Confidence

First of all, lets pretend like it hasn’t been an embarrassingly huge amount of time between me posting this and my last blog post.

The topic of confidence, more specifically self confidence, has been heavy on my heart for a while. Tonight, the night that I’m writing this, I felt God encouraging me to write about this. More often than not when I write a blog post with a specific topic in mind, I write it more for myself and then find that I am definitely not the only one who needs to hear the same thing I did. These posts are my therapy and I know for a fact that they can be therapeutic to others as well.

To be frank, my confidence has been at an all time low lately. I’m not going to even try to make it sound better than it really is. There is no eloquent way to say that sometimes I feel stupid, unimportant, unwanted, and most of all just plain ugly. I preach self love and acceptance all the time but lately I cannot make myself believe it and it hurts. I know that the enemy is attacking me because a few months ago I was feeling the best that I had in a while. The devil hates to see us succeed. Reminding myself that these negative self thoughts are the work of the devil and that they are most definitely LIES has been the hardest part of this whole thing.

I don’t this to be a pity party for me but I am being 100% open and honest – When I’m talking to people I’m so afraid that I’m going to stumble on my words or say something wrong that I’d rather just not talk. When I’m out and about and I notice someone look at me, I convince myself that they’re calling me just about any negative thing that you can say about another person. When I dress up I’m afraid people will say that I look stupid and if I dress in a t-shirt and jeans or shorts I’m afraid that people will think that I look like a slob.  I’m afraid of meeting new people because I’m not good at making conversation and that can sometimes be mistaken as being uninterested and rude and I’m so scared of being disliked. I realize that if you’ve never felt like this before I probably sound really crazy. Again, this is me being open and honest, I feel disgusting. I feel ugly. I hate having my picture taken more than anything anymore. I hate seeing people that I haven’t seen in a while because I’m convinced that they’re calling me ugly and disgusting in their heads. I feel like I’m trapped in a prison. If you keep up with my blog, you would know that this is not the only time that the enemy has attacked me mentally and I trust that I will defeat him again and again. But I admit that it’s freakin hard. The enemy is very good at convincing us that no one understands what we’re going through so that we won’t talk to people. He makes us feel as alone as he possibly can. I wish that I had a more positive ending to this but this is where I am right now. If this is you too then know that the this is the work of the enemy and that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. (Psalm 39:4 — I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.) If this isn’t you, I pray that you can learn to be sensitive to your friends who are feeling similar to this. Lift people up and encourage them always. Words of affirmation can do more than you know. Remember to love your people. 

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Confidence

Houseplants

OK listen up, you can totally skip this first part. I’m gonna talk a little bit about my life so if you’re like “Hey I don’t care about your life, just get to the plants, crazy lady!!” then I don’t blame you at all and I would probably do the same thing. SOOOO I haven’t written a blog post in a LONG time and as much as I would love to make many excuses, I can’t do that to you. My main reason for not blogging is that I have been so extremely uninspired. Other reasons include, but are not limited to: laziness, my computer broke, school has been hectic, life in general has been hectic, and again (just for emphasis), laziness.

I’ve been so in love with houseplants over the past few months and I want to share that love with some more people so I figured I would write a little bit about some good, cute, and most importantly, EASY TO CARE FOR houseplants. I know there’s so many people who love plants but don’t know how to care for them, but let me tell you this one thing: Plants are not as intimidating as they seem! This is especially true when you first dip your toes in the water with the right starter houseplants. Here are a few of my favorites.

  1. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue/Sansevieria trifasciata

Image result for snake plantThese plants are obviously beautiful and I think have such a unique look. I bought mine at IKEA a few months ago and I absolutely love it. These are a super easy-to-care for plant. They can survive in bright light but do best in indirect sunlight, which really means in a well-lit room but not too close to the windows. They generally only need to be watered every 1-2 weeks depending on the size of the plant. I water mine every 10 days. I’ll post pictures of all of my plants at the end of the post for reference. These plants are also one of, if not, the best plants for air-purifying and therefore aid a better nights sleep. I would recommend everyone get a snake plant in their bedroom for this purpose, if not already for the beauty of them alone. These can pretty much be found at any place that sells houseplants.

2. Bird’s Nest Fern

Image result for birds nest fernThis was the first plant that I’ve ever owned and mine is already over a year old. These are not as common as the other ones on my list but it is a trooper so I had to include it on this list. For the 9-10 months that I had this plant I didn’t even know what it was. I pretty much learned how to care for it through trial and error and made up my own watering schedule. I bought it at IKEA as well and lost the paper that told me what it was. I think these are so cute and so easy to care for. Mine has survived being in a brightly lit room as as well as a dimly lit hallway, so I would say that this one is good wherever you place it. I water mine every 7 days and give it a good spray of water every 3-5 days because it is a tropical plant. Over-all, this plant is easy going and super cute for the home or office.

3. Succulents

Image resultThese babies are super easy starter plants for people who are wanting to get into plants but just don’t know if they can keep up with a watering schedule. Besides just absolute neglect, the only real way to kill one of these is actually overwatering. These have become so stinkin popular over the past few years and for good reason, they are absolutely adorable. There are many, many different types of succulents, however, and each type requires its own care. I own two, a Burro’s Tail/Sedum Morganianum and a String of Pearls/Senecio Rowleyanus. Neither are the typical plant that you would think of when you hear “succulent” but they are beautiful babies nonetheless. Emphasis on the “babies” part because mine are actually baby plants so they don’t look like the ones in the following examples right now, but they will one day. 🙂

Burro’s Tail
Image result for burros tail

String of PearlsImage result for string of pearls succulent

4. ZZ Plant/Zanzibar Gem/Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Related imageAfter reading that third scientific name do you see why its called a ZZ Plant now? If you’re in the market for your first houseplant LOOK NO FURTHER. These pretty plants are EXTREMELY easy to care for. These can do well in low light. (Check!) They don’t need much watering. (Check!) They require very little attention in general. (Check!!!) If you buy a ZZ Plant and somehow manage to kill it I would actually give you $5 because they are just THAT easy. Not to mention very, very cute.

If you follow me on any social medias, you probably know that I love my plants and plants in general. After having my own houseplants, they make the idea of buying fake so silly. Why have fake when you can have the real deal? There is a sense of pride when caring for your own plant and watching it grow and succeed due to your attentive care and love. I will include below pictures of my plants, but only the ones I talked about in this post. I may do another post all about all of my plants and a more in-depth care tips soon just because I love talking about them. As always, if you have any questions at all about the plants I mentioned, where to buy plants, and beginners care tips then please feel free to tweet me or direct message me on twitter or instagram, which are both linked here. Now, enjoy pictures of some of my plant babies (in order of appearance, mostly)

Houseplants

One Week With No Makeup: Follow-Up

This past week was something I never thought I would do. I became so dependent on makeup that I never thought I could ever go out without it. My goal for forcing myself to go one full week without any makeup whatsoever was to be able to 1. appreciate my natural God-given beauty and not derive all self-worth in a painted face and 2. to eventually become comfortable enough in my own skin to make going without makeup a more common thing for me. I found that I was wearing makeup because I felt like I had to and not because I wanted to.

On top of this challenge in itself, I also challenged myself to 5 mini-challenges this week as well.

no makeup challenges

Challenge 1: SUCCESS! I used to feel like I was never fully “ready” for the day if I didn’t have my makeup done. I wanted this week to show me that I can still dress up like I like to but I don’t have to wear a full face (or any makeup at all) to be ready for the day.

Challenge 2: SUCCESS! I was so terrified to do this and I thought that I would put this off until the last day of the challenge, but I surprised myself and did it pretty early on! I got a lot of positive feedback and kind words which really gave me the boost I needed to get through the week with confidence. I am so thankful for all of the positivity and kindness, more than I can express.

Challenge 3: SUCCESS! I feared that I would become a recluse this week. I was scared that I would be hesitant to leave the house as often as I usually do because I wouldn’t be wearing any makeup. This was not true!! I left the house just as often as I would on a regular week and did not for a second allow my lack of makeup rule my life.

Challenge 4: SUCCESS! I was so afraid that when I would see people I know or meet new people that they would think I was either sick or just don’t care about my appearance enough to wear makeup — as twisted and backwards as that sounds. This week taught me that people are not nearly as critical of me as I am of myself. I was never treated differently and no one in my everyday life ever even said anything or noticed unless I had told them about it before. My own mom didn’t even notice until I told her on my last day of no makeup that I hadn’t worn it in a week.

Challenge 5: SUCCESS! This is something that actually came on in about the middle of the week. I struggle a lot with my self-confidence and self-image and I am very critical of myself and I just assume that everyone else is too. This week I learned that that is definitely not true. I also have come to like my bare face just as much as my face when its covered in makeup.

This week was a blessing, for sure. I learned so much about myself and about self-love and I am so thankful for the confidence that I gained during this past week. From now on, I will only wear makeup when I really want to and not everyday because I feel like I have to. I will say, I did really miss putting on makeup every morning because I find that very fun and therapeutic. However, on Friday when I wore makeup again, I actually missed being bare faced. It was so nice to be able to rub my eyes, itch my nose, and not have to worry about reapplying lipstick.

The outcomes of this week have been even greater than the outcomes that I hoped would come of this experiment. I said this in my last post, but if you are struggling with self confidence or if you feel like you are wearing makeup because you have to and not because you want to, just try this out. I am so happy that I forced myself to try this out. This definitely changed my outlook on makeup. As always, thank you for spending a little bit of your day, or night, with me. xoxo

One Week With No Makeup: Follow-Up

No Makeup for a WEEK?!

To some people, this probably seems stupid and I know that not everyone will think me putting down the makeup for a full seven days is that big of a deal, but it is for me. I have been wearing makeup for 8 years. What started out as just fun and something to do slowly became something to hide behind, almost like I was addicted. Again, this may sound so stupid and overly dramatic to some people but I began to feel like I couldn’t leave my house and go anywhere without at least foundation on. I had become 100% reliant on makeup.

This week, starting on Friday, October 13, I will start my week of no makeup!! I look forward to this for several reasons: One being saving time in the morning!! But more importantly, I hope to see the beauty that God has given me and only that beauty, not beauty that I have painted on. I also hope to give my skin a break and let it breathe!

I don’t want this to seem like I am bashing makeup and saying that no one should wear it, because I do love makeup, but today I realized that I’m not only putting on makeup in the morning because I love to, I’m doing it because I feel like I have to. I hope that by the end of this week I can learn to rely less on makeup to feel beautiful and just appreciate my outward beauty in the way that God intended me to.

I will be posting a follow-up to this post at the end of the week and see if it changed my ideas on makeup at all. I encourage you all to join me this week, if you want to, and put the makeup brushes down. I’ve made some challenges for myself to really make myself commit this week and I will share them below:

Challenge 1: Wear a cute outfit, but still go barefaced. I often think that I can’t look put together if my face isn’t made up as well. This week I hope to shatter that belief.

Challenge 2: Post at least one selfie on Instagram or Twitter with no!! makeup!! This is the scariest part of this whole thing for me. I am so extremely hypercritical of any pictures that I post of myself and the thought of posting one with no makeup actually terrifies me. So, of course, I’m making myself post one.

Challenge 3: Go somewhere in public (besides school) at least four times with no makeup on. Again, SCARY!!!!

Challenge 4: Don’t say anything about the challenge when meeting with people for the first time. Nothing like “Oh, I usually look better than this” or “I’m just not wearing makeup for the week, but I usually do.”

Challenge 5: In general, try and reduce the amount of negative thoughts about myself. I am 100% my worst critic and I need to practice more self-love when I’m not wearing makeup. I have gotten to the point where I can look in the mirror (when I’m wearing a full face of makeup) and like what I see and appreciate my beauty – but I really want to be able to think those positive thoughts about myself with no makeup on, too.

 

Again, I will be updating throughout the week on my twitter and posting a follow-up post on next Friday. I’m excited for this challenge and I’m hoping I don’t hate myself for this in a few days… haha. If you take part in this, please let me know on twitter!!! I will need all the support I can get.

Thank you for spending a little bit of your day, or night, with me! xoxo

No Makeup for a WEEK?!

Be Patient, Don’t Settle, & Other Things

I tend to write about topics when I need the advice myself. This week I need to remind myself when my future husband is in my life, I will know… so that is what I’m writing on this week.

I have been praying for my future husband for almost ten years now. This might sound crazy, but I know some things about him already and I don’t even know if I’ve met him or not. I feel that God has told me that this man will be a man of God, he will be a man that brings me closer to God and puts his relationship with God above his relationship with me. I know that my future husband will relentlessly pursue me from the beginning and I will never have to wonder whether he is interested in me or not. The man I am supposed to marry will not play games or string me along. He will make his efforts known and will ask me on dates and call them dates. The man I am supposed to marry will be direct, make definite plans, and will take an interest in not only me but my friends and family as well. He will respect my boundaries and will have his own boundaries, too. I know these facts to be true and I will not settle for anything less.

I used to think “Oh this is nice and all but this guy is just too good to be true. No guy is like that anymore…” but I’ve been praying on this lately and I know that this man is out there. This man is praying for me just as I have been praying for him. I have no doubt in my mind that this man is out there. The devil put those negative thoughts in my head and I almost believed them. I almost settled for less than I know that I deserve, but prayer got me through that!

I always told myself that when the right man comes along, it will be easy and joyful and there will be no anxiety and I believe that to be true as well. When I meet the man of my dreams, the man that I have been praying for, and the man that God has made for me, he will be my rock. He will be my constant. No matter what is going on in my life at the moment, he will be my guide. Sound familiar?

The relationship between you and your significant other should resemble your relationship with God. 1 Corinthians 11:3 states “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” and Ephesians 5:22-28, lengthy but worth the read, states “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.”

A true godly relationship comes along when two people are so focused on God that He gives them each other. Focus on God and He will give you the desires of your heart. Nothing is instant, for God teaches us patience through answered prayers, so trust in Him always. Your blessing is coming. Be patient.

Thank you for spending a little bit of your day, or night, with me. As always, if you have anything to add or comment on, shoot me a DM on twitter or leave a comment right here! I also want to add that if you have any topics or anything else that you want me to write about or if you need some advice in any way, you can always DM me on twitter and I will be glad to answer you to the best of my abilities! So much love to all of you!! xoxo

 

Be Patient, Don’t Settle, & Other Things

Being a Modern & Biblical Woman

Many aspects go into being a woman of God. It is difficult to say without being considered “regressive” or even offensive, but women were simply created by God to be different than men. I do not mean to say that women cannot to what men do and be successful, but I am saying that women and men both have different strengths in general, and instead of pushing these differences away to become “equal” to men, we should also remember to celebrate what makes us different from men.

Genesis 2:18 says “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helper suitable for him.”” We are called to be helpers, to aid the people around us and especially the people we love. Titus 2:4-5 says “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” We, as women, are called to do these things because we were created by God for these specific jobs. 

I can see how this is coming off a bit anti-feminist, and that is not my intention. Men are perfectly capable of doing work that is stereotypical of a woman, and vise versa. I am really just relaying the message. Many people may disagree with what I’m saying here, but I don’t think that there is anything wrong with celebrating what makes women different from men. We are designed to do these things, and that shouldn’t be looked down upon or pitied.

1 Peter 3:3-5 states “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” If it says, so blatantly, that a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth to God, then why is it so rare to celebrate such things today? Women who are gentle and quiet are told to “speak up” or be more “assertive”, as I have been told before as well. 

The bible also calls us, including men, to be pure. I think we can all gather what “pure” means in these terms. 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” and Titus 2:5 calls young women “to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” I’ve spoken on purity before, but it only makes sense to mention the topic again in this post as well. I find it so odd that people have strayed so far from what really used to be the norm – waiting for sex until marriage. In today’s society, anyone who has chosen abstinence is considered a “prude” but personally, I would rather be thought of as a prude by people here on Earth than to be thought of as promiscuous by God. We must ask ourselves – whose opinion really matters here? This brings me to another point mentioned in Titus 2:5, we, as young women, are to be taught to be “self-controlled” this goes along with the purity. We, women AND MEN, should practice self-control through many trials in our lives and one way to do that is abstinence.

In closing, the Bible gives us women some pretty specific and easy to follow guidelines – if you will – on how to be a woman worthy of God. Proverbs 31 shows us the traits of a worthy woman:

“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

It just seems silly to me that any woman who knows of this passage could strive to be any less than a Proverbs 31 woman. Before closing, I want to write briefly about each point that is in bold in the above text.

  • For her worth is far above jewels. A woman who is “excellent” as mentioned in the text, is worth more to her husband than any riches or any jewels. A woman who meets all criteria of a Proverbs 31 woman is an excellent wife in God’s eyes.
  • She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. This is something that we all, men and women, strive to be more like. Pretty self-explanatory, just help out more, basically. Look for ways you can help the less fortunate around you. We all could stand to do more of this.
  • Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. Everyone and their mother loves this part. This verse calls us, as women, to be strong, to have dignity and self-respect, and to look to the future with happiness because we trust in God wholeheartedly.
  • She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  This very well might be my favorite little part from this whole section. We should use our wisdom before opening our mouths (I interpret this as thinking before you speak, that sort of thing). It goes on to say “teaching of kindness is on her tongue” I take this to mean that whatever is coming out of our mouths should teach kindness in one way or another. This is something that we all struggle with, and we all should work towards letting only kind words cross our lips. Think Thumper from “Bambi” Image result for thumper bambi if you can't say something nice
  • Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. We should not be so concerned about our physical appearances, but more concerned with the relationship that we have with God. A woman who does these things shall be praised.

That’s all I got this week, y’all. Its long and wordy, but I hope that it was worth the time to read. Thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day, or night, with me.

 

 

Being a Modern & Biblical Woman

Dealing With Panic Attacks

Before I jump into this today, I just want to say that I had a completely different blog post written and ready to be posted but I felt called to write about and share this instead. This post is pretty personal, but I hope it helps someone.

I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) since I was 14 years old. At that time I was also diagnosed with major depressive disorder as well, but that’s a whole other story. I have without a doubt gotten better, especially with the depression, but the anxiety has always kind of lingered around. I have mild anxiety over small situations almost daily, but because I’ve had it for so long, I know how to manage and control it. However, panic attacks are a totally different story.

Even though I had pretty severe anxiety during my early-mid teen years, I had never had a true panic attack. I had had a few anxiety attacks, but never had experienced true panic before. Panic attacks became a recurring thing for me during my late teens.  Sometimes something can just upset me in the smallest way and can cause me to go into a full-blown panic attack, and sometimes they come on for no apparent reason at all. Now, I am able to recognize the sure signs of an oncoming panic attack. For me, the first step is a tightness in my chest. This is a very specific tightness/pain that I only feel when I am about to have an attack. This pain can last for an hour or just a few seconds before the second step, hyperventilating. I hyperventilate and can’t catch my breath for a while. This is also usually when I start profusely crying and half-screaming. (I don’t really know what it is that I say, but I know I say something and whatever it is, its pretty loud, especially for me.) I also want to add that during a panic attack, I know logically that I am fine, this will pass, etc., but there is also another part of me that is like screaming that I am going to die. I’ll tell you what, its pretty confusing. After hyperventilating has begun, the tingling/numbness starts not long after at all. I’m pretty sure the tingling starts on my head, then my fingers, then toes, then I’m not sure after that. I’m not sure if this sounds totally mild to you all or like way out of control and crazy because I’m not the best at describing things. I can say, though, that panic attacks are very frightening. They are the scariest thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. My last attack was a little over a week ago and it also was the first time that I was alone during an attack, making it that much scarier. This caused me to swear off caffeine because it could work to trigger these attacks, making them more and more frequent. Therefore, its been ten days since I’ve had a cup of coffee and I was drinking at least one cup almost everyday for four years. This is hard, y’all.

I have yet to find a surefire cure to stop the panic attack when I feel it coming on. I have tried prayer, reading, just closing my eyes and trying to take myself out of the situation,  but somehow nothing works. As of now, the only thing I can do is just ride it out.

While I’m on the topic, I also want to touch on the fact that some people use the term “panic attack” so loosely when they are nervous or even anxious. If you read my experience with panic attacks above, you would know why I am very sensitive to and a little offended by that. By just slinging the term around loosely without actually experiencing a true attack, it cheapens real attacks. What I’m trying to say is that if everyone uses this term in casual passing, it makes it to where when people have an actual panic attack, they are taken less seriously. Panic attacks are real, they are extremely frightening, and they are not to be taken lightly.

In closing, I just wanted to share my experience with anxiety/panic and maybe give someone some symptoms to look out for. I think this may have been more of an update on my life rather than a helpful post with guidance and wise words. Again, I have been hesitant to write this and make this public, but I think that it is an important topic to discuss. I like to be as open as I can with this because that is when you learn the most about a person’s soul, when they are 100% raw and unfiltered. I don’t talk about this topic with anyone but my mom and one of my very good friends, so I am nervous to even share this, but I hope that someone takes something good from this. Thank you for spending a little bit of your day, or night, with me. So much love to you.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Dealing With Panic Attacks