Keep On

Midweek blessings to you all! I feel like my last post was a bit scatterbrained. Truth be told, it would probably match my life right now. It’s a little chaotic and messy. I have a lot of goals that I’m trying to pursue. Patience is definitely a lesson I continue to be taught daily.

Also, I have been sick for over a week now. One of the frustrating things with having asthma is that it’s common for your body to take longer to get over colds.

Pro-tips: 

1. Step by Step

Focus on one task at a time. It will help you be more calm and less stressed. If you think of the big picture – everything you need to accomplish – you can easily be overwhelmed by it all.

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2. Strength

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” -J.K. Rowling

I have heard this said many times, but it is true: There is strength in numbers. By yourself something may seem impossible; however, together we can accomplish much more than any one person could alone.

Another point worth mentioning is do not be afraid to get help if you need it. Whatever you may struggle with, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. There are people are around you who care and want to help. If you are in a deep low, it can seem that no one understands or cares. However, all you have to do is reach out and there will be a hand there to hold you.

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3. Start

Speaking to the procrastinators who may be reading this (myself included), start now. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start, that times is now. Everyday is a gift. We should use our time wisely, since we don’t know what the future holds.

Another thought that has crossed my mind is: why are so many things in life presented as a competition? It’s not a race. We are all going through this life together. Therefore, should we not be supportive of each other instead of pushing others down on our way to ‘success’?

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Life is less of a competition – instead of racing ahead to win, use teamwork to finish well together.

Have a great week! 🙂

 

Be-YOU-tiful

Winter mean can different things for every person. For some, it is their favourite season. They may go skating, sledding, and various other winter sports. However, not everyone shares in their enthusiasm for the onset this season. For a good portion of society winter means shovelling, icy roads, and freezing temperatures. I belong to this second category – since growing older, I have less things to excite me about the cold weather. And despite my great desire and pleading that spring would come soon, winter remains. So much negativity can bombard us from multiple places, it’s good to keep in mind the positive. Therefore, this post is for anyone who needs encouragement and/or may be struggling to make it to spring.

First thing’s first: focus your energy on the good. Try not to let negativity run your thoughts. Easier said than done, right? Well, just remember: this season of life may be hard, but find what’s worth giving your attention to and run towards that.

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Second, give yourself a break and don’t be so critical. Sometimes life is hard, and it’s okay to need time to heal. So, be aware of your body and what you need. Don’t be afraid to give yourself permission to pause.

Plan to do a few of your favourite things, so you have something to look forward to each week. Hang out with friends and go out for coffee (or lunch, etc.), watch a movie, or read a book. It’s really up to you.

Next, just be yourself. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect – or what society views as ‘perfect’. We also have such a tendency to idolize others. Truth is, it doesn’t matter who  if it’s a friend, teacher, or celebrity – stop trying to be like them.We cannot attain perfection. Plus, you were never made to be like them. You are beautiful and unique and were made to be exactly that. You are not a carbon copy, but a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

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“I’m the kind of girl who eats ice cream when it’s cold, and hot chocolate when it’s warm; who wears socks and sandals in the winter, and boots in the summer.” –  Annika (Me)

Some Beautiful Things:

  1. Music

 

2. Art

 

3. Quotes

“Rules for Self Discovery:
1. What we want most;
2. What we think about most;
3. How we use our money;
4. What we do with our leisure time;
5. The company we enjoy;
6. Who and what we admire;
7. What we laugh at.”
― A.W. Tozer

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
― C.S. Lewis

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
― Veronica RothDivergent

 

Five Minute Prayers & Casual Thoughts

Some Thoughts

Growing up in the church I have heard my whole life that Christianity is “not a religion” but a “relationship”. I am not saying that this is a wrong thought – on the contrary. However, I do feel that the church has failed to teach children from a young age how to live out that relationship. I have been gradually realizing that this faith journey is about more than just “five minute prayers” and “casual thoughts” that are cast heavenward throughout the day.

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Now this is not to say that I’ve been conscious about myself thinking this way. It is more likely a subconscious attitude I was not aware of.

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In our fast paced world, the faith-minded person has increasingly less time to devote to prayer and other godly things. Maybe it’s more of an issue related to poor time management. However, there is no doubt that our culture is more busy now than in years past.

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In any kind of relationship do you expect to only exchange a few words in passing and assume that you’re best friends? Of course not! We are all aware that to have a good friendship with someone takes time and effort. You need to have conversations with that person and spend time getting to know them in different contexts. Why then do we assume that our relationship with God would be any different?

You may be saying, “But God is all-knowing. He should already know everything about me. He should just answer when he hears my prayer.” Yes, God is all-knowing. however, he still desires a close relationship with us. He wants to hear from us. How was your day? What are your hopes and dreams? What are you struggling with? God wants to spent time with us. Although, he is omniscient, we are not. That is another reason (and benefit) to dedicate ourselves to deepening our relationship with him.

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If any of us wonder why we are not moving forward, why we cannot hear God, or many other questions, the first thing to ask ourselves is: “how is my connection with God?” Now, I understand that even the most devote individual, will go through dry seasons. This is by no means a “step-by-step”, “one-size-fits-all” solution. However, these are some thoughts that I resonate with, that may help someone else out there reading this right now.

To sum it all up, this faith we are called to, needs to be lived in dependance on Christ and according to the truth found in his Word.

Digging Deeper

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” – A.W. Tozer

1. God Is On The Move by 7eventh Time Down

2. The Proof Of Your Love by for KING & COUNTRY

3. Wake Me Up (Amnesia) by Group 1 Crew

Word of the Year

It’s still January, therefore I feel justified in letting you all know my (goals and) “word of the year”. I know I have been sporadic in my blog posting. Ironically, the word I chose for the year is “priorities”.

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Well, it makes sense, right? I chose this word because it is an area I want (and need) to work on in my life. I am striving to better balance all my activities and work, and prioritize my time so I get everything done that I need to accomplish each day.

Good goals. It’s an area I imagine needs to be consistently reworked on as you enter different stages in life. Each season brings on new challenges. So, how do you go about creating lasting change? Great question! Let’s figure that out together.

1. Planning 

Something I have noticed that works for me is planning ahead. I know, that takes time. Is it really worth it? It may seem tedious, even pointless, in the moment. However, if you’re like me then you are more likely to follow through with your goals if there is a set schedule. Start by getting a hold of a program that works for you. Buy (and actually use) a planner, create a schedule online, or there’s always a calendar on your cell phone.

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2. Perseverance 

It’s important to recognize that in all likelihood you will trip up at some point on your road to success. Don’t beat yourself up over it – (I know I’m guilty of this). Simply remember that many others have stumbled down this road before you and have made it to the end. Be patient along the way and give yourself a little grace.

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3. Attainable 

It’s important to make sure you’re setting attainable goals. You will still reach your destination by taking one step at a time. It will also make for more lasting change than if you were to try and transform your life overnight.

Final Thoughts

Set a time frame for yourself. Tell someone who will keep you accountable and spur you on towards completion of your goal!

Let’s start off this new year, and February, right and make practical – (even if small) – steps towards the finish line.

Blessings & love to you all.

~beeanni

*(Images from Pixabay)*

Kicking off the New Year

 

Happy new year everyone! I hope 2016 is good to you all. To kick off the first day of January, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about one of things I’m thankful for: my brother.

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Now, my friends will say I talk about him a lot. That is true. However, I can’t help but share with others how I’ve been blessed with such a great gift. I feel truely honoured to have had the chance to grow up along side him. I look forward to seeing all the great things he will do the days ahead and farther in the future.

 

K is a great support and encouragement. He is a wonderful and true friend. In fact, he’s one of the most caring people I know. His character, personality and determination is to be admired!

 

I think most people tend to have a hard time recognising their good qualities. Sometimes it can be so easy to only see the negative. That is one reason why I like to take all the opportunities I get to remind K of how truly amazing he is.

 

No one goes through life without facing trials of all kinds and K is no exception. However, he’s also so strong. I have seen him enter many difficult seasons and come out the other side.
His perseverance and faith is evident. I honestly don’t know where I would be without him. I love you so much, K – and buddy, don’t you ever forget it.

My Top Favourite Christmas Songs

Merry Christmas everyone! For any of you who have been following my blog for a little while now, you’ll know that I love music. And on this special day, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite Christmas songs. (Note: these are not in any particular order because to pick one that is my #1 favourite would be extremely difficult!)

  1. “Christmas Is All In The Heart”, Steven Curtis Chapman

SCC is one my favourite artists and this song is just so peaceful and beautiful.

2. “Snow Falls”, Carried Away

I like Carried Away’s sound and harmonies. Where I live there isn’t any snow… but I can dream, right? (Not that I love snow, but it does seem strange without it.)

3. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, Pentatonix

Hark the Herald Angels Sing has been my favourite Christmas carol for years now. The version Pentatonix does isn’t exactly the most traditional. However, I still like what they did with it. Plus, their harmonies are simply amazing. They are all so talented!

4. “Where Are You Christmas?” Faith Hill

Christmas isn’t always a happy and joyous time for everyone. In the past few years, I’ve had a tough time during this season. This song truly captures this feeling in our hearts.

The Piano Guys do such an awesome job of this song that I couldn’t help but share their version too! Take a listen!

5. “Give This Christmas Away”, Matthew West & Amy Grant

I feel like this song speaks to us about the true spirit of Christmas! Love is meant to share!

6. “Christmas This Year”, Tobymac

Tobymac is such a great and talented artist! He has done songs in many different genres. This song is very uplifting and fun to listen to.

7. “Noel”, Chris Tomlin ft. Lauren Daigle

Lauren Daigle is an artist I discovered more recently. She has such a beautiful and powerful voice. Also, her song lyrics are very thoughtful.

8. “Mary Did You Know?”, Mark Lowry

Comedian and gospel singer Mark Lowry wrote the lyrics for the song “Mary Did You Know?”. And he does an amazing job singing it!

9. “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” Band Aid

People coming together for this project is so amazing and encouraging. This is true heart of Christmas – caring for others. (On a side note: the 1984 version is the best… sorry not sorry). You can’t get better than the original!

10. “Mary’s Boy Child”, Boney M.

I have such fond memories of this song! At my grandma’s house, she would play this song and I’d start dancing in her living room.

Honourable mentions:

11. “Christmas Makes Me Cry”, Matthew West & Mandisa

Not to be too sad, but this song is too beautiful not to at least mention!

12. “The Heart of Christmas”, Matthew West

Yes, as you can guess, I also like Matthew west a lot.

**It’s officially midnight! Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you enjoy your time celebrating with your family**

 

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

This season can be a very busy time for a lot of people. Sometimes with all of our responsibilities and/or distractions, it can be a rush to get everything done. With that said, here are some Christmas ideas for those of you who may be trying to get last minute gifts.

First of all, when looking for a gift for a friend of family member, it’s good to show that you’ve put some thought into it. What kind of things do they enjoy? What are their hobbies?

  1. Journalling / Writing

Does the person you’re buying for enjoy writing or journalling? Journals, notebooks, etc. can be great gifts. They are appreciated by the recipient and can be used for a multitude of different things. notebook-731212_960_720.jpg

2. Books

So maybe the individual isn’t a writer… well, do they enjoy reading? Books are a thoughtful gift and will definitely make the day of any book lover! Don’t know the type of book they like? I know sometimes gift cards can be looked down upon as being a cheap way of avoiding a serious gift… but honestly, a book lover will be ecstatic to receive a gift card to a book store.

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3. Music

As a side note, I’m not just basing this off of things that I like….  I know these are generally good basic gift ideas.

Okay, so if they enjoy music, you can get them a CD of an artist they like. Just make sure they don’t already have it. If you don’t personally know, it’s fairly easy to find out from another close friend or family member. And if they don’t collect CDs, an iTunes card is always a valid option.

 

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4. Movies

Is there a movie or TV show they really enjoy? That’s another option. Or instead, you could actually take them to see something in theatres. That way they receive a gift, but also get an enjoyable experience while spending time with you.

 

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5.  DIY

Not everyone is the ‘creative type’. However, if you are on the creative side, this can be in your favour. Not all projects can take excessive amounts of time, like knitting a scarf. To start, you could make your own Christmas cards instead of buying them in the store. It’s more personal because even if it doesn’t take a long time, it still shows that you put in effort and thought. If you aren’t sure what to write, there are plenty of quotes, blessings, Bible verses and more that you can find online.

The possibilities are endless, only limited to what you can come up with. One quick idea is putting together a hot chocolate mix. There are multiple different recipes, but some ingredients you can put together are: cocoa, sugar, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and crushed peppermint or candy canes.

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I could continue on with other suggestions of quick and inexpensive last minute gift ideas. However, the main thing is to know the individual you are buying for – their interests, likes, etc. The gift doesn’t have to be big or really expensive, but just something that the person would enjoy and/or could use.

In the end, just remember. Christmas is more about making moments and memories. Spending time with the people you care about can honestly be the greatest gift. They will understand if you’re not in the place to give gifts this year.