An Open Letter To 2018

An Open Letter To 2018

I hope you surprise us.
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Dear 2017,

You have put us through what seems, at times, to be more than humanly tolerable. Hurricanes, wildfires, terrorist attacks, threats of nuclear war, an apathetic government, an antipathetic government. Homes burned down, homes flooded, homes destroyed, homes ripped away from people simply because of who they are.

You have made us step up in ways we didn’t know we were capable. Worldwide protests, medical advancements, countless calls to Congress, donations to victims. Strangers coming together, strangers fighting for one another, strangers becoming each others’ homes.

2017, you have brought out the best and the worst in us. At times I wonder if you were a lesson. But you’ll only be a lesson if we learn from you and do better in the next year.

Dear 2018,

I hope you surprise us.

I hope you don’t forget to give us some good news amidst all the bad. Give us a midterm election that inspires us. Give us legislation that the country desperately needs. Give us civilians turned heroes in times of crisis and communities coming together. Give us minorities gaining power in DC, minorities gaining power in Hollywood. Give us art. Laughter. Give us a beautiful Royal Wedding.

2018, I hope you bring my friends and family all that they deserve. Give them safety and security. Give them a place to belong for the next three years. I hope you give them health and happiness. All the happiness.

I hope you stay full of hope, always full of hope.

Dear 2018,

I hope you know that you don’t have to do too much for me. Because whether you intervene or not, you’re going to meet the best version of me. Give me opportunities or give them to other people. Bring me successes or bring me failures. Because in 2018, I won't let myself be the background character in my own movie. I won't let life simply happen to me. That’s not the person I was, and that’s not the person I want to be.

For a long time, I measured my worth in all-things superficial: The grades I got in school. The amount of dedication I showed every day. Whether people noted this dedication. How I dressed. How closely I resembled my icons.

2018, I fully intend to restore every piece of myself that I loved dearly. But, more than anything, you are going to be about me becoming a better person. And that isn’t in academics or appearance.

It’s in how you doors open for people. It’s in how you listen and let people know that you’re there for them. It’s in how you smile at everyone you encounter, even though you spilled your coffee on your white shirt when you were running late for your morning class because you slept through your alarm, and there’s a piece of hair that’s just not cooperating, and it’s been a really long week, even though it’s only Tuesday.

It’s in being the light, and making people feel lighter. It’s in thank you notes to professors and in love letters sent to your friends at 2 AM telling them how much you appreciate them. It’s in inspiring people to love, love hard, love when it’s hard, because love is the only thing that will ever make any of this better.

Dear 2018,

I’m going to be kinder to myself and the world around me.

I hope you’ll be kind to us, too.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Sessions

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10 Bible Verses For Thanksgiving

Psalm 34:1
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The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

1) 1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

2) Colossians 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3) Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

4) Psalm 30:12

That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

5) Isaiah 12:4-5

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

6) Hebrews 12:28-29

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

7) Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the Lord."

8) 1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

9) Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

10) Psalm 100:4

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers Pro

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6 Fall Favorites To Look Forward To

Fall is truly my favorite season, and it always has been. From exciting events to cooler weather, late September to early December is the greatest time of the year.

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September 23rd marks the first day of Autumn, more commonly known as Fall. Lately, I have found myself daydreaming of Fall more and more often.

1. Seasonal Foods

Apple cider. Pumpkin pie. Homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Of course, the Pumpkin Spice Latte makes the list, too.

S'mores are another yummy treat I seem to have more of in the Fall at bonfires or in my backyard. Although you can have these foods year-round, there is something especially splendid about having them when the apples and pumpkins are in season!

2. FOOTBALL

Especially going to an SEC school, football is taken very seriously. The hype that surrounds a Saturday football game is remarkable.

Lets not forget the tailgating that goes along with home gamedays. At my first college football game, I was shocked to see televisions set up and large tables lined with food fit to serve at a wedding!

3. Halloween

Freeee Candy. Need I say more?

I may be 22 years old, but Halloween makes me feel like a kid again. Dressing up as a superhero or movie character is fun at any age! I love to see how creative people get with their costumes.

Pumpkin carving. Haunted houses. These are a few of the perks that come on October 31st.

As if Halloween season isn't great enough, the day after Halloween is even better because all of the yummy, leftover candy is on sale!

4. Fashion

From sweatshirts and sweaters to warm boots and scarves, fall clothing is hard to beat. Although my closet seems to overflow in the Fall, there is something so satisfying about dressing up in a long sleeve shirt, a vest, and pull up some riding boots over skinny jeans.

Wake up late on a school day? No worries. Comfort color sweatshirts and leggings is an acceptable college outfit.

5. Going to the pumpkin patch

Whether you are 4 or 24, going to the pumpkin patch, riding on a hayride, and picking your very own pumpkin is a special event. Some even have petting zoos with goats, horses, and pigs!

If you've never been to a pumpkin patch, stop what you are doing and start planning your first visit NOW!

6. Thanksgiving 

I feel like this almost goes without saying. When I think of Fall, Thanksgiving is one of the first things to come to mind.

As it is for most southern families, Thanksgiving is a big deal in my house. Our traditions begin the day before Thanksgiving when my mom starts to prepare the food. We get up early on Thanksgiving morning to have "pigs-in-a-blanket" for breakfast and begin cooking again. In between sessions in the kitchen, we pile up on the couch to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Then we head over to my aunt's house for lunch, take nap, and wake up in time to watch the Egg Bowl.

Of course, the most important part of Thanksgiving is being surrounded by people who love you and being thankful for all of the blessings God has given us.

With all of these reasons, plus many more, what is not to love about Fall?

Grab your Pumpkin Spice Lattes and get ready for the Fall festivities to begin!

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