Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks



"November is the month where everyone who complained on Facebook for the past 11 months suddenly becomes thankful for 30 days"

I love Thanksgiving... wanna know why? I love to eat, duh!

But I also love this time of year, simply because even some of the most dreadful people decide to be a little more chipper and grateful. Yeah, its totally a bandwagon, but hey, I would much rather see a post on why you are thankful for each one of your cats, than more griping and complaining. Am I right?

But as I read, I wonder if people are really thankful, or if its just the thing to do; expressing thankfulness via Facebook. I mean its day only 27, and people are running out of things to be thankful for. 

What has really gotten my attention is that a friend of mine who just last year said , "I am so ready for thanksgiving to be over... I am tired of seeing what everyone is thankful for" has decided to this year jump on the 30 days band wagon! 

Write what you are thankful for on Facebook or don't. Spend 30 days gushing about your blessings or one. Just remember this. 

"Not what we say about our blessing, but how we use them, is the true measure of Thanksgiving"-W.T. Purkiser

Don't just talk about it, be about it.

Day 9, you are thankful for your kids. But when we the last time you told your kids that? When was the last time you took them out, to do something special just for them, to remind them what a blessing they are?

Day 14, thankful for your husband/wife. Do they know that? Do you remind them often how blessed you feel to be part of their lives? To learn and grow and share and face this world together?

Day 21, thankful for you parents. I read a quote that said, we are sometimes so busy growing up that we forget our parents are growing old. Cherish your moments with them. Don't just call them to watch the kids, call to ask about their day. 

Thanksgiving isn't a day... Well, technically it is, but stay with me. 

Being thankful 1 day a year isn't enough. Bragging about your blessings for 30 days isn't enough. I'd like to see 365 days of thankfulness start trending world wide. 

Thanksgiving is a lifestyle. What you do with the things you've been blessed with makes a difference. Will we continue to simply acknowledge them with our words, and refuse to be grateful with our actions?


Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!


Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading the things my crazy mind comes up with! Please continue to like and comment and share if it's something you read resonates in you... 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No cares



And not a single care was given that day...

Can I tell you how exhausting this is to me? To hear you (or rather read) talk about how much you don't care?

And this may not apply to you at all, but in general, I am just so done with hearing about cares people don't give. 

Their empty cup of cares, the IDGAF (I don't give a fruit loop, right?)... We get it, you don't care, about anything at all. 

This mentality that seemingly breeds in our young people that its easier to just not care. Well guess what Sherlock, you are right! It is exponentially easier not to give a hoot. 

By not caring, you are saving yourself a whole lot of trouble. Sparing yourself from heart break, protecting yourself from getting attached. And the time! Caring takes so much of your time, that by not caring can be devoted strictly to yourself. 

It's easy to shut down, to not give a crap... it's the latest trend in fact. 

But by not caring, you are basically sentencing yourself to never doing anything special or noteworthy or memorable. 

Care, and you will most certainly get hurt. It's a risk to open up your heart to things and to people. 

Its scary to be passionate about something outside of yourself. 

But I guarantee you that people who don't care will never see their dreams fulfilled. 

You were created to be a world changer... we all are. Each of us was created with something specific to accomplish in the life. We have different dreams and goals. We were created to make a difference. 

You will never find fulfillment in the selfishness of not caring. 

I think the only way any of us will every be truly happy, is when we find our passion. You can't be passionate and not care... 

So find what makes you tick, what makes your eyes light up... figure out what makes your heart beat faster, your smile to curve, your brain to go 317921340981237 miles an hour thinking and dreaming and planning. 

CARE! whatever you do... find something to care about... something to devote your life to. 

Not caring, hardening your heart, becoming passionless is a scary place to be. 

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman


Monday, November 25, 2013

Who I was

(me in 2007)



Everyone changes. It's the circle of life. We grow older, get more mature, hopefully we become more wise. 

But not all changes that happen over the course of life are positive. 

Sometimes we become less active and more stressed. 

We allow failure to make us fear. We let brokenness harden our hearts. When things don't turn out the way we planned, we become bitter. 

Situations that are beyond our control sometimes turn us into the people we never intended to be. 

Sometimes, I wish I was who I used to be... because I've let circumstances change me. 

I used to be so much more encouraging and resilient and independent and hopeful. 

Lately, I can't get past what is going on right here, right now, at this moment. 

The dreams in my heart have taken a backseat to the things that I can't change. 

I'm not writing this because I have it all figured out. 9 times out of 10 I write because I am struggling. Because I've come to some sort of realization, and I think maybe, just maybe, someone else out there needs to hear what I have to say. 

So why do I spend my time so focused on what I can't change, instead of focusing on what I can?

Honestly, I have no clue... but I am pretty tired of it. 

So, instead of wishing I were to hopeful, encouraging, resilient, independent individual I used to be... I decided I am going to be that person.  

I am going to have dreams and work towards them. 

I refuse to let minor setbacks derail me completely. 

I am going to get things done... 

And I am going to encourage the sock off the people I come in contact with day to day.

Why? Because these are the thing that make me happy, that make me who I am. Not the problems that I am facing, not the struggles, not the disappointments.

I can't completely be who I was, because like I said, we all change. But decide today that those changes are going to be for the better. Decide that the changes that occur in life will be ones that bring you more joy and fulfillment. 

It's time to be the person you were meant to be...

"She knew this transition was not about becoming someone better, but about finally allowing herself to become who she's always been"

Friday, November 22, 2013

I know sometimes it's gonna rain

There are two types of people in the world: Planners and well non-planners.

I was thinking about this today while I was driving through WKU campus in the rain....


WARNING: The following is going to be highly metaphorical and will require quite a bit of reading between the lines... I am writing about rain boots... I am not really talking about rain boots.

Something I noticed while I was driving to work was that of the thousands of students walking to class in the rain, there was an overwhelming amount that were not properly dressed for the drizzly day. They were walking around with long jeans and flip flops (I don't think anything in the world is worse the walking around in wet blue jeans all day). I could see them blinking rapidly as the rain was pelting them in the face as they hurried to their next destination... They were definitely not prepared. 

But then there were those decked out with their rain boots and parkas. They had fancy umbrellas and top of the line rain coats. They were well aware of the inclement weather before heading out, in fact they most likely didn't run out and buy these items that morning. They probably bought them months ago, in anticipation that one day, it might rain. 

Preparation is a good thing... because let's face it, no one enjoys walking in the rain on a cold day.

But is preparation always a good thing? Isn't it equally important to be spontaneous and have a sense of wonder and excitement?

You see, I think the tough thing about growing up, is that we become planners, because well, we learn that it's no fun to be wet all day. But in becoming planners, we become overly cautious. 

We run out and buy our rain boots, and instead of checking the forecast, we decided to wear our rain boots... every single day... just in case... 

Because you never know when it might rain. 

My best advice? Keep the rain boots for, well a rainy day. But don't be so afraid of the rain that you refuse to get wet at all. 

Make plans for the rain, but don't live your life in fear of getting caught up in a shower. 

Yeah, its a little risky, but it is impossible to enjoy today's sunshine if you are so worried about tomorrow's rain. 

"Some people feel the rain, others just get wet" 
(Playing in the rain with my MCUSA friends back in 2007)


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It is well with my soul



Ever heard of Horatio Spafford? I assume few have. 

Horatio had a terrible life so it would seem. The Great Chicago fire of 1871 ruined him financially. He made plans to travel with his family to Europe after his financial interests took even more of a downturn during the economic decline in 1873. While finishing up some business arrangements, he sent his family ahead to Europe. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank quite rapidly after a collision with another vessel. His four daughters did not survive. Soon Horatio made plans to sail to Europe to meet his wife whose life was spared. As they were crossing the Atlantic near the place where his children were lost, Horatio was inspired to write the words to the now famous hymn...

"It is well, it is well with my soul..."

The first time I heard this story was during my year as a master's commission student in Phoenix, AZ. 

And I am still absolutely amazed by the overwhelming peace he must have had. I can't even fathom losing my daughter, especially not suddenly... so unexpectedly.

I have had much much less tragic things happen in my life that cause me to freak out like its the end of the world. 

Reading the lyrics to this song, it isn't that he wasn't in pain or didn't miss his daughters. 

He understood that everyone's life on earth is but a vapor, and he found his hope in the life to come. 

To have such peace in knowing, that in end we win... 

God, please give me peace that surpasses all understanding. That even when I am faced with trials, my trust and my hope will be found in you. That when I fail, when I hurt, when I fear... I will still be able to say; It is well with my soul. 

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Confessions of a first time mom


Let's be honest. I am far beyond a perfect mother.

My curly headed cutie leaves the house 9 times out of 10 without me fixing her hair. 

There may have been more than one occasion when she had ice cream for dinner or pizza for breakfast. 

When I was pregnant, I couldn't read enough of what the experts had to say about pregnancy and raising children. Now? Well lets just say I've taken a more learn as you go approach, as I have found much less time to read. 

When my kid throws tantrums (which is hardly ever) I can't help but laugh. I know I shouldn't, but its just so stinking hilarious to watch her completely lose it because I made her throw away the McDonalds cup from last night. 

One second I am adamant about her sleeping in her bed, and the next thing you know she has been in my bed for 3 weeks straight. 

Her clothes don't always match. Actually, if she is just going to the babysitter all day, I can almost guarantee they don't match. 

I really can't bring myself to spend a ton of money on toys/clothes/anything that won't last her more than a year. She is a baby and she grows so fast, and I can't see spending $100 on an outfit she is just going to ruin when she eats her ice cream for dinner. Seriously, I would say 95% of all of her clothes are gifts or hand-me-downs... I've spent hardly anything on her wardrobe brand new from a store (unless it was on the clearance rack).

We watch Barney every night before we go to sleep. Literally. I know... babies shouldn't be watching TV... you shouldn't watch TV before bed... It works for us and we will probably keep doing it until it doesn't. 

I don't post a picture of my kid every single day, I typically don't rush her to the doc over every little cough or sniffle, I let her drink some of my coke from time to time, I use her to throw things away (she LOVES to throw things away)... I mean I know none of this is terrible, but its definitely not getting me mom of the year award.

But for all the things I don't do and all the things I am not... I can guarantee that little girl gets at least 50 kisses a day from me. I tell her I lover her constantly. My favorite part of the day is cuddling and watching Barney... no lie. Its my goal in life that she will grow up knowing that she is beautiful and intelligent and unique. That little girl will never have to wonder if she is loved or accepted. 

But maybe being the perfect mom isn't about being perfect. Maybe its our imperfections that make us the moms that we are. I mean, I'm thinking someday, that ice cream for dinner thing is gonna make me an awesome mom in her eyes. I honestly don't care what moms around the world think about my parenting... The only opinion of my mom career that matters is that of my children. And I can guarantee I am going to do my rootin-tootinist to be super mom in their eyes. Nearly 20 months in and I definitely don't have it figured out, but I look forward to learning more about how to be a mom from the most amazing little girl on planet earth. 

I love you Olivia Quinn Starks... You make my life complete. 




Monday, November 11, 2013

Is modest really hottest?



I grew up in church. Like its always been a part of who I am. Through high school, church was my extra-curricular activity. I sang in the worship band, I helped with the youth, I performed in drama... it defined me. 

Seeing as I grew up in church, there were a lot of lessons I learned over and over and over...

But one that was recently brought back to my mind was the topic of modesty. 

Christian girls are pretty much pumped full of modesty juice from birth. 

If you wear that, he will be interested in your body not your mind. Leave something to the imagination. If you dress trashy, you will attract pigs. And my favorite, you need to protect the minds of your fellow brothers in Christ by dressing modestly...

We get taught from a young age that real men respect modesty, and if we want a real man, we therefore must dress to attract him.

Church camps with knee length shorts, swimming parties that required one piece bathing suits, dresses that had to be measured, hallelujah checks for shirt length  ... lots of rules lots of different situations. 

But can I tell you, I feel like this is a standard that isn't set for the men?

We are warned that the way we as females dress can tempt a male. But why is it my responsibility to protect him? Why isn't it his responsibility to respect and cherish modesty like we are taught men will when we were younger.

I bring this up, because I was part of a conversation recently with men who were talking about a female and her barely there clothing. The conversation was extremely derogatory, and somewhat insulting to me, seeing as I had to listen to it. The funny thing is, it wasn't a celebrity, this was a girl we all knew, and these fine young gentlemen were drooling for lack of a better term. To make matters worse, these individuals were Christians, many of whom grew up in church just like I did. 

Why didn't they learn to respect modesty? Why didn't they develop into men who find women who dress indecently as unattractive or at the very least feel sorry for her need to show her body for attention? Isn't that what we as women are promised? That if we do our part, the Christian men will step up and do theirs?

Do men really respect modesty, or is this a lie we are fed as children? Or perhaps in those Sunday school lessons, the teacher dropped the ball by focusing on how we as women dress, rather than expecting the men to be leaders. 

I'm not saying I don't agree with modesty. I'm saying that modesty should not be solely the job of women. I think that if we want our girls to grow up living modest and pure lives, we need to instill that respect in our boys. Women cannot be the forefront of modesty. Because let's face it, when a girl who spends her whole life striving to be modest, ends up in a conversation with christian boys who are oogling women with zero modesty... she might begin to question everything she has been taught. 

It is time to step up and be men. To refuse to be a part of conversations that degrade women. To encourage the women in your life by showing your respect for modesty. Because lets be real... everyone grows older. A body is only young for a short amount of time. I hope that you spend more time looking for someone who challenges you and encourages you in Christ and less time worrying about what she looks like in a bikini. 

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." -Proverbs 31:30



What is Paigerific? I’m glad you asked, although I don’t have an exact definition to offer. Paigerific is my thoughts and my heart. Paigerific is my passion and my fear. Paigerific is my success and my failures. Paigerific is my blood, sweat, and tears. Paigerific is more than just simply word. It’s a million different words all rolled into one. Words like hope, grace, determination, imperfection, love, faith, insecurity… The one word I would use to describe myself? I am Paigerific.

 


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