How Do You Stay So Positive?


It was a question via Facebook messenger, completely out of the blue from a high school girl from our Youth Center. She simply asked,

“How do you stay so positive?”

I wanted to hug her.

It’s such a simple, little question packed with SO much.

I remember what it is like to be a teenage girl. It’s overwhelming. It’s difficult. It’s lonely. It’s confusing. I love that this young lady feels all the feels and wants to fight negativity. Fight lies. Fight cynicism. Fight apathy. And have positivity.

Here’s how I responded to her that night (it was late, and a little jumbled :)):

“I know it’s a little cliche-but honestly, it’s my faith. Faith and age 😊 I wasn’t always like this-when I was your age, I was on depression medication, Zoloft, and definitely had breakdowns and felt despair. I’ve even had those in the last couple of years (though the older I get, the less and less frequent that happens). My faith keeps me positive for 2 main reasons: one, I believe that absolutely everything that happens, God can use for good-to grow me into a better woman. He is doing a million different things in my life all at once, for me- for my good, and I only can see a few of them. I believe He is good and patient and kind-so that helps a lot. And secondly, I believe that no matter what happens in this life–it’ll pass. I know it will. And eventually this life will be over and the best life will begin! And that helps me maintain a positive perspective too.

It doesn’t come naturally always. A lot of times i have to “walk myself to truth” and journal out what I know to be true, and what lies I may be believing that are causing my heartache. It doesn’t just happen overnight; it is a journey. But I can say for fact, that choosing joy and fighting for positivity now, is sooooooooo much easier today. So wherever you’re at-keep fighting for joy. Figure out truth and preach it to yourself and have others speak truth to you too! God really is the great Comforter and believing in him-his power & goodness & control- is the only way I’ve found to really BE positive!”

My Life’s Mantra: Three Lists

I’m a list person. You’ll find them everywhere. I have a notebook by my bed-full of lists, sticky notes surrounding my desk-list city, and one of my most-used apps on my phone: Wunderlist-a list of lists! I list my groceries, my prayer requests, and even my friendships (my co-workers make fun of me-but I need to be organized!)-and find it to be helpful to visually categorize things in my life. With that being said, you’ll not be surprised that my life’s mantra equates to categorizing all things in my life into one of three lists.

Find the things that increase your affections for Christ, and with all your heart-pursue those things. 

Identify the things that neutralize your affections for Christ, and as much as possible-avoid/redeem those things. 

Know the things that decrease your affections for Christ, and for your soul’s sake-run from those things. 

These lists will be different for every person, and this is not an exhaustive list for me-but it’ll give you a good snapshot 🙂 Oh and as a side note, I do think that many things mentioned in List Two have the potential to be moved to List One-it just takes intentionality and a desire to worship God in all things! AND there are things naturally in List One, that if I get lazy or negative or look away from Christ, they will transition to List Two. :0

List One: Things that Increase my Affections for Christ

  • Quality time with God
    • Journaling
    • Reading His word
    • Reading about Him
    • Doodling quotes about Him
  • Talking about God
    • With unbelievers
    • With my sisters and brothers in Christ
    • With my mentor ❤
    • With the world wide web!
  • Enjoying the world He made (especially with friends!)
    • At the beach
    • On a run
    • In a kayak
    • On a trail
    • In the city
    • Some music 🙂
  • Blessing the senses He gave me!
    • Through coffee and icecream (not together though…)
    • Making and having dinner (with friends!)
    • Good music
    • Aesthetics
  • Enjoying the relationships He gave me
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Co-workers
    • Church family
  • Random Things
    • Learning in general (TED Talks=time of worship for me!)
    • Movies that spur good conversation

List Two: Things that Neutralize my Affections for Christ

  • Some Social Media
    • Complaining instead of peacefully praying (about what’s going on in the world)
    • Comparing instead of praising
  • Being lazy (not resting…actually being bum like)
  • Media intake without processing/reflecting
    • I NEED to talk about a movie after i watch it in order to “redeem” it from List 2, to List 1. This may just be me-but I want to dialogue about the lies portrayed as truths, and the evils portrayed as good. I want to welcome God into my TV/Movie viewing and do that best through conversation! I understand not everyone is like this and that is a-okay 🙂
  • Working haphazardly
    • If I work hard and with a focus on honoring God in my job-it’s totally in List One, but the days (and weeks) that I just go into work without remembering WHY I work, and WHO I ultimately work for-it’s List Two.

List Three: Things that Decrease my Affections for Christ:

  • Most TV Comedies
    • Humor that I find funny, that God does not
    • Wasting hours
    • Being convinced that I want what the world has
  • Some Social Media
    • endlessly scrolling through Pinterest humor, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • being too intrigued by the world’s gossip/interest (buzzfeed stories for me)
  • Pining for what I don’t have
    • Wishing/daydreaming/coveting breeds mistrust and discontentment

So that is what I came up with! This is something that helps me, and maybe it’ll help you too! Write out your three lists, and see what you can do to eliminate things from List Three! Also see if you can transfer things from List Two to List One with a little prayer and focus 🙂 Through Jesus Christ, God has given us the GREATEST GIFT in life-and that is HIMSELF. We can know, enjoy, and love Him! Let’s prepare for eternity and do it as much as possible!!! (Also, make sure you read these quotes below!)

We make a god out of whatever we find most joy in. So, find your joy in God and be done with all idolatry. - John Piper

Biblical Homemaking: on being an unfaithful bride {how trials reveal your true affections}

"Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God." - John Piper

What Do You Have to Complain About?

(I’m going to make this short :))

Are you a believer in Jesus Christ?

Do you believe that after this life is an eternity spent with our gracious, brilliant creator who DELIGHTS in us (Zephaniah 3:17)?

In thinking about eternity, Apostle Paul said that he doesn’t think that ANY sufferings he experienced are even worth comparing to the joys that are coming to him after his time on earth is through. And just as a reminder, that’s the Apostle Paul who was stoned and left for dead, beaten with rods, whipped with 39 lashes…5 times, attacked by mobs, shipwrecked, arrested, and had some sort of “thorn in his flesh”. Yeah, he says-it’s not even worth looking at the two to see if all the pain is worth it-it all totally is. Because this life is just a breath, and eternity is going to be perfectly perfect in every way.

So think about this the next time you want to complain-John Newton about the folly of complaining once said:

“Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate, and his [carriage] should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way; what a fool we should think him, if we saw him ringing his hands, and blubbering out all the remaining mile, “My [carriage] is broken! My [carriage] is broken!”

You have been given one measly mile to walk-say 80 years on this earth. And maybe the road is hard, but it is one mile. One mile. And after that mile, long though it may seem, you are inheriting the most incomprehensibly glorious inheritance from your Father and King.

For more, listen to:

the terpblog: {Memory Verse Mania}: CHARACTER! Philippians 2:14 printable

Sometimes Travel Can Be Frustrating…

Sometimes travel can be frustrating.  Wrong turns are taken, items needed are forgotten to pack, flights are delayed, and some airport employees exude misery.  To combat against allowing any of these things to “get me down” I decided to make a list of the top 10 positive parts of my traveling experience to Kentucky.

  1. I listened to an awesome sermon on Habakkuk 2 on my way to the airport! Very encouraging!
  2. My carry on and personal luggage were within the weight and size requirements
  3. I got in front of a HUGE school group in the security line and moved through quickly
  4. I ended up not having to take off my shoes or take out my laptop through security-went through the “speedy line”
  5. The lady beside me waiting to board offered to buy me a bottle of water when she bought her own (as long as I agreed to watch her bag…)
  6. I was able to write this blog!
  7. Then I SAT beside the woman who bought me water and we talked the ENTIRE flight about life lessons, spiritual beliefs, how to motivate others, and why yogurt makes her groin hurt…
  8. I got the whole can of cranberry juice instead of just the cup!
  9. During my layover I got chips and salsa from Chili’s-to-Go…a personal fave!
  10. When exiting the plane in Paducah, we walked outside (instead of getting hooked up at the gate, ya know?) and it was a beautiful night! (Plus for some reason I always feel like the President when I walk down steps off an airplane…maybe that’s just me!)

So there you have it, folks-my top ten! So even though I got five “Flight Delay Notifications” and forgot to pack toothpaste and accidentally tried to park in airport employee parking lot when looking for Long Term B parking lot…there are still so many other things to concentrate on and be thankful for. I want to be a person who is not easily flustered and who can find joy in the everyday! Every experience is a gift from God that he is TOTALLY SOVEREIGN OVER, so let’s find reasons to thank him for them. Try and make this a habit in your life to aid in your sanctification. Especially if you know you will be tempted be annoyed/irritated/flustered. 

And as a side note from that, this won’t always work. I know my happiness can be taken from me in a moment, but joy, true joy from the Lord, is something deeply embedded into a believer that can never be taken away.  So even when I can’t think of ONE positive thing, not to mention ten, I have a trump card that has written on it the name of Jesus. 


“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

We CAN Trust God

I think I’ve learned more about truly believing in the sovereignty of God these last few months than ever before in my life.  For a long time I’ve trusted and believed He was sovereign over the “big things” but that truth never really trickled down into my life and the things happening to me.  I would fear that I made a wrong decision and fear future outcomes because  of it. It’s through the power of the Holy Spirit, a deeper look into Scripture, and the wonderful encouragement of a mentor-that I’ve began to see how little I truly trusted God and his sovereignty and HOW MUCH I can and should.

Peace in every circumstance comes when I remind myself of His sovereign plan and purpose for me.  I cannot put into words the blessing that it has been to be able to stop my tears when I ask myself, “Is God not sovereign? Is He not working things out for your good and his glory? Does He not know you best and love you most? Is He not intimately involved and invested in your life? Are not His purposes greater than all else? Are not His ways perfect?”

Yesterday, I found this little hymn and was so encouraged by its words of truth. I put a new little tune to it and committed it to memory. I’ve already had to sing it to myself in a moment of anxiousness! Hopefully it blesses your heart as it blesses mine, and you too can be reminded that all your times are in His hands!

My Times are in Thy Hand

My times are in thy hand

Father I wish them there

My life, my soul, my all I leave entirely to thy care.

My life, my soul, my all I leave entirely to thy care.


My times are in thy hand

Whatever they may be

Pleasing or painful, dark or bright, As best may seem to thee

Pleasing or painful, dark or bright, As best may seem to thee


My times are in thy hand

Why should I doubt or fear

My father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear

My father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear


My times are in thy hand

Jesus the crucified

The hand my many sins once pierced is now my Guard and Guide

The hand my many sins once pierced is now my Guard and Guide