You know you can do better

She crumpled the paper without a care. “I don’t like it,” she said. Just like she crumpled the first paper, she crumpled the next.

You are right if you guessed that those crumpled papers ended up in the trash.

My friend crumpled her drawings every time she didn’t like them, in our high school art class. Her drawings were waaay better than mine. Even the art teacher reminded me of the fact when he said, “How do you feel sitting next to the most talented student in the class?”

She crumpled her drawings and threw them out because she knew that they didn’t compare to the best pieces of art she’d created in the past. Which I get because when it comes to talents and skills, you experience doubt or frustration from time to time when you know you can do better.

Like my high school friend, I also had the artistic talent growing up. I painted portraits and sunsets, and I drew intricate mandalas. But unlike her, I didn’t continue putting the time or practice into my painting and drawing skills.

What skills and talents have you stopped practicing?

Just the other week, I dedicated some time to painting something really simple. I painted bright pink flowers and leaves. It felt nice to paint in solitude and to get the watercolor paints out from the plastic storage bin. I thought, I should do this more often.

What skills and talents are you an expert on? How do you further develop your skills and talents?

Your amiga,

Andrea

You can spend your time worrying about a problem or

I wanted to answer the phone call. However, I was scanning groceries at the self checkout. Me: Do I answer, finish checking out, or multitask? 🤔

I decided to finish checking out, and then return the call. Turns out it was a very important call, and as much as I was grateful for it, I was also left in awe at the opportunity God had granted me. The call was about a job offer at my previous place of employment.

You see, I’d chosen to have faith that God would bring job opportunities my way. I’d never experienced this much faith before in regards to finding employment. As opposed to last year when I spent some time worrying about whether or not I’d find a job.

When I got the job offer, I thought about how growing in faith helps one trust in God’s plan and timing. I’ve been growing in faith the past year for multiple reasons. And as a result, I’ve been learning how to apply God’s word in my life.

To help me further understand how God wants me to put my faith into practice, I’ve been reading a book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I learned that God uses one’s circumstances to transform one’s character and that I have power to choose my reactions to everything going on in my life.

For example, when I head into my impatient mode, I remind myself of the things I am grateful for, and I thank God for them in that present moment. I’m also reminded of how I can turn my self-centered attitude into a considerate one, such as by putting more interest on what’s most important to other people.

I’ve learned about the importance of meditating on God’s word. According to Rick, if one can spend their time worrying about a problem, one can learn to focus on God’s word throughout the day. The difference is what we choose to focus on. To put this into practice, I wrote down a bible verse that I wanted to meditate on. I reflected on that verse throughout the day for a week.

This practice isn’t perfect (to my dismay, I realized how easy it is for me to not follow through with God’s teaching…and do the entirely opposite). But it did challenge me to keep God’s word in mind throughout the day and to find ways to apply it. Challenging myself to bring my thoughts and focus back to God throughout the day is something that’s new to me.

With practice and dedication, I hope that it’ll help me continue choosing faith over worry. What has helped you the most in strengthening your faith? How has God used your circumstances to transform your character? How have you been practicing the word of God lately?

Do you remember what you wished for—

when you saw the shooting star or after you blew out your birthday cake candles? 

Do you remember what you wished for after you tore the dandelion from the ground or when you tossed a coin into the fountain?

I’m asking you this because I saw a candle that said A Thousand Wishes at Bath & Body Works.

Even though I didn’t buy the candle because it wasn’t my taste, it made me wonder about the meaning behind A Thousand Wishes. (What was the person thinking of when they came up with this brilliant name for the candle?)

What comes to your mind when you think of A Thousand Wishes?

Here’s what I’m wondering: When you light up this candle, will it transport you to a fountain where you’ll have a thousand coins to throw to make a thousand wishes? Or are there a thousand dandelions or shooting stars inside this candle?

Do you remember all those times that you made wishes on all those different occasions? Those times when you wished for something more. Wished for something different. Or, perhaps, wished for something better. 

Do you remember what you wished for—when you saw the shooting star or after you blew out your birthday cake candles? Do you remember what you wished for after you tore the dandelion from the ground or when you tossed a coin into the fountain?

Did your wish come true? Was it everything you hoped for?

Your amiga,

Andrea

p.s. — Here’s a picture of the candle.