Posts tagged honesty
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 God Must Be at the Center of Our Quest for Identity

Growing up, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about my identity. I didn’t sit at home and ponder why I was the way I was. I didn’t spend much time contemplating my decisions or trying to be a certain way. I was just me. For the most part, I really liked who I was. But as an adult, I began to process my identity more and more. Why did I act a certain way? Why did people say hurtful things about me? Why did that situation bother me so much? Why was I the way I was? What was my identity?

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Series Introduction: Identity

How many times have you found yourself lost in a search for who you are? Or, in the middle of a trying season, you look in the mirror and hardly recognize yourself? I think we’ve all been in and out of the “Who am I?” phases of life. This world is constantly trying to knock us down and wreck our spirits. It’s in those moments of barely hanging on, we can feel so far away from our true selves. When we talk about identity, we either feel confident and empowered or uncertain and fearful. Feeling good in our own skin makes us brave, while not knowing who we are scares the heck out of us. Maybe, for some of us, we are lingering in the space between.

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The Miracle that Changed Everything: A Car Wreck Survival Story

“I distinctly remember my hands turning the wheel to the right and my car was resisting and still going straight. Next thing I knew, my car was over a cliff and the last thing I saw was a stream of water below me before I tightly closed my eyes.” Have you ever lived through an experience you cannot find the words to explain? Born and raised Montana girl, Chaeney Latimer survived this deadly car wreck of 2010 completely unscathed — a miracle merely unexplainable. Despite the ways this accident defied all laws of gravity and science, one thing remains true: Chaeney’s life was not destined to end that day. After finishing her sophomore year of college, Chaeney packed all of her belongings into her red Toyota Cobalt and set her sights on home.

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Peace in the Eye of the Storm

I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness. I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere. I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father.

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The Day I Traded Peace for Panic, and How I Got it Back

My heart was racing. I couldn’t catch my breath. What was happening? Was I having a heart attack? I’m in my thirties, and I’m a runner —certainly my heart is fine. But why can’t I breathe? I took my phone into the closet and frantically searched Google for the signs of a heart attack. What I found made me feel better and worse all at the same time. Thankfully, I was not having a heart attack! Unfortunately, I was having a panic attack. I had never experienced this before. I laid on the floor and focused on breathing in deep, trying to get this horrible feeling to pass.  Life was so out of control. We had just made our second big move in three years. Starting over again. New friends. New jobs. New places. I was just beginning to feel settled in our last town, and now I needed to start all over.

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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Anchored in Love: My Healing Journey

Then, years later, the crash came. I’d managed for so long, but in the fall of 2016, my weary body started firing symptoms like sirens. I reluctantly put myself back into the hands of a doctor, and after running another panel of tests, she found the mysterious bacteria that had been oppressing my body for almost a decade. We were shocked and relieved, and I immediately entered into the necessary but brutal treatment. Love carried me through those months. The love of my husband who wrapped me in blankets every day just to get me into fresh air. The love of my friends who met me where I was at — in my bed. The love of my family who helped care for me. And mostly, the love of my Creator, who planted a peace in my heart not even the tears could wash away.

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I Love Myself, That's What Matters

Self-love is something I've struggled with. I struggle with comparison. I'm always comparing myself to others. I think that's brought me down a lot of times, and it's made me feel insecure. Another big thing for me is feeling judged — it's never fun to feel like you're constantly being judged by others. In these situations, it has really helped me to remember God loves me.

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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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Leaving Apathy Behind

Getting caught up on the stress of life produces a wide range of terrible emotions. I get scared I'll never catch up. I get sad that I might never feel like I'm enough. But I think the worst thing I often feel in those moments is nothing. Apathy is a frequent opponent of joy. It's also one of my favorite modes of survival. Just a few days ago, I noticed I get frustrated a lot less than I used to. I used to cry when my son woke me up at 3 a.m. for the third night in a row. I used to contemplate the meaning of my life and get a little snippy with God. At face value, the level of calm I've managed to reach seems like a positive change. However, after a few minutes of thought, I realized I hadn't matured in my ability to process.

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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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Inspiring Story of Strength From Breast Cancer Survivor

Enduring life’s most unexpected, painful journeys teaches one’s soul how to be resilient. When 54-year-old Conni Colella-Ersland found a small lump in her breast in June 2000, she was about to grow a whole lot stronger — because of the battle ahead. When she was in her 20s, Conni’s gynecologist diligently reminded her to have her first mammogram at the age of 35. But, when the time came to follow her doctor’s instructions, the American Medical Association changed the age recommendation to 40 and Conni was told to wait another five years. It was only a few short months later when she discovered the nickel-sized lump in her left breast. 

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Curbing Loneliness with Fake Love

I allowed my loneliness to lower my standards when it came to men. I mended my heartbreak with any bit of attention that would come my way — it didn’t take much for a guy to mysteriously wrap me around his sneaky little finger. But, as you can imagine, any kind of relationship built on a rocky foundation of settling and fragility never ends well. I continuously set myself up for rejection, hurt and loss of interest. In the midst of my loneliness, I allowed myself to experience unhealthy bouts of fake “love” because in my head it was better than being alone.

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Be Broken No More

Life comes with a load of brokenness. Depending on the season we’re walking through, sometimes our haul is manageable and other times we find ourselves huffing from exhaustion. Brokenness comes in many different forms and takes on personas we hoped it never would. I’ve experienced brokenness lately in an array of different shapes and sizes, each carrying its own burden. A few weeks ago I received a rejection letter for a fellowship I applied for. That thing took every little piece of me. I had never worked so hard at something and to see it all fall away is hard to accept.

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Series Introduction: Heartbreaks & Band-Aids

Hearts are the very source of life. It keeps blood, character and passion pumping through our veins. Our hearts beat with love for that which brings us joy — and, for the moments that inspire us beyond measure. Although it’s an organ with so much strength and capacity for happiness, it is no stranger to the slightest bit of pain. The human heart is incredible but yet, it can be frail and unsteady at times. I’d like to believe every emotion we feel stems from the heart. Think about it — in times of utter excitement, it feels as if your heart could explode. Or, in a moment of hurt, the heart feels heavy and burdened.

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No Makeup, No Worries

I recently participated in my first photo shoot. I’m definitely not a model, but I was happy to help our very own Crowned Chics founder Nikki Charnstrom with a project she was working on for Angelic Magazine. It wasn’t just any photo shoot, though. It was a photo shoot without *gasp* makeup — and I didn’t think twice about saying yes. Don’t get me wrong; I’m definitely a girl who loves her lip-gloss, eyeliner and more. I’m even that girl who brings my makeup to work in the morning, so I can put it on before everyone gets there and not be late for work — but there was definitely something empowering about not having to wear anything!

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The Crown of Motherhood

As I sit by the pool and watch my children play frisbee, I am so thankful I wear the crown of motherhood. It has not been an easy crown, but it has been so worth it. I first put on this crown almost 16 years ago as my oldest son entered the world. His delivery almost killed him, but God’s grace is bigger than a doctor’s human error. People used to ask if he was a good baby and I never really knew how to answer.

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