Making Beautiful Things Out Of Dust

Making Beautiful Things Out Of Dust

Stop pushing off dust, covering up scars, and hiding your fears.
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Dust is everywhere. It has become a hassle of life; a chore. We have started to wish dust away and push it off of hard surfaces with the attempt of getting rid of its markings.

We view dust as annoying, dirty, and meaningless yet dust represents life and opportunity. We were made out of dust. You were made out of dust.

What if we viewed dust through the eyes of God? What if we saw it as a building block to growth rather than a group of meaningless particles on top of ours televisions and fireplaces? What if we saw the chores and seemingly meaningless parts of life as opportunities waiting to be changed into something beautiful.

God makes beautiful things out of the hardships and struggles we face. Being human means being hurt, becoming brokenhearted, facing fear, growing old, and returning to the dust we were made out of. Yet being human means breathing, falling in love, making choices, exploring, and even being offered the choice to believe in more than life itself.

The literal definition of dust is the death of living particles which makes this statement of God making beautiful things out of dust even more inspiring and comforting. God literally turns death into life. He makes beautiful things out of destruction, pain, and tragedy.

We go through life wishing hard and painful experiences would yield to our lives and not leave its mark. We push off dust, cover up scars, and hide our fears.

Without the bad, however, how do we get the good? Take a moment to think about the best and worst parts of being human...

... You may even notice that some of these things are the best and the worst at the same time. Love, for example, can be both the best and worst parts of being human. In addition, fear can be seen as both as well. Fear limits but fear also encourages, helps us grow, pushes us to overcome, and produces adrenaline that makes us feel like we couldn't be more alive.

If you never had a bad day would your good days mean anything to you? If you never got broken hearted would you know what true love is? If you never felt fear would you ever appreciate safety? If you never failed would you ever try? If you never cried you would ever learn who would be there for you to dry your tears. If you never lost hope would you ever fully rely on God?

Now I am not saying to stop dusting on top of the bookshelves or the keys of the piano, but I encourage you to stop and notice that dust can be pushed off but not destroyed. You can not destroy the dust that builds up on you. In other words, you can not get rid of the past hardships you have experienced but you can begin to appreciate what those experiences bring. Those hard times have made you who you are. Without dust, we will never appreciate a beautiful shine.

When you fall, dust yourself off... but intentionally make beautiful things out of that situtation. Make yourself more beautiful because of the dust storms you've been through.

When life gives you lemons make lemonade.

When life gives you dust... make something beautiful.

Cover Image Credit: Entropy

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11 Things You NEVER Say To A College Girl Trying To Get Into Shape

Just never talk about a person's weight.

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When my family and friends joked that I was going to gain 15 pounds in my freshman year of college as a result of the "Freshman 15," I thought it was what it was supposed to be: a joke. However, as the year has come to an end, I realized that I actually did put on a couple of pounds, albeit it wasn't the predicted 15.

As I told those that I wanted to get into an ideal shape for my body, I was met with some insensitive and ignorant remarks. Everyone thought that I mean just losing the weight I had put on.

1. "You walk to all of your classes, why aren't you losing weight that way?"

My legs are more toned than they ever have been before. However, most of the weight I have been gaining has gone directly to my gut (annoying!) and walking does not remedy that. Unfortunately, I have to stick to ab workouts.

2. "But you look fine to me!"

I don't feel healthy to myself. I'm not trying to stay in shape for anyone else, just myself, thanks. I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about my body image but I know something has to be done.

3. "I didn't gain any weight in college."

Good for you. I did. I'm trying to do something about it.

4. "Just stop drinking."

I don't drink. Really, the only liquid I consume is water or iced tea. I don't like soda and alcohol makes me nauseous way too easily.

5. "Isn't the gym free on campus for students?"

Yes, but some people don't like working out in front of others. I am one of those people. My friend lives in an apartment complex that has their own gym and almost no one is ever there but not everyone has that luxury. Also, some are busy and do not have time for a quick jog or to stretch.

6. "You should try this diet/pills/exercise routine."

I am thankful that you are trying to help but my diet is just eating healthy and having a few cheat days in between. I know what exercises work best for me and I am just not taking pills. Bodies adjust differently.

7. "Don't starve/force yourself to throw up."

Trust me, I know. I'm trying to lose the weight healthily. If you do find yourself practicing unhealthy eating habits or realizing your body image is deteriorating, the NEDA Hotline is (800) 931-2237. Please reach out if you are going through hardships.

8. "Won't you have to buy a whole new wardrobe?"

If I drop (or even add) a size or two. We grow out and grow tired of clothes on the regular, what's the difference if you have to buy some because of a weight change? Plus, who doesn't love buying new clothes?

9. "Just eat healthier."

Didn't think of it! Options are limited at college where the dining halls don't offer all that much that is actually good for your body. Now that I'm at home, it's easier. But I'm already trying to eat healthy.

10. "You've evened out since the last time I saw you!"

This is code for you've put on some weight. I hear it mostly from older relatives because my friends will flat out tell me if I've gotten a little chunky.

11. "You're just stressed."

Personally, this one gets me livid. I do admit that when I am stressed or anxious, I do turn to food for comfort but when I am delighted and genuinely happy, will my body magically revert into a fit state?

Sadly, no.

Honestly, I am just trying to get my body back into shape. For me, that means cutting back on greasy foods and kicking a bad habit of sitting on my butt all day. For others, it could mean more or less. As long as your body is in good physical condition and you are content, the number on the scale and others' thoughts shouldn't matter. Take care of yourself.

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