Even at Rest, You are Still YOU

Day after day of chaos has me pleading for quiet moments. All I want is to stop for a minute or two and do nothing. I dream of having the sleep and lack of responsibility I had as a child. Taking naps and staying still, I hope, are the rewards of the constant moving and striving. But the moment I stop in one place, the fear creeps in. What will I miss? What opportunity will pass me by while I rest? What if I never move again? What I longed for becomes more scary than the taxing and brutal reality of always working to achieve. I can't let go because I might fade away. People might forget my name, my actions. It is a nearly paralyzing thought.

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Pushing Against the Tide of Doing Too Much

If you’re a busy girl, you know that giving yourself pause to slow down and do nothing for a while can be… difficult. But when you’re running your butt off all day and all week, you have to give yourself the opportunity to breathe and let go. I’m no stranger to this game and oftentimes feel like I need to be doing something worth putting on Instagram stories every day. But you don’t have to. While there’s a part of me that’s always go go go, there’s another part that needs to take one day every weekend to do absolutely nothing in order to rebound for the next week. Rest and time off are essential to anyone trying to conquer the world. 

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Finding a Rhythm 

Stillness, by nature, is not my cup of tea. I am an extravert. A “go-getter.” An adventurer. Sitting still or taking the time to process my thoughts sounds terrible to me. Let me put this into perspective for those of you who are more inclined to rest, to take things easy, and process things more regularly. My alarm goes off at 4:30 most mornings for me to get ready for a 5 o’clock shift at work. I will work for six to eight hours before coming home to deep clean the house while FaceTiming my best friend, prepping dinner and drawing up the floor plan for my dream home all at the same time. I know this might sound like an exaggeration but trust me. It’s not.

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Prayers to Pray When You Need Stillness

Being still is very important. Taking a step back to realize what’s going on can truly make a difference. It’s so important to take a day of the week to have as your rest day, just like God did. Six days of work and the seventh use as a rest to day to cleanse your spirit and focus that day on God—a day to be still in the moment. It’s OK to slow down sometimes, to take a step back and be still for a minute so you can assess what’s going on. You can gain so much wisdom from taking a moment to be still with God and focus in on Him. It’s so important to stay aware of what’s going on so you can always have a clear understanding of things. Take your time to relax and be still!

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Series Introduction: Stillness

Life. Will. Not. Slow. Down. Ever since before the start of summer, it feels like I’ve been a passenger on the NYC subway. Quickly getting on, only to hop off even faster so I don’t miss the next train. And, holy moly is this exhausting! I am truly wiped out. Between extended vacations to far away states, weekend trips up north, and bachelorette parties, I find myself craving a Sunday at home doing absolutely nothing in my pajamas—longing for stillness. As I sit down to write this, during one of the busiest work weeks I’ve experienced since first starting my job last fall, stillness is most definitely on mind. Yes, I love the hustle. I appreciate the busy seasons, but it’s beginning to feel like I’ve forgotten the value of being still, finding peace. 

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Living Loved, A Mindset

A woman can read a love letter from her husband or listen to her mom rave about how proud she is of her daughter for coming so far, for achieving so much. However, it’s up to us, as that woman on the other end of the affection, what we do with this love being laid out before us. If I think I am undeserving of the affections of others, I won’t let the positive words of those who care for me shape who I am. It’s these words I don’t let reach the depths of my heart that won’t be able to project me forward into who I want to become.

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Confidence-Inspiring Affirmations Every Woman Needs

Do you know that feeling when it seems as if the world could care less about you? Yeah, I’ve been there recently—it’s not easy. It can feel like you’re unimportant or a nuisance. That describes my recent life experiences to a T. Despite that, I know there are truths I’ve been ignoring—I’ve let the shortcomings of others define my worth. This is not how we are called to live, girlfriend. We are made for more—more than the labels and lies this world forces upon us. Frankly, we are called to live loved. 

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Her Powerful Will to Live, From Diagnosis to Recovery

There is something powerful that exists within us. It goes much deeper than faith and far greater than hope. It’s an indescribable strength with the authority to claim our attention and influence our every action. The moment our life is in jeopardy, our will to survive becomes the driving force—carrying us to safety, to healing, to the light at the end of the tunnel. Survival is an instinct we cannot ignore, and if we believe in its power, it can truly work on our behalf. It was the survivor within Jen Rozenbaum that found victory in her fight with breast cancer two years ago.

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Love is a Choice

Love. We all want to feel loved. We want that feeling of joy and acceptance when someone else chooses us and wants to spend time with us. We want the tingles and the goosebumps of new love. We want the steadiness and the consistency of old love. We want love to be easy. We want to wake up in the morning and FEEL loved. It is one thing to FEEL loved, but it is another thing to KNOW you are loved. I KNOW, in my head, God loves me. I have been told it over and over and over since the day I was born. But, sometimes, I don’t FEEL loved. Things happen in life that cause me to FEEL unloved and forgotten.

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The Process of Living Loved

Normally, I approach these topics by revealing how I have overcome something that once hindered me. I am transparent, but only in showing where I have come from, more so than, where I am at currently. But, when I finally got myself to sit down and think on what it means to “live loved” I was stumped. I tried to think of an instance where I fully stepped into who I am, believing in God’s will for my life and who HE has called me to be. The issue is I am bad at receiving. When it comes to being drenched in the love of Christ, I am like the driest desert you can think of amidst the first rainfall it’s ever experienced.

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It’s Time to Truly Love Yourself

Feeling loved is one of life’s greatest accomplishments. Whether it’s from a family member, friend or a significant other, love is the one thing that keeps the world spinning. Finding the strength within your heart to give your love to others can oftentimes be too easy, but we do it because it’s what feels right and makes us feel whole. But, what about loving yourself and being able to confidently walk in the direction of your dreams because you are confident in who you are, and you love yourself whole-heartedly? That’s an entirely different story. Everyone has been there.

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Remembering to Live Loved

It’s so important to live loved and to realize you are not comparable to anyone else. No one will ever compare to you. In fact, from birth to death, your entire life, there is nobody in this world who could ever compare to you. You are so unique and loved. Don’t put yourself through the hardship of comparison. God loves every one of us the exact same. I don’t want anyone to experience the pain of feeling like they’re not good enough and loved less than others. Because it’s not true! God loves you so much. There is no one He loves more than you! 

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Pursuing Honest Reflections of Love

Someday, you have to stop caring. You have to give up, and you have to move on. You have to stop looking to others to see your reflection. Someday, you have to stop looking at all the ways in which you need to be fixed and start to love exactly who you are. It’s not easy not to care. People are quick to provide their input and judgements, and you’ll never run out of critiques if you go looking for them. In the most formative times of life, you can forget who you are and spend your time obsessing over who everyone thinks you are. It’s a run of faceless days ruled by the labels given to you. 

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Series Introduction: Live Loved

It’s nice to be loved, wouldn’t you agree? There is comfort and belonging found in the company of someone who truly loves you. When surrounded by people who deeply care for you, facing the world feels easier because you’re supported. But, with love, hurt almost always steals the goodness and joy that exists because of love. You see, no matter how deep another’s love burns for you, shortcomings and imperfections of our humanity will always hinder our perception of unconditional, real and pure love. That’s the beauty in knowing this truth—before you could earn love, it was already very much yours. You’ve been tirelessly working to grasp a hold of something that’s been in your possession for your entire life.

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The Secret to True Connection

I was once friends with a girl who kept her life very private. I never really knew when she was struggling or how her life was at home. She’d tell me about her latest boy crush and their brief, flirty text messages—but nothing more. We’d call ourselves “best friends” but I didn’t have a clue about her past. I couldn’t tell you what made her, well, her. Being the person I was, she knew a little bit more about me—but when it came to the skeletons in my closet, I only gave her a peek. I never felt safe to open myself up.

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You Can Trust Jesus with Your Pain

Vulnerability is something lots of people struggle with. But being vulnerable and having vulnerability is very important in life. Don’t be fearful in life! Instead, bring your problems and hurt to the feet of Jesus, and He will heal you! Don’t build a wall around yourself, your heart, or your life. Don’t push people away because you’re afraid of getting hurt. I saw the importance of vulnerability on a show once. There were two sisters, and they lost their mother when they were really young. When they grew up, the younger sister was in a relationship with someone and, in a way, avoiding him and pushing him away.

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Being Vulnerable Doesn’t Make You Weak

I’m a crier. If I have to talk about hard stuff, you can bet tears will be shed. However, if I’m not in the mood to cry, the walls stay up and I hold back. Let’s be real though, who is ever WANTING to cry? The bottom line here, honestly, is I don’t want people to think of me as weak or broken—so, I don’t cry. I don’t let them in. Vulnerability seems to come naturally to me—in some areas. I am realizing now I keep certain spaces of life secret and hidden away. I can’t seem to bring myself to publicly talk about the things that are hurting me most right now.

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How Vulnerability Saved My Life 

For me, there was no way to write this article without adequately paying homage to the master of understanding and embracing vulnerability: Brené Brown. Four years ago, I was sitting in the office of a psychologist as he tried to break down my outer protective shell and figure out exactly why I was there. Sure, I felt out of control, was dating someone who was damaging my mental and physical health, and was working over 30 hours a week plus taking a 19-credit course load, but “I was fine.” Sitting in the doctor’s office that first day, I was so nervous. He told me to look up a researcher/storyteller/general badass named Brené Brown and that she had a particularly great Ted Talk about vulnerability.

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Why Vulnerability is Worth the Risk

There is a cost to this life. A cost to relationships. A cost to connection. A cost to being human. Vulnerability comes with risk. The risk of rejection. The risk of betrayal. The risk of disappointment. There is a quote from one of Beth Moore’s studies that has always stuck with me. She was having a conversation with her daughter about God and her daughter said, “He knows it is hard to be us.” That has always stuck with me. God knows it is hard to be us. Jesus walked this earth as a man. He struggled. He was tempted. He knew pain. He knew what it was like to be betrayed by a close friend, to be denied by one of his best friends.

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Own Your Pain, You Will Survive It

I loathe conflict. I don't like people disliking me. I don't like to argue. I don't like to put myself in situations where I know I would be judged. I figure life has plenty of drama on its own—why seek it out? So, I dodge certain people in grocery aisles and delete typed responses to social media debates because I'm not about to march right under someone's microscope. I'm an introvert and an avoider, and I am fully aware of it. What I wasn't aware of was how honesty and transparency can throw you into the line of fire even faster than a good ol' opinionated comment. I avoided the spotlight, but telling my everyday stories to supermarket clerks and new acquaintances made the focus burn twice as bright.

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