Posts tagged strong women
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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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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How Not to Become a Creature of Habit

There’s that age-old phrase about being a “creature of habit.” We all know someone who gets into one routine—one way of thinking, one way of doing—and neglects trying new things. Whether it’s trying spaghetti squash for the first time in place of noodles or spending every night the same as the last, it’s easy to leave forward-thinking behind and keep from trying something different. But when you break out from your usual mold and try things that aren’t familiar to you, you’ll find your life and entire being will be better for it. The key to happiness is finding the things that excite you most. If you’re stuck in your ways and unwilling to try anything new, you may spend your entire life missing out on the one thing you were meant to 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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Learn to Say ‘No’ and Put Yourself First

This year, I have made one resolution: put myself first more often. Sometimes self-love is easier said than done. I would love to get a biweekly mani/pedi or read more books but finding the time to do these things can be hard when you have commitments to your loved ones and your job. This last year, I found myself more stressed than I had ever been before due to the fact that I wasn’t taking enough time to decompress and enjoy my time off. We’re almost a month into the new year and although it’s been difficult to change my ways, I’m learning to take more time to gather my thoughts and do the things I 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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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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Finding Fatherly Love Amidst Heartache

When I was a little girl, my dad had a wife who hurt me deeply with piercing words of my worthlessness for years. Even though I only spent a few months with her each year as I was growing up, she had one of the greatest impacts on my heart and self-image as a child. She hurt my heart deeply. She convinced me I was lacking value — that I would never be as good as her daughter, that I was a liar and a waste of space. Each day my dad would leave for work in the summer, I felt abandoned. I felt left behind.

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The Day My Marriage Broke My Heart

I remember sitting on the bed, six months pregnant with our second son, feeling as if my world had stopped. This person who had promised to love me for the rest of our lives just told me he wouldn’t choose me. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. My heart was broken that day. My dreams for the future seemed so very far away. What was I supposed to do? I felt so very, very unloved. And yet, I had made a commitment to love this man for the rest of my life. How could I love someone who didn’t love me back? I made the choice to honor my covenant, even when it hurt so very much. Even when I wanted to leave. Even when he wasn’t honoring his.

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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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Once a Victim, Now a Victor

Roughly three years ago, I faced one of the darkest times of my life. I was finishing up college in a beautiful mountain town just two hours from home. I flourished here. I found out a lot about myself I hadn’t known before and I felt so strong, so independent. Then, one night, everything changed. I am struggling to tell you this because this is a story I have never told publicly — and most definitely never in writing in such detail. But, Crowned Chics is a place for honesty and I promise to always communicate with you in a real way. OK, here it goes…

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The 'Why' Behind the Struggle

I’ve always been a worrier. Even when I was little, I would periodically go through different habits and quirks that helped me deal with the anxious feelings I experienced. It didn’t feel like anything abnormal, so I never considered it a unique issue. I worried. So what? I dealt with it. Well, then, I had my first panic attack. In May of 2017, just hanging out at my house, I started to feel like something was wrong. I was shaking, I felt all tingly, and my heart rate seemed to be racing. I was convinced my heart was giving out or something similar.

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God Defines Beauty, Not Me

Before I fell in love with Jesus and took the time to learn the truth about who He made me to be, I was always desperately searching for ways to become beautiful. I thought beauty was something to gain outwardly. Every morning I would wake up, watch YouTube tutorials on how to beautify my face (since I had no idea how to do makeup without assistance) and put on an outfit I had spent hours planning out over the weekend.

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Being Vulnerable is Actually Beautiful

The most beautiful people aren’t those who always come across as confident, successful and put together. True beauty can be found in the moments when a long day finally gets the best of you and you allow yourself to have a full-on breakdown. True beauty is admitting you made a mistake and accepting the fallout. True beauty lies in the moments when you embrace your faults and accept the fact that you’ll never fully live up to other’s standards. Because letting yourself be vulnerable is just as hard as achieving the perfect winged eyeliner or molding your body to fit into a size two.

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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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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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Embracing Life’s Unexpected Crowns

My husband Aaron and I were so excited and full of anticipation as the tech started the ultrasound. We were pregnant with our third child. We had two beautiful girls already and I found myself secretly hoping for a baby boy. I was consumed with knowing and had anticipated this day for quite some time — all 21 weeks of pregnancy!  We loved the natural approach to childbirth and pregnancy, fully believing I was born for this motherhood role. Our midwife always gave us an option of having an ultrasound, it wasn’t mandatory. I had to know who this little baby was going to be!

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Put on Your Crown of Personal Acceptance

In a world where beauty seems to be defined in materialistic, physical attributes, it can be difficult to find the truth in it all. While there is nothing wrong with dressing your lips in a pop of color and strapping on your favorite pair of heels, beauty goes much deeper. What if we leveraged our God-given beauty to carry ourselves through the day? We couldn’t help but walk a tad bit taller as we shamelessly fall in love with the skin we’re in — wearing our crown of acceptance.

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Removing the Crown of Self-Deception

We lie to ourselves. Over and over again throughout the day without even a pause to consider Is it true? We lie over and over until it becomes true for us, and while this could be a useful method to create something beautiful in our lives, we often unwittingly abuse our own power by affirming what we don’t want.

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