Let Us Adventure!

If you love to adventure than let us be friends!

Adventure is such a broad word. To me an adventure can mean anything from going on a hike, to going on a road trip, to getting ice cream at 2:00 in the morning and watching movies. Anything that will lift my spirits and make me feel alive, ya know? Anything can be fun when you label it as an adventure!

2016 has been off to a good start so far with many adventures! One of the first “adventures” of the year was going to Leavenworth on New Years and walking around in the beautiful snowy town. Then came the trip to Portland where Mel and I crashed at Evelyn and Angie’s hotel for the night on the floor. The highlight of that trip was going to a pancake house at 2:00 in the morning, because let me tell you that place was hoppin and poppin! The whole restaurant was talking to one another, strange men were eating fries off my plate. Evelyn couldn’t stop laughing hysterically. It was great.

Now that I don’t work weekends, I can finally go on more hikes! I was never really a hiking person growing up but all of a sudden I’m super into it. There’s nothing like having deep talks up the long way, getting some exercise in, and breathing in fresh air. Nothing tops the beautiful view. It feels great. So far it’s been Rattlesnake Ridge, Poo Poo Point, Lake 22, and Old Robe Trail. I feel like I’m forgetting some but either way, been loving that.

Anything can be an adventure when you’re with the right people. I’ve got the right people. I am grateful.

If you like adventures, trying new things, lets do it!

Anything for the picture right? (;

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Joy in Every Day Life

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“May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13

Where does your joy ultimately come from? I think we often times get the meaning of joy and happiness confused. Happiness comes when something is fulfilled or brings us gratification and pleasure. Like all emotions, happiness is fleeting and temporary. It’s based on how we’re feeling in that moment and based around our circumstances and thoughts. But never ending joy comes from God. Nothing in our life is constant or forever reliable except for the truth of God. I find joy that no matter what I’ve done or what I will do in the future I am still enough, I’m still loved, and I am still saved. There is nothing that will change that.

When I was in Middle School I started going to a girl’s cadre group. We would meet once a week at Starbucks or someone’s house and we had an older leader provide insight on some spiritual life advice- I guess you could call it. A few weeks ago I was organizing my things and came across an old journal. It was an old journal that I used in those cadre groups to take notes. Even though that group quickly fell apart, there was one lesson that stuck in my heart forever. And I looked back on those notes about joy and happiness. It took me a long time to really understand what it meant to be constantly joyful even when I was feeling inadequate or depressed inside.

Let me just say that whoever is close to me knows that 2015 was NOT my year. I mean a few good things came out of it, I did get baptized not only by water but also by the Holy Spirit. My best friend got married and I got to be a part of the wedding (super cute wedding btw), and I also graduated High School. But in all honestly that whole year pretty much was empty. Or the way I felt inside, well there was not much joy to be found. And I don’t feel like getting into that necessarily right now. But I am happy to say that I feel a billion times better and more positive this 2016 new year.

Joy vs Happiness

So coming out of a slump of a year. Not knowing who I really was. Letting myself be confined to a small box and not really living. Trying to live up to other people’s standards rather than my own or shall I say God’s. I wasn’t getting anywhere. God really put it on my heart to start thinking about where does my joy come from?

I promise you that if you put your joy solely in other people, your heart will get heartbroken. If you rely on your happiness to come from your circumstances, a dark storm will come at some point and you will be left shattered. If you follow what the world says to do in order to be happy, well it will feel good for a little while. That’s why we chase pleasure and instant gratification. But eventually those things will leave you feeling empty.

So I decided to constantly choose joy in every day life. Every day I choose to focus on becoming a better human being, to see the happiness in little things, and constantly remind myself how blessed I am. Even when I have a bad day, even when everything that could go wrong does, even when I’m incredibly hurt, even when I’m insecure, even when I’m torn apart, even when I don’t have money for coffee (jokes..but for real though!), at the end of the day I am still joyful. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Just as every storm in the past has gone away, so will this one eventually! And even though this life is hard and the world is cold, God still loves me so much. He still thinks I am worthy to be saved. And he is complete love and truth.

Happiness is an emotion that feels pretty darn good! I’m happy that we are not necessarily happy all the time. If that even makes sense…you see happiness is like a little extra spark or boost. When I drink a yummy cup of coffee, I’m happy. When a boy is nice to me, I’m really happy. When I am laughing my tummy off, I am utterly happy! When something wonderful and surprising happens, well then I’m extra happy! Those little boosts are awesome and what make life worth while and interesting. But happiness comes and goes just as the rest of all the emotions that a human being experiences.

I can’t pretend that I am constantly smiling or upbeat all day long. I am a human as I said before. And I have emotions! In fact I took a personality test in my Interpersonal Communications class which classifies me as an ENFJ personality type. F is for feelings! And that’s me, I feel it all and I think about it all day long. Are you sad? I’m sad? Are you happy? I’m happy. Basically. Some days I am too tired to wake up. Sometimes I feel deeply hurt by a betrayal of another person. Life is hard and it doesn’t get any easier just by being a Christian. But I have come to accept that life is hard but also beautiful because of Christ. So those days, weeks, maybe even years that I feel inadequate inside, I let myself feel my emotions and realize that I have a right to them. But I do not let myself be controlled by emotions that are as fleeting as the wind. And I don’t let myself be utterly consumed by them to the point they control my life in a negative way. I cry it out, I sing it out, I talk it out, I drink a good cup of coffee, and most importantly I pray it out!! And I know that I am okay, and I am joyful.

This life is short. But God’s love is eternal, his grace is overflowing, and living in Paradise with him trumps over anything in this life. I choose joy in this. I hope you do too.

Blessings,

Angie ❤

 

 

Why I Call You Beautiful

 

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“She is closed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” Proverbs 31:25

Let me tell you the reasons why I love to call you beautiful. I believe this word is underrated and is not used enough although I personally probably overuse it. You see each and every person was created and molded into a unique human being. I like the word beautiful because it does not only reflect your outside looks but is the encompassing word that describes every ounce of yourself from inside to the outside.

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I remember sitting in my Christian Thought lecture class in University and hearing the professor talk about “Imago Dei” and what it means. Imago Dei means literally the image of God. Many people know of the verse found in Genesis 1:27 that says “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image God he created them, male and female he created them.” I too have read this verse many times without much thought of what it means. I just had the approach of “oh that’s cool we all look like God in some weird sense even though humans come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, ethnicities, and looks” type of deal. But as my professor pointed out in this lecture, it’s not of our looks that necessarily makes us created in the image of God but rather our CHARACTER. We were made in God’s likeness. We know that God is all loving, merciful, forgiving, wonderful, wise, and all things good, the list goes on and on. And the most beautiful part of it all is that we were made in His image.

So what does that mean for us? It means that even when the world says we’re ugly, we’re not good enough, we need to change ourselves in every way possible in order to be loved and accepted by others, we are actually beautiful without all that stuff. Now I’ll admit some days I feel more beautiful than others. Some days I spend extra care to do my makeup just right and put together a cute outfit. I enjoy this very much. Some days I see every flaw in the mirror  magnified by 100%. And inside I can also feel crappy because I didn’t meet mine or someone else’s expectations. I did something wrong and now I feel guilty and stupid so it also carries onto my face. I’m a human with emotions, mistakes, and living life just learning day by day. But none of this defines my beauty. My beauty is found in the fact that the most creative Being in the world who is God decided to create me in a unique and special manner. Giving me a character created in his image.

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The good news is that each and every human being was created by God in His image and is loved deeper than we could ever fathom in this lifetime.

So when I started to send my youth update texts to our church members by starting most of my messages with “Hello beautiful people! Yadda yadda yadda..” I originally wanted to be unique, cute, and funny in my manner. To bring people a little giggle even if it was met with rolled eyes. But after reflecting on the lecture of Imago Dei, I realized the real reason why I loved to say beautiful all the time. I believed that the people I was sending this to were beautiful inside and out.

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This is where I am even feeling that I am getting a bit too cheesy and I’m not a huge fan of cheese (;. But we live in a world where we are bombarded with images and advertisements all the time. We are constantly getting ambushed with promises to be more attractive if we just did this new diet and exercise, wore this clothing, tried this new product. That’s all fine and dandy but we shouldn’t be utterly consumed by this. Because guess what, by the world’s standard’s we will NEVER be beautiful enough. But by God’s standard’s we were already made in his image and we are accepted and enough.

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I want to conclude by saying that I love makeup, fashion, and shopping. I like to change my look around a lot too. I enjoy it and there is nothing wrong with that. But I have to remind myself that while I am working on my outside appearance I also need to work on my heart. Because when my heart is beautiful and loving then the rest of good flows out too. And when I have a loving heart and love others just as Jesus loved me, well now that’s really beautiful.

Blessings,

Angie