You are enough

In a world raging with insecurities and a deep sense of unworthiness, in a society drowning in a lack of self respect and value, you are enough. You are always enough. People aren’t always good at loving. When their own insecurities and self doubts are overwhelming their heart and mind, it can feel almost impossible to reach out to another. I came across this today and felt led to share it. Whoever reads this post, please know you are lovable and worthy. You have value and you are enough. You are always enough.

 

 

 

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Assumptions

I have this tendency where I push people away before they have a chance to push me away. My depraved, years of practice mentality usually consists of thoughts such as “They’ll probably leave at some point anyways, so instead of waiting for them to have a reason, I’ll just do it first and save us both a world of trouble” or “Meh, I’m probably bothering or annoying them through our friendship so I’ll save them the trouble and just walk since they probably won’t care anyways”.

I know I’m not alone in this. I know this is a common factor for those with imaginative predictions of  abandonment. We put up unnecessary walls and defenses. We suit up before anyone shows even the slightest form of annoyance or dissatisfaction. Because come one, you can never be too prepared…..right?

Right! Because it makes complete logical sense to suddenly shut down on someone based off of assumptions.


 

I moved to a different state about two years ago. When I moved I realized I was no longer living in the city I was used to! I was surrounded by hills and trees and beautiful forest! The only downfall though is that I am no wilderness woman. I don’t like bugs. I pretty much hate them actually. Forests and hills bring lots of bugs……..lots…..

It was a stupid hot summer evening and being the wonderful cheapo that I am, I decided I should open up the windows to let in whatever breeze there was instead of turning on some air! Me, not being used to so much nature, had no idea that hot summer nights include moths. Nasty, fluttering, delusional moths. I mean, how many wings do they actually have?? Because when they’re flying in your hair, eyes, ears, and so forth, it looks like they have around 100…..anyways. For 2-3 days I went into death mode and swatted at any I could find. Yes. FIND. I didn’t just wait for them to find me. No no…..I literally searched for them. A couple days into this gruesome battle and I see one sitting on my kitchen floor. After finding a flip-flop, I stealthily and very ninja-like if I do say so myself, went at that little bugger with everything in me. I swatted and smacked and yelled out my battle cry until I knew there was no way it could have possibly survived. I looked down at my victim to see what damage had been done…….it was a leaf.

Yep. A Leaf. A folded up tan colored leaf.

I had moved into such a state of survival mode that I didn’t even look close enough to see if it WAS a moth….not that you actually have to look that closely to tell a leaf from a moth ;P But that’s beside the point!


 

Prematurely pushing people away works the same way. Those of us with too much experience with people walking away are in such a deep state of survival mode, we don’t look closely enough to see if running is necessary. We think we have another moth and those survival skills kick in and through assumptions we justify and make excuses as to why it would be a good idea to suit up for the battle of shutting down and walking.

Where does that even get us though? Friendless. A deeper lack of self worth. But more importantly it robs us of a possibly incredible opportunity to watch the Lord work and see what He is going to do through others.

Two perspectives I want to challenge you with today and then I’ll get off my preacher box 😉 –>

1) What if walking away means missing out on a God hug and an opportunity to watch Him work?

2) How can you expect someone to stick it out with you if you’re already putting up walls and defenses and not willing to stick it out for others because of your own lack of confidence and assumption that everyone will abandon you?

These are not attacks. These are merely perspectives the Lord has been showing me lately. I’m certainly still at a place where I put up defenses and don’t let many people in. But maybe it’s time to start opening up my heart more and being open to people staying. Yes. It will hurt. But maybe that’s just life. Maybe life is just a bundle of pain and a bundle of love and all of it mixed together gets messy and hard but is still very very good. Just maybe…..

 

My beautiful gift

Today is our 6 month wedding anniversary and so I figured this was a great opportunity to share about this amazing blessing in my life.

About two years ago I was introduced to Austin, my now husband. We started out long distance and learned how to appreciate time together through that. We met through a mutual friend, chatted on facebook for about a month, then I visited him, and honestly we both knew as soon as we met we would always be together. My soul felt peace. Something I had not felt in a while.

While we’ve only been married for 6 months, God has already taught us so much. We’ve had ups and we’ve had downs. We have always, since the beginning, been the kind of couple to get through the gritty right away. To talk things through even if it’s hard and vulnerable. We’ve been the kind of couple that has decided it is better, in the long run, to communicate everything as opposed to stuffing the things that might not be the most enjoyable to talk about.

I’m a master at stuffing things down neatly, in a package all safe and hidden from those around me. But this usually only leads to more conflict and frustration. So I’m learning to avoid stuffing, instead of avoiding conflict.

We both work in the social work field. He’s a child advocate and I’m at the Children’s Shelter. I honestly don’t know how I’d do it without him. It’s hard to find someone who has the same goal in life as you and same passions. This has been such a beautiful gift for me.

I once heard someone describe marriage as a beautiful gift from the Lord that you are constantly and forever unwrapping and discovering.

Marriage isn’t quite what I expected. I grew up like most little girls hoping for her prince charming and the one. But it isn’t about that. It isn’t about finding that one person who will make you fall in love every single day and give you goose bumps every waking moment. It isn’t about the big moments and the overwhelming feelings. Don’t get me wrong, those things happen, for sure. But not every single day, and ya know what? That’s ok! I believe it’s about the small things. It’s about everyday life and sharing that with another. It’s about being there even when it’s hard. It’s knowing that you have a gift to cherish from the Lord and treating it as such. It’s finding the beauty in the simplicity and the growth in the everyday.

We have a long ways to go and many things to learn, about each other and life. But I believe we are on the right track. We are being guided and pushed by the Lord everyday and learning how to keep our marriage focused on Him. Because that is the ultimate purpose of marriage. It is being a testimony and bringing glory to His name. It is praying that through our actions and who we are as a couple, others will see Christ and know His presence. That is what marriage is all about, and that is what we are striving for. ❤

Awareness

There aren’t words that can describe the absolute  beauty and heartbreak of the video below. It’s been filtering through my facebook feed and it took me a while to finally decide to watch it. If a video is over 3 minutes long I usually skip it. My attention span is typically short lived so I try to not test it unless it’s necessary ;).

With that said, I won’t bore you with words and a long post to read before diving into a 12 minute long video! Please take this time to watch this clip though. Reality can be a hard thing to face, but sometimes once you face it, you can start changing it.

Teen girls

 

heartbreak

This topic is very dear and very close to my heart. So prepare yourself! It’s a long one 😉

I’ve been studying natural health and something that is very clear is that an ailment needs to be treated at the root, not the symptom. This last year I’ve come to realize that people work much the same way. I’ve been working with abused and neglected children for the last year and half, but last year I got the place I work gave me the opportunity to work full time with the teen girls for about 3 months. Few things have challenged me more. These girls come from all different backgrounds and although some may share a similar story they each handle things and life very differently. Everyone is hurting in some shape or form. Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. And through that hurt, each person handles it in a way that makes him or her comfortable. Working with my girls has showed me so many different ways that people push others away and put up walls. But, working with my girls has given me such a deep love I never knew existed in me, for broken and hurting people.

The Lord has stirred in my heart a deep determination and mission to prove and to show young girls and women that they have so much worth and value in a world that surrounds them with a mentality that says the very opposite. They have been surrounded with such a sense of utter hopelessness that they go into survival mode and push anyone away that could possibly get close to them from fear of once again being abandoned and validating their mentality that they have no worth.

People throw out a bunch of symptoms. They cuss you out, ignore you, leave you, do anything they can to prove to you what they believe about themselves. Especially the teens I’ve worked with. Many people come in to work with them and as soon as they are insulted, cussed out, etc. they take it personally and react with hurt and frustration. What they are failing to understand is that these girls are acting out of their own pain and struggles. They are pushing everyone away because it’s easier for them than to actually let someone in. Because to them, letting someone in means risk of getting hurt. Again.

What would happen though if instead of taking things personally, people began to get to the root? What would happen if instead of reacting to the symptoms, people looked past it and began learning what it means to truly love someone and get past someone’s walls?

At first, I took things personally. Teen girls can be incredibly mean. They can bully and find someone’s weak spot and poke at it until that person is so wounded and hurt they walk away and never turn back. When I first began working with them about a year and a half ago, I got so bullied I turned away and almost didn’t turn back. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sensitive and emotional person, which is written all over my face. So when I walked into a place filled with teen girls in survival mode, they took one look at me and knew that getting under my skin and hurting me would a piece of cake ;). But, how can you turn your back on something that the Lord keeps putting on your heart? About 10 months later I started working 40 hrs a week with them and in that time the Lord gave me glimpses of these girls through His eyes. I saw such brokenness and such heartache and fear that it was hard for me to not cry myself to sleep almost every night because no one deserves to feel the way these girls were feeling.

I was given the opportunity to prove to them, every single week, they were worth it. No matter what they said, did, or how hard they tried to push me away, I was given the opportunity to show them a glimpse of Christ’s unconditional love for them. I learned more deeply how to get to the root of the problem instead of looking at the symptoms. I learned how to ‘toughen up’ and stop focusing on my own sensitivity and instead focus on their need to be loved and their need to be shown their worth.

Each of the girls I have worked with has such a beautiful heart and cares so deeply for those around them. But because of the things they had been through and experienced they had lost hope and belief in who they are.

Through them, the Lord showed me that others work that way as well. Not just teen girls. Children, teens, adults, you name it. People react out of the things they have been through and experienced. And when they react, others usually react as well. But something I’m ‘slowly’ learning to do, is to react less. To look at a person through Christ’s eyes for who they really are. Instead of reacting in a negative way when they do something hurtful, I’m trying to remember to see the root and push past the walls being put up, not react to the symptoms. It’s definitely a lot easier said than done. But I also know that through Christ, it’s very possible. ❤

A year missed….

I missed almost an entire year of blogging, and it just happened to possibly be the craziest, busiest, and most amazing year of my life. Engagements, two weddings, new jobs filled with incredible challenges and growth, moving to a new town, and more. I’m not even sure where to begin. The Lord has challenged who I am and what I believe in more ways than one. I’ll give a brief skim of the year just to keep everyone up to date.

I moved into my dream apartment in April with a dear friend. The floor was black and white checkered laminate tile, tall ceilings with vintage ceiling tile, windows that led to the roof, loft above the kitchen, and located downtown in a small town next to vintage shops, a cafe, and coffee shops. Absolutely perfect! In June my sister got MARRIED to an amazing guy that I’m incredibly proud to call brother! Also in June I accepted a full time position to work with abused and neglected teen girls. Talk about a wild month emotionally.

Full time with my girls brought on some of the most challenging moments of my life and caused a lot of spiritual growth. I’m convinced I needed them more than they needed me. There will be more to come about all of that!

In July, Austin PROPOSED!!! Which began 4 crazy and insane months of planning and prepping for our wedding in November. Also more to come about all of that 😉

I stepped down from full time due to being at work until midnight and Austin and I having opposite schedules. We both wanted to begin our marriage on solid ground and more than just Saturday to spend together. Now I’m a transporter for that same organization and still get to see the teens as well as all the little ones!

I moved out of my dream apartment to move in with my dream guy and husband and now we’re both working jobs that support fighting and advocating for abused and neglected kids, getting involved in a church, merging ourselves into the community, and experiencing life together.

As for 2014……bring it! 😉

Validating the Positive

It’s a new year. Which means new ideas. New adventures. New goals.

Last year was incredible. I started it out with overwhelming dread and fear. The Lord really turned that around though. Here I am, sitting in the coffee shop I work at, studying homeopathy and blogging. I have the most wonderful friends because of this shop. I’m in a more beautiful relationship than I could have ever imagined. I’m establishing myself in a cozy quaint quiet town. My sister got engaged!! And life is just all around lovely. I’m crazy excited about this next year and what it has to bring.

The Lord has been lovingly nudging me about some struggles I’ve been dealing with and helping me sort them out and not letting me sweep them under the rug. Which, mind you, is what I’d MUCH rather do. Dealing with issues is a pain and a hassle. Pushing them aside makes life easier…….maybe?………

I have one new years resolution this year. That resolution is to validate the positive things in life. I tend to view my own personal life with a negative perspective. I can easily see positivity in the lives of others, but when it comes to myself, it’s incredibly hard. I’m blessed to be dating a man who can always see the positivity in my life when I can’t. But it’s still something I need to work on and something the Lord continues to not let me “forget” about.

I saw this idea on Pinterest and so I’m going to start it to help:

jar

 

Every time something positive and good happens you write it on a note and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you go through them and remember all the great things that happened that year! 🙂

So here’s to 2013 and positivity!

Until next time,

CourtneyRae

Love meets unconditional

What does it mean to love someone unconditionally? To express such love as Christ calls us to show? Loving a person……truly loving a person……no matter what they have done or how they have behaved……has got to be impossible. Yeah? Yeah……

Yet still, that is how Christ calls us to love. So it’s obviously not impossible.

So how does one accomplish the seemingly impossible? Easy…….one doesn’t……..but He does.

What if you could love people just because? What if you didn’t need a reason, or an excuse, to love them? Love is a choice. You hear that over and over again until the saying is worn thin. Tattered and ignored. Which is sad, because truthfully, it’s one of the most important life lessons to learn I believe.

The Lord is currently at work with my perspective and view of unconditional love. He’s twisting the very core of my belief and spilling it out all over the place until no tile is left unturned. He’s questioning the current voice in me that tells me I do love unconditionally. He’s gently whittling my belief system and forming it more into truths.

My former view was that people need a reason to be loved. I need to understand their perspective to give them love. But that’s not true at all…….and He’s definitely come in and shaken that little bundle of falsehoods up.

People are to be loved just because. No reason. No excuse. Christ calls us to love, and so that is what we are to do. They can be the most horrible person ever. They can be hateful and rude and annoying and poopy. But none of that matters when it comes to loving them. We are still called to love, regardless.

Again, impossible. Yeah? Yeah…..

It’s a good thing it’s not our strength loving, but Christ’s strength burning and showering love through us. We just need to learn to be available for Him to love through us.

Open Book

We each have a story. A testimony. I look at my story and don’t see a whole lot. It’s a pretty common, basic story. But the Lord can still use it.

Listening is a skill that has not come easy for me. It’s something I’m still mastering….probably always will be lol. I’m someone who loves talking…..a lot. I usually have a ton going on in my mind and I process verbally.

How do these two connect? Let me finish 😉

I love telling people my story. I’m sure those of you who have read through my blog have realized….I love stories. But not everyone needs to hear my whole story. It can’t help and encourage everyone. Not its entirety. But maybe bits and parts can.

That’s where listening comes in.

I used to be a pretty open book. I’d tell my whole story to almost everyone I came in contact with. But is that really what our story is for? The Lord writes us a beautiful story and it becomes our testimony. A way to glorify Him.

He started to reveal to me that telling my entire story to everyone wasn’t using the most of the testimony He has given me. Instead, I need to learn to listen to people and read situations. One person may be encouraged by one part, while another may be encouraged by another part.

I’ve been learning to listen deeply to people and be sensitive to what the Spirit leads me to say.

I’m still a fairly open book. If someone asks, I’ll generally answer. But not everyone needs that. They just need someone to listen to relate and to be encouraged.

Until next time,

CourtneyRae

 

 

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