It’s a Story to Tell…

It’s a story to tell… it’s the motto of the day. 

            These past few weeks have been filled with adventure, insanity, and chaos. It has been crowded with set backs and terrifying moments, but significantly outnumbered by the infinite amount of incredibly blessed moments. The beginning of each year introduces a new rhythm that sets the pace for the upcoming semester. I have a feeling that this year is going to be unbelievable in a hectic, but good sort of way. Here is long-story-short breakdown of how things have been going so far.

            Where did I leave off? How about I just start off with recruitment.

No surprise here, recruitment was off the wall crazy. It was way more fun than I thought it would be so props to my girls Aubree and Kelly for being the best recruitment chairs ever. Workweek and recruitment week are the two most insane weeks of the year. It is crazier than spring break…. For those of you who don’t get to experience the whole TCU recruitment process, you have no idea what its like underneath it all. It is incredibly hard to explain. Like when you ask someone who studied abroad (because like everyone did this summer), “how was it?” and they can only respond with one-word answers like “amazing.” How would I describe recruitment? Crazy. But it is so much more than that. Imagine cheer camp mixed with boot camp combined with an uncanny amount of estrogen. There is no real way to explain this week of drama and excitement. All I can tell you is that THETA is the best sorority and my sisters are truly talented and remarkable girls. TLAM!

            Next, school begins… of course. My schedule really couldn’t get much better. I mean two night classes AND a Friday class. It’s awesome. Alright, even though my calendar is not all that great, so far my classes have proved to be promising. Class is my favorite place to meet new friends. It gives me chances to have unattached relationships. I like knowing people that no one else knows. I don’t mean for that to sound creepy in any way, but I hope some of you will understand. For me I like it because it gives me a new viewpoint and perspective of everything that’s going on around me. It keeps me balanced and open-minded. I like that

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            With that in mind, I would like to share my indescribable experience in the music industry thanks again to my good friend Aubree who always provides us with a good challenge. This week’s was a music video. A legitimate one, kind of. An MTV2 music video that we were asked to come be a part of. I will spare you the details, but share some pictures that will explain the “it’s a story to tell moment.” It is one worthy of being told in person, but hard to explain in written words. I guess you’ll have to tune in on MTV2 to catch yo girls making a cameo in Willstrumental’s “Bout It Bout It.”

        Mixed with all this craziness with new beginnings and hectic schedules, I have found some lovely silver linings. A worthy list of breathtaking and delightful experiences. Through these past weeks I have strengthened relationships and bonds with new and old friends. I have been reminded about why I chose Theta and why I chose TCU and my friends. I have entered the long path of classes needed to complete my major. I have met with friends and family that I haven’t seen in forever and I finally got to settle into my new house with my unique and awesome roommates. Speaking of houses and family and friends, I have one more little adventure to share.

            Lucky for me I was able to travel down to San Antonio to my grandparent’s house to see part of my extended fam. Cousins and cousins and more cousins and aunts and uncles. The whole shebang. You’d think it would be one of those over the top family gatherings, and you’d be right because it was exactly that. I can’t believe that a group of 20-something-year-olds would get together and wreak havoc. How many girls does it take to open a trundle bed, to finish a basket of candy, to overflow the pool with an abundance of colorful floaties. It was nuts how many absurd activities brought us together. We wrapped up each night with looking at old photos from when we were little kids and then we would begin the next day with reenacting the pictures.

            During this great weekend, I was overwhelmed with all the fun and awfully tired from the sun. I was exhausted and unable to comprehend the call I had received from my dad. You can imagine how unbelievably shocked and panicked I was when I found out my mom was seriously ill in another country. I tried to stay calm and show how brave I was, but that night I crashed a little earlier and prayed a little harder. I prayed my little heart out for her. Thank you to everyone who sent her out in their prayer groups. Cid, you are doing great and have a strong support group that never stops praying for you. I love you! It’s your “story to tell.” 

 

Finally, throughout this entire crazy and emotional short journey I was able to experience some precious moments of solitude (believe it or not) and enjoy alone time with my homeboy, Jesus. My biggest “oh snap” moment was when I reread my Jesus Calling book for the reading of August 29. Yes, I’ve read it multiple times to understand it and then believe it. I’ll leave you with that. Remember through all your craziness, there is always an anchor. Find it.

 

“DEMONSTRATE YOUR TRUST IN ME by sitting quietly in My Presence. Put aside all that is waiting to be done, and refuse to worry about anything. This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring. By waiting with Me before you begin the day’s activities, you proclaim the reality of My living Presence. This act of faith–waiting before working–is noted in the spirit world, where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers of darkness.

The most effective way to resist evil is to draw near to Me. When you need to take action, I will guide you clearly through My Spirit and My Word. The world is so complex and overstimulating that you can easily lose your sense of direction. Doing countless unnecessary activities will dissipate your energy. When you spend time with me, I restore your sense of direction. As you look to Me for guidance, I enable you to do less but accomplish more.”

 

Luke 12:22-26; Ephesians 6:12; Proverbs 16:3

 

Enjoy your week!

Tara McQueen

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Words of Encouragement

I am feeling very thankful today. I notice that sometimes my ego blinds me from seeing everything that is good in life. Often, I forget how amazingly wonderful my friends are. Sorry, friends! The past few days have been kind of hard for me. Seeing that my entire Instagram feed is full with pictures from amazing adventures around the world, especially Europe… especially Paris. I am jealous. Very jealous. As this weekend was my first “free weekend” I thought it was going to be absolutely wonderful. Nope. It wasn’t. It was nice, but not wonderful. I’m so jealous of everyone else’s escapades that I forget to plan my own. Lately, (the past two days) I have been feeling kind of lonely. I wait for a text, for a call, for the doorbell to ring or a knock on the door. Nope. Nothing. Nada. But then I realized, I did get those texts, calls, and knocks on the door…  it just wasn’t to hang out, it was better.

“How are you doing?” “I miss you!” “Where did you get that maple bacon donut?”

and my favorite one from my little: “I hope you had a fun day at the fair and that it was your perfect fair day that you have always wanted.” Oh yeah, I went to the fair with my best friend… and even though we complained together the entire time… I mean we were at the fair so I wouldn’t necessarily say that life was that bad.

another favorite from a good friend: “You know I am a big Tara McQueen fan (blogger, person, advice giver, good friend.)

 

Thank you, friends! I know there were plenty more that I didn’t stop and think wow thank you. I regret not appreciating these little notes and I am making a pact with myself to notice the small things. You’ve heard the little things are the ones that matter most or how bout stop and smell the roses, right? How cliché am I? I just want to give a shout out to all my friends who continuously make my day. Thank you for always being there for me. I’m always here for anyone. If you are feeling down or just need someone to talk to please don’t hesitate. I am here for you. If you are too shy or embarrassed you can always use my tumblr account to stay anonymous. 

Look up Philippians 4:8 if you are in need of some extra faith. 

Stay lovely,

Tara

Home Sweet Home

Today was the first time I called my room in my TCU dormitory home. I don’t exactly remember the sentence it was used in, but I do remember stopping and thinking wow it feels nice to be back into a place I can call home. TCU has been such a lovely place to me in the past few weeks and I have always felt that this atmosphere was exceedingly inviting and lovely in a close-knit family (or just my sorority family, love you big) type of way. I always thought of TCU as my home during my freshman year. I thought it would be the same sophomore year. But as I returned to school uninterested in what I would title it, I realized that adjusting back into a routine and undecorated room was unfulfilling. I was lacking in some aspect and I couldn’t quite pinpoint what exactly that missing puzzle piece was.Image

I was extremely close to God at that time as I was searching for some comfort and stability in which I found in Him. I am grateful that I had a permanent reminder of his presence infused into my own skin. I seek out to Him in fear, hope, praise, and gratitude. He responds slowly by offering up a token that has been incomplete in prior weeks. First, He granted me with the gift of gratefulness. I am utterly pleased with the classes I am in and the stimulating and challenges professors I have the opportunity to learn from. Thank you, baby Jesus. You rock.

Next, I was granted with the blessing of faithful friends. It bothers me to say that I wasn’t initially content with the way things were going with my friends for the first week and half of school. I love them and I just did not feel that the love was reciprocated. Well, I was not surprisingly wrong. I was quick to judge and wrongly assume that the way we express fondness and affection can be drastically different. Unexpectedly, this was the hardest blow for me to overcome. I was jealous of the tight bond I once was a part of and upon my return I felt left out, like I didn’t belong. That only caused me to retreat. Luckily, I was finding that backtracking and neglecting the problem were not going to make things better. From there on out we decided to allow each other to openly express our feelings in an all-understanding way. I appreciate that communication and I now find myself in a comfortable and harmonious relationship with the friends I can confidently call family.

So far my finalizing gift is the ability to overcome extreme worry.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 55:22 NIV

Exactly what I needed to hear and I feel responsible for sharing it with others, aka you readers. Do not worry for He is always present and always guiding your path. Recently while just starting to read Eat Pray Love, I discovered a quote I found interesting and maybe a little abstract.

But why must everything always have a practical application? I’d been such a diligent soldier for years—working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty? In this dark period of loss, did I need any justification for learning Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me any pleasure right now?

This popped out at me. I am not quite sure why yet, but I feel like there is more to it than what’s on the print and paper. Sometimes when you are feeling lost it is necessary to be your own devil’s advocate. Find yourself, ground yourself, and assure yourself. Life is made for you; you are not made to conform to societal pressures. You are capable of finding what makes you happy, what makes your mind climb higher than its limits, to let your words flow freely. Life is what you make of it. So incredibly cliché it almost makes me cringe. I can’t portray that in a more straightforward way. We mustn’t worry so much about what others think or what we are and are not capable of. We are capable of anything and stressing about it can only hold us back. My challenge for the week (maybe year, maybe lifetime) is to let go of the worry and let God guide me to my given path. Easier said than done, but always worth a try.

To tie things together I examine what I am blessed with here at TCU and what I look forward to receive throughout my time here. I smiled at myself when I heard the word “home” slip out of my lips today. I am content. I am finally home.

#blessed

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My happy place. My jetty.

As The Little English Girl reminds us how technology continuously distracts us from the life we ought to be living, I am truly inspired to experience life without the constant nagging of my beeping iPhone. I fall into the trap of FOMO countless times during the day. I feel bad about myself for not being invited and constantly intruding and invading the things in life that the older generation would consider “personal.” Why must we share every detail of our day? I don’t have enough reasons to qualify why it could really be that important. I am blinded by the constant adoration of sunsets I missed and jealousy of activities my friends get to do without me. Instead of going out to my favorite place on that sweet little jetty I sit on, feeling the cool wind in my hair and the saltwater mist splashing on my face, I spend that free time opening every possible social media outlet and torture myself into overthinking. So thankfully my eyes are opening, without the glare of my iPhone staring back at me, and showing me how truly blessed I am. As a common trend in social media #blessed is a constant reminder. For me it reminds me of how grateful I am to have a loving family. A family I can count on at any and all times of the day. A family that will laugh at my awful jokes and pretend to laugh at the constant Tumblr text posts I find hilarious. A family who seeks out ways to comfort me in times of doubt. A family who brings me peace when my world cannot. And a family who consistently brings me closer to God and shares my faith with me. I am also extremely thankful for my crazy friends. My friends who tolerate hearing my stories even if they’ve already heard it a hundred times.  My friends who patiently wait for me to stutter out the words my mind thinks but my voice can’t quite express. My friends who will stick with me through my highs and lows. My friends who trust me and my friends who I trust back. I am so blessed by the beautiful places I live in that I constantly take for granted. I remember how I used to say I’d never miss a sunset that I had time to see. Living right on the sea I sometimes convince myself that I don’t need to go sit on that jetty alone and watch the sunset, that I have done it enough times. However, during this beautiful winter season of sunsets I am reminded that each time I watch a sunset a small hole in my heart is refilled with peace and happiness. It is not an effort to go see these sunsets, but a blessing. We are not guaranteed a supportive family, we are blessed with one. We are not given life long friends, they are a blessing to us. So I thank God for the constant blessings in my life that I get to experience daily. I have not thanked Him enough and I am forever grateful for His blessings.