy to My Pop-Pop

From as far back as I can remember, my grandpa, who I have always referred to as Pop-pop, has always been someone who I have admired. My complete admiration of Pop-pop actually began because I thought Pop-pop’s real name was, in fact, popcorn. And this, of course, was truly incredible to my 4-year-old self, so much so that I have vivid memories of telling my preschool friends that I loved my grandpa because his real name was Popcorn. Of course, the next time I got to see Pop-pop, I was so excited to talk about this with him. I ran right over to him, and whispered in his ear, “Is Pop-pop your nickname for your real name, Popcorn?”. I remember Pop-pop started smiling and laughing to himself. He looked down at me and said, “Well, yes!”. That moment confirmed to me that Pop-pop was actually legendary, and that moment made me want to be just like him.

Fortunately for me, Pop-pop was the best possible role model I could have chosen. Pop-pop was a man who made the most of every moment and every single thing in his life, even the most ordinary ones. I remember sitting next to Pop-pop at the kitchen table drawing flowers on a piece of computer paper. Flowers have always been my go-to drawing of choice, so this was the usual sketch for me. Pop-pop, however, found a way to make that moment extraordinary. From helping me add a flower pot underneath my flowers to then suggesting I add a table underneath the flower pot to then finessing the background so that the entire paper finally became a piece of art that we created together, just the two of us, Pop-pop always knew exactly how to spice up life to make it the loveliest. When I got to high school and began taking every possible art class offered to me, I knew I wanted to use that same sort of Pop-pop-style spice in my own art. I was always so proud to see him, so I could show him the artwork I created. I loved seeing his reactions to what I had made and really valued his opinions. I absolutely have always felt a special sort of indescribable closeness with Pop-pop because of our shared love of art and our bond that truly cultivated because of it.

In addition to all of this, Pop-pop was also extremely funny. In a lot of ways, my own humor mirrors his. Back when I was in middle school, I remember visiting Pop-pop and Nona when they were in the middle of doing Weight Watchers. Nona was explaining to everyone at the dinner table what Weight Watchers was, and why it meant they were not having the same dessert as all of us grandchildren. As she was explaining this, I looked over at Pop-pop, who was rolling his eyes, probably because there were several desserts laid out including cake, cookies, ice cream, and pizzelles. When Nona left the room, Pop-pop waved me over and asked me to get him some dessert before Nona came back. When I returned with his dessert, he laughed and told me it would be our little secret. Now, I do the same things when I am with my friends. If we are all out to eat and someone goes to the bathroom, my friends and I will steal some fries off their plate while they are gone, and of course deny these actions ever happened when they return. I like to think this especially is what Pop-pop would have wanted for me to learn from him!

My grandpa, Pop-pop, also liked to keep things short and sweet, so I will do the same here today. Pop-pop was a smiley grandpa that I will always, always remember for his loving attitude, his funny comments, and his commitment to making bright and beautiful art no matter what. Pop-pop, I love you so much, and I’ll be seeing you!

 

Here. (My Thoughts from This Time Last Year)

Here.

I am here. I am in college, and I am finding that I am having a difficult time. I am having a difficult time because I finally understand what is important. And it is definitely not anything I thought it would be. It is not the amount of hours I am taking this semester. It is not the fact that I have failed to make any new friends. It is not that I have yet to join a club. It is none of these things.

A few months ago, I had it engrained in my head that those were the things I should focus on. I should invest my time into studying, so I could earn a degree. I should be a leader in multiple activities, so I could have numerous ways to meet a variety of people. I should join a sorority, so I could feel a sense of belonging. I should do all of these things to better not only me, but myself and I, as well.

A few months ago, my best friend’s brother was diagnosed with cancer. I did not know what to say. I did not know what to do. I was at a loss for words, actions, emotions. I was at a loss for everything except for prayer. So I prayed. I prayed that I could relate to her. I prayed that I could find the words to say to make it better and the things to do to make it okay. I prayed for three days straight, multiple times a day. My prayers were answered.

When my prayers were answered, I could finally relate. Three days later, and I was praying for God to take back everything I had begged Him for. The answer was not what I wanted. Not at all. Three days later, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I now knew there was nothing to say except for God’s truths. I knew there was no action I could make except for simply being with her. I knew that for my entire life, I had lived so selfishly.

I had focused on my grades, my college applications, my sports, my artwork, my social life. Me. I had focused on me. It was like I was driving the car of my life and the blind spots were everything that did not have to do with myself. I was embarrassed, deeply saddened, and confused. I was also willing to change.

I stopped going to events simply to say that I did in fact attend if they did not cause my heart to feel any joy or excitement or peace. I stopped placing my worth in having unmarred marks on my transcript. I stopped basing my success on performance and perfectionism. I began to not just live, but live fully and freely. I began to value things like spending time with the people I love. I began to embrace the many weird, imperfect qualities that I possess. I began to understand the importance of living intentionally.

I do not have infinite time on this earth. I have a predetermined amount. When I die, which everyone does, no one is going to care or even remember the letter grades I received in high school or college. No one is going to think to himself that I really had an outstanding format for my website. Or that I used Times New Roman over Arial font, and it really made all the difference in making my writing seem more classic and timeless. No one is going to remember that on that one Tuesday, I used a seventy-pound kettlebell at the gym instead of sixty pounds. Or that I stayed and completed one more repetition of the circuit instead of doing the recommended amount. No one is going to remember any of those things that seem like absolutely everything in the moment.

When I die, which everyone does, people are going to remember the things that reflect the truths and traits of God. People are going to remember if I treated them with respect and curtesy. People are going to remember if I was patient in the coffee line. People are going to remember if I made them feel whole, worthy, and loved. These are all things that seem so minor and so meaningless in the grand scheme of everything that everyone has going on. But, these are truly the things that are noteworthy, and these are the things that matter.

A few months have gone by, and I still do not know what to say to my friend, her family, and my own family other than what I have already said. I still do not know what to do except be present. But I have learned that is enough. I do not need to do all of these things to make anyone, myself included, feel better or at peace or anything like that. God has said He has already done it. He died so that we may have eternal life, one including all of those things, with Him. He has quite literally finished it.

So, the answer to my previous question is no. God is not going to un-answer my prayers. He is not going to give me the “perfect” life. He is most definitely not in that business. God is in the business of grace. His character is one of forgiveness. One of loving me in spite of the selfishness that engulfed me for so long. God is also in the business of peace. He is quite literally the only thing that provides me with a sense of comfort in this troubling time of uncertainty. He is so good.

I am still here. I am still in college. And I am still having a difficult time. I know what is important, but that does not make it oh-so-easy. It does not mean that I have my whole life figured out, or that I can breeze through my problems without them taking a toll on me. With too many friends to count or without any new friends at all, with desired grades or without a single A, with clubs or without a clear schedule, with or without anything and everything I once held so dear to me, I now know what is important. I now know what is important, and it is most definitely not anything I once thought it was. Not at all.  And I am learning that it is quite okay.

That Rando from a River

I am trying to be a holy mofo and know about basic stories in the Bible. Obviously Moses is pretty important because I knew his name before I started reading his story. Also, a lot of people name their dogs Moses, so I mean I have had exposure to the name from petting dogs. I did not, however, know Moses from the Bible. I did not know that Moses was found in a river. Like this little dude was just chilling down the river. That is wild. He was seriously floating around like it was nobody’s business.

So here we have this guy, Moses, who does not get found like Avril Lavigne was discovered. He was not particularly good at anything, while Avril was born a star. Fight me on this one. In fact, Moses was a dude who could barely speak without stuttering or saying the wrong things. I kind of picture him to be sort of like Michael Scott on The Office. 

Michael is a manager with no friends and no family who kind of forces his employees to fill those roles. Moses is a little guy from a river with initially no one either. Besides his sister who was fine with letting him go floating about. So she does not count. Michael cannot go a day without saying “that’s what she said” after something that was not even meant to be taken  sexually. I imagine Moses was not saying that in between words because I mean, this is the Bible people calm yourselves, but I do imagine he got caught up in sounds or said the wrong things at the wrong time  because he actually was like dude God why do I have to go to Pharaoh I cannot even speak.

Which leads me to the absolutely crazy part. Michael is the only branch manager that makes profits despite his jokes just like God chose this random river baby to do this incredible task. Moses did not have any special skills. He was not above anyone else. He literally came from who knows where from a river. And his speaking skills were actually below everyone else’s. Like there is no way this guy was in TAG in elementary school amirite people #lolz.

Imagine finding a child in a river with no specific talents. You would be like WTF you doing in there little guy?!

But God did not see him that way. He did not see Moses as some random from an abandoned basket. He saw Moses as a man who would change the course of history through Him. He saw him like Michael, the profitable manager. He saw Moses as full of worth and ability. He saw him as a world changer for God’s glory. And that is how God sees each of us.

He does not see me as that girl that charged a cop. Or that girl that walked straight into a pole on the sidewalk. He sees me as full of worth and ability. He sees me as someone who can do incredible things to further the glory of God on earth. And he most definitely sees you like that, too.

Yo Broz I’ve Fallen, but I Can Get up

It has hit me. But no I do not want it to hit me baby one more time because I cannot afford another break down as it is my hell week in college, and that means I’ve already experienced 98 meltdowns today alone. It has hit me as to why this period of doubt has been occurring. And you have guessed it peeps, I am here to tell you just what that “why” is.

If you are Christian, it is likely that you have heard of John Piper. I listen to one of his sermons ON REPEAT. Seriously on the weekends, on the rowing machine at the gym, in the car, doing the worm, wherever and whenever. This guy knows his stuff. If he were in high school, he would be leader of FCA I’m sure (eye roll because I was never important/knew enough to be a leader in this club(; ) . But he really is invested in his faith. And he says a lot of really great things. I want to make it known he is definitely someone I look up to for his love of Christ.

Because of this one sermon I watched of his on repeat that really spoke to me, I just accepted the fact that he was probably the most Christian guy to walk the earth right now. I thought he was like THE guy. If John Piper walked up to me, I would have been sure there would be a physical halo around his head, and he would be floating and strumming a harp quite nicely. So of course if I ever had a question in regards to Christianity or my life, I would go look up what John Piper had to say about it. Because obviously this trumps going directly to the LIVING Word of God that is so easily accessible to me (#sarcasmpeepz). So basically, it became so clear that I have been idolizing John Piper for so long without even realizing it until this morning. LIKE WHAT, ME, JOHN PIPER IS NOT JESUS. But for some reason I treated him like he was.

But that has changed. Finding out that John Piper’s views on evolution and on abusive relationships COMPLETELY differ from mine really shocked me. But it also opened my eyes to the fact that this man does not know all of the answers (That is not to say that I do either. Please everyone I just heard the story of David and Goliath in full today lmao). He is an incredible man of God no doubt, but he makes mistakes. He says the incorrect things. He is human. He falls short of the glory of God because John Piper is not God.

And that is exactly why depending on others alone will not allow you to stand on solid rock. It will allow you to be misinformed, misinterpreted, and essentially will allow you to be lead so far away from truth that you end up at an AA meeting begging God to give you a sign that He is even real in the first place. I encourage you reading this to instead of going first to your version of John Piper, whoever that may be, I encourage you instead to seek first the kingdom. Seek first Jesus Christ. And you cannot do that without seeking first His Word. TTYL Homiez.

Focus on the Gospel

Since becoming Christian at the middle of high school, I have never really doubted. Of course, I have had the occasional “oh my goodness this seems so unfair” when I put money into a soda machine, and nothing comes out (#rude). But in reality, the Gospel is anything but fair. Jesus dying is not fair. It should be us on that cross. It most definitely should be us.

However, this weekend (well starting Thursday night, but same dif), I found myself up all night. Which is crazy considering I have a prescription for sleeping medicine. I was screaming, crying, worrying, calling my old Bible study leader, calling adults from my high school church, and if I had the Pope’s number, you bet your booties I would have speed dialed him so quickly, too. Here’s why.

I am majoring in special education, therefore I am taking a number of education classes. One class in particular is called Critical Issues in Education. So what do we do in there? Talk about critical issues in education. Duh people. On Thursday afternoon, the topic just so happened to be regarding the Texas State Board of Education. There is a man on the board that is EXTREMELY (and I do mean extremely) literal in his interpretations of the Bible. Which, it is his right to be. But the problem we were discussing is that he is trying to push his beliefs into the wording of various textbooks for public schools. Obviously, this is not acceptable for a multitude of reasons. However, he is finessing the system anyways. If I ever go to jail, no doubt his booty is racing to the judge to be my lawyer. The main thing I want to get across though is that one of the things this man believes is that the earth is 6,000 years old. I have never in my life heard this before. So when I did hear, it really shocked me because of all of the evidence that points against it. My entire class and I, professor included, could not wrap our heads around why he believed it. (I want to emphasize again that people’s beliefs are their beliefs, and they can believe what they want whether or not I do, though).

Blahblahblah, the class ended. Later that night I was meeting up with my friend from Bible study. We were catching up and telling each other what we had been up to earlier that day (duh because that’s what friends do). Anyways, I just want to say that at this time, I was unaware that the earth being 6,000 years old was more than just that one man’s belief. In fact, a large amount of people share that opinion (which again is totally their right). So because I was unaware, I say something like oh you know what was really weird is that I heard today in my education class that this Christian guy believes the earth is 6,000 years old. And of course, you guessed it, I should not have said it that way because in fact, she believes this, too. Which, again, is her right. But for some reason this one thing just kept picking away at my faith. If you struggle with anxiety, you will understand that sometimes you just cannot shake a thought, and that thought takes over your entire mind. From this one thought, I somehow found myself believing that if I did not believe everything the same exact way she did, that it meant that I was actually not Christian (which is untrue).

This one minor topic got me extremely upset and anxious, and if I am being honest, I was (and am wrestling with it still) in a season of doubt for the first time in my Christian life (it has gotten quite a bit better, but I am not that far into the story yet geez people). Finally, after a Thursday night of intensive worries and sadness and fear and doubt, I broke down in the dining hall. Yup, every last brussel sprout was DRENCHED in my salty af tears. You know that feeling where you just want so badly to believe, but you are doubting so much? That was how I felt. #SUE #ME.

A few hours later, I decided to go to the gym because #gainz always relieve some stress for me especially when they come from dank workouts. I was still a complete and utter wreck. I prayed GOD PLEASE IF YOU ARE REAL SHOW ME A SIGN. And I meant it from the bottom of my heart. Before I go on I would just like to say that God and I have a lot of inside jokes, which I will write about in another post. But keep that in mind. So I passed by some church I have never been to, and I see two men inside. I think oh my goodness it is a sign. I must go inside! So here I am, sobbing pretty much, going into this random church facility. I go up to the two men, who were covered in tattoos and leather, and I ask them if they are the priests. Of course because God has my sense of humor and we have inside jokes that I will write about later, these people were not in fact priests. They were there for the AA meeting that was about to start. (seriously LOL) This AA meeting was spiritual, they told me. It was not specifically Christian, but I was desperate and at this point would take any advice from any older figure. They pointed me back to God, but I had been up all night reading and watching videos about specifics, and honestly just needed to talk to someone who knew the Bible a whole lot better than I do.

I was about to leave, but then one of the men told me I could stay and just be around people and listen to the AA meeting because he did not want me to make any rash decisions if I left and was alone with my thoughts. So of course because I just found it hysterical I was at an AA meeting and was also that girl who NEVER drank in high school (different story in college), I stayed for the heck of it. Well thank The Lord I did. When the meeting ended, the same man that invited me told me that the older gentleman that was at the meeting has actually been a minister for the past fifty years and taught religion at well-known university for twenty years. He also said he would be willing to talk with me.

So, let’s say, Ted was this INCREDIBLE man I got to speak with at a Waffle House the next day. I told him everything. Literally every last detail. He was probably bored from the specifics, but I just had to get everything out to him.(luhhh you Ted). And his advice and wisdom CHANGED MY LIFE. He told me that because I live in the South, a lot of people are going to interpret the Bible literally, but it does not make me “not Christian” if I do not view it in the same way. He told me that he doesn’t take a lot of the things in the Bible literally like how I do not, and he still is Christian. And I know that sounds obvious, but it was not to me. And side-note his personal story rocked my world, as well. But it is not mine to tell.

The point of this is that I have never been exposed to open-handed issues in the Bible because I am so, so new to Christianity. It does not come easy for me, and I do not know all that much. Because of this, I did not know people believed things very differently. But, what I did see first-hand is how these differences can wreck faith; it crushed mine for those few days. And what Ted reminded me is that it is the Gospel that is important. These open-handed issues do not change the fact that Jesus died on the cross so that we may have eternal life with Him. They just don’t. And for that, it is well with my soul.

gone, gone, gone (to the theme of that song from American Idol)

There comes a point in time where one will question the purpose of life and the things that they are doing. For many, this occurs after college. After they have outgrown the party phase. After they have gotten their degree. After they hit their midlife crisis. For me, this point happened in 2016 at the end of high school. And while 2016 was without a doubt the most difficult year of my life, I have ultimately developed as a person because of it. For that, I am grateful.

I will spare everyone the details of some of the major crises that were piled on to me this past year because frankly, I do not really think the 43 followers on here care so much as to read through my exact thoughts and feelings. I do not even know if anyone will read through this entire post. But I do want to touch on one thing. That one thing is Jesus.

I do not know if I would have survived this past year if I did not know the Lord. Jesus is hope. And He is home. Life here is not forever, and ultimately, fixing our eyes on worldly things will not get us anywhere. Somewhere in the Bible (not sure where because I am not a nun sorry #notsorry) it says naked we come and naked we leave. We came into this world with nothing. We leave with nothing. Not your career, not your social media following, not your body, not your food, not your clothing, not your new Christmas gifts. Nothing. That in itself should tell you one thing. That focusing on anything pertaining to this world is useless.

Today, I found myself questioning why I am doing the things that I am doing. I found myself asking if the things I am doing are ultimately glorifying the Lord. For a lot of these things, the answer is a bold and astonishing no. And I didn’t even realize it until I took a step back and looked at my life from an eternal standpoint.

For one thing, having multiple social media accounts like my “fitstagram” did not serve any true purpose for me. I spent a lot of time looking at people for no reason really at all. I spent a lot of time liking photos of friends that I did not even really know that well. And we all know I spent a lot of time tagging everyone in dank memes. Basically, that time could have been spent elsewhere, and I am sure something greater than giving Sally her 100th like on her selfie could have come from that time.

I am not saying that now I want everyone and their mothers to delete all of their social media because I did. Also let’s be honest, even if I did, that one family who posts literally 92948 times a day updating people on their every last action on Facebook would downright refuse this request. I am just saying that being more intentional with my time is a great lesson I have learned this year. You never know when you are going to die. You really do not. Time is so precious. You do not get it back. Focus on things above.

Exercising with My Homie J

If you are anything like me, you have an attention span that is shorter than my natural eyelashes. Meaning, it just does not exist. Because of this, doing cardio on any sort of machine is actually the equivalent to drinking bleach. Not exaggerating whatsoever. Sometimes, I even feel like funneling that bleach right on the elliptical because it is seriously that excruciating.

The only way that I have been able to get through my cardio recently is going to shock everyone. Seriously, take a seat. This advice is coming from the same girl that stumbled into her youth pastor while she was drunk downtown back in her partying days (I would not expect anything else with my luck, honestly). But, this advice has changed the cardio game forever.

You know that Bible app? Ya, the same one my good friend deleted to make room for Tinder (Again, I never claimed to be among saints over here). Well, it turns out that it is the most useful app I own. Shocking, I know.

First of all, you can listen to an audio version of the Bible on this app. Like whaaaa? Technology these days always keeping me young at my ripe, old age of 19. It gets better. You can change the voice to have a British accent. It is basically like you are listening to a cute guy read the verses right in front of Big Ben nomsaynnn’ gals?

Anyways, what I like to do is hop onto one of the cardio machines (lately have been choosing the rowing machine because it feels the most outdoorsy, and I am trying my best to be more granola) and listen. Not listen to music. Not listen to youtube. Not listen to Netflix (although One Tree Hill will ALWAYS be my back-up). Listen to The Word.

What is truly incredible about The Word of God is that it is living. It can LITERALLY change you. And I don’t mean change you into train wreck dumpster fire garbage arugula salad. I mean Jesus has the power to make you alive. Jesus literally turns the dead alive. That always amazes me. Even more than the googley eyes on ice-cream do.

And if you are already Christian, if you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, The Word can help you in your walk, or if you are like me, your extremely slow shuffle with Jesus. There is so much it can do, and I wish I was a nun or something (okay no I don’t, but you get the point), so I could more accurately describe all of its potential.

Please everyone I am begging you all to find a way to let me know what your favorite book of the Bible is so that during my next row down the Nile (also known as the stationary spot facing a brick wall at my gym), I can listen and meditate on it!