Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Liebster Award

The Rules of the Award
Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award
Answer the 11 questions given to you from the blogger
Give 11 facts about yourself
Nominate 11 blogs you think are deserving of the award (less than 200 followers)
Let the bloggers know you have nominated them
Give them 11 questions to answer
Questions I was asked:

1. What is your favorite girl/boy name and why?
I'd say it, but someone might steal it! It will be my first son's name...So instead I'll go with my second favorite name which is Michael. Every Michael I've ever met/known/read about/played a character on TV/or was a hero in a book was basically the coolest ever...(lucky for me, it is a family name too and will be my son's middle name:)
2. How did you meet your significant other?
SUPER long story, but to summarize we met through friends when I was fifteen and he was nineteen. We reconnected when I was 21 and he was 25, stayed friends for nine months, then drifted into romanticism.
3. What is the story of your first kiss ever?
On the lips? It was a boy named Dallas. haha, if he ever reads this I'm sorry. But I thought it was super adorable. We stood on his porch late at night and we had planned it all out because neither of us had kissed someone. Then I walked across his driveway back to my house, next door LOL
4. What is ONE THING you wish you would have known as a teenager?
Maturity isn't always fun, but it always makes you the better person.
5. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
My air of confidence or my sense of humor...can't decide.
6. What is one of the most valuable lessons you have learned in your life so far?
You can't trust anyone.
7. ONE piece of marriage/relationship advice?
You're always part of the "problem", because you're officially part of the team. Always play like a team player. You can both want to score, but you'll shoot for the basket a different way. That's okay. Never try to change your partner, because losing your identity in a relationship is not healthy and will ruin a solid companionship. Be individuals that love each other, support each other, and are always willing to say they're sorry even when you don't think you've made an error.
8. Why are you blogging?
Because I like to write.
9. What is ONE thing you want to do before you die?
Go to Africa.
10. What blogs do you like the most and why?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Be Part of a Cause: World Food Day

The people who know me the best know of a phrase I use frequently.

"There are starving children in Africa."

Nat geo recently posted a story on their instagram that struck home to me. It was in regards to national food day, and told of a woman from Ethiopia. Her and her daughter hadn't eaten in days. They only had some tea to share with the man who told the story. You should read it! They also shared a story about the production of pork, and how Americans dispose of 40% of what they purchase. That is so sad when there are 1 billion starving people in the world. My feelings on this topic are as follows...

The other day I was at dinner with my family in Sizzler and I was flabbergasted at the spectacle. So much food. Buffets of food. All you can eat. And you want to know what I thought about? I thought about my daughter, Atley, emaciated and dying from malnutrition. I don't care how dramatic that sounds to you. It is a genuine concern of mine. I find some of your concerns dramatic and useless, so please give me the same courtesy of listening.

I don't know what it would be like to survive on a half a cup of rice a week. Do you?

Do you even care?

There are STARVING people in the world. Google images if you need proof. If you don't like to think about it, and prefer not to educate yourself on it, then at least find a cause to be passionate about...instead of just living your life all about you. There's a reason our world is going down the crap shoot. And it's because of ignorant humans who don't care or don't want to care about those who are suffering.

Here's a confession. I've been accused of having an eating disorder before, and, aside from some experimental bouts every girl goes through in high school, I've never suffered a text book eating disorder. I can see why people assume this though, because I'm a small person and I take pride in being in shape. But I eat clean so I can enjoy a pan of brownies on the weekend. True story. Do you see my bones? Are my teeth rotting and brown? Is my hair falling out? No. Not even close. And I'm not in denial, you can see pictures of my body under my health and fitness tab to back it up. My cellulite alone will prove I am eating all the essential nutrients I need, in addition to some I don't! The reason why some people think I struggle with a body image is because I'm extremely particular about what I put in my mouth. For some reason, they take time out of their life to be concerned with what and how I eat. There's a couple reasons why I am the way I am. First, I love fitness. I believe my body is a temple. (Get your giggles out now) but really, I take divine care of it. I always try to be in pristine health. That includes diet and exercise. Ice cream and fast food has never been ideal nutrition. The second reason is I can't stand the idea of eating stuff that starving children cant. I cannot waste food!! I would rather pass up a meal than throw half of it away. This is a motto I have lived by for as long as I can remember. Ever since I became passionate about this feed the hungry cause I have had a real sensitivity to gluttony and food waste. I even get a little miffed by people who don't drink tap water...because they think it tastes funny. I want ship them to a country where there is no running water. Period.

Americans have by far the greatest freedoms of any nation. We are the richest and the most well-fed, well-educated and most fortunate, in all the world. And yet, we have so much complaint, so much food waste, so much waste in general.

For me, the sensitivity is heightened around food. I CANNOT STAND the idea of wasted food. IT LITERALLY eats at my skin. It makes my insides churn. I wish there was some way I could pack up each scrap of food and ship it to Africa. Sadly, the food would never make it to these beautiful starving children. Do you know why? You should study a little about the continent and their authority figures and maybe educate yourself on world issues. If I had the means for travel, I would fly to Africa and volunteer in orphanages, and I would give them everything I own. Again, sadly, it isn't even safe to travel there right now. This breaks my heart. There are countries with innocent people who are suffering and dying and we can't do much about it.

Here's what I can do. I do the best I can in every day life not to waste. Next to food, I try not to waste any object, material, electronic, item of clothing, or tool that I may be able to use or change into something else. My dad taught me that anything broken can be fixed, and if not it can be used to fix something else. I learned not to waste at a young age and to never take for granted all of the things I have. The more I learn about third world countries, the more passionate I become about waste management. Not only does it save me money, but it makes me feel better that I am not throwing away something a hungry child would fight for.

There's a reason gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins. I truly think it destroys something in the soul that keeps humans humble and thankful. I try so very hard not to be a glutton over anything (although I come close when it comes to shoes) and I definitely shove my face with as much food as I can anytime I have a meal. I see the faces of these little children every time I go to restaurants, or amusement parks, or fairs, or anywhere you can find large quantities of food. I wish there was a way our country could do more about the starving communities in the world, that way we as people could be more involved. I understand there are politics, which is why I do my part here in my small hometown. It is a cause I will always be a part of.

I encourage you to find a cause and give to it this week. Oh, and lick your plate clean 😊

Friday, October 10, 2014

How do you make people feel?

I read this quote today, and I'm sorry I couldn't get the picture to upload, but it went like this.
"How you make other people feel about themselves says a lot about you."
This inspired my blog post today. It will be short and sweet.
If you died and your family was in charge of your grave stone, what would it say? What about if your friends were in charge of the message? What about your enemies? Because really, putting family and loved ones aside, I want to know--and I really want you to think about this- - what would a cashier at the grocery store say about you? Or your banker? Your neighbor?  Your coworker? That one girl you had a fight with? That one boy who hurt you?
I want you to think of someone you've had a conflict with and imagine what they would say, right now, if they were to give a speech at your funeral.
Here is what I think, and you can take it for what it's worth. What people would say about you when you're gone should matter a whole lot more than what they say about you today. This goes to prove that how you make people feel says more about you than how they make you feel. Make sense?
Here is an example.
I know a person who claims to be a loving compassionate person, and yet I have only ever had extremely negative encounters with them. I feel negative around them. I feel a sense of hatred emanating out from them. This person engages in a lot of negative activity, like gossiping and lying and stealing. Therefore, I don't feel good when I'm around them. I start to feed off their habits and lose a part of me. I stoop to their level and mimic their poor behavior. What would I say about this person when they are gone? I'd probably say that if they were the only Christian I had ever met, I would want nothing to do with Christianity. That is how they made me feel.
I am in constant fear of human err. We all make mistakes every day, but when I discovered that my influence on people can be either positive or negative, I have made an effort to right wrongs and set straight bent feelings with anyone I encounter.
Sometimes this means giving people second chances even if they don't deserve it. Sometimes it is letting them win. It is being the bad guy in their eyes, but being the bigger person in everyone else's. It is not defending rumors about yourself. It is letting people take advantage of you. It is losing friends because you don't have room for their negative conduct in your life anymore. It is being alone.
But it is being happy.
When I talk to happy people and ask them how they achieved such a peace of mind, they tell me these things..the steps they much of it is trying to make other people happy. I used to find this so strange. How can making other people feel good about themselves make me feel good? Well, it does. And I would have nothing but happy things to say about these people after they are gone.
That is my goal.
I know I've hurt people. I let people down. I say unorthodox comments. I forget people's birthdays. I don't show up to parties. I miss calls. And I'll be the first to admit I have a bad tendency of talking about myself. But I can honestly say there is not a single person I haven't tried to find restitution with when a conflict has taken place. And that is on either end. I am confrontational, and life is too short for me to feel misery or feel like I've inflicted pain on someone. Someone taught me that communication is key to human relationships. Here's what I've learned. I will ALWAYS try to talk it out. Even if that only consists of an, "I'm sorry." And we never speak again. It says a lot about a person who wants to apologize and move on. I always envied that characteristic and have been adopting it ever since. There will be people I never want to see again, but I will not let them have power over my feelings, nor do I want to send negative feelings their way. I've stopped worrying so much about receiving compliments as I have about giving them. I don't fret so much about loyalty as I do about being loyal. I care more about being friendly than having on and on.
These are the lessons I've learned from happy people and wish we could all implement them a little better every day.
What will that say about me? I don't know.
What would it say about you?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Real Meaning of Kindness

The reason why this topic struck me so hard is because I have been guilty of it in the past. I have never wanted to work on something more than my own ability to be kind to people. Because I continually mess up, it is an ongoing practice, but I've honestly always admired people that were just nice down to their bones. Even more than people who are beautiful or rich. I want to be that genuine human being, and not in a GENUINELY INGENUINE kind of way, and yes that is a thing. For example, a "yes" man is a genuinely ingenuine person...they say anything you want to hear, any time you want to hear it. It sounds really cool at first, until you realize that nothing coming out of their mouth is ever genuine, because it is unrealistic to be a "yes" man. How can this kind of person be trusted, when they simply just agree with the person they are currently communicating with? I don't really know, but I'll move on from that before I stoop into the habit of having unkind thoughts about them 
I'll start this post with a quote from a movie that goes like this:
"You said everyone deserves a fair break...but you meant only people who were like you."
I see this, time and time again.
Sometimes, it is me.
Sometimes it is happening to me.
I have met people who are super friendly and loyal and devoted to their family and friends. They have an amazing rapport as being such compassionate, tender souls who would do anything for their loved ones. This is where it gets tricky. Because, in my experience, these people find it extremely difficult to extend that kindness to anyone else, in particular people who are different than them. Judgment becomes a factor again, and while I'm trying my best to talk about this without sounding judgmental, it is hard when I want to point out this common character flaw.
Like I said, I've been there, which is how I can so easily pinpoint it now. Typically, it is women who most likely fall into this category of two-faced wolf in sheep's clothing. And I say that because in general Men are just more forgiving, carefree creatures, but that doesn't mean they are exempt.
What is it that people find so hard about befriending people who are SO different from them? Is it fear? Is it lack of commonality? Is it a worry that opinions can cause a rift? Because they can, when forced on one another, but in true kindness that would never happen. Do you find it easy to help out a sibling or close friend in time of need, but that neighbor who is struggling can fend for themself because you feel uncomfortable with the way they live their life? Are you loyal to your family, because of course you love them, unconditionally, they are family! ! But turn around and deprive a stranger of that loyalty because you don't know them, and from their exterior you gauge they are not worthy of such loyalty?
As a Christian, I believe it is of utmost importance to be kind to those in NEED of it. NOT to those it is easiest to be kind to.
I think that is true Christianity.
Being nice shouldn't be easy. Not really.
We all have family we would die for. We would go to the end of the world to make them happy. Is that really kindness?  I mean, think deep about that. What is more kind? Helping your friend fix their flat tire, or stopping to help the woman and crying child on the side of the freeway fix her tire?
All people need love and forgiveness and equal tolerance, no matter race, color, gender, etc.
If you have a tendency to judge people based on looks, tattoos, piercings, history, or maybe out of jealousy, there is a good chance you are withholding your kindness from them.
The bible says, The whole need no physician.
I love this quote because it reiterates where we should be directing a large portion of our charitable energy.
Yes, we should be nice to everyone, family and friends alike, but what I've learned this far in life is that kindness really empowers the soul when you offer it to those you find it most difficult to be kind to.