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

imageimageimageimageimageimageimage

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….

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!

————————————————————————————————————–

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)

IMG_0691

(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

63936_10151364555392613_2081333318_n

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.

Your hugs are way too intimate for me

I guess this kind of post would go into the “life” section of this blog. ¬†I give awkward hugs. ¬†This has been confirmed by almost all of my friends. ¬†I was kinda shocked in all honesty. ¬†I guess most people won’t tell you straight out that you’re awkward. ¬†Well one of my friends did and this lead to me questioning all my friends. ¬†I’m the type of person who sees a person going for a hug and turns it into a high five. ¬†I think I know maybe 3 people who I actually like to hug, but other than that… I guess I’m neutral. ¬†Well I was told that I gave awkward hugs so I decided to engage in more full on hugs instead of my usual side hug in hopes of being less awkward.

But first I asked one of my childhood friends to teach me why my hugs were awkward. ¬†She told me I kinda do a weird pat on the back thing and reach for a full hug and suddenly turn it into a side hug. ¬†I thought those were my ninja skills, apparently not. ¬†But I practice and I learn how a normal… or close to normal hug feels like.

So I see a friend ¬†Not even a friend really, an acquaintance.¬† The type of person I would normally give a “high-five” hug to. ¬†But I’m trying to grow as a person so I reach for a full on hug. ¬†Dude that hug was just way too intimate. ¬†I remember pulling away and having said “friend” comment saying I was really warm. ¬†What? ¬†Why were you able to feel my body warmth? ¬†Why did you choose to COMMENT on my body warmth. ¬†Bleh. ¬†I kind of made a nervous laugh and ran to class 20 minutes early. ¬†Because obviously I would be late otherwise. ¬†Obviously.

When did this become okay? What ever happened to the days where side hugs were cool? ¬†Actually were they ever cool? ¬†All I’m saying is that hugs are supposed to be brief. ¬†And usually it’s nice to hug a friend. ¬†I’m not into personal touch. ¬†Well, I’m okay with it but I’m not as into it as some people out there are.

I love hugging people I’m really close to after not seeing them for a week or even months. ¬†I love hugging a friend to show them that I’m always there for them and will always be there. ¬†But I will totally reach for a hand hug for you people who I just do not feel comfortable with.

It is my right as a human being to give my grandma, side, and full on hugs to whomever I choose to give it to.

With that being said, except for this particular instance, I actually liked giving hugs more often and making myself a little uncomfortable. ¬†Life is all about growth isn’t it? ¬†Baby steps…?

Baby steps.

Maksim 00:69 aka “The Chosen One”

Max is someone who should have been in my best friends post but because I didn’t include him in then he is now getting an entire post to himself!¬† Hopefully no one gets jelly.¬† (Get it, like jealous? LUL) Max really is one of the most outrageous people I know.¬† I still remember taking this picture of him when Catherine and I were hanging out in his dorm room.¬† But the thing about Max is he is also one of the best friends I have and I’m so happy I know him.¬† He’s an older brother to me who can protect me from the cruel world!¬† And whenever I need him, he’s there for me.¬† Max can be annoying, but that’s part of his charm!¬† I have this journal entry I wrote maybe the day before our last at the dorms.¬† And apparently Max was talking about he wanted to enlist in the army and maybe model on the side.¬† This is why I love this kid.¬† He’s so weird and he doesn’t care about who thinks he’s weird. Well actually he does but that’s a WHOLE other story…

Thanks for being my friend MaP!¬† ūüôā

Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to (This summer)

As I write this post I can think of so many things I am not looking forward to!  I need to study for my calculus exam, take my actual calculus exam, work hard and take my final!  But with all of that in mind, there are still so many things I actually am looking forward to do and below is a list of a few:

1.  Church Retreat

It’s going to¬† be at the retreat center we always used to have it and I hope it’s as good as I had always remembered it being!

2.  Finishing my summer class

I’m REALLY hoping I don’t have to retake this class, but regardless finishing this class and REALLY starting summer will be a treat with retreat starting the same day in the afternoon.

3.  Sophomore Hang out

It’s bound to happen some time this summer and I miss all my sophomore friends!

4.  Guyana

I meant to announce this later, but I’ll be going to Guyana for a mission trip!¬† (More on this later)

5.  Starting School Again

I actually like school!  And as happy as I am to end it, I love the beginning of school too!

6.  BIG Production meeting

The entire team for The Ticket is meeting together again and this excites me!

7.  Apologetic Lesson

My Sunday school class is learning about different religions and at the end we learn some christian apologetic.¬† I’ve always been curious about these things.