What is your Legacy?

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As the 2013 graduates gathered one last time and celebrated

a milestone together,

the speaker asked them what kind of legacy do they want

to create in their next chapter of life.

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They have all ready created a legacy in high school…hopefully one to be proud of.

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What was your legacy in high school?

Did you realize you left one?

Was it positive?

Did you hurt people just to get a vote?

…..to become popular?

… just to realize it doesn’t matter after high school.

Or, were you the one always lifting

up others?

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Some seniors were asked to write their reflections of the past four

years of high school for the school

newspaper.

All of them had very similar stories.

While learning academics and conquering goals of accomplishments

were apart of their legacy, nothing stood out more

than the wisdom that they gained.

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Through the ups and downs…the most treasured lessons they had learnt wasn’t

Trig or that research paper their junior year.

They learned what true friendship truely looks like,

and that sometimes people change.

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 They learned to accept who they were and not to put their self worth

…into the latest brand

…into what others thought of them

…into if they were popular for all the wrong reasons.

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They found themselves and found their own interest. They found the importance of

having good character even when no one is watching.

They learned not to define themselves or define others by the rumors

that others spread.

They learned to be true to themselves.

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What an amazing legacy,

amazing lessons that these seniors can pass down to

the upcoming freshman.

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 So,

Dear 8th grader,

Dear college student,

Dear coworker,

Dear church leader,

Dear teacher,

Dear Mom,

and

Dear Dad,

When your journey is said and done, whether it be a legacy you will leave

in high school, at work, in the church,

or passed down to your kids,

what will it say?

* Photos via Penny Knight, Tracy Porter, and HCBOE

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Special Guest

It’s time to think about what you think about!

My kids and I are memorizing Philippians 4:8 right now together, and if I’m really honest, I need it as much as they do! Because my thought life has been one of my biggest struggles, I want to help give my own kids a strong foundation in God’s Word to fight the battlefield of the mind.

My 2 oldest children are girls and they are just entering the “tween” stage and I have horror story memories of my middle school years, so as a mom of young girls, I want to be proactive in helping them to learn to fight these battles now. {And I may be even more scared of being the mom of a middle schooler than I was to actually be a middle schooler!}

My kids and I are reading Battlefield of the Mind: For Kids, and the author, Joyce Meyer is giving us several tools for fighting these negative thoughts in our minds. (And don’t let “for kids” throw you off, I’m getting as much out of this as my kids are!)

Before we look at some of the tools, take a moment to think about what you think about most. Sounds like a tongue twister, but it’s so important to take notice of our thought life and meet those negative thoughts head-on!!

“I’m no good at this.”

“I’m so ugly, I hate my freckles.”

“I wish I had the same xyz that Suzie has.”

These are all thoughts, that left unchecked, can lead down a bad path in our hearts and minds!! I pray everyday that my girls won’t walk the path of depression that I have faced, and I know a huge part of that is not dwelling on the negative!!

Enter God’s Word.

“Finally brothers, (and sisters,) whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

This passage gives us a huge clue for how to fight this battle in the mind; we need to be thinking about true things, noble and right things, pure and lovely things. And when I hide God’s word in my heart, I am helping my heart and mind to focus on those true and right things!!

Here are some other tools mentioned in the book that will help us fight this battle in our minds:
prayer

memorizing God’s Word

reading God’s Word daily

having mentors & encouragers

Christian friends who encourage us in Godly pursuits

church or regular meeting with other believers

As I close this post, I want to share a prayer with you that I am praying for myself and for my children. Take these verses, write them down…pray the very words of God and I can promise you (and God promises us!) that His Word does not return void!! (Check out Isaiah 55:11.)

Father God, thank you for listening to me and hearing my prayers! I pray that by the power of Your Holy Spirit living in me and with Your help I can train my mind to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Lord, help me to think about the things of You, things that please You and things that glorify You. Help me to speak words of truth about my life and not listen to the enemy. In Jesus Name I ask you to send the enemy fleeing my mind, that it would be a temple for You and You alone. I love you, Jesus. Amen.

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Candace is our special guest today. Thanks Candace !!
Candace is a wife and mom of 3 children living & homeschooling in beautiful East Tennessee. She is a lover of Jesus and God’s Word. She blogs regularly about living out this messy life in desperate need of God’s new mercies at His Mercy is New. Please visit her site at www.mercyisnew.com

 

Candace
“Whom have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26
His Mercy is New (my blog)

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Be Mindful of Your Thoughts

“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

White flowers by Jaime Carter

This is one of my favorite verses. It’s a great reminder to stay positve and not get bogged down with negativity. I found something that says it again pretty well. I used it as a devotion for my daughters’ cross country team a couple of years ago:

Be mindful of your thoughts,

                                    They become your words.

Be mindful of  your words,

                                    They become your actions.

Be mindful of your actions,

                                    They become your habits.

Be mindful of your habits,

                                   They become your character.

Be mindful of your character,

                                   It is your legacy.

 

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It’s never too early to start working on your legacy. Who do you want to be? Growing up I wanted to be just like my grandmother. Of course, at 44 I’ve realized I’m best at being me (although I disappoint myself often) but I learned alot about being the best me I could be from her. She filled her thoughts and mind with positive things, and never had anything bad to say about anyone. I think that’s what made her so wonderful. No one can think of a time when she said or did anything ugly. She left a legacy of goodness and kindness. I hope to leave a legacy like that.  Our legacy is ultimately how we have treated those that we have come in contact with in our lives. Let’s make the most of it.

 

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Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

Color Me Rad 5K is this weekend. If you have never done a 5k, I highly recommend this one.  It’s 3.1 miles of pure fun.  A good excuse to gather your friends together.  A tsunami of color that is sure to brighten your friendship.  You start out sporting your cleanest whites, and throughout the run, you will be color bombed with blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow.

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

At the finish line, the biggest explosion of all colors, leaves you and your friends rad.  Yes, rad.  It’s nice to take opporitunites like this with your friends.  Life gets busy, and sometimes you have to break away and find ways to nurture your frienships.  Because when you do, it nurtures you too.

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

Friendship is so precious.  As we grow, we learn from our experiences on how to be a good friend.  To have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.  A good friend always listens, is supportive, quick to say sorry, and quick to forgive.  They encourage, build you up, cheer you on, and give unconditional love.  They are loyal, faithful, and stick with you through thick and thin.  They are helpful, honest, humble, and authentic.  There is no pride, comparing, boasting, belittling, or competetion. What are your friends like? What kind of friend do you want to be? After you have gathered your friends and signed up for Color Me Rad 5K in a town near you, it’s craft time.  To create a t-shirt like in the above picture, you will need:

  • white t-shirt (we bought a pack of mens medium cotton t-shirts)
  • scissors
  • colorful beads (optional)

First, cut the collar out and save the collar (you will need to use it to make a racer-back).

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

Then, cut the sleeves off.  Start about an inch and a half to two inches below the sleeve and cut into an ark up to the top.

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

Next, shape the front neckline into what you desire (scoop, v-neck, etc.). Flip it over, and cut a deep v-neck on the back (this is to create the racer-back look).

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

 

To create the racer-back, gather the sides togther, take the collar and wrap one time around leaving a small tail to tuck. Tuck the end into the loop.  Then, continue wrapping the collar all around and tuck the other end.

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

If you like the look without the beads, you can stop here.  If your shirt is too long, just cut the bottom off to your desired length.  If the length is perfect, you will still need to cut the very bottom off at the hem.  Next, cut strips across the bottom, string on your beads (a toothpick makes it easier), and tie a knot to hold the beads in place.

Color Me A Rad Friend T-Shirt Tutorial

 ”A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” -Proverbs 27:9 MSG

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God has a Specific Plan for You

sprinkler in the sun

“Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”  1Timothy 4:12

My husband and I spend a lot of time around youth. I find myself in awe at the simple wisdom that comes from a young person. It seems they can always find a practical, simple solution to most any problem. I don’t know why I should be surprised, though. All I have to do is read through my Bible and I am reminded of the value God places on youth. Take a look at David. Just a boy, but God gave him the responsibility of slaying the giant. No one in the Israelite army was brave enough to face the massive Philistine, but David had faith in his God who had proven himself to his people over and over. Instead of clothing himself with heavy armor he knew God alone was his protection. Instead of shield and sword, he carried only a simple sling shot. That’s faith! His example of faith has been an example to all for thousands of years. Think of Mary, God found favor in her. He entrusted a young teenage girl to bring the Savior of the world into this world! I believe God did this to show young people they have a purpose and are so important to Christianity. Don’t let your age hinder you from believing that God has a specific plan for you. At your age, as a pre-teen or teen you have a powerful influence on those around you.

I have a young friend who is a perfect example. She grew up in the “projects” with her mother and several siblings. She knew from an early age that the Lord had so much more in store for her. Strong in her faith, she became a role model for her younger brothers and sisters. Her mother could not read English so she would help her siblings with their homework. She got involved in several service organizations at school and her Boys & Girls Club. She got a job at the local grocery store and worked through her high school years. Nadia set goals for herself to become more than her circumstance allowed. She graduated high school and earned a full scholarship to her the University of Tennessee, where she continues to succeed. She now works in the corporate office of the grocery store where she got her first job. She has paved a new path for her siblings. She’s the first in her family to attend college. Her example has inspired not only her siblings but also her peers who are living in similar situations realize they too have the ability to achieve. I am so thankful for these young people; all of them were able to alter history.

Abileen’s encouragement to Baby Girl from the book The Help comes to mind:

“You is kind, you is smart. You is important.”

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{via Jillian Allman Photography}

Well here it is. The beginning.

The beginning of a new blog that my gang and I have such big dreams for.

Dreams of little girls being encouraged. Dreams of parents finding just the thing they were looking for. Dreams of one day…

As I think back to my “girl-hood”, which I thoroughly still consider myself in, I can’t help but think, aren’t we always thinking of the end?

How will this work out? Where will this take me? How big can this become?

or  maybe in your case it sounds more like this…

What will he look like? Who will be my bridesmaids? Should my first home have pink or green shutters?

But here is the best part, our future isn’t completely up to you & me! Could you imagine if our future was only made up of what we want in the “here & now”?

He holds our future. And His knowledge certainly surpasses your’s & mine.

He knows that what I may see as my “happily ever after” now, is really only a quick fix, not what my heart truly desires. {Ps. 37:4}

He promises us that he will work all the curves into a happy ending. {Phil. 1:6}

He created your role to be irreplaceable! {1 Cor. 12:12-27}

Let Him write your “happily ever after”, don’t settle for your own.

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