If you read my last post, you'll see that I've been out and about for quite some time now! The opportunity to travel to all of these super cool places, though, is not something I take for granted. Simple things like visiting my sister and her two youngest children yesterday, playing cards with my mom, Godmother, and cousins last night, and taking two of my cousins to lunch by surprise today were just a few of the things that made me stop and smile, thinking to myself: I really do have an awesome life. I'm so lucky.
I am so incredibly blessed to have these people in my life: amazing family, friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, teammates, etc. That being said, my self-image is something that can always improve. Going to the most beautiful school in the nation (that's not just my opinion: Ole Miss is consistently ranked "Most Beautiful Student Body"), there is a lot of pressure to be this perfect person that we all make up in our heads. Beautiful, successful, likeable, and genuinely happy. There is a big difference in caring what other people think of you out of insecurity and the desire to blend in and caring what other people think of you because you value yourself at a high regard and want others to see you through the same filter as you see yourself. I choose to stick with the second one. I'm working on this.
Pictured above, I've also been reflecting a lot on my passions lately. A few years ago, if you told me I would no longer be a dancer, I would have never believed you. Yet, here I am, out of shape, nostalgically distracted, and creatively lost. Do I regret it? No. I owed myself this freedom, this time to myself, this exploration of other passions and paths. But am I ready to incorporate this passion into my life again, using the information I've gained through this hiatus that has helped me to better myself and will help me better my passions, as well? Absolutely.
As you know, writing and the beauty industry are my two other passions. I've done so much soul searching since I've been gone, trying to figure out what I really love and what I really don't, taking what I love and trying to figure out how I can make it a reality. Here are some of my favorite recent Pinterest findings pertaining to all of these thoughts in my head...
Another thing I've realized about myself recently is my tendency to be surprised at how amazing some people really are. Does this mean that I'm not seeing the best in people because I'm choosing not to or because I'm ignorant? Both are bad, and it's important that I stop making assumptions and judgements based on who is friends with whom, what they look like, what they are involved in, etc. If people made false or underestimating opinions of me without even knowing who I was, that wouldn't be fair, and it might hurt my feelings. I need to start thinking of others with this in mind.
Some of my favorite devotions, quotes, and verses lately...
Trusting me is a moment-by-moment choice. My people have not always understood this truth. After I performed miracles in the wilderness. My chosen children trusted Me intensely - but only temporarily. Soon the grumbling began again, testing my patience to the utmost.
Isn't it often the same way with you? You trust Me when things go well, when you see Me working on your behalf. This type of trust flows readily within you, requiring no exertion of your will. When things go wrong, your trust-flow slows down and solidifies. You are forced to choose between trusting me intentionally or rebelling, resenting My ways with you. This choice constitutes a fork in the road. Stay on the path of Life with Me, enjoying My Presence. Choose to trust Me in all circumstances.
Trust me and don't be afraid. Many things feel out of control. Your routines are not running smoothly. You tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable. Let Me lead you to the rock that is higher than you and your circumstances. Take refuge in the shelter of My wings, where you are absolutely secure.
When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new. I lead you on from glory to glory, making you fit for My kingdom. Say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust me, and don't be afraid.
2 Corinthians 3:18
"Sometimes we need to just apologize and let the past be the past. Other times we need to look to the future and know that even when we think we've seen it all, life can still surprise us and we can still surprise ourselves."
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
All of these, obviously, centralize the element of trust. It's important to trust in God and in ourselves that our lives are going to work out the way they're supposed to and that we need to have confidence and bravery in all that we do because of that trust. See the best in people, be the best you that you can be, and turn your passions into something bigger than your imagination.