Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Emotions. Feelings.

While I have learned that emotions are not the key elements in making decisions, nor are they reliable, they do have some importance.

Recently I have been doing a lot of learning about the mind and the ways it works with the body to tell us things. The journey I have been on trying to figure out how my subconscious works with my body has been insane. That is a story for another post though, one that I would like to share someday.
Right now I want to focus on the importance of recognizing and acknowledging your feelings. A few weeks ago I was busy with lots of social functions with my family every day, plus helping out at my church and working at another church. In doing things like that, I was focused on keeping it all together and maintaining a smile, all the while shoving the gnawing tired/wrung-out/somewhat depressed feelings back. Then in the car on the way home from one function to change clothes before going to a dinner at someone's house in record speed, I finally had to allow myself to acknowledge how I was feeling and let out a few tears. I quickly apologized to my mom, but she gently reminded me that it was okay to not feel honkey dory (peppy, happy) all the time. Emotions are just emotions, and they are fleeting. Yet, they can sometimes tell us when we need a little extra care. It's okay to have a small meltdown, as long as we don't set up camp and live there.

So, what is the point of all this? There are certainly times when we need to suck it up and put on a brave face, but it is okay to be human. It is okay to have a good cry, or sleep in and do nothing one day. We need to keep our emotions in check, but that doesn't mean pushing them so deep inside that we go numb until one day we explode. There is a healthy balance, which may be different for you than it is for me. For me, that means having at least one or two people I can be honest with and call them to say, "Hey, I'm having a rough day.. Can we talk?" Or someone I can say, "I know this is ridiculous, but I'm afraid that..." For me, that also means journaling. If you flip through my journal you will see a lot of emotions, though I have found I am not even completely honest about how I feel there some times on the off chance that someone will read it someday. That doesn't help though. It is healthy for us to look back and see just how wacky our feelings from a day were, so we can see how far we've come. Today I took some time to journal, via computer so as to write faster, and wrote every thought that came to mind. When I finished, I felt refreshed. It was like taking the thoughts that were weighing on my chest and setting them down. The single greatest place to take all my emotions, feelings and thoughts is to my Creator. Because of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I have direct access to talk to Him and the Father, and what a father He is. I can share things with my dad, and he is usually pretty understanding, but only God, my Heavenly Father, knows every thought I have. Only God has been with me in every dark moment, when no one else knows how I feel. Only He can lift my burdens. Not only can I process and let go of feelings in prayer, but I can read His words to me- the Bible. The past couple of months I have been reading through Psalms, which through God's leading was written by one of the kings of Israel. His name was David, and he truly sought after God. Yet, he did some pretty horrible things and forgot that God's plans were better than his own. In the book of Psalms, we find songs he wrote for the nation's people to praise God, he wrote songs for them to ask God for mercy and he wrote very personal songs where he asked why his soul was so downcast. It is full of emotion, but it is also full of God's promises to His people. One of my favorite chapters from that book right now is Psalm 46. Here is a link to it- Bible Gateway

What ever emotions you are dealing with, whatever trauma you have been through, whatever is weighing on you, the only true solution to any of our problems is Jesus.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Picture Perfect

I see the #liveauthentic hashtag going around Instagram, and have noticed it always seems to follow a perfectly posed picture. They usually are pictures of picturesque places where people have gone on adventures too that make a perfect Instagram post, or other times it is a picture of a well positioned coffee cup on a wooden table, etc. It made me think about real authenticity. I realized that while there is nothing wrong with taking nice photos and filling your Instagram or Twitter with only the best content, truly living authentic is something entirely different. It isn't a certain type of social media post, it is sharing our burdens; it is being honest about who we are and not making ourselves look a certain way on social media and a different way in real life. It is integrity, meaning that how you present yourself is who you really are. Living authentic is talking with one another, and being honest about how crazy things are but how much greater our God is. It is being who God created you to be. Truly living authentic is messy, but there is a certain level of freedom in it. Live authentically, as you love authentically with the love of Christ.