2021 Bucket List

2021 is going to be a year I won’t forget. I decided that right at the beginning of January when I picked out my word for the year and set myself some goals to work towards. 2020 might not have been quite the year which we had expected, and I let that throw me off. However, I decided I’m going to make this year better.

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Bible Study Resources: A Haul

Hello there, sweet friends! It’s finally Sunday… this week has felt so long! The weather in England has been a little less cold this week which has been so lovely, although that said, it was chucking it down with rain when I woke up yesterday morning! At least we’re headed towards spring (and then summer) now!

Today I’ve got a super fun little post for y’all… something I’ve been wanting to do for a while! I recently invested in a bunch of new Bible study resources (and I got a new Bible with big margins for Christmas) so I thought it would be super fun to share my Bible journaling process and do a lil’ haul of the stationary I use, just for fun!

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Home School and Lockdown: My Daily Routine

We’re into week four (or is it five now?) of home school/ lockdown here in the UK, so life is beginning to feel somewhat ‘normal’ again- at least to the degree that I’m used to this by now. Of course, lockdown can never feel normal. Not going to school can never feel normal. Not seeing friends every day can never feel normal. But you get into a rhythm, and you keep going.

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Dear Girl: A Letter

This post has been a long time coming… I wrote it in my notebook late one night a couple of months ago when I couldn’t sleep. Since then, it’s been sitting in my drafts, waiting for the right time to be published. I really feel passionate about this- it’s something that’s been on my heart for ever so long. So finally, here it is!

Dear Girl,

How are you today? How are you feeling? How is your heart?

I have something to tell you, which is why I decided to write this letter. This something has been heavy on my heart for a long while, and you may think it’s a load of rubbish or that you’ve heard it all before, but all I ask is that you stick with me. Read until the end and then, if you still think what I’ve written is nonsense, that’s fine.

Okay, here’s what I’ve got to tell you. Here’s the secret.

You’re special.

Did you know that? Well, you might have. Someone might have said to you before, ‘ you are very special to me’ or ‘I love you very much’. And maybe that really sunk in, but maybe it didn’t. You might have thanked them for their words but then later wondered how special you actually were… how much they really meant what they had said.

But it’s true. You are special. In fact, you are very special. I wonder if you know exactly how special you are.

So let me tell you. You, darling girl, are more special than all of the birds in the sky. You are more special than all the fish in the sea. And you are more special than all the animals on the land. Why? Because you are the daughter of a King.

You are the daughter of the Most High King. A King who breathed creation into existence and who knew you before you were born. This King created you in His image, lovingly knitting you together in your mother’s womb, handcrafting with the utmost care you like He is the potter, and you are His clay. He has your name engraved on the palm of His hand, He knows every hair on your head and everything about you. He loves you, and you are HIS.

You are His, and nothing can ever, ever change that. No matter how broken or messed up you may feel, no matter how much you’re hurting or how far you’ve run and regardless of anything you’ve been through or absolutely anything you’ve done, He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. No good or bad or in-between thing could ever, ever change in the slightest how much this King loves you.

This very King has concerned the grave and destroyed death so that he can have a relationship with you. He died an agonising and humiliating death on a cross for YOU. He did this, even though He was perfect, so you would know how loved you are and so that you could be His daughter and be with Him for eternity. This great sacrifice was the greatest act of love ever, and it was for you… for you and for me.

So you see, you, darling girl, are very, very special. A sinless King died on a cross for you- the greatest act of love known to man. And then he created you. He formed you in the womb, knew you before you were born and has a magnificent plan for your life.

You are so, so special.

You are loved beyond measure.

You are beautiful, a masterpiece.

You are royalty.

Royalty, because you are the daughter of a King.

The one and only King.

King Jesus.

My Word for 2021: Live

Wow… can you believe we’re almost three weeks into 2021?! Crazy… I know! Seeing how long it’s been since this year has started, I appreciate that this post is a little overdue, but I thought it would be fun to share anyway!

I don’t know about you, but back at the beginning of January my Instagram, Pinterest and even WordPress feeds were choc-a-block with people posting about their ‘word’ for the new year. I decided I wanted to have a word for the year and came up with mine pretty quickly, but I haven’t shared it until now.

In case this concept is new to you, let me explain briefly. The word that you pick for the year is something you want to focus on, do more of, become, or live out. It’s like your motto… your anthem… for the next twelve months. It can be something you pray about often, and something you try to do or implement into your life.

So anyway, I put a lot of thought into picking my word, but at the end of the day, I brought it right back home to something really simple.

Live.

Reading this, you may find this a little bit of a funny word for me to pick to live by in 2021: ‘live’.

But towards the end of last year, I came to a realisation. For a lot of that year, I hadn’t really lived.

By now, you’re probably thinking- ‘Megan, what on earth are you on about!’ Because of course I was living, breathing, talking and walking all of last year.

So I lived, but I didn’t live.

I didn’t face time my friends when we didn’t see each other at school for three months. I didn’t run or walk outside every day. I didn’t read my Bible every day or work on my relationship with the Lord. I didn’t read enough books or write any stories. I didn’t walk the dog enough. I didn’t make art. I didn’t put Jesus first every day of my life, and I certainly didn’t wake up with a grateful heart every morning.

Instead, I counted down the days until summer, scrolled through Pinterest and wanted Netflix.

Okay, my whole year wasn’t like that. I had lots of fun with my precious friends when I did get to see them. I had one of the best camping trips of my life and had so, so much fun on holiday with my fam in Wales. I have so many happy memories and good times too, but I do have my share of regrets.

I didn’t embrace everything that 2020 threw at me, and that’s left me wishing I’d done things differently.

I learnt a lot from 2020. You can’t predict the future. You really can’t. Life will throw you a heck of a lot of curveballs, and you just gotta catch them and move on. And when something unexpected does come your way, you have to take it in your stride as best you can. Embrace it, deal with it, bring it to Jesus, but don’t let it make you stop loving life.

So yes, I do have regrets from 2020, but I can’t change anything that happened in the past. All I can do is learn from 2020 and focus on living in 2021.

And what will that look like?

Well, for starters, Jesus first. In everything I do, everywhere I go and every word I speak I really do want to try and be as best a reflection of Jesus as I can be. I want to prioritise my quiet time with Jesus. And after that, I want to prioritise other people. I want to be as selfless and as loving as I can be. I want to wake up each morning with a big, thankful heart and a passion to make the most of the day, whatever it has in store for me.

That is how I want to live in 2021.

Chewy Vegan Cookies

Heyo, sweet friend! How are you, really? How’s your heart? And how has your week been? I’m not doing too bad- I am (reluctantly) starting to get back into the habit of online learning, national lockdown and school from home. I’ve just been pottering around for most of the week- doing school work… blogging… netflix evenings… you get the idea. Since Monday though, I’ve been looking forward to the weekend, and for good reason too! I’ve have been so excited all week because today we have a super-duper awesome post from a super-duper awesome friend of mine- Lucy! I know you’ll love this recipe post as much as I do, so without further ado, over to Lucy!

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My Favourite Home School Drinks

Here we are again… back to lockdown and home school. By the time we reached our second lockdown, this was all getting pretty old and I honestly didn’t think we’d be switching back to school from home- but now here we are!

The days feel long, lonely and often boring, especially when I have school from 8.30-3.00, so it’s hardly any surprise that I have trouble staying motivated and on task a lot of the time! To all you year-round home schoolers out there- oh how I admire you and your perseverance!!

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The Importance of Goals

I remember going back to school in January after a Christmas break when I was a lot younger- maybe 7 or 8. We’d come back, excited to see our friends again and with renewed energy, full of stories from over the Christmas break- who got what and who went where. The teachers always took this fresh start as a good opportunity to teach us about resolutions.

The ‘New Year’s Resolution Lesson’ always went something along the lines of… ‘it’s the new year, so a good time to make a resolution to get/do better at something’. So we’d come up with resolutions: get better at spelling… be nicer to my sisters… be smarter… that sort of silly thing. We’d write them on paper leaves, stick them to the tree on the wall, and forget about them by the next day.

That was basically all I ever learnt about resolutions in primary school.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured there is actually a point to have resolutions- or more accurately, goals.

I think there is a big difference between a resolution and a goal, and we need to be careful which one we set. Making a resolution is more of a fixed decision; for example, I will work out more in 2021; whereas setting a goal is creating an aim and then doing certain things to gradually work towards it; for example, I am going to try to work out more in 2021.

For me, the beauty of a goal is that it acknowledges the fact that humans aren’t perfect and that we can’t just make a difficult decision and then implement it immediately. With a goal, there is leeway- it is realistic. You can try, and fail, and then try again. You can create stages within the goal and do things to help you achieve it.

That’s why, I’m setting goals for 2021, not resolutions. I’ve come up with a handful of goals I want to achieve by the end of the year, and a couple of ways to achieve them.

There are three steps to setting goals:

  1. Make the goals (consider your why)
  2. Come up with steps to take to achieve the goals
  3. Ask someone/something (like an app) to hold you accountable for sticking to your goals

Let me give you an example:

One of my goals for this year is to exercise more. My reason for this goal is because I know that I always feel really good and happy after I run or workout, but I don’t always have strong enough mental power to force myself out of bed and into shorts and a sweatshirt, especially on a cold, weekday morning!

So, knowing this, I set myself this goal, and then came up with a few steps I’m going to follow to help me to achieve this goal. For example, I’m going to come up with a schedule for when I’m going to run. The night before, I’m going to get out my clothes and mentally prepare myself to get up on time. And finally, to help keep me accountable, I’m going to redownload Strava to track and record my runs.

I’ve set myself a few other goals too… goals about my school work and the amount of effort I put in, goals about doing other things that are good for me and goals about reading my Bible more. But, trust me, I haven’t gone crazy. The thing is, these goals are my motivation. I know just as well as you do that I’m not going to stick to all of them. There are going to be some months where I barely run at all, or where my grades are slipping more than I can afford. But setting goals shows me a clear target that I can work towards. If I reach that target? Great! I’ll be all the better for it. But if I don’t? Who cares!!! It’s not the end of the world, and I can always try again!

Setting goals is a great habit. It gives you something to work towards and something to motivate you. But, at the same time, you have to be careful not to get too attached. If you don’t make a goal or meet a target? Well, that’s fine. Don’t beat yourself up about it- be gentle and forgiving!

This said, I would defiantly encourage you to try and set some goals- big or small- for yourself this year. Strive to reach them and work hard for them, just don’t let them define you or worry you!

Happy goal setting!

Thoughts On The New Year- A Guest Post by Addie

Happy New Year, sweet friend! Wow- I can hardly believe that it’s a whole new year… 2021! To begin the year off on a high note, the lovely Addie from her blog The Musings of a Teenage Girl is guest posting about transitioning from the past year into this new one. And man… is it an awesome post!!! If you adore reading this as much as I have (and I don’t doubt that you will) head over to check out Addie’s blog… it is full of encouraging messages about all different areas of faith and life! You can also find her on her Instagram page. Now, without further ado, over to Addie!

As we all know, 2020 has been quite a year that none of us were expecting. Most people were excited about a new decade and a new, clean slate to start on, but as the year has gone on, things just seemed to keep getting worse.

It’s easy to look at all the negative things that are constantly talked about. It’s hard to have one conversation without someone talking about how crazy or different and difficult this year has been. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with talking about these things, but it’s easy to get tired of hearing the same thing over and over.

As we head into the new year, I try to reflect on the past year and focus on the positive things. There are so many ways we grew as a people this year. We had to learn how to live through a global pandemic. We learned how to communicate and create during a time where that seemed limited. We had to learn how to build relationships and keep relationships strong while we couldn’t be with people in person. We had to learn how to stay in communion with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We had to reinvent our thoughts on Church and what that is supposed to look like. We had to keep worshipping and growing our relationship with the Lord even when we didn’t have church to go to every week to keep us in check.

So it’s easy to think about 2020 as a bust, but the truth is that so many good things have come out of this year.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 to think on the truth, and these things are the truth. It’s tempting to think that since the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2020 everything has been headed right back to how it was on December 31, 2019, but that’s not the case. Things will still be difficult for lots of people, so going into 2021, how do we change our outlook on year?

We can start by keeping our focus on Jesus. We can set goals to spend more time in the Word and in prayer over the next year. In turn, this will change the way we look at the world and our lives. We will start seeing people the way Jesus sees them. We will look at our lives as a living sacrifice to the Lord. Our heart’s desires will change to God’s desires.

But we can’t just stop there. We have to take what we are reading and put it in action. We have to start treating people the way Jesus did. We have to take action in our own life to correct sin and wrongdoing. We have to begin focusing on the positive things.

So with this in mind, here is my challenge for you for 2021: focus on Jesus because if you do that, everything else in life will fall into place.

I’m not guaranteeing you that life will be easy and happy and enjoyable, but all the difficulty and frustration will be worth it for Jesus.

With love,

The Best Pens for Your Bullet Journal- A Guest Post by Izzy

Heyo everyone! I hope you’re all doing great and enjoying this post-Christmas period, however you may have celebrated. Today’s post is an extra special one- a guest post from my very sweet friend Izzy! I have been so excited for this post to drop and it’s been so hard keeping it a secret… I almost let it slip a couple of times!!! Izzy recently started a super fun youtube channel where she makes videos about bullet journaling- I love watching them, so I thought it would be fun to have her do a post on the topic! You can also find more on her Instagram. I won’t ramble any longer… over to Izzy! 

Hi there! My name is Izzy, and I run the YouTube Channel IzzyJesse M. On my YouTube, I share bullet journal inspiration and lettering show-hows! If that’s something you think you’d be interested in, feel free to check out my Channel.

In this blog post, I want to share my favourite pens for bullet journaling! I am very excited about this, as I love pens and markers and anything to do with stationery. Of course, I have regretfully not tried every marker on the planet (I know… it’s tragic!!) but these are some of my tried and true pens and markers that I think you would enjoy using in your bullet journal. 

Here goes!

  1. Brush Pens — Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens! Not only do these brush pens come in 107 colours, but the brush nib is easy to do modern calligraphy and hand lettering with, and it comes with a fine bullet nib too! I was gifted a set of 6 of these water-based pens (from none other than the one, the only… Megan of this blog!!) and they were mostly what I used to learn modern calligraphy. The brush nib is also fab for colouring in if that’s your vibe. However, they are felt tipped, which means they will fray over time.
  1. Markers — Crayola Supertips! These markers come in so many colours, and the triangular-shaped nib helps you get a variation of line. Because of this, you can use them for modern calligraphy as well as colouring in, but it does take a bit of practice if you are used to brush pens for hand lettering. They are a fabulous standard marker for colouring in doodles and I can’t recommend them enough! (Storage hack: The 50 pack fits PERFECTLY into a tin of Chloe’s Wafer Rolls, something Megan discovered!!)
  1. Gel Pens — BIC Gelocity 0.7mm Gel Pens! I got these gel pens a while ago, and I have to say, for how they perform, they are so underrated!! I never hear anyone talk about them, but I absolutely love them. They are lightweight and have a rubber grip that extends all around the body of the pen, and have a sturdy plastic clip to attach to any loose sheets of paper. The retractable, 0.7mm nib is perfect for writing an everyday note, and the ink is super smooth to write with. My only gripes with these pens are that they only come in 13 colours (tragic, I know!!) and they have a little lip at the bottom of the pen, so if you hold your pen really close to the tip, it might be a tad uncomfortable. These pens are very similar to the PaperMate Inkjoy 0.7mm Gel Pens too!

  1. Fineliners — Sakura Pigma Microns OR Mipor Pen Lines! The Sakura Pigma Microns are excellent writing pens and come in many different sized tips and some cool colours too! They also have archival ink so your writing will last a long time. The Mipor Pens Lines look almost identical to the Sakura Pigma Microns, but they are cheaper. They also come in different sized tips and have black, archival ink, but I find that these pens feather more than the Pigma Microns (the ink spreads if you write slowly). Overall, these are both really good fineliners!
  1. Highlighters — Zebra Mildliners OR Stabilo Boss Highlighters! The Zebra Mildliners come in 25 beautiful colours, and not only have the classic chisel tip, but a little bullet nib on the other end. The colours are unique but the chisel tips are a tad shorter than some others, so if your handwriting is bigger, you might have to do two swipes to cover the text, and that can look messy. The tips also pick up ink but that can be scribbled off easily, and the bullet nib is a tad fragile. However, the pens themselves are so aesthetically-pleasing and I have really enjoyed using them! The Stabilo Boss Highlighters are also great, and the tips are slightly longer so they should cover all your writing! The colours are less exciting but they last a long time, so if the longevity of your pen is something you’re concerned about, these are a great option.

So there you have it! I hope you found some pen inspiration and if you are interested in more bullet journal ideas and other exciting artsy videos, you can go to my YouTube Channel for more! 

Thank you very much to Megan for inviting me to temporarily commandeer her blog and allow me to blab about my pen obsessions!! I truly hope you all enjoyed and hope you have a fabulous day.