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Monday, December 30, 2013

2014!

So, 2013 is almost over! How crazy is that? I'm actually pretty excited for 2014. With it, comes a lot of milestones for me. And I'm very excited. Okay, so aside from the exciting things coming up, I also am setting a few goals for myself.
1. I want to gain more self confidence. This is a major one for me. I've been working on my confidence lately so this is a huge goal for me for the next year. I also want to stop comparing myself to others and start seeing my beauty. After all, isn't my blog called "simply beautiful"?
2. I want to go out of my comfort zone. Now, when I say this you're probably thinking, "woah! she wants to go like skydiving or something cool!" that's not necessarily what I mean. I want to do something that I would normally maybe be too shy or scared to do. Maybe that means helping someone or going somewhere new. I'm really not totally sure yet what I will do. I believe God wants us to be uncomfortable sometimes. I think that's a big part of being a Christ follower. We must go out of our comfort zone to accomplish big things. 
3. I want to develop a broader perspective of life. Now, this one doesn't really have to happen in 2014. I think this one is just a main goal for me in life. Sometimes I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I really don't want that. I want to fully engage myself in things. I want to engage myself in conversations and friendships unlike I ever truly have. 
4. I want to change someone else's perspective of life. I want to help someone be closer to God and find the true joy that comes when we accept God.
5. Lastly, I just want to find true happiness. I want to have more happy moments. I want to smile more and focus less on the dark moments. This is something I greatly struggle with. Sometimes I'm far too focused on the bad times that I forget that there are so many amazing times coming.
I believe this next year will bring me lots of happiness. Although, there will still be dark times I am ready and excited for what's to come. 
This is what I really want to strive to become. This kind of girl. So, I promise to update you on how well these goals are going. And I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

I've seen quite a few of these posts lately and felt compelled to do one myself:

1. First off, I have to say I LOVE scarves. I pretty much wear one everyday during the fall/winter. It's an obsession.

2. Go ahead and call me cheesy for this one but I love sunrises/sunsets. I know, so cliche but I just can't help it. This morning when I woke up I noticed that the sky looked pink so I ran outside in my Pjs to take a picture. Go ahead and laugh, I understand.


3. Books! I LOVE to read. If I really like a book I'm reading, I will spend hours at a time lost in my book. Some of my all times favorites would have to be To Kill a Mockingbird and Love Does. Two completely different books, I know Haha!


4. Candles! I currently have been lighting an eggnog candle all the time and it really puts me in the Christmas spirit. I love almost every kind of candle. 


5. Lastly, I had a hard time choosing one thing to put for this because my list could go on forever. So, on a more serious note, I love my time that I have of just listening to worship music and spending time with God. It's so renewing and uplifting. Hillsong United Zion... It doesn't get any better than that. 

So, if anyone would like to comment I have to ask: what is one of your all time favorite things?





Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving!

Today has been wonderful. I love thanksgiving for many reasons. I love spending time with family I never see. I love all the food (doesn't everyone). And I love all of the happiness it brings. A couple of quotes I recently found popped into my mind today and I thought I should share them with you. 
Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian authors. And ever since I read this quote from him the other day, it has stuck in my mind. I waste a lot of time not doing these things. And it really hit me after reading this that I need to start now. First off, you should know I have a problem sometimes with simply letting go of things. Sometimes you have to realize that maybe something didn't work out, maybe you are disappointed in yourself, maybe someone disappointed you, but you need to just let it go. I need to remind myself more not to waste time dwelling on things when they don't go according to plan. I mean, after all, you never know what God is trying to do in your life. Something might not go how you planned it, but what about God's plan? We may not see it until years from now but God has a plan for you in everything you encounter. When I look back on things that have happened in my life, I realize what God was trying to do. And I'm thankful today that because of His goodness, I can be happy in the moment and not have to worry about what's going to happen next. God has things under control. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Late Night Thoughts

My mind has been a jumbled mess lately. I have had so many things on my mind that it has been driving me crazy! I realize this isn't good at all. One of the biggest things that has been on my mind lately is that I recently discovered that I have a huge lack of confidence! I'm sure many of you know what this feels like. Some days I feel great and I am just in a positive mood and other days I just feel kind of...down I guess. I have struggled with acne since I was in 5th or 6th grade and it has definitely taken a huge toll on my confidence levels. As bad as it sounds I sometimes avoid looking in the mirror in certain lighting because I know that its just going to make me feel bad about my skin. As silly as this sounds, I realized recently that I let my skin get in the way of living my life the way I want to. So, tonight I was just thinking about this and I was like "Leah, really? Are you listening to yourself?" I mean, I let something as small as a breakout ruin my positive mood! And I reminded myself that my blog is called "Simply Beautiful" so, shouldn't I feel beautiful? God doesn't want me to see myself in a negative light. As cliche as it may sound, God tells every one of us that we are beautiful. So, my challenge to myself and anyone reading this is to remind yourself that you are beautiful. God sees you beyond your flaws. And as it turns out, the major "flaws" we find in ourselves end up being small flaws that really mean nothing. And you never know who might find your flaws beautiful. We all have something we don't like about ourselves. But the truth is that God wants us to be confident and know that we are beautiful. I found this verse today and it fits perfectly into this post and it really stuck with me:
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."
- Song of Solomon 4:7 
So, next time you are looking in the mirror at yourself picking out all of your flaws, remember this verse.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thankful

I have yet to participate in the thankfulness posts so I decided that I would today. As I am sitting here relaxing all morning, I felt it was most appropriate to talk about thankfulness today.

I was re-reading some things from Love Does by Bob Goff, and I know what you're thinking, I have talked about this book already (probably too much). But, I was reading this passage about being a sincere friend and I have to say, I have some of the best friends in the world. But, there's a couple of things Bob says about being a friend: "You know what it is about someone that makes them a friend? A friend doesn't just say things; a friend does." and "If you are a sincere friend, folks around you will quickly understand that there's no hidden agenda and nothing on the other side of the equals sign, just you." I'm so thankful to be able to say that I have these kinds of friends. My friends are always there to listen to me vent and put up with my "giggle attacks" that happen quite often (sorry). Its just really awesome to be blessed with friends like mine in this world today where its extremely hard to find true friends. 

I am so thankful to get to wake up to this incredible view almost everyday lately:


I think this kind of view is a reminder each morning to be thankful. I mean, how could I possibly not be thankful when I get to see this almost everyday?


These verses have been sticking in my mind lately. So thankful!




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Happy Happy

My mind is all over the place today...isn't it always?! haha
The past few weeks, well the past month really has been crazy busy! First of all, I was in a wedding on the 19th of one of my best friends! Hailey is like a sister to me and I was so happy to be a part of her big day.


She looked SO gorgeous!! (Totally stole this from Brianna) 


One of my best friends Brianna!
'
Brenden, isn't he handsome? :)

On a different note, I came across these verses today and they instantly put a smile on my face:

"The wise counsel God gives when I'm awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I'll stick with God; I've got a good thing and I'm not letting go. I'm happy from the inside out, and from the outside in I'm firmly formed." 
-Psalm 16:7-10

I saved these verses on my phone as a reminder to be joyful. Tonight, I am so thankful to have a reason to be happy. And I'm so thankful to go to sleep knowing that God is going to give me more reasons to be happy tomorrow. Even on my bad days when I tend to overlook the good things, God is still good and that is a perfect reason to be happy everyday.






Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Things I love about fall!

Today's post is not like my usual posts. I want to talk about how much I love fall! The thought sprouted as I was driving and had bright yellow and orange leaves falling on my car. So here you go:

1. The leaves changing color!  This is such a typical thing to say but it really is so beautiful! Especially driving along seeing all the different colors of the trees. Oh, so perfect!
2. Dressing in layers!! Isn't this everyone's favorite? I love when fall colors come out and I get to wear comfy sweaters, boots and boot socks... My absolute favorite kind of clothes. Oh, and I can't forget my favorite clothing item ever... Scarves!



3. Pumpkin spice lattes! And salted caramel hot chocolate from starbucks! I have probably had far too many starbucks drinks in the past month. Gotta love those pumpkin spice lattes.

4. Watching football! I recently found out how much I enjoy watching Ohio State and the Bengals play. Even though I have yet to go to watch a game I love watching it on T.V. 

5. Carving pumpkins and doing fall activities! I love when the whether gets colder and I can carve pumpkins with friends and sit inside and cuddle up with a blanket and watch scary movies. Fall is such a happy time of the year!
P.S. I just finished another Max Lucado book that I read in 5 days! It's called "Fearless." I'll tell you more about it in my next post!
- Lots of love, 
Leah



Monday, September 30, 2013

Be Positive or Be Quiet

So, update! I finished 31 days with Jesus yesterday! What an amazing journey that was. Truth be told, I've needed lots of encouragement lately. My classes this year are really difficult and I have been overwhelmed with all the work its taking. I'm trying my very best to stay positive. Today was a pretty rough day and I was taking it kind of hard. But, as soon as I got home I watched Joel Osteen's sermon called "Be Positive or Be Quiet" and let me tell you, that's probably his best sermon ever. He said exactly what I've been needing to hear. It was like God brought me to that video because I needed to hear it. Anyways, Joel said a few extremely eye opening and inspiring things. Joel said "negative words can keep you from your God given destiny." Wow. That message is definitely eye opening to me. I feel like I am always talking myself down and being negative and I never realized how much I could be missing out on all because of my negative words. Joel also said that we talk ourselves out of things that God has planned for us because we believe we aren't good enough, or that it will never happen. All because of our negative words. I mean, God has SO much in store for us. Why should we talk ourselves out of things we could be doing? This message hit me like no other. Definitely one of the best sermons I've ever heard. After I heard this sermon, I sat there and thought to myself that I am missing out on so many great things because I'm always talking myself down and telling myself that will never happen or that I'm simply not good enough.
On another note, (awkward transition), I have been feeling very very blessed lately with amazing friends. Just in the past year, God has placed so many amazing people in my life. I have been struggling with some things lately and my friends have been there for me so much. Over the summer, I began dating one of my best friends who has blessed me in so many ways. He also listens to me all the time even when I'm not in a great mood he still puts up with me (how sweet). And one of my very best friend's Brianna, who became my best friend just over the past spring, is not only one of the sweetest people I've ever met, she also is a crazy pinterest lover like me. We probably repin each others stuff every single time we pin something. (Just a little obsessed).

I hope to start blogging more often, if you have any suggestions, let me know! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What's holding you back?

So, update! I just finished Traveling Light today!! Finally, I know. 
I was so sad to finish such a great book though. But, I feel that I should update you on what's going on with life right now. 
First off, I am doing a devotional called 31 Days With Jesus. I am currently on day 10 and it is definitely teaching me a lot. Not only am I reading a lot of scripture that I have never read thoroughly before, I am also learning about ways to improve myself and my relationship with God. I highly recommend trying a devotional like this one! It's definitely life changing. 
*Cue awkward transition*
Second of all, I just mentioned that I finally finished Traveling Light by Max Lucado!! Such a good book. It has opened my eyes to things that I have never really thought about before. 
Why are we carrying so much luggage in life? No, I'm not talking about the luggage you take on vacations with you (if you're anything like me...that's a lot!) I'm talking burdens that you are carrying that God never intended on you having. Max Lucado did such a great job describing these different burdens that we carry. We carry burdens of fear, guilt, disappointment, discontent, worry, hopelessness, etc. We carry all these burdens that they actually start to feel like actual luggage. Although it's hard to overcome this, we need to set this luggage down. God is telling us to release these burdens that we were never intended to bear. So what's holding you back?


This is exactly how I am feeling after reading Lucado's book. I am so amazed at what God is opening my eyes to and the doors He is opening in my life.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Traveling Light

Hello there! It's been awhile...of course!
Summertime really keeps everyone busy.
One of my very best friends, Brianna (Look at my last post), told me about this amazing book called Traveling Light by Max Lucado. Brianna is one of my best friends, you know I had to get it! So, the book is about releasing the burdens you were never intended to bear. It is based off of a very popular verse Psalm 23. In case you aren't familiar with it, Psalm 23 is a promise to us. I won't spoil the whole novel but basically, he talks about lightening our loads.



It says, "God is saying to you, "Set that stuff down! You're carrying burdens you don't need to bear." "Come to me," he invites, "all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 NLT).
This made me think, why am I relying so much on my own strength. God is telling us to not rely on our own strength, but trust in Him. He will free you from the burdens you carry. How amazing is that?
Okay, so I won't ruin the book for everyone. But, another post will be coming when I finish the book completely!

*Cue awkward subject transition* Is there a better way of doing so? haha!

On another note,
The past couple of weeks have been awesome!
Here's a quick recap:
I got to have a picnic at a beautiful park!

Went to the zoo with my awesome mom, brother and a couple of best friends! And coming up in the next week I get to help throw my best friend's bachelorette party! She's getting married in 2 months! I'm so excited for her.

More posts coming soon for the book I am reading and some exciting things coming up! 
With love, 
Leah.






Friday, July 26, 2013

It has been way too long!

I haven't posted on here in awhile! I really need to start posting more often...I will work on that!!
Today I had a spontaneous photography adventure with one of my best friends! We went to a local park and played around with our cameras and she taught me a bunch of new things about my camera! It was so much fun!

Here's a few of the pictures I took:





Oh and I just have to share the awesome picture my friend took! 


I have been so blessed with amazing friends! God has given me so much joy lately. I promise to start keeping up with my posts more often! 


Keep this in mind as a reminder everyday. God's love is greater than life itself. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Since its a rainy Monday...

Since its a rainy Monday I want to give some joy and sunshine to everyone's day.
I am currently listening to Hillsong United Zion on repeat. All day. I have been reading and catching up on some devotionals today and I figured I would share some inspiration on this gloomy day. First off, I am reading two books right now (crazy, I know). But, one of them I highly recommend it is called "A Story of God and All of Us" by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. It's based off of the TV ministries "The Bible" which is a great show by the way.
Anyways, I hope your Monday is not too terrible! I have been enjoying relaxing and getting some reading done inside today while its raining. But, I put down my books and started to listening to Hillsong Zion. Let me tell you, it's SO good. If you haven't listened to it...go do it right now!
I know this post has been a little random and I've jumped around quite a bit but here's my inspiration for you:

Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure remember to whom you belong. You belong to a loving and forgiving God. No matter what you are going through today, God is there knocking on your door asking you to open up and speak to Him. All you have to do is have faith. From personal experience, I find this very helpful and inspiring. 

My heart is filled with so much joy and peace on this rainy afternoon! I hope yours is too! 

"You are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you." 
- Isaiah 43:4


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Photography (Well kind of) And more!

So, this post is completely random and spontaneous!
As you probably know from reading my other posts, I really enjoy photography and I am trying work on it! So, I broke out my camera and took some (random) pictures! Here are a few of them:








I had so much fun just playing around with my camera! It's a work in progress. I have a lot to say but I won't write it all because we'd be here a long time! A lot of prayers I've had have been answered lately. God is so good! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Favorites!

Hey there! It's been a long time since I have posted anything but I am back now!
I am excited to start blogging again and I promise to post more often now. I have had a lot of exciting things happening lately. For one, I got to help with my best friend's engagement pictures!! It was so much fun! But, it really made me want to get the camera out and start practicing with it so that I can take more pictures myself.

I thought for the start of summer I would share some of my favorites!

1. Anything that smells good. Especially around this time of year I go on this lotion/perfume/candle craze! I know, such a girly thing to do. I can never just walk in bath and body works and look... It just doesn't happen.

2. Finding a really good book to read and not wanting it to end. I just love that feeling! When I read the book Love Does by Bob Goff, I tried to read it slow so that it would never end but sadly, I just couldn't put it down. P.S. If you haven't read that yet, go get it... Right now!

3. Music. I listen to a large variety of music depending on my mood. I love happy music though that I can just dance to.

4. Bargains! Oh this is a huge one! You will hardly ever see me buy something full price! I get EVERYTHING on sale. T.J.Maxx is the best store ever for that! Especially if I can buy shoes/purses on sale, I am one happy girl.

5. Taking pictures. Oh my, I take countless pictures of the sky in the morning/evening. It's kind of embarrassing! But, I never like to miss out on anything so I take lots of pictures to remember even small things.

Another extremely exciting thing that has happened recently is I got my bridesmaid's dress! Yes! I was soo happy about that. I am so blessed to be a part of the wedding!
I have had a lot of worries lately but I know that God has everything under control! My best friend made a really good point she said "I don't know why I always worry about things when God always works things together for my good and it always works out." How true is that? Just think about it!

So I always do this at the end of each of my posts, I have a reminder to myself and hopefully it inspires anyone who may read this!


Take time to just look around and simply enjoy life! Everyday is a gift from God and I sometimes take it for granted! I need to remind myself to stop and just acknowledge how much I really am blessed with!

P.S. I would really like some advice for my blog! If you have any advice you can email me at horsegirllrk@aol.com (I need a new email name) or you can comment on this post!

xoxo - Leah

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oh, Spring how I love you.

So, I have a lot to write about!
But, first I will begin with something that I forgot to tell you about in my last post!
The scariest thing happened to us while we were on our way to the Chris Tomlin and Kari Jobe concert! It wasn't really raining at home so we were unprepared for the storm that hit us on the way to the concert. I mean, we couldn't see anything! It was pouring. And of course, I got kind of scared because we were on the highway. And since my car desperately needs new tires, it doesn't do so well in the rain. Let me tell you, we hydroplaned about 3 times! Soo scary! So, I prayed that the storm would pass and we sould make it there safely. And then, shortly after, we saw this:


So awesome! It was like God just opened up the sky for us.

This week has been pretty interesting. It has definitely been a huge test for me. I have been struggling with some things lately. It's mostly silly stuff that I shouldn't even worry about though. But, mostly its my attitude. I haven't been very proud of my attitude lately and I am really trying to change it! No, scratch that. I AM going to change it. But, also lately a lot of great things have been happening! For example, spring is finally here! It was 82 degrees today! I loved it! And church softball started back up which means summer is right around the corner! And even though I have been really hard on myself lately, I am so excited for all of the great things God has planned for me! And even right now, I am learning to find happiness even when it seems like everything is just going wrong. I'll admit, its a work in progress...

Here's a few pictures from my week:

Took this at my church's softball game Monday:


Even though these trees are really stinky, they sure are pretty!


 The sunset was beautiful the other night!


Something I've learned lately: "How others see you is not important, how you see yourself means everything."

Hope everyone is having a great week!
XoXo - Leah

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Concert & More

Oh, it has been awhile.
I have so much to tell you all about! First, I'll begin by telling you about my obsession with Kari Jobe. She is my role model. So, you can understand my excitement to get to see her live with Chris Tomlin! Yes, I went to a Chris Tomlin and Kari Jobe concert on Thursday! It was AMAZING. And I am not exaggerating when I say that. They are both even better live! It was an amazing moment to be at that concert listening to my two favorite singers and there were SO many people there with different faiths and different stories. Oh, and may I add that Kari Jobe sang one of my all time favorite songs of hers!

Kari Jobe singing! Her voice is so beautiful! 


 Chris Tomlin also sounds way better live! 


 And at the end, this was on the big screen! So awesome! 


 Oh, and I bought Kari Jobe's hope bracelet to raise money for the A21 campaign to put an end to human trafficking. So glad to donate to the campaign! And, if you know me, you know I love bracelets and usually have on at least two!


Something I've learned lately: from the words of Kid President:
 "You can cry about it, or you can dance about it." 

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Adventures and Lessons

Hello everyone! 
I've been in Tennessee the past couple of days and was too tired to post the pictures from yesterday so today I am going to tell you about my trip. Oh, the many adventures we have been on this week. Where do I even begin? 

Yesterday, we went to the aquarium. I love animals so I loved going to the aquarium. Here are some of the pictures from the aquarium: 




And later that night we went to my favorite place to eat in Gatlinburg, the Apple Barn. Mmm... Oh, and I wore a really pretty maxi dress that I got for cheap at T.J. Maxx! 



Oh and here was my outfit of the day! I wore my new glitter sandals from target and a white flowy top from Kohl's:


Today we went up in the mountains. And when I say up, I mean WAY up in the mountains! It was soo cool! It got up to about 72 degrees outside today and I actually got to break out my new shorts! Score! 

We were REALLY high up!


I got to stand in two states at once! Which reminded me of  the movie A Walk To Remember so I loved it! We ended up walking over to this trail and I was standing at the bottom looking up thinking "wow, that's really steep." And I did my fair share of complaining about not wanting to walk up that steep trail, but we did it. Unfortunately, it was right around lunch time and when my blood sugar starts to get low (I'm hypoglycemic), I tend to get kind of grumpy. So, when we were walking up the trail, I really wasn't feeling too great. But, what's funny is that on our way up, we stopped to take a break and these people looked over at us and said "not too much further, you've got this!" Which, made me feel a little better on the way up. When we finally got all the way to the top, I was still very grumpy. And almost as soon as I got mad I overheard some guys standing at the top of the mountains going "wow, God is great!" "God is good!" Hmm... It's funny sometimes looking back I see small things that God does to tell me to change my attitude or to look at a situation differently. I mean, isn't life like that sometimes? You stand there looking at a situation and you think, there is no way I can do this. Or there is no way I can get through this. And then God tells you that you can. And even if you resist it, God sends you messages along the way saying "you CAN do this." Sometimes we just have to push ourselves to achieve things we never thought we could. 

"You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is a part of His divine plan."

 

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