I’ll Be Home ~ A Short Story

Note: This short story is my entry for Abby’s Write Christmas contest, and if you would like to enter yourself, click here and show her some love! Clara is also hosting a super fun photography contest, so I definitely suggest checking both out if you’re into writing & photography!

Happy reading! 

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She was alone for Christmas, and somehow it hurt more and more every year. The pain that endured from seeing families gathered together around the tree, smiling and content with their loved ones, ignited a spark of guilt in her heart each time she saw them on the television. She knew it felt wrong, being all joyful, and content, after what happened.

She pictured them sitting around the table on Christmas eve, unwrapping the identical gifts they always seemed to pick out for each other. Three years ago, he had given her an antique keychain with their initials, J + A, engraved on the side, to celebrate their first anniversary as husband and wife. Somehow, he had the same exact idea, and laughed aloud when he gifted her his present. The story was passed around family members, and cousins still asked if they still had the key-chains in their possession.

The next year, she had picked out a cozy sweater for him at an old antique store off the corner of Pine Street that smelled of the sea, the place he loved the most. He had nearly been brought to tears, as he had picked out a sea-smelling candle for her to remind her of him.

People used to tell them that their story reminded them of the fairytales their parents used to read them as a child, as their love was beyond limitless. No one knew how they could make their marriage work, as they came from completely different families, but somehow, they managed.

But now, she told herself, limitless had a limit. On that Christmas morning a year ago, he had been informed that he was to report to a Naval base overseas on assignment. He had left in a hurry, barely stopping to say goodbye.

Everything tumbled to pieces when she received word that he had been reported MIA. He and his crew of fellow Naval officers had been on assignment off the coast of Japan, and had suddenly lost contact with the main base. No one, including her, had heard from him since.

Everyone assumed he, along with his fellow officers, was as good as dead, but one knew for sure. Since then, she had spent her time rebuilding her life, piece by piece, ever-so-slowly, and it noticeably broke her.

She shook her head as though to ward off a distant dream, and narrowed her eyes at the TV screen in front of her. A Publix ad came on, displaying a rather large family holiday gathering at Grandma’s home. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, rice pudding, and all the spectacular dishes were placed on the dining table, and a shot of smiling faces appeared on the screen.

She felt an ache in her heart, a longing to be home. The past year since he left was excruciating for her, and despite the constant attempts to cheer herself up, she fell into a state of depression-like symptoms that caused her to lack the Christmas cheer she once held to so dearly.

Winter-time never was her time of year, even when he was there. Living in upstate New York brought the usual wintertime snowfall, and with the conditions of her apartment during the cold season, blankets and socks just weren’t enough to keep warm. She had tried to keep her job as a librarian steady, in order to evade eviction, but with the way her employment was going at that moment, she knew her job wouldn’t remain stable for much longer.

She sighed, remembering the tasks that needed to be done for the night. She stared vaguely at the screen in front of the couch, hoping for a program that needn’t not share the typical Christmas joy. He left at Christmas. That was all she needed to despise the holiday.

Programs displaying gift-giving, caroling, and even talking dogs flashed on the screen as she slowly drifted into the slumber she had been craving for the last six months. Alone in her apartment during the holidays meant she nearly had the whole building to herself. Mrs. Dunsey, the elderly women who rented the flat above her, had left town the day before to visit her son and daughter-in-law in New Jersey, and Mr. and Mrs. Crown, the newlywed couple in the flat below her, left the week before to visit family in Virginia.

She didn’t necessarily mind being left alone, but she didn’t fancy being as lonely as she was. She missed her and Mrs. Dunsey’s Sunday afternoon chats as they walked together to pick up the weekly paper in the lobby. She missed the Crown’s voices as they chattered to one another before opening their door.

The flat was far too quiet, and she hated every aspect of it.

As she felt sleep place its peaceful arms around her, the telephone startled her awake. The TV was blaring the usual 12am Christmas classic, but she paid no attention to the carols being sung, or the couples falling in love under the snow.

She swung her dreary gray blanket over the back of the couch, and stood up groggily, listening to the phone blare on the kitchen counter. She found a hairbrush to tame the dark, curly hair in tangles from lying on the couch, and made her way to the tiny kitchen they used to share.

She almost didn’t answer the number, as robocalls had the tendency to interrupt her sleep far too often, but she did. Looking back, she guessed the half-asleep girl in her didn’t care who it was, as long as she could return to her couch after a quick “Please-place-me-on-the-do-not-call-list” banter.

But as she picked up the phone, she knew it was no telemarketer, or robocall.

“Alaina? Are you there?”

She held the phone in front of her, staring dumbfound at the receiver. She could hear the recipient speaking her name a few times more, but she didn’t want to believe it. It couldn’t be. She started to place the phone back on the receiver, but the three words spoken caught her off guard.

“I’ll be home. I’ll be home, Alaina.”

She placed the phone to her ear as Jonah spoke.

“I promise you. I will be home for Christmas.”

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November Playlist ♡

Hello dears, and welcome back to the blog!

Today I wanted to share a bit of music from my November playlist that has been on repeat like crazy lately. I know I’m super late in posting this, but hey, it’s technically still November so I’m still on time, right? I’ve been a bit too obsessed with classic rock for the past few months, so the majority of this playlist is pretty much just that. But I did decide to stick a few worship and pop songs in there, because honestly that’s pretty much the only music I’ve been streaming these past few weeks!

So, that said, enjoy!

Hold on Loosely – 38 Special 

Lately my brain can’t seem to find its way to any song other than this one. I’m not entirely sure why, but it’s like it’s etched into my brain like an Etch a Sketch now. The vocals, the background music–it’s just like the perfect song for me, and it’ll probably be on repeat even after the New Year (although I’m not complaining 😉 ).

Dust in the Wind – Kansas

My mom introduced me to Kansas when she created a playlist for herself on my phone (back when I still used iTunes), and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more beautiful song in my life. The message itself is quite depressing if you really listen to the lyrics, but there’s something so soothing about the music, and the violin…oh my Lord.

Somebody to Love – Queen

My obsession with this song came to be when I first watched Ella Enchanted, that Cinderella-type movie with Anne Hathaway. Anne’s cover is nowhere near as beautiful as Queen’s, but I just can’t stop singing it. Question: has anyone seen the new Bohemian Rhapsody movie? I’m debating on whether or not to see it, so if anyone has, I would definitely appreciate it if you let me know how it was!

Who You Say I Am – Hillsong Worship

Words can’t express how beautiful this song is. Hillsong Worship has been amazing with their music lately, and every one of their songs is purely magical.

Sabrina Carpenter – Sue Me

I honestly think Sabrina is so underrated as an artist. Her new album, Singular Act I, has been on repeat this last week, and every song is just amazing.  Question: am I the only one getting serious Legally Blonde vibes from this video?

Not Today – Alessia Cara

At first I didn’t know how to feel about this song, but after a few replays it started growing on me. I love how real Alessia has been with her music lately, especially with this tune in particular.

Hands Up – The New Respects

I discovered The New Respects a few weeks ago, and I will say that I was not disappointed in what I found. This is a song that just makes you want to dance for hours, and I don’t know why I wasn’t listening to their music sooner.

The Greatest Show -Panic! At The Disco 

If you asked me a month ago if I liked P!ATD, I would have said no, because honestly I didn’t. I barely even knew what the band was, let alone how amazing Brendon’s voice is. But being the Greatest Showman fan I am, I couldn’t pass up listening. Now, I am pretty much obsessed with their songs, and I don’t regret it one bit.

Change – Charlie Puth ft. James Taylor

I only know James Taylor from my mom, because most of his songs are on the playlist that she created, but James Taylor and Charlie Puth is a duo I never knew I needed. The message of this song is so important, and the vocals just mix together so beautifully.

***

Well dears, that’s pretty much it for my November playlist! I hope you found some new music to add to yours, as well. What songs are currently on repeat for you? Let me know!

Have a blessed week! ♡

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A Little Announcement

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Hello there!

Welcome back to the blog!

It’s been a long time since I last uploaded something, but I promise you that this break was not in vain, because I have a little announcement to make!

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Introducing, God Strengthened Girl, a blog designed to help girls grow in Christ, and create a community with like-minded teens and young adults! EEEK. I’m just so excited, so forgive me if I get extremely cheesy here.

I am so thrilled to begin this new chapter, and I cannot wait to share everything with you all!

First things first, let me explain a few things.


1. I have been struggling with finding that “niche” for Love, Sarah Beth for a while, as the theme for this blog is sort of randomized between writing, lifestyle, and faith. I felt it was becoming too extreme to keep up with all that with the schedule I am currently on in real life, so creating a separate blog to organize all faith-related content is sort of a relief for my workload. You are probably thinking, well, wouldn’t running two blogs add to the stress? Believe me, I considered this myself. However, as I am already running GSG through Instagram, it is not too much of an extra workload for me to run a separate blog, and to keep this one as a primary way to share writing and other creativity-related posts.


2. I felt like organizing all faith-based posts on a separate website would allow readers to receive the content they are looking for when visiting my blog. For those who want to read Christian content, GSG was created entirely for that. And for those who would like to read other content, such as writing, photography, and lifestyle-related posts, I am keeping Love, Sarah Beth as a personal blog primarily for that.


3. All faith-based posts aired on this blog will remain here, but they will be moved to GSG, as well. So please do not think that I am removing all aspects or mentions of my faith from my personal blog, because that is totally not the case. I will still share about my faith, and talk about God, but the blog’s main focus will be writing and other lifestyle-based themes.


4. I also feel that I should mention that this is not 100% official, or permanent, yet. For now, GSG will be up-and-running until any further notice, but please do not expect it to be a forever decision. If running two blogs at one point becomes too extreme, I may conjoin the two once more.

The current theme and feel of the blog is still under construction, as well, so it might be a bit confusing to navigate at first. However, the theme/layout should be official by the end of next month.


But for now, I am super excited to share everything with you, and I can’t wait for this project to be official!

If you would like to visit GSG, click here.

I hope you all have a blessed week, and be sure to drop over at GSG and say hello!

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Writing Prompt #1: The Napkin Pt. 2

This is a continuation of a writing prompt I found I found on Pinterest a few posts back. If you would like to catch up on Part 1, feel free to read it here. Please note that I do not own the rights to the prompt; I am simply responding to the prompt in a series of chapters. Also note that this chapter contains an amount of violence and gore, there solely for the purpose of setting the scene. If this sort of content does not attend to your interest, you are more than welcome to scroll past. 

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“State your business,” the officer exclaimed. Her gun, pointed right at my heart, loomed in front of me as I struggled to maintain my breathing.

“I…I—” I couldn’t manage to get a decent sentence out, despite being interrogated on the spot. John, however, had managed to escape from beneath my umbrella, and began to form a lie faster than a bird could spot a worm from a tree branch.

“I came to this restaurant to order for my family, and this psychotic woman started attacking me with her…umbrella.” I gave him a look, and scowled as he glared at me sideways, continuing his story with a sense of calm that sent chills down my spine. Somehow, someway, he managed to make himself appear meek, and that frightened me in a way I couldn’t express. It made me wonder how much lying he had to do to be that good of an actor.

“I had done nothing to harm her, but she still found the need to attack.” John crossed his arms in triumph.

“Is this true, ma’am?” The police woman gestured to me with narrowed eyes, and I knew whatever I chose to say next could possibly be held against me. I sighed, shaking from the chill in the air.

“Well–uh, it’s sort of true, but I only hit him because he scared the heck out of me as I was leaving!” I bit my lip, wrapping my sweater around me as I wished I was curled up in bed, dreaming, instead of living this reality.

“I see…” Her voice trailed off as she slowly drew back her gun, keeping a steady eye on us while pulling a small, black notebook from her pocket. It was small, with a tiny, golden emblem on the cover.

“We received a call ten minutes ago from a civilian stating shots were fired. Did either of you make that call?”

“No,” John and I said at the same time.

“I’m afraid we need you both to come down to the station with us for further questioning, regardless, at least until we receive more information about the attack.” She put away the notebook, and gestured for John and me to follow her to the back of the squad car.

The police woman, no older than twenty-six, opened the trunk, and pulled out two pairs of handcuffs.

“Just so we don’t have any problems,” she stated. John glared at me out of the corner of his eye with a look that clearly meant, once we were done here, he’d kill me.

***

Two hours later, I was seated in the interrogation room at the police station, while a couple of officers talked outside the iron door, stealing glances at me every few seconds. Like they didn’t know I could hear them talking about me.

 I sighed, fidgeting with the hair tie I never took off my wrist. I honestly swear that thing will still be on for my wedding day.

I looked up as the female officer John and I met earlier entered the room with a file in her right hand.

“So, Cambria Baker…that’s your name, correct?”

“That’s right.” I looked down, attempting, quite horribly, to hide my red face as I prepared for questioning.

“Well, Ms. Baker,” she began, sitting across from me, flipping through my file. “It looks like you’ve got a clear record on your hands, but I still need to ask you a few questions about the attack—if that is alright with you.” She glanced up at me as though expecting me to say otherwise.

“No, no. That’s fine. I understand.” I sighed once more, reading her nametag as she continued flipping through my file, leaving me to sit uncomfortably in my cold chair. Joy Parker. I know you. I’ve seen you on the news a couple of times.

“Okay, Cambria. For starters, can you tell me what you were doing at the restaurant?” Joy glanced up from my file with an inquisitive look.

“I-I came down to eat dinner, and when I was about to leave, someone stared firing shots.”

“Can you remember how many shots were fired?” I paused, struggling to think back to earlier that night.

“Two…I think?” I looked down at my hands, clearly failing to look innocent.

Joy took out the small notebook she used at the parking lot, and jotted some notes down.

“These shots that were fired…could you see who shot them, or what the person might have looked like?”

“No, I didn’t. I was too busy looking for the man who handed me that napkin.”

“Napkin? What napkin?” She glanced up from her notebook as I fumbled with my answer.

“This man—the man you brought in along with me—handed me a napkin before the shots fired. It had writing on it. All it said was Run.”

“Mhm..” The officer continued her notes, apparently unaware of the amount of fidgeting going on under the table.

“I know I asked you this earlier, but did you or did you not attack this man with your…” she glanced down at my file, “umbrella?”

“Yes, I did, but only because he startled me. I accidentally hit him with my car as I was pulling out of the parking lot.” Joy nodded once more, scribbling my statement down.

“Okay, thank you.” The officer closed my file, placing it into her bag for further review.

“Alright, Ms. Cambria. We’re going to ask your friend in there a couple of questions, and then we’ll be right back with you.” The officer smiled, got up, and walked out of the room.

I’ll be here.

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As it turns out, I didn’t remain in the interrogation room long after my chat with the officer.

I was slowly beginning to drift off in the cold, metal chair, a slight amount of drool exiting my mouth, when I heard shuffling from outside the interrogation room door. When I glanced up, I could no longer see, or hear, the two guards positioned outside the room.

I glanced at the two-way mirror, wondering if there was anybody back there watching me, but I had the feeling there wasn’t. How I knew, I had no idea. But I couldn’t feel eyes on me like I could earlier, when I was answering Joy’s questions.

In fact, I could barely feel anything. I couldn’t feel the buzz of the security cameras positioned in the corners of the walls, nor could I feel the cool rush of air that nipped my feet from the vent, as I could earlier.

To any other person, it would have seemed as though the electricity were malfunctioning, or that the vents weren’t working. But I could feel a shift in the atmosphere, and I didn’t like it.

I stood from my chair, grimacing from the sound of the metal’s movement against the floor. There was a chill in the air, one I knew wasn’t a result of the vents. It felt unnatural on my skin, sending a rush of blood that produced goosebumps on my arms.

The lights began flickering, ever so slowly, then all at once. Something wasn’t right. I could feel it.

I slowly made my way to the interrogation room door, hoping to find the two guards re-positioned as they were before. I found them there, alright, but not in the way I was hoping.

There, lying helplessly on the ground, sopped in what looked like a puddle of blood, were the two guards, stab wounds dotting their chests. Their eyes, opened slightly with a close resemblance to mine at that moment, were frozen with the shock of their predicament.

I forced my hand in my mouth to keep from screaming, tasting the tears streaming down my cheeks as I watched the puddle grow larger with blood by the second. The tears mixed with blood on my tongue as I bit down on my gums to keep any noise from escaping my mouth. I watched too many crime shows to know that a scream would be one heck of a stupid idea in that moment.

Obviously, whoever had stabbed those poor guards was unaware of my presence inside the room. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be breathing to tell you this story.

I wanted to run, to get the farthest away from the place as I could, but I knew the murderer could still be out there, waiting for any sign of life. I moved away from the window to the corner of the room farthest away from an outside view, and hugged my legs to my chest as I sank down to the floor, bursting out crying.

I could just tell you that I wasn’t scared, or that I had faith, but in that moment, I was worried that I might just lose my life. There are those moments in the movies, or in the TV shows, when the protagonist gets herself in a sticky situation with a killer, and you think that it’s just play, or that it’s all pretend. But when you suddenly find yourself nearly face-to-face with reality, the idea that the movies don’t know what they’re talking about almost hits you like a train.

I don’t know how long I remained in that position, silently choking on sobs, but I remember watching the door jam open, revealing John in a blood-soaked tee, eyes frantically searching the room. I didn’t know what to think in that moment. All I could see was a bloody man, with bloody hands, reaching for me. But as I was slowly embracing the same fate that came for the guards, I could feel hands on my shoulders, lifting me off the ground.

John’s eyes were suddenly in front of mine as he helped me and my wobbling knees up.

“Cam, we need to get out–now.” I didn’t know how he knew my name, unless the officer had told him during his interrogation. If she even got to it. 

Everything was moving too fast at once, leaving me with a burning headache, and trembling hands that couldn’t stop fumbling.

The last thing I remember before blacking out was bursting through a set of double doors to the main lobby of the police station, and seeing a figure leaning over a couple of dead officers sprawled out on the floor. I couldn’t make out their face, but the vibrant green eyes would haunt me in my nightmares for days to come.

Everything went dark as I felt the cool, night air hit my face.

Self-Love vs. Self-Worship: Is There a Difference?

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Hello dears! It’s been a hot minute since I actually sat down at my desk to write something, so I’m going to try my best to put this post up soon. Yes, I may be putting off loads of homework and stuff, but I call myself a professional procrastinator for a reason…Anyways, I hope you all are doing well, so let’s get into the post, shall we? 😉

So, today I wanted to talk about a topic that’s tossed back and forth in conversations a lot, and yet, very little (does that make sense? probably not, but you know what I mean): self-love, versus self-worship. In these conversations, the main questions that comes up are these:

Is there a difference between the two?

Is loving myself selfish?

I could just as easily say no, or yes, to this, but I think the cause of us asking these questions is that they’re not that simple to answer. On one hand, you have self-love. By definition, it is “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness,”  usually viewed from a non-narcissistic viewpoint. But on the other hand, you have self-worship. This is the kind of self-love that results in the “I am better than you” or “I am entitled” way of thinking.

In better definition: Self-love is taking care of yourself, and your well-being. Some people find that self-love is better-known as self-care, mainly because that’s what this term means. You may find that self-love is taking a relaxing bath to ease stress, or pampering yourself with a massage on a free weekend off from work.

In better definition: Self-worship is the kind of love that goes towards yourself, and only yourself. This way of thinking manipulates you into thinking you’re entitled to something everyone else isn’t, and that you’re better-looking, smarter, or overall higher than another person.

So, yes, there is a difference between self-love and self-worship. HOWEVER, self-love can, and will, turn into self-worship when you start to develop the mindset that your needs come before the needs of others. That is what determines if these questions can be answered simply.

When you begin to place your personal needs above others’, even if it’s just to take a relaxing bath when you are supposed to be helping your mom move furniture, that toxic mindset will begin to change your idea of self-love into self-worship that doesn’t need to be there.

There is a strong line between having patience, kindness, and forgiveness upon yourself and placing superiority on your head to wear around as a crown.

In conclusion, the difference between self-love and self-worship is how you view it. If you choose to place yourself on an altar before others, that’s self-worship. But simply caring for your body, and not being too hard on yourself, is what self-love should look like.

The idea is to not let yourself get swept into the mindset that you are better than others around you.

Have a blessed week, dears, and remember to take care of yourself today. Keep loving, and keep being kind.

I love you dearly,

Sarah Beth

10 Positive Things To Do Today

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Hello dears, and happy Thursday. 🙂

Today I wanted to share a few ways in which you can make some positive changes in your lifestyle, to perhaps boost mental health and productivity at the same time. If you struggle with finding motivation, energy, or if you struggle with anxiety and stress, making a few positive changes here and there can actually help more than you may realize.

I don’t want to keep this intro too lengthy, so let’s get into this *long* post, shall we?

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1. Unfriend, unfollow, or block the people that have a negative influence on your life.

{Okay, maybe this doesn’t look too positive at first, but hear me out.}

For me, it’s always hard unfriending people. I worry about their feelings, and how they will react when I do this. But I also know that it’s hard seeing people post about their “perfect” lives, and their accomplishments that seem to override your social media feed with so much jealousy and comparison. It gets overbearing at some point, and the only way to really keep that comparison from rising is to unfollow that person. It’s okay to cut out the negative influences in your life—if it’s damaging to both your mental health, or even your faith. The same goes for friendships and relationships in real life. If you have friends and acquaintances who constantly tear you down, instead of building you up, it’s okay to stop hanging out, or being close.* I know it might sound rude. I know it might sound mean. But this is your health, and your well-being. If something has that negative of an influence on you, it’s honestly for the best.

*Although it’s wise to keep the negative influences out of your life, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be the positive influence in theirs, either. You can still be kind, and loving, to someone who isn’t to you. When and if it’s necessary to talk to them, always be the gracious one, even if the other isn’t.

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2. Disconnect for a while. 

Social media is a big part of our lives. We get to communicate with our friends in an instant, and share important moments of our lives with others. But sometimes social media has a negative impact on us. We get so caught up in wasting our time seeing other people live “perfect” lives, that, in reality, we forget to live our own. That’s why it’s important to disconnect for a while, or for as long as you need to gather your thoughts, and to organize your life. Your friends, family, and followers don’t need to know right away–or even at all– what you had for lunch every day this week, or what awesome event you went to last weekend.

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3. Schedule some alone time to replenish.

The world keeps us going, and going, and going, until we no longer feel capable of taking a break. So schedule that “me time” you’ve been craving. Take a long, hot bath with a bath bomb, or bath salts. Spend some alone time with pets. Curl up with a good book. Take a nap (my personal favorite). It’s important to take breaks from time to time, even if you feel like your life is far too overloaded with tasks to accomplish, and people to impress. Never forget that rest is important, too.

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4. Stop saying “yes” to anything and everything.

I know it’s hard to say “no” when the time comes. I get that you feel like you’re letting someone down if you decline that party invitation, when you really don’t feel like socializing. Trust me–I’ve been there. But pretty soon you’re going to find yourself saying “yes” to things that have no positive influence on your life, like that new relationship you know deep down isn’t going to end well, or that friendship with someone you know is a bad influence. Take the time to learn how to say “no” to something you know is a bad idea. You’re not being rude. You’re being honest.

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5. Toss out the processed junk food, and start putting better food into your body.

I’m not going to lie: junk food, sugar, candy—they’re all weaknesses of mine. I will gladly eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting, but I realized a while back that putting all that junk into my body isn’t going to make me feel better about myself, or my problems. Our bodies—they all react differently to different foods. But if we don’t make that choice to start fueling ourselves with good, healthy meals instead, we’re only destroying our health to the point of sickness, or disease. Food will not make us feel satisfied, or happier, if we keep letting ourselves go to it for comfort. So start drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and limit yourself to one junk food per day. You deserve more than that garbage companies make us believe is healthy for us.

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6. Get a planner, write down everything that needs to be done, and get productive.

What is your dream, or goal in life? Is it to become a teacher? A writer? A lawyer? I don’t know what that may be, but there is a saying I like to quote whenever I feel myself getting unmotivated–

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

If you have a dream, and if you want that dream to come true, it’s not just going to walk up to your door and present itself for you to take. If you want it, you need to go get it. You need to pick yourself up off the floor of your bedroom, stressing over everything that needs to be done, and you need to tell yourself that you can do anything if you want it that badly. Only you have the ability to reach that goal; others can’t and won’t do it for you.

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7. Work on your attitude. Yes, I sound like a grandma. But do it.

I’m not trying to tell you that you should be happier, because we all know that takes time. What I’m trying to tell you is that you should take a step back, and analyze how your attitude has been these last few months. Have you been kind to others, or have you been quick to become angry at the smallest of things? Have you been giving, loving, and reaching out to those who are struggling, or do you remain in your comfort zone? Have you been handling situations with a positive outlook, or have you been stressing about everything? Whatever it may be, it’s always important to detox your attitude towards the situations life hands us. So be kind. Be loving. Step outside of your comfort zone once in a while. There is a whole world out there that needs every ounce of you that you’ve got.

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8. Work on building your faith.

Maybe you’re reading this in the middle of a rut. Maybe you’re stuck in a crossroads wondering which direction to turn. Or maybe you’ve fallen into something that seems impossible to escape. I don’t even know what your faith is. How could I? I’m just a girl behind a computer screen, trying to write a motivational blog post. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from going through these ruts, it’s that God’s going to help you get back up from that hole—if you let Him. But you also need to work towards it, too. You need to say to yourself “I can do this because God did this.” He took on the cross, the pain, and the brokenness. He took on everything that we’re going through—that we’re feeling. I don’t think we have the nerve to say to ourselves “I can’t do this” if He got through death. So work on building that faith. Work on building that relationship with Him. He’s got this, and so do you.

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9. Take a moment to appreciate all the blessings you’ve been given.

You may be thinking “I don’t have the newest phone, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a—” STOP. Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and start being grateful for the things you do have. You have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food to keep you healthy. You have blessings that some people would trade the newest iPhone, or a Gucci bag, for in a heartbeat. Don’t start taking that for granted.

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10. Be the reason someone wakes up tomorrow.

Everyone is fighting their own battles. That girl at school who has the nicest smile? She could be secretly fighting depression, or anxiety. That guy on the math team who’s bullied? He could be secretly planning to take his own life, and no one would know it. It’s horrible to think about—I know. But y’all, it’s reality. Our world is messed up, and unless we make a change, people are going to continue feeling like this–living like this until the point of no return. So be the reason someone wakes up tomorrow. Be the reason someone decides to keep living, to keep breathing. You have the opportunity to change someone’s life just by the way you treat them.

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This is your life. This is your health. This is your lifestyle. You have the chance to make a difference, whether it be made in your own life, or someone else’s. Please don’t pass up that opportunity to make a change.

You are loved, you are seen. Have a blessed week.

 

Let's Chat (1)

School Dress Codes and The Modesty Debate

Ice Cream Party (2).pngEarlier today I found a news article on the topic of school dress codes, and the idea of “how far is too far” when determining an outfit appropriate for class. The subject of the article, a teen girl, got in trouble for wearing ripped jeans to class. The school argued against the jeans by saying that rips above the knee were not allowed, and that, if the teen were to cut the rest of the jeans off, the remaining “shorts” would be fine.

Because of the article’s gaining popularity, I thought it would be appropriate to address the controversy surrounding school dress codes, and how they apply to women and young girls in schools.

For starters, I think it’s important to address that school dress codes do have reason, and meaning, behind them. The origin behind the dress code is solely for the purpose of keeping students from becoming distracted from learning, and, in often cases, it is beneficial for both students and education.

However, I think that, in today’s times, there is a fine line between eliminating distraction among students, and shaming females for wearing an item of clothing the males are allowed to wear.

For example, a clothing item commonly discouraged by the dress code is the tank top. Young women in schools are prohibited from wearing any article of clothing that shows a certain amount of shoulder, as it can be a cause of lust for the boys in classes.

However, the problem with this is not that the women are prohibited from wearing such things. The true problem is that the boys are able to wear an item of clothing prohibited for the girls, and they are able to get away with it. 

It is often seen that boys are allowed to wear tank tops, and in return, the girls are shamed for wearing that item of clothing.

Do you see the problem?

In our education system, the focus is directed more towards the females, and their “responsibility” to keep the boys pure in thought. However, if we took a closer look, we would see the school system doing absolutely nothing about teaching boys about their responsibility to not let a clothing item on a girl’s back distract him from his schoolwork. 

These are teens we are addressing here. Being a teenager ensures raging hormones, but the problem is that we are blaming such ideas on the young girls, rather than offering education on how to respect women and their bodies.

Am I saying that modesty is a bad concept? Not at all. In fact, I think it is respectful, and I believe it shows that your heart, and your personality, should be what others see when they look at you.

But what I am saying is that there is a difference between placing a dress code in schools to encourage modesty, and allowing the shaming of young girls while boys are excused.

I would also like to mention that allowing young men to wear tight shirts and shorts in class can also become a source of lust for girls, too. But are schools teaching men that? Is society teaching that modesty is not only for females, but for males, as well?

As an education system, our job should be to teach young girls and boys the importance of respect, and value, of the opposite gender. Shaming girls for wearing articles of clothing that supposedly “makes them objects” for the boys to view is not right, and I don’t believe it should be condoned in our schools.

As for the young teen’s ripped jeans, it is also important to consider that there is such a thing as taking judgement of an article of clothing “too far.” If the student had been wearing a top that, say, revealed a female’s entire chest, the faculty’s motive for suggesting a clothing change would be understandable. However, ripped jeans that show the knee are likely not going to cause a young boy to “lust” after her. If anything, shorts would be more of a “lust-attracting” article of clothing, and yet, schools allow girls to wear them.

Modesty is such a debatable topic in society, so it is difficult to come to terms with what is the right option, and what isn’t. But there is a problem in our schools, and our communities, with the treatment of the dress code. And until the terms change, our students are nowhere close to learning the importance of respect for the other gender.

Let's Chat

What is your opinion of this subject? Do you believe that dress codes are placed for our protection, or do you believe that they are unjust? Feel free to share your thoughts! 

Have a blessed week!

-Sarah Beth