My Journey To Find Confidence

If you read my previous post (“Follow Me On My Journey”), you know that I’m going on a journey. Not a literal journey per se but a figurative journey to becoming confident. Confidence is such a huge issue in our society and we make it out to seem like it’s only an issue for girls; I don’t believe that. Instead of our society focusing on being mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, our culture focuses on fitting into a box of what a girl or guy should look like. Our “health” should not be determined by culture’s version of what looks good. The society we live in doesn’t care about a person’s emotional health, just about how one looks outwardly.

I’ve decided to go on this journey to find confidence and joy like never before. I want to find confidence in a healthy way so that maybe I can help others to feel good about themselves too. Before it sounds like I’m crazy, I do think physical health matters. However, I don’t think being physically healthy is determined by a number on a scale or by the size clothes one wears. I think physical health is maintained by being fairly active and living a balanced lifestyle.

My inspiration/story: I was diagnosed about a year and a half ago as pre-diabetic. I didn’t really exercise much before being diagnosed and didn’t see it as a problem. I didn’t drink much water nor did I think much about what or how much I ate. I used eating as a way to cope with stress and emotions, even though it didn’t help longer than the food lasted. As soon as I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic I knew something had to change, so I got a personal trainer and went on a diet. The diet didn’t stick because my heart wasn’t in it when I wasn’t seeing results (in reality I was cheating more than I realized at the time). I also burned out on the exercise plan and slowly my lifestyle went back to the way it was before.

I got to a point where I was on the line of becoming slightly obese according to my BMI (Body Mass Index). Sure, I felt tired, worthless, depressed, among other things but it wasn’t enough to stop my bad habits. In the first quarter of 2017 I decided I needed to lose weight for me, not for anyone else, just for me. I lost about 20 pounds by Summer 2017 and I felt a million times better. I have managed to keep most of the weight off, but now I’m wanting to lose about 30-40 more pounds so I can be in the healthy range of my BMI.

I noticed that when my weight was up, I felt terrible mentally, physically, emotionally. Also, I focused on growing in my faith less because of it. That is why I’m going on this journey so that I can be healthier not only physically, but in every other aspect as well. I hope you join me on this journey and that it will help you as well. Confidence isn’t always inborn, sometimes you have to work for it.

Join Me On My Journey

Follow me on my journey to find myself, by losing myself! I, like I’m sure many of you, want to become who I’ve always wanted to be: a healthier, happier me. I hope my journey inspires you to pursue your goals too! I’m going to try to post weekly updates on how my life is changing based on the decisions I’m making! Coming 2018

10 Ways To Show You Care

We are blessed with so much technology that has improved our lives. Well, it’s improved everything except our relationships with others. We’ve stopped caring more about the person than their latest status update. We don’t ask enough questions. However, we can change this. We may care about someone but often forget to show we care by the simplest things (I do it too!). Showing you care is about taking time to appreciate someone and love on them. You don’t have to spend money on gifts to show you care, you can show it in different ways.

  1. Send Them a Text

    I don’t mean “hey,” I mean send them a text to show you are thinking about them. Ask them how they’re doing. Invite them to spend time with you. Have a conversation.

  2. Visit Them at Work

    If they work driving distance to where you live or work, pop in and visit them for a short bit. This shows that you really care and went out of your way to spend time with them and see them.

  3. Spend Quality Time With Them

    Don’t just be in the same room with them. Put the phone down and engage with them, make them feel appreciated and wanted.

  4. Compliment Them

    Compliment something about them that isn’t their appearance, maybe the way they make you feel. This shows you care more about them as a whole than just their appearance.

  5. Show Interest In What They’re Saying

    Ask questions, be engaged. Care about what they say because it’s important to them.

  6. Be Honest

    Don’t try to hide stuff or be sneaky. Be open and honest with them when they ask about you.

  7. Listen

    Don’t just listen, but hear what they are saying. Remembering the small things can mean a lot to a person.

  8. Involve Them In Your Life

    Don’t hide them from everyone. If you really care about them, you should want to spend time with them with the other people and things in your life.

  9. Trust Them

    Relationships are built on honesty and trust. If you can’t trust them, how can they trust you?

  10. Compromise

    You can’t be right all the time (even if you think you are). Maybe you like something they don’t and vice versa, do both. Relationships are about give and take.

 

Relationships, no matter what type, are about loving and caring about the other person. Showing how you feel is how you grow the relationship. It’s important to be vulnerable and trust that they cherish you as well.

You Are Important, So Are They.

PSA: “A” Church Isn’t For You; “THE” Church Is

After reading the title, you’re probably thinking, “What on Earth is this girl talking about?” Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that attending church services is bad or that you shouldn’t go. Let’s think about something real quick; how do you define church? What’s the purpose of church regarding your definition?

Maybe you define church as a place you go on “important holidays," a place you go every Sunday to worship God, a place you’re forced to go to, or perhaps a building you go to so that you feel better about yourself. The Bible defines church as not “a church” but “the church”. “The” church is all of the people, in every nation, who believe Jesus is the Son of God. Does that change how you look at church? How about the purpose of church?

As believers we often look at church as social hour, a place where we go to feel good about our relationship with God. We make church services into this time for: “What am I getting out of it?”, “I wish they had sung this instead of that," “I don’t like this song," “They need to do this or that”. We focus so much on ourselves we forget the purpose of church and what it’s for. I’ll give you a hint: A church isn't for you.

The purpose of THE church is to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing God’s love with everyone. THE church doesn’t meet at the same time or in the same place. THE church is every person who believes that Jesus is the son of God, who died and rose again for our sins. It encompasses every believer speaking any language, living in any nation, going to any church service.

“A church” isn’t for you to feel better about yourself. It’s for those who haven’t experienced God first hand. A place for the people to go and hear about Jesus so that they can decide if they believe or not. As members of a local church, we should be constantly thinking about what would make a non believer more comfortable.

We are to reach the next generation. They are the ones who will share their faith with their kids and the generation after. If you are a Christ follower, you are already saved. You don’t need your local church to cater to you. That is why life groups and classes exist, to build community amongst yourselves.

The Bible talks about, in Matthew, parents bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus. The disciples scolded the parents and rebuked them. However, children are important to God, they are the future of demonstrating the love of God to others. Therefore, Jesus said to the disciples and parents, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” He wanted us to love and teach the next generation. The youth should be a priority amongst local churches. They are the next generation and should not be neglected.

The Great Commission directs us to Go and tell the world; this means make it about others. EVERYTHING in the Bible leads us to put others first, why would church be any different? The next time you get negative or expect the local church to revolve around you, remember this. Remember what God has called us to do and make that your priority instead of pleasing yourself.

Guarding Hearts: Modesty

We teach our kids, students, and youth to be modest. We tell girls to “guard guys’ hearts”. I would argue that we don’t know how to explain this and be clear on what that means. What does it look like to be modest? How do we guard each other’s hearts? Is modest a girls-only issue?

Definition of Modesty: 1. Dressing or behaving so as to avoid indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention; 2. Not revealing or emphasizing the figure

We teach young girls that modesty is only for ladies. I don’t agree with that and I know I’m not the only one. Girls are taught extremes of either being promiscuous or unstylish. There is a medium that girls can be taught. There is also a level of modesty that guys should be taught as well.

Modesty is focused on clothing. Purity is focused on mindset.

Maybe instead of teaching our girls to guard guys’ hearts, we should teach our boys to guard their minds. A guy may be able to lust after a girl that is scantily dressed, but a girl can just as easily lust after a muscular guy in a tight shirt. We need to start teaching our young people to be in control of their eyes and minds.

“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

The first part of this excerpt from 1 Corinthians 6 says “Run from sexual sin” that means that we can control our minds and thoughts. Let’s stop putting women down and start teaching self-control. Yes, guard each other’s hearts, don’t be reckless; but don’t make girls feel less confident in how God made her.

We need to change the way we teach modesty and purity. What you wear isn’t always the cause of someone else’s fall. We need to check the heart.

Who Do You Want To Be?

Okay I have a confession. I have a habit of researching random things and looking up random thoughts that come in my head. With that said, I was looking up random things about life today and came across this question:

What would you stand for if you knew that no one would judge you?

This got me thinking about the masks that we wear. Do we lie to ourselves to create those masks? Are we lying about who we are to the point that we think it is true? Is this what makes us narcissistic?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty regarding this too. Our culture is centered around being the best, putting our best foot forward, and making ourselves seem better than we are. Would you be the same person if no one was watching/judging as you are today? It seems so easy to put on a mask and hide your pain, imperfections, and everything you judge yourself for.

I think we often judge ourselves and critique ourselves so much that we cause anxiety and low self-esteem. Now don’t get me wrong, some people genuinely have anxiety and depression from trauma or biology. I do think some anxiety and depression comes from judging ourselves so hard. If you’re reading this, I want to challenge you to take off the mask.

Take some time to figure out who you want to be, what you believe, and what you stand for. Don’t let something that a person says discourage you, but stand firm in what you believe. Once you decide who you want to be and take it for yourself, nothing can stop you. “Oh, the places you’ll go!” as said by Dr. Seuss. Take charge and control of yourself and you’ll amaze people at who you are!

Invest More Than Your Money

A couple months ago I went to a restaurant for a friend’s birthday. Our waiter was this fun-loving, positive person who was one of the best servers I have ever had in any restaurant. They seemed to have their life together, that they were okay. The server was excellent at their job, had a positive attitude; it was astonishing.

Recently I heard that this waiter was contemplating suicide. They had decided on when to do it and had a plan. He had shared with some people his plan to commit suicide and those people started telling him how much he meant to them. Before that moment, he felt unappreciated, unloved, and like no one cared about him. If those people hadn’t told him what he meant to them, he would have committed suicide.

Why does it take something so extreme for people to share how much someone means to them? If people would start telling people and showing them how much they mean to them, would people get to that point of wanting to end their lives? I’d like to tell you the answers to these questions, but I don’t know. I would argue that we invest in stocks, but we don’t invest in people.

Asking “how are you” has become meaningless like a greeting of “hello.” More often than not we ask it with no intent of knowing how the other person is honestly doing. We live in a society that is focused on “me” not “us,” “you,” or “them.” We need to stop asking selfishly but rather to invest in each other.

When people answer your question with one word answers, such as “fine,” “good,” and “okay,” I encourage you to ask “why”. This shows that you care rather than just are asking. This simple gesture of asking why shows the person that you care about them and that they are not meaningless to you.

What would happen if we started asking “why” and investing in people? People would stop feeling alone; they would feel like they mattered. I challenge you to start investing in people and asking questions. Ask people why they feel the way they do, don’t let someone tell you how they are doing without asking what made them feel that way. Show someone you care.

Invest in stocks, you’ll gain wealth. Invest in people, you’ll gain respect.

Together but Alone

It’s the 21st century, 2016. We live in a world where having technology is the norm, it’s common. If you don’t have it, you stand out. Technology connects us to the people arounds us and people around the world. Even so, it keeps us more distant from each other as well.

Let me explain. Many have said that we are more likely to electronically send something that we wouldn’t dare say aloud. The current generations are being raised in a society that hides behind a screen. We learn to wear a mask created by social media where we show what we want people to see instead of who we are. We are surrounded by people we think we know, but really, all we know is their status.

As humans we desire to have relationships with others but we are doing this through followers and Facebook friends instead of face-to-face. We live in a digital world, a fantasy of sorts, we believe what we want to believe instead of what is true. We learn that we can’t trust because let’s face it, we all wear our own masks. We’re so fixated on who society says we should be that we don’t even know who we are.

Look around you, people are on their phones. When you can go to a restaurant, you see couples on their phones not living in the moment, not being present where they are. Society and media has created a culture where we are together all the time, but are we really? I’d like to say we are but really we are more alone than ever. There used to be a day where friends were made at local restaurants, coffee shops, activities not on the internet behind a glass screen. We feel more alone than ever yet we don’t make a change, more depression than ever yet we keep doing things the same.

It’s time to make a change. So the next time you go out put down the phone, take a look around you, talk to someone new. Let’s create a revolution where we stop hiding behind a media mask but start showing who we are. Go past the surface level conversation and really care about who people are.

Be real, be you, and don’t let anyone tell you that you should hide who you are. You were created wonderfully unique, embrace it and show the world how amazing you are.

Dear Moms…

Dear Mom,

Thank you. Thank you for waking up in the middle of the night to change my diapers, console my crying, and for your motherly advice as I grow up. You are the ultimate multi-tasker. You may not always tell me what I want to hear, but you say what needs to be said.

You remind me to share. You remind me to assume the best of people unless it seems dangerous, then trust my instinct. I grew up believing you are always right, now I know to just not argue with you regardless of who I think is right. You are my anchor in every facet of life.

You keep me grounded. You help me remember who I am when I don’t know anymore. You support me when I try to drift away. You are my best friend. You are everything I want to be as a mom, woman, and person.

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for everything you are and everything you do. You are the best mom in the entire world. I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

Love,

Your child, xoxo

It’s a Small World

I often hear people say, “wow! It’s a small world” when they find out someone has mutual friends with them. When you really think about it, our world keeps getting smaller. It doesn’t get smaller literally, but figuratively in the sense that with social media, television, boats/ships, and airplanes you can see or go just about anywhere in the world without too much hassle. With that said, how come other countries and their citizens seem so far away?

I am blessed to have been able to go outside of the country for both vacation and missions trips. While vacations are fun, there isn’t much of a lasting impact. However, with foreign missions not only did I get to go to another country, but helping people and doing labor, playing with the local children was something I will never forget and will always cherish. I started really having a heart for missions in 2013 when I went on my first missions trip to Peru. I loved it! It wasn’t a vacation as we were building a roof on churches that had been destroyed after the earthquake several year prior, but even yet, it was one of the most rewarding and pleasant times of my life.

In 2014, I got to go with my church to a project in the Dominican Republic. Over the last several years we had been building a children’s center, playground, church building, and fencing in the property. I got to go and help complete the project where children are learning life skills necessary to live on their own one day and to succeed in the world. In May 2016, I have the opportunity to go back to the Dominican Republic with a team of people from my church to start building a new children’s center!

I am so excited for this opportunity to bless these people but I need your help! I have to raise $2000 to go and bless the local community there. If you want to be a part of what is going on but maybe don’t want to go to the country, you can still help! I created a gofundme account to help with the funds. Thank you so much for your support, if you would like to donate the link is listed below along with the church’s website that I am going with.

www.gofundme.com/ujgk5uwk

www.crossroadsavon.com