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

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Words of the Week

Life has again sucked me up into a whirlwind, and it’s about time that I sat down and reevaluated my time management and my priorities. Always remember, He is ever with us. I too often forget it. It is a comfort, honor, and, in its own way, a confession to hear this:

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I want to live for Jesus not out of self-obligation but out of love for the amazing and awe-inspiring Creator. He is my rock, and He has promised me salvation. It is through this that I am saved, and I am beyond blessed to live this life on Earth with no need for fear for the future.

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Have a blessed week! I hope your summers are faring well. I hope to post some full-fledged content posts soon.

— D. Fayth

Quote of the Week

With a myriad of responsibilities at this chaotic time in life, trusting God is key to peace and success. He has me, and He hears all my prayers. Any attempt, no matter how big or how small, is just as valuable.

I am praying for a enjoyable weekend as I finish out my sports season and conquer end of the year projects and finals! Blessings to you all–

D. Fayth

Burnt Out

I am so burnt out, and I am extremely ready to just be done. I currently feel beyond ready to be free of my many obligations, school, regular practices, etc.

I want to enjoy myself, I want to end the school year with a bang, live for Jesus, and have an awesome finish to my volleyball season.

I want so many things. However, in order for these things to happen, I need to DO something.

Ah, desires and actions. One thing cannot be satisfied without the other.

Also, I’m tired and sick of myself for judging other people. In my mind I predetermine what other people think of me, or their assumptions when I am the one who is assuming! It’s a terrible habit that needs to stop.

All that this brings me is unrest, and so I am taking a stand starting right now. This lifestyle needs to stop. This is all partly due to my heavy workload at school, but it also includes a mass of obligations I have brought upon myself and poor time management.

Pray for me, if you think of it, to go into this week with a new perspective. Pray for an optimistic mindset, a heart willing to serve the Lord, a non-assuming attitude, and just a will to regenerate energy and love.

Thank you.

Quote of the Week

This needs to become my thought process. Jesus has me in His arms. Yesterday is done, tomorrow is yet to be determined. Let’s go invent tomorrow! The past is nothing compared to the future that is yet to come. Heavens gates will open and Jesus will rule forever! He is mine, but most importantly, I am His.
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Quote of the Week

This is such a good reminder for me. God is not there simply to relieve me of my problems, but He is to be praised and thanked and worshiped for His undeserved grace and generous love.

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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

Believe, Aspire, and Live Inspired

Inspiration and revelation always seem to come to me at the latest hours. Anyways, I do believe this all started because tonight my volleyball practice was far from perfect. I was definitely not performing at my best, and it became very frustrating. I managed to allow the “I can’t” whisper creep into my head, and therefore, I couldn’t.

Volleyball is, like many other sports, a very mental game. You need to maintain a positive mindset so that when the ball comes to you, you will pass it well. It sounds simple, but…it’s not. Easier said than done: the general rule for most situations in life. As I replayed my mistakes in my head, shed silent tears, and blamed blameless people in my mind, I realized I was wrong.

I had approached it the wrong way. My father reminded me: “You’ve done it hundreds of times before correctly, you can do it. If you think you can’t, then you won’t be able to. You will go through so many bigger mistakes and regrets in life than this, and you just have to pick yourself up and brave through.” As the saying goes, believe you can and you’re halfway there.

A verse came to mind as I prayed to put my old mindset to rest. I need to believe in myself and in Jesus, who has blessed me with all my earthly abilities, and who gives me strength.

This verse is widely known for a reason. It is so applicable to each and every aspect of my life, of our lives. Tonight, particularly my volleyball abilities and performance. Yes, I made mistakes. But who cares? So what? Everyone makes mistakes. God knows that and He forgives us. It is not God’s goal for us to strive to be perfect, but rather it is the effort to do good in His name that counts. To live a life for Him, and spread His loves to others. He understands what its like to be a Christian teenager in this day and age.

It’s hard. I am friends with some amazing Christian youth like myself, and we all have wonderful intentions. I like to pray for others, and whenever I ask my friends for their prayers I almost always receive requests for courage to speak out and live their Christianity. Society and pressure in this century is overwhelming, and it’s no easy feat to share your faith just like that. Lots of Christian teens struggle with the fear of judgement, including me. I believe that there isn’t much value in comparing yourself to others, because every individual is unique. God made us all ourselves, and there is always someone out there who is better and worse than you at everything. Since this is the case, why are we even trying to begin to compare ourselves with anyone else? No one is lesser than I, but God still loves me all the same.

It is extremely important to always remember that He loves us unconditionally. That is something that I too often forget. He cares for us, and even if we go out and speak of our faith and get looked at like the weird kid, He is there for us. God is an understanding God, but He is also a God who pushes us to do things we could never imagine doing by ourselves. The good news is that we don’t have to do what He asks of us alone.

It is extremely valuable to believe in yourself, and to believe in Jesus. For through Christ Jesus you can do all things, for He gives you strength.

By the time my next practice rolls around, no I won’t be perfect, and no it won’t go perfectly, but I can approach it with confidence and trust in my abilities, because God will give me strength.

Believe in yourself, live and love for Jesus, and aspire to the best of your ability, because Jesus is with you every step of the way. We have no reason to fear.

We all fall short of the glory of God. Remember that.

Nevertheless, He sent His son to forgive us our sins, and we can thank Him for that by going through life and giving God the glory. Hallelujah, He works wonders through us.

Amen.

Quote of the Week

Admittedly, this past week has held an extremely busy schedule and lots of stress. Still, when I take time to reflect, there definitely were moments of happiness mixed within.

At the moment, I’m looking at a three day weekend ahead of me, a nice stack of schoolwork, and a decent amount of free time. All of which I am grateful for (well, minus the homework ;). Recently it has come to my attention that an option I was toying with just wasn’t going to work out. Yet, I am grateful that God brought the realization to me sooner rather than later.

I’m currently on the search for a summer job! Whether that be online or somewhere somewhat local– If anyone knows of any legitimate online work, please pass it on. :)

I have no clue what this weekend will hold for me, but I hope for some satisfactorily completed homework, time with friends, and just peace.

Blessings to you all this weekend!

Quote of the Week

I’m still not sure of what God wants for me, and I have absolutely no clue when, how, or if He will reveal His plans for me soon.

At this point, it all waters down to trust. I want to trust in the Lord, love Him with all my heart, and act in His best interest daily.