Posts tagged advice
Your Habit Might be Toxic If...

We are a mixture of both healthy and toxic habits. Some of our routines serve us well, while others don’t propel us forward. So, why do we hold onto those that set us back? Good question… Perhaps, it’s because we tend to ignore our flaws. Or, maybe, we’re just downright ignorant to the things we’re doing that are actually hurting us. For the next few minutes, let’s take a good, honest and hard look at how we spend our days. Girl, put your pride aside for a second, and let’s be real with one another. We cannot fully embrace change if we don’t first give ourselves the time to take inventory of our day-to-day operations and rituals.

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5 Keys to Developing Healthy Habits

Be honest about where you are currently at. What is holding you back from developing this habit? Don’t pretend to be better at it than you currently are. Lying to yourself will only delay the development of the habit. Often times, we judge ourselves on our intent to do something. We give ourselves credit for wanting to change, but we never actually take the steps to change. This can hold us back from actually developing the healthy habits we want to make a regular part of our lives. Give up the excuses. Recognize you alone are responsible for the outcome. You can’t control every circumstance in your life, but you can control how you respond to those circumstances.

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Series Introduction: Habits

We are creatures of habit. Routines are unavoidable as we are naturally drawn to repetition and the familiar. It’s comfortable, predictable and safe. Have you ever considered just how odd it truly is for us to find belonging and purpose in the rhythm of routine? What cadence carries you through your day to day? Is it slow and harmonious, or frantic and high-strung? At times, perhaps it’s both. I would hope if you’re in a constant “go, go go” state of mind, you find moments to decompress. If not, that’s a whole different topic we can cover later this month. Since the beginning on this year, no… not even… let’s just say, lately, I’ve been really into the power of a routine and how the ebb and flow of a day can transform our ability to live fully.

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5 Steps to Lowering the Volume in Your Life

Silence is deafening to me. In fact, it’s one of my biggest fears. I find it terrifying because, to me, it means something is being forgotten: maybe it’s an errand, maybe it’s plans I made weeks ago and forgot to write down…maybe it’s me. The thing is, silence could—and for most, does—mean peace of mind. It could mean it’s time to relax or stand for fulfillment, or be the gateway to the best sleep I’ll ever have. For now, that kind of silence is unfamiliar. Whether it comes to work, side projects or even bettering myself personally, it’s undeniable that I’m a busy bee. There is so much buzzing that my silence could very well not be silence at all, so I’m taking steps to lower the volume—and, in case you’re like me, or on your way to be—I wanted to share exactly what those steps are.

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How Can You Love What's Been Lost?

I’m at a loss. I really am. When I sat down to write this, I didn’t think there would be an issue. Self-love? That’s simple. There are hundreds of step-by-step articles on how to love the person you are. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t love me at all. This is my fourth attempt at writing something, and it’s a struggle. Respect, admiration even, is felt, but I do not love the woman I see in the mirror. Everything about me has changed since becoming a wife and mother, and I’m not sure who I am. I’m not sure what I look like without my husband and son. I feel as lost as I did the first time I went blonde in middle school. My hair was mustard, and I was blindly searching for identity. I have wandered so deep into my roles at home I’m almost certain I’ve given myself away.

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The Great Pursuit

In the last few years, there has been a spiritual war on peace within my household. My husband and I both struggle with finding peace and contentment in the midst of his work and raising a child that needs a little more care than the average kiddo. The days have been full of triumphs, but we are constantly fighting the spirits of fear, frustration, and even FOMO. That's what the kids call the “fear of missing out.” Our life is much more restricted than the lives of our friends, and it's hard to ignore the isolation. Since this struggle with peace has gone on so long, it has begun to feel hopeless. I start to think if it hasn't changed by now, we will always live in this chaotic bubble of loneliness and frustration. It was not until the last couple of weeks that I've been focusing my prayers on what I can do.

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Love Yourself First: How to be Your Own Biggest Supporter

February is all about love. It's the month of course when we celebrate Valentine's Day and can be a very special time for couples, but you might be dreading it just a bit if you're single. Or perhaps you're in a relationship but never understood why you had to rush out and buy all the bouquets of flowers, chocolate candies and giant teddy bears you can find (not to mention the fact that many Valentine's Day displays seem to go up in stores right after Christmas)! If you're not so into the holiday or even if you are, maybe it's just a good time to shower yourself with some love and TLC — a reminder to take time for yourself. In that case, here's some tips from me to you. Self love for me is two parts — actually loving and appreciating yourself internally and secondly, the outward actions you do to keep yourself happy, healthy and full of love.  

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4 Success Tips for Dream Chasing

I would say I have always been a highly determined gal — except for those lost teen years where all I cared about were boys and how my hair looked. Sure, motivation could very well be an innate trait the good Lord blessed me with, but as far as ambition is concerned, I developed that. After a rough breakup at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I slowly began the search for myself and my identity — as I had lost it all in him and the joke that was our relationship. It felt as if a forgotten switch was finally turned on, never to be turned off again — not for anyone or anything. Let me tell you, girl... I never felt more alive or more me than the moment I realized I was better on my own. 

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Messy Bun Ambition

We live in a sweatpants and messy bun generation, and I don’t exactly dislike it. We search for comfort and the cozy feeling of the hygge lifestyle. I’ve been known to brag about how many sherpa-lined socks and cute animal pajama pants I have. These days, embracing and striving for comfort is just as much a sign of a successful life as getting the dream job. It seems if you can afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing, you’ve made it somehow. My super soft, sloth PJ pants are a prized possession, but I’ve seen the dark side of comfort. The desire to spend a few hours doing nothing is a powerful one, and that desire will always win unless you fight it.

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The Fine Line Between Ambition and Obsession

Ambition is a word that has been tripping me up quite a bit lately. Standing at a complicated crossroads of sorts, I have had a lot of time to think about my own ambitions, the things that are important to me and the kind of woman I am still striving to become. Caught between others’ expectations of me, pressures from my job, and the need to finally strike out on my own, these thoughts have found a home in my brain over the past year. How does ambition shape our lives and how do differing interests and motivations affect the way we go after our dreams?

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Series Introduction: Ambition

We are only a few days into this new year and I don’t know about yours, but my social media feed is consumed by cliché resolutions and novel-length reflections of the year gone. Sure, I’ll appreciate the idea of a fresh start as much as the next girl — but so what? Setting goals to better yourself and pursue your passion is great, but at the end of the day it’s not enough. The bottom line is: you cannot have ambition without action. Period. End of story.  So, if you’ve set a resolution for yourself in the new year, then you’ve got ambition, girl! That’s the first step.

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4 Ways to Let Go of Comparison and Hold onto Joy

How often our thoughts are consumed with the belongings and blessings we lack. What we don’t have, another does — that’s just the way the world works. But, we grow consumed with the idea, in order to be happy in life, we must have everything we desire — even if it isn’t for us. So, we bow down to envy and unleash this terribly ugly part of ourselves we should have just kept hidden to begin with. And, all for what? So deep down we can feel better about our life because we’re at least “holding onto” a dream or goal that sure looks good on someone else — so naturally, it’d look good on us.

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Happiness or Joy? Does it Really Matter?

December is known as the season of joy, but what does that really mean? Is there a difference between happiness and joy? I guess I've never really thought about it. In preparation for this blog post based on joy, I did some research and found most agree happiness is more of a temporary emotion, but joy is an attitude of the heart. However, it's also said happiness is a synonym of joy. OK, so let's go with that train of thinking, because I don't tend to separate out joy and happiness — in my mind at least. December is said to be the most wonderful time of year, bringing us the most joy.

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Contented Joy

I didn't begin to understand the joy that can be found in contentment until life got real. Dealing with the stress of taking care of a home and family, raising a gorgeous boy with special needs, and reaching a clinical level of anxiety, all had a way of changing my perspective. Living in my real, grown-up life, I yearn for contentment. I still have goals. I'm still striving to live the life God has prepared for me, but my greatest accomplishment is feeling the blessing of every second.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Joyous During the Holidays

Tis the season! The holidays are here which means everyone is struggling with something. Whether it’s the shopping, the cooking, the travel or even just a pesky cousin, everybody feels pressure around the holidays. And as impossible as it may seem, you can find some joy… even in the moments that seem most trying. At the end of the day, holiday celebrations are just that: a celebration. It’s the end of yet another year—remember this time of year gives you the opportunity to relax and get a little space from your everyday routine.

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Choosing to Be Grateful

I woke up crabby this week. Nothing was really wrong, but nothing seemed right either. I just wanted to sit on the couch and do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Have you ever had one of those days? Where you just feel blah. You can’t really put words to it, but you just know that you don’t feel right. If I’m not careful, those types of days can take me down a dangerous rabbit hole of emotions. Suddenly things that were a little annoying are world shattering. Emotions I had been keeping successfully at bay, are right on the edge of eruption. Tiny failures become gigantic roadblocks. Missed opportunities feel like throw-in the-towel, it’s-never-going-to-get-better, why-do-I-even-bother-trying, do-I even-have-a-purpose-on-this-earth moments.

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How to Have a God-Honoring Breakup

Perhaps this breakup isn’t the end but a new beginning. God found me in my mess and I met Jesus throughout the darkest times of my life. He changed me, when I shifted my perspective onto him. Back in 2015, I wrestled with depression and anxiety after a breakup with a guy who at that point, as far as I was concerned, was the love of my life. There aren’t words to explain all the emotions I rummaged through. I felt empty, worthless... I felt broken and stressed and had nowhere else to look.

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3 Tips for Successful Small Talk

Growing up, I thought being an extrovert was a good thing and being an introvert was a bad thing. I was always taught an extrovert was outgoing, friendly, and a lot of fun — and an introvert was quiet, shy, and timid. Anytime I had to take a personality quiz, I would try to pick the answers that would make me an extrovert. I thought that was what I was supposed to be — and if it says it on a piece of paper, then it must be true! It wasn’t until adulthood that I learned the deeper definitions of extrovert and introvert.

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A Perfect Father Who Always Knows Best

For as long as I can remember, I wanted a family. I grew up as an only child, and I was determined to give my kids plenty of siblings, a pristine home, and a golden retriever just like Comet from "Full House." I was so certain this dream fit who I was — and I held onto it into adulthood. Fast forward to my late 20s, and I'm ready to have my perfect little picture. Fairly quickly, God let me know my plans weren't His.

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4 Steps to Showing Others Grace

When someone you love betrays your trust or disregards your feelings, it hurts like no other. Relationships aren’t perfect, yet we hold them to this impossible standard of excellence. Why do we continue to set our expectations so high when it comes to our loved ones? We know there will come a time when they will let us down again, so how can we relieve the pressure?

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