Wednesday, May 4, 2016

HE DOES NOT GIVE UP



"Why have you still not given up on me?" 

This is a phrase that I hear often from my students at work. My response is always the same... "Because I believe in you."

Everyday I have the opportunity to help many outstanding young people recognize their worth and potential as I strive to push them towards the path of success. I see infinite good in them. I see endless potential. I genuinely believe in them. 

Each time that I tell a student I believe in them and advocate for their success, I can't help but think of MY advocate; the Savior. He is the one person who knows me perfectly. The one who sees my potential despite my flaws. The one who gave everything to save me. When I lose sight of who I really am, He sees me. When I am discouraged, He builds me. When I let Him down, over and over, He stands by me.  While I might stray, He never leaves my side. 

He will not give up on me. He believes in me.  

Regardless of your current situation, despite your shortcomings, Christ is on YOUR side. Everything you are feeling, He has felt. The pain, the fear, the stress, the anxiety... He knows. He has been there. When you feel like all is lost, He is reaching out. Lean on Him. Trust in Him.  When you feel like giving up, remember He believes in you. He does not give up.  


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Sunday, April 24, 2016

3 REASONS YOU ARE NOT HAPPY AND HOW TO FIX IT


Each of us will experience difficult times. However, it is what we do during those difficult times that will either make or break us. As the Youth Advocate at a high school I am always looking for ways to help and inspire my students. However, it isn't uncommon for them to be the ones inspiring me. If I were to begin listing all the different ways, we would be here all day, so instead, I am going to focus on three examples that happened just this week. Through the many different positive influences of my students, this week I was able to recognize three possible reasons we aren't able to find the happiness we deserve, and how to fix it. 

 

REASON 1: WE FORGET TO GIVE THANKS

One way I try to help my students is by teaching them skills to be more organized with their time. I created a "Things To Do" printable for them to keep track of all the things they need to get done throughout the week and be able to check them off once they are finished. I usually ask them to bring it to me to check once they have filled it out. 

After giving him a "Things To Do" print-out, one of my students brought his in to my office and I was shocked by what I saw. Most kids will have a long list of homework and assignments (which is what the sheet is intended for), however, this one was a bit different. Along with the different assignments that needed to be completed, this student had added "Give thanks to God" at the beginning and end of each of his days. I couldn't help feeling impressed and even inspired. How often do we forget to "give thanks" to God? Do we really consider it to be one of our most important tasks of each day? This young boy inspired me and reminded me that I need to make "giving thanks" to God more of a priority in my life.  

At such a young age, one of my students was able to recognize the importance of giving thanks to God for all that he has been blessed with. I will be the first to admit that remembering to "give thanks" and "count my blessings" is not typically the first item on my to do list. However, it should be. My darling student nailed it. The very first and very last part of each of his days were dedicated to thanking God for all he has. 


REASON 2: WE TURN AWAY FROM GOD INSTEAD OF TO HIM

While my religion and personal beliefs are a huge part of my life and extremely important to me, there is no place for that in public schools. As much as I might like to, I cannot share my personal beliefs about God with my students. Once again I was inspired by one of my outstanding students. Recognizing that I was a little "down" one day, and without even knowing the details as to why, this student reminded me of a truth that we too often forget by telling me, "God has a plan for you". At that very moment, those were the exact words that I needed to hear. I truly believe that God works through mysterious ways and that day He used a young 17 year old kid to be the answer to my prayers. 

When things get hard in life, people either turn to God for help, or turn away out of bitterness. When we turn away from God, we are turning away from the true source of  all happiness. During difficult times, the worst thing we can do is turn away from our all-knowing, and all-loving Heavenly Father. While you may have feelings of bitterness or confusion when things aren't working out the way you would like, remembering that God truly does have a plan for you is so important. I was reminded of this truth at the very moment I needed it by my incredible student.   


REASON 3: WE FORGET WHO WE ARE

The last two weeks I have been doing a project with my students where they write on a piece of paper, "I AM..._______" and fill in the blank with one positive word that best describes who they really are. When I look at my students I can think of countless positive words that describe them. It broke my heart as I watched many of them struggle to come up with one positive word that they personally felt described who they are. A few of them threw it back at me and asked what I would put to describe myself. While it was so easy for me to see the good in them, when it was thrown back at me, the task seemed a little more difficult. I imagine that this is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels about us. We are LITERALLY, His children. We are sons and daughters of an almighty God. We are divine and precious.  While this is true, for some reason, our vision of our true identity gets clouded and we forget who we are. As I watched my students bravely redefine who they are and label themselves positively, I was reminded of who I truly am. A daughter of God with infinite potential. 

Do you really understand the significance of the reality that YOU are a child of God? Do you know that your worth is without bounds? Do you know that God loves you? You are His child. He knows you perfectly and can easily see all the good that we are. God doesn't love a certain version of you, He loves the WHOLE of you. Exactly as you are, faults and all. 

When we forget who we are, turn away from God, and forget to give thanks, we are making the possibility of finding true happiness near impossible. Doing these three things will not make everything perfect. However, doing these things will provide you the strength necessary to get through the difficulties that life will inevitably present to you. If you have found yourself struggling, bitter, or saddened by the hardships of life, I challenge you to implement these three things more seriously in your daily life. 


"He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that. He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief." -Chieko Okazaki



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Saturday, April 9, 2016

LOVING LATELY • GLOSSIER + AWESOME DISCOUNTS FOR YOU


If there was one beauty company I have been dying to check out, it's GLOSSIER

Well, I finally took the plunge, and honestly, my only complaint is that I didn't do it sooner. 

I purchased the Coconut Balm Dotcom - Universal Skin Salve and it literally smells like summer in a bottle. As if that wasn't good enough, it can be used everywhere. Lips, hands, elbows, anywhere you need a little hydration. It nourishes, repairs, and locks in moisture where you need it most. 



On top of creating outstanding products, GLOSSIER doesn't skimp when it comes to presentation and delivery. When my package came I never anticipated just how much fun it would be to open. Inside I found my purchase zipped in the cutest little bubble wrap bag. They also included a poster, stickers, annnnnd a sample of their priming moisturizer. 



Now, here is the BEST news. 

If you aren't already convinced enough to head over to GLOSSIER and order your own goodies, maybe a 20% off discount is just the push you need. To get 20% off your purchase, just click HERE and your discount will be applied at the checkout!







What GLOSSIER products do you recommend for me to try next? 

Leave your favorites in the comments below!

xoxo

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

KEEP TRYING


I am the youth advocate at a high school. My primary goal there is to "advocate" for my students. 

Majority of the students I work with each day are really struggling. Their struggles are varied, however, each of the individual struggles my students experience tend to have a negative affect on their performance in school. 

Two years ago I was working with a boy and our goal for the week was to go to every single class. Now, this might not seem like a huge accomplishment, but for the students I work with, this can be a very difficult task. 

To my surprise, this fifteen year old boy, (who might I add, had just had his mother pass away a few weeks prior), had a PERFECT week. Not even a single late. 

I was on cloud nine. I could not have been more proud. 

That very same day, one of his teachers spoke with me about him. She said that he was terrible. She said he never  did his work and that he was always rude and disrespectful. I stopped her right there and I asked, "Did he come to class this week?" She told me that he did. I asked, "Was he on time?" She told me that he was. I then responded, "Those were our goals this week. He accomplished the task. This week we will work on something else. He can do his work, or he can be nice, it's up to you." She told me she would like for him to be nice, so that is what we worked on. 

From this experience I realized a few things. 

1. What might not be challenging for you, could be incredibly difficult for someone else. 

This darling student of mine worked SO hard to accomplish his goals. While to some, it might have seemed like no big deal, for him, it was extremely ambitious. He was trying. I recognized his efforts, and I couldn't have been more proud of him. 

2. God recognizes our efforts.

I knew how challenging this goal was for my student to accomplish. When his teacher began complaining about him I explained that I would not "break" him. I did not expect him to "run faster than he had strength". While seemingly insignificant, he was making progress. Slowly but surely, he was moving forward. Just as I recognized and was proud of even the smallest steps in the right direction, God recognizes our effort. 

3. Christ will advocate for us. 

When approached by my student's teacher, I heard her out, but then I defended my student. I helped her recognize even the tiniest effort on his part. As their advocate, I strive to defend my students while pushing them in the right direction. I do not expect them to be perfect, but I do expect them to try. As they push forward, even when they fail, I stand by their side. Christ is literally our advocate with the Father (D&C 110:4). He is pleading your cause.

 Today during General Conference Elder Holland's talk "Tomorrow The Lord Will Do Wonders Around You", really moved me, as I am sure it did many others. In it he taught that, "The Lord blesses those who want to improve." God recognizes our effort. He blesses us for our desires to improve. God also knows that we will fall short. He knows that we are not perfect and he does not expect us to be. Holland continues, "We get credit for trying, even if we don't always succeed." 

I am so grateful to be a part of a church that believes in second chances; a church that gives credit for trying. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of my loving and merciful Heavenly Father, who despite my faults, never gives up on me. I am grateful for a Savior who advocates for me and "pleads my cause" even when my efforts have been small and insignificant. 

Click HERE to learn more about what I believe.


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Saturday, April 2, 2016

BE WISE MAGAZINE ISSUE 14 • "BE YOUR BEST SELF" EMOTIONALLY

The "Be Your Best Self" EMOTIONALLY issue has officially been launched and we couldn't be more thrilled! To check it out and learn more about our "BE YOUR BEST SELF" Movement click HERE. We have some super exciting things going on so make sure to head over to the website to check them all out!



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Monday, March 21, 2016

LOVING LATELY • MR BLANC




It can be extremely frustrating to spend wads of cash trusting the "promise" to a whiter smile on the label, just to have your teeth appear exactly the same. On the other hand, many of the products out there do produce whiter teeth... at the expense of really irritated gums. White teeth are nice, but the painful effects... not so much. 

In pursuit of a bright white smile, I have tried nearly every product out there... but none of them compare to Mr. Blanc. Truly, I LOVE this product. Within the first use I noticed my teeth were whiter. The best part, ABSOLUTELY NO PAIN. For real. I was ready to experience the typical irritation and there wasn't any at all. This is huge for me. This product gets a solid 10 out of 10 from me. You will absolutely get what you are paying for. If you are still not convinced, click HERE to learn more about why Mr. Blanc honestly is the greatest teeth whitening system out there. Also, we have a special code for BE WISE readers to get 15% off your purchase! Simply enter code bewise15 when you check out! 



SMILE. IT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

BUY ONE GIFT ONE SALE


When you BUY our “Be Your Best Self - PHYSICALLY” Online Issue we will GIFT one for FREE to a friend of your choice! Simply enter their name, email address, and a special note (if you'd like) in the “Note To Seller” section on the secure checkout page. We will send your gift to them within 24hrs!  (Sale ends Friday March 18).




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