50 Thoughts I've Had While In New York City

50 Thoughts I've Had While In New York City

Alicia Keys, these streets DO inspire me.
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Ah, the Big Apple. Some people love it, some don't mind it, and others can't stand it. The city that never sleeps always has me questioning so much about it and has taught me to always try something new. Every time you visit is a new adventure, but here are common thoughts or questions we all have at some point while visiting this "concrete jungle".

1. *Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you*, but has it though?

2. I am not prepared for all this walking

3. Actually, Alicia Keys, these streets DO inspire me

4. The city that never sleeps? Accurate

5. I’m standing in the street where the Macy’s day parade is. NO WAY

6. It must be beautiful during Christmas time

7. Where can I find Buddy the Elf?

8. How much are Broadway tickets?

9. I want to see that Broadway show but I only have like 30 dollars

10. Brooklyn kind of scares me

11. How long has that homeless person been there?

12. Ugh my heart hurts for these people

13. I wish I could help them in some way

14. What happened in their life to be like that?

15. Hot dogs are only one dollar….wait what?

18. This 99 cent pizza is actually sent from heaven itself

19. Do not take pictures with the characters DO NOT TAKE PICTURES WITH THE CHARACTERS

20. I don’t have room in my bag to fit all my souvenirs

21. The 10 for a dollar postcards get me every time

22. Do I look like a tourist if I wear this "I heart NY" product?

23. Who’s playing at Madison Square Garden tonight?

24. I can’t imagine paying the rent here

25. Why are you beeping?!?

26. Taxi drivers don’t get enough credit

27. I love how people just walk out on the street at any time

28.I should probably wait until it says to walk…alright everybody’s going, I will too

29. Still, why are you beeping? I don’t understand

30. I wish someone could take my picture in front of this statue

31. What is that smell?

32. I’m definitely not spending any more money…hey look Macy’s!

33. My neck hurts

34. How on Earth did construction workers make these extremely tall skyscrapers?

35. I bet there’s plenty of celebrities here

36. How do people live here?

37. How do they eat out almost every meal?

38. I wonder how many steps residents take every day

39. What street is that on again?

40. Where even am I?

41. Yeah I have no idea where I’m going

42. Paper maps are useless seeing as I don’t know how to read them anyway

43. How many blocks is it?

44. Google Maps is actually my best friend right now

45. Where’s Rockefeller center?

46. How much is the subway again?

47. How many more stops?

48. My feet are going to hate me after today

49. Wow I hit my step goal by 2 p.m! Not surprised

50. Aw man, we’re leaving already?

Cover Image Credit: pcwallart

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Touching The Untouchables: Living In A Fear And Shame Culture

Sharing the gospel in a place that claims the love of Jesus to be illegal

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Spending the month of May living in Nepal was nothing less than amazing, challenging, and eye-opening. I was happily welcomed into my little tourist town in Kathmandu, slept in a warm hostel bed, sipped on honey/ginger/lemon tea daily, and had the freedom to walk around by myself and bargain with the owners of each shop I passed safely. I fell head over heels with this place. I pictured myself in a cozy apartment near the main city and eating at OR2K every single day (my favorite gluten-free/vegan place). Then I was moved into my ministry house for the month and our main goal was simple evangelism.

Evangelism in a country where sharing the gospel is illegal. Imagine how that call home went when describing what this month was going to look like. "Hey mom, I could end up in jail for sharing the love of Christ." I shared a studio sized living room floor with five other young women on my team and another team was in the bedroom also sleeping on the floor. My space was limited, but it was cozy. I began to get comfortable in my daily schedule of 6 am a quiet time with Jesus, 7 am workout time, 8 am breakfast and preparation for the day. We would visit two new sites a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, so every four hours was new and exciting. Both of our teams laughed, cried, worshipped, and we began to fall in love with the city.

After a week in the city, we moved to another part of Nepal, where we began to practice trekking and evangelism in a new way. When I say in a new way, I mean with people who wanted Jesus so badly but couldn't because they were afraid of persecution, being kicked out of their homes, and overall loss of everything that was comfortable to them and their community. Typing that brings tears to my eyes. I found comfortability in a fear/shame community. A place where it is illegal to share scriptures or have discussions about any religion that wasn't Hinduism or Buddhism. A place where there is a caste system and people on "different levels" couldn't communicate or drink out of the same tin cups. A place where 12-year-old girls are being set up in arranged marriages with no choice of their own. This place needed the love of Jesus more than ever.

I love public speaking, but when it comes to evangelism, I was always uncomfortable. I never wanted to make someone feel forced into a relationship with God when it is not at all forced upon us. God gave us the CHOICE to follow Him, so I must let people know that the CHOICE will forever be open to them. I began chasing after the one like God chased after me. I shared my testimony and story with everyone around me. I focused on listening to them and developing relationships with them. We did a four-day trek through the Himalayas. We prepared for only one week before which is crazy since hiking took up 8 hours a day. My legs hurt, I was exhausted, but I kept going. We introduced two families to Jesus during the trek and people from both accepted Him. These people were called "the untouchables" by their community, but we shared black tea in their tin cups with them. We shared the love of Jesus by touching the untouchables.

Now I am back in Kathmandu, enjoying vegan treats and drinking iced americanos. I am on my expensive laptop typing about how I evangelized and shared Jesus even when it was against the law. How we publicly worshipped in a coffee shop with a guitar and didn't get caught. But I will forever think about those who accepted Jesus and now have to live in fear of the law. I idolize their bravery and I hope one day I can have that amount of bravery. I am leaving Nepal heartbroken, inspired, and most of all, more in love with Jesus than ever before.

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