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 ❤︎

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 ❤︎

Battling Depression · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: 5 Inspirational Quotes to Start Your Week

Today’s Monday motivation comes from my own struggles, my own indecision, and my own pain. Like me, you no doubt have gone, are going, or will go through some painful things in your life.

What you feed your mind in these times of hurt makes all the difference. What you put in is what you will put out.

If you listen to songs or watch vidoes that make you sad, how do you think this will make you feel for the rest of the day? The rest of the week even? I’ve fallen victim to that trap a hundred times, and have realized the importance of replacing this negative input with something positive.

So, here is short list of quotes, verses, and thoughts that have helped me create my own sunshine in life’s rain, and I hope they help you too:

  1. Choose happy.
  2. “Be kind and polite and the world will go right.” – Paddington
  3. “Faith, it does not make things easy it makes them possible.” – Luke 1:37
  4. “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul.” – Proverbs 16:24
  5. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

If you’d like an extra dose of peace, there’s this meditation video I found on YouTube by Positively Britt that you can click on here. You don’t have to be seated on a yoga mat or anything; I simply play it when doing homework.

(By the way, most of these came from Pinterest. What really helps me is if I just type “bible quotes” or “inspirational quotes” into the search bar, that way you can really get flooded with uplifting messages as you scroll.)

I wish you a blessed week my friend, one devoid of worry or fear. P.s. for those of you curious about my recent career decision, I will be doing a post about the whole decision-making process involved here soon! Thank you for reading dear dreamer. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Battling Depression · Finding Purpose · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: When You Don’t Understand Why

Good morning my fellow bloggers ❤︎

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been facing a lot of “Why?”‘s in my life here lately: Why is this happening? Why didn’t this happen? Why can’t I do this? Why can’t you just tell me what to do? If you’re like me, even if you aren’t questioning now, I’m sure you have at some point.

But in the midst of doubts and questions, good friends arise to remind you that what we perceive as bad usually isn’t as bad as we think it is–and even if it is, it’s only one little stepping stone on our way to the best.

So here is a little collection of ideas I put together after facing my own set of “Why” questions, as I learn to let go of the need to know why and let God help me to the other side of the stream:

Every book requires its twist,

Every strand of hair, its trim.

Every mystery, its suspense.

Every right, its wrong.

Every justice, its injustice.

Every triumph, its trial.

Every lemonade, its lemon.

Every champion, its challenge.

Every victory, its battles.

Every comeback, its fallback.

Every road, its block.

Every cure, its disease.

Every antidote, its antigen.

Every “aha!”, its “on no!”.

Every balance, its imbalance.

Every up, its down.

Every yes, its no.

Every second, its first.

Every discovery, its deception.

Every success, its failure.

Every win, its lose.

Every answer, its question.

Every blessing, its curse.

Every peace, its chaos.

Every prince, its dragon.

Every hero, its villain.

Every life, its hardships.

Every solution, its problem.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” 1 Peter 1:6

Thank you very much for reading! I hope that these words help you face the unknown ahead with bravery and trust in our Lord. You are beautiful and you are loved  ❤︎

P.s. I want to give an extra hug and really big thank you to Maggie and “Lifeisabeaut” for their words of encouragement and love as I’ve been facing my own fears and expectations recently! You guys have spoken the right words at the exact right time, and I truly cannot thank you enough ❤︎

Battling Depression · Finding Purpose

3 Ways to Channel Your Inner Judy Hopps at Work or School

Good evening–or morning, or night, whenever you get the time to read this!

Generally, I’m one of those young adults that her peers look at as “having it all together”: I’m very organized, routine-oriented, plan-focused, and academically driven. Generally, I am always ready with a quick smile for friend and stranger alike.

But everybody has bad days, and I am certainly no exception.

This past Wednesday, my education class received our internship placements at the nearby Elementary School (and just so you know, this will be my first official teaching experience… ever *gulp*). I had requested to intern with the reading specialist, as my preference (obviously 😉 ) lies with the language arts and I wanted so badly to be a part of the system that opens childrens’ eyes to the magic of the written word. Reading and writing permeate every tangible and, more importantly, intangible aspect of the human world and to assist a child in such comprehension would lighten my heart every day!

So, Wednesday morning we met for the orientation, a 30-minute tour given by the school’s principal. Before we left the front lobby, she reached for her list of placements, each of us an equal mix of eagerness and nervousness. One-by-one, she calls each of our names. Each girl gets her mentor’s name, grade, and subject. 1st, 2nd, 3rd… Seventh in line, the principal turns to me…

“4th grade Math and Science”.



I was stunned. Completely derailed. The next half hour, I struggled to contain my racing thoughts, for fear the principal would see my inner turmoil playing out on my face. Did the reading specialist not want me? Why not at least the V.A. Studies/Language Arts teacher? I’m the only one who didn’t get her request. I didn’t even like math or science; how am I supposed to help a kid?? We travel through the campus-styled buildings and down the third and fourth grade hallway, past Olaf-and-snowflake-decorated classroom doors…

My teacher’s door is the only one not decorated.

Confused and scared, I sat in my car for the next hour following the tour and kind of, seriously, yeah definitely have a mental breakdown.

You see, my desire is to help people; I want to show love and spread encouragement. But I have literally no clue what career I should choose, and the clock is ticking down fast. If you’re also in college or finishing up high school, believe me, you are not alone in the struggle. All my life, people have told me I’d make a great teacher.

And yet, nothing fills me with more fear and self-doubt than the thought of standing in that classroom.

I’ll admit, the past two days I’ve been in a bit of an existential crisis. Pretty much questioning my entire purpose. After a whole lot of meditation, prayer, and some internal raging, I have determined–albeit somewhat unwillingly–to let go of my control and let God, because he knows better than I. His plans are always for our good and there’s something greater at work here I just can’t see yet.

I also got the help of one sassy bunny.

Judy Hopps

While in my car Wednesday afternoon, I suddenly thought of the movie “Zootopia”. If you haven’t seen it (first, I totally recommend you go watch it!), it’s a cute cartoon packed with all sorts of beautiful messages, but the main character is a bunny named Judy Hopps who has always dreamed of being a police officer.

She arrives, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, for her first day on the job in the big city–excited and ready! Her boss, Chief Bogo, passes out assignments to each of the officers…

Judy gets ticket duty.

Like me on Wednesday, she is initially shocked, but soon recovers and overcomes this with a surge of determination I am still praying to achieve:

“100 tickets? I’m not going to write 100 tickets–I’m going to write 200 tickets! Before noon.”

I’ve never been a really “proactive” person. I’m just not the overly-ambitious type. Fierce competition was never really my thing, and because of the emotional/verbal abuse in my household, I am definitely a submissive individual. So, switching from negative to positive in a flash like Judy is really hard for me.

You may struggle to find the good in your job. School may be beyond stressful right now (I’m right here with you friend). But, with a little help, we can each find our inner Judy Hopps:

  1. Smile: Simple, right? If you’re in a really tough situation, you know this one’s not as easy as it sounds. However, by simply tipping the corners of your mouth up, you are promoting the happy feelings in your body to get grooving. I don’t know all the scientific mumbo-jumbo behind it all, but I know it helps. Give it a shot 🙂
  2. Breathe: Did you know that when we start to get panicky or stressed, we physically restrain our breaths? It’s like a literal stress band we tie around our chests, preventing us from taking in a deep breath. If you feel the stress coming–maybe your boss yelled at you or a coworker is being completely uncooperative–, take a moment to consciously inhale… and exhale. Not only will this help to calm your inner emotions, but it will help keep you from saying anything you might later regret.
  3. Don’t Worry: Ahuh, I saw the eyeroll. And belieevveee me!, I wanted nothing more than to scoff at the words that DARED tell me not to worry when I don’t have any idea what I’m doing for the rest of my life, how in the world I’m going to get through this internship, and what am I supposed to do if it turns out I hate teaching? But would you know, the phrase “Do not worry” is written 365 times in the Bible. That’s once a day that we’re reminded not to worry. It’s not because there aren’t things to worry about–it’s because we have to trust God to handle those very same things. There will always be “What if?”‘s, and if we’re not careful they will consume us. Focus on today. Tomorrow’s worries will come soon enough, don’t let them rob you of your now.

A little bonus tip I suggest is turning the dismay into a challenge, like Judy did when Chief Bogo assigned her 100 parking tickets: even though she was upset at first, she resolved not only to do the 100, but she even doubled it! I’m unfortunately not at this point yet, but I’m getting there–it’s all in the baby steps!

Thank you so much for reading! I dearly hope that this helps any of you are struggling with disappointments today. God’s got you. He is so much bigger than whatever it is you’re facing–for me, that’s a 4th grade classroom. He’s bigger than your worries too. You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎