My word for 2017 was redemption. At first I just wanted it to be a strong word. One I can look back on and be like, “yeah, what an amazing, strong year.” I thought it would be just simple things I would get redemption in. Like finally getting to prove myself at work or something. But God had other plans and this summer was wild.
Over on my YouTube channel, I wanted to create a second of everyday type video specifically for this summer. I was determined to make this the best summer ever and making sure I did cool new things. I thought it was just going to be a fun video, but it turned into something more.
Production-wise, I had no idea how much work goes into this, so props to all you guys that have done it for the whole year. I actually had to set a daily reminder so I wouldn’t forget to film something. But it also got hard on days where not much was going on and had to at least film something. It made me question if I actually wanted to do it. I’m glad I stuck it out. Let’s see if I do all year for 2018!
Let’s Get Deep
I don’t want this to be sappy or like I got some crazy epiphany of life but it did show me a lot of things. It showed me that God’s plans are better than my own. I didn’t end the summer the same way I started it. In just a few months, I discovered new passions, met new friends, got new experiences. It wasn’t a good summer because I was out partying it up, but it was good because I do a lot of growing.
Filming each day showed me that life is made up of little moments. Some seem so insignificant but they make up our life. It showed me that things change and it’s better to just go with the flow than trying to force things. I feel like one of the biggest things is that I learned to expect the unexpected. I’m a huge planner and it gave me a moment to just let go. This summer was great not because it was the funnest but I can see God redirecting my course. Nothing happened as I expected but it still made me happy in the end.
I like new things. New shoes, clothes, friends, adventures, etc. New is always fun and lately, I can sense a new season in my life. I’ve never been so aware of a new chapter starting, so although I’m excited for the new, I actually feel anxious. It’s just so strange to me to actually see it all happening. It’s like those movie scenes where the person is standing still and everything moves past them like a blur. Sometimes you don’t even know you’re in a new season until you’re fully in it and notice things are different. But in a way, I’m glad that I’m noticing it happen because I feel like I can prepare for whatever is coming.
Subtly, God messed with my plans. He does that often to me. I had a whole image of how life was going to be like at the moment but none of that came true. I’m a dreamer. It’s part of who I am. I create stories that allow me to live vividly. But the light of certain dreams began to dim and I stayed waiting. I have a really hard time letting things go.
This past year has been pushing me to grow up in a lot of ways. God dug up a lot of things that were buried down in my heart. There’s a lot of things I’ve had to come to terms with and let go. I even shared my testimony, which is something I’d never thought I’d publicly do. I asked God to remove things from my life and help me learn more about Him and how I fit in into His plans for me. It’s been a lot of learning. This whole new time in my life almost feels like a test to see if I can put what I learned into use.
Although I’m uneasy, I’m happy. I’m happy because this new season means I’m heading where God wants me to go. It’s been a while since I’ve felt content so I know God’s got this. I remember being in a season of dryness for so long wondering what God was even doing and just feeling so defeated in every way. For the first time I genuinely feel confident in where my relationship in God is and can trust His plan wholeheartedly. I no longer feel like I am constantly asking to feel redeemed, I can finally come to God and know His forgiveness is with me.
Not going to lie, I’m still nervous and a bit scared for what’s to come. But I’ve grown to the point where I can just rely on God on the good and bad times and at the end, He will come through. So I don’t know what to expect in this new season, but I am ready for it.
As a born and raised California girl, I knew heading to the East Coast was going to be a huge change, from climate to regular life. I thought Los Angeles was busy, but I think New York is always on fast forward. I must admit, the first day I was completely overwhelmed by the city and was worried that I wasn’t going to like it. But the city grew on me for many different reasons and it showed me a lot of stuff about life. Here are some things New York taught me.
Always Be Alert
This one is meant to be taken literally. I’ve never had to be so aware of my surroundings until I tried to cruise around New York. I will never get why people can’t wait .5 seconds for the walking light to switch. Why is traffic so intense? Why is everyone always honking? Look, I can maneuver my way all around Disneyland while it’s super crowded while looking down at my phone. Not in New York. I seriously just focused on walking without dying (kind of an exaggeration but you get my feelings). Even when I was a car and not driving, I felt the need to pay attention to the road.
Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of
Seriously, every time I think of New York “Empire State of Mine” gets stuck in my head. I’ve always had Los Angeles within reach (fun fact: I was actually born in LA) so I feel like it lost it’s luster for me. New York was the city where things happened. This is where people moved to when they wanted to “make it.” You know what? I agree. There’s something about the New York air that makes you dream. I’m a writer with a degree in journalism, so seeing the big publishers out there just made me love it more. It definitely inspired me to start working harder on new things.
Both figuratively and literally. I love the fact that you can walk everywhere! California is so spread out that you have to have a car to get anywhere. I love walking so being able to do that all day, everyday was the best thing ever. It let me see the city up-close and I got to discover tons of tiny places I would’ve never thought of. At the same time, it made me realize how important it is to just chill and enjoy everything I’m seeing. We so often get carried away by the big picture things, but it’s nice to take it slow and enjoy what’s in front of us.
Is Being Busy Good?
If you look around, you’ll see people hurrying off somewhere. There’s always something going on. Like I mentioned, I enjoyed the chillness of just wandering, but at the same time I felt that I needed to be doing something. I feel like everyone was up to something. It made me think of whether everyone chose to be this busy and whether it’s a good thing or not.
Have you ever learned something while you were traveling?
March means it’s my birthday month! I’m the kind of person that has countdowns and celebrates all month long, but I’m starting to feel anxious about my birthday now, maybe because I’m starting to hit my mid-twenties. Life is always a learning process and there’s so many things I’m still realizing.
Life has definitely not gone the way I planned. I wish I could control it but I can’t. Something I realized is that there’s no point holding on to frustrations and grudges because life keeps moving. The older I get the more I realized to just be content and joyful for life as it comes. Time is too valuable to ponder on unnecessary things, might as well enjoy what you have now!
Health is Really Important
So far this year I’ve gotten sick twice. I’m realizing how I just can’t bounce back from things as easily as I used to. It’s a little heartbreaking but it’s making me focus on taking better care of myself in every way. This means eating healthier and taking vitamins. It’s better to start younger than waiting until it’s too late.
It’s Never Too Late to Change
I feel like people always assume you can’t change because you’re so set in your ways, but that’s not true. I was doing some thinking and was cringing at my past self so I’m setting out to become a better person. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it. Bettering yourself should always be a priority.
If you’ve been following me now for a few years, you know that I love having a giveaway from my birthday! I love giving back so this is a chance for all of us to celebrate. This year I also hit 2k subscribers on Youtube! So I’m double celebrating with this giveaway. I’m giving away $10 to Starbucks, $10 to Target, a Wicked inspired bath bomb, a cute notebook, and a DIY candle.
We all have plans. We have ways to get there and be exactly where we imagined. So what happens when you end up somewhere you didn’t want? We get anxious and worried where we end up somewhere we didn’t plan to be. But it’s important to step back and see why we’re there.
[Tweet “Why are you somewhere you didn’t want to be?”]
Two Stories: Jonah and Daniel
Jonah was told by God what he needed to do. But what did he do? He literally ran the other way and disobeyed. Then bad things happened and who was to blame? Jonah because he didn’t listen to what God told him to do. He ended up in places he didn’t want to be because he didn’t listen.
Then there’s Daniel. He was not in an ideal place. He was stuck in a place where he couldn’t freely worship God. But God was with him. So when he got in trouble, God rescued him. There was a plan and he was in the right place, although it didn’t seem like it.
Ask God Why
Either you’re disobeying or not paying attention to what God is doing. It’s so easy to blame God for the situation we’re in but sometimes we need to stop and ask why we’re there in the first place. Most of the time God has already spoken to you and what you needed to do but you wondered off. But other times, you may be in a tough spot but God is there and he will pull you through. So ask God why and to show you the next step.
Switch Your Perspective
If you are not in the place God instructed you to be, ask yourself why you’re not obeying. Is it fear, resources, etc? Once you identify why you’re struggling, you can work at that issue to get your path headed the right way. On the flip side, if you’re where God told you to be and things are tough, look for God’s guidance and the lesson this situation will bring at the end.
For my thoughts are not- your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. | Isaiah 55:8-9