I Am So Much More

In a Rapunzel frame at Shanghai Disneyland

I was able to go to Shanghai Disneyland which was wonderful.

Knowing limits is good. I need to remember that I do not have the superpower of speed to get ready for the day in five minutes. Nor can anyone read minds. We cannot fly, breathe under water, live without food or water, etc.  Limits can be helpful.

However, they can also be a hinder. So many times, I have let limits on myself – whether inflicted by me or others – that have hurt me. There were things that I was and wasn’t, limits set and dreams shattered.

This past year has shown me that I am more than my limitations. I need to stop living bound to my past or my struggles.

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To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

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The Fear of Saying “No”

Stepping onto a stone

“By stepping outside your comfort zone to do something peculiar, you confirm that you can do more than you’ve done. Move out!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“No” is one of my least favorite words. I hate saying it to people for numerous reasons. However, the main reason stems from fear.

Fear of them being hurt, upset, or unhappy. Fear of them disliking me, thinking I dislike them, or being rejecting. An even darker fear underlies most of these: fear of how they will retaliate.

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Can Someone Objectify You Based on Purity?

FlowerThroughout youth group and college chapels, the ideas of modesty and purity were drilled into my head. Even at a younger age, I was already being told what I shouldn’t do or wear or say. Being good was one of my main goals in life, so I took all of these lessons extremely seriously and still do.

However, one talk that no one in my youth group ever gave me was how to stay safe. No one spoke about abuse, assault, or manipulation at my university. If the concept of safety even came up, it was quickly glossed over as one of the pros of being modest or acting like a good girl. Thus, all I could discern about staying safe was the more innocent and pure I was, the safer I would stay.

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When the Shaking Starts

Meeting Kylo Ren

Meeting Kylo Ren

My feet are firmer on the ground than previous times in my life. My heart does not trip over itself while scrambling to get away from a new person quite as often. My smile usually feels real instead of plastered onto my face.

Yet, there are still moments when the shaking starts. When my head begins to whirl and my breath comes in rapid puffs. When I feel like if I see another person or anyone touches me, I will break down in tears.

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Keep Treading the Water

Willows over water

Living in recovery (or at least attempting to) is strange. At times, the current sweeps you under and pins you under the water until you feel your lungs about to burst. Other times, the water seems like a calm pool, perhaps even enjoyably cool and refreshing.

Then there are days, weeks, months, years when you are just treading the water. You aren’t about to drown, but your feet certainly do not touch the ground to stabilize you. Each recovery-based choice takes considerable effort and seems like a waste most of the time. However, making those healthy choices is not impossible.

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Judging a Job as Fulfilling or Not

Sorcerer Mickey

I love working for this guy!

A few days ago, someone watched me for a few moments greeting people at my job. “Wow, you sure have a fulfilling job,” he intoned sarcastically. “Telling people to go this way and then that way.”

Surprised and rather annoyed, I looked him right in the eye. “I actually love my job.”

“Sure, for now.” He laughed. Heat rushed to my face as I struggled not to cry. It”s not a big deal, I tried to think. But his words still stung.

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Guess I’m a Little Salty about That

“I’m just going to be single for life. There is nothing wrong with that, and that’s the way I want it!” I declared in (what I thought was) a confident voice.

“Sure…” My friend remarked, looking unconvinced.

“What? There are people who are single and fine with it.” I responded with a bit less bluster.

“Yes, but I am pretty sure they don’t say it the way that you just said that. Girl, you’re a little bit salty.”

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Where Do You Feel Your Anxiety?

Girl sadly thinking "what now"

Anxiety and depression are so similar but also so different. 

Lately, I have been trying to pay attention to where I feel my anxiety. Often it buzzes in my head or clenches my rib cage. Sometimes it inches its way across my body to another location.

However, everyone experiences anxiety differently. Where do you feel anxiety? All people experience it even people who are not diagnosed with anxiety. We all have our moments.

Bye Bye Worry

I have trouble saying “Goodbye” to my worries. However, it is possible.

Chocolate Vent

Have you ever worried about something, so much so to the point where you found
yourself not being able to stop thinking about it , or even lay awake all night long?

Have you ever questioned or second-guessed a decision you made, or had regrets in regards
to the outcome of a previous relationship?

The Word reminds how there’s no use in worrying about something, because it won’t help the situation either way (Matthew 6:25-27)

Worrying about something only leaves you stressed out; nothing good comes from it.

Worrying is also an indicator that you haven’t given something totally over to the Lord; instead of casting the care, you’ve decided to take it on yourself – I’ve definitely been there before more than once in my own personal life.

What I’ve come to realize though, is that ultimately, God is in control – there’s nothing I could say, or could…

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