Blog

Quick Introduction

Hey guys! This is my first every blog post and I am super excited about this and giving you a look into my life and who I am. This post doesn’t really have a specific topic or thing that I want to discuss this is just a way for you to get to know me better. I am 20 years old. I go to Texas A&M University. I am one of four and I have a twin who I love and is my best friend. I have an older brother and a younger sister. I have two chocolate lab puppies who I love more than anything in the world. I am a Christian and my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. I had the privilege of working at a Christian camp this past summer and I am lucky enough to get to go back this summer. My favorite things to do are swim, ride horses and read. I hope this gave you a little insight into me and my life. I’m not sure how often I will updating my blog, but I’ll try to update it at least once a week.

XO

A Regular Girl

Trust

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on the blog. I love that people are still reading it and visiting the different posts even though it has been forever since I have posted. I started and stopped writing many different posts. None of them ever really felt right and when I started writing these I did them for me and no one else. I wanted what I posted to be authentic to me. I went home today because my brother is getting engages tomorrow (squeals)!! Which is super exciting. I’m watching TV with my dad and all of a sudden one of the characters is talking about bluffing. Now if you don’t know what bluffing is, it is where you lie about how good or bad your hand of cards is to win money. You can pretend like your cards are way better than they are to get people to fold or pretend you don’t have good cards and trick them into betting all of their money and then you surprise them and win. This little boy said “you looked really unhappy with your cards” and his grandmother said, “sometimes what’s on people’s face isn’t always what’s in their hearts”. He replied with “then how do you know who to trust” and she said, “you don’t, that’s what makes life interesting”. Let me tell you that threw me for a loop and was one of the most profound interactions that I have ever heard because it is so true. People lie and some people who look like they would never and could never hurt you are the ones who do the most damage. And the ones who look like you should never open up to are the ones who love you and protect you better than anyone else you will ever interact with. Here’s the thing, I don’t trust people. Like it’s bad I really don’t trust people around me and I am not a fan of most people. I tend to assume the worst of many people. I have a hard time figuring out who to trust and with how much of myself I should trust them. I am very guarded and sometimes that has worked and protected me, but other times it has gotten in the way of letting some really incredible people truly know me. It has taken me a long time to finally get this trust thing even just a little bit figured out. I have learned that there is one person that I can always trust and who will always be there for me, that is God in Psalm 56:3 it says “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you”. I didn’t trust God for a really long time. I let him have certain parts of myself but not everything because I had been surrounded by people who’s faces said one thing and their hearts said something very different. I said okay God I am going to trust you with these parts of me that are okay and not too broken and are pretty. But these scary and dark and twisty parts, those I am going to keep over here with me where you can’t touch them and they cant’ touch you. I acted like I was doing something noble in keeping those things out of His grasp when in reality I was just hurting myself. By not leaning on the Lord and letting him know me and putting my trust in Him, I was turning to things of this world that would fail me constantly. Then I would get frustrated with God that he would let those things fail me and not protect me. But I hadn’t let me protect myself from that hurt by putting my trust in Him. The things that I had put my well being in and entrusted to make me feel safe were not things that would sustain me and they were things that changed and offered little to no stability. However, in James 1 verse 17 it says “For every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who doesn’t change like shifting shadows”. I was living life and expecting God to bless me and give me gifts but I wasn’t looking to God to provide them to me, I was looking to things of the world. I was looking for stability and comfort there when it says in James that God is what doesn’t change. I was so scared to trust Him because I had grown so comfortable in my chains were made of my guilt, shame, and sins. I had grown comfortable in feeling like I wasn’t enough and trying to prove that wrong and be perfect. God doesn’t call me to be perfect, he calls me to be me and let Him love me when I am at my worst and let Him love the parts of me that are dark and twisty. That scares me so much. I convince myself that I am too much for him to handle, but the truth is that nothing is too much for him and no one is every too much because even if it was just me on Earth Jesus still would have died for me. How crazy is that?! Even if it was just you out there Jesus still would have died to save you and give you the chance to have life eternal. Now you might be asking yourself, how does this connect with trusting others? If you have Jesus in your  heart, it is easier to trust others because you know that you are loved far beyond what you can possibly imagine and it is okay if one person breaks your trust because you have someone who will never fail you, Jesus. I have found it easier to trust people now because I don’t expect them to be my everything and help to fill the voids that I used to let them fill because I am turning to Jesus instead. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight”. If you trust in the Lord everything will work out, but if and only if you submit to the plan that He has for you. Most of the time that isn’t going to look like the plan that you have for yourself. I never planned to be where I am now surrounded by the people that I am surrounded but, but I wouldn’t change any of it for anything. Trust in the Lord and make him your cornerstone and everything else will fade the the background.

XO

A Regular Girl

Honesty

Today I was on Facebook and that stupid little status update bar thingy says “share how your day went…” Well, Facebook thanks for asking my day was super shitty. But that’s not what the people on Facebook want to hear. My friends on Facebook want to hear that I am great. They want to hear that school is a breeze, that my friends are amazing and they guy who I will spend the rest of my life with is right around the corner. They don’t want to hear that my day, no correct that my past few weeks have been increasingly shitty. But we don’t share that with the wonderful people on our Facebook feed, of and why is that I’ll tell you it’s because it’s not easy. It’s not easy to say hey I am struggling and life is really hard and I feel super overwhelmed and out of my element. No, we have been taught that it is socially acceptable to reply with my day has been fine and yours? Like polite and socially gracious humans, but those social graces don’t stop at Facebook which is filled with people you barely know and weird relatives that you avoid at holidays. No, we continue these similar mannerisms into everyday conversations that we have with people who we even love and trust because telling them that we are fine is simply the nicer and better option. It saves us from having hard conversations and showing people that we aren’t nearly as fine as we let them believe that we are. We don’t stop the person who we are passing in the street that asked us how we are and go you know what I’m having a really shitty day and life is hard and I’m not dealing with it well. We smile and say I’m great, how are you? Why is it that we do this? Well, I’ll tell you why we do this because it is so much easier. We don’t think of it as lying we make excuses. Well I’m really busy and I have to get someone where so I can’t have this conversation right now, or well they don’t really want to know how I’m doing they are just being polite or 1,000 other excuses that come to our minds when faced with the decision of am I honest or do I tell a small white lie that I can’t see hurting anyone. How wrong we are to assume that no one gets hurt when you tell that little white lie, you get hurt when you tell that little white lie. You are denying yourself the chance, to be honest with someone and let them level with you and share your pain with them in a way that they might be able to help with your burden and lean on them. In the words of lean on me “please swallow your pride”, don’t be afraid to take that step back and go, man, I need help and I need someone to lean on because I am overwhelmed and out of my element. I’ve talked about this before but I’ll say it again, I am really good at hiding in plain sight. I am really good about letting people think that they know me when in reality they are only seeing the parts of myself that I am comfortable letting them see. It is easy for me to sit here and write these posts because almost no one that reads this knows who I really am and what is actually happening. It is easier to be honest when you don’t have to sit across from someone and watch them or hear them when you tell them how much you are struggling and just how overwhelmed you feel in your struggles. But struggles are never meant to be easy, they were also never meant to be tackled alone. That’s why people push us to find community, friends who you can lean on in times when you feel overwhelmed. These people who can support you and love you through no matter what is going on in your life. The only way that community works though is if you are honest with those around you. Again not something that I am good at. This summer I worked at a camp for 10 weeks and I had to be way more honest than I have ever been in my life and it was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. It was hard for a couple reasons: I had to tell people that I have known for a while that they don’t actually know me/I’ve been lying to them and I had to let people see me vulnerable. I don’t let people see me this way because I have such a fear that once people see how truly dark and twisty I am on the inside they will run for the hills, I’m still not convinced that people won’t. I hold back in relationships and don’t let people really love me the way that I deserve to be loved because I am so scared that they will realize just how scared and damaged I am and decide that I am simply too much. Honesty is my worst nightmare because honesty requires me to be vulnerable and reopen old wounds that I have long since closed or at least pretend that they don’t exist anymore. Let me let you in on a little secret, no matter how hard you try and fight those old wounds unless you have people to lean on they will overwhelm you and eat you alive. We have community because they are the people that we trust to speak life and truth to us so that we aren’t overwhelmed by old wounds. A friend once told me about my scars that “each time we open one, it heals a little better than before…today’s battles prepare us for tomorrow’s war.” He wasn’t wrong. Every time you let someone in and show them the hurt they help you to move past it and take away some of the power that it used to hold over you. The thing about scars that people don’t realize is that it shows where you’ve come from and what you’ve survived. Wear your scars with pride and let people see you shine through them. Don’t let them dim your light. The hardest thing for me about honesty is that too many times I have had my honesty and vulnerability twisted back on me and used as a weapon against me. This makes me put up walls faster than anything else. And once you’ve used that vulnerability against me, there is little to no chance that I will ever share anything with you ever again. Here’s the thing about it, just because one person twists that doesn’t mean that everyone you are honest with and vulnerable with will make the same choices. Believe me, I know it’s hard and it’s still not something that I am particularly good at. It is worth it in the end, but you will have times when you question why it is even worth it and why anyone would ever bother being honest in the first place. The important thing to remember is honesty breeds trust and trust builds relationships that you will soon be able to lean on and depend on. You’ll always regret those who you wished you hadn’t shared with because of the few who took your vulnerability and turned it into something ugly.

XO

A Regular Girl

Plans

I was watching TV the other day and one of the characters got her dreams crushed. Her parents tried to make her feel better and she responded with “you said that if I did everything that I was supposed to do and played by the rules everything would work out. The world doesn’t work the way you said it does so what the hell am I supposed to do”. The first time I heard that line and watched the exchange I cried. Now I don’t cry often and most of the time when I feel like crying I don’t cry. But watching that made me cry because it was something that I had felt for so long but didn’t know how to voice it. So many small and big dreams or hopes or just things that I have wanted haven’t gone the way that I planned. I like to think that I am strong and unbreakable but I am not. When my heart gets broken and dreams I have don’t come true I feel broken and confused. It took me a long time and a lot of different losses for me to really understand what she said. I played by the rules and did everything that I was supposed to do. I played my part and tried to do everything perfectly and live up to the expectations that everyone else had for me. But when the time came for me to step up and take that next step that I was expected to take, my life fell apart. Things that I had taken as guarantees and things that I had earned not only because of who I am but what I had accomplished, they were snatched away from me in the blink of an eye. People say that when it rains it pours. Well let me tell you, they are 100% right. My plans change and shifted so fast that it made my head spin. I was left reeling and trying to pick up the pieces and make a new plan with the little pieces that I had left. I had decisions to make and things to do, but I didn’t know what to do because the plan that I had for myself and my future had fallen apart. Everything that I had counted on was taken from me and I was left standing and trying to figure out what was my next move. Of course, that was also the moment when people decided that I needed to make my own decisions and gave me advice that I either didn’t want to hear or gave me advice that was just not helpful, in my eyes. I tried so hard for so long to be perfect and act perfectly so that I would have a perfect life. I thought that if I did was I was supposed to do if I kept the peace if I was able to do what everyone was asking me then everything would be perfect. But that’s not how life works. We have ups and downs in our life to teach us and show us to cherish the different seasons in our lives even the hard seasons. There is a sweetness in the struggle but you have to be willing to find it and see it because it is so much easier to turn on everyone else and blame others instead of trying to find a solution. I played by the rules and did everything that was expected of me and still, my life fell apart. It took me a long time after getting my heart broken in ways that I couldn’t even imagine it getting broken for me to realize that God didn’t bring me as far as he has to leave me or forsake me Things might be hard right now for me to handle, but God will still make a way. When faced with a tough situation and a situation in which your plan did not have you prepared to go don’t chose a familiar misery over a foreign happiness. By that, I mean that it can be so easy to sit in the uncertainty and stay there over trying to go out on your own making those tough decisions. It’s something that I still struggle with, I will know the decision that I need to make and over think and over analyze it and almost talk myself out of it because it is something that takes me out of my comfort zone. Just because something is out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth pursuing. There is a verse that is said so many times it can often lose its meaning because it is said so often, “For, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). This verse is said to comfort others as they are struggling to find their path and figure out the plan that is laid before them. This verse always gave me more anxiety than it did comfort because it made me antsy and want to know the plan and what I am walking into before I get there. I want to have a plan of attack ready so that when I am faced with a tough situation and I have a hard fight on my hands I know what to do and how to handle it. There is a verse that I like better and it makes more sense to me, “plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Now, this doesn’t mean go poll random people that you find on the street, this verse is saying to go to people you trust. Advisers aren’t random people but people that you trust, people who know you and your heart they are people who have your best interest at heart. These are the people to seek out and you can find them by looking towards God. These are the friends and people in your life who encourage you in your walk, comfort you with words of affirmation when feel broken, but most importantly they are the people who show you God in all that they do. When I was struggling and lost in my plan I didn’t seek out those people and I didn’t seek counsel because I was scared. I felt like I needed to have all the answers and have my plan figured out so that I could have the answer to any question that I got answered. Well, it took me a long time to figure out but I’m never going to have all the answers to the questions that I get asked. It doesn’t scare me as much as it used to, I still like to have the answers but I know now that I will have the answers when I need to have them. I only know part of the plan and that is okay because if I knew everything that was to come and that I was supposed to do, I probably wouldn’t do it the way I needed to because I would think I could do it better or that I know more. I would take short cuts to avoid heartbreak and get to the joys but we can’t fully enjoy the joys until we’ve survived the pains of life. Our plans never turn out the way we think or hope they will but God’s plan for us will turn out exactly how it is supposed to and that is the only answer I need.

XO

A Regular Girl

Instinct

Instinct is something that we are all born with and we all have. It’s that voice in the back of your head that says don’t touch the fire. Instincts aren’t always about saving ourselves from physical danger but knowing what to do in certain situations. Some of us have better instincts and listen to them. Others don’t and frequently ignore their instincts which can lead to many different kinds of pain. Every animal on this planet is born with their natural instinct. You can see it when they tense up after hearing a noise. They tense and wait, they watch and listen. They don’t jump into action unless they have to. We don’t always follow that same pattern. We can be stubborn and run head first into danger that could have been avoided if we had listened to our instincts stopped and waited. Our instincts protect they are natures way of keeping us safe and out of harm’s way. It is a defense mechanism that can keep you from running headlong into a situation that can get you hurt or killed. Instincts are why we are here and still surviving. But as I said earlier we often don’t listen to our instincts. We think that we know better and charge headlong into a situation that we should not be in. We kid ourselves and tell ourselves that we are ready and prepared for the fight ahead. Most times we aren’t ready for the fight that we are about to have. The fight that we are ready for is never the fight that we have. You can be as prepared as you want, know all the right things to do and say when you get into that situation. But at the end of the day, the only thing that you can rely on is your instinct. The feeling you get in your gut that says something is not right or that something is about to go wrong. The prickle on the back of your neck when you feel someone watching you and you know you need to move. The hesitation in a conversation or phone call that tells you something is happening and you are not being given all of the information that you need. You instincts are what keep you safe and keep you alive. People often say to trust your gut, I didn’t know what this meant for the longest time. I thought it meant to go with the first response that comes in your head, that’s not true. Sometimes your first thought is the rash part of you that wants to take action and right a wrong. Our instinct is not always what we want to do but 99% of the time it is right on the money. The more you ignore your instincts the farther you get from them and the harder it can be to figure them out what you should do versus what you want to do. The more you listen to your gut and trust your instinct the more clearly you will be able to tell what your gut is telling you and figure out what to do. Our instincts can be hard to listen to because often they tell us the right decision to make but it is not necessarily the easiest thing to do or what we want to do. These are times when it is easiest to ignore your instincts or pretend you don’t know what is happening but those are also the times that it is most important that you understand what is happening and listen to your gut and make the decision that you need to make. In Job 38:36-37 this very topic is discussed. The verse says “Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven.” Your instinct isn’t just a voice in the back of your head telling you what to do or what you should do. Your instinct is God helping to guide you. He has infinite wisdom and forever has our hearts in his hands. He knows what we need and what we want, often those things don’t align. God is responsible for our instinct. You might ask why, if God is responsible for our instinct, do bad things happen or why do we make decisions that are opposite of what our instinct says we should do? The answer to that is relatively simple, free will. God gave us this amazing gift that can sometimes be a double-edged sword. We can make our own decisions and those decisions can often be clouded by greed, pride, envy and many other things. The world would be a perfect place if we had all the answers and knew exactly what to do. But the world is not like that because we are people that have sinned and Adam and Eve went against their instincts when they took fruit from the tree that they were forbidden to eat from. Our instinct is God trying to help us stay on the path that he ahs for us, but we fall off that path too many times to count. Well at least I have, I have ignored my instincts before they told me to make decisions that scared me or left me with more questions than answers. I have been trying more and more to trust my instincts and while I don’t necessarily understand where my path is going and what the end results of these decisions will be, I do know that God has a plan for me and that my instincts have always been dead on. Listen to your heart and your gut, often times we second guess our instincts because we overthink and overanalyze the decision and then we lose track of what it is we should do. It is easy to get wrapped up in the decision-making process that we the decision that we know we need to make. If you got nothing else out of this know this, trust your gut and listen to what it tells you to do.

XO

A Regular Girl

Perception

I think that there are two types of people in the world. There are people who see the world as black and white and those who see the world in shades of gray. The people who see the world in black and white see clear distinctions between good and bad. There are no blurred lines, something is either right or it is wrong. Then there are the other people, the people who see the world in shades of gray. They don’t just see the world as all good or all bad. They see good in the and sometimes bad in the good. They no that no one is born good or born bad. There are things that happen to make someone act the way that they do. It is all the choices that you make every day that determines if you are good or bad. Even in that, I don’t believe that a person is ever just good or bad. I like to think that I am a good person, but I make mistakes. There is no part of me that is perfect or makes the right decisions all the time. There are times when I make poor choices and I make decisions to see just how far I can push the envelope and see how far I can go before I fall. In the same sense, I don’t think that someone who makes a bad decision is a bad person. I saw Beauty and the Beast this past weekend, let me tell you that was a good movie! But it got me thinking about the beast. When people first saw him, they saw the outside of him and judged him based on the limited interaction they had with him. SPOILERS ARE COMING AND IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ THEM STOP READING. On the inside, he is soft and sweet but he has built up walls and layers to keep others out and by doing so other perceive him as being cold and unloving. But he’s not he protects Belle, he shows her the world, he lets her be her own person and grow and do what she needs to do. There is a time in the movie when Belle asks the staff why they stayed with the beast after the curse happened and why they still care about him. Mrs. Potts says that it is because they failed him after his mom dies the beasts father was cold and turned his son cold because of how he was treated. They stay with him because they feel guilty that they didn’t step in sooner and open his eyes and show him what it looks like to love someone and truly be loved back. That is what God is for us. He is our true love and he sees us when we are at a worst and don’t think that we deserve his love. He chases us and loves us even when we don’t return the love he gives us. God doesn’t just see us for the sins that we have committed or the mistakes that we have made. He sees us for who we truly are, he sees the good that is in everyone. There is no time where after picking us up again God says “this is the last time that I am going to put you back together”. We are so loved by the king of kings and the creator of the world! Like that blows my mind all the time. So no matter if you look at yourself and see the mistakes you have made and the imperfections you think are there, that is not what God sees. He sees himself in you. He sees the goodness that is in every person. No one is born evil and everyone has the potential to have a positive impact on the world and do good. When you look at the world no matter how you see it either in shades of gray or black and white don’t forget to look past what you see and look at the person who is in front of you. Take the time to get to know them and not just judge them based on your first impression of them. Get to know their heart because when you do it can be life-changing. No matter who you think you are or who you have to be because of where you just remember that it doesn’t define you. It doesn’t define what person who you are, the choices that you do define who you are. Try and see the world in different shades and look past what you think you see until you truly see the heart of the person in front of you.

XO

A Regular Girl