Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Open, Bold, & Vulnerable




"Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame." Romans 5: 4-5
 
&
"To be alive is to be vulnerable"
 
When I was 17 years old social media was made up of an online community called Myspace. Does anyone remember this? It was like Facebook only different. One could post pictures, comment on people’s wall’s, and follow others. If someone wanted he or she could customize his or her page too. People were able to design their wall almost like if someone were to design their own web page. I so enjoyed going on Myspace. I remember going there quite often. Myspace opened up a door for me. It was through this social media outlet that I began to write again.  

I began writing when I was a child. I loved it. In fact it was my second grade teacher that drew out this gift in me. Mrs. Pane. She was a skinny yet tall lady with reddish-brown hair. Mrs. Pane taught us math, reading, science, and social studies. I remember her class so well because I dreaded her math tests. She would make us add and subtract using dried black beans and I would think to myself “what is the point of this?” I dreaded her class most of the day but, when it came time to the subject of reading I loved it! The reason for this was not because she made us read interesting books. No, it was because she made us read our own stories to the class. Our assignments would consist of putting together a story and then getting up every week in front of the class to read it. It was the only subject I excelled in. I had quite the imagination. 

In middle school I took a creative writing class. Although I talked a lot and never worked quietly I put much effort into this class. I remember having different assignments. Writing poems, learning the rules of writing, learning about imagery, and so on. Yet again, my favorite part was storytelling.  I enjoyed making up stories. The best part was when others got to read the stories I wrote. However, eventually I stopped writing. Issues at home as well as out of home were pressing and little by little I quenched my desire to write. However, I began writing again when Myspace came out. They had this feature similar to the old Notes of Facebook. Through this function I was able to write down my thoughts, process them, and share them with the world. It was on Myspace that others began to notice my writings. Some people would tell me that I really had a gift. Eventually someone told me that I should start a blog. Did I? No. I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t believe in myself enough to start a blog. I thought that was only for serious writers who one day would be authors. And for me writing was something fun and it was a way to express myself. Never though, did I consider myself to be a serious writer.

Eventually I came across this blog called Chasing Kite Tails. A friend of mine from college started this blog as a way to connect with other women who were actively chasing after their dreams. This was a place that these women can connect, tell their stories, and challenge one another to grow. My friend (Rae) would post posts about the journey of chasing after ones dreams. It was through her blog that I began to get enough courage to start my own. Back then I thought her blog was a way to chase after my goals of running and exploring Miami. However, little did I know it really was a way for me to get back to writing. Since then I have had three blogs.  1. On an Adventure 2. Lil bit of Grace 3. (My current blog) Healthy Living by Grace Olivieri. As I started my third blog I told myself that I would post content that would always uplift my readers. See, in my other blogs I did this however, I also took the liberty of posting my vulnerabilities freely. I wanted Healthy Living to look professional, inspiring, and neat. Somewhere along the line I believed the lie that if I was too vulnerable people would be turned off and stop reading. So along came the promise to myself; I told myself that if I was having a bad day I would just wait till I felt better to post something others would enjoy reading. I mean who really wanted to hear my woes? Well, with that promise came alone the reality that I put away my authenticity. It stopped writing about the pains and the challenges I was facing. This only isolated me as a blogger. Furthermore, I wasn’t being 100 percent genuine with my readers. And what is the point of a lifestyle blog if you can’t use your grief and pain to bring peace to others?

So, here I am. Being completely honest and vulnerable. I have days you see. Days in which I do not want to get out of bed. Days that it takes me forever to accomplish a simple task. Days like yesterday in which I choose to see the negative side of things and hide from my greatness. People, I now want to take the time to say I am sorry. Forgive me for the days I refused to follow through. The days I did not post because everything was falling apart and I was too scared to let you in on it. The days I decided to sit in front of the TV rather than write because looking into a blank screen and being honest was a task too daunting and I did not want to have to deal with it. It is now that I realize that the darker moments are filled with light too. These are the moments that allow my spirit to breathe; they are the posts that allow me to get it all out on the table and they are the posts that remind others that they are not alone. Posts filled with the author’s vulnerability allow readers to feel understood. The words give readers a sense of validation and then my readers can go in their day, inspired, understood, and empowered. So for now on I promise to not runaway when life gets messy. I promise to stick to blogging even when the words do not flow the way I want them to. I promise to be bold, honest, and consistent even when it’s the last thing I want to do.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to being more open with you all!

If you were able to relate to this post and want someone to connect with please contact me! I would love to hear from and process life with you!

 

 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dumping Debt




Thank you for coming back for the third part of Financial Freedom. For those of you who waited long enough I am so thankful to you for your patience. This post is overdue. I had wanted to post this up a while ago however, other things took precedence. 

But, I am glad to say that FINALLY the post you all have been waiting for is here. How to Get Out of Debt! In my last post I covered the topic of building an emergency fund. I mentioned why it was important, what an emergency fund is, and what it is not. Assuming that you all have either established your emergency fund or have begun saving for it, it is safe to say that we can now talk about getting out of debt. As I mentioned before I took a course called Financial Peace University and it rocked my world. For the first time the topic of finances started making sense.

The course is taught by Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey has educated others all over the world on the issue of dumbing debt. He is good at teaching how to get rid of debt and his methods work. Please understand that this post along with Dave Ramsey’s teachings is not about how to get rid of your debt quickly. It is not about paying off the loan with the highest interest rate. That method works for some and if it does then stick to it. However, Dave Ramsey’s methods is all about changing behavior. For those who take his course you know that it is mostly about taking baby steps. The majority of people who take his course don’t understand the first things bout the financial world so, he developed a strategy that would give people power of their finances while taking steps that avoid frustration so that others can stay committed to their plan. This strategy works because it allows the individual to see change gradually and it doesn’t overwhelm the individual who is trying to get rid of debt.   

First thing first. Dave Ramsey wants you to be aware of how much debt you have. He asks that you add up all your credit cards, car payments, medical bills, student loans…ETC. Do not forget about student loans. This is a debt! For some reason people forget that this is a debt. Now, after you have added up everything he suggests that you take the debt with the lowest amount owed and that you start to pay it off. This means that if your minimum payment is 25 dollars on your lowest amount owed on your credit card then each month you will set aside 25 dollars to pay of your card.

Once you paid off this card and cut it up, then the 25 dollars a month you were paying before will get added to the next debt. So, the next debt is to pay off your car payments. So you pay the minimum and then you add 25 dollars extra to that minimum. This is called the snow ball effect. Again, this may not be the quickest way to get rid of you debt, as your debt with higher interest rates will be growing. However, this is the way to change your behavior, it is the way to get used to handling your money, and it is the way that allows you to see progress in a tangible and non- overwhelming way. You will continue to do this with all your debts. Once the car is paid off this will free up money for your next payment on your next debt owed. You will then be able to start paying off your next debt and you will add to the minimum of the next debt the previous minimums you were paying on your other debts. See below:

Breakdown of Monthly Payments

Walmart Credit Card - $25.00 /month – OVER TIME THIS IS PAID OFF

Car Payment $133.00 / month – OVER TIME THIS IS PAID OFF

TIME TO PAY THIS: Medical Bills $50.00/month

25.00 + 133.00 + 50.00

Of course if there is a need that you must take care of like paying back the IRS then you need to handle that first and maybe hold off on the medical bills. Your budget will never be the same you will always have to adjust it.

Last Note

Dave Ramsey suggests that you also get a buddy who can keep you accountable. Preferably a buddy who can challenge you. You do not want the friend who will say “well, you can always pay that off later let’s go shopping!” NO! You want a buddy that can look at your budget, see your needs, and play with the numbers so that every month your budget pans out. You may also want to get a buddy who not only will challenge you but, can also be flexible. You do not need a person who will overwhelm you and lead you to failure. Remember this is about behavior. Behavioral changes do not happen overnight.  This is a slow process. If you get someone who will remind you of how HARD this is then you most likely will not stick to your financial plan.

Now, I know I wrote a lot about budgets yet we did not go over how to make a zero based budget. This is important because this will help you with your plan of dumping debt. Please go to the Dave Ramsey website and down load his tools for a zero based budget. This will rock your world! I know because it is rocking mine!

Thank you again for stopping by. If this post touched your heart, challenged you, or motived you please share it on facebook. Also if you want to chat please visit my Contact Me page and check me out via social media or email.

 
Have a great day!

 
Link: http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Emergency Fund


Welcome back!

I am glad you returned. For those of you who don’t know last week I kicked off a series called Financial Freedom. This series is a three part series in which I will discuss the culture of consumers in America, debt, and practical ways we can overcome this epidemic called financial crisis.
Last week I painted a picture for you all. I gave you all a sense of what most of our lives look like… a financial crisis. I left you all with two questions. “Are you tired of being a victim of your bank account?” and “Are you tired of being controlled by your money?” Today I ask you “are you ready to do something about it?” If not, that’s fine. We all have our moments where we say enough is enough…maybe you need to fall a little harder before you decide it’s time for a change. But, if you are ready to do something about it then you have come to the right place.

Disclosure: This is not one of my “feel good” posts. You most likely will not walk away from this post with goosebumps.  Nevertheless, it is a post that can radically change your life. Let’s start with asking ourselves this question? “If I were in a situation could I pay my way out of it?” You may be asking “what does she mean?” I am talking about if you had an emergency. Car breaks, down, medical emergency (with no insurance), fire happens, something that can alter your life or alter your week at least. Something that would have to be addressed right then and there. Would you have sufficient funds to take care of the mess? If you say no then don’t worry. I am right there with you. The cool thing about this series is that I will be doing the work with you! You are not alone my friend.

A few months back I had built my emergency fund to a total of $ 3,000.00. A situation arose that caused me to move out of the home I was in and into a new one. So now, I am back to square one. It’s important to have an emergency fund. You are important. Your family is important. What I am about to say may take you by surprise. But, you are number one. That debt collector can wait, that party can wait, and the lifestyle can wait. You need to have insurance. That is what an emergency fund is. It’s insurance. If something goes wrong then there is money to fix it.
What is NOT an emergency fund? An emergency fund is NOT a fund you dig into to buy that flat screen TV. It is not a fund to dig into when you don’t have enough to pay the restaurant bill. I say this with love if you can’t pay the restaurant bill you shouldn't be going out to eat. An emergency fund is for emergencies! It’s to fix a problem. It’s insurance. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you have to pay rent then pay it! Don’t go telling your landlord that you can’t pay your rent because you’re building your emergency fund.  The point is to put the things that are not so necessary on hold so that you can build your emergency account. You need to survive and the emergency fund can help you do that when the poop hits the fan!

Ok, now that we got that covered your next step is to actually build this fund. I took a course called Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. If you can get a hold of the materials he offers online I would say that is definitely worth spending your money on.  Dave Ramsey has such a gift in the area of finances. His classes are funny, he is real, and he will give you practical ways to start your path to financial freedom or as he calls it financial peace. Anyway, so I took his course…twice. What Dave recommends is that you save 15% of your income. Now, he states that if you make less than $15, 00.00 a year then you should have at least $500.00 in your emergency fund for emergencies. If you’re making over $15,000.00/year then you need to be saving 15% of your income. You can always adjust the number to your needs. But, no matter what you need to have an emergency fund! I just started mine again. I won’t tell you how much I make (hehe) But, I will say this. I have already put aside 15% of my pay check into an emergency fund. Yay!

Today’s takeaway: Build your emergency fund. Go home, do the math, and start to put aside some money. If you cannot put aside 15% of your income then start with 500.00 dollars. There also are other ways to build your fund. Get creative. Whatever skills you possess put it to work. Sell old books and clothes on amazon…do whatever you need to do to build this emergency fund. Note: This is something you build quickly.

I hope this message was something that blessed you. If so, please put in the work towards financial freedom. And please feel free to share this post on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.  For social media info please visit the contact me tab. Have a rockin Monday! Meet me here next Monday for getting a post on Getting out of Debt. 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Salvation is Here



Hey lovely people!

I wanted to write today to share something with you all. This thing I want to share is so dear to me. In fact I am so excited about it that I am jumping up and down! Usually I do not put up post like these. However, I feel compelled to do so today.

If you have been following my blog for a while then you know that the topic of God and grace overwhelm me. You would know that I grew up in an abusive and oppressive church and that I have a hard time with accepting that I am loved by God. In fact I have a hard time with accepting that God is a good God and that He has good things for me. Well, recently I decided that I was going to put aside my beliefs that I have adopted through this past church of mine and that I would begin to seek God and believe that He is good after all. I decided that I would trust that in seeking Him I would find solace, grace, and the reassurance I seek. Today as I was reading the Bible I couldn't help but realize that His promises are true and that the reassurance I desired was right there for me!
Have you all ever heard of “doubting Thomas?”  I have. Thomas was one of the disciples who doubted Jesus’ resurrection. After Mary and a few had seen Jesus, resurrected they went to tell the others. Let’s just say Thomas replied with “unless I see it for myself I won’t believe it”. Oh man. I so relate to Thomas. I doubt and fear and wonder if all of God’s promises are true. I doubt and fear and wonder if He is good and I doubt and fear and wonder that I am His. But, today through reading the Bible I was reminded once again that HE IS SO GOOD!

See, salvation is in His word and according to His word it’s not something we have to earn. That’s good to know huh?

 Reading 1 Peter chapter 1 I noticed a few things about Peter’s letter. See Peter, a follower of Christ writes to some people who have been exiled to Asia. The purpose of his letter is to simply encourage these people. He writes to them and says that their exile happened so that their faith would be tested. I don’t know about you but, I would be like “seriously?” “My faith is being TESTED?” I would be probably be mixed with emotions. Angry, sad, frustrated, confused, and curious. Curious as to why I need to be tested. Nevertheless, God has a plan and Peter can tell them about this plan.

He goes on to say that their faith will not let them down. He continues to say that just as gold is proved to be pure through fire that their faith would prove to be genuine at the end because they will see that after all they have been through they still trust and believe God. Peter tells them that their faith will be like a trophy showing all that it was their faith that saved them and their faith that brings God victory.

This is jam packed with heart felt info. God himself is basically using Peter to tell them this great news! Their faith is being tried, yet because they will stick to believing no matter the circumstances, they will see that due to their genuine faith…it will get them through! This will be something to boast about. Something God himself will be so very proud. See faith is powerful. Believing can attract anything. Believing you are not enough will attract fear, shame, mistakes, and the like. Just as believing that you are everything will attract confidence, effectiveness, and favor.

We are able to choose. This “faith” that they possess will save them from eternal judgment and it will bring upon them life eternal. But, the eternal life starts now. And it’s a fresh start. Isn't that great?
I feel like most of us go through life waiting for the day that we will get what we've been hoping for. 
We see ourselves as victims of our circumstances and we wait in anticipation for the day we no longer have to suffer or work hard for what we desire. But, Peter challenges the exiles in this view of hopelessness as he tells them that they have freedom now! For the exiles, this must have sounded absurd. I mean they have been kicked out of their own country. Yet, Peter recognizes that they can CHOOSE to have a mindset of freedom. I once heard someone say “they can take away everything from you but, they can’t take away your mind” Your mindset is everything in life. We have been given the opportunity to live a life as if it was a brand new one. We have the opportunity to say "you know what I won’t be the victim anymore!" "I will start to think like the victor!" And guess what? In this life of sowing and reaping when you sow a thought of victory you will only reap as a victor! This totally excites me! This means I can be free of my insecurities and negative thoughts and so can you!
Still, Peter advises us to be careful and live with much thought and passion. He reminds us that our life is a journey and he adds that because we are free then we should live in such a way that honors God.  What news we have huh? Join me in this dance of victory!


If you liked what you read and want to connect. Please visit me at my Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter account. See Contact Me for more info. Also, if you would like to share this with a friend who can benefit from this post please feel free to do so.  Can’t wait to hear from you. 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Financial Freedom | Week One



Money. This is a subject that overwhelms a lot of people. Think about it. This topic is an emotional topic. Every day we have to face the facts as we pay our bills, buy our food, pay our rent, put gas in our cars…etc. The amount we have in our bank accounts reflect what we can afford and what we cannot afford. It reminds us of what we have or what we do not have. Most of us are tight when it comes to our funds. We count every penny making sure ends will meet.  For many of us this brings anxiety to our lives. It also triggers our depression and prevents us from living the life we truly desire. This is a problem.

Sit with me a while and try to imagine yourself in this scene: 

You get a call from a friend whom you haven’t seen in a while. She calls you because she is wondering where you've been hiding all this time. She asks you how you’re doing and you two begin to catch up on lost time. Suddenly she reminds you that Susie a mutual friend, is turning 30 and she’s having a big birthday party at Sal’s (the upscale Italian restaurant downtown). Your friend tells you it will be a hit and everyone will be there. You regretfully turn your friend down and inform her that you will have to call Susie and wish her a happy birthday from home. You have no money for Susie’s expensive birthday bash nor can you afford a gift for Susie. So, you call Susie on her birthday and you wish her a happy birthday as you sit in front of the TV watching The Good Wife while eating left over Chinese food from the night before. This is your life. Missing out on bonding with those you cherish and settling for soaps which you vicariously live your life through. Does this sound like you? It sounds like me for sure.

Recently I had dinner with a friend at a cute and cozy restaurant a few miles away from my home. We had a great night. We spoke about work, love, relationships, life, and our aspirations. We laughed a lot and we sat in awe of one another’s courage and persistence. We admired the way one another saw our or situation and the slight skills we possessed to overcome the things that are holding us back. As the night ended I walked my friend over to her car and I noticed her beautiful, bright red Lexus. Immediately it was like I had forgotten the great night we had and my focus shifted to what I lacked again.

Now, I want you to understand something. I am not the girl who needs to carry around a Louis Vuitton purse nor am I the girl who thinks that money can buy love and happiness. However, I am the girl who recognizes that money can solve a deal of our problems. Having sufficient funds in our account can lead us to afford that surgery we need in order to be well. It can lead us to vacations that will save us from a nervous breakdown. We work hard don’t’ we? Believe it or not these things affect us. We are meant for abundant living. We are meant to be whole and sometimes things like vacations, facials, gym memberships, and heck even a real nice car can make us feel better about ourselves and in turn can lead us to a freer way of living.

Eight months ago I sat down with an amazing woman. We had sandwiches by the mansions near Viscaya. We talked and dreamed about financial peace. I met this wonderful girl at a gardening party and well we kind of hit it off! Anyway, I told my friend that my finances were something I wanted to get in order. I shared with her my financial goals and she shared with me her story. I won’t be able to tell her story as good as she does but, from what I understood this gal was in the same situation that a lot of us are in. She went to school for the reason most of us do…to follow her dreams. While she was in college she racked up a ton of debt from student loans. After college she moved back to good ol’ Miami and met her current boyfriend. However, as they began to plan a life together they noticed that money was getting in their way. Well, that did not stop her! She knew she had a debt to pay off. But, she also knew that she was worth the fight. She didn't settle to pay of the minim and struggle her way through life with her guy. No. She decided to take action and to be proactive with her situation. She took on a side hustle. She worked extra jobs and soon was able to pay off her debt in its entirety. Now, my friend is ready to buy a home and has met most of her financial goals. She worked hard. She did what she had to do and she put aside her ego so she can make the extra buck to live the life she wanted.

Are you tired of being a victim of your bank account? Are you tired of letting money control you? If so, then I welcome you to join me over the next few weeks. I will be meeting here for the next three Mondays to talk about practical steps we can take towards financial freedom. I hope to see you here! Until then, have a great week!



If this post inspired you I would love to hear from you on my Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram account. Visit the Contact Me page for more information. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rambles of the Heart

Dreams. Each and every one of us have dreams.  We have ideas that naturally come from our hearts. We have ideas for the future. For some, I believe, the dreams are birthed from young. They drew their beliefs and values early on from experiences they encountered and they created a system in which their values can live freely in.

Nevertheless, most of us find what we are looking for later on in life. As we continue to walk through life and as we continue to encounter different experiences our hearts are forming and our desires are growing.  We are forever changing and forever finding what makes our heart sing.

However one’s ideas come to be, I dare to say that when it comes to executing a plan so that our dreams can become a reality most of us get scared. Maybe it is because with time we have become disappointed. We have made mistakes trying to pursue our dreams and therefore, we have become jaded. It is then that we begin to shut out the voice within that excites us. Because, we resolve to think that our hearts have mislead us. We begin to believe that the failures and the down times are a product of dreaming. So, we learn to chase after what is safer, what is acceptable, and what can produce tangent and quick results rather than results that grow slowly and stem from risk.

I want to consider children for just a moment. I believe we should be more like them. They are clean slates. They live in the present moment and their desires stem from a genuine place rather than a place of fear.  They dream and want things for themselves because it simply makes them happy. They are not jaded. I want to go back to having the attitude of a child.


Let’s ponder the things that we want for a moment. Let’s do this together. Pretend that we are conversing over a nice cup of hot mocha. Actually, that is what I am having at the moment. I am at the Cooked Door coffee shop in Marion, North Carolina. Let’s pretend that we are here at this coffee shop located on Main St. The coffee shop has a homey feel to it. Sofas, tables (the ones that look like they came straight of out the renaissance era) are strategically placed so that this place feels like home. It’s just you and me here. All other noise fades as our attention hones in to one another. We are here. We are sipping on our coffee mugs and we are at ease. What would I say to you right now?
I would tell you that I like the cold crisp air, that I love snow days and that all this talk about winter and snow storms are kind of getting me excited!  I would tell you that I am amazed at the artistic community in Asheville and that people in North Carolina have a southern hospitality that is oddly enjoyable. I would tell you that I long for a job that has meaning. A job that allows me to do good for others and yet allows for creativity and independence. I would tell you that I enjoy the company of others who are good to be around. I would also tell you that I am sick of hiding in the shadows due to fear. I would tell you that I realize that I am not living the life I have imagined for myself. I would tell you that being here in Marion has reminded me of what I truly want. Not Marion. Not North Carolina, but aspects of it. I would tell you that I imagined a town for myself to live in filled with artistic souls. I would tell you that I imagine a place for myself where there are seasonal changes. Where I could physically see when something begins and the other ends. I would tell you I imagine myself to be surrounded with people who are respectful, educated, and polite. I would tell you that my days would be filled with some sunshine and some snow. I would tell you that I imagine having a job where I made the rules. A job where in which I could affect others in a positive way. A job that aligns with social work values. I also would tell you that I imagine a way in which I can let my creative juices flow. I would tell you that I imagine myself to be a part of a vibrant growing community. Maybe a church. A community that values diversity. A community that is filled with positive people. A community that everyone respects one another. I would tell you that I imagine a nice cozy home for myself to live in. I would tell you I imagine myself to live near a place of nature a place where I could enjoy the outdoors. I would tell you that I imagine myself to be a part of a community that values truth over superficiality.  I would tell you that I am close enough to home so I can drive and see my family.


Oh friend I would tell you all this and more. How would I interact with you? I would laugh out loud with you. I would ask you about your dreams and I would encourage you to pursue them. I would tell you that fear is an enemy and that you already have what it takes to make your dreams a reality. And I hope that you would grab my hand and tell me the same.

 Let’s live friend, let’s stop hiding in the shadows and let’s decide that we had enough. Let’s decide that today is the day and that now is the time to live.

If this post touched your heart, reach out and share it with others. But, most importantly share it with me and tell me why it has touched your heart. I want to connect with you and encourage you. Thanks friend!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Glimpses of Eternity

Today I want to share with you the longing that is in my heart. Quite recently I have felt a tug towards life, a nudge, or a pull towards something greater; greater than the everyday routine.  I have hungered for adventure, freedom, and intimacy. I have desired to see sunsets and pale moons. I have yearned for breath taking sceneries and for someone to share this beauty with. A friend, a lover; a person dear to my heart.

Last night as I was leaving work I got into my car and began to drive off. As I drove away from the building I was hit with a sharp pain in my chest. I noticed right away that it was coming from an emotion and not from a physical problem. I sensed loneliness, boredom, and complacency. When did I become this way I asked myself. It is like if time has created a void. Because of this void I have entertained ideas simply to avoid feelings of contempt. For example I have entertained men who do not deserve my attention and I have amused employers through long and unpaid hours of work. I have entertained the idea of forming a family in order to feel the love of others rather than forming a family to add to what is already beautiful. I have delighted everything that momentarily satisfies. Yet, I have not delighted in the things that last. The things that mirror the values I hold dear to my heart.
There’s a song by Pricilla Ahn called Dream. The song goes like this:



I was a little girl
Alone in my little world
Who dreamed of a little home for me.
I played pretend between the trees,
And fed my houseguests bark and leaves,
And laughed in my pretty bed of green.

I had a dream
That I could fly
From the highest swing.
I had a dream.

Long walks in the dark
Through woods grown behind the park,
I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me,
God answered in silent reverie.
I said a prayer and fell asleep.

I had a dream
That I could fly
From the highest tree.
I had a dream.

Now I'm old and feeling grey.
I don't know what's left to say
About this life I'm willing to leave.
I lived it full and I lived it well,
There's many tales I've lived to tell.
I'm ready now,
I'm ready now,
I'm ready now
To fly from the highest wing.

As I listened to the words of this song I realized that even in the midst of finding what rings true to my values, it is still possible that I always will hunger. It is a fact that I will always yearn until I am ready to meet my creator. However, the things on earth that make me smile and the things that bring me peace and joy are found in righteousness and in truth. The matter is clear. I will always desire eternity. Until I meet my maker I will continue to thirst and hunger for forever. Forever will come. But, for now I will resolve to glimpses of heaven. Glimpses of eternity found in His word. Glimpses found in the values that I hold dear to. I will search for traces of forever in the things that resemble His bountiful love.
I leave you with this:




Philippians 4:8 “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”