Force Quit on your Losing Streak

Almost a month in, and I’ve stuck to the most important of my new year resolutions: to grow in faith. At the end of last year, I was at odds with relationships in my life and wanted to turn everything over to God. Not only would dedicating the New Year to God bring me closer to Jesus, I felt doing so would also give me the answers I needed to mend the troubles I was having.

2017

In order to hold myself accountable, I made a list of 12 people in my life I wanted to either improve my relationship with or needed to forgive; I make a similar list of 12 topics I wanted to focus on, in order to be a better Christian. I decided I would consciously pray each day for the person I dedicated that month to, and would read specific scripture each day addressing the topic of the month.
The list included subjects such as my parents, my sister, specific friends, my desire for a boyfriend, and working to overcome the negative perception of news. Topics included forgiveness, jealousy, worry, judgment, and being enough for myself.

What I’ve learned in my first month is that both mending and growing relationships, with people and God, takes time. I approached the resolution with optimism and was quickly rewarded with lines of open communication between me and the person I chose for January. But praying and reading the Bible does not automatically grant me positive mending every day. I’ve learned this is a process – there will be days I feel I’ve taken a step back. Yet, overall, I feel more complete. In just one month, a peace has overcome me. While I know there will be days and months full of ups and downs in 2017, I also know I have a God that I can always turn to. And as I grow in this journey, I hope to learn how to better listen and hear His voice, in all the times I turn to Him.

 

Disclaimer: I have not stuck to my resolutions to practice French twice a week or practice piano three days a week.

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A “Home” with some History

I have always called Cincinnati home, but as I look ahead toward college graduation and the start of “the rest of my life” in just five or six short months, it may not always be my home.

The city has had its fair share of ups and downs. At its height, Cincinnati was the second most densely populated city in the United States, with a booming economy founding largely upon the brewery business. But my childhood home did take a fall during prohibition and has not always been exempt from crime.

Since July 2003, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, 3CDC, has envisioned “to strengthen the core assets of downtown,” according to its website, by improving the city – preserving, rebuilding, and doing whatever it takes – to help the community see it in its former glory.

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Last week, I went on a walking tour of the Queen City. What has, in my lifetime, been viewed as a dangerous part of town, was instead viewed as a former city of success, neglected over the decades but in the process of being reinvented.
Walking up Vine Street, it seemed as if half of the buildings held some sort of historic presence, and though their purposes have changed through the years, they have not lost their beauty. Daily life has changed quite a bit since the late late 19th and early 20th centuries, but if you step behind a gate, the layout of the old housing units show life as if time stopped before the turn of the century.

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Former housing units and abandoned storefronts may map a large majority of Over-The-Rhine today, but with the help of 3CDC and belief from the community, Cincinnati’s history can be preserved and enjoyed for generations to come.

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I might not always call Cincinnati home, but I’ll always be proud of it.