“Body and soul, I am marvelously made!”
-Psalm 139 (MSG)
As the month of May progresses, the thought of summer promises rest, happiness and sunshine. It is a time of excitement and anticipation as we welcome the glorious, adventure-filled months to come. But what should be a time of celebration can also promise anxiety and worry. Worry that your body won’t look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel in that bikini. Or that your legs won’t resemble Carrie Underwood’s when you put on those cute denim shorts. Pinterest boards are covered in the most effective ways to get rid of cellulite, Twitter is plastered with tweets about the need to work out, and the obsession with collar bones and thigh gaps rages on.
I am not saying that I don’t struggle with these things. For a very long time I had a very distorted self-image that got the best of me. But as I am consistently healing from that darkness, I am really learning what it looks like to love myself.
Today, I cleaned my house in my bikini. Oh, what a joyous occasion that was! I know it’s silly, but I felt so free, so happy to just be able to be me. I was home alone, so there was no one to feel judged by. But then, God showed me something really cool.
God made me beautifully. He does not care about my thighs, my hips, or my lack of abs. He loves me just the way I am. In fact, He created me this way. He didn’t mess up. He wanted me this way, and He thinks I am perfect this way.
How cool is that?! I have really been learning so much about the confidence that I have in who God created me to be. And as I am learning that it’s okay that I am not a size 0 and that I don’t have to have the perfectly flat stomach that society says is necessary to be beautiful, I just want everyone to be able to rest in that as well.
So the next time you’re looking in the mirror, seeing all of the things you deem imperfect and worrying about everyone is going to think about you, just remember:
You are beautiful. You have been created perfectly. You were marvelously made.
Honestly, I have had a really bad attitude about Spring Break. While I was trying to convince myself that I was excited to go on the service trip to The Pittsburgh Project, my heart was just at a place of longing. Longing to go home, longing to spend a week relaxing with my friends and family, longing to do nothing. I had really lost sight of the reasons I decided to go on this trip and why I thought God was calling me there.
I am selfish. Instead of being intentional about preparing my heart and spending time praying through everything, my time was spent in resentment and bitterness. But then, of course God got a hold of my heart.
I volunteered to go on this trip for a number of reasons. The most significant being that I wanted to take advantage of the break from classes to serve God and build the Kingdom, and I also wanted to continue building relationships with the freshmen who are required to go on the trip. And at the time of my decision, I was really excited about it.
The funny thing about God is that sometimes when I ask Him things, He gives me the opposite because He knows what I need and knows how it will teach me and grow me. So when I was talking with God and said “I’ll be okay as long as I’m in a group with the freshmen I already know”, obviously He was going to put me in a group with freshmen and juniors who I don’t know at all. Funny how that works. This just fueled my fire of resentment and selfishness. I wanted to do something safe and comfortable. I was upset and had the worst attitude, But then finally last night, two days before the trip, God made everything really clear to me.
My original goal for this trip was to step outside of my comfort zone, love people, build relationships and have fun serving God. Sure, I don’t really know these people in my group- but God is giving me the perfect opportunity to do each of those things in a beautiful, new way. I have been learning so much recently about loving and living radically, and this is my chance to do just that.
So as I prepare my heart for the upcoming week, I am ready for whatever God throws at me. He knows me better than I know myself and He knows what I need. I’m ready for this next adventure.
“We ask God for favors because we’re afraid; God gives us courage because He’s not” -Bob Goff
You’re beautiful. And so loved. And you have such a cool purpose, even if you don’t think you do. So maybe you could smile and have a good day? Thanks. :)
Today my heart is heavy for the children I left behind when I had to return to the United States from Romania. I can still feel the hugs and tears as we said our goodbyes and prepared our hearts; hearts that had been wrecked in the best possible way. Spending two weeks with the most beautiful human beings I have ever met, encountering God is completely new and real ways, living in complete faith and surrender, and embracing our sense of adventure. As hard as I try, I will never be able to fully explain and describe my love for Sebis and Laz, or the indescribable beauty of these places.
I am realizing that my heart is so heavy today because as I begin planning my summer, I don’t know if returning to Romania is a possibility. And it breaks my heart. But as I sit here typing, one of my favorite worship songs plays in the background.
I need you to open my eyes, to see that You’re shaping my life.
And then it hits me. The problem here is not that I may not be going back to Romania, but that I am trying to plan my summer. I am trying to take control. I am deciding what to do. I am trying to do what’s best for me. I am trying to go where I am needed. I am worrying about everything. This is crazy! Why should I be stressing and worrying about these things when all I need to do is trust that God knows where He needs me to serve this summer and He knows what is best for me.
I lose sight of that often. I try to control my life, every single part of it. And that is not my job.
“You will seek and find me. When you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
When all of me is seeking God and letting Him have control, I am truly living.
So even though my heart hurts and I miss my kiddos, I don’t need to worry. God is going to take care of all of it. He knows best.
In four days, it will be December 2. A day that was just like any other day. It came and went every year, with no real significant meaning in my life. Until two years ago. A day that I will never understand, and that I will never try to understand.
Even after two years, the pain and hurt is still there. I knew that it would always upset me and that I would always miss Logan, but I hoped it would get a little bit easier as time passed. Clearly that is not the case.
As humans we strive for relationships. To have people in our lives to be present and journey with. Each relationship looks different, but no matter what it looks like, they leave some impact on us and affect us in some way.And when one of those people who adventured through life with you for so long is suddenly not there anymore, it is like a piece of us has gone with them.
Years will pass and it will still hurt. Frankly, it will hurt like hell. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Logan. But as December 2 approaches, I will choose joy.
This day won’t be easy, by any means. And it is okay to be upset and shed tears of sadness because you miss him. But I think the best thing we can do is to celebrate Logan. Isn’t that what his life was? A celebration of the life God had given him and trying to glorify Him in everything?
As I prepare my heart for this day, I will pray for strength to celebrate. I will dance all day, like the “King of Dance.” I will praise God with everything I have. I will make silly jokes. I will flash the biggest smile I can at everyone I see. I will be goofy. Just like Logan encouraged us to do.
You are loved. You are valued. You are beautiful. And you have purpose.
i am longing for my heart to align with God’s heart.
I want to live. I want to live with my eyes open; bright and eager. I want to soak in the sun, but also the rain. To smile at the birds serenading me. I want to see people’s faces light up with inspiration and passion when they talk about their dreams. I want to laugh with them and cry with them; love them. Talk and sit in silence. I want to embrace the infinite beauty all around that goes unrecognized. God gave me the ability, why not use it every chance I get?