thebeautifulbranches

"I am the vine, and you are the branches..."

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One Thousand Gifts

I’ve been meaning to start another one thousand gifts list, with this time being different from the last. While the last time I made the list (now over two years ago) was to learn the real meaning of joy after a heartbreak, this time will be to rest in God’s sovereignty. At yet another crossroads in my life, I’m about to leave school and the world that I’ve known for the last few years.No more homework, no more wondering what I’ll be when I’m a “grown-up”, it’s here. 

Big changes are coming—good and exciting things, but still big things. And while I know with whom I’ll be with at this time next year (a blessing in itself), I don’t know the where or the what. Where will I live? What will I be doing? Will I have a job that I like?

My career plans abruptly and definitely changed earlier this year, and I’m graduating in December. I had no real Plan B, and now I’m living it. 

But God’s whisper was reflected in what a roommate told me today, “maybe this will be a chance for you to rely fully on God, a chance to trust in His plan and that He will take care of you.”

So, God, here I am, and here are my plans. In beginning the list, again, I’m reminding myself of the small gifts that You give each day, and instead of focusing on the looming future (good and bad) I’ll rely on Your strength to focus on the gifts that You give, day by day.

1. God is still here, still giving gifts, still sovereign, and He’s still writing my story. 

2. The border collie currently sleeping at my feet, and the company that he’s so gifted at giving.

3. My sister’s continued healing- it’s a long road but God is victorious through her.

4. The counter full of mini-cakes that my roommate made. They’re so cute!

5. My man bringing a rose last night.

6. My internship as an associate editor, and the experience that I’m gaining.

7. Answers and progress on healing my neck- physical therapy will start in another week!

8. The relief knowing that surgery is not needed at this point.

9. Learning new things about the Bible through my history class- I love hearing it through the lense of my specialty and it brings more depth to the story.

10. The chance to lounge around in a pool last weekend while we were visiting N’s family in Phoenix. After a stressful summer it was wonderful!

11. Hot wings. 

12. Hot wings with friends. 

13. White wine in the bathtub.

14. Walks with my man and the dog in the evening. 

15. Adding gluten back into my diet! It has been amazing

16. Finding out what the real allergy culprit is- dairy.

17. Going to the airport and the sense of adventure that accompanies it.

18. Being able to eat cake again.

19. My grocery bill is a lot cheaper now.

20. Diffusing lavender.

Filed under onethousandgifts college glutenfree dairyfree post grad joy christian

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powertotheoctopus:

Today is a special day for me. I’ve now been clean a year from cutting! It’s been really, really hard, I don’t even have the words to describe how difficult it has been, but somehow by the grace of God, here I am. Thank you to everyone who helped me get here, you’re all greatly appreciated. Recovery is possible, stay brave out there ♡

So proud of my sister! God is good.

powertotheoctopus:

Today is a special day for me. I’ve now been clean a year from cutting! It’s been really, really hard, I don’t even have the words to describe how difficult it has been, but somehow by the grace of God, here I am. Thank you to everyone who helped me get here, you’re all greatly appreciated. Recovery is possible, stay brave out there ♡

So proud of my sister! God is good.

Filed under sister twloha blessings

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…but you can do both.

Recently, a group of undergraduate students from North Carolina State University began developing a nail polish that will change color when dipped in a drink that has been laced with Rohypnol or GHP, drugs commonly used in date-rape situations. And while I thought, and still do, that this was a great idea and a way for some women to protect themselves from assault, it has faced criticism because of its attempt to get women to take action for their own safety, instead of encouraging people (and specifically men) not to rape.

But why not encourage both? We can do a lot to educate both men and women about consent and encourage them not to rape. But, in a world where one in six women are raped or are the victims of attempted rape (National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.), I won’t be leaving my safety up to hopes that they’ve listened.

In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be my job to safeguard myself against assault or abuse, but this isn’t a perfect world. And while I can advocate for the encouragement and education of men and for the empowerment of women, that doesn’t mean that perpetrators listen. Unless one is living under a rock these days, they’ve probably been told that rape is bad, not to rape, and undoubtedly know that they would like rape not to happen to them. Perpetrators aren’t listening.There’s court dockets full of cases in which they didn’t, and thousands more shattered lives beyond the legal scope.

And while I’m not saying that wearing this nail polish, using that safety app, carrying a key-chain of pepper spray, or anything else would have prevented any victim’s rape, I think that anything that can be used by women to empower themselves and to help with their own safety is a good thing. Even if it helps in one instance, it’s one less victim.

Teach people about consent, yes, and encourage men and women to treat each other with respect, definitely. Let me also have the chance to stand up for myself.

Filed under undercovercolors opinion sexualassualtprevention college

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On making the dog a Facebook page…

We listed his status as “it’s complicated” because, you know, being fixed and all he probably would have trouble building a stable relationship.

My friend, Josh, went “Am I hearing you saying that injured veterans who come back sterile can’t be in a relationship?” My roommates nodded in agreement. 

"No, I’m saying that it’s not that he can talk with a lady dog, all they could do is sniff each others’ butts! That’s not a lasting connection."

Sara inturrupts, “that’s a connection, Kristen.”

Josh says, “See? I’m right!!”

"SOME BITCHES WANT KIDS, OKAY?!?"

Haile, Josh, and Sara bust up laughing and I win that conversation.

Filed under wit reallifeconvos dog college roommates