TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF (70+ IDEAS)

hey babes!

how’s your heart? did you know that May is the Mental Health Awareness Month? of course, this holds a very special space in my heart. as someone who has battled anxiety disorders, phobias, and depression for nearly her whole life, caring for my mental health & making others aware of the reality of mental illness, is super important to me.

so, in celebration of this month, I thought I’d share with you some thoughts & ideas for caring for your own mental health.

because, honestly, your mental health is the MOST important- it affects every other type of health… physical, emotional, and spiritual.

so, loves, here are some ideas for taking care of yourself and silencing the shame surrounding mental illness. Continue reading “TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF (70+ IDEAS)”

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FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP

hey there family.

how’s your heart doing? how does life feel against your skin? how’s the weight on your shoulders?

heavy?

yeah… me, too.

because I’ve been struggling real fierce with the weight lately. with the heaviness of all that the world is. all that the Way is. all the healing and woundedness in the world.

I’ve been taking more pauses for deep breaths meant to cleanse and pause and bring shalom into my heart. more because there’s more to breathe against. more to fear. more wounds to bind up.

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the world is heavy, and the weight is fearsome, and the depth of the rawness of our humanity is leagues and leagues more so than the ocean. and we must find a way to breathe through it, to surrender to the healing, even as the arrows pierce our hearts.

and all the bitter hypocrisy, all the callous & graceless acts of others, all the hard work for more disappointment, all the exhaustion and survival, all the confusion and frustration of WHY IS THIS THE WAY IT IS… sometimes it just leaves me bruised & busted up in my soul. Continue reading “FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP”

A SWEETER, DEEPER FAST FOR LENT

hey fam!

anyone else totally participate in lent half-heartedly or not at all because you don’t fully understand it, or (like your new years resolutions) can’t seem to stick with whatever it is you decide on? just me?

well, I stumbled across something on facebook today that completely blew those excuses out of the water and honestly just touched my heart.

I just have to say… I was so deeply inspired by the words of Pope Francis surrounding Lent this year. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but these are his thoughts & they’re seriously worth some intense consideration:

fast from hurting words & say kind words
fast from sadness & be filled with gratitude
fast from anger & be filled with patience
fast from pessimism & be filled with hope
fast from worries & have trust in God
fast from complaints & contemplate simplicity
fast from pressures & be prayerful
fast from bitterness & fill your hearts with joy
fast from selfishness & be compassionate to others
fast from grudges & be reconciled
fast from words & be silent so you can listen

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woah. so good, right?
this is one of those times where I’m like… why didn’t I think of that?! 😉

but really. how often do we set aside time to fast from behaviors of the soul that are slowly wounding us? how often do we truly fast from things that matter instead of mediocre things that are really just for show?

so, which one hits you the most? I’m over here like “they all do”. 😉

I want to encourage you, sweet family, to break out of your comfort zone and fast from a wounding habit in your life. let the letting go hurt. swallow the ache and feel it go down. digest it and let the release do its good work in you. go deep and feel the sweetness of surrender.

I’m challenging myself to this, too! we can do it together.

WHY MAKING YOUR HOUSE A HAVEN MAKES YOU A MORE GENEROUS PERSON

I don’t know about you, but my soul always feels a little more calm when my home feels like, well, home.

when I have that safe space that feels like a true haven from the chaos, everything seems a bit less daunting. when it’s clean, un-cluttered, and filled with the things (and people!) that bring me joy, it’s a space I want to be, a space I can be productive in, and a space that refreshes my spirit.

and shouldn’t that be how all homes are?!

it also makes me more ready to invite those into my home who are craving that same haven of peace and pause. having a true haven instead of simply a house or place to live, makes me not just a more refreshed person, but a more generous person. and that is something I desperately want to be.

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I want not just my soul, but also my space, to be a welcoming retreat from the ache and wild of an insane world… not just for me, but for the friend who just got a dreaded phone call, the group of young girls searching for someone to take them seriously, the couple who can’t stop fighting, the one who doesn’t have family nearby and just needs some loving-on. I want people to step into my home (however small) and breathe the fresh air of belonging. Continue reading “WHY MAKING YOUR HOUSE A HAVEN MAKES YOU A MORE GENEROUS PERSON”

how to rest (a totally useless guide)

so I haven’t written much since I returned from my holy yoga training retreat, except to update you all who were so sweetly and so diligently covering me in prayer. (you are the BEST, y’all.) But here’s a little peak into the wild and holy work that went on in my soul that week… Consider that (along with the history of this blog 😉 ) your disclaimer.

you have been warned. proceed with caution.

it all started with the flight. boarding scared & doing it afraid, and being so utterly terrified that I just curled into a ball, stuck my headphones in, and listened to music about God carrying me as the plane took off. miraculously, no panic pills were involved. so great, right?!
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((photo from the HOYO family facebook page- not mine))

after a whirlwind night meeting people for the first time, only to bunk with them about ten minutes later (only through Jesus, y’all), and rushing back to the airport to reconvene with the rest of the HOYO sisterhood that was arriving for retreat, and bumping along the Arizona desert for 3 hours, and moving into our cabins & going through our first flow as a group… Sunday was killer, guys.

and Monday and Tuesday were hellish. yeah. I said it. constantly moving from dawn to long after dusk on little sleep, high elevation, and surrounded by people I had never met before. (and all the introverts draw a collective gasp of horror, as the extroverts are thinking I must have intended to type heavenly). I honestly wasn’t sure I’d survive the week at that point.

and then Tuesday night hit, and I’m lying in savasana on a hard wood gym floor, only separated by a thin yoga mat, surrounded by quiet breathing and muffled sniffles, staring up at the dimmed lights and orange glow of the heaters, thinking, “what the hell have I done? I’m so utterly exhausted. I don’t understand. I thought I was called to this. but no, I’m still exhausted… just like I have been for the past year of my life. it never ends, and God you still don’t give me any sort of strength, for some reason that continues to infuriate and frustrate my ever-loving mind.”

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((photo from the HOYO facebook page- not mine))

and then the touch came. soft and subtle, the hands of a kind friend massaging my scalp, pressing into my shoulders… and her voice: Continue reading “how to rest (a totally useless guide)”

Let the arrows fly- a lesson in healing & freedom

Let’s get something straight: sometimes in this ugly, broken world, our hearts are punctured by brutality and injustice inflicted upon us- either intentional or not. As often as not, we are punctured by the church. Though this is not the way it should be- not the way it was designed to be– it is the way it is.

In those moments of acute and stinging pain, it can feel like arrows aimed at our souls, at the soft and carefully hidden pin-points of our insecurities, and the wounds carved out by these arrows go immeasurably deep, are unspeakably painful. It can leave us breathless, pincushioned by shafts of carefully aimed lies, protruding from our chests.

I know this, sweet friend.

And sometimes, it’s the same arrow. Sometimes, it’s the same lie. Sometimes, it’s the same spot, scarred over from dozens of attacks, that gets split open once again. 

See, sometimes we think we’re safe- that after this vast array of identical scars in the same exact spot, we can’t possibly withstand another. But then it comes. And what then?

let the arrows fly

I’ve been there, too. The enemy has one lie that he’s constantly shooting, wailing through the air, at my heart.one lie that he’s used God’s church to attempt to hammer into me my whole life: Continue reading “Let the arrows fly- a lesson in healing & freedom”

monday pep talk // meeting Him on the mat

hi sweet friends 🙂

I have something very special and beautiful to speak with you about today!
if you’re like me and have made a holy commitment to following Jesus, you’re gonna be pretty psyched about today’s post 🙂

if you follow Jesus, you should be meeting with Him every day.
that’s a simple truth that rings true no matter who you are or where you’re at in your Jesus journey.
and if this is something that’s a habit for you (it 100% needs to be!!), then you know how your time in His presence will completely transform and uplift your day like nothing else in the world can. ❤

there are lots of ways to do this, and I know several incredible fellow followers whose times of quiet with Jesus look totally different.
I think that is so amazing!! 🙂
it blows my mind and makes my heart happy to know that we were each created to interact with our Creator in a way that is unique to our soul and His heart.
no one else’s time with Jesus is going to be quite like yours.
there is no “one right way” to do it! 😀

today though, I’m showing you how I meet Him daily.
I meet Him on my mat.
The best part of my day is when I get to read Scripture and then meditate on and pray to the glorious God who guides my steps while worshiping Him with my body on my yoga mat.

monday pep talk

I haven’t spoken too much about my yoga practice on this blog, but that’s beginning to change.
mostly because the way I practice yoga has changed.
in addition to simply using it to better my body (which is an awesome use of this workout!), I’ve begun to use it as a way to meet with Jesus. Continue reading “monday pep talk // meeting Him on the mat”

6 ways to help your stinging heart respond from accusation // day 6 of 27

Hi again, dear ones.

I thought that today I’d write about something unpleasant. You know, because I so enjoy doing that to you lovely people! 😉

today I’m writing about accusations.
oh, you know the kind… when out of the blue some other human is like “you are terrible, and here’s five hundred and twenty three point nine reasons why!”
and you’re just left standing there, your heart stinging like it’s just been slapped, wondering “where did that even come from?” and “holy what the what now?”

and you’re like “man, I’m so sorry… I had no idea…”
and for some reason their fury is unrelenting…

yeah. that’s happened.

yeah. that’s rough.

and sometimes it’s because I was stupid, and sometimes I was a total jerk and had no idea, and sometimes it was because of something I hadn’t realized was a big deal to the other person, and sometimes it was the accidental way I phrased something that just didn’t get across like I intended…
and sometimes the other person is just way sensitive or defensive or crazy or immature and looking for drama.

in which case… help!

no matter the situation, there are six things (heehee, for day six) you should always, always do before responding to your accuser: Continue reading “6 ways to help your stinging heart respond from accusation // day 6 of 27”

making a peace treaty // how to halt your hectic heart this Christmas

I am bad at things.

things, meaning specifically, not being a stressed-out stress ball of stress always. (ha. oops)

also, not waging war with myself. not taking time enough to reflect on truth; instead living in the lies I tell myself.
lies of uselessness, weakness… lies that say God can never use me in my struggle, that I’ll never make much of him when I can’t stop making much of this anxiety, this down-ness, this “ugh, you terrible woman” when I forget to do my chores and cause an extra addition to my  wonderful husband’s to-do list….
all of which make a mockery of the image of God planted in me and shout disbelief and lack of confidence in my God.

anybody with me on this?
yeah? yeah.

here’s the thing. I don’t want to be stressed. (revolutionary, I know.)
I want the Peace. you know the kind- the stuff that passes all understanding.
the stuff that rights wrongs and writes forever-treaties.
the God-stuff that Jesus says His followers are supposed to have in abundance.

but I’m bad at it. Continue reading “making a peace treaty // how to halt your hectic heart this Christmas”

in which a selah space is created

yeah, you know the rushing.

the terrific swell of too much nothing and more nothingness.

day-full of all the quantity and none of the quality.

yeah, you know that.

yeah, so do I.

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we need selah.
a pause.
a moment of meditation.
of reflection.
of peace.

space10 Continue reading “in which a selah space is created”