Food Faves: April


I go through seasons of food obsessions. Sometime I forget about bagels and when I remember of their existence I eat them until I want to forget again. However, the good thing about my obsessive nature is that as soon as I tire of one thing, I get right on the bandwagon train of something else. This month, I have found myself compelled to a specific set of products at the grocery store that I thought I would share with y’all, as they are in fact, *mostly*, good for your health.

  1. Cayenne Pepper

For those who haven’t eaten out with me, let me start off by telling you that I do not eat spicy foods. In fact, my friends have decided that I probably think ketchup is spicy (which is not true by the way)! But after reading of the benefits of cayenne pepper I thought, why not give it a try. Besides, I was tired of getting made fun of when I asked for “no spice at all” when ordering my Pad Thai. Increasing metabolism, helping with mood swings and detoxing are just a few of the reasons I added a bottle of the spice into my grocery cart a few weeks ago. Ever since, I have been committing culinary crimes by adding it to my pasta sauce, avocado toast, and cup of tea in the morning.

2. Trader Joes Mango Mini Mochi

If someone where to ask me today, what would be something that I could everyday for the rest of my life and never get sick of, it would be this. Obviously, my favorite fruit in the entire world is mango. When combined with the amazing chewy texture of the surrounding mochi, TJ’s knew what they were doing when they created this masterpiece of a delicacy.

I’ve been eating these as a sweet treat when I’m craving something highly artificial and so far, its doing the trick.

3. Beyond Meat Burgers

Okay notice I specifically said burgers? Yeah thats because other than the Italian sausage, all of their other products taste like dog food. If you’re looking to add plant based ground meat to your recipe, I recommend buying the burger patties and breaking it down while you cook them. Trust me, don’t buy the Beyond Meat ground beef. Choose peace.

In the words of my very midwesterner grandfather, “wow, these really taste pretty good.” And you know what Dave, I would agree. If it gets the Iowa stamp of approval, I’m not sure what else is needed to convince you to swap out your red meat every once in a while for these very yummy plant-based burger.

I’d like to say that my obsession with these burgers are a phase but its not. These will continue to be a staple in my fridge. In fact, I’ll probably serve these at my wedding.

4. Oat Milk

I’d like to say that my obsession with oat milk started last summer, but like most, it didn’t stick around for me to make it a staple. However, recently, I’ve started on this oat milk addiction and I do have to say that I don’t think its going away anytime soon. I use it to make hot chocolate, make oatmeal, add to my coffee and bake banana bread.

Unlike almond milk, oat milk doesn’t have a watery consistency, which hooked me from the start. Other than coconut milk, I would say that it has the most similar consistancy to regular milk out of all the dairy-free options.

And those are my April obsessions y’all! Until next month! Let’s see what I get sick of until then!

Look At The Facts: Gender Wage Gap

Politics, Posts

The constant back and forth of inaccurate information between biased new sources gets a bit tiresome and I’m sure most people can agree. As a political science major myself, I love to study, look at statistics and inform myself on what’s really going on before I can make a decision on a topic.

Today is the first of many posts on the series I’m going to call “Look At The Facts,” where I’ll will look at statistics from both sides of the spectrum, analyze its validity and compare it to real, factual, unbiased information.

In honor of Equal Pay Day I wanted to make my very first post about the gender wage gap.

Starting with a conservative news sources, lets take a look at what Fox News has to say on the issue.

It was truly a bit of a struggle to come across a post about the current gender gap on the news site, as the most current article on the topic dates to about a year ago. The last informational article written on the topic of the gender wage gap was about the new version of the classic Monopoly game, Ms. Monopoly. The author of the article, Paul Batura, discusses how the new rules to the game, which rewards female players a higher amount at the beginning of the game than their male opponents as “patronizing.” Bautra claims that the gender wage gap is “propaganda” and that a study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research proves this. Although not provided by Batura, after some digging I was able to locate the article he mentioned in this writing. The study shows how when looking at the statistics of women with children, women have less “peak work hours” which allocates to 6.6% of the gender wage gap. This data could be misleading as it does not take into account the vast amount of women who do not have children and are in the work force.

In a Washington Examiner article written on March 31st of last year, Equal Pay Day, Karin Lips argues that statistics that the organization uses to advocate for their cause is misleading. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that women who were full-time wage and salary workers in 2018 had median weekly earnings that were 81% of what men earned who were full-time wage and salary workers. Lips argues that this is a biased statistic due to the fact that it compared men and women of all job types and doesn’t focus on a specific field of work. Lips has continued her series as an advocate to end the gender wage gap narrative and has written another article this year. In her most recent piece, Lips mentions the same argument as the prior year which highlights the idea that the statistics the Census Bureau provided is not accurate because it is a generalization. However, by quickly scanning the Census’s statistics page mentioned, one could miss the infographic provided at the bottom of the page that shares median earnings categorized by sex and occupation.

From this graphic, it can be seen that in every category shown, women are shown to make less than men.Looking at the data as a whole or separated by occupation still gave the overall same facts. The argument Lips provided in her article is contradictory to the statistics she herself used to prove her point.

Finding an article on the issue of wage gap was not as difficult to come across on CNN than its competitors, Fox and Washington Examiner. The most recent article was written on March 25th which touches on the issue with World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe. In an effort to bring awareness to the inequalities in today’s society Rapinoe gives a testimony to Congress. Mentions of receiving less than the men’s soccer team despite greater success were included in her statement, along with the vast difference in treatments between the woman’s and men’s basketball teams during the NCAA Tournament.

A Forbes article written early last year touches on the topic of the wage issue in regards to the U.S Women’s Soccer Team. In 2019, the team filed a pay discrimination suit and it was later dismissed by the court. It was found that the women’s team payments added up to approximately $24 million and averaged $220,747 per game, where payments to the men’s team totaled approximately $18 million and averaged $212,639 per game. Countering this information, the women argued that if they were to operate under the same contract the men’s team did, they would be making even more money. This argument was then shut down by the judge due to the fact that not only did all the women choose to sign their contract but also highlighted how the men’s contract was higher risk, this is due to the various guarantees they signed in case of injury, minimum pay and games played. This is in compared to the men’s contract which is operated under a “pay to play” system where play time is not guaranteed and players must play in the game to be paid. When putting both contracts into perspective, the women did not hold a solid case for pay discrimination.

In the CNN article, there was also further data provided beyond sex and occupation. Data is given that describes how the gender gap not only effects women as a whole, but how it impacts women of color even more than their white co-workers. The Census statistic shared states that in 2019, the female-to-male earnings ratio was .823, which was the same from the year prior. That pay gap increases when examining compensation along racial lines: Hispanic women earned 58.7% of White non-Hispanic men and Black women earned 63.6% of White non-Hispanic men, according to 2020 data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Looking at the issue beyond sex and occupation adds depth to the argument that equal pay is an issue in America.

One of the noticeable differences between the news sources on the issue of the gender wage gap is that the conservative news sources don’t utilize their statistics to their entirety. It was very difficult to find an informational article on the sites, most were editorial pieces. When looked at from a surface level, the data provided in Bautra and Lips’ articles seem legitimate, which is the danger of biased news sources. Looking at the left-leaning news sources, it is evident that there is a further use of pathos to argue their point. Breaking down the information of articles before making a final decision or taking a side of an argument is essential to making the right decision.

So what do you think? Is the gender wage gap argument legitimate?

Passion Fruit

Life, Uncategorized

It feels like its been ages since I last wrote one of these, but I will say, it feels so good to be back. I didn’t realize how much comfort writing words on a keyboard brought to me until I stopped. Writing is my way of expressing how I feel, it’s my love language, my happy place. I get such a rush when I’m in my zone. Music in the background, people talking, lawn mower buzzing, dog panting, nothing can stop me when I’m in a creative rush. Writing brings me joy, and I think everyone should have that thing in their life that excites them, something that you could talk about for hours without getting bored, a passion.

We are driven and compelled by our passions. For some its music, for others drawing, maybe yours is dancing or cooking or running or motivating or like me, writing. Our passions, these things that we’re obsessed with, that we can’t imagine living our life without, aren’t given to us by accident, these are our purpose.

We were made to serve. If you’re like me, you believe that God gave us these gifts to glorify Him and make his presence known. If we don’t share the same beliefs, you can’t deny the fact that your passion has helped you serve those around you. Sister had a bad day? Your beautiful song cheered them up. New neighbor just moved in? Your fresh baked cookies made them feel welcomed. Friend’s been feeling unworthy? Your beautifully written words shared with them how much they’re loved and wanted.

We all have a purpose. Maybe you haven’t found yours yet but I promise you, I pinky swear, you have one. We each have our own set of skills and abilities that are unmatched and we should be using those to uplift and support one another.

Although this is a short and sweet, I wanted to leave you all with some food for thought. If you haven’t found your passion yet, I challenge you to identify it. Write a list of all the things that you’re good at and absolutely couldn’t live without doing. Secondly, if you already know what your passion is, use it to uplift or appreciate someone around you. I promise your actions will not go unseen.

True Or False: Keto Diet

Health, Uncategorized

*Disclaimer: This post was made in no way made to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. Do not take this post in a personal way. It was written with the intentions of enlightening the public on incorrect information being spread in today’s society. With that in mind, I hope this post is read with open minds and allowing me the chance to bring some perspective to be considered when deciding if fad diets are legitimate or not.*

One thing that we can all agree on is that the foods we eat impact our bodies in specific ways, whether that be in a good way or a bad one. However, what we all can’t agree on is the types of foods that makeup the perfect diet or lifestyle. While I do believe that not every body is made the same and what may work for some may not work for others, I also do believe there comes a point where following a fad or trend just becomes down right dangerous, especially when it’s spreading false truths. Although this is the first of many health and diet related posts on my blog, I intend to only share information with my readers that I am confident in and can back up with 100% real and factual evidence, none of that fake-news here.

To start things off, I’m going to be talking about the oh so famous, Ketogenic Diet, or Keto for short. I know, pretty brave of me to choose such a controversial diet as my first, however I do have a couple reasons why I am so passionate about writing this. For the past two years or so, I have watched the Keto diet catch flame. I started seeing the diet pop up with a couple of my friends and on some mom blogs, to it now being broadcasted over national television, practiced by dozens of friends and family and taken over health-related Instagram pages. When I first heard about the Keto diet from a friend at lunch, it instantly didn’t sit well with me. As I sat there, listening to my classmate describe her grocery list, a year after giving up meat, I remembered the time when I began studying the effects of consuming high amounts of red meats and pork and what it did to your body (that’s a story for another time) and what made me stop in the first place. Although I’m sure the diet started off with good intentions, this diet is being misused, and from my couple years of basic nutritional studies, I could tell this wasn’t going to end well. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of watching this classmate of mine consume pork rinds and beef jerky sticks every day while I chowed down my salad, I pushed my negativity away and just told myself to “quit being stubborn, not every one likes the same things that you do.” However, two years later, I am utterly shocked at how many people have fallen into practicing what the Ketogenic Diet said was the ideal way to live.

Before I list off the reasons I don’t believe the Keto diet is a good idea, it’s important that you have a good understanding of what it is. The Ketogenic Diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is claimed to hold many health benefits. However, the real question everyone wants a answer to is, how does it work? When you eat less than 50g of carbs a day, your body will eventually run out of fuel, in about 3-5 days to be exact. Once your body doesn’t have carbs to run itself off of, it begins transforming proteins and fats, already stored in your body, into a way it can be used for energy, which in turn, causes weight loss. This process is called Ketosis. Ketosis is in fact a mild form of Ketoacidosis, which mainly affects people with Type 1 diabetes, and can even lead to death.

Many of the people who follow the keto diet, or support it, often use the documentary “The Magic Pill” to back their beliefs on how and why the diet is effective. To see what all the hype was about, I took an hour and a half out of my day and watched the film that claims to hold the secret we’ve all been missing out on. As I was watching the film, the number one thing that I noticed, since the beginning credits, is how the director created carbs and sugars to be this destructive and life-threatening monster. Although I didn’t agree with this ideology, I trekked on and finished the documentary. I will admit, looking at it from a stand point of someone who is desperate to lose weight fast and not nutritionally informed, turning Keto sounded like the Holy Grail that had been hiding from us all. The film captivates viewers by showing the positive effects of the diet on everyday individuals: a young, non-verbal, autistic girl finally speaks and a woman’s breast cancer shrinks. However, after doing some research of my own I came up on a couple of studies, clinical trials, and medical journals that disproved the arguments that film writer, Pete Evans, along with supporters of the Keto diet claim are true. This leads us to the information that you came here for, what’s so wrong about the Ketogenic Diet? Now let’s explore some of the claims that this trendy diet makes

You’ll lose a ton of weight

Not only is a low-carb diet extremely difficult to follow and stick to, but it’s honestly not that great for you either. To make this a little bit easier to understand, let’s go on a journey of how starting the diet will go. The first couple days of the Keto diet are going to be the hardest, you will completely cut out carbs from your, very carb filled, diet. This means, no fruit, no grains, no starchy vegetables, no juices and no honey or syrups. Now, like I mentioned in the beginning, your body will eventually run out of “carb energy”, glucose, and begin to use “fat energy”, glycogen. This is the part that you will see the most weight lost. In the beginning, you will shed a ton of water weight, which often gets diet followers very excited. However, this is only because once your body turns to glycogen, which is stored in your liver and muscles in case of emergencies, it starts to break down this molecule to be used as an energy source. The glycogen molecule holds about 3 to 4 grams of water, which explains the reason that when you finally tap into this stored energy, as in exercising or beginning a diet, its going to release a lot of water in a short amount of time. Now, you’ve lost all this weight, yay!!! You’re eating lots of fats and protein but you’re just not feeling yourself (we’ll get to why a little later) and you’re weight loss has plateaued. This is the point where you decide that this diet is not for you. You see the Instagramers doing it, you see the Facebook moms doing it, but you’ve just officially come to the conclusion that the Keto diet was not made for you. So you go back to eating carbs. However, according to Dr Kristen Kizer RD, a dietitian at Houston Methodist Medical Center, the real reason why the diet wasn’t made for you, was because it is too restrictive to follow long term.

“When people tell me they want to try it because their friends lost weight, I always tell them, ‘Just watch, I almost guarantee that they’ll gain it all back,’” Kizer said.

Some, but not all, consequences of this constant “back and forth” between diets are weight gain, development of eating disorders, mood swings along with lowering bone and heart health.

Not only does Keto provide false hopes in the beginning stages, however it also sets up dieters for failures as it doesn’t provide a long-term solution.

Carbs Are Your Greatest Enemy

The keto diet and “The Magic Pill” do a great job of promoting the idea that carbs are evil and you should steer clear of them.

Carbohydrates are found in food items like fruits, vegetables, breads and pastas. When you consume these foods, your body turns them into a glucose and uses it as it’s main source of energy.

Yes, eating too many carbs is not a good thing and can lead to weight gain, however keeping up with your body’s energy needs is something that should be prioritized.

The carbs that you should steer clear from are those that scientists like to call “refined and processed carbs,” these are going to be your pizzas, pastas, white bread, and desserts. A downfall to eating these refined carbs is that it leads to “brain fog.” This is when there is a rapid change, rise and fall, of sugar levels in the body. and simply eliminating these processed and refined carbs from your diet can fix this problem.

Now those are the “bad carbs”, but seriously there’s good ones that you don’t want to miss out on.

One common issue that doctors see with people that follow a low-carb diet is that they don’t get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The most common way that humans get most of their nutrients are from natural foods, like fruits and vegetables, that contain carbs. The negative of the keto diet is that because people cut out these foods from their diet, they are now missing out on these vital resources. Most of the people who follow the diet are also not doing so with the advice and counsel of a health care professional, doing so, dieters often are uninformed and unaware that their eating habits are in fact putting themselves in danger, as they are not consuming the necessary nutrients for optimal health.

This leads to my point that although eating too many refined, processed or even natural carbs isn’t necessarily great, cutting them carbs out your diet completely can be dangerous to one’s overall health.

It’s a cure all solution we’ve all been missing out on

Doctors who support the keto diet, along with the documentary “The Magic Pill” claim that it holds cancer-fighting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, doctors have begun to point out that the mass amounts of animal protein and fats that dieters consume may actually lead to the opposite. A study conducted at the end of August of this year with 25,000 people in Munich showed that the people on the lowest-carb diets had the highest risks of dying from cancer, heart conditions and various other reasons. In another study done earlier this year, scientists found that people who consumed higher amounts of animal-based proteins were associated with higher mortality than those who consumed plant-based proteins.

One of the main issues with consuming such high amounts of fat and protein is the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In a study done in the beginning of August of this year, scientists argued that it was likely for people to cause an increased risk of developing the disease in the early stages of the keto diet. Insulin is released into your blood stream and is used to help control blood sugar levels in the body, along with alerting your liver to stop producing sugars. By not using insulin properly, your body can develop what is called insulin resistance. When the liver stops can’t respond to normal levels of insulin anymore, it can’t control the blood sugar levels properly, which leads to a risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Now, although I’m not a doctor nor a world-renown expert on fad diets, I have learned that before making any radical changed in my diet, I should do my research before hand. Foods are what give us energy, make our minds work properly and help our body function the way it’s supposed to. Before taking on a trendy diet, especially one that is radically different than what your body is used to , I highly suggest one, do your research (and I mean a lot of it) and two, seek advise from the professionals (this is code for: call your doctor.)

The Story of Tomorrow

Christianity, Posts

I have learned more about myself and the world in the last 2 months than I have learned in years of school. At the beginning of the summer, I made the move to San Diego, California and that’s where I’ve called home since.

In the past two months, I’ve learned heaps about finances, responsibilities and accountability, which is just a taste of what the real world is like. Not gonna lie y’all, adulting is tough. I wish I could just crawl back into bed and wake up as a high school freshman again, but….I can’t. And that’s just life. So long story short, when people say high school flies by, it really FLIES by.

I have a limited amount of days left here in San Diego, before I head back to Texas, and if I’m being honest, I’ve never been more excited to give my parents a big ole hug, give my siblings’ cheeks a squeeze and belly rub Gucci till he can’t stand me anymore. Being away from my family, my home, a comfortable lifestyle, has made me appreciate everything so much more. You can definitely tell because I’m not even bothered by the very soon to come “I told you so” by mom.

But, other than this sad story that I’m telling, I wanted to make sure to clarify that I 100% do not regret coming down to California, living on my own, figuring out the terrible public transit system on my own, paying bills on my own and finding friends on my own. I absolutely loved exploring not only this incredible city, but my abilities, strengths, weaknesses and limits.

My point in writing all these mushy gushy words is that if you are given the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, explore the undiscovered, learn from mistakes, just do it. Yes, there might be a few tears shed when things take an unexpected turn, trust me, I had my fair share of meltdowns, but the many smiles, laughs and moments of self reflection are worth it all.

Now, will I miss the absolutely perfect weather, the fact that there are literally no bugs and super convenient vegan options, yes! However, I am so ready to show the Lone Star state all the new things I’ve learned and so so ready to put them in action.

Favorite Beauty Essentials ATM


Although I could sit here and tell you all of my Instgram posts feature a #allnatural me, I would 100 percent be lying. Like most girls, I’m not one to turn down a bare face and make-up free afternoon, however, I do love going the extra mile every now and then.

My niche is not make-up artistry and I’m no Jeffree Star however I do have a few of my favorite products that are my go-to’s at the moment.

  1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

The great thing about Tarte Cosmetics is that they are 100% cruelty free! *Yay! We love a conscious company! * Formula wise, I am absolutely obsessed! You don’t need to go overboard with the amount and it lasts forever! My work consists of hanging out outside a lot and I found that it doesn’t smear or get cakey from the heat. My only critique is that once applied, it does look a little wet, so topping it off with a powder is a must!

2. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Sunscreen

Even though we’re on the back end of the summer season, sun protection is a year long must. I have been using this EltaMD sunscreen for a couple years now and I absolutely love it. It’s super thin and no greasy at all, which is a must for me!

3. Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara

This has got to be my favorite mascara of all time. The brush is super full and grasps the full lash, from top to bottom. I really love the formula too, as it doesn’t clump easily and it also doesn’t take too much to completely coat the lashes. I am a huge supporter of this product and will probably have a complete meltdown if it ever discontinues.

4. Rose Water

I added rose water to my night time routine about 2 months ago and I’m so glad I did. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my skin’s health since then. Not only is rose water a great moisturizer but it’s also a facial toner as well. Because of this, it’s also great to apply before doing your make-up. I’ve linked the exact rose water that I currently use off Amazon. It’s a great price and it’s a great product!!

5. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Along with the rose water, I’ve also added this CeraVe moisturizer to my night time routine and I’m so glad I did. What I really like about this product is that the formula is very sheer and not sticky at all. After washing and cleaning off my make-up and splashing some rose water on my face, I add this as a finishing touch. After a couple months of pampering myself this way, I seriously can’t go to sleep without completing my routine.

Dear Mom

Christianity, Posts

Dear Mom,

I know that I say that I can’t wait to leave the house. I know that I say that I want to be independent.  I know. I know. I know. But, I don’t actually mean it .

I don’t want to go to the grocery store to buy my own food. I don’t want to learn to make fresh rice on my own. I don’t want to unlock my front door to find an empty apartment. I don’t want to get in my car to drive and not have the weight of your worry on my chest.

I’ll miss your all white furniture. I’ll miss your Christmas scented candles in July. I’ll miss your seasonal dish towels (Especially you nagging me for using the Easter ones in February). I’ll miss your sarcasm. I’ll miss your blunt honesty. I’ll miss our impromptu dance parties. I’ll miss your jam sessions while we’re riding in your boujee Audi. I’ll miss listening to you try to pronounce weird English words like onion & squirrel, because your voice over the phone just isn’t the same.

Thank you for being honest with me when I needed someone to snap me into place. Thank you for keeping me accountable for my decisions. Thank you for teaching me how to manage my money. Thank you for having fresh food made when I come home practice. Thank you for driving me everywhere under the sun. Thank you for loving on me when no one else did. But most of all, thank you for never leaving me.

You’ve stuck by my side through every thick and thin. You worked your butt off to provide for me when there was no one you could rely on. You’ve been honest with me when I needed you to be but you’ve also been considerate when it came the time.

I promise you, that no matter what, I will always love you, till my last breath on earth. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and our relationship. I know I’m not nearly the adult that I think I am but I do know that I can tackle on this crazy world with you by my side. I love you for ever and ever.

Your daughter,


Love Long Lost


I have spent the last couple years of my life envying girls’ #ManCrushMonday posts on my Instagram feed. I’ve prayed. I’ve fasted. I’ve read the Word. What I got from all of that… nothing. No knight in shining armor. No one to take me to homecoming . No one to take cute pictures with me. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

The last two years, I have especially struggled with this issue. I kept blaming myself. It was because I wasn’t skinny enough. I didn’t have six pack abs. My Instagram feed wasn’t cool enough. I didn’t have enough followers. I didn’t have enough likes on my posts. I wasn’t funny enough. I wasn’t smart enough… the list could go on and on. However one day, as I looked at myself in the mirror like I had done a million times before, I thought to myself “it’s not you, it’s God.”

This summer, my dear friend, Madeline Kennedy referred me to a book called Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart. To be honest, I was scared to read it. I was scared to be told into reality. That me getting upset because I can’t get a boyfriend was dumb and selfish. However, I can definitely say that I wish I had read it sooner. It would have saved me heartache that I caused myself. It would have saved my self esteem while it was digging itself into the ground. But most of all, it would have put me on the path to success a lot sooner.

When I say success, I don’t mean actually successfully getting a boyfriend. I just mean that my growth in my relationship with the Lord and the revelations of what He has in store for me could have been seen a lot sooner.

In the single section of the book, Ben Stuart talks about the “gift of being single.” When I read this for the first time I thought, “you have got to be kidding me.” How is being the only senior at my high school that hasn’t had their first kiss yet a gift? (Yes, it’s true. Publicly admitting this is all part of the journey) However, as I continued to read more into the chapter it began to list all of the responsibilities and destructions that came with having a special someone. At that moment, I felt a flashback to when we begged my mom for a puppy. She went on and on about how we had to take it out, feed it, pick up it’s mess, bathe it and how we couldn’t leave on vacations that often because dog boarding is expensive and taking a dog on a ski trip is just inconvenient. Apparently the same goes for a significant other. Stuart goes on to explain how less available you become when you’re constantly worried about a boyfriend/girlfriend to take care of. Less time to give to your family, your friends, your pets, but especially, God.

To summarize what the chapter says, God has made you single for a reason. Whether that’s because he wants you to devote more time to Him, grow in His word, or maybe He has someone special planned for your future that just isn’t quite in the picture yet. The biggest takeaway that I got from this is that God always has a plan *cue the overplayed Drake song.* Take the season of singleness in your life as a space for you to grow in yourself and the Lord. This a sign from God telling you that you need to go to church a little more or maybe even dive deeper into the Word.

If this is the only thing that you take away from this post, along with my sad, empty love life, it’s that there is a reason for everything. Don’t rush life. Every step that you take has been planned out by the Creator. Let Him guide you and lead you into the life that He has laid out for you.

Truth or Dare

Christianity, Posts

This past summer has really been one to remember. I made new friends, stepped out of my comfort zone, and really saw Jesus working in the lives of so many people around me.

But as school comes around the corner, the “post-summer camp” hype begins to wear off and reality starts to kick in. The back to school shopping, practices, appointments, schedule pickup, and emails from school counselors and teachers begin to fill my email inbox.

As I laid in bed last night, unable to fall asleep, I began to reminisce on all the ways God has impacted my life this summer. But more than that, how I wished everyone around me could have felt that too. So in that moment, I challenged myself. I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and show people what it feels like to know you’re loved by Jesus.

It’s my senior year of high school. I can feel the pressure from my family, asking me what I plan on doing with my life. And as I sat and thought more about that question, I came to the conclusion that this “plan” doesn’t have to be a specific profession, university or major. It doesn’t have to be a step by step list of all the classes I plan on taking or how much money I see myself making in the next 10 years. All of those things will come at one time or another, none of it needs to be rushed. But the “plan” that does matter is the type of person you see yourself becoming. Do you see yourself as a Jesus follower for the rest of your life? A “I’m gonna wait till after college to really go to church” type of person? What about the person that lights up the room everywhere they go? The one that radiates love in all they do.

I think the real question here is, what kind of person do you see yourself becoming in the future?

So I challenge each and every one of you, whether you’re going to be a senior in high school, a 7th grader, or you graduated 23 years ago, to look at yourself in the mirror, take a piece of paper and a pen, and write out the person you want to become.

It doesn’t have to be something crazy and super duper huge, like being a missionary in Africa (although that would be super cool). But maybe the person that always smiles back at the person taking your order at the coffee shop, or maybe the person that is genuinely nice to the customer service rep on the other end of the phone.

Whatever it is that’s on your list, stick to it and strive to go above and beyond. I dare you!


Now Or Never

Life, Posts

Even though we don’t want to admit it, the beginning of the school year is right around the corner. And you know what that mean…The times of back to school clothes shopping, buying overpriced planners and comparing class schedules are all too close by.

But over the last decade or so of the same ol’ routine, I’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to save some time, money, and sanity for when the dreaded first day comes along.

  1. Especially if you’re in high school, don’t buy school supplies until you’ve been to the first day of all your classes. – Your teachers will more than likely have a syllabus with all their required materials and more often than not, you probably didn’t pick up 90% of those items when you went shopping the week before.
  2. Don’t stress about finding your classes. – If you’re an incoming freshman freaking out if you’ll be able to find all your classes in your huge, new school, don’t! There are teachers all over the hallways pointing kids to the right direction. Also, if you’re worried about racking up tardies on the first week, don’t fret. Teachers don’t start counting tardies till the second week of school or so.
  3. Get a planner! – You’re human. You forget things! So better to be safe than sorry and get yourself a planner. Get one with a calendar to write down all of your homework assignments, test/quiz dates and birthdays (you don’t want to be that friend that forgets your bestie’s birthday).
  4. Take your freshman year seriously! – But for real, guys!  Slack off on your freshman year and your GPA is ruined forever. Yeah, you’re world shouldn’t revolve around your GPA but still, its a pretty important piece of that whole college thing. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll regret taking it easy.
  5. Make friends – And stick with them! High school changes people, and if you’re not surrounded by the right people, with the right intentions, and share the same core beliefs, things can go downhill very easily. For me, the most upsetting part of the last couple years of my life was looking back and seeing all the people that I hung out with and loved on in middle school, only to see them tear themselves down and get themselves into waters too treacherous to come out of.
  6. Stay true to yourself – This kinda goes with the last one but… don’t lose yourself in the mess that high school is. You’ll be invited to do things you’ve never done before, things that you told yourself you would never get yourself into. So make sure to stand your ground and stand up for what you believe in so that you don’t lose your identity in the temporary pleasures of high school.