Monthly Archives: February 2013

Quote of the Day #4

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“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ~Robert Frost

I just about cried when I came upon this one. It is so true. Sometimes, it may seem hard to believe it, but life will go on, no matter what happens or how things turn out. Right now, my life has become more than a little bit hectic and utterly chaotic, nothing like the simple, harmonious lifestyle I was accustomed for the previous few years, before all the craziness began. Lately, I have been faced with higher expectations and more responsibility than ever before, both at school and outside of school, and I have been faced with choices that have will require me to make sacrifices and to venture out of my comfort zone, big time. My life is teetering on the brink of change, and sometimes I feel that way, too: like I am teetering dangerously close to the edge of a cliff, about to be swallowed up by all the decisions and responsibility and change in my life right now that threaten to consume me.

I have never felt more uncertain. I have no idea what the future holds for me, or how my life will be affected because of the choices I make. I have not been happy lately. In fact, if I could describe how I’ve been feeling, it would be tired. Tired of school, of responsibility, of decisions, of everything.

It’s easy, I think, to become completely swept up in what’s happening in our lives on a day-to-day basis, and get really worked up over things, whether it’s major or something not-so-major that just seems life-impacting at the time. I’ll admit it; I’m a worrier. I freak out over little things, like, say, forgetting my homework, or the test I have coming up in a week that I don’t feel at ALL ready for (even though I am; this has happened to me on several occasions). I worry, and worry, and worry, and worry, and worry… Last year, I was staying up until eleven o’clock on an almost nightly basis, trying to get everything done. I’m a TOTAL perfectionist, and I couldn’t sleep knowing I had done any less than my very, very best. So I got everything done, but I was tired all the time, and I wasn’t happy. I was too stressed to be happy. There were times when I literally felt like the world was going to end if I didn’t get everything done, and perfectly, to the best of my ability.

It was then that my mom sat down with me and told me something. “Olivia,” she said, “it’s very good that you always strive to do your best, and it’s good that you work so hard, but sometimes you just have to be able to say ‘it’s good enough.'”

I thought about that, and it really changed the way I viewed my life. My daily life changed: I would come home from school, do as much as I could, and then if I still wasn’t finished at eleven o’clock at night, I would put the pencil down and say to myself, “Good enough for today.” I was a much happier person from then on, and even though I didn’t always get everything done, I didn’t feel like the world was actually going to come to an end. It helped me to realize that some days, it’s just impossible to be able to get everything done — there are times when you just have too much to do — and it helped me to see, most importantly of all, that life rolls on, no matter what is happening around you. There are times when you might feel so stressed and overwhelmed and tired that you just don’t think you can go on. But life goes on, and so will you. You WILL live to see another day.

Sometimes, I realized, you just have to let go of all control, and let time pass.

This quote, so simply and matter-of-factly stated, awakened an inner calm inside me, a voice of reason against the crazy chaos of everyday life — and the giddy joy that comes with relief and realization. Life goes on. 

If there are any of you out there who feel the same way as I do about life right now, well, hold on, and know that life rolls along, no matter what happens. Stay strong…and try to R-E-L-A-X! (I’ll try to do the same.)

A Valentine’s Day Shout-Out to All the Special People in My Life!

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Hi, everyone.

First of all, I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day, and I hope your day was filled with candy and pretty cards and things — oh my goodness, I just love Valentine’s Day! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to post yesterday, on the actual holiday, but now that I have time, I’d like to send a shout-out to all the people who make my life special. I feel that Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to tell you all the things I love about you.

To my family: I love you all so much, I don’t even know what to say! Thank you for supporting me in everything and anything I do, and being on my side always, even when I’m wrong. Thank you for believing in me, and for helping me to believe in myself. I want you to know that I could never ask for a better family, and nothing you do goes unnoticed or unappreciated. I feel so blessed knowing that wherever I may go in this life, your love goes with me! Thanks for having my back, and cheering for me in whatever I do. I thank God for you everyday. I love you to the moon and back a million times, and more!

To my friends: (You know who you are.) For all my true-blue gals reading this — well, first of all, I just want to say that you are the most beautiful, incredible, amazing group of ladies and I love you more than words can say! I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful friends, but I am SO thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for the laughs and the good times we’ve shared, and now, wherever life takes us from here, as the song goes, “I have been changed for good!” I want you to know that each one of you sparkles in your own way and that wherever you go, whatever you do, I’m rooting for you and praying for you all the way! Love ya! ❤

To Sadie (haha 😉 ): You are so fuzzy and cute and waggy and silly and I love you!!! Thanks for being my adorable doggy! I really appreciate all your different methods of brightening my day (i.e. licking my face, bringing me a slipper, trying to bark with a ball in your mouth, posing for hilarious pics, coming into my room and jumping up on my bed and dropping a stinky bone in my face at 7:00 in the morning). Haha, I am cracking up right now…

And, finally, to everyone out there reading this…

Thanks for reading my blog, and for sharing thoughts, hopes, and dreams with me on SOTR. Thank you for all the kind comments, and the likes on my posts, and the page views (one week ago was a record: 136! Yes!). I hope I’ve been able to inspire and entertain you through my writing, and I hope you’ll come back again!

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤ ❤ ❤

XOXO, Olivia

What is Love?

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Hi everyone! 🙂

Now, as you’re probably aware, Valentine’s Day is this Thursday, February 14th. (Wow! The winter is just flying by.) I don’t know about you, but I am SO excited to make pretty valentines for all my girlfriends out of colorful paper, lace, glitter, stickers, stamps, markers (well, if you’re a guy, I guess this doesn’t really apply)…and my mouth is watering at the thought of all that yummy candy. Mmm!  Valentine’s Day is a day full of fun and sweets. It is also the perfect time to let our family and friends know why we love them, and to reflect on the gift of love given to us by our Heavenly Father.

I’d like to begin with a question: what does love mean to you? Does it mean having a humongous crush on the adorable boy (or girl) who lives next door? Does it mean that unconditional love you have for your family? Does it mean having a passion for somebody or something?

What is love?

Well, a few days ago I asked myself this question, and I decided to see what God had to say about it, so I consulted my trusty Bible to get the real answer. Here is a passage I found addressing that wonderful gift that comes from none other than God Himself:

“If I speak in the tongues of men or angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~1 Corinthians 1-7

It looks as if God’s definition of love is a whole lot deeper and more complex than our own. There is so much more to God’s definition of love than simply feeling passion for someone or something. This makes it all the harder for us to love — truly love, in a way that is good and pure in the Lord’s sight.

Right now, these words may not make much sense to us. There is so much to understand and to grasp about real love that we may be tempted to give up before we begin. It may seem hopeless. You might be thinking, “Gosh! How can I ever be like that? How am I supposed to remember and understand all of that?” But I feel it is important to remember that we were not meant to understand. As I stated earlier, love is a gift given to us from Above, the splendid work of the Lord Himself, and we are too feeble-minded and shallow and HUMAN to ever be able to grasp its full meaning. We are not capable of this kind of love, of true, godly love, because our sins stand in the way. Even if we did not have this obstacle, we simply do not have the capacity to comprehend perfect love. We are too imperfect to be able to do that.

However, you may have been able to get a handle on the basic idea. Love is a reflection of God Himself, and without it, we are nothing. Love is pure and perfect. And, most importantly, love is 100% completely and totally NOT about you or me. It’s about other people, and it’s all about God. But there is so much more to it that we will never understand, until we meet the Lord face-to-face in Heaven someday.

Why is love such a gift? Because God gave it to us so that we may better know Him. He gave it to us to draw us closer to Him. God is love, and we will never know true love if we do not know Him. I believe that our purpose here on this Earth, as human beings, is to spend our lives learning how to love so that when we enter God’s Kingdom one day, we will be able to exist in faultless harmony and perfect love amongst one another and the Lord. Every experience, every action we take, every event in our lives is teaching us about love, love that is pure and good in God’s sight. On a similar note, every experience, every action we take, every event in our lives gives us the opportunity to get to know the Lord and see His marvelous works. For we CANNOT love if we do not know Him, and we CANNOT know Him if we do not have love.

I would like to end today’s post with this: God commanded us to love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~John 13:34-35

“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'” ~Matthew 22:37-39

We are the Lord’s people, and He has spoken. We need His help more than ever before as we embark on the biggest journey of our lives: learning to love. This is the ultimate challenge, and we are hopelessly incapable of doing it on our own. Therefore, we must ask Him to help and strengthen us. We must seek Him throughout our entire lives, for we can know love only if we know Him.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Your friend, Olivia

STTA #8

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Hi everyone!

Once again, I apologize for the severe lack of posts in the past few weeks. This time of year has been INSANE. In any case, it is unbelievably fabulous to just sit down with you all and type out my thoughts. I thought I’d throw out another STTA for you all to ponder.

What is your favorite way to unwind on a free Saturday evening?

As we are now in the middle of the harsh winter months, I have been finding that I am constantly chilled to the very core no matter how many sweaters I put on, and the single cure for that is a steamy bubble bath — with, of course, the radio blasting and a magazine to read. I also find it very refreshing and relaxing to bundle up and go for a walk outside. The chilly winter air invigorates me and allows me to breathe, all my worries lifted off my shoulders and carried away on the wind. (Or, being the total dork I am, dancing around my room and singing along to The Sound of Music at the top of my lungs works too. 😉 ) What do you do to relax and unwind?