Loving Who God Made You To Be

Hello there lovelies!

Today we have a guest post from my friend Cori. She was one of the first people to volunteer to write a blog post for this new blog post series I wanna do throughout the year and I LOVE what she has to say.

I hope you all receive some encouragement from this lovely gals words of wisdom.

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Well, it’s a new year again and our social media is filled with “New year new me” posts and new years resolutions that will last a couple of weeks.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with trying to better yourself, but when its all about me, me, me I think we might just be missing the point. My resolution is to grow closer to Christ and to love who He made me.
        The world tells us that it is all about you. You do you. You only live once. I agree to make the most of your life but when your life revolves around you and you only that isn’t exactly what God has planned. God tells us to live humbly and to always put your neighbor before yourself. He tells us to give a homeless man the clothes off our backs if he doesn’t have any. He tells us to pray for our enemies and love them no matter the harm they’ve caused you.  That may not be very easy, but that is what we are called to. There is a difference between loving who God made you and being a self centered jerk
        Now my life hasn’t been that easy. I was sexually abused, I’ve harmed myself and did for many years, and I even attempted suicide. Growing up I’ve had major self esteem problems.  I would look at myself in the mirror and hate everything about my reflection. I would cry at night because I wasn’t good enough for society or even myself. It wasn’t until recently, actually, that I realized  I wasn’t living how God had planned. It took a mental hospital being waved over my head for me to finally get my act together.  My point is this: God made you who you are for a reason and you are perfectly and wonderfully made. He planned out every inch of you, beautifully, inside of your mother and God, the God of the universe, does not make mistakes. (Psalms 139:13-18)
        Now I pray that in this new year you learn to love yourself for who God made you. Not for what the world wants you to be. Serve your Lord with all your heart soul and mind and love every bit of yourself because the creator of everything there ever was and is to come made you and that is pretty amazing if you think about it.
    Now I still deal with all of these things today. I am not saying that life is gonna be a bundle of joy on a sunny day. Life sucks, there’s no other way to put it, but it is so much easier to have hope and to love who God made you to be then to dwell on things and to try to be this perfect person society makes the standard out to be. You will never be perfect. You will never be “Good enough” , but you know what? That’s why Christ died for us. So that in Him we are good enough and always will be. God doesn’t look at us for all the bad things we have done.  He looks at us as perfect, just as He made us perfectly.

“Lord help me to love who You made me to be. Help me serve you in any way that i can in this new year. I pray that in the new year i grow spiritually and grow to love others more than myself, thank you for all these blessings, i pray that my self esteem will be high this year. In your name I pray , Amen.”

Yours Truly,
Cori Heck
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Dancing Through The Pain

Now you might think the title is metaphorical but no. I mean literally…but also get ready for some real stuff and life lessons! Wooh!

 

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le me Swing Dancing 🙂 ( photo cred: Swing Bridge Dance Club )

 

Something you all know about me at this point: I’m a huge lover of Swing Dance.  (Being deprived of it since I’ve moved is so hard)

BUT

Something you may or may not know about me is this: I have chronic pain in my legs (due to uneven arches in my feet.) This chronic pain affects me daily. Some days are worse than others but usually after a full day of running around doing errands and working I am out for the count and it hurts to walk or move.

 

 

Put chronic pain and Swing together and you get an interesting way of making said chronic pain worse. Yet I do it and keep doing it anyways.

 

Why?

 

Because I love it too much to stop. Now that might sound like a silly excuse but its the truth.

 

Why Swing Dance?

Swing Dance is something I did weekly before moving (I still dance around my apartment lots too. Not the same but hey I’m still groovin’ )  Not only was it fun but it really improved my mood but, for the first time in a long time, I REALLY looked forward to a new week ahead of me cause I always kicked off the week with dance.

Fun fact: Dance or Movement Therapy has been used for many centuries to improve the mental and physical well- being of a person. Since dancing is an art, it increases self-expression and helps people connect with themselves and others. Dancing is a form of art that offers a way to explore psychological roots to overcome certain illnesses such as depression. Research have shown that dancing provide benefits that can help minimize depression’s effects.

As well as it being fun there are actually a lot of health benefits of it. Swing Dancing is a fun way to work out without it really feeling like a workout in the moment. Dancing also makes you happier. Not just in the moment but also in the long run.

I’ve taken many kinds of dance over the last 4-5 years and it really does make you happier! and if I’m having a bad day I put on one of my favorite songs at top volume and just sing and dance away like no one is watching. (usually no one is haha)

Something else that Swing Dance has done for me personally is make me a little more social and confident. – I’m an introverted little human who much prefers sitting in a corner and waiting till someone approaches me and starts talking to me as opposed to my approaching them… but doing Swing Dance totally turned that around for me?

How?

Simple- Swing Dance is a very fun, outgoing, and social type of dance where, whether you are a lead or a follow, guy or girl, if you wanna dance you get your butt off that chair and go up to someone and ask them to dance.

For the first while when I first started Swing Dancing I was like ‘nuh- uh no way. Nope. I’m gonna sit here and wait for someone to ask me to dance.‘ but eventually I started going up to people and asking them to dance!

Now this might sound like a funny thing to discuss but here is the thing. If you are a introverted little human (as mentioned before) you would know that this is a scary thing! But in terms of Swing Dancing I now have NO problem (or almost no problem) walking up to someone and asking them to dance.

Where did the chronic pain come from? What can you do to relieve your pain?

As I stated above, my chronic pain affects my every day life as it is a reoccurring pain in my legs. It caused by uneven arches in my feet and when I went to go get it figured out I found out my one leg is carrying about 70% (cant remember exactly) of my body weight when I stand as opposed to having it distributed evenly. (So you can see there the pain comes from)

Essentially my pain relief comes with doing some stretches for my legs and feet as well as just not walking around and putting my feet up when I can. Other than that there isn’t much to be done.

Why do you dance if it hurts?

I keep doing dance because its honestly something I love and am passionate about. Swing Dance has helped me become more confident in myself and has also made me happier – as well as that I’ve gotten to know some amazing people who I now can call my friends.

 “Whats your point in telling me this, Adriana?” – well. Let me tie this all together here.

Basically my point is no matter what, do what you want to do or have dreamed of doing.

Don’t let anything hold you back whether it be mental or physical.

If there is something you truly love and are passionate about you will find a way to do it. For me that love and passion is swing dance.

For you it might be dance as well.

Or music.

Or painting.

No matter what it is, you can do it. If you just have faith in yourself and find the determination to reach for your dreams.

Achieve your goals.

If you set your mind to it you can do anything no matter what ‘limitations’ people tell you you have.

What Jessica Jones Can Teach Us About Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships are a very real and very horrible problem in our society….Here is what Marvel’s Jessica Jones does to shine a light on this fact.

 

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So I’ve recently watched the TV show Jessica Jones and as I made my way through the show, I started to notice something about the antagonist of the show (played by actor David Tennant) I’ve seen signs on how the antagonist of the show, Kilgrave, though he has super powers, is actually an abuser.

 

Here is what I’ve noticed: In terms of abuse it seems her abusers approach was that of emotional abuse.

What is emotional abuse? It involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics like intimidation, shaming and manipulation. Emotional abuse is used to control and subjugate the other person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they haven’t dealt with — perhaps as a result of being abused themselves.

Yes, he has mind controlling powers but the way we have seen them being used, especially on this one character (and the side effects it all had on Jessica Jones) we have seen how he uses it to abuse and control people.

 

  • He is controlling in the sense of always needing to know where she is going, what she is going to be doing, taking her phone and making sure (by making threats he goes through with) she is back within certain time frames.

 

  • Her abuser also plays the victim. (common trait in most abusers) That the actual victim of the abuser is making them do things or something else made them do it. Like things are his victims fault. an example was a conversation in Episode 7 that Jones has with her abuser. (its a little later in the post) There was a time where he would make Jessica Jones hurt herself then make himself save her, pretending to protect her and be the hero or he would make statements such as: “You never appreciate anything I do for you.” making himself the victim and turning it around on Jones herself. Making her think he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

 

  • After her leaving him and getting out of his control, Kilgrave is dead set on finding her and has developed stalker like behaviors (which he probably had before to some extent). Taking photos of her, having others take photos of her and follow her (etc.) Which leads into my last point. Abusers isolate the victim of the abuse. In the scene I’m gonna share in a moment you see this play out in terms of the fact that her abuser is trying to isolate her from everyone she knows. (In this case, killing people close to her doesn’t stop this guy but this is a TV show and a super villain we are talking about in this sense.) In return he is telling her things, professing feelings for her and in result trying to make sure she is isolated and only hearing his words and his opinions.

*spoilers following as I am going to discuss the conversation in this specific scene*

Kilgrave: “I will admit to keeping eyes on you. Spies are easy to come by for me.”

Jones: “Do whatever you are going to do to me, but let them go.” (There is a hostage scene taking place here as Kilgrave is using his powers to hold a whole room of people hostage)

Kilgrave: “Well I have to protect myself so…”

Jones: “Then control me, not them.”

Kilgrave: “I have absolutely no intention of controlling you. I want you to act on your own accord.”

She (Jones) asks: “Act how? Suicide? Is that why you’ve been torturing me?”

Kilgrave, her abuser, then states: “*chuckles* Oh my God, Jessica, I knew you were insecure. That’s just sad. I’m not torturing you. Why would I? I love you.

 

The scene continues and Jones calls her abuser out on his actions calling them a ‘demented declaration of love.’ and how he ruined her life in this act. She couldn’t be any closer to the truth.

Her abuser then says he was trying to make her see “That I’m the only one who matches you… Who challenges you… Who’ll do anything for you.” – In any other case this might almost sound romantic because who doesn’t want to be with someone who will do anything for you or challenges you for the better? But as you can see its not romantic. Not in this sense. Not when he is stalking her, killing her friends and family (he killed a young man who claimed to love Jessica), and becoming obsessive….Trying to get her back.

He then becomes angry (he’s very short fused.) when someones cell phone rings and it interrupts his professing ‘eternal love’

 

 

 

Now sure, no one has superpowers either so this whole abusive situation might be over-dramatized for the show but I feel Marvel was clever in this sense. They took a mind controlling super villain and used him and his abilities to shine a light on abuse. What that looks like and how it might appear to the victim as well. You don’t have to have powers to control or harm someone. If you did this wouldn’t be a real problem, would it? But despite the fact that this character has powers it doesn’t change the fact that he is an abuser and I think Marvel did a really good job in conveying that and not portraying an antagonists actions as okay or somewhat acceptable as most media might convey things.

 

When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realise that things so far haven’t gone how I planned. But I guess things never really do…A photo by Rosalind Chang. unsplash.com/photos/qtIsUwoP94s

 

I’m a planner. I plan things and I make lists… I guess you could say i’m a ‘lister’ (only some of you are going to get this and that’s okay)

 

So when things didn’t/don’t or aren’t going as I hoped and planned I often feel lost and/or frustrated.

Why do I do this? Why do I make lists all the time if it frustrates me half the time?

Because it helps me feel like I have MORE control over my life than I actually do.

 

As much as I wish that my lists and planning just went how I wanted I know that’s not how life works. I can pout and be miserable about it but it doesn’t change that fact. So I’ve actually started moving away from planning every little thing in my life and just ‘going with the flow.’ Things like being with my friends and my boyfriend has made me realise the importance of just letting things happen and the relief and relaxation that comes with it.

Learning to just LIVE in the MOMENT. 

 

I’ve learned this all when it comes to my everyday life as well. (Not just more important or significant days or events in my life) ESPECIALLY during my move and the transition to moving and being in a new place. Only now as I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again after feeling not very much like myself (in this transition of moving and a new job.) as, once again, things didn’t go as I planned.

 

I still haven’t really made any friends and being more introverted is also part of my problem. But this is causing problems cause I’m getting bored and stressed out in my own tiny apartment. Adjustment is a lot harder than I EVER would have thought. It feels I’m climbing a mountain I don’t want to be or stuck in some hole going in circles over and over and over again.

 

But despite this all I’ve learned to just trust in God (I’m gonna share the lyrics to a song that’s been helping me a lot at the end of this post) and that my moving here is all part of some plan and as much as I wish I could just make a list to sort it out, I know I can’t and I have to be patient.

 

Lean on God and just let life be…

 

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When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

~Trust in You by Lauren Daigle

Its Time To Share The Love || All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Hello Readers!

So this past week I was able to read through three books which means I have reviews for (for sure) these next 3 weeks! It was so great to get back to reading again after pretty much a month of no reading at all. Now, I refuse to waste any more time on an intro and get right into this review!

 

All The Bright Places

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Oh my giddy goodness people! Prepare for tears. I rarely cry while reading books. (Watching movies is a whole other story) I usually tear up but never full out cry or wail… But this book.

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This book seriously made me cry harder than my two year old sister who just met Santa Claus for the first time at our local shopping center. (Reffering to her being scared to death of him of course)

ATBP was so beautifully crafted and wonderfully written. I loved it ans it was so relatable to me ATBP Pic(being a sufferer of Depression) and I just couldn’t believe it. Many times, while reading through the book, I would find a quote and instantly I would just be like: ‘Oh my gosh! Someone understands how I feel’ It just blew my mind.

Despite the sadness and feels in this book it was just amazing! It felt so real to me. I could feel the pain these characters felt and I could see them like I was there, in the book itself as one of the characters. They felt so real and alive to me. I seriously gotta hand it to Jennifer Niven as she did such a wonderful job. *applauds the author* Their feelings just felt so real and so did their situations. Maybe some of it was due to my experience with depression or just becasue it was so well written (Actually….It’s probably both…) I seriously cannot get over it.

FullSizeRender-69I also love that someone was finally brave enough to do what Jennifer did. It seems that the media/books are avoiding the topic of Suicide/Depressiona and Mental Health more and more. I think that by being brave enough to write something like this and shine a light on that will help so many people. I love how Jennifer approached this topic in such a real way and wasn’t afraid to leave out some aspects or not write about it at all. Mental Health is something that needs to be talked about but that just isn’t happening…So yeah. Another reason why this book is amazing becasue it talks about Depression and Suicide in a real way.

I absloutely fell in love with both Finch and Violet as well. Finch was awkwardly adorable and so sad and broken but amazingly charming. Violet was very sweet though somewhat lost in the feeling of loss she feels.

THIS BOOK WAS JUST AMAZING IN CASE THAT WASN’T CLEAR! IF YOU HAVENT READ THIS BOOK THEN READ IT RIGHT NOW!

*takes a deep breath* Okay…relax…calm down…

So…Basically:

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If I could I would give this book a 1 million stars….but the rating only goes up to 5 so…. 5 BRIGHT SHINY STARS FOR ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

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