Body Image · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: On a Mission

Oh, how I have missed this community!! As anybody who’s been in college or is currently in it, you know the kind of schedule it comes with–and sadly, blogging has been on the lower end of the scale lately (I’m sorry!). But, whether once a week or more often (when I’m not loaded down with pigs and homework lol), God has a beautiful way of using this blog as a ministry, whereas on my own, in person, I would not be able to reach half as many people.

Which leads me to an important point about missions:

The who of missions is you. The when of missions is now.

Until VERY recently, the whole missionary thing was just a foreign concept, for those “really brave” Christians. Thanks to two beautiful friendships (Dreaming of Guatemala and Through Ink & Image, please go check them out, I wouldn’t be where I am in my faith journey without them ❤︎ ), my horizons have been broadened.

My doors have been opened.

My heart has been changed.

You see, whenever I used to think of missions, I honestly got kind of jealous of the people who go on them–I mean, it takes guts to go all the way across the world to a place you’ve never been and to a language you probable can’t speak! Coming from a police officer family, I’ve had more than my share of “The world is an awful place and these are the million reasons why: ” spiel. While I can’t argue with most of it, that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve been letting fear keep me from considering grander plans than I’ve ever dreamed I’d pursue.

God’s bigger than all that though.

I’m not quite ready to get into the whole change God has put on my heart, because there is just so much I’m praying over and researching in these beginning stages, but I can say that missions are in my vocabulary now. More importantly, I’ve realized that “missions” aren’t just some global outreach program: you can be a mission servant of Christ in your very own home. The reason I think we don’t realize this is because going and serving in Africa or some far-off place sounds so grand, when staying at home is less than an adventure. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, if I can’t wholeheartedly serve God in the place he chose with the people he chose, what right do I have to go off to a foreign country and profess his love?

When you let go of fear, God can show you things you’ve never even believed possible. I know that’s a bit cliche and rather vague, but 1. it is so, so true and 2. I don’t know what you’re going through right now. I just don’t. I can’t tell you what fears to let go of or where you’re headed, because I don’t know what’s going on in your life.

But I do want to let you know that God is already there. Whatever tomorrow, today, the next hour brings, God’s there and He already knows.

“… and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25


I hope this encourages you today. Not quite as short as my other Monday Mantra’s, but this has been on my heart a whole lot lately. It was a long process for me to give Him control of my fears, so I understand if it takes baby steps–I’m still taking mine. In my opinion, it’s better when that thing you’re battling takes time–it gives you time to adjust and to learn. Seek His wisdom and I promise you that He will freely give it. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

P.s. If you are someone interested in mission work, have been on a missions trip before, or are simply curious, go check out Maggie’s Missions Monday post series! I cannot put into words how God has used her to embolden me on my journey for him, so I will simply say thank you so much Maggie ❤︎  She has a beautiful heart for Christ that illuminates absolutely every area of her life, and I pray to shine that same light every single day.

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: Unknown but Unforgotten

Good morning my dears!

This morning I want to share a quote I jotted down in my journal however-long ago. (Anyone else ever go fishing in their journals when post ideas are scarce?) Unfortunately, the author of this quote is a mystery–insomuch as my research has found. Regardless of its obscure origins, however, it made quite an impact on me and I am hoping it brings a similar effect to you:

“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

Some of you have probably heard this referenced somewhere before. If so, while I apologize for the redundancy, I have to ask–

Did you take this to heart?

What are the things you could do today that could change someone’s life for the better?

Short and sweet, as I try to keep these Monday motivations ❤︎  In life, God calls us to show selfless love to those we know, those who dislike us, and those who are strangers–equally and without favoritism. I certainly don’t have this down yet, but the beautiful thing is that, the more we show love, the happier we feel, even if it’s not reciprocated. (At times, especially because it’s not reciprocated. There’s nothing like giving to someone you know can’t pay you back, all because you want to help.)

Think of it as a win-win: when you make someone happy, you feel happier. Try it out. Remember that you are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Battling Depression · Body Image

You Go, Girl!

Good evening my readers 🙂

Now, as most of us know today is International Women’s Day, which means most all of my men followers probably are sick of reading such related posts and will be ignoring this one–understandably so lol.

But you wanna know something?

I’m sick of them too.

Not your regular feminist attitude, is it? While I have nothing against women’s rights (obviously, I rather enjoy my life as a young American woman), I have never considered myself to be a feminist. Thus, the endless articles and posts about women’s strength were honestly a little tiresome and overdone to me. (No offense to any of my beloved followers who posted on the subject!)

The theme behind modern strength is that women are their own superheroes and don’t need anyone else.

I get the idea, the sense of empowerment that comes from embracing womanhood. No, we as women do not any man to complete us.

That’s because we need the man.

Sure, we don’t have to swoon for every Prince Charming. But we also don’t need to slay our own dragons, we don’t need to do it all on our own, and we don’t need to shoot down every many in sight while we’re at it.

Yes, we as women are strong–only when our strength comes from the Lord. I recently came across five steps for being a woman of God, and I want to share them with you tonight, as steps for gaining biblical strength–an unfamiliar or even uncomfortable concept in our era.

The strongest woman you’ve ever met still has a breaking point. The God backing her up doesn’t.

A lot of our definitions of strength stem from outward appearance or climbing the ladder. Strength of faith and quiet self-confidence is far overlooked:

  1. Seek God first: Before the car, house, job, career, money, friends, family, or husband
  2. Speak faithfully: Let nothing pass between your lips that does not bring you or others closer to God
  3. Show true beauty: Any pop star can get on a stage in today’s hottest fashion; it’s the real woman that has none of that, but can still shine, that exemplifies beauty
  4. Stay humble: In a world that goes on and on about you, it takes real strength to step out of the spotlight and serve others
  5. Serve the Lord: When we aim to please God, things like being selfless towards our family or lending a hand to a stranger start to bubble out from us unconsciously

In case you’d like to check out the website where I found these 5 tips, here’s the link.

I by no means have these to the -t, or am anywhere close. But, if you put in the effort and prayer every day, you’ll see–like I have been–that each day brings you more wisdom and value to life than you could have possibly imagined.

So, the strength I’m talking about gaining with these five steps isn’t exactly what the majority of the world is thinking of today, I know.

I’d like to think that strength of character is of more value than any feministic strength our culture roots for anyway.

I hope you enjoyed my outlook on this subject dreamers! And I pray that these steps bring you closer to God, because there is no strength like knowing who’s there for you at your weakest. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: All About You

Good Monday morning to you all! I hope, with a little extra coffee and maybe a snooze button or two… or ten (I get it, no judgement here lol), I can brighten the start of your week 🙂

Here are some words, just small sentences, that I thought of as I contemplated the lessons I’ve learned recently. More importantly, I began thinking of the future I’m cultivating through my every action today. I’m hoping these bring you some of my wisdom, meager though it may be, that you might soon learn the beauty of being you ❤︎

Embrace who you are meant to be.

Embrace who you are right now.

Embrace that thought that runs through your head, because you never know when that thought comes from a hidden dream.

Embrace your actions. Take responsibility, move forward, and keep believing.

Embrace one day at a time, even when one day feels like a lifetime.

Embrace your dysfunction. Nobody’s perfect, why do you expect you to be?

Embrace your family, flaws and all.

Embrace your friends–the few who stay are the few who will always remain.

Embrace love. Self-love. Playful love. Intimate love. Holy love. Then, give all the love back, twofold.

Embrace your doubts. Hold them, acknowledge them, reason with them, and then leave them at the next bus stop on your way to Courage.

Embrace life–the good, the bad, the ugly. Life will not be better with the next car, house, significant other, cigarette, bottle, or store discount.

You have to love the life you live before you can live the life you love.

Embrace God. He’s not going anywhere.

Embrace the freedom in forgiveness: forgiveness from God, forgiveness of self, and forgiveness of others.

Today, embrace you.


You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Battling Depression

Voices in My Head: Buyer’s Remorse

Like my mom, you may have a shopping addiction. You may be past it or barreling through it. Or maybe you’re reveling in it with blissful ignorance until the final “What have I done?” hits you like a very real freight train.

You may have a shopping addiction. But we’re not here to talk about you.

We’re here to talk about who you hurt.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ll realize that shopping hasn’t really come up on my blog, unlike a lot of young women bloggers. Makeup, shoes, clothes, books, the whole shabang. That’s no coincidence.

Because what I haven’t told you guys is that my mom has put us 50 grand into credit card debt with her shopping addiction.


And counting.

I cannot tell you, have you fully comprehend, the severe damage this has wrought on our lives unless you’re living it too. Everything is broken: my parents’ unloving marriage, my mom’s depression, my education and tuition, my brother’s prospects of college, and my mental stability trying to keep it all together by my frail human hands. Now that I’ve opened this door, I may do a post about the negative impact parental money disputes have on kids. This is a tough subject for me though, I won’t lie.

Not 15 minutes ago, I was in my car (parked) crying because of it. You see, her shopping addiction doesn’t just spiral her further down a depressed road–because she can’t see what she’s doing, I’m trying to pick up all the loose corners and it’s tearing me apart.

book open

I honestly didn’t realize how scarred I was by this, not in the world of shopping at least.

This afternoon, after an English test (that’s two major assignments down for the week, I’ve got one paper left before Spring Break!) I decided to hit up Barnes and Noble. My EDU professor kindly brainstormed with me on how to tweak our lesson planning so that I could try a counseling lesson plan instead of teaching. (I know I know I know! I owe you guys a post, but I write–er, type–based on what God has put most pressing on my heart, so it’s coming–eventually haha!) Which meant I got to peruse B&N for some little kids mindfulness books 🙂

My first lesson plan is a Wreck-It-Ralph self-esteem lesson, and I was ridiculously excited planning it!! I won’t get to carry it out lol, but as a memento, I wanted to buy the Little Golden Book version of the movie! They didn’t have it… bummer. (If you know where I can find one, lemme know please!)

It was rainy and overcast today, you know, one of those perfect cuddle-with-a-good-book days, so of course I stayed in B&N a little longer than planned. (I’d rather spend hours in a book store than shopping for clothes, anyone else?) I meandered and wandered, until I came up with three books: a photography book for my brother, which I plan to give him for his birthday (he’s a butt, but I love him); a daily mindfulness book; and a “Let God fight your battles” Christian lifestyle book for me. They were all in the clearance bin, so they were $2, $7, and $5 respectively.

I wasn’t even out of the door before the voices hit.

“You don’t really need them.”

“$14.50? How can you spend that knowing you can barely afford gas as it is?”

“You’re not going to be working with little kids, why would you even buy that?”

I don’t get buyer’s remorse over important things, like tuition or vehicles or houses. I get buyer’s remorse over every single little thing.

That $50,000 my mom dug a hole with? All of it, every penny, was on useless trinkets that 90% of have been chucked already. I recently discussed her wastefulness with my dearest friend Maggie, and how it twists my insides every time. But I’m the child. I was raised with very strict parentage where you say “Yes ma’m. No ma’m.” and never dare to voice your thoughts. (Just for the record, I totally agree with instilling respectfulness in your children! But in my household, my brother and I cannot respectfully share our ideas–on anything, for fear of my father’s temper or my mother’s defensiveness.) So she continues to shop, and I continue to pick up the pieces.

Shopping addiction breeds buyer’s remorse. Just not where you’d think.

I didn’t make it outside before those voices picked back up again, and I barely made it home before the tears started pouring. When I’m shopping, I’m constantly in a mental haggle–like something out of a movie (picture a stereotypical accent, of course). Half of my brain is justifying the purchase and the other half is my shopping-accuser. I can’t tell whose voice is mine, my mother’s, my father’s, or even God’s.

And it scares me.

I’m so desparate not to be like my mom that I’ve begun fearing purchases, and I didn’t fully realize it until after buying those books. There was absolutely nothing wrong with getting those books, no selfish intent or obsessive motive, and yet I’ve been contemplating returning them since I got in line to purchase them. That’s not healthy. And I’m honestly not sure how to go about fixing this obviously, very broken part of me.

“But perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18

I’ve got a very big God who knows much, much better than I how to go about fixing all the broken parts of my life. I know that, and yet I still try bandaging it all up by myself. Sometimes it takes the things you can’t bandage to remind you that He’s been patching you up all along. I took a pretty big hit today to be reminded of that. I know I’ll need that reminder again and again.

But He’s okay with that. People like to think God is going to smite us for asking questions and making mistakes; on the contrary, I like to think He smiles when we ask Him, because if we didn’t ask we couldn’t grow.

If you do suffer from shopping addiction, I sincerely ask that you take the time today to evaluate what areas of your life are hurting because of the addiction. It is every bit as real and harmful as any other addiction and needs to be addressed, please. Thank you very much for reading, I know this one was kind of heavy today. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Battling Depression · Christmas 2017 · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: A Christmas Reminder



I know we’re not in December.

But hey, now that that’s cleared up lol, good morning! 🙂

In honor of this new-ish series dedicated to bettering your Monday mornings (and mine, Mondays can be a struggle for me too. I’ve got 2…3? exams, two essays, and who knows what else coming up this week to prep for), I wanted to pop in with a quick reminder.

Think back to Christmas.

Now, we all know how the holiday season works: big hullabaloo the two, maybe three, months preceding Christmas–all the fanfare, sparkling lights, and smiling faces. Christmas Eve the anticipation mounts, children can’t sleep for dreams of white beards and red noses, until, finally, Christmas Day at last! Families gather together, presents are exchanged, and the trees glow.

Then… it’s over. Done. Nothing.

Those generous thoughts, the optimistic mentality, that kind approach just… vanish. Everyone goes back to their “normal” routine.

Why can’t that be the normal though?

If you’re a few years (cough, decades–hey, no shame! That just makes you wiser than us youngin’s) past your childhood, it may not be as vivid, but do you remember what it was like waking up on Christmas morning as a child? Excitement ringing through your body, like nothing could go wrong this one day? How nice it was that, just this once, nobody would argue–and if they did, they’d have to put it away for the rest of the day because it was Christmas?

I’m gonna let you in on a big secret. Huge, completely mind-blowing. A total epiphany I had this past Christmas. You ready?

You can live like it’s Christmas every day.

One choice. One selfless instead of selfish. One smile instead of a frown. You choose.

Today and every day, you have the power to make the day great. I promise you, if you fill your happiness meter with God and ask for his peace and joy, nothing can take that away from you. Jesus died for you. Jesus rose for you. Jesus was born for you. That gives you a free ticket to live every day like a birthday party, no matter who is pooping on your party.

I’d say it’s time to start celebrating, how about you?


Also relating to Christmas (what can I say, it’s my favorite holiday!), mom finally bought the cartoon movie The Star! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it–especially if you have little ones. Or, you know, if you’re just like me and are a little one at heart. Whichever. Thank you so much for reading and for all the support! You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Battling Depression · Body Image · College

Confessions of a Not-so-Former Binge Eater: Forgiving Yourself

Good evening everyone 🙂

With this being the “looove” month, I wanted to take a different approach on the profound concept of self-love as February comes to a close.

Obviously the resolution fitness ads on TV have died down significantly, but we are still in the beginning throes of 2018–meaning exercise and diets are still a hot topic (and to some, like my mom, hot as in branding-iron you don’t want to touch or think about!). With all the hullabaloo TV places on “looking your best” and being “bikini ready”, I find it sadly ironic how much we start to hate our bodies because of those same messages.

While I’ve briefly mentioned my past food struggles in a few of my past posts (“5 Tips to Combat Overeating“), I’ve never gotten terribly deep into those struggles.

Tonight, I’d like to.

You see, I’m a very empathetic person–to a fault. When my father makes a dinner large enough to serve an army, in our small family of four (with some very picky eaters), a lot of it won’t get eaten. With his tendency to guilt trip (“I didn’t want to cook you anything anyway”; nice, right?), my overdeveloped superego kicked in full force and I’d end up eating enough for three of me–no joke. I would eat past the point of content, full, uncomfortable, to painful. All because I didn’t want my dad to feel like we didn’t appreciate his cooking.

Then, the binging took a turn.

What had started with me–rightfully or not–compensating my eating for my dad’s feelings invaded all my other meal patterns. Snacking? I’d crave a little sweet… so I’d eat a piece of chocolate, and then another, and another until I had the entire bar. Then, to ward off the sickly-sweet nausea welling up in my gut, I’d be craving something salty… so I’d eat a chip, handful by mindless handful, until I’d eaten the whole bag. Dinner at a restaurant? You could count me in for the appetizer, my entree, every bite my dad offered me, and then the last crumb of dessert. Afterwards, I felt greasy, gross, and like my pants had shrunk a good three sizes in one sitting.

But none of that compared to how much I would hate my body after the binge.

If you’ve never experienced binge-eating for yourself, then there’s really no way I can describe the vehement, loathing, degrading thoughts that come after a binge. I just can’t. There are no words to explain how you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror.

How the thought of eating makes you want to hide, like it’s some shameful, dirty secret.

How you can’t bear to touch your own stomach, because you’re so ashamed.

It’s not a pretty picture. There are people who would pass binge-eating off, saying it’s nothing like anorexia or other severe eating disorders. I, of course, am not by any means downplaying their significance either, but I don’t want the severity of binging to go unnoticed–or worse, casually dismissed as no big deal. Yeah, you may not be able to see the effects of binge-eating like you can with starvation, but it doesn’t make it any less damaging.

The reason I bring all this up is because binge-eating isn’t something that’s “once and done”. You don’t just binge at one meal and then go about the rest of your life carefree–at least, that’s not how it is for me. This battle has been one that is slow and very, very hard.

It’s hard because it’s never been just a physical battle.

Binge-eating is always rooted in emotional pain, one form or another. With that pain can come a lot of shame, regret, and self-hatred. Forgiveness is the single last thing you want to feel for yourself after a binge.

But what if I said you don’t have to forgive yourself?

Forgiveness implies that you have done something wrong, something selfish and horrible. Forgiveness insists it was your fault in the first place.

That’s not how binging works. Yes, something is wrong, but it isn’t necessarily because of you–abusive relationships, cruel parents, work stress, anything could cause you to spiral down that dark path. For me, it was a combination of factors. I tried for awhile to convince myself to “forgive myself”, but it never worked because I thought I was to blame. I thought, because of my binging, something in me was messed up, something about me was wrong.

You’re not messed up because you binge. You’re not dirty or gross because you binge.

You are, however, in a place of hurt and in need of some serious love–and, yes, even forgiveness. The sort of forgiveness you need, though, comes from only one place: Christ. To correct the emotional turmoil that causes binging involves learning how worthy, valuable, and cherished you are, a knowledge that can only be found after long study in God’s word. He will forgive you, you need only ask. Even when you can’t stand to see your reflection, He always loves you and thinks you are the most beautiful creation in the world.

“I loved you at your darkest.”

Romans 5:8

Reflect on that. Heal in that.

If you don’t struggle with binge-eating, I hope I discouraged you from that path! And if you do, I pray you find solace today in God’s arms. I’d love to share any tips I’ve learned to recover from a binge, even if you’d rather email than publicly comment. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎