Tag Archives: Family

Good Evening World!

Hello world, I have returned! Did you miss me? If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last 3 month, look no further. I’ve been working at camp (in the media area). Not to be boastful, but I was well loved. Sadly it wasn’t for my good looks, but because I was the one taking pictures and giving out candy. Haha – in all seriousness though, I loved my job! I grew in my leadership abilities and developed personally.

Here’s one of the pictures I took of the sunset last week! God is a great painter, Amen? Amen!

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Anyways, I’m looking forward to another great school year in college! And my brother is coming to the same institute as me, so it’s going to be a good time! Some people may not be happy about school starting soon – or may even be anxious. However, I’m really excited about everything that’s to come (Obviously, since my brother is coming & that’s super awesome!).

This year I hope to write more music and learn how to play the guitar. I mean, I can play a few chords, but not fast and in the context of a song. So I don’t really count that as ‘being able to play’ the instrument.

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I’m expecting God to do incredible things this year!

On the topic of family, here ya go!

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Scatterbrained Thoughts

Mental illness, in general, is not something that is openly or widely discussed. It’s difficult because it is unlike other problems that you can physically see, like a broken bone. It’s also a shameful thing to admit to others because of the negativity and stigma associated with mental illness. For that reason and more, I want to spend some time today talking about this subject – specifically anxiety.

Anxiety is something that everyone experiences to some degree. However, not everyone experiences it to extent where it becomes a disorder. It’s all too easy to get stuck in your own mind, feeling alone. Anxiety can be overwhelming and extremely draining. Your mind races with all kinds of negative thoughts and self-talk.

I know what it’s like to live with anxiety. I have struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for about three years now – (only officially diagnosed this year). One thing I think people can underestimate is the power of encouragement. It doesn’t even have to be anything huge. Little things, like a kind and uplifting word, can increase my mood and ease my mental stress. I am much better at giving out encouragement than I am at being supportive and kind to myself. This is where friends and family can be really helpful.

I have been struggling this year with self-criticism. I often blame myself for things that may not even be my fault. I jump to the conclusion “I must have done something wrong… or offensive…. or annoying”. And the list goes on. I continue to remind myself to not be so hard. I have really appreciated the friends that have stepped into my life and held me accountable and helped exactly when I needed it.

All this to say that it can be really hard to live with a mental illness. You often feel broken or even paralyzed to act. Just because someone appears to be happy, doesn’t mean they truly are. This next statement is true for me (and I’m sure for others as well): We do not want you to pull away from us because you are unsure of how to help or act around us. All we need is someone who will stay by our side and be a faithful friend. Be a listening ear when we need to vent, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to have fun and live life with.

All of this does not have to be a monumental task. After all – as the saying goes – “Many hands make light work.” You can often accomplish much more in a team than you can individually. So there are my thoughts on anxiety for the day. Let me know your experience on this subject!

Note: For anyone reading this, know you are loved and valued. You are never alone.

Have a good night friends!

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.

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.

Memorable Moments

Hello everyone! I’m back from the void! I feel sad that I haven’t written  anything here since October. However, my life became really crazy in the latter half of the semester with all the assignments and studying for exams.

I will strive to change this in the new year. It’s one of my goals to organize myself – my priorities, etc. – and to schedule and plan better.

There have been many hard and painful moments of this year. Yet, I will still look back at 2015 with fondness. It has been fun and encouraging to make some new friendships. I also feel like I’ve personally developed and grown significantly. Everything considered, I look forward to this new year with hope and excitement. I’ll trust God and await to see what lies in store for me. Whatever happens, I know I’m not alone. I’m loved and surrounded by a community that cares for me.

I enjoy this season of the year because it’s a time when family comes together. Joy, hope, peace and love are in the air. However, let’s also remember to be thinking of and praying for those who will have a difficult time dealing with pain and loss.

What are you looking forward to over this Christmas and holiday season?

 

Thanksgiving

I would like to start off by wishing you a very happy Canadian Thanksgiving! I apologize for my lack of blogging lately. Since the start of September, I seem to have been sucked up in the vortex of college and homework. I’ve been working to find a balance in my life, but I have yet to perfect my schedule. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me and for your understanding and patience.

The Footprints Prayer has been floating through my head for the past week, so I’ve decided to share it with you.

“Last night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonged to me, the other to the Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. ‘Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.’

The Lord replied, ‘My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of suffering, when you could see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.'”

Personally, I am thankful for the way God has been moving and working in my life. Life hasn’t always been easy, but God has remained faithful. He’s never left me.

Secondly, I am giving thanks today for my family. I am very blessed to have my parents, and their love and support, as well as a brother who I’m very close with. A relevant Bible verse I remember my brother and I memorizing as kids is Psalm 100.

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

Worship the LORD with gladness;

Come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the LORD is God

it is he who made us and we are his*;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations”

*Or and not we ourselves

Thirdly, I am thankful for old and new friends. I’m at a stage in life where there are a lot of transitions. I am thankful for the friends who have stuck with me over the years. I’m also grateful for the new friends I’ve had the chance to meet and get to know these past few months. I’m looking forward to seeing these friendships grow stronger through this year and in the future.

This is a time to count all of the blessings that have been given to us. I know that this season can be painful for some of us, so wherever we are right now, let’s remember that we’re not alone. There are people – friends and family – who care about you, and if you feel alone, through grace we have a God that cares for and loves us. It may sound cliché, but He’s only a prayer away.

At World’s End

I realized that in all the craziness of my life that I missed last Friday’s poetry post! So I decided to make it up by writing my own poem for you all! Life often goes up and down like a roller coaster — So this is for anyone who feel’s like they’re at the world’s end and hanging on by a thread. Though you may feel all alone, there are always people to fall back on. Friends. Family. We love you. Never give up!


At World’s End

At world’s end, I stand on the edge

Wind roars from behind me

And threatens to throw me

Over the edge.

At world’s end, I ask you to lend

Open hands and eyes to see.

The pit lies before me;

Send me a friend.

At day’s end, I cannot hold on.

There’s one hope that can be

That someone’s come for me

Catch me — I’m gone.


c. Annika Barclay