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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Reflection.

You’ve probably been hearing it for weeks now – 2016 was the worst year in history. Not that we humans like to exaggerate much.
Given the political climate, most point to the election as the troublemaker. Others are upset over the numerous Hollywood loses. Still, I can’t help but look back on the year with pride. As others wallow in anger and resentment at their previous 12 months, this party-of-one has done quite well.
I’ve reached two of my biggest goals thus far – all within the last 365 days. In July, I moved into my first apartment. I haven’t lived with my parents since I started college, but I’ve always had roommates. While some have become lifelong friends and others enemies, I’ve always dreamed of a space of my own.
In September I accepted a job in my field, that I love. I was missing something in my life for a few months when I felt God lead me back to the news, and I couldn’t be happier.
But it’s not just me. I think if anyone truly reflected on their past year, they too could find high points of happiness and pride. Each January, I write a list of resolutions or goals I want to reach by the end of the calendar. Though I often forget about them a couple months later, when I look back on them the last week in December, I see I have reached many of them. I pray the upcoming year is as good as 2016 really has been.

Giving Thanks

Around this time of year, people often express their thankfulness and gratitude. But we should pray for humble awakenings throughout the entire year.

“When the high spring of gratitude to God fails at the top of the mountain, soon all the pools of thankfulness begin to dry up further down the mountain. And when gratitude goes, the sovereignty of the self condones more and more corruption for is pleasure.” – Pastor John, from Desiring God, “Violence, Ugliness, and Thanksgiving”

I am thankful today and everyday for the past two months, for a job I truly love. It’s amazing the transformation that can occur in someone when they feel appreciated and necessary – not only in their workplace, but also in the world. Working for the news can be rough sometimes. Not only do we field hate from people that disagree with stories we broadcast, but we do it all while living apart from our families, working odd hours, and for little money. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Leaving work each day knowing I educated at least one person on something going on in the community or world, puts a smile on my face.

“If you’re looking for God’s Will for your life, get involved in what He’s instructed us to do.” – Michelle Myers

I think back three months when I began hearing God’s voice call me back into the industry I left only one year before. Faced with the negativity and strain to my personal life, I got out of news without any fear that I would miss it. Now, I walk into the newsroom each day with confidence. I am in the exact right place, at the exact right time.

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” – Roald Dahl

God places things on our hearts for a reason. When you follow your heart, you’re likely going in the direction God is leading. I am thankful today and every day for following in the path God placed on my heart – right back to the newsroom.

fox-7

KTBC / Fox 7

 

Indulge endlessly in all that inspires your soul. You’ll never get bored.

“When we submit to God’s plans, we can trust our desires. Our assignment is found at the intersection of God’s plan and our pleasures… Each of us has been made to serve God in a unique way… The longings of your heart, then, are not incidental; they are critical messages. The desires of your heart are not to be ignored; they are to be consulted. As the wind turns the weather vane, so God uses your passions to turn your life. God is too gracious to ask you to do something you hate.”

As Christians, we are taught to follow God’s Plan for our lives, and ask for His guidance when we feel lost. Mere months after getting the promotion I asked and worked hard for, I found myself, instead, being pulled down a different, but old and familiar path. So I prayed, asking God for a sign. Days later, I read the devotional above, and knew the path I felt compelled to walk again is exactly where God was leading me.

A year ago, I left my news job in Lubbock to live out my life in Austin. “You’ll miss it,” one coworker told me my final day. Though the possibility of that becoming truth couldn’t formulate in my mind at the time, his words never left me. Now, just 12 months later, I was feeling pulled back into the newsroom. I did miss it.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose is to give it away.” I’m not sure whether to attribute the quotation to Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare, or some other person, but it seemed fitting, reading it the same week I was offered a job back in news – this time where I feel most at home, in Austin. The process of applying, interviewing, and accepting the offer went so quickly, I knew I was not only following the desires of my heart, but also the path God created for my life.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

God wants us to thrive, so everyone sees the beauty of Him, through us. I left the news industry because I felt discouraged and distraught, but that doesn’t mean being a part of the industry wasn’t part of God’s Plan; it just wasn’t His timing. I believe God puts passions on our hearts as signs, leading us down the path He has mapped out for our lives. If you wake up each morning and ask yourself what God’s Purpose is for your life, take a moment to think about the scenarios you daydream about, what inspires you, and what persuades you to be a better version of yourself. I truly believe living in Austin and working for the news are two passions God placed on my heart for very deliberate purposes, and at very deliberate times.
And I couldn’t be more grateful that He did.

A Lasting Effect

“Everything is historic, because it happens and then it’s history.”

That (or something like that) was a direct quotation from a co-worker today, joking about how many times the word “historic” was used when predicting the snowstorm along the Northeast coast earlier this week. Turns out it wasn’t so historic for most residents, but if you break it down, sure – everything is history after it happens. It doesn’t have to be distant or ancient history to matter.

In the news business, someone once told me, what we are doing is recording history. Years from now, we can look at old newscasts and relive this day. When you want information about something, you can look it up in a newspaper, search the topic online and see how news stations or social media users covered it.
Looking at my job from the perspective that it’s more than just a daily newscast was significant. It puts more pressure on me to produce shows that mean something later, but it’s also more rewarding. The work that I am doing now could be used to inform generations not yet born.

We all know it’s important to record history so we can learn from it. I’m happy to be a part of something that lasting.

Journalism: Uncovered

As an aspiring journalist (more like an aspiring writer, but with a journalism degree, I feel I should own the profession as well), I am well aware of the reputation journalists have. And it’s not a good one.
I have had numerous conversations, even with my own mother, trying to defend the profession and at least some of the professionals in it.

The truth is, the profession of journalism is just like every other profession – there are honest professionals in the field, ones that really make a break-through for all, and those that are dishonest and ruin the reputation of all other journalists. The profession is no worse than any other profession, in my opinion. The difference with journalism is that the profession is so outward and public. One mistake, one dishonest journalist and the whole profession is blamed and judged.

I love the profession of journalism for the good it presents the world, all the knowledge and awareness it sheds light on.

One of my favorite things about my experience with journalism is all the new, truly neat things I have the pleasure of learning from my sources. I very rarely use every single piece of information I learn from speaking with a source, but I always listen to everything because I know I will learn something new and unexpected.
I find it a treat to work in the journalism profession, as I feel I almost get an “insider look” on untraditional people or ideas, and I consider myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to share my experiences with others.

Countdown to Summer

Summer is beginning for many college students, and it won’t be long before I taste my bit of freedom, as well. What to do during my three months off? Lots!

My new year resolution was to find a journalistic internship. I am so excited for my editorial internship at Indianapolis Monthly this summer!  I interviewed with three different magazines and applied to countless others, but was so happy to accept Indianapolis Monthly’s offer!

While interning, I am going to try writing a separate blog just to record my experiences and all I know I’ll learn while at the magazine. Tune in, here!

I am also using this summer as the start of my mid-year resolutions. I am excited to make the most out of my internship, but I am also excited to use my summer to improve myself in preparation for the start of my senior year in college. This time next year, I’ll be graduating college…scary!

Mid-year Resolutions

  • Make connections – with Indianapolis Monthly, Emmis Communications, other magazines, television stations, newspapers, alumni from my college, random people on the street. Anyone and everyone could be a vital source for help, advice or a job in the next year!
  • Read a book a month. This is a result of my nonfiction English class this semester. It just so happens that we finished our four book right as the month of April ended, so I now feel obligated to keep up the book-a-month roll that I am on. It is amazing the interest your mind produces when reading unexpected books.
  • Write everyday. This is also a result of my English class. It doesn’t matter what you write, I just think it is important to write something, everyday. A blog post, an article for the magazine, a journal entry, a postcard to a friend – anything!
  • Create and stick-to a realistic budget that can be easily transitioned into my life after graduation when I get my first “real world” or “big girl” job a year from now.