Wave The White Flag: Let Peace In

Wave The White Flag: Let Peace In

Stop asking for what you already own.
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Life is a constant search. Human nature has an uncanny desire to chase and look for what we lack. We long for adventure, we long for love, we long for knowledge, and we long for well-being. No different than any other human, I, too want for so much in my life, and sometimes catch myself wanting for more than I need. I have noticed that my spirit searches for one certain ideal with much more awareness and attraction than it does for any other.

I long for peace. I want peace in my relationships. I want peace within my schoolwork and my extracurricular activities. I want peace with the decisions I am making and with the decisions that are made for me. I am always searching and praying to stumble upon peace. And, why wouldn’t I want it? It is such a beautiful, simple idea.

Google defines peace as freedom from disturbance and goes on to define disturbance as the interruption of a settled and peaceful condition. It is liberty from regret, second guesses, guilt, and wonder. It is the comfort of accepting situations as they are and knowing that my misconstrued plan is insignificant in terms of the master plan that is laid out ahead of me.

So I long for it and pray for this glorious state of being. Through every storm and for every anxiety, I pray that God washes over me a wave of total serenity. Again, my human nature interferes and I, thinking my time is more precious than God’s, take matters into my own hands when peace doesn’t arrive as fast as I hoped. That my friends is a huge burden to carry.

It takes a lot of extra energy to attempt to smooth out every bump in the road, and, even more, energy to console yourself when you inevitably fail. It was in the midst of one of these failures that I finally got it; I felt it wash over me like a physical rain.

I realize that peace isn’t something you can just run to the grocery store and grab off the shelf. You don’t get to try it out for size and see what fits your situation best. Peace isn’t something you can force or magically receive. You can’t look for it or work for it. It is something you have to accept. You simply have to live in it. It is a choice. You must will yourself to handle everything to the best of your ability and be faithful enough to accept the outcome. It is easy to fill the empty spaces of our minds with worry, and we have to take the initiative to ring those thoughts back in.

In the middle of fall semester, my mom gave me a tiny bracelet with the small word “peace” inscribe on its silver plate. When she gave it to me her words were: “I pray and hope that this is something you find in the coming months.”

What that bracelet really helped me do is to realize that I had the peace all along, I just wasn’t letting it in. I was fighting a battle that I now realize I needed to lose. So give in. Wave the white flag. Let yourself embrace the freedom to choose how you view and respond to what life throws your way, and chose to be peaceful. To be content and thankful.

Trust Romans 8:18, in that there is no comparison of the present hard times to the coming good ones. Save your longing for gifts that haven’t already been granted to you by the prince of peace Himself.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT_3_1OH-Gw

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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