Learning to Pray Expectantly

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Prayer is an important part of having a strong relationship with God.

I remember last fall, my school took a trip to Windy Gap. We spent the week worshiping God and getting to know one another before heading back to school. One of the last nights we were there, the leaders sent everyone off to have quiet time with God. I found a spot beside the sand volleyball courts. Looking up at the starry night sky, I thought of how cool it would be to see shooting stars.

Immediately after that thought, I frowned. Why should I ask God for shooting stars? Aren’t I supposed to ask for important and meaningful things? How can I ask for shooting stars when there are so many other things to be praying for? I bent my head and looked at my hands, convinced that something as little as shooting stars should be something I should have prayed for.

You could probably guess what happened. When the bell rang and everyone was called back to the chapel, my friends ran up to me speaking quickly about how beautiful the shooting stars had been. I stopped in the path, shocked. God had answered my prayers but I was so busy convincing myself it wasn’t worth the time that I had missed His answer all together!

While we should pray with full faith that He is able to answer our prayers and do everything we ask, we have to remember that it’s God’s Will that is to be done. God wants us to accept His Will completely and give our lives to Him. Once we do that, He openly answers our prayers because we are praying for His Will to be done! Sometimes, though, there are things that He gives us anyway, like shooting stars. But we have to remember that it is God that we are serving, not ourselves. James 1:6-8 explains this idea:

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. ~ James 1:6-8

My challenge this week is that you would pray expectantly, knowing that God can answer your prayers, giving us everything we need, but also remembering that His Will comes first.

signi

Praising God Through the Storms of Life

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There will be storms in life. That is inevitable.

I’m sure we can all remember a time when everything seemed to be crashing all around us, the sky growing dark and cold. During those times, it can be hard to see God in the midst of the pain and the hurt. But, no matter what we feel, we are not alone.

God is in the midst of the storm. He is in the calm after the storm. He is there before the storm.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. ~Isaiah 43:2

When we remember that God is continually with us, the darkness around us doesn’t seem so dark anymore.What a great promise! So when we find ourselves in the midst of the storm, we can still praise Him for His promise to continually be with us.

My challenge for you this week is to remember God’s promise to be with you and praise Him for being faithful in that promise. Even though these storms can be difficult and painful, there is comfort knowing that we are not alone. For that, we praise God.

signi

Trusting God in His Plans

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I’m not ready.

As I enter into the final months of my Senior year, that is all I can think about… I’m not ready. Some of the people around me are getting so excited to leave high school and head off to college. But I just don’t feel ready.

Should I feel ready?

I was reading Isaiah a couple of nights ago when I came across the passage in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah was called to speak for the Lord.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

~ Isaiah 6:6-8

Isaiah didn’t stop to think whether or not he was qualified for the position that God was asking him to fill. He didn’t wonder if he was ready or had the time. He didn’t consider what he would be missing when he went on to continue God’s work. No. Instead, Isaiah heard God’s calling and immediately said, “Yes, I’m here, open and willing to do whatever You ask of me, Lord.”

During the Great Commission, Jesus commanded everyone to go. He didn’t say, “wait until you’re ready.” The command was to simply go, out of our comfort zones and into the world. But with that command, He promised that He would be with us. (Matthew 28:20)

So even though I don’t feel ready to head off to college, there is comfort in Jesus’ promise to be with me. Like Isaiah, I need to be willing and open to go wherever God calls me without hesitation. And that’s hard. But I’m not expected to do it alone.

My challenge for you (as well for myself) is to trust God in His plans for you. Whether He’s preparing you for a new chapter of life or simply giving you another week, trust His plans and say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.” Remember that His plans are perfect (Psalm 40:5) and trust Him completely.

signi

 

My 2018 Goals

Hello, friends! You have survived the first week of the new year! Yay! How has it been so far? My days have been pretty crazy as my second quarter of school ends this week and we are scrambling to have enough assignments in the grade book.

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It’s that time again to reflect on the past year and make goals for the future. 2018 is going to be a big year for me, as it is the year that I graduate high school and enter the world of college. While I am very excited for this year, I know it’s going to include lots of scary and uncomfortable changes. But that’s what life is full of! So the best thing is to make this year a great year. You with me? Here are my 6 goals to make this year great.


1. Grow in my devotion to God.

Every year I have had a different theme representing who I wanted to be and focus on for the year. Last year, my theme was peace and the year before it was hope. This year, my theme is devotion. As I looked back on 2017, I noticed how my relationship with Him has faltered a bit due to doubt and personal struggles. What I realize now is that I was resisting God because I wanted so desperately to be in control of things in my life. But, I’m not in control, God is. This year, I want to work on growing closer to God and trusting in Him for my future.

2. Keep my family relationship strong.

My family isn’t perfect but they are wonderful and I love them. We are already seeing the stress that senior year brings but I don’t want that to hinder our family relationship. This year, I want to continue to keep our relationship strong, even while I’m at college.

3. Stay connected to my friends.

I have been so blessed to have great friends who are very involved in our community as well as each other. But that also means that we are constantly busy. While we may not be around all of the time, I still want to stay connected to my friends and keep my relationships with them.

4. Finish Senior year strong.

Senioritis is real. I didn’t realize how real it was until I got my first acceptance letter. Although there is a lot of pressure among my senior class to give up and stop caring now that I’ve been accepted to college, I need to continue doing my best work in class and outside of class. To do this I will:

  • Set priorities
  • Stay organized
  • Stay motivated

5. Invest in myself.

I believe that a healthy mind and body leads to healthy relationships and a happier life. This year, I want to really make an effort to invest in myself. This can include getting back into photography as a creative outlet, writing music as a way to de-stress, and learning to say no when I am stressed and in need of rest.

6. Invest in my blog.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I took a couple of breaks this year. Part of that was because of my sanity, the other part being health-related. While I don’t know what this year will have in store for me, I want to put in a greater effort to be involved in this lovely blogging community. Specifically, I’d like to:

  • Host a giveaway!
  • Comment on 200 posts through the year.
  • and Host guests for collabs!

So that’s what my 2018 looks like! What are your goals for the New Year? Are there any things that you are really excited for this year?

signi

Looking Back: 2017

Hello, everyone and happy New Year! This year has flown by so quickly! Time really does fly when you’re having fun, or just busy. :)

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2017 has been a crazy year for me. Between all of the travels and my surgery and starting Senior year, I’ve been busy! But I wouldn’t change that business for the world! It makes life interesting. :)

In the beginning of the year, I wanted my theme to be growth. But as life continued, I found that my theme was becoming peace. Peace in my school decisions, peace about the future, and peace about who I am, were all really important for me this year.

Popular Posts

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I posted a list of some things that I Want, some things that I Need, some things to Wear, and some things to Read for my 2017 Christmas Wish List.

Link: here.

 

This year I celebrated 3 years of blogging! I talked a little bit about all of the changes on my blog and how I came to be happy with those changes.

Link: here.

 

This summer I took a trip to Europe with my family to visit my grandparents and cousins. It was so much fun and we took so many pictures.

Link: here.

 

March was a particularly good month for me this year. My family hosted quite a bit of people and we did some traveling too. I also worked on memorizing Bible verses and worked on my photography.

Link: here.

 

 

2017 ended pretty nicely for me too! My sisters and I hosted a group of girls for a New Year’s Eve party. Ending and starting the two years with my friends and family is a blessing and I am so grateful that we had that opportunity.

So, how was your 2017? What were some of your favorite parts/memories? I hope that your New Year is just as great!

signi

30 Things I’m Thankful For

Hey, everyone! Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Have you started making your shopping list? I’ve been planning with my family and I’m really excited to spend the holiday with all of my relatives. I always look forward to Thanksgiving day. Speaking of Thanksgiving, there are so many things to be thankful for! Here are 30 Things I’m Thankful For.

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  1. God who has saved me despite the many times I’ve failed.
  2. My family who drives me crazy but I still love them.
  3. Friends who are open and accepting no matter what. The ones who encourage me to be my best every day and help me back up when I fall.
  4. Teachers who work with me to help me get better.
  5. Pastors who will sit with me and walk me through things I may not understand.
  6. Sunday School Leaders who have prayed for me and my family week after week.
  7. Military Families and others who work to keep our country safe.
  8. The changing of the seasons and the beauty that comes with each one.
  9. Vacations and the chance to have a break from the business of life.
  10. Flowers which always cheer me up.
  11. Surprise snail mail from family and friends.
  12. Heaters to keep my home warm.
  13. Socks to keep my feet warm (and for sliding around the floors).
  14. Education and the opportunity to learn.
  15. The wonderful food that my mom makes for me every day!
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  16. Cameras and the chance to capture memories in a photo.
  17. Dishwashers! Because who wants to wash all of those pots?
  18. Sunday afternoons full of rest and reading.
  19. Little handwritten notes left in my lunchbox.
  20. Happy moments with family and friends.
  21. Clear nights full of stars and wonder.
  22. The experiences, both good and bad, that have helped me grow into who I am today.
  23. Failures that have helped me learn from my mistakes and encouraged me to do better.
  24. Technology that allows me to communicate with my family all across the world.
  25. Comfortable beds to sleep in!
  26. Family traditions and the memories that come with them.
  27. Books that come with great adventures!
  28. The authors who have inspired me to write.
  29. The many people who love me and pray for me.
  30. All of you who take the time to read my posts! Thank you so much!

What things are you thankful for? What are you looking forward to the most this Thanksgiving? I hope you have a great week!

signi

Travel Journal//Europe – June 2017

Hey, everyone! A couple of weeks ago, I got back from an amazing trip to Europe to visit my grandparents and cousins. I had so much fun with all of my family members, seeing some historic sights and meeting some amazing people. I can’t wait to go back!

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At Home in Belgium

We landed in Belgium early in the morning and were greeted by my Oma and Opa. It was so nice seeing them again! Most days of our trip, my family and I would stop by my grandparents house and eat meals with them. Oma’s food is so good!

We took a day trip to a beach and walked for a couple of hours. The beach was beautiful and full of shells. Since it was the 4th of July, we ate some red, white, and blue M&Ms to celebrate. :)

Shopping And Friends

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picture via sis

We spent several days shopping and looking for gifts to bring back home. One of my favorite days was when we stumbled upon a little neighborhood and met a really kind lady in her early 80s. She happily told us stories and showed us to a little chapel where she plays piano every week. It was so nice to meet another believer and to spend some time getting to know her. I know that I will never forget her.

A Short Road Trip

To finish off our vacation, my family and I all took a short three-day road trip to Germany. On the way there, we drove through Luxemburg and then stopped for lunch in France. It was really cool seeing how the culture and buildings looked so different as we passed through the different countries. It was definitely something that we don’t get to experience in America.

Germany was absolutely beautiful! I loved all of the houses and the flowers in the windows made me really happy. :) While in Germany, we took a bergbahn (old mountain train) to the top of a mountain; the view was AMAZING!


I had such a great time in Europe with my family. I can’t wait to go back and see them again! There will be a video coming up soon on my Youtube channel so keep an eye out for that! Have a great day! :)

signi

March Memories

Hello, everyone! As I’m writing this, the rain is pouring outside and my sister is playing violin. My mom is working on starting a fire and I have a big cup of tea waiting for me. Talk about perfect writing time! This past month have been filled with tons of adventures and excitement.

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In the beginning of the month, my mom and my sister and I drove to surprise my sister at her first away game for soccer. It was great except we ended up going to the wrong school! By the time we made it to the right school, there were 3 minutes left in the game. Bummer! But, we were able to see my sister play for a little bit and it made her really happy that we were there, so I’d say it was well worth it! :)

On the 5th, we hosted a missionary family for dinner. The family was really sweet and had lots of fun stories about life on the mission field and their many puppies. On the 12th, there was snow but it all melted within a couple of hours. Still, it was really pretty!

The next week, I had a friend over for a sleepover. We went to the park near my house and saw a beautiful tree! (Pictured below.) While we were at the park, a little girl, about 5, ran up to us and asked us to play with her. She was so adorable and I loved running around with her on the park playground! The next day, we met with another friend and went to walk on the campus of a nearby college, getting a feel for the college-life. It was a great experience and I learned a bit of what it’s like just to be on campus.

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Next came the Florida trip! My whole family spent our Spring break in sunny FL by the beach and it was beautiful! We were also able to go on all kinds of adventures including going to the Everglades. (I even made a video of it! Click here to watch it.) We got to see dolphins, birds, and aligators. A couple of days later, we went to Disney! I loved all of the rides but I especially loved the firework show at the end of the day. :) (Read the Florida Trip Travel Journal here!)

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After getting back into the rhythm of school life, I focused on memorized more Bible verses. This time, I memorized Isaiah 26:3-4 which says:

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
 Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
-Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

Last week, my sisters and I took a spontaneous trip to my friend’s house! We spent a lot of time playing with her dog, :) but we also spent time outside making floral creations and talking about life. It was a wonderful way to spend my Sunday and it was pretty relaxing too! :)

Some Pictures from March:

That’s all! How was your March? Did you have any fun adventures? Let me know! I would love to hear from you! :)

signi

 

Motivation Monday // Trust

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March 27, 2017

Today’s Theme: Trust

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“Worrying doesn’t change anything but trusting in God changes everything.” – Unknown

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“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” – Psalm 56:3

Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship. It’s the same for our relationship with God. We have to learn to trust Him and His plans for our lives. That’s my challenge for you this week. :)

signi

Travel Journal//Florida – March 2017

Hello, my friends! How are you? I just got back from my trip to Florida and it was beautiful as always! My family and I spent a week relaxing, exploring, and enjoying God’s creation. With a one-day trip to the Everglades and Disney, this vacation was one that I will never forget. :)

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God’s Beautiful Creation

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My favorite part of the entire trip was getting to see the sunsets. I think it’s really cool how God made the colors and lights work perfectly together to create a beautiful show that is unique every day. And how awesome is it that the clouds get to play a part in the show as well? The picture above is my absolute favorite from the trip. :)

Living On The Beach Front

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My family and I spent a good amount of time at the beach during the first couple of days. I loved hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach and watching the birds soar through the blue sky. Even better were the walks at sunset and afternoons spent reading on the deck.

Trip To The Everglades

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The day trip to the Everglades was also a lot of fun! We took a boat//kayak//walking tour through part of the Everglades. It was so beautiful and calming out on the water, watching the dolphins jump through the water. After the tour, my parents drove me and my siblings through a scenic road where we got to see alligators and birds.

(P.S. Click here to see the travel journal video!)

When You Wish Upon A Star…

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My parents surprised us with a semi-spontaneous trip to Disney for the day! We woke up early and drove the 2+ hours to the Magic Kingdom and then stayed for the entire day. It was a wonderful day and I loved every minute of it! The firework show at the end was amazing, a perfect way to end our Florida Trip. :)

What did you do for Spring Break or, if you haven’t had break yet, what are you planning on doing? Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

signi

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