The red journal

I found an old journal of mine during my move recently, it’s been quite entertaining reading my thoughts on love and relationships over the years. I know I don’t know a whole lot about relationships, but I’ve certainly learned valuable lessons, that I hope to never repeat. Hopefully by sharing these, some people can relate and take comfort in knowing we aren’t alone, we all go through trials that make us stronger. It’s almost embarrassing how much time I wasted on guys who didn’t deserve a second of my time. Have you ever been in that situation, where you look back embarrassed that you put so much effort into someone that clearly wasn’t right for you?

One of my journal entries:

“A boy who doesn’t respect me, doesn’t deserve me, I can do better. I had fun, but I think I had to force myself, if you’re not feeling it at first, you cannot force the situation. I think I’ve just been lonely, I liked what I felt with him, knowing I was wanted, and he made me feel pretty. I have to remind myself to stop putting my self worth in the hands of a boy. I need to love myself on my own before I can let someone love me, otherwise how do I know the right reasons for being with someone? Will I ever find the right one? Will I ever open my heart? Will I meet someone worth the effort of a relationship again?”

I spent so much time worrying about the wrong guy wondering why it didn’t devolp further, but why did I care so much. I’m too emotional to a fault sometimes, I should have just moved on quicker when I knew it wasn’t right. Have you ever let the fear of being alone keep you in the wrong relationship? I was relying on myself, thinking I knew best, but what I know now, is that I knew nothing. This particular guy that I was pouring my emotions into was hung up on his ex, because she was still his best friend, he didn’t want to get back together with her but didn’t want to lose her from his life. He never fully let me in, but he expected me to be all the things he wanted, and needed. He made me feel I was never good enough, he judged me for drinking occasionally with my friends, that I didn’t go to church, he constantly compared me, and said I wasn’t Christian enough for him. He didn’t encourage me to be better he brought to light the ways I would never measure up. I tried changing myself for him, I let his opinions get to me, he messed with my head. My mistake was changing for a guy, he never encouraged me to pursue God, he just made it seem like I was in a different dimension than him. He was one of the most confused people I have ever met, he thought he was the greatest Christian guy, but he was forgetting that we are all human, sinful people in need of God’s grace. He never should have made me feel inferior, but I never should have given him the time to.

  

Stay strong and beautiful

  
Just a little encouragement to start your week. I came across this tank top at a store called Basement Marketplace, it inspired me to write. How often have you looked in the mirror, and thought “I feel ugly, I have pimples on my nose, my hair is frizzy, and I have love handles from all that ice cream, and laffy taffy?” Okay, maybe you haven’t thought that exact thing, but I sure did this weekend. Sometimes I wish there were less mirrors in the world, think how much happier everyone would be, if they didn’t have to constantly keep up with outward appearances. I’ve always felt so much happier and content with myself when I don’t look in the mirror, when I’m doing something to make others happy. Being less focused on myself, and focused on more important things.

We all are different shapes, colors, and sizes, but does that make anyone less beautiful than someone else? No, we are all beautifully, and uniquely created if people tell you otherwise, than they aren’t people worth surrounding yourself with. It’s about accepting your differences, and everyone else’s, and seeing the beauty in all of it. When you have a moment doubting yourself or feeling “ugly” try skipping the mirror, go lend a hand, step out of your comfort zone, and you’ll be amazed at how it feels. Knowing it doesn’t matter what you wear or if you have pimples on your nose, nobody notices, because we all have our own insecurities, and struggles. We need to take our negative opinions, and insecure thoughts, putting that energy towards making someone smile or laugh, turning the negative into a positive.

Last week my best friend, and I volunteered at church cleaning the campus for the new school year. She, and I had some last minute hesitations, because we didn’t feel like cleaning. I was feeling bloated, and crampy, and would rather have watched movies on the couch. Once we got there, and were put to work we forgot all about ourselves, our attitudes immediately changed. It was refreshing to be apart of a community with a group of others working to better the environment for kids at school. I was sitting on the ground in the 90 degree weather scrapping gum off the sidewalks, and it didn’t matter that my makeup was melting off my face, my armpits started sweating, and getting smelly. (okay, that part did bother me a bit) It was knowing that we were apart of something so much more than us, helping others regardless if you are comfortable or not.

I was able to meet new people I wouldn’t normally have a chance to meet. We can stay strong, and beautiful the minute we stop thinking of ourselves so much, putting our strengths to use helping others in need, sharing our stories, and encouraging one another. It’s easy to let the negative thoughts, and the insecure moments of body shaming control our every thought, but we are stronger than that. I dare you to try going a day without makeup or without looking in the mirror, and lend a helping hand to someone. Whether it be big or small, for a stranger or a friend, step outside yourself and make a difference. Help remind someone that they too are strong, and beautiful just by being themselves.

Matters of the heart

I never thought I would become so dramatic, but anyone who has been through a breakup or relationship struggle knows the pain. It doesn’t matter if you were the one to decide to end the relationship, it still hurts all the same. I’ve never hated logic so much in my life, my breakup was a logical decision at the time, but all the feelings are still there. We had foundational issues, and we are on extremely different paths, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still love him. I find myself looking at old pictures, and reminiscing, I need to stop! I go through days where I feel strong, confident that I can move forward knowing I made the right decision… But other days I feel broken inside, missing him so much, missing what we had. I pray for the strength to stand in my decision, knowing it’s best for both of us.

Do you ever have that gut feeling, when you know you made the right decision but yet sometimes your weak moments get the best of you? I’m not strong enough to get through this heartache and confusion on my own. Without praying to God, and reading His word everyday, I would still be in a relationship that I knew didn’t have a future. Solely because it was comfortable, and we still love each other. I’m weak. It’s a constant battle of feeling lonely, and trusting God, that His plans are far better than my plans, wants, and desires. I have no idea what His plan is, but I have to trust that all this pain I feel will eventually disappear, but not without me praising Him through this struggle. Wherever you are in your journey, whatever your hurdle may be, know you aren’t alone, and that it will get better.

  

Saying goodbye to my first rental house.

  
A few days ago, I was in my studio, now empty as the day I rented it. Up and down the ladder patching holes, polishing the wood floors, dripping in sweat. (won’t miss the evap) I took a second to decompress and soak up the last few moments of my first place. I had been so busy being overwhelmed by stress and anxiousness, I was forgetting to be thankful. It has it’s flaws like any house from the 30’s. As does everything, and everyone.  Life hasn’t gone the way I thought, the year has been full of questionable choices, self doubt, disappointment, and ended with my eyes being opened. Through all the bumps in the road, I would never trade my year in this house. I learned so much, about life, what it takes to care for an old structure, loving others, and most importantly about the one who loved me first. This house in particular taught me, that I never ever want to rent from a management company, ever again! That is a whole other story.

Discovering I am not as strong on my own, as I thought I was, realizing I have created a pattern of running from God. Learning I haven’t done anything to glorify Him or deserve His love. Yet it is by God’s mercy and grace, I can reevaluate my choices with new eyes, make some adjustments, and make the biggest choice of all, choosing to trust in Him. Some things are just a detour in our journey that we need to take, before the start of so much more.

In the eyes of others, I don’t have much, I quit a job, turned down another, broke up with my boyfriend, moved out of my studio, and temporarily back into my parents house. Trust me I have relentlessly beaten myself up (figuratively of course) about the direction I am going. How could there be good in any of that? After lots of crying, anxiety attacks, moments of stillness, endless praying, I’ve come to the conclusion… I am not good at making the right decisions or being in control of my life. That’s because I shouldn’t be in control, I’m not supposed to be living life to please myself or satisfy my flesh. I had numerous opportunities to be a light in this world, but I chose to let darkness overcome me. There were times I was so unhappy, but I was in denial as to what was causing it. I felt as though I was too far gone. I had my chance with God when I was at my Christian high school, then my year at the Christian college, how could he possibly take me back after all these years of running, and hiding??

I’ve been pouring into the word for comfort, lately, and I’ve been feeling so convicted. I had been overcome with so much shame in my life, feeling worthless, and wallowing for far too long. I know none of that is from God, it was the lies of sin telling me “it’s too late for God to take you back, you’ve strayed too far, just keep committing the same sins, this is who you are now.” I kept believing those lies! I was finding my self worth in others, and of worldly things. I kept wondering why I was so unsatisified and had endless moments of emptiness, and continually searching, I was searching for the wrong things. My eyes weren’t opened until God started tugging on my heart. I was at a job that was literally sucking the life out of me, and making me a miserable person, in a relationship that I thought was what I wanted, and needed. It’s going to be a long journey of accepting my past decisions, taking responsibility for my choices, truly learning from all of this, and moving forward. Progression over perfection. 

Titus 3:3-7

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