Unconditional Love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

​ It’s impossible to match the great love God overflows upon us. Everyday is a challenge.

I recently received the book Love Does by Bob Goff. For you all who don’t know what it is, go buy it. And absorb all of the greatness in between the two covers. I’ll wait.

​Okay, now that you’ve caught up, this book has definitely changed my perspective. Not only have I been provided with some guidelines on how to love people around me, but have also realized how great God’s love is for all of us. It’s hard to love people. Especially when personalities clash, past issues still apply, when they have no respect for you, et cetera. But yet, we should love those people the most, because in most cases, those people are the ones who need God’s love the most. And they are in our lives for a reason, so why not be intentional about love?

In Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son. Basically, a man has two sons. One of them decided to take his share of the estate and run off. He quickly squandered all his money and ended up living a poor, unsanitary lifestyle. Meanwhile, the father waits every day for his son to come home, despite the pain he’s caused him through rejection. And, when the son finally comes home, the father accepts him with open arms, and he even throws him a party.

This should serve as a model to us. It also resembles God’s great love for us, despite the amount of times we sin. Mercy is a part of love. As humans, we will disappoint others. We will mess up, say the wrong thing, et cetera A LOT. We sometimes put our role models on such high pedestals, when really, they belong on the same level as us. People are people, and people are going to mess up. It’s a fact of life. God’s love is unfathomable. It’s so hard to imagine sometimes the extent of His love and mercy. In the same way, we should reflect that. When people disappoint us, when people unintentionally or even intentionally hurt us, when we become frustrated. What if we all did that? How absolutely amazing would it be? One of the main points in Love Does is about following through, as in doing, not just saying. We can so easily claim to love Him and follow His commands, but do we reflect Him in our actions?

In order to give you one of the most relevant, beautiful examples of relentlessness love – lemme tell you what I’m doing this week. I’m puppy-sitting. Or rather, dog sitting. The little ball of fluff is a teacup poodle, three pounds, and has the energy of a four-year-old on Christmas morning, especially when you play fetch with her. This bundle of sweetness isn’t even my dog, yet when I come home, I’m surrounded with kisses, quality time, and sometimes even some liquid due to excitement. She’s so accepting to everyone. When playing ball, she shares it around and makes and effort to spend time with everyone in my family, every second of her life. This dog is devoted to love. She’ll snuggle with you when you’re having a bad day, run a block with you, and genuinely tries to spend every second of every day with you. She forgets everything that you’ve accidentally done to her [ie. accidentally throwing the ball at her leg – nothing serious] and continues to give you kisses and spend quality time with you. What an excellent example of unconditional love. There are days when I am amazed at her capacity to love others.

Going off of that, quality time is a FANTASTIC way that we can show love to others. Simple presence is powerful. Sometimes, or rather most of the time, our actions speak louder than our words. Saying you’re there for someone is completely different from being there for someone. Quality time also allows us to learn more about one another, and from there, build a lasting relationship. This summer especially, I have realized the powerful impact of quality time. One night, I was sitting outside on a flimsy bench on a crisp summer night, huddled next to a stranger in blankets, staring at the stars, crying, laughing, and exchanging testimonies with another co-worker. Not only did that night allow us to start having inside jokes and realize common loves, but she has shown me love, empathy, and become such an influential person in my life. Of course, people have different love languages [ physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, and quality time. ]. Learn others’ “language” and make an effort to show them love, even if it involves going out of your comfort zone. Follow through, don’t just think good thoughts. Do. Change. Inspire. Forgive. LOVE. 

​How would we inspire and impact others’ lives if we were to follow God’s example of everlasting love? How would our perspective change?​

xo.

Advertisements
Unconditional Love.

Happy Un-birthday?

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?'” -Alice, Alice in Wonderland

Yes, today I was born x amount of years ago. But really, I feel the same. But yet, I’ve changed so much. In the past year, I’ve…

Rediscovered Jesus. Joined a band. Got belay certified. Got an amazing job. Found my love for writing. Ran a few 5Ks.  Went to Trinidad. Got accepted into my dream school. Won a basketball championship. Smiled more, studied more, and slept less. Bought a ukulele. Got my driver’s licence. Made lasting friendships. Started a blog. Learned to become less reliant on my phone. Made the top band at school. Danced in the rain. Got good grades. I lost friends, I made friends.

I’ve grown. Well, taller, but also as a person [more about that is in “Who are you, really?”]. I’ve realized some areas where I fall short. I’ve made an effort to be intentional. And there are ways that I still need to improve a lot on. I need to become less focused on what other people think of me, I need to become more inclusive, talking to people regardless if I feel like it or not. I need to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. I need to eat healthier. I need to make a bigger effort to be content, to be happy, to bring joy with me wherever I go.

It’s been a year full of great things.

But sometimes I wonder if I made a difference. I feel unappreciated sometimes. Unworthy. Outcasted. Some days, I feel like a second thought. I owe part of that to my heightening introverted personality. But still, I wonder where I stand. How this year will compare to my future ones. If I had a time machine, would this past year be the one I would wish to travel back to? Now, going forward, how can I make this next year one to travel back to?

We’re all mad here.

xo.

Happy Un-birthday?

Untitled.

We had to create a dramatic monologue for AP Literature & Composition. Here is mine, just thought I’d share:

An Everlasting Current

We are leaving – mom, dad, Galip,

And I. Wandering into the unknown.

Syria has treated us poorly, and now we flee.

I see the water, reflecting the cumulonimbus sky.

The bare metal I sit on is smooth as granite stone,

And the space is overwhelmingly crowded. There are many

Of us who have been persecuted by the government.

I lean down to fix the velcro on my worn shoes,

Though it will not prevent the water from seeping in.

I am the youngest here, just over three years old.

Mom tells me I am brave. One day, she says,

We will be free. Canada, she says, will treat us well.

As menacing clouds fill the sky, a crisp, cold wind fills the air.

I shiver. The waves grow, in force, in height.

Water overtakes the tattered boat.

Suddenly, I can’t see anything,

Except for the color black.

I take a deep breath, and start fighting

The everlasting current. This will be the

Longest swim of my life.

This monologue is directed towards the recent, unfortunate death of the three-year-old who washed up on Hungary’s shore. It disturbed me greatly, and my heart aches for those facing similar situations.

xo.

Untitled.

Feeling Blue.

Yes, blue. Blue and white are the colors of my dream college! Yours truly got accepted today! Hooray. I want to express how genuinely excited I am to go there. Primarily, the school attracted me due to it’s 4.5 year accelerated Occupational Therapy program that ensures your master’s degree at the end. Fantastic. Second, it’s a Christian school. It’s also on Lake Michigan – I can’t wait for walks at sunset, admiring the stars, and doing devos by the lake. I love how small it is. I love the people. I love the dorms. I love the campus. And, there’s tunnels. Ahhh. Needless to say, I was overcome with joy to find out I was accepted. I told a few friends, and many of them expressed joy for me. I was on cloud nine.

I still am to be honest. But I feel hesitant. What is there to life? Why do we get so excited? Who will be the people who stick with me longer than college? Who will be the people who I will form secure relationships with? Who will be my role models? What happens when I’m an adult? When I have my own problems? Will I have kids? You get the idea.

And then, I came back to Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Now, I can guarantee that these plans are not my plans. But are they the best plans? Yes. It’s so much easier said than believed. I’m trying. I’m excited, contemplative, and a bit anxious. But it somewhat helps to know He’s in control. It’s a process, right?

Anyway, I’m so excited for next fall. I can’t wait to see where God takes me, and I cannot wait to live in an environment that I love. Thank you for the love.

xo.

Feeling Blue.

Running the Race of Gratitude with Joy.

First, I think it’s actually amazing how many blog posts I can write when I’m supposed to be writing an essay. I think it’s a hidden talent. But really though. Also, my vacation was great. Okay.

I guess you could say I’m lukewarm right now. I don’t have much to complain about; I’m almost done being sick. Last night, I spent a long time praying for all the lovely people in my life. This morning, I felt refreshed and slept soundly for the first time in quite a while. School’s going well. I’ve been trying to let go, and let God. I also recently finished my prayer notebook – I filled up all 100 pages across the past eight months. I’ve begun to decorate a new one, and I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of reading over the old entries. I’ve also decided to start a “Gratitude Challenge.” Sometimes I might post them here, but it’s a list fifty-two prompts to write about, focusing on gratitude and contentment.

I’ve been realizing the power of joy and love. Yesterday, my siblings and I ran a 5K in order to raise money for an orphanage in Africa. One of my brothers is an extremely fast runner, and finished the race in 20 minutes and 15 seconds. Absolutely amazing. The other brother and I, who unfortunately did not inherit that gene, lagged behind and transitioned between a slow jog and walking. On the way, we high-fived everyone we saw on the sidelines, encouraged and talked with those around us, enthusiastically sprinted through every sprinkler, and obnoxiously ensured those around us knew how far we had to go. Exclamations like “Alright everyone, two more miles, nice job, y’all are doing great, keep it up, two miles everyone” were made often. As for the high fives, I know for a fact we brightened many of the volunteers’ days. Who wants to watch boring people run for an hour? Not me. We also made a family giving out donuts laugh. Guys. They were giving out Dunkin’ Donuts for free. Why, may you ask? Because America Runs on Dunkin’. Get it?! Oh man. The sprinklers were also great, and it was so kind of everyone to let their water run for an hour. Despite the fact that the race required running, it was awesome, and oh did I mention we finished in under 40 minutes?

I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for all the beautiful people in my life. I am grateful for people who give free donuts. And who let their sprinklers run for an hour. And for little kids high-fiving you. And for all the people who held up signs like “run like you stole something,” “hurry up it’s hot,” “the end is near,” and those who poured all the cups of Gatorade and water for us at the end of the race.

At the after party, I habitually said thank you to all of the lovely people who were serving us food. Surprisingly, a few of them remarked that we [my siblings and I] were the first people to thank them! How dreadfully awful is that. And then, I began to think, how many people do so many things, unnoticed, without a thank you? I encourage you to spend your day tomorrow saying thank you to at least a few people. Here are my thank you’s.

I want to say thank you to all the young ladies who encourage me in my faith. Thank you to Megan, Molly, Jenna, Anna, Kristen, Joelle, y’all know who you are.

Thank you to the janitors and security guards at my school. Although you’ll never read this, you rock.

Thank you to the policemen and firemen who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep everyone safe. Same with those who are fighting for our undeserved freedom. Thank you.

Thank you to my family. For supporting me and making me laugh.

Thank you for being you. You’re great. Always know that you are appreciated.

And in a more lighthearted spirit, thank you to my arms, for always being at my side. Thank you to my legs, for always supporting me. Thank you to my fingers, because I can always count on them.. And to my hips, for never lying.

^nah

xo.

Running the Race of Gratitude with Joy.