Your people…

I’ve never been much of a people person. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy talking to people or being around them, but I’m introverted so I tend to hold back when I’m around people. I’m also shy, and people can be too much to handle at times. I took a step back though this week and realized that I’m surrounded by people who care about me. 

It’s like one day I blinked and I had a village of people who were determined to see me become my best self even if that meant fighting against what I wanted. Isn’t that what we all need from time to time? Someone to tell us that we’re wrong, or that we’re doing ourselves more harm than good. We have days were we need someone to put life into perspective. We need someone to cry on when life isn’t fair because we already know that it isn’t fair so to tell us that again would just make us more upset. 

I would like to say that I hand selected these people that have found their way to being an essential part of my life, but most of the people that I did hand pick didn’t really end up playing a big part in my life. The truth is that I’m not sure I trust myself to find “good” friends after walking away from my best friend a while back. 

The thing about walking away from a seven year friendship is that a decision like that does not come lightly. It’s something that you cry about because you can’t even talk to the person you have told everything to up until that point and time. I remember finding a quiet place to cry and it was the deep kind of sobs that shake your whole body. I didn’t hesitate to cut her out of my life when I realized she was becoming toxic to me, but that doesn’t mean that my heart didn’t break. 

I went through a large season of loss that summer of 2015 as most of you know. I lost my grandpa a few weeks after I told my best friend that I couldn’t be friends with her any longer. I walked into work the day I found out my grandpa had died and I walked past her and even as others hugged me and told me they were sorry she didn’t. It was that point that I knew that I made the right choice…Some things should stay broken. 

I didn’t know how to repair myself after that though. I pushed people away a lot because I was hurting and I didn’t know how to put that pain into words. This blog post is probably the most I’ve opened up about that summer to anyone. 

It’s been over a year since that I day I walked into work and realized that my core friendship was broken and to try and fix it would only cause more harm to myself emotionally. I finally feel like I’m starting to rebuild

These people that are so important in my life. They snuck in without my permission. They planted their feet and refused to move even when I had convinced myself that I didn’t need anyone and I wasn’t being a very good friend to them. They constantly show up when I need them because that’s what your people should do. They should love you at your absolute worst. So if you’re reading this, and you know that you’re one of my “people” in life…I appreciate you. You make my life so much sweeter. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 

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Wanted

I am going to tell you about some of the lies that run through someones head while they are battling anxiety. These lies are not something that you can easily silence. It isn’t something where you can just tell yourself the truth and move on. Why am I telling you this? I think people lose their patience with those struggling with anxiety. They want them to just feel better, and from personal experience we’re trying. We’d love to not feel this way even more than you’d like us not to feel this way. 

  • Lie number one

You are a burden. 

I feel this way all the time. I feel like if I tell people how I feel, or I’m honest that people won’t want to be around me because I’m too much to deal with. I hate this feeling. I hate feeling trapped in my own head because I’m too worried to talk to someone about how I am feeling. 

  • Lie number two

This is never going to get better. 

When something goes wrong in my life I worry it to death. I never see a way out or around it. I just worry that I’m always going to be where I am. I worry that things will never change. I worry that my life is always going to be as messy as it is in that moment. 

I’m giving you a glimpse into my day to day thoughts by showing you those two. I am doing this to ask you to be patient with those around you. Don’t just assume someone is weird, annoying, or not worth your time because you don’t know what they live through on a day to day bases. Don’t make them feel like a burden. 

I challenge you during this season to love people with your whole heart, and to love them loudly. I challenge you to find something great about the people in your life that you struggle to love because there is greatness in everyone. I challenge you to make everyone around you feel accepted; wanted even! People matter and it’s time we start showing it. 

The honest truth about self-care

Here is the thing. I am a mess. My life is a mess, but it’s my mess so I’m pretty attached. I don’t have very many things figured out, and most days it’s hard enough to just put one foot in front of the other, but I am putting one foot in front of the other. Did you ever notice that people will judge even how you choose to put one foot in front of the other? 

Don’t let em’. People don’t get to choose how you take care of yourself. People don’t get to choose what makes you feel better. People don’t get to choose what’s best for you. You do. Make the best choice that you know how at the time, and then understand this…You don’t have to defend it. 

I’ve been stuck on that; defending it. Here is the thing though…People don’t see the worst of you. They don’t see when you are clinging on to a semi good day because it’s been so long since you’ve had what you can call a good day. People don’t see the struggling, and the fear. They think they do, but they don’t….Not the dark and twisty stuff. The dark and twisty stuff can get really bad, and it sneaks up on you. All of a sudden you can’t breathe because life is overwhelming you. So for all my fellow dark and twisty friends that are just trying to enjoy a semi good day; kudos to you! You are coping and that’s an important part of self care. 

Self care is probably one of the most important things in life, and it’s ignored all too often. Don’t be one of those people who ignored it for too long and is now struggling to catch up. Here is some ideas if you don’t know where to start. 

  • Find your person, and use them! Don’t be afraid to tell them the stuff that you’d rather keep buried because that is why you have a person. 
  • Don’t be afraid to try therapy. I am a huge advocate for therapy. I believe in what it does and that it can be helpful to those struggling. 
  • Journal. If you can’t say what is going on out loud than it least write it down because you have to come to terms with that fact that sometimes life sucks, and that’s okay. 
  • Don’t try to ignore it. Ignoring it causes it all to build up until you feel like you’ll explode. I have days when I’d like to hide under a rock, but I haven’t because I know that it won’t do any good. 
  • In the long run; do what works for you. Don’t take my advice or any ones advice because they are not you. They don’t know what will help you. You may not know what will help you, but you’re trying, and that counts. 

“Have some fire.

Be unstoppable.

Be a force of nature. 

Be better than anyone here, 

and don’t give a damn 

what anyone thinks.”

(Christina Yang-Greys Anatomy.)

Food for thought…

My instructor posed a question to the group today. “Do you matter? What’s good about you? Why are you important?” As a whole group that’s a good question. It makes you think about those things. 

I was then singled out and asked those questions expected to answer in front of the whole group. I could almost feel my face go red. Of course I matter. I’m a person. Don’t all people matter? I went on to answer about who I am, and why I’m important. 

As if this wasn’t embarrassing enough he then went on to ask the class what they thought about what I had said? Did I convince them I’m important. Do I matter as a person because of what I said? The class said mostly nice things, but I felt like I was put on trial. 

If you’re reading my blog post I want to be clear about something. You matter. You are important. You aren’t a mistake. You have value. If anyone in life has ever made you feel otherwise then they are wrong. I don’t need to defend why I matter to you because I know that I do. The hurt is there but that will go away in a couple days because who I am is rooted in who I belong to. God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t see me as worthless. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

I keep coming back to this verse. If you’re struggling with your identity and how you think about yourself. Read this and soak it in. It’s been a comfort tonight. “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” I could probably post verse after verse about how God sees you and me. I’ll leave you with this though because it’s been a long night.

These moments

I prayed a simple prayer tonight, “teach me to love the season I’m in, God.” Life won’t always be easy, and there will be times that you just want to throw in the towel. There are days when you want to bang your head against the wall in frustration and that’s okay. 

I remember talking to a child at camp a little over a week ago. She was upset about something and I can’t honestly tell you why, but she told me that she hated her counselor. I got down to talk at eye level with this precious little girl and I told her, “you have the right to your feelings. You do not have the right to hurt someone else because of them though.” I can still picture how big her eyes got. She asked me, “you’re saying it’s okay that I’m mad at her?” 

I loved this kid in her honesty. She was probably so used to people telling her not to hate people that my approach to things shocked her. I told her absolutely! We then went to play on the swings. 

Feelings and emotions are such a big part of life. Why should we deny how we’re feeling? Today I’ve been feeling a mix of hurt, frustration, but also some joy. Life isn’t something you can put in a box. You can’t wake up in the morning and know how you’ll feel all day. Thank God that life isn’t black and white like that, right? 

I may have wanted to bang my head against the wall in frustration today but I also find myself to just taking in this moment and wanted to save it. Bethel music playing and spending time with my sisters. I know that these days will come to an end all too soon. We’re getting older and we will all have our own separate lives. We’ll always have this bond but we won’t always have this season of life. I’m not praying for God to help me love everything about my life. I’m just asking him to teach me to love this season. 

I feel like there will still be days that I blurt out that I can’t wait for A B and C because that’s growing up. I just don’t want to rush through these bumps in the road because there uncomfortable only to miss living in the present moment because this moment is so frustratingly good. 

Real Talk.

I leave for camp in a few days. It has me thinking about what these kids have gone through. Kids at this camp are or have been a part of the foster care system. Kids aren’t put in the system for nothing; the goal is always to keep children with their parents. 

There are many different types of abuse that would cause children to be taken from their homes: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect. I’m going to cover what these mean tonight. 

Physical abuse

“Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still unhealthy.” (http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/#tab-id-1) I feel like we all have the right to feel physically safe no matter where we are unfortunately that isn’t how it works all the time. 

Emotional abuse

I think I read about emotional abuse the most because I want to learn everything that I can about it. I want to know how to help someone recover from emotional abuse. Emotional abuse isn’t something that people can see like a bruise so it’s rarely reported. Emotional abuse isn’t someone just hurting your feelings. People say mean things. It happens. Let me give you some examples of emotional abuse. 

  • Yelling and screaming at you.
  • Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior.
  • Starting rumors about you.

In my eyes if someone hurts your feelings that doesn’t necessarily mean they are abusive, but if someone is constantly demeaning you or hurting you with words or how they make your feel; that’s abuse. 

Sexual Abuse

“Sexual abuse refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do.” ((http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/types-of-abuse/#tab-id-1) I think we all understand that if someone touches you in any way that isn’t welcomed or wanted that is abuse. You have the right to your personal space. No one should make you feel guilty for not wanting to do something. I read this article recently and I can’t remember who wrote it but it was talking about how it’s sexy when men ask permission. I love that! <<<<<<3 

Neglect.  

Neglect may be the very worst type of abuse. I don’t say that lightly because abuse is horrible in and of itself. Let me explain why I feel that way. I have a nephew who is 2 months old. he’s super cute. Anyhow he has also never been forced to cry it out. He knows that if he cries someone will come. I wasn’t sure where I was on the stance of crying it out but something as simple as that could harm a child. A child’s brain will not develop properly if they are not taken care. They need to know if they cry someone will come to help.

Neglect makes you feel like your invisible; like you don’t matter. Your needs aren’t met. You are not taken care of. No one comes when you cry. You are on your own. For a child that would be beyond damaging. 

Abuse is damaging. It doesn’t matter if the person says they are sorry or that they didn’t mean it. It really doesn’t matter if the person didn’t mean to cause you any harm. It also doesn’t matter if they’re sorry. Sorry doesn’t fix everything. 

So for everyone who thinks these children are damaged or not worth it. These kids are survivors. They were damaged by someone who was supposed to care about them and when someone finally stepped in to help they took them away from their parents (and in their eyes even after abuse that can be traumatizing too.) Trust would be minimal if I was in their shoes. 

So are they worth it? 

Yes. I can say even after having a rough go of being a counselor last year. These kids are worth all of the effort, the lack of sleep, giving up my nice bed for a week, and worth giving up what I want for a week. It’s all about the kids at camp because they deserve a week of not feeling damaged…See These kids walked through fire and survived and that’s strength. I don’t look at them and see someone whose broken anymore. I look at them as someone who was pushed to the edge of their breaking point and is still standing. 

LULAROE LOVE.

Alright so I wanted to take a minute to tell you guys about a clothing brand that I have just fallen in love with. It’s called Lularoe. Lularoe is probably best known for their leggings because they are the softest things you will ever wear, but they also have dresses, shirts, skirts, and kimonos. I own one shirt and two pairs of leggings. I will attach some pictures of my pieces to this blog post, but before I do that let me tell you what I love and don’t love about this brand. 

I LOVE how soft these leggings are! I feel like I’m wearing pajamas to work guys and I love pajamas, so this good! 

I don’t like that the pair of leggings I got for my little sister is slightly see through. If I spend $23 on anything I expect more than it being see through. I do know this is not the norm though because I’ve never had a problem with my leggings being see through. 

I love that I get to wear something that screams my personality. LulaRoe has crazy patterns and some more tame pieces as well so there is something for everyone here! I currently have some navy blue leggings (SOOO SOFT) with polka dots on them. I also have some solid leggings that are sea foam green. (SOOO CUTE) LulaRoe only makes a 1,000 of each pattern though so if you see something you like it’s best you snatch it up right away because you may never see it again. 

I don’t own many of the tops but I do know a couple things from trying on at parties and some good old fashion research on Pinterest. I love the Randy and it tends to be true to size. Here is the thing. I got a small and it is a little baggy but I like that. I could also fit an X-small and be totally content it just depends on how you like to wear your tops. 

I’ve tried on a Irma and my frustration with this top is that it isn’t made for those of us who are on the small size which is very frustrating because some of these tops are super cute. It is recommended to size down 2x for Irma’s. I am 5’1 and about 110-115 pounds and I would have to wear this like a dress. I wish these would fit truer to size because it doesn’t feel fair that I have to miss out on this cuteness! 😉 

I also want to cover ordering from Lularoe. You can’t order from a website and there isn’t a store you can go to. You can’t even look through a catalog for this brand. You have to go through consultants. Most consultants have Facebook parties and pop up boutiques in host’s homes. I’ve ordered both ways. 

How it works. 

Facebook. 

You join the party and consultants will post pictures or videos and when you see something you like you just comment sold with a description or a number and possibly an e-mail depending on the consultant. You then fill out a google doc and the consultant will send an invoice to your e-mail. You have 24hrs to pay this or it will go to the next person or back in their inventory. So convenient for those of us who are too busy to go to an in person party.  

In person. 

I loved shopping in person. You get to see all the patterns and colors in person. It’s great! You can also try on things together. I liked knowing that my sea foam green leggings matched with my Randy before purchasing them. I was able to pay by card with this party but I’m not sure how it works with different consultants…Some may prefer cash. When in doubt ask! 🙂 

So yes…I love these clothes. I love that I can feel beautiful all the while dressing modest. I felt like a rock start with all the compliments I was getting on Sunday from wearing my LulaRoe. I also love that people ask me about my leggings. They want to know where I got them and how they get some. I will be posting a link for a LulaRoe consultant that I’ve bought from below. GO check out her page. Ask her any questions I haven’t covered in this review. I’m not a consultant but I love the clothes. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730889007199902/