Prayer

I didn’t go to church yesterday. Bible study is off for the month of July. I have been neglecting to read my bible everyday. Basically, I’m slacking on my Christian duties, and it’s because I haven’t felt very godly recently. 

My decisions for the past month were not of Him, and while I know I have grace, I still didn’t feel worthy to come before the Lord. Despite my lapse in Christian behavior, a small, desperate part of me continued to pray. 

I called out to the Lord multiple times over the last four weeks, “Lord, please close the doors you do not wish me to walk through, and may the ones you do swing wide open.” Now, I said these words, but the larger, selfish part of me hoped He wouldn’t listen. I wanted to do what I wanted!

Thankfully, my prayer was answered anyway this past weekend. Sure, it took one last bad decision to convince me the Lord has more in store for me. Plus a conversation with my best friend to realize I was selling myself short. But, I am capable of so much more than I have been doing, so why was I defying both my logic and values to do what feels good in the moment? 

The honest answer is that I’m human. I’m weak, selfish, and confused. However, if I take the time to empty myself of toxic thoughts and worldly desires, I can be filled with the light of the Lord. 

He loves me.

I break His heart a million times over, but he still loves me. Except for my mom, I know I will never find another love like His. And all I can do to repay Him is try to honor Him in all that I do, and love others as He loves me. 

God closed a door this weekend–two, as a matter of fact. And while I’m not quite sure where the next open one is, I know it exists, and I’m excited to go through it. Prayer works, y’all. You just have to keep your eyes and heart open to receive the message the Lord is sending you. 

Until next time,

❤ Severn

Loving God

Back in June of 2016 I was saved. My older cousin texted me out of the blue and told me about a small group he and his wife ran for adult-ish people. He invited me, but I told him I had plans. I wasn’t doing too well around this time, and the idea of going to a bible study seemed lame and foreign to me. I know I’d said that when I came back home I would try to strengthen my faith, but I wasn’t ready yet.

The next morning when I woke up, though, the first thought to pop in my head was, “I need Jesus.” It was such a clear, definitive thought; if I hadn’t known better I would have thought someone had said it out loud to me. While I got ready for work I forgot about it, but later in the day I was scrolling through my messages and saw the one from cousin again. “Oh yeah,” I thought. “I need Jesus.”

 john krasinski duh obviously GIF

So I sent him a message and told him I’d cancelled my (non-existent) plans and I would be there. He added me to the group’s Facebook message, so I saw that they were reading the book of Acts. I believe it was chapters 12-17, so before I went to the meeting, I pulled over at a gas station, took out my pocket New Testament, and read.

In that part of the book, Peter was in jail (again), and basically God sets him free. Literally breaks the chains around his wrists, and allows Peter to walk out past the guards unscathed. Easy peasy. Because God.

sahlooter wow chris pratt emotions emotion GIF

Okay let me explain the mind-blowingness of it.

I was depressed once. I was falling back into depression. And then one random day a couple weeks after being back home, my cousin is like “Come learn about Jesus with this cool group of people!” And first I was like, “Nah,” then I was like, “Okay!” And then there I found myself. In a gas station. On a Friday night. Reading about how God saved Peter from jail.

Are my staccato sentences not doing it for you?

My depression = jail.

God = the way out of jail.

 aha epiphany aha moment slow on the uptake pretend to get the joke GIF

It He was exactly what I needed, and the circumstances were just right for me to accept that. That night, I shared with my new group of brothers and sisters about my depression, about how I felt like this was exactly where I needed to be, about how I felt like God was telling me, “Severn, let me set you free.” After group was over, my cousin’s wife walked me out, and at the bottom of the steps in their apartment building, I was saved.

I know it sounds a bit cliché, but I swear I flew home that night. My car was gliding 10″ above the street, and I felt almost invincible, like I was shrouded in a glowing white light.

After that night, I began to see God in everything. It was amazing how much I could see once I actually opened my eyes. I’ve always believed in God, but I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated him.

God loves us no matter how many times we screw up, whether we sin or don’t sin. All He wants is to love us, even though we break His heart repeatedly. The least we can do is love Him back as best we know how. That’s why I added loving God and living my life to glorify Him to my list of how to become a goddess.

We don’t deserve God’s love, and truthfully it’s not something that can be earned, but I know that if I love and praise Him, the blessings will continue to come down. (More on this later, I promise!)

 

Choices

Getting out of bed in the morning.

Driving to work everyday.

Sticking to my meal plan and workout schedule.

Talking to God every day.

Watching Netflix instead of studying.

Loving someone–or not.

These are all choices of varying importance, but they are choices nonetheless. Depression makes choosing a difficult task–sometimes impossible–but we can fight it. I fight it everyday, and for the past couple of weeks I’ve been winning.

I still don’t necessarily enjoy any of these things, but I’m doing them! And that in itself is something to be excited about.

❤ Severn

Proverbs 4:23

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Marley sent this verse to me yesterday. She told me I should lift this up to God in prayer and ask him to help me guard my heart, and to help me decide when a person is deserving of my love. 

If you guys, even if you don’t know me, could do the same I would really appreciate it. 

Because Marley is right. When I love, I love with everything I have, with my entire heart. It doesn’t matter if the relationship is platonic, familial, or romantic. If I love you, know that it is a fierce, all-encompassing love. 

But I guess that makes me vulneralble, how could it not? And so asking God to help me figure out who I can and should give my heart to is necessary. It is so painful to love that fiercly and not receive the same in return. Sometimes the person just isn’t capable of it, sometimes they’re just not capable of it with me. Regardless, I can’t give my heart to just anybody. They have to be worthy, they have to be willing reciprocate.

I get it now, I have to slow down. Even if my feelings are painfully strong and obvious– like with Beau–I have to slow down. 

When Beau and I went out that first time, I felt like God was with me, like he orchestrated the whole thing and was telling me, “Yes, this one. You are supposed to be with him.” His presence that night was just so strong. But even if that is what God was telling me, that didn’t mean, “Okay now plan the rest of your life together.” 

I have to remember that being with someone, loving them, accepting them, and expecting them to do the same takes TIME. I’ve always been an impatient person… Now that I’m alone I suppose I have more time to work on that. 

Guard my heart. Once upon a time I wrote a story about a dragon who guards my heart. When someone tries to get close the dragon roars his breath of fire, hardening the castle that is my heart even more, but the water from the moat around it (to keep people out of course) would splash and soothe the burns because I crave intimacy.

The thing is, when I wrote that story, I wasn’t thinking about how I actually behave in romantic relationships. As I said, in that case I’m all in–dragon be damned. I jump, eyes wide open to watch myself fall–first in love, then to my demise. 

Seems silly now that I have a visual. Why would I bring that on myself? 

Part of me knew something like this would happen. Every time I would thank God for sending me Beau, I would also make sure to tell Him that I was SO appreciative and PLEASE don’t take him away. Why would I even mention that if I didn’t know on some level it wasn’t going to last. We went wrong somewhere along the way. 

It’s okay, though. I know God has a plan for me. Part of me still really believes Beau and I belong together, but I know I can’t just make that decision on my own. All I can do is pray that he sees it, too, that he sees just how perfect with and for each other we are, and pray that we find our way back to each other in that way when the timing is better. When we both know who we are and what we want. We can be friends again if nothing else (eventually). He said he doesn’t want to lose me, and I believe him. And more importantly I don’t  want to lose him either. I know that he cares for me deeply, and we need as many people in our lives to love us as possible.

Also, I have to pray for God to reveal his plan to me when I need guidance. Because maybe I’m not supposed to be with Beau. Maybe God has other things in store for me. What I have to do now is focus on me, building my life, pursuing my passion and goals, and becoming the best, most complete me I can be. 

Or at least I can try. 

September in Review

Career

– Gain ARE eligibility.   DONE! I thought I had to send a transcript request to my school and have them FedEx it to NCARB and it seemed like a lot. All I had to do was get CMU to send NCARB an electronic copy! They had it for a about a week, so I called customer service. The guy approved my transcript right then over the phone, and the next day I was eligible to test! Yay for being proactive. 🙂 (Also shouts out to Fairy for all gaining eligibility #killinit)

– Stick to study schedule for ARE tests.   Sort of done? I still wake up at 5am everyday, but I’m not studying anywhere near 13-15 hours a week. Part of the reason I didn’t follow through on this goal is because I had a generic study schedule in terms of times to study, but nothing specific on content to cover. I’ve adjusted for going into October.

– Schedule ARE test for mid-October.   NOPE! See #2.

– Take more initiative at work.   Uhm… I still haven’t figured out what this means. I don’t think I did it.

Personal Development

– Meatless Wednesdays.   YES! Every Wednesday this month was a success! I almost caved once, but I stuck it out. I’m going to continue this one.

– Read the Bible everyday.   NOPE. I just haven’t made time for it. It’s that simple.

– Workout 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes.   NOPE. Once my personal training sessions stopped, I started slacking. We’ll see what I can do for October.

Financial

– Save 30% of Income.   Eh. I think it was more like 20%.

– Learn about stocks. NOPE. I honestly forgot about this one. Which is funny because I wrote it down twice.

– Figure out ONE budgeting system.   I… no not really.

– Read 21 Days to a Better Budget.   Read it… remember nothing.

So yeah! September has come and gone. I got at least one(ish) from each category–not too shabby.

I think what I need is to pick 3-4 main things to focus on. Maybe even cut it down to 2 or 3. I tried to take on too much, and that just led to lots of goals not being accomplished. And that’s lame.

Tune in in like 10-15 minutes (lol) for my October Goals!

❤ Severn

How did your September go?

Adulting || Goal Setting

One of the things I’ve had to get through my not-quite-read-for-adulthood mind is that my goals have to be realistic. If they aren’t, I’m not only setting myself up for failure (which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but I’m setting myself up to feel like a failure.

Image result for no good

Exhibit A: My original plan for post-graduation was to live with my mom for a year and then get my own place. I also set a specific savings goal so that I could pull from that fund for rent and utilities and stuff, while continuing to save from my income.

It’s not a bad plan, but giving myself only one year, at my yearly income, was not the right move. If I wanted to reach my goal I would have to put one entire paycheck each month directly into my savings, and that’s just not realistic.

I have other responsibilities: my car payment and insurance, phone bill, student loans soon. And since I don’t want to be a complete hermit until winter, money for going out/eating.

So I have to readjust my goal.

Image result for recalculating

And while it’s not ideal, I know that it’s achievable with minimal stress. My dream is still to be moved out by June/July next summer, but my goal is to be moved out by the end of 2017.

I’ve given myself some buffer time, and this goal now lines up with some others I have regarding my career. So my life at that point will be changing for the better in multiple ways.

Even if it takes a little longer than I first thought, I have faith that I am exactly where I need to be in life. I know that God has a plan for me, and ultimately He will reveal that to me and guide me as He sees fit.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own plan! It just means that you should trust that if things don’t happen the way or the time you want them to, everything will still work out the way it’s supposed to in the end.

Moral of the story:

Be realistic.

Have faith.

Live happy.

❤ Severn

 

September Goals

Hello my lovely readers! Sometimes I strive for things. Here are some of those things for this month. *pleased with self emoji*

Career

  • gain ARE eligibility
    • ARE= Architectural Registration Exam, and I need to become licensed
  • stick to study schedule for ARE tests
    • 5 am wake ups! I’m studying for about 13-15 hours a week, and I do mornings because I typically don’t want to do anything after work.
  • schedule ARE test for mid-October
  • Take more initiative at work
    • I haven’t really figured out what this means yet, but it’s on the list, so I guess I gotta do it.

Personal Development

  • Meatless Wednesdays! Beau is on his way to becoming vegan because he wants to live a healthier lifestyle. I also want to be healthier. Beau and I hang out on Wednesdays (so we don’t go an entire 5 days without seeing each other every week), so this is the perfect excuse for me to make a change to my diet too! (Even if only for one day a week.)
  • Read the bible everyday, even if it’s only one chapter. I have the bible app on my phone, and I get a daily verse, but I think I need to really dive in and let the Word speak to me. I can’t force insight, but the chances of me learning something and becoming closer to God go up the more I seek that knowledge.
  • Read 1 non-fiction (preferably personal-development related) book
  • Work out 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes (dancing and acroyoga count if I can keep my heart rate up).

Financial

  • Save 30% of my income. *fantasizes about getting the keys to my own condo*
  • Learn about stocks.
  • Figure out ONE budgeting system that works for me. This will probably require more than just September, but that’s no reason not to really buckle down and start trying stuff right now.
  • Read 21 Days to a Better Budget, free from this website.
  • Learn about stocks!

I think that’s quite the list to tackle, but I’m up for it! The idea of becoming a better, more true-t0-myself me makes me so excited! And Beau motivates me, too, because he wants it for himself as well! It’s nice to have someone who shares the same headspace as me. (Is that a thing? It is now.)

Adulthood is hard, but I’m learning my way around. 🙂

What are your September Goals?

Update (A List!)

  • I still have not found a therapist, but I have also stopped looking. It didn’t feel as urgent as it used to, but the urgency has slowly been creeping upward again.
  • I’m still learning some things at work, but for the most part it is BOR.ING.
  • I got a haircut, and I’m in love with it, even though it’s way shorter than I normally go.
  • My room is a mess, my socks don’t match, and I feel like I’m neglecting my mother (even though she says I’m not) because…
  • BEAU AND I ARE DATING. I know I said I didn’t feel those relationship vibes with him, but turns out all we had to do was “turn it on” (his words not mine) and here we are! It’s only been a couple weeks, but it feels like we’ve been a couple forever because we were friends for so long before. Being with him is the most natural feeling in the world, and I’m happier than I have been in a VERY long time.
  • I’m still trying to get the hang of the whole adulthood thing (does anyone ever really get it though?). I totally forgot about my first car payment, but luckily I remembered before I got charged a late fee.
  • Salsa classes are great, and it helps that Beau and I are the best ones there.
  • Bullet journaling is great! I’ll eventually share some of the spreads I’ve done and stuff on here, too.
  • Pursuing my architecture license has fallen from the top of my priority list, but I’m working on getting it back up there.
  • I’ve resolved to stop making promises about posting on here more because life keeps taking me by surprise, and I don’t like to break promises. It makes me anxious.

Eventually you will hear more about:

  • My relationship with Beau (and what happened to Dapper)
  • My bible study (It’s amazing)
  • Adulthood
  • My bullet journal
  • My plans for the next year or so

Until next time, my lovelies!

❤ Severn

Adulting || Work-Life Balance

What my life has consisted of:

  • Work
  • Going out with my friends
  • Talking to my mom
  • Netflix
  • Journaling
  • Trying to find a therapist
  • Bullet Journaling

What my life will slowly start to consistently consist of:

  • Work
  • The gym
  • Bible Study
  • Church
  • Salsa classes with my friend Beau
  • Netflix
  • Bullet Journaling
  • Journaling

At what point does the “adjustment period” end? Does it ever end? It still feels like I’m floating aimlessly between where I was and where I’m supposed to be. To be fair, I’m doing more of what I want to be doing, but there are some feelings I just can’t shake.

My relationship with an important person in my life is not where I would like it to be. My search for a therapist was promising, but my insurance isn’t accepted by the office I found, so I’m not really any closer to starting my sessions again.

I’m trying to keep it together, though. The more structure I have in my life, the easier it will be to distract myself from my feelings until I can get the help I need.

Blogging consistently again will be a part of that, I’m thinking of showing you all my (first) new bullet journal. It’s actually a lot of fun! Plus, there will be a post on my possibly existent love life yay (like next, probs).

Okie, toodles.

❤ Severn

God

I was sitting at a table in my school’s university center when a guy and a girl approached me. “Hi, we’re part of a Christian group called [it has a name, I promise] at Pitt, and we were wondering if we could talk to you about religion today. Do you have a few minutes?”

“Sure!” I chirped. They seemed surprised and asked if they could sit down. “Of course!” I chirped again.

They asked me a few different questions: what do I think religion is, what about spirituality? Is it different? Have I had any really positive or negative experiences with religion? Is there a religious community on campus? What does religion mean to me personally?

We only spoke for ten minutes or so, but it was a great conversation. And that was the first time I bonded with someone–complete strangers–over something so (not superficially) personal.

Things I learned about myself during this conversation:

  • I want a personal relationship with God, not just a relationship with a priest who sends my messages to God
  • Because of that, I’m not 100% sure about Catholicism (I haven’t been confirmed yet)
  • I think spirituality and religion are different – spirituality is less structured, and I think it appeals to a greater number of people

At the end of it all, we prayed. Well, they prayed for me. For my future and my growing relationship with God. It was so nice.

I went to church on Easter Sunday and was so overcome with this sense of community during the priest’s homily that I started crying. I don’t even remember what he was saying, but in that moment I felt so… full. The church was filled with families, and while it made me really miss mine, I also felt safe, like these people would be my family if I needed them to. It was a strange feeling–one I’ve never had before, and I didn’t really know how to feel about it. I got it again when the two students from Pitt were praying for me.

When I get back home after graduation, I really want to strengthen my faith. I want to go to church every week, and actually read the bible to learn (not because my teachers are making me, like in elementary school). I’m excited for it. Maybe it will one day be strong enough to help me figure out just who I am, what I need, and where I should be in my life. I think that will be good for me.