Posts tagged women who write
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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Unrefined, but Loved, Creation in Progress

There are dozens of versions of me I imagined as a child. Research scientist, doctor, gymnast, and a dozen more before I graduated high school. Even when I thought I had figured things out in college, my path changed again. The older I got, the more reality hit, and the more I worried I would see myself as a disappointment. I wasn't in med school. I wasn’t on my way to six figures. I didnt know how to reconcile the dreams I had as a kid with the reality of my desires and abilities as an adult. How could I look at myself in the mirror if I just became "this?” Who would care about the girl who does "that" for a living?

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It is Christ Who Knows Me

Before opening up my phone to find out this month’s topic, I found myself talking to my sweet friend Julia about where we find our worth/affirmation. We were discussing times we strived to get the approval of those we felt reflected the Lord through their lives most. Leaders, friends, you name it.  We came to this common realization that we felt like we had been letting down the Lord when the leaders in our circle weren’t calling out the good things we did or the kind people we are. It was as if the people we admired had the authority to judge us in the same way our God does, but not because God said so. We had given them this power.

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Cultivating the Habit of Happiness

Happiness hasn’t been my best friend lately. I’ve been walking through a pretty gloomy season of grief, loss and some might even call it depression. Although, even in the darkest moments, happiness finds me like a ray of golden sunshine. When it does, oh my goodness do I cling to it, girlfriend. Times of sadness are unavoidable, and frankly, we can’t be happy every hour of every day. So, what am I saying? While we might not be able to control the times when we experience real happiness, we can begin to nurture and love ourselves into it. Becoming aware of the importance of being happy is the first step to allowing the light to obliterate the darkness.

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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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Making Peace with Mornings

For years my method for waking was hitting the snooze button until the very last possible minute. Rolling out of bed and throwing on the nearest clothes and rushing out the door with the philosophy that I can get anywhere in Flagstaff in five minutes from my house, no problem. It was never true and I was almost always late, edgy from not eating and drinking only coffee. I didn’t plan lunch, so I’d get cranky and shaky until I’d finally rush to Subway or Taco Bell, or go home and make an American cheese and mayonnaise pickle sandwich. Mornings aren’t my favorite time of day.

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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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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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A Better Life, One Day at a Time

This is my year of habit changes. I decided I wouldn't start a new diet or begin journaling again. Instead, I would change my habits, trusting these new behaviors would snowball into a better quality of life. Though it may not work for everyone, I like to give myself timeframes. A month is usually a perfect amount of time to stop or start a habit. You also get that rush of renewal that comes from new beginnings, and I need any inspiration I can get. I don't look beyond that month. I don't let myself get in over my head. I just dedicate myself to the decided time. I've grown too comfortable in my bad habits, and I am flush with hope they can be changed. 

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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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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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The Importance of Peace for the Working Lady

One day, I decided my mindset had to change because thinking about your job 100-percent of the time will bring you nothing but stress and anxiety. There’s a reason people have days off—you lose your mind when you don’t pay attention to the peaceful moments your brain relies on to properly function. If finding a peaceful moment means logging off of email and closing your laptop, do it. Your work will be there in the morning and unless you’re a brain surgeon, you can probably leave the message unread for a few hours. Spend these limited hours doing things for yourself and as hard as it may be, don’t let your long day of work and responsibility leave you dry and uninspired. Blog, read, knit, play with your kids, or go for a sunset drive. Find the things that bring you most peace and prioritize those moments.

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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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To the Girl Who Can't Love Herself... [An Audio Letter]

At what point in your life did you first feel uncomfortable in your own body? Do you remember the very first moment you were embarrassed with yourself? Or, when did you first feel the pressure to look and be like everyone else? How about that first moment you looked into the mirror, like you’d always done before, but instantly everything changed? When you entered this world, you felt no shame, no fear, and there was certainly no judgment. Your itty-bitty frame, delicate and soft, was absolute perfection. The way you arrived into existence was a bonafide miracle, and that’s damn right beautiful. So, what happened to her?

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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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Why Applause Doesn’t Make You Somebody

In a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, talked about the impact winning had on his life. He said, “I walked onto that stage a nobody and left it as somebody.”  The crowd erupted in applause, and the judges nodded in agreement — but my heart broke. I wanted to reach through the screen and tell Mr. Potts he was a somebody long before he walked on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent. Perhaps, he was not well known. Maybe he wasn’t asked to sing for the queen or to perform all over the world. Likely, only a handful of people knew he could sing and appreciated the gift he had been given. But, he was not a nobody.

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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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I Am All He Says I Am

If I were to treat others the way I treat myself, I wouldn’t be the nicest person. I am so hard on myself as I am sure most people can relate to. I don’t take compliments from others well and I am even more so challenged in the area of complimenting myself. It is so much harder for me to look inward than it is for me to look into the hearts of others. I love telling people how wonderfully made they are. I’d even say I have more recently developed a sixth sense of seeing people through God’s eyes. To look at people and ask God to show me who they are growing into is one of my favorite pastimes.

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