February 27, 2022

 

Good morning everyone! I pray you all had a great week and have been looking forward to this weeks update. I’ll be honest, I kind of struggled with this weeks topic because I didn’t really know what to talk about. I always want the topics to help anyone and everyone that reads them but at the same time I never want it to seem repetitive. As I was at school this week, we had club pictures and when I went to take these pictures for all the clubs I’m a part of I really started to think about the importance of community service. 

 

I think we often forget the meaning and purpose behind serving those around us. I’m certainly guilty of this, but have you ever simply done community service just for the club points or praise? It’s common to get so caught up in meeting the requirements or doing what others want that we stop doing these things out of the kindness of our hearts. 

 

I think we are so quick to assume that community service is going to be like a job and something we are going to dread but in reality, it is where some of our best memories can come from. I was serving at a Valentines Dance for the special Olympics a couple of weeks ago and when I tell you I had the best time, I am not exaggerating. I had such an amazing time dancing with all of the kids and adults, handing out door prizes, and simply being a friend to everyone there. In fact before I left, I asked the sponsor to please let me know of any more opportunities I can serve at. It was so much fun to simply hang out with everyone there and it didn’t feel like “community service” at all. 

 

Another example of this is just last weekend. I went to help work our cities Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast. It was so enjoyable being able to talk to all the elderly and people who came to eat. Yes, I did have to go around and pick up trash, refill drinks, and serve pancakes but at the end of the day none of that was painful at all. I met so many new people and was able to put a smile on so many faces. When I think about this, all I can do is thank God for giving me the physical ability to help with these events. While I am certainly not perfect, God has blessed me with good health and provided me with all these opportunities that make me a better person. 

 

Trust me, by doing simple community service projects, your day will be 10 times better. Just think, not only are you helping someone else, but your helping yourself. By doing small things like filling a food pantry or grocery shopping for an elderly, your showing them that they are just as important as anyone else on this Earth, and loved like anyone else. We are able to shed Christ’s light and be of encouragement to those who need it most. 

 

I pray that by reading this maybe you will be encouraged to complete a service project this week. I am going to make a post on BBB social media pages and if you do complete a project, I encourage you to comment what you did to give us all some more ideas. These actions can be big or small because at the end of the day, every second of your time matters. 

 

I love you all so much and as Ephesians 6:7 says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were striving the Lord, not people.” Have an amazing week! 

February 20, 2022

 

Good morning! I pray you have all had a good week as we were able to celebrate Valentines Day! I had a very busy week, my family and I decided to fly out to Colorado to go skiing for our Winter Break. We had such a good time but let me just say four days on the snow is exhausting. I could not wait to be back home and back into my routine of things. You all know how much of a homebody I am. I don’t like change and even if it is for something like vacation, I like for it to quickly return back to normal. People often pick on me for the fact that I am a teenager and I don’t really like to spend the night out with friends. I have friends that’s think I am boring because I turn down their sleepover invites, but I simply laugh back because at the end of the day, that is just who I am. I like to be in the comforts of my own house, sleeping in my own bed, surrounded by my family. 

 

It is simply me. I think we forget to remember who WE are. It is so easy to be conformed and shaped by the world around us but in reality we all need to discover who we are without worldly influences. I know your probably thinking, well Gracie that’s great but what in the heck does not liking sleepovers have to do with this? And to be honest not much, that is just a small example of how I dispute what others think and say, stick to who I am. I don’t let what friends or family determine or change me. 

 

We can all have different views or opinions on different topics. Let’s be real, it is part of life. If people didn’t have differences or think in unalike ways think about how boring our lives would be. There would be no variety not to mention all the creative new ideas that come about every day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a different stance on something, it is healthy to have your own opinion yet, it is also important to respect the opinions and thoughts of others as well. Not to say you must agree with it, but you should still treat them as if you will listen and take into consideration what they have to say. 

 

God created each of us with differences, therefore we are called to respect each of them. While respecting certianly does not mean we have to conform to them. I encourage you to stay true and honest to yourself. Simply be you and don’t let what other people think or say change anything about who you are. I will be totally transport with you, others thoughts and opinions about me often have an influence. They can leave me feeling down or doubting myself but it is in those times of discomfort that I have to remind myself who God created me to be. 

 

I want you to really dial in and think about who YOU are. Not what your best friend thinks of you, not what your family says about you, not how your coach sees you, but simply WHO YOU ARE and WHO YOU WANT TO BE. As long as you respect Christ and those around you, I can promise you that God will honor who you are and who you are becoming. He is the ultimate sculptor, we are simply to clay in His hands. Let God form you into His exact plan He has had since before you were ever formed. 

 

I pray this lesson will give you some type of light on the future and please don’t ever hesitate to email me with questions. I am here for you and the sole purpose of me doing my blog is to be of encouragement to you. I love you to the ends of this earth and remember, you are never alone. See you next week! 

February 12, 2022

Good morning! I pray you have all have made it through the week. Maybe your week hasn’t necessarily been the best however just like we talked about last Sunday, there is always something to be thankful for right? This week I want to focus on something I think that as a sarcastic world we tend to overlook. it is crazy to think how one word or simple line of speech can make or break us. It is so important that as we go through each and every day here on earth that we are sure to help not only ourselves but also those around us feel that we are loved and valued no matter what. God calls us to be encouragers and he remind sus multiple times throughout the Bible that our actions in life can do one of two things, build us up or tear us down. 

 

It is so common to find people who’s goal is to “change the world” or “make a difference” so many desire to make an impact on earth which is so encouraging when you think about it. Some want to be business owners, leaders, doctors, police, teachers, and so much more. However, you must ask yourself if you are overlooking the impact God has called us to make. Often times we will use these “worldly” accomplishments to cover up or move away from the fear of being make fun of or looked at differently because our beliefs. I’m being totally honest, I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to act different simply just to fit in, or seen people be ugly to a friend because they think it is “cool”. This is all crazy to think about. Why do we believe being rude or mean is cool? That is so messed up. I think we all know we live in a twisted world, a world full of sin. 

 

Yet, God calls us to be DIFFERENT! We are to show love to all living in this twisted world with us. We were not called to get through this time alone. God’s purpose in putting many people in the world for us to use each other as encouragement and strength to get through life. I know for a fact that for me, when I encourage someone else, it brings joy to both me and the other person. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and leaves the other person a little more bright. Now I know, it is impossible to be encouraging 100% of the time, I mean come on, we are all sinners. However, we should try our best to be a light in this dark world whenever it is possible. I hope this helps you stand out a little more this week. Like the common cringy quote says, “DARE TO BE DIFFERENT”. Just think if we all do it, it won’t be different it will just simply be an act of kindness. I love you all so much and will see you next week! Have a great Valentines Day! 

 

February 6, 2022

Happy first February update! I am so glad you decided to check in today and read and I pray that by following along with me and my journey, you will not only be encouraged yourself but also spread that encouragement everywhere you go. I want to start by asking how your week was. I know you can’t answer this question in person, but really? How was your week? What did you love about it and what did you not like so much? By asking yourself this common question, you can really dive in and take a look at your past, times when you were able to share the love of Christ, times when maybe you made the wrong decision, and you can even look back when all else seems miserable and see the things you are thankful for. 

 

I am not sure if I said this in an earlier post but this school year, I decided to start a mental health awareness club at my school. It has been so amazing to see my friends and fellow students from my school to attend our meetings and engage with everyone. It really goes to show how much each of us have in common even though it may seem as if you are the only one. By having this club, we have had the opportunity to do many self awareness activities. Not only for ourselves but also the students who are not club members. These activities have included, distraction jars, handing out pencils and ribbons, having the entire school sign a pledge board, and so much more. It is amazing to see the work God can do through the love and compassion of students when we come together. A perfect example of this was seen during suicide prevention week this school year. As a club we spread out amongst the school entrances and handed out yellow ribbons to all students as a way to raise awareness. Keep in mind we did this around September of 2021 and I still walk into school each day and see students with those ribbons still pinned on their book bags. This all goes to show how many people resígnate with mental illness when you are just willing tot all about it. 

 

Anyways, fast forward to last weeks meeting, we gathered and I had all members decorate a gratitude journal. We had all kinds of markers, stickers, encouragement quotes, and each other to make these journals look like something someone would want to keep as a gift. Then I told everyone how important it is to keep track of the things we are thankful for. It can be so easy to loose sight of the positives in life when it feels as if our entire world is being bogged down. However, I am here to promise you there is always SOMETHING to be thankful for. It could be as simple as waking up that morning, having air to breath, or maybe God giving you the ability to speak, and read His word. When you sit down and really think about all God gives us, you will realize how much God has given and is currently giving us. By writing these things down in a journal, when you feel like there is nothing to be thankful for you can always look back and see all He has provided. 

 

I encourage you to do the same, make a gratitude journal and use it as a way to thank God for all He has given. If you do not have the ability to make one, shoot me a email and I would love to send you all the supplies needed. I love you all so much and pray you all have an amazing week. Remember to stay strong and never give up. God has a plan for you and it is going to be great.