Harley

Recently, I was blessed with an opportunity…

And this is him.

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This is Harley. A two year old Golden Retriever mix that I fell in love with at the humane society. On Tuesday, April 3rd I walked into our local animal shelter with the hopes to volunteer and walk some cute animals and get them outside..but I wasn’t planning on falling in love with this guy.

My friend Tori and I were walking into the back room where this pup was. As we were looking into all the cages, we noticed a cage that had a picture of a pig on it that had been adopted..(no i wasn’t aware you could adopt pigs at shelters). As I was looking at the picture, this sweet fluffy dog walked from the outside part of his cage to the inside.. where I immediately fell in love with him. He rushed to the gate and started licking my hand as I melted from his extreme cuteness. There was so information up about him, so once we left the back I asked the person at the front what they knew. He was a no name  mix, about 2 years old and surrendered by his owner an hour before I came. I asked if I could get some time with him in the play rooms and about 5 minutes later they brought him out to me. He was scared and skinny, but also sweet as can be. I was able to walk him and bond with him enough to know that this dog was so special and that I wanted to be the one to give him a good home and an abundance of love.. I put an application in that very day and visited him to walk and play every day until I could call him mine.

Dogs really are special. They feel emotions and experience hard situations just like people do. I don’t know why Harley’s (thats what I named him because my dad has a huge Harley Davidson obsession) owner surrendered him to the shelter, but I almost see it as apart of God’s plan that I was able to get him. For a long time now I have been wanting a dog. When people face anxiety, or depression issues..having a dog companion can really help brighten their lives. Harley gets me up and moving every morning. I think about how I can give him the very best life. I love his pure heart and the fun energy he has brought into my life.

He was the missing piece.

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Show Your Love

This isn’t going to be a long post, but it’s something that has been on my heart lately.

Do things for the people you love and show your love for them each chance you get. Care for them and show you were thinking about them.. even if it’s a quick text saying “hey, I love you and I was thinking about you”. I had the privilege of being home this weekend with my family, and whenever I get these special chances of being with them, I try my hardest to care for them and to make them smile. I don’t need to go into detail about what I did/do for them, because those moments don’t need to be broadcasted when the only reaction I need is theirs, but to make your loved ones smile is truly a beautiful thing. We all have different struggles/different issues going on in our lives. Sometimes we aren’t even fully aware of everything going on in the lives of people we love. It’s very important to remind the people you love that you do love them and that your love for them is abundant even if it’s shown in the simplest and smallest of ways.

Every time I think of one of my friends, or family members.. I will text them. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 am, or if it’s randomly or whatever it may be. If their name comes into my head, I will find a reason to reach out to them and send my love. I think this is something people should do more of.. text or call someone when you are thinking about them. It’s actually a very simple, but powerful thing that can really enhance someone’s mood, and it can also strengthen the relationship you have with them. Every time I think of how much I love my dad, I tell him that. Even if I had already said it earlier that day.. I believe you can never say “I love you” enough.

Life is so short. We aren’t promised a certain amount of time on this earth. Some knowledge I gained with losing my mom is that love is a special thing and so is taking care of what is yours. Take care of your family. Show your love. Talk to the ones you care for. Be involved in their lives. Reach out. Surprise them. Make them feel special. When you care for others, others will care for you (if they are the right people). When you water what is yours, it will grow into beautiful and worth-while things. Time is powerful. Invest in the people you love.

Making my loved ones smile, laugh, happy, comfortable, see their worth, feel beautiful, feel strong.. will always be worth it. And though making people feel great is a wonderful feeling for them, it’s just as wonderful of a feeling for you.

CassđŸŒ»

If You Try Your Best

Feeling discouraged is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it just means you cared so much about something and you are upset with how it turned out..I feel ya, it really stinks when things don’t seem to go how you would of liked them too.

On my journey, I have met discouragement eye to eye many times. I have struggled with keeping goals, I have been drained from school and unmotivated, and I have not always been proud of myself..oh being discouraged has happened a lot in my teens and twenties. I just want to say though, being discouraged is normal. Feeling bummed out and confused happens to everyone at some point in their lives. It’s normal to have feelings of being unsatisfied with the current situation going on because you want better, or thought you could do better.

One thing my Dad always said to me (and still does) is “as long as you tried your best, that’s all you can do”. I carried that into multiple phases of my life. If I was trying my best and my hardest, I needed to be proud of that. For me, my biggest discouragement has always been school. I have never been the person that could wing everything they did and pass with flying colors. High school was not easy for me at all and I had to try in nearly every subject in order to pass, or not fail too miserably. It was discouraging to be in classes with kids that just seemed to get it and understand. I was always the person that would get a test back on my desk and not flip it over because I was worried who might see whatever grade was given to me. I remember hating school so much to the point where I didn’t know if I wanted to go to college. Heck, I didn’t even know if I would get accepted into college.

I believe one of the reasons I struggled so much in high school was because of my mom’s passing when I was a freshman. That’s a big weight on a 15 year old girl. It wasn’t until I was out of High School when I had realized I accomplished a really impressive thing. 1) I graduated highschool and 2) I got accepted into college. I was so hard on myself during those years and was so discouraged during those times that I could barely see my accomplishments and how amazing I was actually doing. I compared my life to others whose lives were completely unlike mine. I was not giving myself the credit I deserved during that time when I really should of. If I could go back and tell 15 year old me anything right now, it would be something along the lines of “girl, you are doing so much better than you think you are doing. Don’t give up, life will be so much more beautiful after this chapter.”

Fast forward to today.. if you’ve read my posts, you would know I still have times of complete discouragement, stress and uncertainty.. and that it’s okay. College has not been easy for me either, but unlike High School, it’s been easier for me to give myself that credit and see my worth. I still find myself in times where I compare my design projects to others, or compare my life to others, but in the back of my mind I always hear my Dad saying “as long as you tried your best, that’s all you can do.” And it’s true.. as long as you are trying your best whether it’s with school, a sport, a relationship, a job, health, fitness.. whatever it may be.. acknowledge that and be proud of yourself. Even if you are failing, or not doing as amazing as you would of hoped. You do your best and the rest with fall into place. I can’t tell you how many of my failures have turned into the biggest blessing and have been some of the most humbling and self reflective experiences for me. Feeling discouraged is not always a bad thing because it shows you care, but don’t allow discouragement to control your life and your thoughts about yourself. I guarantee you that you are doing a lot better than you believe you are doing. Don’t give up, try your best and be proud of yourself even if you fail.

Cass

Thank You For Closed Doors, God

I love spending my nights in a quiet space, book in hand and thinking about my current stage in life. Some people choose mornings to meet with the Lord, but my longing to hear His words always come at night. I reflect on my day and the blessings I was given. I think about the days to come and where my mind and heart need to be. I talk to God about my worries, my goals, my strengths and my weaknesses. I rest my anxieties on Him and my fears going into the next following days, weeks and months.

One of my favorite Christian authors is a woman named Annie F. Downs. She is a southern girl with a beautiful faith and her writing has always pulled at my heart. She is so relatable and each book I have read of hers has left me with wanting to make positive changes to my own life for my happiness and my faith. I am currently on day Twenty-Seven of her devotional titled 100 Days to Brave. There have been a few days where I have thought “oh I would love to write about this on my blog”, but never found the right words. Today, had a slightly different impact on me because it felt so connected to my current position in life.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans”

–Proverbs 16:3

This devotional talked about how we could be walking through our lives, praying and doing what we feel called to do, feeling as though we are in alignment with God’s will and come to a closed door. This closed door could be anything. Maybe it’s something you really wanted. Maybe it’s something you planned for yourself when you were younger and now you’re hitting that age you thought you would have it all together and you don’t. Maybe it’s related to money, or a family crisis. Closed doors can be discouraging and it can be confusing.

In the devotion, Annie says, “you can be brave because you can trust God. Brave people commit their work to the Lord and trust that His plan for their lives might not look the way they planned. And that’s okay..be brave enough to walk through the doors that the Lord leads you through. Even when they are unexpected or feel scary.”

While I have walked passed many closed doors in my life, God has always had open doors waiting for me. He has seen my pain and discouragement over the things that weren’t meant to be, but He has also allowed me to feel the happiness and excitement over the the things that were. To remain patient with God is not always easy. To find the beauty during times of closed doors can be hard as well. I am not one to be able to preach about patience, because I lack it most often than not, but I do know that God is constantly working on my lack of patience every day in the hopes that I trust Him fully and His perfect timing. What has yet to come can be intimidating. The uncertainty of the future leaves my stomach in knots most days. But as i’ve kept moving through life with all of its high high’s and low low’s, I have told myself something that I want to share with you all that relates to this devotion and another message I am going to share. Closed door’s may be scary to think about. Failure, sickness, changed plans, or uncertainty can all be scary to think about, but with closed doors there are also open ones. There may be failure, sickness, changed plans and uncertainty, but there could also be success, health, better plans and certainty. Keep living your life despite the fear of closed doors. Keep moving and hanging in there and working towards everything you want in your life, despite what may be holding you back. If its not meant to be, it won’t be, but keep moving in case it is. Trust God and lean on Him even if you feel discouraged about where your life is. There have been so many times in my life where I felt like God’s timing was just never. There were points where I had no idea when good things would start happening to me, but once I started to accept the closed doors in my life, new ones opened in beautiful ways.

I wanted to end this post with a message I took from another book that I read during a very difficult time in my life last year, feeling uncertain about my life, as well as God’s timing and plan for me. This is a prayer written by a woman named Mandy Hale, taken from the book Beautiful Uncertainty.

Sometimes, my writing isn’t just a message for you all, but one for myself to reflect on to keep on pushing through the hard times.

You’ve got this,

Cass♄

A goal of accepting yourself

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Spring semester has finally begun for me. My time and energy has gone into this first week and a half to make sure I begin on the right foot by feeling organized and using my time wisely.. which of course is important, but my writing and photography has somewhat gone on the back burner. This happens and I am not discouraged, but rather encouraged to be more proactive in my alone time. I am not going to lie, my “me” time has revolved more around Netflix and TV than I would like to admit. I am searching to find ways to move away from the television and back to incorporating a more healthy downtime to my schedule. Sometimes it’s honestly really hard to think of topics to write about and I never want my blog posts to feel forced, I want to always enjoy creating them. This is the same with photography. I never want to do things i love and enjoy because i feel like I have to. I want to do them because I want to and know that I will gain a genuine happiness from them. It’s kinda like how I hate reading for school, but love reading for myself. The books I choose for myself are ones I am going to enjoy for me, whereas school isn’t always the most enjoyable.

I find summer to be my time of intense reading. Book stores are such a happy place of mine. There is always something so comforting and magical about going into a book store and picking up a hard copy of a book that really interests you. I have tired using the kindle app, or getting digital books off amazon, but I realized it just didn’t excite me in the way a hard back book does. It may sound silly to some people for me to say that, but I can get so lost in a good book and I love how it makes me feel mentally. I used to be a person that would say, “why read the book when I can watch the movie?”..but as I’ve gotten older, there is nothing more calming than reading in a cozy and quiet environment. This semester, I would really like to set the goal for myself to not allow my school reading to interfere with my reading for enjoyment. This may be a little tricky when I am tired, or busy.. but with the right book, I know It will be easy going back into that routine. I would love to write a post in the near future about a few books that I have loved over the last few years and that have impacted me. Look for that post soon!

Another goal I have for the semester is to make it to the gym a few times a week and make healthier choices. I don’t have a set amount of how many days I should go. I want the feeling of me wanting to go to come naturally. Sometimes it’s so hard to get to the gym and I know if I plan ahead for when I should go that it will most likely not happen. I find that there are days I wake up and really want to go and then there are days where sleeping in sounds way better. I mentally know that going to the gym will make me feel great both mentally and physically, but just like photography, writing and reading.. I want to enjoy it. I would rather go when I feel like it, versus dragging myself there. If I drag myself there, I know I may not get in the best workout possible and just count down the minutes till I can leave. On one hand, its great that I went, but on the other.. this time in my life is about enjoying the activities I do and gaining more positivity. Recently, I have felt so happy with cooking and preparing meals for myself that are healthy. It supplies me with so much more energy and enjoyment to know that I am making a healthy and positive decision for myself. I love fast food and I love sweets, but I’ve also had a fun time finding healthy alternatives to the foods I love. This goal of going to the gym and being healthy may not happen every single day, but I don’t see a reason to be strict and limit myself. If I want to be healthy and fit, I will want it enough to find enjoyment in it and go about it in a healthy way. This is another topic I would love to write another future blog post about as well!

I think my biggest goal that I have for the semester/my life is to just accept myself. I know I tend to write about this here and there, but I feel as though it’s always going to be relevant to my life, as well as others. Accepting yourself will bring you so much more happiness and enjoyment to the point where you allow yourself to spend time on yourself outside of your job, or schooling, or other stresses you may have. I can’t even count how many times I have had really down feelings about myself because I haven’t accepted where I was in life, or I haven’t accepted my school work as “good enough”, or even myself as “good enough”. I believe in order to live this more positive life that I want and a life where I can juggle school and life outside of school that it is key to accept myself for all aspects of who I am. Not everything is going to be perfect and you may have failures here and there, but with accepting yourself you are so much less likely to give up and so much more likely to find those positives within negative situations.

 

Do you have some goals you want to work on for yourself and your happiness?

 

Cass♄

 

Stepping out in faith.

On November 29th, God worked through me to show His unfailing love with a simple act of kindness..

I loved giving and doing acts of kindness within my own comfort zone. I believe a lot of us feel that way sometimes. It’s easy to give and be generous when it’s to people we know, within an area we are familiar with, at a good time for us mentally or financially… But I never knew the impact it would have on me to do something for someone outside that comfort bubble I tend to rest in.

On November 29th, I was stressing. I had been stressing out about money for that whole month, maybe even a few months because I just felt like I was running dry and the money I had made over the summer was disappearing in all sorts of directions. I wasn’t having the best day and I remember talking to my family and boyfriend about my situation, which both kept telling me I had nothing to worry about and if I needed help that they would be there and to focus on school. I absolutely love the comfort of my loved ones and I have been so blessed to have the people that I do in my life… 23 has just been a year where I’ve really wanted to get by on my own and become a lot more independent, especially financially. But I listened to them and tried to calm myself down about how I was feeling and reassuring myself with replaying in my mind what they had said.

I was out driving around town in my car and I decided to go to Panera about 2:30 in the afternoon. I was in the line outside as I saw a man and a woman dressed in rags and covered in sweat and dirt approach the Panera with what looked to be a handful of coins in the woman’s hand. They went inside and about 2 minutes later, they were back outside looking defeated by whatever had happened inside the restaurant. I was looking from afar as they went up to the closest cars in line, asking for a dollar so they could get something to split to eat. I could hear the desperation in their voices and you could tell they really hated having to ask people. Some people denied them with their words, as others rolled up their windows when they got too close. In an honest part of me, I was looking at them with more judgement than love. I was thinking “well how did they get this way” or like a lot of us have maybe thought seeing a homeless person, “what are they really needing that money for?”.

I proceeded through the Panera drive thru, no longer thinking about those people, but of myself and my hunger. As I was paying for my food, I was reaching for my purse when I saw the man and woman sitting at a table at the sonic next door, counting out the coins they had and reading the menu as if they were trying to see what they could afford. I mask of shame grew over me. I began thinking about how I was just worrying about my financial situation earlier, yet I was still able to afford this meal I was buying, in this car I was able to put gas into. I wanted to help, but I was scared of helping. I didn’t know how I could help, but I knew I would regret not doing anything at all. It was in that moment that I felt God lay on my heart, “be a servant, have a servants heart right now, Cassidy.. you are going to drive out of this comfort bubble you are in, you are going to park, step out of your car and meet these people”… I shook my head in fear. I was nervous. I am such a shy person and I don’t always have the most courage when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone. I drove passed that sonic and started to get onto the main road until I felt this energy from God and I heard Him say to me again, ” I am here with you right now, go to them and trust me”. I turned the car around. My heart was beating a little faster now as I reached the entrance of sonic. They were still sitting at a table with the look of stress and tiredness in their body language. I parked my car and just looked at them for a minute and I took the cash I had out of my wallet and I slowly walked to them. In my head, I was sorta talking/praying to God.. “okay God, let this go well please, I don’t was to offend them, or anything. Please let this go okay”. They were looking down as I got to the table. I said “Hi, this is for you. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas”.. I instantly felt like I should of maybe said something better, or atleast said more, but that thought went away as the woman said to me..”oh my gosh, you are such a blessing. Thank you so much, we are in such a tough place right now”. The man smiled and thanked me as well. I didn’t want to take the credit for that action, it didn’t feel right to give a “you’re welcome”. I just didn’t want to be that kind of person. It wasn’t myself that brought me over there, it was God who pushed me there and so in response to them I said “Merry Christmas” again and then “take care”. They both got up and hit the button on the outdoor menu at sonic with smiles on their faces and began ordering as I walked the other direction to my car. My heart was still racing, but in a more pleasing and satisfied way.  That drive home, I prayed to God that I would never forget what I have even in times of struggle and uncertainty. I prayed that this situation would humble my heart and that I be more of a servant to God than I had been in my 23 years of life. The rest of the day, that 20 minute time frame of events played on repeat in my head. I sat in my apartment looking around at everything around me through a different perspective. I texted my Dad and just thanked him for the life he has supplied me and how thankful I have been to have him.. a loving and caring father that takes care of me. I don’t know the background of the man and woman. I don’t even know their names. But one thing I do know is that, they have a loving and caring Heavenly Father that really wanted to help them through me that day.

You know how people say “someone always has it worse” ? Well it’s true. You may have a bad situation going on in your life, or something worrying/stressing you out.. but this world is filled with people that would literally wish to have your problem over what they may be going through. Its okay to feel the way you do about what you are going through. If you feel upset, depressed, angry, failure..feel those feelings and don’t believe your problems do not matter because they do. God asks us to remember those who struggle worse than we do and to help them despite what we may be going through. There are people that are worrying about the next time they are going to eat because they are unsure when that time may be. There are people worrying about how they will keep warm this winter when they don’t have a roof over their head, or clothes on their back. There are people that fear human interactions because they have been denied and denied by those that see their appearance and judge them without knowing their story.

James 2:14-17 says this..

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you say to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Love and love hard. Give without the intent to receive. Sacrifice and take care of your brothers and sisters in Christ even if it may not be “convenient” for you. My heart really changed that day.. that simple act of kindness probably helped me more to benefit my life than it did to help those people. I think thats what God intended for me. I think He knew that they needed help, but so did I. I needed a change in character. I needed to be coming to Him with my worries and to put my focus on how wonderfully blessed my life is. There are times I still catch myself not appreciating every aspect of my life..I’m human, but not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about those people, or haven’t seen something related to that event and it straightens my thoughts up real fast. Be kind to one another with your words and your actions. This life is such a beautiful thing when you allow God to shine through you.

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Cass♄

Decorating for Happiness

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I think its important to decorate a space in a way that not only reflects yourself, but also brings you joy and happiness to spend your time there. When I started decorating my apartment I knew I needed soft lighting, inspirational decor for motivation and the sweet faces of those I love dearly on my walls. I wanted my living room to be a place where I felt at home and would be excited to go back to after a long day of classes, or even a long trip away. Soft blankets, piles of books, neutral colors with pop’s of light blush pinks and aqua blues, a mix of smooth and textured surfaces/decorations…my apartment speaks coziness to me. I’ve always loved the more southern-country-shabby chic look when it comes to decorating my apartments. That style makes me think of being young and traveling to my grandparents house in Elizabethtown, KY. It makes me think of the barn I used to ride horses at when I was a little girl. It also makes me think of the styles we had in our home as I was growing up and the feel of comfort they gave me.

Last semester, while I was moving out of an apartment a mirror I had (and loved) shattered as I propped it against my bedroom wall. I was able to save the wooden frame with the hopes of repurposing it for my next apartment. I decided I would string firefly lights and my favorite pictures of loved ones within that frame. As simple as it is, it brings me so much joy to look at. Pieces like this one feel so necessary to have. College can be such a challenging time, and for me..its been a challenging emotional time. As an Interior Design major, and (somewhat) creative person.. it really dawned on me just how important decorating and self expression within your home is and how it can increase your happiness and willingness to be within that space. Items that make me feel like i’m back in my bedroom at my Dad’s house, or give me a smile when I look at them truly help with where I am mentally on a daily basis. If you decorate a space with what you love and enjoy.. you will be so much more happier within that space even if you may not want to be in the city you are currently living in, or in my case..still in college. Sometimes you’ve just got to make the best out of where you are in life and try to do whatever you can possible to bring that happiness and positivity back.

Some of my favorite items in my apartment have either been repurposed, or have come from thrift/consignment shops. New can be great, but so can “once loved” items.. especially for decorating on a budget. Comment below what brings you joy within your home!

Cass♄

 

Happiness in 2018

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As my winter break comes to a close, I am so thankful for the friends and family I have been able to spend it with..many nights of long soul searching talks, fun activities and lot’s of “I love you’s”. It’s been a time I have been able to venture out and have fun making memories and finding my creativity again. Sometimes life gets so busy and hectic that we often forget to give ourselves time to sit back and enjoy ourselves. That is exactly what i’ve tried to do this last month and a half. I have been so desperate in lighting that creative spark that I have felt has been missing from my life for some time now by exposing myself to old hobbies, as well as new ones that give me energy, happiness and the feeling of accomplishment. Life feels as if it has so much more meaning when you use it doing things you enjoy and are passionate about. I aspire for 2018 to be a year of growth, creativity, happiness and self love.

Wishing everyone all the best and hoping we can all enjoy what makes us happy,

Cass♄

you are not forgotten, dear.

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I think we all hit points in our lives where we feel as though everyone around us is moving forward with something, while we are standing in a place we have resided in for some time. There has been an unlimited amount of times over the last two years where I have felt unsatisfied and unsure of where I was suppose to be going with my life. This is definitely a very common feeling that just about all of us come across, but many don’t enjoy talking about. It can be extremely hard to admit when you are struggling with your satisfaction and happiness. It’s not always easy to feel confident in a plan you are unsure of, and its not always easy to have patience either.

As I am writing this, I don’t have an uplifting story about my life to share with you. I’m in the process of figuring a lot out for myself that involves my future and where life will take me. What I do want to share is a quote I read in a devotional today…

 

“God has not forgotten you. Your life and your dreams are important to God”

-Annie F. Downs

 

God hears you. He knows your hopes, your dreams, your strengths, your weaknesses, your limits, your desires, your fears. There may be times that you feel as though He has forgotten you and you may look around at others and think,

…”Why not me, God? Don’t you want me to be happy? When is my turn to ________?”…

Thing’s don’t always happen when we are wanting them to. If I’ve learned anything about God and His timing, it’s that it’s far more perfect than ours. Life may get really disappointing sometimes, and even frustrating to the point where you are questioning every little thing you are doing and what it’s all for. But He hasn’t forgotten you. He cares for you and your happiness, your health, dreams, future.. Gather all the patience and trust you have for Him and allow Him to take control. Believe in the amazing things He will do in your life when you just trust Him and His perfect plan for you. Trusting Him isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work and effort to give yourself to God. That’s sorta the point of His perfect plan…Nothing worth having comes easy, right?

I may not have any idea where God is taking me as I walk through my twenties and the journey may not always be easy, but I fully believe that trusting in God is rewarding and will surpass all my wildest hopes and dreams for myself.

Take time today and speak to God. Share with Him what you hope and dream about for your life and your future. He may already know our hearts better than we know our own, but He strongly desires us running to Him and giving all our anxious thoughts, stress, and uncertainties up to Him.
Cass♄