Hello! I'm Amanda. I'm a Christ-follower, and my favorite things to do are read, write, sing, swim, and play with my cats. :) I appreciate you taking time to read my thoughts! In case you were wondering about the title of this blog, I simply chose it because love is always the answer. Anything can be fixed with love, and nothing is anything without it. :) Whether you are a Christian or not, I hope that my posts encourage you, as well as help you gain different perspectives. Have a spectacular day, and don't forget how loved you are. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Your Decision

From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we fall asleep at night, we have choices to make. We face hundreds of choices throughout our day, even if they're automatic ones, like getting out of bed. But I think the most important ones we make are how we treat people. Things like how we spend money, how we fix our hair, what we eat, and what we wear have some significance--obviously you wouldn't walk outside wearing a black trash bag and eat dirt for breakfast--however those things don't last very long or have much value. Money and possessions will all go away at some point. Your hair style will be totally messed up before the day is even over. Next week, you won't be able to recall what you ate this week. Tomorrow, no one will remember what shoes you were wearing today. 

But grudges don't go away nearly as easily as money and possessions. Difficulty in friendship doesn't disappear as smoothly as tangles in your hair do. You may not remember what you ate or wore the other day, but that person will certainly remember the insulting comment someone made about them. People remember how we treat them, they care about how we treat them--so we should care too. No matter what someone has done to you, or what you think you may know about them, they deserve your respect simply because of the fact that they are human. It's hard to ignore things that happened in the past, or what might happen in the future, but ask yourself, is it worth hurting someone simply for satisfaction that lasts for minutes? No matter how good you think it will feel to give someone a piece of your mind, or to get revenge, it will not turn out how you imagine. Guilt will gnaw at you, and you will feel regret at some point. 

I know from experience that at the heat of the moment, it's much easier just to make that rude comment, or yell at someone, or get upset, or make that frustrated gesture, or be impatient. It's hard to exhibit self control. It's hard to stop and think about the results. It's hard to push away your negative feelings about someone. It's hard to get over your embarrassment and apologize after you know you've said something wrong. But we need to do it anyway, because it's the right thing. Society is falling apart because we've forgotten how to conquer our impatience, anger, and spite--we've forgotten how to right the wrong. Or maybe we remember and purposefully don't do it, because we don't even care anymore. Either way, it needs to change. You can choose to make a person's day or ruin it, simply by what you say about them or do to them. You never know what someone is going through at that time, so you can't judge how you act towards them based on what they do. It's so much harder to take the kind, patient, loving route every time, but it's so much more rewarding. Isn't it kind of amazing knowing that you could make a person's day, boost their confidence, or even change their life, just by treating them with a little love? 

If you have trouble choosing the right action, try seeing it through the other person's eyes. Think to yourself: What could they be going through today? How would I be acting right now if I were in the same situation? How would I feel if someone insulted me when I was already having a bad day? How would I feel if someone regarded me with complete disrespect? How would I feel if someone called me [insert adjective]? The answers you come up with may change your mind. You might think at first, "But no, really, they..." "You have no idea how awful they are..." "Trust me, I know them better than you think". No--trust me. No one knows every little detail of a person's life. It's just not possible. So treat them just like you would treat your best friends. It's tough to accept, I know--but it will be worth it. 

When you finish reading this, please take a couple minutes to simply think. What has happened in the past that requires an apology or forgiveness? What should you choose to do in the present? What will you do in the future? I challenge you to remember that what you say, what you do, how you treat people, how you influence them, what impact you make on the world--it's your decision. 

"Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." ~Philippians 2:4~

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies , do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them...Do to others as you would have them do to you." ~Luke 6:27-29, 31~

--Love, Amanda

Saturday, June 21, 2014

No Big Deal

More often than not, people focus on the negative. It doesn't make life better, but in all the craziness that gets thrown at us, it's just so easy to do. We overreact and under-appreciate. There's always something wrong with life. Nothing seems to be going right. Nothing is in your favor right now. Why can't you have one peaceful day. Why did the world decide to pick on you today? This is just awful.

You know something though? It's most likely not nearly as big a deal as you think it is. Out of habit, we've trained ourselves to never look at the bigger picture. We convince ourselves in every day situations that this is the worst possible thing that can happen to us--when it's actually not. When you stop, take a deep breath, and really think about it, you'll start to realize how silly the things you get frustrated at are. Occasionally, I'll manage to be sensible for a few minutes, and I realize how ridiculous I can be sometimes. Is it honestly as terrible as I always make it out to be? Is my life that awful when they get my order wrong at a restaurant? When I have to stand in a line for 10 minutes? When I'm 5 minutes later than I wanted to be, and I don't get to chat with my friends as long? When we aren't having what I want for dinner? When I have a heavy work load? When I lose something and can't find it? It all seems horrid, like the world hates me, until I realize that there are lots of people in a much worse shape than me right now. So how about I just take a deep breath and be grateful for a few things? Grateful that I have the opportunity to buy food at a restaurant. That I have legs to stand in line with. That I have friends to talk to. That I have a dinner to eat at all. That I have the opportunity to get a good education. That I have possessions to lose. There are tons and tons of people who can't afford to eat out, who can't walk, who don't have any friends, who don't have a dinner tonight or even all week, who aren't able to go to school, who don't own anything at all. So why am I complaining of all things?

You always have something to be thankful for. Life is something to be thankful for. You get to explore, learn, have adventure, have fun! It's about how you choose to see it. It is incredibly easy to get caught up in life, and to forget how blessed you are. But next time you are about to get super upset and ruin your day because of it, try to stop for a minute, and remind yourself that it really is no big deal. 

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~1 Thessalonians 5:18~

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." ~James 1:17~

--Love, Amanda