Being a female is hard. We are so emotional and we have so much going on, in our heads and on the outside, too. Every girl needs a little pick me up of inspiration sometimes, so I'm here today to give you a little extra sunshine, sugar, and warmth. Strength is difficult to obtain. It's not easy to get to a place where you're totally comfortable with yourself, but once you accept your own positive and negative characteristics both, then it's a lot easier to realize your capability for success and the fact that you truly deserve happiness no matter what.
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What you're probably asking yourself during your season of waiting.
We spend most of our lives waiting for something. Maybe you're waiting for a job opportunity to open up, or for a professor to email you back because you procrastinated on your assignment, or maybe you're waiting for the next chapter in your life to start. Whatever the case maybe be for you I want to let you know that your season of waiting is not in vain! It may seem like it but your season of waiting is a crucial part in your walk with Christ. You may not have a walk with Christ and I encourage you to be open to starting a relationship with him but even your time of waiting isn't in vain. Waiting is a hard thing to do but it is so worth it in the end. The Bible even tells us this in Ecclesiastes.
"The end of a thing is better than its beginning..."
-Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV)
This is because what you do during your season of waiting makes the end of the waiting period that much more beautiful. God is only simply trying to prepare you for the next thing He has in store for you. He prepares us through waiting and sadly, our human ears don't like hearing that because we are impatient creatures. But the end is always better than the beginning. So, here are three things to remember while you are waiting.
1.) Don't live in the future, live in the here and now.
God's plan for you is absolutely and totally perfect (Romans 12:2) and more then we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). And rushing His plan will only cause you to lose what He wants you to learn right now. You can't rush perfection! What He is trying to teach you at the moment might not even seem relevant but He has your attention while you wait and He wants to teach you something right now. Don't miss what He is trying to teach right now because you are so focused on the future! When I was a little girl me and my family took a trip to Disney World. As I waited in the airport terminal all I could think about was Disney World and getting to meet The Little Mermaid and all my favorite characters. While I was living in the future of what was going to happen next, my mom had a different idea. My mom found that while we waited to get on a plane to go to the most magical place on earth that that was the most appropriate time to pull out math worksheet and have me work on my addition and subtraction. As I saw her grab the math worksheets I thought 'Is this woman serious right now this is not the time to be learning math!' I was so focused on the future that I thought what my mom wanted to teach me while I waited was pointless and irrelevant. Long story short we go to Disney World then I start first grade a few weeks after when we get back and I was an adding and subtracting wizard in class! What I thought was so irrelevant at the time of my waiting was extremely beneficial to me in the future. God may teach you something or show you something during this time of waiting that seems really unnecessary at the time but He knows what you need to know in the future. So bottom line don't be so focused on the next big thing to happen that you have a bad attitude to what God is trying to teach you right now, or even worse completely miss out on what He wants to teach you. Instead of asking "God, what's next?" ask "God, what are You trying to teach me?"
2.) Everyone is in a different stage of life than you.
This is something that I struggle with from time to time. As human beings, we want what others have and we often times want to be in positions that other people are in at that moment. We need to stop wishing that we were in someone else's shoes because at the end of the day we are all different and in different periods and seasons of life. We can't keep on wishing we were in a position like someone else because we aren't that someone else. God has you in this season of waiting for a reason. As frustrating, as it can be God's plan of waiting far outweighs our plan of rushing.
"To everything, there is a season, A time for every purpose under Heaven."
- Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJ)
There is a season for everything and you're season may be different than the person next to you, and THAT IS OK! We need to trust in Him and not our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), trust that He has you where He needs/wants you to be at. Give it all to God your frustrations of waiting, your longing to be in a different season tell Him how you feel about everything and where you want to be. He wants to hear all this from you. He will hear you! The Bible says:
"I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned and heard my cry".
- Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
He hears you and wants to hear from you. But He will also tell us to be patient for it is all in His timing not our own and we have to learn to be content with that. We have to yes, give Him our frustrations, but also let Him know that we will be content with where He has us. Maybe He is trying is teach you contentment and you need to let Him know that you'll be content with where He has you. But you will never be able to see what He is trying to teach you if you are too hung up on other people and where they are at in their lives.
3.)There is something you can do during your season of waiting!
God didn't intend our season of waiting to be spent with us mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or sitting on the couch watching tv until He magically appears with the next big thing in our lives. God wants to teach us during our season of waiting, but how can we learn if we aren't in the Book He intended us to learn from?
"You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart".
- Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
Seek God and You will find Him. When you find Him, He will show you what He wants to teach you and where He wants you at next. During your season of waiting read His word spend time talking to Him daily. Seek what He wants to teach you. God is trying to prepare you during your season of waiting for the next thing He has in store for you. Yet, again how can we prepare ourselves if we aren't in the Book that He has given us to prepare us for all things?
Thank you so much for reading this I hope you enjoyed it and that it helped you out as much as it did me! One last thing I am obsessed with all kinds of Christian music so at the end of each blog I want to recommend two or three songs that go with the topic I just talked about to help you guys out any further. So, here you go, hope you enjoy them!Trust in You -Lauren Daigle
After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Hosted by Shane and Bob.
*Cue Epic Newsroom Music*
Shane: Hello and welcome to News in Review! I'm your anchor Shane, and this is my co-anchor Bob.
Bob: Hello wonderful Viewers! Have we got lots in store for you! Today I'm going to get a ramp and typewriter *brings typewriter out from under desk* and..
Shane: BOB! Not now! Today's the interview remember?
Bob: Right the interview... *places typewriter back under desk*
Shane: Yes, today we will be doing a new segment where we bring someone relevant through time to present day and interview them about current matters taking place in the country/ the world. This months topic is the new president Donald
Bob: *cough cough*
Shane: Trump.... *glares at Bob, as Bob smirks and purposefully looks away*. Now who we have today is a special guest brought to us all the way from the year 1865, President Abraham Lincoln!
*Cheers and applause*
President Lincoln: *tips hat* Thank you, now may I ask why am I here?
Shane: You were brought here to talk about the New President and some of the policies his administration has been setting. As a president who was bold enough to free the slaves in a time of American civil war, we felt your input was best needed for this situation. Now we understand that before this interview you have been watching footage from all American news outlets since the election and after the inauguration, is that correct sir?
Lincoln: Yes it is
Shane: Excellent, now as a fellow Republican what do you think of how he is acting thus far within the guidelines of president of the United States?
Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Shane: Ah so your saying that is rift that is being created has the potential to do great harm, I see. Well Mr. President that makes sense, but what would you tell the citizens who are worried about the actions that he is taking in removing the rights of groups of people; for example: Women, Muslims, and those in the LGBT community?
Lincoln: "If the great American people will only keep their temper, on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country will be settled just as surely as all other difficulties of like character which have originated in this government have been adjusted."
Shane: So your saying that everyone needs to keep a calm head in order to rationally come to an adjustment? It is true that the constitution gives the right to protest, and for the citizens to rise up against any government to be tyrannical, but don't you think that this concept of a 'calm resolution' seems to be an idea that is only processed in theory for this occasion?
Lincoln: "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."
Shane: I think I understand, look for new and productive ways of going about bringing change to something that needs to be fixed or changed, while doing it in the most logical manner to get the best result. Interesting. Now one of the current events that happened within the past couple of days is the new president made it so the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is not currently allowed to provide its research on topics, such as the real threat of global warming, to the public. President Lincoln, do you feel this directly inhibits the people from knowledge they should be aware of? Why or Why not?
Lincoln: "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." For that my answer is yes.
Shane: Thank you Mr. President, I'm sure that puts the mind of may people at ease. I just have a few more questions for you. One of which is about the Doomsday Clock, are you at all familiar with it?
Lincoln: No. But anything with the word Doomsday in it is a recipe for disaster.
Shane: Right you are Mr. President. So to explain the Doomsday clock was created first by some of the scientists who worked on The Manhattan Project, which I can't tell you about due to temporal law. "The Bulletin's clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age" (Eugene Rabinowitch, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists). Now given that all I can tell you about nuclear weapons is that they are creations of massive destruction, my question is this: Since the appointment of Donald Trump as president of the United States, scientists have moved the clock to two and a half minutes to midnight, being midnight as a symbol for the end of the world, do you say this is a concern for United States citizens? Or could this just be an example of the media jumping to conclusions?
Lincoln: "It is with your aid, as the people, that I think we shall be able to preserve - not the country, for the country will preserve itself, but the institutions of the country - those institutions which have made us free, intelligent and happy - the most free, the most intelligent, and the happiest people on the globe."
Shane: So your saying that at the end of the day no matter what troubles have arisen, we should continue to preserve the things that continue to make us American, that makes sense. Sir, what about the effect of the media?
Lincoln: "He who molds the public sentiment... makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make."
Shane: I see, so continue to think for ourselves and take what the media says as a partial truth. Thank you, and my final question President Lincoln is: Is there anything message you'd like to leave us with?
Lincoln: In light of recent events I think it is important that we as: "Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We, of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation." It is our goal then to push forward with honor and our goals true driven.
Shane: And that's all we have time for today, we'd like to thank our guest President Lincoln *points to Lincoln as he stands and bows*, and all of our wonderful viewers!
Bob: *slowly removes typewriter from under desk*
Shane: BOB NOT NOW, THERERS HOMEWORK TO DO!
Bob: *puts typewriter under desk again* .....never let me have any fun.
Lincoln: Thank you gentlemen for an excellent interview. Now if you'll escort me to the temporal travel pad, my wife and I have a play to attend to.
*Cue closing news room music*
Authors note: I would first like to say that this is a complete work of fiction and should be taken as such, and in no other manner should it be implied as truthful. The quotations spoken by Abraham Lincoln are historically accurate, and have been documented during the time period before and after he was elected president. It is important to remember that the views expressed within this interview are my own and do not express the thoughts and concerns of anyone else.
The 4th of July is truly an amazing time to be with the people who make you feel the most alive and appreciate all the freedom that we do have.
My family doesn’t vacation much. But my earliest childhood memory of vacation is going down to the beach for the 4th of July.
Every year since I was born I think my family went to Wildwood for vacation. And every year since then I feel like my soul craves it there.
4th of July is a special time. It’s a time when everyone comes together to celebrate their love of family, friends, and the home of the brave.
It’s a time when every town is decorated in patriotic red white and blue, and the sky is painted with an array of fireworks.
Down the beach it is even more magical. The air is saltier and the sun shines a little brighter. The ocean floats away your troubles and the sand buries your worries. All you need is some good music and good company.
4th of July is when we all come together regardless of our religions, beliefs, backgrounds. We come to celebrate our love for this country, even in a time of great hostility.
Every year I look forward to spending a week away with my family, and 4th of July is just the perfect time. Everyone’s grilling, barbecuing, and drinking a cold one. No one cares to argue about politics. Not today. Not now.
I dig my feet into the sand, toss my head back and just think how grateful I am to be surrounded by so much love and so much beauty. My problems are non existent.
I wake up and go for a bike ride or a long run. It’s my me time. I see the boardwalk covered with flags and shirts that say proud to be an American. I hear live bands play songs like Chicken Fried or American Pie and in those moments everything feels right.
The 4th of July is truly an amazing time to be with the people who make you feel the most alive and appreciate all the freedom that we do have.
Why noncommittal sex is more complicated than we'd like to think.
I lost my virginity to a graduate student from Los Angeles. We’d met at a rundown cafe whose Yelp page complained of an alleged rat infestation. His name was Ken and he was 25. What drew me to him was the peculiar way his mouth was perpetually fixed into a sideways, half-moon shape that was like a smirk but without any trace of smugness. But the two most striking parts of Ken by far were the dinner plate roundness of his face and his small, expressionless teddy bear eyes. Of the things that mattered to him, there was his best friend, a college dropout who sold computer parts in Toronto, and sex.
It hurt the first time. The second time was only slightly better, being not unlike what I’d expected it to be in middle school after a friend told me you could simulate an orgasm by holding in your pee: uncomfortable yet vaguely erotic. Time and the intimate closeness of it all helped rid me of the pain. I came to see what we were doing as more of an act of sensuousness and emotion than of sensuality.
Though it was certainly sexual -- it is sex after all -- its other less lust-driven components, capable of inducing every possible feeling, were what made it special. Gradually, it became more than just banging, evolving into a means of connecting with another human being. Even though we both knew we would grow apart from each other, it was still comforting to have someone to hold in the middle of the night. The inevitable end of our time together only made us savor each other's presence more.
My second and last sexual partner must have thought differently of me. He was a French-born Chinese man who’d broken up with his girlfriend a few months prior to our brief fling. The end of the relationship was as spontaneous and random as its beginning. Just like on the first night, I was sprawled out on a futon in his one-bedroom apartment with him panting directly on top of me. Wanting to impress him with my bilingualism, I told him “Je t’aime.” I love you.
He paused mid-coitus as the words escaped my lips. He then shrank away from me, freeing himself from under the mass of dirty sheets that had entangled us both in an intense albeit slightly awkward embrace. When I asked what he was doing, he explained that it seemed as though I was looking for a boyfriend. “Don’t give me the puppy-dog eyes. See, you’re taking this too seriously. And now I feel bad leading you on.”
“That’s insane,” I said, to which he responded by putting on a pair of men's track pants that had been puddled on the floor.
I tried to reason with him, blurting out every possible thing that might change his mind: People said all sorts of silly things during sex. Why was “love” such a taboo word while dirty talk was permissible if not expected? The French verb “aimer” could mean “to like” just as much as it meant “to love”; it was so ambiguous. And besides, even the definition of love-love was super vast when you really thought about it. And just why exactly did people like him think that every woman was after a long-term relationship? Didn’t he realize how improbable it was for us to have a serious thing together? Was he equating my being female with clingy-ness and idiotic idealism?
He walked me to the subway after he swore to God that we could still be friends. We hugged by the station entrance and he promised to see 'The Martian' with me the next day though he would never show up to the cinema. That was the last time I saw him.
Descending the urine-stained stairwell that led to the turnstiles, eventually forcing myself towards the platform and onto the overcrowded train, I couldn’t help be angry -- angry at myself, at the French Chinese man, at the dishwater-blonde schoolgirl who took the last seat before I could. I felt sick as I clung loosely to one of the cold metal poles that lined the length of the car.
My mind was torn in a million directions. Disjointed thoughts kept me from staring out the window like I normally did during every ride. Everything was a question: Why were people so afraid of forging emotional, temporary connections with others? Why did we only value relationships that didn’t have a foreseeable expiration date? Why was the guarantee of losing people accepted and yet simultaneously ignored the same way death was? Was it really that terrible a fate? And couldn’t hookups satisfy other emotions aside from just lust?
After a few stops, I felt tears brimming in my eyes. People are sure dumb, I thought. So easily affected. I tried to fish a Kleenex from my purse when the train lurched forward, throwing me against the sliding doors.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign