Thursday, 29 August 2013


Sorry, I know it's been a little while since I posted anything. I've been sorting through some things and navigating some scary waters. I'm hoping to be back sometime next week. I have lots of stuff to say!

Until next week, my fellow overcomers...ya'll are in my prayers!

If any of you need specific prayer, please let me know. I'm happy to join with you.


Friday, 16 August 2013

My Awesome Brother

This guy is my little brother. Little in age, at least. He's twelve, and already five inches taller than me. And I don't think he's hit his growth spurt yet.

Sometimes (okay, maybe a lot of times) my brother annoys me. If anyone has a sibling that doesn't annoy them, I'd love to hear about it. He and I are complete opposites in almost every way. He's very happy go lucky and just wants to have fun, while I'm a very focused person. I like to have fun, but not quite in the same way he does. Then there's the fact that he's twelve and I'm sixteen. Enough said.

I'm not always the nicest person to my brother. I tend to be really hard on him. I often find myself forgetting what it was like to be twelve. Not that I really want to remember what it was like. Memories of thinking the Jonas Brothers were so cute, my frizzy hair, and general twelve-year-old awkwardness make me shudder a little bit. The tween years are awkward years for everyone. At least I tell myself that. I know my brother has had his fair share of challenges with moving from the place where he grew up and leaving all his friends. It's just so easy for me to get wrapped up in all my "big" teenager problems.

Last night, though, my brother did something so awesome for me though. I was having a bit of a rough time. I'd withdrawn to my room to just be alone (retreating behind my wall). As far as I knew, he didn't even think anything was going on. I'd been in my room for maybe five minutes when he knocked on my door. I grumpily said he could come in.

Guys, he came in and said, "I love you so much and I think you're the best sister ever."

I didn't really know what to say. After all the times I've treated him so horribly. All the times I've forgotten what he needed. All the times I've shoved him aside for my own wants  He comes to me while I'm really down and breaks down my wall just to tell me he loves me.

As I'm writing this, I'm full on crying now.

I'm not really sure where I was going with this post. I guess I just want to say to never think you're alone. I'm willing to bet that in your darkest moment, there's someone who's going to be there for you. Even when you feel you don't really have many friends. Even when you feel there's something wrong with you. There's someone in your life who will see everything that's right with you, and remind you of the important things in life.

I'm going to go spend some time with my brother now.



Tuesday, 13 August 2013


I build walls. A lot. I have a hard time letting people in, especially when I'm hurting. A few weeks ago, I dislocated my shoulder. It hurt so bad; I can't really think of words to describe it. I've never been one to cry when I get injured, but I was screaming in pain. My parents tried to help me, but I didn't let them. I didn't want anyone to touch me. I curled up into a ball of pain, shutting out anyone who just wanted to ease the hurt.

When we are in that much pain, we are responding instinctively. Our brain is responding based on the behaviors we've drilled into it. The brain is an amazing part of our body. Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain can actually repair itself from things like depression, dementia, and head traumas when it's fed with the positive thoughts and behaviors.

 Walls limit that healing and growth. People want to care. Not everyone is out to hurt us. Yes, people are going to disappoint us. Likely the people that are closest to us are going to inflict the biggest wounds. But when that hurt comes, we'll have others to rely on because we've allowed ourselves to form more relationships. Inside those walls, you're alone with the hurt, and that's just going to magnify the pain.

 Sometimes fear of ourselves keeps us trapped in those walls. What if I venture out of my walls and my many flaws mess things up? I really, really struggle with this. I hate screwing up, and I have a hard time moving past my failures, sometimes to the point that I'll quit something and never try it again because I messed up.

But what if I stay trapped in those walls forever?

What kind of things will I miss out on because I won't let other people help me? How much of my purpose can I honestly accomplish from behind a wall? Will I really live up to my potential? Could staying behind a wall result in possibly my biggest failure?

Tearing down walls is hard. Honestly, I'm writing this because this is something I need to do. Walls are built over time, one choice at a time. I think that walls can also be destroyed, one choice at a time. I just have to start making those choices.

Once the people who care about you start to see those walls coming down, I'll bet that they'll start to help you in the demolition. That's what happens when those walls start to come down.

I also know there's Someone who is a master at destroying walls and building love.

I'm taking the challenge. I'm going to make one decision that might knock a little crack in my walls. What about you?


 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.                                                                                                              Hebrews 11:30


Friday, 9 August 2013

What If...

What if for one day I didn't criticize anything?

What if I just let things happen?

What if for one day, I didn't try to have better?

What if for one day, I didn't work myself into a frenzy trying to DO better or BE better?

What if for one day, I was just content with who I am?

What if just for one day, I just enjoyed life without worrying about all the things that aren't perfect?

I wonder what would happen.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The F-word

It's probably not the F-word you're thinking of, but it might be just as dirty of a word to you. My friend, Alisha, wrote an AMAZING blog post on this word. She originally posted it on Nancy Rue's blog (Nancy Rue is one of my absolute favorite authors. Her blog is awesome!) Alisha also has an incredible story of her own, which I'll talk about in a later post. Anyway, Alisha was gracious enough to let me post her blog post here. I loved it, and I know you guys will too!

From Alisha...

They say forgive and forget, like it’s easy, like it’s possible. I put off writing this entry for a while because, quite frankly, I didn’t know what to say. I know forgiveness. I’ve done forgiveness. We all know the passage in the Bible when Jesus tells the man to forgive 7 X 70. And yet forgiveness is such a hard thing to wrap your head around.

 I spent this week looking into forgiveness. I looked at quotes from other well-known men and women who had a thing or two to say about forgiveness. Gandhi says forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. Martin Luther King Jr. says forgiveness is not an act, but a constant attitude. And I like that. I believe, from all the things I’ve learned about forgiveness, that this is true.
They say forgive and forget but I would like to raise a different argument. Forgive and don’t forget. It sounds crazy, I know, but bear with me. There have been multiple occasions in my life when I am asked to forgive. Some are small, and some are huge. I thought that forgiving the other person meant that I was excusing their behavior. But nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m not forgiving this person because of what they did is ok. I’m forgiving them for me, for my sake.

 They say to forgive and forget but I think they’re wrong. I think that by remembering you become better. By remembering what the other person did, you can use it to propel yourself forward, to grow.
I was asked not too long ago to forgive someone for something they did. I won’t tell you who it was or what I was asked to forgive, that doesn’t matter anyway, but it was huge, something I didn’t know if I would ever be able to forgive. There was no reason I should have forgiven this person and everyone was telling me I had the right to hold a grudge. Forgiveness did not come easy. And when it did come, it didn’t mean I was excusing the behavior. It was instead a “thank you for this experience.” It was letting go of what was no longer mine to hold onto. The need for revenge, the hurt, the hatred, the anger, the pain. But forgiving didn’t mean I forgot what this individual did. I will probably never forget what happened to me. It is a part of who I am and I am using it to push me, to grow me. Forgetting, I think, is like burying your head in the sand. It’s avoiding the purple elephant in the room. It isn’t possible to forget. Even if you push this thing out of your mind, it’s still there. Somewhere inside of you there is a place where all these memories go and you’ll remember. There is no hiding, no forgetting. So instead, I decided that instead of forgiving and forgetting I would forgive and grow. I would forgive and let go. I would forgive and make better choices next time, to learn from what happened to me and from my mistakes.

 What happened to me is still horrible and I am reminded of it every day when I wake up and look in the mirror. In choosing to forgive, in having that daily attitude of forgiveness like Martin Luther King Jr. suggests, I daily choose to let go of my need for revenge, let go of my pain, my anger, my hatred. I make a choice to surrender. Forgiveness, I am learning, isn’t an attribute of the weak, but instead something that requires so much strength. It isn’t excusing the behavior or letting someone off the hook. Forgiving isn’t about the other person at all. It’s about me. And you don’t have to forget to forgive. I would suggest you don’t. I didn’t. The memories of what happened have been stored and I will never forget, even if I do my best to push it out of my mind. I want to use these experiences to enable me to grow, to push myself forward into my future.
Forgiveness gave me the power to let go of my hatred and drop my anger and my pain and hold onto the things worth holding onto, like love, and family, and friendship and laughing on a Saturday afternoon at the lake. And somewhere, stored in my body, are the memories of what happened, tucked away for safe keeping. Once in a while I pull them out and dust them off, to remind me how strong I am, to remind me where I’m going. Remembering what happened to me gives me the power to grow, to know better and in turn do better. By choosing to remember I am empowered. By choosing to forgive I become strong. And by choosing to live with forgiveness and remembrance, I can embrace my future with open arms, able to hold onto relationships and love and sunny Saturday’s at the lake. I can grow and thrive and do better. By choosing forgiveness, by choosing to let me experiences push me and grow me and remembering that, I can truly live.

Alisha's post made me re-think my approach to forgiving people. It made me see it in a new light. It made this F-word a little less dirty.

To hear more of Alisha's wisdom and to learn a little bit more about her, you can check out her blog.