Battling Depression · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: You Are a Piece of Art

This Friday, I submitted some of my drawings into my college’s art show (which was, you know, the first time I’ve ever publicly displayed my drawings…ever. No big deal haha). The part that really stood out to me was that Thursday afternoon, however.

I walk in the door, and it’s a flurry: people at desks, in chairs, whizzing back and forth between tables, materials strewn everywhere. I only knew one girl there (bless her beautiful heart, she literally helped me with everything). So, I walk in to this artistic madhouse and–while Emma cuts foam board and matting to frame my drawings–curiously observe these artists, people-watching from my own little corner of the room.

And I notice something.

It started when I had to hand over my drawings to Emma and then a girl I didn’t even know. Now, again, I’ve never done this before. So, I wasn’t expecting the maternal instinct to kick in over a piece of dead tree alright, but boy did it ever. If you’ve ever created anything (art, poetry, a book, your blog even) and had to entrust it to someone else, you know what I’m talking about. You suddenly realize, “This is my baby” and don’t want to let it go. You worked hard on your baby. You hand-crafted it, you shaped it, you molded it, you designed it’s very being.

In order for the world to see my babies, my drawings, I had to let them go. I had to conquer fears of self-doubt, unworthiness, vulnerability, and remind myself that they are worthy.

Which was scary. But it opened my eyes in a way I never would have imagined.

As I handed over my drawings, and watched as dozens of other artists prepped their pieces for display, I saw the enormous love each one had put into his or her work–the same love I had put into mine. Watching all of them sweat over and perfect their art, I realized, this is how God must feel for us. He uniquely and individually crafts every single one of us, and then lets go of His beautiful creation into a crazy world–a world that judges and tears down and hurts. We even judge ourselves, nitpicking and degrading the parts of ourselves we hate, like God somehow messed us up.

I started to compare my work to other drawings, I won’t lie. The doubt started nagging in my head that maybe mine really weren’t good enough and why was I even thinking about entering them into the show? But looking around at the art, I stopped.

Every single piece was different. And to its creator, every single piece was beautiful.

To the Creator, it doesn’t matter what one person might look like next to another, like when I compare myself to another girl or when you compare yourself to someone else. Because to Him, each piece, each person, is art anyway–there’s no “better than” or “more worthy than”, we’re all just art.

Beautiful, worthy, special art.

You’re art. You are beautiful, you are worthy, and you are loved. I just want you to know that. ❤︎

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Battling Depression · Finding Purpose · Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: Life’s a Fairytale, Just Don’t Forget the Dragons

As a professed Disney lover and fan of Happily Ever After’s, too often I hear the sarcastic reply that “Life isn’t a fairytale” by friends and family members.

I beg to differ.

Because you guys seemed to like my “Monday Mantra: Fairytale Edition” post, I thought I’d do a sequel of sorts. (And because, you know, when aren’t fairytales post worthy?)

When people commonly argue that life isn’t full of Prince Charming’s or fancy palaces, I think it’s because they look at it from a strict, story book perspective. So, yes, if you’re expecting to see Princess Aurora on your doorstep, asking for somewhere to crash and take a nap, you’ll be waiting a long time. (Unless you live near Disney World…)

That’s not to say that life doesn’t have other fairytale aspects, though.

Now, I understand that most of us don’t face fire-breathing dragons in the literal sense (but hey, if you do, I’m expecting an invite!). But how many of us battle obstacles every single day? They make not come with scales or wings, but they are obstacles nonetheless:

  • Rude boss
  • Messy kids
  • Bills
  • Marital discord
  • Class stress
  • Uncertain future
  • Need I go on?

So, chin up buttercup. You’re a knight in shining armor, facing off some serious dragons, just without the uncomfortable chain mail and heavy sword. And better yet, you’ve got something the story books didn’t have when fighting their dragons: a God who is fighting for you at every step.

You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: Today You Can

Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful Easter with family and friends! Does any other “adult” miss Easter egg hunts? I remember the exact year it dawned on me that I was “too old” for hunting with the little kids… (sigh). Regardless, Easter is such a beautiful day–for so many reasons, but I especially love how it brings us all together.

However, I know Mondays can often feel like a reality kick for a lot of you–and an unpleasant one at that. Your job may be droll, your kids may have been extra crazy this morning, and the dog might have left you a surprise in your shoe (mhmm, it’s happened to me too).

So, even if the day didn’t start out well, I’ve got a little reminder for you. I picked it up off of (surprise!) Google lol, and have been trying to live by ever since:

“It’s impossible to be depressed and grateful at the same time.”

I don’t know who quoted it first, but by goly, it’s powerful. You can always turn a bad day around, no matter the circumstances–and yes, I know that circumstances can vary a lot; and yes, I do mean no matter what’s going on in your life.

All it takes is you.

I come from a house of complainers, so this has really required a lot of work on my part. Even when I don’t feel particularly thankful, I still try to take a minute and say thanks to God. And with yesterday being Easter, I think we’ve been reminded just how much of our gratitude He deserves.

Here, I’m going to give you a little list. I’m not going to mention the “but”‘s, the “everything’s going wrong”‘s, or the “I can’t”‘s. I’m simply going to supply a list of thank you’s for when it seems like you have nothing to be thankful for, so that you can hopefully turn any day around for the better.

Today I can:

  • Today, my eyes can see.
  • Today, my ears can hear.
  • Today, my arms can hug.
  • Today, my hands can hold.
  • Today, my legs can walk.
  • Today, my lungs can breathe.
  • Today, my heart can love.
  • Today, my lips can praise.
  • Today, my life can be anything I make it.

What can you do today?

You are so beautiful and so loved ❤︎

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra: Open Doors

Happy Monday to you!

In the spirit of new beginnings (it is a Monday, after all), I want to encourage you to be bold today. I know, I know, easier said than done–hey, I’m a shy introvert, I get it! But God’s been opening my eyes here lately to what can happen when you don’t let fear stand in your way.

So here are five quick quotes I want you to come back to, today or any other day, when you’re starting to feel like you can’t achieve your dreams or that something is holding you back:

  1. 1 John 4:18 “But perfect love casts out fear.”
  2. “Be bold. Be brave. Be you.”
  3. “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.”
  4. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
  5. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Learning to cook

On the subject of conquering fears, this may not be a big deal to you haha, but I’m finally getting past my fear of cooking! 🙂 If you’d like to know more about how God’s been conquering my overeating, let me know and I’ll do a post specifically for it!

You are beautiful and you are loved ❤︎

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 ❤︎

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 ❤︎