Thursday Thoughts: Fighting for Joy

zxyxxPicMonkey CollageHey Friends, first of all so sorry you didn’t get a new and exciting post yesterday for Tuesday Confessions. In getting adjusted to school and everything I completely forgot to have something for you. My b, loves! But today on the blog is something I’ve realized is really important to me recently. It’s something that I think really defines me as a person but also as someone who is human, someone that struggles, but most importantly it helps show that I’m being refined and renewed day by day. That topic is joy. Joy is something that I never realized I truly lacked until this last year. It’s not that I don’t think I ever had it before but more so that I lost it sometime ago. I lost it in my suffering and I never knew how to get it back. Until recently I don’t even think I knew what it truly meant to experience joy and also to even rejoice with others. However this lesson is something that has come ridiculously clear that it is something that I’ve needed to learn. So today friends we get real and raw about the beauty and necessity in choosing joy and rejoicing with others!

So think about it, life, it’s hard and sometimes to be blunt it blows. Seriously you study really hard for a test and yet you still fail, you get into a huge fight with a friend and you’re now x-friends, or the worst someone near and dear to you passes away. In all of these situations we see different situations that could cause frustration, pain, and suffering. No matter the situation anything can bring a person to their knees and give them a loss of joy. When I look at my life I see where there have absolutely been moments where I have an epic loss of joy and where I see no light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s in those moments where I must trust. I have to trust that there is a plan that is greater than me and that it is at work in my life. I see that now that by choosing to follow that plan joy doesn’t always come easy but it does come. That’s the point friends, it does in fact come in one way or another!

To neglect joy you will be left with regret and pain that no one can ever fix, regardless of their efforts. Now choosing joy isn’t always easy. Recently I’ve seen that in a friendship I have. It’s really hard some days, but through choosing it I’ve come to find that I am so much happier and all around better to be around because of that choice. I have chosen to rejoice with their friend in their joy even when it feels like I shouldn’t. If you were to only be happy in a friendship when things they did benefitted you it wouldn’t be a friendship at all it would be slavery! Seriously, if you’re only friends with someone because they benefit you they’re a slave to you. I hate to say it but I definitely lived this way for a long time. And now that this friend has found happiness that has nothing to do and they’ve asked me to rejoice with them, I can’t even for a second say that it’s been easy. It’s been a daily fight for joy, but in those moments when I choose to allow joy to engulf me and radically turn things around it has left me awestruck! I see the beauty in seeing others happy and being able to rejoice with them has helped me to feel joy. It’s truly amazing.

Now just because I find joy one day doesn’t mean it never goes away again, because like I said before It’s a daily fight for joy! So I’ve found various ways to remind myself of this beautiful thing called joy and they’re super easy. The main way I do this is by starting my day saying that I’m going to choose joy. I will choose it in every situation, and I will run gracefully toward it with all I have. So in this I talk to close friends about my struggles and through them I have accountability in it. Another way is through my phone. Yep, this simple gadget helps to remind me by me setting positive and encouraging backgrounds as my lock and home screen. I look at my phone so much that this really does help. Currently my backgrounds consist of the two photos below. The “Today I choose Joy” one is my lock screen and the other is my home screen. Both really help me to see the beauty in joy and also in walking in a graceful way towards the freedom that joy brings me. It’s something that I long for so many to experience and that I want them to understand that by choosing that daily it will be another key to the door to true and infinite freedom!  slide22be499ff00a6deaf820157f7a3c4d0522Choosing joy is a fight, but it is a fight worth getting in the ring for. Joy is something that sustains and brings life to every person it touches. So please fight for joy and when you find it never let it go. It not only helps in your own redemption but it helps in restoring hope that could have been lost in any of life’s crazy antics that it puts us through. But in all remember that there is always hope, there is always joy, and when found one is set free.


Thursday Thoughts: Senior Year Bucketlist

When I was a senior in high school I decided to get super adventurous and create a list of 100 things that I had to do before I graduated. You heard me right, 100 things! This list included things like wear heels for a whole day, pay for a strangers meal at a restaurant, hike a mountain, visit an Amish town in Pennsylvania, and so many more. This list took me on some beautiful rides that I’m so glad I took, and believe it or not I completed them all! So now I’ll be starting my senior year of college in four days I decided I wanted to try this again but go even bigger and better! So for that today on the blog I bring you my Senior Year Bucket List: College Edition!

This list is going to include 25 things that I want to complete before I graduate college in May of 2015 and they’re not gonna be little things that I could do anytime, but rather I want them to be real and true experiences. I want this list to be something that once complete it leaves me in awestruck tears. I want to do things that challenge me and that require strategic planning and hard work. So yes some things on here will be easy in a sense but I want them to be things that when I look back on my senior year, my last year at Radford, I can smile and know that those things helped to make this year infinitely meaningful. So with all that being said I’ve consulted many people about this list, asking questions about what I should do, and if I do say so myself, this list is gonna be awesome! So you can expect to see these 25 things posted on the blog as I complete them. And now without further delay here is my Senior Year Bucket List: College Edition

-Hike McAfee’s Knob

-Go to the Home Place Restaurant

-Road Trip with Carlie to the Mile 1 marker of Highway 81

-Spring Break Road Trip with Carlie and Jenna

-Write a song and record it

-Record a demo tape

-Volunteer at the Roanoke Rescue Mission

-Go to the Roanoke Star

-Have a legit picnic! (Basket, Blanket and ALL)

-Go to God’s Foot Print

-Go to Chateau Morrisette

-Stargazing in the middle of nowhere

-Find a reason to wear my  Little Black Dress

-Read a book a month

-Shoot a Wedding

-Do four legit photo shoots (Engagement, Urban style, Country Style, Styled)

-Go to a festival in Southwest Virginia

-Bake Cake Pops. (This might seem easy, but I’ve literally wanted to do this for years)

-Refurbish a piece of furniture

-Go on the Appalachian Trail

-Stay up all night and watch the sunrise

-Get another tattoo, and finish the one on my back

-Make a T-shirt quilt

-Learn a crap ton of Russian (this might seem weird and vague but it has a purpose, haha)

-Go to a High School Football Game (because the little high schooler in me is still alive and well)

Well there you have it friends! These 25 things must be completed by the time I walk across that stage in May of 2015. It’s gonna be crazy, and at times I know it’s not gonna seem doable but I will complete this. I hope you enjoy the crazy adventure along the way. I’m so thankful for things like this blog to be able to document my crazy life! It’s gonna be great, so please enjoy the ride!