Give A Little: Self-Help

I know there are a lot of people out there struggling with a variety of issues.  School is starting back up again, and for many students school isn’t a happy place. Bullying is real and a major problem in our schools. If you are being bullied or just want someone to talk to, here are some truly wonderful organizations that want nothing more than to help you out and some ways to better help yourself. This week is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day, and I just want you to know that your time isn’t up yet. You have so many gifts, words, and memories to make and share with others. You are wanted and desired and there is hope, my loves.


Personality Tests

I know I have shared this before but be sure to find out what your personality type is. This will help you realize what your stress triggers are and how to prevent or work through them more easily. Be sure to take the test about once a year, because believe it or not, personalities can change based on life situations. I love the 16 Personalities Test because it is free and not as time consuming as the real Myers-Briggs test (which took me around 2 hours to complete! Crazy!) . This test is much shorter but still offers up a good starting point for making better sense of the self.

To Write Love On Her Arms

I love TWLOHA. They are such a wonderful organization and have such a wonderful desire to give immediate and long-lasting help to those who feel alone and like life is too hard to keep living. If you are struggling and don’t know where to turn, TWLOHA has a 24 Hotline for immediate calls. Or if you would like to help spread their vision, there are many donation and fundraising opportunities available. Also be sure to follow them on Twitter because they have a great campaign for Suicide Awareness Day using the #IKeptLiving and it is truly inspirational.

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is genius. Instead of a phone call, this hotline uses texting. This way there is more anonymity in the conversation. The texting hotline connects the texter to a trained counselor who is trained to help with relationship, friendship, and family issues. People can text if he or she is feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork or career related issues and isn’t sure where to turn.

 Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you ever need someone to talk to please call this number. There are trained professionals on the other end who will listen to your concerns and give wise counsel.


Be sure to take a moment out of today to just take a breath and feel thankful for what you have in life today. It may be one thing or five things, but know that there is always something worth living for. There is always someone who is on your team rooting for you to do well in life, even if you don’t think it’s true. You are so loved and you have so much more of your life to live!

You are so loved.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

 

Wear the Bikini

I love swimming!

When I was a teenager I was on a swim team and have honestly just always felt at home in the water (salt or chlorine… doesn’t matter!)

I always wore a one-piece or a tankini for most of my life up until pretty recently when I decided I really wanted a bikini. Cute one-piece suits are hard to find, and I always loved how bikini’s have mix-and-match options.

So this February, I decided that if I could lose a certain amount of weight, I would wear a bikini in public. So I set a goal, created a time-table and eating plan, and got to work. I have lost some of the weight I wanted, but not nearly as much as I planned in my over-zealous schedule. But you know what? I still wanted to wear my bikini… at the pool… in public.

Such a conundrum.

I had bought the cutest two-piece as a motivation to work out and be healthy, so I already had a cute suit. And Mr. Yell and I were going WAY out of town on an anniversary trip, so no one I knew would even see me wear it. All I had to do was wear it.

And wear it I did.

You guys, at first I was totally self-conscious and worried about my “problem areas” but after about 30 minutes, it felt so free. I forgot all about my weight and “fluff” and just enjoyed swimming. It was so wonderful to not worry about what other people were thinking and just enjoy my time swimming.

 

For the first time in quite a while, I was able to feel comfortable in my body and who I am in this point and time. This is who I am right now, and this is how I look. I can love it or hate it, but in the end it is the only body I have.

IMG_1746

This is the first post in the “Summer Series” and I wanted to show ya’ll how committed I am to this being MY summer. And YOUR summer. Don’t let fear hold you back from what you want to do. This summer is for you and for your confidence to shine. We are in this together! So wear the bikini, or not. It’s YOUR choice. Wear what you want to the beach… and own it.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

This Is YOUR Summer

I have been particularly struggling with this idea for some time now, not because I don’t think it needs talking about, but because I wasn’t sure I was qualified to write about it. Body confidence, and confidence in general, is something I have struggled with for a while. For many women, this struggle is a life-long battle in loving herself.

This summer I am going to write about the most difficult topic; self-worth.

Let me preface this by saying I am not a professional by any means. I don’t know five easy steps to loving yourself, I don’t know how to help you lose/gain weight, nor do I have a killer workout to help you with your booty gains. I am just a 23 year old woman who knows the struggles of finding, keeping, and desiring self-love. All I know is what I wish someone would have told me, or what I wish I would have listened to about loving myself.

michael & mia (1)

Those are the things I am going to work on in myself and try to share during this season. This won’t be every post, but it is a theme that I am wanting to challenge myself during these warmer months.

Much grace. Much love.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

If you have a story or comment or anything you would like to share on this topic, please let me know by contacting me. I would love to hear/share your story in growing or searching for coming to like/love your physical self.

Loving The Skin You’re In

Let me be completely honest, I did not know that photoshopping women’s bodies was even possible until I was 17.

I fully believed that those girls in the magazines were real; their bodies, faces, and clothes. I believed that these women were perfect models, I didn’t know where these magazines found them, but I knew they had to exist for magazines to put them on spreads and in articles.

Ladies:

THIS IS A LIE.

I know now, that magazines, celebrities, and even “normal” people photoshop or reshape their bodies and faces everyday. That these body sizes, lip shapes, and perfect women do not exist.

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

I recently learned that other women have similar imperfections to myself. I learned that other women have stretch marks.

I had always thought that women get stretch marks from pregnancy until last year when I gained a bit of weight. I began getting stretch marks on my legs and hips; and I was completely mortified. I’m not talking about a little bit of embarrassment, but completely humiliated. I was so ashamed that I wouldn’t even wear shorts anymore. I felt that my struggle with my food choices was finally visible, and that I was the only one with these marks of shame.

Recently, I watched a video about women and their stretch marks. How each woman received them and how that made each woman feel. I loved seeing this because it brought me to a point of community and understanding about my body, and it’s imperfections.

Thank you for a whole year of Go Giving!

All the scars, stretch marks, and other markings you have are so important. They tell a story about the life you have lived, who you have become, and who you used to be. Your scars add depth to your first impression and should be celebrated, not create embarrassment. I know this is all easier said than done, but if us ladies can each work towards loving our scars and talking about them, maybe other women and girls wouldn’t feel the shame we have felt.

Maybe we can all start loving the skin we are in.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

 

 

 

For The Girl Who Is Hurting

Such pain. Such agony.

The shame, the betrayal, the overwhelming sadness.

You feel like happiness is so far away. Too far. How could you be normal again… let alone happy?

I know you. You feel that your trust has been misplaced; your feel stupid and naive. You vow to never give such a gift like that again. Whether that gift was: trust, love, friendship, or loyalty, it doesn’t matter. You won’t repeat your disastrous mistake.

You think, “How could I be so foolish to think that I was worth anything better than what happened to me? What made me think that I, of all people, was worth any effort, love, or time?

You smile just to get by when you see people in the street or when you meet with others for coffee. They ask, “How are you doing?” and you reply with a simple “Just fine!”… Even though you know it’s a lie.

You can’t remember what feeling fine even means… You are hurt, broken, and emotionally devestated.

I know you. Because I was you.

The girl who is so broken she feels far beyond repair. The girl who is so full of sadness she feels a weight when she tries to breathe. The girl who is fearful of people, of opening up her heart and soul to another person… and vows to never let herself feel this pain again.

It took me a long time of suffering and hurt but eventually I found something that changed my life. Something that turned my fear and sadness into life.

To the GirlHurting. (1)

I found hope.

Not a boyfriend. Not a husband. Not a best friend. Not a degree. Not a life of success.

HOPE.

Hope that eventually I would love again. Hope in a bright future where I could help people. Hope in a day when I was finally healed. Hope that in one day soon… I would remember what “fine” actually is.

This hope does not come from my inner-light. It does not come from graduating from college or being successful. It does not come from meditating, or from  being a “good person”. This hope is different.

This hope comes from my faith in Jesus Christ. That He died for me, for all of my hurts, mistrusts, and wrongdoings. He died a death that He did not deserve, one that was intended for me. Jesus not only died for me… but He was resurrected and actually loves me. He loves me. He loves the hurt high school girl who endured an abusive relationship. He loves the broken girl who was once full of fire and passion that was then trampled by others. He loves the bitter, angry, sad girl who longed to be pulled from apathy and loneliness. Christ loves her. And He loves you too.

He loves you in a way that no one else will, not even yourself. He loves you more than the universe can show you in “light” or “beauty”. He loves you more than you can ever comprehend… no matter how often you meditate or work to help others. Nothing you can do could make Him love you, because He already does.

To the GirlHurting.

At times I still feel like that broken girl. At times I feel the pain, and can’t explain why. At times I am beaten down with feelings of worthlessness. But during those times, I know I have that hope in Christ, and that I am not worthless… but loved.

So to the girl who is hurting… you are not alone. You are loved. So deeply. You can know this love by accepting it. You can choose to accept this hope, just by believing in Jesus and all he has done. He desires to know you, and to be known by you.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png


John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved …

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.