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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.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

crossToday I’d like to talk to you about one of my favorite hymns of all time. It’s called “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” This hymn has always stuck out to me as one of the most beautiful and well-stated songs ever written. Let’s look through some of the lyrics together.

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” This first verse is saying that Jesus is our friend and He is there to carry our sins and our troubles. He is there to help. It is so special to have a God who loves us, and who we can talk to about anything, any time, at any place. There are so many times that we have such worry and grief, that we forget that we have a God who wants to hear about it, and who wants to help you. We have to remember that He is there, and when we take it to Him, He will relieve us of the pain and suffering; we simply have to take it to Him, and trust that He will take care of it.

I’ll leave you with the last two verses of the song. If you’ve never heard this song before, I’d encourage you to look it up online. “Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer! Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness. Take it to the Lord in prayer! Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior still our refuge. Take it to the Lord in prayer! Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms he’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.”

-Michaela W.

What is your favorite hymn or worship song, and why? Let us know in the comments down below!

Cardinals and Fireflies Album Review

Cardinals and Fireflies by Bill Stutzman

Bill Stutzman is a little-known musician who also teaches at my school. His newest album, Cardinals and Fireflies, is artfully arranged with 12 songs, one for each month of the year. Each of the songs is not only very catchy and pleasing to the ear, but well thought out and thought provoking. The words of the songs never cease to encourage me. The chorus of Work To Do says, “There’s more work still to be done, there’s more art to make still and more battles to be won, and it may all be just for an audience of one, God blessed that too, Oh we’ve got work to do.” He also emphasizes the importance of failing (which I do plenty) because it means that you at least tried. My favorite song on the album though is Waiting Lullaby. It is so soothing! It begins “Softly sleep now, let fears subside. In God’s love be still and abide.” The words along with the tune, cradle the listener, coaxing you to be calm and rest in God’s promises. You can purchase Cardinals and Fireflies on iTunes, amazon, CD Baby, and many other websites. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.

-Anna T.

Buy Cardinals and Fireflies on iTunes

What is your favorite track on this album? Leave a comment down below!

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.

Just Do It

runner feet Junior High. I’m sure you just groaned. Yes, that was the year when everyone hated you and your life sucked. Your classmates each had that one thing that ticked you off and nobody could shut up. Well, guess what? I’m in eleventh grade and, sure, it has gotten better, but to be honest with myself, I still feel unpopular and overlooked.

In 2011, the Denver, Broncos had a 1-4 record and a back-up quarterback who threw like a girl. People still called for Tim Tebow to take the field. The former star of the Florida Gators began in week 7 and won the game 18-15 in overtime. After that, the Broncos went on a streak of miraculous victories to end the season with a 7-4 record. People hated Tebow not just because he stunk but because he had the guts to speak up and take his underdog team to victory.

It’s always intrigued me that almost every great main character or player is unpopular and overlooked. They’re always the underdog: Harry Potter, Tebow, Frodo, even Christ. But we all sympathize with them because we feel like them at times. We just can’t seem to realize that we’re in The Story, The Game and we’re the main characters. When you look at it in that light, being an underdog is actually essential to the story sometimes. It’s hard, but God has given you the challenge to ‘just do it’ as Nike would say. We’re called to have dominion over everything in this world (Gen. 1:28) so go out and take it.

One of the key factors in Tebow’s success (besides a miracle) was the fact that he didn’t care what other people thought about him. Even if he threw like a girl and even if he was a Christian, Tebow still made that gutsy move to play his hardest and speak up for his faith. G.K. Chesterton once said, “…how much happier you would be if you only knew that these people cared nothing about you! How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure; if you could see them walking as they are in their sunny selfishness and their virile indifference! You would begin to be interested in them, because they were not interested in you. You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers.” Tebow realized that everybody is interested in himself. They don’t care about your looks or failures because we all live in our own little lives. Once you know that, it’s easy to get excited about other people and to be gutsy.

So next time you’re feeling a little low, be gutsy and ‘just do it.’

Kiale P.

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.