18 Things I’ve Learned in 18 Years

1. Sushi, urban fries, and Indian food will always be my favorite foods. Petting dogs is still vital to happiness. And the life I want to live is creative, beautiful, abundant, and full of signs and wonders. And that’s exactly how I would describe the last 18 years of my life chasing Jesus.

2. Learning to be present and take things one day at a time doesn’t mean ignoring the effect your decisions have on the future— it just means doing the best you can each day.

3. Community is so important.

4. But at the same time, if you’re relying on a church or small group as your only spiritual food for the week, that’s not going to work.

5. If everything you know about God is based on one pastor, one church, or one person, that’s also not going to work.

6. Following Jesus is a journey that will take you places you would’ve never dreamed you would end up at but only if you let him.

7. Joy is one of the most vulnerable things to have because when we have it we are always fearing it will fade away. But always fearing the times it will leave is no way to live, because when we look back we will never regret the times we leaned into it, but we will regret the times we didn’t hold on to those moments enough.

8. People are going to try and give you a lot of advice. You are the one in the end that gets to decide what is worth listening to and what is worth throwing in your mental trash.

9. There are other people who will surround you and come alongside of you where you’re at and give you rides to church and let you text them your math homework. They will make a huge effort to connect with you and reach out to you and partner with you in your dreams. They are the kind of people who are just so passionate about making others feel known and loved. Those are the people you should hold on to for dear life, rather than the people who are always trying to give you advice to make them feel better about themselves.

10. The only way to surrender everything to Jesus is to get lost in his love, full of awe and wonder, and to want to know Him more than anything else. Trying to surrender because we’re afraid of the situation in front of us doesn’t work. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)

11. And when we are just so in love with Jesus, that’s when the miracles start happening. But you have to want Jesus more than the miracles. You have to want the savior more than the saving, the healer more than the healing, and the giver more than the gifts.

12. Sometimes the places we need to be most are not glamorous. Now that I’m in college, I can finally reveal that I worked at Taco Bell over the summer without putting myself at risk of getting fired. And that was not glamorous at all, but I was definitely supposed to be drive-thru gal for that season. 🙂

13. You don’t know how grateful you actually should be for what you have until you’ve seen the lives people have to live to simply meet ends meet. And now I wake up every day in college and I think about my old co-workers, and I can’t believe I get to be living in these dorms with a dining hall and everything I could possibly need so close to me, with the privilege of studying to one day work a job I am passionate about. We take for granted more things than we realize.

14. To turn on our shower in our community bathroom, you have to pull the knob out before you turn it.

15. Living with a roommate is so amazing. We discovered a kitchen on the first floor yesterday when we did our first batch of UC Davis laundry. We also learned there’s a much closer staircase to our room than the one we’ve been taking for the last 2 weeks. Yesterday we locked ourselves out of our dorm because we both left to shower at the same time and both forgot our room keys. We had to get our RA to save us and since we had taken out our contact lenses neither of us could see a thing. It’s just awesome to get to figure out life with someone else.

Some other random college things: Bike parking is a commodity, the gym is intimidating, it is very easy to meet new people and make new friends wherever you go as everyone is going through the same thing, and living right next to cows means you will hear them moo at night. You can pet the cows if you’re bored but most of them won’t let you and will just look at you and walk away.

16. The balance between chasing meaning rather than comfort and completely burning yourself out comes from knowing your boundaries and always making an effort to care for your soul.

17. A revelation is what happens when your head knowledge finally sinks deeper into your soul and becomes heart knowledge. I have more of these than I do realizations now, and you can always discover things you previously knew in deeper ways. Never be closed off from growing.

18. I am more scared of getting to a point where I think I’ve figured adulthood out than I am of going through some really challenging things.

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Wow. I’m an adult as of Thursday. It’s so crazy.

I’m currently writing this in my dorm again. I just got back from the most fun dance class of my life. There’s a guy named Ryan from Davis Christian Fellowship who created a dance group called “agape,” which means God’s unconditional love. My roommate and I went to his workshop, danced terribly, and had so much fun. It was honestly the best class I’ve ever had. They prayed before and after, and our choreographer shared her story which was so inspiring. And none of us knew how to do anything so we just were laughing our way through and cheering each other on.

College so far is literally a dream come true. I wake up every day and see the cows outside my window and I can’t believe I’m here. The Christian Fellowship I’m a part of has exceeded my expectations and dreams. DCF is just like my church back at home, Jesus Culture, except it is 1000x more welcoming if that was even possible because I thought my home church was really welcoming. Last Tuesday I went to a worship night and cried my eyes out because the spirit was so heavy in that room. The girl next to me accepted Christ, and the next day told me that most of the reason why she was crying so much was because she could hear the emotion in my voice when I was worshipping. We both became crying buddies after that.

I woke up on my 18th birthday and it was tough. I never thought I would be spending my birthday in a new environment with people who didn’t know me. But I got to spend it at a DCF event, and they made me feel so loved and known. When I got back to my dorm, I found this:

I asked Nikita to pray for me at the worship night because I had been feeling so tired. College is crazy, and very tiring. But the upper-classmen get it and are all so passionate about coming alongside us. The fact that I’m tired just means that I’m giving myself fully to this new experience. There was no other place I would’ve wanted to spend my 18th birthday. I’m so happy I got to spend it somewhere that I truly belong. I have never felt this loved and known somewhere in my life, and I would’ve never guessed that God had all this for me here in this gigantic, scary school. But wow. I love it here so much.

College honestly just feels like a summer camp where I have to get good grades. I’ve been studying a lot between lectures, discussions, and labs but have also been having so much fun. I don’t really like my classes, haha, which I know sounds terrible because that’s kind of the reason I’m here. But I love everything else about college. I love the people. I love the food, dogs, and bike rides to class. The diversity here makes me so happy. And I just keep meeting new people every day that make me even happier.

So here we are, 1 year older, finally in the wilderness that God was calling me into. So far, choosing Him in the wilderness of UC Davis has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I remember when this school was the last place I wanted to go, but this is all proof that God is good. And I am so grateful. 💗

Our dreams are God given. Never forget that.

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25 Things I’m Grateful For

Gratitude. This is one of the most important practices of all time as it allows us to shift our focus from the waves and wind around us to the good in everything. The only way to summarize how my life has been is to make this list. The little things are the big things. The ordinary things make life extraordinary. And I say that, but man my life is not ordinary at all. Summer is coming to an end soon, so I am trying so hard to be present and savor every last moment.

Also, I’ve made a new category/series on here. I’m calling it “life lists.” I love making lists of what I’m learning and what I’m grateful for, and if you have other ideas for lists I can make you should totally let me know. 🙂

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1. I’m grateful that I get to attend UC Davis in the fall. Taking a community college class has really opened my eyes to how privileged I am to have had that college work out so perfectly for me as I was surrounded by people in my class who were putting themselves through college with their own incomes and having to balance their not-so-glamorous jobs with hardcore classes. Working a fast-food job made me realize how many people don’t even get the chance to go to college.

2. I’m thankful I have a job.

3. I’m also thankful that I get to quit my job in a week.

4. I’m thankful that the second I walked into my first college class, I ran into Capri. It was literally God ordained as we led worship together two years ago in Mexico and she has been such a huge blessing in my life since we got reconnected.

5. I’m thankful for this one nurse named Suzanne who pulls through the drive-thru when I’m working in her UC Davis scrubs, because getting to see her makes my day.

6. I’m thankful for one of my co-workers, Barbie. She pulled through the drive-thru and I asked, “How are you?” And she was like, “I need a hug.” And then I laughed and knew it was her. When she came to the window, she gave me flowers and those are the little things that just remind me how loved I am.

7. I’m thankful for all the food we make for ourselves on our shifts that we are not supposed to make, and all the orders we mess up that we get to keep.

8. I’m grateful for all the dogs that pull through the drive thru. I’ve seen giant dogs and tiny dogs and curly dogs and floppy eared dogs and it is just great.

9. I’m grateful for my therapist. I got to check in with her for the last time before college a few weeks ago and it just highlighted how much I’ve grown.

10. I’m thankful that in this season I’ve gotten to take everything I’ve learned from my teacher/mentor, other mentors, therapist, and school and just pour it into other people. Everything they’ve taught me allows me to reach out to others and makes me able to listen and love on other people.

11. I’m thankful that I get to be Anelise’s mentor, and that she texts me her calculus homework. The other day I was doing a problem at work and I felt like I was doing it so wrong, but I’m super thankful I still remember stuff and got it and was able to explain to her the right answer!

12. I’m thankful that I get to call one of the most respected teachers at my high school my mentor, and that she has the strongest faith of all time and has a life that I hope mine looks like one day.

13. I’m thankful that she shared her life story with me, and that I keep thinking about it and it prompts me to want to seek out a God of miracles so much more.

14. I’m thankful for my friend Moriah. There’s something so special about that girl’s heart. Not only is she extremely talented but she is just so humble, open, creative, caring, and she loves to invest in people. I’m so grateful she is my friend and another one of my adventure buddies. We were both talking about how everyone is posting pictures of their incredible vacations and how we were just poor college students and couldn’t do that, so we went on a bike ride and took a ton of pictures and just had the best time ever with what we had.

15. I’m grateful for Uncommon, the worship experience I get to serve at. On Monday I was so nervous to sing and play keys at the same time but the people were so supportive and I feel like my anxiety brought me so much closer to everyone. When the team prayed for me and Capri beforehand, I started freaking out because someone was praying in tongues and I had been wanting that since my mentor shared her story with me. The second they finished praying I was like, “SOMEONE WAS PRAYING IN TONGUES! I WANT THAT! WHO WAS DOING THAT?” They all were laughing so hard.

16. I’m thankful that so many people got healed during that session, despite my performance. Afterwards Leanna and Dean, the most amazing people ever, asked me what my whole tongues outburst was about and I told them about how my old church never even talked about them and that I used to think they didn’t exist, but that ever since my mentor shared her life story with me I’ve all the sudden really wanted it. They told me to go home and read acts 1-2, so I did, and I’ve been praying to receive it since. I’m so thankful for the journey of learning to have an open heart for God because of all the growth that is about to come.

17. I’m thankful for my girl, Anna. I’m thankful she feels like she can open up to me about her life. It is such a privilege to have such deep conversations with her so late at night.

18. I’m thankful that I got to spend the day with Anna today. We got Jamba Juice, went on a beautiful hike, and then got dinner. The whole adventure of today was so needed for both of us to unwind, work out, and breathe fresh air. I’m thankful we got to talk so much more, and that I’m friends with someone was believes in reaching out and showing others how loved they are as much as I do. As much as it hurts to see her go through some of the things she is going through, I’m so thankful we get to grow together and I think the journey makes our friendship all the more beautiful and amazing.

19. I’m thankful for Jesus Culture, the church I attend. It is such a privilege to attend a church that is after the mere presence of God. The one year I got to spend in their high school group completely changed my life.

20. I’m thankful I ran into Rocky and John today. I hadn’t seen those doctors since they prayed over me at JC when I was struggling to decide what college to go to. Today I saw them walking out of church and was able to tell them my decision, and all the miracles that have happened since. They were so happy and even prayed over me again. It was an amazing encounter.

21. I’m grateful for my family, and that I get to share my family with my friends.

22. I’m grateful my roommate is a Christian and that we got our first choice dorm despite it being on the third floor of the building. I’m so excited to move in and begin yet another new journey in life.

23. I’m so grateful that I’m legally allowed to drive minors now that I’ve had my license for more than a year. It is so freeing.

24. I’m grateful that when I leave for college, I am leaving with everything I could possibly need to survive and to know that there will always be people praying for me back at home.

25. I’m grateful for this blog as it allows me to share my journey. This blog always challenges me to find the beauty in every season of life. When I’m going through something I can literally go through my old posts to see all the breakthroughs God has already done to remind myself how good He is. Today I am grateful for simply that— the goodness of God. I don’t know if it is possible for me to capture exactly how good he is through this blog, but I absolutely love that I get to try. 🙂

10 Worship Songs I Sing While Getting Ready

Admit it— you sing into your hairbrush while getting ready too.

So, my first summer class ended about two weeks ago so I was able to switch my work schedule around in order to lead worship at Uncommon. A guy in my Psych 320 class invited me and my friend to lead there. I don’t really know how to describe it because Uncommon isn’t really a bible study or a church service. It’s just a place created for people to experience Jesus. On Monday I led there for the first time with 2 others I had never met before and it was magical. Caitlynn and Stephen have a passion for worship that I cannot explain, and I love how we just went through the night and saw where the songs took us rather than having a specific plan to adhere to. It was complete spirit led worship, and seeing the response was so humbling. Afterwards, the three of us were invited to go back this Monday and our coordinator posted this on Facebook:

So we all agreed to go back, and now are so excited for what God is going to do.

I feel like a piece of me is complete again because I just love worship so much and waste so much time playing worship songs on the piano or belting them into my hairbrush. I’m so happy that now I get to share what I love with others again for the next month before I head off to college. I’m so grateful that I had waited for the right time and place to lead worship because I knew it would come, and I’m so happy it’s at Uncommon for this season. I love being on keys because it allows me to sing as loud as I do while getting ready without having to worry about what I sound like. And everything about that ministry just blows me away: from the love and support everyone has for each other, to the passion everyone has for seeking out Jesus.

Anyways, this opportunity has allowed me to learn a lot of new songs and has gotten me even more excited about many of the songs I already know. There are a lot of new songs that I love too, so I just wanted to share some of the ones have been on my heart in no particular order.

1. Defender – Rita Springer

The bridge of this song gets me every time.

When I thought I lost me

you knew where I left me

you reintroduced me to your love

You picked up all my pieces

put me back together

you are the defender of my heart…

This song is about how God fights for us, and it is so powerful.

2. Pursue – Hillsong Worship

We are playing this one on Monday and I’m so excited. This song is just an outcry of desire, surrender, and trust.

“Lead me to you

Forever Lord I will pursue

I will pursue

You’ve won my heart

Jesus you’re all that I want…”

 

3. Touch of Heaven – Hillsong Worship

I quoted this song in my last post. I love the line, “Lord I will open up again, throw my fears into the wind…” because going after God’s call for your life is scary. This song highlights sheer willingness and obedience. When we are so in love with Jesus, there is no fear. And when we are so in love with Him that all we want is to go after Him, we can see him do what only He can do.

4. I Am No Victim – Kristine DiMarco

I just love this song so much. This is a song that I want to be declaring over myself every day. It’s a huge declaration of how good God is, and how we are defined by Him rather than our scars or pasts.

5. Sing My Way Back – Steffanny Gretzinger

This song is what I was singing on repeat every day when I had just graduated high school and felt super lost. It highlights embracing the whole journey, the beauty and the pain, and how all of that beauty creates a unique story for our lives. I love the line in the bridge, “another story wouldn’t do,” because it emphasizes that there couldn’t be a better story for each of our personal lives because God has handcrafted each one so perfectly.

6. In Over My Head – Jenn Johnson

This is a song to sing when you’ve come to a place in life that is just so good that all you want to do is worship and chase after God even more. I love so many of the lines in here.

“Would you come and tear down the boxes

that I have tried to put you in

Let love come teach me who you are again…”

This song I feel like just captures an encounter with God. It captures the moment when God crashes over you and you find yourself in the place you’re supposed to be and are just completely awestruck by Him. No matter where you are, when God meets you, it is going to be powerful. This song just highlights that moment of surrender.

7. Letting Go – Stefanny Gretzinger

This song is such a beautiful, chill song that a leader sent me. After I listened to it, I texted these lyrics to so many people. It’s a song that accepts that life has been hard, but when we fall into Jesus, we can begin to let it go.

I confess I still get scared sometimes

But perfect love comes rushing in

and all the lies screamed inside go silent

the moment you begin..”

8. Freedom – Kim Walker Smith

This song is a get-up-and-start-dancing kind of song. I’m just obsessed with it. I heard it for the first time at a conference before it came out.

“Dance like the weight has been lifted

Grace is waiting for you…”

9. Tremble – Mosaic

This is a song that I will sing when I’m afraid or feel like I don’t have peace about something. It just proclaims how God is greater than the storms around us and in us.

 

10. Center of Your Love – Kim Walker Smith

For our last song, I’m ending with this one. This song is about how God is more than enough. In a world that tells us we are never enough, I just love singing this song and think it’s so powerful. It’s yet another song declaring how good God is. The thought of being made for the center of God’s love is just so enthralling.

That’s a wrap here! I’m going to keep letting these all sink into my life whether I’m playing them for people or just singing them as I get ready. Let me know your favorite songs down below and what you think of these! =)

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10 Things I’m Learning

I feel like I’ve been learning so much in this season. Life is crazy, as usual. But these are some things I’m learning, not some things I’ve learned.

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1. There is always going to be something else that needs to get done. There will always be something else to improve on, worry about, stress over, and accomplish. Because of this, you have to figure out how to enjoy the journey between the “ifs” and “whens.” You have to find the beauty in the whole journey. I am learning to find the beauty in this journey through relentlessly blogging everything out.

2. Life doesn’t start after you get to a certain place or get that certain job or into that specific college. You can start living your best life whenever you want to. I’m learning that I can live my best life even when I have a 3 day calculus final next week and AP exams in the next 2 weeks. I’m learning that my best life looks a lot less like relaxing at a beach while eating pizza but a lot more like slowly learning to step out of my comfort zone and growing in my faith.

3. I’ve been learning to take care of myself. Last week my allergies got so bad I got an early dismissal and left school early, and proceeded to crying on the way home and taking a long nap before starting to study again. Whenever my eczema flares up or my allergies kick in, I always have to take a step back and make sure I’m eating healthy and sleeping enough. It sucks, but I’ve been learning that beating myself up for having to pull back does not increase the amount of time I have during the day to get stuff done, and that it is so much better to just keep going and get right back on track.

4. God gives us a sufficient amount of grace for each day. The best we can do today is the best way to prepare ourselves for tomorrow. God doesn’t keep track of all the books I lose or pop quizzes I choke on. I’m learning that it is okay to fall short sometimes. At the same time, when we fall short, God still doesn’t see us as anything less than the masterpiece he created us to be.

5. Fear is the wrong motivation to do anything. I used to make these study sheets for calc formulas and I would write, “Remember or Die” at the top. I showed it to my amazing teacher, who called me out on it and said writing that was doing nothing but instilling fear of failure in me rather than helping me actually remember what was on the paper. Now, my study sheets are titled, “Study Study Fluffy Fluffy.”

6. It’s not happy people that are grateful, it’s grateful people who are happy. I’m learning that being more grateful is one of the best ways to find the beauty in the journey. I’ve been learning to combat disappointments and failures with gratitudes, because it works.

7. The goal in mending a relationship is not to be right, but to restore a connection. My English teacher pulled me aside and made a crazy deal with me. He said that if I retook one of the quizzes I blew, he would put that score in for every single other one I failed that semester. I was blown away. I could totally live without an A in AP literature. It’s senior year after all. Everyone complains about how discombobulated this class is, and when they approach him super defensively he becomes defensive too. But I guess the day before my dad went up to him during open house and thanked him for taking care of me and that kindness released honor. The grace on both ends restored our relationship. I retook the quiz and it went exactly the way I wanted it to. I really like this teacher a lot now!

8. Worship allows our hearts to beat in sync with God’s. There is nothing like lifting your hands in worship, asking him to fill you up again. I’ve been learning to worship God with any chance I get, as there are so many ways to worship him. I’ve been learning I was made to worship him.

9. When you focus on the waves and wind around you, it is easy to drown in what you’re going through. When you fix your eyes on Jesus, you can walk on water. I’m learning that fixing my eyes on Jesus doesn’t make the waves and wind go away, but it puts it all in a perspective where I have peace and joy despite the circumstances.

10. There are seasons in life. High school ends in 4 years. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like the season we’re in will end (especially high school). When we get confused, discouraged, or distracted, we stop trying. But we can’t lose heart, otherwise we’ll miss the moment when God delivers us into the next season.

A little extra thought: we can choose to either be victims to what we go through or survivors. And I want to be a survivor.

that’s a wrap. 🙂

50 Things I’m Grateful For

1. I’m grateful for supernatural peace because I never thought I would ever get to walk in it.

2. I’m grateful I got to pick up my brother from college and spend Thanksgiving with him, my family, and my brother’s roommates.

3. I’m grateful that I had this week off of school.

4. I’m grateful for thrifting the amazing things I found on Black Friday!

5. I’m grateful to be a math tutor, and that I was able to tutor a friend in AB calculus on Monday.

6. I’m grateful I was able to bring my friend Chloe to my youth group’s friends-giving. We won the lip sync battle by going all out on a Justin Bieber song, and I’m grateful she had a lot of fun there.

7. I’m grateful for my friend Bri and our BC calc study dates at Starbucks.

8. I’m grateful for vanilla chai tea lattes and that you can order Starbucks in a cup to save plastic 🙂

9. I’m grateful I have my driver’s license. I’ve been driving so much lately and I feel like such an adult!

10. I’m grateful that I was able to get closer to my dance friends last Thursday and that we are all going to visit each other’s youth groups together.

11. I’m grateful for my youth pastor, Becky, who answers my questions about God at 10 o’clock at night.

12. I’m grateful that I don’t have to do anything to earn my self-worth.

13. I’m grateful for hugs.

14. I’m grateful that misspelling my middle name on the common app didn’t hinder me from getting accepted to Baylor! I’m definitely not going there, but it’s so nice to know I’m going to college.

15. I’m grateful that wherever I go to college won’t hinder me from changing the world.

16. I’m grateful for my parents, who I’ve gotten so much closer to since the summertime.

17. I’m grateful for all the mentors I’ve ever had from my old youth group and the youth group I went to Camalu with: Ashley, Anh, Mary, Stevie, Michele, Tomiko, Patty, and my new mentor, LeeAnn 💜

18. I’m grateful that if I ever need anything, I know where to go.

19. I’m grateful for the ability to write.

20. I’m grateful for fuzzy socks and sweatpants.

21. I’m grateful for worship music.

22. I’m grateful to be supernaturally healed of eczema and to be able to eat whatever I want again!

23. I’m grateful last summer I got to see a therapist because I learned so much from therapy. It was amazing and I think everyone who wants to understand themselves better should give it a shot!

24. I’m grateful I’m so unashamed about everything.

25. I’m grateful my brother swiped me in his college’s dining hall which is like literal heaven on earth.

26. I’m grateful my iPhone 5s has a headphone jack 🙂

27. I’m grateful for such an abundance of food.

28. I’m grateful for sleep.

29. I’m grateful the weather in sac is getting a little less bipolar.

30. I’m grateful for the teacher I T.A for and all the boundaries she has broken for me, and that she’s even read my blog posts about her!!

31. I’m grateful for emotions.

32. I’m grateful for this blog and all of you 🙂

33. I’m grateful there’s a creek behind where I live that I can walk to whenever.

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34. I’m grateful to get to share my stories with others.

35. I’m grateful I finally got to dress up for homecoming (even though I didn’t go to the actual dance). I’m grateful to know God’s made me beautiful inside and out.

36. I’m grateful the creator knows my name.

37. I’m grateful for nourishing night walks with Josephine every once in a while.

38. I’m grateful for frozen yogurt that has more gummies than actual yogurt.

39. I’m grateful for poodles.

40. I’m grateful for my school counselors who have helped me so much with applying to college! I’m grateful I didn’t pay someone to do my apps like everyone else.

41. I’m grateful for all my teachers at school in general.

42. I’m grateful for all the memories I’ve made volunteering on the Oncology floor of Mercy San Juan and every patient I’ve ever prayed for.

43. I’m grateful for long bike rides and hikes.

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44. I’m grateful for my ballet teacher who has been just as much of a spiritual counselor to me as a dance teacher. I’m grateful for my dance studio too and the positivity it embodies.

45. I’m grateful this world is just a temporary home, and that our true home is in heaven.

46. I’m grateful for people that are incredibly kind, inclusive, and always try to understand other people.

47. I’m grateful Instagram isn’t real life.

48. I’m grateful God made me such a rad human being.

49. I’m grateful for my stuffed walrus, Sir Wallie Joe because he’s also pretty rad.

50. I’m grateful that this story I write doesn’t truly belong to me, but to Him.

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Wow. There is so much to be grateful for. I could’ve written 100 things in a heartbeat.

But it was also kinda hard to write this! Because there are also so many people that I wish were a little more kind and inclusive, places in which I don’t feel completely understood, and qualities about myself that bother me or hurt or seem to be inadequate.

But that’s why we need to do this. Grateful people are happy. Grateful people see the beauty in everything. So, you have all been tagged to blog 50 things you are grateful for and where you think you’ll be in a year!

In a year I think I’ll be in some sorta college majoring in biochemistry on a pre-med track. I’ll have graduated high school, hopefully will still be dancing, and for sure will still be blogging and loving Jesus.

I just want to thank you all for reading this blog. I’m so thankful to get to document my life each week on this site, and the fact that people are actually reading it just makes this even more amazing. I love you all, and thank you so much for being a part of my journey. =)

17 Things I’ve Learned in 17 Years 

Ah, I’ve been 17 for a little over a week now. My birthday was September 27th. I would’ve posted this before if I hadn’t been swamped with everything. So here goes 🙂

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1. There are different seasons in life. They change, but God gives you the exact people you need for every season.

2. Sometimes there is a lesson to be learned from failing, and other times mistakes just happen because they do, and it is not your fault, and you would be doing a real injustice to yourself to say that you could’ve prepared better when you already did everything you could.

3. Everyone keeps saying that where you go to college will determine your happiness but I think food still determines mine 🙂


4. If your heart is so big that you can experience pain and sadness on such a deep level, your heart is also big enough to be just as deeply happy, grateful, and kind. And we need more people like that in the world.

5. Be someone who leaves a little sparkle wherever you go. Your smile is powerful.

6. Failing a test doesn’t make you stupid, and acing a test doesn’t make you a genius. Like the Churchill quote, “success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the strength to continue that counts.”

7. The quality of life is measured by the amount of hypoallergenic dogs you pet. Here’s a few I’ve met lol. 

8. Thrifting all your clothes saves a lot of money and the environment 🙂

9. If you love makeup wear it, but the girl without it is just as beautiful. 

10. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

11. Adulting is hard.

12. If you feel like you need your pointe shoes to be any more worth it as a dancer, then you don’t deserve them at all.

13. The more questions you ask, the more answers you’ll get.

14. Hugs are a beautiful thing.

15. You know you belong somewhere when you feel loved there for who you are.

16. Sometimes shy people have the most to say.

17. I’m going to be an adult next year and it still takes me an hour to park my car.

~

17 years of wisdom. It’s gonna be a good, long, year full of questions, struggles, truth seeking, Jesus chasing, breakthroughs, and dogs. So let’s get this party started!!

10 Bible Verses I Cling To For Dear Life 

Happy Friday! Today I’m going to share with you 10 bible verses I love so incredibly much. 💜

1.


Every day I remind myself this. It is hard to believe at times, but God says it’s true so it must be. One of my favorite leaders shared this with me when I was bawling tears in church my freshman year, and I’ve been obsessed with this ever since. If you believe in God, then you believe he made you amazing because you trust his works. It shouldn’t be any more complicated than that 🙂

2.

This verse really hits me hard sometimes as I am such a nerd and love school. I have to remind myself that my wisdom comes from God when I succeed in school, and that even if I fail a million tests he is never going to let me down. Working hard is great, but he holds success in store for anyone who freely chases after Him. Our intelligence is purely a reflection of how amazing he is.

3. 

This verse is a reminder that it’s okay to not understand everything about God. In fact, I am glad I don’t understand everything about God. A God that surpasses human cognitive comprehension is one worth putting my faith in. If I could understand God, then he wouldn’t be as cool.

4.


This verse is the one I go to when I feel like I’m at my end. It encourages me to keep going and to stay confident in God, and in what He is doing in and through me.

5.

My dad actually shared this verse with me. Some of the translations replace “but time and chance happen to them all” with “but those who persevere to the end.” I love both. In the end, it doesn’t matter how smart or strong you are because life is brutal and happens to everyone. Those who keep going and don’t give up will make it.

6. My favorite translation of this verse is, “The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all of these difficulties.” This is a huge reminder to me that every difficulty we face has a reward, and in the end the reward is heaven.

7. 

This verse explains itself. Everything happens for a reason. When I look back at my past, this verse is so evident it is freakishly insane.

8.Healing is an arduous process. We are healing from something. Sometimes I don’t even think it’s possible to completely heal. But we aren’t supposed to heal ourselves. Jesus already paid it all for us, and had bandaged all of our wounds. I love that.

9. 

I love the entirety of Psalm 18. God will never give you a dream and then not equip you for the battle. Through every trial I’ve been through, God has placed the most perfect mentors in my life, and sometimes even the perfect strangers, to guide me through.

10. Psalm 139 is literally goals. There is a song I used to listen to every morning by Sarah Reeves. I should honestly still listen to it every day, because that verse should still be my daily prayer.

Every day I am hoping that my motives are correct. Before I commit to doing anything, I need to make sure I am doing it for he right reasons. In the translation that Sarah sings, she says, “Search me o God and know my heart. Try me, and know my anxieties. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in your way, everlasting.” The see if there is any wicked way in me part gets to me. Am I trying to do all of these things for selfish reasons? Please, God, if I am, do not let me proceed any further.

But I love that God knows my anxieties. I find that image very comforting, and very hopeful.

So these are some verses that I cling to for dear life. I have found that confronting negative thoughts on the spot with scripture is so important, because then you don’t give those thoughts time to completely ruin your day.

Let me know your favorite bible verses below. 🙂

30 Random Facts About Me 

1. The picture looks like I’m swimming somewhere really cool when it’s really the creek behind my neighborhood.

2. I am a complete chemistry nerd.


3. My parents grew up on an island in the middle of nowhere called Mauritius, right next to Madagascar.

4. I just deleted my Instagram (will probably post more about that)!

5. Once upon a time I was doing cartwheels in my backyard and forgot to put my hands down, and now I can do aerials! This video is from a while ago.

6. I used to play piano for 8 years (I might write a post about my journey with finding what I love to do hehe).

7. I also used to figure skate! Figure skating was amazing.


8. I LOVE to write. Obviously. I’ve been keeping journals since I was in 5th grade.

9. Walruses are one of my favorite animals of all time.

10. The only thing I know how to draw = cats.

11. I love climbing trees.

12. I love learning about new cultures.

13. I love biking.


14. I thrift literally everything.

15. I live in California 🙂

16. One day I want to lead worship.

17. Dream job: a doctor who is extremely God loving and compassionate.

18. I made the speech team when I was in 8th grade! You can read about that here.

19. I nearly failed algebra. And we’re in calculus now, so we’re doing pretty good 🙂

20. I love making jars for people’s birthdays.


21. I’ve been on 2 super amazing mission trips to Mexico. I wrote about the second one Here: if you want me to write about the first one let me know.

22. Middle school was not my finest time.

23. I’m a horrible test taker.

24. I try to be gentle but I trip over everything.

25. I’m allergic to dogs, cats, and bunnies. I can still pet most dogs though without getting a rash!


26. I was born with eczema.

27. I donated my hair once!


28. I got a tiny hairline fracture in my ankle from falling on a switch leap the night before my algebra 2 final freshman year. But I don’t know if that counts as breaking a bone!

29. God has been a part of my life since I was 5.

30. Every day I am slowly learning to see myself the way God sees me.

If any of you can relate to any of those, let me know that I’m not the only one! Also let me know if there is anything you’d like to see me write about more! And if you want to leave your blog link too, I’d love to get to know you guys too. Get excited because I have new posts planned for y’all every weekend. Most of them will be pretty deep.  🙂

16 Things I’ve learned in 16 years

Wow. I’m 16 today. My birthday was pretty amazing! I spent 2 hours of it in psychology and another 2 hours in AP chemistry and another 2 in AP calculus. I twisted the faucet tubes in the sink during our chemistry lab (which we were specifically told not to do) and got hit in the face with a ton of water. I got my personality type in psychology class (ENFP) which explained everything about me so well, from my love of people to extremely emotional head. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to make a terrible place like school into a place where I have so many people supporting me, a place that I can finally call my temporary home.

Anyways, every year I think it’s fun to make a list of a bunch of things I’ve learned on my birthday. So here goes.

16 things I’ve learned in 16 years:

1. Everything happens for a reason

2. Pet as many dogs and cats as you can because life is short

3. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. (Until you hit a wall, of course)

4. Never underestimate the power of a smile

5. Always look for the best in people. You never know what another is going through, and sometimes the perfect people are placed in your life for the most perfect reasons ever.

6. Taking your French teacher’s stuffed frog to all your classes makes you ace tests. (But this only works when I study)

7. You can be many things, but God is the only one that can truly define you

8. You can’t do everything, so instead do almost everything 🙂

9. Life is just a long fascinating dance, so start dancing

10. There’s no shame in being crazy and complicated

11. You are so incredibly loved

12. Walruses are pretty cool

13. Having a few people that will willingly listen to your rants about life all the time makes life a lot better.

14. If you get a D on your math test, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a 4.5 GPA. Not that grades matter anyways. But you learn from your mistakes!

15. God can use whoever you are, wherever you are

16. Just when I thought I’ve learned so much, I’ve really learned nothing at all.

I have so much more to learn, and have learned so much more than this. I hope you guys will continue to stick with me on this crazy journey, as I try to change the world with every piece of who I am 🙂