Underwear Shopping + Packing light

Yup. You read the title right. We're talking about underwear over here today. Underwear, and self-worth, and creating space. Because really, how many of us believe that we're worth buying the new underwear BEFORE our old look like they've gone through hell and back. I hope it's you that feels worth it, buying the new I mean, because I don't always. I struggle with knowing if I'm depriving myself and not believing I'm worth something, or if I'm being too extravagant in my wants and being materialistic. Anyone else? 

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I ordered 10 for $35 undies on sale from Aerie and then immediately felt guilty. Maybe I don't REALLY need them. Maybe I should be putting my money towards something else. My friend and I were texting about all the sales over the holiday weekend and how we feel like it's extravagant to buy ourselves new items that aren't from a thrift store. She mentioned that maybe it's because we grew up somewhat poor. I agreed. I do not, however, want to live with a poverty mentality moving forward, so I'm trying hard to break those habits, change my mindset around money and remind myself that I AM WORTH BUYING NEW CLOTHING. So I ordered the underwear. And maybe it is a bit extravagant, but who needs to wear holey (not to be confused with holy) underwear? I'm realizing that when my clothes have multiple holes in them that it is a NEED to replace them. Not a want, simply necessary. 

This not-okay-to-buy-myself-clothes mentality was confirmed in me last week when I bought a bunch of clothes at Target for my girl. I piled the cart with multiple pairs of little leggings, t-shirts and a cute jacket. I didn't think twice about it. She needed clothing, having outgrown nearly everything in her closet. I didn't hesitate for a second to buy her what she needed. Yet when I go to buy myself a pair of leggings for $10... somehow they seem too expensive. So much of the time I talk myself out of buying clothes, convincing myself that my money could be better spent elsewhere. So here I am taking steps to conquer that. Taking advantage of sweater sales and undie sales this week. Throwing away the old, the worn out, the no-longer-fits. Creating space for the new. Creating space to acknowledge that I'm worth buying never-worn-before brand new clothing. 

I've been doing a lot of throwing away and clearing out in general. I started packing up some of my books and rarely used things for my upcoming move in January. I threw out four trash bags of stuff in the process and it felt wonderful. It is so very freeing to throw out the old and create space for newness in one's life. I want to start this next season of marriage and living in a new town lighter. I want to start it free, clear, and focused. I want to pack light. 

So here's to all of us ladies. Here's to our self-worth. Here's to conquering poverty without succumbing to materialism. Here's to living up to our potential, knowing our value, and letting go of the lies. And maybe, just maybe for today that means buying new underwear.

On Transition

I'm moving to Kentucky in January.

I don't yet know where I'll be working or living. I don't know any of the things really. The one thing I do know is who I'll be exploring this newness with: my husband. I'm getting married, y'all! 

January 27th marks a new era for me, a new season. Just like this one that's coming as fall moves in on us. The leaves flicker with color, it's still dark when I wake up, the morning air is fresh and cool and makes me want to sit on the porch and drink coffee without ceasing. Ever. The beauty is all over. The trees letting go of their old leaves, creating room for new ones in the next season. This speaks life and life and more life to me. I just love it! 

I'm equal parts curious and stressed about what life is going to look like in a few months. Andrew and I peek at houses online and they get closed on before we can go look with our realtor, it's a quick market out there. At least in our price range. So we look and dream and talk and don't yet know where we'll live. 

I applied for a job and didn't get it. I worry that I'm subconsciously sabotaging job opportunities because all I really want to do is write a book and bake pies, yet those things don't exactly pay the mortgage so I keep looking, perusing, praying; full of wonder about what's to come. 

And I'm happy. I'm happy for the first time in what feels like forever. I'm looking forward to life, to my future, to spending my days with the people I love. The best part is that I know it's God. I know God set this up, because there's not a chance in the world that I could have (that's another story for another time). So today.  I'm so grateful for transition. So much of the transition in my life has been negative, has been a have-to kind of thing instead of an i'm-choosing-this. 

I'm so grateful for new beginnings and fresh starts and second chances. I'm so grateful for a God who restores. <3 There were so many times that I though God would never be able to make anything good at of my messes, that it wasn't possible for anything better to come along, that there was no way life could be beautiful again. I was so wrong. Love comes in and restores and heals and brings life. I'm a living example of love's goodness.

Start at the Beginning | A Reminder of Grace for the Perfectionist

I was talking through a potential business idea with a good friend when I realized it.

Honestly, I said, I think I just need to get over the fear and do it. 

I hadn't noticed until that moment that it was just fear holding me back, I thought maybe I was being wise, maybe I was being realistic and logical, maybe the timing wasn't right, maybe I really did need to perfect that one skill before I could move forward. Talking it through though... I was just afraid. 

I'm so good at encouraging other people to act on their ideas, I shared with my friend, but when it comes to my own, I find all the reasons why this wouldn't work, why I should wait, why it sounds crazy.

She smiled and agreed, It's so much harder when it's your own thing.

Right? It seems so easy to see the potential, the brilliance, the of-course-you're-capable-of-that in other people, but when it comes to seeing it in yourself, all the doubts are at the forefront.

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We're all in process, always moving, shifting, growing, but we know the one who holds it all, who is steady and not moving. 

We're all not-quite-there-yet, but we know the one who is there.

We're always going to have fears trying to creep in, but we know the one who has no fear.

We're always going to want to wait for the "perfect" time, but we know the one who's timing is perfect.

We're always going to wonder if we have what it takes, but we know the one who provides all.

We're always going to have false views of ourselves try to show their head, but we know the one who has the perfect view of us. 

We're always going to be starting where we are, with what we have. This is all we can do. This is all we're meant to do. Accept ourselves, and do the best we can with what we have been given. We know the one who gives all and is the source of everything. We're being held. We can step out and grow and move forward in faith and know that whatever the results, things are happening for us. God is present. Love is present. Grace is present.

We don't have to be perfect. We just have to show up. We have to start at the beginning.

 

Are You Hiding From Yourself? | On Speaking Truth.

I've always been good at hiding, at running away, at removing the possibility of being hurt. It's so much easier to put up walls than to let people know how you're really feeling. It's easier to lose the relationship than to try and fix it. It's easier to pretend everything is fine instead of having the hard conversation. This is how my life went for so many years. I didn't know it at the time, that I was taking the easy way out. I didn't know there was another way. Now I do. 

Truth does that. It shows you the things you didn't know about yourself. It shows up and if you choose to embrace it, the walls come down. Changing your ways becomes easier. Choosing the hard and vulnerable but oh, so much better way of living becomes possible. 

Now I know that showing up in relationships is the best thing I could ever do with my life, that choosing to have the hard conversations pays off, that choosing to be intentional in showing up as who you are matters. That taking the risk to be fully yourself makes a difference in your life and the lives of those around you. This is the hard work. This is the beautiful work. This can change your life. 

I've found this in my creative endeavors too. I want to write a book. I want to help creatives have a great online presence. Somewhere along the way I decided to believe that I wasn't good enough. Enter this new collaboration idea I've been dwelling on for weeks. It's a great idea, just maybe not a right this minute idea. I realized that I'm hiding behind coming up with more ideas and moving my energy from my book writing to include other people in a collaboration because I don't truly believe I have anything to offer on my own. Truth. Sometimes it doesn't feel so great, but truth will always, always set us free. I haven't written anything in weeks, I've been distracting myself with all the other things, and realizing this, here I am, showing up. Showing up for myself, as myself. Showing up for you, too. 

I don't want to spend my life hiding behind others, running away from myself or refusing to show up as who I really am. I choose to believe that I'm enough. That showing up as me in the world is the best thing I can do with my life. I choose to tell myself the truth, instead of making up stories that self-protect and lead me down a wrong path, causing me to hide and run. I choose to embrace my life. 

 

Are you telling yourself any stories that aren't true? 

What areas can you speak truth to? 

 

On Daily Caring For Your Soul (and How I Forget to Water my Plants)

I often forget to water my plants. It's kind of a problem. 

I love them, I really do, they bring so much joy to my life. I love getting my hands in the dirt, planting new things, watching them grow and bloom. I love all of it: the flowers, gardens, greenery, all that beautiful nature-stuff that is full of life.

Except some days they aren't so full of life because of the lack-of-water situation I've created. I apparently missed out on inheriting my Mom's green thumb. I look over at my house plants all wilting up and getting dried out and oh my gosh, I forgot to water this week AGAIN. And dear Jesus, help me. 

This forgetting to water doesn't just happen with my plants though. I find my soul all stressed out and feeling overwhelmed and then, oh... I haven't read my Bible in over a week. I haven't prayed at all today. Yoga was days ago. Did I even acknowledge my emotions today? I think I was just numbing things all day. Yikes.

It's so incredibly easy to go through the motions of life and work and relationships and forget to be present. I forget to acknowledge where I'm at and I forget to care for myself properly until I notice I'm dying a little on the inside. When my heart is hurting and I wonder what's going on with me, and I can't put it into words when my sister asks, so I say I'm just tired (which is true) but I know deep down that it's my soul and spirit that is tired and I can't figure out why. Then I remember how I've been lacking in showing up for my soul and it all makes sense. I'm so quick to forget that just like our bodies, just like my plants, my soul need nourishment. My mind and heart and emotions, it all needs tender loving care and a lack of that care leaves me all wilted and soul-tired. 

I'm learning ways to care for my soul and spirit, to nourish every part of me, to pay attention to the needs I have and not just run over them pretending that they don't exist or that I'm suddenly superwoman. I'm acknowledging that I'm human and have needs and that this doesn't make me less-than, it makes me real. 

What are your favorite ways to care for your soul?