Thursday, September 21, 2017

Success in a Hollywood World

Lately I have been feeling the stress of being successful.  I look around at all my friends (or even people I barely know) and I immediately begin to compare myself to whether I am as good as them. Sometimes I define success as being married and starting a family, other days I look at it as the accomplishment of having a degree and a good job, and still others I look at it as how much I have done with my life. (This can range of being able to run a half marathon to being in the military to how much I have traveled)  This type of stress consumes a person and all they can do is start to worry and become selfish with their desires.

What is the definition of success anyways? According to the Cambridge Dictionary success is: "The achieving of desired results, or someone or something that achieves positive results."  In this definition there is not any comparison of one person to another.  It is only  your desired results.  Success is not and should not be defined by another and definitely should not be defined by the Hollywood world that we live in. When I get worried about how my life is turning out I remind myself of everything that I have done and then I set a new goal. You are not living your life to impress others but to know, love and serve the Lord.

So to be successful I have set the goal to run a half marathon in February and have started training for it.  Good luck to me because sometimes running sucks! In this I am working on really trusting that the Lord has a plan.  The running allows me to push myself physically and show myself that I can accomplish a goal each day whether that is running three miles, five miles (next week) or ten miles in a few weeks!  I have seen so many blessings in just the past three months but extending to the past six months.  Including, but not limited to, spending time outdoors, learning ranch things, and being blessed to begin a discipleship group.  Each person's success is very unique to them because we are all unique. (Thank Goodness!)

In this Hollywood world we all need to remember that each individual person has such a unique purpose which is absolutely beautiful! As fall sets in I am going to work on enjoying each step of the way and really learning to be hopeful in the future. (A certain kind of trust)  Here is to learning, dancing, and enjoying this wild, crazy, precious life!

Til next time!
~A girl chasing her dreams

                              Thanks for being my running partner & getting me to the finish line

I am blessed to have people in my life that so patiently teach me about horses and cows


Monday, August 28, 2017

A Modern Day Ruth

"And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling."         Author Unknown

It is the end of summer and the above quote are my feelings exactly.  The most important part is that my eyes are sparkling, my heart is full, and I am excited for this coming school year. This summer was a summer of growth.  In general since January 1, 2017 I feel like I have been growing.  In the beginning of the year I went to the FOCUS conference down in San Antonio, TX, which kicked off the year for a lot of spiritual growth.  After that I completed two courses at Helena College amidst some work on the Bignell Ranch and enjoying a couple of ski days.  Fast forward to summer where I still did not get into a nursing program and sent myself into full panic mode of figuring out a major or a Plan B.  While I panicked and thought everything relied on me I went to the Cathedral of St. Helena to offer a simple prayer.  I asked God to one: not put a man in my life until he and I were both ready to take on this challenge; two: help me with my patience.  Two things that should not be mixed. 

 Upon this prayer I randomly started to pray for the intercession of St. Joseph and to learn about him more.  As the Chaste Spouse he is the greatest example for the world for the "perfect spouse".  I have heard that St. Joseph answers prayers in such a simple but profound way that it is almost unbelievable.  Over the course of the summer there were many opportunities to pray for his intercession in my life which leads to the next part of my life which came to me just a bit ago.  I have struggled this summer with really trusting God with my life, even though He knew me before He formed me in my mother's womb.  (Jeremiah 1:5 I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations." If He knew me at this level then I must trust Him with the rest of my life.  Coming back to how Ruth is such an inspiration for me right now.  Ruth had given everything up to move to Naomi's home. (Her mother in law) When she was out working in the fields Boaz came to the fields and praised Ruth's work, asking her to stay with the women of the field to work.  From this story I can only imagine what the world would look like if we all did God's Will the way Ruth did so humbly.  

This leads me to my end thoughts. For my life I am learning to trust God's will with a childlike trust.  Every time I start to worry about my future and my future husband (and how he must be perfect!) I send a little prayer to St. Joseph, knowing he is watching over both of us and every time I worry if I am doing God's will I think of Ruth, and how she was doing God's will by doing the most simple things, leading her to a great blessing. It is hard for me to not worry but worrying about tomorrow only takes away from today's joys. 

Keep Smiling!
Blue Skies Ahead!
~A girl chasing her dreams

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Past Few Months

Phewsta~ it's been a while and many things have happened that may have seemed to "upset the apple cart".  The first, I moved back to Helena from North Dakota to continue my schooling. The second, I have been working at as a CNA at Touchmark.  The first has helped me tremendously and I do not regret going to North Dakota because I learned a lot and am still very young so no need to worry.  The second, has taught me a lot of patience and how to understand people more fully by truly listening.
Now what am I doing with my life? Well I am going to become a nurse and that is for sure, some how, some way. I am paying off my debt by working 32 hours a week and taking only a couple of classes. In my time off I spend my time working out and catching up with various people while still trying to slip in some ski days while winter is still lasting.  This all may sound like a either a very boring life or not "living it up" while still being in college and being so young.  It also may seem like I do not have my life figured out.  But I have come to a realization while I was down in Texas at a convention; life is messy and often not very well planned.  Well it's not well planned by us but by God it is all figured out.  How boring it would be if we had a blueprint handed to us for how life was supposed to happen? Anyho.....That's the life for now.

A little skiing to finish up Winter.  

Oh how I love being on the Ranch!

Ranching is where my heart is.  I did not grow up a rancher but I was constantly around those type of people.  How rich and full of life they are.  As I was driving home with such a full heart and dirty hands, and clothes, and boots, and everything, I was thinking of why it made me so happy.  Then my Grandma stated it perfectly, "It's being so close to the earth for which God made for us to enjoy." Yes! This is why ranching always makes me so happy.  Is it frustrating when that cow refuses to go through the gate? Yes, it is, especially when it decides to take off across the field.  But all this aside it is being outside while often looking like a wild thing either running behind a cow or trying to cut it off with the four-wheeler while fully using our abilities to work the earth. 

Find your passion and run with it!

Til Next Time!
~A Girl Chasing her Dreams

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Day I Grew Up

I am twenty years old and I just started really growing up.  It is hard to come to the reality that your parents will not always be there for you to make your decisions.  Sooner or later one must leave the family and build his or her own life.  This reality hit me the other night when within two days I had called my mom with many problems.  First I was homesick, next I was angry, and the next day I did not know how to handle some situations around me.  So I thought it would be a great idea to call my mother on a Monday night.  Soon after I tried telling her everything my Dad got on the phone and said, "Michaela, you have to grow up.  You have to make some decisions on your own.  They have to be your own and if they were not the right ones then you just have to move on and pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you always."  These are words of wisdom.  They were exactly what I needed.  No more pretend about being grown up.  This is real life in the real world. Well shucks.

So what does this mean? It means that every time that I want to call my mom about a problem I should first learn how to handle it on my own.  She has seven other kids at home.  This means that when I want to go do something I can just go do it instead of asking my parents what they think.  This means that I can hang out with who I want to. I can talk to boys that I think are cool.  I can try new things.  I can begin new activities. In turn all of these things should then reflect what my parents raised me to do and be like.  

It is hard to begin something new and to really learn to grow up.  But it is life and it will happen whether you want it to happen or not.  So instead of moping about what we cannot change I made a resolution within myself to start living it up.  No, not by partying but by forcing myself to go out of my comfort zone.  This was started by going to workout with some guys then going to dinner with them.  First off this is what I have wanted for a long time but second off it placed me outside of my comfort zone. This lead to conversations that opened up some more questions in my life at the same time of answering some questions I have had for many years.  So this helped me know that I can make more of what I have now.

So for the next month my goal is to meet more people and to try to go out of my comfort zone.  I want to bring the light to many people and not to only be closed in on myself.  I am learning that other people have things to offer.  People bring other perspectives to life that I may not have.  Thus, I need to start seeing this and drink in the joy that others have also.  It is hard in college not to turn in on one's self and become a one man for himself deal.  It would be easier but if we are truly trying to better ourselves than we cannot turn in on ourselves.  So spend time in prayer, ask God to help you, and live it up!

Til next time!
~A girl chasing her dreams

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Call of Singlehood

               A friend of mine texted me the other morning telling me about a dream she had the night before.  As we would love all of our stories to go, she was dating one of her good friends from her hometown which meant she was dating one of her best friends which is what all girls hope for. (Boys take note) After a good dream she woke up and realized she was, yep, still single. What a disappointment to realize this.  What we do not realize is that sometimes we are called to the "season of singleness" for a reason.  One reason I have found is to help me become more satisfied with being me and creating a better version of myself.  Another reason is because we need to grow closer to God because if we are not close to God then how will we be close to another human being.

                Being single means we have so many opportunities for adventures and to meet so many new people.  It is our chance to build up relationships because we do not have any attachments to anything but what we, ourselves choose to attach to.  We do not have the financial worries of another person or the worries of supporting another person.  We can give of ourselves to many different things because we are not focusing on the calling of a family.  I am still learning to use this time wisely.  I have caught myself moping about at times but I try to pull myself out of it because otherwise I am wasting time that could be spent living outside of myself.  I have loved living in the moment with my family and the people around me.  Even more I have enjoyed growing to become the best version of myself.  Pictures are the best way to describe one's life so without further ado here are some highlights from the summer time.

                                            Somewhere on a beach

                                                         They call the thing a rodeo
                                                                             The three amigos

Here is to an excellent year of growing in many ways!

~A Girl chasing her Dreams

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Brand New Day

This past weekend I loaded up all my things after work, picked up a friend, and headed for the hills.....literally.  It was windy as we exited North Dakota but that was to be expected.  As we sped across the flat lands we ran into a cop heading the other way.  With my luck the cop flipped through the ditch, tailed us, then pulled me over.  This young cop walked up and kindly asked me if I knew what I had done. "Why, yes sir, I was speeding."  Being the nice cop he was, he had mercy on me and gave me a warning.  I have my mother's luck.  We arrived in Helena, MT. at about 10:30 MT time.  The next morning my sister and I went on a good, chilly, and beautiful ride on our horses.
                                                                  ~My baby girl~

Good Friday was then spent going to Church, hiking with Daddy and my sister Katherine.  It was so fulfilling to be out on the mountains that were my home and where my heart belongs. The birds were flitting in and out of the trees reminding us that new life was on its way with the Resurrection and with the entry of Spring.  
~Give me elevation~
~Someone must have wanted to sleep while hunt~

Being home taught me many things this time.  Creating my life on my own is possible because I am not on my own.  The people that love you will always be by your side.
During my quick trip to MT my Uncle and Aunt were in town.  It was great fun to visit with them and see their little kiddos grow up and be running around.  Little Pierce during one dinner, eating a drumstick, turned to my Dad saying, "I found a bone.  Uncle Shannon, look I found a bone!" Ah how little kids but especially little boys just crack me up. It was good to be teased and challenged by Uncle Alex.  He reminded me that really nothing in life comes easy and that my dreams are worth chasing.  The second thing  that I took away from my trip was that even when it gets hard it is only trying to challenge one's self to forge ahead and become the "Best version of yourself"            (Mathew Kelley)  
So for the next four and a half weeks of my sophomore year here is to Blue Skies Ahead!
~A girl chasing her dreams

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring Break!

         Spring Break 2016 was one of the best breaks I have ever been on.  We started it off with packing five girls into my little subaru.  We took off from Bismarck around two o' clock in the afternoon.  We were all hyped to be on break and start on adventures.  Saturday and Sunday were days of seeing family, friends from college, basketball games, and enjoying no school.  Monday was spent at one of the cattle ranches.  Molly G, Katherine and I were in all our element.  It was refreshing and exhilarating to be riding around on four wheelers in the fields, feeding cows, fixing fences, watching cows give birth, and doing any work that Mr. Bignell had for us.  Finishing the day being absolutely covered in mud, hay and the smell of the ranch filled my heart.
                                                   ~How I love these little cows~
                                I wanna marry a cowboy!

~As sisters we dream; as friends we take action~

Someone teach me to rope!

The life of my girls....waiting for our ride on the highway 

The rest of the week was filled with seeing various people, enjoying the Montana air, and going on many adventures.  Early Sunday morning we picked up bagels, coffee and snacks then hit the road.  Listening to Jason Evert and talking about how we can enrich our lives to become the best version of ourselves and learn how to become a Godly woman topped off the week.  As we were singing at the top of our lungs (grant it some of us do not have a voice) my car jerked us back into reality as it swerved over the road.  We quickly pulled to the side and jumped out to check my tires.  As I was checking my engine Molly G pointed out that there was one lug nut left on my back tire.  Three and a half hours later we were back on the road after being towed into Columbus, having new lug nuts put on my tire, and trying to enjoy our delay by eating McDonalds and watching a show. The mechanics were interesting fellows to say the least as they stereotyped us a lot, making one comment, "This must be the most fun you have had with your clothes on!" We proved to them that we are tough girls by handling this very well on our own.   
All in all it was one of the best trips I have ever taken and I look forward to many adventures with these ladies!