Stopping the Hate Talk: 5 ways to a Better You!

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

“I hate my hair, my arms, my legs.” I look so fat in these pants.” Why can’t I look like that other girl? She always looks so perfect; she makes me sick. ” If I had all the money in the world and could afford a personal trainer, I could look like that too.”

How many times do we say these things to ourselves or about others? Why are we so degrading to ourselves and other women? It doesn’t matter your age: young girl, teenager, young adult, older adult, pre baby body., post baby body. When does it stop? When do you decide that you are enough and that God made you the way you are. As a teenager, I thought myself pretty; I thought myself confident. It wasn’t until middle adulthood that I started to doubt myself. There have been plenty of times that I have looked in the mirror and thought that I did not like the way I looked. Part of my problem is that I have not been treating my body right and I have had two babies and it really does change your body! What do you hate about yourself? What do you love about yourself? Which one do you think about the most?

Self-worth is defined as the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person; self esteem; self respect. Do you place value in yourself? Do you have respect for yourself? Do you think of yourself as worthy and beautiful?

All this self degrading hate talk stops here. IT STOPS HERE!I challenge you here-forth that when you look in the mirror you find one thing you like about yourself, just one. Daily. Yes, DAILY!

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8: 31-39), but He still wants us to take care of ourselves and our bodies. The following things help me to take care of myself and help me feel good about my own self-esteem.

1.GET UP AND MOVE!  Whether it is taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood, an aerobics video in the comfort of your home, or training for a race, get up and move. Start TODAY! Even ten minutes a day can make a difference. Make it work. Maybe that means climbing stairs during a short break at work or parking in the furthest parking lot. Sometimes, for me that means having a dance party with my 3 year old. Or I have an aerobic app on my phone that lets me choose 5 to 10 minute increments. Sometimes my 3 year old and 5 month old join in the fun. One ting I’m going to try in the next few weeks is running before my husband leaves for work!

2. EAT HEALTHY! Of course there are lots of arguments about what is the best diet or supplement our there. Think before you eat! Is this particular food going to make me feel good or energized? I’m not saying to never have that piece of chocolate, I’m just suggesting you think twice about it. This is definitely one of my biggest challenges. I have a huge sweet tooth! It’s about lifestyle change. While I don’t follow it strictly and I am not an expert, my personal belief is that a plant based diet is best for health and energy. Commit to make a change. Just eating more veggies and fruit can make a difference! Progress not perfection!

3. CHALLENGE YOUR MIND! Take time to learn. Read, whether an actual book, a website, eBooks, newspaper, or a magazine. The world is full of great minds. You are one of them!

4. FEED YOUR SOUL! This is the most important point. Make time to pray or read your Bible and talk to God. I try to get up before my children in order for this to happen. Now lately, that has not gone like I planned. I have an almost 6 month old who wakes up in the middle of the night, and well, I am grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep. On those days, I try to read while I’m nursing him. Many times I’m praying in the car on my way to work. Those two things, especially the prayer, make a huge difference in how my the rest of my day goes, and how I feel about myself as a person. I am a much better mom, wife, and friend, when I make time to pray and read God’s word. End of story.

5. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! I don’t care what that looks like or how much time you say you don’t have. For me it looks like time to write or time for a hike, a walk around the neighborhood, sipping on a hot cup of tea or coffee on my back deck. Coffee or lunch or breakfast with a friend, even if it has to be over the phone. Perhaps you can wake up 10 minutes before the rest of your house, just to sip and drink your coffee. Maybe once a month, you can find a babysitter or your significant other can watch the children, and you can go get coffee, by yourself or with a close friend. Find a  walking partner. Train for a race with your co-workers. Sometimes, I take an extra long shower because that may be the only time I have had to myself that day. I breathe in the steam and take pleasure in the solitude and not having to explain what I’m doing. Everybody leaves you alone when you are in the shower (most of the time).

Challenge yourself to love more. We don’t need all the hate talk. Life is hard enough without being so mean to ourselves

What are some tips you have on increasing self-worth?

Thanks for reading! Please share with those extraordinary women you think need a reminder of how awesome they are!

I have purchased my own website now, so I will be getting away from word press and starting my blog over there! It’s still a work in progress, so be sure to join me at ExtraOrdinary Living  to see what adventures lie ahead.

 

CELEBRATE YOUR CURVES

Beauty in So Many Ways

Beauty in So Many Ways

I was driving home from work the other day when one of my favorite songs came on the radio. I had not heard this song in forever!  When you hear the title you will know what a sap I am for lyrics.  The song was “This One’s for the Girls”, by Martina McBride. I think I heard the song in my early to mid 20s. I would sing as loud as I could in my little sedan. It always gave me goose bumps. I felt it could relate to the depths of  my very soul of being a woman. It always makes me so sad when I hear women insult themselves or even others. That is not how God made us to be, but yet it is so prevalent in our culture. Each section of the song touched me in different ways. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTowId2CWHA

I think that now is actually when I need this song the most. I don’t recall very much lack of self confidence when I was a teenager or even in college and my early 20s. Somehow, I knew that all the things that people think others notice are not usually discernible to anyone but yourself. Very few people notice that zit or that you hair is too straight, or that you have one more roll or wrinkle than the person next to you. They are usually too busy thinking about their own flaws. I always knew who I was and to Whom I belonged.

It hasn’t been until my current years that my self esteem has started to plummet. I guess we all reach that stage at different points. You see, I was the girl that was skinny and didn’t have to worry about what she ate. While I was introverted and shy, when I made the effort, I could make friends easily. I put myself in situations where I would make the friends I wanted. It’s not that I wasn’t self conscious at times, but it was usually a fleeting thought, quickly brushed aside as being silly.

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You would think that now, in my 30s, would be the least likely time for me to have self esteem problems. But now is the time when my body has changed the most. I have been through one pregnancy and am currently pregnant for a second time. I felt confident I would lose the weight I wanted with my first child, (after all, I was going to breast feed) but I didn’t.  I was able to breast feed for over a year, but I have yet to lose the weight I wanted. I eat healthy; I exercise. (granted I could do better at both). I know in 10 to 20 years I will laugh at my 30 something year old self.  I have a beautiful daughter and a husband who loves me and adores me and thinks I’m beautiful all the time. But it is not enough for him to think that or say that, as much as he wants it to be. I have to believe it. And I have to remind myself of the beauty in myself and more importantly, the beauty that God sees in me. After all, He is the one who made me.

2103“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me… You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning; if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. … You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. …You saw me before I was born….How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!…Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalms 139

IMG_1018 Everything He makes is beautiful. What I see are extra curves, but God sees hips that gave birth to a miracle and Lord willing a second healthy miracle. When I see my laugh lines, I see wrinkles, but God sees memories and love. When I feel that minor back pain, I feel hurt and frustration, God sees a healing back who stooped to help others.  Where I see ugliness, God sees beauty. In the near future, I may see gray hairs, but God will see wisdom. I may see arthritic hands, but God will see hands that provided comfort. Who are we to mourn our lives, we should be celebrating. Celebrate every curve, every gray hair, every wrinkle, they all have stories to tell. Know that it is okay to not be your same size you were in high school or college.

You are beautiful! God declares that you are precious!

I

KEEP DREAMING, NO REGRETS

KEEP DREAMING, FARTHER THAN THE OCEAN

KEEP DREAMING, FARTHER THAN THE OCEAN

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to be when I grow up. You see, I want to be proud to tell my children and grandchildren what I do, whether that be a homemaker, a lawyer, a doctor, a volunteer or anything else. I want them to know that they can reach for their dreams and if their dreams change, that is okay, because that’s life and God speaks to us in different ways at different times. Lately, it has been a struggle. You see, I am a nurse. I decided that is what I wanted to do in college. Being 18 or 19 or 20 and having to decide your entire career path is very daunting and overwhelming. So being the analytical person I am, I did personality tests, career tests, talked with career counselors, perused all the careers my personality matched. Basically I spent a semester to a year of my life contemplating this ever daunting decision that would forever change my path of life. Or so I was led to passionately believe.

Now I am all for career counseling; please don’t misunderstand.  I think nursing is a noble profession, and I think I made the right decision for myself with the knowledge I had at the time. I try really hard to not live with regrets, because what are regrets? Nothing but pining over your past life thinking about what might have been. That is no way to live. And I believe, even if you did make a bad decision, that your past is part of who you are today. It does not define you, but to deny your past is to deny yourself.

What I have struggled with the last few years is thinking I had to stay a nurse forever. That it wasn’t okay for my life or passions to change. I am just now coming to the realization that it doesn’t have to stay that way. I should have figured that out a long time ago. There were several women in my nursing class who were not the traditional age for college and in fact it was their second career choice. They had different careers. So why have I felt this way all these years?

I worked so hard to graduate nursing school. I studied constantly, I had no life, I was constantly worrying about falling behind (more on worries another day). I lost hours of sleep. Just about the only relationships I had were the people in my nursing class (who were awesome by the way). There were days when I stayed up until the early hours of the morning, studying and working on  projects. The next day I had clinical, and then the next night was the same. It just seemed a shame to waste what I had spent five years studying and working towards. Not to mention, that I am still paying off school loans (I chose to go to a private school). I have worked in all different arrays of the nursing profession. I worked in an intensive care unit, a rheumatology clinic, a medical surgical floor, and I now work in the operating room. It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I do, but it’s that I have lost my passion, I have lost my way. I have become apathetic, and that is what I’m not proud to tell my children. Now, maybe that just means that I need to find a different avenue of nursing. If that is not the case, then I have to accept that  I may need to pursue a different passion, one that I can be excited to dream about  I feel like right now,

God has put it on my heart to start this blog. I want to be able to reach out to women all over the world, who just need a little encouragement or don’t feel like they are enough. They are enough, and so much more. They are God’s daughters. You are beautiful because God chose you before you were even born, and you were made in his image.

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.”

Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God, he created them, male and female, he created them.”

Perhaps, like me, you are struggling with thinking  you have to stay in the career you chose, but I no longer believe that is true. In fact, that is preposterous.  As moms and daughters and sisters, we should always dare to dream. Ask God to help you with your dreams and show you the way. It might take you down a path you would never expect, but as long as you are following him, it will be the right path. As for me,  I pray this blog is also God’s dream for me and that he can use me to inspire and encourage woman for His glory. And if he says no, then I pray he will direct me in the way I should go.

Psalms 23:1-3, The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul, He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

Keep Dreaming and being your extraordinary you. There is none other like you, none so beautiful as in the eyes of the Beholder.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV): In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Extraordinary Moments of the Week: December 21st, 2014

This segment marks the first of a brief summary of  the extraordinary moments in my week. The moments in which I have witnessed acts of beauty, service or kindness; moments where there is a light in the darkness. I hope you will follow along with me, and share your own moments.

One of the strongest passions in my life is learning to show my daughter God’s love. My greatest hope for her (and any future children) is not that she will be happy or successful (although of course I want those things as well!), but for her to know God’s love and for her to love God. I do not profess to understand this myself. My daughter is currently teaching me more about God’s love than I could ever attempt to show her. A child’s innocence and pure honesty has a way of keeping one accountable of every word and action they profess to say or do.

I believe one way in which we can experience God’s unconditional love is just by living; Living in the beauty of this world and looking for the light in darkness.

1. Monday, a friend of mine needed to buy one more gift that her daughter wanted for Christmas. The store was on the clear opposite side of town for her, so I was able to go for her.  I am glad (though I admit begrudgingly at first) that I was able to hopefully alleviate some of her stress level at this busy time of year.

2. Monday morning, we also received an unexpected gift from our daycare provider. Gifts are always nice, but it seems even nicer when it is unexpected. Thank you! It made our day!

3. Tuesday, I’m at work, and I just have to brag on our cleaning attendant. Not only this day, but everyday, she keeps everything remarkably clean, considering I work with about 100 other people on any given day. And to top it off, she does it with remarkable grace and cheer.

4. This is my daughter’s 2nd Christmas, so of course last year she really was not all that interested. This year. however, the joy in her little expression from opening gifts and realizing they were for her, is enough to melt this mama’s heart.

5. Another note on Christmas: The ability to be able to face time with my family, who lives hundreds of miles away. That is something we can only fully appreciate in this day and time.

6. Friday, I had the blessing of going to lunch with my husband’s aunt. Female camaraderie is hard to beat.

7. Finally, but certainly not least:  Watching the excitement on my daughter’s face as she jammed to her uncle playing the drums.  And I do mean jammed!  IMG_1647

Matthew 5:16 (ESV): In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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