Body Image, Faith, Identity, Relationships, Sex

Dirty Little Secrets- Don’t Touch

May 25, 2016
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**DISCLAIMER: The content talked about in this post is of a mature and sexual nature. If you are uncomfortable with this type of material,  a young reader, or my grandma, please consider not reading. Thanks.** Her name was Mindy. She lived up the street from me and we were in the same fourth grade class together. Her mom was a single parent so Mindy was home alone a lot. Often when I’d go over to play with her we’d be left alone in the house, no one to supervise what kind of trouble we might have been getting into. Sometimes secrets come to you in obvious ways. Other times, they sneak in the back door.  It was a typical afternoon at Mindy’s house. We had been playing with some Barbies when she told me she had something to show me. In her room she had a daybed but not the pull out trundle bed that typically lived underneath. We’d often crawl in there and imagine we were hiding away on some kind of mysterious adventure. You know, kid stuff. However, this day, it became a place where secrets were born. She began to tell me me she wanted to show

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Community, Forgiveness, Relationships, Your Story

Be There in 5 (aka 15)

May 18, 2016
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So I’m addicted to Veggie Straws, I have warts on my right knee, my husband says my hobbies are grandma-like, and I was once entirely convinced that I was going to marry Nick Jonas (Don’t tell me you weren’t too. YES, he was WAY cuter than Joe. Kevin was taken. End of argument.) And girl, I am always late. Not by two hours, but almost always by two minutes. Sometimes I can make it up by running instead of walking or taking a few liberties with the speed limit, but I hate even typing that because I try SO HARD to be on time. Maybe it’s due to my lack of navigational skills driving and constant wrong turns or my desire to do five million tasks in 5 minutes and obviously never getting it done, but somehow, the clock always revels the unfortunate news that I’m late. I can usually get to work right on the dot and not one second too soon, but any casual appointments just don’t happen right when they’re supposed to. I’m the girl you tell to be there 5 minutes before you are planning on hanging out so that I’ll actually be there around when

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Faith, Identity

Dirty Little Secrets: My Spot on the Couch

May 11, 2016
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“Once upon a time, you had it all beautifully sorted out. Then you didn’t.” – Sarah Bessey, Out of Sorts I never thought I’d be the one sitting on that big couch. I never thought I’d be rattling off my doubts and insecurities to a stranger with a notepad and a degree…I mean, that’s what I have friends for, right? My problems aren’t big enough to “need help”…not that kind, anyway. I believed every stigma attached to the idea of counseling. I had myself pretty well convinced it’s great for other people – people with serious issues, people who have faced the worst traumas or are in the midst of things like addictions, self-harm, or family turmoil – but “it’s just not for me.” I don’t fall under any of the appropriate categories that deem counseling necessary. But then life got overwhelming. Confusing. Messy. And I found myself wondering, what if life itself is a good enough reason to give it a shot?   Writing out my story on the blog launched me into a season of extreme self-awareness. By publicly airing out some of my dirtiest laundry, I felt like my imperfections had been amplified. Not only was I

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Body Image, Identity, Spiritual Life

Dirty Little Secrets: My Miss-Stache

May 4, 2016
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  I was ten the first time I tried to shave my face. I had FINALLY been allowed to shave my legs after many months of pleading and a very convincing letter writing campaign to my mom and dad. I’m not kidding, in another life, I could have been a very successful politician. After experiencing the joys of silky smooth legs I became addicted to removing any form of hair from my body that I could. Legs, check. Armpits, check. Arms, check. I wanted babies butt smooth skin and dangit, I was gonna get it. One very foolish night while my parents were out and my irresponsible older brother was brooding in his bedroom, I took to ridding myself of the last remains of hair from my body. I grabbed my lady razor and my brother’s shaving cream and took to my face like crazy woman. Blood. Tears. More blood. More tears. Shaving my face was a bad idea. The trauma from that night kept me from removing hair from my face for a long time, but vanity, that little she-devil, got the best of me and I found myself once again staring down the mirror picking out every little

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Redemption, Spiritual Life

Gotta Secret, Gonna Keep It

April 29, 2016
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  When I was seven I accidentally pooped in my neighbors pool and tried to blame it on their dog. In eighth grade I used to pretend I had my period because I was too afraid to admit to the other girls in my class that I hadn’t gotten it yet. One time in college I snuck into an abandon construction zone so I could make out with my boyfriend and not get caught by our strict Bible college. I once sent a hate letter to a guys pastor telling him what a liar and bad youth intern he was because I was mad that said guy stole money from me when we were dating. (I totally had a woman scorned moment) I chipped part of my front tooth from trying to open a nail polish bottle with my mouth. Secrets. We all have em. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a pretty open book, I still know that there are many things I choose to keep locked away. God forbid if anyone knew because then I would totally be uncovered for the awkward, vindictive, hot mess of a woman that I am. So I keep

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Community, Faith

Courage, Dear Heart

April 27, 2016
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“Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it. By doing just acts, we come to be just. By doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled, and by doing brave acts, we come to be brave.” — Aristotle I never would have thought of myself as someone who is brave. More accurately, someone who possesses great courage. Sure I’ve done cliff diving or ridden that questionable roller coaster- but that was always accompanied with a heavy dose of fear and the prevailing thought of “What the he– am I doing?” So yeah, big fat wuss over here. Did you know that the word courage is actually a heart word? Quick school lesson: (just stick with me here people) but the word courage comes from the Latin word which means heart. In its whole, courage actually means: to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. And isn’t that what we’re trying to do here? Tell our stories: the hopes, fears and everything in between? To gather our courage and become women who aren’t afraid to be real? Women who know that life is better together out in the open and not in the hidden

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Family, Forgiveness, God, Redemption, Relationships

God is forgiving

April 20, 2016
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Have you ever known that you were loved by someone, but seemed to have a hard time feeling that love?   That may sound confusing but it was definitely the head-to-heart struggle that I had when it came to my relationship with my dad growing up. I always knew he loved me, but I couldn’t help but feel the distance between us. He was a respected businessman and had to travel for work all of the time. He was gone aaaalot. Sometimes 7 months out of a year. Although he was doing it to provide for our family, it slowly started to put him into one specific role – “the provider” – instead of any kind of emotional or relational father that we needed. Everyone saw it happening, and felt it happening, but to me as a little girl I really had no solution to the matter. I couldn’t ask him to leave his job and he was in the position where he had to travel, so…we just accepted it.   That was the secret to making it okay. Just accepting it, and not acting like you care, right? I didn’t need his help or guidance anyway, right? I have

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Faith, God, Relationships, Spiritual Life

God is Ironic

April 13, 2016
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If I ever doubted before that God hears me, I certainly don’t now. Remember when I wrote about how deeply I desire companionship and long to be in love, and how much I’ve prayed for that? Well…God heard me. And He answered. But not quite the way I expected. A couple months ago, a guy I dated in the past (but haven’t talked to in two years) waltzed back into my life. I thought we were just two old friends catching up. Recently, however, it became clear that he was pursuing me. And I didn’t know it. I thought we were just talking. He thought we were “talking.” (It’s hard to believe those two things could be so easily confused…*face-palm*) This guy was a great friend. I have a lot of respect for him, and at one point I really thought I could see myself with him. But when it came down to it, I knew he wasn’t the right guy. So I had to put an end to the relationship that had been developing right under my completely oblivious nose…and walk away. I felt like I had just gone through a break up, in a weird sort of way.

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Faith, God, Spiritual Life

God is the visionary

April 6, 2016
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You know when you plan something in your life to go a certain way, but then God takes it and says, “Nope, I’m taking you somewhere different”… That’s happened to me many times. And it’s happening to me now. I know that God is for me. Even if life doesn’t seem good at the moment, He is using it for my good. I know that God has a very specific and amazing plan for my life. And I know that His plans are always better than my plans. I have had so many times in my life that I’ve learned these things about God, like: In high school I wanted and planned to go to a magnet school so badly that my best friends were going to, but I didn’t get in. I tried out for the volleyball team in high school (I had already been playing volleyball at my previous school), but didn’t make the team. I enrolled at my dream school in NYC the end of my senior year of high school but ended up not receiving the scholarship money I thought I would receive, so I had to go to a university in my home town. One summer in

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Faith, God, Spiritual Life

God is a Farmer

March 30, 2016
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Corndogs and French fries. I was the skinny kid who refused to eat vegetables. I should probably be dead due to the number of frozen hot dogs I’ve consumed. I was so picky about fresh foods that I remember spilling my orange juice on myself one morning in elementary school so I wouldn’t have to drink it. Stubborn? Yes. Extreme? Absolutely. My mom usually keeps books once she reads them and there are about a dozen parenting books in her closet on different methods to get a kid to EAT SOMETHING. Yeah, it was bad. Yeah, I still apologize to her for her having to wonder if her firstborn was going to contract scurvy. Yeah, that’s the disease pirates get after months without fresh fruits and veggies in their diet. Watermelon was her only hope. At a pool party in fifth grade, one of the moms brought out a tray with half a watermelon cut up into slices. I ate the whole thing by myself while the other kids were swimming. Call me a sneaky fox! Something about that bright and juicy fruit had me mesmerized. Then she convinced me that carrots were good for my eyesight so I’d come

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Community, Faith, God, Relationships

God is All-Satisfying

March 23, 2016
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“I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” C.S. Lewis   One thing that I consistently struggle with is unmet expectations.   I have always considered myself to be flexible and adaptable, and although that may be true as far as overseas missions go, I have found myself falling into the trap of unmet expectations for the last couple of years. It is never fun to admit to and one of those “ugly” habits that I wish I didn’t struggle with.   Our expectations are never truly realized until they aren’t met. When things go our way we usually just respond with excitement and joy instead of saying “Oh my goodness! All my unspoken expectations were just met!” Our expectations seem to be realized when our plans don’t go right and when either people or experiences disappoint us. Then we will be quick to realize those specific things we didn’t even know we wanted.   I struggle with not being where I thought I’d be at this stage in my life. I think we can all attest to that in some

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