Updates x 2

Hello, lovlies!

I hope all is going well. ^_^

Update #1:

Regionals was spectacular. I did not break (move on to the next level) in debate; however, I did make it to semi-finals in my After Dinner Speech (it was filmed and you may have access to it in the near future).

EDIT: It’s up on YouTube! Excuse my insane eyebrow movement and fairly fast pace… and face. Anyway, here ’tis!

Here are some pictures to prove that I had a wonderful time (more coming soon [maybe]), courtesy of Sarah Mackenzie whose blog you should totally check out (and if her URL doesn’t draw you in, maybe these pictures will):

DSC_5252-[B&W]

And, of course, speech and debate tournaments call for a massive consumption of caffeine (due to no sleep, up at 6:00 a.m, and bed anywhere between 10 and 12. For three days.). My mother (bless her precious heart) knew this and took the liberty of buying me a s’mores (S’MORES!) frapp. This led to a Starbucks-themed photoshoot which resulted in a .gif which tells the story of three heartbroken young maidens as they realize

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there is no more coffee.

I'm waiting for Starbucks to call and see if we're interested in marketing for them.

I’m waiting for Starbucks to call and see if we’re interested in marketing for them. (Also notice me sporting those sweet Converse sneaks with a suit.)

Update #2:

I finally changed the blog name! Here’s to hoping you like it now and I will like it in a few years. 😉 Please bear with me as I make this transition and try to correct all the links.

Before I go, however, I would like to direct you to a sweet blog. The owner is a mother of 5 (her oldest child is 5 years old) and her husband just got diagnosed with stage IV Melanoma. I’ve followed it for a while and can tell you that it’s one of the most comforting blogs on the internet. Please be praying for their family and, if you have the chance, comment over there to let them know.

God bless!

Rana

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Stop Saying “That’s Just The Way I Am”

Hello, darling!

I’ve heard this so much lately, “That’s just the way I am.” And people pass it off as an excuse to be a jerk. I don’t think that’s acceptable. We choose what we become and to believe that we are not in control of that is utterly false. The reason we do it, though, is because it’s easier to think “we can’t change” as opposed to “we should change.” We like to think it’s not our fault.

You are in control of your thoughts. You are in control of what you do. We hold murderers accountable for what they do. They can’t use the excuse, “I just like to kill people and that’s who I am” as justification for their actions. In the same sense, it’s not a justifiable excuse for our actions either.

So let’s go through a quick list of things we think we are because change requires effort, but actually aren’t.

You’re not a jerk. You just choose to be a jerk because maybe you feel better when you tick everyone off with your opinions (I know I do).

You’re not a rebel. You just choose not to listen to authority because maybe that makes you feel more autonomous or something. Dude, everyone thinks they’re a rebel when they scoop the spinach off their plate when their parents aren’t looking. Not many people rebel against the right things.

rebel

You’re not an idiot. Sometimes, you’re goofy. Sometimes, you have a blonde moment. It makes you human which is another thing entirely. Unless you don’t study and slack off. Then you’re just lazy and that’s your decision.

You don’t have trouble keeping friends. You just choose to jump at the slightest thing and push people away because you’ve been hurt before. Accept that people aren’t perfect and be more forgiving.

You’re not a horrible person. You’ve just tricked yourself into thinking you are because of what other people have done or said to you or by dwelling on your mistakes. You’re not perfect. It’s okay. No one likes perfection so don’t beat yourself up because you aren’t.

The list goes on.

Essentially, none of us are allowed to use, “that’s just the way I am” as an excuse to be a jerk. The way you act is the way you choose to act whether it’s conscious or not.

Let’s choose to believe the best about ourselves and others and stop labeling people. They’re people, not containers. Let’s be decent folks in a world sorely lacking in that department, huh?

Love you and God bless!

Rana

Then Vs. Now

Disclaimer: This is a tangent on my musings. Feel free to disregard.

Growing up stinks.

Metaphorically, of course.

Though, if you grew up without bathing, then it could stink quite literally.

But the topic of my food for thought for the day is: growing up. Obviously. Not like I started off with bashing the inevitable thing.

When I was younger, I always day dreamed. I’d doodle in my math pages (homeschoolers rock), spend all the time in the car imagining myself as the main character of whatever book I was reading, develop story ideas that would never be written down. For as long as I can remember, I was a dreamer. I’ve always been the one to ask the impossible questions, think the random stuff.

I mean, when I was 8, I remember wondering if outer space ended somewhere. Like, did it ever end? Or was it an infinite space of stars, galaxies, supernovae, planets…? If I could go forever in a space ship, would I hit a wall? If so, what was beyond that wall?

I’d keep myself up at night with these questions.

As I grew older, my fantasies matured a bit. When I was 13, I knew I wanted to get married, have a family, live happy, glorify God, die. The end. Then 15ish hit and all of that died.

This world isn’t for good people. It’s so full of trash. We were never meant to live here, suffer everything we do.

But now we’re bogged down with all the grime of every day living and life is just something we need to survive until death do us part. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. That’s far from how it’s supposed to be.

I don’t day dream anymore. I can’t imagine myself in a book like I used to. And I’m not an open person, so my family still thinks that’s how I process life. They think I live in a fantasy world.

But I don’t.

And I can’t open up enough to tell them that. C’est la vie.

Una and I have been emailing a lot today. And I love the girl to death. We’re kind of at the same point in life now. No fantasies. Can’t even pretend anymore. Let’s just be realistic and cut the crap. I can’t see any bright future in this dark world. God is good. He’s got this all under control and we need to trust that.

But because we’re fallen, bad things happen to good people. (If you’re confused as to how this could happen if there’s a loving God, let me know in the comments and I’ll explain 😉 ). And there’s something scary about that. I mean, look around. How could anything good happen to you in a world like this? That’s the devil talking. People listen to him and that’s why this world is so messed up. We have to be different, we have to not be afraid to live our lives because, no matter what, people will be watching and we’ve got to make sure we’re showing them something better than what they’d get from the media.

Una said something that summarizes my point: “I don’t daydream. I think.”

Thinking replaces day dreaming when you get older. At least that’s the case for us. The older you get, the more you realize material things don’t make up for the yearnings of the heart. They don’t satisfy our craving for true joy.

Now, I’ve always been the kind of person who would be happy if you gave me a lollipop. And I still am. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. So I’d be perfectly content to suck the lollipop ’till I got so absorbed in a daydream that I choked. Now, I’m much more down to earth even if my musings are a lot deeper than the average teenage girls’.

Not that I have much experience with the normal kind. I’m pretty sure they just fangirl over Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift. I go for philosophy, deep questions, debates — the deeper stuff.

I’m not huge on romance anymore. I used to be. Now, I need a little bit in a movie or book (it doesn’t seem complete without somehow) but if you overdo it, it’s just like, “this crap isn’t realistic. I’m done.”

But you know what? It’s going to be okay.

I have no doubt about it.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

Anyway, there’s my little stream of a thought run into an ocean.

So how about you? Do you feel the same way? Have you changed as you’ve gotten older?

God bless!

Rana

Peace

Hey, everyone! 😀

So, everything going on in the Middle East is pretty unsettling. =S

I have family over there and things are pretty messed up. I’m half Lebanese, half American, and I’ve got Scottish, Irish, Native American, German, and a few different other cultures mixed in there.

But I don’t think one needs to have ties with those countries to be concerned. We all live in one world. And it’s the only one we’ve got. We need to be taking care of it and each other. Using gas bombs, missiles, and other weapons against each other isn’t the way to achieve anything but war, hate, and death.

If that’s what our goal is, then do carry on.

I don’t think it is though. I think we were made for so much more. I see faces in the newspaper. Beautiful faces, scarred faces, young faces, old faces, fair skinned, dark skinned, red skinned, yellow skinned… It makes no difference. I see these people, I read what they’re convicted of, and it makes me sad.

We were made for so much more.

I think we need to start a movement. Let’s be the ones to change this world for the better. Who cares if we don’t achieve world peace? Who cares if we don’t change the world? If we can change even one person’s life for the better, it’s all worth it.

So, I challenge you. 

You’re reading this. I want you to smile at someone today.

I want you to smile at the cashier in Publix.

I want you to ask them how they’re doing.

Be genuine.

It’s apathy that’s killing our world. We are slowly becoming Desensitized.

No one cares anymore. Let’s change that. Okay?

Write a nice, encouraging note and leave it in a public place (a library book, sticky note on a public restroom stall, anywhere you want) and in that note, ask the receiver, whoever it may be, to spread this.

It doesn’t take much effort. An encouraging quote, Bible verse, or statement on a little piece of paper, on a sticky note.

Let’s be the change we wish to see in this world. ❤ Let’s pray for peace. 🙂

Now here’s something from me to you. This is my note:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in Me. ”

~*John 14:1*~

(If y’all want, we could start reblogging this and make it a thing. 🙂 )

God bless!

Rana