And loves me like Jesus does.

Part 7 of the How to be Awesome series is “If you want to see different results, do things differently.”

In the video, she asks us what is something we would like to see improve about ourselves. (I know these people aren’t perfect. No human being is, but these people have qualities I admire.) So, since I love lists so much, here is mine:

1. I want a confidence like Blair Waldorf and still have that vulnerability and feminism. I wanna fight for love as hard as she does. (Plus she rocks some really pretty hair and she’s totally why I started wearing headbands and bows in my hair. Having her wardrobe wouldn’t hurt either!)

2. I want a heart like Miranda Lambert. I wanna stand up for myself and for others like she does too. (I totally wouldn’t mind that new bed and breakfast she just opened too! That place is gorgeous! Her wedding looked pretty stinkin perfect too. Plus Blake Shelton is pretty adorable.)

3. I want to have class, sophistication, and grace like Kate Middleton.

4. I want to inspire others and praise You the way that Britt Nicole does.

5. I want to live my values like Jamie Grace. (I could totally rock her cowboy boot collection too!)

6. I want to be fearless and a pioneer like Kimberly Perry. (I would love to whip my hair around like she does too!)

7. I want to feel completely content being exactly who I am like Taylor Swift.

8. I want to have Reba’s family values. (Plus her hair always has that perfect southern volume.)

9. I want to basically want be Eric Church’s wife. The songs he sings about her: Like Jesus Does, You Make it Look Easy, and A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young. (My heart just swoons with every lyric!)

“I’m a long-gone Waylon song on vinyl,
I’m a back row sinner at a tent revival,
But she believes in me like she believes her Bible,
And loves me like Jesus does.”

10. I want to have strength like in She Don’t Tell Me to by Montgomery Gentry.

11. I want to be the girl in Me and God Love Her by Toby Keith.

12. I want a voice and charm like RaeLynn. (Clearly I am never going to be able to sing like her, but she’s just absolutely adorable and completely southern.)

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I always strive to be better. I pray that I realize perfection is not going to happen but that I keep growing. I pray that I keep learning from others. I pray that I keep pushing myself. I pray that I get closer to you. I pray that you keep guiding me and challenging me. I pray that I become the woman that you created me to be. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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I love you this much.

“Invest in people who invest in you” is part 6 of the How to be Awesome series. I have step 6 on lock. Like I am totally good at this one. I know how to pick people. There is a quote from Oprah that says “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” When I was the sisterhood coordinator like almost two years ago, that quote was the theme for the retreat. Like I totally got this.

In the video, she says: “When you invest in people who invest in you, you are going to be rich. Rich in awesomeness. Rich in happiness. Rich in everything.” I wasn’t always good at this though. There were days, years even, when I surrounded myself with negative people. I let them control my life which wasn’t fair to them or me. When I got older I realized that there was no point to that. The only thing I was doing by being around these people was holding myself back from my full potential, from being happy. I was worth more than I was giving myself credit for. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of someone’s time and energy. I am worthy of compassion. I am worthy of joy. I am worthy of sincerity. I am worthy of forgiveness. You taught me that. Even if the whole wide world was against me, You would still be for me. You died for me!

“His arms were stretched out
As far as they’d go
Nailed to the cross
For the whole world to know

I love you this much
And i’m waiting on you
To make up your mind
Do you love me too?
How ever long it takes
I’m never giving up no matter what
I love you this much”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that continue to invest in people who invest in me. I pray that I continue to surround myself with people who bring me closer to you. I pray that I continue to surround myself with people who build me up. I pray that I take Jimmy Wayne’s lyrics with me. I pray that I keep looking to you. I pray that I remember who much you love me. I pray that I remember that you died for me. I pray that I remember that your arms are open for me. I pray that I keep running to you. I pray that I continue to be in awe of you and your love. I pray that I share your love with others. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Let it go.

Part 5 of the How to be Awesome series is “Avoid the Comparison Trap.” She simply says “comparison ruins everything.” I probably need this message a little more than I would like to admit. (When I say a little, I really mean a lot.) She asks which part we fall into and fun fact, I fall into all three. (No matter how many times I say I’m perfect and put my cute little hand under my chin with a smile, the truth is I am far from it.) Comparison is something I struggle with.

1. “Comparing destroys confidence.”

Well that hit the nail on the head. I find myself looking for approval from others and making sure that I’m in line with what others are doing way too often. I need to learn to get approval from You, rather than others. I need to learn to seek permission and affirmation from You instead.

2. “Comparing zaps your happy.”

This one again was right on point. She talked about how comparing just sucked the happiness out of her in like 30 seconds or less and it wasn’t because she wasn’t happy for the other person or because she wanted what the other person had. It was simply because she was comparing the two. It’s not necessarily a jealously thing. I don’t want to be you or have what you have. I just see others doing amazing things and or being amazing and I want that too but I take that wanting feeling too far sometimes. She even realized how simply silly the whole thing was, that there was no point in making yourself unhappy by comparing. I realize this too, but sometimes I just get in a mood and no matter what I’m doing, someone is doing it better.

3. “Comparing ignores your unique talents and gifts.”

She talks about how she compares their strengths to her weaknesses and I totally do the same thing. I need to remember that You made me unique and for a purpose. I am the way I am for a reason. I do not have the skills and abilities that other people have, I have my own special talents. I need to remember that they are, in fact, gifts and given to me by You.

So, as usual my life is a soundtrack and here is today’s song:

“Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!”

So, this is my prayer. I pray that I learn to leave the comparison trap(s). I pray that I learn to focus on you instead of comparing my life to others. I pray that I learn to let it go. I pray that I learn to stop letting comparison steal my happiness and confidence. I pray that I stop letting comparison take control over my life and stop me from sharing my gifts and talents. I pray that I become so focused on you that I don’t worry about comparing. I pray that I give the control to you instead of comparison. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I surrender all.

How to be Awesome part 4: “Give, Give Give.” There are three parts to giving in this video.

1. “Give Thanks.”

I think it’s really great that when she’s upset she writes thank you notes. Like what a great way to literally turn your frown upside down. I think it’s such a wonderful idea to take that negative energy and turn it into something positive and realize that yes, today is kinda awful, but like I have so much to still be thankful for.

2. “Give your gift.”

She said “Nobody can say it how you say it. Nobody can give the gift how you give it.” That really spoke volumes to me. (It reminds me of that It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away song! That man’s voice just melts my heart!) Like You gave us each this specific gift to share with the world. She also talked about how you have to give it back to yourself too. I totally related to that and appreciated it like I totally forget to take care of myself sometimes.

3. “Give love.” 

She broke this one down even further: “Give praise, give encouragement and giving to yourself.” Then she goes on to add: “I made the conscious decision that if I have an inclination to do something good I am going to do it.” The message that sends is so bold and powerful. I like how she ties it back to the second part of How to be Awesome by saying basically who cares if you look stupid. Like if you love, go big, give it all you have. I like how she discussed giving for the right reasons and with a pure heart.

Lord, I want to give this and more to You. I want to come to You with a willing heart. I want to surrender it all to You.

“All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
And in His presence I will live
I surrender all, I surrender all

All to Jesus I surrender
Lord, I give myself to thee
Fill me with Your love and power
Let Your blessing fall on me
All to Jesus I surrender”

So this is my prayer today. I pray that I learn to give a little more. I pray that I give more of my myself, more of my thanks, more of my gift, and more of my love. I pray that I give more to you. I pray that I surrender it all you. I pray that I lay all I have at your feet. I pray that I give everything I have to you and I pray that I give with a willing and pure heart. I pray that I give to others. I pray that I share your love and all you have given with me with others. I pray that I keep my heart focused on you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

There must be something in the water.

How to be Awesome part 3 is “Don’t Poison Your Well.” She says that we’re vessels trying to put forth this good, clean water and the 3 main ways that we poison our well and sabotage ourselves is through negative people, negative thoughts, and negative actions.

I fill my well by reading. Whether it’s christian fiction romance books or some article on new public relations tools on Pinterest. (I love music and movies but I typically pick the sappy, emotional ones so I don’t think that qualifies as filling my well.) When my well is getting really low then I pull out my favorite verse, which is, Isaiah 43:2 which says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” It reminds me that I’m never alone, no matter what I’m going through or where I am. You are with me always.

My affirmation to replace the negative thoughts is famous quotes. I post them all over my room. I have canvas’ covering my wall. My newest one is “Darling, you’re adequate. While dancing. While speaking. While ugly crying. While spitting game. While struggling. While fighting. While laughing like a lunatic. While singing Taylor Swift at the top of your lungs. While slamming the door and walking away. In every crook of you stands some sort of adequacy that the world would do anything to keep you unconvinced of.” Hannah Brencher posted that on Instagram one time and it stuck with me. I really liked that word adequate. I looked up synonyms for it, which are: satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, and enoughThat word hit home because I constantly feel like I’m not enough. I identify with the way we poison our own well. I am my own worst enemy. I let that one negative thing ruin my whole day way too often. I dwell on it and let it sit there for days in the back of my mind, reminding me that I am not enough.

“So I followed that preacher man down to the river and now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger

There must be been something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water”

So that is my prayer today. I pray that I let you fill my well. I pray that I stop poisoning my own well with my thoughts and actions. I pray that I remember Carrie Underwood’s song. I pray that I remember that you saved me. That I am enough for you. That I am adequate for you. That I am acceptable and sufficient for you. I pray that I keep trying to be better because we are all “works in progress” but that I also learn to be satisfied with the progress. I pray that I remember that you created every single hair on my head for a purpose. I pray that I remember to fall on my knees in worship for you. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that I keep coming back to you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Shake it off.

Part 2 of How to be Awesome is “Put Your Goals Before Your Pride.” She said that our pride was keeping us from reaching our full potential. That is so true! If you like something then go after it full heartily.

We can’t be afraid to try, to fail, to succeed. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” There are always going to be people that don’t like you or like what you do. Negativity spreads like wildfire but so does positive energy. (I don’t know about you, but I like happy thoughts.) It is so easy to buy into the negative stuff and let our pride take the fall. We give up or change our minds and opinion based on what we think others will think of us. (Truth time: I am real bad at doing that sometimes.)

“But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”

God, you have a plan for us that is so much bigger than we could ever imagine. Sometimes negativity sinks in but we just have to “shake it off.” We have to be resilient and bounce back. We have to grow and continue to move forward. Dr. Suess said “those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.” We just have to concentrate on you, Lord, and the rest will take care of itself.

So, that is my prayer. I pray that I learn to keep dancing along with Taylor Swift and “shake it off.” I pray that I learn to shake off the negative. That I learn to shake off my pride. I pray that I learn a little from Taylor Swift and how she focuses on the positive. I pray that I don’t let my pride come before you or my goals. I pray that I keep my eyes on you. I pray that I go after you and what I want whole heartily. I pray that I share your love with others. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I want to sing a song for You, Lord.

I stumbled upon this How to be awesome video by Alison Faulkner. It was just there on Pinterest like it was waiting for me to watch. The first video says “Get Started.” She talks about how if you like something “just do it.” She even specifically talked about blogs. I have always wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I tried to start in like middle school but that’s a rough age, to be honest. I would always give up because it wasn’t good enough. But in this video she says that the best way to learn is through the school of hard knocks and experience. The messages in her video were so basic. I completely related and understood. I kept thinking, where has this been my whole life? So thank you Alison, for reminding of the importance to just try. Plus her positive energy was just absolutely contagious. I love that all of the things she tried led her to one thing that finally clicked. Like each thing she tried taught her something new that eventually led to the thing she was successful at. Like it’s totally ok to fail because it teaches you something.

The video totally had me thinking. Then once again music started playing in my head. (Because what is life without a soundtrack?) It’s like my brain has this master playlist and it just plays exactly what I am thinking.

I want to sing a song for You, Lord
Lord, for You I want to sing a song
And I want to lift my voice to Heaven
And listen to the angels sing along

A song of Your faithfulness
A song of Your grace
And of Your loving kindness
To the glory of Your name
With everything that’s in me, Lord
Listen to me say
I want to sing a song for You
I want to sing a song

I want to live my life for You, Lord
Lord, for You I want to live my life
And I want to praise the name of Jesus
And Pray above all things You’re glorified

So this is my prayer today. I pray that I continue to just do it. I pray that I continue to pour my heart out to you. I pray that while I can’t sing a song for you like Third Day, I can write. I pray that I use the gifts you gave me. I pray that everything I do points only to you. I pray that while I stumble and fall and make mistakes, I keep writing for you. I keep going for you. I thank you for the courage to get started. I thank you for listening to me when I was scared to try. Thank you for making sure I was ready. Thank you for creating me. I pray that you keep pulling on my heart. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.