Sunday, August 25, 2013

Real Truths {About Myself}

{This post is dedicated to Katherine at Grass-Stains. She has a regular feature on her blog called Uncomfortable Truths and she "challenged" me to write a post revealing truths about myself.

I was serious on Thursday when I blogged about Comparison.

And now I want to be a little more light-hearted and share with you five Uncomfortable Truths about myself.

Here they are in no particular order.....

1.) I know all the lyrics to I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry. Why, internet? Because when you're on a bus in the middle of Guatemalan traffic that song will play as CLEAR AS DAY on the radio. All other songs - STATIC, PEOPLE. Am I proud I know all those words? Well, if I'm ever on a game show that requires me to finish the lyrics to a song or sing a whole song from memory, there ya go. I've won.

2.) I will have, on average, about 4 water glasses in my room at any given time. That does NOT include a coffee cup or other dishes I may have in my room. On top of that, I might leave the glasses in my room for a couple of days. or weeks.

3.) Sometimes, I'll go to sleep with my makeup on because I'm too tired to take it off. I always regret it in the morning but not enough to stop doing it repeatedly. Can you say, "Lazy," Internet?

4.) I spell out my first and last name ALL.THE.TIME. It's like an automatic response – I've been doing it since I was 4. Even when I'm using a fake name at Starbucks for the purpose of not having to spell out my name, I still spell it for the barista. I can't win for losing.

5.) I have quirky rules when it comes to watching an LSU football game.

1. People in the room must be LSU fans or non-opposing team fans. 

2. People in the room must not talk during the plays, extra point, and two-point conversions. 

3. People in the room must be aware that I will yell, clap, and cheer for my team VERY loudly. 

4. People in the room must be aware that I can get very competitive when watching football. 
I have nothing against you as a person. 

So, those are some Real Truths about me, what about you? What are some Real Truths about yourself?

Leave them in the comments below! I would love to know!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Stop Playing the Game of Comparison

{originally published 8/22/13, updated 11/27/14}

{I'm channeling my inner Ann Voskamp in today's post. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to go and sit on her "front porch" - A Holy Experience. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.}  

"We women tend to spend more time analyzing what we are not or what we don’t have than recognizing who we were created to be." - Chrystal Hurst

Yesterday, as I was cleaning out my email, I ran across an article titled "When You're Ready to Wear Who You Really Are" by Chrystal Hurst. 

I opened the email and began to read the letter written directly towards me. 

The quote above stuck out like a throbbing pain in the gut. 

I had felt an immediate conviction. 

How many times have I compared myself to others when walking around town?

How many times have I compared myself to my friend's clothes, accessories, and makeup? 

How many times have I compared myself to a famous celebrity? 

How many times have I looked into the mirror and imagined what I would look like if I did this or that to my body

How many times have I compared my life to someone else's? 

How many times have I actually played the comparison game? 


How many times have we all played the game of comparison? 

I assure you, we play it without even realizing it. 

We don't realize that when we play this game, we lose something far greater than what we think we don't have. 

Comparison is the game in which you always lose. 

Comparison always, always takes something from you. 


Isn't that the truth? 

We're filled with more jealousy than with joy? 

We become more selfish than selfless? 

The only way to have Joy back in your life is to stop. 

Stop and be grateful. 

So, what are you grateful for? 

I'm thankful for… 

–  a family who loves me
 – parents that still willingly provide for me
– the privilege to attend college
– friends who love me despite my flaws
– God who saved me from destruction 

and all the beauty in this fallen world. 

and all who I was created to be. 

It's when we pause and give Him thanks that we suddenly have Joy. 

Joy that can only come from Him. 

Because Joy is the result of gratefulness, contentment, the stopping of the game

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you might have life and have it abundantly." {John 10:10}

The thief is comparison. 

The thing that will steal our joy so that it can kill off our relationships, our lives in order to ultimately destroy us. 

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 
For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." {Matthew 6:19} 

Where is your heart, dear one? 

Is it focused on Christ? 

Start by thanking Him, thanking Him for all He has done in your life. 

It'll turn your focus to something far greater than what you're comparing yourself to now. 

That's laying up treasures in heaven - giving thanks.

So, give thanks today and every day. 

And maybe, if we did just that, we would stop playing the game of comparison, and our lives would be more joyful. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Much To Do About Birthdays

In my family, Birthdays are a big deal.

So huge, in fact, that we go all out to make that person feel special on the anniversary of their birthday.

One year, I had a princess themed birthday complete with a Princess and the Pea game along with a cake that was shaped like Disney's Cinderella Castle.

The cake was as tall as me.

I have no words, but only "Thank you parents".

For one birthday, my brother had a pirate themed party complete with a walk the plank game and a cake shaped like an actual pirate ship. Seriously.

So, yeah.

Birthdays are a big deal in our family.

So, it wasn't a surprise when I turned to my friend, Becca J, on Friday morning - while eating our muffins and enjoying our Starbucks drinks - and told her that I had an idea.

My friend Jessica's birthday was that day and with quick planning, we managed to come up with a few birthday surprises just for her.

We started off by deciding to bring her a blueberry muffin, but it turned into an afternoon full of many other surprises.

Coincidentally, Jessica had texted me asking about a cotton candy frappucino at Starbucks and that's when I decided we should include that particular drink to go with her muffin.

Becca brought me an identical muffin that was extremely tasty and so worth breaking paleo for...

How do you make this you might ask? 
A grande vanilla bean frappucino with a 1 1/2 pumps of raspberry syrup. 

Before heading to her house, we stopped at Lifeway to pick up a card and the perfect book for a girl her age, You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be.*

After surprising her, while we were all sitting in Jessica's living room conversing, I quickly asked her where she wanted to go for lunch.

Chipotle was the only answer from this birthday girl.

on the menu: Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla & a Burrito bowl. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping at Target.

Because what girl doesn't love shopping at Target?!

Also, Dress Sale.

Anyway, I have been very fortunate to have a girl who has stuck around with me since 6th grade. We have both tolerated crabby attitudes & bad hair days from each other, and the overall roller coaster of growing up. And we're even attending the same college for a semester or two! 

Fun Fact: We are 1 year and 22 days apart. I'm not disclosing who's older.

Thanks for being my friend and allowing me to call you "Jessica" even if you can't stand that name. ;) 
I hope I get to celebrate many more birthdays with you! 

*affiliate link

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why I Don't have a Best Friend {A Response}

{This is a response to a post written about best friends. I would encourage you to read the post so you can better understand my words.} 

I echo Cassidy's words in several ways.

What can I say? Some days I consider her my friend.. 

I moved to Alabama when I was 5 and had to start over in the friendship area.

After a year of living here, I thought I had found a new best friend. But, my 6 year old little heart was torn in two when that girl became best friends with someone else.

I was hurt and devastated.

The same thing happened in 5th grade.

I befriended this girl in my homeschool group and we started hanging out all the time.

"Yes, I finally found her," I thought to myself.

We went to the mall and got our ears pierced together, we talked countless hours on the phone, and we even spent several nights sleeping over at each other's house.

Then, she left me two years later.

Again, devastated and heartbroken.

So, in middle school, I determined I wasn't going leave people out. I was going to become friends with everyone.

Essentially, I had come to the realization that I was not going to have a "best friend" and quit trying to find one.

Like Cassidy said"I have several close friends. All bring their unique perspectives, encouraging words and wisdom to my life. I have some friends I talk to about music, some about [school], some about [guys] and with [all of them], we talk about Jesus. I love them all. And on some days I need more of one than the other."

Thankfully, I have a group a friends that do just that for me.

Several of them live across the country and some live within my own county.

In summary,

I'm thankful that I didn't limit myself to one person or one clique of friends. 

I'm thankful I stepped out and sought to find friends that encouraged me in my walk with Christ. 

I'm thankful that the LORD led me to form friendships that ultimately, point to Him. 

So, don't worry if you don't have a best friend. Be thankful for the ones you have right now. :)

* * * * *

Do you have any thoughts to add on this subject of best friends? I would love to hear them in the comments below!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How God is my Spiritual Barista {Well, Almost}

I can honestly say that I plan ahead as to what I'm going to order to at Starbucks.

I have my rotating 3 drinks I regularly order, but I always make my decision before I park the car.

And then, *dramatic pause* plot twist: I walk in and my drink is already concocted and happily waiting for me at the counter.

The barista saw me coming from the parking lot and knew exactly what I wanted.

{note: that was taken with an iPhone and edited on a brilliant app called VSOCAM}

And here is where I get spiritual with Starbucks.

God is like my spiritual barista.

He knows what I need to read before I even have the chance to open my Bible.

He serves me just the kind of spiritual caffeine I need to get me through each and every day.

Sometimes I remind Him that I need more cream.

{Side Note: I don't do sugar in my coffee. I just pour that French Vanilla until it's sweet enough}.

And then, He reminds me that maybe I need to weep over my sin or become a little less Princess-y in my day to day life. {You've seen my #PrincessStatus tweets on Twitter, right?!}

And maybe He asks me to obey Him sometimes.

And that's where I'm at right now.

I'm getting baptized.

{Did I mention in my last post that I HATE to speak in front of people?}

Baptism is a command that we must follow in Scripture and so, I'm finally stepping out and following through with it.

This is scary, but at the same time, exciting!

With that said, I will be getting baptized in the 6:00pm service at my church this coming Sunday, August 4th.

I would love for you to join me!

* * * * *

{If you're unable to join me on Sunday, I'll update this post when I have the link to the video. }