College Survival: Breaking Routines

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The decoration lights have been cascaded into the living room. The beds have been made. The shoes have been given a rack. The shower caddies have been placed on thier shelf. The books have found a drawer. It was not even a week ago that this girl officially moved back into yet another place that I call home, my univeristy! This university, is not just a university by it’s logo when you drive in, it’s apparel in the campus store, or it’s well constructed classrooms. My university is a university by the people who embody what it means to live and do life together in a community that stands to be the House of God. As I made my way down the road that led to my dorm for the first time, I was greeted by the lovely and inspiring ladies I can now call my roommates! Shoutout to the lovely ladies pictured above- Ginnie, Alicia, Ranae, and Jasmine! But as I walked around this campus, and I was greeted by more and more of the incredible people created in God’s image, all I felt was a propelling agape love. It became increasingly finite to me to fix my thoughts on the fact that each of these people may be labeled and stereotyped from the world, but to God they each have stories, hopes, dreams, experiences, and walks of life that they have lived. What might this school year or this commumity look like, if we were to see each other through the lens of how God sees us?

The pencils have found a pouch. The outfit has been set out. The notebooks have been packed. The snacks have been contained. The planner has been color coded. The g-cal has been filled. This week just so happens to be the first week of my 2019-2020 school year. As I looked around my classroom at all of the new haricuts, new hair colors, new outfits, smiling faces, and even tense postures, I can sense the exctiement and the suspense of what the new school year will bring. This week marks a new school year, and therefore a new beginning. It was then that I questioned why new beginnings, such as this, seem to bring so much new energy. It could be the new classrooms, the new professors, the new classmates, new teammates, new club members, new activities, new workouts to push your limits, new topics to discuss, new papers to write, new textbooks to study, new dorms to live in, new roommates to live with, new decorations to put up, new concerts to attend, new scents at Bath and Body Works to smell :), new sermons to here in chapel, new songs to sing in worship, new resturants to try, new places to shop, new clothes to wear, new meal plans to eat with, new coworkers to work with, and so on and so forth. But I invite you to stop and notice what each of these things have in common. I believe this true excitement is coming from the feeling of what it feels like when all of our surroundings, our routines, and our relationships are made new. So what is it that we really enjoy about the feeling of a new school year?

Perhaps, it is the idea that all things of the past are changing, are whiped clean, and we have a bare slate to start over again. And if this feeling of freshness from the school year makes us feel so refreshed, then how much more fresh might we feel if we let God wash us afresh each and every day!?! I believe that this feeling of a clean slate has been given to us by God Himself. When Christ took all of our past upon Himself and chose to die, so that we might be washed clean, we were made free from all the weight of our past that weighs us down. If we truly desire to be made free from all of the difficulties or stresses that keep us down, and we want this feeling of newness to last all school year long, then perhaps we can make it about inviting God into each day and recognizing that He has paid the price for us to walk in freedom and freshness each and every day.

If we so desire to make this feeling of freshness last all year round, it is up to us to invite God into our darkness, our pain, our struggle, so that He and He alone can make us full and breathe fresh air and fresh life into our lungs. As I have walked with and without God, I have continually come to understand that God has given us the free will to invite Him into our lives, our battles, our valleys, our moutaintops, and everything in between. I beleive that when God said that we shall ask and recieve, He was giving us the task of choosing to be eternally filled by Him or to be temporarily filled by the world.

That being said, beyond seeking God to help us walk in freedom each day, I think it is important to maintain both spiritual and physical change and newness in our lives. Why do we always start our new seasons of life so strong, and trickle downwards in motivation and habits as we go on into the middle and end? How can we keep the freshness alive all school year? I think the way in which this freshness disappears is not only from forgetting to seek God, but also from falling into repetitive routines or conveniances that become too much of a second nature. The danger of becoming too comfortable is sacrificing the growth and freshness that comes from seeking change and possibly seeking discomfort. If we truly want to keep this spirit of freshness alive all school year, I think it is important to keep challenging your routines or conveniences to keep creating and stengthening new pathways in our brains and new character traits in our personas.

Beyond the way in which Jesus’ death makes us anew each day, here are ways to keep life fresh:

  • Devices: Change your phone, iPad, or computer to another language that you are in the process of learning. Change your weather app to Celius instead of Fahrenheit (or vice versa). Change your clock from standard to time to military time or to a different time zone. Change your lock and home screen photos. Change your passcode.
  • Media or Virtual Intake: Take some time to sort through your social medias and news apps to decide what you want to take in and what really inspires you. I recommend unfollowing those who no longer inspire you or those you have not met. Search for those you know are close to or those that post what you care about and follow them instead.
  • Auditory Intake: Be concious about what you choose to take into your mind through what you listen to. Perhaps if you like listening to the classical genre of music, try listening to jazz. If you like usually listen to music, try listening to a podcast or sermon instead.
  • Hobbies: In your free time, seek out a new activity, new club, or new skill that you want to learn outside of or instead of the hobbies that are different, but similar to the hobbies you currently spend your time doing. Perhaps if you usually like to make drawing, try learning to paint. Perhaps if you like hiking, try mountain biking.
  • Speaking: Try speaking a language you are learning for a whole day without speaking your first language (for example, if my first language is english, challenge myself to speak french all day… with any necessary exceptions/ find freinds who understand you/ are learning it too/ teach them by using gestures as you speak.
  • Morning/Night Routine: Try to complete your morning and/or night routine with your non-dominant hands/arms/feet/side for a day or more to strengthen the non-dominant side of your brain. Perhaps if your right handed, try brushing your teeth with your left hand! If your left handed, try combing your hair with your right hand!
  • Sleeping: Train your body to sleep in a different position than you usually sleep in. For example if you normally sleep on your sides, try sleeping on your sides or vice versa. Another option is to make your bed with the pillow at the foot of the bed instead of at the head of the bed.
  • Driving: Take back roads to your school or work instead of your regular drive. With possible allowance of more time for getting lost, this is a great opportunity to explore a new local culture with new attractions and new scenery. You might even find a new park to hike or coffee shop to try.
  • Work Space: Whether you work from home or you are doing coursework, I challenge you to change the location of where you choose to work. Perhaps if you usually work inside, try going outside. If you usually work in loud spaces, try somewhere more quiet. If you usually work at home at a desk, try going to a local coffee shop.
  • Living Space: Take 30 minutes or less to move around the furniture in one or more rooms of your living space. Change the theme of your decorations by colors or style with the decoartions in your basment or storage. If you normally use rustic and wooden decor, try going for an all nuetral decor to build off of the wooden theme with a little tweek 🙂
  • Eating: Be concious about your taste buds and try a different food palette whether it be cooking at home, ordering in, or seeking out a restuarant. If you usually eat stirfry, try a burrito bowl.

And the One sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”…”Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”…”It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega- the Beginning and the End. To all who are theirsty, I will give freely from the springs of the water of life

~ Revelation 21:5-6

So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today I must ask you this: What might this school year or this commumity look like, if we were to see each other through the lens of how God sees us? How can this school year be different than the last? What might you do to exercise your freedom from routine and comfort zones?

ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Start of Something New- High School Musical

Just Beyond The Suburbs

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“Slow down!” “There’s a deer!” The words echoed in my head from the last time I drove this woodsy road. It has been exactly one year since I drove these roads last summer. I made the journey from my hometown in Minnesota across the brige of the Minnesota River and suddenly “Welcome to Wisconsin” announced itself across the screen of my Google Maps. I couldn’t help but let a smile spread across my face with excitement and nerves and I envisioned my arrival to my next destination. I was not just crossing a bridge across the Minnesota River, but a bridge into my next season of life: SUMMER CAMP 2019!

As I continued driving, the tall apartment buildings began to fade into bright green meadows and fields of crops flowing with the breeze. The roads slithered into two ways of one lane and the speed signs grew more rare. I raced the clock as my foot pushed the gas pedal a little stronger, knowing the cops were nearly inexistant. The department stores turned into seldom small town mainstreets with a few signature stops. I turned onto a road full of lake lifers and let the tension in my shoulders rest. I have officially made the journey from my college in the city, to a small summer camp in the country. I have been in the countryside of Wisconsin for a couple weeks now and I must acknowledge the change that has taken place.

…In fact, as I rolled down my car windows and took my first breathe of the smog-free air, I remembered what it was like to take trips into town with my fellow camp staff. I remember every time I opened my hill cabin screen door to the sunrising above the lake, and a few dragon flies trying to get inside. I remembered the downtime spent down on the dock, watching the lake ripple with the wind. I remember lying beneath the stars and watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July as a chorus of crickets sang in nature’s orchestra. I remember the occassional camp bunk sqeak whenever I rolled over just before my eyes would close for rest. I am beyond thankful for all that I had the opportunity to experience. Yet, I was reminded of how different these two destinations really are.

The eyes of the city streets open to the welcoming crosswalks, ensuring the safety of thier pedestrians. The work of the businessman is never truly done, while cardboard signs are held up on stoplight corners. The shaking hands behind each one beg passing cars to satisfy their rumbling stomachs. Organized parking lots open space for every bustling traveller. Electric street lights stretch the span of time, as the shops work late into the night and signs fade from “open” to ‘closed”. The news will show crime and shooting, as kids are warned to watch their backs and never walk alone.

The eyes of the country open to see hills and valleys of dirt roads, where the dust rises by the speed of those who drive it. Trees bring more shade than buildings do. They grow tall and strong from generation to generation. The Sun will rise for break of day and hardworking farmers rise to tend to their land. Lake lifers set out into the still of the water when fish will bite thier best. The chores will be finished and the sun will set as the people take to rest with the rythym of God’s design. The weeping willows and free-flowing grasslands beckon out imagination in the minds of the children. Barnyard animals will become close friends and tea party attendants. Homemade treehouses will be a getaway for top secret missions.

The ears of the city open to hear taxi drivers honking at the traffic to keep passengers in time. Sirens of police cars and ambulences echoe over the miles as they zoom past each stop light. Train horns signal thier arrival and depart approaching each station and crossroad. The car radios blazing by with songs from every nation and tongue. The truck driver’s whistling out cat calls to the women of the streets. The restaurants and bars swarm with uncontrolled laughter of college students partying for pleasure. Impatience of pedestrians spread across each crosswalk as voices are made heard towards stoplight traffic. The rumbles of construction machines correcting every swallowing pothole.

The ears of the country open to hear nature’s alarm calls from the chirps of song birds at first sight of the sun. Woodpeckers awake the bark of hollowed trunks with beaks of steady rhythym. Night fall brings out the heavy breathing of hunting brown bears. They pause with a thump to scratch their backs against fallen logs. The white shining moon brings out the howls of hungry coyotes. As I snuggle in and close my eyes for sleep, crickets will speak beyond the whistle of passing traincars. The wind runs through the trees as they rustle side to side. The river flows unstopped and steady as God’s unfailing love.

The mouth of the city opens to the tastes of all cultures and ethnicities. Some will be cooked and some microwaved from the frozen isle of massive groccery stores. The city family will order out for pizza or simply make cold sandwiches from home. All will arrive back home from work and school. They eat in separate times of convenience and spread across the rooms of the house. Sometimes they will be apart and sometimes together, wherever the wind so blows. Morning coffee shops will clench the addiction of many overworked earlyrisers. Restaurants and markets of all places, plates, and spices. Some will crave sizzling grills of mixed spice. Some will crave cuisine separate, simple, and sweet. The palette will be filled once the plenty is chosen.

The mouth of the country opens to the tastes of tradition passed down from generation to generation. Mom’s hot dish with tator tots and celery. This is home of canning the vegetable gardens and fruit orchards, preserving the stories and the nutrients of how their ancestors first settled. Here the kids bake Christmas cookies with Grandma, using her magic cookie cutters. The family dinner is on the table when Dad parks his truck just after work ends at 5pm and the kids walk back from the school bus. They pray together, they eat together. They share about the good, bad, and ugly as vegetables secretly move beneath the table for the dogs satisfaction.

The nose of the city breathes in the scent of every ethnic bar and grill as they set out to invite in customers dressed to the nines from the street. The roasting of fish and chicken emplore out of the windows as your mouth implodes saliva. Sidewalk corners are puffed with the pollutant gusts of gasonline from racecars as every form of transportation races by the stoplights. The fresh rubbery scent of tar stretches beyond it’s confined zone of orange traffic cones. The occassional sweetness of marijuana drifts out of the back of street shops as mainstreet walkers stride by.

The nose of the country breathes in the scent of worms popping out of the ground for a breathe after each rainfall. The current of the lake wifts in piles of murky seaweed and decomposing fish. The stench of horse and cow manure fades in and out as the farmers clean out stalls and spread it amongst their fields. Lakeside campfires vere smoke into the night sky. It is joined with roasted marshmallows and the burning of chopped tree bark. With the cleaning of the cabin eave, a strong stink reveals a map of mice poop that leads to each well-constructed nest.

The hands of the city spreads it’s fingers steel pedestrian stoplight buttons make way for the travellers by foot. Each foot will conquor the concrete of the sidewalks and tar driveways. The hustle to and forth upon the rusted stairways with beams for the gliding hand to rely upon for steady balance. The railings in each train car, held strong by every standing passenger. The spinning glass doors and windows open to the vendors of every store and restaurant. The fingers dance across the office keyboards to keep up with the rate of emails and business meetings. The exchange of money brings each hand to clench the magic of new possessions within each new plastic or paper shopping bag.

The hands of the country spreads it’s fingers to the road dust kicked up outside the open truck window. The coarse horse manes are washed, combed, and sometimes braided. The fingers clench around the heavy strings of hay bails lifted and spread across the pasture. The wooden axe handle chops up each fallen tree for housewarming and bonfire roasting. Every good fisherman wraps live bait around his fishing hook in hopes to catch the best bite. Each kitchen homemaker binds steel lids to mason jardsand twists tight to ensure homecooked meals for winter’s call.

When I pause to let all of my senses fully embrace the magic of each of these destinations, my heart is torn between the both the beauty and hardship of each one. Each of these destinations I have chosen to live or to travel to has had their own demeanor and influenceon me and others who pass through. Yet, each destination has their own struggles and consequence. I have learned that, no matter where you choose to place your feet, it’s all a matter of pausing enough to let your spirit take it all in… So I thought to myself the reason why the suburbs have served me so well…but that’s a story for another day 🙂

Then God said, “Let the water beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas”. And God saw that it was good.

~ Genesis 1: 9-10

So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today I must ask you this: What destination makes your senses come alive?

ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Senses- Equippers Revolution

Back in My Day

 a fullsizeoutput_3c7.jpegI trickled down the stairs with the subtle raindrops sprinking me head. My breathe fell short as I carried the last load all the way to the open mouth of our borrowed bright yellow Penske truck. With the closing of the sliding door and a lock, I hugged Dad and Uncle Daryl goodbye for the long trip home. I had finally reached the last day of my finals week and I could finally move back home.

I began my own drive home in my little blue Ford Focus (aka. Dori) and pulled out of campus, looking back at the school sign one last time for the year. The surreal feeling of leaving the place I called home for nine months sank in as I took a deep breathe and turned onto the main road. I flew through the freeways with the windows down, my “HOMEBOUND” playlist on full volume, and reflecting thoughts of a year well done.

These thoughts brought me to the question, how did I get to where I am right now? How did I meet these people? How did I get into this school? This major? These activities? This job? It was somewhere in times past that all of these decisions were made. It was somewhere in the memories that God was shaping me into the life and the person that I am today.

As I got closer and closer to home, I played the sweet sounds of nostalgic songs. Songs of childhood, songs of family, songs of growing up. These were the songs that reminded me where I had been. Suddenly my heart longed to turn my car down the roads I used to drive.

I drove to the waterpark I worked at before taking off for college. The place the guards and I jumped in the water on safety breaks and I flew like the wind to conquer my very first emergency. Not too far from there, I circled my high school, where I walked to school from the so called “loser lot” through snow, rain, or shine. The football stadium where my colorguard team and I prepared behind the bleachers for every half time show. The band room where I made Mr.P laugh every time I missed my solo. The library where I stayed after school preparing for AP tests and the big ACT. And the special hallway where I was asked to prom by a dear friend.

Further down the road, I drove slowly by my old middle school, where I worked my first job as a swimming instructor and fell in love with making kids laugh. The tennis courts, where we hit just hard enough to get the tennis balls stuck to the fence in the shape of a smiley face 🙂 The locker bay, where my best friend and I snuck in before school and I trapped her in. Homeroom, where I was first asked to be someone’s girlfriend and started a wave of 6th grade gossip.

I drove past my home daycare, where I ate breakfast in the company of two slobbering dogs and walked to school on the neighborhood sidewalk every morning. I drove the road that I used to safety patrol while skipping some of my 5th grade school day to walk the kindergardeners home safely and hold up my professional crossing flag. I drove the street of my preschool day care, where I watched “Dragon Tails”, “Arthur”, or “The Telletubbies” before walking out to my first bus ride. The place where we sledded down the hills on spinning socers every winter, and sang beneath a parachute at the backyard carnival every summer.

I pulled around the playground of my elementary school, where I celebrated track and field day every spring and circled the soccer field talking about life with friends every recess. The front doors, where Dad brought my dog to school for show and tell. And lastly the front sidewalk where Dad would pick me up after every school day and ask me how the day was as we rocked out to ABBA or Alabama. 

As I neared home, I drove past my street and couldn’t help but go a little farther to the downtown of my town where dad took me to a diffrent park to play everyday after school. He would push me on the swings and chase me through the tunnels… if he didn’t get stuck first 🙂 I drove past the local farms, where I took photoshoots for my high school photography class. The McDonald’s I drove to after my all night high school graduation lock in, and ordered breakfast at 6:30am. The main street, where we attended the local farmers market and admired the classics of the annual car show.

At last, I pulled into my driveway, parked, and turned the key out as the engine calmed. I pushed the radio button off with a click and unclasped my seatbelt. With a breathe I stared into my daydream with the thought, “man, the 2000’s were quite a time”.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that”

~James 4: 14-16

So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today, I must ask you this: How often do you take the time to look at the moments that shaped you? How do you let them shape your present?

ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Oh How The Years Go By- Amy Grant

 

 

How to: Summer 2019

fullsizeoutput_2364“Summer! Summer! Summer! ….{RING.}….School’s out! Scream and shout!”

The snow has melted. The rain has come. The daylight has lengthened. The Chacos have been purchased. The country playlist has been made. The grills have been fired up. The grass has been fertilized. I am T-5 more days away from that feeling of freedom that can only come from this special season!

This time of year is the only three months of the year that all I feel is free!

Free: able to act or be done as one wishes (adj.); without cost or payment (adverb).

My heart is free from obligations to others. My brain is free from a never-ending to do list that can never be organized. My energy is free from staying indoors. My learning is free from textbooks. My back is free from sitting in a desk for hours on end. My digestion is free from processed gogo-squeeze pouches and microwave rice. My eyes are free from dehydrating screens. But most of all my soul is free to fly.

This time of year is also the only three months of the year that all I do is have fun!

Fun: enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure (noun).

At home, I dance around my house with Bella (my dog). In my family, we bike ride around state parks. On road trips, I scream song lyrics with the windows down. On vacations, I talk to traveling strangers in the hotel hot tub. At campfires, I make gooey s’mores and share deep conversations. At the lake, I paddle board to chase the sunset. At camp, I play with kiddos like a….kiddo 🙂

The feeling of freedom is a gift. The time to have fun is a gift. For the season of which they are given may only last so long. The longest season I’ve ever had for these things is summer. As the school bell rings and the backpacks are hung with the freshness of summer, I encourage you to take the time to cherish these gifts. How might these two things come together you might ask? Allow me to enlighten you 🙂

12 WAYS TO HAVE FREE FUN~SUMMER 2019!: 

  1. CLOTHING SWAP: Go through your closet and tell friends to do the same. Trade the items that you no longer want anymore instead of donating and shopping for new clothes! Reduce, reuse recycle!
  2. FREE HUGS: Use poster board or recycled cardboard to make a sign that says “free hugs”. Stand on a busy sidewalk, hold it, smile. See what happens. Ya, I know this could get weird, but use your wisdom and take a chance! I dare you!
  3. PICNIC: Pack some food from home into a lunchbox or a picnic basket. Enjoy the outdoors at a local park! Enjoy quality time with someone close to your heart. suggestion eat dessert first so the Popsicles don’t melt 🙂
  4. STARGAZE: Fluff out a blanket in a public or private patch of grass and allow God to speak to you through the crickets and the twinkles. Take time to imagine how God created the galaxy and how he placed you in it! Plus, you might just see a shooting star! (Psalm 147:4).
  5. BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Grab a volleyball or a beach ball from the back of your garage or closet and a team to get a tan and a workout with! Double whammy! But don’t forget what momma always said about sunscreen 🙂
  6. HIDE AND SEEK: Drive to your nearest IKEA store and count for one person to hide and compete to see who seeks them first, OR everyone hides and wait for one person to seek. Warning: be subtle….or you’ll get kicked out…or so I’ve heard 🙂
  7. FAMILY GAME NIGHT: Ask each extended family member to either bring a homemade dish or a game to play. Mooch off of other’s food! Mooch off of other’s games! Catch up and laugh! Personal favorite: Apples to Apples
  8. TIME CAPSULE: Look through your favorite items from one or more stages of life. Gather a selection of the most special ones, put em in a box, label the date you’ll open it again, and bury in your yard or in your closet.
  9. VOLUNTEER: Gather your peeps and donate your time to serve those in need. My personal favorites: Feed My Starving Children or Sheridan Story. Tip: request them to play your favorite songs and dance while you work.
  10. CHRISTMAS IN JULY: If the heat makes you miss the snow, bring back the Christmas vibes on July 25th! Make iced cocoa instead of hot. Roll down a hill instead of sledding. Wear red and green! Sing the carols. Merry Christmas!
  11. WRITE NOTES: Take post-its or other forms of paper and write notes of encouragement and love for strangers. Leave them in library books, in local mailboxes, or around your local town…but try to stay anonymous.
  12. MAKE A FORT: On a rainy day, take the couch/table chairs of your living room, large blankets, and fluffy pillows to craft an indoor get away. Pretend to be a child…even if you think your youth is over!

Behold! The makings of a summer full of child-like adventures! I challenge you to complete this list all in one summer!  Take a chance on trying new things, on making memories, and letting your soul fly!

“So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God”

~Ecclesiastes 3: 12-13

So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today, I must ask you this: How do you define the feeling of free? When is the last time you felt it?

ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: High School Musical Cast- What Time Is It?

“Unplanned” : A Movie Review

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Suddenly the screen grew dark and the credits rolled down it. We stood up and walked slowly out of the theatre in solitude as what I had just witnessed settled not just into my mind, but into my spirit.

What does it mean to switch from “planned” to “unplanned” when it comes to the choices we make in this life? What does it mean when the choice is about a baby?

This movie is a true story about a woman named Abby Johnson and her overall experience as an employee and a patient at Planned Parenthood. Abby lived out a journey through many different roles within this organization. She was first a patient who experienced abortion, then a volunteer to help patients from the parking lot swarming with protesters, then employed as a councilor for comforting patients in their decision to abort, and lastly promoted to clinic director at the front desk. Through her experiences in these roles, Abby became increasingly involved in the organization, until one day on the job…

Now, I am aware that there are some Christian films with one-sided storylines or incomplete character developments. I have seen my share of dreams and heavenly experiences made into dramatic, mystically edited scenes and character lines pronounced in a language some call Christianese. But before I begin, I must say that this movie is portrayed in a very real and raw way with very talented actors and actresses. Coming out of the theater, it almost felt as though I had watched a documentary about the behind the scenes of Planned Parenthood, but in reality, it was not trying to prove a point, it was just telling a story. It was Abby’s story.

Emotionally, this film was truly a lot for me to absorb, and it continues to be for the days to come. With the quality of the acting and filming, I felt as though I was experiencing every circumstance along with Abby. I was especially touched when I watched what Abby herself had to go through when she got two abortions herself as a patient at Planned Parenthood. The second most touching scene was of course the scene in which Abby watches an abortion take place for the first time while at work.

Spiritually, this film opened my eyes to the ways in which Satan is capable of deceiving us further and further away from Christ. First, Abby is introduced to Planned Parenthood at a booth that came to her college, during her junior year, to advocate for women’s rights. Once she began working, she explained to her parents that counseling women to abort was what she believed to be her identity. While in this role at the clinic, she was pushed by her boss to tell lies to patients’ loved ones in the waiting room to cover up for severe problems during operations in order to protect the Planned Parenthood reputation. Witnessing this play out showed me the way that Satan can deceive us into believing a lie, until we are sucked into living in it, and it becomes part of who we are!

Further in the story, as clinic director, Abby attended a Planned Parenthood meeting. At this meeting, her boss declared a goal to not only open a new center, but also to double the amount of abortions in the next year. When Abby publicly questioned this motive, she was threatened by her same boss to enforce the idea that abortions were the product that Planned Parenthood sells, just as restaurants sell fast food. Not to mention how angry and disapproving this boss was when Abby decided to get married, and give birth to her first child. The way that Abby’s boss spoke negatively about her decision to marry and have a child speaks to Satan’s goal of attempting to destroy all that God calls good and perfect. Furthermore, witnessing these scenes play out, I was reminded, once again, of the way the devil deceives us into one belief, but also the way that God can open our eyes in His mysterious way!

Now as much as this film may sound like a lot to take in physically, visually, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I believe it is important. This film is not only eyeopening, but very educational. As a believer, I believe that God calls us not to be ignorant, but use wisdom and discernment. It is important to know where we stand on issues such as this and to be able to defend it when we are questioned. While I may have made this movie sound like it’s all about Satan, I must also say that Satan does not win! It is by the power of much dedication and many prayers, that the conclusion of this movie is reached and Abby’s story is shared with us all, if we take the opportunity! No matter what the world may say, God will always be victorious!!!

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

~ Psalm 139: 15-16

I invite you to let this verse sink in, as the gift of conception and of life itself makes itself known.

So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today, I must ask you this: How do you see Satan’s deceit play out in our society today? How do you see it in your own life?

Happy Mother’s Day!

-ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Not Today Satan- KB, Andy Mineo

Human vs. Divine

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Should I watch Twilight or the Blind Side? Should I listen to Maroon 5 or MercyMe? Should I wear a bikini or a one piece? Should I go bar hopping tonight or to the local worship event? Should I plan to work Sunday or take some Sabbath time?

Yes, these are concrete and strictly black and white options and I know that God has mercy and grace on us… and life really is a lot more grey than this, but these decisions we make are part of the battle raging inside us all.

We were built and intricately designed by our Divine Creator. In this way, we have been given a Divine nature. We desire the good. We desire perfection. We desire what is right. We want to be like Jesus. We want to make peace. We want to live out God’s design. That is the place that we long to be. That is a lifestyle we long to live. That is a peace we desire to hold onto.

But we have been given a place…for now. We have a temporary home. We have a gravity attached to us. All because our Creator placed us here. Our creator placed us on Earth. It is here that there is pain. Here there is suffering. Here there is death. Here there are gun shots, and hunger, and rape, and abortion, and depression, and anxiety, and social media, and cancer, and trauma, and Alzheimer’s disease, and prison. Here there are many choices made based on human emotion and human power. This is the place we have been placed.

As much as we may want to leave this place. As much as we wish to be finished with all of these barriers we are given, we are still…here. But perhaps, this is where God made us and designed us to be at this time, on this day, at this hour. “For such a time as this”(Esther 4:14), God has given us this life we live as a gift! Though it may not always be wrapped in ribbons and decorative paper, it is a gift.

You see, we have this place that we were meant to live for a short time. You see, here it may seem like a place cursed with long days or long nights that we wait to pass. But God sees it all as a meaningful, but fast blink! He sees our lives as a page of an overflowing book in His creation. Just as one star has significance in the span of the gigantic Milky Way. You have been given this human body to age with and to care for. You have been given a breath and a stretch and the Sun out your window each morning. You have been given another day. You have been given another stranger to smile at in the hallway. You have been given another opportunity to forgive an ex for what the pain they may have caused your heart. You have been given another day for knocking on your runaway dad’s door for a relationship. This is the day the Lord has made! Rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24). This is a day you have been given, and you never truly know when it will be your last!

You see, we live in this tension of desiring joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22), while also the realness of being human. There is a constant war inside all of us, to know and experience the supernatural that is beyond our world and understanding and to acknowledge the painful realities we experience here and now. There are times when we feel sad to see loved ones pass away. We feel angry when our spouse doesn’t think the same. We feel jealous when our ex moves onto someone else. There are friends who tempt us to fit in. There are high schools flooding with gossip. There is value and worth distorted into our appearance, our relationships, our jobs, the house we live in, or the car we drive. These are diseases of the world! This environment can be as sickening as poison to our hearts!

But if in fact this life here on earth is just as short as He says it is… then perhaps this is our opportunity to live out a piece of Heaven right here, right now, with what we’ve been given. Perhaps God brought you to live here at this time, on this day, at this hour as part of His greater plan! Yes, you are human, but so was Jesus! It is by His death and resurrection that His power lives in you! For ” greater is he who lives in you than he who lives in the world” (1 John 4:4). You, as well as I, are capable of living a holy life!

It is true that human emotions can lead us to dark places. But human emotions may just be what we need to drive us to God’s will! Perhaps we need to go through the fire of fully feeling our emotions to be free from them or use them as our call to action. If polar bears struggling to find ice to live on stirs your heart, then maybe it’s your calling to raise awareness about global warming. If babies lives being terminated makes you angry, then maybe it’s your calling to expose the truth of abortion. If families falling apart by abuse makes you sad, then maybe it’s your calling to speak peace and restoration into them. Perhaps it’s in our waiting in this life on earth that we have a duty to uphold, as God prepares a special room just for each and every one of us.

“I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me”

~ Philippians 1:23-26

So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today, I must ask you this: What is the hardest thing about being Heavenly minded while living here on Earth? What is something you want to do to bring a slice of Heaven here down to Earth?

Have a GLORIOUS Easter!

-ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Do Something- Matthew West

The Ideal Woman

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Back in the day…(aka. high school…lol), I packed up my own suitcase for a week at summer bible camp. From the day that I met my counselors and a sweet group of girls I still follow on social media, to eating incredibly rich food, to playing bubble soccer at field games, to fighting for my team to win the camp tournament, to the last day when I received my certificate for learning all that I had learned, what I think will stick with me most is the wisdom that I received in every camp activity with my group but even more in each sermon session thing mobobber :).

On the last day of camp, our parents came to watch us all get our certificates. Before the processional of handing them out though, I was touched by what the speaker had to say. He first reminded us of how proud our parents and caregivers are of all of us. Secondly, he shared one last message on the topic of relationships! It made me think about how often it is, that we are looking for someone to spend the rest of our lives with, with a list of qualifications in mind. But how often is it that we turn that list around upon ourselves?

The speaker asked us the question of what our future plans are, whether it be relationships, family, or profession. I automatically thought of being a wife and a mother someday … probably because I’m pumped about it 🙂 . The speaker then asked us what we are doing today to live the roll we want to have in the future. Therefore, if I want to be a wife in the future, how can I develop and live out the characteristics of a wife right now? How am I treating my fellow brothers in Christ? If I want to be a mother in the future, how can I develop and live out the characteristics of a mother right now? How am I treating or leading those that are younger than me within the church?

As I first and foremost ask myself what it looks like to be a good wife, I not only look to the amazing examples of godly women around me, but I also find Proverbs 31:10-31 to be one of the most inspiring parts of the Bible in relation to this role. Though I may not be a wife or mother yet, I find this an important verse in terms of preparation! In my study of this chapter of the book of Proverbs, I have found a list of many ways in which one can be a good wife…as well as the rewards that she will receive from her family for doing so.

  1. She is found by her husband, she does not find him “who can FIND a virtuous and capable wife?”
  2. She knows her worth. She knows that she is “more precious than rubies”, “She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns” (the color of royalty, wealth, and status, as a result of hard work).
  3. She is trustworthy “her husband can trust her”.
  4. She is virtuous…(written straight out).
  5. She is capable….(written straight out).
  6. She makes her husband better “she will greatly enrich his life”…just as he makes her better too!
  7. She is optimistic bringing her husband “good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
  8. She has a hobby (apart from her husband and family)- “she finds wool and flax and busily spins it”.
  9. She manages her own needs “bringing her food from afar”.
  10. She rises early in the day “she gets up before dawn…”.
  11. She provides for her household “to prepare breakfast for her household”, “for everyone has warm clothes”.
  12. She is organized “…and plan the day’s work for her servant girls”.
  13. She uses wisdom with her resources “with her earnings she plants a vineyard”, “she makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants”.
  14. She is energetic…(written straight out).
  15. She is strong…(written straight out).
  16. She has a strong work ethic “her lamp burns late into the night”, “her hands are busy spinning thread”.
  17. She is selfless “she extends a helping hand to the poor”.
  18. She is generous “…and opens her arms to the needy”.
  19. She is independent “She makes her own bedspreads”.
  20. She chooses a husband who can lead “…where he sits with the other civic leaders”.
  21. She is strong…(written straight out).
  22. She has dignity….(written straight out).
  23. She is confident and at peace with God’s plan for her life “she laughs without fear of the future”.
  24. She is wise “when she speaks, her words are wise”.
  25. She is kind “She gives instructions with kindness”.
  26. She values what she has “she carefully watches everything in her household”.
  27. She is unique “there are many virtuous and capable woman in the world, but you surpass them all!”
  28. She fears the Lord “but a women who fears the Lord will be greatly praised”.
  29. She lives by her deeds and not her looks. She is attractive entirely by her character “let her deeds publicly declare her praise”.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future”

~Proverbs 31: 25

So, my dear reader, as the well runs dry for today, I must ask: Which of these characteristics do you see developing in yourself? Which of these characteristics are you (or is God) working on (within you)?

-ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Gold- Britt Nicole

The Edge of Wanderlust

fullsizeoutput_4d7Adventure. Wild. Wanderlust. Rebel. Radical. Daring. Bold. Authentic. Jesus follower.

These words have been stereotyped and trampled on to take on various meanings in various realms of our lives. They may not be found together all too often. But perhaps these words cannot be fully understood under our limited human capacities. That is… until we can ask God all our questions in Heaven of course. Side note, I personally can’t wait to ask him why bunnies have fluffy tails… but that’s a story for another day 🙂 .

What is it that you don’t think you can do? What do you think is too big for you? Or too scary, or too risky? Sometimes God whispers it, and sometimes, He shouts it. Whatever the volume, I bet He’s always using the same three words with us: Be Not Afraid”  ~Bob Goff (aka. radical author of Jesus follower books!!!)

I’ve never stopped to think about what I really like about those “real” shows like “Friends”, or movies like “the outsiders”, or “the Fault in Our Starts”, or “Lassie”, or YouTubers like “The New Age Creators”, or “Connor Franta”, or “Marla Catherine”, or songs like “Oceans Away” by Arizona, or “Seeing Stars” by Borns, or “Fireflies” and “Verge” by Owl City, or books like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain . What is it that makes me so drawn to them? What do they all seem to have in common? Is it… the reality of it? The idea that the “cool” lifestyles they resemble are so real and raw? That its authentic? That it’s down-to-earth? Is it… the creativity of it? The way each of these mediums are so well crafted yet rascally too? Is it… the freedom of it? The feeling I get when I watch or hear these works of brilliance. For that brief time out of my day, I can get away from all the gnawing to do lists and difficult conversations with others and with myself and with God and….just dream of a life with less responsibility and more spontaneity than mine?

Maybe it’s an easygoing combination of thoughts and feelings I wish I had. Each and every time I allow myself to experience these thoughts, these feelings, I get the desire to just….BE! To just be. Not to have to be anywhere. Not to have to be stuck in the box of a classroom with desks and chairs. Not to have to be stuck in the box of a bedroom with a closet and a bed in the thick of winter. Not to be stuck in a forest of library shelves and books and pages that smell like captain sparrows old treasure chest.

Maybe I wanna stop sitting here looking out the window with these dreams just beyond my reach. I wanna live them. I wanna live by waking up at sunrise and getting dressed and going outside to the blessed fresh air. I wanna live by spending time with people who make me laugh, the people I can talk to, the people who understand me, the people who I can run away with. I wanna jump off cliffs, learn to surf, sing in the middle of the street, sneak out a window in the middle of the night, swing dance in the rain, travel in a jazz band, drive to faraway places with the car windows rolled down no matter the temperature outside, go somewhere new for work everyday, bet in a poker game and WIN, camp out in a treehouse as if I were hiding out from the police. That’s the kind of edge I want to run out on!

But my question is how? How can I break free from this life? How can I bear to take free time to get away? How can I leave the culture of constant deadlines and coffee grinding when I can already barely breathe enough to keep my eyes open during the day? How can I tell my loved ones where my true heart is? How might I pay for my bread and my butter?

Now that is where the fundamental question lies. That’s where these dreams seem to be halted and reality breaks in. There is a fear that such a risk could make or break future opportunities. For I fear a dream may just be a dream at it’s best. A young girl once said, a dream is a wish your heart makes… but it perhaps may never come true. What if I jump out of the nest and fall flat on my face? Or what if I jump out of the nest and I fly?!?

So here lies the tension, as Ecclesiastes 3 holds within it a presentation. A presentation of choices we must all make. A presentation of the seasons we must walk through. There is a time to scatter stones, and a time to collect them. A time to search, and a time to stop searching. Well my friends, this may perhaps be one of those times. Perhaps this is my time of searching. Perhaps this is my time of scattering stones. This time right now may be just the right time for me to be fully and purely me. The beauty of this time is that it allows for a freedom and a suspense of what’s “just around the river bend” (in the language of Pocahontas), but it must also come with a warning: it may only last “until the clock strikes twelve”, until the time for searching and scattering is…over.

So I take a deep breath and think why I crave so much to get on with my life. To be in love, to be married, to have a house or an apartment, to pet my own pup, and rock my own babies to bed… when this time I am given now is a blessing and it must be valued dearly…or else. Or else, I fear I may begin to live with deep regret for not jumping out of the nest. There may be times I search alone, but also times I bring others along.

This is where I believe a mission must lie. When I search I will find. And to find I must go.

” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us”

– Hebrews 12:1

So, my dear reader, as the well runs dry for today, I must ask: To where do you go to figure out your mission? And what have you found that mission to be?

-ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Verge- Owl City

 

Lessons of A Camp Counselor

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The bin had been packed. The car had been stuffed. The gear had been purchased. The engine was started. This was going to be my summer of radically following Jesus. I was going to be apart of a team of goofballs. I was going to live outdoors and breathe the fresh country air. I was going to lifeguard at a beach for the first time. I was going to sleep in real cabins. We pulled out of the driveway, and I officially began a journey of a lifetime! It was a journey to a new home.

There are many expectations and assumptions I had about camp as I prepared for all that was to come in my next three months. I made playlists of music for quiet time, playlists for fun cabin time, and playlists for a pumped up welcome when the campers would arrive. I bought tons of bug spray and sunscreen for days and nights outside. I brought a portable bin for a camp wardrobe of silly camp skit costume gear, beach wear, hiking wear, church on Sundays, lounging on weekends, and everything in between.

My mind swirled with excitement and preparation of the stories my mom told me about her college summers at camp. I was prepared for a summer like I had never experienced before. I would be able to start a fresh as a new staff member and show people who I was aside from the stress of college or pressure of parents and influence of high school friends. This was my summer of being bold in my faith and bold with myself. And that is just what it turned out to be!

As I have just recently committed my summer 2019 to being a camp counselor once again, my mind has been reminded of the cherished memories and lessons that I had learned almost a whole year ago now! The experience of having authority over a cabin and putting them to bed, mixed with supporting them in friendship or home struggles, mixed with being silly to make them laugh with stories and camp events, was continually different each week. I got to give messages…and RAP at our nightly campfires and dance like crazy at morning chapels. I got to guide devotions under the stars and also walk them to first aid in the middle of the night when they lost a tooth..and perhaps assist with a visit from the tooth fairy :). I got to lifeguard on a beach with a team of lifeguards that were business on the surface and quirky down deep (no pun intended 🙂 ). Honestly, my stories could truthfully go on and on!

I will say that though some of these lessons are silly or small, there are also lessons that took perseverance and loyalty to God’s voice to understand. I will not write this truth of my summer to you and say that counseling is all fun, as I must admit that it is a job that takes work. Work like sitting down the cabin to enforce zero tolerance for bullying. Work like taking your hour off to sit with a camper when their hurting in first aid. Work like creatively coming up with a game for the indoors when there’s an unexpected rainy day. But I will also say, that even though some weeks were harder than others, I believe it was all part of God’s plan to help me grow in my faith and my relationship with Him.

Without further a doo, here is a list of some lessons that I learned through one summer of being a camp counselor and living away from home on the campsite for a full three months:

1. Wash your hands before EVERY meal. It takes time, but it’s worth not getting sick!

2.Wake up right when your alarm sounds… otherwise you’ll miss your counselor morning meeting and devotions.

3. Mornings are the best time to be with God! They are like the calm before the storm. Take them seriously!

4. Your time with God doesn’t always have to be a devotional… it could just be opening up to a verse and meditating on it!

5. Eat smaller portions…aka kid portions… because they are not only satisfactory, but also healthier for you!

6. Save makeup for special occasions, it’s more special that way 🙂  Besides, God made you beautiful the way you are, so be yourself!…(also it will most likely sweat off at some point in the hot summer sun.. 🙂 )

7. You can RAP in front of people…like you did at campfire messages… so don’t stop just cause you left camp!

8. Reading before bed is a great way to put kids to bed…and yourself.

9. A set time to go on your phone each day is good…because you can’t when you’re with the kids.. so use that time wisely and be present the rest of the day. Also, that way you won’t get distracted…or even addicted by social media!

10. Chacos are definitely the most durable choice of camp shoes as you have discovered that Vans, Birkenstocks, slide sandals, and velcro sandals don’t make the cut.

11. It’s best to workout in the morning quick before breakfast (before the campers… and the rest of the world wakes up).

12. Exercise can continue all day if you look for the opportunity. (aka. dancing in chapel, jumping at campfire, playing gaga ball with the kids instead of just supervising them during free time, choosing the running positions at camp wide games, etc.

13. Chapel is a passionate and expressive way to connect with God, so go to it! (even when you’re back at school).

14. You’re not bad a gaga ball. AND, it’s a great way to let out frustration 🙂

15. When in charge of Kitchen Patrol (aka. Kitchen Party, or just KP), you gotta TELL the kiddos jobs to do, DON’T ASK them… or they may turn you down with some sass 🙂

16. Camper emotions are best dealt with in a one-on-one conversation NOT in public space!

17. Bullies need to be reminded of their own value… they may not be told their value very often.

18. Tell parents the truth about their kids at the end of the week… even if it’s not good news!

19. Homesickness is curable by continual activity, positivity, and companionship.

20. Don’t tell campers you’re having one-on-ones to sign up for, just go and talk to them when you see them whether they are alone or in a group 🙂

21. Bracelets are a productive way to use time, so make them when you have time to kill!

22. Beadie buddies make for really cute key chains.

23. Don’t wear nice clothes whatsoever while at camp… everything will somehow get messy or destroyed within a matter of time.

24. Baby oil protects your skin from swimmer’s ich… though it is slightly toxic to the marine biological environment of the lake 😐

25. Lifeguaridng can serve as a getaway from your campers when you may need it. Enjoy that time.

26. Lake water is dark and uncomfy (and possibly risky) in your nose 🙂

27. Horses are like big dogs! Treat them as such.

28. Campers can’t go unsupervised in the cabin together for very long times…or else (the possibilities are endless)

29. Sometimes, kids just need to be kids.

30. Cleaning should be done daily instead of at crunch time at the end of the week.

31.  A fly swatter is essential no matter which cabin you’re in.

32. You can’t always handle it all alone or with your co-counselor, know when to ask for help.

33. Staff or volunteers that work in churches that come to camp have incredible stories to share, take advantage of them whether it be with your cabin in a bible study, a meal or independently.

34. Movies are the ultimate solution to indoor rainy days, so be sure to use your resources when the time comes.

35. Counselors are best at narrating a game of mafia. Campers can if necessary.

36. When in doubt during cabin time, play Disney music.

37. If a cabin of girls are obsessed with their image, remind them of the truths of how God made them. (reading, the devotional poem: “I Made Her” and covering cabin mirrors with a paper to write positive messages on is very helpful for this).

38. Putting your foot down allows for more respect (This may mean threatening to take away fun activities with your voice rather than your physical strength, OR even simply sassing them back and learning to speak their language.)

39. Notes during quiet times are almost always bad (mention it as a camp tradition…or rule :)… at the beginning of the week that no notes are allowed during quiet time due to a recent camp bullying incident).

40. Starting showers during night meds gets the “getting ready for bed time” job done faster than waiting for meds to be finished.

41. Take time for yourself or else you’ll definitely get burnt out.

42. Asking for advice and wisdom from those older than you (whether it be camp staff or visiting church staff) can be very helpful in many ways.

43. Agape is a rapper with a great message, and some great values, so keep listening to him!

44. Bangs are fun, but can easily get greasy. They make take more upkeep than you would think.

45. You need Jesus. You will always need Jesus.

Though these lessons are centered around camp and my summer days spent there, I extend much of this knowledge into my school years too. I firmly believe that every part of our lives are connected in the beautiful way that God has designed.

If you feel so-called to be apart of ministry such as CAMP, then I encourage you to pursue that calling… even if you don’t think you’re ready. Sometimes, those are the times when God calls us into taking a leap of faith and trusting him to get you where you need to be. Also, after getting a college degree, you may not have the amazing chance to act like such a child ever again! If you do end up taking that leap, I hope these lessons will assist you in your preparation. However, if camp staff doesn’t feel like your thing, I still hope that these things not only brought a smile to your face, but also practical wisdom for your day-to-day life.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

~ James 1:2-4

So, my dear reader, as the well runs dry for today, I must ask: When is the last time you took a leap of faith? And what did God teach you in the process of it?

-ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Committed- Newsboys

 

Goal: The Big 100

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Back in high school, I took one of the required (but nonetheless interesting to me ) classes entitled “Wellness 3”. What a magnificent subject to study I know. But I will say that one of strengths on the Myers Briggs personality test is “knowledge” because of the fact that I enjoy learning and nerding out about random things. And one of those things is health facts… even if I don’t always apply them to my life :). As you can imagine, wellness appeared quite interesting to me in topics of community design , the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain, obesity in America, etc. It was a beautiful array of topics.

However, one of coolest things we learned about was the Blue Zone Solution (Blue Zone Solution). This guy named Dan Beuttner and a bunch of National Geographic folk went around to five different Blue Zones around the world and studied daily life. Mind you, Blue Zones are places with the highest population of centenarians still living and loving life. Mind you again, a centenarian is someone who lives up to 100 healthy years or more! How sick is that!?! After watching a couple of videos and reading some articles, I was pretty hooked!

I officially asked myself how I could live to be 100 years old too… even if I didn’t live in a blue zone like those people. I mean truth be told, the Bible says in Genesis that God restricted man to like 150 years at the most, so to this day, it is still possible! Honest to goodness, how freaking cool would it be to say with pure honor that you had lived a good and happy 100 years! You would live through 100 years of history books. 100 years of new inventions. 100 years of presidencies. 100 years of friendships and community relationships. 100 years of family gatherings. 100 years of sharing and passing down wisdom….What a thought.

I mean, right now I am nearly twenty years old and I can already say that I have lived through three presidencies, I’ve been to eight family weddings, I’ve watched eleven family members come into the world. I’ve moved living spaces technically five times. I’ve attended four different schools. I’ve held eleven different jobs. I’ve been in technically two official relationships (counting sixth grade of course). I’ve traveled to seven different states, and been out of the country just once. Besides that I’ve developed quite the collections of snow globes, key chains, and postcards for myself and from others. WOW! Not to toot my own horn, but these few years have been a freaking blessing! How much more could I experience in eighty more years!!!

How much stronger could me faith grow to be? How much more of an impact could I see come to fruition? How many more places could I see? How many more friends could I walk through life with? How many more gatherings might my house be able to host? How many more years might I have with that special someone? How many more generations might I meet after myself? How many more nature walks could I take breathing the fresh air? How many more gifts might I be able to sew? How many more lessons might I learn? How many more people may teach me? How much more wisdom could I bear onto others? How much more joyful may I feel? How much more stylish may I become :)? …all nestled in that wonderful kind of lifetime!

Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer. 

~Proverbs 9:11-12

The wise make well thought out decisions. The wise live for the future and not the now. So, my dear reader, as the well runs dry for today, I must ask: Where do you see yourself in 100 more years?

-ALPAL

Sing a song for the soul: Glorious- Mackelmore