I’m a fan of New Year Resolutions. They def get a bad rap but I love the rhythm of it all. The new year, fresh start, reflection and hope for better in the coming days.
However, I’ve noticed myself falling into a bootstrap trap that I’m wondering if you may be in, too. (Bootstrap, as in: Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.)
We finish Christmas, where we’ve spent time reflecting on what GOD DID and in our self-reliant amnesia, walk toward the new year and talk about what WE ARE GOING TO DO.
How do we forget so quickly? We’ve just spent concentrated time praising God for SENDING HIS SON TO LIVE ON EARTH SO THAT HE WOULD DIE FOR OUR SINS AND BE RAISED IN VICTORY OVER THEM. That’s our God, yall. That is some serious power. However, just a few days later, we’re back to thinking we are all-powerful and can control ourselves by the sheer force of our will.
We start pinning things like: Refuse to lose. // No guts, no glory. // Yes you can. Believe in yourself. // You are whatever you want to be. You just have to decide to be it. // Be the best version of yourself.
We set goals, resolutions and make commitments. We want to lose 10 lbs, read more, find a church, spend more time with our kids, stop smoking, eat more vegetables…Then we muster all the strength we have, set alarms, get accountability partners, create incentives and set off on the first Monday of January ready to tackle our resolutions. Inevitably, March arrives. If you’ve made it that far, you’re probably starting to wane. You read one book in January but haven’t picked one up since. There were lots of workouts and vegetables between Jan 6 and Feb 13 but it’s Valentine’s, so let’s eat some chocolate and call it good.
Do you see where I’m going here? It’s the same thing every year. Folks have all kinds of theories about why this happens but I’m convinced it is this: WE BOOTSTRAP OUR RESOLUTIONS. Instead of asking God to search and show us where He wants to refine us, we look to the mirror and the world. Instead of asking God for some of that power He used to bring Jesus into the world, we look to our own worthless flesh to try and pull it off.
Hear me on this: I’m not telling you to say, “I want to lose 10 lbs. God give me the strength to do it.” I’m talking about something DEEPER, RICHER, BETTER.
I think we’ve been putting the cart before the horse. We know how we want to be/look/act so we just try to start being/looking/acting that way. Believers hear me: This is not how it should be. We have to remember what Matthew 6:33 says: Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and everything else will be added.
What if our resolution was to seek first the kingdom of God? Do you know what kind of power the Holy Spirit puts behind a desire like that? You’d no longer be relying on your flesh for the change but the POWER OF GOD to do it THROUGH YOU. Amazingly, when we seek first the kingdom of God, everything else is taken care of—just like the verse says.
When I’m seeking Christ, I remember that my body is a holy temple to be used by Him and HE helps me take better care of it. When I’m seeking Christ, I am less selfish toward my husband and my children because I am aware of how much Christ unselfishly loves me. When I’m seeking Christ, I read more because I desire refinement and growth instead of the numbness I enjoy while watching TV.
When I’m seeking Christ, I find grace in March and in May and in June and all year long. Grace never runs out. My strength will run out. Grace, God’s presence, His working power never run out.
Let’s let go of our bootstraps. Let’s look to the cross and ask God to cause our hearts to so burn for Him that we would SEEK HIM FIRST in 2014. We can trust that everything else will be added.
You made it to Thanksgiving Break! Way to go! As you head home to celebrate with your family, here are a few tips to make the most of your time at home:
1. You are different but probably look the same. Cut your family some slack. They’ll want to treat you like your senior-in-high-school self.
They weren’t there when you cooked your first meal, found your way to your classes, washed your first load of laundry, had amazing encounters with the Lord or met all of your new friends. You’ve changed. You’ve been through so much in the last few months. They want to know about it but may just not get how much you’ve been through. Go easy on them. They want to love you and know you. Give them time to accept the new, college, closer to adult you.
2. Sleep but not too much.
You are probably exhausted and there is nothing like sleeping in the amazingly more comfy bed at your parent’s house. Sleep! Live it up. Just don’t overdo it and miss out on time with your fam.
3. See your high school buddies…if you want.
You most likely can’t wait to see your high school buds. Hang out. Swap stories. Have fun! There is something so sweet about being with people who have known you for years instead of months. Just know, at some point, you may not be as eager to hang out with HS buddies and just know…that’s OK.
4. Engage your family. Ask them about themselves. Prioritize time with them over your friends.
Treat your family the way you’d like to be treated. Serve them. Ask them questions about their lives. Show interest in who they are and what they’ve been up to. These are the folks that will be with you for the long haul.
5. Take some quiet time away with the Lord.
This might be the first time in weeks that no one is knocking on your dorm door or texting you from down the hall asking you to go get coffee. Enjoy the slow down. Use it to reflect on what you’ve been through, what the Lord is teaching you through it. Take time to commit finals to your Savior and ask Him to empower you to finish strong.
I love you, ladies and am praying for you!
*tgiving meme: http://www.complex.com/art-design/2012/11/25-hilarious-thanksgiving-memes/gravy-maybe
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33
Here you go! Most of you have either already left for school or are leaving in the next week or so. As I was thinking of you this morning, the Lord led me to remind you to SEEK HIM FIRST. Starting college for the first time or going back is so exciting. It’s great to see and meet people, get your dorm or apartment all cuted up and put on your school swag as you head out to the first football game. In the midst of all of this, SEEK JESUS.
Please remember that if you try and find fulfillment in friends, classes, boys, etc. you will always be disappointed. Take some time today, drop to your knees and offer your semester to the King. Ask Him to give you a heart that longs for Him above all things. Ask His Holy Spirit to draw you to Himself. Ask Him to bring you peace that He is taking care of everything so you can rest in Him.
I love you, my girls. I am praying for you today and in the coming days.
Pull up the 40% off code on your phone, head to Hobby Lobby and buy you a CANVAS. They’re cheap and the DIY options are endless. Watch my short video below to see how to use a little fabric and a painted wooden letter to make a super cute piece of wall decor.
Other canvas options: mod podge magazine clippings and phrases, use acrylic paint to write a phrase or make a monogram and cover several canvases with fabric to make great wall art. Here are some of the best ways I’ve seen canvases used:
As you pull the last piece of tape across the top of the final cardboard box and click the last storage tub top into place, you might feel pretty overwhelmed. Do you really have everything you need? It”s no wonder you”re doubting! Every store you”ve been to lately has a dorm room display showcasing all the things you HAVE TO HAVE in order to have the best dorm ever! Some stores even provide you with a typed-up list filled with HUNDREDS of items they believe you need for your freshman dorm room. These lists are pretty ridiculous and to prove it, I wanted to highlight a few from a list I found online that made me chuckle (the items from the list are in bold):
- Dinnerware, flatware, drinkware: Seriously? You need 1 plastic plate, 1 bowl and 1 cup…for real.
- Snack Table: Yes, they listed that one. Puh-lease.
- Electric toothbrush, back brush, shower radio: I went ahead and lumped all that nonsense together. BTW…does anyone under 70 acutally use a “back brush”?
- Paper shredder: Ummm…NO
- Safe: Yes, as in with a combination and everything. Granted, stuff tends to go missing in college dorms but the bottom line is, if you have something really valuable-don”t leave it in your dorm room where it can be easily jacked.
Pretty hilarious, right? As much as I wish I had, I did not make these up!
Enough ragging on the stores and all of the unnecessary items. What are the things you really need for your first year? I got a little help compiling this list from some F15 alums. These are the things they said were either super essential or just really great to have:
- Calendar/Planner: The girls liked having a big calendar to write all due dates and events on and then a smaller agenda or planner to carry with them. (If you get stuck trying to plan, go to the Time Management chapter in The Freshman 15 Bible Study for tips!)
- Organization Items: They recommended “skinny hangers”, bed risers (so you can store stuff under the bed) and skinny shelf towers that you could put stuff and/or baskets of stuff in.
- Techie stuff: Power strips with surge protectors, all the cables that go with your printer, computer, etc. and possibly a wireless router unless your dorm already has one.
- Decor: Bedding (an extra set of sheets recommended), desk lamp (for working late when roomie is snoozing), bulletin board (to post pics, etc.) and a white board (so your pals can leave sweet notes.)
- Up-keep items: Cleaning supplies (a small vacuum and cleaning wipes). Several of the girls recommended keeping a small tool kit in the room. They said there were so many occasions when they needed it and/or someone in their dorm needed it.
- A LAP DESK: This is the one that ALL of the girls loved and highly recommended. You can find “em at places like Target & Bed, Bath & Beyond. They liked to use them to be able to work in their bed, in a comfy chair or on a couch with it.
- THE FRESHMAN 15: And of course, don”t forget to take your F15 Bible Study and frame to help keep at the front of your mind the 15 things we talked about!
I hope this post helps you feel a little less overwhelmed and a lot more prepared to make the best of your new living quarters! I know they are going to be darling and I can”t wait to see pics.
I love you, girls and I am praying for you daily. May you feel the peace that only our God gives as you prepare for this exciting new adventure!
I have been scouring the web to find the cutest, REAL dorm rooms to help inspire your decorating. Pinterest is so fun for this stuff. For my college dorm room. my roommate and I went and bought cute wrapping paper and covered a couple of our walls to add color. I can only imagine what we would have come up with if we had all these fun DIY pins.
**Disclaimer: Please don”t get overwhelmed with all these ideas and the cute stuff you see out there. Pick 2 things you think are great and do them. Clean lines and fun colors in your bedding will go a long way toward making an awesome room.
One of the best ideas I”ve seen is using monograms in your room to help add style and make it personal. You can and attach them right to your wall–above your headboard or on the wall your bed touches. Another cute way to use them is to attach them to canvas; that way you can move it when you move.
Here are some of the cutest monogrammed dorms I found:
Poms! Hang em above your bed, above your desk, in a corner, on a curtain rod over the window, at the end of your bed like a pom partition, the options are endless. Poms are an easy, cheap, fun way to add color and girliness to your otherwise super drab
cell dorm room.
Here’s how you make paper poms:
For maximum pom cuteness:
DO:Make em big & fluffy. Hang them at varying lengths. Use an odd number (5 or 7 should do it). Group them.
DON’T: Make em tiny & wrinkled. Hang them all the same. Put one random guy in each corner. Just do 2 or 4.
Check out these cute pom decor ideas:
To make yarn poms, check out this tutorial.
Now: LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE this post for your chance to win a $10 Hobby Lobby gift card so you can do this or another fun craft.
Announcing the upcoming series from The Freshman 15: DIY Your Dorm. The next 4 posts will show you easy and cheap ways to add style to your dorm.
- MAKE IT MONDAY: A new craft tutorial will be posted. When you see it come up in your FB feed, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE to win a $10 Hobby Lobby gift card.
- WIN IT WEDNESDAY: I’ll announce the winner of the gift card from those who entered the contest Mon & Tues by LIKE, COMMENT and SHARING.
- FUN FIND FRIDAY: A post with a cute find to help brighten up your dorm room.
Blogs Kate follows
- QUIZ: Are you ready for college?
- Don’t BOOTSTRAP Your New Year Resolutions
- Home for the Holidays
- Seek FIRST
- DIY Your Dorm: CANVAS
- Bed, Bath & BEYOND UNNECESSARY
- DIY Your Dorm: Photo Swag
- DIY Your Dorm: MONOGRAMS!
- Make it Monday: Poms
- DIY Your Dorm: Ideas & Contest
- There, but for the grace of God, go I…
- What 30 Year Old Me Would Tell 20 Year Old Me
- DON’T SETTLE
- Christian Sororities
- Foul Language