comfortable in our own skin.....

1st off....check out my fellow schoolmate/blog partner Matt's post today about being "skinny & beautiful..."

or do that 2nd. Either or.

What happened to feeling comfortable in your own skin? Think about it.
When's the last time you felt your tummy coming over your jeans?
When's the last time you looked in the mirror and thought "wow, I am beautiful?
When's the last time someone told you that you were beautiful? 
When was the last time that you felt beautiful?

 What is your definition of beautiful?

Now that I've played 20 questions with you, I shall get started. hehe.

Let me start by saying that YOU, yes, YOU reading this. You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are enough. The scars on your tummy, the freckles on your face, your teeth that aren't "People Magazine" perfect, they are all beautiful. You are beautiful.

I remember being in high school and constantly trying to be like the "pretty girls". I never felt pretty. I never felt beautiful. I had a train track mouth (braces), a terrible perm and still hadn't lost my baby fat. It. was. bad. My nose was constantly buried in Seventeen magazine and Vogue. Just wishing I could do something to look like those girls. I'd see girls my age and be blown away at how they didn't look 15 or 16. They looked older. They were pretty. I would sit in the mirror for hours listening to "In this Skin" by Jessica Simpson (my idol.), and play with all different ways to wear my makeup. From the terrible horrible too much bronzer, to the jet black eyeliner that I caked on my eye lids(I ignored my mom about when she told me I was beautiful and I didn't need to wear it as heavy and dark as I was--mom, if you're reading this...you were right!) I just wanted to be pretty.

little did I know, I was. 

Fast forward about 10 years later..and now, I hate wearing make up majority of the time, and I finally have grasped and figured out what beauty is. I feel pretty. I can be in sweats, greasy hair, no make up and still feel beautiful. My poor fellow college classmates are probably sick of seeing me with no make up, but that's me. I hope my future hubby doesn't mind me not wearing make up... (I mean yes, I will, but honey I ain't gonna have on a full face of make up to be sitting around the house, or grilling out back. Sorrrrry)

I'm okay and I am comfortable because I know where my beauty comes from. I know that I was woven by God's hands. I am beautiful. You are beautiful.  

ignore the messs.. I was re organizing the room and got bored. story of my life.

Embrace your differences. They make you who you are.
Be unique. Be yourself. Be confident. Not feeling too confident I can PROMISE you, see what God says about your beauty... you will believe you're beautiful when you get done reading it....

Psalm 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Song of Solomon 4:7  
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Stop comparing yourself to other women. Stop comparing yourself to the women in the media. Once you start believing that you are beautiful, you will feel it.

Comparison IS the thief of joy. End of story.

1 Peter 3:4


Here's to you, 19 days.

As I sit here on my bedroom floor, still in my gym clothes, and already knowing that tomorrow I won't be able to walk, I am overcome by an emotion I have never felt. 

And I like it...

This time last year I was living a life of constant ups and downs and making decisions based on emotions. I was faking a smile daily. I was constantly playing scenarios in my head of it all. But I was searching. I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted for my life. Who I wanted in my life.

I took a step. A step of faith. This changed everything.

Here I am, just 19 days short of it being a year. A year that has hugely helped define my life and my journey with God. Just 19 days short of seeing that I made a decision, I respected myself, and I stayed strong. It's been a rough rough year. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Each hard moment, each tear drop that rolled down my cheek, each laugh, each day I woke up trying to figure out why I was living the life I was, each day that I wanted to give up and just quit...each day has made me stronger. Stronger then I ever thought I was capable of being. 
I was back and forth with my decision for so long and finally I knew what God was asking me to do. I trusted Him. And now, here I am. Just 19 days short of a year.

My heart sings. It sings songs of joy, thankfulness, happiness. Shining so bright. Just hoping that maybe, just maybe, God can use my testimony and those struggles to help someone else. Someone who is facing what I was facing. So much uncertainty and fear. Fear of being alone, fear of failing, fear of other opinions. Fear. I am here to tell you that it's not easy. It was a hard hard trail. But so worth it. SO worth it. Those days and nights when I just laid on the floor just crying out to God and feeling so lost and in such a black hole, those moments, they brought me closer to God. One step closer to finding my identity in Him. I learned how to not only praise God in the good but also in the not so good. Reminding myself often throughout the days that God has a plan. He wasn't going to leave me. He wasn't going to forget about me. There was a reason for all of this. I am grateful.

So, here's to the struggles of this past year and to struggles of the future...You will help make me stronger.

My heart is so peaceful. I am happy. I am thankful. Even though there's so much more life to be lived and more roads to be walked, it soothes my soul to know that some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet. So trust me when I say..when you finally see what you deserve and you patiently wait,  it is amazing. Truly amazing.


Stop and breathe..

Today, I just needed to write. That's all I wanted to do. I just needed to get it out. Today, out of nowhere something totally unexpected hit me (not like HIT me but you know what I mean)....and I didn't know how to handle it. After deep deep breaths and trying to calm myself down, I realized something. 

We can smile all we want. We can say we are fine, all we want. But the truth is, some may say those things, but on the inside we are totally freaking out and wracking our brains on that "to-do" list or something that we are probably over thinking and over analyzing. Today, I caught of feel of this. For about 45 minutes I had to hold back tears and quickly wipe away the ones that escaped. I had to have a conversation and I couldn't even breathe. I stood there trying to coach myself through....
short quick breaths. I can't breathe. I can't catch my breath. Sweat rolling down my forehead. My heart racing. Things were just spinning around me and I was just there. I was just there, trying to get a grip on myself.

I'm not really sure what kind of season I am in right now. I'm not quite sure what exactly God is showing and teaching me. I try so hard to handle things and control things. When really, I'm not meant to control things. I cannot control everything. I cannot handle and take care of everything. 
I work myself up so much. I keep myself busy. If I'm not doing something I feel so worthless. 
But what is it that I am trying to ignore? What is it?

Is it that my heart is happy, but my mind just doesn't know how to accept it? Is it that a part of me is just waiting for it all to crumble? What is it? 

I'm not perfect. I will never be perfect. But I push myself so darn hard. I push myself to the point of becoming sick. I literally put myself into exhaustion because I keep myself so busy and stressing over things that I literally cannot control and will never be able to control.

I need to..no I HAVE to..sit, be still and let God be God. His timing is perfect. His plan is perfect. Made and molded exactly for me. Worrying does nothing but steal our joy. 

I can't control what others think about me. I can't control how someone feels about me. I can't control it. I don't have to do everything. I don't have to stack my plate so high. 
I'm learning this. Day by day.
It's okay to take a step back. It's okay to breathe. It's okay to say the word NO. It's okay. 



Purity, Respect, and Dating with intention...

Here lately I have been coming across a LOT of blogs about dating tips and how we should go about dating God's way. I have to say, I agree with many of them. I love love love this topic.

So, enjoy this Vlog... :)


and remember....




I'm not really sure where my life is going or what is going to happen. Sometimes I'm not even sure what I am doing or what is going on in life at the moment.

Words left unsaid.

These things I am faced with everyday.. as I'm sure you are too.

Nothing is certain in this life. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is promised.
I've learned and I am learning all over again each day, that man fails us. Man WILL fail us. Man is GOING to fail us. No matter what.

I'm not being negative..I am just stating facts. 
Sometimes it's just so hard for me to fathom this. I don't trust people easily, so it shouldn't be hard to fathom. But it is. And it's hard because I look for the best in others. I want to see the good in people. I'd rather point out the good. There is always good. You just have to open your heart.

But don't be so caught up in the good that you let yourself be used. 
Not everyone deserves your time and your heart. Remember that. 
Love others, but don't let someone take your heart for granted. 
Know when it's time to walk away. 
Know when it's time to love from a distance. 
Know when to stand up and respect yourself.

Y O U are worth so much more than what the world says. You are worth more than you could ever imagine. More than you could fathom. Don't let someone who doesn't see your worth, change you. If they don't see your worth, their loss. Remember, God opens and closes doors for a reason. He knows what He is doing. So trust Him. It is that easy. Let go of what the world says. Let go of the guy or the girl who took your good heart for granted. Let go. 

Like I said...
Man will fail you. Man is going to fail you...but God...God will never fail you.


Choosing Joy...

I'm not gonna lie..this has been a pretty exhausting weekend. Physically, mentally and emotionally. Did I mention spiritually as well? No? Okay, well, spiritually.

This morning impacted that though and helped me open my eyes and my heart. You see, I have been living in straight fear. Fear. I've been giving God the reigns to my life and each aspect in my life. And it's been refreshing. For once I am not worrying or planning or comparing. But I hit a wall. I hit a wall and fear is what buried me.

Fear :"an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat"

Truth is, I am afraid. I am scared as hell. (excuse my language.) I am scared to live my life. I am afraid to let myself live life and be full of JOY and to let myself have happiness. It's pretty much just me punishing myself for no reason at all. All because I have been afraid. I envision myself in a tiny shell and afraid to walk out of it and experience all that life has to offer. To experience what God has to offer me. I have to say, the past few months I have been doing a good job with this. I've actually put fear to the side and decided that that's not how I want to live my life. And then, it happened. The emotions that I felt that hot summer day while I was laying by the pool and calling my mom who was 6 hours away, and crying and telling her that I didn't know how to feel, I didn't know how to be okay. I didn't know how to trust God anymore. I didn't know how to keep going..-- I was letting those circumstances control my life and my emotions.

I thank God for his love. He rescued me.

You see, I was letting my circumstances control me. I was not in control of my life. I was making the decision to not have hope. I was making the decision to not walk by faith at that moment in time. I was choosing to not have joy.

Life is always going to be rough. Circumstances are going to stink. There will be sad times, bad times, and happy times...challenging times. But we have GOT to keep our Joy. Happiness comes and it goes. Joy is here to stay. To be in the stinkiest of circumstances but still be able to have joy and to praise God..that is what it's about.

In the middle of difficult times, look around and say "there is good in this."

This weekend, I was choosing to live in fear. Not choosing joy. Not choosing to have faith. Deciding to choose negative self talk and being fearful. I can't be afraid to live my life anymore. I can't be afraid to open myself up to someone. I can't be afraid to trust. I can't be afraid to love. I can't be afraid of the word No. I can't be afraid of a hurting heart. I can't be afraid that tears may fall and my world seem like it's crashing down. It's been a self battle. And I am no longer choosing to participate in this battle.

in every one of our bad days, we discover new opportunities.
I can't be afraid to choose JOY. To smile. To laugh. No matter what my circumstances are.I am done living in fear and letting fear control my life.  
No matter my circumstances, no matter how hard or scary something is--God has a plan. He is with me. He is teaching me. I am growing. And it is well with my soul.

Philippians 4:11 "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances"


God's way > World's way...

I'm propped up in my cozy bed right now, the sweet sound of Bethel playing in the background and a cup of coffee on my nightstand right by me. Oh, and a room that looks like a tornado hit it. Seriously...I need to finish this reorganizing and rearranging project. But, all is right.

Last night I had a moment of reality hit me. But not the world's reality. God's reality. What started off with the ability to crash and burn, ended up turning into a deeper level of communication and trust. I had those few seconds of literally feeling my stomach drop and my heart make a run to escape out of my chest. A feeling that I know all too well, but haven't felt in a very long time. I have to admit...it wasn't a good feeling reunion either. 

You see, not everyone has bad intentions. Not everyone is out to get you or to play with your mind and heart. There are good people. Believe it or not. There are honest people. People worth your trust. People who come along so unexpectedly and suddenly it's as if things make sense. Everything that didn't make sense before, is a painted picture once it makes sense. But don't stop there. Just because the picture is painted and so pretty...that doesn't mean it's done. No, this is just the beginning of a journey. It's beautiful, yet scary. 

This past Fall I made many life impacting decisions. Decisions that others may not understand, but that's okay. I didn't make these decisions for others to approve of. I made them because I knew what God was laying on my heart and my life. What He was calling me to do. One of these decisions was to save myself for marriage. For my future husband. Y'all this is huge in my life. Yes, we all make decisions and things happen. But I was tired of living a life that was not satisfying. I was tired of going the world's way and at the end of the day wondering why I wasn't happy. 

Has your relationship with God changed the way you live your life?-Francis Chan

My answer to this question 9 months ago was No. No my relationship with God had not changed the way I was living my life. And you see, that wasn't God's fault. That was my fault. I was the one choosing to go through the motions with my walk. I was the one choosing to drink all night Saturday night and miss church the next morning. I was the one choosing to go and surround myself with 
 cravings of the world instead of spending time with my family, My God and myself.  

I was the one who made the decision to stay as far away as possible from strengthening my relationship with God.

A life change I made was to make the decision that from that moment on, I was going to stay pure. If a guy who was pursuing me didn't respect that, then he could just keep on walking by because I am not going to change that. You see, my point is this; Once I found myself totally and completely wrapped up in God, enthralled with His beauty, captivated by His love, my life changed. Every aspect of it changed. I no longer wanted to fulfill my cravings of the world. Yes, the temptation never left, but instead I was choosing to trade out that temptation with seeking God and His will for my life. 

 “We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.”-Francis Chan

Ladies and Gents..don't let this world sway you. Don't let this world conform you. Don't let this world change your thoughts. No, instead let this world have it's cravings and it's desires. Know that the right person will respect your decision to stay pure. Know that by that person respecting your decision, it will influence and impact them. 

And this decision doesn't make me better than anyone. No, this decision was me, picking myself up, leaning into God, asking for forgiveness and making a vow for something that I believe is a very special thing. It's never too late to start over. To be brand new. God erases our slates clean when we repent, and it's a new start. A new beginning. 

So see, something that would have usually crashed and burned 9 months ago, was instead, totally used to help. Communication was used. Feelings were expressed. Trust was deepened. All I am saying is that the world's way of any relationship doesn't work. But when you are doing any relationship God's way, it absolutely works. He revives, He restores, He strengthens and He saves.

" Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers."-Francis Chan

Think about it.