A Thank You Letter To 4-H

A Thank You Letter To 4-H

And the green clover that made me.
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Head, heart, hands, health. These four H's played a huge role in my life growing up. If you're not familiar with them, they're the four H's that make up 4-H, one of the largest youth organizations in the country. I was blessed enough to spend twelve years as a 4-H member and my time with the green clover had a huge impact on my life. After all these years I believe a thank you is in order to the organization that made me.

Thank you for the memories.

The more I look back, the more I realize so many of my fondest memories growing up revolve around 4-H. Instead of "This one time at band camp" for me and many of my closest friends it's "This one time at 4-H camp". Whether it be at camp, the county fair, leadership conferences or anything in between, my 4-H memories are some I'll never forget.

Thank you for helping me learn to be responsible.

One of the biggest lessons I learned in 4-H was how to be responsible. I had livestock that needed to be taken care of, work that I volunteered to do and I was an officer in several clubs. My animals relied on me for food, water, and other basic care. My club relied on me to help lead or guide them, to keep track of minutes and to budget as well as many other things. It made me mature and grow up but I never even realized it til I was done.

Thank you for teaching me time management.

"I can't, I have 4-H," was a common phrase heard out of my mouth whenever people asked me to do things, especially during high school as I became more and more involved. I had to learn to balance out school, meetings, projects, homework, county fairs, camps, sports, various trips, family, and what often felt like so much more. I had to make sacrifices to be able to do everything I wanted, and sometimes that meant turning down that movie invitation or basketball game, but it was always worth it.

Thank you for giving me positive role models.

Everyone needs a role model and many of mine have also sported the green and white. As a kid, my role models were my club officers and my camp counselors who seemed so cool. As I started becoming more involved with the older youth programs I looked up to the older members and advisors. Even, today, when I'm asked who my biggest role models are I always respond with Hannah, my county extension agent turned state specialist. She and the other people I've looked up to have had a huge part in me becoming the person I am now.

Thank you for letting me become the role model.

One of my favorite parts of 4-H was working with little kids and younger members. I'll never forget the first time I helped a new member with her sewing project and her mother said, "She really looks up to you." I always wanted to be a positive impact on others lives and 4-H gave me the opportunity to do so.

Thank you for giving me a second family.

I say, family, not just friends because they truly became family. Words can't describe my love for the people I worked so closely with. My 4-H family was always there with open arms, helping hands, loving hearts and in true 4-H fashion, plenty of food. My friends that I made during my years as a member have become some of my very closest and I know I'll have these people for the rest of my life.

Thank you for making me into the person I am today.

I simply wouldn't be the person I am today without my time as a 4-Her.

I owe a lot to the green clover. It's given me countless friends, memories and life lessons. Tonight I'll thank God twice for all of the many things that He and 4-H have given me.

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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