101 in 1001: A Year Update

Start date: Friday, May 11, 2018
First Update: 6 Months
End date: Friday, February 05, 2021

Hello everyone! It’s been a little over a year since I started my 101 in 1001 challenge so it’s time for another update. The 101 in 1001 challenge is a list of 101 things I want to do in 1001 days (2.75 years). I’ve timed it so this challenge will end by my 21st birthday but I’ve got so much still to do! You can see the full list of goals and check my progress here.

Goals I’ve crossed off:

38. Take my sisters on “sister-dates” (March 2019)

Being away from home was pretty hard. But setting up sister-dates made for an extra something to look forward to. Spending that one-on-one time with my sisters gives us a chance to catch up and just enjoy each others’ company.

39. Volunteer with my family a Saturday morning (March 2019)

My church back home has a homeless ministry that serves breakfast downtown every Saturday morning. My roommate and her family have been going for a while and my family has gone as well. But with school and being away, I needed to plan for a chance to finally go and see what the ministry was all about. Spending the morning with like-minded people while catching a glimpse into the world of others was interesting and challenging. I am glad for the chance to go and broaden my worldview and I am looking forward to the next time I can serve again.

43. Go to a drive-in/outdoor movie (April 2019)

Every year my school hosts a Spring Festival which includes flower crowns and tie-dye shirts and an outdoor movie! This year we watched Mary Poppins Returns and it was so much fun. (I mean it’s Mary Poppins!!) It was my third time watching the movie but it was still so fun to be there with friends and enjoy the outside festivities.

52. Explore downtown Charlotte (July 2019)

This one was fun to do too because it included my cousins (who are pretty awesome people) and my family. We were going to go on a walking tour but instead explored the streets on our own as well as the major stops like King’s Kitchen, NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, and the Mint Museum. I highly recommend checking out downtown Charlotte if you are in town!

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59. Find a church by the university (Spring 2019)

Finding a church by my school was harder than I thought it would be. With so many churches in the small town, you’d think we’d have no problem! But when it comes to finding a church, my friends and I knew that we wanted to find somewhere that taught the Truth, not just a good-feeling message, and somewhere we could get involved. We visited big churches, small churches, contemporary, traditional and everything in between before finally deciding on a small Baptist Church. It took time but it was totally worth it.

74. Visit my high school teachers after I graduate (March 2018)

High school was such a good time for me. Junior and Senior years specifically shaped a lot of my views and challenged me in and out of the classroom in ways I couldn’t imagine. The teachers those two years played an important role in that. Going back to visit the school and personally thank those teachers for challenging me and preparing me for this college journey was an important thing. It was great to reflect and thank those who work year-round preparing students for the future. And I think they appreciated it too.

80. Celebrate Easter really big (April 2019)

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays and potentially one of the most underrated ones. Christmas gets most of the celebration in both the religious and non-religious worlds but Easter is most important! Without Christ rising victoriously from the dead having had defeated our sins, we would still be searching for a way to prove ourselves worthy of God’s acceptance. So Easter definitely deserves more praise. This year my family went all out with a Bible-themed scavenger hunt, pastries made by my sister, and a big meal with the extended family. Hopefully, this tradition will continue.

88. Make a new vision board (January 2019)

The vision board concept it a cool one for me because I find that each time I make one I learn more about myself. It’s true that images speak louder than words and often hold concepts and ideas that can reveal themselves over time. As I made this vision board, I allowed myself to just pick images that I was drawn to. Those images ended up being more “outdoorsy” than I would have initially chosen but as time moved on, I found those things reflected interests and opportunities I didn’t know I had. It’s fun to see visually how those interests change over time and how they come out in my everyday life.

I’ve completed 25 of my 101 goals! How have you been coming along in your 101 in 1001 journey? What things have you learned about yourself through it? Follow my progress and see the complete list here.

signi

Accepting Imperfection

In a world ruled by an Instagram-perfect life, we as a society have been conditioned to hide our imperfections, not only in our beauty and outward appearance, but also in our everyday lives. We take the brokenness of life and hide behind the stories we filter for others to like. We push down our brokenness, forgetting that our mistakes and imperfections are what make us human and are oftentimes great ways through which we can share the Gospel.

God does not call us to be perfect. But He does call us to trust Him and follow Him in every point of life. We may be broken but our brokenness emphasizes God’s perfection and the fact that He is the only way to true life.

We need to always be working to live a life that is better and more Christ-like. The point is that we should not be discouraged when we make mistakes or don’t live the perfect lives. We are not perfect beings. We are going to fail. That is just a fact of life.

But the hope is that God uses our weaknesses and makes us strong. Through our brokenness, God’s strength and power and love are emphasized. Our imperfect stories are the ones that are most relatable. When we let our facades fall, we open the door to acceptance and reality and give God a chance to use us – the real us.

So we don’t need to live every day perfectly. We don’t need to hide behind our Instagram-perfect images. It’s okay to be real. It’s okay to open up about what you’re struggling with. This gives us the freedom to show God’s glory and strength through our weaknesses. This points to the trust that we have in His power.

What is it that you feel you should be perfect in? How is that need for perfection preventing the Gospel from getting through? Find those spots, give them up to God in prayer and trust, and learn to accept the imperfections.

My New Year Goals – 2019

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New years are great because they gives everyone a chance to start fresh even if things in your life keep right on going. There’s a new mindset and a fresh look on the projects we’ve been working on. And I think that’s great.

1. Take up photography again.

I’ve always loved photography. It’s such an easy way to capture life’s big (or small) moments. While I’ve taken a break from photography, I’ve been saving quite a few ideas on Pinterest and admiring some of my favorite photographers’ works. I hope all of that inspiration-searching pays off in my own work.

2. Make it to a least one (but hopefully more) sporting event.

I’ve never been a fan of playing sports, but I can appreciate those who are. College is great because there are always sporting events happening on campus and most of the time, the tickets are either free or cheap. So this should be a good time to get out there and cheer on my classmates.

3. Go camping with some friends.

Camping is one of those things that I’ve never done but I’ve always wanted to do. Last semester, I gathered up a group of friends to go camping but due to weather and other things, we didn’t get out. Hopefully this year I can be more intentional about making that camping trip happen.

So those are some of my goals for this year! If you’ve been following on my Instagram, you’ll also know that I’ve been striving for sustainability and less waste in my life. I wrote a blog post with more goals specifically for zero waste over here. What are some of your goals for this new year?

signi

101 in 1001: A Six-Month Update

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It’s been six months since I started my 101 in 1001 challenge and it’s been quite the ride. I started off really well, crossing off quite a bit in the first couple of months! Now that school has started, I haven’t been able to work on as many goals as I’d like, but progress is progress and all that matters is that I’m moving forward.

Goals I’ve crossed off:

8. Go through my clothes and donate what I don’t wear (August 2018)

This goal was easy to cross off, especially during the week of packing for college. I went through every article of clothing I had and made sure to donate the ones I didn’t wear but were still in good condition.

11. Spend 15 minutes outside everyday for a month (August/Sep. 2018)

Spending time outside everyday made things relaxing and calm. I normally eat my meals outside on the patio of the cafeteria unless it’s too cold to be outside.

12. Bike somewhere (July 2018)

During our summer vacation, my family and I took a spontaneous trip to the beach for Independence Day. We biked through a small town and over many hills to the sandy beach. It was so much fun and I loved it! My favorite part was, of course, being with my family, but I also loved the wind in my hair and the smell of the salty air.

13. Go skating again (September 2018)

This goal I was a little afraid about because I didn’t want to fall and get hurt. However, falling is something that we just have to face. I went roller skating with my friends for a birthday celebration and it was a lot of fun! I hadn’t been roller skating before that, but I had been ice skating and it was pretty similar. I did fall at one point, but it wasn’t too bad!

31. Sing around a fire pit with some friends (June 2018)

This summer I visited my aunt with my family and spent the weekend with her and some of her friends. One night was all sat around a fire pit and sang songs as my sister played her ukulele. It was so nice and calming.

34. Have an early morning Bible study outside (July 2018)

There is something special about reading the Bible outside in the morning. It’s calming and quiet and makes it easier to hear what God is trying to say through His word, I think.

41. Reconnect with an old friend (August 2018)

This August I was able to connect with a friend from middle school over Instagram. She was one of my closest friends and when I left the school to be homeschooled, we lost touch. It was good to hear from her again and to know that she is doing well!

42. Start a birthday tradition (June 2018)

I have always loved the idea of birthday traditions. They always seem so much fun and a great way to have something to look forward to! My sister, her friend, and I started a birthday tradition for my sister’s birthday.

45. Take a road trip (May 2018)

My friends and I for our senior trip took a road trip to the beach. It was a great way to get away from school and the stress of preparing for graduation while also being able to hang out and talk with each other.

46. Visit a city I’ve never been to before (May 2018)

This summer my family and I went to Philadelphia to celebrate a family member’s wedding. I had never been to Philly before but I loved the city, the food, and the history behind it all! It was a nice trip and I loved seeing family.

50. Play an instrument on the beach (May 2018)

During my senior trip, my friends and I took a late night walk one night with ukuleles. There’s something calming about the beach at night and music makes it even more fun.

51. Have a picnic (June 2018)

My family invited a couple of our close friends and their families to go to the mountains with us for a couple of days. We spent one of the days hiking to waterfalls and enjoying the outdoors. This was the perfect opportunity to take a picnic with a beautiful view.

56. Go on a spontaneous trip (August 2018)

I love the beach and so does my mom, so when she had the idea to have a spontaneous trip to the beach for the day, of course I said yes. The drive was long but the hours on the beach was so worth it!

69. Have a photoshoot (September 2018)

Sometimes you just need to grab a camera and take some pictures with a group of friends. I am blessed to go to a school that has a beautiful green space which is commonly used to photo shoots by photographers around town. We followed suit and had our own photoshoot!

75. Paint on a canvas (June 2018)

Painting is something that I haven’t had many opportunities to do but I love doing. I was able to get together with two of my friends and we painted on canvas to create three individual paintings that go together. It was a great way to relax and hang out with each other.

83. Have a spa day (June 2018)

Sometimes you just need to take care of yourself and spend a day relaxing. Bath bombs, a bubble bath, face mask, and a good book make for a great day.

91. Journal every day for a month (June/July 2018)

I love journaling but it can be hard to fit it in everyday especially when days are busy. This goal was tougher than the rest in that I really needed to be intentional about the time and how I was using it. I like to journal at night before bed but that means going upstairs earlier and not falling asleep first. I am glad that I finished this goal before school because it’s a lot harder to find time to journal now that I am in college.

I’ve completed 17 of my 101 goals! How have you all been coming along in your 101 in 1001 journey? You can view the complete list of goals here for inspiration for your own list.

An Open Letter to High School

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Dear High School,

I can’t believe the time has gone by so fast. Four years ago I started high school and now I’ll be graduating.

I’ve learned so much in these four years, about myself, about my family, about relationships and friendships, about God, about the world. I’ve grown in ways I never would have expected. I made new friends, gained confidence, tried new things. I lost some friends too, experienced grief, and had to say goodbye to some amazing people.

I know that even though I’ll be leaving an amazing school, the relationships that I’ve built will always be there for me. It was in high school that I found my best friends, people who have pushed me closer to Christ. It was in high school that I stretched myself and became friends with people from many different groups. I know that all of these people are going on to study at great colleges and universities and will always be just a phone call, text message, or Insta picture away.

I am so grateful for the teachers as well, as they have taught me, not only about history and government, French and religion, science and Spanish, but also about life and the importance of following Christ along the way. These teachers have been praying for me and I am certain that they will continue to pray for me and the rest of the 2018 graduating class.

I think the parts that I’m going to miss the most about high school are the memories that we made together. From the camping trips at the beginning of the year, to the spirit weeks with crazy inflatable dinosaur and Baymax costumes, to the time we skipped class to play in the snow, the grades bonded together and laughed together. I loved the senior pranks, the photography class field trips, the picnics, and the prayer chapels. I loved the school trip to Peru, the movie days in French class, and the time my friend ran to Aldi to buy icecream during lunch. I loved the surprise parties, the dance nights, and the musical bells between classes. These are the things that I will miss.

And even though I am sad to leave all of these amazingly beautiful people and memories, I can look forward to the days when we will all reunite again and reminisce about the best four years we all had together.

Thank you High School, for giving me these times. Thank you for the lessons. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the friends. But, most of all, thank you for the opportunity to grow.

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

Motivation Monday//Rest

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“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

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“Come to me, all who are weary and burdered, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

In a world running faster than ever before, it is important to take the time to rest. This time away from the stress of the world is necessary to your health and gives your mind and body a break from running and deadlines. Full rest and peace can only come from God, but we must be willing to receive it. By taking the time to listen for God’s voice, we are opening ourselves up to His rest and peace. My challenge for you is this: make time to rest in Christ today.

signi

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A Blank Sheet Of Paper – A Poem

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A blank sheet of paper.
Oh, the possibilities
That lie within my mind.
I’m afraid to write
For once the ink is applied,
There is no going back.

signi


So I think this poem needs a little bit of an explanation. I wrote this poem way back in June. I attempted to write letters to friends but never did because I didn’t know what to say, how to say it, or why I wanted to write them in the first place. This poem came out of the struggle of not being able to make up my mind. :) Anyway, that’s the story! Stay happy. :)

February Memories

Hey, guys! Happy March! The weather outside is beautiful and I’m so ready for Spring Break! February was full of fun adventures and memories. I can’t believe it all went by so quickly!

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February started off great with my birthday! I hosted a vision board party, hosting two things off of my goals list for this year. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends and family. Shout-out to my wonderful mother who created a huge meal of tiny sandwiches for my birthday lunch!

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A couple days later, I went to watch the play from my high school! It was a lot of fun and I saw a bunch of people that I know (shout-out to M, A, M, L, and H).

On the 11th, I headed over to the park with my sister to walk around and take pictures. It was so beautiful outside and it seemed that everyone was out enjoying the weather! The light reflecting off the water took my breath away. Plus, there were so many dogs – an extra bonus! ;)

Valentines Day came and went without a mishap. My sisters and I made breakfast in bed for my mom and we each got a little bouquet of flowers from our dad. On the 16th, I spent the day writing letters and making cards for my friends and family. And the next day, I went to my first college visit – very exciting.

Then came the big mountain trip! We spent three days in the cool weather with rivers and plenty of trees to sit by. (I even made a video about it. Watch it here.) I ended up spending a lot of time writing which was really fun for me. It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to let my dreams take shape in writing form. ;) Our short trip in the mountains was a fun one and I can’t wait to go back.

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February closed with lots of flowers; flowers in my friends’ hair, flowers in vases, flowers outside, flowers everywhere! I love how such little things like flowers can brighten up the world. :)

I also tried to continue the Photo A Day Challenge this month but then I missed a day. Still, I was able to take some really pretty pictures. Here are some of my favorites. :)

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Beautiful right? How was your February? Is the weather getting warmer where you are?

signi

The Gift of Family

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I look around and take in the beautiful view. The waves crashing on the shore, sparkling in the last rays of sun. My family around the table, playing Scrabble with smiles all around. I love vacations. After being online all day, I love having family time without the constant reminder of all the things I have to do.

We all need to just take a break from life and spend time with the ones we love. For example, my grandparents came to town last week. They would much rather have me spend time with them than me spending time with my iPad which I could do any other day.

So here’s my challenge for today: Put down your phone, iPad tablet, computer, whatever and spend time with the people you love. We never know how long we have on this earth and we don’t want to regret all the opportunities we had but didn’t take.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is our faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

signi