Five Reasons Hilary Duff Deserves to be the Talk of Your Timeline

Five Reasons Hilary Duff Deserves to be the Talk of Your Timeline

A recent photo of Hilary Duff was the talk of the Internet last week. The picture shows Hilary in an outfit that accentuates her curves, which opened up thirst traps all over the web.

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While many sites are claiming that “we’ve been sleeping on Hilary Duff,” I’m here to nip that rumor in the bud. Because it’s pretty much indisputable to say that I’m rarely thinking of anything other than Hilary Duff.

From memes to Buzzed articles, Hilary is finally getting the attention she deserves. However, it’s all based on the fact that she has a great figure. (As a straight male who has been in love with Hilary since Casper met Wendy, I’m not denying that fact.) But there’s so much more to Hilary than that. (And every girl for that matter, but I’m currently fighting this battle.)

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So, here are five reasons Hilary Duff deserves to be the talk of you timeline on a daily basis.

  1. She’s a great Mom.
    The multi-talented mom is pretty much great at everything, but since she seems to put motherhood first, so will this list. Luca is pretty much the coolest kid in the world and I’m 100% sure that he gets that from his mom who cares so much about him.Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 4.01.28 PM
    She is constantly posting about this little guy, and has gotten candid about how much being a mother truly means to her.


    But her success as a mom also comes in the way she supports and uplifts other moms, even when she receives backlash for her mom moves.

     

  2. She is an incredible actress.
    Although a lot of people thought she wrapped her acting days years ago, Hilary has been in dozens of projects since her days as Lizzie McGuire. She has done guest spots on shows like Gossip Girl, Ghost Whisperer, Two and a Half Men, and Raising Hope. She has also been in little-known films like What Goes Up, According to Greta, and Stay Cool. Now, the Younger star has popped back into the acting scene in full-force, taking TV Land (and hearts) by storm as Kelsey Peters. This show that has been picked up for its next season before the current season has even premiered (every year).

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  3. She is still killing the music scene.
    I’ll just let this one speak for itself…



  4. She is actually just an inspiration to us all.
    She’s widely-known as the one Disney star who didn’t “lose it” after leaving the channel. However, since only Disney stars are certified to speak on what it’s like to transition into a new life without the mouse ears, I choose to be inspired by her for other reasons. I mean, she’s a single mother with tons of acting credentials, three novels, and five studio albums under her belt. But if you need more than that…

    She is always fighting for a cause that matters to her…

    …always trying to inspire the many people who have looked up to her over the years…


    …and is quick to remind us that she’s just like us.

    And, finally, the one issue that truly tests a person’s character…

  5. She is an animal lover.
    Hilary has shared her many pets with the world (through the good times and the sad) proving that she is just full of love.

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is:

    Although a lot of people (to my disbelief) thought Hilary was So Yesterday, if you really do The Math you will see that she’s actually One in a Million.

Mom, I noticed

Mom, I noticed

Hey, mom. It’s me. The child you carried in your body; that baby you used to hold; one of the kids who “grew up way too fast.” Now that I’m older, there are some things you need to know. 

I noticed. 

I noticed how you were always worried when I was younger. You were always terrified that I would get hurt or lose my way. And you knew that you could protect me if I would let you. 

I also noticed how frustrated you were when I got upset about the “strict parenting.” 

I noticed how you never wanted to let me go out into the world because you knew what I now know. It’s a rough place. 

And I noticed the look on your face when I started growing so independent that you could literally feel me leaving the nest. 

I noticed the hidden tears at my graduation. As if you’d just realized that I was heading off to a battle and you wouldn’t be there to guide me. 

I noticed the strength you’ve always had. Even when you get at your lowest, I noticed you were stronger than any person I’ve ever known. 

I noticed, as you battled to be a provider when life didn’t always make that easy. And I noticed that you never gave up- even when you probably wanted to. 

I noticed that, though I’m older, you’re still worried about the things to come for me. You’re still more concerned about the decisions I make, and the path I’m on, than you’ve ever been about your own.

I noticed the way you light up every time you get a miniature reunion. I noticed the way your grandkids make you smile. I noticed the trials you’ve overcome. I noticed person you’ve grown to be. 

I’ve noticed a lot. And maybe I’ve never told you just how much of that sticks with me. 

What you don’t know is that all of these things I’ve noticed have molded me into the person I am. 

I noticed that I try to stay away from big risks, and take care of my health, because I know you worry. I try to make the best decisions, and keep good company, because your fear of the bad things in this world isn’t unwarranted. 

I noticed that, though you worried I would be too far from you when I grew into an adult, you’re always here with me. Everything you taught me follows me around. 

I noticed that I try to stay above the water when I feel like I’m being pulled under, because I’ve seen you swim for your life and make it to the shore. 

Whatever I do in this life- whoever I become- is all because of you. Without you I wouldn’t be who I am. Every decision I’ve made in my life was tested in the waters of how I was raised. And though God is truly to credit for everything, I wouldn’t know Him if I wasn’t born to a mother who allowed me to find Him. 

I noticed, Mom. More than you’ll ever know. And I’ll always be grateful that God blessed me with a mother worth noticing. 

The friends I’ve made along the way

The friends I’ve made along the way

I think of you sometimes. Sometimes it’s because I see a television character that reminds me of you. Sometimes it’s because I see a picture or something that reminds me of who we were back then. Sometimes it’s for no obvious reason at all. But I think of you sometimes. 

I can see the person I was when we were the closest of friends. I can see how you’ve grown into the person you are and how I became who I am now. What I can’t see are the paths that led us to our separate places in life. I can’t remember the point in life where we took those different roads. And that’s okay, because it’s not important.

This isn’t some open letter to the friends I’ve lost along the way. This isn’t my plea to relive the past. This is my letter to the friends I’ve made along the way. Because that’s how I see you. I don’t think of you as a part of my past, rather a big part of my present. 

The people we were back then, the things we went through; that’s the stuff that made me who I am today. And I thank you for that. I thank you for being a part of my story and allowing me the opportunity to know you; allowing me the opportunity to think of you. 

This isn’t my attempt to force you into an obligatory lunch date, or my attempt to get the old band back together. We’re different people now. We’ve grown. We’ve changed. And that’s okay. This is simply my attempt at recognizing you. Just to tell you that I still think of you. 

I see your Facebook posts, and I run into you from time to time, but I’ve never told you just how proud I am of you. How proud I am of the things you’ve done along the path you’ve taken. 

I haven’t told you that I love seeing the posts of your little growing family, or seeing the all-night cram sessions you’ve ranted about as you work to further your education. I haven’t told you that I’m glad you decided to be a stay-at-home mom, because that’s a job that you’re uniquely strong enough to take on. I haven’t told you congratulations on that new job, or that I have so much faith that you’ll make it through the night class you’re taking. I haven’t told you, though you feel Ike you’re stuck in a certain place in life, you’re doing incredible things and you should never feel bad for sticking with it. 

I haven’t told you any of this. But I think about it every time I think about you. And I know that I could send you a message, or post a throwback to remind you that I remember you. But I haven’t done that either. And I’m sorry. But I think of you. 

It doesn’t matter that we aren’t the same people we used to be. It doesn’t matter that you probably don’t know me as well as you once did, nor I you. What matters is that you were there when we were those people. What matters is that you gave me so much back then- provided me with so many memories- that I still think of you. I still love you. I still wish you the best. 

So, to the friends I’ve made along the way: Thank you! Maybe one day we will be just as inseparable as we were back then. You never know where God’s plan will take us. But even if that never happens: I still see you, I’m still proud of you, I’ll always be here, and I’ll always think of you.

The Easter egg you don’t have to search for

The Easter egg you don’t have to search for

Hunting Easter eggs has become a fun and creative pastime for many people on Easter Sunday. I can remember, when I was younger, my uncle James hiding eggs in the most frustrating places, making it impossible for kids to find them. I’m still not sure if that was meant as a challenge for us, or a personal satisfaction for him. Either way, hunting eggs was a big thing for our family.

As I’ve grown, I see the younger generation get excited over the process. It seems that they’re always ready to see who can find the most and which ones will be plastic capsules holding the coveted prize: cash. It’s nice to see the kids have so much fun. It’s a joy to watch them and bank memories, as I’m sure my elders did when I was young.

However, I wonder how many of the kids are coming into the Easter holiday with a clear understanding of the “reason for the season.”

The true joy of Easter can’t be found in the plastic egg my uncle hid. And while it’s a joy to watch the kids and see the family, the joy of Easter isn’t in the family bonding time. The true JOY of Easter is that God sent His Son to the cross. That Christ went to Calvary, with no sins of His own to pay for, in order to give us life everlasting.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

That’s the true Easter egg. And even better, it’s the egg you don’t have to search for. It’s the egg that is searching for you. You are the potential “whosoever” in that verse.

When Christ was on the cross, He was thinking of you. He was planning for your future. He was finding you and telling you that He loves you enough to die for you. He did the searching: He searched throughout time, knowing that you would need Him, and decided you were worth giving it all for. He provided that Easter egg, without making you search. Because He loves you. Because God loves you.

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

So, while you’re hiding those Easter eggs Sunday afternoon (Because you’ll be in church Sunday morning, right?) remember that there’s already a coveted, plastic, priceless egg with your name on it. And you didn’t even have to search for it.

Preparing for the rain

Preparing for the rain

I’m standing in front of the largest crowd to ever attend Wednesday night youth group at my church. The massive amount of teens is taking up more than half of the church basement.

I begin to talk to everyone, trying to get names and connect with the kids before we dive into the lesson. With so many new faces, I know that I’ll never be able to remember all of their names.

Eventually, we get to the lesson. As I try to teach, I feel the room closing in around me. There are so many people and I just know I’m going to mess this up.

You see, I’ve been doing this Youth Director thing for a while. However, we usually have 5-12 kids per night. Never this many. What am I going to do?

As I get more flustered, the kids begin talking to each other about things that definitely have nothing to do with my lesson. I try to get their attention, but the crowd is growing too loud. I climb into a chair to make them hear me, but no one is paying attention.

As I try to gain the vocal power to ask them to quiet down, Ed Sheeran walks in.

Oh, did I forget to mention this was a dream?

A few more things happened in the dream, but they were basically the same tone. I was trying to get a loud and large group of teens to listen to my lesson about Christ, but they were all there talking to one another and more interested in Ed Sheeran than the mess of a youth director who stood before them.

When I had this dream, I first wondered if it was about the actual group of kids I teach. I mean, were they really coming to church to hear about Christ or were they just there to hang out and see each other? Were they all too preoccupied with other things and unable to focus on what mattered?

Then, as I worked on the lesson for the following night, (we’re going through 1 Timothy) I realized it was actually a dream about me. Our study was about having the right person teaching in the church. The dream made me question my preparedness for the job.

The fact that I was clearly unprepared for that sort of attendance, and the fact that I was unable to grab the attention of the group, was more about me than it was the group.

Don’t misunderstand. I love the group and I feel that teaching them, and allowing them to teach me, is exactly what God would have me do. I just realized that I’ve been praying for something and not working as hard as I should on it.

I pray for our Youth Group daily. I pray for it to grow in size and understanding. I ask the kids to do the same. However, when I got a larger group, I was unprepared to take care of them. 

I realize that this is all hypothetical, and based on my own interpretation of a dream. And I am in no way claiming it as some sort of divine prophecy. I am, however, saying it was a wake-up call.

I told this same story to my group after the dream, because I feel that it’s my duty as their teacher to inform them that I don’t have it all together. I think it’s important to let them see that God is still working on me, even as He’s working through me.

Being a worker for Christ doesn’t mean being perfect in everything. It almost means the opposite. It means that you accept how flawed you are and you still do your best to show others how great He is.

It is now my prayer that God continue to prepare me to be the teacher He would have me be. And that He prepare me to work diligently to be ready, regardless of the crowd.

One of my favorite films, Facing the Giants, has an eye-opening scene. The dialogue is as follows:

“Grant, I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. And both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?”

“Well, the one who prepared his fields for it.”

“Which one are you? God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”

That scene and my dream are telling me that I can’t ask God to move if I don’t expect Him to move. If I can’t prepare myself for the task at hand, why should I be asking Him to prepare the way for me?

He has given us the armor for every battle. (Ephesians 6) He has given a light for our every path. (Psalm 119:105) Take the next step forward in your walk. Ask Him to send you where He needs you, trusting that He will strengthen you for His work. (Isaiah 6:8)

If you think God is calling you to do something and His word backs that up, you should do it. Just dive in. You don’t have to be prepared. He will prepare you. 

Stop asking for Him to give you things that He’s already given. Just start working. 

If you’re waiting for a sign before you take the next step toward the path He has set for you, consider this your sign. If you are waiting to be a better person before asking Him to save your soul, stop waiting. The time is now. We may not have a later. Once you’ve let Him in, He will make you into a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

God is waiting to send the rain. Are you prepared for it?

Five Life Lessons From The X-Files

Five Life Lessons From The X-Files

The X-Files was one of the most popular shows of its time. With the lore, cryptids, and just altogether creep factor it brought to the table, it’s no surprise that the show had- and still has- a massive fanbase.

The show recently joined the ranks of many series reboots, allowing Dana Scully and Fox Mulder another chance to take on the cases of weird and unusual. I’ve started my mission to rewatch the original series before diving into the revival episodes. During the binge, I’ve noticed the real life lessons that the disturbed duo managed to toss into their creepy cases.

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*MILD SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE ORIGINAL SERIES… YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.* (But you’ve like 15 years to catch up, so really that’s on you.)

Lesson One:
Don’t Underestimate a Woman

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Dana Scully is a beautiful woman who holds her career as a top priority. In the series she is often mistaken for a weaker partner and has, time and time again, proven herself more than meets the eye. Scully is a great example of a strong female lead in television. She receives just as much storyline as Mulder, making them equals in more way than one. And she isn’t afraid to remind you of her intelligence.

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She has every right to defend her capabilities, since she lives in a society that often questions her competency. *That’s only a ’90s thing, right?* In one episode, Scully attempts to adopt a child. Her standing as a single, career woman is considered a weakness in the eyes of her caseworker.

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While the outcome of that story line is more than bizarre,  the idea that a single woman with a strong work ethic is unable to be a mother is easily squashed by the fact that Scully is actually unstoppable. In fact, most women are.

Lesson Two:
Opposites Attract

This isn’t about the shipping of the two leads, although… obviously. It’s more about the idea that the two are so different, yet they work so well together. In the beginning of the series, Mulder is open-minded and always considered to be the one with his head in the clouds. He seeks the truth, often suggesting rather strange ideas to get him there. During these episodes, Scully is expected to debunk the crazy ideas of the monster chaser. She becomes the counterweight to hold him down to earth, making him consider the more reasonable answers.

As the series continues, Scully becomes more open-minded. She ties her faith and experiences into the cases, surprising herself with the paths she wanders down. While this happens, Mulder is battling with the idea that he is chasing fairytales.

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When two people balance each other in such away, it’s obvious that team work makes the dream work. And I’m CONSTANTLY dreaming that I’m part of this team. 

Lesson Three:
Seek the Truth

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Mulder is all about the truth. His determination to find the truth, regardless of the consequences, often places him in sticky situations. He usually begins his search from the unusual perspective, but doesn’t allow that to cancel out reality. Scully is the opposite. Her truth begins by searching for facts and often becomes confusing when confronted with the abnormal. Still, the team doesn’t allow their biases to dictate their conclusions.

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They would both make killer journalists. 

Lesson Four:
Smoking Causes Cancer and is Super Gross

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This is more of an obvious, but it can’t go without noting that there is a creepy character who is characterized by the habit he holds. The man who hides in the shadows with his Morley cigarettes is one of the most vile characters in the series. (I won’t go into details about the character, because I have a heart and hope you may one day want to see the series.) He’s interchangeably referred to as “Smoking Man” and “Cancer Man.” That says it all. Smoking is bad, okay?

Lesson Five:
Question Everything

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The entire world was basically out to get the duo. And even when they weren’t, they probably were. New boss? Probably a shadowy demon thing. New co-workers? Can you trust them? Country-road police officers, bugs, small children, and basically everything else that breathes in the world, is to be questioned. Make sure to learn who you can trust and who you should avoid.

Cut out negative people and make sure that you only surround yourself with those who make you a better person. Do your research. People will tell you who they are and you have to use that to decide if you want to allow them to interfere with your path. Be wise.

Just a bonus:
Make Sure You’re Healthy

Go to the doctor, or like, self-examine. You never know when you could get sick… or when an alien microchip has been inserted into the back of your neck. But, really… take care of your health.

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Retard?

Retard?

Honestly? Out of all of the words you could have used, you chose retard? What were you actually trying to say? Do you even care that you just took a shot at an entire group of people as a way to get a retweet?

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A while back, when I was working on a club proposal idea for a public speaking course, I stumbled on a website called R-Word.org. The site belongs to a “Spread the Word to End the Word” cause, which partners with the Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and a couple hundred other organizations, with the mission of ending the use of the word “retard.”

This isn’t a post from some entitled cry-baby, demanding you to stop using a derogatory term like the r-word. This isn’t meant to shame you into believing you’re a horrible person because you’ve used the term out of its original definition, or with the intent to bash someone. This is a post from a terrified uncle who hopes to see his nephew grow up, without extra labels, in a world that is harsh enough without the help of uneducated slurs.

The word retard was once used in the context of clinical “mental retardation.” This was how people of yesteryear would describe a person who is intellectually different. To no surprise, and like many other words, this term has been tweaked to denote something entirely different. Now the word is often used to identify something as bad, stupid, or crazy. Or, often times, to insult a person or hate on yourself. This is just a reminder that the word isn’t cool and it definitely isn’t constructive.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time as an observer. I’ve heard people use the r-word in everyday conversation, making known the poor decision they made to do so. I’ve seen the word posted on social media; hours before typing this, I performed a Twitter search to see how it was being used online. I’ve even heard the word tossed around on television shows.


Each time I hear or see the word, it’s like a punch to the gut. I can remember when I didn’t think before I spoke. I can remember when I was younger and I used the word in a joking manner with my friends, or in an angry manner when talking about someone who had been bullying me. So, I guess that punch in the gut is from the little kid I used to be, the kid who didn’t educate himself enough to choose a better word.

As I grew older, and understood what I was saying, it was easy for me to cut the word from my vocabulary. As I met new and different people, I opened my eyes and heart enough to know that I had been wrong in the past. I have worked with people who are intellectually different. I am now the proud uncle of a perfect little guy who happens to have Down syndrome.

I use “intellectually different” instead of “intellectually disabled,” because I don’t believe that someone who has Down syndrome, autism, or some other cognitive difference is disabled. If you want to see someone who is disabled, look at the kid I used to be; the kid who didn’t know enough about the word he was using to decide on a better one.

I now look forward to spreading the word to end the word. I can’t promise that holding an event near my campus will change the way people think. I can, however, promise to use it to offer information and encouragement to those people who haven’t stopped to think about the word they’re using.

More than 657,000 people have signed the pledge to end the use of the r-word. People are coming together to stand up for those who are so much more than just a word. One man, John Franklin Stevens, who just so happens to have Down syndrome, prepared a poem for Huffington Post about the use of the r-word. It was inspired by his favorite Robert Frost poem.

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So, this isn’t a post that shames you for the decision you’ve made to use the word “retard.” It’s a post that encourages you to leave your own disability at the door and move forward with a pledge to spread the word. You can learn more about the r-word movement and check out some stories from others here. If you want to be a part of the change, sign the pledge here.

Don’t stop with the pledge. Plan an event, or search for events in your area on Spread the Word Day (March 1, 2017). Look into some of the events sponsored by the Special Olympics, Best Buddies, Tim Tebow Foundation, etc. We have work to do! #SpreadTheWord.

To steal some words from Stephens- and from Frost:

The word, still dark; the wound, still deep.
So, we “have promises to keep
And miles to go before we sleep
And miles to go before we sleep.”