Friday, April 15, 2016

Okay with Me

My mom used to say, “you’re going out of the house like that?!”, “where is your lipstick”? She is old school Italian and I love her with all my heart but we are different, a lot different. She always puts on lipstick before stepping out of the house, out of the car, out of the booth at the restaurant. It’s one of those quirky, beautiful things that makes my mom who she is and stand out. However I can leave the house with my hair in a bun, with sweats on and barely any make-up and feel fine but that was not always the case.

For as long as I can remember, I used to always ask for approval: “do I look okay?”, “do you like my haircut?”, “what do you think about this idea?” I always needed someone else’s validation- whether it be advice on what I was wearing or if I had what it took to write a book. I needed good feedback to feel that I could really go for my ideas. However, if the response was not what I was looking for than my heart would sink as the fire within me fizzled.  I was insecure and afraid to just be me.

I remember one day I went to the supermarket with my mom sans makeup, we parted ways to get different items and this young gentlemen approached my mom. He told her that I was a gorgeous girl and if he was taller that he would ask me out (I’m 5’10). My proud mom raved about me and how I was her daughter and then went on to tell me about her encounter. I will never forget that day because I seriously did not do a thing to look good. I had my hair up and no makeup on yet he thought I was pretty. It came as a surprise to me as I never really thought I could quite possibly be cute just as I am. Unfortunately, it took a butcher at the store for me to realize that I was putting too much time wondering what other people thought of me and needed to just be me.

When I started sharing my writing, I was terrified. I had the passion to share the good, bad and ugly- but the cost of sharing was that others would know my baggage. But I decided to put myself out there because others put themselves out there for me in the past. Over time people would reach out to me about my posts and tell me how much it meant to them. One friend even told me that she made a folder with my name on it where she kept all my posts when she needed inspiration. I was so shocked.  My writing could really mean that much to someone? That was mind bottling to me and I felt so incredibly humbled.

I have finally found confidence that being me- flawed and open- can bring the most blessing and is the most pleasing to the Lord. I decided to consciously stop seeking out others definition of beauty or what I should be and found confidence in the way God made me. Not everyone will think I’m pretty or like my latest hair style-and that is okay. Not everyone will like my posts or agree with me-that is okay too. As I was writing this post I felt completely full of myself for telling the story about the butcher and how he thought I was pretty however I realized I was again worrying about approval. We are made to embrace who we are, our quirky things, our tedious things, our silly things. I truly think that as long as our intentions are pure, lovely and true we can’t go wrong no matter what we look like or what dreams we want to pursue.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Strong Willed Worrier

Strong Willed Worrier
Most of my life, from my earliest memories, I have suffered from anxiety. There were times that I could barely drive down the road a mile from my house without having to pull over and I would end up stuck in a parking lot because of a panic attack. A panic attack that came out of nowhere and left me feeling paralyzed and afraid. Someone would have to come pick me up because I couldn't bear the thought of having to drive back home- or anywhere, for that matter. It was the most helpless feeling to have to rely on someone else to get me home all because of anxiety. Then there were the bouts with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) that would simply derail my life into an onset of depression. Many people use the word OCD very loosely and make it into a joke quite often. However, for the sufferer it is no joke. I remember telling a  group of girls during bible study about my stuggle with OCD one of them laughed and offered to come clean my house. Even though it’s out of my character, I wanted to slap that girl because she had no idea what she was talking about and was oblivious to what OCD can be. However, that is life, some people just don't get what others go through- but that shouldn't stop anyone from overcoming the obstacles of living their best life. Because of my experience, I want to share some key things that have help me to manage living a life with anxiety. Ultimately OCD is brought on by anxiety, so they are one and the same. Both can be debilitating and make you want to retreat to your house permanently. They can rob you of friendships, relationships and really enjoying life. In the worst case it can cause you to just not want to think anymore and be done with life and that, my friend, is not a good place to be. Dealing with anxiety for most of my life, I have learned quite a few things to help me cope with it in the worst case scenario to the best case scenario. I will tell you that I have debated posting about this for months because well its personal, it’s hard, its ugly, its embarrassing. However, transparency is beautiful, and the reason I know it’s beautiful is because it has changed my life. Others who chose to share their fears, insecurities and battles have helped me get through those worst case scenario seasons of my life when I thought I couldn’t' handle my anxiety any longer. Some of my very best friends fight the same battle and there is something so reassuring about having someone that just gets it. So friends or anyone who comes across this post if you suffer from anxiety, OCD, depression...I get it. Which brings me to the title of my post "Strong Willed Worrier".
 Overcome or stay stuck?
The number one question I asked myself was am I going to have the will to overcome this or the will to stay stuck. Ultimately I decided to let my will be stronger will than my worry. Each day it’s a choice to let my worry rule me or to let my worry fade into a whisper and live my life. That can be really hard sometimes but it’s possible. When we worry we get stuck on a thought, idea, or situation and it causes heightened adrenaline and anxiety. It makes us so utterly aware of the one thing that we are so intently focused on that we dissect it and dissect it until we make it much bigger than it really needs to be. That is where my will being stronger than my worry comes in. It is hard, but we are made with the ability to change our thoughts because we control our brain, our brain does not control us. What I mean by that is we can retrain our brain to focus on things that bring us life and joy, not worry and fear. It takes extremely hard work, and that hard work means getting out of your comfort zone. Getting out your comfort zone may simply mean facing the day (which by the way is a great choice)! For me, OCD is mostly an internal struggle of what ifs. What if this or what if that? Which makes me feel completely frustrated and not productive. It takes a lot of energy to dissect things from every angle on a daily basis. Which brings me to something that I just cannot leave out of my post, because if you have followed me for any amount of time you would know that Jesus is an important part of my life. And there is no way that I would get out of my comfort zone if it was not for my faith. It’s crucial for me to trust that God is in control, and that I'm not in control. That God has good for those who believe. Without this hope I would still be stuck in a parking lot somewhere back in 2002. When worry surrounds me and fills up every spore of my brain, I have to back up and remember to trust. Thoughts are merely thoughts- when we add too much meaning to a thought it causes us to spiral out of control and into the worry pit. When my worry wants me to stop enjoying life, I remember that worry is like a bully that I will choose NOT to listen to, and it eventually becomes a whisper. For those of us that suffer with anxiety, it seems like something that we are destined to have forever. It seems to just be a part of us for life, this huge stronghold that holds us captive. But there is a way to break free, and that way is to choose to break free. It’s to choose to say "screw you, worry" and smile at all the good things that surround you. There is help if you seek it, there is knowledge if you read it, and there is opportunity to do so many wonderful things if you choose to have a will stronger than your worry.
 Help is on the way
Which brings me to transparency. I talked about it briefly but cannot stress enough that we are not made to isolate ourselves in our worry bin. We are meant to worry together! (ha that is a joke!). But really there are so many people who suffer in silence that don't need to. Chances are that someone else is struggling and just wants someone else to speak up first. No joke, when I was in one of the most depressed seasons of my life I needed to talk to someone but I held it all in. But then I decided enough was enough and finally I opened up more about my anxiety (not to the girl I mentioned above that I wanted to slap) but I began to find out people that I have known for a long time or were merely acquaintances knew exactly what I was going through or had a loved one that went through it too. Not that I was happy other people battled anxiety or OCD but was nice to know that I was not alone. In fact, some of the strongest, smartest, sweetest people I know were the ones who suffered...including you ;). So trust and open up to people, if you don't get the love you were hoping for its just a hurdle to jump over but not a reason to keep isolating yourself. Remember have a stronger will than your worry!
Push through
When you feel defeated or lose interest in what you used to love there are two options. Sulk and get more depressed or PUSH THROUGH. You have got to push through. You may think I'm being an insensitive sally but trust me I'm not. I have been in the pits where I didn't want to face another day. I went through two seasons of what seemed like hell. But it wasn't and through that time I learned to appreciate life even more. I began to trust God even more because truly he was my only hope. Looking back I can see how I was so small minded. I was so sucked in by anxiety that I rejected the wonderful gift of life. It truly is marvelous. But you have to choose to see even when you don't want to. That is part of retraining your brain. Choosing good when you just feel defeated. Choosing blessing when you feel like cursing! That is called pushing through and it’s also having a stronger will than your worry. It’s telling your worry that you don’t' belong to it and guess what? Pretty soon you won't.
I could seriously go on for hours about this topic of anxiety. It’s a roller coaster, it’s a damn scary one at times and it’s also a gift at times. Why a gift? For me because it drew me into the best friendships a girl could ask for, because I grew closer to God and learned to lean on his word and promises (which I could go on and on about but we will save that for another time), when I wasn't worrying I appreciated all the beauty around me even more. I now see life as a precious gift not to be taken for granted. I choose to smile and be happy not because that is always the case but because why not? I want to spread light in the darkness because I know and see many other people who are stuck. It’s not how life has to be. The thing is I can't make choices for anyone else, just like others can't make choices for me. That is why we have to take charge with the help of God (which he will give if you ask), and have courage to fight for a stronger will than your worry. If you can do this it can change the way you view life and you will find a way enjoy it again if you choose it!
There is something about someone that suffers with anxiety. They view life in a more perceptive way. Things can be more profound and have such glorious meaning. It’s a beautiful thing when the person that suffers from anxiety chooses to take the perception off the worry part and puts the focus back on what is lovely. I think people that suffer with anxiety are remarkably smart and when their deep thinking is used positively it can change both their world and the life of others in a stunning way! Remember that my fellow sufferers there is so much beauty beyond the worry. That is what I strive to remember each day and I hope you will too. Please keep in mind this is what works for me and this is my experience, so I hope it finds you and inspires you in some way.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Last year my word was grateful. I went through a horrible season of anxiety and depression due to my OCD (I will be elaborating on soon). In the mist of this season I didn't understand why my word was grateful since I was filled with fear and doubt. I constantly felt my stomach tighten up from anxiety. There was no relief. Yet somehow, slowly but surely I made it out to the other side into the light. Oh, Lord, he wanted me to know that nothing, nothing, nothing can take away the pain of anxiety and fear but him. He taught me to push through and lean into him. He taught me that life is so valuable, a precious gift not to be taken for granted. He brought love into my life this past year and he let it bloom! I said hellos to new joy and goodbye to people and things that were hard to part with- those comfort zones, those old heartaches and I embraced something new! The greatest thing I learned is to choose. Be grateful for what you have. The talents you pocess, the passions that make your heart beat, the people who love you. Be grateful for each moment even the tough ones. Why the tough ones? because you learn how to live more fully and sweetly. You learn that we shoudn't walk through life alone. We need eachother so badly and God rejoices when we come together.
My new word! God laid it on my heart and I am embracing it. I can't wait to expand on this new word. For now I wanted to share some snapshots of life lately! XOXO

My husband and I! I'm officially a married woman!


I have a new dog named CoCo Puff and she is crazy but adorable! You can't see her face because she is leaping in the air with some driftwood she picked up while dashing through the fields. Love her energy and joy!

I got to see my best friend that I haven't seen in over 3 years!
Jman kyaking for the first time! I don't think he liked it but I"m proud of him for trying!

Friday, October 17, 2014

You're a Creative Genius

I kept watching inventions being invented and creations being created

Some were plain and simple others were beyond my imagination

They must have a lot more serotonin than me- thinking all these good thoughts

As I kept watching these virtuosos passing me by, I started to feel crippled inside

I wanted a talent, I wanted a dream-I wanted to be someone that no one has ever seen

But as I kept watching all the other prodigies I began to lose hope

Until I looked down at my non-calloused hands and silky smooth feet

Woe me, what a pity- you reap what you sew

What a wakeup call out of the abyss and what a joy to become my own best friend

Instead of longing to be what was already done, I started appreciating the beauty within

I’m a gift yet to be unwrapped a soul to become unraveled

Who knew?

I’m my own creative genius with God given talents

Monday, October 13, 2014


Today I’m choosing to let go instead of holding on a little longer

 I stopped giving my past mistakes and hurts the recognition they think they need

I decided that today I am all the person I need to be

It didn’t come easy…this rare confidence

Sadly this beauty is oftentimes unseen

The authentic love that takes me back even after 7x seventy

I will ask you to do something if you choose

Take his hand, don’t let it go

In the quiet messes and loud trespasses

Don’t lose hope

The darkness can’t subdue the light that has already won

Go to Jesus and take him with you

My dearest I don’t know you

But you are known by the greatest love of all

Hands spread out beyond the horizon and heart deeper than the ocean

Choose to never be alone again

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


So a few years back a friend told me to read the book "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. When I heard the title of the book I was immediately hesitant to buy it, I don't want to know how I'm wasting my life because I know the facts were I was living mediocre and to actually think I may have to change was not something that I invited with open arms.

I started to realize that maybe this is why some of us are so hesitant to live like Esther, Ruth, Job and Jeremiah. Fear of changing, fear of what God would have us do, fear of where God would have us go. Fear we would be mocked like Jeremiah and be a laughingstock to our friends for what we believe. "O LORD, you deceived; me and I was deceived you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me." Jeremiah 20:7

This past weekend I went to the bookstore and there it was "Don't Waste Your Life", jumped out at me and I knew I had to get it. I've only read a short amount but I can tell you my palms were sweating, my heart was beating fast because this is a life changing book. He says "God created me-and you-to live with a single, all-embracing, all transforming passion-namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. “John Piper. Life is not about my happiness, its not about stores, vacations to exotic places, climbing the corporate ladder, life is simply about God. Glorifying God in all aspects of our lives but notice he said all-transforming passion. Another word for transform is to change. By glorifying him we are changed and the love we have for Jesus should be enjoyed and displayed in all spheres of our lives. When we live for God in all parts of our lives we began to share His glory with others.

This of course is just a glimpse of what I read but it was almost disappointing to me that life was not about being happy. I mean that is what we are striving to be right? Happy. Striving to make enough money to get what we want. Striving to look just right to be wanted, striving to please other people. I felt a loss that life is not about my happiness since that is what the world around is chasing. John Piper says this "The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples."

I think of Esther with unmistakable beauty and faith in the Lord "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." She stepped out in faith to save her people; she was willing to give up her life for what she believed. Esther 4:16.

Or what about Ruth and her devotion to God and her mother in law Naomi

Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16

What about sweet Jeremiah, the laughingstock of his people he said this "So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name; his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.

What do these three people have in common...passion? When times were tough they pushed on, they didn't live for themselves or their happiness but instead they lived for His glory. I want to be more like them, I want to have a passion so deep I can say if I perish I perish, where you go I will go, and his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.

John piper gives an example of how we can view God "You can magnify like a telescope or like a microscope. When you magnify like a microscope a dust mite can look like a monster. Pretending to magnify God like that is wickedness. But when you magnify like a telescope, you make something unimaginably great look like what it really is. With the Hubble Space Telescope, pinprick galaxies in the sky are revealed for the billion star giants that they are. Magnifying God like this is worship.

We can pretend God is only a fragment of our lives but we are deceiving ourselves. God is magnificent, he is the creator, my prayer is that I see God as he really is and glorify Him in all spheres of my life.