What I do know

Blogs are strange. Everyone wants to give advice about ‘how to do this’, ‘how to do that’, ‘how to deal with this’, ‘what to do if this happens’. And it feels kind of weird to be a stranger giving any advice to other strangers. So I just wanted to make today’s post very transparent. I probably don’t know you and I probably don’t know what you’re going through. I definitely don’t know everything; but here is what I do know:

God is good.
He made you for a reason
God is a giver.
He blesses people differently
You are not God.
You don’t get to choose your blessings but you get to choose how you care for and utilize them 
God is a teacher.
You don’t start out with everything you ever wanted, because if you did you would have no idea what to do with it
God will never leave you.
Loneliness may be scary, but it doesn’t have to be
Jesus heals.
You can’t always choose what happens to you in life but you can always choose how you perceive and react to it
Jesus loves.
He’s already sacrificed it all for you so that you would know unconditional love
Jesus knows your heart.
Mistakes are just another part of life, we were never meant to be perfect
Jesus is forgiveness.
Ask for forgiveness so that you can can have peace, give out forgiveness so that others can have peace too
Prayer is powerful.
Don’t be afraid to talk to God, and spill your heart out, it will be the most healing and beneficial thing you do all day
Prayer is necessary.
The one person who would never judge you, never not love you, and never give up on you is on the receiving end. You genuinely have nothing to lose
Prayer gives us strength.
Pray for others so that they may have strength too

You were born a fighter. God wouldn’t have put you on this earth if He didn’t believe you could handle it. You have everything you need to be happy inside of you. You could lose everything and everyone right now and you still would not be alone. No bad day deserves the opportunity to make it a bad life. And no missed opportunity means there won’t be a better one coming up soon! 

This new month is here to bring even more happiness into your life. Be strong today, say thanks and give praise! A blessing could be right around the corner!

 (Photo from Pinterest.)

(Photo from Pinterest.)

acts 1:7

"He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.'"

We always talk about the timing of it all. If things just happened at this point in my life instead of right now.... if I hadn’t done this, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened.... if the timing would’ve been right, maybe things could’ve worked out differently. 

But we've got to stop. 

Stop insinuating that what you’re going through, what you've been through, and what you’re feeling now is happening because the “timing was off”. The truth is that if the timing was off, then it simply was not meant for you. No mistake has been made, there wasn’t an error in the system, it just wasn’t meant to be. How much time should we waste mourning what could have been instead of anticipating what’s about to be? Because what’s about to be is gonna show up, and it’s gonna show up quicker than you know it, so you’d better be prepared. You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to yourself before the very thing you’ve been praying for is right in front of your eyes and you start asking God for help because you have no idea what to do with it. Because when it hits you’re gonna realize just how useless it was to put yourself through all that pain and regret, protesting against what you thought was just bad timing. And when it’s standing there in front of you, and you want to close your eyes, don’t. Because this is life, and it’s yours, and you will always get another chance. At happiness, at love, at doing the right thing, picking the right career, being a better friend. And if your gut is telling you one thing and your mind is saying another, that conflicting feeling is what’s going to lead you straight into your breakthrough. And when you’re uncomfortable and frustrated and you’ve finally exhausted every single option as to what could’ve possibly gone so, so wrong, that’s when you will finally see the light. And that is when you’ll realize, this is go time, and it’s right on the other side of everything that you’ve ever held responsible for taking you down in the first place. "Bad timing." The past is gone, so let it go and just allow yourself to breathe. Your heart is at its best when it’s free of bitterness. And there’s a strong possibility that your life could turn on a dime each and every morning you wake up. So don’t blame yourself, and don’t blame the timing. Be at peace, and just give credit to God for what He’s about to do.

 

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I think I forgot how to write

No seriously, I haven’t written on this blog in forever and I look back on some of my first few posts and feel shocked that I could actually put those things into words. And I’ve been busier thinking of vlog and video ideas because that’s what I’ve been most excited about. But I realized a few days ago that a vacation or a video from a scene of my life can be fun but it isn’t what’s going to change someone else’s. I started this thing in hopes of relating to others and helping them by sharing ideas and concepts and the many little things that bounce around in my head throughout the day. (And keep me up at night). I ultimately wanted people to know that they were not alone and it’s no coincidence that some events in our lives can be so eerily similar to our neighbors. It’s how God intended us to create community, friendships, and relationships. Having things in common doesn’t just mean you both like pizza, sports, or have the same taste in music. Those things are great, but what about the real stuff. Our insecurities, our faith, what brought us back onto our feet. Leaving a toxic relationship and finding ourselves, letting go of a loved one who was taken way too soon. The movies that make us cry and laugh and feel things because it reminds us of a certain time in our lives or makes us think about a time that could come in our future. We need to open up, share our stories, let people know they aren’t alone. All these things, these experiences, these life lessons and downfalls. The triumphs and success stories and when our hearts feel so full they might burst. These are what we were given to work with. These are how we relate to, and inspire others that may be going through the same or similar things. Don’t ever be ashamed of your story, it’s the reason you are the way you are. Your story is unique and handcrafted by the one who loves you most. Stitched together with your unique personality and a heart that was made to give to others. God knows what He was doing when He put you through that loss, and that feeling, and that life changing event. And He knew you’d be the one to help someone else because of it, even if only by telling your story. Letting someone know they’re not the first, nor the last, to experience these things. There will always be a way to connect, to encourage, and lift up each other when we need it. Sometimes all we need to do is just to relate. Speak about the real stuff. We just can’t be afraid to go there.

 

Side note before I go: If you haven’t seen the movie “Wonder” with Julia Roberts, you need to watch it right away. But brace yourself for all the feels because I was up way past my bedtime last night to finish watching and it’s an emotional roller coaster. But really, watch it! I promise you’ll be so happy after you did 🙌🏻 and shoutout to my dog for not judging me while I bawled like a baby.

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10 Things I learned from adopting a puppy

Ok so I'm just gonna throw out this disclaimer: I'm not a dog expert or a certified trainer of any kind 😂 this is just a video of what I've learned since I adopted Grace and some tips that may or may not be useful to you as well! Every dog is different so what works for me may not work for you but I just wanted to share some things that I've learned so far from this sweet angel fur baby of mine. As always, thanks for watching and I hope you have a beautiful day!

3 AM thoughts

You’ve left your heart alone for quite some time now
It needed space and structure desperately
You never would have known that it’d be fine now
After working overtime to help you breathe

And with every breath of air you know you’re fragile
Your stomach as it’s writhing in and out
Your heart takes on another kind of battle
Reminding you it’s stronger than your doubts

What would it take for you to paint a picture
Of just what you have seen inside your head
Your dreams feel like they need some recognition
But you’re not sure they will ever leave this bed

Temporary things shouldn’t belong in constant places
Yet we’re stubborn when it comes to letting go
We’re so terrible with names but can’t seem to forget faces
Of the people we have longed to get to know

Always knew in life there would be choices
Never thought that you’d ever be one
It’s hard to hear the truth beyond their voices
When they’re telling you it wasn’t just for fun

I can’t imagine life without a savior
A spirit moving in us while we sleep
A hand that longs to reach for you in silence
An everlasting love that’s ours to keep

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Psalm 46:1

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

First I want to start off by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR! I don’t know about you but, for me 2017 was a year that presented me with things I never even thought possible. And instead of pretending like I’m having an easy and wonderful time adjusting, I’m just gonna be open and honest and say that just because my opportunities have been amazing, the change has really been hard for me, and at times kind of painful. I've been so busy and stressed that I've put this blog on the back burner until I could kind get my life back in order. I’m sitting in an Uber right now as I write this. I just got picked up from LAX and I have about an hour until I’m back to my place because of traffic. I cried to my parents this morning right before I left because I was telling them how much I didn’t want to go back. I just spent two weeks back home for the holidays and I felt like I belonged there again. My friends, my family, my gym, my church, MY DOG!! Once I was back, I didn’t want to leave. And I’ve been so hard on myself thinking I’m a child for complaining and getting upset and genuinely missing all of these things when in reality I’m just taking longer than I expected to adjust, and that’s ok. I didn't know we were capable of being in panic mode for full on months at a time. But, so far what I’ve realized is that you can’t just give up on something because it’s hard in the beginning. You can't judge a new situation based on the time you've spent adjusting. And you can’t let yourself fall down just because you can’t see yourself standing there yet with a crown. I was hesitant before the decision was even made to move away because of fear. Fear of loneliness, boredom, change, learning something new. But every time I talked to my family and friends they reminded me of the bigger plan. They told me do it. Go for it, it’s right there, God put this in front of you and you better go get it. You can always move back home. 

You can ALWAYS move back home. 

What would our lives look like if we never took a risk. What would it be like if we said “no thank you” when God presented us a new path or direction. We’d be content, we’d be comfortable, and we’d probably be happy but we’d never get to where we needed to be, where He needed us to be. We’d never learn what we needed to learn in order to find our purpose. And we spend so much time in our own heads because we focus too much on the wrong things. This went wrong, work’s not going well, I can’t pay my bills, I’m seriously fighting right now and it feels like all life is doing is pushing me right back. And we forget the fact that all we really need is the hand of God to pull. 

And He will ALWAYS pull for you. 

We need to step back and look in the mirror and say “I know I’m here right now for a reason”, “My struggle is my lesson”, “My heartache is bringing me to my deeper strength”, “I’m starting from scratch and I’m gonna build something that they never even thought was possible because I’ve got the best player and coach already on my team, and by my side, and guiding me through.”

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Another moving vlog

I moved to California for my job! And it's been quite the adjustment so far. I'm already so excited to be home tomorrow for Thanksgiving weekend. I'm so thankful to have the most amazing and supportive family and friends. They've made this whole transition thing a heck of a lot easier (Also thankful for cell phones and FaceTime) (and Snapchat). I've only been out here for two weeks and it feels like it's been so long! Shoutout to my friend Sarah for coming out to visit this last weekend so I wasn't completely bored 😂 If anyone knows of fun things to do around the Calabasas or LA area definitely let me know!! I'm gonna need some things to keep me social before I can convince one of the AZ posse to move out here with me 😜

Big Moments

It’s so hard to see the big picture when day by day you’re only experiencing pieces. Grabbing a coffee, watching a movie, writing your lists to be sure not to forget. Time passes and we’re sucked in by our daily tasks and routines. And then, eventually, when enough time passes something happens that makes your world stop dead in its tracks and you’re convincing yourself to readjust to a new norm. Readjusting your routine until it becomes so normal that you fall right back into it again. On to the next big moment. A constant anticipation of what’s to come and what will be. Your next big moment. And it’s good, and it’s bad, and it’s somebody else, and it's things that you needed to hear. It’s a first time encounter, and a last time encounter, and realizing what and who it is that was always always there. Sometimes it hurts, and your moment takes its toll and you can feel it in your energy when your grip keeps falling short. Sometimes it feels like it’s what’s been keeping you from taking off, and just waiting around for something more. And then one morning you're drinking your coffee and it feels a little different than the day before.

It’s our fear that drives us to another change, and love that tries to justify. And it’s fear of love that keeps us living in these pieces and taping down our wings when all we’re being told to do is look at the bigger picture from above. One big moment though, and your reaching out again. One big moment, and you’re changing all your plans. And then one big moment, one big breath, one big prayer and you’re right there. Looking at the bigger picture from a different point of view, standing just far enough away that the lines aren’t blurred and the colors seem to just make sense. You trust the painter and His vision when you surrender to your moments. Face them head on as they come and let them rock you when you need it. Let them take you where you’re meant to go and prepare you for the seasons. Don’t give coincidence credit for things that were made by God Himself. Don’t stop believing in your journey when a moment takes its shot out on your strength. And don’t be afraid to step outside of the pieces and see all there is that’s left to be done. It’s a beautiful picture, your own personal wonderful picture, made just for you to get to where you need to be, one big moment at a time.

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Mouthguard Challenge

I think I may be a little late in the game on this one but we thought it might be a fun one to try 😂 and it definitely didn't disappoint! Thankful for my friend Morganne who agrees to do things like this with me without asking questions... besides "Can we have wine?" Hope you guys enjoy! 

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Psalm 139:14

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

Nothing will break my heart quicker than the sound of my friends or loved ones, or anyone for that matter, questioning their self worth. If you could even comprehend how much love you were made with you would never for a second question your worth or your looks or your life. You weren't made to be the very best at every single thing you do. You weren't made to dress a certain way, or buy certain things, or hold yourself back from what you love. You weren't made to impress that one specific person just to be considered a failure if you don't. You weren't made to fill a box or fit a standard or a norm. And you sure as heck weren't made to live unhappy.

You were made uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully. You were made to bring something to this Earth that hasn't yet been here. To share stories and experiences and laughs and tears. To give and bless others with your time and your grace. To make memories and worship and thank God for this day. To live up to nobodies expectations but exemplify His. You were made strong and resilient and quirky and optimistic. You were made to be curious and persistent and question the world as much as you possibly can without ever questioning yourself. Don't compare yourself to other people when everything about them is different from you. Wanting what you cannot have is a toxic toxic habit that you just need to put down. Fill your world with people who remind you of things like this. I can't express how many times someone has changed the course of my day just from one compliment or piece of advice.

Never doubt God's ability to communicate with you through others! Our connection with each other is important this way. Ask opinions, and points of view, and visions from these people. Find commonalities and differences and see how it makes you feel. This is how we learn and grow and discover how we tick. This is creating meaning and purpose and embracing all of His love. In friendships, relationships, and looking within ourselves, this is where we'll find our truth. This is where we'll discover our self worth.

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Silly games win silly prizes

My brother actually used this expression the other night and I remember thinking "dang... that's so true." And so I wrote a few things down. Ok, so what he actually said was "stupid games win stupid prizes" but 'stupid' just sounded a little too harsh for this post 😂 

Silly games win silly prizes.

We've all been there. At a carnival or a state fair throwing rings around bottles to try and win a stuffed bear. And then $20 into it you not only realize that this game is actually awful, but you're not accomplishing anything, and you know that even though that bear is cute it's completely not worth the time and effort that you're putting in to get it. 

And it's truly not the craziest concept but the really crazy part about it is how common it is to do this same thing with people too. It's so easy to get distracted by own our desire to win that we disregard every other factor that's involved. And with a silly little carnival game it may just be some cash and couple of extra minutes. But playing that game with another person involves two hearts, a whole heck of a lot of time and energy, and an entire mess of words and emotion. 

And just like there are different kinds of games, there are all different kinds of prizes.  Silly games will get you a stuffed bear or worse, a broken heart. Rewarding games may get you a championship ring or better, a ring that means much more. Play silly games with expectations of silly prizes, and then if you realize that you're not getting what it is that you really truly want, move on to something better. Rewarding games will make themselves known by the exhilarating feeling that you get from them. When your effort is being honored and your time feels worth your while. When your heart is being filled and your happiness feels justified. So when it comes to carnivals and board games and the games that we call video, do whatever it is that makes you happy knowing that the consequences are close to none. But when it comes to another person, think, and don't participate just for the sake of another win. Participate because it means something to you, it matters, and the benefits will far outweigh the costs for every person that's involved. 

And now I'm really craving a churro and a corn dog so I'm gonna end all this talk about carnivals right here right now    🎪

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Labor Day weekend vlog

Spent the long holiday weekend with friends and family in AZ and in CA. It was by far the hottest weekend I've ever experienced in Malibu. You think you know everything about the heat from living in Arizona but humidity is a whole different monster 😅 But as always, it was so great spending time with family and being able to travel to the water even if it's only for a couple days! Here's just a vlog of some of the things I caught on film from this weekend. (I think it's probably 50% my family's 200 pound dog Hoss) 😂 

For all my recent college grads

When I started college I thought I knew everything. Not everything about life, but I definitely thought that I knew everything about myself. And I'd totally be lying if I said I didn't think this way since I was probably around 16. And even sitting here writing this, it hurts my ego a little bit to admit that I was so incredibly wrong. 

But just these past few years have taught me more about life and about myself than those first 18-19 years ever did and I'm sure that you could say the same. My hair's changed, my clothes have changed, some friends have changed, and even what I ultimately want in a relationship has changed dramatically since then. I listen to new genres of music, I take baths for fun, and I've read so many more books that have just picked up my world and spun it around and impacted the very way I think about everything. I've grown closer relationships with my family members while learning how to live and take care of myself on my own, and even figured out how to put my mind at ease when it feels like the weight of anxiety might just run me down and take me over. I graduated college without any sense of direction and by the grace of God got started in a career that I already love that allows me to travel and support myself without worry. But the absolute most important thing that I've learned about myself within these past few years, is that there are so many different sides to me. There's things I like about me, things I don't, and things I may still want to change. Sometimes I'm motivated and energetic and feel like I could sit down and write a novel, and sometimes I wanna be a couch potato and watch 6 straight hours of Friends reruns. Sometimes I'm completely social and wanna go out and have fun with my friends, and other times I wanna wrap up in a million blankets, put my phone on DND, light some candles, and just watch a movie by myself. Sometimes I get the giggles and laugh so hard I cry, and then I put my headphones in and start my workout and become bionic woman who just has no sense of emotion whatsoever. Sometimes I get up early, sometimes I sleep 'til noon. Sometimes I eat healthy, sometimes I eat an entire pint of ice cream to myself. Sometimes I love love, and other times I believe that there's a possibility it might not even exist. There's times when I'm on and everything that comes out of my mouth is exactly what I wanted to say. But those other times when I'm off I can't even say my drive-thru order without sounding like English is my second language. I get flustered easily and jump at loud noises or I'm the first one at the door with an upside down empty champagne bottle that I somehow think I can use as a weapon to defend myself. I wake up confident one day and love myself and who I am, and wake up sluggish and dislike everything the next. There's days when I feel calm, I feel relaxed, and I have more than enough time to pray. But other days I close my eyes and just ask the Lord to "please help me stay sane". 

The truth is that I still don't know exactly who I am, because it changes all the time. And everyday I'm learning things about myself that I never knew at 19 or even 20. "Fake it 'til you make it" has truly become a life motto of mine. Because I promise you, that's really what we're all doing at one point or another. We've all got sides, we've all got moods, and quirks, and issues, and room for all these new discoveries. And we're all just gonna keep moving and shaking and growing as we go. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you don't have to know exactly who you are right now or who you're going to be, but realize and accept yourself for who you are right now in this moment. When it comes to you, there's always going to be things you like, things you don't like, and things you hope to change. But all of this is who you are at this very moment and you've just gotta love it all! You're not going to be on all the time, and you're not always going to be off either. It's a great feeling sometimes to pretend like you have it all together but it's also nice to let yourself breathe and admit you're realistically sitting in the very front row of the struggle bus sometimes too.

Nobody wants your perfection, they just wanna know you've got a heart. 

Accept where you are right now in your life and be thankful for those college years that gave you wisdom. And then go and find those special people who match up with where you're at. And then a few more years from now you can all grab a glass of wine and talk about how much you didn't know "back then" and what it is that you "know now".

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Choose Happiness

When people say "choose happiness" they're trying to make things simple. You don't actually get to wake up in the morning and have two buttons presented to you on a silver platter one reading 'misery' and the other reading 'happiness' and then frantically scan your brain as you try to figure out which emotion might be better for that day. Sure, you can wake up and tell yourself "today I choose happiness" but if things go wrong that day, then your perspective might change. Things happen, things go wrong, our expectations won't always be met, and life throws us more than a few curveballs. You can't just "choose happiness" and make all your problems disappear and have life go back to being peachy keen. (But if that button is ever invented, let me know so we can be the first ones to buy stock). 

You can't choose happiness but you CAN choose to not compare yourself to other people. You can choose to stop looking at the Instagram explore page and letting edited pictures control your life. You can choose to pick up groceries and cook healthy meals for yourself. You can choose to go to the gym instead of going back to bed because you know you'll feel better after. You can choose to go to church on a Sunday and be uplifted and inspired by the message. You can choose to text your friends and family and just tell them that you love them. You can choose to not go through his twitter likes because, let's be honest, you know you'll never like what you see. You can choose to pamper yourself with an at home mani-pedi and a great playlist to soak in the bath too. You can choose to look at yourself in the mirror and instead of noticing flaws, point out everything God's blessed you with. You can choose to take a drive with no destination and a Starbucks in your hand. You can choose to not get frustrated when plans change and realize that the best things really do always happen unexpectedly. 

The best things always happen when you're focused on your goals. The best things always happen when you discover something new, and look forward to the future, and buy yourself some ice cream every once in a while. The best things always happen when you're living YOUR life and not focusing on everyone else's, and when you finally say goodbye to things that are no longer a part of your plan. The best things are yet to come and you can choose to let them in. So yes, choose happiness, but choose it by doing what it is that makes you happy and running far far away from the things that don't.

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2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

It's never quite too late to start again
It only takes one breath to make amends

If you're looking for a change within yourself
Don't be so ashamed to ask for help

You can start today with just one prayer
Asking God for help to get you there 

So easy to get lost within the past
And forget what's left for us on future paths

Think about your life at seventeen,
Or twenty-two and all the things you've seen

The differences in wisdom and the lessons that you've learned
The progression of your mind and the blessings that you've earned

It's almost like we're brand new when we hear,
"I'm so much different now than just last year"

And with every passing day it feels like fate
Eliminating pressures as we wait

So when you're facing what you fear the most
Remember not to give in to the ghosts


It's brilliant and it's beautiful, a perfect kind of plan
You had everything you needed right when Jesus took your hand

Mistakes are only temporary if you free yourself from guilt
And you shall not be shaken on this sacred ground He built

We're not perfect in our own minds but in somebody's we are
You were meant to make an impact or you would not have come this far 

And if your heart is broken, then that's truly the best part
Because broken hearts are experts in the act of a new start

Start today and make a change with hope for starting new
Be someone that you're proud of and remember He's proud too

Just do you

Full disclosure I'm not really sure if this is a controversial topic or not I just had a realization a couple of weeks ago about myself and wanted to share in case anybody else has dealt with a similar feeling. Social media is undoubtedly the most wonderful but equally as awful thing in our world today and that all just depends on how we use and perceive it. Personally, I used to feel really bad about myself when I would go on the explore page and see these pictures of specifically females with these "perfect" looking bodies and in turn make myself feel terrible. 

But here's the thing: EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO POST WHATEVER THEY WANT ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES. And it's different for everyone and THAT'S OK. 

For the most part, I choose to keep my social media pages on the pretty conservative side. Not saying that this is right or wrong, I just personally grew up with the mindset of not wanting everybody to know every single thing about me. That being said, I've definitely posted a lot of bikini pictures from fun times on the beach (which I've also at times been skeptical about posting) and not too long ago I posted a typical "mirror pic" from the gym because I'm just proud of the work I put into my body to stay in shape.

But a couple of weeks ago I actually posted a photo that my friend took of me while we were in Malibu and I remember sitting with my friend at breakfast contemplating back and forth if I really should post it because it showed a little more of the booty than something I would normally post on my Instagram. But alas, it was a cute photo and I convinced myself that it was ok because "a lot of other girls have posted much more than that". 

TERRIBLE LOGIC.

My friend knew right when I posted it how uncomfortable I became. I was looking at my phone every two seconds and asking her things like "are you sure it's ok to post this?" and "it's not bad right?" 

Being the amazing friend that she is she just calmly looks at me and says, "Madi, if it's going to drive you crazy or make you uncomfortable just delete it." 

And she was right. So I deleted it.

Granted, I probably made a way bigger deal out of it than I needed to and people probably weren't even judging or caring as much as I thought they would but I knew it didn't feel or sit right with me and so I should have just gone with my gut in the first place. 

I follow so many females who are inspirations to me who post body positive images whether they're in a bikini or showing off their progress at the gym or just feelin themselves and wanted to post a pic and I always find myself double tapping while silently expressing a "ooo get it gurlll 🙌🏼" And these people are proud of what they post and feel comfortable sharing this with the world and that is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Basically what I'm getting at is this: It's perfectly okay if that's not you, and it's perfectly okay if it is. Just post what you are comfortable sharing and if you have second thoughts just trust yourself, save yourself the anxiety, and don't post it. Everybody is different and not every person is going to be okay with posting certain things. 

JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE. 

Post that picture if it makes you feel good! Show off because you're proud and want to share! Post it to inspire other people to work hard and feel confident too! But absolutely DO NOT post that picture if you're doing it for the wrong reasons like "trying to get that boys attention" or "because a lot of other girls are posting stuff like that too". Because ladies trust me when I tell you that the right person will love you for you, no matter what you do or don't post on a social media account and you really don't want to lose yourself because you're trying to be like everyone else. Listen to your body and don't try to convince it otherwise. It doesn't make you a "prude" if you don't and it doesn't make you a "slut" if you do. People can turn anything into a bad thing if they really wanted to so just be okay with what you're okay and not okay with and know that you're not less than just because you posted a booty picture or have a booty pictureless Instagram page. Whether you choose to keep it, or anything else private or put it out there, we've all got body's and it should be our decision what we choose to do or not do with them and not anybody else's. 

And that's all I've got to say about that. 

Now go admire yourself in the mirror, take some selfies, and tell yourself you're perfect because you are. 💁🏼

Work in progress

Every time you meet somebody new you will find another piece of yourself.
Whether it's a short encounter with a stranger or any sort of long lasting relationship, you will always learn about another part of you.
Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but yet it's always just another part of what makes you, you.

I used to think that some people were just not a part of my story, and that's why they had to make an exit. But that's so far from the truth. These people play major roles in your story and what you can learn from them is how you heal. You'll learn how to patch up broken pieces, how to become stronger on your own, and how to help comfort others when they're experiencing the same kind of emotion.

I've learned that most people come into our life as a lesson and some lessons just take longer to learn than others. Most people come into our life to show us things that we never knew about ourselves and then leave us wondering how that could be. Sometimes people come into our lives and make us feel things we've never felt and make us believe in things again and then fall short when it comes to sticking around and even though it's not ideal I can promise you that it really is going to be okay. It's okay to live without those people and to even be angry for a while. It's okay to feel the brokenness and let yourself wonder why things fell apart, especially when they once seemed like the perfect scene in your favorite part of the book. But maybe they're just not meant to move onto the next chapter, they're not going to be the ones to pick you up when you're down, and they have ways and reasons for things that will simply just never align with yours. It's not a matter of who's right or wrong it's a matter of where you're both at in your lives and unfortunately that's something that will never be a constant.

But people who are meant to be in your life will stay. And they will come when the timing is right and not just when you want it to be right. You meet them when you're not looking, when you finally feel like you're great on your own. But if you haven't learned enough about yourself, this next person will teach you more. They may stay, they may leave, you may be the one to decide to leave. Maybe you aren't getting everything that you want or even deserve from them. We just aren't capable of knowing what somebody's needs and desires are all of the time. And for those things to match up perfectly, it takes a very special kind of relationship. A relationship that everyone will experience at some point or another. But if you truly want it you're going to have to take some risks, because special things like that take time. Special things like that take trial and error, and mistakes, and broken hearts, and long talks with ridiculous feelings that you might not ever be able to explain.

So don't worry about what's next for you or spend too much time unhappy when you're going through an ending. Feel things, seriously, feel all the feels it's not a crime. You'll get a better understanding for how your mind works and more importantly what your mind needs in order to start again. And then start again. There are much scarier things in this world than forming another human connection. It's only going to teach you more about yourself. And if God decides you're ready, you might even find someone that's worth all of the risks.

 

James 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Let's just throw it out there. Every single person on this Earth has to deal with things, certain traits or circumstances that can hold us back from reaching our highest potential. It's no secret that we're not perfect, but really how beautiful is it that we're all imperfect differently. If we didn't have these flaws or quirks or setbacks in our lives, we would have nothing to learn, nothing to share, and nothing to overcome.

One of the biggest obstacles I've dealt with in my life since I was very little is asthma. You know the thing where your lungs decide to work perfectly sometimes until you hike that mountain or run that mile. Very inconvenient. I've always been the girl with the inhaler in her backpack and I'm still the girl that always has the inhaler in her purse. Sometimes you just don't know when it's going to act up. 

I remember one time I ended up going to the hospital because I felt like I couldn't get enough air out of my lungs when I exhaled. It was like I was suffocating from my own air intake. I was so uncomfortable and scared that I actually remember having my mom call my dad and tell him that I love him because I wasn't sure if I'd get through this. 

Sounds a bit dramatic now am I right? 😂 But at the time, I'd never experienced anything like it before and I really truly believed that. 

I sat there in the hospital bed asking Jesus to guide me through this. I was focusing on my breathing and what the doctors were saying. They had done multiple tests and attempts at a diagnosis before claiming to me it was due to severe allergies. My allergies had gotten so bad that it was restricting my airways and causing my asthma to act up.

I kid you not, they gave me two Benedryl and two more puffs of and inhaler and I immediately started to feel relief. The swelling had gone way down and I was able to finally regulate my breathing. 

So... basically now I'm the girl that always has the inhaler and Benedryl in her purse.

Dealing with asthma has been difficult, especially for someone who thrives on physical activity and fitness. A huge part of my life is working out and doing things to keep my body in the best possible shape and when you crave things like Chick Fila and Ben & Jerry's salted caramel core as much as I do, ya gotta do what ya gotta do 🤷🏼‍♀️

What I've learned throughout my life when it comes to pushing my body is that, like most things, it's trainable. You can train your body and lungs to overcome asthma, but you can't be lazy. It's hard work and it's challenging work. If you want to overcome something you have to work at it every day. Make yourself a routine, hold yourself accountable, reward yourself when possible, and you'll be absolutely amazed with where it gets you.

I know that if I skip the gym for a week, my lungs are going to have a tougher time adjusting when I get back into it. But if I'm consistent and push myself to keep it up, I'm able to do things that I didn't think were possible and I can accomplish it with minimal struggle. 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and we're so quick to embrace our strengths and pretend that our weaknesses don't exist because we're scared or mad or annoyed that they're even there. But think about how much stronger overall you could be if you built on those weaknesses like you do all of your strengths. Fuel your weaknesses by giving them what they need to get stronger. Spend time getting to know them and asking Jesus to help you overcome them, and over time you'll realize the steps that you need to take in order to make that possible. 

However! I feel like I must say this to you before I go because I don't want there to be any misunderstanding if you have asthma or suffer from some of the same things.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!

Baby steps, push yourself but start out slow. Test the waters by acknowledging your limits. Everything takes time, you can't expect results overnight. Be patient and kind to your body always so that you don't backtrack on your progress. You're going to get there! And the time that it took is what is going to make you the most proud of yourself in the end.