Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (July-August 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (July-August 2017)

Hi guys! I hope that you are all having a beautiful Wednesday so far. xx I woke up feeling not so great today, as I have a cold right now, and I broke my fever upon waking. I’m planning to take it easy today and catch up on the posts I’ve missed reading.

On that note, I’m now back to blogging! Click here to read yesterday’s post on why I’m back a week early, if you’d like.

When planning ahead for what I’d blog about upon my return to blogging, I went back and forth between wanting to do a Making the Change wrap-up post, and deciding against it. As I’d planned to originally come back in the first week of August, it didn’t seem right to do this post on the first Wednesday of the month, as I’ve been posting them on the final Wednesdays of the month. As fate would have it (although I personally believe this is by the Lord’s guidance), I’m back a week earlier than planned. It’s still July. 😂 It’s the last Wednesday of the month. So, let’s get into this!

I have had lots of time recently to bond with my family. We’ve been playing games and having heartfelt conversations. I’ve also had more time spent in prayer, as my evenings as of late have been quite a bit quieter than they usually are, what with staying off of WordPress. Both of these paired together has caused me to notice that the Lord is calling me into a deeper relationship both with Him, as well as with each member of my family.

In June of 2016, I very much struggled to get used to having a new baby in the family, and this past April, my mom’s miscarriage really took a toll on my faith. I had drawn away from the Lord, sunken into myself, and crawled into a shell of what I thought was protection. When I realized that my self-inflicted hiding place was what was injuring the relationships and friendships I valued so much, the Lord was then able to lead me out.

He has taught me so much through what I continually thought was worthless pain. He continually uses each and every trouble I’ve ever found myself in for a good purpose – most especially for His glory. I am slowly finding it easier and easier to boast in my affliction, as Paul wrote in the Bible, for then the Lord’s grace may rest upon me.

I’m still a long way from where I want to be, but you know what? Maybe I’ll never get there … and maybe that’s okay. The Lord is directing and guiding my steps; He has my life in His hands. When I am willing, His strength is manifested in me, and I know that the changes I desire to see in my life will be here sooner than I realize. I’m taking it a day, a minute at a time, focusing on the good and forgiving myself for my downfalls.

It’s getting easier and easier to make this change. ❤

The Past Month: July 2017

Improvements: I’ve been finding as many things as I can to do with Samuel. Playing pretend, doing Wii games … I’m pretty sure this was mentioned in the last ‘improvements’ section of the last wrap-up post, but I’ve come even farther from there. He and I have played pretend every day for the last week – a huge improvement from where we were not too long ago.

Next Time: I need to further accept mine and Joshua’s differences. As we’re in such difference places of maturity and in our walks in life and with the Lord, it’s hard, and often weighs heavy on my heart.

The Upcoming Month: August 2017

Focuses:

  • Forgiveness. Letting go of the past, and exhibiting grace to future faults I would have once struggled to forgive.
  • Having a servant’s heart. I want to put my desires consistently behind me and instead look to what my family needs.
  • Thinking before I speak. It is important that I put more thought into what I say before letting things I don’t mean slip past my lips.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

“Forgiveness is a process. A choice you have to make over and over, every day, until you’re free of hurt.”

“The highest calling we’ll ever have is to be a servant of the Lord.” – Christine Caine

“When someone does something wrong, don’t forget all the things they did right.”

“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.”

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with one another, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” – {derived from} Ephesians 4:2

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Thank you so much for reading, guys. I hope that you all have a blessed rest of the week! How about you?

What do YOU desire to focus on in August?

— Maggie

 

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (June-July 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (June-July 2017)

Hi everyone! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful week. ❤

It really feels like I just did one of these monthly posts, haha, but here we are again, at the end of another month! Is time flying like this for anyone else? This year is seriously slipping through my fingertips! I started this blog almost six months ago. I kind of feel like it’s been longer than that, but it also feels like I started yesterday, haha!

Anyway, today’s post is going to be my Making the Change Monthly Wrap-Up. You can visit last month’s here. In this post, I’m going to look at how June went, both the improvements I made and what I need to still work on. Then, I’ll be looking ahead to the month of July and what my main goals will be in regards to focuses and behavior.

If we share any aspirations in common, definitely let me know down below! I’d love to talk to you about anything that’s on your mind: what you’re going through, thinking about, wanting to change, etc. I’ll be here to listen. ❤

Making the Change ~
Monthly Wrap-Up (June-July 2017)

The Past Month: June 2017

Improvements: I grew even close to my younger brothers, Joshua (13) and Samuel (5)! I mentioned this in the improvements section of last month’s post, as well, and that’s because there’s always room for improvement, as well as the fact that I’m enjoying being around them much more than when I was going through the emotional problems I struggled with for a while. I’m also doing much better about keeping my temper at bay, which is hard for me to say, but it’s true; I used to lash out much easier and more often than I do now. I’m not trying to say that I’ve reached a behavioral checkpoint or anything lol, but I am able to recognize that things are getting better.

Next Time: Due to some age-appropriate (but still sometimes nerve-wracking) behavior on Samuel’s part, my patience was put to the test every day, and I failed almost every time. However, I slowly learned the right way to respond (thanks to my mom), but patience is still something I need to work on. The two pieces of advice that I can give to others struggling with patience are to slow down and be understanding. Whether you’re stuck in traffic, or someone’s stuttering as they try to figure out how to tell your something, or you’re having to wait in line at a store much longer than you thought you were going to, learn to become more aware of your response to situations that aren’t going exactly how you’d like and prefer. When I’m able to take a step back and look at the situation differently than how it’s just specifically affecting me, it saves me a load of irritation and impatience. ❤

The Upcoming Month: July 2017

Focuses:

  • Patience. What I just talked about above is something I need to take to heart in my own life.
  • Thoughtfulness. Learning to hold my tongue instead of complaining, and to be more aware of what I speak and not just ramble on impulse, is something that’s been on my heart to change recently.
  • Attentiveness. I desire to be a better listener, and while watching my little sister, Elizabeth, I want to be less distracted and more focused on being with her and, this is with all of my siblings, being present.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

  • “Thou shalt not judge, because thou hast screwed up before, too.”
  • “Focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t.”
  • “The best time for new beginnings is now.”
  • “Put on the full armor of God.” [derived from] Ephesians 6:10
  • “Even miracles take a little time.”

“Never suppress a generous thought.” ~ Camilla E. Kimball

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Thank you so much for reading, everyone! You guys have no idea how much this series helps me emotionally and mentally. Getting to write these posts and review how I’ve been and then to think through how I desire to be is the greatest part, but I also really appreciate getting to talk to you, my fellow bloggers, in the comments. Getting to learn about what you’re going through, what you’ve overcome, and what you’re working toward is inspiring to me, and it also blesses me to be here for you when you need someone to talk to. It makes it so much easier for me to be open with what I’m going through because of your support and encouragement. 🙂 So, as the ending question for this post, I would like to know:

What do YOU desire to focus on in July?

— Maggie

 

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

Hi, guys 🙂 I hope you’re all having a great day so far.

For a while now, I have been writing the posts in this series set up as weekly recaps, in order to summarize how my week went, and how I felt over the course of each day. Now, however, I’m going to turn Making the Change into a monthly wrap-up, as you probably already saw in the title, hehe. 💕 I may very well do a week recap post again at some point, but for now, it will be a once-a-month type of post. 🙂

This month’s will be broken up into two sections; one for the month that has ended, and another for the month that is coming up! For the past month part, I’m going to reflect on the improvements I made, as well as what I could have done better on. For the upcoming month, I will list what I’d like to focus on improving, the quotes and Bible verses that inspire me for the weeks ahead, and any other thoughts that I have on it.

For anyone new following along, or if you simply need a refresher, you can visit the first post in this series, where I explain what it is all about. Basically, it’s a reminder for me to focus on spreading more kindness in my life as I overcome anger. I have definitely improved since I started making the change back in April … but I know that I still have a ways to go. The encouragement from my family, you guys, and the Lord is what has kept me going – I am so thankful for all of you!

Let’s jump right into this. ❤

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

The Past Month: May 2017

Improvements: I worked on finding different activities to do with my 5-year-old brother, Samuel, things that we could both have fun doing together. I reached out to my 13-year-old brother, Joshua, by trying new games with him that he primarily enjoyed more than I did. I was more conscious of how I look and sound when I respond to situations I’m not happy with, and I did my best to be more gentle.

Next Time: I need to go through more with playing pretend with Samuel. I also ended up sounding harsher than I would’ve liked many times, in different situations. I need to pay further attention to how I sound; I need to be gentle and understanding. Instead of responding instantly when I’m upset about something, I need to think through what I’m about to say … I don’t want to have many more of these regrets.

The Upcoming Month: June 2017

Focuses:

  • Gentleness. In how I sound, act, and think. ❤
  • Forgiveness. Both things unintentional and intentional, for if I desire to be forgiven, I need to do the same for others (Mark 11:25).
  • Patience. This is definitely one that I need improving on. Both with myself, as well as my interactions with others, I need to learn to slow down. It kind of goes along with patience, but is slightly different. I know than I can (and will!) learn to slow down. ❤
  • Grace. This trait has been defined as “simple elegance or refinement of movement.” I need help in this area like I need air to breathe hahaha
  • Self-Control. I will feel upset sometimes … but I do not have to act on those negative feelings.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

  • “Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way.”
  • “We rise by lifting others.”
  • “Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.” ~ [derived from] Micah 6:8
  • “Patience with family is love, patience with others is respect, patience with self is confidence and patience with God is faith.”
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” ~ Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
  • “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” ~ Proverbs 10:12 ESV
  • “Everything that God allows to come our way is always with a purpose. He uses even the greatest error and deepest pain to mold us into a better person.”
  • “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”
  • If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?”

“If you can’t be kind, be quiet.”

“See the light in others,
and treat them as if that is all you see.”

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~ 1 Peter 4:8-9

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Thank you for reading and following along, everyone. 💖 God bless!

How about you?

What do YOU desire to focus on in June?

— Maggie

 

Making the Change ~ Week Five

Making the Change ~ Week Five

As some of you may have read about on Sunday, I have been thinking a lot about my current and future schooling lately. Because of this (and I didn’t realize it until afterward), that was affecting how I was feeling part of last week – thus, I didn’t respond the way I wanted to in different situations.

I’ve also been struggling to figure out what to play with Samuel. Board games? Virtual games? Roleplay? Playing pretend? I need to pray about it and do something in this area o my life, because we haven’t been interacting as much lately, and that makes me sad.

When it comes to Joshua, we enjoy doing some things together – quoting memes, playing a few virtual games, and watching different shows – but it isn’t very much.

In this upcoming week, I desire to reach out to Joshua and Samuel more, whether that’s in playing games with them that they like but that I don’t particularly, or doing an activity with them that they love but I don’t usually participate in. I’ll write about that next week. ❤

This Making the Change series has really taught me to be more conscious of the little things that I do that are not positive. I’m much more aware of the small things I need improving on, which is really helping me to make this change. Thank you all so much for following along. 🙂

You can read the first post of this series here, where I explain things a bit more.

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Making the Change – May 10th through May 17th

~ On Wednesday, we stayed home, so I spent the day with my family. I worked on schoolwork in the morning, and in the mid-afternoon, Elizabeth got to play in the kiddie pool for the first time! She really enjoyed it, although her favorite part was chewing the side of the pool, haha. (My mom talked about in her Thoughts & Happenings that day!) Throughout the afternoon, I enjoyed having a lot of nice conversations with a blogger I recently met (T.R. Noble) – I loved getting to talk to you!

~ On Thursday, I did more babysitting and played games with my brothers. Joshua built a few roller coasters on our Minecraft server, which we had a great time riding. There were a few disagreements and arguments that happened, but everything got solved.

~ On Friday, my brother and I worked on our schoolwork. I spent a lot of time coloring one of those chemical compound coloring pages I’m currently coloring for chemistry, and I enjoyed listening to Leeland’s album The Great Awakening while I did so. 🙂 I’ll share a picture this Friday.

~ On Saturday, I started reading Death on the Nile, which I’m excited about because it’s one of my favorite Poirot mysteries! That afternoon, I went to the library with my family and found some awesome books (that seems to be happening a lot lately, haha!). Later in the evening, I enjoyed playing fun apps and reading crazy memes with my brother; we were cracking up the whole time.

~ On Sunday (Mother’s Day!), my siblings and I went out with our dad to give my mom some time alone at the house to work on some different things. We went to a park and enjoyed walking/riding on the paved trails through the woods, and we got a nice treat afterward. There was a bit of a quarrel between me and my brother, but everything turned out okay in the end. I ran into Publix before we headed home to pick up a few things we needed. In the evening, I watched some of the Chronicles of Narnia movie with Joshua and my mom (the animation of Aslan was amazing), aaand worked on blog posts some more. I went to bed too late and couldn’t immediately fall asleep, thanks to the caffeinated frappé I’d had around dinner time. lol

~ On Monday, I worked on my schoolwork (including some SAT math prep – woohoo), and watched some more Narnia. Nothing much else happened this day.

~ On Tuesday, my whole family went out on a little outing in the afternoon, and I stayed home to catch up on blog post writing. That helped me so much! Later that afternoon, I played Minecraft with Samuel, which sadly ended in a disagreement, but I’ll be making up for that today (Wednesday).

And on Wednesday, I’ve published this post! Does anyone else have a habit they need to end, a new one they need to start, or a current one that needs changing? If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on this walk of change. It is possible!

I am overcoming anger. What do YOU desire to overcome?

— Maggie

Making the Change ~ Week Four

Making the Change ~ Week Four

My 17th birthday was a month ago today. In the thirty or so days since then, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my family, and my relationship with the Lord has also been strengthened. Despite the struggle and pain I’ve endured through the hardships I’ve been experiencing, I am thankful for it all; I’ve drawn so much closer to the Lord in this time, which I’m more grateful for than I can ever express. ❤

I took a break from posting my Making the Change series last week because I needed a breather … but I’m ready to put up a week four post now. 🙂 I know how good it is for me to write out how each day went and evaluate how I can improve in the future, should those circumstances ever come up again, so here I am for the fourth post in this series.

Thank you all for bearing with me during the highs and lows of my life; I appreciate every comment and kind gesture.

Making the Change – May 3rd through May 9th

~ On Wednesday, I went to the zoo with my family and got to walk around the whole place with my little brother, Joshua. Getting to do something with him was very enjoyable, and we both had a great time. 🙂

~ On Thursday, under circumstances that weren’t very positive, my irritation at a situation got out of hand, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I was at fault and that I needed to forgive the people involved, as well as myself.

~ On Friday, I babysat my little sister while our mom and brothers went shopping. I love learning more about how to take care of children, and this was a great lesson in Childcare 101!

~ On Saturday, I spent the day at home with my family. I worked on lots of blog posts (woohoo!), and played some Minecraft with my brothers. We don’t play it very much all together, but I’d like to do that more in the near future.

~ On Sunday, I worked on lots of little things in preparation for the week ahead. I tidied my room, worked on blog posts, etc – but I didn’t do much with Samuel and Joshua. We tried to play Minecraft, but it wouldn’t load.

~ On Monday, my brother needed some moral support, and I knew that the best way I could help was to play a round of the Pokémon card game that we have. He always beats me, so that defeat would surely lift his spirits. I put my all into slaying him while we played, as that is never usually enough … but I was using a new card that I recently got for my birthday. And I ended up completely butchering him. Oops.

~ On Tuesday, I got my little brother’s tablet (as well as my own) set up to play Minecraft (it finally worked!), and we had a good time building a castle and working together on there. It wasn’t much, but we were both happy. I also babysat my baby sister, Elizabeth, earlier in the day, and I enjoyed spending that time with her.

And on Wednesday, I’ve published this post! Does anyone else have a habit they need to end, a new one they need to start, or a current one that needs changing? If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on this walk of change. It is possible!

I hope that all of you are having a beautiful week. ❤ I’ll always be here if any of you ever need me! Just comment down below, or send me an email. ❤ God bless!

— Maggie

Making the Change ~ Week Three

Making the Change ~ Week Three

When I first started writing these posts, I completely intended on striving after optimism, as well as a brighter outlook on life and a happier attitude. But then, life hit me with a lot of highs and lows, and I found myself fighting for joy more than ever before. It was definitely a test of faith, and I’m honestly positive that, through all of it, no matter what my initial responses to each situation and problem were, the Lord taught me much more than I can ever explain about knowing Him, and appreciating the family that I have.

So, this walk of change got off to a much, much rockier start than I would’ve ever anticipated … but I trust in my all-knowing Heavenly Father. There is a reason for it all, and I am thankful for the struggles, for I have grown ever closer to Him. 🙂

My prayer for this series is that I will slowly see a positive change in the areas of my life that have become so negative – and I believe that I’ve already started to see that change. ❤ I’d like to thank all of you for following along and encouraging me; I appreciate that more than I can ever express to you. 🙂

Making the Change – April 19th through April 25th

~ On Wednesday, I spent most of the afternoon at the hospital with my family. I felt at peace knowing that my family and our situation was in the Lord’s hands. I didn’t feel anxious, which was a wonderful change from the usual tension of stressful times.

~ On Thursday, my mom was doing much better than I thought she would be. My dad and I went grocery shopping for her (as it’s something she usually does) so that she could take it easy at home. I got lots of ingredients for baking recipes, and I’m looking forward to making them in the days to come. So, all in all, my Thursday was happy and productive. 🙂

~ On Friday, through a string of events that were hard on me but full of important lessons, I learned a lot about myself and the family that I love. It was definitely not a day that I desire to reflect on any further.

~ On Saturday, I played different games and did some fun activities with my 5 year old brother, Samuel. I learned more about forgiveness and looking past people’s faults and still loving them. ❤

~ On Sunday, something happened that left my whole family rather emotionally drained – but we again felt at peace with the knowledge that we’re in the Lord’s hands, and that no matter what happens, He will be here for us. ❤

~ On Monday, I got along much better with my brothers (there was much less bickering and taking silly jokes too far, lol), and the three of us had fun playing Minecraft all together. I love doing multiplayer games!

~ On Tuesday, we spent the late morning and all of the afternoon running errands. We got so much done, which I am extremely thankful for, but it also left us pretty worn out!

And today (Wednesday), I’ve published this post!

If you’re working on making a positive change in your life, I would be so happy to talk to you in the comments below. 🙂

What is something that YOU desire to change in your life?

I hope that everyone’s Wednesday has gotten off to a beautiful start. xx

— Maggie

Making the Change ~ Week Two

Making the Change ~ Week Two

As I publish this post, my family and I are on our way to the hospital for my mom to have surgery. You can read about on the post I wrote on Tuesday. We appreciate all of your prayers and support. I trust that the Lord is caring for us and is with us. ❤

So, this is the second week that I’ve been making the change. It has been eye-opening, in some ways depressing, but mostly encouraging.

I don’t have to live like this. I CAN change for the better. This flaw does not define me. Through the Lord’s strength, I can – and will! – change.

If you’d like to read about what this series is and why I’m doing it, please visit this post. xx

Making the Change ~ April 12th through April 19th

~ On Wednesday, I made this series live on my blog. I enjoyed responding to everyone’s comments, and I did some games with Samuel in the evening; we had a great time, and I know that he appreciated it. 🙂

~ On Thursday, some different things happened that weren’t too positive, but they were resolved before the day ended. I spent time with Samuel again playing pretend and being silly.

~ On Friday, I had a rather rough time, but man, the Lord really stopped me in my tracks that morning. He showed me, in all His love, that I’m trying to do this on my own. I’ve been trying to find the positivity and optimism within me instead of looking to and fully relying on Him. It’s the only way that I will be changed; through His power! I am eternally grateful for His loving care. ❤

~ On Saturday, the whole day was very joyful and happy. I helped around the house, worked on my blog, played games with Samuel, and accomplished other miscellaneous things, all with a grateful heart. I felt more optimistic that day than I have in a long time, and it’s because of what happened on Friday.

~ On Sunday, I had a very happy Easter. ❤

~ On Monday, the day started out pretty casually, but then the next thing I know, while doing my Algebra schoolwork that morning, my mom came in and told me what her doctor told her on the phone. So, we spent most of the afternoon at her OB/GYN and a hospital, and because I didn’t prepare myself for what might come, I was more bitter than I would’ve liked to have been. It was quite hard on all of us, but I know that I can be so much kinder.

~ On Tuesday, we had a quiet day at home, preparing for today (Wednesday) and taking it easy. I have been praying often because I want my focus tomorrow to be on Him, and not my circumstances. He is with us – He is with me. ❤

And on Wednesday, I’ve published this post! Does anyone else have a habit they need to end, a new one they need to start, or a current one that needs changing? If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on this walk of change. It is possible!

I am overcoming anger. What do YOU desire to overcome?

— Maggie