Autumn Musings; Followed by Music, Life, & New Goals!

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all doing well! What are your future plans; special days, special get-togethers with others, and activities you’re stoked to try? Let me know below, friends!

The end of summer has filled the beginning of autumn with a flurry of preparations! For some reason, our family has been super busy this autumn, so school had to take to the back burner for a couple weeks; although, for a couple days, I managed to get done quite a bit before the busy part of fall!

Autumn is such a gorgeous season; especially in the Pinterest photos! 😉 I only wish that my backyard could always contain the idyllic autumn-themed black iron-wrought lamp-posts, red brick walls, orange and yellow and red and burnished umber leaves, and pumpkin arrangements among the burlap and twinkling fairy lights! Out in nature, the autumn is majestic – the bright colors speak for themselves without a pruner or gardener to maintain during its short-lived flight towards winter’s approach.

Autumn may be able to share its glory with us without much effort – the season does the work for us! But what about when the transformation requires a bit more dirty work?

Take home improvement and upkeep, for example. Washing windows, scraping off peeling paint, and making repairs are all part of maintaining a house in condition to weather the approaching seasons. When finished, the work is beautiful. It’s noticeably so much better than before.

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

What about ourselves? Are you feeling confident in your ability to “get back into the swing” again? Or has school and academic pressure overwhelmed you like a sudden tsunami? Maybe you’re disappointed in yourself for how much you seem to have “lost touch” with your school routine, or feel sad to be “behind” in school, even if nobody else cares.

But don’t be discouraged. Yes, we’ve fallen, slipping as we attempt to scramble up the slope of our own expectations. Yes, we’ve failed, though it may be ever so minute, or seem so to others from the outside looking in. Yes, although nobody really knows how you feel or how much you’ve beat yourself up over your apparent shortcomings; there is hope.

A little bit of trimming here, a splash of paint and a dab of water to wipe clean the little stains, a whole lot of good honest effort; and you’ll get it again. Your habits and abilities will come back. You can do it.

We can “autumn clean” for the school year, pick up these responsibilities, and honor God through it all. Don’t give up; it should be an honor to work hard for the King.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

~ Colossians 3:23-24, NKJV

In this beautiful and fresh season of autumn, I want to encourage you all to take a deep breath. Exhale. Close your eyes. Take a sip of water. Glorify God with the breaths you take of the Breath He gave you. And don’t sweat the pressure, because that’s exactly where your enemies want you. Take care of yourself, friend! Enjoy the opportunities, even if they’re stressful. Instead of falling into temptations or time-wasters, find an accountability partner *ahem .. parent* to keep you steady and on track with your school, especially if you’re homeschooled and self-taught. And instead of worrying about your grades or that tough assignment, laugh in the face of those who think you can’t do it. Eat tough assignments for breakfast. In the colloquial sense, of course. 🤣

I just want to encourage you that no matter how behind, how inadequate, how dumb or busy you feel, YOU. CAN. DO. IT!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

~ Philippians 4:13, NKJV

Because my life is so interesting (bows to my fans), I’ve put together a list of some of my recent favorites in a short attempt at reconciliation for being gone from the blog for so long! I hope you all enjoy the following thoughts and short bursts of hilarity from my recent life!

Moments:

  • Getting told I’m a blonde, getting asked if I’ve ever heard of blonde jokes, and then getting laughed at when I said I’d never understood them. XD
  • Stealing a friend’s whistle on a backpacking trip, and leaving clues around our campsite for him to find!
  • My mom and I talking about how tired we both were, then her telling me the only difference between her and I was that I stunk! (Background: I had just returned from the said backpacking trip in the previous bullet point. So yes; stinky teenager. XD)
  • Some great conversations and personal realizations. Tough times make for tough people. 💪
  • Making coconut flour cookies, a recipe of my own design, and getting the shock of my life when my Dad, the pickiest culinary expert in our house, told me they were good!

Music

My friend Laurel Jean at laurel-jean.com just made a music swap post that was so fun I thought I’d share my many recent favorites in a post of my own! I hope you all enjoy listening to my recommendations – they’re all perfectly clean and family friendly! (I haven’t listened to all recently, but they’re all dearly beloved by yours truly!) Please forgive the repetitiveness of the artists … I know, I’m stuck in the genre of Christian pop! 🤣 If you have a favorite song that gets you really bubbly and energetic, let me know! 😉

  • “Dead Man Walking”, Jeremy Camp
  • “Control”, For King and Country (Somehow, this one always makes it onto my list of favorites! XD)
  • “Healing”, Riley Clemmons
  • “Until Grace”, Tauren Wells
  • “Defender”, Jeremy Camp (SOOOO GOOOOD!!!)
  • “This Could Change Everything”, Francesca Battistelli
  • “Known”, Tauren Wells
  • “Godsend”, Riley Clemmons
  • “God’s Not Done With You”, Tauren Wells

Favorite posts:

Goals for Autumn (and the new school year!)

  • Go hiking
  • Bake a pie
  • Begin school – which I’ve already done!!!! (Come on! I know it IS stressful, but surely I’m not the only one who’s excited!! 🤣)
  • Watch some OLD movies as school assignments … should be fun!
  • Spend as much time outside as I can!
  • Listen to great music while driving (The best combo ever! 👏)

Well, guys, I’m swamped with such amazing blog post ideas but not enough time to write them! About seven pretty cool drafts sit unfinished and unedited in my drafts box, waiting for a time when I and my proofreader are a little less busy! 😅 I’ve received some great encouragement that’s helped me to feel wanted on the blogosphere, by some sweet friends! I hope y’all will forgive me, and thank you to all who have chatted with me during my absence!

I hope you are all doing well, and, as I said at the beginning of the post, please feel free to let me know what you’re up to! And what – tell me, do – what is your favorite fall baking recipe? (By the way, my proofreader *ahem, AKA my mom* wants to know what y’all’s favorite pumpkin recipe is! 🤣) Have a great week!

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July Goals + Inspiration!

Well hello hello everyone! HOW is it already July?!

I’m excited to start this new month and even more excited that I’m actually getting my goals post out in time! YES!! What have y’all been doing in the last … few days? 😂 I’m keeping cool during the heat wave in my area and doing some school to finish off the last day of June! Farewell, beautiful June! *gets sentimental* But hell-lo July! *spirit revives*

Is anyone else craving some rich spiritual meat right about now? Me too. I don’t consider myself a provider of wise words that satisfy, but perhaps my thoughts on this first day of July can be somehow beneficial to my readers and encourage them in some way! 🤍

Lately I’ve been thinking about my future a bit (as mentioned in this post). I found an amazing verse that helps me in the stage I’m in, as a teen girl with fewer responsibilities than a career-woman, wife, or mother. While I’m here in my current phase, with certain responsibilities as a daughter, I’m curious as to what I can do right now, for the future ahead. Within Ecclesiastes, (a book some believe to have been written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world,) is a little jewel that gives me a bit of relief.

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”

Ecclesiastes 2:24, NKJV

Although this certainly relieves pressure, we do carry a certain responsibility during the teen years. Near the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, there lies an encouraging yet sobering message.

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,

And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;

Walk in the ways of your heart,

And in the sight of your eyes;

But know that for all these

God will bring you into judgment.

Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,

And put away evil from your flesh,

For childhood and youth are vanity.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them.”

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – 12:1, NKJV

There are ways that in my heart I long to follow. There are desires I have that are unfulfilled as of now, and dreams that may never be fulfilled. But as the verses above show, we have a responsibility to remember that while we pursue our dreams, we pursue them in a way that honors God and His plans for our life. May we pursue our future in a way that let’s our light shine as a witness to the world.

Additionally, I’d like to encourage all of you to let it go, if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I believe that our Father wants us to do His Will with ALL of our hearts, not grudgingly because we think we should. So if you feel guilty, pressured, or uncertain, my friends, just cast your cares and burdens on our Father, and He will give you His perfect yoke, which yields freedom and peace.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalms 55:22, NKJV

” ‘ “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ‘ “

Mathew 11:28-30, NKJV

(These three songs are some of my favorites! Listening to these songs would be a big favor to your musical ear! XD)

Alrighty, let’s get into July Goals! see below! 👇🙌

THEWILDFIREGIRL.WORDPRESS.COM

#1 Drink in the sun, but stay wise! (The last few days I swam outdoors, but I wasn’t very careful about applying sunscreen, so right now my face and arms are .. unbelievably red! So, going forward, I’m going to treat my body with a little more TLC when in the sun!)

#2 Swim at rivers, lakes, dugouts, wherever I can! I need practice in order to complete my next goal ..

#3 Pass my Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. (I have never been a competitive swimmer so I’m a little intimidated by the idea of timed swims. I’ve been praying so hard that I’ll be given strength and energy to pass!)

#4 Hike two related trails *hopefully!*

#5 Read one Proverb and five Psalms a day (This will enable me to get through the books of Proverbs and Psalms in one month, without burning out, especially throughout the week of the Bronze courses.)

#6 Wake up at 5:30 so I can train for volleyball before the day gets hot! (And, of course, to give me an incentive to wake up earlier!)

#7 Get to lesson 140 in school, 29 lessons in both subjects.


My own pic! (drinking sunlight counts as a drink, right?)

So there we go!! A little inspiration for the month ahead, my goals, and some pretty pics! What thoughts are running through your mind as July shines down into your backyard? Do you have any goals you’ve got planned to smash? I’d love to hear about it all, down in the comments!

Farewell my friends, and we’ll hopefully talk again next time!

May Goals + Inspiration!

Hello everyone! It’s May, and it feels so good to be back on the blog! My break was so amazing, and I learned so much through it!

But first, a recap

Most of my goals from April were routine-based, and I was surprised to find that I’ve been doing really well with all the goals! Currently, I’m reading through Numbers, am on Lesson 52 in History and English (woohoo!), and I have a way better morning routine! Lately, I’ve been doing my schoolwork at the kitchen table, which has been an interesting switch and a bit of a jump start to help me get into the mindset of “okay, I’m working on my new routine now!” XD

  • Finish History and English Lessons 50-80.
  • Finish reading through Numbers and Deuteronomy, and then read through Joshua, Judges, and then my very favorite book, Ruth!
  • Get through 5 Math “Lessons”.
  • Walk every morning (every morning I have off from work)
  • Add affiliate links to my website. (I made a website!! (With a lot of help from others, including time-generous friends!) On it I’ll be posting articles related to the Ron Paul Curriculum, and why you should sign up! Here I go sounding like some internet freak who just wants to make a buck, but seriously y’all, I’ve been recommending this curriculum even before I got my affiliate website set up. It may not work for all students, but it sure has a lot of advanced and interesting courses and materials, and I definitely recommend checking it out!)
  • Practice piano for 1 hour, 5 days a week.
  • Nitrotype. Every day. 10 min. *sighs the greatest sigh in the existence of the universe* If you know me personally, you know that I have an extreme non-like for video games. Nitrotype, however, is what my family recommends for my, shall we say, less than satisfactory typing skills. 😉 So, its car-racing I go … but only as much as I absolutely, positively must. *sighs an even bigger sigh*

I’ve got a lot of goals this month! Never mind the busyness of life, or the unexpected day to day happenings, now I’ve got personal and educational goals than before! I guess this is where my word of the year comes in … Determination. And that’s part of where my motivation post (read it here) will come into large play this month, because not only am I lacking motivation, I am also feeling procrastination – a lack of desire to do the work in order to succeed – which is a killer of hopes and dreams and everything in between.

In addition to that, I’ve also been feeling a lot of pressure coming at me, career-wise. Well-meaning people asking me what I want to do after high school, telling me to go ahead, that God would keep me from that which wasn’t his Will … but that doesn’t sit right with me. I feel a pull to do something I don’t want, and every time I read a passage about surrendering my life to God, I feel as though I haven’t yet.

I’ve found myself wishing and wishing that God would somehow yank me out of the now and place me into the then. Impart His Will without me having to worry about whether or not I’m doing the right thing. But God doesn’t impart His Will without consent. We each have to CHOOSE our way of life, and try our best to align it with what God has said to us all that He wants us to do, and what He wants us specifically to do, personally. So, that part of my life (my future) is kind of “on hold” right now, and while I’m thinking and preparing and praying and waiting for a sign, God is still preparing me for His Plan. I just need to trust Him.

So what does the Bible have to say about these struggles; not knowing where you’re going, and procrastinating in carrying out the steps? I found plenty of sayings in Proverbs which really seemed to hit the nail on the head.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9, NKJV

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3, NKJV

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21 NKJV

“But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”

Isaiah 32:8, NIV

” For as he thinks in His heart, so is he.”

Proverbs 23:7, NKJV

These verses serve to remind me that my thoughts are powerful, that God’s plans are better, and that, in time, all will be resolved. But, as I’m sure many of y’all know and understand, it’s still hard! 😌


(I know, really motley bunch they are, don’t judge! XD)

That’s it for today, everyone!! What are some of your May goals? Have any future/life advice for me? And, most importantly, how has God worked in your life recently? Feel absolutely free to share in the comments below!

Getting Back on Track

Do you remember when you were smashing your goals every day and felt overwhelmed but amazing? I remember. I’d like to say that everything has been peachy with me the past few weeks, but I’ve really let myself go! A lot of things have been changing in my life, and many have acutally been positive changes, but I’ve allowed that to become an excuse for discarding habits that I didn’t feel that I had time for. Now, looking back and examining those habits I’ve almost lost, I can see how much happier I was with them.

Ever feel like your productivity has just gone down the drain? Not everyone can hold themselves to an amazing and responsible schedule non-stop. Don’t stress about it – give yourself a little grace, and feel free to start over and get back into a routine that refreshes you, whether that includes adding more of your passions to your life, or taking out some energy-suckers that aren’t worth the time you put into it.

So, because everyone loves lists, here’s a checklist for getting your lifestyle back on track with your happy place!

  • Hold yourself accountable to your goals! I’ve stopped myself from pursuing a goal so many times, because I “didn’t feel like it”. When other people know and will check up on you, you feel pushed to accomplish it (or merely slug your way through it!) so you don’t disappoint them or get publicly embarrassed. Sharing my goals with all of you on blogging may not have helped you very much, but it has been a TERRIFIC motivator for me, to, as Nike says, “Just Do It!” Mah fans are watching … 👀
  • Re-evaluate what you want in your life. If your plans, schedule, or priorities have changed, that goal you made last month might not be relevant to your life anymore! Being conscious of your long-term goals, lifestyle, and future plans can keep you from working on a goal that doesn’t satisfy you, or direct you towards a new goal that will take you closer to what you want!
  • Make a plan. Diving in is great, but make sure you take the time to elaborate on specifics, mark up a schedule, and set boundaries for yourself, so you are fully prepared for the changes you want to make, and the struggles you’ll encounter on your journey.
  • Pray for strength and guidance. I don’t know about you, but it lifts me up so much to know that my Heavenly Father is rooting for me in something, and gives me the will to do it. It might seem trivial to ask Him for help in chores, or selfish to pray for some alone time, but your Heavenly Father hears you and knows what you need, and is willing and loves to give good things to the children He loves.
  • Force yourself. It’s going to be very hard to get back into a good habit, possibly harder than it was to enter it in the first place. Don’t go easy on yourself, because if you do, you’ll never get around to the concrete-smashing mold you need in order to firmly cement that habit. These days, its incredibly hard for me to pull myself away from something I desperately WANT to do in order to do something I desperate NEED to do. Take the unnecessary things off your “to do” list, and get out and force yourself to ACTUALLY do the important things.
  • Consider what matter most to you in life. This is something I’d really encourage all of you to do. I have friends and family who have struggles going on, and I’d just really advise you all to get down to the basics – think about what REALLY matters to you in life. (For me, #1 is Faith, and all that it entails – but personality-wise, I really treasure friendships, writing, health, being active and in nature, and adventure-ing.)

I hope y’all really enjoyed these tips! I compiled them one at a time, coming back to them every once in a while to add something. Let me know if you think I should add anything, and lets chat in the comments! 👏

Medieval Literature as Lifestyle Advice

When we think of a typical Christian life, we might think of someone who has devoted their life to loving Christ through obeying and trusting in Him and serving others. But practically, getting down to the minute level, what’s the Christian decision when faced with chores, or friendships? In these cases, where there is less scriptural perogative, we must rely on Biblical principles to guide us. Everyday life is full of pot-holes to any believer, but we don’t have to be afraid of them.

Two documents of the medieval period, “Song of Roland” and “The Little Flowers of St Francis”, attempted to show moral decisions in the everyday lives of extraordinary people. But what about us ordinary people? What can we learn from these examples? Some of us will never be faced with the problems that the characters were faced with, but we certainly have other problems! What do we do?

Song of Roland

The conflict between Oliver and Roland is one of the crucial points in the narrative. Yet, the way that the characters deal with the conflict is rather unsatisfying at best, and simply stupid at worst. If an idea is wrong, and you tell a friend, and you’re right, they should listen. But if they don’t listen, and it still results in a positive outcome, does that make their decision any less undesirable? Oliver was right and Roland was wrong, yet the latter wouldn’t budge, and did whatever he felt would save their honor, and that of his own family.

As far as ethical decisions go, I’m sure that it is plain to see that Ganelon’s betrayal was wrong. His punishment? Getting pulled apart by horses.

How can we, in this modern world, use this as an example as to how we should deal with betrayal today? The practice of pulling people apart by horses (dismemberment) was NOT biblical at ALL. If one of OUR friends betray us, should we follow Charlemagne’s example by tying their limbs to horses and tearing them apart? (To enlighten you; this is a rhetorical question.) So as you can see, not all principles (and in my opinion, hardly any!) constitute as moral enough to emulate in our everyday lives. However, the principles of love, loyalty, bravery, grief, and righteous judgement are all absolutely biblical gems to take away from this book, if you should read it.

Little Flowers

The earliest chapters of the book details St Francis’ rise (or perhaps I should say descent) to holy poverty. Many men join him and become his followers, his “brethren”. There are additional sections dedicated to the actions of St Francis himself, Brother Bernard, Brother Juniper, Brother Giles, and select other of the brethren. The chapters in the latter part of the book are more focused on ethics and guidance in heavenly matters than on detailed stories of the lives of those belonging to the order.

One trouble with the ethical advice given by Brother Giles in the final chapters of the book is that they seem to contradict at key points. He stresses the major importance of not working for salvation, not even bothering to work at ALL – then says we must be diligent. (Diligent in what? Being lazy?!) He says that chastity is the most important virtue – then redefines chastity as charity! (Which is absolutely incorrect.) The strict principles of the monastic and Fransiscan orders are anything but biblical.

Biblically, a man should be free to “eat and drink, and find satisfaction in his work.” He should be allowed to marry a good wife, “for her measure is far above rubies”. He could have cattle and sheep, and land, and children “as numerous as the stars”. He could be a great leader, and still be “a man after God’s own heart.” Yet, all these principles go against Franciscan tradition. Which begs the question – were the friars substituting God’s system with their own tradition?

These two books don’t satisfy a longing for truth. Neither of these books show us how to live, or even if we will go to heaven if we copy the characters in the stories. Yes, both contain concepts such as the sovereignty of God, tight systems of institutional hierarchy, obedience as crucial to success. Yet, although there were rules galore littering the chapters of these books, neither book dealt with or explained the true Law – the Law of their own God!

Makayla

Healthy and YUMMY Teen Breakfast Ideas!

Hey everyone! A while ago, I posted some “healthy” breakfast ideas, however, I realized I only provided “inspiration”, no recipes!! (And honestly, those foods were the “cheat” kind of healthy! *winks*)

So, let’s get creative about breakfast beyond that same old bowl of cereal, with some filling, fun, and fantastic recipes!! 👊


Before we get into the recipes, let’s cover some of the basics – what your body needs in the morning, and how you can get those elements by choosing carefully the foods you eat.

First of all, you need breakfast. (Well, maybe not need it, but … I did research! 🤣) Without it, your metabolism may not start up early enough in the day. If you skip breakfast, not only will you be hungry and low on energy, the lunch at noon will all be converted into fat. 😮 Yep, so grab those plastic containers and meal prep if you must, because breakfast is an essential! (Now, there is a debate on this, so don’t just take my word for it. Go ahead and research it, and plan your day according to what you decide is best for you! 😉)

What you feel like having at breakfast-time really depends on your lifestyle and how you feel. I try to consume an even balance of everything at breakfast (which a mixture of fruits, veggies, eggs, and dairy), have a protein-packed recovery lunch right after my workout, and eat meat and mostly carbs at supper. That’s just what works for me, but everyone should reason through their own schedule in an effort to feel the best they can throughout the day. It totally depends on your lifestyle too – more active people will need more protein to sustain them throughout the day.

I have some general rules for my “diet”…

  • Enjoy what you eat. Make it satisfy, and make it count.
  • Don’t measure calories to the decimal. Just flow with estimates.
  • Never turn down a home-made cookie! 😉 (Haha, I’m such a cookie girl!)

…. in addition to specific rules like …

  • No processed foods (pasta, store-bought bread and sweets)
  • Greens every day, y’all! *throws on a cowboy hat*
  • Eat until 8/10ths full – then stop.
  • Throughout the day, keep in mind a measure of about 50% carbs, 30% protein, and 20% fat. (Of course, be sure to do your own research on what percentages you use. For some people, it might be overkill, but for me, on some days it’s good to have a rough estimate.)

Now, let’s get into these articles, which are jam-packed with great ideas and recipes for the best breakfast ever! 👏😄

Breakfast for Teenagers (& Athletes): 8 High Protein Ideas | Jill Castle RD

This link contains some super-quick breakfast ideas! Most of them aren’t really recipes – just taking a few ingredients and making a meal out of them!

Healthy breakfast Ideas for your Teen – Mom Junction

Omigoodness y’all! These ideas are so full of variety and honestly – I want try them all!! From quiche to smoothies, there are so many great ideas for delicious breakfasts, most of which are pretty quick!

21 Easy Breakfast Ideas Your Teen Might Actually Like – Raising Teens Today

Oh. My. Cheesepuffs. All of these recipes look SO DELICIOUS and are really easy! If you check out any link look at this one, I’m begging you! There’s variety, sweet and savory, filling and healthy, it’s pretty much a comprehensive list! Make four or more of the recipes on the list and you’ll pretty much have a breakfast banquet! Speaking of which, please see below ….

How to Throw a Stunning Breakfast Banquet – Not So Perfect

Megan’s post is so fun!! I loved the concept of her breakfast banquet!! If you and your family normally eat breakfast together, this is a great reference for a simple yet great-tasting smorgasbord-style breakfast table! Aaah, my mouth waters!!😂


Well, see ya later friends! I hope you try some of these, and that you are now armed and empowered to be able to make your own breakfast everyday … and enjoy it! 😅

Thanks for coming back to the blog! Be sure to subscribe for future content on faith, fitness, lifestyle and more!

Have a great day everyone!

Makayla

What are some of your favorite breakfasts? Should I add any more article links to this post? Let me know in the comments!

I’m starting the Chloe Ting 2020 SHRED Workout!

Hey y’all awesome people! I know some of you are doing the Chloe Ting 2019 challenge, so thanks for joining me! I’ve finished, and boy, was it a ride! (Click here to see my recap!)

I’ve been resting for the last few days, and I’ve decided to go officially crazy and start the 2020 SHRED! (I know, I know, I’m pushing it, for a beginner! Bring on the 🔥PRESSURE🔥 and keep me accountable!!)

I’ve passed the first rest day, and I’m now on Day #5. Directly related to the workout, I feel pretty good all over. In almost every Workout video, the exercises seem to really focus on the legs and gluteus muscle in particular. It’s important to end each workout with some deep leg stretches, or you will ache the next day! So, do yourself a favor, and don’t forget to do the optional cool-down at the end.

Compared to the 2019 SHRED, more of these workouts are standing ones, which are fun! Make sure you’re wearing runners, or you might slip or twist your ankle. I’m greatly enjoying the lack of up-and-down-planks (😂), and the abundance of combo workouts! I’m more breathless doing these workouts but hey – what’s life without doing hard things?


For this specific challenge, here are some tips to have fun, stay loose, and give you your best chance of success!

  • Begin to eat more healthily. Learn to average the correct diet percentages of protein, carbs and fat. Some people start with 20% protein, 50% carbs, and 30% fat, but depending on your activity level you can play with it a bit. This will enable you to gauge what you personally want and need, and which foods are good for your lifestyle. See this article for details.
  • Stretch every day! Focus on those areas that were the hardest to hold in place/keep going with during your workout.
  • Rub peppermint essential oil on your limbs and joints to help with flexibility. Breathing in peppermint can also assist in clearing your airway and help with blood flow.
  • As always, pay close attention to the form. I know it can be hard to determine whether you’re arching your back or not, or whether you’re going deep enough into the stretch, but for any questions you may have, be sure to do some research. You may find a video that explains it in more detail.
  • Be kind to yourself and your body! Don’t force yourself to finish a workout that will hurt you in the end. I literally, just today, fell really hard on my tailbone, and was unable to finish the Day #5 workouts!😱 But you know what? It’s okay! I did half of it already. Sometimes, you have to know when it’s merely mental block keeping you from finishing your workout, or something more serious, like an injury. I’m hoping that hot water, some essential oils, and tonight’s rest will fix me up enough to get back at it tomorrow.

Thanks for coming back to the blog! Be sure to subscribe for future content on faith, fitness, lifestyle and more!

Have a great day everyone!

Makayla

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Goals for my lifestyle in 20 years!

No matter what my life will be like in 20 years, I do know that I want my life to be full of purpose, passion, and fulfillment. I want to work hard, succeed in my niche, and never stop learning and growing. If I could have the world at my disposal, and all my dreams come true, this is what I would want my life to be like in twenty years.

I’m a country girl through and through, so I never want to leave, whether I live in the prairies or the mountains. I want to live an active lifestyle, with swimming, hiking, and kayaking playing an important part of my weekends! I can’t imagine life without a healthy body or not being able to run or hike, so I will be sure to stay in shape – I can foresee more workout challenges in my future as well!

I want to have a strong faith, self-esteem, and use my spiritual gift. I haven’t found it yet, but it’s inspiring to see people I know in my faith community stepping up and showing hospitality, making meals for people going through hard times, and providing music for worship.

I want to build, own, and direct a camp where I can encourage teenage girls and boys in their faith during some of the toughest years of their lives. As teens, we need more strength than we did as children to sustain us and assure us of the Truth of what God says in His Word. I want to mentor teen girls and young women with encouragement and Biblical truth, and just be there for them if they ever wanted to talk, study together, or go out and do something fun and crazy!!

I want to marry a man who loves God more than anything else, and will stop at nothing to seek truth. I want to be head-over-heels in love with him, but I also want that deeper love that will enable us to stay committed even in the worst, toughest, and darkest times. I don’t want us to ever stop seeking the Kingdom of God.

I want a local business; however, it doesn’t have to be a small business. I’m toying with a new and revolutionary business idea, but shhh! It’s still a secret! 🤣 The mission of this business would be to provide everyone with the opportunity to see themselves the way they could be, or the way they really are on the inside, and to make that happen on the outside.

I want to complete everything on my bucket list. Yes, I know it’s crazy, but there’s so much I want to try, learn, and experience!

I hope I can someday achieve all of these goals. I’m excited for my future and I know that I’ll have to work hard, but I’m used to that! 😂 Thank Yahweh for everything he’s given me, every talent, dream, and scrap of intelligence! May I use them all for His Glory!

Makayla

Simplifying Lifestyle

Heyyy y’all!

Ever seem like life is just way too busy? I know I’ve felt that way sometimes! From sports and school to home life and hobbies, it can just pile up and get to be WAAAY too much! I love minimalistic lifestyles because it seems so much easier to see the beauty in the simple things and to focus on the other, more important, things.

I don’t mean to fill up the introduction with useless chatter, (because that would be cluttering up this post on simplicity) but I don’t want to oversimplify either! 😉

I’m not going to begin this in a fairy-tale manner “I can help you simplify your life!” Because simplifying your life isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s really hard. But if you care enough about it, and your willing to work hard, then I know you can do it!!

So, without further ado, here are some tips that I know you will be able to use in your life to have more time, energy, and feel so much better about yourself and what you’re doing!

1. Get lots of sleep.

Try going to bed early, around 9:00. This will give your body time for plenty of sleep and you’ll probably wake up around 7:00, or earlier! You’ll feel more rested and have a jump start on your day.

2. Focus less on ‘doing’ and more on ‘accomplishing’

I know there are those days when you just need to “do” the laundry, your math, your violin practice, your cookie recipe, your room … but that’s a rat race you don’t want to get sucked into. Instead, congratulate yourself for everything you get done, that was worth doing.

I find it really helpful to write out a list of what I need to “do”, then as the check marks fill up along the page it restores my confidence and makes me feel like I really “accomplished” something important.

3. Take a break.

Sometimes we just need to take a break from something in your life, whether it’s an activity, your blog, school, or some other thing that occupies most of your time. Spend a few days or so in soul searching, relaxing, reprioritizing your goals, talking to God and delving into His Word. Commit yourself to change and you’ll emerge so much fresher and self-aware, and ready to dive back into your busy life again!

4. Switch it up.

Develop a new routine. Maybe you’re bored with just slapping on some tea tree and sunscreen every morning. Do something different and make it special! And if you have a really complicated routine, you know what I’m gonna say … keep it simple! Tone down a bit.

5. Cross it out.

Is there something holding you back from being PRODUCTIVE? Do you have a bad habit, spend too much time online, or are you feeling unmotivated? Conquer that mountain!!! Break that habit!! You can’t win a race wearing leg irons. Release that activity or habit, and do what you REALLY want to do, instead of what your brain says you want to do.

Don’t be afraid to stop doing things. If soccer practice is keeping you from writing quality essays, take a break. If you don’t have time for a babysitting job, don’t accept. When we have something serious going on in our family or we need to do a lot of seasonal farm work, we take a break from school, and that’s helped more than you can imagine!

6. Organize!!!!!

This is my FAVORITE ONE!!! I love to organize, clean, and design. At any given day (unless I was in a rush getting ready 🙄) you could come to my house and look at my room and it would be TOTALLY CLEAN! So if I can get passionate about cleaning, you can too! 😂

On a more serious note, I find it so much easier to be productive when I don’t have a mess distracting me. I’m sure you would find it helpful as well!

Have the best day ever! See y’all next time!

Makayla

The Early-morning habits of Successful people!

We all know that success is more than just the finished essay, the completion of an art project, or a great meeting. It takes a lot of preparation, and starting your day off right is the best recipe for success. So pull out your notebook or WordDoc and start jotting down these steps which will result immediately in a more productive day.

Habits aren’t easy to implement … when they’re good habits that take work to master. Don’t feel bad if you occasionally miss some …. Or all of them … because, you know, there is always tomorrow morning!!

1. Wake up early.

An early riser has a tremendous advantage over the late riser. We all ‘know’ that there are exactly the same amount of hours in the day no matter when you drag your body out of bed, but when you get up early you have a significant boost in morning hours, during which I personally find it easier to think.

Waking up early can also help you to be on time for classes, which is always a good thing! But don’t feel like summer is the time for lazing around! While it’s a great idea to catch up on missed sleep during summer break, too much sleep actually dulls you and makes you lazier.

Pro Tip: Unless you have a resident rooster to crow you awake with his adolescent voice at 5:30 AM *hand raised*, set a timer for your ideal wake-up, around an hour before you eat breakfast.

2. Drink water.

You’ve heard it millions of times, but it gets truer every repetition. Most people don’t drink even close to eight glasses a day, and lacking it hurts on so many levels. Potential results of not enough water include dehydration, breakouts, tiredness, sunstroke … the list goes on.

Pro Tip: Use (and frequently refill) a water bottle to get your daily water quota. It’s easier to drink if you can take it around with you.

3. Keep your space clean and organized.

A dirty desk is a useless desk. An unmade bed testifies to a chaotic mind. Take some time to clean up, even if you only set a timer for 5 minutes and scramble around. Working in a clean space fosters greater concentration, and provides way less distraction than messy surfaces and floor.

Pro Tip: Set that timer! Or, if you want to go really overboard, clean out under the bed.

4. Dress for success.

Think about it. Do you work better in PJs, or in jeans? For some, the answers are different! Most, however, work better at home when they change into day clothes. Find your outfit and slip in. You’ll feel professional in a minute!

Pro Tip: I find this super helpful in motivating me. It’s hard to feel motivated to conquer the world … when you’re wearing fuzzy slippers!

5. Mentally prepare.

This might look like a quick review of the goals that inspire you, or it might include Bible-reading and journaling. Whatever you do, be sure it strengthens you for the big, unique, amazing day ahead.

Pro Tip: Mentally go over which things are important to you. Focus on some of those things and use them to motivate you as you go through the day. Remember that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!

6. Make a To Do list.

I’m a list lover and I’m not ashamed of it! Seriously though, a list can be a great visual aid to remind you what you need to get done. Challenge yourself to complete everything on your list, no matter how hard you have to work. Remember, “six days you shall work, and the seventh you shall rest.” Make those six days COUNT!

Pro Tip: Do not procrastinate! Procrastination can become a bad habit. If you absolutely can’t do something on your list today, force yourself to do it tomorrow, before you even check your email. This builds discipline.

7. Get some exercise.

Working out is not only helpful for gaining muscle and losing fat, it can be a great way to destress and clear your head. Be active outside in some way! Sports and biking and hiking and swimming, the list goes on!

Pro Tip: Exercising is only good for you if you aren’t hating every minute. Find something you actually enjoy.

8. Kill your bad habits and morning time-wasters.

I’m looking at you there! You know your personal time-waster. I’m encouraging you to take steps to let go of it. If it’s a waste of time, it’s probably not that important … give it up! (Or at least reduce it.)

Pro Tip: Most habits are reactive mechanisms. Find another way to deal with the issue, like replacing it with a good habit.

Here are a few things NOT to do …

  • Unless you must, try not to check your email or the news first thing in the morning. Negative input can affect your mental attitude, so try to only take in uplifting material while you are still beginning your day.
  • Don’t give in to your bad habits. It’s okay to slip sometimes, but have in your mind the goal of attaining a new routine. It’ll be hard, but it’s worth it.

Have a great day, and remember … there’s always tomorrow morning!

~ Makayla

As always, please comment! What’s in your morning routine?