These Are The Things That Make Me Feel Most Alive

These Are The Things That Make Me Feel Most Alive

Without love, hope is not genuine. Without love, faith is empty. That’s why love makes me feel so alive.
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Last week for my article I asked 12 people the question, “What makes you feel alive?” and the responses I got were all so different. Seeing how each person interpreted and responded to the question really spoke to their personality. For this week’s article, I decided to unpack the question myself, so here it is: what makes me feel alive.

The first thing that comes to mind is that reading and writing makes me feel alive. When I was little I used to stay up past bedtime reading books by my night light and writing and illustrating my own short stories. Little did I know that I’d end up double majoring in Graphic Design and Journalism. I knew what I was passionate about when I was young and I finally decided to pursue it at nineteen years old. It made me feel alive then and it still makes me feel alive now. As cliche as it sounds, reading transports you to a different world and allows you to imagine a writer’s words coming to life. I love being able to imagine a character for myself which is why I always love books more than I do movies. On the contrary, writing allows you to create your own world and dictate your own future. It allows you to write your own happy endings. Most of all, writing allows me to feel even when I don’t want to.

Exploring nature makes me feel alive, but not just because it’s beautiful. Seeing the world and how stunning creation is reminds me that the God who created all this created me too. It reminds me that like the world, I am a good work and I was made for a purpose. Despite how messy life might feel, ultimately something beautiful is being created.

What makes me feel the most alive is love: love from God, love from others and loving people. I wholeheartedly believe that love is the reason we’re here on this earth. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love;" I’m here to walk in love. There’s no limit as to how much love you can give or how many people you can love. I’m learning to love people when it’s easy and when it’s hard. I’m striving to be the one who never looks past others but walks with them and encourages them. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul writes, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Love is the basis of everything. Hope and faith depend on love to exist. Without love, hope is not genuine. Without love, faith is empty. That’s why love makes me feel so alive.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Jicha Photography

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27 Things To Do With Your Friends When You're Bored

A little bit of fun for any season.
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I am sure many could relate: you are texting or sitting around with your friends and no one knows what they want to do, everyone is bored, and everyone is flat out of ideas that are actually realistic and achievable. Boredom makes an appearance at it's finest moments... always.

Here are 27 things you can do with your friend in just about any season (some are exclusive to a particular season) when boredom takes over!

1. Find a local coffee shop to try out.

2. Or better yet, find a local restaurant that you’ve all been wanting to try.

3. Go shopping at each others' favorite stores.

4. Tie balloons with positive messages inside of them to random places in your town to uplift a few souls.

5. Cook a homemade meal for a homeless person and deliver it.

6. Get crafty and create a time capsule that you and your friends can open after (x) amount of years.

7. Make your own sushi.

8. Plant flowers in little pots for your homes.

9. Road trip to random local cities and do some exploring.

10. Have a photo shoot.

11. Buy or create a blank page’s journal filled art, writing, sketches, and pictures of your friends that can be used as a memory book.

12. Visit a pumpkin patch.

13. Go stargazing in the middle of the night with a blanket and a few midnight snacks.

14. Go to a haunted house.

15. Go to a movie with the group.

16. Have a giant sleepover with board games, snacks, movies, and crazy pajamas.

17. Have a game night with the peeps.

18. Have a gingerbread making contest.

19. Have a bonfire when it gets cool outside.

20. Make homemade ice cream.

21. Search on maps for the nearest natural spring or river and go swimming or canoeing.

22. Take a camera, your group of friends, and stroll around town taking pictures of your adventure.

23. Use the pictures you take on your adventures and create a photo wall in your home.

24. Have a "Madea" movie night.

25. Throw a themed party.

26. Write letters of encouragement to children (or adults) in hospitals.

27. Look up random keywords on YouTube for possibly some of the best videos ever.

Cover Image Credit: aurimas_m / Flickr

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What It's Like Being An Introverted Leader

Different people lead differently.

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When you think of the qualities a leader or someone in a leadership position should have, being out-going is often mentioned. However, I don't think that always has to be the case. I've been a part of many different leadership opportunities and programs, yet I'm still the same socially awkward hermit I've always been. Being out-going and extroverted doesn't qualify someone to be a good leader, just like being shy and introverted makes you a bad one, it's about your skills.

When I went to a leadership program at a summer camp, I often heard that I didn't talk very much or I was too quiet and shy for a summer camp entertaining kids, I should have been more talkative. I'd also get a few counselors coming up to be that when they were in the same program I was in, they were also the same things I was and not to worry about it. Even now, I'm still quite and relatively shy person, but that doesn't discredit my ability to be a good leader, or anyone else's.

In my high school ASB (Associated Student Body) class, we took a fun personality test to find out what kind of leaders we were; someone who likes to be in charge, be in the spotlight, more organized, or stay in the background. I got someone who likes to be in the spotlight, which was a surprise to me too, but thinking about it, it makes sense. I'm not overly out-going, but given the right motivation, I don't mind going up to people and striking up a conversation.

I can also say that at some point I have possessed all four of these personalities or traits over the course of my different leadership roles. The reason I'm even bringing this personality test up is that it definitely shows that there are different types of leaders out there, and not all of them have to be extraverted. I tried to find the one I took but couldn't find the exact one, but if you're interested there are a ton of different ones out there.

Over time, I've learned and worked on many valuable skills, like conflict resolution, time management, actually listening to what others have to say, and more. I keep myself up to date with my surroundings and what's going on in the world, and I still meet and hang out with people, when I have time. People grow and learn on their own pace, we should let them without overly critiquing them.

In the end, whether someone is out-going or not shouldn't determine the ability they have to be a good leader, sure in some cases it's better to more extraverted, but it's not a make or break trait. So long as they have their mind in the right place and know how to handle different tasks and situations, it doesn't matter.

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