Monday, August 8, 2016

Living With Less | Living Simply

I have been told by many people on different occasions that I have a lot of stuff. I would just brush it off and reply with something along the lines of, "I'm a girl and I love shopping so it's okay!" It wasn't until recently in my life that I began to believe them and realize that I do have a lot of stuff. This summer, I moved all of my possessions to a house right next to my university. This made me see how much stuff I really had because I was physically touching every item and putting it in a box. I decided to get rid of things that didn't really matter to me or that I wasn't really using anymore.

A little over a year ago, I discovered this lifestyle called minimalism and I really liked the idea of it. A minimalist is someone who wants to live a simpler life with less stuff and clutter. (That's my definition.) Ever since then I have been working on my minimalist journey and decluttering my life. I have given three trash bags of clothes and miscellaneous items to Goodwill (and counting) and five big shopping bags of clothing to friends. I have also sold some items on eBay and Vinted that I thought were worth a bit of money. It feels so good to have less clutter in my life than I used to have.

I feel like this new change has made a big impact on the decisions that I make. I know that I still have a lot of things compared to some people but that is why it's called a journey. I'm not done yet. I still have clothes/shoes that I probably don't wear too often, a book shelf full of books that I have never read, and a drawer full of bath products I have yet to finish.

I have also grown and changed since I have started this new lifestyle. I feel a lot happier and less anxious living more simply with less stuff. Something that I just discovered is that a synonym of clutter is chaos and I feel like that is how I felt with a closet full of clothes I didn't even like. I used to go to the mall with friends just for fun but I would usually buy something every time I did that. Now I hardly shop for fun. I am more practical with how I spend my money and I think about what I want to buy before buying it.

My point in writing about this is not to try and persuade you to live this lifestyle too, although it would be an awesome decision! What I am trying to say in this post is that this is the beginning of a new era in my life. I don't think this is a phase and I am just going to go back to the way I was before. I think this is who I am and who I am striving to be.

                                                                     Image Credit

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5

Much Love,

Angela Paige

Friday, May 20, 2016

Cheers! | My Oxford Experience

Hi ya! So basically, I am the worst blogger known to man and that is why I haven't posted anything in months. So I'm sorry! But, I have returned from my four month journey to Oxford. It was such a great experience and I got to see more of the world around me. I could write forever on this topic but instead, here is a video I made for a class about my growth throughout this experience. I hope you enjoy!

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139: 9-10.

Much Love,

Angela Paige

P.S. Sorry that the video is very poor quality.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

God is Here

At the end of my freshman year in college I had this crazy idea that I wanted to go to Oxford for a semester. I got together all the documents and turned them all in. I was so excited. I was going to study abroad! However, in that moment my mood instantly changed. I was on the waiting list. I thought that was the end of it. I started to think of other things I could look forward to during that semester (I actually came up with quite a few).

Throughout the entire summer I became content with the idea of staying in Abilene for another semester. I soon forgot that I had been so excited about studying abroad in the first place. That was until I got an email. There was space in the study abroad program that I had originally applied for. When I read the email I instantly thought, "what do I do now?" Most people would have replied back in an instant. Since I had thought about so many alternatives I became okay with them. 

I eventually emailed back saying that I would go. Leading up to the next semester I contemplated my decision. I went back and forth trying to figure out which option was the best. One day I was completely sure that I wanted to go halfway around the world away from everything I knew. The next day I would back out and think, "there is absolutely no way that I can leave my life here in Houston/Abilene and go to another country for a semester." With that said, I doubted God many times. I didn't think he would provide for me financially. I eventually accepted the fact that I was going to study abroad.

Before we left the states, we (all the study abroad students) met and prepared for our journey. In one of the meetings we talked about how there is two sides of the spectrum. One side is super excited about this upcoming journey and is completely ready. The other is sad and is thinking, "Oh man, I am about to leave the country. I don't think I am ready for this." This one described me to a T. I just said bye to my mom and I wasn't going to see her for four months.

I was sad and missed all my people back in the states for a little bit. I kept telling some of my friends that I didn't know how I have survived this long without them. Then I realized something. God is Here. He has been with me ever since I left Texas. He is the reason I have survived without my friends and family back home. He is present all the way over here in Oxford and in the other places I have visited too. God is the same halfway across the world as He is in my hometown. He is unchanging.

Here are some photos that I have taken and seen God in:

This is a picture of the inside of St. Aldates which is a church in Oxford.

This is a picture of the Abbey in Bath. So beautiful!

This is the Berlin Cathedral. I just think that this picture is stunning.

This is the view from the top of the Berlin Cathedral. This was worth the climb!

This is Athens from the top of a hill I climbed. Amazing right?

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 

Much Love, 

Angela Paige

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Throne Thursday | Top 3 Most Powerful Worship Songs

Welcome to another Throne Thursday! Today I will be telling you about three songs that I think are really powerful and moving. Worship is something that I look forward to in church. Music is meant to move you and to cause certain emotions in you. Worship does that to me. I have said in previous posts that I feel the Holy Spirit when I am in worship. This post is purely my opinion so it does not have to be agreed with. I hope you enjoy!

1. We Believe 

This song is all about proclaiming that you believe in the One True God. It is talking about that we believe in the death, burial and resurrection. Ultimately we believe that He is coming back again because he died for our sins. God is our only salvation. He has given us new life. God is the only foundation for our life. He helps us get back up when we fall into temptations. The power of God is greater than the gates of Hell. God's unconditional love will never fade. All of these things we proclaim when singing this song!

2. The King is Here

The King is Here is about our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is here, inside of us! His love will never fail us. Jesus has overcome death for us so we worship and praise His name.We can never be the same if Jesus never died on the cross for us. Therefore, we will give all the glory to Him. We are here on earth to praise God. He is our purpose. This song is all about rejoicing that our God reigns and he is here; he is present in our lives.

3. The Great I Am

This song speaks about how great God is and how He is the only worthy one. The name King of Majesty is so powerful that it makes demons flee. The power of the Great I am is so immense that no one can stand before Him. God is the only Holy one. God is THE great I Am. God is everything. When singing this song in worship I think about how big God is and how powerful he is. I also think about how He is in control of everything. God is the Way and the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6)

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6

Much Love,

Angela Paige

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Busy Bees

In today's society, everyone is so busy with work or school or whatever, that I feel like we don't often stop and reflect on what's going on around us and what our priorities are. We just go through the motions. I know that I, for one, am guilty of this. Last semester I took one less class than I did the semester before so I had more free time. It led me to think, "What do I do now that I have so much free time?" I proceeded to try and get a job but I didn't get any call backs.

However, I realized that I am not living my life the way that I should be. My priorities were not straight. I felt like I NEEDED a job or something else that would keep me busy. My grandmother told me that she didn't think I needed a job because I am a full time college student and that I have the rest of my life to work. She was right.

But there is one thing that I should have been putting more time into and it was not getting a job. I should have been putting more time into prayer, meditating and reading the Bible. This is something that I struggle with. In my Management class last semester, we had a guest speaker. He talked about how he took an hour out of every day to be with the Lord. I got to thinking about this and I thought, "Can I do that?" The answer is yes! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, right?

This semester has been crazy busy already. I am taking harder classes and more of them. I am pledging a social club. And in between all of that I am praying and reading the Bible every night. A lot of times I get lazy and I think I can skip reading the Bible tonight but I quickly snap myself out of it and think, "I can take just a few minutes out of my day today to read God's Word." With all of that said, I am not trying to brag and say that I am doing everything right as a busy college student because that is NOT the case. All I am saying is that here IS enough time in the day for God. You can never be too busy for God.

Ask yourself this,"What am I doing here? What is my purpose?" Is it an earthly thing? Maybe you need to rethink things. I sure do. For a while I thought that my purpose was to get a job and earn money to help pay for college. That's an earthly thing that I was trying to make my purpose. But I only have one purpose. I believe that my purpose is to GLORIFY God in all that I do. We can't satisfy our purpose without Him.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Much Love, 

Angela Paige

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Worry Less, Pray More

"Worry less, Pray more."

This saying is found on many products, such as mugs or T-shirts, and also social media platforms. But what does it really mean? And are we actually doing as it says or are we just saying it? Are we actually giving our cares to God?

To me this saying means to call out to God when you start to worry about something, even if it is something minuscule. God wants you to talk to him about all your worries because He will take care of it. I don't believe that I am actually worrying less and praying more or giving my cares to God, but I want to.

I am probably one of the biggest worriers known to man. Telling me not to worry is like telling me not to breathe. I worry about things I have no control over whatsoever and things I have some control over. So when I see this saying, my stomach drops and I think to myself "How can I possibly not worry?"

A few weeks ago at church the preacher was preaching about worrying less. I thought I would share some of the points he made because I know I am not the only person out there who worries! He was reading out of Matthew 6:25-34. This passage basically says that worrying is unnatural The verse that stuck out to me the most was verse 27 that says, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"(NIV) This verse really brought things into perspective for me because the truth is that we can't add an hour (or even a minute) to our life.

My biggest struggle is turning things over to God and letting Him be in complete control. I think a lot of people struggle with letting God be in total control with all areas of our lives. This passage in Matthew also says that when you worry you are of little faith because you aren't letting God take care of it.

Ultimately, this section in Matthew is saying that if you seek God, your worries will be taken care of. Worrying is like playing God, trying to control things you cannot control. There is only one God and He is the one that needs to be playing. Give Him a turn and "worry less, pray more!"

"Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Much Love,

Angela Paige

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Throne Thursday- #Blessed

I have decided to start this series called "Throne Thursday." In these posts I will talk about all things King Jesus! I will talk about the different places that I see Jesus in my life. I hope you stick around!

This school year has already been amazing and it has only been a month so far! I have definitely seen Jesus throughout this month. Rewind to about a year and a half ago. I was thinking about going to Abilene Christian University so I decided I should give it a visit. Somewhere in the middle of our tour on campus something turned inside of me. We went to Chapel on the Hill and they have a beautiful stained glass window all around it. That's when I decided I really wanted to go here. I didn't get my hopes up because I knew it costs an arm and a leg for private school. That spring I got a letter telling me I was accepted and granted a huge scholarship! I told my mom, "Can I please just go for one year?" She said okay and I got ready for college.

Okay, now fast forwarding to spring of last year. I signed up for classes for the next fall because I honestly couldn't see myself anywhere else. I also decided that I would try and apply to study abroad in Oxford, England for the next spring (2016), even though I didn't now if we could make up the funds. I slacked off and applied too late and went on the waiting list. I was bummed at first but then soon realized there would be things to look forward to in the spring. One of my good friends is getting married and I would be able to go to her wedding. Eventually I became less and less excited about the idea of studying abroad in Oxford. During the summer I got a letter saying I have been granted more money to pay for school. After that I knew that I had to continue going to school here.

Two weeks ago I got an email saying there was space in the study abroad program and that I could be moved into acceptance. I immediately felt conflicted. I didn't know what to choose. I honestly felt like my life had been flipped upside down. I thought about it for a while and decided to take the opportunity and go to Oxford next spring.

Another amazing thing about this semester is that I got to serve the incoming freshmen during Wildcat Week. (It's basically freshmen orientation.) Although I was only doing behind the scenes work I still felt like I was making a difference in their lives. I would set up tables and chairs for different events, serve them food and clean up after each event. It was truly a cool experience seeing how everything works and how much work went into my own experience as a freshman a year ago.

This year I have also met so many new people who have blessed me! I was a little nervous because I got a new roommate due to my old one transferring in the middle of the summer. Little did I know that there was nothing to be nervous about! I have starting rushing to pledge a social club. It was been so fun dressing up in different outfits and meeting so many sweet girls. There is still so much more fun to be had.

I truly feel blessed since I have been here at Abilene Christian University and I feel like God has taken care of every worry that I have and turned it into a blessing. There were many times where I would worry about things like money and God has just blessed me with everything I could possibly want. The King is so great and He carries His children in His hands. We are living in His kingdom and He is in charge of our lives.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Much Love,

Angela Paige