I have to say, I’m not even sure why I’m writing this. I’m just so tired of doing things because I should, you know? I’m so tired of trying to please everybody, meanwhile sacrificing my individuality in the process. I just need to let go. I need to step back.
It suddenly occurs to me that for a lot of my life, I haven’t actually found out who I am, what I want, what I like. And now, I’m actually starting to get to know myself, I’m starting to actually not care what other people think. I’m starting to be myself for the first time, and I’m starting to live unapologetically.
I like it. I actually really like it. I like myself, and I am not ashamed of that. It isn’t something I need to be ashamed of, because why? Whoever taught me to be ashamed of loving myself? It’s wrong.
I need some time and space to process this. Is that okay? I’m deciding it is. I think I’ll go on a pilgrimage of sorts, perhaps in the summer, to learn who I am. To learn how to be. To learn intimacy with Jesus and myself again. To just be with myself and be okay with that.
I don’t know why I am writing this exactly or what this is leading to, but I just need a space to be honest. Does anyone else feel this way?
Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I looked in the mirror and I felt a pang. That familiar pang that every woman feels at some point in their life. When you look in the mirror, and you can feel your inner critic leaning forward, preparing the sling of insults of the day. First she hits your thick legs, then she stabs you with a comment about that muffin top, and she tops it off with that sly remark about your 2-day hair. And looking in the mirror last night, I realized that I was tired of it. I’m old enough to be aware of society’s list of ins and outs, and young enough to be the media’s target.
But I don’t want to live according to their standards, because I am my own person. It’s my body, and I make the rules. So that’s why I am starting to practice body positivity. I’ve tried to break into it before, but I haven’t genuinely meant what I said to myself in a long time. It isn’t right to treat my body this way. I was made to love myself, I was made beautiful, and no number or social taboo should ever define the way I treat myself.
This also goes along with exploring my femininity. I’ve often not known how to be feminine. I always thought that being a girly girl was a sign of weakness or sappy. Now, I am learning to explore the art of true femininity, which doesn’t necessarily mean pink nailpolish and loads of makeup. It’s the art of exploring the experience instead of being focused on the results, nurturing myself and the little one inside of me instead of trying to make her stronger, and slowing down instead of focusing on productivity. I need to be confident in my own feminine body instead of feeling like a stranger in my own skin, meditate on the fact that I am fully woman and that is a brace and beautiful thing, and start falling in love with my feminine body just as it is.
Here are a few things I’ve done and am doing to practice body positivity:
Last night I started a little bit of a practice. Wherever there was tension, wherever there was a criticism, I literally touched my body. I put my hand on my stomach, my back, my legs, and I felt how each part worked so hard to support me, heal me of my wounds, and be well. It was so healing, I can’t even describe it.
Maybe the only way that you’ll know is to try it for yourself. Be thankful for all your body does for you. Sure, it may not be where you want it to be, but think about it: if it isn’t where you want it to be for the next hundred years, wouldn’t you want to love it instead of beating it up? If you have an illness, recognize how hard your body works to keep you alive, how hard it’s working to make you well. Even if it seems like it isn’t working at all, just know that it is trying its best, and that means everything in the world. Thank yourself for trying so hard to be well, and rest in the love and acceptance you have for yourself.
Body Art (especially Uterus Art)
I know this sounds soooo weird, but it’s actually really beautiful. I feel like this type of art really helps me to embody the fact that I am a woman and that that is such a beautiful, wonderful, mystical, magical thing. Whether it’s a painting of flowers in someone’s hair, or a picture of henna on someone’s hands, it just marks me. It’s almost like marking my body, like a tattoo, branding it as a masterpiece. Whatever makes you feel beautiful, whatever you feel is like a marking, put it on your skin, put it on your mirror. Let it serve as a reminder of your true identity.
Bless Your Body
A lot of us have practiced the art of criticism when it comes to our bodies, but what would change if we started to practice blessing our bodies instead of cursing them? I want you to think about one area in your body that you have been cursing. Maybe it’s your arms, your stomach, or your legs. Now think about all that they’ve done for you, how thankful you are that they work so hard to make and keep you well. What is one negative thing that you’ve said to that part of your body?
Now I want you to ask yourself, is that really true? Is that what I think or is that what society thinks, is that what another person has said or what I’ve thought that they were thinking? Is this something that I want to say to myself, is this something that is pulling me down instead of building me up, how has this negatively manifested in my life? This is where we get to the slightly odd part. I want you to apologize to that part of your body. Look in the mirror and apologize.
I know this may sound odd, but if you really think about it, it’s not. You’re already speaking to your body through negative comments or thoughts, so how far off is it really to apologize for that? It’s not, and it’s one of the ways that you can start to detox from those thought patterns that have been making you doubt yourself. Also, it is another step towards wholeness in your mind, speech, and actions. It is a fundamental step towards self-love.
*Note: I didn’t learn this on my own, you can click here to learn more about the wonderful soul who taught me this, as well as some other tips on self-love.
Imagine The Beauty In Your Body
There’s something very powerful in imagination. It’s the one thing that, though not reality, the brain interprets as reality. That’s both terrifying and thrilling. We’re going to focus on the thrilling side of things. I like to imagine light filling my body; flowers are another one of my favorites. Often the body art that I’ve encountered on Pinterest inspires me to imagine beauty in my body. It reminds me that I am full of beauty, and that no matter what anyone says, I can choose to love and accept my body as a work of art.
Accepting and loving yourself as you are is such an important step to living a whole, beautiful life that you enjoy. I hope these tips will help you to live a happier, more love-filled life. If you have any ideas for new posts, tips on body positivity, or would like to share your story of body positivity, please share them in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day!
So, today I’m going to show you a little bit of my winter haul. These products have helped me to stay warm and cozy during the cold months, and seeing as I’ve wanted to branch out in my blogging for a long time, I thought this would be the best place to start. Some of these I actually do not have in my closet, because I was not able to find the exact product on the internet so I had to settle for a substitute. Most of these, though, are indeed in my closet. I hope you guys enjoy and if you have any interest in the products shown just click the picture and it’ll take you right to the site.
Fleece Lined Leggings
First up are my wonderful fleece lined leggings. This particular pair I do not own, but I have many like it and they are amazing! I love these things. They keep my body warm and toasty, even if I’m just wearing a tee and a coat, there’s something about keeping your legs warm that just keeps your whole body warm. I first found out about these two winters ago, and they are a lifesaver! If you live in a cold climate or if you just can’t bear to wear sweatpants, these are the leggings you’ll want (plus they go nicely with a pair of winter boots!). You can find these just about anywhere, but malls are a great place to start because there is a lot of variety.
I had never considered wearing sweaters until this year, actually. I live in a fairly neutral climate, with little more than three snow days a year. I often would just throw on a heavy coat in the morning and call it a day. But this year, I really wanted to get into the season and get some warm, cozy clothes. Again, I don’t personally own these sweaters, but I do have many like them. The last one is a lot like one of the red ones I own, although I couldn’t find an exact match.
I love chunky sweaters that are loose but provide a soft feel to the touch. This season has been extra warm and I’ve often felt very relaxed and comforted in my sweaters. If you’re worried about itchiness (I was at first), don’t worry about it; there are many sweaters that provide comfort and warmth without being irritating to the skin. Kohls is a great place to start, as well as Cupshe (these are mostly petite) and Nordstrom.
In the winter time especially, I love to curl up in my bed and get nice and toasty. From first glance, I probably wouldn’t have even thought to pick these products up. Personally, I’d never thought of myself as a person that would own any Victoria’s Secret products. I don’t like the objectification of women, and I don’t like the message that they send out. I’m not saying I hate their store, but that’s the impression I’ve gotten. I have friends who shop there, but I never really liked the store myself.
Although, I do have to say, these two products are by far the best winter sleep products I’ve owned in a long time. They were given to me by a special friend and I can’t help but love them. I’ve gotten great sleep with this new mask and the blanket is as soft as silk. They really are the cosiest things I’ve gotten all year.
For Christmas, I got these two gifts of health and self care and I just love them! They are pure jewels! While I don’t have this exact Mala, I do have this Leaf fitness tracker. I’m actually wearing both right now. They’ve helped me in my journey towards wellness, which can be difficult to pursue in the winter months when all I really want to do is crawl under the covers for a nice nap!
The Leaf by Bellabeat is a women’s health tracker that tracks your activity, period, meditation, stress, and sleep. It reminds me to take care of the essentials and focus on the things I really need. This rose quartz mala that I got from Etsy reminds me of my femininity and to explore myself, to find out who I truly am at my core. I’ve meditated with it, and it has helped me to remember to be intentional about exploring my femininity.
All in all, my winter has been great! I’m looking forward to summer ootd’s as well, and I can’t wait to share more lifestyle blogs with you. Do you have any winter favorites? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! Have a great rest of your day and I can’t wait to see you next time!
I’ve never been one to make resolutions. It’s just not my thing. But I do want to do some things differently in 2017. 2016 was such a good year, and I’m so full of joy at how long I’ve come in the past few months. I’ve gotten connected to myself and Christ like never before. I’ve found love and happiness and healing, and there’s only more to come. I hope that you’ve had a great year too, and that 2017 will bring more joy than you know.
Make Connection A Priority
If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s how to connect deeply to myself and to Christ. Now that I’ve learned how to do this, I’ve been opened up to the wounds I have tried to hide, the pain I’ve tried so hard to escape, and the past I’ve been trying to escape. I’m caught in between wanting to run as far away from this awareness as possible, and trying to maintain this comfortable space of growing and being. Some days I run away, and others I stay. It is a hard space to live in, but I’m getting better, and staying is becoming much easier with Jesus around. Meditation has become both a refuge and a hard space of being. But I choose to hold out, and I know it will get better, because it already has. I have to keep going; if I don’t I’ll be toast.
Everyday, there is a choice I have to make. I can let my thoughts go downhill into a mess of catastrophes, or I can consciously connect and choose peace. It is not a space of force or pretending. It’s a space of honesty, a space of continuous practice and ritual. It’s the space where my capacity grows to experience joy and peace and love, where my past pain is healed and new, whole skin emerges. A place where I admit I am still so afraid of being close to Christ, so afraid of being known in my innermost being, yet I do long to be known. And he comforts me, he holds me in this place of emotions colliding, paralyzing fear and the glimmer of hope.
Practicing peace to me isn’t about me being perfect and having no fear. It is about me having the courage to be honest about my process, and in turn connecting to love in it. Some ways I do this and will continue to do this are:
Use My Imagination
I’m slowly waking up to the breadth of my imagination. I’ve had imagination in my life ever since I was little, and it has been both the sweetest gift as well as the worst curse. I knew I could use it for stories, fearful images of both the past and the future, and as a way to communicate and understand. But I didn’t know how to connect with God in it, though I’d pictured him in my mind many times. I was used to talking to an image of him in my mind, and I’d already gotten to know him through that. But I didn’t know he and I could connect in a safe place, or that I could picture him healing my heart. I didn’t know that he could sing to me and I could experience his presence in my heart as if he was right here with me, beside my bed as I fall into deep sleep.
It’s been great getting to know what my imagination can do again, and I hope to write a post on it soon so that you too can experience that. I’ll keep practicing for the both of us in the meantime.
Capture The Beauty Around Me
Has anyone noticed the newest tab up on the site? It’s a link to my etsy shop, something I started this year called Glorious Offerings. Glorious Offerings is a shop about capturing the simple beauty of life. I take photographs of nature and post them on there. I have some new Wintersession photos coming out soon, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Care For Myself Well
As you already know, I am deep into self-care and these past six months have been great because of it. I take longer showers, I use a sleep mask, I spray lavender on my pillow, I keep myself hydrated, I meditate, I curl up in a nice blanket with a cup of tea; the list is endless. I LOVE self-care, so it’s no surprise that I’ll be looking out for new ways to care for myself well in 2017. If you want more tips for how to care for yourself, you can read one of my posts on self-care and self love here.
Spend More Time Doing The Things I Love
I’ve been really busy these past few months, and I realized a lot of the things I love to do have been pushed to the side. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t had a chance to blog as much. I haven’t quite known how to reach a balance in my work and life, so I’m going to investigate that more. It may take me a while, but I am determined to find a balance between my work and my life. In 2017, as well as practicing self-care, I really want to start doing more of what I love in addition to all the work I have to do.
Embrace My Femininity
This is so important to me. I want to embrace myself more in 2017, because honestly, I have not been that nice to myself this year. I am now aware of that thanks to meditation, and I am also aware that I’ve been rejecting myself a lot, especially in terms of femininity. Over the course of my life, I’ve tried to be so strong and emotionless, and it just isn’t natural. I was taught to be hard, and I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to run and embrace myself again. I want to love myself unconditionally.
So I want to embrace my femininity, embrace softness, embrace how I was made in 2017. I’ve started a Pinterest Board for anyone who is interested. If you are ahead in this path, I would oh so love to connect with you. I cannot do this on my own, and I am in desperate need of resources. I don’t even know where to start…so anyone with anything to say about this topic, please feel free to leave a word in the comments.
Everything in my life feels like a rush. Do this, now do that, ooh now this, you need to do this, wait no this…..it is too much for me. I need to SLOW DOWN. I need to stop, I need to heal, I need time to recuperate. I feel like a chicken with its head cut off running around endlessly. It is not alright, and I need to slow down. I need to focus on the present moment more. I need to connect to my breath and take a little break. I’m hoping to do that in 2017, along with finding balance, although I admit that slowing down may not happen until the summer season. We’ll see.
I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. I am thinking about taking up vlogging. I’m still not sure about it, but something inside me keeps wanting to document my time here, to film beauty right in front of me, to keep a visual diary of sorts. I’ve spent the last few months watching vloggers (CatCreature, Katelyn Nix, New Age Creators) as they share their lives on the internet, and I can’t help but be drawn to it. None of this is official, and I’m not even sure it will happen in 2017, but I may explore it. So it is in the works, in a sense, even if that means this year is just devoted to dreaming.
Become a Yogi
I got back into yoga over the summer, and I have to say, it is one of the most healing and beautiful things in my life right now. It’s where I can meet with Jesus, it’s where I can experience tangible peace and joy, and it’s where I’ve learned to connect deeply with my body. I don’t want to become a professional yogi or anything. But I do want to have a devoted, beautiful, daily practice. In the New Year I want to practice yoga daily, which has proven to be a challenge for me this year, but maybe 2017 is the year it will finally happen. Regardless, I will continue to practice and delight in this simple ritual.
Along with the act of slowing down, I also want to savor. I said this last year and as I am sinking deep into it, I am realizing that savoring relates to many more things in life than I thought it did. Food is one I would love to explore. It is the act of mindfully eating, basically being present and really choosing to experience the act of eating my food. Not only do I want to experience wholeness through the healthy foods I eat, but also the act of eating them. So I want to dive deep into savoring in 2017, being present with all of the gifts my Creator’s given to me.
As you saw on Instagram, I got a new book. It isn’t exactly a Christian book, and that’s why I got it. It has writing in it that is from the Muslim, Christian, and Hindu beliefs. I want to start learning about other religions and seeing them for what they really are: people looking for God. The people who started these religions were just looking for God, they probably had never even heard of Christianity, and I believe that they got an answer. I believe that there are some Kingdom Truths in there.
I’m not saying that I agree with everything said in this book or everything that they believe, but I do want to learn about them, about their culture, and I want to respect their faith journey even when it looks different than mine. I want to learn to find beauty in what they believe, even when I don’t agree. So I want to be more open in 2017 to people who don’t believe what I do. I want to start to get to know them, and I want to be able to walk up to them and love them and find beauty in their journey. I don’t want to feel separated or act like I am separated from them just because they have different beliefs than mine.
In the past, I have felt caught in the middle of things when I’ve met someone of a different faith. I didn’t know what to think of them, though I wanted desperately to love them and cherish them like anyone else in my life. It felt like they were almost another species, like I had to change them to be someone they were not, and I knew that that was not the answer. The Church doesn’t seem to be very good at communicating to people of different faiths, or so it feels like. But I want to learn to communicate and accept them for who they really are, not who I want to change them to be. So in 2017 I choose to put love above any prejudice or prejudgement I may have towards a person of a different faith. I choose to live and love differently.
Get Down to the Roots of Who I Am
Another thing I want to do in 2017 is find myself. I am slowly waking up to all of my interests again as I’ve been doing some heart work. I’ve fallen in love with music, art, design, and so much more. I’ve realized how much I want to communicate, that my heart is good, and that once my wounds heal I become freer to be who I deeply am inside. I want to really chip away at the marble and discover who I truly am, because I’ve been hiding for so long trying to protect my wounds that I really lost myself. I want to heal, but more than that I want to become who God made me to be, and that starts with journeying towards my center.
Be More of a Lifestyle Blogger
This is the really exciting part for you guys. I want to branch out! I have been wanting to talk about so many things besides God for the past two months or so, and though I do want to talk about him in this blog, I also have so many things to tell you guys that just don’t fit into that topic. So I’ve decided to branch out. I don’t know what this year will bring in terms of writing, but I do know that I will be focusing on topics that have to do with lifestyle. If you have any recommendations or ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments.
I’ve spent the whole of my life in my head. I can wander off into who knows where in my brain without even realizing it. I think this is a beautiful thing, although it can be hazardous when someone is trying to tell me something and I am off somewhere else. This year, I want to use my headspace for more than just imagination, I also want to use it for dreaming. I want to use it for dreams that are likely to come true, unlike the many fictional stories playing out in my brain. Vlogging, blogging, and travel are a few. Travel will likely consist of daytrips or short drives because that is all I can manage right now, but it is still exciting. I’m slowly learning how to dream with Jesus, and I think this is the year that I will finally learn how to dream like he does.
Learn How to Cook
This one is actually a biggie for me. Cooking is not exactly my strong point, but it isn’t that I’m a bad cook so much as the fact that I grew up hating cooking. A lot of the cooking I was around dealt with perfection and performance, doing this the right way and pouring this cup the right way and stirring the right way. I know to cook an edible meal there have to be some rules, but the rules that were made up for me were not rules that had to be there. They were rules that dealt with the tiniest, insignificant things that ended up turning me off cooking.
I thought, “If it’s going to be about stirring with my left hand at this angle clockwise, I will go crazy. I don’t want to do this.” A lot of my life looked like that in my early childhood. But now I have the awareness to know that there are so many different ways of doing things, and that as long as it’s edible and tastes good, I am fine. And I have the choice to think differently. So I want to learn how to cook. But not in a strict way, just in a good environment where if I mess up no one cares, where I can stir however I freakin’ want, and where I can eventually learn to be at least okay at cooking. For now that will start in my own kitchen with a cookbook I have yet to purchase. If you have any ideas for this process or cookbooks you think I should pick up, please leave them in the comments.
Practice Being Present
I look around me and I see the clock ticking, the lamp ablaze in light, the plush blue toy dog on the floor, my phone sitting silent on the desk, my white headphones there as well. I hear the cars passing by, the sound of that old clock on the wall, a creaking of footsteps upstairs, the wind slicing through the night. I touch the keys in rhythm on this keyboard, rest my palm on the desk that holds it up, lay my elbows on the chair that supports me. This is me in this moment, this present moment that is now, and now, and now. Always present.
This exercise is grounding, and there are so many other practices that keep me in the present moment. The breath ministers to me, the sound of cars outside my window calms me. All of this I will miss if I am somewhere other than the present moment, and I need to experience the present moment. If I don’t, my life will escape me. The present is where God chooses to show up and commune with me, so I can’t miss that chance to be with him. In 2017, I want to meet him there.
I know this was a super long post so I’m going to keep this short. I want to come back here and remember what I’ve said this coming year and I hope that you will be inspired to create your own 17 for 2017. Tell me all about your 17 for 2017 in the comments! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and a wonderful New Year!
Last year I did a post about revisiting my Christmas list and really investing in the life around me. This year, I felt like I should invest in myself and my sanity. These past few months have been amazing learning to take care of myself. God is so weaved into this season, and I don’t want to lose anything that I’ve learned; I want to keep investing in my well-being. So here are a few items on my Christmas list that make me very excited about my well-being in the year ahead:
1. The Leaf Wellness Tracker
This is a fitness tracker for women that is optimized for your wellbeing. It tracks your stress, provides you with meditations that help you calm down, tracks your sleep and your activity. Generally, it isn’t like most fitness trackers. It is optimized only for women, and doesn’t provide you with many insights on diet or activity. It keeps you on track with wellness, and is very good for stress. I have it on my list because I don’t want a fitness tracker, I want something that actually cares for my well-being and reminds me to take care of myself. It’s often something I forget or toss to the side during the week, so this is a tangible reminder to take care of me first before going and pouring myself out until I’m empty.
2. Psalms of Poetry-Passion Translation
There is nothing better than caring for my soul, and the bible is exactly the way to do that. I’m currently doing a meditation course on the heart, and as I’ve been connecting more and more to Jesus, I feel like I really want something to help me connect better. Not that it’s going bad, it’s not. But I’ve heard quotes from the Passion Translation, and it just ignited my heart to want that deeper connection like never before. It’s almost like God is speaking directly to me. Anyway, I’ve always loved the Psalms, and I figured they were the best thing to start me off. Hopefully I can get some of the other Passion Translation books in 2017, but for now I’d just love to camp out in the Psalms with Jesus and let my heart rest in them.
3. Artsy Things
Investing in my well-being also involves investing in my passions. I believe that to have a healthy soul you need to invest some time in the things you love most. One of those for me is art. I love so many things. I am a creative person, and in 2017 I want to branch out and experience different mediums (other than a pencil).
In 2017, I also want to explore graphic design. I am very interested in this field, and I’m wondering if I might make a career out of it someday. But of course, I first have to familiarize myself with the program that basically rules in the design world: Illustrator. It is very beautiful, design. It has a way of lighting up my soul every time I see it, especially package design. I love different perspectives, and the way you can shift people’s viewpoints by visual art. I really want to investigate this medium and what it has to offer.
5. 52 Lists
The first time I saw 52 Lists, I wondered if it was for me. I wasn’t much of a list-maker back then. But I tried to make some lists this past month and I got kind of interested in it. It’s great for self-discovery, which I’ve been doing a lot of these past six months. I’m excited to see where it takes me and what this next year has in store.
I hope that you guys got some inspiration for your Christmas list, and that you will take care of yourselves during the holidays. What’s in your Christmas list? I’d love to see in the comments! If you liked any of these things or wanted to put them on your Christmas list, just click the pictures to learn more.
I know I haven’t blogged much this month, and honestly I think I won’t write that much this season. I feel like God is taking me on a long journey, one that involves many twists and turns but ultimately with light at the end of the tunnel. But for now there isn’t much I want to write about, so I probably won’t. I will honor my season, no matter what that might look like. But today, I do have something to write about, a little update on where I am and where I’m going on my journey inside my heart.
I’m sure we’ve all heard by now that the Helser’s have released a beautiful album called ‘Beautiful Surrender’. There is a track named after the album that I love right now, because it is where I want to be. As I’ve gone into my heart with God, I’ve realized that I don’t have the white flag over all parts of my heart, and that I want to get closer to my Savior.
Last night, as I listened to this song, I felt like a part of my heart was willing to experience change. This was a big thing for me, since that part of my heart seemed to not be ready for change yet, to not be willing, for a long time. But as I listened to the song, I felt as that part of my heart opened up and really wanted to experience the kind of closeness it had always longed for but been to afraid to go after. I listen to it over and over again, just declaring over my heart that this is where we’re going, that we’re going to get well and that we’re not going to have to stay in a broken place anymore. I danced late into the night, because it was Friday and I most definitely could sleep late. I imagined dancing with the Holy Spirit in that part of my heart, having a dance party just like the Helser’s did on instagram. I danced until I felt I had no energy left in me to keep going, and I thought about a sermon I heard from Amanda Cook about how God loves your Yes and how a cloud of witnesses was cheering me on and how Jesus was loving my Yes.
It was one of the best times I’ve experienced in these past few months, and I want to document it here and in my heart.
That Girl In The Blanket
The Holy Spirit has been a real gem in this season.
I’ve come to know her as a great comfort, almost like a sister. I know her as female, that’s just how I see her. Maybe you don’t, and that’s perfectly okay. I remember the first time I really got to know the Holy Spirit, which was only maybe a couple of months ago since I realized I really don’t have much of a relationship with the Holy Spirit. I used to think the Holy Spirit was kind of a weird, wind-like substance of God’s being that just floated around, but now I see her as a person. Anyways, the first time I met her she was wrapped in a blanket, and she was so funny and kind and just like any other woman you’d meet. She was kind of an oddball in the best way and she was so comfortable to be with.
She was cool with everything inside my heart, even the huge messes and wounds, and she was so gentle. She has been so amazing through this new season of discovery and I’m so thankful to know her as more than just a substance floating through the room. Every time I think of her I laugh or smile, because she’s just so fun. I didn’t think the Spirit of God could be so unconventional. She’s kind of like the child side of me, funny and weird and always dancing around weirdly and unapologetically.
She is the best of the best, and I couldn’t be more thankful for her presence in my life.
Self-Care & Self-Love
I’ve also been taking care of myself more and let me tell you: it is the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel so light and free and calm and good. Weekends are for self-care, and it has been a blast. I am learning to love myself more and more each day, which has been so eye-opening for me. A few weeks ago I blessed my body and asked for forgiveness for all the times I had hated it, a practice that Abi Stumvoll talked about in the video above. It really woke me up to the fact that God created my body as a sacred being that I was made to respect and honor, and I am trying to do that more. I’m always looking for new ideas of how to take care of myself, and my body has become the best temple it can be. Below are my self-care practices (feel free to share yours in the comments):
More Yoga (trying to do it daily)
Essential Oil Diffuser
Meditation (I signed up for a meditation course recently that I am LOVING)
Lavender spray on my pillow
Mosaic (I consider church a grounding ritual)
General Hygiene (because sometimes I don’t take care of myself as well as I should)
Making myself warm and toasty in a sweater or a blanket
Spending time with my Maker
Start getting ready for bed @7:30 because I want my best sleep
This is where I am right now, becoming more and more myself, who I was created to be. God has taught me a lot and continues to teach me about how to take care of myself. This season is beautiful, though it hasn’t been easy. There have been ups and downs, and my heart is still learning to heal, but I am more well every day, and that is something to be thankful for. I’m glad that I have the privilege of knowing how to take care of myself and get into my heart and become more well every day.
Hi again. I know I’d said I would write. Honestly, I’ve been jam packed with so many things. There’s school and other work, some college stuff, etc. Then, with the free time I do have, I just want to recharge and refuel for another week. But today I’ve decided to share with you guys a practice that I’ve been doing to keep me grounded when the busy hits and the middle of the week is happening.
Everything seems so big in the middle of the week, doesn’t it? There’s so much to do, always somewhere to go, someone to be. I try to take time to recharge and take care of myself everyday. Some days are busier than others, so I end up grasping at the little time I have left. But most days, I do have some space to just sit and be in the present. Weekends are absolutely amazing for that, because it frees me up from the hectic schedule of the week.
This is the time when I really try to rest in this practice, the time where I feel the most connected to God. Here are some of the ways I practice finding beauty in the ordinar-i-ness of everyday life:
Have a Gratitude List
Not only is this great for your outlook on life, it is also scientifically proven to make you happier and improve your mental health. I try to list at least one thing a day. Sometimes on paper, sometimes in my head, and other times on an app. Either way, this is great to see the bigger picture. Even though you may have had a busy day or a day where you just were not feeling it, this reminds you of the little things in life that make it worth it. Like that waiter smiling at you even though you were short-tempered. Or taking a good walk with your dog.
It’s the little things in life that really remind us why we’re here, and help us to see Jesus everywhere we go. I believe that Jesus is in the details as well as the big things. He’s in the miracle, but he’s also in the days leading up to it. He’s in the best Sunday sermons, but he’s also in the small town church that gathers every Wednesday for Bible Study. If you begin to see these moments, you begin to seek them, and if you begin to seek them, you begin to find them everywhere.
You want to know what’s saving my life right now? Rituals.
Yep, I like to keep routines through the week, and especially on the weekends. I am a self-care junkie, mainly because I get burned out really fast. I love being creative, doing things like this or art or writing for other things or whatever else there is to do with a crazy creative mind like mine. I don’t want to do work though, I’ll confess. Chemistry, math, etc., I do not like at all. Which is why I think I won’t take a career in either of those zones, but it’s also why I get so burned out so fast.
If it’s something I love, like music or art or writing (even English!), I can do it for hours. But if I’m not interested, the work feels tortuous to me. I mean, it’s okay, but I don’t find that it doesn’t feel like work, you know? With the things I love, I could work for hours and it doesn’t even feel like I’m working because it comes so naturally to me and it’s such an easy thing to get lost in. My creative rituals help keep me grounded amidst all of the academics I am faced with each day.
But it isn’t only creative rituals. I also love to recharge, because I’m very introverted and I’m easily maxed out. Sometimes they’re daily, sometimes they’re occasional, and sometimes they’re on the weekends.
Children are the best at seeing all of the beauty around them. The world is their snowglobe. They have so much to do, so much to see, and even the smallest things are amazing to them. They can stare out of the window for hours and still want to sit there all day. They’re so full of wonder, and the world is like a flower, spreading its petals and growing bigger and bigger each day. Every day is a new discovery.
I think as people get older, imagination and wonder is stifled. We think, ‘that’s for kids, we’re bigger than this’, but the truth is, we don’t know everything. Some of us may think we do, or act like we’re supposed to, but there’s so much out there that is just waiting for you to notice it. Maybe you walk to work, and you miss the beautiful flowers on the way there because you’re too busy thinking up all that will be on your to-do list. But if you act like a child, you begin to see the world through different eyes.
Maybe you stop, smell the flowers, and spend a few minutes soaking the sights and sounds and smells in. Sure, you may take a few minutes longer to get to work, but as long as you aren’t late, you’ve enriched yourself through the experience. Because it’s all about perspective, finding beauty. What do you see when you look out of the window? Is the glass half full or half empty? Should you tilt your head to see it from a different angle? How would your day look if you began to intentionally look for the beauty all around you?
Finding beauty isn’t just about your familiar surroundings, but also about exploration. Maybe that looks like a new city or state for you. Or maybe your exploration is right around the corner, at that diner you didn’t even know was there till yesterday. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two. You never know what you might find.
For me, just today, I found this beautiful cafe near my house that I’d always seen and walked past. I figured it wasn’t really for me. But today, as the car was getting washed, I decided to take a look inside. What I found was a small, cozy little place that I will definitely return to. The food was also a big hit. I got a kids meal, just cause (remember acting like a child?). It’s the first picture you see in this post, and it looked gorgeous so I decided to take a photo of it.
The sun beamed inside, and there really wasn’t anyone there but a few people. It made for a great afternoon. If you haven’t already figured out, I am a cafe groupie (is that a thing?). I’m a sucker for a nice-lookin’, cozy, little place with great food. It just calms me, it resounds with my soul.
It isn’t like you have to jump far out of your comfort zone to experience beauty. Sometimes it’s right around the corner where you never thought to look.
I feel like this is one of those things that you would not expect to list up here, but that it is so very true and important. Even if you dance like a maniac (it’s okay, you have plenty of company-including me). I’m not a dancer. I’m not trained, and I really don’t do too many regular moves. I love to just dance around my apartment to my favorite music and look silly and have fun.
If you’re like me, I suggest you start to not care what other people think. I’m starting to, because I actually saw someone on the street having her own little dance party, so I thought, “Why not me too?” I think I’m going to start doing that, even though I really tend to care what other people think and I hate looking silly in public. It’s a part of who I am, and it’s a part of living my life beautifully, so I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. Plus, I seriously think Jesus is dancing with me, so it’ll be great.
Life is about celebration, among other things, so why not have my own private dance party while I’m at it?
I hope that helped you somehow. If you’re going through something right now, I would love to pray for you in the comments and just be with you through that. I know I said that life is a celebration, but it’s also about owning what you’re going through. You can’t be happy all the time, even Jesus wasn’t. He got mad and sad sometimes. He wept. I just wanted to be sensitive to that, and to say that he feels with you, and that you’re never alone.
Anyway, I will try to write more, but it might only be once a week since that’s kind of my only free time. Thanks so much for visiting, and for entertaining my thoughts. I hope that you got closer to Jesus as a result of reading this. How do you find beauty in the comments? Do you already do any of these things? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
This isn’t a usual post, I know. But I wanted to talk about it, because I feel everyone has suffered from this at some point. All of us are creatives, though it doesn’t mean we have to be artists or dancers or singers. We create our lives with every choice we make, and we create in our workspaces. Anyway, all of us are creating something, and all of us have had creative burnout at some point, so I thought this might be a helpful surprise on the blog.
This also explains why I haven’t been blogging so much. I haven’t been having any sort of creative drive. I have been having, so to speak, creative burnout. So, here’s how you (and how I did) can get out of it:
This is the question for you in your burnout, “Do I need to create, or do I need to rest?” It really depends on the type of burnout you’re having, as well as your personality. Sometimes burnout is a sign that you need to rest, that you need to stop creating like cra-cra and actually rest. It is a signal your body is giving you that you need to take care of yourself, that you need to take more bubble baths, get more massages, and meditate. Whatever really relaxes you, do that.
But other times you don’t have the drive to create because of lack of inspiration or just the blank-page syndrome, and that’s okay. Everyone has that, so don’t feel bad about it. Creating in these moments can be good for this, because you are stretching those creative muscles, even if nothing of too much value comes out. Even if you feel like crud while creating, do it anyway. Eventually, as you do this more often, you may begin to grow out of this burnout.
For me, it was both of these together that got me out of it. I created just a little through haikus, and I rested a lot. I spent some good time inside my heart with the Prince of Peace, and I just rested from work. I received a lot, and what came out was little but it pushed me into a place where work became actually fun and nice again. I started writing more often, and I kicked off a few more projects that erupted out of my heart once I stepped out of burnout.
Take Care of Yo-Self (Prevention is Key)
For me, burnout was a loud signal that I needed self-care, and a whole LOT of it. And by the way, taking care of yourself is NOT selfish. It is good for you to take care of yourself, even holy. Jesus did this. He knew that if He didn’t take care of Himself, even while crowds of people were asking for Him, He wouldn’t be so full of love that it could wondrously overflow into other people. Remember, you cannot serve on an empty cup. You need to refill every so often in order to overflow into other people’s lives. If you want to do something meaningful with your life, something that will change other people’s lives, you first have to start with yourself.
I had been burned out for months with endless work and school and even when the workload started to slow down, because I never gave myself the self-care I needed, I kept getting more and more stressed, and then more and more burned out. So my advice to you would be, don’t wait. If you think you need to have some me-time, you take it. Even as preventative care. Don’t wait until everything, even the littlest things are overwhelming to you, start at the beginning. Trust me, your body and mind will thank you in the end. So will your heart.
Take Time To Be Inspired
Sometimes burnout is because of lack of inspiration. And while, no, we all can’t take a private plane to Paris, we do all have access like never before to inspiration. I’m a visual person, so I love to get inspired on Pinterest. There are so many great resources on Pinterest. There’s also Unsplash, which is great if you get inspired by photography, and it is totally free to use (I happen to use it for this blog, a lot of the photos you see here are from that website, thanks Unsplash). There is also Behance and DeviantArt, which is especially good if you are looking for visuals for a story. Also, even if you are not an artist, I think the book How To Make Art by Mel Elliott is a good one just for inspo (it has definitely been a beauty to read for me), because she has a lot of universal tips and tricks.
So there are a lot of resources out there, especially if you have a blank page in front of you and nowhere to go with it. Go to the library or your local bookstore and see if you can find some resources in your specific trade. Just find a lot of inspo. Then you are ready to create. And that can start by imitation if you feel you don’t have much to start with. Just start, and use that inspo to catapult you forward.
Think Outside of The Box
This may sound really generic, but if you’re doing the same thing all the time, your mind might begin to get bored. So this is where you need to step outside of your creative comfort zone. A few months ago, I started a blog called Human. As for now, it is just me. But I hope to make it into a collective, which is why I love using ‘we’, because I feel like at Human even the reader is a part of the collective community. Anyway, when I started it I was really inspired, which is usually how I start things.
You see, I’m a start-up kind of gal. I love to start things, I love to get new ideas and projects and just get right into them. But I am not so good at sustaining them. With Human, that was the case. I started it, formed a book club, and about a week later realized, “Wait a minute-I’m running two blogs, I have immense school work, I have a chapter to read of a book each week, and I need to write like four times a week-this is too much.” I love to get all into things right away, not really realizing what the implications might be. I am a spontaneous creative.
So I didn’t write on it for months, and I questioned whether or not I should take it down. I didn’t, which is great. Because as I was talking to God a few weeks ago, He talked to me about Human, this beautiful community that I had been dreaming about for years and hadn’t even realized it, and I decided to start it up again. So I started a series (much easier than a book club), and I have been writing every week since. The thing is, I didn’t give up on Human because it was outside of the box. This is sort of a personal blog, so a lot of normal things happen here. I talk a lot about my life, and everything seems pretty normal.
But at Human, I started a community that was based on raw human acceptance, love, and genuine belonging. I started a community that is hard to find in the world, that I desperately wanted to find myself. And people were actually beginning to become a part of that. It was amazing, and I realized that I still wanted that. Sometimes thinking outside of the box can be scary, especially since I know that people may not receive this community well, and there may be some people out there who just won’t have it.
It is a risk, and it is scary. But it is worth it. What in your life have you given up because you thought you couldn’t handle it, and then heard it calling back to you? What in your life can you rethink and go outside of your comfort zone to do? This may have the power to change your creative process completely. For me, Human was just the inspiration and creative pursuit I needed to get me out of creative burnout. I wonder, what is that for you?
Have Good Voices In Your Life (Besides Jesus)
This is really important. If you are being dragged down by negative voices in your life, then it can be a challenge to create when you have doubts in your mind telling you that you can’t. One of the most important books I think anyone could ever read, especially during a season of burnout, is The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus. It has changed my life, my perspective, and especially my creative process. I think I may do a post on it later, but it is amazing so go and check it out now (like NOW, I will not be offended).
I have to say, I am a creative junkie. I loved Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman, but The Artisan Soul has been the most profound thing I have ever read. He talks about the creative process, what an artisan looks like, and so much more that is so valuable to everyone, creative genius or not. Erwin McManus is the lead pastor at a church called Mosaic, which I am currently obsessed with. I love their community, their message, and especially their music. Their voice is unique, and it is especially wonderful to have them as a prime voice in my life. Their sermons are so inspiring, and they push me to be the me that God has created me to be, to create a good future for humanity, and to create in general. Just this week they released a podcast (#1 on the list) that was so inspiring, here’s the link to it if you would like to hear (it has really changed the way I live): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mosaic-video-podcast/id142417894. They also have an app which you can use to get the podcast.
Other good voices in my life are Christa Black Gifford, So Worth Loving, Morgan Day Cecil, Beauty Beyond Bones, Amy Davis (her relationship with God is so inspiring), Stephanie M Moors, and Mosaic MSC. When you have a lot of good voices speaking into your life, you have a lot of reasons to create, rather than a lot of reasons not to. Even though there may still be voices in your head telling you to doubt yourself, you can always have a list of resources telling you to believe in yourself. This will propel you forward into a new way of creating.
I hope these tips helped you all, especially for those dealing with burnout. If you have any tips for avoiding or dealing with burnout, be sure to tell me in the comments. I hope you have a great day and don’t get burned out anytime soon. Thanks for reading!
Encountering God is such a broad topic, so I want to narrow down what I mean by this: when I talk about encountering God, it’s about encountering Him in my heart. Recently, as you know, I’ve read Christa Black Gifford’s new book Heart Made Whole, and it’s kinda changing my life. I’m encountering God in so many new ways and He is healing me piece by piece. This is a really nice season to be in as I’m learning how to just rest in Him. So I wanted to tell you all about some ways that I’ve been encountering God, some things I do so that I can just be with Him in my heart. These are just suggestions, so if you encounter God in your heart in a different way, I would absolutely LOVE to hear about it in the comments!
Anyway, if you are looking to encounter God in a whole new way and have deeper intimacy with Jesus, these five things might help you to do that. Again, it is a personalized practice, so ask God to show you what encountering Him in your daily life looks like for you, and see where it goes.
Open Your Heart
This first one is crucial to the whole process. If you want to encounter God in your heart, you have to first be open to letting Him in. This seems obvious, but it’s actually not. Have you ever been in worship and wanted God to just rush in and break down your walls and set you free? Well, it doesn’t actually work that way. Since God is so good and such a kind God, He didn’t make your heart so that He could just bust into it whenever He liked.
That would be a violation, because then you don’t have free will, you are subject to Him busting in all the time. Because God loves us enough to give us a free will to choose Him, to experience real love through that choice and not just make us all into robots that automatically choose Him, He won’t violate that free will to come into your heart or your pain. Turns out the King of kings actually submits Himself to us, so that we have to be the ones who will let Him in, and we’re the ones who are in control of our hearts. The only thing we can control, in fact, is our hearts.
So in order for you to have an encounter with God in your heart, to have an experience with Love that is greater than your pain, you have to first let God in. Remember, He won’t violate you. He won’t come in unless you invite Him in. But He’s always waiting at the doorstep of your heart should you choose to let Him come in.
A lot of times I think we mistake time with God to be work. And I don’t mean that reading our bibles or taking time to pray for our country is bad, I just mean that that isn’t always what it’s going to be like. One of the best things to remember, and one of the hardest things to practice, is that God just wants to be with you. Jesus just wants to practice being with you.
It’s kind of like that practice of doing nothing, He just wants you to rest in His Presence. Will He heal you? Yes, of course. And there’s a time for that. But He also just wants to be with you. One time in my heart, in the childlike part of my heart, Jesus and I just sat on the floor and I was painting a picture. He just watched me and said that it looked beautiful. That’s it. And it’s as simple as that.
It doesn’t always have to be this big thing. Sometimes I just lie on my bed and listen to music and just imagine a room in my heart and we just sit and listen to it together, me and God. Sometimes He sings to it, and I just laugh. It’s a nice thing, just being with Him.
Feel With God
What’s really cool about encountering God in my heart, is that I get to feel with Him. If I’m sad, He is sad with me. If I’m mad, He gets mad too. I’m never alone in my feelings. I always have Someone with me to feel them with.
You may be really confused right now. That’s okay, I was too. Feel with God? What? How?
It’s an interesting thing to explain, so I’ll give you an example:
One day, I learned about something that had happened to a loved one that never should have happened. I was angry, so so angry, because she is very close to me and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. So I went into my heart, and I just said to God, “I’m angry right now, and I don’t know what to do about it.” So I went into this room of my heart with God, just an empty room in my imagination and Jesus was there. I was pacing back and forth, fists clenched. I just let it all out.
It was hard at first, because if you’ve read about my journey with emotions, then you know that I have not had the best relationship with them. I’ve pushed them down, I’ve denied them, I’ve thought that some were just wrong to feel, you name it. As I was pacing, I just said, “I’m so angry that this happened! This is wrong, it was never supposed to happen! This is stupid, and I wish it never happened!” And then, you know what? Jesus joined in.
He paced with me, and I saw His face sort of droop down in this sort of rage. He said, “I died so that this wouldn’t happen! This was never supposed to happen! She was never supposed to go through this pain!” We continued on for about forty minutes. It felt so good to finally get all of that out and feel the anger of it all. So that’s what I do when I feel these emotions.
I take them to Him, and we feel it together. I have a safe place to feel in Him, and you do too. He’ll catch your tears, bind up your wounds, get angry with you, and dance with you. He will help you to truly feel.
Getting healed in your heart is one of the greatest ways to experience Jesus. As you let Him into your pain, you get to learn who He is all over again. It’s like His love is just lavished upon you. It is amazing.
For me, and this is just my way of encountering Him in my heart, when I notice that I am really upset about something and decide that it must be something greater, something that is hurting inside my heart, I like to picture it as a room inside my heart. For instance, a while ago, I experienced insecurity. So I got a picture of what room this would be in my heart, and I let Jesus in. Sometimes He heals me right away, and other times He holds me through the pain. It depends on how deep it is.
But I always get healed. For you, it might be different. Use your imagination and ask God to show you what He wants to do with that unhealed pain. You’ll be surprised what you find out.
Use Your Imagination
I suppose this goes for the whole practice. But it is something that we often overlook, the power of our imagination that is. We use it for all sorts of stuff. I’m particularly prone to use it to imagine worst-case scenarios and such. No matter what people say, even if you have the worst imagination in the world, everyone uses it for something.
Encountering the living God in your imagination is one of the best ways to use your mind. But how do you do that? For me it comes easy, because I use my imagination for so much every day: plot scenarios, stories, anxiety, etc. It’s all part of my programming. But for those who are not very visual, don’t worry.
Not only is the bible a great company in every season, but it can also help you encounter God in your imagination. Those descriptions of the throne room in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 are great starter scriptures. Because you are seated in heavenly places, you can imagine yourself at the right hand of Jesus, sitting beside Him because you are His child. So get creative with this. Don’t limit yourself. Ask God if there’s anything He wants you to visualize, and ask Him to help you if you have trouble with that. You’ll find that it is a beautiful way to experience Him.
So that’s my way of encountering God. Please note that a lot of this was inspired by Christa Black Gifford’s newest book, and a lot of these ideas are in there. So totally check it out, because I didn’t come up with this by myself and she is AMAZING. I wanted to share these with you guys so that you would have a better understanding of what it means to encounter God and how exactly you can do that. If you want more tips on that, then check out her book because it has changed my life and I think it’ll change yours too!
Hoping you have a deeper intimacy with God and are drawn near to Him today!
I know, ladies. The calorie-counting, weight-watching, the insecurity. I’ve been around that more times than I can count, and one of my family members is actually obsessed with it. I know some people who have boycotted foods because they thought, “If I eat this, I’ll get fat.” I have insecurity of my own about weight, though I try not to let it bother me.
It’s a never-ending cycle, isn’t it? Whether the world tells you or you tell yourself, or both, we all struggle with it. Insecurity about weight. The need to look this way or that, the feeling of gratification when the numbers on the scale are “just right”, the guilty feeling you have when you feel like you’ve eaten too much ‘junk’ and not enough greens. Then there’s the word ‘fat’, which I think in and of itself is a truly horrible word (except when talking about it health-wise, like the fat inside foods), and it can conjure up all sorts of feelings.
This is my love letter to the ladies who think they’re fat, because we all need to hear this as women who are constantly objectified and continually judged by the pound. Whatever weight you are at, I just want you to know that you are loved not because of your size but because you are a Child of God, and a beautiful one at that. Maybe you’re struggling with insecurity about your weight, or a health issue, or even an eating disorder. And if this is you, or even if you are comfortable with your weight, I think we all need to hear this as women and as children of the One True King. Here are four truths to sing to your heart for women who think they’re fat:
You Are Beautiful
Whatever weight you are at, I want you to know that you are beautiful. Truly, you are gorgeous. No matter what the scale says, or anybody else for that matter, you are absolutely shining with beauty. Because God’s beauty is inside you, and it shines through you. He created you to be a reflection of Himself, and that includes His Beauty. So when you look in the mirror, don’t automatically list all of the things that are wrong with you. Don’t you dare.
You stop. Breathe. Look into your own hand-fashioned, drop-dead gorgeous eyes, and say, “You, missy, are the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day. You are full of God’s love and that love shines through you. You shine as bright as a star because of the God of the universe. You reflect Him, darling. So don’t you dare be afraid that you are not beautiful, because the light that shines in you is greater than any supermodel in the whole world.”
Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world.
~ASV 1 John 4:4
God Wants You Healthy
God never said He wanted you to be thin. He never said anything about being a supermodel. You know why? Because that’s an obsession friends. You want to lose ten pounds, but when you get there it becomes twenty, then thirty. It is a never-ending cycle if you want perfection. But if you want to be healthy, pursuing health for the Lord, you don’t have to worry about perfectionism.
So make your goal to be healthy, not to be the next top model. Health is way better than chasing after a facade of thinness. After all, many photos you see in magazines are photoshopped anyway, that isn’t the real person. Pursuing health and being real with yourself is the best thing you can do for your body. If you truly have a weight problem, get some help from a doctor and/or a nutritionist. But always always always pursue your health.
Don’t run after the newest trend or look to the newest diet. Look in the mirror and love yourself and your body. Take care of yourself. Do what’s right for you. Go to a doctor for a professional opinion if you think you may have a problem. Your weight may be different than other peoples’, but you remember that God created you unique. Your body shape is your own, and it is beautiful no matter what it is. God wants you to be healthy, not chasing after fleeting fads and numbers. He wants you to practice wellness, because that is what will actually make you happiest with your weight, when you can look in the mirror and know that you are healthy and that that is all that matters.
Your Heart Has A Healer
You may think your insecurity about your weight has to do with self-esteem or even your weight itself. And though your self-esteem may have to do with it, your insecurity (and even in fact your issues with self-esteem) have to do with your heart. As I am reading Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford, I am continually reminded of how many issues my heart has and how I am living out those issues in my everyday life. One of those issues is insecurity, and I don’t get insecure about my weight often, but today I did. Truthfully, I can tell you: It is not about the weight, it is something deeper.
For me, today, I was insecure because I thought there was something wrong with me. A doctor pointed out that I had gained some weight due to one of my medications, and I immediately thought, “Uh oh. Here we go again. There’s something wrong with me.” I took it personally. Really, I am still very healthy in my weight and I am starting to exercise more regularly, and she was just bringing that to my attention because she is a doctor and wants to keep me healthy. I took it to mean that there was something wrong with me, and my mind set a goal to work on this to make myself the most perfect version I can be of myself.
As I went inward, asking the Holy Spirit to guide me to see which wound this was, I found that it was at the root of my perfectionism. It was about the lie that I was not good enough. So I went inward with Jesus, and He healed my wounds, speaking kind words to me, saying, “My beautiful daughter, I love you just as you are. You don’t have anything to prove to me. I am not ashamed of you You don’t need to hide from me. I’m in love with you. I love you just as you are, messy and all. You’re my daughter no matter what!”
So you see, ladies, it isn’t about the weight. It is about a lie that we’ve believed about ourselves. For me it was, “You’re not good enough.” That encompassed a lot of areas, friends. What is your lie? Share it in the comments, bring it into the light. I can pray for you. Invite the Holy Spirit in to clarify you on what wound in your heart is operating this, then just picture it in your mind and picture Jesus healing it; you can even ask the Holy Spirit to show you how Jesus can heal that wound.
You Are Loved
I know that when we struggle with insecurities, we can believe the lie that we are not loved. You may think that because of your weight you cannot be loved. For me, love was a conditional thing. Because I’ve struggled (and am still getting through) feelings of not being good enough, love was an if and when thing. If I was perfect by this measure, or when I got here, or if I got that, then I could be loved for who I really was.
Ladies, let’s just put that down, can we? We don’t have to perform to be loved. We certainly do not have to earn it. Jesus came down for you and died not because He had to, but because He wanted to. He loved us no matter what, and He has always pursued us. It wasn’t an obligation, it was a desire. He pursues us because He wants us. He wants you. He wants me.
No matter what size or shape you are, He loves you. His love does not hinge on numbers or pounds or if‘s or when‘s. His love is freely given just because He loves you. There is nothing you could possibly do to earn it or to make it go away. It is always there, no matter where you are.
You are so loved, my friend. So live into that love. Let it be the thing you always chase after. Let the love of God fill your heart. Don’t go chasing after a number, don’t go chasing after a certain weight. Look to Him, friends. Live to be loved by God, not to be thin or pretty or trendy. You already are beautiful, and God has declared that you are His princess. So live like you are, because you are.
Thank you friends. I hope you have a great day. You can leave any opinions in the comments. If you feel like you have truths that keep you in a healthy place and you would like to share them, just leave them in the comments. If you would like to share your story, you can leave that in the comments too. I’d love to hear your stories of victory and healing, or even if you are in the thick of it, I’d just love to hear from you. You’re not alone in this, I promise.