Taking Risks

Friday, December 21, 2012

An idea I've struggled with in the past year is that of taking risks. I've toyed with the ideas of the "gut feelings," "the little voice in your head," and good and bad "vibes" but I'm still very uncertain about it all. I believe in the Holy Spirit acting in you because I've felt it before. And yes, I often do have a little voice in my head that I admittedly, sometimes listen to and sometimes ignore. But I've had trouble distinguishing it from things I desire and things God is telling me to do or not to do. Some days I have extreme moments of clarity and other days it comes back to a state of confusion. How can something that seems like an incredible mistake end up being an amazing gift from God? How does that gut feeling sending you warning signs translate into God transforming your life into something beautiful or amazing? Before you even set your feet on this earth, He knew the plans He had for you. He knew your every move, step, triumph and fall. What if you take warning from that "gut feeling" that otherwise would have led to a struggle that lands you with an amazing blessing? Do you miss out on that opportunity? Or would the path have just been that much easier?  Why would you be warned not to do something that ultimately does end up leading you to good? I'm reading this book given to me by someone I consider a mentor, Emily. I believe I've mentioned her in my blog before and she's been nothing but a constant source of enlightenment and blessing in my life in the past few months. The book is called "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day." It talks about how important it is to take risks. And guys, let me tell you that I am NOT a big risk taker. I'm a big opportunity seizer, but "RISKS"... If I consider it a risk, I'm probably not taking it... so how does that feeling of uneasiness, telling you to turn back and run in the other direction translate into the amazing things I know it often does? Is it separate from the little voice in your head? Is that voice cooing in your ear, offering words of certainty and encouragement as your stomach is doing flips? I'm sure these are questions you don't exactly have the answers to, but this is a very unclear thought cloud that's been looming above my head this past year. Or maybe it's been protecting me with my extremely populated thoughts. I wonder how many steps I take each day are blessings in disguise.

I feel as if I've grown so much

Saturday, December 8, 2012

since I entered college. And of course, that's what you're supposed to do... but it's strange because I can actually remember specific moments where it was so incredibly obvious to met how much I've grown. I've learned to love more selflessly and appreciate more fully, to forgive more frequently, and to see things less black and white. I haven't mastered any of these areas, but my progress is definitely noticeable. I feel like I've become so much more mature in many aspects and have gained a deeper understanding of so many things. I have less fear and more faith. Less anxiety and more hope. I've been wanting to write about this for a while now, but at the time I'm so distracted by so many other thoughts. One thing I haven't be able to do --- slow down my mind. But this journey is something else. I'm mesmerized each day by the incredible people I meet. Their stories, their journeys, their strength, their laughter. Though things can be scary and sad and complicated and difficult, there's a silver lining that's still to be found. Perhaps the biggest part of life is the mystery of it all.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

So the past week (well really two weeks ago) my word was Engage. I believe I really tried to do that. I went out of my way to take small moments of spontaneity and really engage in things that were going on, that my sisters did, to really engage in feelings, and to really soak up the moment. I did have a difficult time remembering to embrace as much as possible, so I think I need to keep a reminder of my goals each week by my bed. This week was supposed to be "Let go and let live." I wish I had remembered to pay attention to my word for the week, but I didn't. Which is fine, because it gives me the chance to do better this week of doing so! I honestly feel like there might not be a better time to engage in this. My birthday is Monday, which should signify entering a new stage of my life? Into adulthood? Haha, so I think letting some things go and feeling that sense of freedom might be a refreshing way to bring in another year of life for me.

Wish me the best!

Living a Life of Purpose

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So this morning, it began to bother me how many times I went to check if I turned off my curling wand. Even right after I checked (with my hand literally still on the doorknob) I opened the door to check again because I didn't remember what I had just seen! Isn't that crazy?

I started to think about living a life of purpose. I think Joel Osteen (or maybe Joyce Meyers... or both haha) has a book about this as well. It's sad to think about life as constantly going through the motions, constantly wasting our precious time doing the same things over and over; making the same mistakes; having the same worries and doubts holding us back day after day. What's the point? What's the use in that? It's really incredibly silly when you think about it. We should be living with purpose, with a destination. Even if we don't know WHAT we want to be, we know WHO we want to be. So even if it's just living life in the mindset that each action we make should reflect the person we are trying to be would be a step up. Realizing our choices, what we do and say and listen to does make a difference. These things mold us and in turn greatly affect our environments. If it takes the same amount of energy if not more to just go through the motions with worry and self doubt, why not try living with purpose and confidence instead? Can't hurt.

I Declare: Day 8

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This story gave me chills and almost brought me to tears. It is Day 8 in Joel Osteen's new book "I Declare." The declaration is:

I DECLARE God's dream for my life is coming to pass. It will not be stopped by people, disappointments, or adversities. God has solutions to every problem I will ever face already lined up. The right people and the right breaks are in my future. I will fulfill my destiny. This is my declaration.

Now the story:
"A college professor took a group of students to China for a field trip. Several days into the journey the professor experienced incredible stomach pain. He  was hurting so badly,.the professor asked a friend to call an ambulance. He was rushed to a local clinic.
They were way back in a small town with no big hospitals. The medical staffer in charge noticed the professor's appendix had ruptured. Poison was spreading throughout his body, but there were no surgeons around. Ther was little that could be done for the professor, his friend was told.
"I can give him some pain medication, maybe some sleeping pills, but y advice is that he should make peace with his family," the clinic staffer told him.
The professor went into convulsions and passed in and out of consciousness. Back at home in the States, the professor's father who is a pastor, began to feel an incredible burden for his son during a service at his church. The pastor tried to ignore the feeling but it just wouldn't go away. Finally, he stopped the service and said to the congregation, "We must pray for my son. Something is wrong." They dropped to their knees and prayed.
Back in China at the clinic it was 2 in the morning when one of the country's most well known surgeons walked in-- the same surgeon who travels with the U.S. president when he visits China. The clinic staff was amazed to see him. "I'm here to take care of the American," the surgeon said.
 The Chinese surgeon saved the life of the professor with an operation. The next day the surgeon said to the recovering professor: "Who were those 2 men that you sent into my office yesterday?", "I didn't send anybody to you, " the professor replied. "I don't know anybody here in China. I've just been here for a couple of days." "That's odd, because 2 men came in dressed in nice suits. They looked like they were government officials," the surgeon said. "And they said you were a very important person and I needed to be here in the middle of the night to operate on you." 
God knows how to make it all work out. Even seven thousand miles away God had people praying. That's why you can live life in peace. God is in complete control. He knows the end from the beginning. God knows what you will need a week from now, a month from now, even ten years from now. And the good news is He's already taking care of you. "

Reading this book gives me so much confidence that I am exactly where I need to be in my life and that if I just keep listening to the voice of God that keeps speaking to me, my life will surpass my wildest dreams. The same can be true for you!!!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

So for my first week, the word was embrace. I think I had some successes in this category and some shortcomings. I tried to go out of my way to hug people more than I normally do, but didn't do an incredible job at that. "The gentle pressure of a hug can stimulate nerve endings under the skin that send calming messages to the brain and slow the release of cortisol" So I figured everyone could use a little mid day destressor. The great thing about this is that every week, my words will come together. So though my week of "Embrace" is over, I will still actively consider "Embracing" while I'm "Engaging." This week, I also really embraced my emotions. When something inside me was telling me to act upon something, I did it. And in the moments where I did not, I quickly learned why I should have listened to the tugging voice in my head. This week I also cried, a lot. Heck Friday alone I cried a lot. With each each girl that came up to me and told me I was doing a great job or that she loved me or that I was a great leader or that she noticed my efforts, I couldn't help but get choked up. I was overwhelmed with emotions. 

One thing this upcoming week that I'm really looking forward to is She..., which is an all Greek female Bible study we are starting out this Wednesday! I have had the honor of having a meeting of minds (of the sort) with an alumnist named Emily. She is honestly so sweet and comforting and I think, hope, and pray that there is a lot in store for this group. 

One of many highlights this past week was a speaker by the name of Jim Ashworth that we got the pleasure of having come speak to my class. He taught us about NLP- Neuro Linguistic Programming, which basically means how our words affect what we think we are and how we act out in our everyday lives. It's an incredibly interesting thing to learn about and it was crazy how he came to speak to us about the power of our words! Just last Sunday, my mother bought me Joel Osteen's new book "I Declare" which focuses on positive affirmations to speak over your life. Some might say it was a coincidence, but I truthfully don't believe in coincidences any more. God has definitely planned out a life of prosperity for you and for me. When we start to see the links between things, those huge billboards in our heads telling us to take notice of something, we should open our eyes and see where that path takes us! This past week I can say that I've definitely been reading more into things and at the same time it's allowed me to be more aware, but at the same time, definitely more emotional. Honestly, just reading a few passages from the book has me teary eyed. I think with age I'm becoming more and more of an big sap, but I'm kind of enjoying it! 

The Happiness Project

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"So I'm pretty much all about self help books, but I'm much more inclined to read books that aren't telling me what I need to do, but rather, what someone else did. It's easier to relate a person's journey to your own life and it makes me feel much more in touch with myself as I figure out how to adapt their lessons to my own experiences. Rather than trying to fit my life into the mold of rules given to me. This is why I liked The Happiness Project so much. Gretchen Rubin is completely relatable and her honest with her experience which makes the book such a great and relatable read."

I originally wrote this  couple months ago, but never got around to actually blogging about it. This past weekend, I bought two books that reignited the spark in me. But first, I'll start with this book. SO, she prompted me to make my own list of my own. It doesn't all have to happen at once. It can be a process - step by step, day by day, week by week finding ways to make my life happier. I wrote this list this summer but honestly could not think of a better time to implement it than the present. Each number represents a new focus for the week. I could do it for the month, but I want all of this to fit in the remaining time I have in college, so like everything else in life, I'll rush through it. But hopefully, I'll find I wasn't rushing at all, just choosing not to waste a moment of life.

  1. Embrace.
  2. Engage.
  3. Let go & let live.
  4. Soak it all in.
  5. Accept and love - no judgement.
  6. First things first.
  7. No sulking, only doing.
  8. Make time.
  9. What brings me happiness? Do that.
  10. Appreciate more.
  11. Be Kelsey.
  12. Don't compare, admire, fix, accept.
  13. Be there, especially when your body is. Be present.
  14. Be fearless.
  15. Live in the moment. Enjoy it.

These are my ten commandments/truths.

  1. Trust in God, for He can do all things.
  2. Do it now.
  3. Do good, feel good. & Vice versa.
  4. Make memories and make sure they're remembered. 
  5. You don't have to be good at everything.
  6. Never give up, but be the first to admit if you are wrong.
  7. If you're not failing now, then you're not trying hard enough.
  8. It's important to be nice to everyone.
  9. Save, but make a modest splurge each month.
  10. Always choose love.
As time goes on, maybe I'll find that some of my resolutions become commandments and vice versa. Or maybe I'll add a whole bunch and in time narrow them all down to one. I'm not sure. This is a journey. My journey. Not to make life beautiful again, because I know that it has never ceased, but to be able to not only see it, but to experience it, appreciate it, and everything around me. To not only experience spurts of happiness, but to recenter myself and my mentality in the deeply embedded state of joy I most certainly have within me. Keep up with me? (:

Gabriel Moreno

Thursday, May 3, 2012

When browsing one of my favorite blogs, My Modern Met, I stumbled across some art from an amazing artist named Gabriel Moreno. He does an amazing job combining different elements to make one solidified picture with a number of individual aspects. After taking a look at a bit of his work it left me in awe.

Wedding Bliss

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One of my favorite wedding photographers, Simply Bloom, posted about this wedding a few weeks ago and I found myself falling in love with these shoes. Many people have turned to wearing Converse or Toms to add a laid back/ young and hip aspect to their wedding. I think this is  an amazing alternative and though it has a youthful feel, it keeps it classy.

(click through for post)

In addition, here are a few images from a styled shoot by another one of my favorite photographers, Jose Villa. Excuse me while I sob quietly in the corner over how incredibly beautiful these people are.

Enjoy! ;)



Monday, March 26, 2012

I've been hit with many inspirational things lately that I've taken note on and will share soon. However, today I come with a much simpler piece of advice: reach out to someone. A friend in need, a stranger looking down, someone who doesn't see their full potential or may just be down that day. You never know what someone is going through and the difference that just making them feel special could make.

Good luck.


What Money Cannot Buy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Do yourself a favor and visit this adorable sit full of life's little moment's that money cannot buy. Feel connected and take a few moments to laugh at the cute and funny ones... Honestly, the things that make me laugh the most are the ones where people click "I'm not a fan." Regardless, whatever floats your boat, enjoy!

J* The Fix

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jasmine Star, Jasmine Star, Jasmine Star. What can I say?
A week or two ago, I attend the J* The Fix Workshop and honestly, she was nothing less than expected and even warmer in person than she comes across in through her blog, if that's even possible. Absolutely nothing short of amazing. I can honestly say that whatever your field may be, I'd definitely suggest you attend a workshop by her. She motivates you and feeds you with inspiration, with drive, and with a story of how struggle can pay off-- ten fold.

Oh, not to forget JD! Please tell me why this dapper fellow was speaking to a line of people... waiting to go to the bathroom! Seriously, I don't think you could find a more "fabulous" couple that is more down to earth. After the intermission, JD was found grabbing a cup of water for Jasmine while she was on stage and sitting idly by on the floor as she spoke... ON THE FLOOR! Jasmine picked a keeper. I'm in love with their love and in love with JD and head over heels for Jasmine and I feel like if I had met Polo, their dog, I would've hit the roof.

I went with my lovely partner Victoria and even she left the night feeling full of happiness and excitement. I think it just might be called the J* effect.

I even got to meet one of my favorite DFW photographers, Lynn from LynninLove Photography!
Oh & please check the signed journal by Jasmine. Yes, it's beautiful. I know.

*most images are by Victoria!

20 Ways to Give without Expectation

Sunday, February 19, 2012

(via tinybuddha.com which has lots of great stuff)
1. Give money you can spare to someone who needs it and then pretend you never had it.
2. Let someone tell a story without feeling the need to one-up them or tell your own.
3. Let someone vent, even if you can’t offer a solution, just to be an ear–without considering how well they listened to you last week.
4. Help someone who is struggling with difficult feelings by admitting you’ve felt the same thing–without considering whether they’d be as open with you.
5. Ask, “What can I do to help you today?” Then let it go after following through.
6. Tell someone how you feel about them, even if it makes you feel vulnerable, just to let them know they’re loved and not alone.
7. Apologize when you’ve acted selfishly, even if you don’t like feeling wrong, because it will remind the other person they deserve to be treated with respect.
8. Let someone else educate you, even if you’re tempted to stay closed minded, because you value their knowledge and appreciate their willingness to share it.
9. Forgive someone who wronged you because you have compassion for them, not because you know they’ll owe you.
10. Hold someone’s hand when they feel vulnerable to let them know you haven’t judged them.
11. Give your full attention to the person in front of you when you’re tempted to let your thoughts wander just to show them their words are valuable.
12. Assume the best when you’re tempted to suspect someone for no valid reason—even if they haven’t always given you the benefit of the doubt.
13. Accompany someone to an appointment or drive them to an interview when they need support just to help them feel strong.
14. Change your plans for someone you love if yours weren’t too important without questioning whether they’d do the same for you.
15. Teach someone how to do something without taking a superior position because they’ve likely taught you many things, whether they were obvious or not.
16. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, not to build your readership but rather to show them how they affected you.
17. Tell someone you believe in their potential, even if they haven’t always shown you the same support.
18. Say no when it would make you feel good to say yes, because sometimes being kind means pushing someone to step up and try harder.
19. Tell someone you know they meant well instead of using their mistake as an opportunity to manipulate their guilt.
20. I’ve left this one open for you to write–how do you give just to show you care?

10 Ways to Love Others

Thursday, February 16, 2012

(via ohapoeticsoul:)
Some guidelines for loving:
1. Tell them about their brilliance. They likely can’t see it and they don’t know its immensity, but you can see it, and you can illuminate it for them.
2. Be authentic, and give others the gift of the real you and a real relationship. Ask your real questions. Share your real beliefs. Go for your real dreams. Tell your truth.
3. Don’t confuse “authenticity” with sharing every complaint, resentment, or petty reaction in the name of “being yourself.” Meditate, write, or do yoga to work through anxiety, resentment, and stress on your own so you don’t hand off those negative moods to everyone around you. Sure, share sadness, honest dilemmas, and fears, but be mindful: don’t pollute.
4. Listen, listen, listen. Don’t listen to determine if you agree or disagree. Listen to get to know what is true for the person in front of you. Get to know an inner landscape that is different from your own, and enjoy the journey. Remember that if, in any conversation, nothing piqued your curiosity and nothing surprised you, you weren’t really listening.
5. Don’t waste your time or energy thinking about how they need to be different.  Really. Chuck that whole thing. Their habits are their habits. Their personalities are their personalities. Let them be, and work on what you want to change about you—not what you think would be good to change about them.
6. Remember that you don’t have to understand their choices to respect or accept them. 
7. Don’t conflate accepting with being a doormat or betraying yourself. Let them be who they are, entirely. Then, you decide what you need, in light of who they are. Do you need to make a direct request that they change their behavior in some way? Do you need to take care of yourself better? Do you need to set a boundary or to change the relationship? Take care of yourself well, without holding anyone else in contempt.
8. Give of yourself, but never sacrifice or compromise yourself. Stop if resentment is building and retool. Don’t do the martyr thing. It helps no one and nothing.
9. Remember that everyone you encounter was created by divine intelligence and has an important role to play in the universe. Treat them as such.
10. If you want to keep growing emotionally and spiritually for the rest of your life, accept this as your mantra and try to live as if it were true: Everything that I experience from another human being is either love, or a call for love.
What steps do you take to love others?

This was a little something that was circulating on a few of my friend's blogs and I felt it'd be a beneficial thing to share. I know I can benefit from this. Hoping it helps you as well.

"Blossom where you are planted."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What an inspirational quote. I think that it's so true. People have the hardest time finding the good in the situations in which they have no control. If you cannot be somewhere "better" then try to be "better" wherever you are at. Blossom where you are planted and I guarantee you will be that much happier with where you are.

Words of wisdom from meeee! <3

Another viewpoint on beauty.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

" You see, when you pick at the little negative things about yourself and your body, it begins to consume your every thought. It creates a false image of yourself and you’re blind to the fact that if you take just one step back and look at the entirety of yourself, you will actually see someone so beautiful and so unique. You are made so wonderfully. You are so talented in your own way. And yes, there are broken parts about you that may have left a weighed scar in your life, but look past that and look at what you have in life ahead of you. Use these broken pieces to create a positive image of yourself that you can love."
Here's another excerpt story of woman's struggle to find beauty within herself by an adorable blogger I follow, Sora Kim. Click the link to lead to the full story.

This is so amazing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Artist: David Garibaldi

Take a look at his website and the other art he's done. Incredible.

High Fashion, Higher Purpose

" Why is this trial such a surprise? It only makes sense that when I was in the world, I was the God of my own life and therefore I got everything I wanted, but now that I have made Jesus Lord, I am not always going to get everything that I want, which is okay, because God always has better. The mind that I am dealing with is so limited compared to God's mind. I couldn't even fathom all the things He has planned."
Here's an excerpt from my friend Stephanie's blog High Fashion, Higher Purpose which I really encourage you to visit. I really love the message she is sending across here and thought I would share because I'm going through a similar situation and I bet a few of you are too. Enjoy.