A Year of Learning

2015 was a crazy year. I experienced new highs and lows that I would never have guessed I would be concerned with. It’s always a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts when I reflect on a year, and each year is more vivid and fresh in my mind than the last one.

I learned what areas of my life and lifestyle that I need to work on. There are definitely habits of mine and actions/quirks that I am not the most proud of, and I know that I need to make a few changes. Nagging, doubting others, and striving for material perfection are a few of those bad habits that I want to turn around.

In order to address these works in progress, I’d like to try and apply 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to my daily lifestyle. Am I patient? Am I kind? Do I envy? Do I boast? The goal is to work from the top on down, so that at some point I can say that I was patient and I was kind and I did not envy or boast, and so on.

I also learned that I need to determine and evaluate the true importance of everything I seek and dream of. What should be prioritized? How can I healthily go about doing this? How can I ensure that this is a healthy ambition, or that I pursue my desires in a healthy manner.

I think 2015 also taught me that I should sleep more. Sleep is important and I am always forgetting that.

Another goal of mine is to start eating healthier and putting effort into exercising in the off-season! Trying to eat natural and fresh foods has always been appealing to me, however, working at a grocery store makes that hard!

Additionally, I have so, so much to be grateful for this past year.

I now have my driver’s license! Through various journeys, the miraculous patience of my parents, a few tears, and more life lessons, I acquired that coveted piece of plastic.

I have strengthened existing friendships and invested in genuine new ones. A new school year and more shared adventures are always exciting in that they bring me and other individuals together in various relationships. I am so, so blessed and I celebrate my friendships today! 

And, finally, all of my cousins from Guatemala were able to come and visit us here in the U.S. for a month! We had a such a fantastic time reuniting and investing real-life time and energy into our friendships. It was a magical Christmas in that regard. I am so lucky to have many cousins that come from both of my parent’s families. Cousins make forever friends. It was a great December season to feel loved, be loved, and give love.

In regards to prayer requests for myself and the coming year, what comes to mind is this: church. I currently am not affiliated with any official church or body of people for the purpose of meeting routinely to worship and grow in faith together. Although I do this with my friends, I am not sure if it is in God’s plan for me to find another church or group to further develop my faith with. To be frank, visiting churches scares me. I don’t want to do it. It’s often uncomfortable and I feel like Christians judge more than those who are not, which is the sad truth these days. However, I’m asking you to pray for me and that I would face this fear and that it would dissipate, and also that God would show me another church or group that I can grow to comfortably be a part of if He wills it. Thank you.

I have learned and grown in a multitude of ways this past year, and I am so excited to see what God has in store for me this coming year! Here’s to a year of learning and the coming year of applying the knowledge received. 

It’s time to sleep.

D. Fayth

Advertisements

Time Management: A Skill to Finesse

To all you older and wiser readers, I must confess that I am not particularly skilled at managing my time. Ah, time management..what a tricksy skill to master. If it is a skill at all, because is it really? Does it get any easier to handle with age? Actually, don’t answer that. I think that was a pretty rhetorical question.

Perhaps time management is something that is inherent, but it needs to be awakened. As a young individual, I often (*cough* …almost always…) find myself juggling my time precariously. However, it probably is around the time that I accept the facts; my school load is only going to increase from here, finishing out high school, college, employment, receiving more rigorous workloads, and the list goes on. I have concluded that, probably, something must be done.

Time is precious. Spending your time in a way that is valuable to you, is essential. Meditating and praying in God’s word every day should be, and I’d like to think is near, at the top of my list. It is something that I deem as extremely important, and therefore I must manage my time to fit that in my schedule. With daily emails, I have become increasingly better at this, but then it all comes down to my matter of priorities, which might need a bit of reorganization. It is so crucial to put God first in your life, and I strive to do that, but let’s save that for a different day.

Would you like one example that aroused my realization of this problem? Well, besides the fact that my Dad outright told me I needed to manage my hours better (in a joking matter, but in all seriousness we both knew his words were true), I currently am typing this blog post when my homework is calling my name and two tests are anticipating my completion tomorrow.  Oops. Yeah, again, priorities..

Well, let’s think of it this way. There are only 24 hours in a day. 24 hours that people constantly complain aren’t enough. At the same time, these days are hours spent by people complaining there is too little time, rather than making the most of it.

Why do we even gage time? Is the concept of pursuing goals and aspirations in life, while letting time simply run its course, that far-fetched? Obviously, as Americans, we must have some sort of schedule or master planner to make sure everything is timely. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, we don’t care enough to actually try, and then arrive ‘fashionably’ or ‘not-so-fashionably’ late.

Anyways, moving on from my mini-rant sesh, I suppose I should go about devising a plan to keep myself accountable for managing my time in an orderly fashion. That is, strictly so that my faith and grades and health don’t suffer. Note: Folks, my use of ‘and’ in the previous sentence provides a lovely example of a polysyndeton. My English teacher would be proud! Also, why is such a grammatical term marked with a red dotted line? I did spell it correctly. Ah, the english language for you las damas y los cabelleros (ladies and gentlemen, respectively, in the Spanish language of course.)

Moving on, as ineffectual as improper time management is, I pray that I will begin to hold a constant awareness of how I am spending my time, and if my use is of value to God and myself. Time management is something that I may never achieve in finesse, but I don’t expect to. It’ll take a lot of learning experience and decisive wisdom on my part to not get too carried away. Life has an abundance of ups and downs and ins and outs, and I intend to live my life fully for Jesus.  All the same, this doesn’t necessarily mean that from now in every second of my time will be enjoyable, restful, productive, or ‘useful’ and ‘efficient’. I can assure you that I will still procrastinate, for I am a teenager and sometimes things just don’t feel like they need to be done.

Still, I am all over setting a realistic goal for myself, in order to hone my time management abilities. By the grace, mercy, and undeserved blood of God, I am ever grateful to be equipped with the strength to do all things, including juggling my time.

With a sleepy, thankful heart, and many blessings your way,

–D. Fayth

How Do I Want to Live

If you’ve read some of my previous “deep” posts on this blog you may have taken a guess that I’m not exactly the most cheery optimistic person you’ll ever meet. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m a pessimist, but I’m not on the other end of that scale either. Certainly, I have been called out on acting pessimistic in some way or another on occasion.

Anyways, on to the subject. Recently I’ve been eagerly counting down the days until summer. There are only 23.5 days of school left, and I am looking forward to when the count is down to 0. Nonetheless, I’ve also reasoned with myself and I realize that I don’t necessarily want to have that outlook on life at the moment.

Maybe this is all those quotes that I see catching up to me. They read something similar to, “don’t live all your life for Fridays, weekends, and the summer, live for now”. I feel as though God is telling me to really contemplate this though, and so, I shall.

How is it possible to have fun in school when you’re just looking ahead to summer? With your focus on the future, it’s often quite hard to live life to the fullest in the present. However, my life motto is not exactly “carpe diem” or “live life to the fullest”. No, what I want to live by, and what I try to live by is in the footsteps of Christ. Each morning I tell myself to remember that He is with me throughout the day, and that I should live for Him.

That’s what I tell myself, but do I live up to that? To be honest, I really have no idea. I have my faults, I stumble, I stutter, I disappoint myself in staying quiet, I find joy in new friendship, and I sin like the rest of us. I ask myself, am I just saying that I’ll do this? Or am I actually doing this? More often than not I feel as though I’m living for myself, and not for Him.

The truth is, I don’t have the strength alone to go about my day with a positive attitude and living for Jesus. Simultaneously, I also don’t have the time to let Satan give me doubt and get preoccupied with it.

This weekend I got the chance to listen to the inspirational Joni Eareckson Tada speak, and wow is she inspiring. She went through so much and still has managed to serve and find happiness thorough her trials. So, again, I alone don’t have the strength, but God does.

God can, and will give me the strength.

I pray that God will give me the strength to go about these next five weeks and live my life for Him in school. I only have the opportunity to serve Him in high school for so long, and so now isn’t the time to cop out. I appreciate your prayers as well and am very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to actually read and listen to what I’ve just written.

Bless you,

–Fayth