2k16 New Year Haul ❤ (Planner/Notebook Edition)

I love planning–it’s in my personality to plan everything down to the minute… And I enjoy every moment of it. So it’s only natural I guess that I love planners. I love the one I got for 2016.
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Brand: Eccolo // World Traveler
Where I got it: Marshalls
Price: $5.00

Except for the fact that it’s a bit small, it’s perfect. I love the verse on the front and the inside is beauitful too

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In addition to that, I love cute notebooks and no matter how many I have I tend to have a specific use for all of them.

My new years resolution is supported by the planners and notebooks here:
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Some for prayers, another for blog posts, another for working out, all of them have a purpose. (Oh and check out the desk calendar I got from my nearest dollar store)

And with that, I’m ready for the new year. Bring it on 2016.

Happy New Year to all of you!

January: My Wishes/Prayers (+2016 goals)

Well, HAPPY (ALMOST) NEW YEAR!

This image was produced by an application from HighWater Designs Limited.

This image was produced by an application from HighWater Designs Limited.

I say this every year in all honesty, but 2015 went waaay too fast for my liking. And now it’s 2016. Now, I’m once again going to go through the awkward phase of writing 2015 when I have to write the date on school papers and such and then later changing it after realizing that it’s actually 2016 (who knows though how long it’ll take me to realize that though… :p)

I hope 2016 for all of you is filled with God’s blessings and that it is a year filled with more smiles and happiness than anything else.

2016 goals agape

So to welcome the new year of 2016, as well as a new month, here are my wishes & prayers. I’ve sort of combined my 2016 wishes with my January goals so please bear with me on that…

Wishes:

-To try and have my new years resolution last longer than it usually does (yes, I do say this every year, but in my opinion it’s worth a try)

-For this blog to grow!! I opened Agape approximately a year ago, but I’ve only started to be fairly active on it for only a few months now. In 2016 my goal is to write more and hopefully grow my blog in major ways.

-My Dad’s job is still a prayer request. Currently he’s still commuting 2 hours almost every week and it’s really starting to be a strain mentally as well as physically so if that could be solved, it would be absolutely wonderful.

-Fitness-My fitness journey has pretty much had more downs than ups for about 2 years now and I’m determined to make 2016 the year I really find more confidence in my body, and to really learn to take care of my body to appreciate the way God has created me.

-Grow my faith and relationship with God. As I approach a time very near where I’ll be having to make some big life decisions (at least decisions I consider to be pretty life changing anyways), I really want to learn to trust Him and seek His will to be done

-My NONPROFIT. Which if you guys missed, you can check out my post here, but basically I want to finalize (legally) my 501(c)3 this year and really get started on it. (If you guys could pray for me with that, it would really mean the world)

-Peace–within my family. My biggest wish for 2016 (among other things) is that God’s joy and peace floods our family and home. There seems to be a bit more tension in our family these days, and I sincerely hope and pray that God really help our family this year to be more loving to God, as well as to each other. To experience and then share the joy and peace of God with others around us.

Anddd…. that’s that.

In terms of new years resolutions…

I told myself I probably shouldn’t make any because I never really stick to them, but I thought of something that really summarizes the essence of everything I want to accomplish and strive for this year so I gave in.

And that is to,

Stop Doing the bare MINIMUM

While that’s pretty self explanatory, allow me to explain. In everything I do, whether it be in my relationship with God, in school work, in working out, in all aspects of my life, I want to stop doing the bare minimum, and stop being so lazy in everything I do. I want to have the satisfaction that I did my best I could in the moment.

 

Movie Time: War Room

Merry (two days left ’till) Christmas

Because it is without a doubt the most wonderful time of the year (or at least that’s my opinion), I’d like to share with you another movie I watched recently that I enjoyed.

My dad had been urging me to watch it for several weeks, and when I finally watched it, it definitely did not disappoint.

War Room

Description/About: (Taken from http://warroomthemovie.com/about)

From the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageous comes WAR ROOM, a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships, and every other area of our lives.

Tony and Elizabeth Jordan seemingly have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth’s bitterness only increases.

But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth’s newest client, Miss Clara, challenges Elizabeth to establish a prayer “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth begins to fight for her family, Tony must decide if he will make amends.

As Miss Clara wisely says, “Victories don’t come by accident!” A #1 movie in theaters, WAR ROOM is filled with more of the authentic characters loved by millions in previous Kendrick Brothers’ films and a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon.


I personally really enjoyed the movie and would definitely recommend it. Even if it’s about marriage and as a teenager I don’t really relate to that aspect, for me I was able to think about my parents but also the movie does a fantastic job at displaying the mighty power of prayer, and encouraging/challenging each and every one of us to fight our battles with God’s strength-by praying and asking Him to take over and help us.

In terms of showing the power of prayer, as well as the power of God, it’s definitely a 10 out of 10. It also serves to be quite humorous at times and particular character assist in making you smile continuously.

My personal favorite character in the movie is Miss Clara (played by Karen Abercrombie) because with wit, humor, and an incredible display of faith she totally rocks the movie in my opinion. I was watching and couldn’t help but think that she models the faith and relationship I want with Christ in my personal life. Incredible character, and very well played by Karen Abercrombie.

  

 

Some things that were said about the movie:

WAR ROOM moves us, convicts us, inspires us.” –Christian Post

WAR ROOM is a terrific movie, gripping and inspiring! It has that dynamic mix of good acting, an interesting storyline, and humor tossed in at the right moments.”
Dove Foundation

WAR ROOM highlights real people with real problems who talk to a real God in a real way, and who end up seeing real answers to their prayers. If you can walk out of this movie the same way you walked in, then you need to walk back in and watch it again.”
Dr. Chris Williamson, Senior Pastor, Strong Tower Bible Church

“Prayer is such an underutilized tool in my life. WAR ROOM challenged me in that area.”
Benjamin Watson, NFL Player and All Pro Dad Spokesman

Here’s the trailer:

 

Honest to goodness if you have time to watch it this Christmas season I highly recommend that you do, and let me know what you think after you’ve watched it by commenting below! 🙂

Or…if you’ve already watched it, I’d also love to hear you opinion on it! Just go ahead and comment below 🙂

God Bless.

I hope all of you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas.

Kindest regards,

Grace

Dream #1: Eunoia (a nonprofit)

 

dream number 1

One of my dreams  for the longest time has been to create a nonprofit. A nonprofit to identify and assist those in need of the most help. And by that I mean form a nonprofit that finds individuals as well as individual families that are in need of certain things, and help provide it for them.

For example, we would ask someone what they really needed, and in that moment if they needed let’s say a bed, or a meal, that’s what we would provide.

The name of my organization will be Eunoia, which is a word that means “beautiful thinking, beautiful mind”

I want it to be individualized, and need based. My hope and vision is to reach  out to those people that feel unloved, feel like their outcasts, and more than anything, develop an individual connection with them. To tell them how loved and precious they are.

I want the organization to reach not just people who are in financial trouble but also those dealing with emotional crises, and those in need of love and prayer.

I don’t want to set limits furthermore on who this organization helps though. My mission is to help as many people oppressed, and in need of love, and/or other basic needs.

I will start off with the needs of those within the United States but my ultimate vision is to expand to other countries as well.

I have lot of dreams that I want to expand upon for this organization, different services and branches I want to add. I have so many ideas and some of them include:

-A 24-hour phone line for those who need someone to talk to

-A place where people can go to 24/7 to have someone listen to them and care for them, as well as pray for them

-A store full of all new clothes where foster children and less fortunate teens can come in by appointment and have the wonderful experience of people treating them like royalty, and also leaving with a whole new bunch of clothes of course 😉 –> I want to expand upon this concept for a store similar that will provide school supplies

-and other ideas <3. . . .

And very recently, I’ve started to take action on my dream. I am currently in the process of the formation of it, and my hope and goal is to have all the legal formation/creation of it done by June of 2016.

Right now, I’m currently in the process of trying to find legal counsel to ensure that all the legal formalities and processes go smoothly, so that I can avoid any problems in the future. Because of some financial constraints, I am currently praying that I can find reliable and helpful legal counsel at an affordable price. I will keep you guys updated on that.

I am also in the process of learning more and more about the creation of a nonprofit and how exactly to do it.

What I would really appreciate right now is a lot of prayer. As a teenager trying to do this, there’s quite a bit of confusing things and often times I feel like I have all ideas and no action (or at least not yet). I have prayed, that God uses this organization for His will and to reach the people who need it most. From the beginning process to the creation, I pray that God is part of it all and uses it for His will.

There’s a lot to be done, and I’m really just beginning the whole process, and if any of you know anything about creating a nonprofit, or have any other encouragement/advice for me, I would really appreciate it. You can comment below, or email me at : agapeloveforyou@gmail.com

 

 

Got Gossip? (A Speech)

Hello 🙂 And Merry (almost) Christmas ❤ Hope all of you are having a wonderful week leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

For those of you guys who haven’t checked out my latest posts on a gift I can give to you, please do check it out here! And please do spread the word if you can ❤

got gossip-a speech

So for this post, I wanted to share a speech I wrote for a competition I had a few weeks ago. For those of you who know me personally you know I am an avid Speech & Debate(r). That means a lot of my weekends and Saturdays are spent competing, by either performing speeches, or debating a topic.

As a high school student, I compete in a national league called NSDA, which stands for National Speech & Debate Association. It’s great–and I’m definitely not biased about it of course 😉

For speech particular, I (usually) compete in a category of speech called Original Oratory. And in original oratory you write your own speech (usually persuasive) that  is about 10 minutes long. And this particular speech I am sharing with you today is just that.

So here is my speech: Got Gossip?

POP QUIZ!

Question Number 1: Which one of these examples shows gossip?

Option A:

Did you see her clothes? And her shoes? Wow, she’s such a fake. I can’t believe I’m friends with her. I mean look at her, she’s so ugly. Ugh, I can’t even.

Option B:

Did you hear about what Nick said to Christie? Who does he think he is? He’s such a….

Option C:

Honestly, I don’t want to be mean, but Amanda totally deserved that F on the french test, and how she got ditched by her date at prom, and how she got yelled at by her parents for the F. No offense of course.

Option D:

Tune in now for the latest news on celebrity and TV-idol Kim Kardashigan on GossipTV

So what’s your answer? If you answered: a, b, c, or d, you’re right, but you’re also wrong at the same time

As you’ve probably noticed, this is a trick question. The real answer is all the above.

So with that in mind, Let’s talk gossip.

To begin, let’s define gossip. To find a definition, in addition to my research, I reached out to my friends as well as fellow classmates and asked them all a simple question: How would you define gossip?

The answers I got were varied in range. But they can be summarized in 3 responses

The first one being, it’s very very baaaaad.

The second one: Something that teenage girls and women do most well

And finally the third one: It’s just a way that people talk, it’s for entertainment. Lay off.

Merriam-Webster defines the noun gossip as information about the behavior and personal lives of other people and a person who gossips as:  as a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others. Regardless of whatever definitions you may think are correct at this point, I hope that by the end of my speech we can agree that not only is gossip very very baaaad but also that we all can agree to try and eliminate talking about others in a manner that the subject might not want, whether in a positive or negative way.

All of us in here have probably at one time gossiped about someone. Hey, I myself am as guilty as the next person. And all of us in here have also probably been the victim of gossip as well, and have been either negatively or positively been affected by it. Through rumors, you at some point in your life probably heard something about yourself that even if you didn’t even know.

Gossip is everywhere. At school, at work, home, church, the supermarket, Starbucks, online, tv media, EVERYWHERE..I mean there are multibillion dollar companies and industries based on… gossiping. And we gossip, about everything

A report by Social Issues Research Center states that gossip accounts for 55% of men’s conversations and 67% of women’s, a much smaller gap between the sexes than usually thought.

Also According to social psychologist Laurent Begue, about 60% of conversations between adults are about someone who is not present.

We all know to a certain degree that gossiping is wrong. But let’s all admit it, sometimes gossiping about someone is fun, and we enjoy doing it, especially if we’re doing it about someone who has done nothing but wrong to us.

But other then when we’re venting, why do human beings gossip?

Well most have professionals have agreed that it’s a natural thing that is part of being human, but also that when we gossip, it’s more of a me problem than their problem.

Psychoanalyst Virginnie Meggle says that nastiness in us to gossip is fueled by a comparison trap that many of us fell into from a young age, or the “I-need-to-be-better than you syndrome. She states: Forbidden to bite and hit, we turn to verbal violence, and when we recognize that someone is better than us or at we’re at a disadvantage because of a certain someone, we talk badly about them. Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.

Experts state we also benefit from listening to gossip. A study from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands states that: Gossip recipients tend to use positive and negative group information to improve, promote, and protect the self. From hearing this information about someone, we learn not only what to do and what not to do, but many researchers state that it serves as a good tool for self evaluation.

So you may be asking, what is she trying to say then, is she trying to argue that gossiping is (gasp) good?

No, I’m not. Because while some social psychologists argue that gossip may be beneficial for our social life and emotional health, all of them state that this excludes weapon-grade rumors that destroy someone’s reputation and image, and that it also fails to take into account the emotional health of the person you’re talking about. And gossip, by definition, is often times an exaggerated story that you tell someone to make yourself feel better. So it’s not necessarily the entire truth. And remember, who gossips to you, will gossip of you.

So while you’re stirring up a good story about how she totally sucked up to the boss to get that promotion, you may be doing that because you really wanted the promotion yourself and didn’t get it.

Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician as well as philosopher once said: I maintain that if everyone knew what others said about … them, there would not be four friends in the world

Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everyone enjoys. And it spreads. So chances, are something you told your friend saying “Don’t tell this to anyone but” got spread by her going to someone else and saying “Don’t tell this to anyone but” and then eventually the subject found out. Think about that for a second.

How many times have you been told something that someone said about you? Well, guess what, mostly likely that started somewhere as a secret. But it’s not longer one anymore.

There’s the proverb, A gossip betrays a confidence  but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

Gossiping uses a mentality of: I’m good, you’re bad. You’re assuming that you’re okay, while the person you’re talking about is not.

Like I stated earlier, we gossip because it makes ourselves feel better. I gossip because I want to be better than you. It’s selfish logic, but we’re all so guilty of it.

What we often don’t realize in the art of mindless gossiping is that it has devastating effects for those who hear about what people said about them. To gossip and talk maliciously about someone is a form of bullying, yes I did mean to say bullying.

So let’s talk about the effects of bullying. In addition to their self image and confidence going down, and the other negative psychological effects it has on someone, we all know from experience, that it sucks to have someone saying something bad about you, especially behind your back.

In Great Britain, a study performed there went so far as to suggest that almost half of the suicides committed in that country were directly related to bullying.

And what we often don’t realize is that sometimes we say things that we think are going to compliment someone but nonetheless, if it’s done behind the person’s back it’s gossip. And you don’t know whether that person even wants what you’re telling them to be spread around, and if they may even think of it as a compliment anyways.

Best way to deal with it? Unless told otherwise, try and keep information to yourself.

While you may think that gossiping about someone might benefit you, it definitely doesn’t benefit the person you’ve just talked trash about who may be going through their own issues. And because there’s really no secrets in most instances, people will find out what you said, and it’s a lose-lose situation, because they will know about all the colorful ways you described a particular person, ruining your reputation and hurting the other person as well.

How do we fix this epidemic of gossiping?

Mother Teresa once said: Not all of us can do good things, but we can all do small things with love.

We can’t assume that everyone is going to stop gossiping about others all of a sudden and it’s impractical to expect everyone to. However, you as an individual in your life can choose to look beyond the surface and choose not to gossip about others, whether in a positive or negative manner.

Apply the golden rule that you’ve been hearing your entire life: Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you don’t want to hear from someone that Susie has been talking about you in a way you don’t like, then you first don’t talk about Susie or any other person in a negative way. You are what comes out of your mouth, and what you say and do, is how people will remember you.

Apply also what I call the platinum rule. Treat others the way THEY want to be treated. You know no one wants to be talked badly about. So just don’t do it.

Will doing so prevent everyone in your life from talking badly or gossiping about you? Absolutely not. But the whole point is that you become the better person first.

Because while I may not understand something about you, chances are you also quite frankly may have a whole  list of things that you don’t understand and dislike about me.

Let me put in 21st century terms.

A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about whether to insert the word selfie into the dictionary, and it eventually was put in.. And in the age of social media, we can easily take pictures of ourselves and share it with everyone. But think of it like this If you were able to take a selfie of your soul, would you be willing to show it to the world?

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.

The tongue weighs practically nothing, but research shows that so few people can hold it from talking about others. Will you?

 


And that wrap it up friends. If you have any questions/comments about the speech, please do leave a comment below. I make it a personal goal to try and personally respond to every single comment.

The Christmas gift I want to give to you…

Hello 🙂 Hope all of you are doing well.

With six days left until Christmas (!!!! –> me because 2015 has gone so fast), I want to give back to you guys.

It’s been a little bit over a year since I’ve opened my blog, and I feel this past 2 months my blog has grown in ways that are all thanks to you guys. One of my prayer requests is that 2016 brings even bigger growth for this blog! 🙂  For the encouragement and support that so many of you guys have given me, T H A N K   //  Y  O U. All of you are a blessing in my life, and I wanted you to know that.

got prayer requests

This Christmas, and leading into the new year of 2016, I want to do something. While I wish that I could give all of you individually the exact things you need, as a fifteen year old with a limited budget, I’m afraid that isn’t exactly possible. But what I can do for you is pray. What I can give for you is the gift of prayer.

SOOOO…. I’ve created a page on my blog dedicated to prayer requests. I am a strong believer in that God answers our prayers, and helps us in our times of need.

I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you (Matthew 18:19)

Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7)

I believe in the power of prayer. God is good. He listens to our prayers and He loves us. If you find at all you need prayer, I promise you, I can and will definitely pray for you.

While I can’t do much, I will pray that God help you with whatever you’re going through. God is a God of miracles. God is a God of healing. God is a God of mercy. God is a God of redemption. God loves you. He loves you.

I want to encourage you, if you feel at all something heavy in your heart and you would like prayer for it, please do not at all hesitate to fill out a prayer request here or email me at agapeloveforyou@gmail.com

When I grow up I want to be a…

When I grow up I want to be a....

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When asked that question for the past 15 years of my life, I’ve always been prepared. I always had a confident answer, a dream I knew for sure, (at least in that moment), what I wanted myself to pursue and eventually fulfill.

From about the time I learned to talk until about when I was nine, the answer was: doctor.

And then, inspired by my best friend at that time who’s dad was a lawyer, and also by everyone who seemed to be telling a 5th grader she would be a fantastic lawyer, my dream for my future changed.

Fast forward a few years, when I was still telling everyone I wanted to be a lawyer. I was (and actually still am) actively involved in Speech & Debate, and the common link made is that all debaters want to be attorneys. (Which is partially true, but not entirely)

About the time of 8th grade to my freshman year though, I discovered something new: industrial-organizational (I/O) psychologist. I did my research and found that the job demand for I/O psychologists would expand tremendously around the year I graduate college. So, I made a few revisions to my plan.

I was going to go to a respected school, double majoring in psychology and business management. After I graduated, if I still wanted to pursue the occupation of an I/O psychologist, I would go to grad school and get up to a PhD in psychology. If not, I would take the LSATs and pursue law school.

When I told this people  a lot were amazed at my “focus,” on what I want to pursue. I get a lot of “oohs and ahhs” and quite a bit of “well good luck with that”

And right now? Well, at the present time if you were to ask me what I want to do when I grow up, I probably will actually tell you my psychology/law school path. Because I’m still a bit confused.

But in truth, it’s because I have no idea what to do.

Me being just fifteen, lots of people tell me that I have plenty of time to decide, and tell me not to worry. But the thing is, for as long as I can remember, I’ve known what I wanted to do. I’ve been commended my entire life for being determined and goal oriented. And I’ve been proud of that fact– a little too proud.

A very close family member once told me to do something I’m good at, but also enjoy doing.

But that opens the topic of: what exactly am I good at? And what exactly am I good at that I enjoy enough to want to make an occupation out of?

In the midst of all of this, I have a strong desire to do what God planned for my life. I want my life to be used for God’s work and to help with His master plan, whatever that may be. More than anything, I want to do God’s work. I want to ensure that I do exactly what God wants me to do in my life, but because I don’t know what that is, I am becoming impatient and frustrated.

I feel though all the while God is asking for me to patient–for me to serve in my present state in the best way possible and to wait for His plan to be carried out at the appropriate time. he’s told me that it’s time to put the reins in His hands, and let Him really guide the steps to and of my future.

So despite all the confusion and uncertainty of what lies in my future, today I choose to put my trust in God, believing and knowing He has a plan and path ready for me. I just pray that I have the faith to obey what God tells me to do.

I have a particular dream, a vision and goal that I will soon be sharing in a separate blog post, but I feel the particular thing I will share soon is what I really want to do with my life, but again, I want to just make sure to follow God’s will.

No, I don’t have control over my future, and despite that fact that I know that, I’m slowly transitioning to appreciate that my future is in the hands of my loving Father.

Thank you God.

———–

PS. –> Finals are over and it’s finally winter break! I’ve really been trying to establish a more regular blogging schedule because I really want to grow this blog, but haven’t had much time to do so… So one of my winter break goals is to try and get that done for you guys.

As always, I appreciate each and everyone of you for taking the time to read my posts, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas. May God bless you and everything you do.

If you ever have a prayer request please do fill out the contact page on my blog that you can find on the HOME page and I promise to pray for you guys.

God Bless.

 

~Grace