What I learned – September 2015

On this post you will find what I learned. I will list things that are serious and silly. I just love reflecting on what I learn each month. I link up with Emily Freeman. What did you learn?

  1. I don’t like my body. However, everyone else is not as repulsed by it as I am. I know I am created in the image of God. However, I have heard so many negative things from my body from myself and others growing up it is hard. I am trying to find good things in my body little by little.

2. I learned that I should vote for Bobby Jindal. Don’t worry I am not going to vote based on some quiz. But it is interesting. It goes into more details then you would expect. I agree 89% with him. We generally agree on economics, domestic policy, social, health care, and foreign policy issues. Who did you get? Who should you vote for?

3. Floridians have accents. I did not think people growing up in Florida had accents but apparently we do. We sound KINDA southern. Yes there is a difference between us and those who live in the “Bible-belt”. They sound southern. Floridians just sound semi-southern. Floridians also talk fast.

4. The penny costs more than it is worth…

5. When you are nice to people and a little sad that you didn’t get free passes to the new Disney snow white ride you might be in luck from an employee and get some. I was SO EXCITED I almost told the guy that I would give him a kiss. Fast passes for a Floridian at disney is a BIG DEAL.

6. The Prime Minister in Australia got Impeached. Australians also have to pay a fine if they don’t vote. How do you feel about this?

7. There is a show in England called Geordie Shore it is kind of like Jersey Shore.

8. My depression comes in waves and sometimes for no reason.

9. Searching for Jobs after college is difficult.

10. Being a missionary is more difficult. It is even sadder that a lot of churches won’t support missionaries.

11. Finding a weight loss supplement that doesn’t have caffeine for you is difficult. I need fat burner boots. I have so much anxiety that it is difficult for me to lose belly fat.

What I am into – September 2015

Weight Loss/Fitness/Healthy Eating : I am still not losing weight. I really need to get motivated and work the get these 40 pounds off.

Travel: 

St. Augustine- It was St. Augustines 450th birthday. So i got to do touristy things in my own city that I would normally not be able to do. It was free this month. 🙂

wax

Magic Kingdom – I went to disney world. This time we went to Magic Kingdom. I didn’t get to see all the new things. However, I did go on the new snow white roller coaster and the new ariel ride. I hope to walk around the new Belle town next time. I want to tour Cinderella’s castle. I also want to go to the fairytale garden.

Book Nerd: 

 If you feel too much – I have always been the one among my friends as “the sensitive one”. I cry over everything. Whether a beautiful or sad moment you will see me bawling my eyes out.  I am so thankful I am like this now. However, I need to make sure my emotions don’t consume me. This book is a reminder of that. I HIGHLY recommend it. If you feel too much you are not alone.

Music: I have finally ventured out to listen to some new music. Those are my favorite ones that I discovered this month. Which ones have you heard? Any recommendations?

September 2015 – Music

September 2015 – Worship Music

Useful finds:

The Skimm – It gives you the news in a short email ( daily). I recommend it to all of you people who does not like to watch the news.

Posts I Loved: 

For the ones who are stuck: You’re Never Going to Be Fully Ready

For the ones who struggle to read the Bible: How to read the Bible everyday

For the ones who want to understand young adults: Millennials and Church

For the ones who are worn out: Rest As Transformation

For the ones who want to have better days: Never having a bad day

For the ones who were  Goody Two-Shoes growing up: Former Goody Two-Shoes

For marrieds who want to understand singles: Understanding Singles

For the ones who need rethink what sins are “okay” : Biblical Literalist

For the ones who need encouragement: Keep Going. It will be Worth it.

For the ones who need to learn to be okay with slow progress: Slow Progress

For teachers who hear those that cannot do teach: Why you should hire a former teacher

Blog-tember. Favorite Blogs.

Cara Strickland – She write so raw and beautifully. She writes about her longing for marriage and her struggles with singleness ( which I can relate too). She writes about her faith journey. She writes gently and bravely. She writes about difficult topics that people might judge her for. Like the fact she doesn’t want children. She speaks the truth. She is not afraid to stand alone.

Esther Emery – She has different views of faith then most people. I loved her when on fire post. She writes about how the evangelical christians negatively effected her opinion on God. She is a Christian now. I am so thankful for her and her words of wisdom.

Hb – I adore hannah. She writes different from anyone else. I am addicted to her words. They are like crack except for reader addicts. She is awesome. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She is brave. She is warrior. She is so loved. She can deal with hate well.

If you find this email – This was created by hb. So of course I LOVE it. Strangers write emails. They are so lovely. Each one filled with hope or heartbreak. Sometimes it is filled with the mixture of the two. Each of these people pour their heart out. If I could travel to meet these people then I would.

Addie Zierman – She rethinks evangelical terms. She talks about her churchy terms and how they negatively effected her. She is amazing. You should read it. She is still a strong believer.

She Loves Magazine – I absolutely love the relationships I formed in this community. It is way more than just a blog. I am so thankful that they have shared their heart with me. I love vulnerability.

Mud Room Blog – I just discovered this blog. I love these people already. The post are amazing. I can’t wait to keep reading. I love how they share their stories.

The Lipstick Gospel – I love her story about how she came to know Jesus. She saw a Bible verse written on the wall at college I believe with her sorority. The Bible was written with bright pink lipstick.

QUESTION: I am single and would love some blogs or book recommendations that are for singles ( especially single christians) . Please let me know your recommendation. 

GUEST POST: A be-YOU-tiful Challenge by jess #blogtember #sharingmyspacewithablogIlove

My lovely writer today is named Jess. I am so happy to share my blog space with her please check out Beauty From Scars . This is her most from there.

beauty from scars

You have heard the quote a thousand times… and you’re about to hear it again!

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde

Sure, we hear that but it doesn’t sink in. We are always comparing, judging, changing, just to be like __________. We want to look like, act like, be like someone else. What’s wrong with just being you? DON’T you dare say that you are boring! If you find yourself boring you’re the only one that can change that. BE YOU!

You were born to be exactly who you are – not to be like someone else. You are allowed to experiment with fashion, makeup, hobbies and sports – there are so many things out there to do in life and you’re trying to be someone else. Why not be yourself?

Try out for the school sports team. Just because you don’t look like the rest of the team doesn’t mean you won’t make it! Try out for fun, who knows you might actually be good!

What I’m trying to say is that life is short, don’t try to live like someone else, live for you.

In my experience, trying to be like someone else doesn’t work out; you feel worse about yourself and you are still looking for approval. You won’t please anyone trying to be something you are not. You have to be you!

Maybe you don’t like you.

Well then lets start there! Write down 5 things you like about yourself, they can be anything but they HAVE TO BE POSITIVE!

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

OK, have your list of 5 things? Good, now write 5 things you don’t like or would change:

6)

7)

8)

9)

10)

Look at your lists. The first one is positive and the second one is probably pretty degrading.

Why?

Look at that list again. Do some of these things surprise you? Would you ever say any of those things to a friend, family member or significant other? I find that the things I don’t like about myself are some of the things others love about me. Sure maybe some things could change, but I am who I am for a purpose. I look like this, talk like this, and dress like this because it is who I am. I am not meant to be anyone else. I am meant to be ME.

We tend to be hard on ourselves, I don’t know what your situation is but you need to look over your list again. You are beautiful! And NO I’m not just saying that! You really are! Put your list aside. Yes there are things you do and don’t like about yourself. We are all like that. EVEN that person you want to be has things that they don’t like about themselves. But we need to start giving ourselves the credit we deserve.

Take that list you made and destroy it, tear it up, shred it, burn it, throw it out, just get rid of it! Now go find a mirror or reflective surface! Look at yourself in the eyes and say: “I am beautiful.” Ok that was good, but try it again. “I am beautiful.” Ok, this time say it like you mean it! Make yourself believe it! “I AM BEAUTIFUL!” Scream it and shout it if you have to! Every day this week when you get up and before you go to sleep tell yourself that 3 times in the mirror! Tell yourself that you are beautiful, handsome, sexy…just be positive! Look in the mirror, you are perfect at being you! You are the only you this world will ever see! Don’t be someone else!

I will leave you with two challenges this week!

1) Do the mirror challenge, 3 times in the morning and 3 times at night -remind yourself you are beautiful.

2) Every time you look at yourself this week in the mirror, don’t pick yourself apart! If you find yourself starting to pick things apart, do the mirror challenge again.

Do this every day. Love yourself! That’s the first step to being you! Loving YOU. Don’t be anyone else – JUST BE YOU!

scars 2

My guest: Jessica is a university student from Canada. She lends her creative writing abilities to the Beauty from Scars Community as an author and frequently takes the reins of the Twitter account to interact with our followers and grow the community through social media.

Weight Loss Frustration

If you know anything about me you know that I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. I managed to lose 33 pounds over the last year. Unfortunately, with a stressful semester and me still loathing my body I gave up. I exercise and count calories then I end up giving in to my cravings because I am not reaching my goal weight sooner. I know it takes time but it is difficult for me to have patience. What are some Bible verse that can inspire me for this new life style I want to live? What are are things I can take that will speed up my metabolism. What are things that can BURN belly fat? I appreciate your thoughts. I have 40 pounds to lose.

GUEST POST by “Chava Tivka” : growing up + depression + moving forward the best you can. #nationalsuicidepreventionweek

depression
depression is like going through life as a
movie,
always watching, but
never taking part.
things once enjoyed are
slowly stripped
away,
one by one
until there’s nothing left.
living life as an empty shell
and in a place
no one
can understand.
Friends abandon,
leaving you in a place
of despair.
it wasn’t so bad
at first
but overtime as the sadness
turned to numbness
and apathy set in,
making life
devoid of
hope,
dreams,
relationships,
happiness.
I’m losing the battle
I was never equipped to fight
coping mechanisms,
talk therapy,
Prozac.
nothing helps…
and I’m getting worse.
I find my comfort
in clear liquid form.
it burns my throat-
my punishment for being
ungrateful towards life.
but the reward outweighs the punishment,
and for a few hours,
I can forget
the pain.
There is a certain kind of sadness
That comes with not being loved
by your parents.
A hole that cannot be filled with
yourself
So you start to look to exterior
means.
To nights filled with experiences
no child should endure,
To days where the only happiness
I could find was found in a
A plate of food,
Only to have it taken away
because
“Ladies don’t eat that much”
Flash forward to the years
Where silence consumed me,
To the days where the rules I set
for myself could not be followed
To the moments where the words
would not come from my mouth,
But would appear on my skin
In lines of bubbling red
My heart remained empty,
The void getting deeper
as my stomach grew larger
and the words on my skin written
in red
Grew easier and easier to read.
Like an actor on a stage I
Put on my mask and played
The role I was assigned
But never wanted.
The empty void I thought I was
Shrinking
Was in reality expanding.
Consuming my body
And soul to the point where
I am standing on the ledge,
About to jump,
But don’t know how I got up there.
So I take a breath,
Say a prayer
And step off the ledge of self-
destruction
And on to the street of recovery.
believer

What I DON’T want you to do when National Suicide Prevention Week is over….

encourageee              I was thinking of what I was going to write on the last day of national suicide prevention week. For awhile nothing came to my mind. But today something came to my mind and heart. The topic is in the title of this post. I want to remind you of what NOT to do when national suicide prevention week is over.

Please don’t forget those who are struggling. People struggle with depression and other mental health issues all year around. Don’t stop advocating for people. Don’t stop loving them. Don’t stop encouraging them. Don’t stop holding them, crying with them, and walking beside them through their journey. If you are the one struggling please don’t give up. Don’t stop asking for help. Don’t stop the work of loving yourself because you are worth more than you will ever know.

what you need

GUEST POST: Though I Walk: a view into the valley of the shadow #nationalsuicidepreventionweek

psalm 23

Hi!

I am a 27 year old female and about seven years ago I was diagnosed with a combination of schizophrenia and OCD. I’m going to remain anonymous BECAUSE of the stigma associated with these conditions (particularly schizophrenia), but I’m writing this so that people who, like me, have or do struggle with mental health issues will be encouraged.

What was it that brought on the symptoms of the illness? Now, I’m no doctor to say that, “oh, it was a deficiency in such and such a chemical in such and such a part of her brain,” but I can recognize the wrong thought patterns, ideas, and obsessions that led to my diagnosis. First of all, I’m pretty sure that I’m biologically susceptible to mental health issues. Although undiagnosed, I know that many people in both my mom’s and dad’s side of the family have suffered from obsessions, neurotic behavior, etc. For example, my maternal grandfather was obsessed with locking things. He locked everything, all the time, whether it made sense or not to do so. So that’s my biological history.

Also, I’ve grown up in a Christian home, with a firm belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, all my life. However, there was an element of fear to my life, despite me knowing that “it’s by grace you’re saved, though faith.” I still felt like I was living under the law, meaning that for some reason, I felt that there were particular things I had to DO to be saved, to maintain my relationship with God, when obviously, in scripture it says that no, he who is in Christ is a NEW creation, meaning that the old way of life under the law is dead. Once in Christ, you ARE a child of God; there is nothing you can DO to perfect that. Perhaps being an eldest child with lots of expectations impacted me in this way, but nevertheless, that’s how I felt. I was very fearful that something I would do or not do would throw me off the path of salvation, or that God would ask me to do something that was difficult for me, which led me to walking in a lot of disobedience. My particular brand of disobedience didn’t look like rebellion. There were no crazy hairstyles or referrals at school, anything like that.

I was just refusing to do things God’s way—even if though I was attempting to do what God told me to do, I was wanting to do it in my own way.. That’s why Moses didn’t get to step into the Promised Land; he did what God was asking him to do, but in his own way, not God’s way, striking the rock instead of speaking to it. Disobedience is saying to God, “I know better than you, so I’m going to sit on the throne of my heart instead of you.” Like I said before, another word for it is rebellion, which is something the scripture likens to witchcraft—so needless to say, it’s pretty serious. That’s why Jonah sat in the belly of the whale for three days and nights.

Thus, what led to my descent into the world of the psychotic, was that although I felt a call of God on my life, I had a wrong picture of God, hadn’t quite grasped the gospel, and was therefore unwilling to serve GOd His way, and so though I sought to obey, it was without throwing myself wholly into the service, trusting God with all my heart.

Though technically, once I did trust with all my heart, throwing myself fully on the mercies of God, matters in my mind only got worse. The compulsions became stronger (they were never violent or dangerous, just maybe bizarre, combined with incredible indecision on my part), and the guilt I felt for not following through with them rendered me nearly incapable of socializing, and vise versa. When I did follow through with the compulsions, there was a euphoria that made life seem easy. Daily life was a constant battle.

I did begin to grow in my spirit however, as the Spirit took control. The Lord began to educate me in the act of walking by still waters, where He, by His Spirit, began to restore my soul in paths of righteousness—for His name’s sake. A river of living water began to flow out of my innermost being, as the scriptures say, and I found that while it was me myself that the Lord desired—he wanted time with me rather than the actions I performed in service to Him, the times of communion with the Lord began to result in an outpouring of His Spirit wherever I went, and there was a new power behind my service to Him.

Something that became very evident and dear to me was that God understood everything I was going through. People most certainly didn’t understand. I was weird and awkward and many times inappropriate, but this mental suffering was a furnace that was purifying my heart before the King of Kings. He was making me into a faithful servant in His sight. The Bible says that Jesus, although He was a Son, learned obedience through what He suffered. I, as a daughter of God THROUGH Jesus Christ, have also learned obedience through what I suffered.

I’ve quoted quite a bit of Psalm 23 throughout this testimony, and that’s because that chapter became very dear to me as I walked through this “valley of the shadow of death.” I knew that I would “fear now evil,” because God was with me. When I was kicked off of my college campus in 2008, directed to see a psychologist, and when I was diagnosed with psychosis in the form of schizophrenia, what was my reaction? I told my psychiatrist this later—I knew it wasn’t forever. It was just a season, and this too shall pass.

The healing process took quite a long time—from the time I was diagnosed in 2008 to about 2010 or ’11 when I moved back onto campus at the university I was attending. What sustained me through the process? Prayer and praise—dwelling on the greatness of God rather than on my circumstances, which were sometimes quite dismal. I felt ostracized and misunderstood, isolated, in almost every circle of life, from church, to school, to family life. Another thing was submission to my parents. I’m grateful I grew up with a respect for the authority of the scriptures because they say to “honor your father and your mother,” and that a single, unmarried young woman is not bound by her oaths if her father hears of it and negates it. That definitely kept me out of a lot of trouble! Also, regular medication. I submitted to my doctor and was (and am) on the prescription he put me on. I’ve been tempted to not take it, especially now that I’ve been well, but I figure that if the Lord does want me off, it will be very very very evident. So I’ve stayed on my medication.

So overall I can say that those years, while the hardest in my life, served to produce the most fruit. I don’t think that God caused them, but I definitely think that He allowed them. He’s brought me thus far and will continue to remain faithful. And like Paul said to the Thessalonians, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” To God be the glory!

Dear those who are contemplating suicide, (World Suicide Prevention DAY)

TRUTH 2

Please know you are NOT alone. It helps to know you are not alone. I know it does not heal anything. I know it doesn’t change the fact that you are hopeless and engulfed by loneliness. The statistics probably make you angry. They make me angry sometimes. However, please see them as a chance to know you are not alone. Don’t see it as all these people don’t care. They probably just don’t know. I apologize if people in your life neglect you. Not everyone cares. But SOMEONES does care. We don’t need to focus on those who don’t. I  think that people don’t care about me. I have had friends who left in the middle of my depression. But someone DOES care. You matter. You have a purpose. You are loved by the God of the universe. If you don’t believe in Him just know that I love you. I care. I breathe a prayer for you. I remember you often. I think about those that are hurting. I would give you a hug if I could. I would not tell you things are going to get better. However, I would hold you in my arms while you cry. Beloved, you are so lovely. You are so worth loving. Take care of yourself.

deserving

Please watch thise video: Sunshine – Jake Miller

Dear sixteen year old Megan (Blog-tember Challenge) ( National Suicide Prevention Week)

Write a letter to sixteen-year-old you. Any advice or funny stories?

too cool

love you

horsie time

Hello darling,

I hope you are doing well. I know 16 is an exciting time for you. You finally to get to drive. You feel more independent which you always wanted. You love it. But High School is rough. I know how difficult it is for you. I just want you to know that you are treasured. You are worthy. You have value. You are love. God is near. I promise He is near even when it doesn’t feel like it. Your hard work will pay off. Those nights you put in studying are worth it. But please don’t place your value on your grades. Whether you get a C or an A your value doesn’t decrease any as long as you are working hard. High school is lonely. Church is lonely. That doesn’t change much as you get older. Life is lonely. Just try to remain whole. Read verses out loud that talk about God’s love for you. You need to believe it. Oh I am certain you need it believe more than most people. You have been hurt a lot and that won’t change when you get older. But if you know who you are in Christ you won’t be shaken. You will never defeated. Just know you are His beloved. Spend time in the Word as often as you can. Make it a discipline.  Starting eating healthier. Go to a gym. You will back out of doing a weight loss program because the person in charge smokes and you think that is hypocritical. But don’t be critical of adults either. When you are one you will realize they just have as a many issues as you. Give them grace. Give yourself grace.  Breathe a prayer every morning. Brush your teeth. Wash your hands. Realize humans beings are messy. They do cruel things. Love them anyways. Don’t let their negative words define you. If thats one thing I learned about you its that you let what people say define you. Please don’t do that. It causes severe damage to you now and to your future self. You will push away good people because you will learn to build up walls. Don’t walk  in this world as a walking apology. You don’t need to do that. You belong on this earth as much as anyone else. Make sure to be your own cheerleader. Please stop being your worse critic. It has never done you any good. Both you and I know that. Go to counseling. Make sure you “date” your counselors. This means that you make sure you don’t just settle for any counselor. Find one that is meant for you or it will cause you much more damage in life. But don’t give up either. There is a counselor for you. There are people in your life who love you. Even though you don’t believe it most of the time. I wish you would laugh more. I don’t like when you are cry. But when you are sad make sure you lean on God. He is there even though it doesn’t seem like it. He can and will carry the burden for you if you let Him. If you are angry at God don’t stop talking to Him. Express to Him how you feel. You don’t have to keep quiet. God wants to hear how you feel. Be in communion with the Creator always. Let the Holy Spirit guide your life. You are a broken person. You are surrounded by broken people. Ignore those hurtful things they say. It is not personal. I don’t why they take it out on you. You don’t deserve it. But please be strong. Choose to love people in their brokeness as Christ loves you in yours. Do what you can. You are enough. Serve where you are. Love the people around you. That is mission work in your own home town. But love yourself too. That is also mission work. Have a good one. I am sorry I always beaten you down with horrible words. I wish I spoke to you more tenderly. You deserve nothing less.

Love always, your 24 year old self