7040664-mood-girl-nature-photo

I Stopped Believing in Prayer

It was late October and just a few weeks after my niece passed away.  After I returned back to Redding from the funeral, my roommate and I had just one month to find a new place to live.  Day after day we searched for apartments and houses and before we knew it, we had just over a week before we had to have our stuff out of our apartment.  It was stressful and frustrating as each place we felt had potential continued to fall through for various reasons.

We had just gotten news, once again, that the place we wanted was no longer available.  I called a close friend and began sharing with her how I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being homeless and I was considering paying a visit to findmeasugardaddy.com to see if some lonely millionaire needed company.

“Ok, I am going to get off the phone right now and pray and see what God says” she replied.

I left out a little laugh and thought “well what good is that?”

The thought came and went to quickly and naturally that I almost missed it.  I hung up the phone and I thought about what had just happened in my heart when she mentioned prayer.  As I sat in my car I said out loud, “God, I stopped believing you hear my prayers.”

My heart had been so broken and let down after we lost Abby.  It was 11 months of constant and continual prayer for her healing.  Most nights, I would wake up just to roll over and my first thought would be, “Lord, please heal Abby.”

For eleven months, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t praying. When we lost Abby, I lost belief in prayer.

I began to think back over the weeks that had passed since Abby had passed.  It’s not that I had stopped praying, but I stopped believing that my prayers would do anything. Prayer, in my heart, became almost like a wish. I would say the things I wanted to say and ask the things I wanted to ask and just hope that maybe, maybe God will get around to hearing them if I’m lucky.

As I sat in my car outside my apartment, I closed my eyes.  I knew that I had a choice to make.  I could continue on my life with the belief that my prayers don’t matter; viewing my chances of having my prayers answered in the same way I viewed winning the lottery. That would be the easy choice. Or, I could look at the defeat I was facing in the eyes and say, “You do not have a say anymore.”

Do I still have moments when I feel afraid that my prayers aren’t being heard? Absolutely. But I refuse to allow defeat come between me and my maker any longer.

Sharing is my love language! Like this post? Share on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you’d like!

If you like this post, you might also like I Don’t Want to Worship God and Miracles Don’t Exist

Featured Image -- 1923

Valentine's Day Part 1: The One That Got Away

I’m in the process of redoing my blog and I came across this post. It made me laugh and thought I’d re-share, since Valentines Day is right around the corner

Miss Rheyna

In case you haven’t heard or noticed the red and pink cut out hearts and overpriced boxes of chocolates at your neighborhood store, Valentines Day is just around the corner.

A day where love is celebrated and Prozac prescriptions are refilled simultaneously.

I love Valentines Day so much. Actually, I love the awkwardness of Valentines Day.  I love the sad and angry singles, the oblivious and annoying newlyweds, and everything in between.  I love it so much that I decided to post a blog every day this week documenting my random thoughts and/or memories on the holiday.

Growing up, Valentines Day was always very stressful.  It was a day that needed weeks of preparation.  First, I had to pick out the absolute best Valentine’s Day card that would be passed out to every classmate during the mandatory VD party. Second, after choosing the best set of cards (my awkward and…

View original post 863 more words

holiday-trailer-diaz

A Single’s Guide for Surviving Christmas

Ahh, Christmas.  Laughter, Christmas carols, Mariah Carey, couples getting engaged, and mistletoe that you won’t be getting kissed under but you’ll rather become the butt of some joke at a holiday Christmas party when you realize you’re standing under it with your boss. I love the holidays!

Being single, the holidays can be mixed with emotions especially when after the holiday parties, your family and friends go home with their significant others while you stay with mom and dad watching Love Actually and eating leftover cranberry bliss bars for the 8th time. I decided that I don’t want my single friends to have to suffer through another holiday season alone, so I put together my top 5 pieces of advice to help get you through!  So let’s raise a glass of *spiked* eggnog and begin!

  1. Deactivate your Facebook.  My Facebook feed averages about sixteen-hundred generic engagement photos around this time. It’s just one photo after the other of a man on one knee in front of the Christmas tree, a photo of a newly adorned hand (with bad lighting) in front of Christmas lights, a happy couple holding champagne glasses with the caption “He put a ring on it. He must have liked it ;).” It only took one day of these types of posts for me to vomit all over my keyboard.  Granted, I’m still unsure if the vomit was due to these posts or the entire chocolate rum cake I committed myself to. But better safe than sorry, so I deactivated the FB! For the sake of your computer and liver, I advise you do the same!tumblr_inline_mh64ez9Evf1rwvk4w
  2. Drink a lot.  No, no, no! I know that you think I just gave you permission to drown your sorrows in vodka cranberries, but I am actually referring to water! The way I see it, if I have to listen to all my newly engaged friends talk excessively about their new fiance, I want to at least be properly hydrated. It also gives me the excuse of having to use the restroom every half hour where I can be free for a blissful two minutes! (Also, vodka cranberries don’t necessarily hurt the situation).tumblr_ncbcs6IFSP1saxwc2o1_400
  3. Become a Vegan. The only thing that people will harass you with questions about more than your relationship status is the fact that you no longer ingest eggs.  Who cares if you’re a vegan or not, just politely decline the cheese platter at every holiday gathering with the explanation that you’ve just decided to be better and more self-righteous than every other person there and voila! Your relationship status officially bores them and now they want to know about your protein intake.  No one has to know that you secretly ate an entire block of brie cheese in your bed last night after you drank an entire bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon because you logged onto your facebook only to be bombarded with fifteen-hundred engagement announcements.  NO ONE HAS TO KNOW. anigif_enhanced-24955-1448919657-2
  4. Take advantage of Amazon Prime.  Families on a budget seem to forget that because you are a 29 year old single female, you don’t have a significant other who can make up for the lack of gifts. This can make the holiday season feel somewhat depressing when you see photos of your friend’s new Michael Kohrs bags and watches and new cars and diamonds and concert tickets and fitbits and and and (you get the point).  This can be easily solved using Amazon Prime! Amazon has everything you could possibly need to help add excitement to your own life this holiday season! My go-to purchases are wine, chocolate, paper towels (because eating cake in bed is messy), and some sort of diet product for when I decide it’s time to attempt to lose ten pounds in a week. I order each thing separately so that it’s like Christmas every time I come home. tumblr_mxrxdifYtV1sdty8jo1_500
  5. Start a Fitspo instagram.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but I feel that it could be helpful since girls with fitness Instagrams are always bragging about how they are in a happy and committed relationship with things like peanut butter and sleeping. I feel that I can really give myself to that type of relationship, especially if in return I get arms like Michelle Obama.giphy

 

So there you have it,  my single comrades!  May your holiday season be filled with wine-induced laughter, netflix binges, and cuddling up with your chocolate cake!

Like this post? Share now with your family and friends!

If you liked this post, you may also like 20 Things I Learned in My Early 20’s and 10 Things to Never, Ever Say to a Single Person.

 

snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-22

The Year My World Fell Apart and Other 2015 Musings

Life is many things.  Talk to any number of people and each will give you a different as to what life means to them.

Exciting.

Disappointing.

Confusing.

An adventure.

Sad.

Life is many things. But one thing is for certain, it is never boring. I recently saw a meme floating around the internet that said, “Life is looking both ways before crossing the street only to be hit by an airplane.”

I think we can all attest to that.

The first word that comes to mind when I reflect on 2015 is heartbreaking.  2015 hurt a lot.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that since my niece passed in September, I have yet to have a day where I haven’t cried.  Some days I might cry all day, only moving from my bed to the couch. Other days, I’ll be going about my day just fine when it will just hit me and I’ll find myself hiding in the restroom at work trying to pull myself together.

2015 was hard.  But behind the tears, grief, and heartache, it was also beautiful. I’ve learned many things and this is where I share them with you.

  1. I learned to trust my instincts.  Have you ever met a new person and you get this sense that something isn’t quite right? For me, that happened a few times this year.  I didn’t listen to that check inside and found myself on the other side of the relationship hurt.  Instincts are there for a reason. Learn to listen.
  2. I learned after watching the What Do You Mean music video that it is possible to be physically attracted to Justin Bieber and that it feels as wrong as it sounds. I’ll understand if this confession leads to you unfollow me.
  3. I learned that grief makes you do strange things.  It made me walk from my sister’s house to the beach alone, crying and sweating.  It made me walk right into the ocean with all my clothes on, not caring how ridiculous I looked because I just wanted to feel something, anything other than what I was feeling. Grief made me stop at a green light without realizing what I was doing, only to just sit there in shock, unable to move even after I realized that I was sitting at a standstill at a green light.  Grief is hard, and it’s weird.
  4. I learned that even if you are the girl that has been doomed to eternal singledom that finding true love still is possible. This life lesson is brought to you by Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux. Thank you, you beautiful love birds you.
  5. I learned that sometimes, your prayers don’t get answered.
  6. I learned that even when your prayers don’t get answered, God is still close.  The days following my niece’s death, I felt as though everything I thought I knew about God was destroyed.  My world shattered God didn’t come through the way we wanted.  I wondered if He even existed. On my way to Miami for the funeral, I sat in the airport and in my heart asked God to prove to me that He exists and as a test of his existence, I wanted him to show me a red balloon that day.  When I got to my sister’s house, I walked into her bathroom and sitting on the counter was a red balloon.
  7. I learned that death brings healing.  Sitting bedside to my poppa, watching him take his last breaths was one of the most excruciating and painful experiences of my life.  Yet there was a presence and a peace that I had never felt before.  As painful as it was for me, I could feel his spirit finally being at peace.  In a strange way, his death brought healing to the pain I was feeling after losing my niece not even two months prior.  The presence of God was so strong in those moments of death; and even though I couldn’t explain in, it was as if I finally knew He was close again.
  8. I learned that 95% of what we stress and worry about has absolutely no meaning.  After losing people you love, you realize that everything else is not nearly as important as you once thought.
  9. I learned that Israeli massage therapists have no regard for personal modesty.  None.
  10. I learned that in the hard times, you’ll be hurt by the people you expected to stand by you and they didn’t.  You’ll also be amazed at the people who stepped up and stood by your side no matter how hard your process became. No matter how sad, depressed, or hopeless you felt, they were there.

As you can see, 2015 was a hard year.  I learned a lot of lessons that I would have preferred to have never had to learn, but I know that in the end, God is faithful to redeem. My process from 2015 will probably bleed into 2016 and that’s ok.  Unlike previous years, I’m not interested in running full speed into 2016 with goals and aspirations in mind.  I’m only interested in finding the girl that survived 2015 and allowing her to sift through the rubble and find the treasures that the journey left behind for her.

I’m only interested in moving forward.

Goodbye 2015.  You will forever hold the memories and the final breaths of two people I very dearly loved. You’ll forever be the year where I learned that anything outside of love is only a waste of time; and for that, I am forever grateful.

 If you liked this post, you might also like Miracles Don’t Exist and I Don’t Want to Worship God.

I Don’t Want to Worship God

I never expected it to happen.

But yet when I saw the phone call from my mom come up on my phone, I knew. I got up and left work and began shaking before I could even make it to the car. I’ve never felt such shock, anger, disbelief, and grief all at once.

It wasn’t true.

This is a dream.

I shouldn’t have been driving because I was shaking to the point on not being able to keep my hands on the wheel.  The only words that could come out of my mouth were, “Are you kidding me?” over and over.

This was a sick joke.  God, all powerful and mighty, seemed to sit at a distance as my family began to unravel. I walked into my apartment and began hyperventilating and pacing back and forth.  I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t think straight.  I didn’t know who to call or where to go.  Over and over, I just kept yelling, “Are you kidding me, God? You are seriously going to let this happen right now? After everything we’ve done? You’re just going to sit there and let this happen?”

Over and over, the thought that God’s not real kept coming at me.  As I was crying out, I remembered a sermon from Bill Johnson where he shared a story from when his dad died.  In the must of grief and confusion, he decided to worship God because never again will he be able to offer a sacrifice of worship from a place of such brokenness and confusion.

That story kept coming to my mind as I thought, “I don’t want to worship you, God.  I feel like I hate everything about you right now.”

That’s the thing about worshipping God in the midst of disappointment and grief.  When you’re not in the middle of it, it sounds romantic, but living it out requires sacrifice and humility.

I knelt on my bedroom floor, body shaking and vision blurry, and I forced myself to bow before Him.  I’ve never experienced such a tension, in the spiritual and physical realm, but I knew that I didn’t want to give the enemy any room to make a place in my heart. I laid shaking.  At the core of my being, I knew that there was something that I’m not understanding on this side of Heaven.  That’s the thing about pursing God in the midst of disappointment and grief.  In theory, it reads romantically.  But living it out requires great sacrifice and humility.

Since Abby passed, my heart has been torn.  I don’t understand why God didn’t heal her here on earth. I never will.  I don’t want to just begin saying all the things expected of a Christian to say like, “God is good” because I don’t honestly feel like He is good. Not right now. So I’m in this tension of allowing myself to express and experience my feelings without stuffing them away, but not allowing them to necessarily be the truth in my life.

I feel angry.

I feel sad.

I feel betrayed.

I feel confused.

I guess this is one of those life defining moments where I get to choose where I want to go from here.  I can either partner with bitterness, or I can partner with the truth.

Right now, I don’t feel like God is good. But I’m giving Him permission to prove me wrong.

IMG_4999

If you liked this post, you might also like Miracles Don’t Exist.

IMG_0469

To the Mother of a Sick Child

Life throws us through different seasons and experiences that as a child, it never even crossed your mind that you may have to face.  Little girls often dream of being moms as they “play house” and they tote their baby dolls around as they care, console, and feed it as if it were really a baby.  Nap times and bed times are given as they are gently placed in their little toy cribs and a sense of urgency comes over them as it’s “feeding time” approaches. We cook and bake for our babies in our toy kitchens that reek of plastic and our future dreams all at once. Our make-believe husbands are likely a rendition of our dad or the prince on our favorite Disney movie…which is essentially the same thing.  We fall in love with our little toy baby and our make believe husband and we live in a world where the sun never sets and the flowers never wither.  We continue to give all our free time to this little plastic, $15.99 doll that has been entrusted to us.  Even before our sense of logic has fully kicked in, we just know that our lives were meant to care for the lives of others.

Suddenly, those little girls grow up and gone are the days when life is just pretend.  The little girls turn into big girls who have their very own kitchens and big girl beds.  Prince Charming may have eventually came around except you don’t exactly live in a palace and birds don’t come to your window each morning to braid your hair. Despite a few detail changes, your life still blossoms into the dream life you experienced as a child, especially when it comes time to have a child of your own.

But what happens when your little girl dreams fully come to fruition, your very own baby arrives into your life and the baby you’ve prepared your entire life for is sick?  What happens when you spend hours in labor only to have your baby taken from you and given into the care of dozens of nurses and doctors that you have yet to meet? You see, this part of life was never displayed for us in Cinderella.

For the last five months, I’ve had to watch my sister live this scenario out.  In her daughter’s 5 months of life, she’s had to watch the baby she’s always dreamed of fight for her life on a daily basis.  Every day I watch her not only care for her toddler, but also travel to the NICU each day to see her precious baby, I am reminded of the power of motherhood.  There are sadly many who are walking or have walked in her shoes, and this is what I would say to each one of them.

1.  It’s not your fault.  You didn’t do anything wrong. You don’t have any “hidden sin” or curse over your life that has caused your baby to have to go through this.  In a way, that would probably make it easier if you could trace it back to something you did wouldn’t it?  As you begin to recount every second of your pregnancy and try to comb through every food you ate, word you spoke, or move you made, remind yourself that you did the best that you could.  Give yourself the grace that you deserve.

2.  This isn’t God’s will.  I can’t think of anything less comforting than being told that it’s God’s will for your child to be sick and suffering.  I am sure that you have lost count of the number of people who tried to encourage you by saying that this is “God’s will” for you to go through this but hear me when I say that there is no other person who hurts more than you in this moment than God.  When Jesus walked the earth, He assured us that he came to give us all life and life to the FULL.  That applies to your baby too.

3.  It’s ok to be angry.  Life isn’t fair.  A child having to suffer isn’t fair. It’s infuriating.  A mother having to watch her child suffer isn’t fair.  It’s infuriating.  Don’t allow guilt and shame to rear their ugly heads in your heart and make you feel as though your feelings of confusion and anger make you any less holy. God’s love and grace can handle your questions and your anger.

4. It’s going to be ok.  Right now, your heart feel so beaten down and broken.  Every day you wake up praying, pleading, and hoping that today is the day your baby gets  miracle and every day that passes where that isn’t the case, your heart aches a little more.  Nobody knows what the future holds and I wish with everything in me that I could snap my fingers and give you your miracle.  But I know that you are so immersed and covered in the goodness of God right now.  It’s okay if it doesn’t feel that way. Just know that it’s the truth.  There will be a day when you will feel His sweet presence once again.

5. You’re a hero.  God painted a beautiful picture when he decided to send his son to be sacrificed.  He knew that of all the things we experience in life, the suffering of a child is far beyond any other pain.  You are a living example of the love of God.  Every day you fight for your baby, you prove that there is nothing that love cannot conquer.

To the mother of a sick child, you are loved. You are seen.  You are going to be okay.

IMG_0469

If you like this post, share on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you’d like!

IMG_9800

"Miracles Don't Exist"

Earlier this week I received a phone call from my mom who was upset because of news she had regarding Abby. Within two hours, I was standing at the airport with a ticket in hand bringing me to Miami. 

I’ve always had a tendency to allow fear to overtake my mind when faced in a crisis. I was given a brilliant imagination which at times can torment me if left unmanaged. The entire flight, I fought tears both successfully and unsuccessfully. After 17 hours of travel and only an hour and a half of sleep, I finally got to meet my beautiful niece, Abby. 

She was beautiful. From her light blonde hair to her tiny toes. She resembled so much of both her mother and her father. She was perfect. 

Except she wasn’t. 

Her tiny body attached to tubes, needles, and chords as a ventilator helped her breath in and out, all of which stands as a reminder that God hasn’t yet healed her.  

Anger, joy, resentment, fear and adoration all flowed through me as I looked into her incubator and openly began to cry. 

I reached my hand in and touched her frail, yet strong body. My heart ached as I wished I could take her place. 

It isn’t fair. A newborn having to fight so hard to stay alive. 

Throughout my visit that day and the next, I would touch her sweet face while I’d pray over her, talk to her, and sing to her. I’d tell her how strong she is and how I can’t wait until she can go home. I told her Bible stories of Jesus and how he healed every person he came into contact with. I sang worship songs that declared God’s goodness and faithfulness over her. 

I would pray. I’d stand firm and declare that all sickness must leave. I’d ask God to heal her. I’d beg for him. Then I’d just stand in silence and stare at her. Wondering if God was even listening. 

Then I heard it whispered ever so softly to me, “miracles don’t exist.”

I admit, I wanted to agree with it. My mind began to race as I thought about how I just spent four years in ministry school learning about the healing powers of God.  I’ve witnessed miracles myself and have even seen a crippled mans leg grow out right before my eyes. Where is that power now? What if miracles don’t exist anymore? What if it’s just the luck of the draw for us? Why after 4 years of ministry school can I not help save my niece?

I then remembered a quote that I’ve heard Bill Johnson say multiple times. “Believing a lie empowers the liar.”

 In that moment, I knew I had a choice. I had power to give away and it was up to me if I wanted to give that to the accuser or the Redeemer. 

Abby has already been a miracle. To deny miracles would be to deny the very reason she is with us. I looked over her body and watched her chest go up and down…up and down…up and down and I knew I was witnessing a miracle. I looked at Abby with tears streaming down my face and said “Let’s choose Jesus, sweet girl. You’re going to be healed.”

We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but in those moments we still always have a choice. I can’t wait for the day when I can tell Abby about the time I flew hundreds of miles to see her and how she helped me choose Jesus. 

  

10923769_10152988233794323_5446572697794115515_n

Waiting for Your Miracle.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve found myself face to face with this blog questioning everything I want to say.  But, considering it’s currently 2am and I’ve been unable to sleep, I figured I might as well try to put words to the thoughts that I am processing through.

10923769_10152988233794323_5446572697794115515_nThis is my niece, Abigail Elizabeth Andresen. She was born in January at 27 weeks old. The last few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from despair to joy to fear to peace to the unknown.  I find it difficult to put into words the emotions that arise within me every time I think about Abby and the impact that she has had on my life already.

I admit that in the past, I have sadly  seen people post pleading for people to pray for a premature baby, whether it was theirs or a family members. Although I would normally say a prayer in my heart, I found it hard to connect or really take into consideration how they were feeling because after all, it was only a baby and not a grown child.  How asinine a thought.

In reality, it’s hell.  There’s really no way around it other than you feel like you’re in a whirlpool where at any moment it could change or switch directions on you completely and with no warning.  I hate that every time I see a call or a text come through from my mom or dad that a wave of fear comes over me that something could be wrong.  I feel like a failure for being unable to help or be there for my sister during what has been one of the hardest seasons that she has had to walk through.   I dislike having to wrestle with God and admit to Him that I am afraid of being let down. That I’m afraid He won’t come through in the way I want Him to.

We are so used to being in control and having the answers.  If we feel sick, we take medicine.  If we don’t like our job, we find a new one. If we want a fresh start, we move.  In most situations we face, there is some sort of process that gives us a general idea of what our next step should be.  But what about those times when there is no set process? When there isn’t a person you can call who can direct you on what to do next or a remedy you can take to make it all better?  Those times when you just drive in your car in silence because you don’t have any more prayers that can be said?  When you lay in bed with the words, “Jesus, please” on your lips.

“Faith” is an easy word to say but the most difficult word to live out at times.  But I suppose that’s the beauty of it…the process of living it out.  As I laid in bed tonight, I began to ask God how He does it.  How does He have the strength to see the people he loves go through pain and heartache every day?  I know that he’s God and I am completely unable to fully understand even a fiber of his being, but gosh, I just feel like that would be exhausting.  I whispered, “How do you do this everyday without your heart breaking into a million pieces?” I quickly heard back, “It does.”

I don’t know why Abby’s lungs haven’t been fully healed yet, but I have to believe that there’s more to the cross than we can even comprehend as believers.  I have to believe that despite what happens here on earth, our promise was healing.  Our promise was life.  Our promise was eternity.  I have to believe that there is so much more beauty and life ahead for us.

We have to believe.  Sometimes it’s as simple and heart-wrenching as that.

11080942_10204688483704816_4113427645029373470_n

10730993_10203745718616278_8383943441140490464_n

Life Lessons I Learned in 2014

2014 was a hard year.  Oh trust me, it was beautiful, amazing, and serendipitous all in a way that revealed to me how gloriously involved God is in my life.  I had more moments in 2014 where I experienced the power and gentleness of God than any other time.  I met and created beautiful relationships with beautiful people and traveled to mysterious and wondrous lands.

2014 was my year. But gosh, was it hard. Instead of trying to make some poetic story out of it, let’s just get right into it:

1. People come and go. I know, I know.  So stereotypical, however I think 2014 was the year where I experienced this the most.   Sometimes I think that as you grow more healthy and become more aware of who God created you to be, there is also a painful pruning process involved.  People that you thought were on your side turn out to have different intentions. When you grow to become more secure, they become threatened because they depended on your insecurity to make themselves feel better.  I learned that as painful as it is, it’s vital to let those people go. It’s going to hurt, but I think that’s a good sign.  It means you allowed yourself to love.

2. Honesty is not valued by all.  I learned that it is not my job to make people tell the truth.  I learned that no matter the age, social status, or claim of religion that gossip still runs prevalent for some.  I learned that despite having a value for justice and wanting the truth to prevail, sometimes silence speaks the loudest.

3. Security is something to be stewarded.  Protecting our minds and our thoughts is absolutely vital to our wellbeing.  I am not sure at what point, but somewhere along the way in 2014 I began allowing old mindsets to try to take their root again.  Insecurity, fear of rejection, and fear of people began plaguing me and since it took me a while to  catch on, I sometimes feel like I may never find my ground again, but little by little, I do.

4. Nothing is impossible.  You can do anything you set your mind to.  I learned this after eating an entire jar of almond butter.  I’m not proud.

5. Never allow yourself to eat an entire jar of almond butter.

6.  God is more invested in my dreams than even I am.  Last December, I felt the Lord tell me that 2014 was going to be the year of fulfilled dreams.  At first, I thought he was referring to the dreams I had settled for, not realizing that he was aiming for the dreams that even I couldn’t allow myself to believe in.  I learned that when your dreams begin to come into fruition,that it is important to keep your heart focused of the giver of the dreams and not the dreams themselves.

7. LACK is Heaven’s number one hated curse word.

8.  Shame grows in silence.  As I mentioned earlier, I found myself caught up in insecurity and I have a tendency to create a catastrophic nuclear war that even King David and all his mighty men would not want to tackle if given the chance that takes place between my own two ears if I am not careful.  I get caught up in the “woe is me” mentality and think that everyone hates me and I dread being in public for fear of my appearance.  If I allow myself to stay in that place, it just continues to grow and grow.  Once it gets revealed, it almost immediatly loses it’s power.  Vulnerablity gives people the ability to speak truth into the lies you’re believing.

9. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot keep up with the Kardashians.

10.  Your past has no say over your future. 2014 was filled with moments when I would just pause and wonder how I got here.  If you had told me five years ago about everything 2014 would hold for me, I would have never believed you.  I think that is why I find the story of the thief on the cross next to Jesus.  He spent his life as a criminal, but just one look at Jesus and a few painful words off his lips and his entire life was redeemed in a moment.  God isn’t looking for the qualified, he’s looking for the heart postures.

Thank you, 2014, for growing and challenging me in ways that I didn’t know possible.  You will always be a year that is deeply treasured within my heart.  Here’s to 2015.

10730993_10203745718616278_8383943441140490464_n

Like this post? Share on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you’d like!

victorias-secret-fashion-show-2013_50

To All Girls Watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show…

The holiday’s are upon us once again which means our homes are now surrounded by Christmas lights, our Instagram feeds filled with #paleo #glutenfree #grainfree Christmas desserts, while our Facebook feeds covered in pictures of adorable children dressed as angels or shepherds.  Amongst the Christmas cheer every year, we kick it off with a good ol’ fashioned lingerie show known as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Millions of people tune in every year to witness undeniably beautiful women gracefully strut up and down the runway with their flawless figures and windblown locks.  I completely understand why they are called “Victoria’s Secret Angels” because they are captivating in every sense of the word.  Everything from their makeup, their hair, and nails have all been primed and perfected.

This show tends to stir up controversy and I’ve already read numerous blogs and articles that present themselves as revealing some earth-shattering secret as they list all the ways that these girls aren’t, in fact, perfect.

They have fake hair!

They’ve been airbrushed!

They’ve been on restrictive diets and can only eat 1 carrot a day!

Most of these articles are then somehow linked to other articles published by the same blog site with titles like “Get long, shinier and thicker hair in 2 weeks!”…”5 ways to diminish the appearance of cellulite” and “How to lose 10 pounds by Christmas.”

Do you see the irony?

I admit, I used to watch this show and found myself becoming angry because I felt that it promoted negative self-image and gave people an unrealistic idea of how a woman should look.  I often made sarcastic remarks like, “They don’t look pretty, they look hungry!” or “I wonder if they know what a sandwich tastes like” and my favorite “REAL women have curves.”  (Which is funny because I’ve never found an official definition of a real women being a certain jean size.” I thought that these remarks were coming from a place of concern until I realized that they were coming from a place of insecurity.

You’ll never make yourself feel better by tearing down some body else.

Here’s the thing, regardless of a person’s sphere of influence…whether they are cat-walking on a stage in a literal 1 million dollar bra or walking down the street in a t-shirt on clearance from Target, body shaming is never okay.

I think that the VS Angels would be the first to admit that they don’t go about their day to day lives with a Brazilian blow-out and in 5 inch heels and yet we feel as if it is our duty as women to point that out. We make it our job to point out how they are not “real women.”  That comment in itself invalidates the very point you are trying to make.  On on hand you are saying that you don’t want to be measured by your size and/or weight and then you try to validate your argument by using size and/or weight.   I find it interesting how we can be so cruel to our own kind.  I’ve never heard a group of women making comments about men saying, “He’s just way too fit.  Real men have beer bellies!”

You see, they are girls just like the rest of us.  They have family and friends that adore them because of their personalities and hearts.  They have goals, hopes, and ambitions for their futures.  They have days where the only cure is a night with pizza, chocolate, and The Notebook.  They’ve lost loved ones. They’ve fallen in love. They’ve had their heart broken.  They’ve laughed until their stomach hurts.

They are “real women” not because of their body shape but because of the life they carry within.

This is just part of their job and the fulfillment of a dream that many of them have had since they were little girls.  Since I am a person who has crazy outlandish dreams to the point where it’s embarrassing, I just cannot be okay bashing someone else’s when theirs comes to fruition.

So to all the girls who may find themselves watching tonight’s fashion show, I pray that you feel secure enough in yourself to not tear someone else down.  I pray that you don’t go to bed feeling bad about yourself, but rather inspired by knowing what’s possible.  I pray that you can recognize another woman’s beauty without losing sight of your own.

Let’s rise above.  We are all in this together.

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Lexington Armory, New York, America - 07 Nov 2012

Like this post? Share on Facebook, Twitter, or where ever else you’d like!