So recently God has been working on me loving myself. And by loving myself He means loving every single aspect about myself. A blog a friend wrote tonight repeated multiple times that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. Yes I have heard these words millions of times. I have sent the scripture to people thousands of times. & I have even spoken it over myself hundreds of times.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.- Psalm 139:14
I sit in awe sometimes thinking about how God created me. He made me exactly who I am, to serve Him. All glory and honor goes to Him. So why do I tear myself down? Why do I worry about the worlds view of “beautiful”? Every single time I criticizing myself I am criticizing a work of God. So why do I keep doing it? I should be thankful. For every single aspect of my body. Even the parts that I am the most ashamed of. Here is my challenge to each one of you. What do you hate most about yourself? Or what are you most ashamed of? Got it? Good. Now write it down, and come up with reasons why you are thankful for that part. For example?
My stretch marks. I have them all over. From my arms to my legs. They came from being a 95 pound freshman in high school who became sick and jumped up to 165 pounds within a year (due to medicine). That was a huge jump in a very short period of time. This allowed me to get stretch marks. Today I am saying that I am thankful for them. I am thankful that I will have a daily reminder for the rest of my life that God is Healer. That only through Him I was healed. I am thankful that I have a daily reminder that with God I am a warrior. That in the lowest moments of my life, I made it because He was with me in my battle. I am thankful for these stretch marks because they are God’s way of showing who He was and is to me. They remind me of His faithfulness. So from this day forward, I will no longer be ashamed but be thankful for them.
So now, take this challenge. Why are you thankful for the thing you dislike most on your body?
And remember, our body’s are just vessels. Outward beauty is temporary, but what is in our soul, thats eternal.
Our beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
– 1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
I find myself recently wanting people to see me for who I really am. To see my heart, my character, who I really am. I don’t want to be known as the girl with a pretty smile or big boobs. Our entire lives we will be labeled. We are labeled from things we have done and things we have not done but people assume. Our past mistakes will constantly come back to haunt us, no matter how much we try to let them go or move on. Someone will always come back and speak them back over your life. I find that the picture below is a great demonstration of how we feel sometimes. These labels cut deep, make us question who we really are.
The good news is that we are not these things. They are labels given to us by humans.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”-1 Samuel 16:7
Throughout the entire bible we can find labels given to us by God. We are strong, beautifully and wonderfully made, warriors, more than conquerors. We are enough, we are loved, we are chosen, we are desired, we are forgiven. There are so many more besides these few.
“The labels that we are given, and the labels that we place upon ourselves are transformed into the names, purposes, and will of God in our lives when we allow Him to pour into our hearts however He chooses.”- Anonymous
Now knowing these things is one thing, believing them for others is another, but believing them for yourself is the hardest part. We have to constantly be speaking these labels over our life. We have to rid ourselves of the others. Forgive yourself. For all the past mistakes you have made, forgive yourself. Accept what you did and move on. For all the people who have tore you down, forgive them. For they do not know, or maybe they do, the impact of their words on your life. Make a list. Burn it. Let go and Let God. Give Him control of this aspect of you life.
Trust me, this is not easy. I am writing this to encourage myself to do this more than anyone else. Be thankful for who you are. Who God created you to be. YOU have a purpose in life, no matter where you came from, or what is in your past.
People are gonna label you, it’s how you overcome those labels. That’s what matters.
So here we go again, it has been a while and this probably will be super unorganized because my mind is very scattered brained, so just bear with me.
Have you ever had someone tell you something that you oh so desperately want to believe but can’t. Sometimes you can hear the truest words, and even know they are true but just can’t accept them. It could be because of your past, insecurity or multiple other reasons. So if you know they are true, why do you not believe them? Personally I can tell you that anybody can tell me things about me, it’s easy to look at someone and pick out their qualities. It is easy to find things out about them and spit it right back to them. Yeah it is awesome to hear how great you are, but they are just words. It takes people going over and beyond that to earn my trust. Show me that you respect me because I do this, or show me that I am a good person by treating me like I deserve. Your actions say way more than any words you can speak. People can completely disagree with everything you are doing, for things you are taking a stand for, but they can gain respect for you because you are taking a stand for something you believe. What you do is noticed, never forget that. Actions impact lives permanently words just have a temporary impact (at least for the most part.) Something I am learning daily and constantly working on.
In life we meet people who will be in our lives for a life time, and others that will be in our lives for a season. The difference is distinguishing who and when people need to be cut out. Cutting people out of your life is never fun, especially when you genuinely love and care about them. Sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing, but if you don’t do it you could compromise things in your life. We all have limits and boundaries that we won’t let people cross because we know we deserve more. Most of us have or had one person in our life that no matter how much they hurt you, you let them stay in your life because you love them. In the long run you are doing more damage than good. You are allowing yourself to be treated in a way you know is not right. You are compromising what you know is right for someone who causes you pain. We should surround ourselves with people who genuinely love and care about us and lift us up not bring us down. Serving and reaching people in need is an amazing thing to do, but allowing people to take advantage of you is not. We must conquer these issues before we end up compromising things in our life. This is a lesson I am trying to learn, I have failed many times with it. I allow people to walk all over and use me just because I care and love them. In the end I always end up feeling worse then I did and start tearing myself down. It is not worth it anymore and it is something that needs to be handled. Learn from my mistakes, it’s easier to have a hard conversation and let someone go before you end up in a mindset of worthlessness and heartache. The longer you wait, the harder it is. Be thankful for the people who are in your life for a season. They are the ones who can teach you some of the most amazing life lessons. It’s the people who will always have a special place in your heart no matter what. The ones you are forever thankful that you met, because of the impact they provided in your life. Some come and cause a lot of pain, but without pain we would be no where. Pain leads to learning. Be thankful for everyone you come in contact with, and be appreciative of everyone in your past, present or future.
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, & we never even know we have the key.”-The Eagles
This song will always be one of my favorite songs, and no matter how many times I hear it this one lyrics always stands out to me. Every time I hear it I think about all the different types of bondages we, as humans, have in our lives. & how many times we can free ourselves from this bondage. We all have our different struggles, but a lot of the time we focus so much on the negativity of the situation. We love to throw pity parties for ourselves. I do it, you do it, we all do it at some point in time. Think about it logically, throwing one of our pity parties means we are strictly focusing on everything bad and negative in our lives. We stress out about these situations, we bring ourselves down & into a depression because of them and so on and so forth. We are the ones creating the chains on our happiness. If we would focus more on finding the positives and working it out, we are then allowing ourselves to choose happiness & breaking the chains holding us back from it. Positivity will not fix all of the issues in life, there are some things we have to face no matter if we have a positive of negative out look. Negativity only creates more issues.
We also live life in chains by not taking chances & risks. How many times do amazing opportunities present themselves & you reject them because of fear? Or come up with every excuse in the book? If you are anything like me, it happens a lot. These are more personal bondages we set for ourselves. We have the ability to do these things but choose not to anyways. Life is short. We shouldn’t live our lives chained up & in bondage when we have the ability to live otherwise.
What kind of bondage do you have in your life? Can you find a way that you have made the situation worse? Once you figure this out remember: The key is in your hand. What will you do with it?
*This is something I struggle with personally & am learning daily*
**There is also so much more that could be said on this topic that was left out**
“The good thing about a paper jam is that it forces you to open it up and figure out what went wrong in the first place.” – Julian Baker, One Tree Hill.
In life we come to moments where we feel broken, miserable or unhappy. I like to look at these moments as a “paper jam”. Like the quote says above, when you fix a paper jam you have to open it up and figure out what went wrong. In life it is always good to look into ourselves and figure out why we do some of the things we might not technically like about ourselves. You can find out where things such as insecurity, unhappiness, anger, and so on come from. Once you find the source of the problems it is in your hands to fix them. Just like a machine might not work, or won’t work to it’s full capacity if the paper jam is ignored; we are not able to reach full potential if we ignore our paper jams. As humans none of us our perfect, meaning we all have some kind of paper jams. This leaves it in our hands to be able to fix the things that hold us back, or to continue to let them. If you choose to fix them and fix “the paper jam” you will be able to live a better life. I believe as humans we all want to strive to be better people. To be able to accomplish this, we must encounter many paper jams. They build character and teach us life lessons. The more paper jams we have, the more issues we find and fix. Without finding the issues or fixing them we never learn the lessons we do when fixing our issues. Think about how sometimes a paper jam is so easy to fix a kid can do it, and how other times it takes a professional to fix it. Don’t be discouraged if whatever is holding you back from reaching full potential takes a while to work through. Progress takes time. So what are you going to do? Fix your paper jam or ignore it and continue life with one?
After watching the LSU baseball game today I started to think about the infamous quote “There is no I in Team”.
I started to think about this quote in more then just a sports aspect. Our lives can be broken up into many different “teams”. We have our family, our friends, our coworkers and some of us may have other “teams”. Each one of these groups have to work together for good. If we want to “win” or acomplish anything we need to work together. This requires encouragement, understanding, forgiveness, love, and so on and so forth. Every team loses at some point, just like every one of our “teams” will go through hardships. Life is complicated and hard. Life will get rocky and cause us to stumble. That is the beauty of a team. When a team fails they build each other up and strive to do better the next time. We as people can do the same. When one of our “teammates” fails we can help them. People make mistakes. We can’t hold the mistakes over there head. But we can help them learn from them and better themselves. Working as a team is a great way to build a family or any friendship. It also helps things at work to go smoothly. We are a people of relationships. We don’t need a ton but we some to get through life. Pick the people who will be true teammates in your life. The ones that will be there to build you up and encourage you. Admit when they fail. Accountability is key. No one can survive on their own. Pick your teams wisely & build them strong.