5 Ways My Mission Trip To Jamaica Changed The Way That I See The World

5 Ways My Mission Trip To Jamaica Changed The Way That I See The World

One love, one heart

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This past summer, I traveled to Kingston, Jamaica with 20 of the graduating seniors from my high school class, where we worked with the Mustard Seed Communities and visited different locations where they housed children and adults with special needs. This was truly a life-changing experience and I am so thankful I was able to go because I learned lots of different things about myself, as well as the world.

1.  I don't have it bad at all

Kate Tulenko

It's true that everyone goes through struggles in their everyday life. I found myself struggling a lot last year, but when I went to Jamaica, I learned that I do not have it bad at all. I have so many blessings in my life that I take for granted, and the kids in Jamaica really made that clear to me. Now, I see my life through a more positive lens and remember that anything bad happening to me really isn't as bad as it seems.

2.  It's so easy to love others, despite their flaws

Kate Tulenko

Lots of people in the world judge others based on their appearance or reputation. But in Jamaica, the caretakers and children loved each other despite their flaws. It was truly beautiful to see so much love in one place where there was no judgment or hatred at all.

3.  Singing makes everything better

Kate Tulenko

It's true! Whenever my friends and I would sing songs with the residents, no matter how their days were going, it would put the biggest smile on everyone's faces. There was not a frown in the room, which was amazing to see. Honestly, I still get these songs stuck in my head sometimes.

4.  A smile can change someone's day

This is Moses, he had such a big heart and we would always dance together

Kate Tulenko

Some of the residents we worked with were scared of us when we first saw them, but when we smiled at them, their wall immediately came down and they were suddenly so happy to see us and spend time with us. This is true back at home too—if you smile at anyone, it instantly changes their mood and makes them so much happier.

5.  Giving to others is more rewarding than giving to yourself

Kate Tulenko

When I was in Jamaica, I wore these bracelets and hair ties around my wrist when we visited one of the elementary schools at the Mustard seed. When we were playing with the little kids, they begged me to give them a bracelet or a hair tie. This was interesting to me, because I thought to myself, "What's so special about a string bracelet?" But when I gave it to the little girl, she was so happy and thankful for it that it made me feel wonderful to give it to her. This trip was truly life-changing and I would go back to Kingston, Jamaica to be with these little kiddos a million times over again.

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To The Nursing Student That Failed, Don't Quit Now

A letter from a Nursing Student that overcame the anxiety of failing a class.

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You failed a class.

The first class you have ever failed.

It's a hard pill to swallow. Even harder to talk about.

You worked so hard to get this far, and you failed. Your whole life, you've dreamed of being a nurse, and it's all put to a stop now. Where do you go? What do you do? What will people think of me?

You run to the arms of Jesus because you have not failed in His eyes. You find comfort him Him because He knew this was going to happen before you were even thought of. It's part of His plan for you, for your life. He has you right in the palm of His hand carrying you every step of the way. Your grades don't define you. That number is just a number. It doesn't show the countless nights you stayed up studying, researching, crying, but also refusing to give up.

Just because you failed, doesn't mean you won't ever be a nurse.

Everyone has a journey and a story, this story is yours. So, stop worrying about what your classmates will think of you, and lift your head up. You are a child of God, who knows all and sees all. And even better than that, he understands you. He understands your fears, the anxiety nursing school created, the uncertainty you have. And He loves you right there in the middle of the hopelessness.

"I failed."

You get a spark of hope and for a few minutes you forget that you failed, and see the success ahead. But, the devil creeps back in, "You failed, remember? You will never make it." It's a constant battle back and forth. The past is the past, and there's nothing you can do to change it. Learn from your mistakes and let that fuel your future.

Don't go to God with your agenda, because He will politely wreck your world.

As humans, we like to think we have a sense of control over our lives. When the reality is, that's a lie. And the hardest thing for us to do is trust. But that's where our faith comes into play. You cannot see God, or hear Him but you know He's there. You have to know that He has a plan. And trust me, His plan will be greater than you ever thought it could be. It's not easy, another constant battle. But He has won every battle already, on the cross.

Anxiety.

A word that I've grown very comfortable with over the last 6 months. It's more than just being nervous. It's the panic attacks that you can't control, constantly being on edge, constantly feeling like you aren't doing enough. Fall into the arms of the Creator of the heavens. He is the ultimate giver of peace, He has a plan for you. Ask Him to reveal to you His plan and His way for your life.

Sincerely,

A Child of God Striving to be the Best Nurse Possible

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10 Things You Can Give Up For Lent 2019 If You're A College Student

Lent is nearing, but what should you give up?

Bryanna
Bryanna
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Lent is just around the corner, March 6th! If you are anything like me, you spend a lot of time searching for what you should give up. I often spend days searching for lists and through social media. But this year, I decided to get a head start on some ideas that are not the traditional people give up such as chocolate or caffeine. There is a ton of options of things college students can give up.

1. Netflix 

Or binge watching in general if you use another platform.

2. Starbucks

What happens if you saved the money and donated to something like World Vision?

3. Social Media

Personally, I gave up social media my first Lent. It was one of the best experiences that fostered a huge amount of spiritual growth! I devoted the time I spent on social media to time with God. It was a perfect time to grow closer to God.

4. Eating Out 

This one can be difficult if your social life often involves food but it is doable.

5. Video Games

If you are gamer this can be a huge thing to give up. But even if you are not a pro gamer, if you devout a lot of time to playing with apps on your phone it could still work.

6. Not purshasing _____

This could be new clothes, makeup or anything that you often purchase.

7. Sarcasm 

Sarcasm is often the language of college students, but what would happen if you changed your language for the weeks of Lent?

8. Junk Food

College students typically live off of Ramen, vending machines and cheap junk food.

9. Sleeping In Late

Similar to social media, you could devote that time being in fellowship with God.

10. Your favorite beauty product or routine

This is one that is very outwardly apparent to others. It not only would free up time to spend with God in the morning, but possibly open up discussions about why you are giving something up.

No matter what you give up, if you spend the time focusing on God and working on your spiritual growth it will be a good season for your Christian life. Good luck!

Bryanna
Bryanna

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