Tuesday, January 27, 2015

you are lovely | amanda

it's been a while since i've shared another bloggers you are lovely story.
can i just tell you how much i love this series.
the moments of raw honesty...of true beauty, of unconventional thoughts just warms my heart.
so if you are interested in being a part of this series, shoot me an email and i'll give you more information.

today you get to hear from amanda | the lady okie.
i love her.
her smile, her spirit, her truth...so contagious and so refreshing.
enjoy reading her story today


For the past six years, I have played violin every Sunday morning as part of my church's worship band. One Sunday a few months ago, a photographer walked around taking pictures of the band and choir as we practiced to get ready for the service. A few weeks later, I noticed some of the pictures had been blown up, framed, and added to the wall in the church foyer. That picture you see above is a picture of me playing the violin that is hanging on the wall.

The very first thing I thought when I looked at that picture was, "Wow my nose looks huge."

The truth is, I really dislike my profile. I like pictures so much better that are taken straight on or just slightly angled to the side, but I do not like pictures of my profile. I feel like my nose looks giant and long, and I'm self-conscious of it.

I mentioned to my husband, Jordan, that I didn't like that picture of me because I didn't like how my nose looked. He said he hadn't thought anything about it! I'm sure no one else noticed my nose either, and yet it's the very first thing I saw.

To be honest, I still don't know what to do to overcome this. I suppose Hollywood's answer would be to just get a nose job. It really makes me sad when I see someone who has obviously gotten work done on their face, and at the same time I can understand it, because I'm sure we all have things we'd like to change about ourselves.

We have the ability to cut and shape our faces and even our bodies to how we want to look, but it's important to remember that God created us each in his image. We are perfect just how he made us, big nose and all! I still don't like how my nose looks, but the more I look at that picture that hangs in the hallway at church, the more I feel strong and beautiful. I love using my gift of music to serve, and I love my church, and I feel blessed to be able to play every Sunday. No matter how big I think my nose looks, I ultimately know that God looks at me through his eyes. And what he sees is lovely.


interested in hearing more stories?
head on over to the | you are lovely | page and check out who all has participated!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

TriStyleCo | mischief managed

oh y'all.
do i have some fun for you today.
i'm joining megan, beth, and sam in their TriStyleCo january challenge!
this month they partnered with JORDANENE and i am in love with their clothing.
i decided to go a little against the norm (story of my life) with the challenge and pick a different item to show off.
to be honest, i'm kind of obsessed with my mischief managed tank.
it's sooooo comfortable, so cheeky, and so chic at the same time.
harry potter fans unite!

i also wanted to show two different looks (i know, who am i?!) with this tank.
my first thought was - i'm pairing this tank with my skeleton tights...wouldn't that be hilarious?
uh, yes, it was...but it oddly worked, to me at least.
second look - reuse my dang snow white skirt from halloween - because i love mustard yellow and maxi skirts.
also, be kind to me, i am by no means a fashion blogger ;)


tank | jordanene
skeleton  tights | etsy
(^ but i will NOT recommend the shop - horrible costumer service)
skirt | amazon


how would you pair up this fun tank?
what does your every day style look like?

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Friday, January 23, 2015

frankly friday | the onslaught


i forgot how this moment felt.
the moment where your thoughts are spiraling,
your heartbeat speeds up,
it feels like you're crawling out of your skin.
i hate it.
i loathe it.
i wish it didn't exist.
and for the past year and a half...it was like it didn't.

i had forgotten how an anxiety attack felt like.
almost believed i didn't struggle with it.
had this "i am victorious!" mindset.
because i have traveled (alone and with friends), had new adventures, gone out of my comfort zone with little to zero anxiety.
i was able to "best" it...when i felt it coming on i would say this moment will either consume me or i will not allow it to and i was always able to tell anxiety to get lost...mind it's own business...shut itself down.
not this time.
nope...it was brutal.
i was ambushed.
and i had no weapons on me.

i was trying to explain an anxiety attack to a friend recently, and it's hard.
the best way i can think of even beginning to help others understand is this:
pretend there is a glass box inside of your head.
you're inside of that box - and you're aware of everything happening around you.
you see you're safe, that you're surrounded by friends who love you, that there is no threat.
but in that glass box...is your deepest fear.
you start convulsing.
you have zero control of your shaking body.
you can't focus.
you can't snap out of it.
you're still aware everything is ok - and rationally you have nothing to be anxious about...
...but you're stuck in that box.
stuck in the fear.
stuck with a body and mind you can't control.

or...let me put you in an empty box.
there is nothing inside - nothing to fear - nothing to get you bent out of shape.
yet somehow i convince your mind to believe your biggest fear is trapped with you inside of that box.
is it snakes? roaches? becoming harder to breathe? getting sick? ____?
and then i just tell you you're fine, snap out of it.
can you do it?
can you immediately come to...even though you KNOW you're fine?
are you still having after shocks from the fear, from the anxiety?
more than likely...you are.

that was me this past weekend on the mountain trip.
and i was angry.
i was ANGRY that i've gone so long without an attack to have one just come out of nowhere and take my knees out from under me.
i was under-prepared and hadn't practiced my exercises to help me snap out of an attack.
i was angry because i felt like i had gotten my anxiety under control.
like i wouldn't have any more anxiety attacks.
like it was defeated.

but it is my thorn.
and i will struggle with it forever.
and i have to be prepared for the onslaught.
i have to practice my breathing.
my safe place meditating.
my scripture memorization.
my "safety walk-through rationalizations"

i couldn't snap out of it for two nights.
two nights of torture.
two nights of constant nausea, irrational fear, and feeling helpless.
two nights of feeling self conscious around women i know accept me as i am...anxiety struggles and all.
two nights of crying out to God to let this cup pass and to take this thorn from me.
two nights of His answering me that this will bring Him glory...even if i don't understand it.
two nights of being consumed with self guilt...loathing...and frustration.
it had been so long since my last attack that i forgot how it felt.
how bad i get them.
how incredibly irrational it makes me.
and how one attack makes me even more anxious for more attacks - it becomes a horrible cycle.

i'm amy.
i'm washed in the blood of Jesus, goofy, weird, compassionate, hyper, always attempting humor, hamburger eater, weird noise maker, and ready for an adventure.
i also struggle with anxiety.
i won't let that last one define me though.
i won't let it chain me down or keep me from this beautiful thing called life.
i. will. not. let. it. consume. me.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

self | red lipstick


do your squats,
eat your vegetables,
wear red lipstick,
and don't let boys be mean to you.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

my weekend | iphone pictures

this past weekend i went with some girl friends to Brevard, NC - just like last year!
we had some delicious food, laughter, beautiful hikes, and a little photo session with the cotton crown.
it was incredible.
i was able to stop on the way up and see meg & some other close friends, as well as visit my brother one the way back home. i LOVE seeing friends! <3
i also struggled a lot with anxiety - which threw me - but i'll talk more about that on friday.
a few of us were even a little bit of dare devils.
there was a "do not enter" sign ...but who really cares about those?
we decided instead of back tracking to the trail we would just scale the mountain. yup.
that's what we did. scaled the mountain to the top where the guard rail was...it was glorious.
now to do a big ol' iphone picture photo dump...because you know, that's just how i roll.
i'll post the dslr pictures soon!



the duck faces were fun.
the baby snuggles were needed.
the hiking was glorious.
the sunlight was incredible.
the weekend fantastic.

see other my weekend posts here.

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