There's Always a Bright Side (Mug-spiration Monday)

Monday, August 22, 2016 13 comments

Last week was rough. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that I had an old back and hip injury flare up. It kept me from walking by myself the first few days, and it caused a lot of pain when I sat or tried to bend. I was basically bed-ridden. And it sucked!
Being bedridden, relying on my husband to take me to the bathroom so I could pee, and not being able to take a shower for almost a week doesn't sound so fun (and it wasn't), but as I thought about my week, despite my pain, I realized that there were blessings tucked in there too.

A Little Bright Side

I don't sleep in. My body rarely lets that happen. But last week, I slept until 8 or 9 almost every morning. I needed that sleep desperately.
I was also able to relax and just be in my room and read. I haven't done that in quite some time either. 

And believe me, I know that those seem like small things, but I am thankful for them. Just because I was in pain doesn't mean good things couldn't happen. There's usually a bright side if we just take the time to look, ya know?

So Go Ahead. Look.

If you have something difficult going on in your life, how do you usually handle it? Do you cry, do you throw things, do you call your best friend and vent about it? Those are all understandable and normal responses, and I react similarly.

Oftentimes, I will get really worked up, call my mom or hubby, and complain about whatever is going on. I also tend to get super-dramatic and think worse-case-scenario... because anxiety is my super-power. But those reactions don't accomplish anything good. They just make me more anxious, grumpy, and worked up. Venting can sometimes be a good thing, but it often turns into telling everyone how awful life is, which is a big load of bull.

Even if your life isn't super-sparkly-awesome at the moment, there is still so much to be thankful for. Think about your loved ones. Think about your home. Think about your job. Think about the fact that you aren't dying from starvation, or dehydration. You are blessed. And think about whatever bad thing is going on in your life right now. Is there something good that has come from it already? Can you see potential good that has the power to come through this situation? Can you see something you may need to learn from? Are you growing and becoming stronger through all of this? All of those are positive things. Even learning a painful lesson is a blessing. And all of those things are a bright side of a hard situation.

There's always a bright side if you just look around.

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Using Social Media for Good (Guest Post)

Monday, August 15, 2016 No comments

Happy Monday, all you wonderfuls out there!

Today I am a guest over at Life With Kristie, where I will be discussing how we can use social media for good and positive purposes.

So if you've ever found yourself thinking, "why is everything in my feed sooooooo negative?" (and let's be real, everyone has thought that), then this is the post for you!

I want to give you guys ideas for being the positivity that you wish you were already seeing on social media! You don't need to wait for someone else to post something uplifting. You can do that on your own.

So head on over to Life with Kristie and read my newest post, "Using Social Media For Good".

And speaking of positivity, don't forget about the #thebeautifultreasures movement which is all about recognizing the beauty we have regardless of any flaws or imperfections. Check it out on Instagram and join the movement!

The Problem with Bossiness

Friday, August 12, 2016 8 comments

If you were to come spend and evening with me and my husband, Taylor, I'd give it about an hour before you started to realize something about me: I am sooooooo bossy!

I don't mean to be. *Okay, let's be real... sometimes I mean to be.*
But usually, I don't realize I am being bossy until the words are already halfway out of my mouth. And then it's too late. I can either play it off as a joke, which usually doesn't work since the people I allow myself to be bossy towards are the ones who know me well enough to know it wasn't a joke.

Honestly, I know a lot of women who have domineering personalities. Whether it's because they've lived alone and have become very independent, have a husband who won't step up to help, or whether it just comes naturally to them, there's something inside these women that causes them to demand things of those around them, and then to get mad when the task isn't done immediately.

If you identify as one of those women, let's talk about why this is a bad thing, and some practical steps we can take to fix that.

Bossiness makes people feel incompetent

When I boss my husband around, what is it I am really doing? By telling him what to do and how to do it, I can easily make him feel that I think his way is stupid and my way is best. This, in turn, can make him feel like I don't think he can do anything right.
My husband is a very smart man, and there are lots of things he does well, so to make him feel otherwise would break my heart.

Bossiness makes us seem arrogant

I touched on this a little bit already, but bossiness makes it seem like I think that my way is always the best. It makes me seem as though I think I am the only one who knows how to accomplish the task at hand, and that I think I have complete authority to tell everyone else how to act.
Not only is this a delusion that us bossy ladies suffer from, but it also make us seem completely arrogant.

Bossiness pushes people away

Proverbs 21:9 says that "It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife." Seriously, a quarrelsome (bossy, or nagging) wife is such an obnoxious thing that it would be better for a man to live in the attic than have to deal with his wife. OUCH!

I never want to be so bossy that my husband wants to get away from me. I don't want to be so obsessed with control that I push the ones I love away.

Bossiness is the opposite of self-control and gentleness

In Galatians 5:22-23, the Bible talks about the fruit of the Spirit. Two of which are self-control and gentleness. And since the fruits of the Spirit are character traits that we should be growing in as Christians, it troubles me when I realize that bossiness is the opposite of how I should live. says that the word gentleness "suggests a deliberate or voluntary kindness or forbearance in dealing with others". Where gentleness says, "let me listen to you and hear what ideas you have", bossiness says, "I want what I want and I want you to do what I say".
Likewise, self-control means being able to restrain our actions and emotions when need be, but bossiness is often a knee-jerk reaction that comes with being in the habit of telling others what to do.

It all sounds a little harsh, right? And how are we supposed to fix this issue when we've been living this way for so long? Is that even possible?

Why yes, yes it is! :)

Tips for Overcoming the Battle Against Bossiness

Focus ONLY on serving for a week or two

No matter how little help you get, no matter what you would rather be doing, focus on helping and serving others all week. Don't ask (or tell) anyone to do anything for you. Instead, ask how you can help them. And do it.
After a while, serving will become habit and a lack of bossiness will become normal.

Read About Gentleness

Spend a little bit of time every day reading over "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23), and other passages in the Bible that talk about what it means to be godly. Read the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42.
The point? Be focused on godliness, which includes gentleness. The more you focus on that, the more aware you will be when you start to get, um, "aggressive".

Remember the Negative Effects of Bossiness

Have you seen bossiness create division or hurt in your relationships with others? Does it break your heart to break God's heart? Reflect on these things. Don't spend time beating yourself up- Ain't nobody got time for that- but rather, spend that time recognizing what bossiness causes versus what gentleness causes. Since you already know which outcome you like best, this will help you decide against bossiness as it comes to you.

So there you go, friend. I hope you are encouraged to overcome bossiness and be the gentle, self-controlled person you are capable of being.

Did you find any of these tips helpful? Do you have any other tips you'd like to share? Comment below!

Why We Need to Be Fed By God in Order to Help Others

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 15 comments

Have you ever met someone who sucks the life out of you? You know, the one who you keep trying to help but they never take your advice, only care what you have to say if it's exactly what they want to hear, and yet they keep coming back. They keep "needing you help".

If you're anything like me, there comes a point when you are torn between self-sanity and self-sacrifice. Do you keep pushing forward trying to help someone that seems like a lost casue? Or do you let yourself take a breather and not allow that person to burden you or take advantage of you any longer?

Why Are You Afraid?

Monday, August 8, 2016 10 comments

Happy Mugspiration-Monday, friend! I hope you are feeling good this morning and ready to take on the day, and I hope you're having some strong coffee as you read this- because #coffeeisimportant.

I hope your day is full of ambition, accomplishments, and joy. I hope that today you feel encouraged and ready to take on the world! But sometimes, we just don't feel like that. Sometimes, we are scared. Sometimes we feel afraid that we will never be the person we want to be. We are afraid of failing.

7 Ways to Make an Awesome Day Even More Awesome

Friday, August 5, 2016 28 comments
*Originally Published on The Peculiar Treasure on May 2015

Do you ever have one of those days where you just wake up and everything is awesome? Or maybe it even takes you an hour or two, but sometime during the morning you realize that there is joy surrounding you. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, all the plants seem to be shouting "look at me!", and your mood is bursting with energy and positivity! Do you ever feel like that?

I tend to feel like that less than I would like to, but I do have those days- those awesome, beautiful days!

On days like that, I know I had better take advantage of those feelings. Those are the days where I am most productive, most pleasant, and most self confident. I am more likely to exercise and eat healthy, I am more likely to have a good prayer time, and I am more likely to have a grateful disposition.

Wonderfuls, when these days present themselves, I feel like we should take life by the horns and make the most of it by creating a day that matches our mood.

So here are 7 things you can do to enhance your already-awesome day!

7 Ways to Make an Awesome Day More Awesome

1.) Groom yourself and your home

When I was a teenager struggling with depression, my mom would always tell me to get up, make my bed, get out of my PJ's, and put on makeup. This was because she knew it would make me feel better. I used to not understand it. But since I have my own house and am living as a married "grown-up", I definitely understand now. I almost always feel better when I take her advice. There is something about a freshly made bed, a cute outfit, and a little bit of makeup that makes this gal feel more productive, put together, and ready to face the day. Give it a whirl. It can't hurt!

2.) Take a Day Trip

You know that restaurant in the next town over that you've been dying to try? Well, just go. Treat yo' self to a little road-trip. Invite friends or make it a solo venture- whatever your heart desires. Newness is always exciting, and you don't have to go very far to find that. Feeling super adventurous? Turn your day trip into a weekend getaway to the beach or mountains. Go hiking on a new trail, rock hopping in a creek, or for the over-adventurous folks, go skinny dipping in the sea- or on second thought... how about not ;)
Regardless of the size of the adventure, spend your awesome day doing what makes your heart sing.

3.) Read Outside

So maybe you aren't a very adventurous person...that's ok! There are still plenty of things for you to do! One of my favorite laid-back activity is sitting outside, soaking in the rays of sun that are dipping down to kiss my skin while I lose myself in a good book. Whether you like young adult fiction, self-improvement books, or Good Housekeeping Magazine, grab your favorite reading material and get yourself outside. Just don't forget the sunscreen!

4.) Clean Crap Up

Though I cannot relate, some of my friends love to clean. I don't get it, but thank God for them. In college, my wonderful friend and suite-mate would ask me if she could clean my room when she was stressed. Um, yes please! For those wonderful weirdos (a term of endearment!), on days when you are already feeling awesome, why not add more awesome to the mix by cleaning. You already know you enjoy it, and with your good attitude you will surely get things done more quickly- leaving you feeling productive and accomplished. Happy cleaning!

5.) Get Your Garden On

Another way to really enjoy your day is to spend it gardening. A lot of people feel so happy when they are able to get their hands dirty. Pull some weeds, plant some more flowers, or just take some time to admire the gardening you've already done. It is scientifically proven that looking at pretty flowers is a good idea ;)

6.) Ride a Bike

One of my favorite things to do is ride bikes. Somehow, this love skipped over my husband and friends... Sad day. But when I have a sunshine-y day staring me down, I almost always want to ride my bike. I don't have any bike-riding buddies around here, but I have got to stop letting that be an excuse because I love it way too much to miss out. So let's go ride a bike!

7.) Take Pictures

When the day is "pretty as a picture", why not actually take pictures? Do you have a favorite spot around town? A hidden gem that always brings a smile to your face? Then go capture it on camera. Don't know of anything in particular to snap pictures of? Then go exploring. Walk around town. Photograph strange things, beautiful things, mysterious things- all the things. Be creative. It's fun!

What do you like to do to improve the awesomeness of your day?

Note: Any day can be awesome. You don't need to wait for the perfect job, the perfect relationship, or even the perfect weather. Any day can be awesome if you will allow it to be. So rain or shine, happy or sad, do all you can to have an awesome day.

August Self-Control (Goals)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 17 comments

So, it's August...already. I cannot believe how quickly the Summer has come and gone. But I have officially hit that point where I am excited for Summer to leave and Autumn to come, so it's the perfect time for August to sneak up on us ;)

The problem with new months though, is that I look back and realize that I never (like ever) accomplish my goals. I have a major self-control problem, which is why I have titled this post "August Self-Control".

It doesn't matter how many goals I set, or how important those goals are, if I never make myself practice self-control. Because if that's the case, I'm just going to keep on slacking in every, stinkin' area of life.

Last month, the ONLY thing I accomplished on my July goal-list was going to the beach (which was already semi-planned). Everything else was an epic-fail.

Seriously. Self-Control

So this month, my only goal is to have self-control.

- If I want to go out to eat, but we have no extra money, then I am not going out to eat.

If I want to sit on the couch instead of taking baby E for a walk, I am going to take at least a short walk, because a little bit is better than nothing.

If I want a donut, I will have ONE...not three.

If I want to watch another episode of Blue Bloods, but I haven't read the Bible, then Blue Bloods is over for the night.

Too Hard

The thing is, this still sounds "too hard", which is completely silly. The only reason it sounds hard, is because I don't want to do it. But I know it will be plenty worth it in the long run.

So I'm going to work on being more controlled this month. I will do my best to remember (and care) that self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and also that just because I can do something, doesn't mean I should.

Anyone else feeling like a lack of self-control is hindering your progress? Comment below.