HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANNON! (Sari Sunday: November 15, 2015)

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This week’s Sari Sunday features the phenomenal Shannon Mathew. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANNON! I’ve known this beauty for her entire life and I’m so happy to feature¬†her in this week’s Sari Sunday. Thank you to Susan Mathew for taking these pictures! I hope our poses aren’t too offensive….

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Sari Sunday- April 26, 2015

image image image image image image image image imageHappy Birthday Rachel! (She’s in one of the above pictures) I have so much love and respect for you! Plus you’re beautiful!

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This salwar brings back old memories for me-it’s 11 years old. When my mom first purchased this salwar for me, I spilled black ink all over the back of it by accident because I left a pen in my salwar drawer. My mom took a part of the shawl to fix the salwar on the back. Looking back I realize how little I appreciated something I consider so beautiful now.

Photographer: Keziah Babu ūüôā

25 Days of Christmas (Day 20)

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(Day 20) Anna Massidas

Anna: One time in fifth grade my teacher wrapped us all different size gifts, then we had to all get in a circle and open them together.  It turned out to all be the same gift (annoyed face) , they were digital cameras with albums.  Some guys got pink ones.

Nina: Your teacher gave you digital cameras?

Anna: Yeah, it was in New Jersey, they’re really rich there.

Learning how to love yourself

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Is love something that we are born knowing how to do?  Is love really a choice?

I learned late in life that writing is a lot about learning how to edit, and this is exactly what I’m doing to do in this post. ¬†It started as a post about learning how to love, period. ¬†But now it is a post about learning how to love oneself because this is something I feel a lot of people fail to do.

I grew up most of my life believing love was something natural, something we were born conditioned to do. ¬†And I believed even more strongly that the ability to love was not a choice. ¬†I didn’t love my family because I choose to love, I loved them because I just couldn’t feel anything other than love for them. ¬†Now that I’ve grown up, somewhat, I’ve come to some sort of conclusion. ¬†Loving someone isn’t simply a choice or not a choice. ¬†I know this because sometimes I force myself to show love to people, this is me making a choice. ¬†But there have been times when I’ve been so hurt that all I’ve wanted to do is hate someone, but still I found myself loving them.

There are times when loving people feels so hard. ¬†My mom will say or do something that upsets me and the idea of showing love in that situation seems impossible. ¬†There are times when I find it really hard to love myself. ¬†It doesn’t make sense but sometimes the most hurtful things are not said by strangers, they are thought by ourselves. ¬†We fail to recognize the power and authority held in words, even when these words are said to ourselves. ¬†The bible tests to this fact as well.

Proverbs 18:21 РDeath and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

In the above verse we are taught that life and death are in the power of our tongue! ¬†This doesn’t just apply to what we say to people we love, this is found in the words that we tell ourselves. ¬†The devil is a liar. ¬†To anyone who has ever thought that they were meaningless, that their lives were meaningless or that they are alone- do not believe that lie. ¬†Your body is the temple of God!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

This is how precious we are!  And we are never truly alone in this world, never at all.  The amazing thing about God is that even if everyone we ever love leaves us, we always have him.  This is something we can put our hope and trust in regardless of circumstance.

I mentioned this in passing earlier but love can also not feel like a choice. ¬†I find myself unwilling to let go of some friendships because regardless of pain I may have felt, I still love that person. ¬†With the same token, sometimes it make feel like we don’t have a choice in how we feel. ¬†Although I believe this is somewhat true- we always have a choice. We may not be able to dictate the way we feel, but we can choose the way we act on these feelings. ¬†This is even more true in regards to how we respect ourselves. ¬†Please, love yourself enough to respect yourself. ¬†If you are feeling hurt by someone or something, remove yourself from that situation. ¬†And if you are hurting yourself, please learn the value held in your life.

The saddest thing for me to think about is the fact that so many people fail to see how amazing they are.  Those people who can be told time and time again that they are beautiful but fail to see it!  If you are someone like that, please just take a second look.  Give yourself a second chance.  Because you are valuable and you are loved.  I can guarantee it.

God centered life

 

I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. ¬†My school work, friends, future, family, and everything in between. ¬†And when I was so busy thinking about everything going on in my life, I failed to remember God.

It’s funny isn’t it? ¬†No, it’s not. ¬†It’s a little bit sad.

For the entirety of my life I have been a “christian” but I fear I’ve been a Christian in name alone. ¬†I go to church, I follow my commandments but I fail to give God all the glory and honor he deserves. ¬†And what amazes me is that God see this girl who puts him last many times, who forgets him.. ¬†Somehow he still deems me worthy of his forgiveness, his love, his mercy. ¬†There is no one in the entire world who would be so gracious, but my God.

Today I want to change the way I live my life.  I want to say I am a Christian and be so grateful to know the truth.   Because I am blessed by the fact that my grandfather was a believer and his before him.  Their prayers still watch over me and cover me.

But their salvation is not enough to reach me, I need to make a decision to really and actually put God first.

So what does it look like when someone leads a God centered life?

Well everything else that goes on daily simply pales in comparison. ¬†You don’t read your bible because you have a daily quota, you read your bible because you just want to. ¬†You get lost in praying to God and wonder how time could slip so quickly away. ¬†And you change, 100% you change everything about yourself. ¬†Not because you make this conscious effort to change. ¬†But because you are so in love with God and so surrounded by him in every aspect that he influences every action you make.

When we choose to follow God and put him first everything else just falls into place. ¬†Philippians 4:13 reads “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”, and we can. ¬†That’s the amazing thing about God. ¬†There are literally no limits to what you are capable above, and God will direct in the path meant for you.

I want to live like that.

So in love with God that my life can be a testimony to him and that I can shine because of the light and joy he places into my life.

Mark 12:30 reads, “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” ¬†That’s no joke. ¬†That means something. ¬†Today for the first time I will try to understand what exactly that means.