Sunday, April 12, 2015

Introducing the "Live Original Challenge"

I'm not sure if I mentioned it (because honestly, as a stand alone fact, it's probably not all that important) but for Valentine's Day my hubby got me a book.
A book?
Yeah, one of my favorite things in the entire world (aside from him).

Now, this book that he got me was Sadie Robertson (of Duck Dynasty)'s book titled Live Original.

(From Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Sadie Robertson star of A&E's Duck Dynasty and daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson;shares her outlook on life as she opens up about herself and the values that make her family what it is.

Sadie Robertson represents everything that a well-adjusted teenager should be, even while growing up in the spotlight on Duck Dynasty. She exhibits poise, respect for her family and friends, and a faith that influences her choices. Everyone wants to know how a family as eclectic as the Robertsons are raising such confident, fun, family-loving kids. With this book, Sadie sheds light on the values instilled by her family that make her the person she is. 

Sadie lives by a simple list of principles that lead her to personal and spiritual growth and allow the relationships she has with her friends and family to flourish. These values include think happy, be happy; dream big; shake the hate; do something; and many more.

Living as a culturally relevant teen who loves God and her family, Sadie has become a role model for other teens and for parents who are eager to instill the same characteristics in their children.

At the end of each chapter, Sadie lists a few discussion questions that she called the "Live Original Challenge". 

My good friend, fellow blogger, and fantastic book lover, the newly re-branded Meghan Anna and I have decided to take Sadie up on her challenge. 
Both of us have discussed how we want our faith to grow and how we want to show God more in our lives (and how we want a book club), so we are ready to put it to the test.

For the next seven Sundays, we will be tackling the questions two chapters at a time. Feel free to join along with us, or comment with your thoughts on each question.

Chapter One - "Think Happy, Be Happy"

1. In your own words, why is this true: "If you think happy thoughts, you can live a happy life"?
I truly believe that a lot of what happens to us - what makes us happy and what makes us sad, is about how we react to it and how we think about it. Even if something terrible happens, if you find a way to put a silver lining on that cloud, you can still find a way to be happy about the situation. I think it's really all about trusting that God has a plan for you and that you can choose to be happy.

2. What thoughts are you thinking today that will lead you to the future you want tomorrow?
It seems backward, but I just keep thinking of all the things I can improve. I'm not focusing on what I'm really good at, but the things that I can't seem to figure out. But because of this focus, I know what I need to work on. I know that if I better these certain things, my future will turn out even greater. A lot of it right now is in relation to my job.

3. What one thought can you change today in order to make yourself just a little more happy?
One thought that I cling to when I start to feel unhappy is Psalm 139:14 - I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. A friend told me this a few years ago when I was going through a really rough time. It was a reminder that I was made by God and God doesn't make mistakes. If I (or someone else) thinks something is wrong with me and the way I was made, well, I/they are wrong. 

4. Take a moment to think about the thoughts you've had today. Do those thoughts make you happy and lead you in a good direction?
Overall, I'd say a lot of my thoughts are not necessarily going to be leading me in a good direction. That's part of the reason I'm taking part in this challenge. 

Chapter Two - "Dream Big"

1. What's the biggest dream for yourself you can think of?
My dream is to travel the world and teach children everywhere. I want to teach them to read, to write, to speak English. I also want to teach them the Good News and the Gospel of my Lord. Above all of this, I want them to teach me. I want to know what it's like to live in a place that's different from where I grew up. I want to speak multiple language. I want to be immersed in many different cultures. 

2. What small step can you take towards your dream today?
Uh, well...I can get to know the cultures of my students a little more. I'm at a unique school where almost every student is either from another country or has parents from another country. There's a lot of different cultures at my school. Some of the countries represented (that I can name off the top of my head) are South Sudan, Kenya, Ghana, Togo, Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, Laos, Vietnam, Burma, Eritrea... There's just so many. I could get to know my students even more. And I could start practicing my Spanish.

3. Think about whether your dream is according to God's will. If it is, write out a commitment today to never give up on your dream.
I do believe that my dream is according to God's will. God asks us to go out and make disciples of all nations and that's truly what I want to do. In addition to this, while reading this chapter and answering the first couple questions, I've been filled with the overwhelming feeling that I am also called to adopt a child. Daniel and I even talked at length about this after I read. Both of us feel like maybe this is something we do. So, we still want our own biological child(ren) but we are going to start looking into possibly adopting as well. :)

Either way, I'm not going to give up on my dreams.

4. Take a minute to pray to God and give Him your dream and wait on Him to make it come true.
Lord, I want to do right in your eyes. I want to be able to travel the world and help make disciples. I want to share your word, while showing young children your love through the way I teach even basic subjects. I know you have a plan for me, so allow me patience as I wait for that plan to come into my life. Allow me to never give up on this dream and keep pursuing it, as I continue to pursue you and your kingdom. Amen.

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