The Truth about Feeling Too Much but Never Enough

too much but never enough

Have you ever felt like you were too much?…Too excited?  Too emotional?  Too introverted?  Too extraverted?  Asked too many questions?  Needed too much help and encouragement?…

How about, not being enough?…Not a good enough education?  Not good enough to love?  Not smart enough to offer advice?  Not experienced enough to participate?  Not brave enough to try?

If that’s you, I have a story for you…

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A Lesson in Self Discovery {How to be the You God made You to Be}

How I Discovered Myself

Dear Girl, remember, who you are – your passions and personality are meant for more than just you!  You being the you God created is as important as the earth shining is to our ecosystem.  So know the truth about who you are, remove the clouds shadowing your passion and personality, and dare to make your dreams a reality.  In the end, you discover you, by uncovering you and gathering the courage to be you.

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On Sisters, Goals, and Talking about Guys

how to talk about guys

Every New Years my family takes time to write new goals and discuss them because when goals are talked about, we think about them more and as a result they are more likely to become reality.  It works the same way in talking about our crushes.  We have a couple thoughts about a cute guy and how he makes us laugh, then we tell our best friend and before we know it, we’re obsessing over him and dying for him to ask us out.  As fast as that, we’re star-struck – I know, because I’m a girl!  

And, that’s why my sisters and I decided that we weren’t going to talk about our crushes.

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Why You Should Like Yourself

Why You Should Like Yourself

Have you ever felt like a little girl at a birthday party watching all her friends carefully swing at the pinata desperately waiting for your turn?

Every time another girl wraps her fingers around the stick she memorizes where the pinata is and rehearses her swing.

What seems like five minutes later she makes her first swing and hits the pinata…no candy.

Finally it’s your turn.  You grasp the stick in your hand and start swinging.  You swing and and swing and swing.  Your breathing is heavy.  Finally you hit something and a loud shout erupts.

Tearing off your bandana you drop to one knee with the stick beside you reaching out for candy, but in the midst of scattered candy you see your best friend crying.

In all your aimless flailing you did hit the pinata, but at a high cost.  

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When You Look Beyond Yourself

flowerandflipflops

Dear Self,

I was reading Make It Happen by Lara Casey today and thought this would encourage you.

Friend, you don’t need to be ready or perfect to make what matters happen. A life of purpose – living for something bigger than yourself – is not about achieving your dream job or the ideal circumstance or the perfect timing. Use what you have, where you are, right now, ON PURPOSE.

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Today is All I Have

brothersunrise

Dear Self,

Today is all I have.

I’m learning that life – a beautiful, powerful life – is a choice. It’s a choice that takes work and sacrifice. But more than that it’s a choice to see the beauty and power of simply being alive.

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What No One Ever Told You About A Mountain Top Expereience

mountain top experience

Dear Self,

Have you ever heard of the mountain top experience?  Like a camp high; you’re on a mountain top and everything is amazing but you can’t stay there forever because there isn’t enough water, food, or oxygen.  At the end of camp you have to go home down into the valley.   Often it’s discouraging and a drag, but your coaches tell you not to be discouraged.

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The Flower that Taught me to Love Tough Times

The Flower That Taught me to Love Tough Times

Dear Self,

Recently, I have been reading “Hinds Feet on High Places.  It’s a story of lame little Much-Afraid’s journey of faith in the Shepherd.  Shepherd has promised to take her to the High Places and on the way give her the feet of a deer. After traveling several days the path turns, taking Much-Afraid down into a desert dashing her hopes—Shepherd had promised to take her to the High Places! Exploring this book, yet again, I have found many similarities to my own journey with my Lord and Shepherd.

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Grace that only a Forlorn Book Cover Knows

book. people. grace.

Dear Self,

Have you ever picked up a book and decided to re-shelf it only to hear from your best friend six months later that it is one of her favorite books?  Have you ever seen someone from across the room and decided not to be their friend just because of the way they look?  Has someone ever told you something and you shut down your heart towards them because what they said stung?

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What Food and Fun Have in Common

Fun Without Food is Possible

Dear Self,

Tuesday morning you walked into Panera ordered a cookie and coffee and enjoyed both without a terrorizing thought because food was not your enemy.  You knew that food was fuel so when you were satisfied you were able to stop eating and sipping guilt-free.  It was a victorious moment worth savoring.  

But it hasn’t always been that way.  It used to be every time you decided to indulge, you couldn’t stop.  It was as if you were trying to make up for all those years you deprived yourself.  Food wasn’t your enemy anymore but it was still a beast.  So you embarked on journey number two: learning that while food is fuel, food is also fun.

Oddly enough, having fun and enjoying food have a lot in common.

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What Pumping Gas Taught Me About Food

Food as Fuel

Dear Self,

It was just three years ago that your mom spent 15 minutes coaching you on how and what to order at Starbucks.  You were so afraid of ordering you almost cancelled your coffee date!  You weren’t scared of the cashier.  You weren’t scared of coffee.  And you weren’t scared of spending money.  You were scared you wouldn’t have the courage to enjoy your drink.  In short, food had become your enemy.  You couldn’t think of it as fuel.  All you could think of were the calories you were about to ask for, pay for, and be expected to savor.

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What I learned from Packing One Carry-On Suitcase

Carry-on Suitacse

Dear Self,

Packing one carry-on suitcase was a good idea!  It was such a great idea that I think you should take the same approach to your summer.  Now before you get all defensive let me clarify a few things.  I’m not suggesting that you create a capsule wardrobe.  I’m not encouraging you to go without.  And, I’m not trying to add another challenge or burden to your life.  Quite the opposite really, because these are all the benefits I have observed since have been in Florida with only one carry-on suitcase.

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Snow White was Right

Snow White was Right

Dear Self,

It’s easy to become overwhelmed and beaten up by your emotions.  Before you know it you’ve been thrown from your boogie board.   Your face is being ground into the sand while relentless waves tumble you like shoes in a dryer.  Disoriented you don’t know how to escape and claim the precious brilliance of light and hopeful air.  You’ve been beaten and the only hope of survival you have is owning the fact so that you can be pulled to the surface.  

Snow White was right, “It’s important to know when you’ve been beaten.”

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How my Emotional Mess became El Shaddai’s Mosiac

emotional mess to mosaic

Dear Self,

I had no idea I had it in me to write you three letters about managing your emotions.  But as I was pondering the series of letters I have most recently written I realized that I neglected to teach you my favorite emotion management technique.  So while it’s still on my mind I want to share with you my secret to floating through the ocean of emotions.

One day when I was drowning in my high-school emotions mom sent me to my room to journal until I had a happy heart.  I was mad.   But between filling lined notebook paper and smearing ink with my tears I discovered David’s secret.

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PART 3: Burns, Burglars, and Emotions

Bruns, Burglars, and Emotions

Dear Self,

I can hardly believe this little letter I started writing last week has turned into three.  In the first letter I clarified that emotions are merely our experiential realization of our thoughts – they’re not wrong, it’s what we do with them that can be wrong.  And, in my most recent letter, I challenged you to describe your emotions more fully by identifying and defining them.  Today, I’m going to teach you how to respond.  

Your security system has been breached, you know that burglars are climbing through your window to steal the brownies baking in your oven – the brownies that you were looking forward to enjoying with your friends!  There are three responses.

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PART 2: Burns, Burglars, and Emotions

Burns, Burglars, and Emotions

Dear Self,

In my last letter I explained that emotions aren’t wrong, rather it’s what we do with our emotions that can be wrong.  After all, emotions are merely the experience of our thoughts.  They should not initiate our actions, but rather be treated as indicators to what is happening in our souls.  Which leads us to soul-searching.

Back to our brownie analogy, when you feel the heat you need to register what that heat is and where it’s coming from.  In other words, upon feeling heat you instinctively know that you forgot hot mitts.  Unfortunately, our brain doesn’t instinctively understand the thoughts sparking our emotions.  So, some soul-searching is required.  

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PART 1: Burns, Burglars, and Emotions

The truth about emotions

Dear Self,

I know you hate emotions.  You’ve tried to throw them overboard like sandbags on a hot air balloon.  Living with them is sickening.  But once you’ve dumped them, living without them is horrifying. I’ve got news for you, (WARNING: I’m about to sound like your mother) emotions aren’t bad.  They’re not deadweights anchoring you to average. It’s what you do with your emotions that can be bad.

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The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is Real

Dear Self,

The real feat wasn’t running 13.1 miles. The feat was the last 8 years leading up to this race. The time you dared to go on a second run even though you couldn’t make it once around the track on your first run. All the times you ran when you didn’t want to, rested intentionally, and every single time you ignored the thoughts that told you that you couldn’t.

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Lying to Yourself is NOT Okay

painting the truth

Dear Self,

Why didn’t you tell the truth yesterday?  I understand that you had been looking forward to relaxing with your sister and watching a movie.  It’s completely reasonable that your feelings were hurt when she wanted to finish her book instead of chill with you, but under no circumstances did you have license to speak falsely to yourself.

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The Secret to Running through Discomfort

running

Dear Self,

I can remember it like yesterday (maybe that’s because it was yesterday), feet pounding, mind chanting, chest heaving, arms working.  This would be the day you set a new personal record.  Every stride counted.  At the start you picked a speedy yet sustainable pace.  Now maintaining that pace through labored breathing and lagging legs was your only key to victory.     

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4 Factors in Hopeful Living

Hope

Dear Self,

Hope is a funny thing – an influential thing. It impacts your health, your decisions, and your actions. But hope is simply the sum of the thoughts you choose to think.

If you are thinking about how there is not enough time or you don’t have what it takes, the result is hopelessness. But if you choose to determine in your heart that God will make a way where there seems to be no way or that a lesson can be learned in every situation you have just set yourself up a hope equation.

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