Campus to Real Life: What I’ve Learned

Hey everyone, it’s been awhile! I’ve been transitioning from graduating college into the working world and it’s been crazy thus far! This change from undergrad to regular life can be difficult in a lot of ways, and I’ve definitely struggled with it a lot. It’s taken a lot of time and grace to find ways to navigate this part of my life as I’m sure it has for many of us. Here are some challenges I’ve faced and how I’m working through them.

Money

This is probably one of the bigger ones that many post-grads struggle with. I am the most intimidated by money out of all of these still. When you get your job(s), you suddenly are equipped with a lot of money which is great! No more campus jobs and no more class to keep you from getting more hours! Needless to say, budgeting can be difficult because it’s easy to overspend and important things such as rent, groceries, and gas money go out the window. I try save at least $50 out of each pay check to go to my savings account, and I try to limit myself in expenses I don’t need such as going out for food/drinks or buying coffee in the mornings. I also plan things such as grocery lists, rent, and gas expenses for the month to get a rough estimate of how much I will spend.

Safety Job

Here’s where we have to set our pride aside. Most of us have this idea that once we graduate, we will have our perfect dream job and life… very rarely does this actually happen. Alongside my main job is a dance teacher (yay!), I have a job I enjoy which helps me with student loans and my savings. Very rarely do we get our dream job that allows us to fully fund ourselves¬†right away. I’ve noticed that once graduation happens, we put this heavy expectation that we should have our perfect job right away. Honestly, that RARELY happens. (If it did for you, yay yay yay!) But there’s nothing wrong with hustling for what you need to accomplish, saving money, and not being exactly where you want to be!

Downsizing

When I moved into my apartment, I realized how much crap I have. And I really mean it. Crap. I had so much random stuff that I never use such as: clothing, books, college papers I don’t need, etc. I highly recommend going through everything and asking yourself when the last time you used each item was. It will save you a lot of space! Not to mention, you can sell things on Facebook market or donate to a thrift store help downsize and to allow others to recycle items.

Friendships

College makes friendships super convenient. You can run into people on campus almost anywhere (especially on a small campus). But once everyone has graduated and spread out, you don’t have campus and class to keep connections with others. You need to reach out to others and be good at planning quality time. I’m not much of a planner, and I’ve realized that when I don’t follow through with friendships, they dissipate. Even though it may seem ‘forced’ to make plans, I’ve realized I have to in order to catch up and spend time with those I love! Planning is SO worth it.

These little themes of what ‘real life’ looks like can’t even begin to explain how it really is when you’re working through everything. Transitioning to a new chapter in life is super hard, but things come together slowly. If I have learned anything from this first month of the working world, it’s not to worry so much about making everything work perfectly right away. It takes time to adjust and that’s ok! Whether you have your dream job or you’re still figuring it out, I hope you know you’re not going through it alone! Things will work out. ūüôā

xo, Brynne

 

 

Discontent in the Performing World

One of my biggest struggles as an artist is the idea that where I am now is not good enough in my career. There is always someone who has done something better, who was cast, or who has something that you don’t. When I get into this negative mindset, it’s hard for me to push those thoughts away. I ask myself will I ever be good enough? Why am I here when I want to be there? What do they have that I don’t? I have one big piece of advice for you: it’s a trap.

Personally, I don’t see my artistic journey separated from my walk with Christ. If it were not for Him, I would feel pretty terrible about myself. One of the biggest things I have learned is that God uses our biggest disappointments as small shifts in another direction. He redirects us to a perspective we did not quite see before. The times where I have not been cast and been absolutely heartbroken have given me the opportunity to take on another artistic opportunity. The moments when I’ve gotten an opportunity that I wasn’t pleased about have led me to appreciate what I’m given and grounded me in humility. Those times where it’s easy to blame myself or others around me for unhappiness have only been graced and held in positive esteem because I have the hope and trust that God has something in mind for my future.

I was reading through 1 Samuel chapter 1 a couple days ago and was drawn to the story of Hannah. She was consistently disheartened because all she wanted was to have a child and was not able to give birth. She faced judgement from women around her because she could not conceive and cried to the Lord in disparity. But what set her apart in her trial is that she knew despite her situation, the Lord had power to provide what she needed, even if it was not at the time she expected. She said

“O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (‚Ä≠1 Samuel‚Ĩ ‚Ä≠1‚Ĩ:‚Ä≠11‚Ĩ ESV

And because she believed, she was given a son. Had she waited years for this moment? Yes. Did she feel abandoned at times? For sure? Were there times that she doubted God had her best interest at heart? Absolutely. The amazing thing about faith is that even though we cannot see what the future holds, we put our trust in the idea that God can see the huge landmarks in our life that are out of sight to us.

To bring this back to my life, I want to point out some things. I had no idea that I would be working close to where I graduated after school instead of moving to a city. I also had no idea what I would be doing artistically after graduation until a month before I became an alum. I forget that I am human and I can’t control where I’m going to be at all times. Although where I am now is way different from my ideal goal, I’ve learned that it’s ok to have unexpected steps towards the dream you want to reach. It’s also ok to be confused for a bit. The more I settled into what my next chapter of life was going to look like, the more I realized the multiple reasons God placed me where I am for a purpose. Not my will but Yours.

Comparing myself to others in my career is setting myself up for failure, as it will to anyone who does this. We all have different paths because we are different people. I truly believe the places I go have a will far beyond my vision.

When you’re feeling down, just remember that your path is not meant to be exactly like someone else’s. You are meant to take your journey for a specific reason, and it’s going to be beautiful.

Why Do I Love Jesus?

A wise friend asked me a couple days ago why I love Jesus. Honestly, it stopped me dead in my tracks. That’s not something that I think about quite often. Yeah, I love Jesus, I know he died for me, but¬†why?¬†It took a lot of thinking to figure out.

Here’s a disclaimer: I think this answer can change at various points for any person who is trying to answer this question for themselves. If you can’t, I totally get it. It’s a simple, yet difficult question. But I have to know why I love Him in order to tell other people about Him. It would make me a pretty naive Christian to follow blindly.

So I came down to a couple thoughts. The first one is that Christ lets me discover why I love Him. We were not forced to love God the minute we were born. That freedom of choice is beautiful beyond our human knowledge because if God wanted to, He could have forced us to love Him. But truthfully, what would the point of love be if it was forced? It would be slavery, not love.

The second thing I thought of is His sacrifice. It took me a¬†very long time¬†to emotionally understand this and I still need to remind myself of it when I get too focused on my own life. I talked about this in a previous blog I wrote last summer (Check it out here), but it truly came down to my love of the arts, the gift God has blessed me with. I had to be a part of Jesus’s world by being a part of¬†Godspell¬†which made me see the crucifixion night after night. I would leave the stage every night with tears and mascara streaming down my face. I believe the Lord picks the perfect moments to teach us exactly what we need to hear. I also believe He gives us the right people for those times. The incredible cast that I had the honor of doing that show with became family. They were my friends and my fellow disciples. We laughed, cried, hugged, and joked every day together. If it were not for them, I wouldn’t understand the fellowship that Jesus created during His life. And my fellow cast mate that played the role of Jesus led us with such humility and grace that he was truly believable. That experience showed me that Christ was a friend to His disciples and followers. He loved them and gave himself up to save us. To see that before my eyes night after night was such a rare gift.

The third reason is His grace. This is the one that I struggle with a lot as I do not have a lot of grace for myself. I reflect a lot on the mistakes I’ve made, and usually I look back on them in a way that doesn’t allow me to move forward. I’ve been realizing if you let your past haunt you, you’re not giving yourself grace. And if you’re not giving yourself grace, how can you give that properly to others? The beauty of God’s grace is that He gives it to all of us, no matter what you’ve done. In no way does He hold it against you. It’s the balance of knowing you are forgiven and learning from your mess-ups after it’s happened. He loves us so much that He’s always willing to forgive and love us afterward, but loves us too much to want us to make the same mistake again. Wherever you fall into, whether it be lack of grace or understanding the truth, I’ve learned how important it is to learn both aspects of God’s forgiveness in order to understand His love.

I am very thankful for those in my life who ask the difficult questions. I love to get those because not only does it make me think, but I cannot be a witness of Christ unless my thoughts are challenged. If any of you have questions on my faith, please let me know!

Xo, Brynne

 

How to Fight Distractions and Motivate Yourself

This past week, I’ve have been so busy with homework. Almost every night I’ve been staying up between 12 am and 3 am finishing assignments and other work when I thought I would have more time to finish them and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Then I realized every night I went to bed late, I was also watching Netflix the second I got home from classes or glued to social media. It made my entire evening SO unproductive. During the day, I also found myself showing up late to important events or not getting ready in time and rushing out the door! It made my days¬†very¬†stressful.

Not to mention, it really effected my spiritual health. I felt so disconnected from God, and I also didn’t take the time out of my day to journal or blog. It felt like a complete waste of my nights when I could have been getting ahead on assignments, balancing my sleep schedule, and taking time for self-care. If you’re like me and have done these things before, I totally get it and I’m trying to figure it out too!¬†This weekend I thought of some ways to keep myself accountable for getting things done and also maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

1) Don’t check your phone when you first wake up.¬†I am the QUEEN of morning phone checks. I see if class is cancelled, if my bosses sent an important email, if I missed a message on Instagram, or if I got a text after I went to bed. Unless you are only shutting off your phone alarm to wake up, do not check your phone! It’s made me late to classes/work before and it always makes me rush my morning routine even if I am on time. Not to mention, starting your day off with social media is an all-too-easy way of opening up your mind for comparison. The first thoughts you have when you wake up should be positive. Getting the phone out of your face is one step towards that. (Also, don’t check your phone when you’re about to do work. You will get sucked into scrolling for hours and lose track of time.)

2) Make a to-do list.¬†I’m not a super organized person. Honestly, one of the few reasons I’ve grabbed onto certain organized habits is truly because of my roomie because that’s natural for her. Otherwise, my belongings are everywhere and I can’t seem to get it together. One of the tactics I’ve learned from my Type-A bestie is making a to-do list. If I do it way before the time I’ve given myself to complete tasks, it really puts me in the mindset of how much work I have to get done. Also, I felt SO accomplished when I crossed something off the list. Crossing things off the list motivates me to get it all done and once I do, I finally know that I can relax.

3) If you have free time, don’t say you’ll do it later.¬†Let me spell it out for you: B-I-G¬† M-I-S-T-A-K-E. Every time I have an assignment due later in the week and I don’t use my free nights to work, I just want to punch my past self in the face when it’s past midnight and I’m still working. Those spare moments when you’re bored and pull out your phone between classes, you could be saving yourself an hour or too in the evening to relax. Just remember that.

4) Do not watch TV.¬†GIRL DON’T DO IT. I don’t care if you are watching Gossip Girl, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy. I have a secret…¬†they end each episode with a cliff hanger just to get you to watch more.¬†First you watch one episode, and then at some point, you’ve gotten to 10 episodes. It. Is. A. Trap. So shut down your Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Turn away from your TV screen. Part ways with your Fire Stick. You can see if Ross and Rachel end up together after you finished your work.

5) Make your workspace peaceful.¬†You will get things done faster when you put yourself in a calm and relaxing work environment. Personally, I work the best when I’m not around others. Then there’s no excuse for me to talk to someone. If I’m at home, I really like lighting a candle for some ambiance and a nice smell (lavender is great for work and studying). If music doesn’t distract you, I enjoy putting on music without words or relaxing folk music so I don’t get distracted.

6) Reward yourself when you get your work done.¬†Tell yourself beforehand that you will treat yourself ONLY if you get everything done that you anticipated. It might mean a piece of chocolate at the end of the night or finally finishing that season finale of your favorite show. Sometimes telling yourself there’s a light at the end of the tunnel is a great way to push through.

I hope your week is productive and filled with rest and happiness! When I write, part of the reason is so that I follow my own advice! So if you think you’re the only one who needs to follow these things, I am right there with ya. But hey, we can keep each other accountable! Let me know if any of these tips work for you!

xo, Brynne

What I’ve Learned From 2018

2018 has come and gone, and it seems like it went by faster than usual for me. It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but most importantly I’ve learned so much from this year. The Lord provided me with a lot of things that I can turn my gaze towards, as well as give me hope for 2019. Here are some of the things I’ve reflected on:

Just because you fail doesn’t mean you’re not good enough.

I’ve had my fair share of this, especially in the arts this year. In certain moments I put so much blame on myself that I will never be good enough just because I failed. But the more I try, the more I realize the best thing I can do is to know my value and know I’m good enough. I’ve psyched myself out way too many times in my career path to know the second you start doubting yourself, you set yourself up for failure. Once I knew that I’m of value because of who I am in the Lord, I’ve never seen Him fail me. In fact, God has proven to me multiple times that when I believe in His value and creation, He continues to reveal the best parts of my story.

Push past social anxiety.

This year, I’ve made so many friends that I never would have expected to make a connection with. Every time I look back on those friendships, I’ve realized they’ve come from the risk of putting yourself out there and being open to others. A lot of my middle school to high school years were filled with anxiety that people won’t like me for who I am. I’ve realized that it shouldn’t matter what anyone thinks because if they like you for who you are, then they’re really a true friend. I’ve also reconnected with others that I hadn’t spoken to in a very long time and although it can be nerve-racking, it’s always worth it to put yourself out there. I found myself thinking I’m so glad I did that rather than wondering¬†what if.

Forgive those who have hurt you.

I’ve held onto pieces of my life from years back that have caused me so much pain that to even think of the event or person makes me so upset. One day I finally figured out that holding onto those things doesn’t hurt the other person, it just hurts you. It’s so much easier to let go of the pain that someone once caused you. It doesn’t mean you have to be close with them and it also doesn’t mean you ever need to speak to them again. But of course, it’s not that easy. It takes a lot of prayer, a lot of tears, and a lot of wrestling with what’s happened. I’m still learning how to completely forgive, but I’ve already felt emotionally healthier once I’ve decided to surrender the pain from the past to God. He’s the only one that can take away the struggles of my life.

This is a fairly summed up version of many things I’ve learned, as I know many of us want to be wearing glittery clothes and toasting with some champagne. But no toast is quite right without a little self reflection. I’m so excited for the lessons that 2019 will bring, even though I know I’m nowhere near ready for them.

I hope your night is full of wonderful memories and the hope for tomorrow!

xo, Brynne

Navigating After-College Anxiety

As a senior in college, I can attest that I’m pretty scared for what’s coming next. Some people in my graduating class are engaged, have a job lined up, and know exactly where they’re going to live. I on the other hand, am sitting on the couch, eating a bag of doritos, with zero intentions of engagements, no idea where I’ll be living, and not a clue as to what job I’ll have. So my anxiety is asking me what happens if I don’t attain what I am hoping for right after college? Am I going to become a hermit? Will I live in my parents’ basements for ten years? The biggest question thus far: what if the things we end up doing never measure up to what we intended? We may never know, but God certainly does.

I was reading the book of Ruth a couple days ago and I thought it touches on my exact feelings on the future after school. If you haven’t read Ruth’s story, it’s a quick read and incredible. Ruth’s story begins with her husband passing away and her living with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her sister-in-law, Orpah. Naomi begs Ruth and Orpah to leave her in order to find a husband and a better life, and while Orpah leaves, Ruth decides to stay. From the beginning I find this incredibly interesting. Ruth says “For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you (1:16-17).”

Ruth had every reason to¬† leave. Naomi gave her permission and she truly had no other option in that moment to get remarried. But Ruth knew what was loving and chose to follow God’s will of being compassionate to others before satisfying her own needs. Her action of staying is a reminder that she chose what God wanted before her own. Ruth decides to stay with Naomi and find a job to provide for her and her mother-in-law, which leads Naomi to work in the fields of Boaz, an honorable man in the clan of Elimelech. Although Ruth was a Moabite, a race that was looked down upon in the eyes of the Israelites, Ruth was still kept safe from the harm of the male field workers (known for sexual assault/raping women) and caught the attention of Boaz himself. When Boaz told her why he favored her, he answered “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The Lord repay you full for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge (2:11-12)!” Ruth’s obedience to God’s call not only kept her safe, but revealed the way that God provided resources for her.

Spoiler alert: by the end of the story, Ruth ends up marrying Boaz and giving birth to a son. Not only that, but Naomi, who felt defeated and useless as a widow, now had a child that came from her family line that she could care for. Because Ruth stayed patient, obedient, and put others needs before hers, she not only made her life better, but Naomi’s life as well. God put together exactly what she needed when she trusted that His will is all that she needs. Ruth had no idea that she would end up remarried after she chose to stay with Naomi. But God saw how much she loved Naomi and created an amazing life for Ruth she never knew would stem from obedience to the Lord.

At twenty-one years old, I am pretty scared for my future. As a reminder, I have no clue where I’m living after school, no idea what job I’ll have, and I’m surviving off of minimum wage jobs and freelance side hustles. Trusting that God has a future for me when all I see is a huge question mark can be pretty intimidating. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as easily trusting as Ruth was to give over her life to God, but this story inspires me to do so. It’s really scary when we don’t know what’s in front of us, but sometimes we aren’t meant to know. We have to take it day by day and understand that the things God slowly reveals to us are like points on a road map. The smaller points start showing up in front of us and he will make the points that are His will easy to recognize. Sometimes we just need to take the leap.

The Trouble With Gossip

Hi everyone! It’s been so long since I’ve last written, and a lot of that is to do with figuring out how to put my words together. Gossip is something that both gals and guys struggle with. The biggest problem with gossip is that a lot of times, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. As a person who is guilty of this, I can tell you that it’s an ugly habit to notice and difficult to stop unless you know how to recognize it.

When I look back on times that I’ve gossiped, I realize two things: usually it stems from talking about someone in a group, and it almost always is negative. Once one person starts to gossip, it begins a downward spiral of more and more negativity until every person is finding a way to chime in. Eventually, we all end up talking about someone without knowing how it will effect them.

One of the biggest problems with gossip is the way it creates rumors. Every time someone talks about another person, they are passing on second-hand information. It’s like thinking a secondary source is more accurate than a primary source. The more information gets passed around, the more it can get stretched. Suddenly, whatever we are talking about isn’t the truth anymore; it’s far from it. The truth ends up becoming lies and finally, the person being talked about has rumors spread about them that are completely false. It’s our responsibility to stay truthful to the situation at hand, and passing it around to others never makes it better.

Another issue with gossip is that we talk about things with people who are not originally involved. Sometimes it feels good to get something off your chest or express how you’re feeling about your day. We dig ourselves a hole when the things we say are hurtful and/or unhelpful to the person we are talking about. If what we say¬† has even the smallest chance of being taken negative, it shouldn’t be said. I was listening to an awesome podcast from The Porch (go check it out!) about gossip. One of the main points in that podcast is if you have talked about someone without them being there, you need to talk to them about the issue within 24 hours. This really stuck out to me because not only do you stop the gossip chain, but you talk directly to the person that it’s affecting. If we decided to be direct with the people we are upset with, it would solve a lot of our problems.

Lastly, gossip ruins relationships. When someone is talked about behind their back, most of the time it gets back to them. We all mess up and I have been in situations before where I end up hurting someone I really love and care about because I talked about them outside of their presence. Something we can do to avoid hurting others is not chiming in at all. If someone starts talking about another person, we need to be aware of the situation and not get ourselves involved. Any person that takes part in a gossip conversation involves themselves in the issue and makes the problem bigger. We also avoid spreading the rumors further by not participating. Another tactic even better than not participating is shutting it down. By calling out gossip, we can stop ourselves from hurting each other. Even if we are gossiping and start the conversation ourselves, we can outwardly recognize it and stop our negative actions. It can make a huge difference in the way we converse with our friends and create a positive environment.

The reason I wrote about this is because I’m just as guilty as the next person. When I’ve taken part in gossip or started it, by the end I would feel worse about myself than before I brought it up. I never realized why I felt so guilty or ugly until I noticed it was the Holy Spirit convicting me. Ephesians 4:29 says¬†“let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Our words are supposed to bless others and create community, not break it. We are not created to use our words for negativity. It breaks God’s heart that we use our words to put each other down. Proverbs 18:1-8 says “there are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:¬†haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,¬†a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,¬†a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”¬†

The Bible is very clear on how God wants us to treat one another. It’s really easy to talk about someone, and we will never be perfect at destroying gossip. The best thing we can do is know how much it effects us and how important it is to keep our hearts kind towards one another.

Thanks for tuning in today, may you be inspired to make a difference in someone’s life today!

xo, Brynne

How to Battle Negative Self-Talk

Have you ever had one of those days where you get in a funk? Regardless of what positive thing someone tells you, it goes through one ear and out the other. Last night, I was so frustrated. No matter how much someone would encourage me or tell me I was doing something right, it all felt like a lie.

I was confused at first as to why I kept thinking this way. It felt like these thoughts came out of nowhere. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m not smart enough in lectures, not talented enough in my art classes, or not pretty enough? The more I thought about it, I finally understood the source of my doubt and insecurity.

Throughout the entire day, I was consistently feeding myself negative self-talk. It started with little, meaningless things like¬†dang I wish I had longer legs¬†in ballet class. I looked back on my day and could pinpoint four or five other times where a negative thought about myself would cross my mind. It all built up until I finally couldn’t ignore it.¬†In a way, I’m glad it got to a point where I couldn’t ignore it. How many times do we think something negative about ourselves and don’t even know we’re doing it? I bet I’ve done it millions of times and I couldn’t do anything about if because I didn’t recognize it for what it was.

We become easy targets for negative self-talk when we forget how God sees us. When we forget or we don’t condition ourselves to learn and remember what He says we are, we become easy pickings for the devil. Tiny, negative, reminders throughout the day are sly ways to get someone to break, and that’s exactly how satan does it. When we don’t know our value or we set aside God’s positive reminders, we have nothing to protect us. So how do we battle negative self talk?¬†We need to remind ourselves daily, even multiple times a day of God’s thoughts.

If you find that something from your past is haunting you, this is such an important verse to remember. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a¬†new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When you have accepted Christ, He does not see you as your past failures and is not ashamed of your actions. He loves you¬†endlessly¬†and will never stop, even if you’ve done the worst thing known to man. You can never lose the amount of love He has for you.

If you feel unqualified, unintelligent, untalented, or far from beautiful, this verse is for you: “For we are his workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in Him.”- Ephesians 2:10. He made each of us specifically to do amazing, incredible, things! Just because you are made different from someone else that doesn’t mean that you are not qualified or good enough. It just means that you’re incredibly qualified in something else, your own unique and incredible path that God has laid out for you and only you!

If you don’t feel accepted by others, you need to listen to this: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9. You’ve been accepted into the Lord’s kingdom before you were born. You’ve always had a home, maybe before you even knew it. The judgement of others does not define your value or worth. Truthfully, other people don’t have the right to judge you. The only being that has that right is the Lord, and his judgement does not come out of bitterness, hatred, or unkindness. It comes from a place of love and the passion to do what is right. Most importantly, God’s judgement¬†never¬†brings others down. It builds us up and helps us create a better life for ourselves and others.

I’ve found so much worth in those three verses when I go through difficult times or life trials. I’m making it a goal of mine to keep these verses close to my heart and memorize them for when negative self-talk comes creeping in. If any of these verses spoke to you, I encourage you to memorize them as well when you go through trials. We also need to tell ourselves that whatever negative thought that pops into our head is completely false and we need to name it. The more we name our problems, the easier they will be to smash. We have to declare that negative thoughts are not from the Lord and will not help us feel better about ourselves. Then we can remind ourselves what the literal words of God say about us.¬†When we hold to the truth of the Lord’s vision, we will always be enough and feel loved. There’s nothing that can take that away from us when we realize who the being is that created us so intricately.

As always, thanks for listening, and I hope that my story can help yours.

xo, Brynne

 

 

The Gift of Community

For my last October break of my college career I went up North for my wonderful friend’s birthday. This lovely group of ladies has been with me since the very beginning of my college career and it’s so crazy to look back from freshman year to know and see how much we’ve grown.

As my remaining chapter of college is coming to an end, something that’s been on my mind is how we grow with one another in community. Every person that I spend time with has such incredible qualities that make our group of friends a whole. Each person in the picture above is so incredibly different from one another and I feel like it truly reflects how God sees community. 1 Corinthians 12: 18-20 says “but as it is,¬†God arranged the members in the body, each one of them,¬†as he chose.¬†¬†If all were a single member, where would the body be?¬†¬†As it is, there are many parts,¬†yet one body.” It warms my heart to see these wonderful people in my life and see the unique strengths of each person that makes our friendship grow.

Wisdom: If I didn’t have my friends by my side to guide me in times of confusion or trouble, I know I would put myself in some crazy and unfortunate situations. Those wise friends understand how you’re feeling and push you to make the best decision and truly listen to where you’re at.

Honesty: This is the friend who always tells you how it is. They’re an open book about who they are and they’re not afraid to speak their mind. Even when it’s hard to be real about how you’re feeling, you can always count on this person to cut the tension and ask the tough questions.

Hospitality: I always feel loved and cared for by the people that are constantly serving others. They use their actions to bless the ones they love and find joy in doing so. They never complain about doing it because they love to look out for others in a behind-the-scenes kind of way.

Quality Time: No matter how busy they are, this friend is the one that never turns their back on you to talk. They are always willing to be with you and listen when you need it. They are incredibly loyal and will never let you down.

This is only the beginning in listing how many amazing gifts that each of these women possess. I’m so thankful that all of us are incredibly different, yet come together and create a group of people that looks out for one another in different ways. How boring would we all be if all of our friends were exactly like the next?

College has taught me a lot of things, but my friends have taught me more. I’m so thankful for the people in my lives who have been on this journey with me from Freshman to Senior year.

 

Being Happy With What You Have

We live in a generation that is always wanting more. We want the best clothes, the nicest car, the biggest house, and the most income. We look at what others have and wonder why we can’t have it ourselves. Commercials tell us our lives won’t be better unless we have the next best thing to make our lives easier. We are constantly filling our minds and our houses with having¬†more¬†because that’s what we’ve been told to do.¬†But once we finally knock everything we wanted off our bucket lists, we still feel empty.¬†So what are we missing?

Imagine this: we live in a world where we are content with what we already have. What would this look like? We would appreciate the little things that usually seem meaningless. We could take that ripped up pair of jeans and make them into a cool, refurbished pair of pants. Instead of longing for that incredible vacation that we can’t afford we spend time with our grandparents and mentors who just want time to talk to us. The money you were going to use for a housing upgrade you decided to put away to donate to your favorite charity. This all sounds wonderful,¬†but how do we get there?

I’m asking this question because this is a constant struggle for me as well. For someone who loves fashion, I always want the next best clothing piece. I also find myself longing for an incredible vacation with some gal pals but realize that my college income is not enough for me to travel overseas just yet. I’m still trying to figure out the struggle of being happy and wanting something more. Here are some things I’ve been thinking about to be incredibly content with the¬†average¬†in my life.

Be creative with what you have.¬†It’s very easy to get bored in your day to day life. When you’re tempted to spend money just to fill a “high” of something new or different, come back to things you already own. Wear something that’s been in the bottom of your closet for a couple months. Pull out that book you loved reading years ago and revisit some old memories. You’d be surprised how much enjoyment you’ll get from going down memory lane.

Rekindle old/deep friendships:¬†We all have those people in our lives who we’ve known since childhood or mentors that have impacted our lives. As we all enter new areas in our lives, those relationships can fade and dissipate with time. Try calling or texting someone that you haven’t talked to in awhile. Go out to coffee with someone who you used to love hanging out with. Those people can turn your day around and remind you of who you are.

Take a break from social media:¬†Social media can be a wonderful place to share, inspire, and create, but it can also leave you with a deep sense of dissatisfaction. It leaves us wondering what our lives would be like if we had what someone else had. And if your lives don’t seem to “measure up,” we have to constantly upgrade our own lives and never feel complete. Try taking half a day, full day, or even a couple days off of social media. See if your lack of scrolling fulfills your “lack” of something in your life.

As I was saying before, in no means have I “figured it all out.” I’m still struggling to take myself out of being dissatisfied and appreciating what’s in front of me. I hope that what I think about and struggle with daily can inspire you to look at your life with a little more fulfillment.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you have an incredible, fulfilled day!

xo, Brynne