Fearless 

“What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of the next thing you need to do.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

She handed me the keys. 

“Wait, what?” I exclaimed, confused. 

“You’re driving,” my instructor said.

And with that I stuck the keys in the ignition and was off. I had driven before— in circles around empty parking lots. But driving on the road for the first time is always a bit uncomfortable. It took a little bit of time to get used to the new car, and I imagined my first lesson to be rather abrasive. However, driving so far has been going incredibly well. For some reason, I’m not afraid to drive. 

I wasn’t afraid to drive the first time I sat in a car because my dad was right next to me. I knew that he wouldn’t let me do anything stupid or crash into any walls. 

And I wasn’t afraid to drive on the street today with my instructor, because I knew she had a second set of brakes and would simply grab my wheel if I was about to hit a curb. We explored various different neighborhoods, a busy shopping plaza, and some major streets before I asked if I could drive to my church where I take dance classes. I wanted to know I could drive there safely with my dad after the lesson. Doing that however would involve crossing a giant intersection that you wouldn’t typically cross on your first lesson. 

“Sure!” She said. She guided me through the left turn and I surprisingly stayed in my lane and didn’t kill anyone. 

At another left turn on the way back, my instructor told me, “You’re crazy.”

“What do you mean?” I said, laughing.

“Most people don’t even want to leave their neighborhoods on their first lesson. And you wanted to drive to church!” 

“I don’t know. I’m typically a pretty anxious person.”

“You can be anxious and still be a good driver. It keeps you safe and alert. It’s the fear that messes people up and keeps them from doing things.”

I let that sink in.

“But you, you’re fearless. I like you,” she concluded. 

Fearless. 

I spend so much time fearing for the future. I spend so much time contemplating what I’m going to do with my life. What is so different about being in a car and taking the wheel? Why am I not afraid? 

I remember my dad holding my bike  when I was 5 years old, so afraid that he was going to let go. And he did! And I was riding on my own—for like 3 seconds— until I freaked out and started to veer off. But he was still right there, close enough to steady me back in place. 

That is who our God is. Even in the moments he feels the most distant, he is still there. He will never let us down, ever. I’ve learned that sometimes a good father has to throw his beloved daughter out in the open, so she can explore the world and have the chance to succeed, while still staying close enough to catch her when the world ends up being cruller than it seems. 

I told my driving instructor, “I trust you.” I trusted her through every turn and lane change. I don’t know why she trusted me with the steering wheel, but she does know that the only way I will ever learn to drive is by driving. When I drive with my dad, I trust him the same way. In church they always ask the congregation, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” The answer for me is I would live ever so freely. For the first time, I would focus on doing things right rather than everything I’m doing wrong. Because if my instructor thought I was ready for the road, then I must be ready for the road. If God thinks I’m ready for whatever battles he’s giving me, I must be ready. So I’m just going to drive and see where these roads take me, trusting that if I end up somewhere I’m not supposed to God will show me the way. 

The Bible says “do not fear” exactly 365 times, once for each day. God calls us to be fearless. If we live without fear, we live without restraints.  

So what would you do if you weren’t afraid? 

Dear God, 

Today I want to live without fear. The only way I can do that is if I keep my eyes on you. If I wasn’t afraid, I would dance again. I would study relentlessly. I would try new things, and be much more resilient through challenges. 

So today, I need you to help me trust you with everything. That is the only way I will ever be free. 💜

How I Survived Junior Year 

Yesterday was my last day of junior year. My goodness, it has been quite a journey. I can’t believe the hardest year of high school over. I aced all of my classes except AP chemistry, which I got a B in. So I spent my last day shrieking for joy when I found out my AP lang teacher was rounding my 89.9% to an A-, delivering cards to all my teachers to express my overwhelming gratitude for how much they have taught me this year. I wanted to take some time to explore how much I’ve grown this year, and explain the importance of looking back and saying, “thank you.”

Reflection:

I didn’t know that one day I would think calculus was fun.

I remember struggling so much in math. Freshman year, I had two full blown panic attacks in my Algebra 2 class. I remember going in for the first time, bringing the weight of every test I have ever failed up until that point, saying 3 words that changed my life: I need help. I can’t do this on my own. And I remember my teacher asking me, “With what?” And then bursting into tears, slowly sitting down, and allowing my teacher to sift through my thoughts and pull me on my feet again.

I remember getting pulled in the counseling office. I was told to drop the class. I flipped my hair and left.

The following year didn’t start off much better. On the 5th day of pre-cal, I burst into tears again while asking my teacher questions. He had quite the intimidating demeanor, but I absolutely love him now. With a lot of hard work, I aced math for the first time in my life.

But calculus was a completely different journey. I had such a phenomenal teacher who never ceased to make me laugh. The only time I left class without smiling was when I got a D on the second test. Other than that, I was never afraid to ask questions. My teacher always knew the right things to say, making calculus extremely fun and hard all at the same time. I spent many lunches trying to crack problems on the board with him and overall learned so much. When I found out I was getting an A in calculus, I could barely fathom how I made it this far. So I made him a card, thanking him for being so patient with me.

Throughout this journey, the math teacher I had freshman year was always there for me. I was her T.A this year too, allowing me to give back a little. This year she was retiring, so I made her a jar entitled, “25 Ways You’ve Changed My Life.” I’m going to miss her as a mentor a lot. My journey getting here started with her.


I also didn’t know I would find myself in one of the hardest classes at my school, AP chemistry. That class totally ruined my gpa. But if I had to trade every memory, every morning spent getting my questions answered, every tear, and every guest speaker for a 4.0, I wouldn’t. My teacher was again one of the most amazing human beings on the face of this planet. He was so compassionate. You could tell him anything. I am so grateful I got to have him pour so much into my life. 

I’m so grateful for flying kites in English, biking to school with my Econ teacher, and catching up on homework in history. I’m so thankful for my Econ teacher for letting me push all of the desks in his class aside so I could practice dance turns on finals day. It was so nice to spend my last day delivering cards to my teachers. It was so nice to say, “thank you.” Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for changing my world.

Junior year was really stressful. I didn’t think I would make it. It always seems impossible until it is done. Honestly I think I survived by the pure grace of God. 

Tips For an Incoming Junior

1. If you don’t understand something, ask for help. It is so much easier than waiting until everything has snowballed. 

2. Do not become caught up in perfecting everything. Be grateful for every borderline A or B that comes, because failing tests is not an uncommon practice. 

3. Practice makes perfect, and there is nothing you cannot do.

4. Find a few good friends who will love you for who you are that are just as motivated and driven. Just because your personality is the opposite of theirs, it doesn’t mean you can’t become best friends. 

5. Do what you love. You cannot just do school. Make sure you are taking time to yourself every week to avoid burnout. 

6. Don’t compare your grades to others. I know this one is hard, but you should aim to only be better than you were yesterday, and nothing more. 

7. Sleep. Sleep is great. Don’t procrastinate, and then you will get a lot of it.

8. Study with your friends. If something seems super daunting, conquer it with someone else. Studying for AP chem tests with my friend helped so much. 

9. Pray. Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything. My year would’ve probably gone better if I did this one more often. 

10. Challenge yourself. Taking classes that I loved this year made all the difference, even though they were so hard. 

11. Be open minded. Go to school wanting to learn, and you will. 

12. Plan your studying to keep yourself from being overwhelmed. 

13. Start studying for AP tests as soon as possible. 

14. Know your stengths and weaknesses. Focus on making your weaknesses into strengths.

15. Lastly, have fun. Do things that you never thought were possible. 🙂 

Senior year is going to be so much fun. I only have 4 classes, and I’m taking voice at my community college for a little extra pzazz. I’m going to be dancing again, hopefully, and will be helping lead Christian club at my school. 

I’m so grateful for this year, and even more excited for what is to come. Through it all, I know that I will survive senior year as long as I don’t try to do it all on my own. 🙂 

How did your school year go? Tell me down below! 

Trying to Please Everyone 

There is beauty here, even though I don’t belong. I am torn, restless, as I ponder through the million emotions inside my head, trying to decide whether I have a reason to dance again, or what people will think if I switch churches. In the midst of feeling that everyone wants me to be in a million different places, I stumbled upon this verse on Caitlyn Zick’s blog: 

Rather than trying to please everyone, it is much more important to “sink yourself into who you are and the work you have been given.” In others words, follow your heart. Follow the will that God has placed on your heart. 

In regards to dance, I feel as though I have a million reasons to quit. I’m afraid to to start because I remember what it felt like to leave class so empty. I’m afraid of committing to something that I won’t have time for. I’m afraid of doing something as stupid as missing my best friend’s graduation for rehearsal again. 

But on the flip side, I love dance. My Econ teacher lets me push all the desks in his classroom and do turns the entire period now that we do nothing in class. I dance at home all the time. I love stretching. I yearn to learn more about this artform, to become better, and to develop my character through pirouettes and switch leaps. 

Make a careful exploration of who you are… 

My whole self is screaming at me to not give dance another shot, as it might hurt me again. But who am I? I’m not a quitter. I’m not defined by how well I dance. It isn’t about being the best dancer in the world, but the best dancer and person I can be. Because, like I’ve said a million times on this blog, God will use you as you are, and that includes everything you love. 

And in order to be the best person I can be, I have to take care of myself. I have to listen to what my body needs. If my soul is searching for more of Jesus, exploring a new church is okay. If my soul is yearning to dance again, maybe I am supposed to dance again. It doesn’t matter what people will think of me if I choose to dance again or choose to seek after Jesus in a new place. After all, I live for an audience of one. 

Sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself that my relationship with God is between me and God, and nobody else. Everyone will have their own opinions about why I’m doing whatever I’m doing. If I am feeling overwhelmed, that is a red flag. I must then re-check my motives. Who am I living for? Who am I dancing for? Myself? My friends? Or am I going to dance for Him, the one who set my feet to dancing in the first place? 

Aside from dancing, the list of things to do is always endless. This summer I want to dance, but I also want to get CPR certified (which probably won’t work out as the classes are full) and need to do some hardcore ACT and SAT studying along with AP summer homework and work on getting my driver’s license. Oh, and did I mention start my college apps? 

So, Lea, why are you doing all this stuff?

Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life… 

I think that part of the verse looks different for everyone. For me, all the things I “have” to do make my life so great, as long as I am doing them for His glory. 

The truth is we need to keep going after God’s call for our life, no matter what others may think so one day he can tell us, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” And if we do, like in that song from Moana, there’s just no telling how far you’ll go.

I don’t belong in the place I’m in right now. I feel God’s nudge on my heart. He’s the line at the end of the sea that’s calling me to the unknown, wanting me to search for him in unfamiliar churches and places, in my studies and anxieties and maybe even dance. And maybe I didn’t find him in dance when I used to try too, but maybe that’s because I looked to dance for personal gratification rather than seeking Him through it. I’m afraid that starting again will cause me to compare myself constantly to the extremely flexible people on Instagram who always seem to have it all together. 

Don’t compare yourself to others. 

So this verse I’ve found has come to me like a friendly slap in the face, reminding me to not become overly concerned with what people think. Pleasing God does not mean pleasing everyone else, including other Christians. 

Dear God, 

Help me to not be so concerned about pleasing everyone. Help me to remember that pleasing you is enough. 

10 Bible Verses I Cling To For Dear Life 

Happy Friday! Today I’m going to share with you 10 bible verses I love so incredibly much. 💜

1.


Every day I remind myself this. It is hard to believe at times, but God says it’s true so it must be. One of my favorite leaders shared this with me when I was bawling tears in church my freshman year, and I’ve been obsessed with this ever since. If you believe in God, then you believe he made you amazing because you trust his works. It shouldn’t be any more complicated than that 🙂

2.

This verse really hits me hard sometimes as I am such a nerd and love school. I have to remind myself that my wisdom comes from God when I succeed in school, and that even if I fail a million tests he is never going to let me down. Working hard is great, but he holds success in store for anyone who freely chases after Him. Our intelligence is purely a reflection of how amazing he is.

3. 

This verse is a reminder that it’s okay to not understand everything about God. In fact, I am glad I don’t understand everything about God. A God that surpasses human cognitive comprehension is one worth putting my faith in. If I could understand God, then he wouldn’t be as cool.

4.


This verse is the one I go to when I feel like I’m at my end. It encourages me to keep going and to stay confident in God, and in what He is doing in and through me.

5.

My dad actually shared this verse with me. Some of the translations replace “but time and chance happen to them all” with “but those who persevere to the end.” I love both. In the end, it doesn’t matter how smart or strong you are because life is brutal and happens to everyone. Those who keep going and don’t give up will make it.

6. My favorite translation of this verse is, “The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all of these difficulties.” This is a huge reminder to me that every difficulty we face has a reward, and in the end the reward is heaven.

7. 

This verse explains itself. Everything happens for a reason. When I look back at my past, this verse is so evident it is freakishly insane.

8.Healing is an arduous process. We are healing from something. Sometimes I don’t even think it’s possible to completely heal. But we aren’t supposed to heal ourselves. Jesus already paid it all for us, and had bandaged all of our wounds. I love that.

9. 

I love the entirety of Psalm 18. God will never give you a dream and then not equip you for the battle. Through every trial I’ve been through, God has placed the most perfect mentors in my life, and sometimes even the perfect strangers, to guide me through.

10. Psalm 139 is literally goals. There is a song I used to listen to every morning by Sarah Reeves. I should honestly still listen to it every day, because that verse should still be my daily prayer.

Every day I am hoping that my motives are correct. Before I commit to doing anything, I need to make sure I am doing it for he right reasons. In the translation that Sarah sings, she says, “Search me o God and know my heart. Try me, and know my anxieties. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in your way, everlasting.” The see if there is any wicked way in me part gets to me. Am I trying to do all of these things for selfish reasons? Please, God, if I am, do not let me proceed any further.

But I love that God knows my anxieties. I find that image very comforting, and very hopeful.

So these are some verses that I cling to for dear life. I have found that confronting negative thoughts on the spot with scripture is so important, because then you don’t give those thoughts time to completely ruin your day.

Let me know your favorite bible verses below. 🙂

Why Having Eczema is a Blessing in Disguise

Today I had a setback in my eczema. After taking my last calculus test, my friends and I had a much needed girl’s sleepover night consisting of cards against humanity, massages, swimming, and love. It turns out that when I got out of the shower after swimming I used a cream that I have been suspecting being sensitive to, and my skin totally flared up. But my friends were amazing. I also started crying in the morning which surprisingly really helped to assuage the itching, and then started crying even harder after my friends helped me moisturize my body. The night before they helped me make a salad because I’m allergic to everything and can’t eat pizza, and in the morning they helped me make a smoothie. My friend Alyssa would check everything to make sure it was safe for me to eat, and the rest of them did everything they could to keep me from scratching. I was slightly mad at myself for crying, but they found it honorable that I would cry in front of them. They had no pity, just love and understanding, as they have all been through their own struggles. 


It is easy to question why you have to go through something beyond your control, or hate it and think of it with extreme bitterness and resentment. Before I started understanding my triggers, I used to sit in front of a mirror and scratch myself until I bled, crying because I was so itchy and had no idea what to do with myself. And there is nothing wrong with crying, but there is a lot wrong with hating yourself. I used to think I would never get better and would have to live with it for the rest of my life. There was a lot of false hope in the journey, like a $700 cream called Eucrisa that helped but wasn’t powerful enough to keep my skin healthy during AP exams. Don’t get me wrong, I am a complete nerd and love learning about the chemistry of new drugs and totally support them. But for eczema, knowing what triggers it for you is so important as it is different for everyone. Eucrisa is a great cream for times like now when you accidentally mess up and have a setback. But if you don’t believe you are strong enough to get better, you never will. 

On the flip side, my eczema is a part of me. It forces me to take care of myself. If I never had it, my friends wouldn’t have been able to show me love through it. It has brought me so much closer to my friends, and has allowed me to connect better with so many people at the hospital. It challenges me every day to wake up and live knowing that I am strong, smart, and beautiful. I have the choice every day to treat it like a burden or an accessory. It is a blessing to know that when something is wrong with me internally that it will show up on my skin, challenging me to be healthier, stronger, and more genuine. I am lucky. I am lucky to get to make amazing smoothie bowls every day. I am lucky to know that I will get my skin regiment down someday, while right now I am still learning. I am lucky because it could be so much worse. I am lucky to have it rather than someone else, as I would never wish this upon anyone. 

And although it is a part of me, it doesn’t define me. It didn’t hinder me from biking 20 miles to and from school with my econ teacher. I’m not going to let it stop me from any of my dreams. In fact, having eczema has influenced my dreams. I think drugs are so fascinating and maybe will create my own eczema cream or cure one day. It hasn’t stopped me from succeeding in AP chemistry, though there were times the stress of the class did not go well with my eczema. I hope to major in biochemistry with emphasis in pharmacology or something. If I go to med school one day, hopefully my experiences will all pay off. After all, I think eczema had made me more humble and empathetic. And knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I know eczema is not who I am. It is just another hurdle in life I must go through. In heaven I will have clear skin, because pain and suffering will no longer exist when we finally make it. 

I look at my skin right now. For a flare up, it is nowhere near as red as it was before. I smile when I look in the mirror. Because smiling boosts endorphins. Because I am so blessed to be me after all. 

Trading Something You Like For Something You Love: My Story

I went on a journey to find what I love to do, thinking that my self-worth came from my talent and performance level. I began this search by learning to play the piano when I was 5. I loved it so much. When I was 10, my piano teacher went to college and I fell in love with my new teacher. Her energy and kindness enhanced my life, and she made me feel so confident and special. Although I never practiced, she saw something in me. She saw my maturity and ability to play with emotion. When I did practice, she saw the cleanliness and cohesiveness in my playing. She would tell me that she couldn’t teach my energy, and saw me becoming a professional pianist one day.

But I didn’t see myself that way. Whenever I played a song, it never sounded right to me. Competitions became abrasive until I confidence in me remained. I hated being unable to deviate from the sheet music. So, I started trying new things. I started dance when I was 12. I think I liked the idea of dance more than I liked dance itself. 12-year-old Lea was so self-conscious with her wire glasses and awkward arms, and ballet helped fix my posture. But being stuck in ballet 1 from the start was honestly extremely frustrating as I had no idea where dance would get me in life.

So 8th grade came. I was 13 then, and I decided to start figure skating. I had always loved the way skating made me feel after all. My parents saw that I was starting to lean less and less towards piano and were worried that I would quit and regret it for the rest of my life. So my dad sent my teacher an email, and my teacher responded saying that I was too old to get anywhere with dance, that my only hope was playing the piano.

I was so infuriated. Everyone warned me that I would regret quitting piano because almost everyone quits regrets it. 70 years from now I’m going to look back and everything skating has brought me through, and I won’t regret quitting piano. Instead, I’ll say 2 words. Worth it. So with that, I quit. To me, I had just trashed all of my talent. But little did I know that I had just traded something I liked for something that I would love.

Figure skating. My memories of figure skating consist of beautiful moments full of me falling and getting up again, learning what it truly means to be passionate about something. The rush of the ice is something I greatly miss today. From the clean, crisp sound of landing an axel to spinning so fast that you can’t see anything, skating really enhanced my life. Desperate to prove my piano teacher wrong, I became obsessed with a regiment of stretching and got extremely bendy in a few months time. In 6 months, I was skating at the level most people wouldn’t get to in years. I had 3 amazing friends that I always skated with, and we competed together and told each other everything.

IMG_0694




Then, that summer, I had to test for 4 levels at once. I totally broke down in tears during my Freestyle 4 test. I made my test proctor feel horrible and after the test and she made me repeat the words, “I don’t suck” a few times before passing me. After that, I realized that skating, although amazing, was not going to fill the void in my heart or give me a purpose by any means.

Then I started going to youth group. I hated it at first. Everyone here seems so fake. But I kept going because I had been wanting a place where I could freely ask my questions about God forever. That was the first time I realized that my self-worth came from God. Finally understanding what my life should be about, I got baptized the day after my 14th birthday.


I ended up quitting skating because I wanted to go to Mexicali, and that was the easiest way to pay for my trip. When I got back from the trip I realized that I didn’t need skating in my life anymore. I would take everything I’ve learned about going all in and being insanely passionate about something and apply it to my faith. After making that decision, crazy things started happening to me all the time. In essence, I traded skating for God, something I thought I loved for something I was ecstatic about.

I couldn’t go without physical activity though, so I continued to dance. The day before my algebra 2 final my parents told me not to go to rehearsal, but I went anyways and fractured my foot on a switch leap. I totally failed that final despite studying every day for 2 months, and I had never felt so hindered in my life. But that was the first time I had ever felt peace in my life. No one expected me to do anything because I couldn’t do anything. However, the support I got from everyone blew me away. My dance studio is inside my church, and I woke up on the day of my final with so many people texting me that they were praying. I called my teachers expecting the worst as I couldn’t dance in the recital, but they responded with an unfathomable compassion.

 

before fracturing my foot
I was scared to dance for awhile, but eventually, despite my doctor’s orders to not dance for 6 months, I started again. But all of a sudden I was leaving dance feeling so empty for no reason. When my best friends would take me home, we would just complain about everything we couldn’t do. There were days that it was super fun and I was super close to my dance friends. But then recital happened and I was bawling tears afterward over a misunderstanding because my parents didn’t congratulate me. It was the best recital I had, don’t get me wrong. But instead of celebrating like I had envisioned, I was outside thinking that my parents were still pissed at me for quitting piano and would never be proud of me, with one of my teachers telling me, I went through the exact same thing you did. And the most important thing is not what your parents think of you, but what you think of yourself. It ended up being fine, but it still hurt a lot.

 


So still feeling the weight of piano on my shoulders, I wrote my piano teacher this long message, keeping things as positive as possible. It had been 3 years since I quit. She responded with such love and support that I felt like I could finally pursue whatever I wanted with no more false motives. (I may post something about forgiveness)!

This year, after consulting many of my mentors, I chose to take a year off of dance and youth group to focus on school. As long as you have a place where God is filling you up, and it looks like the hospital is filling you up more than youth group anyways, you don’t need to do everything they told me. I wrote about my experience with that here. I traded dance and youth group, things I liked, for AP chemistry, a class that taught me so much more than dance and youth group would’ve ever taught me combined. This I find weird because school is a worldly thing, and school grows my faith so much.

So here we are towards the end of my junior year. Next year I will have time to have a life again and will need to decide whether I want to go back to certain things or try new things. When I look back, I never hated piano. I just hated myself, and how I played. I loved skating and I was good at it but was insecure about it anyways. Not dancing this year has brought me closer to God, because dance was the last thing I was holding onto as a clutch and putting before him. I think we tend to be insecure about the things we are best at. This is why we must always seek God first because he knows us best.

This is just a piece of my journey. But what I’ve learned from all of this is that God will never make you give up something you like if he doesn’t have something greater and more amazing in store. =)

 

30 Random Facts About Me 

1. The picture looks like I’m swimming somewhere really cool when it’s really the creek behind my neighborhood.

2. I am a complete chemistry nerd.


3. My parents grew up on an island in the middle of nowhere called Mauritius, right next to Madagascar.

4. I just deleted my Instagram (will probably post more about that)!

5. Once upon a time I was doing cartwheels in my backyard and forgot to put my hands down, and now I can do aerials! This video is from a while ago.


6. I used to play piano for 8 years (I might write a post about my journey with finding what I love to do hehe).

7. I also used to figure skate! Figure skating was amazing.


8. I LOVE to write. Obviously. I’ve been keeping journals since I was in 5th grade.

9. Walruses are one of my favorite animals of all time.

10. The only thing I know how to draw = cats.

11. I love climbing trees.

12. I love learning about new cultures. 

13. I love biking.


14. I thrift literally everything.

15. I live in California 🙂

16. One day I want to lead worship.

17. Dream job: a doctor who is extremely God loving and compassionate.

18. I made the speech team when I was in 8th grade! You can read about that here.

19. I nearly failed algebra. And we’re in calculus now, so we’re doing pretty good 🙂

20. I love making jars for people’s birthdays.


21. I’ve been on 2 super amazing mission trips to Mexico. I wrote about the second one Here: if you want me to write about the first one let me know!

22. Middle school was not my finest time.

23. I’m a horrible test taker.

24. I try to be gentle but I trip over everything.

25. I’m allergic to dogs, cats, and bunnies. I can still pet most dogs though without getting a rash!


26. I was born with eczema.

27. I donated my hair once!


28. I got a tiny hairline fracture in my ankle from falling on a switch leap the night before my algebra 2 final freshman year. But I don’t know if that counts as breaking a bone!

29. God has been a part of my life since I was 5.

30. Every day I am slowly learning to see myself the way God sees me.

If any of you can relate to any of those, let me know that I’m not the only one! Also let me know if there is anything you’d like to see me write about more! And if you want to leave your blog link too, I’d love to get to know you guys too. Get excited because I have new posts planned for y’all every weekend. Most of them will be pretty deep.  🙂

To The Greatest Mom Out There 

Dear mom, 

I want you to know that I see you. I see your efforts. Quite frankly I am not the best at life, and am often too ungrateful and too mad at myself for being so ungrateful. But I am grateful for what you do. I see your efforts in taking care of me and my diet, fighting all the doctors with me, fighting all the temptations. Sometimes I wish it was as easy for me as it was for you, which is why I continue to need you to encourage me when I mess up. The truth is every time I slip up, I feel it so deeply on the inside. Every time I say something I didn’t mean to you I want to apologize so bad, but I can’t because I’m just so mad at myself for never being able to say anything right or do anything right. I am humbling myself right now before you because I am so unworthy of your love. But I love you so much more than you could ever imagine. 

People always tell me, “You must have amazing parents, because you are an amazing person.” When I look back at everything I’ve gone through, I realize that you were hurting every time I was hurting, and that you’ve taken more of my crap than I could ever imagine. In the moment, when people tell me that, I laugh. I laugh because every day is a journey of me failing to honor my parents, and somehow by God’s mercy I am still turning out okay. The truth is your opinion has always meant the most to me. Everyone can tell me I’m amazing and if I don’t have that approval from you, I will never learn to see myself in a healthy. So please, do not minimize your role in my life, ever. It is huge, and I need you so much, every day, all the time. 

During church today when the pastor dude said, “Any negative word that has ever been spoken over you is broken right now,” I hoped that we could work towards not bringing up the past. Every family drives each other insane at some point, but perhaps we can learn to forgive each other and support one another fully. Can we make this right? Can we agree to have more grace for each other? 

Thank you for understanding all the struggles of being a girl. Thank you for sewing that blue skating costume for me when I thought figure skating would solve all my life problems. Thank you for buying my dance shoes and my skating costumes. Thank you for being at my piano concerts, even when it hurt the most. Thank you for never believing all my complaints about my lack of intelligence. Thank you for making the most bomb, gluten-free banana pie. Thank you for feeding me soup that one I time I was so incredibly sick, for cutting my hair (even though I was crying the entire time), and covering me in baking soda when my eczema got so bad. Thank you for letting me go to Churchill in middle school. Thank you for seeking God, for texting me verses, and for leaving work early to get me from school. You deserve a lot more credit than you get, and I know that perhaps it seems your efforts have no reward. But you will be rewarded, because God sees your efforts too and is so proud of you. 
You are the greatest mom I could ever have. I hope you remember that God put you in my life because he knew that you were exactly the person I needed to raise me. No other parent would be right for me.  

“Start children the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”- Proverbs 22:6 

So I need to work towards honoring you better. Which means I am asking you for continuous grace, every day.

Happy Mother’s Day! I love you soo sooo sooooo much. 💜 hope you liked the dinner we made you today haha 🙂 

Why I Don’t Wear Makeup // What My Mom Taught Me 

I am sadly still that 16 year old girl who doesn’t own her own mascara. And it’s not because I’m confident in my own skin. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a beautiful person. However, I don’t think I’m pretty. Eczema and red patches everywhere is definitely not pretty. But they are beautiful for sure! 

But in this day in age girls are always looking so flawless with their eyebrows and lashes on fleek. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing makeup if you love it and wear it for you, but since I don’t wear makeup and everyone else does, I create an unrealistic expectation of beauty for myself when I compare myself to all these girls with bold eyes and clear skin. That is the issue for me. Honestly, I don’t think you can compare your beauty to anyone regardless of how much makeup you wear. God made you so unique and beautiful. There is no amount of makeup you can wear that will make you any more beautiful than you already are, because God already sees you as the most beautiful girl ever. But God created makeup too. He created everything in this world for you and me, because he knew we would see his creations and think they’re pretty cool. And that is why I personally become upset when people shame others for wearing makeup. It’s not right to assume that everyone who wears makeup is insecure. Because I think being good at makeup is a God given talent like any other, and God uses everything, even beauty. 

My mom was never a huge makeup wearer. Whenever I bring my friends over, they think she’s so nice. They see her heart first. And that is one thing I am grateful that my mom taught me: it’s not about being pretty. It’s about being pretty amazing, pretty intelligent, pretty beautiful. She taught me to have fun getting dressed up for recitals and such, but not to obsess over it and to separate looks over character. When I volunteer in the hospital, nobody cares about how disheveled my hair is, but they do see a girl with a genuine heart and smile, kindly listening to what her patients have to say. 

For me, the reason why I don’t wear makeup is because I’m simply not ready yet. I’m not confident enough running around with my bare face to be confident running around with an enhanced bare face. I don’t know if I ever will be. Learning to see yourself the way God sees you proves to be one really long journey. But I also know that if I don’t want to wear makeup I shouldn’t have to. Not wearing makeup is honestly so nice. For now, I will only wear makeup when my friends do mine for me for special events. Maybe when I go to college I’ll buy my own mascara. But I want to be confident in my inward beauty first before I start wearing makeup on a daily basis. Or maybe one day I will become so confident in my inward beauty that I won’t care about wearing makeup anyways.