Letting Go: A young women’s journey to finding complete identity in Christ

This article was originally published in The Virtuous Daughter Magazine. Written by myself, and my best friend, Juliana Ebersole.

Imagine with us for a moment, if you would, that you are in a comfortable, deep sleep, and you are dreaming a glorious dream. In this dream, you are clothed in magnificent beauty of a white flowing gown, sewn with silver thread. You feel like a princess. Suddenly, you hear the sound of hoof beats, and you glance up. From a distance, you see shining armor and a gallant, sturdy man.  He is riding atop the most beautiful white horse you have ever seen, and your heart is already flying to him. But then as he comes closer, you begin to notice more things. His armor isn’t shining. It’s rusty and tarnished. The horse isn’t white; it’s grey with a shaggy mane. And what happened to the handsome knight? He’s old and ugly.

That Flameless Fire

We all have dreams. Dreams of adventure, dreams of boys, dream of who you’d like to be, what you’d like to do.   But what if the same thing happens to you as what happened in the dream? What if when we take flight, we fall?  Life is so full of opportunities, but all you see is a flameless candle.  You feel pointless. Flameless. Void of any meaning. You feel no passion. You feel no meaning. To where do you turn? To where do you run?

Igniting the Flame

As it says in John 15:5, we are the branches, God is the vine. Everything we do should be an outflow of Him. And without that True Vine, we are pointless. We are flameless. Void of any meaning.  We all must come to a point at our life where we see that without Jesus, we are living our life in vain. But what can we do? God is the Almighty Creator of the world, but the amazing thing is that while He is the Almighty Creator of the world, He still chose to create you, and because of that, we believe that He has a very special purpose in store for you. As it says in Ephesians 1:11, ”In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”(NIV)  See, before you were even born, God had your life planned out. He has a very specific purpose for you, and yet He has given you the power to choose whether or not to take His purpose. God has a beautiful story in store for you. And all you have to do is let go and say “yes.”

Setting it Ablaze

So what now? What does it mean to “let go”? It means laying everything—ideas, plans, hopes, dreams, everything—at the altar. Cutting loose of the ties that bind you—guilt, worry, pain, sorrow— and trusting in God to take it all and transform it. We must not simply try to brush these things off into the wind, because they will eventually boomerang and come back to us. We need to pick them up and place them in the hand of Jesus, who is always standing there waiting. Because what do you gain if we keep those things tucked away in your heart? Ask God to search you for any hidden places, and fill every nook and cranny. Step out on Faith, and Surrender.  He is always there waiting. Even when we think we are worthless, He says we are priceless.

“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2(ESV)

Feeding that Flame

What did you do when you became a Christian? Accept the fact the Jesus paid the price for your sins and asked Him into your life? Yes, this is what we need to do. Sadly, most Christians stop there. Yet Christianity is so much more than that. It’s having a personal, connected relationship with Jesus Christ, our Relentless Lover. It’s cultivating a growing relationship with Him. Picture this: a girl just got engaged.  She is finally his. Nobody else can come and sweep her off her feet because he has. All of her friends are certain of her engagement and are joining in with preparation for her wedding day. She talks to fiancé daily, and she listens when he wants to talk. She waits eagerly for her wedding day, when she will finally be able to be at his side—forever. So who are you? Are you spoken for? Are you in a deep relationship with your First Love, Jesus Christ? Let go, and say “yes”.

 

 

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Watercolor Envelope Tutorial

Hello again!

I absolutely love making envelopes. (especially to send to my bestie who lives on the other side of the world)

And when that bestie received my letter she said, “YOU SHOULD BLOG HOW TO DO THIS”

SO here I am, complying to her wishes. 😉

My tutorial for you all today is a very simple one an requires very few tools.

Supplies:

  • Envelope of your choice (you can make one out of watercolor paper, or just use a normal envelope. My choice is  Dollar General brand envelopes. The work *surprisingly* well with watercolor)
  • Watercolors
  • Brushes
  • Palette
  • Masking Fluid (Resist) {a white crayon would work as well, it just wouldn’t be as clear as actual masking fluid}
  • Pen of your choice (my favorite is a Pigma Micron 05
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The finished product

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If you use watercolor at all, I would highly recommend buying yourself some of this stuff. It’s amazing.

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Begin my painting on your masking fluid. I use a very small tip paintbrush. Make sure you wash the paint brush in soapy water immediately after using it, otherwise it will dry on and get hard. The design I made was triangles, then a line, then little dots. It creates a cool, boho look.

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Will the masking fluid is drying, mix up your watercolors. I like pan watercolors the best, and I work with a very simple palette. I love mixing colors and making new ones!

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Once the masking fluid has dried completely, it should look a little clearish and should not stick to your finger if you touch it. Next is time for color! I like to first brush of the spot i am to color with clean water. This helps the colors to blend better. I use about 6 colors and just put them on however.

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If there is too much water, you a cloth or a paper towel or something to dab it up. If you do this too much though it will fade the color considerably. Now let it dry.

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After you have let the watercolor dry and the paper is not damp whatsoever, you can begin to remove the masking fluid. You can do this by rubbing your finger over it or picking an edge and pulling it off. If the paper comes off with the dried masking fluid at all, stop, let it dry some more, then continue.

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After the masking fluid is removed, you can begin writing the name. You can use a pencil to sketch it out, or just go ahead and write it on.

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Done!

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You can now add little details like this, or washy tape, or if you are sending it in the mail, address and stamps, etc. Have fun with it!

And it’s as easy as that! I hope you enjoy this project!

-Katrina

Where have I Been? {Behind the Camera Lens}(2nd edition)

 

So after previously scrolling through my blog I noticed it’s lack of photos. I am a photographer….WHY do I have a lack of photos on my blog? So Ladies and Gents, I am here to produce to you, a collection of my recent (Translation: the last year or so) photos.

Enjoy!

p.s. these are all in a mumbo jumbo order, not necessarily in order of time/events.

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favorite places

 

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sweet cards from sweet friends

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//details//

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^^Missouri Scenery^^

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Cofffeeeee. Who’s with me? 

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Late Spring Snow

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||fire||

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…….

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Calendars…

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>>Succulents>>

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…….

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It is almost annoying how this gorgeous this girl is because she’s only 8.

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summer hikes. water. reflections.

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>>Succulents<<

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-died eggs-

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Coffeeee. 

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sleepover food

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coffffffffeeeeeeeeeeee

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calendars…

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->>>>>>> Feathers

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guys. coffeeeeeeee.

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Ladies Day 2016

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[puppies and snow]

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//winter days\\

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cofffffeeeeeeee

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//rivers\\

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what happens when you give your best friend your camera and it happens to be on auto?

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Y’all. She’s the bestest.

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Where’s the ice cream?

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…..

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//my space//

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~sunsets~

 

 

Proverbs 2 {Personal Bible Study}

So remember about a year ago I did this post, on Proverbs 1, with promise of a second one?

Yes? Well, here it is.

Proverbs 2:1-9  (NKJV)

The Value of Wisdom

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.

Oh, where do I start?  In my last article we looked at Proverbs 1:1-8, which was an introduction to the next several articles I will be doing. Today I want to hop to the next chapter and look at it.

In Proverbs 2:1-9 we find a type of wisdom that you could call a hidden wisdom. This is a wisdom that only comes to those who truly desire it and is available only to those who devote their life in pursuit of it.

If you look closely at this passage we find several key words. The first word is if. IF you receive. IF you cry out and lift up your voice. IF you seek and search. (verses1, 3, 4)  The thing we have to realize here is there is a choice we have to make. And not only do we have a choice to make; we have to do something about it.

Have you ever asked someone to do something, and they said they would (they made a choice to do it), yet they just sat there and didn’t make any move to do it? And you’re thinking “Hello! Didn’t you hear me??”  Yet you know they heard you, because they said they would do it.  It’s kind of confusing, right?

So first, before we look deeper into this passage, we have to understand that we need to make a choice then do something about it.

What do we need to do?

We are called to draw closer to God and grow in our understanding of Him, and then we will harvest the results.

My son, If thou wilt receive my instruction and hide my commandments with thee,                                                                        

  1. Be Attentive-Listen to your God.

We are to listen to God- but not just listen, but to hide His commandments in our hearts, so that we never forget them.  I will use another illustration.

Have you ever seen someone doing something wrong, and you knew it, and you knew how to do it right, and so you tried to show them the proper way of doing said thing. You can tell when someone isn’t listening- and you can also tell when someone doesn’t want to do it right. They aren’t receiving instruction.

                Now, this verse kind of blends with the next verse.  We are to hide my commandments with thee, So that we can incline our ear to wisdom and then apply your heart to understanding.

                There is something very unique about your name. Something that when someone says it, even though most other people don’t hear it, it sticks out to you.  We know it so well that, even though we don’t think about it, we know when someone says it and we suddenly snap into attention.  Something I have noticed is that when someone tries to adapt a new nickname it never quite gets there attention like saying their actual name does.

                We are to know God’s word so well, that it sticks out to you, and you can easily see or hear when something is wrong, or amiss. Which will keep us from believing false prophets.

Apply your heart to understanding.

What good does it do to just read the Bible and do nothing about it? This verse is telling us we need to try and understand what God is saying to us through this scripture. Next we need to apply to our lives and live it out.

 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,

And lift up your voice for understanding,

4 If you seek her as silver,

And search for her as for hidden treasures;

We are still being told what we need to do in order to receive whatever it is we are to receive.

We are to CRY OUT for discernment. I heard an illustration one time of this verse.

Imagine you fell of the side of a cliff. And you were falling, until you saw this branch and grabbed on for dear life. Now what? Are you just going to sit there and simply in a normal voice say “help.”  Probably not. You most likely will be screaming at the top of your lungs “HELP!!!” Right?

In the same way, we are to cry out, for discernment.

There is something about cry out, out loud to God.  You see, Satan can’t see your thoughts. So in order for him to know he’s not wanted, we need to cry out and tell him to leave.

Again, lift up your voice for understanding. This is pretty much repeating the last phrase. In the Old Testament, in poetry, etc., they would rhyme thoughts rather than sounds.

Next we are to seek said thing as silver and search for it as hidden treasure.

If I told my younger brother that somewhere in my room I hid a hundred bucks, and if he found it he could keep it, he wouldn’t just walk into my room, glance around it, then leave again. No sir-ee, he would dig all over my room until he found that hundred bucks, not stopping once.

See the parallel? We can’t just read God’s  word only on Sunday’s  and Wednesday’s , and then expect to learn everything to learn. We need to dig into God’s , and apply what we read to our lives.

Then the result.

What do we get from all this?

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.

To sum it up:

  • We will understand what it means to fear God
  • We will find the knowledge of God
  • He will give us wisdom
  • He will protect us

Ramblings and Musings: Love and the Outcome

Sooo you see my title and your first thought might be that couple/band that calls themself Christian. Yeaah I don’t really like them. In case you didn’t know, I’m not a very big fan of Contemporary Christian Music (ya know, CCM) But that’s a different post for a different time {yep, coming soon;)}

But that’s not what I’m going to be talking about today.

Oh, wait. I need my disclaimer :

SOME of the things I’m going to stay on here today are my own opinion. Alot of them are not. Everything I say here I believe with all my heart, and believe it as fact, not just something I thought up.Like always,  if you agree, I love you. If you don’t. Well, I’m sorry. No matter your opinion, I really really want to know what you think (instead of just hording all you thoughts *sniff sniff. So please leave me a comment, and let me know if you agree or disagree. Thanks!

 

Love starts….Where?

Let me tell you about myself for a little. Now, I grew up in Northern Missouri, in the heart of the Mid-West (I know, I know, where even is Missouri?? ) I mean, we’d have to drive maybe 2-3 hours to see any professional sports team play (not that we’d want to see them anyhow because sports+Missouri= sick. Especially their hockey team. {don’t ask me how I know that.}  Unless you count rodeos and truck pulls as sports. But, yeah you get the point)

There’s not alot of people in our area or north east Missouri. Especially when it comes to, ya know, the average BMA kid?

So yeah, not alot of people, not alot of friends.

And besides I’m a Homeschooler (And proud of it ya’ll-I’ll be graduating before most Public schoolers even get to their Junior year.) Not alot of people in my circles, ya know?

I had questions like “Where do I belong?” “Do I fit in here?” “What even is a ‘Best Friend’?”  And yes, these are probably questions we all ask ourselves, one time or another.

Buuut i didn’t even have a “Best Friend” (FYI, I dislike that term)

Oh, I had “good friends”. Ya know, the gals I hung out with, chatted with on iMessage, called every now and then. But I was always just “One of the best friends” or “really really good friend”. I’d build up hopes, just to have them crumble again.

Man, I’ve already spent 400 words and I haven’t even got to the good stuff.

Because that’s the awesome thing. There is good stuff.

Jesus: our first love

Yes, I know, we’ve all heard it before. Jesus is our first love. He’s our BFF. And, you know, “SMILE! Jesus Loves You!” (Cheeeeeessy)

But yeah, we know all this stuff. Been told it all our lives. If someone would ask us, we would say “Yes, I believe this.”

Most of us have John 3:16 memorized:

 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And Yesss. We know this. Right??
We have known all our lives what Jesus did on the cross.  Paid the price for our sins, so we wouldn’t have to. We get that. We get what it means to us.

But do we get what it meant to God? Like seriously, God sent His only  son so you could be free!

As Christians, growing up in Christian homes all our lives, going to Church every Sunday, because we didn’t really have a choice , we’ve been taught about this our entire life. We have more knowledge about this area then most people know about their favorite sports team. And that’s a lot.

Let’s take a bunny trail here for a second.

Let’s say..um Jack. There’s a guy you know, whos name is Jack. Jack is 14.  Jack loves baseball. His favorite team is the St. Louis Cardinals. Jake always know when the Cardinals next game will be, what there chances of winning are, and exactly where they are in stats and standings. Let’s say Jack spends 30 minutes a day study about the St. Louis Cardinals. Every single day, he has no problem at all to take that 30 minutes and learn about the St. Louis Cardinals. Jack talks about the St. Louis Cardinals A LOT, too. Everybody knows that’s his favorite team. People can see tell he knows a lot about the Cardinals, and it is obvious that he spends those 30 minutes a day only learning about the Cardinals.

Just think, if  Jack spent 30 minutes a day, plus most of the day every Sunday for 12 years of his life learning about the Cardinals he would have spent 13,730 minutes learning about them. That’s roughly 228 hours. Think how much he would about Cardinals then.

Soo just think, you’ve probably spent about that much time hearing about Jesus and the Gospel .  (maybe more or less depending on age, and such)

So if you modified that story up there so that everything is you and God, would it be the same?

Head knowledge does not equal heart knowledge.

So we established that we KNOW a lot about God. We’ve been taught it our whole lives about Jesus. We know  so much about Him. If someone asked, we could tell them.

But it does no good if it’s not in our heart.

We must believe it.

We must take that head knowledge, and place it in our hearts.

That’s what we do when we accept Jesus as our Savoir.But I’m not here to talk about that.

What did we do when we accept Jesus into our hearts?

We accept the fact that he gave His life to die on a tree, so that we wouldn’t have to pay the price for our sins. We accept that He loved each one of us so much that he did that for us.

Wait,wait,wait. Love?

I Love that outfit.

I Love that cup of coffee.

I Love that candy bar.

I Love that boy. (raisy eyebrows inserted here.)

But…God? loving us?

Well, of course He loves us, I mean, really, Look at that verse up there, ya know, John 3:16??

Oooh I’m not doubting that you know that God loves the world, but did you know that He loves YOU personally?

OF COURSE I know that.Duh.

So you know it?

Yes!!

In your heart? or in your head?

Because we can know as much stuff as we want. We can even say it to people.

But if we don’t believe it, with all of our hearts, that God is very concerned and loves you more than anyone else in the whole world, it does you no good.

He loves you more than your best friend.

More than your boyfriend.

Even more than your parents or siblings.

He loves you. 

Now where do we go from here.

Love……and the outcome.

Have you ever seen one of those little fountain decor things? You put water in the bottom and it just keeps on going in and coming back out, going in and coming back out, over and over and over again.

See, you’re kind of like that little fountain. God keeps pouring His love on you over and over, now you know what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. Now, we can’t just stop there. You’ve got to pour out that love on the people around you. Over and over and over.

Keep sucking up, keep pouring out.

Like a sponge. You soak all the water up  and squeeze it all out.

Keep soaking. Keep squeezing.

Love always,

Katrina

 

My Journey in Journeling | Week 2

Hello all!!

I’m so glad you could join me for the second week of my journey! Today I’m going to share the verses+word of the days that I used this past week.  I hope these will inspire you.

So for my “Verse for today”:

Day 1: Philippians 4:13

Day 2: Luke 6:27

Day 3: Psalms 105:1

Day 4: Proverbs 1:5

Day 5: Psalms 55:22

Day 6: John 3:3

and “Word for today”:

Day 1: Be Graceful

Day 2: Be Merciful

Day 3: Be Thankful

Day 4: Be teachable

Day 5: Be Thoughtful

Day 6: Be Through

Thanks!

-Katrina Grace

 

Ramblings and Musings|| Jealousy: the heart of the matter

Disclaimer: I have my opinions. I you agree with me, Awesome sauce. If you don’t..please remember they are just my opinions. Thanks!

Jealousy. Oh, what a word.

“I’m not jealous.” you say right away.

But are you sure?

What is Jealousy?

According to Webster’s:

jealousy

noun jeal·ou·sy \ˈje-lə-sē\

Simple Definition of jealousy

  • : an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has

An unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has. It’s the long and short of it. We see someone else has something, we want, but can’t have it, so we are unhappy with them, because they have something we can’t have.

“Oh! She thinks she soo stylish in that skirt! But I know she paid alot for it, and for some people money doesn’t grow on trees.”

“How does her complexion always look perfect? You can tell by the way she acts she knows it perfect, too”

“UGH..they have SUCH a nice house. I wish we could live in a house like theirs.”

“HUH! She thinks she such a super star, just because the guys are always telling her she is  so good at volleyball”

“Oh good grief, she thinks she soo popular, just cause her parents are missionaries and they get to travel all over and meet alot of people.”

Isn’t this what we think?

Okay, so maybe these aren’t our exact words. But we all know there is one thing or another that irritates us. Why? Because we are jealous.  Why else would someone be making mean remarks on how someone else gets compliments on their volleyball skills? Maybe because they know they can’t set very well and they wish they could?

The Result of jealousy.

Look at the examples above. Does any of those sound like someone you’d want to hang out with?

James 3:16 (KJV)

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

When we feel jealous towards a person, there is instantly a wall built. You see something that is nicer than what you have, but you can’t have it,  yet someone else have it, so it creates a feeling of discontentment, which will make us unhappy about ourselves, therefore creating a atmosphere of unhappiness when I am around other people.  (I know, that was a major run-on sentence)

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Longing. Longing for something else has. Now suddenly everything I have doesn’t matter.

The skirt I bought last week.

The face I was somewhat happy with how it looked

The house that has been a decent house-till now.

The fact that I can actually serve the ball.

The people I’ve met and the places I’ve been.

and we go downhill from there.

How can we prevent this?

Contentment and the result:

The opposite of jealousy is contentment.  Why?

Envy is the art of counting another’s blessing instead of your own – Harold Coffin

If we are happy with what we have, then it won’t matter if the other girl has a cuter skirt.

I own a Nikon D3000 camera . It’s a really nice camera.  I can take beautiful, clear, in focus images with it.

My sister owns a Nikon D3100. It’s almost identical to mine. Only it can take videos while mine can’t. Now if I’m not careful, I could start complaining about my perfectly equip camera, and sell it and spend an extra 100 bucks just so I can get one like her’s.

It’s a choice I have to make.

It’s a choice of either looking at what I have, counting my blessings and be happy, or the choice of looking at other, realizing all i don’t have, and living miserable until I get them .

It’s seems kind of like a no brainer if you ask me.

If you choose to be content, it will show.

If you choose to be jealous, it will show.

So, the question is…what do you want to show?

 

What do you want to show? Comment below and let me know what think about this!

Until next time,

Trina