Jun 4, 2018

10+ Ways to Read More: The Student Edition

A full-time graduate student, taking thirteen hours, working a part-time job, maintaining a social life . . . while reading on average 1000 pages a month for fun.

"How do you do it?" is a question that I'm often asked.

There are some simple strategies that I use to make effective use of my time. I shared about this on Facebook recently, but creating time to do something that I love is so important that I decided to write a blog post about it.

Aug 13, 2017

Start Each Morning with a Grateful Heart

I was filled with anxiety that kept me up at night and buzzed around my head throughout the day. It knotted up my stomach and made me want to simultaneously fix the problem and hide under my the poor comfort of my blankets. (It's hard to find any comfort at all when one is anxious.)

I made a mistake, due partly out of ignorance, and it diminished my sense of self-worth. I began to see a recurring pattern of failures in my character. Hating this self-loathing, I began to work on counter measures for the future. As much as I worked, however, I couldn't shake away the feelings of worthlessness.

Jul 24, 2017

Who or What are You Loving? {And Where Should You Be Giving More Time?}

Pet me. Pay attention to me, my dog seems to be saying as he sits in front of me. His bottom is firmly planted on top of my computer's charging cord—a challenge to what has been and what should be taking priority in my life.

A line from my theology reading comes to mind: "God speaks through his creation."

Hasn't my dog been proving this point to me?

This summer, my dog has been holding me accountable to our prayer walks. Every morning, when I come down the stairs, he runs over and prances about, pushing me to hurry up and take him around the neighborhood. Since I've started these morning walks, I've been following them up with jogs (without the dog), and I'm beginning to greet neighbors during these morning excursions.

None of this would've started had I not received the inspiration to take my dog out on a morning walk and kept at it.

What could God be trying to tell me now? What has He been trying to tell me over the hundreds (thousands?) of times my dog has sat before me, trying to command my attention, over the past twelve years?

Jun 24, 2017

Humble Hearts and Self-Serving Attitudes

"Give me ten minutes. I'm finishing this . . . ?"

Have you ever said something along those lines to someone?

In the moment, the task we're doing can seem like the most interesting task in the world. Especially when someone asks us to do something that we really don't want to do. I recently found myself in the latter situation.

Apr 4, 2017

Back to the Basics: Simplifying Fashion and Life

My closet is filled with clothes. Finding lack of hanging space, out-of-season clothes have moved into boxes to be unpacked when the time comes. I have no pressing need for anything, yet during a recent conversation with a friend, the two of us discussed the irresistibility of purchasing one more item that we find lacking in our already crowded closets.

This habit has been carefully bred and developed over time by an increasingly materialistic and consumeristic culture. No longer are we satisfied with the basic necessities, but we are taught to need more and more. Many clothes are fashioned with a specific occasion or season in mind. When their time is up, they either sit in our closet collecting dust until the next year or in the trash or Salvation Army bin.

Every year, my family throws out bags filled with perfectly good clothes. We feel good donating these items to the Salvation Army, but we don't actually know what happens to them. Will they find a home, or will they continue to collect dust somewhere? In the end, we're still generating more waste and still unsatisfied with our closets.

Instead of purchasing another item for the closet, what if we gave away a piece of clothing we wear only once or twice a year? What if we learned how to piece together new outfits from the items that we already own? What if we learned how to be content with what we have?