Tag Archives: Anika H.

Drifting Apart in Friendships: How to Deal

“How do I deal with me and my friend drifting apart and not having the same interests as we did when we were really good friends?”

drifting apartUnfortunately, drifting apart is probably one of the worst things in a friendship. I’ve had this happen to me many, many times, and it’s not fun at all, but I think it’s a pretty normal thing to go through. As you grow, you change, your interests change, and your ideas of a fun time may be different from what it was two years ago. Sometimes you just have to accept that people change, and move on, but here are some tips to continue your friendship, even though you may not be as close as you were before.

Hang Out

One of the main reasons you drift apart (Aside from changing, of course) is that you stop making the effort to talk and hang out. Invite them out to eat lunch and go shopping with you one day. If they live far away, set up a time to Skype and catch up on each other’s lives! Make sure you do things that each other likes, and make an effort to explore their new interests as well. What about starting a bible study together? Maybe even set a time once a week or two to get together regularly! While having to actually schedule in time to spend with a friend may not seem that great, it’ll get you back into the routine of talking to them, and will hopefully strengthen your friendship overtime!

Re-Introduce Yourselves

Drifting apart doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. While they may have changed and made new friends, it isn’t the end of the world. Instead of giving up, try “re-introducing” yourselves. Look at it from the positive side. Learn more about their new hobbies and passions. Introduce them to things you’ve enjoyed recently. Maybe introduce them to your new friends, and vice versa. Chances are, you’ll be able to bond over something new! And remember, you may have changed, but you haven’t changed completely. Deep down, you’re still the same; try re-discovering some of that common ground that brought you two together in the first place!

Let Go

Sometimes change is inevitable, and there’s nothing you can do about drifting apart. While it sucks and we all hate losing good friends, sometimes it’s better to leave with good memories instead of trying to force a friendship that just won’t work anymore. Everybody goes through different changes, and this is unfortunately part of it, Treasure the memories you two have created together, and move on.

How do you deal with drifting apart? Let us know in the comments below!

-Anika H.

Patience, Prayer, and Paris

patience prayer parisI woke up this morning to see alerts all over social media about how Paris had been attacked, tens of people had already been confirmed dead, and how other large cities were on alert for possible threats. I see people posting hotlines and messages telling residents of Paris to stay inside and to stay safe. My first thought after being informed of the tragedy was ‘not again.’ News alerts of innocent lives being taken occur much too often, and it’s hard to see something like this happen over and over.

My second thought was helplessness. What do I have that can help these people? I have no power or influence to change this situation, and I don’t even know anybody in Paris that I could check up on. I come to the conclusion that all I could do was pray.

Confession time: I hate when I am unable to do something about a situation. I’m not a ‘control freak’ for sure, I’m actually extremely go-with-the-flow and flexible – maybe even too much. But when there’s a situation like this or even something like an upset friend, I absolutely hate not being able to make a change. I want to do something tangible, something that will have an immediate effect on the people who need help. Of course, this is the real word, I’m not super(wo)man, and a reality check is necessary sometimes. I can’t do everything, that’s for sure. And that’s okay.

This is where I come back to my conclusion that ‘all I could do was pray.’ It’s easy to forget just how powerful prayer can be. It’s not a last resort, a thing we do because we can’t do anything else. Prayer IS tangible. Prayer CAN and DOES have an immediate effect on people who need help. Prayer DOES make a change. Prayer protects. Prayer saves. When you’re antsy about a situation like me, it can be hard to be patient and let God work, but when we do, He does amazing things.

In Jeremiah 29:12, God says “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” God is listening to our prayers, we just need to have faith. It’s so important to keep the people of Paris in our prayers. Keep in mind the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and ask that they will somehow come to know Him and find peace amidst this tragedy. Remember just how powerful our God is, and be reminded that he is in control of everything – even the situations that may seem hopeless.

-Anika H.

Bible Study Tips

bible study tips“Sometimes I have trouble staying focused when I am reading the Bible. What are some ways I can stay focused more easily?”

I’m pretty sure everyone struggles with this at times, I know I do!  One thing that I like to do is to take notes. Write down how you feel about certain things, sections that you like, things you want to remember, etc. Even write down the things you don’t understand. Get a multi-colored pen or some highlighters to make it fun! I find that this really helps me stay focused on what I’m reading.  Another thing to try is to start reading little bits of the Bible at a time, going over it several times to understand the meaning better, instead of reading long sections! Even if you only read a verse or two, it’s a lot better than reading a long section and not understanding it!  Remember to pray before you start, and ask Him to help you focus and to understand what you’re reading.

What are some of your bible study tips? Let us know down in the comments below! Also, if you have any questions you want our team to answer, let us know by submitting a question here!

-Anika H.

10 Ways to Stay Sane During the School Year

School has begun for most of us, and with school comes the stress of homework, assignments, and tests. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with all we have to do, so here are ten ways you can stay sane during the school year.

girl-865304_12801. Take a deep breath
While school can be stressful, it’s so important to have fun and get away from the deadlines. I don’t know about you, but if I’m consumed with schoolwork all the time, I lose my productivity and focus. Chill out, have some coffee or tea, hang out with your friends, and get away from the stress for a while.

 

 

knit-869221_12802. Explore an interest
As I mentioned, taking a break and getting away from the stress is important. Instead of stressing over algebra, learn to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Explore some of your hobbies. Do something you normally wouldn’t, and enjoy the break!

 

 

 

popcorn-166831_19203. Watch a movie or TV show
This is a great way to relax and wind down, and you don’t need to think too hard to do it! Again, enjoy the break!

 

 

 

 

crossfit-534615_19204. Exercise
Ugh, does anyone actually LIKE to exercise?? I’m only kidding, but seriously please tell me how to make exercising more fun. I’m usually too lazy to bother getting out and going for a run or a swim, and I probably make too many excuses about the weather not being quite right, but when I actually do it, I feel so much more focused later. I feel better about myself, and feel healthier, too!

 

watermelon-869207_19205. Eat Healthier
This goes right along with the previous point, and it’s so hard to control my unhealthy habits (chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate!) when I’m studying. Despite that, I feel so much better when I eat more veggies and fruits, and avoid unhealthier meals.

 

 

art-820276_19206. Buy new school supplies
Buying new school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, or planners can be another way to motivate you to work more diligently. If my school supplies are organized and put together, it makes me work better!

 

 

desk-605497_19207. Organize
I have a love-hate relationship with organization. When I’m in the mood, I could reorganize my room all day. Anytime else, though, I’m a horrible, disorganized mess. Having that said, I am so much more productive when things are organized and orderly. It puts me into the right mood to get things done, and my work is so much more efficient.

 

 

female-865110_19208. Motivate yourself
If I’m not motivated to do something or get something done, it can be hard for me to work efficiently. You could reward yourself for doing a certain amount of work, getting a certain grade on a test, or finishing a project.

 

 

woman-872122_19209. Spend time with God
I suppose this may be the obvious one, but it’s the most important one, in my opinion. It’s so important to spend time in the Word, and to talk to God. When I’m not connected to God, it’s so much easier to get stressed out, and lose focus on what I need to be doing. I suggest taking at least five minutes either in the morning or the night to read a passage of the Bible, pray, and to focus on Him and what He wants you to do.

 

holding-hands-752878_192010. Small group/bible study
Another thing that helps me so much when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed is to be a part of a small group or a bible study. This can be through your church, your school, or just with some friends. It helps to be able to share what you’re going through, to read the bible together, and to have people pray for you and what you’re going through. They can also make sure you’re doing alright and that you’re sticking to reading your bible each day.

 

That concludes my list, but please let me know what your tips are for surviving the school year!

-Anika H.

Loving Yourself

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image16390712What do you see when you look in the mirror? What are the thoughts that spring to your mind when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a window? I would hope that you smile to yourself, think “I look good today!” and go on with your day, but the sad truth is that most likely you spend hours in front of the mirror picking out every single zit, scar or rash, then attempting to cover them with makeup.

I used to be really into “beauty gurus,” as they’re called, on YouTube. These girls, most likely between fifteen and twenty-five, shared their favorite makeup products each month, did hauls where they showed off their recent purchases, made tutorials on hairstyles and makeup looks, and filmed look books showing off the latest styles. I don’t know why I got so into them, I mean, I live in Japan where we have hardly any of the stores mentioned in their videos, my hair is really thick and never stays curled or straightened (I’m serious, it’s the worst. Help me out??), the most “makeup” I’ll wear is maybe some lip balm, and I’m a self-proclaimed “Not a girly-girl” who wears jeans every day and wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt. Not your typical demographic.

Anyways, one of the things I noticed while watching these videos was that these girls would talk about “covering up your imperfections” while covering their faces with the latest concealer or blemish-eliminating cream. Hearing this always made me wonder. I mean, I get it, you want your face to look perfect, but you have an unwanted mark appear, therefore making it an “imperfection.” I always hated when they would say that, as it made me wonder if my blemishes or freckles or spots defined whether I was perfect or not. And maybe I’m reading too much into it, I know they don’t literally mean that you’re not perfect, but it always bothered me.

You may already know this, but I want to remind you that God doesn’t look at your outer appearance and your so-called “imperfections” that apparently need to be concealed by eight layers of makeup. He looks at your heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Those who follow, obey, and love God with all their hearts are already extremely beautiful to Him without mascara, blush, and lipstick.

God made you in HIS image, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Each person is unique in the best way possible, and everyone’s a little bit different from each other. Isn’t that amazing? I’m sure you’ve heard this analogy before, but each person is like a snowflake-there’s none that are exactly the same. Your exceptional features are what make you yourself, so why do we try so hard to conform to one specific standard of beauty that society has constructed? Be yourself, because everybody else is already taken.

I read this a few years ago in a book that I cannot for the life of me remember, but one piece of advice that stuck to me was to stamp your thumbprint to a mirror you’ll look into daily, and remind yourself each time you see it that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God thinks you’re beautiful. It’ll give you a more positive outlook on the day, I promise. Another piece of advice that I would give you is to smile at yourself each time you look into the mirror. Often when we see ourselves in the reflection we take it as an opportunity to pick out all of our “imperfections.” Instead, pick out a couple of things you like about yourself that day, and give a big smile. It’s amazing how much more happy and positive this makes you. Shine in the outside, and it will reflect on the outside and in how people see you.  And who cares about these “imperfections” anyway? I rather like freckles.

Anika H.